Calming Clouds

Barring a disaster, I am currently in the process of losing my voice while screaming my lungs out at the LA Coliseum while my beloved Kansas City Chiefs (9-1 on the season) are stomping on and defeating the Los Angeles Rams (9-1 on the season). It should be one hell of a game. Rest assured, I’m not typing this from the stands. But I figure it’s likely that I won’t have much time to post anything Monday night, so I’m setting this up in advance.

When the season’s schedule was first announced I thought it was fantastic that I would have a chance to see the Chiefs in person twice, once when they play the Chargers (they’re in the same division, so this happens every year – there are pictures on this site from the past several years’ visits) and once when they played the Rams in Los Angeles. Then the league announced that the Rams game would be played in Mexico City as part of their international expansion program. I was not going to go to Mexico City to see that game. However, the gods have conspired on my behalf, the field at Azteca Stadium was ripped to shreds by a couple of concerts, heavy rain, and some soccer games, and last week on an emergency basis the NFL moved the game back to Los Angeles.

So I will get to see the Chiefs live against the Rams. But it won’t be just twice this year – you’ll be hearing more about it, but for the holidays we get to see two more games. As shitty as 2018 has been in many ways, seeing the Chiefs live four times, especially considering how well they’re playing, might be one of the few highlights.

Anyway, while I’m screaming myself hoarse, you’re invited to enjoy some calming clouds that were over our construction site on Saturday when we had our Key Ceremony. They were stunning to look at and also kept the temps down to a reasonable level while we handed out the keys and other gifts to the latest veterans moving into our homes in Santa Clarita. (See our website if you want to see more details about that.)

Go Chiefs!

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Filed under Homes4Families, KC Chiefs, Photography, Sports, Weather


After all of the “excitement” (i.e., stress, adrenaline, and existential terror) of the last few weeks, it was time for some “domestic down time” today. Groceries. Changing the sheets. Cleaning up some crap in the yard.

I was folding clothes this evening when I heard this guy again:

I’ve heard “him” (I’m assuming – I don’t have a clue if it’s a male or female and the Audubon Society website says they both hoot) a dozen or so times over the past month or two. By his call (identified here) I’m betting he’s a Great Horned Owl. (I would also note that by their call, we also have Screech Owls. I’ve heard that sound on several occasions as well.)

One of the coolest times I’ve heard him was last Friday night after the worst of that evening’s fires had been put out. I went out just to get a sense of what was going on with the fire. It was much quieter than it had been. I was listening and still hearing sirens and helicopters and jets coming out of LAX and jets coming into Burbank and it stank of smoke but all the while our owl friend was calm as can be, marking his territory with his hoots, across the street and down the hill about half a block.

He’s loud. The first time I heard him he was in one of the trees in a neighbor’s yard and I could hear him inside, even over the television. Tonight I didn’t have the television on (had to concentrate on folding those socks, couldn’t afford the distraction!) and when I heard him I figured he was back in our yard or the neighbor’s yard. Nope, he was five or six houses down the street and I could still hear him in the house.

He’s big. Once or twice when he’s been in our tree or one of the immediate neighbors’ trees I’ve gone out to listen and spooked him into flying off. I only see him by moonlight, but he’s got to have at least a five foot wing span, maybe six. I’m obviously no owl expert, but I would think at that size he’s not looking for rats, mice, or squirrels, but more likely rabbits, stray cats, or baby raccoons.

I’m happy to have the owl in our neighborhood and hope he stays around. His hooting is a sound that brings me joy and calm.

Probably not so much for the rabbits, stray cats, and baby raccoons.

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Filed under Critters

Possibly My Patronus

Yes, today was as long as I thought it would be. There was much accomplished and little significant, long-term bodily harm, so we’ll count that as a win.

One interesting thing that occurred in the midst of a day which involved a lot of routine keeping-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other events, were two encounters with this guy:

The pictures aren’t great for several reasons. First of all, it wasn’t that close to me, maybe 30 feet away.

Secondly, I was caught off guard, surprised to see this critter since I’ve only seen them in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico before now.

Thirdly, they’re pretty well camouflaged.

But yeah, that’sĀ  a roadrunner. A pretty good sized one too.

Given the current status of my chaos and karma levels, it can’t be ruled out that this was my patronus appearing to me.

I watched carefully after seeing the roadrunner – no coyotes, explosives, exotic Rube Goldberg contraptions, or falling Acme anvilsĀ  were seen.


Filed under Critters, Photography

Too Tired To Sleep

Bad night.

Long day.

Tomorrow’s going to be much longer.

Have to get up at O’Dark Thirty – need to go get some sleep while I can.

Too tired to get up and go to bed.

Too tired to sleep once I get there.

This shit was a badge of honor when I was twenty-two and I did what I had to do to get through college.

This shit was a pain in the ass when I was forty-two and I had to do what I had to do as a single dad.

Now it’s just shit. Maybe twenty years from now I’ll have something clever to say about it – right now, not so much.

G’night all.

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Health

What’s That Dinging Noise?

Stressed? Me? NAH!

Tired? Moi? NO WAY!

A block from work tonight on my way home I finally became aware of a red warning light on the dashboard, one that I don’t recall ever seeing. What is that?

And then the dinging noise started. What am I doing wrong? What’s that warning icon?

The airbags aren’t function? Well, good, I haven’t hit anything. Wait, that doesn’t make any sense, I’ve never hit anything, why is the alarm going off now?

Do I have something heavy on the passenger’s seat that is making the car think that I have someone sitting there and whoever it is needs a seat belt for safety? But there’s nothing on the passenger seat!


Okay, you need to understand that I’m one of those guys who ***ALWAYS*** puts on his seat belt. I literally will not move the cars around in the driveway without putting on the seat belt. I put on the seat belt in New York City taxis. I’ve lost friends who would be alive if they had been wearing seat belts. I put the seat belt on before I put the key in the ignition.




Except tonight.

Damn, that’s weird.

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Filed under Paul

Never One Around When You Need One

Cops? Well, yes, but that’s not what I was thinking of.

Winning lottery tickets? Obviously, but I know the math and the odds and that whole reality thing totally sucks when you know those.

Scissors? Yeah, but solved that by buying a couple dozen pair and leaving them all over the house.

No, basing my argument in reality while bemoaning the nature of reality (and not being in the presence of any scofflaws whose activities might be endangering me), I speak of the one great item (given that whole adulting thing and the odds of successfully running away and joining the circus being on a par with that aforementioned lottery ticket) that’s missing from my life when I really need it.

A pillow fort.

I’m telling you, I’m sitting here, exhausted, looking for inspiration on what to write tonight and what kept coming back to me was how much I would love right this second to crawl into a warm pillow fort with my iPad (it has a whole library on it, as well as movies) and read for a while from a book I’m really enjoying and then falling asleep and not waking up to an alarm clock more tired than when I went to sleep, but instead waking up only when I was rested and was ready to wake up…

I need that pillow fort.

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No Context For You – November 13th

Everything’s creaky and tired.

The house is creaking and popping with the high winds (sans flame) pushing it this way and that. Got so bad at one point earlier this evening that I check to see if we were actually having a small earthquake.

This entropy thing sort of sucks.


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Filed under Paul, Photography