Friday, January 31, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 31/335, 2020 - Friday

This makes one month down, eleven more to go. It really has not been a remarkable month, so I don't know what all the fuss has been about, whether or not it is really the start of a new decade, or if 2020 is really just the anti-climactic end on the last decade. Honestly, there are a lot more things to worry over than stuff like that. Like why in the hell was this traffic all backed up while I was trying to get home? There was not even a wreck. The best I could tell, someone had a flat tire and was pulled over to the shoulder, and everyone else was afraid they were going to miss a road rage incident or something. They almost did, but I made it through in time to NOT have a hissy fit. I can hardly wait to see what February brings, along with its extra day and all.

George Condash, who clearly passed some sort of life test, discovered a box of cash marked "$40,000" outside an ATM at a Michigan credit union At first, cameras captured him putting it in his car and appearing to drive off, but he was really just parking to take it into the building. The box actually contained $27,000 that appeared to be forgotten by a security guard, and the credit union was so thankful they made sure Condash got an undisclosed token of appreciation. "It's not mine and any honest person, I hope, would take it back in," he said.

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 30/336, 2020 - Thursday

We are being encroached upon. As soon as any acreage is up for sale, it is sold and subdivided. This particular piece is on 972, just outside Walburg. There are other subdivisions going in between us and Georgetown, with subdivision names that match the names of developments in Austin. Somebody needs to get an imagination. We kind of shrug our shoulders every time we see a new water meter being installed. There is nothing we can do about it, though. The Walburg Ranchettes (five acre pieces of land) are actually selling for a price I though was impossible, and there are houses being built and more foundations being poured. BUT, I guess there will be no stopping progress, and everybody has to live somewhere. This area is kind of affordable for first time homebuyers, but affordable here is something totally different from affordable in other places.

Name the wife of Orpheus, whom he attempted to save from the underworld. Mrs. Orpheus.
Name one measure that can be put into place to avoid river flooding in times of extensive rainfall. Flooding may be avoided by placing a number of dames in the river.
Why do mushrooms have their distinctive shape. Mushrooms always grow in damp places and so they look like umbrellas.
Name one of the Romans' greatest achievements. Learning to speak Latin.
Expand (a+b)n       (  a  +  b  )  n
Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? At the bottom.

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 29/337, 2020 - Wednesday

I thought about it for about 30 seconds (not really, I have issues with telling the truth), but it was really no contest. I took a lovely photo of the sunrise this morning, but this wreck on the way home this evening pulled out all the stops and won the race by a long-shot. There are so damn many wrecks in central Texas. Is it just here, or are we plagued with wrecks as a nation? Is it road rage (this one does not look like road rage), or is it stupidity? Is it distracted driving? Probably. I should win the prize for distracted driving. Lately, I am distracted by nothing and everything. You should know that nothing and everything does not include any type of electronic device. I just get lost in thought, and the next thing you know, I have driven thirty or forty miles and do not even remember getting on the expressway. I doubt that this behavior is afflicting only me, but I admit that it happens. I also think what it is like to be Queen Elizabeth, and what happens if she has to pee at Buccee's?

What is hard water? Ice.
What happens during puberty to a boy? He says goodbye to his childhood and enters adultery.
Briefly explain why breathing is important. When you breathe, you inspire. When you don't breathe, you expire.
What is a fossil? A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is.
What type of force or bond holds the sodium ions and chloride ions together in a crystal of sodium chloride? Jsmes Bond.
Name six animals which specifically live in the Arctic. 2 polar bears and 3 4 seals.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 28/338, 2020 - Tuesday

I had an epiphany today. I could see the future for thousands of people. There was a roll-over wreck on IH-35 this morning, on the northbound side. I was going southbound. I heard about the wreck on the television before I left. I always try to listen to what the traffic is doing. It was interesting that, at a certain point, there was NO traffic on the other side of the Interstate. I was still miles away from the wreck, but there was NO northbound traffic. I got to the wreck site, and still no traffic heading north. There was plenty of traffic on the service road, but nothing in the expressway. It was a couple miles before I saw where the traffic was being diverted to the service road. THEN it was MILES AND MILES of backed up traffic. After a while, there was normal traffic on the expressway, and it would be only a matter in minutes before those folks heading north would be TRAPPED, with no where to go, no way to reverse their path. They would just be stuck, parked on the expressway. I saw their futures, and they were oblivious to their fate. I liked it, it was kind of knowing a hurricane was headed for the coast, but right now it was a beautiful day. I saw the future of all those people. It was weird!

