Wednesday, February 29, 2012

2012 - Day 060/306 - Wednesday...

It's Leap Day, so everyone should go out and jump off of something. But you only have to do this once every four years, so you should have plenty of time to recuperate.

Another beautiful sunset this evening, and this photo does not really do it justice. Interestingly, there are lots of folks posting beautiful sunset photos on their FaceBook pages, and I think that is great that folks in central Texas are taking time to LOOK UP.

A busy and productive day today. Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of March already? Jody got four eggs from the girls today, and asked that I make sure there are eight girls out there when I put them to bed. He noted that there was a hawk perched in one of our trees when he came back from the grocery store, so he just wanted to make sure. All the girls were accounted for, along with one live mouse, one dead mouse and one almost dead mouse. PLUS there was a squirrel running around in one of the trees out front. There are not many squirrels in this neighborhood, not too many trees for them to take refuge in.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MICE OF VARIOUS KINDS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2012 - Day 059/307 - Tuesday...

So, this kind of begs a couple of questions. Which came first, the chicken or the weeds? Is going with a more 'natural' landscape plan really going to work? Will Mikey really come from Florida and pull weeds every day for the next three years? For the answer to these and many other pressing questions, tune in again at your convenience, when we will totally ignore those questions, and pose entirely new ones with no regard for your intellect or personal hygiene.

Today ended the Texas Association of REALTORS Winter Meeting, and I am still thinking this was the best Winter Meeting ever. It was the best attended meeting, a record breaker with over 1,100 attendees. Today finished with the TAR Directors meeting, and there are lots of big things happening with our Association. Stand by for NEWS...

Page Two...

If you remember, Jody and I discovered a cache of blue eggs (and one brown egg) outside the coop and behind the base of a defunct fountain leaning up against the front barn. There were 31 eggs in that clutch, and we would not have found them if the dog-boy was not suspiciously loitering in the vicinity, and walking around with egg-breath. The interesting thing is, since we found the clutch and gathered those eggs, they (we assume it was our chickens and not some trespassing vagrant chickens) have not laid another egg in that spot. Had they already quit laying there? Did they think aliens had come and taken their eggs? What the hell?

I guess I will never know, but I do think it is worth pondering. Here is one more thing to ponder before I post this. What if yesterday is happening continuously, and in some dimension, it always yesterday. And the same thing for today, what if today (and right now) is happening time and again. And tomorrow has already happened, we just don't know what occurs, because we will always be in the NOW, not in the future. And what about my shoe box theory? Do you want to hear that one? Maybe tomorrow.

Maybe I should just stick with chickens.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHICKENS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, February 27, 2012

2012 - Day 058/308 - Monday...

I am home and it is wonderful. The Winter Meeting was really one of the best I have attended, and that is a good thing. BUT, there is a lot of information to digest and absorb, and it is not quite over yet. I have another couple of meetings to attend tomorrow, and everything (for me) should be finished by Noon. Then I have a couple appointments and a conference call.

This was the dessert from the luncheon today. It is a little pie shell with some sort of chocolate in it (pie filling or pudding or tort or something) with some rock-salt sprinkles in the middle. Kind of interesting (I ate it didn't I) and Jody says that it is some new kind of trendy dessert. Whatever. I would not want to make an entire meal out of it, that's for sure.

I left for home this evening about 6 o'clock, and traffic was a bit of a challenge in many places. Finally made it home, though, so all is good.

Tomorrow is another day, and it will be here sooner than later.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DESSERTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2012 - Day 057/309 - Sunday...

This is my last night for staying in-town. A long day of meetings, seminars and classes. Tomorrow I have two sessions, and two sessions on Tuesday, but tomorrow night I will be at home.

A lunch meeting this afternoon was held in the same room as the evening reception last night, so I though it would be interesting to post a similar photo, yesterdays was an evening view, today is a daytime view. Austin really is a nice place to live.

For all the stuff I have done in the past three or four days, I am totally drawing a blank right now, so I will stop here...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOWNTOWN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN...

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 - Day 056/310 - Saturday...

Okay, another day of meetings and stuff. I am just now recovering from last nights escapades, so at least it did not kill me. There was some doubt about my recovery (in my own mind) but it looks like everything is going to work out okay.

