While I don't plan to be performing necropsies on any animal carcasses, my psycho-somatic tendencies are still invigorated by this reminder that I live in a state where, aside from rattlesnakes, scorpions, Valley Fever, kissing bugs, and fearsome cacti, one can contract the Plague. That's not "plague" as in, "This year's snowbird infestation promises to be a plague of unprecedented scope," but the sort with a capital P, famous for giving us that lovely children's song about ring around the collar. Then again, as e_compass_rosa and I were discussing last weekend, the cute little squirrels of the UC Berkeley eucalyptus grove are also carriers of the disease. It's a wonder I have yet to believe myself infected. Of course, now that I know that the pneumonic form of the disease is a risk in these parts, I'll be especially attentive to signs of my potential demise.