This morning my wife and I attached our mountain bikes to our car carrier and set off forty minutes away to the 380 Greenbelt Trail. I hoped we could ride that shady, flat wooded trail the 16 mile roundtrip to Lake Ray Robers. When we arrived, though, the
trail was closed, no doubt a continuing casualty of the over-flowing waters that flood all extreme lowlands even yet here.
We drove instead to the Isle du Bois unit of Lake Ray Roberts State Park. Lake Ray Roberts has a very different look from our part of north Texas, despite being barely an hour away. It's in the outskirts of the cross timbers region, a mixed forest of small but not tiny trees that exists unto itself northwest of Dallas. It's very pretty country, with live oaks, post oaks, and various scrub trees, as well as stands of prickly pear.
The ranger guided us towards a mountain bike trail, but we did not wish to ride for adventure. We instead sought out a few of the park's many wonderful sidewalk bike trails. Each of these runs through the woodlands, but is entirely set up for the non-adventurous cyclist. We had a wonderful time riding along. We did think about riding over to nearby Lantana Lodge, but the trail to that locale was too rugged. We stuck to our sidewalks, stopping only at a bird-watching place to admire great blue herons and snowy egret.
We drove into the town of Sanger, population 5,000, where we ate at Babe's. This particular Babe's (there are 6) is in a decades old brick building with very high ceilings. A beautiful 20something woman in jeans and western top and a pleasant soft-spoken rural Texas accent came and let us know that the menu was oral because there are only 6 entrees: fried chicken, smoked chicken, friend catfish, chicken fried steak, pot roast, or chicken fingers. I went with the smoked chicken, which came with green beans made in Heaven and cream corn. I had been to this cafe once before, and still enjoyed its informal ambience and even its persistent middle-period-Nashville country music.
When our dear friends from Los Angeles come in October, we will take them to this neck of Texas, for the reason that Babe's is a portal to Heaven,and the pearly gates swing open to all the horse farms nestled in the cross timbers along the way. There's something exciting about a horse farm, even if one is not a horse.
We drove home, and after taking care of our dogs' needs, we headed over to the Allen Cinema to watch the movie Stardust. We loved its make-no-bones-about-it live-action-comic-book light Summer entertainment. I marveled as I have each time since she was so-called 15 at how kind the camera is to Claire Danes.
I've also made progress on a dark ambient collaboration piece I am doing with the ambient artist Nakjaarna. We each are doing 3 pieces to provide to the other to supplement and remix. I enjoyed using my favorite two weapons, Sawcutter 2.0 and Slicer, to generate my first part of the collaboration. Rather than the dissonant drone that I sometimes use in such settings, this one is based on noise ideas. It is more "dark ambience" than "noise", though, as the musical genre "noise", to me, treats more or less as a virtue the value of plastering the listener back against the wall, literally or figuratively, while my work is almost always quiet in its way even when discordant. I look forward to working with Kris (Nakjaarna), as she has a good ear for fun things to morph and create. Her "Snow Temple" on the EP of hers we released at NSI is very charming minimal ambience.
I had insomnia last night, so I reviewed many postings at ccmixter.org. Some kitchen-table mixers have so much talent! I felt so excited to hear some very good pieces I posted on the topic at the CCMixter Weblog. I love to remix, but I do not, and perhaps cannot, do those Motown-ish and
80s-retro-luch semi-orchestral amazing mixes, nor do I line up complex electronica to fit hip hop rhymes. It's fun, though, and not at all intimidating, to hear those who can and do create those things. As for me, I create percussion by running my battery-operated plastic spacemen battery-powered toothbrush through a synthesizer, and then
sample music boxes for the melodies. It is enough for me, as I enjoy it all.
I still have two days in my three day weekend, and the photo array on the google sidebar is showing me a giant green sunflower. What smile could I fake as wide as the real one I wear inside?