Tuesday, November 25, 2008


The Rutgers Women's Basketball team was roughed up out west this past weekend. It was cool to get the webcast from Stanford, but the RUWBB performance was painful to watch. I always find the multidimensional aspect of successful team performance fascinating. You can have outstanding talent, good plans, good chemistry, a leader, and all the right mojo, but not be able to execute. Sometimes the environment (jet lag, whistlin' refs) can stir in toxicity and ruin the broth. Sometimes there are other factors. It simply isn't a rational, formulaic process. In any case, the Fab Five Frosh were brought down to earth over the weekend and need to retool in the CVS mold. In the meantime, they are certainly capable of thrillin' us at the RAC.

What ARE You Doing?

Just as I start blogging, the pack starts microblogging. Those in the vanguard were using Twitter last year. I simply don't want to be that available and that public all the time.

The NYT had an article on microblogging again. In the workplace, with Yahoo IM, I did find it useful to have a short, custom status message that I changed during the day to let remote folks know what was going on. Twitter seems to offer the same idea, with a one-to-many blurb for those who follow.

Digits Do Digitizing

From my hand, some pre-copyright books from the Princeton Theological Seminary are now on their way to immortality in the digital galaxy. The Internet Archive is alive and clicking in Princeton. Somehow my volunteer initiatives have landed me a temporary seat in their local cloister.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Fox on Friday, Mallards on Monday

A beautiful little bushy-tailed fox skittered down the path in front of Ms. B and me. She didn't see it, but she did smell it. There have been lots of fox sightings at Otto's Farm this past year.

Today there were lots of mallards chowing down on the D&R Canal waters. It's beginning to look like the winter holdovers are in place and here to stay. It was fantastic to see a juvenile Red-Tailed hawk perched close and low to the ground on the way out and nice to see a great blue hidden around the bend of the river on the return trip. Glad I had the binocs today.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Coop at the Curve

While taking a road walk this afternoon, I spotted a Cooper's Hawk on the ground at the nasty curve in the road. She was protecting the kill, it seemed. I walked very, very close, and tried not to disturb the fate of what was going on. Very impressive LARGE eyes on that raptor. On the way back, I tried to find any remains, but couldn't. The coop was perched in a nearby tree watching me carefully.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Green-winged Teal ID'd

A couple of days ago I traipsed around the pond at Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association. The pond hardly had anything on it compared to previous weeks. I spotted two Canada geese (compared to approximately 150 the week before), five mallards, a Great Blue, and two pairs of Green-winged Teal! I think I can finally identify the male Teal. The females had the visible green wing. Amazing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Life Underwater

No, this post is not a reference to the dismal stock market and the sorry state of so many of our investments in this free-falling market. It is about the very interactive aquarium along the shores of the Delaware, across the Ben Franklin bridge, a stones throw from the Philadelphia metropolis, i.e., a special spot on the waterfront in scary Camden, New Jersey. Along with the lovely 2-year-old Layla, today we explored the fishes and critters and plants in the underwater dioramas of the Adventure Aquarium. I even petted the spitting shark, Max, as he trolled the surface to impress the visitors. The African penguins and seals outside were a treat, too, although it was quite cool and blustery outside for the humans. The Delaware had some healthy whitecaps whipped up.

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Route Most Taken

So, the ebird.org site gave me the hint about using Runningmap.com to create my own route. I think it is better for plotting running routes -- duh, runningmap.com. But, it isn't too bad for cycling either. Here is my initial try at one of my fav cycling routes for a quick out and back in Neshanic.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We Rise

Mark November 4, 2008 as the beginning. We rise up. What better thrill than living the change we can believe in unfolding in front of our eyes with Obama carrying the day into a night of victory? What better excitement than, on that same night, to bear witness to the first win by the 2008-2009 Rutgers Women's basketball team in a pre-season exhibition game, 101-48? C. Vivian Stringer is Standing Tall with a great young group of athletic talents. All of us here are shedding tears of pride and hope, so poignantly expressed by Maya Angelou, who recited portions of her poem, Still I Rise, while being interviewed by Harry Smith on CBS's The Early Show this a.m. Here's the video.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Duck, duck, goose!

One mystery solved. It was a flock of American Coots at Round Valley the other day. Spotted the coot and had that Aha moment when trying to build a life list on Birdpost. Aha and then ahem: the web app is still in beta and hung more than it shoulda...

Canada geese were omnipresent on the "lakes" along our jaunt at Duke Farms yesterday. Found among the geese and Mallards were a Wood duck and Ring-necked Duck. Another mystery waterfowl remains, although there was some debate about whether it was a Bufflehead, Goldeneye, or Ruddy Duck. Me thinks it was a female Bufflehead. Maybe.