Wednesday, June 25, 2008

wooden cars and the pedestrian vehicles of summer

for the last couple weeks we’ve been house(chicken, horse, dog)sitting for some friends. this, as you know, has some clear advantages and disadvantages. one unforeseen disadvantage has been that at least once a day the who let the dogs out? song gets into my head and causes me and my family all kinds of minor torment. it’s probably not even so much the song itself as all the crappy movie trailers and other slapstick that it calls to mind.

I think we’re now at a point in history where one can reasonably ask for a comprehensive list of movies that used who let the dogs out?, whether in the soundtracks or just in the previews. you might say it’s time for a retrospective.

I think we’re also at a point in history where it’s safe to begin looking at mobile homes as artifacts. I’m not talking about prefabs and trailers; I’m talking about Winnesotas and other RV motorhomes, the kind you see -always from behind when there’s no passing lane- tagged with incongruent mascot names like prowler, cougar (mraaawr), freedom and jazz, rendered in whimsical magenta and teal cursive. btw, about here is where you recognize this post as a poorly-camouflaged rant about the soaring cost (as opposed to "price") of gasoline and our lack of solutions. so far our most brilliant ideas are, in order: 1.) Saudi Arabia, 2.) ANWR, 3.) nuclear. this is seriously the best we’ve come up with. so until someone figures out cars that run on telluric currents, a little nostalgia seems appropriate.

anyway, here are some great examples of the best in lovingly home-built vehicles, mostly from housetruck and housebus websites. I think you’ll find these gypsy/hippie/lumberjack variations on the theme at least as earnest and beatific as the typical aluminum ones.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008


the first day of summer and there is this
family of landscapers, just deployed
from a box trailer, riding lawnmowers
into the sun, all in white cowboy hats.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

maybe you've heard this one

one morning a man was rescued, having been shipwrecked and alone on a remote island for 20 years. the rescuers were impressed with the three buildings he had built and asked him about them.

"well," the man said, "this here’s my house, and that building over there is the church I go to."

"and what's that third building over yonder?" one rescuer asked.

"oh, that's the church I used to go to," the man replied.

for the last few years, this is the church I have gone to. last Thursday morning I went by there and it was standing; I took these pictures on Thursday evening.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

one palindrome, three absurdities and one obscenity

sapling sprouting from inside a burnt out sofa at the base of a green volcano,

an ashtray/Zen garden in a steel pylon, leaving the Naranjo ferry port,

soft mosses, ferns and bromelias sprout up from concrete fence posts on the road up to Cerro Chato,

a nest built in the crotch of an advertisement for canopy tours, suspended over the Rio Balsa highway,


Saturday, June 07, 2008

Costa Rica bird list: May 15 - June 4, 2008

smooth-billed ani
immaculate antbird
barred antshrike
great antshrike
collared araçari
rose-throated becard
melodious blackbird
red-winged blackbird
green-crowned brilliant
stripe-headed brush-finch
common bush-tanager
yellow-billed cacique
gray-headed chachalaca
squirrel cuckoo
great curassow
inca dove
white-tipped dove
white-winged dove
cattle egret
great egret
yellow-bellied elaenia
yellow-throated euphonia
social flycatcher
magnificent frigatebird
tropical gnatcatcher
long-billed gnatwren
great-tailed grackle
blue-black grassquit
yellow-faced grassquit
blue-black grosbeak
crested guan
novelas alemanes
long-billed hermit
green heron
green honeycreeper (rey del mar)
red-legged honeycreeper
rufous-tailed hummingbird
steely-vented hummingbird
white ibis
rufous-tailed jacamar
brown jay
tropical kingbird
ringed kingfisher
great kiskadee
swallow-tailed kite
white-tailed kite
white-throated magpie-jay
long-tailed manakin (toledo)
white-collared manakin
volcano-worshiping mannequins
blue-crowned motmot (bobo)
rufous motmot (guardabarranco)
dusty-milk dindon
black-cowled oriole
montezuma oropendola
orange-chinned parakeet
red-lored parrot
white-crowned parrot
brown pelican
red-billed pigeon
bronze-tailed plumeleteer
clay-colored robin (yigüirro)
white-throated robin
violet sabrewing
black-headed saltator
buff-throated saltator
grayish saltator
white-collared seedeater
orange-billed sparrow
rufous-collared sparrow
long-billed starthroat
blue-gray tanager
crimson-collared tanager
palm tanager
passerini's tanager
little tinamou
masked tityra
chestnut-mandibled toucan
keel-billed toucan
orange-bellied trogon
black vulture
turkey vulture
rufous-capped warbler
black-bellied whistling-duck
pink-pint terror bird
streak-headed woodcreeper
black-cheeked woodpecker
hoffman's woodpecker
lineated woodpecker
pale-billed woodpecker
rufous-winged woodpecker
bay wren
house wren
rufous-naped wren
plain xenops