1. I have been forced to speak sharply to Tam for negativity about weapons favored by patriotic old Luddites everywhere. A sad duty here in this season of charity and love, but some offenses must not go unchallenged.
2. I have created a war zone in my back yard. When I cook, I cook too much and freeze leftovers. I accumulate too much nearly stale bread. From time to time, including last evening, space limitations make me bag it all up for the wild bunch. I generally spread it out atop the propane tank, a place which, despite valiant efforts, New Dog Libby can not reach. This morning I was entertained by a pair of quarrelome blue jays fighting for the orts as, below, a red squirrel smugly fattened himself on the stuff they scattered. Both jays and squirrel suffered a strategic reverse when my current feral cat, a big long-haired grey, arrived to take charge.
3. In days gone by, Christmas was time for intense creative energy trying to find just the right gift. Time passes. Patience fades. I now judge the appropriateness of a present by how easy it is to wrap. If my family cares to consider this a warning, so be it.
4. You don't know much about the history of the Russian River, do you? Me either, so I was glad to pick up the paperback The Russian River (ISBN 0-553-28844 x) and get the general drift painlessly, along with what might have been a few entertaiing and credible tales from the far western branch of the 1820s fur trade. I muddled through, although an early reference to a six-foot diameter Indian tent being comfortable for six or seven people pretty well destroyed its credibility. (Sketch it out.) This is part of a "Rivers of America" series which is supposed to be a set of novels with a useful background of geographic and cultural truth. The other one I read, about the Powder River, wasn't much better. Too bad, a great idea poorly executed, I would guess because adequate writers were forced to work hastily.
5. The monkey balls are rolling loose. It's been tens of degrees below average for a long time, but I'm getting weary of Gore jibes. So Happy Holidays, Al, and I hope you can find a way to live with all that cheap natural gas coming out of North Dakota. If not, do us a favor and freeze in the dark.