Wormhole

The Sparrow

The Sparrow

I came home for lunch one day this week and found this little guy on the front doorstep. He must have stunned himself, by flying into the storm door window. Anne was standing guard over him and had set up some food and water. The light from my camera’s range finder triggered his reaction. I think that he expected to be fed by me. Anne got a box and lid, scooped him up and then took him around back to be released back into the wild. I had to get back to work, but she emailed be the end of this story:

I found a nice shady spot at the edge of the ivy. I sort of tipped the bird out, and it immediately hopped on top of the ivy, then it hopped onto a day lily leaf. Then it flew up towards my shoulder, surprising me. But instead of landing on my shoulder, it kept on flying and flew over the peak of the garage. I couldn’t see where it landed, but it clearly had more chops at flying then it was showing on the porch. Glad the Alpha Predator is gone.

The Alpha Predator was a neighbor’s cat. The owner himself dubbed him that. He was the death of more than a few birds in our yard and I took every opportunity to scare it back home, across the street. That neighbor moved on and took the cat with him, where it is surely terrorizing its new neighborhood. I doubt this baby sparrow would have survived if that cat was still around.

Empire Flight

Empire Flight

Empire Flight

Empire Flight, 2013 by Bernard Williams is a mixed media installation at Laumeier Sculpture Park. It is part of the exhibition, The River Between Us. According to the artist, “the work speaks to a multitude of adventures around the Mississippi River and the great risks undertaken by so many.” In Empire, Williams takes on the sweep of American history. The work symbolizes risk, adventure, technological development and the pursuit of power. With the addition of the corporate logo inspired graphic decals painted on the surface, the sculpture acts as a receptacle for complex visual references to history and culture around the Mississippi River, alluding to important dates, locations and people. Applied to this sculpture, the year 1927 is an important date, referring to Charles Lindbergh’s success in completing the first non-stop transatlantic flight in his plane the Spirit of St. Louis, arriving safely in Paris on May 21, 1927.

Fun With Chess Sets


Back in April, Anne and I rode Trailnet’s first annual Art and Tweed ride. Cyclists were encouraged to dress up in garb of old, lots of wool please, but no spandex thank you very much. Our costumes made up the tweed part of this ride, while the five art museums that we toured contributed the art. One of the five was the World Chess Hall of Fame. One of the exhibits there was an eclectic collection of chess sets. I’d like to share a few of them with you. Here are three of the ones that I thought were the most fun.

First up is Hollywood vs. Broadway. This Doug Anderson creation is fun to look at, but I would find it difficult to keep track of these pieces in a game. Up front are Cabaret, a Hollywood pawn and Dream Girls and Little Shop of Horrors, Broadway pawns. Fiddler on the Roof is a Hollywood rook, while Phantom is the Broadway king All of these pieces could go either way, if you ask me, so go figure?

“Pooh had forgotten how
to play chess and the more
he thought about it, the more
muddled he got in his mind”
– A. A. Milne

The above A. A. Milne quote adorns the four sides of the board, of this Winnie the Pooh chess set, but other than this quote, this is a Disney Pooh set. Both sides have the same pieces, differentiated by color. Pooh is rightfully the king. Kangaroo is the queen. Both bishops are Owl, both knights are Eeyore and both rooks are Tigger. All of the pawns are somehow fittingly Piglet.

The Barack Obama vs. John McCain chess set is from the 2008 presidential election. This was the latest of a series of presidential race inspired chess sets that were on hand. Some of the chess sets in this presidential collection dated back to the 19th century. Maybe next time we visit the World Chess Hall of Fame, Mitt Romney will be there too?

PS – Checkout my brother’s new video, Where We Live, it is fantastic!

Purple Haze

Purple Irises and Zigzag Bridge in the Japanese Garden

Purple Irises and Zigzag Bridge in the Japanese Garden

We went bicycling today. No big surprise there. We rode to the gardens, enjoyed walking through it, but had to race home, trying to beat the coming rain. We only managed to beat the worst of it. Anne plans on biking every day in June and so far is on track to do just that. I’ve been a bit more lackadaisical, but I’m about to get a lot more serious. Tomorrow, the company’s annual fitness campaign kicks off. Entitled, On the Move, every employee is asked to sign up for it. We join in teams, so we can monitor, compete with and cajole each other. Everyone is issued a pedometer, so we can count our steps. Steps count, but they are really just a euphemism for calories.

The campaign’s website allows one to daily record your steps, but there are a wide range of other physical activities that can be recorded and converted into extra steps. Naturally, there is bicycling, but there are so many other activities too. One can record extra steps for just mowing the lawn. There is even a category for operating a rider mower. There is a category for recording almost any sort of physical activity save one. That one being sex. This makes perfect sense if you think about it. The company’s workforce is aging and frankly many of my colleagues are not very fit. Poor fitness translates to increased healthcare costs, helping to reduce which is the fundamental goal of this campaign. Exercise can help to mitigate these increased costs, by promoting healthier living. While, increased sexual activity can lead to increased healthcare costs from pregnancy. Besides who would be honest about reporting it anyway?

Spiked Speedwell

Spiked Speedwell