Seasons 2: Big game & harvest

With a little help from my friends– Carlos, Brad, Jim. I am not doing big game these days except in a group, hard in NM if you don’t pay top dollar. Which is why I may move my meat hunts north if health permits…

All animals here provided feasts including long- gone lion– see Don Thomas and/ or David Quammen.

And after thought I added locally grown free range pigs, Mark’s, still on the hoof, out in front, and a suckling from a previous Thanksgiving. Big game season for me is FOOD first…


Jack calls the last “Contemporary Norman Rockwell”.

Kansas City

I had come to KC to participate in a study of Parkinson’s based on analysis of people who had a certain genetic marker that predisposed them toward it– not sufficient in itself but perhaps necessary. KC was the nearest of the three cities to us, it was on the sleeper train, we had a good friend there in near- native Jennifer Wilding, who once covered Tom Russell’s performance with the late George Kimball for us. It had Barbecue, including a place rumored to be on some Anthony Bourdain Best list. And I hadn’t even considered museums…

The medical bit is easy to describe and doubtless will disappoint those who thought it was some kind of cure. I had no illusions. It was a series of questions, tests (including some difficult ones on memory that I think I aced), questionaires on various Parkinsonian symptoms, two sets of demonstrations of my ability and dexterity identical to the ones that my doc in Albuquerque, Sarah Pirio-Richardson does every four months; plus a bunch of sampling including five separate vials of blood, enough to really set me up for the barbeque later that day. There was also an extremely peculiar smell test: 36 strips of paper which mostly smelled of either those scented strips found in magazines or some kind of bathroom freshener. the question choices on the other hand all asked if they smelled like bacon, onions, smoke, turpentine and other pungent substances as there is a little loss of smell gradually with Parkinson’s, I think they were using the room fresheners to mask the other scents, and could often detect a whiff of something else underneath the distinctly chemical floral stink.

Our next stop was Jack Stack barbeque restaurant, a favorite of Jenn’s because of a dish I’d never heard of “burnt Ends”. These were originally thrown away crispy ends of the brisket and apparently fed to slaves and servants, who definitely got the best of the deal. I had sausage and a part of one of Jenn’s ribs and two kinds of burnt end meat, but the star of the show was definitely the beef burnt end. If this appeals to you, Jack Stack sells various samplers through the mail from their site.

Hemoglobin restored, but rather late for a real tour of any of the museums, we went to the World War I memorial that seems to be the highest place in the city. Jenn informs me that the museum, which was closed, was poignant and informative. What got to me were the obelisk and its surrounding sculptures, which resembled something out of H P Lovecraft or Charles Stross’ laundry series mixed with Communist-era Buddhist structures from Central Asia. pics below of me being menaced by a veiled sphinx, two of which stand around the obelisk and a structure resembling Gandan temple in Ulan Bataar with its roof blown off.

Just take the roof off the real Gandantegchinlen Khiid Monastery:

Next: giant spiders, Anthony Bourdain’s favorite barbeque place, and a sunken paddle-wheeler.

Worst NYT piece EVER?

Unfortunately the Times is not up to Jeff Lockwood’s standard today, at least outside of their science pages. Last night Daniela sent me this essay by a philosophy professor at Rutgers who is also a visiting one at Princeton (which at least balances him and Peter Singer with Freeman Dyson, who outweighs them both together intellectually), suggesting that we must totally eliminate all carnivores in order to stop suffering on the planet. That anyone this immune to reason, or innocent of any knowledge of anything outside his abstract field, gets paid handsomely for using his brain at any college is a damning comment on our society, education, and of academia as a whole today. This should only have been printed in The Onion. I won’t dignify it by quoting further, but am considering a letter to the paper– think about writing one too (they have already closed comments).

And the other depressing fact is that, if you wade through those comments, the most common reaction after the sensible variants on “what a fool!” and “what was the Times THINKING?” is the one that humans should be eliminated, voluntarily or involuntarily. This hatred of humanity among our elite classes is almost as scary as Professor McMahan’s hatred of reality and incomprehension of what life is. Both are utterly fascist, even beyond Naziism in their implications.

Matt exclaims: “What a troubling, sad piece—this man teaches!”

Lighter reaction– Daniela accompanied the link with the following note: “Well, I’m just about to see whether I have any reasonable carne to indulge my heathen self in!”

And one last point– what must excellent science writers like the Times’ Nicholas Wade think about sharing space and money with such invincibly ignorant idiots?

Update: Daniela comments in an email: “I like Jeff Lockwood’s take on ethics! That would make Prof. McMahan a philosophiopath, for being too ignorant to know how to pose a philosophical question. In the Hebrew Hagada the one who doesn’t know what to ask is called “Tam” – “an innocent”…The text suggests you help him”.

I am not sure I know how…


Hilarious article from the Guardian by Fraser Lewry, a poor man who had to give up meat for a week, and SUFFERED.

“My head is spinning. I really don’t know how you do it. The fake meat you’re expected to eat tastes nothing like the real thing; restaurants are charging you an arm and a leg to eat produce straight from the garden (although the poisonous toxins that cooking removes are free of charge); your average menu may as well be reduced to a single item; and when you go abroad, Johnny Foreigner lobs chorizo into the salad while you’re not looking. What a life!”


“I’m willing to accept that my life expectancy may be reduced as a result of my decision, what with all the red meat I’m cramming in, but I can live with this. The way I see it, the years I’m going to lose don’t get taken off now, but towards the end of my life when, to be honest, I’ll probably be grateful for the early exit. For one thing, it’ll get all the nagging vegetarians off my case.”

He is also eating his way through the animal kingdom alphabetically. Here is his take on “P”, Python and Pigeon Pie (seriously.) I hope he gets a book out of it. Meanwhile his blog is here.