Creek Running North October 2005 Archives

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October 31, 2005

Tom Tomorrow speaks for me

Via the perspicacious Patrick Nielsen Hayden, the intellectual father of everyone's favorite left-wing penguin lays it on the line: "I'm really sick of hearing the liberal-hawks-turned-peaceniks claim that they supported the war only because of Colin Powell's breathtaking performance before...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:36 PM

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Black and white

I once saw a young woman, mowing grass on the wide Albert Mortuary lawn. Lithe she was, and supple, clad in black knit top: an Oakland summer's morning fog still played among the tops of redwood trees and I-580's slabs....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:45 PM

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October 30, 2005

Zeke, a mouse

Our attached garage is off the kitchen, through a firedoor and down a couple of steps. One of the tasks still remaining in the kitchen remodel is replacing the firedoor. The kitchen is open to the garage, a hole of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:35 PM

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Comment tally view

The best thing about this blog is the quality - and frequency - of the commenters that visit. A year ago or so I tallied the number of comments received here, and - because to my knowledge, Movable Type has...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:27 PM

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October 29, 2005

Note to self:

stop reading blogs with large numbers of right-wing trolls. You have enough useless stuff to get upset about....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:15 PM

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Without words

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:06 PM

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October 28, 2005

Lowering shields, Captain.

I don't hate all celebrity news. ABC News: 'Star Trek' Actor George Takei Comes Out...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:42 PM

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National Parks Traveler

I've been meaning for a few weeks now to send you all off to read Kurt Repanshek's blog National Parks Traveler. It's quite possibly the single best online source of news on US national parks. Kurt's an avowed enviro...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:11 AM

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October 27, 2005

La desaparecida

Her fingers were long and slender, as was she. She bit her lower lip, pulled jammed tape out of the price gun, the counter full of Christmas ornaments before her. That is how I remember her most clearly. I had...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:10 AM

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Good grief, people.

In response to the ramping-up email queries: no, I am not this guy....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:59 AM

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October 25, 2005

Sex and drugs

I'm always on the lookout for butterflies when I'm in the desert. For one thing, they're cool. For another, there's always the chance that a large butterfly flitting in my peripheral vision will turn out to be a yucca...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:42 PM

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There are two reasons I'm succumbing to this meme. One is that I was memogrified by Amanda Marie Marcotte, and I've learned it's best to do as she asks. The other is that it's an excuse to post a link...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:40 PM

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October 24, 2005

Night, conveyances that pass in, marine

One half of the nice young couple I camped next to on Saturday night in the Providence Mountains has blogged the weekend from her perspective....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:56 PM

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Catching the rabbit

I seek the desert for the metaphor, deserted roads so arrow-straight for so many miles that they become The Road rather than merely the road. The Horizon beckons, The Destination often hard to fathom. Earth is bare and elemental,...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:53 AM

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October 23, 2005


Friends, I have news to report, news that provides a neat objective definition of the concept of ambivalence. The news is this: there is now a Starbucks in downtown Barstow. Oddly enough, this fact boosts both Starbucks and Barstow in...

Continue reading "10/22"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:29 PM

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October 21, 2005


The soil in the San Joaquin Valley is thousands of feet deep. Dig a hole there and you will likely find a hard layer of caliche a few feet down, separating the rich topsoil from the subsoil below. Beneath...

Continue reading "Jornada"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:12 PM

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October 20, 2005


I'll see you all on Wednesday. OK, so I'll probably post something from the road. That happens more and more these days. And maybe Stephanie will have something to say. Wouldn't that be nice?...

