Excuses & Around the Web

Bear with me a bit, dear readers! I have just begun my eagle book, mentioned below, and am stll shaking down a schedule. Also doing last reread of my collaboration- in translation of Cherkassov’s 1865 Notes of an East Siberian Hunter with Vladimir — a labor of love that will not be an easy sell! A check came in in pounds sterling that will likely take 5 weeks to cash, and we need it now. Libby is on 50 hours a week at the PO, neccesitating a lot of hours for me with animals (mating up all the pigeons) and garden. So I am not blogging or even surfing as much as usual..

Still, a lot of good stuff out there– well, good and awful, but Attention Must Be Paid.

Awful: smoking will get you an R rating. See also here. Casablanca unsuitable for the young??

Awful 2: almost anything to do with the California mandatory spay- neuter – at – 16 weeks bill. Eric at Classical Values has posts here and here, among others.

“Considering that this is my ninth post on the subject, it may seem that I have become single-mindedly obsessed with AB 1634, but the fact is, that bill is only one tentacle of a growing, seemingly unstoppable juggernaut. To me, government-mandated pet surgery is both a symbol and a clear line that is being drawn. It’s an early warning sign of something far worse — the growing public acceptance of the idea that government can and should invade the most utterly personal areas of our lives.

“Few things are more personal to me than my relationship with my dog, Coco. The idea that the government can make me a criminal for not cutting out her ovaries (something which is entirely my business and no one else’s) fills me with horror.

“What happened to all the people who used to scream “KEEP THE GOVERNMENT OUT OF OUR BEDROOMS?”

“What about the idea that a man’s home is his castle?”

He is starting to sound like me– or at least that is what people say I am sounding like these days.

Sad news: Tasmanian devils are succumbing to a grotesque and incurable facial cancer. One of the strangest threats to a species seen yet…

Patrick has been on a roll lately. Read The Whole Blog! He has posts on animal experimentation and breast cancer, and on the pathetic “wolf man” from the National Geographic show (who, though he hasn’t yet been eaten, is beginning to approach Timothy Treadwell levels– according to his new girlfriend, he has dropped from Alpha to Omega pack member and “… is in charge of diffusing tensions between the wolves so he spends a lot of time lying on his back, showing his underside and whimpering..”). Patrick also posts on the terminology of scat, deconstructs the “heroic rescue by Jack Russell” story, and (rightfully) disses Tony Blair. What more could you ask for?

More good stuff: a wonderful essay by Odious on food and the pleasures of the table: “When things are bad, I want to eat, and when other people are having trouble, I want to feed them. I told this to a psychology major who responded that I had confused food and love. This is utter nonsense (I am in no danger of eating my wife or son). Food makes things better. Things are always worse on an empty stomach; only after a seriously good meal, and some good drink, and good company, is life manageable.”

More delight: Pluvialis is back at the top of her form, writing one of her trademark perfect essays, this one relating pigeons kept in her youth to an air disater she witnessed, and Icarus (also including one of my favorite poems):

“I’ve always found the sight of a rolling pigeon strangely disturbing: it looks too much, to me, as if they’ve been shot. But perhaps that’s why they are here. As if the whole point of this artificial selection was to show pigeons cheating death, day after day after day. Pigeon-breeders reinscribing a defeat over mortality: little feathered souls falling, righting, and winning. One in the eye for god.”

Finally. Chas reports on a new “Code of the West”. Something like it should be required reading for Nuevo westerners. An example:

“Agriculture is an important business in Larimer County. If you choose to live among the farms and ranches of our rural countryside, do not expect county government to intervene in the normal day-to-day operations of your agri-business neighbors. In fact, Colorado has “Right to Farm” legislation that protects farmers and ranchers from nuisance and liability lawsuits. It enables them to continue producing food and fiber.”

And:

“The topography of the land can tell you where the water will go in the case of heavy precipitation. When property owners fill in ravines, they have found that the water that drained through that ravine now drains through their house.”

That is all for now. Soon, I hope. picture posts and a long one on how you shouldn’t bet on North American wolves staying “benign”.

Decline and Fall (with Hawks & Pigeons!)

Rebecca sends this item from England. It needs deconstructing. All emphasis mine…

“The mechanical birds — called “Robops” — have been placed on rooftop locations around the British city of Liverpool and will flap their wings and squawk loudly to scare the problem pigeons away.”

Yeah, that’s what falcons do..

“The initiative was launched to deal with the birds who are now considered a nuisance in the city, flying at people and leaving droppings everywhere, Liverpool council said.”

Attack pigeons?

“The pigeon problem has been exacerbated by residents in the city feeding the birds — whose natural diet is seeds and insects — with take-away leftovers. “We need to get the message across that anyone who feeds the birds intentionally, or occasionally with leftovers such as sausage rolls or burgers, is responsible for our streets being so crowded with these birds,” Berni Turner, Liverpool city council’s executive member for the environment, said.”

INSECTS??

“The council’s environmental health manager, Andy Hull, said that the scheme was an attempt to improve the health of the pigeons, as their current diet is unhealthy and dangerous.”

Nanny State for pigeons?

And– why not use hawks?

Oh, right, it wouldn’t be good for their health…