40 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 4-28-17

  1. Morning all. Such excitement at school today as we got all the new students from the Pacific Orientation Course. The whole school felt like it was hopping.
    It is now the weekend here, sigh….

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Good evening Jo.
    Good morning Ricky, Aj and everyone else.
    It’s FRIDAY!
    You know what that means?
    JO has already started her weekend. You have another day, so get to it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This header was a special treat for me. Before my husband and I married, I had chanced to see a pileated woodpecker one time in Nashville, and he had never seen one. One time I was standing at our kitchen window when one landed in the tree behind our garage. I called him and he came and was thrilled to see it. It’s a very large bird, crow-size or nearly, very similar to the now-probably-extinct ivory-billed, which was even larger.

    Then one day we saw one at our favorite local state park (LSP). I couldn’t get a photo because it was too far away for a good photo with that camera, but also because my camera battery was dead; that day we bought another battery, so as not to be in that position again.

    Through the years we have seen them occasionally at LSP, and at other state parks as we hike them. We looked up the call they make, and now we know when they are near and we keep a special eye out for them and see them a bit more often, but we can go to the park ten times and not see one. The chance of getting a good photo is even smaller–there are always trees in the way when you see one, they’re a long way away, and they move from one tree to another or to the backside of the one they are on.

    They have large territories–1,000 to 2,000 acres. LSP is heavily wooded throughout most of it, so they have many, many trees to choose from for nesting, though they do want one that’s partially dead and whatever their other specifications. But the chance that the bird would choose one near the trail, facing the trail, and that we ourselves would be on the right portion of that 1,000+ acres as it is coming out of its nest, is pretty small.

    Well, the day we saw the ring-necked ducks and the tree swallows with their nest, we were on the longest trail we hike, and we were heading back on the return when we heard two pileated woodpeckers laugh, one on each side of the trail. Clearly it was a pair, though at that moment we couldn’t see either bird. We slowed down our walk to increase our chance of seeing one, and then we saw the one on the right a couple of times.

    My husband started thinking, though he didn’t immediately tell me what he was thinking. We saw the one on the right fly away, and the one on the left didn’t fly after it, so perhaps it had a nest. And as tired as he was, as ready to get back to the car as he was, finding a nest would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. So he stood on the trail and looked around to see if he could find some holes that might be their nest. He found such holes on two trees, so he stood where he could see both holes and just waited. (Continued)


  4. Pileated nest, continued.

    As my husband and I stood there on the path in our LSP, he told me he could see two trees with holes and was watching both. I took the opportunity to get a photo or two of wildflowers. But soon, he said low and excitedly, “There!” He pointed me to the tree with two holes and told me the woodpecker had appeared briefly at the bottom hole, apparently dropping out wood chips as it made its tree hole. So I focused my camera and waited, and over the next six or eight minutes we stood there as the bird appeared every minute or two. I didn’t get any photos that actually show wood chips in his beak (though I got one where you can see it in the air after he has tossed it).

    I don’t know how well this nest will be visible from the path once the trees have fully leafed out, but we made note of exactly where it is, and intend to be back later this spring. As I took the photos, we could not tell whether the bird was male or female and my husband assumed it was the female. The photos show it to be male (the red mustache and the red on the top of his head comes all the way forward to his beak). Research tells me that the male does most of the nest excavation, getting all the way inside as the nest nears completion (which he was doing), and that the female may help some near the end. They don’t line the hole with anything, though there will be some wood chips still in the bottom. The pair stays together year-round, and we have indeed seen them in pairs in October. (October seems to be about the easiest time to see them, once the leaves have fallen, or at least that is when we have had the most sightings.)

    Anyhow, if circumstances are right, later we may get photos of this bird or its mate reaching in to feed young birds that are poking their heads out. But getting even one adult at the nest was super sweet, and having him be at a dependable place (even if only for a few seconds at a time) so that I could focus in was nice.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. My weekend has started, too, since I have today off to go to the Pet Expo.

    We had really strong winds last night, it’s lucky we have power this morning. I expect to see people’s patio furniture scattered all down the street 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Useful information from my company for Email Security.

    So much of cybersecurity depends on adequate awareness from users. Phishing for example, preys on people’s fears and desires to convince them to click on hyperlink images and text before checking where they actually lead to. However, with the latest trend in phishing, even the most cautious users can get swept up. Read on to educate yourself on how to avoid this dangerous scam.

    What are homographs?

    There are a lot of ways to disguise a hyperlink, but one strategy has survived for decades — and it’s enjoying a spike in popularity. Referred to as “homographs” by cybersecurity professionals, this phishing strategy revolves around how browsers interpret URLs written in other languages.

