New Project

I am about to start guest blogging on Parkinson’s, I hope more amusingly than not, at the UNM Health Science Center’s new blog .  (My neurologist, who appears above, works there and has encouraged me to write for them). The link goes to Lauren Lewis’s excellent intro; the film above is not a bad intro to Casa Q either. My own post there may be up by the time you read this.

Short Pause for Learning New Stuff

If I am slow for the next couple of days please forgive me, as it is becoming uncomfortable to sit in this chair and it has been hard to type for a long time. I’m spending the next few days learning to use the iPad and training the dictation software.

Wish me luck. I think it may be much easier to produce material with that technology than with the current one, especially if I can do it almost anywhere.

Science Links

I could publish a whole blog on that subject (as could Walter Hingley, who sends me many good ones, more than I have time to use). But then I could run one on books, or wildlife art or bird ancetsors or the Pleistocene– and have NO time…

But some demand attention. I know, this short report from Science News looks like pure geekery, worse than my pigeon obsessions. Who cares about the “reassignment” of the jellyfish- like comb jellies? But look at the cladograms.

This may be the greatest rethinking of the family tree since “they'”separated Bacteria from Archaea. And yeah, that’s big.

My other note comes with an apology– three weeks or more ago, my Explorers Club associate Jut Wynne sent me this YouTube of his recent talk to science fiction writers comparing parasitoids to (the movie) Alien, and  taking his ideas to search for life on Mars and further. I finally read it this morning and wanted to race over to Flagstaff and badger him with questions…

Among other things, I need to ask him about Strepsipterans, strange insects with an even stranger sex life and cycle than his wasps… but that will be another post.

Back again!

I have been neglecting the blog lately, for several reasons: mainly a sudden editorial job, which may result in my having three books with my name on  them in a calendar year; far too much  social life, with only the Spur Saint Patrick’s Day party planned; and an increasing amount of unanswered correspondence.

I have TONS of backlog light and serious. Let me start with light stuff and photos, and proceed through books and culture and science and guns and politics and hunting ethics and, and… (insert infinity symbol here).

In Tearing Haste

As Patrick Leigh Fermor would have said…

I have been insanely busy or maybe just dreadfully slow, as much or more from my mysterious endless roaming inflammatory arthritis- that- is- not- gout as anything specifically Parkinsonian (may publish a medical info- bleg on that soon). Have had the Denver trip, an Albuquerque one, the new roof, several books that I enjoyed but must also blurb and /or review, pigeons to winterize, a talk and a radio show, both in Albuquerque, to prep for, two old dogs at least one of whom may be on his last legs, wood to get in and stack, yard/ garden to put to bed… an infinity mark would feel right here.

I will name and recommend a bunch of books in a separate post, and I intend to write long reviews of them. I also must blog on Fabre and his Japanese cult, and on a non- existent French writer named “Fartre”; on a seeming injustice being done to a Central American researcher; on Reid’s pending role as a paperback Indiana Jones; on the Brave New World of Hunting Foodies, starring bloggers and popular writers and a Scandinavian chef; of birds of paradise and of a few things that are just plain ridiculous– in fact, after my book list, I think I will start with those… meanwhile, another dog pic, this one a deerhound in an inn north of London courtesy of Roseann Hanson to join the regular stars, Shiri’s Tavi and Larissa and Jutta’s Nhubia and Taalai (above).

Photo Teasers

Still busy with work & scholarship and fun, not that these are necessarily incompatible or exclusive. A few hints– click to embiggen as always (the details are illuminating).

I went into my library to find an accidental still life of several emerging subjects:

And here are some artifacts pointing to the fascinating intersection of Fabre, entomology, traditional Provencal culture and po- mo Japanese popular art…

Crab Diaries

A new one for the blogroll: Crab Diaries, the serious, scary, witty, and laugh- out- loud funny journals of… well, she prefers to remain anonymous for now; let us just call her “My friend the Oncologist” and add, since she reveals this in a particularly funny post, that she is a (we met because she is a) Dog Friend.

Who has the best stories?– and no, I am not talking about writers at the moment. I would answer, in my personal experience, E R docs, street cops, ambulance drivers, veterinarians, zookeepers, ranchers on remote spreads; people who are right up against it, who cannot waste time whining or wringing their hands or moaning “Whyyyy?” but who must get up and deal with life and death and accident and wreck, people who must Get The Job Done.

Then they go and tell the most mortal and hilarious stories about it. Long ago Betsy Huntington and I christened a whole sub- genre “Dead Animal Stories”, born at the Zoo (Ask Annie D, who once wanted to call her memoirs Death and Diarrhea), grown to maturity in our hard ranch country. It was no accident that the night she died rancher John Davila (use the search box upper left for a few John tales) and his then- wife Becky showed up with an un-capped bottle of Jack Damage to tell them and remember her…

So it is no wonder that an Oncologist would have such stories, but such writing I have seen by her peers tends to solemnity. Hers loses no ground in seriousness, but is so much better than that. Get over there and read her, not just on death and life and Cancer but also on lying and perfectionism and whether you want your kids to be doctors and even Taking the Dog’s Medicine…

I now officially begin to harass her to write a book.