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June 30, 2009

The Lily of the Nile - Agapanthus

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 30, 2009 at 5:57 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Copy and Paste Between PC's

I don't know how I survived this long without the ability copy and paste between two computers connected to the internet. Sure, you could send yourself an email. Or you could use the sneaker net (copy it between computers using a thumb drive or equivalent), but who wants to go crawling around trying to dig up a thumb drive and hammering it into two different computers and praying it pops up in Windows Explorer (plug and pray). Or you could install some type of client-side IM software on each computer and try to IM yourself, assuming you have admin rights to both PC's. But for copying text between two computers, nothing is easier or faster or cheaper than this: http://cl1p.net


Posted by Rob Kiser on June 30, 2009 at 5:15 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 29, 2009

Not All Who Wander Are Lost...

Breckenridge, Leadville, Grand Junction, Moab, Lake Powell, Grand Canyon, Tijuana, San Diego. How was your morning?

Above: Bird of Paradise.

Update: Diane in San Diego informs me that the flower above is an Agapanthus - the "Lily of the Nile".

Above: Some type of Lily.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 29, 2009 at 11:52 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Swainson's Hawk

Swainson's Hawk (Buteo swainsoni) with light color morph soaring over a field near the hogback. Here's my post at whatbird.com. Granted, this photo isn't very good, but so far as I know, this is the first Swainson's Hawk I've ever seen. I used to assume that all the hawks I saw were Red-tailed Hawks. Now, when I see a bird overheard, I take a shot and then when I get home, I try to identify it.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Hawks

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 29, 2009 at 12:30 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Daily Photos

Above: Day 15 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.) These birds should fledge on July 6th or 7th.

Above: Day 20 for the four baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse at Bud's. (These birds hatched on or around June 9th.) These birds should fledge on July 1st or 2nd.

A White-breasted Nuthatch(Sitta carolinensis) trying to walk on a fence. This is kind of funny because he's not a perching bird. He's a "tree-clinging" bird, and has a hard time perching, believe it or not.

Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in velvet foraging in the back yard.

Sydney, Meghan, and Keenan holding hands.

I believe this is some type of purple penstemon growing wild on the side of the road.


More purple penstemon growing wild on the side of the road.

This is some type of wildflower growing in Jeanelle's yard. No clue what it is.

These are Jeanelle's Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Spectabilis).

Jeanelle's Bleeding Hearts (Dicentra Spectabilis).

Wendy's California Poppies in bright sunlight(Eschscholzia californica).

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 29, 2009 at 12:05 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 28, 2009

Jennifer and Hannah in Palm Beach

Jennifer in the lighthouse with the Jupiter Inlet in the background.

Jennifer in the lighthouse at the Jupiter Inlet.

Jennifer in the intracoastal waterway with the Jupiter lighthouse in the background.

Jennifer and Hannah trying to catch puffer fish.

Jennifer and Hannah beneath a large ficus banyan fig tree.

Great Blue Heron at sunset.

Continue reading "Jennifer and Hannah in Palm Beach"

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 28, 2009 at 11:24 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Billy Mays Here...!

Well, I'm sure Billy Mays had a family and people that loved him dearly and I'm sure he was a great guy and all, but I for one won't miss his voice blaring at me through the tube in the small hours of the morning. I've often said that Billy Mays features prominently in my vision of hell:

"My vision of hell is me working on a computer for the rest of my life with that dog and that paperclip popping up six times a minute with a Billy Mays commercial blaring in the background and some psychotic bitch ringing my doorbell as fast as humanly possible."

Rest In Peace, Billy Mays.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 28, 2009 at 3:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

NASA discovers lost tapes of the first moon landing

ECSTATIC space officials at Nasa could be about to unveil one of their most stunning discoveries for 40 years -- new and amazingly clear footage of the first moon landing.

http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/110442/WORLD-EXCLUSIVE-NASA-finds-missing-moon-landing-tapes

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 28, 2009 at 3:49 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 25, 2009

Suck It, Tree-huggers

Remember all those alarmist stories about deformed frogs found with missing legs or gross deformities? At the time, it was said to be caused by pollution or the thinning ozone layer or global warming. Yeah, only not so much. It's actually caused by 'selective predation by dragonfly nymphs'. Thanks for playing, tree-huggers. Go sulk in your Priuses.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2009 at 11:48 PM : Comments (3) | Permalink

Atkins Long Boys

ZOMG I've got to stop eating these things.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2009 at 11:26 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Gene's Closed

Gene's New Orleans Style Po'boys in Austin closed recently. I was here in May and they were open then. But they've closed their doors for good now. They served delicious po'boys and smothered pork chops. Sad to see them go.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2009 at 11:21 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Do Foxes Kill Cats?

