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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: Leon County, Florida
Member since: Tue Feb 12, 2008, 09:18 PM
Number of posts: 21,960

Journal Archives

National Geographic Wild is bringing back FISH BOWL! It's Fish Bowl II!




Fish Bowl even has a feline side:

Here is their thank you for last year:

Has anyone heard of the "21st Century Dems"?

I got a call from them the other night. They claim to be a progressive movement:
About Us
Our Mission

Since 1985, the mission of 21st Century Democrats has revolved around training progressives and building a network of populist Democrats who stand up for America’s working families.

We focus particular attention on Democratic leaders who can move up to higher office at every level and who represent the tradition of Democrats like Jim Hightower, Tom Harkin, Barbara Boxer, Raul Grijalva, John Lewis, Al Gore and Paul Wellstone. We support progressive Democratic leaders who will shape the direction of the Democratic Party and enact public policy that transforms this country to a just, fair and equal society for all.

Our Vision and Values

We are committed to leading the way toward a bold and progressive agenda that will improve the quality of life for all Americans. Our goal is to elect genuinely progressive Democrats who believe government has a positive role to play in our country and will fight to enact public policy that reflects the core values of equality, opportunity, compassion, justice and fairness that 21st Century Democrats believes in, stands up for, and works toward on a daily basis.

Our Strategies
Cultivating Leadership at Every Level

We educate young people who have shown a strong interest in politics and idealism about the future in grassroots organizing and field work. We have trained thousands of high school and college students, college graduates, and party activists, placing hundreds of them in their first political jobs in support of the progressive leaders we endorse. These results speak for themselves as many alumni have gone on to manage higher profile campaigns, become leaders in the progressive community, or even get elected as officials themselves.

Their front page features Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Bill de Blasio, Al Franken, Jeff Markey, and more people I read favorable things about here.

According to Wikipedia, they were started by "Senator Tom Harkin, commentator Jim Hightower and Congressman Lane Evans to help elect "progressive" or "populist" candidates." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/21st_Century_Democrats

21st Century Democrats started out relatively small but has quietly grown in size and significance in the last few election cycles." In 2004 election cycle, according to the Political Money Line, it was the 13th largest Political Action Committee (PAC) in the United States raising nearly $7 Million. Among progressive ideological PACs, it ranked fourth behind America Coming Together, EMILY's List, and MoveOn.org.

Unlike traditional PACs, 21st Century Democrats focuses on recruiting, training, and hiring field organizers to organize grassroots campaigns on behalf of candidates for local offices, statewide office, and even targeted presidential swing states. The group has ties to Democracy for America, which grew out of Howard Dean's presidential campaign.

I'm curious because I like the sound of the organization but I had not heard of it until they called me asking for donations. I'd love to know more about them, especially first person experiences!

Just heard a great horned owl calling

Loud enough to hear over the TV, computer and other noises in the house with the windows closed! When I stuck my head outside, it was probably down in the woods, nearly a quarter of a mile from the house, but the sound carries.

This is exciting since it's been at least 20 years since I have heard (or seen) a great horned owl here on the farm!

It was very low pitched, very much like in the middle clip on this page:

Went to St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge for New Year's Day - PICTURES!

And we got to see some birds! Unfortunately, it was a very gray day so the lighting wasn't good, but we did add one species to our life list - picture later.

The first few were taken by Mr. csziggy with our now ancient Nikon D70 DSLR with the zoom lens.

This shot shows what much of St. Mark looks like - with an American Egret in the foreground:

Another American egret, slightly different swamp location:

American coots:

This Great Blue Heron was way out in the middle of a large pond and caught this huge frog while we were watching - this is just about the limit of the 300mm zoom on the Nikon:

Compare to this shot I got with my little Fujifilm FinePix S4500 with a 30x zoom which has VR:

The coots above and this coot were just below the viewing stand at the big pond:

All over the pond were large flocks of coots grazing on the dickweed - and there were some ducks hanging out with them. In the middle of this shot are a couple of male green wing teals. This is the first time we've seen them and verified the species!

In the same group of coots as the green wing teal ducks there were some American Wigeons - another first for us!

On the far side of the pond, there was a large group of some kind of herons. Unfortunately, it was really past the ability of our cameras to get any good shots. I think, after looking at the high resolution version of this shot the birds may be immature little blue herons - they are white and then gradually change. In this group, there are a few bird with darker heads and gray on their backs. There is also an alligator.

And of course, here is the lighthouse at St. Marks. In the foreground is a tricolor heron. The solitary bird is a pied billed grebe and the flock of ducks on the spit to the left are black scooters.

