Backyard Bird Feeder Bedlam

I have a bird feeder encased in a narrow cage opening cage. That works out well for the sparrows that we share our backyard with. Since these little guys apparently don’t migrate, so I’ve been trying to keep the feeder stocked as the weather has gotten colder. That has attracted the attention of some unexpected visitors.

Here’s how things usually look:

Sparrows at bird feeder
Sparrows at bird feeder

This blue jay would like to crash the party, if he could only fit.

Blue jay at bird feeder
Blue jay at bird feeder
Blue jay at bird feeder

The squirrel doesn’t fit either. But being a true bottom feeder, he discovered that by hanging upside down he could scrape off the crumbs.

Blue jay at bird feeder
Blue jay at bird feeder
Blue jay at bird feeder

 Pecked clean!

Bird feeder
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Homies with Grammys

The first Grammy design

The first Grammy design, used from 1958 to 1962.

The Grammy Museum Experience

Newark, N.J.

at home in Newark

Sarah Vaugan LP

Sarah Vaughan was born in Newark and attended Newark Arts High School. She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1989.

The Four Seasons

This is the band the play Jersey Boys is based on. They are from Newark where Frankie Valli was born. The Four Seasons never won a Grammy but were nominated twice.

Jersey boys costume

Jersey Boys did win a Grammy in 2011 for Best Musical Show Album. This is a costume from the Broadway play.

Bruce Springsteen's drummer

Max Weinberg’s drum kit. Weinberg was born in Newark. He is the drummer for Bruce Springsteen’s E-Street Band and they have a boatload of Grammys.

the big winners

Bruce Springsteen set list

A Bruce Springsteen set list. Bruce was born in Long Branch, grew up in Freehold and lives in Colts Neck. He has won 20 Grammys.

Frank Sinatra

Hoboken’s Frank Sinatra won nine Grammys between 1958 (first year) and 1994. including a Grammy Legend Award in 1986.

Dionne Warwick's dress

This dress was worn by Dionne Warwick, winner of five Grammys. She was born and raised in East Orange.

Count Basie's hat

Count Basie’s hat. Count Basie was born in Red Bank and played some of his first gigs in Asbury Park, He won nine Grammys including a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.

some more jazz

Kool and the Gang

Kool and the Gang was formed in Jersey City. In 1978 they won a Grammy for Album of the Year.

Al Di Meola jacket

Jazz Guitarist Al Di Meola was born in Jersey City, grew up in Bergenfield, and lives in Old Tappan. He won a Grammy in 1975 with the group Return to Forever

some more winners

Les Paul's Iridium Guitar

Les Paul’s Iridium Guitar. Known as a pioneer in the development of the electric guitar, he won three Grammys, two for instrumental performance and one technical Grammy. Paul was born in Wisconsin but was a longtime resident of Mahwah.

Bon Jovi jacket and guitar

The band Bob Jovi was formed in Sayreville, Jon Bon Jovi is from Perth Amboy. The band won a Grammy in 2006 for best country collaboration.\

Taylor Swift license plate

No Taylor Swift is not from New Jersey. But she has Jersey plates. And she has won 10 Grammys. So far.

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Weird Warhol

Warhol Self-Portrait
Self-Portrait, 1966
Camouflage Last  Supper
Camouflage Last Supper
Third Eye
Third Eye, a collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat
Paramount, another collaboration with Jean-Michel Basquiat. That collaboration essentially involved painting over each other’s work.
Physiological Diagram
Physiological Diagram
Two Heads
Two Heads
S&H Green Stamps
S&H Green Stamps were given out in grocery stores as a loyalty program. Fill a book of them and they could be exchanged for a reward item.
$199 Television
$199 Television

Warhol Barbie
Warhol Barbie
Warhol exhibit
All photos are from the Warhol exhibit currently on display at the Whitney Museum of America Art
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Warhol’s Superstars, Divas and Drag Queens

Warhol's Marilyn
Marilyn Diptych
Silver Liz
Silver Liz
Warhol's Mona Lisa
30 Are Better Than One

Ladies and Gentlemen — a series featuring drag queens and trans women from New York City.

Wilhelmina Ross
Wilhelmina Ross
Warhol's Ladies and Gentlemen
Clockwise from top left: Al;hanso Panell, Ivette and Lurdes, Marsha P. Johnson, Helen/Harry Morales

On film

Ethel Scull
Ethel Scull
Edie Sedgwick
Edie Sedgwick
Ann Buchanan
Ann Buchanan
Mario Banana
Mario Banana


Warhol exhibit
All photos are from the Warhol exhibit currently on display at the Whitney Museum of America Art
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Andy Warhol Life and Times

Alice Neel painting of Warjp;
 This painting of Warhol by Alice Neel shows his surgical scars and the corset he had to wear after being shot in his studio by Valerie Solanas in 1968.
Nine Jackies: Warhol created these silkscreens from images he began collecting after the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Big Electric Chair. Warhol, who opposed the death penalty, made this from a photograph of the death chamber where Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed.
Warhol's Madonna news

Birmingham race riots
Mustard Race Riot. Created from news photo showing police assault on civil riots demonstrators in Birmingham in 1963.