For Valentine's Day 2010, the Toronto restaurant Mildred's Temple Kitchen pulled out all the stops for romantic diners-serving intimate meals for two...and openly encouraging couples to "couple-up" in the restrooms. A handful of concerned citizens reported the Mildred's promotion to the Toronto Public Health office. The agency investigated and found nothing wrong with the idea, as long as the frisky patrons stayed out of the food-preparation areas.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 27/339, 2020 - Monday

It is Monday, and it has been a really busy Monday. I have pretty much not stopped all day long. It is 830 and I just got home, so it has been a long day, but a good one. This photo was taken about 7 this evening, going down 45th Street towards IH-35. 62 degrees outside, tennis courts were working it, and the stars were out, so all (well, almost) was right with the world. Why fret about it, it gets me nowhere! It is supposed to start raining later tonight, and the temperatures are supposed to go down, but all will be good again by the weekend. The low temperature overnight is supposed to go down to about 53 degrees, and we should add another ten to that for the high temperature tomorrow. Not a whole lot planned for tomorrow, just working on getting back in to a routine. I'll talk more about that in another entry.

Professor Simon Louis Lajeunesse of the University of Montreal's social work department began a project in December of 2009 investigating how pornography affects the way men view and relate to women. Part of the research required a "control group" for comparison, so Lajeunesse advertised around Montreal to recruit 20 young men who did not view pornography. He received zero responses.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 26/340, 2020 - Sunday

It is a beautiful, starry, starry night outside. You should walk outside and take a look at it. One thing about living on the edge of nowhere is, as you are taking the trash can up to the road, you have a chance to look around, to listen and see things that you might not otherwise see or hear. The coyotes were pretty interesting. They were howling up a storm east of us while I was out there, and while I was schlepping and taking this picture, they made a wide arc around me and then they were howling in the back pasture, heading west. It was great to hear them, and to listen to them calling out as they made their nightly rounds. And the stars were big and bright, since we are in the heart of Texas. Whatever. Got all my chores done today, and then some. Looking forward to tomorrow already!

In 1942 the British military exploded the first known "anthrax bomb" in a test on Gruinard Island off Scotland. It released a cloud of anthrax spores that killed 60 sheep and made the island uninhabitable for the next five decades.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 25/341, 2020 - Saturday

I got EVERYTHING done on my chores list that absolutely, positively had to be done today. Tomorrow, I will get the rest of the stuff done that could wait until tomorrow. This evening, I attended the Austin Board of REALTORS® Industry Awards dinner. I was asked to announce the Educator of the Year Award. That's what happens (I guess) when you come in fourth place! I don't even know that I was nominated, but it is really not important. There were three totally qualified finalists; Socar, Candy and Reba. I drug it out as long as I could, and finally announced that Candy was awarded the honor. It could not have been an easy task for the group that sifted through the nominations and qualifications, and all the finalists were well deserving of the honor! Oh yeah, and I sponsored something, but I am not really sure what it was. But I got my name on the napkins! Totally worth it!

"This has got to rank as one of the worst attempted jailbreaks ever," said a prison official in Albany, Isle of Wight, England. The first problem: The perpetrator tried to break into the wrong prison (his cousin was incarcerated at a prison in a neighboring town). Second, the man's weapon was a squirt gun. Third, the man-who tried to no avail to kick down a door-was wearing a Snoopy costume. "He wasn't too conspicuous," said the official.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 24/342, 2020 - Friday

Today was interesting, distressing, exciting and depressing. And it all centered around the Williamson County Courthouse. For the second time (I think) in my long life, I was summoned for jury duty. The first time was in Travis County, this time in Williamson County. I really, really, really want to serve on a jury. I think it would be interesting and fun, plus the fate of someone else would be in my hands, as it should be. The only challenge I had was, this is not a really convenient time for me to be called to serve on a jury. I was number 386. They had summoned about 800 people. If you were number 501 or higher, you were automatically dismissed. Out of the first 500, 168 of us actually showed up. Once they dismissed the folks with misdemeanor theft histories or felony convictions, that left about 160. Then it was explained that, if we had a REAL hardship, we might be dismissed. It was going to be a criminal trial, and we would have to be there today, Monday, and all of next week. I have a challenge with Monday, so when my time came, those of us in the room with a verifiable hardship next week were asked to stand. I think probably about 3-0 or 40 of us stood, which left about 120 people to choose 13 jurors for the week. Odds are good they would find 13 out of 120, so we were dismissed without having to explain the hardships we were experiencing. I took my six-dollars-cash and left. Maybe I can get summoned again in the future, I really would like to do it. And they are really kind of finicky about where you can park.

After a 23-year-old man named He finished his meal at a restaurant in the Chinese city of Benxi, he grabbed the owner's daughter, pulled out a knife, and demanded all the cash from the register. Some of the other patrons overpowered He and held him until help arrived. When the police came, He opened his shirt to reveal what looked like a belt of tube-shaped bombs around his chest. Officers rushed He outside and called the bomb squad. "When they arrived," said an officer, "they laughed out loud as they quickly realized the explosives were actually sausages." He later explained that he came up with the idea when he looked in his refrigerator: "The sausages looked like bombs, so I decided to try it."

