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Still in Hiding/153s November 22, 2019

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Clearly, the writing thing is not happening in 2019. Sorry, blog buddies. I miss you. I miss me. So that I put something up this month, no matter how dull, here are more 153s:

  • In October, I added up interrupted time logged on a job over the course of the day and once again came up with 153 minutes.
  • When I was shopping for an iPhone 11, I watched some promo video that clocked in at 1:53.
  • The other day Tim told someone that his bird species count for the year so far is 153. Really, dude? First, so far ahead of my count; second, 153.
  • Two days ago my work-notes log for the year hit page 153.
  • According to a recent TV Guide, the show Gilmore Girls made 153 episodes.

Riveting, I know.

8BY3: Quarterly Report October 28, 2019

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My birding life has taken a nosedive, not only because things always slow down as the year progresses, but also because I have generally disappeared as life’s distractions take over. (E.g., I meant to post this 27 days ago.)

I did not see an indigo bunting this year. Everybody saw indigo buntings this year. I saw so many photos of buntings at feeders and never saw one on my own.

I added only ten species in the third quarter, six on a July work trip to Portland, where not only did I see the rare-and-much-sought-after little blue heron but also, for the first time in many years, American oystercatchers. Another highlight was a pair of peregrines hunting above the skyscrapers of Philadelphia, which we saw from a rooftop before heading off to the Rolling Stones concert.

This quarter: osprey, willet, common tern, little blue heron, Bonaparte’s gull, American oystercatcher, mute swan, peregrine falcon, solitary sandpiper, green heron.

Year-to-date count: 136. (2012: 110. 2013: 173 [which turned out to be that year’s total]. 2014: 116. 2015: 124. 2016: 113. 2017: 141. 2018: 138.)

Cool Gray Khaki September 14, 2019

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That is the name of the color of the 2019 Subaru Crosstrek I ordered. The thing is, I’d never seen one in person, at least not one sitting still. They didn’t have that color on the lot. In fact, they didn’t have an unpurchased 2019 on the lot, so I couldn’t even test drive one.

In some photos online, I liked the color. In others, I wasn’t so sure. You know how that goes.

I did the paperwork and put down a deposit that gave me right of first refusal, as it’s apparently a difficult color to get. If I didn’t like it, I’d get a dark gray.

I rented a car for a week, went to Maryland, visited my mother (out of the hospital, back in rehab), went to Mary Helen’s funeral, went to church. Made some connections and reconnections.

Dropped off the rental and headed to the dealer on a day when I was having strange dizzy spells. I hope that doesn’t turn into a real story in my future.

I think I like the color. I thought I did enough to buy it. But Tim had to drive it home. Those dizzy spells scared me.

Cool gray I get. Khaki I don’t get. In the bright light, it’s bluer, but I think it’s a blue I can live with.

Now I have to learn how everything works. It’s like a computer in there.

Brown September 13, 2019

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That was the color of my beloved 2008 Subaru Outback. With a new clutch and brakes, it could have easily lasted a few more years (despite the not-nice things its own dealer said about it at trade-in!). I worry I let that car go too early. I didn’t even get a proper goodbye. I was attending to an appointment when it was towed, and I never saw it again. This makes me teary. Eleven and a half years.

 

*And some of you were here when I bought that car.

Black September 2, 2019

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Things I am mourning:

My days of manual transmission. It’s a long story, but when my 11-year-old, 128K-miles Subaru Outback needed a new clutch, I opted to try get a new car so as to avoid the possibility of two car payments (Tim’s car has many more miles). And I’ve let myself be talked into my first automatic transmission ever (admittedly, Tim’s car is automatic). This is a tough decision for me. But there are practical factors to consider. Sadly, I had to get my clutchless Subaru towed last week. I didn’t even get a proper goodbye. And I don’t know when my new car will arrive. This in-between time has its own complications, on top of my sadness.

My mother’s health. She’s back in the hospital. I got word of that ten minutes after my car broke down. It wasn’t a good day. She appears to be stable, but school has started, so my sister can’t head south with me unless things are dire. I can’t wander down there at the moment because I don’t have a car. There may be a rental in my near future, but I’m trying to hold off on that until it becomes truly necessary.

