Monday, July 10, 2006

A family of univited guests raising their noisy brood in your chimney.

My parents have birds in the chimney. You can hear them. You can hear when the parents come home. The babies go nuts, yelling, "feed me, feed me first!"

It's quite annoying. I don't spend a whole lot of time upstairs. In fact, I've got my Tivo set up downstairs so if I'm watching TV, it is away from the chimney in question.

It's still quite annoying to have a family of univited guests raising their noisy brood in your chimney. They were there last summer but this summer there must be more because the noise and the annoyance is much greater.

After watching Syriana with my folks and hearing the birds go off and irregular intervals throughout the movie, I decided to look up the chimney and see exactly what we were dealing with. With me looking up holding a flashlight, Dad opened the flue.

Just what I expected. The babies in the nest went nuts and low and behold there is a starling or some other bird clinging to the wall staring at me with a wild look in it's eye. It's a wonder one didn't fall down into the fireplace and then take off into the house. Somehow we avoided it.

Does anyone have any suggestions for getting rid of these things save lighting a massive fire and smoking the bastards out while killing the chicks?

Sunday, July 09, 2006

I'm back from the wilderness.

I'm back from the wilderness. The six days that I spent deep in a remote portion of the Smoky Mountians were awesome. I met some neat people, worked hard and learned a lot. Just like last summer, I kept a journal while I was on the trail and I'll probably be posting those entries later in the week.

I'm off this week, hanging out at the parents house and trying to relax before 'real life' kicks me in the ass next week. N is coming to visit on Friday. Sunday, I'll be flying to New Jersey to start my job. I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.

I went out for a run this evening after being off for a week due to my time on the trail. I felt pretty good but could definitely I hadn't had a quality workout in a week. I think I'm shooting for a November marathon. If things work out, I'll meet up with some friends and run it with them. I need to start my training next weekend but that's going to be fairly tough with all the moving/new job turmoil going on in my life. I hope I can keep my running on track, it will be a priority for me so I think I'll be able to.

That's what I've been up to, how about you?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Brush Busters

Tomorrow I’m off on a grand adventure. I’ll be spending the next week on the Appalachian Trail vollunteering with the Brush Busters Trail Crew. I’m pretty excited. It’s going to a bit different than my experience on the trail last summer when I was solo hiking but I know it’s going to be fun.

The days sound as if they are going to be long with lots of work but I know it will be satisfying. The handbook states that the mission of the crew is (in order of priority):

1. Cutting back woody growth on the uphill side of the A.T. that is forcing hikers to the outside of the trail tread. This basic maintenance will help prevent larger problems from developing in the future.

2. Cleaning out clogged drainage structures (e.g. waterbars, drainage ditches, ect.) and muddy sections of trail.

3. Re-digging failing sidehill sections of trail.

I don’t feel nearly as orgainized going into this as I typically would. I think that’s because I know that most of it is being planned by someone else and I’m just the labor that they are hauling along and also that I have hiked on the trail a few times and now know more of what to expect.

I’ll be off the trail next Saturday and probably back to civilization that evening or Sunday morning. I doubt I’ll get much running in the next week. I wonder if I can count hiking as part of my 1200 miel club mileage.

The hike is long, my pack is heavy, but I hit the trail knowing I’m ready.

Maybe I'm chickenshit

I finally got out of the apartment and out of town. It was a laborious task. My roommate was a procrasitinator so the task of cleaning the apartment fell to me, mostly. He did help out on move out morning but I did a lot to get us to the point we were at.

Running friend came over to help me clean the carpets Thursday night. She is so hot, it's incredible. I think we could work well together, we seem to have lots in common. I just have to convince her of that. I wanted to kiss her but the moment just didn't seem right.

We met up early Friday morning to run. I got a good 'goodbye' hug before we started and got all sweaty. Still it didn't feel right. After the run, I went to Kroger to get her some flowers to say goodbye with and thanks for helping me the previous night. She seemed suprised and said she loved flowers and no one ever sends them but her sister. Another hug. Maybe I'm chickenshit, we've had this discussion before, but it still just didn't seem right.

Maybe/probably she just sees me as a friend. Maybe/probably I'm falling into that trap by not being aggressive and making a move. Maybe/probably I should have gone for it anyway even if it 'didn't feel right' because there wasn't anything to lose.

Point is, I didn't and now I've moved from town. The good news is that she might be in New York later this month when I'm in Jersey. If she is there will be a meetup and maybe I'll try it then. Of course I'll still be a weenie and more than likely it still won't 'feel right'.