Monthly Archives: February 2014

Big Bend



Buck and I on the Rio Grande. It is such a beautiful mountain river here at this altitude. The dark shadowed mountains on the right are in Mexico. Picture taken by april Baxter, a truly accomplished horsewoman and wonderful person to be around. A brave rider. We were at the old movie set where they filmed ‘Streets Of Laredo’ with phony church and fake cantina and spectacular red cliffs. We had come down the Contrabando Trail in the state park.

The world of the ancient Japanese novels



One of my favorite books in that it describes the background of the Heian Japanese court in the year (more or less) 1000 AD and it is a world as strange to us — also probably to modern Japanese — as any of Jack Vance’s science or speculative fiction. It is in a way wondrous, like science fiction or speculative fiction ought to be. the author researched the universe of those people that lay behind the 11th century Japanese court novel ‘Tale Of Genji’. It would be hard to make this stuff up. When the ladies and gentlemen of the court ride out to the countryside it is as strange to them as it is to us; the life of the peasants toiling away so that they could have their luxurious life, so far removed. the book is fascinating.

Interesting novel



Having mostly to do with dog-sledding and a series of inserted stories on the Chukchi of northeastern Siberia and their devastation by the Soviets. Of course the Soviets devastated everybody but it was the first time I had ever read details of the Chukchi.


I believe that the Chukchi language is the only one related to a North American language, i.e. Inuit, or Inupiat.

Descriptions of learning how to run a dog team are very good.




Re-reading favorite books


“A signature is a collection of described characteristics that indicates that an entity has produced an event even if that entity is no longer present or cannot be observed”.

An excellent description of a novel. Am re-reading O’Brian’s wonderful series of tales of the English navy in the early 1800’s. His two characters, Jack Aubry and Stephen Maturin are truly among the great inventions of literature; the man of action and his friend the cerebral physician / intelligence officer.