Monday, August 31, 2015

2015 - Day 243/122 - Monday...

Yes indeed, it is Monday. Not only is it Monday, but it is an out-of-town Monday, and I have stuff to get done. Today was a day full of meetings and forums and this-and-that. The opening session featured Sully Sullenberger, the pilot that landed his plane in the Hudson River a few years ago. Interesting note, after that crash, they interviewed all the passengers; only 12 of them (out of 157 passengers) had reviewed the evacuation brochure prior to the flight, and only 24 of them had paid attention to the flight crew comments prior to the flight. An interesting man, and interesting details about that miraculous landing that could have ended much MUCH worse that it did.

My first meeting tomorrow is at 8 am, so it is time to call it the end to this Monday.

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

Sunday, August 30, 2015

2015 - Day 242/123 - Sunday...

Simply put, there are just too damn many pillows on this bed. There are eight pillows on this bed, and only one of me. Three pillows would be adequate, in my opinion. I have three pillows on my bed at home, and that number of pillows has served me well for many years. They are not the original pillows (to be clear), and pillows have come and gone throughout my lifetime. I do not have a favorite pillow, but I have been somewhat fond of a particular pillow or two in my long and interesting life time. I used to have a pillow that, if it were stood up in a corner it was taller than me. I wonder what ever happened to that pillow? I have no conscious memory of having discarded it, and I don't think pillows are accepted at the Salvation Army or at Goodwill. If they are, I think they should re-think that policy. But I digress...the pillow to people ratio at this particular Hotel seems to be overly generous, which could also explain the nightly rate of occupancy (in dollars, not in percentages).

I had to go down to the lobby to get a soda, there are no sodas here on the guest room floors, but there is ice. But if you want a soda, you have to go down to the lobby.

But we were talking about pillows. Where do pillows come from? Is your pillow made in America? I think not. Imports, all of them. That is the real problem, and that is why there are so damn many pillows on the bed in this room. Cheap pillows. We are being flooded with cheap pillow imports. We can no longer compete with foreign pillows. AND, that means that I will spend an extra minute-and-a-half (on the far side of my estimation) REMOVING these pillows from the bed before I can comfortably retire for the evening.

I can hardly wait to see what I come up with for tomorrows journal entry.

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

Saturday, August 29, 2015

2015 - Day 241/124 - Saturday...

It i SO hot in central Texas... (How hot is it?).  It is so hot, the bees have taken off their yellow jackets. It is so hot, the priests are boiling the hell out of the holy water. It is so hot, every sweaty fat guy smells like bacon. It is so hot, the cows are giving evaporated milk. It is so hot, the chickens are laying hard boiled eggs. It is so hot, the girl dog was chasing the girl cat (and they were both walking). It is so hot, the trees are whistling for the dogs. It is so hot, if the temperature drops below 95 you put on a sweater. It is so hot, okay that is it for me, just come up with your own! As evidence of the heat and the lack of rain, this is a look at the cracked earth between the house an the road. We could really use the rain (refer back, if you please, to the complaints about too much rain about ninety days ago in this journal).

I did get a little bit of work done around the house today. I cut the grass between the house and the first back pasture, and cut the grass (who am I kidding, it was all weeds) in the first pasture. Cutting the weeds back will (my theory) let some sun get to the actual grass, and the weeds will not crowd out the grass. We shall see.

I am going to attempt to clean out the car and the office closet tomorrow, but maybe not. Tomorrow is another day.

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

Friday, August 28, 2015

2015 - Day 240/125 - Friday...

Well, with all the hubbub of a new calf yesterday, I did not use this photo, so here you have it. I took my car in to be serviced yesterday. I have had the car for about 15 months, and it just rolled over to 40,000 miles. The car is supposed to be serviced every 12 months or 12,000 miles. I had it serviced at about 15,000 miles, so I think this might have actually been the three-year service visit, but who needs it. The car doesn't need it (at least it didn't tell me it needed it), but it is just the principal of the thing. If you remember, I also got new tires last weekend, and everything is right with the world. I got a black-on-black loaner (a P85) and it was nice, but I like my car better. It wasn't a P85D, so it did not come with ludicrous mode, which I do not need either. But it is always fun to drive a different car, but again, even after 15 months, I like my red-car better. If you know me at all, you may be asking 'Who are you and what have you done with him', but I am a happy guy. Another interesting fact you may have seen in the papers, Consumer Reports has to revise their auto rating system, because the new model P85D (I think) achieved a score of 103 out of 100. I think that is really cool!

