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gnatty day [Jun. 27th, 2016|10:26 pm]
I worked hard today, achieving results. For lunch I walked in Heritage Park in Sachse and ate a 6" Subway turkey sandwich and baked chips. After work, I walked in Bob Woodruff Park. I saw lots of Eastern Bluebirds, but my repellent failed to repel lots of gnats. I accepted that the gnats were why the bluebirds loved this area so much--rough with smooth and all that. For dinner we dined on cube steak and some rather exotic organic squash.
At night my wife and I walked our neighborhood in the dark. We saw a cute little toad. We couldn't take our dog Beatrice because she is on doctor-ordered low activity until Wednesday. I listened to part of the Linux Action Show, in which Fedora 24 was discussed, but mostly in the context of snap packages and other alternative one-thingamajig-does-all management systems. My theory is that folks who love Puppy and Slackware will benefit when installing, say, video software, does not require assembling from source code. A high school classmate surprised me by buying a download of my new album. I price it for easy free download, having a day job and all, but it was fun to see a sale anyway.
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Reflections on Self. [Jun. 26th, 2016|08:37 pm]
Today I went to church and Weight Watchers, walked 10,000 steps watching birds, and finalized and released a new album of electronic pieces called "Reflections on Self". I enjoyed figuring out how to format my pieces as I exported them from Audacity to help them live up to the format criteria of Bandcamp.

As always, the album is liberally licensed for easy re-use.
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Rough Green Snake and Cooper's Hawk [Jun. 26th, 2016|12:36 am]
I got up in time to begin a walk at 8:30 a.m. I decided to walk on the Watters Creek Trail, within walking distance of my home. I carried a camera, a pen and pad to count bird sightings, and binoculars.

I walked for three and one-half hours, taking in the Watters Branch Creek Trail and the newer Inter-Urban Loop Trail. I walked a goodish bit over eight miles. The highlights for me included spotting two Cooper's Hawks in the woods after hearing their plaintive, somewhat cranky squeak-talk, and sighting a Rough Green Snake, my favorite species of snake. I encouraged the Rough Green Snake to head off by starting to pick up the branch on which it stretched. I wanted to ensure that no clueless passing pedestrian harmed that snake.

After the walk, I showered and ate a chicken breast plate with green bean's at Dickey's BBQ. In the afternoon, I worked on creating new music. When my wife arrived home from a visit with friends in the early evening, we headed off to dinner. We tried Firewater, a new restaurant in our hometown. I ate a 6 oz. sirloin steak, roast potatoes and roasted vegetables. I liked the place very well.

At night, I continued to work on my music. I finished the ninth track of what I believe to be a nine or ten track album. I want to finish and post it prior to being interviewed on a podcast on Friday. I plan to self-release, to avoid the understandable delays when going through someone else's netlabel. Perhaps the snake provides a potential for an album cover. Time tells all, or not nearly enough.

My creative process runs in two different directions now. One tends toward simple melodies, as my work mostly feels right to me when it feels direct and emotive.
But this time I included pieces that feature more generative and obscure sounds.
I used to do such non-linear work as a first choice, and feel pleased to admix that in.

The main issues now involve figuring out if I wish to add a tenth song, and making sure the tagging and the format is right to upload. Tagging and format tend to cause more worry consumption than song creation for me.

The theme derives from a story that the ambient artist Mystified posted a week or three-ish ago. He read the liner notes of an album, which proclaimed the artist's genius. Then it turned out the song in question bore the name "Hyperbole" (perhaps intended to invoke "Hyperboreal"). I loved this story, and resolved to
make this album a series of tone poems about self-obsession and navel-gazing.
That fits my kind of music perfectly.
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friday dreaming [Jun. 24th, 2016|10:11 pm]
Today I achieved things at work. I lunched on a commodity termed a "pretzel dog". I read about the Wichita Mountains in Oklahoma. I hope to visit there someday. But tomorrow I will probably walk from my home to the Watters Trail. It's a tough call--this time of June is a great time to travel to a state park, but it's also great for a morning walk near home.

We dined tonight to the Village Burger in our hometown of Allen. I ate a turkey patty on a whole wheat bun. This weekend I hope to create music and read about turtle logic.
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on birds and brexit [Jun. 24th, 2016|10:09 am]
Last night I walked on the sidewalks in Plano known as the Chisholm Trail, where I watched American Robins and Blue Jays. A nice man stopped to talk to me, and told me about how he and his son saw a very small owl in their back yard. A woman at the Senior Center was hurling capable horseshoes which emitted a pleasing clang.

At home, we ate sandwiches. Then I followed Twitter about the United Kingdom vote to leave the European Union. Though I felt the vote might go either way, I had hoped that the "remain" side would win. I thought fleetingly that the only silver lining is a newly-low exchange rate for the pound for visitors to the United Kingdom. I thought it intriguing that a year after Scotland voted to stay in the United Kingdom, Scotland served as the solid stay vote in the European Union, which all those politicians who urged Scotland to stay now voted to leave the European Union. I see that David Cameron resigned. Though this fiasco is not Jeremy Corbyn's fault,
I wonder, a bit, how "old Labour" is going to secure a majority to retake power if it cannot deliver a majority to avoid isolationist steps like this.

I hope that the financial markets fallout is not as bad as it could be in some scenarios.
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early ending [Jun. 21st, 2016|09:38 pm]
My business meeting today concluded unexpectedly early at 4 p.m. I soon found myself driving from north Dallas northward on the Dallas North Tollway. The traffic proved parking-lot-like. Rather than drive across the city to my office, I elected to drive home. I took a business call during my drive.

