Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

Four blue eggs

They’re back:

Robin eggs, June 2012

Three years ago, I documented the growth of three baby robins in a nest above our front porch light. There were actually two clutches that summer, and we had another family in 2010, but not in 2011.

This year’s nest popped up overnight and includes a bit of green Christmas ribbon.

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April 14, 2012 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , | 1 Comment

What autumn reveals.

What autumn reveals

October 30, 2011 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , | 2 Comments

Pyrrharctia isabella!

Yes, we mostly call them woollybears, but having just learned the scientific name, I’ve fallen in love with it.

Kelsey and I took my mom’s dogs for a walk through the wilds of Carroll County, Ohio, last weekend, where we met this crawly (watch him hit the afterburners at about the 12-second mark):

and just enjoyed a spectacular cloudless October afternoon.

October 19, 2010 Posted by | geek, Ohio, photos | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A visit to La Jolla Cove

Jenn & Kelsey & Mom & Jeff & I made the short drive up to La Jolla Cove today and were so pleasantly surprised at what a neat and fun place it was.

(Funny thing: Using the spoken input option to start the GPS navigation, I had to pronounce our destination as “La Jaw-la,” although once we were getting close, the system pronounced it correctly itself while giving the directions.)

We found a parking spot right at the top of the cliffs and were immediately treated to our first close-up view of the Pacific shoreline and the sight of a massive rock formation just offshore packed with sunning sea lions and harbor seals.

This sign was at the top of the wooden stairs which we followed down to a small beach where we waded a little and climbed on the sandstone cliff.

Further along, an expanse of flat rock outcropping held some little tide pools where kids were trying to catch these little crabs:

They came in a couple striking color combinations – green and black and blue and purple – and ranged in size from about the size of the Lincoln monument on a penny to about 2 or 3 inches across. I shot a video clip of a couple of the bigger ones crawling around a crack and making these little clicking noises, but it’ll wait for upload until I’m home.

Of course, just around the corner from this spot was an even closer-to-shore sea lion lounge:

Lots of activity around and on this rock: sea lions barking and crawling around and swimming in the waves. Fun to watch.

Oh, and there were these little spotted ground squirrels, too:

Our timing couldn’t have been better: We got there just before 11 a.m., and left about 1 p.m., and on our way out, the highway running into La Jolla was bumper-to-bumper standstill.

We were only there for a couple hours, but I was unprepared for the thrill of exploring this fantastic little corner of California and finding so much to see and hear and remember.

June 24, 2010 Posted by | geek, Travel | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Walking, watching

Down at mom’s for an overnight visit. Black Knight & Baby Pac-Man are feeling disagreeable, but it’s hard to get too stressed out down here. A sunny walk around the hills and a little time watching the birds visit the feeders are easygoing moments well-spent.

Just some trees and some sky and some distant hills.

 

The neighbors have an evergreen farm, in case it's not clear.

 

Green.

There was a really big woodpecker coming to the feeder while I watched through the window, but it was seriously skittish. I went outside sat silent and still in a corner of the patio for a long while, but it wouldn’t come all the way up to the feeder again.

Nervous woodpecker.

The best shot I managed. Much more impressive in real life.

 

I've made a little birdhouse in your soul.

April 10, 2010 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , | 1 Comment

The 10 Things I Had The Most Fun Writing For GeekDad In 2009

Not long after my change in employment earlier this year, I got in touch with GeekDad editor Ken Denmead, who generously ran a couple guest posts I wrote in April and later included me on a very cool invite list, bringing me on board as a full-fledged contributor to the site. I’m incredibly thankful, because a) It’s GeekDad, and How Freaking Awesome; b) I’ve gotten to write pieces I wouldn’t otherwise have had the chance to, which inspired some writing I’m proud of.

It has been tremendously neat playing a small role in the site and watching it grow, and one of my resolutions for 2010 is to write more for GeekDad than I did in 2009.

That said, I had a TON of fun with this year’s entries, and while I truly enjoyed many of my shorter blog entries, there are exactly 10 longer GeekDad pieces about which I was most excited and got the most enjoyment out of writing, so Yay for a Ready-Made End-of-Year List! (Cop out: I’m presenting them in chronological order because it’s easiest.)

1) May 6Hands-on and Close-up Fun: Penguicon 7.0 . That weekend in May was absolutely one of the highlights of the year, and even the decade, for me. (I did a longer, more personal and detailed post here.)

2) May 21 Girls Against Girls – Figuring It Out With Bonnie Burton – It’s incredibly difficult to accurately describe how enjoyable this interview was, and the book’s lessons have come in handy more than once in my daughter’s middle school years.

3) June 11 Nine Video Games Ripe for Rebirth – Not only was this a great trip down video-game memory lane, but ohmyGod ARCHON IS BACK!!!!

4) June 18 Review: Swim Ways’ R/C Cyber Ray – Well, we got to play with a nifty toy that was only fun for a little while, but I like the way the review turned out, and who knows, maybe Swim Ways has ironed out the wrinkles by now.

