Monday, April 27, 2009

Super Rooster

At Chickstock Lynnis sold a lot of chickens and also bought a Rhode Island Red super rooster to give to Soren for his birthday. Soren and Chrissy's flock is also comprised of RIRs so it was appropriate. Super rooster was on the job very quickly yesterday. Today he was proudly herding his harem of 18 hens with plenty of crows to warn off any other (nonexistent) roosters. He looks a bit tired, but, hey, it is all in a day's work for an ambitious chicken daddy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm passing into another dimension

This a pic that is definitely not copyrighted by someone else. It is me the blogger.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Tomorrow is Chickenstock 09! Other crazy chicken people and I will be at the Martinsburg WV Tractor Supply Co on queen st 4/25 from 10am til 2pm hocking birds. Y'all come, I even got tested for bird flu for the occasion!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Updated Adventures of Jon and Jake

Already a gypsy pickpocket tried to get Jon's wallet. He foiled them somehow. Pickpockets are ubiquitous in Europe. They almost don't exist in the US.

Jon and Jake are now on the way to the south of France. I sent Jon an email with this pickpocket advice.

Avoid kids with signs, they use them to hide their hands. Likewise swaddled infants in mom's arms.

ATM machines: they insert a sleeve into the slot so your card jams, then observe you enter PIN. They retrieve the sleeve with its tab and your card.

If someone in a uniform asks to count your cash, its a scam. Ask to see their ID.

Keep your passport especially safe. Below the belt money pocket is better than above the belt. They razor it out.

Another good idea is stitch the bottom of all pockets to the clothing. Pickpockets don't reach into your pocket, instead, they lift up the lining until they get what they want.

Don't Forget to Barter

I know a lot of people are trying to save money in these uncertain economic times - but you can still get the things you want by bartering.  Craigslist has had a 100% increase in traffic on its barter boards lately, and there are a lot of other online sites you can use to find people to trade with, if you can't find someone locally.

I just traded some cloth diapers  for a snazzy MP4 player and both of us are very happy about it.  All it cost us was the postage.

Have you bartered anything lately? Do you want to?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Here is a good article by a scientist engaged in anti-aging research.

The gist of it is that sirtuin, controlled by the SIRT1 gene is influenced by resveratrol, a substance now available in most health food stores due to that author's research.

Remarkable Events

Here is a website about remarkable deaths. It is mislabled as smart people who got the Darwin award. Actually Aeschulus did not deserve his fate.

The Black Swan

I just finished a good book called The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb. This book demonstrated how our reality is a lot more improbable than we want to believe - we just construct a narrative after the fact to random events to make them make sense. We fool ourselves into thinking we know more than we do. I have been worried lately about an economic meltdown but the book rather convincingly makes the point that it's not the bad things that you can imagine will happen that you need to worry about; it's the unknown unknowns that will have the big impacts. One trick of coping with the randomness is to focus on appreciating small pleasures. To quote the book on hedonic happiness:
"...your happiness depends far more on the number of instances of positive feelings, what psychologists call "positive affect," than on their intensity when they hit. In other words, good news is good news first; how good matters rather little. So to have a pleasant life you should spread these small "affects" across time as evenly as possible. "

Lately, I've been eating lunch in the beautiful Haupt Garden, this week taking pleasure in some Virginia bluebells and profuse forget-me-nots that grow there. In another nearby garden I was happy to discover a "Black Swan" of flowers, the Guinea Hen flower (pictured). I think Lynnis should grow some since she likes fowl.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

An eccentric professor, S. Gordon (Grover) Krantz

Grover Krantz was an anthropologist at Washington State University. He wrote about many things, but was most famous for the Pacific Northwest's famous giants, the Sasquatch otherwise known as Bigfoot.

Krantz believed Bigfoot was a tribe of Gigantopithecus survivors. My own identification of Bigfoot is different, but anyway, here is a very interesting Washington Post article of where Grover ended up after death (in the Smithsonian, on display).

It is a story far more happy than sad, but it does bring tears to the eyes.

Adventures of Jon and Jake

Jon made it to Spain OK. He and Jake are now in Barcelona sleeping off the trip. They plan to stay there a few days, see the city, then take the train north Au Sud de France.

The Sea-level in the Maldive Islands

It is always helpful to listen to eyewitnesses instead of hearsay. Here is an interesting eyewitness account of sea-levels in the Maldive Islands. Perhaps there is alternative contrary testimony. I don't know. Anyway, you can decide yourself by clicking on the link.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

One of the most amazing videos you will ever see

Some strong guys. They look like brothers.

He was very upset, it says.

From the Daily Record, UK, Student hit by corpse thrown from speeding car

Apr 9 2009

A cyclist was knocked out after being hit by a corpse thrown from a speeding car.

Student Wu Dan, 16, was riding home when the incident happened.

His uncle Yun Tsui said: "A car passed and a package came flying out the door. It had a dead woman inside. My nephew was very upset."

Police believe she was the victim of a car accident and was being dumped by the driver who had hit her in Dongyang, eastern China..

Defending What?

I was amazed this afternoon to see this NATO advertisement on the metro. Since when does NATO need to advertise its troop participation? What can be the motivation for this propaganda?

Climate data from Accokeek

For 30 years or so, Lona and I have kept a diary in which I usually record leaf budding in Spring, and leaf fall in the Fall. If anyone would like to transcribe this onto a spreadsheet and graph it, let me know. I'll bet it shows some climate change.

I'm not convinced about the icecover in the Arctic though. A NASA contractor who obviously wanted to keep his contract said that ice-cover 2008-2009 was the fifth thinnest in the last six years. Talk about "spin". Another way to put it is that this year was the second thickest in six years. In other words, the ice is getting thicker recently. But that would go against Hanson's biases in the propaganda department. Objectivity in science is best.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New Blog on the Blogosphere

Matt Borchelt has a new photography blog: Rolli Photog

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Eagle Cam

Here's a link to the eagle web cam at my work. The chick hatched about 2 weeks ago.