WC Answers Your Questions – Memorial Day Edition


It’s been a while since WC answered the emails, comments, cheap shots, carping criticisms and death threats that clutter his in-boxes. Partly, that’s because since WC left Alaska the volume has gone way down. Make of that what you will. But let’s get to the questions.

Why birds? Why photos of birds?
Blame Mrs. WC. During our courtship, she taught WC birding. WC taught her fly-fishing. Then in 2002, friends invited us on a trip to the Galapagos Islands, where three members of the group were nature photographers. The images they got were so much better than WC’s that WC finally invested in decent equipment and combined birding and photography.

How hard is it to get decent bird photos?
WC will let two people answer for him. First, Aaron John, whose excellent What the Duck can still be found in the dark corners of the Web.

Aaron Johnson on skill and luck

Aaron Johnson on skill and luck

If you still don’t get it, read Mia McPherson’s excellent essay on the subject. Or WC’s much less eloquent post on the issue.

Why do you have all those footnotes?
WC’s very favorite author, the late Sir Terry Pratchett, used footnotes as a tool in his novels. You never knew where a Pratchett footnote would take you, but mostly it would make you laugh. WC rarely makes his readers laugh. WC adds footnotes to honor Sir Terry. And because years ago he was forced to learn the Markdown language and wants to salvage some value from the effort.

Why do you pick on Bob Gillam?
WC doesn’t “pick on” anyone. WC writes about things that interest WC, or that WC thinks might interest his readers. Gillam’s antics – the activities of the richest man in Alaska – qualify. Besides, WC has only written on Gillam 3-4 times. WC write about birds all the time and no one complains that WC “picks on” birds.

You environmentalist creeps are going to get what’s coming to you. I know where you live.
First, that’s not really a question. Second, now WC knows where you live, too. And so does your Police Department. When you comment or use one of WordPress’s feedback tools, WordPress harvests your IP address. Think of this as a privacy warning.

More generally, WC declines to feed the trolls.

How’s Boise?
We’re settling in. It’s a great concert scene, the winters aren’t epic, there are far more birds and you can drive to a nearly unlimited number of places. WC can walk to the grocery store, the dry cleaners, the lady who cuts his hair and a very nice selection of restaurants in Hyde Park. The trails and parks are outstanding. The downside is the reality of DeWitt’s Rule. Summers here are hot and getting hotter.

DeWitt’s Rule? If you are cold, there is no limit to the amount of clothes you can put on the keep warm. If you are too hot, there is a definite limit to the number of clothes you can take off.

Did you really buy a land yacht?
It’s true. It’s a pretty modest one, and WC’s environmentalist credential took a hit. But the ground has gotten a lot harder over the last fifteen years or so, and climbing in and out of a tent isn’t nearly as easy as it used to be. There may be a post about it later. WC will be planting a lot of trees to offset the carbon footprint. But think of it this way: it uses a lot less fuel than a Fairbanks house in the winter. It does have air conditioning.

The rest of the email will be shredded and used as digital mulch.

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3 thoughts on “WC Answers Your Questions – Memorial Day Edition

    • Wallace was the second son and third child of Ed DeWitt, my great-grandfather Bartley’s younger brother. Wallace was probably the first DeWitt in my family line to graduate from college, and certainly the first one to attend Princeton. The Wallace kick is a story that gets handed around at family reunions.

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