January 11, 2004


We have been notified that Mambo, the hound made famous during the last Island Thanksgiving BBQ by his noble actions as a poodle decoy, has passed away. Mambo, we have learned possessed the true heart of a great dog who also kept his master companion for well over 12 long years of dedicated service and he is sorely missed.

We are also pleased to discover that Mambo was not a true poodle at all, but a mix, consisting largely of Llasa Apso, which granted him a level of intelligence and sophistication not often found in lesser breeds. Much of his smarts may have derived from the fact that his owner majored in physics while in college.

It is thought that Mambo passed away while in possession of a toy Moebius strip in which someone had punched a hole. The Moebius strip is a curiosity in mathematics for it is an object that appears to exist in our three dimensional space, but its singular property is that it has only one side and one surface to that side.

The fatal question for Mambo was this: If the strip has only one side, where then goes the hole?

Apparently, the paradox of this issue proved too much for the intelligent hound, who had previously worked out the last Fermat equation to everyone's delighted surprise. But as so often happens, some dog swiped the proof right off of the plate to get all the credit.

Walking down to the road from the falls, we could see the fog come boiling over the coastal range and go marching down into the trees with thick fingers. Soon, night shut down the show, leaving heaving mists to blanket the entire world. Driving back to the Warmer Side, through the wormhole of time to the present day, or evening in this case, the moon and stars busted out for a little waltz over the Berkeley tidal flats, turning like a moebius strip under ripples of water and time. Finally home again and time to feed Dr. Friederich while all the House was asleep. Now we are past the midnight hour and the fog horns are sounding out there for anyone to listen. The evening backup is firing up while the echoes of the midnight through-passing train die away across the Buena Vista flatlands.

Every Sunday evening the midnight train rolls out of the Port and steams through the empty and shuttered and dark shop fronts along the Jack London Waterfront. Where it is going, who knows. Some nights I think I will just go down there and look at the tracks one minute before the hour and see just what sort of train this is that leaves for somewhere at such an hour. But then, it may be that this train is no real train at all, but the train that has echoed down through the centuries of all our imaginings of late-night departures.

Be careful not to trust him, this man with a ticket getting out of here, in an old train station, in an old pair of shoes. Oh I think I'll 'cept your invitation to the Blues.

Had a talk with a genius the other day about space travel and the problems about going fast as the speed of light. Never managed to mention these wormholes of time and space that are supposed to exist, whereby you hop on in there and get over about 140 light years in about 40 minutes. If you went less than that, you just might meet yourself coming in.

"Howdya do?" Fine Thanks. "You are going to forget that dentist appointment." Ah yes, thanks. "No problem. Bye now."

Talk about talking to yourself. This physics can get confusing.

On the Island, we live in that wormhole between the sides of a moebius strip, always firing along a possibility of departure before arrival. Somewhere in between, there's a Mambo, gamboling after a stick you tossed or have yet to toss, and he is saying, "Hey David! C'mon here with me; Let's have some fun!"

But David has cares and a wife and things he needs to take care of right now. Time enough for that. Like for all of us. Time enough for later to venture through that wormhole of time. Who knows what is on the Other Side but maybe Mambo worrying a dogbone.

Sometimes we get that way on the Island. That's just the way it is. Have a great week.