Mary Helen. My best friend’s mother is actively dying, in our hometown. I imagine that the timing of my trip south, barring a rapid downturn on my mother’s end, will be to see Mom when I go to attend MH’s funeral. (MH died this hour, before I had a chance to post this.)

A Smattering of 153s August 30, 2019

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On June 28, a friend posted this caption (because of the name, obviously) from the Facebook page of Historical Society of Carroll County:

Approximately 153 years ago, in the June of 1866, J. H. Christ, who was then the president of the Board of School Commissioners of Carroll County determined that 92 schools in the county were “unfit” for operation. The commission would later enact a redistricting plan to ensure that no students needed to travel more than 4 miles to their designated school. This image is of the Carroll Academy whose building—though closed—still stands on Littlestown Pike today.

And here’s a farmstand receipt from early August. The tomato cost $1.53.

And here’s my Santana ticket, which cost almost $153 (actually, quite a bit more with fees and tax).

 

8BY2: Quarterly Report July 3, 2019

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I asked Marty if there were still whip-poor-wills around that part of Pennsylvania, and he said yes, and that we could probably hear one when we were at Chuck’s house the next night. The next night, as soon as the sun went down, one landed on the roof, planted itself there for awhile, and sang.

This quarter: ring-billed gull, green-winged teal, blue-winged teal, great egret, snowy egret, yellow-bellied sapsucker, ruby-crowned kinglet, field sparrow, fox sparrow, brown-headed cowbird, purple finch, chipping sparrow, eastern towhee, red-breasted nuthatch, ruffed grouse, palm warbler, American woodcock, double-crested cormorant, sharp-shinned hawk, glossy ibis, greater yellowlegs, yellow-rumped warbler, pine siskin, barn swallow, tree swallow, eastern meadowlark, yellow warbler, Baltimore oriole, ruby-throated hummingbird, rose-breasted grosbeak, blue-headed vireo, black-and-white warbler, gray catbird, magnolia warbler, black-throated green warbler, ovenbird, hermit thrush, northern waterthrush, chimney swift, house wren, warbling vireo, blue-winged warbler, chestnut-sided warbler, bobolink, broad-winged hawk, northern parula, black-throated blue warbler, Blackburnian warbler, common yellowthroat, white-crowned sparrow, brown thrasher, eastern kingbird, eastern wood pewee, great-crested flycatcher, scarlet tanager, cliff swallow, red-eyed vireo, American redstart, least flycatcher, blackpoll warbler, spotted sandpiper, wood thrush, white-eyed vireo, eastern whip-poor-will.

Year-to-date count: 126. (2012: 102. 2013: 162. 2014: 102. 2015: 120. 2016: 104. 2017: 115. 2018: 130.)

“In Hiding” June 28, 2019

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Bridgett’s link on her blog to mine now reads “In Hiding – Route 153,” and she’s right. I’ve been very much in hiding. Overwhelmed. Mute.

So here I am waving to you.

The RBGBs came back the day I wrote about them, and they are still here. There are at least five males and four females, constantly dropping by the feeder.

It’s been three weeks since I’ve added a species to my list. Quarterly post in a few days.

Some 153s June 28, 2019

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They are everywhere, of course, but here are the few I’ve bothered to note:

  • On March 6, I watched the HBO trailer for the last season of Game of Thrones, which clocked in at 1:53.
  • On March 27, I read in the New York Times “Rockland County, with a population of more than 300,000, has had 153 confirmed cases of measles since October. Of those, 48 have occurred in 2019.”
  • On April 11, when I added up the bits of time I had worked on the museum journal that day, it turned out to be 153 minutes.
  • In April, my buying club order totaled $153.42 (see receipt).

 

 

Welcome RBGBs! May 3, 2019

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It’s a wet, cold spring. I have been watching my feeder for rose-breasted grosbeaks, hoping they will show up on time.

This is year 8 for listing species. In the past seven years, three times my first sighting of an RBGB was on May 3. Today.

May 3 is also the latest they’ve shown up. There was an early-bird sighting one April 26. Two April 29 sightings. One May 1.

It’s been so dreary I wouldn’t blame them for taking their time, but one showed up at neighbor’s feeder last weekend, a mere 2 miles away.

A Baltimore oriole, a ruby-throated hummingbird—they showed up today in the cold rain.

A watched feeder never produces an RBGB.

Maybe I’ll put a welcome sign on the window.