Tuesday, June 30, 2015

2015 - Day 181/184 - Tuesday...

Okay, I am tired, but in a really good, cool, satisfied, fulfilled and sustained way. There has been a lot on my plate lately, and this evening was just a time to decompress and forget about stuff. It was not really as easy as all that, but I did get out of reality for a couple hours. We (TREPAC) did our annual sneak preview movie night tonight, and we saw Terminator Genisys before the general release tomorrow. IT was fun, LOTS of special effects, LOTS of noise and LOTS of cool scenes. Basically it is all about Apple and Wal-Mart taking over the world, with maybe a little bit of collaboration with Starbucks thrown in. Interesting, fantasy and got to meet up with lots of good friend and colleagues!

And it rained again today. Good downpours in Austin, and Jody reports there was 0.65" in the gauge when he last looked.

Full day of meetings tomorrow, and then the downhill slide to the Holiday Weekend.

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

Monday, June 29, 2015

2015 - Day 180/185 - Monday...

Pretty soon the year will be half gone, but at least we have a few things to show for it. Yes, it seems today was Monday, but as Mondays go, it was not the worst of times (but it was not the best of times by a far reach, either). It has not rained in the last 24 hours, and I do not think there is any predication of rain in the next 24 hours either. After that, it is up for grabs. The sage out by the driveway is blooming itself into a stupor (bless its' heart), and that is an indication of rain, sometimes more reliable than the prognosticators. I did see this lovely swallowtail flitting itself to and fro when I pulled in to the driveway, and it cooperated long enough for me to take a few photos. Not that I was at a loss for photos, but I think this one best suits the message I would like to convey. This little guy is so delicate and frail, but there he is, doing the best job he can in spite of all the obstacles confronting him, whether it be asphalt of pesticides. He is still there baby, keep it going!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FRAGILITY OF BEING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

PS: Barney the cat seems to be alive and well, I saw her yesterday (actually in the garage checking things out), and she (or some dragon) has been eating the moist food I have been putting out for her.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

2015 - Day 179/186 - Sunday...

Yes, it has rained again. It rained last night, it rained this morning, it rained this afternoon. I AM NOT COMPLAINING that much about it, but it would be nice if it were reasonably dry and a LOT less humid. Jody and I went into Georgetown for dinner this afternoon (worse than the early-bird special) and I took this photo from the patio of the restaurant. By the time we finished dinner (suffice it to say we were back in time for the national news) it was raining, but not so badly that it stopped me from going into Old Navy to buy some new boxers and some socks. And they were all on sale, too. What could be better?

Well, on the way to the restaurant, we stopped at PetSmart (we did not take the girl dog along with us) and bought her a new toy to replace the one she lost or ate or hid or who-knows-what. We also got her a new harness as well, since the collar we got when we adopted her tends to cut off the oxygen supply to her brain when she is trying to chase bunnies and dragons. It fits her pretty well, but there will still be some fine tuning needed to make it JUST right.

This morning I got up, read the paper, made a large pile of eggs for me and Jody (and the girl dog, I don't know where she is getting these bad habits from), and went out and got started with the chores. I got the grass cut in the front, leaf blower the patio, trimmed the crape myrtles so we do not have to 'duck' when we go outside, cleaned the chicken coop and probably a few more things before I came back inside and collapsed on the blue chair.

Relatively productive if I do say so myself.

The week coming is allegedly a short one, but I will be showing properties on the alleged Holiday, but not on the official Holiday.

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

Saturday, June 27, 2015

2015 - Day 178/187 - Saturday...

As a figure-head back-seat-to-the-girl-dog passenger when Jody takes the girl dog for a ride, the view really never changes that much. Back of the seat, back of the dog, outside the side windows of the truck. Pretty much the same from minute-to-minute. The girl dog reigns supreme in the truck with Jody, and pretty much where ever she is. Last night she was playing with her fluorescent orange squeaky toy, and it vanished into thin air. Or thick air which seems to be the prominent type of air these days at the edge of nowhere. Vanished I tell you. We have turned furniture over, looked under furniture in a five room radius of where the last squeak was heard, and we cannot find that toy. It's gone. But she goes for a ride with no issues at all.

We are taking her to PetSmart tomorrow to have her fitted with a harness, since she comes close to choking herself to death when Jody takes her for a walk and she spots a lizard, a rabbit, or some other sort of dragon that she cannot classify.

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

Friday, June 26, 2015

2015 - Day 177/188 - Friday...

