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Smoke Gets In Our Eyes — Why Now?
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Smoke Gets In Our Eyes

First it was a lake burning and now a swamp, as CNN reports Florida Everglades fire scorches 33,000 acres

(CNN) — Almost 33,000 acres of the Everglades National Park were burning Sunday, fire officials said, the latest in a series of wildfires that have scorched parts of Florida in May.

The smoke cast a haze over parts of South Florida, including Miami, prompting a dense smoke advisory from the National Weather Service.

The fire, which threatened private property as well as an endangered bird, started Friday, the Southern Area InterAgency Management Blue Team said.

By Sunday morning it was 20 percent contained, and fire crews were working to restrict it to the park while protecting the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, a federally protected species whose only habitat is in the Everglades.

A 19,000-acre fire near Clewiston, Florida, on the south end of Lake Okeechobee, is about 50 percent contained, the fire center said Sunday.

And a 1,300-acre fire north of Apalachicola in the Florida Panhandle was 80 percent contained by Sunday, it said.

The fire near Clewiston is burning in the lake bed and being contained by the dyke. The lack of water in the lake is reflective of the lack of water in the Everglades.

The Apalachicola fire was controlled by the more than half inch of rain we had, but the rains aren’t extending down to the peninsula. People are going to begin to think kindly of tropical storms if the drought continues.


1 Michael { 05.18.08 at 9:34 pm }

Um, dike?

2 Michael { 05.18.08 at 9:36 pm }

Sorry, don’t mean to be a twit about it. But it seemed like the kind of spelling mistake that might be best to fix.

3 Bryan { 05.18.08 at 10:18 pm }

Actually, it isn’t a mistake. The word is logically from the those masters of hydrology, the Nederlanders, and is spelled dijk in Dutch, and pronounced with a long “i”. This is as opposed to the German form which uses “ei” to produce the same sound.

Dyke is the older and preferred form, have been derived from the Anglicized “y” substitution for the the Dutch “ij”.

I realize that the word has been “borrowed” for other uses, and there is an attempt at modernization by spelling the earthwork “dike” to provide differentiation, in solidarity with my Dutch ancestors and first spelling teacher, I’ll stick with “dyke” – my Rijtmeijer ancestors would appreciate it, as opposed to the Rightmeyer, Ritemeyer, Ritmeier alternatives that “the English” forced upon them.

Steve Bates, already attempted to make me re-think my spelling, but I’m too old to change, besides, all good dictionaries accept both forms.

4 Steve Bates { 05.19.08 at 12:54 am }

I didn’t try very hard. I just took the opportunity for a pun. When have you ever known me to refuse such an opportunity?

5 Steve Bates { 05.19.08 at 1:12 am }

Back in around 1981, I attended a workshop and masterclass under Bob Willoughby, then flutist and baroque flutist on the Oberlin faculty. One of the other students was Claire Fontijn, an American now on the Wellesley faculty, though I haven’t run into her in the intervening years. I remember her saying that the spelling of her family name varied among the members of her family… Fontijn, Fontyn, Fonteyn, etc. Having spent quite some time in Nederland herself, she chose Fontijn.

Some of my father’s ancestry was Dutch, but it was so far back up the tree that I don’t know the name. In person, I look so Dutch that I’m told I could walk the streets of Amsterdam and citizens would speak their native tongue to me, until they heard my reply, at which time they’d switch to flawless English. 🙂

6 hipparchia { 05.19.08 at 2:28 am }

texans speak flawless english? 😈

7 Steve Bates { 05.19.08 at 4:16 am }

No, hipparchia, that’s not what I asserted. But we do recognize flawless English when we hear it, and my Dutch friends come damned close to it. Typically they sound to my ears like educated Londoners. But what do I know; I’m only a Texan! 🙂

I meant to include another story above…

There’s a famous family of Dutch musicians who play early instruments (baroque violin, baroque flute and viola da gamba) by the family name of Kuijken. There’s much debate in the American early music community over just how to pronounce Kuijken; it’s not easy for Brits or Americans either one to say. Once, in the question session after a lecture, Wieland Kuijken responded to my question, “Sir, how is your last name pronounced?” as follows: “Well, in France they say [unpronounceable], and in Germany they say [equally unpronounceable], and you know what it means? it means ‘little chicken’!” So I still don’t know how he pronounces his name. Ask a question in a stupid way, get the answer one deserves.

