Creek Running North January 2006 Archives

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January 30, 2006

In the Joshua tree forest

There are sage sparrows at Sunrise Rock, and Bewick's wrens. I had not seen either of them before, as skittish and unbinoculared as all my previous visits have been. Cactus wrens sat atop every rock and tree, it seemed....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:30 PM

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January 27, 2006


Oh, those clear desert skies - there's nothing like them in the world. So says Rana in comments to the post immediately previous, and she is, as usual, correct. On Cima Dome, if I don't spend too much time looking...

Continue reading "Ivanpah"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 02:23 PM

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January 26, 2006


The moon will be new on January 29. I will be outside, in the desert. In 1997, when I spent a month out there, I got used to the slow, swinging rhythm of the night sky. The sun dropped down...

Continue reading "Dark"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:10 PM

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At least this one's got music.

On Monday, ExxonMobil is expected to announce a record-breaking profit of roughly $32 billion for 2005. And the wonderful Austin Lounge Lizards have something to say about that....

Continue reading "At least this one's got music."

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:48 PM

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January 25, 2006

Scientific studies suggest I'm gorgeous

According to one theory, proposed by psychologist Geoffrey Miller* at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, women prefer funny men because their wit reveals an active and healthy brain - and a fine set of underlying genes. "It's a very...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:17 AM

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Framing the Democrats

There's a website called OurTenWords that's soliciting ten-word soundbites to sum up the Democratic Party's core values: The idea for came from a post by Michael Faris on the community blog at Michael asked, "What ten words should...

Continue reading "Framing the Democrats"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:55 AM

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January 24, 2006

Relax. Put your feet up.

[Editor's note: I'm busy getting ready for my trip. I don't have enough time to write a proper blog post today. Fortunately, there's this PR agency that's been sending me some B-Roll copy for potential use as blog posts, and...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:54 PM

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A note from Lindsay: As you may have heard, NYU has terminated stipends for the striking grad students. The student union has set up a Hardship Fund to help support the strikers while the fight for the recognition of their...

Continue reading "Solidarity"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:38 AM

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January 23, 2006

I must be ready to head to the desert

Why? Because I've had this going through my head for the last few days. And sure, some of it is because I just got the first 12 episodes on DVD. But some of it isn't. I admit to being curious...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:36 PM

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Koufax time

This blog is pleased to announce that it is one of nearly 300 blogs nominated for The 2005 Koufax Awards: Most Deserving of Wider Recognition award. Among the other nominees are some utterly deserving entries. In fact, reading the list...

Continue reading "Koufax time"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:10 PM

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Cats (complete with bows)

The Internet provides. By request, as an antidote to hatred and greed, thieves and spammers, and torture, here is a kitty with a bow. This is Tira: She is small and plump, with short legs, a pink nose, and big...

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Posted by Stephanie at 12:23 PM

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Why Lauren is no longer in my blogroll

It's not because Feministe is no longer in my blogroll. It's because Lauren is no longer at Feministe. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, I can certainly relate. On the other, how come she has the...

Continue reading "Why Lauren is no longer in my blogroll"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:17 PM

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Annoying statistics

In the eleven hour-period that just elapsed, spammers attempted to make 4,400 trackback pings to entries on this blog for which trackbacks had been closed. It's at the point where there is so much useless traffic for every actual reader...

Continue reading "Annoying statistics"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:52 AM

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January 22, 2006


My dirty little secret is this: aside from a short jaunt with Becky last weekend, three miles around Mount Wanda in the green and mist, I have not been hiking since July. 186 miles hiked between January and July...

Continue reading "Hiking"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:05 PM

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January 21, 2006

Democratic Party leadership releases four-part strategy for 2006

Continue reading "Democratic Party leadership releases four-part strategy for 2006"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:58 AM

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Yet another Harquahala chapter

I'm not sure, really, whether to call it a novel. For one thing, novels get edited. For another, you tend to be able to read them all at once, and the writer hardly ever thinks about going back and rewriting...

Continue reading "Yet another Harquahala chapter"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:43 AM

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January 20, 2006


Here's a pleasant little story. Itís right up there with this one (lesbian former police officer is dying of cancer; her town council refuses to let her leave her pension to her life partner.) Nice gay couple buy a ranch...

