Tags Posts tagged with "Photo"

Photo

    2 2040

    It’s almost wrong of me to continue a series of posts called “photo of the week” when I haven’t actually posted one since early February…

    But this occurrence, a homicide of sorts, right in my back yard, was too much to ignore…

    Homicide in my backyard.

    When I arrived home from work last night — the first warm evening of the year — I spent some time out in the garage preparing the BMW for it’s first car wash of the season.

    It’s been in storage all winter.

    As I backed the car out of the garage, I couldn’t help but notice the number of crows in the trees above causing a commotion.

    Looking up, there were certainly a lot of angry birds milling around and thought it was a bit unusual, strange enough that I even walked around the entire garage trying to figure out what the big deal was…

    And then I saw it… standing on top of a telephone pole.

    Bird near a wire.

    That’s no robin!

    I went inside to get the camera (to take all of these pictures).

    By the time I returned, a dog-walking neighbor had stopped to admire the bird. He called it a hawk.

    Big BirdAnother neighbor, joining the crowd (yeah, this is probably the most exciting thing to happen on our street in well over a year), thought it was a falcon.

    I just thought it was a big bird — and not the yellow variety.

    Seriously, does anyone out there know what kind of bird this actually is?

    So we’re all just standing there as the crows dive bomb this magnificent bird on the telephone pole until we finally lose interest.

    My wife and I get in the car, put the top down, and drive away.

    When we return, maybe 45 minutes later, the crowd of neighbors is gone. The cawing crows are all gone too. Things seem pretty quiet — back to normal.

    And then I see that our bird friend just so happens to be peacefully eating dinner — a poor squirrel — right in the center of my backyard…almost exactly where that giant mushroom grew last year.

    I won’t describe everything in detail, a picture is worth a thousand words, so here are some of the more interesting ones…

    Big eagle hawk thing.

    I think I’ve been spotted… Thankfully, I’m a lot larger than a squirrel. But really, if this bird wanted a piece of me, I’m pretty sure he could get one.

    Big eagle hawk thing.

    Mmm… that meat looks about as well cooked as a burger from Chili’s.

    Big eagle hawk thing.

    For this next one, I’m just taking full advantage of having loads of professional equipment

    Big eagle hawk thing.

    Best of all, when he was finished, the bird cleaned his plate.

    I won’t even have to pick up a carcass before I mow the lawn (possibly this weekend)!

    4 6948

    Honeywell T87 Thermostat

    As I’ve mentioned before, my home is old. Definitely over 100 years old.

    Probably even over 125 years old.

    And while my furnace is only a few years old now, my thermostat is probably around 50 years old. That’s just an educated guess. In reality, I have no idea how old it is…

    Oh, and you don’t have to email me to let me know that it looks like crap and that I should get a new one. I already know that.

    But if you’d seen the room that surrounds it, well, the aesthetic appearance of the thermostat is the least of my problems…

    And, hey, the old thing still works like a charm!

    Anyway…

    It looks like your standard round Honeywell thermostat, right? If you grew up in North America or western Europe, it should be pretty familiar. It may even drum up some warm fuzzy memories.

    If you were born in the 1990’s, well, this is how we turned the heat on in the dark ages, you know, before everything went digital and became programmable.

    My thermostat is a very early version of the T87 — a model that Honeywell released in 1953. If it were in better shape, it might even be worth something. Apparently one is even displayed in the Smithsonian.

    But look closely… There’s a feature on there that isn’t on more modern versions

    See it?

    I’ve lived in this house for over six years and I just noticed it earlier this week while researching my BFO post about turning the freakin’ heat down.

    At the bottom, just above where it says “Honeywell”, they’ve highlighted a so-called “Comfort Range” between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Apparently, heating the home in the 1950’s didn’t cost so much…

    It’s about as warm as it gets in here during the winter months and I’m still 4 degrees shy of the “comfort range”.

      2 1877

      This Week on MTV Cribs... Brainy Smurf!

