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especially the dog
Dog, sun, friends, rock.
I stopped at a gas station this afternoon. The dog pictured below out got out of a car and everyone who saw him was entranced. He exhibited a cool mixture of puppyish curiosity and serene detachment. He's a Neapolitan Mastiff, six months old.Neapolitan Mastiff
whap whap whap whap whap whap whap whap whap
Nuttall's woodpecker (male), this morning.
22 second video at
Last night I dreamt I was out of the USA, staying at a hotel that was crawling with secret agents from various countries. They were all trying to induce Americans (and presumably citizens of other countries) to defect. I don't know what they saw in me but I was getting accosted right and left. The hotel was littered with phony passports and other paraphernalia one might use to support an assumed identity. My own passport was stolen midway during the dream which gave agents leverage: with how much difficulty awaited me should I try to return to the USA, their offer started to look better. One guy started rattling off (in Russian) the terms of his offer, not caring that I wasn't understanding a word he said. He seemed to think it was a seller's market.

Other agents used force. One shot a tranquilizing drug at me but it didn't take effect.

I tried to duck into a restaurant. The maître d' spoke German and tried to recruit me.

Traveling internationally and somehow not having my passport is a recurring theme in my dreams but this was the first with a defection angle. I suspect that an article I read yesterday (about Israel inducing an Iraqi pilot to defect with his MiG‑21) planted the seed. From the preface (dated March 1937) to Star Maker by Olaf Stapledon:
AT a moment when Europe is in danger of a catastrophe worse than that of 1914 a book like this may be condemned as a distraction from the desperately urgent defence of civilization against modern barbarism.
In these conditions it is difficult for writers to pursue their calling at once with courage and with balanced judgment.
The same issue is always present to some degree, although it becomes more pressing when things go very sour.

After the 2016 election I thought about making this more of a political blog or starting another parallel blog. I ended up deciding my energies were better spent on other work. Long story.

There are many ways to respond when much is at stake in politics, some direct and some indirect. Stapledon argues that there is a place for work that is informed by politics if not directly or specifically political. The whole preface to Star Maker is worth reading (see Google Books or Project Gutenberg Australia). was dilated even more earlier
back from a follow‑up exam of the left eye.