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And in Mutual of Raleigh's "Wild Kingdom" :D…

… it’s been a critter filled week.

Still waiting for the V2.0 bluebird eggs to hatch. According to the folks in the know, it’s supposed to be 15 days from the date that they lay their 5th and last egg. Which should be this coming Tuesday. So we’ll see then if we’ve got itty bitty baby birdies this time, or if she laid another batch of “dud” eggs. Hopefully we’ve got birdies this time, it would be sad if the eggs were bad a second time. :(

Got the aquarium (ie the Guppy Birth Control Tank, aka The Home for Unwed Fish-fathers) set up last weekend, and in three different sessions, got all the guppies we were able to identify as male out of the 20 gallon tank and into the 10 gallon tank upstairs. The Great Guppy Rodeo actually went MUCH easier and quicker than I thought, although we’ll have to keep checking, since there are still so many unidentifiable baby guppies in there that we won’t be able to tell until they get a little older if they’re male or female. So the worst is over, and my 20 gallon tank looks a lot less overcrowded. The females look a little unhappy though. LOL.

And we’ve apparently got MICE again. It’s been a while, but had to take one mouse outside last night, and another one out tonight. I think all the rain we’ve been having is bringing them into the house again. Hoping that we just had one male and one female and that we got them relocated before they decided to follow the guppies’ example and start a bunch of babies of their own. The LAST time we had mice, I had to put out something like 16 of them in as many days. Yeah, they’re cute, but after the first couple of times, it starts to get a little old. So hopefully getting rid of these first two will take care of the situation this time.

The Bluebird Saga Continues…

First we had eggs (be sure to click on the pic to go to the larger sized shadowboxed version for each one of these):

5 Bluebird Eggs

All of those eggs were duds, so those disappeared, then we had five more eggs. Won’t post another pic, since the second batch of eggs looked just like the first. 😀

The second batch of eggs finally hatched, about 15 days after the fifth egg was laid:

"Feed Me, Seymore!" :D

I swear, baby birds are probably the only critters in the animal kingdom that are just plain ugly when they’re babies. Most other baby animals you see them and go “Oh, they’re JUSTSOCUUUUUTE!” but not baby birds, they’re always these scrawny little things.

Once Big Mouth there realized that we weren’t Mama, he hunkered down like his nestmates and played possum until we put the nest back in the box.

Checked on them a couple of days ago to see how they were progressing:

Birdies, looking slightly more birdlike.

Still pretty scrawny, but at least they’ve got some feathers now and look a little more like real birds. Should have heard them as we were coming up on the nest, five little constant peeps and chirps, until we opened the door to the birdhouse, then it was like someone flipped a switch and turned them off. Pretty funny.

But today we had some birdie anxiety. Two of the babies made a break out of the nest this afternoon. I guess parent birds force the issue by not bringing them food for a day or so to force them to leave the nest, and today was the day. Unfortunately, there are a lot of outdoor neighborhood cats, so since the little guys were still too young to fly, we were a bit concerned that they were sitting ducks – or in this case, bluebirds – until they were able to flutter along the ground to get under the cover of the bushes in the yard.

Of all days for me to have sent my camcorder in for repairs, grumble. I’ve got a great Nikon that does a fantastic job with pics and clips, but since I’ve been using the camcorder for most of the last year, the battery was dead. Neither of my 2 PDAs with cameras were charged, either, and I’m sitting here going “With all these early generation cameras I’ve got in the house, I’ve got NOTHING that I can capture the birds leaving the nest?!?!”

Fortunately found my old cheap Visioneer in a drawer, discovered that it didn’t require a memory stick since it had some internal memory built in, and all it needed was a pair of AA batteries, and it was good to go. So was able to go outside and snap a few pictures in between getting eaten alive by the mosquitoes (7 bites on one leg, 5 on the other; they don’t itch too badly yet, but I know they will in a couple of days). Since I hadn’t used the camera in a while (I didn’t have the drivers for the camera loaded on this PC, so it had to have been at least 7 years, when I still had my old computer, since I last used this one), took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to get the pics off the camera memory. Now I know why I bought a new camera to replace this one; it didn’t take very good pictures. But at least I got ONE that came out okay.

