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DanT1999

is happily asserting imperfection



Recent entries from DanT1999
Pages: 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 27 28

DanT1999seventh bonus day

August 21, 2014

1) I was busy throughout the day with unexpected things I had to deal with but fortunately I wasn’t in on it alone and also made some gradual progress on other projects that I had gotten behind on…

2) Birding and people watching at Malibu Lagoon after work early this evening (see the collage of photos I took)... It was sunnier and warmer and the surf was high which meant much bigger crowds than when I was there Tuesday evening. Bird diversity was up slightly too, so migration may finally be picking up…

3) Watching episode 4 of the Korean drama “Tell Me Your Wish”... 3 months ago


DanT1999sixth bonus day

August 20, 2014

1) It has warm and humid last night and I hardly got any sleep, but I managed to be alert throughout the day without feeling too tired. The only thing is that it was one of those days where I did a lot without actually accomplishing a lot just because of the nature of the problems I’m trying to solve…

2) I didn’t leave the office until 6 PM tonight, but I still had enough time to squeeze in some birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve before dark (see the collage of photos I took)... I didn’t see anything unusual but it was relaxing just to walk along the river bank and clear my mind…

3) Watching episode 3 of the Korean drama “Tell Me Your Wish”... 3 months ago


DanT1999fifth bonus day

August 19, 2014

1) Running this morning… For the first time in a few months, it was mostly dark during my run. Fall is gradually approaching; it makes me kind of sad even if the start of fall in Southern California is a lot like summer…

2) Birding at Malibu Lagoon after a busy day at work this evening… It was overcast and cooler than it has been which meant that the crowds were smaller. The variety of birds was still not that great, but I did manage some nice shots of some common birds…

3) I watched episode 2 of the Korean drama “Tell Me Your Wish” tonight. I was unimpressed with the first episode but found myself hooked with number two, even after I swore that I wouldn’t get addicted to another drama…

See the collage of photos I took today, all at Malibu Lagoon this evening except the squirrels which were photographed at Lake Balboa on my way to work this morning… 3 months ago


DanT1999fourth bonus day

August 18, 2014

1) Lying in bed early this morning with the window open hearing the calls of an American crow and a black phoebe…

2) I got my mid-year review from my boss today, and it was generally favorable…

3) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work early this evening… It was kind of slow, but I ran into Jim and Tang, a couple of fellow bird photographers. They were hunting down owls tonight; I let them know about the peregrine falcon I have seen hanging around the dam…

See the collage of miscellaneous photos I took in the mall today with my iPhone during my lunch break… 3 months ago


DanT1999third bonus day

August 17, 2014

1) Running this morning even though I felt “out of it” when I woke up…

2) Lunch with Andrew at Follow Your Heart in Canoga Park… We shared a bottle of ginger beer I bought in the store. I hadn’t had ginger beer in a long time. It reminded me of when I used to order it at a Jamaican restaurant I used to go to with my old coworker Mariko who had a Caribbean boyfriend at the time…

3) At the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve where I went birding late this afternoon, I found a juvenile peregrine falcon perched on the dam. I observed it for about half an hour waiting to catch a shot of it taking off in flight (see the collage of photos I took). My photos were not as great as I was hoping, but still these are the best shots I have of a peregrine falcon. The bird was banded; hopefully I can find some more information about it… 3 months ago


DanT1999second bonus day

August 16, 2014

1) I went birding this morning at Lake Casitas near Ventura where a pair of bald eagles had been nesting. I was able to find one of the eagles, but it was far away and the view was partially obscured so I didn’t really get good photos. However, in total I saw a decent variety of birds, 55 species during the almost three hours I was there, adding six species to my Ventura County year list… See the collage of photos I took today…

2) While in the car I heard part of the Casey Kasem Top 40 countdown for this week in 1970 on the 70’s on 7 channel on Sirius XM. The song I liked the best was “In the Summertime” by Mumgo Jerry. I had heard the song many times before but never knew the name of the band that sung it…

3) I saw about a dozen motorcycle riders on going south together on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu all flying Swedish flags on the back of their bikes as I was gradually headed back home. They were each wearing all black and had helmets on so I couldn’t tell if any of them looked like they might actually be Swedish. I don’t see the Swedish flag flying that often around LA… 3 months ago


DanT1999bonus day

August 15, 2014

1) The second going away lunch this week for one of my staff members whose last day is today at an Indian buffet restaurant in West Hills… It was better than the Thai restaurant we went to on Wednesday…

2) As a surprise we got a big chocolate cake for my boss whose birthday is over the weekend and an orchid plant (which I’m not sure was such a good idea as I’m doubtful he will keep it alive very long)... I even had a piece of the cake; I don’t usually eat cake…

