Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 - Day 91/275 - Thursday...

This is not particularly a scathing comment on the political process we are currently experiencing (because really, doesn't every political campaign suck to experience), and it is not any social commentary on the first world problems (I said that phrase at least a dozen times today, to one person or another), and it is not a reason to go and shoot anyone, either. It is just a conversation starter. That is one of my stronger points; starting crap (I mean conversations). I just throw out the ideas (why don't we just all submit to a mouth swab and move to where ever it says we came from), and it back and listen to the responses. Generally speaking, there is little if any blood shed, and I have (so far) successfully managed (close enough for gumming work) 23,467 days with out seriously compromising the environment (although I have seriously compromised some environmentalists in my day), and I fully expect that I will waken tomorrow and that the sun will (once again) shine down upon us, and someone, somewhere will say 'and it was good'.

As for me, I think I am going to Disney World (but not until November).

Deeds, Actions, Changes, SHUT UP, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

2016 - Day 90/276 - Wednesday...

OMG, more first world problems. My girl car is still not feeling up to par, but I am hoping that with some rest and some diagnostics that she will make a full recovery. When Jody and I picked her up on Saturday, I thought I heard a funny noise but it sounded like it was coming from the back end of the car (I imagined around the axle), but what do I know, I was just happy to have her back. I did not even drive the car on Sunday, and then on Monday and Tuesday, I thought I was hearing odd noises again from the back end, but only at slow speeds (there are other noises you pay attention to when you are on the Interstate). So, this morning, driving in (very slowly as usual) I kept hearing the noise and called the body shop that made the repairs. They said I could bring it on in and one of their mechanics would take a 'listen'. The mechanic listened, and we called Tesla from the car, and then I called and spoke with the local service center.

Bottom line, bring it in, let us listen and then we will be able to make an appointment. I brought the car in and was told they did not think that I should drive the car, so she is now at ANOTHER service center, but at least this time I have a decent loaner. I expect I will know something by the end of the week, but it is sad knowing she is all lonely again in an unfamiliar place, wondering if I will really be back after her.

I am pretty sure I have separation anxieties, not so sure about the girl car.

First. World. Problems.

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

2016 - Day 89/277 - Tuesday...

Okay boys and girls, sing with me now..."When it's tulip time in Texas, two lips are calling me...". Or, in this particular case, the Indian Paintbrushes are calling me. In the more urban parts of central Texas, I have not seen any dramatic wildflower displays, but I am considering a mission to seek out the best wildflower sites (within a reasonable distance from Austin) on Friday. It is Jody's birthday, and we have been invited for lunch by our friends Michael and Lynda. Just a small group of friends, and that will take care of that for another year.

In other news, Patty Duke has died and the theme song to her show in the '60s will not leave my head. I could print some of the words here, but then you would send me blasphemous notes of various levels of distress because YOU cannot get that theme song out of YOUR head. I will not be that culprit, but I am kind of hoping that the mere suggestion of that haunting piece of Madison Avenue drivel will cause you to go shrieking from the house into the night.

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

Monday, March 28, 2016

2016 - Day 88/278 - Monday...

It just goes to show you, you CAN learn something new every day, even if it is irrelevant and inaccurate. I mean, who knew Austin had a Financial District? I don't think the city cartographers are aware of it, and I am (in fact) pretty sure they do not know about it. There are a couple banks downtown, and a couple CPAs, and some financial advisers, but I do not think that is worth qualifying several square blocks of the (or just outside the actual) downtown area as a Financial District. I think there is a Financial District in New York (think stock exchange) or Chicago (think stock exchange) and maybe one in San Francisco (think that big pointy pyramid shaped building in the commercials), but I am pretty sure there is no Financial District in Austin. I don't think there is one in Houston or Dallas either. There is a stock YARD in Fort Worth, but probably no Financial District. Austin has  (kind of) a downtown area, really nothing to scream about, and it looks bigger in the photos than it really is. It is all done with lights and shadows and a fog machine that you can rent from Lucy in Disguise on South Congress.

But Google Maps says there is a Financial District in Austin, so I guess we are stuck with it. I expect it to be reported in the Financial Times just any minute.

