Saturday, January 31, 2015

2015 - Day 31/334 - Saturday...

So, unbelievably today is the LAST day of the FIRST month of the NEW year.  I understand that I slept through part of it, but still...

AND, I also know that everything is relative, but it is rainy and cold(ish) here today.  I do not think it made it above 55 degrees, and it has been rainy and dribbly outside since about 11 o'clock this morning.  So far today (which will not be recorded until tomorrow officially) we have received 0.44" of rain, as of when I went out to put the girls to bed.  In case you are wondering, statistically speaking, we received 4.95" of rain in January, we collected 371 eggs (30.92 dozen) and for the month I recorded 4,991 spam e-mails (that does not include the ones from Barb that are now mysteriously going into my spam folder here and there).

It was a great day though, because I got lots of things done.  I had scheduled an 8 o'clock and a 10 o'clock appointment, and between those two appointments I found that I had a nail in the sidewall of one of my tires, and I got a new tire bought and put on.  So, all in all, a pretty successful day.

I understand there is some football game on tomorrow that is going to cause some type of water pressure shortage when the commercials come on, and I will try to find out more about that and fill you in on it tomorrow.

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

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 - Day 30/335 - Friday...

I am very happy to be home.  Every trip seems to give me a greater appreciation of Jody and home...

So, even though you all know how very unlike me this is, I have a few critiques of my trip back to Austin this morning/afternoon.  FIRST:  This may well be the first trip I have EVER been on that had a flight cancelled.  I have no previous experience of that to fall back on.  When United cancelled TWO flights to NYC last Sunday because of the Snowpocalypse (that never happened, but it was nice to see the city kind of quiet and in non-hustle mode) I made other arrangements to get there and back.  If I had been smart, I would have kept the original return flight but that is another story.  Se Next.  NEXT:  My flight this morning left JFK at 8:30am, which meant I was up at 5am to finish packing a leave the hotel by 6:30.  My original flight had been around 3pm, but it was good that I got back before really much later this evening.  THIRD:  The car driver that took me to the airport this morning did not know how to get to the airport.  And his GPS was reporting to him in a language that I could not understand, and I do not think he was doing much better.  D:  People in NYC that are trying to get to Austin are kind of pushy.  I can understand their desire to get to Austin, but they should practice being a little nicer before they get here, since it is (after all) a requirement.  FIVE:  And this one is especially for Barb.  I have never seen so many people on one plane walking up and down the aisles (and visiting the restrooms, I know because I was next in line with one) BAREFOOTED.  For Pete's sake people, put some shoes on, you are spreading crap (and I mean that literally) with this action.  HEY YOU, PASS ME THE SOAP!  AND IN CONCLUSION:  I have several photos of this woman exposing various body parts with her tai chi stretching and gyrating in the aisle.  It was not that long of a flight people, sit down.  I am certain that the guy across the hall was thrilled to have her but in his face for extended periods of time. 

I'm just sayin',

Once again, let me repeat (this one's for you JSP, not to be confused with JP with whom I reunioned last evening), I am the luckiest person in the world, and I am very glad to be home.

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

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 - Day 29/336 - Thursday...

With all apologies to Inman, I have to tell you all; the absolute HIGHLIGHT of this trip was to visit for a short time with Jerry.  I have not got the best memory, and I am a little vague about many details of my life (which is one thing that makes my stories more and more interesting with each telling), but I do remember that I thought Jerry was about the best thing since sliced bread.  I doubt that he was aware of it, but I was a true fan, and an admirer.  He was a very talented artist and a really nice person.  We had a terrific visit this evening, and he reminded me of many mutual friends that I did not even know were mutual friends at the time.  It has been almost five decades since the last time we spoke or saw each other, but it was really a great time.  JP (and yes, I could forge your signature as well), I very much hope to keep in better touch with you going forward.

