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November 17, 2004: Autumn things

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Because we both had to get allergy shots after work, Richard and I decided we'd carpool. It's something we wish we could do more often, but with our offices on opposite sides of Sacramento, doesn't always work for timing. But every once in a while it's nice, and since we had to head for the same place anyway, we figured yesterday was as good a day as any.

It being the end of autumn, it's not uncommon to see flocks of birds winging their way across the sky, in their uneven V formations, heading for warmer climates somewhere south. However, as I looked up at the evening sky on the way to the allergy clinic yesterday I was shocked by the sheer number of birds in the sky. Usually they pass in clumps of a few dozen, but last night there were literally hundreds in the air above us. The massive flock formed and reformed into all manner of random shapes as they passed overhead. I've never seen so many birds flying together like that.

Maybe this was the discount flight. All the wealthier birds, or the birds with frequent flier miles to burn, left earlier, in the smaller, more comfortable groups, and this was for all the ones who were left. Whatever it was, it was impressive. I'm glad Richard was the one driving; if it had been me I probably would have veered off the road from gaping at the sky instead of on the cars around me like a good driver should.

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This morning I got a late start to work due to washing machine issues. Our model has a little device that sits on the rotator bar in the middle, into which you pour the fabric softener. Every so often that device gets disgustingly clogged and we have to pry it off and then go through great effort to return it to its former, ungooped condition. This morning I ran it through the dishwasher on the hottest setting, but it still was gross when I pulled it out. So I spent half an hour running it under the water, shaking out more nasty gunk than I ever wanted to see. I know more about what happens to fabric softener that's been left to molder for years than I ever wanted to see. Ick.

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It's been foggy today - so thick this morning that it was hard to see far in front of the car, and oncoming traffic without their lights on were a constant and unnerving surprise. I passed a cyclist coming down the other side of the road, his tiny little bike light flickering, and caught a glimpse of his face as he pedaled by. He looked like I am sure I would feel if I found myself having to bike down back roads in such conditions - as if he was gritting his teeth for all he was worth in the hopes that he would make it to his destination before someone hit him, and more importantly, that he was hoping desperately that the fog would clear by the time he headed home.

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