Wednesday, September 15, 2021


I want to walk above the white cliffs in summer. Photos and description of the long walk at this Diamond Geezer post. This is from that post:

Jogging has happened over the past month. It's not as often as I aimed for but I am tracking my dates so I can see the pattern. I'm doing a few minutes of jogging, a couple minutes of walking and repeat for 30 minutes or so. At the end of this week I get to lengthen the jog sections again. I'm aiming to get to a 25 minute jog with warm up/down walking on either end. I did not feel like going yesterday evening but I really wanted to have gone and there was only one way to get there. Current temps are not as cool as I'd like but firmly in the temperate range so now is my time. When I go at sundown there are usually starling murmurations with groups that join and separate over the wetlands. Currently there are tall sunflowers by the path. I often think I should have a bag to pick up trash but it's a different goal. 

I have lost most of my interest in mowing the grass. I only got the front mowed a week ago, never got to the back. Maybe I can get them both done this coming weekend. Big black butterflies have been visiting the marigolds in the front. And I saw stripey caterpillars munching on the rue yesterday. <fist pump> I have milk weed pods from Nod's cousin in Missouri. I guess I'll freeze them over the winter and plant the seeds out next spring. Nod harvested the big daddy orange tomato and it is in the center of our kitchen counter, beaming, right now. He announced that he's going to move that planter box north on our lawn by a foot or two before next growing season. To get more sun. His cherry toms have been big winners this year.  

I see rain in the future forecast for Oregon and I hope the rainy season is begun for that part of the world. Both for myself - my trip in October to central Washington state - and for the general relief in that area. That's enough fire for now. There, there.  

Wednesday, August 18, 2021


I highly recommend this puzzle. It is large and reminds me of my love for EG. We finished it this week. 

Professor T on PBS has a certain Gorey tinge to it. My mother said, "This show is British and weird and it makes sense that you like it." I know EG was American but he seems comfortable next to British murder fiction. 

There are wonderful clouds floating around northeast Kansas today.   

This is a perfectly good recipe for a one-pot farfalle (bowties) pasta meal. May they be forgiven for blaspheming the name lasagna. I alter it of course. I make it with veggies instead of sausage and omit the ricotta. I use real garlic instead of garlic powder. The last time I made it I chopped up a small eggplant, a large zucchini, half a red bell pepper, and half a large onion. Any of those amounts may vary and sometimes I add mushrooms. For me the pasta takes the max time or even a few minutes more to get done. Stir vigorously half way through.     


Monday, August 2, 2021


I remembered an artist who painted NM mesas, mountains and clouds as flattened pastel shapes in the 1980s. The name was something short and male like Mike Post. I was going to grill my h.s. friends in October about this but I have stumbled upon the answer: Doug West. He created a lot of work in the 80s and his posters were everywhere in northern NM. The color in the paintings is more vivid than I remembered. I think I was remembering sun-faded posters. If I had stupid money I'd buy this print now: La Tetilla Peak. Or maybe this one Afterglow. Or Cielo, or Heaven's Way. Clearly I needed to look at his art now.

A typo that deserves a special award is on this page:

This location is just behind Daiquiri, New Mexico, home of O'Keefe.

Nope! there is no Daiquiri, NM. I'm guessing that's auto-correct's reaction to Abiquiu.


Why can I not edit the blog list on the side of the page? That's new.

This story is high quality:

Also saving this tumblr link: Iceblink that reposted it.  

Thursday, July 29, 2021


So far it's been a three feather day. I didn't pick any of them up, just admired them on the ground. I walk/jogged this morning first thing. 

Got a blood draw and cholesterol test for health insurance discount this morning. Even though I fasted, #s are not good. I am so sad and feeling decrepit about it. I know they're just numbers and it's more important that I survived stupid quarantine times so far. And still - my body is working less well and here's the proof. 

Youngest went to the county fair last night. It was hot and her friend convinced her to go by saying they could go look at all the quilts in the air conditioned hall. I have fond memories of looking at the table setting competition, the entomology displays and the woodworking. 

I'm wearing a mask now in the office. Which makes it less fun. Ah well. Quarreled with Nod last night about having a friend over. He's saying he can't go back to not seeing friends and I am ready to close up shop and withdraw. I am feeling so small right now. Maybe it'll be nice to see her.   


4 feathers!

I wept and felt poorly about my physical architecture for a while. I felt more philosophical by the end of the day. In general I am very pleased with myself and it was upsetting to have that fall away for a while. 

Talked through my feelings about our current risk assessment with Nod and youngest yesterday after work. I'm thinking about the risk of transmitting Delta and our status as vaxed ppl with vaxxed friends. We are not spending time with anyone with kids under 12. We're all connected, of course, and every errand and conversation with another human increases risk. 

