I support our firefighters. And yet there’s something about this photo that I find irresistibly hilarious. Three dollars to whoever can supply the knee-slapping caption that is eluding me.

Well hello blogosphere! How have you been? Yes, you don’t need to tell me: It’s been much longer than a week. Circumstances have conspired to keep us apart for two whole months, and so much has happened that I scarcely know where to begin.

For instance, it appears that pretty much every part of California except for the block I live on is currently on fire. Every morning when I step outside to get my newspaper the air smells like a campground, and by mid-evening the sun has dwindled to a tiny orange dot because of all the smoke in the air. They say something like 1800 fires are burning in the state today, and you have to wonder how long that can go on before they start joining forces. I expect Arnold to come on TV any minute now and say: “I have some good news and bad news, Cal-ee-fornia. The good news is the number of fires has declined steeply from the high of 1800. The bad news is the entire state is now one big fire from Nevada to the Pacific Ocean.”

Speaking of plagues that beset our land, this summer finds Oakland once again overrun with Canadian geese, our least wanted import from the north since Celine Dion. Every spring, we have a nice variety of pleasant birds; every summer, it’s just geese, geese, and more geese. These are not your cute-type birds, more web-footed hoodlums who shit everywhere. When I look at the teeming masses of geese that ring Lake Merritt, you know what I see? A good source of protein going to waste.

Speaking of things going to waste, George Carlin recently passed away. Wait, he hated euphemisms: In fact, George Carlin recently died, with a suddenness that was shocking despite his moderately advanced age. George said a lot of things in his time, many of them funny, some of them wise, others just silly. Here’s one that says a lot about the times we’re living in: “Think of how stupid the average person is, and realize half of them are stupider than that.”

Speaking of stupidity, I pretty much missed my chance to weigh in on the whole “terrorist fist jab” brouhaha, which is probably just as well, because those scumbags at Fox News wanted to get us talking about it so it would stick in people’s heads. You’d like to think there aren’t that many dim bulbs who will walk into their polling places scratching their heads as an inner voice mutters “Obama…terrorist…fist jab…bad…must vote for other guy.” You’d like to think that, but you’d probably be wrong.

I did want to say one thing, even though Dave Barry has probably gotten there first: “Terrorist Fist Jab” is a terrific name for a rock band. (“Hello Cleveland…we’re Terrorist Fist Jab, and we’re here to rock you half to death!”)

Oh, and by the way, Cloud Atlas turned out to be pretty great. An unusual combination of breathless page-turner and Literature with a cap “L.” Well worth a read.