Sunday, June 08, 2008

Assorted II

Wow, I'm being really bad about posting this month . . . but that's because I'm getting lots of other things done, which is good news.

Gary really likes the revised first chapter: hurrah! (It will doubtless have to be revised again when I get a better handle on the plot, but for now, he thinks it works well.) I'm now struggling with the third. I've decided to remove a large, cheesy plot point, but that's going to require a lot of major surgery through the book, so the revision process is definitely slowing down.

My cousin called last night to thank me for the prayer shawl, and we had a good, wide-ranging talk. Among other things, I asked what his wife does, since I've never been quite sure. Turns out that she manages an extremely large bombing range for an Air Force base: her job is to make sure that EPA regulations are followed, an especially important task because the land, by virtue of being closed off to casual use, contains some rare and valuable flora and fauna.

When my cousin explained this, I said, "Oh, so it's a combination bombing range and wildlife refuge?"

"Yes, exactly!"

"So the mantra is, 'Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but bomb craters?'"

He laughed and explained that they don't actually use live bombs very often, which probably helps preserve the ecosystem. For instance, the range is home to an endangered subspecies of longhorn critter -- either goat or antelope, I forget which -- who are fragile animals anyway and live in a pretty marginal environment (very little rain, not much to eat). The animals have taken to seeking shelter in the shade of the large fake tanks the Air Force uses as bombing targets.

Hence the need to run interference between the military and the EPA.

But I was really tickled by the irony of a military installation furthering the cause of conservation. There's got to be a story in there somewhere!

Next week will mark the midpoint in my cousin's chemo treatments, which end in September. He's having a CT scan next week too. We'll all anxiously be awaiting those results.

In other medical matters, I talked to my mother today. She's gained weight: she's up from 103 to 118! That's really amazing news, although no one's sure what caused it. We aren't complaining, though!

I'm almost done with the consulting job; I just have to write up some reports tonight and tomorrow. I've been knitting every day and am making great progress on gift projects.

On the less positive side, we had a 3.8 earthquake today (things rattled, but nothing fell or broke). I really, really hope this isn't the start of another cluster. But it's probably my fault, because I put my art glass back on shelves and windowsills.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:57 AM

    I love the idea of the bombing range aiding conservation.

    In a similar vein, or local waste management park is a haven for wildlife. The old dilute and disperse landfills are now huge wild meadows, anglers enjoy fishing in its ponds, and there are hundreds of rabbits. As a result of this, the waste management company has had to get involved in wildlife management. They're currently digging up these meadows to reuse the space for new landfill, and have had to start creating new habitats and the translocation of the wildlife beforehand.


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