Change. CHanj. verb: To make of become different; "a proposal to change the law". To take or use another instead of; "She decided to change her name". noun: The act or instance of making or becoming different; "the change from a nomadic to an agricultural society". Coins as opposed to paper currency; "a handful of loose change".

I am okay with some change, pennies nickels, dimes and especially quarters. I like to hoard change, and I am not really that fond of spending change. That kind of change I like. There is a particular satisfaction I get every two or three years when I take my tupperware storage bin of change to the Prosperity Bank in Allandale where they will put it through their change counting machine (for free) and we all stand around and take bets on what the total is. Generally it is six or seven hundred bucks. I would like it VERY much if the US Mint would come up with a dollar coin that was actually used by folks, and accepted as a good kind of change. I like that kind of change.

Some kinds of change I am not that good with. I am not happy with the change from Blue Bell ice cream to no Blue Bell ice cream. That is an example of change that I am not crazy with. I am not good with flight changes. If I book my airline flights months in advance, I do not like notifications that my flight has been cancelled or changed. I do not like it when the manufactures change my Peanut M&M bag from 3.5 ounces to 3.27 ounces and increases the price at the same time. I am not really sure that has ever happened, but it might have, and that is another example of changes that I would not like.

Usually I am resistant to change, and I think that is probably true for much of the population. I understand that there is never a good time for change. Generally though, if there is nothing I can do about change, I would prefer to go ahead and get the change done and get on with it. Changes are changes for a reason, and I guess for the most part, change is good. There has been a lot of things that have changed recently, and I am okay with most of it.

Take changing lanes for instance. Generally speaking, I am okay with changing lanes.

Overall, I am okay with the mot recent changes that have happened. TO the best of my knowledge, Hell has not frozen over (although there is this place in Michigan that has a tendency to do that. The earth has not decided to change the direction of its' rotation. The sky outside for the most part is still blue, and I have no reason to believe that I will not awaken from my slumber tomorrow morning.

Just as most of you will, I expect. Embrace the change, embrace whomever might be close to you, and don't forget to tell the people you love that you love them.

I love you.

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

Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 - Day 176/189 - Thursday..

Well, when you look at it like that, all blown up and everything, it looks like I took this photo while driving down the road at a significant clip. The point that I was trying to make was, it is crap like this (entourage) that causes issues on the Interstate. It looks like a parade, and I was a good 35 miles out of the city. It took me an hour to get from South Austin to North Austin this afternoon, and then another hour to get home. I do not generally complain about the travel or the traffic (fingers crossed because I do complain about the other drivers and that could (technically) be considered a complaint about the traffic) but I think it is a combination of the heat, humidity, stupidity and pro wifi connections while traveling that are causing me to be a bit snippy. He has taken a vow (silently, not in  my out loud voice) to try and be a kinder, gentler driver. As of about 8:15 this morning, I was four miles further from Austin than I was when I started an hour ago. I have (perhaps but not definitely) had it UP TO HERE with trying to be nice. Not really, I will do it again tomorrow and hope for better results.

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

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

2015 - Day 175/190 - Wednesday...

So, I have my opinions about climate shifts and global warming, just so you will know, and I will be happy to share those opinions, all you have to do is ask. That is not what this particular entry is all about, though. This entry is about the land mass shift toward the east. Central Texas (and particularly the edge of nowhere) is moving eastward at a very rapid pace. Central Texas, for all intents and purposes, should now be considered New Orleans. When I lived in New Orleans, it rained EVERY DAY. Usually about 4:30 in the afternoon, when no civilized or educated person would dare to be outside a refrigerated home, office or Godchaux's on Canal Street. Since central Texas is now the new New Orleans, it rains here EVERY DAY. I was showing property this afternoon, and went inside a building and when I came out twenty or thirty minutes later, it had rained (as evidenced by the wet sidewalk and wet car). I had no idea (not to be confused with IKEA) that it had rained. Last night, it rained two or three times, heavily, for thirty seconds or less. At this rate, we will be in the Bahamas by August. One advantage of the continued precipitation events is this: The flora are going crazy, as evidences by the masses of Lilies around the property. Very pretty. Did I mention last week that the cannas are taking over the back patio area, and should soon be encroaching on the tornado shelter?

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

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

2015 - Day 174/191 - Tuesday...

I was at City Hall this afternoon, along with about twenty of our association members, meeting with our ten council members (and/or their staff) and the mayor (and his staff). They have a lot of work ahead of them, and (as I can tell you with certainty) it is a thankless job that they perform. I have been to City Hall many times, and they always have rotating art work being exhibited through the building. I really liked this one and it reminded me of some of the deco pieces I have seen in other public buildings here and there. When I went to look at the description of the work, I discovered that this is sculptured foam. FOAM! That fact could also account for the fact that I had to stretch as high as I could (I'm short) to try to get this photograph. I assume that if it were at eye level, it would be gouged out by people testing the FOAM attributes of the work. Very nice.

