telophase: (Default)
As I'm tired of referring to our resident cardinals as "the male cardinal" and "the female cardinal," I want to name them. As I can't discern any personality other than "male cardinal" and "jumps on the windowsill and looks inside when there's no food in the feeder" for the male, but the female is quite insistent about driving away her rival in the window on a daily basis, are there any het literary couples where the woman is canonically jealous of her rivals that spring to mind?

(I'd name them Peter and Harriet except that Harriet is way too sensible to be worried about the Harriet in the window taking the affections of Peter. In fact, for quite a lot of her story, she would welcome that!)

Using the "Hank the cardinal" tag just because that's my other cardinal story.


Dec. 18th, 2007 02:03 pm
telophase: (Angus the Angry Owl)
Some of you may remember my posts about Hank the cardinal, way back in the pre-tag days of 2005 or so, so I can't find them quickly. Hank lived in the bushes outside the windows here in our basement (the bottom of our windows are at ground level, about 4 feet up from the floor) and for a long time fought companionably with the cardinal in the window. And when the head of Housekeeping parked her new, big, shiny red truck in the reserved parking space outside our windows, Hank was beside himself with joy at the new, very large, cardinal to fight, and managed to scratch the hell out of it. Anyway. Hank's not back, having flown on to pastures greener, and there's no new visitors to our windows, but the library staff break room on the third floor, with its windows with deep outside ledges, is currently the target of some vicious attacks.

I thought crows were supposed to be the smart ones of the avian world. Apparently, that's not saying much, as two crows have now spent well over a week attacking the crows in the break room window. It used to be just one crow doing it. I saw him bring a friend over one day, who watched him attack the crow in the window, and then flew off with a distinct air of "You moron!" But our merry attacker has now found a companion for his folie à deux, and the pair have been beating the hell out of the window for a few days.

They're pretty intent on it, too. Just now, when up getting a Coke Zero from the machine, I was able to walk within inches of the window before one flew away, then I stood and watched the other one work for a while before experimentally waving frantically at him to see if he'd notice. He stopped, looked at me for a bit, then flew off. I'm assuming there's a pretty strong reflection on the window there, and maybe we've got some sort of reflective tinting on it. Not worried about them breaking it, as it's double-glazed and strong enough to stand up to mild hailstorms.

But the noises are loud enough that the first day I experienced it, eating in one area of the break room while the crows were busy on a window in the kitchenette area, which is a separate room, I assumed it was workmen back there hammering something. :D
telophase: (Faustus and Mephistopheles fireworks)
Those of you who've been around for some time may remember several posts I made back in the Dark Ages (1995ish) about a fierce little cardinal living in the bushes outside my window at work. I'd link to them, but it was before tagging and I'm not up to paging through miles and miles of piffle to find them. I called this cardinal Hank. I work in the basement of the library, which is only partly underground such that our windows, about four feet above the floor, are just about at ground level. The view outside my window is a glorious one of some bushes, the back of the brick enclosure that hides the dumpster from view, and a parking space. For several weeks, Hank lived in the bushes right outside the window, and he fought the good fight against his evil rival cardinal in the window. He spent hours doing this.

The head of Housekeeping used to park in the parking space outside the window, and one day she came to work in a new, bright, shiny, red truck. Now, cardinals' brains aren't all that big, and it seems they're wired to respond to "red" as "other cardinal." And oh, this was a rival to beat all rivals for Hank! Thereafter, Hank divided his time between the puny rival in the window, and this huge new rival in the parking space. We watched him out there, fluttering at it for hours on end, sitting on the rearview mirror to catch his breath, and then attacking anew. He did quite a lot of damage to the finish on that side of the truck with his beak and claws, too. And I'm sure that every day at 3 PM, when the head of Housekeeping got into her shiny red truck and drove away, that Hank's heart near to burst with pride at his fierceness and ability to drive this hated rival away!

Alas, Hank moved on to pastures and rivals new at the end of the season and has been seen no more, and the head of Housekeeping no longer parks here: the school now uses it to park one of the golf carts that Grounds and Maintenance and Housekeeping uses to get around.

However, in the past two days it seems that a successor of his has appeared. There is a Robin of Very Little Brain, who looks like a Marvin to me, who has taken to periodically sitting on the roof of the golf cart, studying the window intently. Marvin does this for a while, then takes off and attempts to fly to one of the trees he can see in the window. He's not fighting, so I think he is not too concerned with the robin in the window, and he's not flying at it very hard, he's just trying to get to that other place, just the other side of the window, where the trees are greener and the water is sweeter and the worms are fat and juicy. His peaceful intentions are made manifest by twice today attempting to fly into the Other Place with a beakful of nesting material.

He may, one day, find the way into the Other Place. I rather hope he does.
telophase: (Default)
Hank the cardinal's still at it, attacking the giant shiny four-wheel cardinal in his territory.

And he's winning.

