Critters

Update on Stars and Stripes Theme

. . . and Where We Go From Here.

After many attempts at picking through the old “Stars and Stripes” theme code to try and achieve compatibility with the newer versions of WordPress, I have concluded that I don’t think I can get there from here. Therefore, I am going to abandon further attempts at trying to make the old theme work. I am disappointed with this decision, but it is what it is.

Going forward, my plan is to continue using the bland, no frills default theme for the time being, while looking into some of the newer platform features to customize into a new S&S theme. I am not giving the effort much of a time budget in our busy schedule (wink) but it will give me something to look into when I get some spare time (wink again).

In the meantime, go look at a video I uploaded to U2B with Damsel and our new pup, Tucker . . .

AZ – The Venomous Critters Capital of the U.S.

Image: Map of U.S. showing venomous animals per state – click on the image to enlarge.

One of the guys in our AZCDL group posted this map on social media. I’m not sure about the source of the data, but this map recognizes that we’re clearly the venomous critter capital of the U.S.

I did some more research on this and found that we have many venomous critters, most of which we’ve not seen here in our little corner of the desert.

Of the thirty or more venomous animals, we have only personally seen the following few:

To be accurate, the toad isn’t actually venomous, but secretes a toxin when handled which can cause problems (i.e. psychedelic hallucinations or illness or death) for the handler. Luckily, neither we nor our dogs have been affected by any of the venoms or toxins of the local wildlife.

Of all the dangerous critters in our desert, only a few are venomous. There are cougars, bears, javelina and coyotes around this area – all can be dangerous for us and/or the dogs. Fortunately, we have only seen the latter two species on our property; javelina and coyotes unless infected with something tend to shy away from two-legged mammals. In case any of the former species show up (bears or cougars) we’re always carrying our 9mm and .38 cal. protection to discourage any advances by them.

Meet Tucker

As we mentioned in our comments from last month’s post about losing Bay Bay, we were going to look for another dog to rescue. Well, today the Humane Society of Wickenburg had an adoption event at our local Tractor Supply store and just like that, we adopted Mr. Tuxedo whom we will call Tuck Tuck for short. He is a long haired Chihuahua with mostly black fur and a bit of white here and there. He is about a year old and was found wandering around in Wittman, about 20 miles southeast of Wickenburg.

He has only been “home” for a couple of hours, but is fitting in nicely with our activities and with the other dog. He is a very affectionate little guy and seems to demand a little attention which we happily have given. He has a good appetite, can be frisky at times, is leash trained and mostly housebroken. We are looking forward to taking care of him for a long time. In the (clickable) image above, he is resting his head on Damsel’s leg while getting rubbed. Just now, as I was typing in the story, he came into the office jumped into my lap and is resting as I finish this. I think we’re all happy about our new mutual relationship.

UPDATE 03-16-22: Since the adoption last week, we decided to dump the “Mr. Tuxedo” name and just call him “Tucker.” He is already recognizing and answering to the new moniker.

Return of the Turkey Buzzards

buzzard.jpg

We know that spring is about to begin when we see cactus flower buds starting to form and the migrating Turkey Buzzards return from their winter repose down in Mexico.

Despite the cooler weather we’re currently experiencing due to a cold frontal passage, we see new cactus flower buds on our Beavertail and Hedgehog Cacti as well as seeing Turkey Buzzards soaring in the skies above. It should start warming up soon probably towards the middle (Beware the Ides) or the end of March. By June, we ought to be in our “dry heat” season during which the Buzzards remain and will so until after October when they again depart for Mexico’s warmer climate.

The photo above is an old one which I took in May of 2011, soon after we made the permanent move to Arizona. That was before we assimilated. Now, after nearly a dozen years, we can foretell seasonal changes via flora and fauna indicators. Click on the image to enlarge.

So Long, Beethoven

“Beethoven” A.K.A. “Bay Bay,” sadly, is no longer with us. He passed last evening (Valentine’s Day) at the Vet who performed the euthanasia. The poor little guy had acute kidney failure and had lost most of his appetite and finally stopped eating last week and he stopped hydrating on Sunday. We had little choice but to take him in for the procedure. He had lost nearly half of his body weight since a month ago. Damsel and I are devastated and miss him terribly.

We adopted him when he was a year and a half old on September 29, 2011 and he had been our constant companion for over ten years, so we can’t complain about having been with him for quite a long time, as dogs go. Bay Bay’s 12th birthday would have been in a couple of weeks on March 2nd.

So Long, Little Buddy – See you on the other side …

WordPress and PHP Upgrade Complete

Arizona CardinalToday, we upgraded both WordPress on the blogsite and the Version of PHP on the server side. It turned out to be a several-step process with two intermediate WP upgrades in addition to the final WP update. We should be good for a while now that everything is copasetic with the Server configuration.

Image – An Arizona Cardinal is easily spotted hiding among the thinning leaves of our backyard mesquite tree. Click on the image to enlarge.

As you can see, the WP stock default theme is being used in lieu of our custom theme from before the change. This will be the theme until I can find a replacement theme that I can customize to resemble the previous theme. This may take some time since most of the WP themes I have been looking at are unsuitable for our familiar two column arrangement.

Thanks for your patience while we go about getting things customized. I still have our Food Blog site to upgrade, so I better get to that.

Labor Day 2021

Cardinal in Mesquite Tree

While the image above has nothing to do with it being a holiday, it reminds us of the constant array of natural wildlife that we observe here in our little corner of the Sonoran Desert. This is a male of the species Cardinalis Cardinalis or Northern Cardinal perched in our mesquite tree on the little hill behind our RV Drive. Click on the image to enlarge.

Back to the Labor Day topic – The holiday supposedly honors the work done by labor unions to improve life in America. Personally, I believe Americans in the workplace determined to do a good job, regardless of their affiliation with a union, are responsible for the success of our nation. During my careers in Aerospace, Electronics, Aviation and the Navy, we have observed good productivity regardless of the presence of a union in the workplace. Actually, my experience with unions has shown that productivity is decreased by some of their rigid rules in the workplace. YMMV.

goa-brace-feedback.jpgChanging the subject, have you made your comments in opposition to the ATF’s unconstitutional proposed rules for Pistol Stabilizing Braces? The Puppet in Chief’s flunkies have proposed to change the definition of sporting pistols with braces to “Short Barreled Rifles.” The rule, if adopted, would make up to 40,000,000 owners of Pistols to register them and pay the $200 NFA tax. Please go to this GOA website and make your comment in opposition to the rule. Note that while many are not affected by this rule change, that the ATF will likely continue down the path of making legal rifles and pistols similarly NFA items. This and the previously issued NPRM about homebuilt firearms cannot become enforceable. Just do it. The GOA site makes it a simple two minute job to oppose this unconstitutional rule. The QR Code at the right takes you to the GOA link.

In other news, I have been diagnosed with an inguinal hernia. I will be having that surgically repaired in a few days, so your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.

Meanwhile, the Labor Day festivities here will be including Grilled Tri-Tip Steaks while Damsel is providing the Baked Beans and ‘Tater Salad on the side. We hope you enjoy your holiday as much as we will enjoy ours.