Attorney in the Del.

Reporting on life in Wilmington, Delaware, a small city in a small state. (Note: Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this blog are Copyright 2006, Michael Collins, and cannot be used without permission.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Buy My Photos!

As we head into the last full month of summer, now is the perfect time to buy some of my photos! I know I have maybe one or two readers, so this appeal is basically a cry into online oblivion. But I get a cut of the price you pay, which would make continuing to blog worth at least a few pennies to me.

While in Annapolis over the weekend, I snapped a few photos at the Naval Academy, and in scenic downtown. Hopefully you'll find one you like and give me a little "tip" by buying one.

I have never grovelled for money before, so now I am going to take a shower to get the dirty feeling off me. While I'm away, feel free to support this site!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Anchors Aweigh

We spent the weekend in Annapolis and were treated to a parade of plebes during a stroll around the Naval Academy campus. It was nice to hear Anchors Aweigh played by the band. Brought back memories!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Headline of the Week

Apparently, the Hezbollah/Israeli conflict is affecting not only Muslims and Jews, but bears.

Bear family home safe from Mideast

When asked about the accomodations provided by our government during the evacuation, Papa Bear simply replied, "Grrrrrrr!"

Final Salute

If you haven't done so already, please take an hour to read this story about Marine Corp casualty notification.

They are the troops that nobody wants to see, carrying a message that no military family ever wants to hear.

It begins with a knock at the door.

For the past year, the Rocky Mountain News has followed Maj. Steve Beck as he takes on the most difficult duty of his career: casualty notification. As Beck and his comrades at Buckley Air Force Base keep constant watch over the caskets of the men they never knew, the Marines also comfort the families of the fallen, and choke back tears of their own.

It's all part of a tradition that started in 1775: Never leave a Marine behind.

After the knock on the door, the story has only begun.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

All's Fair

Some of the many visually pleasing sights at the Delaware State Fair.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Ripped From the Headlines...Not

Three years after initially passing the bar, I made my first appearance in court today as an attorney. Let's just say, the drama of a Law & Order episode was noticeably lacking.

Let's Play Two!

Perfect night for Jack's first baseball game. Looks like someone had a good time!

Monday, July 24, 2006

Step Right Up

There are plenty of prizes to be won at the Delaware State Fair.

Poker Playing Chimp

Looks like one of our neighbors from Elkton, MD is headed to the World Series of Poker. This is news because Mikey's a chimpanzee. The video is well worth watching.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On The Water

Perfect day to take a spin in the boat. Took a little trip up the C&D Canal before dropping anchor and baiting the rods to see what was biting. Other than a solitary blue crab, not much. But who could complain, really?

Delaware State Fair

My wife, baby, and I made the trip down to the Delaware State Fair yesterday. According to wife, a farm girl from Indiana and veteran of many a "real" fair, Delaware's fair was pretty lame. Being the city boy, I thought it had everything fairs are supposed to have: rides, funnel cakes, barns full of smelly farm animals, and a large concentration of mullets.

We got to conversing, however, on the relatively small size of this fair compared to Indiana's fair. Obviously, being on the smallest state's in the country, you wouldn't expect too much in Delaware. My wife estimated that the Delaware State Fair was but a fraction of the size of Indiana's, and that the number and quality of livestock couldn't compare. But comparing the size of a small state's fair to Indiana's had us wondering what the Texas state fair would be like. As they say, everything is bigger in Texas. Now that would be something to see. In fact, I think I know where a future road trip will lead us!

Stay tuned for more photos of the fair as the week goes on.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bear With Me

I've been a little busy lately...sorry.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Orange You Glad It's Summer?

Elkton, MD. July 3, 2006.

Bug Blogging - Wilmington, DE

More tales from the bug world...

While pulling some weeds in my backyard over the weekend, my spidey sense started tingling. Something was amiss.

The sound caught my subconscious' attention first. My ears perked up and I stopped for a listen. There was a slight rustling sound...or was it scratching?

Great. The wood-boring bumble bees were back. Early in the spring, I heard a distinct scratching sound coming from the direction of the wooden gate in my back fence. By I couldn't figure out what the heck it was. I figured I had a beetle taking up residence in the wood. Later, I noticed a hole the size of nickel in the fence, near where the scratching was originating. The tell-tail drippings of saw dust mixed with bee saliva and poo that solidified into a foot long trail seeping from the hole gave the bee away. I sprayed the hole with ant spray and the scratching stopped.

