SHARON AND BOB'S TURKEY 2008 FAMILY TRIP

 

NOTE: Additions to the text in red were added during the report compilation, for the website.
NOTE: Sharon's comments will be in {curly brackets}.


Monday, November 24, 2008. A Recovery Day. Day 8 of 21.

I wake up with a familiar feeling, involving the gastrointestinal tract. Sparing you the details (it isn't too bad), I start the course of Cipro to kill the bad bacteria. Out of four trips, I have wound up taking Cipro four times now. In the meantime, I will nap off and on all day long.

Early in the morning, Tara draws our attention to the hills across the bay, and "What Ho! Cried Daniel", there's a dusting of snow on the peaks. It's a grey morning.

Snow Day

We watch a submarine and a ship sail out of the port and westward, past our window. {Tara and Cihan have an apartment with the best view of the Bay. Tara tells us Cihan checked out the places to live and no one had wanted this building because in 2000 the base shuttle did not come this high and there was no playground for the children. So he was able to get one of the best places and now the shuttle DOES come up here and the children have a playground so now more people live up here. Great job, Cihan!}

Leaving the naval base.

Cihan has downloaded some movies and TV shows, and we spend the evening watching episodes of Coupling, from the BBC, and the Office - the American version. Both shows are very funny and get my mind off my condition.

By the evening, I'm feeling better already. I'll get lots of sleep tonight, and tomorrow I'll be up to 80% or so, good enough for going out anyway, then 95% the next day. Which reminds me, 75.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot. {I thought it was 64.5%}

OUR NEW CARPET, A DIGITAL REVISIT

Below is a photograph I took of the computer screen, showing a zoomed-in view of a portion of our carpet's diagram. I've added a green line just below one of the rows. On the right is a blowup of our carpet, with a similar green line.

Computer monitor display vs. blowup of my photo of our carpet

I've lifted the first row above the green line and it's shown below, stretched out a little. The knot-tying person, working from left to right would come to the first square on the left, and say, "Ok, I need a dark brown," then locate a strand of that thread. It's likely that she would have a few strands of dark brown left over from trimming such threads earlier in the artwork. She then ties a double knot around the next pair of vertical threads, then slides it down to the existing carpet and tugs down firmly.

Then she says, "Next I need three butterscotch," or dark yellow - whatever. So she ties three knots in a row, left to right. As you can see, each square represents one knot exactly.

 

One row of the pattern, used by the knotting person.

The right-most four white dots in the single row above, correspond exactly to the four white knots that are the top of the bird's head, below. The two sets of three white dots separated by one dark brown one (in the single line above) correspond to the bottom of the flower to the left and nearest the bird's head. {Oh, my goodness. Is that as confusing to the rest of you? Bob has been driving me crazy mathmatically figuring out our carpet row by row. Got to love those engineers.}

Can you imagine sitting six days a week, 9 hours a day, for up to a year or so, tying one or two or three million tiny knots? Talk about possibilities for a repetitive motion injury!

This carpet work fascinates. Maybe I didn't need to say that.

Birds: No birding today.

 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008. Birding the Naval Base. Day 9.

DRY DOCK

Tug boats have floated this dry dock away from shore. It is sort of similar to a catamaran, with two parallel floats on either side and open water in between, down at the water level.

What Sharon and I call the dry dock. The light part is the outer side of the right float. The dark part to the left of the white part is the inner side of the left float.

As we watch intermittently, the "dry" dock fills with water and sinks with just the top of the two sides above water, and the cranes of course. A submarine is brought over and maneuvered into the water between the two sides. After a bit we check again, and the dry dock has blown out the water, filled with air, and looks like the photo above again. But we can see the rear of the submarine, propeller and all, now totally out of the water, suspended by heavy-duty attachments.

Next, the tugs maneuver the dry dock/submarine assembly over to shore, so shift laborers can get on and off to do repairs and maintenance.

