Sunday Roast: Cats & Zooey take a day trip

Yesterday, it was such a beautiful day that Cats and I decided to take a spur of the moment day trip.  We made a loop from Eugene, down past Cottage Grove, over to Reedsport, then up to Florence, and back to Eugene.

The scenery was AMAZING, and here are just a few of the things we saw:

Canada Geese having a rest on their journey home.

Canada Geese having a rest on their journey home.

Roosevelt Elk, looking a bit raggedy and having lunch of fresh green grass.

Roosevelt Elk, looking a bit raggedy and having lunch of fresh green grass.

More Roosevelt Elk having a lie down.

More Roosevelt Elk having a lie down.

Stunning pink rhododendrons.

Stunning pink rhododendrons.

Dunes in Florence.

Dunes in Florence.

It was a perfectly lovely day, and, as you might imagine, we discussed all the issues of the day, and solved every single one of them — if only people would listen to us.  ;)

This is our daily open thread — Get on with it!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 25th, 2014: Animals, Birds and Kites – Oh My!

As always, The Weather Channel is great for more than just checking the forecast. Since I’m suddenly standing in for Wayne, today’s thread is going to explore a few recent articles from TWC:

First, from “A Race Against Time: Photos Capture Animals Before They Disappear”, by Michele Berger:

“Joel Sartore has ambitious plans: To photograph all 10,000 or so animals currently in captivity before they go extinct. Over the course of nine years, this National Geographic photographer has made great progress, capturing some 3,300 animals to date. Still, he thinks getting the remaining creatures will take the rest of his life — and he’s ok with that because he believes in this project.

It’s called Photo Ark, and Sartore sees it as both a snapshot of our time and as a call to action.” … “We really need to show people that this is a tragedy and it is the issue of our time,” he said. “It is folly to think that we can doom half of all species to extinction and think it won’t harm humanity.”

Among the animals included in the 15-photo slide show is the adorable Coquerel’s sifaka:

Coquerels sifaka (from the Bronx Zoo Gallery)

Coquerels sifaka (from the Bronx Zoo Gallery)

Next, we’re going to the birds with “Stunning Bird Portaits from Around the World”, also by Michele Berger. The 41 photos by Andrew Zuckerman include representations of such oddities as:

~ The Silkie Bantam Chicken, “…one of the few breeds with five toes instead of four.”

Silkie Bantam Chickens (photo courtesy keepingchickens.com)

Silkie Bantam Chickens (photo courtesy keepingchickens.com)


~ The Wattled Curassow:
Wattled Curassow (source psms29-com)

Wattled Curassow (source psms29-com)


~ The Lilac-Breasted Roller
Lilac-Breasted Roller

Lilac-Breasted Roller


~ And the Twelve-Wired Bird of Paradise
Twelve-Wired Bird of Paradise

Twelve-Wired Bird of Paradise

Finally, apparently I was unaware of the recent week-long international kite festival in parts of India, but there’s a photo gallery of 40 pics to prove it. (Some Bollywood actor is the subject of too many of the photos, but the kites are unusual.)

This is our daily open thread–if you’re somewhere freezing like Wayne and I, stay warm today!

The Watering Hole, Saturday, January 18th, 2014: Warning: Cuteness Ahead

I’m substituting for Wayne, as he has to go to work today and went to bed early last night. So, be warned: today is going to be a “Way Too Much Cuteness” day. Consider it a palate cleanser to start off your Saturday (or end it, if you show up late.) I’d be interested to know which is your favorite, and why? Plus, since I only included very brief descriptions under each photo, please feel free to make up a caption (or captions) for any or all of the following photos (all of which were downloaded free through bing images):

Ducklings

Ducklings


Lemurs

Lemurs


More Lemurs (Is it me, or does the one on the bottom of the pile have an opposable thumb?)

More Lemurs (Notice the opposable thumb/big toe?)


Loon mom and downy chick

Loon mom and downy chick


Panda mom and baby

Panda mom and baby


Pudu deer and fawn (world's smallest deer)

Pudu deer and fawn (world’s smallest deer)


Wombat baby

Wombat baby


Cheetah mom and cub

Cheetah mom and cub


I just called this one "Party Mice"

I just call this one “Party Mice”

This is our daily open thread–enjoy yourselves today!

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 25, 2013: Monday Mix, FB Edition

Every once in a while I give in and check my Facebook notifications/updates/whatever. Here’s some odds and ends that I felt worth sharing:

A friend who used to work with us posted the first photo, from a Facebook site called Earth Porn. The second photo is from the same site. Check out the site, they have some awesome photos.
alaskan sunset Winter Sunset – Alaska (USA) photo by Ron Perkins

Japanese Maple Tree, Oregon, USA Photo by Peter Lik

Japanese Maple Tree, Oregon, USA Photo by Peter Lik


On the humorous side, our old friend Jim Wolf (Jim Wolf359 from TP) posted this:
How to Cook A Turkey (from Pampered Chef)

How to Cook A Turkey (from Pampered Chef)


Last, I’m proposing a Caption Contest for this shot of Richard Nixon, which was posted by an FB friend who I met at TP. The links that were provided didn’t seem to have anything to do with the actual photograph, so I have been trying to source it, but I can’t find it anywhere.
???

