I am not ignoring you

Seriously. I know that I have about a dozen Cactuseates blog emails that I need to answer. It’s just that I have limited communications capability at the moment. For context, see previous entries about 1. obese cat, 2. tennis elbow caused by obese cat sitting on my arm after almost choking me, 3. WiFi reception complications and, finally, 4: cell phone that has been rendered almost un-usable because of horrendous light shooting out of it. Will be back in touch as soon as these issues are resolved. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Obese cat: challenges continue

I know this has nothing to do with hiking or my book (or anything that relates to your life in any way) but I’m growing frustrated with my enormously obese cat. For one thing, he is becoming disoriented and gets lost in my apartment — and it only has three rooms. For another, he only eats certain kinds of cat food that disagree with him — violently. And finally, he needs to be reminded to drink water because he forgets that he’s thirsty. Time to try a new diet. And get a cat-training manual. (In the original version of this post, I said, “Time to get a dog,” but I was only joking.) http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

My latest mystery: Why is there a horrible white light shooting out of my cell phone???

As you all know, I’m having problems with my WiFi, but now I have no means of communicating with the outside world at all. The problem is my cell phone. Yesterday I went to Miranda Weiss’s great reaading in the Marina. I was having a great time, but when I glanced at my cell phone, I noticed a blinding, obnoxious white light shooting out of the top of the phone!! It is (literally) blinding, and it runs down the battery so quickly that I can’t possibly juice it up. I can’t figure out how to fix the problem. On the good side, some of my friends think the blinding light looks “very cool,” and now they want blinding lights on their cell phone too. Also, my cell phone makes a pretty good flashlight. The question is, how is anyone going to contact me now? (You might try sending me a…

Second mystery solved (“Why don’t woodpeckers give themselves serious concussions?”)

Last week, I posed the question: Why don’t woodpeckers get concussions, or, at the very least, terrible headaches from bashing their faces against trees all day?I did a little research, and I found the answer: For one thing, they tend to choose sponge-y, soft wood for drilling purposes. For another, they slam straight into a tree in a way that maximizes impact to the wood while protecting them against head trauma (much the same way that a hammer slams a nail.) And, finally, they have unusually strong neck muscles, which absorb most of the shock. I’m glad no one answered this question because I ran out of prizes two weeks ago (and, as you know, the prize that I sent out has fallen apart.) http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

My magical mystery tour…

I will soon head off on my latest adventure into the great outdoors. Since I got lost and turned around last time, I’ve decided to bring one (and possibly two!) people to assist me in my latest quest. I don’t want to reveal too many details because I’m writing a travel article about this and don’t want to get scooped — but my journey will involve a lot of American history, one long and dark tunnel, a crashing waterfall, and at least 100 miles (!!!) of traveling. I’ll reveal more details later on. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Miranda Weiss in Portland and SF

Don’t miss nature writer Miranda Weiss as she swings into your town for some upcoming readings and author events. She is touring to promote her brand new book, Tide Feather Snow. Reading, Q&A, Signing | Portland, OR• Thursday, May 21 7:30 PM,Powell’s Bookstore, 3723 SE Hawthorne Boulevard, Portland, OR http://www.powells.com/ Signing | San Francisco, CA• Tuesday, May 26 12:00 noonBook Passage, 1 Ferry Building, #42, San Francisco, CA — Book Passage Reading, Q&A, Signing | San Francisco, CA• Tuesday, May 26 7:30 PMBooks, Inc. in the Marina, 2251 Chestnut Street, San Francisco, CA | Google Map– http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Woodpeckers, and the wilds of Silicon Valley

here is my latest nature scribble: Rancho San Antonio (near Cupertino, CA) is filled with coyotes, deer and (pictured above) woodpecker. Aside from the shmancy cars in the parking lot, you would have no way of knowing this was Silicon Valley. I go on long marathon-training trail runs out here, and I often hear the hollow sound of woodpeckers knocking themselves against trees. And it makes me wonder: how come woodpeckers don’t give themselves concussions? There is a scientific explanation for this. Stay tuned to this blog and find out. http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default

Problem with disintegrating Cactuseaters contest prize

Anonymous, who won the ‘identify the mystery creature’ contest last week, is running into a few problems with the artwork prize that I sent her. For one thing, she can’t find a frame that fits it because the dimensions are so peculiar. For another, it is, apparently, starting to disintegrate. Sorry about that, Anonymous. I’ll think of a solution soon. (to be more specific, I sent her a small picture of an animal — and it seems that the creature’s tail has fallen off.) http://cactuseaters.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default