3) I went out to dessert tonight with Andrew at SweetSnow in Northridge (see the collage of photos I took). We got the black sesame flavored “snow cream” (like a combination of ice cream and shaved ice) topped with coconut flakes and fresh strawberry. It was so refreshing on a hot summer evening… I ate way too much food today, especially too much sugar… I have to make sure to do extra hiking, running and sit-ups this weekend… 3 months ago


DanT1999the last 4 days

When I first learned that 43Things was shutting down, I thought about how I would tidy up my goals and write final entries for them and express how much appreciation I had for this site and this community that has been a significant part of my life for the last seven years. In the end I couldn’t come up with the perfect words to say. I didn’t complete a lot of the goals that are on my list but tried to make progress on many of them, progress that I often found among the three things that made me happy and which I documented here. I wasn’t a very happy person when I started this diary, but I end it feeling more grounded and with a better understanding of myself and, in fact, a happier person. This is what the community that has been 43Things has given to me, and I don’t know what to say more than that. So now I conclude my diary of the three things that made me happy each day, an experiment that I never imagined I would take so far…

Thursday, August 14

1) Running this morning… I got a later start than I had intended so had to cut it short, but a short run is better than no run…

2) As usual, a sesame bagel with raw almond butter and a glass of vanilla soy milk for breakfast…

3) Completing a diary of the three things that made me happy each day without missing a single day for 6 years, 6 months and 22 days… January 23, 2008 – August 14, 2014…

Wednesday, August 13

1) Taking a colleague who is leaving the department out to lunch today at a Thai restaurant… The food was so-so and the service was slow, but I had a nice time. I had to give a little speech, but it wasn’t too awkward…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… It was very slow today, but I ran into Chris, one of my fellow bird photographer acquaintances, and we exchanged info about some of our recent sightings…

3) Watching episode 13 of the Korean drama “One Thousandth Man”... I’m watching it knowing how it ends, and it makes me sad, even though the situation is make-believe, to think that the characters don’t know that the ending will be bittersweet…

Tuesday, August 12

1) I had the day off from work today… I used it to go hiking at the Mt. Pinos Campground (see the collage of photos I took) in an effort to add more mountain birds to my Ventura County year list. I wasn’t disappointed as I added six species to my list though I was frustrated that I still couldn’t get hairy woodpecker and red-breasted nuthatch, which should be relatively easy finds, on my list…

2) On the way back from Mt. Pinos, I stopped at Quail Lake to see if there was any birds of interest. It was hot and kind of dead, but of moderate interest, I found seven common mergansers which are normally not expected to arrive until much later in the fall…

3) Back at home by mid-afternoon, I spent the rest of the day not doing much at all…

Monday, August 11

1) Making it to the morning staff meeting in plenty of time…

2) I left work a little bit late but fortunately there was enough daylight for me to spend some time birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve… There was not a lot of bird variety but some slight signs of migration including my first sightings of the fall season at this location of lazuli bunting and blue-gray gnatcatcher…

3) Watching episode 11 of the Korean drama “One Thousandth Man”... This was an episode I had seen before the first time the series ran. It made a bit more sense this time having seen the first nine episodes as background… 3 months ago


DanT1999Friday 8/8, Saturday 8/9 & Sunday 8/10

Sunday, August 10

1) Waking up with the feeling of having had an adequate amount of sleep – something I so rarely experience…

2) Running this morning…

3) Seeing the “supermoon” as I drove to Koreatown tonight…

Saturday, August 9

1) I went birding this morning at some spots near Pt. Mugu in Ventura County (see the collage of photos I took)... My goal was to add new birds to my 2014 Ventura County list, and I didn’t do too badly, adding six species including some arid hillside specialties like rock wren, canyon wren and rufous-crowned sparrow…

2) While driving around I was listening to the Casey Kasem Top 40 countdown for this week in 1977 on the 70’s on 7 channel on Sirius XM. The song I liked the best was number 8, “Easy” by The Commodores…

3) El Salvadorean food for dinner with Andrew in Thousand Oaks…

Friday, August 8

1) Getting some feedback from my boss…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… I saw an osprey fighting with three ravens to occupy a post near the dam. The osprey seemed to be winning for a while, but it eventually gave in to the ravens…

3) Watching episode 10 of the Korean drama “One Thousandth Man”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Monday 8/4, Tuesday 8/5, Wednesday 8/6 & Thursday 8/7

Thursday, August 7

1) A quick stop at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve before going to work this morning… It’s kind of slow for birding now, but belted kingfishers seem to be back…

2) I went hiking at the Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve after work… I didn’t see many birds, but the temperature was cool, almost fall-like, much better than when I visited last week…

3) Watching episode 9 of the Korean drama “One Thousandth Man”...

