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Creek Running North

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September 08, 2005

Frequently Asked Questions

Twisty inadvertently reminded me this week that I've been meaning to put together a short FAQ for this here blog. Unlike some FAQs which should really be referred to as "Questions We Think You Ought To Ask If You Were At All Interested In This Site," some of these Qs have actually been Ad on an F basis.

So here goes:

Why is this blog called "Creek Running North"?

You can find that answered here.

Who is Chris Clarke?

Chris Clarke is a writer and California resident in his mid-40s.

Who is Stephanie?

Stephanie, a.k.a. equinox, is a Midwestern writer and occasional co-blogger at Creek Running North. Chris invited her to sit in and keep his readers occupied while he went to the Mojave for a few days in July 2005, and she did such a good job that he didn't revoke her posting privileges when he came back. As of September 2005, Chris wishes Stephanie would post more often and encourages his readers to exhort her to do so.

Does Stephanie have her own blog?

What a great idea!

Does Creek Running North have a comments policy?

Yes. Here are the Creek Running North commenting rules:

  1. Be nice.
  2. Chris repeatedly ignores Rule 1.
  3. Commenters are encouraged to upbraid Chris when he ignores Rule 1.
  4. Commenters are encouraged to upbraid Chris for any other reason.
  5. The Stephanie-upbraiding comment policy is pending.
  6. All political viewpoints are welcome here as long as they comply with Rule 1.
  7. Creek Running North management are the sole arbiters of whether a post complies with Rule 1 (though opinions are welcomed).
  8. Expressions of your religious beliefs are welcome. Repeated religious proselytizing is not welcome.
  9. Trolls suck.

Does Chris delete comments because they disagree with him?

Chris likes comments that disagree with him. But he has deleted comments before, and almost certainly will again. Your comment (or trackback) may be deleted if:

  1. It is clearly spam.
  2. It contains flagrant intellectual property violations.
  3. It contains hate speech (subject to Chris' discretion).
  4. It misidentifies you as another commenter in an attempt to defame that other poster.
  5. It contains religious proselytizing even after you have been warned to peddle your god-bothering hooey to someone who cares.
  6. You have sued - or threatened to sue - others based on blog comment threads on this or other blogs.

Who are these Becky and Zeke people so often referred to here?

Becky is Chris' spouse. She teaches elementary school in the Oakland Unified public school system, and is sensible enough not to read this blog at all regularly. Zeke is their dog. They also have a rabbit named Thistle, a guinea pig named Harley, and several dozen deceased pets between them, who are occasionally memorialized in this blog when Chris gets in one of those plangent moods.

Chris refers to a friend named Matthew fairly often, but Matthew never comments on this blog. Is Matthew actually an imaginary friend?

Matthew is not imaginary. Irrational and transcendental, yes. But not imaginary.

Is this a political blog?

All blogs are political.

What is this blog about?

Nature, politics, gardening, biology, North American deserts, biography, personal reminiscence, outraged and unfair trashing of innocent people, apologies for same, literary criticism, annual sniping at Burning Man and Annie Dillard, poetry, in-group in-jokes, dog stories, and relating of anecdotes Chris' family likely wishes he would keep to himself.

Chris shows a barely perceptible glimmer of talent on rare occasions. Has he ever been published?

Here and there, yes.

Why, then, does he give this stuff away for free?

Because it's still cheaper than freelancing.

Does Chris have a resume?

here you go.

This blog would be much better if you would (avoid/stick to) the subject of (politics/nature/essays/biography/going on and on about yourself)

That's not a question.

Why can't I find Chris Clarke's email address anywhere here?

Because if you could find it, then the spammers could as well. But if you need to email Chris, just follow the easy formula First Initial Last Name at domain of this website. Update: this is no longer applicable.

What is Faultline.org, and why is this blog buried in such a weird directory structure?

Faultline was a project of Chris' (and many other people as well) intended to provide a source for Californian environmental news. This blog was originally just a sort of "column" within Faultline. Despite many months of labor, Faultline never gained traction in either readership or fundraising, and so we pulled the plug on it. Think of Creek Running North as the Alien larva burrowing inside the corpse of its hapless host, now bursting from Faultline's torso to chase Sigourney Weaver around the ship in her underwear.

Faultline also hosts Ron Sullivan's blog Toad in the Hole, which plays the role of the ship's cat Jonesie in that last metaphor.

