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Voting against RVs

Saturday I early voted at the Allen ISD Services Building. The process took 17 minutes. The only disappointment was the lack of an "I Voted!" sticker.  This election feels very important to me.

An old friend emailed me over the weekend, reminding me of the joys of pen and ink stamped letters. I have two such letters to which to respond from two other folks.

The weather has turned a bit cooler but not cold--a typical October time. This year only the weather feels typical.

Our dog Beatrice is still going strong despite her old age.

I feel the need for another lake weekend. Perhaps we can line up a cabin somewhere.

I watched a show about people searching for RVs to buy. I liked the show, but developed no craving for RVs.

I read of a woman who was found after 2 weeks of being lost and injured at Zion National Park. I am glad she was found alive.

Yesterday at A.R. Schell Park I kept not getting a good luck at a warbler, but finally did get  good look in the same tree at two Ruby-Crowned Kinglets.

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walking weekend

Saturday I walked in Bethany Lakes Park, on the Watters Branch Trail and in Green Park. Today I walked in Glendover Park, in Story Park, and on the Ridgeview Trail. Saturday was October birding day 2020.

I woke up Saturday realizing there was something non-work-related that I meant to do the prior week. I will solve that in the coming week.

Saturday I got some work done. I also listened to the Razorback and Ole Miss game on the radio.

I finished Sofia Samatar's novel ""A Stranger in Olondria. I very much enjoyed that novel.

I ordered new face masks today.  This weekend I had a nice email or three from an old friend.

I will get more things done tonigh
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A weekend of work and walks

Saturday I drove into my office and got some practical tidying up done as well as some work done. I went in the afternoon to the Mustang Creek Trail,  I took a nice photo of a small Cooper's Hawk. I drove to the post office to mail a donation to ccMixter.  Saturday night we ate turkey tacos.

Sunday I took an early walk at Allen Station Park. I saw my first Northern Flicker of the Autumn. I listened to a sermon by the Reverend Tom Are of Village Presbyterian in Kansas, which is the church at which my wife and I got married. I also walked in Bethany Lakes Park, where I saw Pied-Billed Grebes among ten species of birds.

In the afternoon, I walked in Glendover Park in Allen. I listened to the Dallas Cowboys football game on the radio.  The Dallas quarterback, Dak Prescott, got injured. I was glad I heard that on radio rather than witnessing the injury. I saw my first Dark-Eyed Junco of the Autumn.  We ate grilled chicken drumsticks with mild Indian-style spices or dinner.

I logged my sightings into my eBird bird list. I saw that for the first 11 days of October, I saw 29 different species in Collin County each of the three years. I did not yet compare the lists to see how much they differed in which species were seen.

On a whim, I looked up someone I had a class with in high school on the internet. I was pleased to find her social media, which indicated that she rode horses for fun and lived with her husband in a rural area not far from where we went to high school in Arkansas. When we were in high school, she had just transferred to our school from one in California. I recall doing her a minor discourtesy in high school by declining to work with her on a two-person school project, and instead working with someone else. I had not then learned the lesson that one should be kind to the people who are kind to one. I had been self-conscious instead. I feel a little guilt some 43 years later, a sort of converse of the Maya Angelou quote.

I made more progress on Sofia Samatar's "A Stranger in Olondria."  I will likely finish it soon. It's been a good read.

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Chilly inside

The first five days of the week featured pleasant weather My office, though, starts off a bit cold each morning. By Noon, things warm a bit. Unlike the firm of Scrooge and Marley, I cannot put coal into a burner.

Today at Bradfield Park I saw a Turkey Vulture on a post. It looked so handsome.

We watched the vice presidential debate last night.

I like my masks, but I think I will go on etsy and order more.

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Into the Sea

Saturday and Sunday I met my goal of getting work done, home chores done, and getting some local walks in. I accomplished a fair bit but hoped to accomplish more.  At least I have a somewhat neater car to show for it, as well as some tasks moved forward. 

Saturday I walked in Glendover Park and then walked over to Green Park. I listened to podcasts in Green Park. Two podcasts about the County of Suffolk in England discussed the town of Dunwich.  Dunwich was a major harbor town many centuries ago with 3,000 citizens, when 3,000 was a large town indeed. But conditions changed. Eventually, even its churches slipped into the ocean due to cliff erosion. Brian Eno grew up 23 miles away. Dunwich now has 80 or so residents.

I listened on the TuneIn radio station application to the Arkansas Razorbacks' win over Mississippi State in college football. This ended a long win drought for the team, so I was pleased to hear this result.  The local Dallas Cowboys football team on Sunday fared more poorly, having a very poor defensive showing once more.

Sunday I walked on the Cottonwood Trail, near the movie theater and again in Glendover Park.

The weekend featured two news stories. One story centered around the Covid-19 outbreak at the White House. Yesterday the President of the United States encouraged Americans not to fear the disease, though 200,000+ have died of the disease in 8 months. I hope that all recover in good shape. The recent events included the White House Press Secretary arguing she could be maskless because she had been tested. Then she, too, tested positive.

