Saturday, July 07, 2007

Eight Random Facts

I have been tagged by Amy Hooper of WildBird on the Fly, and Tom and Sheri of Birders on the Border, to play the Eight Random Facts meme. Thanks, Amy, and Tom and Sheri!

So here we go. The rules for Eight Random Facts are simple. Players are asked to post a blog entry that:
  • Explains the rules of the game,
  • Contains eight random facts about themselves, and
  • Lists eight other bloggers who are tagged to write similar posts.
  • Finally, players should notify (by email or blogpost comment) each person that they have chosen to play the game, referring them to your post for further details.

    Eight facts that you probably don't already know about me:
    • (1) In the spring of 1966 or 1967 I participated in a grassroots volunteer effort to bring attention to an area of marsh and dunes along the shore of Lake Michigan in Berrien County, Michigan, that was being threatened by a sand mining operation. My major contribution, as I recall, was to lead people on tours of the area. That area is now protected as a State Park and National Natural Landmark.

    • (2) During spring break of my senior year in college, I drove to Florida on my own, not to party on the beaches, but to visit birding hotspots such as Everglades National Park, and the Florida Keys. To save money, I slept in my car and ate Pop Tarts that I heated on the engine of the car.

    • (3) I spent four years in the U.S. Navy—my chosen alternative to being drafted into the Army for two years during the height of the Vietnam War—without ever stepping foot on a ship, only to later join the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and spend the next three summers plying the waters of the Aleutian Islands in a 65-foot boat and 20-foot Zodiac raft.

    • (4) One of my first assignments for the Fish and Wildlife Service was to act as caretaker of 30 Aleutian Canada Cackling Geese (Branta canadensis hutchinsii leucopareia) that had been transported from the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Maryland to Attu Island so they could be acclimated prior to a planned release on Island in May. One day in late March, while working on the holding pens that had been erected on the shores of Casco Cove, I was surprised at the approach of a bird that appeared to be a huge immature-plumaged Bald Eagle (Haleaeetus leucocephalus)—except that it didn't look quite right, and besides, Bald Eagles weren't known this far west—and me without binoculars! By the time I was able to retrieve my glasses from inside the old Coast Guard Loran Station the bird had disappeared over the horizon. In retrospect, I now realize that this was probably a Steller's Sea Eagle (Haliaeetus pelagicus), which has since been documented nesting on the east end of Attu, but that species remains off my life list because I was caught off guard without binoculars handy.

    • (5) I never paid any attention to the Dixie Chicks until they got into hot water over Natalie Maines's anti-war and anti-Bush comments. But with the release of their Not ready to make nice album, I became one of their most ardent fans.

    • (6) My three major addictions/obsessions (other than birds) are, in no particular order: the Internet, my blog, and Diet Dr. Pepper (before I retired, I used to regularly consume two 20-oz bottles in the course of a 9-hour work day).

    • (7) I am a chronic procrastinator and am terribly disorganized. The latter trait has led me to adopt this A. A. Milne quote as my personal mantra:
      “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
    • (8) I recently fell in love—with K. T. Tungstall, the Scottish singer-songwriter. For weeks before I finally discovered who she was, I would wake up in the middle of the night to the haunting melody and lyrics of Black Horse and the Cherry Tree playing on the radio.
    And now, my eight victims selectees (if they choose to accept the mission) are:
    May the Force be with you!

    Photo Credits:
    • The Roseate Spoonbill (Ajaia ajaja) is from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
    • The Aleutian Islands scene is from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
    • The Aleutian Canada Goose is by Steve Ebbert at
    UPDATE: The Eight Random Facts meme really seems to be making the rounds.


    Blogger John L. Trapp said...

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    July 08, 2007 7:44 AM  
    Blogger cyberthrush said...

    hi John, thanks for the interest, but my blog is such a narrow, special-interest sort of thing, and my time so scarce, that I generally refrain from memes, blog carnivals, and the like, so I'll pass; maybe at some future date. (of course the real question is, does randomness even exist? ;-)

    July 08, 2007 4:55 PM  
    Blogger Larry said...

    You've had some interesting adventures in your life.-I hated that song when the girl on american idol sang it but that scottish girl rocks!

    July 08, 2007 6:48 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...


    Re: (4) ...Steller's Sea Eagle

    A very minor point: while you could have seen either species, the one that bred on Attu was White-tailed Eagle.

    July 08, 2007 11:08 PM  
    Blogger Amy said...

    Thanks for playing, John!

    July 09, 2007 12:24 AM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    you heated your poptarts?

    If you were a true procrastinating disorganist you would eat them cold as you drove or walked. If you managed to find them in the trunk of your car.

    July 09, 2007 1:14 PM  
    Blogger Bisbee Border Birder Bloggers said...

    Yeah, John - thanks for playing. I learned that we've got even more things in common: disorganization (both Tom and I use the geological filing system) and Diet Dr Pepper (Tom's lost without it). And Tom really liked KT Tunstall when he heard her for the first time on Live Earth. Too bad he's not DJ'ing anymore.

    Oh, and procrastination. Guess I should have put that in earlier. Oh, well...

    July 11, 2007 10:24 PM  
    Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I loved the original Dixie Chicks All Cowgirl Band, lost interest when they were reformed to become more in line with mainstream radio country music requirements, then regained interest becoming their second biggest fan (after you, of course) when Natalie let loose on GW.

    July 15, 2007 11:09 PM  

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