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

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2016 - Day 87/279 - Easter Sunday...

It is discomforting to look up from your morning paper to see cattle where they are not supposed to be, but on the other hand, it is somewhat comforting to realize that you can (kind of) make them do what you would like them to do in much the same way as your can get your four legged pooch to do what you want them them to do. Only the treats are bigger, and you need more room. I doubt that I will ever manage to get one of the cattle to 'sit, stay or lay down' on command, no matter what the prize, but I can get them to follow me at the sound of an old galvanized bucket being filled with 'cattle cubes'. So, even though I was surprised to see (only) two of them outside their designated pasture area, it was not the end of the world, and they were easily prodded into going back where they belong. The two escapees were Daphne and Violet, and the others were content to watch the excitement. I am not sure how they did it, but they disabled one of the gates and just walked through it. ll is well right now, and there have been no more escapes since then.

Otherwise, it was a pretty calm day out on the edge of nowhere. Cloudy, sprinkle, sunny, windy, chilly, warm; pretty much the climatological gamut with the exception of hail and snow. It is still early though.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, LOOSE LIVESTOCK, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

2016 - Day 86/280 - Saturday...

If nothing else, the girl dog should walk away with the 'perfect attendance' certificate next Saturday when she graduates from beginner obedience class. Jody and I on the other hand, expect to walk away with nothing but the recognition that we can finish something that the girl dog starts, not that she really had any say in the matter, but you know what I mean. We were the only ones in the class today, and I think the biggest part of that is because we are not embarrassed to admit that, no, as a matter of fact we have not worked on the commands we learned last week. We are failures and obviously cannot be trained. The girl dog, on the other hand, will 'sit' on command if it means that she will get a yummy reward, but otherwise, she is not at all interested. Her overwhelming disinterest in the whole procedure is readily apparent in this photo, but I can guarantee you that her tummy was full; when she got tired of one treat, the trainer would break open a bag of something new, etc., etc., etc. She singlehandedly turned the training treat aisle at the Georgetown PetSmart into her own private smorgasbord, thank you very much. All the other passers-by were jealous and were lining up for autographs. One little bitch even had the nerve to ask if she could do a 'selfie'. A sheltie-selfie. After that, the little girl dog was pretty much done, and she retired to the limo to be chauffeured home.

Cats, cats, cats. It seems we now have two regular cats, Barney and Barnietta. One orange (Barney) and the other one is grey. We think Barnietta is pregnant, and has quite an appetite. So, that is causing a little bit of chaos in the feeding routines of cats, possums and raccoons.

It is interesting on the edge of nowhere.

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

Friday, March 25, 2016

2016 - Day 85/281 - Good Friday...

The best laid plans of mice and mechanics sometimes go awry. And awry they went. Yesterday I was given a glimmer of hope that I could pick up the car this afternoon, 'just waiting on one more part'. I called before I left the office to head north, and no luck. The part had not arrived. I was able however, to watch (via my mobile app) as someone was driving the car around (probably) in the parking lot of the repair place. That was a good sign. the car had not responded to my trying to wake it up (I'm sorry, I can't do that Hal) for the last couple weeks, so just getting the car to respond at first, noting that it was plugged in and charging, and then being able to see that someone was actually driving the car was a good sign. After I got home this afternoon (and was taking a nap in the blue chair while the evening news was on) I got a call from them and I will be able to pick up the car tomorrow afternoon. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

Jody and I went to the Crossroads Cafe tonight for dinner, burger for Jody, double meat cheese burger (no top bun) for me, and onion rings all around. A little over cooked, but good.

Tomorrow the girl dog goes back from here next-to-the-last training day. We got a break last week which was good for me since I was packing and moving stuff in the office. Tutoring for the girl dog, then home and then in to town to get the car.

Life is good, I am the luckiest man in the world.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, STUFF, Kindnesses, Whirled Pea
s, FUN!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

2016 - Day 84/282 - Thursday...

Both of my luncheon entrees were entangled in a bunch of bureaucratic messes. BOTH ENTREES! First it was my cheese crackers, and then it was my Peanut M&Ms. It took some persuasion along with a good deal of power shaking to get them to bust free of their shackles, but in the end, right AND might won the day.

