Friday, August 3, 2012

Nessie moves to Winston-Salem

The new playground at Sherwood Forest School features a famous monster, but no loch.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Beautiful new dorms

Wake Forest is building new undergraduate dorms. We think that these facsimiles of Soviet-era construction are actually the elevator shafts, although they could be those Moscow University plans we saw for sale real cheap on eBay.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The master griller

Jon has dedicated part of his summer to learning how to grill everything. This includes green beans. Mmm...(from dinner on the deck with Maurice and Nate on Tuesday evening).

We missed it!

I know that it's hard to believe, but down here in Winston-Salem we missed NATIONAL DAIQUIRI DAY.(It was July 19, 2012.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Nate says farewell to Falling Creek Camp, 2012 edition

Susan drove across the Blue Ridge on Friday to bring Nate back to reality. As per his plan, he spent more nights way from camp backpacking than he spent in his cabin. But he earned a new nickname.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Sun worshipper

Susan's chair, on Jon's deck about 8 AM this morning.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Invasion of the beekeepers

A scene from Jon's backyard earlier this month.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A famous, short, oft-quoted poem about Chicago by Carl Sandburg, which a cat in the goat dairy immediately brought to mind

THE FOG comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches     

and then moves on.

Carl Sandburg in North Carolina

After dropping Nate off at Falling Creek Camp we drove the short distance to Flat Rock, North Carolina. The poet Carl Sandburg is always associated with Chicago ("Hog Butcher for the World"), but in 1945 he moved to North Carolina and spent the last 22 years of his life in this peaceful cottage in Flat Rock. His wife, Paula Steichen Sandburg, was a famous goat breeder. Here is a virtual museum that tells the tale: The present goats are the descendants of Mrs. Sandburg's flock...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jon is contemplative

Jon pauses on a summer's day to contemplate. He is sitting in the poet Carl Sandburg's favorite spot. And that, dear blog readers, is a clue to the mystery of the goats. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Nate and his friends overachieve

Summer began with Nate's ninth grade graduation from Summit School. After the ceremony, Nate and his friends happily displayed their medals and certificates of achievement. Sadly, not a SCIENTIST among them! From left to right, the top achievers in the graduating class in studio art, foreign language, vocal arts, history (that's our Nate!); and technical theatre. The leis came all the way from Hawaii in honor of the big day.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Meanwhile, back in Winston-Salem...

...a gargoyle awakes.

The scene is an alcove on Jon's back deck. The kitty-gargoyle is Jon's Boguey, who generally enhances his surroundings.

The blog took the young people to the ball park...

It was a pleasant early summer evening.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Maurice was very happy

Fortunately, he has since retreated from his position that he now be addressed only by his Latin title of Magister.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Back in May...

The blog went to see Maurice receive his degree from the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown. Somewhat surprisingly, he is still lurking in D.C.

Friday, July 6, 2012

The blog is back!

Yes, the blog is back. But what has it been up to? 
The excuse, of course, is that the blog was indulging a long-held, highly irrational desire to write a textbook. Now that the manuscript is at the publisher, life resumes. Don't worry, all will be explained in a subsequent post. The blog has definitely NOT traded bees for goats, although the idea is tempting.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Best meal in Vegas...

...the blog feasted on the queso fundido appetizer at Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill in Caesar's Palace. Jon, the recipe is available at What does fundido mean? "Molten," which should have been obvious...

Friday, January 13, 2012

Birding Vegas

There are actual flamingos at The Flamingo on the Las Vegas strip and they do what flamingos do, as photographed by Jon. The answer to why flamingos engage in this mysterious behavior was published only last year by researchers at St. Joe's in Philadelphia. Little did they know they could have conducted their study in Vegas.

Zoo Biol. 2010 May-Jun;29(3):365-74.

Why do flamingos stand on one leg?


Department of Psychology, Saint Joseph's University, 5600 City Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19131, USA.


A series of observational studies of captive Caribbean flamingos Phoenicopterus ruber were conducted to determine why flamingos rest on one leg. While frequently asked by the general public, this basic question has remained unanswered by the scientific community. Here we suggest that the latency of flamingos to initiate forward locomotion following resting on one leg is significantly longer than following resting on two, discounting the possibility that unipedal resting reduces muscle fatigue or enhances predatory escape. Additionally, we demonstrate that flamingos do not display lateral preferences at the individual or group levels when resting on one leg, with each bird dividing its resting time across both legs. We show that while flamingos prefer resting on one leg to two regardless of location, the percentage of birds resting on one leg is significantly higher among birds standing in the water than among those on land. Finally, we demonstrate a negative relationship between temperature and the percentage of observed birds resting on one leg, such that resting on one leg decreases as temperature rises. Results strongly suggest that unipedal resting aids flamingos in thermoregulation.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Way out west

The blog in Nevada again. The sky was really that blue. We didn't see any sheep.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Is it ever a good idea to make a recipe you get from a comedy video?

Maybe, although the blog tried to stop the experiment before it began. Last Sunday the visiting Diana and Maurice concocted a manly mushroom out of meat (pork and beef) - a meatshroom from the online show called Man Cooking. A very bemused Nate looked on as Diana carved, but it was absolutely delicious, and we all took a second helping.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Blast from the past

It's hard to remember that there was a time before the blog...but Jon went into his photo archives yesterday and retrieved this amazing pre-blog photo of Nate with the D.C. Typewriter Eraser (of course, we had to explain to Nate what a typewriter was).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Surprising encounter with an old friend in Las Vegas

Jon immediately suspected a knock off or theft of this famous work from the National Gallery of Art in DC, but it turns out to be authentic and legit (for beautiful photos of the restoration of this edition of Claes Oldenburg's Typewriter Eraser including refurbishing of the individual bristles, follow this link.) There are three in all, and the third is now in the Nasher Museum in Dallas.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

In the Valley of Fire

Here the blog is not speaking metaphorically about the Republican primaries, but rather about the Nevada State Park of that name that it visited as a day trip from Vegas.

Reading the information sign at the park reminded the blog of its favorite quotation from Representative Barney Frank: “Tax cuts are fun, but I never saw a tax cut put out a fire. I never saw a tax cut make a bridge” Barney Frank, MSNBC, August 1, 2011

Frank could have added, "I never saw a tax cut initiate park development."

Friday, January 6, 2012

Caesar's Palace obelisk

OK, no more Las Vegas obelisks, but the blog feels it has made its point. It's nice to encounter obelisks just being obelisks (although they also make fine grave markers and war memorials).

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Yes, I am blogging instead of checking the results from the Iowa caucus

We saw this sign at the entry to the Valley of Fire State Park in Nevada. We did not see any bees, but the advice to "just remain calm" is probably generally applicable during primary season.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Posh glowing obelisk

At the Bellagio Casino and Resort.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Indoor obelisks at the Venetian Resort and Casino

They were just lovely!