Archive for May, 2010

I’m Back

After being on hiatus during the previous semester, I am back in rotation on the blog. This semester was a tough one, but, as you are already aware, a success. Here is a snapshot of the numbers:

Credits: 17
Total cost of said credits:$3122.26 (a heckuva deal)
Classes: 4
Labs: 3
Labs where I actually learned something while attending: 1
Number of people in my anatomy and physiology lab that graduated from my high school: 2
Number of people in my anatomy and physiology lab that graduated from high school in my father’s class and remembered that was a purveyor of the ganje: 1
Notecards purchased: 1200
Notecards torn up due to errors and my own perfectionism: 30
Notecards saved from the aforementioned fate when I discovered Wite-Out: 42
Minutes spent thinking about why they dropped the h from “wite”: 3.6
Soy lattes consumed: 109
Times chastized by Mr. Wonderful for spending too much money on lattes: 3
Money management computer programs installed by Mr. Wonderful specifically to send him real-time updates on Mrs. Wonderful’s Caribou expenditures: 1
Hours spent in class, at the library, or at a coffee shop studying: 692
Hours spent at home, effectively studying: 0
Number of attempts at studying at home with children screaming like banshees, climbing in my lap, demanding snacks and bridges constructed of wooden train tracks, etc. before realizing that studying at home would never happen: 7
Number of attempts made at studying during naptime, only to have a child wake up ten minutes into said attempt:6
Hours spent sleeping: 630
Hours spent watching The Bachelor or Dancing with the Stars: 30
Number of times was annoyed by the Bachelor when he was on Dancing with the Stars: 53
Books purchased:14
Books purchased with the word “Dummies” in the title to enhance classroom understanding: 4
Books purchased that cost over $150 a piece: 3
Sharpie pens purchased: 20
Number of times shook head in disgust over cost of Sharpie pens: 17
Number of times shook head in disgust over fact that Sharpie pens do not come in pink: 38
Number of pink water bottles purchases made in an attempt to drink more water: 3
Ounces of water consumed:2600
Ounces of Diet Coke consumed: 6300
Number of obscenities yelled in frustration due to lethal combination of children and school: 756
Number of times smiled to myself as I walked into school, grateful for the opportunity: every damn day.

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All Hail Mrs. Brainiac

Thought I’d share, quickly.

Leah, for all intent and reliable expectation, has received her grades from this most recent, grueling semester of class.

Straight mother[hee-haw] As. Across the board. This, impressively, includes Prof. Mohamed’s Microbiology debacle, in which she delved into the dark, terrifying depths of pained terminology, maze-like microbial systems and functions, all-but-absent instruction, and an obtuse Somali accent and somehow floated with grace on a 98% performance. I am equal parts: impressed, proud, and intimidated. Note the lack of surprise. The woman performs.

I can only hope that I live up to her standards when I launch my own college career.

– The Honorable Mr. Daniel Wonderful

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Bonus Post! Xavier’s First Hair Cut

Mahboy is a distinguished 9 months now, and was past due for a little snip here, a little cut there, and a little actuarial coiffure . His lovely older sister and his snappy older brother shone a light on the outland of stylist chairs, over-friendly women a bit to care-free with the double-blades in their hands ahead of him, and he handled it like a pro.

Little Xavier, all growed up.

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Raptors and Children and Parks Oh My

This past windy, windy May Day we spent a few hours at the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. The crew has been planning this little excursion for a bit, a month plus, which for our lil’ family is a fairly long-term goal.

You see, a fellow student in Leah’s Microbiology class (“Smart Girl”) mentioned something about a bird release that would be happening thanks to the University of Minnesota Raptor Center. The gal wants to be a bird trainer, which I hadn’t really known was something you could be, but I don’t really think about birds, per se, especially not in any career sense. Apparently it is a tough nut to crack – the bird discipline field. Who knew? Well, who cares; moving on. Smart Girl told Leah about the bird release, and this seemed like a perfect trip for the family, especially because of this one.

None of us have much experience with releasing birds, and I was expecting driving up to the park, and asking around to find out where this little thing was going to occur. I was afraid it’d be in some obscure corner of the park, down a wood-chip trail, with a dozen or two folks gathered around some scruffy dude. Man was I wrong.

Raptor releases are a BFD. This is a full-scale event, with cordoned parking, attendants, tents, informational booths and people. Flocks of people.


And a host of birds, which shouldn’t be surprising, but I was basically picturing a scruffy dude getting out of a busted-up van with a couple of eagles under his arms, saying “Howdy”, chucking the eagles into the air and sparking a smoke. There were actually quite a few volunteers with a low scruff factor, and quite a few birdies on display, in addition to the birds that were specifically there to be set back into the world. This was a pretty big thrill.

Well, there were other sights to see, so we tootled around for a bit while we were waiting for the big release.

We eventually migrated to the staging area, and deliberated about where to perch while we waited for the main event. They had some of the area roped off, but it didn’t seem to signify much of anything as people were sitting everywhere. So, we walked around, lost Rexgoliath a couple of times, and eventually found a nice spot to sit. We settled, started in on our lunch, then promptly had to get up and move behind the roped off area. The birds needed some space to fly, I guess, and even though they have the entire sky the big shots are so important they need some terra firma available as well.

Finally the little presentation started, and there were four birds released in total. A couple of red-tailed hawks, and a couple of Cooper’s hawks. There was a modest amount of fanfare – some spiel about the Center and their work, a bit of introduction on each bird’s particular story of rehabilitation, honorary releasers (including our gal Betty McCollum!), and a countdown for each bird’s triumphant reëntry into the greater world.

A good time was had by all, and although the crew was starting to get a little owly by the time we were on our way out, the kids loved the whole thing up.

(Bonus game: Count the number of ornithological references I tried to drop throughout the post!)

– Wr. Monderful

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