There was a pretty good storm in central Texas overnight, and I was staying in Austin, but the thunder and noise woke me up about (I think) 2:30. Jody reported that it was really loud and lightning filled, but we only recorded 0.17" of rain in the official gauge. He is not sure where the girl dog spent her evening, but it was not in her usual spots in the bedroom. My theory is when was in the closet or in the shower stall in the den bathroom. Those are both of her preferred safe places.

Tomorrow is good Friday, and I intend to spend a good part of it working some more to get the upstairs office cleared out. We have seven more days before the lease ends, and I am pretty sure we can get it all done.

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

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

2016 - Day 83/283 - Wednesday...

The HOA meeting was supposed to start at 6:30...this photo was taken at about got a little bit better, but not too much better. There ended up with about a dozen people there, and there needed to be abut 32 people to make a quorum. No quorum but there was a meeting, just can't make any decisions or take any votes or vote on new Directors. I doubt that there would have been any people that were not already Directors that would want to run for the Board anyway, so no real foul. The monthly meetings that I also go to are not highly attended, but I like going and staying involved. I DO NOT want to be on the Board, thank you very much, it is much easier to be critical when you are not at the front table, that is where my expertise lies.

Today was a good day, and I certainly came away with some feelings of accomplishment, a much more positive day that the last couple.

Life is good, I am the luckiest man in the world.

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

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

2016 - Day 82/284 - Tuesday...

Okay boys and girls, today's journal entry is going to be all about self-criticism. I participated in my first distance-education learning class. I was happily ensconced at the Texas Association of REALTORS® studios (in the heart of downtown Austin) and my two hour class was being broadcast to five associations across the state. I think the two hour class was a good initiation for me, and I definitely learned a few things about teaching before a camera instead of real, live attendees. First off, I was standing at a podium guiding the class through the materials. Next time, I believe I am going to be seated at a table. I am also thinking softer lighting and a nice box of wine will add to the presentation. I also learned that you cannot ask distance participants for comments or participation, they are not going to do it. There was one lady in Fort Worth that would play along with me, but I need to get a grasp on the participants names as well as where they are attending the class from. So, I think those two or three lessons learned from the inaugural launch of my distance education foray will serve me (and hopefully and especially the attendees) well.

Otherwise, just another chaotic and busy day in Austin. Too much stress and too much happening too quickly to keep it all together without the seams bursting apart.

So there.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, ...and ACTION, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Monday, March 21, 2016

2016 - Day 81/285 - Monday...

This wisteria is growing along the fence at the front of the property up by the road. It is really doing nicely this year, and I attribute that to the rain that we have been lucky enough to receive. There is some more wisteria growing up on an ornamental windmill a little ways further down the road, but this is prettier than that, but there is always next year. Speaking of rain...we did not get ANY rain last week, other than a trace on one day Austin did get some rain, and the environs south of here and north of here had some BAD storms. Lake Travis is at 100.1% full right now, that is the first time it has been full since 2010 (I think). All the citizens of Austin are proud of that, and the rice farmers between here and the Gulf will be happy because there will actually be a water release this year for the first time in a long time.

There are birds right now, outside my home office window, hanging upside down from the chairs on the front porch. BIRDS. Not BATS. It is pretty interesting to watch them. They are little tiny birds, about the size of a quarter of my fist, and they have pointy little beaks about a half inch long. If I were REALLY interested, I would get up and get one of Jody's bird spotting books to find out what they are, but that would mean getting up, going to the breakfast room to get the book, and I already have my 10K steps in for today, and I want to get this finished before Antiques Road Show is over with. Not sure if they are still fund raising or not, but I am going to try and catch the last of it.

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

Sunday, March 20, 2016

2016 - Day 80/286 - Sunday...

I was back in the office today, and I am happy to say that I think my part of the move is pretty much done. My FitBit says I did 23 flights of steps today, and I had not paid any attention to it, but yesterday it said I did 20 flights. I easily got my 10K steps in both days. On the way in this morning, there was just a little bit of a challenge with passenger vehicles (of many varieties) and farm equipment. It is usually not too much of a problem because usually the tractors take to the ditches, but there is road work going on and the shoulders of the two-lane roads are not what they usually are. So, it was slow down and don't make any sudden moves. Everything worked out okay.

