Tuesday, September 24, 2013


Muddy Road is one of Rhonda's favorite tunes from Walela.  It begins with "We are walking on a muddy road" and Rhonda thought that would be a fitting addition to the grandkids' teepee that is build along the path near our house.  She had wood-burned a sign that says Where Wild Things Are and then added Walking on a Muddy Road to a branch near the entry to the teepee, both shown below.  Perhaps it is Rhonda's Native American heritage that made her work prescient - during the 1000-year rain, Sunshine Creek roared by the teepee, creating a very muddy road indeed.  The teepee survived and the mud has pretty much dried, but it serves as a reminder of the flood of 2013.

We are walking on a muddy road  
Ain't no one here beside me I don't know  
We're the links in the chain Just passin' thru again  
We are walking down a muddy road  
We are walking thru Galilee  
We are lookin' for a light to see  
We got blood on our feet  
We got some truth to meet  
We are walkin' thru Galilee

 Tla Wo Nv No Os Ta I Sa Wi Di Di Lu Ts A Wo Ha Li I U Sti

We're gonna put on our wings and fly
We got one more river to cross 
We are walkin in the hands of God  
We're the clay, the dust, the sod  
We're the slaves of today  
We are the ones who know The Way
We are walking in the hands of God
We got one more river to cross  
We're gonna walk on through the water and sing  
When we get to the other side  
We're gonna put on our wings and fly
We Got one mroe river to cross
We are walking on a muddy road  
Ain't no one here beside me I don't know  
We're the links in the chain  
Just passin' thru again
We are walkin' on a muddy road
 Tla Wo Nv No Os Ta I Sa Wi Di Di Lu Ts A Wo Ha Li I U Sti

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Been working on sand and debris cleanup around the neighborhood, and also on another post about the floods.  But - recently heard Harry Chapin's Taxi and was reminded that it is among my most favorite story-songs.  You can read about Chapin's life and untimely death here and check out his music here.

Here is a live version:

It was raining hard in 'Frisco,
I needed one more fare to make my night.
A lady up ahead waved to flag me down,
She got in at the light.

Oh, where you going to, my lady blue,
It's a shame you ruined your gown in the rain.
She just looked out the window, and said
"Sixteen Parkside Lane".

Something about her was familiar
I could swear I'd seen her face before,
But she said, "I'm sure you're mistaken"
And she didn't say anything more.

It took a while, but she looked in the mirror,
And she glanced at the license for my name.
A smile seemed to come to her slowly,
It was a sad smile, just the same.
And she said, "How are you Harry?"
I said, "How are you Sue?
Through the too many miles
and the too little smiles
I still remember you."

It was somewhere in a fairy tale,
I used to take her home in my car.
We learned about love in the back of the Dodge,
The lesson hadn't gone too far.
You see, she was gonna be an actress,
And I was gonna learn to fly.
She took off to find the footlights,
And I took off to find the sky. 

 Oh, I've got something inside me,
To drive a princess blind.
There's a wild man, wizard,
He's hiding in me, illuminating my mind.
Oh, I've got something inside me,
Not what my life's about,
Cause I've been letting my outside tide me,
Over 'till my time, runs out.

Baby's so high that she's skying,
Yes she's flying, afraid to fall.
I'll tell you why baby's crying,
Cause she's dying, aren't we all.

There was not much more for us to talk about,
Whatever we had once was gone.
So I turned my cab into the driveway,
Past the gate and the fine trimmed lawns.
And she said we must get together,
But I knew it'd never be arranged.
And she handed me twenty dollars,
For a two fifty fare, she said
"Harry, keep the change."
Well another man might have been angry,
And another man might have been hurt,
But another man never would have let her go...
I stashed the bill in my shirt. 

And she walked away in silence,
It's strange, how you never know,
But we'd both gotten what we'd asked for,
Such a long, long time ago.

You see, she was gonna be an actress
And I was gonna learn to fly.
She took off to find the footlights,
And I took off for the sky.
And here, she's acting happy,
Inside her handsome home.
And me, I'm flying in my taxi,
Taking tips, and getting stoned,
I go flying so high, when I'm stoned.

