Thursday, February 12, 2009


Made a near-midnight trip to the bank, boys in tow. They love to stick their heads out the windows and sniiiiffff the chilly air. Husband feels better about me going out, if I'm chaperoned by two 100-pound Weimaraners. (Even if their woofy exteriors conceal the fact that they're just big goofy marshmallows underneath.)

I turned into the neighborhood... what's this? A big wave of fog rolling in? Wait a minute -- that smells like smoke!

A flash of light caught my eye. One of our next-street-over neighbors had flames two or three feet high shooting out of their chimney. I roared over there, hopped out of the car, lights still on and music in loud mode (complete with two confused dogs, who didn't notice anything amiss). Banged on their front door. "Your chimney's on fire!"

Neighbor stepped out, and looked up at the chimney with near-boredom. "Oh yes, I did just start burning some'll go out pretty soon."

We stood there five minutes or so, until the flames died down...and the chimney interior glowed bright red. "See?" Neighbor said. "It's fine." I got the serious impression that he was puzzled I'd even stopped.

He thanked me casually, and I left. The smell of char still hung over the neighborhood, even after I got home and let the boys out for Night Patrol.

Speaking of other weird things, do you ever watch Monster Quest? This History Channel series covers all sorts of strange things, including buddy Bigfoot, UFOs, Nessie, and who knows what else:

They did a show on Werewolves ("Dog Men") in Wisconsin that still gives me the creeps. The episode on Bigfoot sightings in Colorado, only about 20 or so miles from where we live... also high on the shiver list.

The latest episode was on cattle mutilations on the Western Plains, including southern Colorado. A good section of the show featured a forensics expert who pooh-poohed the reports, announcing that the sharp cuts, stripped-away organs and skin were just the work of predators. He sounded convincing enough that I almost forgot:

*Several little-reported cattle mutilations have occurred in our neck of the woods in recent years. In other words, it's more common than you would think.

*We know good people, first- and second-hand, who cannot explain these at all. One of our friends is a retired insurance adjuster who grew up in the area, knew many ranchers and owned a spread himself. Denny knew what a scavenged carcass looked like, from decades of experience, and he said the ranchers who were reporting these were level-headed people who weren't easily spooked.
Our friend did not believe that little green men and their saucer buddies were causing the mutilations -- but he didn't know what was.

Gives you pause.

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