Tuesday, June 9, 2009

New arrivals

I'm starting to see young birds of various types now, and it's always funny to watch them. They just look sort of clueless. The other day there was a young robin (Holy Audubon, Batman!) on the deck, and he hopped onto the little fireplace we have out there, and just looked around and chirped. I imagined him thinking, "Okay, here I am. Now what do I do?"

Today, there were several young starlings and their parents raising a ruckus on the deck--man, they're loud! One youngster was hopping on top of the squirrel baffle and pecking at it as he slid down its slope. I watched him for a while, wondering when he'd figure out that the suet feeder was underneath the baffle. He finally did figure it out, and I felt absurdly proud of him.

We also have other youngsters making an appearance. As I sat here last night, I heard some of the wind chimes tinkling, although the wind was minimal. They hang from a hook on the deck railing, and if I hear them on a still night, it's a sure sign we've got a critter of some sort out there. I flipped on the light and saw this:

Raccoon babies

Yes, three baby raccoons. They were in a tight little pack, walking on each other and pushing against each other.

Raccoon babies2

They didn't seem too disturbed by me, so I took my camera out onto the deck and walked right up to them. I could have reached out and picked one up. They were adorable enough that I kind of thought about reaching out to touch one...but Mama didn't raise no fools, and I know that no matter how cute, they are still wild animals and not to be messed with. For their own protection as much as mine.

Raccoon babies3

I love the above picture, because see that third guy sticking his head up over the railing? When I walked out, he scrambled down the railing to the deck floor, but after a bit, he made his way back up. I just kind of hung out and watched them for a while (braved a couple of mosquitoes to do it, too), until they decided it was time to move on. They formed an orderly line and the three of them made their way down the deck railing to the other part of the deck. I wonder if they'll be back tonight? The seed feeders are empty, as they were last night, so there are no goodies for them, but it wouldn't surprise me to see them again.

I like to name our critters, and Moe, Larry, and Curly would be a natural, but the baby groundhogs got that a few years ago. I think I'll name them after one of my favorite trios, The Police. Guys, your names are now Gordon, Stewart, and Andy. Wish I could tell you three apart! By the way, I know that one of you (is it Rebecca?) does not care for glowing-eye animal pictures. My apologies...it was not intentional, and I couldn't avoid it.

I might be scarce for the next few days. I'm in full reading mode (finished one book, a couple of mags to get through, then another book to start), plus I'll be out getting plants into the garden this week, if the weather cooperates--it sounds like Friday should be a nice day. Yay!

Wait! I'm not done! I have to comment on something I heard on the news. Maybe I should just not watch. Hahaha! Of course, I can't do that.

In a speech at a Republican fundraiser last night, Newt Gingrich riffed on President Obama's comment last year that he is a citizen of the world. Newt said:

I am not a citizen of the world. I think the whole concept is intellectual nonsense and stunningly dangerous.

[sigh] Really, Newt? Really? (with a tip of the hat to Seth Myers) You think that isolationism is a solution to what ails us? I've been preaching writing here for some time now that we are inextricably part of the global economy. Beyond that, we are part of the world because we are part of humankind. At least I am. Last I checked, I was still an earthling. This sort of narrow thinking and inability to see the long view is what disturbs me the most about people like Gingrich. Chest thumping nationalism and jingoism is much of what got us into the trouble we're currently in on the world stage, and led us to the point where there are many around the globe who harbor extreme hatred for our country.

Wanting to be a part of the global citizenry, Newt, is neither nonsense nor dangerous. It's being human. "Intellectual nonsense"...I maintain that the lack of intellectual curiosity that you seem to possess (the same as that of your party affiliate, Sarah Palin, with her anti-fruit fly bias--that one was for Milwaukee Dan #1) about our world, other nationalities and cultures, and other religions, is the true danger in our midst. Knowledge is power, Newt. The rest of the world isn't going to just go away. There is a reason that companies and governments teach their employees and agents about customs in other countries. We need to be respectful of their cultures in our business and diplomatic dealings with them, and we are all ambassadors. Gingrich makes me think of some sort of mad Ptolemy of the political solar system, believing that the U.S. is the center of everything, that no one else matters. As Stephen King wrote, the world has moved on. Try to keep up, Newt.

