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May Be [May. 29th, 2006|08:20 pm]
The lengthening evenings are throwing my perception off. I lose track of time, watching the sky grow dark and the world dim. It seems to be eight o'clock, and I discover that it's already nine. The whole year is later than I think.

I'm hearing only one frog croak in the evenings now, but lots of crickets. Those who live in shady spots begin chirping early, and as the sky darkens they are joined by a growing chorus, until the night is filled with their sound. I seldom see any crickets, though. They keep themselves well hidden, like my cat when company arrives, except that the cat doesn't make any noise.

The small, light-brown crickets who live in the valley are different from our local crickets. It's not uncommon to see hundreds of the valley crickets hopping about on lawns this time of year, but I've never heard them sing. The mountain crickets are reclusive, but tuneful. They might also be smarter, as many of the valley crickets end up as bait on fishhooks.

It didn't get too hot today, and the evening is cooling rapidly. It's likely that only a few such days of pleasant balminess remain in the season. Once the heat arrives, it won't take long for this soft green landscape to be marked with patches of brown. I'm not looking forward to keeping my windows closed all day once again.

Some things I've been doing on teh Interwebs lately have led me to two somewhat useful web sites I'd not seen before. Zaba Search, which calls itself a free people search engine, but only the basic search is free. I'm on it, and so are quite a few people I know, but others aren't. It's a bit disconcerting how fast it found me, and a bit annoying that it can't find everybody I've looked for. In other words, it brought me a classic example of mixed emotions. I'd have to pay for their premium service to find out just how much it reveals about me, or about anyone else. I guess it's nice to know that only people who are sufficiently interested in us to be willing to shell out some cash will get all the dirt, assuming there is any. Still, I'm a bit freaked.

I'm more pleased by the other site, and not freaked by it at all. It's called FreePatentsOnline though, again, only a basic service is free. It's a good search engine, but the results only give the number and a basic description of any given patent. I haven't created an account there yet, so maybe they give more information to logged-in users. Their FAQ section says that you can download PDF's of patents. I'll poke about some more when I get the time and see what's up.