Monthly Archives: July 2014

Daily Quip

Milestones are only important if someone is keeping track. Otherwise they are just stepping stones.

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The Broken Anchor

The Broken Anchor is a fictional pub.   The original owner of the bar was a man named Cecil. The story was that he was a captain of a fishing boat whose anchor broke during a storm and caused the death of four shipmates. He took what insurance money there was and opened a bar. He never spoke about that night and he always poured four shots of rum and left them at the end of the bar. When he died it was in his will that the new owners of the bar not change the name and always leave five shots of rum at the end of the bar. Some say they have seen Cecil peering in the front window when there is a bad storm brewing.

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Five shots of rum

at the end of the bar

four for the men

whose deaths left a scar

a face in the window

forlorn with despair

the dead on his hands

his gaze now beware

A storm drives the rain

the fog cloaks his sin

that night in the past

him of reeking of gin

the anchor they trusted

so safe in a bay

with Cecil on watch

with the fog and the spray

But a man who is drunk

May soon fall asleep

the waves of the storm

overboard they did sweep

So Cecil survived

to remember that night

the bodies ne’er found

the sea holds them tight

In memory of the lost

each night in a shot

are measures of rum

the ghosts drink them naught

a fifth spirit walks

the wind and the rain

look carefully in the dark

you may see his pain

he peers in the window

through the dark and the mist

longing for his shipmates

from that long-ago tryst

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An absolutely thrilling experience! 

 

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I have just witnessed a miracle!  I follow a website called africamcom.  This morning, as I was wandering through my emails, I noticed that they had sent me an update.  Mama cheetah is in labour!  I love the big cats so I of course tuned in.  I wasn’t watching for more than five minutes when she turned around and a little guy literally popped out!  He/she is so tiny!  Within seconds of the delivery a very determined Mama was inflicting the cleaning rules on a very curious and rambunctious little one.  It’s been less than 10 minutes and the baby, jet black, has managed to move about 4 feet.  He/she may not be able to walk but that’s not stopping this little determined one from checking out the surroundings.  Junior kind of rolls back and forth.  The tiny head comes up, the nose points in a new direction and the body tries to follow.  Oops!  Decision made by the management: Junior picked up by Mama and deposited at the back of their birthing den.  A few more cleaning swipes.  After all Junior has been alive for several minutes of course he’s dirty.  Or she.

The mother cheetah is actually called Meg.  She lives on a reserve in Africa.  So while she is a wild animal she is still protected.  She was brought into an enclosure for the birth to protect both her and the babies.  It appears that the birth process could last several hours.  I was lucky enough to see the first.  And I am gob smacked!  She is quite a diligent mother and like any small child the little one is trying to get away from the cleaning tongue!  It is absolutely brilliant to watch.  I was surprised that the newborn didn’t immediately go for a teat.  I thought babies were born hungry.  I have a lot to learn.  Mama has rolled off to one side, baby tucked neatly beside her.  Okay, my bad, breakfast is served.  I feel like a voyeur.  But I can’t stop watching!

Breakfast is over.  A little cleanup.  And now a nap, okay maybe not.  As the baby moves into the light you can see that he’s not completely jet black.  This really is a determined little one.  I doubt his eyes are even open and yet he seems to want to explore his world.

Oh, oh,oh, another one! Approximately 38 minutes after the first.  This diligent mother is making her latest contribution to the world a clean little bugger!  I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes.  This beautiful young mother looks from cub to cub with what I imagine to be pride.  She is so careful when she moves them.  So gentle.  Junior two is checking out his breakfast while Junior one is checking out mom’s paw.  I wonder what it’s like when everything you smell, touch, hear and see is for the first time.  I wonder what goes through the minds of these teeny tiny creatures.  Okay now everybody does appear to be napping.  Unless of course the picture is just frozen.  Hang on a sec I’ll go check it out. Yep the picture was frozen.  A third cub was born and I missed it!  The picture is live again but the colors are gone.  I think the cameras are on infrared maybe?  All 3 cubs and Mama seemed to be doing just fine.  The last time this female had cubs she had five.  I will keep watching for little while longer just in case she has another but I’m expecting people over in half an hour, so I got stuff to do.

Four! Another just made an appearance!  Four new lives in the world.

This has been an absolutely thrilling experience!  I know I wasn’t there in person, but to watch this beautiful creature bring four precious lives into the world is breathtaking.  I am so glad that I was in the right place at the right time.

 

The following information was taken from the africam.com website and more fully explains what is happening:

At the Hoedspruit Endangered Species Centre (HESC) which focuses on the conservation of rare, vulnerable or endangered animals, cheetah conservation is one of their core disciplines. Cheetahs are a threatened species and the rarest of them all is the “King Cheetah”. This special line of cheetahs was first discovered in 1926, where it was thought to be a completely new and exciting species – a strange hybrid between a cheetah and a leopard. Although we now know that it is not a new species, but in fact a distinctive fur pattern variation of a normal spotted cheetah. King cheetahs have been reported in the wild, including a sighting in the Kruger National Park in 1974, but are incredibly rare, which raises the importance of a project such as this.

Meg and Tristan mated several months ago and a litter of cubs is expected to occur sometime this month (July, 2014). Meg does not carry the king cheetah gene, so none of these cubs will in fact be king cheetahs. However, they will all carry the gene, and in the future if paired with another gene carrying partner, a king cheetah birth would be possible.

At HESC, a special maternity ward has been constructed so that the females can give birth in a proper environment. That is part of what you are seeing on the LIVE camera above. Once the babies have been born the staff will allow nature to take its course and not approach the infant cats so that they can be cared for by their mother in the most natural way possible.

That being said, monitoring is of course an important part of conservation, so the centre has set up this 24/7 webcam with live video and sound in partnership with our team here at Africam.com. Through this device they cannot only monitor the cheetahs but also gather valuable information for future conservation efforts.

 

the picture is from myepicpet.com

Blog Contest: I’ll Name A Character After You In My New Screenplay!

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

HollywoodLast night, I was chatting with Matthias, the Producer/Director who hopes to make .33 Reverse Gunther his next film.  He is on his way to L.A. to meet with potential investors and actors, so I’m cautiously excited about what the future holds.

Over the course of the conversation, Matthias once again mentioned how important this blog is going to be to Gunther’s production.  He wants me to keep a production diary once we get a green light, and I’ve assured him that my blog friends and followers will share the posts to help spread the word about the movie being made from my screenplay.

To reassure Matthias that this blog has a great reach, I told him I would conduct a test this weekend.  I had already planned to write this contest post, so I thought I’d add a sharing element to it and report back to Matthias with the…

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You cannot buy . . .

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A mighty oak tree

From a tiny seed grows

An adult has a start

From a toddler’s toes

Once mud pies and stones

Graced tables and chairs

Then puberty arrived

And with it more hairs

We grew taller and smarter

With age so we thought

But truth can be humbling

Can you see what we’ve bought?

With money we’d purchase

Our looks and our stuff

But now what’s important

It’s going to be rough

You cannot buy wisdom

Foresight or love

Approximations perhaps

Not the real thing above

Humility, integrity

Compassion, there’s more

A life that is lived

By those keeping score

A balance is paid

Each day of your life

A legacy is left

Be it not one of strife

Look back and be proud

Of the life that you had

For memories remain

And it wasn’t all bad