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Monday, January 19, 2004

Now I do feel bad. It was a beautiful sunny day, and a national holiday at that, and I spent it inside, doing what? Paperwork. Spreadsheets. And when I took a break from that, it was to reorganize my kitchen.

Then I glanced out the window and saw the unmistakable arrival of the bushtits. Dozens of these tiny birds flew into my garden in that way they have, fluttering sideways, veering this way and that, and sometimes landing upside down on the end of a slender branch, bouncing precariously as if waiting for a carnival ride to end.

And you know they love the birdbath. They're a little like Russians and Finns in how they enjoy their communal bathing. I've seen them crowd ten or more into the bowl of the birdbath. That must have flummoxed them today, since it was nearly empty. They made me feel guilty for neglecting it.

I also felt sad for wasting a gorgeous day working inside. Since there was no mail delivery, I didn't have to go anywhere. I didn't even do my weekly grocery shopping. I just stayed in my sweats, unshaven, chiseling away at the mountain of work I have to get through this month. When I should have been outside pulling weeds (or at least cleaning out the birdbath), I was pounding out lifeless numbers on the keyboard. What a waste.

17 January 2004

Clouds above the roof.

The bushtits did get their bath, although the first few of them splashed most of the remaining water out. Then the bare branches of the young oak tree in the garden shivered to life with the little birds ruffling themselves dry. Spring must be thinking about chasing these winter days out of here. Soon one of these sporadic sunny afternoons will coincide with a time when I can use up some energy out in the yard.

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I have no idea, except from what I see in the movies, if Russians and Finns really like to bathe together. It just sounded good to me.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Plums
"I'm rooting around with my thumb in this pie, but somebody else always gets to pull out the plum."

Two years ago: Shredded
"I've been dipping into the shallow end of the pool here lately, but really, every time I try to do some deep thinking, I find myself drifting."

Three years ago: End of Days
"Some who voted for George W. Bush did so because they believed he would turn his back on those whose voices aren't amplified by money and power. We can hope this isn't so, but we can't trust in that hope and then turn away ourselves."

Four years ago: None of the Above
"Here's my problem with multiple choice tests: They give morons and slackers the just as good a chance of coming up with the right answer to a trick question as those of us who spend a whole semester studying the material."

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