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 23/343, 2020 - Thursday

It was a pretty busy day, lots of running around and errands to get done. I am playing a little bit of catch-up after the quick trip to Dallas on Tuesday, but that is okay. After a pretty busy day, I attended a TREPAC event at the Williams County Association of REALTORS®. It was kind of a painting party, and everyone chose the sign they wanted to paint before they arrived. To be honest, it was more fun than I expected, and I think my sign came out pretty well, all things considered. There was wine and cheese and grapes, so that helped the event along. A big thank you to the WCAoRs for putting on this fun event, and I know they will have a great TREPAC year!

In 2010 the Chinese government announced that they had figured out how to deal with the stench emanating from the enormous, overflowing landfills around the city of Beijing: They installed 100 high-pressure "deodorant cannons" at one site and plan to install more at other sites in the future. The cannons can shoot fragrance sprays up to 170 feet. So instead of the unpleasant odor of rotting garbage, residents will now smell the unpleasant odor of rotting garbage-mixed with the sweet fragrance of industrial deodorant. Yum!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 22/344, 2020 - Wednesday

As of my last flight of 2019, I decided there would be no more pictures in the cockpits of planes. I was tired of it, and it had become tiresome. Yesterday and today were my first flights of 2020, and I have not yet decided what my new schtick is going to be. I liked yesterdays picture of me and Christine, but nothing really caught my fancy for today. So, you are stuck with this.

Ralph and Edna were both patients in a mental hospital. One day while walking past the hospital swimming pool, Ralph suddenly jumped into the deep end of the pool and immediately sank to the bottom of the pool and stayed there. Edna promptly jumped in to save hih. She swam to the bottom and pulled him out. When the Head Nurse became aware of Edna's heroic act, she now considered her to be mentally stable and ordered her to be discharged from the hospital. "Edna, I have good news and bad news," she said. "The good news is you're being discharged, since you were able to rationally respond to a crisis by jumping in and saving the life of the person you love. The bad news is, Ralph hung himself in the bathroom with his bathrobe belt, right after you saved him. I am so sorry, but Ralph is dead." "But you're wrong," Edna replied. "I put him there to dry. How soon can I go home?"

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 21/345, 2020 - Tuesday

Today was the first trip out of Austin for 2020. I quick trip to Dallas (overnight). In-and-out, nobody gets hurt. I was invited to the Collin County Association of REALTORS® to make a presentation at their Major Investor event. It was great, and all the association staff worked really hard to make it all look easy. The easier an event looks, the harder they have worked to make it look that way. Everyone did a great job. One of my lesser known indulgences is getting my shoes (boots) shined at the airport or the hotel when I am out of town. It has been a while, mainly because I have been wearing shoes that could not be shined. BUT, my new vow (obsession) for 2020 is to wear REAL shoes during the week, which in turn means, shoe-shine-stands, here I come!

Police in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, were called December 27 to the parking lot of a CVS pharmacy over a "public menace," according to WKYT. The culprit was a "hostile chicken" that "pecked viciously" at the officers and "made some adept use of vehicles for cover" before they were able to corral it in a plastic milk crate, according to the police department's Facebook page. Officers transferred the foul fowl (get it?) to "someone who can give him more suitable accommodations," then attended to their wounds with "some doughnut therapy."

Monday, January 20, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 20/346, 2020 - Monday

It is a Holiday today, and the traffic was tolerable on the way IN to Austin, but it was pretty typical on the way OUT of Austin. Now that I think about it, I do not think I saw a single wreck today. That should have made the front page of the paper. When I lived in New Orleans (two separate occasions), there was NOT a homicide on one day, and that was news! Holiday or not, the streets of Austin were full of shoppers and sightseers. I know there was a parade and several ceremonies, but it was the congestion of the retail therapists that really caught my attention. I tried to buy a pair of boots, but they did not have my size. I was not expecting the crowds! Anyway, as I was being chauffeured back to the office, I happened upon this wall painted in SoCo, and thought I would share it with all of you in this journal entry. I think he would win by a landslide...and our tax troubles would be done for!

As she enjoyed an Aldi mince pie in early December, eater Angela McGill, 52 of Glasgow, Scotland, thought one bite seemed particularly "rough and really hard - I thought it was a tough piece of pastry!" she told Metro News. Instead, McGill soon realized she had swallowed her partial dentures with two false teeth. Hospital X-rays confirmed the dentures were caught halfway down her throat, but the staff advised her pulling them out would only cause more harm. It took 72 hours for the plate to pass. "It was ever so funny!" she said. "And I was really enjoying the mince pie, too."

