Creek Running North November 2004 Archives

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November 30, 2004

Just this

I hit the "scan" button on the truck radio. It rests on "The Lark Ascending," Ralph Vaughan Williams. I take my hand away. Over the north end of Oursan Ridge I go and the south end of Sobrante. The road...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:42 PM

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The summit ridge of Mount Diablo bears a couple of radio transmitters, relics of the days when the best and highest use of an isolated mountaintop was to use it as an antenna. On Friday, as I left the summit...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:06 PM

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November 29, 2004

Broadway and Sansome

They have been digging up the sidewalk outside the office for some weeks now, installing a new water main. I looked into the hole when first they dug it: layers of folded chert, pushed up off the deep sea floor,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:03 PM

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November 28, 2004

Did you mean: "The Aegina monologues"

They do wonderful work, and of course they did have the name first. But I can't help wondering how many people find this site by accident, and I'm not sure I want to know what they were looking for....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:05 PM

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It's hard to start a proper cut when the tree has sent up this many stems so close to one another. I angle the hand saw, starting a line of cut that angles too high from the perpendicular. No matter,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:47 PM

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November 27, 2004


The women's hands - long, slender fingers - curl around pint glasses of coffee and tea. Siona plays at concern. "They have no wild animals," tuts Farland. "no crime: the prisoners leave jail to go home for the weekend. The...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:50 PM

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November 26, 2004

Diablo again

Thirteen and a half miles up and back down Diablo today, and 4143 feet total climb. About six hours, including an hour or so of loafing. What was dry soil a month ago is carpeted with verdant green: rye and...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:22 PM

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November 25, 2004

More values

Joe Conason in Salon (annoying ad to watch before reading full content): Although he neglected to discuss any such proposal during the presidential campaign, when he emphasized his commitment to expand health coverage, Bush reportedly plans to eliminate corporate deductions...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:52 AM

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January 15-23, 2005

I'll be hiking and watching and writing. Drop-in visitors welcome. Directions available on request. Depending on who you are, I might even be willing to run into Vegas to pick you up at the airport....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:41 AM

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November 24, 2004

A notice to Chris Clarke's readers

From the Creek Running North support staff: We are currently experiencing technical difficulties after an incident today in which Mr. Clarke's head exploded. We expect to have the blog up and running again once we have been able to clean...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:57 PM

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November 23, 2004

The Litany

Beth posted a list a few days ago of things for which she was grateful. And as much as I like to complain about life (see previous 85 posts for examples), I have to admit that list has been rolling...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:24 PM

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November 22, 2004

Time constraints

I am agonizing through writing a feature on the Bush administration for Earth Island Journal. I would rather be doing almost anything but. It's an unpleasant topic populated by unpleasant people. and my deadline is yesterday. So I procrastinate by...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:46 PM

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November 21, 2004

A lot of galls

Hiking today on Mount Wanda, Becky and I found the tree pictured at left, one of a grove of several dozen black oaks infested with cynipid wasp galls. The word "infested" is slight hyperbole. While the galls do injure...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:22 PM

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J. (6)

[This is the sixth and last in a series of posts which are probably best read in order, though some effort has been made to make each installment capable of standing on its own. The series starts with J. (1),...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:20 AM

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November 20, 2004

Castle Rock

Photo: Matthew Martin MelchizedekCarlstroem above Saratoga Gap. An utterly gorgeous day for a hike. We covered just over ten miles out and back from Skyline to the headwaters of the San Lorenzo. The trail skirted the edge of a very...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:20 PM

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Speaking of winter constellations

I've got a little book review in the current Orion. Kinda nice to be on the same page as my pal Michelle this time literally. Hal asks me nicely every now and then to pitch them some actual writing....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:50 AM

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November 19, 2004

Demonic fluffy bunny

Thistle has gotten ornery, yet oddly cooperative at the same time. He used to run right inside after three or four circuits of the yard when we'd chase him in, now he resists. He made Becky chase him around...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:43 PM

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Liberals are arrogant elitists

Oh yes, you are....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:12 PM

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Works in progress

So while I take a couple days to figure out what to omit from the final installment of the J. story, most of which I plan to do while hiking tomorrow in Castle Rock State Park, here is a piece...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:12 AM

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Searching through my email for something, I found a link to an older piece by Rana that I'd forgotten to link to here back when she first let me know about it. Actually, I'm glad I accidentally saved it for...

Continue reading "Acorns"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:20 AM

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November 18, 2004

Running north

I ran last night, the moon a fat yellow crescent on the horizon. Owl and kingfisher followed me into the darkness. Acacia and eucalyptus shaded my path: I ran deliberately into undifferentiated black. The earth rose up to meet each...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:29 PM

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J. (5)

[This is the fifth in a series of posts which are probably best read in order, though some effort has been made to make each installment capable of standing on its own. The series starts here, continues here and then...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:46 PM

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Well, crap.

