Friday, March 30, 2007


The first crocus of spring!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The return of the snow geese

Jefferson County, New York, 28 March 2007 at 0815. They're already heading northeast.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Birthday Lurve to ...

and ...

Quotable quotes

Preamble: I'm not much of a gamer, but my husband enjoys a few computer games. Currently, he is a beta-tester for the upcoming Lord of the Rings Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, or MMORPG for those who speak the lingo. He has created a few characters, including a female hobbit named Rosieblossom who makes blueberry muffins, plays the lute, and looks exactly like me. There is no higher form of flattery!

My husband and son are also reading The Hobbit together, and I believe I will set aside my Jodi Picoult novels and join them in Middle Earth.

Onto today's quotable quotes, courtesy of my highly creative and literary husband:

1. "Release your inner Hobbit!"
2. "The Hobbit was the ultimate PTSD Self-Help Project."

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Perhaps Ben Franklin was right

Wild turkeys are magnificent, majestic beasts! A flock of about fifteen fowl strutted through the front and back yard this morning. They devoured the sunflower seeds I had just scattered, and then moved on to the bare spots of grass. Who needs a chicken tractor when there are much larger creatures willing to aerate and cultivate the lawn for free?

As we enjoyed the show, I wondered if we might be fortunate enough to see some courtship rituals. Right on cue, two toms came strutting into the yard:

Helllloooooo, Ladies!

How you doin' today?

That's right ladies, I can balance this magnificent body on one leg!

Feel free to bask in my glory. I'm here for you, baby!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I stand corrected!

We do have Redpolls here!

UPDATE: I stand corrected again. My sources tell me that this is a male house finch.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Ready for his closeup

Presenting Bob Cardy, named after my favourite CBC Radio Producer.

More excitement at the feeding station!

There are now two(!!) pairs of cardinals dining at Casa di Miniature Rose. Here, Reddy Freddy and Bob Cardy are checking out Claudia Cardinale. Despite the fresh coat of snow, those boys have a bad case of spring fever. They're flitting all over the place, trying to impress the ladies with their bold plumage. I think Bob has a slight edge right now.
Yes, that's a cabbage leaf just above Bob. I peel the outer leaves off the head and put them out for BunBun and associates. My son has proclaimed cabbage to be his new favourite vegetable, which he eats raw and unadulterated by such blasphemous additions as cole slaw dressing. Yesterday, he requested that I purchase MORE CABBAGE PLEASE!! Well, what's a Mom to do except make a special trip to the Super Walmart for more cruciferous veggies? I know, I know, I spoil that child.

Friday, March 16, 2007

I guess I missed the memo

Apparently, March 16th is Are you f'ing kidding me?!?!?! day.

In Baltimore, a seven year old boy was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled down to the police station because he was riding a dirt bike on the sidewalk. The police have some 'splaining to do.

In local news, a former Army chaplain/Southern Baptist minister has been sentenced to 5 months' confinement for "one specification of adultery" and "three specifications of communicating a threat." Strip away the legalese, and that translates to this: a chaplain took on a "second wife" (whom he met on the internet, quel surprise) then issued death threats when wife #2 found his kinky demands to be too great, and left.

Yes, you read that correctly. A chaplain, ferchrissakes!!!

And to complete today's triumvirate of the bizarre and disturbing, Nicole Ritchie and Paris Hilton will be "working" as counselors at a fat camp during the next season of "The Simple Life." I don't even have a television, yet I want to find one and throw it out the window on general principle.

Who watches the watcher?

I went downstairs to refill my coffee cup a few minutes ago, and observed this dynamic:

The watcher.

The watched.

Gandalf was running back and forth from the dining room to the living room, trying to secure the best vantage point for his observation of BunBun. Oddly, he wasn't cajoling me to let him out.

Yes, Mom, I know my windows are filthy. I'll go clean them now.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Rumour has it ...

That the greater Syracuse area will soon be blessed with three Tim Horton's shops.

In the name of the Cruller, and the Timbit, and the Double-Double. Amen.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

If Google can do it, why can't the Army?

