Happy Easter

•April 21, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Easter eggs 2019

Little Scooter’s Spruce Museum

•April 19, 2019 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been listening to the Sleep With Me podcast for a few weeks now, and find its special blend of mind-bending monotony a failsafe way to get to sleep. Some of Scooter’s  ramblings are so charming and evocative that I replay them for several nights in a row until I’ve heard the whole story—like this one about the Spruce Museum.

Klaatu’s Mystical Cat Returns!

•April 17, 2019 • Leave a Comment

A long time ago I posted a funny cat dub video by the great Klaatu42. Then, for mysterious reasons, the video was taken down from YouTube. Eight years later, it’s back!

Life’s little happinesses.

(Thanks Nag!)

Keep on Smiling! Pay Your Taxes!

•April 15, 2019 • Leave a Comment

A message for my fellow Americans.

This tune is from back before tax evasion was something rich people bragged about.

More about the song at WFMU’s Beware of the Blog.

The Offices

•April 13, 2019 • Leave a Comment

As a dedicated fan of The Office, I was aware that it was watched all over the world (in 80 countries, it turns out), but I hadn’t thought about the fact that of course there are more local adaptations than just the American version.

Popula has a post up reviewing local versions of the show. Like this one from France.


The similarities and differences in these versions is sort of fascinating. The sets, for instance, are nearly identical in all of them. Sometimes the script varies, sometimes the style of acting.

In the Quebec version, the insufferable office manager is closely modeled on Ricky Gervais’s character, right down to little gestures.


Vaclàv Kopta, who plays the corresponding character in the Czech version, made the role his own.


More clips and reviews of the shows at Popula.

Via Miss Cellania

Azka’s Mystery Podcast

•April 11, 2019 • 1 Comment

She has a solid story arc and a very good narrator’s voice, and the added music and sound effects are great. I’ve left her a positive review, to help fulfill her wish.

Columbia National Wildlife Refuge

•April 4, 2019 • Leave a Comment

Last weekend Rick and I went to a place I’d never seen before, the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.

The Drumheller Channels/Red Willows

The refuge is in the channeled scablands left by the Missoula Floods following the last ice age. It’s filled with softly colorful desert grass and brush, and it’s a wonderful place to hike around, climbing up the low bluffs to get views of lakes and creeks and sky.

Columbia Wildlife Refuge Hike

Three Lakes Seen from Rimrock

The rocks and sagebrush are covered with bright-colored lichens.

Close-up Sage


Sage Branch Lichens

This is the time of year when rare Sandhill cranes migrate through the refuge, and we saw flocks of them and heard their zany, melancholy cries echoing around us, but the areas they frequent are off limits, so we had to photograph them at a distance. (You can click and zoom on all these photos to get a better look.)

Sandhill Cranes

The lower Crab Creek section of the refuge borders Sentinel Mountain. We noticed the faces before we saw the name of the place on the map.

Sentinal Mountain

One interesting thing about being there is the silence. Without any trees, the wind makes almost no sound. If you hold still you’ll hear nothing but birds singing.

Rick on Rimrock

Redwinged Blackbird

Trailhead to Marsh Unit 1

Dying of Whiteness

•March 28, 2019 • Leave a Comment

The average life expectancy of people in the United States is falling, and the drop has been greatest among white men. Jonathan Metzl, author of Dying of Whiteness, talks about the causes on the Why Is This Happening? podcast.

withpod dying of whiteness audio link

In a nutshell:

“Policies that are supposedly bad for minority and immigrant communities end up being really bad for white populations.”


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