What happens when you combine Irish dancing with Talk Like a Pirate Day?

Cutlass dancing.

My friends and I stopped at the relocated Carp Camp on the way home from Winfield last night. Here’s a bit of the music we heard:


The sound isn’t wonderful (crank it up), but it might give you an idea of the energy flowing there.

There will be many more pictures of Winfield and Carp Camp when I have time to sort and edit everything in the camera.

We interrupt the regularly scheduled program for a bit of reality

(I just got an email from a friend checking to see how I am, and I thought I ought to make an announcement here in case anyone else is wondering.)

The remains of Tropical Storm Lowell (an east Pacific storm that nobody paid much attention to) dropped ten inches of rain in the Wichita area yesterday. Several of the rivers in the region are well above flood stage. Fortunately for me, none of the flooding is near my neighborhood, even though the Little Arkansas River loops around it.

My principal, selfish concern with the flooding is to what extent it will interfere with the Walnut Valley Festival next weekend. The spot where I normally camp is currently under at least ten feet of water. (If I do go this year, I’ll be day-tripping. Even if the Walnut River is back within its banks in time, the mud will be deep and gooey in the campgrounds.)


Carp Camp, September, 2008. Here’s what it looked like a year ago. (Photo from The Winfield Courier.)

Checking in

Odds and ends in lieu of a substantative post.

My ankle has healed to the point that it’s a minor nuisance, not a major problem. It doesn’t feel right, and I expect that it never really will, but I can get around plenty well now, up and down stairs and out on my bicycle. I’m done with formal physical therapy. Next month I plan to take a beginning ballet class as a form of advanced PT. I don’t expect to be back on the dance stage again — my ankle is getting better, but my knees aren’t — but taking class will be worthwhile just to demonstrate to myself that I can still do it, despite everything.


I’ve installed a new photo gallery that I hope will be easier to upgrade in the future when it becomes necessary. I’m in the process of uploading the pictures from the old site. There are a bunch of them, and it’s going to take a while to post them all. Currently, there are some pictures from last year’s Walnut Valley Festival, some from the local botanical garden, and a selection of pictures from my days in the Society for Creative Anachronism. The last are mostly black and white and date back to when I worked in an old-fashioned chemical darkroom.


Robert the LLama Butcher, one of my favorite bloggers, has his own place now, The Port Stands at Your Elbow. He promises to keep posting at the old site as well.


Watchmen is one of the very few comic books graphic novels that I have read. The inevitable movie is due out next year, and it looks like it might not be a botch — though it almost was:

… they originally wanted Keanu Reeves for Dr. Manhattan, Ron Perlman for The Comedian, and either Jude Law and Tom Cruise for Ozymandias. Gack!

Toren makes an essential point in the comments there:

Alan has put his money where his mouth is and transferred all his share of the profits from the movie to Dave Gibbons, the artist. I’ve met Dave a few times here and in England and I must say he’s not only a great guy but his work in adapting Alan’s brutally difficult script has been vastly underrated. To take Alan’s insanely complex and dense scripts and adapt them to read fluently and yet contain the unbelievable amount of required detail and foreshadowing is one of comic’s great accomplishments. Dave’s work was hugely appreciated within the industry but alas, never got much credit outside of it. It was all “Alan Moore is God.”

It’s a damn shame.

Alan Moore isn’t God, but is he Shakespeare? Eve Tushnet has some interesting things to say about Watchmen (spoilers), finding parallels with Measure for Measure and much else. (You may need to scroll down to the entries for January 23, 2004.) Scroll up for additional comments and links.

Update: More on Moore from Tushnet.


Right now I’m playing loud music to drown out today’s treat: a bunch of no-longer-young drag queens lipsyncing to mediocre music down at the corner. No pictures; I want to forget the images, not share them with unwary visitors. There’s also an ice cream vendor playing tinny banjo recordings of teevee themes in the parking lot across the alley.

Why do people drive like idiots?

Because they are idiots.

Three things to keep in mind when you ride a bicycle on Wichita streets:

1. If there is any possibility that a driver won’t see you, he won’t.

2. If there is no way on earth that a driver can possibly miss seeing you, he still won’t see you.

3. Right-of-way? What’s that?


I’m going to be away from the computer for a few days, so things here will be even quieter than usual.


It’s going to be about two months more and another operation before I have two working legs again. This is just a wee bit frustrating. I’d like to take more pictures, but until I can get down the front steps unaided, there’s no point to getting the camera out. I suppose I could do series of photos of my books, or my vinyl, or the unwashed dishes, or the junk mail an inch deep on the front room floor, but I don’t think there’s two months worth of interesting shots there. I’m considering renting or buying a folding wheelchair and bribing friends to take me out to the botanical garden (which will shortly become a very active site) and other interesting places, but even then that’s something I can’t do every day. It looks like Project 365 will stay on hold until April.

Dear State of Kansas Department of Revenue

You would like me to submit my tax return electronically. I would myself prefer to do my taxes online. Every year I visit your website and try to log on, and every year I end up yelling at the computer monitor. This time, I got this message after filling out several screens of forms:

You are not currently logged in. Please go to the WebFile Home page to login.

On the next screen, I get this:

You appear to be already logged in.

It’s been at least four years now, and you still can’t tell if I’m logged in. The hell with it. You’re getting a paper return yet again, and you will always get a paper return from me until you fix your !@#$ %^&* web site.

Memo to Senator Pat Roberts

When the phone rings these days, I awkwardly rise out of my chair, lumber across the room with the walker and, struggling to not lose my balance, pick up the phone. It is a nuisance. I don’t mind making the efforts for friends and colleagues. However, when I put the receiver to my ear and hear a recording of a politician, I regret that I don’t know more maledictions. If you want to guarantee that I’ll never vote for you or any of your causes again, this is the way to do it.

Miscellaneous notes

An unexpected Star Trek fan.


I didn’t much care for Peter Jackson’s version of The Lord of the Rings, but it did make The DM of the Rings possible. Shamus is about to wrap the story up. It begins here. Shamus’ next project will be here.


The first tune I heard Saturday morning was “Wipeout.” I also heard “American Pie,” some Jethro Tull and an a capella rendition of the riff from “Smoke on the Water.” Where was I?

Continue reading “Miscellaneous notes”

Against tidiness

Callirhoe involucrata is a member of the mallow family with brilliant magenta flowers. It blooms throughout the summer, but its prime flowering time is right now through the next week or two. There are some large patches of callirhoe along the bike path in south Wichita, along with some stands of blue tradescantia. I had planned to take a few photos of them after work today and post one of them as today’s picture. However, the City of Wichita, demonstrating its conviction that neatness matters more than beauty, mowed the area, scalping the sprawling plants. Maybe this weekend I’ll find an intact patch elsewhere.