Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The Zoo, Again

I went to the zoo again today, this time alone, just to take a walk. Since it was a weekday with cold, overcast weather, the zoo was mostly empty, so I was able to get into the butterfly pavilion.

Here's a random butterfly. There are many, many different species of butterflies in the exhibit, all mingling peacefully. None landed on me, but some flew close to my face.

And elsewhere in the zoo, some wild turkeys have moved in. They are not technically zoo animals, as they roam free and I've seen them hop in and out of several exhibits all over the east end of the zoo. I guess they've decided that the zoo is easy living. I wonder if they're refugees from the flock that I usually see in the ditches along the interstate.

Here's a turkey hanging out with a peacock. At first, it seems like an odd juxtaposition, but it really makes sense. They're about the same size and build, and the males of both species show off by fanning their tails. They have a lot in common.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A Day at the Zoo

I went to the Henry-Doorly Zoo today with my ten-year-old goddaughter and her family. We had a picnic, saw lots of cool critters, and generally had a ton of fun. However, we didn't get to see the new butterfly pavilion because the zoo was packed to the brim with people, and the crowds at the pavilion were insane. When we arrived at the zoo at 11:00 am, we were given tickets that would admit us to the pavilion between 4:00 and 4:30. By 3:00, we were totally pooped and ready to call it a day. Then we went out for ice cream at the famous Zesto's. Despite the fact that I've lived in Omaha for many, many years, it was my first trip to Zesto's. I'd never seen strawberry soft-serve ice cream before, but it was so good that I'll definitely go back. It would make a good cap for any zoo trip.

So here are a few photo highlights . . .

The tapirs were all lovey-dovey. So cute!

Ball o' lemurs up on the ledge.

Mr. Bobcat was showing off for a change.

The okapi was out and about. Such a beautiful creature.

Giraffes and penguins living together. 'Tain't natural, but they seem happy.

The peacock was struttin' his stuff for the ladies.

The leafy sea dragon is one of the most elegant and exquisite animals I know of.

Shark! Look at all those teeth!

And this fish is just plain weird. I don't know what it is, but it looks like it's trying to grow up to be a narwhale.

That's all for now. Have a great weekend!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Doritos: The Quest

Okay, because I'm a sucker for gimmicky foods, I bought a bag of Doritos: The Quest. Matrix-green letters on the shiny black bag promise, "Guessing the flavor is just the beginning . . ." For me, I expect it may be the end, as well.

As I open the bag, the tangy smell makes my nose tingle. My first thought is lime. My second is vinegar.

The underlying color of the chips is yellow with brown speckles. However, a splotchy pale green haze shadows the valleys of the chip's surface. There's a heavy dusting of large white crystals, which I presume are salt. I'll be honest . . . the shade of green is not the most appealing. It's not guacamole green, nor lime green. It's sort of . . . something-left-sitting-too-long green.

Okay, now to taste it . . .

Lime is the overwhelming flavor. Also, they are very salty. There's a zippy zing going that I don't have a name for. It's kind of interesting, though, and not at all unpleasant.

I don't drink, but I've heard that tequila typically has a lime-and-salt thing going. So maybe they're tequila flavored? But since I've never tasted tequila, I can't really confirm that. The chips are pretty tasty, though. But very, very, very salty. Oh my God, now I'm incredibly thirsty.

Time to chug some water.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Lesbian (gay women) vs. Lesbian (people of Lesbos)

Saw this in the news this morning:

People of Lesbos take gay group to court over term 'Lesbian'

I don't know how they expect to change widespread global use of the word "Lesbian." However, I see their point. It's probably easier to come up with another good term for gay women (bland as "gay women" is, it would probably suffice), than for the people of Lesbos (who have been properly called Lesbians for millennia) to find another name.

So if the word "Lesbian" becomes restricted to the geographic designator in Greece, would the rest of the world follow? Not immediately, but over decades, I suppose it's possible that global use of the word could shift. It probably would anyway, with or without this lawsuit, as it is the nature of language to change.