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Diva, the sun and the things going on

Today the weather proved as hot as predicted. I read nothing to advise me whether we reached a high. I put into effect my plan to get all my exercise in the morning. I walked Beatrice first thing this morning. We saw Beatrice's friend Diva and her owner. Beatrice's one canine friend said hello to Beatrice, who said hello back, if the quick touching of noses amounts to "hello". 

A man fished at the pond. At his feet were a hound puppy and a boxer mix puppy on leashes. Somehow they figured out a way to break free of the hold upon their leashes. They ran to inspect Beatrice. I worried that a particular Beatrice trait I refer to as "junkyard dog" might result. The "junkyard dog" term refers to a cinematic snarling which Beatrice exhibits in times of unwanted canine opposition.

But Beatrice showed mostly a kind of tolerant uncertainty. The fisherman came and apologized and retrieved his puppies. The puppies, on the other hand, enjoyed themselves thoroughly.

I saw 11 bird species on that walk, including a Blue Jay whose photograph I added to my collection. Beatrice and I took 1 hour and 5 minutes on that walk. Beatrice used to spend 25 to 30 minutes on that walk.

After I deposited Beatrice at home,  I went for a mid-morning walk on the Watters Branch Trail, This time I saw 12 bird species on the walk. The weather remained pleasant until near the end of that walk.  I got a shower, and ate a grilled chicken sandwich and chili from Wendy's. I worked a bit this afternoon on an interesting work  matter. I worked on vacation planning and made real progress.  We dined at El Pollo Loco this evening, after experiencing the extreme heat on our way in and out of the car. I made plans for some business travel tomorrow.

I spoke with my sister for nearly an hour. I was glad to get caught up.  Tomorrow will be a busy day.
I watched a bit of the Adam West/Burt Ward version of "Batman", which is one of my favorite super-hero films.

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repeat heat

This week we had two straight days of record high temperatures. It was hotter than a usual hot July day, but not so bad. I walked in the early morning in Glendover Park, at lunch at Breckinridge Park and after work at Hoblitzelle Park. Tomorrow I will try to get my walks in before noon while the heat is low enough to stand. The record high predicted for tomorrow is even higher--from today's 105 F. to tomorrow's 105 to 110 F.
That is a bit warmer than the usual late July day.

We went to Holy Frijoles tonight. I had carne asada and camerones and a brisket taco. We watched the Great British Baking Show and a rerun of Bluebloods. I worked hard and well at work today.

Last night I had a good experience at free legal clinic, because a repeat client told me of a good outcome of some advice i had given.  The main difference, I think, between clients without much money and clients with money to pay for lawyers is that clients without much money have less money.

Beatrice's second favorite toy is a giant stuffed carrot.

I was so sorry to hear of the loss of 17 lives in a duck boat accident on Table Rock Lake in Missouri. I remember a treat of my childhood was to ride duck boats in Hot Springs, Arkansas. But ducks and bad weather do not mix.  I am sorry to hear of such a horrible event.

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dog days

The weather on a mid-July day here ordinary falls on the hot side of the spectrum. Today the forecast predicts a record high temperature. I find it a bit warmer than usual, but not too annoying.

I walked after work in Glendover Park.  Kerr Elementary School next door features a huge ventilation pipe or microwave tower that ascends to a great height. Atop that tower a Red-Tailed Hawk surveyed the landscape.

I re-watched part of Golden State. I read ten pages in my current novel. The bird feeder outside yesterday drew a Carolina Chickadee, a Common Grackle, some House Finches and a Blue Jay.

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10 species

Sunday morning I walked, I went to Weight Watchers, I walked, I went to church, and then I went to lunch.

In the early afternoon, I walked in Glendover Park. I saw 15 different species of bird life in the park. I play a passive game when I walk. I set a goal of seeing 10 different species each walk. The number 10 lacks any specific basis.  10 is not a huge number for a birding walk. On a given day, fewer than 10 bird species sometimes appear. But I like the game quality of aspiring to see 10 species each time I walk.

