Monthly Archives: February 2008

Twitter — What am I doing?

I’m still not convinced Twitter is right for me. If you’ve never used it, this is how it works:

You sign up and then send updates to the world of what you are doing. The updates must be short – 140 characters or less (that includes spaces, I think).  Not much happens until you start following people though. Then you get their updates. You can reply to them by typing @ before their username. Sometimes they reply, but sometimes they don’t. It’s like a dysfunctional chatroom.

I only “follow” 12 people. I can’t imagine what it would be like if I followed hundreds – I’m already distracted when one of the 12 I follow updates what they are doing.

We’ll see.

Slacking again

makeshift feeder with nuthatch I must be getting spring fever – after all the maple outside my office window is nearly ready bloom. I’ve watched the red buds swell over the past few weeks, and I think can see some yellow along the seams. I had no tolerance for work yesterday, although I did get a few hours of work accomplished.

What I spent the most time on, however, was a makeshift platform bird feeder. I’d already put my tube feeder on a [sort of a] hook on the side of the window, but wanted something more visible so I could capture (on film) the birds that visit. I reasoned that I could use the window bottom to hold something light horizontally outside the ledge and put some birdseed on it. Then I could put the webcam next to the window and get more birds on [digital] film.

chickadeeI looked around the attic and found a couple of green lids from large Rubbermaid® containers which I attached to the window ledge by wedging it under the bottom of the casement window. It looks silly, but it was effective. After only a few moments of hesitation, the birds began eating off the feeder and kept it up most of the afternoon.

Maybe I’ll get some work done today.

Millicent — Practically Perfect

I’d been wanting a GPS device for a year or so when my husband gave me one for my birthday. It was a Garmin StreetPilot i5. Everyone agreed this was a perfect gift for me because of my knack for getting lost.

We tried it out immediately. We discovered that we didn’t like the American female voice – it was flat and nasally obnoxious, so we switched to the British female voice and declared her official Voice of the Camry. She was authoritative in a humble way. We named her Millicent.

Millicent was our heroine. She got us home when we were lost and got us to far away destinations when we were unsure of how to get there. We envisioned a woman sitting in our personal satellite watching over us and keeping us safe.

MillicentOccasionally Millicent would become annoyed at us — mostly when we failed to follow her directions. In those cases, she would [seem to] take a deep breath and say “Re-callllll-cu-lating” in a reproachful tone. When we continued to disregard her directions we fully expected her to say something like, “And just why did you bring me along if you are not going to listen to my advice?”

Last August, close to our first anniversary with Millicent, she — along with her power cord and dashboard mount, went missing from our car. We suspected foul play and were worried that her thieves would treat her poorly. We envisioned her, blindfolded and gagged in the trunk of their car, along with other stolen items. We knew that if allowed to talk she would say “Re-callllll-cu-lating” at some point, and that might be her undoing. Thieves don’t like to be talked back to.

Of course, it is possible that Millicent simply decided that our family no longer needed her — especially since her advice was often shunned. She may simply have used her dashboard mount in an umbrella like fashion and floated away like a miniature electronic Mary Poppins.

Up next: Our new GPS device: Bruce — aka Steve — aka Ken.

0 birds

No birds came to my feeders today. That is very odd. I usually get a woodpecker or two on the suet feeder and at least a tufted titmouse or chickadee on the tube feeder. Maybe it’s because I bunched them together so they’d be on the side of the house I can see. Or maybe they were holding up somewhere warm, since it was a sleeting kind of day.

The kids were home, so I was not completely lonely without the birds, but it just seemed strange that not one bird visited the feeder while I was at the computer.

Laughing stranger

On the way to pick up my son from wrestling practice I saw two women walking dogs. One of the women was laughing so delightedly I immediately felt envious of her friend and anyone else who knew her. I had an overwhelming desire to have her part of my life.

Then I wondered why I couldn’t be that laughing woman.  I’d be the one that made other people glad to be alive — even strangers in cars picking up their sons from wrestling practice.

Good plan, but I’ll have to work through some issues first. And maybe get a dog.