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eulogies

Wayne Green W2NSD, SK

It’s hard not to have an opinion about Wayne Green. Depending on whom you listen to, he was a visionary, a crank, delusional, eccentric, generous, lecherous, honest, optimistic, boundlessly energetic, or all of the above and maybe a few more. Someone wrote a bogglingly angry book once (I had it but have misplaced it) that spent its entire length trying to persuade us that he was a liar, a scoundrel, a thief, and had nothing whatsoever to do with the creation of Byte Magazine. Anger that dense warps the fabric of truth. (Be careful with your anger. Let it get too dense and you will vanish into a black hole of lost credibility from which you may never emerge.) Don Lancaster put the lie to it without any trouble: When Don was writing for the extremely early Byte, Wayne was there, buying articles and signing checks.

That said, Wayne Green said a lot of peculiar things about a lot of things both mundane and peculiar. He said he was richer than (as best we know) he actually was. He said he was sexy and available. (One out of two ain’t bad.) He was constantly bitching and moaning about the FCC, the ARRL, and lord knows what else. He bragged about affairs he had had with his editorial staff. He published articles about homebrew radio gear that simply couldn’t work, or were such peculiar lashups of pipe fittings, power tubes, trash cans, glue, staples, beer bottles and copper tubing that nobody wanted to try. (I say this with some affection. Many of those articles were by the late Bill Hoisington K1CLL, who admitted…gasp!…that VHF/UHF circuits could be cranky. The crankiness of those circuits led him to try a lot of things that looked dicey, but to me their craziness indicated a certain honesty about how cranky VHF/UHF electronics actually are. Which is, of course…cranky.) There is a long list of things that Wayne Green did here. How many are true is hard to say. Did he really pilot a nuclear attack sub? Scary notion, if you’ve read his editorials. The truth, I suspect, is that he was a legend in both senses of the term.

Wayne Green, whether he was crazy or not, remains one of my heroes, for this reason: He bought the first piece of writing I ever sold, but not the first I ever had published. I guess I need to clarify: When the article appeared in the December 1974 issue of 73 Magazine, it was not my first publication. I had sold “Our Lady of the Endless Sky” to Harry Harrison for Nova 4 about a month later, but Wayne, as was his wont, paid me immediately and then sat on “All the World’s a Junkbox” for over a year before getting it into print. (“Our Lady” was in my hands in September.) And then he changed the title, to the inane “Zillions of Parts for Nothing.” (See page 36 of that issue.) Was I annoyed? A little. But heck, you only sell your first article once.

I subscribed to 73 for a lot of years, and have most of a full run of the mag on my shelves. Wayne was an editor of CQ for years before 73 appeared. Both magazines were lively and entertaining under his watch. The tech ran hot and cold, as it did almost everywhere but QST, which had paid techs on staff to build things and make sure that they were a) buildable and b) worked. But boy, when the late George Ewing WA8WTE and I got together on 40M, as often as not Wayne’s latest editorial was tops on our rag-chew agenda. Wayne published books, too, including George Ewing’s Living on a Shoestring, which George called “my scrounge book” and I consider a marvelous technical memoir. For a little while Wayne published a magazine called Cold Fusion Journal, which may have been the best fit of an editor with his niche that we will ever see.

Wayne died a few days ago, on the 13th. He was 91. His brief article on Wikipedia indicated that he was ready and eager to go off adventuring in the afterlife, an attitude I much admire. We speculate about what happens to good people after death, and what happens to bad people. What, then, happens to crazy people? Does God try to “fix” them, or do they just go on being crazy? “Crazy” is a debatable term, of course, but it seems to me that if Wayne Green weren’t his very particular brand of crazy, he wouldn’t be Wayne Green anymore. And that, my friends, would be a tragedy, whether here or in the afterlife.

TNX ES 73 OM DE K7JPD SK.

Pat Thurman K7KR, SK

I’m numb. This past Tuesday we lost Pat Thurman, K7KR. He had been struggling with multiple medical issues for a couple of months, and at some point they simply overwhelmed him. Flesh is fragile, even when the spirit is strong.

Like many people, Pat knew of me from my books and my magazine work, and when I announced in my DDJ column that Carol and I were moving to Arizona at the beginning of 1990, he sent me a note and told us to get in touch once we arrived. We did. Pat and his wife Sue became instant friends, and within a year, neighbors, out in the wild dirt-road country at the northern tip of Scottsdale.

