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» Wednesday, September 30, 2009The Crisp, Crisp Joy of Fall
Monday morning as I headed east to get on the freeway, Venus was sitting low in the sky like a brilliant crystal, cold as ice in the blue-black sky. It was a mild day eventually, cool in the shade. I napped happily, having had a good morning. For one, I had finished my very last order and sent it off. Second, I had a new chair. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but I had changed my wonderful typist's chair (one without arms) years ago for an "ergonomic" chair and so regretted it, because the damn thing had arms which bruised my elbows when I typed. I finally traded my armed chair with a co-worker for an armless chair, but the dang thing must have been made for someone as tall as Abraham Lincoln and never fit me properly.
The new chair is different from any that I have ever had. For one thing, the seat and the back aren't padded like on a regular office chair. It's made of webbing, and on the seat back is an adjustable lumbar support which can be flipped. It has arms, but they can be canted outward to keep away from the elbows. It's very comfortable.
The third thing was funny. There is a woman I keep running into in the ladies' room. She must use crutches to walk, but is very deft with them. On Monday morning I got a note from one of the contract employees. She said she had worked with a friend of mine in Warner Robins and Ann had mentioned me to her, and where was I, anyway? Had we met? So I told her where I was, and sure enough, it was the same woman! We had a good laugh, especially since her name is Linda, too.
Drove home with the windows down, despite the fact that at rush hour it was a bit warmish, and I did have to turn the A/C back on when I came to all the stop lights between the freeway and our house. But barely four hours later, when James took Willow out between House and Castle, he came back in crowing about how nice and cool it was outside. So, like the hero of "A Visit From St. Nicholas,"
Away to the window I flew like a flash,and turned on the fans and oh, it was lovely.
Tuesday morning it was 51°F, with Venus still hanging like an ice crystal in the sky. Another good day for a nap. Unfortunately I had some other problems and had to leave work a little early.
Last night was the best yet. Temperatures went tumbling, a perfect night for sleeping, and I awoke this morning to find it 48°F, the grass stiff with dew. I had to put my jacket on when I took my walk, and the windows stood wide open all day.
At lunch time I finally cleaned out the bird feeders after the rain last weekend. Both of the bottoms of the feeders had started to sprout grass and ferment. Ugh! The ick factor hadn't driven away the birds, but I did, at least for a while, as I had to use an untwisted coat hanger to de-gunk the larger one and then pound on it upside down so that the clotted bits could fall out in moldy chunks. Then I filled them both with fresh food and eventually the flock came back: nuthatches and the cardinals and a woodpecker.
Sometime after dinner we heard the hawk calling outside again. We have had a hawk in the neighborhood for months. Once it perched upon the rails of our deck. We thought it was a red-tail or a Harris hawk, but its cries more closely match something called a red-shouldered hawk on the Cornell ornithology site. Then the crows set up a row. So we stood out on the porch for nearly a half hour in the deepening dusk, listening to the crows scream and another bird scold, and the hawk give its wild cry as it circled above. And then we realized why the hawk cries are so numerousthere are two of them! One perched almost over our heads while the other called from a few trees away.
Sunday night we had watched The National Parks on Dish's wretched chopped-off-each-side presentation, and then Monday was taken with House. The Sunday experience was so depressingnot only was the picture chopped, but it was flat and uninspiringthat yesterday we didn't even bother trying to watch part three and played our Netflix choice instead: disk one of Penn and Teller's Bullshit! Funny, funny series, although Penn's use of profanity is really overwhelming.
Tonight, I messed with the "rabbit ears" until the two separate aerials were doing a split and set the UHF loop so the edge faced east to west. And suddenly, miraculously, there was GPB. So we watched part four of The National Parks in glorious widescreen HD. The Grand Canyon, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Tetons, all so close you could almost touch them. Wow. Wow. Wow.
The windows are open and the crickets are singing, and the last cries of children playing under the streetlights have faded.
I love autumn.