Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bolivian Tree LLama?

You learn something new everyday: "The tree llamas rarely touch foot on the ground, moving about in the high tree tops. The only time when they set foot on the ground is during their long and complex mating rituals. They are able to move around the forest canopy by using their long claws. They eat various fruits which grow in the canopy, and also will eat any penguins they can get their hands on."

The claw of the Bolivian Tree Llama can fetch up to $400 on the black market
The claw of the Bolivian Tree Llama can fetch up to $400 on the black market

The Bolivian Tree Llama, seen here in its natural habitat.

Sr-71 Successor?

A look over at In From the Cold. I enjoyed this portion:

"Secondly, an ISR penetrator can be used to send a political message, reminding potential foes of their vulnerability. Early in my career as a spook, I worked for a former SR-71 pilot, then serving as a fighter squadron commander. In his office, he kept a press photo of former Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev, getting off his plane in Havana.

In the photograph, Brezhnev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro are shaking hands, but they are looking straight up. Their odd gaze was in response to the distinctive, double sonic boom of an SR-71, then passing overhead. My squadron commander, the Blackbird pilot, had been directed to pass over Havana at the moment of Brezhnev's arrival--and embarrass Fidel in the process. Just a little reminder that the Yanqui SR-71 could fly where it wanted, when it wanted, and there wasn't much the bad guys could do about it. It's easy to envision similar flights (by the new aircraft) over places like Tehran, Caracas and Pyongyang in the future.

The Orange Blossom Special

Lost Magazine has a piece on the song and it's creators (?) Ervin T. Rouse and Robert Russell "Chubby" Wise.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Chowhound and Roadfood

Check out the eats where ever you may be...The Sterns of Roadfood fame are neighbors nearly. I have just stumbled into Chowhound.

Golden Age of Trucking Museum

The Higgins boat was a delight to see, having read about "the man who won the war for us..." I have some truck photos to post however one of the strengths of the museum makes it difficult to photograph in that there are so many large vehicles that it is difficult to get them in the frame of my camera without backing up into another rig. Will post a couple of more actual trucks shortly.

Their website is here. A New York Times article on their story is here. It was very cool.

That Hurts




Click over to see the legible version.

Also noticed JPGMAG over there which has many many photos worth perusing.

Sept. 6 Strike on Syria and Their NorK Friends

Secrecy news has resources.

Comet the Goldfish

Has learned to limbo, and you can train your fish too!!

The folks at the fish school are eager to help.

Via Gizmodo.

The World at Night

I found the TWAN page over at the Astronomy Picture of the Day site with this photo:

See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download  the highest resolution version available.
Above the Clouds

Free Tibet Flags

Made in China.


The flag of the Tibet  government-in-exile
Known as the Snow Lion Flag
Introduced in 1912
Banned in mainland China

American Mustache Institute?

Know your 'staches. LGF led me here, which led here, ("His moustache thinks your moustache is is a dumb hick.") and in turn to the AMI.

LGF also links to the CityJournal article on creeping sharia which is getting attention.

CityJournal is a must bookmark.

We deserve what we won't stop-- erm, if that makes sense.

Create Fuel at Home

New device written up in the Times, and they use "beer" in the headline.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Is That Vacant?

I am always looking.

I Need Not Worry

I have never reeled in a creel:
Main Entry:
1creel Listen to the pronunciation of 1creel
Middle English creille, crele
14th century

Bob Wills

Adam refers to his rich post in the comments.

I Fell in a River Again

But managed to keep my new spectacles, happily.

It must be spring.

I Can't Get to Philly Anytime Soon

but I will definitely have a cheesesteak in Joey Vento's honor, the man cares and has put himself on the line in a few different ways because of his concern, he deserves our support.

More Cows

I found this old shot, boy was it raining, it was a difficult drive from the Dinosaur museum in that downpour.

There were indeed "cows down there..."