I got into the office after an 8:30 appointment this morning, did some power real estate, and then headed to City Hall. I am glad there was a decent wifi connection, because I did a good amount of business while I was supposed to be paying attention to political insights. Another meeting early tomorrow morning, then a bit more power real estate, and then showing properties for sale in the afternoon.

I may have failed to mention this lately, but I am the luckiest man in the world.

Am too...

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

2015 - Day 173/192 - Monday...

Well, since you asked, yes we have seen Barney the cat lately. This photo was taken a couple evenings ago (I should remember because it does not look as if it was raining) when I was taking the girl dog out with me en route to put the girls to bed. We delayed the trip to the chicken coop so the Barney cat could get a drink of water in peace. We have not been seeing too much of her (the cat) with all the rain, but we were pretty confident she was still around, because something had been eating the food we put out for her, but that could always be the result of a wayward possum (opossum) or skunk. There are all kinds of critters running around out here in the dark. Sometimes it is even me running around outside in the dark, it just depends of the phases of the moon and other variables.

Today was a relatively crazy day, it is getting to be that time of year, but it will all be over with before you know it. Everybody wants something, and I am included in that generality. Of course, I want something, and I can be pretty demanding too. What I would really like is for everyone to take a chill pill, quit complaining, and that about what would be best for the majority. And if you don't really care one way or the other, that is perfectly valid as well. Everybody really does not need to have an opinion about everything. How could we all keep up if we all had opinions. I still get overwhelmed when I traverse the toothpaste aisle at HEB. There are just too damned many choices. Why do we need that many different choices of toothpaste?

Not sure, but I will step down now and turn this all over to you.

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

Sunday, June 21, 2015

2015 - Day 172/193 - Father's Day...

The poor morning glories seem to be blooming many places other than the places that I have sewn and cared for them. They do not seem to be flourishing in the specially tilled beds that also contain a series of trellis apparati that would afford them glorious (i.e. glory) climbing abilities. Instead it seems they want to be in a bed of fish-mash flora up against the house, and have seemingly taken on the role of 'ground-cover', most likely to be smothered out by any number of Mexican petunias (is that politically incorrect? I seem to have a flank of bird-dogs that caution me at every twist about something or another that should not be commented on out load or via journal entry) that will take over everything in sight, including entire patches of bamboo between her and the road. I believe them (the aforementioned M. petunias) to be related (incestuously) to the kudzu vines of the mid-south and delta regions in the voracious ability to actually visibly grow at a clip of about 12 inches per hour. But I digress, this entire paragraph was intended solely for the glorification (there I go again) of the morning glories that I so wish would act civilized and multiply in the beds for which they were intended.

We are close to having to rename the edge of nowhere to the swamps of central Texas. Although we have received just about 3.5" of rain this month, we have still not recovered from the 13" or so that we received last month. Every step one takes (even if one finds oneself to be a chicken) is accompanied by a squish and a squirt of mud and mayhem. I am close to waving the (formerly) white flag of defeat as far as trying to keep the grass cut is concerned. Ants are particularly unhappy with the goings on out of the skies. Ants (I may have uncovered a coveted red ant expressway) are covering everything. They are driving the birds away from the feeders, and there seems to be no stopping them. We went and bought a new bird feeder today, and are afraid to put it out without soaking a cotton balls with insecticide first around the wire that suspends it from the tree.

There is no rain forecast for Tuesday, but other than that, it is business as usual.

, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

2015 - Day 171/194 - Saturday...

Jody took me and the girl dog for a ride in his truck this morning. The girl dog and I hung our heads out the windows, wagged tongues and tails, and barked at dogs and other cars and trucks that passed by. When we got home, we had a good scratch and a tummy rub, and went down for (another) nap.

Other than that, I did not make a lot of contributions to society or mankind in general today. I did get out and go take a look at a couple properties. Collected eggs, moved one of the outdoor fountains from a bed of cannas that had decided to play like they were a tropical rain forest in south America and take over everything in their path. I can understand that. Then there was the chicken incident. Jody and I were out moving the fountain (Jody was supervising and I was trying to convince him he should go back in the house), and one of the chickens decided to go for a swim in the pool. That is, as far as i know, a first. When I lived in Memphis, we had a chicken that tried that when no one was around, and it did not end well. This girl struggled for about ten seconds and then seemed quite content to just float on the currents of the pool. I scooped her up with the leaf skimmer and plopped her down, and off she went. No big deal.

