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Hhhmm...definitely need to bone up on my Sci-Fi fantasy classics [28 Feb 2007|08:25am]

This is a list of the 50 most significant science fiction/fantasy novels, 1953-2002, according to the Science Fiction Book Club. Bold the ones you've read, strike-out the ones you hated, italicize those you started but never finished and put an asterisk beside the ones you loved.

1. The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien*
2. The Foundation Trilogy, Isaac Asimov
3. Dune, Frank Herbert*
4. Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein
5. A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Le Guin
6. Neuromancer, William Gibson
7. Childhood's End, Arthur C. Clarke
8. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
9. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
10. Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury
11. The Book of the New Sun, Gene Wolfe
12. A Canticle for Leibowitz, Walter M. Miller, Jr.
13. The Caves of Steel, Isaac Asimov
14. Children of the Atom, Wilmar Shiras
15. Cities in Flight, James Blish
16. The Colour of Magic, Terry Pratchett
17. Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison
18. Deathbird Stories, Harlan Ellison
19. The Demolished Man, Alfred Bester
20. Dhalgren, Samuel R. Delany
21. Dragonflight, Anne McCaffrey
22. Ender's Game, Orson Scott Card*
23. The First Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever, Stephen R. Donaldson
24. The Forever War, Joe Haldeman
25. Gateway, Frederik Pohl
26. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, J.K. Rowling
27. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
28. I Am Legend, Richard Matheson
29. Interview with the Vampire, Anne Rice
30. The Left Hand of Darkness, Ursula K. Le Guin
31. Little, Big, John Crowley
32. Lord of Light, Roger Zelazny
33. The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick
34. Mission of Gravity, Hal Clement
35. More Than Human, Theodore Sturgeon
36. The Rediscovery of Man, Cordwainer Smith
37. On the Beach, Nevil Shute
38. Rendezvous with Rama, Arthur C. Clarke
39. Ringworld, Larry Niven
40. Rogue Moon, Algis Budrys
41. The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
42. Slaughterhouse-5, Kurt Vonnegut
43. Snow Crash, Neal Stephenson
44. Stand on Zanzibar, John Brunner
45. The Stars My Destination, Alfred Bester
46. Starship Troopers, Robert A. Heinlein
47. Stormbringer, Michael Moorcock
48. The Sword of Shannara, Terry Brooks
49. Timescape, Gregory Benford
50. To Your Scattered Bodies Go, Philip Jose Farmer 

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A poem about the "joys" of chasing rare birds [21 Jan 2007|01:18pm]
Recently posted due to reports of a smew near Yosemite NP, one birder shares his pain

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[09 Jan 2007|06:54pm]
This Is My Life, Rated
Take the Rate My Life Quiz
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Year in Review: part 2 Academic and personal [31 Dec 2006|07:42pm]
Ok, so what was the overall theme this year?
And more work…

Seriously, this was a year of long work hours, as I finished my data collection and most of my data analysis. As I write this, my introduction is finished, my methods are about 95% finished, and my character descriptions are probably 60-70% finished.

On top of this, I gave my first actual talk, at SVP, on a partly BS subject, IE using character weighing to attempt to resolve conflicts between morphological and molecular analyses of mysticete relationships. I also went through the pain in the ass process of applying and brown-nosing to get into graduate school program. End result: hopefully acceptance into at least University of Wyoming, and if I am really lucky, University of Florida. But that will be something to post in next years Year in Review. Also my first, who knows maybe my only, dissection of an orca and fin whale.

Academic research also allowed me to travel. In the past year I have given a talk in Ontario, and visited collections in New York, Washington D.C., Charleston, and Berkeley. I have really enjoyed experiencing new places, and hopefully I will be able to continue to do so, with conferences in Melbourne Australia, Capetown South Africa, and Austin, Texas in the next year

The thesis work has in many ways left me very bereft of a social life, at least outside of the office. I have been mostly successful at taking at least one day off during the week for birding. And I did have the opportunity to help feed homeless people, as well as win 2nd prize in a Halloween costume contest. I have had off and on success with going to the gym, as well as my diet (mostly off). I have also had off and on success at keeping to a budget, mostly off on that as well. I definitely wish to spend less money next semester on eating out, and hopefully this week I can start getting into a gym groove again. Definite plans next year are hopefully losing some weight. Also, now that I have medical insurance, it sure would be nice to get my teeth cleaned, new glasses, and maybe even a doctor’s appointment. Romance has definitely also been lacking this year, but then again most of the time I have been busy enough that it has gone fairly unnoticed. Something else to work on in the future.