This photo was taken at an evening function from the 17th floor of the Hotel. Austin is really a wonderful town, and there are things that keep being discovered. After this meeting, I was invited to a nice dinner with a few colleagues, and just made it back to the Hotel.

Looking forward to a good nights sleep, and another day of meetings tomorrow.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CITYSCAPE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

2012 - Day 055/311 - Friday...

It is Friday, but I am not necessarily doing a happy dance. It is late, and I am in no condition for dancing.

I have been in meetings all day long with during the Texas Association of REALTORS Winter Meeting. All day class for Professional Standards, and a meeting of the Professional Development Management Team. After that, it was an early meeting, and then I was a celebrity waiter for the Women's Council of REALTORS TREPAC Fund Raiser.

SO, the theme was Las Vegas, and I was cast as Liberace. EXHAUSTING. BUT, I raised over $2,600 for TREPAC which earned me third place. Not too bad for the first time. The shoes were killers! This is a picture of me (Liberace, looking not too bad for being dead for decades, and Beyonce 20 years from now).

I have a meeting at 7:45 in the morning, so I am done.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LIBERACE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 - Day 054/312 - Thursday...

Hip-Hip-Hooray for me! Today was a great day. I was actually in the office for most of the day. PM meeting in the AM, then Meals-On-Wheels, then back in the office. Took off for home about 3 o'clock (things to get done before I am 'in-town' for the weekend.

Do you have any idea what this is a photo of? I think it is kind of interesting, so if you think you know, let me know and I will let YOU know if you are right. Maybe it is not as questionable as I think it is...

I had six clients on my Meals-On-Wheels route today, which is about two thirds or usual. AND, of those six clients, two of them were not at home. One guy on my route got three servings today.

I came home early today because I wanted to get the cattle fed so I do not worry with them over the weekend. It is the Texas Association of REALTORS Winter Meeting (it was 91 degrees today in Austin, but that kind of qualifies as Winter is you remember all the bitching and moaning and groaning I did about the heat last SUMMER). I think that last parenthetical statement may be a record breaker for the length of a parenthetical statement. But I digress... I will be staying in Austin for the next three nights, so the cattle have been fed, and they will not starve for my attention (or my food either) while I am gone.

Another beautiful sunset this evening. Jody reports he retrieved eight eggs from the girls today, that makes an egg for each chicken, so production is definitely increasing. I took this photo as I was going out to the front barn to put the girls to bed. All is well on the edge of nowhere.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, IT'S DENIM, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

2012 - Day 053/313 - Wednesday...

I had plenty of opportunities to take photographs of SOMETHING today. Interesting SOMETHINGS, controversial SOMETHINGS, pornographic SOMETHINGS, dressed up SOMETHINGS, boring SOMETHINGS, mechanical SOMETHINGS (you get the picture). Instead, I have chosen not to take a photograph of anything. I choose today to photograph NOTHING, and to rely on the wonders of the Internet, and wonder again how long it will be before someone accuses me (and probably rightly so) of pirating their trademarked and/or copyrighted material and placing it on my journal without their permission.

It has been a long and interesting day. Maybe not as rewarding as some days, maybe a bit more controversial than some other days, but in the grand scheme of things, one day is in large part the same and another day. Glad to be here, thank you very much, and let us see what tomorrow holds. I know for certain, that everything works out. Not always the way we expected it might work out, but everything works out.

Yesterday was Fat Tuesday, and today is Ash Wednesday, and even though I have been in contact with literally HUNDREDS of people today, no one mentioned that it was Ash Wwednesday, and I saw no evidence that anyone of the Catholic persuasion had been to Mass this morning. Interesting...

Deeds, Actions Changes, SOMETHINGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 - Day 052/314 - Tuesday...

I wish I could speak chicken. This girl was just a fussin' this afternoon and I have no idea what she was fussin' about. Cluck, cluck, cluck. She was acting like some of the members of committees I am on. Always talking, never saying anything. Whatever.

Traffic on the way into town and on the way out of town was very cooperative today. I need to try for the same tomorrow morning, and I will be coming home late tomorrow night, so that should not be a problem. Thursday will be a normal day, and then Friday through Monday I will be staying in town, so that will negate any traffic problems I would ordinarily have.

