Time-lapse of Northern California train route

Time-lapse video of part of Amtrak California’s Capitol Corridor route, from Davis to Richmond, CA. The train makes stops in Suisun/Fairfield and Martinez. The camera is facing northwest for most of the trip, with farm fields of the great Central Valley, the coastal range, rice fields of the Sacramento River delta, the Carquinez Strait, and San Pablo Bay. Along the way are tomato processing plants, oil and gas refineries, the C&H Sugar plant, and hundreds of oil tankers on parallel tracks. Shrouded in clouds, Mt. Tamalpais and Marin County are visible across the water near the end of the video.


San Francisco readings

I want to thank the organizers of two great literary readings this weekend.

Thanks to the staff of Fourteen Hills for putting on Gird your ‘Loin at Celtic Coffee on Saturday. See photos from the event here.

And thanks to Gray Tolhurst for the invitation to read at The Convent on Friday night.


Squaw Valley Community of Writers, 2014 Poetry Workshop

The Community of Writers is now accepting applications for its 2014 workshop.  From their website…

The Community of Writers Poetry Workshop is founded on the belief that when poets gather in a community to write new poems, each poet may well break through old habits and write something stronger and truer than before. The idea is to try to expand the boundaries of what one can write. In the mornings we meet to read to each other the work of the previous twenty-four hours, and in the late afternoons we gather for a conversation about some aspect of craft.


Financial Aid available.
Submissions Deadline: April 2, 2014.


Robert Hass · Cathy Park Hong · Harryette Mullen · C.D. Wright · Matthew Zapruder 

Visit the Poetry Workshop Website: http://www.squawvalleywriters.org/poetry_ws.htm


NCAI Super Bowl Ad*

Among the professional ranks, the effort by the NFL and the Washington football team to retain the violent and racially derived term “Redsk*ns” has been a focus of national and international media. The legacy of racism… is an important component to the story of the Washington football team name, in addition to its violent origins in American popular culture.

The term originates from a time when Native people were actively hunted and killed for bounties, and their skins were used as proof of Indian kill. Bounties were issued by European companies, colonies, and some states, most notably California. By the turn of the 20th century it had evolved to become a term meant to disparage and denote inferiority and savagery in American culture. By 1932, the word had been a term of commodification and a commentary on the color of a body part. It was not then and is not now an honorific.

From Ending the Legacy of Racism in Sports & the Era of Harmful “Indian” Sports Mascots, a report issued by the National Congress of American Indians in October 2013.

*At least, this should be a Super Bowl ad.



My friend Gary Kueber shared this photo. It made us both smile. The photo was taken, to the best of our knowledge, during the year of the bicentennial, which may explain why, like Christopher Walken and cowbell, this man just can’t get enough of the US flag. Don’t know who he is, but between the headlights, the mirrors, the handbells, the horns (squeeze-bulb, circular French-type, and even the compressed-air-in-a-can variety), the construction helmet, and the pre-xtracycle-like use of a tandem for hauling groceries, he’s got flair.

Bike Patriot, ca. 1976. Durham, NC.

Bike Patriot, ca. 1976. Durham, NC.

Photo by George Pyne, courtesy of Milo Pyne.


UC Davis bike safety video

UC Davis TAPS BEEP Video from UCDavisTAPS on Vimeo.

UC Davis has a great new bike safety video. Traffic laws and campus customs are clearly explained alongside some nice visuals of campus bike traffic. When the roundabouts get crowded, they really can be intimidating, but the video explains how they keep traffic moving and less confusing than four-way stops.


happy birthday blog

Today, nicomachus.net is ten years old. It started out as just a blog and has grown into a website with a blog on the side. It started out on Blogger and moved to Moveable Type before settling on WordPress. It started out as a place to practice writing after I finished graduate school in North Carolina, and it grew into a community of readers and thoughts, of bicycles and photographs, of travel and criticism, of philosophy and poetry.

Thanks to the Wayback Machine for holding on to the baby photos of this website’s growth.


Squaw Valley poets at Lit Crawl! October 19.


October 19th, 7:15 – 8:15 pm

at Betabrand, 780 Valencia St.(map)

I’m excited and honored to be reading with Blas, Dawn, Elizabeth, Mary, and a lottery of other talented poets from the 2012 Squaw Valley conference. Come join us for an hour of great poetry.

from the official Lit Crawl announcement

Celebrate the publication of The 2012 Squaw Valley Review, where alumni poets continue the tradition of publishing a collection of poems in which the first drafts were written during the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley. In addition to readings from our featured poets, other authors published in the anthology will be chosen via lottery to read. Featuring Phillip Barron, Blas Falconer, Dawn McGuire, Elizabeth McLagan, and Mary Winegarden.

Phillip Barron taught philosophy at UNC-Chapel Hill and now teaches digital humanities at UC Davis. He is co-editor of OccuPoetry and the 2012 Squaw Valley Review.

Blas Falconer is author of The Foundling Wheel and A Question of Gravity and Light. He teaches at USC and in the low-residency MFA program at Murray State University.

Dawn McGuire is a neurologist and author of three collections, including The Aphasia Cafewinner of the 2013 Indie Book Award for Poetry.

Elizabeth McLagan was the 2009 winner of Bellingham Review’s 49th Parallel Award, and her collection of poems, In the White Room, was just released by CW Books.

Mary Winegarden’s debut collection, The Translator’s Sister, was a 2012 winner of the Before Columbus Foundation’s American Book Award. She teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.

The FB event page for the reading is here. I hope to see you on October 19th.


2012 Squaw Valley Review

20130812-084514.jpgThe 2012 Squaw Valley Review is out, and it looks beautiful. The poems selected for the Review form an eclectic mix that reflects the talent that gathered together in the high Sierra last summer. Reading every one of the poems submitted was a privilege, as was working with such a committed group of editors.

Previews of the 2012 issue came out at the end of June, just in time for fliers to be available for the benefit reading in Sacramento. Copies will be on hand at Squaw Valley’s Lit Quake reading in October as well.

You can order your copy from Lulu or from Amazon.

Profit from the sale of each copy directly benefits the Squaw Valley Community of Writers, which we hope, if not for the great poetry within, is reason enough for you to pick up a copy. It is available now through Lulu.com, and soon it will be available through other online outlets.