Janis is right, but it’s hard not to put eagles above buzzards in the Grand Scheme of Things.
Buzzards are pretty amazing birds, hunting with their noses as much, perhaps more, than their eyes.
I think the preference for eagles is that they tend to be more solitary, and they combine hunting and scavenging. We like to think of them as relentless hunters and fishers. (Have you seen this story about a fight between an eagle and an octopus?)
But they’re opportunistic. The family of eagles that live along the Connecticut River where I walk my dog are magnificent as they cruise around, but they tend to sit below the power dam where I suspect they take advantage of slightly stunned fish who come through the gateway.
A friend got some great photos of flocking eagles and I asked him if he’d been to Homer, Alaska, where they gather. No, he responded, he’d gotten those shots at the place where the highway department dumps road kill.
Which is also where you find the buzzards, but they’re not magnificent.
OTOH, I don’t think I’d want buzzard doodoo on my hat. Janis is right, he was asking for it, but it seems the punishment is a bit disproportional to the offense.
Side note: When my son was stationed at San Diego, there was one parking place in the lot that was almost always available, because most people there knew that pelicans — who are prodigious eaters of fish — nested in the tree above it. (Update: Son who was stationed there also knows that pelicans are ground nesters: “It was an egret or heron or something, so yes… Large and pescatarian, but also *protected from relocation*”)
Can’t we talk about something more pleasant?
Between Friends has featured an ongoing arc this week (which starts here) in which Kim tries to deal with her son coming home from college with a girl and her inability to figure out the relationship involved.
The overall issue is amusing and easy to identify with, but this particular installment has stuck with me because I think it’s a generational thing.
When I was a young man, the answer was simple: You’d set up the guest room and then pretend not to hear footsteps in the hallway after lights out.
A generation later, when I was the father of those young men, it only happened to come up with women I already knew they were dating and we didn’t have a guest room and I didn’t have a cow.
The best part of this arc is that everybody — including Kim — knows that she’s overthinking it. Go read. It’s well worth it.
Another generational issue came up this past week in Edison Lee, and I tend to concur: We broke our toys doing ridiculous things or by simply leaving them out in the weather, but they were sturdy.
OTOH, the little kid for whom I bought that goddam Ewok Village is now in his mid-40s, so I’m not going to concede that today’s adults had indestructible toys in their youth.
We scattered toy parts throughout the house, but they were intentionally purchased as parts: Girders from Kenner Bridge and Turnpike sets, pieces of Tinker Toys, tiny nuts and bolts from Erector Sets.
But the Ewok Village wasn’t a construction toy, and I think it stayed assembled for about four days before it turned into scattered debris.
Star Wars action figures were great, but the bigger toys in that line were very expensive given the brief period for which they remained intact. Ditto with GI Joe.
Speaking of games that aren’t the same, Tank McNamara offers this commentary on the flood of penalties that are slowing down football in the NFL this year.
It’s an interesting problem — which is being taken up at the owners’ meetings currently in progress — much of which has to do with fans having more technical ability to second-guess calls through replay on the broadcast or through their own DVRs, but which is also an unfortunate transitional issue as the NFL works to make the game safer.
Which is to say, a combination of more rules and of more ways to check up on the refs.
I know people who have given up on the game entirely because of the head injuries, and it’s a troubling issue.
But injuries in general are down but seem more frequent, since players are more honestly evaluated than they were back in the days when coming out of the game was for sissies.
Players are pulled now for things for which they’d have been told to “suck it up” in the past, and “going into the blue tent” for immediate sideline evaluation is a new part of the game.
Which is good, but does slow things down.
For my part, I’d rather fans adjusted to a more safety-conscious game than see things speed up by ignoring possible concussions.
But the refs also have to adjust to a new game in which tighter rules and more precise replay are both going to be part of things.
Juxtaposition of the Day: Dare to be Dumb
I love stupid jokes, and I immediately knew the first name of that doctor who advertises on the park bench.
But a lot of people didn’t get this Argyle Sweater gag, perhaps because they need to relax their brain and let the stupid flow more readily. It cracked me up, I’m both delighted and ashamed to say.
I was looking for the latest episode of “Tommy Carrol’s Christmas,” the 1937 holiday series Tom Heintjes is running on the Hogan’s Alley Twitter page, but came across this 1953 Mopsy, which cracked me up.
It also sent me off looking for the strip and its creator, Gladys Parker.
The strip is a bit disappointing, mostly ditzy-girl jokes with a lot of fashion including paper dolls, but the story is interesting: Parker was a military wife who followed her husband from base to base and both turned Mopsy to a morale booster during the War and added a strip to run exclusively in the GI papers.