In and out of the office today, and in the middle of the day I had a couple meetings at the Board. I really enjoy the work I do in a volunteer capacity, it is very rewarding, it just takes a lot of time, which becomes more and more valuable.

I made it home again today before dark, which is always wonderful. It was supposed to make it up into the 80 degree range today, but I think it topped out around 70 or so. The prognosticators are claiming it will reach 80 degrees tomorrow and Thursday, but I hope not. Mid 70's is a comfortable place to be towards the end of February. No complaints. Another lovely sunset this evening, too. This is a pretty good photo of the sunset we enjoyed along with the turbines out in the front field.

Why was the scarecrow given an award? Because he was outstanding in his field.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNSETS AND CRABBY CHICKENS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 - Day 051/315 - Monday...

Someone said it is a Holiday today and I guess (according to the traffic this morning) that is correct. BUT, for a day that was not intended to be busy, it just would not quit. I think mostly it was because I never did quite get into the rhythm of the day. Never quite got into the groove. It started our chilly and cloudy and grey, and by the time it was nice and sunny and mild it was over with. I think I was just out of sync with the day. I wonder why that was.

This is a picture of the girl-cat taken the other night in front of the stove. She has discovered that this is a pretty good place to stay warm, and since we have had the dog for almost three years now, the likelihood of him devouring her is somewhat remote. Funny little girl-cat.

I got home today and it was still light outside, so I went out and cranked the lawnmower. I left the trickle charger on it overnight, and it started right up this afternoon. The grass is SO HIGH (how high is it?) that my real intention was only to cut paths from here to there, but you cannot really even tell where I did that. I think I will lower the setting on it tomorrow and see what happens. Those of you who pay occasional attention to this blog might remember that I do not really cut the grass around here, I just cut at it. Much less pressure that way.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, GRASS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 - Day 050/316 - Sunday...

Things got off to a slow start today, I slept in for a while, and it was cold and cloudy and I was not motivated. Miguel was supposed to come by around 9 o'clock, but he was called off to work somewhere else, so that gave me a little bit of a break. At least I would not have to run around like a crazy man today.

I started by sweeping out the garage and filling the wagon with firewood for the week. Then I went out to the pasture and closed the feed pen off so I would not be molested by the cattle when I was feeding them. I got the cattle fed, and put a fresh bale of hay out for them. I have not put the new hay ring together, it is too wet for me to try and take the truck back there. One thing I learned a long time ago, avoid getting the truck stuck in the pastures at all costs. Even though it is pretty easy to pull the truck out of most muck with the tractor, it just makes better sense to just avoid it all together.

This is a photo of the new tank we had dug last year during the height of the drought. This is the first time it has had more than a couple feet of water in it, and it looks pretty darned good. The old tank in the other pasture is looking good right now too. I could actually turn the water off to the troughs, but I will leave it for now. We have not been using very much water at all for the past couple days.

Jody and I went into Georgetown this afternoon for spoilers at Dairy Queen. We went back to Georgetown tonight for dinner at the Catfish Parlor. Pretty darned good, even though the waitress kept trying to refill my root beer with diet Pepsi.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WATER IN THE TANK, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

2012 - Day 049/317 - Saturday...

Lots of rain overnight. We put the Thunder-Shirt on the dog before we went to bed, it was already thundering. At some point, the weather-alarm radio went off, warning about flash floods, and I got up and shut it off. Jody said it went off again during the night and it kept-on-and-kept-on and I just slept through it. He finally got up and shut it off, and I was just out like a light, I guess. It has rained a couple more times since I took this picture, we are at about 3 3/4 inches so far. It is supposed to be clearing off tonight, and be sunny and bright tomorrow.

We rode around (kind of some out-of-the-way places) today, just looking at where there is water that wasn't there yesterday. There is water in places that has not had water since the last time there was water there. And that is saying something! There is water where the middle tank (that we had filled in) used to be. There is water in the big main tank in the west pasture, and there is water in the new tank in the east pasture. There is water in the fields, there is water in the bar ditches. There is water. I am not complaining, I just hope there will be some water in the summer. AND, I hope we get a cutting or two from the pastures this year. We only got one cutting last year, and I am about to start using that hay for the cattle.

