Blogging helps me share things with people. My goal is for you to see something that brings a smile to you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Chirpy Baby Blue Jay

The other day I went walking with my dog Buddy. Buddy is almost totally deaf and is going blind.  I have to keep him on a leash. The leash I use is retractable so he can get ahead of me if he wants too. 
    We had only gone a couple of houses when I saw a little baby blue jay in the grass of a neighbors yard but Buddy didn't notice it and kept on walking. I stopped to look at it, while he went ahead to check out a tree. It started to chirp at  me.  It seemed I was blocking its way and it wanted to go straight and how dare I be on the path blocking its way. Since it was such a brave and cheeky thing I thought I would try to get its picture. I went home and got my camera and came back to it still being there. I tried to get some images. I thought I better do it quick because of Buddy.  Fortunately for that bird, my dog didn't hear or see it.  But it saw us and had enough sense to get away. I missed getting that picture.
   I noticed it was trying to fly only it couldn't.  He still hadn't figured it out.  (I assume its a male because he seemed so determined to go in one direction and wouldn't change its mind.) I could see its path was going to take it right into the street, which was about 5 feet away, so I decided to try to turn it around.  Only it wanted to go one way. My street has just enough traffic on it where I knew it wouldn't last long if it got to it and stayed on it so I kept on blocking its attempt to get to the street. I finally got it to turn and going down the sidewalk. All that trying exhausted it and it stopped so I tried to get its picture again, and this time I was successful.
The birds momma saw me and tried to get me to go away.  She was in the tree watching us the whole time.

 It would go a couple of feet and then stop.  I kept on thinking - come on little birdie take off and fly.  You can do it. Only it didn't. He got to the point where he was just stopped trying to fly and settled on hoping down the sidewalk like any of the other walkers that traverse it every day.
  Each time it stopped to rest it let me get closer and closer.  I was amazed my dog was more interested in the tree than what I was doing, and totally not registering that there was a bird there.

and closer

  and closer

 Finally I was able to get it into my neighbors yard and had it go toward the house so it could hide in the garden. Things were going okay until it saw this gutter drainage pipe blocking its way. 
 He stopped and looked around for mom, trying to figure out what to do.
  Only mom wasn't going to come and help him.  He realized he was on his own and hopped up to it.
 He looked at me, and chirped.  I know he wanted help but I told him 'Kiddo you are on your own.'
 Eventually he figured it out and was able to hop over it and into the garden.

With him safely in the garden, Buddy and I continued the walk.  While I was walking I mused upon how old Buddy was getting and how he was totally unaware of that little baby blue jay. Buddy is living more and more in his own world and it wont be long before he's going to be gone from mine.
 As we were walking, I noticed some weird writings on the streets. Since I had my camera I decided to take a photo of this writings.  Believe it or not they really excited me because it meant that some road & sewer work was finally going to be done in our area.  We've needed it for years since our subdivision is about 60 years old, and nothing has really been done in the area since its been built. 
  The first thing they do to start the process is  they have to mark everything that maybe a trouble for them if they hit it. Since I had my camera, I decided to take some pictures of what they are concerned about.  Things like this petroleum pipe line,
 or this gas pipeline,
And here's the water lines marked.

 I continued walking and came to one of my favorite streets.  I like it so much because of its name. Decided to take its picture too.

Lovers Lane.
Its amazing when people live on a street named Lover Lanet they just seem to be naturally friendly and nice all the time and say hi to you if you see them out working in the yard.
I continued to walk on Lover's Lane and decided I just had to get a photo of the one sign I always enjoy seeing.

I got a real kick how they marked the sewer for Lovers Lane.  Someone obviously has a sense of humor.

Yes, you got to love your sewer system.  