A month later, the scratching was back. I happened to observe the bee coming and going. In and out of the hole he went. Scratching all the while he was inside.

Not long after I noticed this new resident, I found a second bee hovering in front of the hole. The resident bee didn't like this. This new bee was a squatter, for sure...just biding his time. Waiting for the right moment to confiscate the hole in the fence from the current resident, who was furiously renovating the inside.

The resident bee suddenly appeared from the hole and attacked! Back and forth around the back yard they zipped in an angry mid-air ballet until finally the squatter relented and buzzed off. Still on alert for several minutes, the resident patrolled the backyard, buzzing after anything that moved, from flies to birds. Just in case his quarry had returned.

From my perch, this was quite exciting, but I had work to do and a yard to protect. Having satisfactorily observed some National Geographic action in my own yard, I waited for the resident bee to make his next excursion, then stuffed his hole full of dead leaves. Forgive me, but I didn't want a bee tunneling around in my fence. When he returned, he was thoroughly confused. Where's my hole?

But now I was hearing that scratching again. Had the bee burrowed through my makeshift plug and set up shop again? I checked the fence. Nope. Hole was still plugged. Then what was that noise?

My ears followed the sound leftward towards the ivy. Then I saw it. A big, one-legged locust chowing down on some of my backyard vegetation. He had already chewed a quarter-sized hole in a leaf before I spotted him.

Last year we had a severe infestation of June bugs. This year, we have hoppers. The June bugs ravaged the back yard and darned if I was going to let this leaf eating son of a grub destroy my ivy. I flicked him off the leaf...

...and into a spider web. Hoo-boy, another opportunity to sit back and watch nature at its most exciting! The hopper hit the web and stuck. Very fortunate for both the spider and me. This was going to be good.

Thirty seconds passed, the victim remained motionless and there was no spider. I didn't have all day, so I decided to force the action. With my finger, I depressed the web repeatedly to give the spider the hint that something was stuck and helplessly tangled in the clutches of its sticky net. The locust made a single attempt to get out, but its mono-leg become more entangled. Down one leg and stuck on a web, the outlook was grim for Mr. Grasshopper.

Finally, the spider took the hint. Emerging from the silky pouch serving as its home, the spider quickly skittered out for a look. I couldn't wait to see the look in its eight eyes when it saw what was waiting as today's dinner.

As the spider emerged, the locust continued its desperate struggled to loosen its only leg from the grip of the spider's trap. It would on be a matter of moments. The spider took a few more steps towards its prey...

...then I swear it yawned, turned around, and went back to its lair for a nap. Moments later, the hopper finally wriggled free and in one mighty, single-legged leap, bounded out of sight, deep into the ivy.

They just don't make spiders like they used to.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Best World Cup Article Yet

Anyone who has watched a few World Cup games this tournament will appreciate this article on Portugal's Christiano Ronaldo. I enjoyed every word. Immensely.

Our Beloved Senator...

...strikes again.

C-Span cameras caught [Delaware Democratic Senator Joe Biden] telling an Indian-American activist that Indian-Americans are the fastest-growing immigrant group in Delaware.

In fact, Biden said, “You cannot go into a Dunkin Donuts or a 7-Eleven unless you have a slight Indian accent.”

Then there's my former governor:

[Speaking about the No Child Left Behind law, former Maryland Democratic Governor William Donald Schaefer] fixed on the question of whether Korean children would benefit from the program.

"Korea's another one, all of a sudden they're our friends, too, shooting missiles at us," he said. North Korea tested missiles this week; virtually all Korean immigrants are from South Korea.

And all this time I thought the Democratic party had a monopoly on "tolerant" politicians.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Independence Day! Take some time to read the Declaration of Independence.

September 14, 2001. Canton Square, Baltimore.

Wilmington - Worse Than Afghanistan

Though not the real thing, unlike downtown Wilmington, at least this Afghan town has a "Starbucks."

That Was A Close One!

We nearly had the country's best fireworks display ever...courtesy of a huge asteroid.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Keys To Happiness

No wonder I'm so happy! God bless America...and toss me another one of them there whoppers!

Bug Blogging - Elkton, MD

Stopped down in Elkton today and tried to get a few pictures of some of the interesting bugs that inhabit the yard. Unfortunately, heat and a crying baby cut my visit short, but I did manage a couple of quick pictures.