Saturday, January 31, 2009

Day Thirty One...

Okay, well, here it is the last day of the first month of the New Year. It has been a pretty busy President, new Blog...a new era! And only 334 more days to go. I have to admit I was unsure if I would be able to keep up with this daily gig of writing in this diary, but so far it is fun and relatively easy to keep up with. I have lost interest in "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" over time, and I hope I don't lose interest in this. What do you guys think? We shall see...

No freezing temperatures overnight, so that was a good thing. There was an incident of a stray cat outside the bedroom last night, and our cat was not that pleased about it. The cat was/is certainly not hungry looking, and I think it is odd to see a stray cat around here. One; there are really no neighbors close by, Two; the neighbors we do have don't have cats and Three; there are coyotes all around here, and I am not sure how a well fed cat could survive out here. The only thing I can think of it that it is a barn cat from one of the neighbors, most likely the neighbors that raise pigs. I wonder if we will see it again? Time will tell.

Blueberry pancakes for breakfast again this morning...YUMMY. We are expecting a guy to come and work on the property this morning, and then Jody and I are heading into town to get more stuff from the condo. Hopefully we will be back around the early afternoon hours. We are in the home stretch of getting things moved in our vehicles, and the packers and movers are coming next week, so life will become even more chaotic when that happens.

There is still life in the old windmill girl! The wind was pretty strong this afternoon, and in her bent and broken state, she was still out there spinning, albeit in a lumpy/thumpy/bumpy kind of way. So, Miguel who does some work for us every-now-and-then got some bolts that I had and put about ten sets of nuts and bolts into her, and she is now back in the world of the living (okay, the world of the spinning) and doing just fine, thank you very much! I love to see her going to town, and this is certainly the place for her to do it. If she was hooked up to some kind of generator, she would really be producing some major power. Imagine rats on a treadmill on steroids...lots of REALLY BIG rats on a REALLY BIG treadmill!

We got EVERY picture off the walls of the second and third floor of the condo today, along with more files and things. The place is really starting to look bare. The only pictures left are those on the first floor, and they may be gone tomorrow. We were supposed to have guests for lunch tomorrow, but there is something going around and they called in sick for lunch. We can use the time to go do more stuff at the condo. After taking all the pictures down, I started taking the picture hangers out of the walls, and there is no damage to the walls caused by those, you cannot even see where they were. That is great.

Now, if you really want to be helpful to someone, give someone a call and see if you can be of any help to them around the house. Maybe just ask if there is some sort of a small job that they cannot complete themselves, something that you can do for them. Being nice to people isn't always about monetary stuff...sometimes you can just give something of yourself. I think those types of things are always more appreciated than something you give that was purchased. Now, just go do will be a nice thing, and you will be remembered fondly for having done it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Day Thirty...

The day started our cold but bright...okay, it really started out cold and dark, but now it is bright and sunny outside, and the temperature is hitting about 62 degrees. I am really looking forward to the weekend, and that means coming back into town to get some more stuff out of the condo. All is good, and don't forget, I am the luckiest man in the world.

So far, I have had a very productive day in the office. It is the last day of the month, so lots of folks are bringing their rent checks into the office, and generally speaking, along with the rent checks come complaints. It is against human nature to pay your rent without complaining. It just cannot happen, and all of us here in the office have come to understand and accept that fact. The most important thing I have done, is to get my office somewhat cleaned out. Now the recycling is overflowing, and it still looks like crap, but it is much more organized looking pile of crap. I feel much better when I can see the top of my desk!

Lunch today was fun, with Tom and Chad. We went to Freddie's where we were graced with a sort of passive/aggressive server. Too long to really talk about, but since there were really not that many patrons in the place, you would think they would treat you a little nicer. It is really incredible the number of restaurants that are closing up here in Austin. In just a few months, it will kind of be like Austin in the old days...not so crowded that you cannot enjoy yourself. Kind of more like a place where everyone knows everyone else. That would be great.

I am planning to leave the office today at about 3PM, and make a stop at the condo to load a bunch of stuff in my car to take to the farm. My opinion is that, anything we take in the car or the truck is something that does not have to be moved by the professionals. Speaking of which, the packers are coming on Wednesday and will pack for three days, and then the movers will arrive next Saturday and take everything to the farm. We have it all planned, but you know what that means...doom cannot be far from good plans. We shall see...

Today is the birth date of a couple friends...Victoria in Phoenix and Marshall her In Austin. Happy Birthday to both of you, and I hope you both have a great day, and many, many more of them.

Do you remember the post on the day of the baby shower in the office? Well, she is STILL pregnant, and is having lots of hot fudge sundaes, and really pampering herself. Way to go!

NOW...go find someone that you can help out of a pickle...someone that might just need a little help doing something, but would really never ask you for any help. And then give them just a little bit of help. I will bet they will really appreciate it, and you will feel better about yourself for making the offer.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day Twenty Nine...

BRR-it's cold. It is starting to sound like a broken record here. There was not as much ice on the cattle trough this morning as yesterday, but enough is enough already. It would most likely be less of an inconvenience if I were to dress more appropriately for the weather, but that is not likely. Coats and jackets are Cumbersome. It is supposed to be cold again tonight, and I am over this "low temperatures below the freezing mark" crap. This is Central Texas at the end of January for goodness-sake. That should be good for something!

Today is meals-on-wheels day (every Thursday) and I always like doing that. The facilitator and one other guy at my pick-up location are always there early, and we usually have a good time talking about all our troubles before the meals arrive. Today the meals were already there before I arrived, so it was in-and-out, nobody gets hurt, but it did cut down on my socializing with the guys. Really a lot of fun...I can't wait til I get to the point that I am socializing with a bunch of old guys and we are comparing scars and hospital visits. Something to look forward to! Most of the clients I deliver to are really nice people, and it is a pleasure for me to get to share a few minutes with them. One of my clients is a lady that can, literally "cuss a blue streak". It does not happen often, but every now and then, something sets her off and she is gone to the races!

The end of the month is pretty slow in the office, I have a 5:30 PM appointment to meet with some property management prospects, and that means I will be getting home late. I don't expect to be home much before 730 or 8PM, so that makes for a long day.

More later...

It is now later...again...In the process of getting the final move started from the city to the country, I have been finding lots of old family photos...and I have this one to share with you...I am not sure exactly what I would like more today...the jacket or the hair, but I am thinking the hair. The crushed velvet jacket would go really nicely with my pink knock-off Crocs though.

Now...go rescue someone from a fashion disaster, but if it is actually just prehistoric fashion faux pas, re-assure them that they must have really been cutting edge in the fashion world back then.

I don't think it is really a sin to tell a lie, and if you are simply making someone feel better about their ancient past fashion foibles, and you will make a couple people feel good at the same time. You personally will be killing yourself laughing, and the other person will no longer be contemplating suicide.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Day Twenty Eight...

Have you ever seen icicles (it took several tries to spell that correctly) on a calves ears? Well, you can cross that one off your bucket list. Seeing something like that is right up there with a photo of our esteemed (or usually just steamed) Governor with no Aqua-Net on his carefully coiffed hair-do. You just never see something like that, and when you do, you usually don't have a camera to document the fact.

