Rocky’s first portrait

For those who don’t know the story of Rocky: While in the care of his previous owner, he was scalded with boiling water, suffering second and third degree burns on his neck and shoulders. The owner and her boyfriend were charged with crimes and the owner agreed in court within days of her arrest to surrender ownership.

He then sat in the animal shelter a couple of weeks with nobody expressing any real interest in adopting him. I found this out when he walked with Volunteers for Animals in the Oakfield Labor Day Parade. I felt like he and I hit it off and made a few visits and Billie and I talked it over and decided to bring him into our family.

He’s been a great companion and willing learner with no apparent behavioral problems.

Stories from The Batavian:


When I worked in Lemon Grove I discovered a barbershop called Lou’s. Three chairs, always filled, a shave and a haircut, $15, with a little shoulder rub to finish it off, while Sinatra or Martin played on the stereo. I’ve always liked a good barbershop.

A role model of a good cop

officermalloyI grew up on Adam-12.  I’ve watched every episode at least three times.  As a police officer in the USAF, my partners and I would habitually immitate the patter of the show … “One Adam-12, see the woman … ”

Officer Pete Malloy was not a bad role model for a young gun with a badge.

He wouldn’t be a bad role model for young officers, today, either.  Level headed, fair, by-the-book, and abiding by the rule of law (rather than his personal prejudices or any sense of self-aggrandizing badassedness), Malloy usually found a way to do the right thing.

Unrealistic? Sure. It was only a TV show.  But life is just acting.  Fake it until you make it.  You become who you try to be.

Pete Malloy was of a time when role models still mattered.

RIP Martin Milner.

Noise pollution

Surely, the first time I heard the phrase “noise pollution” was in elementary school.  As a phrase I grew up with, I never gave it much thought.  And my single thought about it was “noise pollution is unwanted human-generated noise that disrupts our quiet enjoyment of our environment.”

It turns out, as we learn in this TED Talk, that noise pollution is a real problem for the natural environment.

Reading (and listening): Sports Illustrated

For the past two years, Sports Illustrated has been my favorite magazine. I started my subscription for the photography. I keep it for the writing.

The way I use my iPhone has evolved over time. There was a time, if I were to listen to anything, I would listen to music. I still listen to music, but at the gym or doing chores, I’m much more likely to listen to podcasts or audiobooks. I’ll also do this in the car, though gas-powered transportation tends toward music.

Many of the audiobooks I’ve completed have been about basketball or baseball, with one on football, and a couple of Sports Illustrated collections, including, right now, Fifty Years of Great Sports Writing.

Back-to-back, I’ve listened to a couple of great pieces:

Snakes Alive!

Rattlesnakes are cold-blooded but not murderous, and they prefer the stealthy escape to the lethal confrontation–unless they’re peckish and you’re a hamster. Stand real still when you meet one and it’ll slither off, thinking you’re just a rock or at least a thing too large to eat. Of course, if you surprise one by stepping on it, sitting on it (heard this several times; still not over it) or putting your hands where they don’t belong (i.e., under rocks, into holes…), you’re likely to end up snakebit and off to the hospital, there to experience the complex multisymptomatic wonders of a venom that works at once as a neurotoxin, cytotoxin, hemorrhagic agent and digestive acid. Meaning you’ll most likely suffer some pain, swelling, pain, pain, discoloration, pain, bleeding, pain, blistering, nausea, pain, light-headedness, pain and further, persistent acute pain. Statistically speaking, you probably won’t die–you’ll just want to.

Mirror of My Mood (Google Books link and I can’t copy and paste from it).