Other than that it was just another day on the edge of nowhere.

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

Friday, June 19, 2015

2015 - Day 170/195 - Friday...

The ABoR Foundation participated (again) the the Summer Fan Drive benefiting Family Eldercare of Austin. I did not want to be in the photo because is was Michael (chair) and Steve (co-chair) that did all the hard work to make it such a success. I was not (however) above photo-bombing them after they had a couple good photos for the publicity. It was a fun event, although it was rainy and the humidity level was about 1000%. In this photo (from left to right, just in case you are Arabic, and then it is still from left to right) are Aaron, Michael, Cynthia and Steve. That's me in the background with my mouth (as usual) open, trying to catch a fly or two. I had not eaten. Also, my friend Cass was there and she is the 2015 Board Chair for Family Eldercare. Lots of hard work went into this event, and lots of cash and fans were donated to help folks out during our hot, humid summers. Hopefully it will make it a little bit more comfortable for them all.

This morning I presented at a new member orientation at the Board, and then it was off to the office. Then it was off to the fan drive, back to the office and then home (via a stop off at a clients home to take care of a couple pieces of paperwork.

To the best of my knowledge, I have no appointments over the weekend, and I intend to take full advantage. Of course, that is all open to change.

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

Thursday, June 18, 2015

205 - Day 169/196 - Thursday...

This is a 1965 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser. We had a 1965 Buick Sport Wagon. Same car, different badge. Ours was blue (everything my mother had anything to do with was blue, if it didn't start out blue, she painted it blue). I learned a lot in that old station wagon, many things that I choose not to share with you (but will do so happily given the proper quantities of Merlot). My dad died between my junior and senior year in high school. That was the car I had when I got my drivers license. That was the car that Al Parsons and I (really, mostly Al) replaced the muffler with a 'Thrush Muffler" (bad idea unless you were interested in mimicking a jet aircraft) and installed a reverberator on the (AM) radio system. There were no stereo car radios, really there was no FM radio back then either. This was the car I was driving home from school one day when I was 'rear-ended' by Miss Riverview Evelyn Wisenor, who got out of the car and stated that she was 'so glad it is you'. That was the reason I pulled the senior homecoming float with a loaner car while that HUGE blue land yacht was in the shop. The loaner car was a 1965 Oldsmobile Holiday, huge as well, but prone to overheating on the parade route. The blue Sport Wagon was the car we took on a trip to California; me, my mom and dad  and my Aunt Ruby. My dad had an 'aftermarket' air conditioner installed in the car. It was kind of like a miniature swamp cooler. It straddled the hump in the front seat, we put ice cubes in a reservoir that also was filled (with what looked like) hay, and turned on the fan. It didn't work, but it did cause a unacceptable drain on the cooling system of the car which we experienced first-hand just this side of Needles, California. This was also the trip that, when we visited Disneyland, my Aunt Ruby peed her pants every time we went down a hill on the Matterhorn ride.

If you had time, I could tell you lots more about that car. Another interesting thing about the Oldsmobile shown above, the driver looked scarily like he could have been the original owner.

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

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

2015 - Day 168/197 - Wednesday...

What day is it? It's HUMP DAY! Wow-Zowee. As a tropical depression I have to admit I was underwhelming. I just had a problem getting my rotation to kick in, and I know you know what I mean. I am still causing a heavy rain here and there, and I did manage to blow down some tree limbs (pretty good sized ones, too) up between the chicken coop and the road. And the girls are really kind of tired of being wet. You've heard the expression that includes 'madder than a wet hen', and I can guarantee you some yokel did not just make that up. These girls are over the rain. I did close the windows in the coop last night, so that was a help in letting them dry out, but you can't catch a bug if you stay in the coop all day. We had some bad storm warning off-and-on throughout the day, and it was HELL ON WHEELS (get it?) driving home this evening. I was never so happy to off an Interstate in all my born days! These clouds were interesting though, different from the clouds I usually post.

A great day though, overall. Good volumes of work done, a GREAT meeting, and them more power real estate before I headed home.

Life is BIG!

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

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 - Day 167/198 - Tuesday...

Okay, I am building up steam, on-shore and heading this way. I was really expecting it to be raining here by now, but still just sprinkling. There were monsoonal rains in Austin today, and for a relatively extended period of time. I don't (however) recall any rainfall amounts being mentioned on the local news. There are varying predictions of rainfall we might expect, anywhere from 4 to 5 inches to 24 inches. I expect it will fall somewhere in the middle. I hope we get two or three inches, there are some wins expected, but we are hoping there will be no damage caused by my alter ego. If I could spell doppelgänger I would, but since I can't I won't.

