Tuesday, September 30, 2014

2014 - Day 273/92 - Tuesday...

Okay boys and girls, the world as he knew it is (for the near term at least) still revolving and things just may work out alright.  As you know from yesterdays journal entry, I received my new iPhone via UPS/FedEx (is there any difference?) yesterday.  I had a lengthy meeting scheduled today, and decided to go to the Apple Store to have it activated.  I also needed to buy (consumer, consumer, consumer) some accessories (since I am going from a 4S to a 6Plus), and of course none of the 35 charging cables and things I have a now are compatible.  ANYWAY, I made it to the Apple Store, and there were some challenges with the pone that I was sent from AT&T.  Thankfully, Andrew Genius (that's what his name tag said, and I think that is a Turkish name) was very tolerant and patient, and after six separate telephone calls to AT&T support, I walked out of there with an operable phone.  It will be downloading my old phone info from the cloud for about the next 36 hours, but I can deal with most of that.  The only thing I am certain is not transferred is the (close to) 4,000 photos that are on my iPhone.  Whatever.

Almost done.  When I took the new phone out of the box yesterday, I thought it was almost embarrassingly HUGE, and I continued to feel that way up until the time that I discovered that it actually fit (comfortably) into the pockets that I have been accustomed to carrying the phone in, so I am good with that.  If it works well, I will be happy as a clam, and that is not easy.  Oh, and I just saw a commercial on television, that refers to the iPhone 6Plus as "Bigger than Bigger".  Th
at pretty much sums it all up!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NEW PHONE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, September 29, 2014

2014 - Day 272/93 - Monday...

A package arrived for me today, and they actually placed it (it doesn't look like they threw it) on the porch.  There is a bad habit of putting packages at the head of the driveway by the road, and two or three days later we are surprised to notice that there is a faded (hardly ever wet) package that has been partially covered up by scratching chickens.  I was, however, alerted to the expectation of this delivery, so I was en garde so to speak, looking for it.  I have not yet opened it, although I expect I will before the night is through, if nothing more than to charge the battery.  My plan is to take the new phone and my old phone to the AT&T store tomorrow afternoon and let them activate it. Since we are on satellite I
nternet out here on the edge of nowhere, I expect the transfer of data could take hours and hours.

Wish me luck!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NEW PHONE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

2014 - Day 271/94 - Sunday...

I was innocently going about my business this morning, looking for something up in the front barn.  What I was not looking for was a snake.  The second thing I was not looking for was a DEAD snake that did not look that dead at the time.  The third thing I was not looking for was a dead rat snake that apparently died from ingesting (although not that well) two of the nest eggs from the chicken nesting boxes.  Yes, I had walked through the front of the barn to the chicken coop and smelled something dead (that was at least a couple weeks ago), but it is really not that unusual to smell dead things out here in the country on the edge of nowhere.  Who knows, it could be a dead mouse up in the rafters or a dead something under the floor of the barn.  Whatever, dead smell is dead smell, live with it.  Anyway, this is what a dead snake looks like after you have chopped it into three pieces and slit it open to retrieve the glass nest eggs.  This is the second rat snakes in so many years to meet its demise as a result of taking the nest eggs.  The first endured (not so well really) a slow and (probably not pleasant) death that included a variety of weapons on my part, including but probably not limited to lopping shears, hoes, hammers and rose bush trimmers.  This latest instance was totally caused by the snake, I had no part of it.  The retrieved nest eggs are now floating in a bucket of water in the barn, hoping to get the digestive tools of the deceased snake cleansed off them.

I hope you have a great week!

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014

2014 - Day 270/95 - Saturday...

All things considered, it was not a half-bad day.  I did get a couple things done around the house, which included taking a couple bales of hay out to the cattle.  They are not any worse for wear, and they paid attention to the hay bales for a little while, and then it was back to grazing on the green stuff for them.  Orchid and her new calf (Stormy) seem to be doing well.  They (all the cattle) were just lounging around when I took the hay out to them and took this photo.  Very maternal of Orchid if I do say so myself.