There's a fascinating article in today's New York Times about Google's mass transit system. About one fourth of Google's Silicon Valley employees make use of the free shuttle system. The buses have comfortable leather seats, bike racks, and wireless Internet access. And best of all, they run on biodiesel.

Fort Drum has a small shuttle system, of sorts. There are buses (uncomfortable old Bluebird school buses) which run from the off-post housing areas and Syracuse into the base in the morning, and back at night. But there is no mass transit system on the base itself, and none of the amenities (library, gyms, PX, health clinics) are within walking distance of one another.

The vehicle-dependent nature of the base has been bothering me for years. I wonder, though, if anyone would make use of an on-post shuttle system?

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Big or small, we serve them all!

I was a little surprised to see this pair at the feeding station. Evidently, wild turkeys like sunflower seeds, too.

The new kid in town

In addition to the usual crew of sparrows, chickadees, juncoes, doves, and a pair of cardinals, there is a new bird at the feeding station:

Looks like it's a Snow Bunting sporting its non-breeding plumage.

An outstanding choice

President Bush has named Bob Dole and Donna Shalala as the co-chairs of a presidential commission to look into problems in military and veterans' hospitals.

I am particularly impressed by the choice of Senator Dole. We saw this great man at WRAMC in April 2005. Here is what I wrote about that experience.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Lordy, Lordy, Look Who's Forty!!

Happy Birthday to my big brother!!

(I'm trying to find a picture, but he looks too serious in each and every one of them!)

We need snow fences around here!!

It is almost always windy around here, and especially so today. This makes the road conditions downright treacherous. In the areas with open fields, the blowing snow turns the roads into skating rinks with no visibility. Here are some pictures from Newzjunky of the results of one such scenario.

One good thing about the proposed commercial development on 342 is that it will probably eliminate one such snowy-blowy-accident-waiting-to-happen spot.

Anyone wanna help me plant some trees?

For the record

Here is the text of the testimony of Mrs. Annette McLeod, delivered today to the Government Reform and Oversight Committe of the US House of Representatives, about the treatment her husband received at Walter Reed after being injured in Kuwait in August 2005.

This woman is a hero and a true American patriot.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Quando omni flunkus, moritati!

So, I let the dog out tend to her necessaries, and received quite a shock:

After uttering some incomprehensible sounds and ushering Chocolate back in the house, I tried to formulate a plan. What the heck was I going to do with a dead opossum? Gack! How did my dog manage to take down an opossum in the first place? Where's the blood? Gack! Sputter! More incomprehensible utterances!

The kidlet arrived at my side to see what my problem was. He looked at the varmint, and said, I think he's just playing possum.

Oh, said I, whilst smacking my forehead. Now it makes sense. That critter done fooled me! And, as if on cue, the opossum stopped grimacing and lifted its head:

So, naturally, I ran for my camera. When I opened the upstairs window, the possum kindly repeated its performance for us. While we waited for it to move along, my son told me all about opossums, their nocturnal nature, their prehensile tails, their diet, etc. Let's call that the serendipitous science lesson for the day. Aren't I lucky to have a such a knowledgeable teacher in the house?

After a few more minutes, the marsupial meandered away:

This critter has clearly tangled with a predator at some point, as their tails (prehensile!!!) are normally longer.

Turkeys and opossums, oh my! Just another day in the wild kingdom.

Gobble, gobble, GOBBLE!!

A portion of the flock that was strutting through the back yard a few minutes ago. They startled when I opened the upstairs window to get this shot.

What a load of horse manure!

As the result of half a dozen complaints over the past few years, the village of Adams Center (population 1,500) has
enacted a law which prohibits horses on the north side of the village and in trailer parks. And if a horse dies or is sold, the owner cannot replace it.

Wow. Six complaints over three years .. that's two complaints per year. Clearly, that's a HUUUUUUUUUGE issue. Well done, Town of Adams!


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Birthday, Karen!

Karen, who blogs at The Sour Patch Kid Experiment, turns 24 today. Many happy returns to her!