31 May, 2006

Shopping Spree!

Poor Scott endured a Day-o-Jamie today. Lots and lots of shopping. We set out with two things in mind: white dresses and work clothes. We started at Penney's, and there were quite a nice selection of white dresses... in sizes much smaller than mine. Of course, I expected that. I really figured I'd get some work clothes there. Not so much. I'm trying to limit the amount of synthetic materials in my shirt selection, and almost everything was polyester. I did, however, get a long chocolate brown halter dress and a pair of brown short pants. Both were on the clearance racks. I have no idea what I'm going to do with the dress, but it was half-off and it's so great. I'm thinking dinner on the cruise, or any other semi-dressy occasion. I just need to buy a shrug or a shawl to go with it, because no one needs to see that much of my back!

I also found a pale blue sweater at Old Navy. It's one of those that's low-cut enough that you have to wear something under it. And it has a hood. It's so cute! And did I mention it was on clearance for half-off?

After the mall, we hit the outlets, and I got a pair of black dress pants, a pair of brown dress pants, a short-sleeve purple sweater, a tan camisole with eyelet trim (to go with the Old Navy sweater), and two pairs of shoes. What kind of shoes? I'm so glad you asked! I got a pair of very sensible pumps for work (black, with a 3/4" heel) and a pair of very un-sensible pink fake Converse hi-tops that look SO cute with the jeans I was wearing today. Every girl needs a pair of pink sneakers, right??

All told, I stayed within my budget for the day and got 3 bottoms, 2 tops, a dress, and 2 pairs of shoes for less that "Fabulous John" would pay for one pair of jeans. If only all of my shopping trips were this successful!

30 May, 2006


Yesterday Scott and I got up early to go over to Epcot to watch the US Army Golden Knights parachute team jump into the park. It was pretty neat... but not at all what I was expecting. I really thought that it would be like those skydivers you see on TV who hold hands and make a circle, or dive through hula hoops. These guys just jumped. They did have colored smoke though... that was neat.

After the jump, we headed over to the UK pavilion to get some fish & chips for lunch. Then we meandered through the World Showcase, stopping to check out the wares in Japan, watching a set from the Voices of Liberty, and checking out the special guest band at the big stage, the US Army Volunteers.

When you hear the words "army" and "band" in the same sentence, are you expecting some sort of drum & bugle corps or marching band? I was. Instead, we were treated to the musical stylings of Major Dad's garage band. There were five middle-aged men in ARMY t-shirts, camouflage pants, and combat boots performing a little motown, a little R&B, and we walked out when they started to kill a Dave Matthews Band song. I won't say that they were awful. I won't even say they were the worst act to ever grace that stage (after all, they brought back Cookin' - a group of Chinese guys whose "performance art" was cutting vegetables - two years in a row during the Food & Wine Festival). But they weren't good. And if you're going to have a band playing contemporary music, seemingly to make it look like Joe Average Twenty Year Old has the chance of joining the Army and not going to Iraq, why not have five twenty-somethings in said band?

Anyway, here's some pictures I took yesterday. As you can tell, it's hard to get a good shot of people jumping out of a plane a 1/2 mile up and 1/4 mile away.

28 May, 2006

Instant Headache... Just Add Melon

I genuinely enjoy the aroma of a Yankee Candle Car Jar air freshener, especially the honeydew melon. I've gone through two or three of them, and when you follow the instructions on the package (open just a little of the plastic at a time) they add a delightful subtle fruity smell that combats the petrified french fry and stinky feet smell of my car. Here's some other tidbits you should know before I continue my story:

  • The last time I replaced my Car Jar, they didn't have the melon. Instead I got a "mandarin cranberry" one. I opened it a little bit and it never really had much of a smell.
  • Rather than hang a tacky air freshener on my mirror, I keep them under my seat.
  • It has been at least six months since my last "honeydew melon" purchase.

  • Tonight after work, I noticed that my car was smelling a little foot-ish, so I reached under my seat to open up the air freshener a little more. I pulled out an ancient melon-scented one, and kept feeling around for the newer cranberry one. I couldn't find it, so I just pulled the wrapper off the old melon one and stuck it back under my seat.

    I don't think I'd even driven a mile before I was completely overcome by the nightmarish, headache-inducing smell of 10,000 melons filling my car. I opened the window to get some fresh air, but I wore my hair down today and kept choking on clumps of it blowing in my mouth. There was nothing I could do but put the AC blowers on full-blast and keep fresh air coming into the car that way.

    I got home without asphyxiating, but I did end up driving most of the way home with a headache (which went away almost as soon as I opened the car door). Of course, I'm almost afraid to head out to work tomorrow and smell what's going to go on with that thing once my car goes over 100 degrees!

    Wish me luck with that.

    25 May, 2006


    So... have I mentioned lately how much my hair is driving me crazy? Based on comparisons between what I see in the mirror and a picture taken on the last day of the cruise, my hair has grown maybe an inch in the past two months. At this rate, it'll be October before I have 10" to cut off. I just don't think I have it in me to wait that long. I could hold perfectly still and it would tangle. I can actually feel the weight on the back of my head when I have it up in a ponytail. And need I mention the fact that I live in Florida and we're already hovering around 90 degrees most days?

    Besides, I've found the cutest cut! Sadly, it's on Kellie Pickler. But I really like it. She was in the Idol audience last week and I noticed that she had gotten it cut, and then last night during the finale I got a good look at her. It's such a nice 'do. There's some more pics of it here (where I borrowed this picture), here, and here. And here's some from last night's Idol finale.

    Any opinions? Any miracle hair growth formula out there I should know about?

    The Best One Yet

    You know what was great about the Idol finale last night -- besides the random performances -- the fact that I didn't have to worry whether or not my pick would win. Though I had a glimmer of hope that Taylor and Katharine would be standing there and Seacrest would announce that Chris had won, I knew Taylor far outshined Kat in the final competition and that he'd win... but if he didn't, it wouldn't have been a big deal.

    Besides, Chris had more face time than almost any of them last night. I should've taped it so I could watch him again and again. Of course, my favorite two moments of the night involved some audition losers -- the singing cowboy and his two comrades in 10-gallon hats came back to sing Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys, and the Clay Aiken wannabe started to sing and almost shat himself when the real Clay walked out on stage. They actually had to get the kid a stool. And it's a good thing they cut his microphone off, because he kept going "oh my GOD!!" over and over again.

    Anyway, I've got three Chris songs on a CD I burned for myself, and that should tide me over for a while (although I need to download his "Dead or Alive" from the Idols CD that just came out). And we should all be free of Idol-mania until January.

    See you then!

    24 May, 2006


    Yesterday we got the greatest letter in the mail: a confirmation from the cruise line for our latest payment. BALANCE DUE: $ .00

    Woo HOO! Less than seven months from now we'll be sailing the high seas on an all-too-short 4 day getaway for our anniversary. And now we can focus on saving up for rum-based drinks and tacky "Bahamas" souveniers. And shore excursions... can't forget the shore excursions... December may not be the best time to snorkel, but that's not going to stop us from trying.

    Of course, without Mike & Reyna along, there probably won't be many pictures of us together... but with my hair, that might not be a bad thing!!

    22 May, 2006 meat...

    Scott won a drawing at work. His prize was "dinner and a movie" -- 2 AMC movie vouchers and $50 in dining gift certificates. We've decided to take the $50 and put it towards a more expensive meal. We're going to Yachtsman Steakhouse for - you guessed it - steak. Mmm... steak.

    My own department, at which I am currently experiencing unrelated bitterness, gives out a $25 prize in our version of the same drawing. I need to relocate!!

    Anyway, I'm going to go to work today like a good girl. And I'm going to daydream about fork-tender filet all day long. Maybe I'll even do my job.

    21 May, 2006

    A Euphemism for the 21st Century

    We all know the age-old euphemisms used in laundry commercials. "Ring around the collar" is code for crunchy yellow armpits. "Protein stains" translates to blood stains.

    Imagine my surprise last night when I saw a ridiculous portrayal of a new product: Summer's Eve Deodorant Spray. The commercial showed a woman spraying the product on her wrist! You may be thinking to yourself, "wow... that's impressive... Summer's Eve has found a way to stop feminine wrist funk." But you'd be wrong. The instructions clearly tell you where to spray the product... and it's not the wrist. And no, you're not expected to spray it on your wrist and then rub your wrist on the affected area.

    I miss the days when feminine care products were advertised by women frolicking in fields and having mother-daughter bonding sessions over some instant coffee. So help me, the day I see a pantiliner advertised stuck to someone's wrist, I may have to give up on man kind completely!

    19 May, 2006 feet...

    Last night, I thought I was going to be the computer guy all night -- the one who sits in the tiny office and doesn't ever really leave there -- so I wore my kick-@$$ high-heel loafers. I should've called and double-checked the schedule. I was actually the floor-walking trouble shooter. And there was a lot of trouble to shoot!

    Actually, given the amount of walking I did, I'd say my feet fared well. Of course, as soon as I clocked out, I took my shoes off and walked out to my car in bare feet. No sense wearing those torture devices any longer than absolutely necessary, right?

    I learned my lesson though. I'll be wearing comfy shoes for the conceivable future.

    18 May, 2006

    Downloading Daughtry

    Great news for all you Idol fans out there! (ok, great news for me!) For a limited time only ('til May 24), each of the Idol finalists has downloads available. That's right, for $.99 each (same as most songs on Napster), you can own your favorite performances forever! (ok, you can own some of the performances) I'm making my list now!

    Even without buying the music, this is a great way for those of you who said you were going to watch, but never quite got around to it, to know who the players are. You can preview the songs and really get a feel for whose music you'd want to hear on the radio and whose you wouldn't. I'm definitely buying two of Chris's songs - Hemmorhage and Walk the Line, and Katharine's Someone to Watch Over Me (more for the song than the artist).

    As promised, I didn't post at all about this week's shows. I won't say that I was right about Elliott going home. And I won't mention that though I thought he should've left a long time ago, I was sorry to see him go.

    15 May, 2006

    Three Truths

    Here are the answers to my Two Truths and a Lie entry from a few days ago:

    1. There are three lava lamps in my apartment, but only one works.
    True! One is a nightlight that never worked properly, and one lost its cap during a move and is on display on top of the desk, but not plugged in. And the one that works is the lava lamp/real lamp that I got Scott for Christmas two years ago.

    2. We have three PCs, but only two monitors. And only one is currently plugged in.
    True! There's files on each of the other two PCs that need to be backed up and deleted before I can dispose of them. Besides, I'm hoping to set up the other one and network both computers together some day.

    3. Our apartment has been home to insects, arachnids, amphibians, canines, felines, reptiles, rodents, and us. Currently, it's just us, the cats, the guinea pig, and a spider (I think).
    False! We've never had a dog, and never had one in the apartment.

    Confounded Confetti!

    There's a commercial on TV these days. I can't remember what it's for. An employee is handed a cupcake with an unlit candle on the top and told 'happy anniversary.' And his boss calls him by the wrong name. It's funny. And yet so unlike my own anniversary experience.

    Yesterday was my 6th company anniversary. I had forgotten until four of our managers surrounded my desk and showered me with confetti. And when I say "showered me with confetti," I mean it. I got up from my desk and shook out my shirt and about 30 little confettis came out the bottom. There were another 20 or so on my chair. They were in my hair. And they were allll over the floor. (oh the poor cleaning guy!)

    A few hours later, after my lunch, I stopped in the bathroom and when I turned around to flush, there was a little red confetti floating in the toilet. It's not a good thing to laugh out loud in the bathroom stall... someone is bound to ask what you're laughing at. I had to share. And that was the big laugh to the others at the help desk last night.

    I came home, got changed, played on the computer, watched my two hours of Sunday taped TV (OMG...the Grey's Anatomy finale tonight is going to kick @$$), and went to the bathroom before bed. Yep -- not only were there three more in the toilet, I pulled off another three that were stuck to my butt cheek! And this morning another one fell off of me. I don't know where they're coming from!!

    I sincerely hope that that was the last one... because it's really starting to creep me out. It's just not natural! Anyway, happy anniversary to me!!

    Would YOU?

    Have you heard the news? They're building a footbridge that sticks out 65 feet over the edge of the Grand Canyon... and it has GLASS FLOORS! You can look out between your feet and see the ground 3,800 feet below.

    If you're a bridge, the Grand Canyon is probably the last place you'd want to be: 90 miles per hour vertical winds whip upward with tornado-like force, a condition endured by no other bridge in the world.

    To secure the Skywalk, Lochsa Engineering in Las Vegas has cantilevered it atop the cliff with 94 steel rods that bore 46 feet into the limestone rock. As a result, it can support 70 tons of weight, equivalent to roughly 700 hefty men, although the maximum occupancy is set at 120 people.

