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a to b to c [Sep. 29th, 2016|10:14 pm]
I thought this morning that one thing I like about my work is that projects have discernible beginnings and wander forward in mostly direct pathways to conclusions. Sometimes, as this morning, I get an email at 6 a.m. that changes my 9 a.m. plans altogether. But things move forward to allocate among wins, losses, and settlements.

After my business at the McKinney courthouse ended, I headed to my office. Part of my day freed up, so I utilized it wisely. The weather stayed around 25 degrees C., which is very pleasant indeed. After work, I came home and walked Beatrice. She enjoyed that very much. I spoke with my wife a time or two by phone.

My meals today were:
a. Trix cereal and skim milk for breakfast
b. Potbelly TKY sandwich and baked chips for lunch
c. Taco Bell soft chicken tacos for dinner--a substitution choice after a nearby Subway sandwich more or less ignored me when I went in to order.

Now I am doing some laundry, and thinking about things I should accomplish in the coming weekend.
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lava galapagos [Sep. 28th, 2016|08:37 am]
Tuesday the rain ended but the temperature stayed pleasant. Our office seems cold lately--it's odd to have the urge to start wearing a fleece at work. I ate maple brown sugar instant oatmeal for breakfast, two slices of buffet pepperoni pizza for lunch with pickles, raw broccoli, carrots and cubed fresh pineapple on the side, and two pieces of El Pollo Loco chicken for dinner with two sides of steamed broccoli

I went last night to the Heard Natural Science Center for the Audubon Society meeting. The speaker talked about doing science in the Galapagos. His tip to Galapagos endemics--all the species are what they look like, with "Galapagos" or "Lava" at the beginning. His talk dealt with research into polyandry among Galapagos Hawks. I like that people do research, but I get weirded out by photos of people catching birds in traps.

This morning I read a science fiction novel on my desktop ereader and ate apple and cinnamon instant oatmeal. My wife headed out of town with a mission on a brief trip. I gave Beatrice her latest round of ear drops in addition to her usual meds.
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cool 'n' rainy [Sep. 26th, 2016|09:48 pm]
Rainy, cooler weather made Monday interesting. Our office felt a bit cool. I made two packets of instant low-sugar oatmeal for breakfast. At lunch, I walked in Timber Narrows Park, where I watched two American Kestrels. I ate three soft chicken tacos at Taco Bueno. After work, I drove through Oak Point Park and looked at a male American Kestrel. Then I walked in Suncreek Park in Allen, where I took pictures of a male Cooper's Hawk and watched Eastern Phoebes.

We dined on oven-baked chicken and sweet corn.

We watched the Trump/Clinton debate tonight. I hope that more Clinton voters turn out on election day.
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there and back again and around here again [Sep. 25th, 2016|08:25 pm]
My work day Friday proved full of activity. Friday evening I worked on family paperwork. My meals on Friday included multi-grain Cheerios and skim milk, Church's fried chicken and fries for lunch, and Dickey's grilled chicken breast and two helpings of green beans with a roll for dinner.

Saturday my brother picked me up at 6:30 a.m. We drove to our old hometown in Camden, Arkansas. We had a nice visit during the ~4 hour drive northeast. When we arrived, we met up with my sister and her husband and with our late father's widow.

I was pleased to get to sit down with everyone. At 11:15, we headed to the local Memorial Park. We gathered there to lay my father's ashes to rest in the place by his and my mother's headstone. My sister's husband said a short prayer. It was, at last, fitting and done.

We all had a Chinese buffet at the local place. For my meal, I chose hot and sour soup, chicken with broccoli and fresh grapes and pineapple. We all talked about things. My father's widow re-located to Hot Springs. She described a new-found skill at serious bridge. I was pleased to see that her health seemed improved, after an earlier interval of poor health.

We all headed back to our family home, which is now owned by my sister. I discussed some family formalities with my sister, and got some help from my brother and my sister's husband in putting some things in my brother's car. Then my brother and I hit the road back to Texas. On the way back, we stopped in Mount Pleasant for soft drinks. A man who admired my brother's ATS Cadillac stopped to ask me questions about its engine specifications. I was not the right person to ask on this topic, but soon my brother was discussing the nuances with him. My brother waved at the pleasant fellow as that other man drove off in his own Cadillac.

I like that Cadillacs, like Corvettes and Ford Mustangs, develop their own enthusiast groups. My own car is a kind of sports utility vehicle called a Chevrolet Equinox, and generates no similar camaraderie from fellow drivers. But I can put my bicycle in the back.

We arrived back at my home near 5:30 p.m. My wife was not hungry for dinner, so I made myself roast beef sandwiches on wheat hoagies, baked chips, and little mini-bars from Weight Watchers. I watched the first half of a televised football match between my alma mater the University of Arkansas and the opposing Texas A & M Aggies. The score was tied at half, but I fell asleep. When I awoke the next morning, I learned that things had gone downhill. Sleep is often a far better pursuit than watching football on television.

