Friday, August 29, 2008

Zander Pike?

On a whim, Marge and I ventured to Niles yesterday for an early-evening dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, the Riverfront Cafe.

One of the nightly specials was billed as “zander pike.” Bemused at the strange name, and curious about the true identity of this new menu item, I queried the waiter, “What kind of fish is zander pike, exactly?” The stammered reply was, “Um, it’s sort of like walleye, prepared with a special cream sauce.” Being suckers for any kind of well-prepared, fresh fish, we both ordered it.

Well, it was delicious! I initially presumed that zander was a misspelling and mispronunciation of Sander, the genus name for walleye (Sander vitreus), a popular food-fish native to the Great Lakes. In fact, I ate the fish think that it WAS walleye, which it certainly resembled in flesh and taste. Only when I returned home and did a Google search did I realize that zander is actually the common name for Sander lucioperca, a closely-related fish native to Europe that is sometimes called pike-perch.

To Boldly Go, Where Few Couples have Gone Before

For die-hard Trekies, the only place on earth where you can have a personalized Star Trek wedding is aboard the USS Enterprise at the Las Vegas Hilton's Star Trek: The Experience. Vulcan Ears and phaser funs are de rigueur, but Klingon witnesses are optional.
If you know a Trekie and want to do it, there is alot of information on their website.

{Image Source: CNN}

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Walk the Plank

Become pirates for a day aboard, a 65-foot wooden schooner in Fernandina Beach, Florida. The couple will exchange rings beneath the skull and crossbones flag while their guests wear eye patches and faux parrots on their shoulders.

If you are interested in having a Pirate Wedding, visit their website.

**Update, the link wasn't working, it looks like Fernandina might be reorganizing, so I posted a link to Fantasea Weddings.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lame Duck

Have you ever wondered about the origin of the ornithological (or not) term, lame duck? Philologist Marina Orlova, the brains behind HotForWords, has investigated this age-old question and offers this explanation (click on video below):

Wacky Wedding... Start NOW!

Your eyes are not deceiving you -- This is a wedding that took place on three bi-planes! The groom is on the left plane, the bride is on the right plane, and the officiant on the middle plane.  And, check out the awesome shirt (below)!
{Now how did they kiss?}
So, it got me thinking of some Wacky Weddings that we've done or are in the process of planning, and I wanted to share some of them with you.
More Wacky Weddings to come on Wacky Wedding Week, right here on Adventures in Wedding Planning. {said in my best movie announcer voice}

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Pink vs. Pink

As I sat in church this weekend, it was clear to me that there was a wedding on Saturday. The flowers on the alter were just a big more lush and beautiful than usual. And I as glanced ahead there was a wedding program that was pink and brown in the pocket in front of me. So, of course I had to peek.

But this got me thinking. I started thinking about a wedding that we did a few years ago where the bride had specifically asked for a explicit flower. A very specific rose, and then asked the florist to provide other flowers and roses that coordinated with that specific rose. Let’s call them Pinky Roses.

When the bride was presented her bouquet filled with Pinky Roses and others, it was amazing! Simply incredible! The bride loved it! Until she caught a glimpse of a bucket of garden roses in the tent for décor. She then decided that Pinky Roses in her bouquet were wrong and they were too peach in color, and she wanted it fixed. She wanted the Garden Roses to replace the Pinky Roses, immediately!

I explained to the florist the predicament, and they explained to me, showed me the contact, and re-explained that Pinky Roses were what she wanted. At that point, it really didn’t matter, she now wanted the Garden Roses. The florists fixed the bouquet and the bride was happy.

But as I sat there in church, I looked at the altar arrangement, and saw pink Gerbera Daisy’s and Pink Roses, and Pink Mums and thought, hmmmmm…..

Monday, August 25, 2008

When the world and the Blairs were young...

Cartoon Brew mentioned this article in today's Los Angeles Times detailing the discovery among his possessions of the late Lee Blair's 1932 Olympic gold medal for "Water Colors and Drawing".

It's available to read online, but that edition doesn't include this striking photograph that appeared in the print version. The article by Times writer David Colker is an interesting one and worth reading--sadly, it mentions that the Blair's son Kevin (who I think might have been their only surviving child) recently passed away.

What a great image this is-though it's not from the period of the '32 games; I'd place it around 1938-40, given the cut of Lee's suit and Mary's outfit and appearance. It's credited to Jakub Mosur who's clearly reshot the original for publication. One wonders what other treasures the relatives have been able to pore through. Tantalizing thought for the animation historian and afficionado. Do go and read the article.

Let's Eat Cake!!!