Wednesday, August 6

1) Waking up feeling refreshed after my day off…

2) Getting one of the data problems I discovered to be taken seriously…

3) I found two hooded orioles while birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work…

Tuesday, August 5

1) I spent my day off birding in Ventura County, visiting the Santa Clara River estuary, Foster Park and Ormond Beach… I brought my year list for Ventura County up to 141 species…

2) Lunch at Andria’s Seafood Restaurant at the Ventura marina…

3) Falling asleep unusually early…

Monday, August 4

1) Making on time to the weekly staff meeting this morning…

2) Leaving work knowing I was going to be off tomorrow…

3) Watching episode 6 of the Korean drama “One Thousandth Man”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Thursday 7/31, Friday 8/1, Saturday 8/2 & Sunday 8/3

Sunday, August 3

1) Running this morning… It was overcast and muggy and started to sprinkle. I was hoping for a downpour as it would have felt good at the time…

2) Having Japanese spaghetti for lunch with Andrew at the Spoon House in Gardena after stopping by the The Container Store in El Segundo to get some stuff to help me get more organized while doing some “spring cleaning” (even though it’s summer) this afternoon…

3) While birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve early this evening I watched a juvenile pied-billed grebe chasing its parent begging for food while the parent kept trying to get away…

Saturday, August 2

1) I drove up to Mt. Pinos this morning to get some mountain birds on my Ventura and Kern County lists for the year. At the start of the trail, I had the most amazing experience. A curious pygmy nuthatch landed on my camera lens and kept wanting to attack it. I got some great close up shots of the bird but only wish that someone could have photographed the bird’s interaction with me…

2) Driving around listening to Casey Kasem’s Top 40 for this week in 1974 on the 70’s on 7 channel on SiriusXM… The song I liked the best was the number 2 song “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” by Elton John…

3) I left the mountains in a hurry to make it to Long Beach driving almost two hours to see the ruff and pectoral sandpiper that were found there this morning at the Los Angeles River near Willow Street… I easily found the birds, ruff being species #306 and pectoral sandpiper being species #307 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

Friday, August 1

1) During a stop at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve before work, I watched a great-tailed grackle chase a Cooper’s hawk…

2) I saw this on a t-shirt in the mall “Stressed is Desserts Spelled Backwards”... I’m sure I’ve seen that before but it still brought a smile to my face…

3) No end of week staff meeting today… I was glad because I don’t like staying late Fridays for it…

Happy August, by the way…

Thursday, July 31

1) I slept in an extra hour this morning instead of going for a run…

2) A fairly quiet day at work…

3) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… I found an indigo bunting near the river and told another birder about it. Indigo bunting was species #305 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014… 3 months ago


DanT1999Sunday 7/27, Monday 7/28, Tuesday 7/29 & Wednesday 7/30

Wednesday, July 30

1) I heard a Cassin’s kingbird calling outside my window as I lay in bed this morning…

2) I went to Rancho Simi Community Park in Simi Valley late this afternoon after work to see the summering American wigeons and hooded merganser which are usually winter only visitors to the area. These sightings brought my Ventura County year list up to 119 species…

3) Going to bed earlier than the previous two nights…

Tuesday, July 29

1) Running this morning…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… Canada geese are migrating now like seems to be normal this time of year. Today there were over 200 that flew in to spend the night on the lake…

3) The Korean drama “One Thousandth Man” is currently being rerun. I missed the first half of it when it first aired so I’m glad it’s being aired again…

Monday, July 28

1) Rushing to make it to the weekly staff meeting on time this morning only to find that my boss called out sick…

2) Birding at Malibu Lagoon after work (see the collage of photos I took) although it was too hot, too crowded and there weren’t as many birds as I had hoped…

3) On the way back from Malibu Lagoon I stopped at the Las Virgenes Open Space Preserve… As the sun was setting I heard this raucous sound like maybe there was some sort of party but quickly realized it was a pack of howling coyotes…

Sunday, July 27

1) Running this morning…

2) In an effort to add more birds to my Ventura County list since it’s hard to add new birds to my Los Angeles County list this time of year, I went birding at the Arroyo Simi creek in Simi Valley. I saw a decent number of birds, including a sora, my first of the fall season, and a great egret eating a crayfish…

3) Watching some episodes of the first season of the Netflix series “Hemlock Grove” which I am really liking… It’s similar to “True Blood”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Wednesday 7/23, Thursday 7/24, Friday 7/25 & Saturday 7/26