RIP Birdie! :(

Kinda sad though, this little guy actually didn’t make it. :( Don’t know if he got hurt when he dropped from the nest, or what happened, but he never made it into the bushes to hide. I saw a big ole blackbird pecking away at something and as soon as it fluttered, I knew it was the baby bird. I got there to chase the blackbird away, and knew the little guy was done for the way he was lying on his back. Didn’t want to just leave him there for the blackbird or a cat to come back and finish off, and I figured I couldn’t hurt him anymore now, so got a shovel and a dustpan to move him to the bushes myself. By the time I got back to him, he was already a goner. :(

A second birdie had dropped out of the nest while I was out there shooting that earlier pic, don’t know how HE fared, and unless anyone left the nest after dark tonight, there should be 3 more birdies leaving it tomorrow at some point. Hope they have better luck.

Whoda thunk that putting up a bluebird house could be so stressful? Oy.

DVRs, Aquariums, Doctor Who, and Bluebirds

BLUEBIRDS FIRST: Here we go again. First there’s a new nest, then eventually 1 then 2 then 3 eggs

Bluebird Eggs Part 2

As of this morning, we are up to FOUR eggs. She will most likely lay one more, then we wait 15 days for them to hatch. Hopefully. That’s what we thought last time, and the whole lot turned out to be duds apparently.

Four birdie eggs

Don’t worry Mom and Pop! We promise we won’t drop them or turn them into omelets! :)

Mom and Pop

THE NEW AQUARIUM: IE: The new 10 gallon guppy tank. Well, we TRIED to set that up today, moved a bookshelf to make room, measured everything out to make sure there was enough space to put the new tank, and was all set to take it outside to hose it off as suggested, when *bum Bum BUUUUM* I discovered a chip and a crack in the side of the tank. Ugh! Had to put everything BACK in the box, and we’ll take it back to the store sometime this week and try to set it up NEXT weekend instead. Guess the guppies will be free to breed for another week. *sigh*

New Favorite show: Doctor Who! Never watched it before, but got hooked on its spinoff show “Torchwood” back in September. And with all the fuss and bother about there being a new Doctor this season, AND the fact that we finally got digital cable in the house, which finally allowed us to have BBC America, thought I’d go ahead and give it a look. So watched the 1 hour special that was on earlier this week “Doctor Who – The Ultimate Guide” to try to get me up to speed at least a little bit, and liked what I saw well enough to check out Episodes 1 and 2 on BBC America On Demand. Very cool show. The Doctor, with his sonic screwdriver, reminds me of MacGyver and his Swiss army knife. Mac was never quite THAT wigged out all the time, but between having one tool that did everything, and not being one to want anything to do with guns, there ARE certain similarities. And they way they go to different times and places in the universe is very Stargate SG-1. They just travel through wormholes in different ways: one show goes through a big metal ring, the other, well, a phone booth. LOL. Will definitely be watching more of Doctor Who, just as soon as the summer reruns kick in.

And the latest on the DVR. Turns out that we DID have to call the installers back yesterday to come and replace the DVR, since as expected, the one that he left with us did keep losing signal sporadically. So call the installers yesterday morning, and they get someone out about 12:30 that afternoon to replace the box. However! About a half hour or so before they get there, it suddenly occurs to me that if they pull the DVR to put in the new one, we’re going to lose about 10 hours worth of recordings that we’ve set it up for since Tuesday night: About 7 hours of regular weekly tv, plus three hours of the movie “Pulp Fiction”, which we’d never seen. Tried once before but had so much audio drop out that it was unwatchable, so thought getting it on AMC-HD would solve that problem. Found out that if we didn’t mind paying the extra $7 to rent a second DVR, they’d go ahead and install the new and improved box, but we’d be able to switch back to the old one to watch everything we needed to watch to clear up the box, then we could take it back to Time Warner ourselves. So between yesterday and today, got all the weekly shows cleared up, and just deleted Pulp Fiction (it’s on SOME network pretty frequently, so we’ll just catch it at a later time). Then I unhooked the defective box, swapped out all the cables into the new box, shoved everything back into our entertainment center, and have the old box ready to go back to Time Warner tomorrow. Hoping that since we’re getting it back so quickly, and the fact that we only had to have a second box because there hadn’t been a better box on the installer’s truck originally, that they won’t charge us for having it one day. We’ll see.

