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August 13, 2006

i can, canoe?

So I went on a canoe trip down the Delaware River this past Saturday with a bunch of friends. We had a great time, managing to not get sunburned (well, only some of us) or capsize our canoes (again, there was an exception). A fun time was had by all. Woo-hoo!

Here are some of the photos from the trip (hold your mouse pointer over the thumbnails for descriptions and click for a larger image):

First person view of the river. The place where we ate lunch.
An interesting rock formation. Another interesting rock formation that looks like a toilet.

Here's the funny story for the day-- Two friends who were sharing a canoe (let's call them "Ken" and "Mark") capsized it twice and nearly sank it. It went like this: Ken decides to stand up in the canoe and hit a fishing bobber with an oar like a baseball. In his quest for glory, Ken forgets that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, i.e. Ken swings the oar forward (missing the bobber, I might add), his body moves backwards, he overcompensates trying to maintain his balance, and falls forward into the river. Ken pulls himself back into the canoe, but in the process causes Mark to lose his balance and fall into the river. Mark then tries to pull himself back into the canoe, but capsizes it and puts Ken back into the river, along with their cooler and other gear. They right the canoe and attempt to get back into it, but capsize it again, nearly filling it with enough water to sink it.

I watch the entire debacle from my own dry canoe, but since I'm quickly approaching some rapids, I'm unable to turn back to them to lend a hand (on second thought, I'm glad I didn't try to help them, or else this would be a story of how I fell into the river with them). I press forward and navigate the rapids while they try to pull everything to shore. It isn't until after the trip was over that we learned that they couldn't make it back to shore before hitting the rapids, so they went through them in the water while hanging on to the canoe.

That is all.

Posted by Savage Steve at 3:02 PM | Comments (5)

August 8, 2006

sometimes they find you

So I get home after being on vacation, right? I pull into the garage after the four hour drive (damn traffic), which in itself is a bit surreal-- I had been on the open road, traveling at errr... the speed limit (maybe a bit faster), chilling with the A/C on, listening to some righteous tunes, with the entire goal of the trip being to aim my car into a small box with a door on it and come to a stop. Weird.

So I open the car door, and I immediately smell it. At first, I think the smell might be from the combination of the general mustiness of a garage, the accumulation of dead bugs (for some reason, crawly bugs flock to my garage and then die in it-- thankfully I'm only renting), the intense heat of the previous day, and the fact that the garage had been closed for nearly a week. I take another sniff, and it is quite obvious that this is no dead bug smell, but a dead mammal smell. I immediately fear the worst. "This can't be good," I think to myself. I reason that if I can smell it in the garage, then the dead animal in my chimney must really be stinking up the house.

Let me flash back six days and explain (the short version). Queue the wavy lines and funky music... Last Friday there were strong storms in the region, and it appeared that the winds had blown some animal into my chimney. It kept making a helluva racket periodically, but nothing ever came down the chimney to the flue. I didn't hear any more noise Saturday, so I left for vacation. The entire time I was on vacation, I kept thinking that maybe what had blown into my chimney had died, and would be rotting and stinking up the place while I was away, especially during the nasty heat wave the east coast experienced.

So when I smell the dead animal smell in the garage, I immediately fear the worst. I begin to move towards the garage door, and the smell gets stronger! I'm at the door and I happen to glance down at the bucket I keep next to the door, and I half-notice a small brown object in the bottom of it. I start to move around the car to get to the inside door, but my brain catches on.

"Wait a minute," I think. "I don't remember leaving a brown thing in that bucket before I left. The last thing I used that bucket for was to empty water from my dehumidifier-- and I left nothing in it."

So I go back to the bucket and have another look. Hmm... it's small... it's brown... and, are those wings? Eeek! A bat! I take a step back.

Is it alive? I take a step forward, and gently kick the bucket. It doesn't move. I kick again, more vigorously. Nothing. The bat is dead. And smelly. There is a stinking dead bat in a bucket in my garage. How the hell did that happen?

For a second I postulate that my friends (with whom I consulted about the animal in the chimney and knew I would be away) had come into my house to check on the chimney, found a dead bat in the fireplace or flue, and disposed of it... in a bucket in my garage and left it festering there during the intense heat wave so I could smell its foul odor upon my return from vacation? Naaah. Didn't quite seem like something they'd do, and certainly they would have called me to tell me what they found.

I take a few pictures, quickly realizing this is definitely something to blog about. You can take a look at the bat in the bucket-- it's not a really disgusting picture, but it is a picture of a dead bat. Go ahead, take a peek at the closeup, too.

So how did the bat get into my garage and die in a bucket? Dunno, but for certain I didn't want to keep it where it was, so I fling it outside on the lawn and decide to deal with it in the morning-- I'm tired and it's starting to pour rain, and the last thing I want to deal with is a dead bat.

So the next morning, I... lounge around, do this and that, do nothing for a while, think about the bat, do a little more nothing, and generally enjoy my last day of vacation. Around 4:30 p.m., I decide to deal with the bat before I go to the grocery store.

I go outside and prepare to pick up the bat with a bag and stuff it into another bag so I can throw it into the dumpster, and to my surprise, I see just a couple of wings and a few tufts of fur. Huh? Where's the rest of the bat? Ugh! Something ate the bat! Ewww!

I grab it, bag it, walk it to the dumpster and gently toss it in. End of bat story.

One last thing... during vacation I was trying to think of a story to blog about so I could post a new entry and bring some activity back to my blog, but I couldn't think of anything, until I came home and found the bat in the bucket.

Sometimes, the stories find you.

That is all.

Posted by Savage Steve at 9:49 PM | Comments (2)