Tuesday, June 20, 2006

This is why I do it.

Look at these photos below. Just a few that I took last week... and there have been many others... of completely different creatures in the park where I work.
Yet I also pass at LEAST one road kill every day while driving in. Usually an armadillo or a raccoon... the other day it was a hawk. A friggin' HAWK! And don't forget the time we had the dead bobcat...
I also see where development is taking over. Corners that used to have trees are now empty... waiting for a house. Soon we will not be able to see the stars anymore...
Sometimes I wish I were smarter... that I had more influence... that there was some way to get people to see what they are doing.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Since Katie is disturbed by my lack of posting the last several days, this post is for her.
Sorry it isn't more exciting dear. If I had those photos from Katrina's camera... well, then we could add some spice to the blog world!

I went on a quest for inspiration... I needed something to write about.
This is what I came up with:

The headline actually caught my eye first.
Park and DNR Staff ‘Hack’ Young Falcons
That word motivated me to click on the link and read the rest of the story.

Turns out that “hacking is the process of placing young falcons in a structure and caring for the birds in a manner that minimizes human exposure until they are mature enough to fly”.
In fact, the birdies are placed in an artificial aerie or hack box which simulates nesting and feeding conditions on steep rock cliffs – prey is dropped into the box through a tube so the birds don’t see or associate people with the food. This cage-like structure also protects the birds from predators during the pre-flight period while allowing them to acclimate to and imprint on the Gorge. When they are ready to ‘fledge’ (fly), they are released from the box, but will return for occasional feedings until their hunting skills allow them to survive on their own.

You can visit the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/neri, where photos and updates will monitor the birds’ progress.
AND adult peregrines are now nesting on cliffs in Shenandoah National Park where live webcam images of the nest can be seen on the Internet at http://www.nps.gov/shen/cams/

Personally, I think that lil baby peregrine looks like it is made out of cotton!! : )

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Name those movies!!

Supposedly there are 100 movies represented in this photo. I'd love to see if we can get them all!
I'll start us off:
1. Napoleon Dynamite
2. Big Fish
3. Big Foot
4. 12 Monkeys
5. Four Weddings and a Funeral
6. Clockwork Orange
7. Dances with Wolves
8. Pete's Dragon
9. Boomerang
10. Ghost
11. Crash
12. Saw (2?)
13. Toy Story
14. Taxi
15. One Hour Photo
16. Scorpion King
17. Boomerang
18. Twister
19. Bend it Like Beckham (CG)
20. Titanic (CG)
21. Airplane
22. Casino (Ivy)
23. Jaws (Ivy)
24. Phone Booth (Ivy)
25. Beetlejuice
26. Sword in the Stone
27. Pink Panther
28. American Graffiti
29. Broken Arrow
30. Jumanji
31. XXX
32. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
33. The Birds (Katie)
34. The Crow (Katie)
35. The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (Katie)
36. Dune (Katie)
37. Stealth (Katie)
38. The Fly
39. The Hills Have Eyes (Maki)
40. Red Eye (Maki)
41. Snake Eyes (Maki)
42. The Ring (Maki)
43. The Rock (Maki)
44. Castle in the Sky (Maki)
45. Man in the Moon (Maki)
46. Red Dragon (Maki)
47. Green Card
48. Anaconda (Tom)
49. 21 Grams (Tom)
50. Money Pit (Tom)
51. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels (Tom)
52. Jackass (Tom)
53. Shark Tale (Tom)
54. Swordfish (Tom)
55. The Pacifier (Tom)
56. Anchorman (Tom)
57. Blazing Saddles (Tom)
58. Tears of the Sun (Tom)
59. The Jacket (Tom)
60. Chicken Run (Tom)
61. Goldeneye (Tom)
62. The Thin Red Line (Tom)
63. Seven (Tony)
64. Thirteen (Tom)
65. Flipper (Tony)
66. Alien (Tony)
67. Mona Lisa Smile (Tony)
68. Cocktail (Tony)
69. Bullet (Tony)
70. Bounce (Tony)
71. Chopper (Tony)
72. Matador (Tony)
73. Raging Bull (Tony)
74. Darkroom (Tony)
75. Domino (Tony)
76. The Shadow (Tony)
77. Timecop (Tony)
78. Volcano (Tony)
79. Cold Mountain (Tony)
80. Bad Santa (Tom)
81. Barbed Wire (Tom)
82. Manequin (Tom)
83. Jarhead (Tom)
84. Stripes (Tony)
85. Toy Soldiers (Tom)
86. Geronimo (Tony)
87. Hook (Tom)
88. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Tom)
89. Stiletto (Tom)
90. The Lady in Red (Tony)
91. Bird on a Wire (Brad)
92. Taxi Driver (Brad)
93. Puff the Magic Dragon (Brad)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Have I mentioned