For all practical purposes, today was the last day of the conference.  There will be a few presentations tomorrow morning, but I will be at the airport at about the same time that they begin, and I will be back in Austin for the weekend.  I cannot hardly wait.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MY FRIEND JP, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

2015 - Day 28/337 - Wednesday...

Okay, first things first.  The absolutely, positively best thing I did today was to go to the Al Hirschfeld Theatre this evening to see Kinky Boots.  A great big GIANT thank you to David for including me a couple months ago when he was getting tickets for the show.  I had seen the movie but did not recall that the movie was called Kinky Boots, but I recalled it when the show started.  HOWEVER, nothing could have compared with the fun and total delight of sharing this evening with Barb, Monica, Jason and David.  It was great, and as is true with all great things, I cried two or three times throughout the show.

So many really great things were encompassed in this one day.  In addition to a lot of really good information I received from the conference I attended, I got my shoes shined.  Yep, yessiree indeedydo, the shoe shine guy was there today, and now I can wear another pair of shoes.  I think that a good shoe shine is one of the most extravagant things I ever get to do. 

I had lunch with a bunch of colleagues from the Austin Board (things are pretty normal now, and most everyone is here after experiencing flight issues).  I saw and had a nice convo with Mary Ann from San Antonio, and all in all, it was a great day.

So, in conclusion (pause for applause), in case I have some gastro-intestinal issues in the next couple days, or in case I have some other type of indescribable illness, ask the officials to check the peanut and jelly sandwich.  Yes, the same sandwich I bought in Austin at the airport on Monday, as a buffer against the Snowpocalypse that I was supposed to be experiencing here in New York City.  Even though the label says it is good through January 30, 2015, my advice is to ask the authorities to check the sammich first.

Disclaimer:  I am not responsible for the content of this particular journal entry.  That should pretty much cover it.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, KINKY BOOTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

2015 - DFay 27/338 - Tuesday...

Okay, even though it is after midnight EASTERN time, this blog is based in CENTRAL time, so the fact that it is actually tomorrow does not count, because as far as I am concerned, it is still today.  It is my journal, and I make the rules.  Blah!

Okay, so I have been here in NYC for over 24 hours during the SnowPocalypse (which did not really happen, but they got a lot of press for it), and things here are on kind of a Holiday Schedule, but let me ask you this question:  What good is a shoe-shine stand if there is never anyone there to shine hour shoes?  It is my opinion that that is a perfectly relevant question, and no one seem competent to give me an answer.

What they can answer for me (although I have not really asked) is what the total TIP should be if you were offering 10, 15 or 20 percent of the tab.  THAT they can figure out for you, even though you did not ask.  But a shoe-shine, not gonna happen.

I'm just sayin! 

But that should not diminish the fact that I had a great dinner (and spent a lot of time discussing and solving the problems of the world) with Stacy, David and Jason this evening (and into the wee hours EASTERN TIME).

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DIRTY SHOES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, January 26, 2015

2015 - Day 26/339 - Monday...

Okay, to give credence to the fact that I do not have the sense that God gave a goose, I am now happily ensconced at the Marriott on Times Square.  To quote someone that I consider a really good friend of mine; "So the fact that you're flying into a blizzard doesn't phase you, eh, Bill?  Man, you really ARE a true Michigander!  You make us proud..."  Well, I do not know so much about that, and I don't know about the wisdom of this particular decision, but I am here.  And let me just say that the Pilot received a rousing round of applause when all the wheels were on the ground and the bouncing subsided.

My hotel room overlooks Times Square, and it is kind of strange, because (I assume) that no matter what time of the day or night you walk into the room, it looks like it is daylight outside.  I walked across the street for dinner tonight, and it was good.  I think they are shutting the city down at 11 o'clock, which is kind of interesting.  We will see what the next few days bring.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BRIGHT LIGHTS..., Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

2015 - Day 25/340 - Sunday...

The girls are in full egg-laying high-production mode, and they are laying eggs faster than we can give them away.  We started the day with 15 dozen eggs, and we gave away seven dozen so far (four dozen of those are going to the office with me tomorrow), and we got 15 more eggs today.  We really are not egg hoarders, no matter what it looks like.

