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I climbed on the back of a giant albatross... and ended up somewhere in Scotland

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Albatross: Facts and figures

From the Independent:

*Of 21 species of albatrosses, 18 are thought to be at the risk of extinction, with fishing the main threat.

*An albatross is the central emblem in "The Rime of the Ancient Mariner" by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and a metaphor used in Charles Baudelaire's poetry.

*The name albatross is derived from the Arabic meaning for "a pelican" and the Portuguese form Alcatraz, which is also the origin of the name of the former prison.

*Albatrosses pair for life. If their partner dies they may search for years for a new mate without luck.

*The bird has a low reproductive rate, with many producing only one egg a year, and has a life expectancy of 60. They spend most of their lives at sea and can sleep on the ocean.

*A grey-headed albatross from south Georgia was recorded flying around the world in 46 days.

*Albatrosses can be found in every ocean except the North Atlantic.

Returning to USA - 10 years ago

French Rotten Flower
Here's a journal entry from about 10 years ago, upon returning to the U.S. after my first trip to Scotland to visit Linda:

"Friday,     March 13, 1998,    Natick

I'm back in Natick now living at my parents' house....  I have an appointment for a free divorce consultation in the morning.  Then I'll be going up to New Hampshire to visit Kevin and Kim for the weekend."

"I'm back at work, gettin' back in the swing of things...  They threw me off the bowling team, tho.  And they changed the name from the Albatrosses back to the Angels.....  Stupid gits....

Things have been hard for Linda back in Scotland... dealing with stuff F had got going... I can't really give details now, tho... because it's a secret legal tactic we'll be taking... Shhh !

Linda's been calling me at work almost daily because of the terrible week she's been having, but it'll all turn out OK.

We're both missing each other now, but she'll be here for a visit in a few short weeks."


 For the Song Hall of Fame....    "Echoes" by Pink Floyd

"Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air..."  

I used to make homemade video tapes which had music that I liked on it, and one of the things I really liked was the footage of Pink Floyd playing "Echoes" at Pompeii.  It was especially nice to watch while inebriated.

It's this song which is partially the reason I use the word "albatross" in my fantasy football teams and fantasy sumo... and why my username here is Albatrossumi.  It's amazing that the song made it into the Hall of Fame, tho, because it's awfully long.... and I generally don't like long songs. The version I was listening to is from the Pink Floyd hits compilation "Echoes" and it's over 16 minutes long, whereas the actual full version of the song is over 24 minutes long, I think.

Albatross Alert


From the Mirror:

AN EXTREMELY rare albatross has been seen for the first time ever in Britain after it lost its way in bad weather.

The young yellow-nosed albatross, which has only been seen once in Europe, was found at a holiday camp exhausted.

Camp owner Hugh Harris, 76, said: "It was most unusual. It was just squatted down - I think it was absolutely worn out."

The white and grey bird, native to South America and India, was taken to experts to be identified.

Pauline Kidner, who runs the wildlife sanctuary in Highbridge, Somerset, said: "When it opened its wings and its span was two metres we appreciated it was something very unusual."

The RSPB said: "It must have got the wrong side of the equator then got caught in northerly winds.

"It's once in a lifetime albatrosses land in Britain - but it's unique for this species." The albatross was released into the wild from a cliff. Mrs Kidner said: "It went into the sky and was gone in minutes."

I'm So Stupid

I'm here in the fashionable Sauchiehall Street shopping district of trendy downtown Glasgow... and I'm so stupid. Here's some proof:

I order a sugar free hazelnut latte thinking I'm being good because I have type 2 diabetes and shouldn't have too much sugar... Then the person goes "Is there anything else?" and in a split second of stupidity I forget all about the diabetes thing and get a GIANT chocolate chunky chip cookie !

Example two... All this talk of albatrosses gets me in the mood to buy a Pink Floyd CD, so I go there and look them over, but they're so expensive. So, instead, I go to the bargain bin and buy four CD's... including an inexpensive double CD of Depeche Mode, AND I DON'T EVEN LIKE DEPECHE MODE ! But that's not the stupid part... I get it to the CD player in the car before I realise it's a double LIVE CD. A concert CD ! What could be stupider ?

Well, a few days ago, not only did I get a fine for parking in a resident's only place, but then I went thru a yellow light (I SWEAR IT WAS STILL YELLOW !!) and got flashed by a traffic camera thing. Oh well, I thought, probably there's no film in that thing and they just do that to scare people. But, nope, I get a fine and 3 points. Doh ! Figures.

Pink Floyd


For induction into DRAHoF...
Pink Floyd have made some remarkable music... and I really like their Pompeii thing they did.  There's their song about an albatross, which is part of the reason I like them so much (Pink Floyd?  No, albatrosses).  I've seen them in concert too (albatrosses?? No, Pink Floyd)...  and that's good enough for me.

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