Can I buy the faultline.org domain from you?

No.

Would you help me get my father's bank account out of Nigeria where it has languished since

No.

Aren't Chris' political and ecological views rather extreme?

Let's put it this way. Chris took one of those stupid Libertarian Party two-axis political quizzes recently, and he was so far to the left libertarian corner that from his viewpoint, Gandhi was a faint, distant blur just in front of Hitler.

Why does Chris make such a big deal about religious proselytizing?

That is best summed up by a short passage that Chris wrote sometime in the previous millenium:

My considered opinion is that one's relationship to the infinite is a very personal thing. It is, by definition, beyond the bounds of the rational mind. It is therefore beyond the bounds of language.

The corollary to all this is that any attempt to translate one's own version of the ecstatic experience into speech is an attempt to confine the infinite within the finite, and is doomed to failure. At best, it's an attempt to dam the ocean with a tule mat. At worst, it's a form of clearcutting, of taking the most important type of experience one can have and fitting it into the Universal Chomskyan (not to mention Procrustean) Grammar, by throwing away that which can't so fit.

Therefore, when people attempt to explain the universe to me, I ask them to consider preserving the sacred character of their own experiences by shutting the hell up.

Why does Chris hate children?

Chris likes kids in general, and certain kids very much. Chris has somewhat less fondness for parents, though there are some exceptions there as well. Mostly, Chris has an abiding fondness for salamanders, grasslands, deserts, marbled murrelets, and other things now being paved to make way for double-barrelled stroller parking. In fact, Chris has been working for some time on a witticism about the four Apocalypse guys from The Revelation not riding horses at all but actually pushing strollers. Planned release date for the witticism is sometime in mid-Q4 2006, subject to revision.

This is a Bay Area blog, right? So why all the desert stuff?

Chris is working on a book on Joshua Trees, which grow in the desert. This requires frequent visits to the desert. There's lots of good stuff to write about in the desert.

When will the book be published?

Sometime after Chris finishes it.

Why did your commenty thing hold my comment for moderation? It says "the first time you comment," but I've commented here before.

We don't know for sure. Sometimes it does that when you include a hyperlink. Sometimes it does so inexplicably. It hasn't been a big enough problem for us to worry about it so far.

Will you add me to your blogroll?

Maybe. Write something Chris likes.

Why isn't my question here?

How about if you ask it in comments, below?

Posted by Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 03:14 PM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1318

0 blog(s) linking to this post:


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Comments

hi. i landed here recently [don't ask me how, i was looking around and found the site], and have been hanging around. chris lives not far from me, and he likes animals and open space, and i like the range of topics. don't know if i'm intruding with recent comments. this disaster has me befuddled and looking for a place to talk.

take care, kathy

Posted by: Kathy A at September 8, 2005 05:40 PM
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The judges remind you that you should phrase your statement in the form of a question, Kathy.

But if your question is "Am I intruding?" the answer would be "Not at all. Stick around."

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 05:45 PM
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there are probably a few reasons i'm not a jeopardy contestant... thanks!

Posted by: Kathy A at September 8, 2005 06:04 PM
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What happens if you don't ask any questions?

Posted by: norbizness at September 8, 2005 06:17 PM
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George Bush drowns a kitty.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 06:19 PM
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Like he wouldn't do that anyway.

Posted by: norbizness at September 8, 2005 06:49 PM
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Actually, Norbizness, shouldn't that be "Wouldn't he do that anyway?"

[Would it have been better to include a second question mark, nailing down my question's status as a question, sort of like closing an open parentheses, despite grammar rules to the contrary?]

Posted by: paperwight at September 8, 2005 07:05 PM
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Q: how much would it take for W to drown a kitty?
A: what's in it for him?

Q: where's cheney?
A: thankfully, there's been no news this time of secret bunkers. so presumably he was home, home on the range. where the deer and compassionate buffalo play. where seldom is heard....

Q: is it amusing to do a Q&A format?
A: why yes, it is, indeed.

Posted by: Kathy A at September 8, 2005 07:07 PM
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Is it wrong to want both a BB gun and world peace?

Posted by: Roxanne at September 8, 2005 09:11 PM
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Q.1: Given Kathy's first question was about Bush and her second was about Cheney, am I merely imagining that her third is channelling Rumsfeld?

Q.2: If Sigourney Weaver is here, who is that running around the Nostromo in her underwear?

