Lisa came home tonite and noticed some crumbs I left on the counter – they were from the remains of a bag of pecans that I put in my oatmeal this morning. Turns out – the bag had bugs/maggots in it and I failed to notice before stirring them into the mush and putting it all in the microwave this morning. Gross… lesson learned: always wake up enough to examine breakfast before eating it.
This is turning out to be a day of death for sure. Just got mail from a rancher on the other side of Sunol valley that the mountain lions that have been raiding the farms over that way were treed and shot by fed/state game wardens today. They turned out to be a large male (150lbs) and a young female (85 lbs) that had feasting and killing sheep and goats in the area. Wouldn’t be so bad if they just took one here and there, and ate it and left, but they frenzy killed and wiped out some 54 sheep/goats in one nite before xmas and since then have taken about another 18-20, eating some and killing the rest.
I feel bad for the kitties – I wish they just ate and left and didn’t do this crazed stuff. Even though mountain lions are no longer a game animal in CA (by voter edict), they still end up on the wrong side of people at times when this happens. Fortunately, folks out this way don’t shoot them randomly when they happen to see them ‘nearby’ (like they have in Palo Alto, etc.). And in this case, although I’m sure they could have hit them with tranq darts and taken them out of the area, now that they have a taste for livestock, Fish & Game probably deems them ‘trouble’ since they are likely to repeat.
With luck, maybe we can make it thru til tomorrow without more death news? Please?
So, when I got to work today for a 10am meeting, Rob called to say he’d be late. Caught in traffic due to an accident. He finally shows up 30 mins late and reports “Death is all around me today”. Eh?
He uses the same dentist I do (Dr. Frost in Palo Alto) and he was coming back from a morning appt there. When he arrived, they sat him down to inform him that Dr. Frost died last Thurs (heart attack) and he’d be seeing his partner from now on.
Damn… dude was maybe late 40s/early 50s. I’ll have to see how his partner is at dentistry – I’d only seen her like once over the past 6-7 yrs there.
To top it off, the accident that held Rob up was fatal – someone squished in their car.
Morning of death… sigh
Here is a letter I wrote to my grandmother when I was 8 or 9. It’s a little disjointed, but I still had a talent for words, even back then, wouldn’t you say?
We were living on a farm in Washington State, out in the farmlands west of the Cascades, in between Arlington and Marysville.
We had ducks and chickens, a pig or two, a few drop calves and, as you can see, a goat. A very ill fated goat named Billy (how original). Billy ate some toadstools and got real sick. My mom called the vet, and the vet said he was gunna die. My mom tube fed him (gawd only knows what) for a while, and my sister and I got to watch him die a slow miserable death. Nothing out there ever died easy, if I remember correctly. Except the pigs at slaughter, I guess. I was never around for that. I got “ditch duty”, which meant patroling the ditch in front of the house (just off the two lane death trap highway) for our pets that met an untimely end. We went through a lot of cats and dogs at that house. One of our dogs got smushed under the neighbors tractor tire. Big dog, bigger tire. Another one broke it’s back falling out of the front loader on the very same tractor (the neighbor’s farm hand used to let the dogs ride in the bucket, 4 or 5 at a time, until Jeb fell out and got broke) Euthanasia was a shotgun, veterinary care was nonexistant. My mom would get them ‘spaded’ at the county shelter for like, $25, and that was a lot! ‘Specialy seeing as they never lived past 2 or 3 due to the close proximity of the road and their lot in life as ‘outdoor animals’. Some of them were ‘odd fated’ instead of ill-fated, one kitten rode all the way to Everett (a 30 minute drive) underneath the van. I’m not sure where that little cat held on, but I remember coming to a stop after we got off the freeway, hearing a meow under the van, and then seeing our kitten shoot out from under the van and across the road in front of us. Who knows what happened to that kitten, probably better than what woulda happened to it on our farm, that’s a good bet.
I was pretty handy with the animals, even at 8 years old. I think this cat’s name was Snooskie;
And then, like most cats, the restraint part of the equation went to shit;
So it looks like I just squeezed it’s neck until it gave up or scratched me or something. Some things never change. Check out the cute shoes…..like I said, some things never change.
Billy did die, by the way. Dead, dead, dead. I don’t remember if I cried or not, but I do remember feeling relieved.
Looking at the letter, it sounds like death was inevitable for that goat, even to the simple mind of an 8 year old. I wonder why my mother didn’t see that.
Okay. That’s all the excitement for today. Unless you want me to take pictures of me cleaning out the refrigerator. Or brushing Jack (he’s a crusty mudball). Phwew. Too much excitement.
We started watching Parts 3-4 of The Stand around 1am last nite (after a couple hours of playing Destroy All Humans while waiting for Lisa’s yummy beef stew to finish cooking). We had seen Parts 1-2 over at Paul & Liz’s about 3 weeks ago or so, but never got back to it. I got the video files from Rob for our XBMC (Xbox Media Center – more on this later). By the time we crashed out, it was 4:45am. Whew. Slept til 1pm or so… its a rainy weekend here, so it seemed just right to sleep in.
Dang, feelin’ old today. I had a bunch of technical specs to read over last nite and I finally broke down and picked up some reading glasses at Walgreen’s on the way home. Getting old sucks…
Another somewhat chilly nite – arrived home a bit after 9pm. Went out to get Jack in, which was more involved than usual. He was in one of the upper pastures and seemed to be all full of spit. He saw me and just started running up and down the hill, skidding thru the corners and chasing the goats around. In the middle while setting out hay for the critters, heard the distinct cry of lambs. Yep, we got two new ones today. Little white ones, about 1/2 the size of the black & white singleton born a couple weeks ago.
Thursday update. The ewe the we got with the house, “Mrs. Hook”, who is ancient, just dropped a single lamb. Another one that is brown & white. Another “cow” 🙂 It was born probably about 20 mins before I went and took these pictures. We’ll have to see how it fares – Hook is pretty old and this guy seems a bit underweight.
Note the diff in size between the dorper cross born a week or two back and the new ones:
We’re now up to 4 new lambs for the winter. Still have two ewes that look to be preggers. So, probably upwards to 4 more on the way.
Sigh – some dogs never learn. Apparently Dee-pants is going to be one of those dogs. Even in a rain storm last nite, she managed to find the skunk again and get sprayed. Fortunately, not on the front step this time. And not in her face, but she was well covered across her chest and shoulders.
And again, she chooses to do this at midnite… sigh…
We woke this morning to a crust of ice with a dusting of snow – ok, its winter. Now I don’t mind the cold as much. The sheep and goats were definitely not impressed – tho a bit of alfalfa made them forget that their fur was crusted with ice/snow.
Not much snow, but it was enough to make things look cold. The roads were icy throughout the hills and any shaded areas thru the morning. Lisa crawled down the hill today and fortunately didn’t have any incidents, but there were plenty of other accidents around the Bay area this morning due to the snow/ice. I opted to work from home in the morning rather than take my Jeep with its worn tires slip-slidin’ away down the hill.
The weather this year has been pretty wacked. Even Malibu had snow/ice last nite.
Dee-pants totally loves the snow, even if Dretti isn’t out to play with her: