Wednesday, March 29, 2006


I like all animals. They each have their niche in a grand global scheme. That being said, I also think hunting is OK (although dreadfully boring to me).

BUT - wild animals do not belong in your home. Do not, do not, do not! This realization came upon us this past weekend. I know, this should be an innate kind of knowledge, but until you've experienced it, you aren't really aware.

We live in a subdivision happily nestled in the woods. The builder took great care to save as many trees as possible when constructing the houses. Our back yard is the forest. I am very generous with the birds, giving them all sorts of different seeds and treats and suet. Of course, along with birds you get squirrels and chipmunks. I'm not adverse to feeding them as well as the birds as long as they don't hog everything. And, they really don't. On the plus side, they are a delight for Copper, our Cavalier, to chase and worry at.

Now for the minus side. We have a many gabled roof on our house. This means that there are lots of "access points" that a small creature, if looking for warmth can enter. It got cold this weekend - quite cold for Atlanta in late March. So, one of the cuddly, well fed squirrels sought out some warmth in our attic. Once inside, he promptly fell down inside one of our walls. Of course, this wall is part of our master bedroom.

We thought that the squirrel was just being noisy scratching around as he did. Eventually we thought he might have gone outside since it warmed up during the day, and the scratching quieted down. So we went about our business. We got up, and went into our office to check email. We had lost our internet connection. So, we went through the usual routine of booting and rebooting all the apparatus - nothing. The next step is always to wait an hour because calling the ISP is like entering an early vision of limbo, waiting and prompting and waiting and prompting. After the requisite hour, we tried the booting again - still nothing. At the same time as we were booting, we began hearing the scratching again. Now I was getting a little stressed. I went into the bedroom that has another computer and, like magic, it was able to connect to the internet! Although nice, this stressed me out some more as I was beginning to deduce that we had a problem that had nothing to do with our ISP.

So, into the attic I went. Didn't see the squirrel. Went back down into the office and banged on the wall. "Squeak, squeak!" came the response. Went back into the attic, armed with a flashlight and began searching in earnest. Lo and behold, there the rascal was, 10 feet down from the floor of the attic, trapped in a wall cavity, with the cable attached to our computer dangling in the air, torn in two. The turkey buzzard had chewed through it in his unsuccessful attempts at escape.

What to do? Didn't want the little bugger to die in the wall, Lord only knows how that would smell. First attempt, put a 1x2 in the wall cavity in hopes that the not so bright passenger would climb out. Nada. Second attempt, a brilliant one I might add: Dangle a dock line down into the cavity so the natural climber could shimmy on up and out. After getting the rope in there, we left and went shopping - always the best thing to do in a stressful emergency. Three hours later we returned and, voila! Gone! See ya! Tootles!

No more squirrel in the house. I'm pretty sure he won't be back. But just in case were going to do something about those access points. I really don't relish the aspect of staying awake all night to "scratch scratch scratch" and "squeak squeak".

Moral of the story? If you want to get wireless internet access going in your house, rent a squirrel.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Spring, again

pin oaks wearing
tiny bits of torn chartruse yarn
dianthus reaching
pale green pincushions of promise
gerbera pushing
one tiny leaf
redbuds haunting
painting the woods with pink smoke
dogwood holding
tight fisted buds at ready
iris spiking
swords reaching and swelling and hoping
narcissus sighing
already fading to paper

this is how
i see

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Center of the Universe

Had to travel to the center of the universe this week. Headquarters. Somewhere in the hinterlands of Ohio.

Oh, and back to winter, it seems. I feel as though I have drifted (pun intended) back in time to the dead of January. I miss my daffodils looking already tawdry and faded, my cherry tree in full glory, the hydrangea looking like strange twiggy beasts with heads of tiny cabbage all about.

It has been quite an adventure, however. Last Saturday I appear to have caught myself some good old food poisoning. Sunday is a blur of ceramic tile, intermittent naps, and short panicked dashes. I was supposed to have my final (ha ha) root canal on Monday, fortunately Clif prevailed upon me to cancel that. As it turns out, this was a very good decision as there were several of those short panicked dashes that I mentioned earlier, that morning. But, important meetings being what they are, I was determined to travel Monday evening. I felt better, but still had some anxiety about spending an hour in the car - I am proud to say that I kept my nether regions in control and made it there with time to spare. Got on the airplane, no problem. Started to feel a little bit "urgent" right after take off, but simmered down quickly thereafter. I fell asleep in my seat, but awoke with a start and an "oh my"....time for a short panicked dash. The plane I was on was very small, therefore a "one holer". The fasten seat-belt sign was on. Definitely a recipe for disaster, in my book. I got the flight attendant's attention and briefly described my predicament (delicately, I'll add, my mother didn't raise no ruffians) at which point she simply said, "Go, it's in the back." Sensible woman. With some trepidation, I stood and turned to the back of the plane, fully suspecting the entire pathway to be stuffed with passengers waiting to potty. Instead, I was greeted with the unbelievably beautiful site of a dull, back lit sign stating "Unoccupied". As you can imagine, I am easily entertained. Anyway, I walked purposefully, quickly, and with some vigor, down the aisle. I won't go into the gory details from there. Suffices to say that the captain came over the speaker during my short incarceration and announced that, indeed, we had begun our initial decent into Cleveland. Oh, this is just after I was almost tossed from my temporary seat onto the floor as he decelerated.

I was tired when I got to my hotel room. Very tired. I did make a good decision, however. My meetings went well, decisions were made, plans were drawn up, and some folks were even impressed.

Yikes, I'm done with the weather here though. Going home in the morning. Back to the husband and dog - the reason I do all this silly stuff.

Peace out - I'm off to bed.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

The Art of Embarrassment

OK, I've done something again.

My mother has always claimed that I must be a genius at something because I was the most absent minded person she'd ever met. Well, she's definitely right on the second point.

Two years ago my nephew married a very nice girl, Kassi. Here's a picture of their wedding:

Kind of a nice candid shot, no? Anyway, it was a great wedding. I took a bunch of photos that I finally had printed for them after two years.

Found out yesterday that I sent them to the wrong address. After all that. The two years old since we moved address. Yeah, I'm that guy.

Oh well, thanks to modern technology, if the post office decides not to forward them, I can have them reprinted and sent. But still. Yikes. Certainly my most embarrassing moment this year.

Maybe I should have them printed and sent to me, instead. That way, when they, someday, finally come and visit, I can hand the pictures to them. Sorry Kassi, had to throw a little guilt in there!

Monday will tell. Everyone think positive thoughts and hope I'm on the positive Karma side and the pictures will show up.

Peace out dudes and dudettes.