Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

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bird talk



Today I slept in until 7:30 a.m., and then finished watching the movie "Hellboy", which picked up a great deal of steam as it went along. I think that Selma Blair has an appealing "I can't say what", but I can't say what it is.

A kind neighbor sent us a huge dish of chicken 'n' dressing and another equally huge dish of scalloped potatoes, so we lunched in high style. I played a lot of blitz chess on the Free Internet Chess Server. My results remain spotty (my blitz rating is always quite low compared to my slow chess strength), but I am getting very comfortable with the Old Indian and the Philidor again system again. I will be in tournament shape in a few weeks. It's good to win more games, and to feel my oats again.

The Free Internet Chess Server is free. The Internet Chess Club costs fifty dollars a year, but I let my membership there lapse. Contrary to the normal "rule" that people respect more the things they pay for, the courtesy level on FICS is always very high, while ICC had a pretty high "jerk" factor.
I deeply dislike player discourtesy, so it's great when people aren't rude. I do not know which kind of rudeness I dislike more--the wiseacre comment rudeness, or the kind of rudeness that leads a sore loser to declare that I must be using a computer to assist me, and then screening response with a censor command prior to my having a chance to respond. On FICS, by contrast, people are in general very kind.

At 2 I set out to go to Park Hill Prairie fishing. I stopped in the bait shop in Farmersville with the euphonic name "The Minnow Bucket" and got worms and bobbers and even dime old-fashioned real cork corks.
But I missed the turn for Park Hill Prairie, and instead went on a drive through rural Collin, Fannin and Grayon counties. I drove through Howe and Whitewright and Tom Bean and Melissa and Trenton and a world of other little towns. I loved the look of winter fields and bare trees, and especialaly holly berries hanging from jagged bare branches. During my drive, I listented to The Outsider's Christmas CD, which is, as is his wont, very good dark-ish ambient stuff. His take on "Dance of the Sugar Plum Faeries" is perhaps the best Christmas song I heard this holiday season--stark and eerie and other-worldly, as any song about the Good Folk should be. I must learn some of the cool ways to make sound he knows someday, although even when I do I doubt I'll get it down as he does.

At one point during my drive, I saw a huge hawk soaring over a field, with a white-ish breast and almost blue-ish wings, a rather owlish looking hawk.. One of my law partners gave me "Birds of Texas" for Christmas (the other gave me an encyclopedia of musical instruments, suggesting I have attentive law partners), and I looked up this curious bird, which was not a red-tailed hawk. The book suggests I saw a northern harrier, and I say, "cool!". It looked like a huge owl, in a way, but it was a hawk, not an owl, and now I know it was probably a harrier.

I stopped at McKinney Towne Lake Park to take a walk. As I rounded one edge of the lake, a flock of Canada geese took off, rising above me rather like an airliner heading up from a runway. It was very cool.

We had a nice bit of chicken at Mac's, a bar and grill type place, and now we're in for the evening.
It was a restful day.
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