Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Phine Pheathered Phriends

Philadelphia has a fondness for notable birds. Yes, there are the Eagles, but I'm talking more creature-oriented than football players. There's the beloved Philly Phanatic. And the Benjamin Phranklin Phanatic, currently standing outside the Franklin Institute, as part of the Paint the Phanatic Public Art Project.

And now there's another set of fine furry friends (or phriends) sitting outside the Franklin Institute: Momma red-tailed hawk and her chicks, which hatched this week. The action was captured via webcam -- and continues to be streamed live from the nest perched on a window ledge.

When I tuned in, along with 1,093 other viewers at that moment, Momma was watching the world (and the cars down below) go by. Babies were tucked underneath, staying warm, and just beginning to poke their heads out. It's a mesmerizing sight (and site), which has spawned a fan base of Hawkaholics, both on Facebook and Hawkwatch.

Got a minute? Take a peek during daylight hours, as there are no lights to disturb the goings-on at night. It's the best armchair slice-of-nature I've seen in awhile. And harmlessly addictive, too.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

10 years; no fooling

It's April Fools Day, and the usual pranksters are at it again.
But one thing that's perfect for April 1 -- but isn't a joke -- is the fact that today I'm celebrating 10 years as an independent, freelance, entrepreneur, small-business woman, sole proprietor. I started on this day in 2000...and I'm still at it. Gainfully self-employed, thanks to the range of clients who continue to call on me, day and night, for a few good words (or paragraphs, or pages, or projects).

Whether it's an annual report (this year, for a chicken franchise, an intimate apparel maker, a biopharmaceutical company, and a real estate investment firm) or "romance" copy for a wallpaper sample book, helping senior executives formulate a speech or writing stories for employee publications (print or online), there's been no shortage in the need for good writing. Thankfully.

I've seen estimates that give small businesses a less than 10 percent chance of surviving 10 years. I'm happy to be one of the few to pass that milestone.

AMY INK: Still open for business.