Archives: January 2006
Sun Jan 29, 2006
The Morning Newspaper: End of the Road
I called the Mercury this morning and cancelled it. I just haven't been reading it. A few months ago I stopped the daily service and just went to weekends, so that made it easier. Last year, in a desparate redesign, the Mercury started emphasizing something they called "interactive." Um. no. If I wanted to write the news, I'd keep a blog. I need professional editors and writers in a newspaper, not "This Week's Best Blogs." I don't want to read that you "want to hear from" me and everyone else in the South Bay. Idiots. I've been a subscriber since 1986.
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Sat Jan 28, 2006
Show This To Your Windows-Enslaved Friends
Remember that one about how Windows are for business and Macintoshes are for artists? via Mark Morford, checkout these three little videos with an audio describing a yet-to-be-released Windows OS upgrade and video of the current Mac OS.
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Fri Jan 27, 2006
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Too Much Star Wars
One of the reasons I havenít been writing much these days is because a friend of mine gave me the boxed set of Star Wars and Iíve been watching them all, and then again with the commentary. More...
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Sun Jan 22, 2006
I've been tramping through the Santa Cruz Mountains for about twenty years and never have I seen mushrooms as this year. Few flowers bloom in the redwoods near Santa Cruz, but this winter the mushrooms are like the flowers of the forest. I saw shortlived treasures today that I've never seen before.
I know from the Fugus Fair that mushroom hunting is all about taxonomy keys and habitat and genus and species but I'll have none of it. The forests of my home are blooming, and I just want to touch them. I don't need to capture their names. Today I saw yellow ones and red ones and rust ones and white ones. I saw little yellow towers an inch high growing through the pine needles. I saw green brown toad mushrooms as big as my hand pushing through the duff. I saw tiny white fairy cottages under the roodwoods.
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Thu Jan 19, 2006
Mystery Gravestone: Resolved
Last spring I wrote about the mysterious gravestone on Rivers Street. The Sentinel ran a story about it a few days ago. Now here's why you need a local newspaper! Why can't we get more stories like this one about the old marble carving shop and the stack of marble from the old jail?
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Mon Jan 16, 2006
My favorite artcar is Carthedral. The site has recently been updated with lots of photos which don't show the car very well at all, although seeing its profile in beautiful locations is great. If you get the chance to see carthdral up close, don't miss it.
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Sun Jan 15, 2006
Magical Thinking by Augusten Burroughs
My wife gave me "Magical Thinking" last month. I hadn't heard of Burroughs, but I had heard of his other books, "Sellevision" and "Running with Scissors." I'm not sure how. Unfortunately, the blurbs compare him to David Sedaris and call him a "writer's writer." It is unkind to compare him to Sedaris and inaccurate to say he belongs to writers. He's gay, he's funny, and he writes well. Not as gay, funny, or skilled as Sedaris, but completely satisfying. More...
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Watts on Radio
A friend of mine told me last week that KKUP airs an Alan Watt's Lecture every Sunday morning at 7 am. I don't want to be up at 7 A.M. on a Sunday, but I am anyway because our dogs don't know what "weekend" means and they've trained us to give them breakfast at 5:30. This morning, I heard a lecture linking the spectra of emotions, light, and consciousness together with i-ching and the Tao. Great stuff. KKUP doesn't stream, however.
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Sat Jan 14, 2006
Fungus Fair Funk
I think that I have intended to visit the Fungus Fair for about twenty years, and I finally did this afternoon. It was crowded, the cooking demonstration was alarming, and the chef who sells the mushrooms I like was mobbed. More...
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Sun Jan 08, 2006
Out of the Sky She Came: The Life of P. L. Travers, Creator of Mary Poppins
As I mentioned the other day, I discovered the biography of P. L. Travers, who created Mary Poppins. After reading this terrific book by Valerie Lawson, I understand now much better where Mary Poppins attitude toward magic and children come from and I learned that there is yet a Mary Poppins book that I have never read, because Pamela wrote it in 1988, long after I thought I had read them all, long after I assumed the author of Mary Poppins had died. She wrote this last Mary Poppins adventure in her late 80s. More...
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Slate Writer Gets Witches All Wrong
...via WildHunt... A brilliant response by blogger Mad Hathor to an article in Slate arguing that the origin myths of wicca are false and our assertions without intellectual rigor. Mad Hathor argues, as do I, that proving that a religion is "true" is not the point. More...
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Fri Jan 06, 2006
Rare Flower of the Santa Cruz Mountains
Yesterday, I came upon the website of Ray Collett, retired UCSC professor and founder of the Arboretum. His site is all about the Toadshade of the Santa Cruz mountains. They have tremendous variety in their flower size, leaf shape, leaf color, and fragrance. A rare flowering plant that grows best in sunshine with plenty of water. These are conditions that exist after forest fires--a rare occurance in this century. He also says tantilizing things about their fragrance. I wonder if one can find them in the Loma Prieta watershed on the eastside of the Bay--the mountains burned there in the late 1980s. One more treasure to discover in the land that I love.
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Wed Jan 04, 2006
Wreckless Driving Near Ambulance
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Sun Jan 01, 2006
Do You Get Wetter if You Run or Walk in the Rain?
We've had just a terrific week of rain here. I couldn't have asked for a better week off to enjoy storms. I've been inside mostly, and when I'm outside, I'm not running. But I do wonder, does one get wetter when one runs in the rain? The BBC Magazine explained it all to me, with calculus. Yes, running gets you wetter, unless you you have somewhere dry to arrive at. Just like you'd expect!
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