//I added the following metatags
 
Jul
12
    
Posted (crates) in nature on July-12-2009

     I am reading The Drawing of the Dark by Tim Powers for the second time and have been struck again by just how much I like and admire his novels.   I have read and re-read his books since discovering them years ago, and they never fail to entertain and enthrall me.

      Every time that I read one of his books I am tempted to sit down and devour it as soon as possible, but I try to strictly limit myself.  I try to stretch it out as long as possible, like a wonderful meal, savoring every aspect of it.  Anything really good in my opinion is worth taking one’s time with–and Tim Power’s books are very, very good.

     His books could be labeled fantasy I suppose, or science fiction, but these labels really don’t do his books justice.  Often his novels deal with historical events with the supernatural thrown in.  His history is exact, but it is interpreted in his own unique sort of way.

     It probably doesn’t matter in what order the books are read, but I would definitely read these three in order since they are sequels: Last Call, Expiration Date and Earthquake Weather.  These three books are a must read if you are interested in Tim Powers, although all of the others are very good.

     The Anubis Gates is such an incredible and disturbing book that I limit my reading of it because parts of it are actually painful to me.

    If you are interested in unique and strange stories, you must read the novels of Tim Powers.



 
Jul
11
    
Posted (crates) in Philosophy/Religion on July-11-2009

     When mankind contemplates the infinite, and ponders upon origins, he is often led to the conclusion, or hope, that there is meaning in the interplay of the natural forces that he sees about himself.

     And the concept of a Creator of everything, while uplifting, can be intimidating also.  To whom does one direct one’s prayers and supplications in the hope that that great All is not entirely oblivious and uncaring to the goings on of conscious beings?  How can one presume upon such a high being?

     The Catholics seem to have decided to not importune the High Creator so much, but to call upon lesser deities such as angels and the saints which they have determined can intercede for people.  Other religions have populated the cosmos with small gods also.

    This can be seen in the beliefs of the ancient Greeks, Hinduism and Shinto, and Sumer and many others, with the beliefs in many gods.  Shinto for example populates natural objects with spirits or kami.  Such beliefs people the natural world with spirits and essences, the spirit of a spring, or a boulder, a valley, mountains, etc.

     Thus one can possibly achieve one’s needs by consulting a lesser deity without bothering the supreme being



 
Jul
10
    
Posted (crates) in People on July-10-2009

     Unkind words once uttered can never be retrieved.  I’m sure that everybody has heard this before.  Everybody knows that words can leave lasting impressions.  I can remember unkind words stretching back to my childhood.  Likewise, I can remember words of kindness,  but it seems that harsh words somehow have more of an effect, although everybody has different sensitivities.

     Even when such harsh or kind words are forgotten, I believe that their effects can build up over the years, influencing the character of a person.  Imagine a young child given words of kindness and support, and then compare this child’s life to one who was exposed to harsh critical words.  Such words accumulate like the cement that binds one’s life together, permeating its essence and coloring the outlook and attitudes towards life.

     That’s one reason that I try so hard to not say hurtful words to other people.  Whenever I slip up and do this, as has just happened, such words come back at me with renewed force, and I always end up feeling perfectly awful about it.



 
Jul
01
    
Posted (crates) in biology, birding, Birds, nature on July-1-2009

 

Here’s some birds I saw in Panama.  The page and plate numbers refer to the Birds of Panama.

Common Name

Scientific Name

Panama Area (P=Panama City; T=Bocas;B=Boquete

Pl.no.

Page no.

Egret, Great Casmerodius albus

P, T

2

69

Egret, Cattle Bubulcus i. ibis

P, T

2

71

Heron, Great Blue Ardea h. herodias

P, T

2

68

Ibis, White Eudocimus albus

P

2

74

Frigatebird, Magnificient Fregata magnificens

P, B

4

65

Pelican, Brown Pelecanus occidentalis carolinensis

P,T

4

63

Booby, Brown Sula leugaster estesiaca

T

4

62

Sandpiper, Spotted Actitus macularia

T

5

135

Hawk, Common Black Buteogallus a. anthracinus

T

8

95

Pigeon, Pale-vented Columba cayennensis pallidicissa

T

10

163

 

Dove, Ruddy Ground Columbina talpacoti rufipennis

P

10

167

Dove, White-Tipped Leptotila v. verreauxi

B

10

168

Parakeet, Orange-Chinned Brotogeris j. jugularis

P

11

176

Amazon, Red-Lored Amazona autumnalis salvini

T

11

179

Hummingbird, Rufous-Tailed Amazilia t. tzacatl

T,B

13

217

Hummingbird, Snowy-Bellied Amazilia e. Edward

B

13

216

Violet-Ear, Green (H) Colibri thalassinus cabanidis

B

14

209

Woodpecker, Red-Crowned Melanerpes rubricapillus wagleri

B, P

18

244

Flycatcher, Fork-Tailed Tyrannus savanna monacha

B, P

23

316

Kingbird, Tropical Tyrannus melancholicus chloronotus

B

23

314

Flycatcher, Social Myiozetetes similes columbianus

B

23

311

Pewee, Dark Contopus lugubris

B

23

299

Kiskadee, Great Pitangus sulphuratus guatimalensis

T

23

310

Flycatcher, Boat-Billed (H) Megarhynchus pitangua mexicanus

B

23

310

Flycatcher, Streaked Myiodynastes maculaus difficilis

B

23

313

Elaenia, Yellow-Bellied Elaenia flavogaster pallidorsalis

B

24

286

Elaenia, Mountain Elaenia f. frantizii

B

24

287

Wren, Plain Thryothorus modestus elutus

B

28

343

Wren, House Troglodytes aedon inquietus

B

28

343

 Red-billed Tropicbird   Phaethon aethereus

T