Saturday, December 18, 2010

A Social Network Christmas

One of the white squirrels (as of last winter we had two) that frequents our feeders met an untimely death this past week. He got tangled up in the cornstalk feeder we have on the side of our house by the bird feeders. I was sad to discover his lifeless, frozen body tangled in the metal tines of the feeder knowing he suffered a difficult death. He was a nice addition to the wildlife we have in the area and I'll miss him.

I was standing in line at Michaels Wednesday afternoon waiting to pay for a picture frame and matting that's to be part of a Christmas gift for my mom. While waiting I spied some containers of gummy candies at the end of the register and agreed with my inner voice that I needed to bring a couple of those home with me to have for a Christmas Eve gathering at our home. I'd no sooner had that thought when I took notice of the woman finishing paying and walking toward the door. Is that Luan I wondered? I couldn't see her very well as I'd just caught the side of her face as she turned toward the door.  I called her name, "Luan!" She turned and her face lit up when she saw it was me. She walked back and we stood there attempting to catch up on too many years as the cashier rang up my order. We continued our conversation outside.

Luan and Jim were my neighbors where I previously lived. They're really good people; salt of the earth type. Yearly Christmas cards don't do justice to a friendship like theirs but that's all it's been since I moved away. Jim was diagnosed with MS a few years after I left and life for him has become a struggle as his is an aggressive form of the disease. I exchanged phone numbers with Luan with a promise to give Jim a call and get together.

It wasn't until I was stuck in gridlocked traffic trying to get on to county road 42 that I realized I'd forgotten to add the gummy candies to my stuff at the register.

I made good yesterday on my promise to call Jim and spent a couple hours in the afternoon at their townhome in Burnsville getting caught up on 18 years. I had to laugh at one point. I learned some things about my former wife/life that I never knew and at the time they were reluctant to say anything to me. Maybe it was just as well.

On the way home I stopped at Starbucks to grab a couple coffees. Tammy was in the office and I always enjoy surprising her with one. I pulled up to the drive-thru window and got a surprise of my own. Tracee was handling the register and had been on the other end of the speaker when I placed my order for a grande-dark-roast and venti-decaf-skinny-carmel-latte. I took the opportunity to try out my new camera.

Yes, I've outgrown my Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ3 for an upgraded Lumix LX5. I don't think I could be happier with this little gem of a powerhouse. My other camera was poor in low light shots and I decided to not let another Christmas Eve or family get-together fall victim to it.

I've spent a few hours this week going over the settings and menus trying to get familiar with it so I can make the most of its ability but I've got a considerable amount more to learn. I knew a real test for it would be our stained glass lamps so I took a bunch of bracketed photos of them last night and was very pleased with the results. Excuse me for getting a little carried away with the Wisteria lamp. It takes nice video too with the ability to zoom while in video capture mode. That's not something most cameras offer. Not having that ability would've been a deal-breaker for me.

Tammy and I made it out to Southdale Wednesday night. I can't remember the last time I was there. I'd heard there were a lot of vacancies but that's not true; there were some. I wouldn't say the mall was bustling with people but it appeared to be holding its own. Steve Casperson and I used to ride our bikes there when we were all of 8 years old back in 1965. We were neighbors for less than a year when my parents rented a home on 66th street and Lakeshore Drive. The mall has held up well over the years and I was glad to see that.

My shopping is done and everything is wrapped that can be with the exception of what has yet to make it to our front door from Amazon.

I came across this on Facebook today and thought I'd share it here: A Social Network Christmas. I really like this...


Tim said...

You have a cornstalk feeder of death!

Keep the kids away from that thing!

Vannevar said...

excellent video. Merry Christmas.

Kevin said...

Yeah Tim, I know...there were these prongs/tines sticking up from the top of it and I think the squirrel injured itself on them. He ended up wrapped around the mid section of the feeder but I couldn't tell why it couldn't fee itself. I broke the tines off; just wish I'd thought to do it sooner.

Thanks, Vannevar...Merry Christmas to you too.