Zit Over?

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Turkeys are cautious creatures. Under those feathers lies a tastiness that causes an extremely high mortality rate come November. We mentioned in an earlier post how turkeys have begun managing this problem, the getting eaten problem,  ( http://www.bigshotsnow.com/surrealism-and-turkeys-a-holiday-story/ ) here at *The Institute, but we felt that we should delve into what happens after the holiday is over. When everyone is stuffed to the gills so to speak with their hapless cousins.

The genetically changed birds who have been safely (see above post) but surrealistically hidden begin their trek back to the easy but generally safe pickings around The Institute. Meanwhile the unchanged or non-GMO original turkeys come out of whatever haphazard hiding place they have been in.

Since Turkeys have a unique calendar, one that unfortunately has only eleven days to the month on it that resides mainly in their heads, and because they cannot hold things like calendars with their fat yellow feet, they miss out on about half the stuff that goes on around them during that part of the month that doesn’t coincide with our human calendar. Unfortunately for them Thanksgiving falls on the missing days of their pretty dumb calendar but appears with startling clarity on ours. You can see the problems that this might cause our friends the turkeys.

Consequently beginning on the first day of November they begin scratching the days of the month on a nearby rock with their beaks to mark off the days until they should hide real good. It is important that they accurately mark off the days as they have to estimate how long it is after their eleven days of their month have been used up that they must hide for the next two weeks that aren’t covered by their calendar. This is important because if they screw up and come out say the day or two before Thanksgiving………. Well you know what can happen, and given the high demand for their participation at the holiday table this can be disastrous for their Christmas plans.

On that first day of reappearance they are understandably nervous and jittery. The have to figure out if they’ve done a good job of estimating or not. What day is it exactly they ask. They can’t depend on their own calendar due its unsatisfactory composition. That’s why when you see turkeys in the wild like this bunch their heads are on a swivel and their cries of “Hey you know what day it is? Thanksgiving, zit over” ring through the neighborhood.

This bunch was lucky, they timed it just perfectly and emerged on the 26th of November just when humans are looking at the turkey carcasses sitting on the kitchen counters thinking “OK that’s about enough Turkey for a while.” So they’re safe for the next year if you don’t count coyotes or Great Horned Owls or some of the younger birds getting on crack or something.

Due to the paucity of large breasted turkeys this holiday the Director and his right hand woman with their very good friends had Cornish Game hens this Thanksgiving and you know what, they tasted just like Turkey.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

Surrealism and Turkeys A Holiday Story

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Surrealism is seldom affiliated with Turkeys or the day in which we eat them. It is usually thought of as an art movement where in the words of one artsy art guy, its aim was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality”. It’s like a really big deal in art circles and everyone who knows about it is very proud of their knowledge. Mainly because most real people don’t know what it is and the art guys get to look very smart when they talk about it.

So whats that got to do with turkeys, Thanksgiving, and the proper preparation of their carcasses. Normally we’d say not much, but in the case of our free-range turkeys here on *The Institute’s grounds it’s a very big deal, huge actually. Because of the fact that our Institute’s hunters, I mean gatherers go out and collect about 150 male, female and children turkeys to feed our staff, interns and hangers-on each Thanksgiving, the turkeys have become very adept at camouflaging themselves in the weeks leading up to their Day of Doom as they call it. So adept that they have changed their DNA and developed strategic methods of keeping themselves from being harvested.

In the image above you can see one of the abilities that they have developed which is to project a dreamy, fog enshrouded look, a surrealistic mood if you will, to hide their passage past the commissary and its lurking Turkey harvesters. How is this possible you ask? It took us a long time to figure this one out ourselves, but after capturing one male turkey and giving him a tour of the modern hygienically sterile robotically equipped turkey processing center and offering him immunity, he spilled his guts (figuratively speaking) and showed us his genetically improved body. There are glands beneath their wings that will emit a heavy misty fog like atmosphere around them as they walk and flap their wings. The more they flap the greater the fog until they are virtually undetectable. This is pretty remarkable if not unbelievable when you think about it.

