The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. - Stephen Covey


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Sunday, August 23, 2009

The ZOO!!


We just spent an amazing day at the Los Angeles Zoo. My friend Jeanette Tonnies, a technician at the LA Zoo, treated me and my girlfriend Natasha to an amazing behind-the-scenes tour. Zoos have become controversial lately with many animal advocate groups protesting animal captivity and abuse. I think probably most people that visit this website have a respect if not a love for all living things. After seeing the kind of treatment, care, and love that each animal in the zoo receives, I now have even more admiration and respect for the great work these wonderful people are doing at zoological facilities. Most of these animals that are now in the zoo were born in captivity and wouldn't be able to survive in the wild. They receive excellent medical care and nutrition. They are all studied and researched to help us understand and fortify their population in the wild. Some, like the California Condors, would no longer exist if it weren't for the tireless passion and compassion of the teams at places like the LA Zoo. Here are a few moments from our time spent at the zoo:

Jeanette shows us some x-rays of a successful procedure repairing a primate. Their state-of-the-art medical facility there rivals hospitals for humans with some specialized equipment for dealing with the various sizes of their patients.

Not all of the reptiles at the zoo are residents. This Southern Pacific Rattlesnake was a visitor just like us. A couple of the handlers from the snake exhibit came and gingerly took this guy to a safe place where he could avoid so much human traffic.

This is JABBA the hippo. His home zoo is in San Diego but he is currently on an exchange program here in Los Angeles. True to his name, Jabba weighs in at over FOUR THOUSAND POUNDS!!!

Jabba's neighbor is Rhona the Rhino. Rhona's handler, Stephanie, explains how Rhona recently had her horn surgically removed because she had cancer in it. Rhona is still in treatment but is making wonderful progress.

As you can see here, Rhona's skin is very thick and heavy but at the same time, it is very sensitive to touch.

This particular female giraffe is not surprisingly interested in Natasha's fashion sense and is comparing notes on dress and footwear.

All Things Possible! Chris

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Blake Snyder 1957-2009

I'd like to bring your attention to a hero of mine who recently passed. He is an entertainment industry icon for those of us lucky enough to be touched by his work. Blake Snyder was a screenwriter who wrote "Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot" and "Blank Check" but he is best known as a great teacher and inspiration for screenwriters.

Blake Snyder with his books "Save The Cat" and "Save the Cat Goes to the Movies"

at the Great Wall of China

His book "Save the Cat" (2005) quickly rose to become the industry standard for screenwriters. I wrote my last screenplay with Blake's book open on one side of the computer at all times. But beyond his talent for writing and teaching, he was an uncommonly generous spirit. Blake published his personal email address in his book (!!!!) and encouraged all who wished to contact him with questions or conflicts with their writing - and he answered them all! He was a truly unique and beautiful spirit and will be missed by those of us who were lucky enough to be touched by his inspiration, encouragement, and hope.

Thanks Blake.

All Things Possible,

PS: More on Blake and his writing innovations at