Saturday, September 26, 2015


Tea time with tyrannosaurs: once you've inked, get tentacled.
September 7, 2015
10:18 am: Back to the splenial of CMNH 7541.
12:15 pm: Lunch.
12:50 pm: back to the splenial!
1:22 pm: Been working on the intercoronoid for some time now.
1:40 pm: Now working on the prearticular! Three more mandibular bones follow this…and none can be said to be simple in form.
1:54 pm: Break.
2:57 pm: Back to the prearticular!
~4:00 pm: Brief break.
~4:05 pm: Good grief – I just had the window for email open and, as sometimes happens, if a window of a different program that spatially covers a word document completely, then that document will become invisible and it has to be closed and then reopened. I’ve reopened the Jane ms, but it isn’t loading the entire doc, I have to scroll down with the cursor, page by page, to get back where I left off, which is over 300 pages down! Bloody waste of time.
4:30 pm: What a godawful waste of time; I’ve finally scrolled down to page 401.
5:07 pm: Making my way through the prearticular; time for a brief break.
9:26 pm: Back to the prearticular!
9:55 pm: Made it to the angular. Brief break.

September 9, 2015
12:17 am: Just completed the next round on the sauropod project; relaxing with a glass of La Fée, Absinthe Parisienne.
10:21 am: Back to the angular!
10:57 am: Errand to run.
11:47 am: Errand done; back to the angular.
12:08 pm: Time to eat and then prepare for today’s first class in Comparative Anatomy – Hennigian systematics.

September 10, 2015
~8:30-9:35 am: Angular, continued.
12:22 pm: Angular.
12:50 pm: Done with the angular; now on with the surangular!
1:00 pm: lunch.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
The skull in the box
With popcorn cheeks
Gorgonizes the mind
& contrabands the heart

September 11, 2015
4:25 pm: Back to the surangular!
5:44 pm: Time to make dinner.
808 pages reached; revising page 414.

September 12, 2015
4:15 pm: Back to the surangular.
4:55-5:05 pm: quick break.
5:37 pm: Stop for dinner, etc.
9:00 pm: Back at the surangular.
10:40 pm: Time for refreshment – a shot of Kraken black spiced rum in 12 oz of Pabst blue ribbon.
10:46 pm: Back to the surangular.
10:54 pm: Good grief – feeling effervescent…just like in Drugstore Cowboy.
816 pages reached; revising page 421.

September 13, 2015
10:40 am: Resuming the surangular.
11:55 am -12:07 pm: Brief break.
12:12 pm: Errands to run.
9:25 pm: Back to the surangular, specifically the joint surface for the angular.
9:44 pm: Short food break (four-cheese tortellini with shredded garlic in olive oil).
9:52 pm: Back to work.
9:58 pm: Stop.
Revising page 426 of 818.

September 14, 2015
4:38 pm: Back to the surangular, specifically the glenoid (jaw joint) region.
5:21 pm: Break.
8:38 pm: Back to it (see how long I last).
9:41 pm: Need a brief break; today’s had a very early start.

September 15, 2015
9:45 am: Resuming the surangular with the lateral scar below the glenoid fossa.
11:18 am: Time for a brief break.
11:27 am: Stomach somewhat filled; coffee topped off. Back to the caudal glenoid process.
12:06 pm: Time for a break.
Revising page 426 of 824.
10:31 pm: Late, yes and for a change of pace tonight I’ll add in my old comments on Gilmore (1946). The comments were made back in 1993, during my first visit to the CMNH for a week-long marathon of description, measurements, and photography on CMNH 7541. I stayed at the swish and close-by Glidden House; I’ve roomed there ever since during my following research visits to Cleveland.
11:18 pm: 828 pages written.

September 16, 2015
9:03 pm: I’ll continue with the Gilmore ’46 commentary tonight and pick up the description tomorrow morning when my mind has the energy.
Music: Beethoven’s 2nd & 4th.
Refreshment: Pabst blue ribbon (neat, Ms. Del Rey), sans Kraken.
9:55 pm: Good grief, flagging before 10:00 pm! Done with Gilmore, now ready to include comments on Bakker et al. (1988)!
830 pages reached.