Continue reading "Nice"

Posted by Stephanie at 01:03 PM

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January 19, 2006


It was his brutality that made people rise up against Somoza. Corruption? Corruption is a fact of life. You pay the bribes and move on. The profiteering in the wake of the 1972 Managua earthquake raised hackles, to be sure....

Continue reading "Coffee"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:12 PM

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Formatting and apropos past rants

I'm experimenting with a new blockquote format I stole from Tim Lambert, and wondered what I could quote. Then I noticed that Hal over at Blivet had found a year-old rant of mine, and quoted a section of it. And...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:44 AM

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January 18, 2006

Sentinel Cave

Editing Terrain was, quite likely, the worst job I ever had. Oh, not on a pain-per-hour basis, mind you. That honor would likely have to go to the place where I temped in Buffalo, a biological lab supply house, where...

Continue reading "Sentinel Cave"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:30 PM

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January 17, 2006

27 new species in California

It seems to be cave day. Just this morning, PZ posted a story on the Ozark big-eared bat, a subspecies of the Townsend's big-eared bat. That sent me off into fond reminiscences of Lava Beds National Monument, one of my...

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:51 PM

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Allende's daughter

Michelle Bachelet, a socialist single mother who was tortured by Pinochet's thugs, has been elected president of Chile. The people of the South are rising. In Bolivia the first clear electoral victory in that country's history went to a leftist...

Continue reading "Allende's daughter"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:03 AM

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January 16, 2006

Today's hike

In a field on Mount Wanda my love and I did stand, And on my leaning shoulder she laid her snow-white hand. She bid me take life easy, as the grass grows on the weirs; But I yelled "why hasn't...

Continue reading "Today's hike"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:31 PM

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January 15, 2006

Going home!

A week from Friday, I will be heading to my beloved Mojave....

Continue reading "Going home!"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:55 PM

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Abandoning NOLA

Mike Tidwell, in Orion, says what I have been uncharacteristically afraid to admit I've been thinking. "[W]hile encouraging city residents to return home and declaring for the media audience that "we will do whatever it takes" to save the city,...

Continue reading "Abandoning NOLA"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:08 PM

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Front and back

Front Back...

Continue reading "Front and back"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:06 PM

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Give me an F!

It was 1991 or so, and my old roommate Rick was visiting from Buffalo. I was at work on the day in question, but the Ecology Center, where I worked, was a sort of hangy-outy Berkeley kind of place, so...

Continue reading "Give me an F!"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:30 PM

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January 14, 2006


I was writing. A noise came from the living room. Becky was at work. Dog and rabbit were in the office with me. Who was it? I got up to check. I leave the back door open for the dog,...

Continue reading "Thursday"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:25 PM

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This one page, by itself, justifies the invention of Flash

It's remote, objective, abstract, mathematical, and utterly heart-rending. Via Neil at A Lovely Promise....

Continue reading "This one page, by itself, justifies the invention of Flash"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:04 AM

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January 13, 2006

Just stop being lazy

It's been a month now since I started taking Wellbutrin. The effects on my ADD are subtle, or at least they seem that way to me. But I'm happier, in general, and somewhat more able to focus for long...

Continue reading "Just stop being lazy"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:47 PM

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The good news is...

... that I'll be getting loads of entertaining hate mail when people start seeing the new Earth Island Journal cover. UPDATE: as long as PZ's sending some interested traffic this way, I should let people know how to get ahold...

Continue reading "The good news is..."

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:53 AM

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January 12, 2006

Pharyngulee Pharyngula Pharyngulee PharyngulAAAAA!

PZ's got some cushy new digs for his blogPharyngula. So does Grrlscientist. They're in the same virtual building now! (I hope PZ's incessant flaying of creationists doesn't keep Grrlscientist up nights. She needs her sleep.) In fact, Scienceblogs, a project...

Continue reading "Pharyngulee Pharyngula Pharyngulee PharyngulAAAAA!"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:54 PM

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What was that blank spot on the map of my childhood? Twenty years growing up here and I never saw the void, a trackless place off the road from Rome. Greg told me it was the Tug Hill Plateau. I...

Continue reading "Potholes"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 04:42 PM

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January 11, 2006

Going to extremes

About twenty years ago I had a chance to chat with Henry Marc Cathey, then-director of the US National Arboretum in Washintgon, DC. He had come into the nursery where I worked, I recognized him, and I asked him a...