8 Bryan { 05.19.08 at 12:58 pm }

You should have tried “quicken” with a long “i”, Steve.

I deal with Doemke -> Dumka with half the world using a long “u” and the other half short.

Im Hof -> Imhof -> Emhof or Emhoff [in the same generation]

Sterrin -> Stern [Dutch to German at a border crossing]

Buchard -> Burchard , Buckheart, Burkhardt, Burkheart, etc.

Yes, I always expect to be “impunned” whenever possible.

I’m not giving in on dyke, dialogue, advisor and many others. I’m ambivalent on catalogue/catalog, even though I won a spelling bee with the word using the older “ue” form which was the correct answer in the day.

I hope those concerned are aware that one of the “triumphs” of the “Great October Revolution” was reforming Russian spelling and reducing the Russian alphabet.

9 Kryten42 { 05.19.08 at 8:57 pm }

I get that too. 🙂 My paternal family are Italian mostly, and part of the surname is pronounced ‘che’ but spelled ‘ci’. Causes all kinds of problems. 😀 My maternal family are Irish/Welsh! I’ve had some fun at family gatherings! 😀

The October Revolution (also Red October, Krasny Oktyabr) was responsible for many changes, including names. Many revolutionaries began naming children for anything to do with the revolution. A common one was Vil (and similar) for Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, or adding a suffix such as ‘or’ (for October Revolution). There have been entire books published about this. 🙂 It was also the birth of the hammer and sickle symbol and many other events. It truly was a revolution! 🙂

Hmmm… I might go look up Wiki. I am sure there will be a page for all this. My curiosity is peaked now. I really lost interest in all things Russian (except ‘real’ vodka and some wonderful Russian dishes!) I used to love a chilled Stolichnaya Elit and Pertsovka (procured for me by my Russian contact who’s cover was a wonderful Russian Restaurant called Rasputin’s. His wife really was an amazing cook! Some dishes seemed so simple, like the dumplings filled with asparagus in a marvelous soup.) I also liked the Polish zubrowka Vodka which I once brought to the restaurant and was almost killed for. LOL But my friend grudgingly admitted that it wasn’t bad… for a Polish vodka. 😉 We would get together at least once a month, sometimes twice, and try different Vodka’s and his wife would make a meal to suit. 🙂 Those WERE truly ‘the good old days’. I think I trusted my *enemies* more than I trusted my *friends* then. Now I pretty much trust nobody. 🙂

I hear that Pepsi now distribute Stoli in the USA (and elsewhere perhaps?) 🙂

10 hipparchia { 05.19.08 at 9:32 pm }

mmm… asparagus.

and hey, i’m sorry to hear that your cuiosity is feeling pale and drawn, kryten. 😀

11 hipparchia { 05.19.08 at 9:34 pm }



12 hipparchia { 05.19.08 at 9:37 pm }

some years ago, in some city other than this one, i went to a birthday party that the local gay community threw in honor of anita bryant. the card they made read: <ft wayne is protected by dykes, shouldn’t you be too?

13 Bryan { 05.19.08 at 10:27 pm }

A minor point of translation – when used with a noun denoting a time period красный [krasnyj] means beautiful. This is a finer point of Russian usage that can get you in trouble, as in translating beautiful morning as красивое утро vice красное утро. There is no simple way of saying “Red October” in Russian, and Russians wouldn’t understand why you would want to. In old documents you will see the short form [krasen, krasna, krasno] used for both red and beautiful. The differentiation is a late addition.

It the days before the convertible ruble, Western companies bartered when they traded with the Soviet Union. Pepsi swapped soft drink profits for Stolichnaya and, officially, there was no currency exchanged. This arrangement also avoided several pesky American laws.

