Monday Blues

I’m feeling really rotten today and am at home with a sore throat. Felt rubbish yesterday too. I remember going through a phase of excrutiatingly painful sore throats about 3 years ago – hopefully this is just a passing thing.

Work has been hell for the last couple of weeks. Steve and I found ourselves stuck in the ridiculously unprofessional situation of knowing that we were going to be moved to a different manager before our manager knew. And there he was giving us all work to do and being unusually happy, and we couldn’t say anything…

He was devastated when he found out, and probably felt humiliated that we knew beforehand. The gossip and politics that goes on where I work defies belief. I’ve never worked in such a witchy, tale-telling, fish-wifey company – and nearly all of them are men!!! It gives a whole new insight into why men work late and get so stressed about the office – it’s like girl-gangs in the playground.

Anyway, the stress of it all has left both me and Steve feeling exhausted and irritable, so we’re avoiding the whole work subject at the moment, and have just enjoyed a really chilled out weekend.

I’m probably not going to sleep properly tonight as I’ve just lain in bed all day alternately feeling sorry for myself and surfing the web. Thinking about doing a detox after our holiday in a fortnight. Maybe.

Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Rattlesnake warning

We went for a wander in one of the many Open Space Preserves (as they’re called out here), this morning.

We saw signs warning about mountain lions, rattlesnakes and ticks, and then found this tiny little nature centre next to Alpine Pond that had a collection of stuffed animals, snake and animal skins, skeletons and skulls.

Mountain lion warning sign
Bobcat skull

Oh, and “Snickers” the Snake, who lived in glass tank in the corner. It was all a bit creepy, and further compounded by the quiet little man in the nature centre (the only other person there), who seemed surprised when I asked him if I could take a photo of the things on the table.

I asked him about all the items on display and which animals they came from (bobcat, coyote), but he wasn’t saying much, and seemed a bit jumpy.

As I left the building I suddenly realised he didn’t work there, and he hadn’t corrected me, even though I was clearly talking to him as though he did.

Steve was waiting outside and we dashed off to the rattlesnake path for protection. Two small (non-rattling) snakes, 5 unidentifiable birds, 378 crickets and about a thousand dragonflies later we made it back to the car, free from ticks and lion-savaging.

For ideas on walks to take you closer to nature than you’d sometimes like, check out the Bay Area Hiker site, which is where I found today’s trail.

Postal Service Awe

I wrote a card today to send back to England, and as usual, I am simply amazed at the postal system we have here on earth. I mean, when you think about it, it is incredible that you can write a message, or a letter, or make a card, and then put it in a little envelope and drop it in a little box and hey presto, a couple of days later it ends up at its destination – right to the door!!!

In a way, the phenomenal growth of electronic media like email, text messaging, instant messenger, chat-rooms, forums etc. etc. make it even more amazing, because a letter is not some digital thing you can split up and send down a wire (yet), it’s a tangible object that you can read and re-read, and watch it get old, with dog-ears and coffee-rings, smudged finger prints and even tear-stains.

By simply writing an address on the envelope, hundreds of people will help co-ordinate it to its destination. Post-men, delivery companies, petrol stations, sorting offices, and if it’s overseas, planes, air traffic controllers, airport staff, or ships, little boats, and all the people that work in ports. And this service costs us hardly anything – my letter today is going to journey back to the UK for the princely sum of 80 cents. That’s about 45p. Amazing.

Photography Website

I found a great photography website today – www.fredmiranda.com. It’s highly interactive and has both weekly and monthly assignments for you to go away and complete before submitting online.

You can view all other submissions for assignments too. The forums are great, with a selection of categories to comment and post photos under. The macro forum in particular has some wonderful recent shots. If you’re feeling brave, you can even post your own pics for critique…