Saturday, November 17, 2012

Smoke'm While Ya Got'em

A little Public Service Announcement…

Changing Times

In the 50’s something would happen and you may hear someone say, “I’ll give’em a piece of my mind”!

Now in the 21st century people shorten things up like LOL or LMFAO.  So, would you hear someone say, “I’ll give’em some head”!   Uhmmm, it just doesn’t seem the same…

Open Blog - Weekend

Jump for joy!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Sad day. Fairwell Hostess.

Once again management/BOD gave themselves raises and bonuses and demanded that the help work for peanuts. The Bakers said sorry Charley, and management closed the doors on 18,000 workers. Get your Twinkies while you can, and the Hostess outlet store will close in a week.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Welcome back to an another episode of Four for Fridays after a rather slow week. Things just keep moving along.... Nothing really new. Anyways, here are some questions...

1)  Do you read a map or use a GPS?

2) What technology do you wish you understood better?

3)  Have you ever gotten up early for a "black Friday sale"?

4) What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

Enjoy your weekend!

Open Blog - Friday

A gecko for lizardmom.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another black eye for Racine

It really saddens me that we have yet another Monster putting Racine on the map. I cringe when I think of my service buddies, school mates and people I've met in my travels read, "and in Racine, Wisconsin... " If my roots weren't so deep, I'd move.

Open Blog - Thursday

Chill out.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my frosty friends.  How are you?  I actually saw a few snowflakes in the air on Monday evening.  It begins innocently enough.  A flake here, a flake there, until you have a light dusting.  No big deal.  But it escalates from there.  Within a month, you’re removing 10 inches of snow from your sidewalk and trying to drive to work in a blizzard.  I suggest that we protest snow.  Maybe if enough of us walk around holding signs and chanting, “No, no, no more snow!” then Mother Nature would listen to us. Ha, fat chance.  She’s on drugs or having a mental breakdown.  Nothing that Mother Nature does makes sense anymore. 

Don’t forget, this Sunday, November 18, the Green Bay Packers meet the Detroit Lions in Ford Field at noon.  Our astounding and breathtaking Packers are coming off of a bye week.  Let’s hope that they are rested up, but not rusted up.  No matter, we can expect the fabulous and fantastic Packers to tame the Lions handily.

I want to state publicly that Madame Zoltar is against closing Fire Station Number 5 in Racine.  The recent tragedy wherein three children were killed by a fire reinforces my conviction regarding Racine’s public safety.  We must not let Mr. Mayor Dickert shut down a fire station, take down streetlights, and close down community centers.  Enough basic services have been cut enough.  This is so difficult to witness while Mr. Mayor spends millions of our dollars on people and private projects that he prefers.  It is sickening. 

I received an email from the preposterous Mr. OrbsCorbs.  It’s always nice to hear from him.  He wrote:

Dear Madame Zoltar,

Is there anything more that you can do for an extraordinarily long run of extraordinarily bad luck?  We’ve discussed this before.  You’ve made some suggestions and worked your magic, to no avail.

It’s a curse.  We’ve discussed that, too.  Who could hate me enough to put such an effective curse on me?  Gee, I wonder.  Well, if too many things go wrong too many times for too much longer, I may snap.  In fact, I may have already snapped.  How would I know?  When you’re crazy, you think you’re sane, right?

Please help me, Madame Zoltar.

Love and kisses,

Dear Mr. OrbsCorbs, thank you for getting in touch with me.  I’m so sorry that my previous efforts on your behalf have been less than successful.  Oh my.  If things are still going that badly, then this can only be a blood curse, probably put on you by my ex-husband or a member of his family.  They don’t care who or what they destroy, they just want the moola.  I don’t know of anyone else in the area with that much power.  If they’ve conspired with one of your enemies, this could be very difficult to resolve.  I promise to attend to it immediately.

Oh, and you’re as sane as I am.

Thank you, my dears and dear nots, for stopping by to read my blog.  I feel the love and love the feeling.  You are all my best friends. 