Continue reading "Off"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:39 AM

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October 19, 2005

I needed to read this today

tiny snip from a longer email: > I'm really grateful for you for taking me on as an intern around this > time last year...without your help, I may have never gotten started on > what I hope to be...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:14 PM

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Some lovely photos

I get calls now and then from people who want to sell me photo rights. Which I hardly ever buy, because EIJ hardly ever has the cash. I might have to find some excuse to scrape them up for this...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:55 PM

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October 18, 2005

On the walk

There is a dead cat on my neighbor's lawn. It is a young one, mottled gray and white tortoiseshell, probably killed by a car. It looks about nine months old. It lies on its side in the grass, not noticeably...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:59 PM

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My readers are disloyal and of little value

... or so bleats Jakob Nielsen, who is a prime example if ever there was one of a person with an ossified world view. While categorizing the things bloggers do wrong - a couple of which he gets more or...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:42 AM

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October 17, 2005

Woo, as they say, hoo

All is not lost. There is still cause for rejoicing in the world. I have the boots I wanted, after some years of admittedly desultory searching. They fit exactly as the old ones did, if you allow for six...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:52 PM

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Date:10/17/2005 To: Canis Latrans From: Chris Clarke Re: resignation Dear Coyote; I quit. I'm sorry that this resignation is not couched in more formal language, but our relationship has never been all that formal. OK, I lied. I'm not sorry....

Continue reading "Memo"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:46 PM

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October 16, 2005

Tonight, coyotes sang above the amphitheater

Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises, sounds and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not. Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments will hum about mine ears, and sometime voices that, if I then had waked after long...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:36 AM

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October 14, 2005

Retarding the discourse

Exposing one's inner self on a blog can be an illuminating experience. It has been for me. I write with abandon of family conflicts, traumas, arguments and self-doubt, mistakes I have made in the past that hurt people, and I...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:28 PM

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New poll: at least one in four Americans can fuck off and die as far as I'm concerned

And yet that's an improvement, apparently....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:00 PM

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October 13, 2005

Actual household conversation last week

Scene: our front "bedroom," used as an office. Chris is surfing the web and playing music - Song for Adam, Jackson Browne - on the Mac. Becky, distracted, is grading her students' papers. Chris: You know, I once had a...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:29 PM

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Quote of the day

From Steve Almond's recent Salon article: "But there are also bloggers who, like Sarvas, are simply too lazy and insecure to risk making art, to release their deepest emotions onto a blank page with no promise of recognition. So they...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:41 PM

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October 12, 2005

Bush drops Miers, taps Sidore for Supreme Court

Special to Creek Running North: In the wake of sustained criticism from his ultraconservative base, US President George W. Bush today announced the withdrawal of his nomination of his personal attorney Harriet Miers for the position of Associate Justice of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:05 PM

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October 11, 2005

An old favorite

From the Letters to the Editor of the Dublin (Ireland) The Sunday Independent (as reprinted in The New Republic, Oct. 24, 1994): Sir — I was shocked by the language of Molly McAnailly Burke's piece on lesbian rockers, and your...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:33 PM

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October 10, 2005

My old dog

Photo: Becky and Zeke, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Minnesota, July 1996. Zeke went for the last of his weekly Adequan injections Saturday. Sunday he stayed in all day. I asked him if he wanted a walk: he looked at...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:01 PM

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Children are our future it or not. Link not safe for work. Because employers don't like it when people put feet through their monitors....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:29 PM

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Oh, those poor mistreated right-wingers

Apparently, we're supposed to respond with apologetic good manners to the lies they promulgate in their ongoing subjugation of our country. Gosh, did I accidentally get some faceprints on your boots there? Nasty of me....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:42 AM

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October 09, 2005

Nothro y nosotros

I spoke in this post of some exciting giant-ground-sloth-related news upcoming on Creek Running North, and, well, it's exciting to me, anyway. My pal Carl Dennis Buell - who comments here as "OGeorge" - very thoughtfully crafted a painting of...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:45 PM

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Caldo Tlalpeño

Twisty is going in for surgery tomorrow, and I made a stray comment at her place about cooking her some caldo Tlalpeño to speed her convalescence. And then I spent some time being a little sad that I couldn't actually...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:05 PM

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My dear Chosen Life Partner, who is otherwise utterly perfect in every way, has the rather embarrassing habit of reading the horoscope column in each day's newspaper. Which would be just fine - my faithful readers know full well that...

