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Summit Up

Good morning and welcome to Summit Up, the world’s only daily column dreaming in geologic time.

Some people dream only in black and white. Some people have silent film dreams. Lately, ours are spanning millions of years – which is pretty cool, except we wake up pretty darn tired. That’s a lot of traveling and getting worn down, you know?

This phenomenon has probably been fueled by these commercials we seeing for the “Walking with the dinosaurs” shows on Discovery – you know, the ones where they purport to tell you the life story of some giant lizard (right down to how they clip their toenails) all based on a few fossil fragments. It’d be pretty awful if it weren’t for the really cool animation.

Anyway, between thinking about how such giant, super-tooled creatures could be so successful at surviving and propagating for millions of years and then get completely wiped out except for some crocodiles and sharks, and also thinking about a possible World War III and how quickly we could wipe ourselves out (not to mention all the other species we wipe out annually without even blinking) – we think that’s how our brain turned to science fiction theater at night.

Fortuitously enough, then, we get this e-mail from our Hollywood field agent, Alex:

“Just a thought on all of this end of the world hoo-ha, with the conflict in Iraq being compared to biblical doomsday prophecy and all these people reading end-o-the-world books like “Left Behind’ or whatever. Maybe a bit solemn for SU, but whatever.

“I love the hubris of man that tells us the “end of the world’ has to do with the extermination of one species – ours – even as so many others fall by the wayside at our hands. If and when we’re wiped off the map, Earth will recover and kick out something new a million or few years down the pike. With luck, it’ll be something with the warlike inclinations of a koala bear, and the planet will experience a few billion years of peace before it’s incinerated by our dying sun …”

And that, in a roundabout way, is what our subconscious is telling us in consolation, we think.


Can you call it an Angel Alert!! Angel Alert!! if somebody isn’t saving a kitten? Sure you can, but it’s not quite as sweet.

Tawny in Summit Cove called to tell us how distraught she was when her kitten slipped out a window she’d left open. She wasn’t real proud – she hadn’t put the screen back in properly. So, Friday morning, she went to Kinko’s to make copies of fliers to let people know her cat was missing. The kind gentleman working there came over to see if she had everything under control, saw she was crying and then wouldn’t let her pay for the copies. He told her to just get her cat back.

“This guy did a really good thing – and the kitten came back,” she told us.

This feller gets the usual halo-and-wing set, as well as a certificate of corporate kindness (assuming our copier isn’t out of toner).


We ran a picture the other day which, to the untrained eye, might have seemed like nothing more than a patch of white. It’s somewhere here on this page.

We asked folks to take a stab at what it was and, by golly, people did. Zach-man in Frisco said it was two Colorado snow chickens that just avoided a “goldurn boardhead” (or something like that – we really couldn’t understand).

Abel said it was obviously Jesus’ face, or a little horse. We think he might have been hallucinating with snowblindness.

Ted, however, was right on when he guessed it was a ptarmigan in winter plumage. If the press had reproduced the picture bigger, Ted would have seen there’s actually two of them there.


It’s Wednesday, friends, and we ask – are you feeling the rejuvenating sun-love? Makes us want to take our shoes off and squish ’em in some grass.

We’re out in the garage, dusting off our Birkenstocks …

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