Joseph is alone, on his journey, for most of the day now. You can call it alone. There is an abundance of flora et fauna surrounding him. There is weather. There is plenty to keep him busy.

He goes about his day, in a most aggressive of manners. He knows not that he is preparing for battle. He is simply practicing the activities that make men great. He does it for love. He does it because of the list he found on an outhouse floor in Astoria. He has started to mark his progress on the list:

Loves of Earthstory’s Greatest Men

  1. Map-Folding –Mastered
  2. Knots – In Progress
  3. Knife-Fighting – In Progress (He is no good with fists. 1-11 career. 10 by way of KO. 2KO’s in one fight lost in Nogales. His only win a sucker punch on the run.)
  4. Classic Literature – Good Base. Needs Work.
  5. Relationship-Failing – Mastered years ago.
  6. Dancing – Mastered.
  7. Charm – Not yet started. Hopefully this comes easy. He grows tired.
  8. Pastry Discernment – Bear Claw vs. Maple Bar. “The Great Debate” He will get this tomorrow at a small café in Waldport, for practice of course.

He figures he is at 65%. That got him through college. However, it won’t be enough for this epic, forthcoming battle. 65% is evisceration by crustacean. 65% is embarrassment, death. Curiously the man strives much harder at this list than he did at the Eller College of Management. Rest assured mom.

Knots. Today is Bowline day. At dawn he gets up. He makes coffee, French press, of course. He looks to his knot manual. Bowline. The bowline knot is popular amongst sailors. Yep, he utters. The knot creates a secure loop at the end of a rope without requiring a pass through. Understood. It begins with an underhand knot,….. He reads. He learns.

Taking rope that his Grandfather Bruce, a man who believes in rope, gave him, he begins. He ties the first few bowlines slowly, methodically. He is patient in his practice. His approach is timeless.

He draws, from his tool-box, a tarp. He ties a bowline in the first corner, slowly. It’s perfect. Beginner’s luck, he thinks. He undoes it. Again he ties the knot, quicker. He undoes it. This goes on until Bowline becomes muscle memory. He is a natural. All four corners of the tarp are tied with textbook bowlines. The other ends of the rope are tied to trees and the remnants of a Japanese internment corral, where he makes camp.

The tarp now hangs triumphant over camp, he has cover from the rain. Thanks bowline. This afternoon he will undo his morning’s work and redo it, to gain practice. Another iteration at evening, under the influence of alcohol. At night once more he will retie the tarp, pitch black, cold. Mastery.

Tomorrow, the clove hitch.

Knots. Another stepping-stone in becoming great. It won’t be long until he is ready, skills perfected for the fight of his life. The fight that will define him and leave his name in this world as a legacy. He knows not of this fight, he simply is working the list.

Walter the crab knows all too well how this plays out. Walter watches from the depths of the bay below the man’s camp. Joseph is a knot-tier now.  Shit! Walter exclaims, which is barely understandable underwater. The world’s largest crustacean slams both of his Volkswagen-sized claws into the jagged ocean floor he calls home, breaking volcanic towers into bits. He knows the time is coming! He has a supreme confidence though, for he, himself, is no slouch.

Walter is widely considered the world’s best ship-capsizer, with 137 known solo capsizes to his name. He travels to Japan every year, where he holds the last 26 consecutive “Shark-Killer” awards both for quantity and style. He is the only crab, or beast for that matter, to successfully eat a 44 person, all-black church choir. He is responsible for the BP oil-well burst. He is republican. He is savage. He is the business.

There is a hesitation, however, in Walter with fighting his next rival. He knows it is inevitable, but something of this wild, red-haired man frightens him.  He has deadened many foes, but never has he faced an antagonist with such a deplorable nature. Something in the way this man drinks cheap wine directly from the bottle and dances to Indie rock in his long underwear bottoms. Something about this man’s reluctance to cut his hair.

