January 11th, 2020

abstract butterfly

Wintry Mix, Our Friend Beatrice and Other Noteworthy Notes

We let our staff off a bit early on Friday the 10th because a storm looked set to move in to Garland, where I maintain my office. A new pressing matter kept me from taking off early, but the change proved fortuitous. I experienced a fairly calm afternoon. On last night, the tenth, the storms moved in to our neighborhood, as part of a storm that drove the temperature down from unseasonably warm to just below freezing.

I woke up to snow flurries and a light dusting without any real accumulation. We lacked snow the previous few years, as snow comes in a hit-or-miss fashion (even before climate change turned out to be a major issue). I enjoyed seeing the snow. The snow brought out a great deal of birdlife at our feeder. Blue Jays, numerous Dark-Eyed Juncos, Northern Cardinals, Mourning Doves, House Sparrows, and House Finches constitute the main visitors. A gymnastic squirrel also climbs up to the feeder. I do not mind the squirrel sharing, but resist it being able to hog all the food. A few times I opened the back door, and calmly said "hi" to the squirrel. This caused it to flee, though I  used no threat or harsh word.

Both today and the previous Saturday I went to Bethany Lakes Park as well as our local Glendover Park. Last weekend I could take Beatrice for a walk on both Saturday and Sunday.  Today I felt the atmosphere too cold for her. I did walk in Allen Station Park, where I saw White-Throated Sparrows. Last Sunday I got my flu shot at the local Wal-Greens. I felt glad to get it handled.

Last weekend we opened Christmas gifts. My wife got me a Weathertek covering for my car flooring. I like this practical gift. It spares the
carpet from hiking dirt. I also got a steering wheel cover at O'Reilly's to help spare the steering wheel. During my childhood, my great aunt covered all her car surfaces to ensure they remain pristine. My solution remains far short of this approach. But the idea seems similar.

Wednesday January 8 we celebrated the most important day of the Gurdonark calendar: the Beaversary. On January 8, 2006, we adopted Beatrice at the SPCA of Texas in McKinney. When we got her, the SPCA vet and our vet estimated her age at 6. With hindsight, we suspect her age at that time to fall below 6, but even so, she attained a very old age indeed. Whether she be 20 or 18, she soldiers on, a bit more frail, but still an active and happy dog.  I do not know how much longer we get to spend time with our friend, but we remain glad we adopted her.

As is customary in January, days range from warm to very cold to dry to rainy. As is also customary, I see more birds when I walk in January.
I created a list of 20 resolutions for 2020. I rarely make resolutions. But I plan to give this a try. I learned of this idea from the "Happier" podcast.

I watched a continuing legal education seminar about not doing drugs. I feel fortunate to be one who abstains from drugs and alcohol. Next I intend to watch the required seminar about bias in the legal community. While bias remains an issue in our profession,the seminars often come out a bit repetitive. Perhaps that strikes me as fitting, as the same old problems that ought to be resolved remain as issues.

I'm still working on Thor Magnusson's non-fiction book about music, "Sonic Writing." I started it back in October, and my progress through it proves to be steady and slow. But I like the book very well. It uses epistemology and history to bring the history of musical instruments into current era. I used to read books so quickly. On the other hand, I used to do all my reading in books and magazines. I read a lot on-line now.
I set a modest goal for 2020--12 novels or works of non-fiction, 3 novellas, and a new one--to memorize three favorite poems.

I dislike rote memorization of things. But I figure that memorizing some favorite poems promises to stretch little-used mental muscles.
I want to settle on my choices. Right now I think about Edna St. Vincent Millay's "Recuerdo" and Edward Thomas' "Adlestrop".  But I plan to decide later.

The world situation remains very troubled, between manifestations that appear to be climate change effects and troubling international conflict.  I hope to see a war on climate change someday, with no bullets.

I remain undecided in the Democratic primary,though I see myself as edging toward a preliminary decision. I found the UK election as interesting and odd as the original Brexit referendum.  I found myself intrigued that Mr. Corbyn proved such an unsuccessful candidate. I originally thought him unlikely to unify a majority with the electorate, but the prior general election suggested my judgment ran the risk of being wrong. But this election raises the question in hindsight whether a softest-of-Brexits policy offered a better way to handle the issue in terms of electoral strategy and political power. In terms of "the right thing to do", I feel it likely that Brexit constitutes a mistaken course of action. I feel confident the UK promises to recover from the blow. But we hope to see what result ensues.

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