Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's for you...

Hi. I'm Natalie Wood. And this is, apparently, only a prop phone.One wouldn't know it by merely having the hansom driver slow so that one might inspect the architectonics of stately Goon Manor, but the old grey manse is no longer cable-convivial. Oh sure, the cable itself still leaps from its perch on the telegraph pole and strikes our commorancy precisely where it had been embedded by that nice fellow from Comcast (or whatever media conglomerate was whoring that week). But those counterfeit fiberoptics will no longer be thrusting the inanities of Twenty-First Century formulaic forensic farces and slap-happy news'n'infotainment into our ambience.
So it was with great pleasure that I read -- READ!!1! -- that, as predicted, online advertising revenues overtook the recession-eroded and utterly avoidable teevee advertising. In the United Kingdom, anyway. According to the Beeb: "Outlay grew 4.6% to £1.752bn between January and July, according to the study by the Internet Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers."
It is a wonderful thing, watching evolution -- or whatever -- take place all around one. But these days, it's like being Rod Taylor in George Pal's The Time Machine -- as he watches the city crumble around him while eons pass. I listened as an aspiring radio dramatist when CBS broadcast its last CBS RadioMystery Theater. This is Candice Bergen. You mean that you kept your teevee even after 'Murphy Brown?'. Uh, hello? Hello?I watched as a jobseeker while the other fifteen or so Sit'n'ShopAtHome teevee networks disappeared within weeks of me leaving Home Shopping. I was wearing jackets and bowties when T-shirts became fashionable attire at galas. I was at the board while radio nose-dived into a vulgar morass it has no ambition to cleanse or police. And I was here as H.M.S. Impossible sank at the dock.
(The latter is a personal thing. Unlike the Home Shopping thing. People still cry over the JCPenney Network going belly up.) As someone who has worked in and around teevee for at least an eighth of his life, I was hesitant at first to cut the electrical sabbatical umbilical but in this decision, I relied on the very thing that made me leave the employ of teevee in the first place: my dignity and common sense.
A bundled deal -- telephone, cable and Internet, under one bill for one lowlowprice for a limited time -- like every other "deal," does not represent much of a "deal" after the three month special "$29.99" rate period is over.
Like every other thing in this New Age, the bundle appeals to our laziest nature. Like industrial monoculture farming or a telephone that plays movies. How did we ever get on without it?
You're not going to cancel after three months. I remember last century when I was explaining this to telephone Customer Service Operatives.Dee. D-E-E. Like the letter. With 2 extra letters. Well, ONE extra letter twice, but... Where are You calling from? And in those days, all we bundled was 'local" and "long distance." Just one bill. For many customers, it was like finding a twenty in a pants pocket. The convenience alone actuated their indolent nerve. Although "get-one-bill" was the sell, I always held that it was the "pay-one-bill" that sold them. And every few months, a new "fee" or "charge" or "network apportionment" or rate increase was just a briefly incommodious lump in the cushiony upholstery of the potato's couch.
So here I am, going over expenses with My Beloved, after a wearying rainy afternoon giving it one last go at the 512 channels poured into our lifestyle by ConCast. I know that we most certainly must own one of those stations by now given what we've been dishing out over the years. I would have been perfectly happy to watch old Stanley Cup games, but the advertising was noxious, uninspired, and reverberated for inordinately impolite periods.
Although I have great friends who work in the infomercial industry, I have little interest in or need for "windshield-cleaning systems" or "memory foam slippers." I am glad for my friends, however, that infomercials seem to be the only thing that's on. Even the Weather Channel -- rather than provide the local update every ten minutes as it had in the past "on the eights" --was brandishing some re-created melodrama about hayseeds who had built their home under water and were "absolooootly shawked" when "a massive rainstorm" of "spleen-blasting" proportions wiped out their entire collection of used tires and busted appliances. A quick break for several more obnoxious promos for Al Roker's stupefying morning show and then...
The phone rang. The mobile, which has become the de facto primary number. Not the house phone -- which rarely ever rings, except for begging calls from "volunteers" soliciting donations for the Retired Telephone Solicitors Fund. Bette Davis has 3 things you don't see nowadays: payphone, smoking, ugly costume jewelry. Oh wait... 2 things.
So, after these few years of paying three times the amount for which we had originally contracted when we got suckered into it, we've decided to unwrap two-thirds of the bundle. Specifically the two immobile dinosaurs chained stuck to the wall: phone and cableTV. Anything that I might desire to "watch" is available online. I haven't watched news on teevee since giggling and chortling by adolescents became "broadcast journalism." My phone is in my pocket.
Am I any less "connected?" No.
But I might use that extra money each month to buy some newspaper advertising, just to keep the kids at work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In New Bedford news...

