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E.G.

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[Dec. 28th, 2012|06:28 am]
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Yesterday morning i paused to look at the avian inhabitants of the water feature. Our building actually has three different bodies of water: on the side i park there are two. One is the building's fountain and pond. This is presumably fresh-ish water. The other is a little finger of the Marina Lagoon. I'm happy to see that my estimates of how much the water dropped and why are correct: http://www.ci.sanmateo.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=1067 .

I was drawn closer to the lagoon finger to see what looked to be a bufflehead, although i had recently confused bufflehead males and hooded merganser males. However, this was definitely a bufflehead male. After getting the best shot i could to make sure i could confirm my identification later, i noticed a female hooded merganser entering area from under the bridge. Their crests are nothing like hoods, more like sails.

Beyond the bridge were more ducks so i went to take a look, luxuriating in the lack of time pressure. There was a brown diving duck: brown head, bright eye, dull beak, dull body. After diving for a bit, it headed towards the end of the little inlet, flattening itself out in the water. Was it sneaking up on the mergansers? The male had joined the female. I watched the mystery duck chase the mergansers around in circles: diving and approaching from underneath, doing the flattened dash across the surface. Flipping through my dreadful photos and the All About Birds list of ducks, i can plausibly accept a male redhead duck as the culprit.

--==∞==--

In "Good Progress on the Situation" news, the career counselor has agreed to see me, huzzah. For the review of my depression medications, the UHC Appointment folks have kinda-sorta found appointments for me, so i'm seeing someone who isn't particularly talented at leaving voice mail messages at 3 pm today. Just looking for a reasonable prescription.

I wish the psychologist i contacted would get back to me, so i could happily leave the therapist, but it's still "the holidays." I fear that psychologist has dropped UHC, too.

--==∞==--

For pleasure, i spent the day (and a good bit of the evening) writing an AppleScript to generate the six-months-to-a-page weekly calendar i use to visualize our work flow. It wasn't entirely necessary, but it is another thing i could post to a revitalized professional blog. It was also delightful to feel the little tingle of a new skill, new tool. I've enjoyed Omnigraffle as a diagramming tool and have been considering buying it for myself. With the added skill of the AppleScript hacking.... Hmm, i can't think of how i might use this skill again except to make maintenance of the calendar more automatic.

Python remains my goal if i am to bring myself up to a reasonable skill set.

--==∞==--

Still sick, still making do with dayquil.

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Comments:
[User Picture]From: gurdonark
2012-12-29 01:56 am (UTC)

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Here I saw a female bufflehead, I think, and a female common merganser. I had thought it might be a hooded, because it was a bit like a hood, but the guide tells me it was a common. The gadwall drake was easier to sort out.

I'd love to be able to program in Python, but I'll be happy if I can figure out how to configure the external wireless card to the old laptop I am re-purposing with a Linux install.

[User Picture]From: elainegrey
2012-12-29 03:56 pm (UTC)

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I have to say that i switched to a mac because the challenge of getting linux drivers to play well with laptop hardware struck me as too daunting in 2002. I'm sure you will sort it out, but i think your success has been significant.

There's a pleasant Nature documentary on ducks streaming on the PBS site: DUCKumentary. I appreciate more of their behaviors now, i think, having had the particular challenges pointed out. Watching the ducks and ducklings underwater was fascinating.