Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Wednesday, 5 April 2006

West Texas Dumpster Diving

Terlingua, Texas – 5 April, 2006

It's 5 AM and the Milky Way is a big and bright band extending though the Navigator's triangle (Deneb, Vega and Altair) and into Sagittarius the Teapot in the South. Venus is beginning to rise in the east.

We drove 100 miles further South to explore the western side of the Big Bend National Park. We stopped at a rest area for lunch... it was a nice clean rest area and I saw a fairly clean 55 gallon trash can with a nice new liner and so I peeked inside to see what people had left and saw this little Big Bend Gazette under several beer cans and it was open to a cartoon of George Bush and he was saying I only am accepting questions from reporters who believe in the Easter Bunny and so I fished it out. Wouldn't you?

The Gazette had an article about bird flu. Seems that avian flu was originally non-fatal to the wild bird population in which it originated. Then it was transmitted to domestic fowl, mutated into something lethal and was passed back to the wild birds.

People who are involved in cock-fighting and those who clean chicken coops are at the highest risk. Also, people who belong to the sub-group that drinks duck blood are at high risk. Two of these have died.

As long as you cook your chicken with no pink parts and don't eat runny eggs you should be safe from the poultry vector. A nasopharyngeal swab (though the nose to the back of the throat) will be used to test humans for bird flu.

Life is like a 55 gallon trash barrel: you never know what you're going to get. In the late afternoon we took the motorcycle for a scenic drive in the park. It was 42 miles down to the Rio Grande and a huge cliff at the Mexican border and 42 back.

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