Close to the boat ramp we spotted this snowy egret working the bank:

We were all startled when this pied billed grebe popped up right in front of the snowy:

And then he popped right back down - these shots are 6 seconds apart:

The snowy seemed to have been following the progress of the underwater grebe - I bet the grebe was scaring fish towards the shore:

Final shot of the day - a little blue heron:

It's been a long time since we've been birding or taking pictures. Obviously we need practice at both but we had a fun day.

Civil War tragedy

Most of my Civil War participant ancestors are on my Mom's side and they were all Confederates. On my Dad's side in his direct line the men of the right age were burdened with families or were too young or too old to serve. I've been research axillary lines, trying to find out where a patriarch lived since he doesn't show up on the census where I know he lived.

I found a distant cousin, George Clayton Hoagland, born in March 1847 in Union Springs, Cayuga County, New York. He enlisted in the 111th New York Regiment in 1861 - at the age of 14 - and died in Wilderness, Virginia (now West Virginia) in 1864 at seventeen. Along the way, his regiment fought at Gettysburg. Far too young to see such horrors and then die.

The following is taken from The Union army: a history of military affairs in the loyal states, 1861-65 -- records of the regiments in the Union army -- cyclopedia of battles -- memoirs of commanders and soldiers. Madison, WI: Federal Pub. Co., 1908. volume II.
One Hundred and Eleventh Infantry.—Cols., Jesse Segoine, C. Dugald McDougall, Lewis W. Husk; Lieut-Cols., Clinton D. Mc-Dougall, Seneca B. Smith, Isaac M. Lusk, Aaron P. Seeley, Lewis W. Husk, Sidney Mead; Majs., Seneca B. Smith, Isaac M. Lusk, James H. Hinman, Lewis W. Husk, Joseph W. Corning, Sidney Mead, Reuben J. Meyers. No regiment sent out by the state saw harder service than the gallant 111th. It was organized at Auburn from companies recruited in the counties of Cayuga and Wayne,— the Twenty-fifth senatorial district-and was mustered into the U. S. service, Aug. 20, 1862. It left the city the following day for Harper's Ferry, where it had the misfortune to be surrendered with that ill-fated garrison the following month. The men were paroled at Camp Douglas, Chicago, and in Dec., 1862, were declared exchanged and went into winter quarters at Centerville, Va. Later the regiment was assigned to the 3d (Alex. Hays') brigade, Casey's division, 22nd corps, where it remained until June, 1863. Col. Fox, in his account of the three hundred fighting regiments, speaking of the 111th, says: "On June 25, 1863, the brigade joined the 2nd corps which was then marching by on its way to Gettysburg. The regiment left two companies on guard at Accotink bridge; with the remaining eight companies, numbering 390 men, it was engaged at Gettysburg on the second day of the battle, in the brilliant and successful charge of Willard's brigade, losing 58 killed, 177 wounded, and 14 missing; total, 249. The regiment did some more good fighting at the Wilderness, where. it lost 42 killed, 119 wounded, and 17 missing; total, 178—over half of its effective strength. Its casualties in the fighting around Spottsylvania amounted to 22 killed, 37 wounded, and 13 missing. From Gettysburg until the end, the regiment fought under Hancock in the 2nd corps, participating in every battle of that command. While on the Gettysburg campaign, and subsequently at Bristoe Station, Mine Run and Morton's ford, the regiment was attached to the 3d brigade, 3d division (Alex. Hayes'). Just before the Wilderness campaign it was placed in Frank's (3d) brigade, Barlow's (1st) division. This brigade was composed entirely of New York troops, the 39th, 111th, 125th, and 126th, to which were added in April, 1864, the 52nd and 57th, and later on, the 7th N. Y.; all crack fighting regiments." The regiment lost 81 killed and wounded during the final Appomattox campaign. It was mustered out near Alexandria, Va., June 3, 1865. The regiment bore an honorable part in 22 great battles. Its total enrollment during service was 1,780, of whom 10 officers and 210 men were killed and mortally wounded; its total of 220 killed and died of wounds is only exceeded by four other N. Y. regiments—the 69th, 40th, 48th and 121st—and is only exceeded by 24 other regiments in the Union armies. It lost 2 officers and 177 men by disease and other causes—total deaths, 404— of whom 2 officers and 74 men died in Confederate prisons.

