My conspiracy theory: The purported dossier on Trump says the Russians have been cultivating him for five years. Suppose they were pressuring him to run. As a true patriot, Trump knew how disastrous it would be to have a Russian puppet as President. So, Trump did everything he could as a candidate to make himself unelectable: in his announcement speech he called Mexicans rapists, he made fun of the disabled, he called McCain a loser for being captured. He just kept upping the ante. And then we elected him.
Put differently, let me pitch a movie idea to you. It’s The Manchurian Candidate meets The Producers.
The Manchurian Producers No Puppet. No Puppet. You’re the Puppet.
Starring Seth Rogen.
with James Franco as “The Toup”
I of course don’t know anything that you don’t about Game of Thrones. In fact, I know considerably less since I can’t keep any of the characters or backstory straight. Also, I have not read the books. And when there’s exposition explaining something like exactly why one of the guys with a scraggly beard is angry at the red-head who likes to take off her top, I check my email, see what’s up at DailyKos, and maybe get myself some Fritos.
Nevertheless, with all of the confidence of an ignorant man, I am quite certain of how it ends:
Blondie-with-Dragons mounts the Pointy Throne, frees the slaves and reforms Obamacare, and then dies, at which point the handsome dwarfy guy is given a boost and becomes the tiny perfect mayor of all of West Oreos.
It’ll end when the Republicans have this conversation with their daughters:
“You see, precious, that’s really a woman who’s just pretending to be a man because, well, she’s what we call a ‘pervert.’ No, dear, she can’t use the men’s room because we passed a law to make sure that lady perverts have to use the lady’s room. Yes, dear, we also made a law that the male perverts have to use the men’s room dressed as ladies. Yes, dear, the lady perverts who look like men actually are lady homosexuals — why aren’t you precocious! — who lust after little girls, just like we’ve told you, but, well, …you won’t understand it when you grow up either.”
What a majestic creature! The wings beating like giant sails!
And not bald. Not even a comb-over, haha. Downy white feathers covering that majestic skull.
The beak does sort of look like a big nose, though.
Again this morning! I’d say within 15 mins of yesterday’s fly-by. A little higher up and more toward the center of the lake, but still majestic even from further away. I’d probably have to be like a mile away before I mistook it for a pigeon.
Winky barked as it soared past, although Winky barks at anything he finds interesting, and he’s blessed with an all-day curiosity.
Did you know that all clouds look like bones?
It looked at me! Oh my, let me record the time exactly! It’s now 7:27, so it was probably at 7:24!
Ok, I’ve caught my breath. He flew by just a little past the Jurgenson’s raft, so that’s maybe 50 or 200 feet from me. Flapping those big wings. Looking straight ahead. And then as I leapt up from my chair, he definitely turned his head and looked right at me!
And not a little passing glance. He was studying me, taking my measure, judging my character. And I looked back at him. Resolute but with kindness. I wasn’t going to look away until he did, which took about maybe four seconds, or two to be scientific about it (I just timed four seconds on the ol’ Timex, and they take longer than you’d think). But your life can change in two seconds. How long is the first sight that love can happen in? It can’t be more than a second or two or it would be second sight, or maybe third.
My eagle and I definitely made a connection. Till death do us part! Well, Labor Day.
Two sightings today! Both were on the far side of the lake, but I still had the presence of mind to shout “Eagle!!!!” both times. I’m pretending it’s to let my neighbors know, but really I figure if I shout “Eagle!!!!” every time he passes, he’ll learn that that’s his name. Eventually he should come when I summon him.
Not that I want my eagle to do tricks. I just want him to know that I appreciate him as the majestic free creature that he is.
He inspired a nation. The least I can do is shout his name!
7:10am and there’s Mr. Eagle again, and this time so close that I could see something squirming in his claws. Mr. Eagle doesn’t ask. He takes what is his, which is anything he can see.
Wikipedia is our friend. And here’s something fun I found out: Mr. Eagle is really Ms. Eagle!! Leave it to Nature to get it right and to make women bigger and stronger than men. Take that, Bob! I have to say it was all I could do not to laugh when you applied your “guns” to open a jar of gherkins for me, just assuming that I couldn’t do it myself, except I had ALREADY opened it, so it flew out of your hands and now your “Salad? That’s what my food eats” sweatshirt smells of gherkins FOREVER.