When I got home this afternoon, i took a shower and Jody and I went into Georgetown for dinner. I think it will be another early night for me, but there is nothing wrong with that!

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

Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 - Day 79/287 - Saturday...

Of course, tonight at about 11:30 Central Daylight Saving time, it will officially be the Vernal Equinox. I heard (most of you are smarter than me but I had never connected the dots) on the radio this evening that Equinox is Latin(?) for equal night, and thinking about it, that makes perfect sense. I could have probably gotten that right if it was a Double Jeopardy clue, but I had just never considered it. I knew what 'equinox' was, jut never considered the root of the word. Okay, I was totally distracted...let me try to get back on point. Tonight officially marks spring, and there is the threat of a light freeze tonight in the Hill Country. It has been in the 90s for the past couple weeks, and the arrival of spring is marking a cold front and plunging temperatures. I do not think it will be very bad, the Iris are blooming, the wisteria is glorious up by the road, and the roses I planted last spring are doing nicely. This particular rose is of an antique variety, and it is allegedly of a family that survived the flooding in New Orleans during Katrina. Lots of flora did not make it after the hurricane and then the flooding, but this particular variety of rose did just fine, thank you very much. I especially like it because it blooms in clusters, and it looks like a naturally done nosegay. Jody says that is kind of common for antique rose varieties. I planted two different climbing roses, and they are both doing very nicely; the yellow rose I planted is not quite as robust as this one, but it is covered with buds. I am hoping they will meet in the middle of the trellis and put on a nice show in the summer. I may have to replace the morning glories with roses, I am going to give the glories one more year to see if they do anything, and then I may have to reconsider.

I put in a pretty full day today at the office. We are down-sizing the office, and we have acted like alligators for the last five or six years; spreading out to accommodate our environs. Lots of papers recycled, lots of trash trashed, lots of files taken to storage. I am going to give it another go tomorrow, and I think that will pretty much clear my part of the move. We will have some furniture to sell and tidying up to do, but after this weekend, we should see the light at the end of the tunnel (and we will all just hope that it is not a train heading in our direction.

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

Friday, March 18, 2016

2016 - Day 78/288 - Friday...

I don't want to cast any aspersions or put out any bad mojo, and I get it, I really get it. I know why people like Austin and why they want to come to Austin. I figured it our when (back in 1985) my friend Al told me I should accept the transfer because "Austin in one big melting pot of society". I think that was his way of saying Austin keeps it weird. Anyway, I am still here but Al is not (we still keep in touch), but I have witnessed A LOT of change in Austin in the three decades plus that I have been here. We are not what we used to be, and that is kind of sad. There are still lots of cool (and weird) things here to be appreciated, but it is becoming more and more inconvenient. I totally expect that as soon as SXSW is officially over, and we have four or five days to recover before the NEXT event takes over, I will fall off (or slide back from) my total curmudgeon mode. It is not healthy for my chosen career (Welcome to Austin but please don't move here), and I am sure my outlook will change once I have a couple days to recover.

Or, I could just leave the office every day at 1:30 to avoid the worst part of the traffic challenges.


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

Thursday, March 17, 2016

2016 - Day 77/289 - St. Patrick's Day...

Happy St. Patrick's Day! Did you wear green, I actually did, but I would have (probably) been better off if I were soliciting pinches!

I have lived in central Texas since 1985, and in all that time I have not physically been to Round Rock Donuts. I have consumed Round Rock Donuts on a few occasions, but never been to the place. On the way to work this morning, I decided to go and get donuts for the office. They stock the biggest donuts I have ever seen, in a variety of tastes. Of course, I got the chocolate covered one, and there was still some of it left that I brought home with me. Three of us ate on that donut throughout the day, and a couple visitors shared some of it too. It was BIG! Not HUGE, but BIG! There was ONE donut inside this box!

It is dribbling rain here, and there is a threat of severe weather tomorrow night. Traffic this afternoon was not too terrible, but I am not looking forward to the weekend. I need to go in to the office and get some stuff done, woe is me!