      I know, there wasn’t a “Photo of the Week” last week…

      It’s not that I forgot or was too busy… I just had the nastiest flu-like symptoms that I’ve had in years…

      Anyway, on Thursday evening we picked up part of our order at BabyUSA. The remaining piece of Furniture won’t be in until sometime in March. Yeah, one of those 6-8 week things… Not sure what takes so long… They can’t be made to order… I digress…

      Everything came in a nice big cardboard box — which they opened at the store (you know, destroying any protective integrity that the boxes once had) then taped them back up haphazardly and helped us load them into my wife’s truck.

      We drove to the far end of the parking lot, took everything out of the back, and then re-arranged things in a MUCH safer way for the car ride home.

      After an uneventful car ride home, entirely due to our stellar packing job, it was time to bring stuff into the house.

      We started with the dresser — the heaviest and most awkward of the pieces — and slowly made our way in the front door.

      Inside the cardboard box it was fully assembled, you know, like a REAL piece of furniture. For $519.99, I’d better not have to break out an Allen wrench…

      The second box, a big wide flat one, contained the crib. Just from looking at the box, this was going to be an IKEA-style project. Luckily, since it wasn’t nearly as bulky, it was easy to get into the house and up the stairs.

      The dresser, however, was a beast.

      We took all of the drawers out to lessen the weight, but it was still pretty heavy. Weight wasn’t the main issue though.

      The dimensions of the stairwell were the problem.

      Low clearance, walls on both sides all the way up, and a 90 degree turn thrown in for an added challenge.

      How we managed to get a queen size mattress up this flight of stairs is still a mystery…

      Our first two attempts were unsuccessful. Both attempts ended with the dresser tightly wedged at the turn in the stairs.

      Hmmmm…

      Knowing that I was planning to have the first floor completely renovated, and doing a quick check to make sure the wall wasn’t supporting anything above, I was almost ready to break out a circular saw and make the opening bigger in my own special way…

      We tried one more time and it barely, with less than a half inch to spare, cleared the corner and the lowest part of the ceiling.

      Phew!

      Now, at this point, I’m all sweaty and out of breath. It’s also beginning to get late and we’ve got to go to work in the morning.

      Does that stop us?

      Of course not. The project is not complete.

      We start putting together the crib and it’s just like an IKEA piece of furniture — something we’re very experienced with. Of course I don’t ever remember paying so much for something that I had to assemble with an Allen wrench, but still, it looks like a pretty nice and solid piece of furniture.

      By 9:30 pm, we’re done and I’m settling in to watch 30 Rock, part of my normal Thursday night routine, before hitting the sack.

      All-in-all, the room looks pretty nice and I’m pretty happy with our selection and not at all worried about how much we spent on it all.

      Grant, who just had a baby of his own (congrats!) and often leaves great comments here that get me thinkin’, mentioned after the we purchased the furniture that we should just accept the fact that we’re going to buy a bunch of stuff and to get all of the big purchases made now.

      He’s right.

      You often hear the line, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…”

      Right now, I’m not even sweating the big stuff…

      We’ll see what happens when the statement arrives!

      2 19692

      So my wife had her 22-week ultrasound today, apparently the final one barring any issues, and I took some time off to go with her.

      This was my third time going to one of these appointments so, for once, I kinda knew what I was in for. Truth be told, for the most part, I just sit there with my mouth shut — it’s not that hard.

      This time was kinda neat, though… See, if you’ve ever gone to one of these appointments you can’t miss how the women in the waiting room size one another up. It’s hysterical.

      On our first visit, back in November, it was hard not to notice the other women in the waiting room looking down on us — you know, cause we weren’t “far” enough along.

      The second visit, well, everyone in the waiting room seemed to be at about the same stage, so the women were obviously sizing up the “support partners” (ha!) in a pseudo my-man-is-better-than-your-man sort of way. Thank god I don’t wear sweatpants in public.

      Really, by that fact alone, I out-manned one fellow.

