The Snoozeletter @

David "Merman" Toussaint dishes the dirt... in Ink Pot.
Indio Powwow: We really enjoyed today's outing!
Brazil (Brasil). 

Brasil, where hearts were entertaining June
We stood beneath an amber moon
And softly murmured "someday soon"
We kissed and clung together

Then, tomorrow was another day
The morning found me miles away
With still a million things to say

Now, when twilight dims the sky above
Recalling thrills of our love
There's one thing I'm certain of
Return I will to old Brasil.

—Ary Barroso & S.K. Russell [video]
Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that my lovely wife is nearing the end of her Naturalization Gauntlet. Now if I can just get her to stop sprinkling paprika on the turkey...
Three's a charm. Tom Brokaw's anchor stint with NBC ends on December 1.

Dan Rather just announced he's leaving the CBS newsdesk on March 9.

Peter Jennings is 66.
1963: The boy who saw the president die [BBC]
Roadrunner 'tude. [see below] The one out back is an insolent bugger. He struts around just a few inches from our screen door, taunting us with his matador impression. No wonder Wile E. never quits. I tossed a Jalapeño chip to the brazen little birdbrain; let's see what happens when he tries to blow THAT out through his left nostril.

If you convert his 17 mph into human athletic terms, it's like running a mile in 3:31... 12 seconds under the current world record. I guess this blazing speed impresses the ladies, but I can't help thinking that one of these days female roadrunners will begin to wise up, and start holding out for silk stockings and candy bars.
Where's Wile E. Coyote when you need him? A roadrunner has been visiting our back yard recently, so I did some research: Geococcyx californianus, also called the Chaparral Cock, is a large, black-and-white, mottled ground bird with a distinctive head crest. Ranging in length from 20 to 24 inches from the tip of its tail to the end of its beak, the roadrunner has strong feet, a long, white-tipped tail and an oversized bill. It is a ground cuckoo, uniquely suited to the desert environment by a number of physiological and behavioral adaptations: its nasal gland eliminates excess salt, instead of using the urinary tract like most birds, and it reabsorbs water from its feces before excretion. When the roadrunner senses danger or travels downhill, it will fly, revealing short, rounded wings with a white crescent. But it cannot keep its large body airborne for more than a few seconds, and normally prefers walking or running (up to 17 miles per hour), often with a clownish gait. Because of its lightning quickness, the roadrunner is one of only a few animals that prey upon rattlesnakes. Using its wings like a matador's cape, it snaps up a coiled rattler by the tail, cracking it like a whip and repeatedly slamming its head against the ground until dead. Then the snake is swallowed whole, but often the roadrunner is unable to consume the entire length at one time. This does not interrupt the bird's normal routine: it continues to wander around with the snake dangling from its mouth, eating another inch or two as the snake slowly digests. When spring arrives, the male roadrunner, in addition to acquiring food for himself, offers choice morsels to a female as an inducement to mating. He usually dances around her while she begs for food, then he gives her a morsel after briefly copulating. [Pictures]
Danube River, BudapestMore blatantly self-serving promotion:
Francis Ford Coppola called it "quality stuff."
It was featured in an interview with one coauthor on the CNBC network.
It was also showcased in a chat with the other coauthor on Central Europe's premier TV newsmagazine.
The Creative Screenwriting review says it has "tremendous possibilities as a romantic thriller."
It reached the quarterfinals in one international contest, and was among five finalists in another.
What is it?

Answer: The Fall In Budapest (view this screenplay with the free Adobe reader). Log line: An American undercover agent, convinced that a former KGB operative plans to wreak terrorist havoc on a cataclysmic scale, risks everything to stop the Russian in this action-packed romantic thriller.
Merlinsky (view this screenplay with the free Adobe reader) was honored as one of 124 quarterfinalists (from 2186 entries) in the First Annual American Zoetrope Screenplay Contest, judged by Francis Ford Coppola. Earlier, it was in the semifinals of the Writers Network competition, and a prose adaptation of this script's opening sequence recently appeared in the SFWP Literary Journal. [3-page sample]

Log line: The Lord of the Rings meets Harry Potter and they go Back to the Future.