I stayed in bed a little later than usual today, because it was supposed to be the end of the world, or the end of the world as we know it anyway. We did have some ice on the trees and the fence posts and the mail box and the calves, but overall, that was pretty much it. No damage that I could see, no tree limbs down, no reports of terrible traffic accidents, no loss of electrical service or anything like that. We dodged another bullet on this one. Good for us, even though it was just a little anti-climactic.

The lowest temperature reading on our nuclear thermometer this morning was about 26 degrees, and because of the placement of the exterior piece of the deal, that means the actual temperature was probably 4 or 5 degrees lower than that. So, pretty chilly, but it is not about 10:30AM, and the sun is shining brightly and the temperature outside my office is a tepid 36 degrees.

The drive into the office was uneventful as well, and I should try leasing later more often. I left the house at about 830AM and there were no issues UNTIL I hit the flyover from I-35 to the toll-road (Texas 45) to the MoPac toll-road (Loop 1) . That is a long, TALL flyover (probably about 80-100 feet high, and the flyover goes for about 2-3 miles. Well, there was ice all over that road and the flyovers. We were progressing at a whopping 10 miles per hour, and there was one wreck still lingering nose first into the concrete barriers. I would have thought that a private enterprise would be more efficient than the State or County road crews, but that was the only icy road conditions I encountered. And we are PAYING to travel on the ICE! I need to e-mail someone!

Here is something I just noticed last night about this blog...usually I do this diary entry throughout the day. I do not usually just sit down and do the whole thing in one swell-foop. I usually entire a little bit now and a little bit later, and then post it sometime in the early evening. But the blog says it is posted at the time of the first entry I make on that day. Just in case any of you are particularly anal about the date/time stamp on the entry, I am generally not forecasting the future and aware of the out-come of my day at 6AM. Wish I was, so I could spend more time filling out Lotto tickets!

More later...

It is now later...had a nice interview with a very pleasant young woman for our front desk person at the office. We have a couple more interviews to conduct, and we hope to have someone hired by Wednesday (that would be Day Thirty Five...if you are keeping up). I left the office about 4:15 PM and had an uneventful trip to the country. After I go home, I watched a few minutes of (bad) news and then went out to fill the cattle trough with water and spoke with my neighbor for a while.

Jody and I went to another local restaurant...the Crossroads Cafe which is about six miles from our house. Good Good Good food! I recommend it if you are ever in the neighborhood.

Now, go invite someone to join you for dinner. It will make you both feel warm and full of friendly feelings. Not the worst you could do!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Day Twenty Seven...

OMG! There are freezing precipitation warnings posted for the WHOLE WORLD from about now until 11AM on Wednesday. What'll we do? What'll we do? What'll we do? This photo was taken at about 5PM today, showing the information center in my car. I am kind of embarrassed to show the photo, because it shows I have been only getting 46.1 miles per gallon...okay, so I had a strong head-wind on the way home...usually I can get 47-48 miles per gallon, no sweat, but of course, not today. What you are really supposed to be seeing here is the temperature...34 degrees as recorded in my car, at 5PM. THAT IS CRAZY!

When I got up out of bed this morning (I woke up around three, laid awake til about four, then finally got up around 515) it was 51 degrees, and by the time I went out to get the paper, it was about 47 degrees, with a good brisk wind from the north. By the time I left for work, it was about 45 degrees.

The ride to work was uneventful, nothing good or bad on the way, but as I got about five miles from the office, I was out of the cold front...I actually crossed the front and got into warmer weather. At the office, it was about 65 degrees, and balmy. I was at the office for about 15 minutes, and the front hit, and the temperatures started to drop precipitously. Our office manager could not believe it had gone from warm to (okay not freezing) cold, so he had to get up and go see for himself. You know what they say, if you don't like the weather in Texas, just wait a few minutes.

I spent most of the morning in the office taking care of paperwork stuff, and got a nice bit of work accomplished. One of our neighbors, (hi Shane!) stopped in and remarked that I was losing weight. I LOVE SHANE! We had an 11AM meeting in the office, then I went to a meeting at the Board at 2PM, got back from that at about 330 and left for home at about 4. No sense in taking any chances, I drive like a really old woman when a) it is raining, b) when it is icy (like it was two years ago in Santa Fe), c) when it is dark or d) all of the above. Always go for all of the above, and you will most likely do pretty well.

So, I am looking forward to a nice casual and relaxed morning. No sense in rushing into anything (like a ten car pile up in front of me), so I am planning to wait and see what happens, weather wise. Everything is supposed to be over with by about 10AM, and the temperatures are supposed to be back up in the 50's by afternoon. Even so, I'll bet you can't go into a grocery store within 50 miles from here a get a carton of milk or a TWINKY (forget about batteries, give me the TWINKIES). Crazy mental attitudes we get when we think we will be deprived of our comforts.

I will let you know how all this works out tomorrow. In the meantime, go find someone who would like you to keep them warm tonight, wherever you are. It will be good for both of you.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Day Twenty Six...

I actually did stay in bed longer than usual today, since it is Monday this is the day I work from home. I woke up about the usual time but dozed off-and-on for about another hour, and that was pretty darn sweet. It is foggy this morning, cannot even see to the far end of the pasture, but it is better now than it was when I went outside for the paper. It was kind of like a heavy dew...condensation dripping off the trees onto the truck and the driveway. Neat. Maybe we will even get some rain out of the deal later on in the week.

One of our neighbors has found some round bales of hay that may be delivered to us this morning or afternoon. AND my friend Roy is still working on the two of us splitting a truckload of hay, so of course, I may soon be up-to-my-eyeballs in hay. Truthfully, I would much rather have more hay than I need than to have a bunch of starving cattle on my hands. I took a good look at Daphne yesterday, and she is looking a little thin. I do not think they are going hungry, I think I just need to provide them with a little more food. I like a little meat on them, as opposed to that lean look. One thing about Longhorn Cattle, they are genetically able to survive a lot with a little. They are genetically lean animals, but I like them to look a little fuller around the ribs.

I am also expecting the Home Energy Audit guys to show up today to perform an energy rating on the house. This should be FUN, EXCITING, INFORMATIVE and USEFUL. I hope to use the information I receive from this process in the class I teach, the NAR GREEN Designation course. I teach this class for the first time in March, so I still have a good bit of time to prepare. I hate putting things off til the last minute...

The energy audit guys showed up right at the pre-determined time, so that was a good thing. So far they have been here for about an hour-and-a half, and I think the test will be very informative when we get all the results back. They have to take the data they get from the audit, enter it into a (according to them) sophisticated computer program, and it will spit out a bunch of results. So far, I know a few things from their audit: We are heating and cooling the attic space, because all the venting collars, ducts (and stuff) are not sealed properly. We need more insulation in the attic, at least six more inches. The house has a negative pressure base-line reading of -.5 pascal. I could try to tell you what the pascal measurement was, but it is kind of complicated. Go look it up for yourself. So, we expected there to be some issues with this house, but really I am not hearing anything negative that cannot be easily fixed. Overall, it was a pretty interesting and rewarding experience!
Okay, now go find yourself some unsuspecting soul and perform an energy audit on them! You never know what savings you might be able to uncover for someone, and I AM SURE they will be appreciative of the attention!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Day Twenty Five...

Space...Self-Respect...Issues with Authority Figures. Those are my issues for the day. I always get wrapped up with issues when I am originally faced with them, but then it seems everything works out. Now, if I were smart, I would stop now, but oh-no, I am going to just keep on rambling on and end up in big trouble with this post. Hmmm, on second thought, I think I will just quit this train of thought right now, while I am ahead. I think I will revisit it when it is not quite as fresh in my mind. Everything looks better with a little age on it, and for that I am pleased. Really pleased!