how much I love this guy???

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Nekkid Statue

Happy Half-Nekkid Thursday!!!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Ivy is Duck...

You Are Beef

You're big, burly, and maybe even a little stinky. And no one's going to come between you and a good steak.

And you've probably never met a vegetable you like, unless fries and ketchup count.

This makes it even more funny.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

More photos from Saturday

I'm going to skip a bunch of my sightseeing photos because I don't want to bore you guys... I'll jump right into the bar scene from Saturday night. Keep in mind, I was at the airport Friday at 9:30 am, I didn't sleep much on the plane, when we arrived in Sweden it was 7:30 am there (1:30 am in Jax). I didn't sleep all day and this is now night time.

We started here. The Ice Bar. It's in the Nordic Hotel in Stockholm. On Saturdays, they take walk ups after 9 pm (normally it is by reservation). They only allow like 15-30 people in at a time and for 45 minutes at a time. It is like -4 in there... Whew. They give you poncho parka things with gloves attached.

I really wanted the bartender's hat:
We were told they work in three hour shifts. Brrrr...
Notice that even the glasses are made of ice!

No, my tongue didn't get stuck (although that might be because I didn't actually lick the vodka bottle...)

Rodney, me, Aaron, and Ivy... through the ice wall...

Time's up... off to the next bar!

(Ivy, Lisa, me, and Whitney)

(Aaron and Rodney)

Alley I stopped to take a photo of on the way. Also talked to a french guy who, too, was taking a photo of the alley... he insisted it was "his alley".

Next bar (I really need Aaron to tell me the names of all the places we went... he's useful like that). This is me dancing and singing with Fredrik and Ulrich. Yes, Swedes!!

The End of Saturday.

If you want to see the touristy stuff... like the buildings and the museums, holler and I'll post that too.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Day 1... which blurred into Day 2

Still in the Jax airport... we had a couple hiccups. First Whitney not bringing her paper ticket with her and then Aaron... umm... not being there. Rodney is on the phone leaving him a message.
Whitney ended up paying for the travel agent to issue an e-ticket for her.
Aaron, who thought we were leaving on Saturday as opposed to Friday, got to the gate as we were boarding.

On the tram at O'Hare...

Going through security again... Martha was the chosen one. Although really it looks as though she is getting her hiney checked out.

The screen on the back of the seat in front of me. It is currently set on camera view from the front of the plane. Exciting view I know.
You could also set it to view from below the plane... which was nice when we were in the air.
I watched movies and listened to music. And didn't sleep even though I should have and everyone else on the freaking plane was... but the guy behind me snored.
PLUS, if I had been asleep I would have missed the discovery of Daim. A basket of candy was brought around and I just picked one, having no idea what any of it was. And found my new favorite candy!!

We are about to board the bus here after getting our luggage. I somehow managed to get all my crap in one checked bag and one carry on. I don't think I have a photo of my luggage on the way back. But I had two checked in and two carry on!!


Saturday, May 06, 2006

Hot, tall blondes...

