Month: January 2013

A teaching moment on Bird ID.

Back at work after two weeks off, and getting back into the swim of things. It was nice to completely unplug for a bit and recharge the batteries. I definitely needed it… One thing I did was what I like to call a “long day” out birding and doing bird photography; up early (4:30AM) so I can get out so San Luis National Wildlife Refuge around sunrise, and I spend part of the day there, and the rest of the day at Merced NWR, one of my favorite places. I seem to do this once or twice a year during the winter birding season, and it’s not unusual for the day to end back home around 8 or 9PM. Definitely long. This year, the alarm didn’t go off and I got a couple of hours extra sleep; I got hit by the IOS notification bug. On the other hand, I still got to San Luis NWR only 90 minutes behind schedule — to clear 35 degree weather, sleeping birds (do you blame them?) and generally slow birding. A number of the still ponds were skinned over in ice, and frankly, the only thing I like LESS than central valley tule fog at dawn is black ice, and given the slow start to the morning, I was a lot more productive sleeping and being a bit more rested. So no...

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The NHL is back. Now what?

The NHL and the Players Association finally got it figured out and the lockout is over and hockey is returning. Best guess is that we’ll see NHL games in about two weeks, and it’ll be a 48 or 50 game season. Do we care? More importantly, now what? The good news: it’s a ten year deal, which can be re-opened after eight years by either side. So we have a while before we have to worry about another round of this labor stupidity. The better news: The hardline owners who pushed the labor agenda that led to this long lockout and will not likely still be driving the owner bus the next time we have to deal with a CBA. And at his age, it’s unlikely Gary Bettman will be commissioner as well. That makes me hope that whenever the league rolls down this path again, different voices and attitudes will be in charge. It has to be noted that whatever good Gary Bettman has done for the game of hockey — and he’s done a lot of good — his legacy will be the lockouts. And that under his watch, around 10% of the scheduled games weren’t played due to labor strife. And that twice he forced stoppages on the game and wrangled significant concessions out of the players — only to have to come back the next...

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