Birding Saturday

It’s the end of a good and busy week. On Friday night, I was at home relaxing, eating dinner of baked salmon encrusted with sun dried tomatoes and pine nuts, baked potato, Caesar salad with broccoli and radish shreds. For dessert- white cake with chocolate frosting and hibiscus tea. I know how to shop Kroger deals like a boss. Total cost, $2.50, or less than McDonald’s.

I did find a lot of marked down deals this week. In the marked down cheese fridge, I found herb encrusted brie, prosciutto wrapped mozzarella sticks. At the fish station, there was a piece of salmon pre-made with encrusted pine nuts and sun dried tomatoes for $1.25. In produce there was lots of greens, including a Caesar salad mix and a bag of radish shreds, which I like a lot. Who knew. Radish shreds. I add them to add to salad or just eat for stand alone snacks. Also in the bread section, I scored several loaves of artisan bread for $1.29 and some dessert-y things also.

I chose the lower income job so as to have my summers off and school vacations to read, write, do ministry, and study, (time is more valuable to me than money). Therefore on my fixed and very low budget I’m content eating peanut butter sandwiches and scrambled eggs. However, it is nice to be able to sprinkle my plain meals with some gourmet tastes now and then. Kroger’s marked down items allow me to do that.

Charter Internet has finally arrived in my neighborhood. This is great because Windstream has had a monopoly for many years, being the only option here in rural Georgia. Windstream has issues, namely that they oversold and can’t keep up with their promises for fast DSL. It’s not only slow, the connection drops all the time. The situation got so bad in 2013 and 2014  that the GA  and the FCC threatened (or filed) lawsuits and Windstream had to pay in two separate settlements. The situation is still pretty bad, they have not improved their infrastructure and consistently fail to live up to promises, so another suit is looming. In this article from 2016, it’s stated

Complaints about Windstream’s slow Internet service in homes and businesses throughout Georgia’s 9th District, which encompasses all of Northeast Georgia, have prompted new complaints and a stern letter from Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Collins … The complaints have become so numerous and frequent that the Jefferson City Council in Jackson County have established a Broadband Advisory Committee to address possible alternatives.

I live on a main road inside the town center across from the school. I haven’t had too many problems so I stuck with Windstream until now. I also had obtained a “$30.00 for life” plan for my internet service. It was a little slow but I don’t do gaming, there are no other devices on my line, and all I need it for is to write, and watch or listen to sermons and at night, tv or movies. I could live with it.

However recently it had been dropping all the time sometimes for a minute and other times for an hour. I couldn’t watch any sermons even if I put the quality at the lowest level. I really couldn’t watch my Ligonier educational theology classes, because on most of those there is no option to go lower in speed/quality. Ligonier’s Refnet and Grace to You’s Expositor radio had become impossible for me to listen to. I drew the line. After signing up for a Charter Internet and Phone plan that was actually less expensive for the first year and only $10 more than Windstream after that, I jumped.

The guy came yesterday. He was nice and the set up only took a few hours. My cable internet is slightly faster than Windstream, not a lot faster, but that is because my laptop is older and the processor can only process so fast. I knew that going in. So the next step is to save up for another laptop sometime in the next year. If you give a mouse a cookie…one change always leads to another. But for now I can watch streaming items and the connection is steady, so I’m happy.

Saturday afternoon I sat outside in the upper 60-degree sun, watching the many, many birds in my yard. I sure do love the birds, birdsong, and avian activity. If you know what this guy is, let me know. I see this species a lot but can’t find what he is. He was walking across the yard, taking a few steps, then opening his wings wide and strutting a few steps. It seemed like a courtship activity.

gray bird1gray bird preening

I believe these are Carolina wrens?

carolina wrens

This looks to me like a female cardinal. She might be pregnant. She also looks tired. I know I’m probably anthropomorphizing too much, lol.

female cardinal2

Huge flocks of crows (“a murder of crows”) sometimes roost briefly in the yard. Here is one who  settled above me. I liked how the sunshine showed off his black-purple feathers. Below that, a few of the large murder of crows in the tree-

crowmurder of crows

Later today, I’ll be at my wonderful church learning from a powerfully packed sermon, and then attending small groups afterward with fellowship & Bible study. Can you say “great weekend”? I hope you had a good weekend all. See you next week.

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