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 19/347, 2020 - Sunday

The mortality rate of road signs near the edge of nowhere is pretty high. This particular sign has survived longer than most. It never ceases to amaze me at the amount of litter that people out here throw out on the roads, too. The closes What-A-Burger is 17 miles away, but there are burger bags littering the roads. Beer cans apparently copulate in the ditches and reproduce more quickly than rats or rabbits. Feed bags I can understand, but not the Walmart bags. Folks just seem uncaring about what they throw out of their vehicles. But let's get back to the Dead Stop. Our friend Jim put the reflective tape on this particular pole several years ago. I am not sure if the pole can be salvaged, but I think the signage will live to see more days. And exactly what happens to a vehicle that crashes in to these signs. I would suspect there would be some damage to them, but maybe not.

In Jefferson County, Colorado, would-be car thief Todd Sheldon, 36, has finally admitted it's just not the vocation for him, according to the police. Fox News reported Sheldon had tried over recent weeks to steal multiple vehicles, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, but each time he was caught in the act-first by a homeowner, then by sheriff's deputies minutes later "just down the street," shocking deputies by telling them, "I'm trying to steal this truck." He was taken into custody and bonded out, but a week later, deputies responding to a report of someone trying to break into a car again found Sheldon. "I really suck at this," Sheldon allegedly told an officer. Sheldon remained in jail as of this report.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 19/347, 2020 - Saturday

The house is haunted and I have done nothing but eat CRAP all day. Okay, one thing at a time. The house is haunted. Either that or there is a hermit living in the attic that tries to be polite but consistently puts the toilet paper roll in the jack-and-jill bathroom on the toilet paper holder BACKWARDS. It must be an Aggie hermit. Everybody knows the toilet paper roll is put on the holder OVER and not UNDER. I very seldom go back into this bathroom, and we certainly are not entertaining house guests regularly, but TWICE in recent weeks I have had to turn the toilet paper in this bathroom around. You know, OVER. Now it is documented for all time, and we will ee when the apparition next show his or herself. I am ready. AND, I have eaten nothing but crap all day today, not counting the egg loaf I made this morning, which also included some crap, if you consider half of a week old blueberry muffin broken up into the scrambled eggs crap. I don't really, but if I said I ate nothing but crap for two-thirds of the day, it would not have the same panache.

Kelly McGraw, 37, or Portsmouth, England, and her husband, James, 40, have enjoyed playing pranks on each other throughout their 24-year marriage. NOTE: That was 7 commas in one sentence. But before Christmas, as James was plotting a way to get back at Kelly for a "dodgy" haircut she had given him, he came up with a gloriously permanent idea: He had his thigh tattooed with a less-than-flattering photo of Kelly, asleep of a plane with her mouth gaping open, as James mocked her behind her head. "I'm one up at the moment," James told the sun, "but I'm also scared because I don't know what she's planning now." Kelly was unforgiving: "I was horrified. I couldn't believ
e it. We do mess about anyway, but this is on another level. He needs to watch his back." This was really boring...

Friday, January 17, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 17/349, 2020 -Friday

This does not even count as odd according to Austin standards, let alone weird. It is not that unusual to see a giant rubber duckie in a bath tub on south First Street, but I document it here for the benefit of others that are not that used to weirdness as an every day occurrence. A couple years ago, Jetta give me and Jody some hand made soaps and I liked them very much. I receive a catalog that offers handmade soaps, and I decided to order some, but better yet, I decided to see where I could buy hand crafted soaps in Austin. Lo-and-behold, just five blocks down the street from the office is a place that specializes in hand made soaps. I have driven past the place thousands of times, and never noticed it. I am now the happy owner of five different varieties of hand-crafted locally made soaps.

Lizard owners who want to dress like their reptilian pets have a source for trendy looks: Fashion Brand Company of Los Angeles has been making clothes for lizards for a while, but now you can MATCH your bearded dragon. The current collection, according to OK Whatever, includes velvet jumpsuits and Western fringe jackets that come with a tiny white cowboy hat. The clothes are handmade (see the soap comment above) and go for up to $125 - and that doesn't include whatever your order for yourself. Founder Penelope Gazin says the ideas "come to me in my dreams," adding that lizards need clothes because "their bodies are disgusting and should be covered up." Gazin admits both she doesn't own a lizard and doesn't like lizards.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 16/350, 2020 - Thursday

It was not 80 degrees in central Texas today. It may have been in the 60s, but I am not even sure of that. Right now it is 55 degrees, and it it windy, dribbley, cold, and crappy. I am tired of driving in the fog, or the misty rain, or just driving period. It is miserable weather. The only saving grace is that I have turned the HVAC off to one side of the house. Not too shabby. I expect I will have to turn the heat back on tomorrow, but we can tough it out at least another day. You just never know when you will need to fall back on old technology. Not only do I still have a Mapsco from 2004, it is a LARGE PRINT version. Every now and then I still use it to find places. I also still have a real rolodex that I refer to now and then. You just never know when these things will come back in style. Just ask me about my Corning Ware Casseroles!

