Buy Negative Today

Friday, November 28th, 2008

As usual today is Buy Nothing Day, in which we reject the notion that shopping is patriotic and endeavor to prove that we are people, not consumers. Usually on the day after Thanksgiving, I attempt (mostly successfully) to spend absolutely nothing, not even subway fare or fast food. But today what if we tried to go one step better? Suppose we actually became a net negative drain for the consumer society? How about today instead of shopping, we returned?

You know you’ve got at least one item sitting on the shelf that needs to go back to the store: the bathing suit that didn’t fit, the gift from Aunt Marge who still thinks your 12, the camera that just flat out doesn’t work. Take some of your free time to gather up the receipts and bring some of this useless flotsam back to its point of origin. Make the cash registers go backwards today.

Moth Monday: Another Mystery Moth from the Salt Marshes

Monday, November 24th, 2008

I’ve run out of identified moths, but I still have a couple of mystery moths left. This one I found in the evening at the Huntington Beach Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center on Pacific Coast Highway last Saturday, November 15:

Moth on wall at night

Anyone recognize it?

Dragon Preferred Mobile Recorder Model?

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Does anyone happen to know exactly which model of the Philips Digital recorder is included with the Dragon Naturally Speaking 10 Preferred Mobile Edition? I can’t seem to find that detail anywhere obvious. Thanks.

I found one Pro version that’s bundled with a Philips 9500, but I’m not sure if they use the same recorder for the Preferred Mobile package or not. I suspect not since the 9500 is about $399 on its own.

Moth Monday: Yellowstriped Armyworm

Monday, November 17th, 2008

Today’s subject hasn’t actually graduated to full moth-hood yet, but I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel. This is the caterpillar of the Yellow-striped Armyworm Moth – Hodges#9669 (Spodoptera ornithogalli).

Caterpillar on sidewalk

Campus Drive between Bridge and University, Irvine, 2008-09-14

#450: Thayer’s Gull at Bolsa Chica

Sunday, November 16th, 2008

Saturday Jon Dunn led about a dozen volunteers from the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy on a field ID trip to Bolsa Chica. Dunn’s a noted expert on California birds in general and gulls in particular, so we found some birds I never would have picked out without him like this first-year Thayer’s Gull:

Immature 1st year Thayer's Gull

Notice the skinny, all-black bill, pink legs, dark tail, and dark eye on a coffee-colored, scaly gull that’s the same size as the California Gull in the background. Not so obvious in this poor digiscoped photo (I just held up my camera to the scope eyepiece and prayed) is the white striping along the primaries.

Moth Monday: Chytonix divesta

Monday, November 10th, 2008

I found a few more moths in my back albums, but if I don’t find some more soon January will be pretty bleak:

Moth on ceiling
Chytonix divesta, Hodges#9559
Shoreline Park, Mountain View, 2008-06-25