That’s something else my eagle and I have in common.
My dear friend Wikipedia (how do you make a smiley face on this tablet???) tells me that eagles often prefer carrion to live animals. Something else we have in common!!
Yes, it seems a little gross, but Nature is never wrong: it’s more efficient to pick up a snack just lying there than to have to chase down a moose or figure out the angle of refraction (thank you Miss McNair!) to nab a perch out of the lake.
Note to self: Does refraction have anything to do with fracking? This is why we have two weeks off: so a curious mind can indulge itself! I’m off to the Internet!
The eagle visited again this morning. Same time, same Bat channel. (If you’re reading this and you’re not me, first, thanks! But you’re probably not old enough to remember the old TV Batman. Yes, it was awfully dumb, but on purpose. And I have to say that Adam West in his spandex was rather majestic.)
Anyway, my little experiment didn’t work. I left a plate with about a half pound of Bob’s raw hamburger meat out for Ms. Eagle. I couldn’t tell if she saw it, but she’s got those eagle eyes, right? So she must have seen it.
Maybe she was already full, or maybe she just doesn’t like to try new things. Remember how long it took for me to try quinoa because it looks like tadpole embryos? Sure, it turns out it tastes terrible, but I could have found that out years ago.
As a proper amateur scientist, which I guess is what I am since I’m definitely not a professional scientist – I wish – anyway, as an amateur scientist, I should report on the result of this morning’s experiment:
I shaped the hamburger into what I think was a quite realistic statue of a bunny. From a safe distance – our porch – I waited for Ms. Eagle to fly by. Which she did! She was pretty far away, maybe about a third of the way across the lake, but she was up pretty high which should have let her see quite a lot on the ground (thank you Wikipedia!). So we can assume she saw my meat bunny. But she did not swoop in and carry it away.
She did give a loud Caw though, perhaps as a thank you for the effort. As a scientist, I can’t be sure about that, though.
Once again Ms. Eagle paid no attention to the Little Miss Bunny Burger, even though it’s holding up pretty well given that it’s a bunch of hamburger left out on a dock. If anything, it’s become even more carrion-y than it was yesterday.
Ok, no more experiments. Just building our bond. In any case, Winky ate the bunny when I wasn’t looking. Bad Winky! (Except he’s sooooo cute, even when he has a tummy ache.)
But now for the big news: I called Ms. Eagle’s name this morning at 7:10am and at 7:14am she showed up!!!! Winky actually sounded the alarm, with his yipping going from the high pitched one he uses when he sees a squirrel or a cloud or the ground to the more “manly” yap – men should be so cute! – for when the event has more significance in his doggy world.
I looked Ms. Eagle straight in the eye. She didn’t turn her head, but I think I was in her field of view, so she wouldn’t have to. And you can call me crazy, but she dipped her wings when she passed me. Maybe that’s where air force pilots got the idea.
Again! At 7:00am exactly I called out “Eagle! Eagle!” but this time trying to make it sound more like her Caw! Caw! because I know how hard it can be to understand someone with an accent. By 7:15am, she was winging majestically by.
It’s awesome to have this sort of bond. It’s a little like being Gandalph or the Wicked Witch of the West (East?) or Harry Truman and being able to summon winged creatures just by saying their name.
Not that I’d ever ask Ms. Eagle to “take out” my enemies. I don’t have enemies, although a few of the neighbors have asked me to stop shouting “Eagle!” so early in the morning. As for Winky, hey, pardon me for having a dog who finds the world fascinating. It wouldn’t kill your children to pick up a book. you know.
My eagle didn’t show up this morning. Maybe she was sleeping in, because I saw her later this afternoon down over the Goldsmith’s place, and then disappearing over their hill.
Maybe eagles have weekends, but not every seven days because what would an eagle know about weeks?
No eagle today, even though I summoned it every half hour. And Winky was doing his doggy Caw-ing just about non-stop. What a good boy!
I hope Ms. Eagle is ok! Three days and no visits, despite a lot of summoning.
If she were one of my human friends, I’d say she was angry or jealous. But eagles are too majestic for that sort of pettiness.
I saw Ms. Eagle way off over the Goldsmith’s hill. She circled once and I thought she might be coming over, but no. Still, I caught her eye and she looked away. I’m hoping it was just some dust and I didn’t do something wrong.
