Saturday, April 21, 2007


"Robofalcons" to take on UK city's pesky pigeons
Fri Apr 20, 9:14 AM ET

LONDON (Reuters) - A flock of robotic falcons has been dispatched to tackle an influx of obese pigeons who are increasing in number and size thanks to an unnatural diet of fastfood.

The mechanical birds -- called 'Robops' -- have been placed on rooftop locations around the British city of Liverpool, and will flap their wings and squawk loudly to scare the problem pigeons away. The initiative was launched to deal with the birds who are now considered a nuisance in the city, flying at people and leaving droppings everywhere, Liverpool council said.

The pigeon problem has been exacerbated by residents in the city feeding the birds -- whose natural diet is seeds and insects -- with take-away leftovers. "We need to get the message across that anyone who feeds the birds intentionally, or occasionally with leftovers such as sausage rolls or burgers, is responsible for our streets being so crowded with these birds," Berni Turner, Liverpool city council's executive member for the environment said.

The falcons, created by a Scottish company, resemble a Peregrine Falcon - which is a natural predator of pigeons.

As a result of the scaring techniques and people not feeding the birds, it is hoped that the pigeon population will move out of the city center and into Liverpool's parks and green spaces.

The Council's Environmental Health manager Andy Hull said that the scheme was an attempt to improve the health of the pigeons, as their current diet is unhealthy and dangerous.

However, experts have condemned the scheme, saying that the council needs to tackle the source of the problem, rather than the symptoms. Emma Haskell, Director of PiCAS UK, the leading independent advisory body on the issue of bird control in Britain said her organization had done studies with mechanical deterrents and had found them to be completely ineffective.
"We believe that this is a complete waste of time...and a waste of money," she said. "Pigeons are a highly intelligent bird and they soon realize that these mechanical things are not a threat."

Liverpool has been named European Capital of Culture in 2008, but the city council currently uses the equivalent of 88 man-hours a day cleaning droppings from streets and buildings, at a cost of 160,000 a year.

"The robotic hawks are almost laughable as a method of control and the cost associated with buying and installing the product... simply cannot be justified," PiCAS said.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Can you say Commuter?

So I have survived week one of the new job. It was completely crazy but I have realized that the blog will live on if I can only devise a discreet way of taking pictures of all the crazy people I see everyday on my way to work. Commuters are a strange group of people. Unfortunately, I now have to count myself as one of their number. However, I'm new enough to the group to still be able to recognize some of the subtle signs of insanity exhibited by the people sitting next to me on the T or standing next to me on the elevator. Once I get my secret spy kit together I can take pictures of these midly nutzo citizens without pushing them over the edge. Until then, you'll just have to make do with written accounts:

Elevator Crazy of the Week: Today I peeled myself away from my desk so I could run downstairs and deposit a check at the bank conveniently located in my building's lobby. As I got into the elevator to head back up, a woman stepped into the elevator with me. I was standing back and to the right from her thinking how unflattering her trenchcoat was when I realized that she was pregnant. Before you berate me for being a jerk, the reason that I couldn't tell if she was pregnant was because she was literally standing 2 inches away from the buttons on the elevator facing the corner. It was only when she started maniacally fidgeting with her headband while looking at her reflection in the wall around the elevator buttons that I discovered she was in the family way. Good luck kid.

MBTA Crazy of the Week: This week's undecover crazy of the week goes to the woman I saw on the Orange Line between Weellington Station and State Street. To the average blind commuter this woman does not stand out. She was middle aged, mousy hair, reading a newspaper and clutching a canvas bag. It was the canvas bag that sparked my interest. It was a washed out, off white color with a large logo reading "The Leaf & Acorn Club for Charming Tails Collectors." Now, I had no idea what Charming Tails were until I raced home and googled it.

Wait for it...

It's worth it....


OK. Charming Tails are collectible resin figurines of playful mice in various delightful scenarios. This woman is ready to crack I swear it.

This piece is entitled "Party til the Cows Come Home"

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Can you believe he threw me a party!?

Yup, you read that correctly. Bossman suprised me with a gong away party on my last day. It was totally unexpected but it was so nice to get all of my coworkers together in one spot and get in our last goodbyes. I was really touched that everyone took time out of their busy schedules to give me a little send off. Things got a little crazy towards the end but thankfully someone had a camera to document all of it...

I'm really going to miss all those guys.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Feeling Feisty?

Some days you just feel like prancing around and running through fields in the sunshine. Today is one of those days. Since I don't have a meadow at my disposal and it's not really that sunny, I'll have to express my emotions through music videos. Here's an old one and a new one from Feist. Enjoy.



Thursday, April 12, 2007

Does anyone else feel like it's Christmas Eve?

I do!

Tomorrow's the last day with Bossman! Don't worry, I've got a couple of last minute inquiries from him that will make interesting reading. I'll save that for tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

What do you get...

...when you mix 2 born and bred New Englanders, 3 Southern belles, 1 Bulgarian waiter, and Boston together on a Friday night? A whole lot of nonsense and a Lobster covered in marinara sauce.

Jeri Ann finally got to prove that she did indeed have friends before she moved here when Naomi and Christy came to visit this past weekend. Jessie and I met them for a lovely little dinner in the North End at Saraceno. Upon arriving, the small Italian man acting as host immediately shuffled us back outside and up a very narrow staircase. Jessie and I thought we were being taken to go sleep with the fishes but in fact it was just the way to get to the upstairs dining room. How quaint.

Upstairs we met the girls, traded some "y'alls" around and dined on calamari, tomato and mozzarella, mussels, pasta, and the aforementioned lobster. Jessie and I wasted no time in diving in and eeking every last piece of meat from the sauced crustacean. Needless to say, the red sauce and my 3 vodka tonics made it a little messy.