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

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

2016 - Day 76/290 - Wednesday...

I had an appointment to get my hairs did this afternoon, I think the new look is real stylish. What do you think?

It was a good day of doing office stuff today, amazing how much stuff you can get done when you put your head down and just do it.

And then there was the traffic challenge on the way home. Yesterday it took me 40 minutes to go about a mile and a half. This afternoon, it took me a little longer than that to go a little less that that. In case you are interested, the horn works on the rental car I am driving. I was smart enough not to put the car in park and confront the 'out-of-state' drivers that were cutting in front of me, flicking cigarette butts out their car windows, and 'blocking the box' at major intersections. It is not like me to try and remain calm, but I did, and I expect my health to be affected by that shortly.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, HAIRS DID, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

2016 - Day 75/291 - Tuesday...

Well, it is (I don't think) something you see every day; a Ferris wheel in the middle of downtown Austin. But, this is SXSW, and the city IS full of freaks, and, well, this IS Austin. Gridlock has settled in, I am tired of spring breakers, pedi-cabs and avant grade expressionism. Traffic on the way is is GREAT! Can we keep that going? But any place you want to go (after about 10 AM) is pretty much not worth it. Re-Schedule for next week, if you leave now, you can be there by next week!


Amidst all that, today was really a pretty successful day! I got some good work done in the office, met with a new (to me) CPA, had a couple meetings and a really successful conference call. AND, I got the ag exemption filed with Williamson County on the other 30 acres we bought last year.

All in all, not a bad day!

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

Monday, March 14, 2016

2016 - Day 74/292 - Monday...

These old-fangled internal combustion engine vehicles are so demanding and inconvenient. I still 25 miles to go according to the digital display, but the needle said it was beyond empty. It sounds stupid, but I do not pay much attention to the need for fossil fuels, but I still have the loaner, and if all goes well, I may get my car back by the end of the week. There are all together too many people involved with this (multiple) insurance claim; my company has about 100 different individuals involved, never the same one twice, and none of them talk to each other. The other insurance company has about 50 people involved, and none of them talk to each other, either. Both companies are delivering false statements to me (that is a nice way of saying it), and I feel like I was the party that was responsible for the whole thing. I think if I had not seen the other driver approaching me and slamming on the brakes, it would have been a lot worse.

I have an appointment on Thursday with another insurance agent, but I have little or no faith in the industry as a whole.

92 degrees in Austin today, not a record, but we may break a record tomorrow. Then a cold front is supposed to come through in a couple days and lower the temperatures by twenty degrees or so, down to our average temperatures for the middle of March.

Have I mentioned how I dislike daylight saving time? Just checking.

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

Sunday, March 13, 2016

2016 - Day 73/293 - Sunday...

It's official. Spring is here. During the past 'winter' season, there were only two instances of the temperatures being below 32 degrees, and where we are (on the edge of nowhere), we are usually warmer than the official temperatures, we are in a high-spot. We did not cover faucets or wrap exterior hose bibs one time during the season. Yesterday when Jody and I were coming back from Georgetown, we saw Mesquite trees budding out, and those (and the pecans) are usually the last to bud out, so it seems there will be officially NO MORE COLD WEATHER in central Texas for this season. In celebration of the fact, I brought the Plumeria out of hibernation and put it back in its' place of honor by the corner of the front porch. We are ready for it to start blooming, hurry up!

Otherwise, it was a really pretty day out here on the edge of nowhere. The temperatures are supposed to reach the 90 degree mark tomorrow (FGS it is still MARCH), but a cold (hahaha) front comes through on Tuesday or Wednesday and lowers things to the 70s. Not a cloud in the sky, nice breezes from the southwest, but that will contribute to the heat tomorrow.

I need to quit watching the weather casters on tv, I am paying WAY too much attention.

Spring Break is in bloom, so I hope that means lighter traffic for the coming week. I will let you know.

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

Saturday, March 12, 2016

2016 - Day 72/294 - Saturday...

Even though the rains are reluctant to cease (there were a few traces of rain evidenced this morning and afternoon), these clouds are not nearly as forbidding and sinister as you might think. Actually it was a really beautiful (almost) spring day in central Texas. High temps were comfortable in the 70s, and there was enough sunshine so that we no longer assumed that the earth had shifted on its' axis, and we were no longer destined to live like the good folks of Seattle. A lovely day was had by all.

