I hope valued commenter Mnemosyne doesn’t see this:
Don't try this at home.
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 16, 2017
Here’s a lizard sunning on a painted bamboo:
Didn’t have my camera handy, so please excuse the poor quality iPhone photo. It’s amazing how quickly one becomes a camera snob! Unfortunately, my offspring’s entire childhood is documented with crappy phone camera photos. I suppose that’ll be her version of my “look at all these crappy Polaroids from the 70s!”
PS: There’s actually an existing tag for “Lizard Blogging!” Cole is right; we have too damn many tags!
We need a respite, or at least I do. From NYMag, something to break the political monotony:
Since retiring after 33 years on the late night television, David Letterman has kept a low public profile — aided by the growth of a truly impressive beard. But that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been as fixated on politics as the rest of us. “If I still had a show,” says the 69-year-old, dressed in a baggy sweater and cargo pants and sitting high above midtown Manhattan in a conference room at his publicist’s offices, “people would have to come and take me off the stage. ‘Dave, that’s enough about Trump. We’ve run out of tape.’ It’s all I’d be talking about. I’d be exhausted.” Late-night TV comedy has offered some of the sharpest — and most-remarked-upon — responses to the Trump presidency. But despite the work of Stephen Colbert, Seth Meyers, Saturday Night Live, and the rest, it’s hard not to wish Letterman, late-night’s greatest ironist and most ornery host, was still around to take aim. And so we’ve brought him out of retirement to weigh in on life after television and his old frequent guest and punching bag, the man he calls Trumpy…
David Marchese: Have you ever wondered what you might’ve said if you’d been doing The Late Show the night after Trump was elected?
No, I haven’t thought about it. See, I was out running one day when he was still president-elect, and I thought, Let’s call him. I’ve known the guy since the ’80s. I was one of a few people who had routinely interviewed him. I’m not blinded by the white-hot light of “president-elect.” I mean, we elected a guy with that hair? Why don’t we investigate that? He looks like Al Jardine of the Beach Boys. I don’t know. I’m sorry for rambling. I’m afraid something has happened to me hormonally. I can’t stop talking…
There’s this idea that reducing Trump to a punchline could make him seem harmless or helps to normalize him. Is there any validity to that argument?
I guess it’s a possibility. On the other hand, Donald Trump can be Donald Trump, but if he doesn’t help the people that need help, then he’s just a jerk. That press conference that he held berating the news media? I mean, how do you build a dictatorship? First, you undermine the press: “The only truth you’re going to hear is from me.” And he hires the Hunchback of Notre Dame, Steve Bannon, to be his little buddy. Bannon looks like a guy who goes to lunch, gets drunk, and comes back to the office: “Steve, could you have just one drink?” “Fuck you.” How is a white supremacist the chief adviser to our president? Did anybody look that up? I don’t know. How’s this interview going? Do you think you’re talking to a normal person here? Don’t I seem like I’m full of something?…
For probably the first half or so of your TV career, you stayed away from politics —
Because Carson was my model. I’ll tell you the other thing: All of that changed because of Jon Stewart.
Because what he did on The Daily Show influenced you?
I wouldn’t say that, but he made it so that not doing political stuff got to be the elephant in the room. And also it was having Monica Lewinsky and President Clinton. It was hard to ignore that. We’re always looking for the easiest path, the most obvious joke. Bill Clinton having sex with the intern, well, that’s not comedic heavy lifting. After that it became George W. Bush, and I thought he was funny in a harmless way. I mean, Dick Cheney was the guy to keep your eye on at a party, because he’d be going through your wife’s purse. But George W. was nothing but fun.
So the political jokes were about expedience?
We changed our attitude to make it easier on ourselves. And again, what defense do you have for ignoring these topics? None, really…
Aside from the hunt for viral videos, it seems like late night also had a shift in its style of comedy. It moved away from the irony and sarcasm you were known for and toward something more earnest. I mean, Jay Leno would seem like a smartass now. Did you notice that shift happening?
No, I didn’t. I was so single-minded in getting through the hour, and sarcasm is so easy. The quote is “Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.” If you can’t think of something funny, say something sarcastic. That worked and also got me in a lot of trouble. People would accuse me of being mean. Well, yes, sarcasm probably is mean; but on the other hand, I’m just trying to get a laugh, so leave me alone. “Hey, nice shirt” — ha-ha-ha. Big, big laugh: “Nice shirt.” Good night, everybody!…
If you could snap your fingers and make it happen, who’d be a dream interview for you?
I think about that all the time. It would be great to talk to Bob Marley. Because when Bob Marley left us, he was politically active. He was the biggest musical star in the world, and he came from such desperate circumstances. It seems like we don’t have that person now whose life and music and behavior apply to soothing the waters of world strife…
Going back to the late-night wars — doesn’t the fact that you and so many viewers cared so much about who was winning late night seem a little crazy? Why did it matter who was No. 1? Both shows were being seen by millions of people.
I cared. Jay cared. I can remember being on Johnny Carson’s show toward the end of his run, and during the commercial break I said, “Honestly, what’s the deal here?” Because he seemed like he was still the Johnny that we all loved. And he said, “I want to go out on top.” So he cared. When I began, if you didn’t have a 30 share, get in your car and go home. For a time, I looked at the ratings every single morning. If our number was bigger than The Tonight Show’s number, I would feel good. If it was not as big, I would feel bad. That was every day. Now I don’t know if anybody cares. I keep saying to people, “Where are the late-night wars?” “Oh, the U.N. came in and Ban Ki-moon put a stop to it.”…
It’s no secret you were slightly insanely self-critical and competitive about your work. Now that the show is no longer part of your life, are those qualities still around?
