Yellow in the Meadow

I hope you enjoyed the previous post I affectionately refer to as “Throwback Friday”.  I will not get you back to your regularly scheduled programming which obviously is another BIRD POST (crowd goes wild..or maybe not depending on your interest in those feathered creatures). My brother Ron is partly to blame for the recent bird blitz. He has turned into quite the birder as of late and I know he has a bunch of birds to add to his life list thanks to a quick run to Florida. Unfortunately to a flaw I’m somewhat competitive and don’t want to lose ground on our little competition. To counter the new influx on his front I bring you:

Western Meadowlark in the Tetons

First off, my apologies for how soft these images are. I was sitting in my car .. umm.. I was using my car door as a solid mobile tripod platform while Linda was off taking what turned out to be gorgeous pictures of the Grand Tetons. We were actually at a secret spot she stumbled upon on the Internet that turned out to be quite nice. I’m generally not as interested in landscapes as she is (unless it is statues which I’ll let you know is a tease for an upcoming post). While she is off doing her thing I turn my attention to the surrounding trees, brush and prairie looking for precisely these pots of gold.

estern Meadowlark in the Tetons

Oh, on the soft part.  This bird was sitting a loooong way off even for the Beast.  I think the tele was even on so let’s just say the opportunity to be nice and crispy was slim to none.  However, when it comes to being able to make a check on the bird list, there is no such thing as a too soft shot (just ask Ron about his Yellow-Rumped Warbler hehehe).  All in all, they didn’t come out nearly as bad as expected.

Hit the jump to find out what this bird is .. in case you don’t already recognize it

Continue reading Yellow in the Meadow

Unintended Consequences

Killer Jeep
Figured I would give my blog readers out there that are not as fond of our feathered brethren a break and go old school for a post.  That’s right, I’m going back to the early days here at Life Intrigued when men were men and images were built with blood, sweat and tears… and a lot of Paint Shop Pro.  These days the trusty Nikon is leaned on heavily to produce the artistic feel of the posts.  Feel free to translate that to the author just being too lazy to go through the manual work, preferring to just push down on that little silver button that makes that shutter slap sound indicating the image is in the tin.  From an observation perspective of blog maturity, the photography shots are generally getting a LOT better but based on this effort my manual graphic skills are getting even suckier.

Let’s not go any further without making a quick disclaimer – the Jeep image was lifted off a stock marketing page on the web. Ownership remains with the marketing org that produced it and merely borrowing it to comment on what I consider a design flaw.  Oh, and for the record, this Jeep is depicted with optional accessories that may or may not be available in your area – who knows, there may be a big demand for bumper teeth somewhere in the free world.

With that out of the way I can finally get to the heart of the post.  At first this post was going to be entitled, “Our Jeep Tried to Kill My Wife!”  Clearly this title alone would have allowed us to be booked on any number of late afternoon drivel shows.  Unfortunately, another bizarre event happened on Valentine’s Day that put me in a precarious situation.  Assessing the two events resulted in the realization that both were a result of unintended consequences which seemed like a more appropriate title – although not as likely to draw the oooohs and ahhhhs of a Springer audience.  Let’s start with Linda’s incident.  I received a call from Linda one late afternoon, who was in a pretty agitated state.  Her first words were something like “This DAMN Jeep just tried to kill me”  (Ummm, I didn’t say I came up with the post title, I just said that was almost what I used for a title).  Once she calmed down a bit she explained the situation.  She was crossing a major bridge across the Illinois River when a Frito Lay bag came blowing across the road.  As luck would have it, it managed to lodge against the front bumper of her Jeep.  Sounds innocent enough unless you realize that this vehicle is equipped with collision detection sensors.  The Frito Lay bag has a shiny reflective inner surface which apparently set off the collision sensor(s).  Linda claims the dashboard went blank except for a very clear alert message followed immediately by the anti-lock brakes engaging to quickly bring the vehicles speed down to avoid the errr chip bag.  This deceleration was significant to give Linda’s neck quite a jolt – so much that it cost us a chiro visit the very next day.  As much as I appreciate the safety intent of the engineers, the execution ended up have a completely different impact in the field that was likely not anticipated.  After talking to a co-worker there are other issues with that detection approach which caused him to disable the capability (it involves a parallel road to his driveway and it locking him up every time a car would be on that other road).  He had already done the research on how to disable it so that saved some time on the Internet.  Nice try but there needs to be some form of mass sensor validation to complete that detection loop.

Hit the jump to read about another tricky situation that I ended up in

Continue reading Unintended Consequences