Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I don't smoke, but...
Should I pass out cigars or something?

Both pairs of my two-inch finch have eggs in the nest. Now, it doesn't take any intelligence to breed finch; they're more prolific than rabbits. The last time I'd checked one of the nests, it had 7 eggs in it. The other day I looked, and I only saw 6 eggs. Huh? What? Now, the finch oftentimes leave feathers in the nest, and among the 6 eggs was a little tuft of gray feather...but the feather MOVED...and I saw a tiny beak with its mouth open, and a couple of little gangly legs, and yep, I'm a bird-grandpa! And today, pop, pop, pop, three more finch; oh my gosh. There's four eggs left in the nest, along with three eggs in the other finches' nest. The tiny little newborn finch aren't even half an inch long.

The lady at the pet shop told me, when I first got the finch, "they'll lay eggs, so just throw 'em away", but I couldn't bring myself to do it. Isn't that what finches do, eat, sleep and procreate? So, while I advocate "pro-choice" because I don't want government interfering with peoples' lives, I suppose if I were in the situation, I wouldn't, and probably couldn't choose abortion. How about that...dumb little finch-birds teaching me things about myself. For, I couldn't abort a finch. Well, early on, I tossed one egg away. But the next day the Daddy finch looked at me when I was cleaning the cage, and he seemed to be think-saying to me, "you aren't gonna take any more of my eggs, are ya?"

SUMMER'S ARRIVED WITH A VENGEANCE in some places anyway. In North Idaho, where I used to live, temps are in the 80's and 90's all week long; clear skies and plenty of sunshine. And that is too hot for me. Just like it's too cold up there in the winter for me. And I'll admit it was nice not to slip and slide around in the snow this winter. Now, I'm going to find out about summertime here on the Oregon Coast. I was on the beach yesterday, it was sunny, and there were some strong winds out of the north, and breathing that clean, clear, fresh and cool air was just so nice. Watching the waves crash ashore is also kinda cool. I am hoping that the air circulation around these parts keeps me from having allergy attacks. I've only had one so far this year, and that was after the kid next door mowed my lawn a coupla days ago, stirring up all of the little pollen-gremlins that float thru the air and put my sinuses into interstellar overdrive. But it's been windy the last couple of days. And no heavy sneezing on my part. AAAAAAH.

I watch Northwest Cable News on cable TV, and that's a great program for finding out what's happening in Idaho, Washington and Oregon, plus they update national and international news as well. And, that's where I find out what the weather's like where I used to live. But, in the early morning, when I watch, a lady weathercaster is on duty, (I won't drop names), and I'm sorry, I can't listen to her. She attempts to turn every weathercast into a pragmatic lesson-type of thing. She'll venture forth a few sentences, then pause awkwardly. A few more sentences, and another pause. She probably pauses to let the info sink in, but when she gets going again, I'm trying to figure out the connection with what she said before the pause, to what she's saying after the pause. I can't listen to her, and I've tried. I am sure she's a really nice lady, and I'm not against women forecasters, but this particular lady is just kinda "scattered" somehow. She's blonde, but I don't think that has anything to do with it. Does it?

SMOKE, SMOKE, SMOKE THAT CIGARETTE part two...I posted recently that I was just about overcome by cigarette smoke while I was playing guitar at a jam session in a local bar; I just started feeling a little ill on stage; breaking sweats and feeling a huge lump of 'something' in my throat. That didn't happen tonight when I jammed; not as many people were smoking, from what I could tell. I wonder sometimes how much my lungs are damaged from second-hand smoke; when I was growing up, my folks smoked all the time; I've played drums in bands and that's a pretty physical thing, and I suppose I deep-inhaled more than my share of cigarette smoke doing that as well. Add to that, being around numerous smokers all my life, in break rooms, on job sites, when I used to go out drinking (no, no, no, I don't drink it no more), and in various other situations. For about the last 15 years, I have led a very clean (too clean?) life; largely away from cigarette smoke, and I don't "recreate" in bars anymore.

The only time I go out now is if I'm going to play music somewhere. So I suppose all of that time away from smoke may have rendered me more sensitive to the presence of nicotine and all other kinds of dubious airborne elements? All I know is, after I'd left the bar and gotten back home, within 2 hours I felt better, tho I did a lot of hacking and coughing from all of the blue haze I'd inhaled all night. I know smoking in bars is banned in Idaho and Washington, but not down here in Oregon. Not yet, anyway. It turns out the musicians' union is advocating the banning of smoking in all Oregon bars/taverns. One of the head chiefs of the union, a former musician, said that smoking cut his musical career short; he'd said that after 5 nights a week of singing in a smoky bar, he had virtually no voice left. I'm not much for political correctness, but I am a big fan of the PC movement to ban smoking in public places. We all know smoking is dangerous. So, too, is inhaling the residue from someone else's cigarette.

TAKE ME OUT TO THE OLD BALL GAME...wait, I'll pass on that...I heard that Barry Bonds, the San Francisco Giants' chemically-enhanced home-run machine, has been stockpiling a lot of souvenirs from the game, probably to start his own shrine to himself, perhaps? Well, there was a great quote the other day that Bonds spouted forth; another reason for athletes to keep their yaps shut. Someone asked Bonds if he was gonna donate any of that stuff to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and he said he didn't care about that, after which he actually said, "I take care of ME." I wonder if his shrine to himself will include any steroid bottles? Hmmm. "I take care of me." Truly a statement that reflects our times. Meanwhile, the Seattle Mariners, the team I root for, the team I suffer with, are, I think, one game over .500. So far, my long-standing prediction is correct; the M's will be a .500 team for the rest of the year. Why? Because in addition to the teams they can beat, there are a bunch of teams they can't beat. At best, this is a building year for the M's. And, a .500 record will mean the M's have made progress. Whether that's enough for various coaches and higher-ups in the Mariners' Organization to keep their jobs, well, who knows?

It couldn't happen to a nicer team...The New York Yankees are 14 games out of first place. They are in LAST place in their division. They got beat by TORONTO this week! Toronto beating the Yankees is like Pee Wee Herman defeating Andre the Giant in a wrestling match. And no matter how much money owner George Steinbrenner throws at the situation, it just doesn't get any better. In last night's game, a baserunner STOLE HOME, catching pitcher Andy Pettite daydreaming. Mercenary pitcher Roger Clemens is slated to pitch on Monday, and he'll probably win a few games for the Bronx Blunderers, but it's gonna take more than just one pitcher, who's past his prime, to turn things around. On sports-radio this evening, one of the talking heads said "the Yankees are probably toast in their division, but don't count 'em out of the WILD CARD RACE..." Well, maybe Mr. Steinbrenner will dig really deep in his pockets and buy a few more superstar players, facilitating a history-making onslaught. And maybe the Yankees have a chance. If the Yankees can win 20 or 30 games in a row, while the other four teams ABOVE the Yankees in their division EACH lose 40 or 50 games IN A ROW, yeah, maybe we'll see the Yanks in the World Series this year.

And, on the former-Don Imus-early-morning-timeslot-watch-on-MSNBC, (yes, it's now relegated to 'footnote status' on this blog), Joe Scarborough is once again hosting the program. I think Joe's about the best 'guest-host' MSNBC has coughed up so far. I hear MSNBC's ratings are waaay down. I'm thinking, a crucified and muzzled Don Imus would bring in better ratings than all these other guys are bringing in. And, ratings mean MONEY for the corporation. Less ratings, less advertising revenue. And ho-hum, less viewers. Yawn.......


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