7-11 clerk (yes, I was at a 7-11... I wanted a Daim candy bar): Oingie boingie oop diddle meow.
Me (as I hand her my money because I can still see how much things are even if I have no idea what she said): Oh, Iäm sorry. I donät speak Swedish.
7-11: Oh! Iäm sorry...
Me: Itäs okay! Iäm used to it by now.
7-11: You look Swedish!
Me (laughing): Thanks!

Note: Swedish girls are hot. The guys in my class are totally drooling over these girls. Tonight, for once, I didnät wear jean and running shoes. I got all dressed up and almost killed myself more than once in my stilettos on the cobblestones. But thatäs okay... I look Swedish!!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Adieu for now for real...

I'm off to Sweden and Denmark in about 12 hours...
So this is my adieu.
I hope you all have a wonderful next two weeks and I look forward to catching up on all the reading when I return.
I'll also have lots of photos for anyone who is interested. I have two memory cards which will allow me to take close to 1000 photos!!! : )
Lurve you!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Rape of the Skink

Sunday evening I was walking up the pathway to my apartment, chatting with a friend after a relaxing day, when I spied something strange on the ground. I stopped and glanced over while wondering aloud what it was...

It really is too bad that I can't be purposefully witty, only on accident, because this is one of those times I'd really love to write some animal planet-esque commentary to go with the rapidly humping skink.

(imagine English accent here... something like Miz Doolittle)
Please notice the male skink 'as a colourful 'ead... the 'ead atop 'is shoulders, you wanka. Also see that 'e is 'oldin on to the female skink by biting 'er skin and pulling it waaaay fah from 'er body. 'e's a wanka too. Rapin' a poor girlie like that.

Rape is right... the fellow was thrusting like a mad man and the girlie waited a bit and then attempted to make a mad dash. But he was BITING her. So he ran right along. Thank goodness. I woulda hated to see her skin come right off in his mouth or something.

Poor skink. She's a skink... not a skAnk.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cutie Patootie

Katie's Friend
Please notice that you can click on Snakey's photo and see it much bigger for the full effect of his ginormous forked tongue! Also notice that Ranger Tracy accidentally, in trying to get him out from under the fridge, set the fridge down on his poor fat body and indented it slightly... it can be seen in his curvy part near his head. I didn't mean to though and I was rather unhappy that I might have hurt him. However, once outside, he seemed just fine. Hopefully there was no internal damage. I don't think the fridge was totally on him... just a bit.
My family would be amazed that I didn't freak out... that I actually went to help get the snake out on my own... I could have just come home. But I didn't.
And I petted that snake at work recently too.

My sister knows about my blog now. No more pictures of my hiney for you peeps.
: )

Monday, April 10, 2006

I feel like...

... this is happening to me.

And I miss having a darkroom.
That's all.
For now.

Monday, April 03, 2006

bad things happen when I try to subsist on doritos and m&m's

You: bald man wearing sunglasses in little white four-door Toyota Corolla with "It's a Boy" banner in back window at corner of Southside and Touchton.
Me: blonde in black two-door Honda Accord with window down screaming, "Give me your chicken sandwich and no one will get hurt"!
I think I owe you lunch.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Lady at the grocery store... this is for you.

'Tis so much easier to bitch about people who are rude or inconsiderate.

This morning I got up earlier than I would normally because I had an errand to run before work. I stopped at the Publix just down the street since they have a Bank of America atm and I wanted to pull cash to pay for the meds I needed to go pick up from the Student Medical Center. I walk in, kinda quickly... only to realize there is someone who has beat me to the machine.
And she has the world's largest purse.
And she is digging around in it.
And she isn't leaving as I was hoping... but just getting there.
I stand there thinking how lovely this was, since I didn't give myself time to dawdle around, when the woman glanced in my direction and actually said,
"You go ahead."
And moved out of my way!
My smile lit up the entire grocery store as I thanked her, shoved my card in the slot, pushed a few rather loud buttons, grabbed my money and thanked her again as I ran out the door.
She was still digging in her purse.

