Two pieces of background info

A recent comment clued me to the fact that I haven’t provided much background info on some of the things I do (and post on) – assuming that both people who read my blog are already in the know. Seems like I may have more than a handful of readers, so I’ll try to fill in some of the blanks.

I’m a falconer. Click here for a good definition of what falconry is. I have a six year old male Red-tailed Hawk and a sixteen week old female Peregrine Falcon. Brick, the Red-tail, hunts rabbits, snowshoe hare, squirrel and pheasant; I plan to fly Luz, the Peregrine, on ducks on the salt marsh. My falconry bullet point list:

  • Falconry. Look at the word. Notice it does not contain the letter “d” or the letter “t”. I don’t know if it’s a local thing or not, but if I hear someone pronounce it falcundry one more time…
  • Q: You let the bird go? A: Yes. Q: And it comes back? A: So far. Every time we go hunting there is the chance that – if I haven’t prepared properly – I could come home without the hawk. Lost birds are no joke – falconers try like hell to find them – but that risk is a necessary part of the sport.
  • Q: So it’s a pet? A: NFW. I’m not all that sure what a pet is, to be honest with you. I have dogs – they work for/with me every fall when we go bird hunting and the rest of the year have duties around the house (basically, do as I ask) and are demo dogs when I teach dog obedience classes. There are periods each year when they are in charge – if they tell me there’s a woodcock in the alders I damn well believe them. Pets? I guess, but I don’t think of them that way. The birds? Definitely not. I make myself useful to the hawks when we’re out hunting; we strike a bargain – if the human produces slips (opportunities on game), then the hawk will stay interested.
  • Q: It brings the game back? A: No. (We’ll put aside some of the things I’ve heard you can do with Merlins). Carrying (flying off with the game) is a vice – a bad thing. They stay put and allow you to approach them (it’s called ‘making in’).
  • You may have gotten the sense already that falconry is a vocabulary-rich undertaking. True. Even better, much of the vocabulary has been essentially unchanged for hundreds of years – rich gravy for lovers of good words.

If you are interested in finding out more about the sport, permit me to recommend Stephen Bodio’s A Rage for Falcons. It’s a fantastic overview – not a how-to (those exist too), but a why-to.

Folks who don’t know from falconry, please understand that writing the paragraphs above was more than a little stress inducing. Folks who do know – if there’s something you don’t like, or that you’d like to add, please comment.

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My nom-de-blog, Dr. Hypercube – what’s up with that? First, I’m neither an MD nor a PhD. Also, not multidimensional (beyond three + time). A year ago, as I was starting to blog, I was also setting up a test network. I needed a bunch of host names and rather than do something boring, I decided to use monster names. It was a decent sized net (VMWare rules!); I went to the Kaiju Big Battel web site to replenish my monster supply. From there, it was no leap at all to Dr. Cube – my first modification, Dr. Tesseract, was just too obscure. Hey, presto – Dr. H!

Hooray for Kaiju: professional wrasslin’ moves + crazy monster suits + cardboard buildings in the squared circle = hilarity.

On the subject of anonymity – I thought originally that it might be a good idea. As I did more and more blogging, I cared about anonymity less and less. At this point, if you want to know my real name it’s about four clicks away.

Update - ‘The squared circle’ is the way pro wrasslers refer to the ring. Real wrestling (no make-up, completely trashed ears) is done on a mat within a circle. The pro show is done in a (modified for bounce, I think) boxing ring- a square. Those two factoids plus high school geometry yield a great phrase for the likes of Mean Gene Okerlund.

4 thoughts on “Two pieces of background info

  1. Here’s something a reporter asked me last week after pondering an interview and calling with clarifying questions… “My editor wants to know, is it common for someone who trains animals professionally to hunt and kill them.” (ARRRGGH) I took a deep breath and said, “In everywhere but California. And I don’t hunt animals, the falcon does. Tell your editor to take it up with him.”

    –And they spelled it, “falconery” in the article. I HATE that.

  2. “Also, not multidimensional (beyond three + time).”

    We’ll see what the Large Hadron Collider has to say about that.