By: joealaska , 06:52 GMT le 08 février 2012

Watching a special on the wildlife of Madagascar. MANY varieties of lemurs, as well as several animals unique only to that island. Pretty interesting.

I got an email from UK talking about American football (GRONKOWSKI) and rugby. Rugby IS played here through private leagues and some colleges. Yes, it is brutal. I have an old friend (ALL my friends are old...) who used to play a lot. He wore sweatshirts that said RUGBY PLAYERS EAT THEIR DEAD. He told me they would play a game, then drink a keg of beer afterwards. THEN, they would play keep-away with the empty keg.

Last night I paid a visit to the FIRST boat that had the engine fire. They are doing repairs and about to go into drydock. I was going to see my friend who was the cook on board. He was mopping the galley floor and the only person on board who was not in bed. It was about 8 PM. He had 7 stitches in his chin after taking a dive from a stairway on board. Lucky it was only seven.

When I left it was hard to see where I was walking. The deck was not lit, and there were hoses and lines everywhere. There was also a three foot drop from one deck to another, with no hand rail or rail of any sort. Just two big stairs in the dark. Glad I remembered it was there in the first place.

Later last night FRANK THE FOX made an appearance at the dry and dusty CHOW PORCH.

I noticed Dutchie staring out the window at a big neighborhood cat sitting on the porch. Then I saw a second cat out in the driveway also staring at the cat on the porch. Finally I saw FRANK nearby just sitting and taking it all in. So I went out and chased away the cats. It was not easy. Normally a fox would run away also, but not Frank.

He thus passed his first test of PORCH WORTHINESS. There are other tests. Putting up with a human and a cat staring at them from a nearby window. Occasional, to many FLASHES from a camera. OH, and me talking to him in close range.

Frank did pretty good with the preliminaries.

I put out the old dog food I have had for maybe a year. Then some wet cat stuff. When he came around to the kitchen window he got some lettuce and cucumber. No to the lettuce, but he schlepped up the cuke.

He did the circling routine, coming in close then back out. It goes on and on, and I just do not have that time to sit two hours by the window. So I come back and he is a bit closer. He took some food from the porch, but it was late. I went to bed. Early this morning I woke up and all the food was eaten. Cat or fox, or FARFLE???

The wind is picking up now. 45 mph. Now it is snowing again, after I finally cleared of my porch.

Yet I grill. A bit of a challenge. It took two flicks of my BIC.

But I have ZERO plates. The paper ran out. Will have to make do.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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15. cholla
17:43 GMT le 11 février 2012
Joe will notice if he/she exhibits any of Hoppy's traits. I don't know what kind of traits, if any, that vulpines pass on to their offspring.
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
14. Rotty3
17:30 GMT le 11 février 2012
cholla: that was pretty much what I was thinking. Markings and apparent demeanor are so close to the Hopster himself that it seems very logical to believe this might be Son of Hoppy (or daughter?).

Handsome vulpine either way :) Thanks again Joe for satisfying the craving for fox-y pix!
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13. cholla
16:31 GMT le 11 février 2012
Maybe it's Hoppy Jr.
Could be!
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12. Rotty3
16:22 GMT le 11 février 2012
If it wasn't for the non-injured left front paw, I would swear this IS the Hopster... Thank you for posting this handsome Hoppy-look-a-like vulpine mugshot, Joe.
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
11. Ylee
05:13 GMT le 11 février 2012
Good grief, ladyh, I think all ya'll Alaskans has had a winter for the ages!

Dotmom, I'm hoping you may be spared the worst of the nasty stuff; down here it's been snowing, but the ground's too warm, with just a little bit sticking on the grass!
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
10. ladyhomer
17:30 GMT le 10 février 2012
I'm here!!! Just surviving the snow & Ice storms we have been having. Sure wish it was summer out!!
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9. dotmom
12:42 GMT le 10 février 2012
I'm here. Had the Bunco Babes to the house for bunco last night and that kept me busy getting ready for that "event." Weather here has been nippy and tonight they say we are going to get some stuff to help our memories to know what winter is all about. I hope they are wrong! Come on spring!
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8. Ylee
10:04 GMT le 10 février 2012
Where'd everybody go?

Cards are back to winning again, and the CATS are just mowing everybody down; hopefully they're not peaking too soon.....
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7. Arbie
19:32 GMT le 08 février 2012
I had to look. Rugby in Alaska.

Now you KNOW I am avoiding real work LOL.
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6. Arbie
18:51 GMT le 08 février 2012
My neighbor the naval architect tells me it is hard to make things that move and don't fall apart.

Your slush storms look pretty ick. I imagine people saying that to themselves all over town on days like that.