And we waited ALL DAY for the satellite upgrade installation folks (whose name I have vowed not to speak for fear of shaming myself again for being critical).  The appointment had a four hour window, sometime between Noon and 4p.m.  We received several automated telephone calls throughout the day confirming that we were on the list, but just in case we needed to cancel, please press 1.  We got a call (from a real person) at 2:55p.m. saying he would be here in about thirty minutes.  He actually did arrive shortly before 4p.m. and about ten minutes later we got another automated call saying they apologized for not making our scheduled appointment, and would we like to set another day and time for the installation.  But the guy was in the attic...should I go up there and tell him he couldn't make it and he needed to reschedule?  I was very confused.

But, as it all worked out, we are done with service and installation appointments for the foreseeable future (I hope).

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

Friday, September 26, 2014

2014 - Day 269/96 - Friday...

We had our monthly office meeting this afternoon, and we ordered in from Mama Fu's, which I have to admit was better than the ONLY ONE time that Jody and I had visited one of their outlets in Georgetown.  It was pretty good, and we all read our fortunes and laughed and laughed and laughed.  Of course, we also all added inappropriate comments to the end of all the fortunes, so that made it more fun and probably liable as defendants of one kind of lawsuit or another.

As you may be aware (if you also follow my mis-adventures on Facebook) our satellite signal chose to become inoperable last night.  I will not name the satellite system here, but the initials are DirecTV.  They were somewhat overwhelmed (both last night and this morning) that they were dealing with someone who could actually use (and understand) words that contained more than three letters.  Basically, last night I spoke with repair people, and made an appointment for a repair person to visit us today between the hours of Noon and 4PM.  This morning I called them back inquiring as to whether (as long as they were here) upgrade the system that has been here for the last six years.  No, as a matter of fact they could not do that.  If I wanted to upgrade the components, I would need to cancel the repair request and then submit a new request for installation of the new stuff, and then another request for a repair.  These, the people who say you can record five programs at once, but you cannot get a repair and upgrade service at the same time.  Oh, and you have to pay two service call fees as well.

I will save you all the pain and agony.  The repair was indeed made this afternoon, the guy who made the repair had all the stuff in his truck to upgrade the equipment, but he could not get permission to do it.  I cannot wait until they send me a customer service survey.  Oh yeah, I am not paying for any service charges and I got a (small) service credit for not having service.  I think it was actually a bribe to get me off the phone. 

I actually recommend that, if you have a bad day, just give DirecTV a call and unload on them.  They are like sitting ducks.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, READ A BOOK?, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

2014 - Day 268/97 - Thursday...

And so, here is my take-away for the day.  It really doesn't matter how your day was, it matters how your day ends.  Nothing can change the day, so take a couple minutes and appreciate what cost you nothing.  It is just there.  Go outside and appreciate what you have, make sure you understand that you are a lucky person, and try for just a minute or two to shed the first-world problems that (earlier in the day) took up so much of your time and efforts.  In the grand scheme of things, I will bet that all the stress and commotion was over something that was trivial, inconsequential at best.


Deeds, Actions, Changes, WHAT'S IMPORTANT?, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

2014 - Day 267/98 - Wednesday...

It seems that the chickens and the cat (Barney) have come to an agreement and that co-existing is not really that big of a challenge.  I wish some of my colleagues and others that I deal with on a daily basis could also find some reasonable accommodations that would afford them the ability to coexist while at the same time acknowledging and respecting their inherent and individual differences.  If I were the king of the forest...

It's hump day, and that cannot be a bad thing.  Yesterday and today were busy, busy, busy, and I do not know what karmic circumstance it is that I violated that causes the scheduling of meetings to become "clusters" instead of smooth cycles of events.  But, that is typically the way it happens.  Nothing scheduled for a couple days and then all of a sudden BANG, everything at once.

