You Bug Me

Da Goddess @ 00:25

You bug me. But in a good way. What I’m trying to say is this: go have a look at rel=”noopener” target=”_blank”>this article on treehoppers. It and the bugs it discusses — absolutely fascinating.


On This Day 10 Years Ago: September 4, 2006 — Steve Irwin Died

Da Goddess @ 00:00

Over the years, I’ve written about the impact Steve Irwin had on the lives of my family. Below is a repost of something I wrote in 2009, which still rings true. I’d like to add a few thoughts.

Steve may be gone, but we’ve witnessed new generations carrying on with his mission. Irwin daughter Bindi is officially an adult and continues to talk about the need for conservation, advocates for the animals, and has become a true global ambassador for wildlife. His son, Robert, does the same. Though his younger years perhaps limit his visibility, he aims high and reaches or exceeds that mark with pure, unbridled enthusiasm. Both Irwin kids are passionate, educated, and very well-spoken, which is a testament to not only their mother, Terri, but to the foundation of keen interest and the solid work their father did in the name of wildlife conservation.

As I mention below, my own interest in wildlife began early. My parents were the leading contributors to this, but I was also intrigued by the work of Marlin Perkins, who was pretty much all my generation had in the way of a wildlife educator/promoter. There were others who followed, of course, but that was the start of my budding curiosity. I’m so very grateful for the path Perkins paved because it brought us Steve.

I’m grateful my children grew up in the Age of Irwin. I’m grateful for the first class shows they had, to see the world through khaki colored glasses, to see wildlife conservation as something exciting and important.

For those reasons alone (though there are many more), I continue to mourn the loss of the great wildlife warrior named Steve Irwin.

I’ll never forget the year LD turned two and on Christmas morning he went crazy when he saw one of his presents was a three or four foot plastic crocodile. He immediately jumped it, covered its eyes, called for Terri (his sister given a co-starring role in his funny little world of Croc Hunterdom) to get his shirt off and wrap it around the croc’s head. Yes, LD was two and had absorbed enough Irwinisms to run his own fake rescue and relocation in our living room.

Dressed in his regular uniform of khakis (the boy wanted what he wanted), we headed over to my sister’s house for more Christmas activities. The croc came along. Anyone speaking to LD that day had to address him as Steve. To this day, there are probably a few people who were dating relatives or friends of my sister and brother-in-law who really believe this is my son’s name. We probably should have considered it, but for the simple fact that the ex’s brother carries the same name and they weren’t on speaking terms at that point. Still, my little 2 year old had made his stand about the name and his goals for the day: he would be Steve and he would be on croc patrol. No cats, people, or food would go missing if he could help it! (Okay, maybe a little food, but that was only if it was near enough to a chair he could climb up to get at it.)

And he did it all with an Australian accent. My American born baby boy sported a fair dinkum Aussie accent. Because that’s how his hero spoke.

This was how it went for two and half years, give or take. Halloween costumes were, naturally, khaki and sported fabric paint representations of Australia Zoo’s logo, with the name Steve below that. We’d attached frogs, lizards, and snakes to his shirt (all plastic, of course…our collection was immense…still is) and his shorts or pants, and his hat, although the hat was from the Norwich Gators (close as we could get at the time). Our pumpkins were carved with crocs and “Steve” and occasionally a panda or regular jack o’lantern pattern. But they still represented The Man.

When the news broke during the early hours on Sept. 4, 2006, I was awake and editing for Blogcritics.org at the time. I heard it. And everything stopped. Then I started flipping channels and it was everywhere. It didn’t seem real. Finally, I emailed my friend Pat who lived at the zoo and received the sad confirmation that it was, indeed, tragically true — Steve Irwin was gone.

What unfolded after that was beyond anything most anyone anywhere would have ever expected. Despite the popularity of the Crocodile Hunter series and other spin off shows, no one could have predicted just how widespread this man’s infectious enthusiasm reached. Straight out admiration, parodies, and even a handful of naysayers…the man, his mission, had stretched around the globe and back a million times. He made the scariest animals important, even lovable (except leeches and I’m afraid I’ll never laugh as he did about them), he made us care about the animals he encountered, taught us why they were special, why we should want them around. His plans were grand and he was making great strides in realizing many of his dreams, which ruffled a few feathers and caused some backlash, but Steve did it all for one reason: to protect the land and the animals, and give our children more than just picture books filled with photos and drawings of animals and trees we once encountered on land. Careful management could and can preserve habitats and healthy populations of animals if we can find a way to work together — from land management, husbandry, careful community planning, caring individuals, and sensible care plans from government agencies to help keep nature a viable and valuable part of our heritage.

