Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bird Watching at the Dallas Zoo

Don't miss the exciting tale of R&R at the zoo.  Until next time, enjoy these pictures of our feathered friends.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the view.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Little "R & R" at the Dallas Zoo

Yesterday was ExxonMobil Science Day at the Dallas Zoo.  mr. and mrs. mil10 were there for professional development opportunities and EK was able to attend as well.  Fun for the whole family!  Clearly the best part of the day was our visit to the gorilla habitat.  We looked and looked, stopping by each viewing area, until we finally found a view of a gorilla.  We were lucky to see one very close to the glass viewing area.  As we walked closer we could tell that it was eating. 

A hungry gorilla.

How lucky we were! There were hardly any other people around.  We were able to get really close to the window.

It is sitting up and looking around now. I guess it is full.

Wait a minute. Look. Oh, no. Now the gorilla is bending over.  What will it do next?

Vomit!  Is the gorilla sick?

Wait a minute. Look. Yes, it is now eating its own vomit. Yum.  It does not look sick or unhappy though.

It is sitting up and looking around now. I guess it is full. Oh, no. Now it is bending over.

Vomit again. Yuck!  This time it started picking out the big chunks by hand and eating those first.

Is that normal?  According to zoo.org, the website for the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle, Washington:
Although not seen in wild gorillas, regurgitation and reingestion (R & R) of food is common in zoos. It doesn’t cause any medical problems, and it isn’t a sign of poor health. In the wild, gorillas eat large quantities of high-fiber, relatively low-calorie foods such as fruits, leaves, herbs and bark, which are difficult to duplicate in zoos... Because zoo diets are more nutritious (concentrated), the amount of food in a zoo diet is less. Due to this, zoo gorillas may still “feel” hungry and develop the habit of re-eating their food. R & R has never been observed in the wild. Though all our gorillas do some R & R, it is infrequent... WPZ and other zoos are working to provide zoo gorillas with more food like their natural diet. Zookeepers call this food “browse,” and it includes cut branches and herbaceous vegetation. Browse, hay and food puzzles are just some of the ways in which keepers try to discourage R & R.
A quick search on youtube.com resulted in almost thirty videos when searching for gorilla eat vomit.  Go ahead, click one.  You will laugh.  You will be disgusted.  You probably won't be hungry for tomato soup.

The next time you are at the zoo, look to see if the gorillas are having their version of R & R.  We all deserve a little every now and then, don't we?  As for the mil10s, having made two trips to the zoo in one year, we are ready for "R & R" in Florida. Fewer than sixty days of waiting!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Artist's Corner: More Fall Fruit

Ok. I don't really know if grapes pass for a fall fruit, but the title goes with last week's art related title.

Enjoy this picture of EK's painting from today's art lesson.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bigger in Texas

While in Houston I had breakfast in the hotel where we are staying and where the conference is being held. I thought "Texas waffles" sounded like fun.  I did not figure it would be a waffle in the shape of our lone star state.  Fresh berries and whipped cream came with it. Yum.  It looks bigger in the picture than it actually was.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Back at Buc-ee's

mr. mil10 is back at Buc-ee's as he makes the drive to a work conference. No one else in the car has ever been there.  Like our first time to visit, they were amazed and found it hard to take it all in. 

I almost bought a t-shirt.  I bought a 44 ounce drink instead.  I don't like having that thirsty feeling while riding in the car.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Artist's Corner: Fall Fruit

Art lessons have resumed after a summer break.  This past week EK painted fall fruit as well as sculpted a hummingbird and an apple out of clay. Busy day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Meeting All Your Ranching Needs

Today was the grand opening celebration of Atwoods. Apparently this is the place to go if you have ANY ranching needs.  If your heart's desire is animal supplies, western wear, ranching toys, or old fashioned candy you might want to stop by for a visit.  We saw several cars that must have driven from Oklahoma. For the celebration they were giving away free tire pressure gauges.  We always manage to misplace ours, so we were very glad to get a few more.  

We were surprised to see a horse, we were told it was the world's tallest, fenced off at the end of the aisle.  How many times have you walked through a store to find a live barnyard animal? Only at Atwoods I guess. 

We left with a bag of peanuts, a wind chime, and a coonskin hat. I think we are set for a while.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q

Window decor at Stanley's.  I luv BBQ, too.

It has been a rainy, dreary day. A good day for napping. A good day for wrapping up with a blanket and a good book. A good day for watching old movies on TV.

We didn't do any of those things. We had a road trip. Tyler was our destination. We went to visit Aunt K and celebrate her birthday. We spent the day eating (of course), shopping, and laughing. K picked a great place to eat in Tyler. Although she had attended an event catered by Stanley's Famous Pit Bar-B-Q, she had yet to eat there in person. It was a quick drive from her place, even in the rain. The parking lot was packed when we got there, but we had to wait in line for only a few minutes before making our way to the counter. The menu was to be expected for a BBQ place -- sandwiches, meat plates, meat by the pound, cobbler. Unexpectedly, Stanley's also had tacos (tilapia, pulled pork, and steak) and tilapia and fajita sandwiches.
The brother-in-law is one of Stanley's signature items.  It includes chopped beef, grilled hot links, and cheese.  I somehow managed to get two helpings of the excellent homemade potato salad.  I was not complaining!  Those are spicy pickles piled on top of my receipt.  Yes, I ate them.  I did not buy the "I ate Stanley's brother-in-law" sticker, but they were available for about a dollar.  
The pulled pork sandwich was loaded with meat.  In the picture you can see that Edie pulled a lot of pork off of her sandwich and still had plenty left.  You may notice that Stanley's does not serve the food on plates. Instead, it was simply served atop a couple of sheets of paper that covered the tray.