Animal fun with balls

UPDATE: Please send my friends good thoughts for their horse Mickey

UPDATE in post #8

This is the family that takes care of my farm and horses for me. The wife has had this lovely bay gelding for several years and is finally getting time to ride and enjoy him. She and her daughter keep their horses at another farm where the daughter has friends who ride and where they both take lessons.

Last night whoever checked the horses last didn't latch Mickey's stall door. This morning Mickey was found loose with a broken leg - broken above the knee. They took him to the vet and spent all day there trying to figure out a way to save Mickey. The prognosis is worse than "not good."

Horses carry 2/3 of their body weight on their front legs. With their size and the musculature above the knee, there really is no way to set the bone. (Well, maybe if it were valuable breeding animal and they had lots and lots of money to spend on it with a chance of future profit.) The vet told them that even if they can patch it up, Mickey will always be "three legged lame" and probably in pain.

They are making the final decision tonight or over Christmas. I think I know what decision they will make and it breaks my heart.

Need a refresher course on introducing a new cat to the house

I just had a call - and I will be adopting a new kitty!

Lily is not really new to us. She was adopted by the family that takes care of the farm for us with the idea she'd be a barn cat. Lily is NOT barn cat material. She is sweet, fluffy and not a hunter at all. But she did OK at the barn for a couple of years, so long as she had food, a bed, a litter box in the tack room, and lots of cuddles.

A few months ago she was attacked by some dogs, not hurt seriously, mostly just slobbered on with a few nicks that bled enough to scare the family. They took her to the vet to be checked over and since then she's been living in their house. Meanwhile a feral kitten showed up and claimed the barn as territory. It's much more fitted to being a barn kitty and the biggest problem will be to catch it to get its vaccinations.

The living situation in the family's home is not ideal for a cat. They have two Labradors and a Blue Heeler. The Labs are cool with the cat once they understood she was part of the family, but the Blue Heeler has not adjusted and has gotten more and more agressive and attacks Lily any time she can.

So the family called tonight and asked if we could take Lily. We'd offered before, once when it was obvious Lily was not barn cat material and again when she was attacked. So I've just told them we can take her after Christmas. We'll be gone on Christmas Day so I thought it best to wait until then to bring her over.

The problem is my cat, Tashi. He and Lily had stand offs and fights back when Lily first moved into the barn. They reached some sort of accommodation - my cat stopped going to the barn and Lily would visit the exterior of our house but wouldn't come onto the porch. Tashi used to be really aggressive, but he's almost 14 years old and has mellowed.

Tashi has not had to share our house with another cat since our old cat Edmund was put to sleep in 2009. When Tashi was a 4 ounce kitten he terrorized 20 pound Edmund and the two cats never got along. Eventually they learned to tolerate each other - as in stay in the same room without one of them snarling or attacking - but they never were friends.

I need some advice in how to introduce Lily into our house without upsetting Tashi too much. It's been so long since I've put two cats together, I don't even remember what I did!

Pictures will posted once Lily gets here.

Buying board books for toddlers

I've got a two year nephew so had to venture into the children's section of the bookstore the other day. I'd found one set of Dr. Seuss board books at Costco, but wanted to get a few more.

I found the cutest series - BabyLit board books. They are "based" on children's classics - I bought Frankenstein, Huckleberry Finn and Moby Dick. Frankenstein teaches anatomy, Huckleberry Finn teaches camping, and Moby Dick teaches about the sea. There are far more in the series and I was disappointed that my budget wouldn't let me buy more - and that by next year the toddler will be too old for them!

For anyone else who has to buy for little ones: http://www.babylit.com/shop-books/ (not affiliated with the company, just liked their products)

I can't wait to see what the kid (and his parents and older brothers) think of these!

White, Christmas Arrested in Tallahassee Store Burglaries

Posted on Dec 17, 2014
by Amanda Blomquist

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - The Tallahassee Police Department and the Leon County Sheriffs Office made three arrests for five recent store burglaries Monday.

Tallahassee Police say that the burglaries took place at locations that were closed for business. The "Quick N Save" at 416 East Tennessee Street, the Marathon Gas Station at 3626 Mahan Drive, and the Sunoco Gas Station at 4977 Capital Circle Southwest all had the front glass door shattered and items stolen from within.

TPD says that the Leon County Sheriff's Office responded to the Express Lane on Blountstown Highway due to another burglary where the front glass door was also shattered.


28-year-old Darren White and 17-year-old Lamont Christmas were arrested at the gas station, according to TPD.
More: http://www.wtxl.com/news/white-christmas-arrested-in-tallahassee-store-burglaries/article_2d8bd12e-8612-11e4-88e6-1b5f95bd9e55.html
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