And here is the studio version:


Saturday, September 14, 2013



I have seen the light and now know the intellectual and theological superiority of Omnism.  Actually, it's the pragmatic aspect that won me over.  The CU-Colorado Springs Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity and Inclusion recently published the list below and encouraged all faculty and staff to be sensitive and respectful of the religious holy days of all faith traditions. [An aside - being an AVCDI seems like a nice gig.]  As an Omnist, I  will choose to celebrate all of the holidays shown plus a few that the AVCDI overlooked, such as the Pastafarians celebration of the Flying Spaghetti Monster with every Friday being a holy day.  Seems like Kwanzaa should also be noted.  And why should those without a theism not have a special day?  Urban legend says that April 1 should be such a day, and Penn Jellete claims that every day is an atheist holiday.  If I plan it right, I don't think that I will have to work any days at all - wait a minute - I don't work any days now!!

1 Ecclesiastical Year begins – Orthodox Christian
5-6 Rosh Hashanah * – Jewish
9 Ganesh Chaturthi ** – Hindu
10 Paryushana Parva ** – Jain
14 Yom Kippur* – Jewish
Elevation of the Life Giving Cross – Holy Cross Day – Christian
19-25 Sukkot* – Jewish
22 Equinox
Mabon * – Wicca/Pagan northern hemisphere
Ostara * – Wicca/Pagan southern hemisphere
26 Shemini Atzeret * – Jewish
27 Simchat Torah * – Jewish
Meskel – Ethiopian Christian
29 Michael and All Angels – Christian
4 Saint Francis Day – Catholic Christian
5-13 Navaratri ** – Hindu
14 Waqf al Arafa – Hajj Day * ** – Islam
Thanksgiving – Canada – Interfaith
Dasara ** – Hindu
15-18 Eid al Adha * ** – Islam
18 Saint Luke – Apostle and Evangelist – Christian
20 Birth of the Báb * – Baha’i
Installation of Scriptures as Guru Granth – Sikh
27 Reformation Day ** – Protestant Christian
31 All Hallows Eve – Christian
1 All Saints Day – Christian
Samhain and Beltane * – Wicca/Pagan
1-5 Deepavali ** – Hindu
2 All Soul’s Day – Catholic Christian
3 Diwali – Deepavali ** – Hindu – Jain – Sikh
Jain New Year ** – Jain
4 Hijra – New Year * ** – Islam
12 Birth of Baha’u'llah * – Bahai
13 Ashura * ** – Islam
14 Winter Lent begins to 12/25 – Orthodox Christian
17 Guru Nanak Dev Sahib birthday – Sikh
21 Yule – Christian
24 Guru Tegh Bahadur Martyrdom – Sikh
Christ the King – Christian
26 Day of the Covenant * – Baha’i
28 Ascension of Abdu’l-Baha * – Baha’i
Thanksgiving – USA – Interfaith
28-12/5 Hanukkah * – Judaism
30 Saint Andrew’s Day – Christian
1- 24 Advent (first Sunday) – Christian
6 Saint Nicholas Day – Christian
8 Rohatsu – Bodhi Day ** – Buddhist
Immaculate Conception of Mary – Catholic Christian
12 Feast Day of Our Lady of Guadalupe – Catholic Christian
16-25 Posadas Navidenas – Christian

 File:FSM Logo.svg

Friday, September 13, 2013


I am not sure which is more nerve-racking - wild fires or flash floods.  In 2010, the Four Mile Canyon Fire came within about a mile of our place, and I wrote about it here.   And now it looks like we are in the midst of a 100 year flood here in Boulder and surrounding counties.  When the rain started last Tuesday, it was welcome - it had been fairly dry and Sunshine Creek, the small seasonal stream that flows next to our property, had dried up.  But the rain kept coming - and coming, and coming.  I emptied our rain gauge at 5" and the next day it had overflowed at 6" and today it has another 3+ inches.  At the moment, there is a break in the weather, but the forecast is that the system will not move out of here for another couple of days, although the worst seems to be past.  There is a very large low parked over Utah and it continuously pumps monsoonal moisture that appears in waves of heavy then light rains.  Because the low has not moved much, the rains tend to fall at the same places.  Boulder county seems to have been a primary target.  One can find a lot of information about the floods including places like the New York Times.  But the following are some pictures that I took of our immediate neighborhood - the very good news is that opposed to many, many folks in Boulder, our place remained high and dry.

