Shock Me Shock Me With That Deviant Behavior

Oops, this post’s image came out a little more legible than intended.  That’s a ‘Y’ if you happen to be confused 8^).  I was feeling a little bad having barraged you with so many wildlife photos as of late and decided to throw in a recent observation.  Linda and I were eating lunch at Lou’s Drive In.  For those who may not be familiar with this place, consider it a throwback to the old A&W establishment that you order curbside and your food is brought out to your car.  Whenever I go to Lou’s I remember the days in the distant past when Mom and Dad took us for root beer and hot dogs at an A&W’s in Springfield.   I also win points from Linda since she loves eating at Lou’s.  Ironically, we prefer to walk up and eat at the counter rather than stay in the car.

So, there we were sitting  and eating our hot dogs and root beer when a couple came up and sat down next to us.  The assumption was this was their first time here based on the difficulties they were having making up their minds on what to order.  They have a variety of offerings, but guessing some 90% of their customers order hot dogs and root beer…. okay, maybe more like 89%.  Eventually the counter waitress (they appear to only hire high school girls for this job by the way) tired of continually having to come back to them to ask what they wanted so simply stood there until they made a decision.  I can’t imagine the sheer terror one of them must go through when making a critical decision.  It was really this decision drama that drew my attention to them.  Wondering how this was going to play out (hamburger, no hot dog, no chicken fingers, wait hot dogs with fries… hamburger..), I noticed she had a tattoo.  Now, to know me is to know I am drawn to artistic and creative items and continually looking for inspiration for my own creative projects.  These projects are generally a self challenge to see if I can take a particular idea a little further or a new slant on an idea someone else may have already come up with.  Many fail, but every once in awhile, something makes it way on display.  Therefore, if you like art and have an affinity for observing people, tattoos are an irresistible magnet.  It is an entertaining activity to try and rationalize why an individual chose to get a tattoo in the first place and then what must have been going through their head when they selected that eternal mark.  Isn’t this really the intent of anyone with a visible tattoo anyway?

Back to the story at hand, the young woman (guessing 23-25) had a tattoo of a sun high on the back of her right shoulder.  Something seemed odd about it causing me to take a couple of looks at it before figuring it out.  The actual sun was pretty good (the post image was an attempt to provide a visual).  However, there seemed to be some cursive writing over it.  This was difficult to read since it was fairly light and looked like it was quickly done resulting in dots from the tattoo vibration instead of a smooth line.  Initial guess is the bottom word said Jeff and jumped to the conclusion it was a tribute to a loved one.  This turned out to be incorrect as the first word eventually came into focus.  This resulted in a slight internal flinch followed by a nudge to Linda to check out the tattoo (with a hint to read the words). Yeah, I lied, it wasn’t a ‘Y’.

I’ll never actually know the contributing variables that led to this decision or if there is a philosophical meaning for the image.  Whether she is a vampire with sun issues or a recovering melanoma victim, one thing is for sure, she leaves an interesting first impression.  The bet is she is fully aware of that.  I wonder if she spent the same amount of time deciding on fries as she did deciding on that permanent ink?  Just thought I would share and give you a break from the wildlife posts.  If you are curious, I whipped up that sun image freehand in about 15 minutes and thought it came out pretty good.  Anybody willing to let me try and tattoo something on them?  .. come on?  .. how about a stick fighter theater scene, nobody has one of those I bet!

By the way, extra blog points if you know the movie the title came from.

What the Duck Is It?

I’m about one day away from going completely nuts due to not having Internet access from my main computer.  This is suppose to be resolved on Tuesday when the new satellite dish is installed.  Until then, I am forced to use my wife’s computer which has to be the crappiest Dell (Studio XPS) I’ve ever used.  Not only is this ridiculously hot thanks to the bad engineering design to have the lid close off the back vent when the lid is open, but the scratch pad mouse will float the cursor randomly if you just wave your thumbs over it.

I do need to persevere though and get through the vacation pictures.  This particular set is essentially a set of ducks of which I have been unable to locate in any of my three bird field guides.  This is likely due to being females and for some reason a majority of the guides will show a male specimen and then simply describe the female version.  It may just be me, but I find this a very frustrating approach for identifying birds.  Usually I can luck out and snap a male with the female which allows me to simply verify the image with the text for the male, but without a starting point, you are basically trying to wade through every description.  After going through this process a couple of times, I have given up and will simply provide the images in hopes someone out there can help me out.

But first, here is one I could actually identify due to how common it is where I live.  We walked up to Nymph Lake in Rocky Mountain National Forest.  Unfortunately, the trail is actually uphill the entire way which did not win me any points with my wife.  I think she was just about ready to beat me over the head with the tripod when we finally reached the destination.  One of the first things we saw coming up to the lake was:

This isn’t the first time I’ve seen a mallard with its head in the water, but the interesting thing was how long he maintained this position.  He would literally do a beak stand in the water for over a minute before bringing his head back up.  5 seconds of rest and he would go right back to that position.  It seemed like some kind of inside duck joke on visitors (or an inside joke between Linda and I if she won the lottery which will remain a secret).  This went on for the entire time we were at the lake.  Still intrigued as to the reason, I happened to pan to the right a little and it all came crystal clear.

The dude was just showing off for the ladies.  This is probably the duck equivalent to Val Kilmer doing stupid muscle poses during a sand volleyball game (except Val was with all males by the way).  A quick funny story.  On the way back down, I saw a small little snake dart into some rocks from the side of the path.  Knowing Linda is deathly afraid of them, I calmly mentioned she should go ahead of me (while I blocked vision from the snake).  She somehow put two and two together and started freaking out which included grabbing my shirt and literally ripping it to pieces.  Next thing I know, one of my favorite shirts now has its sleeve seam completely ruined.  Let that be a lesson to myself – next time, she’s going to have wished she hadn’t stepped on one and I’m keeping her hands off my clothes.

Since there a few unknown duck shots, I’ll put them after the jump.  Again, if you recognize any of them, please drop a comment.

Continue reading What the Duck Is It?