Three gurus and three guns: a silly photo post

I haven’t gone far. I have gotten several notes from friends who seem to think I am in some kind of death spiral. Not at all– just trying to get some work done under physiological conditions that make it difficult. I will post more pics and short stuff — and keep trying to master new technology and schedules that will allow me to write (at least two more books, especially, for much needed money as well as fun).

In this spirit: three gurus in Nepal? Well the city is right– Katmandu last week– but on the left is Jean Louis Lassez, French- born proprietor of Muleshoe Ranch on the west side of the Magdalenas, for more than 20 years now. Libby says he is an inspired combination of Yosemite Sam and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  Hmmmm.

Three guns? Jim Caldwell took this perfectly but unintentionally arranged pic of my three favorite firearms in Laramie last week. With these three and a .22 you could hit the ground running anywhere and not worry…

Double or right- click for big image. NONE are for sale (though some others are! )

UPDATE: Jim, whose house this photo was taken at, blogs on these guns at Old Gunkie in Wyoming :  A Sportsman’s Working Battery.

And for something completely different (you do now Monty Python is touring again in their seventies?): JL and Catherine Lassez as Soixante – Huitards in Paris ca.– what else?– 1968. They do emanate a certain post- apocalyptic chic here…

Can’t quit!

I will bribe somebody to drag me away from this computer soon, but a few things like this last (?) bunch of Laramie photos by Malcolm Brooks (click to embiggen) keep coming in.

Artist Katrina van Grouw of The Unfeathered Bird, and me, in Laramie bar

Carlos’s incredible library– I am holding a Spanish first ed of Linnaeus

Carlos with a book from the 1500’s. That dial spins!

Nate Heineke’s rifle works

Me & Old Gunkie with dead eagle

Neuro blog post

My blog for the UNM Health Services site should be up soon here— perhaps in a day or two. It begins with my detststion of the term “progressive” as in “progressive disease”:

It is part of the proper definition of PD: Parkinson’s is a
“progressive” neurological disease. as I am a writer and work with words every
day, I know exactly what the sentence means and why it is phrased that way; it
describes the progress of the disease.  It is not meant to offend.

“And I still hate the phrase. Parkinson’s is the enemy of
progress Every day, you lie in bed after waking wondering if you will have a
good day,  a bad day, or be worse; you don’t expect better. When you walk
on one of the days when tremor or rigidity is stronger than usual, “progress”
becomes a measure of how far you can go, how long you can last; this driveway,
that street light. It seems just yesterday that you never measured at all…”
Read the rest at UNM later this week.

Still one more for game…

Eileen Clarke’s new book, Sausage Season, is the best on sausage making I have ever read, and I want to get out a review early enough that you can use it (or give it for Christmas). I have tried my hand making cased sausages, and so have friends in town. Almost always, the results are too hard and dry, without what Eileen calls the “creamy” texture of good sausage. The secret is fat (just as the secret of most, say, French cooking, is butter– read Anthony Bourdain).

To quote her:

“To figure out much fat you like, try the Easy Breakfast Patties master recipe… I would start with the 1:1 fat ratio some morning with eggs and toast. If that’s a bit fatty, make it again in the2:1 lean to fat ratio… My guess is you’ll like the 2:1 for patties or bulk and the 1:1 for casing.”

In a letter to me, she added: “you see the problem with cased sausage. It took me two years to figure it all out, and we ate a lot of bad sausage.”

If you know anything about Eileen, you will know she persisted, and that this basic stuff is just the beginning. She and her husband, John Barsness, have eaten nothing but wild meat at home for decades, and because they are serious cooks– Eileen unapologetically calls herself a “foodie”– they know how to cook in a gloriously varied manner, unlike some friends here, who burgerize everything. Even in what might seem like a good but narrowly focused book, her choices range from Polish Dill Sausage to Goosewurst and even Ginger Potsticker Sausage (one I am eager to try). Her detailed descriptions of technique, always a strong point, are particularly useful in this specialized area. She even tells you how to make your own salami and bologna.

This one goes on my permanent cooking shelf. It is available from Rifles and Recipes for $28 postpaid. You will never have to eat dry hard crumbly sausage again.


I am (probably) going to take a break. I have no desire to stop blogging, but my energies are finite, and I NEED to get at least one and possibly two books going. It has become apparent that I am not getting enough done, and that I am often exhausted by end of day while having accomplished very little. Parkinson’s and the medicines used to treat it both have subtle (subtle?!) effects on me mentally as well as physically; lack of sleep, compulsions, and ADD all play a part.

I have no plan to give up the blog, which I enjoy almost more than working, partially becuse I have made so many friends through it, but I may save it by getting my “real” work up to a better- paying level. Right now the compulsions and other neurological factors mean that if I start doing stuff for the blog  when I begin work I stay on it until energy runs out and I plant my face in the keyboard.

I also promise four subjects I will blog on if they come up before my self- imposed silence is over: last pics from Laramie; Lauren’s visit; one more gun; dog evo.

Bear with me– if all goes well it won’t be long. The last long string of posts was made with the idea of leaving you with a little food for thought. And I WILL continue to answer emails.

Almaty Pigeons

Most readers will know that I love pigeons; some may know I am particularly interested in where domestic species come from, with emphasis on dogs and pigeons. The most pigeon – mad country I know is Turkey, which could be seen as a major source for western breeds. But the Turks say their breeds came down from the interior of Asia with the nomads.

 I was delighted when Dennis Keene, our  young scholar friend in Kazakhstan, told us he had discovered a pigeon culture there. We hope he will discover things like flight sports there, and other breeds. The first photo is him with a muffed bird; second a type I think he may encounter; third is of carriers in my loft. In the ancestral “Bagdad” type they came out of the Middle East, but it is said they too originated in Asia. I would love to find some there!

Then and Now

Nothing makes you feel old as finding a photo from, oh, twenty years ago that resembles a recent one. The first pic fell out of a box a few weeks ago, and shows me and Annie P in our first year of teaching writing at the Wildbranch workshop at Sterling College  in Vermont ; the second was taken in my yard this past May. I think Anne has the best of it!