Today was another busy day. The city pretty much shut down at 3 o'clock because of the weather, but I was at the office, then to a luncheon, then to a meeting and then to a client meeting. I got out of the city about 4:30, but of course I had to stop at HEB for storm supplies; 3 banana nut muffins, 2 (very disappointing) peaches, and one large piece of carrot cake that Jody and I are getting ready to split.

Enjoy the rain, stay safe, and don't do anything stupid.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CARROT CAKE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 15, 2015

2015 - Day 166/199 - Monday...

Thank you. Thank you ladies and gentlemen. I am not worthy of this honor, but I humbly accept it on behalf of all the little people out there. I have strived for this honor for hours and hours, and it just goes to show you what dedication, hard work and having a first name close to the beginning of the alphabet can do. Really. This is such an honor to share my name with a tropical depression in the Gulf of Mexico, expected to bring heavy rainfall and moderate winds from the Gulf to New England by the weekend. It is more than I can possibly ever have thought I could have achieved, but I accept the challenge, and pledge to you that all I will do is provide much needed rain (no flooding) and a good wash to the cars left out (but no damage). If something goes awry with this plan, please consult the fine print (which will not be available for review until Monday, at least).

Otherwise, today was a hectic day with high points and low points. Kind of normal for this time of the year.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TROPICAL DEPRESSIONS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

2015 - Day 165/200 - Sunday...

Okay, so I am desperate for a photo to include with this journal entry. SUE ME! It has been just a bit of a busy day, and I had all sorts of opportunities for photos; a lovely iris blooming on the circle, confused about what season it actually is here on the edge of nowhere. A wreck on IH-35, both directions, you could have taken your pick of pics. A rainy Monet kind of shot from the rain that was not supposed to be (but I have taken a vow not to post rain photos until at least July 1st). Clouds. There are always cloud photos for the taking. Sunrise. Sunset. Chickens. Maddy. But I settled for this National Enquirer style photo of the perennially stinking what-is-left-of-Mr. Speckles-head. Yep, he is a stinker alright. Enjoy.

I did get some other stuff done today as well. I made breakfast for me and Jody, cut some grass (cut at), went into Georgetown to get a part for the pool, took Jody by HEB, came home, showered, went into Austin, and got some stuff done.

I left Austin about 4:45 I think, and it was raining in Austin. I called and told Jody I was on the way home and asked if it had rained. Nope. Between then and the time I got home (probably 45 minutes) we got a deluge on the edge of nowhere, and at last check we had 0.83" in the official gauge.

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

Saturday, June 13, 2015

2015 - Day 164/201 - Saturday...

I was actually able to capture a few good journal photo possibilities, but you know I am just in awe of clouds. Can there be anything prettier than a pretty cloud? I understand that there are ugly clouds as well, and I will be happy to document those when given a chance. There are also rather ordinary, ho-hum clouds, but if you think about it, a cloud could never be ho-hum, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem to you and me. I immensely prefer clouds from the safe vantage point of terra firm, as opposed to being confined to a metallic cylinder hurtling through the atmosphere at a few hundred miles per hour and encountering a cloud. I believe (possibly because I am certainly no scientific expert here) that the fluffier the cloud may look from the porch of the house or from the comfort of my land transporter, the more turbulent it most likely is while traveling through it. Maybe yes, maybe no. But that is my story and I am sticking with it.

I was totally amazed with the amount of work I was able to accomplish today, particularly between the hours of 8AM and 10AM. Quiet. No distractions. No phones ringing. Just putting my head down and getting stuff done. Where would we be without weekends. I can recall a time that I did not get a twit about the weekends. I can remember the conscious thought several years ago that I found the weekends to be precious, and was very guarded about them. But, it seems I am incapable of getting everything done during the five 'work days' and have begun to complete those tasks on the two days following the week. Whatever works!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CLOUDS AGAIN, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, June 12, 2015

2015 - Day 163/202 - Friday...

This is a reminder (to me just as much as to anyone else) of just how Austin has changed in the (almost) thirty years that I have lived here. When I moved here, it was a really nice, relaxed, liberal spot that nobody cared that much about. Now we are the 11th largest city in the United States, hundreds (literally) of people move here on a daily basis, and there is no end in sight. For all its' forward thinking, Austin is (at the same time) relatively backward in its' planning and foresight. There is no mass transit, there is no real plan for mass transit, and everyone is in love with their truck. Yes, I too have a truck, but I also live on a farm. I live fifty miles from my office and I commute back and forth every day of the week, and very frequently on the weekends as well. I would welcome the state to build a toll road from my driveway to my office, and I would pay the seven dollars a day that would be required for that toll road commute. I am happy to support anything that will lessen my drive times and commuting frustration. But for now, this is the best we got, the best we can do. Commuter rail that (seemingly) is well used by folks from the northern burbs to the city and back and forth. It is a start.

