Polar Bear on the Loose

Chronicles of a polar bear's life in society.

Email: mercuryranch AT yahoo.com

Sunday, June 29, 2003

The spare USB cable for the new Sony camera came while She was gone. It works perfectly for what I intended it--as a longer USB cable for the pocket 40G drive I bought for Her (or did She buy it for Her--these things get so confusing sometimes). Now She can take the pocket drive and doesn't have to scrounge around on the floor, under the desk, and behind the CPU case to plug and unplug the cable. She can unplug from the front of the drive and be on her way, secure in knowing the extra cable is packed in the laptop cable bag (yes, the same one that always raises security questions in Europe. Masses of wires seem to freak them out for some reason--makes perfect sense to me but annoys the daylights out of Her--but She's the traveler).

A pause to discuss the NBA draft. The Spurs did the right thing with their pick--trading him to Arizona. They needed another point guard like they need a rash of knee injuries. All they can use is a center to fill David Robinson's void, and that wasn't likely to materialize in the draft (for some reason, it seemed as if every high school kid and point guard in the world entered in this draft).

I haven't followed the NBA draft much before this year, but I don't really understand the number of high school early entries selected in the first round over reasonably experienced and mature college players. The message I'm picking up is that college no longer defines the entry path to professional basketball. I suspect the other leagues around the world are proving to be a better apprentice path. Perhaps, much like baseball and the minor leagues. Generally speaking, college baseball players appear to be students who love to play baseball. If college basketball becomes this way, that's not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps we'd have people attending college who want and are capable of using the education instead of being a farm team for professional sports. Professional sports teams have a greater say in how their prospects are developed, and everyone wins--except maybe some of the larger schools who could lose the massive TV rights payouts if the European and South American pro leagues become popular for viewing audiences here in the States. Now, if football would go down this path...

I finally checked out my links for Churchill Polar Bearing at the top of the screen. She's going to be disappointed. She has to be in Winnipeg in September for work, but the trip to Churchill is in October. The Churchill Trip is sponsored by the Smithsonian. The other tour is called the Great Ice Bear Tour and is at the same time as the Smithosonian tour (our course, that's when the bears are there!). Both look pretty interesting. I wonder if anyone I know would be there? And would they talk to a traitor like me? She might eventually decide to do one of these things--but why? She has me right here.

Saturday, June 28, 2003

I played with the Archive page option. I don't quite like the way the archive links display yet. I'll keep playing with that. It was too hot last week for this polar bear to do much other than lounge in the kiddie pool on the patio and sleep. It looks like I'll be doing a lot of that over the next month. I'll probably be too groggy to write, so don't worry. I'm still here--trying to keep the heat rash down. (That visual provided waay to much information, didn't it?)

She's going to show me pictures she took in San Diego last week with the new camera. Probably lots of ocean (hmmm...cool, cool Pacific Ocean--that sounds good!). I think She even took some video shots. Maybe this won't be too painful...

I also noticed my Churchill links for polar bear tourism are back at the top of the page. Good. I like those.
Blogger migrated me while I was off line--hope everything's OK. She's back in town, so I can write for a few days. I missed you guys.

Saturday, June 21, 2003

Tuna. She got me tuna. Goody. This isn't canned tuna; this is tuna steak!

Friday, June 20, 2003

I've said it before, and you can bet money I'll say it again. I'm glad I'm a polar bear. You can take that statement to the bank. I am also supremely grateful that, as a polar bear, clothing is completely optional for me. She spends from now until the end of July on the road. She'll be home to change suitcases and mow the lawn, but that's about it--She won't even be able to pick up the mail. Of course, with this travel comes a required assortment of clothing which simply boggles my mind. The first week, She opens the meeting in business attire, then switches to business casual for the remainder of the week. The next week, She spends entirely in business casual, with heavy casual social events in the evenings. The week after is military uniform. The final week is completely casual. In fact, She doesn't have to get dressed except to run during that week; although, She probably will put on suitable attire for appearing in public. To top it off, She decided She didn't like the Hanes underwear She tried to switch to when the store was out of Her favorite brand. That meant a trip to Jockey.com for a re-supply mission. This will be followed by a trip to the mall tomorrow for a re-supply of business casual attire. That's a lot of work. I'm glad I don't have to mess with it. My fur never wears out, never goes out of style, and always fits. Ahhhhh.

