Saturday, January 31, 2004

J-Birds has updated today. Thirteen baby Congo Greys to raise. Yikes!

Friday, January 30, 2004

Gary Farber has a post here that is of great interest to me as a bird owner.

Jim Smith sent me an e-mail telling of N'Kisi, the eloquent African Grey with a vocabulary of 900-odd words. Mr. Farber has tracked an umbrella cockatoo owner who takes issue with all the fuss made over N'Kisi. The cockatoo owner's post on birds is informative and on target.

I'm too lazy tonight to excerpt, but if Lucy has intrigued you, follow the links at Gary's post, especially that regarding Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Her work with African Grey, Alex, is amazing.

I do not read the New York Times book review pages anymore. I visit the local library five blocks up Oak Street once every one or two weeks and pick up a stack of four or five titles that might be interesting. I read southern writers, Texas writers, detective and crime writers, mystery writers, funny writers, and every once in a while a lit-fic writer. I will also pick up a history or a non-fiction, but our selection of those is not good. By the way, I was not impressed with Don Delillo's "Cosmopolitan", regardless of how he is regarded by sophisticates.

Today I was lucky enough to run into Nell, the retired librarian who knows every nuance of my reading habits. She led me to this first novel by author Alafair Burke.

Alafair might be a familiar name to you. That was detective Dave Robicheaux's daughter's name in the James Lee Burke novels set in south Louisiana. And Alafair Burke is James Lee Burke's daughter in our real world. Nell tells me the book is pretty good for a first. I plan to start it just after I finish this new Ed McBain.

Take a look at this list and leave a comment as to which brand you prefer, if you would be so kind. I'm in the market for a product of this type. ( ... Up. Ten. Down. Up. Eleven. Down ... )

Mike Trettel has a cool picture for you car buffs.

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Send Mr. Smith some good thoughts. He's had a bad fall on the ice.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

J. Bowen provides a link to a a joke site which includes parrot jokes. I hope the people at Merel are not upset if I reprint this one here (and no, Mr. Bowen, I don't have a better one):

A woman went to a pet shop and immediately spotted a large beautiful parrot. There was a sign on the cage that said $50.00.

"Why so little?," she asked the pet store owner.

The owner looked at her and said, "Look, I should tell you first that this bird used to live in a house of prostitution, and sometimes it says some pretty vulgar stuff." The woman thought about this, but decided she had to have the bird anyway.

She took it home and hung the bird's cage up in her living room and waited for it to say something.

The bird looked around the room, then at her, and said, "New house, new madam." The woman was a bit shocked at the implication, but then thought "that's not so bad."

When her two teenage daughters returned from school the bird saw them and said, "New house, new madam, new girls." The girls and the woman were a bit offended but then began to laugh about the situation.

Moments later, the woman's husband, Keith, came home from work. The bird looked at him and said, "Hi Keith!"

Mr. Schranck wrote to remind me of this one he posted in 2002:

A man is walking down a street and is going by a pet store.

A parrot is sitting on a stand just outside the door, and calls out to the man, "HEY, BUDDY!"

Intrigued, the man stops and says, "What?"

The parrot says, "F--- YOU!"

The man becomes upset and goes into the store to complain to the owner.

The owner goes outside and tells the parrot, "That's the last time you do that. One more complaint about your language, and I'll bag you up and throw you into the lake. You got me?"

The parrot nods his head.

The next day, the same man is walking by the pet store.

The parrot calls out to the man, "HEY, BUDDY!"

Intrigued, the man stops and says, "What?"

The parrot doesn't say anything--it just stares at the man.

This goes on for several seconds, until the man loses patience and says again, "What?"

The parrot says quietly, "You know what."

Aha! We got them! Craig Johnson of J-Birds has begun a blog. You can find it here. Only one entry so far, but it's bound to become a good read. Onto my blogroll.

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Zapped again. I had a little cosmetic dental work done today which kept me in the chair for an hour. An hour's worth of deep breathing, ohmmm, sets you apart from everything.

Monday, January 26, 2004

I live in Concordia Parish, LA. (Isn't that a lovely name?) The Concordia Sentinel is our local weekly paper, published by Sam Hanna, an old newspaper hand well-connected with the political personages of this state. It is not a grand production, but it covers local news well. Now it is online.

