I got up fairly early on Sunday. After a bowl of "Simple Truth" frosted flakes I took Beatrice for a walk in the neighboring park. She loved her morning walk.
I set out on my morning routine. I stopped at the Chisholm Trail, a sidewalk trail by Rowlett Creek. I entered at the corner of Spring Creek and Custer Road, near the Schimmelfenig Library. On my walk, I saw a dozen species of birds. My favorite thing was getting good pictures of a Blue Jay reclining in a tree some distance away.
I went to Weight Watchers, where I unexpectedly lost 2.4 pounds. I was not really trying to lose this week. I figure that all the activity of the past week, coupled with normal eating, led to a loss. I am still within the low end of the 190 to 200 pound range set by my doctor. The mythical "ideal" BMI of 25 for me is 189 pounds, but my range was set at 190 up. In this, my doctor sided with a point made by my wife that the effort to lose a fairly small bit more weight was not worth the risk of more orthostatic hypotension (i.e., the tendency to fall easily from standing up too quickly).
I usually get out of Weight Watchers at 10:05 or so. I would prefer if it ended at 10 sharp, exactly at the one half hour mark. I never time sermons in church, as did my late father-in-law. But I do time Weight Watcher meetings. I always want them to be pithy exchanges of some team spirit and a lot of exchanging recipes and figuring out what to eat for what counting points. But nowadays the meetings are more motivational meandering team spirit kind of things. Most people want a community. I want the name of a good alternative low-fat baked chip. I was intrigued, to use chip in the English way, by a recipe I saw which used baked polenta as the starch, cut into french fry (chip) style. That would never have occurred to me.
Between Weight Watchers and church, I like to stop by a park for a very quick walk. This time I chose Hoblitzelle Park in Plano. This was my second time at this park. It's mostly a walking path, surrounded by greenery. As with many Plano Parks, it follows a creek. I liked a shady area I visited, just west of Alma Road. I saw a Red-Shouldered Hawk in the distance, perched on a tree.
At church, my mind wandered during the sermon, making for a somewhat pleasing juxtaposition of really insightful sermon coupled with really beside-the-point thoughts about other things. I put our pledge for the building fund in the collection plate, in the attractive envelope for what is term the "Embrace/Transform". The pledge, while material, was much less than the average of the 70 pledges the church had already received for a worthy if ambitious new construction project. While as a family I want us to give more to charity, I think we should focus on other causes than the building fund.
After church, I stopped by Chicken Express, where I had a chicken breast, a chicken leg and french fries, along with a yeast roll. I do not know if I regained the 2.4 pounds in that moment.
When I got home from church, I found that my assignment for Change the World--Allen had changed. Change the World--Allen is a good thing my church does, joined by some other churches and community groups. It's a set of days of doing social service projects all over town. I had done a similar event in Garland yesterday.
In Allen, I had signed up for a half-day event to pull boards from a house. I feel I have a particular skill at cutting down bushes and pulling off boards. But I think the project for which I signed up did not "make". So I got assigned to another project. While the project has manual labor I can do, it lasts all day. I am willing to admit here that I prefer half a day, so that I can rest and walk the rest of my Saturday. But so far I have stayed enrolled in the new full-day event.
In the afternoon, I decided to take another bicycle ride. I would start once again on the Watters Branch Trail. This time, though, I would go from its trailhead at Ridgeview Drive all the way to its cessation at Bethany Drive. This is a great trail--shady on a hot day, lots of trees, no road crossings (all underpasses). As I often do, I carried my backpack with my camera in it, and wore my binoculars around my neck. From time to time I stopped and looked at birds. Here's a list of the birds I saw:
Cooper's Hawk 1
Rock Pigeon (Feral Pigeon) 1
Red-bellied Woodpecker 1
Downy Woodpecker 1
Eastern Phoebe 1
Western Kingbird 2
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 1
Purple Martin 3
Carolina Chickadee 1
American Robin 3
Northern Mockingbird 10
European Starling 1
Northern Cardinal 3
Red-winged Blackbird 1
Common Grackle 1
Great-tailed Grackle 5
The most interesting sighting was the Cooper's Hawk. I saw him some ways up in a high branch of a tree. His eye color suggested he was immature, but he was a large male. He allowed me to take some 30 pictures. I also got a chance to photograph a Downy Woodpecker, though he kept insisting on personal grooming rather than posing for the shot. As often happens in Spring, I saw a quick flash of yellow as a warbler flew from tree to tree, but did not get a good enough look to tell the species of the warbler.
My bicycle ride lasted 1 hour and 54 minutes. My Google fit app tells me that I covered 11.57 miles. This calculates, the app goes on, to a breath-taking speed of 6.07 miles per hour. When one is watching for birds, butterflies, and wildflowers, there is little need for speed.
During the rest of the day, I spent some time on the internet reading about DRMfree publishers and ebook shops. I find myself drawn to the idea that books should not feature digital rights management but instead should work the same way analog books do--with any copyright restrictions enforced a different way. I have been pleased with how many small and mid-size presses do follow a DRMfree model. It is perhaps not surprising that the tech and the sci-fi press predominates here. That audience has more folks within its ranks who are free software proponents and anti-DRM.
I browsed through sites set forth on Kevin Beynon's usefl list of DRMfree ebook sellers: kevinbeynon.com/drmfreebookshops/
I was intrigued and favorably impressed by the site for Emily Books. The first line of its website is: "Hii\, we’re Emily Books. We sell and publish weird books by women". I wish all presses had the kind of simple, direct ebook displays their website features. emilybooks.com/
The sci-fi sites had some interesting things. I am amused, though, how genre-specific I can be. I almost never read horror, and rarely have much interest in anything vampire or zombie. I do like tales, though, about folks in after-lifes or in lives that let them cross into this one, though the traditional ghost story is rare on my reading list. I like harder sci-fi and space opera. Yet I prefer the body count to be low. Alternative history is often too cute for me. I should start a small DRMfree press that publishes only what I like to read, Then, though, I'd have to wade through all the submissions.
I went to the Kroger for bananas and PowerAde Zero. I walked for a moment in tiny Green Park on my way.
We watched "Call the Midwife". One plot thread was a thalidomide baby. That is such a heart-breaking story, and one that deserved telling outside of law books. I fell asleep super-early. I had odd dreams in which I did not eat available pizza when offered. I'd like to think this is how I knew it was a dream, but the truth is more mundane.
Yesterday was Mother's Day. I enjoyed seeing all the social media images of folks' moms. I did not post an image of my late mother, but I thought of her often,and perhaps this is as good as a social media post.
(cross-posted to DW because life is silly)