Well, darn, it looks like our windmill kind of broke, I hate that. It is just a small (about 6 feet high) windmill, but it was an anniversary gift to me from Jody back several years ago for the original farm. We brought it up here last fall, and it has probably seen more wind in the past three months than it did in the entire four or five years down at Red Rock. The tail of the windmill actually broke off, and I am not sure it can be fixed, but we will try to get it repaired. If not, we will use what we can salvage as borders around the flower beds and pathways.

We had company for lunch this afternoon, that was very nice. Our friends Lynda and Michael came up from Austin, and Jody had made some Borscht (num-yummy) and it was delicious. Great hot beet soup, some nice bread and a selection of cheeses on a chilly mid-January day. I am not sure anything could be better than that.

After lunch, Lynda and I went on a tour of the property, and Lynda drove the mule while I sat in the bed and let her chauffeur us around. We made stops at all the appropriate places, and Mr. Speckles came up to us at one of the fences for some petting and burr removal. Our cattle are really not like cattle, more like giant chihuahua doggies. They just eat more, and really poop a LOT more.

Now, go find yourself someone that needs a burr removed, and take care of it for them. They will really appreciate it, and you will feel good for having helped someone out of a sticky spot!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Day Twenty Four...

Who is your hero? Are you someones hero? When I was growing up, I really never thought about heroes that much. I guess my dad was my hero at the time, but it was never this conscious thought that I had. My world was a relatively stable one, and it was a good world for the most part. I did not have a great time, there were fights and the constant evasion of those fights, but there were always constant things in my life. We ate dinner EVERY NIGHT at 530PM, nothing ever changed that. After dinner (and after the kitchen was cleaned) we went back outside to play, and we had to be home when the street lights came on. That never changed. I led a relatively normal middle class life, but I never really thought about heroes in my childhood.

Now though, the thought has entered into my consciousness. I think after my dad, my Aunt Ruby would have to be my next hero. Maybe I am confusing heroes with people who thought I could do no wrong, but if that is the definition for your hero, then Ruby was the one. She too was always encouraging, and she led her life the way she wanted to live it, and was not judgmental and could not care a twit about what anyone else thought of her or how she lived her life. She had some great stories to tell, and she too was probably my dads hero.

That makes me think of the difference between being a gentleman and being gentle. When you think about it, there really is a big difference. I pretty much have always considered myself to be a gentleman, but now I wonder if I should not have been working more towards being gentle as well. I think I am going to give that a try, and see how it works out. We shall see...

In the meantime, you should all know that I do have a hero...Jody is my hero. Always supportive, always appreciative, always there for me, no matter what. Always gentle and always a gentle man.

I wonder if I am any ones hero? I really doubt it, I don't think I really qualify or am worthy of being called someones hero. I think I will work on that, too. I hope at least that our adopted dog, THE BEAR BOY thinks I am his hero. We shall see...

Now, go find your hero, and let them know. They will most likely be very surprised to learn that fact. There is no time like the present.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Day Twenty Three...

There was a pretty okay sunrise this morning, not one of the best, but really pretty darn nice. You can actually see sunrises and sunsets in the country where we live, as opposed to in the city where buildings and people get in the way. In the country, if the view of the surroundings does not suit you, you can always go find a rock to stand on, so you can get a better view. There have been some truly breathtaking sunrises and sunsets since we have been in the country, but even just an okay sunrise can really give the start of your day a boost.

So far today has been a good one. I actually transmitted some documents for signatures electronically this morning, pretty much figured it out all by myself...I did not really even have to read the instructions, all I had to do was watch a short film and have my credit card ready, and bingo, it was done! It could have been simpler if someone else had done it for me, but it was really pretty darn simple. I had been wanting to do that for a while, but I was really cautious about it. It was simple, and I think it is the way of the future.

We had a meeting in the office with some business development guys, and that was interesting, good possibilities that those discussions may go somewhere. Always interesting to hear other peoples opinions. It seems FaceBook and YouTube are the new things, and I kind of want to keep the definition between business and personal separated. I may stick my toe in the waters just to test it out, but I still think there needs to be some separation. I don't think that every single thing I do has to have some sort of promotion attached to it for my business life. I do not want to always be promoting, although sometimes I feel I cannot stop. I have always said I am unashamedly, unabashedly self-promoting, and I have pretty much always been proud of that fact. No excuses.

After that, I got some more work done, and then I went to Target to return something that I purchased but determined I really did not need it. Then it was on the Church's Fried Chicken, where I thought I would have lunch. They have a 99cent menu (I just realized this keyboard does not have a cent sign), BUT you have to buy four items from the 99 cent menu to get something. So that does not work out cheaper, and I really don't want all that stuff, so guess what I did? I just left. Not gonna participate. I ended up buying $4 worth of stuff from What-A-Burger instead. It is just the principle of the thing sometimes.

NOW, go buy someone something off your own special dollar menu, and surprise them. It will be fun. And remember, just because you choose not to participate, it does not mean you should not be polite when you are not buying it. Patience is a virtue.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Day Twenty Two...

Today is expected to be a wonderful day. Early morning PM meeting in the office, Meals-On-Wheels at about 1030, a baby shower at 1130 in the office, and showing property at about 4PM. I need to stay busy. Busy is a good thing.

I got into the office this morning relatively early, we had a quick property management meeting, and then I got lots more work done before going to Meals-On-Wheels. Always fun doing that.

I got back from Meals-On-Wheels and walked into the office where about a half-dozen women were talking and having little sandwiches. As soon as I opened the door, all conversation stopped. I eased back out the door and the only reason I went further into the office was because someone said there was food (see yesterdays reference to REALTORS and free food) and home made pineapple cake. I called down to the other office and told Chad and Tom that I was not going to be the only guy, so they showed up a few minutes later. We ate, Toni opened her gifts (I gave her nipple cream, it was on her registry, so whatever...) and then we all tried to decide when she was going to have the baby. I am going with February 13th, which is a good day because that is the day our condo transaction is supposed to close.

We are still trying to find a front desk person for the I have previously mentioned, we went through about 250 resumes and applications off CraigsList, and we narrowed it down to a handful, and no one will call us back for an interview. We actually have an interview this afternoon at 2PM, so that will be good and hopefully she will be the second person of our dreams (Tom being the first person of our dreams). There is no reason for us to hire anyone that is not smarter and better than me and/or my business partner, I have no insecurities about that. We shall see...

And later on this afternoon I will be showing a few properties for lease, and then I will head home. Unfortunately, I will not get home until after dark, but that is the way it goes. I love where I live, I love where I work, and just because they do not both happen to be in the same counties, big deal.

Now, I suggest you go buy some nipple cream for someone you love. You will both be glad you did.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Day Twenty One...


What a good day this is. Traffic this morning was relatively typical, just about an hour from the house to the office. Made a call to a freind of ours in Connecticut to wish him a happy birthday, so HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRUCE! I make lots of phone calls from the car to-and-from, since that is actually quite time!

Lots and lots of work has been accomplished so far this morning. I am getting ready to leave for a luncheon at the Board of REALTORS, and that is good. REALTORS always can be counted on to show up for free food! The photo is of one of the trays of cookies that were provided for dessert. The cranberry pecan ones were the best!