I did stay in Austin last night, so I had the luxury of sleeping in a little bit later this morning.  Heaven!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PEACEABLE KINGDOMS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

2014 - Day 266/99 - Tuesday...

Okay, this was a long, busy day.  I did get to leave the house a little bit later than usual, and one of the perks of THAT was that I got to see this nice sunrise. 

My first meeting was a breakfast meeting, and that was good.  Then there was a lunch meeting.  In between breakfast and lunch I made it to the office for a little bit of power real estate.  Then after lunch there was more power real estate action, visits to a property and then a TREPAC Wine Tasting after that.

Lot of good and rewarding stuff, but I am tired, and it is time for a siesta.

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

Monday, September 22, 2014

2014 - Day 265/100 - Monday...

I cannot remember ever knowing of a dog that is/was as camera shy as the Boy Dog.  He will actually turn away from a camera if he sees me trying to take a photo of him.  He was laying on the floor with his head up watching Jody prepare dinner (always a good sign, we really should have considered naming him Pavlov) and I walked in the room to take the photo for tonight's journal entry.  When he realized he could not turn his head to avoid me, he jut deflated himself to try and meld into the rug on the floor.  Not to be deterred, I snapped away anyway, and he just lay there trying not to look too cute.  It worked!  He is a great Boy Dog none the less, and we are lucky to have rescued him from the shelter.

Today was not too bad all things considered,  I am back on a 7PM deadline; tonight is the season opener of the Big Bang Theory, and usually all we ever see are reruns, we are going to celebrate by watching a "first-run" episode (or two, I think it is an hour long deal tonight).

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

Sunday, September 21, 2014

2014 - Day 264/101 - Sunday...

While I am not totally convinced that this is an editorial statement being made by Orchid and her new (I believe heifer) calf, it is totally possible.  Orchid has never been the friendliest of the original three head that we got when we had the place in Red Rock.  She has always been a pushy broad, and not likely to be sociable.  Eleven months ago, she had a still born calf, and I was not sure if that had caused some damage, and whether or not she would have another calf or not.  BUT, as I reported to you last week about this time, she was carrying around a full bag and there was a waxy residue on her teats; a sure sign that she was about to drop a calf.  Interestingly as well, this is the first calf we have had this year, so that has been a while.  Violet had a calf late last year, so there should be a couple more before the year is over.

All I did today as to go back and check on the cattle, see if I could find the short in the fence (could not find it but it came back to life and that is really all I cared about), took a bunch of pictures of Orchids' new calf, cleaned the chicken coop and changed all the cedar shavings in the nesting boxes and killed the inhabitants of a particularly nasty nest of red wasps.

I also watched Mrs. Miniver on TBS (boo-hoo).  Never saw it before, it was pretty good, but not sure it was an Oscar performance for Greer Garson.  AND, there was a noticeable lack of naps today, for which I will do my best to make up this evening.

Jody and I finished The Roosevelts mini-series last night, so we are now free between the hours of 7 and 9 PM for the foreseeable future.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NEW CALF, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

2014 - Day 263/102 - Saturday...

As expected (and promised), the rain lilies are up and blooming.  Incredible.  Yesterday they looked like nothing more than twigs sticking up out of the dirt, today they are blooming their little hearts out.  Incredible that they lie dormant and then sprout and bloom after good rains.  We have about a dozen patches of them, and we forget they are even there until after a good rain.  And not all rains, either.  So far today we have received another 0.36" f rain, so for this event we are at about 7.39" of rain.  I think there is still rain in the forecasts for the next several days.

Today was a great day of naps and small (insignificant) achievements.  I did get the bulb in one of the night lights changed.  And then I took a nap.  I cannot think of anything else of any significance that I did, but I did get in a couple more naps.  Oh yes, I did go into Austin to survey a property that a customer would like us to take into our management portfolio.  And then I took a nap.

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

Friday, September 19, 2014

2014 - Day 262/103 - Friday...

