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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Although it was fairly warm and mostly sunny today, Iím resigned to the fact that winter is coming. Itís not as if thereís a backdoor way to avoid it anyway. I guess that means that Iíve missed the last good opportunity to do any serious mowing, and the high weeds that have taken over, especially in the side yard, will have their way. I will try to do some hand weeding on less soggy days, but itíll be a patchwork sort of endeavor at best.

This morning on my way out to the garage, I had to yank out one of the giant weeds that grew alongside the house. It had fallen over in the rain and was blocking the path. It was so easy to pull that I thought for a moment I should spend some time filling the yard waste container. Thereís no easier time to pull weeds than after a rainy day like yesterday. Then, of course, I thought better of it.

Whatever wilderness the side yard has turned into has become a safe haven for the loudest bullfrog Iíve ever heard. It has set up camp just outside the bathroom window, and there are times when its croaking echoes through the house. It sounds as if it has severe indigestion. I suppose I could try to relocate it, or destroy its habitat, but for now all Iím doing is rattling the mini-blinds. When I do that, it tends to shush itself.

Wildlife is returning to the acreage these days. The other night at dusk I saw a lone deer bounding across the back yard. It was headed toward the road, and I walked outside to see if I could redirect it, but by the time I got out there it had either made it across or veered off in a safer direction.

And the red-shouldered hawk that lives in the top of the eucalyptus at the end of the drive has been soaring low through the yard more and more lately. It sometimes takes up position on one of the fence posts along the driveway. More often I see it perched in the walnut tree at the corner of the yard, but once it tried to land on the bird feeder on my back porch. It could tell right away that the feeder wasnít sturdy enough to hold it. It flapped for a couple of seconds and then flew off. Wise bird.

20 October 2005

Cloud textures.

Itís going to be a long winter, and I canít let the whole four or five months go by without taking some steps to keep the yard in better condition than it is right now. At least the days are mostly cool enough that I wonít get too sweaty if I spend a half hour working out there. Itís not a lack of opportunity thatís keeping me from doing it; itís the lack of motivation. Iím not sure what itíll take to get me moving, but whatever it is I didnít have it today.

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There is no joy here that the hated Dodgers have had to fire both their manager and general manager after a disappointing season. (No joy, but maybe a little satisfaction.) In fact, we like Jim Tracy so much we hope he takes Pittsburgh up a notch (I think fifth place in the NL Central is reasonable). But Paul DePodesta made some curious moves in his term as GM, starting with the 2004 trade of Paul LoDuca, the heart and soul of the division winning 2003 team. In place of proven winners, DePodesta brought in a talented but mostly underachieving mix of loners and outsiders, destroying what had been a happy, successful clubhouse. The Dodgers finished fourth this year, even worse than the Giants (much satisfaction about that, no question). Itís hard not to point the finger at the executive who tore apart team chemistry.

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