I spent hours Sunday afternoon trying to set up the perfect vacation. I used parameters my wife and I set up.  I found lots of great options. I failed to find the perfect option. I left the task unsolved. I rode my car to Green Park and walked some more.

Sunday evening we watched PBS mysteries and a spot of Harry Potter movies.

Monday the heat came up as the first day of what looks to be a ten-day heat wave. I walked in Glendover Park after work. I saw 11 species. The Mallards and the American Coot remain absent.  I think this goes with the dead of Summer, though the coot in the past stayed at the pond.  Monday evening we ate home-made sugar cookies.

Tuesday I walked at Travis Farm Park at lunch.  I saw 5 species. The new residential construction at the neighboring field proceds apace. I find myself missing that open field of grass. I ate soft chicken tacos for lunch.

This evening I walked in Glendover Park. I saw 10 species.  We ate salmon and couscous.

I looked at my Glendover Park bird list on ebird.com. I saw that I am up to 54 species at this little park this year, of some 97 species I counted in the entire county.  This week I added the Eurasian Collard Dove to reach 54.  I anticipate perhaps reaching 60 species. In any given month, I see more than 20 and less than 30 species. But the seasons change and so do the species. Summer, the slowest time, still has species I see most in Summertime.

The news fills volume with the follies of President Trump, a man who conjures images of Millard Fillmore, the Know-Nothing Party and bad reality television.

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work day and a crowd

I worked most of today at my office. I did have a nice lunch at Panda Express and get a walk in at Timbers Nature Preserve in Murphy. I also stopped in the Office Depot to look at a new office chair. I found one on sale, but we'll see if we go that way.

This evening I walked at the Trail at the Woods in Allen and in the Connemara Meadow.

Tonight we went to Thai Pan down the street for dinner. A huge party of 30 or so was having dinner, resulting in too much noise. But my chicken with oyster sauce was great.

Last night we went to Rockfish Grill. I had 12 shrimp, a corn-on-the-cob and a single new potato. It was a good meal, served plain.

Beatrice was energetic both this morning and this evening about playing toy-toss. She is a toy-tossing kind of dog.

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pizza and Renault

I love a Summer rain. Large drops fell on Garland this afternoon.  A co-worker showed me a satellite image depicting rain just missing her town. By evening's end, I'm pretty sure her town had rain.

I walked in the sprinkling weather this evening. We are watching "Shetland" on PBS. 

We had home-made pizza tonight. It was great--Canadian bacon and light bits of cheese on dough.

The Mallard ducks and the American Coot still have not returned to our park pond.

Wednesday I dreamed that my brother and I were in Los Angeles. I misplaced my rental car in an alley behind on of those old small houses with  hint of Mediterranean in the Hollywood foothills. I found a 6 wheeled greern all-terrain vehicle. In the dream my brother, a car buff, advised me that Renault had lent him the vehicle.

I followed social media to see if an on-line friend got through a medical thing in good order.

At Noon my partner and I went to Breckinridge Park and took new photos for the website. I liked the images of standing in a leafy, shady area in business suits.

The president of our nation made odd nativist statements to an odd pulpy English newspaper. The Sun and President Trump perhaps deserve each other--but the rest of us deserve better.

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2 kingbirds

I walked at lunch in Breckinridge Park in Richardson. In a small tree, a pair of Eastern Kingbirds perched side by side. My wife was at a meeting tonight. My own evening meeting got postponed by one day. I ate a grilled chicken sandwich and a large chili from Wendy's. I walked in Glendover Park.  The little park pond, usually dependable for Mallards and an American Coot, was again without waterbirds. I hope that the coot in particular is in good shape but only at another pond. That coot is a year-rounder nowadays, at least until last month. I do not know if it cannot fly or will not. I do not even know if it is still in the area. I've grown fond of it, though we do not interact.

There are the remains of a raptor near the pond. Perhaps it is the victim of a coyote or a bobcat or a Great Horned Owl. I think it was a Cooper's Hawk, but my inspection was cursory.

Last night I ate a home-made sugar cookie. It was delightful. I almost never have home-baked cookies anymore.

