Monday, November 30, 2009

From the NYT

The police said Mr. Clemmons had recently been arrested in Pierce County and charged with assaulting a police officer and raping a child.
Nine years ago in Arkansas, The Seattle Times reported, Mr. Clemmons was released from prison after Gov. Mike Huckabee commuted his lengthy prison sentence, over the protests of prosecutors.

Mike Huckabee, I'd like you to meet Mike Dukakis.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Not that I care but...

I was at a wedding last night and during the toasts, the matron of honor said that she & the bride were "the sisters that God forgot to give us."

Sweet, but blasphemous.

As I understand it, the concept of God is that he can't forget. 

Happily, the matron of honor was not reduced to a pile of ashes.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thanksgiving Birdwatching at JBWR

What better way to spend Thanksgiving than birdwatching? I was tempted to suggest a trip to Staten Island to see the turkeys around South Beach Psychiatric Center but thought better of it  once I considered the traffic.

Instead, we continued our tradition of birding Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Ducks! 12 species, plus 3 species of geese. At first, the Snow Geese were far off in the bay, but suddenly a flock of about 200 descended on the West Pond honking and splashing down not very gracefully.

A Merlin flew off as we approached the blind at Big John's Pond. The swans were on the East Pond and not very many, compared to the numbers this summer (probably in the hundreds). The 3 Gadwalls were also on the East Pond. Not to say they weren't also on the West, but we didn't see them among all the scaup, shovelers, and ruddies.

Total species: 32

Snow Goose     200
Brant     1000
Canada Goose     150
Mute Swan    5
Gadwall    3
American Wigeon     35
American Black Duck     110
Mallard     75
Northern Shoveler     125
Northern Pintail     1
Green-winged Teal     65
Lesser Scaup     350
Bufflehead     4
Hooded Merganser     1
Red-breasted Merganser     1
Ruddy Duck     800
Horned Grebe     4
Double-crested Cormorant    20
Great Blue Heron     3
Merlin 1
American Coot     10
Herring Gull     10
Great Black-backed Gull     2
American Crow   2
Carolina Wren     3
Northern Mockingbird     4
European Starling     200
Yellow-rumped Warbler     6
American Tree Sparrow     1
Song Sparrow     3
White-throated Sparrow     10
House Finch     5

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


A crow warns.
Look up, there it is.
Starlings, sparrows
explode from their perch
on the dark church tower.
Replaced by a silhouette
against the smooth gray sky.
Tower, sky, crow.
Caw triumphant.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I watched Spenser: Ceremony last night with Shari. Spenser was a guilty pleasure of the 80’s. Particularly the scenes with Avery Brooks as Hawk. In fact, even the Spenser books without the counterpoint of the Hawk character are flat. I’d never seen the made for cable movies. And, as usual, the scenes with Brooks are worth slogging through the rest of the movie. Since it was made for cable, every once in a while there would be gratuitous bare breasts shown.

The actor who played Susan Silverman, Spenser’s girlfriend, (Barbara Williams) was the not the same woman who portrayed the character in the series for 2 years (Barbara Stock) and was a disappointment. She didn’t have same flair or sensuality of Stock. Her face was too thin and her lips too big.

Looking her up on IMDB, I found that she is married to Tom Hayden. THE Tom Hayden? Yup. Same guy who was married to Jane Fonda and who remembers that marriage anymore? He apparently appeared as an actor in the 70’s in shows like the Six Million Dollar Man. How that came about I can only guess. Was it while he was married to Fonda and Hollywood was trying to be nice to him?

Tom Hayden as an actor: seems unlikely. I remember he had adult acne.

In Williams’ bio it says that one of the characters she’s played is Joan Baez in a theatre production done in LA.  If I can’t see her as Susan Silverman, I certainly can’t see her as Joan Baez.

Still, there is a scene in which Hawk, while looking at and talking to Spenser, casually shoots someone about to attack them from the side. Made the whole movie worth watching.

Birds & Words

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

How appropriate:
Three starlings in
the Shakespeare Garden.