This editorial is one of the reasons I like the paper. We can fix our own elections very well, thank you.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

We spent the day with a bored teenager. Lucy started talking from the moment she came out of her cage this morning, and didn't hush until she went back in tonight. Most of it was gibberish, but she clearly said "What you doing?" several times.

Lucy has three inflections for that phrase:

What you doing, I'm curious,

What you doing, you're bothering me, and

What you doing, why don't you get off your duff and entertain me somehow.

Today's was the third inflection. I'm being ordered around by a bird. I can't decide if I want her to expand her vocabulary or not.

Ananova reports that Churchill's daughter says the 104-year-old macaw was not her father's.

(Tip from H. D. Miller)

Saturday, January 24, 2004

Talking to a proud father about his daughter's career set me off on another memory trip.

My dear friend Russell Smith, dead before 40, lo these years past, took me to see Julie Wilson when she performed in Dallas. What a woman.

I had a fun and interesting telephone conversation today with Craig Johnson of J-Birds in Mandeville, LA. He and his wife Debra weaned and fledged Lucy.

I was hoping that they might board Lucy while we're away. Craig says they'll get back to me. They have a house full of birds: baby birds, 7 breeding pairs, abused birds. They really don't need care of another one.

One of the interesting notes in our conversation goes back to an e-mail I received more than a year ago from a gentleman in New York. The Johnsons had given him my e-mail address so that I might act as a reference. I was happy to give the Johnsons the highest recommendation. The gentleman and I exchanged a few e-mails, then I never heard from him again.

Come to find out, the gentleman is a New York detective. "So, Craig, what kind of bird does a New York detective keep?" Well, he has the male counterpart to Lucy, and a young macaw. Let's hope he behaves better than Baretta.

Through e-mails the Johnsons and I exchanged at Christmas, Craig has become familiar with this blog. I am encouraging him to start one himself. Theirs is a busy, fascinating household, full of well-kept animals, a son, and a lovely daughter who just might be on the road to stage stardom.

Come on, Craig!

Why, lookee there. There's an ad at the top of this page. It has been months.

Lyman saw this on a bathroom wall in Snowmass in 1977:

There once was a girl named Longet,
Who came to Aspen to play,
Along came a Spider,
To sit down beside her,
And she blew the poor bastard away.

Cwy me a wiver.

Friday, January 23, 2004

Oh, my. Lyman wasn't whistling "Dixie". We have plane reservations, hotel reservations, two dinner reservations and a lesson scheduled for me on our first morning in Steamboat Springs.

Back against the wall, Janis. Up. Down. Up. Down. Flex those thighs.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Lyman graduated from Loyola law school in New Orleans with the class of '73. He received a call from a classmate the other night who is organizing a reunion of that class for March 6. If we go and the others show up, Lyman tells me I'll meet a Dugas, a couple of Bordelons, at least one Broussard and a LeBlanc. I think we should attend as the G'Ors. Suggestions are welcome.

This is the cleverest (most clever?) logo for a blog I've seen in a while.

(Link via Coffee Achiever)

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

Winston Churchill's parrot is still alive. Charlie is 104.

(Link via Jeff Jarvis)

Lyman wants to spend all of our money and then kill me. He doesn't put it that way. He says he wants us to go snow-skiing. We're thinking about Steamboat Springs in early March. Is Billy the Kid still alive?

I haven't been on a pair of skis since I went cross-country skiing on Mt. Hood when I was 19 years old. I'm no good at skating, either. (But I can dance!)

Sunday, January 18, 2004

I don't shop much. I certainly don't spend much time in the china sections of department stores, even one as small as the local McRae's. I think I would go into some kind of paralytic shock if I were a young woman choosing china, crystal and silver patterns.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

I have been thoroughly unfair. My guilt. The girl seems just fine and John is happy. That's enough. I had a great time at the shower. There was a proper spread, and I spent time talking with wives and mothers whose children have grown up with Jason and Michael.

Nancy and Monelle were there. We toured Britain with Nancy and Monelle, and Israel with Monelle.

I met John's mother, Irene, for the first time. Up to now we've just spoken on the phone. "Is John there?""Yes, ma'am, he's asleep on my sofa. Do you want me to wake him?""No. When he wakes up, please send him home."

Such fun.

And the make-up to cover my lines arrived ten minutes after I left for the fellowship hall.

Friday, January 16, 2004

I'm not an ogre. I know babies aren't all bad. (Isn't this one a doll?)

