Archive for July, 2021

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I’m taking a week off from writing a posting and will let my wife, Lynn, fill in. Just typing this brief explanation is a bit painful. Friday afternoon I bought a new pair of shoes and put them on in Mitchell cabin when we got home.  Unfortunately, the heel on the shoes is thicker than what I’m used to, and coming down from our loft, I tripped and fell head first down several stairs.

Luckily, my head wasn’t hurt although my glasses were broken. Along with scapes and bruises, the ligament joining my right arm and shoulder blade was badly pulled, so my right arm is momentarily in a sling. The wound is painful, irritating, but not much of a disaster. So without further adieu, here’s Lynn (at far left):

By Lynn Axelrod Mitchell

On Saturday, July 17, CERT trainees and volunteer trainers met at the Coast Guard property in Point Reyes Station for the final training requirements for the Community Emergency Response Team.

Because of the pandemic’s shelter-in-place issues, CERT officials worked out a hybrid of online training preceding the in-person day of activities. Ordinarily all of the training would be in-person. 

This also was the first year that current CERTs ran the in-person activities. Those of us participating as trainers had received all our training from active Fire Department personnel. We arrived from our various West Marin communities. A few active-duty Fire personnel slipped in to help. We were guided by Bolinas Assistant Fire Chief Steve Marcotte (far right, group photo) and Maggie Lang, Acting Marin County CERT Coordinator. We dropped our masks for this photo but otherwise wore them all day.

CERTs are activated to help ‘hold the line’ during disasters and emergencies until the professionals arrive. Training in-person included fire extinguisher use, basic search and rescue, triage/bandaging, cribbing (ie, how to lift heavy items off victims without relying on muscular strength alone), radio communications, incident-command system, disaster simulation. CERT certification allows for workers’ compensation coverage during an official activation. 

If you think you will want to help during a community emergency, you may as well get some training. Volunteer CERTs are asked to help when they can. More information can be found here: https://readymarin.org/cert-hybrid-training/

 

Yours truly trying to look reasonably competent using a hand-held radio. (My left hand, flipper positioned, is possibly a holdover from childhood ballet school days but, in any case, is not required.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wishing everyone good health & safety,

Lynn, Coordinator, pointreyesdisastercouncil.org 

 

Caveat lectorem: When readers submit comments, they are asked if they want to receive an email alert with a link to new postings on this blog. A number of people have said they do. Thank you. The link is created the moment a posting goes online. Readers who find their way here through that link can see an updated version by simply clicking on the headline above the posting.

 

These days it’s hard to predict what I’ll find when I go out the front door of Mitchell cabin.

 

Eight to 10 raccoons hang around Mitchell cabin most evenings begging for food, so finding a raccoon asleep just outside the door isn’t unusual or worrisome.

 

Finding a skunk, however, puts me on alert. Years ago, a friend gave me a grinding stone found in the hills near Gilroy, and we keep it on the deck with water in the bowl for birds and other wildlife. Nowadays, among the other wildlife that’s taken to dropping by for a drink are a couple of skunks.

 

Skunks and raccoons get along surprisingly well. The raccoons are deferential, and the most aggressive the skunks ever get is to shoulder one aside.

 

When I put out a few handfuls of kibble for the raccoons, two and occasionally three skunks sometimes show up to peaceably partake in the repast.

A mother raccoon with four kits. The mating season for raccoons is March through June.

Stuck at a border crossing between two pastures, horses belonging to Point Reyes Arabian Adventures (as seen from our deck) provide us with an especially orderly view of animal life.

Caveat lectorem: When readers submit comments, they are asked if they want to receive an email alert with a link to new postings on this blog. A number of people have said they do. Thank you. The link is created the moment a posting goes online. Readers who find their way here through that link can see an updated version by simply clicking on the headline above the posting.

There’s been quite a bit to report these last few days, ranging from a camera crew spending a day at Mitchell cabin to having a clutch of baby swallows fledge shortly before their mud nest fell off a cabin wall and shattered on our deck.

Preparing for a podcast interview, gaffer Arthur Aravena (left) and cameraman Jake Futernick set up lights in Mitchell cabin’s loft. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod Mitchell)

On Saturday, a crew from Pegalopictures in Los Angeles showed up to interview me about The Point Reyes Light’s investigation of Synanon. That probe occurred back in the 1970s when I edited and published the newspaper.

