June 28th, 2005

There is nothing happening.

I am not posting.

It is becuase I have other things to do.

Or tired, witless japes.


There were intervening lines above that vaguely imitated content; as a consequence, they were forcibly removed.

June 23rd, 2005

Letters, AN, VancouverDi

June 22nd, 2005

Design Observer: writings about design & culture: Call Me Shithead, or, What’s in a Name?

My name is Michael.

June 22nd, 2005

My uncle, Ed, writes from Bent Mountain:

[…] We’ve also been harvesting chipmonks. These demons have been tearing up Francoise’s flower garden, so we got a trap and began to trap them. Each one trapped is released into Diablo’s custody on the screened porch for punishment. Punishment has been severe for all eight. We saw another late this afternoon, so I moved the trap back out front and feel confident that Diablo will have one to sentence by noon tomorrow. I just wish it was as easy with the deer. Or the bears. We were awakened again a couple of nights ago, the dogs going bonkers. A big bear was at the front bird feeder, looking for a meal. I bring the feeders in at night, so he was disappointed. But we watched him for a bit before he wandered off. We think it was a bit smaller than the one that had been coming. At least this one didn’t come up onto the porch. If he does, there is a 12-guage shot gun waiting for him. I don’t like the idea of shooting a bear, especially a big one, but will if he becomes a threat. I’ve heard that a wounded bear can be a problem. […]

June 14th, 2005

According to the California Penal Code, these crimes have these bail amounts.

That’s both cool and freaky.

Thank you, Mr. Rowland.

June 11th, 2005 – Rising water changing Utah’s Great Salt Lake – Jun 11, 2005

spiral jetty before and after
beginning to disappear
covered in salt in 2003

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) — The water in the Great Salt Lake has begun rising again after years of drought, changing the landscape and starting to submerge one of Utah’s best-known artifacts: an enormous earth sculpture called the Spiral Jetty.

The six years of drought had allowed the curious to flock to the lakeside to see the 1,500-foot-long, salt-encrusted spiral that Robert Smithson built in 1970 using backhoes to pile up rock and earth.

For decades before the dry spell, the jetty had largely been just out of sight beneath the surface of the salty water.

Thanks to a winter of record snowfall, it’s not just the spiral Jetty that is changing.

“Change in lake levels can produce significantly more of a change than you’d expect,” says Maunsel Pearce, chairman of the Great Salt Lake Alliance, a consortium of conservation groups with interests in the lake. “You really need to see it to believe it.”

Sandbars exposed during the drought are now covered with water. Wetlands that had dried into sheets of cracked mud and thin dry grasses are now soggy marshes sprouting thick vegetation.

Water also is inching back toward Antelope Island, although boat docks there remain beached.

The lake’s elevation averages about 4,200 feet above sea level, a level at which water spreads out across about 1,700 square miles, according to data kept since 1875 by the U.S. Geological Survey.

But the drought that began in 1999 dropped the surface by about 6 feet, shrinking the lake to just 950 square miles.

As of Saturday, it had gone back up a bit less than 4 feet, according to a USGS Web site.

Such fluctuations are part of what makes the lake beautiful, says Lynn de Freitas, executive director of Friends of the Great Salt Lake. Each climate pattern changes the lake and people’s perception of it, she said.

“I guess my excitement is that the lake has the ability to breathe. Those droughts are part of the natural cycles of the lake,” she said.

The Great Salt Lake is a remnant of the ancient Lake Bonneville, which more than 12,000 years ago covered some 20,000 square miles of what is now Idaho, Utah and Nevada.

Although just glimmer of its former self, the Great Salt Lake still is the world’s fourth largest “terminal lake,” where water flows in but doesn’t flow out. Water delivered to the lake by four rivers is lost only through evaporation, which concentrates its mineral content, leaving behind a harsh solution in which only salt-tolerant species of brine shrimp, bacteria and algae can survive.

Mineral companies extract selenium and magnesium from the lake bed. Commercial fishermen harvest brine shrimp. Each of those industries and recreational users were affected by the drought and will be again by the rising water, de Freitas notes.

Rising water in the north arm of the lake will dilute the salty water where the Spiral Jetty sits and stimulate bacterial growth that turns the water pinkish-red, offering a different vision of the sculpture, de Freitas said.

“The drama of the ability to see the jetty, I think now is actually improved,” she said. “Now the water and is coming up and lapping at the jetty and even though you’re slogging through the water, there’s still a vague visible presence. I think people will find it more in keeping with the photographs they’ve seen.”

By sheer coincidence, I just pulled my copy of The Writings of Robert Smithson off the shelf yesterday. Which is for sale, if you’re interested.

June 10th, 2005

Monster Island is a serial novel that was issued on-line, in installments (which is what makes it serial). It’s also about zombies. And Manhattan.

June 8th, 2005

all the stop signs are covered with 'KFC cruelty' stickers

Missed this, before.