Sharon and I decide we want to walk down and try to get a better look at the gulls, picking up whatever birds we see on the way.

NO SHOES

Tara runs her apartment in the Turkish manner. There are Turkish carpets in every room and the goal is to keep them from getting dirty, so when you come into the front door, you remove your shoes and walk in sock feet, or put on slippers.

Sharon has put on her shoes and is sitting on a stool by the front door waiting for me. I keep remembering one more thing after another, so she's patiently waiting. After getting maybe three things, I feel my face and ask her if she would like me to shave, since she'll be walking with me, or go like I am. She says, "Go like you are," since she's been waiting so long. Whiskery it shall be and we take off.

BIRDING

We walk down the stairs and around the building where Sharon sees and hears a WREN, but I only hear it. This is the same species as the Winter Wren of the US. We continue down the hill and see a bird fly with some yellow, black and white registering in our awareness. We get on it, and it's a bird we might call a chickadee in the US, but in Europe is called a tit, meaning in some older language a small or tiny bird, I think. {We know this thanks to Uncle Peter who looked it up for us one time we at his and Nancy's house. We are thinking of you NANCY.}

There are several kinds here. Coal, Sombre, Great, Long-tailed and more. But this one is Great, and there are three. Good thing there aren't just two, or we'd have to report seeing a pair of Great T--s. They are very attractive, with yellow chest and belly, black head, with large white cheek patches, and a black line going down the center of their chest and belly. Their behavior is similar to the Chestnut-backed Chickadees of our back yard in San Jose.

Another bird flits across the street towards us, and perches deep in a fully-leafed tree. It's a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER, and I'm surprised that they haven't migrated out. For some reason, this one has hung around. We make it down to the cash machines and spot a nice female CHAFFINCH.

We begin to see some gulls, and they are mostly the Yellow-legged variety, somewhat like a herring gull, but with yellow legs rather than pink. We continue on toward the base entrance and high overhead I spot a dark bird, get my binocs on it, and it's a BUZZARD. It drops down lower and flies right over our heads. Nice bird. We'd call this bird a hawk in the US.

As we approach the base exit, I notice a flock of birds flying in V formation. I check closer, with the binoculars and it is a flight of SHAGS - cormorants in the US.

THE MIGROS

I'm getting tired from losing electrolytes yesterday, so we cut out the gull-chasing part of our walk and go straight out the base entrance to the Migros, a small grocery supermarket. Sharon buys some fingernail polish and I stock up on a little chocolate. One of my favorite candy bars here is similar to a Mounds in the US. It's called Coco Star and is smaller than a Mounds, but is loaded with coconut.

We walk back through the entrance, the guard looks at our pass and we're back on the base. I stop at the cash machine and get an advance of 300 YTL, about $225.

BIRDING OUR WAY BACK HOME

We resume our birding and get a single BLUE TIT, then Sharon spots a mixed flock of birds, including a nice EUROPEAN ROBIN. Much smaller than the American Robin, similar in size and shape but not color to a Bluebird. We let this bird go, and continue on. I notice a bird flying high above us, crossing the street. It has an unusually long tail, but is otherwise a smallish bird. It can only be a LONG-TAILED TIT. Excellent. Then, just for fun, a CHIFFCHAFF pops into a tree next to us. This bird is a very plain looking warbler, and is pretty common here in spring and summer, but again, it seems like it should have migrated out by now.

In the evening, we watch some more TV shows Cihan has downloaded onto his computer.

TARA'S JEWELRY

Tara has sold a bit of jewelry (made by her friend Fatma, in Iznik, whom we met during our trip there) on the website they are now using, and she needs to "put up" some more. She has a number of pieces - maybe a dozen or more, and wants me to take a photo of each from three distances, one being extremely closeup.

Here are some examples:

That's it for our day. Now you have a great one.

Birds: Wren, Great Tit, Spotted Flycatcher, Chaffinch, Buzzard, Shag, European Robin, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff.

 

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