Day 182/Day 32 Labor Day

One of the worst things about this COVID shut down is that no day seems special — they’re all the same.  BOR-ing!  Weekends don’t seem different either.  Sundays maybe a little different because the garbage bins need to be put out on the street for Monday early morning pickup.  No mail delivery today — a bit unusual but not unusual enough to stand out in this dreary span of useless days.  There should be a party, a BBQ, a family get together.  I should be coming home from Strawberry Music Festival. 

Talked to my niece yesterday — she reminded me she isn’t having the big Thanksgiving dinner this year: her husband has COPD & they can’t take the chance.  And what will Halloween be like?  I don’t give out treats — for years I went to the grandkids’ house and just never started up after they got too big to go trick or treating.  (If I had my external hard drive, I’d post a cute picture of Grandson’s first Halloween, when he was 2.  He was a green monster, in green sweats & with his hair dyed green.  We coached him for a week about saying “trick or treat” but when he went next door for his first, the neighbor opened the door and he held up his little sack and said “Gimme some candy.”  Fond memories.)  The Kid, Granddaughter & I, maybe Daughter too, might get together for Christmas (& I suppose Girl Friend will also be there) but Grandson probably won’t — he thinks he should stay at university so he doesn’t bring those germs home to us, specifically me.  And he’s right — I read an article the other day that said exactly that.  I will be so grateful when (and if) this COVID business goes away!


Happy start to the day!  Two yellow-billed magpies playing on the lawn this morning.  (The yellow-billed magpie is a large bird in the crow family that is restricted to California & inhabits the Central Valley and the adjacent chaparral foothills and mountains. Apart from its having a yellow bill and a yellow streak around the eye, it is virtually identical to the black-billed magpie) They damn near got wiped out by West Nile virus back in 2014, 2015 — haven’t seen any in years. They used to be thick around here — every spring they’d dive bomb poor Charlie when she went out in the back yard — she’d flatten out & chitter at them for about 2 seconds & then run for the house. A small ray of hope in the larger picture of environmental destruction.  I hope they get to be really prevalent again.  Red-winged blackbirds too — they also got hit pretty hard.


The It’s Always Something Dept.  Clicked to turn on the tv last night.  The little red light came on, but it was blinking and nothing on the screen.  Unplugged it, waited a minute or two then plugged it back in.  Then it worked.  But the same thing happened a couple of weeks ago … which leads me to believe that it might be headed towards going belly up.  I really hope it holds on at least until next month, when I can afford to buy a new one.  I priced them over a year ago at Sam’s — $145.  With inflation & all Cheeto Voldemort’s tariffs they’re probably $200 or more by now.  Le sigh.


It was already 90° at 9:30🕤 this morning, and it’s 101°, headed for 109°.  Luckily the AQI just slid over into the Moderate range.  But I guess it doesn’t matter much because I’m not going outside for love nor money!  Doing the dishes, and then going to start on the living room (dust & vacuum).  I guess all this also falls in the It’s Always Something Dept. but it’s bigger & worse than that.  Needless to say, I didn’t get to walk this morning, and my back is screaming — also needless to say.

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2 weeks ago

How come you know so much information about everything?  I get a real good education from you. I had no idea about the birds you were talking about…all I have seen lately is back crows and blue jays around here.

I wish more people had the same attitude about this virus…the more people who stay far away the better we will get rid of this.  Stay safe my friend.

2 weeks ago

@jaythesmartone I think because I’m very interested in the natural world — if I could I’d live out in the rural area.  Also, my education is as an archaeologist & you have to be familiar with the flora & fauna in the area you’re working in to be able to complete site reports.  But as a kid I loved the Jean Stanton Porter books & the Thornton Burgess Old Mother Nature series & just kept on from there.  But I couldn’t tell you squat about mathematics, or physics, or many of the hard sciences.  Or cooking.  Nor am I much of an expert on romantic relationships. 😋

2 weeks ago

@ghostdancer

Well that is why we have each other for friends….what you don’t know I sort of know….

2 weeks ago

The sun rose bright red today. Heavy smoke in the air. You can’t smell it but that blood red sun sure says it’s there.

2 weeks ago

@snarkle Gotta be from the Dolan, Big Sur fire?  32,785 acres burned, 40% contained, expected 100% containment Sept. 28.  9 structures destroyed.  Timber, brush and chaparral. Active fire behavior with uphill runs, backing and creeping. Numerous residences and communication infrastructure threatened. Evacuations have been lifted. Area, road and trail closures in effect.

Let’s hope that this new heat wave with heat & high wind warnings in place doesn’t start anything new.  We’ve had enough!

2 weeks ago

@ghostdancer I’m too far away for that to touch me. Probably a fire in Lincoln Nat forest… that would make sense

2 weeks ago

I read in your note to Jodie that you are an archaeologist.  That’s right up my daughter’s alley.  She graduated from UCSC with a degree in archaeology and then earned her Masters Degree at George Washington University in museum studies.  She’s worked at Hearst Castle and is now working for a private environmental organization.  I’m so proud of her!

2 weeks ago

@wildrose_2 Oh wow — small world!  I graduated UCSC in 1989 w/BA in Anthro (emphasis on archaeology).  Did my graduate work at UCLA which was a real mistake.  I was offered a research grant from Washington University in St Louis & should have gone there.  But I had a blind, sick aunt in Santa Cruz & chose UCLA because I could get up to see her/take care of her every other weekend.  Big mistake, in hindsight.  Which private environment org?  I worked for the Forest Service for 3 years before bailing for the “real world” — another big mistake.

2 weeks ago

1989?  No, 1987.  When did your daughter go there?

2 weeks ago

I am so weary of this pandemic.  We’ve been doing this since basically March and it’s now September.  It’s just so hard isn’t it.  I see another hot day in your neck of the woods.  The yellow billed magpies are pretty!  When I was first single I did a bit of birdwatching.  I especially like the shore birds.

2 weeks ago

@wildrose_2 Yes, sick to death of it.  Especially when I think that it’s going to go on for who knows how long?  I’m not getting any vaccine until it’s been around for a while & proven to have no deadly side effects, so I may be stuck longer than a lot of people.  Which sucks, but …

2 weeks ago

Love those birds! We have blue jay/hummingbird wars here. Also a woodpecker which Francine insists is a bat? Don’t have a clue there. Yes, the only day now is trash day. I think my late summer camping days are over. I would not want to try to survive out there in a tent.

2 weeks ago

@bonnierose Well if the weather was as it should be, it would be fine to be camping.  Especially up in the mountains or along the coast.  I worry that my camping days period are over but I’m hanging on to all my gear, just in case.  I’d rather camp than do almost anything else.

You must have a hummingbird feeder.  I don’t get many hummingbirds here but then I haven’t found a feeder that really works.  Or maybe there just aren’t too many in this area.  Used to have a lot of jays too but haven’t seen many of them around either.  Lots of little birds — tits & finches, but not so much the bigger birds.

2 weeks ago

So I saw your diary on the main page and read this entry super interesting ! Even more interesting was your notes 🙂 many moons ago I wanted to be an archeologist until I realized it was not like Indiana Jones lol