It’s a message I was taught by Marlin Perkins, local Native Americans, and even by my parents (except snakes, but that’s a cause I took up on my own). To me, what was the point of keeping the forest if there were no animals? What was the point of loving the animals if they had no home? I learned it early and have always carried this with me. My conservationist roots run deep and likely always will. I guess my kids came by it honestly.

And then one day, Steve and Terri Irwin showed up and echoed what I’d grown up hearing. They even went far beyond what I’d learned and gave me new ideas, a new means of understanding, new hope! It spread quickly. I wasn’t the only one looking for a way to learn. It became part of our watercooler conversations.

Then we got that punch in the ol’ solar plexus we never wanted to hear. Yes, Steve Irwin was a celebrity and we often roll our eyes when a celebrity dies. But this seemed to run a bit deeper. Here was a young man actively, passionately chasing the dream of educating the world about our natural resources. He wasn’t famous for kicking a soccer ball or wearing the latest styles or releasing a record of music he had little to do with. He was out getting dirty and conducting research that continues to this day to enlighten us on the habits and lives of creatures we previously understood little about. He gave us tools to learn and set us upon a course of caring.

It’s been three (er, now 10) years and it still hurts. Thankfully, there are people everywhere who have picked up the mantle and carry on.

It may mean nothing to you, but it continues to mean a great deal to this family. Each of us, in our own manner, have found a way to carry on educating friends and strangers about the animals we encounter, the land upon which we live, the land that surrounds us, and how important it is for all of us to work together to keep it working.

Steve Irwin may be gone, but plenty of people in this world are carrying out his work, sharing the knowledge, spreading the word.

We miss you, Stevo.

Gone But Not Forgotten


Deadliest Catch – Season 10 – Opis & Josh Harris & the Cornelia Marie & the Kitchen Sink

Da Goddess @ 22:16

Yes, we’re a couple months into the Deadliest Catch season, but it’s not been until last week that we saw the Cornelia Marie back in the water. Thanks to Josh Harris, the CM is back where she belongs, doing what she was meant to do. Only one of the Harris boys is in the captain’s chair and that would be Josh. ‘

(Jake, keep up the good work! Stay sober, stay safe, stay focused! One day at a time. Even half a day at a time works. Just do the hard work so you can come back to the hard physical work that will help keep you on track. We’re rootin’ for ya!)

Josh has worked hard to get the boat back out on the water and he’s doing it the smart way: he’s bringing along another captain with more experience so he has someone he trusts with the boat, the crew, and he has someone who will teach him to run that boat the way Phil would have wanted it run.

It makes all of us proud, in a bittersweet way, to see the CM out there. We miss Phil, sure. But what we really miss is Phil with Jake and Josh. So for now, we feel the presence of one of our favorite Harris men through the eyes and actions of his eldest son, Josh. I think Papa Harris would be deeply proud of all that Josh is doing. Keep up the good work, guy!

The other boats are back, too. Northwestern is driving Sig nuts with mechanical/electrical problems that only Edgar can fix. It’s go time for the Hansen family! And Jake Anderson! He takes the wheel while the rest of the guys try to get shit done down in the engine room.

The Wizard has Capt Keith sitting up at the Russian border, hoping to drop pots on a big ol’ untouched biomass!

Andy’s at the helm on the Time Bandit since brother John is out trying to get healthy and avoid the sort of tragedy that took Phil from this world far too soon.

Wild Bill is out with his son and they’re crew on the Cape Caution.

Elliot Neese is out of rehab and back on his boat. Edgar’s stopped by to encourage him to get through each day and count every day as a success.

And Scott “Junior” Campbell remains on the injured list after his spinal surgery. Having been down that road myself, it’s not an easy recovery and I wish him all the best and a very speedy recovery!

This opi season looks to be a rough one, so pull on your big boy pants, gentlemen, and do the best you can. Oh, and Mandy? If you make it out onto the boat, eyes open, head up/down/up/down — up for safety, down for putting the nose to the ol’ grindstone. We’re cheering you on!