We first laughed at the need for a sign like the one shown, but consider yourself warned.  The ice is indeed fast, but just because you know it, does not mean you will be ready. 

If you are hungry for BBQ and find yourself in Tyler, do yourself a favor and head to Stanley's.  You will see why in 2003 and 2008 Texas Monthly named it one of the top fifty BBQ joints in Texas! 

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Ok.  I did not make it.  I came in one minute late. 

I was trying to post this entry at 9:09 on 09-09-09.  No, I am not a numerologist.  I don't believe in the "power" of the numbers.  I just think it is a neat pattern that we will not see again for a long time.

Happy 09-09-09 everyone!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mimiman Mini me

You know our fascination with Legos.  EK and jmm are both Lego builders.  Here is a video you too can customize at http://www.gominimango.com/.  Upload a photo and you can also be a Lego miniman living in a Lego world.

Watch this video and see if you can find two Lego fans.  http://www.gominimango.com/miniyou/?4ycp2sx5dkjuypnw4bno1184  You have to follow the link, because it would not show here.

Did you see EK as a referee, spaceship pilot, and a spectator in the subway.  jmm was a disco dancer and a spaceman twice.

Go, miniman, go!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Little House in My House

Growing up as a young boy we would regularly watch Little House on the Prairie.  It came on every day while we were at school, but the VCR was always set to record it.  Almost every evening we would catch up on the happenings of Ma, Pa, and Half-Pint, or Almanzo.  Edie also grew up as a Little House fan.  Even today we can easily relate things to the show or mention a plot point of the week and spark those old memories.  Scary, I know.

This afternoon as I was flipping channels I was surprised to stumble upon one of the Little House movies.  Aptly titled "Little House: The Last Farewell" it marked the end of the series and is memorable to me because the citizens of Walnut Grove blew up the town. 
During Charles and Caroline's visit to Walnut Grove in the year 1890, residents learn that railroad tycoon Nathan Lassiter holds deed to Hero Township... Despite their best efforts, the residents are unable to drive Mr. Lassiter away. When they attempt to resist with force, Mr. Lassiter comes back with a detachment of Union troops who order everyone to leave. Though Mr. Lassiter demands the residents' instant evacuation, the soldiers allow the residents to remain until Easter Sunday. Angered at the injustice done to them, the residents decide that they should send a (literally) explosive message to Mr. Lassiter that he can have the land, but not the town. In the end Rev. Alden says "Did you hear? Walnut Grove has not died in vain." *
You may have missed the movie, so I will share a video that someone made and posted on YouTube.  The strange thing is that they used Switchfoot's "We Are One Tonight" as the soundtrack.  I am not sure, but I don't think that the Ingalls were on Switchfoot frontman Jon Foreman's mind when he wrote the song.  It makes for a fun combination.  Little House, the Union Army, window bashing, Ma with a gun, and a little rock music.  It all works together somehow.  Give it a look.

Some creative licencing was used since the town of Walnut Grove was not destroyed by its citizens in real life.  If you want to read why the filmmakers decided to destroy the town, read here.

An Embarrassing Moment

As we mentioned earlier, on Saturday we visited the town of Frisco to look for glasses.  In about ten days, the new glasses will be here!

Of course we could not just go to one store while at the mall, we had to pop into several stores and look for other things we could not live without.  One of our last stops was to experience the magic of Macy's.  Modie was looking for something navy blue.  jmm and modie were having trouble deciding if a particular item was navy or black.  I don't know why the department stores don't have enough lighting to distinguish the two, but come to think about it, neither does the mil10 closet!  EK was nearby, but not engaged in the color debate.  Modie and jmm would have continued to attempt to determine the color of the garment, but a loud commotion got our attention.  Looking in the area of the noise, we saw a clothing rack that had been knocked over onto it side and all of the clothes and hangers that were supposed to be hanging there were now spread across the floor. Standing next to the mess was EK!  We could tell he was startled and he said he was hurt.  He did have a red mark on his shoulder, but no blood, so jmm and modie quickly started putting the rack upright and rehanging all of the clothes.  EK said he did not know what happened.  He was just standing there and the whole thing fell over onto the floor and onto him.  A few tears were shed, but there was not much more said about the event.

It wasn't until much later over a bowl of salad and warm breadsticks that we found out what really happened.  At Olive Garden someone mentioned the commotion at Macy's.  It was then that EK started laughing and told what really happened.  You see, while modie and jmm debated between navy and black, EK decided that it would be a good idea to stand in the clothes.  My first thought was that he meant he was standing in between several of the garments that were hanging on the rack.  No.  He went on to explain that when he was standing in the clothes. He was trying to wear the jacket while it was still hanging on the rack, "like a scarecrow," he explained.  Scarecrows apparently don't belong in department stores.  Not only did the item he was playing with get messed up, the entire rack of clothes and the rack itself ended up on the floor!

Now whenever anyone asks about an embarrassing moment, EK said he will have one to share!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

What a Sight!

Pirate skulls and stripes, oh my. EK is decked out for a day at the mall in Frisco. mr. and mrs. milton are going to look for new glasses.  Wish us luck since this is our second venture in looking for new eyewear.  Rockwall was a bust.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Read and Think

Sometimes you see signs that contain messages of motivation or inspiration.  You don't usually expect it from a gas station.