Saturday, July 26

1) I dropped Andrew off at the marina in Ventura early this morning where he was taking a boat to Anacapa Island to go for scuba diving lesson. Meanwhile, I spent the morning birding around the Ventura marina and at the Santa Clara River estuary trying to build up my species list for Ventura County (see the collage of photos I took). I was not disappointed…

2) I had lunch at a Thai restaurant in downtown Ventura and then spent some time browsing in a used bookstore…

3) After lunch I continued my day of birding and drove up to Lake Casitas near Ojai, a place I used to go fishing at when I was a kid but haven’t been to much since. It was hot and crowded but interestingly I saw some western grebes nesting on the lake…

Friday, July 25

1) Waking up after having the first semi-adequate night of sleep I had had all week…

2) Birding at Malibu Lagoon after work though it was cloudy, too crowded and there weren’t that many birds… I didn’t even take pictures…

3) Watching the last episode of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... The story was left a bit open-ended but it was implied that Ha Joon and Bitna will live happily ever after together…

Thursday, July 24

1) I took the morning off today. I used it to look for a couple of rare birds that were being seen at the Hahamonga Watershed near Pasadena. I found one of them, the Tennessee warbler which was species #304 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

2) I pulled into traffic from a parking lot and almost collided with a police car that I didn’t see coming. The officer was so angry, but she didn’t give me a ticket when she probably should have. The experience made me pay more attention to being safe…

3) Watching episode 121, the second to the last episode of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Wednesday, July 23

1) Finally making some progress on some data quality issues I had been dealing with at work…

2) The black-bellied plover was still at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve when I checked after work today…

3) Watching episode 120 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Saturday 7/19, Sunday 7/20, Monday 7/21 & Tuesday 7/22

Tuesday, July 22

1) Being told that I had a “fresh” look and that I seemed like I was in my early twenties instead of my mid thirties…

2) When birding after work this afternoon at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve I saw a black-bellied plover, not a rare bird but the first time I had seen one at that location. It was still in breeding plumage…

3) Watching episode 119 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Monday, July 21

1) Somehow making it through the day without having had enough sleep… Note to self: no long Sunday afternoon naps…

2) I went birding at Rancho Portrero in Newbury Park after work today in hopes of finding the grasshopper sparrows that had been summering there but didn’t find them…

3) Watching episode 118 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Sunday, July 20

1) Running this morning…

2) A long afternoon nap…

3) Fresh watermelon for dessert…

Saturday, July 19

1) After birding the jetties of the Playa del Rey breakwater, I went whale watching this morning out of Marina del Rey (see the collage of photos I took). I did see a minke whale but the real purpose of the trip for me was birdwatching… I added pigeon guillemot (species #302) and Scripps’s murrelet (species #303) to the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014, both species that I saw in Ventura County during the pelagic birding trip I went on last weekend…

2) I heard the Ricky Nelson song “Garden Party” on the radio this morning and it reminded me of my grandma who likes the song and used to have a big garden…

3) Korean tofu stew for dinner at the BCD Tofu House in Reseda… 3 months ago


DanT1999Wednesday 7/16, Thursday 7/17 & Friday 7/18

Friday, July 18

1) Making it on-time for an early morning meeting…

2) Birding and people-watching at Malibu Lagoon after work (see the collage of photos I took)... “Fall” migrants are trickling in. Today I added short-billed dowitcher (species #301) to the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

3) Watching episode 117 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... Next week is the last week for this series, and the episodes are finally getting more exciting…

Thursday, July 17

1) Running this morning…

2) I stayed a little late to finish writing my mid-year review which was due tomorrow…

3) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve this evening after work… I found the white-winged widowbird again…

Wednesday, July 16

1) Rescuing a june bug I found drowning in the swimming pool… I have to rescue so many of them during summers…

2) Practicing a couple of Korean phrases I learned with a Korean-speaking colleague…

3) Watching episode 115 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Sunday 7/13, Monday 7/14 & Tuesday 7/15

Tuesday, July 15

1) Running this morning…

2) Finally feeling completely back to normal after Sunday’s pelagic trip…

3) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work…

Monday, July 14

1) I was glad I took the morning off since I didn’t feel fully recovered from yesterday’s pelagic trip…

2) I noticed a snail crawling across my doorstep and avoided stepping on it…

3) Watching episode 113 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Sunday, July 13

1) I went on a 12-hour pelagic birding trip departing out of Ventura this morning which went beyond the Channel Islands ending up at the edge of the continental shelf. Though there were no truly rare sightings, we saw a lot of good birds including many Scripps’s murrelets, pigeon guillemots and black storm-petrels as well as a blue-footed booby. To me the highlight was seeing some Craveri’s murrelets and ashy storm-petrels, both new birds on my life list. The best sightings were in the vicinity of Anacapa Island. The waters were relative calm until we ventured beyond the islands and headed toward the edge of the continental shelf where we went miles without seeing any birds…