Here’s to Season 10 Opies being a great season for all!



Da Goddess @ 16:29

I’m excited about the mini-series Klondike! I can barely wait to see it. I have long had a love affair with prospecting, rock hunting, and rugged people doing things in dangerous places.

Plus, we get great cast: Sam Shepard, Tim Roth (whom I bumped asses with and sweated alongside last weekend at the photo exhibit), Tim Blake Nelson (I will watch anything he’s in!), and Ian Hart as Soapy Smith (which, TRIVIA!! I used to work at a restaurant called…you got it! Soapy Smith’s).

Set in the Yukon during the last half of the 1890s, the gold rush was only for the hardiest souls. No modern conveniences. No forced air heating. No mega parkas. No heavy machinery to help with the digging; everything was done by hand. Men and women set out to make their fortunes in the most formidable environment. Horribly primitive living conditions in extreme cold and people crammed into small spaces meant diseases spread quickly. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. (more…)


You Know What Day It Is, Right? Steve Irwin Day!

Da Goddess @ 15:15

Repost from last year:

“Steve Irwin Day, celebrated each year on 15 November, is an annual international event honouring the life and legacy of the one and only Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin!”

Yep, that’s what today is about. Celebrating the life and legacy of a man who put his heart, soul, and body into wildlife conservation. Why not don some duds and find a way to volunteer with a wildlife rescue group or at least donate some money to help such a group out. Let’s all join in and honor Steve’s memory in a fitting way!

Steve Irwin Day

Photo courtesy Australia Zoo Steve Irwin Day email

We still miss Steve around these parts.


Steve Irwin Day

Da Goddess @ 00:01

“Steve Irwin Day, celebrated each year on 15 November, is an annual international event honouring the life and legacy of the one and only Crocodile Hunter, Steve Irwin!”

Yep, that’s what today is about. Celebrating the life and legacy of a man who put his heart, soul, and body into wildlife conservation. Why not don some duds and find a way to volunteer with a wildlife rescue group or at least donate some money to help such a group out. Let’s all join in and honor Steve’s memory in a fitting way!

Steve Irwin Day

Photo courtesy Australia Zoo Steve Irwin Day email


Deadliest Catch is Back!

Da Goddess @ 04:00

Tonight is the night! I can’t wait. I watched the Season 7 recap special last week, but that was nothing special. Tonight, though, yay!


Steve Irwin

DaGoddess @ 00:01

Just the other night, I was having a discussion with a friend from out of town and we both somehow got on the subject of Steve Irwin, how he made wildlife education exciting, how he inspired our kids to take an interest in something more than video games and cartoons.

Funny that both my friend and I had little boys who loved to dress in khaki and yell, “crikey!” Or maybe we’re like a lot of other mothers of boys who looked up to the man who believed the natural world was an intriguing place.

Both of my kids took the role of wildlife warriors very seriously. They were and are animal lovers, and back in the day they really loved anything that had to do with — especially — reptiles. We often played zookeepers to our friend’s turtles, tortoises, lizards, and snakes while he was deployed and the kids charted hatchings, growth, etc. It was a wonderful thing to see their curiosity bloom with each development.

The world is far richer for having had the likes of Steve Irwin in it. And I, for one, still miss him.

Steve Irwin at Uluru


Punkin Chunkin’

DaGoddess @ 09:23

not? It’s fun!


Listed Again

DaGoddess @ 08:00

to $29.99…oooh, and if I order it within 48hrs, I get another 15% off since I entered a contest, which brings the total (with shipping!) to less than what I would have paid if bought it without the discount. Nice! I get paid this week from this last job, I think I know someone who could end up with an early holiday gift.

Here’s to getting paid this week, eh? I need a Deadliest Catch fix in the worst way.


Khaki for the Day

DaGoddess @ 00:01

Hope y’all have your khakis on today. Four years ago, Steve “The Crocodile Hunter” Irwin died after a stingray barb pierced his chest.

