Milpitas. The whole house just seemed to move. Strongest one I’ve felt in years here in Sunnyvale.
Just now? The house kind of rippled.
For some reason, when there’s a good one elsewhere (usually not nearby), my teeth hurt. Fillings? Probably. Right now, something’s happening somewhere.
I talk to this bird a lot. Sometimes I say, ‘Do you think you can get a little more in there?’ (It can. Because there’s peanut butter in the mix, it has learned that breadcrumbs and seed will adhere to the main gob.)
And yes, I know that little dish serves the small birds well, but is way tiny for the big guys. I’m working on it. To think that once upon a time, the towhees were too shy to come feed on the table. And I’m still trying to figure out how to take decent photos through the window, which has a fine coating of cornmeal from the multiple flingings of these same towhees, despite my constant windexing.
I don’t know about you, but I’m seldom prepared when a young hawk decides to land less than 10 feet away. This has only happened once before, but I was more traumatized this time, because I’m supposed to know a little about taking pictures now.
Luckily, the hawk was in no hurry, and is possibly too young to be as skittish as it should be. There was, however, the dusty screen, and the fear that it would fly away before I was able to get some shots.
I do have a theory about the hawk’s interest in the deer scare. For a few days now, it hasn’t been functioning right. The water dripped off to one side, missing the reservoir in the center. It made a low humming noise. Perhaps it seemed to be alive and in distress. The hawk checked it out very thoroughly, observed the water, walked back and forth on the rim of the pot, and seemed to be having a fine time just fooling around. It occurred to me to get a handful of feeder mice one day to entice it back.
Which kind of hawk was it? The Sharp-shinned juvenile is very similar to the Cooper’s. I generally turn to the pros when I have such a quandary, and this time, Jill at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory came through with a detailed explanation.
According to Jill, it’s a Cooper’s. This time of year, juveniles are frequently seen, she says. Sharp-shins have a smaller head, Cooper’s have a fiercer look. On a Cooper’s the tail is more rounded, while the Sharp-shins’ looks more square. I was confused by the brown streaks on the front. The Sharp-shins’ are described in Sibleys as being coarse, the Cooper’s thin. They looked coarse to me, but I know very little about the finer points.
Many of the tomato plants are dry and brown with large holes next to the rootballs, courtesy of our cuddly squirrel friends. These same adorable rodents are also going at the apples even though I don’t feel it’s quite time to pick. So this first fall afternoon, I did some tidying up in the garden. My lone producing zucchini plant had a large surprise. The squirrels felt it necessary to start chewing on the baby zucchinis, so I covered one with some garden cloth. Worked like a charm.
Since there is a lot of that cloth around, I think the apple tree will undergo some swaddling later today. It will look Halloweeny.
If you should ever have to spend time at another person’s house when they aren’t there, be sure and find out where the main water turn-off valve is.
It will save you a lot of grief, especially if no one is answering their cell while water gushes from the top of the tank, inundating the bathroom and moving on to the bedroom floor. Lapping at the bedspread. The internet did not save me here because I was sloshing around, and honestly, it did not occur to me to google.
Unfortunately, the bathroom floor did not have sloping sides and a drain hole in the center.
Thirty minutes later, when one of the people I tried to locate finally called, he told me to turn on the taps at the tub to lessen the pressure. The tub began rapidly filling up even though the drain was open. Then he said to reach under the toilet tank and turn off the water there, but that it would be difficult. It was, it sure was.
Clean-up was not my job, thank goodness.
This morning, I dreamed that I had enrolled in a class taught by Martha Stewart. I was in deep trouble early on when she found out I didn’t have a maid, which I needed in order to finish our first project: an elegant party for elegant people. She kept making a dismissive gesture in my direction, saying to the other students under her breath, ‘She doesn’t have a maid?’
Then we got to the hands-on part, garnishing the food with caviar. I had the bright red kind, which horrified Martha. Wrong, wrong, wrong! Well, Jeez, I was a student, how could I afford the Beluga stuff, not to even mention a maid?
I woke up feeling low. But yeah, the main water turn-off.
I was distracted by my mom’s double pneumonia on top of the brain aneurysm bleed. Either that or having to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas and the afternoons since up at El Camino at her bedside. I imagine most visitors are similarly distracted. So I left my purse in the single bathroom by the elevators.
Pretty dumb. By the time I realized, someone had placed it behind a post. Wow, good samaritan, I thought, and because I was exhausted, didn’t find out till the next day that you had gone through my wallet. Left my credit cards and some loose change. I guess you knew I was coming right back, and decided not to take more. Of course, you know what I look like, my license, of course. Were you the guy coming out as I was going in afterward? The one I asked if there was a purse in there? The one who spent more than half an hour making up the other bed in my mom’s room yesterday?
You’ll probably have a pretty happy new year, maybe buying some extra lotto tickets. Or maybe one of those big-screen tvs, if you add up all the other stuff you take. Do you have a mom? I hope she never has to spend Christmas hooked up to a bunch of machines. Because no one should have to do that.
So far, it’s not even suppertime, and we’ve had 8 or 9 kids, the last one heavily encrusted in glitter. But you never know, that may be all we get. Is it time to make a run for more candy? Not quite.
I generally eat breakfast and lunch while working, and have so far managed to keep the keyboard relatively free of crumbs and other debris. Now there’s a product to make juggling food, drink and typing a bit easier. Well, for some anyway.
Seems to be fine for conventional desktop work, but maybe not so great for laptop users since the tray, while transparent, will still block part of the screen.
By the weekend, I should know lots more about adding more umami to my food.
From this page, click on the ‘Robert Borsuk’ link.
