April 2008 Archives
The Incompetent Temporary Bachelor Chronicles: Vol. I
April 30, 2008 10:11 AM | Posted in: Food & Drink
Killdeer are exceedingly common throughout the US, and they're even regularly observed around bodies of water in our arid part of the state. Still, I haven't had the opportunity to observe them up close until a family took up residence around the stream and pond located in our new neighborhood.
I shot the following video this morning. It was unusually cold for this time of year - temps in the upper 30s - and the killdeer chicks were seeking warmth under mama's wings. The only problem is that there were too many of them and too little of her to go around. You'll also see a short clip of the "distraction behavior" killdeer use to draw predators away from their eggs or young.
I apologize for the shaky video, as I am too cheap to buy a camera with image stabilization, too unskilled to hold a zoomed-in shot steady, and too disorganized to remember to grab a tripod.
- Today is Trash Day. We've never had Trash Day before, so this is a big deal. Our new neighborhood doesn't have dumpsters, so we have to wheel our city-provided trash cans into the alley to await pick up. It makes me feel like a dutiful suburbanite. But, it's an egalitarian system. No one can monopolize the trash receptacle, as is the case with a dumpster. You can generate all the trash you want, but it won't get hauled off unless you can fit it in your personal container. Well, except for the neighbor across the alley, whom I've never met and who, noticing that we've got two containers (a temporary situation until we're completely unpacked), felt comfortable putting some of his overflow trash in one of them. I guess that's what neighbors are for.
- My nomination for two of the worst commercials on TV nowadays goes to FreeCreditReport.com, whose ads feature a band whose lead singer is bemoaning his poor status in life, attributing it to the fact that he failed to check his credit score. That oversight led him to (a) have to work as a waiter in a seafood restaurant, and (b) drive a beat-up sub-compact which is so, like, not really him. I can imagine how that might make a real waiter feel, knowing that his or her livelihood is being held up as an example of failure. And if you're a waiter driving a sub-compact? Well, you're a loser with a capital L, according to those commercials.
- On the flip side, one of the better ads belongs to Nutrisystem's weight-loss pitch to men featuring Dan Marino and Larry the Cable Guy. This is a stroke of marketing genius, getting a still-chunky rednek to proclaim how he lost the equivalent of four bowling balls of gut on the diet plan. I'm not convinced that anything will sell the average American man on a weight loss program, but this approach probably has the best chance of success.
- By the way, sauce and gravy are very tough to deal with. Speaking of food, how would you like to make a living as a food photographer? It's not all peaches and cream (well, unless it is peaches and cream); as the lead-in quote implies, there are challenges. Fortunately, we have Michael Ray's Food Photography Blog to help us overcome them.
- We've discovered that Abbye doesn't like reverse osmosis water. She's been drinking tap water for the past dozen years, but the new house came with an RO system so my wife started filling Abbye's kitchen bowl with that purified stuff. We noticed that she rarely drank in the kitchen, waiting until she went back to the bathroom where another bowl was filled with good old Midland tap water. There's a saying about teaching an old dog new tricks, but who knew it extended to hydration?
The High School team also won a Renaissance award. The Renaissance Award is for demonstrating extraordinary amounts of effort and preparation, or outstanding skill in engineering, design or performance. (I had to look this one up on the internet. We've never won this particular award before.) The team received a DaVinci award at Regionals.