I am scheduled to fly into Newark tomorrow afternoon; leave Austin about 12:45 and arrive in Newark about 5:30 their time.  I kind of have the feeling I will get there with no problem, it is the return on Friday that I might have some issues with.  I am planning on making a snow man or two while I am there.

We shall see...

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

Saturday, January 24, 2015

2015 - Day 24/341 - Saturday...

The Boy Dog may actually be just a really, REALLY big cat.  He has made a remarkable recovery in the last week since being diagnosed with pneumonia.  He is still a little shaky with the walking, but we have covered pretty much every area of laminate flooring in the bedroom, living/dining/breakfast kitchen and den with every throw rug and fabric bit we can find, including five six-foot-long runners we bought last week at WalMart.  The rest of the house is like a skating rink.  More than one vet has given this Boy Dog up for lost on more than one occasion, but he still pulls through.  It is not our opinion that you put a dog (or cat or other beast) down merely because they have become inconvenient.  We have a commercial garage storage shelf covered with doggie and people incontinent products of all shapes and sizes from one of his spells last year.

Life goes on, and life is good.

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

Friday, January 23, 2015

2015 - Day 23/342 - Friday...

...and when one door closes, another one opens. 

The sun finally decided to come out tonight, just a little bit after dark!  We recorded 1.47" of rain overnight, and after emptying the gauge this morning, it was still raining.  There is another 0.09" of rain in the gauge that I will record tomorrow, but unofficial will most likely be 2.27" for the three days this week.  Supposed to be sunny skies tomorrow and for at least the next couple days.  I need to pay better attention!

Today was another day of meetings, and an very nice appointment after that.  I will sleep a little bit late tomorrow, do a few things around the house, and then head out to another appointment.  Bravo!

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

Thursday, January 22, 2015

2015 - Day 22/343 - Thursday...

This morning when I woke up, I emptied almost 3/4" of rain from the gauge.  It has continued to rain all day today, and Jody tells me there is over an inch in the gauge today.  I think it is supposed to rain throughout the night, so I will report to you tomorrow what we end up with.  This photo was taken this morning as I was stopped in traffic in the Interstate, and perhaps in violation of the hands-free ordinance that went into effect on January 1st. Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't.

Tonight I am heading to a Hill Country Ride for AIDS meeting, gonna do a 50-miler in April, which means I need to get my priorities in order.  Quit eating the crap, get in the saddle.  Maybe tomorrow.

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

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

2015 - Day 21/344 - Wednesday...

You should always exercise a certain amount of caution when navigating the drive-thru lane at the What-A-Burger on South First Street.  Or any drive-thru lane of any fast food enterprise in the city proper.  You can never be too careful of who or what you might come upon, and what they (or it) might be wielding as a weapon of choice.  In addition to the one man that was practicing his tai-chi moves (accompanied by a large limb for balance, and effectively blocking two lanes in the parking lot), this old Dodge pulled in behind me, the weapon of mass destruction being fumes from an ineffective tail pipe system, the unfortunate positioning of my car being downwind, and the fact that catalytic converters had yet to be standard when this car was in production.  But, I love the car, and wished I could have gotten out of my car to go back and smell the interior of this one.  Old cars have that old car smell; I like that very much.

Otherwise, it was a really good day, I was in the office for the most of it, checked lots of things off my To-Done list and cleared several things out of my 'When I get time to pay attention' e-mail folder.

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

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2015 - Day 20/345 - Tuesday...

I hope you can see the rays emanating from this photo of the morning sunrise.  It was very, very nice! 

Inauguration day in Texas, traffic was crazy and the streets were full of freaks.  This trumps SXSW or the Austin City Limits Festival in spades.  Thousands and thousands of people, $4.5M worth of bar-b-cue, and lots of hats but no cattle (except the ones on the spit). 