2) I was happy that I didn’t throw up during the trip at sea. I had taken meclizine (an over-the-counter motion sickness pill) an hour before boarding the boat. One of the side effects was drowsiness and I did fall asleep during the long stretches where nothing was being sighted but would wake up when a bird was reported over the PA… Even though I took the pill, I still felt quite ill when the sea was very rough beyond the islands. Still, I didn’t throw up. It helped that I only had had a little bit of yogurt for breakfast and didn’t eat anything at all while on the boat…

3) Despite feeling kind of “out of it” from being on the boat all day and from the meclizine, I made it safely back home after the hour long drive… In retrospect it would have been better just to stay the night somewhere nearby than to attempt that drive… 3 months ago


DanT1999Friday 7/11 & Saturday 7/12

Saturday, July 12

1) Running this morning… I usually do my long run on Sunday but since I’ll be on my pelagic birding trip tomorrow I decided to do it today…

2) A quiet day not doing much…

3) Pakistani food for dinner with Andrew at the Red Chili Halal Restaurant in Northridge…

Friday, July 11

1) During a quick stop at Lake Balboa before work, I saw a family of Cassin’s kingbirds, two parents and two juveniles. The parents were bringing insects for the young ones to eat… Too bad I didn’t get any good photos…

2) Birding at Malibu Lagoon after work (see the collage of photo I took)...

3) Watching episode 112 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... 3 months ago


DanT1999Cher at the Staples Center

I saw Cher in concert at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 7, 2014, one of the last stops of the first leg of her Dressed to Kill Tour with Cyndi Lauper as the opening act. To go to this concert was kind of a spontaneous decision. The day before Andrew and I were looking up availability for an Elton John concert at the Staples Center that I wanted to go to in October for my birthday when we noticed that Cher was going to be performing the next night and that tickets were still available. Since we both liked Cher and neither of us had been to a concert at the Staples Center and the tickets were cheap in the “nosebleed” sections, we decided to check it out.

We both got out of work a little bit early and took the Metro from Koreatown to downtown LA instead of driving in and trying to find parking to make it well before the 7:30 start time. When we got our tickets at Will Call, we were told we had the option to upgrade to a better section with no additional charge. Apparently, the concert didn’t sell out which turned out to be good for us. The crowd skewed a bit older, which I guess shouldn’t have been a surprise, and also gay which was also not surprising.

The concert started when Cyndi Lauper came out with a very “goth” look, with red hair dressed in all black and with boots and some sort of hooded cloak as she sang “She Bop”. I felt like I was taken back to my childhood in the mid 80’s as her mix of pop and punk contained sounds I don’t hear in the music of today. It made me feel old to realize that it has been 30 years since the release of her breakthrough “She’s So Unusual” album. Even her band, including member who have been with her since her start, had gray hair and wrinkles. It’s a little bit funny because I don’t really think of old people rocking out, but as I get older myself I find it less funny. Anyway, Cyndi Lauper, who is 61, had no lack of energy in her performances as she jumped around the stage quite a bit. Her banter was kind of humorous too and she seemed like she would be a fun person to chat with. One thing she said to the audience was “I love you but only in a metaphorical sense because I don’t know you.” She sang her most popular songs like “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and “True Colors” but my favorite that she performed was a more obscure song that I hadn’t previously heard before called “Witness”.

After a longish intermission, Cher finally came out in an ornate show girl costume and I then understood they needed so long set up for her. Her show was a much more elaborate production with different set designs, video monitors and a crew of dancers. She sang her recent dance hit “Woman’s World” followed up by “Strong Enough” from her “Believe” album. Her voice sounded powerful and at 68 could still pull off wearing a variety of revealing costumes. She was not as agile as the talented dancers surrounding her and it was a bit weird to think of the sexuality that shirtless men young enough to be her grandsons exuded toward her, but the way she commanded herself made her seem timeless. It was so cool when she said something like “So what’s your grandma doing tonight?” She sang some of her hits from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 2000’s and today. That longevity I find awe-inspiring. I mean, how many artists can say they have had actual hits in all those decades?

