Seen this one yet?


You’re not alone.

Oh…Another alien sci-fi flick. Well, not quite. In fact, not at all. It’s a gorgeous story about time and love, and it asks one simple question: if you were, say, young. In your 20s, perhaps. And if you could see the future, would you embark on a certain journey knowing full well it would end in pain, and death, even if you would experience the happiest moments of your life before the agony came?

There are clues aplenty along the way, leading to a sublime “Sixth Sense” ending, and it may be the most intellectually well grounded sci-fi film since Kubrick’s 2001. It is NOT Independence Day, or Close Encounters. Get a hold of the BD with extended special features if you can, and have fun.


mountains and sunsets

Mountains – and sunsets.

We had a great one yesterday. Take a look at the foreground trees, swaying in the wind. Wind, not breeze. 50-70 knots almost all day, and howling all night long. Clouds were racing by all day, too. Quite a sight. The pups and I were out fetching and throwing tennis balls, and one gust literally picked poor Heidi up and sent her skittering along the top of the wind-packed snow. She got up, looked around to see who had knocked her over, then at me – with in a classic, canine WTF look in her eyes – then she ran up and pawed at the door. “Time to go in, Dad!”

We did.


Some more stunning chaos coming out of Trumptopia over the past few days. The GOP Obamacare replacement is out, and it would seem to (surprise, surprise) take aim at women and the poor, and cut millions free of having to bother with all that medical insurance stuff. Again. Here’s a good initial summary of the carnage.

Republicans in Texas seem to be leading the fight against women, and here’s a stunning example of their latest effort. Orwell couldn’t have dreamed this stuff up, folks.

Speaking of the whole Republican zeitgeist, focusing on Trump will insure you miss the bigger picture. If anyone thinks the culture wars are over, well, think again. This is a struggle to the death, in case you haven’t figured it out yet.

Foreign Policy magazine has a little different take on Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst. Charming stuff, really.

CNNs take on the Trump meltdown is a little more unsettling. Ominous, they think. But of course they would…they’re purveyors of Fake Gnews.

And of course, for sheer Prozac inducing economic dread, no one beats Kunstler. Forewarned is forearmed, right? Or is that firearmed?

Let’s not even mention the fat kid in North Korea who seems to have impotence issues. Maybe his hands are even smaller than Donald’s?


So, got a few extra hours on your hands? Try Arrival, and take notes. Failing that, take some tennis balls and a couple of Springers out into the wind – and see what happens next.

Happy trails, and thanks for dropping by.

18 thoughts on “Arrival(s)

  1. Speaking of dogs and tennis balls. Our daughter found this thing called, I think, a canine cannon. It really launches the tennis ball, and has a holder for extra balls, so you can launch another while the dogs are bringing back the first. Nothing like the WTF? look on our Goldens when that happens.
    Continuing with dogs. You have featured dolphins in some of your stories. I saw a news clip yesterday about Middletown, on Tory Island , where a dolphin, named Doogie, has lived in their harbor since 2006. Every day a Lab named Ben, swims with her. Really makes you wonder.


    • Scout, my previous Springer, loved to swim with dolphin and sea otters. Well, she liked to chase the otters, but that’s another story. She tried to swim with Orcas once, and I nearly died watching that near-encounter. She dove off the boat when a pod came into a cove where we were anchored, but as they were a little too far away she was ignored. Teaching the word “come” is a vital necessity with a bird dog…
      Wonder? The bonds are there, whatever they are. Simple curiosity or playfulness would be a simple explainer, but I’ve seen more than that. When I hear “animals can’t experience emotion” or “animals have no soul” I cringe and turn away from such willful ignorance.
      I wish I could experience what Heidi does, even for just a few minutes. See and hear the world through her senses. I’d like to experience how little we understand, know how right or wrong we are about those things, and not just with dogs.