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

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015 - Day 19/346 - MLK, Jrs Birthday...

It was a busy day for a Holiday!

I always like to start out with the photo, it just
makes for a better opening for the journal entry.  I had intended to use a photo of the sunrise this morning, but opted for the clouds over the house this afternoon.  Very pretty in my opinion.

Jody went into town with me today for a couple appointments and some this and that.  I went to a lunch meeting with Brandy and Brandon (a couple Brandos) at the Clay Pit on Guadalupe.  Another instance that I will soon reach the 30th anniversary of living here, and I have never been to the Clay Pit.  Another first for me, and I think I need to try and knock-out another couple firsts on a regular basis.  The Clay Pit is Indian cuisine, and very good; much more bland than I was expecting.  I was thinking it would be considerably more spicy.  Does that make me a bad person?  While we were there, Brandon and I had the buffet, and Representative Celia Israel was waiting on a lunch partner, so it was a nice opportunity to talk with her.  AND, her desk-mate in the legislature is Donna Howard, so that is REALLY cool.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BUSI-NESS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

2015 - Day 18/347 - Sunday...

Here is a photo that I did not get a chance to share with anyone last Friday.  Following Barb's Installation and the Broker Open House, several of us took the opportunity to enjoy (probably) the first glasses of wine and the first "toast" on the newly christened 'Harris-Terrace'.  Even if it was not the first toast or the first wine, there is no earlier documented sipping and toasting of wine on the Harris-Terrace, so I have claimed it.  Blecchhhh...  So there too!  Anyway, this photo is of Past Presidents John, Jay, Me and Leonard, along with current ABoR President Barb.  Very fun!

I think the Boy Dog is feeling better, but he is pretty weak, and has a hard time navigating the laminate floors.  We have drug every throw rug we have into the living/dining/kitchen areas, and we went to WalMart today (while completing some other chores) and bought five six-foot long runners.  We still need more rugs to (hopefully) give him more traction so he can be ambulatory on his own.

We will see how this all works out.

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

Saturday, January 17, 2015

2015 - Day 17/348 - Saturday...

It seems the Boy Dog has the pneumonias!  I guess Boy Dogs can get the pneumonias, and he has made this accomplishment.  Jody took him to the vet this morning for the diagnosis, and even after his first round of pills (three different pills every twelve hours) he seems to be doing better, even though all he has eaten in the last couple days is table scraps and canned dog food.  I guess he figures if he is going to be sick he will not make it even worse by eating kibble, he will hold out for the good stuff!  He will make another visit to the vet on Friday, but I think he is on the road to recovery!

Today was the public open house at the Board, and it was very well received.  Lots of visitors from the neighborhood and lots of REALTOR® members came by for free MCE classes and tours of the facility.

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

Friday, January 16, 2015

2015 - Day 16/349 - Friday..

And now, for something completely different...

Today was the Installation of the 2015 Austin Board of REALTORS® President Barb Cooper and the other 2015 Directors.   They (and me as Immediate Past President) are a qualified and competent force to be reckoned with.  But you all know that already.

Today, it was my privilege (I used that word many times today) to present the Presidents Award for Outstanding Achievement to Teresa Scott-Tibbs, a very competent and capable woman and longtime volunteer servant at our association.  Teresa took a revamped Legislative Management Team, a team that had never been before, and guided her team members at Chairman of that Team to greater heights that had ever been achieved in the history of our association.  In addition to everything else, Teresa presided over forty hours of interviews with city council and mayoral candidates.  There were over 100 candidates at the beginning of the political season for Austin's new 10/1 council make-up, and Teresa and her team persisted, never faltered, and made strong recommendations for endorsements of candidates for those positions.

As I said today (during various opportunities to speak), our association does not tolerate mediocrity; we expect excellence and receive it from the best and the brightest our association has, and they volunteer their time and talents with no thoughts of reward, nothing more than the knowledge that they did their job to the best of their ability.

