Friday, July 27, 2007

USF Freshman Orientation And A Chick Reversal

So, where was I yesterday?
Yesterday was the first of two days of orientation for parents and students at the University of South Florida. Emma and her BFF, Corinne, are heading off to USF as dorm roomies in a few weeks, so we went to orientation together. Actually the Moms and daughters went down early and are staying there for the entire 2 day event. I drove down and back yesterday for the main parent orientation day.
It was good. They (USF) seem to be doing everything reasonable to help kids and parents make the transition and be successful. The girls got to stay in the dorms for a preview of dorm life and they had a whole evening of on-campus music and entertainment (parents verboten) to reward the kids for a long day of sessions about college life.
It was a long day for parents too, especially for me, because I had stayed up way too late the night before reading "The Cold Moon" by J. Deaver. I was tired, frumpy, and a little grumpy when the alarm went off early yesterday.
It got better with a little coffee, but I was still dragging most of the day.
(Jan and Doc at the the Moffitt Cancer Center, if you're reading this, I wanted to stop in and say hi, but our schedule was jampacked. I'm sure I'll get a chance in the upcoming academic year.)
By the time I left Tampa, the sun was setting. Afternoon T-storms had moved across my path home and the air was cool enough to drop the windows in the JEEP. I cranked up Jr.'s Nickelback cd he left on the seat and rocked all the way home.
Switching gears ...

The six newly hatched chicks are down from six to four already. I discovered that the same morning I found a new set of sandy cat prints all over my JEEP, so my guess is that they were the victims of cat owner irresponsibility since I don't own any of these destructive beasts.
As a result, I have reversed my original plan to "let chickens be chickens".
The two banty roosters, "Vader" and "Hoot" are now evicted from the chicken tractor and free ranging. A side effect of this is they are also FREELY POOPING ON MY PORCH!
It's the butterfly effect all over again.
Meanwhile, the hen and her four survivors have moved into the chicken tractor and it has been moved close to the porch where the dogs rule ... and hopefully deter predators.
One more gear switch ...
Blogger has a poll function now and I intend for mine to be mostly off topic oddities that pop into my head.
It's just for fun and I'll change it at least weekly.
On the POPcorn poll, I was in the "just salt" camp, but 63% of respondents wanted salt and butter.
Wait ... one more gear switch ...
Last week I casually mentioned to Emma that since she had a real job now at B.K. Cypress Log Homes, she should think about opening an IRA. We were driving back from St. Augustine, just the two of us, and I was explaining how IRA's work and the wonder of compound interest over a long period of time ... for her, about 41 years at least.
I told her that she could start out small since opening one now would be such a fantastic headstart on an retirement account since she's 18. I didn't push her, I just explained the IRA concept and how an early start might someday allow her to retire when she WANTS to, not when she is ALLOWED to do so.
Last week, Mrs. FC and Emma were doing some banking in preparation for opening an account down at USF. Mrs. FC called me up and said, "Well, your 18 year old daughter just astounded the entire credit union staff from the tellers to the branch manager by opening an IRA with $1000 of her savings."
Don't you love it when you realize, they really were listening and your advice matters?


SophieMae said...

If orientation had been a week later - good Lord willin' & the crick don't rise - we'd have been in Tampa at the same time. USF is a GREAT school!

So sorry to hear about your chicken tragedy! But WTG, Emma! And WTG, FC, for raising such wise chilluns!

I'm rushing here, coz I'm running late, coz I had to go out and take pics of the SWALLOW-TAILED KITE PERCHED in a snag up by the road! It was a young'un squealing for Momma to come back with grub! I snapped a few times, went to move to a better position, and he took off. I'll be posting a couple pics this evening. What a rush! 8-]

Hope your day is wunnerful, wunnerful!

Floridacracker said...

I have never seen a SWtail sit still ...ever. Can't wait to see your photos. They always seem to be soaring.
Emma has me all bruised from pinching myself ... I must be dreaming.

Sharon said...

Wow, that is awesome! I love it when they listen. :)
And I hate irresponsible pet owners, I have one next door - three cats, running wherever they want. One woke me up at 2am, howling in my backyard. I wonder how she would like it if I let my pooch use her lovely plant bed for a toilet, like her cats do mine. I'm thinking there will be a trap and a long ride in their immediate future...

