Happy Birthday, Chris . . .

First off, a Big Happy 52nd Birthday to our son Chris.

When he turned 50 two years ago, I told him, “Welcome To Old Age.” He said that 50 was just middle-aged. I said, “Only if you plan to live to be 100.”

He didn’t have an answer for that.

Happy Birthday, anyway, Chris.

Jan’s doing a lot better, with still a little pain when she moves her arm a certain way, but she’s definitely on the mend.

Rut Roh!

According to a pre-published study from New York University, the rapid coronavirus diagnostic test manufactured by Abbott may miss nearly half of all positive infections.

And this is not the first time that the accuracy of the Abbott system has been called into question.

In April, other researchers found the test had a high rate of false negatives, leading Abbott to issue labs a clarification to say they should not store samples in “viral transport media” before being tested to avoid the risk of dilution.

But remember, we’re supposed to listen to the experts.

Below is a compilation of two blogs from two years ago this date.

I’m mentioned before that Jan and I met the summer of 1967 when we were both working at Florida Wonderland, an amusement park in Titusville, FL.

While Jan was one of the saloon girls at the Miss Kitty’s ‘Pleasure Palace’ Saloon,

Florida Wonderland - Miss Kitty's Pleasure Palace

I was doing the animal acts at the Marine Life attraction across the street. I took care of all the animals and did the performances and tours to the visitors.

Florida Wonderland Marine Life 3

I discovered recently that there is a Facebook group about Florida Wonderland. And browsing through there last week I came across this photo.

Thor and Lori

That’s Lori on the left and Thor, the bigger one on the right, the two porpoises we had there. What’s unusual about this photo is that we didn’t put them together too often because Thor, being a male, just would not leave Lori alone. And then when we did put them together it was hard to get Thor back in his own enclosure.

Lori was the most teachable and I spent a lot of time swimming in her pool teaching her new tricks. And seeing that photo really brings back memories.

One of our blog readers commented, wanting to know how you train porpoises? Turns out it’s pretty much like training any animal, except easier.  You start with something that the animal already knows how to do, and then try to get them to do it slightly different. Then you reward that behavior. Then it’s more modify and reward.

With porpoises it can be even easier. They love to play and to mimic you. In one case I taught Lori to do a flip in mid-air when she jumped by doing one myself a few times from from the high platform.

It only took three times before she was doing flips in the air, copying me. In fact she was happy to just have me scratch her head as a reward, since she knew she’d get a bunch of fish when we were done. I also taught here to swim on her back with her head out of the water, again by doing the same thing until she started copying me.

And you only have to train one porpoise to do a trick. Then put her through her paces with another porpoise nearby. Thor wasn’t near as directly trainable as Lori, but that’s how I got both of them to jump together, as shown in yesterday’s photo.

Another thing that made Lori easy to train was that she love to play, especially tag. She would come up behind me, poke me with her nose, and then swim away. But she would always swim slow (well, slow for her), staying just inches out of my reach, as I chased her.

Finally she would let me touch her fin, and then give me a head start before she chased me. But even then she would circle around me and dive under me for a while before she would poke me again, and it would start all over.

But I think the most amazing thing she ever did was the time she gave ME a fish, rather than the other way around. The pools that Lori and Thor were in were both open to the Indian River with underwater bars and above-water fences keeping them in.

One time an unwary fish came into Lori’s pool and she quickly caught it. I was sitting on the side of her pool, dangling my feet in the water, and not paying much attention to her. I was mulling over in my mind what I could do to get that beautiful redhead who worked at the Miss Kitty’s Saloon across the street to finally go out with me.

Suddenly Lori poked her head out of the water holding a wiggling fish in her jaws. When I didn’t immediately take it from her, she tossed it up on the bank beside me. Thinking she wanted to play Fetch, another of her favorite games, I threw it further out into the pool. So she took out after it and brought it back, again throwing it up on the bank.

But when I raised my arm to throw it again, she chattered at me, her upset sound. So I put my arm down, and when I did she stopped. I raised my arm again, with more chattering and thrashing around in the water. Finally it dawned on me that she was giving the fish to me as a present because I always gave fish to her.

Lori gave me a present.

Since it was just about closing time, I locked up (I lived on site) and then cleaned the fish and cooked it up on a small charcoal grill I had.  Later she was perfectly happy to eat the head and the tail that I threw in to her.

BTW it took me over two weeks and five or six tries to get the redhead to go out with me. Today it would probably be called ‘stalking’.

But lucky for me, I’m persistent. And we’ve been married for almost 53 years.

Thought For The Day:

When did Jake from State Farm become a black guy?
Is It WuFlu related?


%d bloggers like this: