Monday, November 30, 2009

Trip to Idaho

I spent a few wonderful days before Thanksgiving in the Salmon River country of central Idaho.  Fiddle Creek is between the whitewater and steelhead trout fishing towns of Riggins and Whitebird.  The steelhead eluded us, but we saw lots of wildlife - elk, mule deer, golden eagles, magpies, turkeys, Canada geese, and those energetic little gray dippers, the ouzels.

Payette Lake in McCall, Idaho.  Brundage Mountain Ski Resort is not far from this lovely little burg.

My father fishing on a rocky bar downstream from Riggins at the place our family calls "The Rock" - a large vertical outcrop that juts into the Salmon River at the head of a deep slow hole.  Informational signs describing the geology of the area are along the roadside here.  We cannot pass this place without "dropping a line" to see what is biting, any time of the year.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fordham Eel Spear

One of a couple of dozen hand-forged eel spears in my collection.  This one stamped "Fordham" on the center tang.  The 1876 design was by Fordham's business partner, one Samuel Parker Hedges, of Sag Harbor, Long Island, where the Fordham shop was located.  See p. 381 of this book on L.I. genealogy.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Surfers' Ashram - Surfing With an Om

Attention surfers.  An ashram for surfers has been established in the Indian state of Karnataka.  Go figure!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Swine Flu

Swine flu seems to be everywhere these days, even in the remotest places in Amazonia.  It is suspected of killing a pregnant Yanomami Indian woman and three children in the rainforest on the Venezuela/Brazil border.

The Sky, As I See It

Guy Fawkes Day, Iranian Style

Israel unveiled a cache of hundreds of tons of rockets, mortars, missiles and anti-tank weapons on a ship seized at sea near Cyprus.  The weapons were shipped from Iran; Israeli officials aver they were bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon.  Read the Voice of America article.

I've lamented before: "Some people just like to blow up other people."  That's no world I want to live in.  Sue for peace.  Live peacefully and encourage others to as well.  Peace begins inside each individual, and with the family and community.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Currently Reading

The Songlines, by Bruce Chatwin.
I recently picked up a printing of the 1988 Picador trade paperback and have begun reading it.

I'm not a newcomer to Bruce Chatwin or his work.  Being sorely afflicted with the antique collectors' disease (corkscrews, Ainu bear carvings, eel spears, to name but 3 categories) I have read his last work Utz.  I've digested The Viceroy of Ouidah, On the Black Hill, and his In Patagonia.  I own and have read a galley proof review copy of Nicholas Shakespeare's biography Bruce Chatwin.

I've a copy of Chatwin's What Am I Doing Here? that I will read next.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The Bond Minicar

The Bond Minicar - a historic bit of Lancashire technology.  The survivors of the 26,000+ produced are now the stuff of automobile collectors.  An advert in my Autumn 1957 issue of The Countryman claims this little car got 85 mpg.  The cars were produced at a former rope factory, Sharp's Ribbleton Lane premises in Preston, Lancs.

Warren Buffet's Christmas Train Set

Some folks love the Christmas train set they received as a kid.  Some even go on as adults to build elaborate layouts that fill a basement or attic.  Then there's Warren Buffet, the world's greatest investor.  He just agreed to buy, through his company Berkshire Hathaway, a whole railroad,  Burlington Northern Santa Fe.  Forty-four billion in cash.

Conversation Through a Windshield

A draft of a new poem:

Conversation Through a Windshield

The wind hurried
Through breaks of goldenrods,
Late for a dance with the cottonwoods,
Pushed by a storm stalking up the valley.

My friend, the towheaded farmer with over-sized hands,
The one with a crooked nose
And a forehead like an anvil,
Struck a serious gaze through my old truck's windshield
At the looming gunmetal clouds
And asked aloud, over cherry-red cheeks,
If God approved of cremation, and
"Do you think its gonna rain?

I said, "The ripening wheat fields down by the river
Dream of terrible hailstorms this time of year."
"Did Evan get that cutting of alfalfa baled this week?"

"Myra left me last night", he says.
"Gone to her sister's over in Pocatello."
"Kids are resilient," I say." They get back up
When they get blown over."

"I cleaned my pistol last night after she left."
I said, "Hey, let's hunt in Arbon Valley this year."
Then silence as the pickup droned up the blacktop.

Then, through the windshield he says
"I want my ashes scattered in the Teton River
If it's OK with God and you."
"That long riffle where we saw the double rainbow last year."

[Submitted to Subtropics literary journal on 1/6/2010]

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Water, Amazing Water

Tonight I watched this 2-hour web video about water and came away with a few inspiring thoughts.  I may not look upon water the same way again - how my thoughts and actions and living affect this vital resource that enables life to survive on this world.