A conversation I wish I was having by Josh Trudell

Transcript of a conversation:Happy birthday, Dad!

It looks like you got snow for your birthday – just what you always wanted, right? I’m telling you – it doesn’t snow here. It’s got to be at least a little tempting…

Work is good – I’m keeping busy. The real job, working part-time at the newspaper, and freelance work on top of that. You know how it goes – I’ve got these expensive habits. This new camera I’ve got is pretty awesome, though. And I’m going on this photo workshop in Arizona in May – that’s going to be spectacular. We’re going into these narrow slot canyons where they get these shafts of light coming in – I bet you’ve seen pictures of it on TV.

What about you? (listens) 3 a.m.? Whew - no rest for the snowplow men.  Man - every time I think I'm getting up early, you tell me you're up at three to plow snow. Whew.

I’m taking care of the blood sugar, don’t worry. It’s actually been lower since the new year – I’ve cut way back on Diet Cokes and junk food, and I’m already feeling better. I still haven’t picked up coffee – I’m experimenting with these all-natural energy drinks. They aren’t bad.

How's your health doing? Ha! Slow and steady - all we can ask for, right?

I haven’t paid much attention to the Sox this offseason, to tell you the truth. I kind of like what I have seen, though. It seems like they got themselves some dirt dogs, Trot Nixon types. No, Youkilis isn’t coming back – he signed with the Yankees, can you believe it? Have you read Francona's book? Yeah, he wrote a book - I haven't read it either, but he takes some big shots at the Sox, according to the excerpts. Oh, he absolutely should.

Speaking of which – keep June 15 free on your calendar. This is actually your birthday present - we’re going to a game this summer. Yes, I know we tried that before, but I’m taking care of it this time. You won’t have to drive OR park in the city, I promise. We’ll have a car picking us up in Lisbon – yes, that’s both of us – driving us down, waiting for us after the game, then driving us back. What’s that? Don’t worry about how I paid for it – I told you, I’m working plenty of hours. It’s all taken care of.

Are you and Mom going anywhere this year? Nova Scotia? Cool – Tapley and I have been talking about going there. Ha! Yeah, pretty much everywhere. Italy this year, New Hampshire next year, then Australia. Yeah, we’ll be up for about a week next year. I’m sure I’ll be up in the meantime for a weekend here or there.

Yeah, I can hear my sister talking about cake – must be that time. Have a great afternoon, and give Mom a hug for me. I’ll see you guys soon, I promise. Okay. Bye.

My dad would have been 63 today. He’s been gone for a little more than two years now. Happy birthday, Dad. I love you.

Seeking a cool breeze... by Josh Trudell

Lots of swimming thoughts, but nothing cohering into much length. It's summertime, and the thinking ain't easy.

The specimen above was one of 96 tiny Kemp-Ridley turtles I saw get released into the Gulf of Mexico on Father's Day.

The Oreo-sized reptiles gamely pushed their way across the 25 feet of sand from their release point to the water's edge. The staffers fluttered around, alternately swinging plastic pipes to ward off the gulls and picking up the turtles and showing them to the crowd gathered behind a line.

Photography note: The workers will take cameras down to the turtles to get close-ups of them making their way to the ocean. A better bet, however, is to wait for one of the workers to bring one of the Kemp-Ridley hatchlings by your spot.

This release was on Malaquite Beach - the beach I took my parents to on my dad's only trip to Texas before he passed away.

Was it sappy to think he was there watching, protecting these small forms as they struggled out into the world? Yep. Was I thinking it? Of course.

Work in the works: The San Antonio Express-News published a piece I wrote last fall on the Canadian Rockies. More work is in the pipeline...

Summer sports: The Red Sox are terribly mediocre. That is all.

Book of the moment: Chad Marbach's The Art of Fielding. I've been listening to it for the past 10 days' commute, and it's getting harder and harder to get out of the car when I pull into the parking lot or the garage. Edit: I finally finished it by bringing the last three discs into work and listening to them there.

Summer movie count: The most recent movie we've seen is Brave, the latest installment from Pixar. I'm normally a big Pixar fan, but this was definitely aimed more at a mother/daughter relationship. Still, I found it entertaining, and the animation was fantastic as ever. Less than two weeks until THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.