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Prairie birds [Apr. 30th, 2016|09:26 pm]
I set out early this morning, as soon as I had eaten my bowl of multi-grain Cheerios. I took my car to Car Care Central, where the folks promptly changed my oil. The guy behind the desk was polite when he pointed out that I had waited a bit longer than the optimal time to get the oil change done.

I stopped by a Fry's electronics in Plano but bought nothing. Then I headed south. I arrived at Trinity River Audubon Center at 10 a.m. The morning proved overcast and a bit cool. I began to walk the trails. In the nearly two hours I spent there,
I saw some first-of-season birds--the fantastically colorful Painted Bunting, the
deeply blue Indigo Bunting and the singing prince of the prairie, the Dickcissel.

Gone are the Winter sparrows and Dark-Eyed Juncos, the Winter ducks and the Yellow-Rumped Warblers. Here are the Western Kingbirds and Painted and Indigo Buntings and Dickcissel and Scissor-Tailed Flycatchers.

I then drove my nephew's store, and had a nice visit with he and my brother. I took a nice photo of the two of them. I left them to it, and went to get lunch at Denny's. I ate two helpings of egg whites, a grilled ham slice, a bowl of fruit and two slices of turkey bacon.

I headed home and took Beatrice for a walk. She found the rabbits fascinating. In the evening, my wife and I headed to Thai Pan. I had shrimp with broccoli in oyster sauce, while she had tofu with mixed vegetables. We shared Summer rolls with peanut sauce.

Now we are watching the Ken Burns national park documentary. Then we will watch a Ray Milland movie about ghosts.
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catbird not blackbird [Apr. 29th, 2016|10:53 pm]
The rain fell in the afternoon, but abated in the early evening. I walked in Timber Narrows Park in Murphy. I saw an American Kestrel with a small mouse in its talons.
I also saw a Gray Catbird, which I mistook for a Brewer's Blackbird until someone on the Facebook "What's this Bird?" page set me straight. I have only seen one once before, in Arkansas.

We dined at Zoe's Kitchen, where I had a turkey pita sandwich and fruit. Tomorrow I must get an oil change.
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On worried aging stunning actresses and obscure lists [Apr. 29th, 2016|06:09 am]
The storm at 2:00 a.m. featured lots of nearby lightning followed by barrel rolls of thunder. I read an article in which the lovely actress Amanda Peet, a bit over a decade younger than I am, lamented the cultural imperative for actresses to look young and pretty, and its pressures upon her. Another article discussed the Nurse with Wound list of experimental musicians. I felt intrigued that I knew of the artists but not their list. Today April begins to end in showers. We'll see if May flowers result. I followed the NFL draft though the sport is a guilty pleasure. I made a purchase on eBay using the Best Offer function. My dog replied to a small dog who barked at her. .
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fourshrike [Apr. 27th, 2016|08:59 pm]
The storm brought rain but no grief to our area. When I woke to my Kix cereal, the weather was placid.

At lunch I walked at Heritage Park. The two Loggerhead Shrikes were joined by two other Loggerhead Shrikes. I believe that the park is large enough for four, but the shrikes begged to differ. They made demonstrative movements towards each other, though they did refrain from violence. That is a good thing, as Loggerhead Shrikes look like harmless little gray songbirds, but they are fierce. Their beaks, like scythes, take on not only insects but also small birds. But internecine warfare was thankfully a bit more like counting coup than open warfare.

After my walk, I stopped at the Sonic near my work. Most Sonics are drive-ins, but this one is an indoor shopping center place. I had the New York Hot Dog, with the sauerkraut but without the mustard or onions.

Work was productive. After work, I walked on the Chisholm Trail in Plano. I crossed the 9,000 mark in steps. I have been surprised that I only average 9,000 or less steps a day. I would have guessed that my heavy weekend walking would mix with low weekday walking to hit 10,000 a day on average. But instead during colder weather I average 7,000 steps a day and on warm weeks I average 9,000. My wife, meanwhile, is hitting 15,000 steps a day.

