Friday, April 15, 2011
Although I'm pretty sure you already know about this video stream, I wanted to share it with those who might not. My niece introduced me to these eagles earlier this month and I find them irresistable! The parents are so attentive and constantly diligent in sheltering and feeding their three eaglets. There is sound with the video, too which picks up the sound of howling winds -- very dramatic! www.ustream.tv/decoraheagles You'll see a constant stream of video, day and night. Enjoy!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
On this date, far too many years ago, I was born in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois to a still very young couple. The doctor marveled about my "perfect shell ears" and the nurses tied my spiky hair in tiny bows. Must have been quite a sight . . . ;-/ Anyway, a week later I would be taken home to a jealous brother nearly three years older who would go to great and creative lengths to inflict pain on me. The first that I can remember was trying out one of many forts we built in the back yard. We used pieces of flag stones and lumber scraps, blankets and old rugs. The moment I crawled in, it collapsed on me. Between my hysterical, pained cries, I heard laughing interspersed with "you're OK, stop being such a baby." Incurably gullible, that winter my brother convinced me to tie short boards to my snowboots with thick rope to ski down the ravine beside our house. The idea was that once I got to the bottom, he would ski down to join me. Oh, I got to the bottom all right -- on my face. Leaves under the snow caught the edges of the boards a soon as I started shooshing. We spent a lot of time in that ravine, making leaf and stick sail boats to float down the stream at the bottom. We both lost shoes in quicksand and got bruised, scraped, gashed and bug-bitten and loved every minute of it. My next near-death experience was not long after I mastered walking up and down stairs rather than crawling them. Our first house had a narrow, enclosed stairway that was quite steep. I doubt it would pass code now. I was wary of them, but careful to go slowly so as not to lose my balance or footing. I'm not sure how many steps I'd come down before little glass balls started bouncing down the steps. The moment I realized they were marbles, I took flight -- landing at the bottom in a shrieking heap. As I lay there crying my eyes out, Big Bro innocently came down the stairs to ask me "does it hurt?" My left wrist was broken and the shock of the sudden fall had sent me into another reality, totally focused on pain and terror. Before Mom came in from hanging laundry on the clothes line, Big Bro brought a decorative pillow from the sofa and slid it under my head. Maybe he thought it would distract Mom from her little girl's delirious screams. It didn't. She knew right away what had transpired and whisked me off to the hospital. To this day, I regret not witnessing Big Bro's punishment. That summer was torturous for this 4-year-old in a plaster cast from her fingers up to her elbow. It hurt for weeks and I couldn't get it wet. As summer heated up, the itching under the cast intensified to the point of insanity. Whatever punishment was doled out to Big Bro wasn't nearly harsh enough to make up for my suffering. Now that we are both old farts, married and living in different parts of the country, we don't see much of each other or even see eye to eye about much, especially politics. Still, I've forgiven him for his youthful sins and focus on the far more numerous good times. My family will not allow me to ignore my birthdays, so I guess I have to get over the fact that I'm getting older. Besides, the alternative isn't so hot. So to every person also born on this date -- I'm sorry! I hope your 13th birthday wasn't also on a Friday the 13th!!
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Is that guy in Florida, Terry Jones, who calls himself a pastor, a psychotic idiot or just plain wacko? His followers have diminished to the point the only people he preaches to these days are family members. His career history here and in Europe is scary. Burning a copy of the Koran may earn him what I think he's after -- martyrdom. I'm not wishing that on him, just trying to figure out his motivation for doing something he knew would enrage people. Passionate overreaction is not foreign to hard line Islamists, so the slaughter of innocent, peaceful, nonMuslims was no surprise. Yet this "preacher" claims no culpability. Such a gifted liar and con-man. Let's be honest here. The inflammatory rhetoric this guy is so fond of is the same kind used by some Muslim leaders to rile up their largely unworldly, under-educated followers. It's how cults catch and hold converts. The majority of Muslims in the developed world abhor what has happened in Afghanistan and elsewhere. As with every other freedom we Americans enjoy, freedom of speech requires serious forethought. Clearly none was given before Terry Jones pulled his publicity stunt. He's a squeaky wheel that doesn't deserve any grease. At the very least, he needs to be censured by the media.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
While struggling to put our income tax stuff together I looked out the window and saw this. The sky suddenly turned very dark and a gentle rain began and ended as sunshine briefly broke through the clouds. The cherry blossoms have been in full bloom for more than a week, thanks in large part to the cool weather. They're just starting to shed some petals, but they're still plentiful and lovely around the city. The sight of them never gets old!