Archive for November, 2008

Coming up on four years ago I spewed out and posted An Unfathomable Find a pretty raw reaction to what I found online in the wake of the news of two mountain lions being found dead near Valencia that may have been intentionally poisoned.

I suppose the emotion I expressed comes in part from mountain lions having had my respect and admiration longer than any other creature on this planet, in part because I can remember as a child seeing some nature film (one of Disney’s “True Life” adventures, maybe?) that pretty much unblinkingly showed a mountain lion hunt that ended with the creature trapped in a tree and shot dead. Already being so happy-ending oriented I remember even up to the end expecting the lion to somehow escape the pursuit, and I broke into sobs as the gun fired and the beautiful cat plummeted to the ground.

To this day, whenever a mountain lion is destroyed (such as the one that reportedly killed and injured several pets in the San Gabriel Valley last week), I’m initially saddened and then quick to jump in with a point of view that differs from those who solely fault the big cat:

Responsibility for the pets’ deaths and injuries is relative. To strictly lay blame and fault at the dead mountain lion’s paws is to incorrectly absolve any residents in the area whose actions or inactions brought the desperate predator out of its drought-stricken natural habitat to exploit the accessible food source it found.

While I empathize with those who’ve had pets hurt or killed, it’s important to remember that what we in communities adjacent or among native animal populations do or don’t is as much if not more contributory to the tragic destruction be the animal a beloved domestic or a magnificent mountain lion.

But annnnnyyyyyyywaaaaaaaay, I’m rambling all that up because that page had a visitor this morning.

While most of my long-form pages around here sit on the server unmolested, occasionally someone’ll take a peek for reasons or search strings known only to them and The Google. Rarer still is it when a comment is left, which is just what some skidmark did after deciding to display his ignorance by offering an opposing point of view:

New comment on your post #99 “An Unfathomable Find”
Author : tom browne (IP: ,
E-mail :
URL    :
Whois  :
Comment: Death to all lions

I deleted it from a gut reaction and then I was sorry I did, thus this post. Because I would rather shine a spotlight on the stupidians of this world, even if it’s from some 14-year-old  testicle wart from the United Kingdom.

But now I’m off to wipe the residual slime from the virtual door and hose the trail off before it dries. If I wait ’til it gets all caky, I’ll need to break out the chisel and the paint thinner.

Just offering up a randomly selected image from the archives. This one from Yellowstone National Park:

We had seen them all during our brief stay there as part of our 4,500-mile road trip in 2006. We marveled at bison, elk, moose, black bear, grizzly, coyote — even the elusive gray wolf. But not the fabled pronghorn antelope. Not the fastest land animal of North America, second in the world only to the cheetah. Not until this morning of July 8, when at 6:17 a.m. we came around a bend in the highway and found this one catching the new morning’s sun and scouting from atop a ridge.

We were fortunate in that our arrival predated by a couple of minutes that of an inconsiderate member of my species who destroyed the silence and serenity after spying the stately animal from the road and then noisily sped its SUV to a gravel-spitting stop in the turnout that sent the pronghorn rightly scampering away out of view. And me rightfully grumbling at what noxious chumsuckers we humans can be.

Gametime: LSU v. BamaYesterday’s match-up against the Tigers at Louisiana State University was a much-anticipated and crucial game in Alabama’s quest for a national college football championship. They don’t call Tiger Stadium “Death Valley” for nothing as it’s one of the toughest places in the college football landscape for visiting teams to win.

Throughout the course of the game (which Susan wisely chose not to experience and instead ran errands) I watched, I yelled, I cursed, I sat, I stood, I flounced, I flailed, I cheered, I yelled, I cursed, I cheered, I paced, I threw my hat. But when all was said and done the Crimson Tide emerged with a 27-21 win in overtime and while not a dominating victory, nevertheless remains undefeated and will thus maintain (despite naysayers) its No. 1 Bowl Championship Series ranking.

Coming up, Alabama will host Mississippi State next week, and if they don’t get caught looking past that game to fierce rival Auburn the week after they very well could close out the season 12-0.  Then they’ll face their biggest challenge in Florida for the SEC championship. Emerging victorious from that, they’ll play whoever’s No. 2 for all the marbles.