Someone was nice to others!!

yes, I have a second nice story... I won't tell you about the horribly long wait to pick up my meds or the incredibly rude driver on the road in front of me, both of which made me 15 minutes late for work...

I didn't bring my lunch to work today. I try to bring it more often than not. But I decided I would have a happy meal today... yes, Jeremy, McDonald's is bad... but happy meals make me happy. And I got a girlie troll (with huge yellow hair) in a dress to add to my shelf at work.
On the way back from McDonald's, I had to swerve around a giant mud turtle! You know, those huge, kinda flat ones with the scary, long, pointy faces...
And he was alive! Just moseyin' along across the road.
So, even though he was huge and scary, I immediately pulled off the road and pushed the button for my hazards, hopped outta the car, and began hoofin' it back towards him while dump drunks went speeding past and I prayed no one ran him over before I got there.
I'm almost to him when a pickup truck appears at the end of the driveway right in front of where my turtle is crawling. I was freaking out that he wasn't gonna see the lil guy (now I call him lil even though he was huge... but he was huge compared to turtles, not to trucks) but then he got out of his vehicle too. And he picked him up. And moved him to the side of the road. Which I was grateful for...

See, there are nice people out there.

Now you tell me your nice stories. Today is nice story day. : )

Monday, March 27, 2006

For those who don't read my blogs on MySpace...

FUCK "where people want to live" ...

Developers covet areas surrounding national parks
By Benjamin Spillman, USA TODAY
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. — People who cherish Joshua Tree National Park's desert probably don't want wayward tee shots, pets or trash spoiling the serenity and scenery, but it could happen.

James Kirby of Columbus, Ohio, rappels down a rock in Joshua Tree National Park, Calif., in February.
By Jay Calderon, The (Palm Springs, Calif.) Desert Sun

Development is closing in on Joshua Tree and many other national parks. "It is happening all over the country," said Curt Sauer, superintendent of Joshua Tree, "and it is going to continue to happen."

It isn't difficult to find examples:
•In West Virginia, there are proposals to build more than 2,000 homes at the edge of the New River Gorge National River — including up to 550 homes on a site chosen to appear on the back of the quarter.

•In Florida, there's a proposal to fill wetlands at the edge of the Everglades National Park to make way for 6,000 homes, shops, schools and a movie theater.

•In Ohio, there are plans for at least five subdivisions just outside Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

•In Arkansas, population growth is putting pressure on Hot Springs National Park and Pea Ridge National Military Park, said Ernie Quintana, Midwest regional director of the National Park Service.

'Like beachfront property'
Development proposals in varying stages call for building up to 20,000 homes, several golf courses and a massive landfill for Los Angeles trash just outside the border of Joshua Tree, a nearly 800,000-acre park northeast of Palm Springs.

"Living next to a national park, it is like beachfront property," said Ray Rasker, senior economist for the Sonoran Institute. The Tucson-based non-profit organization helps communities restore landscapes that are beneficial to people and wildlife.

"Just think of what is happening to the baby boomers," Rasker said. "They are all going to retire soon. ... And the demand seems to be to want to have acreage right next to a protected park or land."

The development is prompting concerns about "edge effects." The term refers to the idea that residents near parks bring pets that prey on wildlife, lead to urban-type development that increases storm runoff and often drive off-highway vehicles that bring intrusions and noise.

Money for managing the encroachment is tight. Federal funding for the National Park Service to purchase and preserve land has decreased steadily from $130 million in 2002 to a proposed $23 million in fiscal year 2007.

Developers say it makes economic sense to put houses where people want to live.

Tom Wagner, general manager of the proposed Roaring River development in West Virginia, said the project will complement scenery and bring $1.8 million annually in tax revenue to local governments.

"Our focus is preservation of the resource," Wagner said. "If you look at any of our great outdoor areas, there is a quality of life that people want to have."

