Rules Updated: 6/5/15
“It is the beginning of wisdom when you recognize that the best you can do is choose which rules you want to live by, and it’s persistent and aggravated imbecility to pretend you can live without any.” – Wallace Stegner.
It is a new month, so figured it was time to get this post out of the way. As you know, I fit the profile of a Birder. If you have been reading my blog of late you may also know that my brother Ron also fits the profile of a Birder. He is a more recent entry into the birding hobby but quickly making a name for himself as his life list is growing at a rapid pace. In light of this accomplishment, I now affectionately refer to him as the Doerfler of DuPage County. If you see him stalking a bird while out in the nature preserves, stop by and say hi. Be sure and talk to him as looooong as you can – he likes that – ask him what birds he has seen, where he’s been lately, his favorite McDonald’s menu item, maybe even something about the Nomography Cult. Take care to talk really loud too (he is a little hard of hearing) and maybe take some firecrackers with you – yeah, firecrackers – light them off at random times. What you may not know is we have a little friendly competition going. One area we do differ is unlike my pacifist demeanor, Ron is extremely competitive. Couple that with his near anarchist pension to push boundaries in pursuit of victory it is a necessity to establish very clear and concise rules as to guide our little competition. Victories are hollow if you don’t know the criteria that separates a win from a loss (although I lack a competitive DNA I do feel strongly about competitive events having winners and losers and strictly opposed to the concept of everyone wins – if that is what you want, fine, call it a picnic, not a sport). In an effort to alleviate any grievances or scoring discrepancies, I’ve created a set of Competitive Birder Rules of Engagement. It should be noted, that this is as much in the bird’s best interest as it is for our little challenge (again, Ron is uber-competitive and we do not want any winged ones getting harmed in the process now do we!?!)
Caroline Stevermer summed it up well – “How dreadful…to be caught up in a game and have no idea of the rules.” I am considering this as the first public draft and welcome comments to help provide clarity or shore up any gaps/deficiencies that may exist.
Hit the jump to read the first set of rules!