Maddie was among the shining stars at obedience training again today. It is not that she has learned much or that she is particularly obedient, it is just that she is so darned cute and (relatively) calm compared to the other pooches in attendance. And, we think, if she had one more doggie treat for (kind of) responding to her command in a positive way, she would most likely have puked. And Jody and I feel like school-boys again, because next week is spring break, and there will be no class on Saturday. Texas is the only place that I have lived that observed a 'spring break' tradition. Too bad that in the thirty l=years I have lived here, the only time I get to take advantage of it is because of the girl dog.

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

Friday, March 11, 2016

2016 - Day 71/295 - Friday...

Photo credit Carrie York! By the time the POTUS passed by our office this afternoon, I was heading out of town. As it was, I had to go the long way around (through Denver) to get from SoCo to a northbound traffic conveyance. It would have been pretty neat to see him go past, but alas it was not meant to be.

While he was ordering tacos to go at Torchy's, I was at the Texas Association of REALTORS® visiting with some friends there, buying MORE Girl Scout Cookies (I was Jonesing on Samoas) and plotting and planning about the week to come. Always keep 'em guessing, and always leave them wanting more!

Traffic in and out of the city was not awful today. I really wish the POTUS would visit everyday, and everyone else would stay home. This morning was not terrible, and other than the road closures (which meant I had to detour via Maui), everything was just fine for me going back north. BUT, the southbound side of IH-35 was backed up for miles-and-miles-and-miles. There was the POTUS, then there was a wreck here, a wreck there, and another wreck over there.

Tomorrow is another day of failing to be trained at the girl dogs obedience class. I can hardly wait to be humiliated by the other parents in the class, but by 11 o'clock in the morning, it will all be over, and the girl dog will walk out of there with A) A new Bag of Dog Treats, B) A New Toy, C) An Infection or D) All of the Above.

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

Thursday, March 10, 2016

2016 - Day 70/296 - Thursday...

When I went out to let the girls loose this morning, this frog was enjoying the wet weather sitting on one of the rocks in the chicken fountain. Overnight we got some more rain, but I cannot really remember if it woke me up or not. In the past three days we have received a total of 3.74". There has been a steady drip all day long today, only amounting to about 0.05", and there is more rain in the forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Not sure about the weekend, but with SXSW in town, the grass on the great lawn is going to be ruined (again).

And again, just to continue down that complaining train, I am glad that the POTUS will be in town tomorrow, it is just going to make things even MORE inconvenient, if that is at all possible. I am wearing grungy clothes to the office tomorrow, I intend to get some serious office cleaning and boxing up done, and there is no time like the present.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, DAMP SPOTS, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

2016 - Day 69/297 - Wednesday...

In the last 24 hours, we have received 2.98" of rain, and it is still raining. There were some pretty loud storms last night, but the girl dog was very brave and did not make a sound. She stayed between me and Jody the whole time and was relatively calm and relaxed. Good girl!

Traffic was relatively typical today, the wrecks were contained to areas before and after where I wanted to be, and that was a delight. Rain is expected for a couple more days, then SXSW starts, and the President will be here for the keynote speech. The mayor has already given most of the non-essential staff the afternoon off, just to keep the gridlock potential at a minimum.

Otherwise, there is nothing really to report today. I was (and will be) a dark and stormy night.

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

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 - Day 68/298 - Tuesday...

The frog is still perched on top of the water meter out by the road. Overnight, we received 0.04" of rain, nothing to write home about, but we will take it. During the day today, we received another 0.74" of rain in the gauge. I have spoken many times (and fondly) about our rain gauge, but I have never included a photo of it for your review. This is our 'official' CoCoRaHs gauge (go to for more information). It sort of (loosely) stands for the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network. You can go to the site and sign up to be a participant. It is an organization through one of the colleges in Colorado, and it is fun. You upload information to the network on a daily basis, and it helps track actual precipitation levels all across the country, and up into Canada and down into Mexico (I think). It is interesting to see the different precipitation levels in your county as recorded by other volunteers. But you will find out all about that when you go to the site.