Pat was a DXer and contester of formidable skill. While I watched in awe, he put up a 75′ winch-up tower with a highly engineered ground system and a couple of very large steerable beams. (I contented myself with a 200′ longwire and a 6M vertical.) His thunderous signal was heard around the world. His official DX count is 245 countries. (There are 340 right now.) Mine? 17.

We did a lot of offroading in the Tonto National Forest in his high-clearance Jimmy, and visited Sheep’s Bridge. On one of those early trips, Pat stopped the Jimmy for a tarantula in the road. We got out and gathered around the tarantula, which was the first (though it would not be the last) that I had seen in the wild. I wanted a picture, and for scale Pat tossed a quarter onto the road about a foot away from the spider. I worried that the quarter would scare it away. Not so: The tarantula pounced on the quarter so quickly we figured it just teleported. Then once it realized that quarters weren’t edible, it ambled slowly off into the brush.

Pat and Sue were early and eager beta readers for The Cunning Blood, and the inspiration for my Filer Fitzgerald character came from a character in one of Sue’s shows that promoted reading for grade schoolers. It was for that same show that I built The Head of R&D, as I mentioned here some time back. We ate a lot of dinners together, drank a lot of Dornfelder, laughed a great deal, and talked about all kinds of things.

If I can point to any single force that hauled me out of the spiritual mailaise I’d been in for twenty years back in the early 1990s, it was Pat and Sue, and their aptly named parish, Our Lady of Joy. My childhood religion was grim, Hell-centric, and focused on self-denial well beyond what I would call “a healthy discipline.” We originally attended the Sunday night “teen mass” with Pat because Pat and Sue had twin teen sons, and Sue was in the music group. I was astonished: The music they played and sang was downright exuberant: “Send Down the Fire,” “The Canticle of the Turning,” “One Is,” and many more. It made me wonder if there were more to Catholicism than a celebration of human and divine suffering. Our Lady of Joy allowed me to imagine a Catholic tradition that celebrates the physical world, and a God who will not settle for partial victories. Pat and Sue didn’t follow us to Old Catholicism, but without their influence, Carol and I would never have known the journey was even possible.

The older I get, the more I’m certain that friendship is the cornerstone of the human spirit. Alas, the older I get, the more I see my friends leaving this world for other realms. I’m 61 now, and I know enough math to understand that that’s just how things work. Does friendship even have a point, if death can end it so easily?

But…maybe it does, because…maybe it doesn’t. If you get my drift.

K7KR DE K7JPD / TNKS GUD LK ES 73 CUL SK.

Delores Ostruska 1924-2013

1948_07_Clam Lake_Scan17-500Wide.jpg

Carol’s mom has left us. She died quietly this past Saturday after a long illness, at a nursing facility near her Crystal Lake, Illinois home. Her daughter Kathy was by her bedside, and her two grandsons Brian and Matthew had visited her earlier that day. She was 88.

Most people in our time are lucky to have two loving parents. Somehow, incredibly, I had four. I met Delores on August 2, 1969, when I came by their house to pick up Carol for our first date. I was 17, a little scruffy, and undoubtedly, well, odd. No matter. Delores smiled and welcomed me, a welcome that never faded. Carol’s dad was a slightly harder sell, but I won his esteem by treating his daughter with respect and kindness. When I bought a lathe in 1977 he stabled it in his basement, and over time he taught me what he knew about its use, which (considering that he could grind a carbide die to a ten thousandth of an inch accuracy) was pretty much everything.

On many Sundays Delores prepared family dinners for which her sisters Marie and Bernice and her Aunt Marie and Uncle John drove up from the South Side. Pork roast, salad, vegetables, bread, dessert; a huge spread brought to the table hot and perfect in all ways. I had a place at that table, as later on Kathy’s boyfriend/fiance/husband Bob did as well. It was decades before I knew the term for the feeling that hovered all about us in Delores’ dining room, but when I found it, many things fell into place. It was unconditional love.

I had had that from my own parents, of course. And even my own father was a bit of a hard sell, since I bore little resemblance to the rowdy boy that he himself had been and expected his own son to be. All the more remarkable that Delores and Steve embraced me almost immediately as one of their own.