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Rain, glorious rain.
Take away the pain
Gone from the Arctic.
Ever cathartic.

Rain, glorious rain.
The outdoorsman's bane;
I be cavorting
You will be snorting.

Rain, glorious rain.
I can be so vain.
For this little rhyme
Becomes so much slime.

Rain, glorious rain.
Please, let her abstain.
Polar's no poet
Surely, she knows it?

Wednesday, June 18, 2003

Hot weather today. Tell me again why I came to Virginia? At least there was a brief shower tonight--after She mowed and trimmed the lawn. (Note to self: Don't roll in wet, freshly cut grass.)

Peanut butter toast for dinner tonight. Yum!

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Cool, rainy weather! Wonderful! I put the cushions on the patio furniture and lounged in the drizzle all day! Did that ever feel good! I laid there, snoozed, and watched the grass grow. I reveled in the knowledge that She will have to mow it. Ahhhhh...the good life. I love being a polar bear!

Monday, June 16, 2003

Where on earth did my good polar bear and in-line skates advertisements go? And what is that mess on top now??? Take it away, quickly!
My custom Spurs jerseys arrived today. Well, one was Kerr, 25, so that was really off the rack. The other was Polar Bear, 22. That was custom. I really don't like the long armholes on these things. I think if I sew them up 4-6 inches, they'll fit better.

Steve Kerr had an unusual first half appearance in last night's game. The Admiral, as one would expect, went out with class. I didn't see news reports of Spurs fans trashing things in the streets last night, so that's good. A fitting end to a season. The media seemed to think this was unexpected, but I'm not surprised. This team was built for this to be their year. As David Robinson's final year, this went according to plan. No surprise to me. Will they repeat? I'm not sure. We'll see what happens after the summer personnel shifts.

Sunday, June 15, 2003

Congratulations, San Antonio Spurs! It wasn't pretty, but you finished the job. New Jersey fought hard, but the depth of the Spurs won out.
Go Spurs Go!

Saturday, June 14, 2003

I got a couple more minutes on the roller blades. I managed not to fall down this time. I definitely felt too stiff and too jerky. Stopping didn't feel right--polar bears are not made to crouch into the position indicated in the roller-blade-on-line-lessons I found. However, the duck walk on asphalt went well enough to be encouraging. Eventually that image I have in my head of me gliding seemingly effortlessly down the street or around the track for laps on end may become reality. For now, it's still in the fantasy realm. I can tell my calves will muscle up even more than they already are from running after Arctic Fox. I really hope to streamline the abdominal walls. I know the human observer doesn't notice much of a waistline when they look at polar bears, but I'm here to tell you that male polar bears notice these things.
Today is a lovely day. I need to get Her out working in the yard. Then maybe I could get some in-line skate time.

I thought Windows XP had a backup module in it somewhere. I've wandered all over the All Programs list and can't find any. Hmmm. I guess I'll have to pull out the book...
Whoo Hoo! Game Five. In the bag! And my main man, Steve Kerr, came off the bench and delivered, once again. Go Spurs Go!

Friday, June 13, 2003

Ahhhhhh. Air conditioning. Much better. (Smile for the daffy Lady. Keep teeth hidden.) I am amazed at the density of Some People. At least my Spurs 2003 Western Conference Champions T-Shirt came today--yes, I had to pay extra for one in my size, but, hey, it's worth it.

And my new USB mini 40G hard drive came today. It fits in the palm of Her hand. As for the palm of my paw? I lose it between my toes. No more sharing my hard drive space with Hers! Yeah! (And She's only got a 14Gigger. Ha!)

This better be a good omen for the Friday the Thirteenth Spurs Game Five. I'll be watching...

Thursday, June 12, 2003

Win a game. Lose a game. Win a game. Lose a game. At this rate, we'll go all seven games for the series. And, as long as it goes exactly this way, that's OK by me, because the end result will be that the Spurs win. I gotta' say I'm glad to see the series being close. A sweep wouldn't be any fun at all.

