Sunday, June 29, 2008

A good dad

This little bird has a lot of spunk. We watched for 3-4 minutes a week ago as it dive bombed that crow until it finally convinced the crow to fly away from this perch, after which it chased the crow out of sight. This is the second sighting Bonnie Jean and I have had of this sort of behavior. This gives the impression that this little guy has decided that the entire block is crow free territory because you'd figure he'd give up the chase when the crow flew across the street and beyond the apartment complexes beyond. But he kept up the chase.

Based on a similar bird we saw this morning I believe it is a Lesser Goldfinch. If you click this photo you can see the yellow belly. I was a little surprised to identify it as such because the field guide says this bird likes reliable water sources, but I keep forgetting we have an irrigation ditch running right behind our parking lot.

Passing of an author

I just learned this morning that Lloyd Alexander died May of 07. I was checking up to see what he'd written since I last checked. Its got to keep some love of your work to keep writing past 80 years old. When I first read the Prydian Chronicles I saw they had been written back in the 60's so I assumed he was dead and was very overjoyed when my wife gave me one of his books as a present that had been written just in 2005. His book were very formative for me, I'm sure I've read the entire Prydian series somewhere between 30-40 times. So I am sad to hear that I won't get anymore from him, but then again, I've barely scratched the surface of all the books he ever wrote.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Blooming Tomatos

As the national tomato scare has swept the nation and thwarted several cooking projects, I have been very pleased to see that our tomato plant has seen fit to send forth a blossom. Hopefully we fertilized enough and soon we will have a plenitude of fruit to eat.

Cars and insurance

The last time we rented a car the agency called me back and told me ominously about how big of a rock chip we had put in the windshield (I never saw it but then again when you use the key drop your responsible for anything that happens in the parking lot after you drop it off) and about how they'd have to replace "it". I politely reminding them that a rock chip only needed filling, not replacing the entire windshield. I told him who we were insured through and then we never heard a word back.

Finally I called my insurance to have them prepare a claim and then called the rental agency back. They told me to forget about the whole thing and they had decided to not bill me for the repair. I was very confused, first they act all confrontational and exaggerate the repair necessary, and then they tell me not to worry about a thing? Bonnie Jean suggested perhaps they thought they could get the money from me no hassle since I had declined their insurance, but when they discovered I was insured the hassle of filing claims seemed more work than it was worth. Who knows, maybe its true. But it sure seems strange. My guess is they can't keep track of who rented which vehicle and were calling me on somebody else's damage but later discovered their mistake. I've actually caught the rental contract describing a completely different model car than the one I was given and been told "oh don't worry about it everything is right in our computer no matter what the paper says."

Whatever happened, at least I didn't end up paying for it.

Meowing at doctors

I almost meowed at a doctor today but got distracted by paying attention to the IV that was in my arm. This morning I discovered bleeding where one shouldn't and when I told the doctor over the phone it hadn't stopped yet he wanted me seen right away instead of waiting for my day off. So I switched my day off and headed in. The doctor couldn't figure it out just from my basic description so he had me do blood and urine labs and a CAT scan. Thus my almost meowing. I have a follow up scheduled for later. Unfortunately I'll have to take off work to make the appointment.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Ward Split

I was sorry to here this morning from the Stake President that my ward is being broken up. They aren't changing the boundaries, but apparently they have special permission to change which apartment complexes belong to which wards and shuffle them around to keep the wards even, and they decided our ward was too big, so our apartment complex is being broken off and sent to another ward. Unfortunately, the neighbors we knew best have been given special permission to stay in this ward because he just was called to be the Sunday school president and they don't want to break that up just after starting it (same thing happened to the Elder's quorem president and Relief Society president). So there will be some familiar faces, but no where near as many as we'd like.

I'm especially disappointed because it means I won't be a Sunday school teacher any more. I was really looking forward to enjoying that calling and getting to know more of the ward members through it.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A bonus and a raise, hopefully

My last paycheck had a $375 bonus on it. There are 4 levels' of agents we have (not counting new agents) and supposedly we get the opportunity to move between them every 3 months or so. Apparently I moved from a 1 to a 3. In theory this also means a pay raise, but the only pay raise I found on my check was overtime pay went from being 1.5 pay to almost double pay. So hopefully next pay check will have a raise on it. One never knows, last time I got a pay raise they forgot to tell me about it till afterwards.

But in any case its happy, between bonus and overtime and holiday pay my paycheck was probably about 2/3rds again larger than normal.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


After a long time waiting to eat it, Curry Apple chicken is very good. I'm going to have to keep my eye open for another spice sale, I'm almost out of curry powder again.