I could have lived a very long time, Hipparchia, without being reminded of “little miss orange juice” and her freak show.

For a second I wondered if you might be a fan of César and the “Mighty Handful” – natural, since they included a chemist in their small number.

14 Kryten42 { 05.19.08 at 11:14 pm }

Actually hipparchia, I was thinking more along the lines of “2. To bring to a maximum of development, value, or intensity.” 😉 as you well know. LOL

Asparagus dumpling soup was great. I’ll have to find a recipe, though I think it was from a small region, so that may be a tad difficult. I like a challenge! LOL

15 Kryten42 { 05.19.08 at 11:36 pm }

Bryan: I used to have a staff including a *white Russian* linguist (which phrase was a constant source of amusement for him and he would laugh whenever he heard it, as would I and others that knew him), to make sure all the Russian niceties and subtleties were met in our documentation etc. And I haven’t had to make use of any of it for 20 years. And then I had my Russian *spy* friendly Restaurant owner to make sure *our* Russian wasn’t having a joke at our expense, and vice versa. I made sure to have a staffer who didn’t get on at all with the *spy* for various reasons which were thoroughly checked! LOL

BTW… the relationship we had with the Restaurant owner (that we called *spy*) was a very complicated one. But we were friends, mostly out of mutual respect. He saved my job and possibly my life once and he didn’t have to. So I made sure he could get his family here quickly and easily, and stopped morons like ASIO harassing him. After that, he was more *our spy* than theirs. It was a complicated game we all played in the 70’s & 80’s and sometimes dangerous. The boundaries were sometimes razor sharp, and sometimes vague and fluid, crossing them was usually a swift long drop off a cliff. These days, I’d probably just say “Good luck! You are on your own!” Because I couldn’t trust anyone on any side, even my own. There used to be *rules*, now it’s a free-for-all. Mind you, even then the #1 rule was: “Cover thine ass first!” 🙂

16 Bryan { 05.19.08 at 11:52 pm }

There are so many various and sundry types of dumplings in Slavic cooking I wish you luck. You can get them boiled, baked, and fried – leavened and unleavened dough – any type of filling – alone, in soup, with soup – and everyone with a different name for “obvious reasons” that you are usually unable to determine.

It sounded like a variation of the Ukranian/Polish mushroom soup with mushroom dumplings which has different names from district to district, but made with asparagus. In some places they put dumplings in borscht.

17 hipparchia { 05.20.08 at 1:03 am }

a chemist and a bastard! cool.

i don’t think i knew about his musical avocation [or his parentage either]. and no, i didn’t recognize any of the others, though it’s entirely possible i’ve heard their music. i’m pretty sure there are at least a few russians in my parents’ music collection.

i’m usually reminded of that card every time i see dykes as you’ve used it here. seemed only right that i should share. 😈

catalogue/catalog, but not dialogue/dialog? why the distinction? just out of curiosity.

18 hipparchia { 05.20.08 at 1:04 am }

actually, steve, to my ear at least, your english is flawless.

19 Bryan { 05.20.08 at 12:22 pm }

You have heard three of the “Handful” in movie scores, especially classic Disney:

Modest Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain, Pictures at an Exhibition

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov – Flight of the Bumblebee, Song of India, Scheherazade

Alexander Borodin – Polovetsian Dances, In the Steppes of Central Asia, Stranger in Paradise

I would note that any resemblance between Rimsky-Korsakov and Borodin is purely accidental.

They concentrated to some degree on operas, and Russian operas are not as frequently performed in the West. Chaikovski is better known because his ballets are performed widely, the Nutcracker being almost unavoidable at Christmas.

On the “ue” difference, I think it is probably tied to familiarity, as I see the “new” spelling of catalogue frequently, but the less frequent “dialog” just looks unfinished.

20 Steve Bates { 05.20.08 at 12:55 pm }

“Dialog” seems ubiquitous in software manuals, but not in descriptions of diplomatic encounters. English spelling is frustrating in that it is mostly standardized (within any one English-speaking nation) by now, but has inconsistencies across words that should by all rights be spelled similarly.