Laura said...

If only someone had told Rick and I about the beauty of an IRA when we were 18.
We might be living on an island somewhere in paradise, because I'm a voracious saver. :)
ahh well, dreaming is free.
Way to go, Emma!!

We were very impressed with USF when we were there, too. I think you once mentioned that Mrs. FC has family down this way, but my offer still stands if an emergency arises or she needs a hand with something while she's here, just drop us a line and we'll be glad to help out!

Great idea to put the chicks near the dogs, that just might help them out. Hopefully the snakes are afraid of dogs, too.
(ok, like I said, dreaming is free...)

Re: your comment on my site, we're heading up to Crystal River, yep. The scallops are supposed to be big and fat this year. I've never really been a fan of them, however.
I'm mostly planning to snorkel and would rather do that than anything else. :)

Laura said...

and btw, Brittany got me hooked on Orville Redenbacher's (sp?) microwave kettle corn.

the rest of the time, I like it plain with salt and butter, or spray on butter.
or cheddar flavored.
or, oh...I ain't picky, bring it on!

ArtfulSub said...

Gosh, wish you had more than 4 chicks to work with. It would be fun following your sleuthing and attempts to foil the culprit.

Don't forget about MUTE MONDAY. July 30th is DOG DAYS.

robin andrea said...

Oh I remember the days of Student and Parent Orientation at UC Santa Cruz. I worked in a building that was at the edge of the 1000 acre campus, so when parents showed up they always looked bewildered. If they were in my building, they were definitely lost. I really liked to talk with them about the campus, so it always worked out well.

Emma shows a more thoughtful and responsible attitude than most adults I know. She rocks!

Anonymous said...

Interesting to hear the orientation experience from the student/parent side. I'll bet there are good things in Emma's future; she's wise beyond her years. You must be very, very proud. (Not sure about that last, just a wild guess)


Floridacracker said...

I hear ya and have a similar tresspassing cat that hunts my woods. I've tried to modify his behavior, but no luck so far.

Thanks for that, and I feel like I know the Vitaminsea family well enough to accept the offer :)
Scalloping is such a great day on the water. Kind of like a submerged Easter egg hunt.
I'd love to be a voracious saver if everyone would just stop slurping up all my $$$.
If I were a hermit, I'd be one rich guy right now ;)

Now dogs I can do.
I'll keep you posted on my chick success or failure.

She really DOES rock doesn't she?

See beaming above.
Yes, I'm proud of her in a zillion ways.

rcwbiologist said...

Wow, I hope our boys listen as well as Emma when they get to be her age. Good for her. And she's lucky to have such great parents.

Floridacracker said...

Thanks, it sounds like your boys are equally lucky.

pissed off patricia said...

Mr. Pop is an USF grad with his masters degree. He was born and grew up in Tampa. We both attended high school there as well.

When my grandmother had her farm years and years ago, she would bring the baby chicks in the house and raise them in a pen until they were old enough to protect themselves. She just put a couple pieces of newspaper under the big kinda flat cage.

You got a smart little girl there. Guess the acorn didn't fall far from the mom and dad tree. :)

Anonymous said...

In reference to the cat. When I moved to my little piece of paradise. I trapped 12 feral cats out of my yard. Took me a few weeks. But the first gardening session without running into masses of cat fecal and smelling cat urine made it all worth while.
Look into roth Iras also. I had one and in a emergency it helped out. Todd

Floridacracker said...

Neat! Go Bulls!
We have done the indoor chick brooding thang before, but I really didn't want to go there this time.
It's a bit messy and smelly.

Welcome to Pure Florida!
12 ferals, wow, I imagine you had an increase in birds after the kitties ... left.

Rurality said...

Wish I'd been that smart at 18.

Our chickens stay off the porch but the ducks sure don't.

Sandy said...

Your daughter has a good sensible head on her shoulders and we can all see where she gets its.

Floridacracker said...

Me too, although I did plow a high school graduation gift savings bond of similar amount into 2.5 acres of swamp that paid off handsomely years later.