While in San Diego last weekend, I went into my storage unit to get a few necessities and I was greeted by a 3 1/2 foot plastic crocodile. My watch croc. It was the same one I gave LD when he was two. I’ll never forget that Christmas morning when LD saw it. He immediately jumped on it, covering the crocs eyes with his arm and calling his sister, “Terri”, to come grab his shirt and wrap it around the croc’s eyes. He said it all with an Australian accent. At age 2. It was that very same day that he insisted everyone call him Steve. And they did. Mojo, she was always intrigued by animals and eagerly jumped at the chance to help with any animals at every opportunity. She also played along with her little brother’s wild imagination. Most of the time.

When we acted zookeeper for our friend’s turtles, tortoises, snakes, and lizards, it was one of my kids’ most exciting moments. They were keepers and working with herps, just like Steve! Feeding snakes, cleaning cages/tanks, watching turtles hatch — it was all very exciting and special and we did it together as a family. They knew without a doubt that no one else in the neighborhood had a turtle buried in their front yard like we did.

That’s the sort of influence Steve had on our lives. And I will always be grateful that he helped nurture my children’s interest in wildlife, conservation, and natural science. Mostly, I’m grateful that we were able to turn that into meaningful family time.

I wish I had Yeah, I’ll be wearing khaki as a tribute to Steve Irwin. Crikey! Who wouldn’t?


Dare I?

DaGoddess @ 16:32

6 of Deadliest Catch w/After The Catch bonus is coming out on DVD. They’re taking pre-orders right now. Dare I? I know I want it. I know I’ll get it at some point. But part of me wants it NOW and/or as soon as humanly possible since I missed out on so much this season by not having cable.

Another part of me says getting a bed is a higher priority and blah blah blah.

Not that either will happen in the immediate future.

Something to ponder this week.


Deadliest Catch – No Recap, Just Tears

DaGoddess @ 23:48

Finally found the latest episode of Deadliest Catch online and it was devastating to watch. LD chose not to watch so he quietly sat near me and held my hand whenever I started to cry. And I did cry.

As a parent, as a child, I totally got where both Jake and Phil were coming from, but it didn’t help knowing somehow that Jake had just said goodbye to his father face to face for the last time and that Phil was giving him his blessing to learn how to live life sober and without a father.

While I’m sure that much of the editing this season was done to emphasize Phil’s ultimate fate, the simple fact is that he gave voice to the knowledge that time was running out and somehow he felt it. It weighed on him. And all the pressure on the boys was for their sake as well as his. His desire to see his sons succeed seemed to be at the forefront of his mind.

Then Josh getting the call that he needed to return to the hospital because Phil had an “event”…just as he was returning with his dad’s lucky necklace…too much. But the clincher was Josh calling Jake to tell him their dad was gone.

Every time I think I’m done shedding tears, something strikes me again in a new way and I’m back at it. LD’s never far away and offers me a smile or a hug. He’s decided he’ll watch the whole season at once on DVD. I get that. By then, he hopes Phil’s death will be less shocking.

Don’t even start me on the Johnny Cash. I’ll lose it again.


Deadliest Catch S06E13 – “Cain and Abel”

DaGoddess @ 23:15

Seems the theme this week was brother against brother. Jake and Josh Harris are cracking under the strain of watching their father, Captain Phil, fight for his life.

Back out on the vast Bering Sea, Sig and Edgar Hansen are struggling to figure out what their respective futures will be — will Sig keep his deck boss or will Edgar opt out, train someone to take his place, and retire so he can heal and spend time with his family? The jury’s still out.

Normally, it’s about this time in the season when we see Monte and Keith on the Wizard going after each other, isn’t it? But so far the only drama there is Keith’s inability to quit a 20+ year chew tobacco habit. Thank goodness he has his daughter, Sienna, who happens to call right after he grabs a pinch. The calendar Bug made for him (and how cute is that nickname?) shows he’s not been very successful in fighting the urge to kick the habit. Stressful job equals dirty habits-that’s what happens when you play a game of with your life as collateral. The other problem Keith has faced is the ice pack. Stressful job equals dirty habits. The other problem Keith has faced is the ice pack. This is the first time during opie season we’ve heard about the pack, but we know how fraught with danger it can be from previous years. Thankfully, the Wizard’s gear is out in open water and the hauling of pots begins.

On the Northwestern, Sig and Edgar are still trying to find balance. Edgar’s in pain. Sig’s actually made a concerted effort to ease up on the crew. And Jake Anderson continues to worry about his missing father.