Two words. Air conditioning. I'm going to start showing teeth soon. Maybe then She'll get the picture. She doesn't want me to start clawing at that puny little thermostat. This place is, after all, a rental, and torn up walls do not go over well with the owners.

Tuesday, June 10, 2003

Blogger was maintaining last night, so I couldn't get on. I'm not sure it mattered. I think I'll be suffering from polar block for a few days. Lots of things on my mind as the temperatures climb, and Somebody still hasn't turned on the air conditioning. ("Use the fans..." I hate to hear that whiny voice.) Hey, didn't I see an inflatable kiddy pool up in the attic? Maybe I'll dig that out while She's at work, set it up, and fill it. It has to help! Hmmm...better trim and file my nails before I get in.

Sunday, June 08, 2003

Game Three was stressful. 84-79 gives the Spurs Game Three and a 2-1 advantage in the series. Good work Spurs. It wasn't real pretty, but you got the job done!

Saturday, June 07, 2003

It's a gray, dreary day. Certainly befitting the day after the Spurs lose Game 2 to the Nets. Dare I predict the Nets will regret this? I offer an observation that the Spurs have played better on the road all year. With the next three games in New Jersey, there's still a better than average chance that last night was David Robinson's last game in San Antonio.

We're getting some steady rain. I glanced out the window a bit ago and noticed the neighbor kids must be having a party of something. A slew of kids came pouring out of the house and attacked each other with water balloons. I think it must take some of the fun out of hitting someone with a water balloon when you're already wet. Then again, since you don't really care about getting wet, maybe it makes it more fun. I never really worried about it back home when I went fishing and hunting. I usually preferred to do it at the edge of the icepack--having your air hole freeze over is not a fun experience.

Friday, June 06, 2003

Series is evened 1-1. I'm never quite comfortable when the Spurs start out strong. Tonight was a perfect example. Ah well. Another night.
Blog Ads. Mine has the "Get rid of this ad." button. I love my Blog ads! As long as they're advertising for my pals up in Churchill, why would I ever want to get rid of the ad?
Yes, Ruth, I gave the in-line skates another go today. This time She helped me put them on in the living room. Then I duck walked around the back yard for a several minutes. (The walking I could do; the quacking will take a bit of work yet.) Of course, I had to step out the door, get across the patio (those wheels try to roll on that little bit of concrete!), and onto the grass. It's a puny back yard, but I practiced the technique. I think I'm ready to take on the road later on. Maybe tonight--not sure about that yet. I want to get a little better for I do this where very many people are likely to see me. Besides, if anyone wants to chase me, I need to feel confident I can get away.

An hour and a half until Game 2. Looking forward to this one. Go Spurs Go!

Thursday, June 05, 2003

Nanuk is here. A picture of Nanuk. I can tell he's going to be a pretty boy, but at least he doesn't seem like he's going to think of himself as a porcelain god or goddess like the other polar bears around here. I try to be friendly, and they ignore me. While Nanuk may just sit there exuding an "I'm glad you get to be around me" aura, he was friendly when She brought him home today.
Game 1 is in the bag. Well done, Spurs.

Being from the Arctic, I don't see many snakes. Twice today, I've seen a young rat snake on either side of my front door. This morning it was on one side of the door and slithered back into the vinyl siding when it got concerned about me looking at it. Then this evening, its head was poking out of the corner under the siding about a foot above the ground on the other side of the door. The snake by itself doesn't bother me, but I'd prefer not to look down some day and see it sitting there looking up at me when I'm in the living room. And this one (or ones) seems very interested in my front door. Oh, and a quick scan of the web indicates this is mating season, so do I need to be worried about a fresh hatching of baby rat snakes slithering all over in my walls come August or September? Definitely creepy. Maybe I'll move out and leave Her here to deal with it.

But I can't. I'm getting a new roommate before this weekend, and he's gorgeous. His name is Nanuk. I'll see if I can figure out how to post a picture.

Game 2 is Friday night. Go Spurs Go!

Tuesday, June 03, 2003

Here we are on the eve of a Spurs game. The first game in the final series of 2003; the 2003 NBA Championship is on the line. Why on earth do I care? There isn't a soul in the NBA organization that cares about one teensy, tiny (figuratively speaking) polar bear fan. There isn't even a single soul in the Spurs organization that cares one way or the other about me personally. So, just why am I all fired up about this?