It should not take more than another day or two for everyone who has been testifying about the wonders of the recent rains to begin complaining about it; mentions of inappropriate instances of mildew in their nether regions, how they are becoming depressed because of the cloudiness, declarations that they moved to Seattle several years back but could not take it and returned to the land of drought and cattle.  Close to seven inches of rain in the last few days is really nothing to brag about.  The fact that there has been NO RAIN for the last six months on the other hand, IS something to brag about.  While I was out a few minutes ago, I noticed that the rain lilies are beginning to burst forth.  In the next day or so they should be up and blooming, and I will provide you with proper documentation of that happens when dormant bulbs get a little shot of water.  The photo that has been chosen for this post is one of those that I enjoy; a kind of Monet representation of rain water on the windshield.  You can call it whatever type of style you like, this is my journal, I am going with Monet-like!

With the recent rains, the grasshoppers have gone from the fields to the roads.  They are big grasshoppers.  About the size of softballs with a similar consistency that, when they hit the windshield of your car, it is as if you are being pounded by hail or worse.

I'm just sayin'.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, OVER IT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

2014 - Day 261/104 - Thursday...

Since last we visited gentle readers (fans, aficionados, stalkers), we have received 6.42" of rain at the edge of nowhere.  And it is still raining.  No complaints here, but the recent opening of the skies has provided us a few challenges that we are not otherwise confronted with.  1).  A big old cedar tree between the house and the road (probably 150 feet from the house) is down.  Once it is chopped up and hauled off it will make for better visibility between the house and the road.  I have mixed feelings about that.  2).  I left work early today to get home, get the truck, head to Holland and get a replacement tailgate from an auto salvage yard.  I could not get the truck out of the mud spot it is in, I could not find the chain, by the time I found the chain it was raining again (not just raining...RAINING), and I decided that discretion was the better part of valor and gave up on that notion.  Perhaps tomorrow.  C).  The girls are wet.  Wherever Barney is, I expect she is wet.  The tanks have water in them again.  The cattle have muddy feet.  Water is standing everywhere.  Again, no complaints, we just need to rethink things.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, WATER FROM ABOVE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

2014 - Day 260/105 - Wednesday...

As an overseer (of this journal) I accept the responsibility to keep the wants and needs of my vast constituency happy and appeased.  I have been informed that you cannot go wrong with photos of babies or animals.  Or Madonna.  Or Miley Cyrus.  Justin Bieber seems to draw them in as well.  But, always one to put your wants and needs above my own (see, I said it again), the photo in this journal entry will be of Barney the cat.  I would have preferred to post a photo of rain, but there is no such thing as that here on the edge of nowhere.

Barney the cat is doing well and happily growing more comfortable in her exile to us.  Again, she (a cat of I
ndiscernible sex, I am just going with she) showed up one day and has been around ever since.  I still think she is two-timing us with the neighbors, but she is here a lot.  And she seems to be co-habituating with the chickens with no problem.  It is kind of a peaceable kingdom in that respect.  Things change with the sightings of hawk or other larger, more cunning prey.  The chickens are pretty "farm savvy" in that regard, and I expect this cat is pretty savvy as well.

Very happy that we are on the down-hill-slide of this week.  Looking forward to the weekend as well.

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 - Day 259/106 - Tuesday...

So...this is another early journal evening.  Jody and I are all schedule adjusting so we can keep up with The Roosevelts on PBS.  We are two nights into it, not sure how many nights this series will be.  If I miss a night, it is all over, not sure about Jody.  Kind of like going to the gym, if I miss a day I'm toast.  As most of you can tell, I turned into a croissant years ago!

So this evening will be about clouds.  Well, maybe not ALL about clouds, but at least the photo in this journal entry will be OF clouds.  I would prefer that it were about rain, but I am not sure if that will be in the plans or not.  The winds are pretty brisk and from the north, all indications are that it will rain.  Much to our collective chagrin, it is thundering outside and suddenly the boy dog has found new energy.  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  Hopefully the thunder will cease before bed time.  Or at least before midnight.  Or morning.

