Cold, cold, cold this morning. All the house roofs white and sparkling, the grass at Pebblebrook stiff with frost, all over town the flowers and shrubs covered with sheets and blankets and towels. I sat on my back patio in the chill, thinking about how lucky we are to be here instead of freezing and deep in the snow that covers most of the rest of the country. Then some five or six rabbits went screaming by in leaps and hops from right to left along the bushes on our back property line, the quail squawking up a storm. I knew that was the prelude to our friendly coyotes out looking for breakfast, a rabbit pie maybe. This is the same trio that passes through regularly, large, healthy, beautifully coated—tan, with black streaks along the neck and front legs, puffy tails tipped in black, a curious patch across the shoulders that looks like a tiny saddle. No rabbits this morning even though the lead animal sniffed at each bush along the way, hoping to flush one out for the trailing two to capture. No quail either. The quail aren’t afraid of coyotes and will usually surround one or more in a circle and angrily give them the business, loud quail invective, probably “Bastards! Sonzabitchs!” in quailese.
Then back indoors to wait for a bowl game or two, listen to a bit of music, read more of my latest reading venture. I don’t really care about any of the bowl teams but I’ll watch anyway, just because it’s football and it’s a guy thing. On my computer I have a playlist of vocal groups, 140 tracks by New York Voices, The Serendipity Singers, The Manhattan Transfer, The Singers Unlimited, The Hi-Los, and The Four Freshmen. Right now I’m listening to the freshmen singing “Graduation Day.” Wow, does that one take me back a few years. I have it on shuffle so that it’s not always the same group. If you’ve never heard The Singers Unlimited you’re missing a treat. There are only four of them often singing a cappella, their voices duped and trebled in the studio to make them sound like a much larger group. The reading venture is the Robert Crais series featuring the p.i. Elvis Cole. I’d read them all five or six years ago and decided to reread. It’s nice as a senior that I can reread novels and feel like it’s a first time thing. Elvis Cole is a west coast version of Parker’s Boston Spenser—same cockiness and quick tongue, same sort of literary allusions that dumber folks don’t pick up on, same stoic tough guy sidekick, same plodding investigative technique. Fourteen in the series and at the rate I’m reading lately I should finish in four weeks.
Oh, man, The Singers Unlimited are now doing their version of “Indian Summer.” Gorgeous. And soon, Miami and Notre Dame will be on in the Who Cares Bowl. It’s a guy thing.