From her Sonny and Cher days, she sang “The Beat Goes On”. It was almost poignant when she sang “I Got You Babe” as a duet with archival footage of Sonny Bono who appeared on a screen behind her as he “sang” his part. After a set and costume change, from the 70’s she sang “Half-breed” and “Dark Lady”. That was followed by another set and costume change when she performed some songs from her “Burlesque” movie, probably my least favorite part of the concert. There was some occasional banter, but nothing that interesting except her complaint that Dr Pepper never thanked her for promoting them as she took a break to drink some. What really got the audience up on their feet was her performance of “If I Could Turn Back Time”. That was followed by my all-time favorite Cher song “Believe” which was the soundtrack of my last months in college and first months on my own. She closed with “I Hope You Find It” one of the songs off her new album while being transported above the audience in some sort of canopy covered with little lights, a fitting end to what was a fun experience. 4 months ago


DanT1999 4 months ago


DanT1999Monday 7/7, Tuesday 7/8, Wednesday 7/9 & Thursday 7/10

Thursday, July 10

1) I and one of my staff members were shocked to see one of the senior managers wearing an unusually flashy shirt…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… Today was the first day I had seen an osprey there in over a month…

3) Watching episode 113 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”... Less than 10 episode left to go…

Wednesday, July 9

1) Some coworkers pointed out to me while walking to lunch today that my average walking pace is a lot faster than average…

2) Lunch with the Chief Actuary at Kate Mantilini with some colleagues… The food was so-so; I think I just ordered the wrong thing…

3) While birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work today, I photographed an unusual looking bird with a long tail that was black with a large blue beak, long tail and yellow and white wing patches. I figured that it was an exotic species, perhaps an escaped or released pet. It was eating grass seeds and seemed tame. After a bit of research, I determined that the bird was a white-winged widowbird, a bird that is native to Africa. In eBird, users are requested to report all birds seen in the wild, even the exotics (even though those observations are invalidated), so white-winged widowbird was species #300 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

Tuesday, July 8

1) When explaining that I went to a Cher concert last night, I admitted to some coworkers that “Believe” by Cher was one of my favorite songs which seemed to result in some surprised reaction…

2) Talking with a Korean-speaking coworker about some of the Korean expressions I had picked up from watching the Korean dramas…

3) Watching episode 111 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Monday, July 7

1) Light summertime traffic during the morning commute…

2) A shorter than normal staff meeting this morning…

3) Going to the Staples Center in downtown LA tonight to see Cyndi Lauper and Cher in concert It was the first time I had been to a concert in four years… I think I should go to concerts more often…

See the collage of photos I took while birding during these days… 4 months ago


DanT1999Thursday 7/3, Friday 7/4, Saturday 7/5 & Sunday 7/6

Sunday, July 6

1) Running this morning despite not getting enough sleep last night… It was already hot at 7 AM…

2) I went to Colorado Lagoon in Long Beach this afternoon to see an eastern kingbird that some birders had found there this morning. Luckily, I easily found the bird when I got to the park as another birder was already looking at it. Eastern kingbird was species #299 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

3) Watching the Miley Cyrus concert special that aired on TV tonight… I don’t think her singing is all that great, but I view her whole act as performance art…

Today was my 7 year anniversary on 43Things… Too bad it’s highly likely to be my last…

Saturday, July 5

1) All the lack of sleep last week had finally taken its toll on me as I could literally not get out of bed all morning…

2) Recycling this afternoon…

3) Fresh guacamole to snack on…

Friday, July 4

1) A drive up the Pacific Coast Highway through Malibu with Andrew on my day off today… The beaches were so crowded for the holiday that we didn’t even stop anywhere…

2) Our drive ended in Oxnard where we had fish tacos for lunch…

3) Staying in tonight and relaxing instead of going out…

Thursday, July 3

1) Talking in the office about how people often “covertly take the day off” (i.e., do as little as possible while in the office) just before or after a holiday… I would never do that of course…

2) It seems I had found a solution to a data problem that had been plaguing me all week…

3) Birding and (mostly) people-watching at Malibu Lagoon after work (see the collage of photos I took)... 4 months ago


DanT1999Tuesday 7/1 & Wednesday 7/2

Wednesday, July 2

1) During a quick stop birding at Lake Balboa this morning before work, I saw a white-faced ibis which is not too common at this location this time of year…

2) Once again birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work…

3) Watching episode 105 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Tuesday, July 1

1) Remembering to pay all my bills on time…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… I ran into Chris. I showed him where to find the newly arrived Wilson’s phalaropes in the river (see the photo I took) and he showed my the spot where the owls had moved to…

3) Watching episode 104 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Happy July, by the way… 4 months ago


DanT199948:04

I ran in the Summer Splendor 10K by A Better World Running (formerly Rocket Racing Productions) on the boardwalk near the beach in Santa Monica, California on the morning of June 29, 2014. Like all of the runs that the event organizers Mark and Michele put on, this was an informal event (like a “fun run that is timed” as their website promotes it) on an open course with no more than 100 or so participants racing a few distances including, in addition to the 15K that I ran, a 5K a 10K, a half-marathon and a marathon. Again, I continue to highly recommend doing a A Better World Running run if you are anywhere near the LA area because they are casual and low cost without the hoopla surrounding more organized events, and everyone involved is friendly and supportive.

