Journal Entries

The Big News: The Raccoon Made It

Good news: The #mprraccoon has been safely trapped atop the 25-storey office building he climbed yesterday in St Paul, Minnesota. A grateful nation applauds and sighs with relief.

Yesterday, Twitter erupted: the little 'trash panda' was spotted doggedly climbing the office building next to the studios of Minnesota Public Radio (hence the 'mpr' hashtag). Worried office workers posted photos whenever he stopped to rest outside their windows.

Frantic calls were made to authorities. Suggestions for trapping the climber were posted. The fire department explained patiently that they couldn't in all conscience risk a human out there, but had baited a live trap on the roof with yummy cat food. Like dogs, raccoons love cat food. They'd just have to wait until the mprraccoon got to the roof. Biologists assured everyone that raccoons were amazing climbers.

People were beside themselves with anxiety.

'If the #MPRaccoon falls on his descent, and no one is there to catch him in a fluffy warm towel, I’m holding the entire state of Minnesota responsible.'

'Come on buddy.. make it home safe.'

'If you're going through hell, take a nap, then keep going.' (Accompanied by a breathtaking photo of the raccoon ascending the concrete face of the building, surrounded by other high-rises. It's worse than the Matterhorn.)

It was an emotional experience - for the humans, not the raccoon.

'#mpraccoon made it to the top! With the week I'm having, I don't think I could have handled a different outcome.'

Twitter is interesting. I'm glad the raccoon made it okay.

For photos and videos, see

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [7]

Latest reply: Jun 13, 2018

Let Sleeping Editors Lie

Oh, the problems of pseudo-parenthood.

These nights, I wake up oftener. And when I do, it's usually because a tiny, sandpaper-like tongue is licking my nose.

TJ the kitty has discovered that the bed has a handy staircase. That's to help the five-pound dog, who can't jump like the cats. TJ has discovered the secret to sharing a bed with Lola: *don't wake her up*. As long as you don't disturb her zzzz's, she doesn't care what else you do. Like play pattacake with my face.

For reasons I cannot fathom, TJ has decided that I'm the one to cuddle with at midnight. Probably because I don't growl. Okay, TJ, but I'm living for the day you learn how to retract those claws. Till then, I need to think up a snappy comeback for 'Why do you have all those little scratches on your face?'

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: Jun 9, 2018

Sinister Warning

I have purchased a video camera on sale.

Thanks to expert 11-year-old help, it has been assembled.

I am reading the instructions:

'Warning: Stop using the product immediately if it emits smoke or a strange smell, or otherwise behaves abnormally.'

I shall observe it carefully for abnormal behaviour.

smiley - lurk

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [10]

Latest reply: Jun 4, 2018

And in Other News, Eleanor Rigby Gives Birth in Tampa Airport

Ah, look at all the airport people
Ah, look at all the rescue people

Eleanor Rigby has her new babies
In Tampa with help from the team,
Is it a dream?
Looks at her puppies, cute little faces
That Twitter will 'like', that's for sure,
Foll'wers galore,

All the little puppies
Where did they all come from?
All the little puppies,
To whom do they belong?

Nugget looks guilty, nobody guessed
The delivery was so very near,
That much is clear,
Look at them working, medical rescue is glad to give help, they were there,
They really care

All the little puppies
They're Labs, let's give a cheer,
All the little puppies,
They're Facebook-bound, that's clear.

Eleanor Rigby, top service dog,
Now a mommy, she's earned her half-hour of fame,
Journalists came,
Poor guilty Nugget, watching the action
And hoping he might get a treat,
From Ellie's big feat.

All the Philly puppies
They're Labs, so cute, you know,
All the little puppies,
On the late-night TV show...

With absolutely no apologies, as everybody deserves this during silly season.

Discuss this Journal entry [4]

Latest reply: May 29, 2018

Tigers in NYC and Laundry in the Transporter Room

I've just finished putting up a book review in Peer Review, per request. The book, which I read last night, is by the late Lee Israel, a rather unlikely, but talented, literary forger. Her book is a lot of fun, and the review is at A87910095.

The reason I mention this is that I was thinking about New Yorkers, of which Ms Israel was one. They're an unusual breed of human: many don't drive cars, for instance. They're usually really savvy about people. But due to their living conditions, they often don't know anything about any animal other than a human. This can be funny. This was illustrated in Ms Israel's book in her anecdote about trying to deal with flies in her Upper West Side apartment.

Last week, New Yorkers made the rest of us laugh again with their hilarious lack of woodsy lore. Here in western Pennsylvania, we are accustomed to deer in the backyard and rather large beers outside the Main Street pizzeria. The pastor, assistant pastor, and the male half of the elders at the local church are all hunters and fishers. It's that kind of place.

In New York City last week, they call the cops to report a tiger on the loose. People huddled indoors as a helicopter scouted overhead.

Read this story to see what they had mistaken for a tiger. The author has provided helpful hints for telling the creatures apart.

I've lived in cities half my life. The other half I've spent in the country, suburbs, or small towns. I can see both sides, and I enjoy the innocent laughter at the expense of city people confused by nature.

My brother-in-law used to teach Earth Science to city kids. He enjoyed bringing chicks and ducklings into the classroom. The teenagers were mystified. His own grandkids happily gather eggs on the farm.

My dreamlife isn't interested in nature these days. It's stuck in outer space. (I have celiac, and I think I ate something dubious last weekend. This results in pain and deeply weird dreams.)

Last night, I was on a spaceship. I must have been the engineer - yeah, right - because I was trying to install a transporter. I cleared off an area on the ship, and I ordered some parts from somewhere.

I had to send one part back: the housing said 'Voyager'. I sent it back with the note, 'Wrong show, get me another one.

When I got it together, I went back to where I was supposed to install the device. Lo and behold, a diplomat passenger had strung his (deeply odd) personal laundry up in that part of the ship! He had wet clothes everywhere. I was just explaining politely why we needed the space when I woke up.

Maybe Earth people don't know any more about life in space than New Yorkers know about wildlife.

smiley - dragon

Discuss this Journal entry [11]

Latest reply: May 15, 2018

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Dmitri Gheorgheni - Not Banned in China

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