Day 1422: For the birds

My late father, seen in this photograph of my family which was taken the week before November 22, 1963 …


… used the expression “for the birds” to mean “bad, lousy, unfortunate.”

As my family posed for that picture, we were unaware of some bad, lousy, and unfortunate events that were looming in the future — the assassination of John F. Kennedy and my emergency heart surgery on November 22, 1963.

On this 53rd anniversary of that day, it occurs to me that:

  • the U.S. is dealing with many things, right now, that my father would characterize as “for the birds,”
  • I like birds, and
  • I coincidentally took several photos of birds yesterday.







So we could  say that this blog post is for the birds.

Here‘s what I found on YouTube, for the birds:


Do you think “For the Birds” is relevant today?

Please leave a comment for the bird who created this blog post.

It would be for the birds, according to my father, if I did not express gratitude to all the birds and humans who helped me create this for-the-birds post and  to my wonderful flock of readers, including you!


Categories: personal growth, photojournalism | Tags: , , , , , | 42 Comments

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42 thoughts on “Day 1422: For the birds

  1. A great many things are “for the birds!” I use that saying a lot myself. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Relevant or not — from this bird’s eye view where Thanksgiving happened in October because we’re Canadian eh?– that video is priceless!

    Happy Thanksgiving Ann.

    I give thanks for you and I give thanks for the laughter this morning.

  3. The significance of the day had escaped me until I read your blog and realized today’s date. I was 12 and in junior high art class in California when our teacher announced that JFK had been shot. They put the radio news live over the PA and we sat stunned in every class until they sent us home. My mom was “back east” visiting her mom, and my dad took us to the movies to get away from the nonstop news. These times are upsetting in a different way, and humor definite helps. I enjoyed the Pixar YouTube! Thanks!

  4. The bird video was fun…I was only 2 years old then….. So no memory to then. 😀

  5. Pixar so creative. I once played every level of
    Angry Birds and Hitchcock Birds scare me. I know some bird brains. I do not eat like a bird, although I intend to eat one on Thanksgiving.I enjoy listening to the Byrds and also Beatles Blackbird. My grandparents (born in the 1880s) drove from Illinois to Florida to see a specific bird who’d migrated but the name escapes me
    What a wonderful photo of your Father.
    I remember that day very well. I wrote in a huge memory book at the 6th floor of that Book Depositiry in Dallas.
    Your “For the Birds” post sparks a stream of consciousness comment today.

  6. That is just one for the birds. Love it 🙂

  7. Your father seems like a wonderfully funny guy. And, as you so often do, you made me think about something I’d never considered before. Where did the expression for the birds come from?
    This is from the journal American Speech, quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary:
    “The metaphor alludes to birds eating droppings from horses and cattle.”
    That small bit of knowledge is surprising but definitely not for the birds.

    • It takes one wonderfully funny guy to know another one, Chris. Thanks for all the poop about the derivation of “for the birds.”

  8. We never know what the future holds for us and you dad was right. It can be ‘for the birds’.

  9. Liked the bird clip thank you for that

  10. I love the bird clip. I was five at JFK’s assassination and I remember my mother sitting at the table with me after kindergarten, giving me a snack and asking “Did they tell you at school that the President was killed?” Whew. Of course, I was too young to absorb it much. And I imagine it was a bit of a blur for your family as well, what with your surgery!

  11. I am thankful for the birds and the bird clip and the bird that brought this to my attention. Zippity doo dah!

  12. Times like this that are for the birds are nothing to crow about. That would be robin us of a good opportunity to pun.

    I am glad your emergency heart surgery went so well that your life was saved and you were able to raise a son and find Michael and, of course, blog for us. (Just covering the highlights) You were so young. Did you know there was a problem or did something happen out of the blue?

    • We knew there was a problem with my heart when I was born, but the surgery and pacemaker implantation was totally out of the blue. That first pacemaker and all the subsequent ones allowed me to experience many bluebirds of happiness in the years to come.

      I will not attempt to parrot your bird puns — is that for the birds?

  13. Your father was a nice man. “For the birds” is way too tame for me in regard to some of the things the U. S. is dealing with today. But your blog post, is definitely for the birds today, the purple one is cute! Have a good Thanksgiving day.

  14. That is quite some anniversary Ann. You’ve come a long way my friend!

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  16. [Cue Twilight Zone music…]

  17. There are kitties for the birds!

  18. Great Post!

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