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Mar 01 2009

Gray tree frog of the week

grey_tree_frog.jpg

This just in! The gray tree frog brings the grand total of tree frogs spotted at El Rancho Deluxe up to 1. Hyla chrysoscelis or Hyla versicolor, who knows which. Cottonmouth County, TX, February 2009.

When Mungo, the big-ass computer nerve center here at Spinster HQ, went belly-up a few weeks ago, it took Photoshop with it.

As you can imagine, living without Photoshop has been an excruciating experience. Overwhelmed by the sudden void in my life, I took to my bed for the first few days. There I ate cold pizza and scorched my retinas watching thousands of episodes of a TV detective show called “NCIS.”

“NCIS” is one of the most asinine TV detective shows ever made, which is undoubtedly why it’s in its 7th season and there exists an entire cable channel devoted to rerunning it practically nonstop. It’s corny and sexist (even for TV) and all-honky-all-the-time and one suspects its audience is primarily the teen NASCAR demographic. The incessant background music track is so loud in the mix it doesn’t quite drown out all the dialogue, which is too bad, because the writing on this show makes “The A Team” look like Othello.

I’ll spare you further details, but in one episode, one of the studly young honky detectives gets his beloved Corvette stolen. His character is a stereotypical TV ladies’ man, and stereotypical TV ladies’ men are always comically devoted to their sports cars, so he is comically devastated by this terrible loss. After the commercial break (wherein KIA tries to sell me a cheap car with zero percent financing and a ten year warranty) he discusses the tragedy with his hot honky female partner.

“You know, I don’t think I want her back,” he says. By “her” he means the stolen Corvette.

“Why not?” asks the hot honky female partner, shocked.

“Because she’s been violated, ha ha!”

Rape jokes! Yeah, baby! When you want teenage boys rolling in the aisles, don’t mess around! Bring on the A material!

But there I go again, talking about hilarious mainstream rape culture when I really should be discussing gray tree frogs.

No doubt you have remarked, to yourself and to your friends over dinner and drinks, the relatively scant number of gray tree frog photos I’ve posted recently. It’s because I had no Photoshop. For weeks.

But that’s all behind us now. Mungo’s replacement, Harriet Vane, has just finished downloading a dewy-fresh copy of that most essential and ridiculously expensive software, so the Twisty Herp Department Online Division is back in business.

Thus it is with extreme pleasure that I invite you to behold the Gray Tree Frog of the Week. Our specimen belongs to one of two species of gray tree frog that, except to the loving eye of the electron microscope, are indistinguishable from each other.

This individual is something of an anomaly. Like all frogs, it immediately pees on you when you pick it up, but there’s definitely something weird going on with this guy. Gray tree frogs are completely arboreal except during breeding season, but this one has appeared, rootling in the leaf litter, a month early. Weirdlier, the frog’s range doesn’t even include Cottonmouth County. I can only conclude that the crumbling economy has driven it to wild acts of desperation.

63 comments

  1. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    Don’t know how you lived without Photoshop for weeks. I have mine installed on my laptop, too, so I am never without it.

  2. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    By the way, Harriet’s a great name. Was the late Mungo named after Mungo Park (I assume) or Mungo Jerry? And I apologize in advance if the answer is buried in the FAQ somewhere.

  3. Comrade PhysioProf

    Cool frog!

  4. Alderson Warm-Fork

    “Was the late Mungo named after Mungo Park (I assume) or Mungo Jerry?”

    I am going to stick my neck out and ask if the namesake was Mungos mungo, the banded mongoose?

  5. gerda

    nice frog!
    i disturbed an enormous toad last week, under a log in the woods. i didnt even know they lived in woods! i put the log back as gently as i could.
    the ordinary frogs are courting in my little pond already, the unseasonable warm week we have had is confusing them again. i hope they don’t start to lay as we are forecast frost again next week. gotta love this crazy climate change shit.
    sorry to bore on about my amphibian adventures fellow blamers. don’t worry, i am not tempted to kiss them. (i save that for the slow worms).

  6. Donna

    My dad loves NCIS. And the hot honky female partner. I don’t watch TV but saw clips of it and saw the usual macho bullshit.

    A lovely frog! Looks so smug.

  7. larkspur

    Of course I first read it as “Gay Tree Frog”, and I was wondering, “Huh. How do they know?”