Bluebirds have moved in! Yay!

(Actually wrote this last night, but thought I’d lost the post. Somehow it got stuck in preview mode and never posted! Go figure.)

We’ve had a bluebird house tacked to a tree the last couple of years, and short of one family of titmouses (titmice? titmeeses?) that moved in and made a nest that first year, the house has remained empty.

Apparently blue birds don’t like to nest in houses tacked to trees, too easy for predators to get at the eggs that way, I guess. So now we’ve got another bluebird house, on a pole, with a baffle, in the clear spot in the yard. And lo and behold, this year we’ve got a pair of bluebirds that have nested there.

Saw one egg in there the other day, and then no sign of the parents for a while, so we were a little concerned that it was a bad egg and they were just going to leave it there.

(Don’t forget to click the pics to check out the larger version of the photos!)

But Mom called me at work this morning to let me know that there was a second egg in the nest when she checked it this morning, and by the time I got home from work peeked again, there was a third one! So apparently the bluebirds like their new home this year. :)

Bluebird Eggs: Now there are FIVE! :)

Mama laid another one in the time since the last pic of four was taken. How cool is that. According to the birdhouse store, that should be her last egg, they apparently lay no more than 5 at a time.

And now the bird house is moved. It’s a little uneven, so we’re going to stick a wedge underneath to level it out a bit, but hopefully we won’t have to move it again.

bluebird house 2

It's all about location location location! :)

Mama has already come back to check it out. Apparently, blue birds are real people birds, once they get used to you coming around, and know that you’re not going to hurt the eggs or the babies, they will actually come to YOU for help if they run into a problem. Should be interesting, once they hatch.

Mama Blue Bird

Of Bluebirds, Tivo, & John Barrowman

Noticed that I wasn’t getting a whole lot of hits on the blog recently, and it occurred to me that maybe it was because I hadn’t posted anything new since April 28th or so. 😀 So a few updates to some prior posts to remedy that. You can do a search on some of the main terms to see the original posts on each one.


Bluebird Eggs And then there WEREN’T five. Apparently those five bluebird eggs were defective. Last weekend we checked the nest, which was supposed to have hatched by then, and there were only four eggs left in the nest, and none had hatched yet. We were told to wait another week or so, and then if they hadn’t hatched by then, to get rid of them and the nest, clean out the box, and let the bluebirds start over. Took a peek today. ALL the eggs were gone, and Ma and Pa bluebird had already started building a NEW nest over the top of the old one. So apparently they figured out that the eggs weren’t going to hatch, cleaned house all by themselves, and are starting over again. So we may still have baby birdies to watch yet. Yay.


Aaaaand, it’s OUT OF HERE! The wireless N adapter that I bought at Amazon arrived Friday afternoon, so I figured I’d take a couple of hours on Sunday to get the Tivo up and running. HAH! After banging my head against a wall with the thing for FIVE hours on Sunday, 3 of which involved another online chat on the laptop with their tech support folks (you know you’re in a bad spot when even the guy at Tivo technical support is at a loss as to why the adapter – which connected to the network just fine, but refused to connect to the Tivo box – refused to connect), I said enough of this crappydoodle stuff, and we decided to ditch the Tivo and just call Time Warner to have them set us up with digital cable and one of their cable box/DVR combos.