    OK, I acknowledge that it's safe. But I'm terrified of heights. I genuinely think that I couldn't force myself to walk that plank. (you know that scene in Shrek where Donkey is going across the rickety bridge across the lava lake and he freaks out? I picture myself on this thing that way) But if I could, I'm sure the pictures would be great. Scott says he wouldn't walk it either. Anyone among us who WOULD?

    (I got the story and the image from, who got it from Popular Science)

    14 May, 2006

    Mother's Day

    Happy mother's day to anyone out there to whom the sentiment applies.

    Happy Sunday to everyone else.
    Nothing says "I love you, mommy" better than a permanent body marking, right?

    Otter and Odder

    Let's add another creature to the list of random animals spotted on Disney property!

    Of course, there are deer, armadillo, possum, wild turkeys, vultures, peacocks (did you know the call of a peacock is similar to a woman being attacked?), alligators, and panthers. But today I spotted an OTTER with my own two eyes. And I have three witnesses to back me up! We were driving down a back road on our way to breakfast this morning, and this thing decided to cross the street right in front of the car in front of us.


    I did a little research to see if I could find out what type of otter is native to this area, and the short answer is NONE! Both the sea otter and the North American river otter are found across the country, but most are on the Pacific coast. I'm guessing it was the latter.

    Anyway, it was really cute and I hope to see it again some time... preferably not in the middle of the road!

    13 May, 2006

    A Cousin?

    I think I found a distant relation of ZoePig today -- Zoey Hamster! Not only does this Zoey (we'll have to forgive the spelling) have her own MySpace page, she has video clips!

    Needless to say, I found myself green with rodent web envy and jumped on the bandwagon. Now ZoePig has her own home on the web. Please forgive the lameness - it's late and I'm sooo tired.

    And ironically enough, just as I was typing this, I got an e-mail from Janette saying that she had found a man for Zoe! Check him out! She must have known that I was in a rodent frame of mind.

    12 May, 2006

    Two Truths and a Lie

    Scalzi's Weekend Assignment: Present three "facts" about yourself: Two of the facts true, and one of the facts false. Let people guess which "fact" is the fake one. Reveal the fake fact on Monday.

    This is one of those "getting to know you" games we played in various student organizations in my colorful past. Given my expertise, I thought I'd have no trouble coming up with some ideas. My trouble is that I wanted to make them hard enough that my regular readers might not even know the answers. Anyway, here goes nothing...

    Two Truths and a Lie - Apartment Edition

    1. There are three lava lamps in my apartment, but only one works.

    2. We have three PCs, but only two monitors. And only one is currently plugged in.

    3. Our apartment has been home to insects, arachnids, amphibians, canines, felines, reptiles, rodents, and us. Currently, it's just us, the cats, the guinea pig, and a spider (I think).

    Extra Credit: Can you lie with a straight face? Really?

    Yes. Although I was much better at it when I was a kid. But I lie to at least one person a day. It's the nature of my job.

    UPDATE! (5/14) The answer to the assignment can be found here.

    11 May, 2006


    There are two cats in this picture. Can you spot them both? OK... I guess it's not really that difficult. This seems to be where my kitties are if I'm at the computer - laying on the floor next to me. I don't understand it, but it makes me happy.

    ...and they seem to have finally learned to not lay under the desk where they, more likely than not, will get kicked!

    10 May, 2006

    Heartbreak Hotel

    I looked at Scott at the end of American Idol tonight and told him I don't want to even watch anymore. Why would I? Chris is gone.

    Elvis week was cruel to the Idols, somehow putting Kat and Chris in the bottom two, leaving Elliott and Taylor sailing into the semi-finals.

    This isn't just "my pick to win is gone" sour grapes either. I feel heartbroken, disappointed, and completely SHOCKED by the loss of my favorite Idol.

    This is worse than two seasons ago when LaToya was voted off and Jasmine stayed. This is worse than last season when Anwar left.

    I don't even care who wins. Sure, I'll watch, but I won't vote. And I'll keep my fingers crossed that Chris somehow gets picked up by a label and makes a great album that I can buy.

    Anyway, here's my prediction for the rest of the season: Elliott gets voted off next week when America realizes that they were stoned while dialing his digits this week, and Kat sails through the finals when Taylor can't pull off the sappy American Idol ballad (like Bo and Carrie last year). And then they'll go on tour for the summer and then disappear forever.

