Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Ahem. We've been outside applying Forest Faces. Ahem.
You do know that this blog is named after this book.

If you're out there, Mr. McCammon, call me. I'm in the book.

No, not that book, sir -- the phone book.
Craig is right. That is springtime in Louisiana.
Learn something new everyday. Johnnie Cochran was from Shreveport.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Lyman is talking to women on the phone.

Big Daddy asked about sweet corn today.

Jason is coming to spend the night.

I need a nap.
We had another nasty weather scare here Saturday evening.

Clouds were low and dark. Severe thunderstorms threatening tornados stretched from here to Alabama.

About 5:20 the weather strip informed us that a tornado had been sighted 7 miles south of Ferriday, next town over, traveling this way at 30 miles an hour. The warning siren began to blare.

Lucy's cage went into the hall and I started sweating. I really stink when I become afraid.

Whatever. I don't know where it touched, or where it went, but it didn't come here. I haven't seen news that it did damage locally.

I spent nearly 30 years in Texas, and never came so near these godawful things as I have twice in the past six months.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

I like a good heist. But as far from Vidalia as NYC is, do Fed-Ex workers really wear black there?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Silly sister.
Mo' crawfish.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Speaking of finding things in Dallas.

When I was a waitress, back in prehistory, there was an art deco medical arts building in downtown Dallas. It has since been replaced, by, I think, the keyhole building by I.M. Pei.

When the place was under destruction, I went by for a memento. The letters from the name, made of heavy cast aluminum, were available. I wanted something sculptural, like an "S", but had to settle for a "G".

I think I was 21. 20, maybe.
Some men buy fast cars, and some men build greenhouses. Lyman's has cool automatic louvers.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

All right, that's it. I've had it with Gore boys.

Big Daddy came by this morning for a cup of coffee.

"Does Janis want some sweet corn this season?"

Do you have any idea how long it will be before corn is ready? Farmers haven't even planted here yet.


"No, sir. By that time I intend to be living with blue-eyed, childless orphan Giancarlo in Siena."

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I have some strong feelings against boys in the house:

1) I am too old for overhead lights. There are lamps in every room in this house. Use them.

2) Do not put a sweating glass next to the coaster in your bedroom.

3) Do not invite your grandparents to dinner and disappear until after the food is cooked and your grandparents are gone.

4) Do not wad up shirts and leave them on the end table in the living room.

5) Do not, under any circumstance except emergency, have the TV on when I wake up in the morning.

LATER: And what the $%#% is on the bathroom mirror?
If you don't read Indigo Insights, and I encourage you to, you might miss this and a bunch of other funny stuff:
A man is at work one day when he notices that his co-worker is wearing an earring.

This man knows his co-worker to be a normally conservative fellow, and is curious about his sudden change in "fashion sense."

The man walks up to him and says, "I didn't know you were into earrings."

"Don't make such a big deal, it's only an earring," he replies sheepishly.

His friend falls silent for a few minutes, but then his curiosity prods him to say, "So, how long have you been wearing one?"

"Ever since my wife found it in my truck."
Thanks, Bob and Indigo.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Our neighbors, the grandparents, now have a huge pair of pink inflatable bunny ears visible above their enclosed patio.

These were sophisticated, dare I say sedate, people.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

The stillness of these peregrines puts me in mind, by way of contrast, of a concert I attended in about 1984.

David Gilmour, guitarist for Pink Floyd, was touring solo, and took his act to Reunion Arena in Dallas.

The congas and light percussion were handled by a woman who was competent, lively and fit, wearing a stretchy pantsuit for comfort, and looked like she'd swallowed a beach ball.

She might be the only obviously pregnant performer I've ever seen on stage.

As smug a jerk as Sean Penn comes across on stage at the Academy Awards, I'm told he is quite nice in real life.

He has been filming in Baton Rouge recently. A young waitress who is a friend of our boys, and who has overnighted with us occasionally, waited on him at the restaurant where she works the other day.

She told Michael that she was a little nervous serving him and not at her best. Mr. Penn was gentle and undemanding, just as he should have been.

I didn't think to ask about the tip.

UPDATE: Johnny Depp is floating around Baton Rouge, too.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

I'm posting this site for personal reference regarding peregrines.

Lyman is making fun of me for watching these boring birds, but I am checking their behavior against Lucy's.

Ordinarily, peregrines stretch, yawn and sleep much as Lucy does. From what I can make out from descriptions, they tuck their heads forward under their wings rather than back over their shoulders as Lucy does when they sleep. I still haven't observed a yawn, but maybe the birdies aren't as bored as I would be. I haven't seen any sort of stretching apart from a brief double-wing stretch when one is about to fly from the roost.

One of the things I forget is that San Francisco can be pretty chilly, worse at 33 stories. Those eggs can't take much neglect. The transfer I watched happened in about 30 seconds.
When Lucy is awake, she likes for me to be awake, too. (I told you she is like a baby.)

So if I lie down to nap, she often resorts to ear-piercing screams to keep me alert.

In the interest of teaching the little girl the Golden Rule, I'm considering investing in something along this line.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Since I have absolutely nothing to offer in the way of music on my own in response to O'Possum's Thursday Three, I'll direct you to attorney Stuart Buck, who is an accomplished classical guitarist.

I've been wanting to work him in here for days.

He had a light stroke several months ago, but he's all better now.

UPDATE: Much as I like Mr. Buck, there is nothing on his site that indicates he does plumbing. A good recording of a classical guitarist is considerably cheaper than an hour with a plumber.

My attorney does plumbing.
Gracie and George changed places at about 6:12 a.m. PST this morning, as the day broke over San Francisco.

I read on the message board that the female usually sits the eggs at night, so I assume it was George who came to relieve Gracie.

Before, when I thought I saw Gracie stretching and returning to the nest, I must have seen the birds exchanging places at about 11 a.m. PST. 5 hour shifts?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

We'll do better than Sonic tonight. We found a quart of chili from a friend, and a dozen tamales from the Apostolic Life Tabernacle (best in two towns) in the freezer. Those should go down well on this 44 degree gray day.
We are about to starve to death here.

We have tried a couple of recipes the past two nights and both of them were flops.

One was a crawfish terrine from Emeril Lagasse that was too bland to bother with. That's what playing to a national audience gets ya.

The other was a Brazilian black-eyed pea fritter with a sauce. The recipe called for "dende oil" which research shows is a distinctly flavored palm oil used in Brazil and Africa.

"Lyman, sweetie boy, maybe we shouldn't try this. It can't come out right."

You don't pop around to the corner grocery for dende oil in Vidalia, LA.

"We'll make do."

Lyman shops, out comes the food processor, and we make a fritter substance with peas, onions, cilantro, and other goodies that tastes pretty good from the container.

The Waring Pro deep-fryer (highly recommended) comes out, we drop the fritters into the hot oil, and they disappear.

I don't know if they were good or bad. They dissolved, nada, nothing left in the basket.

We tried coating a fritter with a little flour. We turned out with a brown flour shell that crumbled in the hand.

I'm thinking Sonic tonight.
Cool ... Clear ... Water.

I can't imagine anything better than a good shower after three months abed.

Part of any recovery therapy when I was a child, was for my mother to set me off in some other part of the house, put crisp sheets on my bed, give me a thorough warm bath, and put me back to bed in a clean gown. She was a good mama.

So is Peg.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

It has been yet another chilly, dreary and rainy day for Lucy and me. (Lyman has been talking to women on the phone. Their charge.) We were all cheered to hear from Mr. Hlatky about this post.

That cookie business is especially pertinent to little "Pudgy", as Lyman calls her.
I joined the group and discovered I was wrong. George and Gracie, who are almost indistinguishable except for size (George being smaller) have been taking turns sitting the eggs.

Couldn't tell by me.

George brought Gracie a snack at about 10:45 a.m., presumably PST, the day Gracie laid the fourth egg.

Now I can begin to put some of what I'm seeing in context. The moderator for the group is very helpful in isolating and presenting photos, and otherwise explaining what is going on.
Here's a paper from the University of Cincinnati on yawning. According to the author:
Most animals with backbones yawn and even some without. Dogs, cats, rats, snakes, fish, birds and humans all yawn. Fetuses at 11 weeks after conception yawn in utero.
She describes most of Lucy's yawns here:
It's a not-always-so-subtle cue to spouses, co-workers, and bosses for attention, sympathy and a respite due to tiredness, stress, over-work or boredom.
And sometimes she's just sleepy.
Question: If I subscribe to a board, will I open myself up to pummeling with pop-ups and stuff? I have Norton protection.
Gracie is the perfect picture of patience. I've seen her leave the nest to stretch twice in the past three days.

This is a girl who's used to zipping around at 175-200 mph.

I haven't seen George, and I haven't seen her eat anything yet. I might have to join the message board there to find out the best times to watch for other things.

The picture is poor, but I haven't noticed her yawn, either. Do all birds yawn? Lucy does, bigger'n Dallas, and loudly, too.

I read that Gracie started full-time incubation of her four eggs on or about March 10. They should hatch about 33 days after that.

Poor thing doesn't have thumbs to twiddle.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I've been peeking in at Gracie, the falcon, on the Peregrine Nest Cam. Sitting eggs seems a lot like watching paint dry.
Speaking of stinky boys, the weather is glorious and breezy. It would benefit me greatly if someone with a camp at say, Grand Isle, would invite Lyman out for about two weeks.

He is funny, intelligent, capable, and a good cook. He comes with a beautiful bird.

Spring cleaning is much easier without him underfoot. Or Lucy.
Radley Balko points to an article about an editorial in the Harvard Crimson calling for a boycott against a sophomore's cleaning service, Dormaid.

I can't find the full editorial online. In the excerpt Radley pulls, the writer says:
"By creating yet another differential between the haves and have-nots on campus, Dormaid threatens our student unity," the Crimson said in an editorial.
Seems to me the real differential in the situation is between the sorry young adults who have not the gumption to clean their own damn rooms (a tender point with me), and those who have the entrepreneurial wit to do something about it.

Or maybe that's the point. The household help was so much more discreet.

UPDATE: Here is the text of the editorial. And, yes, the point is that household help was just that.

It's less annoying than I thought.

UPDATE II: I will say that in any case it would be a public service if adolescent boys' rooms were regularly cleaned. The adolescent boys I have known, even the most meticulously groomed and tidy, leave a stink in their rooms. Simple fact.
Everyone from Jordana Adams to Matt Yglesias has done this exercise.

I confined where I've been to places where I have spent a night, or, like Florida, visited for more than a drive-through, not states I've driven through or changed trains in, or whatever.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C /

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

UPDATE: Missed one. I lived in Natchez, MS, from June 1993-Jan 1994.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

We watched a show tonight on HGTV in which the mother of a teenaged daughter had decorated the entire house in white, black and gray. The girl wanted color in her room. What color? Pink.

So the designers did a room in a bright pink with white and green accents.

Janis: "Can I do my bedroom in pink?"

Lyman: "Depends on which one you want to sleep in."
Pale Male and Lola seem to be doing fine now in New York City.
Find a webcam of an urban peregrine falcon's nest in this article from the San Francisco Chronicle.
A real-life question: A couple is getting a divorce. Assets and debts are being divided. Who should be responsible for the bill from Victoria's Secret? The man or the woman?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Dr. Frank has a post on one of his "found" objects titled "some prats are south."

According to this definition prat can mean "fool or dupe."

According to this definition prat can mean "major dumbass."

According to this definition it means buttocks, hindquarters, or, as some term, "ass."

Experience shows me that, indeed, some prats are south.

I can think of half-a-dozen off the top of my head. How about you?

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Lyman went out tonight for a meeting with the fantasy baseball league. I didn't say that he came in second last year?

He spent time with the Catholic priest from Our Lady of Lourdes up the street. The priest told a joke:

A woman was driving down the street. A policeman stopped her.

"Ma'am, do you know why I stopped you?"

"No, sir."

"You were speeding and you were weaving.

"Ma'am, have you had any alcoholic beverages to drink?"

"No, sir. I haven't."

"Ma'am, what is in that cup there?"


"Can I see that cup?"

"Yessir, you may."

"Ma'am, this smells like wine."

"Oh, blessed Jesus, he's done it again."
Here's another blogger post from an engineer that gives a unique perspective on events. Thanks, Mr. Bowen.
Our condo complex took a bad beating by hurricane Ivan. It was one of the first built on the coast, in 1985. Construction techniques have improved a great deal since then.

Our unit came through nicely.

Management of reconstruction is thoroughly reprehensible. Our board is uncommunicative, our lawyer is craven, and six months down the line they have not replaced windows.

Mold is rampant.

People without damage have reported theft, and I mean down to the dishwasher and water heater. Others have had their property overturned and abused.

Report is that the president of the board cried when she saw the damage. Honey, so did we all. Move along.
This post from James Joyner shows where bloggers can do a real service.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Jeez, I like this woman.

One can do worse than Audrey Hepburn.
One year ago today I was gliding down a mountainside in the company of that handsome and sweet David Moon. Lyman was suffering somewhere.

Monday, March 07, 2005

After having watched the fizz close-up -- we had $10,000 out on Ameritrade -- I think the next big meltdown will come on conservation and alternative energy stocks.

Just sayin'.

Be careful.
I'll go see them. They're due here on March 17.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Our friends' son is a certified civil engineer.

He joined the Navy and became operator of a nuclear submarine.

He fulfilled his time at sea, and now lives in New Orleans. He called his daddy tonight to say that he had gone to Lowe's and bought some tomato plants.

Son, get ready for a challenge.
Lyman and Lucy.

The other night Lyman told me that he had ordered a Parrot Pinata for Lucy.

A few days later a box came. It had two (2) medium Parrot Pinatas, one (1) Vine Ring Slider w/Bell, and one (1) 30 ft. roll of woven palm leaf shredder.

Silly kids.
Kansas mamas are a protective lot. For three months now Peg has been nursing her son, and there's more ahead.

She can still use some good thoughts.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

I guess that's settled, then.

When we chose Lucy as a first bird, it was after a lot of Internet research comparing sizes, dispositions, noise levels, cage requirements, intelligence and beauty. We spent some days going back and forth between the African Grey and the Eclectus.

Since we were inexperienced, we finally chose Eclectus because one is more a "family" bird, bonding to more than one person, and three of the four greys we saw were feather-pluckers.

Many experts say birds will be happier if there are two in a home, not necessarily of the same species.

We cooked dinner for Lyman's mother and father last night. It was her 85th birthday. Lucy has a way of interjecting herself into conversation. Talk progressed to birds, then to greys.

Lyman's mother said she wishes we would get a grey. Before she dies. Lyman has wanted one for months.

So there you are.

We need to finish setting up the greenhouse and putting the yard in order. We need to straighten things up at the coast, and get back on track there, which doesn't seem to be happening sooner than mid- to end-summer.

Then we'll get a baby grey. New cages. New routines. A new toddler in the house. If we're going to have one for the rest of our lives, might as well have two.

Now, Debra and Craig, do we need a boy or a girl?
A million-dollar expansion of the Vidalia library is nothing but good news to me. I read as many as five books a week. Raise my taxes -- which the board is not proposing to do -- and I'll still come out ahead. (I read books rather than watch television.)

I do think, though, that hard-working writer Julie Finley must have errors in this story. From 2,300 sq. ft. to 900,000 sq. ft.? How might that be possible on that site?

Friday, March 04, 2005

My favorite Canadian gentleman, Colby Cosh, knows more about Louisiana than I do.
The world has flipped. Here I am watching Frank Zappa's son, Dweezil, with Lisa Loeb on, thinking, "He sure seems like a nice boy."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Speaking of dancing, I just walked out to our ill-tended garden patch to pick a handful of pretty romaine lettuce for dinner.

A loose-leaf lettuce has gotten away from us. Its leaves are large enough for props for fan-dancing

Sally Rand-style.

Sort of like one of those giant vegetables from Alaska.

Lucy has been doing a lot of dancing on the playtree in the window.

I've described her before. She twists and turns her head into impossible positions, flutters her wings and makes odd noises. She reminds me of a Balinese dancer. An expert on Eclectus suggested that she is trying to draw a mate.

She has added a new twist this season. She occasionally quacks like a duck.

We're short on parrots in nature here. I guess she's doing her best with what she has.