Interestingly, the chickens were not even interested in their evening snack.  Many of them were camped out under some of the bamboo.  Lightning now thunder.  It is getting better.  I would prefer not to go through this if we are not going to have rain.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NO RAIN?, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, September 15, 2014

2014 - Day 258/107 - Monday...

In my opinion, this is as good of a way as any to get a day started, Monday or not.  I had chores to do here on the edge of nowhere so I actually got a late start in to the office.  I did not leave until a little while AFTER 7am this morning, and it was pretty much like any other day.  No more noticeable traffic problems than I would have expected if I had left an hour earlier, but no less, either.

I got to the office about 8:30, and got a few things done before heading out to a 10 o'clock meeting.  When I got back to the office about 11 my friend and colleague Chris was there, and it was a good day of getting some real estate business taken care of and getting some association stuff done as well.

Overall, a really good day and a day of some accomplishments.  Let's see what tomorrow brings.

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

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 - Day 257/108 - Sunday...

Well now, if this isn't the cats' meow...It seems that the cat (Barney) and the chickens are existing without too much conflict.  I have not decided if I totally trust the cat though, which means I do not really trust the cat at this time.  I have seen the cat stalk squirrels (Earl or one of his spawn) but so far I have not seen her stalking the chickens.  I did a roll call last night, and all the girls were accounted for, so that is good.  I am actually surprised about that, it seems like we are do for a chicken casualty. 

Miguel came out today and managed to get a lot of work done around the house, lots of things that I have been putting off.  But, all is in good shape right now.  I think Violet is pregnant and about to drop a calf.  She has a big bag and teats are waxy, a sure sign if there ever was one.  I will keep you informed.  The last time she had a calf it was stillborn, so I hope that does not happen again.  All the cattle look good, not skinny, and we did (overall) get a quarter-inch of rain over the last three days.  I hope that will help the grasses in the fields so we can get another cutting before the end of the season.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, COOLNESS, Kindnesses, Wh
irled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 - Day 256/109 - Saturday...

It started to rain last night after I finished the journal entry and I kept going outside to make sure it was still raining.  It was encouraging, but I was disappointed this morning when I went out to check the gauge; only 0.13" in there.  BUT, it was better than nothing.  I got up this morning and did the usual stuff, and then got ready to go out and show property (property, not houses).  It was really a good day because these particular clients are more friends than clients.  It eventually began to rain and we were on windy roads around Leander to Lago Vista.  We came up on this cactus at one of the lots, and decided to document it.  When I am out in isolated areas, it makes me wonder when the last person ever saw/touched/picked up that rock, if ever.  I think there are inanimate objects everywhere that have never been seen our touched.  A lot of things are just passed over, taken for granted.  Things of beauty are wherever you find them, you just have to look!

B&V, thanks for letting me share this drizzly, rainy, fun day with you!

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

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 - Day 255/110 - Friday...

And...we are back to Friday.  My love hate relationship with the pending weekend.  This weekend has promise, but life if full of broken promises, particularly when the "breakers" have a designation as meteorologists (not you Albert).  We are in desperate need of rain, and we are being teased with clouds but no rain.  When I left Austin this afternoon it sprinkled on the windshield of the car.  By the time I made it to Round Rock the sun was out.  It is windy (from the north) and cooler here, but no signs of rain.  From this portrait of Earl the Squirrel (possibly Earl the Girrel) you can see how the grass is already dormant and in need of water.  If we could get one more good rain soon I think I could get another cutting of hay this year, which would set us up with hay for the season.  We shall see.

Now, after all that grousing about the prognosticating, it really was not a bad day.  There were lots of accomplishments, lots of setting up for the new week (already).  We will see how this all works out...

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

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 - Day 254/111 - Thursday, 9/11...

Another year has passed, I will just leave it at that...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

2014 - Day 253/112 - Wednesday...

