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Creek Running North

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September 21, 2005

It's Lurker Day!

I happen to know, from seeing the site statistics for this here blog, that I have a number of regular readers who – to my knowledge, anyhow – have never made comments or otherwise gotten in touch.

And that's fine. Nothing wrong with that. If I took the time to comment on every blog I read, I'd... no, wait, I think I do comment on every blog I read.

Anyway. It's just that a number of localities seem to pop up in the site visit stats somewhat frequently. And that's one thing when the locality is, say, Los Angeles or Auckland or Notlob, where millions of Internet users live. But it's another thing when the locality is, say, Port Lavaca, Texas. (To pick a smallish town at random, I mean. Readers in Port Lavaca, I'm just pulling your town's name out of a metaphorical hat. Your secret is safe with me.) I have to assume that when Menlo, Iowa (hypothetically) shows up three times a week, that means I've got a regular reader in Guthrie County.

And so I get curious sometimes. Who are these readers? What are their lives like? Do they like my writing, or do they show up regularly to see what new horrors I've unleashed on the world? Do they think I'm a bad person because of my kitchen? Are they here for the politics, the poetry, or the pictures of Zeke?

If you're one of those as-yet-unanounced regular readers, of course, you don't have to answer these questions. I'm just glad you're there.

But if you've been looking for an excuse to make a comment, or introduce yourself, or tell me that you read Creek Running North despite the fact that you loathe my extreme left politics (or because you loathe them), consider yourself formally invited to speak up. Introduce yourself!

Posted by Chris Clarke at September 21, 2005 01:14 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.faultline.org/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/1339

2 blog(s) linking to this post:

Why didn't anyone tell me it's Lurker Day?
Excerpt: Chris Clarke started it. Lauren gave the bandwagon a push. I guess I'll hop on and go for a ride. If you're a lurker who's been reading and never commenting, go ahead and say "Hiya!" in the comments here. Or tell me I suck, o...
Weblog: Pharyngula
Tracked: September 21, 2005 11:51 AM
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Lurker Day
Excerpt: Today is Lurker Day, as explained by Chris at Creek Running North, Lauren at Feministe, and PZ Pharyngula. (Three of the coolest blogs on all the internets, I should add.) That is, lazy bloggers avoid posting original content by asking their readers...
Weblog: Cosmic Variance
Tracked: September 21, 2005 04:02 PM
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Comments

Hi, Durham Co., NC here. I'm not sure how I first found you, but it was one of the feminist blogs, so you came highly recommended by virtue of being linked. Why I came back: you're one hell of a writer, I want to be more mindful of environmental issues, your photos are beautiful, and, yes, it's true, I'm in love w/ Zeke. He's so pretty! The lefty politics are just the cherry on top.

Posted by: ae at September 21, 2005 12:31 AM
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I think I maybe made a comment on an earlier post, but, just in case I didn't, well . . . hi there.

I read your comments on both Dr. B's and Twisty's blogs and kept thinking "Damn, this guy is really smart and writes awfully well." And so, viola. Here I am.

I share your wonderment at the lurkers: I keep wondering where all the hits to my blog are coming from and why I only get an average of two comments per post. But I reckon you're right: if we commented on every post we read, most of us would have to give up gainful employment or sleeping or both.

Posted by: Ancrene Wiseass at September 21, 2005 02:29 AM
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Geneva, Switzerland reporting in.

I read because I wish I could write like you and you've great taste in blogs.

Posted by: Andrew Warinner at September 21, 2005 02:55 AM
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I've probably commented here before but not in many months. I am in Palo Pinto County, Texas. I forget what brought me here in the first place, but I do notice your comments on a number of other blogs I read.

Posted by: bill at September 21, 2005 06:20 AM
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OK, when is newbie day? I guess I don't count as a lurker anymore, since I've made several comments over the last week.

Anyway. I'm living in Toronto, but am from Greensboro, NC. (Waving to ae!)

Posted by: SneakySnu at September 21, 2005 06:23 AM
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I drop by every so often because of this post you wrote in March that was linked by (seemingly) everybody. I don't stop by often enough, though, for any of the talent to rub off.

