"Some calls it madness...I calls it HiDeeHo." - Cab Calloway
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Thursday, March 20, 2003


Happy Ostara, everyone. For the more scientifically inclined, happy vernal equinox. I know, on the calendars it says tomorrow. Foo. Here in the midwest, it took place around 7:00 this evening. From here on out, the days are longer than the nights. Make good use of them.

Oh, and there was also Purim, and on Sunday is Summer Finding, the old Norse festival wherein you realize again that winter doesn't last forever.


No jackass president and his big boom-booms are going to spoil MY spring, selfish liberal tree-hugger that I am. Human dealings mean little in the face of forces of nature and planetary/solar movements.

Saddam Hussein is a bad guy in my book because of the burning of the oil wells and the spilling of petroleum into the gulf lo these many years ago. His dictatorness and general cruelty just come with the territory of being a scared little man who has some power. He's a bully.

I dislike the Criminal Little Bush on the same principles. He and his toadies are stomping all over things, making a big mess. He's acting like a big dumb bully who's now giving the other bully what-fer. I say, put the yard apes in a cage and let them duke it out. Instead...they get their hordes of soldier ants to do their fighting for them. For shame. Cowards. Metaphor-mixers.

I just called the president a coward. I can do that. I also took advantage of the opportunities presented to me via email and telephone to protest at every turn.

Um...okay, military people. I guess do what you have to now that you have no real choice, but you could have just as easily NOT enlisted. Everyone from more-or-less lifers to new recruits just out of basic training, you got into the military in troubled times. We've had troubled times all the way from WWI up through/including now. Didn't want to go to war? Shouldn't have joined up. You knew it was coming. I consider every single American, British and Australian soldier to be inherently pro-war and thus in opposition to my ideology. I can't support our troops because they're acting in the interests of a big dumb bully, WILLINGLY acting in the interests of a big dumb bully. What are you doing? You're using a sledgehammer to do needlepoint. You're not making anywhere safe for anything. You don't even have the motivation that you had in the beginning of Vietnam...oh, wait. Didn't that have something to do with regime change, too? I mean, I'm no scholar on this subject, but I can see patterns.

Terrorism, my ass. What was the sign I saw and heartily agreed with? "Pre-emptive war IS terrorism." This first phase of action is meant to scare (i.e., terrorize) Iraq. Yeah. We are the terrorists. Oh don't even start with that whole backwards nonsense about Bush's self-defense excuse to go around the UN. It's bullshit.

Mr. Kofi Annan has the priorities straight - humanitarian aid to the Iraqi people. They did nothing. They did nothing to deserve a jackass dictator, and they did nothing to deserve getting the shit bombed out of their country because of him. Whatever happened to diplomacy, or for preference, assassins? Use a needle to do needlepoint, not the sledgehammer.

Commence jumping down my throat now.

posted by Julie Neff  # 3/20/2003 09:56:00 PM

Monday, March 17, 2003


Morgan and I did the Stony Ridge Trail and part of the Ice Age Trail this afternoon. About 1-1/2 hours all told. That makes 4 hours of hiking in two days. That's not nearly enough. That's just getting started.

Yesterday...I'll remember yesterday for a long time to come. Just coincidence that it happened to be Sunday. We had a family excursion to church and it was good.

We covered old familiar ground both days. Yesterday at Lapham Peak with Josh, I sometimes felt like a tour guide. I kept hearing myself point out interesting bits, or so I thought, to him. "There's where we saw the cranes last year...there used to be a bigger overhang from that tree...this used to be a cabin, but all that's left is the cellar...when I was here last year, etc., etc. ..." and so on and so on. I shut up after a while. Morgan noodled along behind us, occasionally getting stuck on some thorny brush or poking at some interesting mud with a stick.

Today, at the state forest HQ, I was on a mission. In a word: Cranes. I am a devotee of the sandhill crane. Tom Robbins sort of denigrates the sandhill crane in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues compared to the once-nearly-extinct whooping crane, as being less picky and less spectacular. Well, you know what? I think adapatability is key. I think a species-wide cloaking device of camouflage coloration is a good idea. I think the sheer numbers of cranes we saw today at the spring-fed marsh, I forget what it's called, I think it might be Scuppernong, is testimony to that. The exuberant primitive dinosaur-honk call, the whumm-whumm-whistle of wings overhead, their ability to fade into the grass...I don't know. Something about them just gets under my skin and makes me want to join them in giant wheeling leaf-spring flights.

Though smaller than the whooper, Grus canadensis is no pipsqueak of a bird. They stand a good 4 feet tall and have wingspans of nearly 7 feet. You can hear their calls clearly up to five miles away. One or two can have a startling presence. We saw more than 50 today, some still up so high they were circling dust motes, many down on the ground stalking around the edges of the marsh, a few in between landing or taking off. I saw a face of Seasonal Change in their behavior, and it was good.

Thus, bird totems change hands again. I'll shed the tenacious little winter-flame cardinal and adopt the grace and presence of the sandhill crane.


posted by Julie Neff  # 3/17/2003 10:01:00 PM


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