Much to my delight, our local paper recently vaguely "announced" that it was going to "fix something" about their comments section and install a better version.
Just going out for a pack of Trident.
Be right back.
I relish the few days that I have had checking in with the aliterate typists at the Standard-Times now that the racist xenophobic Objectivist teabaggers are not visible. In spite of the fact that the online version of the paper only appears as gobbledygook HTML codes and topic headings that take up two-thirds of the screen before getting to the usual speculative reality-free jottings of the scoundrels who actually do get paid to provide content in column inches.
So, where does one turn for local news?
Only the ludicrously optimistic would dial up the local radio station for such a commodity. But dial up I did, and listened as the Executive Director of the Zeiterion Theatre -- who has a flair for marketing that rivals that of a Scientologist -- chatted on WBSM's ONE WHOLE WEEKLY HOUR of local-oriented arts and community event programming.
With the microphone before her face, she dropped entertainment names: Frank Sinatra Junior is appearing this weekend, as well as Marianne Faithful, who, according to the Z's boss, "has a much lower voice that you're used to. I heard her singing some Rolling Stones song on the folk radio and it's ... different." Show host Richard Cardoza clutched at the walls, endured redundant and soulless advertising copy, and the board-op kept insisting that Frank Sinatra was "the first Rock'n'Roller."
And then the Director of the Z announced that she had a big surprise. She had contracted with some bunch of annoying exhibitionists who would "entertain" show-goers while they wait in line. "Entertain." How? Card tricks? Singalongs? Balloon animals?
Or something else...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Carbon Digital Footprint

A few months ago, I decided that I had a diverse enough presence online that it was time to reel in some of the extraneous and ineffective PJ out there. You might remember that I bagged the thing, and I deleted a number of accounts at online retailers and specialty pages (so long, Museum of Yachting). I resigned outright from Twitter.
I had been a terribly clumsy and irregular Twitterer anyway, dashing off mediocrities of less than 140 characters in fits and starts, giving up for weeks at a time because I felt abandoned and ignored. In a normal conversation, I take great pains to listen carefully to my co-dialogist's words and follow as the narration evolves or a thesis is developed. I will rarely pick a word at random out of a conversation and point out a goofy homonym in a snarky tone in order to disrupt the entire train of discourse with inappropriate levity or simply misinformed rhetoric.
Which seems to be what "Tweets" are. But somebody had to come up with an explanation, and I suppose that political party association might as well provide a suitable pretext:

Nearly twice as many Republicans as Democrats have accounts on the social networking platform Twitter (101 compared with 57), and the GOP dominates Twitter usage by an even wider margin, according to a report released this week by the Congressional Research Service that analyzed two weeklong periods in July and August. During those spans, congressional Republicans posted 932 messages — or tweets — compared with 255 for Democrats, CRS analysts found.
I don't work in Congress, but I never declared my party affiliation on Twitter either. If there were ONE decent Republican candidate anywhere near me, I would probably vote for her. If she represented me positively. But why declare as "GOP" when that eventuality is simply fanciful? But, it's The Impossible Journal, ain't it? Anything can happen.
I recall that I left Twitter right around the very time of that CRS study. I signed out because I was tired of reading the constant vituperative Tweets that decried my Congressman, Barney Frank, for calling out a Larouchie at what was supposed to be a meeting for constituents in my town. If one were to click on the "popular topic" link that week, one would find that Twits used words like "fat" and "criminel faggot" and "libral Taxachusetts Masshole ."
Of course, as with all of our Freedom of Impolite Speech outlets -- talk radio, online newspaper forums, public eating establishments -- you have the right to NOT listen or read, or even be a part of the conversation at all. In fact, your right to NOT LISTEN is absolutely fortified by freedom-loving fellow citizens who don't want to hear you either.
I had also lost the daily journal habit -- if it can be said that I ever had one -- here on Blogger™. Possibly because of a preternatural obsession to go be clever on Facebook. If you're not one of the 3,000,000 idlers on the world's first constant and complete collector of private personal information, you are haply spared the high camp of boastful young moms yammering about their childrens' poops and their instantly-uploaded videos of same.
A long time ago last century, there was a network teevee show called Max Headroom. It starred Matt Frewer (who should never have been allowed required to portray any other character ever) as a teevee reporter who becomes an animated soft drink spokesman and spends an inordinate amount of screentime during the Eighties proving to everyone that one moderately good idea can get ridiculously mucked up in a breathtakingly obscene potlatch of excess. The show looked like this (and I apologize to Jeffrey Tambor fans):

(Tambor -- "George Bluth, Sr." -- of course, is the only member of the Headroom cast who survived. The yummy Amanda Pays -- who had formerly been Diana Rigg -- had to become Liz Hurley and then eventually Kate Beckinsale.)

