Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Mommy zone

Workwise, I spent the week working on big reports and going to meetings. No outside fun work for me. Next week I do have one day scheduled outside and it should be pretty nice. But again, more meetings and big reports are the main focus.
At home, I've spent many hours watching my painted turtles Peanut and Cashew, so that partially explains my absence from blog country. Just like a new mommy....except different. I had the unpleasant task of cleaning their tank yesterday. Since then, I have decided to feed them in a separate tupperware to help reduce the mess. That means only one feeding a day for them during the week. But they were totally uninterested in eating this morning aside from the shrimp, which is really just supposed to be treats. I use it as appetizer for them. One shrimp each and then they should be gulping down real food. I measured and attempted to weigh them on a postage scale. The scale didn't budge at all. Peanut, the little one, has lost his egg tooth and his shell is very fat. Cashew, the big one, still has his egg tooth, and his shell is much more flat. My co-worker claims his baby turtle is a girl. But really at this age, you can't tell. For whatever reason, I refer to my turtlets as boys.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Non-naitch garden

I was in Philadelpia this weekend with BFF Patty and her BF. We went to see the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute. We both hadn't been in Philly for over a decade (not counting the 76er's game a couple years back). The King Tut exhibit was cool and super jam packed. If there hadn't been an audio tour (which we did not partake in), I think it would have been much less crowded. Too many people just standing and doing nothing. Nevermind the children who were too young (Daddy when are we going on? repeat upon entry of each room) or not interested (facing opposite direction of exhibit item) and the strollers. Lots of amazingly inscribed very detailed golden objects from King Tut's tomb and his great grandparents? tombs. No King Tut himself (too fragile) or the stretched out horse/dragon? thing I always see in the old pictures.

We also learned that drivers have much less patience in Philly. Once the light immediately turns green, you must accelerate regardless of crossing peds or other obstructions. And those alley ways that are actual roads! Also, shortest yellow lights ever. We were also unaware that some roads were two lanes since the white lines were nearly invisible.

Afterwards we ventured to South Street, since it had been cool to us like 10 years ago. Took forever to find parking but we finally found a spot. Grabbed a bite to eat and ventured in a few shops. On a walk from the far parking spot, we found this garden of glass, mosaics, mirrors, and other objects. It's the Magic Garden . You have to pay a small entrance fee but it leads you to a maze that just seems to go on and on.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

I have a headache this big

This week's lack of outside time has made each day a carbon copy of each other. Turtle talk at the office has simmered down. Seems like everyone else's turtlets have eaten except mine. I spent an hour watching them tonight in hopes of getting insight into their needs. I've seen both nip at the water but no contact was made with food. I'm hoping tomorrow is the day of the feeding frenzy. Their water temperature should be warmer by tomorrow and I think that's key for their feeding. Who knows? I see that they have pooped in the water so that must be a good sign?

In the meantime, we had a common yellowthroat bird fly into the office window. It was stunned and on the ground. My coworker, birdman, and I were there for the rescue. The bird was lazily perched on my coworker's hand and of course it flew back into the window at least 2 more times. Finally we moved it closer to the woods and it sure looked dizzy. One eye was slightly closed but it eventually perked up and flew off.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Introducing Cashew and Peanut

After some thought, I've decided to foster two turtlets . My co-worker had 15 turtlets from eggs he hatched and the nests he dug up in his lawn. All but one have been adopted. So here's Cashew and Peanut. Cashew is the bigger one and Peanut is the tiny one. I plan on keeping them until I feel they are big enough to adequately defend themselves in the wild. I already have the perfect pond in mind for their hopefully permanent home. Tonight is the first night they will be in the new pad. They have no interest in the food that I gave them. I'm hoping they are still working on that internal yolk. These two were the most active out of the bunch. Then there was Sleepy, who spent most of the day napping and when he accidentally got flipped over he made no attempt to right himself. Sleepy and a companion are being relocated to an artificial pond. Hopefully, Sleepy will be able to swim away from any hungry large green frogs. Birdman was progressively more disgruntled as the day went on. I was turtlet lifeguard and ambassador since they were right by my desk again. I tried to convince each passing co-worker to adopt them as they passed my desk and pointed out Sleepy and his bunch. I also pointed out my turtlets and told them their names. By the end of the day, birdman's face was bright red and he was ready to snap. Birdman feels that even fostering is wrong since the weak turtlets are a food source and would be depriving predators.

I'm Cashew. I'm more mellow than that rascal Peanut.

Cowabunga dude! I'm Peanut and I already gave my new mom a scare by immediately swimming behind the filter system.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I boycott surveys

I don't think I'm the only person in the world that hates surveys. I know I've been tagged by Jules to complete her survey, I just can't bring myself to. If I had been tagged with some non-survey action, I'd be game. Between my caffeine withdrawal headache and my hellish morning commute through 2 separate highway accidents involving 5 cars and 2 closed lanes, my brain is fried.