 Here's a few more picture I decided to take just for the heck of it since I was already taking some anyway.
   As I continued my walk, I mused about how many people realize we have petroleum & gas pipelines traversing through our neighborhood?  I know when the subdivision was first built the home owners were aware of them because so many of the owners had jobs which were with related to the petroleum industry.
   When I came to the town it was to work in the oil/gas industry. So many people that I worked with in the office lived in this area.  I had a couple of coworkers living on Lovers Lane and how they would joke around about it.
  After visiting a couple of parties at these home it had always became a goal of mine to live in this area of town.  I was so happy when I was finally able to reach that goal.  The sad thing was it was because of the oil bust in the mid 80's.  Hundreds and hundreds of people lost their jobs back then in our area (just like now).  The housing market in our area became really, really suppressed and never pulled out of it like the rest of the nation.
  When we bought our home back in 1993, we got a 4 bedroom 2 bath house (about 2500 sq ft) for $130,000.  It did need work which we were willing to do.  I'll never forget a couple of years later I went out to visit my cousin in San Diego.  They were talking about their neighbor selling their house with the same floor plan of about 1200 sq ft for $695,000.  All my husband and I could do was marvel at how anyone could afford to live out in California if they had to pay those types of prices.
  Through the years  we would watch the TV shows about fixing up houses and things like that and always thought it was crazy how much money people were paying for houses in other areas.  Now it doesn't surprise me at all to hear about how bad the housing market is in certain places.  I'm just glad I live were I do where the housing always has been reasonable. 
 Was it because of the pipeline?  I muse what the environmentalist would have to say to us about having the pipelines in our front yards verses them not having it in their backyards.  Was it worth the price?  I still think its a wonderful place to live anyway and really don't want to live anywhere else. 

Whats going to come when there is no more oil because they've succeeded in blocking things being drilled in other areas?   Has my neighborhood been so damage all these years so they are not willing to live here?
Now I  Muse about:  I wonder if the baby blue jay ever ended up learning to fly away  to be with his mom?

Muse thought: I wonder when they are actually going to start some of the road and sewer work. And will I have to change my driving patterns?

I Muse about:  The wonders of nature.  I keep on thinking of the book 'Control of Nature' by John McPhee.
I always marvel at how these concrete roads can be perfectly normal one day and then after a couple days of intense heat, buckle and crack throwing huge piece of concrete up.  On time I actually saw it happen when it did occur, it was amazing to see.  No wonder we have so many cracks and pot holes in our streets and they need constant upkeep.  I'm  just glad our area is finally getting some of it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've been a member of AAPG for 30 years

The other day I received this certificate of appreciation in the mail.

Quite frankly I was surprised to get it.  It shows that I've been a member for 30 years. (I'm glad they are keeping track because I sure wasn't). To me I was always the one that was appreciative to be a member and it should be the other way around.  I loved the way it kept me in touch with Geology all these years.  After I had children, I got out of geology to be a bookkeeper so I could work out of the house & have more time with them.  My dream always was to get back into petroleum geology one day and so I kept my membership going.  I looked forward to getting the magazines every month.  I especially liked getting the AAPG Explorer.  I still have a child in middle school so I haven't gotten back into geology yet, but who knows maybe someday I will.

  I went to put it up with my other certificates that I've received over the years.  I started to think about some of them and how proud I was to get them.  How some of them mean so much to me while others are just a piece of paper I hardly care about or remember.  If I ever get around to framing some of them these are the ones I will frame.  I must admit I already have one framed and that is my Masters of Science.
NB: I had to remove these because of the people trying to use them for the wrong purposes - and it showing up on other sites. 

The most recent one when I went hot air ballooning.  (I've decided to just go ahead and remove all of the certificates since they are being posted as images somewhere else without my approval.) This was so much fun to get - see here balloon-ride-in-arizona    , & hot-air-balloon-ride-10-31-10..  

 The most important ones.
My first degree from Ohio U.  This was reaching the most important goal I ever had in my life - to get a college degree in science!!. (I've removed this degree - I thought if I just included part it would get the message across.- I was getting too many hits on the image of it and also the next degree - I worked to hard to get these - and want to make sure people do the work to get them too.)-
 The next is my Accounting clerk degree.