Ok, time to go watch some Gamera movies, and Happy New Year everyone!
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Year in review: part 1 [31 Dec 2006|07:02pm]
The year in review, part 1. Natural History

While I am a very, very infrequent blogger, especially lately, I have for the past few years written a sort of “year in review” post, at this time of year, and it seems now is as appropriate a time as any.
Starting off, it seems only proper that I divide this post into two separate topics, one concerning birding (which is also encompasses herping and just about anything natural history) and academia/personal (which to be honest, overlaps more and more every year, given my research in biology)
First off, this was the first year I have kept a “year list”, which I found to be an enjoyable past-time and a good motivator for many of my birding exploits. My year list was for the most part a county-based effort, with neither the time or money to really pursue anything on a state or national level (though on the national level I at least scored 381, not bad with only minimal east coast birding opportunities).
My year list total (unless an owl happens to crash into my window tonight) is so far at 256 species, or approximately 53% of species recorded in San Diego County. Some highlights within the county this year were Crested Caracara, Painted Bunting, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Crissal Thrasher, Stilt Sandpiper, Ruff, and Tricolored Heron. My year list COULD have been higher, but some birds were lost from bad timing (Mississippi Kite, Hooded Warbler), Lack of time (Purple Martin, Le Conte’s Thrasher, Harris’s Sparrow), and just really bad luck (Blackpoll Warbler, Red-throated Pipit). Overall all, including out of county birds, I picked 79 lifers, and have also seen nearly all the SoCal endemics.
Of target birds since my last myspace post, I have managed to knock off 3 of 9 for the county (San Diego Cactus Wren, Common Ground Dove, and Canyon Wren). My new targets, for the remainder of my stay in San Diego, are the following:

Bell’s Sage Sparrow (subspecies, future split)
Gray Vireo (Lifer)
Cassin’s Vireo (Lifer)
Le Conte’s Thrasher (county, plus would like a more identifiable look then I had for my Arizona birds)
White-winged Scoter (may knock it off tomorrow with any luck)

Overall, this has been a fun year in birding. Had the opportunity to bird several fun places with friends (Salton Sea on multiple occasions, Yosemite, SE Arizona, Phoenix area). Even knocked off some east coast lifers in South Carolina. Yosemite gave me my first real experience with Mountain birding, and Arizona in June was phenomenal. HOT, but some fantastic birds, including Flame-colored Tanager and Rose-throated Beccard. Ornithology proved to be a rewarding experience, and this year definitely saw me doing more “social birding” then my typical lone gunman approach. Also, had a really great pelagic out of Santa Barbara, that was memorable. Also have to give a mention to the purchase of my first scope, a costly if worthwhile purchase
In regards to other organisms, I managed to see several new herps, as well as adding a few more whales and squirrels to the lifelist. Elephant Seals at a rookery was definitely a highlight.

Now, to conclude with some specific “highlights” from the last year:

Coolest bird of 2006: Streak-backed Oriole
“Best” bird of 2006: Blue-footed Booby, with the Oriole and Flame-colored Tanager close seconds
Nemesis Bird: Ruddy Ground-Dove (7 attempts!)
Coolest Mammal: Elephant Seal
Coolest Herp: Ornate Box Turtle
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latest reads [27 Mar 2006|08:08pm]
I SHOULD be studying for my marine mammal test...but I am not...oh well...

Anyway...mostly I have been frustrated today with my phylogenetic analyses, and how they are just not working out. Giant unresolved polytomies equal badness.

But anyway, I figured I would make a post about some of my recent books I have read. Right now I am currently reading Otherness, a collection of short stories by David Brin, and I just finished 2 other short story collections, Worlds Vast and Various by Gregory Benford and The Creatures of Man, by Thomas Myers.

First off, Gregory Benford is one of my favorite "hard" Sci-fi writers. Often I have a difficulty getting emotionally involved with the characters in other hard sci-fi works; the authors get so wrapped up in science that they forget about characterization. Not so with Benford...most of the stories manage to have decent science along with compelling characters. My favorite story had to be "A Dance to Strange Musics"...which was increbibly creepy and managed to capture the tone of lovecraft without any borrowing of other conventions. "A Diamond as Big as the Ritz" also stood out. But the entire collection was solid.