I’ve upped my calling of her name to every four minutes Thank you, tablet timer!
Winky seems to find this very exciting. I sometimes think he’s smarter than my neighbors. I can hear them watching Real Housewives of Atlanta. Really?? That’s by far the dumbest of them all. Even Winky has the good sense to walk out of the room when I turn it on.
Ms. Eagle chose a tree next to our dock to eat her breakfast on. I stood underneath and applauded, and Winky practically climbed the tree with excitement.
She wouldn’t have dropped the animal’s entrails onto me if she weren’t comfortable with me, like eating with your hands at a picnic without feeling you first have to get anyone’s permission, even though I have to keep telling Bob that potato salad isn’t finger food.
But Ms. Eagle really shook my confidence when right before her last bite she looked me straight in the eye, and dropped the last piece she didn’t want. Bunny ears.
Was she going Gordon Ramsay on me for not offering food that was “fresh, local, and puhfectly seasoned, freak me”? Was my bunny meat statue an insult somehow, as if she couldn’t tell the difference between it and real bunny carrion? I already I had to tell Bob that I’d had to throw out his ground beef because Winky got it into, although I left out the part about my sculpting it and leaving it on the dock.
Is Ms. Eagle angry at me? Worse, does she hold me contempt for loving her?? I really thought eagles soared above that.
It doesn’t bother me that the eagle has decided to nest over at the Goldsmith’s place. They don’t even mow their lawn – Jacqui insists that everyone call it a “meadow ” – so there’s more wildlife there, and definitely more carrion if the laws of probability mean anything at all.
But it does bother me that she doesn’t even fly over this side of the lake any more. I know she can hear me on the dock Caw-ing because when I ran into Jacqui at the farmer’s market she told me that she can hear me just fine, all day long. And the eagle with her 20/gazillion eyesight certainly can tell that this time the bunny is very very real, and every day becomes more carrion-y.
The eagle has made it pretty clear what’s going on. That’s fine.
You can’t say I haven’t given it every opportunity to give me at least a gesture that there’s anything left of our relationship. I don’t know how long I waved that very carrion-y rabbit over my head, but my arms sure got tired. But the next morning – yesterday – I’d duct-taped the rabbit’s remains to our sprinkler so that it waved back and forth all day, and – bonus! – sprayed rabbit-scented water up into the air and out into the lake.
And yes, onto Bob and the neighbors. So? If they don’t like the smell, they can stay indoors and watch Steve Harvey make his dirty little jokes on Family Feud. But I’ll tell you who is outdoors loving nature, all day, with the most open and honest heart on the planet! And watching him run up to the sprinkler yapping and then run away from it yipping is inspiring.
I am as over the eagle as summer is over with all of us.
But I promise you this: The Goldensons may have abandoned my eagle for the city, but I’m not going anywhere until I find Winky.
I’ve said it before and it’s still the case: I would pay a penny not to carry a penny.
So why don’t I stop my whining and just get rid of my pennies as they come in?
My answer is: Why the hell would I want to stop whining?
My second answer is: Pennies have the peculiar and perhaps unique property of breeding more of them when your supply of them drops below four.
Go to any real-world commercial space that is not in Canada with no pennies in your pocket, and what happens if the bill is not evenly divisible by five? You exit with pennies miraculously in your pocket.
Go with one penny in your pocket and there’s a 20% chance you’ll leave with at least one and possibly four. The odds when you have more than one penny in your pocket have yet to be calculated, but Leibniz proved that with four pennies in your pocket, there’s no chance that you’ll get more than that in return and there’s even a 10% chance your pocket total will drop to the blessed Zero Pennies state so sought after by followers of the Tao.
But what the Tao forgot was that with no pennies in your pocket, that nothingness stands an 80% chance of producing pennies at your next transaction. So you’re 80% screwed no matter what.
TL;DR: Nature abhors a vacuum of pennies. Why? Because Nature is really annoying.
 Here’s my math. If you have a penny in your pocket and the bill is $x.01 or $x.02, you exit with fewer or an equal number of pennies. If the charge is $x.03 or $x.04, you’ll get back more than one penny. There are twenty opportunities in every dollar for an .03 or a .04. So, it’s 20%. Right?.