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David Hines [userpic]

HOLY CRAP

March 2nd, 2009 (06:03 pm)
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I may have mentioned that for the late part of 2008 and early 2009, my luck was incredibly, astoundingly horrible for months, so horrible, in fact, that 2009 was basically turning into the worst year of my life. And I have had some bad years, folks. But recently, it's like the switch has flipped. In the past couple of weeks, my luck and good fortune has suddenly shot through the roof. Consider:

  • I discovered that John F. Carr's H. Beam Piper biography has come out, and I am quoted in it.

  • I found a bronze Doc Savage bust, which I had wanted for years, on Ebay. AND WON IT.

  • My Kindle 2 arrived, and it has made my life a brighter, finer, cleaner place. Review when I stop hugging it.

  • I finally got to take my pistol instructor class, after waiting, literally, for a year.

  • I heard back, unexpectedly, from an artist regarding a commission I thought had been forgotten -- I'd made contact with a brief description of what I wanted, and never heard back, until I got a phone call from said artist saying, "Hey, I'm about to start on it." And I've been emailed a scan; it's gorgeous.

  • The pistol instructor suddenly announced his plans to teach a rifle instructor course in a couple of weeks.

  • Something else happened that I am not yet going to discuss, because it is not final yet but for me it is a very serious OH MY GOD level of fannish cool.


And today, I saw a Florida panther.

This afternoon, leaving our second site. We stopped at our equipment truck to drop stuff off, then drove down the (long) dirt road to the gate. It is not unusual to see wild pigs in the road, or deer. I was reading in the back seat when somebody in the front said, "WHOA!" And I looked up.

It was a fully grown Florida panther. Guys, lemme tell you, for some reason I had had a mental image of something smaller, but this thing was HUGE. Practically waist height on me, and I'm six feet tall. Thigh height, definitely. It had muscles like you wouldn't believe and a long, long tail, and it was going down the road just ahead of us. I saw it just as it saw us. It turned on a dime and just slid into the long grass like a sword into water. And then it was gone, and the three of us in the car collectively lost our shit.

There are estimated to be between eighty and a hundred Florida panthers alive. They are critically endangered, in part because they do not realize they are critically endangered and so a surprising number of them die at the claws of other Florida panthers. Others are hit by cars or suffer the usual vicissitudes of the wild. They are insanely rare, and lots of naturalists who wish desperately to see one never get the chance.

Today, I saw one.

The people in the other car did not see it, and they think we are all lying. THEY WISH.

I am going to start buying lottery tickets.

Comments

Posted by: mendori (mendori)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 11:40 pm (UTC)

DUDE! That's seriously cool. I've always wanted to see one. I've seen mountain lions and wolves and coyotes, but those are so common its not funny. I also once saw a wild piebald gator, down in south GA, which is stupidly rare, but not a distinct species.

Dude. Seriously cool

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:38 am (UTC)

No kidding.

Some seriously weird stuff is swirling around me. Right now, my luck is turned way up. No idea what the hell's going on, but I am not going to question it.

Posted by: Steve Nagy (stevenagy)
Posted at: March 2nd, 2009 11:51 pm (UTC)

I found a bronze Doc Savage bust, which I had wanted for years, on Ebay. AND WON IT.

Have you checked out the Nostalgia Ventures reprints of Doc Savage and The Shadow? I'm quite enjoying them.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:39 am (UTC)

I have! The Docs, at least, not the Shadows yet. I think they're really terrific. A real quality production.

Posted by: Steve Nagy (stevenagy)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)

I like the illustrations, especially on the later Docs. It gives you a good perspective on how that aspect changed over the years and how ... insular is probably the best word to describe it ... especially in some of the WWII stories, where stereotypes were the norm for some of the villains. I'm thinking Terror Wears No Shoes and The Red Spider. I've yet to see what they do with The Black, Black Witch.

As for the Shadows ... they're growing on me. I'm just reading the 3rd volume and its second story, The Voodoo Master, involves one of the "supervillains." So far I'm still partial to Doc. His stories are so extravagant--in a good way--and the covers so remarkable compared to the Shadow's, that it's hard not to see how much more these influenced current popular culture than the other. Of course, I'm coming to them from that self
-same culture. I enjoy some mysteries and thrillers, but not as much as I enjoy SF.

They're both good entertaining reads, though, which is top priority for me.

Posted by: amonitrate (amonitrate)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
its the claw

Yay for good luck!

They are critically endangered, in part because they do not realize they are critically endangered and so a surprising number of them die at the claws of other Florida panthers.

This made me snort out loud. Seriously.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)
catwoman and holly

It's sadly true. The lab with which I am affiliated was called in on Florida panther deaths for years, and it was amazing how often they had clear trauma from other panthers. YOU GUYS. ENDANGERED. QUIT IT.

(Florida residents also shot the bejesus out of them, in the old days. Something about their little habits of snacking on livestock and small children.)

Posted by: Maire (mkcs)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 01:17 am (UTC)

That is just so cool!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:42 am (UTC)

Isn't it? I honestly never, ever thought I would see one.

Posted by: beatrice_otter (beatrice_otter)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)

It's so awesome things are going well for you. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)

After how badly they went, I really need luck. Lots. Lots and lots and lots. I will cheerfully take all of it the universe chooses to dole out.

Posted by: cyano (cyano)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)

That's really cool!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)

Ain't it? I don't know what I expected to happen today when I woke up, but that certainly wasn't on the list.

Posted by: vito excalibur (vito_excalibur)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 05:54 am (UTC)

Oh damn, how amazing! That is awesome. Yay for luck turning around!

Posted by: If you can't win the game, change the rules (badmagic)
Posted at: March 3rd, 2009 02:41 pm (UTC)

Seeing a florida panther is cool.

Seeing a florida panther in some other state than embedded in a truck bumper is seriously great.

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