Here is a good collection of English pronunciation anomalies. To my regret, it doesn’t contain a bit of doggerel I saw 25 years ago, written ostensibly by someone learning English, in which, at the end, the author kills his English teacher “with a rough” (to rhyme with “lough”). I found a ref to it in one thread, so I’m not imagining it, but could not find the poem itself. If anyone knows it…

21 Bryan { 05.20.08 at 3:55 pm }

It must have been something like this.

22 Kryten42 { 05.20.08 at 11:50 pm }

I’ve been trying to find the recipe. Found a few, but don’t sound right yet! I kinda vaguely remember what was in it. Hmmm… You could be right Bryan about it being Ukranian. I think I remember her telling me her mother was Ukranian. 🙂

I make a killer Minestrone soup (Calabran recipe! With 3 secret ingredients.) 😉 LOL

Time to make a big pot again! It’s getting damned chilly! 🙂

If you ever get the urge for a trip Down-under, I’ll make you some! You won’t regret it! Ask LadyMin! 😀

Oh, and you are probably right about the Red October thing. *shrug* As I said… it was all from memory long ago. Thanks for the correction. 🙂


23 Steve Bates { 05.21.08 at 12:01 am }

Bryan, thanks; that poem is included in the link I posted above, but I didn’t have an author for it. It was probably around 1985 that I saw the one I remember, and regrettably, even the Google doesn’t solve all problems. 🙂

24 Kryten42 { 05.21.08 at 12:07 am }

You are right about Google Steve! And it get’s worse all the time. Too much *noise* in the results (and too much paid results too!)

You could try Alexa as an alternative. It sometimes gives me results Google doesn’t. 🙂


25 Bryan { 05.21.08 at 12:11 am }

Well, there’s this author who is apparently somewhat successful, but he keeps talking to the CIA and that really degrades his accuracy.

A high quality Russian-English dictionary should mention the variations. Red Square may be another case, but there’s no way of knowing because it is built of red brick, but it has been called Red Square for centuries.

The Ukrainians tend to make their dumplings from circles of dough and pinch them at the top like microwave popcorn bags while Russians then to fold them in half to form semi-circles.

I’ve been known to make “anyberry” fried dumplings – you go into the woods and bring back any berries you find and make “tartlets”. Everything is better with sour cream.

26 Bryan { 05.21.08 at 12:38 am }

There has to be a search phrase that will produce it, so I’ll think about it.

27 hipparchia { 05.21.08 at 1:05 am }

appropriate somehow, that i was sitting here drinking tea out of my mug that says uff da on the side of it.

variations on ough. maybe one of them is that which you seek?

28 hipparchia { 05.21.08 at 1:10 am }

Everything is better with sour cream.

i knew there was a reason why i thought you were a smart person. 😀

29 Kryten42 { 05.21.08 at 2:11 am }

Everything is better with sour cream.

Errrrrmm… OK Bryan & hipparchia… now I’m scared!

I think I’ll go now. Byeeeee…

30 hipparchia { 05.21.08 at 2:21 am }

nooooo! you can’t leave now, kryten! i was looking forward to your recipe for asparagus dumplings!

31 Kryten42 { 05.21.08 at 6:31 am }

Doh! I think I’ll keep my big mouth shut about food in future! *SIGH*

I’m looking, I’m looking!

How about this in the mean time… (For you sour cream weirdo’s!) 😉 😀

Rediska so Smetanoi (Did I get that right Bryan?) 😉 LOL

15-20 small, round radishes, washed and thinly sliced 1 hard-boiled egg, chopped, 1/4 cup sour cream, sprigs fresh dill

Combine radish slices with egg and sour cream and mix well. Arrange on a glass plate and garnish with dill. Serves 4

(Sour cream is great on fresh corn chips with guacamole and chili beans I must admit). 😉

32 Kryten42 { 05.21.08 at 6:45 am }

Ummm, you’re a vegan (vegetarian), right hipparchia?

Because I think I remembered some of the other ingredients. Eggs (which is no surprise as Russians and most Baltic countries use eggs in almost everything), and ham. (And milk too I think. Again, no surprise there!)

