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Smithson Thus Far... ·


Another haiku set! I do find it hard to ink with a brush. I use brush pens for illustration work now, but I'm not very good at it. Sorry, Mell. The gerbils in the cherry branch turned out nicely, though.

Last Sunday I posted a photo of James Rice's gerbil, Speedy, on a spelunking expedition. James immediately responded with another photo from a more recent trip:

Writes James:

That's Speedy and I just about to enter the stainless steel pipe that leads to the air-lock that separates Lechugilla cave from the surface. Speedy and I, (and six others) had been in Lechugilla cave for more than seven straight days at that point, surveying and exploring, and correcting errors on the map. It's hard to imagine a more isolated group of people than we were, sitting under about 600' feet of rock, with no communication links to the surface of the earth.

Speedy was happy that he got to ride in a pack during the 180-foot assent up a free-hanging rope that is one of the many obstacles to exit the cave. Speedy was downright ecstatic that he didn't have to follow the "pack-it-out" restroom policy that the humans had to.

Thanks as always, guys!

Valerie Kaplan (shinyhappygoth) says:

Explain "pack-it-out"?  *worries*

Tiff Hudson (tiff_hudson) says:

@Valerie - It's like when you walk a dog and take a plastic bag with you. I don't know how they do it, but it occurs to me that 5-gal plastic drywall buckets provide a reasonable seat, a tight seal, and a handle. On they way in, they can be filled with food and water. On the way out, they're filled with "food" and "water". And they're reusable! (I'd insist on steam-cleaning them down at the local car wash, though.)

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

Little gerbil helmet!  Squeeeeeee!! And James, your life would make a better adventure film than anything since the first Indiana Jones.

Valerie Kaplan (shinyhappygoth) says:

@Tiff - On the one hand, entirely sensible.  On the other hand, oh dear oh dear oh dear.

John Campbell (jcampbel) says:

James Rice's stuffed gerbil leads a more exciting life than I do. That's kind of depressing.

Kay Gilbert (kaygilbert) says:

@John: James Rice's stuffed gerbil leads a more exciting life than everyone except for James Rice.  I've reached the acceptance stage.

James Rice (jhrice) says:

Two clarifications.  Speedy has a far my exciting life than I do.  There are now several people that regularly contact me to see if Speedy is available to accompany them on trips.  

Since space and weight are both at a premium while in a cave, Ziploc bags are your friends.  As awkward as it might be going #2 in a Ziploc, it must still be far easier than what astronauts have to deal with.


Beth Bever (dementron) says:

Tiny gerbil wears

A tiny orange helmet

Squee at the cuteness!

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The education bestowed on Shaenon K. Garrity by her parents had been expensive, athletic and prolonged. ... full profile