New Foreigner Book!


a few hardcovers and pbs available from Closed Circle, signed. Latest: Moonlover and the Fountain of Blood, Jane Fancher short story. Chernevog, part 2 of the Rusalka trilogy co-written by CJ and Jane; and Orion's Children, a tetralogy from Lynn.

Burglar in the night…four-footed.

We’re still under a foot of snow here, with more on the way.

Last night, abed, I heard a considerable thump in the back yard, and the spooklight had come on. Seishi, our burglar detector, was up at the open window with his neck giraffed to twice its ordinary length…

I looked out, and saw a raccoon larger than an Aussie shepherd across the pond, by the garage door. I banged on the window, then ran out to the living room where Jane was still watching telly, said, “Raccoon at the pond,” and ran through the kitchen, knocking over a plastic platter, a large plastic and a large metal mixing bowl in the process. Grabbed one and ran out through the mudroom, to turn on the light and clatter the bowl loudly. I stood out there barefoot in a nightshirt on the icy concrete as Jane joined me and did some reconnoitering— couldn’t see anything, but I also hadn’t heard a corresponding sound of a raccoon leaving.

So I stayed a little alert. It’s been so cold I’ve hesitated to put out our groundlevel spooklight lantern, but I think I may tonight. The snow is frozen, so it’s not going to show tracks, but there’s some collapse around the mugo pine near the waterside, and I think our bandit may have tried to go down to the water there.

Weather will be clear for about 3 days, then another weeklong round of snowy weather, though not, I think, too much accumulation. It’s been a very persistent winter up here.

14 comments to Burglar in the night…four-footed.

  • Tommie

    Could you get some dog urine for around the pond?

  • CJ

    We can get bear, coyote and mountain lion…we usually use coyote. Or black pepper. There is also the possibility of a live trap, but having watched a video of a chap trying to get an upset raccoon out of a live trap with a sticky catch, I’m a bit daunted. Rabies shots are not a pleasant thing…I think we will go for the pepper once we get a thaw.

    • chondrite

      Many moons ago, when we first visited Molokai, we stayed a a condo with a ‘feral’ cat. Thomas wasn’t feral, he just had a very good sense of who was to be trusted. He would come by and demand petting, skritches, and the occasional snack, then vanish as soon as the maintenance workers tasked with catching him came by.

      Towards the end of our stay, the workers got frustrated and set out a live trap. Thomas was too canny for that, but they did catch a mongoose, who then got watered when the sprinklers came on, and sat all night wet and mad. The next morning, a very large guy came by to check the trap. By this time, the mongoose was well and truly pissed, and lunged from inside the trap at the 300#, 6’2″ worker. The man levitated about 3 feet up and five feet back, and screamed. It took 2 people with leather gloves to release the irate mongoose.

      Thomas’ story had a good ending. We were able to make connections with someone who was looking for a barn cat. We borrowed a cat carrier and were able to put Thomas in it, and delivered him to his new home.

  • Tommie

    Cumin also appears to offend raccoon noses.

  • Possibly the raccoon was unclear on how to ask courteously for an autograph? Raccoons being a rather forward folk, generally. Or was he/she trying to get a front row seat with popcorn, to watch TV? One never knows.

    Note Amazon had something about a new anime subscription for about $5 a month. Budget constrains me to resist for now, but there were quite a lot of good anime series available via that five bucks, if I understood the offer correctly.

    )And although most of the dot-hack-sign series are now available on iTunes etc., the first, dot-hack-sign itself, .hack//SIGN I think it’s styled, which led to the others, is unfortunately still not. I keep hoping it will turn up.)

  • I’ve just rewatched the fifth of six episodes of When We Left Earth, a documentary series from some years ago on the American space program up to that point (about 2009, I think). This is a tremendous series and includes many of the original flight and ground control crews in interviews, with actual footage from the Mercury, Gemini, Apollo programs, Skylab, the Shuttle program, and the early I.S.S.

  • Psider

    As an Australian, I’ve just had to furiously google “Australian Shepherd”, wondering why I’d never heard of the breed. Turns out, not actually Australian. They’re rather beautiful, and I think I’ve seen a few in the movies. 🙂

  • CJ

    They’re a lovely dog in disposition as well as form, and very bright. Herding instinct is, however, strong—and they are very smart: they want to play, chase, and run. I’ve never known a mean one, and I’ve dealt with a few. I’m no judge of dogs, however. Alas, I’m so allergic I have to wash my hands if I even pet one.

    • Xheralt

      A good friend of mine has an Aussie Shepherd. Everything that CJ described, plus loves boating and swimming in rivers (he has his own personal flotation jacket). Herding instinct is *very* strong; occasionally stresses out a little when the pack of humans around him won’t stay in a nice small circle.

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