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Saturday, January 27, 2007

fabulous wildlife adventure...

The little town I find myself living in sits right along the Pacific Ocean. It boasts the safest beaches in the world. I wouldn't know because I haven't had the courage to get anything more than my feet wet because, safe or not, that water is cold!

The coastline changes from beach to rocks and cliffs along this two or three mile stretch. At the southern tip of town, the Bluffs overlook the ocean. When I moved here in the summer, I'd hear seals every now and then. I'd go look over the cliff, trying to spot the little dude...I never had any luck.

However, that has changed. From December to May/June, harbor seals come to the Seal Sanctuary to give birth to their pups. I've been to the lookout point a few times now. I think I'm going to start volunteering so I can sit there for two hours a week checking out the seals.

Here, a view of the Bluffs...

As you walk towards the seal sanctuary....a view...

Slightly closer...

This old tree overhangs the bluffs.
I love how it looks.

Here we have the seals...looking a lot like rocks!
Every once in a while, one of them will flap its front,
uh, flipper(?)....

This little guy was born that morning. He was trying
get back in and the tide was trying to wash him out! Yipe!
His mamma was out catching fish.

Ehn...I think I can make it...phew, this is hard!!

Pant, pant....sheesh!! Just a little more!
He finally made it to the rocks and lodged himself
in there so the waves couldn't take him out to sea.

Lalala...I see you...

The good life...

This guy decided that he wanted
to come in and warm up a bit.

Here we have a mamma and her little one...

Feeding time...

Hey...watcha lookin' at?

I am ignoring you...hmmph...

Yaaaaaawn.....such a hard life...

Ok, girls, time for sit-ups...and up...

You lookin' at me?? Aren't I cute?

Seal yoga

Another mamma feeding her baby

A different view...she's keeping her eye on me.

Here, we have another mamma and her baby.
The birds hanging out could possibly indicate
that another seal is about to give birth, or they
may just be hanging out.

Remember the little guy that had just been born? I
think this might be him a few days later...the coloring
looks the same to me. Anyways, the news is that he made it!

Again..

and here he is, just stretching out...

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mi casa...

Here...my front door...




Looking out the front door, my patio door. It looks pretty good in this light.




And then, looking left, the rest of my patio with my laundry hanging out to dry overnight because the dryer didn't do its joband I was out of quarters (insert expletive as needed...) Also...oops, all the leaves that blew in that I have not yet bothered to pick up and the cardboard I lay down trying to kill the weeds. It didn't work.

Monday, January 15, 2007

swimming wit da fish

Since it's pretty cold most everywhere right now, here are some tropical pics for a mental getaway. I took these back home at Christmas with a cheap little underwater camera that cost a whopping $7!! The visibility wasn't the best but I still got a few shots. Enjoy....



Several different types of fish trying to get away from me.

I spy a little fish through the rocks.
I tried to find out what kind,
but I couldn't figure it out.

Here, just swimming along the rocks.

These brown fish are a type of parrotfish.

And here is another parrotfish...a blue one..

Oooh barracuda!
They usually like to hang at the bottom in open water...

But occasionally, they'll head near the rocks too.

Parrotfish, spotted pinfish and that yellow guy again.

An angelfish along with some sergeant majors...

Spotted pinfish...these guys are everywhere!

As I get a little deeper, the fish become more abundant.

Not a great pic, but it gives a nice idea of what it's like. If you look
closely, you can see a snook in the mid/lower right side.

This was awesome!!
A ray swimming out to the open waters...

Another parrotfish hanging out...

Sergeant majors, spotted pinfish and some other mysteryfish...

This little dude is a wrasse. They are tiny, maybe 3-4inches at most...

Out at the end of the jetty, the sergeant majors are teeming...

Eventually, the rocks give way to deeper water.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

survival...

The past few days have sucked wind big time. Oh, no wait..that was me trying to breath without hacking up a lung! Mr. Virus decided to play dirty by inviting his friend SeƱor Sinus Infection to the party. Bastards both of them. I had no choice but to call in the professionals.

Sitting in the Urgent Care lobby, I was instructed to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of my illness. Why was I the only one wearing this? Others were instructed the same as I...but I was the only one. Well, at least I wasn't breathing their germs! I filled out all the necessary paperwork, and had to state the reason for my visit.

"Probable sinus infection."

When it was time to finally see the doctor, he asked me, "so you think you have a sinus infection? what makes you think that."

"well, doc, waking up in the middle of the night feeling like someone punched me in the face was my first clue. Then the feeling of my teeth aching that keeps switching sides was another clue.."

He looked in my nose, down my throat and in my ears and gave me antibiotics. I really wish that it didn't take two hours for something that I knew I needed. However, he was kind and gave me samples because I don't have insurance. I really have to get some insurance!!

So, the antibiotics are doing their job. Mr. Virus and Senor Sinus Infection are putting up a good fight, but they don't stand a chance in hell. But, God, I'm tired! Hope you all are having a nice weekend. I start school again tomorrow.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Temp Blogger available for hire...

Claudia is sick today and is using a temp blogger.

--For some this weekend is about football, American Football to the International readers. The AFC and NFC Playoffs feature: Colts at Ravens, Patriots at Chargers, Seahawks at Bears and Eagles at Saints. The Claudiasskippingstones picks:
Ravens beat Colts
Patriots beat Chargers
Seahawks beat Bears
Saints beat Eagles

--Because of its one child policy and preference of males over females, China will have a serious shortage of females in approximately 15 years. All this time they've been aborting females and somehow didn't see this coming.