On race morning it was overcast but warm and muggy and I wasn’t feeling like I was in my best shape. Even despite that, I had a good time during the run and felt inspired by the other runners to nevertheless do my best which turned out to be a finish time that was almost 2 minutes short of my personal record. There were a couple of women that were running neck and neck with me during the entire race but I pulled ahead with about a half mile to go. I ended up peaking too soon as they each pulled ahead of me at about the quarter mile mark. We gave each other five fives at the end.

Here’s how I did:

Overall: 9 out of 40
Men: 6 out of 18
Finish: 48:04 (hours:minutes:seconds)
Pace: 7:44 (minutes:seconds per mile) 4 months ago


DanT1999Saturday 6/28, Sunday 6/29 & Monday 6/30

Monday, June 30

1) Talking with some coworkers about what our earliest memories were… Mine was when I was less than 4 years old of a family gathering in the backyard for my mom’s 19th birthday (she was 15 when I was born)...

2) I saw this joke… Employer: “In this job we need someone who is responsible.” Applicant: “I’m the one you need. In my last job, every time anything went wrong, they said I was responsible.”

3) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… It’s hard to believe that even though summer has officially just begun, some birds are already beginning their “fall” migration back down south. I saw my first least sandpipers of the fall migration season today…

Sunday, June 29

1) I ran a 10K is Santa Monica this morning which was fun though I didn’t finish with a great time…

2) Sleeping and not doing much this afternoon since I was so burnt out after the 10K… I seem to have gotten out of shape…

3) Watching another couple of episodes of season 6 of “True Blood” this evening…

Saturday, June 28

1) I went to Santa Paula this morning to look for the scissor-tailed flycatcher that had been reported nesting in a city park there with a western kingbird. I easily found the bird because the park was small and there were already a few other birders looking at the bird when I got there. I got some decent photos (see the attached photo which I took). Unfortunately, Santa Paula is in Ventura County so I couldn’t count the scissor-tailed flycatcher on my year list which is for Los Angeles County…

2) On the drive back up to LA on Hwy 126 I stopped at the Fillmore Fish Hatchery and bought some pellets to feed the trout. I find watching fish oddly relaxing…

3) Japanese spaghetti for dinner with Andrew at the Spoon House in Gardena… 4 months ago


DanT1999Tuesday 6/24, Wednesday 6/25, Thursday 6/26 & Friday 6/27

Friday, June 27

1) Running this morning… It already felt hot at 6 AM…

2) A weekly staff meeting normally held late in the afternoon was moved to an earlier time. I was happy because it’s never fun having to work late on a Friday…

3) Birdwatching and people watching at Malibu Lagoon after work (see the collage of photos I took)...

Thursday, June 26

1) A quick birding stop at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve on my way to work… I ran into Kate and Mike, a couple of the regular birders/photographers I regularly encounter. Kate told me that Benny, another one of our birding buddies, was in the Northeast banding birds for the summer. Anyway, the highlight of the morning was watching one of the owlets catch and eat a beetle…

2) Indian buffet for lunch at Royal Delhi Palace in Canoga Park to celebrate a colleague’s birthday…

3) Going home and vegging out after work… My sleep hasn’t been that good this week…

Wednesday, June 25

1) Running this morning…

2) Wasting time with a bunch of colleagues this afternoon playing a game in the office to shoot down pins with a Nerf gun. It did horribly, but it was fun. The game helped to lighten the mood and build a sense of camaraderie so in that sense it wasn’t completely a waste of time…

3) Watching episode 100 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Tuesday, June 24

1) A quick birding stop at Lake Balboa before going to work… It was rather uneventful except for a rather skittish American avocet on the shore of the lake. In five years this was only the second time I have seen an American avocet at this location…

2) I had dinner after work at Melody’s Mexican Kitchen in Reseda. In a tree near the parking lot of the restaurant there were at least a couple of dozen very noisy yellow-chevroned parakeets…

3) Watching another couple of episodes of season 6 of “True Blood” this evening… 4 months ago


DanT1999Saturday 6/21, Sunday 6/22 & Monday 6/23

Monday, June 23

1) Making it to the Monday morning staff meeting with plenty of time to spare… I love summer light traffic…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve today after work… I didn’t see anything noteworthy. I ran into Chris and a couple of the other regular birders/photographers and shared news about our recent local sightings…

3) Watching episode 98 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Sunday, June 22