This picture was taken just uphill to the northwest of our place - this is supposed to be a path with the creek passing through a small culvert that runs under the path from the cement wall on the left to the tree on the right.
Downhill from the picture above, this is the path as it passes past our place, about 20 feet from the corner of the house.  Yes - the path, not Sunshine Creek - if you expand the picture, you can see the creek on the other side of the trees that separate the path from the stream.

A bit further down hill, the path opens up to the driveway and parking outside of our garage.  The water passed by the corner of the garage [about where this picture was taken], and we kept it out of the garage with several home made sand bags.

A video of the path.

Just a bit of the debris that flowed with Sunshine Creek - and some of it was much larger than this stuff!!

Just across Spruce Street from our place are two city tennis courts that sit in a bit of a bowl next to the creek - yes, that is the very top of one of the nets in the middle of the water.

The worst seems to be over for Boulder, and thus the clean up will soon begin.  However, all of this water is going east, so many down stream places are now flooding including as far east as Kansas.  It will be interesting to see if the weather folks officially declare this to be a 100 Year Flood. 

Friday, September 06, 2013



This is the second in my series of recognizing special friends while they are still with us.  Don's bio is below, and I first met him during the CU-Colorado Springs phase of his career.  He was a founding faculty member in the biology department, and Don was 'old school' in some ways, particularly his biological illustrations.  Before his lectures, he would go to the classroom and draw exquisite color chalk artwork of the subject at hand, often botanical in nature.  After a while, he realized that he could make a decent living pursuing his water color art without the travails of teaching, research and service at an underfunded campus!  Don's specialties are Chicago and the Indiana Dunes, and I don't think that anyone else captures the greyness of
Chicago quite like Don.  We have a wonderful watercolor of the Indiana Dunes hanging in our front entryway [and maybe I will get a picture of it posted here sometime].  Below are several of his watercolors of Chicago, and if you ever have a chance, be sure to see one of his originals.  Yong Chen called his Chicago paintings "strikingly beautiful renditions of ugly scenes."

Van Horn


Here is a Van Horn Bio by Mel Barton: 

Donald Howard Van Horn was born in Hinsdale, Illinois in 1928, and grew up in Western Springs, a suburb of Chicago. Van Horn became interested in biology early in college when he visited the Indiana Dunes, which were referred to as "the birthplace of American ecology" as a result of early work by Dr. Henry Cowles. He became interested in the plants and particularly the birds at the Dunes. He graduated from Kalamazoo College in 1950 with a Bachelor's degree in biology and from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1952 with an M.S. in Zoology, focusing on ornithology. During his time at Kalamazoo and Urbana, he studied watercolor painting on an informal basis with Charles Vickery, an emerging marine painter. When he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1953, Van Horn switched from watercolor to 35mm color photography.
Van Horn returned to graduate school at the University of Colorado-Boulder in 1956, to study with Dr. Gordon Alexander. He originally intended to study birds, but ended up participating in Alexander's NSF-funded grasshopper survey from 1958-1960. Van Horn's doctoral dissertation on differentiation of grasshopper populations by the morphology of the male sexual organs was based on data from specimens collected during the survey. In addition to participating in the survey's scientific work, Van Horn also photographed fieldwork, survey members, and specimens collected. These provide a snap shot into the 1958-1960 survey and are present throughout this web site.  In 1961, Van Horn was awarded a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Colorado.

After receiving his Ph.D., Dr. Van Horn taught at Lake Forest College (1961-1962), Utica College of Syracuse University (1962-1965), and the University of Colorado-Boulder (1965-1966), as well as participated in the NSF Summer Science Institute for high school teachers and students at Colorado College. When the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS) was opened in 1966, Dr. Van Horn was invited to apply for a faculty position as one of the founding members of the UCCS biology department. During this time, Dr. Van Horn was able to use the expertise in grasshoppers he gained on the Alexander survey in the Grasslands Biome Project, another ecological study based at Colorado State University. He taught at UCCS until 1985, when he retired and focused his energy again upon art.

Dr. Van Horn had taken up watercolor painting again in 1976, and entered several competitive shows between 1977 and 2007. He won several prizes, including the silver medal in the 2003 American Watercolor Society Exhibition, and became a signature member of four national watercolor societies.

He lives in Colorado Springs with his wife, and continues to be active in the art world.