The Creatures of Man collects all the stories of Thomas Myers into one volume. Thomas Myers was apparently a writer who who was about to reach a level of recognition, when he passed away of an early heart attack. Anyway...the collection and tone is somewhat dated. For one, I generally prefer my sci-fi with less metaphysics. And there is quite a bit of that here. Also, I noticed a tendency through the writing of of putting a huge importance on reproduction. It was implied or illustrated that the production of offspring is the greatest achievement an indidivual could make. Some stories though were pretty cool. The title story was probably the best, and some of the ideas related to space transport were certainly original. The one fantasy story in the book though....bad just really bad. It was random, the geas concept was a horrible idea, and the female character was written as pretty much a piece of meat. Eww...

Anyway...David Brin is a personal favorite of mine in regards to writing, so far pretty good.

Looks like the computer is running low of batteries, so it's my time to peace out
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yep, it's a two post night [16 Mar 2006|11:25pm]
[ mood | restless ]

Don't be shocked.

Anyway...Today has been a very introspective day for me. Possibly because half the reason I am visiting U of M is because it's a potential phd program to apply to in the fall. And a PHD program equals major life changes.

Which...I got to say have been few in my life recently. Yeah, I have progressed on my MS, done some data collection, and presented at a conference. But really those have all been academic accomplishments. Physically and mentally I unfortunately haven't changed all that much in the last year.

First, I haven't made any inroads on my weight loss. No reduction in food, and my chocolate boycott went off the rails about 2 weeks ago. While I have kept myself at least a little more active by walking more and keeping up with my birding, I am still major out of shape.

Secondly, in my personal life, yep, no change. Every week is pretty much the same. Mind you, I have some terrific friends who I have a blast with, but it would be nice to find that special someone who could be "more then a friend". However, the females I hang out with and see for the most part are happily in relationships, or I wouldn't touch with a 10 foot pole. My social circle in San Diego is very very small. And my social awkwardness, social anxiety, shyness, and overall weirdness just doesn't help. I just really don't know where to go and meet new people. The internet has so far proven worthless in that regard, my type of person is not going to be found in a bar, and my social circle is too small. So I guess I am stalled in that regard. And I feel that the longer I am stalled, the harder it will be. Every year make me more and more socially stunted compared to my peers, and what women really wants to take on that much work?

Anyway, I guess I shouldn't ramble anymore, and go and read some fiction before going to bed. Who knows what tomorrow will bring?

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Live from Ann Arbor [16 Mar 2006|07:38pm]
Ok...so I survived my first day in Ann Arbor.

Headed into Ann Arbor with El, then headed over to the Museum. Dr. Gingerich hadn't informed anyone I was coming, so things were a tad confusing to begin with, since he was teaching. But things were settled, and today I was able to measure all of the specimens and photograph most of them. All I have left tomorrow is a few more photographs to take and to look over ears...I frigging hate ears. Looked at the exhibits in the museum...all in all I would say the museum is on par or a little better then the San Diego Natural History Museum. had a nice Rodhocetus and Dorudon mount, as well as some other good mammal stuff. Lot's of tortoise stuff it looks like too. I will be bringing back a specimen list for Jones on the gopherus material. Forgot to ask him about Stylemys and Hadrianus material...but the Collection manager said "there is probably alot".

Met with Phil Gingerich. He is a homey of Dave. Is everyone a Homey of Daves? Sweet Jesus. But anyway the meeting went kind of okay. I think I made a good showing of myself. And tomorrow after the museum visit I party at El's first ever Irish Whale fossil party.

Though I had to dissapoint her, by telling her that no whales will be making an appearance sadly.
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The good and the bad... [14 Mar 2006|09:56am]
[ mood | pessimistic ]

ahhh...It always seems to feel like really good experiences are followed by really bad ones

The good...birded Anza Borrego yesterday. knocked off a lot of common desert birds for my county list, as well as scoring two lifers, CRISSAL THRASHER and LONG-EARED OWL. Other good birds included a beautiful and locally uncommon Scott's Oriole, as well as a Brewer's Sparrow. The desert was really nice yesterday...comfortable temperatures, not many people. Even getting a little bit lost driving wasn't that bad, and developing a headache, didn't do much to dampen the spirit of the day.

Now that evening, when I was printing off my travel information and discovering that STA didn't confirm my airline tickets when I told them to. yep..instead of flying to Michigan today, I get to yell at them. That means I get 2 days instead of 3 at the U of M Paleontology museum, and I have to compress possibly 2 days of looking at specimens into 1 day.

So yeah...I need to go yell at some travel agency people now...grrr...

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[04 Mar 2006|05:11pm]
well, since it's been exactly 1 month since my last post, now seems as good a time as any to write another entry.