It was a busy and rewarding day. Meetings, meetings, appointments, and stuff. Tomorrow I have some stuff to take care of in Austin, but I think I will try and take some time for myself (and Jody) on Sunday.

...AND...it rained overnight just a little bit in Austin. I stayed in town Wednesday and Thursday nights, and when I went to the car this morning, there were droplets all over it. On the way home this afternoon, we had a couple pretty good cloud bursts, and Jody even reported a trace at the farm.

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

Thursday, June 11, 2015

2015 - Day 162/203 - Thursday...

Okay, I tried a new place for dinner tonight, called Verteskebap (or something like that, you can check it out on The Googles. It is allegedly a Berlin style variation on the Gyro sandwich. It was okay, but I am not going to make a special trip to try it again. I hope they do well, they just don't particularly appeal to me. After dinner, Skippy and I went over to the comic book store, where I was one of the (many) alien life forms in the place. I don't know how many of the folks in the place were named 'Shelton', but many of them could have been. It was a total sub-culture of Austin society that I had no idea existed. It was actually a little bit too much reality for me, and now I am comfortably ensconced away from the dirties, and happy as a clam.

I attended a plethora of meetings today, and that was all good. It was basically a post legislative recap of the the accomplishments that were achieved in the session that ended about ten days ago. Mostly wins, so that was a good thing.

Tomorrow is another set of meetings in the morning, then a couple meetings in the afternoon, and then some power real estate in the afternoon.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SHELTON'S, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

2015 - Day 161/204 - Wednesday...

I have absolutely no idea who these people are. I was ordering my chicken finger dinner at Top Notch, and they came outside and got into this cut-out. Well, cue me to get out of the car and ask if I could take their picture too, since I had nothing to post on this journal entry. They said yes, and I think they were caught off guard that I was taking a photo with my phone, and not their camera. I have no concern that they have something to remember the moment by, but they already said 'yes' so there was no going back. If you know them, feel free to comment.

In spite of myself, all the negative mojo working around in my aura, and all the other forces of evil that I believe surround me on occasion, this day turned out to 'not suck'. And that is certainly a vast improvement over the way it started. So, the only thing that matters is that everything worked out okay. Just so you know, this day actually started out on Monday, and it has been one hellacious day that is almost over, and will result (I expect) in a sound sleep tonight. Thank you for your concern.

Early day tomorrow, full day of meetings with TREPAC Trustees, and all the stuff we can learn from this years legislative session.

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

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

2015 - Day 160/205 - Tuesday...

To begin, let me be clear. I have nothing against Michigan. To be sure, I am kind of fond of the state in which I grew up and was nurtured. Nature v nurture. It was simply a happy circumstance when I was visiting The Googles earlier today to find an appropriate image for the phrase 'Muckety-Muck'. Unfortunately, I will completing a questionnaire for the City of Austin's 'Budget-in-a-Box' program, and I happened to ask for assistance in the proper spelling of 'Muckety-Muck' which resulted in a singularly amazing (less than a tsunami, less than an avalanche) of information about 'Muckety-Muckness', whether it is my own or someone else (i.e., the City of Austin). Thanks very much  to (the other) Bill for forwarding the following information, it is much easier than coming up on my own for a topic of this evenings journal entry.

The origin on Machete-Muck (short for high-muck-a-muck. First known use: 1883.

Synonyms: big, big boy, big cheese, bigfoot, biggie, big gun, big leaguer, big timer, big wheel, bigwig, fat cat, heavy, heavy hitter, heavyweight, kingfish, kingpin, major leaguer, muck-a-muck, mucky muck, nabob, nawab, nibs, nob, pooh-bah, poo-bah, wheel.

Antonyms: lightweight, nobody. non-entity, nothing, shrimp, twerp, whippersnapper, zero, zilch.

You choose, but I am not sure what would happen if you went into Bob's Big Boy (on the west coast) or Elias Brothers (as the franchise was called where I grew up in Michigan) and tried to order Muckety-Muck with fries.

Just sayin'.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MUCKETY-MUCKS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 8, 2015

2015 - Day 159/206 - Monday...