Tuna Disaster
Tuna Disaster. Warhol created this after reading a news story about two women in Detroit who died from eating tainted tuna.
Warhol plane crash
Warhol painted this following the 1962 crash of an Air France jet which at the time was the deadliest aircraft accident on record
a diabolical Nixon
Warhol created this to raise ;money for the McGovern campaign. It was sold at auction for $40,000.
Warhol exhibit
All photos are from the Warhol exhibit currently on display at the Whitney Museum of America Art
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Paris Tourist

The Arc de Triomphe was inaugurated in 1836 by King Louis-Philippe. It was dedicated to the armies of the Revolution and the empire.

Luxor Obelisk

This ancient Egyptian Obelisk was moved to the Place de la Concorde in France in 1936.

Musée d'Orsay

Musée d’Orsay

Love locks on the Passerelle Leopold-Seder-Senghor, the foot bridge that connects the Tuileries and the d’Orsay.

Tuileries carousel

Tuileries carousel

Flame of Liberty

The Flame of Liberty is an unofficial monument to Princess Diana. An exact replica of the flame that comes out of the torch of the Statue of Liberty, it was a gift from donors around the world.

Parisian street art

Street art in the 10th arrondissement

Street art in Paris

A Pop in the City street art event

Canal Saint-Martin

Canal Saint-Martin

Jardin Villemin

Jardin Villemin

l'Hôtel des Invalides

l’Hôtel des Invalides, completed in 1678 during the reign of Louis XIV. currently houses a military museum and a hospital and retirement home for war veterans.

Cathédral Notre Dame de Paris

Cathédral Notre Dame de Paris

The Louvre

The Louvre

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A Thinker in Paris

The Thinker

The Thinker in the Rain (detail from Gates of Hell)

Musée Rodin, Paris

The Pedestal of the Titans

The Pedestal of the Titans

The Hand from the Tomb

The Hand from the Tomb



The Burghers of Calais

The Burghers of Calais

Balzac's Dressing Gown

Balzac’s Dressing Gown

The Gates of Hell







Ugolin and His Children

Ugolin and His Children

Rodin's Les Ombres

Les Ombres




Carietide à la Pierre

Carietide à la Pierre



Auguste Rodin

Auguste Rodin by Camille Claudel

Rodin's The Thinker


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(Guest Post) Caring For Pets During The Winter Months

A guest post by Lucy Wyndham

As the leaves begin to change and the weather turns a bit cooler, people all over the country reach for their jackets and begin to crank up the heat. It is natural to cozy up to the fireplace and drink warm tea to fight off a cold, but few people tend to think about the needs of their pets during the colder months of the year. In fact, once temperatures drop below 20°F, you should be aware that dogs could potentially develop cold-associated health problems like hypothermia and frostbite, not to mention be more susceptible to household pests such as fleas and ticks. As a responsible pet owner, you will definitely want to ensure that you are caring for your beloved furry friends during cool winter months.

dog in the snow

(image by Beth Ireland)

Exercising your pets in cold weather

Seeing as up to 60% of dogs are overweight, and about half of those are obese, it is important to ensure your dog is eating healthfully and receiving enough exercise even during cold winter months. Hide-and-seek is a fun way to get your dog up and moving around the house while signing them up for an indoor agility or swimming class can provide them with the opportunity to socialize with other dogs while getting their workout in. If you own a larger breed of dog, however, simply let them play out in the cold weather! 30 to 40 minutes of playtime in the snow will not only work their heart and other muscles, it will tire them out so they aren’t so rowdy cooped up inside the house.

Ensure your home is pest-free

While it might seem like your home is immune to pests during cold, dry winter months, the National Pest Management Association encourages homeowners to take several precautions against common winter pests like mice, rats, raccoons, cockroaches, and spiders. Because your pet will likely be kept inside more during this time of the year, it will be more important than ever to ensure that your home is pest-free and safe. In the instance that preventative measures didn’t work and you are required to treat your home, remove your pets from the area before you begin applying pesticides and talk to your pesticide company about the potential risks their products could have.

Be mindful of the heat

Pets can be just as prone to drastic changes in heating and cooling indoors as humans. During the cold winter months, it is important to be mindful of leaving the indoor heat blasting on all day, especially if your pet is left at home alone. Be sure to never leave your pet alone in front of a heater or open fire, and be mindful of how long they are left exposed to a hot environment in general. If you prefer to keep your home a bit cooler, you might try investing in a warm dog jacket that should suffice in keeping them toasty on top of their natural fur coat.

Keeping the whole family safe

As the days turn colder and shorter, it is important to keep the health of your home and family in mind. Ensure that your home is free of pests and other potential hazards and germs as your family will likely be spending a lot of time indoors together. Treat your pet as another member of the family and ensure they receive enough love, warmth, and exercise and they will enjoy spending the cold winter indoors with you as well.

