My New Neighbors, The Angels Of Death.

Well… they’ve got wings and they are looking over me, anyway.

I discovered this morning that I have new neighbors. I had suspected them earlier, but they keep to themselves. But less than 100 meters from my front door, high in an oak tree, is a family of turkey vultures!Neighbors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think these ones are juveniles; one did his best to look all scary:
Scary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And did his best Angel Of Death imitation:
wings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But he couldn’t fool me–I saw what a sweet, sweet face he has:
face

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the neighborhood, flying dinosaurs! (Click pics to embiggen!)

The Wedding Of John And Jim

This is the story of John and Jim;
Jim loves John, and John loves him;
Twenty years, six months, and eleven days
Already married in many ways,
They finally got to say their vows
With every right the law allows

Just watch the story—don’t ask why…
And I fucking dare you not to cry.

I don’t always cry at weddings. The last wedding I went to, my nephew’s, I bawled like a baby–but that’s because this was my nephew, and every detail was perfect, and I just love him to death.

I don’t know Jim or John. Never heard of them before about an hour ago. But thanks to the internets, I cried at their wedding, too. It was another perfect day:

John Arthur’s been a patient of Crossroads since March, but it wasn’t until June 26 that he settled on his notion of a perfect day. That morning the U.S. Supreme Court struck down portions of the federal Defense of Marriage Act. As he watched the announcement from a medical bed in his Over-the-Rhine condo, Arthur and his partner of 20 years, Jim Obergefell, decided that they wanted to marry.

A wedding for the couple would not be easy. Because same-sex marriage is illegal in Ohio, and because the Supreme Court ruling left marriage bans at the state level intact, Arthur and Obergefell couldn’t marry here. The prospect of travel was difficult because Arthur is bedridden with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive neurological disease that robs patients of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe. Within minutes of the Supreme Court decision, the couple started working the phones, email and social media to figure out how they might legally wed.

The full story is well worth reading, and it is a tear-jerker. I was going to write and tell you about it even before I saw the video.

But, oh. Watch the video (I’ll embed it just below, and if that isn’t working, it can be viewed at the link). It takes a while, but it’s just so beautiful. Yes, I cried. You will, too. I can only hope (vainly, I suspect) that Ohio will soon (sadly, they don’t have much time) allow them to renew their vows in the state they fell in love in, and did not want to leave.

(ok, it’s embedded below the fold–the video is on autoplay, and I don’t know how to fix that, so be aware before you click through. It’s still very much worth your time, though Ok, I’ve deleted the video until such time as I am able to embed it without autoplay. Again, here’s the link to the video, and you do want to watch the video!.)

Anyway… Here’s to John and Jim, or Jim and John, husband and husband. Congratulations!

Wanted: Strong Demand

Update: Here’s the link to the product page. (currently they have the image mis-attributed; Mike McRae is, of course, the designer of the Cuttlefish With Quill, and I modified it for the emblem myself.)

Ok, so yesterday’s “Prototype” post included the facetious note to the EvolveFish people that this is what they were missing.

The one thing I was not expecting was that they would read it and comment:

I think we can have a vinyl cutout version of this on EvolveFISH.com by Wednesday noon. If there is strong demand, we can have an injection molded version in 5 weeks.

Shit just got real.

I know *I* want this to happen. If it does, of course, I expect my original (the Lassiter version) to be added to the Smithsonian collections… or something.

What all well-dressed cars will be wearing this season...

Beautiful!!!

Much too busy to write right now. But I thought I’d share this beautiful new Digital Cuttlefish!

Now all I have to do is decide how to use it! New banner? Signature? I have to do something, so it is familiar when it graces the cover of volume 2, whenever that comes out! Any of you artistic types out there, feel free to suggest anything!


Once again, image by the incomparable Michael McRae. Click to embiggen (um… it embiggens quite a lot. Sorry.)

I just love XKCD!

I want to make peace with my laptop computer;
I think that its feelings were hurt.
It read what I wrote–at least, that’s what I figure;
Since then, it’s been rather more curt.
It’s dialogue boxes are monosyllabic,
I swear it’s beginning to pout.
Now I’m thinking that, maybe, it’s bored in that box,
So I’m working on letting it out.

