Creek Running North September 2004 Archives

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September 29, 2004

Gone fishin'

I'm off first thing tomorrow. If I absolutely lose my freaking mind, or if it rains non-stop while I'm in Arizona, I may poke my head in from an internet café... Naaaah. A big thank you to Paul, who will...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:57 PM

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Written a couple years back for the Contra Costa Times - C My ferns seem to have made it through the winter outside. There are three of them. The two birds' nest ferns are sending up new flat fronds through...

Continue reading "Scale"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:16 AM

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September 27, 2004

Nine miles, 1900 miles

Sunday, in Briones Park yet again, I walked nine miles or so up and down steep hills. Every so often, I sat in the middle of the trail and drank a pint of water in a few seconds. The bay...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:00 PM

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September 24, 2004

The creek mouth

I got a phone call, someone asking about an ad in a back issue of the Earth Island Journal. I found the ad, gave her the info, and she asked me if I knew offhand of any similar businesses....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:34 PM

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September 23, 2004


The results of a quiz I found via Rana reminded me that I've been meaning to post this story, written about ten years ago....

Continue reading "Puma"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:43 PM

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Fatherland and Son

Scene: Bangor International Airport, brightly lit and sparsely furnished back room. Seated, in shackles, is retired pop star Yusuf Islam. Enter John Ashcroft, singing. Ashcroft: It's not time to catch a plane, Just sit down, take it easy. You've been...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:59 AM

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September 22, 2004

Coyote bites

This morning I sat commuting on the subway, innocently minding my own commuting business, listening to loud commuting music on my headphones. Twenty minutes into my ride, a man who had just sat down next to me tapped my arm....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:58 PM

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Too good to leave in the comments

Anne reminds me in her comment to the post immediately preceding this one of one of my favorite lines from Fine Littacher, this one from Ed Abbey: Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am — a reluctant enthusiast,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:51 AM

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The tiny things and the large, the precious things

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:10 AM

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September 20, 2004

Attack of the zygotes

There are posts that you pretty much have to begin with a disclaimer, otherwise people will tune you right on out. I know for a fact that many of the people reading this won't do so, but in this particular...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:49 PM

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September 19, 2004


We got our first storm of the oncoming winter this morning. The air is clear, and thunderheads and cumulus clouds chased each other across the sky all day. I got an invitation to a party in a couple weeks. I...

Continue reading "Rain"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:18 PM

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September 18, 2004

Briones, again

There is a ridge of air; The kestrel sits on it Eight feet above the ground For an achingly long time. Not even one feather moves. Swathed in yellow lupine and Nasty star thistle, the hill Is swept by wind....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:59 PM

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September 17, 2004

The quilter

The instructions were clear. Sixteen identically shaped teapots were to nestle in sixteen quilt blocks, an inch or so of fabric between them. Orderly, refined, civilized. She took the plans, thanked the teacher, left the class, went home. Out came...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:58 PM

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Outside the Hyatt

He was there again yesterday. I hadn’t seen him for a while. In January, his gentle response to my ignoring him shamed me. I’d made it a point to stop and talk to him since, hand him a dollar or...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:41 PM

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Today's word

is priorities. (Thanks to Steven Cherry for the link.)...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:30 AM

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September 15, 2004

Burning Man

I didn't go to Burning Man this year. This wasn't a reaction to what some call the increasing commercialization of the annual event out on the Black Rock playa. I didn't go last year, or the year before that either....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:04 PM

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Before you go any further

Go to Doc Rock's place and read this. Right now. I mean it. I'll wait....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:00 PM

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Near Tomales Point

These hills bear predators fluid and tawn with shapes defined by our desires. Their prey is mean. It stamps holes in the soft earth, snorts. Round up the children! The herd enfolds and folds again upon itself, safe in a...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:38 AM

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September 14, 2004

Dynamic balance

I had a freelance writing job once, working with the State of California’s education department on an environmental education curriculum. The project was ambitious: a California Guide to Environmental Literacy (CGEL), which would allow teachers from pre-school to high school...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:05 PM

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September 13, 2004


Rana nails it: I am bitterly envious of those independents - and now "ordinary Republicans" if this weekend's This American Life is anything to go by - who are being courted and analyzed and marketed to. Where are the candidates...

