July 2012 archive
Well. The cottonwoods blew over, the Leyland cypresses have had trouble with the heat, and the pines take a dim view of the alkaline soil. The rest were OK choices species-wise, but even among those a few have been thwarted by caliche.
Then there's the incense cedar. It looked good until some critter ate all the foliage off it last year. I think a career as lumber is in its near future.
This neighborhood can be a tough gig if you're a tree.
And yet there are surprises. For the first time in 15 years living here, I've seen an Arizona cypress start from seed. It's a welcome addition, as AZ cypress is one of the best adapted trees for this area. It started under another tree, and I moved it today to a better location. I think it's got a chance. Much as I prefer posting sentences of my own, it's been a hectic day (nay, month) and I will resort to quoting something I saw in the paper today.
Through extensive research and trial and error, he figured out how to simulate the telltale signs of age: the distinctive spider-web cracking in the paint, the tiny dots of fly droppings, and the slimy green look of old varnish when viewed under ultraviolent light.Shades of A Clockwork Orange. No matter what you think about airport body-scanners,
this is a straightforward rule-of-law issue:
In July 2011, a federal appeals court ruled that the Transportation Security Administration had to conduct a notice-and-comment rulemaking on its policy of using "Advanced Imaging Technology" for primary screening at airports. TSA was supposed to publish the policy in the Federal Register, take comments from the public, and justify its policy based on public input. The court told TSA to do all this "promptly." A year later, TSA has not even started that public process. Defying the court, the TSA has not satisfied public concerns about privacy, about costs and delays, security weaknesses, and the potential health effects of these machines. If the government is going to "body-scan" Americans at U.S. airports, President Obama should force the TSA to begin the public process the court ordered.Please consider signing the petition at whitehouse.gov. If it gets 25,000 signatures by August 7, the administration will respond. As I write, it's halfway there. To sign, you have to register (easy) and be over 13 years of age. I didn't see anything about having to be a US citizen; use your judgment on that.
This came to my attention via Bruce Schneier.
Click on the pic for the full bird experience. In one of my favorite short stories1, the narrator recalls how he told his dad he wanted to take magic lessons; his dad said OK but evidently misheard and thought it was music lessons.
A couple nights ago I dreamt that I was at the home of the story's author2 (who is deceased; that alone shoulda tipped me off that I was dreaming). I told him I liked the book that story appears in, and he called it "rubbish". But I digress.
Some years after I'd first read that story, I met a magician who'd gotten into the craft as a kid when someone misheard him say that he wanted to be a musician and got him magic equipment instead.
A climbing buddy once told me about a bunch of routes he was naming after Peter Gabriel song titles. When he said Shock the Monkey, I asked if he'd said Chalk the Monkey,3 and he said no but I like it and that's what the name will be. And so it is.
The Japanese record market evidently likes to see lyric sheets. If the original version of a record didn't come with lyrics, the Japanese release might include the results of an attempt at transcribing them. A Japanese version of a Monochrome Set record gave
2 o'clock early arousing asphyxes our zig-zag
for a lyric4 that really was
Swirl the potpourri around / Sync-pulse, pic-sync and sync-sound
In an interview, the band's main songwriter said, "I gained a reputation in Japan for being a great lyric writer. I long ago stopped thinking about this."