Back in my neck of the woods, I stopped at Russell Creek Park in Plano and walked around the pond, minus my tie and suit coat. I passed Mallards, Barn Swallows and a Great Blue Heron. At home, my dog Beatrice greeted me. I missed lunch today, so I had some light string cheese mozzarella and a bowl of a curious off-brand cereal called Strawberry Awake!

We dined on french-dip and locally-grown squash and zucchini. I ate hummus sea salt chips and little mini-bars for dessert. Now we watch a PBS documentary on the difficult topic of end-of-life medical care. This resonates with us given our own families over the past several years.
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shrike out [Jun. 20th, 2016|11:04 pm]
At lunch I walked in Heritage Park in Sachse. I met this ferocious creature:

Loggerhead Shrikes display an aggressive love of impaling prey and the like, but I find them cute.

At day's end, my wife called to let me know she was going to search for new casual cereal bowls. So I headed to the local place called El Grande Burrito. I had never eaten in this small, clean casual place, but my chicken enchiladas verde lived up to the place's good reputation.

Tonight I arranged reservations and watched TV procedurals.

Wales won a soccer game. I dislike romance reality shows and shows that glorify organized crime.
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A chef called Dave [Jun. 20th, 2016|08:27 am]
Sunday morning I walked on the Bluebonnet Trail, which runs under a powerline and features wildflowers and a small creek. I found I lost weight when I weighed in at Weight Watchers. I went to First UMC for church, where the departing youth minister gave a very effective Father's Day sermon about a childless scoutmaster who mentored him. His mentor worked as a chef in his daily life, and he learned to budget food purchases and to cook from his scoutmaster. He recalled the day his scoutmaster and his wife had to leave, because the perfect career opportunity came up in Portland. He was amused that he knew his scoutmaster by first name, but does not know his surname.

After lunch I ate two soft beef tacos at Taco Casa. Then I walked in Bethany Lakes Park, where I watched an immature American Robin and a sunning Red-Eared Slider Turtle. Then I walked in Allen Station Park, where I saw two Eastern Phoebes and a Western Kingbird. My wife and I spent the afternoon successfully analyzing some family business.Afterward, we went over Summer vacation locations, using the road atlas I keep in my car. Our goal is to take a five-day weekend involving:
a. travel to the northwest;
b. cooler weather in August than here;
c. trees;
d. access to places to eat and stay;
e. great hiking and reasonable access to wildlife; and
f. somewhere we can get on a non-stop or easy one-stop flight.

We narrowed our choices down to the area near Banff National Park (and more particularly, the Kananaskis area and Canmore); Glacier National Park in Montana, and Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming. I also set in mind for a future trip purposes Sioux City and the Loess Hills of Iowa (and the Wabash cycling trail) and the Turtle Mountains of North Dakota.

In the late afternoon I walked from Green Park to the nearby DaySpring Nature Preserve, where I watched American Robins and Blue Jays. Then I dined on chicken with broccoli and fresh pineapple chunks. We watched the PBS showing of "Endeavor" on Mystery!, and got a good night's sleep. This morning I walked Beatrice in the cool of the day. The neighborhood park is much quieter when the elementary school next door is not in session.
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shrimp and thistle [Jun. 19th, 2016|12:14 am]
In the early evening, we learned that our favorite sushi restaurant, Wasabi, closed.
We dined instead at Rockfish Grill. Last weekend our second-favorite sushi place, Umeko, had closed. We had been going to each for over a decade. Restaurants are often impermanent things, though they seem permanent when they are frequently visited.

Tonight we watched "Persuasion", the 1995 film. I think I had seen it before, but we particularly liked it. We also watched a "Doc Martin" episode.

I had planned to go to the bird walk at Lake Ray Roberts State Park, but it was called off due to flooding. I drove instead to Bonham State Park. I walked there, and saw fewer birds than I hoped to see. I attribute this to not getting started until 10.50 a.m. I watched a show on HGTV in which teams bought old furniture at flea markets and then fixed it up and resold it at a different flea market. Also, I found I had forgotten to retrieve an SD card from my computer. I found a 32 GB SD card for nearly nothing--the prices on storage dropped due to the so-called "cloud storage".

I did see some lovely wildflowers--thistle, trumpetflower and Engelmann's Daisy. I did ultimately get some nice Northern Mockingbird snaps at Green Park.

At lunch I ate shrimp at Long John Silver's. I was amused when I noticed that the attendant had given me the senior discount, though I had not asked for it. I felt a bit like a fossil, but a fossil who gets a bargain.
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triumphant jays [Jun. 17th, 2016|10:47 pm]
I woke this morning in time to give Beatrice a walk before work. The weather is hot and muggy now. Though it was 8 a.m. when we departed, it was already a bit too hot for her. But she handled it like a champ, startling a rabbit or two along the way.

At lunch I walked in Timber Narrows Park in Murphy. I saw three Blue Jays triumphantly back-slap each other after they chased away two American Kestrels. After work, I walked on the Chisholm Trail, and then got Beatrice's dog food at Petsmart.

We dined at the new Japanese place in Allen, where I had very good hibachi shrimp.
Now we are watching episodes of Endeavor. Despite the heat,the bird walk I intended to attend at Lake Ray Roberts State Park was called off--due to flooding.
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