No one could ask for more.  Congratulations Teresa.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TERESA SCOTT-TIBBS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

2015 - Day 15/350 - Thursday...

Other than the crappy parts, today was a pretty good day.

Elon Musk was in Texas today to speak with the Texas Legislature.  There was a Tesla Owners event at the West Gate to the Capitol, and it was great seeing that many Teslas, Tesla Owners and Supporters.  I think everyone was having a good time EXCEPT the legislators!  It is a done deal, maybe not this session, but the writing is on the walls...

This morning (about 8AM), an electrical transformer outside our office blew up, and we were without power til about 1 o'clock this afternoon.  I was not at the office this morning, so it did not cause me any issues, but it is certainly not food for a business to have no phones, no I get it.

I did have the opportunity to speak this morning at the Austin Chapter of the Women's Council of REALTORS®.  It was a really good meeting, and I was very happy to be there!

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

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2015 - Day 14/351 - Wednesday...

What fun!  I got to take another pass at the KVUE Midday team this morning.  There was a lot of chatter and kind words going back and forth between me and the on-air folks, and we were all having a great time.  They were not expecting me, but we made sure all the questions and comments were synced, and we were good to go.  Even some cutting up by Bryan during the segment, and that part of it is something I will really miss.  I will see them again in February when I go with the new ABoR President Barb, and introduce her to all the folks.

I am OVER this crappy weather.  It has taken the better part of all day for us to record 0.02" of precipitation in our gauge.  But it has been grey, overcast, depressing and wet all day.  OVER IT!

When I woke up this morning, we had no water coming out of the taps.  I tried to call the private water company that we get water from, and they said all circuits were busy.  I was convinced the water service and the telephone service had been hacked by terrorists.  But we had electricity, so I naturally assumed that they were amateur terrorists, but that they were probably still chipping away at the electrical grid.

Okay, none of that was accurate, but my imagination gets a little carried away in the dark.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NO WATER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

2015 - Day 13/352 - Tuesday...

Where were you when the lights went out?  Um...I was at a bowling alley.  No, really, I was at a bowling alley.  The Williamson County Association of REALTORS® sponsored a TREPAC Bowling Tournament this afternoon, and it was GREAT!  The place was packed with TREPAC Investors, and it was really a lot of fun.  About half-way through the event, ALL the lights in the place (and I guess everything else powered by electricity) went off.  The emergency lights and the exit lights worked properly (in case any code enforcement types are monitoring this site), but no body cared a bit.  Everybody has flashlights on their phones, and it looked like a heavy metal concert back in the 60's in that place.  Lots of fun, and I bet the raised a LOT of money for TREPAC!

Still cold, still grey, still cloudy, still cray-cray.  Jody reports there is sunshine in the forecast on Friday.  I don't know about you, but today has seemed like Wednesday all day, what about you?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, POWER PLAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, January 12, 2015

2015 - Day 12/353 - Monday...

On a happier note, I am going to post this photo of Barney the cat for you all to enjoy; for one thing posting cat pictures on this journal always seems to make my numbers go up and for another thing I really guess we are all addicted to happy kitty photographs.

Okay, here is the depressing crap.  I could not live in Seattle.  We have had grey overcast skies for about a week or ten days now (it seems more like forever), and I am about ready to slit my wrists.  I realized that on the drive home this afternoon.  It is depressing outside, and I think it is making me even LESS tolerant of other stuff than I already am.  Couple that with the fact that I find it next to impossible to comply with the city 'hand-free' ordinance.  Depriving me of my personal electronic device AND grey skies is almost more than I can tolerate.

I'm just saying.

Now, please enjoy the cat.

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

Sunday, January 11, 2015

2015 - Day 11/354 - Sunday...

Barney made a couple appearances today, although we have not seen the (they) grey cat in a couple days.  For everything I would have thought about wild cats and poultry in close proximity to one another, Barney and the previously mentioned yet so far unnamed grey cat(s) are very genteel when it comes to the chickens.