The turkey above is one Mrs. Breton with her children Andre, Cecily and Yolanda, A Surrealist of the first order, heading off into the far reaches of the Institutes back country until the holidays are over. As they pass through the fog they utilize the other major protective defense they have developed, a substance they call turkey sweat which is secreted by more glands on the bottoms of their feet. As they walk they leave a trail of this turkey sweat which has strong hallucinogenic properties that are picked up and dispersed thru the fog causing anyone within 800 yards of the turkeys to see things very differently. Everything becomes extremely surrealistic. Kind of like that acid trip you came down from once while rafting down the Colorado river and watching the walls of the Grand Canyon turn vivid hues of color like an old Technicolor movie before melting and threatening to capsize the boat.

We had been wondering why our Turkey harvest had gone from the hundreds down to like four this year. Now we know. Everybody connected with harvesting the usually plentiful flock of birds has been sitting around in the meadow chewing on grass stems and looking at the sun for long periods of time. Although we have our anti-hallucinogenic department working feverishly on an antidote to the Turkey problem it looks like we’ll be having sauerkraut tacos with fried okra and perhaps some spaghetti dumplings for Thanksgiving dinner this year. But that’s better than nothing at all which is what the Canadians have each year as they thoughtlessly continue to not celebrate Thanksgiving. They’re fat, dumb and happy up there eating moose parts with lard cakes and spam balls dipped in pine needles. But that’s their choice. If they weren’t so nice we’d hold that against them.

We hope to have the Turkey problem under control next year at this time but in the meantime everyone here at The Institute wishes you a very Happy Thanksgiving. If you feel funny later in the day it was probably the turkey. Just lay down for a while. It should be ok.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

The Yellowstone Zephyr

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It’s 3:17 in the afternoon at the pull out close to the northeastern end of the Lamar valley and everyone is in place waiting for the daily arrival of the Yellowstone Zephyr. Just like the trainspotters of days gone by who would wait at their favorite vantage point to see the Wabash Cannonball zoom by, smoke belching from its magnificent smokestack, cinders flying, huge steel wheels spinning, their spokes a solid whirling gray mass in the center of the rims, its side rods a furious blur of impossible action, every part of it screaming noise and fury and action we wait for the arrival of the golden eagle named the Yellowstone Zephyr.

Off in the distance way down where the Lamar river makes the wide slow bend around that rocky point, over the beaver pond with its chewed trees and flat water there is a dark speck and some ones cries “There it is. It’s coming!” and everyone shades their eyes frantic to pick up its image. Cameras are readied and held up to eager eyes, fingers flying over last-minute settings. You only get a few scant seconds to take your shots as the Zephyr screams by. You hear the sound of wind rushing through its primaries and speeding across the top surface of its wings as it gets closer and louder until all you can hear is the whistling boiling sound of the turbulence behind it as it comes racing over the sage and rabbit brush. You struggle to keep it in your viewfinder and hope for the best as you fire off a burst of images hoping that one of them will be in focus and clear enough to use. Then it’s gone.

If you did your best and were prepared you might get one good shot for your time and effort. If you didn’t and missed the opportunity there’s always tomorrow. Be there, find a good spot to stand, have your camera set and your nerves in check and watch the countdown on your watch. When it  hits 3:17 be ready. Maybe today you’ll get  lucky and get that shot you’ve been dreaming of. But pay attention, the Yellowstone Zephyr waits for no one.

Observers

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Oh my goodness!!! What just happened here? Many years ago, like around 128 Badillion B.C. the Intergalactic Political Policing commission came to Earth, although it wasn’t called Earth then but Flyspeck9278459331 on the then used Dull Normal Planetoid scale, to observe the current inhabitants election process. Above is a selfie they took shortly after landing.

After they observed our attempts to wisely choose our leaders and maintain a workable political system they immediately diverted a moon-sized comet from the nether regions of the universe to smack into us and wipe out all signs of sentient life on our planet. This was intended to be a warning to anyone who came later to get their crap together and not be gonzo nuts.

However *The institute who, by the way, keeps in close contact with the IPPC (Intergalactic Political Policing commission) as a precaution and to be aware of their current thinking about our planet, so as not to be included in getting wiped out with everybody else next time, has learned that we have stepped in it again, according to the Chief Supreme Really Qualified Helmet-head leader guy (1st big one on the left above) of the IPPC. Accordingly due to our apparent world-wide psychosis and gullibility, we are not fit to govern ourselves.

