Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

walking saturday

Friday got a bit dark before it even felt a bit late.

We ate at Rockfish Grill. I ordered my new favorite there--twelve steamed peel n eat shrimp with a single new potato and a small corn-on-the-cob, cooked without needless sauce. We spent a quiet Friday evening at home.

Saturday I got up early. Our first freeze of the Autumn had set in. I bundleed up in a warm-up and a heavy coat and gloves and a cap. I went on a 2.5 mile walk on the Watters Branch Trail. I logged what I saw into eBird and set forth the sightings here:

18 species

Mourning Dove 3
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 4
Downy Woodpecker 2
Northern Flicker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Blue Jay 7
American Crow 3
Carolina Chickadee 2
Northern Mockingbird 7
European Starling 4
Chipping Sparrow 12
Field Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco 5
Red-winged Blackbird 20
Yellow-rumped Warbler 4
Northern Cardinal 1

I was impressed with a three-legged boxer who was walking with his owners. Despite one missing hind leg and the surviving hind leg being imperfect, he was obviously enjoying his walk.

Part of my walk took me through Spirit Park, the new park in town. I like it pretty well, though it could have more natural features in place of its baseball stadium focus.

I also walked in our local park Glendover Park (I liked the Dark-Eyed Junco). A young girl pedaling a bicycle came toward me and said "Excuse me" in a high-pitched winning voice, a bit like an alto clarinet. I mistook her "excuse me" for a "may I ask you a question?" one. But it was in fact a "could you move from the sidewalk so that I can pedal by" request for pardon. I moved aside. She pedaled past, politely saying "thank you" as she went by. I said "you're welcome", impressed with her park etiquette.

I walked in the other little nearby park, Green Park, As I walked in that park, I put on my huge purple headphones. I turned the Bandcamp app up on my phone, I had recently bought C. Reider's new album, "Disappointment Engine". I walked up and down the little park and its next-door elementary school. My favorite sighting there was a White-Throated Sparrow. The timing worked out great--just when I reached my car to leave, the last track on the last song ended. The sync felt like flow.

I stopped by the Kroger supermarket, where I got bananas, lightly salted rice cakes, caramel rice cakes, and the little 50-calorie skim string cheese. For some reason, I have a hard time finding the chocolate rice cakes lately. I like the skim string cheese---I speculate that I have an advantage in that I am not much for uncooked cheese in general, and hence do not regret the way that this skim string cheese is not "real" cheese.

We lifted our living room television to put a new pad under it. I used a big book as a kind of tool to help. I went through my casual shirts and gathered those too large for me. They will go off to Good Will Though I like that tent-like feel of an XXL shirt, my actual size is XL. So I pared down a bit.

We went to Tian an Mien Wok for dinner. When we arrived, we found that its next-door neighbor, the Chinese buffet, has departed this world. I will miss it. It was dependable, clean and sufficiently varied. I used to find buffets a challenge, but now I find them easy to attend as I can choose healthy choices.

Lately I look at eBay for well-used 2-in-1 convertible laptops. My thought is to get an x86 convertible computer that I can convert into a kind of Linux tablet. I could instead get a new Android tablet or a refurbished Android tablet for not much money. But I like the idea of a Linux tablet rather than Android. I try to read non-DRM ebooks or the well-done Kindle FireOS tablets might appeal. My thinking is that I would read more if I were reading from a tablet with my ereader running. I buy fewer paper books now, in order to hinder my propensity to holding onto thousands of books at a time. While I read lots of books and magazines in paper form, I try to read novels in ebook form. I notice that I read much more non-fiction these days than fiction. I read a novel over several weeks nowadays, rather than a couple of novels a month.

Maybe I will stick with my current system of reading on my ereader app on the laptop on which I am typing. I am enjoying the current novel, William Dean Howells' "Their Wedding Journey". My reading pace, though, is deliberate rather than speedy. I notice that only science fiction gets me turning pages quickly. Like many folks, I am a fairly quick reader. But I am not consistent about spending the time or intervals readin that I used to spend.

Used laptops can be so inexpensive on eBay, yet one can do so much with them. Install an easy-to-use Linux distro and the right software packages and one has a computer, an ereader, a VOIP phone and an audio studio. But reading in bed with a laptop is somewhat imperfect. Hence I think of a convertible tablet. The relative newness of the 2-in-1 format means that it may be another year or two until prices fall to the bargain-basement level I desire. But I love eBay, because bargains do arise if one watches long enough. I sometimes think that eBay is in some sense my favorite social media. Seller ads are "posts", bids are the sincerest form of "likes", and shipping is like a great postal meet-up.

On a more somber note, the wildflres in California are on my mind. My cousin Morgan in Chico posted that his family is safe from the Paradise fire. My friend and former colleague Kathleen, who lives in Topanga, posted that she is safe from the Malibu fires. Meanwhile, in Thousand Oaks this week a man shot people at a country bar with a Glock. An early pat story about it being a former Marine with PTSD has now evolved into a more complex story about a man troubled even before his military service. The madness of repeated shootings and untreated mental illness continues to dismay.

I am also following the elections still undecided. I am waiting to hear of the next steps in the Mueller investigation. I was intrigued to read that the CEO of Hulu suggesting its price may increase. I do not use Hulu's paid service, but I do not think its price should increase.

I have a Flicker paid account. I got an email from that service that says non-paid accounts will be limited to 1,000 photos. I have 14,000 photos posted. Though I am paid up until 2020, I decided I should keep a hard copy back-up. I punched the right button on settings to supposedly get an email as to my 41 GB of photos. But no email has yet arrived. I suspect there is lots of demand for this data now.

I am amused about external hard drives. Internal hard drives are now historically cheap. USB drives are even more inexpensive. Yet the bottom-end of external hard drives are always about 50 dollars. But if competition fully existed in that market, a lower price should logically have been generated. It feels like some mystical 50 dollar price-point fix is in.

I am thinking about planning a New Year's trip.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice

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