Jody and I did go into Taylor this morning to get some feed for the cattle. We took his truck since it is closed in, and the feed is still in the truck. It is a little too wet to try and take it back to the feed shed, but I will do that tomorrow. I am also going to try and take hay to the cattle, hoping I will not get stuck in the mud. It is always something...

When we got back from Taylor, Jody went down for a nap, and I did some work in the office. I got a lot of little things done, so I am ahead of the game on that kind of stuff. After Jody got up from his nap, we went into Georgetown and (are you ready?) we went to Chik-Fil-A for lunch. We shared a chicken salad sandwich, fries and we each got our own milk shake. Fabulous.

After lunch, we went to Tractor Supply and I got a new hay ring for the cattle. That is the fourth hay ring in about eight years we have had the cattle. Things just do not last the way they used to. AND, the cattle are rough on inert objects. If they want something and there happens to be a hay ring or a gate or a fence in the way, well, that is just too bad.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, February 17, 2012

2012 - Day 048/318 - FRIDAY!!!

It is indeed Friday, and this is my little HAPPY DANCE. It has been a long week, and even though a week ago I was sailing on a cruise ship back towards Galveston, it seems like it was a year ago.

It has been a rainy day again today. It was rainy when I got up this morning, and it has been pretty much a drizzly day all day long. I am trying to get a fire going in the stove. It will light eventually. If I dropped a cigarette on the floor, the whole freaking house would incinerate in a matter of minutes. As it is, I have dry wood, fat wood (special from LL Bean) and a freaking acetylene torch and I cannot get the first to stay lighted. Oh the inhumanity of it all...

I had a good day today, and come to think of it, almost every one of my days is a good day. I got into the office early, got some work done and headed off to the Board about 2 o'clock. I had a TERRIFIC meeting with the current TRLP class and it was GREAT. There were twenty-two people in the class, and it was a great exchange of information and clarifications.

One thing I learned at Strategic Planning yesterday was the difference between 'compromise' and 'collaboration". It is an interesting concept, and I like things that make me think. If you run into me, ask me about it, it is something that I enjoy discussing. Kind of like the 'shoe box' theory. Unfortunately, the older I get, the more I think.

This is going to be a slow weekend, if the weather prognosticators are any indication. I think it is supposed to rain through tomorrow, but I really need to go to Tractor Supply and buy a new hay ring for the cattle. They can really do some damage to equipment around here. AND, they require a special 'equine' ring, because if they get their horns caught in the ring, they can do serious damage to themselves trying to get free.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN RAIN RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

2012 - Say 047/319 - Thursday...

There was more than one photo taken of me today with a law enforcement official. As soon as I make bail, I will see if I can locate the others to post.

A long and productive day today. Started with Strategic Planning for the Austin Board this morning, all the way through til about 4:30 this afternoon. A group of about forty participants, discussing the needs and vision of the Board. A good, broad based group that represented over six hundred years of real estate and management experience in one room, joined with Association Staff to develop a short term plan. Nothing further than the next 10 months. After that is implemented, we will work on long-term plans. What a great group.

After that meeting, it was off to the Mueller Hangar for the Annual ABoR TREPAC Chili Cook-Off. We have had some interesting weather this week; snowed on Sunday, it was 80 degrees yesterday, and this evening it was a mild 55 to 60 degrees accompanied by GALE FORCE winds. So, the hangar acted much like a wind-tunnel and the chili was indeed chilly. BUT, the event was a success, and I think a really good time was had by all. There were lots of elected officials there, and there were folks running for office. Overall, it was an event that really shows what the Austin Board can do; we are all about politics, and we need to show that we have a strong voice. Congratulations to all the folks that made the event a success.

Tomorrow is another day. FRIDAY...

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TREPAC, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

2012 - Day 046/320 - Wednesday...

I have to tell you, this week is whizzing by...

This morning when I went out to get the newspaper, the coyotes were busy calling from about a half-mile or so away, maybe less, but that is my best guess. I am not sure how far their howls travel, but I would suspect out here sounds carry pretty well.