The luncheon and the meeting were great, and my friend Chad is the chair of the committee this year! GOOD JOB CHAD! And, it was a great opportunity to see lots of old friends, have some lunch and have a good exchange of knowledge.

I am now on a search for hay. I still have four round-bales of hay, but with the conditions the way they are, the cattle are going through a bale about every tow to three weeks. At that rate, there will be no hay and if we don't get some rain, it will really be expensive. I had intended for a bale of hay to last a minimum of one month, but there needs to be some grass in the pastures to supplement tht. If anyone has a resource for decent hay (no Johnson grass) let me know.

Now, be a nice person, and take a pledge to contuinue your pledge you made yesterday for just one more day...and then one more to tomorrow, and then just one more day after that. You will feel better about yourself. I personally have reduced the number of bad words I have said today by at least 50%.

We shall see...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Day Twenty...

You know you make me want to (CUSS)
Kick my heals up and (CUSS)
Throw my hands up and (CUSS)
Throw my head back and (CUSS)
Come on now (CUSS)
Don't forget to say you will
Don't forget to say-ay-ay-ay-ay-yeah

Take a real good look at this photograph. There is so much wrong with it, it is just beyond words. Take a good look...the car is a relatively new Honda Fit...and the female passenger has her hand hanging out the window because she does not want the cigarette smoke defiling her interior. AND, she has a red pine tree air freshener hanging from her rear view mirror. AND, she has an OBAMA FOR CHANGE bumper sticker on the back of her car. AND she is flicking cigarette ashes as she goes...AND FINALLY, she flicks the butt of her cigarette onto the Interstate. Thirty seconds later, she lights up another one and the whole thing starts over again.

Maybe today is the day of change for this young lady...the driver of this car was not an older (like me) person. She is a young person, obviously transplanted here from some exotic locale like New Jersey, because no one from Texas would actually do suckh a thing to our environment. We shall see...

Today is inauguration day, and I do hope that I can change with the times. I hope, above all, that I become a more patient person. Patience is really what I consider to be my worst fault. I have no patience, and I show my lack of patience with those closest to me, and I do not like it. So...okay...right now...and going forward...I am taking a vow of patience. I think every action has a reaction, so maybe my becoming more patient with everyone around me, will cause peace to break out in the middle east. It could happen.

NOW, go out and show someone some patience. Be just a teeny bit more tolerant of people in front of you on the expressway, doing things you consider to be ignorant, rude, crude and socially inexcusable. Go be nice to someone. We will all be happier for it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Day Nineteen...

Hmmm...if it is Monday, that must mean I am working from home today. It also makes me wonder if the pool guy will show up this time. At least he did call last Thursday to confirm the appointment, so I think that is a good sign. As usual, we shall see. *A note added later in the day, MUCH LATER. The pool person was supposed to be here at 9AM, and I finally called at 930, and, oops, another miscommunication. So we made an appointment for 4PM this afternoon. To make a long story even more boring, she finally got here shortly after 5PM (although she did call and let me know she would be detained. As it all worked out, the pool tech is a very nice young woman named Jeanette, and I think everything will work out to every ones advantage. We shall see... NOTE: The afternoon high today was 68 degrees, so it did not suck to hang out at the pool with her.

Last night we went to Chipotle for dinner, had a great vegetarian burrito bowl dinner, somewhat healthy if you discount the sour cream and avocado parts. Have I mentioned to you that, here in the country (okay we had to go to Georgetown for dinner, but anyway) the folks that work in retail establishments seem to actually be happy to have a job, and they are nice when you approach them. This has taken a certain amount of getting used to. We actually had forgotten what nice was...the attitudes of mediocrity had crept over us gradually, over a period of time, and what we thought was civil disobedience in the form of a cashier at Target was really a trend of people thinking I needed to appreciate their rudeness. But living outside the sprawling metropolis (Austin is in the top 20 cities as far as population is concerned) has given us a new way of thinking about things. I think it has to do with the pace of everything...everything is not really in a big hurry, and I think that tends to make people a little (or a lot) nicer.

It is now 20 minutes past 7AM and the sanitary engineers just showed up and did their job rather efficiently. We still are working on taking all our recycling into Austin, where they do have single-stream recycling. No sorting, just put it all in one big pile, and it goes away magically. That is one thing they do not have out here in the country. It will come.

So...Jody and I went into the city, we left shortly after 10AM and headed for the condo to pick up another load of stuff. All-in-all it was an easy moving day. No trauma, just nice and calm, and a manageable load of stuff. If all goes well, we have until the 13th of February to be gone from the condo...that is the official closing date.

The working at home one day a week thing is actually working out pretty darn well, I like it, and I can do what I need to do from home (so far). Conducted some business today with some clients (they are in Australia), so no worries. Life is good.

Now, the next time you go out in public, try to be extra nice to someone, just because you can. I am really not interested in your political persuasions, and I am not wanting to get preachy about anything, but hopefully, after tomorrow, everyone will be happier, and we can all like each other a little bit more than we did the day before. See if you can't make that happen in your own little bit of the world.

PS: We should all say a little prayer to the 'spell-check' gods!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Day Eighteen...

Ever since we moved to the country (three months ago, but it seems like only yesterday) I have been using one of my laptops to keep abreast (he said breast) of the world and update this diary and stuff like that. If I needed to look up a telephone number, it was to the lap top to get on to the Internet. At one point I tried to set up a wireless connection, but since I was never that good at math, it was an exercise in futility. But I digress. Last Friday, I retrieved my desktop computer from the condo, and decided to hook it up as the main computer in the office, and some friends were expected to come and rescue my and install the wireless connection. I wanted to be as prepared as possible, so I connected the desk top to the whatever it is (we don't have cable here in the country, so we have some sort of an antenna on the chimney that provides us the Internet connection, and it connects straight to the computer with what looks to me like a USB cable, but the guy at the service provider swears it is something much more technical than that.

So, I got the computer connected (and only had a couple wires and a few other parts left over) but everything seems to be working it possible that the connection on the desktop would be slower than the connection was on the lap top? I guess anything is possible, but, whatever... Oh, and I should mention the desk top is a DELL, and I am not the biggest fan of Dell in the world, even though I have probably purchased about thirty of their machines in the past 15 years. But that is another diary entry.

And one of our friends is feeling puny today, so we put off the wireless trauma for another day. I am certainly not the most patient person in the world, but when someone is doing me a favor (and driving at least 100 miles round-trip to do it) I can be patient. There has been a lot of flu going around Central Texas, so I hope he rests and gets well.

Another beautiful day in PARADISE. What could be better. I slept extra late this morning, I did not dray my lazy butt out of bed until almost 7AM. What a slacker. Our company is looking for a clerical person at our front desk, so I have gone through 174 resumes in the last three days. The economy must really be in bad shape! If you listen to talk radio, all the woe is blamed on the drive-by media. Well, talk radio needs to post a job opening on CraigsList and see what happens. And we are not some Fortune 500 company, either. We are small, local, locally grown and small...did I mention we are a small company? Interestingly enough, when times are tough, this is when the entrepreneurial spirits come out of people. If you cannot find a job, you sometimes have to make one up. It will be interesting to see the creativity and new products and services come out of this difficult financial time.