There are so many amazing things happening with Let's Eat Cake! please check it ou!

Also a few bits of information:
  • Let's Eat Cake! is a fundraiser, supporting St. Jude's Children's Hospital, which means that we need your help, and every little bit helps, $5, $10, $100, $1000 - whatever you can do to help is very needed!
  • Our Save The Dates went out this week! So, if you are a baker and want to participate, let me know if you don't get a Save The Date and need one {thank you Lucky Designs!!!}
  • We are going to have Let's Eat Cake! Website soon!
And most importantly, check the blog for updates!

Thanks for your support!! Really, Thank you!

{Image: Caroline Johnson Photography - Cake by KB Kake Creations}

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Philanthropic Winery is for the Birds

A freak event in which a hawk electrocuted on power lines created a blaze that destroyed a California vineyard in May 2008 inspired Resolution Wines and Windsor Vineyards to team up to launch Burning Hawk wine, a charitable brand that will help prevent bird electrocutions and collisions. As described more fully here:
10% of total sales of Burning Hawk wine will be contributed to organizations working to prevent raptors and other birds from being killed through electrocution or collision with power lines, windmills and other elements of the energy system.
Photo: Golden Eagle on power pole, by Nick Dunlop.

Read more about the Burning Hawk venture here. Are you suddenly feeling thirsty? Then here’s your chance to enjoy a fine bottle of wine while doing your part to promote raptor conservation at the same time. Go online and purchase a bottle of Burning Hawk today!

Cornell Promotes Bird Blogging

In an announcement that could be a year or more old (it carries a copyright date of 2007), Cornell University Cooperative Extension promotes blogs as a great way to Celebrate Urban Birds! Given the spate of new bird blogs that have come online since the first of the year (at least 41 by my count), it appears that many people have taken this suggestion to heart. I’m honored that this humble blog was included among Cornell's appended “examples of some bird blogs.”

Addendum added 8/25/08: In a comment on the initial post, cyberthrush of Ivory-bills LiVE!! pointed out the obvious, that there is “no need for the emphasis on ‘urban birds’ – blogs can be about rural birds, pelagic birds, tropical birds, bird behavior or biology, or perhaps even birds of the remote southeastern bottomland swamps :-),” a point very well taken. Your blog should obviously reflect your personal views of the avian world. That's what makes perusing the myriad of bird blogs now available so much fun!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Inactive North American Bird Blogs

In an attempt to clean up my list of known North American bird blogs (see blog roll at right), I’ve decided to consolidate all of the inactive bird blogs into one file (i.e., hyperlink). Inactive blogs are defined as those to which nothing has been posted in the last 12 months, but which remain available online.

The 35 inactive blogs listed here will also appear at the bottom of the list of known North American bird blogs (the last posting date for each blog is shown in parentheses as month/day/year):
  • “Witchities” World Series of Birding Blog (5/12/06)
  • A View from the North (6/5/06)
  • Alan's BirdCam Blog (3/7/06)
  • Bay Area Birding (2/12/06)
  • Bird Notes from West Houston (5/2/06)
  • Bird Watching for Birders (6/18/06)
  • Bird Watching in Westcliffe (2/15/07)
  • birdDC (12/25/06)
  • Birds on the Brain (6/6/07)
  • Birdspotting (4/2/07)
  • Birdwatch (8/5/06)
  • BirdWatching (7/28/06)
  • Citizen Science Projects - Ornithology (6/8/07)
  • East Bay Birders (9/18/06)
  • For Elect Eyes Only (5/19/06)
  • Home Bird Days (5/7/06)
  • IBWO - News from the 2007 Search (8/15/07)
  • Ivory-bill Skeptic (now known as Tom Nelson; the last significant post about IBWOs appeared in mid-September 2007--see here)
  • migrateblog (3/18/07)
  • My Backyard Birds (8/-/06)
  • Ocellated (Birding) (5/18/07)
  • Omar's Birding (4/26/07)
  • Ornitholature (5/20/06)
  • Ornithology (6/29/06)
  • Osprey Project (5/22/07)
  • rkbirding (4/22/07)
  • Southwestern Birding Tales (8/20/06)
  • The Chronicles (4/6/06)
  • The Incorrigible Birder (6/5/06)
  • The QUBS Review (3/28/07)
  • The Rookie Birder (3/23/06)
  • Thoughts of an Iowa Birdwatcher (2/9/07)
  • Birding Blog (12/27/06)
  • Veracruz Hawkwatch (6/29/07)
  • Windy City Birder (11/11/06)
  • Invite Etiquette 104

    This next question has do do with liquor at a reception and offering a cash bar. I feel quite honestly, this is completely unacceptable. Try really hard not to have a cash bar, if your budget is that tight, just don't have alcohol. Or limit the alcohol to beer and wine only - take a peek at this great post by my friend Saundra.

