Tuesday, October 31, 2006



I've been having a great deal of trouble coming up with properly Halloween-ish photos. It's cold and clear and bright and beautiful outside, which is great if you're a trick-or-treater, but not so good if you're me and you're looking for something bleak and grim to take photos of. Yesterday morning would've been better, and tomorrow will probably be better, but neither day is Halloween.

crows, waterfront park

As I mentioned before, taking b+w photos of crows and bare branches definitely counts as cheating. I'm not proud of it, but I did what I had to do. These were taken at the crow colony in Waterfront Park next to the Burnside Bridge. So, ok, the existence of this colony of crows is kind of a weird thing. It's a mildly creepy spot if you think crows are creepy, which I don't. Stand there long enough and you'll eventually meet one of the park's many drug dealers. Unlike the crack dealers on the transit mall, the weed dealers on the waterfront are nothing to worry about. They're usually cheerful and friendly and quite open about what they're up to, and if you're not looking to buy anything (which I'm not), it's just "ok, have a nice day". If this state ever goes the legalization route, these guys will probably go legit and open up Amsterdam-style "coffee houses" or something. Well, it'll be like that for a while, but because this is the US and not the Netherlands, soon a vast, aggressive, soulless Starbucks-like corporate chain will emerge, crushing everything in its path, while loudly claiming to be "kind" and "mellow" and all that. It'll be all slick marketing and minimum wage employees, and exclusive CDs at the counter, and corporate-logo upscale smoking paraphernalia, and words like "artisanal" and "fair trade" plastered on the merchandise, the whole works, and 20 years from now people will scratch their heads and wonder why anyone ever believed there was something revolutionary or countercultural about the stuff.

In any case, I've also got an audio clip of crows doing their thing, but I'm still trying to figure out how to get it posted here. Do I have to sign up for yet another freakin' third party service just to post a stupid WAV file? That's.... wonderful. Yay.

Ok, so the crows aren't really doing the trick today, and wandering off on a long tangent probably didn't help either. No fierce predatory creatures today either, although the local zoo has a new ocelot kitten. It'll be fierce eventually, but right now it's just fuzzy and cute.

I do have at least one really gross news item to pass along, though, an item on this week's Salt Lake Tribune police & fire blotter (which I mentioned on SNR a couple of days ago):

A fire broke out at a Salt Lake City funeral home Tuesday afternoon as workers were cremating the remains of a man who weighed more than 600 pounds. In the process, some of the body fat had liquefied and leaked out, causing a fire similar to a grease fire, said Scott Freitag, spokesman for the city fire department. An employee at Gardner Funeral Home, 1001 E. 11th Ave., put the blaze out with fire extinguisher before firefighters arrived, he said. Fire crews assisted with smoke removal. There was no damage to the funeral home, Freitag said.

I'm curious why they said the incident was merely "similar to" a grease fire. Well, no, really it was a grease fire. Eeeewwww......

I think I'm going to stop right there and go to the gym now....

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