First off, the important stuff, birding:
Last weekend was spent touring the southern portion of San Diego. Stops included the J-street Marina, South Bay, Imperial beach Pier, and Nestor Park. Birding was excellent; Among the highlights were Red-necked Grebe, Red Knot, Merlin, Pelagic Cormorant, Reddish Egret, and 2 Yellow-crowned Night-herons. Probably the single best day of birding since returning to San Diego after spring break. Other birding trips this month have been South Bay/random San Diego areas, and Santee area. Not much really to report from these trips, a few county birds, with the best bird from first part of the month being Stilt Sandpiper. Overall, managed some 3 lifers for this month, which isn't that bad. This morning I went on a herp related trip up to Henshaw/palomar area, where we found a common kingsnake and 1 herp lifer, large-blotched Ensatina. Ensatina are probably the prettiest salamanders on the pacific coast, and it was awesome to finally see one.

School wise, lots of tests and thesis work. This weekend I should be wrapping up my work on reformating my character descriptions. All I need to do is just run through the codings, check the ears, and edit before passing it off to Rachel for proof reading.

Anyway...this next weekend will hopefully find me chasing thrashers and rufous-backed robins in phoenix. Or I can hope so.
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Good old mutant towhees... [04 Feb 2006|04:35pm]
[ mood | determined ]

Birded this morning the Santee area, namely Mast Park and Santee Lakes. Mast Park has had a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher recently, which has temporarily at least turned it into a birder mecca. And good old Patagonia Roadside rest stop effect is in full effect, as birders have also found a Gray Flycatcher, a possible Red-naped X Red-breasted Sapsucker, and a partially albinistic California Towhee.

Sadly, despite waiting around for two hours, the Scissor-tail was a no show. Did finally add Cedar Waxwing to my county list though, which is a locally uncommon bird here in winter. Also saw the freak Towhee, which is a pretty damn weird bird.

After the fog cleared and the flycatcher still didn't show, I headed over to Santee Lakes, a pretty well known birding spot. It was packed with fishermen, but I was able to add Wood Duck and Ring-necked Duck to my year list. While I have seen Wood ducks in other places in San Diego, Santee lakes has pretty large flocks, thanks to all the nest boxes and (re)introduction attempts. Also had a nice Green Heron who looked mighty pissed off.

Downside of today however was that my streak of missed birds has managed to continue. 3 visits and no Scissor-tail, and last weekend was my 3rd attempt at Varied Thrush. The fates, they are a fickle....

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anything but baywatch Hasselhoff [04 Feb 2006|04:33pm]
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Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com</td>
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his triumphant return to Livejournal [28 Jan 2006|01:20pm]
wow...it's been a month since I last posted. At least.

I have largely not posted anything recently because the biggest recent developments in the saga of Morgan are largely relatively unhappy things, involving pissing off major museums, getting in trouble with the advisor, and just having people ass out on you. I am at a point where I really don't know how or where my thesis is exactly going, which for a control freak like me is not a happy situation.

Anyway, since returning from two weeks of collecting data, I have been working my ass off analyzing and incorporating it, getting back into the swing of things, and generally being irritated. Last weekend I took a break from things and headed to Idyllwild with some school friends (adding White-headed Woodpecker and Townsend's Solitaire to my life list), some general birding (added Tropical Kingbird to the list but have failed at most of my other target birds sadly.), and even some Dnd-ing.

anyway...will write more later..hopefully...maybe
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Year of the Pigeon? [01 Jan 2006|07:22pm]
damn, the first bird I saw this morning, the first bird of the year, was a Rock Pigeon. Blah...

Anyway...Did the SDFO pelagic trip this morning, as well as chasing some rarities in TJ river valley today. Fairly productive start birding wise for the year. 3 lifers were acquired on the boat trip; Short-tailed Shearwater, Surfbird (finally!), and Pomarine Jaegar. Saw a total of 4 species of shearwaters, mostly black-vented, with one Sooty, one Pink-footed, and probably 5 or so Short-tails. Bombed out on Phalaropes and Alcids though, which is a shame since this is the only trip I really have time for to add pelagics to my year/county lists.

Afterwards scored Hooded Merganser, Eastern Phoebe, and Common Grackle in the TJ river valley, but missed Varied Thrush, Painted Bunting, and White-throated Sparrow, the latter two because of heavy police activity at the TJ open space. Ah...TJ open space...you would be such a better birding location if didn't produce so many police, illegals, and dead bodies.
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Year in Review: part 2 [01 Jan 2006|07:03pm]
So, what did 2005 bring me in other facets of my life?

