Saturday, December 31, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 365/0, 2022 - Saturday

Well, hell. I'm still poor. You cannot be anymore disappointed about this than I am. But, there is always the possibility that I will be rich next year. Time will tell. Today was a pretty good day, starting with a nice walk this morning. I got a lot of little bitty things done around the house today; I changed the HVAC filters, did laundry, went to an estate sale, bought nothing at the estate sale, went to Target and bought mostly dog food, and went to Homo Depot where I bought shower grab bars that hang on with suction cups. I have been advised that I need grab bars that are affixed more permanently, but I don't want to drill through the tile to affix the grab bars. So, as far as I am concerned, I am ready for the New Year, and if I am NOT, well...there is not a lot I can do about it now. I don't have too much on my list of chores to get done tomorrow, but I am pretty sure I can fill up the time with no real problems. Tonight, Marge and Dick hosted a quiet get together of the neighbors...probably about a dozen of us, and I left at 9:15. No one was under the illusion that we would stay awake until midnight. There were fire crackers starting about six o'clock, and a few fireworks, but I doubt I will know anything of it until sometime in the New Year. Have a blast, y'all!

Friday, December 30, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 364/1, 2022 - Friday

I. Am. Ready. By this time tomorrow, I expect to be financially stable, and practicing the signing of volumes of checks. I am ready to be in the world of discretionary dollar spenders. The really good thing is, I have a plan. Unfortunately, it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to share my windfall with you, but you are welcome to live vicariously through me, and pretend that you are on the receiving end of my great fortune. Today started off with a nice walk, and it was a bit less warm than the previous couple days. We all dressed properly, but midway through, we did a bit of shedding. Everything worked out well. I went in to the office where it was a very quiet day, and I left at about 1 o'clock and went to Costco. The parking lot was jam-packed, but it was not really too crazy inside. I made it home by about 2:30, and discovered that my loaf of bread was down to two loaf heels, which I love, so I had two pimento cheese flips for lunch. I am thinking of what I want to eat now, but it is more habit than hunger, so I am not sure what I will do. There is one estate sale I will be going to tomorrow, and I do have a few items on my list of things to get accomplished over the Holiday weekend. We shall see. It is weird to think that there is just one more day of this year. I don't know if the year went by quickly or not, what say ye?

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 363/2, 2022 - Thursday

Okay, interestingly, there are only two more days to this year. TWO. Not a bad day in central Texas, as usual, it started with a nice walk this morning, we were all overdressed. and at about the half-way mark we all shed jackets. I was intending to take the little white car in to the office this morning, but it was dribbling rain so I turned around and took the other car. By the afternoon, it was perfect convertible weather, so I should have been brave and gone ahead. I did stop and buy MegaMillions tickets on the way in, and who knows, maybe I will have some discretionary dollars soon. That would be really nice! Michael and Lynda came out to the Curious House this afternoon, and we went in to Georgetown for dinner. Really a good Italian dinner, too. The we walked around the square for a while, had a scoop of ice cream, and headed back. All-in-all, a really nice day! I kind of think the photo accompanying this post is in the top five of my worst photos over...Michael and Lynda look great, me...not o much.


Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 362/3, 2022 - Wednesday

It got up into the middle 70s today in central Texas. Right now it is in the low 60s, and it is not expected to get too much cooler (if at all) overnight. The winds have turned from the south now, which means warmer weather, and humidity is back. We are expecting fog and 100% humidity before morning. Interesting weather. It was a calm, lovely day today, and as usual it started with a walk. It is relatively quiet for us in the office this last week of the year, and I have no complaints about that. I was home by 2:30 this afternoon, and went down for a nice nap. Tonight was book club night, and we talked about the book for about 20 minutes, and then we talked about anything else we wanted to for the rest of the evening. In by 7, out by 9. It works for all of us. To be honest, I think we all had a good time, and Book Club will be at the Curious House in January. Marge and Dick are opening their house for New Year's, and again, in by 7, out by 9! It is really abstract to think that this year is almost over, and another one will start. Time marches on...