Continue reading "Pointer"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:45 PM

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A note from out there

I returned to that section of trail in Briones yesterday, bringing Becky and Matthew along for company. I don't know which was a deeper blue: the cloudless sky, or the tail of that Skilton's skink we saw diving beneath the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:48 PM

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September 12, 2004

Today's 9/11 image here. Via my pal Simon....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:06 AM

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September 11, 2004

Berkeley Summit Meeting report

And Coyote said "he has written a screed against people, and so it would be funny to have him run into people he likes very much, so that he will feel conflicted." And it happened, but he was not conflicted,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:22 PM

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September 10, 2004

Profit and loss

Nights lately have been marked by waiting. It has been weeks since that familiar, comforting clicking has cascaded past our open bedroom window. I scan the sky for the telltale outline, the soft white wingbeat. The nesting palm across the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:51 PM

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September 08, 2004

Beneath the pavingstones, the garlic eggplant

One of my two particularly brilliant insights yesterday - the other being the invention of ".nut", a proposed Top Level Domain reserved for crackpot websites - came to me after eating a reaonably good plate of Kung Pao chicken for...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:13 PM

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September 07, 2004


The kitten was abroad in the living room, and so was the rabbit. The rabbit was curious. It came nose to nose with the kitten. Something not dissimilar to a look of sudden recognition crossed Thistle's face, and he dove...

Continue reading "Thump"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:27 PM

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September 06, 2004

Ground Squirrels

Ann Zwinger once said that nature writers always carry thermometers. Then again, Ann Zwinger also maintains that nature writers eschew the first person singular pronoun. As much as I love her writing, I suspect none of it is meant to...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:34 PM

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J. Edgar Idiot

Almost a quarter century ago, I wrote letters to the Selective Service System and the Justice Department to inform them that I'd never ever ever register for the draft. I took pains to describe the moral underpinnings of my stance,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:37 PM

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Another wild, nasty, hostile feral cat

We've caught another one. And as you can see, it's really mean. Our local feral cat person is maxed out on fostered kittens, mostly due to Becky's work a month ago. So we're open to offers of new homes....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:38 AM

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September 05, 2004

Haikus (Caffee Durant, Berkeley, 1983-4)

Pale sanyassin sullks "These are yesterday's croissants! I don't DO day-old!" Sad espresso jerk singes fingers on the old Gaggia milk steamer. abandoned homefries wary Brewer's blackbird eyes the busboy's flung rag "Ay, pajarraco! Pinche pájaro cabrón!" Bird eats anyway....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:36 AM

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September 04, 2004


Continue reading "Morning"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:08 AM

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September 03, 2004

Fingers crossed

Regular Creek visitor Chris Rieder is blogging from the teeth of Hurricane Frances. I hope he doesn't take this the wrong way, but I do kinda hope his blog is really boring for the next few days, and that Frances'...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:13 PM

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September 02, 2004

A few words for my fellow Bay Area Rapid Transit riders

Hello, other BART passengers. I'm that guy that tries to mind his own business, sitting at the end of the car listening to his iPod. You know, the guy that travels between the East Bay and San Francisco every weekday,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:31 PM

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Where my mind is today Boundary Cone. I drove past this scene in October, wishing the air wasn't full of smoke so that I could hike up that sharp slope....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:22 AM

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September 01, 2004

And yes, there is something you can send back to me: Spanish boots of Spanish leather

The training films don't prepare you for the smell of childbirth. It's, well, earthy. It smells of blood, for sure, and a thin sour smell that you cannot quite identify - amniotic fluid? Babies have that baby smell almost from...

Continue reading "And yes, there is something you can send back to me: Spanish boots of Spanish leather"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:37 PM

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