As you have probably noticed, While You Were Blogging has been on hiatus for the last few weeks. This is due to some wonderful news we recieved in April. Come this December we are expecting our second child. Due to this news, it has been difficult to keep up with our blogging.
In the next couple of weeks, While You Were Blogging will be under construction. But don’t worry, we will be back very soon with a new look.
In 1984, Kurt Wenner, an ex NASA illistrator invented a new form of pavement art that amazed many. Anamorphic or 3-D pavement art is a two-dimentional drawing that, when viewed from the correct angle, appears as if objects are floating on, rising or falling from the pavement. Although Wenner’s works consisted of mostly Classical type pieces, it wasn’t long before other artist used Wenner’s techniques and infused them with modern culture. The outcome is amazing.
Here are some of these amazing pieces of art.
These two above were created by Julian Beever. Below is a piece by Edgar Mueller. You can see how Mueller created this piece by clicking here.
Living in Florida for the past 15 years, it still amazes me how many odd and interesting creatures we encounter regularly. One of the most interesting is the Lovebug. For as long as five weeks, twice a year, we floridians are visited by swarms of this unusual insect. But as quickly as they appear, they seem to disappear even faster.
As a member of the march fly family, the lovebug is also known as “the honeymoon fly” and the”double-headed bug”. The reson for this is quickly made aware, simply by observing them. During and after mating the male and female lovebugs remain connected at all times, even in flight. This lasts for several days before death.
In Central Florida, we see them in April/ May and again in August/September. The larvae feed on decaying vegitation and live in the thatch of grass so they are rarely seen. After they take flight, mating begins almost imediately. They are usually attracted to bright colors mostly white, and strangely enough have a fascination with asphalt roadways, as I notice personaly. In some areas I work, I can find my work van covered in them. A swarms can consist of thousands of lovebugs. They don’t bite or sting, but because these pests gathers in large groups on highways, they die in large masses, making a mess as they stick to car bumpers, grills, and windshields.
Due to lack of funding to research the lovebug, there is a myth about where they came from. It is rumored that they are a synthetic insect, created by the University of Florida in an effort to control the mosquito population. This, however is not the case, since there is documentation describing the migration of lovebugs to Florida from neighboring states. Some believe that, around 60 years ago, they may have been castaways on shipped cargo from another country that found the southeastern states habitable. Wherever they came from, I guess they are here to stay.
I often wonder what our dog and cat do while they are alone in the house.
Did you know that there is a fairly simply way to identify a tree? Back in highschool, I participated in a project where I had to catalog as many trees as I could find. Living in Pennsylvania at the time you could imagine how big the project was. Luckily it was brought to my attention that there was a book that could help me out. It worked like a flow chart. By answering the apropriate questions like how the leaves were shaped and which patern the leaves grew on the branch, the unknown tree could be identified.
Now that we have the internet, these type of tree identifying media are available online. Websites like Arbor Day Foundation.com have created a great identifier tool. It is very similar to the book I remember using in highschool. With around 1,000 known species of trees in the United States, these tools make tree identification a lot easier.
In case you are wondering, I got an “A+” on that project.
John McConnell, a peace activist pioneered the idea in 1969 at a UNESCO conference. He proposed that March 21,1970, the first day of spring, Americans should celebrate the protection of our planet Earth. McConnell’s proclamation was sanctioned and signed by the Secretary General at the UN. However, one month later a seperate Earth Day was proclaimed by US Senator Gaylord Nelson as an environmental teach-in. Although the April 22 Earth Day focused on the US, in 1990, the concept was taken international and Earth Day was adopted in 141 nations. Today Earth Day is observed by more than 1 billion people in 192 countries.
In honor of Earth Day I am giving away a garden basket to one lucky winner.
The basket includes:
- garden shovel
- pruning shears
- pack of sunflower seeds
- pack of daisy seeds
- $10 Home Depot gift card
Enter using the Rafflecopter form below. U.S. entries only.
Contest runs April 17th- May 4th. Good Luck!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Last weekend, Charity, Anna and I hopped in the car and visited our local miniature golf course. It had been a while since Charity and I last played a round of mini-golf and Anna had never played. It was a lot of fun watching her figure out this family oriented game.
