Eight Facts About Me

Thanks to Michelle, who also blogs over at The Flight Deck, I’ve been tagged with the following meme:

List eight habits or facts about yourself, then tag eight more people

Eight facts about me… huh. And they have to be facts?

Hmmm. Here goes:

1. I love fresh coconut, but can’t choke it down in any other form. Yuck!

2. I play two different instruments, and have been a member of various symphonies and wind ensembles over the years.

3. I have owned or ridden four generations of Morgan horses related to my late Morgan mare, Beth. I leased her granddam, trained with her sire, owned her, rode two of her siblings for various events, and helped train one of her daughters. Beth’s youngest foal, now aged seventeen, is owned by the National Park Service and was specially trained for and is used in search and rescue operations.

4. As an undergraduate, I memorized the entire Linnaean taxonomy (for all kingdoms, phylums, classes, orders, families, and genuses) for an exam, and could reel off any portion of the tables. Now I can’t remember any of it!

5. I’ve visited or lived in 28 of the 50 States in the USA, but have never been outside the USA except for visits to Canada.

6. While I was working for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I supervised twenty-five undergraduate employees that worked for me on a multi-year project for the Institute for Research on Poverty. One evening, while on their way home from classes, one of my employees and her roommate were accosted by an ax-wielding maniac. My employee survived with minor physical injuries, thanks to another brave student who helped stave off their attacker, but her roommate was brutally murdered in spite of their best efforts to bare-handedly fight off the ax-swinging assailant with all they had at hand – their backpacks. To this day, the murderer has never been found or even identified, and no one has ever discovered a motive for the crime.

7. I haven’t eaten chocolate or anything containing chocolate in seventeen years.

8. Although I have sailed in sailboats of various classes since I was six years old, I have never been in a motor boat or on any motorized ship except for a car ferry.

Hmmm, now who to tag… any volunteers? ;-)

Five Minus Two Equals Three

Our little band of baby bunnies has reduced down to three survivors now. One of their siblings escaped a hawk, but died shortly after from the injuries it had received. The other, which had a distinctive white spot on its forehead, disappeared about seven days ago, and I suspect met its end as a predator’s meal.

The other three have grown out of their baby-bunny roundness, and now look like smaller versions of the adult rabbits. Each has a distinct personality, and their individual antics (when they aren’t chomping down my flowers) provide me with much amusement.

Here’s their mugshots:

Bold Bunny

Bunny number one is quite bold, and seems certain, whenever I am about, that I am trespassing in her yard. She tolerates my poking about until I get within about three feet of her before hopping a few feet further away, and — as you can see — is too curious about what I’m doing to stay properly hidden.

Bunny Taking His Shower

Bunny number two loves water. Lately, he’s spent a considerable amount of time happily sitting under a sprinkler that I’ve set up to water my birch clump. He is even bolder than bunny one, and at times I’ve nearly stepped on him, to his great indignation.

Shy Bunny

The third is properly bunny-shy, and scurries into hiding whenever I am about. She’s the fastest of the three. As I watch through the windows, or from what she deems a safe distance away, she often races in circles about the yard, bounding over obstacles as she tries to draw the other two into her own version of bunny tag.

And where are the adult rabbits?

They have, for the time being, moved across the street. Some nights I see as many as five of the adults hopping about amongst the bushes next to my neighbor’s house, doing what rabbits do…

And that, Oh Best Beloved, means we’ll see more baby bunnies soon!

Pay Now, Or Pay Later

Well designed roof truss computer generated model

So, Oh Best Beloved, how are you spending your summer?

We’re preparing everything we need to put a new roof on our house.

Ourselves.

Oy.

In looking at the rafters, we’ve realized that, while our house meets code, we’d like the option down the road of putting on a heavier style roof, such as one done with tile or slate. So, since we’re already ripping things apart, we’re thinking about retrofitting our current roof with extra trusses that would bear the extra weight.

Trusses are expensive.

But… in case you’re wondering why one bothers with the expense of hiring costly engineers to design roofing trusses, instead of having Joe Handyman slap them together…

Here’s the answer.

Computer generated model of collapsed roof from poorly designed roof truss

(Truss models generated by Michael, my very own beloved engineer!)