Monthly Archives: February 2012

Posted without comment.

Received this morning after financial stress made for a sleepless night, and 2) after having the conversation linked to in the tweet here.

Okay, so maybe that’s implied comment.

The email:

Subject: Need free copies of Walking With Zeke ASAP please
Date: February 25, 2012 3:18:25 AM PST
To: [Email Redacted]
Return-Path: [Email Redacted]

[Received headers Redacted for my privacy]

Content-Type: multipart/alternative; boundary=00151747b5d2e94e5104b8720df5

Dear Mr. Clark;

I belong to a very popular book club in [Location Redacted] with 40 members, and we are considering adding your book Walking With Zeke to our schedule for 2012.

In order to do this, I will need 45 complimentary copies of your book shipped to me at [Address Redacted].

This would be an excellent opportunity for exposure for your book. Our club caters to affluent taste-makers and opinion leaders in [Location Redacted] and your book will be read closely by people whose opinions matter.

We will need your book soon, so expidited shipping would be a must.

You can reach me at [Phone Redacted] if you have any questions.


[Name Redacted]

Desert Solar Bingo

Those of you who’ve argued with other environmentalists about the wisdom of destroying old-growth desert for 20 years of electricity production will know that there are certain arguments that come up with depressing regularity. It can be deadeningly repetitive, and that gets old after a while. But now, in the best tradition of overused Internet tropes, you can at least play Bingo as you educate.

And if you see some of your own favorite arguments on this Bingo card, please note the wise words of Kate Harding, who said:

When a Bingo card exists, it’s not for shutting down discussion. It’s for avoiding rehash of discussion that already happened. You’re late.

Now you’re opposing solar power? You enviros just oppose everything! You want solar in your backyards instead of 500 miles away because you’re a NIMBY There’s enough room in the desert! I know because I fly over it all the time. Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anything! Climate change will doom the deserts anyway, so let’s pave them now.
But this 50 megawatt plant will power 750,000 homes! If tortoises are so rare, why are there so many of them on the solar sites? This 100-mile square in the desert on this 200-pixel-wide map of North America doesn’t seem like that big a deal Some HOA somewhere objected to a solar panel, so we have to put them in the desert OMG THORIUM but build desert solar until then
Yes, it’s destructive, but the bighorn sheep have to take one for the team. You’re being paid by the coal companies. FREE SPACE
Tortoises like shade
Yes, deserts are delicate, so we shouldn’t make more of them There’s nothing out there but dust and hardpan.
I drove across the desert when I was in college and I didn’t see any valuable species. I agree we shouldn’t destroy habitat, so let’s pave 100s of square miles of intact desert wildlands that don’t have habitat This land is heavily impacted. I found a beer can there. You’re being paid by the oil companies. They only trim the vegetation under the mirrors.
You’re just climate change denialists. OMG FUSION but build desert solar until then We agree about this habitat and thus crafted an agreement to preserve some completely different place. WE NEED IT ALL so that we can live within sustainable limits This land is heavily impacted. You can see a road over there.

10 random things I remember

zeke in SD

1) When he was clean his forehead always smelled like corn chips. So did the pads of his feet.

2) He hated any sharp cracking sound. This limited our use of the fireplace we had for four years in Richmond. Our next-door neighbor there had a pool table in his garage, and when he used it Zeke would shivver in the corner. At the previous place, in downtown Oakland, when people brought out their fireworks (and worse) on July 4, he’d hide in the bathtub.

3) I took him hiking once in the Marin Headlands and he almost ate a Mission Blue butterfly, which is critically endangered.

4) He needed to watch the road when I drove. On very long trips of more than a couple hours he’d eventually settle down in the back and snooze, but every time I’d use the turn signal he’d jump up again. He was never one of those dogs who loved to hang his head out the car window: he needed to watch straight ahead to see where we were going.

5) One day, offleash in Sunol Regional Park, he saw a ground squirrel a hundred yards away and covered that distance in about six seconds. He wasn’t even slowed down by the barbed wire fence between them, though he did yelp fairly loud as he passed through it. I never found any evidence of barbedwire-related cuts or bruises, but he only needed to learn that lesson once.

6) Also in Sunol: when he was about one year old we did a long hike off-trail down a canyon that in one spot was choked with poison oak, which he crashed right through. Past the poison oak there was a deep pool, and I pushed him into it to try to get at least a little of the oil off him. It may or may not have made a difference: neither of us got a rash. But it was a number of years before he ever got between me and a pool of water after that.

7) He didn’t swim. He liked to wade, and he liked to lie down in water, but he never wanted to get in water more than about a foot deep.

8) I came home from a week in the desert once and he wouldn’t let me in the house before he had thoroughly licked every square millimeter of my face. I don’t know whether that was reunion joy, or hygiene, or my campfire/salt-flavored skin. Probably some of each.

9) He was scared of some inanimate things, but he assumed almost every living thing he ever met would be his friend. (Exceptions included squirrels, which were for chasing, and rats and mice, which were for killing unless they were family members.) He loved horses and cats and dogs and coyotes and (often) small children, and he greeted strangers with joy all but once. On the two or three occasions when he met a dog who turned out to be unfriendly, he bore a heartrending expression of deep disappointment for an hour after.

10) A body memory: I can still feel his chest leaning against mine as he stood on the driver’s seat of my truck, peering out the window at whoever I was talking to: cops, drive-thru people, rangers at National PArk entrance kiosks, toll-takers, and various other people. It’s almost as if he’s only been gone a few minutes.