Wendy told me recently that she watched her cat go nose-to-nose with a fox in her yard neither one blinked and there was no fight. They just went their own separate ways.

After watching the foxes around my house fairly closely for a while, I've about come to the conclusion that house cats are not something that a fox would normally consider a meal. The reason I say this is that foxes around my house are fairly small - not much larger than a house cat - and generally appear to eat smaller game, like mice, voles, birds, and rabbits. A house cat is a much more difficult prey to tackle, and could probably only be safely attacked by surprise.

So, tonight I decided to google 'Do foxes eat cats?' and this is what I found:

"...foxes do occasionally attack and kill cats and [a] study looking into this, led by Stephen Harris, questioned more than 5,000 householders in northwest Bristol about the number of pet cats that were killed by foxes each year. From the results, it seems that each adult fox kills about 0.17 cats each year or, to put it another way, any given fox would kill one cat every six years and most of these were cats less than six months old."

So, this pretty much goes along with my thoughts. A fox will occasionally kill a cat, but it would be a very rare event. I think that cats up here are more likely to be killed my coyotes, mountain lions, or cars than by foxes.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 25, 2009 at 11:11 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

June 24, 2009

Jennifer and Hannah

Above: Jennifer and Hannah posing at the entrance to The Endangered Entree restaurant, the only place in the U.S. where you can legally eat threatened and endangered animals.

Above: Jennifer and Hannah picked out this turtle to be made into a soup as an appetizer at The Endangered Entree. (Actually, a mature turtle like this can feed several people. Very little is wasted.)

Above: Jennifer and Hannah choosing between a rare Iguana steak dinner or Spotted Owl soup.

Above: Jennifer and Hannah practice the fine art of turtle hunting.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 24, 2009 at 10:06 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 23, 2009

Austin

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Posted by Rob Kiser on June 23, 2009 at 10:25 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Daily Photos

Above: Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis). Update: Discussion of this photo at whatbird.com.

Above: Day 9 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.) These birds should fledge on July 6th or 7th.

Above: Female Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) at Bud's house.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 23, 2009 at 12:06 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 22, 2009

Jennifer and Hannah

Looks like Jennifer is having a good time with cousin Hannah in Palm Beach.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 22, 2009 at 8:04 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 21, 2009

Cooper's Hawk

This is not a great photo, but this Cooper's Hawk (Accipiter cooperii) flew over the house yesterday. Wendy pointed it out and I just assumed it was a Red-tailed Hawk. But upon closer inspection, I believe that it's a Cooper's Hawk. The long narrow tail gives it away as an accipiter. The rounded tail and the overall size mean it's a Cooper's as opposed to a Sharp-shinned Hawk.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 21, 2009 at 9:52 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Saturday June 20th Photos

Above: Timmy catches a mouse.

Day 7 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.) These birds should fledge on July 6th or 7th.

Above: Day 12 for the four baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse at Bud's. (These birds hatched on or around June 9th.) These birds should fledge on July 1st or 2nd.

Above: Female Western Bluebird (mother of Bud's babies) on a fence. The fence protects some of their plants from the ravenous herds of deer and elk.

Above: Immature female mule deer(Odocoileus hemionus).

Above: Female Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) at Wendy's.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 21, 2009 at 1:57 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 19, 2009

When do Western Bluebirds Fledge?

http://www.prescottbluebird.com/manuals/MonitorMnl.NestingActivityPg10.pdf

Western Bluebirds fledge anywhere from 19 to 23 days after hatching. They leave the nest one after the other, flying only a short distance to a tree or shrub. If they land on the ground, the adults lead them to cover. The parents return to the nest several times to see that all the young have fledged. The fledglings beg for food, and are fed occasionally. At first, the young will observe prey, but not attempt to eat it.

