This is a test, this is only a test

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This is a test. For the next several words, this blog will conduct a test of the Blog Reader Awakedness System. This is only a test.

Quick! What is the square root of 6,465,232,168? No calculators!

How much would could a wood chuck chuck, if, indeed, a woodchuck could chuck wood? No references to the Geico ad!

A tree falls in the forest, what time did the train leave the station?

Explain quantum physics using only six words and pantomimes.

Awake yet?!?!? No? Then click here.

If this had been an actual blog post, there would have been an actual premise, some witty prose, and an insightful conclusion.

This week’s Theme Thursday is “test.”

There’s a special place in hell for…

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Long time reader and cyber friend Elise suggested yesterday in the comments section that I pipe down on my Christmas cheer. So today, I bring you a crankier post, more in line with my usual holiday mood.

There is a special place in hell for…

…people who cook bacon in the work microwave. How exactly am I supposed to concentrate?

…people who park their moderately fancy car diagonally across three parking spaces.

…people who won’t take the last cookie, but they’ll break off half and leave the rest behind as a guilt offering. Just take the last damn cookie! (same deal on pie, cake, donuts and other pastries).

…people who don’t flush the toilet after they use it

…people who arrive late then stand too close to me in aerobics class. (How’s a tall girl supposed to swing these limbs with you up my behind?! I got here early and so can you.)

…people who lecture the work group about being brief in emails, and take half an hour to repeatedly make the point

…people who leave their dirty dishes in the break room for someone else to deal with instead of taking them back to the cafeteria. Entitled much?

…people who are mean as a standard course of action throughout their day (yes, I have someone in mind)

…executives of any company or government agency who cannot be bothered to acknowledge a hello when passed in the hallway, on the street, in general

…people who run Craigslist scams when an honest person is just trying to find a decent place to rent

…whoever that person is who keeps sending out the “I am a Nigerian Prince” emails. Does anyone even fall for that anymore?

…used car salesmen (no particular reason, just on general principle due to the lack of principle)

…anyone at any time as I see fit. Bwahahahahahahahaha!

Photo by Glenn Pebley and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Revised Sentiments

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Since I’m still in that obnoxious happy Holiday mood, I’ve been listening to my own mix tape of fave Christmas tunes in my car to and from work.

I don’t play them much at home. Not sure The Good Man would go for piping all my insane Xmas cheer into the house.

Aaaaanyhow, this morning I was listening to the George Strait song, “Christmastime in Texas” and the line “it might look just like a summer day” which, of course, made me think of Christmas in New Mexico. I think there was snow on Christmas just once when I was growing up, and that was all melted off by noon.

Christmas in New Mexico was more like sixty-five degrees and shorts and a tshirt to play with my new toys outside.

I’ve always loved all the standard Christmas tunes, but hey, to a New Mexico kid, they don’t really apply.

So I decided to tinker with some of the classics to give them more of a New Mexico vibe.

Here just a few, feel free to add your own!

______

“Up on a Housetop”

Up on a rooftop, stick stick stick, tar paper roof laid on too thick

“Walking in a Winter Wonderland”

Walking in a surprisingly summerlike wonderland

“Silent Night”

Silent night, holy HELL my neighbor’s yard decorations are bright

“White Christmas”

I’m dreaming of a red or green Christmas. Green please, with a fried egg on top. Pass the tamales. (whoops, lost the natural rhythm of the song there….thoughts of Christmas tamales will do that to me)

“Let it Snow”

Oh the weather outside is windy, and the weeds are very tumbly, and since we’ve no place to go, let it blow, let it blow, let it blow

“The Christmas Song”

Calf’s nuts roasting on an open fire, branding iron nipping at your flanks
(yeah, ok, so winter isn’t exactly branding season, but go with me here!)

“Jingle Bells”

Paper bags, paper bags, burning in my yard

“Frosty the Snowman”

Nobby the mud tires, on a very four wheel truck,
with a four on the floor and a headache rack,
and two headlights made out of halogen

__________

Ah, mud tires and a headache rack. Now that’s what Christmas means to me.

Bend The Rules Until they Squeak

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You know, over the years I’ve come to accept the fact that the internet is a place that full to brimming with misspellings, bad grammar, and callous disregard for the English language.