Delores was a child of Polish-American heritage, youngest daughter of a large family, who was born and grew up on the Near South Side of Chicago. She belonged to a group of very close teen girlfriends who called themselves The Comets. They were capable and confident girls, journeying around the city for fun, and even slept on the sand of Chicago’s 31st Street Beach. She quietly rejected the dour Polish pessimism of her own parish church, and far preferred the exuberant Catholic culture of an Irish parish a few blocks away. She believed all her life in an infinitely loving God and the goodness of all His creation. When I began struggling with my own life of faith at the dawn of middle age, it was her example that helped bring me to the unbounded and unshakable Catholic optimism that I hold today.

Delores worked at the US Treasury in downtown Chicago, where she helped trace lost and stolen US Savings Bonds. During WWII she met and in 1947 married Steve Ostruska, one of her brother Charlie’s Navy shipmates. After Carol was born the family moved to Niles, Illinois, where Delores lived for over forty years before moving in with her daughter Kathy in Crystal Lake.

Every summer while the girls were small the family vacationed along the lakes near Hayward, Wisconsin, where Steve fished for walleye and city girl Delores learned to love the outdoors. The photo at the head of this entry is from a vacation that she and Steve took to Clam Lake in July 1948. It’s not fair to picture her as an elderly woman when she has already broken the bonds of this Earth and risen triumphantly into the arms of the God she so strongly believed in. I prefer to recall her as the beautiful, vigorous person she was most of her life. In truth, all the time I knew her she glowed wth the quiet, invincible light of unconditional love, and if there’s anything closer than that to the ineffable light of God, I don’t expect to see it in this world.

Odd Lots

  • My old friend and fellow early GTer Rod Smith has posted a great many excellent pictures he took at Chicon 7, including a book signing that I attended.
  • My mother’s cat Fuzzbucket died yesterday, at 16 years and change. He outlived my poor mother by twelve years, and while skittish as a kitten eventually warmed to me. I’ve never had a cat (for obvious reasons, of which I have four right now) but of all the cats I’ve never had, Fuzzbucket was my favorite. He kept his own LiveJournal page, and the final entry brought a tear to my eye.
  • For those who couldn’t attend Chicon and were cut off from viewing the Hugo Awards by an idiotic copyright protection bot, you’ve got another chance: The award ceremony will be re-streamed tomorrow night, September 9, at 7 PM central time.
  • This morning’s Gazette had an ad for hearing aids, which bragged of their product having 16 million transistors. This is easier than it used to be, since all those transistors are in one container. Now, does anybody remember the days when ads bragged of radios containing six transistors?
  • And while we grayhairs and nohairs are recalling transistor counts in the high single digits, does anybody remember the early Sixties scandal (reported in Popular Electronics, I think) in which Japanese manufacturers would solder additional transistors into simple superhet boards and short the leads together, just so they could advertise the box as a “ten-transistor” radio?
  • Nice piece from Ars Technica on the deep history of the spaceplane.
  • Bill Cherepy sent a link to a marvelous steampunk tennis ball launcher, used for getting pull-strings for antennas (and as often as not, the antennas themselves) into high or otherwise inaccessible places. Gadgets like this (albeit not in steampunk dress) have been around for a long time, and I posted a link to this one (courtesy Jim Strickland) back in March.
  • Also from Bill (and several others in the past few days) comes word of a promising if slightly Quixotic attempt to preserve orphaned SF and fantasy. Here’s the main site. At least they’re offering money to authors and estates; most other preservation efforts (of pulp mags and old vinyl, particularly) are pirate projects most visible on Usenet.
  • That said, there are projects that limit themselves to out-of-copyright pulps, like this one. One problem, of course, is knowing when a pulp (or anything else from the 1923-1963 era) is out of copyright. Copyright ambiguity only hurts the idea of copyright. We need to codify copyright and require registration, at least for printed works. I’m not as concerned about copyright’s time period, as long as the owners of a copyright are known. As I’ve said here before, I’m apprehensive about competing with hundreds of thousands of now-orphaned books and stories.
  • I don’t eat much sugar anymore, but egad, there are now candy-corn flavored Oreos.

Harry Harrison, Gentleman Atheist, RIP

65,000 words. This is still hard. But I am damned well going to make it work.

