Life Took Over

I don't know what happened, but I my schedule just kind of took over and I was too busy to blog--you should see our home. Friday, Saturday and Sunday it was get up at 5am, go to Game Fair, close up the booth at 6pm, go home, eat, sleep, repeat. Non Birding Bill came along to part of Game Fair to give me a potty break and it was interesting to get his perspective on working a booth.

"This is BORING!"

How could he think this is boring? He was shocked and asked, "This is all you do on the road, answer 2 questions: What does that equation mean on binoculars and why are some pairs more expensive than others? How do you stand it?"

I told him "No, usually at a bird festival, I'll lead a field trip before working the booth." This was different, this was a hunting show. He didn't buy it. He wanted to try and nap under the table, but the constant gunfire from the firing range made that impossible. Well, that and I wouldn't let him--there's no sleeping at a trade show booth! NBB doesn't like working for me, I'm a task master.

Monday it was a KARE 11 appearance and then a long meeting at Adventure Publications. When I came home NBB said in a tempting voice, "Snakes on a Plane." I had a choice: blog? snakes on a plane? blog? snakes on a plane? As Cinnamon outed me, I opted for a date with NBB to see Snakes on a Plane.

"Snakes on a Plane" is pure fluff and highly inaccurate but a good time. I could watch Samuel L. Jackson read DVD setup instructions and still be entertained. I think the snake cam was a particularly nice touch. I actually wondered if snake experts enjoyed this movie. I mean, if this had been "Snipes on a Plane" I would have been huffing and puffing at all the blatant inaccuracies, I may not have enjoyed that movie (ie: snipes wouldn't attack people like that). If you want a movie that has its tongue planted firmly in its cheek, and you love a little Sam Jack, this is a must see. If you want to take your movie enjoyment to a another level, purchase a pack of rubber snakes and hide them in your bag. When the snakes pop out of the air masks and overhead compartment in the movie--start tossing your rubber snakes out in the audience.

Tuesday I spend the day helping a birding workshop at MS Camp. My trip there was down right comical. I didn't think it possible to get that lost in this day and age of Mapquest but the forces of travel were against me yesterday morning. First, Minnesota is infamous for similar sounding town names: Maple Grove, Maple Plain, Maple Lake, etc. So, I got off on the wrong foot with Mapquest when I entered directions for Maple Grove and I should have put in Maple Lake. So, I was in fact a little over an hour away when Mapquest led me to believe I was 38 minutes away. When I finally figured out the poor directions, I followed the hand made map provided by MS Camp...which was a little off. So I grabbed my handy Hudson Street Atlas for the Twin Cities. Wouldn't you know it, the highway I needed fell right in the corner of four different pages: ARRGH! I had to call NBB to have him help me find the highway.

I did finally get there and the original plan was to do the talk at the bird feeders around Camp Courage, but they hadn't been filled in a long time (spider webs covered some of the feeding ports). We went out to purchase some black oilers during lunch, knowing our chances of getting birds to come right away was slim, but we needed something. All the birds were catching on to my use of an iPod to get their attention and I wouldn't be able to call them in during the afternoon like I did in the morning. Right outside the camp, we found a pond with a heron and cormorant rookery. It wasn't too far, so we took the campers in their scooters and wheelchairs to the pond and saw more birds in five minutes than we would have at the whole time at the bird feeders. A young bald eagle flew over and that was a treat for the group. I tried to pick out binoculars that would be easiest for people with MS to use--eight power so it won't pick up on tremors, light weight. The most popular were Stokes Talons, Stokes Meadowlark, Vortex Viper.

And now, due to popular request (or down right demands in some cases) a photo quiz. What is the bird in this photo:

First correct answer in the comments section wins a free lens pen to clean binoculars, scopes and camera lenses.