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Old 10-27-2007, 09:03 AM   #61
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We've had terrific luck meeting lots of friends from the very simple (and low gear needs/low maintenance) past time of bird watching. In any community we show up, it means instant friends and instant depths of mutual experience to feed enjoyable conversations. The organizations that cater to bird watchers and nature lovers tend to be very open and easy to interact with. There is always a nature hike/bird walk scheduled somewhere we can join. When we were stuck in Albuquerque last Xmas, we attended a regular bird walk followed by the annual Xmas party - so even marooned we met several nice folks. We always make it a point to visit the local park naturalist when we are in a state/federal park. It helps that we give away our nature photos!

One interesting thing too is that we have developed a very close relationship with a bird watching/park naturalist volunteer couple that is our parents age, but the generation gap doesn't seem to be there at all. We really enjoy each others company. Besides being bird watchers, they have also been full time RVers and lived for 20 years in a sail boat. So it's really more several strong mutual interests bridge the age gap among other things.

There are several other people with whom we have close long term friendships that came out of bird watching or nature photographing interests. Some of these folks are quite famous in their field/community.

I guess I'm convinced that if you have a strong interest or two or three, pursuing/cultivating those interests and then reaching out to the community that shares those interests, you will find people whose company you really enjoy, and it will be mutual.

It's a lot easier to do that these days with the internet.

Personally, if I didn't have strong interests, I don't know how I would socialize, because I really don't enjoy socializing for it's own sake and never have. But when I have something in common with people, I enjoy it tremendously.

I also found out by doing group travel (small groups only), that if we traveled with a group of bird watchers, or nature photographers, or nature enthusiasts, we usually had a terrific time regardless of the disparate backgrounds of the attendees. Of course the tour leaders were experts in the area and that also made the trips very enjoyable. The ONE TIME we signed up for a more generic tour to a particular destination we were bored to tears with our fellow travelers and tour guide. We had absolutely nothing in common. NEVER AGAIN - I learned a very valuable lesson. If that had been the first group trip we had ever I probably would have never attempted another, but it being the 8th or so, I was able to look back and figure out the vast difference!

OK - long winded. But what the hay.....

Audrey
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:04 AM   #62
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:39 AM   #63
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Old 10-27-2007, 12:26 PM   #64
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OK, this is great. Go to this

World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 | The Winners

page down and find Keith Haubrich, aka Ghandi Jones. This is my man, the one who craves kisses.

He also told me about some beard competitors, including one who had London Bridge sculpted into his beard.

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 02:03 PM   #65
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OK, this is great. Go to this

World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 | The Winners

page down and find Keith Haubrich, aka Ghandi Jones. This is my man, the one who craves kisses.

He also told me about some beard competitors, including one who had London Bridge sculpted into his beard.

Ha
This is hilarious! How do these guys go to bed at night? Gives a new meaning to "bad hair day"!
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Old 10-27-2007, 03:45 PM   #66
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Audrey, interesting observations on bird watching. Any web sites you'd recommend?

Today several quail hit our windows, probably due to the hawks that seem to be around here now. We have some streamers next to the windows but when they panic nothing seems to help. One quail didn't make it. When that happens I generally put their little bodies out on some rocks behind our house and some beasty (vulture, coyote, whatever) has a good meal.

Les
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:25 PM   #67
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Streamers at the windows is probably the best you can do. There are also decals you can put on windows, but streamers should work even better. Anything to cut down the window reflection.

I follow "texbirds" - a list server for bird sightings in Texas. TEXBIRDS Archives - October 2007

Otherwise, bird watching is really a get out there and do it kind of thing. Contact your local Audubon Society or Nature Center to find our about guided bird walks, etc.

Audrey
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:29 PM   #68
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Contact your local Audubon Society or Nature Center to find our about guided bird walks, etc.
I'm familiar with guide dogs, but I had no idea there were guide birds. The things you learn on this forum...
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:32 PM   #69
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There are also decals you can put on windows, but streamers should work even better. Anything to cut down the window reflection.
I've never used streamers, but our decal experience appears to indicate that you should go with the streamers.

I've put up the decals that are supposed to radiate in the UV, and we've had stupid @#$%ing zebra doves do faceplants right into the decals. At least the sparrows & mejiros have the grace to hit somewhere else on the pane.

Zebra doves must be born pregnant, because they seem awfully stupid to be able to survive long enough to complete an entire gestation cycle.
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Old 10-27-2007, 04:48 PM   #70
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Thanks Audrey. I did find one birding site that has a U.S. map you can click to find more links to birding organizations: Bird Watching Clubs Listed by State - Birding Clubs

Les
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Old 10-27-2007, 06:13 PM   #71
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Not into bird-watching on a serious basis (but I do love having birds around). My old standbys were the usual East Coast robin/cardinal/finch etc. Here there are the giandaia (the "acorn-eaters" - seem like a kind of jay but I guess they are more a crow), the "merli", a sort of black-bodied yellow-beaked thrush/robin that is camped out seriously full-time and eats all our cherries, with great varying songs; what they call a 'pettirosso" (redbreast) but a different, much smaller, bird than an American robin, mini-chickadee type "blue" jays (probably a type of "tit"?).. It's all very complicated, especially when, sometimes, I ask a native "what kind of bird is that?" and they say "a bird."

