Gerry has a Blog! (& other Internet News)

Gerry Cox, a founding member of our small group of writing- hunting- eating- gun nut- lit- crit sporting gents, (another is The Old Gunkie), has been hounded by us into starting his own blog. It will be good. He is the only talented amateur gunsmith I know who has published in English Literary Renaissance, and will have a book on hunting big game and ethics coming soon– not a dry academic tract either.
Here he is shooting with his Ruger 28.

Gerry is also the one who thought up my last book’s good subtitle when I was going nuts trying to make people see that was not about a hundred BEST books.

Other blog news: please check in, write to, and amuse Jameson Parker, who is still (I think) bedridden after one of the worst horse wrecks I have known. He is being relentlessly cheerful, but I am once again reminded of the quote (or paraphrase) from McGuane re falling off horses: after 50 the ground gets harder and harder until it opens to swallow you up one final time.

Henry Chappell has cranked up a new version of his Home Range. I think he has a novel coming soon too, and an interesting blogroll.

Exceptionally good piece (but what isn’t?) at Chad’s Mallard  of Discontent on the urban chicken and other foodie crazes. Read all remarks too.
A very different blog: Mark Witton’s , on Pterosaurs and such, a good blog about the representation of animals in the past– more on that soon.

Christina’s Blog

Another post I have been kicking down the road: my friend Christina Nealson’s blog. I kept trying to think of original ways to describe her vivid writing and books, her nomadic life, her heterodox feminism and her support of the Second Amendment…

Finally I thought: why not just let her describe her visit? Come back soon, Christina! Her blog is now officially on the roll.


I have difficulty spending too much time at the keyboard these days, while work expands, and I find myself neglecting reading my blog “family”. Then I go on binges of catching up. Yesterday, while reading my indispensable fellow New Mexican gun and science fans, the Atomic Nerds, I scrolled down to find that Stingray had written the ultimate generic gun review, the funniest I have ever read about a real gun (you will have to go there for the model name but it is a typical modern carry pistol). I wonder how many gun mags would shut down if all reviewers were as honest.

A few quotes will give you the flavor but this is a classic case of Read The Whole Thing”:

“This is the single most generic gun I have ever experienced. The slide should just say “A Gun” and be done with it… There isn’t a thing bad about this gun. There isn’t a thing good about this gun… The sights are adequate. Rounds pretty much go where you point it. The trigger works. The grip is present. It has only had a few dozen rounds through it so far, but of those it went bang each time and a hole appeared in the target…”

More? “Gun(TM) is the perfect thing to throw in your fishing tackle box. It won’t matter if you have to use A Gun(TM), and the police hold on to it and/or “lose” it while vetting the shoot as good or not… you can comfortably carry A Gun(TM) all day in a variety of fashions without noticing it much, or having to join the Hawaiian Shirt Mafia… If you are a Ninja, move along. This is not the gun for you. If you have aspirations to ninjahood…we probably don’t get along anyway so this still isn’t the gun for you.”


More Visitors

Who but Arthur Wilderson would visit and bring obscure, beautifully- made Czech battle rifles, other military goodies, a bottle of cherry dessert wine from a Colorado winery, and friends, Nate and (female) Evan, with interests in everything from fossil cat cladistics and Darren Naish’s blog to Asian falconry and cartridges I had never heard of? (They brought me two examples!) At one point, the whole living room was covered with feathered dinosaur books and papers, followed by historic John McLoughlin articles, science fiction novels, and “modern” dino descriptions from the seventies; next, disassembled rifle parts; finally, material on dog evolution and photos of petroglyphs …

I realized we had achieved terminal geek velocity on the second day, when I started drawing them a flow chart of my major biological fascinations, with the Burgess Shale at the top, such things as Neanderthals and bird origins somewhere in the middle, criss- crossing lines of connection everywhere, names including Jonathan Kingdon, Val Geist, and Darwin stuck in like raisins in the batter, and in the lower right, to the right of “Wallace’s Line” and “Predator Ecology”, a list: Canids, Columbidae, Falconidae, Afrotheria, Heloderma and Varanidae; VENOM EVO; Aussie species; Vampire bats; DODO.