It is Friday, so that is a good thing. I have a trip to the feed store in Taylor planned for tomorrow, and going to do a few things around the house, make a trip in to Georgetown, small stuff. Probably the same for Sunday.

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

Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015 - Day 239/126 - Thursday...

Well, just as I had suspected, Mr. Speckles was a frisky one right up to the end. While Jody and I were having dinner this evening, I saw something in the pasture that looked like it needed some attention paid to it. There is a pair of binoculars on the window sill next to my chair, so I spied that it was a cow laying down in the pasture. From a distance, the size and shape of the cattle can be a little bit deceiving, so after a few minutes, I took another look, and indeed it was a new calf hanging out close to Orchid. I expect it to be four or five days old, so I will call it a Sunday Baby, born around the 22nd. Markings of black and white just like Mr. Speckles, and probably a bull calf. So, the dynasty continues. This photo shows the Sunday Calf, Daphne and the calfs mama Orchid.

A long day today, after a longer day yesterday. Tomorrow should be better, and the weekend looks like it will be filled with some catch-up sleeping.

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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 - Day 238/127 - Wednesday...

There was certainly no lack of possibilities for photos to be included in tonight's journal post. It was a really busy day, but I have settled on this photo; the triple threat. My company has participated in the initiative that the Mayor of Austin is promoting, to find good, safe, affordable housing for homeless Veterans in the City of Austin. I was asked to attend and participate in a press conference at the home of a formerly homeless veteran that my company placed (with the help of Austin) in housing. This family is now off the street, and we had a small part to play in getting them back on the road to self-sufficiency. Over the past six weeks or so, we have been lucky to have worked with a couple different agencies in Austin to get four families of homeless Veterans off the streets and into stable housing. It is our privilege to do this, and we are happy to be a part of this program. This is a photo of me with State Senator Kirk Watson and Austin Mayor Steve Adler. I have always joked to Senator Watson that we are brothers from other mothers, and now I have formed a 'triple threat' with the Senator and the Mayor. We were all competing for a high spot on the ground for our photos, since the three of us are 'challenged' in the height department. I was very proud to be asked to participate in the program today.

After that press conference, it was back to the office to get some work done, and then off to help out (a very little bit) with the Austin Board of REALTORS® TREPAC Wine Tasting event. This is an annual event, and it is always the final scheduled event of our fund raising year. Very graciously, Mayor Adler showed up for the event as well, and took time from his schedule to 'shake and howdy' with many of our colleagues that were attending. Lots of good information, and great to know that our association is recognized as the 'go to' source of all knowledge and data concerning real estate in central Texas.

It is past my bedtime, thanks for reminding me Brando!

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

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 - Day 237/128 - Tuesday...

Gotothecouch, gotothecouch, gotothecouch, gotothecouch. That is my mantra when I come home from work. GOETHE COUCH! The girl dog acts as if she has never had a touch of human kindness EVER when I get home, and she demands attention and a belly rub. I have quit trying to empty my pockets and take off my watch (which is what my CDO forces me to do), and go straight to the couch to speak kindly to the girl dog while she whines the barely audible whine of someone (okay, really, I understand she is not a someone, she is a DOG) that is so needy of a belly rub and a moments attention that she might pass into the afterlife (yes, they do) if not paid immediate attention. So here she is, mid-rub, looking happy as a clam. No, really, I know she is not a clam, she is a DOG!

So far it has been a busy week, and I see no resolution to that tomorrow. Maybe Thursday.

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

Monday, August 24, 2015

2015 - Day 236/129 - Monday...

HTG, this is the first time EVER that a fire Special Operations guy has asked me if he could cut in front of me to get to the wreck he was trying to attend. Of course I let him, it was the polite (and Karma enhancing) thing to do, and I am ALWAYS courteous and gracious to my fellow commuters. Sometimes they are just not aware of my kindnesses right away, and sometimes I think I can be (accurately) of sending a mixed message. But I am ALWAYS (please let me stress ALWAYS) kind and courteous to the fellow travelers that I share the fast-lanes with. What had happened (as it turned out and was posted as an alert on my personal electronic device but which is illegal for me to fondle while behind the wheel of my vehicle) was that a tanker truck carrying a tanker truck full of liquid asphalt decided it was time for a nap, and that the MoPac service road (about 300 yards in front of me) would be the perfect place to roll over and catch forty-winks. Much like Mike Rowe's dog (Freddy) that chose to take a dump in the middle of a busy intersection in San Francisco the other day (as reported by (or perhaps was facilitated by) Freddie's bi-ped (the previously mentioned Mike Rowe) just the other day). Anyway, as tanker truck rollovers (and the overwhelming urge to poop) go, there is really never a convenient time for that to happen, and it brought back many fond memories of my time spent in traffic in central Texas.

