Monday, December 31, 2012

One of these birds.

 

...is not like the others.

 

 

There is a white-tailed hawk in the middle.  He didn’t catch any of the birds on the ground.  He just flew through the flock to mess with them.

 

Here he is a little higher up.

 

 

 

 

 

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oops

 

I meant to send out a picture of the guitar.

 

It’s the same one I’ve had all my life (from somewhere in my teenage years at the Carroll Park house anyway).  It’s a little beat up now.

 

There is even a break in the face where a rifle fell on it in 1965.

 

No problem.  It still works just fine.

 

The Broncos played their final game of the regular season.  After starting with 2 wins and 3 losses, they ran the table for the remainder.  They go into the playoffs as the top seed in the AFC.  We even got to watch them play Kansas City on television this week.  Nice.

 

We’re through the Christmas Holidays and ready for the New Year.  The outside decorations are down and put away.  It’s hard to give up the Christmas Trees inside though; they make such a nice light.  Now, if only I can get rid of those Christmas Carol tunes that continue to circle in my head.

 

Today on my walk, I got mosquitoes.  I also got bobwhite quail, a long-billed thrasher, white-tailed hawks, and a white-tailed kite though.  A good trade-off.

 

Go Broncos!

 

Saturday, December 29, 2012

I don't play the guitar

 

I used to play the guitar, but wandered off from it years ago.

 

Lately though, over the last few years, I’ve been finding music in my head.  I’ll hear a tune and find myself thinking about how I would play it if I still played.

 

Then at Becky’s house last summer, Tony picked up a guitar and asked me if I could show him a few chords.  I showed him a couple simple progressions I could remember.  With Becky’s encouragement, other things, a few old folk songs, tried to come back.  We sang a few phrases.  Turns out Charlie is still trapped on the MTA.  Most tunes couldn’t make it through the haze of time though.

 

I thought about it some more later on, and more songs came back to me, even without the guitar around.  I was playing it in my head.  Then at Matt’s house I saw this raggedy old guitar out on a stand in his office and recognized it.  That’s the guitar from my youth.  I had with me on Okinawa in the Army.  I took it to Viet Nam and it lived in a tent with me.  It flew home in front of me on the airliner when it was time.  I didn’t have a case and it wouldn’t fit in an overhead bin, so it rode between my knees for the 14 hour flight.  Now it’s 50 years old.

 

Matt graciously parted with the guitar and we brought it back to South Texas with us.  I got some new strings, a soft case, and a fancy digital tuner.  I’ve been plunking it a little.  I used to play some flamenco.  Bits of Malaguena have come back.  Parts of Gypsy Lament.  Fandanguillo.  A few old songs.  I find myself drawn to the more interesting chord progressions like House of the Rising Sun.  Am, C, D, F, Am, C, E.  You know; something that really builds.  There is so much power in that progression.

 

I picked plenty of flamenco when I was a teenager, but now realize that I always strummed accompaniment to songs.  There are other ways to accompany songs and picking would be powerful, but I didn’t explore that.  I never learned to Travis Pick, but with the power of Google, I’m working on it now.  Maybe I could put it somewhere a person wouldn’t expect it to be.

 

Okay.  Maybe I play guitar a little.

 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Santa's sleigh

 

There was a slow-speed parade through the park last night.  Santa had the hottest ride; the back of this.

 

 

 

That was last night.

 

This morning, a Merry Skype Christmas.  An hour with Becky’s family, an hour with Matt’s family, happy kids with presents, a white Christmas, and our feet never even got cold.

 

Had a friend, Joan, over for dinner.  Judy served meat pie.  Not a traditional Christmas dinner, but a traditional family dinner.

 

Merry Christmas everyone.

 

Monday, December 24, 2012

Ho, ho, ho.

 

Merry Christmas everybody!

 

 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

1,000 Scaup

 

…out on a pond south of Donna.  Somewhere in those 1,000 Scaup is a Long-tailed Duck.  The Long-tailed duck is unusual for here.

 

Somewhere in this mess of Scaup is one duck that is different from the rest.

 

I’ve been there several times looking for it.

 

I haven’t found it yet.

 

Today I went back to look for it with determination, the scope, and Judy.

 

It’s especially good to have Judy there.

 

She is good at spotting things that are different.

 

It’s not like the ducks are holding still, making it easy.

 

But after 2 hours, there.  Second from the right.  That duck is different.

 

Now all the way on the right.  The Long-tailed Duck!

 

Year Bird!

 

 

The bird looked better in the scope than it looked in our photos.  If we could have gotten closer to it, it would have looked more like this:

 

 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The amazing..

 

Two-headed four-legged Harris’s Hawk!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, December 21, 2012

Helicopters

 

I’ve really got the hang of flying helicopters now.  I can fly all over the house taking off and landing at will (and on purpose).  I fly from room to room, through hallways and doorways.  Sometimes I don’t even turn off the ceiling fans and air conditioning.  I deal with the turbulence.

 

I should be ready for the real thing now; a real helicopter.  And if I ever get the chance to fly a real one I can apply everything I’ve learned in these weeks of practice.  I’ll try to remember not to fly too close to any furniture or walls, stay away from the ceiling, if I ever end up under furniture just turn off the motor, and never try to land on anything smaller than a TV Tray Table!

 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Special treatment

 

“You have to be nice to me.  It’s my Birthday.”  I said that all day on Wednesday.  It worked flawlessly.  For the remainder of the week I’ll be claiming “Birthday Week”.  Amazing but true; so far that’s working as well.

 

Next week I think I’ll skip “Birthday Month” and go straight to “Birthday Year”.  If I can get that to work….

 

 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

December 18th

 

And the weather outside is frightful…

 

Not really.  Our weather is in the 80s.  We have Christmas lights, Christmas trees, and we’re all wishing each other Merry Christmas and exchanging Christmas cards.  There will be a parade of lights and caroling.  It’s a nice holiday season, but no icicles.  No snow.  Christmas carols in your head can be a little weird while floating in a pool on a warm evening watching a sunset with palm trees overhead.

 

…the weather outside is frightful…

 

 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Henry

 

Sometimes he falls asleep on the deck waiting for a friend to stop and play.

 

 

 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Pauraque follow-up

 

There were two Pauraques in that picture (that I’m aware of).

 

Close-ups.

 

 

 

 

…and it’s not like we had to go far for our football picnic in the coach.  It’s parked just down the row from us, less than 100 yards from our house in a site with full hookups.

 

Yeaa Broncos!  They got past the Ravens.

 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

It's time

 

For the annual.

 

Can you find the Pauraque in this picture?

 

This year’s version:

 

How many sleeping Pauraques can you find?