Friday, July 30, 2010

Crittery Scenes from the Neighborhood

Having to get everywhere on foot most of the time has its upsides. You really get to know the neighborhood and its many resident critters very well. Here are a few I had the pleasure to say hello to in the past week:

I'm not familiar with the friendly Labrador pup who was hanging off the top of his owners' fence, so it was a bit startling when he kept waving his paws and barking his greetings from across the street during an evening hike. The sleepy cat in the window lives a couple of blocks away and never does anything more than blinking her sonambulic eyes at me as if to say, 'Here's lookin' at you, crab!'

Chula Vista is really quite a birdy place. A big change for me is the near absence of poopy pigeons. We have many different sorts of smart-alecky sparrows, though, and some more exotic species. These ones I've managed to capture on film are: 1. barn swallow (he is one of the clan who has built a nest right under my eave), 2. western scrub jay (close up shots are his worst nightmare, I'm afraid. The curious fellow actually looks a lot more handsome from a bit further away), 3. vermilion flycatcher (likes to bounce around the golf course like a flying red ping pong ball), 4. western bluebird (there are a bunch of them around along with some eastern bluebird counterparts. Those have white/gray belly instead of all blue), 5. red-tailed hawk (this one likes to perch on my neighbor's backyard fence overlooking Telegraph Canyon Rd), 6. acorn woodpecker (a whole family of them lives in this cottonwood tree on a golf course not far from my pad. I think the males are the red-headed).

Most of these are quite wild, though some, like this friendly little dove, aren't averse to creatures' comfort... apparently.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Price of Commercialized Journalism?

Real life is not a zero sum game... no matter how some people like to make it out to be for the sake of getting TV rating (and the ads-selling money that comes with it). The problem of course... is that a whole lot of people here keep buying the scam just because the scammers are labeling themselves as 'conservatives'.

If Fox News fooled you once, shame on them. Any repetition of the same sort of being fooled by the same so-called news organization, however, is an indictment on... you.

Rachel Maddow is to the left of me politically, but I'll buy her a drink anytime. You may disagree with her politics, but you can't deny that the lass is an honest journalist.

For good measure...

Added 2 Aug 2010:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Whew for the first heatwave of summer

You know, when I moved to Southern California in spring of 2003 I thought I had escaped the muggy humid hot weather of the American Midwest for good... But apparently weather patterns have bought into Thomas Friedman's flatworld globalization since then and I've spent the better part of this week drinking and fanning like mad to keep from evaporating into the thick steamy air.

Then.... it rained on Thursday afternoon and suddenly everything was much nicer and cooler. An odd occurrence in this climate. It used to be that in Missouri it rains to cool the earth off, while in San Diego it can't rain if the air isn't cool enough (the atmosphere here being so dry and all). I looked out the window at the unusual sight and got a real treat when I spotted a winged visitor on the neighbor's back fence! A real life redtailed hawk!
That was the closest I've got to a redtailed hawk in the wild... And he still somehow managed to spot me soon after the clip ended and flew off. I don't know how Chula Vista Nature Center manages to capture so many of the local raptors to house in their facility on the Bayfront (you can visit these birds for free since they aren't inside the main building).

On a more somber note, Sir Charles Mackerras (1925 - 2010), the great Australian classical conductor died earlier this week at age 84...

He really was great especially with Classical and Romantic period numbers with prominent woodwinds features. His complete recording of Mozart's Idomeneo with Anthony Rolfe Johnson and Lorraine Hunt Lieberson should be on the music shelves of all lovers of Mozart operas. It is easy to neglect to appreciate how good a classical conductor is nowadays. What with the generally better trained and discipline orchestras... But Sir Charles was one of those whose presence can turn a good group into a great one. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pets Lost & Found (12 July 2010)

San Diego is teeming with pets, though a few can use your help getting back to their owners. Here are a few lost or found pet posters I and a pal found while walking around our respective neighborhoods in the past week.

1. Abby (Dog. Near Southwestern College in Chula Vista). Call (619) 755-7771.
2. Luna (Black cat. In University Height area of San Diego). Call (619) 602-5187.
3. Raven (Dog. In Little Italy area of San Diego). Call (480) 381-8828.
4. Ruka (Gray cat. In North Park area of San Diego). Call (619) 581-2225.

1. Two dogs (1 male, 1 female) near Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Call (619) 421-2520.
2. 1 dog near Southwestern College in Chula Vista. Call (619) 869-7741.