Saturday, June 18, 2005

Blame it on Wang...

...because it is his fault.

In reading through my F-list he mentioned seeing The Phantom of the Opera on DVD last night. I recommended he get the book a certain friend loaned to me: Phantom by Susan Kay. So I check out for a link and found out that my friend's pristine paperback book is worth more than 10x what he paid for it. The book has become a collector's item. No wonder. The story is riveting and the writing flawless, which is saying a lot coming from a hard-nosed and not easily tempted book reviewer.

Wang, what does it say about me that every time I thought I had it in my bag to give it back to him it wasn't there when I gave him back the rest of his books? I found it when I packed up my books and things to move to the Springs. From a psychological standpoint, of course.

It's just past 8:30 and cars are cruising the blocks looking for a parking spot while brightly summer clad people carrying canvas and shopping bags with fanny packs about their waists are headed south to the Farmer's Market. Some of the eye-searing colors are even brighter on this clear, cloudness Rocky Mountain morning and the trees are shifting restlessly in the light breeze. The dogs next door keep up a constant tirade at the Market-minded pedestrians behind the high palisade fence on the east side of the house. This morning is bright and beautiful and cool, just waiting to be enjoyed after a night of tossing and turning and sweating even with all the windows open. It's on a morning like this I truly wonder if George Malley in Phenomenon was right and the trees really do talk to each other in rustling leaves and swaying limbs.

My friend, by the way, got a clean as a whistle bill of health from his lizard with the long lighted tongue. He was, however, having trouble formulating coherent thought after the narcotic cocktail that kept him quiescent and relaxed while they delved the back forty, but he is otherwise his usual punny self. That is a very good thing.

Another friend tagged me while I was playing endless games of Mah Jong on Yahoo yesterday, surprising me. I haven't heard anything from him since he started his post Army retirement job as a tech writer. He had some ulterior motives evidently. told me I need to move to New Mexico and ply my technial writing skills because companies there are going begging. I might consider it but only for a heartbeat. I told him there was no way I'd leave my paradise to move to the desert heat. Nice try, but no cigar.

So then he suggested taking a closer look at Manitou Springs and see if I could find all the springs that give Manitou its last name. According to him, there are/were seven springs. Makes me curious for sure and that will be a trip to take with my visitors from KCMO next week who are bringing KCMO BBQ sauces and rubs with them. I smell BBQ wafting on the summer breeze already and I can hardly wait. Six days and counting.

The visit also brings with it a first time meeting with LJ friends. That is also a first because I have not met any of my LJ friends to date. I'm looking forward to it and to them. They have this strange habit of looking up Buena Vista in any state they visit to see if they are alike in any way to the first Buena Vista they visited among the Blue Ridge Mountains back east. Virginia, I think it was. Since I am acquainted with two transplanted residents, I'd say the chances are good, but now I want to see for myself, and to visit Winslow Pass which is said to have a spectacular view of the Collegiate Peaks. I have seen the view from a much different perspective, atop Ute Lookout in the Collegiates, and I can well imagine how beautiful the view will be. I might even take them over to Hartsell Springs and see if I can finagle a peek at the huge roaming herd of buffalo in that area.

A couple of years ago, on my birthday no less, when I was still working for the TV show that brought me here, I spent a few days at Hartsell Springs Ranch and drove a Ford 250 4x4 up and down the muddy slopes and valleys into the midst of a huge herd of buffalo. I then proceeded to get out of the metal behemoth where I was safe and walk right smack dab into the middle of the milling herd. You cannot imagine how big full grown buffalo bull and cows (not to mention the yearling bulls and cows) really are until you're standing nose to horns with them. It was thrilling and exciting for me, but less so for the people cringing and hiding in the back seat of the truck. The only thing I missed was the buffalo chase and hunt (that never happened) the next day. I was heartbroken until I heard how the rogue buffalo bulls played the erstwhile hunters armed with bow, black powder rifle and state of the art hunting rifles of staggering firepower. Anyone who is opposed to hunting because it pits superior man against Bambi, should see and hear how a real hunt progresses. You'd finally see that the animals are much smarter than people think and it's the people who need the protection, not the animals.

Buffaloes are especially wily. The Native American tribes knew that, which is why they would get together and drive entire herds off cliffs and pick them off at the bottom, leaving whatever they couldn't dress and carry for the carrion eaters. They knew buffaloes learn at a staggering rate and wouldn't be caught twice by the same trick. The tribes didn't know how to change their hunting tactics, so instead they left no survivors.

Buffalo look stupid, but they are far from it. Never underestimate the wily buffalo -- the even wilier roadrunner. Wile E. Coyote figured that one out. Mother Nature didn't raise no stupid children -- except for maybe humans -- mostly the males.

That is all. Disperse.

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