Thursday, February 26, 2009

First sign of spring?

No, not a robin.

This morning out on the patio I saw a House Sparrow (a year round resident of the area that Charley Harper refers to as a "winged weed") with nesting material in its beak. No signs of avian copulation yet, but this one is obviously getting prepared.

Can the robins be far behind?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Asleep at the wheel

In a game at the South Hills club yesterday, my opponent played "SUGARED", announced his score and hit the clock.

I wrote it down, added the score, and started tracking .... without checking the word he had used for his "s" hook until it was much too late to do anything about it except congratulate him on a sneaky play.

Even I know that "DEFTS" is bogus when I see it. I simply didn't look far enough to see it in time.

Pay! Attention!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

e ... i ... e ... i ... aarrghh!

Studying the five vowel eights. Working through them about fifty at a time, which gets me through the list in a week with a day off to recover. Fifty a day is about my limit right now, then my eyes roll back in my head and my brain (I suspect) looks like this. ^

It certainly feels all thorny and snarled when I'm done for the day.

Haven't put them in Zyzzyva's cardbox yet, since I'm not interested in having a truckload of them show up in the cardbox quiz at one time. (Can we spell "thorny and snarled" boys and girls?) I do wonder though, why words like OEDEMATA stick and yet I have trouble spotting the ones that are S hooks on five vowel sevens.
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Sunday, February 8, 2009

He's just resting ....

This is Fast Eddie. Think of him as a feline version of the Fonz.

When he sleeps in the cat bed, there is always a foot or tail hanging out over the edge. This position is extreme even for him, but he was sleeping like that until I pulled out the camera.

Ever the ham, he opened his eyes before I took the picture.

And maintaining his cool, went back to sleep when I was done.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

It was a cold and snowy night

.... but the roads were clear so I loaded the equipment into the car and drove out to Borders to run the Wednesday meeting of the Scrabble club. The weather being what it was, I expected a fairly low turnout. (Though there are some hard core Scrabblers here, three folks who missed the cancellation notice several weeks ago showed up to play in weather much worse than last night's.)

The first person I saw was a club player who has been working out of town and hadn't played here in over a year. Then a husband and wife who haven't been to the club in months showed up.

Then a couple of our die hard regulars ....

Then a new player ....

Then some more of the regulars!

There was actually one guy who showed up around 9 PM and played one game. (That is a serious Scrabble jones.)

At that point we were scrambling for available tables and snagging chairs wherever they could be found, and I was wondering if I had enough results slips to go around. (The computer with Zyzzyva ended up on a chair, all the tables were in use for games.)

Attendance for the night: 17 players. The highest since we started playing at Borders, and close to a club high.

And, of course, Brendan was back to his winning ways and ran me down like a truck again. Peh.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

And sometimes you just get lucky ....

The anhinga is a diving bird that will perch after it has been underwater and spread its wings to dry in the sun. You would think it was posing since it held that position for quite a while. In spite of the fading light, I got several shots. This one is a keeper.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Three rules of books

My rule of books:
If you get it out of the library, you don't have to pay for it. (Though I will confess to running amok at Half Price Books from time to time.)

Eli's rule of books: (my son)
If you get it from a book store, you don't have to take it back.

Frouma's rule of books: (local scrabble player)
If you buy it at the library book sale, it's inexpensive and you get to keep it.

Currently reading: Lois McMaster Bujold

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wish I played scrabble like that more often

The Steeler Nation is out in the streets tonight, waving the Terrible Towels (and assorted items of clothing.) Like Tomlin said, "Steeler football is sixty minutes."

The celebration will probably last most of the night. The main street in my urban neighborhood is closed to vehicular traffic and packed with humanity. I would not much like to be a police horse in the middle of a Steeler riot.

Scrabble is twenty five minutes, all twenty five minutes, every game.

Super Bowl Sunday

The whole town is putting on their black and gold gear, setting out the munchies in front of the TV, and getting ready for the big game. Or preparing to head for the nearest bar with a big screen.

Except me.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like the Steelers to win, but listening to the game on the radio here at home and getting some other things done at the same time is my idea of multi-tasking.