    Here is Invitation Consultants take on having a cash bar at the reception:

    • How should I indicate that there will be a cash bar at the reception?

    What Emily Post would say…any references to food or drink should not be included in the invitation wording (however, it is of course acceptable to include the menu options on your RSVP card).

    What we have to add…Your best bet would be to put this information on a reception card if absolutely necessary. Otherwise, again, this is great information to include on your wedding website and to be spread via word of mouth. Other examples that fall into this category would include if you want your guests to know you are having a dry reception.

    I hope this information will help you navigate the sometimes bumpy road of wedding invitation wording etiquette. Please feel free to post any questions or comments. And visit our blog for more fun invitation facts!

    Thanks so much to Melissa for giving me the opportunity to post this week, it sure has been fun!

    Thursday, August 21, 2008

    Inspiration Board-Off II!

    And the winner is......... Christina who created Board 2!

    Both were absolutely lovely! And the emails I received prove that you all loved them both - and had a difficult time choosing just one.
    Congratulations to both of you for such a great semester with me, and I will miss you desperately! Please stop by and say hi!!!

    Invite Etiquette 103

    This next question has been a very touchy issue with lots of brides. Although I think everyone already knows the answer, for some reason durning the planning process our minds get all foggy with mis-information. Let's see what Invitation Consultants has to say about gifts. And have you seen their blog?

    • How do I let everyone know our registry information?

    What Emily Post would say…it is NOT acceptable to list gift registry information in your wedding invitation wording. Traditional etiquette would have you avoid mentioning gifts at all, even to say “no gifts, please.”

    What we have to add…Save the date announcements and bridal shower invitations are meant to be informal, so it’s more acceptable to indicate registry information there. Just as with attire inquiries, guests will want to know where you have registered, so including your wedding website in your save the date or bridal shower invitation enclosure would be really helpful.
    However, if you have any specific requests such as wanting monetary gifts only, please do NOT notate this request anywhere on invitations, save the dates, or enclosure cards. Requests for specific types of gifts should be limited to being spread by word of mouth or listed on your wedding website.

    Wednesday, August 20, 2008

    We Guest Blogged!

    Have you been to Invitation Consultant's blog? We had a guest post there, it's pretty spectaculous {yup, that's my word!} if I do say so myself!

    Ollie Johnston: a Life Celebration

    Mark Kirkland on the El Capitan stage, in front of one of his photographs of Ollie Johnston. Ollie's holding a portrait of Walt Disney. This is the best I could do from the balcony with an iPhone.

    When a man passes from the scene who's been as historically and artistically significant and as personally loved as Ollie Johnston, he deserves a great tribute from the animation community.
    That's exactly what the last of the nine old men got last night, in a nesting doll of an evening at the El Capitan in Hollywood. From the stroke of 7 till well after 10 Leonard Maltin(doing a splendid job) introduced and moderated for these colleagues, friends and family:

    Roy Disney
    Andy Gaskill
    Andreas Deja
    Charles Solomon
    Glen Keane
    John Musker
    Ron Clements
    Brad Bird
    Howard Green
    Bob Kredel (train enthusiast and friend)
    Michael Broggie (Disney/train historian)
    Mark Kirkland
    John Lasseter
    Ollie's sons Rick and Ken Johnston
    Carolyn Johnston (Ollie's daughter-in-law)
    Jeanette(Mrs. Frank)Thomas
    Ted Thomas
    Andy & Marshall Ayers
    (Frank’s son-in-law and grandson)

    Leonard noted that in the audience were Kathryn Beaumont, Margaret Kerry, Dick Jones, June Foray and Virginia Davis. The names of those notable animation folk filling the rest of the theater are too numerous to list. The age range of the attendees was probably 5 to 95.

    Ollie was discussed by those onstage as "the family man", "the railroader" and "the mentor"-a backdrop of portraits representing Ollie in those guises was projected on the screen. Clips of his animation were shown(including the seldom seen "Reason and Emotion" and a never seen pencil test of a very Fred Moore-like girl removing a brassiere-wow), but it was particularly lovely to see rare glimpses of Ollie's personal work: gesture drawings of his sons, paintings and drawings of his wife, the Johnston family Christmas cards--even early student work from Stanford(these last courtesy of Calarts alumnus and Simpsons director Mark Kirkland, whose presentation of his photographs of Ollie taken in later years was beautiful). I could have looked at the watercolors, pastels and paintings of Marie Johnston for's stunning to see such different material from an artist whose drawings you think you know well. I wish there was a book that could encompass that art.

