observations and updates

Life is full of contrast, yin and yang, often subtle, sometimes blatant. Saturday was a beautiful day, warm and sunny, while Sunday brought cold and rain. It was like living in two opposite climates in a single weekend. On Saturday we spent the day outside, hiking and visiting old friends. On Sunday we went to a soggy native plant sale and picked up a few more plants for the front yard. The cool wet weather continues today, ushering in the always jarring Monday Troll, having freshly clawed itself up the muddy embankment from its weekend under-bridge haunts. It sits on my keyboard now, all red gleaming eyes and slavering fangs.

The weekend yielded a few new first-of-year birds, including Northern Parula, Ovenbird, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow-throated Warbler, Black-and-white Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, and one of my all-time favorites, WOOD THRUSH! How happy was I to hear their dulcet notes while walking the arboretum trails on Friday evening.

This morning as I rode past the parole and probation office, a young man crossing the street in front of me yelled “Gimme that damn bike,” not even pausing in his stride and with no more than a cursory glance in my general direction. I am always mystified by interactions like this (a more aggressive spin on the classic “Hey, lemme borrow your bike” scheme). Did this guy expect me to immediately dismount and hand my bike over to him? He made no threatening gestures nor did he display any inclination to take my bike by force. His instruction was delivered in a manner more akin to a casual aside than a strict command, although I found his tone reflected a savagery inappropriate for such an early hour. Likely on his way to meet with his probation agent, perhaps he was not in the best of moods and needed to make some desperate attempt to assert control over his situation. I was almost tempted to stop and give him the bike just to see what he would do. I’m sure it would not have been what he was expecting. Maybe he would’ve asked me to hold it for him while he went inside and spoke with his agent. I can imagine him in the office, highly agitated, imploring his agent to hasten the meeting along: “C’mon, man, can we just finish this up? There’s a guy outside who’s gonna gimme his bike and I dunno how much longer he’s gonna wait for me.”

When you live in a crime-riddled city like this one, you need to have a sense of humor about stuff like this. Otherwise you’d stay in your house all the time with the blinds pulled shut.

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  1. Its remarkable the punk didn’t ruin your day.That bespeaks a great deal of mental agility and emotional balance on your part.

  2. I’m with theinkbrain on this. I can’t say I miss those kinds of urban interactions. The worst I get these days is large dogs off their leash jumping up at and slavering over me as I run round nearby heathland, and I can live with that.



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