But when the wildlife officials opened the boxes, prosecutors say, what they found was something very different: dozens of federally protected turtles being smuggled into the country, hidden under bags of candy and noodles.
Subject line hattip:
This is your yearly reminder: if you use the Amazon search box on the right hand side of the page to buy stuff, I get a small kickback.
Said small kickback, as you all know, goes to
purchasing toys for crippled orphans supporting this blog, mostly by enabling our purchases of Robert Ruark and Jack O’Connor books, along with other crap in general.
(Speaking of Ruark, I’m reminded that I have two historical notes coming up back to back before the year is over. One of those should be of some interest to Lawrence…)
(And speaking of Lawrence, I would be remiss if I did not note, as I do every year, that books from Lame Excuse Books make fine presents for the holidays, especially if you have SF or horror fans on your shopping list.)
I believe I recommended Amy Alkon’s Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck last year, but I’ll plug it again as she deserves it.
Another book that was loaned to me by a friend, and that I’ve almost finished – I will be purchasing my own copy, so I have no qualms about recommending it – is Susan Cain’s Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. I somehow missed this when it came out in 2012, but it’s a very good book about the psychology of introversion, how to cope with being an introvert, and how to cope with significant others/family members who are introverts (if you’re an extrovert) or extroverts (if you’re an introvert).
I don’t see a shipping date for Archer Season 6 yet, but How to Archer: The Ultimate Guide to Espionage and Style and Women and Also Cocktails Ever Written made me laugh more than a cheap TV tie-in book by some anonymous ghostwriter had any right to. (But get the Kindle edition, or a used copy.)
cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra cobra
Also also: I haven’t given them any money, but I’ve always been kind of fond of the HouChron‘s “Goodfellows” program.
Also also also: the Reason Foundation is having their annual fundraising drive. And they will accept bitcoins, too.
(I love the “Citations for public urination” graphic that goes along with this article.)
I’m a little surprised this one hasn’t made FARK yet: local police find an unresponsive man in a car. He had bite marks on his wrist, and there was a non-venomous snake (and other animals) in the car. Man dies.
(Huh. I didn’t realize that Frederick Forsyth won an Edgar for “There Are No Snakes in Ireland”. That’s not a bad story, but I like “The Emperor” from the same collection a little better.)
Edited to add:
You know what this means, folks. If Animal Services isn’t actively searching for it, it’s up to the rest of us to be on the lookout. Get that Taurus Judge out of the gun safe and load it up with snake shot! Fun for the whole family! At least, until someone gets bitten…
The monocled cobra causes the highest fatality due to snake venom poisoning in Thailand. Envenomation usually presents predominantly with extensive local necrosis and systemic manifestations to a lesser degree. Drowsiness, neurological and neuromuscular symptoms will usually manifest earliest; hypotension, flushing of the face, warm skin, and pain around bite site typically manifest within one to four hours following the bite; paralysis, ventilatory failure or death could ensue rapidly, possibly as early as 60 minutes in very severe cases of envenomation. However, the presence of fang marks does not always imply that envenomation actually occurred.
Edited to add 2:
— KXAN News (@KXAN_News) July 16, 2015
Oh, thank God. They’re going to start an organized search. I was afraid they’d be engaging in a disorganized search.
(Hattp: the Austin Cobra Twitter. Hattip on the Austin Cobra Twitter to the great and good Joe D. in the comments.)
(I know the linked article refers to a singular alligator, but there are other articles behind the Statesman pay wall that state there’s evidence of at least two gators.)
Well, not really “gone”. I hadn’t been back to Ohio for nine years, and it amazed me somewhat both how much and how little has changed.
For example, there’s an entire grocery chain that I don’t remember from my last trip…that takes the Discover card and cash. No Visa/AmEx/MasterCard/Diner’s Club, not even debt cards with a PIN, just cash and Discover. Who came up with this idea?
On the other hand, the tractor tire store that was a landmark on the way to Grandma’s place is still there, after 40 something years. And Grandma’s place still feels remote from everything, even though there’s major strip centers at the end of her road, and even though much of the land was sold off over the past few years (and now has houses sitting on it).
And the old NASA hanger is still visible from the airport. That was another landmark for us kids. (My dad worked there, back when it was still the Lewis Research Center, before it was renamed “NASA John H. Glenn Research Center at Lewis Field“. Which is a mouthful. Not that I’m bitter or anything over the renaming; by gosh, if anyone deserved to have a NASA facility named after him, it was John Glenn.)
This is shaping up to be a long post, and sort of “stream of consciousness”, so I’m going to put the rest of it behind a jump. Before I do, here’s Grandma’s obituary, just for the record.
Winking Lizard, Macedonia, Ohio.
I’m going through a little bit of personal agita right now. The next few days leading up to, and during, the holiday, are shaping up to be kind of busy. Mostly the fun kind of busy (some of us are trying to plan a range trip; plus, fireworks), but with some work involved.
This coming Saturday, I will be flying out to Cleveland. My maternal grandmother passed away on Saturday, and her funeral is scheduled for a week from today. I plan to take a laptop with me and blog as much as I can from the road, but be prepared for a bit of a slowdown.
(I know there’s been a bit of a slowdown already. Mostly, that’s because there hasn’t been a lot going on that I’ve found worthy of blogging. I think we’re into the summer slowdown season; things are so hot that everyone is acting like giant lizards, conserving energy as much as they possibly can. Which is great for keeping cool, but not so great for providing blog fodder.)
(Is it just me, or is Houston experiencing a rash of motel fires?)
During the Celtic Tiger boom, snakes became a popular pet among the Irish nouveaux riches, status symbols in a country famous for its lack of indigenous serpents. But after the bubble burst, many snake owners could no longer afford the cost of food, heating and shelter, or they left the country for work elsewhere. Some left their snakes behind or turned them loose in the countryside, leading to some startling encounters.
Not much going on, but I rarely get a chance to use the “Snakes” and “Reptiles” tags. So:
Obit watch: Evan S. Connell, Jr., noted novelist and historian. (Son of the Morning Star: Custer and The Little Bighorn may be his best known work.). LAT. NYT.