Thursday, October 29, 2009

A bad day for Rabbits Do you think that Roadkill has regrets right before it dies?

This is crazy Sally. We love Sally, but she does the damnedest things that makes me crazy and irritates the heck out of me.

We have invisible fence, but we still have to put Sally on a long leash because no matter how high we turn the shock up, she just ignores it.

So today I come home from work, and I let Sally, and our two other dogs, Lucy and Ethel, out in the yard. While they are out, I decided to sweep and mop our foyer and kitchen floors. When I finished that, I decided to sweep the porch. I finished up and called the dogs to come in.

Lucy and Ethel come right away, but Sally? She is out of sight, and her line runs towards the back deck. I go back there, and she is stuck. She has ran under the deck, jumped over some beams, and ran back out, wedging her line under there.
Do you know how much rain we have had? Do you know how muddy it was back there?
I had to get down and crawl under the deck to untangle her line. As I crawled under the deck, I thought I put my right hand in the mud. amongst the leaves.
I was wrong. Instead I put my hand into the corpse of a half eaten, freshly killed, headless rabbit.
Meanwhile, Lucy and Ethel have come off the porch to see what is going on. Lucy is watching from the walk, but Ethel has headed over to the bird feeders, and is now eating something.
I get Sally untangled, but now Ethel won't come. I get up, wipe my entrails soaked hand on the grass, and I head over to the bird feeder. Lo and behold, Ethel is enjoying a meal of fresh rabbit, also without a head.
You ever try to take meat from a dog? I am getting smarter, I picked her up from behind and took her from the meat. After I get the three dogs back in the house, I retrieved a shovel from the garage, and I bagged both bodies and deposited them in the big green bin for our garbage man. If I bury them in the swamp across the railroad behind the house, something will just dig them up.
I know in our community we have foxes, skunks, deer, and there have been BEAR sightings over on the mountain. I am not complaining about living so close too nature. But I do wonder sometimes, if nature ever complains about us living too close to it?
I think leaving half eaten rabbits in my yard are just nature's way of saying HI! So tell me, how has nature said HI! to you lately?
One more thing: I would rather nature say HI! with half eaten Squirrats, but after the Hawk left that squirrat on the deck with his head half eaten, I will take the headless rabbits over that any day. I hate seeing those dead looks on the creatures' faces after the food chain has been yanked.
There always seems to be a "Why Me?" expression on their face. Especially the roadkill, as if they are looking back at the car that hit them, and their last thought was, "Damn, I looked both ways, where did that one come from?"
So that's my rant for today.
I have a short story for Halloween I may or may not post. we will see how I feel Saturday.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday morning Book review: The Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King

I love dogs, everybody who knows me knows that. Dogs are Central characters in just about everything I have ever written, and I am naturally drawn to books about dogs.

My first thought on hearing the title was that it was about 100 dogs. Well that was just some pretty unoriginal thinking on my part.
The story, according to the back cover, is this:

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morissey was on the cusp of escaping Pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of one hundred dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body - with her memories intact.

Now she is a contemporary American teenager and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica

I read this book yesterday afternoon, all 330 pages. Once I started, I couldn't put it down.

If you have ever read the Outlander books series by Diana Gabaldon, and you liked that, then you will enjoy this. As a guy of Irish descent, I particularly enjoyed the flashbacks of the main character to Oliver Cromwell's brutal genocidal war against the Irish in the 17th century. Because the main character has kept her memories over 350 years through two human lives and that of 100 dogs, relating the cruel events of her first life makes it easier to understand her cynicism of humanity in her second human incarnation. Throw in her casual observations from numerous dog life's at historical moments of note, ( i.e. one master was killed at Gettysburg) and you have a seasoned world wise mind in the body of a teenager, giving you an unexpected, and yes, enjoyable take on how humanity has evolved in 350 years. Or Not.

As I read this, I couldn't help thinking how civilization, for all the technological advances, keeps making the same mistakes over and over again, especially at the personal level. We still kill each other over the stupidest issues, and the authors occasional observations from a dogs point of view had me thinking that maybe dogs are smarter than us after all. A short interlude concerning two dogs named Spanky and Rico and a dogs view of homosexuality will give you something to think about.