    Ooh! Somebody gve me her old Sony CyberShot digital camera (she got a shiny new space-age thingy with a telephone for Solstice), and now I am figuring out how to use it. I found the pdf instructions on-line. Frankly, when it comes to these wee devices, I feel like my fingers are as plump as Polish sausages. (They are not.) But it’s fun. No tree frogs of any persuasion yet. If I saw one, it would probably grow old and die while I lined up the shot.

  8. NumberOneFan

    Harriet Vane! I love Dorothy Sayers. A few months ago I went on a binge and streamed all the available televised ones on Netflix. Good times.

  9. larkspur

    In such a rush I was, and so I ignored the most important feature of this Gray Tree Frog post: why is it here, out of range, out of season, out of its tree? I don’t think frogs bother with the economy, except insofar as it might compel hungry people to catch it and eat it, but…climate change? Apocalypse?

  10. Hedgepig

    Frogs are so exquisite. How big is this one?

  11. coathangrrr

    “but…climate change? Apocalypse?”

    I’d guess it’s trying to find all the missing bees.

  12. mir

    Yeah, Twisty, echoing Hedgepig, we must know its size!

  13. larkspur

    coathangrr – excellent. Now all we need is a script and some funding, and we has us a motion picture event.

    They fled the meadows, abandoned the flowers, and no one could find them. One brave, plucky frog will leave her beloved tree, her ancestral habitat, and all she has ever known, ready to sacrifice everything to find the bees.

  14. TP

    I was wondering what happened to all the cool photos. So glad they are back. And install that shit on your laptop, too! I only run it on my laptop these days. My desktop gets very little use. Hoping to see more critters and the ranch and hi to Stingray, too.

  15. yttik

    I had a discussion with one of my daughters over NCIS once. Can’t stand the show, so I made her change it to a nature show, probably about frogs or something. So she says, “oh mom you just can’t handle reality.” I almost choked. Then I gave myself CPR and calmly explained that reality was probably more closely represented by the frog show then by NCIS. Frogs are for real, NCIS is a fantasy. I still have to repeat this to myself. In the world of irony, I’m now actually watching reality shows to escape the fantasy world being sold on TV. When did that get all twisted around? Remember the olden days when you could escape into fantasy TV to relax?? Now I relax by watching lions tear up wildebeests.

  16. Bardiac

    Ah, Twisty, comparing the A-Team to Othello compared to NCIS… you made me laugh, and be very thankful I’ve never watched NCIS! I really appreciated that laugh.

    And for that, I don’t blame the patriarchy. Though I blame it for the sexist crap that passes for entertainment on TV.

  17. ElizaN

    As a long-time Harriet Vane fan, I’m always pleased to see her name pop up, and I wish you many years of happiness together.

  18. IvanQ

    GIMP is a pretty good (and open-source, hence free) alternative to photoshop:

    http://gimp.org/

  19. Lara

    I can see that you got your Photoshop back up and running. I was going to say I like the vignetting and short depth of field on the frog photo. And a fat lovely frog it is :)
    But that’s the photog in me talkin’… hehe.

  20. liberality

    I hate television. I really and truly do. I very rarely watch it. And I absolutely despise commercials. Yesterday at my niece’s home where a birthday party for the newly minted 17 year old was commencing, sure enough twotelevisions were on, one in each room. For maybe 10 seconds I watched a commercial and thought to myself how slick and propagandist the commercial was. Ugh! I always take great satisfaction in walking over to the machine beast and turning it off.

  21. Azundris

    Before asking Nigel to find himself a new home, I watched an implausible number of NCIS-episodes with him as an, ahem, team building exercise. Seeing as there is a number of episodes where they don’t even bother to tell you what motivated the perp of the week, it’s probably more of a soap opera?

    That said until five minutes ago, I knew nobody else who didn’t watch it, so I’m afraid the target audience is probably “pretty much everyone.” But at least nobody I spoke to seemed to think DiNozzo was anything but an asshat — he may of course still be popular with the teen NASCAR demographic for all I know.

    The honky female detective gets replaced by a Jewish female detective later on. She kicks arse, but sadly it’s implied she’s sexpos or something. Oh wev, it’s not like she could’ve saved the show anyway, and besides, “my people” means “women” to me these days.

  22. CG (needs a cool handle)

    This is a funny post to delurk for, but I am laughing because my parents LOVE that show and the reruns immediately went on their spanking new Tivo. My mom tried to convince me to start watching it because the lab chick was “just like!” my best friend, which I think means “also has a tattoo.”