It has been foggy in the mornings for the last couple days, and that makes an interesting commute into the office. Between the house and the Interstate (about 12 miles) it is very difficult to see, and I am always a bit more cautious because of small (and big) animals crossing the roads. By the time you get to the Interstate, the traffic alone causes the fog to swirl up a little bit off the road, making visibility a little bit better. Another extra long commute today, about an hour and a half.

It was a very busy day, and tomorrow will be a longer and busier day!

It has been a pretty long time since I posted a sunset photo. I think that is mostly because it has been a pretty long time since we had a sunset worthy of photographing. We have had some pretty grey days here, but tonight was pretty good. AND, it just got better from here, although the deeper the colors, the more difficult it is for my little camera to focus and take a good shot. I wonder if I got my inability to focus from the camera or if it was the other way around?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SUNSETS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

2012 - Day 045/321 - Tuesday...

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone! I hope you all had a great one!

Well, to begin, we are very distressed to learn that Pauline took a fall at the Dollar General in Bartlett this past Saturday, and she is (I think) in the Scott & White Hospital in Temple. There have been a couple CAT Scans, can't find anything broken, but she is in lots of pain. While I was on the cruise, she brought a big plate of fudge and cookies over to Jody. We had noticed that things were not looking right over at their house, and we had called them at the house twice with no answer. SO, I called Hubert on his cell phone, and that is when he told us that Pauline had fallen. We sure do wish her a speedy recovery.

I got Jody a card and some flowers and some other stuff for Valentine's Day. He ALMOST got (or was going to get this weekend) a new garbage disposal, which I believe is what every one would like for Valentine's Day. I know it is kind of an extravagant gift (that's why you do not hear of too many people receiving garbage disposals for Valentine's Day), but nothing is too good for Jody. As it turns out though, I took a broom handle to it again and freed it up. I do not think it is really dead, and that it would like to live to grind up more food waste for a while longer. We shall see.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, VD, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 - Day 044/322 - Monday...

It rained overnight and much of the morning. Traffic was not a delight, and it took over an hour and a half to get to the office. It was pretty much the same story this afternoon. Traffic was not friendly, and I had three stops to make along the way. However, the girls will be happy because they have 100 pounds of chicken feed to keep them busy for a while.

My first day back in the office could have been MUCH worse, but there were not really too many stacks of anything on my desk when I walked in this morning. Carrie and Tom and Karla kept everything under control, so that is great that they took care of all the stuff (big and small) while I was gone.

Tomorrow will be another day in the office for most of the day. During the trip I had gotten rid of most of the junk mail, and I took it one day at a time today. Finally I was through the e-mails, and got replies to all but one that I still need to think about. Overall, a good day.

When I got home this evening, I took the chicken feed out to the front barn, and even though it was only a little after 5 o'clock, two of the girls were on their roost. Interesting. Jody also reported that one of the blue eggs he got today was almost the same size as the brown eggs we get from the other girls.

In case you don't know it, tomorrow is Valentine's Day, so you had better get busy.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, RAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Pea, FUN!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2012 - Day 043/323 - Sunday...

Well, all I can say is, I picked one helluva day to come back from vacation...

I was off the ship by about 8:30 this morning, and Doren and I were hitting the road by about 9 o'clock. Except for taking a wrong exit in Houston, we had no real problems, and we pulled into the McDonald's parking lot in Elgin just about 30 minutes before Jody. Jody and I had lunch in Elgin, and brought some bar-b-cue back for later on. As long as we were there...

There was a nagging suspicion that it had gotten cold enough last night that some of the connections in the pasture could have frozen, but nothing bad happened, and the seven day forecast calls for warming temperatures in the seven day forecast. BUT, just as we were about a mile from the house, I heard what I thought was rain on the truck, but I could not see any raindrops. I could hear it but I could not see it. We got in the house and less than 20 minutes later I was out feeding the cattle. AND IT WAS SNOWING. Really? Snowing? Yep, it was snowing and I was out feeding the cattle. I felt like I was in the middle of an old Marlboro commercial, but without the chaps and the cigarette. If you squint your eyes just right, you can see the snow in this picture. CRAZY!

The cruise was fun, and we are already planning next years. Royal Caribbean, February 10th out of Galveston. Come with us!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SNOW DAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2012 - Day 042/324 - Saturday...