1) Running this morning… In the ditch between the road and the golf course (some people call it a “creek” but I think that’s a stretch) I saw a male orange bishop in its beautiful breeding plumage. Orange bishop was species #298 on the list of birds I have seen in Los Angeles County in 2014…

2) While driving around today I was listening to the countdown of the top songs for this week in 1983 on the eighties channel on Sirius XM. I was in kindergarten and first grade in 1983. Anyway, I think that 1983 was a decent year for music. The number one song was “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie…

3) We found that season 6 of “True Blood” was finally out on DVD. Andrew bought it, and we watched the first couple of episodes tonight…

Saturday, June 21

1) I went birding in the San Gabriel Mountains this morning (see the collage of photos I took)... I made stops at Lily Spring and Cortelyou Spring along the Angeles Crest Highway and then hiked up to Little Jimmy Springs. I didn’t see anything new to add to my list but some interesting sightings included MacGillivray’s warbler and Wilson’s warbler, and I got some nice, close-up shots of a white-headed woodpecker… My leg brushed against some turricula parryi (“poodle-dog bush”, known to cause blisters more painful than poison oak) but fortunately my exposure wasn’t enough to cause rash…

2) Dinner with Andrew at Adrian’s Trattoria in Reseda…

3) I was happy for the first official day of summer, my favorite season, and the longest day of the year today though it was a shame I was too tired to do anything to celebrate it… I just went to bed early… 4 months ago


DanT1999That's right...

You should let me know when you’re in San Diego again and Andrew and I could join you. :) 4 months ago


DanT1999I did...

after first making sure she wasn’t instead waving at someone next to me just in case it really was someone I knew… :) 4 months ago


DanT1999Tuesday 6/17, Wednesday 6/18, Thursday 6/19 & Friday 6/20

Friday, June 20

1) Having lunch spontaneously with the Chief Actuary and one of my staff members…

2) Birding and people watching after work at Malibu Lagoon (see the collage of photos I took)... There weren’t so many birds as can be expected this time of year…

3) Watching episode 97 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Thursday, June 19

1) A conversation with one of my staff members about how he doesn’t look forward to turning 30 this summer…

2) I’m still having a hard time getting enough sleep this week so it was nice to go home and zone out for a while after work…

3) Watching episode 96 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Wednesday, June 18

1) I got complimented on a new shirt I wore today…

2) Having lunch with my two staff members at Chipotle this afternoon…

3) Fresh strawberries for dessert…

Tuesday, June 17

1) Running this morning…

2) The cashier in Walgreen’s saying “Be well” when giving me my change…

3) Having a discussion with a coworker about whether or not zero raised to the zero power was in fact equal to one… 5 months ago


DanT1999Saturday 6/14, Sunday 6/15 & Monday 6/16

Monday, June 16

1) My boss said in a staff meeting that you become outstanding by building your strengths not by over-emphasizing improvement on your weaknesses… I hadn’t thought of it that way before as my previous boss had said that working on weaknesses should be a priority…

2) Birding at the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve after work… I noticed a least bittern hiding in the vegetation at the edge of the lake and spent a lot of time waiting for it to pop out so I could photograph it well and had some limited success…

3) Watching episode 93 of the Korean drama “Shining Romance”...

Sunday, June 15

1) I ran the Manhattan Beach 5K this morning…

2) I was sad to hear of the passing of Casey Kasem today whom I had recently rediscovered listening to repeats of his Top 40 countdowns from the 1970’s on the 70’s channel on SiriusXM. Anyway, his trademark catch phrase always brought a smile to my face: “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars”...

3) I was listening to the countdown of the top songs of this week in 1989 on SiriusXM… I think the music of 1989 was crappy (the number one song was “Wind Beneath My Wings” by Bette Midler). Listening to these countdowns from various years in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as I have the past few months it’s interesting to contemplate how radically musical tastes change in just a few years…

Saturday, June 14

1) Hiking and birding in the San Gabriel Mountains this morning on the Throop Peak trail (see the collage of photos I took)... In the parking area as I was getting into my car ready to leave, I encountered a 76 year old Korean man who asked directions for the hike to Mount Baden-Powell, quite a hike even for a younger person. I drew it out for him, and he thanked me and took his picture with me… I hope that if I make it to that age I will be in such good shape…

2) I went to an engagement party with Andrew for his friend Kenna and her fiance Carson at a house next to Dodger Stadium… We didn’t really know many other people there but ended up chatting with one of the members of the band Semi Precious Weapons and his girlfriend who were acquainted with the couple. We hadn’t heard of that band before but found there music online after the party. They have an interesting sound, like Lady Gaga…

3) I bought new sheets for my bed at Bed Bath & Beyond… 5 months ago


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