Welcome to this Beaver Moon Edition of On the Prowl.
If your inbox is like mine, it has been blown up with Black Friday ads. Each has a deal I need to act on now, right now. I need a break and I’m guessing you do, too.
This my gift to you, an edition filled with drunk squirrels, roll overs, gingerbread soldiers and a robin.
November’s full moon comes early on Monday the 30th, 4:30am. Also known as the Frost Moon, the Beaver Moon is the time of year beavers get busy preparing for winter. They reinforce their dens, getting ready for ice and snow. Not coincidentally, it’s the same time of year trappers stock up on their supply of furs for the winter.
Here in Northern Indiana, we have 0% chance of seeing the moon. Forecast is for clouds leaking rain and then snow. It is officially the Holiday Season. Here in Northern Indiana, we have 0% chance of seeing the moon. Forecast is for clouds leaking rain and then snow. It is officially the Holiday Season.
It’s Not Just Your Uncle Who’s a Funny Drunk
Berries and fruits can ferment naturally. In the presence of yeast and bacteria, the sugar in the fruit juice can ferment into alcohol. Alcohol that some of our favorite critters love just as much as us two legged animals. IFL Science has collected social media postings of zoned out chipmunks and uncoordinated squirrels. And it turns out trees and moose go together just as much as trees and cars. Gather the family around the screen for these videos. IFL Science Squirrel!
Some of our animal friends have harder tasted. Jaguars nibble on the hallucinogenic yage, regressing into stoned kittens doing impressions of rugs on the jungle floor. Parrots have been so aggressive in their pursuit of Poppies in India at this article called the attacks “raids”. The government has issued warnings about the addict birds, who have changing their habits, going into a stealth mode when attacking farms. IFL Science Polly Wanta Poppy
SPOT THE ROBIN
I am thrilled to reveal the cover for Diamond’s second mystery, Suicide Squeeze. Cover art is by the talented JT Lindroos, who has made the covers for Diamond’s 1st and both of Cruz’s covers. In the design of Widow’s Run, we featured a robin, Diamond’s arch enemy. JT incorporated this little nuisance into the new cover. Can you spot him?
ROLL CAR ROLL
You know I love to share tidbits I pick up when I’m researching for my books or podcasts. This one, like so many, was totally unexpected. I needed a car crash for a scene I was working on. I didn’t particularly care about the crash so much as the result. I needed the driver to eventually die and the passenger to live. I called one of my favorite experts, my brother Vito, a Cleveland Fire Fighter. I explained what I needed and how I thought a roll over would make for a good dramatic scene but would it be too contrived to have a small SUV roll over on Cleveland’s city streets?
Short answer: No. Nope. Happens all time.
Really?!?!? Cause I’ve been driving for a lot of years, in a lot of weather conditions and never (knock on wood) did I feel in danger of rolling over.
And then began my list of questions. Were they on interstate on/off ramps? No. Normal streets. Did they hit some sort of ramp to make them flip? Nope. Just curbs.
His un-verified statistics indicated that speed is a key ingredient. It happens a decent amount of times with stolen cars. By the time Cleveland Fire arrives on the scene, the occupants have cut through the seat belts and fled the scene.
Here’s footage from a real roll over crash of an ordinary guy with a Go Pro mounted on his dashboard. Roll Over A vehicle stops unexpectedly in front of the driver, who takes evasive action that prevents a rear-end collision but results in a roll over. Start watching from the 2 minutes mark.
A 2011 report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed 328 roll over crashes. The study was part of an effort into increase protection during rollovers because, while they accounted for only 3% of crashes, they were 33% of fatalities. Because statistics are fun (shut up, yes they are) here are a few for you:
- 68% involved only 1 vehicle.
- 50% had only 1 person in the vehicle.
- 69% had male drivers. Of those, 31% were age 21-30, 28% age 31-40.
- About 60% of drivers and passengers wore seatbelts.
- 31% involved alcohol, which means 69% were sober.
- The percent of people ejected and percent of people without seatbelts were about the same.
- No numbers with this, but it seemed to this reader the fatalities were associated with being ejected from the vehicle or head injuries due to striking the roof.
Soooo if you are male, between the ages of 21 and 40, are sober and driving alone, wear your seatbelt and work extra hard to keep them tires on the road.
And, no, I didn’t end up using a roll over in the scene. I went with a front end collision.
GINGERBREAD SOLDIERS TO ARMS!!!
Back in 2014, I began writing short stories revolving around Philip and Bridget and their not-so-picture perfect holiday adventures. Some were exaggerations of my own experiences. Some were pure fiction. This one is in the latter category (I can’t make a cookie to save my life!)
Bridget has a great idea. Instead of buying gifts for teachers, she is going to make beautiful, magazine worthy cookies, made even more special by doing them with her four (yes, four) children. Don’t laugh at Bridget, laugh with her.
Use this link: GSTA and the password Holiday20 to access a private page on my website. You can read story there or download the .pdf.
Look out for the Next Edition of
On the Prowl
December 30, the Cold Moon will be on the rise. I look forward to bringing tidbits to warm you and to kick 2020 out on its buttocks.