Monthly Archives: October 2003

Flocks of Migrating Birds

Today, I went over to Blue’s to help her out with her computer. As I was walking up to her place, the olive trees were full of flitting, chirping birds. At first I thought they were the usual SoCal crew of twittering bushtits, but I kept seeing flashes of blue.
As I walked up the sidewalk, the birds would flush out of the nearest tree to the tree just in front of me. It was enough movement and flight for me to realize that I had walked into a large migrating flock of western bluebirds, orange-crowned warblers, and yellow rumped warbers. There were at least 40 plus birds.
Truly wonderful and extraordinary.
Get out in the next week to areas of trees and calm, and you may find yourself delighted to be in the midst of a flock of northern birds on the way to their winter holidays in Latin America.

Sugar Plum: The Countdown Begins

Sugar Plum's Odometer

Sugar Plum, my lovely – albeit a wee cosmetically battered – 1993 Honda Civic, is now at 198,541 miles. Given that I drive approximately 30,000 miles a year, Sugar Plum ought to turn over 200,000 before the end of October.
I plan on carrying my camera with me close to the due date to make sure I get a picture of all of those zeros.

The Evening Walk at Bolsa Chica

As mentioned in my posts of the last hour, Erika and I went on a circumnavigation of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands. Usually we walk on the path that is a couple of hundred yards east of Pacific Coast Highway. Today we started at the parking lot just off PCH and walked around and ended up walking down PCH. Bad idea. Halfway through the walking south on PCH in the bike lane, I was lightheaded by the car fumes. Luckily there is a culvert between the two lagoons that allowed us to walk back on the good path.
Here are my pictures of the various photogenic and attention hound birds that we came across in our 1.5 hour jaunt at sunset /dusk. There were several snowy egrets, 3 great egrets, and one kingfisher in the photos. We also saw, but I did not capture with the Mavica, brown pelicans in flight, a lot of ruddy ducks, a few surf scoters, various terns & gulls, and pied-billed grebes.

Snowy Egret Great Egret Great Egret
Snowy Egret Snowy Egret Kingfisher
Great Egret and the Sunset Great Egret Snowy Egret

Crush -> Smitten

Whilst walking along the path at Bolsa Chica today, as I was babbling along about my “Favorite Cute Man”, Erika pointed out to me that I have passed beyond “Crush” to “Smitten.” She’s right. Just thought I ought to let y’all know.

Homesteaders Evicted

This late-afternoon / early-evening, Erika and I went for a walk at Bolsa Chica Wetlands and then to dinner at Kung-Pao in Huntington. At dinner, Erika asked me what was happening with the spider family that was homesteading on the trash bin. She reminded me that I had not blogged about it in weeks and that I had a duty to my readers to update.
Here’s the update: Two Tuesdays of Trash Days after the last update, the trash bin went out to the curb with Ms. Spider and her two egg sacs attached on Monday evening and came back on Tuesday afternoon sans Ms. Spider and her two egg sacs. I did not bring the trash cans back, as the front house neighbor got to them before I could, so I don’t know if the spider family took off on their own out at the curb, was shaken off into the trash truck, or if the front neighbor sprayed them with Raid. I am sorry to report that there is only a remnant of her web left dangling on the trash bin.


Last week, I left a message on Wanda’s machine to the effect of, “My family is in the middle of a huge conuberation. Argh!” Wanda left me a message later that said, “I looked up conuberation and it is not in any dictionary. What did you mean by that word?” Blessings upon my English Masters / journalist/ editor friends for keeping me honest.
I looked in my dictionary. There is a conurbation (a continuous network of urban communities; example: Los Angeles). But no conuberation. I was surprised, as I have been using the word for years, mostly with Erika and my brother Joe. Upon reflection, I realized that Erika, Joe, and I all make up new words all the time, and as a result have no problem with using made up words in context. Some of the words get used frequently, and then become a “word” in our vocabulary.
I called Erika and asked if I made up conuberation or if it is a real word, because I know that she and I use it all the time. She told me that I made it up years ago to describe how crazy my family is and that we both now use it regularly in conversation. She said it is spreading to other people.
Here is the official definition that Erika and I have decided upon:
Conuberation: \k&#228n-(y)u-ber-‘a-zhen\ modern Califorian, n: a fit or enactment of crazy, mixed up, hysterical, out of control place, situation or family.
The conuberation is a hybrid of conniption and conurbation.

Mirror Project Submission #3

After months of taking bad self-portraits in hopes of finding something to submit to the Mirror Project, I finally took a photo worth sending in on Sunday night at the Grisham for Governor Rally at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Hollywood.
I was downstairs when Gina Martinez introduced me to Stuart from the English Dogs. Gina wanted a picture of her and Stuart together, and I took one. The next day I was looking through my photos of the event and found that I was in the mirror behind Gina and Stuart. I submitted it to the Mirror Project.
Unfortunately, I did not get to see the English Dogs while they were in LA this last weekend even though I heard great reports of their shows at the Knitting Factory and Alex’s Bar, but I do hope that Stuart and Jock had a lovely time at Disneyland on Monday.

Movable Type, Auto-Discovery, and Track Backs

Much to my horror last night, I discovered that Movable Type will automatically send a track back ping to a blog post that I linked in one of my posts. Yes, my post-election rant and rave that included insults, swear words, and bad logic that was therapeutic for me but got track backed to JD’s New Media Musings post about the election when I linked his post to a part of mine. I apologized in JD’s comment section, cleaned up my original post, and spent most of this morning searching on the MT support forum on how to not have automatic track backs.
What I discovered is that in the “Weblog Config” section of the MT interface has a section on Track Backs, and that in that configuration section is a box that I can check to allow for “Auto-Discovery” to be on. What this means, as I found out today, is that if the box is checked (which it was), MT will take any link you put in your blog and ping the site to see if it will recognize you. All MT and TypePad Blogs that are Track Back enabled will put an exerpt of your post on the other blog automatically without you (me) realizing that has happened until it is too late to change it. That is what happened to me last night. “Heil Arh-nold. Fucker.” And all.
I must admit to being confused about Track Backing for some time. I have several times now followed the directions on how to do a Track Back to let folks at other blogs know when I have referred to their posts. But to find out that MT automatically put a track back on JD’s blog when I linked his post distressed me, mostly because I respect JD’s writing and I used the “f” and “c” words about our new Esteemed F-ing Guv’ner* in my original post.
I turned Auto-Discovery off tonight. I would rather take the 3 or so steps to manually Track Back a post rather than make an automatic ass out of my self. JD Lasica is a true gentleman and a great thinker on media old and new.
* All due respects to Skippy…