Curse or karma?  Find out:

Have a wonderful week, everyone. Thanksgiving approaches rapidly as the holiday season hits its stride.  It’s a glorious time of year.  Jactitation!                      

Open Blog - Wednesday

Will do.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Aurora Alert! NOW!

Coming across my twitter and facebook friends from Wisconsin. Go outside and look now! Take pics if you can!

"Pattern or Practice"

"The story of how the small town of Racine waged war on African-American and Hispanic bar owners to drive them out of the changing town."

"In the past six years in the City of Racine 13 minority owned bars or nightclubs and 2 white owned bars with minority patrons have been closed while in contrast no white establishments have been affected."

Read more:

Party on, lying John!

Stone deaf for years, yet....

Music still flows out. Haven't heard this one for years. Popped in yesterday morning.

Open Blog - Tuesday

Ooo, chocolate. Yum.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Back to Where it All Began.

The balls of my feet dug into the sand as I ran up the hill towards the parking lot. I just had spotted a Merlin chase an American Crow across the sandy woodland towards the parking lot. By the time I had reached the asphalt edges of the paved lot they were gone-vanished.... No photo, no piece of the action. Well, at least I got to see a Merlin, my first official sighting ever. I was happy with that. Walking back to where I came from, I spotted a Black Capped Chickadee in a bush. By the time I had my camera pointed at him, he was gone. A Double Crested Cormorant was drying its wings on the rocks just off of the second pier.... Got a snapshot of it.

Then the real action started....

Out from the blue and coming in from the west, was the Merlin-still chasing the crow! The hapless crow maneuvered downward into a nearby half bare tree as the Merlin overshot its strike and landed in a tree to the north. Far to distant and well covered for a decent shot. Not for long.... The pint sized falcon fired out from its roost at the crow, flushing it out of the tree, making a loop in the process. The chase was on again! Zooming towards me, I literary had a bird's eye view of this life and death struggle. The action was so fast paced that I couldn't even get my camera ready. "Get 'em, get' em, GET 'EM !" I screamed, silently cheering for the raptor. I was amazed how diligent and small the Merlin was compared to the crow. It was about half the size of its prey! Must be hungry... The crow swerved to right and landed on a tree behind me while the Merlin landed in another nearby tree. This was an opportunity for a picture. I made off with three quick snaps before the chase resumed. With lightning speed over my head, the crow dipped down into another tree and Merlin overshot again! This time, it just flew off to the north and headed towards the lighthouse.

Merlin Shoop Park Racine WI 10 24 2012
It's not the greatest picture I had ever taken, yet I feel lucky and honored to even get this shot. The field of opportunity was quite small and I had to utilize whatever resources I had for a pic. My Sony DSC-H2 camera isn't the the most wildlife friendly one around. No high speed shutter, no interchangeable zoom lens and focusing it can be a pain. Yet, I've gotten some great pics off it. It's the opportunity to be out there and being able take these pics that drive me. It's just like hunting, except I'm bringing home a picture instead of a carcass.

Just how did I get started with this birding anyways?

Growing up, my grandparents used to have this cottage along a lake in the boondocks of Northern Wisconsin. A big platform bird feeder was perched about six feet tall outside our picture window in the kitchen. A potpourri of birds came to the feeder-Blue Jays, White Breasted Nuthatches, Black Capped Chickadees, Dark Eyed Juncos, Downy Woodpeckers, House Finches, Indigo Buntings, Morning Doves and occasionally Northern Cardinals. If we were real lucky, Evening Grosbeaks.In the lake there would be Mallards, Common Loons, Great Blue Herons. Sometimes an Osprey or a Bald Eagle would snatch a fish from the blue waters. I'd sit there for hours with a field guide and stare... That is, till my mother kicked me out into the woods.

