Friday, January 27, 2006

I'm Famous...

Not really, but my AOL Journal was picked by the guest editor over there this week as one of the 6 journals she gets to feature. Pretty Cool, huh? Well, since I'm expecting a little extra traffic over there this week I thought I would put up an entry that tells a little about me.... And, I thought maybe I would mirror it over here... well, just because ;p So, Here it is:

I'm Famous....

Well at least sort of <g>

Seems that Kim over at I Shaved My Legs for This? is the Guest editor this week... And guess who she picked to share the honor with? Yep, ME! Well, me and some other people <LOL> Be sure to pop over to her place or the Journals Main Page and check out all of her picks.

Since I'm probably going to be getting some extra visitors here in the next few days, I thought I would do a little 'about me' entry.

Although this Journal was never meant to be a 'showcase' for animals, it often becomes one because... well they are and always have been a big part of my life. I was born into a family that loved animals, and I can't remember a time in my childhood when there wasn't at the very least a dog and a cat in my home... and often assorted other creatures... Add to this the dogs/cats owned by my Grandparents and Aunt/Uncles, and I was exposed to pets from the time I was 3 days old.

My first home was with my Grandparents... in Kentucky... You know, "Land of Beautiful Horses and Fast Women" <eg>. My grandfather's favorite story was always about how I threw such a fit at the age of 6 months that they had to go and get a neighbor to come back and let me have a ride on his horse so I would quit crying. Now, I don't remember this, but I wouldn't doubt it. My Grandfather always claimed that my love of horses began at that moment.

I managed to own a horse by the time I was 20, and by 24 was living in Florida and actually making my living caring for horses!! From there, it was just luck that led me from place to place. The people I originally worked for in Florida owned Arabian Horses. Seeing that the market for them was falling, the owner took the horses he still owned and added a few different breeds to them and started a dinner theatre in Orlando. I was lucky enough to return to work for them in the early 80's just as this was taking off.

Working at the dinner theatre, I was exposed to many different types of riding, all kinds of horses, and a lot of really cool people... some of which had been or were still circus performers. One day one of them recommended me to a trainer who had just arrived from Europe and would be training an act for the circus that would include Friesians, Arabians and..... zebras! I was quickly sold on the idea of not only working with 2 breeds of horses that I admired, but Zebras! The chance seemed to be to wonderful to pass up, and my boss allowed me to take a leave of absence to go work with this trainer for 6 months and help get the act ready to go on the road.

By the time the Fall rolled around, it was obvious that, although the act was well on it's way, it was nowhere near ready to just be handled by anyone, and the trainer convinced me to go with him on the road and travel with the circus for 6 months and finish their training..... And I never looked back.

During the 6 years I spent working for the circus, I was an assistant trainer for this first act, then Head tiger groom for another set of animals, and finally a Senior Animal Handler... which meant I helped out where needed. It was a wonderful experience and I crossed the entire continent twice, was in New York City at Madison Square Gardens three times, went once to Mexico City, and even visited Canada, and along the way had many adventures. Most importantly, I met the man I currently share my life with.

A little over a year and a half ago, G (my significant other) was offered a wonderful opportunity to work in a zoo. This was a dream of his since he was a child, so how could I say no?? We came off the road, and while he went to work for the zoo, I found a job that I could do while I look for the 'right' job for me. Luckily for me, since G and several of our friends still work with exotic animals, I still get the opportunity to be around the animals I adore... Still, I look forward to finding the right spot for me to continue to do what I love.

While waiting for -my- dream job, I have several 'furkids' who keep me quite busy. We Previewhave Morgan (the Pembroke Welsh Corgi) who is the darling of my eye. She is almost 3now, and I've had her since she was just six weeks old. D.K. (short for Devil Kitty) is a 'tuxedo' cat and 11 years old. I've had her since she was a 5 week old kitten. And finally, but by no means last, is Boo, my horse. He is a black bay Arabian who I actually helped be born. On Jan 1 (all horses have their 'official' Previewbirthday on Jan 1!) he was 16 years old.... but, he will get his birthday celebration in the spring anyway <g>

So, that's the short form...... The newer pictures you find here in my Journal are from our local zoo or aquarium... although I do on occasion get to a little more exotic locals. The older ones... well, they can be from anywhere <g>

Hope you enjoy your visit... And Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

For My friend....

