Friday, April 28, 2006 

My Kind of Penguin!

Can you believe it - a Fairy penguin? They are also known as Blue penguins.

Thursday, April 27, 2006 

Eagle Cam

Eagle eye Newt found this lovely nesting pair of Canadian bald eagles; and the best part is that there's a video camera set up to watch the eaglets hatch! Click here to join 73 million others in the baby watch! It may be slow due to the huge numbers of people (and other living beings) watching for the eaglets; but if you get tired of waiting, here's a link to videos and screenshots of previous days.

Late Breaking news...
As of this afternoon, there have been sightings of TWO eggs in the eagle's nest! Awesome - can't wait to see them hatch!

Here is a screencapture of another eagle family from Maine.

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

On Ice

I'm sorry - Maybe the heat is getting too me, or I've snorted too many spices, but I've had more than enough of the desert. Do you need to cool off too? Well then, hop onboard for a trip south.

We'll have a whale of a good time!


Dateline - Manama, Bahrain

Some people will do anything to make money. But this made me sick. How could anyone think thousands of people dying is funny? I mean, that's why the "souvenir" was made, right? Because it's funny? How about a "souvenir" of someone being decapitated. That's funny, right? Or what about a cafe? Wouldn't you want a "souvenir" of a cafe that's been blown up, all bloody, with twisted metal and dead bodies strewn everywhere? That's funny, too, right?

Fortunately, most of the people we ran into were not so crass; but there were several demonstrations in front of the United Nations building, and on a few occasions we weren't allowed to leave our flat. So while we did manage a few trips to the souk, we didn't get to see the saw an archaeological dig actually in progress. But we ate some delicious shwarmas, and got a few shots of some well placed sculpture. Check it out!

Overall, I have to say I was disappointed in our visit to Bahrain. Not because of the heat, but mostly because of the way they view women. Being a faerie, and a Queen no less, I expected to be treated accordingly - NOT as some cur dog. When I can't sign for purchases made on MY faerie credit card, then there is something seriously wrong! I am obviously a foreigner, and as such I fail to recognize why the locals couldn't treat me as they would any male visitor, and not as a dog that is not fit to sign for her own purchases! Yes, it's been a week and it still irritates me to no end. How the Silly Bahraini Girl puts up with it is beyond me. But I suppose, if that's all you know, then you wouldn't know that freedom is so much better, now would you?

Friday, April 14, 2006 

New Zealand

Welcome to New Zealand! Christchurch (Otautahi) is a faerie heaven. Bordered by hills, the sea to one side, and the Southern Alps in the distance, it is a colonial city of floral portraits and wide streets. Its old stone buildings, lush tree-filled parks and peaceful streams give Christchurch the air of an English town.

In fact Christchurch was designed to be an English utopia in the South Pacific. The founding fathers planned an orderly, tiered society - the first settlers had to provide references from an English vicar attesting to their sobriety and respectability. An aristocracy and the Church of England would head this utopia, and an underclass of artisans and minions would serve them. They named their fledgling city after an Oxford college (Christ Church) and laid it out like an English city, complete with a Cathedral, University, and private schools.

This beautifully ordered existence was a far cry from the realities of Maori civil war in the early 19th century. The Maori people (pronounced Mowri - ow as in cow)occupied Canterbury for several centuries before the arrival of European peoples, but by the 1840s, only 500 Maori remained in Canterbury. Their population was first decimated by tribal wars, and then by raiding parties from the North Island. Today, evidence of their culture can be seen throughout the city.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 


Here is a slide show of places we went


The Newt Verne Fan Club

Meet Newt's new lady friends, Lena and Esperanza.


The Newt

It seems that Newt has made quite a hit with the ladies here in Spain. So, to appease his "fans" I have posted this picture of him for all to admire. Handsome little newt, isn't he? The Queen would never surround herself with toads!

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

To the Market!

Did you all enjoy the bullfight? If you didn't get to see it, a rerun is available on the Photo page. I highly recommend the bullfight; although the bull dies at the end, he has not lived in vain. Go to le mercado tomorrow morning, and you will see various parts of him hanging around. Even the blood is not wasted. One can find bulls blood paintings in the gallerias in town. I've examined several of them, and find them very distasteful. The painting itself isn't offensive; in fact it is actually a tribute to the glorious fighting spirit of the bull. It is the thought of dried blood hanging on the wall that I find distasteful, although some may disagree.

Which reminds me - we must go to the market for supplies. Why don't you tag along with us? You may even find one of those paintings there, if you really want one.
Oysters anyone?

Yes, I admit the smell of the fish market can be overpowering if you weren't expecting it. But just look at all the vendors! The cobblestoned square is covered with wooden carts bursting with freshly caught prawns, clams, mussels and fish. There are fish of all colors, shapes, and sizes, and I must admit none of them look familiar! Oh, look! There's baby octopi in that box, and squid in the other. Squid is really easy to cook, and readily accepts whatever flavors are cooked with it. Newt! How many times must I tell you - don't play with the octopus!

Traditionally, the women shop each day for their family's meals. Fresh meat is cut or minced to your specifications. Are you looking for olives? You'll find them here too. Green, or black - stuffed, or marinated. Le mercado has everything you need. Just remember, the vendors do not haggle here. Look, fresh fruit and vegetables are over here.
Oh, by the way - there's no such thing as "take a number" here. If you are next in line, speak up!
Did you notice? Everything is measured in kilos here. It's easy to calculated the price - just multiply the kilos by 2.2, and you will have a rough guestimate of poundage. Remember, 1 kilo = 2.2 pounds!

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