So that is that for the first day of school the the traffic malaise it can cause in central Texas. Oh, and just let me mention the name Mike Rowe once again, because, you know, I need the hits. And just in case Mike Rowe (there I did it again) is checking out this post because the Googles alerted him, I have nothing but respect for you and would never use your name (copyrighted I expect) in anything but a positive manner.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, MIKE ROWE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

PS: Hi Mike!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

2015 - Day 235/130 - Sunday...

I have not had a chance to try one of these yet, but I think there is one in my very near future. And Blue Bell is supposed to announce their first flavor releases since the recall. I honestly don't know what all the fuss is about over a little bit of bacteria. (Okay, I apologize in advance to the people and families of those that were physically harmed and died as a result of the tainted ice cream.) But I am ready for me some ice cream. Made In The Shade is my new favorite, but I do not expect that will be in the first round of flavors released. It is going to need some extra stockers to keep us all supplied with ice cream. I did get a letter in response to the 10 bucks I sent Blue Bell, they noted that the appreciated my generosity and that they would forward the money to a fund they had established for this or that, and I cannot even put my hands on the letter right now. But just between you and me, a root beer shake from What-A-Burger could probably help me through the days until Blue Bell hits again. I'm pretty sure.

I showed some more property today, and had intended to get my car washed, but that did not happen. I had a great couple of tacos from the trailer park across from the office. I had no idea they had an expanded taco menu, but they do. SO...that give me a new place to eat until I get tired of that one.

OMFG...tomorrow is the first day of school, which, in my world means traffic will be extraordinarily bad in the morning. Never a good thing. We shall see, and whatever there is to report, you can rest assured that you will read about it here first.

Or second.

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

Saturday, August 22, 2015

2015 - Day 234/131 - Saturday...

Panera Bread has opened in Georgetown, which means that the edge of nowhere has just become closer to civilization. People are beginning the encroachment process, and the next thing you know, Bartlett, Texas and its surrounds will begin the gentrification process. Oh my stars. What will we do? We like Panera Bread muffins with breakfast in the morning, so after we had lunch, we stopped and picked up two orange cranberry muffins, which we will sufficiently savor in the morning, whilst reading the funny papers and preparing for the day.

Among other things, I got new tires on the car, just about 100 miles short of 40K on the original set. I had an appointment to get the replaced at 7 am on Tuesday morning, but since I was in (or near) Austin anyway showing homes to clients, I called and changed the appointment.

I plan to be showing homes again tomorrow, and also plan to get the car washed on the way home. Trip planning and no duplication of efforts is one of the things I do best.

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

Friday, August 21, 2015

2015 - Day 233/132 - Friday...

Let's talk about nuts, shall we. Generally on Fridays I choose to edit my rantings very carefully so I can go sit in the big blue chair and watch the latest re-run of 'Shark Tank', but I am making an exception today. I doubt I can go less than 250 or 300 words about nuts. Nuts are one of my favorite things, and I am certain that many of you share my fondness for nuts. And it seems that nuts are all the rage lately in conversations and exposures of cheating web-site like Ashley Madison. People are 'nuts' to have participated in a site like that, but it may be precisely because of their 'nuts' that they were drawn to the site to begin with. The Planters Peanut man is promoting nut-rition in a national advertising campaign that I also share a fondness for. Who but a certifiable 'nut' would promote nutrition using a physicians skeleton and an example of health and well-being. Some people have (very kindly in the past) referred to me as a 'nut', and I have to admit, I certainly could not contradict that opinion. I have also had a particular fondness for the term 'numb-nuts'. I like the way it just seems to roll-off-the-tongue (if you know what I mean. And this week, there is a lot of hubbub about a certain fifteen year old Iowa teenager who refers to himself as Deez Nuts, who (by the way) is running for President of the United States. AND he is polling with 9% of the popular vote right now. I have to admit, anyone that would want to be President HAS TO BE 'nuts', but that is a whole other thought path. It is obvious to me that, the great majority of the current candidates (they tend to come and go at this stage of the campaigns) are 'NUTS'. But I digress. Please, feel free to express yourself if you are so moved, but beware, you may be labeled as a 'nut' by me or one of my legion of followers.

Criticize at your own risk, and at your own folly.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, NUTS I SAY, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

2015 - Day 232/133 - Thursday...

