Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
This evening we went to here Bobby McFerrin live at the National Concert Hall. I would love to hear him gargle!!
and I bet two thirds of the audience are making all sorts of strange sounds after they got home. We are.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
It had been about eight or nine years since I had seen one of these, and none so large. Snakes mean the environment is healthy.
I walked to the back door to feed the dogs. Byajing came running. She's beautiful to watch running… and she ran right over another red bamboo rat snake! About the same size. Possible? I called Sabiy to come look. Could it be the same one? No, it was another snake. Two in one morning. Cameras! Maybe they were on a date? The snake didn't mind Byajing treading on it, but when I came close to get a photograph, it did something I had never seen a snake do: it reversed into a pile of rocks. Its movement in reverse gear was as smooth and swift as in forward. Nature never ceases to amaze me!
The scientific name of this snake is Elaphe porphyracea nigrofasciata
(Cantor, 1839)；我不知道泰雅語怎麼說，以前也問不出來，所以提議取名mqu ptasan，文面蛇。不覺得額上那條很像文面嗎？I have not been able to find the Tayal name for this snake, so I propose mqu ptasan: the snake with the tattooed face. It has the same stripe on its forehead that Tayal warriors had.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Monday, February 20, 2012
This has been an unusually rainy fall, winter, and spring, even for northern Taiwan. Taipei had the rainiest December on record, with about thirty hours of sunlight throughout the whole month (at this latitude, about eleven hours of daylight on solstice day.) Wulai probably got less than a quarter of that amount of sunshine.
Don't you wish you lived in a rainforest?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
For some reason, snakes this year don't seem to mind the cold. Previously, the coldest I had ever seen a snake was 11C, a record broken last month by a snake, a qimbahu, out in ten degree C weather <(link)>. This evening I went down to see what Yumin was barking about. He was facing down a coiled qimbahu. I got a stick, told the snake some mantras, and nudged it into the grass, asking it to find someplace else, and for crying out loud, isn't it past your bedtime?
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
The mammoth Taipei International Book Exhibition has come and gone. One day during the Exhibition, at a subway station, I saw two college boys, freshmen or sophomores, who had obviously come back from the Exhibition. Each had obviously bought computer games, because each shouldered a gigantic bag, covered with Japanese manga style illustrations of "sexy" girls: eyes the size of CDs, tiny nose, tiny mouth, scantily clad, watermelon size breasts, bearing no similarity to a real girl: the obvious auxiliary rule being that it doesn't matter, because anybody who would buy that sort of computer game is never going to get anywhere near a real girl anyway.
But this caused me to reflect how lucky I have been. At that age, I was working my ways through the great works of Chinese literature and philosophy, grappling with challenging ideas that still stimulate, forty years down the line.
We say, spend time. Did you spend your youth? Or did you invest it?
Monday, February 13, 2012
易洛魁 (亦名Haudenosaunee)聯盟建立于西元一一四二年前後 (宋高宗紹興年間)，議會迄今已連續開八百七十年。
Saturday, February 11, 2012
I have always enjoyed archery, and have for a long time wanted to learn how to shoot with a thumb ring. Yesterday we paid a visit to the bowyer Mr Cho Hanching. He kindly gave me a thumb ring he made.
Amazingly, it didn't rain this afternoon, so I got out my lightest bow, a 22# bamboo bow, and stood three paces from the target. The first time I pulled the string, the arrow flew out at half draw. I worked on it for a while. Shooting with a thumb ring is a whole different game from the three finger "Mediterranean" draw. It requires you pay more attention to the bow and the arrow.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Sunday, February 05, 2012
Friday, February 03, 2012
Thursday, February 02, 2012
Today we went to the Taipei International Book Exhibition, one of the world's largest. Through valiant self-restraint, we came home with only a dozen new books. It was a struggle, though!
and happy Groundhog's Day to you.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012