unsolicited morning cage fights are worth it

For about ten seconds as I walked to the train this morning I got treated to the joy of watching a sparrow duel some kind of bug.  They danced around the concrete as this bug (I couldn’t tell what kind) tried to get away from the sparrow.  The bug lost.

Then the sparrow flew away in a burst, likely to go hang out somewhere and eat in glory.  This will likely be the most enthralling thing I watch all month.

I had thought it’d have been great to get a video of this.  But it happened so fast.   And, as previously written about on this blog, sometimes the best memories are the ones where you don’t take a single photo or video.

two Rus pilots get free vodka for all time

It’s amazing that catastrophic bird strikes don’t happen more often.  I know most major airports employ various forms of anti-bird action, but birds are, like, everywhere.  Anyways, here’s a Ural Airlines Airbus 321 belly down in a field.

ural airlines

Everybody walked away.  Take a gander at this map.


So many different bad ways this could have gone.  So many areas of concrete to avoid.  Less than a mile down from the runway, mere seconds to act.  Fortunately, there was a nice smooth cornfield to set down in.

Even so, this is an insane feat.  These pilots deserve every bit of credit they’ll get.


all hail the cage fighter of the sky

Usually my morning commute is a blindingly dull sea of brake lights accompanying the desire to acquire a new occupation, a rocket sky car, or a method by which I might transfer my consciousness to my desk while my corporeal form remains at home with the dogs (telework).

Spring, in all it’s lovely glory, is also an awful time for the radio.  Sports is hard to listen to when it’s not football, my hockey team is out, and I still can’t magically wrap my brain around following 162 baseball games a year.  All of the news, especially NPR, is a sea of insanity as if the universe revolves only around Clinton or Trump even though I’m quite sure my local mayor has more of an impact on my life than they do / ever will.

I’ve been told by folks who have equally insane commutes that the secret is to get into podcasts.  That these are somehow the superior cure for the brake lights.  I’ll admit, I haven’t tried this yet, but might.  But honestly I’m not so sure about this whole podcast or blog thing.  I get the impression that people who write blogs or do podcasts are weird idiots.

Anyways, so there I am this morning when all of a sudden I get a ringside seat as a mockingbird dashes out of the trees to cage fight a crow I can only assume dared get too close to the nest.  This went on for at least a minute.  As the crow continued to flee, the mockingbird pursued for at least a good hundred yards across the sky.  Little dude wouldn’t let up even though the crow was three times his size.

I could write twelve pages on the pros and cons of the film Ender’s Game, but this reminded me of a line in that movie:

“Knocking him down was the first fight.   I wanted to win all the next ones too.”

The mockingbird won all the other fights this morning too.

When I was an enlightened young lad I used to bird watch, for whatever reason.  Now I’m just a moron who reads indoors, watches movies, or plays video games.  But if you have watched birds for any length of time, you’ll know this is typical mockingbird behavior.  They’re aggressive, they don’t take it from anybody.  Luckily for us, they have not acquired the ability to wield firearms.

Cheers my friend, you made my morning.


Vlad gives up washing dishes with detergent; uses scotch instead

Once upon a time a former leader of the Soviet Union could bang a shoe and threaten death to all and everybody would believe (falsely, in retrospect) that he meant every word. But now, Russia’s all powerful state is reduced to attacking the free world by, uh, banning dish detergent. Uh…? [cue tumbleweed]

Seriously, this is a thing. Oh no, Vlad. Not our detergent. You inhumane bastard! Shall we surrender the Arc de Triomphe to you now or next week?

Granted, Russia can still actually bring death to all via an accidental nuclear launch or unleashing Vlad’s-Trained-Crane-Assault-Brigade (VTCAB); but seeing as how neither of those options is productive (the cranes stole Vlad’s coke), I guess he’s got nothing left but to reach for the bottom of the base of the barrel.

But even Vlad’s got limits. He can ban detergent and cheese, but he’ll be damned if he’s going to do without scotch and his X-Box. So I guess he’ll wash his dishes with half a bottle of scotch. And then drink the other half while playing X-Box surrounded by his five supermodel-former-figure-skater girlfriends. What a horrible life Vlad must have; who’d want to live like that? [blankly stares around cubicle for a moment]

Anyways, what I find most delicious about the BBC article is the social media trolling of this stupidity by ordinary-average-Russians. This one’s my favorite:



“Psst, kid. Do you want a bit of washing powder?”



“I’ve spotted Merkel; she’s next to the bath soap aisle. Fire, my pretties! Fire! VTCAB! ATTACK!”

the birds are not aware that life is a big meat grinder

When I was a kid, I was really into bird watching.  Don’t ask me why.  What?  Oh, what’s that?  Oh, well, you see, bird watching is not an app.  It’s where you look at birds, determine which one you’re looking at, and then observe their behavior to learn about nature.  Nobody does this anymore because it takes more than twelve seconds of time in front of a smartphone.

Anyways, one of the only things that’ll literally stop me in my tracks is a beautiful bird in a tree.  It’s one of the few times in life I truly, truly, without apprehension, feel alive.  Don’t ask me why.  It just does.  I like to stand and/or sit there for a long time like a creepy lunatic looking at a brick wall.  Only I’m looking at the birds in a tree.

I guess it’s because the birds are not aware that life is a big meat grinder.  They just do their thing.  It’s kind of like when my oldest dog (she’s now 14) was sitting in front of my Dad and she was absently looking him in the eyes and wagging her tail rapidly.  For no reason at all.  She was just happy.  And my Dad said something along the lines of:  “Oh, if only humans could be like the dogs and unaware, and just let go”.

Now, first off, my Dad’s not some freak philosopher.  He’s just working man average dude that wore the same sneakers for like two decades.  Which is one of the reasons I so remember this offhand comment from him.  Usually we talk about football or the weather.  So I guess it’s that my dogs lives inside a mindset unaware that life is a big meat grinder.  I think it’s the same thing that draws me to birds.

The birds give me hope that, in fact, life is not a big meat grinder.  Same with my dogs.  And my Dad.

Anyways, so if you want to know what my freak unhinged deranged brain considers “Pure Beauty”?  Well, head on over to Tokyobling’s Blog and see what he’s just posted about birds and trees.  It’s pure deliciousness.  I have a connection to Japan I’ve not really discussed on this blog, yet.  But Japan or not, this guy gets it.  It’s just too good.