The chickens have been a little bit confused since Friday.  We changed their roosts around so they now go from top to bottom as opposed to going from bottom to top.  I know, I really need to draw you a picture, but trust me, it will make perfectly good sense the next time you are out here and take a look at it.  They are adjusting a little more every day, and tonight they are all in the coop and accounted for.

There was not supposed to be thunder.  Who said anything about thunder?  There was a possibility of rain, but no mention of thunder and lightning.  Before we went to sleep really well last night, there was a really strong rain that lasted for about ten minutes, and then it slacked off but continued to rain until after I went to sleep.  Long about 1 o'clock (I think) in the morning the thunder and lightning started, which made the Boy Dog start, which had little effect on my self-medicated sleep.  I ignored it the best I could and I think Jody pretty much ignored it as well.  The Boy Dog did not ignore it.  Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  Not sure how long that lasted, but he ended up hunkering down since it was obvious that we were oblivious.

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

Saturday, January 10, 2015

2015 - Day 10/355 - Saturday...

I can only think of a few times in the years that I have been writing this journal that I used a photo not taken on the same day as the journal post.  BUT, if you have been anywhere near the edge of nowhere, you will know that there was very little of anything that was worth taking a picture of today, with the exception of the radar images provided by meteorologists in the area.  It has been a cold, drizzly, dreary, grey, overcast, unwelcoming day.  SO, I am offering up this photo to you that I took yesterday when I was having lunch with Albetooch.  He told me that it was a new acquisition for the property, it had only been there for a couple weeks.  Since it has only been there for a short time, I would doubt if anyone would really miss it, so...

That first paragraph pretty much covers the day, nothing much else to report...

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

Friday, January 9, 2015

2015 - Day 9/356 - Friday...

One down, 51 (or so) weeks to go.  I had lunch today with my friend Al (Albert, Albetooch).  We have known each other since (I think) the late 70s, we used to work for the same company (the last place I was fired from), and he was the reason that I moved to Austin from New Orleans.  A lot of water has run under both of our bridges, but we have remained friends for decades.  Al moved to Houston in '88 or '89, and I have been here since '85.  Al is now back in the vicinity, and may or may not be here for a while longer.  He is a good friend, and I am very happy that I had the opportunity to go out and let him buy me lunch today!  Next one is on me.

It is still cold here, unusually cold.  Right now it is 34 degrees.  We have recorded 0.07" of rain today, and w
e are under some kind of weather advisory until noon tomorrow to be on the lookout for icy roads.  I do not think that is really going to happen, but if it was to happen, I would prefer that it happen on a weekday.  All HELL would break loose then, and as it is, it only has the possibility of ruining part of our weekend.  The nice thing about living on the edge of nowhere (and of having achieved an advanced age) is that, if the weather is really that bad, I may as well just go back to bed.  Nothing (really, NOTHING) is that important anymore that I need to make myself a basket case.

BUT, having said that, I expect I will become somewhat crazed with cabin-fever if anything really happens, but there is plenty of room out here to go and wander around.

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

Thursday, January 8, 2015

2015 - Day 8/357 - Thursday...

Early, EARLY morning meeting today; the 30th Annual Angelos Angelou Economic Forecast at the Convention Center.  Lots of folks there, lots of speakers, lots of interesting information.  Newly elected Austin Mayor Steve Adler was one of the speakers, and an interesting thing he said (and was reported to me that it reminded them of something I would say) was that he intended to put a lot of new procedures in place at the City, and if those new policies and procedures proved to be ineffective or inefficient, he would change it around until he found what DID work.  Not a bad plan if you ask me!  A few more interesting things from the meeting; population will continue to rise, total population of the five county area in the next two years will increase by about (I forget the number) but the increase will account for 80,000 (EIGHTY THOUSAND) more vehicles on our roads in the next TWO YEARS.  And 41% of our population is currently paying in excess of 35% of their monthly income on rents.


The rest of the day was spent playing catch up, and I did get a lot of stuff caught up.  And I got a lot of other stuff started.  All in all, a pretty darned good day.

