Fly away, bird.

Reading the news these days — excuse me, consuming the news — requires a real strategy. It’s difficult, in a world flooded with links to more information than any human could possibly consume in a 24-hour day, to know which ones to click. Some reveal everything you need to know in the headline:

Home-built plane crashes in Livingston County

Do you really need to know anything more? I mean, y’know, sorry for the damage to the bright firmament of humanity, but…”home-built plane.” Yeah.


Sorry. I was interrupted. Something hit the kitchen window hard a little while ago. I thought it might have been one of the million sticks that seem to rain out of a mature oak over the course of a season, but when I went outside to take the trash to the curb a few minutes later, there was a robin lying on its back in the driveway, eyes closed but still breathing. I stood around waiting to see if it was planning to die, but soon the eyes opened, so I went back inside, put on some gloves (West Nile) and rolled it onto its sternum, where it remained upright on its own power. Went back inside and poured another cup of coffee, read some more web and just went back out. No robin, and a runny bird poo in the place where it had been sitting. Fingers crossed it made its recovery and exited under its own steam and not in a cat’s mouth. Sometimes all you need is to be reoriented. Sky up, ground down? Check. Man, do I have a headache. Good luck, robin.

I have a mixed bag with wildlife, but I try to do my part. My next-door neighbor in Fort Wayne was a veritable Dr. Doolittle, however. I once saw her catch a wild raccoon with her bare hands, free it from the plastic grocery bag it was hopelessly entangled in, and release it without getting so much as a scratch. After which a bluebird perched on her shoulder and whistled a happy tune. One of the previous two sentences is untrue, but both are equally unlikely to happen. I guess that sort of confidence in handling animals comes from growing up in the country, with a grandfather who neutered his own barn cats. He kept a special tool for those occasions — an old overcoat with one sleeve sewed shut. He’d catch the half-grown toms (no small feat in itself) and stuff them face-down into the sleeve, which presented him with the target area and only two legs to contend with. Swipe, cut, squeeze, snip and release. It was over in a minute.

Horses are gelded more or less the same way, or were, before veterinary anesthetics. “As long as they keep moving afterward, they’re fine,” a grizzled old farmhand once told me. The probably spend the recovery time searching for their lost gonads. And then they forget they ever had them, and become useful to the human race again.

Testosterone may well be the engine of civilization, but in animal/human interactions, it just screws things up. Although it certainly makes for some entertaining entries on Coozledad’s blog.

Four hours of sleep last night. It’s one of those mornings where I suspect I’m actually dying. Better grab a shower. But before that? Some bloggage:

Whew, Dick Cheney, not looking so great. I’m sure his black heart will gurgle on for some time after the host has died; in fact, I’m sure the new host is being prepared now. Why do you think the College Republicans even exist?

“Worst Canadian Thanksgiving ever” — Jon Stewart + Carl Paladino = entertainment. It’s funny to see the Republicans at this time of year. “Men in Speedos,” i.e., a tiny fraction of the gay community, carrying on at a gay pride parade is gross. Photo of woman doin’ it with a horse? Hey, I think I’ll forward this to all my friends! Because I’m in construction!

OIM: When bears attack! Something about this story smells. And it smells like chicken.

Shower, save me.

Posted at 10:39 am in Current events, Same ol' same ol' |

32 responses to “Fly away, bird.”

  1. Cathy D. said on October 12, 2010 at 11:06 am

    When you mentioned ‘home-built plane’ then jumped to ‘something crashed i to my window,’ I just assumed….

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  2. ROgirl said on October 12, 2010 at 11:15 am

    Before the host dies, I hope it still hears these words shouted out from the crowd.

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  3. Peter said on October 12, 2010 at 11:20 am

    Yeah, and I’d bet the house that the Westboro Baptist Church will NOT be at his funeral, though they should.