Synanon, which was founded as a drug-rehab program, evolved into a violent cult. Among its various crimes, Synanon tried to murder Los Angeles attorney Paul Morantz by hiding a rattlesnake in his mailbox. The snake’s bite almost killed him and prompted law enforcement to belatedly pay attention to the group, which was then headquartered in Marshall.

Pegalopictures’ podcast will air in coming months. Podcasts (digital files for the Internet) can be called up on YouTube at any time. Less than a day after my interview, Pegalopictures began promoting it (above) as on their horizon.

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Fuzzy Slippers in Sausalito — Before the pandemic, I used to go the No Name Bar every Friday night with architect Jon Fernandez to listen to live jazz featuring the Michael Aragon Quartet. This past week, the bar resumed its musical performances. Aragon, the drummer has now retired but showed up Saturday with the band Fuzzy Slippers. From left: KC Filson, keyboard; Rob Fordyce, guitar, singer, and band leader; Michael Aragon, drums; Luis Carbone, congo drums.

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Cliff swallows, as I’ve been reporting, built a nest in the eaves over our kitchen last month. They do it almost every year. Because the nests are made of mud stuck to the wood, they sometimes fall off and shatter.

A cliff swallow flies away from its nest Saturday.

 

A chick in the nest waits with a gaping mouth to be fed.

The disaster of cliff swallows is evident on our deck.

We found the smashed remains of the nest on Tuesday, a day after the three chicks in the nest fledged. Along with their droppings soiling the deck below them, their mud nest lined with grass left us with quite a mess to clean up. Even so, it had been fun having the swallows around.

 

Caveat lectorem: When readers submit comments, they are asked if they want to receive an email alert with a link to new postings on this blog. A number of people have said they do. Thank you. The link is created the moment a posting goes online. Readers who find their way here through that link can see an updated version by simply clicking on the headline above the posting.

This week I’m departing from my traditional format and going commercial. I want to sell my second car, a 1992 Nissan glass-roofed convertible. It runs well but has a few dings in the body, such as a rust hole (taped over) in the right rear fender. As a result, I’m asking only $450 for it — which is too little to warrant traditional advertising.

 

Lynn and I this afternoon took the car on a farewell ride up Tomales Bay, and I used the opportunity to shoot a couple of photos.

‘Twas a happy outing with the sun warming us and Sibelius’ joyous music providing a pleasant soundtrack. 

 

Unlike the rest of the car, its CD Player with AM/FM radio is relatively new. It, therefore, includes BlueTooth, Pandora, a telephone hookup, and more.

 

Here is how the hard-top convertible looks with its glass panels in place. When the roof is open, the panels lie on the floor of the trunk.

Potential buyers can see the car up close. Just email me at davemi@horizoncable.com so we can arrange a time.

Caveat lectorem: When readers submit comments, they are asked if they want to receive an email alert with a link to new postings on this blog. A number of people have said they do. Thank you. The link is created the moment a posting goes online. Readers who find their way here through that link can see an updated version by simply clicking on the headline above the posting.

A Great Blue Heron stepping out in front of Mitchell cabin Monday. Herons and egrets drop by occasionally to hunt for gophers. This guy later speared one coming out of its hole.

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A compendium of bloopers spotted on hospital charts is making the rounds in West Marin:

• The patient refused autopsy.

• The patient has no previous history of suicides.

• Patient has left white blood cells at another hospital.

• She has no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night.

• Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year.

• On the second day the knee was better, and on the third day it disappeared.

• The patient is tearful and crying constantly.  She also appears to be depressed.

• The patient has been depressed since she began seeing me in 1993.

• Discharge status: Alive but without permission.

• Healthy appearing decrepit 69-year old male, mentally alert but forgetful.

• Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch.

• She is numb from her toes down.

• While in ER, she was examined, x-rated and sent home.

• The skin was moist and dry.

A deer and heron together went looking for breakfast awhile back. Herons are crepuscular, meaning that they’re most active around sunrise and sunset.

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• Occasional, constant infrequent headaches.

• Patient was alert and unresponsive.

• Rectal examination revealed a normal size Thyroid.

• She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce.

• I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy.

• Both breasts are equal and reactive to light and accommodation.

• Examination of genitalia reveals that he is circus sized.

• The lab test indicated abnormal lover function.

• Skin: somewhat pale but present.

• The pelvic exam will be done later on the floor.

• Patient has two teenage children, but no other abnormalities.