Friday, October 4, 2013

Mellow Crow


Photo courtesy Flickr 

This year’s batch of urban crows are the tamest yet. When I walk past one, a juvenile is less likely to retreat than one of the local pigeons. The kids carry themselves more like feathered golden retrievers than the sleek and adventuresome urban pioneers of seasons past. I worry.

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More after the jump.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Wrack


Photo courtesy Flickr

Two weeks ago we broke camp in ten minutes as a thunderstorm promised a dramatic night in the field. The decision was a good one that generated an ankle deep wash of gear and supplies on the main floor of the house. 

Usually after something like this I tidy up like a hamster compulsively restoring order to a newly cleaned cage. This week, though, higher priorities crowded the calendar. I’ve been gliding through cluttered pathways gently kicking things to one side as I transport this and that to the next stage of preparing it for readiness for the next field trip. Taking it easy turns out to be a simple and productive way to turn housekeeping into nothing at all. Chores evaporate when they’re accomplished while doing other, more interesting things under the roof.

My mother was the only woman in my circle who worked outside the home. I swear, she did everything but vacuum with the sash of her terry-cloth bathrobe. Doing so was not the best Betty Crocker form, but it’s a rare occasion that requires the housekeeping version of a flak jacket. The house lives best when it’s not an end in itself.

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More after the jump.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bark Tide


Photo courtesy Flickr

For a while in the Sixties, I lived close to the water and was heating with solid fuel. I savored the odd bark tide that delivered the best burning wood in conveniently sized pieces literally to my feet. The combination of windstorm and log boom rubs bark off timber. The bark subsequently floats ashore, where it is a cinch to gather. Fir bark burns hot and clean. It’s such a desirable fuel, in fact, that I sometimes use aged landscaper’s bark nuggets in the outdoor fireplace.

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More after the jump.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Salmon Time


Photo courtesy Flickr

Local tribes celebrate the return of the first salmon as a formal way of acknowledging the value of the resource and as a way of ensuring that the fish continue to return to their home waters. I find that noting bright ideas does the same thing. Any time I fail to write down a thought about the management or direction of the household or of my avocation, bright ideas stop showing up.

A design instructor taught his students to observe and collect artful litter from the sidewalk. I still do so, although usually I grab an image with the camera rather than pocketing it.

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More after the jump.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Small Steps


Photo courtesy Flickr

I’ve been savoring the management principle that maintains one can stay three years ahead [of what?] by making small changes. The venerable tissue company just sold me a package with brash marketing printed on the top. When I broke out the new container I flinched at the lettering. Briefly, I considered that last week’s delay in buying a tissue holder might have been a feckless move.

Someone at the company seems to have realized that after-market accessories contrived to hide the product might not be a good sign. When I tried to open the new package, I had to turn it over and discovered that the dispenser side is on the bottom, plainly decorated with the classic Sydney Cockerell endpaper design that covers the whole package. All the sides of the package have discreet and unobtrusive renderings of the company’s logo.

When I shopped for this tissue at a local drug chain, I compared prices and found it cheaper than generic competition. Not bad, huh? 

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More after the jump.