Open thread

In pictures: Baby animal love story: “A pair of Sumatran tiger cubs and a set of young orangutans, all abandoned at birth, have become inseparable after sharing a room at an Indonesian zoo.”  See the pictures and read the short captions.  It’s just so damn cute!

Kitty vs. Kat.  Look at the larger version for the full effect.  That was a good laugh I really needed.

This is neat and worth watching.  It’s an alert regarding the “live feeds forthcoming from the Secrets of the Gulf Expedition March 3-9 with the US Navy NR1 nuclear submarine (pictured above) and Bob Ballard’s Argos tow sled as they survey the Flower Garden Banks region for paleo-shorelines and deep octocoral habitats at 100m depth.”  There are links to the various sites and feeds, as well as a copy of the news release itself.  I can’t wait to see it.

Pygmy Owl Declining in Mexico: “A university study shows the population of a tiny endangered owl in northern Mexico has declined by an estimated 26 percent over the last seven years, a finding that environmentalists said bolsters their arguments for greater protection for the bird in Arizona. [. . .] The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service put the owl on the endangered species list in 1997 because of population declines in Arizona. But the agency withdrew it from the list last year after determining it was not a distinct subspecies and thus not worthy of protection.”  Since then, of course, developers have decimated its environment, but climate change is also wreaking havoc on the poor tiny bird because “…the number of eggs that the owls lay annually, or so-called clutch size, declines as winter rainfall dips, as does productivity and nest success.”

Alien landscape

I originally intended to delete these photos.  I was facing into the sun when I took them.  As luck would have it, I didn’t bother changing the camera settings to compensate.  That’s why the color and exposure and light are all… well, odd… or off.

But then I really looked at them today and realized they had some aesthetic value after all.  I mean, think about being on an alien world somewhere, a place quite different from Earth where perhaps there are two suns that keep the air bright and shadows deep, where the sky is mostly white with only vague hints of blue on the periphery, where green only grows on the ground, where very few trees have any kind of foliage…

Or something like that.

These photos were taken at the White Rock Lake spillway facing away from the water toward the old hatchery ponds and surrounding woodlands.  It’s of interest to note this is where I have seen bobcats, red and gray foxes, coyotes, rabbits, badgers, armadillos, and a plethora of other wildlife.  And this is also where the local monk parakeet colony lives.  In fact, this particular area of the lake is one of the best birding spots to be found at White Rock, not to mention the best place to spot wily wildlings that evade detection elsewhere.

A few of the woodlands behind the lake's spillway (170_7007)
A few of the woodlands behind the lake's spillway (170_7004)
A few of the woodlands behind the lake's spillway (170_7005)

[before anyone asks, let me say I did try color correction on these photos; unfortunately, the originals are so overexposed with such cattywampus light balance that no amount of manhandling by me could make them any less of an affront to good photography, so I felt it best to share them as they are—and take advantage of their bizarre nature]

Cerebral discharge

I don’t know where I am today.  Adrift in a sea of thought?  Lost in apprehension’s deep shadows?  Something else entirely?

The answer escapes me.

In a short while I will sit down for a phone interview.  Perhaps I’m just nervous about that.  Yet I can’t help but think it’s something more.

Employment—no, that’s not right.  Income is foremost on my mind.  Having been out of work for almost a year and being stretched financially thin are problematic vexations.

But there is more to my discontent and dysphoria than that.  Much more.

Still, I think it’s all related.  Or at least somewhat.

Life in the big city no longer makes me happy.  Needing to rely on my technology expertise for work disgusts me, forces me back to what I loathe.  Struggling to stay on track with Dreamdarkers even as I focus the vast majority of my time on searching for work frustrates me because I’m so close yet so far from completing it.  Distress over what might happen, especially with regards to The Kids, smothers me and threatens to rob me of my every breath.  Trying to make writing a career when all I’ve done is personal writing and professional other is an obstacle course that seems built specifically to stop people from succeeding.

Oh, do listen to me prattle on ad nauseam about silly woes.  Like everyone else on the planet, I could write a humongous list of tiresome complaints without ever scratching the surface, and what an insult to those with real problems.

But they aren’t silly, are they?  At least not to me.

I feel like I’m standing under a crumbling dam just so I can hold my finger in a tiny leaking hole.

Ah, to be free from worry…


I’m in a playful mood this morning (for reasons I can’t identify, and quite contrary to the rest of my emotional state).  For that reason alone, let’s do a fun word.

By the way, it’s fun because of its sound, not because of its meaning.

bamboozle (bam·boo·zle): / bam BOO zuhl /
transitive verb

(1) to deceive, cheat, or get the better of someone by way of trickery, flattery, or other underhanded methods; hoodwink; dupe
(2) to perplex, mystify, frustrate, or confuse someone; to completely throw off

intransitive verb

(1) to practice cozenage, deception, trickery, chicanery, or the like

[Etymology unknown.]

Usage: I think it goes without saying that Dubya and his cronies bamboozle the American people and the world at large whenever they get the chance.