I worry about the children separated from their parents at the border. I worry about the Thai boys and their teacher being rescued, if all goes well, from a cave amidst rainy weather. I worry about the families of the dozens of people who died in a boat sinking off the cost of Thailand. I am worried about the refugees on boats from Africa seeking sanctuary in Europe. It's a difficult time. There has never been an easy time, though.

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bus of kids and a shorter circuit

Saturday I took Beatrice for an early morning walk.

Our usual route is to walk down the street to Glendover Park. Then we walk to the little park pond, and go around the pond. Saturday she decided to take a less regular route. We spent 40 minutes walking, but most of it was concentrated in the open spaces that sports team us for practice.

I liked when we came upon the elderly woman who was sitting on the sidewalk in her walker's seat, just enjoying the morning. Beatrice went up to her, sniffed a bit, and offered her head up to be petted. It was a gentle and yet not particularly touchy-feely moment.

I drove later Saturday to Bonham State Park, an hour away in Fannin County. I took a mildly off-path route to get there, starting on highway (or farm road) 5. I liked when I passed the little Christmas tree farm.

I like Bonham State Park because it features cross-timbers forest surrounding a small lake. I like the walk on its shady trail. I listed out the 10 birs I saw, of which the most colorful was a Painted Bunting.

I dined on fish at Chicken Express on my way home. In the afternoon, I created a new song for a ccMixter Secret Mixter event, using the good samples by mixter Onlymeith, who is from Spain. I used the Noiser software to mash things up and Audacity to finalize the mix.

I also used Sawcutter, a software synth, to create two new songs. I found this very relaxing.

Saturday evening we ate Mexican food at Holy Frijoles.

Sunday morning  I walked on the Chisholm Trail, went to Weight Watchers, walked in Shawnee Park, and went to church.
I ate lunch at Taco Bell after a Wendy's had a long line of kids from a church camp bus.  Sunday early afternoon
I walked in Glendover Park. Sunday late afternoon I rode my bicycle to Green Park and walked there. 

Sunday evening we watched "agatha raisin" and "endeavor" on PBS. Also, this weekend I watched "tomorrowland", which I liked pretty well.

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press of progress

This morning I woke at 3:30 a.m. Beatrice decided she wanted to go out. When I went back to sleep, I felt her lean against my shin. She usually only sleeps by me, rather than at the end of the bed, when it is chilly outside.

Today I walked in small Travis Farm Park. The conversion of the field behind the park into a housing subdivision is well underway. I was pleased to see 7 species of bird in this small park. This seems to me my Summer of Mississippi Kites.

A Summer rain fell this afternoon. Our weather here can get a bit hot in the Summer. A Summer storm is our fondest way to relief.In the early evening, I walked the Chisholm Trail and listened to my cousin's podcast. We ate El Pollo Loco for dinner. We watched the British Baking Show.

I logged several bird lists into eBird. It's always easy to log the lists with "first of year" species on them, but I think it's important to log in the prosaic "seen that before" lists, too. It makes a better personal historical record. Winter tends to be our great season for birding here, with Spring and Fall also offering migration diversity. But Summer has its own simple charms.

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Independent Beatrice

Last night I looked up the answer to a work email. This morning, I was going to drive off someplace to go for a walk. Then I saw Beatrice, and asked her if she wanted a walk. Beatrice answered that she definitely did want a walk. We walked in Glendover Park, where we saw a Belted Kingfisher, Western Kingbirds and other birds. I asked Beatrice if we could change course to get a better view of the kingfisher, but Beatrice thought we had better not.

I bicycled to Green Park in the late morning, where I enjoyed cycling and walking about. After I came home, I got a shower. Then my wife and I had lunch at Denny's, where I had scrambled eggs whites with turkey bacon. We got tickets to the afternoon showing of The Incredibles II. We liked that animated film.  This evening we ate hot dogs made on frankfurters from Hirsch's meat market.  I got a couple of hours of needed rest.

We watched one Captain America movie, but now we are watching a 4th of July tribute in which Renee Fleming is starting to sing the great song from "Carousel".

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