On the Fourth


I absolutely love fireworks, and there actually are no less than four simultaneous fireworks shows going on right now. I went up on the roof at my office, but alas: every one of them was just exactly too low behind the surrounding hills and trees for me to actually see. So there’s a lot of banging and whistling going on all around me, but I only occasionally see the tops of especially high displays.

Still, I stayed up there for a while, just listening and smiling to myself. Stars above, this odd little complex of old factories and warehouses around, and booms and whistles echoing off the hills.

You know, I do love this country. I’m not a knee-jerk flag-waver, to say everything is perfect by definition because USA. But I’m also not the other extreme, where the things that are wrong mean that everything is wrong because Evil.

It seems to me that everything right with this country came about because of people thinking intelligently; and everything wrong persists because of people not thinking intelligently.

We need to be smart. That’ll fix it. Let’s do that.

Random other news:

I just signed on as a Patreon Patron for Mary Alexandra Agner’s monthly poem based on science in the news.    For a buck a month, how can you lose?  She needs 9 more $1 patrons to hit $25 (but you can pledge more!)… Looking at you, science-lovers.  Here’s a poem she wrote about the Mars Rover Curiosity.

Also: Ophidiphobes, look away!  Here’s a snake:


Tasting the air.

Tasting the air.

I found this jolly fellow just hanging out on top of the bush next to our front door as I left to go to my office. He seemed remarkably unworried about me. I guess he was depending on his snaky scariness to protect him. So he hung out long enough for me to fully admire him. I’m especially fond of snakes (when I know they’re not the poisonous ones!). They’re so extremely alien.

And here’s my local great blue heron:

Fleeing the paparazzi.

A mere speck, due to iPhone instead of my better actual camera.

This was shot next to the bridge over the local river (the mighty Quinnipiac).  Now that I know he’s there, I see him a lot,  often when my car is stopped at the light near the bridge; previously, I simply never thought to look.

I’ve also seen him from the footbridge next to my office.

He's not in this picture.  It's just a nice picture.

He’s not in this picture. It’s just a nice picture.

Sabine, meanwhile, is in the Land of Herons — hanging out at the home of our pals in New Hampshire.  By the time she starts heading back, I’ll be heading out to Readercon.  We might not even see each other in passing!

Well.  Back to the tasks at hand.  I had yesterday off from the Day Job; with my usual Monday off, that’s a nice 4-day run.

More later…



9 Responses to “On the Fourth”

  • Sean Fagan Says:

    Venomous ones, not poisonous! Tsk tsk tsk! (I’ll assume you’re aware of the research showing that most snakes actually have venom-related genes of some sort.)

    Most of colubridae (and he’s a garter snake, so that’s what he is) seem to be perfectly happy treating humans as warm, mobile trees that provide a steady source of food. I’ve picked up numerous ones in the wild, been bit a few times — and then had them happily coiled around my arms and hands for extended periods. One even became a houseguest for a few years. (What can I say, my mother was very tolerant.)

    • Rosemary Says:

      Ack! You’re right. Silly me. But I won’t go back and edit the post, because that would snatch away the cred you get for correcting me!

  • Lindig Says:

    And a happy fourth to you! I, too, am being bombarded by local fireworks, especially the neighborhood louts. The dogs are not happy. And I’m especially fond of black snakes. One of my country aunts had one that had the run of the house and you could hear it slithering and sliding in the attic and walls; no mice or other critters in the house. And that creek with buildings is a nice picture, heron or no. I hope you have a great time at Readercon.

  • Paul A. Says:

    I remember a mnemonic I was told once: “poisonous” means that you’ll die if you bite it, “venomous” means that you’ll die if it bites you.

  • rk Says:

    A test comment! WordPress is failing to email me whenever someone posts a comment. This is extremely inconvenient! I tweaked some settings. Let’s see what happens.

  • rk Says:

    Same again.

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