Four Amish men pleaded guilty in Gladwin County (Michigan) District Court on January 8 to charges stemming from an earlier incident in Beaverton Township. According to the Midland Daily News, deputies from the Gladwin County Sheriff's office responded on December 29 to a call from a concerned motorist who observed the four men tossing empty beer cans from the horse and buggy they were riding in. When deputies pulled them over, they gave bogus ages and would not confirm their names, authorities said, yet the men appeared to be inebriated, and a search of trhe buggy turned up empty alcohol containers along with unopened ones. Levi Mast, 20; Andrew Zook, 19; Joseph Miller, 20; and Joseph Troyer, 19, each paid a $700 fine and $150 in court costs. They have yet to face the bishop.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 15/351, 2020 - Wednesday

Global warming is fake news. The ice caps are not melting, sea levels are not rising, and I do not have the air conditioning going on January 15th. It is all a lie. And I am a liar. This is not really representative of the high temperature in Austin today. Actually, the high temperature was 82 degrees, a record for the date. We also had a record high low temperature for the date, 60 something degrees. But, it is all okay, there is a cold front coming through overnight, and the high temperature will be somewhere in the 60s, the (previously mentioned) low temperature for the day today. The fact that I have the air conditioner on seems to be helping with my allergic coughing fits I have been experiencing, so I am okay with that. We shall see. There is also supposed to be some rain in the net couple of days, so that is a good thing as well. We shall see.

I am SO very glad that Jody and I got married in Connecticut! In 2005 Texas lawmakers passed a Constitutional Amendment intended to outlaw gay marriage. In 2009 Texas Attorney General Barbara Ann Radnofsky pointed out a huge (HUGE) flaw in a 22-word phrase in Subsection B of the amendment, which reads: "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage." Basically, said Radnofsky, one thing that's identical to marriage is marriage itself, so in effect, no two people of any gender are legally allowed to be married in Texas. "You don't have to have a fancy law degree to read this and understand what it plainly says," she said. Currently, there are no plans to correct the phrasing, but it does call into question whether any marriages that took place in Texas since 2005 are legal. Ugh...

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 14/352, 2020 - Tuesday

Another day of fog and unseasonably warm temperatures. It is really becoming rather tiresome. It is a challenge getting in to the city, and when I got home tonight, the fog was already setting in again. Sitting here in the office, I can see a bright glow from the security light, but that is about all it is; a bright glow. is now my turn. I made it through the worst pollen counts, and the daily counts are decreasing, but I am coughing every thirty seconds, and that is taking its toll on me. Hopefully another three or four days and it will be gone. We are expecting more rain starting on Thursday, so that may clear some more of it out. I am about to start being crabby.

Jumping the gun. Meaning to act before the appropriate time. The origin of this phrase dates back to 1905: Athletes in running competitions who left the starting line before the starter's pistol went off were said to have "beaten the pistol." The phrase morphed into "jump the gun" sometime over the next 15 years because it was already being used metaphorically by 1921. The earliest known use of the phrase in a nonathletic sense appeared in The Iowa Homestead newspaper that year in a story that said: "Give the pigs a good start; jump the gun, so to speak, and get them on a grain ration before weaning time." It's been used that way ever since.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 13/353, 2020 - Monday

Well, it was indeed a Monday. There was so much fog, you could hardly see in front of you, and it is supposed to be worse tomorrow. Can't wait. I took a picture of the road this morning, so you could enjoy a foggy country road view, but I decided to use one of the wreck pictures that I took. There were many of them, from morning, to afternoon, to evening. What a mess. I hope to make it through tomorrow, we shall see.

In 2009 retired NYPD officer John Comparetto stepped out of a restroom stall at a Holiday Inn in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, to find a man pointing a gun at him. "Give me your wallet and your cell phone!" said the thief. The ex-cop complied and the man ran away. Then Comparetto yelled, "Need some help!" The help came from the 300 other cops who were attending a police convention at the hotel (several signs read "Welcome Police Officers"). The cops easily apprehended the robber, 19-year-old Jerome Marquis Blanchett. Said Comparetto, "He's probably the dumbest criminal in Pennsylvania."

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 12/354, 2020 - Sunday

This was my haul this morning when I went out to clean the chicken coop. By the end of the day, I got eight eggs from the girls, not a bad haul for a cold (by Texas standards) day in central Texas. I got the usual chores done around the house, then headed off in to Austin for a couple hours, then back home and then off to Round Rock for some errands. The day turned out to be really nice, we are in the beginning of a warming trend for the next several days, and then I have no clue what to expect. I think someone mentioned rain for next weekend, but I will need to pay more attention. I am trending towards distraction, so that is a challenge.

Most Wanted Facts: Since 1950, there have been 494 fugitives (old data) on the FBI's "Ten Most Wanted" list. Of those, 463 have been captured. Shortest amount of time on the list: two hours (Billy Austin Bryant, in 1969). Longest: armored-car-facility robber Victor Gerena was put on the list in 1984 and he still hasn't been captured (as of the date of the info I have plagiarized this). Minimum reward for information leading to the arrest of a fugitive on the Top Ten list: $100,000.