After a day or two they will seize the prey, but usually discard it. By the third day out of the nest they can consume prey and within 10 days they have mastered self feeding, thoroughly preparing the food by removing the wings of insects before consuming them. In 35 to 45 days they are independent of the parents, but remain with them throughout the summer
and fall.

So, according to this, Bud's bluebirds should fledge between June 28th and July 2nd. My bluebirds should fledge between July 3rd and July 7th.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 19, 2009 at 6:32 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Suitcase With $134 Billion Puts Dollar on Edge

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a62_boqkurbI

Two Japanese men are detained in Italy after allegedly attempting to take $134 billion worth of U.S. bonds over the border into Switzerland. Details are maddeningly sketchy, so naturally the global rumor mill is kicking into high gear.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 19, 2009 at 9:21 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Dirtstar Army

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 19, 2009 at 9:11 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 18, 2009

Photos From Today

Above: Jennifer glomming for the camera on Bluebird Trail.

Above: Day 5 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.)

Above: Day 10 for the four baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse at Bud's. (These birds hatched on or around June 9th.)

Above: Jen checks one of the new bluebird houses.

Above: A House Wren (Troglodytes aedon) at Bud's house.

Above: Mature male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) on Bud's post.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 18, 2009 at 10:47 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

World's Shortest Slasher Film

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 18, 2009 at 12:34 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 17, 2009

Bluebird Trail

Above: Day 4 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.)

Above: Jennifer and Sydney at Camp Daddy.

Above: Day 9 for the four baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse at Bud's. (These birds hatched on or around June 9th.)

Above: Sydney and Jennifer inspecting a bluebird house.

Above: Evan poses for a photograph.

Above: Dad, a mature male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) prepares to feed his babies.

Above: Penstemmons in Adolf's field.

Above: Timmy, checking out the mule deer in the field.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 17, 2009 at 9:42 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 16, 2009

Hope and Change

Remember Dick Cheney claiming his White House visitor logs were secret and blocking media access to them? Barack Obama just did the same thing. Refuses lawful request to disclose visits by coal company executives.
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/31373407/ns/politics-white_house/?resubmitted_with_better_title

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2009 at 7:52 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Bluebird Trail

Above: Day 3 for the five baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse on the razor-wire fence around my garden. (These birds hatched on or around June 14th.)

Above: Day 8 for the four baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) in the birdhouse at Bud's. (These birds hatched on or around June 9th.)

Above: Male Broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) on a feeder. Selasphorus platycercus).

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2009 at 3:28 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Madness Out Back

This is the madness out back. I need to go out there with a chainsaw and a fifty gallon drum of diesel and spend about two weeks doing some serious slash and burn. The deer don't seem to mind, though.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2009 at 3:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Women Drivers

The greatest threat to a woman's health is:
a) heart disease
b) breast cancer
c) driving

If you guessed c), take one step forward.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 16, 2009 at 3:51 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 14, 2009

Today

Jennifer and Sydney adding a new Bluebird house to Bluebird Trail.

Jennifer and Sydney checking on one of the Western Bluebird nests.

Day 1: This is Day 1 for these newly hatched chicks. I think that there are four babies and one egg that hasn't hatched yet.

Georgetown, Colorado - Curb your dog.

Jennifer and Sydney show off the dinner they caught today in Georgetown.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 14, 2009 at 10:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Yesterday

Above: Timmy at Wendy's.

Above: Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli).

Above: Male Black-chinned Hummingbird (Archilochus alexandri).

Above: Male Downy Woodpecker (Picoides pubescens).

Above: Timmy growling at Bud.

Above: Evan checking out the birds.

Above: Me trying to get the hook out of a Rainbow Trout while canoeing in Lake Evergreen.

Above: ????

Above: Muskrat (Ondata zibethicus) at Lake Evergreen.

Above: Mallard drake (Anas platyrhynchos).

Above: Immature Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

Above: Female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

Above: Male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

Above: Male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

Above: Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis).

Above: Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis).

Above: Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis).

Above: Rocky Mountain Iris (Iris missouriensis).

