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Today my head is very itchy. Today I am newly fascinated by the words nightjar and (thanks to pohanginapete) fossick. Today we have ample sunshine, cool temperatures and low humidity. Today the wood thrushes are continuing to sing well past 10:00 in the morning, accompanied by an indigo bunting, a wood pewee, and a common yellowthroat. Today I have begun by reading other people’s words instead of writing my own, which means really that I have been whispering, murmuring, and chanting under my breath the same as always. Today I broke my usual rule of no radio in the morning, and caught the headlines on NPR while I fixed my eggs — not that an egg ever can be fixed once it’s broken. Today the Middlewesterner is retiring from his sidebar such immortal Internet search strings as last chance notes to girlfriend, Blue hypnotic liquor, poems that rhyme with John Deere equipment and Commodification of the sasquatch. Today, says the Guardian, Bush accuses Iran of dragging its feet. Today the Stanley Cup goes head-to-head with the World Cup in the sports headlines.

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Today I have been engaging in an odd form of egosurfing with typoGenerator, inserting the text “dave” and “bonta” and marveling at the random images the program retrieves from the web. Today I am wondering where we got the idea that something like music could ever belong to its author, given that every instance of authentic listening involves a re-creation of the thing heard as well as a subtle reshaping of the one who listens. Today they are protesting in Vienna. Today I am trying to picture a jar full of night — a voice in the night woods, as Peterson describes the whip-poor-will: by day camouflaged as dead leaves, or flit[ting] away on rounded wings like a large brown moth. Today is the shortest day of the year in the southern hemisphere. Today the rudbeckia in my garden has begun to bloom in earnest, and it looks very much as if the first butterfly weed blossoms may open by late afternoon. Today by 11:30 the six Carolina wren fledgelings, who left the nest the night before, have still not figured out how to get out of the garage. Today is not even half over.

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19 Replies to “Today”

  1. Lovely meanderings on the summer solstice day (here in the north). Dave. I’ve played with EgoSurf, but typoGenerator is new so I had to try it. Mine came up with beautiful textures, text, images and a map of Finland!

  2. Nice, Dave. I had to go further to look up why they call it nightjar. Wikipedia explained why it was often called goatsucker but not why it’s called a nightjar (night jar, for its harsh call –

  3. Thanks, Marja-Leena – glad you’re getting a charge out of typoGenerator. I’ve always thought it’s really well done; I’ve used it to illustrate posts occasionally in the past, and even made a banner for my old blog that I used in lieu of the title for a while.

    There’s a program called EgoSurf?!

    Leslee – You’re right, though of course the jarring in question refers to the European nightjar, not to one of our North American species. Also of interest in this regard is the word “jar.” The noun comes from the Arabic jarrah “earthen water vessel,” according to the Online Etymology Dictionary, but the verb seems to be more of a mystery:

    jar (v.)
    “to make a harsh, grating sound,” 1526, usually said to be echoic or imitative, but no one explains how, or of what.

  4. That’s my favourite self portrait so far…

    Your image is rather hidden, but we’ve come to know it from the other postings so it’s possible to read behind the letters of your name. Melding the self portrait, and letters randomly generated by the typoGenerator (which I’ve been playing with now too, thank you), and what appears to be a landscape of heavily forested hills, I really like it…

    Happy SunFire day (ah, another fire…)…

  5. Thanks, Pica and Brenda.

    You know, the guy in the image is actually not me – that’s the amazing part. I was able to get two other typogenerated portraits using the same background before it went black (some strange tic the program has). I thought it was me at first, too, but the collar is definitely not the same, and in two of the pictures (including the one here), the guy’s features look African rather than Caucasian. But he’s wearing the very same glasses I wear. So I dunno. It’s a self-portrait, I guess, but I don’t recognize the fellow in it — can I say that?

  6. “Egosurfing” you mean there’s a name for such obsessions? Of course there is. I am waiting for my name to finally be associated with something other than my former life at the university. I’ll have to do something newsworthy to shift attention from that past.

    I like the meditation in your list of what you’ve done today. Today I photographed a raccoon that was sitting on our fence. Today I picked strawberries in the yard and sliced them on to a piece of toast. Today, I chased the cat from sitting directly below the swallows’ nest box. It’s not even noon yet here.

    Happy Summer Solstice, Dave. We will have light in the sky until after 10:00 tonight. Longest day indeed.

  7. Hi RA! Happy sun-day to you, too.

    I am waiting for my name to finally be associated with something other than my former life at the university.

    Well, I can think of one, fairly immediate way for you to accomplish that…

  8. The caprimulgiformes get all the best names: nightjar, nighthawk, whip-poor-will, goatsucker, oilbird, potoo, frogmouth.

    Such fabulous birds, as well. I remember seeing a nightjar species sitting on the ground in Venezuela; as I got closer it edged away from me, but the legs were so short it looked like it was gliding on little wheels.

    I expect you’ve heard the jarring of the original nightjar.

  9. marja-leena – Thanks! But contrary to the website’s premise, I’m afraid I will never “know my place.” :(

    Harry – Yeah! I forgot about the potoo. And I never heard the original nightjar before – that was awesome.

    Say, do you have a spare couple hours? Someone really needs to expand that Wikipedia page on nightjars…

    Hi, SB – Glad you liked.

  10. “Say, do you have a spare couple hours? Someone really needs to expand that Wikipedia page on nightjars…”

    I pretty much exhausted my knowledge in the previous comment, sadly.

  11. Dave, I really enjoyed this post. Your variety was refreshing and interesting.

    I tried the typoGenerator, however, with perplexing results. Supposedly randomly generated, and with “destroy” marked inbetween times, four out of five iterations based upon my name contained the word “please” splayed across in large letters. Go figure! Subliminal messages from….?!

  12. Yeah, I had fun with the typoG. today too (admits)… it threw up some of my own images, which was jarring and intriguing, so I searched google’s images, sure enough they were there…

    And on closer inspection, that’s not you, you were right. Not sure if I should apologize because I’d have liked it to be you with an image of your mountain through your forehead. You could always make something similar to it, or do a ‘magnetic marque’ of your photo in the right shape, copy it and paste it on, haze it out a bit, make it a little transparent, and…

    Oh, it sounds like too much work.

    Wonder where the program got that image anyway? All the images in mine came from my blog or website… hmnn.

  13. Harry – Oh nuts. Seems you’re as good at sounding like you know something as I am!

    MB – The ways of typoG are indeed many and mysterious.

    Brenda – No apology needed. As for where the image came from: could be just about any site with “dave” or “bonta” in it. If the latter, he could be a relative — and/or a descendent of slaves once owned by my patronymic ancestors in Kentucky.

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