Friday, August 17, 2007

To Serve and Protect, Animal Kingdom, -and- Homeland Insecurity

To Serve and Protect - 2 officers fired for Web misuse
Animal Kingdom - crows wield tools with human-like skill
Homeland Insecurity - CIA, FBI computers used for Wikipedia edits

On this day in history: August 17, 1948 - Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is arrested for bad checks in San Luis Obispo, California. In court a fortnight later, Hubbard pays the $25 fine.

Born on this day in history: August 17, 1786 - Davy Crockett (1786 - 1836) frontiersman, soldier, politician. "The King of the Wild Frontier" was said to have grinned down bears; was one of the legendary figures to die at the Alamo.

Today's Video: Proper Road Rage Defense - submitted by Frank
Chicks prefer the Nitro over the Hummer! Click to enlarge.

[While I slept] I awakened, feeling thirsty, and walked to the kitchen to get a glass of water. As I walked toward the kitchen, my attention was drawn to the large window in the adjacent dining room. The moon lighted the yard beyond the window and made the outdoors appear very inviting. As I gazed at this scene, I noticed movement near the barn. The barn shaded this area from moonlight, and, in the shadows, I saw a large form moving toward the barn. I decided to investigate.

I armed myself with a Colt AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, which I kept in the pantry. I took a large Maglite from a shelf in the pantry, attached it to the rifle, turned it on, and walked to the barn. As I entered the barn, I heard the sound of heavy breathing and slipped the AR-15 into the firing position. I probed the darkness with the Maglite. There, lying on a bed of hay, was Storm! I engaged the safety on my rifle, walked to Storm, knelt by her side, and began stroking her massive frame. Storm purred deeply and contentedly. “Welcome back, my friend,” I said. Storm fixed her gaze upon me and purred even more loudly. “Wait here and rest, Storm,” I said. “I shall return quickly with food and water for you.”

I walked to the house, prepared a bowl of leftover roast beef and a bowl of spring water, removed the Maglite from the rifle, and walked back to the barn, the Maglite clasped between my left arm and rib cage and a bowl in each hand. Storm rose as I walked to her and ate and drank with great relish. I sat with Storm for nearly two hours. When I prepared to return to the house to continue my sleep, I told Storm, “Storm, please stay here, and I shall return in the morning.” She appeared to understand, reclined on the hay, and held out her right paw toward me. I took her massive leopard paw in my right hand and squeezed it, smiling at her. I returned to the house and quickly fell asleep.

In the morning, I awakened, dressed quickly, and walked to the barn with a large bottle of water and some leftover grilled chicken breast. Storm was there! I was overjoyed to see that she had remained through the night. I filled her water bowl and put the chicken in her food bowl. I stroked her beautiful fur as she ate and drank.

After she had eaten, I told her, “Come to the house with me, Storm. I must eat something, and then we shall go on an adventure!” She seemed to understand and followed me to the house. I gave Storm a small bowl of milk. She lapped at it with her huge tongue while I prepared myself a spinach, bacon, cheese, and mushroom omelet. After I had eaten, I strapped on a black ballistic nylon holster, inserted a Sig Sauer P229 semi-automatic pistol into the holster, and beckoned Storm to follow me.

Together, we walked the perimeter of my property, pausing at one point so that Storm could drink from the small creek that fed the pond. It was a beautiful day—warm but not yet unpleasantly so—the sky was blue, and the birds were singing. We walked about my property for several hours. We stopped at the pond, and I caught several nice trout for our dinner.

At dusk, I prepared the trout, some poached asparagus, and some brown rice with celery, red onion, and mushrooms. Storm lay on the tile floor in the kitchen and watched me as I cooked. She seemed to enjoy watching me prepare our meal. I deboned the trout and prepared plates of food for us and set them on the dining room table. I placed a bowl of water and a small bowl of milk at Storm’s place at the table and poured some Chablis for myself. Storm appeared to be waiting for me to start eating, as she had made no move toward her food. I said a prayer—thanking God for the bounty we were about to enjoy and for Storm and her great friendship—and we began eating. Storm was so large that she sat on her haunches and easily reached her food. The dinner was delightful. Storm watched me wash the dishes and bowls.

We went into the den and watched Animal Planet. Storm sat near me and seemed to enjoy watching all the animals on television. She was close enough that I was able to reach out and stroke her massive back. In time, Storm grew tired. She lay on the floor of the den and yawned—her huge mouth opening incredibly widely, exposing large, sharp teeth. “Storm,” I thought to myself, “I am certainly glad we are friends!”

I was tired, also, and I rose from my chair and said, “Come, Storm. You need not sleep in the barn.” Storm followed me to the bedroom. She fell asleep on the floor at the foot of the bed. I fell asleep while delighting in the sound of her breathing.