Peregrine Falcons in Winnipeg

For the last week or so I’ve been hooked on checking in on the birth of three baby Peregrine Falcons who live in a next on top of the Radisson Hotel in Winnipeg. CBC Peregrine Falcon Webcam Its been a nice distraction now and then from work and its been interesting to watch as the Falcons move around on top of their three eggs. I believe that the eggs have finally hatched (since yesterday) – in fact, I just checked and two have hatched and are fluffy little white balls of feathers while the third remains intact in its shell (hope its not a dud). Its wonderful to be able to watch them up close and see them making their way around the nest atop the Radisson. I suppose now I’ll have to watch them grow up and leave the nest. Incidentally, the other night G was walking across the deck and had a few followers himself. We have a family of Armadillo that live under our deck and we’ve seen them scavenging in the garden now and then, and occasionally scampering across the deck early in the morning. The other night they were out on the deck and decided to follow him around wherever he went. They were like baby chicks following their mother. He would zig zag and they would zig zag. It was really neat to watch – especially from animals that are normally pretty shy.

Discernment

This is a quote from Hillary Clinton from a speech she gave at an evangelical church in Puerto Rico today: “There isn’t anything we cannot do together if we seek God’s blessing and if we stay committed and are not deterred by the setbacks that often fall in every life,” Clinton said. About the same time she was giving that speech, I was listening to a talk radio show about vocations and discernment. Religious leaders will tell you that discerning where God wants you and understanding ho that may be the same or differ from where YOU want you is extremely important. Accepting, with humility, that some things just aren’t in the cards for you is part of understanding the concept of discernment and trying to understand where God wants you to be.

I kid you not…

This is a TRUE story. I kid you not. Last year I had a horrible experience in trying to get E’s passport. We filed the application in January and in early April it still hadn’t arrived. I called and asked where it was. They assured me that it would arrive in about a week but I would have to pay for the expediting of the application. I gave them my credit card number and that was that. Call after call after call for the next couple of weeks assured me it was on its way. Four days prior to leaving on our trip (with G and I’s passport having arrived), still no passport for E. They told me my only option was to go to the closest passport office (which was in Houston) and apply in person. Here was the rub – they had my application and it had E’s birth certificate. All I had was a printout of a scanned version. I paid them – yep – again – to overnight the package home to me so it would arrive the day before our trip so I could drive to Houston the day of our trip and apply again. The birth certificate never arrived. E and I got up at 4:00 on Friday morning and drove to Houston to wait in line outside the passport office to apply and pray that they would issue a same day passport and we’d be able to go on our trip. Our prayers were answered, but we had to wait in Houston all day and somehow get flights from Houston to Orlando that day so we could be on our Disney Cruise the next morning. It all worked out thanks to God and my generous Father who offered to pay for our tickets to get to Orlando no matter what the cost. Because I only had a printout of the birth certificate and not the original, we were issued a 6 month temporary passport for E. It expired last fall. So now its time to get a real passport for E and here we go again. Since I had been through this before, I knew what I needed. I got everything together and went downtown to the Post Office (since our local neighborhood Post Office had done such a stellar job in getting our applications to the wrong location last year…).There was no one in line and the gentleman at the window called out for next in line. That was us. E and I went to the window and the fellow asked if we had an appointment. I said ‘No.’ and he said he couldn’t help us unless we had an appointment. I asked if he had an appointment waiting – he said ‘No.’ So I asked him, ‘You mean to tell me that you have no one here waiting, no one who is supposed to be seen – but I’m hear waiting WITHOUT an appointment and you won’t help me?’. He said ‘You have to have an appointment.’ I could not believe what I was hearing. It was big government at its finest. Totally unwilling to think outside the box and help out the citizens of this fine country if they didn’t have an appointment – in spite of the fact that there was no one waiting. He told me I could come back tomorrow morning (on Saturday) when they took walk ins. After a minute or so of my looking at him as though he was crazy, he asked if he could see my documentation. He told me it was incomplete because I had a notarized letter from G authorizing the issuance of the passport and not the completed and notarized form. I asked him to show me on the application where it indicated that I needed a notarized form and not a notarized letter (in fact, it says a notarized letter on the front page and mentions nothing about a form). He was less than helpful. The woman working at the wicket next to him advised me that I could go to the Travis County Court House and they would help me. Several people in line who had witnessed the ridiculous behaviour of the fellow I was dealing with offered me the address and directions. Off E and I went to the Court House. I went up to the County Clerk’s office and signed my name. About a minute later a very nice woman came out to help me. She assured me that all of my paperwork was more than sufficient and got me in and out of there in about 10 minutes. I learned a very valuable lesson today and through last year’s experience – the people at the Post Office who process Passport Applications do not know what they are doing. Avoid them like the plague and go elsewhere. I also learned that insanity is alive and well and present in the day to day goings on at our Post Office. Long live big government!

I suppose its a matter of perspective…

Quoting 26 year old Natalie Portman: ‘Portman, 26, said she would not be endorsing Obama or his rival, Hillary Clinton, but added: ?I think it’s a very exciting year for our politics, that for the first time in a while we have a choice of who we like better instead of who we hate least.?’ I don’t hate anyone, but I certainly can’t say with any degree of honesty that I like any of the candidates running for President. My guess is that she is probably referring more to the choice of Obi or Hills. Sean Pean on the other hand was a little more along the lines of where I’m at: ‘?I don’t have a candidate I’m supporting and I’m certainly interested and excited by the hope that Barack Obama is inspiring,? he said, but went on to accuse him of a ?phenomenally inhuman and unconstitutional? voting record.’ How interesting it would be if the public actually thought about Obama’s argument for voting against the protection of babies that survive late term abortion. His argument was that if we granted that these were considered ‘human’ that would be a start toward an argument against ending all abortion. What is interesting (aside from the fact that he claims to be Christian and pro-choice) is that the same EXACT argument was used against calling slaves ‘human’ as it would give them the inalienable rights referred to in the Constitution.

An addendum to yesterday's random musings…

Brand new shiny Mercedes don’t suit bumper stickers either. Especially those placed on the rear window and not actually on the bumper. Having said all this about bumper stickers, I do enjoy reading them! One of the best I read recently said: ‘Suburbia – the place where we cut down all the trees and then name the streets after them.’

Random Musings

A couple of things have been on my mind to post, but I haven’t done so yet. So here they are as unexciting as ever. The other day, G and I were headed out somewhere and there were three men out cycling. It was late in the afternoon or early evening and it was warm out. One of the cyclists – the one in the front – was sweating a lot. He was wearing white biking shorts. They were sheer white biking shorts. He had dark hair. I’ll leave it at that, but suffice it to say that it wasn’t a good look. Here’s another thought – if you were to buy a very shiny black Ford Mustang and make sure that the chrome on the wheels was perfectly polished and the entire car was perfectly buffed – would you really want to ruin that look by putting bumper stickers on the back? They weren’t even cool bumper stickers – they were kind of geeky, like one for the band ‘Phish’. I’m not a fan of new Mustangs, but I still felt sorry for the car being ruined that way. Paul Carozza spends a fair bit of time at Whole Foods (but then perhaps I do too!) because I seem to see him there on a regular basis.