Sunday, May 23, 2010

Gang colors... there goes the neighborhood!

Stepping out on the porch this morning, I was surprised to see a brown anole flashing his gang colors at me! If you’ve not seen a brown anole, they are much more tolerant of humans than the green anoles typically seen in our neighborhood.

Since he didn’t seem like he was in a hurry to go anywhere, I went back inside and grabbed my camera. He waited.

This particular brown anole is a male. Males are brown and speckled; females have diamond-shaped patterns. This fella is also a mature male as evidenced by the crest-like ridge along his back.

When I started taking his picture, he was quite the true professional. Brown anoles get used to humans; you can typically get really close to them if you move slowly. I was able to get the lens within a foot of him, and he only flinched at the clicking sound of the camera’s shutter. I guess he thought he was going to be on the cover of National Geographic.

After shooting a few pictures of him on the stone, he hopped into the bushes and began the characteristic head bobbing. Then he displayed his yellow-trimmed, red-orange dewlap for the camera lens. I had to turn the ISO up to 1250 because of the poor lighting in the bushes, so there’s a little noise in the dewlap portraits, but he’s still a handsome fella.

He won’t make the cover of National Geographic, but I trust you will appreciate his dashing looks and flamboyant display.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

You're not the boss of me!

The first words out of William's mouth most Saturday and Sunday mornings are similar to the following, "Daddy, can I play the Wii?"

William is five. He loves the Wii. Emily, seven, also loves the Wii, but she doesn't have the same level of obsession with the Wii as her younger brother.

More frequently than not, playing the Wii becomes a problem. And typically the problem is one of two things...

For the first 15 minutes or so after the Wii is powered up, Emily and William work as a team while playing Lego Star Wars. At some point a decision has to be made about what door to open or who gets to be what Star Wars character. Then it happens--yelling, screaming, stomping... "YOU'RE NOT THE BOSS OF ME!!!" William is in tears and Emily decides she doesn't want to play anymore anyway!

The other "thing" that happens is the result of too much Wii. If William plays the Wii for too long, turning the Wii off typically results in a meltdown. William cries and cries and cries...and between the tears he reminds me that he never gets to play the Wii, and "IT'S NOT FAIR!!!"

Perhaps a third "thing" is my inability to manage Wii time, but clearly that subject would require more self assessment than I'm willing to dedicate to it at this particular moment...

Santa needs his ass kicked for putting the Wii under the tree in the first place. Fat bastard.

So while having dinner at IHOP tonight (yeah, don't even can think it, just don't ask it...), William says, "Daddy, can we play the Wii tomorrow?"

Seriously? Are you f'ing kidding me?

Thoroughly annoyed, I try to use some parenting skills that don't involve the words, "I'm going to throw that Wii in the trash!"

Finally, I got it!

"William..." I say, "I think you play too much Wii; that seems to be all you want to do. What's something you could do tomorrow besides playing the Wii?"

William looked at me intently...he gave the matter serious thought for a good 15 seconds...carefully he chose his words before proclaiming, "I know, Daddy!...I could watch TV!"


Horrible 18-wheeler accident on I-10...

An 18-wheeler crashed on I-10 in Houston today...right at I-45 and I-10.  The crash must have happened around lunch time.

The following are the pictures I took after I drove up on the HOV overpass lane to look down on the scene...


And a look from the other direction

Part of the hood...and the turbo charger

He's alive!

The upper part of the cab and the driver being loaded into the ambulance

Here you can see the bottom of the tractor underneath the trailer...see the exhaust stack?

Here's another look...
you can see part of the cab under the trailer (blue arrow),
the top of the cab (red arrow),
and the hood (purple arrow).