Back in September an unnamed man went on vacation from Florida to California (too much sunshine!) and unbeknownst to him a pregnant raccoon gave birth to a litter of babies in his van along the way. Upon arriving in Stinson Beach he found five of the six cubs alive but in critical condition (the sixth died.) He rushed them to a nearby animal hospital, where the living babies made a recovery. Unfortunately, releasing raccoons into the wild is illegal in California! Rather than them having to be put down, however, the nearby Oakland Zoo‘s veterinary hospital was willing to take them for some more long-term care while WildCare seeks either a permanent home for the animals or an opportunity to release them into the wild.
Good luck, little cuties!
Personally, I’ve never liked that zoos don’t consider raccoons “exotic” enough to have in their exhibits. They’re cute, dammit! Put ’em on display! And I’d love to find a petting zoo with raccoons. I really want to find a petting zoo with raccoons.
It’s funny how a community can rally around the oddest things. Last year, there was Toronto’s silliness around a dead raccoon on a sidewalk. It turns out the people living near the port of Seattle have their own adopted raccoon, a three-legged raccoon that’s hung out out around terminal 66 for the past seven years, affectionately named Tripod. The terminal was renovated last year by Norwegian Cruise Line. There was some concern about what would become of the terminal’s frequent visitor, who often showed up at departures to see off ships or beg for snacks. Tripod hadn’t been seen for a while after the renovations, which only affected the interior of the facility, but fear have been allayed as the critter finally turned up, and was photographed, yesterday. Tripod may be missing a limb, but raccoons are survivors … and they won’t easily move away from a steady food source!
A death-defying raccoon in Toronto, Canada decided to climb up a crane attached to the L7 Condominium tower on Thursday morning, April 16. When the fuzzy interloper got to the top and came face-to-face with the crane’s operator, Rob MacFarlane, at 698 feet (213 meters to you Canadians, or “metres” for the snobby Canadians) he responded in a very 21st century way: he snapped a photo on his phone and tweeted it! Then he shooed it away and the raccoon climbed back down without confrontation … although he claims it hissed at him before descending. Hey, I can’t blame the raccoon for being a little testy. That was probably a lot of work for him or her and then, at the top, some human just tells him/her to go away! What if all those jackasses who climbed mountains for their very own inspirational photo (you know, that cliche arms outstretched “triumph” shtick) were told to go away by some sherpa standing at the top … and then he’d snap a photo a tweet about the jackass he turned away?
Back in late 2005 I spent a few weeks in Chattanooga, TN for work. While driving, I saw a sign for scenic Raccoon Mountain which immediately became must-see attraction for me (fortunately work didn’t require me to go home during the weekends, and I usually didn’t.) It was an interesting time, although the tour guide seemed kind of annoyed that there was one person who showed up for the cave tour that day. Also, his answer that “it’s called raccoon mountain because it kind of has the shape of a raccoon” struck me as bullshit since it totally doesn’t. I wasted so much money in the gift shop for that place!
Anyway, the local (to Chattanooga) news site, Nooga.com (which sounds mildly racist, but isn’t) recently ran a photo essay about hiking one of the many trails in and around Raccoon Mountain. Now, living in Colorado these days, picturesque hiking options are a dime a dozen, but out on the East Coast you take what you can get. Besides, who wouldn’t want to potentially come across a raccoon on raccoon mountain? Things couldn’t get raccoonier!
I avoid talking about music save for once a year, and that’s during my annual review of music. Note that this isn’t about “new” music, or even “new to me” music. It’s just a collection of the songs that struck me for one reason or another throughout the year.
I found myself obsessively re-listening to the song “Signal Spark” by Seafood from 2006 (released both as a single and a part of the album Paper Crown King.) I have all of their albums so I must have heard the song before, but for some reason this year I really “discovered” it. The whole thing feels like the soundtrack to a great, cheesy short movie (well, music video) with tentative, uncomfortable stares in the first minute, a kiss at about 1:15, living life through to 4:00 where bittersweet joy kicks in (along with the chimes.) I wonder if I could cut the opening of the movie Up! to this song? Sadly, the official music video is just underwhelming compared to the images in my head (aren’t they always?)
I have an unfortunate affliction of listening to some girly music. I like the female voice more, what can I say? Pop music is not a crime! And I was rather found the short-lived band Saving Jane (now doing more country style music as the Union Rose Band.) One of my favorite songs was the hidden track (damn, though, I hate hidden tracks) on the 2007 album One Girl Revolution titled “Ohio.” For some weird reason, early this year, I dreamt I was singing that song at a bar. That’s kind of gay when you consider the lyrics. My favorite part though is the chorus of the song and its quaint dismissal of what to many would be more desirable places. Of course, as I drove through the state of Ohio on my way to my new home in Denver, I couldn’t help but think of this song.
It would be a rare year for me not to notice something in a soundtrack that I thought was awesome. This year it was the main theme for the movie Pacific Rim (which I have to admit, I saw in theaters three times) composed by Ramin Djwadi. I’m always a sucker for blending traditional orchestration with electronic elements. The song did a great job of musically portraying the battle between the Jaegers and Kaijus, with somewhat distinct “hero” and “villain” themes woven throughout the piece.
I finally played through Child of Eden this year, a spiritual successor to the awesome techno musical shooting game Rez. Of course, it featured some terrific pop/techno music with pretty vocals. Perhaps my favorite moment in the game was at the last part of the first level, with the constant droning guitar riff, underlying the song that’s trying to break free of the techno sounds of the computer virus, and bursts out momentarily as you do well to fight the virus (erupting into the untainted song when you conclude the stage.) I thought it was great.
While we’re on the topic of video games, I also played Braid, which featured the song Build that Wall (Zia’s Theme). Just a woman and a guitar … and it’s gorgeous. The same artists who did that song (Darren Korb, composer and Ashley Barrett, singer) also produced the preview song for the upcoming Transistor. It sounds terrific, too!