Wild Bill and his crew on the Kodiak are finally on the crab, hauling in pots in the 5-6-700 range. Until, that is, they reach a bunch that haven’t been properly tied shut, leaving the crab an easy exit. Bill radios in and tries to line up a replacement for one of the crew. I think we can all guess that it’s Clinton Bush who’s about to be cut.

On the Time Bandit, Andy does his best to keep his head in the game. He’s worried about Phil. However, he has a more immediate problem: “Strong currents are dragging down the trailer buoy, making what seems like an easy hook toss a whole lot tricker.” Mike Fourtner, captain-in-training, can’t snag the buoy and it’s causing some amount of amusement and frustration with the rest of the crew. If Mike’s going to command the Time Bandit, he’ll have to redeem himself in eyes of the crew.

Back in Anchorage, doctors review the progress Phil Harris is making after the 12-hour surgery needed to help him survive his stroke, which the doctors say most people don’t survive. His scans reveal serious calcium deposits in the brain, indicating that this has been building for a very long time. Part of Phil’s skull is removed to relieve the pressure in his brain. As tubes are gradually removed and support gently decreased, Phil is able to begin interacting and talking with his sons. Demanding ice chips the nurse has said he can’t have for another hour (until the doctor for his throat comes in to see him), Phil continues to hound his boys. Josh tells his dad that he’s not the captain of this boat — he’s just a deckhand. Even with his head shaved, Phil looks pretty good and there’s a twinkle in his eyes.

Sadly, this progress is exactly what causes everyone around him to start losing it, which is often very common with serious illness and unpredictable futures. Loved ones feel a little relief and all the tension, all the worry begin to take them down. John Hillstrand breaks down crying after letting Phil know he’s loved and cared for (and this is what caused me to start crying, too). Josh Harris is feeling even more pressure to keep everything together — the boat, his brother, all the details that need to be overseen. He gets into it with brother Jake, who is, apparently, sitting back at the hotel getting wasted. At one point, John stands on the other side of the door, a sort of witness to the collapse of Phil’s sons.

Next week is the tribute to Captain Phil Harris. Get out your tissues and settle in for an emotional evening.


Deadliest Catch Season 6 Episode 12 – “Empty Throne”

DaGoddess @ 08:02

As I suspected, I cried during this week’s episode of Deadliest Catch. Captain Phil Harris was sent off to Anchorage following his stroke, accompanied by his son Jake while his other son Josh tried to figure the course of action for himself, for the boat, and for the crew of the Cornelia Marie.

Elsewhere, the Time Bandit got captain-in-training Mike Fourtner’s feet wet as he set his first string of pots. The yield was poor, but the initial test was done.

On the Kodiak, Wild Bill made his deadline for his first offload, but his crew disappointed him by failing to show up in time for curfew.

The Northwestern was on the crab, pleasing Sig. However, Jake Anderson’s mind was on his missing father. When a bridle snapped and a pot went smashing against the side of the boat, Jake was the only one to grab the line and throw it back into the coiler, which upsets Sig. Risky move. Still, Edgar and Sig are keeping an eye on him and it’s apparent that they’re concerned beyond the safety issue.

Josh Harris makes the call to Andy Hillstrand and informs him of Phil’s stroke. Andy calls John and suggests he get to the hospital in Anchorage. The call then goes out to Sig, who is becomes angry and then concerned. Keith on the Wizard is notified and he says a prayer, asking The Big Guy to give Phil a break. Keith then turns out the wheelhouse light for some time to himself. Later, Andy and Sig both call their crews in and give them the news. Jake Anderson understands the fear the Harris boys are experiencing and is visibly upset because he’s always appreciated Phil’s support and encouragement.

Cut to Josh in a plane. After a talk with fellow crewman Freddie Maughtai, who encouraged him to go be with his dad “just in case”, Josh headed to Anchorage, where he’s met by Johnathan Hillstrand. John reminds Josh that millions are praying for Phil and that he’s in good hands. The Harris brothers are reunited and lean on each other for support.

The next couple episodes will focus on Phil and his battle. The Cornelia Marie website will continue to provide information regarding the Harris family and the Cornelia Marie.

The episode ends with the very emotional “Rain” by Jon Heintz, as it did last season when Jake Anderson left upon discovering his sister had died.