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 14, 2009 at 11:38 AM : Comments (2) | Permalink

June 12, 2009

Bluebird Trail

Wendy, Sydney, and her mom came over today and wanted to see the "baby bluebirds". So, I hauled out a step ladder and took them over to Bud's front yard and they all climbed up and peered down into the bluebird house, in turn. They were surprised that we went to Bud's but, for the record, I only have one clutch of bluebird eggs. I have a mom incubating five eggs. But Bud's have hatched already. As best as I can tell, four hatched, and two eggs failed to hatch. There was no sign of the eggs today, and I suspect the mom hauled them out when they failed to hatch. My best guess is that these birds hatched on Tuesday, June 9th, which would make this photo "Day 3".

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 12, 2009 at 5:16 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Skulls

Many of you know I used to work in Honolulu. Here's my boss's kid James playing the drums in a rehearsal for a gig they played in Waikiki. He's pretty good, me thinks.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 12, 2009 at 2:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 11, 2009

Baby Western Bluebirds

Well, my baby Western Bluebirds (Sialia mexicana) haven't hatched yet, but Bud's have. Well, four of them have hatched, anyway. I saw two eggs in there yesterday. And today, I wasn't sure, but there was at least one blue egg in there still unhatched. So, maybe two of the eggs are duds? Not sure. Stay tuned.

These photos are nothing to write home about, but I was in a hurry. I've not had much time to shoot due to work, unfortunately.

Above: Male Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) on the garden fence.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 11, 2009 at 10:26 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Wendy's Aviary

I've been so crazy busy with work I haven't had time to breathe, hardly. But Sydney made sushi tonight and she and Wendy invited me over for dinner. Of course, I'm not much fun as far as company goes. Mostly, I just let the cats out and sit outside and watch the birds on the feeder. The photo above is a female Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus).

Above: Male Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus).

Above: Male House Finch (Carpodacus mexicanus).

Above: Pine Siskin (Carduelis pinus).

Above: Bud praying that he catches a bird.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 11, 2009 at 10:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 10, 2009

Killdozer - 5 Years Later

Marvin Heemeyer is a hero. A true American patriot. I said so five years ago when it happened, and I stand by it now.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 10, 2009 at 8:55 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Why Women Can't Be Bosses

http://uk.askmen.com/money/career_250/278_why-women-cant-be-bosses.html

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 10, 2009 at 7:18 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Win

This article on The Smoking Gun is full of 'win'. Some prankster called up a Holiday Inn and convinced the idiotic desk clerk to pull the fire alarm, smash out a bunch of windows, break off a sprinkler head (flooding the hotel), and then turn off the power to the entire building. Classic.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 10, 2009 at 1:41 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 9, 2009

Canon EOS-50D Images

I went around to check on the bluebirds. I put the long lens on the 50D, and the small lens on the 40D, and went around on the ATV with two frames around my neck. The Western Bluebirds at my house haven't hatched yet, but at Bud's house, I pushed the mom gently aside to reveal four babies and two unhatched eggs. I suspect that these hatched today, and the others will hatch tomorrow (assuming that they all hatch.)

Kate was concerned that I was going to touch the eggs and the mother would abandon the nest if she smelled my scent on her eggs. This is an old wive's tale. It's not true, but it is a widely promulgated misconception.

Birds are not like hound dogs. They have pretty much no sense of smell. Second of all, the goal of the mom is to raise the baby birds. She doesn't abandon the nest the first time she gets nervous or upset. She sits on the babies and will defend them by pecking at anyone that comes near her.

While I was checking on the Western Bluebirds, I noticed this female Red Fox pouncing on mice in a section of the field I didn't mow.

After she gorged herself on mice, she was happy and started running around in circles - just acting silly.

I followed her around back and found a small herd of mule deer bucks bedding down for the night.

I like shooting two frames because I don't have to change lenses very often. Basically, if it's far away, I use one camera. If it's close up, I use the other camera. I couldn't really do this with the 20D because it was hard to keep the sensor clean on that frame, so I mostly just shot the 40D.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 9, 2009 at 11:12 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Canon EOS-50D

I got my new camera today. Woohoo!