Anyway, I’ll see what I can find. I do have other (more vegan friendly) asparagus recipes if you like. 🙂 Actually, I do have a lot of recipes. I once was part owner of a Restaurant many years ago (I was engaged to a Chef who decided to start one and I helped fund it), and I love to cook (when I have a decent kitchen and tools to cook with!) 🙂

Let me know, I’ll see what I can do. 🙂

33 Bryan { 05.21.08 at 11:12 am }

Kryten, I have to do something with my honors in Russian [advanced course] from the Defense Language Institute. The first course is military Russian, the second is Soviet Russian, and finally in the advanced course you get Russian Russian. These are 37-week, 40 hours per week courses, with the second two taught in Russian.

Yes, сметана – It’s not just for symphonic poems anymore.

Actually smetana is more like crème fraîche than sour cream, and you can make your own with heavy cream and cultured buttermilk. I’m of the opinion that it was created by someone who didn’t like to churn butter, and quit in the middle of the process.

34 Kryten42 { 05.21.08 at 11:26 am }

Lucky you! I got 4 weeks plus once or twice a week in a Russian restaurant over 2+ years learning Russian during the consumption of much food and vodka! LOL And the occasional Embassy visits etc. 😉

I’m better with German, Italian and Maltese (which is very useful as it’s a mix of many Mid Eastern/Euro languages). 🙂

35 Bryan { 05.21.08 at 3:03 pm }

Ah, that is DLI’s embassy/Peace Corps course that was taught at Annapolis. It never quite made sense to me that people who were expected to live in country received a little over a month of classes, while those who were specifically forbidden to go there received 9 months at a minimum.

My other languages are organic, I picked them up from living in the countries.

36 hipparchia { 05.21.08 at 6:45 pm }

vegetarian for some years, mostly ovo-lacto but vegan for part of that time, diagnosed with gluten intolerance, added animal products back into my diet, pretty much follow michael pollan’s suggestion: eat food, not too much, mostly plants. my friends all make fun of me, saying i use meat as a condiment.

i went through a pretty lengthy period of mourning for all things whole wheat after that diagnosis, but eventually found suitable replacements for most of the items that i really liked. i will, however, kill anyone who waves a real new york bagel or loaf of fresh-baked french bread under my nose. i’m of the opinion that it can’t be done, but if you’ve developed a suitable replacement for those 2 items, then you’re a culinary genius and i will forever worship the ground you walk on, the air you breathe, the electrons/photons you blog with….

37 Michael { 05.22.08 at 12:33 am }

hipparchia, use spelt flour, and you won’t have any problem with gluten.

38 Michael { 05.22.08 at 12:36 am }

I might be wrong about that, because it does have some gluten, but it is less and supposed to be well tolerated.

39 Michael { 05.22.08 at 12:44 am }

Actually, just disregard. I’m doing some more research on it and that appears to be unconfirmed by experimental evidence, spelt may not help at all. Sorry about that.

My doctor wanted me to try a gluten free diet as well but I haven’t tried it yet.

40 Michael { 05.22.08 at 12:49 am }

Found a gluten free bagel recipe though.

41 hipparchia { 05.22.08 at 2:26 am }

hmmm… looks worth trying. you really need gluten to make the best bagels, no other protein has quite the right texture.

no wheat, barley, rye, spelt, triticale, or other wheat relatives, although buckwheat is ok, because in spite of the name, it’s not really wheat. most people recommend avoiding oats too.

it’s defintiely worth trying. skip all processed and pre-prepared foods — they put wheat in EVERYTHING — and eat only rice and corn and potatoes for your starches. the good news is that if gluten is a problem, you should notice an improvement in something like 3-6 weeks.

42 Kryten42 { 05.22.08 at 2:46 am }

Thanks Michael. 🙂 I’ll give that a try too! I have to lower my gluten (and carbs generally, especially sugar) intake.

