crime, tides and coyotes


A confluence of events made this a trying weekend here in Venice, CA: Lucy (along with some nursery schoolmates) came down with the Coxsackie virus, Tessa and I fought off a bronchial infection, it was the longest day of the year, and we shattered all the heat index records from the last thirty years. Oh, and the bizarrely full moon.

The awesomely-named Coxsackie virus is very common in kids (most of you have probably had it) but is still miserable: you get these strep-like blisters in the back of your throat, and Lucy’s fever went through the ceiling. Combine that with the heat, and its any wonder she still had half her usual effervescence. A cold towel and Pingu is all she really wanted, and exactly what she got.


As for the beach, it was NutJob Central in these parts, as a quarter-million people descended on our sands to escape the 110+ heat of the inner valleys. A few blocks away in Santa Monica, it looked like those pictures of Coney Island in the 1940s.

Because of my Southern indoctrination, I don’t believe any porch should exist without a porch swing for days like this – so we sat, swung, and tried not to think of the heat. One of my gifts for Tessa last year was a “beach view”, even though an entire hotel built in 1919 blocks a direct sight to the ocean. Undeterred, I rigged up a solution:


A cheap yet effective nautical telescope is locked on a high-grade mirror hanging from our birdhouse about 10 yards away. Simply focus, and you can watch boats far on the horizon, dolphins, and even see book covers read by beachgoers. I put the digital camera up to the telescope and tried to take a movie, but it didn’t quite focus and looks like something Edison filmed in 1899:

the people are pretty far – it’s about 500 feet to the ocean from us

Anyway, not bad for keeping things in perspective, and on days like Saturday and Sunday, any distraction was a good one.

*collapse, melt*

0 thoughts on “crime, tides and coyotes

  1. LFMD

    Coxsackie! I remember when Helen caught coxsackie years ago, and it remains one of her top five worst illnesses EVER. What a miserable experience.
    Hang in there. Coxsackis is short-lived. Just when you think you can’t take another day of it, it is gone.

  2. Anne

    Does California not have air conditioning? Oy — to be sick *and* overheated = misery.
    I never heard of Coxsackie when I was young, but all of our kids had it at various times. Poor little Lucy.
    Ian, that telescope/mirror Rube Goldberg thing is genius. I love the old-timey quality of the video! Let us know if you spot any celebrities on the beach. :-D

  3. Steve Williams

    Sorry you had such a miserable weekend. The heat broke here in the S.F. Bay Area over Saturday night, so on Sunday I had a great, long bike ride. I know Los Angeles has its purpose. To the folks who live there, thanks for all the TV and movies! But I’m content to visit.

  4. Lee

    Coxsackie! OMG, we JUST got over that 2 weeks ago. We ALL had it. It’s so awful… I’m so sorry little Lucy is going through that. Anna lost 3 of her 23 pounds when she had it. She & Suz had blisters all over their mouths and I got them all over my hands and feet…they hurt.
    You have total sympathy from NC!

  5. caveman

    I once thought I had a mild case of coxsackie but it was actually only a touch of lickmiluvpumpalysis.

  6. Lars

    I love that telescope video. We need to see it used in more ways, through increasingly complicated pathways. You could go very Jules Verne with this.

  7. oliver

    If this were the beginning of a movie and I were you, I’d think about getting into witness protection.


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