I'm blessed with nice birds now. They wake me up at their appropriate dawn hour, and it's not unpleasant. During my last winter in DC (actually living in the wrong part of Alexandria <1>) there were a bunch of crows which would gather in nearby trees and caw annoyingly, always too early. (Loud crows are also a feature of Tokyo mornings.) But the bird songs I hear now are very like the ones I recall from Santa Monica - the two which stand out are the (actually not-so-nice) screech of the birds I call Sneetches (I think they're really Blue Jays), and the cooing of the small brown Mourning Doves - I used to think this sound was the "who"ing of Owls. Plus there a lot of continual twittering the source of which I can't identify - they're what actually start up, each morning.
Today I called in sick. (Mild morale problem, remember.) Actually I was with a doctor first thing for what was probably my final podiatrist visit - he checked my scabs (from his surgical removal of the plantar warts) and said all was well. My company has a time-accounting policy which makes it easier to take a whole sick-day than to cut out briefly for a doctor appointment (that's one interpretation), so I came back home and went searching for the Prophet on the Internet.
Here's some of what I learned today, probing into the pilgrimage, or hajj, and things generally Islamic:
Later I bought a new coffee machine at the Los Altos Peet's, the smallest "Bonjour" French press unit. Someone reading my Profile page might get the impression I've sworn off java forever; actually I've weakened somewhat, probably since around December when I first experienced Peet's! It's great stuff - not sure how they do it, but stopping there for a tall "half-caf" has become an almost daily habit. While traveling I frequently try a regular cup o' joe, and I've had good luck these days withstanding the jittery heart palpitations I started getting bad in 1992, which were diagnosed then as PVC - cure, just eliminate the stimulants (ie caffeine) from the diet, which I was miraculously able to do - since then, except for the times just mentioned, I've been strictly with decaf. But now (as in days of yore), when I get a headache I think of espresso - another enabling factor perhaps that neurologist I visited, who said coffee frequently helps negate headache pain - no kidding. The machine is fun & simple - my grinder output just wasn't working with my little Italian stove-top espresso unit. Grind quality isn't much of a factor with these steeping plunger jobs.
Listening to the audio feed from the PBS
VP - Vice President
PVC - Premature Ventricular Contractions
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