Consequently they have once again, and we can say they were pretty darn exasperated with us this time, diverted a planetary body roughly the size of Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan all rolled into one lumpy ball of solid rock traveling at just below the speed of light to crash into the D.C. area mid-afternoon on a Wednesday around 2175. This asteroid, comet, planetoid whatever you want to call it, is known as 1999 RQ36 according to NASA and is the real deal verifiable by googling “Impact Event” and “big freaking rock things that can hit earth” even without the IPPC improving their aim.

We, meaning *The Institute and those people we like and who have adequately sucked up to us, have petitioned for our transfer to another earth-like planet with pre-built housing that is neater than we have now, with better WiFi and no taxes and the ability to send back to the Cinder That Was Earth anyone who proposes to be our leader again. Since we have majorly sucked up to the IPPC, one by repeatedly telling them what a good job they’re doing, and two, ratting out the current band of politicians, we feel we stand a good chance of getting out of here when the asteroid hits the fan, so to speak.

If you’re one of those who think that we’re in deep kimchi, politically, then I suggest you immediately begin sucking up to us at your earliest convenience.  And Yes, We will be keeping lists so act sincere when you tell us how good a job we’re doing.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind. Return to your daily activities. Thank you for your support.

 

Portrait Of A Roseate Spoonbill

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Portraits are a way of immortalizing someone, a place, or even a thing. Once the central feature of the portrait is established down on canvas it begins to change, it takes on a new life. One filled with mystery, beauty, intrigue,and perhaps hidden meanings. A common person, place or thing becomes just the opposite. It becomes an object of importance way beyond its everyday appearance and is elevated to a level of grandeur it seldom if ever, attains in the real world.

Still life’s are a prime example of this phenomenon. Take a wicker basket, some fruit and a flat table top and in the right hands you have a Caravaggio. The painting titled Basket of Fruit a still life painted in 1599 was one of the earliest still life’s to gain stature and popularity. These common items sitting on a table today as we walked past them would hardly draw our notice, other than to think maybe it’s time they changed the fruit basket. But when this subject is presented with skill and immense artistic talent by a master painter we have a painting that we can look at for hours and still find interest in it. Just as people have been doing since the 16th century with Basket of Fruit.

The portrait of the Roseate Spoonbill above started out as a simple shot taken late in the afternoon. Here it is in its natural original state before any processing began.

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Not a remarkable image in any way, other than it is often difficult to get these particular birds to sit for you for any length of time. It could be used as a documentation photo of the bird in its habitat but would certainly not be considered an art shot by any means. But using the idea that most any subject matter can attain a more enlightened representation by using the magic of computerized processing and you have an entirely new view of Portrait of A Roseate Spoonbill. One that changes your viewpoint of the bird and hopefully makes you reconsider its original mundane presentation.

I believe that once an image is created it stands on its own regardless of what the creation process was. In this case a drab image was transformed into a vivid exciting image that draws you into it and hopefully gives you pleasure as you take in a Portrait of A Roseate Spoonbill.

 

 

Home Wrecker

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Home wrecker. You think you know what they look like. The image above is of a home wrecker. It’s a Flicker. One of the meanest home wreckers there are. Don’t be fooled by the soft dreamy photo of this Flicker, which was put out by the Flicker Anti-Defamation League or FADL, to try and counter all the bad press these birds get. Their bad image is well deserved and even understated. This is pure propaganda similar to the information and images put out by various candidates in our current elections. Yes you might look at his photo and say “My what a lovely bird. ” and you’d be right but there is a sinister story behind those muted colors and strong but nasty beak.

There are several definitions as to what a homewrecker is, such as this one from wickiLoops or wikiUp or whatever it’s called. It gives the most accepted version of  what a home wrecker is.

Homewrecker

A homewrecker (sometimes styled as home wrecker or home-wrecker) is a person, object or activity that causes or comes close to causing the breakup of a marriage (or similar partnership). The homewrecker is said to have taken one of the spouses away from the marriage, thus “wrecking” the marital home.