As much as I hate getting beaten by anything electronic, which almost never happens, I’m not all that heartbroken about getting beaten by a dinky little Tivo adapter. Didn’t want Tivo in the first place, and between coughing up $300 for the box, another $100 for the adapter, and $100+ for a years worth of service, I’m more than happy to send everything back, get my $500 back, and let Time Warner, who we’ve been happy with 99% of the time handle our DVR needs for a while.

So packaged up the wireless adapter and printed out the postage paid return label from Amazon, that will go back out in the mail tomorrow. Boxed up all the Tivo cables and connectors and will be bringing THAT back to Best Buy tomorrow. And called Tivo proper last night, and got the $120+ credited back and the account canceled (Had to laugh, when he pulled up my account to see my tech support info, he’s all “You’ve got 12 PAGES of chat here from yesterday!” And I’m all “Tell me about it!”). DID find out something of interest though, assuming the customer support guy wasn’t just feeding me a line. Apparently Best Buy was selling first generation Tivo boxes, and with most first generation things, there are bugs. And the wireless N adapters are pretty new (the only two local sellers selling Tivo wireless adapters were Best Buy and CompUSA, and both were still only selling G, not N). And apparently, one of the bugs in the first gen boxes is that they don’t tend to like those newfangled wireless N adapters. So had I bought a Tivo box from someone else, I probably wouldn’t have had a problem. And for my trouble, since I was taking the Tivo box back to Best Buy anyway, Tivo would sell me a box direct, for $100 off the price. I told them thank you but no thanks, I already had the appointment for Tuesday with the cable company.

Which I did. When I called THEM Monday at lunch, they were actually able to schedule an installation for between 5-7pm tonight. The guy came before 5:30, and was done in less than an hour. And now we’ve got a DVR that will record two different channels at once, and more channels than we know what to do with (I’ve FINALLY got BBC America! Yay! And while I’m not ready to jump into watching the new Doctor Who quite yet – never seen a Dr. Who ep in my LIFE – they actually had a Doctor Who Primer episode on at 10am tonight, which will hopefully give me an idea of whether I want to waste time trying to get up to speed on the show or not.) Alas, we’ve already had a scheduling conflict with having the new channels now. Already had both DVR tuners and my RAM disc recorder programmed for the main three networks tonight at 10pm, what’s a girl to DO? Why, pull up Doctor Who in the onscreen programming guide and see if the episode is going to be airing again at a later time. Why yes, yes it is! 1am tonight. Selected it from the list, hit record, and whambam, it’s programmed. Just that easy. Tivo WHO? 😀

I will say though, in comparison to the customer “support” that I received from Philips when I contacted THEM for help, despite the fact that the whole Tivo thing didn’t work out, the Tivo customer support was actually pretty impressive, IMHO. So they get some points for that.


Just a webpage update, if you Barrowfans haven’t found it yet without a blogpost to point the way. 😉 After not being included in the Desperate Housewives episode LAST week (which was a good thing, since locally, the whole first half of the show was pre-empted due to tornado activity in our viewing area), JB’s 3rd episode aired Sunday night, so I finally added his 2nd and 3rd DH episode clips to the site.

The clips can be found here, as usual. Enjoy, all you Johnettes and Barrowboys! 😉

Danny: “Heeey, double cappuccino, extra hot. Need anything else?”
Patrick: “Inspiration.”
Danny: “Sorry, we just have muffins…” 😀

Patrick: “…I’ve had an exhausting couple of days, what with searching your house looking for firearms, and running over Dudley Douche-bag…”

Bluebird Eggs: And then there were FOUR!

Yup! Mama Bluebird laid another egg yesterday, so now the nest has four baby-birds-to-be.

Alas, Mom just got back from a birdie seminar at the bird supply store where she bought the bluebird house, and found out that we’ve got it located too close to the bushes at the side of the yard (too close to where the squirrels can get to it), so now we have to unstake it, move it into the yard about 10 feet, then restake it.

*sigh* “So nice we moved it twice”