Shopping again today. What would you suggest to fill out a box that can be wrapped in a pretty ribbon and keep this gift just at $100? Remember, I have $80 invested already.

LATER: Chose a swivel peeler w/paring knife and a set of tongs. I lived for 30 years with a 97 cent peeler, and these newfangled things with graspable handles are the bomb.

I also lived that long without a board scraper. Now I don't know how I'd do without it. Couldn't find one of those. It wasn't on the list, anyway.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

I cannot begin to tell you how cross I am with this situation. I am stern with my boys and strict with the girls who come into this house. That some breathy, little cunning thing could take John eats me alive.

John is not mine. But I would be proud to be his mother. No college education, management skills, working himself up from a kitchen into a prize-winning entrepreneurial position in a local fast food chain, making $50,000 a year at 29 years old. Slim, witty, fun. Slept on my sofa many a time.

Michael and I both think the girl trapped him. Being the well-brought-up boy that he is, he is stepping up to take responsibility. God bless his mother, Irene. That's enough.

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

So, what did I choose? I chose a $75 gift card from Lowe's. John is making his house welcome for his baby.

Today is our 10th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, I am going shopping for a wedding present for a young couple who married in December. The bridal shower is Saturday. I know that sounds backwards. Given the, ah, circumstances, the order is correct.

Sunday, January 11, 2004

Life is too good. Expect the mother of all hurricanes to hit the Alabama coast this fall.

We decided a few years ago to serve an unusual dish at our party. Two years ago it was 'coon and sweet potatoes. Last year, in honor of our Aussie friends, it was kangaroo sticks. This year, Lyman has put in an order for a pound or two of nutria. Nutria sauce piquante for everyone! They say it tastes like chicken.

Saturday, January 10, 2004

If you're in need of a laugh, go to this link at Dave Helton's place now.

The holidays are past. College football is over and gone. What does a shiftless Louisiana girl turn her mind to? Why, planning a party, of course!

January 13 will mark our 10th wedding anniversary. It has been our habit these years past to invite friends to celebrate our marriage, in the spirit of thanking them for being allies and supporters. It also presents an opportunity for a group of people who like each other, but don't see each other much, to get together. This year the event is scheduled for Valentine's Day.

Since it is a middle-aged crowd, it has been some years since we invited the boys, but this year is different. At Christmas I welcomed them to come and bring a lady friend. I suspect Jason will bring Nicole. According to my mother-in-law, we might be seeing a lot of Nicole. As in, for the rest of our lives. Which suits me fine. As for Michael, I don't know. He was burned badly by a pretty Dallas girl a year or so ago and hasn't shown a marked interest in anyone since. One of the good things about these boys is that they are not fickle with women. In the ten years I've known them they've had two girlfriends apiece.

At any rate, we are working on invitations, the menu and party favors for the ladies. It's always such a good time, even if we work ourselves to death.

Friday, January 09, 2004

I am reposting this cartoon from Tim Blair's site to amuse our recuperating Mr. Anderson.

Thursday, January 08, 2004

I think we might manage a meeting of minds here.

I guess it's no secret how much I admire Mr. Fritz Schranck of Delaware -- devoted husband and father and a profoundly sober man who loves to have fun. We have been carrying on clandestine communications about crawfish pies.

In the course of our e-mails, he asked about Lucy's reaction to the LSU win the other day. Mr. Schranck, she slept through it.

I attribute that to her coloring. Yes, those are Ole Miss's colors, all right. I think she felt it necessary to retire after Ole Miss's last loss of the season.

Now, Mr. Jim Smith is an Ole Miss alumnus who was gracious enough to support LSU in this last game. He is a great fan of Lucy. (And yes, sir, I do have another picture for you, but my technical department -- Lyman -- has run into a glitch).

It is well known that Ole Miss is having some mascot problems. Mr. Smith and I both think that Lucy would fit the bill. We also think it unlikely that an SEC team would allow itself to be known as the Ole Miss Eclectus. (Late games would be an issue, too. Lucy likes to go to bed at 9:30.)

Mr. Schranck, as a fan of the Blue Hens, how would you weigh in on this issue?

