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Tuesday, April 8, 2003

For as long as possible, I'll be blaming the time change on everything that goes wrong. It's responsible for the occasional lightheadedness. It's why I keep dropping things and running into open cabinet doors. It's the reason I've been snapping at people on the phone, even people who don't deserve it. I got no yard work (and not much real work) done today, and I'm willing to blame daylight savings for that, too.

The time change is definitely the reason I spent most of the late afternoon stretched out in the living room recliner, part of the time actually sleeping. It was after going out to lunch with Mom and Suzanne, and that might have contributed to the logy feeling. (The food, not the company.) But let's say it was just the time change catching up with me. If I can't sleep late in the morning, a nap in the afternoon is the next best thing.

This wasn't a sound sleep, though. Every so often my eyes would snap open and my head would jerk in one direction or another. Somehow I was fixating on the action outside my windows, and it was distracting me from everything, even my extreme exhaustion.

The birds are always out there, so it wasn't just the ordinary activity that I'm used to. I knew something was up with the hummingbirds, because they kept popping up on my radar, then disappearing just as suddenly. The feeder is at the corner of the house, and there's a window on each side. I'd see birds hovering first at the window on the left, then at the one on the right.

There was no way I could just sit there without exploring what was going on. Tired as I was, I got out of the chair and went to the front door for a better view. There were no less than four (and possibly five; they move so fast) Rufous hummingbirds whipping back and forth. It took me a couple of minutes to realize what was going on.

One bird, the biggest (but not by much) and brightest (shiniest throat patch) was guarding the feeder against the other three. He (I assume it was a male) wasn't drinking the nectar himself, but he was determined that none of the others would get their share. Or maybe he was only worried about his own share.

Either way, as soon as a bird would land on the feeder, the big one would dive at it and get in its face. The other birds didn't take much convincing to move along, although they weren't easily discouraged, either. They kept coming back for more and getting chased away again.

The boss bird would sit on a branch of the birch tree and keep watch on the feeder. Sometimes he zipped in front of the other birds when they were in flight, as if to block them and force them to retreat. It was almost like watching a Quidditch match at times.

After watching for a while, I decided this was going to go on and on, so I went back to my chair to continue my nap. Now that I knew what was happening, the show outside the windows didn't distract me as much. Still, it was a little like having tiny, shiny UFOs peeking at me and then racing back to the mother ship.


Looking toward the front door, from the southeast corner of the garden.

Yesterday I told the Boss I was going out to lunch today for my birthday. By today, he'd forgotten all of it. He left three messages on the machine while I was gone this afternoon. He probably doesn't remember that I'm going to be gone all day tomorrow, too, but I've reminded him enough times. I'll deal with it all again Thursday. Maybe I'll be halfway awake by then and in a better mood.

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I'm also grumpy because the Giants game tonight wasn't televised. Seems the station was showing something called American Idol, and couldn't be bothered with the local undefeated first-place defending champion baseball team. What's up with that? I had to listen to the game on the radio, and that's probably why they lost for the first time. Or maybe it was the time change.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Age Old
"For someone who was born during the Truman Administration, it takes more energy than it used to just to sit upright with my eyes open for a few hours at a time."

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