    All of the speakers were eloquent, funny, emotional and thoughtful by turns. Glen Keane, John Musker, Brad Bird, Ron Clements, Andreas Deja, Andy Gaskill...all of them became the young, neophyte animators of 30 years ago once again when remembering Ollie's work and mentorship. Ollie's sons Rick and Ken, Carolyn Johnston, Frank Thomas' son Ted and his mother Jeanette Thomas remembered their dad and friend as he was in his private life, full of enthusiasm and fun; outtakes from Ted Thomas of Frank and Ollie blowing take after take of discussing "Jungle Book" made obvious how much of a spur each was to the other as pals.

    The penultimate speaker was John Lasseter, whose learning from Ollie began before they'd ever met(he spoke of memorizing the particular 16mm prints of the then-difficult to see Disney features in the Calarts library so completely that when he later saw copies without the same splices and pops, he'd be jarred by their absence) and eventually extended beyond animation into the heart of Ollie's great hobby, railroading.
    John's story of rescuing and restoring the Marie E.--the little mine train that Ollie had owned and run for years at his property in Julian, California before having to sell it due to advancing age--was achingly bittersweet. Watching via video shot on the day a fragile Ollie, surrounded by family and friends being surprised with the sight of his beloved steam locomotive pulling up to the New Orleans Square depot in Disneyland fully restored...terribly poignant, and unforgettable.

    Ollie Johnston lived an exceptionally long life-long enough, sadly, to see his best friend and his wife go before him into that good night--but also long enough that he was able to bask in the warmth and gratitude of his artistic heirs, many of whom became his friends. He saw the influence of his work in the achievements of dozens he personally guided and others who've acknowledged their debt to him and his colleagues. Everyone last night had stories and memories that overflowed with goodwill and thankfulness for the life of this quiet, unassuming and profoundly talented artist. It was a wonderful thing to be able to share in those memories and reflections, put together beautifully as was done last night. To those responsible-most especially the Johnston family-a heartfelt thanks.

    Invite Etiquette 102

    Today Invitation Consultants tackle attire... this is a question I ask of all of my brides, what are they expecting their guests to wear. You can very easily accomplish this task by the formality of the invitation.

    • How do I notate what attire is requested/required?

    What Emily Post would say…you only need to notate the dress if the reception and wedding are held at the same location. Also, if the event is Black or White Tie, you’d want to indicate so in the bottom right corner of your reception card (or invitation if applicable).

    What we have to add…for non-formal weddings, consider using the word of mouth or wedding website approach. Although you don’t need to notate the dress on your invitations, a lot of guests may ask you what they should wear (I had a beach wedding, and a LOT of people were unsure of the appropriate dress). This could save you some phone calls, which is always a plus. Please also make the distinction between requested and required. For example, if the country club is requiring jackets and ties from the gentleman for entry, then say so. However, if you are requesting costumes, then you can indicate this, but you cannot require it of your guests.

    Check out Invitation Consultants Blog!

    Tuesday, August 19, 2008

    Invite Etiquette 101

    Recently we've recieved numerous invitation questions, and for those answers, I turned to our old friends at Invitation Consultants. This week we are going to be tackling those invitation etiquette concernts. So without further ado, I bring you Dawn from Invitation Consultants.

    Hello, adventurous readers! My name is Dawn, and I am a consultant with Invitation Consultants. Although our consultants answer questions on our products and the ordering process, we also receive a lot of inquires regarding invitation wording and etiquette. Most brides have never done this before, so all the intricacies of wedding etiquette can be a bit (or sometimes a lot) overwhelming. Sometimes clients will apologize for their not already knowing the answers to the questions they ask, but let me just tell you, I did not know a THING about this topic until I started working in the wedding industry. Try not to be hard on yourselves; this is for the most part all new information. If you, like me, were not all born with the inane sense of Emily Post perfect etiquette, the following is a list of common invitation etiquette questions and our suggestion for how to answer them:

    • How do I request adults only for my wedding and/or reception?

    What Emily Post would say…it is simply not appropriate to write this request (no matter what the format) on the invitation or enclosure cards. The most tactful way would be to address the invitations only to members of the family who are invited. So, for instance, you would address them to “Mr. and Mrs. John Smith” instead of “The Smith Family.”

