Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cheddar or swiss?

The lack of blog posts lately has been due to much stress at "A Different Bird' headquarters. I have actually completed a couple of items on my the 108 in 2008 list, but the list will be updated later due to a lack of time. And in place of an in-depth post, I'll just share a quick episode from my morning commute.

Do you know those special drivers that inch forward at a light, until they are so far out into the intersection that you are afraid they will be creamed by oncoming traffic? The ones who are going straight and think that by going forward those extra couple of yards they will make it across so much faster once the light turns green? Of course you do. Well, I was behind such a driver this morning on my way to work. And he kept inching dangerously close to the middle of the intersection. I kept thinking how this guy must have been in a huge hurry. He finally stopped and like the rest of us he waited for the light to change. And that is when I noticed his 'Honk if you love cheese' bumper sticker. I am always perplexed by any 'honk if you love ____' bumper sticker. And cheese? Seriously?

So, this guy must have suddenly realized that he needed to look really good for his destination, because he pulled down his visor and began checking himself out in the mirror. And what he saw must have been unbelievably engaging. Because when the light changed, as lights tend to do, he didn't move. So, I beeped my horn once as a courtesy for the 50 cars behind me (I do live in the Atlanta area - there are a lot of drivers!) and he didn't move. In fact, he didn't stop looking at himself in the mirror.

So, I did what any normal driver who grew up in Atlanta does. I sat on the horn. He finally looked back at me, raised his middle finger in a 'You're number one' salute and sped through the light just as it turned red.

And a number of drivers behind me honked their horns after he sped off.

They must really love cheese, too.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Jeremiah was a bullfrog

So, everytime I mention my friend Jeremiah to people they sing 'Jeremiah was a bullfrog'. It's like a nervous tick.

And Jeremiah, who was featured on 'A Brit and his Grits' here, here, here and here, was still willing to coming visit me the weekend of January 12th, even though I paparazzi him to death EVERY.TIME.HE.VISITS.

And I restrained myself this time. I only took like a dozen photos. And they were all during our walk in Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park.

Jeremiah in front of the Illinois Monument at Cheatham Hill

And again.

I love taking photos of old statues/figurines.

More proof of statue/figurine photo-taking here.

Some nice lady took our photo.

I thought the tree framed the photo nicely.

Jeremiah teaching me how to truly speed-walk.

We found the canons.

Totally posed.

And posed again.

So, while this walk does not count towards item #14 on 'The 108 in 2008' list since I have been to Kennesaw National Park quite a few times in the past, I still plan on doing it again and again in 2008.

let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

So, I am the last blogger in the Atlanta area to make the announcement that it has snowed quite a bit over the last few days. And unlike most of these bloggers I didn't take any photos of the snow. If you visit Katey's blog you can see some of the beautiful white stuff.

But since my parents still live in the same house I grew up in, and that is where I spent my entire weekend, the following photo gives a fairly good depiction of what the snow looked like if my sisters and I had decided to go play in it. And if we regressed in age about 17 years. So, in honor of the random snow and freezing weather, here is a cool blast from the past (ha ha...get blast...).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Updated: Trouble viewing the three-column blog format

Just a quick question. Is anyone having trouble seeing this blog in its three-column format? I appreciate it!

Cheers for the feedback. I took your recommendation, Katey and shrank the right-hand sidebar. I really appreciate you going through the trouble of viewing my css. How's it look now?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Updated! Working out the bugs

**I finished the first item on 'the 108 in 2008' list! And it includes photos!

So, now I have made it so anyone can leave a comment on this blog. I apologize if you were unable to leave one yesterday. I still have some bugs to work out with the new blog.

And thanks for the encouraging feedback, even Chris. I know you are crochety, but I am sure you can find it in your heart to start visiting this blog instead of 'A Brit and his Grits'.

On a serious note, since I have so many international readers, many who had to learn a foreign language, I have a question. What were some of the best techniques your teachers/tutors used to help you learn a new language?

I am currently teaching English to a family on Thursday nights (the wife speaks English very well, but the husband just knows the alphabet and some basic phrases), and I want to make sure I incorporate tried-and-true methods. At English School on Tuesday nights we just use a book and practice sheets, etc, but I wanted some fresh ideas for a one-on-one setting. I really appreciate it!

Thursday, January 17, 2008


Welcome to my new blog! I actually meant to roll 'her' out on January 1, but it took me a little longer than expected to actually create a three-column blog layout. But I finally did and I am really happy with the results.

Some of you are probably wondering why I have made the change from 'A Brit and his Grits'. Well, since I am now back in the US, I wanted a fresh start in a new home on the web. 'A Brit and his Grits' is the story of my UK adventure, and the blog will remain live, but this is where I will continue my everyday ramblings.

And now to introduce you to 'A Different Bird'. I chose the name as a nod to my stay in the UK. 'Bird' in British-speak means a woman (well, with other connotations that I choose to ignore), and I truly believe I am a different kind of bird. But aren't all women? And that lovely pigeon? Well, her photo was taken during my visit to Bath, England, which you can read all about right here. And you can see a full picture of the poor creature, who was actually missing a couple of toes.

On the left, you will find an about me section, a way to contact me, my virtual bookshelf at (and if you aren't signed up on that site please do so, and add me as a friend - it's a great tool for bookworms like me) and a list of blogs that I frequent.

On the right, you will find my New Year's project! I am very excited about this. If you click on THE 108 IN 2008 you will go to another blog, where I have listed 108 new things (or things I haven't done in a while) that I would like to achieve in 2008. That page will be updated frequently (I hope!), so please check back there often. Also on the right are links to some very good charitable sites - ways for you to help worthy causes that don't cost you anything but a moment of your time - and, of course, my archives and list of post topics.

And if you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to find out a bit more about me over the past couple of years. It's a bit cliche, but it's been quite a ride. I've really enjoyed having this creative outlet on the web - kind of like my virtual scrapbook - and your feedback has been much appreciated and is always welcome.

So, please update your blogrolls and blog feeds, because there is a new bird in town. Ugh. I actually said it.