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Monthly Archives: October 2014

We’ve met a number of people in the NYC theater scene who are very interested in the show. They love the script/libretto and have the music now. This is very, very good and they are all very cool people. People who get what we’re trying to do and how we do it.

We have also been approached by some people who might become interested investors and to that end, our attny is drawing up a business plan that we can present then with.

This is all great news for us! Everything is moving and we are happily pulling everything together knowing that we are making great progress.

So, right now I’m looking out the window at the fall leaves and adjusting budgets to support the business plan. Not for the faint of heart. I’m reading a lot of rate books and trying to make sure that I’ve thought of everything while trying to keep costs down. The numbers stack up really quick.

You see, music/theater, or what we like to call Rock Theater, isn’t just write a bunch of songs with a story and put it up on stage. A lot of planning goes into it before the first chord of the first rehearsal is ever struck. It’s like any other business, really. You have to plan everything and then pad a little in the event of an unexpected surprise. It’s stressful and sometimes frustrating, but you have to go through it if you want to achieve your goals and we do. Especially for this show which we feel is so important at this critical time.

We understand completely the gravity of climate change and we also understand that far too many of our so-called leaders are perfectly comfy using our future (and our children’s future) as a political football. We also know that the fossil fuel industry won’t go down without a fight.

Our leaders must be forced into action in the best interests of the world’s 99%. It’s the people who contributed the least to the problem who are going to bear the brunt of the damage. The poorest among us are by far the most vulnerable.

We hope that this show will keep the issue of climate change, and it’s devastating consequences, front and center in the public conversation which decides the future of all of us. We hope the show makes them extremely uncomfortable and embarrasses them into acting in the best interests of human beings instead of the best interests of corporations. It’s the only way were going to make it.

Don’t forget to VOTE in the upcoming midterms. We have to use every tool at our disposal to protect the future.

God speed.

MAD

Not the kind where you go to parties and such. This is about critters large and small.

My brother lives two towns over from me in the nice residential area where we grew up. I go visit him as often as I can, which isn’t often enough, and when the weather is good we sit outside and talk.

Around dark, things get weird there. Deer start walking down the middle of the street that runs along side the house. It’s eerie and a little creepy and he tells me it happens all the time. My wide has reported the same thing around here.

My question is: why? This behavior is so unlike a wild animal that it forces me to ponder why in the world would they be doing this.

And the other night I might have stumbled into the answer.

My wife and I hike one day out of nearly every weekend. We love it. It’s quiet and unplugged and being immersed in nature can cure most anything that the world can throw at you. At least it can for us.

Over the last few years though, we’ve been seeing some really interesting tracks. Big tracks. Like almost the size of Chris’ hand. They are obviously cat tracks.

We also see scat on a regular basis and it’s always filled with deer fur (I break it apart with my knife). Some of this scat is days or weeks old and some is very fresh. Less than an hour in one case (we hiked through an area on the Appalachian Trail and returned an hour later on the way back).

The way the scat is deposited makes it very hard to miss. It’s nearly always right in the middle of the trail and on a raised area if at all possible.

Even though I studied animal behavior in college, I didn’t understand the significance of that until I did some googling. It was then that I learned that large cats marked their territory in a time-based way. A fresh deposit tells other cats to stay away and an old one signals that it’s ok to proceed.

Over this last summer we ran into a number of people who had seen a fresh kill. Cats are careful killers and do so by a crushing bite to the base of the skull in order to sever the spinal cord. It’s a really obvious bite.

Another thing they do is eviscerate the animal they kill in order to stow away the internal organs for later meals.

The kills are also rather neat, unlike canines who basically rip the animal apart and choke down huge chunks of meat for later regurgitation for their young.

So, back to the point, we’ve been seeing evidence that we have one or more large cats in the area. One having been famously photographed in the middle of the street not far from here in 2009.

So with all this in our heads, we hike carefully, making sure to make enough noise to scare away any critter we might run into.

I learned the other night that I should follow those rules in my own back yard.

I had just finished working out and went out the basement door to collect the recycling can from the street. I always wear a headlamp when I do this because there are a couple of habituated bear around and I don’t want to  surprise any of them.

When I walk out on the patio, I do a quick sweep with the headlamp to check for any obvious eyeshine in the forested areas around the house. Usually, I don’t see anything. This time, not so lucky.

I got halfway along the patio when I saw a large pair of green/yellow eyes turn in my direction. They were close to the ground and followed every movement I made. I muttered an “oh, shit.” as I realized I had surprised a very large mountain lion who was just fifty feet from me. A space the cat could have closed in a heartbeat.

I could see the outline of his head fairly clearly in the light from my headlamp, so I was completely sure of what I was looking at. It was crouched down next to the bushes at the property line, and it wasn’t taking its eyes off me.

I began to slowly back toward the basement door without turning away from the cat. (Turning away could provoke an attack. Running will get you dead) I had only my folding knife and knew that wouldn’t get me very far.

I found the door and opened it without taking my eyes off the cat and slipped inside, relieved and grateful that I hadn’t ended up wearing a mountain lion coat.

Interactions like this are going to become more common even in residential areas. We have a lot of deer and it’s inevitable that large predators discover and exploit this food source. They must in order to survive. If they do not find a way to adapt to our ever-growing presence they will go the way of the fifty or so percent of wildlife we’ve already exterminated.

Yes, 50%.

So, when you’re out and about, be aware of your surroundings just to be safe. The chances of an encounter with a large cat are extremely rare and they don’t consider us food. Still, keep your wits about you and read up on the proper reactions should you meet any wildlife.

They have the right to exist as well. We have to make room for them.