    What we have to add…never underestimate the power of word of mouth. Your request can start from the bridal party or your mother/mother-in-law and spread from there. Also, a lot of brides and grooms have their own wedding website, which can be created at no cost at many different websites (listed below in “resources”). You can list this request on the website as backup. If you insist on writing the request, we recommend doing so on the either the reception card (preferably smaller at the bottom) or within the RSVP wording, such as “___ out of ___ adults will attend.” If you have a lot of guests with families traveling from out of town, it would be a really nice gesture to consider hiring a couple of babysitters (or enlisting teenage family members/friends). It’s a lot cheaper to buy pizza for the children than to have them attend event, and it will make everyone happy!

    Don't worry there is lots more to come this week from Invitation Consultants!

    Monday, August 18, 2008

    Another Joe Grant tile design

    Excuse the sorry quality of the photo-it's from an Ebay auction I sadly didn't win. What a great little image by the great Joe Grant.

    Tell me how many...

    So, I was talking to a florist friend of mine the other day, and he was telling me that a fair amount of bride's recently have been asking for the exact number of blooms that will be in their bouquet.

    And, while I feel this is a valid question, my concern is this. Let's say the bride wants about 40 roses in her bouquet, but she wants it to be this big. And when the flowers come in, they are a bit smaller than normal, so to compensate the florist should add some extra roses to the bouquet. But if your contract says 40 roses... well, they shouldn't and probably wouldn't add any blooms.

    The bride would then be disappointed in the size.... but the florist did what the contract said.

    The bouquet in the picture above has about 30 stems... sounds like alot, but in reality, it's about average... so keep in mind when talking to your florist, you want your bouquets measured in size not in stems.

    [that almost sounds like "Fish are Friends not Food] - [Measure in Size not Stems]

    {Source: The Flower Expert}

    Saturday, August 16, 2008

    The Totoro Forest Project

    Many of you already know about this event scheduled for September 6, a benefit auction to help preserve the Sayama forest near Tokyo-a place special to many, not least the filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki. It's the inspiration for many of his films' themes and special sense of mood, especially his endearing "My Neighbor Totoro".

    The Totoro Forest Project was begun as a way for some stateside artists to contribute in the best way they could-by creating and donating works of art inspired by the Forest and Miyazaki's totoro(forest spirit) characters. There's also a complimentary blog detailing the various pieces and artists:
    Totoro Forest Project Blog

    The roster of artists contributing is as impressive as one would imagine given the breadth of both Miyazaki's influence and the center of the event, Pixar. Apparently all the tickets for attending the auction at Pixar are already sold, but online bidding is going to be an option. It's a good cause, and a great chance to buy some amazing art. Here's a couple of examples, courtesy of the blogs linked above:

    Bill Cone

    James Jean

    Tadahiro Uesugi

    There's much more to see on the main website. Go have a look. It's a worthy cause in a world of too much development and too few trees and totoros.

    Friday, August 15, 2008

    Font Whore!

    I am a self professed font whore! I love me some fonts! And then I saw this...
    Beautiful, isn't it! It's the most beautiful invitation suite that I've seen in a while! Brought to you by, Miss Cupcake herself!
    I knew the moment that I set eyes on it - two things, after I lifted my jaw off the floor
    1. I now love, lust and swoon over teal and green together!
    2. I had to have that font!
    So, after some searching {in the comments section} it's called Albemarle Swash, and it's now mine! I so love it!!!

    Thursday, August 14, 2008

    Inspiration Board-Off! II

    It's been a while since we've had an Inspiration Board Contest! So here comes another... This time we've asked two of our out-going interns {Christina and Cara}, as their final project to create inspiration boards with Green, Brown and White for a Formal Wedding. No other instructions were given...

    You can vote below for who you think has the most comprehensive board based on the color and theme.

    Board I:
    Board II:

    For those using Google Reader, you must come to the actual blog...
    Board I Sources: Flower with Ring, Table Setting, Bouquet, Chalkboard, Boutonniere, Hanging Name cards, Wine Bottles, White Lanterns, Hanging Flowers, Menu, Grass Buckets, Green Ribbon Fan Programs, Dog, Bridal Party, Lounge Area,

    Wednesday, August 13, 2008

    Blue and Green, oh my!

    A fun blue and green wedding! Don't you love it, the simplicity, the beauty, the colors?

    {Sources to follow}

    Presenting Walt Disney Animation-on the web

    "BOLT" artwork by director Byron Howard

    Walt Disney Feature Animation has a new name(Walt Disney Animation), a new head(John Lasseter), a new logo(see below)--and a new official web presence that went live just a short time ago:


    No doubt it'll grow and change as new films are released. For now there's a released films timeline(with links to the colorful Archives entries on each title), a comprehensive FAQ for artists and interested parties, and other relevant information --not least a page devoted to this week's SIGGRAPH and Disney's various presentations there. There are many tantalizing projects in the works in the hat building at present, all detailed on the Projects pages. Be sure to check out the "Bolt" visdev that illustrates the "Careers" pages. One such example is above.

