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home : columns September 30, 2016


Rumble of hoofbeats, rattle of bones
I don't think I've ever been on a horse more nimble than that little bay.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
I almost shot an unarmed black man
The "police shoot an unarmed black man" narrative is distressingly common.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Sisters is not a dog park
Sisters resident Maureen Palmer recently contacted The Nugget with a complaint regarding off leash dogs at Sisters Elementary School (SES).
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Billions and billions
$3.5 billion.

That's how much money the United States gave to Pakistan in 2011. Since 2007, there has never been a year when we sent them less than a billion greenbacks. Many of those years it was considerably more. That's our money, yours and mine, that one White House and Congress or another has forked over to an unstable, essentially borderless Islamic Republic, year after year, for "economic and military aid and development."

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
The hour of dogs a-barkin'
"It's the hour of dogs a-barkin'," as Tom Russell sings about Mexico. Seems to be true in the countryside of Mongolia as well. This night though, Stinky, Guetuerma and a nameless pup that belongs to someone else but is here most of the time, were barking well past dark outside my ger (Mongolian for "yurt.").
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Sisters Country birds
In early spring the symphonious melodies of the male American robin (Turdus Migratorius) are heard over the entire U.S.
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Spider eating a spider
Sue and I often stay in the Pacific Northwest Experimental Station out near Riley, south of the Burns Highway, to get a good night's sleep. After 10 hours and more of exploring the wilds of Harney and Lake counties, searching for golden eagle nesting sites, bumping over what some call "roads," in our ancient 4Runner, we usually pull into the station between 8 and 9 p.m., pooped, ready for a quick supper and then hit the sack.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The mouse and the elephant
When Russian troops poured through the Roki tunnel in 2008, after months of international legerdemain and carefully stage-managed provocations, Lt. Colonel Romani Sanikidze, of the Georgian Army, was a junior officer.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
The choice to be OK
It's easy to succumb to low morale right now. Every time I check my online news sources I'm faced with another tragic story and yet another reason to take hold of defeatism. Shootings, acts of terror, dysfunctional families, and politics seem to reign supreme, not to mention the issues which hit closer to home like murder, a dysfunctional city government, and increased airport noise.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
We're in this together
Some friends were visiting us in Sisters recently and we took them up to McKenzie Pass and walked up the observatory there. We have been there several times, and I was again impressed with how that observatory was built during the Great Depression.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
Eagles, eagles, everywhere
Eagles have been a love of my life from the time I arrived in Oregon - where I discovered them being killed from 1080 poison put out by government trappers killing coyotes back in the early '50s. Eagles are still with me today as Sue and I help to conduct a statewide survey with the Oregon Eagle Foundation.
Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Saved Rounds
Editor's note. This story is about Marines. And a quilter. Therefore, it contains a touch of salty language.

One of my companions for the evening was U.S. Marine Gunnery Sergeant Robert Gallup.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016
Tuya: A distinctive local geological feature
Tuyas are relatively rare and unusual geological features that are found in exotic cold-climate locations such as far northern British Columbia, Iceland, Antarctica, and Tuva, Russia, near the Siberia-Mongolian border.
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
A weather forecast from a legend
"...And so your 10 days here in Edinburgh should give you decent weather."
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
Operation Sad Panda
Joint Multinational Readiness Center, Hohenfels, Germany...

On the outskirts of this training village, known to the real world as Raversdorf but today serving as the notional Afghan village of Spinchai, someone has propped a large stuffed panda on a fence. The panda stares out over the long, dusty approach to town and looks sad.

He looks like an IED.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016
The warning bell is ringing!
The warning bell is ringing loud and clear, Good People!

Those hundreds of dead and dying yellow pine along Highway 20 from Sisters to beyond the Camp Sherman cut-off are telling us to be careful with chemicals.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
The Bunkhouse Chronicle: Dispatches From Bavaria
There is a grim certainty of purpose among the 30-odd professional military officers gathered in the room.
Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Of a certain age...
I'm not big on conspiracy theories but I am convinced there is a plot afoot to drive people insane - especially those of us of a certain age.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Making monarch conservation happen
In this day and age of wrangling in just about all areas of U.S. Government - especially the continual bickering in Congress - what a refreshing day a group of monarch conservationists had recently while visiting a cooperative nursery in Wasco County.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
You can't see 'em from the road
Saturday, July 23, marked the National Day of the Cowboy. I was unaware there was such a thing. Most cowboys (we call them buckaroos where I come from) probably don't want their own national day - it's a touch immodest - but there it is anyway, and like a bad meal, sometimes you just have to eat it and say thank you.
Tuesday, July 26, 2016















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