    Anyway, I started reading this blog a long time ago, mainly for the grammar (and other) humor, and I never imagined how much of an effect you would have on me, Twisty. I am hearing tropes I’ve heard my whole life, like a girl car ruined by the unauthorized use of another man, with new ears.

  23. lawbitch

    I love frogs! They eat the sketters down in swamp land. I love when they take up resident on my front porch.

  24. lawbitch

    That should be residence. My apologies.

  25. Lauren O

    Of course I first read it as “Gay Tree Frog”, and I was wondering, “Huh. How do they know?”

    Not gonna lie, I was expecting a post about a queer tree frog as well.

  26. norbizness

    He was probably a refugee from the great Bastrop Conflagration of ’09.

    And if it’s on CBS and stars Mark Harmon, it’s more likely for the geriatric NASCAR demographic.

  27. CoolAunt

    Don’t you just love TV, especially the commercials.

    HI! I’M BILLY MAYS AND I’M GOING TO SHOUT UNTIL YOU BUY SOME OF MY CRAP!”

  28. Foilwoman

    Lovely frog. Soon, it will be springlike enough here for walks in the woods with my offspring in search of turtles. “Turtle alert!” is the warning. I don’t know what they’ll do if they see a frog like that. Pretty darn impressive.

  29. A

    NCIS! A guilty pleasure. I am ashamed.

    Nice frog.

  30. Lovepug

    Neat. It looks like my pug.

  31. Pinko Punko

    The Gothy young’un “Abby” from NCIS is played by a 40-something actress, and the character is written to enforce the wild child/little girl dichotomy.

    The show is an abomination that somehow is as easy to watch as the most vapid page turner is able to be read.

  32. BMS

    Thanks for your invective.

    Thanks for your photos.

  33. Carolyn

    What a beautiful animal. Great picture.

  34. caitlinate

    Gosh, i hope that what is implied is that you didn’t pay for Photoshop because it is ludicrously expensive.

  35. gare

    riveting, though scarcely rosie …

  36. speedbudget

    Well. Nice frog. We are getting socked in with snow as we speak. My poor dog can’t even squat.

    On another note…

    I have always desPISED NCIS. I refuse to even let my TV rest on that channel for fear I might accidentally register as a viewer in some kind of ratings thingie. I always suspected what Twisty so bravely proved.

  37. mudcop

    Supposedly you can tell versicolor from chrysocelis by their calls. But you probably knew already knew that.

  38. jc.

    At the risk of being the troll of the week; looks like a toad to me, which would help to explain it´s inconsistent behaviour (aside from the fact that most animals are illiterate and don´t read books which detail their correct and expected “natural” behaviour).
    Of course I know I must be wrong and you have submitted the animal not only to papparazzi documentation but thorough scientific examination. Perhaps it´s the photo shop that is fooling me or just some sort of all round visual, judgemental ignorance.
    Vastly relieved to see that I wasn´t the only one preparing to be enlighted about gay frogs.

  39. Vinaigrette Girl

    NCIS is a guilty pleasure here, too, in the UK, anyway. The DiNozzo character is established as a complete jerk with one or two redeeming features; the female Israeli colleague seconded from Mossad is not sex-pos, but is always in his face; and she does indeed kick ass, no guilt. He’s written as a rape-culture apologist and the said female agent points this out fairly regularly in terms not far off those, given that it’s mainstream TV.

    I’ll stand up here in defense of Pauly Perrette (who was born in 1969, so just turning 40) and is a published writer and film-maker as well as actor: “[She] supports many charitable organizations, including animal rescue, the American Red Cross, civil rights, and gay rights. She was married for three years to actor and musician Coyote Shivers. She has been granted four consecutive restraining orders against him since leaving him.”

    Her character is that of a kickass scientist who happens to be a goth, and she closely resembles a doctor friend of mine, who dresses and acts similarly even on grand rounds (not in emulation of the character).

    So good call on the rape culture thing but not everyone in the show is, um, ‘contaminated’. And as nothing will convert the NASCAR culture anyway, the subtlety doesn’t matter; loads of NASCAR sons swoon in private over Mark Harmon, and equally, loads of their daughters swoon over Cote de Pablo and Pauly Perrette. It’s not all bad.

  40. Twisty

    “Supposedly you can tell versicolor from chrysocelis by their calls. But you probably knew already knew that.”