      • Our previous Golden, Chewy, was with us for almost 12 years. It started out as dad needs a dog thing, but it quickly became apparent that his person was our daughter. When we went to the breeder to pick a puppy out, he separated himself from his litter, sniffed her a few times, and climbed into her lap. They were joined like that from then on. He died the Saturday before she went off to her freshman year of college. That day, instead of wanting to go on our normal early morning walk, he just sat at the foot of the deck, looking around and sniffing the air. He gave me a look, and I just knew something was off. I ran upstairs, woke Maggie up, and told her something was wrong with Chewy. We found him in the same spot, still sniffing the air. Maggie rush over and hugged him, and he licked her face a couple of times, then looked at me, licked her again, and with a big sigh, he was gone. I’ve always been convinced that he waited for her before letting go. She was his girl, he had done his job and raised her, and it was time to go. Still brings a tear to my eye to think about it. Maggie still breaks down when she remembers it.


      • Amazing connection the three of you experienced. Don’t know how rare that is, but suspect it may be fairly typical – at least when you get that instant “at the breeder” puppy-human bond. Something goes on, an imprinting, that really takes hold. Heidi and I have that. Special, beyond words.


  2. It is always said that however many wonderful and happy years a dog lives, you know that one day, the day he dies, your dog will break your heart. (copied shamelessly from James Herriot.)

    There is a guy who lives in Lyme (Ben Kilham ) who befriends bears. Feeds them, rehabs them if injured, that kind of stuff. Kind of dangerous I always though, and these are black bears, not the big, nasty grizzly type.


    • I’ve had to help a few over the edge, and it’s a painful process. Just knowing they’re getting on is bad enough, but the memories, while good, aren’t enough comfort after the fact. I always hate to say this, publicly, at least, but losing a good pup is almost as hard, emotionally, as losing anyone else. I have pictures of all my pups next to pictures of my parents. I think about them all, every day.
      Grizz are something else. I look at tourists carrying ‘bear-spray’ – that pepper spray stuff – and laugh. Spray it and prepare to be eaten. That stuff is like a condiment, a little Tabasco on their human makes us go down better. You get a bear riled up, even a little black in New England, and you’ve got a lot of claws and teeth to deal with. To raise one from a cub might be fun. A lot of my thinking leads me to believe that love is the strongest power in the universe.


      • I was a Grand Teton Nat Park employee (on loan periodically to that larger, better known park to the north). Lived in a cabin at Lupine Meadow near Jenny Lake. In other words, I lived in the backyard, at the discretion of, and only with the permission of the permanent residents.
        Some species tolerate humans more than others, but there is always one hard and fast rule to remember, never get between a mother and her offspring.
        Oh, the stupidity I have witnessed.


      • My sister lived close to a National Park in Montana, had Grizz walking through the yard all the time. Might as well be a Great White shark as far as I was concerned, and seeing them up close only confirmed that. I’ve been in the water with a White, and that’s the loneliest, smallest feeling in the world. I would watch those bear walk by and it was like “Go baby, go!” Keep on moving…


  3. Hah! Tabasco on their human! I remember deer hunting with my grandfather in Maine, and having him tell me that if I’m ever alone and run across a bear, to back off and leave it alone. Trying to shoot it will most likely just piss it off, and it will tear you up before it bleeds out.

    I think I know what you mean about the emotion of losing a dog. Asking yourself why it hurts so much, its only a dog. Move on, get another. Its not like you lost someone close to you. But your heart says otherwise.


    • Yes, that’s an interesting dilemma. Do you move on, get a new one, or take the time to grieve for a while. I’ve sidestepped that problem by keeping 2-3 Springers with me all the time, of vary ages, yet that led to one of the most interesting observations I’ve ever had about dogs – and humans.
      Scout had a big, melon sized tumor in her gut, then her kidneys failed. Heidi was all over her those last weeks, sniffing, licking, showing tons of concern, and when I picked Scout up, took her to the vet’s office it was like she knew something was up. When I came back, without Scout, Heidi was beside herself, for days. Slept on Scout’s old bed, walked everywhere Scout used to walk, following her scent, then she’d curl up on me and, for want of a better word, cry. Heidi didn’t learn that behavior from anyone. She didn’t ‘act’ that way to earn favor. She grieved. My other two didn’t carry on that way, but they were never close to Scout. Still, I think we discount animal emotions at our peril. We reap what we sow, one way or another. What’s that old saying? Karma is a bitch?


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