I had imagined -- possibly during one of those fitful "dreams" that were so common to me in the Eighties -- that at some point we would all be downloaded as clever and cocksure cartoon personalities into a worldwide databank where we would while away everlastingness saying clever things and reminiscing about our various corporeal accomplishments chronicled in networkable bits all around us.
But if I'm going to spend eternity toodling around a digital afterlife, I sure as hell don't want to be reminded of trying to join Monty Python's Flying Circus or making fruitless attempts to educate teabaggers about the public option.
I suppose, however, that I would do very well without the need to constantly update my Facebook status.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

To Readers of this Journal:

I have said "Good Bye" to Summer and "Good Bye" to the dusty old layout and I welcome the new season with an entirely new look for the old journal.
To be pedantically obvious, the major excision is that of the maritime motif.
Have I exorcised that particular demon? No.
It's time, however, to haul the hulk out of the online harbor.
When I started the Journal, I was under the impression that I would have found other historical vessel-sailing folk online who might want to share anecdotes. I mean, every ship has a website, sometimes dozens of individual forums, LiveJournals, MySpace, Facebook and Twitter pages, blogs, and sites that belong to old and current crew members who share stories, pictures of rigging or ports of call.
This "" (I keep the domain name) has done very little of that. And has not been called upon to do so.
When I stopped sailing, I tried to scrub the salt out of my skin. Brine lodged in each pore and follicle while I had leapt from dock to deck for the free ride and very little else, a Coast Guard certification for a navigation course as my only ticket. On The Beach, I replaced many of the memories of all of the captains and boatswains and crew mates, tummlers and shysters and heroes with whom I had shared voyages and cons and free meals and traverses.
Just like on The Beach.
My original thought behind The Journal of H.M.S. Impossible, was to get back in touch with them, or at the very least to elucidate some analogy between the maritime and the mundane.
After all, I had enough experience in the business, corporate, and media world to complain about them as well. And I'll continue to share those as a memoirist and raconteur.
But I had created a hard-to-provision niche.
Sure, every so often, I'd mention a new TallShip™ or a canny sailor or a new spin on some historic event or the discovery of a old wreck. I had planned on doing a Patrick O'Brian segment ("This Week on the Surprise" never really took off.) I didn't do boat reviews or cover maritime events, and although I get the alerts and mailers and often hit a boat show, I usually forget my Blackberry™. Often, wittingly. (I haven't even been sailing in two seasons.)
I am fully aware that I am too judgmental and disquisitive to be a cheerleader or a provider of free public relations for the latest Moby-Dick parody or Jimmy Buffett cover band. I was never one for incessantly tweaking the rig or comparing stats on hideous plastic yachts. Lately, stories about teen and tween circumnavigators horrify, rather than being inspiring and vindicating my work in youth sail training. I read corporate promotions and sleazy advertisements that stink only of exploitation, greed, and vainglory.
As I have in the past, I'll leave the cute boat stories to those with the stomach for it. And I'm hanging up the sea bag so that I'm not searching for significance in stories that were mere dust long ago. I will scratch the Journal's pages with the things that interest me simply because they do -- not just because they have something to do with water.
So, it's The Impossible Journal. "Now with less boatiness."
Because I still think that it's impossible to get a daily average of 23 pageviews when everybody that I know says that they read it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Back To School on The Beach

