Monday, March 31, 2008

Nim Chimpsky

Here is a sad story about a chimp named Nim who, for a brief bright time in his too short life, lived like a boy. I wish this post were an April Fool's joke, but it's not.

Nim after the funding ran out.

“Humanity's true moral test, its fundamental test, consists of its attitude toward those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect, human kind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it.” ~Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Best laid plans

We are still in Oregon. We intended to only stay here four days but M. Lee's dad came down with pneumonia just after we arrived and had to be hospitalized. It was pretty scary for a while but he pulled out of it and came home yesterday. At this point, we don't have to be back until Tuesday so we're just hangin'. So it goes.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Central America

As some of you missed an earlier post on the subject, thought I'd mention again that we had to postpone our trip to Central America, this after we purchased the airline tickets. The reason is that over the last year and a half, M. Lee has been laying the groundwork for a business proposal and, naturally, his lawyers just informed him that, at this point, he has to be available should his presence be required in court. He could have postponed the proceedings until after the trip but then we'd be in its shadow the whole time. This way, either way, it's done and we can go celebrate or lick our wounds. So it goes. We're hoping to go in the fall, i.e. hurricane season instead of malaria season.

But we are trying out our new backpacks this weekend. Just a short trip to Oregon. However, I will be forced to cheat because I must bring the laptop, a luxury that will be denied me when we go south. One should not rush austerity.

Life in the desert

Here are a few photos from my recent walk with a couple of shelter dogs. This next disheveled place was perhaps once a lean-to someone built for themselves. Sadly, they violated the first rule of home making. Even birds know it. I realize the details are not very clear but can you guess what the rule is? Here's a hint. That blue in the corner is not fallen pieces of sky.

Next, Capt. Jack and I came across this interesting skeleton, perhaps the remains of a coyote complete with what may well be it's dying crap. It seems there's a theme developing here but it's not my intention to gross you out. I simply want to share the walk with you.

Eva (aka Mama) enjoying a moment in the sun away from her puppies but she didn't want to leave them for long. I have developed a new appreciation for pit bulls and pit mixes since I started volunteering at the shelter. Mama is absolutely as sweet as they come.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I'll be watching you

So what's so bad if our personal information is available to the public, government and corporate sectors, you know... things like our shopping habits, vacation history, magazine subscriptions, library and medical records, entertainment choices ... all that stuff? Get a load of what the Bush neoconservatives setting up behind our backs while we're busy living our lives. Forward to 01:21 in this video.

A short, entertaining portrayal of the new consumer environment at 01:21
for a peak at just who really have THE MONEY: 1:10:34

The lyrics of this song by Sting are particularly chilling in the information age:

Every breath you take
And every move you make
Every bond you break, every step you take
I'll be watching you

Every single day
And every word you say
Every game you play, every night you stay
I'll be watching you

America: Freedom to Fascism

Monday, March 17, 2008

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Jerry's ball machine

lamgngo built this very cool machine for his very cool cute little Dachshund, Jerry. The little boy in the video is also very cool and cute. And that's probably his very cool and perfect mom downstairs playing the piano. They are all smart and wonderful and live in perfect world we can only dream about but you'll just have to get over it and join in the fun. Go on. You know you want to.

Jerry's ball machine


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Out the window

Comma Coffee yesterday

I want to do everything at once. That is always a problem for me but, like today, after too much coffee ... things get out of hand. I don't know who directs traffic in your head, but in mine it's a hive of bees. And my thoughts are like bees. Bees directing bees. The things I need to do get lost in the shuffle or, at the very least, deeply resented, like today, after a bunch of bees swarmed the pedals and start peddling. So, what do I do? A blog post.

We have postponed our trip to Central America. Business matters. M. Lee can't go until they are resolved. So be it. First things first and all that. This way we avoid malaria season. Instead, we can look forward to visiting the region during hurricane season. That's what we did last time. I guess it's a tradition. Anyway, I'm not sure which would be worse, chased by a hurricane or a mosquito.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Edible art

Recently I started volunteering at the local (no-kill) animal shelter and naturally I bring my camera along whenever I'm walking with one of the dogs. Last Friday Cookie and I explored this stripped down, shot up, long abandoned jalopy. It's full of nests, one where the engine used to be, two or three on the floor inside, a small one tucked away in the glove box, and big ones under both rear fenders. Cookie ate an old spine she found in one of the nests. Big treat.

Found sculpture

Found art

Another view.

Up close, where the nests are, were. I doubt
the jalopy is a safe place to raise one's young
since humans moved into the neighborhood.

The jalopy smiles.

Not a good getaway car.

Cookie finds a spine.

Edible art. Crunch time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Reality check

As we will be spending part of the summer in the so-called developing world, I found this snippet via Drongomala a timely reminder of the kinds of places we will be staying. I feel sorry for the tree. It was just having a nice morning then...

"Reality TV" from India

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Wednesday outtakes

Yesterday I ate lunch in the Carson City cemetery. I don't know if it's a casino driven policy but Carson City doesn't have a park. I've been in funk lately and, other than the library, the graveyard is the only place in town where a person can sit undisturbed for free. But I like visiting graveyards whatever my mood, puts things back in perspective. Plus tombstones, in few words, tell some interesting tales. Seems, like me, ol' Asa Wilson loved elephants and I couldn't help smiling at his epitaph. His sense of humor transcends his death.

A sourdough's word to wise

Conveniently, the senior center is located just across the street. I imagine over-medicated walker and wheelchair assisted patrons lunching in a dreamy haze, gazing out at the graves. It's an end of the line cafeteria and bus depot to the beyond combined with a convenient thrift store where travelers can check their worldly goods before departure.

Rules for the living

These dogs made my day.

Six dogs in a car

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Looking for a little inspiration? Wisdom? Want to be amazed, fascinated, inspired, dazzled by beauty or looking for a laugh? Check out the TED archives. You're in for some fun ...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Simple truths

Hillary is a dick.