On one level, in my observations of the Spurs organization (if I block out the Dennis Rodman aberration), they have character. Yes, everything they do is designed to win the championship, but they choose to do so by building a cohesive team able to focus on winning basketball. They win basketball games by signing players who are willing to share the spotlight, because it takes a team to win basketball games consistently. They sign players who will contribute to the community, because when they can do this and aren't spending all their time in police stations being bailed out, they can show up for practice and be prepared to play winning basketball. I cheer for the Spurs because I can see an essence of the illusion of what sports are supposed to be all about--character, sportsmanship, work ethic, and, like it or not, role models for youth and adults to look up to and, maybe, emulate.

Sadly, the players, in many organizations, are the cash cows that bring in the money for the big business organizations. (The cynical side of me says this is true in all professional sports organizations.) The players are expendable. Use them up and throw them away. Hire new ones when the next big name comes along (say, some recent, unproven high school graduate?). The organization rakes in the dough and tosses peanuts to the real entities. All this comes at the expense of the fans. Few average people can afford more than nosebleed seats sponsored by local businesses on special nights without spending a minor fortune to take the family out to the ballgame (if you have to watch on TV, why not stay home and save the dough?). I'm not saying the Spurs organization isn't this way to a certain extent (yes, they renegotiated David Robinson's contract two years ago so he made less money, and they had more room on the salary cap). Except in arena dealings (we need a bigger arena, the arena's too big, and now, again, the arena's too small--give it up already, make do or suck it up and go back to the Dumb Dome--or finance your own place next time), they put on a good public relations front. The illusion is there. They have the team, they have the organization, this is their year. This polar bear is looking forward to a good series with the Nets. Go Spurs Go!

Monday, June 02, 2003

I'm nearly ready. I think in the next couple days I'll be ready to tackle the in-line skates again. I think if I can master starting and stopping, I'll be OK with this whole thing.

What's the story with this Atkins Diet thing? In the wild, of course, I adhere to what would be an almost total Atkins Diet (seals, Arctic Fox, fish, and puffin eggs--pure protein and fat). Then I came down into the Lower 48, and my diet has been heavily influenced by television advertising, local trends, and supermarket stocking methods. Not once have I been able to find my native diet here. Peanut butter and tuna fish are my new favorites. Elvis Presley had peanut butter and banana sandwiches, but I prefer peanut butter and tuna fish. That's where the healthy stuff stops. I go into Harpoon Larry's Seafood place down in Hampton with every intention of getting seafood, but I can't help it. Harpoon Larry's makes the best Swiss and Mushroom Burger I've ever eaten. And the fries! Sigh. You people have corrupted me beyond redemption. I can feel my arteries hardening as I type.

Sunday, June 01, 2003

I'm sure most of you have done a web search on your name. Every once in awhile, I do one on this Blog's name. Naturally, the Blog comes up as the first hit. Then things get interesting. For instance, did you know Canada markets loose polar bear diamonds? I think it's a rather odd business for polar bears to get into ; however, they market them with the polar bear logo on them--looks pretty nifty, too. Of course, the diamond company appears to have just settled a trademark battle with the Northwest Territories over the use of said logo. (I never knew Canada had a diamond mine--see, these searches can be educational.)

Then there's Polar Bear, Inc. out of Ft. Lauderdale, FL, with a web site deesigned by Loose Screw Productions. This site does does a few things right, but relies heavily on the back button for navigation. The positive aspects of the site are the company name, address, phone numbers (including toll free and fax) are prominently displayed. This is a big plus--too many internet businesses seem to hide this information. A browser can also find an opportunity to contact this company by email prominently displayed on the main page. Lastly, they have a cute logo of an absolutely adorable polar bear draped over an auto air conditioning compressor. This bear is cute enough I'd be tempted to call the number to see if he needs companionship.

There's a third site where I can get plans to cut out a large polar bear from plywood as a yard ornament. I ought to tell Her about that one. Then the neighbors would never know if it was real or plywood in the yard.