Thursday, January 29, 2009

Amazing image from the nest cam!

I was so lucky to catch this. The mama bird zipped off the (filthy) nest, and then zoomed by the back of it. That's her behind the nest.

Isn't the baby precious? He keeps getting the tip of his bill stuck on spiderwebs in the nest, and isn't quite strong enough to break the thread unless he wiggles vigorously while mama feeds him. He remains tethered pitifully until she returns.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pelican update, and life abounds!

In pelican rescuee news:

I am finally getting through the paperwork necessary to transfer the pelican to the S.F. Zoo. I'm not sure when they will be ready for him, but are you still interested in transporting him?

Answer... yes, yes we are. We're volunteering to drive him to San Francisco. I'll keep you posted.

In hummingbird webcam news: (use "guest" as login and password.)

In elephant seal news:
We went with April & Troy to Cambria to have lunch and fool around this weekend. Late in the day, we decided to try to see the elephant seals even though we knew it would be very late and darkening quickly. Lucky us. When we got there, there was a mosh pit of seagulls fighting over something in the vicinity of the big bull seal, and a lot of seal vocalizations. When we got close enough to see what was going on, we could see that the gulls were fighting for nourishing bites of fresh seal placenta... and that there was a brand new baby seal with its mother. Although the experience looked a little traumatic for the new seal, he survived well with minor if any injury, and we got to enjoy tender moments between new mother and infant. There were ten mother seals with their pups clustered around the big bull. Other males and females without infants (and large pups) were scattered at some distance from the bull and his harem. Pretty neat, eh? Male and female elephant seals make radically different sounds... and the offspring, even more odd sounds. None of them sound earthly at all-- we all agreed that they should be used as a model for alien voices in a movie sometime.

In infertility treatment news:
I had my second biopsy on Monday (yesterday) and am awaiting results. Wheeeeee!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

March of Dimes' March for Babies

Hi folks,

Our March for Babies will be on April 18, 2009. Details will follow on our own plans and experience, but in case you want to participate in your area, here's the site:

I feel passionately about this cause (and the one in the immediately preceding post). This one, because the work March of Dimes does and the excellent information they maintain has been very helpful and a source of tremendous consolation to me in the last year. With two miscarriages last year, you can bet I need their help and the fruits of their research.

In related news, another endometrial biopsy to follow on Monday. I hate this particular phase of diagnosis... it's madly expensive, the Internet has mostly hostile things to say about the (controversial and somewhat new) science backing it, and I am financially fragile enough that I am becoming paranoid about how much my fertility specialist can squeeze out of me. Is it really necessary? Not many of us have the training to say, and I feel that I must trust him whole hog if I am to trust him at all. So I trust and grumble, but try to focus on all the children I know that were born through his assistance. (H & T, you've been through all this... any words of wisdom?)

Anyway, go out and be good. Love you guys.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Small businesses need your help

Hi folks, here's a little cry-for-help post for the day. New regulations based on the reasonable concerns about lead, mercury and phthalates in imported children's products have created an unreasonable pressure on small businesses who produce children's toys, food, clothing, etc. Please go learn more about this issue and get involved at:

The legislation in question affects everything from candymakers producing chocolates, to home-based seamstresses making diapers or knitting baby hats, to small-scale toy makers. Big business will prosper while small businesses perish, unless we take action... and history shows us that big businesses will almost immediately erode the controls that enthroned them, so the consumer still loses.

Now back to the delights of the Internets. :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

More scent and self

So, based on a Rice study, women's brains recognize men's sexual sweat (as opposed to workout sweat, flop sweat, and whatever).

The next step, according to the article, "is to determine whether sweat scents trigger behavioral changes in woman, such as making them feel more or less attracted to a man." What?! Why isn't the next step seeing if men's brains recognize women's sexual sweat?

Also, I think some people can tell the difference consciously. I've seen perfumistas use a distinction when trying to describe similar notes in perfumes (and have done so myself.)

Again, thoughts regarding gender and society spring immediately to mind.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Pelican update

Our rescued juvenile pelican was facing euthanasia, since it could not fend well for itself in the wild and would have died unpleasantly if released. While it takes short flights of 10-15 feet, that's just not functional enough, and it has permanent nerve damage in the wing due to tight wrapping of fishing line around the wing.

However, as pelicans go it is sweet tempered, and it looks perfectly hale, hearty, and well. It was very saddening when local zoos could not take the bird, since we are fond.

By the wonderful Kathy's suggestion, Pat did some research and provided a list of contacts for other zoos and organizations who might be able to take in our rescuee. Today we got the best email ever:

"Pat & Linda-
It looks like the San Francisco Zoo wants the pelican. Yeah! Dani is in contact with them. I'll keep you posted as to when it needs to go and see if you are still willing to transport.

So! Happy!

Scent and self

How does this article about women's scent recognition patterns while in love affect your concepts of gender and social relationships? (Not that the Passionate Love Scale is the most discerning of scientific instruments...)