Thursday, April 21, 2011

Templeton update & robins

It has happened!  Even before I reached to right crabapple tree I could sense that it had happened.  Templeton has retrieved his egg.  I can only guess it was ripe enough for him to show it to Wilbur.  I counted four times and reached the conclusion there were 24 robins today.  They keep moving, the little runts, and they are so hard to see in the decayed leaves.  And bold!  They will almost let me walk right by them without pausing in their worm hunt.  No gophers today, but a hoard of freed students playing Frisbee in the statue garden.

Crabapple robins

These robins are our robins.  The earlier robin pictures were online photos.  I have marked the robins with white arrows in the second pictures so you can tell where they are.  There were several more to the left, but well, they just wouldn't crowd together for the shot.  Very particular about their positioning they are.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Templeton's egg

Yes, that Templeton.  And on your right you see the true size of the egg as long as you know the true size of my delicate tootsies.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Replacing the library tour

Looks like fun to me. I say we take a field trip to New York and test run it. (The link is not showing on New York, no not this New York, the first New York.)

I made a map so we wouldn't get lost.

Monday, April 18, 2011

summer school

I attended summer school twice in my university career.  Once here, and once at a school in the States.  My cousin lived up the street from the school and she invited me to stay with her while I attended. For a walk down memory lane I made a community map of the walk I took from my cousin's house to school.  For some reason the tags got all in the wrong places and I can't get them to go back to the order I wanted.  Start at Linnaean street (4) and work your way down to the Yard.

It was great fun going over the map and finding some of the places I'd walked twenty odd years ago.  I enjoyed more the street view I stumbled onto while searching for pictures.  I tried to link to it, but it kept being troublesome and then my whole machine hiccuped, so I gave over.  For research I can see it as useful. As a story writer wanting to better understanding of my setting I can say its way cheaper than a flight. But you miss the smell and the stickiness of the air.  I can still be taken back by hot humid summer air and and strong smell of car pollution to that wonderful summer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Today's count

In the crabapple grove today:  26 robins, 4 gophers, 1 chickadee, and Templeton's abandoned goose egg.  I decided it must be his.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Crabapple grove

I went out on coffee again to the crabapple grove.  The robins must hang out there, and who would blame them, all those seeds, and worms, because there were at least eleven of them again.  A gang of robins.  Look out!  I also saw a red headed finch-like bird, a gopher that looked like it was trying to get the finch to play, and a goose egg.  At least I think it is a goose egg.  It was certain egg shaped and sized enough to be.  It was rust stained where it had lain long the grass.  How it washed up in the crabapple grove I will never know.  And on the way back to work...I found a shiny penny.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Who knew

Diigo, I came, I registered, I bookmarked.  I left.  Well, in looking for something to bookmark I did discover that spoon is also a card game. I have so few bookmarks in my life that it is not a service I can ever see myself using.  When I wonder about the patrons using it I think of the ipad and its little followings and I think, if we carry the communicators with us Jim, why do we worry about transferring everything form device to device?  Of course we are not quite there yet.  So, it is more like everything is in the computer now and so we just have to call out 'computer' (or 'google') where is the.... and Diigo is the bookmark part of that voice-of-Majel-Barret response system.  But with Diigo I have to click on my  Diigo bookmark then sign in, then ask Majel Barret where is.....  With google I just ask where is....  But as I say, I just don't have enough bookmarks to make it worth it.  I have eleven at home, and ten at work:  including 23 Things and Uncle Lew Spoon (a game, who knew?)

16days, 2 hours, 1 minute
of course that was 30 seconds ago

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Right now. Look at the picture.  See the orange red of the buildings.  Listen to the people in the cafe with the yellow and blue umbrellas.  They are laughing.  The sea is lapping against the boat.  It is rocking just a little.  The sun is on your back.  You can hear a young woman humming as she sits gazing out across the water.  She is drawing a picture of the buildings across the way.  A small dog sits next to her.  It looks up at you with its bright brown eyes.  Inhale, you can smell the coffee from the cafe.

Monday, April 11, 2011

sign of spring

I just came from my coffee break. I went for a stroll in the crabapple grove.  I saw eleven robins.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Facebook and the Common Denominator

As I stride boldly into the prime of my life (I come from a long line of long livers) I have found it to be true that no matter what system or tool is invented once you release it into the hands of the Common Denominator the same kinds of things will occur.  Facebook is a case in point.  All the hype would seem to say it is a wonderful tool.  My experience of Facebook comes up with one to the good and several to the bad. 

A small dog was put down, unsupervised with a two year old child.  The two young creatures got to playing, the puppy, surprise, behaved like a dog and nipped the child. The child's uncle declared his determination to have the puppy put down.  (My nasty side asks if he was the one who provided the lack of supervision.)  Dog lovers in the know sprang into action, created a Facebook page and the dog was saved.  Facebook as puppy savior.

I belong to the Saskatoon Writer's Coop.  I am a member in good standing.  The group now has a Facebook page.  They run contests on that page.  Unless I am willing to give my personal information to Mark Zuckerberg*, I am no longer able to have access to the full range of the Coop's services.  Facebook as gated community.

"You are not on Facebook?   What are you..."  anti-social?  a technophobe?  weird?  a coward?  Facebook as a stick for the social minded to hit the private types with.

A now former friend told me, when I suggested she needed to put more into our friendship if it was going to survive (I did the visiting, the phoning, the emailing), that she knew the solution:  I could follow her on Facebook.  Facebook as personal newsletter for your fans to read.

Mr. Harper has now apologized for his people throwing those two girls out of his public address, saying that all Canadians are welcome.  Yes, I so trust that man.  Facebook as tool for Big Brother.

I like to stay in touch with my family and friends;  I have a business in my other life and run a website;  I had a headset phone way back in the stone age:  I use technologies I find useful.  I can see the usefulness of the tool of Facebook. I may one day have to get an account for my business. But we have added in the Common Denominator, and it is playing in its usual fashion, some good, some nasty.  Some of the nasty could, ignored, get very nasty indeed.

*Mark Zuckerberg.  A brilliant young man who created Facebook in part to post information about college women so he could rate them like cattle at a stock sale.  Mr. Zuckerberg believes in transparency.  The privacy settings of Facebook were purposefully made difficult so that people would give more information.  He is trying to get the Common Denominator used to being fully open about itself. (Paraphrase: The Facebook effect : the inside story of the company that is connecting the world / David Kirkpatrick)   But Mr. Zuckerberg's understanding of the Common Denominator as beings, as far as I can, see is low. Does he, for example, recognize his sexism when he looks in the mirror? 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Apprentices welcome

For all and any interested in the deep and secret Sisterhood of Book Repair Persons*, please be aware of an upcoming introduction to bookbinding, brought to you by a Happy Leopard near you.  Willing victims will be shown the basics of book binding and assist in the production of 100 handmade books for charity.  Mark your calendars for early to mid May.  A date will be set.  You will be sent a secret signal, if only you let us know where to signal you.

Useful tool for the aspiring junior book repair person working alone:  the self healing cutting matt.  Available for prices as low as $12 (last time I checked) for 18x23 inches at the ever handy University Bookstore.

*boys are allowed, but they must wear kilts :-)

Tuesday, April 5, 2011