Synopsis: The endless hordes of Hollywood tourists in the late 1940's are easy marks for a con-man magician like Harry Merlinsky. He knows how to sucker the rubes and flash the ol' hamster-outta-the-fedora every now and then, to baffle 'em and dazzle 'em. But he didn't expect a naive fan like Jake, who wants to learn Harry's Old Knowledge - "real" magic. Mickey Mouse, courtesy of Yahoo.comHarry's archenemy obliterates Jake's girlfriend, forcing Jake to become a wizard, just to stay alive. Will Jake use his newfound powers for vengeance? The timeless myth of the Sorcerer's Apprentice unfolds against the backdrop of the Magic Castle and the Hollywoodland sign.

Lineage: 12th-century folklore myths begat The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, which begat a tone poem by composer Paul Dukás, which begat Disney's Fantasia, which inspired Merlinsky. [Sample in this book.]
Many members of Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Virtual Studio are wildly talented bloggers. Check them out, at ZoBlogs!
Indian Canyons. Today's wonderful hike was a breath of fresh air.
Post-election humor: "Adopt us, O Canada! [¶] As a blue-red split continues in the Divided States of America, we note that every blue state is contiguous to Canada or to another blue state that is contiguous to Canada, except Hawaii — that's not contiguous to anything but a lot of blue water that's contiguous to Canada. [¶] Therefore, we've got an idea. How about a sort of second American Revolution, Canada, in which you annex all the blue states, liberate us from King George, and thus become the world's sole superpower."
Golly Gee Willikers. In early May 2004, Anikó submitted her Librarian For A Day contest entry, a touching paean to libraries in general, and to Glendale's in particular. During July 2004, we sold our condo and moved two hours east, out into the desert. Near the end of October 2004, when Woman's Day magazine notified Anikó that she had been chosen to receive one of their two Grand Prizes, they assumed her day as a librarian would be spent at our new local library.

But when my headstrong wife insisted on relocating the event back to our former library—the place which had inspired her winning essay—rejoicing broke out in Glendale (pop. 205,300). They treated Anikó like a queen, and even lassoed a City Councilman into presenting a plaque.

It was an eye-opening day, full of positive energy that kept sparking more and more good vibes. One small example: the library's collection of Magyar books (which recently eased Anikó's transition into American culture) had been painstakingly assembled years ago by an employee who hailed from Budapest... and Kati was now able to hear firsthand about the extraordinary impression her efforts had made on a fellow Hungarian.

Anikó's essay, along with an accompanying article and photos, will appear in the March 8 issue of Woman's Day. According to WD's photojournalism crew, their magazine has over 20 million readers!
Contest update: Tomorrow, Anikó is scheduled to perform her one-day volunteer stint at the Glendale Public Library, and Woman's Day magazine will send a photo editor, writer, hair/makeup person, photographer and assistant to document the momentous event. They're also putting us up for a night at the Glendale Hilton. What a hoot!
Filmmaker Michael Moore (Fahrenheit 9/11) has uploaded a photomosaic of Dubya, containing portraits of Americans killed in Iraq, at

And today's front page of Britain's Daily Mirror reads: How can 59,054,087 people be so DUMB?
Long Time Gone (by David Crosby)

It's been a long time comin'
It's goin' to be a long time gone.
And it appears to be a long time,
yes a long, long time before the dawn.

Turn, turn any corner.
Hear, you must hear what the people say.
You know there's something that's goin' on around here,
that surely won't stand the light of day.
And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long,
Time, such a long, long time before the dawn.

Speak out, you got to speak out against the madness.
You got to speak your mind,
if you dare.
But don't try to get yourself elected.
If you do, you had better cut your hair.
'Cause it appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
appears to be a long...
Time, before the dawn.

It's been a long time comin'
It's going to be a long time gone.
But you know,
The darkest hour is always just before the dawn.
And it appears to be a long, appears to be a long,
appears to be a long,
Time before the dawn. —Crosby Stills & Nash, 1969