In the woods was another paradise. I remember family excursions in our '64 International Truck. The engine would be ticking away through the muddy fire lanes. 4 x 4 snow tires dug deep in the ground, insuring that we would never get stuck. We would shine a spotlight on an American Woodcock, Ruffed Grouse, Snowshoe Hare, Ermine or a White Tailed Deer that happened on our path. If we were lucky a bear.

Canoeing on the creeks and bogs nearby were quite an experience. Painted Turtles basking in the sun on the logs. Cedar Waxwings and Belted Kingfishers perched on trees, looking out for their prospective preys. Beaver slapping their tails on the water alerting others on the oncoming danger. Paradise.

Then there were family vacations to the national parks out west....Yellowstone, Glacier, the Badlands, Crater Lake, Rocky Mountain, the Grand Tetons and more... Roosevelt Elk, Pronghorn Antelope, Black Tailed Tailed Prairie Dogs, Mountain Goat, Moose, Pikas, Yellow Bellied Marmots, Western Tanagers, Clark's Nutcrackers, Mule Deer and a slew of other creatures we saw... This is about time I started my wildlife photography...on a Vivitar Pocket Camera.
Yellow Bellied Marmot Rocky Mountain National Park  Colorado 1983

Somewhere, somehow, someway I lost connection. Life got in the way, I guess. I didn't do anything photography wise for years, save a few pics here and there. It wasn't till this late last winter when I was bitten by the outdoor bug.  Tender Heart Bear and I were out driving around looking at scenery at the harbor. We noticed the Mallards there. "Too small to be Mallards" I thought. Besides, they were diving underwater instead of dabbling like Mallards normally do. They were Red Breasted Mergansers. I had never seen them before. The next day we came back, they were still there, along with Lesser Scaups and American Coots. Later we started seeing Buffleheads and Eared Grebes in the harbor. Needless to say, I was impressed in what I was seeing. It was time to brush the dust off of the camera....

It was a start of a new hobby, something Tender Heart and I could do together as loving couple. As the summer approached, our interest bloomed as we swapped the camera back and forth, now taking pictures of wildflowers along with the wildlife. A team we became... We began to "discover" hot spots, hitting the woods, trails and beaches of Samuel Meyers Park, Shoop Park, Smolenski Park, Nicholson Wildlife Refuge and Trout Ponds Conservatory. We even spread our wings towards Richard Bong State Recreational Area, Chiwaukee Prairie Nature Reserve and to the crown jewel of Wisconsin, Horicon National Wildlife Refuge. Along the way, we managed to identify (as of this posting) 126 species of birds (Photographed 105 of them, including an unconfirmed sighting of the endangered Whooping Crane) and 120 species of wildflowers and plants. That's a lot! And we have just begun....

Winter is coming around real soon. Flowers are shriveling up and drying, The birds are migrating southward. Soon the lakes will ice up and the snow will fall. Yet, it doesn't mean that we'll be hanging up the camera. It just means that we will be preparing for spring and rest of the 2013 season. We will be spreading our wings even further.....Never where the trail will leads us....

I'll leave you with some of my favorite photos....    

Eastern Bluebird Petrifying Springs Kenosha WI 4 29 2012

Tree Swallow Trout Ponds Conservatory Caledonia WI 528 2012

Great Egret Smolenski Park Mt Pleasant WI 8 25 2012

Red Tailed Hawk Hwy 47 between Keshena and Shawano WI 7 1 2012

Red Knot Shoop Park Racine WI 5 26 2012

Open Blog - Monday

There she is again.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Useless Information

Did you Know:
The cost of a Ford Model “T” when it first came out the cheapest one initially cost $825, or about $18,000 in today's dollars
The first production Model “T’ was build August 12, 1908.

Why Not, I Forgot to Bring This to Your Attention

From The Journal
"Local couple makes Swedish pancakes for a cause"

Another Journal Times Editorial That I Agree With

From The Journal

"Journal Times editorial: City's never-ending recycling fee breaks promise"

That's twice now that hell has frozen over:

Veterans Day

Thank a veteran today, and every day.