Jeff Duntemann's Contrapositive Diary Rotating Header Image


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.


  1. Jim Mischel says:

    I was privileged to meet Jack Horkheimer him on that eclipse cruise back in 1998. I was standing in the dining room with a full tray looking for a place to sit, and he invited me to sit at his table. For the first 15 minutes of our conversation, I had absolutely no idea who he was. He looked a lot different without that bad toupee he wore on TV. His stargazing lessons on the bow of the ship were quite enjoyable and informative. I’m sorry to see him go.

    1. Boy, I knew I’d seen him somewhere in person and thought it was at an SF convention, but couldn’t quite place it. That was it. I never spoke to him, but did see him at a distance.

      You lucked out.

      Interestingly, they changed the name of his show from “Star Hustler” to “Star Gazer” when the Web era dawned, and the producers thought people would search for “Star Hustler” and get the Hustler magazine Web site instead.

  2. Carol Pruitt says:

    Quote: “… does anybody see size Small or Peewee eggs sold at retail?”

    Twice in my life, I have seen pullet eggs for sale in a store. They have something like half the volume of a Large, whatever size that is.

    The first time was circa 1968 in a little dairy store in North Attleboro, Massachusetts. I remember explaining to my boyfriend that a pullet is sort of a “teen-aged” hen, just starting to lay eggs. (I don’t know the technical name for male chickens of that age, but the general public typically encounters them as “fryers.”)

    The second time was in Rochester, New York, at a Wegman’s supermarket. This was in the spring of 1982, and I was planning an equinox party, so I bought a dozen, along with a Paas dye kit, and made mini Easter eggs.

    1. I used to shop at Wegman’s, but we left Rochester 25 years ago (how could that be!) and at that time I was afraid eggs would give me heart disease. (Now I know better, and have them every chance I get.) Interesting stats at this Web page, indicating that a dozen Peewee eggs weigh exactly half as much as a dozen Jumbo eggs, with everything else falling on a spectrum from one to the other. Pullet eggs are defined by the age of the laying hen, not the weight of the eggs, which are generally graded either Peewee or Small.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *