Bird Watching

A lot of miscellany this week.  First, just to conclude our little diversion into the scatological,  here’s something.  Until I was 7 years old, I didn’t know that girl’s pooped.  I don’t know why I thought this, but I distinctly remember learning the horrible truth while sitting up in the tree house of a kid down the street.  I’m going to blame this lack of knowledge on the fact that I grew up with two brothers, both of whom were just as gross as me, so I must have figured, girls can’t be that gross.  To paraphrase a line from the movie Moonstruck, “What I didn’t know about girls was a lot!”  I suppose The Princess will say I shouldn’t be using the past tense there.

Speaking of girls, well women, what would you think happens in a place called The Tubal Reversal Center?  While sitting in the dentist’s chair over in Chapel Hill my view out the window is of the building with that sign on it.  One day I asked the hygienist what goes on in there.  Well, I know when you think of Chapel Hill you think of UNC and world-class basketball, but would you have guessed it was the home of the world’s leading center for women to get their tubes “untied?”  Yup, according to the hygienist, they watch hotel shuttle vans pull up to the doors of that place all day long, five days a week.   Leaving no stones unturned in my never-ending quest to keep my readers informed, I went to the Center’s website and got a few facts.  The two docs there do more of these procedures than anyone else in the world!  And it’s cheap, well kind of…it’s $6000 a pop.  I guess to a doctor that sounds cheap.  A testimonial on the web site comes from a woman who said she had her tubes tied 20 years ago, had them untied, and two years later she had a baby girl, and she’s “ecstatic.”  Well, I guess The Princess is right, there’s still a lot about women that I don’t know, let alone understand.  Moving on.

Major cartoon guys are now stealing stuff from ThatIdioticTractor.   The photo and text (in italics) below was from a post I did last spring.

“Huh?  What you see in this photo is about a fourth of the books offered in this category.  Am I just really old, or incredibly out of touch, or does it say something about kids when books on Teen Paranormal Romance take up an entire row in a major bookstore.  Is normal no longer good enough for romance, it’s got to be paranormal?  This was the scariest thing I saw on my entire Minnesota trip.” 
Now here’s a recent Sunday cartoon done by Stephan Pastis, author of Pearls Before Swine, previously one of my favorite cartoons.
Robber!  You owe me one, Pastis.

A favorite spot of mine is the Haw River bridge in Bynum, NC.  The bridge dates to the 1920’s and has been closed to traffic now for sometime due to the fact that it was built for the much narrower cars of the time.  But the bridge is open to bikers and pedestrians, so I cross it once a week when I do the “morning 40” down to Pittsboro.  The bridge is also a favorite of bird watchers, as it’s along a stretch of the river that provides home and cover to a lot of wildlife, in particular, birds. 

On a recent ride, I noticed several people standing on the east end of the bridge with binoculars looking up into the trees.  I rolled up to them and inquired as to whether they’d spotted anything interesting.  I got negative answers from the entire group, so said, “Have fun,” and rolled off to cross the bridge.  I reached the center of the bridge and noticed an Osprey (a fish-eating member of the eagle family) plunge into the water and come out with a fish in his talons.  Pretty cool, I thought, and then noticed a bald eagle come out to the woods to chase the Osprey.  This continued long enough that I was able to alert the “birders” at the other end of the bridge to what was unfolding, so they got to see the “tail-end” (literally) of the chase up river.  I’ve thought of this little tableau several times over the ensuing weeks, and various truisms came to mind.
*  First, before you narrow your view, get the big picture first.
*  Keep your eyes open; you just might see something special.
*  Being in the right place (even by just a little) at the right time is sure important.
*  People are a lot like eagles.  If you work hard you might get the prize.  But as the Osprey found out, it’s even harder work to hold onto your prize.  Like the Bald Eagle, if you’re really good-looking, even if you’re lazy, you might attract some followers, but you’ve still got to eat.
And as to the “birders,” what do you want to bet that they start out in the middle of the bridge next time.  As to the eagles, well, I didn’t see what happened after they disappeared into the woods, but I’m putting my money on the Osprey, not the pretty boy.

Briefly, in Pony  News, last week I got the governor and throttle rods hooked up and pumped some air in the tires.  I recorded the PSI’s, and when I go out today I’ll check to see how they’re holding.  With those rods now hooked up, Gene and I will be testing today whether we can keep the engine going by using the throttle on the dashboard, rather than monkeying with the carburetor up by the engine.  I’m also taking some gear oil out to the Pony, so that after we drain the rear axles, we can refill them.

The Pony told me that for Christmas he wants to cruise down Gene’s drive and up and down the street.  I sure hope we can give him that.  Thanks for reading!

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One response to “Bird Watching

  1. hah, this was very funny. I enjoyed your post very much!

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