One reason I will make it work is a man who left this world today for other worlds, not that he was any stranger to other worlds. Harry Harrison is one of those guys who isn’t appreciated as much as he deserves, for reasons that escape me. Most people know of him for Slippery Jim Di Griz and little else. We forget that his story Make Room! Make Room! inspired Soylent Green. Almost nobody knows that he wrote the Flash Gordon newspaper comic strip in the 50s and 60s. (I didn’t know it until I read his obituary.) And I’m amazed that more people haven’t read what I consider just about his best work, The Daleth Effect. And what I do consider his best work may not be everybody’s choice, but too bad: The Technicolor Time Machine beats all.

When I was fresh out of the Clarion SF workshop in 1973, I cleaned up a Clarion story of mine and sent it to him. He bought it for $195, and when it appeared in his anthology Nova 4 the next year, I was (finally!) a published SF writer.

The story was “Our Lady of the Endless Sky,” now in my collection Cold Hands and Other Stories. It’s about a slightly clueless Roman Catholic priest who manages to be sent as the Catholic chaplain to a church constructed on the Moon. When an industrial accident destroys one of the lunar base’s hydroponic gardens, a new garden is built under the transparent dome of the church. Father Bernberger is heartbroken. He’s lost his church…or has he?

It was a decent story for something written by a 21-year-old kid who was “young for his age.” But far more remarkable than that was the fact that Harry Harrison bought it at all. You see, Harry was an atheist, and said so as often as it took for people to get the message. So why would he buy a story about religion?

The one time I met him, at the SFWA reception at one of the late 70s Worldcons, I thanked him for buying the story, and asked him exactly that. (All the SMOFs had told me about him being hostile to religion.) He laughed and said, “It wasn’t about religion. It was about a man who had faith.”

He told me to keep writing. I did.

Now, I’ve taken a lot of kidding and scolding and eye-rolling down the years for being such a naif as to go to church every Sunday and even (egad) pray. I’ve seen a lot of desperately mean-spirited condemnation not only of religious nutters (as though there have never been atheist nutters) but also of the quietly religious people who tend the sick and feed the poor without making any attempt to convert them, nor saying anything more about it.

None of that from Harry Harrison, at least not that I’ve ever seen. He was a gentleman atheist who gave me a push by publishing my story about a church and a priest, even though it went against the grain of his personal philosophy. He shook my hand and told me to keep going. He wrote good, engaging yarns that made me gasp and made me laugh, yarns that I freely admit to imitating. He is one reason (though not the sole reason) that I will not condemn atheism as my species of Catholicism is sometimes condemned.

Godspeed, good friend, however you may understand the wish.

Odd Lots

  • Happy Thanksgiving Day to all who celebrate it–and to those who don’t, well, this guy is still thankful that the world is big enough for both of us. In terms of Thanksgiving Day meditations, I’ll simply offer the one I wrote in 2008. I may not ever do better than that.
  • From the Words-I-Didn’t-Know-Until-Yesterday File: seedbox, a remote and generally headless system on a high-bandwidth Internet connection, used exclusively to seed torrents in defiance of ISP speed-throttling of BitTorrent users.
  • Also pertinent to yesterday’s entry: Penguin Books got into a snit of lender’s remorse, and basically shut down access to its titles previously available to public library patrons through Amazon’s Kindle lending program. Apparently the DRM wasn’t DRM-y enough, and Penguin (through the Overdrive technology) locked its titles out. Precisely what the technical issues are is still unclear, but I’m researching it.
  • We have lost Anne McCaffrey, at age 85. She died of a stroke at her home in Ireland on November 21. She was the first woman to earn a Hugo or a Nebula award, and did a great deal to drag SF out of the locker room to which the pulps had led it.
  • Having recently become an Android user (via my Droid X2) I have now begun to dream of SparkFun’s Electric Sheep.
  • Debsnews now has a wine channel. It’s one way to focus in on specific short videos (example: WalMart’s new $3 wine line) without having to spend a third of your life parked in front of a TV.
  • Anybody who’s tried to spread a Ziplock bag with one hand while pouring leftover spaghetti sauce into it with the other may appreciate this gadget. Everybody else, move along.
  • Many people are sending me links to stories about canned goods containing greater than acceptable levels of BPA. This is not new news. However, I didn’t know about it until yesterday, right after opening a can of Spam.
  • Maybe the new Spam Singles packaging is the answer. No can!
  • Carol met Colonel Sanders at the Mayo Clinic back in 1975, and the guy does get around. You can now see him from space. This is not photoshopped, but the real deal. It’s been there since 2006, and consists of 87,000 colored tile “pixels.” (Thanks to Frank Glover for the link.)
  • Make describes a steam-powered bristlebot. Somehow this reminds me of those little scrubbing-bubble guys on the TV commercials.
  • There may be another reason (quite apart from battery life) to turn your smartphone’s power off every night. (Thanks to Pamela Boulais for the link.)
  • If you’ve never gone up to the Car Talk Web site and looked at the staff credits page, you’re missing out on people you haven’t seen since your study hall attendance-sheet days. (Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.)