    I'm looking forward to a solid online place for Disney animation past and especially present to be publicly celebrated.

    A neon replica of The original Hyperion studio sign, executed by Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily. The original was adapted for the new animation studio logo.

    Gouachey Disney Goodness from artist Kevin Kidney

    original illustration courtesy of the Kevin Kidney blog; for Walt Disney magazine

    Kevin Kidney has two abiding obsessions: Tiki art and Disney art. If you ever think either of those is overexposed and you've seen it all already--believe me, you haven't until you've been to his blog.
    I mean, the man's a serious collector as well as talented veteran designer-his taste is exquisite. Go over to his place and see if you don't agree.

    Just recently he's been posting beautiful, rarely-seen advertising and illustration art done by WDP artists.

    Kevin's got the originals of these magazine illos--the better to appreciate their vibrant color and crisp design--and all doubtless whipped up on tight deadlines as if they were nothing.

    Cake Love!

    So much unexpected Cake Love today!

    I must thank Jenn from Hostess with the Mostess a bazillion Thank You's for the beautiful post about Let's Eat Cake!  Seriously her post is incredible! You must stop by and check it out, and while you're there, grab a cup of coffee and stick around a bit, she has some great entertaining idea's!

    And, I have to thank Giovanni and Kenya from Unique Designs for some Cake Love today, too!

    Thanks guys! I totally feel the love, and Let's Eat Cake! loves you too!

    {sources 1st Cake, 2nd Cake, 3rd Cake, 4th Cake, 5th Cake, 6th Cake, 7th Cake, 8th Cake, 9th Cake}

    Did Yah hear?

    Let's Eat Cake! Has a slew of new judges... some famous some famous'er! It's getting so fun, and we're 6 months away... can you believe it!

    If you haven't had time to mail a check, don't forget you can donate via PayPal at the Let's Eat Cake! blog.

    Check it out!

    Tuesday, August 12, 2008

    Brown Tree Snake Alters Guam Ecosystem

    Now that the introduced brown tree snake has “caused the extinction of nearly every [i.e., 10 of 12] native bird species on the Pacific Island of Guam,” what do the snakes—with a density “estimated at more than 3,000 per square mile”—eat? Whatever the answer to that question might be, there is no doubt that they have had a profound and irreversible impact on the ecosystem. As described here, that impact extends to the composition and physiognomy of the native forest, to wit:
    But the biggest indirect impact, she [i.e., Haldre Rogers, a University of Washington graduate student in biology] said, could be altered seed scattering that in turn might, in the near future, transform the remaining forest from a diverse mixture of tree species to clumps of trees of the same species, separated by open space. That could have serious consequences, including extinction, for plant and animal species that still live in the forest.

    Changes to the Birds of North America

    The “Forty-ninth supplement [.pdf] to the American Ornithologists’ Union Check-list of North American birds” includes a total of 18 changes to the list of birds known from North America north of Mexico.

    Six species are added to the avifauna on the basis of new distributional records, while the remaining 12 changes affect only the names by which species are known, including English name (4 species), scientific name (7 species), and both English and scientific name (1 species).

    Individual changes are highlighted below:
    ADDITIONS (6 species)

  • Parkinson’s Petrel, Procellaria parkinsoni (California);

  • Gray Heron, Ardea cinerea (Alaska, Newfoundland);

  • Swallow-tailed Gull, Creagrus furcatus (California);

  • Loggerhead Kingbird, Tyrannus caudifasciatus (Florida);

  • Pallas’s Leaf-Warbler, Phylloscopus proregulus (Alaska); and

  • Song Thrush, Turdus philomelos (Greenland, Quebec).


  • Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) becomes American Flamingo,

  • Green Violet-ear (Colibri thalassinus) becomes Green Violetear,

  • Clay-colored Robin (Turdus grayi) becomes Clay-colored Thrush, and

  • Troupial (Icterus icterus) becomes Venezuelen Troupial.


  • Larus philadelphia (Bonaparte’s Gull) becomes Chroicocephalus philadelphia,

  • Larus cirrocephalus (Gray-hooded Gull) becomes Chroicocephalus cirrocephalus,

  • Larus ridibundus (Black-headed Gull) becomes Chroicocephalus ridibunda,

  • Larus minutus (Little Gull) becomes Hydrocoloeus minutus,

  • Larus atricilla (Laughing Gull) becomes Leucophaeus atricilla,

  • Larus pipixcan (Franklin’s Gull) becomes Leucophaeus pipixcan, and

  • Hemignathus parvus (Anianiau) becomes Magumma parva.