Continue reading "Zeke"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:10 PM

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October 08, 2005

Two weeks

I just put up a lot of desert photos, and a few from my garden. The desert photos are from the very smoky week during the southern California fires of a couple years ago....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:17 PM

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October 07, 2005

Two things that made my head explode today

1) This search string. 2) As I walked Zeke this morning, he barked at a cat that was sitting at the end of a fence. He was on a leash, and is old and decrepit besides, so the cat was...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:04 PM

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The Ward Churchill interview

Below the fold is an excerpt of a lengthy (3,000 words and change) interview I did with Native American Studies professor and author Ward Churchill. The interview took place in San Francisco, California in September, 1992, in advance of the...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:56 PM

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Public Service Announcement

This is your blog. This is your blog after Amanda links to you. Any questions? [update: oh, well. Looks like I broke SiteMeter. Rest assured it's a lot of traffic.]...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:06 AM

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October 06, 2005


Perhaps the worst result of Ward Churchill's inadvisable sloppy language in the wake of 9/11 has been the rush by so-called "progressives" to marginalize the work he has done in the past. The trope I've heard lately runs along the...

Continue reading "Remembering"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:26 PM

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If the Buddha meets you on the road

The Buddha came upon a suffering man standing next to a gate. The man was hitting himself in the forehead with a large hammer. "Doesn't that hurt, my friend?" asked the Buddha. "Why yes. Yes, it hurts a great deal,"...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:26 PM

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Random shot

Continue reading "Random shot"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:00 AM

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October 05, 2005

Is it just me?

... or is this one of the coolest pieces of environmental reporting ever?...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:24 PM

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The Natural History of Western Trees

"Out West, where you vacation, the aspens will already be turning. They turn in clusters, because their roots connect them." So read the note White House aide Scooter Libby sent Judith Miller, allegedly releasing her from her agreement to keep...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:14 PM

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Tangled Bank 38

Tangled Bank #38 is up at Hedwig's joint. The Bank, a biweekly carnival of the best self-nominated science writing on the web, has tons of good stuff this time around, and Grrlscientist did a great job of putting it all...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:46 AM

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In the desert with Martin Buber

This is 425 miles away from my house. I figure with good traffic on I-5, and careful acceleration to 95 miles per hour to get past The Apricot Tree in Firebaugh as quickly as possible, I could be there...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:37 AM

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October 04, 2005

Ten things

These are just little factlets I have been keeping in the back of my mind for potential use in blog posts. Those blog posts seem not to be forthcoming, so I'm just going to dump them here. 1) I have...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:42 PM

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When news breaks, they report it years earlier

This is one of those sites that makes one wish English had a future pluperfect hypothetical subjunctive....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:22 PM

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Hi, Dale!

On the one hand, thousands of species are going extinct as the Bush administration continues to loot the planet in a time of rising sea levels, burgeoning emergent diseases and rampant human misery. On the other hand, I got a...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:25 AM

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October 03, 2005

Now playing at Harquahala

Chapter five is live....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:14 PM

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Making the household miserable again

The sooner I get out into that desert, the happier everyone concerned is going to be....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:23 AM

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October 02, 2005

Courtesy note and e-book update

For the last couple days, the handy little left-column box linking to Creek Running North's Amazon Honor System donations page has been down for some unknown reason. This seems to be an Internet-wide phenomenon. If you were counting on tossing...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:23 AM

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October 01, 2005


I bought these in July, 1999. They were already old when we bought our house, and I wore them through a year of heavy work painting and plastering, hauling things to the landfill, breaking up concrete with hammers of...

Continue reading "Boots"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:44 PM

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The Anatomy of Bad News: self-criticism

Before I go any further: Lest I appear sanctimonious, which is of course the occupational hazard of someone who for a living exhorts people to take action, I should point out that every criticism I level at "people in general"...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:01 PM

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