Every so often Lance Mannion mines his old notebooks for blog entries. Well, I don’t have old notebooks, but I do have NN.C. I started this site in part because it would require me to write something every day, to keep a journal of sorts, to keep a notebook in one form or another. So here’s something I turned up in my search for the Dexter column yesterday. Be glad you don’t know me in real life, for I am, apparently, insufferable.
This is from February 7, 2002:
Yesterday one of our neighbor’s kids stopped by. Middle-schooler, collecting information for a school paper on peregrine falcons.
“There’s been a peregrine falcon in our neighborhood,” he said.
“No way,” I told him. “Not around here. You’re almost certainly confusing it with a hawk. Red-tailed, Cooper’s, one of those. They’re big, they look like falcons.”
He insisted it was a peregrine. I insisted it couldn’t be. We had a short argument over whether they roost in trees in populated areas. I suspected I was putting him off, so I told him he ought to check out the Raptor Chapter, a non-profit that does rehabilitation on injured birds of prey. “Do you have the number?” he asked. I invited him in while I fetched the phone book. Alan walked in at this point. “Connor here thinks he’s seen a peregrine falcon in the neighborhood,” I said. “No way,” he said. Etc., etc. “Besides, they’re migratory,” I said. “They’re on the coasts at this time of year.” Connor said they weren’t. “I think you’d better check your research,” I told him.
Alan wondered what I was doing with the phone book. “I’m looking up the Raptor Chapter number for him.”
“The Raptor Chapter? They didn’t have the permits! The duck dicks shut her down,” Alan said.
“Shut her down? Janie? When?” I said.
“While back,” he said. “Of course we ran a couple paragraphs inside, after all that stuff we’ve been writing about her all these years.”
At this point I looked at Connor, who appeared somewhat dazed, no doubt thinking, Why the hell did I ring the doorbell of these lunatics? “I have a field guide, if you’d like to check it,” I said, gently. “Or you could call the Indiana DNR. They have lots of information. Guy name of John Castrale runs the peregrine reintroduction program.”
Finally, the thought occurred to me: “Why did you stop by, Connor?”
“I wanted to ask if you’d seen the falcon,” he said.
“Uh, no,” I said. And with that, he left. If I could have that five minutes to live over, I’d do it differently.
I have a friend who works in TV news here, and whenever I bitch about the pathetic journalism — and fourth-rate star power — of local anchors, he rolls his eyes and give me a jaded, what-can-you-do look. However, I think even he would be appalled by news of a Detroit news anchor participating in a crooked deal between a sludge treatment company and the city council, and I hope on behalf of journalists everywhere, this paragraph made his eyes pop out:
Stinger, who joined Fox 2 as an investigative reporter in 1997 and became an anchor in 2004, was paid about $325,000 a year by Fox 2 Detroit in 2005, according to divorce records.
Actually, as TV-news anchors are paid — she anchored the morning news show — this is pocket change. All to look pretty. No wonder every Miss America contestant wants that gig.
Kids these days. Adults these days. Sheesh.
Early exit this morning — it’s back to the gym for mommy.