I have been told by experts in their field of study, that my "resting" face is "sad".  This photo was taken shortly after I arrived in my office this morning after my most difficult commute in the (almost) six years that Jody and I have lived on the edge of nowhere.  I left the house this morning at 6:05AM to attend a 7:30AM breakfast meeting.  Along the way, I exhibited the five stages of grief: Denial, Anger, Bargaining, depression and finally acceptance (although in my mind I simply conceded defeat).  All the people around me were particularly well-mannered, which left only me to question the meaning of life on I-35 and what had I done to deserve this.  Finally it hit me, and I reminded myself that I am the luckiest man in the world.  I was having a much better day that the unfortunate folks that had been involved in the (multiple) automobile accidents, and I was certainly luckier than the soul that lost his/her life that completely closed down the Interstate headed south.  So, please take a lesson from me, the spoiled guy in the car next to you.  Take in a cleansing breath, hold it for four seconds, and exhale.  Inhale pink, exhale blue.  If you do that enough, you will start to hyperventilate and forget about traffic altogether!

Works for me!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CHILL DUDES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014 - Day 252/113 - Tuesday...

What could be better than being gifted with a pair of socks?  As a sock-freak, I can hardly (well, okay, I could) think of anything better, and particularly as an OCD-Sock-Freak there really isn't anything better.  I was at the Board office this afternoon, and a friend and colleague (Beth) saw me walking past in the hall.  She called out and asked me to wait a minute.  She came back with this pair of socks and said she saw them and thought of me.  That is a perfect reason for anyone to gift anyone with anything.  I do that sometimes, and that is a lot of fun.  Many folks have gifted me with a pair of socks, which is partly (although not close to totally) why I have so many pairs of socks.  I think I could now go pretty close to three months without having to repeat a pair of socks.  My sock shelf (yes, we have graduated from a sock drawer to a shelf) is kind of embarrassing (but not really).  And, I actually do have favorite socks, some that I like better than others.  I am considering the thinning of the herd, but so far I have not done that.  Do you think I am a sock hoarder?  I could be, I need to make an appointment and have that checked out.  One thing I know for sure, never look a gift pair of socks in the heel! 

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

Monday, September 8, 2014

2014 - Day 251/114 - Monday...

I am home from the annual TAR Conference, this year the conference was held in San Antonio, so I was able to drive down there and back.  These conferences seem to be very exotic and filled with nightly restaurant visits and all kinds of fun things.  There is a little bit of that, but veterans of the TAR and NAR and any other conferences will understand that these meetings are HARD WORK!  You are there to do a job; to represent your association and to bring back information from the conference that will help your association and membership thrive and prepare for the future.  You need to gather the information about trends, opportunities, challenges, defeats and successes.  Then you need to digest the information into coherent messages to share with your colleagues.  There is a lot of networking and catching up with long time friends, and that is the really fun part, the publicized part.  But that is certainly just a tiny piece of the overall puzzle.  Yesterday afternoon, after my final forum, I got back to the hotel at about 4:30.  The day had begun at 9AM, and that was the latest start of any of the days.  Some days started at 7, and that makes for a long day.  Anyway...when I got back to my room yesterday, I took a nap, woke up, ate my boxed lunch from the trade-show, lapsed in-and-out of consciousness (napping), watched the lightning from the hotel room, watched a show about 9/11, and then fell asleep until about 6 o'clock this morning.  Wonderful!  This is a photo of the sunrise from my hotel room.  The only order of business today (for me) was the TAR Board of Directors meeting, and it began at 8:30.  It was a great series of meetings overall, and I was very happy to attend in a very small role as a representative of my association.

Good night!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SLEEPY TIME, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

2014 - Day 250/115 - Sunday...

Note:  I am the luckiest man in the world.

The 2014 TAR Annual Conference will conclude tomorrow.  I just realized that my first meeting tomorrow morning begins at 8:30AM and not 9AM as I had believed.  Today was a pretty good day; the Region 15 Caucus began at 9 AM, and then there was a brunch for ABoR members beginning at 10AM.  I had a 1PM TRLP member seminar about building consensus which was very good.  In between (okay, before and after) there was trade show meanderings, and that was nice.  It has been very good to see lots of friends and colleagues from around the state.  During the TRLP seminar, there was a group participation thing (kind of like a skit) and I was sucked in to play a Baron.  Long story, but this is a photo of me in the part of the Baron.  I did not bother to put my shoes back on, it was kind of a casual function!

