Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Don't let the door hit you in the rear

Adios Olympic bid, so long "A"'s, Via Con Huevos Niners.

Not that I'm bitter, but I have thought for a long time that when a team leaves a city, they should leave the team name and records behind. John York is the Prince Phillip of the sports world.

A thought for Fremont and Santa Clara officials. What's going to happen when the owners decide that their stadium (10 to 20 years from now) is no longer adequate?

La Crosse anyone?

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Old Post holiday story, Ornithophobiacs beware

Rather than write my own stuff, I will just type the newspaper article. ID changes will be in Bold. (other than the title)

Bird In The Hand Worth Owner's Caper In Tree

Bray, CA- This is a very tall, but true tale of how firefighters rescued an angry bird pursued by his angry owner up a 60 foot tall pine tree.

The rescue transpired Sunday morning in front of John Doe's home at 1111 Sweater St, in a pine tree towering beyond the reach of the Fire department's tallest ladders.

It all began when a Tales Ln resident decided to take his macaw parrot to the veterinarian to have its wings clipped. After all, the brilliant blue-green bird was an expensive creature and it wouldn't do to have it flying off into the wilds of Bray, the owner reasoned.

(A ------ bird dealer said the bird costs an average of $1000, but can cost anywhere from $800 to $5,000, depending on size and color)

But as the pair left the house, the macaw decided it didn't want to be clipped and escaped.

The bird flew to the top of a pine tree, waiting for its owner to climb up after it. Up the tree the man climbed, without the aid of gloves or ropes.

Just as he reached the top, the bird flew off again. Back down to the ground the owner climbed, only to see the bird return to the tree.

Up the tree went the angry owner again. This time he grabbed the bird before it could escape.

"The bird was mad about being captured. It chewed his (the owner's) hand up pretty good" Said one of the firefighters.

Still the owner, who fire officials identified only as a resident of Tales Ln, wouldn't let go. Firemen were called, but their 55 foot ladder wouldn't reach the struggling pair.

"We took a 10 foot pole with a hook on it and hooked a rope sack on the end and pushed it up to him. The owner put the bird in the bag and we brought the bag down, while the owner climbed down" recalled firefighters.

Down on the ground, the bird was not the least bit grateful about being rescued.

"It was so mad, none of us would reach in the bag to take it out" a firefighter said.

So the owner, muttering about how "I woulda wrung its neck but it was a Christmas present" took the bird and bag to the vet, returning the bag to the fire station after the bird was clipped.

I was the firefighter with the bag and pole. I was at the VERY end of the ladder, holding the VERY end of the pole, sticking it into the branches of the tree where I heard the "Ows" and curses coming from. I never saw the man or bird.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Ahh, Holiday memories

We live in an house built in 1883. Along with the charm comes problems, some unique. At the time our house was built, there were no sewers, just outhouses. (and that's another story) When sewers were put in, elevations apparently dictated that our sewer line should go out the back, through another property (whose sewer lines connect to ours [ANOTHER story]).

At the time the neighbors on the side planted their walnut tree, it was probably 3 feet from the terra cotta (clay) sewer line. By the time we bought our house, the trees roots had eaten our sewer line. In one spot it looked like the creature in "Alien". This caused occasional backups, and the banning of the flushing of anything beyond piss,poop, or paper (toilet). The symptom of a backup was usually a puddle of "water" just beyond our back deck.

Feeling that we could not afford professional sewer help, I learned the fine art of using a rented roto rooter. This is also known as fishing for brown trout and snagging white mice.

My better half's mother and step father used to visit from out of state and stay with us during "the holidays". The extra "load" usually caused problems with the sewer line. This particular year, her step father had a colostomy bag. There seems to have been a period of adjustment. In subsequent years the smell when he changed bags was nothing like that first year. So we had THAT going on. By the time the morning of their departure came, there was a small lake in the back. I felt it needed to be dealt with immediately, so I rented a roto rooter and I'm out back, ankle deep, working my ass off. Before I began, I requested that no one flush a toilet or run water in a sink.

I guess flushing is just an automatic response. I'm already up to my ankles, when suddenly the TIDE COMES IN! And the brown trout are nibbling at my ankles! I hear the front door and the sounds of my MIL leaving. Then better half comes out to check on me. I kind of lost it. I think I said her mom could have just as well hung her ass over the railing and shit on me.

There is a worse story, but it is still not humorous and nearly ended our marriage. Suffice to say, thereafter I PAID whatever it cost to clear the line, and not too long after had the line replaced with plastic (also further from the tree).

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Funeral for a friend

At the request/suggestion of a commenter, whose opinion I greatly respect, and in the neverending search for awesomeness, I PRESENT

p.s. Vikings would have had ceramic boats if they had the technology