Thursday, 24 July 2008

Enough for a Prescott Belt

These pictures were taken by a KTBS helicopter
flying over Lake Wiess about 90 miles north of Birmingham, Alabama

The helicopter pilot and the game warden were in communication;
here is a transcript of their conversation.

'Air1 have you a visual on the gator, over'
'Approaching inlet now, over'
'Roger Air1'
'Gator sighted.... Looks like it has a small animal in its mouth.. moving in, over' 'Roger Air1'
'Holy Crap it's a Deer!'
'confirm Air1.. did you say Deer?, Over'
'Roger.. a Deer in its mouth.. looks like a full sized buck.. that's a big gator, we're gonna need more men, Over'
'Roger Air1..can you give me a idea on size of animal, over'
'Its big 25 feet at least, please advise Gator is heading to inlet.. do I pursue?, over'

The deer was later found to be a mature Stag and was measured at 11 feet.

This alligator was found between Centre and Leesburg, Alabama

Game wardens were forced to shoot the gator, who was uncooperative.

Anita and Charlie Rogers could hear the bellowing in the night. Their neighbours had been telling them that they had seen a mammoth alligator in the waterway that runs behind their house, but they dismissed the stories as exaggerations.

'I didn't believe it,' Charlie Rogers said, but they realized the stories were, if anything, understated.

Alabama Parks and Wildlife game wardens had to shoot the beast. Game warden Joe Goff, 6 foot 5 tall, walks past the 28 foot 1 inch alligator he shot and killed in their back yard.

An Erection in the Sussex Countryside

Doubtful that this is of any interest to anyone, but I promised lil.

Am I the only one to have noticed that, as the price of perfectly serviceable, reasonably heavy-duty plastic tents has plummeted (thanks to globalisation and our industrious little yellow friends), the cost of hiring a tent in Britain has gone through the roof?

Friday, 4 July 2008

Poor Man's Cranmer; Serious Post

The Tuscan's awful tale of what happened to him on his return to Italy last weekend got me thinking about death. That, and the fact that I had attended a memorial at Winchester Cathedral earlier in the week for a very close friend, plucked from this earth before his 50th birthday, whose son is an idle godchild.

I am an atheist, but not in a hostile way. I love Agnus Dei and Miserere, and the rollicking good hymns of my youth. I entirely see why "Christian" morality is deemed to be A Good Thing, and I try to be tolerant and charitable, though I indulge myself quite often in frothing intolerance and selfish pursuits. I think the modern Church of England is a confused rabble.

But I was challenged by an intelligent fellow to explain myself, given that I bring my children up in (low-intensity) CofE private education, and have no shame entering churches. Also whether I "feared" death. I mumbled and gibbered and failed completely to articulate my philosophy.

Later, I remembered another obituary I had read a few months ago. This clever man got it about right:
He did not think it was necessary to believe in God to recognise the value of religion in providing the individual with a moral compass. In a recent exchange on, a questioner wanted to know whether it is rational to fear death: "It's irrational to fear what death will feel like if you know it won't feel like anything," Lipton replied, "but it doesn't follow that it is irrational to fear death. It's not irrational to look forward to the pleasures of living, and if we know that death will take these away, the fear of losing those pleasures doesn't seem irrational either."