    Yes, but the process of elimination you describe requires a familiarity with the call of each species, which I ain’t got, on accounta we’ve only got the one specimen. Which specimen appears to be a mute, further thwarting my ID. And we don’t really “have” it, either; we didn’t collect it, it’s still out there frogging around and truth be told I haven’t seen it around the past few days.

    jc, I promise you, it’s a gray tree frog, not a toad of any kind. I have a whole herpetology department, remember? The word down there is that the frogs are getting pushed out of their ancestral habitats as Austin sprawls ever-westward, and that the warm weather this year has occasioned an early frog-out.

    Frogs, as you have undoubtedly heard, are one of those bellwether animals whose rapid disappearance (they’re suddenly down 75% in some areas) and last-ditch survival tactics foretell of the coming climatic cataclysm and of the crappy effects pollution et al are having on the ecosystem.

  41. Ayezur

    For at least a paragraph, I kept reading it as “Gay tree frog” and was all “How does she know?”

    Which lead to me googling tree frog mating habits. And then I learned frogs have sex, when for some reason I thought they just did like fish do, which totally nukes my amphibian species in that fantasy novel I’m writing, which vexes me because the whole point of them was because they don’t have mammalian sex, they had no conception of gender roles. My theory is that internal childbearing led in part to the construction of the patriarchy because it meant the males started freaking out over not being able to control conception and childbirth. If conception and birth occurred externally, they would feel they had more control, and therefore not feel compelled to created a vicious social structure designed to oppress half the species. Also, it would reduce the strength of the mother-child bond, which is one of the other reasons I theorize the patriarchy came into being: jealousy over the intense and exclusive bonding process between a new mother and an infant.

    This sort of thought conga is why I can never get any work done.

  42. Marilyn

    Live long and prosper little tree frog.

  43. Agasaya

    For you science geeks, frogs have a lot in common with the rest us – they are suffering from the effects of very SMALL levels of pollutants which cause endocrine system disruption. This is a major threat to health of the female gender and also a big threat to male fertility. Thank heaven it reduces sperm counts since that will be the impetus for science to actually get funding to address this problem. Did you all know that the original research on breast cancer was only done on males?

    So, for those of us with hormone anomalies like thyroid, estrogen, testosterone levels, cortisol etc, look to the products being forced upon us in every setting. Suspected substances in personal care products are listed at ewg.org

    Here is an article on the subject of amphibians and decline due to pollution of this type:

    http://www.ehponline.org/members/2006/8051/8051.html

  44. Twisty

    Hey Vinaigrette Girl, I’m sure Pauley Perrette is a heckuva nice gal in real life (although her personal character is irrelevant to this discussion). But her character on this show is strictly kitten-with-a-whip male fantasy stuff. The pigtails, the schoolgirl miniskirts, the Big Gulp soda-pops, the perkiness, the naivete.

    Goth subculture, like most subcultures, is predicated on some pretty standard patriarchal practices, not the least of which is conformity to a rigid dress code with obvious ties to BDSM. In the last episode of the show I could stomach, Perrette was wearing an iron cross on her leather choker. I get that the iron cross has been mainstreamed by several youth subcultures, but it seems like a strange symbol to appropriate when its most recent widespread use was as a Nazi military decoration.

    By the way, the brainy-but-hot female forensic scientist character equipped with a fetching degree of naivete seems to be enjoying a certain popularity these days. Another TV crime drama (“Bones”) has a female lead displaying the aforementioned traits. In both cases, the characters are subordinate to men-of-action.

  45. Ayezur

    Twisty, I’m wondering what makes you say Bones is naive, because she never struck me as such. Unfamiliar with your earth customs for sure, but there’s been quite a few incidents where Booth is horrified and she just shrugs it off, because she’s seen worse or she understands where the impulse comes from on account of the anthropology.

  46. Kwailin

    Harriet Vane! Twisty, I did not know it was possible to love you more. I wish you many happy and productive years together.

  47. Fatima

    Harriet Vane and NCIS. The zenith and nadir of fictionalized sleuthing.

    How do you process your Holga shots? Are they 120 or 35mm? If 120, is there a lab that does it out there near the ranch, or do you mail them somewhere? Or do you have a color darkroom? I have a 120 camera but have reverted almost exclusively to black and white, which I can process at home, because I have to cross state lines to process the color stuff.

  48. Twisty

    Ayezur: “I’m wondering what makes you say Bones is naive, because she never struck me as such. Unfamiliar with your earth customs for sure, but there’s been quite a few incidents where Booth is horrified and she just shrugs it off, because she’s seen worse or she understands where the impulse comes from on account of the anthropology.”