‘Not quite winter. They look like. . . November. Not autumn, not winter. In-between.’ From Three Days of the Condor.
I cleaned the sink with Comet. Then I spritzed Windex on the toilet, including some in the bowl. As an afterthought, I poured in some bleach.
Then I remembered the article just a day ago (that I can’t find) warning against mixing household cleaners. And to leave the bathroom immediately after cleaning. Too late. My eyes were burning already.
Oh, the perils of cleaning house at the end of a long day. Here’s what the Beeb has to say about it.
Killed by shotguns after assuming what police called an aggressive stance.
Their numbers are up as many Brits enjoy seeing the occasional fox in the garden. But as in all things, there are those who beg to differ.
Roast pork and salad. And now I’m having strawberries and pineapple with two spoonfuls (yes, spoons, not scoops) of Fudge Tracks ice cream for dipping.
I saw Spellbound, and I expect to see Akeelah and the Bee as well. Bee Season was annoying in places, but overall, much better than I thought it would be.
For 10 weeks, he was lost in the Outback. After about one week, he discovered a natural dam where the leeches resided. He ate those, along with grasshoppers and frogs.
Observers say he looked like a walking skeleton when found.
In the Atlanticus Codex, Leonardo drew his idea for a self-propelling vehicle with three wheels. In the years since the discovery of the Codex, no one had been able to create the cart.
Then Italian scientists found that their earlier interpretations of the drawing were wrong. Their successful model was put on display in 2004.
If your calls for a mate are drowned out by the noise of the water, it’s a good idea to evolve toward the ultrasound level.
So many spammers. I might just turn comments off entirely. If you want to reach me, just email.
The man in front in the checkout bought a giant cherry pie, among other things, and the clerk was singing ‘Till’ to him. As he was paying, I asked what the occasion was. He was somewhat embarrassed, but grinning. ‘She’s got good taste,’ was all he said.
Of course I had to ask the clerk, who was still singing. ‘It’s his name,’ she explained. ‘Mr. Till.’
She knew all the words.
My neighbors like to enjoy a nice fire on a winter’s night. It’s unfortunate that none of them seem to realize that burning green wood is not an environmentally good thing. Especially if I go outside, look up to see if it’s clear enough for stars, and get a noseful of all of the above.
At least I stocked up on Kleenex.
Barbecued chicken, leftover coleslaw, leftover potato salad. I miss summer.
When I have low expectations for a movie, there’s room for surprise. Given the draining workweek, a semi-decent film would have done the trick.
M&MS filled the bill nicely.
From MIT, a new method for analyzing songs that just might predict the next top 10 hits with impressive accuracy.
The list includes the Halifax incident, in which two ships collided, one loaded with 2,600 tons of explosives. Also the 4,500 tons of fertilizer that exploded in a silo in Oppau, Germany.
The explosion near the Sea of Rains, or Mare Imbrium, was probably caused by a meteoroid from a taurid meteor shower.
(Maybe someone finally gave him one this Christmas. What? He took it apart? just kidding )
And 99 other fascinating facts from the Beeb.
Perhaps this has happened to you. A recipient rips open a gift - your gift - and then, the disappointment is impossible to hide. If it’s a child, there may be tears. If the child is really young, a tantrum might surface.
However, in someone old enough to know better, there is no excuse for a lack of graciousness in accepting a present. For many Christmases, I watched as a young relative made a face at efforts to please her. As she got older, she made a poor effort to mask her feelings, then dumped the gift onto her younger sister.
Two of my recipients have special needs this year, one is married to someone with a severely restricted diet (no fat, sugar or salt), the other is eliminating chocolate for medical reasons.
At Target last night, Choxies, their highly-rated new chocolate line, were everywhere. There were velvety stockings with brownie mix inside. Large, heavy (bad for mailing) canisters filled with cocoa mix. In other words, it was a bad place if you weren’t looking for chocolate. There were big gaps on the shelves where the Lindt white chocolate truffles had been. Those would have gone in my own candy jar.
I did find some Aplets and Cotlets. But for the rest of their Christmas packages, I’ll have to roll up my sleeves, and do some baking.
And still a hurricane with 75 mph winds. Weather experts are puzzled that it has retained its strength, but there is still no land threat.
For the average American, this diet would take some getting used to. It’s based on lots of fresh fish, tofu, fresh veggies, soy, and brown rice.
Are they on your holiday menu? Here’s information on ten varieties from Blue Point to Quilcene to Tatamagouche.
Lots of geese flying by this morning, much lower than last time and heading east. I wonder if they’re landing at the marshlands at the edge of town.
It was going to be a short trip, so I left the water bottle in the car. The pajamas I wanted were all gone, so I drifted into Old Navy on the way out. I found something that would work as a gift. The store was stuffy and warm, and I had a coughing spasm.
Not a real problem, the checkout person was quick. But no. She made a mistake. The kind where the manager has to be called for. The manager is in sight, but has to discuss the error with the clerk. I look around desperately for a water fountain. None in sight. I can’t stop coughing.
The manager is finally happy, and tells the clerk to ring up the sale again so there is a correct receipt. I have turned purple.
There is a lot to be said about online shopping.
The hunter, 82, thought at first that it was a goat. But it turned out to be a four-point buck, photo is here.
I heard that a couple of machines were not working at my polling place earlier, perhaps they are fixed by now.
It was a choice between chicken marsala and a beef stir fry. The beef won out simply because it has been sitting in the fridge for a few days and needed attention.
The movie is going to be kind of dark, isn’t it. We’ll see.
I’m catching up to stuff I missed those five days of the Comcast outage. This is truly remarkable.