Joe, are you tired of contests? Have not had one in awhile. I propose one where we guess what date the ice slides off the roof at work and whether it busts the little roof over the door.

Frank looks pretty convinced. It will be exciting to see if he comes back.

We have a high UK population around here in Houston on account of the oil business. So, there is a rugby league, both adult and for high school. I nabbed one short showing rugby in Texas.

Meanwhile, spring seems to be starting here in SE Texas. Flowers are starting to crop up. It is that time of year. I saw some already gone to seed.
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5. cybersuze
15:00 GMT le 08 février 2012
Yo Jo! We seem to be watching the same PBS shows! Saw that Madagascar special while at the gym. Love those pics. I'll say that Frank sure does look well fed -- son of Farfle? Great set of pics
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
4. insideuk
11:26 GMT le 08 février 2012
The main difference between UK and US rugby then is that our players drink a keg EACH then use them as pillows.

Hard as nails. I was watching the Six Nations Rugby (they have this UNIQUE idea of inviting other countries to play in sporting tournaments...) at the weekend, Ireland v Wales (OK, NEARBY 'other countries' in this case) was on TV whilst I was emailing THE PUD.

A Welsh player called Bradley Davies picked up his Irish counterpart (a not inconsiderably sized counterpart at that) and threw him head first like a dart into the ground. Had the Irish guy not twisted slightly before impact he would have broken his neck (remember that save yourself move next time you walk on dark boats Pud) – the ball was being played a long way off, this was just a sideshow.

The Welsh player got a yellow card waved in his face and sent to the sin bin for 10 minutes.

He should have been arrested for attempted murder and locked up for life.

He is in a spot of bother about it now.

Having watched rugby and some American football near back to back this weekend I realised what the major difference between the two really is. Aside from all the showbiz razzamatazz that envelops the US version they both have a very strong patriotic inclination with lots of steadfast anthem singing, and hand on heart, lump in the throat, TOUCHING displays of allegiance. Only in the US version everyone is on the same side. In the rugby they aren't. So everything is done twice over, once for each nation.

Guess which game takes considerably longer to get formalities done and get STARTED?

Good job you don't send out invites...

I did find myself wondering how the hell Joe can watch American football on his 12” TV screen. There is so much going on in that tiny space, so many players wearing so much gear (love the wine waiter/ loin cloths hanging from waistbands), all that lineage painted on the grass, all those sponsors logos, people standing right on the sidelines all the way around the field, then the scores and other detail clutter up the screen...

It's visually claustrophobic on a large TV.

On Joes little tiddler TV it must be like watching colourful ants cavorting inside a rotating kaleidoscope.

If he'd watched with the sound muted he'd still be singing the star spangled bit now, none the wiser.

No plates left?

You'll be telling us you dine without wearing a tie next...
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3. Rotty3
11:20 GMT le 08 février 2012
Thank you Joe for the vulpine pics and the story of Frank. It almost seemed like there weren't any around anymore. Glad to see they're back... well, one.

As for the plates, you might want to keep some old-fashion non-paper plates around. Plastic, corningware, stoneware, anything reusable. Oh wait, that requires washing them :P

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2. Debbie56
08:54 GMT le 08 février 2012
Hi Joe,

Cannot tell you how shocked I was to see that headline. Actually the headline that this so called human being chopped his kids before blowing them and himself up made me sick to my stomach.


Thanks for the pics of Frank the Fox. He's awesome.
Member Since: 31 décembre 1969 Posts: Comments:
1. DHaupt
07:54 GMT le 08 février 2012
They do make those boats out of annoyingly hard steel. Years ago my dad and I toured the old Victory Ship, SS Jeremiah O'Brian, in San Francisco. It was made mostly of concrete with steel trimmings -- a skateboarder's dream. I managed to miss a step and bark a shin within 50 feet of the gangplank. Many ways to break yourself on a boat. The cruise ships have lots of padding. Too bad they don't have rubber bottoms.

Which reminds me: here is a link to a droll article concerning the intensifying polizie investigation of the Costa Concordia. The captain seems to have had a lot on his mind around the time of the grounding. Read it all the way to the end.

Our big 80%-100%-40% storm dumped 0.14" (make that 3.6 mm) of rain on us. It will perhaps keep our cacti from dyeing but not the lawn. This is shaping up to be the driest winter since records have been kept (1895) for the San Jose area. It did snow some in the Sierras, but not enough to get excited about. Forecasts only leave March as the great white hope.

Frank is a most handsome fox. Your night shot of the bay and Mt. Newhall is outstanding. It absolutely should get an AC!
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I have just taken a new job in Great Falls, Montana. A new state and new areas to explore.

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