Have you ever been in a hurricane? Have you ever been in a hurricane while on an instable object? Have you ever been in a hurricane while on board a ship in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico? Well, maybe I am exaggerating JUST A LITTLE BIT, but this boat is ROCKIN’! One of the television channels gives the ship location, maps of where we are, speed, wind speed and direction. There are winds, pretty much dead-on, at over 80 km per hour. I am not certain of the conversion from kph to mph but I think it is around 45 to 50 mph winds. It makes for an interesting ride. Not scary or anything, just interesting. Many of the outside decks have been closed due to the winds. AND, the temperature is dropping the closer we get to Texas.

Today was the last day of classes, and it has been pretty much a day of relaxation. There are some crazy people on this ship, buying up all the watches and bracelets and gee-gaws that are 75% off. Really? The only thing that I bought while in any of the ports was food, and I have nothing to declare to customs when I get off. This has been a pretty simple cruise. This is a photo of the three instructors for this cruise, Mark, me and Jim.

I am looking forward to dinner tonight, then packing up, and then getting off the ship tomorrow and heading home. Jody will meet us in Elgin, and we are going to pick up some sausage and brisket to take home. When I get home, I need to feed the cattle, and then it will be back to normal. Until the next time.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WOBBLINESS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, February 10, 2012

2010 - Day 041/325 - Friday...

Happy Friday everyone, whee, whee, WHEEE!!!

SO, this is a photo of me taken just before the Chihuahua decided it was not happy being held, and I climbed the zip-cord platform with tiny little teeth marks on my left hand. I wish I had a nickel for every time I had been bitten by a little yappy dog. I’d have at least seventy-five cents or so. I would have made about fifty-cents all in one little yappy dog tirade. I’m just saying…

We are in Cozumel today, and this is our last port. We are already planning next year’s trip; February 10th, Royal Caribbean, Honduras, Belize, Cozumel. Sign-up now!

I REALLY wanted to go Para-sailing or get a tattoo today, but I went with zip-lining instead. I hung out with Chris, Ruby, Amy and Kirk, and had a really nice day. The zip-lining was not great, and it would have been a lot better if we were in a more wooded (jungle-ish) setting and if we were higher up and if the zip part was longer. But other than those small complaints, it was great.

We went and had a nice lunch, and then I came back to the ship, and took a nice nap. After the nap, I went up to the Lido Deck and sat in one place for about two hours, and watched what was going on around me. The longer I am on this ship, the more I wish I had a balloon penis to wear on my head. THERE, I SAID IT. At least I am not wearing one. But there is still time!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DOG BITES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

2012 - Day 040/326 - Thursday...

Grand Cayman today.

I knew from the last time I was here (and from a LOT of my friends on this ship) that there was a Dairy Queen on the island. SO, that was about our third or fourth stop in the port. I hung out on the island for an hour or so, and headed back to the ship where I had a nice long nap.

That is really what this whole cruise is about if you ask me. R&R.

We are already underway again, heading for Cozumel. Three more nights on ship, and then back home and back to all the things I crave.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DQ, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2012 - Day 039/327 - Wednesday...

Today was a day in port, Jamaica. I was in Jamaica a couple years ago, and it is pretty much the same as I remember it, although this time I stayed pretty close to the ship. Last time I took a city tour that lasted HOURS and might have included a drug buy and delivery. It is a REALLY long story.

So, I had a pretty casual morning, and got off the ship about 10:30. I hung out with Ruby, Chris, Amy and Kirk, and we took a bus to the center of the shopping district, and walked up and down a couple streets. We ended up at Margaritaville, where I had a ‘cheeseburger in paradise’ which was not really that paradise-like, but it was okay. We were in a shady spot, and were just a couple feet away from the surf, and had good views of the cross-section of society. Our ship may have been the only one in port today, and most of the people we have seen on the ship were the same people we saw in Montego Bay.

Tonight we will sail to Grand Cayman, and I most likely will get off and do something. I am pretty much just enjoying the chance to do nothing, even though I am checking e-mails, just not every 5 minutes.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PARA-SAILING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

2012 - Day 038/328 - Tuesday...

