Archive for September, 2007

Pardon me while I take a moment celebrate my Raiders. Last week Oakland finally snapped what had become an 11-game losing streak by beating the Cleveland Browns 26-24. This week they topped Miami 35-17 for their first back-to-back victories since I don’t know when. They looked like an actual football team! Receiver Jerry Porter actually played like he cared what people thought!

Granted the Browns and the Dolphins aren’t top-shelf opponentry but two wins is two wins.

Yeah, baby!

(click to quadruplify)

One of the components of my weekly backyard tidying is to bust out the rake and comb the grounds. Inevitably I find another further proof our backyard was treated as a landfill in the form of a half-dozen more pieces of broken glass, a buried ball or bone courtesy Ranger, and other stuff such as the relatively perfect persimmon above, which was no doubt being transported by one of the several squirrels who make a home in either of our two backyard palms.

Most of the time the persimmons (from a mystery tree somewhere nearby) are half-gnawed by the rodents or finished off by Ranger, but this one was buried decidedly unmarred so I pocketed it for later placement on the sill as shown.

The ‘maters are another matter. I found those cherry-sized and growing unkempt along the sidewalk in the front yard of a house a block over during a dog walk easily over a month ago. At the time they were totally green and from their place on the sill since then have been slowly reddening.

So I put them together for a snap that I then totally for-better-or-worse goofed with in Photoshop and voila.

I never cease to be amazed at the toughness of animals. Bink dropped half his weight on his way to the threshold of death’s door last March and comes rebounding back as if it was nothing.

Jiggy basically filets himself and manages to mask the seriousness of the wound. Certainly it wasn’t deep, but it wasn’t nothing. We had no idea how large it was (click to quadruplify):


But at least he’s back home now and wobbling around and out of the post-sedation. The red wrapping you see on his back right paw is to stay on for three days (to mitigate any scratching he might do), and the stitches come out in 10. It should be no surprise that Susan and I decided to forego any visit to the San Gabriel Valley or Olvera Street .

Not so much an emergency as a veterinary visit that was certainly due. See, our youngest cat Jiggy came in on Monday night with a wound on his flank just behind the right front leg that we couldn’t really get a good luck at because he wouldn’t let us. But three things were obvious: he was tending to it very well, it wasn’t bleeding and it wasn’t infected.

And while it clearly bothered him (especially when we picked him up) and somewhat hindered his normal agility in jumping up and down on and off things, he was eating fine and not behaving out of the ordinary. So we decided it wasn’t worth the expense of an all-night emergency vet visit and that we’d keep an eye on it.

Sure enough, his agility improved as the week progressed, but we still knew we had to get him in for some medical attention and we decided to prolong it to this morning. When the doctor at Echo Park Animal Hospital examined him it looked ultra large and nasty, but thankfully was only a supericial flesh wound requiring cleaning and stitches that the doc said was probably more the result of a slip-n-fall, not a fight.


But anyway we’re expecting he’ll be out of surgery and ready to come home in about an hour or so. Once we get him back here, then we’ll figure out if we’re still game to go to the San Gabriel Valley for our previously scheduled visits to the Huntington and the L.A. County Arboretum, or just skip all that and get margaritas at Olvera Street.

UPDATE (12:39 p.m.): Turns out the wound was larger than the vet expected and the surgery took longer. The Jig won’t be ready to go home until 2 p.m. so looks like Olvera Street will be the extent of our travels today, if that.

Tomorrow should be a fun day of discovery. After learning of the Second Annual L.A. Archives Bazaar at the Huntington Library and Gardens in San Marino on Saturday, I pitched the idea to Susan earlier of taking all that history in and going multi-modal in getting there — by bus, train and bike.¬† And I figured since we’d be in the area we can pedal over to nearby L.A. County Arboretum (a place I’ve never been) and take that in as well for a spell.

So we’re going to embark upon our journey via the No. 704 bus that goes down Sunset Boulevard to Union Station. Then we’re going to get on the Gold Line and train it all the way out to its San Gabriel Valley terminus at the Sierra Madre Villa Station, and then bike to both venues, first the Arboretum and then the Huntington.