My only refuge has been in “respectable” news organizations that still take the art and rules of writing seriously. So there I am today, reading an article on cnn.com a (relatively speaking) respectable news source.

Trouble is, I can’t focus on the article because this is glaring at me from the right hand side of my screen.

It actually hurt my head.

Yes, I know, that’s an advertiser and not CNN. Yes I know CNN just pumps out the ads, they don’t proof them, yada yada yada.

That said…Funk and Wagnall wept.

Warfare On The Not-Really-All-That-High Seas

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Back in August, I mentioned that I work in office buildings located right next to a public park and marshy baylands that are home to quite a few birds.

Back in August, it was all about the Canada Geese. Lots and lots of geese.

I’m endlessly fascinated by all the wildlife, so I try to find the time during my work days to take a break and use the beautiful walking trails in the area. I love to stroll by the lagoons, all teeming with wildlife.

Among others species, we have flounder, bat rays, ducks, herons and egrets. The more I sashay around the lagoon, the more I’ve come to recognize many of the animals.

For example, there is this handsome fella (at least I think it’s a fella). This is, I believe, a great white heron:

This heron is always found camped out in one corner of the lagoon. It is where the water flows into the lagoon from an underwater pipe, so the bird stands there gazing into the water and picking off small fish.

For comparison, here’s a snowy egret. They are a bit smaller than the herons.

As the weather has turned cold, I’ve noticed more and more numbers and species of birds have come to call our little baylands area their home.

Mostly, these birds all live together in harmony. There is plenty of fish to eat and lots of room to roam.

But a few weeks ago, some new thugs hit town, and they’re messing up the harmony in my lagoon.

Dun-dun-duuuuuuuun

Pelicans.

The pelicans have brought a weird vibe to the whole area.

Today, I went for a walk and took my camera along hoping for some inspiration. After a long week at work, I had little left in the tank. A photowalk seemed like a good idea.

So while taking a few snaps of my friend the heron, I noticed something odd happening.

About eight pelicans were swimming in fast, full speed ahead. I suppose you could call it ramming speed, and they were headed toward the subject of my photographs.

In other words, they were charging the heron.

Suddenly, every heron and egret in the large lagoon came flying and squawking their way over. There was dive bombing and vocalizing and tense moments.

After a few minutes, the pelicans turned and swam off.

Wild! I’d never seen anything like it! Shaking my head, I began walking again.

A while later, in the next corner of the lagoon, it happened again.

Water splashed, birds squawked. This one was a doozy. It was a well-executed, well-choreographed battle.

After a lengthy tussle, the herons and egrets prevailed again and the pelicans were chased off.

Now every heron and egret was on high alert. They were positioned strategically around the lagoon, each surveying a different direction, eyes sharp for another attack by the pelican insurgents.

Soon, in yet a new section, it all started up again. The splashing, the squawking, the fighting.

From the rear, a large battalion of little black ducks (I believe they are called American Coots) got in the game. They swam over in formation and clumped up, creating an obstacle to prevent the pelican progress.

This is a few minutes after the battle was won. Here, they rest, conserving energy to prepare for the next battle.

A heron soon made his way over to address the soldiers.

“Excellent work, troops. Today, we’ll endure this pelican insurgence. Historians shall speak of this day. Children will learn our names. Our women will weep at our graves.

Coots! Ready your snackies and eat hearty… For tonight, we dine in hell!”

Sure enough, it was only a few minutes later when this gent sailed by.

And OH IT WAS BACK ON!!

This time the herons took a different approach and lined up. They all stood guard, and as the pelicans swam by, each heron in turn would yell and flap at the pelicans until they moved on, then the next would pick up the fight. It was an amazing bit of coordinated defense.

Not sure if this photo can even capture it all, but bear in mind that while you can see about fourteen herons in this photo, there are more around the bend, waiting their turn.

By this time, I’d made my way around the loop and it was time to head back to the office. As I left the scene, I wondered how long the battle would rage on.

Crazy, mixed up, wild maritime fighting. My peaceful lagoon is now a war zone!

And the geese don’t care.

Don’t let the vicious battle happening just a few feet away get in the way of your gorging yourself there, big guy.

All photos by Karen Fayeth