I just like knowing you're here if I need to take a bit of a break from politics and find out things I never knew I'd like to know about pillbugs or Joshua trees or ponds or desert hiking. Trying to contain the outrage towards the Bush administration just gets so tiring at times that need to retreat to this little refuge. Even your political posts have a calming effect on me for some reason.

Thanks for the invitation to say "Hello!" I'll try not to wear out my welcome.

Posted by: Michael at September 21, 2005 06:41 AM
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Hey-yo from Cuyahoga County, Ohio. I got here from Harry Teasley's blog, when he linked to your Morin article. Which, of course, made me fall in love with your writing. Then I got jealous of your freewheelin' lifestyle in the wilds of the world, considering I live in the "City of Homes" where the houses are separated by the width of a driveway.

So, to sum up: insanely great writing (apologies to Jobs), vicarious outdoorsmanship thrills, the best dog in the world (since my own little Hershey girl is gone, may she rest in peace), politics with which I wholeheartedly agree, and an aesthetic that allows living in a persimmon-colored house.

If I didn't love my husband and kids so much, I would be tempted to stalk you like an Apple Scruff.

Posted by: Lisa Cech at September 21, 2005 06:51 AM
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I'm blaming the humour in your comments on Michael Bérubé's blog - that and the leftist politics.

From here - Naas, Ireland - your politics look only slightly left of centre and Republicans appear as far-right extremists.

The main reason I read though is that your writing is evocative and powerful enough to go beyond political argument - I spend my time writing health policy and I wish I could write like that.

Posted by: Andrew at September 21, 2005 06:53 AM
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Hmm, I can't recall if I have commented or not. Seattle's not a terribly wee town, in any case. I wandered in from one of the links to the essay you wrote about Stephen Peter Morin (most probably via Making Light). I then discovered that not only did I enjoy your writing style, you write about biology and its intersection with your life in a manner I really admire.

It was the moonbat that clinched my subscription to your rss feed, though.

Posted by: Joy at September 21, 2005 06:54 AM
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Hi, I'm Annie and I'm a lurker. Well mostly. I think I've commented once or twice. I read you because you write beautifully, I love to hear your stories and the moonbat politics make me feel right at home. I don't comment much because pregnancy has eaten my brain and I feel like I'm left with nothing intelligent to say, so I mostly just leave that to others.

Posted by: Annie at September 21, 2005 07:06 AM
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I blame Twisty.

Posted by: nina at September 21, 2005 07:13 AM
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from outside Philly...a lurker who came here to read Life and Death in March and stayed because I love your writing and your politics. I lurk because I don't always find the time to comment intelligently! Will attempt to comment occasionally! Love Zeke too!

Posted by: cyndy at September 21, 2005 07:31 AM
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Milwaukee, WI here, for the first time. This doesn't make me a lurker just yet but that's something I intend to explore having read about your site elsewhere. It intrigued me as something I'd relate to and enjoy. I'll be back.

Posted by: Jade at September 21, 2005 08:34 AM
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Am I a lurker? Perhaps, though I did comment once before, I think . . .I'm from Floyd, Virginia and found your site through the blog fragmentsfromfloyd. I enjoy your writing Chris. I guess it helps that politics are similar, but mostly it is the way you use words. I read your whole entry yesterday and it stuck with me for hours for some reason. It made me think. Thanks.

Posted by: Sean at September 21, 2005 08:39 AM
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If I comment, I no longer lurk... what do do? -- Larry, Pittsburgh, PA

Posted by: Larry at September 21, 2005 09:21 AM
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I'm a new lurker via a link in an entry in Michael Berube's blog... and then I realized that I already "knew" you from the comments that you leave on BitchPhD (that I read faithfully and comment on occasionally) so I have you bookmarked now and plan on lurking regularly... oh, and I'm from Brockville Ontario

Posted by: Zanna at September 21, 2005 09:44 AM
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Lurker from Reno Nevada here. The first post of yours that I read was via a link from Digby. It was the one about your Mom's companion who turned out to be a murderer. I enjoy your writing a lot. I share your love of animals and have also explored Joshua Tree and the surrounding area for 20 years when I lived in LA. Also enjoyed your Grand Canyon trip posts as I've done the same route, and a couple others. I plan on checking out the spot where you were recently up at Pyramid Lake.