After we’re done we’re going to head back up to the Gold Line’s Allen Avenue depot (nine-mile surface street route charted here) to get ourselves back downtown , perhaps stopping at Olvera Street’s La Golondrina for margaritas and munchables before either biking the rest of the way home or boarding the No. 4 back along Sunset to Silver Lake.

If anyone reading might be going to the Huntington, hopefully we’ll see you there. Or if by some strange reason you’re in the area and interested in joining us, we’ll probably be heading out eeeeeearly, like around 9 a.m. If that doesn’t discourage you, drop me an email and let’s plan on meeting up at the Union Station Gold Line tracks accordingly.

As with every fall TV season I usually get all revved up about a show. Last year it was “Heroes,” and this time around it was “The Bionic Woman,” which NBC went to such serious lengths to hype. Sure enough the biggity bigbig debut was last night and I bought into the massive build-up enough to discard the third episode of Ken Burns’ mostly riveting (but sometimes not so much) “The War” over on PBS.

I am ashamed.

Already over “The Old Adventures Of The New Jaime” less than a half-hour in but willing to let it come back after one more commercial break for one last chance to redeem itself, we shut it off right after the bionic woman ends up in an alley searching for a mysterious departed rogue blonde and the writers in all their lack of originality reached knuckle-deep into the clich√© pool to pull out disposable meaningless Character No. 12, otherwise known as: The Creepy Hoodlum Who Appears From Out Of The Shadows To Open A Switchblade And Confidently Threaten The Seemingly Helpless But Decidedly Not Protagonist With Bodily Harm Only To Be Immediately Disarmed And Have His Ass Short-Order Handed To Him.

Talk about putting the “yawn” in bionic. Zzzzzzzzzz.

floorcam.jpg If by chance one looks to the right and sees the two tiny webcam image thumbnails there, one might wonder with absolute validity why oh why are we contributing to the clogging the internest with an image of some hardwood floor and a rug.

Well, the situation is this. Our beloved Ranger has returned to her old anxious and stressed-out ways of getting bored during her long time alone at home and subsequently filling that time by finding things to chew up and destroy. Last week it was some magazines we had left on the coffee table (that we knew we should’ve moved out of reach but didn’t, so our fault). She ripped those up all around the livingroom and even took one into the backyard and tore that one up out there. On Saturday morning while we were away for barely an hour rescuing that bench from its uncertain future, she was shredding that day’s newspaper. And then Monday night when I got home ahead of Susan I found a woven basket — a gift for herbrought back by a coworker from Africa — entirely unwoven and destroyed pretty much in the space pictured above.

She’s done the same thing in the same place to pillows, towels, socks, shoes. And the most contradictory thing of all is that she knows she’s gonna be in trouble for it, but she does it anyway. Because she’s a dawg. When I got home and discover the descimation, she’s either at the backdoor all “My bad!” or in the backyard to uptight to come in. Of course, I don’t hit her. Sure, I may throw at her whatever it is she’s chewed up but the worst I’ll do is yell “bad dog” or hold her nose to the destruction and sternly tell her “no!”

And then there are the glorious nights like last night when I got home to find Ranger hadn’t ventured to the dark side this once. I praise her like she’s just about the bestest dawg in the whole world -which she just about is.

But I still haven’t answered your question: why point a camera at the scene of so many crimes? And the answer is in the hopes of perhaps nipping the next time in the bud. And the way we’re proposing to do that is totally hit-and-miss with a little goofy and lame and some ineffective thrown in as well. See, if we chance upon an image that shows her in the midst of mangling something what I plan to do is call home and through the answering machine speaker basically call her name and tell her to stop.

Will it work? If I had a Magic 8-Ball I’m pretty sure the answer that would come up is “My Sources Say No,” but I’m still willing to give it a try. Or two.

UPDATED (9.27): As you can see today we’ve panned around the corner and we’re spotlighting Buster our Russian tortoise on the BusterCam. Faaaaaaaascinating. Yes she’s real. Yes she’s not dead. Yes her name is Buster because I thought she was a he when me mom found her in her backyard back in October 2001 — no doubt an escapee from some unknown neighbor. For years I’ve been wanting to rename her the Russian word for “miracle” (for entirely valid reasons to be looked up in and linked to from the archives later) but pleas for someone to phonetically sound it out so I know how to pronounce it have fallen on silent keyboards.