We had a migrating African-based hoopoe come in our house. I was surprised, and honored, given how intriguingly patterned he/she was.

wiki image

On our inside windowsill.
They call it the hoo-poe.. because it goes "HOOO POOO"
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:01 PM   #72
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....church DH and I started (for me re-)frequenting in the US didn't have any organized pledging......
......I don't think it's right to be sizing people up and reckoning what they "should" give.

It has to come from the spontaneous desire to give as much as the means..........
How right you are on that point.

People shouldn't get the wrong idea about church, and should not think first off the bat "how much need I pledge" before they even think about going to church.

Go to church to find fellowship, to listen to the message, to study, to find ways to volunteer, to be a listener to someone who needs someone to talk to, to simply congregate with others, to meet people from your neighborhood and from the larger neighborhood of your area.

Don't worry about pledging going in. Those who welcome you in as a visitor won't be worrying or thinking about it. They will simply be glad to see your "new" face.

Pledging *is* a spontaneous thing. After time, as you are so moved, you can of your own accord donate your time, talents, and/or money as you feel appropriate.

I'd just say as to church, try it. Forget the money-pledging worries, since you will likely be the *only* one worrying about that topic.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:32 PM   #73
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Ladelfina, that is one strange (but beautiful) looking bird! I looked it up in Wikepedia which said: "They spend much time on the ground hunting insects and worms. That diet may have been among the reasons the Hoopoe is included on the Old Testament's list of unclean birds." I've never met an unclean bird .

What general area of the world are you located in? Europe, Asia, Africa ...?
Just curious.
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Old 10-27-2007, 07:39 PM   #74
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OK, this is great. Go to this

World Beard & Moustache Championships 2007 | The Winners

page down and find Keith Haubrich, aka Ghandi Jones. This is my man, the one who craves kisses.


Ha

He's kind of sexy in a strange way !!
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:17 PM   #75
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He's kind of sexy in a strange way !!
Well then, he is waiting for you! But act quickly, he may shave it off soon.

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 09:42 PM   #76
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He's kind of sexy in a strange way !!
You can have him! He doesn't do much for me!
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:02 PM   #77
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cool bird. is that the italian cousin of the road runner?

what i find interesting in some of this conversation is how it seems to take effort to be lonely. playing with other people isn't all work ya know. but to be lonely really seems to take some effort. you either have to beat everyone at everything so you can be lonely at the top. or you have to fight with everyone to find your loneliness. you have to take the trouble to denounce everything. this is not good. that is not good. this is what is wrong with that and that is what is wrong with this. just to be lonely. or you have to go to extremes. yuck, the labor. you have to put huge rings in your earlobes or odd hair on your face. you have to make yourself smelly or unkept. you have to know just when to snarl. hey, being lonely is not easy. you really have to work at this to get it right. and if you are not careful and if you do not twist your body so you can watch your back, someone more clever than you might actually sneak up & befriend you.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:06 PM   #78
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Well, I guess that is one way to look at it. Just color me guilty of "all the above".

Ha
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:30 PM   #79
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I have to say the thousand words were worth more than the picture.. A handsome guy to be sure, but I got a less-than-fully-hetero vibe from the foto. It could be the big diamond earring. Andrew Sullivan highlighted the moustache/beard 'fetishists' recently:
The Daily Dish
Hair-raising sights
Quote:
Categories of moustache included: Natural, English, Dali, Imperial, Hungarian and Freestyle. Partial Beard categories were Natural Goatee, Chinese, Musketeer, Imperial, Freestyle and Sideburns Freestyle.
For full beards, competitors battled it out in the Verdi, Garibaldi, Natural Full, Natural Full with Styled Moustache and Freestyle categories.
"The freestyle beard is probably the most spectacular one because basically, as the name suggests, it's freestyle, so you can do anything you like," Parsons said, according to the BBC.
"For example, at the last championships in Berlin, one of the competitors there actually styled his beard in the shape of the Brandenburg Gate with horses and flags and everything."


--
We are in central Italy, so birds do migrate easily between here and Africa. A greenish-gold bird bashed into our window (and seemed to get away fine). I described it and asked someone what it could be, and they said "it sounds like a rigogolo".. which means a kind of oriole. Music lovers may pick up on => "Rigoletto".. the little oriole. Apparently this was not an adult male (he would have been more distinctly black/yellow), but a juvenile or female.
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Old 10-27-2007, 10:40 PM   #80
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as walls are not built without effort, i don't have any reason to assume that it would take any more effort to not be lonely then it would to be lonely and so i question why anyone would think of that as work. i would further consider that the effort it takes to be lonely perhaps might be work (building a wall around you). and maybe the effort it takes to not be lonely might be called play (tearing down a wall-how fun!)

whether at the playground or at your place of employment, play can be antidote to loneliness. but when we take ourselves too seriously, we only get to play with others while we might still be lonely inside. for then it doesn't matter how many bearded women you play with because you still go home alone.

and so loneliness (or happiness) is like a two part epoxy. there is the outside--how we participate in the world--and there is the inside--how we relate to ourselves. the glue sticks best when both sides come together.
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