    Take Russian for example, even though several Cyrillic letters look identical to English characters, computers see them as totally different. Browsers use basic translation tools to account for this so users can type in non-English URLs and arrive at legitimate websites. In practice, that means anyone can enter a 10-letter Cyrillic web address into their browser and the translation tools will convert that address into a series of English letters and numbers.

    How does this lead to phishing attacks?

    Malicious homographs utilize letters that look identical to their English counterparts to trick users into clicking on them. It’s an old trick, and most browsers have built-in fail-safes to prevent the issue. However, a security professional recently proved that the fail-safes in Chrome, Firefox, Opera and a few other less popular browsers can be easily tricked.

    Without protection from your browser, there’s basically no way to know that you’re clicking on a Cyrillic URL. It looks like English, and no matter how skeptical you are, there’s no way to “ask” your browser what language it is. So you may think you’re clicking on apple.com, but you’re actually clicking on the Russian spelling of apple.com — which gets redirected to xn—80ak6aa92e.com. If that translated URL contains malware, you’re in trouble the second you click the link.

    The solution

    Avoiding any kind of cybersecurity attack begins with awareness, and when it comes to phishing, that means treating every link you want to click with skepticism. If you receive an email from someone you don’t know, or a suspicious message from someone you do, always check where it leads. Sometimes that’s as simple as hovering your mouse over hyperlink text to see what the address is, but when it comes to homographs that’s not enough.

    In the case of homographs, the solution is unbelievably simple: Manually type in the web address. If you get an email from someone you haven’t heard from in 20 years that says “Have you checked out youtube.com??”, until your browser announces a fix, typing that URL into your browser’s address bar is the only way to be totally sure you’re safe.

    For most, this trend feels like yet another development that justifies giving up on cybersecurity altogether. But for small- and medium-sized businesses that have outsourced their technology support and management to a competent and trustworthy IT provider, it’s just another reason to be thankful they decided against going it alone. If you’re ready to make the same decision, call us today.

    Published with permission from TechAdvisory.org. Source.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I finished reading Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi. What do we know about him? That was a powerful book. If you want better insight into the Muslim mindset and a glimpse of what Christian fellowship ought to look like, you may want to read this one.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. It’s supposed to be 87 and sunny today. So I already cut the grass before it got too hot. It’s only like 80 now. 🙂

    After 3 days of rain off and on, it’s a nice change.

    Now I’m off to get the air conditioner in…..

    Liked by 1 person

  9. A male rose-breasted grosbeak was in our feeder tree an hour ago, and he came back later for sunflower seed. (He might have gotten some on his first visit, but I only saw him in the branches.) My husband said they used to come, years ago, but except for one fall when a juvenile male came once or twice, I’ve never seen them in our yard and have rarely seen them at all. (I’ve seen them outside the visitor’s center at LSP once–two males–and one time somewhere else, and I think I saw a female one other time.) Gorgeous bird.


  10. Mumsee @ 1:43. I just bought the book for my Kindle.
    But I have already read several books by former Muslims.
    The best, so far is “God’s war on Terror” b Walid Shoebat and Joel Richarson.


  11. I had a humming bird outside my living room window where the orange jasmine (?) bush grows. Annie was sitting nearby (inside and the window was closed) in rapt attention.

    It’s going to be around 80 degrees at the Pet Expo today, hotter than I’d like but it’s been worse in previous years. And most of the exhibit buildings are air-conditioned.

    I couldn’t find any of my last year’s sunscreen, though. With all the house projects over the past year, a lot of things are just “lost” for now. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 😦 I just heard a localism I haven’t heard since I left SC in 1963. A guy on the radio said,
    “The threat of showers is over with””. NO. I don’t know why the “with”.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Chas- One of our TV weather men posted a tweet the other day with a regionalism I don’t hear often: “It going to be a frog strangler this week!”


  14. So, they are suggesting that keeping busy might keep children out of trouble, rather than letting them hang out? What a concept.

    Along those lines, son sold his dirtbike a few days ago because none of his friends were interested in biking last year. They were “too tired”. I said, you mean they were on their phones or video games? He said, yep.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Chas – I’ve heard, & used, “over with”.

    The discussion yesterday about DJ’s friend Carol, & whether or not someone should have her power of attorney made me wonder if you have power of attorney with Elvera. And I think there is a separate health power of attorney, although it may have a different name.

    Mary (my MIL) gave Hubby both powers of attorney when she moved in with us. The lawyer who handled it said he wasn’t sure she was still competent enough to assent (she probably wasn’t really, by that point), but that she seemed willing enough, so he let it slide. He said having these would save us a lot of legal trouble later.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have Elvera’s Power of Attorney. But it mostly doesn’t matter because almost all of our assets are in joint accounts. But I handle all the money. To the point that each first Sunday of the month, I write out her tithe and let her sign it. Then I fix an envelope for her to put into the offering plate.
    It’s important that she do that.
    I also have medical power of attorney. We both have Living Wills.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. We regularly get pileated woodpeckers. They like the fat set out. My folks would have them come to a piece of deer tallow nailed to a tree very close to their house. My mom was thrilled, when she moved into town to live with my brother, to have them visit there. They did not visit before she moved in and they put some fat out for them. It seemed a special thing while she was grieving.

