Saturday, August 30, 2008

the monkeys on our shed

This was a lucky picture taken from Will's bedroom. A rare action shot of a big monkey rejecting the playful affection of a little one. I wonder if baby monkeys have feelings. The monkeys like to sit on our shed and sun themselves and pick bugs out of one another's fur. I have to be careful lately when I take pictures of monkeys. Once I was shooting a couple right outside our door and they started grunting and chattering to the big male, who came tearing across the yard to lunge at the door and bark at me. There is a very large male monkey in the troupe recently, and rumor has it he is a renegade that was kicked out of a different troupe. He is incredibly large, probably around a hundred pounds and built like a pit-bull, so I would be scared to see the monkeys that chased him away. Yeah, we have rumors about local monkey politics.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

painter guy

This picture was taken in Shimla. I didn't ask if I could take his picture, but he wasn't exactly going to come down and beat me up. I do not generally approve of taking pictures of people, as I think it is mean and invasive. But I also thought it was a very vivid picture that might look neat. So here it is.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a-a-a-annie and the jets... and bigfoot.

I am mortally fatigued today. Annie, whose dancing eyes of unfettered glee could warm the hardest hearts, shows a different side of herself at about three in the morning when it becomes clear that she was meticulously engineered to torment the souls of her parents. Annie does not sleep. She stands in her crib and screams, and since we do not want her to fall or wake up Will, we lose sleep over it.

Two recent news items have grabbed my attention. Brett Favre is with the Jets now, and I hope he does well. I suppose there are people in Wisconsin who do not like him any more, but I think that the Packers really made a mistake by not begging him to stay in Green Bay. He is by many measures the best quarterback who has ever played the game, and last season he was not exactly washed up. I would not mind seeing Brett Favre and Bubba Franks in the Super Bowl after the Packers don't make the playoffs. So that really annoyed me.

The second news item was the bit about the two guys in Georgia not finding a bigfoot. They sold the thing and it turned out to be fake. If you lie about something like that, aren't you supposed to produce vague and intriguing but not disprovable evidence? A blurry photo? A list of excuses that are tempting to believe? You are supposed to carry the secret to your death and become a legend or else confess (right before you die) that the picture was fake and go down as a fraud who really made a good run... You can't sell a fake bigfoot so that they figure out you were lying a day after you lied. I'm so confused. I will regard this news item as a rare and brilliant treasure for anyone who has an appreciation for the study of human nature. Under the lens of game theory, there are some intriguing decisions being made here.

A list of possibilities as far as I can see it:
1. The two men behaved irrationally. This is highly unlikely.
2. They faked their identities and they are having a good laugh over it with whatever money came in and they think that they will not be caught.
3. A more subtle mechanism of the fraud really did work, like driving people to webpages full of spyware. In this case the payoff would have to be huge and all but guaranteed.

Now if they pulled it off under fake identities, that would be pretty sweet, I guess. The only other explanation that occurs to me is that the bigfoot guys hoped to gain much more than they were certain to lose, which I imagine to be their jobs, their credibility, their self-respect, and their awesome bigfoot costume. Stupid or short-sighted is common enough, but most people avoid being completely irrational.

Sherlock Holmes would classify this under 'the grotesque'.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

a few pictures

Here is Mussoorie, cloaked in the monsoon fog, as seen from Sisters Bazaar.

This is a picture I took on the taxi ride back to Mussoorie after our summer traveling.

Here are some ferns growing on a tree branch near our house. When the fog sets in, we we can look down from our little yard and see nothing but murky whiteness mixed with a few of the closest trees. It is so strange to look down to see white.

I am spending a rainy Saturday trying to sort out my lesson plans for the next week or so. We are settling back into our little cottage, fighting back the mold and the scorpions for our little bit fo elbow room.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Well, I suppose I should break the awkward silence that my blog has become. We returned from the landofthefreehomeofthebrave over two weeks ago. I was supposed to spend the time settling in and focusing on the upcoming academic year, but instead I have been thrust into a wildly unexpected adventure. Will has been diagnosed with 'Primary Generalized Epilepsy'. Needless to say, it has been a rough end to the summer.

Joie and I are slowly reacting to this new development in our life. We never imagined that we could handle such a thing, but life goes on. I don't really have more to write for now, but I thought I would throw that out there because it has certainly been consuming many aspects of my life for a while now.