Open Space and Restroom Signs

Tuesday, June 17, 2008
More Musings From the Road

Solitude
Gertrude Stein wrote, “In the United States, there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is.”

As I travel through the West I'm continually in awe at all the land where nobody is. Mile after mile with no one around, no homes or farms or ranches. I'm sure most of it is part of some farm or ranch, but there's no one around... maybe a few pronghorn antelope or deer... but no people.

Some people need to be busy... need to have others around all the time... need to be constantly engaged in some kind of social activity. Others soak in the space and the "alone-ness", and revel in it. To be alone with your own thoughts; your own agenda... how wonderful that can be. The ideal is probably some mixture of the two, but in our society solitude is certainly under-appreciated.

From the journals of a soldier at Fort Buford in the late 1860's -- at the confluence of the Yellowstone and the Missouri -- near present day Williston ND... as winter approached and the river froze over preventing any further river transportation, the ONLY transportation, until spring... they looked forward to the "splendid solitude".

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Restroom Signs in Scotland
The other day, as I waited for my dearest to emerge from a public restroom facility, I took notice of the signage that was used to differentiate between the mens side and the womens side. They were those international symbols that showed the frontal silhouette of a man and a woman... the only real difference being the dress or skirt on the woman, and pants on the man. I'm sure you've all seen them.

But what do they use in Scotland... the land where even men wear dresses, or, as they're known over there, kilts?

I've got to believe there's a lot of confusion.

Thom
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