  • Spot- tailed billed Duck (Anas poecilorhyncha) becomes Eastern Spot-tailed billed Duck (Anas zonorhyncha).
  • Another Inspiration Board Off...

    We haven't had an inspiration board up in a while, but don't you worry - we'll have another inspiration board off very soon!!!
    Just thought I'd give you something pretty to look at in the meantime, brought to you by Style Me Pretty.

    Twitter Quitter

    I am a Twitter Quitter... I guess I am challenged at new technology, although I always considered myself fairly savvy.

    I need your help! I hate leaving anything undone. I want to be a Twitter'er... Can someone help me figure out what in the world I am doing wrong.

    I tried, and tried.

    I have an account, but I just can't figure out what in the world I am doing. Wrong.

    Thank you for your help. You can email me at melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

    From the mouth of Babes

    {click to englarge}
    I received an email from a friend of mine recently and it included all of these adorable notes from children to God. It was so sweet, some funny, some honest, and some so heartfeltedly {I know not a word... but give a bit of room would ya - it should be!} true that it makes you think a bit.

    Monday, August 11, 2008

    Engagement {Ear}Rings!

    I was chatting with a good friend of mine who recently mentioned he was about to ask his long time girl friend to be married! Hooray!!!!
    Then we started talking about rings, and what she might like, he thought maybe a mix of sapphires and diamonds - so I sent him some links to take a peek at.

    Today he emails me, and says that over the weekend they were talking and she'd like to have her grandmother's vintage ring made into earnings for their engagement! Sweet, huh!

    That got me thinking, eventually she's want a ring, right?

    Maybe not?

    Does everyone need a ring? What do you think?

    Friday, August 8, 2008

    Oswald the Lucky Rabbit casual Friday excuse for a post

    Because girls read The Blackwing Diaries too, and because they're keen:

    From Brazilian designer Melissa. They're a soft plastic that feels like suede, and they smell like candy. Really.

    SO Excited!!!

    I just can't even tell you how excited I am for the Olympics to start tonight! John and I have selected our bottle of wine to open, and some cheeses, olives, we'll just call it cold supper, and the Olympics!!!

    The Olympics and I have a nice history... one day I'll tell you alllll about it!

    Let's just say that Greg Louganis and I have some history.... (NO, not that kind...)

    All Top!

    Did you see! We are amongst the best now!
    Alltop, all the cool kids (and me)

    Thursday, August 7, 2008

    Have you heard the Buzz?

    Can you hear the Buzz tonight?
    Dare to b Unique the motto of Unique Designs... I had such a blast chatting with them! It's nice when you meet someone that you click with right away, and are able to chat about anything. I've had the best two meetings with Giovanni and Kenya from Unique Designs!
    They are so much fun - have such great spirits, and are willing to do or try anything! Oh, did I mention they are do invitations!! My favorite subject lately... paper! You should check out their site, and then in the next month when they unveil their Couture line, you can swoon and drool with me!

    Blogging in My Footsteps!

    One of our {favorite} clients, Amanda, has started a Blog! Blissful Bride You should check it out, she's got all sorts of fun stuff in there!

    She's blogging about her plans of becoming a wedding consultant, as well as just plan life after a wedding, and life in general, it's a fun read!

    {image source: K Gallery}

    Wednesday, August 6, 2008

    Dave Derrick Draws Africa

    photograph courtesy of David Derrick

    I've recently pointed readers to my friend, fellow story artist and co-author Dave Derrick--but it's not too soon to bring him up again as he's just returned from a safari to Africa.

    That continent, its unique look and its life have been a special love of Dave's for years(inspiring his chapter in Scrambled Ink, an original just-so sort of story). It's been the number one place he'd wanted to go and he took along his sketchbook, his clay, and his paints.

    He's only begun to post his impressions and artwork, but I feel certain that anyone visiting here should be sure to check in regularly to get a peek at what he's done. His observational skills are something.

    Here it is: African Diaries

    illustration by David Derrick

    We are looking for Interns!

    I am almost alittle scared to post this, but MasterPiece Weddings is now looking for 2 Interns. First, please read this. Now, if you've read that and you are still interested, here are the criterion. We do get a lot of applicants, please keep that in mind. I know how busy our firm is, I don't need 100 people to intern for me this semester. It wouldn't benefit any of us.