Posted by: Kevin at September 21, 2005 10:02 AM
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I just discovered your blog yesterday and liked what I read - your writing style appeals to me. I don't have time to read many blogs, but I occasionally want a break from my work and yours seemed like it would feed my curiousity and desire for good reading. Like some other commenters, I wonder why I get lots of hits and so few comments on my own blog -- could have something to do with my lack of writing skills. Mine is mostly a photoblog, and for family, but even my family members never comment. Hmmm, go figure.

Anyway, I like your subject matter, your writing style and your politics. And I haven't commented until today because this is only the 2nd time I've looked at your blog. Maybe I'll comment in the future. In the meantime, good luck getting more lurkers out from behind the curtains. THIS post certainly elicited a bunch of comments.
Maureen

Posted by: Maureen at September 21, 2005 10:05 AM
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Nederland, Colorado checking in. Found you via a common interest in the Mojave Desert. I think I first found you when you posted a picture of Silver Lake pretending it was a true lake again.

I've spent many weeks at the north end of Silver Lake, near the remnant beaches and break-out channel, doing some research that was ancillary to my own. Anyone who has as great a love of Joshua tree's and the Mojave is a friend of mine.

Posted by: Kristopher at September 21, 2005 11:51 AM
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Western Canada, been lurking for awhile, and maybe commenting once or twice. Like everyone else, I came by a link and was captured by the writing, which I can admire but only wish I could emulate.

Here's an example. A few weeks ago, I thought of you and this blog when driving by Pinole on my way to my sister's wedding in the Berkeley hills. And then I thought of my sister when I read your piece on Victor Jara a few days later: sister, new husband, and new baby will be moving to Chile come February. It all seems so meaningful and important, full of deep themes, parallels and synchronicity, but I have no idea how to put words together to make it read that way! Oh well...

Posted by: TFox at September 21, 2005 12:16 PM
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I'm sure I've commented here before, but mostly I lurk. I lose track of what I say to whom and where. You made a nice comment on my blog once, so I had to check you out and now I keep coming back. I can quit any time, though.

PS: I would so totally make out with you.

Posted by: alphabitch at September 21, 2005 01:11 PM
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oh, and I forgot to add that I'm in Forsyth Co., NC, just down the road a piece from ae (with whom I would also make out any time), and I really like the pictures of Zeke, and your writing. I especially like it when you write about Zeke. What's wrong with your kitchen?

Posted by: alphabitch at September 21, 2005 01:14 PM
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I think I found you through Twisty, but it could have been Bitch, Ph.D. Hello from Indianapolis! I'm a conservation biogeographer by avocation (trying to find a way to make a living at it!), but my day job is environmental scientist for the state of IN.

Love your lyrical writing, and your affinity for the outdoors. Like stories about pets as well. (My husband is not an animal person.) Your feminism reassures me that men *can* be feminists. (Hubby insists he's an egalitarian.)

The politics make me feel less alone. It's hard to be a Green-leaning Pagan in a red state filled with fundamentalists.

Posted by: Mychelline at September 21, 2005 02:29 PM
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I too found your blog from your oft-linked post in March, and subscribed to your RSS feed because I liked your writing and politics. (and Zeke. Love Zeke) I live in St. Paul, MN.

Posted by: melissa at September 21, 2005 02:33 PM
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I don't think I count as a lurker (do I? How do we define that, anyway?), but I do live in an itty-bitty town, so when Morris, MN shows up in the logs, it's probably me.

Two things:

1. Not enough Zeke.

2. I also put up a Lurker Day post on my site, and not one person has suggested that they would make out with me. I'm jealous.

Posted by: PZ Myers at September 21, 2005 03:11 PM
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I found you via your comments at Michael Bérubé's blog. Those comments, and the ones at RoxPopuli, are always witty, so I make a point of reading here as well.

