The Squirrel Who Thinks He’s A Bear

I sat outside the other night.  A plate of nuts and olives, a bit of cheese, and a nice glass of Speyside scotch…all to go with a gentle breeze and the blue, blue skies you get only up in the mountains.  Six feet away from me, laying in the tall grass that stretches away from one side of my RV site, were two big bull elk, napping and being generally lazy.

It was the kind of night you get only when you are able to live in a place like Yellowstone.  Even back in Colorado — in the “southern” Rockies — you don’t really get those evenings.  And for those who just visit Yellowstone?  The pace to take advantage of the few days most visitors have in the park is simply too frenetic to allow a true slow-down, let alone a true evening just to sit back and soak it all in.

So, there I was, having the perfect evening…until my neighbor started in on me.  He started screaming at me, cussing me out in no uncertain terms, and letting me know just what he thought of my obnoxious habits.  Now, I’m a pretty big guy, and pretty fearless, so normally that kind of thing just sets me off…but not this time.  This 4A16391E-F17D-4FC6-925A-DA584E599F58particular neighbor, I should explain, weighs about 700 pounds and stands over ten feet tall.

Err…at least in his mind.

1B634BD3-C987-46FB-9C24-801F46481272In reality, he weighs about a pound, and stands about four inches tall…but you’ll never convince him of that.  In his own eyes, he’s the biggest freaking grizzly in all 2.2 million acres of the park.  I’m not joking about this — this damned squirrel is the most fearless, aggressive thing I’ve ever met.  Look, I’ve stood ten feet from a mother grizzly with a cub and been less worried about getting attacked than when this little bastard starts getting pissed at me…

And he’s found his way into my trailer.

Holy shit, this freaking super-villain of a squirrel is bringing the fight to me!

FE904BE8-E452-47A2-820B-8735A7D5C2EBI try to fight back, I really do.  I try to fight back, but I’m quickly turning into Carl Spackler.  I look up “squirrel fighting methods” and they do nothing.  I try something different, and still nothing.  So I pull out the stops and try something more serious, severe even…and Ernest Squirrelfeld just strokes his 9925265B-882E-4606-A168-FB7125BB1F0Dtiny white cat and laughs at me.  “No, Mr Human, I expect you to die!”

Harrumph.

I can hear the little bastard taunting me.  Hell, right now as I write this, he’s up on a branch just out of my reach, chittering at me like a furry little demon.

Anyone have the number for the Acme Rocket Company?A3309762-8C2E-4348-B653-E79448F4B53E

Summer Solstice 2019 and It’s Snowing. Again.

It is officially the Summer Solstice as I write this.  It’s the longest day of the year, the official start of summer, and…well…there’s no other way to say this: it’s freaking snowing.  Again.

01f164abb6067094bdc3837a4bbba401Now, look…you all know me.  You all know that I love me some snow.  Heck, I’ve thought more than once about staying up here in Yellowstone through an entire winter (with our average of 20+ feet of snow), but even I have had enough of this shit.

How about some goddamned sun, for pete’s sake?!?!29627147917_b0d56ed5b8_b

Do I need to sacrifice some animal on the nearest pagan altar?  Because, honestly, I got lots of ‘em around.  I have bison, I have elk, I have tourists…01-Crowd_0544

Okay, so honestly, I’d feel better about the using the tourists than the poor, innocent bison, but whatever gets me some damned sunshine…

images-2What?  Grumpy?  Me?  Oh, please…I’m the soul of cheerful optimism!

Ahem.

On the other hand, most of the tourist kids are having snowball fights, are laughing and jumping and just generally having a great time, while their parents are grousing and complaining about the weather.  You gotta smile at that, even if just a little bit.

2c315dc867c5fac31f5ed5b3fee831bfThe animals, on the other hand, are absolutely loving this semi-weird weather.  Grizzlies are many things — they are fast, they are powerful, they are both awesome and fearsome to watch — but beyond everything else, they are also lazy as hell.  When it gets hot, they just want to loll around in the shade and go for the occasional swim in cool water.  When it stays cold like this?  They’re out moving around, eating and carousing, and in general just having an ursine ball.