Hmmm. I was told spelt was good also. And I buy spelt bread and pasta. 🙁 I better do some more research too! *sigh*

This is from the website of a good bakery that makes gluten free and organic products (and they taste sooooooooooooo good!) I LOVE a good bakery! 😀

Spelt facts
Spelt is an amazing grain that is being rediscovered by Australian consumers. Popular in Europe for centuries, spelt is used in a wide variety of cereals, bread, pastas and beers. The ancient Romans knew it as farrum, Italians call it farro and Germans know it as dinkle. Spelt has been used successfully as a wheat substitute for people who have wheat allergies. Once commonly grown in Australia, spelt was replaced at the beginning of this century by modern wheat varieties, which are more suited to the high volume production techniques currently used on most Australian farms. The nutty and flavourful spelt taste has proven to be an attractive alternative to the common varieties of wheat. Spelt products are nutritious, versatile, and very tasty. Whether or not you have wheat allergies, your first taste of our spelt products will bring you back for more.

This is their gluten free range (drool suckers!) LOL :
Britt’s Danish Delight – Gluten free

I’ll see what yummy (but harmless) recipe’s I can find amongst my multitude hipparchia! Might not happen for a day or two though. It seems I am suddenly up to my ears in dragons! LOL 😉 But I will check and post! 🙂

43 hipparchia { 05.22.08 at 3:12 am }

no hurry. i don’t plan to quit eating anytime soon. 😈

spelt is apparently ok for wheat allergy, but wheat allergy is not the same thing as gluten intolerance.

there are blood tests and biopsies galore, but pretty much the best way to figure out which, if either, you have is to compare how you feel after several weeks of a gluten-free diet [this eliminates most of the common, and affordable, grains] to how you feel after several weeks of just a wheat-less diet, with any other grains included that you like.

ps. corn gluten, even though it has the same name, is apparently NOT the same molecule[s] as the gluten[s] found in wheat. rye, barley, etc, so it’s usually safe to eat corn.

most baked goods can be made with substitute flours, especially cookies, pie crusts, quick breads, anything that isn’t yeast-raised works well. gluten is the stretchy protein that allows bread that allows to hold in all that carbon dioxide produced by the yeasties when it rises. absolutely essential for good french bread, and pretty darned important in bagels too. pizza dough is another one that suffers without gluten, but if the toppings are good enough, it’s not quite as noticeable.

celiac.com, a good starting point

we have one eatery in town that makes a gluten-free chocolate torte. mmmmmmm.

44 hipparchia { 05.22.08 at 3:14 am }

well, that didn’t work.


45 Michael { 05.22.08 at 6:37 am }

Get thee behind me, Seitan?

46 Michael { 05.22.08 at 6:39 am }

Hemp flour seems like a great alternative btw.

47 Michael { 05.22.08 at 6:47 am }

This bread recipe looks very good.

48 Kryten42 { 05.22.08 at 8:18 am }

Hemp flour? I didn’t know there was such a thing. 🙂 I’ll look into that too.

I thought hemp was banned in the USA? Dupont successfully lobbied that hemp growers were just drug producers. LOL Of course. the real reason was that people preferred hemp fibers to Dupont’s nylon. The Navy was pretty annoyed when hemp was banned BTW, they use it a lot. Hemp has many excellent qualities that nylon doesn’t even come close too. 🙂

It was banned here also. But we are growing hemp again because it’s too useful not to! 🙂

Thanks. 🙂

49 Michael { 05.22.08 at 1:18 pm }

Kryten42, hemp growing isn’t allowed in the US but it is grown in Canada and can legally be shipped and sold to US customers and retailers. Here in the San Francisco Bay area it’s easy to find hemp products at any natural grocery store. Not so easy to find perhaps elsewhere.

50 hipparchia { 05.22.08 at 6:19 pm }

i used to be able to find some hemp products in my local natural foods co-op, but that seems to have fallen by the wayside. i loved the hemp seeds.

good one, michael! i’ve never tried seitan, but people tell me it’s tasty.

that bread recipe [drool] sounds [drool] delicious [drool].

51 Michael { 05.23.08 at 2:15 am }

You want to avoid seitan, hipparchia, since it’s just another name for wheat gluten.