I need to move the cows to the other pasture next weekend, and they have gone through a bale of hay in record time. We really could use some rain to get the grasses growing. I do not want to put out a big round bale of hay for them and then move them, so we went and got a few square bales for the, $9.50 a bale! Highway robbery, but you gotta do what you gotta do!

Now, go treat someone like you are their personal cocker spaniel (or the breed of you or their choice). What I mean is, go treat someone like you are delighted to see them, like you will care and love them unconditionally. And that you are always interested in whatever it is they are doing or did today. You know, kind of like a cocker spaniel!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Day Seventeen...

NUM YUMMY! Have you ever seen that commercial on TV? Stupid, but I like NUM YUMMY. NUM YUMMY today was blueberry pancakes (swimming in low-cal syrup) that Jody made for breakfast. Makes yer tummy say yummy! What a great way to start the day! I am lobbying for ginger bread pancakes for tomorrow. Excellent nights sleep last night, slept a little late even, did not get up until about 6AM. Had no real plans for the day, and that was nice. Jody made the pancakes, I installed a new Brita Water filter in the kitchen (we are going to try and quit using bottled water as much, so this is kind of a test run). All was great, and the day continued wonderfully!

We finally decided to go into the city and get some more furniture out of the condo. Today we got the dining room table and chairs, the dining room rug, two leather la-z-boy club chairs and a lounge chair and ottoman. A pretty good haul, all things considered.

On the way into town, we stopped at Harbor Freight (second on the list of favorite stores) and I got a cargo net for the truck, so stuff will not fly out the back while we are driving down the interstate. Then Jody needed to stop at the bank, and after we loaded everything up, we stopped by the office, and then I made a stop at my bank. Mundane things that need to be handled. I will not go into the office on Monday, and the banks will be closed in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr's. birthday. So, overall, today was a good day to get stuff like that done.

Have I mentioned lately that I am the luckiest guy in the world? Yep, I am, and I hold the worlds record. Undefeated champ! Now, go dance like nobody is watching, go sing a song like nobody is watching, and go do something nice for someone, in case you forgot to do that today.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Day Sixteen...

Okay, all is well, everything is fine. IT IS STILL COLD! We got our government handout in the mail yesterday. Even though we are really a little closer to Austin than we are to other cities (Waco, Killeen and Temple) we do not get the Austin local channels on the DirectTV thing, so we are going to use an old Sony with rabbit ears as a back-up set (which actually gets the Austin local channels) in case of nuclear war or the satellite goes out (which are both kind of the same thing). So, if we get into some place civilized over the weekend, we will most likely stop and but the converter box. Our neighbors say it works really great, and that he gets channels from all over that he never even knew existed. Skeptic that I am, you will receive my usual response...We Shall See!

It is still COLD here, but at least tonight it is not supposed to down to freezing. Hopefully about ten degrees above freezing, and warming up over the weekend. When it freezes, I have to shut the water off to the cattle's trough, and that is a pain when it is cold...and then go out in the morning to make sure the tank did not freeze or break up the ice in the trough. It is really just something I would prefer not having to do! So, I will get my wish for a least a couple days. I really need to try to remember this complaint next July and August when we are begging for cooler weather. I won't.

We are planning on going out to dinner tonight, that is always interesting since we are in the discovery mode. There are lots of new places to investigate out in the country, so maybe we will try one of those, or just go into Georgetown and try something franchisish. I think we are going to try to get the stuff moved from the condo during the last week of January and/or the first week of February. The closing is scheduled for January (Friday) 13th. I am really not particularly superstitious about that, I do not think there will be any issues at all.

I heard a quote from Steve Jobs on NPR yesterday as I was driving in. He said "I will be dead soon" so why not try this? The quote was from 2004 when he was dealing with pancreatic cancer. Maybe we should all act as if we will all be dead soon, and experience the freedom that provides. Just an idea.

Now, go do something nice for someone, and it will come back to you many times over.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day Fifteen...

I began doing bicycle rides as a fundraiser for AIDS Service Providers back in 1997 or 1998. My last big ride was in 2001. It was a ride from Montreal to Portland, Maine. The ride finished successfully and we left the jet port in Portland, Maine on September 10, 2001. The BAD GUYS left the jet port in Portland, Maine on September 11, 2001. It was certainly not the typically euphoric week that usually accompanied the completion of a great ride, but the dates will never be forgotten.

So I quit riding after that ride, but decided it is time to get back in the saddle. The Hill Country Ride for AIDS ( is a benefit for several service providers in the Austin area that work with people living with AIDS. Last year the ride raised over $600K and this is the tenth anniversary of the ride. The goal is to raise $650K. I am riding and I am a sponsor of the ride. When this ride was organized, I was also a founding member. If you think you can help, go to the web-site and you can easily make a donation to the cause on my behalf. Thanks.

...much later the same day. You know that feeling you get when you finally figure out what it is that has been gnawing at you all day. Well, about 4PM I realized what it was, and it hit pretty hard. Not to go into the gorey details, but I realized that I was not going to be able to attend the Hill Country Ride for AIDS kick-off party that was held tonight. I had wanted to do that, and I was the sponsor of the event, but it was not possible for me to be in two places at one time, so I had to punt.

Other than that, the day went well, and as it turned out, everything worked out okay, and no traumatic long lasting negative effects were experienced. Ask me later...

So, go have yourself a nice warm bowl of soup, sit back and look at the fire (or put a DVD in the machine and watch a digital fire) and enjoy the rest of the day. Do something nice for somebody, say thank you to someone that you otherwise take for granted, and generally just try to be a nice person for the rest of the day.

Visualize whirled peas.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Day Fourteen...

SCANDAL. HOLLYWOOD. MCGUFFIES. BUMPY BITS. SILICONE. BREAST ENHANCEMENT. Okay, so today's entry really has nothing to do with any of those things, and it has nothing to do with ANNA NICOLE SMITH is just a cheap attempt on my part to attract readers who might be searching the Internet with those words. We shall see. Just to be on the safe side, let's add a couple other sure fire hit-getters. Lindsay Lohan. Katie Holmes. Britney Spears. Clay Akins. That ought to do it. I will keep you posted.

Today was an early day, and it was great. Before I even left the house, I had to go up in the attic to light the pilot on the water heater, and then I discovered that the attic lights on the OTHER side of the attic were on, so I had to go over there and turn those lights out. THEN I had to go out to the pasture to make sure the water trough had not frozen over (and it had not, but better safe than sorry), and then I left to teach. It was really a wonderful morning, I love doing stuff at the farm.

I did not make it in to the office today, I was teaching a class all day, and will finish the class tomorrow. I made it to the teaching location with no real serious problems, traffic was light and there were no collisions to contend with. Tomorrow I will leave about a half-hour later and should be there in plenty of time to get everything set up, make sure the power-points are working and that all is generally in good shape. I carry several back-ups of the teaching material, just in case something happens. Some places where I teach, I even carry a back-up projector, just to be safe.

It was a great class, and I am pretty sure no one was offended. Instructing adult learners has its' ups-and-downs, but it is generally rewarding for me and the learners. I think a lot of it depends on how you get the class started. Setting the ground rules and letting everyone know what they can expect is always helpful.Tomorrow is another day (I hope), so right now, why don't you go write a thank you note to someone who has done something nice for you in the last week or so. No e-mails, pick up your nicest writing instrument, find a nice piece of paper, write using your best cursive penmanship, and put some thought into it. The recipient of that missive will be very happy to receive it, and they will think nice things about you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day Thirteen...

