Thursday, August 10, 2006

Sorta got stuff done

I'm trying the mail update again because it's way late and I don't have the patience to do my normal routine of writing, spell checking, bringing up the blogspot web site, and pasting everything into the editor.  Maybe this will work well if I don't put any fancy HTML in it.

Lately, the kids have been seeing a coyote lurking around.  All but two of our guinea fowl have disappeared.  Since Mary saw the neighbor lady aiming a gun at one of them, and our boys saw the neighbor kids chasing one with a net, we had assumed that they did it.  If the guineas go over to their property, they are well within their rights to shoot them (and eat them, if they like dark meat).  It isn't all that neighborly, though.  It also doesn't show much foresight, since winter is coming and they don't have a snow blower (but we do).

Of course, I'm not going to play that game.  We'll try to be neighborly, pray for them, feed their dog when they go camping for the weekend, and blow out enough of their driveway so that they can get out.

But anyhow, we lost a few cats, and so did they.  In fact, we lost my favorite little gray and white boy, along with my youngest son's two favorite kitties, and the girl cat that I had claimed as my own.  This coyote is really cruisin' for a brusin'.

Paul has seen him a couple times, and Don saw him stalking chickens today.  He generally stays away from the house and barn, but he has been getting bolder.  I think I'm going to have to carry a rifle around with me and pick him off before he devours any more of our livestock or pets.

By the way, Michigan state law states that a land owner (or his designee) can shoot any coyote that he believes is a threat to his live stock.  The point isn't to get rid of all of the coyotes.  The point is to get rid of the ones who are bold enough to attack human areas.  We're kind of breeding them to avoid our animals.  Think of it as evolution in action.

Speaking of predation, I saw our adopted yellow tabby Whiskers (AKA Grumpy Boy) playing with something.  It turned out to be a live mouse.  One of the kittens came by, and he let the baby have it.  The baby growled and carried it away.  Good kitties!  We keep them as pets, of course, but barn cats are supposed to be good mousers.

Speaking of predation again, I rinsed and froze the four birds that we did in last Saturday.  Actually, I rinsed the pieces parts.

Meat that is very freshly butchered is tender.  Within an hour or so, rigor mortis sets in and the meat gets tough.  If it is allowed to rest in the refrigerator for three days or so, the bonds in the protein break down and the meat is tender again.

So, I put all the four breasts in the tough inner bags that I keep when we finish off a box of cereal.  Four of the legs, plus the fillets that I took off of the backs of the birds went into zip-lock bags.  The wings all went into a single cereal bag.  The last four legs went into a pot of boiling water.  Paul ate two of them.  The rest of the kids turned up their noses.  Mary ate one.  I used the some of stock that I got from boiling the legs to make rice pilaf, and what was left over made nice gravy.  With the addition of some mashed potatoes and a brocolli/cauliflower/carrot veggie mix, we had a nice supper.  That is, those of us who didn't turn their noses up had a nice dinner.  The rest went hungry and begged for macaroni and cheese later.

And finally, the reason I am up late is because Mary found an ad for a learning support assistant/tutor at Baker College.  I'm probably overqualified, since they want you to have an associates degree, or be within six months of finishing it.  Still, it'll be nice to move back to a college atmosphere.  I really enjoyed being a tutor when I was in college, and this could lead to a professorship if I decide to go on and get my master's degree.

So, I updated my resume' and list of projects (you can see the old ones at http://members.quixnet.net/cosmic/index_resume.htm, or wait a day and see the updated stuff in the same place).  I just need to make up a cover letter and email it all off.  After that, I'll call them to make sure that they got it.

I keep my resume' in HTML format because I'm so annoyed with Microsoft Office and the way that the formatting gets goofed up every time they come out with a new version.  I decided to continue to update it in HTML, but I also copied and pasted a copy into Open Office.  That yielded me a couple .ODF (Open Document Format) files.  Then, I really geeked out when I found that I could export it to a .PDF.  Hey, if I'm going for a nerd job, impressing them with my nerdiness ought to be a good thing.

Internal Virus Database is out-of-date.
Checked by AVG Free Edition.
Version: 7.1.394 / Virus Database: 268.10.5/406 - Release Date: 8/2/06

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