bunt sign

Wednesday, April 18, 2001

Nobody tells me what to do, so I have to do it myself. I have to punish my own failings, and reward my good deeds. I'm trying a little positive reinforcement with the diet I started last week. When I lose ten pounds, I'll buy myself either the camera or the reclining chair that I've been wanting. If I get keen on some other big-ticket item, I'll substitute that, or wait for another ten pounds to drop off. This sounds like a plan that has no down side.

So far, the diet is successful, if you don't count the results. I still get the urge to eat, but all I have to do is remind myself that it's an urge, not a need. Unfortunately, it doesn't feel as if I've shed a pound. I'm waiting for the first week to pass before I check the scale again, but despite all the self-restraint, and all the aerobic trips up and down the stairs, and all the wishful thinking, I'm still as uncomfortable as I was when I started.

At least I'm feeling that I'm going in a positive direction, even if the progress is slower than I'd like. I could lose faster, I think, if I stuck with the Slim-Fast regimen that's worked for me in the past, but I'm trying to build a long-term strategy that keeps me satisfied at the same time I'm maintaining a healthy weight. If I didn't believe that was possible, I probably wouldn't bother trying to lose at all.

my beautiful weed garden

I confirmed today that my attempt to keep the starlings from nesting in my dryer vent has failed. An awful high-pitched racket comes out of there, audible in the bathroom and laundry room.

I've sprayed water and banged on the walls, inside and out, to no effect (other than a momentary silence, before the chattering resumes). It's annoying, and more or less constant, but I can't hear it from the bedroom or living room, so I shouldn't call it a noise problem.

It could be a health problem, though, depending on what's really going on up in the area between the ceiling and the roof. (I guess the word is "attic." Somehow that doesn't seem right when I have no access to it.)

It seems now that I have no choice but to live with this inconvenience until the season's over, then get the nest out of there and construct some kind of baffle to keep it from happening all over again next year.

I have to live with it, but I don't have to like it. It's become my obsession to make them suffer as much as they make me suffer. If I have to listen to them screech, they have to listen to my broom handle pounding on the ceiling.

If it were hummingbirds or goldfinches or bushtits in there, I'd be a lot more tolerant. I'd wouldn't mind so much if it were anything other than starlings, the big obnoxious bullies of the neighborhood. Prejudice is a terrible thing.

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