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

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2015 - Day 7/358 - Wednesday... it goes.  Today was the first BOD meeting of the year, the first BOD meeting in our new facility.  It is a really great, first class facility and a tribute to the planning and determination of the Austin Board.  The entire process took about three plus years to complete, with lots of soul-searching, contemplation and deliberation.  It all culminated in the new building, and the grand opening will be next week.  I hope all our local REALTOR® peeps will join the celebrations.  Back to the meeting; it was a very good meeting, President Barb Cooper was at the helm, and we welcomed five new Directors.  A lot of excellent talent and we are all confident that this is going to be a great year!

Purse Wine.  Jut heard that term on TV, and I like it...

Tomorrow I have a seven o'clock breakfast meeting, so I am staying in Austin tonight.  We are expecting our coldest temperatures of the season overnight, it should be in the low 20s for several hours overnight.  It is going to be a cold, COLD walk from the parking garage to the breakfast.  But for now...I just consumed an obscene (yet delicious) dinner from my "in-town" favorite, Elevation Burger.  OMG, I love that place.  I have photographic documentation of the event (including a lovely glass of Merlot), but I will save that for another day.

Or not...

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

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

2015 - Day 6/359 - Tuesday...

Well, there is no sense wasting a perfectly good cat photo on a Tuesday entry, historically (hysterically?) one of the worst nights for followers.  BUT, I can give you the result of one of those cute little cats that (although their numbers are vague) run amok out here on the edge of nowhere.  Today we had a couple windows put into the carport/storage shed, and when we went to review the progress, we found this carcass.  One of the points of installing the windows was to give us some light in the storage section during the day, but it was not particularly expected that we would come upon the mummified remains of a feline victim.  It seems bunnies are on the lower end of the food chain here on the edge of nowhere.  I am mystified that a cat can catch a bunny, but I guess patience pays off.  I would not know anything about that!

I went out to put the girls to bed this evening, and after the last of the (close to) full moon evenings, it is blacker than pitch outside.  An incredible contrast to the last several evenings.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DEAD BUNNIES, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, January 5, 2015

2015 - Day 5/360 - Monday...

When I went out to let the girls loose this morning, this was my view of the moon setting in the northwest.  Not really as defined as Denny's photo of the moon RISE last night, or Helen's comments about the full moon but interesting none the less.

Even though I am pretty sure many students were back in classes today, I am not 100% certain that I came to a full stop on my ride in to Austin this morning.  I do know for 100% certainty that I was compliant with the new HANDS FREE ordinance, so far so good.  It is a chore. I catch myself reaching over for the phone just because I am so used to it.  I really have a challenge going more than a few minutes without fondling my cellular device.  It has to potential too of disrupting my photographic documentation of traffic congestion on my daily commutes.  SO, the bottom line is, I expect that if you want to see photos of car wrecks, jut hope that they occur in Williamson County.

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

Sunday, January 4, 2015

2015 - Day 4/361 - Sunday...

You just KNOW it is going to be a good day when you get the tractor stuck in the mud up to its' axles.  No, really, I mean it.  I got the tractor stuck in the mud and guck (I am not sure what makes up guck, but the tractor was stuck in it out in one of the pastures this morning) pretty much first thing this morning.  Actually not first thing but pretty soon after first thing.  The thought of going and asking for some help to get it out of the guck (defined by Webster as "oozy sloppy dirt or debris; goo") occurred to me, but we were able to get it un-guc
ked using the hydraulics of the front end loader.  Mission accomplished.  The cattle got two nice bales of hay and two nice big new fresh buckets of molasses.  They likes them some molasses.  It is supposed to be down into the low 20s tonight, so I wanted to make sure they had plenty of feed to keep themselves warm.  This is a picture of Violet (our first born) and the bull of her calves Mr. Speckles.  I am having some second thoughts of getting rid of Mr. Speckles, but I think it is inevitable.  Once a fence jumper, always a fence jumper.