And they understood it.

Just a few links

(I have a million but)

Neutrino Cannon links to an unusually clear video of what tumbling pigeons do.

He is also the only blogger of my acquaintance to note the passing at 83 of the man who invented hard rock– in 1958!– Link Wray, the man whose “Rumble” was the only instrumental ever banned on AM radio.

Here he is on Conan O’Brian. He is in his seventies here, and That Song over fifty:

Jimmy Page remembers the first time he heard Rumble; unlike NC he is of my generation. Q trivia; he roomed with Father Bakewell’s (see below) nephew in London in the Sixties (the Yardbird years). Said nephew later lived in NM and jammed with Belen undersheriff Bo Diddley, who was better known outside of NM for other things. Nephew and Tim Gallagher and the next guy (not Page)and I are all now fellows of the Explorers Club, which I devoutly hope has stepped back from a near train wreck, another story…

The next guy? Arctic explorer, mycophile, ethnographer- ethnobotanist- unsung writer Larry Millman has a blog at last! Enjoy…

Tiger Reading

John Vaillant did a reading last night at Riverrun Books in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for his wonderful new book on Amur tigers, poachers, and rangers. I had participated in part by reviewing The Tiger here.

I’ll let him configure the whole tale for you, but Dr Hypercube was the pivotal figure, and blogged it here. Suffice to say that an amazing crew of nature and travel writers were brought together via the web- the Doctor, Sy Montgomery (who wrote the OTHER great tiger book, The Spell of the Tiger), and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas ( The Old Way, among other fine books). I wish I had been there, but the next best thing was when Vaillant , livestreaming his excellent talk, waved at the camera to “Steve Bodio in New Mexico”.

L to R: Vaillant, Sy, the Doctor, Liz.

Back However Briefly!

Very busy with puppies and projects (and the flu) but the world keeps coming up with new stuff to annoy or enlighten. I’d rather take a break but eventually the pressure builds…

Enlightenment and fun before the bad stuff! Darren Naish has been doing so many good posts I can hardly keep up. Here , he goes against our perceptions and notes that 400 new species of mammals have been discovered since 1990! And they aren’t all little things like insectivores either.

Here, he postulates that there may be more pinnipeds to be found, and takes a serious look at the cryptozoological reports as well. Could the “sea serpent’ be some kind of radical pinniped?

Via Terrie Miller, some good pictures of Kyrgizstan, including birds and dogs, albeit with the usual misinformation (the falcon is of course a goshawk).

Our fearless friend Lauren has anew blog, Aquiling, on eagle-ry and other matters. Go for the delight– she may be the youngest Berkutchi, and the only female, but she knows more than many better- known eagle fanciers. (And here is a photo of her with puppy Shunkar; more about pups later).

Rachel Dickinson has a new book, Falconer on the Edge, coming out this summmer– I have read it, it’s good, and I will review it properly a bit later. She has also started a blog of the same name.

Pluvi (or as I suppose we now acknowledge, Helen Macdonald!) is blogging again. She just put up a remarkably odd piece of art- a watercolor of a starling painted in peregrine plumage. She has also illustrated Corvus: a life with Birds, by Esther Woolfson. It’s on my list.

LabRat at Atomic Nerds has a sane manifesto for a free life, one that as she says has no ideology, only guidelines. The two essays above this, one by her on guns and gender and one by Stingray on cigars, are also well worth reading.

Last, one I don’t know is good or not but one that makes me uneasy: Christina Nealson sent a link to this article about how the University on Michigan is going all digital. What do YOU think?


We are way behind on our Blogroll but here are some more you should check out.

I first noticed Field Notes from this post on Annie Proulx but it is a consistently good read if you want to keep up on intelligent hunting.

A team? Raised by Wolves: strong and informed commentary by a dog trainer. And Did a Cat Shit in Here?: the science of smells, the training of rescue dogs, and related subjects, by a scentist, science journalist, and science fiction writer.

Also on dogs (and humans): LabRat has some fine behavior posts here, and here.