June 9th, 2014


Garden Warfare

It was full scale garden warfare yesterday. The drama may continue today.

In the defender's corner, holding the birdhouse are the wrens. They've settled and nested in a small birdhouse which is too small for most other birds. By now they should have eggs in there, or possibly even chicks.

In the aggressor's corner is two sparrows, an eager young couple looking for a place to hatch their eggs. "I'm very ready," says the female sparrow. They need a nesting spot and they need one now.

All day long, the sparrows have been haunting the birdhouse, keeping the thing under siege. All day long the wrens have protected their own. On multiple occasions, I've seen the smaller wrens directly attack the sparrows. They cannot retreat. They hold the box, so a draw means victory.

As of evening last night, the sparrows had moved on. Is this the end of the siege? I don't know.

Meanwhile, we saw the woodchuck again. He was standing outside our fence. It seems that he is going under a gate in the neighbor's back fence, which is just outside our garden area. Phew. He's a beefy guy, too, so he can't slip though most of the narrow areas. I now know where I need to reinforce under the gates so that he can't burrow under, because, you understand, it's only a matter of time before he burrows under.

Kindle Sale

There was another refurbished Kindle sale today. I picked up the 8.9" version for $200.

I now need to scrape up the funds for an IOS and a Windows tablet. This is education. I don't know these systems and spending time with them would be professionally helpful. I'll learns as much as I would in the class and I get to keep the tablet.

Weekend Summary

time for the weekend summary.

On Saturday morning, Miss Dash had time trials for the swim team. They ran it like a meet, so I learned how a swim meet works and how to time swimmers correctly.

The meet started off with practice, which threw Miss Dash into a tizzy by the end. She had to get in the water and swim laps, but she was easily the slowest, and wound up swimming into the fasted swimmers as the coach didn't wait for her to finish. She did multiple laps without a break because she could never catch up enough to rest. Calming down afterwards took her a long time.

Eventually, she did swim, and she swam slowly, but the time trial laps were far easier than practice.

The time for lawn mowing has come around, and that means bagging it and dumping it into the mulch pile. That's what I do for my wife.

At this point, I don't think that any seeds that I planted actually survived the winter or in any way germinated.

I trimmed back the neighbor's mulberry tree. I only got one ripe mulberry stuck in my hair. I still need to get my pole out and lop off some of the higher branches.

Jenny suggested kayaking, so we went up to Lake Needwood on Sunday morning, rented a kayak, and spent some paddling time on the lake. Miss Dash insisted on paddling and doing a credible job until she got tired.

Jenny's church had a sendoff for their old minister who is leaving yet again. He's a civil rights marcher from back when those marches were the thing. He turned around a congregation with nine families and turned it into the Dumbarton that it is today.

Minecraft also happened. I set up Minetest on my computer and Miss Dash seems to have accepted that version. 

New MP3 Player

My old Sansa clip is dead. It may be alive, but I can't see the screen any more, so I can't navigate to the play controls, which means dead to everyone reasonable. The only thing left that I have is my 2007 Shuffle, which is wonderful except for the highly dubious battery life and it's staggering incompatibility with everything not Apple.

So now I am shopping for a new MP3 player. Most likely, I will pick up the next iteration of the Sansa Clip. I recognize its flaws and I am willing to live with them. And for $50, you can go a little wrong.

In my players, the one thing that I demand is physical touch. When I'm busy, I don't want to be stopping to look at buttons, and double that down for driving. The Shuffle remains the king of touch operation, so it saddens me that the clip isn't viable. I'm just not going to import my music collection into iTunes again. My laptop does not have a large enough hard drive. That leaves me few options.

Why don't I use my smart phone? I've tried that. The phone uses too much power, drains its own battery, and bricks itself. That is not useful to me. No, I want something that can get damaged during a camping trip and I won't care too much. I might say, "Ouch," but then again, I might say, "Oh, well. It was cheap."

Sale Day 2

The sale tactic for The Trope Team is working. The book remains #52 in Action Adventure> Fantasy. It's translated into another sale for Weeds Among Stone. So, there you go, I'm slowly gathering up readers.

Every time that I see a tick over, that tells me that I did something right with The Trope Team. That makes me feel good every time.

The sale will go for one more day.