--More troops to Iraq...there is a lot of headshaking at claudiasskippingstones.

--Rosie vs Donald. We don't want to appear wishywashy here at claudiasskippingstones, so we pick Rosie as the winner. This is based on nothing other than a greater dislike of the duckman.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Colds not welcome...

Crap. Damn. Hell. I'm sick.

I was trying my best to deny it...after all, I always wake up and have a sneezing fit. Then, yesterday, I thought it was allergies since the maintenance men at the apartment were sweeping up all sorts of leaves.

The constant sneezing and watery eyes? Allergies! Yeah, that's it!

And the achy feeling? Well, I worked out! Of course I'm achy!

And the parched feeling? Well, it's drier out here. I just need to drink more water!

However, this morning, I had no excuse for the sore throat.

Crap. Damn. Hell. I'm sick.

I know nobody actually enjoys being sick, but man, this really sucks.
I. don't. want. to. be. sick. (imagine crossed arms, big fat pout and stomping foot!)

What this cold doesn't realize is that it is doooooomed....Mwahahahaahahaha!! I'm going to drown the bastard out! It thinks it's got the best of me? HA!

Just you wait, Mr. Virus. I've got a thing or two planned for you! Oh yeah! What's that? You want to know what? None of your damned business! You'll see when you get bombarded! You are not welcome here.

Now, get out!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

At the speed of...uhm..not really light...

Last Friday I had to overnight some paperwork to my sis back in Florida. I had my reservations about using the good ol' USPS for an overnight delivery, but I decided to have a little bit of faith.

My first clue something wasn't quite right was when the clerk told me the package was guaranteed to arrive on Sunday.

Sunday????

I kindly informed her the post office doesn't run on Sunday. She looked at the computer and confirmed that it stated that it would be delivered on Sunday. She asked if my sister lived in or near a big city. Nooooo.... Ms.Postal Worker said that in some larger cities overnight deliveries would be made on Sunday. This is a big surprise to me. Port St. Lucie, FL hardly qualifies as even a large town much less city, but who am I to argue with the Official With the Computer???

It still seemed weird to me, but hey, she verified it would be Sunday. Saturday I called my sis to let her know that said package should arrive on her doorstep on Sunday.

"But the Post Office doesn't run on Sunday," she said, as if I did not know this already.

"Yeah! I know! But that's what they said!"

"Oh well. If it doesn't come Sunday, it will be here Monday."

Fast forward...this morning... Tuesday...my phone rang. It was sis.

"Hey, listen...your package hasn't arrived. I just wanted to let you know so you can go to the Post Office and pitch a fit and get a refund."

I started looking for receipt. Panic set in when I couldn't find it, but eventually, I managed to find it in the bag I had taken to the post office. The delivery date clearly said 1/7. I tracked it online and the last activity for said package was 1/5 and status was "En route."

I went back to the post office and showed the receipt to the worker, which was someone different. I explained I had had the package overnighted and that it has not arrived. She looked at the receipt and made a funny face...

" 1/7? We do not deliver on Sunday."

"I know! I thought it was weird, but even so, it should be there by now, and it's not."

"Did you call the number or go online (to track)?"

"Yes, it's telling me En route."

"Let me get you a refund request. Give it a couple of days because the computer system takes a couple of days to update."

I really wonder how the U.S Post Office charges more for an overnight delivery than UPS, but cannot afford to invest in a tracking system that actually gives someone a current status on trackable items!! ARGH!!

In the end, I came home and emailed a copy of the documents to my sis. I should have done this to begin with but I also sent her a blank disc because I had downloaded some pics on her computer and had forgotten a disc at the time!! Stoopid post office.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Goals

I had a friend once that suggested I make a list of goals for myself. Long term, short term, and in between. It's not a bad idea. Yesterday, I discovered I have a new goal: to get myself a toaster with a timer that actually works and will not set my bread on fire. Admirable goal, I think. Despite leaving my windows open all day and the fan blowing, it still reeks of smoke in here. However, I also think I might be a rare person that has tinted windows on the toaster!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Flying

Part one of my trip home...the airplane ride!! I love sitting by the window and seeing what's out there. This trip did not disappoint me at all!!


Getting ready for takeoff.
For some reason, the thought of another
plane heading towards us made me
somewhat nervous...


Here we are taking off towards the ocean. Uhm...wrong way....


Ooooh, looky there...the coastline.


Okay, now we're heading the right way.
That's LA sprawled out there.
Hasta, baby! I'm going to Florida!!


And now the mountains....


The next three shots are of Lake Mead,
I think. Either way, it's all the same lake...


That is one big-ass lake!!


seeeeee? I told you it was big!


Now, we leave the lake and head over the canyons.
I was completely fascinated by the clarity of the air
and the landscape itself.

The tops were either snowy or frosty and the base..
probably quite warm.


A lone ridge....


This one looks like a watercolor to me.


A scar in the land


I picture this as a giant butterfly or dragonfly...


Here, we start leaving the jagged canyons
into, well, not really sure...I guess just hills.


oooh...look! Crop circles! No?? oh, ok...
My sis said that they are probably mining. Either way....


I think these might have been the Rockies.


And after the mountains....flatlands...
cold, snowy, flatlands. brrrrr...


I have no idea which mountain range this is,
but I love that it stretches into the distance with
the flatlands on either side of it.


After the mountains, the farmlands.
This looks like a leather patchwork to me.