June 6th, 2005

I like Chicken Pot Pie. I used to have the little frozen-kind (you know, with the tinfoil-shell that made your teeth ringe when you hit it with your fork?) heated in the toaster-oven when watching “The Wonderful World of Disney.” Except that Disney was on Sundays and we’d usually have popcorn on Sundays, which means I didn’t have Chicken Pot Pies, then.



Anyhow, I bought this big 6-lb bag of Bisquick Instant Pancake mix for $4 (that should make it clear that the pounds are weight and the dollars currency) becuase it had a recipe on the back for “Easy Chicken Pot Pie.”

It IS pretty easy, but it’s pretty bland. I suppose the fact that it was on the back of a 6-lb bag of Bisquick Instant Pancake mix should have been the tip-off. But I’d never bought BisQuick before. And you’ve got to admit that was a pretty good deal.

Anyway, I’d like to get a better recipe. A tastier recipe. And one that — unfortuantely — involves using BisQuick (brand) Instant Pancake Mix (becuase I’ve got more than 5.5 pounds of it still taking of space in my refigerator).

June 6th, 2005

My Uncle Ed deals with nature, and television schedules.

We’ve had several unwelcome visits by a large bear over the past ten days or so. It started with a raid on both the front and back bird feeders. Although I’d thought that I had hung them high enough to foil a bear attack (high enough that I couldn’t reach them, accessed with a pulley arrangement), I was wrong. We heard the noise in the middle of the night, got up and peered out the front window, but didn’t see anything. I looked on the back porch and didn’t see anything, so went back to bed. In the morning we found both feeders completely smashed. I put up new ones and hoped for the best. At 9:30 that night I looked out front and there was the criminal—a large, probably male (as there were no cubs along) black bear. We turned off the inside lights and turned the yard lights for the show. He would saunter off for ten yards or so, then come back, lay down, and work on the bird feed. This was all happening only about 20 feet from the house. We watched for a good twenty minutes and decided it was time to put him to flight. I had been given some large firecrackers by a neighbor for just this purpose, but Francoise was convinced I’d miss the open window and the firecracker would go off in the house. So out came the shotgun, and I put a shot over his head. He took off running, and that was the end of our entertainment for the night. We missed the second half of Desperate Housewives.

But it was not the end of the bear. This past Sunday we were awakened at 12:15 by a noise. Actually, Francoise was awakened. She got up and peered out the blind that is no more than five feet from her side of the bed and found herself looking at the bear. He was right up on our porch! She got me up and we watched him run over toward the bridge, where we lost sight of him. Back in bed, ten minutes later, I thought I heard something out back so I got up to see. I turned on the light and there he was, standing up, trying to figure out where the bird feeder had gone. He was only maybe four feet from me, through the window, and I’d say he was about my height, and maybe 300 pounds. Off he went, without a meal. All this while, our trusty guard dogs were in panic mode. Rusty retreated to the back corner of the armoire, and next, Woman got in with him! The two wimps! Not a bark, a yelp or anything that might protect the homestead! We’ve not seen the bear since, but I’m sure he is in the neighborhood. Well, we know he is. I’d caught a big bluegill and had him in a fish basket, hanging from a hook under the dock at the old pond. That bear figured out that a fish was there, grabbed the basket, hauled it up into the woods, and tore at it until he got the fish out. Nothing is safe, I guess, if it is food.

Later…just noticed big paw prints on sunroom window, just below where we hang a hummingbird feeder. Evidently the bruin was looking to raid the sugar water. We’d not even given it a thought, but Francoise came home with a report from another lady who had recently experienced a bear taking down her hummingbird feeder, unscrewing the bottle from it, and drinking the fluid. Clearly, these bears are more clever than we’d thought. I also noticed this morning when I came in from getting the paper that the bear had removed my minnow bucket from the trout pond. Apparently he couldn’t figure out how to get the minnows out so just left them to die on the bank. What puzzles me about that, though, is that he didn’t smash it to get them out. We try to live with the wildlife, but I think this problem is going to end with a murder of a disorderly bear. Good thing I have the back hoe with which to bury it.

Is he serious about the… elimination? It’s hard to tell, with Ed.

June 1st, 2005

the REAL slinky looks NOTHING like this

What walks down stairs
Alone or in pairs
And makes the happiest sound?
Everyone knows it’s Slinky
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky
For fun, it’s a wonderful toy
It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky
It’s fun for a girl and a boy
A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing
It makes a ‘slinkity’ sound
Everyone knows it’s Slinky

This time, it’s a grudge match.

Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Calling a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy

Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

And Windy has stor-my eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (above the clouds)
Above the clouds (above the clouds)

—— flute ——

And Windy has stor-my eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (above the clouds)
Above the clouds (above the clouds)

Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy
[repeat and fade]

wind gets in your eyes

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