The woman who's the head of the housekeeping department (the guy who keeps talking to me apparently *isn't* the head, which means I now have no idea which person here is head of housekeeping, since I've never been introduced to her) told my co-worker that she has taken to folding her side mirrors in when she parks, so Hank won't mess them up, and she's thinking about getting a big cover for the truck, because Hank's left lots of scratches in the paint.

In other wildlife news, I regret to announce that my cat is getting over her fear of the evil boingy doorstop. This morning, when I was by the door, I hit it again (deliberately, because I am evil that way), and she stared intently at it, then slunk forward and batted it with her paw, jumping back as it boinged. And then slunk forward again and batted it. And again. And then started into shadowboxing with it, first with a right-left combo, and then a rat-a-tat-a-tat-a-tat flurry attack.

I forsee having to put something on top of all the doorstops in the apartment in order to get uninterrupted sleep.
telophase: (Default)
I beleive I shall call the cardinal Hank. He just looks like a Hank to me.

Hank the cardinal is in a testosterone-induced frenzy this morning, and is busy attacking the cardinal in the side mirror of the Big Shiny Red Cardinal in the parking space. There's a bonus to this, as I think - I can't quite tell since the mirror blocks my view - that he's simultaneously attacking the cardinal in the window next to the side mirror. It's certainly kept his attention for a long time - he goes into a flurry of attack and all I can see is a maelstrom of wingtip and tail behind the mirror, and then he perches on top of the mirror for a few seconds to catch his breath, then he resumes the attack.
telophase: (Default)
Update on the cardinal that hangs out around the window. He's not fighting the cardinal in the window as much anymore. You see, there's this one lone parking spot next to the dumpster (the dumpster has a nice brick enclosure, so we don't have to see it) for the head of the housekeeping staff here. And the head of the housekeeping staff has just gotten himself a bright, shiny, new truck.

A bright, shiny, red new truck.

It's painfully obvious that cardinals don't have a lot of neurons to spare for details like, say, species, shape, or even size, and instead believe that red means rival, because he's turned his attentions to the truck now. He occasionally comes back and pecks on the cardinal in the window for form's sake, but his heart just isn't in it because he's so preoccupied with that big, shiny, new cardinal in the parking space.

I think the upside of all of this is that every day at 3:00, when he manages to drive off that big, shiny, new cardinal, he's probably so proud of himself he could bust, as opposed to the cardinal in the window who never takes the hint and leaves. I doubt he's devoted many neurons to remembering that the big, shiny, new cardinal was here yesterday and the day before, and he certainly has no clue that it'll be here tomorrow, but if it gives him a proper sense of duty fulfilled, who am I to complain?
telophase: (Default)
The *real* answer to my previous question is "Because I have this #%#%@#$(*@ migraine." As a result of which, I've got an appointment at my new doctor this afternoon, and since I NOW HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE my appt. and any assorted drugs that show up should now be affordable! (Ah, drugs. I'd be happy with Relpax, which the last doc gave me a handful of samples for although I'm down to my last one and am hoarding it for one of those sick-to-my-stomach ones, but it takes 2 hours to kick in, and if I can find something that works faster, I'd be all over it.)

I also have sleep deprivation since I didn't fall asleep until after midnight and my headache woke me up at 5:30 AM. Woe is me. *whine*

[ edit ]

And that cardinal is STILL BANGING ON THE WINDOW.
telophase: (L stalker blinky)
The cardinal is back fighting his rival in the window, as he has been for the past three mornings running. He still knocks off for the day about noon; I'm guessing that the quality of the light is such that the reflection isn't as obvious after that time. Or he just might be scheduled to work another window in the afternoons.

I managed to catch him with the camera-phone as he attacked. He's that vaguely reddish blur.

Crappy camera-phone photo behind cut )

Poor guy. He fights his little brainless heart out against the rival in the window, but HE NEVER DEFEATS THE OPPONENT! And he keeps fighting his futile battle. There's a metaphor in there somewhere.
telophase: (Default)
Random boring entry.

I work in the basement of the TCU library - there are windows in our office that start about four feet above the ground, at ground level, so we have a nice view of shrubbery and the inhabitants thereof - usually a random assortment of bugs and bird flocks. Today a male cardinal has taken up residence and is CONVINCED that the cardinal in the window is horning in on his territory, so he's been strutting up and down all morning, chirping angrily, and occasionally attacking the window. "WHO da man? I'M da man! WHO da man? I'M da man!"

In other news an inflatable doll of the figure in Munch's The Scream has mysteriously taken up residence inside the office.

Also, one of my rare political references, but I'm a stats monkey and like to see things like this: cartograms to give a much better idea of voter distribution than your normal red-state/blue-state map. (The amusing thing about the red-state/blue-state map is that it correlates almost exactly with pre-Civil War free state/territory and slave state/territory divisions, which just goes to show how deeply and for how long the country has been divided.

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