And while I am at it posting old material, I liked this photo and enjoyed the time taking it:


"a fine mess" is actually turning up on Google!!

Those folks were very helpful when I deleted the whole blog, God bless them as well!!

Update: I have checked back a bit and it fluctuates wildly, so pay no attention to this post, treat it like any other...;)


I have mentioned Pandora the web music site before. They have a nice "western swing" station. God Bless Bob Wills!!! featured image

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Adam Posts

Adam has some more to offer. I will add him to the sidebar now.

(Update. Did I write "Adam has a some more..." Yes I a did.)

Cows Have Been Leading Me Everywhere

They just have the last little while. They led me to Cambodia. It seems like Cambodia might be an interesting trip, and when you get bored they have really nice firing ranges. You can shoot a variety of arms, up to and including shooting a rocket propelled grenade at a live cow. I think the cow's are mostly against it, but not all of them.

You can even throw grenades into a fish pond.

All of which is wrong, so there.


A few links... here.

Cows are Curious

"Gramps" left an interesting comment regarding what it takes to impress a cow at an earlier post. It reminded me of an aside in the book "Spook" by Mary Roach in which she mentions getting a cow's attention and then laying down. (We can all provide our own jokes viz a viz that last turn of phrase.) I have been meaning to try this myself:

"Roach: When I was in college, I got into a late-night argument with somebody about whether cows are curious. He said to me, this guy Brian, that if you go out in a field and do this they'll come over. I didn't believe him, so the next chance I got I went out into a pasture and the cows were a couple football fields away; they were pretty far away. I shouted, and they looked. Then I lay down, and they literally galloped over to me and formed a ring around me.

I did it in Ireland and I've done it in California. Both times, the cows came over. Cows are curious.

Dave: Were you scared at all the first time when the galloping started?

Roach: A little nervous when they came thundering over, but I assumed they would stop. Supposedly, it's like if a buffalo herd comes charging at you, you're supposed to just put your hand out and they'll go around you. I don't really want to give that one a whirl, though."

Friday, April 25, 2008

Howe Caverns

The trek up to Adam's region was documented thoroughly. I am stringing it through several posts with photos:)

Celebrity Primate Scandal

the shocking story is sadly predictable...

(Just a nudge down the page to the C. Ricci post that sat as a draft until I had a chance to fix the old links.)

Cows Under Sunset

The cows were unimpressed. Curious, but nonplussed.

More Helicopter Friday

I have linked to this one before but am embedding it because it is so cool. It is also here with disabled embedding. Here is an article. Here is an excerpt (different article):

SCOTT YENZER, 40 Founder Haverfield Corp.

In 1983, Scott Yenzer had a helicopter flying service, patrolling power lines in Florida. He also had a crazy idea: If a bird could land on a power line without blowing up, why couldn't he? At the time, power companies had to either shut off the current or dispatch workers in insulated cherry pickers to repair big transmission lines. If repairs could be made from a helicopter, inaccessible lines would be easy to maintain. But could you pack 500,000 volts into a chopper without blowing up the gas tanks? Without frying the aircraft's electrical system? Or the pilot? One morning Yenzer flew out to a big line. He braced himself as the chopper approached the wire. Ppffsszzt. An arc of electricity leaped from Yenzer's helmet microphone into his lip. Another struck his leg. Another bit into his ear. But the chopper had not exploded. "I thought, If this is as bad as it gets, it's okay," he says. "I can work it out." Yenzer has since evolved methods of maintaining power lines safely from the air and does so for more than 100 utilities.

Helicopter Friday

Priest Missing

You don't see that everyday:

A priest who floated into the sky under hundreds of helium-filled party balloons has gone missing off the southern coast of Brazil.

Rescuers in helicopters and small fishing boats were searching off the coast of Santa Catarina state, where pieces of balloons were found.

Rev Adelir Antonio de Carli took off from the port city of Paranagua on Sunday afternoon, wearing a helmet, thermal suit and a parachute.

