Friday, December 28, 2012

My Big Year, and Sick Resolutions

It's almost January, meaning I'm up to my ears in New Year resolution considerations, just like everyone else.  I do have the "age old standard" of eat healthier and exercise more, but that's not so much a New Year resolution as it is a resolution that is ongoing. Also, I'm sick today.  I have a feeling it's a side effect of the tetanus/pertussis shot I got yesterday after having been bitten by one of my residents at work.  I just want to sleep, but I'll stay up for this.

One of my resolutions is to be more open about my Pagan faith.  That doesn't mean "bring it up everywhere," it means that the generally hush-hush attitude I maintain around my family really has to go.  I've been practicing over 15 years, so it's not like they don't know, but it's not something we talk about.  Connected to that is to be more involved in the in-person Pagan community.  I've been doing this already, by attending Pagan Brews and Joe meetings in Oshkosh every month, but I'd like to expand more.  One of my goals is to make it to Pagan Spirit Gathering this year, or next year if that falls through.

As far as food and exercise goes, I guess I'll put those here just because why not.  My plan is to go mostly Paleo and stick with it.  I lost a lot of weight when I first went on it, and although I haven't gained any of it back, I still have a long way to go.  In addition to eschewing grains, sugars, and legumes, I plan to gradually increase the amount of organic food I eat and use magickal cooking techniques when I prepare food at home.

Speaking of magickal cooking, I'm going to revamp my shrines, build more of them when I have the space, and "magick up" my life.   This is something I do periodically when I'm having a bit of a Pagan renaissance... I got a Bast canopic jar for Christmas (intended to be used as an urn for my cat) that can go on an ancestor shrine, and as soon as I get a good statue of Wepwawet he can go next to Set on my primary altar/shrine.

Most of that won't happen until I get my life more organized.  As far as work and school go, it's not a big deal, but one of the side-effects is that my life is rather cluttered.  I won't really have an appropriate place for a shrine, for example, until I clean my bedroom out.

Finally, I am doing a countywide Big Year. For those who don't know, a Big Year is when somebody attempts to see the most species of birds in a single calendar year.  The most famous one is a North American Big Year, which includes the United States, Canada, and Alaska, but there are also Statewide, Countywide, and lower-48 versions (as well as differing periods of time; a Big Month, a Big Week, a Big Day, etc.).  I can't swing a Statewide Big Year, but I can swing one that takes place in Fond du Lac County, so I'm going to do that.  To document it I'll be getting a new camera when I get paid next (which is after the 1st, but I am borrowing my brother's camera until then so we're good).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Birding Trip: December 25th, 2012

Yesterday was Christmas, and as I don't really celebrate Christmas (I celebrate Yule a little earlier, and all my family engagements are on the 24th), I picked up about 15 hours at work.  Fortunately there was an hour break, which I used to go birding at Lakeside Park in Fond du Lac, WI.  I wound up with bird I haven't seen yet and a bunch I have, but which were cool anyway:

Canvasback.  This is my new duck, haven't seen one of these yet.

I call this guy "Tuxedo Mallard." He's a Mallard, but with unusual markings.

Another weird Mallard, with different blotches.

A pair of Double-crested Cormorants.

A pair of American Pelicans.

A Lesser Scaup.