    And in other disheartening Idol news, it seems Lifetime is producing the Fantasia Barrino biography, "Life is not a Fairy Tale." Why won't SHE just go away?

    Well, that's it for my posts on AI Season 5. I'm sure when I wake up tomorrow I won't be bitter. After all, I already know I'm bitter about a stupid reality TV show. So please, be gentle in your comments. It's my blog and I'll whine if I want to.

    09 May, 2006

    A Dark Day

    Sad news today from the L.A. Times regarding Disney toys in McDonald's Happy Meals:

    Disney is not renewing its cross-promotional pact with the fast-food giant, ending the arrangement with this summer's release of "Cars" and "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest." One reason, say multiple high-ranking sources within Disney, is that the company -- which prides itself on being family friendly -- wants to distance itself from fast food and its links to the epidemic of childhood obesity.

    I'll be honest. I rarely eat at McDonald's if there isn't a cool toy to be had or a Monopoly game to be played. I love Happy Meals, but without Disney toys, I really can't see consuming them, especially when I can get a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger and a baked potato from Wendy's for $2.

    The article goes on to speculate whether movie studios distancing themselves from Mickey-D's will change what they sell to kids. I also learned that a Happy Meal with a cheeseburger, small fries and Sprite totals 670 calories, with 26 grams of fat and 4.5 grams of trans fat. No one should feed that to their children, regardless of the cool toy that comes in the box.

    I'm impressed with Disney for taking this step... now if we could only get those damn mini McDonald's out of the theme parks!

    08 May, 2006

    Virtual Gifts

    I'll admit it - sometimes I like to go into card stores with someone (we'll use Scott as an example) and pick out cards to "give" them. It's free, and a fun and sometimes sweet way to blow 20 minutes at the mall. Today, Scott sent me an e-mail at work with a virtual gift. He was just bringing it to my attention, not actually saying, "here dear... have a pretend present." It was more of a "I saw this and thought of you." So I sent him back a virtual gift of his very own.

    Actually, Archie McPhee has an entire line of "designer bandages" and I want one of each, especially the sushi, bacon & eggs, and pirate!

    And my Mom wants the "world's largest underpants." Funny, I thought she'd be all over the "after the Last Supper mints."

    What's on your McPhee wish list?

    07 May, 2006


    I got pooped on at work yesterday. That's figurative poop, of course. And I can't talk about it in such a public forum. But apparently there's a trouble maker trying to influence someone else to complain about EVERYTHING, and I got pooped on in the process.

    One of my old roommates had a saying that went something along the lines of "When you look around and the entire world is wrong, you might actually be the one who's wrong." Anyway, when you go to management and complain about multiple people doing their jobs in a way other than the way you want them to, perhaps it's you who has unreasonable expectations of others. Or maybe you're just not doing your job correctly.

    I promised myself I would stay in this position for at least a year. At this rate, I'm wondering if I'm going to make it to October. The entire balance of the office is shifting. We've had two managers leave in the past month (of the 11 managers over our department, only 5 were there when I started). We're losing one Help Desk person this month, and another is actively looking for another job. And down on the floor, we're losing more operators than I can keep up with. Some are going elsewhere in the company, and some are just leaving.

    A few of us were discussing exit interviews yesterday, and wondering why our office doesn't do them. Perhaps then the managers could figure out why we're hemmorhaging people like rats off a sinking ship (oh I LOVE mixed metaphors!!). Maybe they'd rather not know. But we have a department of 120ish people. And with 1 or 2 new-hire classes of 8 people every month, we're still under-staffed. I just don't understand why they don't care that everyone is leaving.

    Well, I've really only got my eye on one job. And when it opens up, I may apply regardless of whether or not it's October. Or maybe I'll just go part-time as a waitress somewhere. I'd probably be making more money... (just kidding Scott...don't have a heart attack!)

    05 May, 2006

    Working Late

    I had a lousy night at work last night. I got attitude from a secretary on a power trip who thought she was too good to take a call that I had properly screened (my title is not "phone police"). I got attitude from my co-workers. I got attitude on the phone from complete strangers.

    And I know that you get what you give. So I guess I must've had a little bit of attitude myself yesterday. Hopefully that's all behind me, because I've already agreed to work 2 hours of OT tonight. Of course, that's nothing compared to the 6 hours extra that Scott is working. Really though, he's getting paid to yell at teenagers, something he'd gladly volunteer for.

