Monday, September 29, 2008

Nimue's School for Stuffies

Nimue has been conducting school for her stuffed animals -- lately, the subject has been zoology. Thank goodness for many large pieces of paper and a virtually unlimited supply of crayons and markers.
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Actual positions of the Libertine

As Chad gives his positions, I'm updating this map -- so check back later for further progress...

From North to South, and then East, the blue outbound points are:
--10am 9/26/08 departure from Oyster Point
--8pm 9/27/08 sleep at Stillwater Cove
--morning 9/29/09 pass Morro Bay
--afternoon/evening 9/29/08 lunch and beer and sleep at Port San Luis
--5pm 9/30/08 to 10/1/08 sleep and explore Cuyler Cove, San Miguel Island
--10/2/08, Ford Point, Santa Rosa Island
--10/3/08 Painted Cave, Santa Cruz Island
--10/3/08 to 10/4/08 sleep and explore Cueva Valdez, Santa Cruz Island
--10/4/08 chased by wind to Smuggler's Cove, Santa Cruz Island

from South to North, the pink inbound points are:
--evening 10/5/08 Santa Barbara
--10/8/08 Port San Luis
--10/11/08 San Simeon

View Larger Map

The planned route is on the map below, and the expected return date is around 10/15/08.

View Larger Map

Sunday, September 28, 2008

for those of you interested in Chad's boat trip

He's posting tidbits when he has phone reception at his other blog (

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Skunk Hand-stand

Over dinner, Nimue stated quite confidently that skunks perform a hand-stand when spraying their opponents... this was not a behavior we had heard of, so some follow up research was quickly undertaken to determine if the six-year-old was in fact correct.

And indeed -- according to an article (Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 2, No. 2 (May, 1921), pp. 87-89) the spotted skunk, Spilogale interrupta, as well as the Northern skunk, Mephitas putida, display this behavior as a warning in advance of spraying their malefactors!

The Western spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis) seems to also do the handstand (a great sketch in this article) -- my guess is that they do this so they can engage the enemy while keeping them in view! The hand-stand allows the skunks to look forward at their target, while still aiming their nether regions forward. Seems like a useful adaptation to me! I am, however, in no hurry to witness their acrobatic prowess first hand.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Quiz

I ran across these pictures from an event earlier this summer -- can anyone remember or figure out what we were up to? (No fair if you were one of the lucky ones who could make it this time...)

Hint #1: I just made reservations for the location for the repeat of the event next summer.

Hint #2: My friend Sarah deserves credit for thinking of and bringing the colorful objects, and my mom was the photographer.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I never fully realized Calvin was six...

Nimue discovered my old Calvin and Hobbes books on the shelf a month or so ago, and we're now discovering just how many nefarious ideas a kid can get from them. She's been trying out variants of the above strip for weeks.

At least she thinks it's funny :)