Adventures with the 'Blob'

This really sounds like the experiences I had with my first 'mushroom' in Hudson's Hope. My current culture has not been quite as aggressive.

Fungi Perfecti®: the manchurian mushroom:

"The Manchurian Mushroom
My Adventures with 'The Blob'
by Paul Stamets
Updated July 1995

Originally published in Mushroom, The Journal, Winter 1994-95
Kombucha is also known as the Manchurian Mushroom, a misnomer because no mushroom species are involved. Kombucha is actually a mixed culture, a symbiotic community of yeasts and bacteria. Recently, the interest in Kombucha has reached a fever pitch, the likes of which I have never seen.
Some days I receive several phone calls asking for it, or information about it. Many New Agers are recommending Kombucha without reservation—and that greatly concerns me.
Kombucha has been around for a very long time. For thousands of years, say some. It spreads during waves of popularity. In the 1920's and then the 1950's several articles in the popular press touted its amazing health stimulating properties. Some attribute its origins to Manchuria others to Tibet, Japan or Eastern Siberia. Its survival seems solely dependent upon human care as no natural colonies have yet been reported."


n.b. "Chef Josef Desimone of Google makes Kombucha for Google employees. Almost 100 glasses of Kombucha are served every day at Google cafeterias". . . Wikipedia

Yellow-breasted Chat?

This is a picture of my mystery bird. He perches at the tops of the dead trees and sings a full repertoire of songs. I thought he might be a mocking bird. I have also seen flashes of yellow from a couple of birds in the yard. I got this picture of the one I think is the mocking bird and he is also the one with the yellow. The second picture is a Northern Mockingbird I googled.

I looked up Yellow Mockingbird and found the Yellow Breasted Chat below. They differ -- the one below has yellow breast and white belly -- and wears goggles. But I still haven't figured out for sure what mine is -- only that I don't have 2 mystery birds -- the yellow bellied one and the one I call a mockingbird are the same.

Yellow-breasted Chat - Colorado Division of Wildlife: "Yellow-breasted Chat
Icteria virens

Description: The yellow-breasted chat is much larger than any other warbler. Males and females are similar in appearance with their thick bill, white spectacles, yellow throat and breast, white belly and undertail coverts, olive upperparts, dark legs and fairly long tail. Their coloration is distinct, and they are rarely confused with other birds. They are 6.5 to 7.5 inches in length with a wingspread of nine to 10 inches. They weigh about one ounce. The chat’s call is a harsh jumble of squawks, whistles, and rattles. They attentively sing from the time they arrive on their breeding grounds in the spring until late in July. Males are likely to sing at any time of the day and are well known for singing in the middle of the night. They often sing from the top of a shrub or tree and while in flight. Other names for the yellow-breasted chat are: chat, common chat, long-tailed chat, polyglot chat, yellow chat and yellow mockingbird. "

The Toys are in Oregon

ToyVoyagers - Travelling Toys - Little Things on Big Adventures - Viewing Travelog: Picado: "

22nd June 2007 - Veneta, Oregon, USA

Yipee! I am so glad to be out of that package. The flight was marvy but it was a bit dark in there. The crew only came round once with p-nuts and you know how hungry I can get on long flights.
Thank goodness we stopped at this marvelous bakery and got some goods before going to my hosts home.
It is called 'Our Daily Bread' and they also serve lunches there. Yes--it is in this old church. Great food!

My host has treated me to a welcoming party when I arrived and I got to meet some other toyvoyagers and was finally reunited with my brother Morado. What a great day it is.
Oregon is beautiful and I am already having a great deal of fun.

I will write more another day, as I am going to a sheep show now and will have to report in tomorrow with more photos.

Bye! "

Morado has several travelogue updates here.
I would say they have both been enjoying their stay in Oregon.

And Florence is in Austria


Watering the Wildlife

It was really cool watching this little guy make a mad dash for the plant after I sprinkled it -- and he curled his little tail up just like a puppy or a little piglet.


Blue Star Mom's send love to U.S. Troops

Photo by Terry Faust Main Story: "Blue Star Moms send care packages laced with love to U.S. troops abroad"


Serving in Afghanistan or Iraq can be a challenging task these days.But that burden can be somewhat lightened for a young man or woman in the military when it feels like a dozen mothers are sending love from home to each service member.That description of the Blue Star Moms, a Saint Paul branch of the Blue Star Mothers of America, was recently offered by Army Staff Sergeant (SSG) William “Jesse” Kelley, 3rd Special Force Group Airborne, US Army.His mother, Pattie Kelley, joined the Blue Star Moms, a group of mothers who have a child currently serving or who has served in any branch of the military. “Finding and joining the Blue Star Moms has had a definite and obvious positive effect on my mother and her well being,” Sgt. Kelley said. “The same way military members understand and can be sympathetic to military issues other service members have, so can military moms understand each other in unique ways and rely on one another for support.”Pattie agreed. “It’s just been a lifesaver,” she said.Her son, Jesse, joined the military five years ago and is in the active army branch. After basic training, he went to Goodfellow Air Force Base in Texas, which provides intelligence training for all branches. He attended airborne school, learning to “jump out of a perfectly good plane,” as his mother puts it. He spent a year in Korea, and then was at FT. Briggs, NC, his home base. He became attached to the 3rd Special Force Group Airborne and found out he was going to Afghanistan.When she knew he was going on his first deployment, Pattie found out about the Blue Star Moms and attended some meetings in north Minneapolis. Less than a year ago, Cindy McLean started a chapter in Saint Paul.“We meet the first Tuesday of each month,” said Pattie, who serves as chaplain and is on the board for the Saint Paul chapter. She said anyone can also send out an e-mail saying they need to talk, and any members who can will get together and provide support.Support is the primary benefit the group has to offer.“Nobody knows what you’re going through more than another mom,” Pattie said. “My family is so supportive, as are friends, but nobody knows like another mom. They are experiencing exactly the same thing.”


