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Take me home...St Emilion  kay@diddakoi.com

Updated: 08/18/06

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What's on the nightstand

by Neal Stephenson



Friday, 18 August, 2006

We went to a funeral today. A friend of ours, Lou Mazzola passed away on Monday. He was only in his mid-60's and had been feeling under the weather. His girlfriend, Joanie, took him to the hospital, but he began having trouble breathing, lost consciousness and they were unable to revive him.

Lou was known far and wide as "Dude." Nick, the owner of the Blue Horizons Dive Center, relates a story of traveling with Lou in Bali where they were being introduced to one of the local princes. When Lou's turn came, he said simply, "They call me 'The Dude'".

Both Gary and I dove with Dude all over the world: Belize, Mexico, Egypt, Malaysia, Galapagos. On a dive in Belize many years ago, I realized that there was a word that would carry underwater when shouted through a regulator: "DUDE!!" I use it to this day if I am trying to get someone's attention on a dive.

Here is a picture of Dude (left) and his side-kick, Dude Junior (John) during our trip to Cusco, Peru on our way to Machu Picchu. The hotel had an oxygen tank in the lobby for those suffering from altitude sickness, and he took advantage of it.


His photos, humor, amazing underwater videos and colorful expressions will live on in our memories. Dude, you were one in a million and you will be missed.

[I'll keep looking for that ever elusive "Husky Vermouth" fish.]

With all of the other topics in the news lately - terrorism, war, supposed murder confessions - our four legged friend Barbaro has not been in the news as much. That said, there were still 3,430 stories about "Barbaro" in Google News today. His chief surgeon, Dr. Dean Richardson, gave an interview to Bloodhorse.com earlier this week, outlining the latest in the colt's treatment and condition.

Dr. Richardson was also in the news for another patient today. It seems that Alcor the Polar Bear, a resident of the Erie, Pennsylvania zoo, broke his leg last week. An orthopedic surgeon at a veterinary hospital in Cleveland reviewed the injury but decided that he couldn't undertake the case. After discussing with other orthopedic vets around the country, they received the good news today:

Dr. Dean Richardson of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine's New Bolton Center in Kennett Square, PA will be performing the operation. Dr. Rochardson is the same doctor who repaired the severely broken leg of Kentucky Derby winner, Barbaro. Dr. Richardson performed a miracle repairing Barbaro's leg, hopefully he can do it again.

Alcor will be taken to the New Bolton Center, just outside of Philadelphia, on Sunday or Monday. Details are not yet entirely finalized, but the operation could be as soon as Monday.

If the operation is successful Alcor will remain off his feet for a couple of months while his leg heals.

"[If] it does work he may have a little bit of a limp or something like that. That's okay, we'd take that at this point," said [Erie Spokesman Scott] Mitchell

The Erie Zoo believes the risks will all be worth it... they just want to see him comfortable and alive. Alcor's surgery and recovery will be very difficult, but right now it's his only chance for survival

[Talk about a horse of a different color.]


[Only 7,189 more needed for our Wine Cellar Wall.]

Quote du jour:

"So long, and thanks for all the fish."

Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001) English novelist
The dolphins' farewell message to humanity in
"So Long, and Thanks for all the Fish"

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