The plantings we did in our back yard attract a lot of birds, especially since my wife placed a bird feeder by the little tree in back. One bird is red like a cardinal, but is not a cardinal, which has me curious. My wife and I went to Exchange Park to walk today, where we saw, at eye-level, a scissortail flycatcher, with a colorful yellow/golden-ish breast and a blue wing coloration. They use their nine-inch tail feathers as gyroscopic navigation devices, spreading the feathers like scissors as they hover in mid-air, catching flies (perhaps not surprisingly).
We decided to replace our expired front yard trees with tree-form crape myrtles. Although I prefer native plants, I love crape myrtle. Now we'll have to go to the Texas A & M site to find the right varietals. I like the ones that bloom long and grow tall not wide.
I managed to "break even" on my vacation, as the increased exercise offset the increased food intake to result in no weight gain. I am taking more material steps to watch what I eat, though, and even trying to bring formal structure to it. I've been able to maintain but not lose for some months, but I want to meet my "12 pounds lost by year end" goal. I find that "will to do things" is something I have, when I apply myself, and something I don't have when I only talk about it. So I took the odd and humiliating step of going to a Weight Watchers meeting today. It was a kind of admission that I am, after all, merely a suburbanite who eats too much, and hence can swallow my pride and do a simple structured thing since self-study has not sufficed.
I was grateful that nobody made me hug anyone or eat freeze-dried apples. There was talk of "needing a motivating factor" for losing weight. I hope that good health will suffice to motivate me, as I am really indifferent to fitting into any given article of clothing, and lack the need to be thin enough to play with my toddler (as I lack a toddler) which are apparently popular reasons to live. But I liked the idea that something would revulse me as much as the idea of going to a Weight Watchers meeting, and hence took myself there forthwith. I will make it a habit, and see if I lose weight that way. Maybe my motivation can be to be thin enough not to have to go to such a place, but that's really cynical thinking. I notice that I am the first, though, to prescribe that others do distasteful things for health, and so the pot now will be as black as the kettle. I have decided, by the way, that lettuce is the new bread. Further, anything that makes raw baby carrots a no-points transaction is fine with me.
Our lhasa is beginning to show signs of life after the exhaustion that too much contact with young people can cause. Feeding a friendly dog contact with children is like feeding a friendly child sugar--in the short run, an exhiliration, but in the long run, incredibly wearing.
I saw a lovely question mark butterfly today, its wings posing a question about the meaning of life.
We watched part of the PBS "Elvis" special--I love the Elvis era just post-rockabilly but pre-pop.
I am ready to learn new songs on the dulcimer. I am in the mood to learn things different than the "folk repertoire", though, so that I think I will get a diatonic glockenspiel book from the Rhythm Band Instruments folks who do those wonderful school music class instruments, and then learn transpose the notation into dulcimer notation, so that I can do songs like "This Old Man".
My blitz rating on FICs continues to stay in the lower reaches between 1250 and 1410. I am in the mid-1300s right now, but I wish there was a Chess Watchers, to teach me how to play blitz as well as I play slow chess. I can just imagine the motivational lecture "first: be age 25 again".