Critics want communities to consider fragile natural landscapes when adopting land-use standards.

"We are trying to see if we can have influence outside our boundaries. That has always been a difficult thing for national parks," said Kevin Skerl, an ecologist for Cuyahoga Valley National Park.

Skerl said flooding from storms in 2003 and 2004 highlighted the problem. Runoff from developed areas rushed into the park and contributed to about $3 million in damage, he said.
Smarter development methods could minimize runoff by preserving wetlands and flora that help control floods, Skerl said.

Widening urban sprawl
Storm runoff isn't the only edge effect. Views may be at stake, too.

Ridges that tower 1,000 feet over raging white water in the New River Gorge area are one example.

"You see the ridgeline very clearly today, all wooded," said Cal Hite, superintendent of New River Gorge National River, Gauley River National Recreation Area and Bluestone National Scenic River, all in southern West Virginia.

"There will be about 15 houses along that ridge" under one proposal, he said.

In Florida, park supporters say development has eaten up large swaths of the Everglades and drastically reduced native bird populations in the past 100 years.

They also say urban sprawl has prompted an invasion of Australian pine and melaleuca trees and resulted in escaped pet pythons that prey on native wildlife.

"It is just the beginning of what could come," said John Adornato, manager of the Everglades restoration program at the National Parks Conservation Association. The group opposes moving an urban development boundary closer to the Everglades National Park.

Solitude is another threatened value, some say. Nicole Panter of Twentynine Palms, Calif., described Joshua Tree as a place that "makes your heart skip a beat."

Panter left Los Angeles for the solitude of the desert.

"What's been done in Southern California doesn't seem sustainable," she said of urban sprawl that now reaches well into the Mojave Desert. "People don't have to live like that. I don't want to live like that."

Spillman reports daily for The Desert Sun in Palm Springs, Calif.

I don't give a shit where you WANT to live. Sometimes you don't get what you want!! Who wouldn't want to live near a national park? The amazing beauty... and no one living two inches away from you... but the reason you can't is then EVERYONE would... and then it wouldn't be beautiful and there WOULD be people living two inches away... and all those trees and animals... gone.

Assholes. Sometimes I hate...

Friday, March 24, 2006

But I don't like vegetables.

So I don't like veggies. You shoulda seen what my parents went through when I was a kid to try to change that.
It didn't work.
Once they just wanted me to eat a pea. One. One pea. I wouldn't do it. I sat at the table for ages rather than put that green slimeball in my mouth.
They hid the pea in my ice cream.
I ate it.
That tells you something about me.
I hate peas... I love ice cream.
Pea ice cream? Ewwww... but I never knew it was there... somehow.
Maybe my parents made up the story.

The point in me telling you that is I'm starting a new diet.
Sheri and Eric asked me yesterday if my eating habits had gotten any better. They remember the 3 or 4 am drive thru visits to Taco Bell where I would (drunkenly) order a gordita with "ONLY CHICKEN AND CHEESE".
Sheri turns to Matt... another one of the Dallas clan who just happens to now live in Orlando... and announces that I only eat meat, ice cream, and chocolate.
But I'm 5'6"
and (here I will break the girlie rule and announce my weight)
somewhere between 120 and 125 pounds.
Now, granted, I used to be about 110 or 115... but that's a little extreme. I would rather have a wee bit of meat on my bones.
Since the meat, ice cream, and chocolate diet seems to work for me... I think I'll market it to the public. I mean, there are no carb diets and liquid diets... and I think I even heard of some kind of cabbage diet once. So what's wrong with the Tracy Diet?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

First blog...

Well, well... I've finally up and created a blogster (get it? monster? blogster? hee hee... okay, so I'm only funny to myself).
Why have I created such a beast? Is it the rising popularity?
Nah... it may very well end up that no one ever even reads this... but it will be a place for me to vent, brainstorm, whatever...
And now I must get back to real work.