And to a bison, with all that insulation?  Yeah, 8 degrees and 80 degrees feel just about the same.Tom_Szajner

It is in fact only us wimpy hoomins who are bitching and complaining that it’s “too cold” and “too wet” and “too grey”…

On the other hand: I’M FREAKING COLD!!

Harrumph.

Other Duties As Assigned

Let’s get one thing straight, my hands were made for hockey, not for fiddling with tiny pieces of plastic.

I mean, honestly, my career as a brain surgeon ended sometime around the first fistfight, then things just went downhill from there.

So why, I have to ask, was it me who started to put together the tiniest little freaking Legos I’ve ever seen?!  Okay, a dozen pieces can be kinda fun…but 720?  Not 72…SEVEN HUNDRED AND TWENTY!B6AFBA8B-7AC2-47BF-8AF3-942757D113C8

Just look at this picture of two of the pieces in my hand…I mean, sheesh.  Mission Impossible, here I come…

…umm, does anyone know if you can you get carpal tunnel from freaking Legos?

…an hour of this and I suddenly feel the need to get on the ice and check something…

3C8982DE-CF80-4ECA-80A1-2ADB557372A4I had a couple of ten-year-olds stop by when I was working on this “project”, by the way.  They helped…a lot.  That, of course, just made me feel worse — if you’re only as old as you feel, then right about now I’m pretty much 630.

*sigh*

I’d love to sit here and turn my little project into some blog post that is both profound and enlightening, but, well…7D6D7FF9-57EF-47DC-8CB8-040C83992645

At this particular moment, I’ve switched from Legos to this:

Sunny and 60s…writing on my iPad…drinking a good beer…and Yellowstone is — quite literally — just feet away…

Maybe being a grumpy, slacker of a writer ain’t such a bad thing after all.

img_0011Now where the hell did I put today’s chapter notes…?!

Still Angry

There was a thought buzzing around my mind this morning.  It was buzzing early, and it kept buzzing even when I left for my “I hate humans hike”.  Even after a few hours of off-trail hiking — and a handful of cuts and bruises to show for that — the buzzing was still there, and so was the anger.

My muscles are feeling every inch of the 12 miles of rough, nasty terrain…I’ve got my favorite post-hike snack* going…I’ve got music blaring in my ears…and I’m still pissed off.

*See this post for more info on that.

It’s time, I decided, to remember Rule #1:

You write it.  You always write it.

Ahem…here goes:

Just when I thought it was safe to read the news again…

Just when I thought I might be able to make it through just one morning without getting a reality-induced headache…

Just when I’m sure we’ve reached bottom, and that things couldn’t possibly get any stupider…

Politics — and humanity — proved me wrong…again.

Look, I don’t play on either team in DC.  I’m as independent and libertarian as it gets, so I have no real dog in any of the current fights, but even I have to ask, just what the hell are these people thinking?!

Donald Trump…

*sigh*

Does “the Donald” have to try so hard to be a completely insane, unacceptable, undignified, unpresidential waste of space?  I mean, is it something he wakes up and plans to do?  Or does it just come naturally to him?

The man gave a Memorial Day speech aboard the USS Wasp in Yokosuka, Japan.  Great…no problem there, that’s what Presidents are supposed to do.  It wasn’t even a bad speech, as such things go.  But then…

But then…

E8DEF876-EE57-4AF7-BA06-3EE5531F8E8CBut then, it turns out that Trump so hates and fears the ghost of a dead man that he had to insist a ship named after that man’s father and grandfather be hidden from view…

Are you fucking kidding me?!?!

Just how infantile and idiotic can you be?

B8204FC1-A392-494C-A190-55DEB601BE5EMr Trump pissed on two men who died long before he ever dreamed of running for office, two men who gave a lifetime’s worth of blood and honor for this nation.  “President” Trump also pissed on a man who just died — a man he attacked and denigrated for the “sin” of being tortured for five and half years.  More than that, however, “President” Trump pissed on an active-duty, commissioned warship of the United States Navy.  But by far the worst of all, he pissed on every single sailor who has served, is currently serving, and ever will serve aboard the USS John McCain.

9516B084-795C-4EDA-BECD-AAB74DA33D1EScrew you, “President” Trump.  I don’t know what’s wired wrong in your head, but you are most definitely broken, pathetic excuse for a human.