Saturday, July 26, 2003


Everybody go look out your window right now. I'm typing this at 20:33, MDT. The sky out of all of my windows, east, west, north and south is a shade I can only call hot rose as the sun goes down and the clouds of a kickass thunderstorm hover. The lightning makes the entire sky – and my entire house – glow eerily as it flashes from very close by. The willow trees that flourish on the riverbank have never looked so dramatic, outlined against that garish Mimi's-blusher sky. Don't miss it. What are you doing reading these pixels. Get out there and gawk!

Friday, July 25, 2003


So, I violated my grocery shopping restrictions today – hobo rations include meat, milk, club soda and tinned soup – and bought a can of Pringles. It's been a long, long time since I've had at these things in any quantity, so I was only dimly aware that they came in the variety I brought home – reduced fat – so perhaps I may be forgiven my lateish-night astonishment at the following:

My Pringles speak Spanish!

It says right there on the can, en un bande verde, "Con Grasa Reducida" - 1/3 menos de Grasa* que Las Pringles Regulares.

Oh, dios mios. From now on, I will only and ever be able to refer to these snacks by pronouncing the name to rhyme with "green glaze."

It's more fun that way, anyway!

(See what happens when Your Humble Blogger has spent too much time hawking dustcatchers and having the exact same conversation with every benighted tourist who darkens the doorway at Dustcatcher Central and trying, really trying, with all of her might, not to lose her temper and begin casting about for a ball peen hammer with which to beat said tourists' brains out when they start raving about those adorable Nazi resin bears** that are imported from China for like ten cents each but sold as "finials" to screw onto the top of your lamp for like $20? See? See? Now I'm writing about potato chips! HEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLP!)

*I'm not sure why "Grasa" is capitalized - I thought it was merely German that capitalized every noun – but maybe it's sloganeering.

**It's maybe not so charitable to call them NRBs, but there really does appear to be something deeply archetypal and creepy about the way charming rustic woodcarving designers (who presumably develop original carvings for the Chinese to copy ad infinitem, ad nauseam, in advanced wood-like polymers that probably do even more environmental damage than the wood harvesting and carving on that scale would do) anthropomorphize bears. Said artists appear to love render the bears as standing upright and giving the viewer a friendly wave... but the arm extended always, without exception, no difference from manufacturer to manufacturer, makes the bear look like it is saluting its Fuhrer. Especially when said bear is lined up with its fellows in row after row, awaiting price tagging. They confront one like a little resin army... and of course they're dressed in brown. Coincidence? Hmm? Hmm? Did they really escape to Brazil? Or was it to China?

Or was it to the Green Glaze Potato Chip Factory?

Wednesday, July 23, 2003


Readers of Cadillac Desert and/or of Sam Western's book will not be surprised to learn that I think this is stupid:

Officials weigh intrastate water transfer

According to the Wyoming Water Development Commission, the Green River basin has a surplus, and because it has a surplus and the North Platte River Basin (that would be us, here in the Good Times Valley, among others) chronically has shortages, it's time to consider moving water from the Green to the Platte via pipeline.

Oy, dios mios!

This is the part that really sent me around the bend:

"[WWDC Office Director] Besson said Wyoming's remaining and unused Upper Colorado River Compact entitlement is estimated to range from 250,000 to 300,000 acre-feet of water annually."

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this ultimately the same Colorado River that already doesn't make it to the ocean because it's already overappropriated? Isn't Mexico already pretty pissed off about this?

Nebraska v. Wyoming would be nothing in comparison.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003


A few years ago at about this time, I wrote a newspaper column about a dumb pseudo-science experiment.

My Teenaged Lackey and I, having noted that the Rawlins National Bank's digital thermometer did indeed read 100 degrees (and having gathered suitable photographic evidence of same) decided to verify, once and for all, whether or not it was possible to fry an egg on the sidewalk.

We wound up making a big eggy mess in front of the Lazy River Cantina, which, as I recall, our editor's girlfriend's dog wound up cleaning up for us.

Not long afterwards, maybe a week or so, it cooled off again and we were able to resume our normal lives and routines.

Is that what it's going to take this time, too? I saw that magic number on the bank clock again today, and I'm seriously physically and emotionally challenged to even sit here as I am, at my kitchen table, just a foot away from the air conditioner, wearing nothing but a sarong (get your mind out of the gutter - there are many ways to tie a sarong).

Momma, why's it so hot out there?

In other news, I contacted the guy at the University of Delaware who found a way to make a good plastic out of chicken feathers – a good plastic that could replace silicon in computer parts – to see if he could come up with a practical, value-added, economy-saving use for sagebrush.

Amazingly, he didn't not immediately stick my e-mail in the crackpot file, but rather wrote me right back this morning with specific questions to consider as we begin.

So, does anybody out there in LIANTland know how much biomass of sagebrush there is, or anything about the plant's special properties?

Oh, also, anyone with whom I can hitch a ride to Delaware anytime soon?

OK, time for more blender drinks...