    We just had a lot of ice and snow, so the birds have been visiting like crazy. I counted over 16 robins intermingled with the evening grosbeaks, blue jays, and many smaller birds. Later in the morning the black birds showed up. The little bit of dirt, not frozen yet, was scattered around as the birds hunted for food.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Oh, angry bird.

    Co-worker who lives in an apartment building in town said she couldn’t figure out why her cat suddenly didn’t want to go outside. Neighbor told her it was because they had a pair of nesting blue birds that were dive-bombing all the cats — none of the cats in the building will venture out anymore.

    Pet Expo was fairly unremarkable but I think it was because I just felt sort of tired and not with it today. Maybe all the house and Carol stuff feeling overwhelming on the first day I didn’t have to go in to work. Neither of us bought anything this year, either, which is rare — in the past I’ve picked up at least a collar or leash or dog bed. Came home empty-handed this time, which is fine considering all the house projects I still have to pay for. 😦

    Liked by 2 people

  19. The funeral service was very focused on Christ. When she learned her cancer was terminal, the pastor’s wife gave instructions on what she wanted her funeral to be. Her husband said she did not want the service to be about her, so the family recounted their memories afterward, during the reception. She will be very much missed, but the overall message of the service was that God was adequate – she didn’t want her children or husband to depend on her, but on the Lord.

    Liked by 5 people

  20. The bluebird is the male from our breeding pair. I wish it were possible to know if either (or both) of the parents are the same who have come in past years, but all I know is that each year we get a pair of bluebirds in our yard, hunting diligently, sometimes one and sometimes both, and as summer goes on we have young bluebirds as well, two or three nests of them in all. (Last year I could distinctly tell we had both older juveniles and young at the same time, but each year we’ll have new young, the bumbling fresh-out-of-the-nest fledglings, two or three times.) I don’t know where they nest, possibly in our front yard (they do fly over the house when they have caught something), but possibly across the street or in someone else’s front yard. But we have excellent hunting ground–several trees and a laundry chute from which to watch, grass that doesn’t get insecticide and doesn’t get mowed as often as it might, basically the country lawn it is.

    I have found that pretty much any bird looks angry from the front view. Most birds (excluding owls and maybe some others) don’t have binocular vision and pretty much can’t see what is immediately in front of them, I don’t think. So from the front view they look odd, even angry. Since it’s a different view from what I usually send, I decided to send that one, though I also had a side-view shot.

    Oh, I was out in the yard photographing apple blossoms when Mr. Bluebird came into our yard. He’s like a robin in not being all that concerned if people are in his yard. He may also, if he has nested here a year or two previously, be quite used to seeing us and knows we mean no harm.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. DJ, mockingbirds (the bird in that short video) are what I think of as dive-bombing cats. When my husband told me that while he’d been in Houston (a few summers ago), he saw a bird chasing a cat down the street, and diving at it every time the cat considered stopping, I immediately assumed mockingbird. I asked him what kind of bird, and he said he didn’t know. I asked was it gray with wings that flashed black and white, and he said yes. Yep, that’s a mockingbird. They’re experts at that sort of thing. It’s probably the stories they tell when a group of them gets into some overripe berries, how big the cat was that they chased, or how many cats each has dive-bombed so far this summer, with exaggeration expected in the telling.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. It was a very slow day at work today…kind of scary really…it seemed as though Colorado Springs was a ghost town today…I believe everyone was at the grocery purchasing toilet paper, milk and bread…we are predicted to get 14 inches of snow tonight. It is snowing now and 28 degrees….I have to drive into town tomorrow morning for work…we’ll see if that happens 🙂 (it is so beautiful in this forest tonight…all snowy and wintry)

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Nancy Jill, I think it would drive me crazy to get a foot of snow at the end of April. I know, it really depends on what you’re used to. When I moved to Chicago, someone told me they can get snow as early as October and as late as May. I’ve never yet seen it in May, though I’ve seen it as early as April 7 and I’ve heard that this region has had snow in fair week (which is actually late September). I don’t know what is the latest snow I’ve ever seen, probably the last half of April. Once we get to mid-April I figure we’re safe, and I don’t want to see it again until December!

    But a lot of people couldn’t tolerate 100 in May or September, and that was my normal growing up in Phoenix, so really it depends on what you’re used to!


  24. I can’t tolerate 100 any time of year!!


    Garage clean out/ organizer comes at 8 am tomorrow, plans to finish Monday-Tuesday with Sunday off


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