March 17th, 2004

abstract butterfly

The absence of Winter in Texas

I worked until far too late last night, and then had to race a package over to Federal Express by 8:30. I just "made it", as the fellow was taking the last packages out of the outdoor box. Then I went back to my office and sent an e mail of additional documents, before heading home at nine.

My notion of hosting an April chess tournament went by the wayside, because the US Chess Federation no longer permits web-only tournament ads. That's no big deal, really--it just means that there's not enough lead time for a print ad. I am not sure why they would make that particular change, because it seems counter-productive. But I don't know the "big picture".

I have had a mild frustration, though, on another score. I need to take an exam to move up from the "club" level of tournament director to the "local" level. Each "club" director has to move up to local. When I renewed my director status last year, they kindly gave me a year's club director card. Once I had run one tournament, they said I could take the exam. I finished my tournament in January,and promptly asked for the examination, following up weeks later by e mail. I have not received it yet. I called yesterday, but did not get a return call. My current director status runs out at the end of April, so I cannot plan any more tournaments until I get the exam in and pass it. I believe I took such an examination in the 1970s, and it was not hard. But I have to have the test to try to pass the test.The fellow at the chess federation was so nice in the past, that I guess he must just be very busy. The US chess federation has really been struggling lately.I'm sure it's hard to work at a place with reduced staff and more worries. I went on line because they are having a "warehouse sale", but I could not find anything marked down more than a dollar or so. The sale apparently is to facilitate a move of the merchandise to another location. If I were clearing out my garage, I'd have to discount by more than a dollar.

Spring flowering trees are everywhere--whites, pinks and reds. We've in a patch of warm but very rainy days, which makes weekend hiking more problematic. This weekend I hope that the warm weather persists,but things dry out bit. On the other hand,
all this rain bodes well for wildflowers.

Google leads to odd surfing. Last night my search term was "Texas obituary 1904", which soon led me to an old publication which carried dozens of nationwide Mennonite obituaries. The one about the brother who was sick and thus killed himself stood out. Then I found the story of the German-Texan poet who wrote "Winter in Texas", but I could not find the poem.