I don't give away plot points or spoilers, but this was an enjoyable read that I would recommend for young adults on up. Hell, I am 47 and I am going to get another copy. I am going to ask the author to autograph so I can give it to my soon to be seventeen year old niece for her birthday. She has been on trips to the Island of St. Thomas, and sailed in the Caribbean with her Uncle, so I am sure she will appreciate it.

The author, Amy King, or A.S. King, was born and raised in nearby Berks County, and after living a decade in Ireland returned here a few years back and lives there now with her husband and children. They install kitchens and she does electrical work. Not all writers are millionaires, most of us have real jobs!

I always say we should support our local authors, and I give this book a big thumbs up.

The Dust of 100 Dogs is available on Amazon and through Barnes and Noble bookstores. The cost is $9.95 U.S. $11.95 Canadian. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Muppets on Pot!

You have got to see this to believe it. Muppets, a spoof of a famous Charlie Daniels band song, and Pot. Absolutely Priceless! You will not see this on Sesame Street!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lehigh Valley news is too crazy to believe

There is that old saying that "the Truth is Stranger than fiction"

How strange is the Truth in the Lehigh Valley?

Here are a few of my favorite news stories Locally:

This summer A local Volunteer Fireman was arrested and charged with DUI at the scene of a fire. His fellow Volunteers called police and turned him in. While that was hanging over his head, he was arrested and charged with breaking into a home over in Bethlehem and stealing a jar of change more than six months before that.

You can't make stuff this bizarre up.

Yesterday a local Post master was arrested after he drove around his area asking random women for sex. But things really hit the fan when he propositioned three girls, two who were under thirteen years of age. Police arrested him at the post office.
Residents were shocked, but he matched the description that a twelve year old girl gave of a man doing the same a month earlier.

Then there is the local high school coach who supplied cheerleaders alcohol and had a strip pole in his basement where they "Danced". I hear he has a plea worked out, and it may have already been adjudicated.

The TV show Law and Order could mine the Lehigh Valley for stories to last another 20 seasons.

Is there something in the water?

And finally.... a local High School student worked out a plea deal that kept him out of jail, after pleading guilty to photographing up the skirts of several dozen female school mates and posting the pictures to the Internet.

With all the adults acting bonkers, I am not surprised that kids are following suit.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Will America's long national nightmare ever end?

Just when you think The Gosselin Channel, er, I mean TLC, the Learning Channel is going to end our long national Nightmare and cancel all things John and Khate Gosselin, along comes the Heene family of Colorado.

What kind of dysfunctional family do you have to be to get a TV show these days? The Heenes were a one episode disaster on something called "Wife Swap."

I guess that one episode made them addicts of reality TV. Once is never enough, the saying goes. Nobody wants to be humiliated on TV just once. If you want to make the cover of People or be the lead story Entertainment tonight, having Septuplets ot Octuplets just won't do it in the 21st century.
Having a bizarre hair style straight out of trailer trash weekly or being a hen pecked loser who is sued by the network for breach of contract has been done.

So the Heene family of Colorado raised the bar to new heights, maybe pretending to have launched one of their children accidentally in their experimental weather balloon.

I was just wondering......... how many families have their own weather balloons? And while we are at it, if you look in your neighbors back yard and see a balloon shaped like a flying saucer, what would you say to your neighbor?

Hey, Mr. Heene, how is it going? want a beer?

Personally, if any of my neighbors from the Third world did something like that, I would call the police. But out west in Colorado, I guess everybody is doing their own science experiments, and having your kid possibly float off on board your weather balloon is an everyday occurrence.

So you know what is coming, a made for Television Movie, the countless interviews, and hopefully my personal favorite Mr. Heene will do an interview with Nancy Grace.

I just can't wait! It will never end. And the Octomom's show is coming in the spring. The Nightmare is just beginning.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For an aspiring writer, reality sets in, and that is okay

Today I received something I have been expecting for quite awhile.

A rejection of my novel from an agent. I was not sold on the hype I was receiving from the person editing my manuscript. I had sold the agent on the concept, and she wrote me that she enjoyed my work after reading the manuscript over three days. She offered a candid critique, and some suggestions, but she also explained she felt the market wasn't ready for my topic at this time.

