This was just plain weird. It'll take some time to tell, so ignore the following if you despise long, seemingly-useless stories with several asides.

Okay. This afternoon, I looked out my front window. On the porch are some plants, a windchime, and a glider seat. Well, on this glider is... a small hawk. Really. I saw its head move, its wings lightly flapped. I'd loaned my digital camera to my mom who's on a two-week out-of-state vacation (and ironic, that the Go-Gos song "Vacation" just finished on the Totally Awesome 80s Mix Tape CD I'm listening to), so I was thinking of how I could capture this semi-odd occurance of natural-life-meets-urban-life. A-ha! I still have my 35mm camera (remember those, kiddies? ). I looked through the "technology drawer" and found a camera. Didn't quite look like what I'd remembered, but it's been a few years. Do I actually have any film? Yes! One left. I checked; do I have a backup battery in case this one's dead? Also yes! So, I load the film; it won't take a picture, but shows the "E" on the register (for "error" ). Then, I remembered this is the older camera; the "newer" one's on the CD shelf (where I'd picked up this '80s CD! ). But, you can't just pull out film from a camera and re-use it, right? Heck, nothing to lose. FYI... you still can't do that. Anyhow, the hawk's still there, ignorant of my plight. Then, I thought, I can go to the store, just across the street, maybe a half a mile away. But, if I pull the car out of the driveway, it might scare away the bird. So, I grab my house keys, my wallet, a hat, and jogged over there (it's 90 degrees and humid... stupid?). I buy one of the few rolls still left (yes, there's a dust layer on the box), jog back home. I see the trash truck (Fri. is trash pick up day here), starting up the street. No! Don't freak the bird out! I get home. Is the hawk still there? Yes! I load the film (it actually has the name of the grocery store, Stater Bros., printed on the cannister :highquality: ), with no dreaded "E" showing. Alright. I take a picture from inside the house. The flash goes off, but while the hawk looks around, it does fly off. Good. I walk slowly around the house, turn on the camera before I reach the porch so the whirring doesn't frighten it. I crouch around the bushes, deciding how to take this shot. I saw it, it saw me, then flew off. I did get an "action shot" of it flapping away (wow, that's rare ). I noticed that it left some "waste" on the glider, so I took photographic proof of that, too. The hawk did not return, at least not 20 minutes later. And interestingly, several years ago, a crane stopped off in the backyard, probably because it thought the above-ground pool was a lake and stayed overnight, just walking around the deck. Birds of a feather, flock together?

Anyhow, the view out my window today.