SONOMA COWNTY (SCNA): This has been a bumper year for the firewood
crews, what with all the downed trees, but now it's late in the season
and about all that's left is apple, not the greatest stuff for those
29°F nights, but it's cheap [$150/cord] and worth every damn penny.
* * *
We've had the rain soak the soil thoroughly, sending ants up into
every house around, and now the cold snap is driving the Sasquatches
down from the hills - a trio were found dumpster-diving behind the
Goonieville Safeway and could only be enticed away with dollops of
squirrelburgers and hashish. A sticky confrontation was avoided.
* * *
The strong winds a couple weeks back played havoc with the Scartop
Ranch spread over on Cazadero Ridge. A 150-foot redwood crashed down
onto their meth cooker, 16 grow-lights were destroyed, and a hen with
her tail to the wind laid the same egg nine times. Quite a mess.
* * *
After a flash-flood in the March 1995 storm took out the Crippled
Gulch bridge on Upper Sweetwater Ridge Road, the county roads dept.
put up a DANGER - BRIDGE OUT sign. But since then nobody's gone over
the edge, so last week they took the sign down.
* * *
A few days ago KEITH RICHARDS showed up in Comptche for a recovery
party for some old friends there. It's reported that he was around
back of their sand-candle shed, heeding nature, when he was struck by
a Mendocino Brown rattlesnake. Medical help was called immediately,
but it was no use - within a half-hour, that snake was dead.
* * *
KEITH later said: "(sniff) Any bug that ever bit me, died. (sniff)"
Up here in the Russian River Ridges, banana-slug country supreme, the
riverrat town of Goonieville [er, Guerneville] used to hold an annual
SlugFest with music, booths, etc, and a cooking contest judged by
local DJs. Since discontinued. Bother. Anyway, at one of the later
Fests, a food entry was submitted, Banana Slug Cream Pie, consisting
of live sluggies in a graham-cracker shell covered with whipped cream.
And a brave yet insane woman, judging the contest, actually tasted
this, becoming AFAIK the only known human to voluntarily eat live
banana slugs. And smile. Grimly.
Now G'ville sticks to its Leather Festival, and here in Forestville
we've adulterated Poison Ivy Days with berries and wine, and it's just
not the same. At least in Joshua Tree they still do their Desert
Tortoise Races on 4 July.
Ric "I'll take that slug al dente, please" Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Not long after I moved to the River, we had two 100-YEAR FLOODS in two
months. Now there's less crap left to wash away. Except propane tanks.
SONOMA COWNTY (SCNA): A six-year-old boy was suspended from school
in Windsor for a month for bring unauthorized drugs to class. He was
caught trying to share-around his Flintstones Vitamins during his
first-grade class's Ritalin dispensing period. An appeal for rein-
statement has been filed with the Dept. of Futility Dept.
* * *
SC 5th Dist. Supervisor ED REILLY is hosting a series of flood-relief
seminars at the Goonieville Community Center for victims of the Rio
Nido mudslides. The first session is for those who have already been
evacuated; the second, for those wishing to be evacuated before the
next storm; and the third, for those whose neighbors will do anything
to have them evacuated, forcibly if possible.
* * *
Plans to pave the Russian River from Windsor to its mouth at Jenner,
possibly with a multi-level freeway to be built atop the channel, have
been halted due to a lack of gravel available from the Kaiser quarry
above Trenton. All the gravel was washed away in the recent floods.
* * *
Rafting season on the Russian River begins soon, and shark-spotters in
Goonieville, Hacienda and Forestville are already wiping binoculars in
anticipation of another glorious year of bloody carnage. At the mouth
of Austin Creek below Cazadero it's expected that pumas will also make
a fair catch of "raft-rats". Last year a number of French, German and
Japanese rafters/kayakers contributed to the upkeep of our carnivores.
* * *
Wary locals canoe here surrounded by mannikins on surfboards as bait.
SONOMA COWNTY (SCNA): Folks at the north end of Rockpile Road were
surprised to find their ranches moved across the county line by last
week's slippage of Buckeye Mtn. Mendocino County tax assessors have
been unable to arrive yet, due to the mysterious disappearance of the
Elkhorn Road access, so reevaluation of those properties will likely
have to wait until the weather clears and the slippage stops.
* * *
Sonoma County 5th Dist. Supervisor ED REILLY quickly filed a formal
complaint with his Mendo. County counterparts, claiming that their
overnight annexation of the relocated Rockpile Road area violated
state provisions for the equitable distribution of gasoline tax funds.
