Saturday, July 28, 2007

I've been tagged...

This blog of mine has been dormant for too long. Summer is a busy season for everyone in the Haas house. There is Emery, a Mother-to-be who is in dire need of attention and sleep! There is a Golden Retriever (who has the same needs) named Oiseau and a Shepherd with bad hips named Kee Kee. Both Emery, the Dogs and even the lizard need food, walks, love, attention and yes... did I mention?... sleep. That leaves me little time for much else.

I've also been in the process of completing a home fix-up. With birds, it's known as 'nesting'. I too am nesting, getting our home ready for our baby (COMING SOON TO A CRIB NEAR ME IN JANUARY!)

So when does a birder have time to bird, let alone blog? Sadly, the answer is not very often.

Sure, I've been over to the bluebird boxes at Greenbury Point a few times. Yes, I've always got my eyes towards the skies, trees, powerlines, fields and brush. Why... even this week I dropped by Merkle Wildlife Refuge in PG County to see the WHITE IBIS on the way back from working in Charles County. My dear friends, the IBIS was out for the day. Wouldn't you know it, the bird returned the very next day?

I suppose that after the Peregrine Falcon rescue I needed to unwind a bit. I'm passionate about many things: music, roasted garlic, birds, coffee, art, chocolate, sleep, wine, passion... to name a few. Lately it's been art (more on that in a bit). But today, it's all about being 'tagged'.

Warren and Lisa (The Birding Couple / See Link to the Right) tagged me recently in their blog. Only this morning, with my hot coffee and bed head, did I discover my being tagged many, many days ago. I am neglecting my online reading rituals!

That said, I need to now divuldge for you loyal readers (*hello, is this microphone on... testing 1,2.. everyone still awake?) eight random facts about me. That's easy. Tagging 8 more folks... well, not so much.

1. My middle name is Brian. Long ago, when I was in little league baseball, some girl teased me. She called me "Danny Fanny." Devastated, I asked the coach to put "Brian," on the back of my orange t-shirt/uniform. That entire season all of the other parents thought my Mom and Dad were nuts. Clearly, they were yelling, "GO DAN!!! GO DAN!!" at this little Brian fellow.

2. I had a parakeet when I was young named Kermit. See, I have always had a thing for birds. As an Oak Hill Elementary student, I etched a picture of him in Ms. Kirk's art class. My Mom had it framed and it now hangs for all to see in my house. Kermit the bird used to fly around my room all day long. Once the family beagle (Mickey, named for the beer Michelob, not the mouse) caught Kermie in his mouth. No harm done. I now play drums with Mickey in my band. Oiseau often tries to catch drummer Mickey's hand in his mouth whenever he visits. Coincidence?

3. I went to sailing camp at St. Mary's College when I was in Middle School. I learned how to curse there. I showed off my skills on parents weekend when I took my father out sailing. A gust came up, the boat flipped and I yelled, "Oh sh*t." Dad knew then that I was learning not only about Sailor's knots, but I was getting a Sailors mouth as well. I haven't cursed since (OK, that part is not entirely factual).

4. My older brother Jim died in a plane crash in 1993. He was a banner plane pilot down in Ocean City, MD. It forever changed the lives of my Mom, Dad and I. After that, I think we all have tried to live life a little bit more intensely. He was 20 months my senior and could always beat me up. He played football and basketball and loved the ladies. For that matter, we both did. LIke Pancho and Lefty. Or Willie and Julio? I forget.

5. Emery is my soon-to-be wife and soon-to-be-mother of my child. Yes, we didn't do things the traditional way. I eagerl await the little wonder that is coming in January. I didn't want to know the sex of the baby, but after much thought, on Tuesday we are going to find out. The doc will not show us during our appointment. Instead, we are going to ask her to write it down, put it in an envelope and later, at a dinner party with both our parents, my Mom will open the envelope and let us all know. Thanks to Emery's friend Shannon for this excellent idea.

6. I tend to write too much. I could just make a quick point. Instead I go on and on and... you get the point. Emery thinks the baby will be a girl. I say it's a boy. I hope he/she is a beautiful as she is, likes birds, music and roasted garlic.

7. I cut my own hair.

8. I don't have a bird list. I have a long list of birds I've seen, written on many different peices of paper (paper that is now filed in many places throughout the house). I don't know how I feel about keeping track.

I do know that I love to think big. I would like to conserve more, protect more, educate the masses about how quickly we are tearing this earth of ours up, etc.

Last night I watched Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds" on the TV. Funny movie. Anyway, as I was watching Melanie Daniels driving up the Coastline north of San Francisco, I was think about what that highway must look like now? I imagine hundreds of (how could we ever live without) strip malls, box stores, rest stops, office parks, houses, industrial plants, buildings and mega shopping malls probably paint that very same landscape now.

We humans have such amazing toys now. Toys that can rip down acres and acres of trees and wildlife in a matter of hours. That frightens me to my very core. We have changed our landscape more in the last twenty years than in all of history combined. If we don't literally STOP and think about this fact, the number of places for wildlife to exist will simply vanish in the next twenty years. Anyway, maybe that happening is about as likely as birds attacking us? Yeah, let's get that Wal Mart up as soon as possible! Think of the carbons I won't be releasing into the atmosphere when I only have to drive 2.5 miles to the box store, rather than the 6.8 miles!

I feel greener already.

-Dan

PS. The real reason I've been so busy is this: at night, rather than checking my blogs and net surfing, I've been painting. Have a look? GUEST WASH ROOM. It's going to be the baby's bathroom. Special thanks to Bill Hubbick for the photos! I'll have to have him over sometime for some coffee and roasted garlic.

PSS. I'll find those other 8 people to tag in just a bit. I've got to get back to painting and then... it's a wedding band performance this evening. No chicken dance!

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