buteo jamaicensis. 'Beauty' for shortWhile finally harrowing the spent stalks of Allium schoenoprasum out by the service egress and wondering if I should excavate a five-foot pole in a buried eleven-foot concrete tube -- the rusted last remnants of the quaint monument to White Trash Heritage air clothes dryer that some well-meaning Luddite stuck in my lawn thirty years ago -- I was thinking about the new school year.
The world-famous Dartmouth High School Drum Line is hard at work banging away at it three-quarters of a mile away, a sure sign that somebody's tax dollars are being well-spent or completely frittered (your mileage may vary). Local vineyard workers shoo Cedar Waxwings from the plumping chardonnay and the red-tailed hawks are making their motion picture "desert sun noise" as they finish up the job. (It is most humbling to watch a starling explode in a confetti of feathers when run through by an anxious airborne Buteo jamaicensis.)
Which should, in some way, lead to some comment about the local political season. If there were any.
A wayward scribble in the local news catches my eye. It's time for the SouthCoast Leadership Club to frighten, misinform, and catechize another generation of possible future SouthCoast obfuscators, empty suits leaders.
It is an annual jape of whimsy for me: clicking over to the Leadership SouthCoast website and giggling at the redundancy of a bunch of also-rans deciding which people with very little flair for anything should be encouraged to have very little flair for leadership. The ones who make it through the droning localized misapprehensions of business models and clumsy Chamber of Commerce slideshows must at least get a plaque or something. I have seen one or two push a thin self-congratulatory press release or begging letter across a desk.
So, there's that.
Each of the nearly seven participants that I can name -- out of the what, dozens? -- was a SouthCoast community leader before SouthCoast Leadership Commune or whatever came about. Gazing at the weirdly-indistinct and out-of-focus photographs that the outfit sparingly distributes, I can't actually make out anyone that I recognize in this year's class. An off-islander might discern a lack of pride in their program since names of participants never accompany articles. This is not the case; SouthCoasters are just not the kind of leaders who like to get out in front of people. I am sure that each participant unashamedly displays their "Certificate of Leadershipness" on their cubicle wall or wherever they store their bag lunch. After all, in just a few years, these graduates will be the very people that other more knuckledragging locals will say "Who the hell fucked that up?" about.
I'm sure that the LeaDerShip SouthCoast mean well, because their very lackluster site says this:

Each year, Leadership SouthCoast selects a diverse group of acknowledged and aspiring leaders to participate in a thought-provoking, 10-month community leadership program consisting of 2 one-day retreats, 8 monthly full-day sessions, and a series of structured small group team-building activities. Participants are challenged by a variety of SouthCoast issues presented by leaders and experts in their fields. The program includes on-site visits, readings, discussion groups, simulations, and other developmental activities. The purpose of the program is to transform a highly motivated group of individuals into a network of leaders with knowledge and commitment that benefits their community.
(Since I was a facilitator of "team building" exercises at sea, I can assure you -- in all earnest irony -- there's just nothing more effective than "simulations" and "discussion groups" when your goal is to benefit a community that has suffered a lot at the hands of out-of-touch, abstract leadership.)
At least they participate in team projects. The very idea of a "team project" seems a bit "middle school" to my preparatory school palate, and I assume that these are intramurals since I've never seen any real-world evidence of such "initiatives." Ever. At all.
Here's one which I liked. Until I noticed that there were words that came after "executing" that were not "these idiots."
Recognizing that there is a real lack of diversity (age, ethnicity, sex, area of expertise) on the boards of local non-profits, this project focuses on creating and executing a tangible plan to recruit, train, and build the boards of organizations in Greater New Bedford.
Admitting that the "boards of local non-profits" are well known for a preponderance of hammerbags and soaks, I welcome the attempt to embetter said bankrupt forstallances. Around here, political hacks and nags are awarded seats on boards, utterly unaware of how non-profits operate.
The SouthCoast Leadership Outfit employs these dimbulbs to shine a light on local 501(c)3ity, incapacitating these eager emptyheaded future seatwarmers.
And the torch is passed to a new generation.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

This obviously won't last...

