Dachshunds and Watches and Birds, Oh My!

Sorry for neglecting the blog again. It’s not as if there isn’t lots of juicy stuff to write about. It’s more that Donna says she’ll change the locks if I do!

Oh well.

Mister B, our elder dachshund, is getting selective about going for walks. As in selecting not to, as often as not. His joints have gotten pretty stiff, and walks can’t be as much fun as they used to be. Anyway, Lulu & Fritzi are always raring to go, so it’s not like I lack walking companions. Here are a couple of recent photos:

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Mister B still has lots of good days, as he did three days ago (left photo). Yesterday, though, he decided to leave the walking to his younger housemates. The bench Fritzi and Lulu are posed on (right photo) is a memorial to our housing estate’s honorary mayor, one of the original residents, now gone.

IMG_9924Last year I went a little overboard on Timex watches. Spec-wise they’re more bang for the buck than just about anything: being quartz, they keep perfect time and you can hack them if you want perfection with a capital P. They’re easy to read and light up at night with the press of a button. Apart from having to change batteries every couple of years, they’re pretty much indestructible. What they aren’t is exciting.

It’s easy to dress them up with straps, though, and that adds some excitement. Up until two months ago I was in love with NATO straps.* Then I fell out of love and switched back to leather. But I’m starting to come back around to them, as you can see with the watches at top right and bottom left. For now the other two stay on leather. Of those two, the one at top left is significantly smaller than the others and Donna uses it more than I do. She loves the suede leather band it came with, the one it’s wearing in the photo.

*Watch nerds say what’s good about NATO straps is that they’re threaded through the springbars, so if one bar comes loose the other retains a grip on your watch. Which is what you want in trench warfare, hence “NATO.” But really, we like NATOs because James Bond wore ’em in the movies. Doubt that? The color pattern of the strap at top right goes by two names: “Bond” and “007.”

IMG_9856Our baby hummingbirds have flown away. It didn’t take long — they only hatched four weeks ago. The mother built her nest on one of the bicycle hooks under our patio overhang. In the past other hummingbirds have used those hooks, but it’s been a few years, so we were excited to see this new nest outside our bedroom (I think what they like about nesting up under our patio roof is that predators can’t see them up there).

This photo is from several days ago, taken as the babies were beginning to look like hummingbirds: they look like any other baby bird at first, with wide short beaks, but within a few days the beaks start to lengthen. This week they’ve been active in the nest, jostling around and flapping their wings, building up strength. Then, three days ago, the first one took off. Yesterday I looked out and the second was gone.

Here’s the fun part: Donna walked out on the patio after the first baby had flown away, and it appeared out of nowhere, hovering a foot away at eye level, then zipping off out of sight. When I noticed the second baby had left the nest, I also went out back and the same thing happened — the second baby came and flew around my head, up close and personal, as fearless and friendly as you please. Unless, of course, it was momma bird, still protective of her nest and not being friendly at all! It’s so hard to tell when everyone’s so tiny!

Stay fresh, cheese bags!

2 thoughts on “Dachshunds and Watches and Birds, Oh My!

  • Sure, NATO straps are cool, washable, and easy to change. I always chose Olive Drab for concealment. But in a big cockpit fire that nylon melts right into your skin. Too bad they don’t make aramid NATO watch bands. Then you could get cancer like from the fire resistant flight suits.

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