???

This is our daily open thread–got any captions, thoughts, rants, etc.?

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 18th, 2013: Profit Contest to Photo Contest

Even though most of the people who need Obamacare have not yet taken advantage of it, other interests are poised to board the Obamacare money train. The Wall Street Journal’s Howard Gold is encouraging investment in the health care industry. A few snippets:

“This diverse sector, which includes red-hot biotechnology, Big Pharma, medical device makers, hospitals, health insurers, and other services, is profiting from structural shifts far beyond the changes brought in by the Affordable Care Act…In fact, health care stocks may have entered a new secular bull market, which is why you should take some profits on cyclicals and other market-sensitive stocks and reinvest the money into this group.”

“We’re clearly in a favorable environment,” said Andy Acker, manager of Janus Global Life Sciences fund since 2007. “I think this is a question of when this gets resolved, not if,” Acker said. “Millions of people will sign up for health care.”

In an earlier (March 2013) article from conservative moneynews.com, entitled “How Companies are Cashing in on Obamacare”, author Michael Kling wrote:

“Although its critics say Obamacare will increase business costs, some companies are cashing in on the healthcare reform law…CNNMoney reviewed six companies that might reap huge benefits from Obamacare.

Take, for instance, Health Recovery Solutions, a New York City-based start-up that helps hospitals avoid Medicare penalties for readmitting patients. To decrease preventable return visits by Medicare patients, Obamacare levies high cuts to Medicare reimbursements to hospitals that have a certain percentage of these return visits.

Health Recovery Solutions furnishes tablets full of educational videos and information patients can use to care for themselves. Using the tablet, patients send information, such as medications they are taking, to the hospital care team for review.

Eligible, another start-up, takes care of the complex wiring insurers need to quickly answer customer questions about coverage and eligibility, one of the many Obamacare requirements.

GoHealth offers an online tool that enables people to compare health care insurance plans. Consumers can use the platform to enroll in plans or just compare plans before contacting an insurance broker.

QuantiaMD offers a website where doctors can offer presentations, hold private discussions with each other and hold virtual consultations. Pharmaceutical and insurance companies and hospitals sponsor the content on the site.

Obamacare limits the proportion of premium revenue insurers can spend on salaries, overhead and marketing. That’s where Connecture comes in. The Brookfield, Wisc., company provides software that helps insurance companies cut costs through automation. It also helps states with technology needed to create insurance exchanges, another Obamacare requirement.

Another company getting involved with the state exchanges is hCentive, which has built a platform the exchanges can use.

Many of the companies saw their sales jump after the elections. Healthcare companies were not sure Obamacare would be enacted, and state officials were not sure they would still be required to create exchanges by this October…“Many states were waiting to decide to set up their own exchanges — they kept thinking maybe this wouldn’t happen,” Sanjay Singh, an hCentive partner, told CNNMoney.

“they kept thinking maybe this wouldn’t happen” No, they kept HOPING this wouldn’t happen. Because despite their hatred of all things Obama-related, despite all of the conservative hyperbole about “job-killing”, “bankrupting businesses”, “the end of freedom as we know it”, “it’s socialist Obama’s anti-capitalism agenda”, etc., ad nauseum; and despite the 40+ failed efforts by Congressional Republicans to kill Obamacare, every single one of those nay-sayers HAD to realize, deep down, that Obamacare is a boon to the private, capitalistic, for-profit healthcare “industry.” (spit!)

Okay, since you were all good enough to put up with the above drivel, here’s your justly-deserved palate-cleanser…

It’s that time of year again: the National Geographic Photo Contest is open, but only ’til the end of November. I know quite a few of our Critters and Zoosters who should submit a few entries! Here’s last year’s “Nature” category winner, photographed by Ashley Vincent:
busaba-indochinese-tiger_62797_600x450
Here’s two ways to view some or all of the current entries: The Atlantic picked 39 of the photos, and you can just scroll through them. Note that you can also switch from 1024 pixels to 1280 (I chose 1280.) Or you can go directly to the National Geographic 2013 Photo Contest webpage, where there are links to the photos entered to date, as well as links to 2012 winners and other photo galleries. Here’s one of the 2013 entries, by Sam Morris:

Photo Copyright Sam Morris, 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest entry

Photo Copyright Sam Morris, 2013 National Geographic Photo Contest entry

This is our daily open thread, what do you have to say today?

