I try to spend a much time as I can outdoors. I work in my garden about two hours a day, have an outside office about 270 feet from my WiFi access point and have a two-(SPF 35)sun-screen-bottle-a -month-habit. All of this is very good for a Southern California boy that grew up surf fishing off of the then private beach sand of Crystal Cove south of Del Mar and whipping dry flies through the dry air of the San Gabriel River East Fork Canyon. The best times of my life have been spent out doors, and I have the scabs, scars and callouses to prove it.
But some of my outdoor accouterments are the worse for wear as a result of my love affair with the warm summer sun. And this includes the oh so inexpensive wooden door I use for a desk when I'm writing. the oak is splitting on the edges, it's water scarred from garden over spray and it has a permanent smell of Bandini's best $.77 a bag cow poop. My $9.99 director's chair is a tattered wreck and dangerously creaks and my neighbor's untended live oaks have obscured my once glorious view out to the Pacific.
As a result of my preference to work outside I've had a chance to notice the not-so-subtle changes in my property. As I creep into summer the raucous cries of night song birds, in my case western blue birds, get louder as the sun creeps up over the nearby Cleveland National Forest, and mammalian predators-- coyotes, foxes and a miner's cat http://www.angelfire.com/tx2/Critter/Ringtail.html (also known as a ringtail cat) have all accepted the fact that they can see me and I can see them. Of course the deal I have with them is that I don't use poisons on my pests, they eat the occasional gopher and I don't try to domesticate their kits by raiding the nest in an oak tree and bottle feeding their babies. Apparently there's an unwritten "cookie clause" in my deal with the ringtails. They scamper through at sunlight and dusk if I leave an occasional cookie on my workspace outside. If I don't leave an offering they apparently have the right to trash and befoul my workspace. I shudder to think what my life and yard would be like if the ringtails were to demand coffee with their cookies.
Right here on my to-do list is part of this weekend's project. I'm going to upgrade my outside office with a desk from Ikea and a heavy duty chair from the local AmVet's store front. I might even go whole hog by putting up sun shade made from the palm fronds the trimmer cut from my huge-ass 75 foot palm this week. I'm going for the complete "recluse-goes-wireless Caribbean-pirate-decor but I suspect to do the job correctly, it will become work-in-progress"
So, for me blogging has become an outdoor activity. It might not be for everyone, but then I have time on my hand, a sunburned garden, and wild things that make me laugh-Jim Forbes 06/30/2006 wirelessly by the light of a USB flylight from very rural northern San Diego County with mocking birds yelling that they're awake and need o go about their appointed rounds.