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Posts Tagged ‘birds’

The Ultimate Post-It Note Office Prank?


I received a humorous e-mail yesterday that I thought had potential as a blog post. I would hate to be the car owner ... once I was done laughing about the prank.

The Ultimate Post-It Note Office Prank?

It definitely raises the bar! Somewhere there's a very unhappy office manager with nothing left in the annual 'supplies' budget .

How would you like to walk to your car and find this?

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

car with Post-It notes

My wife and I are certainly glad it's Friday - we're working on a special project for our church, are pretty tired, and ask for your prayers. I will be able to explain better once it's over.

Here are a couple of recent pictures of our grandson Drew....

Drew plays hard and sleeps it off

Drew plays hard and sleeps it off

house wren update...

As best as I can determine, the baby birds have died and disappeared. We had several days in a row where the daytime high temperatures were near or at 100 degrees in the last week - unseasonably high temps, to say the least. The little bird house is shaded at no time during the day at all, and I guess the little birdies just didn't survive it. 🙁

quotation...

"I serve a living God, and He can get a hold of me any time He wants." - Dr. Drew Conley

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

How many people thought of the Post-it note before it was invented but just didn't have anything to jot it down on?


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De Agony of De Feet


We've just completed the third quarter of the first year of the Wellness Challenge at the university. If I continue to do as I have been doing, I should end the year in the gold category. This summer on week days, I have no problem at all getting at least 10,000 steps a day with my work at IT Help Desk. One day last month I got over 19,000 steps in the course of my work. The total of my steps for the past nine months is a little over 3,250,000 steps! I should hit 4 million by the end of the first year of the challenge. Sensible walking shoes are a must!

A few weeks ago I got an interesting and at least mildly disturbing e-mail with pictures of some current and past shoe fashion rages in Japan.

Think your shoes are uncomfortable? Look at the latest (out)rage in shoes in Japan....

Japanese red high heels

Japanese black shoes

Japanese black shoes

Japanese black high heels

Japanese red boots

Japanese black sparkly shoes

Japanese black horse shoes

Feel better now about your shoes? How would you like sensible walking shoes like those?

Uncomfortable shoes seem to be a tradition in the Orient. Look at the kinds of shoes that were worn back in the day of the Chinese women who practiced foot binding....

hard to walk

Advanced age does not seem to be the only reason for her difficulty in walking.

hard to walk

This woman was apparently one of those who practiced foot binding.

coming unwrapped

Like many people, you may think your feet are ugly. You might not any longer after you see the next few pictures! Here's the woman's unwrapped foot from one angle....

unwrapped

Here's the foot from another angle....

what it looks like

Here's a close up...

YIKES!

Unbelievable, huh!?

Still think your feet are ugly? Here are a few more pictures that may convince you otherwise....

The heels of time (Time wounds all heels?)...

the heels of time

Time for a pedicure?

maybe a pedicure would be in order

Feel better now about your feet? Ugly feet aren't found only in Asia, huh?

divider

house wren update...

It appears that the eggs have now hatched. They're at that oxymoronic stage - pretty ugly! Here's a picture I took this evening....

the baby house wrens

Want to have beautiful feet? Read on to find out how....

quotation...

"How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!" Romans 10:15

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

If your nose runs and your feet smell, maybe you're built umop-apisdn.


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It’s for the Birds!


house wren update...

There are now six eggs in the house wren nest in our bird house. That number has not changed since Saturday, and so I think the female is done laying eggs. Here's a picture of the six little tan eggs....

six little wren eggs

I found a picture online of a house wren....

house wren

One great thing is to hear the wrens singing at all hours of the day. If you'd like to hear the song of a house wren, click here.

I realize that some people who read my blog are not bird enthusiasts, but there are probably as many readers who are bird enthusiasts. You non-enthusiasts can scroll on down to today's iv....

Here's a picture of our bird house - the prime real estate in our subdivision! The lid is on hinges, allowing me to take the pictures I post on my blog.

our bird house that sits in our red raspberry patch

Below is a picture of the bay window in our kitchen. If you look carefully, you can see the hummingbird feeder on the left, the bird feeder in the middle, and the bird house off in the distance.

the window where we watch birds

Here's a picture from the outside....

our birdfeeders

Here's a close-up of the main bird feeder....

our main bird feeder

After squirrels have destroyed two "squirrel-proof" feeders from Lowe's, I decided that we should just spring for the top-of-the-line "Eliminator Squirrel Proof Birdfeeder" from Wild Birds Unlimited. Since it comes with a lifetime guarantee, at the rate we were going, this one will pay for itself in no time.

A former student who lives in Tennessee has sent me several pictures that he's taken recently of some woodpeckers nesting in a dead tree. He's been looking for this nest for over a month. He said the nests are easier to find once the red heads start poking out.