It is cold and windy here today, but not terrible for the middle of January. I just spoke with a friend of mine in New York, and it was 18 degrees when they awoke this morning, and it is expected to go down to zero later tonight. I do not feel bad about temperatures in the low 50's.

Jody came in to town this morning, so he came by the office and we went to lunch at Maria's Taco Village...what a fun place. We both like the Migas tacos, and they were great. There is a long story about this particular Austin restaurant...they were in a small shack for years-and-years and suddenly Walgreen's decided they wanted to build a new store in their space. To make a long story even less boring, eventually Walgreen's caved, moved the restaurant to an adjacent piece of land, and built them a new place. It looks like it has been there forever. In case any Austin purists check this entry, and if I don't have all the story and details 100% accurate...GET OVER IT!

So...after lunch I went to Wheatsville Co-op with a friend of mine looking for a kit to grow sprouts. Alfalfa Sprouts. Yes, that's right, ALFALFA SPROUTS. Even more odd than that is the fact that they had several different kinds of ways to grow them, and several different kinds of sprouts that could be grown. Once the word got out that we were looking for a sprout-growing kit, pretty much everything in the place came to a screeching halt, and the entire staff of the place converged in aisle 6 THE SPROUT DEPARTMENT. Okay, so I am exaggerating, BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT!

The trip home was uneventful, normal traffic issues, but I did stop to get some gas, even though I could have put it off until tomorrow. I am going to be leaving the house early though, since I am teaching a class on Wednesday and Thursday. I always like to be early, NEVER LATE and I always like time to get everything set up and ready. I am really looking forward to the class, they are always fun and I learn a lot by conducting them.

Now...go be nice to someone...perhaps you could be nice to an alfalfa sprout. Or perhaps you could send an alfalfa sprout to college. Or maybe...well, you can take it from here!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Day Twelve...

NEWS FLASH! Today started out dark. No, really, it was not really as dark as it could have been, because we were just one day past the full moon, and when I went out to get the paper, I did not even need the lights on the house (or the flashlight) because the moon was still very bright. You might ask yourself why I need the lights on, or why I bother to carry a flashlight...well, it is because I have to walk about 150 yards to get the paper, and there are coyotes around here. Sometimes they wake us up at night howling, which is pretty cool, and sometimes when I go for the paper, the flashlight catches their eyes anywhere from 100 feet away to several hundred feet away. You never can be too careful in the dark and in the country.

I left early to go to College Station, home of Texas A&M University and the George H W Bush Presidential Library.l I was there for an Instructors conference, and there were four or five general topics to be covered, all having to do with housing in the state of Texas. The economic forecast was REALLY, REALLY gloomy. The speaker, a very well respected economist in the State, was less than encouraging, and he was the first speaker. Some of the other speakers contradicted his theories and forecasts (just a little bit), but there is no doubt, we most likely have not hit bottom yet. The good news is, no matter what the government says, we did not just get into this recession, so we are most likely further along towards a recovery than one would estimate.

The trips there and back were very nice, mainly on rural roads with very little traffic, just the way I like it in my advancing years. Bad thing was the sun was directly in my face both ways.

So, now go do something nice for someone...and after this conference today, I really think the nicest thing you can do for anyone is to go spend some money. PLEASE, go buy a major appliance or something. I can't do this all by myself!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Day Eleven...

Today was spent at home, although we are going to Chili's for dinner this evening. We have a $75 gift certificate to Chili's, so there is no time like the present to use it. We got lots of stuff done today, emptied some boxes, organized the storage room just a little bit, and more-or-less spent the day putzing around.


When we had the storage shed moved onto the property, there was no way we could avoid driving over a large cactus patch, and that was jut a relatively traumatic happening. I had been meaning to move the cactus ever since then, but time is definitely not of the essence with cactus, since they will pretty much just grow wherever you happen to throw them. basically, if they are just put on the ground, they will eventually root, and voila, you have a cactus plant.


Well, as it so happened, I really could not find anyplace to put the cactus, but there was this really ugly bush in the front of the house on the garage side, so we decided that we could take that bush out and put some of the bigger cactus there. Here are the before and after shots, and we think it looks much better now than it did before I took out that bush. I am not sure if it was a "pivet" bush or a "privet" bush, but it is gone now!

Ir was a really pretty day here again, and we really need to remember these days, because once it gets hot, it is going to stay hot. They (who are they?) are saying we will have another dry year, but there is no global warming, right George? Anyway, when I got up this morning, the nuclear weather and time clock said it was in the lower went down into the high thirties, and I just looked and it is 68 degrees. Beautiful and sunny, calm winds, who could ask for anything better on January 11, 2009?

Now, just get up and go do something nice for somebody. Maybe fix someone a drink, offer to wash their car, or take them to dinner (sorry, no you cannot use my gift certificate to Chili's). Just go be nice to someone, you will feel much better after you do,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Day Ten...

The man on the news today said that the moon tonight would be closer to the earth than any other day this year, so I thought I would see if I could get a photo of that. It is not easy taking a photo of the moon, IT'S DARK don't 'cha know? Anyway, you can kind of get the idea. Just kind of squint your eyes, and work with me here...this is the closest you will see the moon this year. Which brings me to another know when people on the news say that the visibility is 15 or 20miles? Well, I can see the moon, so that makes the visibility a lot further than that, right? Am I missing something there? was a typical Saturday for me...started the day early as usual, and we left the house at about 830AM to go into town. The goal for the day was to get all our Christmas stuff out of the attic at the condo, and move it to storage at the farm. We also picked up a couple rugs while we were there, so the dog is not acting like a cartoon dog all the time on the floors. Things went very nicely with that chore, and we were done in less than an hour. Well, the getting the stuff out of the attic and into the truck was done in less than an hour. You have to remember that it takes an hour to get from the farm to the condo. But moving a few things at a time like that gives me a certain sense of accomplishment, so that is a good thing.

On the way back, I went through Leander to show one of the properties there for lease, and that was a long showing, because the property for lease is part of a 27 acre piece of land, and these folks are moving from the northwest part of the United States and they have three horses and three dogs...but it was good that I could get that worked into the day as well. The showing was good, and that made it a good thing.

We got home, and had sandwiches, and then Jody and I started getting the stuff out of the truck and into the storage building. This storage building we have is relatively big as buildings go, and there are three attic spaces in it as well, and most of these things (okay everything we moved today) went into one of those attic areas. We have about maybe half or a third of that attic space still available, and we will have plenty of room for everything to be stored when we get it all sorted through. That might be a task for tomorrow, we shall see.

Okay, the next exciting thing that I accomplished today was getting a couple new pairs of shows. My poor, tired feet were in need of something with a bit more "heel support" according to the experts, so no more LL Bean sliders for me. it is a pain in the foot getting older. Nothing can be taken for granted anymore, and I don't like it. And while we are on that subject, it would seem like someone would come up with some sort of manual on aging. I think if we can put a man on the moon, we could have a manual about what to expect as we get older...AND I am not getting any wiser, either.

All right, that is pretty much the end of my blathering for today, but you know, I had a really great day. I hope anyone that is reading this (I have no idea if anyone reads these things) feels that they are as lucky as I am. I really think that I am just about the luckiest guy on the planet...yep, that's it the truth. I am a lucky person. I am blessed!

