Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Better Everything

I mentioned to Hannita in my comments that my mother had much better birds at her place. This morning I was talking to my mother and told her about my little mystery bird. Mom one-upped me. She had a mystery bird, too. Only she had 4 of them. My brother was out there and managed to get a picture of one of the little birds, which my father tried to email me.

The process of teaching my parents to send an attachment is post-worthy in and of itself. "This damn computer is broken!", "It just doesn't work!", "It is just not possible!", "I quit!" (Things I heard my father say as I was talking to my mother who was trying to relay instructions.)

I got the email with the same photo attached three times. So, yes, it does too work. Mom said she was going to practice sending attachments this afternoon when my dad was out of the house.

I tried desperately to get a shot of my little bird. This is what I ended up with:

My Bird
My Bird, My Camera

Don't bother clicking on my photo. It is as big as it will ever get. Here is the photo my brother shot of my mother's little bird:

Better Bird
Better Bird, Better Camera.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Mystery Solved

I've had a little bird out here that heretofore has defied identification. Until this morning, that is, when I finally figured it out by not relying on crappy drawings from my bird book or the what-bird website. I figured it out by googling pictures of the possibilities. And I ended up with an orange crowned warbler and snagged the picture. You know it is not a picture I took because it is good and there are leaves on the trees. Hello -- we are still having winter here. Or maybe fall. There has been frost the last two mornings.

Orange crowned Warbler
Mystery Bird.

I glimpsed what I thought was an oriole yesterday morning so strung a cut orange for him. Later the bird showed off for me and it wasn't an oriole at all. It was a spotted towhee. Not that I mind but I have an orange freezing / rotting in the tree.

spotted towhee

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Signs of Spring

  • The temps have remained above freezing.
  • There are sheep with lambs in the pasture.
  • The grass is green.
  • There is a faint blush of new leaves on some trees.
  • The cats are bouncing off the walls like a psychedelic light show.

Monday, April 21, 2008


I've been busy, spinning my wheels mostly.

Today while doing research (O.K., I'm easily sidetracked) I found this counter and decided to add it to my site -- the cost of the war in Iraq. It's in the sidebar. Watch the numbers grow. It boggles the mind.

I wanted to make a post long enough to push my overly long Flash movie down the page. Maybe I should just get rid of it.

I wonder how many more paragraphs I need to write to push that damn movie down?

I'll just put a big spacer here.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spinning My Wheels

I have a new client for whom I am building a website. I have spent countless hours making a Flash movie that fits neatly in the header. Countless. Hours.

After I showed the client one of the earlier versions, he informed me that he was no longer involved with one of the companies represented. Back to the drawing board! After completing the next version he told me that he was not involved with yet another company that was represented.

Communication is paramount. It is also a skill at which I am completely inept, evidently.

I can't blame all of the hours spent on dismal communication. My Flash skills are somewhat rusty. Eventually I got his product representation right and got the movie to work the way I wanted.

The original intention was to have the movie run on the home page and then just have a static graphic on subsequent pages. While I love making Flash movies, having something constantly moving in my line of vision drives me apeshit batty. So I decided to have stop and go buttons. Then I made the mistake of asking for opinions from various people which caused me to make (or try to make) different ways to stop, pause, start the movie. I think this is where the majority of countless hours came in.

So here for your viewing pleasure is various farm and some industrial equipment scrolling, scrolling, scrolling. Unless, of course, you want to stop it and then make it go again.

And if anyone out there can tell me a simple way to have a pause button that morphs into a play button when then movie is paused (and vice versa) without causing me to entirely redo the movie, feel free to tell me. Please.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

April is the Cruellest Month

I'm not sure I really believe the sentiment on today's page of my Mary Engelbreit calendar. It seems like winter has dug in its heels and is here to stay.

Cruel Month
April is the Cruellest Month.

I will not be eating pancakes at the VEISHA festival in Ames. It looks like no one is.


Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I found these pictures that I don't think I've ever posted before. The first is my choice for American Idol.

My American Idol

Hannita posted yesterday about hair angst. This is my favorite bad hair day photo ever.

Bad Hair Day
Bad Hair Day.


I am still waiting for the real spring. We've had a couple of false starts and have snow in our forecast. Really. I'm as tired of it as you are of reading about it.

I am still waiting for the interesting birds, too. Black birds are thick (grackles, red wings, brown heads and the #*!$% starlings). The most interesting fellow that has been hanging around is the fox sparrow. He's cute and fun to watch. He does a little scritch/scratch/hop while looking for food.

I stole this picture from this guy. His pictures are far better than I can take with my crappy little digital camera out my dirty kitchen window. Oh, and he gave me permission to take his pic. Mike rocks.

Fox Sparrow
Fox Sparrow.

Friday, April 04, 2008

On the Radio This Morning

"It's gorgeous out there! Sunny and 39 degrees!"

As silly as that may sound to some, it was gorgeous. I didn't need my jacket.

It's even more gorgeous now. The temp is 55!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008


TA DA! You may officially welcome me to the new millennium! We got DSL today. I don't know whether to sit or spin, but I'd better get back to cleaning. I had to move a heavy piece of furniture today for the installation. Suffice to say it had not been moved in a long, long time.

21st Century
Welcome to the new millennium!