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pasta shells

I ate stuffed pasta shells at Napoli in Allen tonight. I ate grilled catfish for lunch.

I stayed up late putting together a remix of a ccMixter artist for a Secret Mixter on-line event on Sunday. I used two bits of software--Audacity and Noiser.  Noiser mangles sounds in interesting way, and it is a cut-and-paste process of sorts to sort out which sounds to paste into Audacity and which sounds to send to trash. The relative lack of control over melodic creation coupled with the adventure of tying divergent morphed sounds into one track are a mix of frustrating and liberating. I hope the result comes off to the listener as moody and cinematic rather than just odd.

Thursday the cold finally subsided. My brother sent me a good idea for a different kind of on-line auction.

I tried out FocusWriter, the software that hides all the distractions to encourage one to write. I knocked out 600 pages in a few minutes, so it worked at least once, just like magic beans.

Thursday I did 3 hours at the Salvation Army.

The news of the California wildfires is disturbing. So many people dead, so many still missing. It's heart-breaking.

I watched UK Prime Minister Theresa May speak in favor of her draft proposed Brexit plan before a Parliament whose right wing, centrist wing and left wing are all skeptical of her and her plan. It struck me that even as the end of her political career seems imminent she put herself into the fray earnestly. I do not share her politics and I do not think Brexit is a good idea. But the speeches were interesting. I do think that it's a dilemma when the majority votes to do something inadvisable. We here in the USA understand that situation quite well.

I want to get things done tomorrow, including exercise.

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chilly Wednesday

Wednesday proved cold, but not as cold as Tuesday. Tomorrow afternoon warm weather returns. We ate London Broil and multi-colored carrots.

We had a young woman from high school in our office shadowing my partner for a day.  I like that schools offer these opportunities.

Ten Double-Crested Cormorants flew overhead.

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the cold front

Here the time from October 1 to November 15 is usually near-perfect weather. This year perfection is wetter and colder than the usual perfection. October featured the record rains. This week the cold feels February.  A heavy wind accompanies freezing temperatures.

Monday night I researched how to market some things I need to market. Tuesday night I revised some documents for a project for which I 

Tonight I watched "NCIS", "This is Us" and "New Amsterdam".

Beatrice curled up in our bedroom, lying atop my ccMixter warm-up sweater.

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Poetics of the Small

I walked in Shawnee Park this morning before WW. I saw my first Sharp-Shinned Hawk of the year, bringing my Collin County count to 104. I was up a pound at WW. Reverend Jessica Wright gave the sermon at church on the importance of being thankful.

My wife and I drove down to the Meadows Museum at SMU in Dallas. We saw an exhibit of Dali works called "Poetics of the Small". The exhibit was very well done. After we visited the museum we stopped in Larry's Locker, a sporting goods store. My wife and I enjoyed speaking to the sales guy for atheletic shoes, an artist who works as a shoe salesman but who originally was from South Africa, We discussed the ways in which sounds could blend together.

In the evening, we watched a surprising game in which the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Philadepha Eagles. I made eggs for dinner. My wife used our new InstantPot to make Navy bean soup for later this week. I sorted all my dressed and casual shirts, weeding out those too large or otherwise ready to be retired.

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walking saturday

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seats changing and ordinary people

Tuesday evening I found myself watching the election results. I had felt that the election result would turn shift only 20 or so House seats to the Democratic Party, when 23 were required to change the party in power. I was pleased to see that enough seats changed hands to change the party in power of the House of Representatives.  State-wide, none of my candidates prevailed, though one, Beto O'Rourke, came close enough that things seem to be changing a bit here. Locally, Democrats swept into the Dallas Court of Appeals seats, a reflection of how "blue" that Dallas has  become and how the suburban counties like my suburban county have moved from very deep red to only deep red. I thought this morning how in each red and blue state, a huge wedge of people, from 35 percent to 45 percent, depending on the state, vote in most elections with little chance of voting for the winning party.

Last night I had insomnia. I rarely have that anymore. I am about to go to work a bit weary, but I will be all right. Yesterday I drove in to downtown Dallas for a work matter. Today I stay in my office in Garland. The weather is chilly and November.

I thought about a legal assistant who worked with me thirty+ years ago. When last I knew her, she was working at another  firm. Soon after, she left us, and when I was last knew her, she was expecting her first child.   I have not seen her since we had lunch together at the Fairmount Hotel all those years ago, just before she was expecting. That child would be 31 or so now. Time flies.

I have been lucky to still work with people I have known for years. My former law partner, now moving from semi-retired to retired, has been a friend since 1988.  We have known our office manager since 1986 or so. Most of my colleagues from law work have had long and useful careers. Some, though not many, have passed away. A very few have experienced personal setbacks and professional setbacks. But in the main, the lawyers and support staff just keep on being lawyers and support staff and parents and children and siblings and spouses and significant others.

One of those peppy contemporary Christian songs has a lyric that goes "we were made for so much more than ordinary lives". While I appreciate the sentiment and its call to transformation, delivered in a needlessly pop-western cinematic melodic style, I often think that most folks were made for ordinary lives,  I do not see that as a bad thing.