Now, go think of something nice that you can do for someone...I know it is late, but it is not too early to plan your nice deed for tomorrow. It may be something as simple are letting someone cut in front of you in traffic, without laying on the horn. I know, instead of getting upset, why not invite someone to merge in front of you? What a concept!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Day Nine...

This is what the cop (Badge #4525 I think) looks like as he is presenting me with my brand-new speeding ticket! Notice the evil smile on his face? Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful! I was ZOOMING (that should not be considered an admission of guilt) down Manchaca this morning on my way to show some property, and all of a sudden I saw the twinkly lights in my rear-view mirror. I pulled over and was just as nice as I could possibly be. Do you know how fast you were going? Actually,no officer, I just thought I was keeping up with the flow of traffic around me. I clocked you at 69 miles per hour in a 45 mile zone. Oh my (hand to forehead) I had no idea! I am going to give you a citation for 55 in a 45 mile zone. Oh, thank you officer, (I wonder if that is legal? Is that some sort of tampering with evidence?) thank you very much. Smile for the birdie, say cheese!

I just love the smell of damp pastures in the morning. I woke up this morning and it was 64 degrees outside, and the humidity must have been very high. On my way out to retrieve the newspaper, the scent of pastures, cows and manure was permeating the air, and I thought it was just a little bit of heaven. If I didn't know better, I would have thought I was in Brenham, Texas where all the happy cows live that make the milk for Blue Bell Ice Cream. No, I am not kidding, I like that smell. Get over it!

Okay, and so those were the good parts of my day. As the day progressed, things kind of/sort of took a turn for the down sides, although there is really nothing I can put my fingers on, just kind of an overwhelming feeling on impending doom. I made it home from the office with no trouble, and traffic was no worse than usual. Just had some feeling of uneasiness.

Maybe it was the #5 special I had for lunch. But I am not feeling physically uncomfortable.

I am looking forward to the weekend. Plans are to move the Christmas stuff from the attic in the condo to the new house in the country. Stay tuned for sweaty photos on tomorrows blog.

Now, go find a dog to pet, that will always make you feel better. If you must, it is okay to pet a cat, but I do not recommend that you try to pet a goldfish.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day Eight...

Okay, I know most of you are sick about hearing how wonderful Austin is, well get over it, we can't help it.About a year ago, I got started crocheting (our Assistant MR. FABULOUS TOM crocheted some wonderful Christmas gifts, and he showed me how to do it). Well, I really liked doing it, and even thought about trying knitting. Knitting is not like you see on tv...Aunt Bea in the living room talking with Andy and Opie, and just going to town with those needles. Nope, it is HARD TO DO, so of course, I took one class and then promptly quit.Crocheting survived, though, and I crocheted several scarves (mufflers) and gave them away as Christmas gifts. They were all really well received, so I think I will start that again, and see what comes of it. I like doing it and it is fun and easy, and it fills time when I would otherwise be wasting time.Today was my Meals-On-Wheels day, and actually tomorrow is the anniversary of the day I began delivering Meals-On-Wheels in 1997. Wow, that seems like a long time ago, but I have really enjoyed doing it. Last year I actually crocheted a hat and scarf for one of my clients, who was always cold. She liked it a lot, and she in fact crocheted me a really pretty afghan. That was really nice.Jody and I went to a local restaurant here in Bartlett this evening called Lois and Jerry's. I think the place has been there forever, and it was really pretty good food, although I doubt that it is listed in the Michelin guide. I really had expected it to be kind of smoky and dark, but it wasn't...well, it was kind of dark, but not smoky and not loud at all. Just a nice place out in the country. Many of the people inside knew each other, it was nice.So, that is pretty much it for today, when you finish this, think about changing one light bulb in your house to a compact fluorescent bulb, or if you you are feeling really wild, change out two of them. They really cast a nice light, and if a lot of people did that, the country could save a lot of energy. Not hard to do at all, and there is a lot of benefit.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Day Seven...

Many of you may not know it, but I have been known to ride my bicycle a bit...many long rides, but then, well, I learned how to ride-through the drive-through at McDonald's. That is another story...

This is a photo taken many years ago in the springtime in Austin while I was riding my bike. I have signed up again for the 10th Annual Hill Country Ride for AIDS, which will be held on April 25th of this year. I was a founding member of the ride many years ago, and I am getting back in the saddle. I am also a sponsor of the ride again this year, and in addition to that, I have set a personal fund-raising goal for myself of $2,500. The kick-off party for the ride is next Thursday, January 15th, and I would really like to have met my goal by that date, just so I can tell the other riders that it can be done! If you would like to make a donation to my effort (totally tax deductible), just go to this web-site and you can make an on-line donation. I think you just click on the "make a donation" button, and search for me...BILL EVANS. It is way simple, it's easy and no one will get hurt!

It is another beautiful day here in the Heart of Texas. What can I say, I am blessed to live here and enjoy all the bounties that come my way. Last night there was a nice little non-overachieving sunset, and I took a couple photos of it thinking I might use it in today's blog, but then I got all hopped up about the AIDS Ride. Well... Tonight the sunset was spectacular, but I did not have a chance to take any photos. Not to worry, sunrises and sunsets of the spectacular variety are relatively easy to come by out here in the country. You get away from all those buildings and structures, and you just never know what you will see.

Now, when you finish with this entry, go get your personal telephone book, and make a telephone call to someone you have not spoken to in a while. I honestly don't care whose fault it is, or why you haven't talked with them for a while...just pick up the phone and give them a call. You will be glad you did, and besides, someone has to make the first move.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Day Six...

The absolutely worst day in Austin, Texas (and its' environs, I actually live in the environs) is better than the best day anywhere else. And today, it is an absolutely gorgeous beautiful day here. It started out cold and rainy and dark (okay it was early) but it is now 61 sunny degrees, and all is right with the world (with the possible exceptions of Gaza, Minnesota, Illinois and Washington, DC).

The day did not show very much promise when it began. I woke up at about 315AM and laid there until I finally got up at 345AM. I saw the paper being delivered at about 415AM so I walked out to get it IN THE RAIN! I usually take the dog out at the same time I go for the paper, but not today. IT WAS RAINING and it was about 40 degrees and it was DARK! When I finally got the dog up, he looked at me like "Are you crazy, it is RAINING, can't I just go over there and pee in the corner?"

Anyway...driving in today was a treat, school systems are back in session after the Holiday break, and it was RAINING. In the dark and in the rain I drive even more like an old lady in my little energy efficient automobile, so I took me a little longer to get in than usual. No wrecks though, it was too early.

First thing on the agenda was a 2009 Housing and Economic Forecast breakfast, pretty intersting stuff, and I learned a few things, so that was good. I try to learn something everyday, willingly or not, it makes no difference. Here is one of the things I learned: Do you know the difference between (insert the name of your favorite college football team that lost in the playoffs) and Rice krispies? Rice Krispies know what to do in a bowl! The speaker this morning used the Texas Aggies in his example, but you are welcome to use anything you want, and please feel free to take credit for the joke.

Afterwards, I made it back to the office for the first time this week, and got quite a lot of work done. Life is good. I also got a chance to get out a bit and enjoy this day. Soon I will be back on the expressway (is that an oxymoron) headed north, and quite possibly sitting idly for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. But I am not complaining. Please feel free to refer to the first sentence in this entry. It is true!