Odd Lots

Daywander

We’re at a dog show in rural Greeley, Colorado, a little north of Denver–and right smack dab next to a huge cattle feedlot. Now, I’m a caveman and a realist–manure is the price we pay for beef–but that stuff sure do stack up and make its presence known. We kennelled QBit and Aero to simplify show logistics, but it’s funny not having Aero with us at a show. He’s a champ now, and the spotlight has shifted to Dash, who at 15 months already has 11 points (of the required 15) and one major win (of the required 2) toward his own championship. Aero was always a shy dog, and fearful at the outset. This cost him points early on, but Dash has never had any such problems, and it’s (remotely) possible that he could score a big enough win this weekend to make him a champion while still technically a puppy. (He won’t reach his majority until 18 months.) Master groomer Jimi Henton will be helping Carol make him and Jack look their best, and we have high hopes.

I just finished a dozen Lucerne eggs and I’m still alive to write about it, so the big contaminated egg thing may not be as horrible as some are making it out to be. But half a billion eggs, sheesh–and that from one company. Am I going to give up eggs? Hardly. My sole gripe is that Lucerne’s are the only eggs I can find locally in Medium, and I’ve titrated myself to a pair of Medium eggs scrambled for breakfast as what best carries me until lunchtime without any energy lapses. So I may have to fall back to a single Extra Large until I can scare up a different brand of Medium eggs. And while eggs are on the table here, does anybody see size Small or Peewee eggs sold at retail? (As best I know, these are generally sold to food producers for cakes and such.)

I bought and have been tormenting a new-ish WYSIWYG EPub editor product called Jutoh, from the guy who gave us the free ECub editor. It’s available for Windows, Linux, and Mac, and I’m testing it under Windows and Ubuntu. My first impressions are generally good, though the product still has a couple of thin spots, foremost of which is an inability to import .DOC files. More on it once I have a chance to get a couple of projects through it.

It may sound odd, but I’m pleased that Jutoh is not free software. It’s only $22, which is trivial–I’ve spent more than that just having an indifferent lunch with Carol at Village Inn. I don’t want to see the category of inexpensive commercial software die out. For a long time it seemed that software was going to cost either zero or a thousand dollars, which would mean that few solo software geeks would attempt to field an innovative utility that would not sell for hundreds but might sell for tens. I bought Atlantis some time back for $45 and love it–it generates the best EPubs of anything I’ve tried so far. (Jutoh is still in the running, but the race has barely begun.) Free software can be superb but all too often evolves slowly, if at all. Zoundry Raven, on which I write this, hasn’t been updated since 2008…though I must balance this by citing the free ebook manager Calibre, which is updated every couple of weeks.

We have lost the Star Hustler. Jack Horkheimer has gone off to see what the stars look like from the other side, and as little as I saw of him (I’ve not watched much TV in the last 40 years) I will say that he did a spectacular job making observational astronomy compelling to ordinary people, especially young people–and as goofy as he seemed sometimes, he never made me want to kick his teeth in, as all too often happens with Bill Nye. Science should not be full of itself (nor, alas, full of something else, as is the case far too often) and Jack was not. Keep looking up…maybe you’ll spot the light of the Big Bang glinting off the top of his head.

Loren Heiny 1961-2010

LorenHeiny.jpgLora Heiny sent me a note this morning to tell me that her brother Loren had died during the night, after a four-year struggle with cancer. He was 49. Loren was an early expert on Tablet PC technology, and most of what I learned about it after I got my X41 in 2005 came from his blog.