Well, first off, there is Academia. Accomplishments this year include completing almost all my course load, successfully proposing, and actually starting to know what I am talking about. Teaching could have been better, and I had plenty of "nervous breakdown" type moments, but overall I feel I have done well in that regard.

I have also sucessfully raised and taken care of up to 5 geckos, with out a single death or major worry. My crested geckos are growing and seem to be happy, and Herb is still a cricket killing machine.

In my personal life, I am still single. In fact, 2005 marked the first year in a long time that I didn't go on a SINGLE date. Probably because of the whole poverty and no free time thing. but still, I would like to correct this for next year.

Other landmarks are the purchase of a car, which proceeded to suck major ass till fall semester, my first apartment, where thing I think have been kind of working out, and surviving various dramas which have happened in my life and those around me. Or mostly surviving.

Things I would like to improve for the new year are going to the gym on a regular basis, giving up chocolate (with the exception of conference dinner, official holidays and birthdays, and anything Mandy cooks), and learning how to cook to the extent where food is enjoyable, not calories. I would also like to finish my character descriptions this semester, and at the very least the fossil record and past systematic work chapters. And maybe work on some other random self improvement
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Escondido bird count + Year in review: nature [31 Dec 2005|05:52pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

So, did the sole xmas bird count of the season for me, the Escondido bird count.

Good Points: Our area produced 2 Pacific-slope flycatcher, a common summer bird which normally doesn't occur here in winter, especially this far inland. We were the sole team to get this bird for the count, so pretty sweet.

Also, found a white-faced Ibis (unusual for the park), and 4 Townsends Warblers, a rare winter visitor for the San Diego area.

3 County/State Birds for me: Canvasback, American Pipit, and American Goldfinch

Preliminary count for Escondido currently stands at 144, with more teams still to report in.

Bad Points: Complete failure to observe any Cedar Waxwings, which are pretty reliable for the park and the best bet for Escondido. Another group failed to observe and Zone-tailed Hawks at the Wild Animal Park, likely due to weather.

Also, ran across a guy playing football with himself, who was rather rude when we stood to long near him. And yes...you read that correctly. Playing football with himself.

This brings me to the year in review, something I did last year, and will continue to do. Two posts on development in my life as a 25 year old college student, and as a naturalist. The personal life area will be a separate post, probably tomorrow

First off, several milestones were reached in listing. I surpassed 500 birds on my lifelist, as well as 100 mammals. I went on my first pelagic trip, made my first visits to the Salton Sea as well as a return visit to Arizona, and generally birded like a mofo. Most of San Diego's more widespread birds have been ticked off, with only the more distant and range restricted species being left, besides vagrants, seabirds, and nightbirds. I also became sort of a familar face in the birding community through my "twitching" efforts.

In regards to other animals, I got my first real good looks at Whales, my first western snakes, and got to experiment with a little bit of night-cruising

So....without further ado:
Coolest bird of 2005: Laysan Albatross
"Best" bird of 2005: Probably Thick-billed Kingbird
Coolest Mammal: Bighorn Sheep or Kit Fox
Coolest Herp: California Mountain Kingsnake
Most frustrating, missed bird: Lincoln's Sparrow

List Totals:

World Bird List: 509
ABA (North America): 402
State: 270
County: 224

Mammal Life list: 103
Herp Life list: 72

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warm winter weather = sucky birding [28 Dec 2005|10:56am]
[ mood | Introspective ]

tried to go birding yesterday morning...all the warm weather has melted the ice and snow. This SOUNDS like it would be a good thing in regards to birding, but with all the ice gone, there is no concentration of gulls or waterfowl, and trails are a muddy mess hard to navigate. Hence, birding wasn't all that sucessfull yesterday. Did see three American Black Ducks, and a pair of Red-bellied Woodpeckers, which are fairly uncommon this far north. Otherwise, just alot of Scaup, Buffleheads, and Mute Swans.

Yesterday was really boring...ran errands, but otherwise not much else. My phone is remarkably functional...even rings now. Wierd...

Hanging out with Jeff today for the now annual Bad Movie Night, where we rent several bad movies and give them the full MST3K treatment. Thursday I am going to Borders with Carrie, hopefully get to have that discussion.

Dreamed alot last night. 1st was really wierd, and involved characters from A Song of Ice and Fire. 2nd dream involved a person I really hadn't thought about much since before the end of the semester insanity, back in October maybe? Intriguing.

