Friday, March 27, 2009

So much for the Squirrel....

For a urban area we have a surprising amount of wildlife in our back yard. Squirrels, rabbits, ground hogs, chipmunks, deer, and a wide variety of birds. I am always thrilled to see on of the red tailed hawks in our yard, not only because I think birds of prey are beautiful and endangered, but because those darn squirrels keep eating my flowers. I keep hoping the hawks will take down the population a bit, but they seem to only be after the water in my bird bath.

Imagine my delight to come home to this one evening! Yes, that is a bald eagle having a squirrel for dinner! He is sitting on our telephone post, and was just gorgeous! I hope he decided to stay in our neighborhood. We have a LOT of squirrels.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Geek Art...

OK, I found this on Slippery Brick, a great techno site. I want to make this, but I HAVE to make the Starship Enterprise one now.

Mario Kart sculpture made with office supplies

Posted in Nintendo by Conner Flynn on March 15th, 2009
Why be bored at work, when you can build your own version of Mario Kart? Made using bits and pieces that you have around your desk already. Donald Kenny created this awesome little Mario sculpture. It’s right up there with the Starship Enterprise built from office supplies.

It’s made using coins, binder clips, wire, and other found office supplies. Have your buddies build some others, like Bowser, Koopa and Toad. Plus create some small turtle shells and bananas and soon you will be racing in the break room.

Awesome work of geek art. I’m telling you, there needs to be a museum of “things created from office supplies”.


Friday, March 13, 2009

SUV etiquette

Even with fuel costs being what they are, it seems the number of SUV's on the roads is increasing. I don't really have a problem with that, esp if the owner has dirt roads to travel, unplowed snow to navigate, or trailers to pull. The original SUV was designed for the rural traveler to make it to town and back.
Now it seems the SUV is a suburbanite status symbol. Nary a dirt or unplowed road to be found, but still lots of them in my neighborhood. Still not an issue with me, but if you are going to buy it, learn how to drive it! This morning I was in my car, at a merge onto a 4 lane hwy. The merge is short and traffic heavy, so you pull out, watch traffic in your side mirror, and when you see an opening, floor it! I pulled into the really short merge lane, and look behind me to see a white suv and a line of cars. And that is all I could see. The SUV had pulled out so far, I couldn't see either of the two lanes of traffic coming. The SUV driver then laid into the horn, like I was holding her up from something important. If you are going to drive an SUV, realize the size of the vehicle you are driving and be courteous!
I'm not just ragging on SUV owners, I have teenagers and 6 horses, so I also have a Suburban. It's a beast, and I am well aware of how large it is. (esp hauling a horse trailer) I can't count the number of times I have held back at a merge, or at a light, because I know the person in that Toyota or VW can't see past the monster truck beside them. (and yes, a Surburban is actually a truck, built on a truck frame, not an SUV built on a car frame. It's an important difference).
So if you live in a city townhouse, but insist you have to own that Hummer or Jeep, fine with me. But learn how to drive it!

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Snow Birds

No, not people who fly to Fla in winter, actual birds in snow. Specifially the birds who gather around my bird feeder. We get a wide variety, mostly finches, and other small birds. We get the occasional woodpecker, after the nuts in the mix I use, but the king of the feeder is a Cardinal who with his mate have joined the freeloaders.

I watched them this weekend. The ground was covered in snow, and the feeder was full. The male is very bold, flying up to the feeder and scattering the smaller birds, but his mate was more timid. She just couldn't bring herself to perch on the feeder. When she tried, another bird will fly near, and she will flee to the upper branches or a nearby bush. The male tried to entice her to the feeder, but she stopped even trying. She sat on the ground, under a bush. Then the male cardinal started pulling seed out of the feeder, and scattering it on the ground. The female hopped over and started eating. That became their system. He would take over the feeder, scatter seed for her, then she would eat on the ground, near the safety of the bushes.

It was amazing to me to watch this bird realize his mates fear, and figure out a way for her to eat in safety. All of which was immensely entertaining to our cat. The whole feeder set up is outside a bay window, where her bed is. It's like the cat version of tv.