Something new

Last night the waxing gibbous moon, close to full, eerily lit the street. Profiles of the trees were black silhouettes against the whitish fog. I had gone outside to grab something from my car and was shocked to stillness by the deep hooting calls of owls.

There were at least two. One was a lower hu-hu-hu-hu-hoo! hoo!, the other a higher pitched version with fewer hus. They were close, but I couldn’t tell where.

I ran inside and called for Jen. We grabbed the binoculars and returned to the garage. The owls were unperturbed by the commotion.

I started walking down the street towards the sound and a great winged profile took off from the woods. It flew down the street a few hundred yards and perched atop the post for a power line. It had two tall ears and an impressive form: a great horned owl. His mate was a few trees away.

They were lit by the moon only enough that I could make out their form and the triangle of whiteness under their necks. I mistakenly startled them again, but they conveniently flew back to the house, sitting in a dead tree across the street. They sat there for as long as we watched. Hooting every few moments to fill the quiet.

I love that at age 34 I’m able to witness something so new and unexpected from nature. And I’m confident that the only reason I haven’t noticed a night owl yet, is I never stopped to look. How many more exciting discoveries await!

Supernova to Blackhole

The combination of listening to CDs detailing the origin of the universe and having a child on the way has me thinking of space/social analogies. All through college and post-college it was all about social expansion. Even this website was a tool for social expansion. But marriage and a kid on the way seem to have the opposite effect: significant social contraction. I find it less critical to update my website, respond to emails, or return calls. My social priorities have coalesced.

What’s curious to me is that some social media (maybe just Facebook, actually) has bridged the event horizon of children. I’m genuinely intrigued if social media common to youth will follow them into middle age, or if they will be forever contained within an age demographic. While I have older colleagues who use Facebook, few use twitter, instagram, or snapchat. Is that a function of them being older? or is it a function of their social gravitational collapse into a singularity?

I’m also wondering what will happen to MikeDiDonato.com. My posting frequency has undeniably cratered after marriage, will it collapse further until it’s merely an archive of my young adulthood? Or perhaps it will flourish as an epic over-documentation of the development of our kids. Time will tell.

Our First Robot.

LUXURY ITEM ALERT! Jen and I just bought a Roomba! DAAAAANG! – (don’t worry, we used a coupon.)

Jen is a stickler for clean floors so we decided to get all crazy like and buy a robot to save some efforts. He docks under a hutch and comes out every other day to clean the place. The cleaning power is notable, but the random-sauce method that he navigates the rooms is bizarre.

We need a name for our robot.

We also need a name for our son who will be born in early May, but priority is on the robot.

Tis the season!

The holidays always bring out the cheapness in Dad D. My favorite story might be the Christmas where after opening all our gifts we kids were asked if we noticed a theme. I think it was Alicia who noticed that the barcodes had been cut off each boxed gift. Lo’ and behold my Dad had got all of the gifts free after coupons and rebates!! Merry Christmas!!!

This year I learned a new story.

My parents were recently married and were hunting down Christmas trees. Money was tight but they still wanted a Christmas tree for the family room. They went to a Christmas tree farm and found the scrawniest most affordable tree available. Dad D then went around and collected all the fallen branches off the snowy ground.

Upon getting home, Dad D drilled new holes into the trunk of the tree. He stuck the fallen branches into the holes. Voila! Lush Luxurious Christmas decorations! Brilliant!

Beaches.

I find it somewhat strange that in the summer we go to the beach and promptly erect structures (tents, umbrellas, beach blankets, chairs with drink holders) to protect ourselves from the beach.

Well. That’s weird.

For months, maybe even years, I have been perplexed by a callus that unassumingly sits on the right side of my left forefinger. There’s a slightly less pronounced callus in the same spot on my middle finger. But I could not begin to grasp where this callus came from.

Suddenly yesterday I caught myself biting my finger. What?! THAT’S REALLY WEIRD. Apparently when I’m thinking while in a sitting position I will casually bring my left hand to my face and rest my teeth against the right side of my forefinger, and more rarely my middle finger.

I acknowledge that this is completely bizarre. Perhaps now that I have spotted the habit, I can defeat it.

Verbs?

I stumbled across are a weird collection of verbs that are specific in usage that MUST have a categorization but I don’t know what it is. When students first learn parts of speech they learn that verbs are “things you can do!” or “action words!”. These verbs however have no active form.

For example:

Throb: Something can throb, but I can’t throb something.
Itch: Something can itch, but I can’t itch something.

It’s more than just a passive verb – because the active form of the verb doesn’t exist. Does anyone know what this is called? Can anyone think of more examples?