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The Sunday Speculator


Up with the crows this morning as a murder of the vocal buggers settled on the eave above our laureled heads and proceeded to serenade each other, and us, previously aslumber in our our bed chamber on our one day of sloth.

Sunday is a day of relaxation for us, so ordained in some religious circles and a practice we’ve taken to heart. We’re pretty early risers most other times so Sunday is set aside for a more luxurious lie-in – which lasted until a crow’s call past 7 a.m. this morning.

The rascals were all lined up and showed no sign of leaving so we tip-toed like Tippi Hedren into the kitchen to brew up a cup of the Morning Elixir and, thusly armed, took a position outside to see if these were civil crows or descendants of the ones that descended on Bodega Bay and caused all that fuss back when Hitchcock happened to be in town.

Largely unspoken communication between Caffienated Manimal and Cawing Critters lasted longer than we thought it might until Gus, the Communal Labrador, stumbled upon the scene and flushed his feathered friends. We were sad to see them go, pooh-poohing the wisdom of ancient tales that insist an appearance of crows usually precedes a negative occurrence in one’s life.

It was time to see what you all were up to anyway. We have an alert tone wired to our email inbox that sounds whenever tips/emails roll in and that started singing even though we’d declared a Day of Rest so we ambled into the Communications Center to see what was on your mind.

Apparently stuff – a lot of stuff – was pilfered from front porches, garages and cars overnight, which isn’t exactly news to anyone who has been reading us. But the Victim/Owners are sure yanked off about their loss(es), calling for us, the U.S. Marshals, and Tommy Lee Jones to join in the search for their pilfered planterbox/bicycle/laptop.

We offered our usual helpful advice about possible avenues of recovery but we don’t think anyone was listening. Many of you are listening to what you tell us is the increasing occurrence of gunfire, ‘splosions, and other things going bump in your neighborhoods of late.

First, there does appear to be some unexploded ordnance left over from The Fourth and some folks do derive a kick from rolling a barrel bomb into a storm drain in the wee hours from time to time. Fun with Pyrotechnics often leads to the “Did you hear that?”-email we get around here (Helpful hint: Please include town of occurrence, approximate location, exactly what you heard when writing us so we can map the incident). If we’re able to map an occurrence and others report hearing the same thing it helps us pinpoint a possible location and, sometimes, identify what you’re hearing.

Many of our Did you hear that? emails start off: “My husband is a hunter and he knows the difference between fireworks and gunshots...” and we totally get that but can’t help visualizing Hubby murmuring “gunshots” before rolling over and going back to sleep while She Who Really Runs Things initiates a search for the offending noisemaker.

We also have to say here that Deer Season is underway in Contra Costa and that while many living in the area can’t imagine unloading on their neighborhood Bambi there are folks out there with both the instincts and hardware needed to take a local ungulate. So, sporadic rifle fire is to be expected these days.

And lest anyone apply the usual Guilt by Internet Association link to us we’ll say right here and now that we don’t hunt, that we prefer a live critter to a dead one, and that we have had a family member negatively affected (killed) by an errant shot fired during hunting season, so there’s that…

Noticed how we have to explain ourselves these days? We take pains not to be misunderstood in this New Abnormal Day and Age because we briefly mentioned that we’re trying plant-based alternatives to meat (not bad) as well as traditional construction methods this week and, boy, you’d think we’d just given Hot Dogs, Apple Pie, and the American Flag the middle digit.

Yes, we’re interested in alternatives. Yes, we’ll use them if they work for us. No, we’re not going to invade your timber-framed manse and force a Beyond Meat burger into your firmly clenched maw. Everyone settle down.

And, while we’re on the topic of Unguided Little Missiles, we were also asked by a couple of concerned grandparents to reiterate that lots of little dudes will be returning to school this week, that they’re stoked by all that new knowledge they’ll be getting and that they don’t always look where they are going.

Readers are asking that older/wiser drivers cut the little ones some slack, especially around school zones and such. You never know if the life you save is the one that develops a cure for some awful disease.

See you all back at your desks tomorrow!


  1. Not sure if I’m sorry or glad you got woken up so early… the result was a charming column. Keep it up!

    • Ah, it was a beautiful morning and great to be around to see it! Thanks for your words and for giving us a few minutes of your time!

  2. Contrary to early reports, sloth is not a sin but a strategy. Sloths are surprisingly sly, not slovenly, slow yes, but with a depth of purpose. Seemingly serious and always serene as they stealthily ascend station to station, silently sequestered in leafy cul-de-sacs keeping eagle-eyed predators in sublime suspense. Slow-suddenly, with all the deliberate speed that a sloth can muster, a snail-paced assault on the leaves at claws begins, undiscovered and unreported.
    Except by Slippery Jack

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