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Coyotes Three [Feb. 13th, 2016|07:20 pm]
This morning I meant to go to the monthly Second Saturday Audubon Society Bird Walk at the Heard Natural Science Center. I got behind, a tad, and was concerned I would arrive late. That concern, combined with a disinclination to bird-walk until Noon, led me to go to Limestone Quarry Park in Frisco to walk on my own.

Soon after I began walking this sidewalk path, I saw a young coyote nearby. Soon I saw two more. The other folks on their walks described to me coyotes they were seeing. I got really good lucks at some of these mostly-young coyotes, but good pictures eluded me. Later in the walk, though, I did come upon a coyote who seemed about as curious about me as I was about it for the moment or two we looked across the distance at one another.

I walked on the Taychas Trail from Limestone Quarry Park to Harold Bacchus Park and back again. In addition to coyotes, I saw sixty Cedar Waxwings (an aggregation termed "an earful" or "a museum", according to taste). I saw thirty American Pipits (these birds nest in the Summer in the far northern Canadian and Alaskan tundra, but winter here). I walked over two hours and had a good time.

This week I've been using the Google Fit android application to track my exercise. The two hour walk amounted to five miles and some 12,000+ steps. I've confirmed my prior beliefs--most days I hit roughly 3,000 to 5,000 steps, but on weekend days, I take substantially more steps. Today I finished out at 18,600 steps, after taking further walks to walk my dog in the new-found sunny afternoon, to look for birds in Bethany Lakes Park and in Green Park, and to go pick up some bananas at a discount store.

I also listened to various Linux podcasts. I enjoy listening to podcasts while I walk.
My wife is under the weather, so we stayed in tonight. We had already postponed our plans to visit a museum in Fort Worth today via train. I went to Boston Market where, through the miracle of a two-for-one sale, I could pick up two meals at a low cost.

In the afternoon, I mailed off a card to a distant virtual friend enduring some challenges. I was reasonably happy with the photo card I had designed at Walgreens.com. So I created a Valentine's Day photo card for my wife. Walgreen's had it printed out in under an hour. I drove to the Walgreen's store. I had one of those casually bizarre encounters in which the man apparently behind me insisted to the cashier that he was first in line and that he was in a hurry. I did not complain, but in the event, I and a third customer were dealt with first, as we were merely picking up and could be handed our products and pointed to the cash register. I found the whole thing odd but not a big deal. The card came out just right, so I will design personalized cards more often in the future.

Now I am in for the evening, and plan to read, listen to music, do practical things, and relax with my wife.
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hail chickadee [Feb. 13th, 2016|12:14 am]
I took a very late lunch today, practically a lupper, after a few work-related calls. I walked in Travis Farm Park, which is a small park in Murphy, Texas. I liked seeing the Carolina Chickadees sing in the sunshine.

Tonight we met our friends Scott and Donna for dinner at Aboca's in Plano, a great neighborhood Italian place. I had grilled salmon, a side of sphaghetti, marinara, vegetables and a salad. My food was grand--portions all Goldilocks, and not too gargantuan or too liliputian.

After dinner, we walked next door to Alamo Drafthouse, where we sat in the lovely back row of a small movie theater and watched "Hail, Caesar". We loved the film and all laughed at the same things. I suspect we are all of the same era. I love movies about Los Angeles before I lived there.
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2,500 steps [Feb. 11th, 2016|09:14 pm]
When I got home, I took Beatrice for a walk. The warm day lasted into dusk. The Google Fit app tells me that it takes roughly 2,500 steps to go around the little park pond from my home (and to return home).

I read on social media about a virtual-world casual acquaintance who got arrested. I looked up the charge on the internet. I will send that person a card. I cannot imagine spending extended time in jail.

An old friend reminded me of a university class we took together thirty six years ago.

We ate ravioli for dinner. I played a windows 3.1 dungeon game at archive.org. Now we watch the TV show "Elementary".
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warmer than what Moose prefer [Feb. 10th, 2016|08:51 pm]
The day ended feeling like May instead of February. I am using Google's Fit app to tell me how many steps I take in a day. I suppose this will advance Google's world domination agenda by letting Google market to me based upon my favorite parks and lunches.

I like that CiCi's Pizza features dill pickles on its buffet. I saw a Cooper's Hawk at dusk. We watched a documentary about Moose in Alberta. I want to go to McAllen again one day and see Green Jays. I liked that the Moose documentary had Yellow-Rumped Warblers in it, as they winter here.
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calmer [Feb. 9th, 2016|08:20 pm]
The wind felt less windy today. I walked briefly in Salmon Park at lunch. I slept and fairly intermittently last night due to a minor worry. Beatrice and I greeted the dawn with raisin bran. I thought about old work war stories, and the virtue of little roads that lead nowhere. Today was Pancake Tuesday, but I am shriven of them.
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kite weather [Feb. 8th, 2016|08:01 pm]
Today felt like kite weather. Warm enough, but very windy. I like to fly kites. I prefer the little plastic delta-wing kites that cost roughly a dollar. I used to live near a school when I lived in Mesquite, Texas twenty some-odd years ago. I liked that almost every day permitted kites to fly--even the seemingly windless Summer days. I have not flown a kite in over a year. I never flew the fancy ones--I like the simplicity of simple kites.

When I was a kid, periodicals like the Weekly Reader and primary books always featured box kites. I found them interesting but difficult to fly. I grew up flying the traditional diagonal kite. I remember flying a sheet kite when I was a kid. Sheet kites are easy to get up in almost any wind. But they lack the same burst of straining fun of a diagonal kite.