I led a BUNCH of my colleagues through two Legal Update classes today, beginning at 8:30 this morning and ending at 5 o'clock this afternoon. I am a walker (not a sitter) during these classes, so I easily got my ten thousand steps in. I will sleep well tonight.

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

Monday, March 7, 2016

2016 - Day 67/299 - Monday...

If it is not opossums or raccoons eating the cats food on the back porch (or any variety of cats eating the cat food on the back porch), or squirrels copulating in the engine compartment of the truck, or neighbors dogs killing chickens, or cattle drowning in the tank, it's a frog going for higher ground on the water meter. We are supposed to get some rain (possibly) every day for the rest of the week, up to five inches here, less to the west, more to the east. The winds are still blowing mightily, and we have made more energy than we have used the past couple days. That is always a nice thing. They have moved the threats of really severe weather from tonight and tomorrow night, to Tuesday and Wednesday nights.

There was just the threat of rain this morning, and traffic did not react well to that threat. My classes start tomorrow at 8:30 in the morning, so my plan is to leave not later than 6:30, even though I will be traveling 10 miles less each way, you never know what traffic will be doing in central Texas.

It is going to be a good day of classes tomorrow, and I am looking forward to it.

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

Sunday, March 6, 2016

2016 - Day 66/300 - Sunday...

We are giving the squirrel(s) one more week, and then we are going to evict him/her/them. We really should have put the kibosh on this when it first started, but we are both easy touches, but this has to end. I did start the truck this afternoon and move it a couple feet back and forth, but I am going to need to use the truck next week and the week after, so this too shall come to an end. We did find (what we believed to be) a dead baby squirrel on the drive way last week, so we were in hopes that things were moving along nicely, and that they would be abandoning (surrendering) possession of the premises on their own. Again, we are giving them until next week, then, if they are not gone, I am going to have to take matters in my own hands. Hands? Creepy.

I concentrated on prepping for my class on Tuesday, and I got everything done by mid-day, so I am comfortable with all that. It should be a good couple of classes. The rest of the day was spent taking naps, going to Jarrell, taking the girl dog for walks, brushing the girl dog, and taking more naps.

I still need about 250 more steps to make today's goal, so that is pretty easy.

Deeds, Action, Changes, EARL and EARLINE, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 - Day 65/301 - Saturday...

Restricting the girl dogs television time has paid off, particularly the part about not letting her watch the debates on the toob. Today at her third obedience training class, she received the citizenship award for extra good behavior and politeness. There were only two other dogs there today, but they were total LOSERS. Her award was HUGE! HUGE I tell ya! Even after those other dogs accused her of having 'lady paws', she just rolled with it and did her own thing, kept a civil tongue in her mouth and was frequently rewarded with doggie treats that smelled of bacon. Parfum de Bacon is what was reported on the package. She was in doggie heaven.

Afterwards, Jody and I were exhausted, so it was home for naps, then back in to Georgetown for lunch and a little bit of shopping.

Tomorrow will be mostly working around the farm, cleaning coops, feeding cattle, stuff like that. I have completed my review for the first half of the class I will be instructing next week, so I will knock some more of that out as well.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, CANINE CRUSADING, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Friday, March 4, 2016

2016 - Day 64/302 - Friday...

Photographic representations of this afternoons homeward bound traffic congestion in central Texas is much more realistically depicted via a photo from the rear view mirror of the vehicle I am currently driving in. Photos facing forward just could not seem to capture the true depression of the situation, even at the upper/lower deck split, but I believe this visual accurately documents the challenges that we face on a daily basis. I left the office relatively early, only to sit in an almost stationary position for several minutes at a time. I have a new obsession, and that is to keep track of the number of reports of traffic accidents as reported on the drive time news. Statistics are still a little bit fizzy at this time, since I just had the idea yesterday. I swear there were about 16 different places reported with wrecks yesterday, but this afternoon when I was actually paying attention, there were only seven. I need to make a new column on my CDO list of things I keep up with on a daily basis. Great, just one more thing to obsess over.

