Friday, January 19, 2007

Flocks a lot

Today, the flock of robins descended on our backyard again - the holly berries are gone, but they roost at the very top of the neighbor's tree that borders our backyard, eating the berries there, and filling the empty branches of the peach tree. One particularly plump male sits on our patio roof, watching the busy antics of the sparrows at the feeder, while digging around in the gutter for bugs or worms (could a worm have crawled so high?). He seems too large to balance on the feeder himself, although the jays don't seem to mind, when they strongarm the little ones out of the way for an occasional feed.

Someone captured the amazing starling flock as it made art in our skies last week.

Friday, January 12, 2007

A wintery morning

Blogger has it out for my resolution to blog more. Ever since they upgraded to a newer version (that to me, looks completely the same, except for the ability to "tag" things - this term makes me feel slighly illegal, like a very untalented graffiti artist or some angry teenager with a can of paint), the publishing part of blogging is unreliable. And really, what's the point of blogging if you can't publish? And what's the point of sitting down to write if, when you click that button, you are faced with a list of error messages that make no sense?

Well, hope springs eternal, and here I am. Speaking of spring, I can't wait. While parts of the country are puzzled by seeing brown grass instead of snow, and all the warm temperatures, we are freezing here in sunny California. I have been wearing my flannel pajamas for too many nights to count. I'm not sure if I'd be quite so grumpy about the temperature if I weren't so old - I guess complaining about the weather is one of those things that kicks in at mid-life, like a compulsion to talk about your doctor and compare medications with people at a party.

OK, that was two paragraphs of complaints - my goal was to write about stuff I like. Birds at the feeder, Rosie O'Donnell's imitation of Donald Trump, a cup of hot coffee, the NY Times, especially on Monday when I can be sure I'll finish the crossword puzzle. On Fridays, I just throw up my hands in disgust and amazement. How could the puzzle makers be so clever as to come up with THREE phrases that run across the complete width of the square, all the same length, that fit together for down words as well? I get so overwhelmed thinking about their brilliance and process, that I can barely look at the clues.

I'm alone with Lola and my coffee this morning, as Barb is in Los Angeles. I'll join her there tonight for a quick weekend visit to celebrate some birthdays (not ours). We are going to be staying at a place called the "Sportsman's Lodge". I guess it is "historical" - for LA, that means it's been around for more than 25 years and there was probably some wood involved in its construction. I hope it's been upgraded. I think they could have upgraded the name to be more gender-inclusive: "The Sportperson's Lodge"; "The Sporty Lodge"; "The Lodge". It could be that just the name is the historical part, and it's been completely re-built.

Well, here goes - let's see if this post gets published!! I'll tag it for good luck.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Loving the new year

Since I've said that I will blog more this year, I may as well get right to it and jump in on day one. I'm not sure what I will write about, but I'm sure things will come to me. It occurs to me that one bit of advice that you alway hear is "write about what you know" or "write about what you love". I do know a lot, and much of what I know, I do love, so that's a nice wide open area from which to generate ideas.

Here's one thing I love: wireless internet connection. Just this past year I got a new laptop with a virtual private network connection to my office, and with it, a slammin' wi-fi card. Another thing we crossed off the list in '06 was to set up our DSL with a router so that we didn't have to dial-up while in the house. So here I sit, on the couch with the dog stretched out on the carpet, Barb napping next to me, while I cruise the internet superhighway (remember when they called it that? what a dumb name), purchasing things on amazon, looking at flickr sets, reading email, and posting a blog.

I love the wi-fi but I do not know it. That is, I do not understand it. It is one of those magical mysteries of life, like television or quantum theory or how you can see when the soul leaves the body or how the brain works. I am content in not knowing how a lot of things work, because I am not scientific, I prefer to contemplate the mystery and appreciate being able to have my faith in the mystery's continual function. I will click the remote - and "blam!" I can watch the Rose Bowl parade and enjoy without understanding how a band can play so well while marching double time and flinging their instruments to and fro.

I enjoy making theories about how things work and I also enjoy arguing about the possible ways that mysterys could be solved, but the actual explanations are not as interesting to me. I may hear them and forget them right away.

It's new years, and time to make your dead list.