It was another relatively long day today. A couple meetings at the board, and the day ended with a really GREAT meeting at the Austin City Hall with testimony about Short Term Rentals and then a meeting with members of our Legislative Management Team and several 'recruits' for the Broker Involvement Program. It is important that our colleagues understand what our local, state and national associations do every day for our members and our clients. It was (IMHO) a really good meeting, and it is another piece of our advocacy puzzle coming together. Good work for all involved.

Otherwise, I got a pretty good amount of work done in the office, and we actually got some rain in Austin this afternoon. A pretty good twenty to thirty minute downpour, but Jody says we got just about a trace out on the edge of nowhere.

Tomorrow is another day!

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

2015 - Day 231/134 - Wednesday...

I had a couple photos to choose from for this journal entry; a really lovely photo of the morning's sunrise or this photo of Barney the girl cat. Animals and babies are generally the bigger draws (statistically speaking) and sunrise and sunset photos are not even in the top 20. I have no idea where that might put the cloud photos that I am personally so fond of, and for sure the Monet-esque photos of rain on my windshield (although few and far between these days) are not even in the top 50. So, Barney it was, who was ready and eager for her dinner last night. She is patient too, as she will wait outside the gate as I prepare her tray. Good girl!

Today was a crazy (and unexpectedly busy) day. I can honestly say that I lost track of the day, all I know is that I was in several places (seemingly at the same time), but I made it home at a reasonably civilized time.

Another day of expected and anticipated craziness tomorrow and Friday.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BARNEY CAT, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

2015 - Day 230/135 - Tuesday...

It is never, ever, EVER going to rain again in central Texas, let alone anywhere near the edge of nowhere. I figure the odds of that really happening are actually better than begging and groveling for rain (which would really only serve to jinx the whole thing). The weather prognosticators are saying that there is a COLD FRONT in the panhandle, and that might contribute to us having a fair chance of rain and some cooler temperatures as early as tomorrow. The ten day forecast (according to the most liberal for all the weather apps I have on my personal electronic device (affectionately referred to by my closest friends as 'his HUGE tool)), predicts that the high temperature on Thursday will be EIGHTY NINE DEGREES. I don't know about you guys, but to us here at the edge of nowhere, that is like a March afternoon. We will take it if we can get it. And we would appreciate some rain too, if it is not too much trouble. But, I really expect that it will never, ever, EVER rain again here in central Texas.

Other than that I have no strong opinions.

As usual, today was a good and busy day, and there are generally not enough hours in the day, but this one seemed to work our JUST RIGHT. Tomorrow (as they say) is another day. The sun'll come out tomorrow. Here today, gone tomorrow. Chili today, hot tamale. If tomorrow never comes. Kiss tomorrow goodbye. Yesterday, today and probably tomorrow.

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

Monday, August 17, 2015

2015 - DAY 229/136 - Monday...

Yep, yessir you-betcha! This will do it every time. Guaranteed! No fail. Always gonna happen, there is no way around it. If you get an 18-wheeler that decides to set anchor in the middle lane of the Interstate and STOP, you are relatively guaranteed that you will be late for your first appointment of the day. I, on the other hand, take precautions for just such occurrences (which means that I over-compensate) and almost always arrive EARLIER than I need to. Jody and I are always early to lunches, dinner and theatre (okay, we really don't go to the theatre anymore). If the dinner invitation requests that you arrive around 6:30, we are (almost always) the first ones to arrive (but that also gives us the option to be the first ones to leave). School has not even started back yet, and the traffic challenges have already begun again. Starting about ten days ago, the situation has become increasingly difficult, and I can hardly wait until the last week of this month, when all sorts of TRAFFIC HELL will break loose.

Otherwise, this was not a particularly terrible Monday.

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

Sunday, August 16, 2015

2015 - Day 228/137 - Sunday...

Oh my. On the way home from showing property this afternoon, I stopped at the outlet mall (finding a place to park took almost as long as showing three properties and completing a purchase contract). I was on a mission: Tawanna had messaged me a few months ago that the Croc Store was having a sale on pink Crocs. Buying knock-off Crocs from the Family Dollar Store (or one of its' varied incarnations) is one thing, but paying retail just for the privilege of being stylish out on the edge of nowhere has never been on the top of ANY of my lists. But, I have scoured Dollar Stores from here to there, and there are just none to be had. I parked, went to the mall directory and found my target. There I was greeted by a veritable rainbow of Crocs, with the uni-sex sizing conveniently embossed on the bottom of each shoe (?) not far from the indication of its country of origin (not this one). The outlet mall Croc store; where there is no shame for the trend-setter, and Crocs can be had just for the asking (and the paying). Buy one pair a the marked price and get two more pair for half-off! My bag overflowed with Crocs. I have retired the other pair of Croc knock-offs, but Jody took a step back and put his hand to his brow when I suggested I was going to throw them away, so they have been relegated to a shelf in the closet, where, in the future a psychologist will carefully ask if I can "let them go" when it is my turn on the NatGeo hoarding channel makes a visit to the edge of nowhere.

