Friday, 13 April 2012

07:50 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month.

Spain is now on the precipice of complete economic collapse. Its banks must redeem about €600 billion this year, and those banks are already zombies. In March, Spanish banks borrowed €316.3 billion and redeemed €88.7 billion, for net borrowing of €227.6 billion, almost a 50% increase in net borrowing over the €152.4 billion they borrowed in February. The trend is obvious to anyone who looks at the data. Without a huge bailout, which simply isn’t in the cards, Spain will default catastrophically sooner rather than later. Portugal is in similarly horrible shape, as is Italy. Meanwhile, the second Greek bailout is already heading for the rocks, with a third bailout or outright default inevitable. And the markets have begun to sit up and take notice. As Jeremy Warner says, it’s time to put the doomed euro out of its misery.

11:38 – Colin is now officially a Fearsome Predator. As I was walking him just now, he started sniffing around the base of a small tree. An apparently-oblivious squirrel came around the trunk and hopped to the ground about a foot (30 cm) from Colin’s snout. He pounced and the squirrel screamed. (Seriously; they do scream.) The squirrel tried to take off running, but Colin had its tail in his mouth. Rather than simply hold onto it, though, Colin let it run, with him following behind it with its tail still in his mouth. They ran around a big bush into the next yard. When I got there, the squirrel was up a tree, with Colin pacing around the trunk. I told him he was a good dog, and we headed for home, with him prancing all the way. Fearsome predator, indeed.

Actually, that was Colin’s second victory. He caught a bird when he was a young pup. He didn’t hurt it, either. Border Collies almost never harm something they catch. They have all the chase-and-capture instinct of their wild ancestors, but all of the kill instinct has been bred out of them. Of the many, many times over the years that our BCs have caught prey–ranging from birds to squirrels to frogs to possums to, on one memorable occasion, a feral cat–the only times any prey have been harmed were the feral cat that Duncan bit in half after it tried to claw him and the squirrel that Duncan killed after it bit him in the snout. Duncan, justifiably annoyed with the squirrel, struck faster than a rattlesnake, grabbed it, and gave it one deadly shake.