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
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.