Monday, May 31, 2010

Rockin' the Mullet

Bill's sister in law, Jennifer, is a participant in a photo-based scavenger hunt. The way that it works is that each participant has to find and photograph the objects on the scavenger hunt list within the window of time that has been allotted. If you fail to find and photograph the items during the appropriate time, you are eliminated. One of the items on this weeks hunt was was a fun one: photographing a mullet. After heading to several of the places that Jennifer assumed the mullet-wearers would hangout she came up empty-handed. Tough luck! But, her luck would change when, during our Memorial Day festivities, Bill, who was in need of a haircut anyway, volunteered to get a mullet for the photo. Luckily, Jennifer, who is a systems analyst by day, moonlights as a stylist (she cuts her husband and two sons hair) and owns her own hair shears. So, off she went to grab the scissors and voila! One mullet.

This scene reminds me of Magritte or Dali painting. Or, a photo by Cindy Sherman. Badminton and Barbershop. Hysterical!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Man Man

I like cats, but I'd prefer not to own one. Unfortunately, I own two. A mother and son duo. The mom, Bernice, is a beautiful domestic long-hair and a total cat stereotype -- independent, aloof, everything on her terms, with a don't-bother-me attitude. If I didn't have to feed her or put out clean litter I'd never even know that she lived here. Her son, Man Man, on the other hand, is a very large, attractive, sleek domestic short-hair with, mostly, the personality of a dog -- lovable, attention seeking, loyal. He requires lots of effort and is always wanting something. I want to hate him but he's just so darn lovable.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Chicken Update, Part Trois

When Bill decided that he wanted to build our chicken coop I was relieved because if you've looked at pre-fab chicken coops you know that #1, they aren't cheap and #2 they lean toward that country style of which I am not a fan. So, Bill and I looked through some online and print resources and finally decided on a general style that we found to be both functional and visually appealing. Bill drew up the plans, put together a materials list, and was able to get started in March when we first got the chicks. The location of the coop was a no-brainer -- it would go in the darkest corner of the yard where, try as we might every year, we could never get anything to grow. We didn't worry about sufficient light because our chickens would have plenty of yard time and, in the winter, the lack of vegetation would let the sun shine right on in. After a few weekends worth of work, Bill finished the coop. The chickens are finally living in the coop full-time now, including nights, and enjoying adventures in the yard everyday.

Front view of the coop. After I snapped the photo, I noticed that the wood panel on the upper left was hanging off a bit. I suspected that maybe a raccoon might have tried to break into the coop already but, as it turns out, Bill said that he misplaced the nails so he hadn't totally nailed it down. Once he found them, he didn't nail it in because he was considering putting mesh wire up instead. What do you think?

Side view (top and bottom) of the coop with door open and door closed.

We've had grapes for a few years now and decided to use the coop instead of the ornamental metal trellises to support the vines. I like the look of it and it provides some shade for the chickens during the hot summer months.

Chicken Update, Part Deux

The chickens are getting big! Although they are not adults yet, they are looking very adult-like.

Darwin, A Reluctant Revolutionary

If you are interested in the life and scientific contribution of Charles Darwin, you may want to check out the exhibit, Darwin, A Reluctant Revolutionary at the St Louis Science Center. It was a light on substance but that might have been because of the way that the curator displayed the items. Specifically, the exhibit was in an overly spacious gallery with lots of unused space and walking room in some spots between displays. This is great if there is a crowd but nothing more than a distraction zone when there isn't. Overall, it was a nice little exhibit, just don't expect the level of curation that you'd find at an art or history museum.

The exhibit Darwin, A Reluctant Revolutionary is open through August 1st at the St. Louis Science Center.

Willa and Evan at the exit of the Darwin exhibit. Photo by Colette.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Chicken Update

For those of you that might be interested in a chicken update, I have some happy news and some sad news. The sad news first (you probably can guess where this one is going). One of our little chicks was always a little off from the rest -- a little smaller, a little slower, and a little sickly. Willa affectionately named her Scarlett, after a classmate. Over the next few weeks, Scarlett quit thriving and became increasingly lethargic and sleepy (she literally slept or remained in a seated position around the clock). Bill even had to bathe her and trim her bottom feathers which had become rather soiled. Eventually, another hen, either Ava, Abby, or Madison (yes, also named by Willa after her classmates), started exhibiting the same lethargy and sleepiness. We made the decision at that point to sequester them in hopes of preventing any further spreading of the virus or whatever it was that they had. Unfortunately, neither improved and both died within the week. The happy news is that the other 3 chicks - two hens and a rooster (yes, we will have to find a nice farm for him at some point) - are doing very well, growing big, and fully living in the coop (instead of my kitchen!). I haven't taken any new photos of the chicks recently but plan to this weekend so that I can post them soon. They look like real chickens now! Also, I'll snap and post some of the coop too. Bill has done a wonderful job planning it, building it, and putting the finishing touches on it and I'd like to show it off :)

Lastly, school is winding down for the year so new posts should be coming more frequently. And although we've been pretty busy this last month or two, I do have a few posts old posts ready to be tweaked and posted. In the mean time, have a great Memorial Day weekend!