Ammospermophilus leucurus
Tina Turner sang on some of my favorite Frank Zappa songs. Frank said,
I wanted to put some back-up singers on the thing, and the road manager who was with us at the time checked into it and said, "Well, why don't you just use the Ikettes?" I said, "I can get the Ikettes?" and he said, "Sure." But you know what the gimmick was? We had to agree, Ike Turner insisted, that we pay these girls no more than $25 per song, because that's what he paid them. And no matter how many hours it took, I could not pay them any more than $25 per song per girl, including Tina. It was so difficult, that one part in the middle of the song "Montana", that the three girls rehearsed it for a couple of days. Just that one section. You know the part that goes "I'm pluckin' the ol' dental floss"? Right in the middle there. And—I can't remember her name, but one of the harmony singers—she got it first. She came out and sang her part and the other girls had to follow her track. Tina was so pleased that she was able to sing this thing that she went into the next studio where Ike was working and dragged him into the studio to hear the result of her labor. He listened to the tape and he goes, "What is this—what is this shit?" and walked out.
I think the middle section of Montana is an exquisite vocal part. Montana (excerpt)
Yesterday, a friend's five year old son asked, "Why do lizards live in the desert?"

His father fielded the question. It got me remembering how various people I know came to live in the desert. One friend was traveling with his father when he was young, their car broke down in Lone Pine, and they stayed.
Sphaeralcea ambigua
Ammospermophilus leucurus
The empty room shown in yesterday's pic now looks like this (from a different angle). At the advice of a real estate agent, my friend hired stagers to put in furniture that, in their opinion, would complement the house's modern style better than my friend's previous furniture would. some of this stuff is borderline 1970s-dreadful I get that empty houses don't sell as readily as houses shown with furnishings but I wasn't aware there were services that will put stuff in a house temporarily in an attempt to make it look inviting. I didn't know the word stagers when my friend first said he was hiring them.

Certain aspects of the real estate business strike me as absurd.

I've sold two houses in my life and never hired anyone to swap out the existing furniture for something else.

If dogs knew what money was and how much of it people spend on agent commissions, title insurance, stagers and so on, it would confirm their suspicions that humans are batshit crazy.
Eleven years ago, I wrote about a friend whose disgust with politics in the USA led him to say—
I would move to New Zealand, but I am stuck because of the kids.
—although I was skeptical that he really would.

With US politics having since worsened considerably, more friends have talked about wanting to leave. One friend made a trip to check out Canada and was underwhelmed, partly because it was cold there.

empty roomAnother friend is doing more than talk: he's moving to France. I didn't doubt him when he said he would do it but a pic of his cleared‑out living room shows that he's not kidding.

Me, I don't have the energy to move even if I really wanted to.
Had a nice morning climbing today.
NPR's Sunday puzzle challenge from a week ago:
Think of a common 8‑letter word, in which the first three letters spell a word, and the fifth, sixth, and seventh letters also spell a word. These two little words mean the same thing. The fourth letter, when rotated 180°, becomes the eighth letter. What word is this?
I downloaded a Scrabble dictionary and wrote a program to find therein the eight‑letter words with three letter words in the desired positions and with the fourth and eighth letters being {b,q} or {d,p}. The list wasn't that long and in it I saw the word they were looking for: shepherd.

I broadened the criteria a bit and looked at words with fourth and eighth letters both being i, l, o, or s. In that list was hotshots, a solution (albeit a degenerate one) that I couldn't resist submitting.

NPR revealed their answer today and said there was another they hadn't anticipated: not hotshots but rather Peruvian. I hadn't seen that one because I failed to consider n being u rotated and because proper nouns/adjectives aren't in Scrabble dictionaries.

I don't see anything in the description of the challenge that disqualifies hotshots. Hot means the same as hot (more so, I would say, than she means the same as her) and s rotated is s.
I have three wall clocks, enough to cover the rooms in which I spend most of my waking hours. Two have synchronous AC motors and one has a mechanical pendulum movement. I enjoy the weekly ritual of winding the mechanical clock.

A medicine that I take in the morning requires not eating for an hour afterwards. A friend gave me an hourglass last year and it's just the ticket for letting me know when I can have breakfast.

I quit wearing a watch around when I started carrying a cell phone. Just recently I thought it might be fun to start wearing one again and got my watch out. I hated the way it felt on my wrist, in particular the coldness of metal against skin. That took me by surprise as I can't remember objecting to the feeling back when I used to wear a watch. I suppose I could get used to it again but I don't want to wear a watch that badly.
Yucca brevifoliaMy Joshua tree's first pup, which I introduced last year, is growing at a decent clip.

Pups can be transplanted once they're large enough. I'll be tempted to move this one, as I prefer the look of solitary J‑trees. On the other hand, there's something to be said for honoring the natural course of a plant's growth. A dilemma—but not one I have to resolve any time soon.

It's admittedly incongruous for me to talk about honoring the natural growth of this J‑tree, given how I dug it up 25 years ago and moved it here.

I like that my plants probably have no idea that I think about them.
Uta stansburiana
I like that it's warm and lizards are out.
Recent email from Amazon: "Here's a new product we think you'll like". The product was a cat litter box.

In 25 years of being an Amazon customer I have never bought pet supplies from them.
times are PDTYou-know-who en route to New York for a court date. I would've rather seen his first indictment be for one of the more serious crimes being investigated—but we can look forward to him being held accountable for those too.
Castilleja angustifolia

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