Posted by: Mark | May 27, 2016

Dog Vomit Fungus

2016-05-27 16.40.23

This looks like a gross type of industrial foam but it’s known as dog vomit fungus. Some days the ugly comes to you.

Dog Vomit Fungus is not really a fungus, just like prairie dogs aren’t dogs and guinea pigs aren’t pigs.

What is dog vomit fungus? Apparently it’s a slime mold. What is a slime mold?Apparently it’s a protist, like an amoeba. Authorities disagree but they have anywhere from 12 to 8,000 genders (like humans, it’s difficult to draw a line).

I wouldn’t like to be reincarnated as a slime mold but gender menu might make it worthwhile.

Posted by: Mark | May 26, 2016

Japanese Maple

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I was hoping that a tree with dark red/purple leaves would be easy to identify.

No such luck. I think it’s a Japanese Maple but there’s a few dozen others, including the purple plum.

I did see a big, easy to ID butterfly but it was too quick. Maybe next time.

Posted by: Mark | May 25, 2016

Lilac. . . Maybe

2016-05-25 23.38.32

What do I know about lilacs? Not much beyond that Milton Berle played Louie the Lilac on Adam West’s Batman.

Is this a lilac? There’s about 9,000 different types of lilacs and this doesn’t exactly match up with any of them, but nothing else does either.

In a few years I bet cell phones will have a DNA analyzer as a standard feature. Until then the struggle continues.

Posted by: Mark | May 24, 2016

Yellow Sac Spider

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Is this a yellow sac spider? I don’t think so but I’ve been over pictures of all known species of spiders in Kentucky and Ohio and it’s the closest.

2016-05-24 23.07.39

I shot this guy crawling on my windshield at NKU. Maybe the science lab was experimenting with spiders and I blew my chance of becoming a superhero.

Posted by: Mark | May 23, 2016

Completion List : Kolchak (The Original Series )

A while ago I watched the complete series of the Kolchak remake. I had watched several episodes of the original but couldn’t find the DVDs for the rest. Thanks to Netflix, I finally finished the original show.

Stephen King wrote in Danse Macabre that the series got weaker as it went on. I don’t completely agree but the final episode about a modern underground dinosaur was every bit as silly as the final transgender body-swapping episode of the original Star Trek.

The reptile-man made the Gorn look like prize-winning special effects of 2028. My kids have watched a lot of Power Rangers and the Night Stalker dino-man wasn’t up to those standards.

Then again, the werewolf costume earlier in the season wasn’t much better.

King also complained how convoluted it was to have all the monsters centralized in Chicago. I think the X-Files learned from that.

Otherwise, the stories were fun and Darren McGavin sold even the weakest set ups. John Fielder, the voice of Piglet, played a reoccurring character as the local coroner and fit in surprisingly well. The production values of the remake were much superior but in the end, I enjoyed the original much more.

Posted by: Mark | May 22, 2016

Eastern Box Turtle

NKU cut another hundred or so jobs so it doesn’t look like I’ll be back in the fall or ever. I wanted to pick up some of my old books today but the building was locked. On the way home, I saw a turtle on the highway.

2016-05-22 21.32.38

I have heard of people causing fatal accidents trying to save animals so I had to pull off at a safe spot. Fortunately traffic was light and I was able to get to him. He was headed across six lanes so I don’t think he would have made it.

2016-05-22 21.31.05

I dropped him/her off at a park a few miles away. S/he boxed himself/herself up so that I couldn’t see her/his eyes to tell if h/h sex.

Sadly many people enjoy driving over box turtles for the popping sound they make. Possibly why we don’t see them as often as we used to.

2016-05-22 21.29.30

Posted by: Mark | May 21, 2016

Resolution Update 21

Nothing spectacularly awful happened this week so I must give thanks:

1. Writing (Goal – 120,000 words/finish five stories):  24,712 words and four stories.

2. Publishing (Send out 110 manuscripts): Only five.

3. Read Finnegan’s Wake: Finished the fifth chapter, 113 pages out of 540.

4. Read Shakespeare’s sonnets: Complete.

5. Visit five new libraries: Two–Blanchester Public Library and Green Township.

6. 5,000 Push ups/8,000 Leg lifts: 1,520 push ups; 2,395 leg lifts.

7. Running: went 3.1 on the elliptical machine and 1.3 on the treadmill for 340.68 miles for the year.

8. Lose 26 pounds: ?

9. 100 photos of different species: up to 41 by adding Orchids and Canterbury bells.

10. Year of Mercy: Still two.

Posted by: Mark | May 19, 2016

More, Same, Fewer

After last week’s baby gerbil massacre, my expectations were low when Squirrelley and Snowball had a new litter. It looked like only one baby survived the birth, putting the gerbil population at 17. The next day one of the babies from Squirrelley’s first litter back in July 2015 died. Her sister remains healthy. This morning, the new baby died.

This wasn’t nearly as bad as last week but is a far cry from good.

Posted by: Mark | May 18, 2016

Canterbury Bells

2016-05-18 18.29.44

These look like purple daffodils but apparently are campanula aka Canterbury bells. I found many inquiries about them which makes me feel better for not being the only idiot who can’t identify flowers.

Posted by: Mark | May 17, 2016


2016-05-17 11.02.52

I’ve never understood why orchids are featured so often in film and literature. The Big Sleep, Nero Wolfe, Popeye, Adaptation, and others I’m too lazy to look up.

Maybe other flowers have too much symbolic baggage to them. Orchids are just pretty and expensive.

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