December 29th, 2010


Urban Nature Pictures 12/29

White-throated sparrow. For some reason, for a short time today--perhaps fifteen minutes while I was doing paperwork--there was a flurry of songbird activity outside my office window. It seemed concentrated around a bare spot where snow had melted away, but it also included titmice assailing the eaves above the window, apparently grabbing insects from corners and cobwebs. The titmice were what drew my attention, but I didn't get any good shots of them.

Male northern cardinal.

White-breasted nuthatch.

3:00 snapshot #663

This is as good a time as any to announce my New Years Resolution to give up sweets. As you can see, my office is a hotbed of ice cream (CANDY CANE! YuM) and donuts. Also chocolates, candy, cookies, ice cream cake, pastries, and so on. I could stand to eat fewer empty calories, and since I'm not giving up booze (did that for a month--man parties without booze are boring) it may as well be sweets. Moderation is the better way to do it, but I seem incapable of moderation. I went from being a vegetarian for 15 years to eating pork sausage at least 3 times a week. (Also, I recently realized that what they call "binge drinking" is the activity that I call "drinking." That's a different issue, I guess.)

If there are donuts in the office or cookies at home I WILL EAT THEM, not because I derive any special pleasure from them, but because they are there. Depriving myself of them categorically is my only route to avoiding this behavior. Which brings up an interesting point: what counts? Well, I've pretty much listed what counts: candy, pastries, and ice cream. What doesn't count? Sweet drinks, soft or hard--except those that include ice cream. Jelly, even though it's mostly corn syrup, doesn't count, in fact I'm going to give myself a pass on anything that it primarily fruit. I love fruit. I could give up chocolate for life tomorrow and not care, but if I had to go a week without fruit I'd be sad. Maple syrup doesn't count, as long as I'm putting it on a breakfast thing like waffles. My rules. Also I can eat blueberry pie.

For my birthday this year I will specially request something which is made of mostly fruit, instead of a birthday cake. My coworkers (who today provided candy cane and red velvet cake ice cream, dunkin donuts munchkins, and caramel filled chocolate bells, in addition to the pound of fudge I got for xmas) have been notified; they think I am insane.