Critters Photography Places

Zoo lights

I know that many people don’t approve of zoos, but the St. Louis Zoo is one of my favorite places; especially yesterday when there was only a handful of people walking about. The trees are decorated for the evening Zoo Lights, but on a dark and dreary day you can benefit from the lights almost as much but without the crowds.

With the cooler temperatures and the growing lack of people visiting, the animals come out more in the winter and take almost as much interest in the few visitors, as we do in them. You also have a better chance to talk with the keepers during ‘off season’.

It was from a keeper that I found out that the two grizzly bears are named “Bert” and “Ernie”. They’re now 15 years old and over 900 pounds each, but when the zoo got them, they were orphaned cubs from Yellowstone. The keeper was throwing them hard shelled nuts to entertain them, keep them active and foraging. She told me about standing next to the gate in their enclosure and how their heads were this big around, as she held her arms wide.

Bert was friendlier than Ernie, but he didn’t like the flash. That’s good to know if I’m in the wild and happen to run into a grizzly: they don’t like camera flashes.

Bert and Ernie

I was able to get a couple of fairly decent photos of American White Pelicans.


Yesterday I discovered the Cypress Swamp; an enclosed habitat featuring birds found in the cypress swamps in our area. I was able to get a nice photo of a heron while there–something I’ve not been able to do as well in the wild. I know that getting photos of animals in the wild have more ‘value’ than getting ones of those in captivity, but I do love taking pictures of animals regardless of location. Does it really lessen the photo?

Cypress Swamp

The transcaspian urial in particular were much more active in the cooler weather; climbing all about their duplicated mountain in their compound. At first, I thought they were statues when I saw them high up above the ground, on carefully crafted indentations in the ‘rock’. I was particularly taken with this handsome fellow and his curly horns.

Ram Tough

I haven’t been able to find out my favorite camel’s name, so I call him Bud. He was in fine, foamy form on Saturday and kept following me, hoping I would have a nice tidbit for him. The foam is natural for a Bactrian camel and results from their rather abundant saliva. So much saliva that desert dwellers sometimes capture it in a cloth for drinking.


The sea lions were in full voice, most likely demanding their own dinner. Yesterday was very cold and there was hardly anyone about and I imagine the afternoon feeding show was cancelled and chow hadn’t arrive yet. This disruption in their routine wouldn’t please this highly vocal crew.

I did it myyyyy way

Either that, or they also liked the cooler weather.

A Picture of Grace

I haven’t once been able to see any of the apes at their new Jungle of the Apes habitat. I think it’s going to take a good long while before they’re used to it; their previous habitat was enclosed.

Zoo Lights

I doubt I’ll go down during the evening for Zoo Lights. I go for the animals not the crowds. If I can get my tires replaced relatively soon on my car, I’ll also head out and see what I can spot ‘in the wild’. It’s almost time for the bald eagles.


Lighter side

Sheila Lennon has been coming up with wonderous links. First there’s a link to the Poetry Archive. This site contains recordings made by poets of their own works, including several readings by the likes of Kipling and Alfred Lord Tennyson. To satisfy the tweaky types, there’s tag clouds for both theme and form. Most of the recordings have anecdotal information attached, and all have the reading in text as well as audio.

Sheila also points us to Carols of the Chins and the Ugly Christmas Lights site. Though after hanging faux icicles around his house, Ken Camp might want to skip this one. Of the upcoming holiday, Ken writes:

Lastly, I ask you, my friends, to think about Santa. He’s watching. He knows when you’re nice. He knows when you’re naughty. He spends the entire year laying out his plans for those who are naughty and those who are nice. He’s been watching over you paying attention to your deeds and words every single day. And while you’re sleeping, quiet slumber on Christmas Eve, he’ll be slipping in quietly, perhaps even skulking in a dark corner, to bring you something…special.

I’d link directly to Ken’s Santa to go with these words, but hot linking is naughty.

Speaking of images, isn’t this a beautiful photo? All of the photographer’s work is lovely.

And then there’s this.


Either or

There are times when I feel either I will have to give up my career in technology, or give up weblogging–or at a minimum, not write about technology in my weblog, not read about technology in other weblogs; not allow any association between the two.

Luckily, these times don’t happen often, but when they do, I second guess everything I do as a technologist. Then when I’m finished tearing myself down as a tech, I second guess everything I do as a person. It isn’t fun.


My Dad did not make history

My Dad served during World War II. He was in the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper, and was injured twice while on duty. Through merit and field promotions, he achieved the rank of Captain by war’s end.

During the war, he took flying lessons in Seattle. While he was out on a solo flight, he strayed too close to another plane and almost crashed both of them. He was ordered to land immediately. When he did so, he was informed that he almost ran his plane into the aircraft carrying Eleanor Roosevelt. Needless to say, his flying lessons were cut short.

My Dad did not make history. He is not mentioned in a history of World War II. If he had crashed Roosevelt, he would have made history; luckily he didn’t.

Now, if there was a time when a person was writing an anecdotal history of WWII, then my Dad might make history–his story would add color and nuance to the events of life that surround this war. But his role in the war, and his efforts, important as they were, cannot be seen as a pivotal events. He didn’t, in his individual actions, make history.

That’s how we need to view ‘history’ in Wikipedia–not as an opportunity to be all inclusive; but as an opportunity to be accurate. With this attempt to ‘rewrite’ the history of podcasting, I’m not attempting to be exhaustive in who gets covered; I’m trying to be accurate about what’s covered.

What are the key elements in podcasting without which it would not be as we know it today? Who are the key players who helped create, control, and define it? What are the key events that brought us to this point in time, even if said events weren’t directly related to podcasting? Every entry should be part of an answer to one of these questions. In the end, we should have an entry that everyone can agree is ‘accurate’, and, hopefully, neutral.

Then we can leave the anecdotal information–the fun stories, the chest thumping, the memories, and the expressions of gratitude and admiration–to our own weblogs, articles, books, and podcasts, whichever you prefer.

Or we can tell our daughters over tea one day, about the time when…



This is what happens when two weblog posts get mangled into one, with an aside or two tossed in for good measure.

It does make a nice break from this weekend’s game of Pen the tale on the wonkey.