The Watering Hole, Monday, November 4th, 2013: Bellies Up!

After mulling over possible topics for today’s thread, I decided to dispense with the craziness out there (Rand Paul’s chickenshit non-challenge to a duel with Rachel Maddow was tempting, but…) and just start the week off with:

CUTENESS!

Baby Panda (not my photo)

Baby Panda (not my photo)

surrender to cuddles

Fluff's big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Fluff’s big belly (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Spotted-bellied Fern (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly before...

Troi’s big belly before…(photo by Jane E. Schneider)

Troi's belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

…Troi’s big belly now (photo by Jane E. Schneider)

This is our daily open thread — I hope that so much cuteness will help to start Monday off in a cheerful way.

Sunday Roast: McDonald Creek

L1030334

Photo by Zach Meier

I was going to call this post “Babbling Brook,” because the water is so low, but since this water actually has a name, I thought I should call it McDonald Creek…because that’s what it’s called.

This is the creek that feeds into Lake McDonald, the largest lake in Glacier National Park.  The water is so clean and crisp, and doesn’t my baby take a great picture of it with my awesome camera?  :)

This is our daily open thread, and yeah, I totally admit it — I got nothin’ today, so chat among yourselves.

Sunday Roast: Lake McDonald

L1030104

Photo by Zach Meier

Early morning on Lake McDonald in Glacier Park.  It was sooooo quiet.

I’m glad we went to Glacier this last week, because certain areas in the park are closed a couple of weeks early because of bear activity.  We saw an adolescent Black Bear in the road, but he was a smart bear, and ran back into the woods as soon as he saw us.

Happy first day of Fall!!!

This is our daily open thread — Chat among yourselves.

The Watering Hole, Monday, September 16th, 2013: Monday Medley

As you are all aware, I love going to The Weather Channel online — not just to find out the local forecast, but for their unusual variety of photo galleries and and links to other interesting and frequently educational stories and news.

Today’s crop includes:

- updates on the Voyager 1 probe (and be sure to scroll down for links to space photos from NASA’s Spitzer telescope, and photos of a newborn star from a Chilean telescope.)

- Photos of recent tornadoes, including (but not limited to) several photos taken last week from Kenosha, Wisconsin.

- Photos of lightning storms – check out two in particular that I liked, one called “Lightning Under the Stars” and one called “Fire In The Sky.”
Lightning_weather_Wallpaper_hflv9

- Photo gallery of the “10 Longest Bridges In the U.S.

- Photo gallery of “12 Spectacular Castles of the World

The Bojnice Castle in Bojnice, Slovakia

The Bojnice Castle in Bojnice, Slovakia

This is our Open Thread. Enjoy the views!

Sunday Roast: Stop and smell the flowers

Photo by Zooey

The world is going crazy, and there’s far too much we can’t do anything about — even if we can’t or won’t admit it.

So, instead of all that, enjoy this pretty picture I took on Sauvie Island, outside Portland.

Do you feel the calm washing over you?

This is our daily open thread — Relax!

Sunday Roast: Glacial Erratic

Blackberries

Geese!

The trail to the glacial erratic.

Mossy trees.

The erratic!

The view from the erratic.

Another view from the erratic.

Photos by Charles Meier

My eldest and I recently took a trip to the Oregon coast to celebrate his 31st birthday, and we stopped by Erratic Rock State Natural Site, in the Willamette Valley near Sheridan.  I gave him my camera, and found that he’s another member of our little family with a great eye for photos.

A glacial erratic is rock that is different from the type of rock normally found in the area where it has been found, having been carried to its present location by glacial ice.

This particular erratic is a bit different, in that it was carried to this place encased in an iceberg let loose by the Missoula Floods.

The pre-historic Missoula floods began in western Montana fifteen to twenty-thousand years ago. These large floods altered the landscape of the Columbia River valley and flooded the Willamette Valley. Many rocks were transported down the Columbia encased in icebergs and deposited from Montana through Idaho,Washington, and Oregon when the flood waters receded and the ice melted.

The really cool thing about this rock — other than the fact that it’s a friggin’ glacial erratic — is that it comes from Canada, and it’s the only rock of its type outside of Canada.

Geologically, the rock comes from Canada and is the largest glacial erratic rock in the Willamette Valley. The rock is argillite believed to be 600 million years old and originally part of the sea-floor.

This geology geek just went all tingly.  Coolness!!!

This is our daily open thread — Geekify!

Sunday Roast: Mount Hood

Photo by Zooey

Finally!!  I made a trip to Portland, and the mountain is visible!  Woo hoo!