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  4. Sue said on October 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Here’s something for everyone’s to-do list: get to know your local wildlife rehabilitators before you run into this issue. That way, when you’re trying to find someone to help you with the sick rabbit, baby squirrel or injured bird on a Sunday morning or at dusk anytime, you’re already on a first name basis with these wonderful people.
    My go-to person now specializes in raptors and reptiles, but she always knows who to call for anything else.
    Type in “wildlife rehabilitators” and your state and you’ll get some hits.

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  5. Connie said on October 12, 2010 at 11:41 am

    This morning there was a sandhill crane standing outside the window of my new office.

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  6. John G. Wallace said on October 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Homebuilt or kit planes can be safe and a less expensive option for someone than a new or used Cessna or Beechcraft. To be fair though this one looked flimsy in the crash pic. Often they are built at the manufactur’s factory with technical supervision.

    Connie –
    The neighborhood sandhill cranes like to come up in my driveway visit, they get within 4-5 feet from me, but the male makes some odd noises to keep his women safe. Beautiful birds for sure.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on October 12, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Actually, to me Cheney looks more like a pancreatic cancer patient in the last stages, but whatever the disease, the gray skin says his heart isn’t pumping much oxygen around. And searching the depth of my Christian heart, I can’t work up any sympathy for the man.

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  8. mark said on October 12, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    If God wanted Christians to love their enemies or have compassion for the sick, he would have found a way to communicate that. Since he didn’t, I think it is safe for Christians to follow the teachings on ridiculing those with whom you disagree, showing contempt for your inferiors and taking delight in the suffering of people you don’t like.

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  9. paddyo' said on October 12, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    Everything (including Cheney) is on the move this time of year. After a fairly quiet east-central Denver summer of low-key backyard birds (house sparrows, house finches, mourning doves, the occasional black-capped chickadee), a pair of flamboyant and VERY LOUD bluejays came by for the weekend to load up at the feeder and enliven the neighborhood.
    Meanwhile, on my commute to work one dark morning last week, a red fox darted out into 3-lane, one-way Sixth Avenue a mile or so from downtown, then thought better of it and returned to its lair — a curbside storm drain opening.

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  10. nancy said on October 12, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    Spare me, Mark.

    I take no delight in the suffering of our ex-vice president, but what the hell, let’s call a spade a spade: He is a bad man whose work has directly led to much suffering among others. I will reserve my sympathy for the more deserving.

    And I’m sure if given 20 minutes to Google, I could find a laundry list of pious “Christians” who ridiculed the suffering of those with whom they disagreed. You don’t have to give tit for tat, but as I said: Spare me.

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  11. moe99 said on October 12, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    Cheney, I believe, saw himself as a latter day Winston Churchill, perceiving a true global threat while the rest of the world were miniature Neville Chamberlains. Unfortunately for him, he was very very wrong and we are all suffering the consequences.

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  12. Deborah said on October 12, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Mark, you include of course the way the right wing does those things of which you speak so sarcastically I hope. I could list a million examples.

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  13. Jeff Borden said on October 12, 2010 at 1:29 pm

    Dick Cheney, more than even W. and Rumsfeld, has more blood on his hands than Lady MacBeth. I will not mourn his passing one iota. Whatever good the man did. . .assuming he did do something good at some point in his miserable existence. . .cannot balance the hellstorm he loosed or erase the deaths of hundreds of thousands sacrificed to his warped and wicked political views. He is a vile creature and I will have no problem speaking ill of him when he is dead.

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  14. mark said on October 12, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Me too, Deborah. The right wing is every bit as guilty. I’m not big on the personality/hate discussion on either side. I like discussing the issues, not the people. It is a little fascinating , though, how many people have to vent a little hatred as part of their daily routine.

    For the record, I think Cheney made many mistakes,some of which had tragic consequences. Still can’t work myself up into hatred or to use my claimed Christianity to emphasize how revolting he is.