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 11/355, 2020 - Saturday

It was too cloudy for me to get a picture of the moon last night, but the skies are clear and I got one this evening. Lovely. I did little of anything today. I had an 11:30 appointment that took longer than I was expecting, and then I went to the office for a little while. Did some stuff after leaving the office and then met Candy and Mike in Round Rock for a glass of wine. I left there, and went the WRONG way on the expressway and it took me twelve miles before I figured it out. I think I am losing it. Anyway, that is what I did today, what did you do today?

If you have too many Canada geese in your yard, or in your pond, or on the roof of your building, or for any goose over population problem in general, you might want to call a "goose egg addler" to help control further growth. Here's how they do it; First, the addler approaches a nest (when the geese aren't around) and places the eggs in a bucket of water. If an egg sinks, he coats it with vegetable oil, which prevents oxygen from entering and gases from escaping. That stops the embryo from developing further. The eggs are then placed back into the nest, which fools the mother into thinking she's nesting on live eggs-otherwise she'll lay more eggs. If the eggs float, it means an air sac has developed in the egg, and the embryo has developed beyond the point where it can be terminated humanely, so those eggs are replaced in the nest and allowed to develop into goslings. Egg addling is regulated by wildlife services in Canada and most of the United States, and you must have a permit to do it.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 10/356, 2020 - Friday

In anticipation of the impending storm and certain doom, loss of power and a septic tank back-up, I am trying to get ahead of things. Get the journal entry done early, make sure everything is charged, and then self-medicate and go to sleep. Sounds perfect to me. I think there is a full moon tonight, and I have seen it twice, but was not quick enough to get outside for a photo before it was obscured by clouds. I will keep trying and maybe post something as a separate entry on Facebook later. I attended a great TREPAC meeting at the Austin Board of REALTORS® this morning, then off to the office and then a few stops for errands on the way home. School activities were cancelled because of the possibilities of bad weather, we closed the office early, there is no more milk on the shelves at HEB, and so far we have had nothing but some gusty winds. That works for me, it would be nice if we could get some rain, but I do not really want there to be any real damage in or around central Texas. I will let you know. In the meantime, enjoy this lovely white rose I saw this afternoon on the way back from the chicken coop. Lovely. There are dozens of blooms on one of the trellises, and I thought you might enjoy it.

A woman goes in to the post office and says to the clerk "May I have fifty Chanukah stamps please?" The clerk asks, "What denomination?" And the woman responds "Oy vey, has it come to this? Okay, give me six orthodox, twelve conservative and thirty two reform!"

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 9/357, 2020 - Thursday

There is a storm a-brewing. Really not expected to happen until the afternoon drive-time tomorrow, which is just perfect. Possibility of 75 mile per hour winds, hail, rain, maybe a tornado or two. And after that, we can look forward to a quarter-inch of rain. Kind of anti-climactic if you ask me. Otherwise, the clouds are kind of interesting. They were not interesting for most of the day, generally it was just grey and overcast. There was a trace of rain this morning, just a trace. I did get in to the office and got a good bit of work done, and then it was home. When I leave in the mornings, the sun is just barely coming up, and lately when I get home at night it has been dark for a couple hours...I am not that fond of dark.

This was in the morning paper: Girlfriend assaulted after complaining of man's gas - A man accused of choking and headbutting his girlfriend because she complained about the smell of his flatulence has been jailed on an assault charge, police said. Officers in Wichita Falls responded that Christopher Ragsdale had assaulted his girlfriend, police said in a probable cause affidavit. "She told Christopher that his fart smelled horrible and he got mad and grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground," the affidavit said, adding that the woman told police that Ragsdale choked and headbutted her. The incident occurred at a friend's house, and that friend called the police, the affidavit said. Ragsdale remained jailed Wednesday on a complaint of assault family violence. Jail records do not list an attorney who might speak on his behalf.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 8/358, 2020 - Wednesday

Did I mention that there was a dead skunk in the pool this morning. I guess it could have been worse, it could have been a live skunk. So, I was captured on one of the cameras fishing the skunk out of the pool. It was really pretty interesting. What do you do with a dead skunk, you ask? Scoop it out and fling it into one of the pastures. Far enough away that something will get it, but you won't get the stink. And...the girls got home this afternoon, all fresh from the kennel and bathed and trimmed, and stinky. I forgot to tell them NOT to stinkify them, not good with all the other allergens in the air. It will wear off in time, I hope.