We had a detour this morning from our charted path. We did a ‘drive-by’ of Cozumel. Someone on-board had a medical emergency, so we coasted by Cozumel, another boat sidled up close to us, and they transferred the person (not sure if it was a man or a woman) to the other boat without this ship stopping. Kind of interesting.

This is a photo that was taken at dinner last night; Me, Amy, Ruby and Chris (and that is Allie to the right). Dinner was very nice last night, and it was a lot of fun. Another nice evening planned for tonight as well.

Mark is teaching a six-hour class today, I have been popping in and out, but I am now enjoying the part of the trip that I am not responsible for anything.

I have been working today though; the main thing is getting some stuff done that needs to happen quickly, and it will get done. I told the other agents involved that I would get the package of documents to them by Thursday, and that is totally doable. I am just waiting on one more piece of information, and I will be able to hit SEND.

Well, it is about time now to get ready for dinner, and I am still waiting on that ONE piece of information. It will all work out. I went to the Casino this afternoon, and dropped $20. I am just not very much of a gambler. PLUS there is a LOT of smoking in the Casino, and I just do not want to hang out in there much. I guess there is a correlation between smokers and gamblers, and probably smokers are more likely to gamble (and lose) than non-smokers. What say ye?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DETOURS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, February 6, 2012

2012 - Day 037/329 - Monday...

At least I think it is Monday...

So, I hope the Internet connection is better today than it was yesterday. I am hoping it will be, because I really kind of liked this photo that I took at dinner last night. I am not sure if the total usage (ship wise) has anything to do with the connection speed, but I am going to try and post this entry this evening before I go to dinner. We shall see…

Even though I was at the guest services desk about 8 o’clock this morning, they guaranteed they would have the room set up before 9AM. Well, they didn’t, and the folks setting up the room said they were not even aware of the meeting (we have this conference room reserved for three days this week), BUT everything worked out in the end, and all was good. This is a photo of what the room looked like about ten minutes before the class started. It was all fine…no reason to panic!

So far this morning, I have taught my first class, and it was a great group of folks. Eighteen students taking the class for MCE credit, even though there were about twenty-five people in the class total. There was a lot of good dialogue, and I think everyone in the class walked out of the room with some good knowledge. That is really about all you can ask for.

My next class starts about an hour from now, so I am going to check e-mails and grab some lunch before that starts. There is an interesting gravitational pull on these ships; everything (and everyone) gets trapped in the gravitational pull towards the buffet lines. This morning I had a DELICIOUS omelet, reasonably good coffee, and DELICIOUS orange juice. The orange juice was coming out of the dispenser and it looked watery, but in reality it was very good and had pulp in it. I love pulp. I went back for another glass.

More later…

Okay, I finished my afternoon class, and all went well. After the class, my friend and colleague Chris came up to my room to make an adjustment to my iPhone, it seems the ip address (whatever) was in direct competition with my laptop, and would not blah, blah, blah… Whatever… But it is functioning now, and all is well.
I am going to try and get this entry posted before dinner, so if it does in fact post, you will know all is well.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MONDAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 - Day 036/330 - Sunday...

There may be no photo for this entry, the Internet connection on this ship is SLOW!

It was another early start to the day. Jody and I drove to Elgin where we met Doren and I transferred all my stuff into Dorens’ car for the drive down to Galveston. Doren and I have known each other for seventeen years, but we have really not had a chance to visit. It was a great drive down, and it was really nice to get to know Doren.
We boarded the ship about 1:30, and went upstairs to the Lido deck for lunch, where we met up with several of our colleagues, and then we went to the safety drill. So far one of my bags has been delivered (the important one that has the wine in it), and I hope to end up with the other one soon.

I need to figure out where my class will be held tomorrow. I think it is on the fourth deck, but there is still plenty of time for that.

I think I will go down in a little while and see if I can find anyone else.
Back in the room after dinner, this ship is rockin’ and rollin’. Unbelievable. Dinner was not really a memorable event, but I expect things will pick up tomorrow. Pretty much after my classes tomorrow, I will be in serious vacay mode. Hope so…

Deeds, Actions, Changes, VACAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

2012 - Day 035/331 - Saturday...

