Tag Archives: Lord of leisure

Petit Jean State Park Waterfalls – Central Arkansas

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Note: These same photos are also posted in significantly larger sizes at
Two Waterfalls In Petit Jean State Park – Central Arkansas
Both waterfalls shown are located in Petit Jean State Park in central Arkansas.  It’s a great park with many trails, beautiful scenery, and cabins built by CCC workers in the 1930s.

Petit Jean Mountain juts up abruptly from the Arkansas River Valley.   Cedar Creek has carved a steep canyon through the mountain. These waterfalls are along Cedar Creek. The one atop this post is aptly named Cedar Creek Falls. The one below is more appropriately called a cascade and appears to be unnamed.

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []

Snow Geese Congregate At Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge In Northwest Missouri

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Click on images for best viewing

These photos were taken February 22, 2012 at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge, a 7,415-acre site in northwestern Missouri established in 1935 as a resting, feeding, and breeding ground for migratory birds and other wildlife.

Lord of Leisure, accompanied by his trusty sidekick, Hippie With Tiara, found lots of ducks, a score of Trumpeter Swans and an equal number of Bald eagles, but the stars of the show were the Snow Geese, of which approximately 1.1 million were in attendance on the day the photos were shot..

For more  photos, see DrHGuy post Snow Geese Flock At Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Blog

He’s Baaack

This appropriately ominous photo (click on image for best viewing) of an American Alligator, a notable example of the fauna indigenous to Hilton Head Island, signals DrHGuy’s return from vacation on that idyllic isle.

Because of the addition of an unanticipated dental appointment to the already frenetic schedule rendered necessary by the return to real life, the usual melange of Heck Of A Guy posts featuring life, love, lust, & Leonard Cohen will not resume until tomorrow. To compensate for that delay, however, the blog entry planned for  June 7, 2011 will offer a never before published episode from the life of a certain Canadian singer-songwriter, poet, novelist, and icon.

Credit Due Department:

It will prove no surprise to ongoing readers that the outstanding photo atop this post was taken by fellow Hilton Head camper, Lord of Leisure.1

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. All Lord of Leisure photos can be found at Photos – Lord of Leisure. []

The Enticing Colors Of Zion Canyon

Virgin River - Zion Canyon (click image to enlarge)

The Lord of Leisure1 Photo Gallery

Lord of Leisure writes:

Driving the main road along the Virgin River in the valley floor of Zion Canyon, I was struck by the blue sky reflecting off the river as it curved away with the yellow trees and red sandstone of the canyon walls in the background. After 15 minutes of wrestling the tripod through the brush covered riverbank, we were in position to take this shot.

I like the way the diagonal line of the water leads the viewer into the picture and then the sweep of the yellow trees takes the viewers eyes around the bend deeper into the picture where the light shines on the distant canyon wall.

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. []

Lord of Leisure Vs Semliki Forest Virus

Contest Continues For Years With Unknown Rules and Indeterminate Scoring – Yet Isn’t Cricket

This is your mouse's brain on Semliki Forest Virus

To quickly and efficaciously invoke the mood appropriate to this tale, the reader is advised to imagine an introduction offered by either Rod Serling uttering half-ominously, half whimsically, one of his cryptic preambles to a Twilight Zone episode, “Submitted for your approval, … ,” or Alfred Hitchcock, walking on screen toward the silhouette of himself to Charles Gounod’s Funeral March of a Marionette, then turning toward to camera to sonorously announce with exaggerated precision, “Good Evening. I’m Alfred Hitchcock and tonight … .”

Because this is a story of the Scientist Becomes Science Experiment genre.

The Plot

In 1972, Lord of Leisure,1 Duke of Derm, Princess of Peds, DrHGuy, and 96 or so other overachievers were in the first semester of their second year of medical school in the heartland of America. Part of the second year curriculum, at least in those days, was microbiology, and part of microbiology was the “Mouse Encephalitis Lab.”

While the ultimate didactic purpose of the lab has long been forgotten by Lord of Leisure and DrHGuy, the preparation stage is permanently lodged in a prominent portion of the cortex.

The essential step in the lab exercise was inducing encephalitis in a number of rodents by the simple expedient of injecting their brains with Semliki Forest virus.2

Thus it was that Lord of Leisure, equipped with a virus-loaded syringe in one hand and a mouse in the other, brought them into approximation to effect entry of the virus via the syringe into the mouse’s brain.

That’s when things went awry.

Inserting the needle of the syringe into the mouse as directed, Lord of Leisure applied pressure to the plunger but to no avail. Perhaps the needle was clogged or the lumen was wedged against the mouse’s skull or jammed into a cul-de-sac of tissue. Regardless, the virus remained in the syringe rather than in the mouse, endangering the lab exercise (from the medical students’ perspective albeit not necessarily the mouse’s).

