Wednesday, June 13, 2018

May 2018 Reading

One Book

May 2018 Reading: photo by Cliff Hutson
May 2018 Reading: photo by Cliff Hutson

This past month I only managed to finish reading one book. I might have lost my attention span much like the character in this xkcd comic coincidentally posted this week.

I came across this book on a visit to my local Barnes and Noble bookstore. C.J. Box is not one of my favorite authors, though I have read a fair number of his Joe Pickett series, but that was years ago. However, when I saw a hard cover edition for under seven dollars, I decided to give him another chance. It just reenforced my belief that  decision to drop him from my preferred list was a correct one. Still, I did read the whole thing. There is no other author who made the cut for May.

That purchase was part of my small campaign of trying to support brick and mortar businesses. Bookstores, new and used, were a big part of my life growing up, and into the 1990s when the small, local ones began to disappear because of the pressure for the big stores like Borders, and B&N.  These, too, have discontinued business, or are threatened with demise, respectively. It is good to see that Upstart Crow is still with us.

Several Magazines


I did read quite a lot of magazines, stacks of which had been building up for a while. These photographs represent a sampling of my selections:

The New Yorker: photo by Cliff Hutson
The New Yorker: photo by Cliff Hutson

Scientific American: photo by Cliff Hutso

Westways: photo by Cliff Hutson
Westways: photo by Cliff Hutson

Dwell: photo by Cliff Hutson
Dwell: photo by Cliff Hutson



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Privacy Policy, with Photos

Privacy Policy


It was brought to my attention that the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) may actually apply to this humble little blog. I am not so sure of that, but why take chances? Therefore, in order to avoid creating my own policy I just going to borrow the following from XKCD:


GDPR 

I don't think that anybody does it better.


Photos


It would be hard to justify the title "Pictures and Words, a Blog" without some pictures. So, here is a random selection of photographs that I have recently taken:

National Buttermilk Biscuit Day is observed each year in the United States on May 14. Which led to this post on Facebook:

Buttermilk Biscuits: photo by Cliff Hutson
Buttermilk Biscuits: photo by Cliff Hutson

National Apple Pie Day was May 13 -  

Apple Crumble Pie: photo by Cliff Hutson
Apple Crumble Pie: photo by Cliff Hutson

Finally, I have decided that I need to do more beard maintenance. This led to a spate of new products.

Beardbrand Scissors: photo by Cliff Hutson
Beardbrand Scissors: photo by Cliff Hutson

Utility Balm: photo by Cliff Hutson
Utility Balm: photo by Cliff Hutson

Beard Wash: photo by Cliff Hutson
Beard Wash: photo by Cliff Hutson








Wednesday, May 16, 2018

a·nal·o·gy

Analogy


A comparison between two things, typically for the purpose of explanation or clarification.

A Danish



Blueberry Danish: photo by Cliff Hutson
Blueberry Danish: photo by Cliff Hutson

"A flute without holes is not a flute.
A donut without a hole is a danish."

- Ty Webb

Another Danish

Apricot Pinwheel: photo by Cliff Hutson
Apricot Pinwheel: photo by Cliff Hutson

SaveSave

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April 2018 Reading


The books that I finished reading in April 2018


April 2018 Books: photo by Cliff Hutson
April 2018 Books: photo by Cliff Hutson


A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo



A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo
Marlon Bundo Book: photo by Cliff Hutson

A wonderful story presented by "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver". Written by Marlon Bundo with Jill Twiss. Illustrated by EG Keller.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Shaw's Agave

One of my favorite books from my younger days has a poem with the line, “All that is gold does not glitter”. I would turn that around for Coastal, or Shaw’s, Agave and say, all that is drab is not as dull as it seems. Sometimes one just has to wander around until they see things in the proper light.

Coastal agave, i.e., Agave shawii is a succulent with closely spaced, overlapping sword-shaped leaves that measure up to 8 inches wide and about 18 inches long. They diverge from the center of the plant in a spiral making for a rounded shape. The deep green leaves are edged with spines.

These spines nominally appear as brown or gray and don't offer much in the way of a visual display. However, in early morning or late afternoon, when the the sunlight comes in from behind the plant, they light up and glow red and/or orange, rivaling any neon sign on the Las Vegas Strip. 

Coastal Agave
Shaw's Agave by Cliff Hutson

The leaves are also notable for bearing the imprint of the spines of the leaves that were in front and back of them when they were clasped together. I find this to be a charming visual element to the plant.

The flowering plant is also attractive. It may take 20 to 40 years before it flowers. But, then yellow blooms, looking much like  a hand of very small bananas, burst out on the top of an 8 to 12 foot stalk resembling an asparagus spear. The flowers attract hummingbirds, bats and bees. When a single plant flowers it dies, but its “pups” or clones will live on.

Bats are a key pollinator of this agave and probably the primary reason for the tallness of the flowering stalk. Bats, save for the few species of vampire bats, can not launch into flight by flapping their wings. they, instead, take off by dropping from a height be it the roof of a cave, bridge, or tall plant with sturdy flowers.


Coastal Agave is found in Baja California. Also native to California, it occurs naturally only in San Diego County, near Border Field State Park. Most of the plants that were there were bulldozed into oblivion by your government while building the boundary wall between the USA and Mexico. However, a few seem to have survived. Other populations exist elsewhere in Southern California, but they were probably planted out in an effort to preserve the plant. I, for one, certainly hope it stays with us.