It's like they're begging for it...This morning, as fresh northeasterly gales gusted through the fenestrella the odoriferous smack of apples still hanging on limbs in some unseen orchard, I saw the above headline over a small article on SouthCoastTodayDotCom.
Sure, the "article," at five paragraphs, is terribly brief and arguments may be made concerning the need for its own separate space online or in print. It isn't even a clear reiteration of remarks from the late Senator's correspondence with the President of the United States. Which is a shame, because the President of the United States used lines from that letter -- to competent rhetorical effect -- in last night's address to a joint session of Congress. If you didn't hear the President's address last night, you can read it here.
Although my sometimes overweening altruism doesn't make me any friends with the Ayn Rand crowd, I am not a creature with a bounteous bleeding heart, and I will cringe when I see an opportunity for the evil in my fellows to bubble up and annoy others.
Which explains why I recoiled in horror at that headline. It has all of the bright shiny triggers that egg on those clowns who can't help but log on to sully and soil my newspaper enjoyment. Such as it is.
I mean, look: It's got the President of the United States, now merely a target for intolerant goons; it's got Ted Kennedy, the very face of entitled East Coast liberalism to those same goons; and. it has "health care," the biggest and bestest reason to act like an uniformed and ill-mannered idiot EVAH.
I expected a massacre -- hundreds of little blocks of Arial font indignities and misspellings and "it's" for "its" and "there" for "their" and "Chappaquiddicks" and "death panels" and vulgarity and personal attacks. I steeled myself and scrolled down the page...
And all I saw was: It seems too... IT'S A TRAP!!1!And that's it. No commentarazzi and their horrid boorishness. Just a suggestion to the knuckledraggers to pull away from the screen, grasp their least-gnawed crayons, and write a civil letter to the editor. Or, an e-mail. And sign it.
I expect that it's too much to ask that some of this positive acculturation might light upon the airwaves as well.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Give 'em "enough rope" and this is what happens...

The collapse of capitalism has informed the corporate zeitgeist to the extent that the only source of money is not spending money. So, shorten sail, cut your budget and fire everyone -- especially the ones who raise a stink about "benefits" or "cost-of-living increases." You know: those pesky employees.
I've been at the kind of meetings where you hear: "Damned greedy employees who think that employers are supposed to foot the bill, give them money while giving them a place to work. Don't these brats understand that you're supposed to have a real job that allows you the leisure to work at these little hobbies like journalism? We should charge them!"
Of course, the Standard-Times beat their lunatic step-mother, the Wall Street JoanCrawfordournal, by a month or two with the actual basis for a story about vigilante citizen patrols that had absolutely nothing to do with the Guardian Angels. So, chalk one up for, um, them.
Sometimes, SouthCoastTodayDotCom's best features are the parody news stories that seem pulled from The Onion. Here's the story of fisherman James Peterson, who's moving a scalloper from Connecticut to Djibouti.with apologies to Becky Evans, who probably DID went to schoolHere's the line that cracks me up. Every time:It's funny because it's stoopid. Peterson, however, is NOT.I am aware of the perceptible firearm-barrel-and-fish image whenever I take a cheap shot at the World's Worst Newspaper, but, really, Standard-Times: Have you ever heard of Editing?
Not counting, of course, the four hundred options in seventy thousand drop-down menus and out-of-season boxes on the site that, for the most part, lead, if not to nowhere then to something that hasn't been updated in six years -- the ugliest mess is, as you might expect, the "comments" section. Which serves only to provide an outlet for viewers of FOXNews to redouble efforts by NewsCorp to spread bilgewater all over the deck, obfuscate clear discussion, and rally armies of strawmen.
The "good" news is that tomorrow heralds the S-T's publishers' fourth -- and I hope final -- attempt at providing a comments section.
Hear me: Remove it for the sake of society and humanity. The existence of a moronically self-defeating feature that manifests a scaredy-cat insistence upon "public input" sickens. There is NO LAW which either obligates or insists that a newspaper must give mouth-breathers an opportunity to continually whack at the piƱata of positive and sensible community dialogue.
At least in the physical paper, their scatterbrained Letters to the Editor are a handy place to set down the coffee mug. Online, it's different.
And you tried on at least three other occasions to "clean it up" without once stating "Stop defacing our online presence, insulting our editorial judgment, and start paying money to buy the paper and write an actual letter that we can ignore."
Even in little league, you only get three strikes.
So you'll try again tomorrow with the same creeps and their obsessive compulsive need to see their own neurotic ramblings, xenophobia, nauseating narcissism, uneducated rage, sexism, racism, homophobia, conspiracy theories, unanswered fallacies, unedited misinformation, and unattended personal attacks.
All in the name of "free speech" you bravely publish this on-going journal of lies, slander, defamation and aspersion.
What business sense does it make to fill your online edition with rank garbage that chases away readers and advertisers? It gives you no pause to allow sociopaths to continue to use their offensive avatars to identify their anonymous forum "personalities" Those two images appeared on nearly every page of that site every day for several weeks, accompanied by suggestions of violence and sedition, hateful remarks, and monstrous mendacity. That should explain why I am not particularly eager to share the Standard-Times with anyone.
I urge any advertiser to think likewise. And I feel less of those who so blithely toss marketing dollars into a cesspool.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