Conscious of his responsibility, Lord of Leisure readjusted his grip on the syringe, positioned his thumb squarely on the plunger, and in a particularly masculine maneuver, applied significantly more pressure,3 forcing the syringe’s contents from the cylinder into the needle and finally into the mouse – but only briefly.

Upon exiting the syringe, the Semliki Forest virus solution ricocheted off whatever part of the mouse’s anatomy was blocking the needle’s exist directly backwards into the eyes of Lord of Leisure.

Panic ensured – especially and understandably on the part of Lord of Leisure.

But wait – the trauma has yet to peak.

The Dark Ages

After a few hours of flushing his eyes, the Lord of Leisure took steps to assess his situation as a potential Semliki Forest virus host. In those pre-Google days his options for garnering somewhat esoteric information were limited.

First, he tracked down the wooden clog-shod, 6′ 6″ effete microbiology instructor who devised the lab and provided the virus, although he was nowhere in the vicinity when the lab was in process. It was, in fact, a few days later that Lord of Leisure was able to query him about the risks he faced and likely outcome of the incident.

The microbiologist was not worried.

Well, more accurately, the microbiologist wasn’t concerned about Lord of Leisure’s angst or any of the problems (e.g., a prolonged, horribly painful death) he might face.

He did admit that he didn’t know if Lord of Leisure were in any danger but, on the other hand, apparently felt capable of tolerating that ambiguity.

Lord of Leisure describes his next approach:

My own research of what little was then known about the Semliki Forest virus revealed that human brain tissue could be afflicted with the virus, which was best known for its incubation period that could be as long as 20-25 years.

I did not find this comforting.

Model of Semliki Forest Virus

See? This is the part of the story where the dynamic tension is greatest, the potential for catastrophe weighs heaviest on our protagonist, and the pathos reaches seemingly unendurable proportions, yet it is not, if the reactions of several of our fellow students are any guide, without a certain macabre hilarity.

One friend, in fact, continued to mention the viral incubation time in his Christmas cards to Lord of Leisure, in a sort of annual countdown, for those 25 years.

As it came to pass, the incubation period elapsed without Lord of Leisure running in circles, exhibiting restlessness, or manifesting any of the symptoms those encephalitic mice demonstrated. He is now out of the woods – or, as he prefers, “out of the Semliki Forest.”

Here’s the kicker. When I asked Lord of Leisure for details in preparation for writing this post, he Googled “Semliki Forest virus” where he found 310,000 hits, including the information that the danger to humans is minimal, as indicated by this excerpt from Wikipedia:

The Semliki Forest virus (or Semiliki Forest virus) was first isolated from mosquitoes in the Semliki Forest, Uganda by the Uganda Virus Research Institute in 1942. It is known to cause disease in both animals and man. It is an Alphavirus found in central, eastern, and southern Africa. The Semliki Forest virus is a positive-stranded RNA virus with icosahedral capsid which is enveloped by a lipid bilayer, derived from the host cell. … Semliki Forest virus is spread mainly by mosquito bites. It is not able to infect mammals through inhalation or gastrointestinal exposure although rodents in the laboratory can be infected by intranasal instillation. The virus is able to cause a lethal encephalitis in rodents, but only one lethal human infection has been reported. Even in this one case, the patient was immunodeficient and had been exposed to large amounts of virus in the laboratory. Semliki Forest virus has been used extensively in biological research as a model of the viral life cycle and of viral neuropathy. Due to its broad host range and efficient replication, it has also been developed as a vector for genes encoding vaccines and anti-cancer agents, and as a tool in gene therapy. [emphasis mine]

So, boys and girls, although Lord of Leisure and DrHGuy recall precious little about mouse encephalitis, we do have a grasp on the real lesson to be learned from this Parable of the Mouse Encephalitis Lab.

Google is your friend
(Whether your microbiology instructor is or not)

  1. Lord of Leisure was previously known in these posts as Mr. Science. Both Lord of Leisure and Mr Science spend most of their time disguised as Neil Ellis, mild-mannered, retired teacher at a great suburban school system, who can identify a bird by its call, complete the New York Times Friday Crossword in ink, and snap a heck of a photo. In addition to his sporadically ongoing Lord of Leisure Photo Gallery series, featuring shots of outdoor scenes such as Greer Springs In The Missouri Ozarks, Lord of Leisure has made numerous contributions to the Heck of a Guy blog, The Ziploc Omelette Buffet recipe, birding observations, participation in the blogumentary of Chocolodka Production, a key role in The Great Ozark Folk Festival Flood of 1973, and Hilton Head Vacation Expert in Residence on Crossword Puzzles, Sports, Photography, and the Great Outdoors as well as story-teller par excellence. He also serves as spouse of Hippie With Tiara, no stranger herself to these posts, and father and father-in-law, respectively, of the recently wed Son of Science and Eager Teacher, whose recent adventures in adulthood may well find their way to future Heck of a Guy entries. Lord of Leisure also has a daughter and son-in-law, both of who have inexplicably escaped the Heck of a Guy spotlight – for the nonce. []
  2. It should be noted that medical school was awash in fun projects of this sort, each of which prompted in DrHGuy a nostalgic longing for his halcyon undergraduate days as a English major, when an onerous assignment consisted of reading The Red Badge of Courage or The Pearl (both the 14th century, Middle English alliterative poem and the Steinbeck novel – each is gruesome in its own way). Not once in a lit course – including Contemporary American Poetry – was DrHGuy expected to inject a tissue-destroying virus into the brain of a mouse. []
  3. OK, show of hands – who thought DrHGuy was going to use, instead of “applied significantly more pressure,” the phrase, “plunged ahead,” as a play on “plunger?” []