I am not going to be surprised if I get more of the same in the coming weeks. I am proud that I put the work out and finished what I did, but I have no delusions about what writing a novel for publication entails. I am going to keep writing stories because I enjoy doing it.

I am disappointed, but I am also relieved. Life goes on.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Skippy the Skunk visits Trexlertown

Last night about 7:30 I was sitting on my porch enjoying a cold Coors light with all three dogs, when I heard an animal scream. I think it was a cat, and it came from the swampy area behind our home. Then a powerful and unmistakable odor reached my nose. The two older dogs rose and headed to go into the house. But Crazy Sally, our Cocker/Springer mix, bounded off the porch to investigate. I jumped out of my chair and grabbed her, carrying her back into the house.
It is that time of year, when the natural wildlife gets more active. There were rabid skunks caught this year in nearby communities, and even though our girls are all licensed and up to date on shots, I am taking no chances. I am sure the foxes will be making their presence known soon, and there will be the mandatory bathing of a certain dog who loves to roll in deer scat.
Last year we had a Bear on Lower Mountain road over at the Maxatawny/Lower Macungie Township border. I hope we never get one around here. God knows what the dogs would do, but I have no doubt they would roll in the Bear poop. Now that I am not looking forward to.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

October means one thing: Flaming Pumpkins!

Last year I was out doing yard work on a Sunday when a neighbor Mom chastised her son for hitting his little sister in the head with a flaming pumpkin. There were no reported serious injuries then, but I hope this year to ward off any more flaming pumpkin attacks before they happen.
I don't usually decorate for Halloween, and I am not leaning towards it, but Mrs C spotted a big pink flying pig at Lowes that she thinks we should have as a Christmas decoration.
Can somebody tell me how a big pink pig with wings has anything to do with Christmas?
Are they like the emergency back up crew for Santa if the Reindeer come down with Swine Flu? (Pun Intended)
Think about it and get back to me. In the meantime, I have the Fire department and the EMT's on standby. You never know when someone is going to get whacked with a flaming pumpkin in Trexlertown. God knows there are enough of them sitting on the porches around here.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Send Lawyers Guns and Money

I love living in the bucolic settings of somewhat rural Lehigh County, near the Berks County border. I live in Trexlertown, which is located in the Southwest corner of Upper Macungie Township. You can walk from one end of Trexlertown to the other in about fifteen minutes.

But hey, we are going big time drug dealer out here! Check out this news story that shows we have our share of big city problems!

Upper Macungie man charged with growing marijuana in closet

Berks Lehigh Regional police say an Upper Macungie man was doing
a special kind of gardening, the kind that requires night vision goggles
and hydroponic lights.Joseph J. Fugazzotto, 28, of 5946 Daniel St., was
charged Friday with growing 52 marijuana plants in a hydroponic
growing operation in the closet of his Upper Macungie home, according
to court records.According to an arrest affudavit:A state parole agent
went to the home on July 23 after receiving information that Fugazzotto
was growing marijuana in his home.

The parole agent asked Fugazzotto
to submit to a urine test and it tested positive.Berks-Lehigh Regional police
took over, and along with the Lehigh County Drug Task Force,
found 52 plants, a large grow lamp, night vision goggles, a marijuana
horticulture book, marijuana seeds, smoking pipes and other items.
He was charged with possession with intent to deliver marijuana,
possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
He was arraigned before District Judge Rod Beck and sent to
Lehigh County Prison on $25,000 bail.

-- Reporting by Manuel Gamiz Jr., The Morning Call

You know, if I ever need the stuff for personal use, (Like medicinally, of course) and should the government wisely decide to legalize and tax it, it is good to know that I can get the stuff grown locally. I hope at the same Amish run family market that I get my eggplant and red or green bell peppers. Just think how that might help the cost of healthcare?

BTW, as far as I know, District Judge Rod Beck is not related to the deceased former Major League Pitcher Rod Beck, who died a few years ago of a suspected drug overdose. If it were one and the same, that would be true irony.