    1. You must be able to work weekends.(including Fridays)

    2. You must be receiving school credit for your work and hours.

    3. You must be excited about weddings and wedding consulting.

    4. You MUST have good commications skills, know how to use a computer AND type an email.

    5. You must email me your resume first, to melissa {at} masterpieceweddings {dot} net

    I do look forward to hearing from you!!!

    Tuesday, August 5, 2008

    Coming in October

    224 pages. Bill Peet. Joe Rinaldi. Don DaGradi. Roy Williams. Ub Iwerks. Burny Mattison. Vance Gerry. And probably some other people we know.

    Eric Goldberg animates, writes, publishes--and finally signs!

    Well, it's happened again: I plan to do a post on a subject and Cartoon Brew scoops me.

    But although they get probably 20 times the traffic I do here at Blackwing, when it's Eric Goldberg one is referencing the more the merrier.

    Amid designated Eric as the "cuddliest" man in animation. I'd add that he's one of the smartest and funniest--and I don't mean his animation (only) but himself; he's as sharp as a ginsu knife and his wit is matched by his kindness. No hyperbole here, just fact.

    So I'm happy to make mention of his appearance at Samuel French in WeHo tomorrow night, August 5th, to sign his new book "Character Animation Crash Course".
    The book is a must and if you can, you should certainly stop on in.

    Here's more information courtesy of CTN's Tina Price:

    The Creative Talent Network and Samuel French Bookshops invites you to join Eric Goldberg at a reception and booksigning in Studio City this Wednesday August 6th to celebrate the publication of Character Animation Crash Course. This event is free of charge and great for students of animation to get an opportunity to meet Eric Goldberg and for pros to re-connect. Food and drink will be served.

    Samuel French Theatre and Film Bookshop
    11963 Ventura Blvd.
    Studio City, CA 91604
    (818) 762-0535

    Coinciding with the signing, Animation Podcast is up for the month(remember, friends: it's on a regular monthly schedule now-a great boon to those of us who enjoy this worthiest of podcasts)with the tantalizingly titled Part One of an interview with Eric Goldberg, conducted as always by the tireless and dulcet-toned Clay Kaytis.

    Fresh-Frozen Chickens

    The following description of the effects of an unusual meteorological event on domestic chickens is excerpted from History of Weather Observations: Indianapolis, Indiana, 1861—1948 (.pdf), by Glen Conner:
    The motivation for the earliest weather observations in Indianapolis is unknown. It seems certain to have been a scientific interest in meteorology. It may have been a natural curiosity about the environment or a desire to be part of the Smithsonian Institution’s climate network that served the public. Or, perhaps, it was to understand a recent weather event such as the one that the Indianapolis Sentinel reported that caused roosting chickens to freeze hanging upside down. They reported that on New Year’s Eve 1863, the temperature was about 50° F and raining when the chickens flew up to roost in some orchard trees. On the following morning, New Year’s Day of 1864, the chickens were found, “upside down, hanging by their claws to the twigs, frozen hard and stiff.” During the previous twelve hours, the temperature had fallen seventy degrees to a morning low of twenty degrees below zero. It was reported that fifteen Confederate soldiers being held prisoner at Camp Morton froze to death that same night and twelve others were found frozen on a train that was delivering them to the Camp.
    One can only wonder what effect this severe winter weather had on wild bird populations.

    Love Languages!

    I was thinking about love the other day (this is not a rare occurrence)I thought about Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages and I thought it might be fun to review them.

    Everyone has their own Love Language and once you realize yours and your fiancée or husband or boyfriend and you can connect with them in their own language, it makes you're love life and your life-life a lot easier.

    Here are just a few, you can check out the website for the rest if your interested...

    1. Words of Affirmation – Not counting verbal compliments, another way to communicate is to offer encouragement. Like understanding a difficult decision, or calling attention to great progress made on a project, or even acknowledging a person’s unique perspective on a topic that is important to them. If a loved one listens for Words of Affirmation, then offering them encouragement will help them overcome insecurities and develop greater confidence.

    2. Quality Time - Quality activities are a very important part of quality time. Many of us feel most    loved when we spend physical time together, doing things that we love to do. Whether it’s sitting on the couch and having a brief conversation or playing together in a tennis league, quality time is a love language that is shared by many. Setting aside focused time with your mate will ensure a happy marriage

    These are very important aspects of a relationship, and everyone communicates differently. I think that John and I have or had completely different love languages and now that we've been together so long we are sort of melding into having our own love language. {Quit your oooohing and awwwe'ing...}

    {Image Source: Art Files}