September 17, 2015
8:45 am: Back to the joint surface for the articular!
9:37 am: Errand to run.
11:00 pm: Time to add the commentary on Bakker et al.
11:13 pm: Wow – Kraken tastes like smoky caramel.
11:36 pm: Stop.
836 pages reached.

September 18, 2015
9:24 am: Back to the surangular!
10:45 pm: Stop.
Revising page 442 of 837.
9:24 pm: Back to adding comments on Bakker et al.
10:15 pm: Done with Bakker et al.!
Taking a break – 839 pages reached.

September 19, 2015
9:52 am: Back to the surangular; I’m making sure that the adult condition has been included. At times I run ahead with description of Jane, and later have to backtrack to make sure that all of the comparisons are made.
11:48 am: 845 pages reached, revising page 424.
3:05 pm: Resuming the surangular.
3:28 pm: I’m done with the surangular, a deceptively simple-looking bone; next in line is the articular.
3:57 pm: Break.
9:45 pm: Resuming with putting all of the dentition descriptions together under one section.
10:21 pm: Looks like I may be done with the articular…I suppose I’ll start a comparison between the overall form of the reconstructed skull of Jane with that of CMNH 7541.
10:48 pm: Losing focus; 848 pages reached.

September 20, 2015
4:56 pm: A late start. I have several primary accomplishments to make on the manuscript: (1) make all of the corrections marked in the hard copy; check the manuscript against -and make any and all comments - (2) Gilmore, 1946, (3) Witmer and Ridgley, 2010, (4) Larson 2008, (5) Larson, 2010, and (6) Holliday (2009); (7) take care of any remaining loose threads in the descriptions; and expand and revise the (8) summary, (9) discussion, and (10) conclusions; and (11) include my recent notes on CMNH 7541. Figures, index, etc. follow all of that. For today, I’ll continue with the comparison between the reconstructed skull of Jane with the Cleveland skull, and a representative adult. I’m considering writing a description of the reconstructed skull as a single unit, functional structure.
5:12 pm: Dinner’s ready!
6:16 pm: Back to it!
7:19 pm: Break.
9:00 pm: Back to the skull comparisons!
9:42 pm: Comparisons made. Moving on to the red ink for a while – that’s the most arduous task, and I’ll feel much better once it is done.
10:00 pm: Done in by this already.
Revising page 372 of 851.

September 22, 2015
9:52 am: Back to making the red-ink revisions! I am sick today (head cold).
10:56 am: Short break.
12:11 pm: Continuing, briefly; have done the fixes for the angular and surangular, now resuming with the prearticular.
12:32 pm: Done with the prearticular, now moving on to the angular. Have to leave for the museum soon to continue identifying, sorting, and cataloging the fossils we collecting during this last field season. It’s a lot of fun to set aside fossils that will appear in the second version of our field guide to fossils of the Hell Creek Formation. Whoops – OK, I’ve already done the angular; I’m working my way backwards, not forwards! OK – intercoronoid, now.
12:36 pm: On to splenial!
12:49 pm: Splenial’s done – time to get to the Dinosaur Discovery Museum (DDM).
7: 11 pm: Resuming the revisions; starting with the dentary.
8:34 pm: Phew – done with the dentary; now, on to the dentary teeth! Have to make sure I’ve taken all of the tooth measurements following Smith, Vann, & Dodson. Have to pull out Edmund (1962).
Reached the end of the dentary teeth, now reading Edmund (1962)…
11:17 pm: Just completed a bunch of Edmund eruption diagrams for Jane, CMNH 7541, and AMNH FARB 5027 – there’s a pattern! I should add LACM 28471.
11:51 pm: After a pause, I’m starting to write up the tooth eruption pattern results.
12:12 am: Wrote up the maxilla tooth replacement patterns. Stop.

September 23, 2015
~9:30 am: Back to the tooth eruption section; I have to draft the dentary eruption for the adult, and then write up the results for dentary eruption for the growth series.
10:30 am: Stop.
Revising page 489 of 853.
10:06 pm: Resuming with the tooth replacement section – reading Edmund (1962) in detail.
11:09 pm: Added some text on tooth replacement in T. rex; 855 pages reached.