Here's a picture of two babies being fed through the hole in the tree...

two woodpecker babies

He wrote today to say that the last baby fledged. Here's a picture right before the last baby left the nest....

the last woodpecker to fledge

He said that in the same tree, a different type of woodpecker is nesting at the top. He went on to say, "There was a lot of drumming going on in that tree. Each variety of woodpecker has a different rythym. It seemed to be an annoyance to one variety when the other one was pecking."

Here's a picture of the other woodpecker nesting in the same tree....

another kind of woodpecker nesting in the same tree

Last week another reader sent me a link to a neat story about a very smart parrot. You can read it by clicking here.

There are all sorts of things that people say are "for the birds." One of those things that some would say is for the birds is housecleaning. The piece below even mentions birds in the first item....

Philosophy Of Housecleaning
author - an unknown, but witty woman

1. I don't do windows because ... I love birds and wouldn't want one to run into a clean window and get hurt. (I am compassionate.)

2. I don't wax floors because ... I am terrified that guests will slip, hurt themselves, and then I'll feel terrible - and they may sue me! (I am careful and poor.)

3. I don't mind the dust bunnies because ... they are very good company, I have named most of them, and they agree with everything I say. (I am imaginative.)

4. I don't disturb cobwebs because ... I want all creatures to have a home of their own, and my family loves spiders. (I am kind.)

5. I don't do "Spring Cleaning" because ... I love all the seasons and don't want the others to get jealous. (I am fair minded.)

6. I don't do yard work because ... I don't want to get in God's way - He is an excellent designer. (I am courteous.)

7. I don't put things away because ... my family will never be able to find them again. (I am considerate.)

8. I don't do gourmet meals when I entertain because .... I don't want my guests to stress out over what to make when they invite me over for dinner. (I am thoughtful of others' fears.)

9. I don't iron because ... I choose to believe them when they say "Permanent Press". (I am trusting.)

10. I don't stress much over anything because ... "Type A" personalities die young, and I want to stick around and become a wrinkled up crusty ol' woman!!! (I am very practical.)

divider

This is Rob again ... several bits of irony in our own lives - just this evening while I was watering flowers out front, I hear a huge thud on the neighbor's house. When I looked over, I saw a brown thrasher falling to the ground below the neighbor's big picture window. The poor bird's neck was broken and it died. The irony is that the window is not very clean. Another irony is that in our house, we think that spiders are for the birds! I just killed two black widow spiders in our attached garage when I was sweeping it out this past Saturday! YIKES! I had killed another one a few weeks ago. Being very glad that those black widow spiders are now dead, I do not think that housecleaning is for the birds! How about you? 🙂

quotation...

"You cannot keep a bird from landing on your head, but you can keep it from building a nest there!" - Dr. Bob Jones Sr.

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

When your pet bird sees you reading the newspaper, does he wonder why you're just sitting there, staring at carpeting?


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Dangerous Hike and Freebies


Recently I received an e-mail with the subject line: Free lunch! Want to go? All our Thursday freebies and our thoughts about China that you'll read about below in our personal update made me take a second look at the e-mail. It was a series of outrageous pictures of a climb up a mountain in China, claiming that anyone who reached the top would eat a free lunch at a restaurant at the top. I checked with Snopes and found nothing to confirm or deny this claim. However, as I did other web searches, I found that there is quite a bit out there about the extremely dangerous hikes people can and do take on Mt. Huashan. Here are some of the pictures from the e-mail and from websites I found. I love to go hiking in the mountains, but I'm not sure this hike is my cup of green tea....

Here's a map to show where Mt. Huashan is located....

map with Mt. Huashan

Part of the climb is a pleasant ride in a gondola....

gondola ride on Mt. Huashan

Some of the sites I found stressed that the climb up Mt. Huashan is mountain hiking, not mountain climbing, which involves special equipment and knowledge. They also stressed that this particular hike is not for people not in shape, and Americans are surprised that the public is even allowed to do this - it's so dangerous!

Here are some pictures of what different parts of the "hiking trail" look like....

stairs cut into the rock

a walkway that seems to just float on the rock

Anyone care to go up this ladder...?

up a ladder

No one can say they don't warn the climbers....

standard disclaimers

Talk about walking the plank!

walking the plank

Watch your step! That's quite a drop!

girl walking the plank

guys walking the plank

I mean it - that's a really serious drop!

serious drop

Part of the climb is footholds cut into the rock and chains thoughtfully provided to hold on to....

footholds and chains

footholds and chains

footholds and chains

Be sure to stay on the staircase and hold on to the chains!

staircase to heaven

Since some parts of the trail make it difficult to pass people coming back down, someone has thought of providing two staircases - one for climbing and one for descending....

up and down stairs

As hard as this hike would be in nice weather, some people even take this hike in the winter, believe it or not!

climbing Mt. Huashan in winter

climbing Mt. Huashan in winter

Those who make it to the top of the five peaks are rewarded with some breath-taking views (as if they could still breathe once they got there!)....