All of these epicurean delights were administered to us by "Steve" our Bulgarian waiter. Over the course of the night Naomi had charmed him to the point where he brought us a round of free drinks and sat down with us to tell us all about his life as a student at Northeastern.

After closing down the restaurant and getting Steve's reccomendation on where to go out that night, we headed back to the Park Plaza (where my very chic Southern friends were staying) and had a drink at Whiskey Park. We took the requisite group photos, laughed at the couple making out behind us, dodged a couple of business consultants who "just wanted to chat" and called it a night. Lots of fun had by all.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Why am I so psyched for Monday?

Because this is the day it begins...the last week with Bossman that is. I wish I could say that it's a little bittersweet. It's not. I wish I could say that I'll miss working for Bossman. I won't. I wish I could say that I hadn't intercepted an email that he wrote to a friend saying that I "wasn't exactly an ideal hire." I did.

Petty grievances aside, I've found myself mulling over two questions in my head as the beginning of the end begins.

1) What will the last conversation be like? Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if I don't even see him on Friday. That would be kind of his style. How awkward is it going to be to just walk out of the house and leave my keys and batphone behind? Actually, I can't leave my key on the desk since I'll have to lock up upon leaving. I guess I'll have to drop it in the mail slot. With my luck, the key will bounce off of the marble floor and underneath the antique mirror/bench/umbrella stand thing in the entryway. Upon arriving home and not being able to find the key, Bossman will call me asking where the key is and that will be totally awkward since it's my last day and he didn't even talk to me. Maybe I'm over thinking it.

I have been fantasizing about this whole final exit sequence where I say goodbye to Bossman with the perfect cutting remark that encompasses all of my frustrations and highlights all of his deficiencies as a manager/human being followed by me storming out of the haunted mansion, never to be seen again. However, he probably wouldn't get it and I don't really have the budget for the fabulous outfit a scene like that deserves. I'd rather spend the money on post-emancipation cocktails.

2) The second thing on my mind is obviously: "To sabotage or not to sabotage?" I'm leaning towards not since having to run his own life is going to be disastrous enough for Bossman. I think the furthest I'll go is bringing all of his favorite shirts to the dry cleaner on my last day and wait to see how long it takes for him to pick them up. I could log out of all the preset accounts that I've set up and let him figure it out on his own except for the fact that he's shameless enough to call me every time he runs into a snag...not that I plan on answering....

Friday, April 6, 2007

Did you know they could do this?

The amount of stupid nonsense that people will do with their pets never ceases to amaze me. I thought the cat show I went to was bad but competitive bunny jumping? This takes organized pet activities to a whole other level. In honor of the upcoming holiday, enjoy...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Who's my favorite new Christian?

A couple of weeks ago another member of the clan was introduced to Jesus. We're big on tradition in my family so my Mom spent a week ironing the family Christening gown for wee little Harrison (he's the 3rd generation to wear it). Typically, his head was too big for the bonnet but I still think he carried off the outfit.

Some of the highlights and fun facts included:
* The ceremony was performed by Reverend Hughes who married my parents and baptized LJ and I.
*We got both my father and my heathen uncle and cousin to the church on time.
*While making the church announcements, Reverend Hughes commented that despite setting the time limit for the Easter Service at 1 hour, he couldn't control all the "hot air for Christ" that comes out around the holidays.

*Harrison was continuously reaching for his dad's PBR bottle at the after party. I told you, the kid's a rockstar.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Keith Richards: 'I Snorted My Father'
Apr 3, 3:14 PM (ET)

LONDON (AP) - Keith Richards has acknowledged consuming a raft of illegal substances in his time, but this may top them all.
In comments published Tuesday, the 63-year-old Rolling Stones guitarist said he had snorted his father's ashes mixed with cocaine.
"The strangest thing I've tried to snort? My father. I snorted my father," Richards was quoted as saying by British music magazine NME.
"He was cremated and I couldn't resist grinding him up with a little bit of blow. My dad wouldn't have cared," he said. "... It went down pretty well, and I'm still alive."

Richards' father, Bert, died in 2002, at 84.
Richards, one of rock's legendary wild men, told the magazine that his survival was the result of luck, and advised young musicians against trying to emulate him.
"I did it because that was the way I did it. Now people think it's a way of life," he was quoted as saying.
"I've no pretensions about immortality," he added. "I'm the same as everyone ... just kind of lucky.
"I was No. 1 on the 'who's likely to die' list for 10 years. I mean, I was really disappointed when I fell off the list," Richards said.

Do you know your Commandments?

I know I stole this from Alex but I think these are some tenets for everyone to live by. Pause Dolly and give it a whirl.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

What's Monday's BIG news?


That's the news. This morning, after going over the usual to-do list of errands I have to run and things I have to fix, I gave Bossman my two weeks notice. That's right kids, I've taken a new job and I'm making the transition to Boston.

There isn't a whole lot more to say really. The conversation itself was extremely anticlimactic. Not that I expected tears or counter-offers, but he didn't really say anything. I laid it out very succinctly that I had made the decision to relocate to Boston and had taken another position. Maybe he's freaking out internally and I'm sure that he's going to send me an email later asking me to write up the new craigslist ad to find my replacement, but, it seems like the saga of Bossman is coming to a quiet close.

So instead of filling my blog with pictures of sushi girls and ceramic dogs, I'll have to supply you with crazy stories of commuters and the transformation from small town assistant to big city professional that I'll soon be making. I've taken a job working with a team of financial advisers on State Street. It should be a trip! Wish me luck!