Archive for July, 2006

watching over

Sunday, July 30th, 2006

This morning at church we sang the Mendelssohn anthem “He Watching Over Israel slumbers not nor sleeps”. Nice piece and all but it leaves a strange taste in your mouth when this is also going on in the real world.

trout news

Friday, July 28th, 2006

On the Minnesota Trout Unlimited message board:

As reported in The New Yorker, edition of July 10 & 17, 2006:


From the Chaska (Minn.) Herald.
A man passed out on the banks of Courthouse Lake attracted the attention of local police in the early morning hours on Jan. 14. The man appeared to be extremely intoxicated and was using a trout as a pillow.

As if this story wasn’t bizarre enough, note that the date is Jan. 14 – it probably would have been well below freezing.

the power of why

Friday, July 28th, 2006

A selection of the “conversation” Toby and I had on the bus on the way home yesterday:

“Daddy, why is the bus bouncy? Daddy, why is the driver wearing gloves? Daddy, why does the driver have a fan? Daddy, why is this the road? Daddy, why is that man getting off the bus? Daddy, why are we going fast? Daddy, why are we stopping at the bus stop? Daddy, why are we stopping at the red light? Daddy, why does that lady have a baby? Daddy, why does that man have a funny moustache? Daddy, why are we going home? Daddy, why …”

Yes, you get the idea, and yes he has hit that age.

more enormous fish news

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

Something strange happening in the world right now, which has spawned (if you’ll pardon the pun) three giant fish stories in a row. This time: Strange Fish Found on Beach Near Seaside. Seaside is actually a place – I would think that a beach would generally be near a seaside, or maybe a lakeside. But I digress.

This King-of-the-Salmon (Trachipterus Altivelis) normally lives around 1600 feet under the sea so they’re not often seen. It was almost exactly 6 feet long, and as you’ll see from the photo has gigantic eyes. At least it didn’t do like our previous giant fish story subjects and leap out of the water, maiming and I would assume considerably alarming the occupants of a boat.

don(‘t) pablos

Thursday, July 27th, 2006

We had a bit of an expedition last night after work. We had been given a very generous gift token by Paul and Claire as a thank you for having them stay last month, and decided to invest this in some snowshoes, which seeing as it’s close to 100F out are a pretty good deal right now. The shoes had arrived at the store to pick up so we zoomed down to get them.

Seeing as it was dinner time we decided to try out a chain Mexican-style place which is near the REI store, but I don’t think I’ll be going back any time soon. It was nice to be out with Emma and Toby, but the place was a bit of a let-down.

First, the waiting area was hot, noisy and dark. The bathrooms were nasty – smelly, liquid all over the floor, cramped. The waiter seemed to be a nice guy but the work was clearly crushing his soul. The salsa with the chips (greasy) was goopy. The fajita steak (mine anyway) was tough, and the food was pretty tasteless. The room was noisy and the tables too close together. And the floors were messy. So not the best ever.

But like I said it was fun to be out with m’family. Toby’s always been really good about going out to eat and it was a pleasure to hang out with him. He didn’t finish his food, so we took it home, which gave me the added pleasure of hearing Toby describe the receptacle. In his world the singular of box is “bock”.

sunfish news

Tuesday, July 25th, 2006

OK so this isn’t supposed to be a large fish blog, but I couldn’t resist linking to this story which reports on the enormous warm-water sunfish which have been showing up near the coast of England. These fish are gigantic – about 11 feet long and weighing over 2 tons. But it’s not all good news:

A four-year-old boy was flattened by a sunfish in August last year, off the coast of Little Haven, Pembrokeshire, when it leapt from the sea into his dad’s boat. The boy and his brother managed to roll the creature off and back into the sea.

I would imagine that would give you quite a shock.

marlin news

Monday, July 24th, 2006

Emma’s folks live in Bermuda – they totally love it there and it sounds like a great place to live. Only problems: the air fares on and off the island, the mystical Bermuda Triangle and the apparently very real prospect of being impaled by an 800 pound marlin.


Monday, July 24th, 2006

There’s an interesting piece on evolution in the Washington Post today, talking about the minor fluctuations in human genes over the past few thousand years, responding to changing environments and conditions. A couple of sentences towards the end were interesting:

Contrary to the popular imagination, evolution is not a linear process that culminates in the triumphal ascent of humans at the top of the genetic heap. The process is analogous to a bush, where twigs and leaves push out in every direction.

At church yesterday I noticed some words along the lines of “with your people as the crown of creation” which seemed a tad egotistical to me.

in the news

Monday, July 24th, 2006

The article about Minnesota bloggers went in the Star Tribune today. One of my friends who recently moved back to Sweden for a year saw it and there was an email waiting for me this morning from him. Can’t vouch for how long the story will be up on their site; they usually take them off after a couple of weeks.

Long-time reader(s) might remember that I was quoted in another news story a while ago, also because of Toby and through the weblog.

impressions of india

Sunday, July 23rd, 2006

You might remember that I’ve been over to India a couple of times for work over the last year, and we’re getting ready to plan another trip for November. It’s quite the place – my photos are here if you’re interested. Today the BBC has a From Our Own Correspondent dispatch from Delhi with the reporter’s first experience of India and the contrasts with China, where he’s generally based. I think his take is probably very similar to anybody’s who has not been there before.