The South Peak...

the South Peak

The West Peak (called the Playing Chess Pavilion)...

the West Peak

For those who can't get enough of this stuff, here's a website with stories from people who have done this hike (I'm not responsible for everything said on that site) - http://www.ssqq.com/ARCHIVE/vinlin27d.htm

So, anyone going to add this hike to your future travel and vacation plans?

freebies...

Last Thursday we took advantage of several freebies or almost-freebies. First, we went to McDonald's for lunch. They were giving to each customer a free Southern style chicken sandwich with the purchase of a medium or large soft drink. We had eaten some vegetables before leaving the house to help round out our lunch. After lunch we took off for Costco - they were offering for several days the opportunity for non-members to get in for free. What I hadn't reckoned on was that the time of our shopping coincided very nicely with all the free samples of all kinds of things that further helped round out our lunch.

That evening after dinner at home, we made the mistake of taking Dunkin Donuts up on their offer for a free iced coffee. Dunkin Donuts coffee is one of my very favorite coffees, but their iced coffee was worth every penny I paid for it. The girls took only a couple of sips of theirs, but after doctoring mine up to the point it was palatable, I finished it off. After all, it was FREE, right?! I regretted it as I thought about that semi-wretched iced coffee off and on until 1:30 a.m. Did I mention that they weren't offering decaf iced coffee?

Did anyone else take advantage of any of these freebies last week?

Many have been asking if Becka and are going to China this summer to teach English again. Earlier this school year we rattled two different door knobs, thinking the Lord might open at least one of the doors. But that did not happen, so we know that He wants us here this summer. The dean at the university where we've taught two summers before said that they would love to have us come teach in 2009. So we will plan that way.

If you're new to my blog, you might want to check out some of our adventures from the summers of 2005 and 2006 that I chronicled on the blog. You can get to those posts by clicking on the China link in the tag cloud in the sidebar. There are many pages of posts to explore about our time over there.

People have been asking me for an update on the wren's nest in our bird house. Below is a shot I took this evening. You can see several little eggs in there.

house wren eggs in our bird house

quotation...

"Politics is not a bad profession. If you succeed there are many rewards, if you disgrace yourself you can always write a book." - Ronald Reagan

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Sign on high school bulletin board - "Free: every Monday through Friday. Knowledge. Bring your own container."


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The Husband Store


Well, wedding season is already in full swing. Since we are in a university context, we are invited to many weddings. This past week we had two weddings - one Tuesday evening where I sang in a duet, and one Friday afternoon - the wedding of a teaching colleague.

We're excited for all these young couples as they begin their lives together, but we're also saddened to learn of some young couples who are working through marital problems. I believe that most if not all problems in marriage have their root in selfishness on the part of one or both spouses. I think some of the problems stem from unrealisitic expectations - expecting that any one human can be your source of happiness.

Today's iv is a light-hearted look at this issue.

The Husband Store

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:

You may visit the store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch ... you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building! So, a woman excitedly goes to the Husband Store to find herself the perfect husband....

On the first floor the sign on the door reads:
Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor sign reads:
Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:
Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, "I should probably stop here!" But she feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and reads the sign:
Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, my goodness!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:
Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop-dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes on up to the sixth floor where the sign reads:

Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012 to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that some women are impossible to please. Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!

The Wife Store

There is actually also a Wife Store, right across the street from the Husband Store. It works the same way as the Husband Store - it also has 6 floors, you can enter only once, and there is only one direction to go.

The doors read:

Floor 1 - These women are beautiful.

Floor 2 - These women are beautiful and have money.

What is on the other floors, nobody knows. No man has ever gone past the second floor!

divider

Megan and Drew arrived safe and sound shortly after noon on Saturday. Drew did very well on his first flight. We decided to surprise Nora by celebrating her birthday a month and a half early since we wouldn't all be together on her actual birthday. That's about the only way we could ever surprise her. 🙂 Here she is blowing out the candles on her keylime cheesecake....

Nora blowing out her candles

Of course Becka enjoyed having our three kids and our grandson here for Mother's Day. Here's a picture of our little guy on our kitchen floor this morning. I'm sure there will be more pictures to share later this week.

Drew playing on the kitchen floor

The house wrens have been busily filling the bird house with sticks. Here's what things looked like inside the house this morning....

the nest the wrens are building

Here's what this bit of "prime real estate" looks like from the outside...

local prime real estate

Who says there's a housing crisis?!?

quotation...

"There are five Gospels: Matthew Mark, Luke, John, and the Christian, and some people will never read the first four." - Irish evangelist Gypsy Smith

=^..^= =^..^=
Rob

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.


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