    And Nancy, you weren’t reserving your sympathy, you were expressing your disgust for the man and using his illness as the excuse for doing so. I don’t care if you do or you don’t. A comment that there is no sympathy in a “Christian heart”, though, fairly begs for a reply.

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  15. LAMary said on October 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    I’ve been sitting next to a pious Christian right winger for the past two years. She’s been very vocal the last couple of months. I am confident I have as a non-believer NEVER been as vicious, racist and utterly contemptuous of my fellow man as this woman. She wishes painful deaths for people she doesn’t like, said the kid who committed suicide at Rutgers two weeks ago is better off dead than gay, and forwards racist emails about the president and his wife.
    Please don’t preach to me about Christian values.

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  16. Sue said on October 12, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    ‘Since he didn’t’
    He didn’t?
    I thought he communicated the whole compassion thing through that Jesus guy, who wouldn’t approve of all that Cheney-hatin’ but probably will have a thing or two to say to Dick when he (Jesus) is sitting at Dad’s right hand, one fine day.

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  17. coozledad said on October 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I think all of us paid quite a bit into Cheney’s platinum fire insurance plan, but there’s nothing for it now but for Christians and non-Christians alike to stand around and watch him burn to the ground.
    Cheney’s not just someone with whom I happen to disagree, he’s a bona fide world historical asshole, and likely one of the most surprised people in the world that his sorry ass turned out to be mortal. What are we supposed to do, put flowers on Laventry Beria or Philippe Petain’s grave?
    EDIT: Of course, I’m among the people who leaped to conclusions about the much maligned SS.

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  18. Dexter said on October 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm

    Ah, I remember the days when it was so thrilling to see deer alongside the roadway. Then ,sometime during my nearly thirty years of driving through their Ohio and Indiana habitat on nearly deserted county roads, somewhere along the way I became jaded. I would see them almost every night, and almost hit them many times, and one time I killed one with a Ford car which damaged the Ford and cost me my deductible to fix it.
    Once I counted 37 deer running south across Co. Rd. 40 in DeKalb County Indiana. I saw 20 in the noon sunshine once in a field.
    In 1977 a big-rig driver hit a deer on US 6; the deer flipped up , through the windshield and kicked the driver to death. To death, yes.
    Squirrels chewed my cable to my house , raccoons invaded my attic somehow.
    Poor feral cats shredded my garbage bags.( I adopted one, he’s such a sweetie pie!) but man, animals can overwhelm, it’s true.
    I no longer must make those hell-runs in a car or pickup truck to Indiana, so my fear and loathing of the deer has gone away. It does make me mad as hell when I see all the “pet” deer the local millionaires have in a field on the town border…they feed them, anyone can see them…and any conservationist or anyone who has checked on this matter knows that humans should not ever feed wild deer, for many reasons. It’s all available from links from your favorite search engine.

    Man, these Trader Joe’s coffee beans are the best thing ever.

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  19. ROgirl said on October 12, 2010 at 2:05 pm

    Christian love of enemies? A lot of suffering has been inflicted in the name of Jesus.

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  20. LAMary said on October 12, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Trader Joe’s Bay Blend or Peaberry. Or the ground Louisiana style with chicory. I’m flying on that stuff at this very moment.

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  21. maryinIN said on October 12, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    The bird…
    Once I witnessed a small warbler hit my window and fall to the deck. I went out to see what I could do. Nothing. The bird lay on its back breathing shallowly, then took a deep breath, shuddered and was still. Somehow I felt privileged to be there at that moment. I buried the little black, white and yellow being under a bush. Life is fragile.

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  22. brian stouder said on October 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    So – speaking of hapless animals smacking into things, last night my fine young son and I went back to the schoolboard meeting, intending to make a positive comment to them, about the district’s recent success, and indeed our family’s continued educational success with them. Short version of a longer story:

    PS – I was genuinely surprised at just how terrifying that whole experience was. Public comments come after the meeting is adjourned, and with it, the end of local cable tv coverage; so a second surprise was that it made the local news. Yes yes yes – it was a public board meeting and a public comment, and the press was there, and anyone with a brain would have realized that they might just hear about it at work the next day*; this is why nobody accuses me of being the sharpest tool in the shed .