    “Bones” does not deviate qualitatively from the motheaten old chivalric narratives of yore. Bones is the damsel on a pedestal, Booth is the champion. Bones is freakishly intellectual and other-y; all the swashbuckling and rescuing and normal human-ness belongs to Booth. I refer you to this (scroll down) as evidence of my claim. Plus, you know that sooner or later they’re gonna get it on.

  49. Eliza

    Harriet Vane. Excellent.

  50. Twisty

    Fatima:”How do you process your Holga shots?”

    Alas, I have abandoned the Holga, because, as you point out, it became too inconvenient. Nowadays I replicate its effects digitally. Not quite the same when you see them in real life, but good enough for the web.

    My secret recipe is a Lensbaby 2.0 on a Canon EOS-1D. I stick the vignetting on with Photoshop’s lens correction filter, then run it a couple of times through a 3rd-party plug-in called Melancholytron. It takes about 2 minutes, as opposed to the 2 weeks to get color 120 prints back from some stupid-expensive lab in California.

  51. Virginia S. Wood, Psy.D.

    This may be my 3rd comment on this post, in which case I apologize in advance. I went back and read Twisty in TV Land, Second Chapter and my jaw dropped to what is left of my chest when I realized it’s a 3-year-old post. Scary how little things have changed. Why I surf the net, not channels.

  52. Ayezur

    “I refer you to this (scroll down) as evidence of my claim. Plus, you know that sooner or later they’re gonna get it on.”

    Oh. Yes. That episode. I, uh, I like to pretend it didn’t happen. It is UnCanon. Bones is not kidnapped on a regular basis; the one other time she was (and buried alive, no less), she and the co-worker who was kidnapped with her MacGyuvered a way to get a message to the rest of the team and reamined generally pro-active throughout. It was in fact the male co-worker who got hysterical, IIRC. Another time she was being stalked by a serial killer and refused to do anything Booth wanted about it. At the very end of the episode she goes home and appears to take a shower, at which point the serial killer in question ninjas into the bathroom and is surprised by the fully-clothed Bones and her big fuckoff gun. She’d figured out over the course of the episode that he’d set up camp in the apartment next to hers.

    Bones is hardly a perfect show and does have its problematic moments. As it is a mainstream product of the patriarchy, it can’t help it. But it is worth a second glance, I think, particularly as Bones is the only female lead on television I have ever seen who has multiple sexual partners over the course of the series (two at the same time, once), and never has to deal with the Dire And Terrible Consequences. The incident where she dates two men at once is even played for laughs, just like if she was a man.

    I may be prejudiced and defensive, however, as I see a lot of myself in Bones and am very fond of the series. Aspies unite, and all that.

  53. larkspur

    “Aspies unite” – Ayezur, that’s great. And that aspect is part of the character’s, and the show’s, appeal to me. I actually like all three of the female leads. Tamara Taylor, as Dr. Saroyan, is especially intriguing. She’s the team’s supervisor, and she can and will pull rank, but she’s well aware that things get done in large part because of the team members’ quirks, so she gives them room. Also, when she first appeared, there was a suggestion of antagonism between Saroyan and Brennan, which was quickly and explicitly overcome, because Brennan was quick to recognize Saroyan’s skills. And Saroyan and Booth were once lovers and aren’t any more, and neither of them went insane over it. Also: Angela is complicated.

    So, I agree: despite its mainstream TV show deficiencies, i>Bones is an entirely defensible viewing choice. Although I’m incredibly jealous of everyone’s spectacularly perfect teeth. All you youngsters who grew up with fluoride – just remember they didn’t have fluoride when I was a wee girl, so we weren’t able to claim “perfect” as the new “normal”. Feh. So very off-topic.

  54. jezebella

    I find it amusing that so many assume everyone has a desktop AND a laptop, upon which one backs up their fancy software.

  55. rootlesscosmo

    @larkspur:

    All you youngsters who grew up with fluoride – just remember they didn’t have fluoride when I was a wee girl

    Not only that, there was major wingnut opposition to putting fluoride in the water on the grounds (the unhinged General Jack D. Ripper in “Dr. Strangelove” voices this opinion) that it was a Communist plot to weaken the US so the Reds could take over. And they fluoridated the water anyway, and lo! it came to pass that the USSR won the Cold War.