   I saw this one and it made me think about misspelling things on official documents.  Isn't it great to know I'm an Arrount Clerk verses an Account Clerk. I'm so tempted to make a couple of snark remarks but I'll refrain, - I'll let you have that honor. In the meanwhile I wrote another blog post about my pet peeve - here ..

  The next one I was really proud to get, because by having it I was able to go offshore.  To me working offshore was such a pinnacle to reach - Because offshore wells and platforms were so incredibly expensive, it seemed like only the brightest and the best were working in the offshore division.  It was a privileged to be working with these people. (I've removed this one too - no hits on the image but still it was a lot of hard work and I don't want anyone copying it too.)

The next one, was also such an honor to get.  It represented hours and hours of volunteer work trying to improve the school my children were going to.  At this particular school they only gave out one of these awards a year to a parent that they thought had done the most for the school.  You couldn't get anything higher than this.

 But life hasn't always been about all work and no fun.  I do like to have fun.  There have been times when I've done things I've wished they'd given me a certificate but they haven't.  Things like when I climbed to the top of Seneca rocks, or went white water rafting.
  The next one is one thing I had always dreamed about doing and was so glad to be able to do it.  Now that I have access to some images I didn't have before I can share this experience too with you.  I went sky diving and here's the proof. (I had to remove this image due to someone copying it )
   NB: when they sign these certificates it goes into a log book and there is witness ID #'s that they use so no one can forge these documents- at least that was the way it was done when I did it way back when.  I stopped doing it after I had children so don't know how they do it now.
Here I am, all suited up and ready to go.  It was my Christmas day gift, 1981.  I did it in the Houston Texas area.
 Here's what the group of us looked like falling from the sky.  Can't see much I know - just a couple of specks in the sky.

 So you know which one was me, I've cropped it so you only see me.

 I was a lot lighter than the others and also my chute was circular/bigger so I came done slower than the others.  Here's the others landing first.

 And now me.  Because I was up in the air longer and because I didn't have a very controllable chute I drifted the farthest away from our planned landing spot. 
I was so glad I finally did that and could check it off my list of things to do in my life.  I would have gone more except it was so very expensive to do.  Also if you make a hobby of it you can't get life insurance, at least you couldn't back then.

The one certificate that was the first one I got, and I was so proud to get, I can't find.  I'm sure it is tucked away somewhere in my attic in some remote location that I'm just not willing to go look for since it is so hot. It is one I know I would never get rid of.  That certificate was when I was a senior high school I got my water life savings training.  That certificate got me my first real job as being a life guard at an indoor pool.  I held that job for three years and it was a great job to have since it was right across from where I first went to college.  It's given me a love of swimming all of my life.  

Muse thought: I just wish framing wasn't so expensive, now I should look and wait for the frame sales at the local stores.
Another thought: I wonder what certificate I should go for next?
And my final muse: Make sure whenever you get an official certificate they spell things right on it.  As you can see from my pet peeve post and this post they do misspell things on these certificates.

A Pet Peeve of Mine

   In the long run of things this is such a minor thing but it is something that really, really annoys me and I want to bring it to others attention.  I can't stand it when when people misspell my name.  My name is Ann and is spelled 'A..N...N' there is no 'E' at the end of my name.  I can't begin to tell you how many times people will assume there is an 'e' there and spell it 'Anne'.  I tell people all the time DO NOT assume there is an 'E' at the end of Ann unless that person tells you their name has an 'E' or is spelled that way - Anne or Annie.  
    I used to think it was nothing big, and ignore it. But legally it is a big thing having everything spelled exactly correct on a document.  Old typist for Legal firms will tell you they would have to retype everything if one word was misspell.  You can just imagine having your name wrong on a legal document. 

   Case in point, when I graduated undergraduate school, I got a second replacement diploma so I could use that for job interview and such since I wanted to frame my original one. They misspelled my name and added an 'e' to my diploma.  I took it back to have it corrected and it was going to cost me more money to get it changed, so I decided to keep it as it was. 
Here's the part with the misspelled name.

