Archive | October, 2007

Wordless Wednesday – Fall Color

31 Oct






Shake, rattle, and roll

30 Oct


We had a bit of rockin’ and rollin’ here tonight. A 5.6 magnitude quake hit near San Jose. We felt it pretty good here. This was the first earthquake the kids have really felt. We’ve had a few microquakes near Boulder Creek in the past but this was a good jolting quake. 5.6 isn’t anything that is going to cause major damage in the US, thank goodness but it does get your attention. The kids and I went for doorways because you never know if it’s starting small and building up or if that’s all there is.Thhe kids were wound up aftewards — particularly Ruthie. Talk-talk-talk-talk-talk. I got on the internet right away to report it to the USGS “Did You Feel It?” website. We reported it within 3 minutes. You can take a look at a map here that shows responses from citizens in nearby communities. The kids helped me to evaluate it and we put our results in. We were the only responders from Boulder Creek. The kids really appreciated that we were helping scientists. Pretty cool.Evidently, this is the biggest local quake since the Loma Prieta quake of 1989. That quake was so memorable. I never feel a tremor now without wondering if this is another “big one.” Thankfully, this one wasn’t and I had a chance to help the kids get through it, talk about why we respond in certain ways, and have them experience it safely.

If you are curious, you can take a look at the seismograph reading from San Bruno Mountain station. {click}

Ruby Tuesday

30 Oct

Too innocent to be believed

“You must love me. I am sweet and innocent. I would never dig in your plants. No more would I pull things out of the garbage or pee on the rug in the bathroom. I am all that is good. Surely you can see that.”


My girl!

This is, to me, the essence of Ruby — a clear, intelligent look. Ready for anything.


Will you PUHLEASE stop taking my picture?

“Enough, already — Quit taking my picture. Can’t we just play?”

Makes you think . . .

29 Oct

Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon outside Natural History Museum in Santa Cruz

 John Harshman from the Early Bird project spoke to the Santa Cruz Bird Club on the topic:  “DNA Sequencing — Tear Up Your Field Guide and Tape It Back Together.”  What a fascinating talk.  He explained — in a dumbed-down, simplified way how DNA sequencing works — need I say that it still left my brain hurting?  Then he shared things that they have learned about the family tree in birds based on the reasearch of his group, Early Bird, and others.  My favorite tidbit is that the Flamingo is not closely related to the Stork — as was previously thought but is closely related to a Grebe.  Not something one would intuit by looking at them.

Dr Harshman said that most of their data is, as yet, unpublished but it will be published soon.  He said that when it is, the Tree of Life website will be updated to reflect the new information.  Field guides will remain the same for now — and he mentioned that it is a useful format because they show birds that APPEAR the same in close proximity so that they can be identfied more easily — but that taxonomies will be changing based on this research.

Cool stuff, that Science!



October 28: National Chocolate Day

28 Oct


Dark savior of my moods.
You soothe me smoothly
richly and with bliss.

Work (Totally Optional Prompts)

27 Oct

My work fullfills me.
I come home tired but glad.
A day spent helping,
Seeing children’s brains turn on.
Teaching is a joy
And a burden too.

More Work  poems at Totally Optional Prompts.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2007, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License

Hi, I’m Liza and I’m addicted to coffee.

25 Oct

I am 67% Addicted to Coffee

Free Texas Dating

Wordless Wednesday – signs of fall

24 Oct



Ruby Tuesday — I can haz french fryz.

23 Oct

What? I’m relaxed? Don’t I look relaxed? Don’t I just look as kick-back-stylin’ in the car as they come? Oh, what’s that you say? This is the place we get french fries? Really? I had no idea! Fancy that.

So, jumping on the whole “LOL-Cats – I can has cheezburger” thing is kind of sad but I couldn’t resist . . . Ruby *wanted* herself some french fries but this is as much as she will allow herself to do in the “begging” department. In fact, I can have my food on the seat next to her and unless I offer it to her, she won’t touch it. She’s such a good girl.

Of course, she’s not *always* that good. The other morning, Ruthie was eating breakfast at the coffee table. She got up to go to the bathroom and came back to find Ruby on the table snarfing down the last bite of bagel!

Yup, that’s my Ruby — I can trust her just until my back is turned! I’m sure she only does it so that all the other dogs won’t feel jealous!

Remembering Barbaro (Totally Optional Prompts)

21 Oct

Remembering Barbaro

Artist: Sheril Drummond
Lexington, KY
Copyright for this image is retained by the artist. Please respect her work!

I did not know this horse.
I do not follow racing or that world.
What I know of him, I heard on the radio on NPR when he died.
But it touched me.

There is something heroic in a horse that races, head down, goal in sight, giving it his all.

A race is such a small thing; so unimportant in the grand scheme
But when you are in it, it is everything
And animals know.  They know it’s important.
Horses will race in open fields for the joy of it.
For the head-tossing, foot stomping, heart pounding joy of it.

He knew that joy.  And, he shared it, passed it along.
A legacy worth living for.

More on Barbaro {click}.

More Horse inspired poems at Totally Optional Prompts.
All content written by Liza Lee Miller unless otherwise noted.
© 2007, Liza Lee Miller. Creative Commons License