      This time, my wife was the cow of the room. No doubt. One woman across from us in the waiting room was so sheepish about it that she wouldn’t even make eye contact.

      I couldn’t help but be proud.

      Yeah, that’s right. My wife is fatter than your wife.

      Once we were called into the room where they do the ultrasound thing, the appointment went just like the previous ones. Yep, little monster skeleton looking thing in there kicking and squirming. Think… velociraptor.

      Unfortunately, the images didn’t seem as clear this time — not sure what that was about — but could clearly see the baby opening and closing it’s mouth, so that was neat.

      Then it was time for the real doctor to come in for a look. Again, it’s just like going to the dentist — the person without the degree does all the work and then the big bad doctor comes in at the end for 5 seconds.

      The door opens, and without even introducing himself, he blurts out, “What hospital are you having the baby at?”

      Poor grammar aside, I thought it was a pretty strange entrance. I didn’t think too much of it at the time, but later my wife thought he was prying to see if he should bother pretending to be nice, you know, since we’re NOT having the baby at this hospital, he had no problem coming across as gruff.

      He sat down and took control of the little wand/scanner thing. It was blatantly apparent that he had the personality of a door knob.

      Now, I was an engineering major in university.

      I know what you’re thinking; those guys are always a bunch of nerdy dweebs.

      For the most part, that’s true. What I’m saying is that I’ve hung out with a lot of people with zero personality. I can honestly say that I’ve spent a few Friday nights discussing math — I’m not ashamed to admit it.

      But here’s the thing — engineers generally only interact with engineers.

      This guy, on the other hand, is a doctor?!

      Doctors deal with the public!

      Further, this guy is a freaking BABY DOCTOR?!

      I dunno, but I think the med schools out there need to start teaching these guys something about dealing with the public. I mean, to get your engineering degree, you had to pass a communications course that taught you how to NOT speak geek speak all the time.

      Most of us considered it a “bird” course, but really, for some, I’m sure it had some effect.

      Anyway, at one point, while scanning all around looking for a nice clear shot of the heart, he lifted his free hand and started scratching the top of his head like an ape.

      We’re not talking about a discrete index finger itch. This was an all out four-fingered plow-the-fields scratch that lasted over 10 seconds. Un-real.

      Now, I must admit, I’ve been known to scratch my head like an ape too — usually while driving around in the convertible.

      I dunno, there’s something about the wind whipping your hair all around that makes your head really itchy.

      Am I alone on this one?

      Either way, it wasn’t windy in the examination room…

      For the record — this is the first ultrasound post that hasn’t included a reference to an action figure.

      I’m pretty proud of that.

        2 1790

        Yummy Yellow Snow!

        Starting to sense a theme this week?

        After reading yesterday’s post, my wife couldn’t help but point out one of my Christmas gifts from her mother.

        So, as I crunch away while watching the season premiere of the Biggest Loser (a guilty pleasure), it’s become apparent that sometimes happiness can actually come from eating yellow snow.

        3 2912

        Farewell to Steve & Barry's

        Remember a few weeks ago when I went on my own personal Odyssey in search of an open Steve & Barry’s only to encounter a bunch of dark and shuttered storefronts?

        Well, this past weekend, we actually came across one of their stores that was still open!!!

        Woo-hoo!

        Unfortunately, it was their final day.

        Sure, things were 90% off — yes t-shirts cost less than $1 — but they didn’t have *any* adult sizes left. None.

        All they had were a bunch of black puffy pleather Sarah Jessica Parker coats for $4 a piece… Might have been $1 a piece — I didn’t really bother checking for certain.

        They still had all of the little display cards for their t-shirts...A great deal, either way, but no thanks. Definitely not my style…

        Standing inside the store watching people that I guess could be considered “less fortunate” try the jackets on made me sad… Not only because they were losing what was probably one of their only “trendy” shopping outlets but because it was depressing just to see a store that, well, had fallen so far so quickly.

