a beautiful day for impersonating a red-tailed hawk
Tuesday, March 15 2022
I heard a red-tailed hawk this morning, but when I finally saw the bird making the call, it turned out to be a blue jay doing an impression. That's a common call for a blue jay to do, and it's not clear why they do it. Perhaps it puts other birds (and squirrels) on edge. Later today when I was doing landlording at the Brewster Stree house I head a red-tailed hawk there too, but this time it was being made by a starling. Two data points immediately suggested a trend. Perhaps there is something about this time of year, when birds are establishing territories, that makes impersonating a red-tailed hawk a good strategy.
When Gretchen got up, she was so delighted by how beautiful and warm the day was that she opened up the door to the east deck from the dining room. At the time the temperature was still down in the 40s, so this was a bit premature. But eventually the day was warm enough for me to throw open the house's front door (which still has the winter-season spring-loaded door closer on it, so I had to use the door's kickstand).
It was a fairly lax day in the remote workplace, full of long boring meetings. But my timing for running to refill my tea is always terrible. 98% of a two hour meeting didn't concern me at all, but the part that did concern me just happened to come up when I didn't have my headphones on.
Later in the day, Joe, the lead developer who is the most likely to engage in non-work banter, posted a YouTube video entitled "Throwing Fire." I remarked that I must've missed that stratum of internet history, though I didn't miss Rebecca Black. At that point Joe asked how old I was. I look and act young, and when working with younger people (as I always do) it always seems better for team cohesion for my age to be a bit of a mystery, at least initially. But there are downsides to lying or prevaricating about such things, so I immediately admitted that I am 54. This might've come as a bit of a shock, and Joe did say he'd thought maybe we were closer together in age (he's of the age where he has young children and two cats). But in this particular industry, older developers are more common than they have been in the web development teams I've usually found myself working in.
After my workday, I drove into Kingston to do a couple landlording chores. Neville wanted to come along, which wasn't a problem at all. This allowed him to meet the dog that lives next door to the Brewster Street house just before we went around back so I could fix the back door, which supposedly was once again not latching. The problem with that door is that it is on a porch with a terrible foundation, one that likely rises and falls with frost heave. It seemed like the tenant had already made adjustments to the latch, and I further improved on these while Neville snorted around the back porch and backyard. It looks like the tenant is bringing in a bunch of bluestone to make a nice hangout area in the back, in the place where our previous tenant Eileen set up an illegal above-ground pool. Given how difficult bluestone is to move, it's likely it will remain there after the tenant leaves, meaning he is improving the value of our property. He's our least-favorite tenant, but in this respect he is the complete opposite of Eileen, our former least-favorite tenant.
Over at the Downs Street brick mansion, recent winds had knocked down a section of the back fence, which the tenants had then propped back into place in a very makeshift manner. I was hoping to make permanent improvements to the situation using metal brackets and screws, but this could only do so much. Very soon I'll have to implement fixes involving long horizontal crossbars to replace the largely rotten ones there now.
Nancy's birthday is coming up soon, so again I've tasked myself with painting her a picture. Originally the plan was to paint a scatalogically topical painting entitled "Vladimir Poopin'," perhaps dropping a "top-shelf" into a toilet's tank. (I first learned this meaning for "top-shelf" from Nancy's husband Ray.) But in the end I decided to paint something prettier: a golden garden spider. I wasn't quite done when the xanax I'd taken sent me off to bed.
Earlier today Ramona had apparently had such a fun walk that she'd rolled in something disgusting, something she would never do unless she is feeling perfectly happy and alive. I got most of whatever it was off of her soon thereafter, but she still stank to high heavens. So before she could plow her way under the covers in the bed tonight, I put her in the bathtub and gave her a thorough shampooing.
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