Tiara Yes – Tonsils No


One of my buddies, Hippie With Tiara, is convalescing this weekend from being de-tonsilled.1 HWT, disguised as mild-mannered Mrs. Science, nurtured not only Mr. Science2 but also the Duke of Derm, me, and other of the Lost Boys during the first year of medical school, providing laughter, excellent tacos, a ready ear that was always available to us,3 and an incredible tolerance for medical school war stories and our (continuing) predilection for interjecting into conversations, typically without discernable provocation, exclamations culled from watching professional wrestling.4

So, as a token of appreciation and affection, this weekend edition of the Heck Of A Guy blog offers three web gizmos, selected for HWT’s amusement and diversion. Generous spirit that she is, however, I am sure she won’t mind sharing her toys.

Line Rider


Line Rider is especially addictive. (Remember the first time you were able to successfully play with a yo-yo? And then wouldn’t let go of it for three days? It’s like that.)

It’s simple: draw a line from left to right that slopes downward and that figure on the sled will slide down it. The full instructions are about three lines longer than that.

Take care, Line Rider can fall off the sled or tumble downward in a bottomless abyss if that’s the way the line(s) are drawn (intentionally or unintentionally). But, if the line-drawer is a way cool sort of dude, Line Rider can perform jumps and land successfully. That would look, oh, something like this:

To Ride The Line, slide over to
Line Rider

Mr Picasso Head

Hippie With Tiara is of the artsy-fartsy persuasion so Mr Picasso Head seems an appropriate selection. It’s Mr Potato Head morphed into Picasso-esque representations on a cyber-canvas, inspiring one to produce works of art such as this suitable for framing masterpiece:

Hey, give me a break. At least my Line Rider guy can do jumps. (Besides, look at the stylized signature. Heck, if Mr Picasso Head did nothing but produce those slick autographs, it would still be worth a recommendation.)

To explore your inner artist, go to
Mr Picasso Head

Movie Mappr

You take your Google Map thing and you smush it into your movie database thing and you get a thing that shows you where a movie was shot.5

If one plugs in “Kansas City, MO,” a randomly chosen city that happens to the home of HWT, this map is generated:

as is this movie listing:6

While the site’s aesthetics are a tad crude, the database is rich. One can also search by movie name to find the location, enabling one and all to learn, for example, that “Ground Hog Day” was filmed in Woodstock, IL, within five miles of Heck Of A House. Clicking on the red placeholders gives the name(s) of the movie(s) shot at that specific location. Entering “Risky Business” generates four locations, Chicago (city scenes), Niles East High School (school scenes), Highland Park (home scenes), and the Drake Hotel (duh). Clicking on the Highland Park marker then reveals that the North Shore bastion of suburbanhood was also the shooting site for Prelude To A Kiss, The Color Of Money, Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Ordinary People, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Weird Science, and The Ice Harvest. Clicking on the movie titles also produces the year of production, the stars, and the opportunity to buy the movie at Amazon.

Since Mr. Science was an anthropology major, I’ll leave it to him to draw conclusions about the psychosocial implications of the kinds of movies made in a given area. The types of movies made in Highland Park, for example, don’t seem to have much overlap with those made in the Kansas City area (e.g., In Cold Blood, DysFunktional Family, Sometimes They Come Back, and, my personal favorite, Zombiegedddon).

Map your movie locations at
Movie Mappr


  1. Which evidences my wisdom in choosing the pseudonym, “Hippie With Tiara,” over the contender, “Hippie With Tonsils.” []
  2. As part of his participation in the federal Witness Protection Program, “Mr. Science” has been rechristened “Lord Of Leisure” []
  3. Hippie With Tiara’s ready ear was attached to a sexy body that was admired conceptually by us but was otherwise available only to Mr. Science []
  4. I suspect that if one were to perform a statistical analysis of the frequency of occurrence in conversations of, for example, the phrase, “He’s biting his eye,” our group would be found in the 99th percentile. []
  5. Apparently, in the smushing, the “e” in “Mapper” is vaporized. []
  6. In Movie Mappr itself, the map and the listings are displayed side by side. I’ve separated them here for easier viewing. Also, the listing page is truncated in two dimensions here; there are several move movies listed that one views by using the vertical scroll bar and some of the longer movie names are seen only by using a horizontal scroll bar. []