Squirrely behavior

Chillin'We have a patio table with umbrella on our back deck, the base which is supported by a large, tapered stone. Lately, one of the local squirrels, of which there are many, has taken to sprawling on this stone in the hot afternoons, spread out much like the critter in the accompanying photograph. The pose is strikingly possessive, as if he’s thinking, “mine, all mine.” I don’t know if he is enjoying radiated heat from the stone (though it’s certainly hot enough without it) or if there is some sort of cooling effect through the stone, which is somewhat shaded. It’s just funny to see him sprawled out like that.

I read Chelsea Cain’s new novel, Evil at Heart, yesterday. For readers of her novels, villainess Gretchen Lowell has grown large enough that she doesn’t even have to appear on the page very much to remain threatening and menacing. The novel is, in large part, an indictment of the cult of personality that has grown up around certain serial killers (Ted Bundy, for example, though no specific examples are cited–Gretchen stands in for all), where there are tours that will take “fans” past famous sites from the lives and crimes of these murderers. Cain’s “hero” isn’t exactly cut from whole cloth, either–in the last book he was a drug addict and in this one he starts out voluntarily committed to a mental ward. Some of Archie’s behavior is puzzling, but on the whole this is a solid entry in the series, and there is enough ambiguity toward the end to give you plenty to think about when it’s over.

There’s never any moral ambiguity in an episode of Eli Stone. The show was never quite as quirky as Boston Legal, but its moral compass isn’t that much different. Of course, quirky comes in different flavors, so if you can’t have a rampaging partner with incipient dementia and a predilection toward shooting people, you should at least have someone who receives somewhat ambiguous visions. There are only two episodes left, and I hope they manage to resolve the Eli/Maggie issue, which is all that really matters about the show, when you get right down to it. It’s a star-crossed love story with hallucinations.

Burn Notice episodes are particularly good when our heroes get to burn someone else, as they did this week. I thought the audit subplot started out good and then went a little screwy when Sam “suddenly” recognized the auditor, though. The game of chess with the local cop is an interesting twist, but she hasn’t really posed a serious threat to Michael yet. No new episode this week, however, probably because of tennis.

Had to go appliance shopping yesterday–our 14-year-old drier is in the process of giving up the ghost. It’s not dead yet, to toss in the obligatory Monty Python quote, but it’s painful to listen to it lumber through the cycle like a racehorse trying to make it to the finish line on three legs.

T-Mobile is so funny. Their solution to my customer complaint about the impossible situation I ended up in with their prepaid phone was to add $25 worth of minutes to the account, two weeks after I terminated the service and returned the phone to Target. They expressed their hope that I would continue to work with their customer service agents to resolve the problem. I’ll bet that somewhere in the heart of a computer, a program is still trying to activate the number.

And the letter wasn’t even signed by Catherine Zeta Jones, which would have made everything all right.

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