Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Great Backyard Bird Count

northern cardinal, GBBC,  Trinity Trail, 2 16 2014

I drove to Trinity Trail today, 20 minutes from my home. I took with me a camera and a set of binoculars, as well as a pad upon which to write down what I saw. I usually do not keep bird lists, but this is Backyard Bird Count weekend.

I walked for 110 minutes, in pleasant weather. I had the trail largely to myself. The best sighting of the day was a greater roadrunner who was running in the trail. I almost missed him because I was looking up at a cardinal,but then he dashed into view. I did not see a huge variety of bird species, but I did see lots of cardinals singing.

I went to my Weight Watchers meeting, where I had gained a little weight. I am at 20 pounds lost since June 30. I would like to lose another 15, of which I hope to lose 10 by year-end.
I am on track for that pace.

After my meeting, I went to Saigon Street. Though I eat Vietnamese often, the youngish server was inclined to show me how to season the pho. She put the hot sauce and the hoisin side by side in a small mixing tray, instructed me to blend them, and to dip my chicken into them.
I usually do things more blandly (and perhaps less appropriately), but I went ahead and followed her lead. I enjoyed the meal.

I always like to actually do part of the Great Backyard Bird Count sitting on the patio furniture in my back yard, so I staked out half an hour and began to watch. Seven mourning doves were on the roof across the street. Three dark-eyed juncoes foraged in our yard. I enjoyed giving them half an hour of my attention.

dark-eyed junco, 2 16 2014, backyard

I took Beatrice for a walk in the park at day's end. She enjoyed it. We passed a Scottie-like terrier who barked to try to get Beatrice's attention. Beatrice gave a good-natured bark back, and gave me a look that said "what now?". Then she gave me a look that said "let's roll" and struck out walking.

Tonight we ate hamburgers. I updated my laptop. One set of packages failed to update, but the other 157 packages did fine. I must sort out the other package, but I believe it relates to an selinux and scriptlets issue. This little laptop has now given me a year of solid use,despite the fact that I paid only 56 dollars for it (and its cord) when I bought it on eBay. I like to see gadgets in terms of purchase price divided by number of uses. By that measure, the price-per-use for this laptop is quite low indeed.

I was amused when I realized that my supposedly powerful "work" laptop, which I use when I must travel and need to work in Microsoft Word, is only a bit more powerful than my cheap Linux laptop. The work computer is dual-core, whereas the cheaper laptop is single-core. I now often run Porteus Linux on my "work" laptop via USB for all but word processing anyway. The new Libre Office now handles more Word tasks than the prior version. Someday, I suspect I will no longer use Windows, except at work. I do find myself watching the ads,though, as someday I will upgrade my laptop. The desktop upgrade worked so well that it is tempting to upgrade immediately. But when my cheap Linux laptop is configured in the ways I like,it's hard to go through with replacing it. When I do, I will either go with a more powerful used system, which is pre-Secure-Boot, or have another preconfigured Linux laptop created for me.

I have yet another busy week ahead,but I look forward to living it.

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