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Archive for April, 2008

Careful Out There

I went hiking with my daughter Saturday morning up Shell Ridge in Walnut Creek, mostly to nab some tadpoles in one of the ponds. Within just a few minutes of walking on the trail, I happened to look up in my daughter’s path.

Ten yards away was the biggest rattlesnake I’ve ever seen, coiled and not about to budge.

Usually you think snakes stay off the trails, especially since so many people were out with dogs and on bikes Saturday morning. But we apparently met the boss-rattlesnake of Shell Ridge who wasn’t in a good mood. We stopped a safe distance away and waited for him to slither back into the weeds. Which he did. I kept my daughter on the other side of the trail and leaned over to see how big he was uncoiled (big), Mr. Snake saw me and started coming back toward the trail, rattling.

As I realized it was his trail, we left. Quickly.

On a side note, I saw at least eight dogs in an hour-long hike. I don’t think any of them were on leashes. Which wouldn’t be the case had their owners ever heard a colleague of mine tell the story of seeing a hiker let his rottweiler chase a coyote … which promptly led the dog around a bend to where two other coyotes were waiting. It was all over by the time the guy got there to rescue his dog.

It’s bad enough worrying about snakes and coyotes; having to pick my 6-year-old up every time a dog came flying down the trail toward us was simply annoying. This is what dog parks are for.

Picture of rattlesnake sign by Flickr user Mykl Roventine under Creative Commons license

Posted on Sunday, April 13th, 2008
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NHL Beards and the Pash

My close, personal friend and Walnut Creek resident Jack Passion – he of the official greatest beard on the planet – has words of wisdom regarding the tradition of hockey players growing beards for the playoffs. The Pash shares his thoughts in the new ESPN the Magazine, and I would encourage all men to absorb his words.

Posted on Thursday, April 10th, 2008
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Heston Pt. II

Bless this wonderful reader for discovering this clip I was searching for the day after Charlton Heston died.

He really was an incredible actor. Even when he was doing a parody. I just watched this thing five times.

Posted on Tuesday, April 8th, 2008
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Scaling the Golden Gate Bridge

Three protesters climbed the Golden Gate Bridge this morning, to unfurl banners supporting Tibet and protesting the Olympics in China. Which is fine by me — I don’t think China’s oppression of its people makes it worthy of getting the Olympics, but that’s neither here nor there, as I couldn’t manage walking across the bridge without having some sort of panic-induced heart attack.

Watch the Live feed from CNN here:

However, I do have some questions about today’s events. First off, this story says the protesters were wearing helmets. Which exactly will help how if one was to fall off the Golden Gate Bridge?

The second question I have is: Does this give the tree-climbers in Berkeley, protesting plans to knock down trees to build an athletic facility, an inferiority complex?

Posted on Monday, April 7th, 2008
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Charlton Heston

I was all over the Internet this morning, trying to find the clip of Charlton Heston as the “good actor” in “Wayne’s World 2.” The best thing I could find, instead, was this clip of him from “Omega Man” watching the hippes from the “Woodstock” film. Which, by the way, was one of the most terrifying movies I saw as a child. Not “Woodstock” … “Omega Man.”

Then again, parts of “Woodstock” are pretty damned terrifying as well.

But I loved Charlton Heston movies back then (It was pretty close between the “Omega Man” scene and the “damned dirty ape” scene of “Planet of the Apes”). Or was it “filthy?” Either way, I thought he was the absolute pinnacle as an actor (I was absolutely crushed when he died heroically during “Midway,” which I think was the first non-animated movie I ever saw at a theater). When they went into the “bad actor” scene in “Wayne’s World,” and Mike Myers started saying they needed a real actor, I automatically thought of Heston a split second before he entered the screen.   

I even liked Heston on “The Colbys.” No, no one really knows what the hell is wrong with me.

Heston was one of the few actors who absolutely dominated the screen whenever he showed up. He teetered on being overly dramatic, but not so much that he could captain the starship Enterprise. But I would’ve paid good money to see William Shatner and Charlton Heston in the same scene. People talk about the epic restaurant scene with Pacino and DeNiro in “Heat.” No chance. I’d take Shatner and Heston any day.

Posted on Sunday, April 6th, 2008
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Woman of the Year

This is my kind of woman.

A Minneapolis woman attacked a pit bull when it jumped her fence and went after her dog. Did she use a club, knife, or otherwise semi-sensible human weapon?

Nope. She bit it on the nose.

Amy Rice broke the skin, got the dog’s blood all over her, and apparently didn’t let go until the beast let her Lab go.

The pit bull is in quarantine until they determine whether it has rabies. The story didn’t say whether they were afraid it might have got them from a woman crazy enough to go after it with her teeth.

This woman should win some sort of award. If she doesn’t already have children, some one should pay her to do so. She’s only 38; there’s still time. We need more mothers like this.

Posted on Thursday, April 3rd, 2008
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