He was reported missing about eight hours later after losing contact with port authority officials, according to Denise Gallas, the treasurer of Sao Cristovao parish.

The 41-year-old priest wanted to break a 19-hour record for the longest period aloft with balloons, to raise money for a spiritual rest-stop for truckers in the Brazilian port of Paranagua.

Theatrical Superstitions

The subject came up...

Tree Photos

Strange Trees

via Dark Roasted Blend this link to photos of trees doing what they do...

They also link to omnivoracious with a piece on authors pairing their books with beer...

Last Evening

Quote of the Day

"New York is the greatest city on Earth, even if the Yankees play there."--Jules Crittenden

He also posts this for Anzac day.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adam Correctly Mentions

That I have not linked to his blog or put him on the links list. I have much work tidying up around here, including a post on the latest celebrity primate scandal...

Chimp Assaults Christina Ricci


Christina Ricci
I am not surprised and have followed the trend of celebrity primate criminality for some time.

Have I mentioned tidying up the links?

First one via Dave Barry.

It's Alive!

er, uh, maybe not. An article on nanobacteria.

The subject came up. Short answer or hedge on viruses here.

Neat little prion page here.

First link via Coasttocoast.


There was a time when Americans stood up for themselves, including defending the indigenous fauna.

Alexandra Fuller

Well I finished "Don't Let's Go to the Dog's Tonight" and I highly recommend it. She was fantastic with the imagery and the cadences. Fergodsakes get a copy. The material is funny and terribly sad, more funny though, all in all. Nice job, Bobo.

Next up: Typee, by Melville.

I've Had Some Indigestion But...

Dead hawk's last meal claws part way out through raptor's chest.

Not for squeamish animal lovers. With pics.

Safari Joke

PhysicsGeek has one you have likely heard.

Kiawah Island Bobcats

Here is another NatGeo video. Homey's mother took these bobcat photos:

quite an accomplishment when even National Geographic says the critters are "rarely seen or photographed."

High Rise Syndrome

An unfortunate construction worker fell to his death yesterday at Lincoln Center.

I think he may have been at the danger altitude for cats as well, if high rise syndrome is any guide.

They actually are better off falling from a greater height?

It is a misconception that cats won’t be injured if they fall from one- or two-story buildings. They may actually be at greater risk for injury when falling shorter distances than by falling from mid-range or higher altitudes. Shorter distances do not give them enough time to adjust their body posture to fall correctly.

NatGeo video here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wigderson Library & Pub

The regal and wryly humored Mr. Wigderson has added this humble blog to his roll under "National Blogs."

Thank you Sir!

God Bless Wisconsin!

He is now up on our links at the side, so go visit and visit often!

Predict Weather with a Pig's Spleen

When Gus Wickstrom slaughters a pig he "...uses everything but the squeal..."

Is a spring spleen really less accurate?

Pig spleen chart

Paul Auster is a Complete Jackass

I am going to copy and paste his entire op-ed from the New York Times because I am crazy. And my lungs are filled with craziness. And I have not improved my thinking since I was 21:

The Accidental Rebel

IT was the year of years, the year of craziness, the year of fire, blood and death. I had just turned 21, and I was as crazy as everyone else.

There were half a million American soldiers in Vietnam, Martin Luther King had just been assassinated, cities were burning across America, and the world seemed headed for an apocalyptic breakdown.

Being crazy struck me as a perfectly sane response to the hand I had been dealt — the hand that all young men had been dealt in 1968. The instant I graduated from college, I would be drafted to fight in a war I despised to the depths of my being, and because I had already made up my mind to refuse to fight in that war, I knew that my future held only two options: prison or exile.

I was not a violent person. Looking back on those days now, I see myself as a quiet, bookish young man, struggling to teach myself how to become a writer, immersed in my courses in literature and philosophy at Columbia. I had marched in demonstrations against the war, but I was not an active member of any political organization on campus. I felt sympathetic to the aims of S.D.S. (one of several radical student groups, but by no means the most radical), and yet I never attended its meetings and not once had I handed out a broadside or leaflet. I wanted to read my books, write my poems and drink with my friends at the West End bar.

