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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.


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

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