Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

meadowlark song

The day proved to be a bitter cold but windless and rainless day. I read about how snow geese and Ross' geese are at the nature preserve an hour north of here. I set out to go there, but decided to go to nearby Oak Point Park, so that my wife and I could see a matinee movie. I thought that I would not see many birds on a cold morning. When I arrived, though, the air was full of birdsong.

The park features sidewalks running through open fields along a woodland, leading up to a pond. As I came near the pond, I saw a red-bellied woodpecker or two, noisily expressing their opinions on some bare trees. Then I saw two hawks circling in the distance. Then I came upon a flock of meadowlarks [I am fairly sure that a flock of meadowlarks is not called an 'aspic']. They flitted from ground-spot to ground-spot to tree. A few showed breasts so golden they were vibrant. I looked at them through my binoculars for a long time, but did not get any pictures. Then I continued around the pond.

At the other end of the pond, a bare tree contained a huge kestrel. Kestrels are small but colorful falcons. This particular kestrel was the size of a small Cooper's hawk, which is a good size indeed for a kestrel. I saw him swoop down after prey, but I did not see him capture any prey. As I continued around the pond, I saw a small bird, perhaps a northern parula (but I am not sure). He perched on a tall but dead weed. As I watched, he flitted down to capture insects. I saw him succeed a time or two. This interested me because the bitter cold did not seem an ideal insect hunting time.

I walked back to my car and drove home. My wife and I then drove to Elke's Market in Allen. Everyone there knows my wife, who regularly visits there. I had the navy bean soup and a pulled pork sandwich, while my wife had the tunafish sandwich. We forgot to get macaroons, and then the line was too long.

We then drove to Cinemark at Legacy, a movie theater. We saw the new Robert DeNiro movie, "Everybody's Fine". We both were touched by this little film, with its air of sadness commingled with a few notions about honesty, family and loneliness.

This evening we visited a local Nissan dealership in nearby McKinney. We negotiated for a new car for my wife. We really liked the salesguy and the model of the car in question. We were not able to close a deal, as the price I advised that we were willing to pay was less than the price they advised was what they were willing to take. We had already offered more than we might have offered otherwise, based on our research as to a proper price, due to the proximity of the dealership and our comfort with the bright young salesman. We departed without a new car. My hope is that the dealership will review its position and take a different position. I am indifferent,though, as this is a buyer's market for cars, and if we do not get what we wish here, we will get what we wish for even less money at another dealership.

I do not think of myself as a haggler, though in fact I haggle a good bit in my professional life. That fellow Mr. Kenny Rogers had a lyric along the lines that one must "know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em" I always found that line a bit banal. I see it differently. One must be prepared to give a number, and go to trial if the number is not met. Similarly, one must be willing to leave the lot without a car, if one's number is not met. We left the lot without a car, but time will tell if anyone's thinking evolves.I enjoyed the negotiation relatively well, though it is curious to me to offer more than I should offer, and then meet with anything other than an acceptance. When I hear the tired reasons for this or that, then I get impatient/bored, because by now every dealer should realize a lot of those tricks like "look at my invoice printed from my screen" don't work with even a casually informed buyer. That is the nature of that process, though. I liked that the salesman and his manager were nice guys, with a minimum of hassle, even if their pricing underestimated my resolve.

We drove home, where I watched the University of Texas narrowly escape defeat in a college football game at the hands of a really courageous effort by the University of Nebraska team, which in many ways "deserved" to win. Sadly, football, like life, has a kind of struggle-against-the-odds-and-come-up-nobly short aspect, which I suppose proves we all live in an Icelandic saga. It may be a saga of car salesmen and squawking woodpeckers, but it is our own story nonetheless. Meadowlarks tell it to the wind.

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