Whoot and whoot again, I say!
First whoot: work. Now that they're sending my part of the department one extra tray of non-priority work a week, innovation was required. I figured that out last week, after having to manually paste 650 policy numbers into a Word table formatted to fit the layout of our free labels. Just doing it one week was bad enough--the thought of having to do it almost every week for the next year and a half (and likely beyond) was excruciating.
And after wracking my brains and slamming my head into various walls of program inabilities or lack of sufficient Access knowledge, I finally, finally got a leg up. I've switched everything to Excel and came up with a table layout that sufficiently approximates the Word label sheet (stifling my perfectionism at having things perfectly aligned). Now instead of pasting one at a time, I can paste a sheet's-worth of 27 at a time. Much, MUCH nicer! There's still the tedious applying of 600-plus labels to envelopes to clip with the policies, but at least I can
Second whoot: binoculars. When I went to the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary on Sunday morning, I discovered my trusty old pair had finally broken. (Pretty old, seeing as I got them as a gift from my parents as a teenager--what a great gift that's proven!) Well, I did some stomping about on the internet. I really want zoom binoculars, after trying out my mom's friend Cindy's on our trip to Glacier Park. The problem is that the cheap brands are cheap, and of cheap quality, the 'middle price' stuff is $200-300 and of much better quality...and of course the high-end stuff is a freaking fortune. But $200-300 is still more than I want to spend, what with all the other needs clamoring for a chunk of my twice-yearly 'extra' paycheck. But I found a pair on Amazon.com that was 'middle price' quality...and they had a new one in the 'used and new' section being sold directly by Amazon (free shipping!) for only $107! Found that they were well spoken of (but out of stock) at the website that specialized in binoculars, so I pounced.
They should be wonderful, with nice high-quality optics and lenses (I shall spare you the jargon). The only drawback is that they have a 25mm aperture rather than the 50mm of my old pair. Which means much less light-gathering ability, so worse for star/moon-gazing and twilight situations. But it will be so nice to have a zoom, and something hanging from my neck that weighs less than one pound! (My last pair were HEAVY.) I may have to wait a few weeks for Amazon to ship them, but if they back out, I know I can find them on eBay for about $30 more.
(Got 12 people watching my Nene Thomas auction now and one bid!)
I'm looking forward to having those binoculars, because it's going to feel very odd going back there without them. I was reading yesterday about how avid birdwatchers grab their binoculars when they're indoors watching a slideshow about birds--it's so ingrained. I'm not quite that bad yet... =)
LOL. I bet it won't take long though.
I could have used a pair today. I was over at the neighbours when I saw some kind of unfamiliar wren. At least I don't think it was a superb blue. And then I saw something that must have been of the kingfisher family. I wish I had better eyesight!
They have an 8 - 24 zoom; my old binoculars were a 10. 24 is very powerful but either a tripod or support is needed because it's impossible to hold one's hands steady enough. At least I'm used to a 10, because of my old binocs, apparently some people find it hard even that low. 8 will be nice because it's a wider field than 10. And they can focus closer than my old pair.
I basically saw the usual winter birds: cardinal, blue jay, chickadee, goldfinches in summer colors, ducks and seagulls flying by overhead, hairy woodpeckers pounding in the trees. I did see a bunch of migrating sparrows feeding on the ground that were probably Fox Sparrows--very big for sparrows. But nothing else 'unusual,' though not being able to use the binoculars didn't help.