    Here's what's keeping my head in the game: a possible weekend outing for me and Scott some time in the future -- swimming with manatees! Honestly, there's so much to do in Florida that doesn't revolve around giant mice and rollercoasters. If I'm stuck in the middle of Tourist Haven, I might as well take advantage of what else the state has to offer.

    04 May, 2006

    Typhoon Lagoon

    I don't think I could have planned a more relaxing escape from the ordinary than our trip to Typhoon Lagoon yesterday. We invited Beth and Brian along, and had a great time. Of course, we only did a handful of attractions:

    Castaway Creek (the lazy river), where we spent hours going in circles and trying to avoid the ice-cold waterfalls and water sprays. I also scraped the heck out of my knee towards the end of our day. Darn walls!

    the wave pool - I really thought security was going to have to remove Scott from the pool at closing time. every 90 seconds yet another giant wave is unleashed from the front tanks and a collective scream comes from almost every person in the pool. even ducking under the wave, we were getting dragged at least 10-15 feet every time.

    the shark reef - snorkeling across the shark reef only takes a couple minutes - it's only 60 feet long - but on some levels it was even cooler than snorkeling at Castaway Cay. There were sharks and giant rays on the bottom of the tank, and some HUGE fish that would swim right in front of your face. of course, the water was unheated (somewhere around 70 degrees), and I still have trouble with the whole breathe-through-a-tube thing. but I made it through, and LOVED it!

    Crush 'n Gusher - it's the first "water coaster" built outside of the Schlitterbahn in Texas (I think). Scott sat this one out, which worked out well for me and Beth and Brian, since the line for three-person tubes was so much shorter. There are actually jets that shoot you UP as you go along. I tried out two of the three runs, and had fun, but was disappointed at how short they were. Luckily, as I said, the lines weren't so bad.

    And, as always, some of the most fun to be had at any water park is the people watching. Oh the humanity! Banana hammocks are bad... especially ones with flowers in different neon colors! And on the opposite extreme, there was a woman in the lazy river wearing pants and a long-sleeve shirt.

    This concludes my report on Typhoon Lagoon. Coming some time in the next month: Blizzard Beach. Gotta love free passes!

    02 May, 2006

    Trailer Trash(?)

    My Baby's Got a Double-Wide!

    Zoe Pig has upgraded to a deluxe double-wide cage. Rather than upgrading to a slightly larger cage and throwing the original away, I bought a second cage, popped a wall off of each, and tethered the two together. And I bought her a nifty rainbow log bridge to connect the two.

    The cage in the foreground has her food and water, and the one in the back has her chube and her igloo. I haven't seen her do it, but I know she can get back and forth between the two. I left her in the part of the cage with the food, and came back a while later to find her back in the safety of her chube.

    In addition to our "new home" purchase, we also stopped at Target and bought a bunch of stupid crap, including a $1 steamer basket and some chocolate-covered espresso beans.

    Yes, today was the day of randomness. And tomorrow is the day of the lazy river.'s almost worth shaving my legs for!

    01 May, 2006

    Rockin' Robins

    Scalzi's weekend assignment this week focuses on birds. Why? Because a robin built a nest in some fake flowers on his porch and they have hatched! I must say, fake flowers make a lovely frame for the face-only-a-mother-could-love of a newly-hatched baby bird!

    Your Monday Photo Shoot: Snap some shots of the birds around you. Whether they're out your window or in your house as pets, let's see some pictures of your fine feathered friends. You can take new shots or use old ones -- but try not to use shots you've already used before.

    I decided to use older pictures. Mostly because the newest ones, of our neighborhood cranes, have already been shown off. These first two were taken *gulp* over 20 years ago, when I was just a wee lass. This is our orphan robin Scrappy (Dad called him "crappy"), with me and with Mr. French:

    And here is a picture of our orphaned starlings circa 1990. These two actually lived long enough to be released back into the wild. In case you were wondering, the "nest" here is a heavy ashtray lined with paper towels. Isn't it amazing how, when they are bald, all birds look a little like Thanksgiving dinner (the body...not the giant yellow beak)?

    I'm glad I got to be a part of raising baby birds. They start out so tiny that you have to force-feed them. Then they get feathers and learn to fly. And every time you see that type of bird for the next year or two, you wonder if it's one of "yours."