Sad Day for Mascots

As one who used to dabble in the mascot trade, I was saddened to hear that one of North Carolina's mascots was killed in a car accident at the NCAA tournament. Road trips to games were always a highlight for me, and for one to result in this tragedy is unfortunate. Here is a touching remembrance that really gets to the heart of the joy of being a mascot.

Fun in/around Logan

My sub job for today got canceled last night so I was suddenly open to new jobs. I hate it when I don't know in advance. I don't sleep well the whole night because I am dreading the very early phone call saying I am needed. Even when you don't get called you never know if they will call at 7:30 saying I need to be somewhere in 15 minutes so I still had to get up at 6:45 and get ready. That was today. But, on the bright side, since no one called, I have a whole day free to get stuff done. Not only important stuff like writing an excessively long post in this blog, reading the newspaper, and taking a nap but also the things on my to do list that didn't get done over the weekend such as packing and cleaning. I always like to leave my place clean when I leave so I don't have to come back to a mess. (This is totally my mother's fault). I had very lofty ambitions for the weekend but in the end we just had fun.

Our first big stop was the Willow Park Zoo. There had been a bit of controversy locally over the zoo so I wanted to check it out for myself. Currently it costs $1 for adults, and 50 cents for kids and is based on the honor system using a self-pay box but there is a movement to build a booth and bump up the costs to $2 for adults and $1 for kids. Before going to the zoo, I was for the increase but now I am not so sure now. But back to the fun part about the zoo - the animals. There aren't tons of animals there but there are a fair amount of birds, some turtles, fish and a couple mammals. I will just spotlight a few of our favorites.

This is a sandhill crane (Grus canadensis). He was very friendly and came up almost too close the wire fence separating us, but still he is cool.

Ah, the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus). A symbol of the United States of America. This particular bird wasn't very representative of freedom because he was injured before he came to the zoo and can no longer fly but I thought he still looked very regal and powerful. Craig thought I was just giving him characteristics because that's what I was taught he represented. Maybe slightly, but even if I wasn't such a patriotic person, I would still think the bald eagle is a pretty cool bird with his own kind of attitude. Besides he beats Benajmin
Franklin's pick of the turkey (Meleagris gallopavo). This guy was

very funny and determined. He kept fluffing himself up and strutting his stuff for the female but she was just not interested at all. I don't think she really should have been so picky because one, he was the only male there and two, she was probably the ugliest bird I have ever seen. She looked like some kid had stuck here in a washer.

My last picture is of a duck. There are a number of different ducks there but I thought this type was the most unique. I don't really know what type he is or have anything else to say about him. I didn't get any good pictures of any mammals. Their cuteness doesn't translate very well.
After the zoo we went on a hike up to the Wind Cave. It's a nice hike, a little over 2 and half miles round trip. I look dorky in the picture but it's the only one of the both of us so too bad for me. I am really beginning to enjoy the loveliness of a Cache Valley Spring. After we get back from England, it should be warm enough that we can plan a camping trip for some weekend. That makes me happy.


Gig 'em, Craig

I have landed a gig. I've had some interaction with the local radio show, including winning the news quiz once. Well, I was invited to contribute to the show's blog, which is found here, and in my favorite sites list over on the right. I have posted twice so far; "An Al Gore Moment at the City Council?" and "Utah Busybodies". I imagine I will stick mostly to Utah issues, with some national stuff thrown in on occasion. Check it out.

Also, for a techno-tip, if you scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)", you can subscribe to this site's RSS feed. This will put the site in your bookmarks list, and allow you to see the titles of recent posts, letting you know at a glance if there is new material without actually coming to the site. It is handy, and I do it with several blogs. Give it a shot.


Tubby's Tie

The Minnesota Gopher basketball team scored a major coup this week by hiring departed Kentucky coach Tubby Smith (BTW, do people call him that in conversation? "Hey, Tubby, what's up?" Sounds awkward.). It was quite a surprise to most, but it looks like taking over a moribund team with low expectations was a welcome reprieve for him from the pressure in Lexington.

This brings me to my main point. Several people I know have lamented the fact that Aggie coach Billy Gillespie doesn't wear maroon ties at games. Well, I can report that Tubby donned a maroon-and-gold tie on his very first day. Check it out:


Let's ask the masses

As I was trudging home from work today, I suddenly remembered that it was Friday. I'm not really sure why that fact has escaped me for so long since I normally think about the joy of Friday all day long, but it did. After that, the rest of the .8 mile walk home seemed like a mere two or three steps. Especially since next week I only work two days then it is off to England for our honeymoon.

Ah, my honeymoon. This leads me to my question. Should I rely solely on Craig's digital camera or should we also take along my fancy, albeit big, SLR camera? Here is the list I have been using to try and help me decide?

Reasons for taking fancy camera:
- takes amazing pictures
- printed pictures for my scrapbook don't look all weird like digital ones do

Reasons against taking fancy camera:
- large and heavy
- possibility of it being lost, stolen and/or broken
- joy of looking like a tourist...but it still isn't as bad as a video camera

The list is failing. I still can't decide. I think the biggest reason for taking the camera is that I will feel more obligated to ask people to take the cliche pictures of us I so desperately want (Craig and I standing in front of Beefeaters, Craig and I eating fish and chips, etc) . In my mind, if I drag the camera all the way to England I have no excuse not to ask a friendly British pedestrian to take a second and help us out. And if they even think of refusing us, we will see it in their eyes and before they have a chance to say no I will chime in with, "oh thanks, we're on our honeymoon". Who can turn down someone on their honeymoon? That's just cruel.

But just when I think I have decided to take it, I reconsider. When I am exhausted from walking all over London and still have an hour left of my Jack the Ripper walking tour, will I really want an extra couple pounds hanging around me neck? And while my camera bag's shoulder strap can be tucked away and replaced by a belt strap to turn it into a fanny pack, I don't think I can be that lame. I might as well wear a ball cap, shorts, and black socks with sporty sandals.

At this point, I think I will leave it up to you, new but soon to be faithful readers. Should it stay or should it go?


Are Sports Worth It?

As I reflect on the Aggies unfortunate loss tonight, I wonder if the joys I get from sports are worth the heartbreak and frustration. The number of times teams I support have lost big games are far more than the number they've won. And unless they win the championship, your team will fail at some point each year. The only championships I have experienced are the Twins in 1991 and the Gopher hockey team in 2002 and 2003 (yeah, the Twins won in 1987, but I was too young to enjoy it). I understand that the euphoria of a championship can last many years, but a championship is far from a guarantee. But you can count on losses.

What happens, though, is that your team strings you along. They win a big game, or have a promising season, and that gives you enough of a fix to keep watching. A few years of setbacks, and you're ready to give up, but then they pull off an upset to bring you back in again. It's a vicious cycle.

Even though basketball is over now, I won't have much of a reprieve. The Twins start up again April 1st.

We bought a new home...

...for Gus-Gus. He had figured out how to climb up the walls of his old one and bang his head against the ceiling to knock it off and escape. This led to a couple of midnight chases around the living room to capture him. We scoured the pet store to find the most escape proof cage and at least for now, he is contained. His new one, which you can see below, is much roomier than his old and has space for his little nest-room, a new chewable log tunnel and a bigger wheel. Gus-Gus has been more active lately and I take that as a sign he approves. We also like it better as we can see into his home without looking through colored plastic. It doesn't have the fancy tubes for him to crawl through which is sad for him but great for me since cleaning them was a big pain. Overall, we are happy with our purchase. Take a look for yourself.