Sunday morning the rain fell, delightfully changing the heat into slightly warmer-than-Autumn weather. I rose early and eat sugar-free instant oatmeal. I fell back asleep but made it up on time for my morning meetings. Beatrice was a bit under the weather from the rain and from a difficulty she had had in the wee hours that caused her a bit of pain.

I walked for a bit on the Chisholm Trail. Then I went to Weight Watchers, where I was down by eight-tenths of a pound. I stopped by Shawnee Park in Plano, where I saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk and several American Robins. But soon the heavy rain sent me on my way to church.

I went to First UMC, where I enjoyed service in the chapel called The Way. Today's sermon pointed out the problems with the prosperity gospel idea.

After lunch, I went to Taco Casa for two soft beef tacos. Then I headed home. When the rain let up, I walked in Glendover Park, and then walked to Green Park.
I liked to watch the Spice-bush Swallowtail butterfly. I crossed 10,000 steps.

I looked this afternoon into installing a Nook application on my Linux laptop. I discovered that Nook on the web is no longer downloadable, while Nook for the PC appears to be geared only to Windows 8 and 10, and available only through the software "store". My plan to use WINE to get the application to work in Linux went by the wayside. This was a good example of use of a software center as a "walled garden" to try to control users.

I spent time instead finding more ebooks without digital rights management. I found some good resources, both ones new to me and ones familiar to me. I downloaded a few books for future reference.

I use the software Calibre for ebook reading on my computer. I had never before used it to convert an HTML book into ePub format. I was pleased with the job it did when I converted a Victorian novella from HTML to ePub.

I am enjoying the ebook I got to read from Nook--Daniel Jose Older's "Midnight Taxi Tango".

Tonight I dined on roast beef sandwiches and baked ruffles chips.I am watching the local sports team the Dallas Cowboys play professional football against a team called the Bears from Chicago. I am enjoying a restful evening before a busy week ahead.
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Back again and bob [Sep. 22nd, 2016|10:24 pm]
Wednesday morning I ate a plain bagel in a downtown Los Angeles coffee shop. My business occupied much of the day. I walked a bit after my meeting. I ate egg whites, wheat toast, fruit and turkey bacon for lunch. I walked for a bit in Chace Park and in an little nature trail called the Oxford Basin Loop, where I saw a Snowy Egret and a Great Blue Heron.

On the late flight home, I sat in front of a toddler with active e.seat-kicking feet and a gift for crying. I felt a bit for his parents, who worried about it.The flight attendant offered me a chance to switch to other window seats, but I elected to stay put. I originally intended to watch TV on Southwest's internet service on the flight. Then I realized that the service did not include the ABC programs I favor on Wednesday night. So I created graphic images using the Logo programming language. I was not as good at visualizing the formulae as I want to be. My evening meal consisted of a ThinkThin bar and a crunchy granola bar.

During this trip, I finished the fantasy novel "Only the Stones Survive" by Morgan Llewellyn. This novel, an origin myth about Ireland, posed that familiar problem--a well-written novel that did not grip me until I was half-way done. It took me forever to finish this one, but I liked it nonetheless. In general, I am less fond of sword and sorcery and in particular less fond of sword and sorcery set in Ireland or Irish-like alternative woclds. On the other hand, science fiction, even overwrought space opera, holds my interest. In general, the fictional future, like the real present, should have more justice, more compassion, and less violence.

Today I was tired, having not arrived at my house until 11:30 pm. the night before. I had multi-grain Cheerios and skim milk for breakfast. cat lunched on a TKY and chips. After work, I walked on the Chisholm Trail. I got a good luck at a Bobcat a ways off. I got a fleeting glimpse of another, a half-grown Bobcat kit.
I watched television that was good but too violent, and thought about tomorrow.
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sea lions slumbering [Sep. 21st, 2016|08:17 am]
I woke up to multi-grain Cheerios and skim milk. At work, I worked in my office until 1:30, after which time I went to catch a 3:20 p.m. flight. For lunch I walked in Heritage Park in Sachse, where the resident Loggerhead Shrike was on view.

After I landed in Los Angeles at 4:30, I went to Burton Chace Park in Marina del Rey.
Excited kindergarten age kids ran up to mention that sea lions were resting on a boat slip. I also liked seeing the Black Phoebe who flitted around the boats, though in general I did not see many birds.

I dinnered at El Pollo Loco, where my three pieces of chicken were accompanied by steamed broccoli. Then I went to my hotel room by LAX, where I spoke to my wife at length by telephone. Now I am up early and heading into action for a quick but important day trip.
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updating and the good life [Sep. 20th, 2016|07:30 am]
On Monday I ate multi-grain Cheerios with skim milk. I ate three soft chicken tacos for lunch. For dinner, we had minute steaks, cauliflower and quinoa.

I watched Kristen Bell's new show "The Good Place" on Monday night. I liked it pretty well, but it must go in some new directions to make its afterlife theme stay workable.

I remembered to charge my small travel laptop, and now I am installing updates. Since I went to Q4OS and its Debian Stable base, updates involve a little less suspense. I like package managers that do not crash when only 1 out of 138 updates awaits something to be added to the repository. I prefer them to install the other 137 updates. On my system, the Synaptic package manager went without a hitch, though the simpler Package Updater advised that one package was not yet ready for the update.