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No shortage of material here [26 Dec 2005|10:37am]
[ mood | tired ]

Lots of frequent posts (relatively speaking) from me lately, and what can I say, there is no shortage of material to rant/rave about.

I am back living with my dad, at least till Thursday. Came over on xmas eve. Met one of my dad's friends, who is going to helping my dad out over the next month. Having never really met this person, I was um, suprised on how INSANE he was. Seriously, I think the guy was probably the meanest little bastard I have ever run into in my life, judging from his stories. I honestly don't know whats story was worst, the one about him belting a cat because it was hissing at him, the stories about the people he has beaten up for "touching him" or all the hospital horror stories where he was a complete asshole to all the nurses/doctors that were looking in on him. Maybe it was the reference to how women shouldn't be in authority, because they "don't have the balls"

Seriously...that was some fucked up shit I had to listen to for a few hours. BUT, I guess he is a loyal friend...

xmas went ok...ate alot of food, got some good presents, including a new badly needed backpack, a lonely planet guide to London, a hardcover fiction book, and Batman Begins. Dad gave me some money to buy a new battery for my phone in an effort to fix it.

Was suppose to go birding today...but doesn't look like that is going to happen, thanks to getting up too late and my dad needing to run errands.

I am sure there was more I had to say, but now I can't think of anything more

Oh well

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Twitch report for San Diego [23 Dec 2005|11:01pm]
[ mood | impressed ]

OK..so I am going to have a busy few days in San Diego

I have been keeping track of SDbirds rare bird alerts since leaving California. And since that Eurasian Tree Sparrow isn't happening due to lack of being able to afford gas, I have some promising stuff to look forward to.

Note that all the below birds have been spotted in the last couple of weeks. All our either lifers or county birds. And all are from the Imperial beach/TJ river valley area

White-throated Sparrow
Painted Bunting
Common Grackle
Eastern Phoebe
Varied Thrush
Long-tailed Duck
Hooded Merganser
Red-necked Grebe.

Farther afield:
Tricolored Heron, Rufous-backed Robin, and longspurs galore in Imperial County

Even farther afield, up in Santa Barbara,
Baikal Teal (ME WANT BAD!!!1st chaseable state bird)
Fulvous Whistling duck


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[23 Dec 2005|04:14pm]
[ mood | sad ]

Well...mi padre is out of the hospital and at home. Took freakin' forever to get him checked out, and then run into meijers to get his meds. AGGRAVATING as well. Dad...when I advise you that hey, maybe buying a can of alfredo sauce (which is IIRC loaded with fat) might not be the best thing after heart surgery, yelling at me and claiming "but it tastes good!" is not a valid rejoiner. And buying York Peppermint patties, xmas cookies, and meijer frozen burritos is also probably not the ideal response to heart surgery recovery. I would like you to at least ATTEMPT to live to 65.

Yesterday was oddly a fairly emotional day for me, and between waiting for the events of today to commence, and yesterdays events, I didn't get much sleep last night. It's funny...I think some of my best most journal worthy thoughts occur late at night, when I am away from the computer.

Last night I thought about love for instance.

Now there are many kinds of love:

There is the love one has towards parents, which is mixed in equal measure with annoyance and exasperation in equal measures often. But still, love

There is the "love" one has towards friends, which is composed of camadrie and respect.

And then there is the love one has towards a significant, or hope to be significant, other. This might be a wife, girlfriend, lover, close friend, whatever.

This is a very complex emotion. There are many ways one can love someone else.

Looking back, I can honestly say there are probably two people I have loved in the above way. And I still, with all my heart, care for those people.

Recently I was told that one of those two people, well, isn't doing that good. There are concerns that she is depressed, that her smile, capable of lighting up a room, just doesn't happen all too often. This just made me profoundly sad.

I care for this person, would be a knight in shining armor and take a bullet for her if needed, but this isn't a action movie, there is nothing I can do but stand around, and try to pull a smile out, maybe take her mind off things if only for a few hours. I can't make her decisions, I can't force her to a decision on things she won't even talk about with me.

Ultimately all I want is happiness for her. That happiness for her doesn't include me in the picture in the way I would have desired long ago. But I am ok with that. If the person I am talking about happens upon this journal entry, and realizes it is her, please, just do one favor for me.

Stop and look at your life, and the people you include in it. Is this what you want for yourself 20 years down the line? Ultimately, there comes a time when you need to stop putting other people's lives first, and concentrate on your own.

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