Otherwise, it was a pretty good day, starting out by participating in the new member orientation at the Board. It was really a lot of fun, and I really do enjoy that. Then it was back to the office, and some power real estate. Not a bad day if I do say so myself!

Barney the cat is training us to feed her earlier in the evenings, so she does not have to share with the other cats, the opossum and the raccoon. When we re sitting down to dinner, she let's herself be seen, and when she does, I go and fix her a plate of moist food and call her, and she heads over to the back porch and enjoys her dinner. Smart cat! She has to be to have survived this long outside on her own.

A good portion of the weekend will be spent getting ready for a couple classes I will be presenting on Tuesday. Of course, that will all be AFTER we take the girl dog to her obedience class. I fear that I need to report that Jody and I are not going to receive passing grades. The girl dog is doing fine, but we refuse to be trained.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, TRAFFIC, Kindnesses, Whirled Pea
s, FUN!

Thursday, March 3, 2016

2016 - Day 63/303 - Thursday...

I got another delivery of socks from the Sock Club, the gift that keeps on giving for twelve months. It is great, and the socks are fun, too! Thanks, Kerry!

Still going down the road with FWPs. Perhaps I am too demanding. Today I was told that it is against the law for my insurance agent (my agent did not tell me this) to file a claim with the 'at fault' insurance company on my behalf. The best way they could describe it is, it is like a medical doctor filing a claim on my behalf with my medical insurance company, and that could lead to fraud. Well, really? Then why should any of us have agents? What purpose do agents serve? The commercials on television lead us to believe that they are providing us a service, like "Don't worry Bill, you're covered", that kind of think. She's got a clip board and everything. Why was that agent teleported to the scene of the water damaged kitchen if she can't file a claim. I'm probably missing something, and I am too frustrated to defend myself, so I am just going to go with, I am missing something.

On an even more frustrating note, it looks like it will be five weeks before I get my car back.


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

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2016 - Day 62/304 - Wednesday...

Happy Texas independence Day. If you can't find a Texas flag to salute, a pentagram will probably do. Pen-ta-gram noun a five-pointed star that is formed by drawing a continuous line in five straight segments, often used as a mystic and magical symbol. Yep, that pretty much sums it up!

Today is also the tenth anniversary of Donna Howard's swearing-in to the Texas House of Representatives. The celebration of 'A Decade of Donna' was held this evening at the Zilker Park Clubhouse. I have lived in Austin for 31 years, and tonight was the first time I ever visited the Zilker Park Clubhouse. The view from there of the downtown is very nice, and I cannot understand why I had never visited. It was nice to see Donna, and her crew, as well as my friends Michael and Lynda. There were also lots of politicos in attendance, and it was good to see my friend and State Rep Celia Israel. This is a photo of Celia and Donna, possibly cracking up over something totally inappropriate that I might have made a comment about before the photo. Not sure, but it sounds like something I would do.

Insurance update: Not a word from my agent today. I am trying my very best not to make this a personal thing, but if I wanted to be ignored by someone, I would prefer to be ignored by someone I have not know for over thirty years. I have some concerns over the service (or lack of it) that I am receiving. I guess all is fine as long as one continues to pay premiums and never has a need for the service (or lack of it) that is allegedly provided.

I know. F. W. P.

Deeds, Actions, Changes, A DECADE OF DONNA, Kindnesses, Whirled Peas, FUN!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2016 - Day 61/305 - Tuesday...

I am in the process of losing faith and confidence of my insurance company. I am not yet prepared to name agents or companies, but I expect I am headed in that direction overall. I have been with the same national insurance company since 1976, and with the same agency since I moved here in 1985. We are arguing about their estimate to repair my car that was damaged by another driver, who (while driving another persons car) front-ended me. She produced the insurance of the car owner, and I have provided all that information to my insurance company. Currently, we are fighting over about $900 worth of repair expense. I pay more for my car insurance (I assume proportionately) than other consumers, based on the value of their automobiles. If they (the insurance company) assigns a loss value based on all vehicles, then it stands to reason that my insurance should be less than it is. I believe the insurance premium I pay is (most likely) based on MY vehicle, and not the pool of all vehicles on the roads of central Texas.

First. World. Problems.

...and I had to put gas in the rental this afternoon.

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