I'm Beth, and I am a citizen of the world. You're welcome to join us anytime, Newt. It's a pretty big tent.

Earth Day


  1. Look into the raccoon's eyes and you will see more intellectual curiosity than that of Newt!

  2. Great shots of the raccoons, BTW. The sense of family they bring along on their nightly adventures is always amusing.

  3. Love Milwaukee Dan's first comment!!

  4. The racoons are adorable! I know they can be destructive, but as babies they are SOOOOOOOO cute!

  5. Hi Beth,
    Good thing you didn't touch those racoons. You never know what they might be carrying. Kind of similar to Newt in that regard ...

  6. Even though I lived in Central Pennsylvania until my mid-20's, I've lived in NYC long enough to be absolutely amazed that you were able to take such great pics of Manny, Moe & Jack (or whatever their names are) :)

    And Newt is right - he is NOT a citizen of this world. He carries a passport from the Land of Fucktardia ... and they can keep him.


  7. Newt Gingrich is an idiot. There is a video clip of Ronald Reagan (his hero, obviously) speaking at the UN where he says that he is "a citizen of the world."

    Funny, I don't remember Newt slamming Reagan, ever.

  8. Those are fantastic photos Beth! I'm immensely fond of raccoons and miss them muchly!

    Whoever this Newt-The-Grinch is, he's an idiot. We are all citizens of the world and only a small-minded idiot would choose to NOT embrace this very simple concept.

    The most fundamental problem with Newt's isolationist ideas is that it isn't actually honest ideological isolationism. The Bush-era mantra "They hate us for our freedoms" is specifically intended to reinforce isolationist ideas, but it's a complete lie. Nobody, anywhere, hates the US for its freedoms. Few even perceive US citizens as being particularly free, even in comparison with other "free" countries. If anyone hates the US, it's because of its dreadful history of foreign policy and its interference in places like the Middle East.

    Iraq, Afghanistan, unequivocal support of Israel.. all perpetrated and perpetuated by US governments with supposedly isolationist policies, while the reality is anything but ideological isolationism. The "freedoms" cry is specifically intended to create a disconnect between US citizens and citizens elsewhere around the world. The concept of "world citizen" is a direct challenge to that disconnect. The less the US citizen knows or even thinks about its government's activities abroad, the easier it is to perpetuate those foreign policies unchallenged. Americans need to understand that when they ask the question "Why do they hate us so much?", it is NOT actually a rhetorical question. There are clear answers to that question, although it's true that some of the solutions are difficult to take on board.

    World citizens we all are. Responsible we must be. Ignorance and over-simplistic thinking be damned! :)

  9. The little bandits are very cute, nothing like Newt :o)

  10. I'd be more apt to be able to pet a racoon safely than hear anything resembling intelligence coming out of Newt's mouth.

  11. The baby raccoons are so cute. I once saw a new family of them on a golf course in Indiana. I wanted to go pet them, but was warned NOT a good idea. Hard to resist when they are babies.

  12. Beth, This is timely. Just yesterday I was speaking with someone about the infamous Mr. Gingrich. My mom, who's a liberal Democrat, knows him through a business organization and they've had great conversations regarding health care. HOWEVER - besides that, he speaks a language only aliens from Planet Lunatic or right-wing, conservatives can understand.

  13. the kids to keep their screen shut up tighRacoons can be very destruvctive. Our main worry when we lived on an acerage on the blue river was out little rat terrier. She would tree them but they could have easily killed that dog and probably would have had Marty's dad not shot it. They would jump on the balcony and I had to keep
    reminding the kids to keep the screen doors locked I see Palin is back. I can not stand her, Gingrich, good old Rush. Yuck.

  14. Actually, I'd prefer if Newt didn't join us. He can fly off to whichever planet he prefers, I'll even give him first pick and he and the rest of the crazies can live together in their isolation. I think most of the world would be happy with that solution. ;)
    So those were the little coonies you were talking to me about the other night. Adorable.
    Wait. Hold on one damn minute. I just went back through the comments and there is no absurd opinion from Slappy. He must be ill or the interwebs must be down there because there is just NO WAY he would miss out defending the 'publicans.


I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you?