I went out and did some test shots to compare the EOS-50D to the EOS-40D. Basically, what I wanted to do was shoot through the long lens (400mm) and see if the additional pixels of the 50D would allow me to zoom in and see better resolution on long-range shots taken through the long lens.

I decided to use the back of the English version of the Canon EOS-50D manual. I walked across the front yard and stood it up at the bottom of one of the bluebird house poles.

Then I set up a tripod on the front sidewalk and mounted the Canon L-series 100-400mm IS USM telescopic zoom lens on the tripod. I turned off the Image Stabilization of the lens, turned the Auto Focus on, set it to mode 1, set the focal length to > 6.5 meters. Then, I attached the Canon EOS-40D to the back of the lens, and connected the remote shutter release. I put the camera into Manual mode, and set the ISO to 100, the Aperture to f/5.6, and the shutter speed to 1/25th of a second. I selected the center auto-focus point, and zoomed in all the way, centering the frame on the Canon manual leaning against the pole in the front yard. I set the camera to take the highest resolution .jpg possible. ( I hate RAW images. There - I said it. So sue me.)

I pressed the remote shutter release once. This autofocuses on the subject, and also locks up the mirror. Then, I pressed it again, and this takes an image, in theory, with less vibration since the mirror was already locked up.

Then, I brought the images into Photoshop and compared them. The EOS-50D is more clear, but it's not like night-and-day difference. It's not like you're thinking "OMG Why Did I Not Buy This in August When It Came Out?" It's better, but only marginally so IMHO. I'd like to do some comparison shots with a full-frame Canon sensor.

This shot shows a comparison in Photoshop where I zoomed to "Actual Pixels". (The 50D image is above the 40D image.) So, you can see that the image size of the 50D is significantly larger than the 40D. But I dunno. I'm not overly thrilled with the improvement. Better, but still not good enough, of course.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 9, 2009 at 10:07 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

The Husband Test: Circa 1933

Oh I like this....


Posted by Rob Kiser on June 9, 2009 at 3:36 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

June 7, 2009

May 2009

Yesterday, I shot my 20,000th image for the year. I've been shooting roughly twice the rate I normally do, probably because I've been traveling so much, but also because I've been getting out a lot now that the weather is nice.

My new EOS-50D is scheduled to arrive in two days, so I thought I'd sit down and collect some of my recent photos and cobble them into a little slideshow. When I get my 50D, I'll shoot my 40D as a backup frame, or possibly for landscape photography. But I'll mount my long lens on the 50D and shoot most of my images on that frame, assuming that the sensor isn't too noisy and I can get clean images out of it.

I shot these photos in May (and the first week of June) in San Diego, Austin, and the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

These images were all captured with a Canon EOS 40D with a Canon BG-E2 battery grip. The short lens is an image stabilized, ultra-sonic telescopic zoom lens (EF-S 17-85mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM). The long lens is a Canon L-series ultra-sonic telescopic zoom lens (EF 100-400mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM) with an ET-83C hood.

The images are compiled into an 15 Meg (3:34) Adobe Flash slideshow(2009_May.swf) that you should be able to open and view with any browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, etc.). To view the slideshow, just click on the photo above. If you want to view the slideshow as a Windows executable, you can play this version (2009_May.exe), and it allows you to play, pause, skip forward, backwards, etc.

Image post-processing was done in Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended. The slideshow was created using Imagematics Stillmotion Pro.

The soundtrack is Alone Again by Gilbert O'Sullivan. I chose this because I fell asleep with the tv on and when I work up, they were running a infomercial called "Ballads That Made You Want To Kill Yourself in the 70's" and they were playing this song, which I'd totally forgotten about. My dad used to play this on his turntable when I was a kid and it got me feeling all sentimental and crap.

Lyrics in the extended entry.

Click here to view the other slideshows.

Continue reading "May 2009"

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 7, 2009 at 10:37 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 6, 2009

Create File Listing

I've been playing with Send To Toys for several months now. I use it to send file names under Windows Explorer to notepad. It also does some tricky reformatting on them, which is nice, but there's a limitation of Send To Toys which drives me nuts - you can only do 20 files at a time.

So finally, I went hunting for a solution and found this Create File Listing solution which I'll add to my toolbox and use when I need to copy 20 files or more at a time.