I lurk, though, because I don't have much to add in most cases. I live in a city (Chicago--I'm not actually sure we have anything even vaguely natural) and am a cat person.

Posted by: Lee at September 21, 2005 03:16 PM
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Greetings from downtown LA, I discovered your blog by a link from Pharyngula months ago. Your writing style, politics, and enviromental concerns are what I find most appealing. Thanks so much for the fine work. BB

Posted by: Bruce Breece at September 21, 2005 03:25 PM
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PZ, I would totally make out with your squid.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 21, 2005 03:32 PM
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Donna from the San Diego area. I can't remember how I got here, because I read so many blogs. But, I don't have a full-time job. ;^) Makes it easy to do what I like and comment when I want on whatever blog I am reading.

I love squid, too. At one time, I thought of starting a company with squid products, since I rarely find any. One of my favorite acquisitions is a set of German seafood plates with squid on them from the Home Goods Store. I assume they were originally sold in a set because they had some with crabs and lobsters, but all the sets had been broken out into individual plates so I got all the squid ones. We use them almost every day.

I like your writing a lot, your politics too. Living in the midst of a conservative suburb, the net is my reassurance that not everyone in the United States has gone crazy.

Posted by: donna at September 21, 2005 03:57 PM
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Got here via your comments on PZ's site - the first post I read was in Feb, about Coprinus mushrooms in you compost pile. Stayed here because your writing is great, your leftist politics are more mature than my own, and living in Bank of America, NC, that's quite a relief. That, and being a non-traditional enviro-sci student, it's nice to be reminded - vividly - why I decided to pursue this path.

And yeah, more Zeke, and more desert (that is, when you finish the menage a'trois with PZ and the squid).

Posted by: Jamie at September 21, 2005 04:10 PM
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I forget why I first clicked on a link to your site but your writing is observant and moving.

Broomfield CO. Formerly Boulder. Formerly New York City. At this rate of declining population density I will end up in a cabin in the woods ala the Unabomber in another 3 years.

Posted by: Brenna at September 21, 2005 05:21 PM
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Hello from San Bernardino County. No fancy links for me, I found my way here not too long ago as the result of a conversation with a friend at a bar. I keep coming back for two reasons: I enjoy your storytelling, and I’m procrastinating on my own writing project. But mostly because of the storytelling. I think. I love the images and connections that are conjured up every time, and it doesn’t hurt that I’m an East Bay native hankering for home.

Just yesterday, my mind was prompted to wander when you mentioned Jasper on top of the refrigerator. It reminded me of a co-worker from long ago who had a similar cat, aptly named Sid Vicious. She was a storyteller herself and, at the time we worked together, she was pregnant with her first child. During that summer, we spent a good part of our time thinking up names for the baby, who, due to his paternity, would have the last name “Seaman.” You can take it from there.

Back to lurking.

Posted by: jg at September 21, 2005 05:31 PM
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I'm pretty sure it was the serial killer story that first found me your site. I don't always read everything, but I enjoy your writing and read everything that seems specifically of interest to me. That's actualy quite a bit of your content.

Vancouver, WA

Posted by: jer at September 21, 2005 05:34 PM
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I just have to weigh in with the strong contingent of people who are repping Central North Carolina. I am not a lurker, really.

Posted by: Allison at September 21, 2005 06:15 PM
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Davey from Kochi, Japan. Starting reading on a daily basis back with the post about your mom's boyfriend and the ladder. Still gives me chills.

Actually, the more of your stuff I read, the more I want to read. I guess I, uhm...probably ought to... you know, drop some change in the guitar case. Probably we all ought to.

Posted by: davey at September 21, 2005 06:25 PM
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Yes,yes I suppose I lurk.I dont mean to but I do, I guess its just a side effect of my medication.Anyway I read these "blogs" so that I dont miss it when the end of the world comes.Has anyone heard anything about "the abomination that causes desolation" I didnt miss it did I ?

Posted by: Michael at September 21, 2005 08:19 PM
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(that is, when you finish the menage a'trois with PZ and the squid).

