Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Trip Bits

Here are a few assorted stories about our trip to Shreveport, because I've apparently actually caught an actual disease, much to my surprise, and my brain isn't working (insert your punch line here).

Gloria's aunt Peggy is in her seventies. We saw her while we were in Shreveport, and she mentioned that she was thinking about buying a computer. "I don't want one," she said, "but Jim does."

Jim is her husband.

This went on for about fifteen minutes, and Peggy must have protested at least a dozen times that she didn't really want a computer.


Gloria and I stopped at a Best Buy a few days later to see if we could find a good system for Peggy to buy.

"Maybe she'd like one of these slimline systems," Gloria said.

"That won't work," I said, "because she can't get a 3D graphics card with decent performance in that size case."

Gloria laughed. "I don't think she's going to need a gaming card," she said.

"Really?" I asked. "Because I think that's exactly what she needs. I think she was protesting the whole time because she wanted to throw us off the track."

"And what is 'the track'?" Gloria asked.

"World of Warcraft, obviously," I said. Gloria laughed.

"Clearly, she's been playing on public computers and wants to take the next step up," I said. "The next time you talk to her, say 'What guild are you in?' Also try 'Are you familiar with the term power-leveling?' and 'What's the aggro radious?' "

"I'll do that," Gloria said.

"If she needs a name for her guild," I said, "suggest 'Rest Home Raiders.' I think that has a nice ring to it."

We made our usual two stops at the Caldwell Zoo in Tyler (as I've mentioned before, one of the top ten private zoos in the country), but this time, two unusual things happened.

The first was a leopard. This leopard:

What made this leopard so unusual was that she was preternaturally calm. She just sat next to the window, completely relaxed, and watched everyone. I told Gloria to talk to her (Gloria is the Cat Whisperer)--she has this special voice she uses with George and Gracy that they both love--and when she did, I saw the leopard's ears perk up and her face soften. I half expected her to roll over on her back.

We stayed there for at least ten minutes, and the leopard sat next to the window and never moved. There was a second leopard in the habitat, prowling around, but she just ignored him. She just sat by the window, being sunny.

I've never seen a big cat act like that, and she left quite an impression on me.

We also saw something that blew Eli 8.4s mind: a falcon in training. There was a clearing behind some of the habitats, and two women, separated by twenty yards or so, were giving commands to a falcon, who was flying back and forth between them. The falcon had a leash, and it was quite striking to see them working to shape his bad-ass bird power. Eli took an amazing picture, and here it is:

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