My friend Pat (Deslily), who you can find HERE and HERE, says in the comments of my last entry:

As usual you have outdone yourself once again! Ok, now you have your new background for the next few weeks... time for some "heart-felt animal pics!" heh...

And, since she has often favored me with stories of DeForest, the least I can do is return the favor and offer up some 'heart-felt' animal pics!

I have many pics of the Orangutans at the zoo here (as well as some from other places), but the ones I picked for the entry tonight were taken very recently. In fact, over the Christmas Holidays. I always stop by the Orang exhibit to see what they have given Charlie (my favorite) to put on his head on that particular day. I have pictures of Charlie with boxes, rags, blankets, and assorted other things--all on his head. He likes to sit in the corner and put things on his head. This isn't that strange as Orangutans tend to be the most 'quiet' of the apes and often seem to prefer more quiet games than the other great apes.

I'm also checking to see what the 'patriarch' of the group is doing. Often he will come to the observation window and offer 'kisses'... and in the last couple of months I have been trying to get a glimpse, and possibly a good photo of the newest, smallest addition to the group. You'll know when I finally get a pic of her because I will be sure to post it!

Each morning there is an assortment of food and interesting objects scattered throughout the enclosure before the animals are released into it for the day. On this particular day, the keepers had put out some blankets as enrichment, and one of the juveniles had gotten one and was playing with it. I have a series of about 25 pics of him getting the blanket (and the piece of fruit that was under it) and his ascent to the top of their 'jungle gym'. I've only included 7 of them here for the sake of those of you on dial-up.


The pictures are in sequential order starting with the one centered on the top. Then go down the left side... Back to the top of the right side... and down that side... Ending with him on top of the 'jungle gym' in triumph!


Interested in learning a little more about these fascinating, comical, funny, lovable little guys?

As usual, I have a couple of places for you to go to learn a little more about them and the reason they are endangered and need our protection. Today I offer you 3 different ones. Click Here, Here, and finally Here!

I hope these were enough of an animal 'fix' for you Pat! LOL!

Note: For anyone who saw the 'oops' posting of this entry, I hope you enjoy the 'fixed' one. I ended up using the table tags to make the pictures 'behave'. I am on my way over to AOL right now to see if it is possible to get this to post over there. With the limited HTML features over there... well, I may just have to redirect traffic over here! ROFL!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


It's less than a month till Valentines Day... Time to redecorate!! The Blog Title in this one is a graphic and a separate animation. Just experimenting with using Tables to help place things.... Learning... Learning!

Also, my 'headers' on my sidebar are graphics. Sometimes you do something by accident, and you end up liking it better. When I put the urls in for the graphics in the sidebar, I gave them a height/width value. I accidently put the wrong width in and ended up liking the 'distorted' hearts better than the originals. Go Figure!

I've been working with this template for a few days... I actually put it up at one point, but when I went to check it over on AOL.... No little elephant and no Blog title... Grrrrrrrrrr! Well, with the help of a program I found today on the internet (for free.. Yeah!), I figured out that I was missing a > in one of my tags. Stupid Internet Explorer couldn't figure it out... Firefox could. Big Sigh! That's why you always test everything in multiple browsers before publishing. Although, I do admit that I cheat and only check in Firefox, IE, and AOL.... I really should download Netscape and Opera at least.... but, I'm Lazy and I figure most of you are using one of the big 3!

I was looking thru some old bookmarked sites and came across this. People had a lot of fun playing with this last year: Acme Heart Maker And, just for fun, here's something that will take a few of you back. I remember having a spirograph as a child and spending hours and hours (and lots of colored ink!) making the designs. I wonder if that is where my love of Celtic knotwork comes from... hmmmmmm. Anyway, enjoy playing with your online Spirograph

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Who will be Top Dog?


We are currently watching the AKC Eukanuba National Championship Live on Animal Planet. One of the cool features this year is the ability to cast your own vote on each of the classes. If you see this and want to cast your own vote, Go Here! And click on Cast Your Vote Now... We always watch, but it is kind of fun to cast my own vote for my personal favorite. Sometimes I agree with the judge.... sometimes I don't!

