Friday, December 10, 2010

Another Quote

The Search for the Giant Squid: the Biology and Mythology of the World’s most Elusive Sea Creature
By Richard Ellis

“No one has seen a giant squid feeding – in fact, no one has ever seen a healthy giant squid do anything at all – so until someone sees Architeuthis chasing something, the debate about its speed and strength will remain unresolved. Frederick Aldrich, probably the giant squid’s most devoted advocate, assumed that Architeuthis is a powerful, aggressive animal, which at least in one instance was able to plow a great furrow in beach gravel before it expired. Precisely how the giant squid hunts – of what it eats, for that matter – is not known, but Aldrich believed that its prey consists mostly of sharks, rays, and skates; not the diet of a weak hunter.”

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Yet Another Great Read

I’ve finished the Whaling book and am now reading about the Giant Squid – a logical transition, since most of what we know about the Giant Squid comes from our whaling experiences.

The Search for the Giant Squid: the Biology and Mythology of the World’s most Elusive Sea Creature
By Richard Ellis

“Deep-water animals, whether fishes or cephalopods, usually have larger eyes than their shallow-water counterparts. Since Architeuthis has the largest eyes of any animal on earth, it follows that it must use these eyes to see where there is limited light. It does not follow, however, that the eyes are large simply because the squid is large. The sperm whale, which can reach approximately the sam length as the giant squid and, at least on some occasions, frequents the same depths, has an eye about 2½ inches in diameter, not much larger than the eye of a cow. The eyes of a giant squid can be as much as 15 inches in diameter, larger than an automobile hubcap. The eye of a blue whale, the largest animal in history, gets to be about 7 inches across.”

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Breakfast with the Stars

Sounds like a new reality show for television, doesn’t it. But no, it’s not a make-believe situation staged for our viewing pleasure – this really is for real, and actually happened. I know, because it happened to me this weekend!

There we were, innocently eating our breakfast at a local diner, when who should walk in the door and sit down right beside me at the bar?

Hobo Jim, that’s who!

Oh, be still my beating heart.


No, really. I do love Hobo Jim. My whole family has been known to follow him around from city to city just to listen to him sing. He plays a mean guitar, let me tell you. And as an added bonus: he wears a very fine pair of cowboy boots.

Those of you who know me well, know that I have a definite soft spot for cowboy boots.

We got to talking and I happened to mention to him that we’d followed him around in the past.

“So, you’re a stalker, then?” he asked.

“Yes!” I grinned and said.

Nonetheless, he went back out to his truck and got me a copy of his newest CD! How cool is that?

Rob’s favorite song: Fishing for Chickens

Monday, December 06, 2010

Update on Things

Well, a lot has happened lately that I just haven’t gotten around to writing about – so once again you’re going to get it all in one lump sum. While that is probably not the best way to deal with things, and certainly doesn’t give me much of an opportunity to stretch my writing muscles in any creative sort of way, it does keep you up to date at least. I have dreams of keeping this thing current on a daily basis, but so far that doesn’t seem to cross the border into reality very much. Oh well, I’ll keep on dreaming and maybe someday it will be an actuality!

Cat Sitting

I had two jobs recently in my pet sitting endeavor: one was for my Sister-by-Choice as she and her family went outside to visit her mother over the Thanksgiving holiday. I looked after her house and her cat Tommy. The other was for a gentleman named Craig who had to leave unexpectedly for a short 5-day trip. He had multiple cats, both inside and outside. Both jobs were very easy to handle, and they even overlapped each other by a few days. I’m fairly certain I’ll be hearing from Craig again, as he mentioned that he would like to be able to leave more frequently so was glad to find a good babysitter. And let me assure you, these cats are most definitely his babies! I don’t think it’s possible to spoil a cat any more than he does.

Giving Blood

After a year’s waiting period due to my trip to Africa, I am finally eligible to give blood again! So, at the first opportunity I had I ran down to the Blood Bank and signed up to give. But wouldn’t you know it = they turned me away! Apparently you can’t give blood when you have a cold. They told me I had to wait until I had at minimum 3 days of feeling 100% before coming back in. So I waited the required 3 days and then tried it again – and this time they took my pint. I had no problems during the procedure; the lady taking my blood that day was very good at it, and I was still well hydrated due to the week-long cold I’d had earlier. Afterwards, however, was a completely different story. By the time I got home I was completely wiped out. All I could do was lie on the couch and watch movies with my girls. Later that night when I took the bandage off I found that I was still bleeding at the injection site, which was worrisome to say the least. It was still bleeding when I woke up the next day even! I’m all better now, but am wondering if maybe I didn’t wait long enough, or maybe it’s due to all the weight I’ve lost? Heck, it might even be the stress… who knows?

Thanksgiving Dinner

Dinner this year was at my sister Noel’s house. She had just a few people over, so it was a nice quiet afternoon. She is a most excellent cook, too: I got to have grilled Portobello mushrooms instead of the turkey that everybody else ate! We normally have a huge family gathering but this year had decided to keep things simple and not go to such extremes with the holidays. I’m hoping that Christmas will be the same way. I love my family dearly, but 30+ people is a lot to deal with even when you’re related to them.

Breakfast at Mother’s House

The day after Thanksgiving Mother invited Rob and I over for breakfast. She invited the whole family, actually – not just the two of us. But we were quite happy to go as she was offering up her famous Sourdough Pancakes! We arrived just in time to get the last of the pancakes, and got to visit with my sister Kelly and her family (husband Danny, daughter Tara, sons Gareth and Robin, and grandson Corbin) for a while before they left. Then we sat and visited with Mother for another hour or so before taking off ourselves. It was a good day!

Dinner with Katy

My niece Katy came home for the holiday: she’s going to school down in Seattle this semester. She and I got to have dinner together the day she had to go back outside, which was really cool. Her father dropped her off at the restaurant (The Fireside Grille) and I dropped her off at the airport later that night. In between times, we chatted about this and that – and she got to meet Rob finally, too.

Lorna’s Art Show

My friend Lorna has some of her paintings up at Terra Bella’s this month; the opening reception was this past Friday evening. She had quite a lot of people show up, too, and even sold two of her pieces. Terra Bella’s put out a nice spread of munchies for people: smoked salmon with crème cheese and onions on crackers, hummus with chips or cucumbers, and chocolate chip cookies. I highly recommend you go see her paintings if you’re in the neighborhood – and while you’re at it, you can go to The Perfect Cup and see some of her photography hanging up on their walls too.

Christmas Party

Lorna invited me to be her guest at her company’s Christmas Party the other day, so I borrowed an outfit from my sister (YAY! I fit my sister’s clothing again!) and got all dolled up for the affair. It was fun: we each had a couple glasses of wine and watched all the people dancing. It was a catered event, of course, but I avoided all food so that I wouldn’t get sick like I usually do at these things. Lorna ate, though, and said it was quite good. She got her 5-year service award and had to go stand up on stage even. I’m wondering if my company will do anything for Christmas? The zoo’s party is coming up soon but I don’t know if I’ll be going or not. We’ll see…

Christmas Cards

I got my Christmas Letter done finally and all my cards addressed, stamped, and mailed out this weekend. This year I sent cards to:
     Alaska:  Anchorage, Palmer, Eagle River, Homer, Seldovia, Fairbanks
     USA:  AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, IA, IL, KY, MD, ME, MI, MN, NE, NY, OR, TN, TX, WA
     The World:  Australia, Finland, Kenya, England