BSM Raffle Tickets


Serving in Iraq a lifelong mission for Peace River born soldier

By Kristy Lesh
R-G Editor
Tuesday June 12, 2007

Dallas Hanson in his yearbook photo.
For a Peace River-born man, getting deployed to a war-torn county is a realization of a lifelong dream.Dallas Hanson, a Private First Class in the United States Army, has been deployed in Iraq since December 2006.He hasn’t been involved in any direct combat but enjoys interacting with the locals.“It’s fun going out doing patrols, working with the Iraqi national police, and the Iraqi army, talking with the locals, finding out what’s going on in their neighborhoods or mulhullahs,” he said in an recent online interview.He has seen gratitude from the locals about their mission.“The people love us, almost everyone we’ve talked with, while doing patrols ... have thanked us for what we are doing, a couple rather articulately in English.”Hanson was born in Peace River hospital Nov. 16, 1984. He was raised in Dixonville, Grimshaw and it was at a young age while living in Grande Prairie that he first spoke of his desire to serve on the front line. At the time coalition forces had driven Iraqi forces out of Kuwait ending Desert Storm.“He came home from kindergarten upset the war was over and he didn’t get to help,” said mom Wendy Hoffman.She said Christmas and birthday gifts always included something green from the army surplus store.In 1992 the family moved to Lethbridge where Hoffman attended university and later moved to Hudson’s Hope. At age 14 Hanson decided he wanted to be soldier.
The family moved to Kamloops, B.C and he became a Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadet.There was one big move, to Arkansas and finally Farmington, New Mexico, before Hanson could realize his dream. With family ties to the United States, he decided to pursue his career in the army there.“He wanted to be in combat and not just peacekeeping,” said Hoffman.After bootcamp and several years confirming his eligibility for citizenship, Hanson was enlisted in April 2006.“I had been prepared for it all his life, but I was not prepared when it did happen,” said Hoffman. Her son was deployed in December 2006 to Iraq. His unit is the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment with 84 Airborne.Hoffman said she is grateful for the internet which helps her keep in touch with her youngest son.“No news is good news just doesn’t fly,” she said.Hanson’s unit was on scene March 9 when Iraqi Army Division reported a suicide bomber attack on a bus several blocks from the Mustansiriyah University at 12:20 a.m. Soldiers from 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, responded and secured the scene, reporting seven Iraqi civilians killed and five wounded.Hanson said on a typical day they drive around in humvees, mounted patrols, stand by as a quick reaction force or security on clearing missions.He hasn’t encountered combat situations.“Our sector is fairly secure, although we do hear the occasional burst of gunfire, it is mostly from the Iraqi police or Iraqi army who use the shots to warn motorist to move out of the way,” he said in an online conversation.“On our off time we relax, go to the gym or the pool and work out,” he said.Hanson said it is hard being away from home.“Although we obviously have it easier than previous years with the 24/7 internet and phone access, it is still hard not being able to enjoy free time with friends and family.”Hanson says his thoughts on the war have changed since being deployed.“After having been here and seeing how the Iraqi people react to us, I feel that while yes we are still needed here, we did not really need to have the “surge” of troops as most of our units here do nothing more then police work and presence patrols.”Hoffman said she worries about her son like any other parent would.“I just carry on about my business, keep in touch as often as I can to make sure he’s okay.”The family still has relatives in Dixonville. Hanson’s older brother works in the oil patch near Fort St. John and his sister is in Ontario. View article

My roses in video

I uploaded this short video today -- not happy with the quality compared with the file on my computer -- but here's my rose garden -- in living color with sound(sorry I couldn't attach the scent)


Travelog: Picado

ToyVoyagers - Travelling Toys - Little Things on Big Adventures - Viewing Travelog: Picado:
"9th June 2007 - Rowville, Australia

Picado has enjoyed a few months down under in Melbourne. He has been to the gym for a few work outs and has shopped in a few centres mainly for winter clothes . He likes to talk to the cat Neddy and dislikes the dogs barking . He enjoys watching Aussie Rules Football on cable TV . He did watch professional footballers .
He told me he is ready to move on and would like to go up North for Winter .
Aus W "

It's my understanding that following his lazing about Melbourne, Picado is on his way to Oregon. More when he checks in again.