Monday, May 9, 2011

Fight The Mustache Power

Yellow-breated Chat. Hello, Yellow-breasted Chat.

There has been a lot of controversy lately over my mustache. Is it cool? Is it good? Is it hideous? Is it even real? I cannot answer those questions, although I can confirm that it is, in fact, real. Being exactly 50% Korean, it is not the best mustache in the world. It's not really as thick as a proper mustache should be, which I attribute to my Asianness. But its there. This is only the second time Ive grown one. The first was on Buldir Island in 2010. Considering the number of people there (only 4 of us at one point), I could care less about what people would think of my mustachial stripe (thats a bird joke, folks). I was determined to grow a mustache, no matter what the price I had to pay in dignity. We had a competition going between different Aleutian field camps to see who could grow the worse facial hair, and I knew I was a strong competitor. 

After getting picked up by the boat and shaving my disgusting neckbeard off, I wore the celebrated 'stache back on the mainland briefly to a variety of reactions. Some were gleeful. Others could be summed up in one quote: "Oh my god, dude. That thing is fucking ugly." I would like to add that this is the first thing that this person said to me since I last saw him 3 months before. Anyways...I decided to dispense with it before I left Alaska.

One of the neighborhood Yellow-winged Tanagers.

Northbound Swainson's Hawk.

Even before the Chavarrillo gig, I knew that my godawful mustache would be making another appearance. Again, it was mostly because people don't really care about things like mustache-quality in small town Mexico. And there it was, sprouting up again like a patch of some obnoxious weed. None of the Mexicans thought it was very unusual or especially gross....but I knew the truth. I found that Mexicans either could not grow anything remotely resembling a 'stache, or they could grow totally awesome ones. I was the only person in the country standing in the middle mustache ground.

And so it remains today. As I said, mixed reviews, with people probably just lying to my face. Some probably complement it out of politeness. Others say its disgusting, but are strangely drawn to it. It's difficult to know for sure.

Oso the Lazy Dalmation.

Those are all Mississippi Kites. Sweet. 

Just a dude practicing his flame-thrower skills on a pig. No big deal.

Monday. The worst day of the week. For unemployed people like myself, it is probably the smuggest day of the week, because we can keep the Perpetual Weekend going. We can drink too much the night before, we can go birding in the morning, or preferably both. The possibilities are endless, really. However, we do have sympathy for our poor friends who have to return to their corporate prison cells for the week, so Monday does carry a somber air at times.

Here is some reading material for you. Congressman Mike Quigly has introduced legislation to make federal buildings bird-safe. If passed, this could prevent the deaths of scores of birds that collide with buildings every year. British prime minister David Cameron has accomplished practically nothing in terms of enacting green/environmental legislation. What rubbish! In more positive news, a new species of storm-petrel has been discovered off the coast of Chile, and the massive rat genocide on South Georgia Island seems to be going well. Finally, the world's current celebrity Mallard is nesting at a Giant Eagle supermarket in Ohio.

There you have it. No more birding outings since Mexico, but there is much more to tell. I'll pick up the camera again this weekend when I visit venture capitalist The Grub and the human neutron Neutral Drew at Mono Lake, which is widely known as one of the best places in the world. And then...North Dakota! 

Black-throated Green Warbler.


  1. Just the other day, someone came into the post office and said, "Why do you have to steal all the moustache glory in town? Can't you let some of us have a chance?" To which I replied, "It's not a competition dude..." and I proceeded to explain about the People's Moustache. He finally got the point, sort of.

    But anyways, if you decide to shave your moustache, just know that I've got ya buddy, the People's Moustache ain't goin anywhere.

  2. The PM! What color is it this time of year?