Continue reading "Going to extremes"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:40 PM

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Because David Neiwert shouldn't have to do all the heavy lifting

Those of you who don't read Orcinus ought to: David is one of the best bloggers around covering the rise of the right wing, and he's done some singularly valuable work documenting the increase in eliminationist rhetoric coming from...

Continue reading "Because David Neiwert shouldn't have to do all the heavy lifting"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:44 AM

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January 10, 2006

A note on images here

Due to useless bandwidth increases caused by someone not playing nice, I've disabled hotlinking of images from this blog. I know some of you hotlinked the moonbat icons and I'm glad you liked them, and I hope you'll feel free...

Continue reading "A note on images here"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:14 PM

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Caught in the act

(Snarf snarf snarf) Wha? I was just... Can't... resist... forbidden... alfalfa snacks... (Snarf snarf snarf)...

Continue reading "Caught in the act"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 12:33 PM

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January 09, 2006

New chapter at Harquahala

At my irregularly updated novel-in-progress blog, Harquahala, which reallio trulio I have been thinking about and not ignoring, Chapter Six is now available for your (possible) reading pleasure. I have a couple more chapters all formed and written, and all...

Continue reading "New chapter at Harquahala"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:00 PM

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Hilarious web page du jour

It's mean of me, I know. I just can't help but find this side-splitting....

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Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:03 PM

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January 08, 2006

Cheat River, 1999

Four miles north of Talmansville, West Virginia, home of the Sago Mine, US Route 33 winds through Randolph County. The slopes of the Appalachians are gentle between Buckhannon and Elkins, but still I fret. I have not driven in snow...

Continue reading "Cheat River, 1999"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:14 PM

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January 07, 2006


The lovely, talented, and under-appreciated Grrlscientist links to a story about fishing practices taking their toll on seabird populations. The story concerns a study of the endangered marbled murrelet, a Pacific coast seabird formerly notable for its habit of nesting...

Continue reading "Extra!"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 01:26 PM

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January 06, 2006

The Irascible Gardener e-book

At long last! I've found all but the six dozen remaining typos, moved the drop caps to the right pages, and pulled out a few extraneous commas. And now all 1.1 megabytes, all 162 pages of The Irascible Gardener...

Continue reading "The Irascible Gardener e-book"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 03:51 PM

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January 05, 2006

Zoom is in the moon

Some nights he would meet us in the driveway. He recognized the sound of the 1981 Civic's engine as it groaned over the curb, and he'd come out through the old drier vent I had uncapped for him. I'd roll...

Continue reading "Zoom is in the moon"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 06:44 PM

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Someone obviously isn't reading Twisty Faster

Because if she'd read this, she couldn't have written this. Not without lying, I mean. Um, oh. Never mind. Forget I said anything....

Continue reading "Someone obviously isn't reading Twisty Faster"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 11:41 AM

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January 04, 2006


I promised myself I would abjure the drive-by political post, no matter how great the provocation. But I didn't figure on it getting this personal. In another weird rant from the Women's Studies Set, Amanita Marcotte seems somehow to think...

Continue reading "Sanctimonious"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 07:21 PM

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One must imagine Sisyphus happy

He represented in this century, and against History, the present heir of that long line of moralists whose works perhaps constitute what is most original in French letters. His stubborn humanism, narrow and pure, austere and sensual, waged a dubious...

Continue reading "One must imagine Sisyphus happy"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:41 AM

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January 03, 2006

Crown clade of Creation

"The sequence of study found in all other current biology texts can implant a subtle evolutionary philosophy in the students' minds. The Christian teacher will find that the unique A Beka Book approach to biology eliminates the conflict which results...

Continue reading "Crown clade of Creation"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 08:59 AM

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Dark as a dungeon

I keep hearing this song in my head today. I usually like it when that happens: what other folk song refers to geologic deep time in its verses? But not today....

Continue reading "Dark as a dungeon"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 05:43 AM

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January 02, 2006

I recommend

My friend Kyle has led an interesting and eventful life. In his social circles, he's known as a gifted and charismatic story-teller, and he also writes beautifully. He's just started a blog of his own here, which I recommend to...

Continue reading "I recommend"

Posted by Stephanie at 01:02 PM

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January 01, 2006


Where I grew up breathing the air in summer is very much like swimming. The ocean is far away and the landscape moist. What breezes come of the warm lake are moist. The cool of night is moist and condenses...

Continue reading "Rain"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 10:04 PM

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Continue reading "Amanita"

Posted by Chris Clarke at 09:33 PM

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