Anyway, through the course of the game yesterday I couch-commented on Twitter via my iPhone. Here’s that stream of non-conscientiousness listed in first-to-last chronological order:

  1. Bama/LSU gametime; had to get my hat!
  2. Dammit! Bama’s first drive: denied
  3. LSU, meet Bama defense! Hurt, don’t it?
  4. LSU defense, now meet Bama’s o-line. Touchdown!
  5. Ok, I’ll admit nice play LSU. 7-7
  6. Dammit Bama fumble @&$””&$0
  7. LSU taking advantage of Bama FAILS 14-7
  8. Enjoying the little victories: first down Bama!
  9. &$/!?@@!!$ another Bama interception
  10. Gah! Bama misses fieldgoal. I can haz sedativz?
  11. Baaama pik taken to the house! 14-14
  12. HA! LSU missed fieldgoal leaves us tied 14-14 at the half
  13. Touchdown alabamaslammalamajamma
  14. Bama DEFENSE gets the interception! Roooooll Tiiiiiiiide!
  15. 3 quarters down, 1 to go. Bama up 21-14.
  16. Well, LSU ain’t quitting. TD tigers 21-21.
  17. Bama TC called back on holding call. Sadness
  18. TC = TD; fack you iPhone
  19. 2:58 on the clock and LSU’s ball; not where I want Bama to be. Hold ’em Tide!!!!!
  20. Bama gets ball back with 2:00 on the clock be great field position
  21. Go get the win bama. It’s right there. Take it. It’s all yours!
  22. Dammit to hell. LSU blocks game-winning FG. We’re going to OT
  23. WE WIN! 27-21
  24. BAMA takes it to LOSE-ee-anna!
  25. We now return to our regularly scheduled human being.

After finishing dinner last night, Susan and I cracked open our fortune cookies to find a first for us: identical fortunes. Double the awesome!

So my cell phone rings at 7:10 a.m. and shows me an incoming call from somewhere in the 606 area code (which upon consultation with The Google is somewhere in Eastern Kentucky).

I push the button to answer the call but hold it to my ear saying nothing.

The silence on both ends lasts about five seconds until I hear a woman’s voice.

“June?” she asks somewhat imperatively.

“No, this is November,” I answer.

“Oh, sorry!” says the woman and hangs up.

LOLing mostly on the inside ensues until of course the phone rings again a few moments later. This time I have to bite my lip when she asks “Is this June?” and instead successfully help her find the number she’s misdialing.

Most mornings, such as today’s at 6:27 a.m., I make a point with bedhead and coffee to head to the upper reaches of our Silver Lake backyard and try for a minute or two to take in the day’s breaking bracketed between the cactii before me and and the hills of Griffith Park in the distance. Doing so not only provides me with a chance to appreciate the wonderfully robust northwesterly view across the community I live in and love, but it also affords me the opportunity to greet the new day positively.

By somewhat of a reluctant choice, I opted to keep off my bike this week. It was a combination of just needing a break from the saddle in the midst of a rather stressed week at work — compounded by the shock at news of the death and impending funeral service for Analisa, the 16-year-old daughter of my friends Arnold and Martha.

On top of that, there was rain on the plains earlier in the week and this was also the first few days of it being dusk at 5 p.m., and besides that seasonal switch always miffing me just on general principle it also requires a period of adjustment for most motorists suddenly confronted with driving home in darkness. So generally speaking it’s not a bad idea to be as protected from that confusion as possible.

So the dusty squeaky truck was employed, with all its accumulated crud from not being washed in six months — at least. I’ve no problem driving dirty around running errands around town but I was actually embarrassed to arrive at the location of the service in Santa Ana with it so filthy — intentionally parking it out of the way so it wouldn’t be seen. And afterwards when the procession was organizing for the trip to the cemetery in Montebello I left ahead of it to dive into a nearby drive-through car wash to at least get the outer layers of crud shed, only to find it closed for repairs. So I rolled solo to the cemetery — again parking it a distance down the lane to avoid detection.

As if anyone in their mourning freakin’ cared. I can be such an idiot. You’d think I grieved more over a stupid vehicle than I did over Analisa’s death. Trust me, that was not the case.

Suffice that it was a very emotional day. One which I did my best to fill with celebration of Analisa, not sorrow.