Then there is the definition from the only dictionary worth reading, which is the Urban Dictionary.

homewrecker

One who comes into your life, and screws it all up. This involves stealing your boyfriend/girlfriend, puppy, your friends, your secret lasagna recipe until they pretty much take over your entire life and thus your life is like totally wrecked forever and you wind up pathetic and ruint, shunned by all, even those who were once your best friends because they might have even been one of the homewreckers.   from Urban Dictionary
But there is one more definition that is fast gaining “legs” especially among those that live in the mountains with heavy Flicker infestations. It is from *The Institutes own free-range dictionary.
HomeWrecker
Noun: One who wrecks your house. Literally.  HomeWrecker, a heinous feathered Leftist bird that believes your house should be its house and primary food-source regardless of how much money you have invested in it: Any bird, but mostly Flickers, that bite, chew, gnaw, peck, eat, make huge holes, sublet those holes to other Flickers, cause other Flickers to join them by making raucous calls around dinner time, and displays a total disregard for others property rights: An entitled bird: An irritation: One which will pound its beak against anything metal at daybreak to let you know it is back to wreak havoc on your domicile and there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it. In other words a Flicker.

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The image above is another put out by FADL to give those without prior knowledge of Flickers the idea that Flickers are like song birds. That they are golden-throated temptress similar to larks and buntings that simply sit around singing “Gloriatas” and “hymns to the woodlands” and such. They don’t. They sound like garbage trucks in their crush cycle. You can’t tell that by looking at the picture, that’s how they fool you.

No, what these homewreckers do is eat your house. They get up high near the eaves and chew great big holes in the side of your house. Big holes. Holes big enough that whole entire birds can fit inside and live there if they want. Rain can get in there, snow too, even. And if you have a structure made out of logs similar to the original building that The Institute grew from, they take extra special glee in biting it up. They think it resembles the trees they used to have to eat when times were tough, and no one had started putting up places for them to more easily destroy under the guise of eating bugs.

So what to do about Flickers then. You can’t just shoot them, they’re protected. Explaining the deductible you have on your insurance policy doesn’t help, they don’t care. Yelling at them and insulting their parentage doesn’t work, it just makes them grin at you. No the only tried and true method of discouraging Flickers is to use a Whippy Stick.

A Whippy Stick is a patented device created right here in our anti-flicker labs at The Institute that is a 20-25′ long, thin ‘whippy’ stick cut out of a strong board so it doesn’t break while you’re flailing around with it during use. The application is simple. Flickers like to stay close to the craters they create and will often sleep right next to them. You go out at night with a flashlight you hold in your mouth and spot the Flicker way up there next to the eave. Then carefully lifting the Whippy Stick up to its full height of 25′ , try and whack the Flicker with it by using a strong whippy back and forth action. Be very careful while doing this as 25′ of whippy stick thrashing around over your head can make you trip over the deck chairs in the dark, make you drop the flashlight, skin your knee and break the porch light. The object is to smack the offending Flicker with it somewhere on its person thereby scaring the bejezus out of it while it’s sleeping. Flickers are very heavy sleepers so sometimes it takes several really good whacks to get it to wake up. There is usually a lag time while the Flicker figures out what’s going on and a skillful Whippy Stick wielder can usually get in another whack or two before it flies off into the darkness screeching in indignation.

This usually works but because Flickers have a tiny little brain, much like some of our friends who believe their candidate is the one to vote for (he isn’t) that is often damaged due to the constant battering of its head against the side of your house. It takes many applications of the Whippy Stick to get it to change its habits. Almost every night in fact. They come and try to drill holes to knock your house down during the day and you try and whack them senseless at night. It’s sort of like that endless battle between good and evil. It’s a constant struggle.

But in any event we wanted to share these images of Flickers for two reasons. First,so you would know about the campaign to paint Flickers in a new positive light by FADL, lulling you into a false sense of security so you go ahead and build your log house in a Flicker prone area and two, because if you don’t live in a log house in the woods and haven’t seen many Flickers in the wild they are kind of pretty to look at.

* Note: For those of you unfamiliar with The Institute and what it does, please see the page labeled The Institute on the Menu Bar above. That should explain everything. You shouldn’t have one single question remaining regarding The Institute after reading it. None. For those of you favored few who already know about the Institute, Nevermind.