We ended up having two friends over last night, one masked, and played Catan indoors where the air conditioning lives. It was really fun. May the Infinite have mercy on our souls. 


Monday, July 19, 2021

Summer is a thing

  With feathers on? a-rollin' on? I had a moment last week when I realized that summer was moving and not going to be here much longer. Then I went skinny dipping and that was an effective response.

  Finished Three Women and found it interesting but not as insightful as I expected. Also, as JL pointed out - why nobody who had actual agency and contentment in their sexuality? They exist. I'm glad it meant something to K but I would not recommend. Onward with Just Mercy which started strong. The Danish highly recommends the movie. After JM I get to transition to some lighter summer reading. I think I need to get ahold of some McQuiston. Just checked the library and all versions of Red, White and Royal Blue are on hold for many people. Might have to buy that one.    

  This is week three of being in the office. Working on campus is good in many ways:

  • I'm out of the house.
  • I take more steps every day. 
  • I see people in person.
  • I see more sunlight, plants and animals.

  I will miss being able to take care of some dumb housework things during my workday. I know that the few coworkers who are in the office with me are vaccinated. But I wonder if we will have a Covid surge on campus after the start of the semester and have to go back to working from home. 

  I am appalled at the illness and deaths of unvaxed folks, particularly here, near the rube center of the country. I was telling Nod that I'm thinking that the U.S. has made healthcare a consumer good. To such a degree that many people maybe don't think of doctors/hospitals as providing expertise and care but rather as sellers. And why wouldn't you be instinctively skeptical about what they sell? Not sure this explains everything but it could be a piece. Will U.S. healthcare be improved in my lifetime? I can imagine so but I can also imagine it getting worse.   

  L had friends over for a fire and cookout last night. We went to bed before they were done carousing but they were quiet and considerate. Nod observed that her gang are quirky nerds and we love them.  

Thursday, July 8, 2021

In the flesh

The first week of being back in the office is underway. I'm still excited to see people. I'm glad to be at my desk which is a better height than my home desk. Paying for parking at work makes me feel like such a sucker. I paid for the academic year starting in August but I can't make myself do it for the rest of July. Next Monday through the 30th I'll be parking on the street like a student/peasant. Should be okay if campus stays as sleepy as it is right now.

I sewed 'back to campus' badges for my friends but I haven't given any out yet. The computer center is lightly attended this week. Our team lead left cookies for us and my daughter baked lemon cake so I've had a lot of sweets this week. I'm working on adding some vegetables to the mix. I broiled eggplants last night and made baba ghanoush. It remains one of my favorite things. 

I have spent time getting worked up about Delta. Then I remember that I'm vaccinated and that the vaccines are doing good work and I relax again. 

I have plane tickets and a plan to see my old friends in October. Glee! We're planning a salon/talent show and I've been having fun thinking about this. I may need props. 

I hope the entire west coast isn't on fire at that time. I think every news story from here on out should include reference to the climate emergency. Ignoring it is lying by omission. 

I'm reading two non fiction books at once which feels a little dry despite the good topics and decent writing. I may try reading alternate chapters in each in order to keep my momentum going. They interest me in different ways. Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson about death row advocacy work and the racism baked into the US justice system. Three Women by Taddeo which is about how three individuals feel about their sex lives and agency in general. 


Friday, June 4, 2021


Niรงoise street food
With me it's usually books or food. Food's turn - I have finally discovered Socca! I bought some chickpea (gram) flour a couple of years ago after reading a recipe I have since forgotten. But yesterday's hungry recipe reading finally found a most excellent use for it. I did not use the broiler because we are FINALLY starting to warm up around here. Added a pinch each of cumin, chile powder and black pepper. I cooked it in a preheated iron pan for 5 or 6 minutes on a side. I made salted yogurt to go with (plain yogurt, feta cheese, salt, minced mint leaves). Such a tasty mediterranean appetizer/snack! 

The sha-rieking of the gays
Happy Pride! The Las Culturistas podcast continues to make me happy and is the most gay thing I know. Last week they re-posted a past episode with Aaron Jackson and Josh Sharp and it is a wonderful way to feel some pride if you love hyper cackling gay men as much as I do. I found an earlier pod ep with them and liked it as well even though I don't speak Drag Race fluently. I may even try Jackson's novel, The Astonishing Life of August March

Both of my book groups are discussing books I would never have chosen this month. Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises for one and Hinojosa's Once I Was You memoir for the other. I'm skimming the memoir. Haven't decided if I'm going to try the EH or not. I was thinking I had read it in h.s. but that was For Whom The Bell Tolls. While I was messing around I read his short story "A Clean, Well-Lighted Place" and enjoyed its decided shortness.