The weather is more late-August-heat than mid-September balm.

My dog is barking outdoors, which means I will soon have to call her in. Last night I heard her whimper a bit when a rabbit got away. I am glad the rabbit got away. I got her to come in. I just gave her her daily medicine, along with a dog biscuit termed a "meaty treat" from Three Dog Bakery.

The next two weeks at work should prove busy indeed. I'm thankful for restful evenings.
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good cardinal views [Sep. 18th, 2016|08:41 pm]
A high-wind rainstorm arrived in the early morning, waking us. Beatrice braved the elements in our backyard, expressing herself as being unintimidated by the storm in forceful canine terms. Soon we dried her with a towel and turned back in.

I got up well before 9 and got a shower. Then I drove south. I stopped at HighPoint Park in Plano to walk around. I saw a male American Kestrel sitting atop a metal sign.

I went to Weight Watchers. The nice receptionist Linda, who sometimes leads meetings, asked me if I was expecting to gain some two tenths of a pound that week. I explained that this kind of small gain or loss is not something I think about.

I stopped by Shawnee Park in Plano on my way to church. As I was looking at some White-Winged Doves, I noticed that the same tree had a handsome male Northern Cardinal. I took several pictures of this fine fellow.

I went to church at First UMC of Allen. I did not follow my usual practice of going to the "The Way" service, but instead went to the main sanctuary "pop song" service.This turned out to be a great decision, as the sermon on grandparents by associate pastor Maxie Moore made some great points about the virtues of involving senior folks in the community. Reverend Moore went to seminary later in life after one career as a junior high coach. I liked her pragmatic approach to her subject matter.

After the service, I went to Market Street for a fine lunch of baked chicken, collard greens, baked cabbage, and a dinner roll. I listened to the local football team play sports on my car radio, and then I went home and watched the contest on television, sitting in my La Z Boy reclining chair. I was a kind of Texas everyman. When it ended a bit after 3, I drove to Allen Station Park. I walked for 75 minutes, listing out the 11 species of birds I saw and taking ordinary of a few.

I stopped by Kroger for bananas, skim milk string cheese and Powerade Zero. The six packs had all been sold out--sports watching apparently requires ample quantities of sports drinks. I got some individual bottles in a larger economy size.

After my wife returned home from getting a pedicure, we sat on our back patio. The heat from the bricks on our home radiated a bit of heat. After a bit, we ate hot dogs--I had one bratwurst dog and one Hebrew National frank dog. Now we are watching part of the Emmys.
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frisat [Sep. 17th, 2016|09:01 pm]
Friday I ate my Kix cereal, For the first time in a few days, I could go to work in business casual rather than in a suit. I carried a suit in my car just in case. I lunched on Church's fried chicken, fries and 1/4 of the provided biscuit. After work, I walked in Crowley Park in Richardson. My wife had dinner out with the two charming young women who used to alternate when we needed someone to stay with Beatrice when we traveled. I went to El Pollo Loco for dinner, but it was too crowded. So I went to a Taco Bell, where my Weight Watchers app told me I could afford to have two soft chicken tacos and a beef supreme burrito.

When I arrived home, my wife and our two friends and I talked about this and that and things other than cabbages and kings.

I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and looked outside to see if I could see the end of the harvest moon eclipse. But all I saw a a full moon, which was not orange.

At 6:40, I drove the hour to Lake Ray Roberts State Park's Johnson Branch. I went on the Flying Feathered Friends bird walk with Ranger Danielle, and a fellow and his charming 7-year-old child. The walk lasted 90 minutes. It was great fun. we saw Ospreys migrating through, a Yellow Warbler, and the Inca Dove, who is usually a more western bird.

When I got back home, my wife and I headed to Elke's in Allen, where I had a cup of chicken tortilla Hatch chili soup, a turkey sandwich and a fruit cup (said cup being dominated by watermelon).

I drove down to my nephew's store in Plano, where my brother and I had a nice chat. I gave him the gift bagged scarf we had gotten for my sister-in-law's birthday during our trip to Tulsa. I gave my brother a Hot Wheels car--a Cadillac.

I walked in Bob Woodruff Park and then in Brockdale Park. My wife and I dined at the Mexican Restaurant San Miguel. I had two cheese enchiladas, salad and bean soup.

My wife fell asleep before we could watch our rented movie. I am watching sports and about to head to sleep myself.
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diligently on the job [Sep. 15th, 2016|11:16 pm]
I ate non-fat milk and Kix Cereal today. I had a busy day today with readying for and then attending to work-related matters in McKinney, a town north of my home. I enjoyed the Collin County courthouse cafeteria. I left after 5 p.m. to go to Garland to give free legal advice at the Salvation Army. I picked up a Subway turkey sandwich on whole wheat and baked chips for dinner. There were not many volunteers, so I was on the job until 9:30 p.m.I got home at 10 p.m. Tomorrow will be another busy day.
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