I must be out of the loop, somehow, having missed the news that Ellen Meloy, one of my favorite writers, died in her sleep a week ago. From the obit linked above, written by Verlyn Klinkenborg: "A great deal of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:12 AM

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November 17, 2004

J. (4)

Grief is a siren. She bades you forsake all others, divest yourself of interests and passions. She promises bitter, familiar comfort, and all you need do is give your life wholly over to her. And when you do, she is...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:09 PM

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November 16, 2004

J. (3)

[The titles of these posts have been changed for clarity. - CC ] Whom Coyote loves, he first makes mad. His best gift to the writer is a difficult early life. Wait until the person hits the patch of black...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:25 PM

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November 15, 2004

J. (2)

[The titles of these posts have been changed for clarity. - CC ] In 1984, before Elissa and I moved to DC, I spent much of what free time I had hauling myself up into the Oakland Hills. Elissa's little...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:09 PM

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Pleased and honored

David Neiwert at Orcinus has another in an on-the-nose series of posts on the blue-red dialectic. I'm pleased that he found a recent post on Creek Running North a useful source of rhetorical ammunition....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:03 PM

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November 14, 2004

Point Reyes

13 miles yesterday, up through Douglas fir forests to Mount Wittenberg (1429 feet, hardly a mountain) and down and down to the ocean. Along the trail to Sky Campground, the whole of the Point burst into view, Drake's Estero shimmering...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:24 AM

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November 13, 2004

Now showing at The Middlewesterner

Tom Montag has put my piece Paleontology up as this week's "Saturday's Poem." Go take a look....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:45 AM

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November 12, 2004

J. (1)

[The titles of these posts have been changed for clarity. - CC ] Elissa and I had been living together for a year and change. It wasn't going well. Not a good fit. She felt, I think, that she had...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:27 PM

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Last week Eric Utne stopped by to chat for a couple hours, and left me a copy of his new book Cosmo Doogood's Urban Almanac, a delightful little annual self-consciously patterned on the Old Farmer's Almanac. It's intended for urban...

Continue reading "Books"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:53 AM

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November 11, 2004

A long time ago

The church was crowded when I walked in: seemed like there were more Allen Ginsberg fans in Buffalo than I expected. All the chairs were full, and about a hundred people sat on the floor. I scanned the room looking...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:50 PM

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John Mohawk

Just when I had finally decided I didn't need to visit Buffalo for a while, I find out that John Mohawk, the former editor of Akwesasne Notes, is not only growing heirloom Iroquois White corn on his farm in my...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:49 AM

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November 08, 2004


Yesterday I spent a couple hours promoting Earth Island Journal at the Green Festival, which was not in a particularly transit-friendly location. So I drove there and back. The onramp to I-80 and the Bay Bridge at Fifth and Bryant...

Continue reading "Values"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:08 PM

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Correlation is not causality, part 672

Paul Freedman has an interesting debunking of the "gay marriage bans propelled Bush's win" trope. Via Nick Confessore at TAPPED....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:42 AM

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Fun with software

New toy: the National Geographic California topographic map set for Mac OSX. The accompanying image is, roughly, the route Becky and I hiked on Saturday afternoon. One can also create a hike profile, like this one for Saturday's hike,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:39 AM

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November 07, 2004

Who'll inherit the earth again?

PZ Myers - who I need to add to the blogroll - offers this video of a crow dismantling the barrier between us vaunted Homo sapiens and all those other, lesser animals. Yeehaw! PZ's description: The crow has the job...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:41 AM

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November 06, 2004

Fluffy Bunny!

This afternoon we climbed Eagle Peak, a ridge running north from the summit of Mount Diablo. I followed Becky up and up through head-high chamise and manzanita, past fragrant sage and crumbling rocks covered in lichen, up and up...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:17 PM

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November 05, 2004

The fluffy bunny stuff will resume soon, I promise

I'm getting really goddamned tired of people making assumptions about me based on what they think they see. For one thing, people on the left, or in the environmental movement, or in the nascent "liberal revolution," see that I have...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:26 PM

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Lions 1, Christians 0

MSNBC - Man tries to convert lions to Jesus, gets bitten - via Caitlin....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:39 AM

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November 04, 2004

Bush policy explained

OK, sure, he's a registered Lootertarian. But any moderately qualified accountant would tell him that he'll extract more money, even over the medium term, if he doesn't eat the seed corn. That timber company of his, for instance, would be...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:22 PM

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David Neiwert on the calls for civility among opponents of Bush: But I'll tell you what, all you conservatives who want us to bow and scrape at the altar of your newfound civility. I'll maybe start thinking you're sincere about...

Continue reading "Civility"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:02 PM

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November 03, 2004

Mandates now illegal in 11 states

Rana, in comments over at PZ Myers' blog, responds to someone asking for the left to lose graciously: Bob, this isn't about being a good sport after a lovely game of tennis. This is about seeing people like yourself standing...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:58 PM

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Out in the rain

Home with a cold today, I went out in the rain to shoo the rabbit back into the house. He was in the garden beds. The leaves were covered with glistening little droplets, reflecting gray sky. In among the overgrown...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:07 PM

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First response

It's going to be a long four years. I don't know which saddens me more: the fact that half the country is appparently fine with voting for a duplicitous, cult-religion proto-fascist, or listening to a bunch of twenty-something bloggers talk...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:39 AM

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November 01, 2004

After the election's over

Regardless of how things turn out tomorrow, James Wolcott has exactly the right strategy....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:56 PM

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Mount Diablo

In 1983, Bob Baird and I set out to climb Mount Diablo. We had neither car nor ability to borrow one. So we hopped on BART at six in the morning, disembarked at Walnut Creek station, and headed for the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:42 PM

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