11 January, 2013

Hi  Folks,

The last couple of days were chore days, so I didn’t post.  Also – Hooray!!!!  I got my old desktop back and it is functional.  I have been spending my spare, and unsparing time, trying to restore – from backups – all some of the files that got trashed.  There are some of the most ridiculous seeming problems.  For example, my email program – Outlook Express – now does its  “Spell Check”  in French.  And I can’t seem to find a way to make it remember to think in English.  That is a true PITA!!!

The computer tech/guru who worked on the machine really did a pretty good job, and charged a very reasonable fee.  I do have backups for what was on the machine, but I am hesitant to restore a lot of files at one time, for fear that I screw up what is now, at least, a partially functional machine.

I had to go to Bozeman (about a 100 mile round trip by the time all the shopping was done) yesterday.   Mostly getting bird and “furry bird” food.  I came back with some 400 pounds (181.2 kg) of food.  And I got home, just before the blizzard struck.  It is still Blizzarding…  Our low this morning was -4 F (-20 C); and right now it is really nasty out 30 mph winds, with a temperature of 5 F (-14 C).   The weather channel says we have “light snow”; as opposed to “dark snow”, I presume.

Our most abundant birds at our feeders right now are “Rosy Finches”, which are present here in a huge flock, probably close to 500 birds are around our feeders at times.  The grey-crowned rosy finch, Leucosticte tephrocotis,  is the most abundant one here, but the other Rosy species, or types, are also represented in small numbers.

Grey Crowned Rosy Finch.

Grey Crowned Rosy Finch.


Leucosticte tephrocotis is a bird of high mountain habitats being found above the tree-line in summer.  The really nasty weather found at those elevations forces the birds down to lower elevations in the late autumn.  The first ones typically arrive here around the middle of November, and they leave around the middle of March.

Taken in 2012, A Mule Deer Doe We Call Notch-Ear, Eating Sunflower Seeds From A Bird Feeder.

Taken in 2012, A Mule Deer Doe We Call Notch-Ear, Eating Sunflower Seeds From A Bird Feeder.

My first picture of “Notch-Ear” was taken in 2002, and she is here this year, but I don’t have any images of her available yet (computer problems, remember, 🙂 ).  She is here this year with a pair of fawns.  Unfortunately, they, and all the other deer around here this year, are really looking awful.  We had a nasty drought in the last half of summer, and that tremendously impacted deer forage.  They really don’t have much to eat.  So… I don’t begrudge Notch and her kiddies a few bits – or a lot –  of sunflower seeds.  However, it is the other 12 or so deer that have shown up at about the same time she comes by, that reallydrain the bird feeders.

This was one of Notch-Ear's fawns last February.

This was one of Notch-Ear’s fawns last February.

The length and shape of this species’ (Odocoileus hemionus) ears, clearly visible here, is the reason they are called “mule deer“.

I haven’t had time to continue the discussion of why invertebrate zoologists are members of a “dying breed”.   However, that discussion will continue in a day or two.  It is more imporant to me to get my computer up and running and useful before I do much other work, such as writing.

However, before I leave —


See the first videos of living giant squid in its normal habitat.  OMIGAWD !!!!

This short entry by Dr. Craig M.  in Deep Sea News discusses this video.


More later,

Cheers,  Ron

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4 Responses to “11 January, 2013”

  1. Alex Hirsekorn says:

    Hi Ron,

    Congratulations on getting the computer running again! My wife had a Dell destop for a while and basically hated every minute of her experience; it’s good to know that it is actually possible to get one to work properly on occasion. OTOH: Please don’t start posting in French!

    Thanks for the heads-up on the Giant Squid video. NHK must be a very cool network. If memory serves they also were instrumental in getting the first video of Giant Pacific Octopus babies hatching – Jim Cosgrove found the den and (correctly) predicted when the blessed event would occur and NHK provided the high tech and high dollar video equipment needed to show what was going on in the den.

    (Re)Newly yours,

    • Ron says:

      Hi Alex,

      Good to see you here!!! I hoped we would be able to continue our “extended conversations”. I have liked my Dell – a lot, actually. My PC history started with a Compaq back in 1985. After it became prematurely obsolete I then went through several computing boxes manufactured by local back of the store businesses. At the time this was commonly done, the idea to get a computer that perfectly matched one’s needs. The basic idea was fine, except that the people putting these things together often (in my cases!) had no idea of what components were compatible with what other components. Talk about odd and bizarre problems. Finally I had enough of that, and decided, “Okay, I will get everything from the same manufacturer and I will go with one that has a good reputation.” So, I got a system: printer, scanner, computer and all from HP. This was about 1996. What a mistake THAT was!! I got shoddy manufacturing, but they made up for it by having rude, expensive, and ineffective (when it was available) tech support. That machine lasted about a year, and I have had Dells ever since, and right now I don’t think I would get anything but a Dell for my desktop. Of course, the way things are going, desktops may be obsolete before long.

      I think NHK is the Japanese equivalent of the BBC. I have seen a lot of neat videos with their insignia on them, but I don’t know anything about them.

      It is too bad we can’t have a modern equivalent of the Walt Disney corporation of the 1950s. From what I have heard, they would subsidize natural history research that could be documented by the scientist with movies. See the description here: http://www.amazon.com/Walt-Disney-Legacy-Collection-Adventures/dp/B000I2J6RS They then would “cherry pick” the best sequences and put those together for short movies which they sold. The researchers got all the support and Disney got some of the best nature photography that has ever been done.

      It would be nice to have that kind of support (= carte blanche support with lotsa $$) today.


  2. ole kekkonen says:

    hi,NHK will air its video footage in Japan in a prime-time documentary entitled “Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid” on Jan. 13. It will also be shown on the Discovery Channel on Jan. 27.


    • Ron says:

      Hi Ole,

      Glad to see you here! Yes, I will watch it – with some trepidations – on the Discovery Channel. It used to be that the Discovery Channel was a good channel to watch science and nature shows. Now they have “Amish Mafia”, “Shark Wars”, “Moonshiner”, and other complete crap. Then…Every now and then, something interesting shows up. However, whoever produces a lot of the Discovery nature show narrations seldom misses an opportunity to make their topics sound and seem much more “on the edge” than they really are. So with footage of live Architeuthis, I suspect a great deal of the program will be spent with discussions of mythological Krakken, Giant Squids in movies (such as 20,000 Leagues under the Puddle), and other such hype, all while just a discussion of the squids themselves would be exciting enough.

      Sigh!!! I guess I am sounding like an… you know, one of them.

      I guess a viewpoint like this is what happens when one gets old and decrepit… 🙂