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brazos by car

Yesterday in the mid-afternoon I set out to drive towards Austin. I stopped in Waco. I walked on the Waco Riverside Trail next to the Brazos River. The river was much larger and powerful than usual. It was not a rapids, but like a large, slow juggernaut.

I saw ten species of bird along the trail. An Eastern Phoebe looked gold-tinged due to the setting sun. Forty Great Egrets roosted across the way. I was surprised at how many fellow walkers were on the trail.

I spent the night in a La Quinta in Round Rock. After we made our reservation, I saw some bad reviews on-line of the place. But it turned out to be quite acceptable. I had a dinner of egg whites and turkey bacon at the IHOP next door. 

This morning I got up and struggled through rush hour to my downtown Austin meeting. By mid-morning I was back on the road north. I ate Church's Fried Chicken for lunch. I stopped at Springfield Park in Rowlett to take a walk. Lots of water was on the sidewalk trails, but I circled around the dry areas over and over.

In the early evening, my wife had a meeting. I stopped for soft tacos on the way home. After she came home, we watched "Manifest". I watched a bit of the Cowboys game during the breaks. They lost a game they should have won.

I am very interested in the upcoming mid-term elections. I am unsure what will happen. I do not think that polls are very good at predicting results any more. My theory is that cellphones make it harder to sort out the answers. Land-lines were more poll-friendly.

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walking with Beatrice

Thursday the weather turned quite cool and blustery. November began. Although we rarely get much consistent Autumn color in north Texas, the rainy, chilly weather did bring some leaves into color at the same time, rather than the usual trickle of this tree and that tree for the usual warm Autumn. My law partner and I went to chicken soup at Gloria's.

Friday after work I walked in Shawnee Park. Bluebirds and Chipping Sparrows got on the top of small trees to enjoy the last moments of the setting sun.  I picked up El Pollo Loco for my wife and I to eat.

On this Saturday morning we had carpet cleaners scheduled. I took Beatrice to Oak Point Park to get her out from underfoot. At first, Beatrice worried that we were bound for her vet's office. She whimpered a bit. But then we got to the park, and her mood lightened.

Oak Point Park is a really pleasant nature preserve, with a little lake and some woodlands and some open fields. In the distance, we could hear a rock band from a community event that apparently was part of a fun run for a charity educating people about teens having heart conditions. I lost a nephew to a heart condition, so this interested me in hindsight, once I knew what it was.

Beatrice and I walked around the little lake first. She met a red-eyed bulldog who seemed eager to meet her. She said hello to one of those curious smallish dogs with some kind of frozen north connection. We walked on a new boardwalk trail. Ultimately, the coast clear at home, we walked back to the path around the pond. Beatrice expressed the view that the right way to go around the lake was counter-clockwise rather than clockwise. Her dozen or so words of English did not run to a detailed explanation of how going in either direction in a circle comes out the same way.

When I got home, the carpet looked great. I went and got grilled chicken at KFC. Then I drove to the place at which I got my oil changed a few weeks ago. My "need oil change soon" light had come on. As I suspected, the light  required the place to set something to make it go away.

I took two afternoon walks--one in Hoblitzelle Park and one in Suncreek Park.  I listened to a football game on the radio as I walked. I picked up my dry-cleaned shirts on the way home.

At home, I walked yet again in Glendover Park, bringing my steps near 10,000. My Google Fit app still seems to count my steps as roughly 80% the number of steps it used to count. I am not sure if it was more accurate before, more accurate now, or not accurate in either case.

We went to El Chepa for dinner, where I had the lettuce tacos. I like the idea--bring me lettuce, chicken, and salsa. They tasted great.

Part of me wishes I were writing for November, but less that I were writing a novel for Nanowrimo and more a wish that I were writing non-fiction.

I hear thunder as another storm moves in. Tomorrow will be a busy day.

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trick or rainy treat

Tuesday I walked in Salmon Park in Sachse. I saw Eastern Bluebirds and House Finches. Rain fell nearly all day and into the evening. We only got 6 trick-or-treaters for Halloween. But that was a good number, given the rainy days. I passed out rice krispies treats.
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first junco

Sunday I walked a few of my usual parks--Shawnee Park and Hoblitzelle Park in Plano, and Allen Station Park in Allen.   I saw a couple taking photos of butterflies at the Heritage Center. I gave them space, and later found a place to take butterfly photos in Allen Station Park. My weight was up at WW a bit. The leader, now termed a "coach", asked me to explain how much I lost in the program (right now, it's 99 pounds).

Monday morning I got some paperwork things done I meant to do during the weekend prior to going to work. At lunch i walked in Timbers Nature Preserve in Murphy. I saw my first Dark-Eyed Juncos of the Autumn. I stopped this evening to walk in High Point Park in Plano. I accidentally locked my keys in my car, but I got in after calling Onstar for help.

Tonight I watched Magnum P.I., and am now watching an episode of Star Trek; Deep Space Nine.

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