   No big deal or so I thought. Then I went for a summer job interview at the only petroleum based company in my home town.  They wanted to see an official degree not a duplicate and not a photo copy since those could have been altered.  They wanted to see the watermarked paper and the embossed seal.  
    I didn't get a job with them. Didn't know why.  I wasn't too concern because I had been accepted into graduate school (at the same place I went to undergrad school) anyway and that had been my plan all along - to go to graduate school and to get my masters.
  The next year they were interviewing at my school.  I saw one of the same people who turned me down the summer before.  I wanted to improve my odds of getting a job and to polish my interviewing skills, so I asked him why I didn't get the job.  What he said totally blew me away.  It was something I really wasn't expecting, but have never forgotten.  
  He said you know how important it is not to have a single spelling mistake on your resume.  How you should have people review it to make sure it's 100% accurate. Well, it's 10 times more important on your diploma. When we saw your diploma name was spelled wrong, that instantly told us you were not concerned about details- you're either sloppy or a slacker or both.  If you can't even get your diploma right how on earth can we expect precise  conscience work for us if you aren't even concerned about one of the most important documents of your life.  If we were to hire you, that diploma will most likely sit on your wall in our office and all of the world will see your name misspelled.  It would be a poor reflection on our company.

    That was such a wake up call to me.  I went to the to the administration office and worked on getting my diploma changed.  The girl there was having a hard time understanding why now all of a sudden I was making such a big deal out of having my name spelled Anne with a 'e' at the end. I told her that is not how I spell my name and it needed it changed. She tried to talk me out of it again but I was insistent I wanted it change and I didn't feel like I should have to pay for it since it was clearly their mistake in the first place. IT was wrong and it just needed to be corrected, period.  She thought I was making a mountain out of a mole hill. 
   To drive my point home, I noticed her name was Jan on her name tag.  I asked her "how would she like it if someone added a 'e' to her name.   So now when people would read her name they would make the 'A' in it long and call her 'Jane'.  Because the rules of grammar say that when you add a 'e' at the end it makes the 'A' long, and the 'e' becomes silent.  Think of the girls name Shanne in that name the 'a' is long.  Some people also write it as Shayne.  Either way the 'a' is long.  Now drop the 'Sh' what do you have 'anne or ayne'.  Have you ever heard anyone use a long 'A' to say Ann?  No- its always a short 'A'.  So now you have to recognize the 'e' just like they do when you say 'Anna'.  Don't you call that person 'Ann - ah'?"
   She then said "yes they call the person Anna and not Ann."
  I then asked her "Have you ever heard anyone called Ann'E' or Annie?"  
  She said "yes all the time".  
  I said "see they are recognizing the 'e' but don't even realize it.  So technically when a person spells their name 'Anne' the correct way to say it is make the 'A' short and say the 'E' at the end.  'Anne' is not the same as 'Ann'." 
   To be cute with me she responded back 'but I now of people that spell their name 'Anne' called 'Ann' all the time.'  
   My response to her was 'People shorten names all the time to a one syllable name. Have you ever known a Robert called 'Rob', or a  Samuel called 'Sam' or a Pamela called 'Pam' or a Donald called 'Don' or a Johnathan called 'John' or a Patricia called 'Pat' or a William called 'Will' or a Daniel called 'Dan' or a Janet called 'Jan'?' 
   She interrupted me and said 'okay, okay I get it.'
   To rub the point in I said 'So you see Ann is just a shorten version of Anne.'

   Her response back to that was "Oh, wow!  My sisters name is Anne with a 'e' at the end.  We called her 'Annie' all the time when she was young.  I always thought it was just her nick name, but now I'm beginning to realize we were really calling her by her true name and that now that she's going by Ann we are using a shorten version of her true name of Anne."
   I responded 'I think you got it!  Now do you realize why it is so important for me to have my name spelled Ann with no e.' 