Being a geology geek, I was going to write about the type of volcano Mount Hood is, and the subduction zone of the Pacific coast, but this post is really late, so here’s one of the legends of Mount Hood, Mount St Helens, and Mount Adams, according the Multnomah people, via Wikipedia:

The Multnomah name for Mount Hood is Wy’east. In one version of the legend the two sons of the Great Spirit Sahale fell in love with the beautiful maiden Loowit who could not decide which to choose. The two braves, Wy’east and Klickitat, burned forests and villages in their battle over her. Sahale became enraged and smote the three lovers. Seeing what he had done he erected three mountain peaks to mark where each fell. He made beautiful Mount St. Helens for Loowit, proud and erect Mount Hood for Wy’east, and the somber Mount Adams for the mourning Klickitat.

Cool, huh?

This is our daily open thread — Go ahead, visit!

Idaho fire

Fire-fighting helicopter!

Closer look at the ridge.

More of the ridge.

Super close-up of the top of the ridge.

Photos by Zooey

These photos were taken in Nez Perce County, on the Clearwater River.  Thank goodness the river is right there, so maybe they can tamp it down before it goes nuts.

I hope that the thunderstorms due this afternoon don’t materialize.

The Watering Hole, Monday, July 22nd, 2013: “Someone’s Got a Case of The Mondays”

Yes, even though I’m writing this on Sunday night, I’ve already got “a case of the Mondays.” The cumulative effect of the idiocy, racism, and total regression of our country into savage barbarism has caused me to become overwhelmed by depression, anger, hatred, frustration, despair and hopelessness. I’m at the point where I can’t even form a coherent rant. So I’ll just put up a photo or two that might help soothe the soul of others who are suffering from a “case of the Mondays.” Forgive me if I’ve used any of these before.

Looking west across Hudson River

Looking west across Hudson River

Fading Sunset Reflection

Fading Sunset Reflection

Skyfire Sunset

Skyfire Sunset

This is our Open Thread. Go ahead, talk amongst yourselves.

Sunday Roast: Prairie Dogs

Photo by Zooey

Prairie Dogs are sooooo cute!!  I could watch them for hours.

Highly social, prairie dogs live in large colonies or “towns” – collections of prairie dog families that can span hundreds of acres. The prairie dog family groups are the most basic units of its society. Members of a family group inhabit the same territory.

As cute as they are, prairie dogs are tough little critters!  Watch them take on a rattlesnake, with their cute squeaky bark, cooperation in the community, and earth-moving skills.

This is our daily open thread — Squeak among yourselves.

The Watering Hole: July 2 — Devils Tower

See the climber?

How about now?

How crazy is that!?

The ranger said this climber, and his partner standing just below him on a ledge, were just doing practice runs.  All climbers must register with the Ranger Office, and going all the way up and down again takes about 12 hours.

Photos by Zooey

This is our daily open thread — You know what to do.

The Watering Hole: June 2 — Sculpture in South Dakota

Photos by Zooey

Imagine, if you will, that you’ve just begun driving across South Dakota, and you’re already cross-eyed because of the flatness.  Then, up ahead, you see a hill.  Wow!  This is interesting…cuz it’s a hill.

And on that hill you see something and think, “What the hell am I seeing?” Cuz you’re seeing this:

Yeah.  This!

Whatareyagonnado?  There’s an exit ahead, and you gotta take it, which leads you to Porter Sculpture Park.

He’s got fish…

He’s got snakey monsters…

He’s got flowers…

And he’s got vultures with bib, knife and fork…

I don’t know why, but I was smiling the whole time I was there.  :-)

The Watering Hole: June 15 — Landscape

Photo by Zooey

Cats and Nonewhere are on the road their Big Adventure ™ aka their move West to Oregon.  Safe travels!!

I took this picture just down the road from my place, but Cats & Nonewhere will be seeing more and more of this kind of scenery as they drive West.  Personally, I think they can handle it.  ;)

This is our daily open thread — Where did you go on your last road trip?

The Watering Hole, Monday, April 29th, 2013: Tending the Garden

I’m taking off from work today and tomorrow in an effort to, if not resurrect, clean up and replant my poor neglected garden. At one time I had had a nice little garden, nothing big or special, but a garden nonetheless.
GARDEN0305GARDEN0309GLAD7GARDEN031I had started major renovations at one point, expanding the area, installing a trellis/gate with climbing roses on either side, changing the crushed-marble walkway to a wooden one encircling a center planting area, salvaging what plants I could and slowly adding more. Then 2004 came along, with its ever-increasing, time- and heart- consuming care of my dying parents. During, and after this time, I only made half-hearted attempts at maintaining the garden, which usually ended, due to lack of will, right after raking and weeding the area. This year I am trying to muster up some continued impetus to re-create something that I can be proud of, instead of the mess that’s out there right now.

It’s kind of like a miniature version of our country – it’s a big mess, and strangling weeds are doing their best to kill off what was once beautiful. It needs a lot of diligent work and constant attention, but it’s definitely worth trying to salvage.

This is your Open Thread. What’s on your mind today?