Monday, April 19, 2010

My Kind of Cat

There have been two sightings of mountain lion(s)--it could be the same one--in my area in the last 10 days or so. One lady saw one "leap across the road" as she was driving on the paved road at the bottom of ballistic mountain, and some other people saw one cross the dirt road almost up to Ballistic Cabin (or Kabin, if you are into kamping lite, like myself)

Considering all the rabbits I see running around when I drive in at sundown, the eating should be good for all the local predators. I'm hoping to see a cougar vs coyote showdown in my backyard sometime. So far that hasn't happened. As swell as the coyotes are, I'll be on the side of the cat. If I am feeling particularly disconnected with reality when this event occurs, I'll jump down with my machete and help the cat. A pack of coyotes can be a troubling foe for any animal.

My brother has cautioned me several times not to think coyotes are safe to feed and pet. Such is the family's view of my level of common sense and general knowledge. I'll refrain from expressing my views about the mountain lion vs coyote scenario for that would surely elicit a lecture regarding the deadly nature of being eaten by wild animals with big teeth.

I've seen one bobcat since living here, and I hope to see a mountain lion, but not with any part of my body in its mouth or claws.

Cougars are less annoying than bears because they don't raid coolers looking for sandwiches and deviled eggs, while the park service lays down impossible rules for defending against them. Bears have all the rights. They are as smart and sneaky as lawyers. I have no idea how you can carry or eat any food without a bear sensing it. Because they know how to get into cars and coolers in CA and even know what containers likely yield food--even without their keen sense of smell, I'm reluctant to go places I'd like due to my fear of bears. Not to mention over aggressive squirrels.

The whole thing started when supposed animal lovers thought it would be cute to feed the furry creatures in the parks. Over the years it has become a huge problem, yet some people still do these stupid things. Now you have entitlement minded squirrels, bears, raccoons, and in Florida, alligators. No surprise that you have people in Florida dumb enough to feed gators. I knew plenty of that sort when I lived there.

Anyway, I think one should be able to have some sort of serious deterrent when venturing into the wilderness. Most of the things I'd suggest would never meet the approval of those who think "bears are people, too", or "they were here first, so we are trespassing on their land". Show me a single animal who gives a damn about what is yours and what is theirs unless certain ass kicking results from intrusion.

OK. So, mountain lions generally leave you alone. They don't steal much, they just attack or not. And even the forestry service advises you to fight them off or throw rocks if they appear aggressive and you can't easily get away. Don't turn your back or they might jump on you and sever your spinal cord with a single bite. That's how they do it. Let them bite your nose instead.

Bears, on the other hand, can be more complicated. There was a kid with a scout group who tossed a rock at a bear who was confronting him and his buddies. They were trying to shoo it away. the kid got in a lucky shot and it killed the bear---a one in a billion chance, I think. What happens? The kid got arrested!! he's probably still on probation. That was out west somewhere. Not sure if it was California. I wonder if they tacked on a little extra, labeling it a hate crime.

This has been a public service bulletin from Ballistic mountain.

I wonder if there is a connection between these sightings and the recent lack of coyote activity.

A Good Weekend

First I meet a guy who knew Norton Buffalo and was at his memorial gig which was a huge music fest sort of thing, almost, then there was the good time playing at the get together/party up here on Ballistic Mountain. That in itself makes a good weekend.

But today yielded a nice potted mint plant--long enough story. I like mint. And I had a conversation with my old band's bass player back in Tennessee. He wanted some info he could feed the new harp player. I feel like an indirect mentor. In digging up certain resources I realize that I am not that great. Even so, I pretty much know what I'm talking about when it comes to diatonic harmonica, and some about chromatic.

Half of this got lost in a snafu re connectivity so I am making up what is missing. It was hours ago that disaster struck so the thought has gone away.

Anyway, it was a good weekend. My old band in memphis is doing OK, according the the bass player, but he wanted me to send some info that might help my replacement do a little bit better. In looking up resources on line I had to face how little I actually know. I'm an anomaly. It just barely works for me, what I do and how I do it, but it is unlikely that the purists would approve. Normal harp players would look askance. I'm amazed that most players don't toss me out on my ear. I guess a little bit of good sense goes a long way.

I may not know or be able to do some of the things you ought to, but I know how to not step on the other players, and that is worth a bundle I'm finding. And I don't play the same lick over and over during a solo no matter what song is being done. That little bit of sensibility can make it look like you know something more. One of these days I will get the art of blues/jazz/country/ballistic acid harp down. In the mean time I hope they never see the really good players on youtube or elsewhere.

Probably since most harps want to be the front man, and I like the sound of music best in most cases when the harp is a back up item, that keeps me safe. You get a vocalist or guitar player annoyed if they think you want to take the main spot. I'm fortunately not in that mode. So, those with sense see that I am not a threat. Unfortunately many in my past never figured out I was just there to make them sound better. Ingrates and whatchamacallits. What a sad thing to be, too afraid to work toward the best overall product. Lot of that in entertainment; people who don't care about best, just as long as they can be up front.

That's whay I am in the business I am in, whatever that is.

It was a good weekend. I enjoyed the conversation with the old bass player and others today.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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