(Mr. Schranck's response is here.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2004

I got through to my brother at his phone number. He and his wife are cheerful and able. They 've only lost power for an hour or two. The kids are fine, as far as they know. Ryan hasn't checked in for an hour or two, but he's their adventurer. The house, which is on a slope in the Columbia Gorge, is stable. My sister-in-law says it's clearing. My brother says that of the three bad bouts of winter they've had in 30 years this is the worst. He knows of no one dead yet.

They aren't used to the Siberian train either. It's a predictable climate out there. Rainy and depressing.

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

It is 37 degrees outside at 11:35 a.m. I can't get warm.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Oh, dear. Lyman and I have volunteered to pay for national championship shirts for the boys. They want something in a long-sleeved tee. Michael said that he would look. We know that Michael has exquisite taste.

Go read the comments on this post at Joanne Jacobs' place. Jerks. Geeks and snobs. Maybe racists, too. The very reason I care nothing about having a higher profile on the web.

Plus, they bore me. I wrote a paper on Walter Duranty 15 years ago. And I know more about rat liver mitochondria than any good southern girl needs to know.

Me? I like to read sugarmama.

Nothing at all against Ms. Jacobs. Hers is always an interesting place.

And where am I going to find a large, purple-feathered hat and an enormous purple boa?

This story has half a dozen good quotes about the game.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

How about those Tigers? I'm going to take a shower now. Had to after the Georgia game, too. Big Daddy says, "That was awesome." He is 84.

Nick, you're worth a million.

2:03. Oklahoma has the ball. Here ya' go, Nick.


Blocking in the back. Lyman's nemesis.

Off sides, LSU?

This series.

Marquise Hill. He's ours , too.

It's a game.

Great first down play for Oklahoma. Did I tell you I like college football?

14:03 left.

Pick-off. They ain't dead yet.

And who is this David Jones?

Personal foul? Where are your manners, boys?


Adai. He's our boy, too.

Oklahoma ain't dead yet.

Marcus Spears intercepted? That kid doesn't handle balls.

Halftime. I put Lucy to bed. This is more craziness than a little girl can stand.

Interception. What a game.

Holding. What a game.

This Vincent kid is really good.

And that's our boy, Michael. Excuse me, down here we call him Mr. Clayton.

And that's our boy, Devery.

Evened up. Lyman isn't talking.

Well, damn. Penalty.

Good coverage, Oklahoma.

Big Daddy has called twice already. "What's the matter with their play-calling?"

Did you know that this game is worth a million dollars a year to Nick Saban?

Geez, what a catch for Runnels.

Holding. Thank goodness.

Granted, I haven't watched Jason White play at all this year, but his eyes don't look good to me, like he doesn't feel well.

That's our boy, Skyler!.


Yikes! Big Daddy and Lyman and the boys and I and James Carville are all pulling for the same team. And they say politics makes strange bedfellows.

I have been in the same room with Nick Saban. He might be an inch or inch and a half taller than me. I'm 5'7". He is handsome and has beautiful, long-fingered hands.

Nothing special, I was also in the room with Gerry Dinardo. New coaches tour Louisiana's fan clubs.

What I can't understand is how that little boy can dominate those 6'6" 300 lb. players.

NOTE: I had a hard time remembering Gerry Dinardo's name, but I will never forget Lou Tepper's.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Moving along here, I received my Burpee seed catalog. I study these things just as I used to study the Sears Christmas Catalog. Gosh, isn't that Moonbeam Coreopsis pretty?

Last night Lyman was watching football. My sister called to ask him some questions about property and law. They have always had a rapport that I've been half-jealous of stemming from their similar senses of humor.

They were on the phone at least half an hour.

At the end of that time, Lyman handed me the phone, and said, "Tell your sister to get a boyfriend and quit calling me on Friday night."

OK, maybe you had to be there.

Lyman and I watched a television show last night featuring Nick Saban, Matt Mauck, Marcus Spears and others. You do know that LSU is playing for the national championship tomorrow. Unless you're from California. But then, you know about those people from California.

Nick Saban took questions from the audience. An older woman with a large purple-feathered hat and an enormous purple boa rose up and thanked Mr. Saban for giving her the thrill of a lifetime. "The last time we played for a national championship, I was a senior at LSU." Big Daddy and I figure that she had to be at least 64.

Friday, January 02, 2004

The best line on the Internet today comes from this story, brought to us by Possumblog:

"Hell of a way to start the New Year, saluting a dead possum," said Steve Barringer, a blacksmith.