2.18.2004

Should have mentioned this the other day too - we get a lot of folks that work for timber companies that come through the store and we hear some great stories. A group of about 4 or 5 guys were talking about cougars and the fact that they all see several of them a week and one fellow related the story of how a couple of weeks ago he was up on a ridge above a clear cut and heard a terrible racket in the valley below him. He kept scanning the area for a while and saw two cougars going at it and he wasn't sure if they were fighting or breeding! Apparently, after about 10 minutes of serious brawling and rolling and screaming and tussling, it was pretty apparent that they were fighting - tufts of fur and blood were flying everywhere and eventually, one of the big cats took off running. The other big cat followed for a while but pulled up short after about 50 yards and let the other one go. I guess they might have been breeding, I have seen alley cats going at it like that before - all in the name of love!

The state banned any cougar hunting (Update: they don't allow hunting cougars with hounds, but they can be hunted) out here a few years ago and it is just a matter of time before some yuppie jogger in Issaquah ( you pronounce it just like it looks) gets the surprise of their life or some poor kid or family pet gets drug off into the woods. Not a pleasant thought, but we have managed to encroach on their territory and there are more big cats in the West than there were when Lewis and Clark came through. You reap what you sow.

And yes, I am feeling pretty talkative today - 3 posts so far plus one I can't figure out how to get rid of.
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Oh man oh man, here is an awesome rant that needs to be read and spread:

Would you like some surrender-monkey cheese with that whine?

Found via link on Mr. du Toit's site.
I meant to link to this story in the Olympian and comment on it when I first saw it, then a couple of days passed and I lost track of when it was posted on the Olympian's news site but found it again today. It seems like a pretty standard story about a budget crisis in the school system and the efforts the district is going to take to come up with the money to cover the difference, but what really caught my eye was this:

When 55 girls turned out for volleyball at Washington Middle School last fall, everyone played.

To accommodate them all, the school created two varsity teams and two junior varsity teams and doubled the coaching staff from two to four.

The same thing happened at Washington with basketball and soccer and, indeed, repeated itself across the district. With a policy of accepting every aspiring athlete, Olympia schools had to add coaches for everything from swimming to soccer.


The story goes on to discuss how the district overlooked the extra charges for all the additional coaches needed to coach the aspiring athletes, which adds up to about an extra million bucks a year that the current budget doesn't accommodate.

Now, to start this off, I am not some old curmudgeonly, retired guy who thinks that we pay way too many taxes to support the schools, or that we pay more than enough to fund the libraries because, heck, they already have books, how many more do they need? I am all for funding libraries and schools and the arts and creating places where opportunity abounds for these kids. But, when it comes to Political Correctness and not telling Joey or Betty that "well, sorry kids, you really suck at football (or gymnastics), we only have 45 spots available, you are not on the team" because it might hurt their feelings, that kind of pisses me off. And in Olympia, it just plain figures that these people don't want to hurt the feelings of these little kids and next thing you know, Oly will be one of those towns that bans the National Honor Society and any award of any kind that acknowledges any hard work these kids do. Maybe they will ban scoreboards at the football and basketball games next, man that pisses me off.


2.16.2004

Good Monday here, all the way around. Work was good, sold some stuff and got a few important things taken care of. Had a great time playing with the dog this evening, she is still crazy for her new toy and carries it with her everywhere.

I watched the Mel Gibson special on TV tonight. I have always liked him and thought he was a good guy based on what information you hear about celebrities and how they live their lives and tonight cemented that feeling for me. I probably won't be one of the many of hundreds of thousands of folks watching his movie on opening night but I will see it very soon afterwards.

Crazy story on the news this evening about a wife of a Fort Lewis soldier who thought she was driving to Vancouver, Washington but ended up driving all the way to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada and just happened to have a live grenade in her glovebox. She and her husband are originally from Texas so driving the wrong way on an unfamiliar road, well, I can see that as an honest mistake but someone is going to be under the hot lamps explaining the live grenade bit.

Ok, off to bed for me and I have an early morning. Oh, remember how Sage now runs out the front door every evening thinking there are deer in the front yard? Well, last night there were 4 of them and Sage had a running start on them this time and got within about 15 yards before the deer noticed her and bolted. Sage ran after them a little, came back to where they had been grazing and took care of her business. Maybe she is just protecting her "spot"?