Otherwise, it is still hot, there has still been no rain, there are still cracks in the ground because of it, but the closet is a bit more colorful than it was when I left this morning.

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

PS: There are ten uses of the word CROC (or CROCS) in this entry, including this one. Make that eleven.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

2015 - Day 227/138 - Saturday...

With all the rains we had earlier this year, I was expecting a really great season for the morning glories. Bless their hearts! The poor things, they have done their best to overcome everything they have been handed this year. Flooding rains, now 49 straight days with NO rain, and a series of (probably) 15 days with the temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. There may be a little bit of relief in sight. Today it only made it up to about 97 degrees, no hundred degree temperatures included in the seven-day forecast, and a couple days with some (minute) chances of precipitation. Depending on which prognostication you want to rely on, it seems the best chances for rain will be on Wednesday and Thursday, with a 40% chance each of those days. Who knows?

I did manage to get a little extra sleep this morning, but it was a work day for me. Showed some property to new clients, and that is always fun.

Tomorrow is going to be the usual work day around the farm. Chicken coops to clean, check on the cattle, maybe some grass to cut, maybe wash the car. Or maybe I will just forget about all of it and take a nap. That is sounding really good right now.

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

Friday, August 14, 2015

2015 - Day 226/139 - Friday...

If the intended purpose here was to cause TOTAL chaos in the otherwise totally screwed up driving patterns of people in and around central Texas, they succeeded magnificently. Backed up for miles-and-miles, it seems that either of both of these vehicles would have been capable (under their own internal combustion powers) been redirected to the shoulder of the road. If not both, then it seems totally reasonable to assume that one or the other could have pulled or pushed the other to a less restraining position (the shoulder). But there they both sat, unoccupied because their individual operators were standing on the shoulder of the road (in the space that should have otherwise been filled by the aforementioned derelict vehicles) obviously planning their dinners and/or playing words with friends, while awaiting the arrival of the local constabulary to their (respective) rescues. I have to admit, this particular paragraph may have taken longer to accomplish that the traffic diversion, but I really doubt it. This particular hazard was recorded at 5:46 pm, prime time for traffic to come to a crawl all across central Texas.

I will now relinquish my soap box.

Why do you think it is that, all week long I have no idea what day it is (although I have to admit there is some vague concept as to if it is the beginning or middle of the week), but I have absolutely NO DOUBT when it is Friday. I am TOTALLY clear when it is Friday, even if Friday has absolutely NO REAL VALUE to me as a REALTOR®. Might as well be Monday after all. But Friday means that I do indeed get to take advantage of a couple extra hours (okay, one extra hour) of sleep tomorrow. And I will most likely be home from showing properties early enough to get a pretty decent nap in the afternoon. Now THAT is the value I find in a Friday!

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

Thursday, August 13, 2015

2015 - Day 225/140 - Thursday...

It kind of embarrasses me when I begin to compose this journal and I have to confirm the day of the week. Honestly, the days are really (sometimes) just a blur, and then it is a new one, and it starts all over again. This exquisite sunrise that I captured electronically this morning should not be seen as an indicator of how wonderful and fabulous my day was today. Pretty much after this moment in time was captured, it went downhill from there. Not to say that I am complaining, but I just try my very best not to worry about the small stuff, and everything (except Jody) should be considered small stuff.  There was a moment today that I considered asking one of the folks in our office to document my curled up in a fetal position in the corner, but I chose not to do that. The day progressed, and it turned out just fine, just as I know every one of them will. I am the luckiest man in the world.

And then there was traffic on the way home. And then there was Costco, and then there is my appointment schedule for tomorrow.

I am the luckiest man in the world.

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

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

2015 - Day 224/141 - Wednesday...

Never one to shy away from being a trend-setter or referred to as being ahead-of-the-curve (ones mind immediately goes to visions of socks), on this date two years ago, Jody and I were in Glastonbury, Connecticut, surrounded with love and warmth of "our family" and friends, and we were wed legally (in that far north land of cold but understanding) after having lived in a state of unwed bliss for the previous 21 years. So, we count 1992 as our first anniversary date, and 2013 as another one, which gives me a certain amount of latitude in case I forget one or the other. It would be nice if everyone were as happy as the two of us. Here's to you all!

