Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Oh, No.

In Belfast last night:

Yes, it's as bad as it looks.

When we were there a year ago, the occasional "RIRA" graffiti in Ulster cities and reports of UVF thuggery could be dismissed hopefully as the work of low-level hooligans using centuries of conflict as an excuse for what they would do anyway. After all, street crime is endemic to modern urban societies, isn't it?

Hope remains that this does not escalate, but the anxiety is ramping up.

UPDATE: Good background piece on the current state of affairs in Short Strand. The comments are illuminating, too.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Does She Still Need Me? Will She Still Feed Me?

One of the questions in Sir Paul's ditty isn't a question for me, though: if I'm out 'til quarter to three, I'm certain that whether or not the door is locked will be way, way down on my list of concerns.

I'm sixty-freaking-four years old today. How did that happen?

Predictable YouTube drop-in:

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Red Menace, 6/18/05 - 6/18/11

Red lurking in the rose garden a month ago.

Just yesterday I wished her a happy birthday in this space. I knew she was contrary, but this just takes the cake.

I found her stiffer than Richard Nixon in the hutch this morning. After the others had happily jumped over the carcass on their way to the feeder, a quick inspection showed the probable cause: she almost certainly had been egg-bound. If she had shown any signs before the ultimate one, we probably would have been able to get her through the problem, as we had with others before, but she didn't.

Condolences are not necessary. This was one mean chicken, also given to occasional episodes of gender confusion. Were we serious farmers, not dilettantes, she would have been Sunday dinner long ago.

Her most frequent victim in either mean or gender-confused mode was poor little Sugar, a meek and sweet-natured Araucana. When both of them were a few months old, Red lost a toe during a run-in with a wire fence. We put her in a cage in the potting shed for recuperation, a place where she couldn't get her bandage dirty or lose it. For company, we put Sugar in there with her until it became evident that Red was beating up the smaller bird. After recuperation, Red always had a thing for her former cellmate -- never quite enough for us to put a permanent end to things or even to separate them at night, but frequently causing "oh, jeez, Red, cut it out" moments.


Sugar's a beautiful bird when she has all of her feathers. At least now we can count on that being her standard condition.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Adam!

Christmas, 1972. We both look a little different now.

Happy birthday, Adam! You're 41 now, the biggest such number a son of mine has ever had. Keep 'em coming.

I'm proud of you, you know. But I hope you also know that's just a bonus, not something necessary.

(Happy birthday also to Jax, Red, Sugar, Bratty, Goldie, and Sir Paul.)