Well, now it's time for me to bleach my brain. Thanks, Jamie. That's just beautiful.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 21, 2005 08:36 PM
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You're good people, Chris Clarke. Long live BOPNews!

Posted by: Tim at September 21, 2005 09:27 PM
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I've commented a couple of times, but I mostly lurk. I found the link courtesy of PZ, and stayed because the writing is excellent. Also, I've just recently fallen in love with the desert, it's a joy to find another desert person. Alas, I live in the concrete/asphalt sprawl that is Silicon Valley.

Posted by: Karen at September 21, 2005 09:55 PM
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Just here to listen to what you are saying . The fact that I have been here before says that I like and agree with what you have to say .
Keep up the good fight .
w3ski
( a partially reconstructed 60's person )

Posted by: Henry at September 21, 2005 10:19 PM
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I'm not a lurker, but there is some question as to whether I'm an actual person or a character that Chris Clarke dreamed up to increase his readership.

Posted by: tost at September 21, 2005 10:51 PM
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tost, if I was gonna do that, I think everyone here knows I'd invent Molly instead.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 21, 2005 11:02 PM
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Just found your site, via memeorandum. At work so don't have time to explore a lot right now. But a fan of deserts, dogs, gardening, liberal politics and an upstate NY/California connection is definitely someone I think I can relate to. In the words of the governator, I'll be back.

Posted by: Joe Scordato at September 22, 2005 04:47 AM
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Just a note: though I of course would never surf from work, I've heard that some people do, and if you work for a place with a big internal network, place tracking doesn't begin until you leave the internal network and hit the internet proper. So, for instance, this hit will be coming from Portland, Oregon, but if I were to read you from work, you'd get a hit from Denver, Colorando. (I'm sure you've never gotten any hits from there, right?)

Posted by: dale at September 22, 2005 06:26 AM
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Way to drum up business, Chris! Because originality is not a disease I suffer from, I'll be stealing this idea toute suite.

Posted by: Twisty at September 22, 2005 07:05 AM
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I'm a half-on, half-off lurker, but I just wanted to add Tampa Florida to the list!

Posted by: Carrie at September 22, 2005 07:49 AM
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here I am, a day late and a regular lurker. I read for news about Jake, of course, but also for your thoughts about Place, the desert, ecology, and your general life stories.

My high school biology teacher was a desert rat, and for our individual projects, we had the option of either doing any of the usual things, like growing 100 tomato plants, or doing the desert. The mid-term would be a paper on desert flora and fauna and survival in the desert; the final would be a three day solo practicum in the Anzo-Borrego desert. Damn straight, that was my choice, and I loved it. Had the time of my life.

So yeah, I get the whole Joshua Tree thing.

I also have to thank you for turning me on to Ellen Meloy. I'm reading _Turquoise_ right now and enjoying it thoroughly.

Enough about me...thanks for writing.

Posted by: lyn at September 22, 2005 09:14 AM
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Zeke...I meant Zeke. (gah!)

Posted by: lyn at September 22, 2005 09:16 AM
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http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/2005/08/a_new_method_of.html

Posted by: hierophant at September 22, 2005 10:01 AM
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Greetings from a lurker in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Chris. Best regards,

Posted by: Idelber at September 22, 2005 11:26 AM
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You're a recent discovery for me -- found you via Beth from Cassandra Pages -- and I am now intent on making up for lost time.

Definitely guilty of lurking. Very glad you called us out of hiding!

Ça, c'est moi:
http://www.g_pi_exile.blogspot.com/

Posted by: kirsten at September 22, 2005 12:22 PM
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I'm not so sure about that, Chris. Molly, if she actually exists, would no doubt find you as wonderful as everyone else who's commented on this thread. But where's the tension in that, or the dynamic exchange of ideas, or - shades of that Turner network - The Drama? No, I think that you'd invent someone like me. After all, every Captain America needs a flawed sidekick to make him look good by comparison.

Just one favor to ask. Please don't change my name to Dubya. My fictional ego couldn't handle that.

Posted by: tost at September 22, 2005 12:38 PM
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Your blog isn't on my daily reading list, but I stumble across it so often that I really ought to add it. I always love your writing and your perspective on things. And for the record, I'm from Iowa, but I'm currently studying at a university in Scotland.

