DSCF1716-blog“The game [of photography] is to organize the rectangle.”   Sergio Larrin

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olympic notebook: shuttlecock

(Of course, there was an Olympic notebook. Or rather, an Olympic yellow legal pad. And like any notebook, I wrote down a few things that turned out to still be interesting the next day. And a few that didn’t.  Expect a couple of the interesting things here over the next few days.)


Shuttlecock. Everybody likes having a legitimate reason to say (or write) the word “shuttlecock” in an all ages public forum. According to the Olympic notebook, the badminton  commentators told us that the Olympic badminton shuttlecock  is not the little plastic doohickey of our backyard games but a handcrafted widget made with 16 feathers from the right wing of a white goose*.

My guess was that the feathers had to be from the right wing because of some directional element–if you always use right handed feathers the shuttlecocks will behave consistently over time and thereby promote fair competition at the badminton nets. But the commentator  went on to tell us that right wing feathers are used because the right wing is stronger– since geese always turn in the same direction when they take off. I am skeptical, and will be watching any white geese I see from now on to see if they display any excessive levels of consistency at takeoff.

*Doesn’t that sound like a line from a fairy tale? ” ‘Ere I give you (whatever exotic object or experience you need to take the next step on your quest), you must bring to me sixteen feathers from the right wing of the White Goose who Guards the Garden of th Moon”. Expect the task to be rather more trouble than it sounds.

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the birthday corgi

Toby-as-a-pup-blogToday is a very special day: it is our old corgi boy’s 15th birthday.  We can say about him the greatest thing you can say of any of his kind: he is, and has been every single day since we first met him as a pup, a Good Dog.


At the top is my very favorite puppy picture.  The image above was taken last Friday.

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happy belated world photography day

Happy belated World Photography Day.  It was a weird week, and somehow this important date passed me by. (It was Friday, if you too missed the memo.)  But photography has become really important to me again in the last few years, so I still want to commemorate the occasion.  So here are reprises of some of my favorite photographs of the year, so far, and a picture of one of my cameras that I posted on Instagram but haven’t shared here.


My favorite photo opportunity this year so far was the visit to our driveway of the Very Patient Dragonfly. (Pentax K-5iis, Pentax D-FA 100mm f/2.8 macro).


My favorite single photo this year so far was this little black and white portrait of the Dire Corgi with his wishbone. (Fuji X-T10, Fujinon 35mm f/1.4)

And my new camera this year was this little black Fuji, the camera that was used to take the corgi picture above.


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gold medal

  • Gold medal, at last.
  • Against Germany, which makes it better.
  • (Refer back to the last World Cup if you need this explained to you; it is rather painful.)
  • Brasil! (That’s two hundred thousand voices, more or less.)
  • The Maracanã explodes.
  • Players run randomly across the pitch and throw themselves to the turf, sobbing.
  • Neymar pulls his yellow jersey over his face.
  • The old corgi finally eats his dinner.
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best of the drawing of the day: such a small wolf

suchasmallwolf-cropandstraighten-cleanedup-blogWe don’t usually see a lot of werewolves (or werewolf-like beings) in their midrange transitional forms in these sketchbooks.  A respectable Kekionga werewolf is either in the skin (or a 10% wolf “sharptooth” shape ) or in the fur, and prefers to change forms in private.  So this little wolfman guy is probably a folkloric character unrelated to the main story background.

He’s definitely a small wolf; it says so in the caption.  But just how small is hard to tell.  Spirit rocks like the one he is sitting on range in size from pebbles to boulders, so there really isn’t any scale.  Are the plants at the base of the rock grass or brush or the tops of bushes?  Drawing of the day drawings are there to raise questions rather than answer them*, so it doesn’t really matter.  But if you want to think of a bunch of beings that can take the form of knee high wolves scampering around the woods, well, that’s an entertaining thought.

*These little essays, however, often help me tackle issues of worldbuilding I never knew I had.  I’ve always known that the Professor usually takes an approximately 10% wolf form in preference to a fully human one (it gives him improved access to his werewolf strength and those enhanced wolf senses), and so does at least one other canon werewolf.  But the term “sharptooth” for that notch on the lycanthropic continuum is new as of right now.  “I never knew what I thought ’till I read what I wrote”.

(The sharptooth is practically defined as the most fur you can keep without running into problems with the tail.)

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magnificent mammoth

alisontattoo-pinterest-cropThe Man with the Mammoth Tattoo, Alison.  Brazil 1, Alison (Cerutti) and Bruno (Schmidt), took the gold at Copacabana late at night in the pouring rain.  The Woolly Mammoth does not fear rain or wet sand.

(Image from Pinterest, cropped by me.  This is a test post.)

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beach volleyball!

Still plenty of time to stock up on snacks, warm up the big screen, and head on down to Rio for tonight’s men’s beach volleyball gold medal game between the awesome Alison (Cerruti) and Bruno (Schmidt) and some guys from Italy who are going to go down hard in the sands of Copacabana.  Alison is called Mamut, The Wooly Mammoth, which is the best nickname, so of course we here at World Headquarters are rooting for him and his seemingly diminutive partner, Bruno, who is actually six foot one.  Go, team Mammoth!


(Alison and Bruno in action, from the Minneapolis Star Tribune.)

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a very dire shadow

The Dire Corgi practices his down stay late on a summer afternoon. I liked the way his tongue is casting its own shadow. Phone camera, lightly processed in Pixlr, with one of Pixlr’s vintage filters on top.

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saddle foo dog

62f2053cf35f16ba34ba7c6b0a257facThis concept sketch is from the carousel work in progress in Albany, Oregon. Wood carvers are at work there creating a wonderful new menagerie carousel of animals from around the world, both real and fantastic. It is going to be spectacular. See all the designs here.

A foo dog, of course, is an ideal stander– the large figure at the outside of the row that does not move. The Chinese text on this one’s pearl reads “love”; my guess is that the one in Kekionga says “blackberry”. And, also of course, Kekionga’s carousel foo dog doesn’t have a cat companion.  That would be copying.

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