Friday, June 28, 2013

I am not gone, just doing other wonderful stuff ...

WARNING! NOT about birds! (yes, I know it is a bird blog ... so just thought I would warn y'all ...) But, Hey, it is my blog so I can relay what I want!)

Birders stop now - boring!

Friends are welcome to continue...

I have not published in awhile. I already did post a few "rambles"about the Biggest Week (really the highlight of our year!!!), yet I still did not post the last one with my other pics of the week. I have been busy. Oh well ... y'all will understand ...

In addition, I intend(ed) to post rambles and pics about our very interesting late winter observations (especially the very abundant loons and Horned Grebes in SE Michigan this year! Best ever pics!) and some great local birding and local lifers after the Biggest Week, but  - like life - I just keep moving on. Oh, and yes, I need to post pics and stories of my deck birds - some new revelations! Good stuff! Fun!


Just before the Biggest Week, I sold my 1997 Jimmy to a local Streamwood resident thanks to the Streamwood sharing list. We cannot afford to keep two cars. I will certainly miss "jimmy"! I doubt my big long-handled salmon net will even fit in our Toyota. I bought the net for our annual trip to Manistee for salmon. Now our annual trip is to NW Ohio for birding at the Biggest Week. Nor will the longer one-piece fishing rods I used in bass tournaments fit in the car.  I guess I will figure it out. Anyway, one thing off my mind! Certainly the gas cost will be cheaper!

I send huge accolades to friend Gary Kozlowski who set up the Streamwood web site, e-mail list, and initiated the idea of a sharing site where residents can help each other with talents to offer!!! Gary is indeed  making Streamwood a "community"!!! One person makes a HUGE difference! Inspirational!

More recently, I sold the huge "albatross" of my sports card collection (circa 100 mixed cases!!!). I once thought that it would be my retirement. Not only did I pay the then-going prices for what I collected, but I also paid moving costs from California to Michigan - and then, storage fees! Stupid! Horrible timing! If only had I but invested in the stock market ...! But, live and learn! No regrets they say ... but I have many about this one. Fortunately I have regrets about only a few of the decisions I have made. Unfortunately all of them were costly in either money or mental sanctity!

I received less than 10% of what I spent on sports cards! Yet I was very happy that thru my Streamwood connections (thanks Gary for the contact - and Ray for not only your help moving them but also the contact!!), I met an extremely conscientious dealer that gave me a very fair price Anyone with cards, write me offline for  a great recommendation of the dealer! I actually had enough money from the sale to buy a wonderful camera package with a fantastic 300 mm Canon lens (Image-stabilized - so important to shaky me now!), a great D40 camera and other wonderful stuff. I now have fewer excuses for not taking better pics.  (Don't remind me - I will figure out excuses later ...)

Huge accolades to the Streamwood man (Ray White) who responded to my call for help on the Streamwood sharing list in moving some boxes from the basement into the garage so that the collection was accessible enough to evaluate. I do not know if anyone besides me remembers the metal puzzles of yesteryear where only one space was open and you had slide each block at a time to line up the numbers, but this was like our basement! With no open space, sliding anything was futile!

Geez! I remember when I moved this massive collection out of a basement myself - the last time was 1995 - and I was still in decent shape! Forty/fifty pounds per box. Geez! I am amazed  I even did it then! This retired cop is in great shape! It took Judy and I both to tell him that forty cases were sufficient to make it available. He still wanted to continue the "workout" he signed up for! What a man!!! Oh .. I do so fondly remember the days when I felt the same way - but that was over 20 years ago before cubicle living at the work place robbed me of any muscles, and before trying to do it myself last year put me in the hospital. Thank you, Ray!!!

Yes, I am admittedly less fit and more needy, yet I persevere with help from my friends!

Currently, I am working on photographing and cataloging rock concert posters (I always called them "hippy posters") that I picked up in San Francisco in the 1960's.  What fun! I know some of y'all are interested and will consider y'all first. Yet, it is so cool that the same guy who bought my cards is also interested! He sent me a great photo of a poster he has in his office with the Rolling Stones!

I am also working on the wonderful stuff uncovered while selling my cards. Really wonderful stuff!!! A box of letters surfaced from my father to my mother during WW-II before my birth!!! This was among my cards. I wonder what I will read ... How did my father convince Mom to marry him?

It is great that I looked at each and every box I had put in the "cards area" in the basement!!! I did not remember I even had these!!! (Yes, my parent's deaths were a traumatic time then for me ...)

In moving from California, movers had packed everything so I knew I had better watch out to see what emerged! My parents died a couple of years before we moved (otherwise I would not have moved ...) and I was executor of their estate and inherited most of their stuff. (Note - I do NOT recommend any close family member being an executor!) Not only are the letters themselves really important to review, but just seeing the old stamps on the letters are really cool! Air Mail Special Delivery stamps! (Only older people or stamp collectors will even understand this!) And ... so far, I found two telegrams (!!!)  near the top! Anyone know what a telegram is? Anyone have one? Western Union!  Oh, heck, what was Western Union?!

And (!!!) at the bottom of another box of cards, I finally found some of Mom's jewelry that I thought I had! No, not valuable in a monetary sense (she never could afford fancy stuff ...), but priceless!!!

I have been wanting to pass this to my grand-daughters (her great-grand-daughters!!!). Now I can! No wonder I never found it!

And, just tonight I looked at some photo albums that were included in a box of cards with collated sets of sports cards in binders. The movers had packed the entire book shelves - photo albums with sports card albums. Fascinating! I knew I had negatives from this period in a filing cabinet with each set of negatives denoted with a number. In the binders, I found that (as compulsive as I was ...) I had labeled each set with the same number as the negatives and even included the "crap photos" in the albums so if I ever wanted reprints I could go directly to the negatives! Damn! I was good ... and so wonderfully compulsive! It now makes sense ...

And ... (thinking about reprints from negatives) ...  I was so unimaginative about how the world of technology might change. For example I never predicted  CD's - much less mp3's.  A whole different story needs to ramble about the circa 800 vinyl albums I have!!! (It is so cool that aficionados are embracing the better sounds of vinyl!))

Well, that was back in the "old days". Now it is easier for me to scan the prints than to use the negatives. Interesting how technology has changed! Anyway, I found lots of treasures!

Tonight I will be working on scanning and posting some pics on Facebook (FB).

BTW:   I tend to use FB more these days than keeping up with my blog ... I know many of my relatives and friends do not use FB (Hey - get with the times!!!), but I just do not  have energy to individually tailor all my thoughts to specific audiences too much anymore. Sorry about that!

For  most of my birdie blog followers, I know you are already on FB, so you are keeping up me. If you read so far despite the un-bird warning, thanks my friends!

Anyway, that is my "ramble". "That's my story and I am sticking to it!"

When I am done "doing on the home front", I will get back to posting birdie exploits.

- "Dr. Bob"