Thursday, March 29, 2007


I think this is the first time I've really been excited about the start of Major League Baseball since the late 80's early 90's. You know, when ALL my favorite players were so jacked up on steroids I was completely duped into believing they were Gods! Oh and there was a strike and free agency and all the luster just rubbed right off. But I'm back! Why? Well, the Cubs, Wrigley Field, and Fantasy Baseball. The first year we were in Chicago was the dreaded 2003 series. Well, even though the Cubs (and one of their fans) snatched defeat out of the jaws of victory, I had a good time watching a "home" team do well. But then there was a steady decline and last year was abysmal. I went to a few games and watched them lose each one. I watched Greg Maddux pitch a gem only to see Ryan Dempster give up a walk off home run to Mike Piazza! Uuugh. But as someone said, "spring hopes eternal." And this spring we have a new coach and two possible MVP candidates in Derrick Lee and Alfonso Soriano. I watched Soriano last year quite a bit. He is amazing! When the Cubs signed him I was elated. And even though I am a new Cubs fan I have eternal hopes for this team. And hopefully I'll get to see them actually win a game in person! If not I may be banned from Wrigley for the jinx that I am!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Thunderstorms on the High Plains!

Just snapped this pic off my computer. I miss those storms!


So, the world apparently is coming to an end. Cormac McCarthy's book The Road is now on Oprah's Book Club! My gut reaction was one of retching and nausea. One of my heroes was going to be on Oprah??? Huh?? Whaaaa??? This is a man who has done ONE print interview. A man who wouldn't give paid speaking engagements when he was living in a shack eating beans from a can. A man who says "let the work speak for itself." Oprah? Interview? So after the however many stages of grief I've quickly come to acceptance. This could be his second National Book Award (he's one of the five nominees) and he will now sell millions of books and be read by a whole new audience. I am a snob. Like one of those people who were in some seedy club in Seattle when Nirvana played to just me and a few others and when they made it big I yelled that "I was here first!!!" I think The Road is an important book; one that SHOULD be read by as many people as possible.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Quote o' the Day

"If the crib's on fire, you don't speculate that the baby is flame retardant. You take action." -- Al Gore testifying in front of Congress today

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Brown-headed Cowbirds

Cowbirds go 'mafia' to pawn off eggs

March 7, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Raise my kids, or else!

People have long wondered how cowbirds can get away with leaving their eggs in the nests of other species, who then raise the baby cowbirds. Why don't the hosts just toss the strange eggs out?

Now researchers seem to have an answer -- if the host birds reject the strange eggs, the cowbirds come back and trash the place.

The so-called ''Mafia behavior,'' by brown-headed cowbirds is reported in this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Southern Illinois research
''It's the female cowbirds who are running the mafia racket at our study site,'' said Jeffrey P. Hoover, of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Illinois Natural History Survey.
''Our study shows many of them returned and ransacked the nest when we removed the parasitic egg,'' he explained.

Hoover and Scott K. Robinson of the Florida museum studied cowbirds for four seasons in the Cache River watershed in southern Illinois.

When they removed the eggs cowbirds left in warbler nests, 56 percent of the time the nests were later ransacked.


Friday, March 09, 2007

from Poetry Daily

What Is Left Behind

We used to pick cicada shells off bark and chain-link fences,
move them to our shirts—half-fascinated, half-horrified
by the air-swelled eyes and barbed hook-feet—

the horror of possibility. We weren't scared then to pinch them,
hear them crunch between our fingers, the violent crackles
of more than dry leaf, flecks of membrane

stuck to the skin of our thumbs, the bulbous eyes gone.
We never studied the skeletons' wingless shapes,
didn't put our mouths close, moisten the ghost-bodies

with our breath, even tongues, to see if they tasted sweet
like burnt sugar, to see if we too could breathe life
into lifelessness, make the head turn, the legs claw.

But we've learned there were careful steps
that pulled fresh bodies, green-bellied with leaf-veined wings,
through slits and left the shells behind, still malleable,

the adults soft beside, wings hardening to flight,
the shell drying too. We knew nothing of process,
only that something had happened and left a fragile shape.

Bronwen Butter Newcott
Prairie Schooner
Fall 2006

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

2 AP Headlines Today

Bombers massacre Iraq Shiite pilgrims (AP)

Bush claims fresh progress in Iraq (AP)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Black-headed Gull

Maggie and I ran down to see a Black-headed Gull that had been seen in Montrose Harbor.

You can check out more shots from Rob Curtis at his website The Early Birder