Wednesday I found out I had placed a couple of images in another photography contest. The National Insect Photo Salon is sponsored by the Entomological Society of America and receives many international entries. My photo of a Spangled Skimmer, a dragonfly, took the medal for Best by an ESA member. I took this one in Shaw nature reserve last summer, and this is one of highest honors one of my pics has earned. My photo of an American Rubyspot, a damselfly, took an honorable mention. I took this one with my old Panasonic while kayaking the Wyaconda with Bob and Jamie last summer.
Spangled skimmer, Libellula cyanea
American Rubyspot, Hetaerina americana
If you click on them, you’ll be taken to my Picasa web album, where they are much larger and more impressive.
Tuesday we had a short lab in environmental science. I hung around the office until 5, when Lowell showed up and we went to the basketball games. The women’s game was a nail biter. We led most of the game, and it was obvious we were the better team. The other team got ahead near the end, but we tied it, then won on free throws with 2 seconds remaining. The men’s game was a blowout (in our favor), and not that exciting, so we left at half time.
Wednesday Stacey and I had the day off. I changed the oil on three of our vehicles. I was going nuts trying to get the new oil filter on the Taurus, at least until I discovered they had given me the wrong one. The NAPA store is just down the street, and I exchanged it. The proper one went on in a snap. I also fired up the wood furnace for the season. Now I’ll be enslaved to it for the next four months. At least the house is warm and toasty. Stacey did some sewing and worked on fire reports. We took the dog on lots of little walks. We did a little grocery shopping for Thanksgiving.
Thursday I spent much of the morning mounting and framing prints. Later we prepped for TG day. Lowell came over in the afternoon and we had a fairly standard Thanksgiving dinner–turkey, dressing, corn, rolls, noodles, deviled eggs, sweet potatoes. Stacey made pumpkin pie and Savannah made a butterscotch pie. Afterward I took some of the leftovers and, against my better judgment, put them down the garbage disposal. Moments later the sink was clogged. I tried plunging it, which often works, but not this time.
Friday morning I took everything out from under the kitchen sink. I’ve done this routine before. I ran in a hose from outside and hooked up the drain king. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t work. The plumber changed the arrangement of pipes last time, and I couldn’t get the drain king to build up pressure. I can’t get a snake down it either. Time to call the plumber again! There has to be some kind of regular maintenance we can do on this thing. It has been a problem forever.
Saturday morning the plumber came and ran is drain machine down the pipe. It’s basically an electric drill with a snake on it. It did the job fairly quickly. He recommended never putting anything down the garbage disposal and scraping all dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. In the afternoon I went out to Lowell’s for some fishing. It was an unusually warm day. I used the usual black and red spinnerbait. We did three rounds of the lake, and I ended up with four bass, including a nice 15.5 incher. Lowell was using smaller lures and trying to pick up crappie, but had no luck.
Sunday I had great intentions but ended up not accomplishing much. Stacey and Savannah went shopping in Quincy. I stayed home and entertained the dog.
Gretchen seems to grow bigger before our eyes. She goes through cycles of play and sleep that are almost predictable. A few quirks we have noticed: she almost never wags her tail. Sometimes during play she’ll wag it slowly back and forth if she’s anticipating your throwing a ball or something. She also rarely barks. Most commonly, she’ll let loose a few on the neighbor’s dogs. One night she thought she saw something in the back yard and she gave a sustained round of barking. Still, they were kind of muffled. She barked with her mouth closed. What got her riled the most was the neighbor mowing the law. She has a cute growl and bark. Fortunately, she doesn’t use them often. Savannah gave Gretchen a bath on Saturday, then we dressed her in a faux reindeer costume. She hated it, but we still got some pictures. Click through to see more acts of cruelty.