  56. sam

    Gaudy Night was my intro to Harriet Vane, so are there other books by Sayers that don’t portray the character as a helpless fool who desires stupid, expensive gifts from her suitor Peter Wimsey, an obnoxious dickwad? It would take something remarkable for me to forgive the author’s maladroit use of the ivory chess set bought during a vandalism spree, but I’m willing to try Sayers again on the chance I started with the worst of the lot.

  57. Ayezur

    Larkspur: Bones is the show with the curl in the middle of its forehead. When it’s good, it’s really, really good, and when it’s bad it makes me want to put bricks through my TV screen. Like the episode Twisty mentioned, and the reveal about who Gormagon’s apprentice was. You know they just pulled that out of their ass.

    One of the things I love best about it is how one of the major tensions in Booth and Bones’ relationship is that Booth is very invested in being Sir Booth the Mighty, Defender of the Maiden Fair and Bones is really not having with it. That, and their relationship is like my platonic ideal of intimacy; whether or not they end up romantic partners, however many time they piss each other off they’re always going to be a presence in each other’s lives because each of them brings something to the relationship. They are stronger as a team than they could ever be as individuals. I get warm fuzzies.

    I’ll, uh, I’ll stop gushing now.

  58. Agasaya

    Well, since we are here to lay blame, I may as well do my bit.

    Re: Fluoride – look up Dartmouth Professor Emeritus, Dr. Roger Master’s work on this and other toxics here:

    http://www.dartmouth.edu/~rmasters/tbcba.htm

    http://www.fluoridealert.org/sf-masters.htm

    The fluoride used today not the same type studied back in the fifties. It is a waste product of the aluminum industry and not the purer stuff. Master’s is a good egg and recognizes that women and children are disproportionally damaged by these chemicals which are supposed to be so good for us. Someone has to buy all that waste. Recycling, you know. We make good receptacles for trash.

    Furthermore, fluoride is a hefty ingredient in many of the psychoactive pharmaceuticals which endangers those taking it for depression etc. Which are also ineffective in half the population due to genetic diversity. But no one will test you for compatibility before altering your brain chemistry – just try it and see if you like it.

    As for Bones? Note that they have to make her attitude towards men a function of social dysfunction/incompetence. It can’t be admirable but is tolerated and offset by intelligence and excellent looks. Not that I begrudge anyone enjoyment of TV – just that we see it for what it is. This is no compliment to a female’s independence from men. Just an exceptional case.

  59. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    How big is that frog? He looks like he could be seated comfortably on the palm of a person’s hand (after the froggy peeing session) without a lot of room to spare. Or is he one of the little bitty ones?

    I’m so anxious for spring. We get tiny frogs who sing on warm evenings (spring peepers, natch). My ears are itching to hear their song.

  60. Val

    versicolor’s about 4 cm (a little under 2″) long…
    But these days I’m bummed bcz I can’t figure out why my son’s Ceratophrys calcarata* is having to be FORCE FED each & every time; my last specimen would try to take your finger off!
    *SA carnivorous frog

  61. Linda Scott

    You are so funny

  62. slythwolf

    Frogs, as you have undoubtedly heard, are one of those bellwether animals whose rapid disappearance (they’re suddenly down 75% in some areas) and last-ditch survival tactics foretell of the coming climatic cataclysm and of the crappy effects pollution et al are having on the ecosystem.

    Indeed, fully ten years ago I had an internship with an environmentalist organization whose sole purpose was to count the local frogs every year, encourage others to do so, and do something scientific with the numbers. In addition to coffee-fetching and general paper-shuffling, one of my tasks was to sit next to a local stream, one evening a week, and listen to frogs, tallying how many I heard of which kind. For this reason I still have, somewhere in my apartment, a cassette tape of the calls of all the different frogs that live in Michigan. Perhaps you could see if you can’t find some recorded frog calls on the intertubes, and then venture forth at dusk and listen to see what-all you’ve got.

    I don’t mind telling you, one noise I had always thought was some kind of insect turned out to be spring peepers.

  63. smushmeg

    I once watched the first three minutes of a random NCIS episode and it went something like this:

    Slow pan over woman in porn-clothes in a corvette. Slowly it becomes apparent that 1) her throat has been slashed and 2) she is meant to be trans-gendered. Rad! A twofer!

    Then, the lead investigator dude shakes his head at the mess and slowly says “Women in convertibles are just low-hanging fruit.”

    No, really. No. Really.

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