September 24, 2015
9:43 pm: Late start today; bad headache – I thought I could get away with skipping lunch. I will set Edmund (1962) aside and instead focus on incorporation my red-ink revisions.
9:59 pm: This damn headache has bested me…

September 26, 2015
9:37 am: Back to the tooth replacement patterns; I am revising the figures, where I’m replacing the spindles with shapes that look more like teeth and I’ve combined the premaxillary and maxillary eruption series. After that, I’ll revise the text and add some more observations that will make this more comparable to what Edmund (1962) did.
11:52 am: Lunch time.
~2:30 pm: I resumed with Edmund (1962) and just finished the task; now on to making the red-ink reivisions for the cervical vertebrae.
3:46 pm: Hunger gnaws; time for a short break.
4:02: Back to work!
4:14 pm: Good grief- hunger again.
9:38 pm: Back to polishing up the cervical series!
~10:40 pm: Stop. Reached the introduction to the axis and postaxial cervicals. Revising page 502 of 862.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
The omenless sleep of

Bowheads in coal cars

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The mother ship: cast of the dentary of Jane compared with that of Scotty (RSM 2523.8). I'm always amazed at how truly enormous adult T. rex really are. This entry focuses on the long, agonizing process it took to complete the description of this not simple or strightforward bone.
August 28, 2015

10:28 am: Back to the ms; double checking some aspects of the palatine before moving on to the pterygoid.

1:10 am: Time to break for lunch.

1:55 pm: Resuming the pterygoid.

4:43 pm: It looks like the pterygoid is pretty much done! I haven’t been working on it constantly; there’s been numerous interruptions. Regardless, it’s been a worthwhile exercise, which included bringing aspects of Gilmore (1946) up to data as well as the discovery of some new ontogenetic characters!

769 pages written; revising page 352.

~5:00 pm: Starting the dentaries.

5:12 pm: Stop.

August 29, 2015

12:11 pm: Done with a sauropod project; now back to Jane’s dentary!

1:05 pm: Break for lunch.

1:55 pm: Lunch over; time to resume the dentary!

3:04 pm: Bad headache coming on; I need to take a rest.

4:55 pm: Rested, just took two extra strength Tylenols; hopefully the headache will abate. Back to the neurovascular foramina of the dentary!

5:49 pm: The headache is persistent; I need to take a break for a little while.

10:14 pm: Even after tylenol, dinner, and time away from the keyboard, I am still stuck with the headache; I’ll try to pen a few more sentences before I go to bed.

10:40 pm: Dammit, the headache…wins.

774 pages reached; revising page 359.

August 30, 2015

10:02 am: I took the last two extra strength Tylenols, which hopefully will tamp this headache down for a while. Back to the dentary!

11:30 am: Brief break.

9:27 pm: The headache never went away and became worse, to the point where I’ve felt dizzy and nauseous. About an hour or so ago, I took an acetaminophen and caffeine extra strength migraine pill, but no effect. Back in pain and feeling sick. OK – I’ll try to keep going for a little while.

10:17 pm: Not quite an hour, but I got past the lingual bar and made some good progress on expanding the section on the Meckelian groove.

August 31, 2015

3:16 pm: A late start, but several things have demanded my attention today. One important discovery: Advil migraine capsules have tamped down my headache so that I barely notice it’s there. However, I’m still nauseous; my head still feels like a rocking waterbed. Resuming the dentary, specifically the Meckelian groove.

3:48 pm: Done with the Meckelian groove; now to add the adult conditions!

5:06 pm: Break

780 pages written; revising page 361.

September 1, 2015

10:20: Back to the dentary; a couple of things to double check for the Meckelian groove.

11:34 am: Hunger gnaws; brief break.

12:10 pm: A snack and a few things to take care of; enough fooling around – back to the joint surface for the splenial!

12:59 pm: Reached the dentary alveoli; time for lunch.

2:10 pm: Back to the alveoli!

3:27 pm: Interdental plates are now in progress; time for a brief break.

9:08 pm: Not so brief after all; back to the interdental plates.

9:35 pm: Now, on to the caudal plate!

9:49 pm: 785 pages written, revising page 373.

September 2, 2015

8:45: Resuming the dentary; a very topographically- and structurally complex bone.

10:14 pm: A good run of it, but hunger gnaws; time for a break.

On the plate: salame vereno, garlic-stuffed olives; in citrus-skin bottle: Sanpellegrino chinotto. Time for spiced rum…

787 pages reached, revising page 374.

September 3, 2015

3:28 pm: Back to the dentary!

4:11 pm: The tyrant hunger strikes again; the remedy: tortilla rounds, sumpremely spicy Sabra hummus, Sanpellegrino araciata rossa. Also, the opening minutes of the Berlinski-Hitchens debate.

4:25 pm: Back to the manuscript.

5:15 pm: Phone call from colleague.

5:45 pm: Back to work!

6:30 pm: Stop.

9:50 pm: Back to the dentary!

10:26 pm: Hunger, again.

September 4, 2015

10:45 am: Back to the dentary.

12:00 pm: Lunch.

12:22 pm: Back to the dentary; seeking to more fully incorporate AMNH FARB 5050 and CMNH 7541.

1:45 pm: Break time (nap).

September 5, 2015

1:53 pm: Back to the dentary!

3:55 p.m.: Brief break. “Knowledge for its own sake” is a disingenuous strike at scientific inquiry; every new fact of Nature is a piece of the great mosaic of the history of life, which is brought infinitesimally closer and closer to completion & comprehension by their continued discovery no matter how distant in connection from each other they at first might appear.

4:20 pm: Resuming the dentary description.

5:25 pm: Another break.

5:39 pm: Back to it!

7:10 pm: Time for dinner; reached the Meckelian fossa.

~10:25 pm: Back to the dentary; done with the Meckelian fossa; now, on to the joint surface for the surangular.

11.37 pm: Almost done with the dentary; I’ll wrap it up tomorrow!

787 pages reached; revising page 388; I find it hard to believe that I haven’t even added a full page over the past couple of days.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
When death arrives
The living light from there to here
Curl, pleat, & frond
Chrysalizing bonnets
Cindering the loom

September 6, 2015

10:15 pm: A late start; last sections for the dentary – immature bone grain and lesions.

10:27 pm: Reached the splenial!

11:30 pm: Enough.

Hm – it’s not giving me the total pages reached automatically, but scrolling down tells me I’ve reached 799 pages; revising page 391.


Without valor or dignity, I resume after 5.5. weeks on the field.

August 21, 2015

9:54 am: I’ve been on the field for five-and-a-half weeks, and I managed to red ink the hard copy of the manuscript over the week I taught my field course, and later during a few rain days. I managed to clear past the dentition, vertebrae, and ribs; presently I’m working my way through the hemal arches. After that are the gastralia and then the appendicular skeletons (pectoral and pelvic). I’m at hemal arch F; the sequence goes up to R. I’ve been home since the 17th, and I’ve been working away at the ms since then.

The good part about the description of the postcranium is that it does not need the extensive additions that the skull and mandibular ramus require.

10:01 am: Hemal arch G reached!

10:10 am: Hemal arch H reached!

10:37 am: Hemal arch I reached!

10:43 am: Hemal arch J reached!

10:52 am: Hemal arch K reached!

11:07 am: Hemal arch L reached!

11:18 am: Hemal arch M reached!

11:35 am: An interruption comes.

4:09 pm: back to hemal arch M!

4:15 pm: Hemal arch N reached!

4:26 pm: Hemal arch O, the most erotically storied of the letters, is reached!

4:36 pm: Hemal arch P reached!

4:40 pm: Hemal arch Q reached!

4:46 pm: Reached the last hemal arch!

4:51 pm: Gastralia, lateral segments reached! Time for a short break.

5:02 pm: Break is over.

5:09 pm: Medial segments reached.

5:31 pm: Early dinner time.

9:07 pm: Following a late afternoon nap, dinner, and Night Train to Lisbon: gastralia (posterior flange, left side).

Music: Beethoven, symphonies 7 & 8.

9:22 pm: Done with the gastralia; now on to the appendicular skeleton, starting with the pectoral girdle!

