We're getting ready for our big trip in July.  We've got reservations at the "big" National parks; plastic backcountry maps of the same are either in-hand or on-order.  We purchased a new tent for the trip (it's really nice), as well as some other sundries. Ira has gone from a "must escape, must escape, must escape" attitude, to a "sleep in until about noon, try to escape for a few minutes, bask under my heat lamp for a while, and then back to sleep" attitude.  The change is somewhat remarkable.  However, the minute he goes outdoors he regains all of his energy and starts wandering all over the yard at top tortoise speed. Over the weekend we went for a walk around Alameda.  Down the a waterfowl sanctuary, we sat down and watched the bay for a while.  However, after about five minutes of sitting there, a Forster's tern started diving for fish about six to eight feet in front of us.  That was really cool.  The bird would hover about ten-fifteen feet above the water, looking down into the flowing water to find the tell-tale glint of a little silver fish.  Once a fish was spotted and targeted, the bird would tuck its wings and dive into the water from whatever height it was hovering at.  Shortly after disappearing into the water, the tern would come back up with a struggling minnow in its mouth.  After flying off to consume its prey and dry its wings, the tern came back for another round.  All in all, it probably kept this behavior up for the better part of a half-hour before we left. Tonight we're off to PacBell Park with some friends to see the SF Giants play the AZ Diamondbacks.  While I'm not a fan of either team, the game should still be fun.