Monday, July 11, 2011


Without setting out to do so, I have become an observer of the habits of 3 different birds involving the way they deal with droppings in the nest. 4 years ago I allowed a pair of Barn Swallows to nest over our front door, much to my wifes immediate dismay, and to my later chagrin.
5 eggs and then 5 chicks in a tiny mud daubed nest.
Each day I took a picture, and each picture showed the rapidly growing brood, and the rapidly diminishing space in that nest. I observed that the babies would force their way through the crowd to the top, then position their derriere over the edge of the nest, and – bombs away – on the floor below. Soon there was a big pile of guano littering our deck under the nest.
When they had left the nest, and I took it down, there was not one dropping inside.
I do not recommend letting barn swallows build at your home. In addition to the mess, they are extremely aggressive, and will attack any and all interlopers on their territory. Not only that, they will also return the next year and insist on rebuilding on the ancestral site. It takes diligence and a broom to discourage them.
Bluebirds have a different method. For several years we have had the privilege of having bluebird broods in a birdhouse at the edge of our lawn. Lots of pictures to show for it, and they return each year. Currently, they are raising their second brood.
For some time I watched the male go to the house, poke his head inside, and then fly away with a small white package in his beak. When I cautiously opened the front of the house I found that the babies poop right on the front edge of the nest, just inside the entrance hole. The male picks it up, and carries it away, and not just anywhere, but far away.
When the brood leaves, you will find not one dropping in that nest.
Now, on the other side of this story are the tree swallows. Again, a nest built inside a bird house, and the nest is the epitome of perfection. It is lined with feathers all neatly interwoven to provide a cozy and comfortable place to raise the young.
However, their sanitary proceedures seem to be lacking, for when they finally leave the nest and I take it out of the box, it is brimming with droppings.
I guess birds really are a lot like people!

Saturday, July 9, 2011


this is definitely a RANT!

It started when a memory stick was lost. You know, one of those tiny things you stick in your computer and it will hold in memory fantastic amounts of information? Well, this one happened to hold some information about everyone who had gone to get a flu shot.
Hardly an earthshaking event, but certainly worthy of a review of security procedures, and perhaps some disciplinary action if the loss was due to personal negligence.
End of story, right?
A class action suit has been launched on behalf of all of the people who received those flu shots, although I am not sure how they knew who they were since the stick was lost.
Anyway, my wife and I are now part of that class suit. Do we want to be? NO.
Do we have to be? Yes. That is unless we want to fill out a form and opt out.
Am I happy about this? You can bet your sweet bippy I am NOT!
What is even more bizarre is that the law firm handling the suit happens to be the same firm where the current finance minister is a partner.
In a nutshell then, here is the scoop –
 We are a part of a law suit we did not agree to
 Our name and address and perhaps other information were given to at least one third party – the law firm
 I understand from newspaper reports that the class suit was authorized by the courts
 I understand the region is being sued for several millions of dollars, for the loss of privacy of the individuals and for mental suffering
The only suffering I have undergone is when I found out I was part of the suit, that my personal privacy had been breeched, not by the loss of the stick, but by the court that ordered the information to be given to the lawyers.
By the anger that almost consumes me to learn that unless I take a specific action of opting out, I am automatically included. (This one really ticks me off!)
By the vitriolic animosity I now bear against whoever the odious twerp is that started this thing.
Who are we punishing with this suit – the taxpayers? They will foot the bill, and of course, many of them are people included in the class action.
Will “the region” be chastised by the verdict if found to be against it. Can a “region” be punished? Don’t they need to find a scapegoat to hang out to dry?
If the region is found guilty (or whatever they “find” in these cases) and charged only ten dollars, will it satisfy the need to punish, or does it need to be one hundred million dollars to be effective, or what dollar amount in between?
If I get a dollar at the end of all this, will it mollify my supposed mental anguish, or is there another specific amount that is deemed appropriate?

I cannot put in words just how much I despise this whole fiasco, and more particularly, the various authors – whoever started it, the court that okayed it, and the lawyers that will all profit from it whatever  the outcome!
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