Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jay can't play on Thanksgiving Day (or for several weeks)

Jay Cutler had surgery to repair his busticated throwing-hand thumb somewhere in Colorado.  Aspen? Vail?  Somewhere in Colorado that isn't Denver.  Regular readers of this blog will know what I am going to say next, so it will be no surprise:  What?  There are no good hand surgeons in Chicago?  Ah, but there are.

Almost 20 years ago, I had two hand surgeries within the span of nine months.  About five years ago, I had occasion to visit an orthopedic surgeon and I told him about my experience, especially with the second surgery which was pretty complicated.  He looked at my hand and said, "He did a very good job."  Dude was a stellar human being, too.  Perhaps America's premier thumb surgeon operates solely in that lovely part of the Rockies.  It's Jay's working hand so I will cut him some slack.  Mark this day on your calendars.  I guess Jay will convalesce in Colorado, former home of, well, Jay, making it easier for multiple followups with the doc.

Good luck and happy healing, Jay.  Get back to work so I can smack talk you aplenty.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, CA, Caleb Hanie and the Bears took on the Oakland Raiders.  My opinion?  Hanie did not stink too terribly as the Raiders didn't win by that huge a margin.  The intentional-grounding incident in the 4th quarter with the clock at four seconds was kind of ditzy but otherwise, not too shabby and I thought the rest of the team was also with the program.  It might've been a blood bath but was a very not-shameful-although-they-still lost 25-20.

A foggy downtown + brush = Me on vacation!!
I was on vacation this whole past week and got to visit the Magic Hedge in the middle of the week.  A birder and an out-of-town family birder and I all went to the Montrose Harbor location and were treated to some lovely sights and sounds.  During the week, it is much quieter there.  It was an overcast day, cool with a damp chill lingering, the clouds heavily weighing on the downtown area.  There was a full out chickadee party to which we were not invited.  A downy woodpecker did his thing on a tree and I saw a male cardinal which always gives me a big charge (translation:  I can recognize a male cardinal as a male cardinal).  The next day people were said to have seen some NEW snowy owls that were DIFFERENT from the snowy owls of a couple of weeks ago and I am sure the area was instantly filled with the Men of Giant Lenses and the Giant Need to see these birds and capture them digitally, kind of a dick-measuring contest with feathers.

Not part of anyone's breakfast
When we were arriving we met a very charming man who reported seeing juncos and a couple of mergansers and a few other birds.  The charming man liked seeing all bird things.  He could see a cooper's hawk eating a mouse from his window so he had breakfast with the hawk but I am fairly certain he had something more basic, like cereal or coffee and some fruit.  It is always nice to meet someone pleasant but it was also nice to meet someone who got a charge out of all the birds and not simply the major visitors.
Hello, Sage Thrasher.  I come in peace.
Speaking of major visitors, we did not see the sage thrasher.  The charming man has never seen the sage thrasher.  I suspect we will not be seeing the sage thrasher who is so far from his home and who will be able to get there either.  At Thanksgiving, we can be thankful that we all know not just where we are from but we know how to get there if we have the need.

So maybe you've been to Chicago but have avoided the CTA like the plague.  I've lived here a long time and rely on it pretty heavily during the week and for weekend trips to areas in and near downtown Chicago.  This past weekend I experienced something that's usually for weekdays only, which is the "delayed train running express through your station and it ain't gonna stop for you so you might as well just shut up and take it because you got another, better idea?  No, so shut up, there's another train behind it" phenomenon.  This is what you are missing by not taking the CTA on visits.  I share because I love.  Enjoy!

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