        Yeah, it was cheap. Yeah, the stores attracted some pretty grubby people. And yeah, some of the stuff they sold was a little obnoxious, but the quality of much of it was higher than, say, the $40 tasteless t-shirts sold at Abercrombie & Fitch.

        I *really* liked this chain — but I never really took advantage of it just “being there” because I’d just assumed that they’d be around forever.

        I was wrong.

        Now, where am I going to find a “Property of Dad” t-shirt for less than $5?

        Really?

        I should have bought one (or ten) when I had the chance…

        In the end, even though I didn’t buy anything this past weekend, I’m glad that I got to shop there one last time. For closure, you know?

        Anyway, here are a few more miserable photos from Steve & Barry’s final day in the State of Connecticut:

        Steve & Barry's liquidation

        Hopefully another store comes along to fill the HUGE void left in all of the shopping malls.

        And hopefully they’ll have a better business model.

        Farewell Steve & Barry’s… You were great while you lasted…

        0 1701

        Fake Reindeer Lights

        Well, at this point, it looks at though we’re guaranteed a white Christmas this year.

        After a foot of snow on Friday, another 6-8 inches forecast for tomorrow, and then another round due on Wednesday, I think I’ll get an entire season’s worth of shoveling in before the end of the year.

        This shot was taken from our front window. The deer are across the street and the colorful orbs are reflections of our Christmas tree in the window. Made for a pretty cool sequence of photos.

        Hopefully, after tomorrow’s snowfall, the one reindeer’s head will be hidden. That could make for some funny photos.

        Speaking of the fake reindeer — I think the first time I ever saw one was about 15 years ago now.

        I remember my parents pricing them out, but the price tag was prohibitive. They had to be over $100 each at the time and if you wanted one that had it’s head move up and down, well, those were over $200.

        Now, it seems, or at least for the past few years, it appears that the tacky inflatable lawn decorations are more in style. The resulting good news is that you can now find fake reindeer just like the ones in the picture for around $14.99!

        A goofy looking inflatable nativity scene will still run you $90…

        Go figure…

        Poor taste costs more.

        0 1644

        J.J. Daigneault and Claude Lemieux

        It’s been a trying week at work, so I haven’t been posting much. This post will probably disappoint. Hey, just warning you…

        I’d guess you’d have to be a hockey fan of the 1980’s and early 1990’s to truly appreciate this photo.

        This is 4-time Stanley Cup Winner Claude Lemiuex and he all but retired after the 2002-03 season when no one offered him a contract.

        Until last month.

        He’s now 43 years old and playing in the minor leagues working towards a comeback.

        I’m pretty certain he’s realistic about his prospects, I mean, he’s made millions of dollars as a professional athlete and can’t possibly need the money — but he’s chosen to sign a contract with a team that will having him riding a bus (rather than a chartered plane) to cities like Rochester, Syracuse, Bridgeport, and Norfolk.

        Not exactly major league cities.

        Not exactly major league accommodations either.

        If he reaches the NHL again, and I think he might, this will most certainly be his final season.

        There isn’t a lot left in the tank (though he’s skating circles around players half his age), he knows that, but I think he just wants to go out on his own terms — and not be forced out due to his age.

        Shaking hands with Lemieux is former NHL defenseman J.J. Daigneault. The two were briefly teammates on the Montreal Canadiens, oh, roughly 18 years ago.

        Daigneault is now a coach, he’s in the shirt and tie, while Lemieux is still a player — playing with kids who weren’t even born when these two played together.

        Anyway, this just shows how important it is to network. Lemieux undoubtedly used his contacts to get this job and, along the way, I’m sure he’s making new contacts with today’s crop of players.

        It isn’t often these days that the old timer isn’t pushed aside — in sports or in the office — in favor of the fresh face.

        I’ve seen it firsthand — friends getting blindsided — and I’ve got to admit, it weighs on my mind a bit. Okay…a lot.

        But I’d really prefer to leave on my own terms someday.

        Claude’s making sure that happens.

        Can You Dig It?

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