I never was a big fan of surveys. It finally came to a real dislike last year when I was dating this nutter butter who would rather complete daily (!!!) lengthy surveys on myspace then maintain email contact. It was like pulling teeth with him to get an email conversation going. He seemed fine in person and on the phone, but considering he was an english lit major, it surprised me that his email skills were so poor. Plus he revealed some not so flattering bits of information on those surveys. Needless to say he was soon kicked to the curb and his nutter butterness was later confirmed by a independent non-romantic outsider.

Plus this whole tagging reminds me of an unpleasant email chain action that I also boycott. I'm talking about those "Hey girlfriend, I love you like a sister. You are such a good friend" email chains that asks you to email it to your closest 6 friends. Funny thing is that those nauseating emails tend to come from friends who are not real friends at all....they just enough names to fill their email chain quota.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just born

I thought I've seen the smallest of the smallest turtlelets. I stand corrected. These babies were less than one day old and just barely larger than a penny. Their shells were still soft! Total cute overload! My co-worker lives near a large pond and had seen turtles lay eggs on his lawn. So he dug them up and put them in a tank. After a month, they finally hatched. So far four have hatched. He has more eggs and there are more nests in his lawn. It is so tempting to adopt these babies but I feel bad. They should be in the wild doing turtle fun things...not stuck in a tank with one lousy rock, heat lamp, and eating turtle pellets. When they were brought into the office, they were left right next to my desk. A lot of work time was wasted by me staring at them and or holding them. Each time they would roll accidentally on their backs, I would have to help them. Some would just give up once on their backs and stop flailing their legs. So sad.

We made them a little pond out of the bottom of a paper cup. We even gave them a ramp to get out of the pool. Each time they would doze off, I'd panic and think they were dead. So I'd give them a nudge and look for signs of life. Lots of napping went on and lots of mini heart attacks were had.

Here's are the happy four and the remains of one of their eggs.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Guns and sunflowers, perfect together

Field work has still been relatively slow and uneventful. I guess it's the late summer doldrums. I'm really looking forward to the leaf color change. But in the meantime I see that tickseed sunflowers are in full bloom. They were the highlight of my short walk through my local wetland this weekend. It's so dry and everything just aches for some rain. It has that sort of rotten smell in the air from lack of rain. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we'll get some tomorrow.

In other news, the office witnessed some drama this past week. A violent crime happened during the day within spitting distance of the office. Not one was killed but it scary enough considering it's a relatively quiet area. I mean people leave their car doors unlocked in our parking lot so it's a relatively safe area. Then I read in the paper that some guy shot his girlfriend and then himself at a nearby upscale mall. There's a lot of weird crime going around in NJ lately.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Dear Carhartt and rubber boot makers

Doing field work, I've put together a uniform that I wear during almost every field outing. When I first started, I used old pants for field work but I quickly learned they were no match against thorns . So they were all tossed and replaced with Carhartt pants that are tough on thorns. Problem is that it is real tough to find my petite size Carhartt pants. I now wear a large boy size but the fit is horrible. If they accidentally go in the dryer and shrink, I have capris. Don't even talk about the rise and all over too wide legs. They are so wide in the legs that they always catch on barbed wire fences and rub on top of my knee boots. So I have holes were ticks can come in and I have to toss them. Patching doesn't work well.

I was psyched recently to find they are now making ladies Carhartts. Of course they are not as thick and durable as the mens/boys. What gives! Do the thorns magically part when they see a lady? Of course not. But I just saw on the web that they make a version that may be tough enough but I'm scared that these pants will overcompensate size wise and make them super hour glass shaped. Nevermind that the boy's pants are significantly cheaper than mens/ladies even when comparablly sized. Then there's the rubber knee boot situation. Again ladies rubber boots are not as tall as mens. I'm sad to report that the water does not recede when it sees a lady. I have to cross the same stream as the guys. So I have to wear a size 5 mens boots. Real tough to find and I usually only can get the real cheap ones. The ones that make you freeze in the winter and no matter how many insoles you put in, your feet still ache. With my tender lady feet, I also have to wear some big fluffy socks or I get blisters within 30 minutes. Real nice and hot in the summer! I see my male coworkers with their padded and insulated boots and it makes me sad. And the place I buy my boots has discontinued my cheapo tall boots. I bought the last 2 pairs they had in my size. I will likely have to mix and match old ones once these guys are worn and have holes. You probably wonder if I buy those designer flowered rubber boots that have become popular? Well no. I really wouldn't be able to hide/blend into the woods with those on. Plus those boots are not as tall as the work ones.

I think autumn is officially here. Just heard some honking geese fly by. I guess the migration has begun.