Posted by: Mentis Fugit at September 8, 2005 09:18 PM
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Is it wrong to want both a BB gun and world peace?

You'll shoot your eye out, kid.

Q.1: Given Kathy's first question was about Bush and her second was about Cheney, am I merely imagining that her third is channelling Rumsfeld?

Yes, because the question nowhere contains the phrase "my goodness" or a statement about asking the questions you have as opposed to the questions you want to have.

Q.2: If Sigourney Weaver is here, who is that running around the Nostromo in her underwear?

Someone else is running around the Nostromo in Sigourney Weaver's underwear?

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 09:51 PM
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Bad news, good news, bad news. Bad news. Molly landed in the local hospital Tuesday night, where the local surgeon opened up her insides and removed the offending appendix. Good news. She's home, and recovering as of this afternoon. Bad news. I may have further comments on this or other topics (i.e., Who is Chris Clarke, and why is Condi calling him Lake Dubya?) after I get some much needed sleep.

Posted by: tost at September 8, 2005 10:05 PM
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One more thing. Is it true that autographed copies of the forthcoming book will be available in a plain brown wrapper stamped with the warning label RED PERIL? And is it also true that Oprah has Chris lined up to guest host her show?

Posted by: tost at September 8, 2005 10:12 PM
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"Red Peril: The Story of Molly's Appendix."

That sounds scary as hell, tost. I'm glad for that good news in the middle of that sandwich there.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 10:36 PM
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Why is this post the best laugh I've had all night? I have some pictures of frogs from Briones Wildlife Refuge that a student/recent "friend" sent to me. She is caring for the frogs at home.
As an environmentalist, I think you might want to see these frogs (very scary). Would you like me to send you the pictures (there, I finally phrased a question)?

Posted by: The CultureGhost at September 8, 2005 11:22 PM
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I would love to see photos of thr Briones frogs.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 8, 2005 11:29 PM
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Hmm. I already asked you why do fools fall in love and still don't really know the answer, so my question is:

Why should I ask you any more questions?

Posted by: KathyR at September 9, 2005 06:40 AM
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You've trashed Annie Dillard??? On what basis - the fake-ass mysticism, or the penchant for making things up and selling the results as nonfiction? If it's no trouble, would you mind refreshing my memory with a link?

Posted by: Dave at September 9, 2005 07:13 AM
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Well, Dave, there's this short piece and then there's this longer one.

I see a familiar name in the comments for each one.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 9, 2005 07:18 AM
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Do you ever wonder how much more you can take before you go screaming off into the night to buy a gun?
Do you ever feel like George W. Bush was put on this earth to antagonize you personally?
Does his smirk make you want to vomit?
If Barbara Bush says those kinds of comments in public, what do you think she says in private?
Is there any hope for our country if we don't take back Congress in 2006? (Who is "we" in the previous question?)
Thanks, Chris, for putting up with my list.

Posted by: Rexroths Daughter at September 9, 2005 08:06 AM
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Yes, no, sometimes, I don't want to know and she's not welcome in my house, not sure there is even if we do, dunno but whoever "we" is most people I know will be expected to make big sacrifices to help "us" with nothing in return, no problem.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 9, 2005 08:37 AM
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Why am I online and not outside enjoying the day?

Posted by: Rana at September 9, 2005 10:35 AM
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When are you going to write more Harquahala?

And thank you, and I will write more, I want to write more, but right now school is eating my brain. Mmm, tasty brain, chomp, chomp, chomp, brain gone.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 9, 2005 08:54 PM
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"Faultline also hosts Ron Sullivan's blog Toad in the Hole, which, one surmises, plays the role of the ship's cat Jonesie in that last metaphor."

Actually, it's Cat in Red Dwarf.

Here: ?
Insert ad lib.

Posted by: Ron at September 9, 2005 10:47 PM
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I see a familiar name in the comments for each one.
Is it true that reading blogs kills more brain cells than drinking beer?

Posted by: Dave at September 12, 2005 09:10 AM
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Is there a style guide that will answer paperwight's question?

Posted by: Jym at September 20, 2005 07:10 AM
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When are you going to write more Harquahala?

This weekend.

Is it true that reading blogs kills more brain cells than drinking beer?

I... I don't remember!

Is there a style guide that will answer paperwight's question?

Yes.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 21, 2005 07:58 AM
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