Monday, March 28, 2005
Spring break in Phoenix
Pictures from spring break:
Sunday, March 20, 2005
Garden Show 2005
Almost didn't make it this year, b/c had an exam late in the week and couldn't risk the study time. (Turned out it didn't really matter, but better safe than sorry!) Mark went with me this year and we had a good time although I think the gardens were better last year.
Friday, March 18, 2005
I *finally* saw the UIC peregrines today! I stopped and watched them for about five minutes, only attracting one "What are you looking at?" query (and probably several strange looks). They were up on the tower of CCC, first flying around and around and then landing, one on the roof and one on a balcony. I suspect the balcony one, which had the classic black and white coloring, was Rosie, and the other, a lighter-colored bird, was... well, it was either Joshua, or "the other man". Word on the street is that Joshua was shot in December and was released from rehab just this week, but in the meantime another male moved in. Not sure which one I saw. The male was noisy, the call an ascending screech that came in slow pairs, while Rosie kept quiet and bustled around doing whatever it is peregrines do.
Monday, March 14, 2005
March Madness query
How are basketball nets attached to the rims, if winning coaches have to cut them down with giant scissors? Does each venue have a net weaver on staff, or is the scissors thing just unnecessary flash?
Eight days to Phoenix. Wooo!!
Sunday, March 13, 2005
Monday, March 07, 2005
I invented a word!
Cladomasochist = A taxonomic "splitter" who takes splitting of species to such an extreme that the resulting cladogram is too complicated to be useful or publishable.
Friday, March 04, 2005
Electronic journals available at UIC
Examining court decisions and opinions of the Attorney General construing Alaska statutes
European Rubber Journal
Is one of these the reason why UIC won't spring for an electronic subscription to Ecology?
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Fun on the El
1) Yesterday, coming home: I got one of my preferred seats, the singles that face sideways at the end of the car. This guy sits across from me, and I was entirely engrossed in my book but the occasional breathy groaning noises he emitted caught my attention. He was young, white, well-groomed... *too* well-groomed, with one of those silly newsboy caps and a mock turtleneck and a long tweed coat that he kept adjusting and rebuttoning. He was studiously reading an issue of High Times. Not that I take issue with the subject matter, but I know from long experience that those who read High Times, especially in public, are just trying too hard. Eventually, he finished the magazine and had nothing to do with his hands, so he got out a pack of imported cigarettes and carefully tapped the tobacco down for several minutes. Then he popped a cig in his mouth and pretended not to notice the death glares I was sending him across the aisle. He didn't light it, but he did play with his gold zippo for a few more minutes - flick, flame, snap shut, repeat - like Pyro in X2. Finally, we approached Belmont, and Mr. Cool strolled to the door, lit the cigarette, and got in a few very suave and self-assured puffs before the doors opened. If the collective glares of the people on the train could kill, he would have been vaporized before he reached the platform.
2) A guy smelling of rum and a few days past laundry day sat next to me today. I breathed shallowly and read my book, and just before Addison I finished the book and put it away. As we pulled into the station, he jumped out of the seat - "Is this your stop?" he said anxiously. Nope, next one, I said, so he sat back down. Before Irving Park, he leaped up again, and rather than step towards the end of the car to let me out, he preceded me all the way to the door, then stepped aside to let me by. He was just heading back towards the empty double seat when a small Asian woman darted into it, and last I saw of him, he stood swaying in the aisle, wondering where he went wrong.
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
More urban nature adventures
This morning when I left the house, I could hear a really pissed off blue jay somewhere in the neighborhood. I eventually walked by his tree, in front of the brick Italianate house (where I saw the sharp-shinned hawk last year). Looking up, I didn't see any blue jays, but I did see a hawk calmly perched on a lower branch of a sparse conifer. He watched me, I watched him, and the blue jay screeched at everyone. I sidled around, trying to see his markings - he had a buffy breast with no markings that I remember, and maybe a tannish back. He was between me and the sky so seeing his tail was tough, but I *think* it was barred. He was bigger than a crow, with a stocky body and red eyes. Finally, the blue jay started hopping down from the top of the tree to scold us, and the hawk (?) got bored and flew into a different tree. Did I get any thanks from the blue jay? Of course not. I've had no luck identifying the bird yet. I don't think it was another sharp-shinned - they have pretty distinctive barring on the breast.