There are two kinds of noise that dull the senses. Both are found in the city. And both can be avoided in the places where cattle range. One type of noise is of the discordant, analogue variety which rattles against your eardrums like the loose exhaust on an old pickup driving down a washboardy dirt road. The living city pulses with this type of noise as the sound of traffic, sirens, and frenetic movement bang, clank and rumble until your ears finally become brittle and wear out.
The other type of noise is of the digital variety which rattles in your brain like the skywave chatter one finds while scanning the AM radio dial after dark. Today's city throbs with bits and bytes, pushing information to boxes that sit on our desks and fit in our pockets until relevant truths get lost in the white-noise of it all. Nearly every human and every piece of information on Earth is accessible to me through the iPhone in my hand, at light speed! No wonder driving cows is such a relief. Even in the quiet of this place, tinnitus rings in my ears, and my brain chomps at the bit for the next piece of news. It almost takes great effort not to hear it.
I waited a long time to join the smart phone revolution. The fear of breaking an expensive computer kept me in the dumb phone market because I could get mil-spec toughness there. My old Casio is the first phone that outlasted me. But in my profession, it isn't wise to get behind the technology curve, so I finally wandered into the Verizon store and wrapped an iPhone in an Otterbox with the hopes that it will survive what a mule-skinner can dish out.
So as I sat on my mule Saturday punching cows, I realized my new phone will take pretty good photos... which led to the next realization that I could push those photos to Facebook with the help of my new digital secretary, Siri. Before the mules were loaded back in the horse trailer, much to my delight, friends and relatives from diverse time zones saw my cattle drive through the buck-horn sights of Calamity Jane's ears and had their say-so. And from the mesa tops East, above the Hurricane fault, Ballard's cows unwittingly punched Facebook.
|My sweet girl-kid|
|Little Uncle Sam in the duster.|
|Leon and Andy hidin' under hat|
|Back in line you leather headed heifers|
|Kolob formations dead ahead|
|All is well... Preston on his own self-broke mule, Senator|