9:28 pm: Just cleared past a relatively lean description for the scapula, which will have to be fleshed out later…

9:32 pm: Just finished with the coracoid, another brief description in need to expansion…

9:34 pm: I’ve reached the humerus, but my stomach is gnawing; time for a brief break.

Plate: French bread, white wine salami, fresh mozzarella, garlic-stuffed olives, grape leaf, Tsantali retsina.

9:50 pm: Reached the pelvic girdle!

10:10 pm: Done for the day. I stopped short of the acetabular region of the ilium.

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
The muse keeps her hand from mine
The labyrinth is one wall and one turn long
The serpent is two heads and one action long
(The art at times will keep its motive…)

August 22, 2015

9:12 pm: Late start after a full day; resuming with the ilium.

9:21 pm: Reached the pubis!

9:35 pm: Reached the ischium!

9:41 pm: Reached the femur! These sections (pectoral girdle and limb, pelvic girdle and limb) strike me as somewhat brief and need a little fleshing out.

9:55 pm: Reached the tibia!

9:57 pm: Hunger gnaws again.

Plate, Music: As before.

10:19 pm: Resuming the tibia.

10:39 pm: Done for the night.

August 23, 2015

2:59 pm: Resuming the tibia.

3:13 pm: Reached the fibula!

3:31 pm: Time to make some coffee with a few dashes of cinnamon.

3:44 pm: Coffee served – back to the fibula!

3:47 pm: Reached the proximal tarsals – starting with the astragalus!

4:06 pm: Time for more coffee!

4:12 pm: Coffee – back to the astragalus!

4:25 pm: Reached the calcaneum!

4:38 pm: Reached the distal tarsals!

4:47 pn: In the midst of distal tarsal 4; time for a nap.

5:47 pm: Nap over; back to distal tarsal 4.

6:01 pm: Reached the pes; time to stop.

8:37 pm: Back to it.

8:45 pm: Just got through an unacceptably brief description of the pes; this section will have to greatly expanded. I’ve reached the Ontogeny section!

8:52: Dinner break.

9:35 pm: Instead of forging ahead into the Ontogeny section, I’ll change gears and go back to revising the manuscript. This’ll take me back to the ectopterygoid. But first, food & wine…

Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
But first
Food & wine;
The day rakes & talons
Pillar & pine
For the beautiful creatures to Night
For night to blood & beast & opuline;
For glutton lust ruled
To light the mind.

August 24, 2015

2:46 pm: Resuming the ectopterygoid.

5:05 pm: Time for a break.

8:55 pm: Resuming the ectopterygoid.

9:21 pm: Dammit - hunger again; back soon. I have felt fatigued all day & my insides feel like an old punching bag.

747 pages written; revising page 325.

August 25, 2015

9:23 am: Back to the ectopterygoid!

11:20 am: Holy crap – done with the ectopterygoid! Now; on to the epipterygoids.

11:34 am: Time for a brief break; reading for while I’m goofing off: The Structure of Evolutionary Theory (Gould), Evolutionary Biology (Futuyma).

11:42 am: Resuming the epipterygoid!

11:44 am: Unscheduled break.

12:16 pm: Back to work.

1:15 pm: Interruption; have to set this aside for a while.

9:44 pm: Night thoughts among tyrannosaurs
You will not feel what I feel
I will not feel what you feel
The night will build
The day will steal

August 26, 2015

~8:15 pm: Back to the epipterygoid!

8:44 pm: Done with the epipterygoid; now I’m positioned to backtrack to take care of loose threads in the section on the palatine. However, a headache is getting in the way; a short break…

~8:50 pm: Back to the palatine!

9:13 pm: Small break (concession to headache).

757 pages written; revising page 316.

August 27, 2015

5:15 pm: Back to the palatine!

6:10 pm: Good progress made, but hunger’s forcing me out.

6:22 pm: Back at it!

6:39 pm: Dinner break.

8:07 pm: Back to the maxillary process of the palatine!

9:06 pm: It’s been a surfeit of palatine – it’s a very interesting and informative bone, but it is also complex and exhausting to describe. Time for a brief break.

9:36 pm: Back to the palatine!

9:50 pm: Hmm – looks like the palatine is effectively done! Next is the pterygoid, which I’m not prepared to face tonight.

762 pages written; revising page 344.