July 28, 2013

July 27, 2013

more walkaroundcam thoughts

A couple more with the FZ-19.

walkaroundcam thoughts

After a week or so of pixel-peeping and coin-flipping I'm no closer to a decision on a walkaround camera; the leading contenders are still the Ricoh GR (for its size and image quality) and the Pentax MX-1 (for its versatility and price). One hesitant note is that I'm not sure I can compose with an LCD (all my experience is with SLRs), so I brought home a Panasonic FZ-19 from work to play. All I've really learned so far is that the FZ-19 is a fiddly little thing. It pocketed nicely, which leans in the Ricoh's favor; then again, though the MX-1 would be bulkier and heavier, that might not be a bad thing if it's more fun to use. I dunno. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

July 25, 2013

snippets, 7-25-2013

Dog rescued from apartment fire (Austin American-Statesman). Love the first picture in this gallery.

Update, 7/30/13: Well, golly. Apparently PETA liked this gallery, too.

July 21, 2013

snippets, 7-21-2013

So this was Sorrow. Sorrow smelt of carnations and cellar rats and potato salad...Sorrow separated you from everyone else and Sorrow was a puzzle with no answer. Sorrow wasn't bad or good; it was just there making each person strange and lonely.

-Dawn Powell, My Home is Far Away

Highly recommended.

o&p, vii-xxi-xiii

Ondine caught this one.

wayward blues

I've been subjecting y'all to more iPhone 3 photos than I should, for which I apologize. I'm mulling over walkaround camera options; I'm leaning toward the Pentax MX-1 but I might wait to see if they come out with an MX-2. I really like the form factor and IQ of the Ricoh GR, but, you know, gosh. (Since Ricoh bought Pentax maybe they'll mash-up the MX-1 and the GR? Ooh...)

July 20, 2013

July 19, 2013

rain lilies, vii-xix-xiii

snippets, 7-19-2013

Anthrozoology. (Had I the means, I would apply for the program at Canisius College...)

July 16, 2013

July 11, 2013


snippets, 7-11-13

The joy of old age. (No kidding.) (NY Times)

I'm sneaking up on a milestone, too, and still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up. Heck, I never thought I'd make it past 30. It's all bonus time. The master plan is to stick around until the year 2100 - I'll be 137. (I have to live till I'm at least 94 so I can say I spent half my life in the company of border collies, he thinks, plucking a Pan hair from the tie he's wearing for today's long, boring meeting.)

July 10, 2013

whiskers, pan, tanner, bren, flipper and matilda

snippets, 7-10-2013

Crews discover large cave beneath RM 620. This is close to home. The "the two-mile stretch from Wyoming Springs Drive to Cornerwood Drive" is where all the new development is happening - lots of new medical offices and strip malls. I would greatly prefer spelunking.

July 8, 2013

snippets, 7-8-2013

Prairie dog language decoded by scientists (h/t dangerousmeta!)

One of the comments says, "Ground breaking work, but probably wouldn't work with dogs." But...prairie DOGS, nay? (HA HA HA. I kill me.) Also, "prairie" is still my all-time favorite word.

July 6, 2013

pan, vii-vi-xiii

field notes, vii-vi-xiii

crape mrytle, vii-vi-xiii

fern, vii-vi-xiii


Just as I took this picture Pan blundered into a patch of burrs - his face and ears were completely covered. My first thought was, "Oh we're in sooo much trouble."

July 2, 2013


p&o, vii-ii-xiii

snippets, 7-2-2013

A quantum of solace (NY Times)

If the universe is infinitely large, it's also infinitesimally small, and every point is its center.

July 1, 2013

snippets, 7-1-2013-2

Are dogs now just furry kids? What a weird article. On the one hand it seems to excoriate people for treating dogs like pipples, but on the other, it links to some interesting articles on current research on dog cognition that strongly indicates there's more to our dogs than meets the eye. Not sure what conclusion the article is trying to draw. Maybe it's just link bait. (The part of the article about how dogs know when their people aren't looking did not apply to Juniper. We once left her alone all day with a whole bowl of M&Ms on a low table and she did not touch them. She was honorable. I don't know whether any of our other dogs, past or current, would have passed that test.)

Much more interesting is a blog post from Dr. McConnell about the health effects of neutering/spaying; there are indications that early neutering can have deleterious effects on an animal's health. Everyone wants to provide the best for their pets, but, you know, 100 percent of the millions of animals languishing in shelters across the US came from intact dogs. (Science! But snark aside, the better question is whether vasectomies and tubal ligations might be better for our critters' health than castrations and hysterectomies.)

I don't think I treat my dogs like children. For one thing, I communicate better with my dogs, and for another, the dogs get more and better toys than my kids ever did. I do question the extent to which I'm feeding off the media's new interest in dog cognition and consciousness; I'm troubled by Oscar Wilde's quote about how unoriginal most of our thoughts are. But I do know that Ondine and Pan are in my life for a reason, and I'm grateful for the many blessings they're helping me see, and I think that's a direct result of the shift from the dominance-based training theories that were prevalent when I was growing up (i.e., the Monks of New Skete, Barbara Woodhouse, etc.) toward the more recent positive reinforcement and communication theories. (And yes, there were 70 words in that last sentence. And it started with a conjunction. And as a very old man recently said, "Back in my day dogs didn't get diabetes or cancer. They either ran off or got hit by cars.") I try not to over-anthropomorphize my dogs, but instead to understand what sort of dog-thoughts they might be thinking. I fail often. Heck, I'm only human. :)

Also, and too, I'm pondering doing some more long-form writing. There's just too much stuff swirling around in my head; I've recently re-read The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, along with some embodied-consciousness stuff, as well as lots of dog training manuals and some mind-bending Philip K. Dick. I think I need to do some more disciplined writing to help me get a grasp on some of these things. And I've been thinking about writing some fiction, too - I'm pondering a project called "Shepherd's Watch." Stay tuned - but, you know, if I go there you don't have to read any of it. Maybe a separate blog?

snippets, 7-1-2013

Walking is a noble but neglected sport. Americans "hike" once in a long while but seldom walk...The automobile, organized athletics, and the fact that American cities and American suburbs are dismal places to walk in have caused American feet to abandon the roads...No other exercise, if indulged in several days at a time in a pleasant, moderately wild country, has greater power to remake a man, to iron out his creases, to produce deep health and spiritual calm. The first steps in this elementary course had best be taken in Europe, where the natives do not look upon people with heavy shoes and knapsacks as slightly cracked.

- Robert Littell, Harper's Magazine, What The Young Man Should Know (March 1933)