    PPS – when first reading the close on Nance’s post, I thought it said “Shower, shave me” – which made me catch my breath and do a double take! (I think I’d volunteer)

    *I thought it was genuinely odd that the news guy zoomed in on the paper in my hand; just sayin’

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  23. John said on October 12, 2010 at 3:14 pm

    Brian re your PPS: maybe you channeled that old Elton John tune.

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  24. 4dbirds said on October 12, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    I hope his last heart attack hurts real bad. I’m an athiest. I can say it.

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  25. Sue said on October 12, 2010 at 3:34 pm

    The next chapter on the nazi re-enactor. Make sure you read the whole thing:

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  26. Bob (not Greene) said on October 12, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    brian, i must have missed something, because that looked like a straight word-for-word broadcast version of the print story that accompanies the video. By the way WTF is with public comment after adjournment? There’s no public comment for the record?

    And Sue, that is hi-fucking-larious. Do the tea baggers even ask any questions about the people among them?

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  27. Dorothy said on October 12, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    brian I thought Herbie Hancock was on the school board but it turned out it was Kevin Brown! On first glance I thought he was a dead ringer for ol’ Herbie.

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  28. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on October 12, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Sue, that was funny; thanks for the catch and post. I could do without the teabagger line, but it’s all quite oddly amusing. For the record, that’s one of the complicated threads in this unravelling braid on the right — Tea Party folk are as likely to be for legalizing porn and pot as they are for abortion restrictions or higher tariffs. It’s a form of bewildered libertarianism that only has the through line of “Enough, already,” but aside from their own tax impacts, there’s no consensus anywhere on “enough of what.”

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  29. Tom M said on October 12, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Why do you think the Col­lege Repub­li­cans even exist?

    Great line. Mild snort, pause, deep chuckle.

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  30. brian stouder said on October 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    Dorothy – good point!

    But ol’ Kevin has other, larger problems, besides whether the editor of the Journal-Gazette editor believes he has a Masters Degree or not.

    This evening, Grant* and I drove out to IPFW to watch three men debate each other for an hour, for our district’s vacant congressional seat. We had a Democrat (Dr Tom Hayhurst), a Republican (Marlin Stutzman), and a Libertarian (ex-Republican Scott Wise) – and as we exited the place my 15 year old took the words out of my mouth when he said “I didn’t like any of them”.

    Our Democrat sounds like GOP-lite, our Libertarian sounds like GOP-super, and our Reptublican sounded like a repTea-lian.

    The debate format was lively – with candidates questioning each other. They all attacked President Obama to varying degrees, and they all derided the deficit and the stimulus and the size of government.

    I wanted to ask them – when they uniformly disparaged the whole governmental reaction to the economic crash, and all harkened back to the good ol’ days of the early twentieth century (when the government was right-sized) whether that meant that we should immediately shutter Allen County’s GM plant, and evict the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard from Fort Wayne, and shutter the VA hospital, and so on and so forth.

    Hayhurst has my vote, but he’s awfully “weak tea”, indeed. If you polled the hall, the rube in the middle – the libertarian – won the evening, with pithy remarks about the way things used to be back in the old days. One wonders if he has ever cracked a history book open; and if he has, if he has troubled himself to wonder how life was for people who weren’t born white and male. (the crowd mostly loved him)

    All in all, Fort Wayne’s congressional debate confirmed ALL of Nancy’s jaded views of Fort Wayne/northern Indiana, and more.

    *I begin to think he likes going to these things in person as much as I do!

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  31. Denice said on October 12, 2010 at 11:51 pm

    I saw Cheney on TV the other day. I thought he looked worse than some dead folks I’ve seen. Awful pallor. Rather Dracula like, actually.

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