Posted by Rob Kiser on June 6, 2009 at 5:43 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 5, 2009

D-Day Anniversary - June 6, 1944

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 5, 2009 at 8:54 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Timmy Goes to the Vet

This morning, Timmy was growling at us while he was on the couch. We couldn't really understand why, so I threw him on the floor, at which point we noticed he was limping. And his front left paw was noticeably swollen. We weren't sure why, of course. But Jennifer and I have suspected for some time that he climbs out my bedroom window onto the roof and jumps off the roof, though we've never seen him do it.

He smelled like a skunk, and it's not the first time he's been sprayed. So I thought maybe he'd been bitten by a skunk, a fox, or worse. Maybe he'd shattered his paw.

I figured he'd shattered his paw and I was in for about three grand in cat surgery bills. I just wanted to take him out back and shoot him, but Jennifer was adamant that we had to take him to the vet.

When I was a kid, if our dogs got sick, they didn't go to the vet, they just "ran away", or so we were told. But I drove Timmy down to the vet.

"Does Timmy go outside?" she wanted to know.

"Uh. Yeah." Like, we hardly see the cat now that the snow has melted.

"Has he been around any animals that might have bitten him?" she wanted to know.

"Um. Well, yesterday he caught two mice," I offered.

"Two mice in the same day?" she asked.

"Yeah. Oh. And a Pine Sisken. And a House Finch." I continued.

"You mean this cat caught two mice and two birds in one day?" she clarified.

"Yeah, but he was only outside for a little bit. He's been sleeping a lot lately." I offered.

Turns out, he had a bad bite on his paw that was infected. He had a fever of 106. And he needs his follow up vaccination shots. One hundred and fifty three dollars later we were heading home with Timmy in a new cat carrier. Somehow, he escaped from the cat carrier and then later pierced my ear with his claw. I wish I were making this up. We're all resting now.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 5, 2009 at 7:40 PM : Comments (1) | Permalink

Daily Photos (Updated)

Finally, a photo of the Great Horned owlets with a parent in the nest for perspective.

Update: Haha. I'm sitting here drinking a beer and looking at my website and I looked at this photo again and I was like....Holy Sh1t, Batman...there's three baby owls in this photo. Apparently, their average clutch size is 2.3 owlets. So, in this case, we got 3. Haha. Cracks me up. I've been shooting these owlets for some time, and I suspected that there might be more than two, as, if you go back and look at some of the older photos, I did notice shapes that were hard to explain. But this is classic. Three baby owlets with a parent and all four of them looking into the frame. Luck counts. I'll take it.

The House Wren has laid yet another egg for a total of eight. She's been laying an egg a day now for as long as I can remember.

Jennifer checking one of the nests. We take the four wheeler because it's the easiest way to gain access to the nests. It's basically a rolling ladder. We just stand up on the game rack on the front.

Photos of the flowers at the local country club. No clue what they are. Update: Chick Voice points out that these are Lupines. Thanks CV.

More photos of the flowers at the local country club. No clue what they are. Update: Chick Voice points out that these are Pink Columbines. Thanks CV.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 5, 2009 at 7:16 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

June 4, 2009

Daily Photos

The House Wren laid yet another egg, bringing the total to 7. Both Western Bluebirds are incubating their eggs - one is on six eggs and one is on five eggs.

Pine Siskin on the bird bath with Mountain Lilac (Syringa vulgaris) flowers.

Timmy out hunting for anything that moves. Today, he killed a mouse and a Pine Siskin and Lord only knows what else.

California Poppy pod.

Iris in Alice's garden.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 4, 2009 at 8:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 3, 2009

Daily Bird Photos

The House Wren added yet another egg to her clutch. I have to think she'll stop laying eggs and start incubating them in the next day or so. Both Western Bluebird moms are incubating their eggs.

The owlets look a little dryer today than yesterday.

Broad-tailed Hummingbird on Mountain Lilac. Walking outside is pretty much like taking your life in your own hands. These things dogfight all day and they've buzzed me a few times which is pretty scary. They come buzzing about 12" from your face going about 30 mph. It's pretty intense.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 3, 2009 at 8:17 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Essential Free Windows Downloads

http://lifehacker.com/5271828/lifehacker-pack-2009-our-list-of-essential-free-windows-downloads

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 3, 2009 at 3:03 AM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 2, 2009

Travel with Rob Kiser

To see some of my photos, go to http://circle7online.com/galleries.html and click on "Travel With Rob Kiser". Then scroll to the right and see some of my photos.

