How’s 2017 going so far for you? Fine, I hope.

Kimball and I were in bed by 9:30 New Year’s eve. I woke up about 11:30 and went to the kitchen to eat a snack so I could go back to sleep. I stayed up until midnight so I could wish Kimball a Happy New Year. I’m not sure she appreciated being awakened.

While up, I found a Hall of Fame Austin City Limits. Some guy introduced Kris Kristopherson who introduced Willie Nelson. He introduced Bonnie Riatt. By then, I decided it was good and hit the back button so I could record it. We watched it Sunday afternoon. I find some good programs to record while I can’t sleep.

– Kimball and I watched a Nature program Thursday night that really caught me off guard. It was about Cold Warriors: a wolf pack in an 11 million acre Canadian national park whose family business is killing and eating buffalos. A researcher/camera man tracked the pack for a year aided by a helicopter.

The real surprise came near the end when the pack was needing to take down a buffalo in the spring of the year to feed the four pups the Alpha female had. They found a herd of buffalo that didn’t have any calves. They got the herd to stampede which makes the buffalo more vulnerable, but suddenly, in mid chase, the Alpha male sprinted past the thundering herd and kept going. Kimball thought it was maybe a quarter mile he ran ahead. I think it may have been more like two miles because his goal wasn’t visible from the helicopter at first.

The Alpha male’s target was two lone buffalo bulls, a young one and an old one, just standing on a knoll by a water hole. When the pack got to them, the wolves did not attack. The buffalo didn’t run. The members of the pack drank water and rested.

The helicopter had to go back to base to refuel and came back the next morning. When the helicopter returned, the 17 wolves in the pack were feasting on the old bull which had apparently dropped dead during the night as there was no sign of a struggle.

The question is: how did the Alpha male know?

– We had a minor incident somewhat similar in our office. For a few days, when Brad True would come to pick up Mary for lunch, Davis’ dog, Caddee, who is friends with Brad, would howl at him. That was during the time Brad was having terrible pain in his hip. Caddee seemed to know.

When Brad got better, Caddee seemed to know that, too, and quit howling at him. And Brad quit howling at Mary.

– I think animals know a whole lot more than we give them credit for knowing. It was Monday that our cat, Caddeaux, was laying on a coffee table looking out the east window onto the deck. Suddenly he came to attention. I went to see what had caught his eye. Our other cat, Bella, was walking south on the edge of the deck that extends out under the rat wire. Caddeaux just turned, jumped down off the coffee table and went to the south patio door. He was waiting there, nose against the glass, when Bella walked up to ask to be let into the house.

I can’t tell you how many times Caddeaux has been laying on the coffee table in the middle of the living room. I call it his deceptively zoned out phase. No matter how much I call him, he doesn’t flicker an ear or open his eye. But as soon as I put my feet on the floor and push away the TV tray, he’s off that table and headed for the kitchen in hopes of a few nuggets of dry cat food… which he always gets.

-Did you see the B-2 flyover at the Rose Bowl (as the announcers said it has been doing for 20 years)? Impressive. Had to come from Whiteman AFB right here in Missouri, I suppose. Kinda like sending a Texas Ranger. One riot, one Ranger. One bowl game, one bomber. Thank Goodness it didn’t fumble. KL