No Coyotes in My Dartmouth

Hangin' around the 'hood, yo
Yesterday, I was conducting a tour of the grounds here at stately Goon Manor, and I was reminded of the conspicuous absence of canis latrans, variously known commonly as "jackal" or "coyote." A couple of years ago, we would hear them yipping nearly every night. I could follow the canid conversation of each local pack announcing which side of the vineyard was their territory.
But no more.
The fields are filled with rabbits who wander untroubled around the gardens; the turkeys travel in their mindless earthbound flocks without a care in the world. I'm sure that the deer -- timid and with little use for the short grass by the road -- still swagger peaceably through the woods to the saltmarsh. The neighbors' dogs call out now and again while cats -- feral and otherwise -- wander around the barns, attracted by vermin or perhaps the ghosts of long-gone cattle.
But no coyotes.
They have left, it would seem, for greener pastures.
Which is why I was dismayed to see the weekly overwrought zoophobia feature in the World's Worst Online Newspaper, SouthCoastDotCom. This go-round, the S-T (while still allowing a commentor to use "Joker Obama" as an avatar) assaults readers with a .jpg of a dead goat.
I cannot understand what makes the North Dartmouth coyotes so bloodthirsty. These tedious weekly "journalistic" forays into an allegedly dangerous quarter-mile of real estate in North Dartmouth paint a truly unpleasant picture. Not of the coyotes, but of the occupants of at least three houses.
On Aug. 8, he shot a coyote that had attacked Nikki, his 9-year-old black Labrador retriever, and also shot another coyote that was acting menacingly around a cow on the farm. Gwozdz, a hunter, said he won't hesitate to shoot again.
"They're wiping out all the livestock," he said. "How much can one man take?"
He is also worried that, "if they are getting that crazy during the day, they will go after a kid next. ... Enough is enough."...
...Residents of Collins Corner Road aren't about to take any chances. One person said she was trapped in her car by coyotes in her yard while another said they terrorized her from her porch.
Gwozdz's wife, Kristen, is reluctant to allow their two children to play outside after the coyote attacked their dog during a family barbecue on their 714 Collins Corner Road property.
Neighbors said coyotes have become "very comfortable" in that area.
Yeah, I know that I'd be very comfortable in a neighborhood filled with yummy and freely-available food. The only nuisance? The lazy drama queens ("They stole my kids' toys!!1!") and halfwit swampbillies who won't invest in proper fencing. What kind of yokels live in the woods and leave their pets' food laying about?
And what is this malarkey? "Collins Corner Road residents acknowledged they have not reported these incidents to Dartmouth's animal control officer because they don't think the town can do anything about the coyotes."
(I wonder if these are the same residents who acted out impertinently at that meeting with the congressman last month. Oh, that's right, the ones who assaulted Barney were from someplace else.)
I turn in all earnest neighborliness to my friends up by the reservoir and advise you that your very last recourse should not be contacting a local rag that consults the Rupert Murdoch NewsCorp StyleBook before deciding what story to put on the front page. "If it bleeds, it leads," is not a motto to live by proudly.
Owning a farm does not automatically habituate one to the more sensible elements of rural life. But I've lived here for a few seasons -- admittedly, a former dairy farm that's now a vineyard -- and I can't imagine why anyone would be so angry at these nocturnal yodelers. Besides the apparently unavoidable livestock molestations. A few coyote facts:
  • they are omnivores and can eat anything, including grass and bugs
  • they often eliminate unsightly roadkill
  • they are very good swimmers
  • they can live anywhere, even on the Moon
  • they are not wolves, but share an uneasy trade agreement with them
  • they are immensely clever, but they cannot spell or operate motor vehicles
  • they travel and hunt in packs, but sometimes miss the best group deals because they don't use common online travel resources like the one Shatner uses
I'm kidding about the Shatner bit. Foxes and coyotes. The dog who lives across the street and the hunting dogs who train on the grounds. They're all welcome. Though not all at once. I did not react in hysterics and call the local rag whenever I got out of my car at night and encountered a coyote.
Why so cavalier? How can I be so nonchalant when the rest of town seems petrified betond all reason?
Very simple: I know about dangerous wildlife neighbors. Not just because my current abode once accomodated coyotes.The old place. At least I never had to mow.

Because at my old house, the lawn was full of SHARKS.