Other than that, today was a busy BUSY day, and as I reported earlier, I spent most of the day thinking it was Thursday.

What do I know?

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

2015 - Day 223/142 - Tuesday...

I love my car. If you have known me for very long, it is impossible for you to recall how many cars I have owned since you have known me. My motto is "If it were up to me, we would all have new cars every twenty minutes". Different cars, different houses...those things are new adventures for me. One of my biggest disappointments in my life (I know I should just let it go), was that my dad would not allow me to buy an early model Studebaker Lark convertible when I was 15. I have never gotten over that car. My parents did not go through cars quite as often (by a long shot) as I did, but there was quite a bit of tinkering going on around our house. But I digress. I love my car. I have not made mention of my car very much on this journal. I got my car late in May of 2014. The VIN number of the car is 38583. Same number frontwards or backwards. In that approximate 15 months, I have put a lot of miles on the car. It is just what I do. Today, during my drive into the office, my odometer clicked over to 38,583 miles, the same mileage as my VIN number. Not that I an CDO or anything (don't ask), but I have obsessed about documenting that moment for months, and as late as this morning I was convinced that I would miss it. But I got it, thank you very much.

Now, on to bigger and better things.

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

Monday, August 10, 2015

2015 - Day 222/143 - Monday...

I think this plumeria has finally settled in and decided that it is INDEED a Frangipani, and no amount of resistance will be tolerated. It has produced absolutely lovely foliage this year after coming to live on the edge of nowhere last fall, but the blooms have been relatively (and stunningly) puny so far. But, I have hope that this is just the start and I will baby it through this season and through the oncoming fall and (dare I say it) winter solstice. Solstice because we really do not experience winter here on the edge of nowhere, usually it is just a few days of inconveniently cool weather, something else for us all to be distracted over and to complain about. But, we would welcome it right about now, no matter what it was.

All the issues I worried over and fraught over and lost sleep over the weekend because of came to satisfactory conclusions, and all the worst case scenarios we for naught as it turned out. Many MANY times I reminded myself that the worst cases very seldom come to fruition, but I worried anyway. Pointless, but it just goes to show you that Mondays can be worthwhile anyway.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, BLOOMERS (but not the Diane kind), Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

2015 - Day 221/144 - Sunday...

As I have reported here on a few past occasions, chicken are not, on the whole, the brightest animals on the planet, particularly when there is a bug involved. As you may recall, we have a special game we play called bug, chicken, lawn tractor. So far, the chickens have survived but the bugs are long gone and the lawn tractor will soon be in need of a brake job. The extended heat wave we are currently experiencing however, has given credence to the fact that chickens are not totally void of common sense when it comes to seeking shade and the adequate hydration of their feathery little (for the most part) selves. During the heat of the day, they can be found in the shade of the bamboo (planted specially for them) or under other low lying shrubbery. They might also be found near the HVAC condensation lines. Or taking a dust bath somewhere. There favorite spot is near one of the climbing rose bushes I put out this year, and they seem to be doing a wonderful job of stunting its' growth by continually exposing its' roots in the heat of the day. Towards the end of the day though, in the hours leading up to roosting for the night, many of them will be found at their special, custom made water fountain up towards their coop. They take full advantage of the hydration offered by the recirculating water in the trough, and they can be seen there most evenings as it is getting towards sun down.

I am pleased that the sunset is getting earlier and earlier as we move rapidly through the third quarter of this year. That means the girls all go to bed earlier and earlier, and that is a good thing for this rapidly aging gentleman chicken farmer.

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

Saturday, August 8, 2015

2015 - Day 220/145 - Saturday...

When I was a kid growing up in Michigan, my dad would sing a song (being from Alabama and Mississippi, he listened to what was then referred to as Country & Western), and all I have ever been able to remember was the first verse. So, here is your challenge, the first verse went like this: "The bridge washed out, and I cain't swee-yum and my beb-bee's on (pronounced own) the other side". Since the unprecedented amounts of rain we received in May and June of this year, there has been a tremendous up-tick in traffic down our road. We knew the 'bridge' had washed out on CR 384 but we never actually went down to see it. I actually do not remember is being a bridge so much as it was just really a low-water crossing, but it seems there was actually some sort of structure that washed away. So, ever since then, we are getting upwards of 9 to 12 cars going down the road in front of our house (as a result of the detour) and it is almost like living in the city. This urban sprawl thing is going to take a toll on us.

I am sure the chickens could really care less, but I was traumatized somewhat today by bot finding my chicken feed of choice at the farm store in Bartlett. By the time I figured this out, the feed store in Taylor was closed, and the Tractor Supply in Taylor did not have MY chicken feed of choice either. I got one bag of feed that I will try out and see if I (again, my trauma I am sure, not the chickens) like it, and then it will be on to the next thing. Jut another instance of my need for a mission at all times.

