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This Day in My History


I once had a sparrow alight upon my shoulder for a moment, while I was hoeing in a village garden, and I felt that I was more distinguished by that circumstance that I should have been by any epaulet I could have worn.

~ Henry David Thoreau

Yesterday's Entries

2001:  Speaking Ill of the Dead *
2002:  Where Have I Gone Wrong?
2003:  Firsts

*This won an award and the most controversy of any entry I've ever written.


I was dreaming I was on a narrow hill overlooking a beach.   I had the camera and was taking pictures of a sunset when someone said that Jeri was in the water with a dolphin.  I ran down the hill and Jeri was on a surfboard.   The dolphin swam under her and knocked her off, and then turned around and went back--they were playing together.  Jeri looked up and smiled and told me the dolphin's name was "Trent."

When I wrote to Jeri and told her about the dream, she said that it was probably wishful thinking, since it's -1 in Boston today, with a wind chill factor making it feel like -21.


Finally finished Angels and Demons.

Go buy this book now.  Read it immediately.  Steve says that this book has been described by Salon as "the worst written book you ever loved to read."   Toward the end I was having a real hard time suspending disbelief (the whole book takes place in one day--talk about your bad days!) but still I couldn't stop turning those pages.  I was up until 1 a.m. reading.


Grey, drizzily



14 January 2004

There is a territorial battle going on in our house -- or, more accurately on our house. I think Walt is losing.

Some time ago -- a long time ago, a very determined bird decided to make our house his/her home (I’ll use "his" because he’s so damn determined -- but we don’t know the gender of the bird).

Walt has, over the years, done battle with an assortment of birds trying to nest in our eaves or, in the case of a determined woodpecker he fought one year, to drill a hole into the master bedroom, apparently. That adventure brought wire mesh to the outside walls of the house and was successful for some time.

But this bird showed up sometime before Christmas. Each night at sometime around dusk, the bird could be found somewhere up under the eaves.

Each night, Walt would come home from work and go out hunting for the bird. When he found it, he’d get the hose and spray it up two stories into the eaves and cause the bird to fly off.

It usually discouraged the bird for a day or two. We don’t know where he went on the days when he wasn’t trying to sleep under our roof.

The bird moved from night to night. Some nights he would be under the roof in the back over my office window, sometimes under the roof over the dog door. Sometimes under the roof over the car port.

Each night Walt would come home from work, drop his backpack, pick up his flashlight and go bird hunting.

As the time passed, the temperatures dropped.

One night he came in and said he’d found the bird, but that it was already asleep and it was really cold, so he thought he’d let the bird spend the night, since he obviously wasn’t going to try to burrow into the walls that night.

Other nights he’d chase the bird away, but I noticed that as the nights passed, there was less hosing and more "letting him spend the night."

I have to admit that secretly I’ve been on the side of the bird. I know that he can do damage to the house and I sure don’t want that, but I’m a softie with a love of birds and I figured the least we could do is provide the poor thing a warm place to sleep–especially since he seemed to like us so well.

Walt hasn’t hosed the bird in several days now. He checks each night, makes sure the bird is safely tucked in for the night (head tucked under wing), and decides to let him be.

Tonight he found the bird up under the eaves at the front of the house.

"He’s just sitting there," he told me. "When I shine the flashlight on him, he turns his head, but he just sits there. He’s not asleep yet."

I came out with a camera and took pictures. Walt spent some time watching the bird and then came in the house without chasing him off.

I think the bird has won.


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Weight Lost to date:  46.6 lbs

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Created 1/12/04