Okay, so no sign of the Big Vera girl. She's a goner. It must have been quick, not a feather to be found. I am thinking coyote or fox. I think they are too big for hawks, and they are in bed when the owls are doing their hunting. She was a sweet girl, but that is what happens on farms. Survival of the fittest.

Here is an interesting take on an egg pile, as opposed to the Pile of Eggs (nee Egg Loaf) that I am known for at least one day every weekend. The boy-dog was snooping around and acting oddly out by the red barn this afternoon, and I thought he might have found the remains of the Big Vera girl. If he had found the remains, he would have been chowing down, and his feather breath would have been a complete give-away. SO, I went out there to see what he was acting so guilt about, and we found this stash of THIRTY (yes 3-0) eggs beneath an unused fountain base that leans up against the side of the bard. 29 blue eggs and one brown egg (buried beneath the blue ones). SO, out of the 30 eggs, 18 of them were still good (there is a floating egg test for telling if eggs are still good). The rest of them are now in the compost. SO, now we also need to check this little hiding place when we go see harvest eggs every day.

Pretty much packed for the cruise, and all I have to do now is pack my shave cream and toothpaste and that kind of stuff. THEN it will be interesting to see if I can close the bags without them bursting open.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BLUE EGGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, February 3, 2012

2012 - Day 034/332 - Friday...

Ordinarily I would be all happy that it is Friday, and all that stuff. AND I am indeed happy that it is Friday, but when I went to put the girls to bed this evening, it seems one of them is missing. We are going through chickens like there is no tomorrow. I will go out and check around again before I go to bed, but this is not a good sign. Chickens go to their roost at dark. That is pretty much all there is to it, and the Big Vera girls is no where to be found. SAD.

My desk has been cleared, and I am caught up with everything that needed to be caught up. I will be leaving on Sunday for Galveston, and I will be getting on that ship for a week. Happy about that, but on the other hand, I will be missing Jody.

I still have a few last minute things to do; buy a BIG bottle of wine to take with me, and a few other little odds and ends. Got a fresh bar of deodorant, so I am pretty much set there. So, everything will work out.

Supposed to have the possibility of some rain and thunderstorms tonight, so there is a dog-boy we know that has a Thundershirt in his immediate future.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MISSING CHICKEN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

2012 - Day 033/333 - Thursday...

There are a lot of 3's up there! Spoiler Alert: If you do not want to hear the following rant, I suggest you either log-off now, or go directly to the paragraph following this one. I know this photo is out of focus, but it is because I was trying to take it out the side window of my car as I was driving past our City Hall. I have to look at this crap (almost) on a daily basis. Now, don't get me wrong; I graduated from High School in 1969, I survived the 70's (although I really don't remember much about them) and I have a little bit of experience with protesting, marching and demonstrating. I CAN remember what I was protesting, marching and demonstrating about though. And I am not too sure the Occupy Wherever's can tell me why they are camped out at City Hall, here or otherwise. But especially here. What we have here is (in my opinion) just a bunch of unfortunate folks that have nothing better to do (and unfortunately for many of them nowhere else to go). There. I have said my piece. We now return to our regularly scheduled programming.

Not a bad day today, if I say so myself, and I just did. Got a lot of work done, and I am on the downhill slide to going to Galveston and getting on a big boat for a week. Just about 60 more hours before I leave, but who is counting?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, OCCUPY THIS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

2012 - Day 032/334 - Wednesday...

Today is a big shout out to Mary and Becky, two colleague friends of mine from Bastrop County. They took me by the hand a couple years ago and led me down the path of goodness. Thanks for all your hard work, and look who was rewarded for all that...ME!

It was a busy and filled up day today. I did not get home until late last night, and I was up a little bit earlier this morning so I could get to a 7:45 breakfast meeting. Then it was to the office for a while before my 11 o'clock meeting, and then there was a 3 o'clock in Bastrop. I only have a couple meetings tomorrow and Friday looks pretty open. I still need to get some shopping done before I head out for the cruise on Sunday.

It was 81 degrees in Austin today, and even I think that is a little bit too warm for the first day of February. I even think I am going to have to cut the grass on Saturday for the first time in about six months or so. That is one of (and possibly the only) benefits to a drought. You don't have to cut the grass.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BECKY AND MARY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!