No hearing date has been set yet. ED is sharpening his machete.
* * *
A joint DEA/BATF task force stormed the Scartop Ranch spread over on
Cazadero Ridge last week. Three acres of sinsimella were confiscated,
along with two flare pistols, a smudge pot and a Mexican War cannon.
The hens were so frightened that they've started laying cammo eggs.
* * *
Eckankar recently moved their offices out of the small building on
Farmer's Lane they've long shared with the John Birch Society. The
local EckMeister said he could no longer stand the "weird" people
constantly looking for the American Opinion Bookstore and asking for
manuals on explosives, false IDs, net hacking and the Illuminati.
* * *
Gearing up for the coming electoral season, the county Republican
Party has relocated their campaign headquarters to the Grog Shop on
Santa Rosa Ave. The county chairwoman had no comment on the move.
* * *
The largest brass-domed Buddhist temple on Tin Barn Road was struck by
lightning several times yesterday. Three novitiates claimed to have
been rapturously enlightened, and moved out. No damage was reported.
* * *
The barber in Stewart's Point reports increased head-shavings lately.
*** U.S. has warmest, wettest Jan.-Feb. ever
The first two months of 1998 were the warmest and wettest on record
for the lower 48 U.S. states, based on 104 years of weather data, the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Monday. "These
record-breaking statistics are generally consistent with both a strong
El Nino and climate model projections of a continuing trend toward a
warmer and wetter world as greenhouse gases continue to increase,"
said Tom Karl, senior scientist at the NOAA's Climate Prediction
Center. The national average temperature during the January-February
period was 37.5 degrees F, compared with a normal 32.1 degrees, the
NOAA said. The previous record was 37.0 degrees in 1990.
Ric "just passing it along" Carter, email@example.com
SONOMA COWNTY (SCNA): March is finally shaping up, as months go. A
raingage north of Willits has recorded precipitation on every day of
1998 until this week. Now the blooms and potholes abound, and we seem
to be drying out - or, the El Nino-driven rains might cycle through
for another month or two. Pick your forecaster and take your chances.
* * *
DAVE McGAINLY's ranch above Horseshoe Cove is sinking. DAVE says that
his house, barn, curing shed, garden and leachfield have all subsided
at least two feet in the last 2 weeks. He attributes this to "the
edge of the continent breaking off and falling into the ocean, just
like in THE LAST DAYS OF THE LATE GREAT STATE OF CALIFORNIA. It's
starting, and we'd better bail out while we can!"
* * *
Community opinion on McGAINLY's plight is mixed. Your reporter
gathered these responses from customers at the Stewart's Point Store:
R.S., Stewart's Point: "He's nuts. He's always been nuts."
A.M.G., Tin Barn Rd.: "He's got bad Fung Shui, his buildings are
all oriented wrong, the earth spirits are reclaiming that place."
A.V., San Francisco: "How much will he sell out for?"
G,. Fisk Mill: "Dude, he's just downhill from my outflow, with the
chems I'm putting out I'm surprised his whole ranch hasn't dissolved
or levitated by now. Hey, you want a quantity of righteous crank?"
F.N., Sea Ranch: "Horseshoe Cove? Where's Horseshoe Cove?"
D.W., Gualala: "Don't say that! I've got five properties listed
around there, and they'll never move if these rumors... Say, you're
not going to print this, are you. Oh sh!t. You better not!"
D-M.S, Fort Ross: "That's happening all over now. Best get ready."
* * *
The pride of Sasquatch reported in Goonieville a few days ago have
been seen in the Austin Creek park area heading north, and not a
moment too soon according to the G'ville homeless community. "Those
buffs [Big Ugly Fat F*ckers] were scamming the dumpsters before any of
us people could could get to'em," groused one permanent transient.
* * *
A new pirate radio station has gone on the air, broadcasting from the
vicinity of the old Boy Scout camp near Cazadero, and can be heard
around 1650 KHz most nights when the wind isn't too strong for the
balloon holding the antenna wire up. If you hear Grateful Dead music
played backwards and NOAM CHOMSKY lectures, that's probably it.