Posted by: Jeff at September 22, 2005 01:40 PM
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Lurking here in the mountains of central PA, I am a regular reader who found you via the blog of another great place blogger, Dave at Via Negitiva.

I would post comments a lot more often if your writing talent didn't make me feel (with some justification) that I was a just a blubbering idiot. Not that you are doing anything to induce that in me. Just the imposter syndrome striking again.....

Posted by: handdrummer at September 22, 2005 03:20 PM
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delurking - another desert loving, cat person. Found you when someone, can't remember who now, linked to your serial killer post. read regularly, don't think I've commented.

Posted by: Leslie at September 22, 2005 04:15 PM
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Wow, Chris, Central NC loves you! If you came for a visit, SneakySnu, alphabitch, Allison, Jamie, and I could show you a good time. And then, after we made out, we could show you the sights. Ba-dum-bum! Thank you! I'll be here all week! (waving to handdrummer)

Posted by: ae at September 22, 2005 08:39 PM
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I should just quietly mention here that I'm Allison's uncle.

But we know you meant well, ae, even if you have made her run for the bathroom with her hand over her mouth.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 22, 2005 08:48 PM
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What? Weren't we talking about picking flowers and making daisy chains?

Posted by: Allison at September 23, 2005 07:46 AM
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Somebody tell that kid about "daisy chains," quick.

And while you're at it, tell Chris what "squid" is an occasional zoophemism for. Not all that obscure; turned up in Jon Carroll a few years back.

And you could spin twenty bad puns out of that last graf, if you had a cup of coffee this morning.

Posted by: Ron at September 23, 2005 08:24 AM
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I have nothing to add.

I just like saying "zoophemism."

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 23, 2005 08:33 AM
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Ron, tell me what "squid" is a zoophemism for? Please?? I like to think I'm up on these things, and I haven't a clue.

Posted by: Stephanie at September 23, 2005 09:13 AM
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I'm guessing you already figured out that those
*<------Perth hits are me. Hi, anyway. I'm here mostly for your writing, but if pressed to choose topics, I'd say the politics and nature posts are my stand-out favourites.

Posted by: Lara at September 23, 2005 09:54 AM
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Wow, Chris, Central NC loves you!

So we're not all batshit crazy over-down here, welding steel bars down the center of the downtown benches so homeless human beings can't sleep on them and ruin the atmosphere of our $10 martini patio bars?!?! Whew!

Though now I wonder, after reading Ron's post about shrimp and grits, why the last and best offering of that I had was way the heck up in Oregon . . . . And 'zoophemism' is surely the most bestest word since 'eleventeen' . . .

Posted by: Jamie at September 23, 2005 07:31 PM
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Jamie, something tells me you're from Chapel Hill. :)

Posted by: Allison at September 23, 2005 08:00 PM
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If only I were . . . but alas, I'm a bit further west, in a suburb of Charlotte, post-war redneck boom-town with the eminent phallus of crap-tastic Bank of America looming over my shoulder. I hope CH is not of the same essence - 'round here they call that place a "boiling cauldron of political activism." (Humor me - I'm a short jaunt from the birthplace of ex-Senator Jesse Helms). . . But then there are two great universities over there. Er, three if we include the private one . . . ;)

Posted by: Jamie at September 23, 2005 09:21 PM
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Hey guys, when the Central North Carolina chapter of the Creek Running North fan club meets, take photos. I'll post them here.

Posted by: Chris Clarke at September 24, 2005 07:37 PM
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Another lurker heard from. I have been reading and enjoying this blog for many moons now. Keep up the lyrical writing.

Posted by: bridget fogarty at September 24, 2005 07:57 PM
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Hey, Chris. You always leave such great comments at Majikthise. I resolve to comment more at Creek Running North. Thanks for the lurker amnesty.

Posted by: Lindsay Beyerstein at September 27, 2005 10:44 PM
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Just stopped in from Port Lavaca Tx to say hello.

Posted by: jerry at September 28, 2005 07:42 PM
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