Please pass this on to others -

If someone tells you their name is ANN DO NOT ASSUME THERE IS AN 'E' AT THE END OF IT. 
Now that I have this off of my mind I can get on with other things.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Rainbow picture

Last night I went out to feed the cat and noticed a rainbow in the sky.  I went inside and got my camera and decided to take some images.  The rainbow is faint but it is there in both of these.
 In these shots I was looking east.
 Rainbows have always fascinated me and they are so rare to see around here because of the weather patterns.  So when I see one I like to watch it until it fades away and think about them and how beautiful they are.Here's more about what Wikipedia has to say about Rainbows.

It was a really weird weather night.  So I took some more images.  I noticed that the weather was coming in from the east which is really unusual for us, since it normally comes from the west.  It reminded me of tornado weather so I decided to stay outside and watch as the storm came in.  The lower clouds were definitely coming from the east but the higher clouds were coming from the west-northwest.  It was definitely tornado weather/ also severe thunderstorm weather conditions too.
This is what the sky looked  like looking south.
And here's what it looked like to the north.
 I liked the way the sun was reflecting off the clouds higher up in the atmosphere.
I thought it interesting to see that white streak.  It made me wonder if it was maybe a third or fourth order refraction from the rainbow.  

Finally I got some really pretty sunset images too.

 It amazed me that each direction when I looked at the sky it could look so totally different.  It just made me stand still and marvel at the wonder of it all.
After the sun went down we did have a thunderstorm come through.

Now I'm musing about how much we needed that rain and wondering when we are going to get more.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Gavleston Texas trip

Last month I went on a trip to Galveston Texas.  Its a fun place to visit and I got to see and do a lot of fun things while I was there.  I've been meaning to make a post of some of this stuff but I wanted to start out with the trip to it on Highway 59.  I couldn't believe what I saw.  Whats even more amazing was I got it on video.  I was hoping to share it on this blog, but I've run into some technical difficulties with down loading it - It is on my internal memory and not the SD-card like I thought it was. Because of all of the difficulties its kept me from posting, but I'm working on things and have some of it resolved. So this is just going to be a preview of some of the stuff I saw and did and will be posting more later.  Can you believe I was trying to record a rainbow I had just seen in a different area of the sky and just happened to pan around and caught this:

Yes, this was a tornado forming!!  Luckily for me it was behind us and also it did not touch the ground at that time.  Another person saw it near Center Texas and recorded it also.  It did touch ground near Arcadia, LA but no major damage was done.  We saw this on the news and recognized the time and day as it being the same thing we witnessed.

Even though that was interesting to watch, it all happened so quickly, and really wasn't what the trip was about.
  It was about:
Moody Gardens, Galveston, TX
Moody Gardens: the aquarium (teal color pyramid building), the rain-forest (clear glass), and discovering dinosaurs (behind the red building).
The aquarium at Moody Gardens, Galveston Tx
 It was so fascinating to walk through the aquarium and to see sharks swim above you.
The rain-forest at Moody Gardens, Galveston TX
 To see all the beautiful plants (with labels) in the Rain forest.
The discovery center at Moody Gardens, Galveston TX
 To get a true perspective of how big a Tyrannosaurs Rex truly was.
Hibiscus, in the gardens of Moody Gardens, Galveston TX
 To see the lovely flowers blooming in their gardens.
Brown Pelicans flying over Moody Gardens, Galveston TX
To walk along the pathways and to see Brown Pelicans flying over head and then swooping down to catch something in the bay.
Then to walk to Schlittebahn
Just a section of  Schlitterbahn Water Park, Galveston TX
(This image has been getting the most hits on my blog recently so I thought I would include the other two images I took at the same time so that you can see all of what Schlitterbahn looks like at Galveston.).

To play at  Schlitterbahn Water park.

Schlitterbahn, Galveston TX
(Because I'm getting a lot of hits for Schlitterbahn in Galveston, Tx I'm going to include the map they gave us so people can see all the activities there is to do.)

To go to the Beach and to marvel at the wonders of nature.  The Gulf of Mexico is so impressive.

The beach at mile 33.
The beach

And then to visit my favorite museum.
Ocean Star Offshore Drilling rig museum

There will be more about all these wonderful places!!