* * *
A gaggle of killer geese escaped from the Exotic Farmworks compound on
Ross Valley Road near Graton and headed west into the hills. Two were
found impaled on hybrid long-spine opuntia at the Great Occidental
Desert And Devensive Perimeter Nursery. An unnamed source at GODDPN
said, "We usually get a few birds and squirrels stuck in the Pain &
Terror bushes, but these are the first geese we've seen here. They
looked like they was stalking the quail."
* * *
The carcass of a grainfed calf was found nearby, with goose-droppings.
DISPATCH FROM SONOMA COWNTY (SCNA): Davey's Tree Service is finishing
up the last of the limb-trimmings and trunk-truncations for damage
from the winter storms. The sounds of their powersaws is fading into
the distance; and since the summer crowd of tourists hasn't driven in
yet, this is the quiet season on the Russian River. 'Til May.
* * *
Reminds me that last October I drove through Roswell NM looking for
ETs etc. but the only aliens I saw were Japanese, French and German.
I guess I caught them at a stopever along their annual migration route
from California to wherever.
* * *
River sharks still haven't put in their appearance at Johnson's Beach
in Goonieville, as it isn't canoe season yet. But a few were seen
whipping around their spawning grounds on the upper forks of Russian
Gulch, and they seem excessively fast. GONZO from Scartop Farms on
Caz Ridge thinks he might flushed a bit too much meth into the Gulch
drainage during the last BATF raid. "With the quality we've been
getting, those boogers'll be a bitch to evade," he opined.
* * *
The 5th annual Turf'N'Surf Suicide Bike-a-thon is set for the 2nd
weekend of April - tough twisty roads from Healdsburg to Stewart's
Point to Jenner to Forestville to Healdsburg. The boys down at Club
Forestville are already sharpening their Ben-Hur hubcaps and dreaming
of the spandex pelts they'll bag this year. 'Muck' MacGEUN still brags
of the 5-header he scored along Wolf Creek in '95. "And I'd'a made it
6 if that dwarf hadn't hit the water," he said, downing another mickey
of white port and taking aim at a passing unicyclist.
* * *
Old-timers in Sonoma Cownty still mourn the passing of the Brass Ass
Saloon, with branches in Cotati and Montgomery Village, and the annual
Ass-To-Ass marathon run between them. The optional Half-Ass one-way
run was especially popular, with the last arrival winning a full keg.
* * *
People driving past the old quicksilver mine on Sweetwater Springs
Road at night report sounds of activity from the condemned site. UFOs
are suspected, although locals say it's just the Kobolds returning.
* * *
As the water level receded in the Laguna de Santa Rosa last week, the
wreckage of SISTER SUE, a salmon boat out of Half Moon Bay reported
missing in January, was found under the Occidental Road viaduct.
Investigating Sonoma Cownty sheriffs were disappointed at not having
any suspects to shoot. No salvage rights have been claimed yet.
* * *
This is probably the end of the storm-reports season. Just as well.
There is (maybe) a project I'll be working on Real Soon Now - I've
gathered up a lot of free mapping data, and I have the warez to
massage it, to this end: I'll build a 3D view of the Russian River
Valley, with the River at its normal level of 10 feet - flood level
around here is 35-40 feet - and then I'll run simulations showing the
effects of flood stages of 40, 50, 60 feet etc. And THEN I'll leave
the river where it is, and raise the sea-level, simulating a SERIOUS
melting of icecaps, and see at what point my town becomes a seaport -
Port Forestville CA. And THEN I'll expand the view to cover all of
the greater Bay/Delta region, Cloverdale to King City, Placerville to
Porterville, and see what submerges simultaneously. New fjords, bays,
islands, peninsulae, all with a wave of my hand, some incantations,
etc. SUCH POWER!!! Think I'll drown L.A. too. No loss...
Everyone, send me your coordinates and elevation [borrow someone's GPS
receiver if you have to] and I'll tell you how much Global Warming is
needed to set you afloat. Or I may just vector something your way...
SONOMA COWNTY (SCNS): Those of us with old leg and other fractures are
all groaning tonight, so another low-pressure system must be moving
in. We can hardly wait until summer, so we can complain of droughts
and fire conditions instead of our aching breaks and fungus farms.
* * *
ED "Mucho Minnows" MINKOWSKI, the honorary mayor of Comptche, walked
into Dave's Cycle Repairs & Hog Heaven and picked up a crank assembly
that DAVE had just finished welding. Then he put it down again, very
quickly. DAVE grinned, "Burned yourself, didn't ya." "No," replied
Hizzonner, "it just don't take me very long to inspect 'cycle work."
