Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Yes, there are hawks in suburbia

It shouldn't be too hard to keep a small flock of backyard chickens.  So when we built our coop-area, we though mainly about protecting them from the weather and things like neighborhood cats and dogs.

There's a threat from above even here in downtown New Jersey.  Chicken Hawks (or as my son corrects me; Red-Tailed Hawks) circle above, and boy do they like chicken.  So after learning the hard way and loosing a hen, we strung up pond-netting to protect our flock.

Now I see hawks all the time - because I'm watching.  Start watching!  You'll see things you never imagined were there.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

10 Reasons Chickens Are Better Pets Than Dogs

10. No licensing fees. I think the towns tried to require licenses, but getting a chicken to wear a collar isn't as easy as it seems.

9. Chickens don't beg. They won't endlessly bother you for your table scraps. Chicken feed and bugs is about all they need to be happy.

8. Chickens don't bite. I've never seen a chicken with a muzzle and I've never been asked to wait at the front door while a customer puts their chickens away. But please ladies; don't wear open-toed shoes with fabulously painted toenails around your chickens. Or at least if you do, please make sure I'm there to videotape it.

7. Chickens don't eat there own...you know. C'mon, you dog owners know what I'm talking about! Let's just say you certainly don't want Fido licking your face after feasting on this particular snack.

6. Dog's don't have the market cornered on being glad to see you when you get home from work. Nothing's funnier than seeing a flock of hens running up to greet you when you step out of your car.

5. Chicken names can be more fun than dog names. How about pEGGy Sue, HENrietta or Off-Road Clucker? Or, if you're six years old, you might choose Yelly, Brownie and Chickie - like Jeff's daughter did for our chickens. And yes, in the near future some poor feline will be named Bubbles.

4. You look at bugs in a totally different way. Before chickens, I'd do what most do when confronted by a gnarly-looking insect -- squash it! Now, when confronted with a shiny exoskeleton I can't help but wonder if Brownie might find the little creep tasty!

3. Don't ever have to walk your chicken. I just don't have it in me to walk a dog twice a day in all kinds of weather. Chickens don't need walking. Better yet, you don't have to follow your chickens around to pick up their warm, smelly...you know.

2. Chickens are quieter than dogs. Allow me to clarify: by chickens, I mean hens. Roosters are a whole different story - just ask our neighbors.

1. Chickens contribute productively to the family, dogs just eat. Sure you have to feed chickens too, but at least they produce eggs for you! Mmmm. Scrambled, fried, poached, over-easy, in-a-basket, salad, benedict, deviled...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lots of candidates? Not so much.

Unemployment in the USA has been headline news for a while now and the 'man on the street' conclusion is that it should be easy for companies to find employees.

Unfortunately, it's not that easy.

Of course, that's not to say that we don't get a lot of applicants - we get scads of them. It's just that finding the right employee isn't so easy.

But don't take it from me, read this article from the Wall Street Journal:

Some Firms Struggle to Hire Despite High Unemployment

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ecobee is super nif-tee!

Fellow ClimateTalk Alliance Member Ecobee can be quite proud of their product. The Ecobee thermostat flawlessly connects to the internet to allow its users web access to change thermostat settings and set up programming.

They really had their Nogginthinkingcaps on when they thought to put the weather report right on the thermostat display and when they made it easy for customers to schedule maintenance with convenient on-board reminders.

And boy, the design of the Ecobee is super-sleek - enough to make Steve Jobs blush! Add to all that the fact that there is even an Ecobee iPhone App you can use to control the thermostat leaves me virtually speechless.

You can bet Nogginhaus clients will see Ecobees on their living room walls & we look forward to seeing more of their Nogginhaus musings in the future.

Check out Ecobee here...

Friday, November 13, 2009

ClimateTalk and Nogginhaus

Spent the day in Phoenix, Arizona with the good folks at the ClimateTalk Alliance. Nogginhaus is now a member of the alliance and will be helping the smart people from Emerson, EDC, Microchip and more create a product that will revolutionize the way houses work (house? work? housework!).

So how will they work?

That's our task. It seems to me that we really do live in a Matrix of sorts. Data is everywhere --getting it to the people and machines that can make good use of it is the challenge.

ClimateTalk is up to that challenge.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Smart Machines

Your cellphone rings. A voice tells you that you need a gallon of milk and you have about a week's worth of mustard left for the family-pack of Hebrew Nationals you bought last weekend.

You make a mental note to make a supermarket stop on the way home from work tonight.

No, it wasn't your wife who called, it was your refrigerator.

A recent Wall Street Journal blurb announced a joint venture between Verizon and Qualcomm to provide "machine to machine communication" via cellular equipment.

Machines are already smart, they just need to communicate. Once they do that, who needs you?


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wethinks about chickens, Part Double Yolk

I wrote a few months back about raising chickens in our backyard (read it here).

Evidently, this line of thinking is becoming more mainstream.

Boog is worried about that and thinks maybe we should consider pheasant instead.

Check out this video from the Wall Street Journal about the chicken wars in Salem, Oregon.