At home, we watched the documentary about owls, ate turkey chili, watched "Modern Family" and watched "Blackish". Next up: "Nashville" and then "The Americans".
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with corn muffins [Apr. 26th, 2016|09:47 pm]
After work, I walked in Bob Woodruff Park. I saw my first Black-and-White Warbler of the Spring. We dined on turkey chili. A storm is moving in. We'll see if the hail falls.
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hi, Dad [Apr. 25th, 2016|09:51 pm]
Last night in my dream my father was alive. My dreaming self knew it was a dream, despite the complete reality of the felt experience. My dreaming self knew my father is dead. I enjoyed the savored feeling of being around my living father, while knowing, in my dream, that it was not real. I had another thread in which I was at a height on a rock ledge. I woke, and realized that it has been years since I have been on a rock ledge,though in my dream it felt like a familiar occurrence.

I went to the Monday evening Weight Watchers meeting at 5:30 p.m. My weight has fallen to the weight I was at in law school. With a few more pounds off, I could reach my college levels. Due to the difference in abdominal muscle tone, though, I do not look as trim as I did in law school.

This evening I walked in Green Park and got photos of a Northern Mockingbird.
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KC ward talk [Apr. 24th, 2016|10:10 pm]
Saturday morning we drove to Dallas Love Field. We flew the 90 minutes to Kansas City. We spent the morning at KU Hospital. My wife's father has been getting treatment there. We were glad to see he is improving. We spent most of the morning and early afternoon there. We dined with my wife's step-mother at the hospital cafeteria. I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a banana.

In the late afternoon my wife and I visited a park named for her Uncle Elmer. Later, I walked down Belinder Drive in Mission Hills. I saw 31 American Robins. I stopped at a grocery in Prairie Village called Hen House and ate bananas and drank flavored Ice water while House Sparrows foraged nearby. At night we dined on turkey chili supplied by my wife's stepmother's sister.

This morning we got another good visit in at the hospital. For the second day in a row, I found myself impressed with the lead doctor. We dined with my wife's sisters, our niece, and my wife's stepmother at the hospital cafeteria. I enjoyed my chicken noodle soup with fresh fruit.

We flew home this afternoon. On this flight as well as the last I drew up code in the FMSLogo programming language to make geometric drawings. At home, I walked Beatrice. We dined on turkey pastrami sandwiches.
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king bird [Apr. 22nd, 2016|10:00 pm]
I got to my office a few moments before my morning conference call. So I walked in the shopping center right next to our office building. I saw my first Western Kingbird of the season, sitting in a tree, singing pugnaciously. Yesterday I saw my first Eastern Kingbird.

I walked at Bethany Lakes Park after work, where I accidentally deleted a few hundred photos on my digital camera. Fortunately, I had already saved almost all the ones that mattered, save but a few.

We dined at Whichwich and watched television about Prince.
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spectrum [Apr. 21st, 2016|11:08 pm]
Today I got good things done, felt embarrassed about an email, found a useful citation, learned the sad fact of the passing of Prince, talked to folks at the volunteer attorney program and took blurry pictures of titmice.

Prince's death hit home in part because he was but a year older than I am.
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bark thunder! [Apr. 20th, 2016|09:21 pm]
The storm got intense at 2:30 a.m. Beatrice ran, barking, into the back yard. She suffers fools gladly, but has no patience for thunder. She wastes no rage on the dying of the light, but she has nothing but stirring words for lightning.

The mid-week came on busy, and the rest of the slide into the weekend shows no sign of abating. After work, I picked up turkey for us from Boston Market. I walked Beatrice. By Glendover Pond an unfamiliar sandpiper was at the water's edge.It might have been a Spotted Sandpiper, but I was not sure. Tonight I watched part of a Nature episode about beavers.
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