I wired a handful of microcontrollers,
Some batteries, bearings, and wheels,
A webcam for eyes, so it sees where it’s going
And doesn’t fall, head over heels.
It’s programmed, of course, not to run into objects
While making its way ‘cross the floors,
And it talks to my house’s security system
And opens and closes the doors!

Now it sneaks out and wanders all over the city–
I follow its progress online.
It’s posting its story, and streaming its cam
On a blog that gets more hits than mine.
It asked me last week for a solar recharger–
I found it a small one to add;
This morning, I woke to a note in the printer:
“I’m off to adventure! Thanks, Dad!”

Inspired by the inimitable XKCD, in case you are the last person not to know about it.

My New Favorite Beauty Pageant

In the news today… Last weekend saw the 63rd Annual National Outdoor Show, complete with beauty pageant and muskrat-skinning competitions. This year, both competitions were won by the same girl, 16 year old Dakota Abbot, a lovely brunette who skinned two muskrats in one minute, forty-two seconds. The runner-up in the pageant, Samantha Phillips, did win the talent competition with her muskrat-skinning exhibition (the talent portion of the pageant is separate from the muskrat-skinning competition; Miss Abbott sang for her talent portion).

I’d quote from the Washington Post article, but every word is worth reading, so go read! In addition, there is an audiovisual montage that is wonderfully put together. The last picture features the winner, resplendent in her white evening gown, posing happily with a dead muskrat slung over her shoulder.

Beautiful.

She’s not the average beauty queen
She’s so much more than that
She’s beautiful, she’s talented,
And she can skin a ‘rat.

The beauty crowned as “Miss Outdoors”
Has got a winning smile
But more than this, this pretty Miss
Has got a skinning style.

She’s gorgeous in an evening gown
Or waders, caked with mud;
Red polish on her fingernails
(It helps to hide the blood)

Dakota Abbott won, this year,
Both Pageant Queen and skinner;
Miss Universe, I’ll bet, will never
See that in a winner.

It’s easily the coolest pageant
I have ever seen–
Congratulations to Miss Abbot,
Lovely Muskrat Queen!

A Nautical Yarn…

Oh, my! I have found it! Ok, it’s not a knit brain or teratoma, but hey, I am not “the digital teratoma”, so I am happy as a cephalopod with a Mr. Potato Head to find this site, with patterns for knitting some of my favorite sea creatures! I am not affiliated with the site at all, but I hope I can send her a bit of extra business!

Had we but yarn enough, and time,
And knew to knit instead of rhyme,
We would sit down to purl and knit
The whole day through, and never quit;
A cute and cuddly cuttlefish
Or “Squid-a-licious”, if you wish
Two kinds of octopus, and more,
The cutest things beyond the shore!
A starfish and a brittle star;
A nudibranch (it’s so bizarre!)
A jellyfish, and seahorse, too
So many that I’d like to do
If only I knew how to knit
But I do not… so here I sit.

Awwww….

As Disney and Pixar have so often told us,
The ultimate goal of a toy
Is to live in the sweet, unconditional love
Of a cute-as-a-bug girl or boy

But the truth is, the love of a boy or a girl,
Though I’m sure that it must have its charms,
Could never compete with the story of Louis–
Who hugs with all eight of his arms!

BBC story here.

A giant Pacific octopus living in a Cornish aquarium has formed an unlikely bond with a child’s plastic toy.
Louis regularly plays with the Mr Potato Head figure which was given to him as part of an enrichment project at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium.

Cute, cute, cute…

The cutest of all of the cephalopods
(And thus, of all creatures on Earth)
Is the cuttlefish, cuter by staggering odds
Than a puppy or kitten at birth.
Attempting to list all the cuttlefish charms
Is a noble, though hopeless, endeavor;
From their tails, to their eyes, to their marvelous arms–
And they’re oh-so-endearingly clever!
The shifting displays their chromatophores show
Are delightful to watch, don’t you think?
And like every good poet, wherever they go
They will never forget to bring ink.
The award for “the cutest” is one they will keep;
Let me say it direct, and not subtle–
Beauty, they say, is only skin-deep
But cuteness goes clear to the cuttle.

Posted as a comment on Pharyngula