Sunday, August 31, 2008

Day of the Squirrels...

Ever since I was in 6th grade and we went to my friends house in small town Nebraska to play with their pet squirrel, I've wanted one for myself. Even before that, some of my earliest memories were of my grandpa taming black squirrels in his back yard so that they would take walnuts from his hand.

Yesterday I was given the opportunity to tell a squirrel story of my own.

It started simple enough, I was letting the dogs out, and like normal I was sitting and watching them from a concrete step in my backyard. I wasn't paying much attention until I noticed they were both looking intently at something on the tree, and that something, just out of the reach of their nose was a baby squirrel. I really wanted to capture the moment so I grabbed my camera phone and tried to snap a picture. The dogs were to excited so nothing came out, but I decided to take a closer look anyway. Upon further investigation I noticed that the poor baby had a bloody nose and was very wobbly on the side of the tree. As soon as I noticed this he stumbled forward into the reach of the dogs, and Ringo, my puppy, had the squirrel in his mouth on a second. I yelled "Drop it" as loud as I could and rushed over to stop him. He dropped it on command but went after it again. I grabbed his collar and pulled him off and the squirrel made its way up the tree again, half in a daze. Just to make sure the baby was ok I stuck my head up the tree and gave a look. He was huddled at the fork of two branches and looked kinda beat up. Since I'm stupidly fearless around animals, I slowly lifted my hand up near the little guy, and to my surprise he climbed right in my hand. I slowly lowered the both of us out of the tree and had Mindy put the dog away.

Since I wasn't sure how hurt he was, I decided I should keep an eye on him, so I brought out my 25 gallon aquarium and put him in with a little dish of water and some almonds. He wasn't interested at first so I decided to leave him alone for a bit. I went upstairs and had dinner and came back down a little later. He still hadn't touched anything so I decided there wasn't anything else I could do but let him go. I tipped the aquarium and he crawled out, but instead of scampering away, he started hopping towards me. I took a step back and he hopped towards me again. Another step back, another hop towards me. Finally I sat down on the ground to see how it all played out, and Mr. Squirrel decided to climb in my lap. I cradled him there for a little while and took some pictures with him. Finally, since he seemed to be feeling better, I decided it was time to set him free. I picked him up and started heading over to the tree again but as I did, another baby squirrel came crawling across the neighbor's yard to the same tree I was headed to. As he climbed up he chattered at me a little bit but wasn't afraid as I came closer. Since the baby I had in my hand wasn't interested in getting on the tree again, I thought maybe his little brother would help. I held him up and they nuzzled each other. I was even able to pet the brother and the thing almost fell asleep on the side of the tree. Finally after knowing I was getting too attached, I set the baby on the tree and he started to climb again. They nuzzled each other again and I considered my work to be done. I walked away and went back into the house.

10 minutes later I decided to check on them again, this time from my deck. When I walked out, one of the little guys was clear up above my eye level, but when he saw me, he started down the tree again. When he got to the bottom he started squeaking really loud and then scampered towards my house. He was squeaking and squeaking and actually trying to climb the side of my house, then he decided to sit on the stoop of my basement door.

I went downstairs once again and opened the door, and there was the little brother squirrel sitting and looking at me. I gently picked him up and took him back over to the tree and let him go again. He looked at me once more and then went up the tree again.

I saw them playing later that night. When I went outside again, the brother was in the neighbor's yard again, and squeaked when he saw me, but chose not to come say hi again. I'm hoping maybe I've made some friends that will come back and visit me. If not though, at least I had the experience.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Biting it...

Well I did it. I finally got a facebook account, and ya know what.? I kinda like it. I don't have to worry about trying to make my page look cool, I just log on and talk to people. It's real simple.

I also got a new phone the other day. My phone went haywire when we were in Minnesota and considering we were still a week away from being done, I really needed a new one. I went to the store and looked at several and decided on a Samsung Alias. It flips open Sideways for a keyboard to text on, and then normal like a cell phone. Well I kept it for the rest of the tour and was just un-impressed overall. If I wanted to keep more than 50 text messages in my inbox I was going to have to buy more memory. Not what I expected from a $100 phone. So when I got back to Omaha I went and browsed Nebraska Furniture Mart. The one stop shop for the best prices on anything you could ever want to buy. They had the SAME phone and after the rebate it would have actually cost me negative one penny. They would pay me a penny to take the phone. Then I played with the LG Dare and was faced with a moral dilemma. I loved the Dare but it was more than the first phone cost and I know in a matter of months the price will be cut in half, and even more. So do I get a phone for free that was ok, but unimpressive or get a phone that I really really liked, but spend money on it just to watch the price go down in December. I called Mindy up to get her opinion and she was helpful. I walked away with the Dare, and so far I love it!!! It's pretty much an iphone and it's smaller so it fits in my pocket. I would suggest it to anyone who wants an iphone, but doesn't want to switch to AT&T.

Other than that, we're headed to Dallas next weekend for the Feedback Conference. That'll be fun. Next month we'll be venturing down into Alabama and Tennessee. It should be a good time.

I'll have a few more videos to post here pretty soon.