The figs look like they will have a banner year this year, and that is a pretty good accomplishment if you are a fig tree. It seems to me that figs are an under-appreciated fruit (are figs fruits?), and one that gets no respect from me. Last year, everyone around here was up to their fig trees in figs, so I am opening this up to the city-folk. If you want some figs, come on out and start picking. They should be ready to pick in a week or ten days. Be prepared to get sticky. It is always interesting to me that our figs are rotting on the tree and the chickens are enjoying those that drop to the ground, and there are folks at CostCo paying good money for the received delicacy. Cray-Cray!

Let's go back and review spiders for just a moment. JoeMac took it upon himself to investigate the spider post of last week. There are a couple folks that take great joy in showing me that you can find anything on the Googles if you only put your mind to it.I believe JoeMac found the species and forwarded this link to me to review: Argiope aurantia (Black and Yellow Garden Spider) Pictures and Spider Identification. I took a look at it, and yep, I that that is the one, and I have read this (Evelyn Woods style) a couple times, and the one thing I would have been most interested in was not included. Is it going to hurt if this thing bites me? Is it venomous? Will I be rolling around the path convulsing if I crossed the path of this otherwise just plain scary bug. Since that information was not included (or I just missed it when I was looking for that specifically), I can only assume that it is not poisonous, and I was right just to leave it alone.

What are your thoughts?

Deeds, Actions, Changes, OH FIGS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, June 7, 2015

2015 - Day 158/207 - Sunday...

I tried my best to stay in the bed longer than usual this morning, but the fact is, once the sun starts coming up, the chickens are out of the coop and making a racket to get loose. Since the Girl Dog has radar alerts to the chimes when the doors open, I make a quick escape to go let the girls loose, and I am not five steps out the door and there she (the Girl Dog) is wanting to go with me. The chickens do not care AT ALL for the Girl Dog (they did not pay a twit to the Boy Dog), so I do my best to keep them as far apart as possible. They particularly do not like it when I have the Girl Don on her leash and they are confined to their screened in place, and there is a Girl Dog just outside the screen. They really start a racket, and I can be trained, so I avoid that. Whatever. This is the sunrise that greeted me this morning after I came back to the house to free the Girl Dog. Very pretty.

I did get some grass cut this morning before I headed into Austin. The rains last month have made it really difficult to keep up with the grass. It should be a little bit dryer this month (although there are rain chances towards the end of this week and into next week), and so I will try to get the grass cutting under control. We shall see. The road to Hell (in this case, the path to the front of the property) was paved with good intentions.

I got some work done in Austin this afternoon, so that was good. Got the car washed on the way home. It seems you are supposed to do that on a regular basis, but we live on a dirt road, so I really do not see the use of it. But it does look all nice and pretty right now.

The coming week will have a few meetings, and lots of office time. Good stuff.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CLEAN CAR, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

2015 - Day 157/208 - Saturday...

I had considered regaling you with some sort of photographic documentation of the day featuring some of the flora and/or fauna that is relatively typical for the edge of nowhere, but somewhat unique to a more urbanized culture. But then again, it is hard to pass up sharing a photo of a spider as grand and colorful as this one. If you were concerned with a measurement from stem to stern, I will guess it to be about 4-and-a-half inches, and maybe thirty percent more if you were given to splattering it with one of your steel-toed boots. I am not knowledgeable of the particular species of spider it is, but since it was weaving its' wicked web amongst the grape vines, I am going with 'yellow striped grape sucker'. If you have a more literal and scientific name for it, please feel free to share.

I had some errands to run in Austin today, and so Jody and the girl dog accompanied me into the city and camped out at the condo while I took care of my business. Afterwards, we went to the Shake Shack, where Jody was underwhelmed. His shake was good but he did not care for the burger. Net time, we are going to opt for Top Notch on Burnet Road.

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

Friday, June 5, 2015

2015 - Day 156/209 - Friday...

The recent rains continue to show their worth, and this is the first year in a long time that the trumpet vines out by the chicken cook have been this pretty. The humming birds love them, as they do the salvias and the other natives that are growing and blooming around the house. Now, having said that, I am not 100% sure that this vine is a native, but at least it does survive the cycle of drought/flood, and does not seem to be particularly damaged when it goes years without adequate moisture. I cannot say the same for the 30 or so trees we have lost in the last five or six years. It has been bad.

But I digress... That's right, that's what the man said, it's Friday. I had a great day today, tarted off with a presentation to our new members at the Austin Board of REALTORS®. I always enjoy speaking with them about the PAC, education, advocacy and the importance of becoming involved with the association. And then I am privileged to give them a 45 minute (or so) overview of the Code of Ethics. That is my favorite thing. I would expect that there were about 125 or more folks in the orientation this morning, and I think that is incredible.