The other story dealt with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton. Seven members of his executive staff signed a letter suggesting he has engaged in criminal wrongdoing. Despite losing the confidence of the heads of many of the sections in his office, he advises so far that he will not resign. I have no idea if he has been in the wrong this time or not, though the facts known to me (appointing a special prosecutor from outside the agency to investigate a search warrant issued by the federal authorities and state securities officials as to an embattled donor) sound unseemly. Rather than a culture of responsibility, we seem to have a culture of impunity.

A woman in Lucas wrote to ask me if she could use a photo of winecup flowers on the Trinity Trail near Lucas in a website opposing a Lucas ballot measure. I probably support the ballot measure, a public broadband proposal. But I gave her permission to use the photo.

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Cool November ballot

The month ushered in cool as a cucumber. Friday night we ordered take-away from a pasta place, I ate the grilled tilapia.

The president's contraction of the virus is unfortunate.  This weekend I plan to get some chores done.

We watched a Billie Ellish performance on Austin City Limits.

I double-checked my voter registration. from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice
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months later

Tuesday I walked in A.R. Schell Park in Plano. I saw an Eastern Meadowlark, my first of the year, my 91st species in Collin County this year.

Tonight on the drive home I saw a man whose wheelchair was shaped like a three-wheel motor scooter.

I watched a twilight zone with Ed Wynn in it, I liked the episode, and enjoyed reading up on his other roles.

We watched the presidential debate last night. The president is far from presidential.

I realized today that an old friend relocated and changed domestic situations. These things do not always come up on social media.

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Walks and weather

Sunday I walked on the Watters Creek Trail, in Green Park and in Breckinridge Park. I watched some sports. Today I worked day at work.

I am glad that cool weather is  here. from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice
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Last weekend I got some work done. I also got in some pleasant walks . I walked at Story Park, which proved to be my pandemic favorite. Because this open-field park is lightly visited, I could walk there and practice social distancing effectively. I walked in Green Park and in Glendover Park. I also took a walk in Allen Station Park.

My eBird species count for the year remains down at 90 species in Collin County, 10 less than in past years. My count for the month is at 32, and likely to climb to 34 when I log in a Belted Kingfisher and a Pied-Billed Grebe I saw yesterday at Bethany Lakes Park.  That is my highest count September since I began keeping eBird statistics.  Though the second half of September is prime migration time, I rarely do well with spotting the migrating warblers. This year I have seen lots of migrating Olive-Sided Flycatchers, though, and a couple of Least Flycatchers.

Last Sunday I walked in Russell Creek Park while listening to Universalist sermons by a man in England. 

This past work week I had a court matter via Zoom. I do not mind this sort of video hearing, though I prefer in-person hearings. I suspect video hearings will become the norm for routine appearances such as docket calls.

Beatrice is doing very well now. Her very old age is apparent, but she has a spring in her step. Rather than kibble, she now gets 3 meals of 1/3 of a can of wet food. She had had some fur loss during the shutdown. We got that under control, though the grow-back has been patchy and imperfect. Still, she looks good and feels happy.

I found my old grade-school friend Russ on social media. Russ was a minister's son who lived in Gurdon from the time I was in kindergarten through one of the lower grades in elementary school. Then, as is the way of Methodist ministers, his father got transferred. I found that Russ is a blogger devoted to attacking the Little Rock political establishment, somewhere, perhaps in the borderland region between a gadfly and an investigative journalist. I think it is usually a good thing when people use freedom of information act requests to open government up a bit.
I tweeted a "hello" to Russ, who tweeted back a picture of our kindergarten class standing with our teacher Ms. Nelson in front of the little red kindergarten schoolhouse. A couple of dozen of us took kindergarten class, in what, I suppose, must have been a private-tuition kindergarten.
I liked Ms. Nelson very much. She and her husband were interested in science and nature and all things worthwhile.  My parent had been friends with Russ' s parents, and I thought his dad was, despite a few personal challenges, a good fellow.

My wife and I wanted to meet at the Heard Natural Science Center on Saturday to walk the trails. We had been out doing different things, so we resolved to drive there in separate cars. She got there first to find the parking lot crowded. We avoid crowds in these days of social distancing. So we went to Brockdale Park in Lucas to walk on Trinity Trail and walked to Hiker's Point and back. We saw lots of things in bloom--Snow on the Prairie, sunflowers and in particular Leavenworth's Eryngo, one of my favorite Autumn plants,  I have been taking walks on Trinity Trail for at least 18 years.

We are re-watching episodes of Foyle's War and watching the Marvellous Mrs. Maisel.

It is unfortunate but not surprising that the Republicans who pledged never to confirm candidates in an election year promise to break their pledges to confirm whichever arch-conservative the current presidential officeholder selects. I hope that this motivates voters to defeat the current officeholder.

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passing passage

Today I learned of the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. I admire the work she did, both as a ground-breaking lawyer and as a justice.

I picked us up dinner  at Sliver Thai, I like Silver Thai, but its social distance game declined since my last pick-up there.

I feel glad the weather cooled a bit.

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