Update: Last night was Part I. The Second Half is being broadcast tonight, and will include the Working, Terrier, and Herding Classes... AND, of course, Best of Show. The show is being Simulcast on Animal Planet and the Discovery Channel. So, Tune in tonight and see who the National Champion Dog is for this year!

Monday, January 09, 2006

Poison Dart Frogs... Pretty to Look at but...


After seeing some of the very nice mosaics out there that people where making with Flickr Toys and their Flickr pics, I decided it would be fun to do a set of pictures with a theme and some bright framing and do a mosaic of it. Unfortunately none of the 'pre designed' mosaics worked for this set of pictures, so I was forced to do it myself in my photo manipulation software!

The top picture here is another picture of my friend the Bearded Dragon. I used a different picture of this same guy to make my 'motivational poster' in an earlier entry. He is usually pretty mellow, and I often find him hanging out on his log. For a little more info on Bearded Dragons in general, click Here!

The other three bright and cheery creatures are called Poison Dart Frogs, and are the reason I chose to do the very bright neon framing for this set of pictures. Poison Dart Frogs are very colorful and fun. I usually get a couple of shots of them when I stop by the Discovery Station.

Poison Dart Frogs are so brightly colored for a reason. The coloring tells any animal who might be thinking about making a meal of the little guys that they are poisonous and will make them sick. So, it's kind of like advertising. Some species of Poison Dart Frogs are considered to be among the most poisonous animals in the world. They actually get their name because the toxin they secrete from their skin has been used on darts to make them poisonous!

If they are so toxic.... How are they so easily handled?? Well, Poison Dart Frogs that are born in captivity have not eaten the same foods that they would have in the wild. Yep! They are the ultimate "You are what you Eat" animals!! Since they have never been exposed to the diet that they would have consumed in the wild, captive bred frogs are not poisonous at all! Want to read more about poison Dart Frogs? Click Here! You will also see more pictures of different representatives of the species. They come in a dazzling display of colors.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Testing.. Testing... AND a Cute Cat Vidoe!

I downloaded an 'extension' for my Firefox the other day, and I wondered how well it would work, so this is basically a test. One of the cool things about Firefox is these 'extensions'. You can add things to your Firefox browser that add functionality. BUT, you only add the things that appeal to you. This keeps the browser from becoming 'bloated' with things you don't use. Of course this is taking into consideration just loading the 'extensions' you need! These 'extensions' are also easy to remove if you decide you don't want/need/like them anymore.

The extension I downloaded is called Performance, and it is a way to blog about a webpage FROM the webpage. Basically it adds a little Icon to the bottom tray of your Firefox browser. When you see a Webpage you would like to Blog about, you click the little pad and paper icon and the bottom of your browser window becomes a blog editor! I ran across this page with a cute little video of cats and kittens doing funny things using ANOTHER extension and thought I would test this out and see how I liked it.

First, it will link directly to many different blogs. And, it does quite well linking to my Blogger Blog, but NOT to AOL... go figure! Anyway, I don't see myself using this a lot, but it quite a nice little feature. If you would like to read about/try it out, go to Performancing for Firefox.... To see what other goodies there are for Firefox just go to your toolbar and click tools, Extensions and Get more extensions.

Enjoy the video, and thank you for being part of my little 'test'!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Best Laid Plans....

I had a set of pictures ready to go, and the entry being composed in my head when I ran across two links that I decided where better than my original planned entry! Go figure!

The first link is from the National Wildlife Federation and is their annual Photo Contest. This link is for the National Wildlife Federation Homepage, and this one is a direct link to the Photo Contest page... ENJOY!

This second link is another of those Fun With Flickr links. Click on this link for retrievr and you will be taken to a page that offers you a box and a simple drawing tool. Draw something in the box and it will retrieve Flickr pics based on your 'sketch'.... Interesting and strangely compelling!

Tomorrow I bring you lizards and frogs... really, I promise!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Motivational Dragon

Dragon Poster
Just having a little fun with a photo I uploaded to Flickr. Thank you Judith for the link!! If you want to go and play with your own photos, here is the link.... The cool thing? It doesn't HAVE to be a photo uploaded to Flickr. If you have a photo with a web address (i.e. anything uploaded into your AOL FTP space!), you can play with the things at this site. Make a Mosaic... a Motivational Poster... a Billboard.... Have Fun!!