The course we played was called Congo River Golf in Altamonte Springs Florida. It was 18 holes of awesome. The theme, as you can probably guess from the name, was the Congo. It had caves, watefalls, bridges and a crashed airplane. A few of the holes had a spinner which made the game even more exciting. The spinner had tasks or obstacles that you would have to do while playing the hole. I recall having to play one hole with my eyes closed and my ball being relocated by Charity on another. I forgot how much fun miniature golf is.
It took a few holes until Anna got her groove but she did great. In fact she finished four of the holes under the maximum 6 strokes. She had a little trouble holding the club and understanding where to stand but she figured it out quickly. It won’t be long before she gets her LPGA Tour card.
Recently, I constructed a doghouse for our Boston Terrier, Jeeves. At work, I noticed somebody was throwing away a couple of custom pallets that looked great for building a doghouse frame. So, with the help of a coworker, I took the pallets home and began thinking up the plans for my new project.
I began by disassembling the pallets and removing any nails that remained. Once the nails were removed I used the lumber to build a simple frame. Luckily it was not necessary to cut any of the boards. I found them to be the perfect length for the size doghouse I was building. I used some decking screws, I had left over from a previous project, to secure the lumber together. Then, I used the remaining pallet boards to construct the frame for the roof. Finally the structure was complete.
Using ¾ inch plywood I happened to have lying around, I cut to size and secured the walls and roof of the doghouse. The most difficult wall the cut was the front. I wanted Jeeves’ new house to have a rounded entryway. Because I don’t have a jigsaw, this was quite challenging. I drew the rounded doorway on the plywood board using a pencil and used my dull bladed reciprocating saw to cut the doorway, slowly. I had to stop numerous times during the “operation” due to the fear of fire. The blade of the saw moves very fast, creating a lot of friction on the plywood. Once I finally got the cut I needed, black burn marks were found along the edge.
From here, I needed to go to Home Depot for the remaining supplies. I purchased a cheap can of outdoor paint and a package of roofing shingles. At home, I singled the roof securing the shingles to the doghouse using upholstery staples and drywall nails (trying to keep the project as cheap as possible). I caulked the gaps of the structure and realized how absorbent plywood is when I had to use 4 coats of paint until it looked right. At last the doghouse was finished.
The next step is finding a place to put it in the backyard. Maybe I will leave that to Charity…
Today, being March 27th, is National “Joe” Day. It is the one day of the year where everyone can call themselves “Joe”. This is great for those who don’t like their name or want to be somebody else for 24 hours. The origin of this holiday is not known and it is not recognized by Congress as an official holiday but it sounds interesting.
Now that everyone is named Joe, here are some interesting things that you may want to know about your new name.
- The name “Joe” is Hebrew derived from the name “Yosef”
- It is estimated that there are about 77 million full time “Joe”s in the world
- The meaning of the name “Joe” is: increase, give, grow
- “Joe” is used by some people refering to coffee and an everyday guy
- Famous “Joe”s include: Pesci, Namath, Biden, DiMaggio, Cool
Just remember, National Joe Day is only one day. Come midnight you turn back into yourself.
I love when March comes around. We celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Easter and the end to the cold weather, although here in Florida it doesn’t get too cold. Having an interest in most sports, I also see March as a time to watch some March Madness.
For those who don’t know, March Madness is the phrase used to describe the single elimination NCAA Men’s Division I tournament. You probably hear about throughout the month or see it on television. The tournament consists of 68 teams trying to make it to the finals. These 68 teams are divided into four regions, ranked or “seeded” depending on how they performed throughout the season and are organized into a single elimination bracket. The bracket is designed to determine which winning teams will face each other in the following rounds.
The eight lowest ranked teams play first to see who will be in the final group of 64 teams. After the field of match ups are determined, the teams play each other at neutral locations throughout the country so no team has a home field advantage. By the end of the weekend, 3/4 of the teams will be eliminated. After the first round, the group of 64 will become a group of 16 and after the next weekend the 16 will become 4 until two teams remain. These two teams will play each other to determine the champion of the 2012-2013 season.
For fun, you can fill out your own brackets on various sport websites like ESPN. There, you can see how you match up with others. The tournament begins tomorrow March 21st and runs until April 8th when we see who the champion is.