gurdonark

Memories of Past Travel

Saturday night the fireworks display in  the neighboring town of McKinney's Craig Ranch area was clearly visible  in full glory from the street in front of our house. We enjoyed going  out and watching it. Our own town's effort at a stay-at-home-and-see  fireworks show did not work out for us due to a couple of trees in our  neighborhood. I had had a similar story in Two Strikes Park in La  Crescenta, California years ago. For years one could go to the park and  see fireworks down below. But one year the pines got too tall for best  viewing.  

I miss that park, to which I took our two Lhasa Apso  dogs Teddy and Scout for a walk.  We would walk there and walk straight  back, perhaps a half-mile in total. One day I decided to stay in the  park and see if they wanted to play.  But they both lay down, as if in  need of a long rest. They preferred the walk-there-walk-back method. The  sound of their toenails clicking on our street during the first part of  the walk stays with me. That was over 20 years ago.

One Summer  thing they offered then was a school bus going to Santa Monica beach on a  Saturday. I never took the beach I could and did drive to the beach.  But somehow I wish I had taken the bus.

I attended my morning  Weight Watchers meeting on Sunday. The meetings are still held via Zoom.  Roughly 16 to 19 people attend each week,whereas the former live  sessions brought in closer to 30.  The virtual meeting format works  pretty well for that event.

Facebook Memories reminded me  yesterday that five years ago we were on vacation in Scotland. This  morning the same service reminded me that last year we were in Wales.  Late last week, I got a similar reminder about three years ago in  Wisconsin. We have no travel plans yet this year, though we may try to  find some remote lake place at some point. The Scottish memory  referenced hiking in Holyrood Park in Edinburgh. The Wales memory  concerned attending the local Shire Horse show. The Wisconsin memory  showed Bald Eagles we saw on a boat ride in the Horicon Marsh.

I walked  yesterday in Glendover Park, in Allen Station Park and in Green Park.  eBird added a feature that reminds me that this year I have 84 species  sighted in Collin County, but the last two years I have had 97 by July  1. Yesterday I saw lots of birds but did not increase my "first  sighting" species count.

I finished the Eddie Robson sci-fi  novel "Hearts of Oak." I like the novel. The ending felt less than  perfectly satisfying, but it also felt logical and the right way to go.  Endings are sometimes that way.  I tweeted that I enjoyed the novel,and  the author tweeted back "thank you."

Yesterday I bought and began the novel "The Existential Detective" by Alice Thompson.

I continue  to play chess on-line. I played a blitz chess game against a human  opponent and won playing the black pieces using the Keene variation of  the King's Gambit Declined. I won a 3-day time control game against  another human opponent, playing the black side of a Ponziani Opening as  if it were Hungarian Defense. I am now playing another 3-day match,  again a Keene variation KGD,  but I do not really remember the moves to  that variation.

My chess.com ratings now are:
Blitz chess: 1432
Puzzles: 1791
Daily: 1027

My lowest rating, of course, is the system in which I am undefeated after 2 games.

I worked a bit yesterday.  We watched a new episode of "Grantchester." We ate chicken sandwiches on sourdough.

Rain fell a bit yesterday, and this morning fell in heavy drops. Rain makes July better.

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