9 Thumbs (Episode 54)
In Episode 54 of the podcast, Rob, Joy, and I discuss Under the Dome on CBS, Star Trek: Into Darkness, maps of literal place names, the fashion of Jackie from Roseanne, and a bunch of other stuff. And in some big news, at the end of the podcast, Rob and I reveal that we are collaborating on a young adult novel. Now 25,000 words into it, we’re having a blast and thinking it might actually turn into something.
From Egg to Flight: Our Two Weeks with Three Robins
In early May, a robin started building a nest on the ledge above the back door from our porch into our yard. It’s a pretty nice location—secure, and out of the elements—but the straw kept blowing off the ledge. So I attached a couple of old license plates to the wood, to block the wind and provide a little more protection. The robin came back, kept bringing nest materials, and before long had rounded them into a nice home. By the middle of May, she’d laid eggs.
I took the first photo on May 19 using my phone:
By that time, she was spending most of her time in the nest, with the male bird hanging out nearby on our fence.
On May 30, the first egg hatched. We were in the middle of rooting for the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs, so we named birdie #1 Chris Bosh, who pretty much looks like a baby bird, except for the part where he’s 7 feet tall.
Baby bird #2 hatched the next day, May 31. We named him Larry Bird. Of course.
On June 1, we had our third bird. He was named Stewart. Just…Stewart.
For the next couple weeks, we saw a lot of giant beaks begging for food, accompanied by tiny chirps. By June 8, they looked less like lumps of uncooked chicken and more like actual feathery birds…but still mostly all beak:
They were hungry, and the momma was busy. June 9:
With all those worms and grubs, they kept getting bigger. June 11:
By June 12, the nest had gotten pretty crowded:
Chris Bosh began to feel adventurous and started standing a bit higher in the nest:
On June 13, annoyed with the overcrowding in the nest…
…Chris Bosh stepped out into the world. He flew away.
Inspired by his brother’s bravery, Larry Bird followed his example later that day. He hopped down the ledge, and eventually dropped down and took off.
That left little Stewart, the last egg to hatch, all alone. He spent one more night by himself in the nest, and the morning of June 14, was ready to set out. He started with the ledge.
Then he hopped down. He hadn’t quite gotten the hang of full flight yet, so hopped around our grass for awhile. We eventually had to shoo him out into the alley, because our dog, Daisy, had discovered him. We didn’t want his first day in the world to also be his last.
So Stewart visited the alley, and our birds were gone.
The first egg hatched May 30. The nest was empty on June 14. Pretty amazing. Farewell, birds. We enjoyed our two weeks with you.
9 Thumbs (Episode 51)
In Episode 51, we discuss the floorplans of non-existent TV show homes, the film Mud and how it may be the apex of Matthew McConaughey’s career, the Bachelor-parody web series Burning Love, the short film “It’s Not About the Nail,” and whether Ashley Judd had a personal sweat spritzer on the set of A Time to Kill.
My latest pop-culture column at A Deeper Story posted on Monday, about the TV series Longmire, a Lumineers concert, and something the singer/songwriter Josh Ritter does at his shows. In it, I admit that, sometimes, I just need to back away and shut up.
There have been times when I relished this back-and-forth exchange of ideas. I got involved. I spouted my opinion. I took sides and linked up and stepped into the sound and fury.
But more than ever, when it feels like too many things are happening, I find myself just wanting to step away, to do myself a favor.
9 Thumbs (Episode 50)
Hey, look! Our 50th episode! In this one, bewildered by the fact that we’ve actually made it this far in a regular podcast, we decided to revisit past “likes” and report on them in a double-like scenario. So we discuss the final season of The Office, engage in a spoilery discussion of Gone Girl, and talk The Amazing Race, Scrivener writing software, music, and lots more.
9 Thumbs (Episode 49)
Episode 49 includes a discussion about the new fully digital generation, our online selves, behind-the-scenes pics of Empire Strikes Back, Princess Leia in a gold bikini, the novel Warm Bodies, a new documentary about the magician Ricky Jay, and the webcast “So Totally Relidge!” A fun episode.
My latest pop-culture column at A Deeper Story landed yesterday, about my passion for music and how (thankfully) it’s slowly being absorbed my kids. Also some stuff about my parents’ musical tastes, the Rocky soundtrack, feeding expensive cheeses to preschoolers, and why Wil Wheaton thinks it’s awesome to be a nerd.
Ours is a world that often seems cynical, detached, and passionless. Ours is a world that needs more nerds. And we need more parents to pass along their nerdery to their kids. I can think of few things more life-giving than saying, “this is something I love and I want you to love it, too.”
Pocket Guide to the Bible Online Garage Sale
Back in May of 2008, a truck bearing four pallets and a couple thousand pounds of freight rolled into Amarillo. On that truck were all the not-yet-sold copies of Pocket Guide to the Bible that still existed in the world. Nine-thousand and fifty-three of them, to be exact.
I owned them all. The reason why had to do with publishing rights, my original publisher, a new publisher, and a series relaunch. In short, I had to buy a warehouse full of books in order to move Pocket Guide to the Bible from Relevant to Jossey-Bass.
As of May 2013, I’m down to my last 1,000 books. I’ve sold a lot of individual books at speaking engagements, conferences, and other events. I’ve sold boxes upon boxes to churches who use them for giveaways, as gifts for graduates, or as gifts for new members and guests. I’m currently using about 32 of them stacked up into makeshift monitor stands for my work and home computers, respectively.
Last week I lost the free storage space where I’d been keeping these remaining boxes, so a bunch of friends schemed with my wife to kick off an online garage sale yesterday to help me move these last few boxes of books.
I’d love to get this storage burden and/or fire hazard off my shoulders, so I think this is an amazing idea. (And I think my friends are awesome.)
So I’ve got an online store. Head to jasonboyett.bigcartel.com to buy an individual copy of Pocket Guide to the Bible for $4 (plus shipping) or a box of 48 copies for $48 (plus shipping)—that’s a stack of 48 books in the photo up top.
Yes, I’m selling these for $1 a book, all signed personally by me. Or you can get them at Amazon for $10.21, unsigned. Your call.
Tell your friends. We’ve sold 500 since yesterday so they’re going fast…
Big thanks to Zack, Joy, Ed, Tamara, Sharideth, Preston, Mike, and so many others who are spreading the word and making this happen. (And especially to my superhero wife, Aimee, who’s doing much of the behind-the-scenes administrative work…including hauls of 33-lb. boxes to the post office.)