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Big (old) Dog vs. Great Blue Heron, pt. 2



We don’t take Dolby out to the beach nearly as often as we used to. Back in the day he’d follow us up and down the shoreline as far as we could go, chasing after crabs, taking a dip in the water here and there, sniffing after weird stuff washed up on shore, and running pell-mell after errant pelicans, seagulls, and Great Blue Herons.

But Dolby is nine years old now. He’s slowed down quite a bit in the last couple years and having arthritis in his hips hasn’t helped that. Some days, just seeing him trying to get into the car is a painful thing to watch. So we’re more selective about when we take him down to the beach where the shifting sand makes walking more difficult.

We took him to Pensacola Beach with us this past Thursday. He walked maybe 30 yards one way, then 30 yards the other with us, but finally took up residence on the beach blanket while Lise went hunting for shells and I went hunting for perspective.

The sun was already near the horizon and was shaping up to be a very nice sunset. I noticed a Great Blue Heron had landed 30 yards away from us, so I mounted the camera on the tripod, turned myself around, and took a few shots. I asked Dolby who it was that was down the beach from us, and he got his excited-puppy look on his face, his ears perked up, and he searched the shore for what intruder I might be inquiring about.

I watched him for a few seconds, determined that he was more than likely not going to move, and went back to zooming in on the GBH and getting a few more shots.

Now, I noticed the heron quickly turn its head, but I didn’t realize why he’d done it. UNTIL. Until the fuzzy black butt of my dog appeared in the frame of my next shot. He didn’t get as close as he used to, and he was more bumbling than running, but he gave it a good try.

And of course I have a series of shots to prove it and an overly long story to tell of our sweet old boy.

Google+ Invite Rap

*Google+ Invite Rap*

I got Google+ magic / Come feel my flow
I invite you to da party / Make you my Google+ ho
I get you in my circle / you feelin’ Google+ crunk
I bombard you wid my links / den you be readin’ my junk
All yo pics I be lookin’ / On your life will I spy
(I’ll only show you my good ones / so you think I be fly)
My problems be yo’ probs / My downer words and my woes
But I be king of da world wid my Google+ hoes
I got dat Google+ magic / Do you want an invite?
Just respond to these lyrics / You can rock it tonight!

top 100 novels

it’s @bhalpin‘s fault.

about a month ago, he wrote about his top 100 novels, a response to someone’s response to NPR’s list. i’ve looked over others’ lists (including the Modern Library’s and the BBC’s from several years ago) and thought, “well, if they’re doing it, and Halpin’s doing it, i ought to do it, too.”

my list, in no particular order, includes books (not just novels) that have had an impact on me over the last 25+ years, whether because of subject matter, writing style, the time at which i read it, or the chemical that is released by the brain associating pleasure with certain things.

  1. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  2. Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson
  3. Shadow Country by Peter Matthiessen
  4. The Stand by Stephen King
  5. Harvest Home by Thomas Tryon
  6. Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.
  7. An American Tragedy by Ted Dreiser
  8. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  9. The Inferno by Dante (Ciardi)
  10. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
  11. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  12. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  13. The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien
  14. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
  15. The Talisman by Peter Straub & Stephen King
  16. His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman
  17. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  18. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  19. Chronicles of Narnia by CS Lewis
  20. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  21. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  22. Danny, Champion of the World by Roald Dahl
  23. Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss
  24. Maus by Art Spiegelman
  25. John Adams by David McCullough
  26. Truman by David McCullough
  27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
  28. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
  29. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
  30. angela’s ashes by Frank McCourt
  31. The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt by Edmund Morris
  32. A Series of Unfortunate Events by lemony snicket
  33. Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter Miller
  34. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
  35. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  36. The Traveler by john twelve hawks
  37. The Bible
  38. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  39. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Gunderson
  40. Contact by Carl Sagan
  41. What is the What byDave Eggars
  42. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
  43. Calvin and Hobbes – Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat by Bill Watterson
  44. A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian Mclaren
  45. Alexander and the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
  46. night by Elie Wiesel
  47. extremely loud and incredibly close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  48. Candide by Voltaire
  49. The Unabridged Edgar Allen Poe
  50. The Stories of Ray Bradbury by Ray Bradbury
  51. A Bright Red Scream by Marilee Strong
  52. The Search to Belong by Joseph Meyers
  53. The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind by Mark Noll
  54. The Hot Zone by Richard Preston
  55. Timeline by Michael Crichton
  56. The Big Book of Hell by Matt Groening

fifty-six. it was the best i could do. i wanted to BS a few more classics just to look more cultured and civilized, but then i realized, “hey! this is MY LIST! if someone thinks i’m not all that intelligent because i like dr. seuss, well pbbbbthhhh!”

do you have a list? how about a top three?

google chrome – i’m intrigued

chrome.jpgheard about the new browser from google? it’s in beta right now and i’m giving it a run. it’s intriguing at this point and it gives me a couple reasons to consider it over firefox (my browser of choice for many years now).

here’s a good article about it in the washington post.

here’s the link to download the beta version.

here’s google’s cool comic book format explaining why you should switch (and the specifics on the technology behind the browser).

busy busy busy and loving every minute of it

we were busy beavers today.

classroomsm01.jpg pensacola chamber of commerce gave us a phone book.

verizon wireless told us we can’t add a third line with a pensacola number and two cincinnati numbers.

we got a bit lost.

we called about a house across the street from my new school.

i met my new principal (he’s quite cool).

i saw my classroom (unflatteringly pictured at right).

i signed my contract.

we lunched with the principal at the new yorker deli (if you visit pensacola, it’s worth the trip – unless you live in new york).

we got an apartment.

silly01.jpgwe’re officially residents – we have a pensacola address now.

we went to maria’s seafood market, grabbed some jumbo shrimp, had it steamed, crossed the bridge and went to pensacola beach.

sat on the beach (flatteringly pictured at left) and looked back at the past couple years, ate delicious shrimp, watched the sunset, stuck our toes in the water, grabbed a couple seashells and were content.

today we’ve more to do, not the least of which is to…

celebrate Lise’s birthday! woo-woo!

more later.