Three more fascinating facts about Canada

1. The United States attempted to invade Canada on two separate occasions — but screwed it up both times.2. All members of The Band, in its original line-up, are from Canada, with the exception of Levon Helm, who is an American.3. Jolly Rancher Original Flavor hard candies (and delicious choking hazard) are manufactured within Canada (although they are manufactured under the auspices of the Hershey corporation, which is in Pennsylvania, USA. That’s all for now.

Disintegrating Cactuseaters prize fiasco is finally over

If you check in with my blog from time to time, you know I had egg on my face a few weeks back when a loyal reader won a special prize through this blog, and then I sent her the prize and it started disintegrating before her very eyes. Well, I’m glad to report that the disintegration is now in remission, and she’s figured out how to frame the thing and put it on the wall. Thanks for the update, Anonymous. Eventually I’ll have more contests through this blog, as soon as I can get my prize quality control up and running again.

Farming in Oakland???!

Don’t miss Novella Carpenter when she talks about the joys and travails of urban farming at the Booksmith this Monday (at 730 in the Haight.)I’ve never met Novella Carpenter but I recently read the rave review of her book in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. Also, I mentioned her in my recent “Cactuseaters readers in the news” column. I have no idea if she reads this blog, but she is friends with someone who does, which makes her a Cactuseaters reader once-removed.

A wrinkled old tree in Golden Gate Park

Here is a sketch I made of a very wrinkled tree in Golden Gate Park, near the eastern entrance. As a matter of fact, a hapless dealer once tried to sell me “sticky green bud” while he was still sitting near the top of this very tree. I don’t know why I added those upside-down dangling gnomes at the last minute. I think the sketch was doing just fine without them. I tried to erase them but it caused an ugly blur on the sketch, like a creeping fungus, so I decided to draw them back again. (In other words, the gnomes seemed like a lesser evil when compared to the creeping fungus.)

Resting up at home after my latest wild adventure

I’ve just returned home after my latest wild adventure, which included traveling alongside (and at one point inside) a frothing river, exploring farmland and forests and passing through one extremely long tunnel. I almost collided with a huge snake and a small yappy dog at one point. I’m glad I had back-up support on this one! Aside from a couple of very small nicks and bruises, I’m perfectly fine, although I’m pretty sleepy at the moment. I’ll have a detailed story about this experience in the very near future, and will link it to this blog. Meanwhile, my obese 20-pound cat is furious about my absence and keeps trying to sit on my trachea while I’m sleeping. Revenge is the motivation. (This is a difficult situation because I can’t breathe without the use of my trachea.)

Lighting out

Perhaps I’ll see you out on the Eastern Seaboard. I’ll be out there soon on business for a brief spell. This will be a good chance for me to have some exciting new adventures and let my tennis elbow heal before my obese cat sits on my arm again.