September 27th, 2019

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Visits and a Star

On Saturday the 21st I drove thirty five miles north to Sherman for a business meeting. I left early so that I could walk in Herman Baker Park. This park features a lovely trail around a large-ish park lake (i.e., a large pond) named Pickens Lake. I read that Pickens Lake, a flood control reservoir, debuted in 1975, and that a Mr. W.C. Pickens donated the lake for a park. I saw a goodish few birds, including lots of young Eastern Bluebirds in the trees. The most impressive sighting turned out to be a female Belted Kingfisher atop a power line. 

At 9:30, my cousin Bret from Tulsa stopped by. He contacted my brother and I earlier in the week. He and his college friends attended Oklahoma State University. Every other year, they aim to meet up in Austin, Texas to watch the American football sports contest between the Cowboys of Oklahoma State University and the Longhorns of the University of Texas.  He stopped by the park to say hello, as we had planned.

Bret is one of life's good people, a cheerful, kind fellow who does not take himself too seriously. I enjoyed speaking to him about his family, including his three post-secondary-age kids, the med school son, the plant science son, and the freshman in college daughter. He shared an amusing story about how his daughter auditioned and won a place on the cheer squad at Southern Methodist University, but had neglected to apply to the actual institution. She attended Oklahoma State cheerlessly instead.

My meeting started at 11 a.m. and continued until 2 p.m. I felt glad I devoted part of my Saturday to the meeting.  After the meeting, I stopped in a Goodwill.  I found myself impressed that this Sherman Goodwill, a large building, had a "computer corner" which sold fully refurbished desktops with monitors and keyboards and the like at very low prices. I think this is a way to try to bridge the digital divide.  Granted, they used Windows 10 and not Ubuntu or Peppermint or a Debian derivative, but still it was a good thing to see.

I interrupted my shopping when my wife called. She told me I should call a credit card vendor to report that someone used our address and my surname to open a fake credit card account. I called the appropriate vendor and spoke at length with a man who promised to get it sorted out.

I ate a Subway sandwich in McKinney on my way home. A few hours later, my wife and I met up with my brother, his wife, and his son and his son's girlfriend at Bonefish Grill to celebrate my brother's birthday. I liked hearing the stories they had to tell.

Sunday I went to Weight Watchers and church. I had a lunch of fried catfish at Chicken Express. I drove to Bethany Lakes Park, where I walked while I listened to the Dallas Cowboys defeat the Miami Dolphins in a radio-cast presentation through my Sentry Headphones. I took pictures of dragonflies. I like that now I can identify a handful of species. I plan to learn more.

Monday after work I got a haircut in 15 minutes at Classic Cuts, Then, at light's end, I walked in Hoblitzelle Park. The juvenile Yellow-Crowned Night Heron still hangs out at its very small pond. I listened to an author on a podcast describe the change in her life as a professor at a seminary and family member when she developed advanced cancer.

Tuesday my wife and I left at 4:30 to go to downtown Dallas. We met up in Richardson and consolidated into one car. Traffic proved horrendous, and the 20-mile journey took 70 minutes. My wife nimbly used alternate routes along Coit Road to ease the journey a bit.
Google maps was relentless.

We arrived at the Belo Mansion in Dallas at 6:10 p.m.  Although the event started at 5:30, the mix and mingle part of things meant we arrived more or less just in time. We ate curious food, like miniature balls of twice-baked potato and odd little sliders of beef. Then the Dallas Bar Association Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program awards began. I got a nice small gold star about the size of my palm explaining that I got the award for Garland Legal Clinic volunteer of the year. I posed briefly for a photo with the person handing out the awards. I did not have to make a speech. Probably the clinic awards are the awards for the least amount of work. The clinic intake work, while important, is the least stressful in some ways. So my head did not swell with my new-found recognition. We ate tortilla soup and salad at Urban Eats on the way home.

Wednesday I walked near dark at Glendover Pond. Thursday I learned that my now-retired former law partner Randy is in the hospital. I called the room and got no answer, and texted my current law partner, who had wanted to go visit. I got no response. So I decided to drive to Dallas Presbyterian Hospital myself. I figured that even if I only got information, it would be worth the trip. The hospital location on Walnut Hill was near where an old client kept its corporate office for years. I found that our firm accountant was already visiting with him. We three had  a good visit until my friend's wife returned. Then we all four had a nice talk until our office manager and I headed off. I walked our manager, Teresa, to her car, and then she gave me  a ride to my car. I noted without remarking how her car, a Lexus, looks as neat as a pin as it looked the day she bought it, while my car, a Chevrolet, looks distinctly less neat and un-pin-like.

I plan to accomplish a few important things today.

from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice
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Three Topics

The news lately focuses on three topics that hold my interest:
--the murder trial of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who managed to go into an apartment other than her own, and shoot its unarmed resident, an African-American man;
--the newest scandal after the President of the United States asked a foreign leader to "do him a favor" and investigate a political rival while linking up with the President's personal attorney; and
--the work of activist Greta Thunberg, who took a cruise to the U.S. to speak to the United Nations and call for action about climate change.
from Dreamwidth, because two posts of the same text are twice as nice