F 1 D 0 - 2002 11 30 at 0945

Crows that sound funny.

It isn't your imagination. I got up
on a weekend before noon. And it isn't
because I have any appointments.

It was the sunshine. It is lovely out
here. In fact, it was my intention to
show you exactly how bright it is now.
But I've spent the last fifteen minutes
learning the HP 315 camera we have no 
longer wants to snap pictures.

It has had this symptom at night time.
And when we are in motion. You press the
blue shutter button about halfway, and it
provides a light. Steady green for distance
and light OK. Blinking green for Not OK.
And occasionally (like at night, or moving) 
just nothing for Total Confusion. 

Press the rest of the way to request a picture.

But the conditions are perfect for the
camera right now, and it is just refusing
to do anything at all for me. Press halfshutter,
green light comes solid. Continue press, small
buzzclick, nothing. Repeat ad nauseum, still

I've just called HP's support number, at
1-800-387-3867. Like all support numbers,
you have to listen carefully, and direct
your call.  Choose 1 for Pavilion Products,
Choose 2 for Unix products, Choose 3 for PCs, 
Home-office products, Scanners and (beep!3).

Anyway, my rant is after going in four
levels deep, it told me their offices
are closed. Please call back between
800am and 800pm Eastern Time. That's 
nice. Those are reasonable hours. But
I am thinking it could have told me much

The landscape is changing even as I sit
here writing to you. For some reason, the
sun was striking the buildings across my
street with complete intensity, making them
look like they were in the desert. And the sky
is without cloud, even now. I wanted to show
you. I'm thinking by 1030am, this won't be so
special any longer.

But it was the Bright Sunshine which got me out of
bed typing.

For the last few days I've been aware of the
ravens we have here. They look just like crows
to me. They're black. They're smart. They don't
huddle together, but manage to communicate to
each other anyway. When they talk, you realize
that it isn't a crow. 

Crows make this "caw", and while there are regional
variations, it is still "caw". 

My dad used to make fun of the crow call, 
"(yitz) hHaak! (yitz) hHaak!". Yes, it sound
like the Yitzhak to me as a kid too.

Now, imagine a raven. It makes this call which
is so low, so many octaves lower than a caw, it
is a rattle. The one I heard yesterday came out 
as four clicks. A crow with a bass voice. 

Maybe I'd never really looked at them until
recently, but they have a lot of beak. It surprises
me how much beak and from where on their face it 

At some point, I'm thinking I'll grow a baby
crow (or raven) as a tame bird. It cannot be
too much different from raising a pet squirrel,
can it? They're smart, I know that. They can 
talk well, I know that too.

In North America, there seems to be laws about
what kind of animals you can make for pets. You
are welcome to Shoot these birds with guns, without
a licence, but you are breaking the law by 
domesticating them as pets.

That laws get stranger still. We can make pets
of Starlings, the black birds with very small
light markings over them. That is because they
are not naturally from here, but were imported
from the United Kingdom. 

I don't want any of you thinking I'm going to
locate a pet. Inasmuch as I'm very much an
animal person (and the animals know that),
I'm not ready to commit to taking such care
of them. When opportunities for travel come
around, having a pet is a responsibility, even
though I think about them a lot.

That's all I know.