My buddies at Circle 7 Outfitters set this up and I've been so busy bouncing around the country like a ping-pong ball in a dryer, that I've not made time to check it out. Until tonight. Totally awesome! Makes me feel like I've actually been somewhere.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 6:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

My New Toy

Well, thanks to my generous friends at Circle 7 Outfitters, I ordered my new camera today. The new gem of my collection is a 15 Megapixel Canon EOS 50D with a Transcend UDMA 300X 16GB CF card. The big change from the 40D to the 50D is an increase from 10 Megapixels to 15 Megapixels and a much higher resolution screen display for viewing images.

This also allows me to retire my EOS-20D and use the EOS-40D as my backup frame. I can now shoot with two frames, a 40D and a 50D. I can put the long lens on the 50D and the 17-85 on the 40D. This prevents me from having to swap lenses as much, reducing dust in the frames and on the sensors.

Canon camera history: http://www.peeniewallie.com/2009/02/canon-camera-hi.html

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 5:40 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird

Female Broad-tailed Hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus) on Mountain Lilac.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 4:48 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Other Critters

This guy has been lurking around lately...looking to get Timmers, I'm sure.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 3:14 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Great Horned Owlets in a Rain Storm

I went down to check in on the owlets this morning. After the rain we got last night, I bet the owlets were wishing they had a roof. They're soaking wet in this photo. Parents were not in sight.

Categories: Photos, Birds, Owls

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 2:57 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

Bluebird Trail - 23 eggs and counting

Bird House #1: (Not shown) None of the six Mountain Chickadee (Poecile gambeli) eggs/hatchlings survived. Not sure why.

Bird House #2: (Above) The House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) have added yet another egg to their nest, bringing the total to five pink eggs.

Bird House #3: (Above) Today, there were five Western Bluebird eggs, and we didn't see mom. So that makes me think that she was laying an egg when I spotted her on the nest yesterday, not incubating them. If this theory holds, then she may lay another egg today, or else begin incubation.

Bird House #4: (Not shown) Unoccupied.

Bird House #5: (Above) Still contains seven tiny white bird eggs. Species unknown. The mother is not incubating these eggs. This nest may have been abandoned.

Bird House #6: (Above) The mom Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) flushed from the nest when I pulled up today. She's incubating six little blue eggs.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 2, 2009 at 2:44 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink

June 1, 2009

Bluebird Trail

Bird House #1: (Above) The sole survivors of the Mountain Chickadees (Poecile gambeli) brood is hanging in there like a hair in a biscuit.

Bird House #2: (Above) The House Wrens (Troglodytes aedon) have added another egg (and some Stellar Jay feathers) to their nest, bringing the total to four pink eggs.

Bird House #3: (Above) The Western Bluebird mom started incubating her eggs today. I believe that she's sitting on four eggs, although it is possible that there are five.

Bird House #4: (Not shown) Unoccupied.

Bird House #5: (Not shown) Still contains seven tiny white bird eggs. Species unknown. The mother is not incubating these eggs. This nest may have been abandoned.

Bird House #6: (Above) The mom Western Bluebird (Sialia mexicana) flushed from the nest when I pulled up today. She's incubating six little blue eggs.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 1, 2009 at 2:05 PM : Comments (2) | Permalink

Mystery Colorado Songbird

This bird was singing in the top of one of my neighbor's Ponderosa Pine trees. The song was just unbelievable, so I went out and shot some photos of him. No recording of his song, unfortunately. The bird is a perching songbird with a heavy bill for eating seeds from pine cones. I've posted an identification help request on whatbird.com. Update: After going through my "Guide to Colorado Birds by Mary Taylor Gray", I've identified this bird as a male Black-headed Grosbeak (Pheucticus melanocephalus) in breeding plumage.

Posted by Rob Kiser on June 1, 2009 at 12:11 PM : Comments (0) | Permalink