Although I did a lot of nothing yesterday, I did a little bit less nothing today.  We did get the chicken coop cleaned out, Miguel got the front barn somewhat organized (now I still won't be able to find anything out there but it looks good), and we got the front porch and back patio power washed.  Darned chickens!

Tomorrow will be back to (unfortunately) normal traffic flows I fear, and the new "Hands off your cell phone" ordinance will go full steam.  I tried complying with it last week, and did okay, nothing great.  I think the odds are actually be in my favor.  I can hardly wait for the first of our local lawmakers that got this ordinance through to get a $500 ticket.  I hope it makes page one, above the fold.

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

Saturday, January 3, 2015

2015 - Day 3/362 - Saturday...

You would expect that with this much smoke there would be a decent fire.  BUT NO!  The origins of this particular smoke is pretty much just a bunch more smoke.  I let the fire in the stove die out for most of the day today, so I could clean the ashes out of it in anticipation of the forecasted 20 degree low temperatures tomorrow night.  We also have received 1.35" of rain here on the edge of nowhere since the New Year became official, so my idea is that wet wood will burn more slowly than dry wood.  I had not taken into consideration that wet wood would also smoke up the place a lot more than dry wood.  But, everything is pretty much under control right now and there is a lovely fire going in the stove.

I have no idea how many grey cats there are running around this house.  I know for sure that there is one orange cat (Barney) but there could be up to three grey cats.  In the mornings when we are sitting at the breakfast table, we usually see one or another cat cross beyond the patio heading towards the back porch where Jody has generously left some cat food.  This morning, the orange cat crossed from stage left to stage right.  Then from stage right to stage left.  Then a grey cat crossed from stage left to stage right. Then a grey cat crossed from left to right.  Then a grey cat was walking on top of the gazebo cover and then on the pergola covering the walkway to the back porch.  Then a grey cat was jumping from the pergola covering unto the roof of the house.  Then a grey cat was walking from left to right.  I never did see a grey cat go from right to left.  Later in the day (as I was reading my meters) there was a grey cat running down the road.  Jody has decided he may need to begin buying cat food in bulk.

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

Friday, January 2, 2015

2015 - Day 2/363 - Friday...

In October of 2015 I will have lived in the Austin area for thirty years.  That is considerably longer that ANY other place I have ever lived, easily twice as long as the nearest contender.  Almost a half of my life has been spent in this area (I turned 63 in December), and in all that time I have never been to Top Notch Burgers on Burnet Road.  It pre-dates me at least by a couple decades (I am pretty sure it was included in Dazed and Confused but I had never had
an occasion to stop in.  So, that was one of my tasks today.  I pulled in under the covered parking, pushed the button and confessed that it was my first time there, please tell me what to do.  I ordered a cheeseburger (Number Two) and fries, and the car-hop was very friendly and accommodating (and told me she hoped my first time was pleasant), and that was the end of that.  The atmosphere reminds me of the old fashioned Sonic, but no roller skates.  It also kind of reminds me of the A&W Root Beer stand we visited when I was a kid in Michigan.  The food reminds me a lot of Sandy's on Barton Springs Road although I confess I think Sandy's is a little bit better.  BUT, that is not to say that I will not return.  Maybe the cook was having a bad day, so I think a couple more visits should be afforded them before I make a final, decisive judgment.

And, just anecdotally speaking, this stuff about smiling and being considerate has its' limits.  I'm just sayin'.

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

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 - Day 1/364 - Thursday...

Oh my!  It's a New Year already.  Jody and I wish you all nothing but health and happiness in this New Year, and every year to come.  We think that pretty much covers it.

Since this is Thursday, I am going with a TBT, or a "Best of the Blog" edition.  The following is a re-print of the very first Day 1, posted on January 1, 2009, minus the photos of the cattle that are mentioned.  Enjoy!

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 world 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!
And that’s the way it was on January 1, 2009!

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