In 2003 officials in Hudson, New York, were ordered by the Americans with Disabilities Act to install handicapped-accessible water fountains in the county courthouse. Five years later, they finally got arshorter than the one on the first floor). Robinson pledged that there are "definite plans in the future" to install one of the new fountains on the ground floor. Just between us, I don't think the Commissioner needed to defend the water fountain; the water fountain did nothing wrong. Maybe the defense needs to take a look at the Commissioner...just sayin'.
ound to installing just one of the fountains...the one on the second floor. And there's no elevator in the building. County Public Works Commissioner David Robinson defended the inaccessible handicap-accessible water fountain, saying it's easier for people who have trouble bending (which makes no sense-the new water fountain is actually several inches

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 7/359, 2020 - Tuesday

So, this was the second day of TREPAC and Legislative Management Team meetings, and the day ended with our TREPAC Trustees meeting. This is a photo of the 2020 TREPAC Trustee Pledge Class, knocking it out of the park with their own rendition of "TREPAC Sexy!" We are ready to hit it with the series of elections coming up this year, lots of stuff going on, issues that will make a difference to property owners and REALTORS® alike. And this incoming class is all worked up to get out the words and make this a really successful year. It is really a great bunch of people that I get to volunteer with, and I cannot think of too many things I would rather be doing with my time!

In 1990, 18 year old Kendall Gibson was convicted of robbery, abduction, and gun charges and sentenced to 47 years in the Greensville Correctional Center in Virginia. And for more than 10 years he's been in a 8-by-10-foot isolation cell reserved for the most violent prisoners. He spends 23 hours a day in the tiny cell and gets to spend one hour per day outside. Gibson hasn't spent a decade in isolation because he's violent, he's there because he refuses to cut his hair. And it's for religious reasons. Gibson is a Rastafarian, he wears the religions trademark long dreadlocks. But according to a prison rule implemented in 1999, Gibson's refusal to trim them means he has to live in isolation. At least 40 other prisoners were confined when the law went into effect. Nobody knows how many there are today, prison officials refuse to divulge that information.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 6/360, 2020 - Monday

Monday. The first real day of work in the new year. I made it in to the office for a few minutes this morning before I headed off to my state TREPAC and Legislative Management Team meetings. We got a lot of good work done, planning for this year, and it is going to be a great year. The views are always great from this vantage point, and I think this photo is particularly nice, it kind of looks like a picture postcard of the city. From this level, almost everything would look nice.

Early bird travelers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport got a rude awakening when an unnamed man tried to pass through a TSA checkpoint entirely naked. According to WXYZ (that was channel 7 when we lived outside Detroit), the man approached the checkpoint and removed all his clothing, then removed a barrier and approached a metal detector. Officers didn't allow him through the metal detector, so he ran around it, where he was caught and covered with plastic trash bags. A bystander said he was calm and compliant while being detained. Law enforcement determined he was not a threat and took him to a local hospital. I'm so glad they chose to withhold my name for this story!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 5/361, 2020 - Sunday...

That pie is toast. TOAST I tell you! It only took from Christmas Eve until January 5th to finish off that pie. I have always wondered about this, tell me your thoughts: If I ate the WHOLE pie in one sitting, is that worse that eating the WHOLE pie over a period of thirteen days (as in this example)? It seems that either way, I would consume EXACTLY the same number of calories, so I can't figure out if a million calories all at once is worse than a million calories spaced out over several days. In this particular case, it would average out to about 77,000 calories a day, so maybe you can help me with that. Maybe I should send this question in to "Ask Marilyn." What do you think? I was able to get lots of chores done around the house today. I got the chicken coop cleaned out, drug out all the plants from the front barn and the garage, and got them all watered. I am sure I got other stuff done too, but right now I can't really think about what it might have been.

A diner in Little Rock, Arkansas, is getting attention for a clever menu item. According to United Press International, Mama D's offers a "My Girlfriend is Not Hungry" option, which adds extra fries, chicken wings or cheese sticks to an order to share with a dinner partner who underestimates their hunger level. On its Facebook page, Mama D's said the option is "a solution for those who tend to dine with people that eat food off their plate."

Saturday, January 4, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 4/362, 2020 - Saturday

I first saw this lonely chimney on Christmas Day, while Jody and I were delivering pies to Randy, Irene, Jim and Patsy. I am always looking for things to take pictures of, and this called out to me. I did not stop on that day, but I went back to take the picture this morning, after delivering the girls to the vet in Salado. I was attracted to it from the street, but it became even more interesting as I walked closer to get a better look at it. It was surrounded by brush, and I did not get any closer to it than you can see from this image, but I especially like being able to see the fire box. Like many things, there was a purpose at one time, and now it just sits by itself, kind of under appreciated. I may have to go back some time and take another look.

NEWS ITEM: Two doctors at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center in Fayetteville, North Carolina, induced labor on a woman in November 2008 when she was having difficulty giving birth. When the baby still didn't come, the performed a caesarean section on her.

They performed the caesarian...but found no baby. It turns out the woman wasn't pregnant. After a year-long review of the case, the North Carolina Medical Board determined that the woman was actually experiencing pseudocyesis, or "false pregnancy," a real ailment, but one more common in dogs and mice than in humans. The doctors were issues "letters of concern."