Yes, but not in a crippling, paralyzing way. A friend of mine, my doctor, said, “You know, you don’t need to kill yourself. It’s just TV.” Then he convinced me to try one of these selective-serotonin-reuptake inhibitors. I resisted it. I thought, No, just put me in a state hospital. But I did try it, and suddenly that wiring had less power than it used to. I still have vestiges of it — I think that’s about where you want to be. You don’t want to be putting your fist through a wall, but I can’t imagine going through life not questioning my own worthiness. So, yes, I still have those qualities, but in a lower gear…
How about in this moment, then? Is there anything about your career you can say you’re proud of?
I have this conversation with my wife, who is also a schmo. And she will say, “Thirty years. Think of all of the people you employed.” I thought, Yeah, by God, that’s good enough. I was able to give jobs to people. That’s an accomplishment.
You’re being maybe excessively self-deprecating.
People are so much nicer to me now that I’m not on the air that my impression of myself is beginning to soften, but I’m sticking with jobs as my accomplishment…
Forget about that gelatinous marmalade hairball for a minute and check out this osprey with a shopping bag attached to its nest:
The nest is located on top of a light pole — really high up. It’s likely the bag flew up there by chance and got caught on a stick.
But I like to think the osprey added it as a special design feature of the nest. Maybe it serves as a windsock that helps the bird stick the landings?
Oh, and check out this beach bunny:
There’s a closer look at the bunny below the fold…
And here’s a utility boat of some sort in the bay:
And here is the Tampa skyline looking magical in the evening light:
Florida can be a miserable shithole sometimes, and earlier, on the last day of February, it got so hot I had to shut my windows and turn on the A/C despite the calendar. But it has its good points, which I hope to enjoy until the water rises past my nose.
I’d show you snoozing boxer dogs, but you’d accuse me of re-running photos from last year — same old couch-denting slobber dogs slumbering in their accustomed places. Beauty is a comfort sometimes.
PS: Has anyone else watched “The OA” on Netflix? Weird AF, but engrossing!
Here’s an urban animal rescuer in Germany removing a hook from a swan’s leg and releasing a rehabilitated fox:
Did you notice the little fuzzy cygnets paddling around the pair of adult swans before Stefan Bröckling so deftly captured the injured party? So cute!
My daughter and I rescued an injured seagull from a supermarket parking lot several years ago. It had been hit by a car (I think) and lost the use of a wing.
I called a local seabird rescue place to report it, and they said they couldn’t send anyone to capture it, but told me if we brought it to them, they’d give it medical attention.
The thing about seagulls? They’re FAST! It took us the better part of an hour to corral the critter, which we chased between parked cars, under shopping carts and over median strips. We finally cornered it in a flower bed, threw a towel over it and placed it gently in a cardboard box for the hour-plus trip to the seabird rescue.
My daughter sat in the backseat cradling the box, with the gull shrieking and raising hell inside. At one point, as we neared the top of a very tall bridge, it nearly escaped. I pictured it leaping over the seat and pecking at my eyes, causing me to lose control of the car and plummet over the guardrail into the bay 400-plus feet below.
But luckily, my daughter was able to contain it, and we delivered it to the rescue place without further incident.
Anyhoo, hope your Friday is going well.
Well, it’s rainy here, anyway, so no birds to watch at my feeders. But here’s a handsome cardinal who stopped by a few days ago:
He’s definitely giving me the stink-eye. And here’s his lovely mate with a seed shell hanging out of her beak; she doesn’t look too happy about the paparazzi either:
I’d post a photo of my chickens, but they’re pitiful today. There’s plenty of covered space in their coop where they could stay dry, but they prefer to stand around in the rain and hate the world. I know the type!
Speaking of disgruntled clucking, looks like some former shitgibbon campaign staffers are sharing their tyrant toddler handling techniques with Politico. An excerpt:
President Donald Trump’s former campaign staffers claim they cracked the code for tamping down his most inflammatory tweets, and they say the current West Wing staff would do well to take note.
The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise…
The in-person touch is also important to keeping Trump from running too hot. One Trump associate said it’s important to show Trump deference and offer him praise and respect, as that will lead him to more often listen. And If Trump becomes obsessed with a grudge, aides need to try and change the subject, friends say. Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House.
Emphasis mine. Six campaign staffers? Good Christ. Four-point restraints would have been more effective. The portrait that emerges is of a sulky oaf whom a normal person wouldn’t trust to look after a potted fern. A fake potted fern, even. FSM bless us, every one.
— The Palm Beach Post (@pbpost) April 7, 2015
Real or photoshopped?
That might be your reaction when you see a photo of a bobcat dragging a 4-foot-shark from the water.
YouReporter John Bailey sent the picture to us which he said he took at Sebastian Inlet State Park.
He claims the cat leaped into the water, caught the shark, and dragged it to shore.
The photographer thinks he ended up getting too close and may have caused the cat to drop the shark and run off into the forest.
Wildlife experts say it’s not uncommon for bobcats to be wandering Florida beaches.
They say it’s possible the cat is a female and might have been trying to catch food for its babies.
“My first reaction was amazement that somebody actually took that picture because bobcats are generally very, very reclusive. You don’t really see them out and about too often,” said Busch Wildlife Sanctuary Animal Care Director Amy Kight.
Bobcats are normally not considered aggressive.