Then I went back to the trade show, and I tell you what...there is nothing better than a trade show that includes a freezer full of (generic it seems) ice cream treats. 

I got back to the Hotel about 4 or 4:30, and went down for a nap.  Very nice.  I had also brought my box lunch from the trade show and put it in my room earlier in the day, so I do not have to leave this room until tomorrow morning.  It is all working out that I am going to have some down time while I am here.  I expect to leave San Antonio not later than 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon, and depending on traffic, I may stop at the office  or I may just drive home.  We will see how that all plays out.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ICE CREAM, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

2014 - Day 249/116 - Saturday...

It was another very long day, but it was also very rewarding and enlightening!  It as, however, another very early start, and ended very late.  My first meeting this morning was at 7AM, which is really too early for anything to be productive and memorable.  But, that is the way it laid out.  I had several meetings and Forums following that, too many to actually keep up.  I have programs of all the meetings, so I will be able to recap it at a later time.

The day ended with a reception and Installation of the new Chairman of the Texas Association of RESLTORS®.  Very nice!  Congratulations to Scott Kesner from El Paso.  2015 will be a very good year!  During the reception, a group of our Austin Directors and TAR RVPs met for this great photo; Me, Barb, Steve, Susie, Brandy, Aaron and Jay.

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

Friday, September 5, 2014

2014 - Day 248/117 - Friday...

It was a pretty darned long day at the TAR Conference today in San Antonio, but really good and rewarding.  My first meeting was at 7:45, tomorrow the first is at 7AM.  Everything was going well and I looked out the window at about 5:15 this afternoon and it looked like it could rain.  Well, about 10 minutes later you would have thought there was a hurricane outside, and the rain was coming down sideways.  That lasted about 30 minutes and then it was over.  It was pretty interesting, though.  Jody said we got about 0.32" of rain at the house, very nice.

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

Thursday, September 4, 2014

2014 - Day 247/118 - Thursday...

Well, it seems there has been rain all over the state (at least many of the parts I have been in today), but not any at the farm, which, as you all know is somewhere north of Austin on the edge of nowhere, which is substantially further than the middle of nowhere. 

Busy Thursday, made it to the office a little bit later than usual, I wonder if traffic had anything to do with that?  We had a PM meeting in the AM, and then it was some power real estate to get as much as I could caught up, and I headed off to San Antonio early in the afternoon.  Texas Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference now through late Monday.  Always a great meeting, lots of networking with colleagues, catching up with old friends, and plotting and planning for the coming year.  I especially like (and appreciate) the plotting parts!

My first meeting is 7:45 in the morning, so I will have no opportunity to sleep in at all.  DAYANG!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ALAMO, Kindnesses, Wh
irled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

2014 - Day 246/119 - Wednesday...

So, another hot day in Austin, no rain, no let up.  The disturbance in the Gulf (not sure if it ever made Hurricane status) went too far south of us to make any appreciable difference, but parts of the Hill Country benefited.  Please enjoy this photo of one of the blooms on our passion vines.  You are welcome!

Here is my editorial comment for the evening.  I have never EVER considered myself a hero, but on the other hand, I do not really consider myself a coward, either.  I have (for the most part) always taken responsibilities for my actions, and even confessed to things that did not need to be confessed, just so I could get the punishment phase over with, and I could go on with my OCD/ADD life.  I have often stated that I felt responsible for the conflict in Korea, even though I was not even born when that conflict started.  Before you go reading something into this that is not, I am talking about terrorists.  Anonymity is not something that should be confused with bravery.  I am not going to single out any of the particular groups of terrorists that are capturing the headlines these days, and there is no shortage to be sure.  If terrorists are so confidant that their cause is a just and honorable one, why are they not proud enough of that to show themselves.  Is it something similar to being an agnostic?  Just want to cover the bases all around, just in case?  Not sure, but maybe if we put an embargo on the export of cheap black fabric, it would go a long way towards something (not sure what).