* * *
An underground faction of the Cloverdale municipal gov't voted last
night to dynamite the recently-completed section of US 101 that
totally bypasses the town. Support expected from the Chamber of
Commerce was not forthcoming, as the CoC closed its doors last week
due to lack of business. Nobody was around to notice.
* * *
"F*cking Cloverdale is gonna dry up and blow away" said Ms. HARMONY
SUNSHINE of the Geyser Ridge Llama Commune, "and just in time - those
town scum have been overcharging us for EVERYTHING, for YEARS. Now
their karma's caught up with'em, and they can all kiss Kali. Ommm..."
* * *
The Sasquatch pride reported in Goonieville awhile back is suspected
of crossing Anderson Valley near Boonville on their way north. The
dumpsters behind Boontling Liquors and Ozone Organic Foods were over-
turned yesterday, and KEN "Kahuna" KIRBY's prized Hawaiian Koa wood
surfboard appears to have been chewed up. KIRBY guesses that he
shouldn't have used so much hemp oil in the board's finish.
* * *
Comptche is buttoning-up in anticipation of the Sasquatches' arrival.
All day long now I'm munching carrots. Busy busy busy.
* News from Sonoma Cownty(r) - 25 June 1998 *
Musicians, technicians, audiences, pushers and surveillance teams are
already gathering near Lobelia Ampitheatre west of Cazadero for the
Ft.Ross FVD Benefit Concert and Hash-Brownie Bake Sale this weekend.
A record crowd is anticipated, and the Goonieville Sheriff Substation
holding pen has already been expanded with a circus tent [redolent of
amyl nitrate] confiscated during the Russian River Rodeo and Leather
Fest just last weekend. Deputies call this a lucky coincidence.
A giant squid, a huge white sperm whale and several harpooned Orcas
were found beached on the sandbar at the mouth of the Russian River
yesterday morning. Tracks detected in the sand indicate at least one
peg-legged person left the scene. Sheriff's deputies and auxilieries
conducted a hovel-to-hovel search in the nearby hamlet of Jenner but
found nobody unimpaired enough to have walked that far. The thorough
investigation will continue until the FRVFD concert begins Saturday.
Deputies responded to a disturbance at the Pink Elephant Tavern in
Monte Rio last night. One man, a drifter swinging a pointed stick and
cursing, was taken into custody. His identity is unclear; "Call me
ISHMAEL" is all he would say. A public defender has been appointed.
The X-treme Sports Skateboard Giant Luge competition scheduled to take
place on Hwy.29 down Mt.St.Helena was called off as organizers failed
to deposit the proper funds in the Napa-Lake Peace Officers Benevolent
Ass'n account. Due to a lower bid from the Sonoma County Sheriff's
Retirement Fund managers, the event will be held on Geyser Peak Rd.
UFO sightings on Mt.Jackson have diminished in recent weeks.
HISTORICAL SUPPLEMENT: The Bear, the Corn, and the Hogs
You talk about bears! Why, when I first came to Rooshan River bears
was plentier than cattle is now, and they was a little bit the smartest
bears that I or anybody else ever seed. Why, do you know, there was a
neighbor of mine had a fine field of corn, and he also had a find lot
of hogs. In the fall, when the corn began to get ripe, the bears would
come into the field and make awful work among the corn; they were jest
liter'ly cleanin' it out, and the hogs was a-disappearin' too, and the
old fellow couldn't find where the bears had killed any of the hogs,
and he was clean beat out. At last, when all of his hogs and a good
deal of his corn had disappeared, he thought it was about time to
investigate. So he started out. After huntin' around for some time
he found a trail leadin' off from the corn field in the direction of a
patch of timber about three miles away. He followed the trail, and
when he got to the timber he discovered his hogs nicely inclosed in a
pen, and the bears was a-packin' the corn out there, and feedin' it to
the hogs, fattenin' them for their own eatin' for their winter meat!
From Phinny's Calendar, or Western Almanac, for the Year of Our Lord
1875..., by George R. Perkins, LL.D., (n.p.). Buffalo, New York;
Published by James M. Lent.
A correspondent of a California contemporary writes: "The following
rather tough bear story was told in my hearing by an old settler in
Russian River Valley. I give it as I got it." —G.R.P.
From A TREASURY OF WESTERN FOLKLORE, ed. by B.A. Botkin, New York: 1951
Ric Carter, firstname.lastname@example.org,
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