Saturday, October 31, 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend

Walking back from the ocean the other day, I nearly did something that would have caused me to break out in tears of anguish... I almost stepped on this gorgeous fellow:



photo copyright
2009, The Smoking Gnu

Yep. That's a King Snake. A four-foot beauty too! Just sitting there on the boardwalk sunning himself when I came along and nearly walked right into him. These snakes are worth their weight in gold to a farm boy like me. Why? Easy... these buggers are so tough, they will kill a Copperhead! King snakes are great mousers too, better than any damn cat.

For a non-venomous snake, they are very excitable and aggressive in defending themselves. Then again, I did almost step on him, so I'm sure he was a bit upset at my clumsiness. I managed to catch him and after a bit of handling, I tamed him so me and the Skating Gnu could spend the afternoon playing with him while Mrs. Gnu cowered inside. She still doesn't quite understand my affection for these creatures, but bless her heart she puts up with it in her own way.

We keep finding ways of meeting up with all sorts of interesting fauna out here on the island. Two years ago, we ran into a Cottonmouth, this year a King snake - definitely an improvement!

After playing with him for a bit, we turned him loose on the dunes next to the ocean so he could continue doing his part in keeping the Town of Duck mouse-free.

Hopefully Copperhead-free too...

Life's a Beach

Back to the Outer Banks again this week. It's an annual pilgrimage that I look forward to every year. I don't care how much crap the universe throws on me, I'm gonna make it here and just relax for a week. This year especially, I need a damn break!

In case you were wondering what is it about Duck that draws us here, and at this time of the year, here are a couple of video postcards for you:


video

Did you see that? Exactly. Not a damn thing. No one around to pester me, and the weather has been in the mid-60s all week.

Here's another one for you, and this time I make a cameo appearance.

video

Well, my thumb does, anyways. Sorry about that. Some day's I'm just all thumbs!

all videos copyright
2009, The Smoking Gnu

Friday, October 2, 2009

Success by Degrees

My diploma arrived in the mail the other day. Got my name on it and everything.

Now it really hits home what I've accomplished and how hard I had to work for it. It's been a month since I finished my last class. I have since tried to replace the time with other projects and spend time with my family, but the intensity of these activities does not match what was required to finish those classes. I've been mostly hanging around the house not knowing what to do with myself, getting under foot and driving my wife nuts.

Conversations of the Damned, Part XXIV

After a week of getting in my wife's way, she'd finally had enough...

Mrs. Gnu: "Get outta my way, will ya? Don't you have homework to do?"

Me: "Umm.... NO!"

(Pause)

Mrs. Gnu: "Wasn't there a PhD program you were interested in...?"

God help this poor woman the day after I retire!