Now, please be kind and do something for someone less fortunate than yourself. Have you ever thought about delivering meals-on-wheels? Once you try it you will be hooked!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Day Five...

This is what I look like driving up I-35 after getting my car serviced.

Well, today was the first day of my new experiment to work from home on Mondays. It is all part of my effort to go into the office less and work from home more. Since we have moved 50 miles from the office, this seems like a smart thing to do. I was not totally convinced that I would be able to do it, but today has been great, and there has not been a single thing that I have been unable to do because of working from home. I have been using GO TO MY PC for a couple years and it has always worked well, but today was the real test. That and the Instant Messaging through Google, and all has been well. I am sure our assistant at the office appreciates that I am not around, and I imagine that he is much more productive with me not in the office.

Today is still cold and it rained some this morning, so there are forecasts of freezing rain, but I really do not think that will be an issue. We will see what the forecasts are for the overnight period.

I had all kinds of vendors scheduled to come to the house today; one septic guy to come out and install something on the septic, and a pool person to go over the pool intricacies with me. The septic folks showed up two-and-a-half hours late and the pool people never showed at all. There is big difference in living in the country than in the city, folks just take things as they come, and they will do their best, but it is not the end of the world if something does not get done according to your perceived notion that schedules are made to be kept. I really do not mind it at all.

The well pump at the other farm went out last Friday which caused the holding tank to implode, which accounts for the tenants description of an "explosion in the carport storage room and now we don't have any water". Oh well, it will all be fixed by this afternoon (maybe) and there is a bit of insurance that will cover part of that expense (allegedly). You really do not want to get me started about insurance companies...we will leave that for another post.

So, we have another big fire in the fireplace and the day is winding down. Wish you all could be here to enjoy it with us...

Now, please go do something nice for somebody and expect nothing in return. You will really be pleased at how good it makes you feel.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What day is this?

Okay, I know this is day four. I am not going totally senile yet, and I cannot keep up already. This is what I really look like when I have been doing things that I really wish I had done yesterday. I much prefer glistening (many people refer to this as sweating) to shivering. Shivering is not a good thing. BRRR it is cold here, okay, I also know that everything is relative. It was very nice and warm here yesterday. When I got up this morning, it was in the 60's and within a couple hours, it was down in the 40's and there was a really strong northerly wind. We are not prepared for temperatures this cold in this area. And I will not quit complaining about it, thank you very much.

So, I had a very nice time this morning, Jody and I went to TWO different Tractor Supply stores, because the first one did not have the hay ring I needed to move the cattle to the other pasture. Longhorn cattle cannot use a normal hay ring, because if they were to get their horns caught, they might break their necks trying to get them they need hay rings similar to those that horses would use. You probably need to see it to understand, but that will be another post.

It is cloudy and overcast here today (my friend Melody would love it, but her husband Bruce would need to sit for hours in front of the light box), and it looks like least it looks like I remember it looked like when I lived in Michigan as a younger me. I remember going pheasant hunting with my dad on days like these...okay, my dad did the hunting, and I just walked around looking at stuff. I have still never shot a gun in my life.

And this is what the cattle look like after getting fed. Heads down, keep out of the way and no one will get hurt. I am uploading two photos of the cattle so you can see each of the heifer calfs to their best advantage.
We have a great big fire in the fireplace, just had some lovely butternut squash soup for lunch, Jody is taking a nap, and I think I will have ice cream.

Now go do something nice for someone you don't like. That will put them off guard and make them very suspicious of your motives!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Day Three...

This was a really beautiful day in Texas. The high temperature (according to our nuclear clock and weather station) was 87 degrees (can't find the degrees symbol) and after we did some errands in Austin and more, we came home and sat out by the pool and just pretty much enjoyed the afternoon in the sun.

Who says I am not comfortable with my feminine side? I am the only person I know (man or woman) that is comfortable with their pink knock-off CROCS, and I am not ashamed to admit it.

Last night was relatively windy here, we are still not totally used to the fact that you could use the land around our house to test the aero-dynamic properties of items set to go into manufacture. It is not unusual for the winds to be gusting up to 30 miles per hour or more, and that just means more leaves in the pool...but that is okay, I like keeping busy.

I was scheduled to get the cattle moved into the other pasture today, but I will put that off until tomorrow, after a trip to my favorite store, TRACTOR SUPPLY. Yippee. I really like (love might be a little too strong in this instance, so I am sticking with like) that place, everything you need for out here!

My previous favorite was Home (homo) Depot, but they are now in second place.

I still have not used my credit card, but it is okay for me to do so if it is for gasoline purchases. My total monetary expenditures so far this year is $6.62...$2 for shoelaces yesterday and $4.62 for lunch today for me and Jody. Fiscal responsibility at its' finest.

It is supposed to turn cooler tomorrow, highs only in the 50's and then highs only in the 30's for Monday, my first day of working from home.

I am the luckiest person in the world, and I hope it shows.

Now, go do something nice for someone!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Day Two...

Okay, I am going to try and work smarter and not harder this year. I am starting this entry while I am at my office, and I will upload the daily photo from there. Much faster internet connection than at the house. One of the VERY FEW inconveniences of living in the country. Overall, the good things FAR OUTWEIGH the inconveniences.

Traffic was very easy on the way to the office this morning. Generally it takes any where from an hour to an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the office. Today I made it in less than an hour.

I will be leaving the office early today, going to the Board to theach an ethics class. The first class of the New Year is always pretty small, but I really enjoy teaching and especially teaching ethics.

Well, as I was on my way to teach, I received a call that the class was cancelled. It seems there is just not that much interest in ethics this soon into the nNew Year. Oh well, and after I spent $2 on a new pair of shoe laces, too.

Although, I have to admit, this is now the second day of the year, and my total expenditures are $2. My annual January vow to not use the credit cards in the month of January is going well, if I do say so myself. Not sure about tomorrow, though.

Okay, this is it for now, life is good, and remember to be nice to someone who least expects you to be!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Day One...

Okay, I am going to zip right past the parts about I wish you all peace on earth in the New Year. I have always been one to attempt achievable goals, and I have no fantasy that we will have peace around the wrold in the near future. Pity...

So, so far, so good. Today is the first day of the New Year, and all is well. We did some good work today, we moved some stuff from the condo in Austin to the new place in the country. We have been here about two months, and we are living on two chairs. Well, more than that, but really not that much more.

I slept later than usual today, and once I got out of bed, had some New Year's biscuits for breakfast, and then went out to see the cattle.

Cattle are really more photogenic than people. Hmmm...

Okay, having said all that, I think I will upload a couple photos and then make it ready for calling it a day.

Okay, I am still getting used to this blogging program, I am sometimes a quick learner, but we shall see...

The photos below are not in the order I wanted them to appear, but it is late and I am getting tired. The internet connection at the farm is not THAT fast, so it took a really long time to upload then. Anyway...

The photos are as follows: FIRST, the two heifer calves Lady Bug and Violet. THe SECOND photo is Orchid and Daphne. Violet is Daphne's calf. The THIRD photo is Doodle Bug (Lady Bug's mama) and the happy bull himself, MR. Speckles.

Finally, the last photo is Jody (Joel) and our newly rescued pound puppy, Bear.

More tomorrow. Good night!