Friday, June 16, 2006

Bagels and E Friday

Payday Friday – here at the bank we get paid every other Friday. I bring in bagels for the group on payday – stopping at an Einstein Bagels for a dozen with cream cheese on the way. Right next door to E is a Starbucks, and sorry to say I am a Starbucks addict. But the only time I get it is this day, so I am sitting next to my everything bagel with cream cheese and medium sized (OK, whatever fancy name they put to a medium) caramel macchiato with an extra shot. Yes, three shots to start my morning off. It’s usually needed on a Friday. So I am about as happy as I can be at work – in early, not too many people in yet (especially not my boss).

Rather than get back to flowers in my yard here are some other things around town. I’ve been trying to get some bird shots for Deana.

I don’t have as fancy a camera as hers, no nice zoom lens, so this is about as good as I can get. It’s one a plain brown house finch; they fill our yard with bright chirps and fluttering motion. I fill up a small feeder just to keep them coming by. This is a small fountain we built right next to our table out on the patio, you can see the glass table top in the lower right corner. That’s Buster up at the top, wandering around in the grass. Max chases the birds, but Buster ignores them, and so the birds have learned to ignore him. The birds are almost used to us too, which is why I can sit at the table drinking my coffee and have them come by for a drink, or a quick bath.

Besides the finches and sparrows we also have mocking birds and a lot of hummingbirds around the yard. I counted at least three birds nests in each of the olive trees out front, while the mocking birds usually have their nests up in the palm trees. I keep a hummingbird feeder out front, and in the summer have to fill it up every few days, it lasts longer in the winter. Right now we have a lot of young hummers out there, in spring and fall there are large numbers that migrate through, coming up from Mexico headed towards the mountains (or back in the fall). Yesterday I watched a hummer working one of the ash trees out back. I wondered why he kept picking at the leaves, thinking there were no flowers there to get nectar from. Closer examination showed that he was picking off bugs. Frequently the bugs would drop off and try to fly away, but the hummer dropped down and followed them, picking them out of the air. The sunlight was just at the right angle to highlight the small bugs as they fluttered around, so I could see what the humming bird was bouncing around chasing. It was interesting.

We hit a shopping mall in Henderson a few days ago. Out in the parking lot was one of the new style cell phone towers.

It was all by itself, guess the palm tree look would be more appropriate if mixed in with trees.

Coming in to work every morning I drive up Frank Sinatra Drive, which runs along side I-15 behind the strip casinos. A new complex is being constructed, the seven billion dollar city center, casinos and hotels and condos and shopping. Right now the first thing going up is an employee parking garage for the Bellagio employees. Employees right now park in a big flat lot that will soon become buildings, so to make room their cars will be moving into this.

It’s a pretty big garage – ten stories with over six thousand spaces, just for employees. This side is almost done, there are some brown pebble panels being mounted in front of the big concrete areas, and the rest of the structure is being painted white.

Just past the parking garage the street is being torn up to install sewer and water pipes. Different lanes are being closed each week. Right now the northbound two lanes are closed off (the road has two lanes in each direction, with trees in the narrow center divider).

There is a long dump truck just past the crane turning into our lane, and in front of the car is a concrete truck. Off in the distance are the golden towers of Mandalay Bay, and the white Monte Carlo on the left. It’s interesting to go by each morning and see all of the construction things going on. I work inside all day, so this outside work is interesting to me mainly because I’m not doing it.

Before it warmed up I was taking a walk at lunchtime each day. Part of the landscaping at one office building are some large artichoke plants. I’ve seen small ones in pots in the nurseries, so I guess they do well in the landscape here, but this is the only place I’ve seen them. The plants are really thorny, and about three feet across. The texture is different than other desert plants, and this spring there were little artichokes on them. After a few weeks I was surprised to see the artichokes turn into flowers.

You can see some of the small chokes to the upper leftand in the center. They turn into purple fuzzy things. Interesting. So I did get a flower picture in today.

And on to my E Friday pics.

She doesn’t seem to like having doors closed. I guess she always wants to get into things and does not like to be denied.

Not tall enough to reach the doorknobs yet. She is quite proud of her walking ability. She’s getting better every day. Still can’t bend over to pick something up without falling over, but that’s coming.

Added some more pics over to the right - of course we need a Vegas showgirl, I haven't been to a feather show yet, only two still left, better hit one before they are all gone - and thanks to one of Deana's friends I found the No W (thought it was at Mayberry but can't find it there now). You all know how much of a W fan I am. D, if you remember who had it please let me know so I can give credit.

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