5) June 27Nature at Its Closest – With several inches of snow outside needing shoveled, summer seems a long way off. But remembering the clutches of baby robins we got to watch hatch and grow on our front porch does warm the heart. (awwww!)

6) July 910 Things Parents Should Know About Warehouse 13 – It was a good excuse to stay in and watch some SyFy channel with Kelsey, but the truth is, though we though the premiere was OK, we never watched another episode.

7) July 26Bubbles, Zubbles, Toys and Troubles – Although at its heart this is another toy review, I had a blast talking to inventor Tim Kehoe about his 15-year journey from the idea for colored bubbles to the final production this summer.

8) Aug. 13 Activision’s Science Papa Will Remind You Of Mama’s Cooking – Reviewing video games means PLAYING video games, so it’s not like I was going out of my way or anything. Plus I got to write this: “To draw a 1980s toy parallel, it’s Mighty Men & Monster Maker vs. Fashion Plates all over again.”

9) Sept. 2110 Things Parents Should Know About Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs – Kelsey and I had gone to see this just for fun, and I was so surprised that I liked it so much that I jumped at the chance to do the GeekDad write-up.

10) October 6Princesses and Mermaids: Who Needs Rescuing Again? – We were introduced to Jim C. Hines and his books at Penguicon, marking yet another reason the trip to Romulus was so memorable.

To circle back to the end of the first paragraph: c) It’s GeekDad, and How Freaking Awesome. Gobs and piles of thanks to Ken, Matt Blum and my fellow contributors and the Wired editors and everyone else I don’t know who makes GeekDad work.

December 31, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, Games, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Television, video games, Web/Tech, Weblogs, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New GeekDad post: Nature at its Closest

I compiled all our baby robin images into a Flickr gallery and did a write-up for GeekDad which posted today.The timing couldn’t have been better:  As I went out the front door for this morning’s run, I was dive-bombed by several birds being protective of the fledglings which had apparently just left the nest.

June 27, 2009 Posted by | geek, Ohio, photos, Weblogs, writing | , , , | Leave a comment

And now for something completely different: Star Wars. And baby birds.

The new “Collect All 21!” front and back covers have finally replaced the outdated versions that were hanging around on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, despite the fact that they’ve been shipping the revised edition for almost a couple months now. It took a little prodding – and a couple frustrating days where there were no cover images at all except the customer-submitted pics I posted out of desperation – but it’s fixed now, and that makes me happy. (Not as happy as say, if a few dozen orders were to be placed tomorrow – but happy nonetheless.)

And don’t forget: I’ll be at the Akron-Canton Comic Con this weekend with a nice supply of books on-hand, and they’ll be cheaper than ordering online!

Speaking of Star Wars, I got a nice surprise in the mail today: My friend Samantha who works at  Positively Cleveland sent me a Fanboys DVD. I finally saw the movie earlier this month since it never made it to a Northeast Ohio theatre (funny, of course, since, oh, it’s about a bunch of guys from Ohio and, oh, the writer is from Ohio and grew up here, and oh, the town’s name, “Shandal,” is a none-too-subtle anagram of Ashland, which is all of an hour from here). I enjoyed the movie more than I was prepared to: It really never reached its full potential for either greatness or suckitude, but being a first-generation fan, I was probably a little more forgiving of its flaws, and I’m looking forward to watching the extras and listening to the commentary track.

Finally, here’s your daily baby robin update – and looking at their development, I fully expect to find the nest empty any day now:

Quit touching me! Mom, Theodores pinching! Im tellllllling!!!!

"Quit touching me!" "Mom, Theodore's pinching!" "I'm tellllllling!!!!"

June 25, 2009 Posted by | 1980s, Books, eighties, Film, geek, Ohio, photos, science fiction, Travel, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feeeed Meeeeeeeee!

Today’s photo was apparently taken near dinnertime:

Click here for even more awwwww!

Click here for even more "awwwww!"

Hard to believe it’s only been a week since these little creatures were all tiny and pink and squirmy.

June 24, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Strange Daze.

Today’s had an odd sort of wandering air to it. I suddenly find it’s 5:18 p.m. and I’ve been in this chair most of the day, except for the 3.64-mile run with my brother this morning. (We did it in 28 minutes flat, which works out to about 7:42 per mile, which is good for me. It’s close to my old two-mile race average and slower than the 8:12 I ran in my first five-miler last summer. And it felt really good, actually.)

I have a nice assignment to work on this week, so I made some progress on that in the late morning, but after lunch, things kind of fell into a meandering: nitpicky installation of software required to work on that assignment; ironing out the final wrinkles of a project turned in last week and wrestling with government website data in the process. But damn, I feel like I really should have gotten a lot more done today.

At any rate, here’s today’s Baby Robin Update, which I shot from a slightly different angle just because:

Bigger McBiggen photo here for the clicking.

Bigger McBiggen photo here for the clicking.

June 23, 2009 Posted by | Ohio, photos, writing | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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