Archive for August 12, 2009

camels on the loose

When I first heard a report about this on the radio today, I wondered why Australia would choose to cull its cattle herds in such a strange manner.  Surely there is a market for cows?  Maybe you could eat the meat?  Maybe their hides would make good boots?  Perhaps people need decorative skulls to paint?  Anyway, I eventually realized that the reporter was actually talking about camels, which is still puzzling but in a completely different way.

From my cursory studies of the Land Down Under and from my annual viewing of the Austalian Open, I am familiar with some of the continent’s fauna–koalas, kangaroos, dingos, and even the wombat.  I, however, never remember being told that Australia hosts about 1 million camels and that this particular population is causing great environmental distress as well as possible emotional distress for the people that encounter its wrath when the camel focuses its rage on their homes and persons.

Anyway, following in Alaska’s footsteps of dealing with wolves, Australia is planning to control its herds of camels (Do they move in herds?  Packs?  Mobs?) through sharpshooters taking out some of the animals from the comfort of a helicopter.  Cruel?  The most realistic option?  I don’t even pretend to know.  I do know, however, that after watching Bear Grylls playing house with a camel in the Sahara I would never want to encounter one on any continent.


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story time!

Some new fun at the Regulator starting at the end of the month.  We’ll see you there!

Friday, August 28, 2009, 7:00 p.m.
Starting tonight, a new twice a month series featuring musician and songwriter Peter Holsapple, who will share books, stories and songs. “It’s all about a guy, really a big old kid, bringing his guitar and his sense of humor and involvement, some books and his pajamas, and entertaining kids-and their parents too.” Holsapple, known best for his work with the dB’s and the Continental Drifters, has also worked with R.E.M., Hootie and the Blowfish, and Sugarland. So wear your pajamas and come join the fun!

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artichokes everywhere

Aside from tossing some artichoke hearts into a pasta every now and then, I can honestly say that I have had little experience with an actual artichoke.  I have never bought one and have probably never actually touched one.

This may all change, however, with my children’s obsession with Scott Mickelson’s book Artichoke Boy.


After checking this book out of the library, we have probably read the story of a boy who is surrounded by all things artichokey a dozen times.  The kids totally get the hilariousness of having an artichoke derriere and a sister named Kelly who has an artichoke belly.  The main character’s differently colored eyes do freak me out a bit, but the kids don’t seem to mind the artichoke family’s heterochromia.  All things considered, this book has been a welcome addition to our storytimes and a blessed change of pace from books on volcanoes and firehouses.

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