Forty years ago today, a protest rally was held on the Columbia campus. The issue had nothing to do with the war, but rather a gymnasium the university was about to build in Morningside Park. The park was public property, and because Columbia intended to create a separate entrance for the local residents (mostly black), the building plan was deemed to be both unjust and racist. I was in accord with this assessment, but I didn’t attend the rally because of the gym.

I went because I was crazy, crazy with the poison of Vietnam in my lungs, and the many hundreds of students who gathered around the sundial in the center of campus that afternoon were not there to protest the construction of the gym so much as to vent their craziness, to lash out at something, anything, and since we were all students at Columbia, why not throw bricks at Columbia, since it was engaged in lucrative research projects for military contractors and thus was contributing to the war effort in Vietnam?

Speech followed tempestuous speech, the enraged crowd roared with approval, and then someone suggested that we all go to the construction site and tear down the chain-link fence that had been erected to keep out trespassers. The crowd thought that was an excellent idea, and so off it went, a throng of crazy, shouting students charging off the Columbia campus toward Morningside Park. Much to my astonishment, I was with them. What had happened to the gentle boy who planned to spend the rest of his life sitting alone in a room writing books? He was helping to tear down the fence. He tugged and pulled and pushed along with several dozen others and, truth be told, found much satisfaction in this crazy, destructive act.

After the outburst in the park, campus buildings were stormed, occupied and held for a week. I wound up in Mathematics Hall and stayed for the duration of the sit-in. The students of Columbia were on strike. As we calmly held our meetings indoors, the campus was roiling with belligerent shouting matches and slugfests as those for and against the strike went at one another with abandon. By the night of April 30, the Columbia administration had had enough, and the police were called in. A bloody riot ensued. Along with more than 700 other people, I was arrested — pulled by my hair to the police van by one officer as another officer stomped on my hand with his boot. But no regrets. I was proud to have done my bit for the cause. Both crazy and proud.

What did we accomplish? Not much of anything. It’s true that the gymnasium project was scrapped, but the real issue was Vietnam, and the war dragged on for seven more horrible years. You can’t change government policy by attacking a private institution. When French students erupted in May of that year of years, they were directly confronting the national government — because their universities were public, under the control of the Ministry of Education, and what they did initiated changes in French life. We at Columbia were powerless, and our little revolution was no more than a symbolic gesture. But symbolic gestures are not empty gestures, and given the nature of those times, we did what we could.

I hesitate to draw any comparisons with the present — and therefore will not end this memory-piece with the word “Iraq.” I am 61 now, but my thinking has not changed much since that year of fire and blood, and as I sit alone in this room with a pen in my hand, I realize that I am still crazy, perhaps crazier than ever.

Paul Auster is the author of the forthcoming “Man in the Dark.”

via Instapundit


A hardy Bio-Fuel solution?

P.J. O'Rourke

"Some say John McCain's character was formed in a North Vietnamese prison. I say those people should take a gander at what John chose to do--voluntarily. Being a carrier pilot requires aptitude, intelligence, skill, knowledge, discernment, and courage of a kind rarely found anywhere but in a poem of Homer's or a half gallon of Dewar's. I look from John McCain to what the opposition has to offer. There's Ms. Smarty-Pantsuit, the Bosnia-Under-Sniper-Fire poster gal, former prominent Washington hostess, and now the JV senator from the state that brought you Eliot Spitzer and Bear Stearns. And there's the happy-talk boy wonder, the plaster Balthazar in the Cook County political crèche, whose policy pronouncements sound like a walk through Greenwich Village in 1968: "Change, man? Got any spare change? Change?"

Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?"

via Instupandit

The WeeklyStandard is a necessary bookmark.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008