Friday, April 24, 2009

Some Underwater Friends

The pet store we visited last weekend also hosts some dashing saltwater types, like this blood shrimp, lionfish, and friendly hermit crab. So if rooms full of birds creep you out a little, there's a bunch of serene fish tanks to look at instead.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This Weekend Was For The Birds

We visited Parrots of the World on Sunday, and lucked into baby-bird season. Most of the smallest were inside glass cases with too much reflection, but Ken took this great shot of two "older" young 'uns who were in the open.

Many of the birds are exceedingly friendly:

Some are quite presumptuous:

Others are more interested in their fellow bird:

And the mynah - well, he wasn't warming up to anybody.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Spring Bridal Accessories

Nothing sets off a bride's gown like the perfect accessory. But face it, everyone on the list of banns is gonna be wearing Grandma's necklace down the aisle. If you want to stand out from the crowd in June, nix the tired old idea of heirloom jewelry, and hit the dollar bins at your local Tar-jhay for a Bridal Shot Glass Necklace!
(Of course, as the warning here in the lower right corner indicates, this item won't be appropriate for all brides:)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's a Small, Coincidental World, After All

An intense gentleman came to the desk looking for books on Paolo Soleri, an architect."Oh, sure!" I said.

"You've heard of him?" he said. He seemed surprised.

"I've been to Arcosanti, an experimental community he designed, in Arizona." I felt quite worldly.

"That's where I'm going, I'm going there!" he said. "I want to know if you have books about it."

"We do," I said. "We have a couple."

He left happy, and still intense. Two days later, the phone rang at the desk and I picked it up. It was another very intense man, who said, and I quote, "There's an experimental city somewhere in the desert in Arizona called..."

"Arcosanti!" We said at the same time.

"You've heard of it?" he asked.

"I've been there," I said, again feeling worldly, and now a little deja-vu-ey. It was definitely a different person, a completely different voice.

"Well, I want to know if it's been built. If it's a real functioning city."

"Well, I'm not sure what you mean by a 'real' city. I don't know what kind of municipal organization it has, if any. It's more like an educational institution. But I can look that up for you."

"But it exists? You've seen it?"

"Yes, it exists. You can even stay there overnight, if you book in advance."

"No, I just wanted to know if it really exists."

"Ah. Well then, yes...yes, it does. You can look online at a site I'll give you, or come in here and do that...or look at books."

"Okay, maybe I'll check that out."

Now those two instances by themselves is no big deal; it happens all the time that something gets mentioned on a TV program and there's a brief flurry of questions about it.

But then, the day after that, I sold a pair of concert tickets on line, and because there was a misprinted ticket, I had occasion to look up the name of the buyer, and noticed he was an architect, whose company's website mentions he studied and worked at... Arcosanti.

It's a small, coincidental world after all.

Monday, April 6, 2009

On The Unreliability Of Outward Appearances

I Couldn't Agree More
A funny story often begins with the phrase, "This guy walks into a bar..."
Here at work, most stories begin with the phrase, "This guy walks up to the desk..."
Today's story (from last summer, actually,) bears out my assertion that you often cannot discern what people will ask for based simply on their appearance.
A man in his early twenties walks up to the desk. He's wearing voluminous satin basketball shorts in pale blue and a wife-beater tee.
It's hot outside, so he is covered in a thin sheen of sweat. His right hand is underneath his T-shirt, scratching his chest.
He looks at me, still scratching, and says, "I need a book on aesthetics."

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hello, April, Glad To See Ya!

I thought you'd never get here. (No foolin'.) What a relief to the winter-weary eyeball.