I watched more Puppy Bowl than Super Bowl last night. Then I read a few pages of the science fiction novel I am reading. I woke up at 4:45 a.m. and made and ate instant oatmeal. Then I fell asleep until 8 a.m.
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Redhead morning [Feb. 7th, 2016|07:54 pm]
Last night I read some old Livejournal entries. I found the one from May 2005 when I first went to Weight Watchers. That was 93 pounds ago. Later that year, I talked about planting new crape myrtle trees, after several other trees had not succeeded in our front yard. Those crape myrtles are a decade old now, and beginning to look
as hoped.u

Not too long ago, I found the first post I made after installing Fedora Linux on my $ 53 eBay laptop. That was three years ago. I use Linux as my primary home computer on both the desktop and the laptop. I use different distributions now--Peppermint OS (based on Ubuntu and Debian) and Q4OS (based on Debian). But I've never looked back. I still have issues. I cannot use the audio software Jack well yet, so I make music with Windows tools imported via the WINE software. But overall, it's been great to switch.

I ran into the post in which I got my last Windows laptop for work six years ago. I have gotten a lot of life out of that laptop, though I rarely use it now. I should fire it up,update it, and install Puppy Linux on a dual boot with Windows
Today before Weight Watchers I walked on the Chisholm Trail, a sidewalk set by a creek in Plano. I liked the Eastern Bluebird I saw. I had considered going to the 8 a.m. bird walk at Connemara. But I did not feel up to three hours' walking on a chilly morning.

At Weight Watchers, I learned that I exactly 0.0 pounds. I seem to have hit an equilibrium in which I am maintaining my weight. In my mind, I'd like to lose another ten or so, but my doctor (and also my wife) insist that I stand pat.

After Weight Watchers, I went to church at First UMC. The "Way" service in the chapel featured the first of a three-part ethics series of sermons by retired Perkins School of Theology professor Thomas McFaul. He discussed approaches to ethics analysis based on faith and love versus those based on moral rules. I found myself more deeply in sympathy with the former. I liked the hymns we sang a lot. During the question and answer session after the sermon, one fellow was insistent about a particular "traditionalist" view about abortion that I do not share. It struck me how the debates go on and on, and so many people seem so positive of their positions.

I went to Bethany Lakes Park after the service, where I was delighted to see a Redhead duck on the little park lake. Then I went to KFC,where I ate grilled chicken and read with disapproval of how John Calvin caused the execution of Servetus. I am glad some of the world now lives in more tolerant times.

I went home and slept. My wife was out shopping. I got up near three thirty and took Beatrice for walk. The warm afternoon sun felt great. I also drove to little Green Park where Yellow-Rumped Warblers flourished. I listened to the System.au Australian Linux podcast while I walked to Dayspring Nature Preserve and back.

Tonight we ate turkey sandwiches and squash soup. Now we are about to watch "Downton Abbey".
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demon kingfisher [Feb. 6th, 2016|09:53 pm]
I slept in until 8:45 a.m., after a bout or two of wakefulness in the night. My wife had left for a hair appointment. I called the Allen Veterinary Centre to see if they could trim Beatrice's nails. I drove there at 9:17 or so, where they complimented Beatrice upon her orange jacket and then capably and competently handled the needful.

After I safely re-deposited Beatrice at home, I did two loads of laundry and folded the clothes from the first load. I watched part of a movie about a man who turns into a demonic motorcycle rider and part of another movie about a teen who turns into a web-spinning arachnid-man.

I drove to the air pump outside the Tom Thumb grocery's gas pumps. My car had been telling me that my tires were low. I aired up all four tires. Then I drove to Towne Lake Park to walk around. In the woodland section next to the lake, things were a bit muddy but I got good views of White-Throated Sparrows and of a Yellow-Rumped Warbler. Then, at the lake I watched a Belted Kingfisher, an Eastern Phoebe, Eastern Bluebirds and American Goldfinches.

I had a very late lunch of a lettucewich from Whichwich. Then I made my way home. I took Beatrice for a walk in the park. She barked twice at a well-groomed standard poodle. The poodle's owner graciously had Beatrice and I walk past, as the poodle kept staring at my elderly junkyard dog. In the late afternoon, I spoke by phone for an hour with my sister in Alabama.

My wife and I went out for Taiwanese Chinese food. Now we are watching an English mystery on PBS. I drew a picture of the number 60 using inkscape to post a happy birthday message on my cousin Steve's facebook page. steve is a really nice man, who deserves dozens upon dozens of happy and healthy returns.

Tomorrow warm weather arrives again.
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Friday reveries [Feb. 5th, 2016|09:52 pm]
Tortilla soup and a singing House Finch. The movie "Emma" and declining to wait for a table at the International House of Pancakes. Fresh bananas and a chill January wind. Realizing that Miss Bates was Sophie Thompson and that Sophie Thompson is Emma Thompson's sister. Reading about Missoula, Montana, and daydreaming of vacationing there someday. Longing to read science fiction and walk on paths and perhapslooking forward a little to taking my dog to the vet for a bit of a nail polish.
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squash soup [Feb. 4th, 2016|10:09 pm]
A Red-Shouldered Hawk landed on a nearby tree. It flew off to a neighboring tree soon. I find myself waking up at dawn, and run searches on Twitter to find out what interesting things people tweet. Tonight my wife served a soup comprised of butternut squash, Granny Smith apples, a little olive oil and chicken stock. It tasted great--not as sweet as a similar soup with sweet potato, but a good, hearty taste.

I listened to the Music Manumit Podcast tonight. The interview featured a married couple who create work as Pipe Choir. They explained how a Creative Commons release model widely expanded listenership.

Tomorrow I need to rise a bit early. But tonight I hope to read a bit.
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