Showing posts from August, 2008

Not my interview with Karzai

Time interview with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai
Some points that Karzai brings up in particular is the presence of the international groups contributing to existance of miltias under being supported like quasi security forces. Also he suggested that the international community doesn't see the Afghan viewpoint and often decisions get made which seem correct by them but then results in worse that before. Government corruption allegations get discussed.
I read it and continue to realize how complex and delicate the state of affairs in Aghanistan can be. At this point, it appears there needs be more attention to "Afghanness" of how to aid Afghanistan rather than assert a western model. Doesn't history teach us that Afghanistan won't succomb to the foreign forces pressed against it? Afghanistan will belong to Afghanistan.
Nevertheless, I don't doubt good things are being done by the international community and hopefully will continue. Yet, the bad tends to ris…

500th posting

I lament that this is the 500th post of the Royce Files. Why? Well, I think I could have done much more. Granted I am not the most prolific of bloggers nor does my wit astound many. I guess its that cliche "old man" lament that I wish I could have ______ (fill in the blank).
Here's two I could have filled in the blank with:
Gone to the Olympics
Either as an athlete, journalist, or volunteer, I would have loved to have been at a winter or summer games. Granted I may still have time on this wish but my athletic prowess has dwindled. Preparing for a marathon is tough enough. I guess I regret not really incorporating much sport into my life between high school and after college. My greatest claim would being the overall winner of the pentathlon in junior high. Those were my greatest years on the track and in the field. It was only recently that I converted myself into a distance runner with much work.
Journalism and volunteering appeals to me because I get to be part of more …

Here's to you Ronnie Drew

Irish folk singer Ronnie Drew passed into eternity this week past. The founder of the Dubliners had been battling throat cancer. He was probably more recognized for his deep gravely voice although he had a big bushy beard up until he began receiving treatments for cancer for which you must say added to his recognizably. The elder statesman of Irish music leaves a legacy of music behind for us to enjoy. Bono even likes him.

300: Ride through the South Dakota heat

This is the 4th part of the account of the 300 mile bike journey I took from my front door and back in early July.
Leaving Brown's Valley behind I entered South Dakota. It was a bit surreal as I passed many abandoned fireworks "shacks" and quonsets in the middle of nowhere. These places were literally on some country road, the only remnants of civilization for miles. One was particularly disturbing. Out front was a smoldering fire, probably made from the remaining fireworks and supplies. It made for an eery scene which I imagined terrorists had come and destroyed the festive July 4th ingredients. I digress.
Sisseton is approximately 10 miles from Brown's Valley. I made it into town around noon. A big Pow-Wow was in progress but I failed to seek it out as I sought for a place to lunch. Solemn emptiness welcomed me to the downtown of Sisseton. Not a sign of an open business. With heat rising I decided to eat at Taco John's mostly because they had the History Channel …

Ah, Oui Voyeguer

A few days ago I completed another trek through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA). This time I partnered up with a fellow named Craig. It was a pleasant experience with very little excitement. I guess that is a little deceiving. There was a broken canoe seat during the first hours of the trip. However, beyond that mishap, everything went smooth albeit Craig was a camping and canoeing neophyte.
Originally, I was to go with Phil (you know the quotable beer guy) and a rather large party. However, Craig wanted to go but could not fit on the permit. Only 9 people per permit are allowed. I then decided to purchase another permit to accommodate Craig and anyone else who want a less "crowded" experience. No one else came forth. So Craig and I launched out from Kawishiwi Lake as the other crew 20 miles west shoved out from Little Gabbro.
This year I added another canoe to my collection. A few weeks before the 15 foot pakcanoe was vandalized at a resort I was staying. The thwart had…

300: Down to the Valley

This is the continuing saga of my 300 mile bike tour into 3 states I completed in the beginning of July.

I spent a good part of the day in Morris with my friends. After a few shopping stops for supplies and a bite to eat (Willie's still has the cheapest sandwiches around), I head west on MN 28 towards Graceville somewhere between 2 and 3 PM. There wasn't much excitement from Morris to Graceville. I think there may have been a wedding in Chokio but most of the time it was flatland fields.
I stopped in Graceville and looked around. I didn't see much open. Seems small towns close up early on weekends. I went to the covenience store to stock up on water, then continued down 28. The topography did not change much. It still was flat but there was an occasional slough and lots of ducks.
Nearing Brown's Valley brought the most remarkable changes. It was a valley! At last there was something different. I rolled through the deserted town at 8PM and found the city campground and set…