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Our resident orb-weaver was busy last night

Spiderweb_1

This picture was taken in the dark this morning… the flash blurred out all the details of this very pretty spider, unfortunately, but it did nicely highlight her web.

Astro 05/09/97 – 07/09/05

Kayla_astro_1
This is a picture my sister Kelly sent me last November of my niece Kayla with her Chihuahua, Astro. Astro passed away last month of congestive heart failure; I thought of this picture she had sent and wanted to post it in remembrance of him. It took me a while to find it but here it is.

Ever feel like you are being watched?

The other day, when we were outside with the dogs, we noticed a small preying mantis on the other side of the divider wall of our back porch. I resisted the urge to catch it for a closer look, thinking it was neat just to have one so close and maybe if we didn’t bother it, it would stay.  Some time later, while we were sitting on the porch watching an oncoming thunderstorm build, I looked up at the wall and this is what I saw:

Mantis1

Here’s a closer look:

Mantis2

By the way, while I was taking pictures of the mantis, it started kind of weaving back and forth and then suddenly leapt about a foot from the wall to my hand — I am not including the blur I accidentally snapped as I let out a startled squawk. It stared up at me from my hand and then leapt up onto my shoulder, ran down my back, and dove into one of our potted plants. We’ve seen it from time to time since then, usually in one of the pepper plants, which I guess offer the perfect color camoflage as the leaves are nearly the same shade of green as it is.

A visitor

Wild_bunny

Joy took this picture (it’s a bit hazy because she took it through the window) of a wild rabbit right in front of our living room window a while back. He had been attracted by the wild critter mix we put out for the squirrels and birds and when we came back from the grocery store was sitting right in our yard. He didn’t even move when we walked past him (her?) and hung around the yard for the rest of the evening until it got dark.

Retackling old demons

I dug out my 70-291 study materials yesterday in preparation for taking another crack at my final MCSA exam. I figured, since I am actually a system administrator now, officially, it would sure be nice to get that last exam behind me — even though most of the information covered is well beyond what I will ever have to deal with in the small network I maintain.

Actually that is only partly true. The local computer shop that set up the network kind of overcomplicated things. I am having to put all my book-learned knowledge to use to puzzle out such fun things such as why a domain instead of a simple workgroup was needed for four computers, why the server is running as a domain controller, DNS server, and DHCP server when, as I mentioned, there are only three clients and all have static IP addresses I might add. Or why the poor performance of our veterinary database software was attributed to the fish screen saver on the clients rather than the 96 MB of RAM they had (our software needs 256 MB on XP). Or why I can’t find any install CDs or licenses anywhere, and we’re running a mismatched version of Office so that Word can’t grab addresses from Outlook.

I don’t think I have really posted about my new (well, now two months old) job but I work at a vet clinic as sort of a ‘jack of all trades’ but mostly working on computer and organizational stuff. I took a major pay cut, compared to my last job, but I am so much happier where I am now — and think of all the money I am saving on Prilosec and Excedrin… in a given day I can be doing anything from installing RAM in a PC (as mentioned above, been doing a LOT of that) to assisting with a goat caesarian. I had missed working in the animal field and am glad to be back.

Anyway, I started talking about resuming my studying and kinda digressed a bit… what I started to say was that yesterday I started hitting the books again, and today lo and behold I woke up with my first cold sore since moving. I suspect NOT a coincidence.