Friday, January 3, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 3/363, 2020 - Friday

It is lovely that the clouds and grey skies have given way to beautiful blue skies and the promise of sunshine and a pleasant weekend. And, in fact, the day turned out pretty nicely! The skies were clear, the temperature made it to the mid-60s, and the traffic did not totally suck. It only sucked a little bit! Other than that, it was a pretty quiet day. A little bit of real estate, and then off to get a couple errands done. Tomorrow will be a little bit of usual stuff around the house; clean the chicken coop, drag the plants out into the sunshine, a little bit of this and a little bit of that! And in case you were wondering, the pie will meet its demise on Sunday.

Feeling it was time for a shakeup, a company hired a new CEO, and the new boss pledged to rid the company of all slackers immediately. So, on his first tour of the facilities, he noticed a guy leaning against a wall; and since the room was full of his new employees, he wanted to let them know that he meant business. He asked the guy, "How much money do you make a week?" The guy looked kind of surprised, looked back at him and said, "$400 a week. Why?" The CEO said, "Wait right here." He walked back to his office, came back in two minutes, handed the guy $1,600 in cash and said, "Here's four weeks' pay. Now GET OUT and don't come back." He then looked around the room and asked, "Does anyone want to tell me what that goof-ball did here?" And from across the room a voice said: "He's the pizza delivery guy from Domino's"

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 2/364, 2020 - Thursday...

Many parts of Texas may be in a drought state, but apparently there is enough water near the edge of nowhere that we can just let water spew willy-nilly into a field of nothing. They are putting in a water line from Granger to Jarrell, and this would be (could be) about the half way point. I am chocker-block full of criticisms about this water line and the rest of the early American engineering that goes on in these parts, but I will spare you those ugly details. Suffice it to say, I don't know how long the water was spewing forth, but when I returned home this evening, I did not notice that it was still spewing. It was dark, but I think if it was still spewing, I would have noticed.

And now for something completely different...
  • Percentage of Indian M.P.s elected in 2019 who are facing criminal charges: 43
  • Percentage of those M.P.s who are being charged with murder or attempted murder: 18
  • Amount of Danish parliamentary candidate paid to run an election campaign ad on a pornography website in May: $500
  • Percentage fewer votes he received in that election compared with his previous run:75
  • Number of proposals in the Ontario premier's 2019 budget that focus on making alcohol cheaper: 3
  • Number of times that "beer," "wine," or "alcohol" is mentioned in the budget: 52
  • That "climate change" is: 17
  • Rank of Texan among U.S. accents that Americans find sexiest: 1
  • Of "general American": 32

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Volume 12 - Day 1/365, 2020 - Wednesday

Already it is a New Year! I learned a lot in the last year, none of which really matters to anyone in the more grand scheme of things. I learned I prefer adjectives over nouns and verbs. I learned that I need to let loose of things that I really don't care for. I learned that I should be a little less compulsive about things. I learned that some of the things that I should do, I just won't do, because of my compulsive nature. I did not learn this particular thing in the last year, I have known it for a long time. I am much better at being spontaneous than I an at being a planner. I have always known that I like to entertain, much more than I like being entertained. I have always known that, in my mind, my way is usually a better way, and I will continue to work on being more open minded about other things. I have always known that I am a pretty good story teller, and I know for certain that I am a great joke teller. I just have to be careful which jokes I tell to which people. I know there is very little that can be said to me that I will be offended by, and on the off chance that I am offended by something said to me, it is okay that I let it be know that I was offended. That does not happen very often, and in fact I cannot remember the last time I was offended by something (not including politics, which I try my very best to share with only the VERY BEST of my friends). From the looks of it, the pie should be gone by Sunday...

I am going to do my very best to share something fun, anecdotal (I love anecdotes), humorous or interesting with those few people (the masses) that visit this journal on a regular basis. It should not be assumed that any of the shared comments in the last paragraph(s) or an entry are original thoughts. Some may be, some may not be. Credit will most likely NOT be given to those who said it first or best, so you will have to just try and figure it out for yourself.

Most of all, I wish you and yours the very best for this new year, and the hope that you find whatever it is you are looking for. And if you have enough, please share it with someone else.

Myth-Conception: If a bear is chasing you, head toward lower ground because bears cannot run as fast downhill. FACT: Bears can run about twice as fast as humans-uphill or downhill. Plus, they are excellent climbers. And, they can jump. So, should you stay where you are and simply play dead? If it's a mother bear guarding her cubs, then yes, she just wants to protect them and will likely leave you alone. If it's a hungry, predatory bear, it WILL catch you if it's close enough. Your best bet is to yell, and if necessary, fight back. When Jody and I were hiking in Alaska (once, many years ago), we were outfitted with little hand bells to ring, and instructed to yell BEAR on occasion, so as not to surprise any wildlife we might accidentally approach. It worked for us!