I am on a deadline, because Shark Tank will be coming on in a few minutes, and even though it is (most likely) a rerun, it is the best we get on Friday night.

Deeds, Action, Changes, TRUMPET, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

2015 - Day 155/210 - Thursday...

If you look very closely, you can see two bumble bees on these cactus blossoms. I did not really want to get too close, but there are two. I think this is at least the second round of cactus blossoms this year, and the fig tree is really going to be an over achiever too. The fig tree had looked kind of scrawny for the past couple years, but it keeps putting out, and it look very lush and bountiful right now.

Today was a day spent mostly in the office. I did get a chance to go to our state association office, and I saw lots of friends while I was there. Ruth, Mike, Sherri, Jon, Jeffrey, Cynthia, Kinski, Leslie, and Deb. I expect I am forgetting a person or two...but I also got to look at the Distance Learning facility. Pretty cool. It scares me a little bit, but maybe I could do it. I really like to up-close-and-personal kind of instruction. I am too old (and maybe too old fashioned) to do distance instruction. Maybe, maybe not.

Tomorrow will be a fun day, I get to start out with New Member Orientation at the local board, and that is always a fun thing to do.

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

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

2015 - Day 154/211 - Wednesday...

I am very pleased to note that the powers-that-be in Atlanta have finally come up with a beverage can that gives me the recognition that I deserve. It did (honestly) take them longer than it should have, and the first few thousand e-mails I sent them were met with no real call-to-action that I was really not that difficult for them (I did provide them with flow charts, lines on graphs and all the details they could have possibly needed). It was only after their legal counsel called that we worked out the compromise to produce a 'limited number' of these. What they failed to mention was the 'share' BS. Why would I want to share this with anyone? It is my soda and I want it all for myself. Share?

This was not my idea (the credit goes to my friend Sandy in Memphis):

It was the third of June, another sleepy dusty Delta day,
I was out choppin' cotton and my brother was balin' hay.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BILLIE JOE MACALLISTER, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

2015 - Day 153/212 - Tuesday...

Even though the daytime part of today was just as hectic and busy as yesterday, the 'at home' part of the day has proved to be (so far) not nearly as hectic as yesterday. I did get to enjoy one of my favorite things in the world, and that is having someone else buy me lunch! Cass (my long time friend and financial advisor, confidante and open ear to my total inappropriateness) arranged a couple weeks ago to buy my lunch today (there was a $35 limit but I am much cheaper and easier than that). The original plan was to go to Turf N Surf on LaVaca (formerly or food truck fame and now moved up to the big time), but parking was $15 and that would have bought me a whole box of wine and then some. So we then opted to Shake Shack, which proved to be just as good the second time around as it was the first. There is a possibility that Jody and I will visit there this weekend as well, I will be going into town both days this weekend. This is a picture of me and Cass at lunch; I don't know if Cass had as much fun as I did, but I hope so. Oh, and if you need a cracker-jack financial advisor and planner, let me know and I will introduce you.

Otherwise, it is the first Tuesday in June, it was in the nineties today, and aside from lunch the most exciting thing I witnesses (no I was not involved) was the confrontation of the guy that had 16 items in the 15 items or less line at the HEB in Georgetown. It was absolutely HILARIOUS, and gave me another reason to feel superior.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FREE LUNCH, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, June 1, 2015

2015 - Day 152/213 - Monday...

So, it's already June 1st. Enough about that. So here is the deal; when I am driving on the Interstate in Austin (or any other roads within the city limits of Austin) and I am breaking the law (playing words with friends, texting, dialing a phone number, etc.), I at least try to be sneaky about it and I really try my best not to be obvious. I think there is probably a pattern to my sneakiness, kind of like some folks (particularly professional juror interviewers) can tell when someone is lying or telling the truth. It is kind of like a twitch, or a breath or a clearing of the throat. I am certain I make the conscious recognition that, out of nothing but pure habit, I pick up the phone and do something without really realizing it. But I have noticed more and more and more that folks are getting lazy about the new ordinance (not so new really), and they are becoming more and more bold with their violation-ness. I took this photo of a woman that I followed for miles down IH-35 this morning talking on her phone. Of course I was in violation because I took her picture. But, in the furthest recesses of my little pea-brain, I knew you would demand nothing less, my loyal journal-philes, and I aims to please!

Other than that, the day was pretty typical; ups and downs, and the challenges won out over the triumphs!

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LAW-BREAKERS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!