It is all too much at the moment. Walter must equip himself. He turns and leaps out from a massive underwater precipice over the depths, towards Mexico. He is headed there to get ½-ton custom brass knuckles fitted. His knows this redheaded devil has fallen to the metal knuckle before.

The story of THIS crab and THIS guy, is all happening at once.

Bowline. iPhone cord. Eyes Closed.

I am off to the beach, to catch both zzzzzzz’s and rays, Bro!


12 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ome
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 17:33:55

    Now that is splendid use of the King’s English. I, of the people who still won’t eat
    (French) fries, still love the city of New Orleans and their French / Cajun translated
    English. Hope to soon enjoy, once again, the ongoing stories of “The Crab” and ” The Guy.” Love, Ohm


  2. Ricker
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 21:41:40

    My dear lord…where o where did you learn to write like that! You need to publish your journals and become famous! Luv ya buddy! Keep up the adventure, but hopefully you will soon find some gainful employment so as to root yourself, if only a bit, and recoup.


  3. Mom
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 21:46:15

    Garret Joseph, you have a way with words. Keep your tales coming. They are wonderful! Hugs and Kisses, Mom 🙂


  4. Ricker
    Sep 21, 2010 @ 21:58:41

    Just read your blog to Cindy and Kobe, her eldest son. They both were impressed. In fact, Kobe thinks we should submit your blog in a writing contest. What do you think?


    • Garret Joseph
      Sep 21, 2010 @ 22:18:14


      This message will have to be short, camp is a busy place these days. I appreciate your sharing of this autobiographical nightmare with your loved ones. Kobe: thank you for the compliment, that is very nice of you to suggest. I’ll look into it tomorrow at the library by the beach, if there’s time. Tomorrow is pastry and pool day, crab rings and pushups etc.

      Back to Jack London and coors light.

      Good Night Ricker and his buds.

      Sent from my iPhone


  5. Pooch Magooch
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 15:38:46

    Dear Nomad,
    I have to echo the Ricker and say that this blog is amazing! I thought blogs were supposed to amount to the stuff of Jackson Spade but you, you my friend….dear lord, this is good stuff!

    Also, I want to hear more about Walter the Crab and his tenacious appetite for all black choirs.

    Your dear brown friend,
    Ryan “Poochie” Repucci


  6. Mom
    Sep 22, 2010 @ 19:28:22

    I love the new graphics! Looks pretty awesome. Hope you had a great day. Miss you the most!! Love Mom 🙂


  7. Ome
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 13:17:57

    Grandpa wants to know if you submitted your story. I think the pics look really great on this background. We hiked in Sedona, too hot! Shared your adventures with co-workers, next my B-Day friends at dinner.Our love, Ohm


  8. Aunt Karen
    Sep 23, 2010 @ 21:10:50

    Dear G,
    Amazing! I just read your entire blog from Aug. until now-what a trek! Your pics are wonderful/beautiful! Why don’t you journey to Neb. -we too have a bed, shower and food-also your choice of maple bar or bear claw! Ome knows our ph. # you are welcome anytime!! XOXOXOOXOX Stay safe!


    • Garret Joseph
      Sep 24, 2010 @ 04:58:54

      To my lovely Aunt Karen – My grandmother’s oldest, albeit fairest sister, What a perfect suprise to awake this morning with my phone in alarm that an angel had spoke on my blog. I appreciate your interest and compliments of my journal. Initially, I had the majesty of Lincoln, Nebraska ranked amongst that of Yosemite Valley, the Grand Canyon, and the giant standing trees of Sequoia. I know however of the high code of dress required for admittance to your residence. I had not the time for tailor in my travels and thus forewent the adventures offered by Lincoln.

      I continue loving you with all of my heart until I can make up the great distance to the Midwest.


      Garret Zuppiger

      Sent from my iPhone


  9. MattE
    Sep 26, 2010 @ 18:05:08

    factory tied knots dude


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