1. I awoke quite early, and played some blitz chess. Although in my mind, this journal should be a chronicle of my growing in chess grace, in fact, my blitz chess rating goes up and then it comes back down. But I am having a great deal of fun playing, and that is contenting. On the topic of grace, after many viewings, and changing my mind once or twice, I have now decided that "Dogma" is not a good film after all.
2. I then got involved in on-line yahoo games of that wordgame whose name escapes me but which is very similar to Scrabble. I'd never played this before, and I found it very much fun. I am not clever at these types of games, which enhances for me the fun. The best part was when we adopted "blitz chess" time controls, with each side being granted 3 minutes to make all his or her plays. I really enjoyed moving from the paradigm of "gotta spell xylophone" into the paradigm of "how few seconds will it take me to spell it or his".
3. I took ny dog Teddy for a walk. We saw a small woodpecker at the base of a tree. When a brown lab came over to make conversation with Teddy, she lay down in the grass as it approached, as if she were a watchful yet timid lion. Glendover Park was full of blue-eyed grass, tiny blue blossoms with yellow "eyes". I always wonder why it's not called "yellow-eyed grass".
4. My wife is a bit under the weather, so I headed off to lunch by myself. I ate at the little Thai place down the street, where I had a credible big bowl of seafood and noodles, read a freebie magazine about antiques, and wondered if the advertised azalea festival in Muskogee would be close enough to attend.
5. I adjourned to Exchange Park, where I walked the nature trail. They have done a radical and impressive expansion of the walking path there, sending it through a scraggle woodland and over cute bridges at the back of the park. I took pictures of the "wildflower area", where lots of native flowers were growing. When I peered down from one bridge, I saw a brown snake swimming underwater in the flowing creek. I read recently that the old tale of my childhood that water mocassins cannot bite while they swim is false. This shatters my sense of security almost as much as surveys of the Transportation Security Administration's efficiency do. I spent a bit over an hour there.
6. I felt that I needed to outlet frustrations. Some advocate punching bags for this purpose. I am an ardent proponent of the batting cage. I paid five dollars to the man and the teen, collected bat, helmet and five tokens, and headed to the softball cage. I love the feel of a slow-pitch softball careening off the bat. I have in me a post somewhere in my psyche about how life is all about the good wood in the bat, although I have not yet completed my metaphor, because of the problem of aluminum bats. I did one token's worth of the 60 mph fast pitch baseball. Now, 60 mph is not really very fast--about 2/3 of a major league fastball, closer to Pony or Babe Ruth league for mid-teens. Yet I missed quite a few before I began to hit the baseballs, and then I did not get very solid hits when I did begin to hit. I returned to slow- pitch softball, and enjoyed the vertinginous thrill of slowing my whole psyche down.
I bat right-handed, and I used to play right field. I was a force to be reckoned with when I was 15. I last played league play, though, when I was a young lawyer. Now softball is something I hit at a batting cage to get my ya-ya's out. I love that I can hit the softball wherever I wish to send it. I do not love that I no longer switch hit effectively.
7. I made a quick trip to Central Market, to pick up something fun, but while I was there, I bought a few burro bananas. Who can resist any banana named burro?
8. I stopped by Chisholm Trail, in Plano, to admire the wildflowers along the shaded trail, when I saw a mother duck and four ducklings in the creek. They were lovely.
Then I saw another mother duck with twelve ducklings. What a family! I loved seeing them swim into cover.
9. I fell asleep for ninety minutes which felt great. Then my wife had cooked up steaks, where were superb. I walked in our back yard, as to which I remain pleased. Last night, though, we saw our gardener expert neighbors back yard, which was like a Secret Garden. I was so impressed with it, but not jealous, just pleased.
10. Today I saw my first giant swallowtail, as well as a plethora of smaller butterflies. This has been a nearly perfect Spring.
11. Soon I pack for my trip, and then review some things I wish to review.
12. Perhaps in a bit I'll take that tournament director examination that had been misplaced but now is found, and see if they'll let me get accredited as a "local tournament director" able to run more chess tournaments. I would have been happy to remain a "club" level director, but they now require folks to "promote up". So I've had this open book exam, which had been misplaced but is now found. I will focus on the rule book and the curious pairing method called "Swiss System", which re-pairs the seeds after every round.
I am glad that I managed to get a lot of exercise and rest this weekend.