October 1st, 2005



I'm smelling essence of skunk at the moment. It's not too near, but not too far. Either a skunk has gotten itself smashed on a nearby road, or some unfortunate beast has gotten itself sprayed. I wouldn't mind if the cat at the dead end of the block got sprayed. The large beast has been coming down here and picking on my cat, who is about half its size and probably ten years older. An encounter with a skunk might discourage it from venturing in this direction in future.

I like the skunk smell, when it's faint. It reminds me of pleasant times drinking cheap, skunky beer at bohemian gatherings I attended in my moderately dissolute and fairly impoverished younger days. It also reminds me of even earlier times, when we made excursions into the undeveloped hinterlands of Los Angeles, and would often smell skunk odor drifting on the evening breeze over some roadside field of alfalfa or sunflowers. Then there was the night we spent with my grandfather at an old Victorian house in Redlands, owned by my great-uncle. I remember the smell of skunk briefly mingling with the scent of the oranges in the dark grove that surrounded the house, as I was falling asleep. I supposed that If I'm ever directly sprayed by a skunk, the scent will probably no longer call forth such pleasant associations. I'll be careful.

Earlier tonight I experienced an unfortunate browser crash, which resulted in the loss of a comment of some length. It dawns on me that, when I've been using the AOL I got as a free trial with the computer, I've experienced far more frequent crashes of Opera than I have while using chiconet. In fact, since I got the new computer, I think Opera has only crashed twice with chiconet, and at least a dozen times with AOL, even though I've used it with chiconet at least twice as many hours altogether. Firefox crashes more frequently than Opera with either service, but it has crashed almost every single time I've used it with AOL, usually within fifteen minutes or so. Real browsers don't get along with AOL, I guess.

Oh, it's Saturday again, isn't it? That means nobody's reading this. Never mind.


It was entirely cloudy this afternoon-- a sky filled with the sort of mottled, gray, rushing clouds which promise rain but so often fail to deliver it. Chilly gusts flung leaves to the ground, and screeching blue jays chased one another from tree to tree. As the sun set, blue patches appeared in the sky and the rapidly scattering clouds became smears and daubs and streaks carelessly strewn, reflecting pink light and washing the world in an intense, deep orange glow. Then they turned a vivid red, darkened to lavender, and at last vanished into night, all but their pale, glimmering edges. There was a brief moment when gaps among the close-set trees to the west revealed a glimpse of the bright horizon, fragmented glints and gleams of white light silhouetting black trunks and branches. It felt like an invitation that was soon withdrawn. I returned to my house, where there is no festive gathering. I doubt that rain will fall.