Posted by: soniahs | September 7, 2011

Of peacocks and percussion

Well, we’re two and a half weeks into the fall semester, and I’ve managed not to be steamrolled yet by the teaching-dissertating combination. I’m working on getting IRB approval to get user feedback on my visualization project, which is just about done. Of course, this means I’m not actually writing, but I’m making progress.

But who wants to hear about that? I will now present to you the highlights of the two days in the last two weeks that I actually got away from the house-school-Panera triangle.

Two weeks ago, we got out to College Park, had a nice lunch, bought some bike supplies, and had green tea frozen yogurt (yum). While we were eating lunch, this bird appeared, strolling down the sidewalk:

A pretty scruffy specimen, I must say.

Now, there are two peacock colonies around the Orlando area, but they’re ~5 miles away from where we were. This bird looked pretty stressed. The owner of the restaurant brought out a bowl of water and some pine nuts, and he sort of pecked a bit at the nuts. But then he proceeded on his way, unfortunately heading out of the quiet residential neighborhood and onto a busy street.

Off he went. Yes, that car stopped for him.

After the whole business with the macaw, I was afraid we’d witness a tragic accident, but he proceeded to walk down the bike lane and eventually moved back to the residential side of the street. He was probably heading for the nearby park. I hope he’s found a more comfortable situation by now.

So, my other interesting outing was less harrowing. Last Saturday, we went to see the Orlando Lions– our 3rd-tier pro soccer team- playing in the USL Pro League championship. And…they won!

The team takes a victory lap around the stadium.

It was an exciting game- no one scored until the 89th minute, then the Lions did. Then, their opponents (the Harrisburg City Islanders) tied it in the last second of injury time. In overtime, the Islanders scored again, but the Lions managed to tie again at the last minute. So, it came down to penalty kicks, which the Lions won. I’m leaving out all the drama of players being ejected, including the Lions’ keeper, dramatic falls, etc. But it was good stuff.

For fans of “A Song of Ice and Fire”- the (unofficial?) team motto is apparently “Hear us roar.” Close enough 🙂

Of course, another highlight was one of the Lions’ booster clubs, a Trinidadian percussion band who played pretty much the whole game through. If all sporting events had their own percussion sections, I’d probably be more enthusiastic about sports overall.

The band setting up.

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