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

Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 - Day 219/146 - Friday...

I have ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY NEVER claimed to be a biblical scholar, but given my particular station in life I will admit that I believe I contemplate the occasional verse on a more regular basis than many others in the general population that participate in various organized religious activities more frequently than some. That could well be the longest sentence I have produced in the many years I have been authoring this journal. But I digress. It never ceases to amaze me of the things I see (and document photographically) while hurtling willy-nilly, encapsulated within the aluminum confines of my commuting device down a poorly maintained road of concrete and asphalt at speeds in excess of the posted limit. For the Aggies in the group, that translates to speeding down IH-35 at about 85 miles per hour while taking photographs of the crap I see being hauled down the road by the vehicles I am passing.

Now back to the non-biblical-scholar part of this entry. It seems this is a bronze sculpture of Jesus washing the feet of Peter. If you do an Internet search using the aforementioned key words, you will find replications of this same visage done in oil paints, clay, lead, and one especially interesting one one entirely of cheese and placed on display at the Wisconsin State Fair. Jesus washing the feet of Peter is not the first thing that came to my mind, but thankfully the staff in my office is more attuned to this than I, and for that I applaud them.

It is not important what I thought it was, thank you very much.

It is after all, Friday night, and I am ready for the blue chair and the latest rerun of Shark Tank. Enjoy your weekend, try to stay calm and cool, and try not to think about what could happen to a cheese sculpture if it were displayed here in central Texas what the heat (in the shade) has averaged about 103 degrees for the last several days, with heat indices of about 115. Not a pretty thing to think about.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, FRITO PIE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

2015 - Day 218/147 - Thursday...

It seems that harvest is in full swing out here on the edge of nowhere. This week the local folks have been harvesting sorghum, milo, and corn, as best I can tell. It is interesting to watch the different types of machinery and vehicles that are involved in harvesting crops. Next up I expect will be the cotton, and that is also interesting to watch. Many of these vehicles and machinery items are used only several times a year, and there is a lot of cash invested in these pieces. I think it pays folks to buy the machinery and then parcel out their services to other farmers that haven't got the equipment. We have 75 acres, and it would be a tremendous expense for us to buy rakes and baling equipment, so we just hire it out and that works for us.

Almost the end of the week. I am not expecting to watch the debates this evening, but I will most likely surf through it a couple times, just to see if I can witness something extra stupid. I think the odds of that are pretty good, but I may just wait for the recaps in the morning paper.

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

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 - Day 217/148 - Wednesday...

I was waiting for the traffic light to change this morning, on Cesar Chavez at the site of the new Fairmont Hotel that is going up. There is not much there yet, but a large crater in the ground. I looked up through the sun roof and saw these three cranes. I thought it was an interesting shot, so I hope you do. I have lived in central Texas since 1985, and this is not the first boom I have experienced here. Actually, I think this is the third boom; one bust and two plateaus. I have always gone on the theory that every peak has a valley, but that does not seem to be the case in central Texas. Lots of peaks, lots of level times, not so many valleys. Does it make the news elsewhere when Austin is once again named the number one something? Honestly, it is getting a little bit tedious for me. It could be worse, I could be living in some economically dis-advantaged place, and all things considered, I am lucky to be in this place in my life. I am the luckiest man in the world!

Lot of accomplishments today, probably more tomorrow. It is the small achievements that are so rewarding, and that is the truth. The big accomplishments are generally made and then there is a little lull...I will take the steady path, thank you very much.

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

2015 - Day 216/149 - Tuesday...

This is interesting. I don't think there was a tremendous amount of damage done, but one of the city (or state) office buildings downtown was evacuated for some reason this afternoon. I saw smoke but no flames. It was either that, or the entire staff was taking a cigarette break en masse. I am going with something causing smoke, because you know Austin is WAY TOO COOL for actually smoking cigarettes, everyone here is into the vape!

Pretty much a full day in the office, completed a couple dreaded chores that I could no longer put off. Those are the ones I hate, and I know, I know, you are always supposed to do those first, but nope, I don't want to and nobody can make me. I don't (particularly) avoid confrontation, but I certainly do have an aversion to boredom. And repetition. And piece work. Pay me by the job and I am all over that, and now get out of my way.

We are in the string of 100 degree days, no end in sight, no rain on the horizon for at least two weeks. This is a comfortable and familiar habit; complaining about the heat and the lack of precipitation. We don't really have seasonal changes here in central Texas, we have the changes of the complaints surrounding our everyday existence. I cannot wait until Halloween so we can commence the official Christmas complaining season.

, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, August 3, 2015

2015 - Day 215/150 - Monday..

For all practical purposes, today was Monday. Not just because the calendar said Monday, but also because it seemed like a Monday. The only thing good about Mondays is Mama Cass. Mama Cass can even make Monday better. Today (did I mention it was Monday?), I found nothing worth of photographic documentation, so I am choosing to provide you with something out of the archives; not quite a month old, this was recorded just a couple weeks ago. It is always interesting to note things you chance upon when showing properties, and this particular home had an ABUNDANCE of passion vines and blooms. There were no caterpillars in sight, though, which I did also find odd. But there must have been two dozen blooms in this single back yard. Just thinking about that makes this day a little bit better.

I will make this entry a brief one, I am going to go and sit in the blue chair and watch the rest of the national news. Everyday cannot be extraordinary. Some are just extra ordinary.

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

Sunday, August 2, 2015

2015 - Day 214/151 - Sunday...

Sunday is the day of rest, and so I did. I was up sort of late, got the paper, let the girls loose, and this is what greeted me when I went outside. A pretty sunrise. We have come to look forward to sunrises and sunsets since we moved out here to the edge of nowhere. We do have a relatively unobstructed view of everything that is around us, and that is good. We can see clouds, rain off in the distance (when there is rain in the area), dust clouds from cars and trucks going down the dirt roads (when there is NO rain in the area), stars at night, an occasional lightning bug, wasps (there are plenty of wasps), cattle (ours, neighbors and some being bred for slaughter), corn fields, wheat fields, sorghum fields, hay grazer fields, goats, chickens (ours and ...) mules, llamas, emus, snakes, turtles, dogs, falling down houses...  I think that pretty much covers it for right now. Let's just say the sunrises, sunsets and clouds are worth it.

I took the molasses buckets and the mineral and salt blocks out to the cattle this morning when it was a little bit (just a little bit) cooler. The tanks are not close to being empty, but they are certainly not what anyone would consider full. We got 0.9" of rain in July, and that was all in the first two days of the month. Austin received NO measurable rain for the entire month, and everything is showing the effects of that; dry and brown. They keep telling us that there is an El Nino in the works, and we will be glad to once again begin complaining about too much rain.

Here is the final photo from my escapades at the State Capitol the other day. It was truly a great experience. I got to see things that not many other people have ever seen. I have had a really remarkable life, I have done lots of things that no one else has ever done, and that is great. I have many memorable experiences, and some others that I would just as soon forget. Anyway, this is not a photo that you typically see from someone that has visited the Capitol. This is a photo from near the top of the dome looking down at the floor of the rotunda. Most photos are from the floor looking up, so I think it is totally appropriate that I took one from the top down.


Overall, I think the coming week will be a relatively calm one, but I have a tendency to say that at the beginning of most weeks.

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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

2015 - Day 213/152 - Saturday...

You are all in luck, it is another 2-fer night in the blog universe! Last night after I completed my journal entry for the day, I was preparing to set out some food for the girl cat, and she was waiting on me. Confirmation was received shortly thereafter that the 'shredded' cat food is just crap, and she doesn't like it. She was all about chowing down on the moist food that was presented to her last night though. An independent source (Queen Wienke) also reported that the 'shredded' food is just not even worth considering, so thanks very much for that. The girl cat licked the saucer of moist food clean, consumed a little bit of the dry food, and then decided to meander across the patio. Later in the evening it is apparent that she found her way back and consumed some more of the dry food, so hopefully we are all back on schedule with the feeding of the feral (but not particularly skittish) girl cat.

Here is another photo of my adventures at the Capitol the other day. If I had a rag with me, I could have dusted the Star, but (honestly) if I had a rag with me I would have most likely used it to wipe my brow. It was HOT up there, but well worth the adventure. My legs are still a bit rebellious of the exercise, but that is about the only rating negative results of the trip. On the way up, I was a bit concerned about coming down; I have visited the pyramids at Chitzen Itza in my much talked about and mis-spent youth, only to determine that going up was a piece of cake. Coming down I scooted down butt first, taking it one baby step at a time. Going up means you are not looking down. Going down means that all you can see is down.

I was filled chocker-block full of little ambition today. Jody and I did manage to go into Taylor to get some molasses buckets, salt blocks and mineral blocks for the cattle. It was then on to Tractor supply to get some pine shavings the the girl chickens nesting boxes. That was about it. We shall see what tomorrow brings.

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