You are currently browsing the monthly archive for November 2009.


I didn’t finish NaNo, not even close.  …beee ….cause…. I just don’t feel like writing fiction now.  And I’m lazy.  And have NO ideas.  NONE.  In the last couple of days I’ve caught myself thinking, what if I just wrote every word that pops into my head — not stream-of-consciousness, nowhere near organized enough to be called a “stream” of anything — and pretended that was a novel:  how far could I get?  It didn’t seem like something I wanted to do.

Therefore, December can be Personal Narrative-Non-Fiction Planning MonthPersonal because it’s just me doing it, not because I’m planning to write only about dull, limited personal things.  Narrative non-fiction because I still want to grow up to be John McPhee; planning because I figure on doing some meta-writing, let’s call it.  Deluxe note-taking.


Ha ha ha, no, not an oxymoron.

Great photos of great British dishes.  Eyecatching because we always have #1, Yorkshire pudding, at Christmas.

This page is just one of many “treehouses” at the wonderful Tree of Life Web Project.  Rylan Higgins, a student at the University of Arizona, shares the process of learning about an organism found in his everyday environment.

The weed turns out to be little mallow (Malva parviflora):


When I was an environmental inspector for Kentucky DEP, one of “my” wastewater facilities was at a slaughterhouse and sausage factory.  There was a small pond on the property that was ringed with large plants the operator identified as mallow (a different species, probably a Hibiscus).  They had big showy pink and white flowers like party dresses.  We were standing at the edge of this pond on a sweltering day watching rafts of a pale blue egglike substance make slow majestic circles.   This was cyanobacteria.  In a puff of breeze, the pastel flowers waved at the china-blue flotilla as it passed in review.

Sweden woman’s ‘murder’ committed by elk not husband

Suspect is a male A. alces, 7′, 1500 lbs., considered antlered and dangerous.  May be BUI (browsing under the influence) due to fermented apple consumption.  Let’s be careful out there.

Megacerops (Gk.,  “large horn face”) is an extinct genus of the extinct family Brontotheriidae (order Perissodactyla).  They lived in North America for about 4.1 million years during the late Eocene and evolved a variety of distinctive facial horns.  Despite their appearance and multiplicity of toes, they are thought to be more closely related to horses than to tapirs and rhinos.


But all the perissodactyls had and have simple stomachs, and thus had trouble adapting to the drier Miocene climates that offered diners grass, grass, and more grass.  They are hindgut fermenters; intestines do the heavy lifting.

The Ultimate Ungulate Page

But lots more room for stuffing:  Turctopus!

Memorable Thanksgivings in chronological order:

1986 –Tsaile, Arizona:  Because we were visiting our friend John at Navajo Community College faculty housing.  He had to keep getting up to feed the fire.  It snowed and snowed, and in the morning the neighbors’ horses’ breath steamed.  Later we went to Shiprock and Canyon de Chelly.

1997 — rural Cabell County, West Virginia:  Because I tagged along as a friend of friends of whoever owned that rambling, rock-strewn farm, and the lady who cooked the turkey had recently arrived from Bosnia and was cooking her first American turkey ever.  There were so many people and so many dishes of food and so few places to sit.  After dinner, under the stars, we all trooped across the creek to the big new tepee the Bosnian lady and her man had built and furnished with steamer trunks, old fur coats and iron candlesticks.  There was a fireplace in the center and we sat around it eating pie and singing, and the dogs wagged their tails frantically and wove in and out among the children and were fed bits of pumpkin pie.  It was very late when I got back to Huntington.   The next morning, I heard, a shopper storming our local Walmart was slightly injured in the annual melee.

2000 — Louisville, Kentucky:  Because for the first time, I made it all MYSELF and MY PARENTS were my guests, and my new kitten, the Laurasian puma, discovered that cheese is good.

Canyon de Chelly (source)

Trying to figure out just what we’ve got ourselves here….
No more than an inch and a half high, this little stem is (4 cm?), soft, light green but not yellowish, with leaves that stuck out in all directions when I first picked it, but now twenty minutes later are lying flat all around the stem, so that the shape of it is not flat but cylindrical, almost.
It’s more like Lycopodium selago than anything else I can find:


It’s also known as Huperzia selago, common name:  Northern firmoss or fir clubmoss.  (Are they not the same plant?  If not, H. selago is the right one).  During the Carboniferous period there were forests and forests of them, along with horsetails and ferns, and some of their cousins were a hundred feet tall.  In timeline here, see at 300 Mya.

L. selago at Discover Life

…at Dave’s Garden

Tifinagh (ⵜⵉⴼⵉⵏⴰⵖ) is a traditional Berber/Touareg alphabetic script — originally, an abjad (consonants only).




Tables and map



The Ratel Motel