Bottom line, IMHO, there are many places in the world that will never enjoy peace.  There are places that have endured hatred and war and worse for centuries, and it will (most likely) go one long after I am gone.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, PASSION FLOWERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 - Day 245-1250 - Tuesday...

When I moved to Austin in 1985 we were experiencing a boom in growth.  I have lived through a couple of them.  Never forget for every peak there is a valley, and vice-versa.  I have looked at this scene a couple times and wanted to photograph it.  From my position on the South First Street Bridge, you can see (as I recall) nine construction cranes.  Without going to extremes and reading the directions on my telephone camera, I think this single photo captured seven of them.  We are indeed enjoying all things growth, and all the challenges that accompanies that growth.  We certainly need to upgrade our infrastructures, but we are too far behind the curve for any gratifying, near-term improvement.  I think it will be a (probable) twenty-year program, and at least that many BILLIONS of DOLLARS to go along with it, probably more.

Rain to the left of me, rain to the right, and we got a trace.  But it is at least a trace.  Maybe there will be more to come.  So far, Austin has had no measurable precipitation today and the temperature in Austin was only 98 degrees.  Yesterday it was 101 degrees.  It is supposed to be trending cooler, but I will not really look for it to happen until the second week in October.  There is a disturbance in the Gulf, but it looks like it will track south of us, into Mexico.

If I make it past tomorrow, I will be okay!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BILLION$, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, September 1, 2014

2014 - Day 244/121 - Labor Day!!!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their respective days, it has been very nice here at the edge of nowhere and beyond!  Here is the evidence that I changed the flags (yesterday), in time for the Holiday.

I did not stay in bed as long as I had intended this morning,  It is trash collection day, and it seems these folks do not observe Holidays.  I wanted to take the can out to the road, but I do not like leaving the can on the road overnight for a couple reasons: 1).  Rednecks.  A can on the side of the road is fair game out here.  Something fun to crash into without doing too much damage to the vehicles.  2).  Coyotes.  Kitchen garbage (even though we should compost, we gave up on that years ago) is very attractive to wild animals, and some not so wild.  It is just more practical not to put a trash can on the road overnight.  3).  Wind.  There is (and was last night) pretty good winds out here on the edge of nowhere.  Rumor is (choose your season) there is nothing between here and a Hurricane but a wire fence, and it's down.  You can change this one up to suit your needs.  D).  I don't have a D, but if you think of one, feel free to let me know.

Where was I?  Oh yes, I did not stay in bed as long as I had intended, and by the time Jody got up I had already read the paper and consumed three cups of coffee.  After breakfast, I washed the car (still have not vacuumed it yet, but there is still time), and after that we took the Boy Dog for a ride.  On the way home from the Boy Dog ride, I asked Jody if he wanted to take a ride, so we drove up to Waco and back just for the heck of it.  We took 95 up to Temple (which was much better than I-35) and from there to Waco and back to Salado it was practice for tomorrow going back to work.  Lots and lots of traffic on I-35.  By the way, from here on out I will refer to it as I-35 and not the actually correct reference to IH-35.  It is just easier and does not lend itself to repeated questioning. 

On the way back we stopped in Salado at Cowboy's Bar-B-Cue and loaded up on enough food for a couple dinners.  The real purpose of stopping was to get something with bones in it for the Boy Dog, and so far he has not complained.  Good choice.

My friend Chris also came out this afternoon to help me get the weather station I got Jody for our Anniversary working.  No can do, Kimosabe.  It No Worky!  I will file complaints tomorrow with the proper authorities.  In a weird way it makes me feel better that I actually CAN read and follow directions, but that is actually of little consequence.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, JOY RIDES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!