We went back a lot farther than the Tablet PC, though. Back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Loren was a charter member of a small group of literate programmer nerds who hung out together at Keith Weiskamp’s townhouse as the Coriolis Group coalesced out of primordial chaos in the North Scottsdale desert. Keith, Loren, Bryan Flamig, Ron Pronk, and Rob and Lenity Mauhar were packaging books for John Wiley at the same time that Keith became my lead author for Turbo Prolog at Turbo Technix. After Borland let me go, Keith and I decided to create a more formal corporation for the book operation and PC Techniques. I handled editorial for our new magazine, while Keith and the others continued to package books for Wiley and later other publishers as well. Loren did a fair bit of technical editing and wrote several books on his own and with others in the group, including Power Graphics Using Turbo Pascal 6, Advanced Graphics Programming Using C/C++, Object-Oriented Programming With Turbo Pascal, Object-Oriented Programming with Turbo C++, and Windows Graphics Programming with Borland C++.

Keith Weiskamp (L) and Loren Heiny at the Gray Road offices of The Coriolis Group, February 1990

Although never a formal employee, Loren was always there when we needed him, and in the spring of 1990 he helped us clean out and paint a hot, ratty, cricket-infested office on Gray Road for the fledgling Coriolis Group. His sister Lora also helped out in those heady early days, sorting mail, doing data entry, and other odd tasks as needed.

Loren combined a passion for technology with a nature as sweet as it was imperturbable, and although I hadn’t seen him in person for quite a few years, I checked into his blog regularly to see what was going on. Damn, I’ll miss him. The world will never know what it didn’t get by losing him so young, and that’s the only comfort we can take in his passing.

(An agonized sidenote: Loren is my fourth friend to die in the last sixteen months, all but one of them younger than 60. Um, could we stop this now? Please?)

Odd Lots

  • As I polish up this Odd Lots, I see that Sectorlink.com is down, which is significant to me since they host duntemann.com and copperwood.com. Have no idea what’s going on yet, nor how long the outage has existed. (I was over at one of Carol’s friends’ rebuilding some very ad-hoc tomato shelters in honor of George Ewing until an hour or so ago.) If some of my pages are inaccessible, it’s not about me; it’s the whole damned hosting service.
  • We lost Martin Gardner the other day, at 95. Amazing man, something like a technical Colin Wilson, who wrote the “Mathematical Games” column in Scientific American for 25 years, edited Humpty Dumpty’s Magazine for Little Children (which I read circa 1957-59) and cranked out books for most of his life. Every one I’ve read has been terrific, and I especially endorse Fads & Fallacies in the Name of Science (1957) and The Annotated Alice (1960.) I should look for a few more.
  • Art Linkletter too, who made it to 97. It was in Linkletter’s very funny book Kids Sure Rite Funny that I found the wonderful kid-quote: “Now that dinosaurs are safely dead, we can call them clumsy and stupid.” The book’s copyright was not renewed and it is now in the public domain; you can read it online or get free ebook copies in various formats here.
  • The problem with how to carry your iPad made it all the way to the Wall Street Journal, which devoted an A-head story to the issue. My correspondents (including a couple who have the iPad) think a belt holster is unrealistic. Best iCartage solution I’ve seen so far (including a photo endorsement from Woz himself) is the Scott eVest, with 22 hidden pockets, including one custom-designed for the iPad.
  • Then again, there’s some unexplored form factor territory between smartphones and iPads. I find the Dell Streak (formerly the Mini 5) intriguing for its size/shape alone. (Here’s an interesting perspective on display size from Engadget.) The 5-inch model that will launch later this year (and in the UK on June 4, I hear) is about the size of an old HP scientific pocket calculator, and in the fevered days of my youth alpha geeks carried those around in leather belt holsters. Even the rumored 7-inch version could be belt-holstered with some care; beyond that it gets dicey. (Dell supposedly has a 10-incher in development.)
  • After asking mobile developer David Beers about his thoughts on the Android OS, I discovered that Google will let you download an Android LiveCD so you can mess around with the OS on an ordinary Intel PC without having to lay out for an actual mobile device.
  • That unpronounceable volcano in Iceland, perhaps fearing that the world was starting to get bored with it, blew a volcanic smoke ring the other day. Many people, perhaps thinking that smoking may be hazardous to a volcano’s health, are cheering it on.
  • After several calm days here, the winds came up again yesterday morning. As Carol and I were driving back from Walgreen’s, we saw dust clouds crossing Broadmoor Bluffs in front of us on several occasions. It’s dry here, and construction sites generate a lot of brown dust, true. But then the winds calmed for a few seconds before starting up again, and when they did, we saw a large pine tree shake in the wind and let go a thick cloud of yellow dust. Pine pollen by the pound. No wonder I can barely breathe.