Mills Reservation


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Legendary Women of the Louvre

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo isn’t Venus at all, but rather Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty. Or it may be, according to some historians, Amphitrite, the sea goddess. The statue is also known as Aphrodite de Milos.

Venus de Milo

Venus de Milo, Alexandros of Antioch, 130-100 BC


This one is definitely Aphrodite


Aphrodite du type du capitole, 2nd century AD

Mona Lisa

The Da Vinci painting is more famous than the person who it is a portrait of. The real Mona Lisa is Lisa del Giocondo, wife of affluent Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. It is believed Giocondo commissioned da Vinci to paint this portrait to adorn a new home.

Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, 1503-1506


Cleopatra was the last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt. She was the wife of Mark Antony. After a defeat in a decisive battle that was part of the war of the Roman Empire, Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt where each committed suicide. Cleopatra died by allowing a poisonous asp to bite her.

Death of Cleopatra

La Mort de Cleopatre, Giovanni Pietro Rizzoli, 1495-1549


Artemis was the Greek goddess of hunting, the daughter of Zeus and the twin sister of Apollo. Her arrows were believed to be used to punish the misdeeds of men.  To the Romans, she was known as Diana of Versailles.

Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt

4th Century BC Greek statue of Artemis

Athena of Velletri

Athena was the warrior goddess and protector of Athens. She was born out of the head of her father Zeus and was known to accompany heroes into battle.

Athena of Velletri

Las Pallas de Velletri, Roman copy of Greek sculpture from 4th-3rd century BC


Art historians have not been able to agree on just what victory Winged Victory commemorates. But they agree that it depicts the goddess Nike, Greek goddess of strength, speed and victory. Also known as the Winged Goddess, she was believed to be able to convey to humans the strength to be victorious.  (Ad campaigns for Nike sneakers offer much the same.)

Winged Victory

Winged Victory of Samothrace, c. 200 BC



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Guns in America: How’s It Working Out for Us?

More than 12,000 people have died from gun-related violence so far this year and more than 23,506 others were injured. (Gun Violence Archive)

Every day, 342 people in America are shot in murders, assaults, suicides & suicide attempts, unintentional shootings, and police intervention. (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)


(Image by Mike Cook)

In 2016 gun homicides made up 74.5 percent of all homicides in the United States — the highest share in well over 80 years of complete federal data. (Wonkblog)

Americans are more likely to die from gun violence than the combined risks of drowning, fire and smoke, stabbing, choking on food, airplane crashes, animal attacks, and natural disasters.(Business Insider)

Since 1968, when these figures were first collected, there have been 1,516,863 gun-related deaths on US territory. Since the founding of the United States, there have been 1,396,733 war deaths. (The Guardian)

99.85% of Americans will know a victim of gun violence (Preventive Medicine)

Gun deaths and injuries jump 70% in the weeks following (some) nearby gun shows. (Annals of Internal Medicine)

Every day, 8 children and teens die from gun violence: 4 are murdered, 3 die from suicide and 1 is killed unintentionally (Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)

1.7 million children live with unlocked, loaded guns – 1 out of 3 homes with kids have guns. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

In states with increased gun availability, death rates from gunshots for children were higher than in states with less availability. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)

About 50 women a month are shot to death by intimate partners in the U.S. (Everytown for Gun Safety)

The number of mass shootings in the US this year has already reached 297 (Business Insider)

The rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. (Business Insider)

In the U.S., firearms remain the most common method of suicide, accounting for 51% of all suicides committed. One study found that military veterans used firearms in about 67% of suicides in 2014. (U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs)


(image by steve pb)

America has 4.4 percent of the world’s population, but almost half of the civilian-owned guns around the world. (Vox)

Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the U.S. gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. (CBS 2017)

Although it has half the population of the other 22 high-income  nations combined, the U.S. had 82 percent of all gun deaths, 90 percent of all women killed with guns, 91 percent of children under 14 and 92 percent of young people between ages 15 and 24 killed with guns. (CBS)

The U.S. is ranked 4th out of 34 developed nations for the highest incidence rate of homicides committed with a firearm. (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development)

A U.S. male aged 15–24 is 70 times more likely to be killed with a gun than their counterpart in the eight (G-8) largest industrialized nations in the world (Forbes)

More people are typically killed with guns in the U.S. in a day (about 85) than in the U.K. in a year, if suicides are included.[ (Forbes)

America has six times as many firearm homicides as Canada, and nearly 16 times as many as Germany (Vox)

Protect kids not guns

(Image by Tim Mudd)

On Nov,. 6, vote to make America safe again.


Other Guns in America posts

Who Fired the First Shot?

The Americanization of the Duel

Prominent Americans Shooting Each Other Up

‘Well Regulated’ Militias and the Right to Bear Arms

Where’s the Blaze of Glory

Prohibition and Gun Control

Smart Guns and the Folks Who Keep ‘Em Dumb

The DIY Specter


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