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 361/4, 2022 - Tuesday

I need to get this entry written and posted so I can go buy Lotto tickets. It's only about $565M, but I'll take it. We should have experienced our last freezing temperatures for the foreseeable future, and I hope it is true because I put the plants back outside that were inside the house. There are still a few plants in the garage, and I will get them out in the next day or so. One plant I had covered and put a light bulb under the cover more-or-less survived, but some of the leggier bits did freeze, and I trimmed those pieces and I think we are ready to go. I think most stuff will come back from the roots, so I am really not too concerned about the flora that I planted last year. If they don't really recover, I will replace them, but I have faith in their hardiness. The split I put in the garage in the spring of 2021 has never really worked to my liking, and it did not work at all during the recent freezing weather. I have had them out four or five times, and they were back today. I have no issue with the service company, I just think I got a lemon unit, and it needs to be replaced. I think that is going to be the ultimate decision. The ROMEOs met this morning, and we had a BLAST. As the only gay guy in the group, I had to seriously consider whether or not to tell one of the guys that his zipper was down. I am guilty of walking around for days with my zipper down, and no one ever notices or tells me. I caved, told him, and all was good. Not mentioning which ROMEO it was.

Monday, December 26, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 360/5, 2022 - Monday

SPOILER ALERT! This was kind of disappointing. I was on a good run of solving Wordle...I think I was 65 or 66 days of solving, and I did not solve the puzzle today. I would have been on a longer streak, but I forgot to play a couple times, and that resets your streak. Whatever. Today was a pretty good day, we had a nice walk this morning, and I did a few piddly things around the house. The best accomplishment was out on the front patio. To make a long story less boring, I fixed it so I could blow leaves and acorns off the patio and into the beds. That sounds suspiciously easy, but it wounds easier than it was. The first idea I had to fix it was way too complicated, so I came up with an easier solution, and now the front patio is all nice and clean. As long as I was at it, I cleaned off the driveway, too. One more night of sub-freezing temperatures, and then we are in the clear for at least a week. I will put plants back outside tomorrow, and that will be good for them and for me. I took the dogs for a walk again this afternoon, I think they enjoy it, and it is not a tremendous effort for me, so we might make it a thing.

Sunday, December 25, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 359/6, 2022 - Christmas Day

Let's face facts, you cannot ignore December 25th. Days and dates come and go, but some days and dates you cannot ignore. December 25th is one of those dates. When shit happens on a day like that, you tend to remember. September 11th. February 14th. January 1st. Other dates are not nearly as pretentious as December 25th. Like February 18th. December 3rd. April 1st. Today, I did just exactly what I wanted to do, and I did almost all of it alone, just the way I wanted to do it. I did not post a single thing on social media, I avoided answering the phone, I just took the day off and did stuff of minor significance. I did walk in the morning with Jay and Dick, but we started at 8 o'clock instead of 7 o'clock. Then I took a nap, and did a couple insignificant things around the house. You know, just those minor kinds of things that only cause inconveniences for a few seconds at a time. I thin put together a really cool dog stroller that Carrie gave me to mark the date, and then I headed in to the office. When I got home, I went down for another nap, and then I took the girls for a walk. I decided to do that on the drive back home from Austin, but after the nap, I was no longer motivated. But, I did it anyway, and I think the girls liked it, if the number of times they peed is any indication. Onward and upward!

Saturday, December 24, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 358/7, 2022 - Christmas Eve

It was a little bit too chilly for us to walk at our usual time this morning, but Jay and I walked at 9:30, and by the time we were finished, I decided I was wearing too many layers. As we walked a little ways down the Parkway, we realized whose house it was that burned yesterday. There are three Terri's (maybe Teri's) that we know of in the neighborhood, and it was the house of Terri Number Three that burned. We frequently see her walking in the mornings, and we always have a few salutations to share. It was an awful realization to know the person whose house had burned. It is awful no matter whose home it was, but knowing the owner, even casually, made it even worse. As we walked past the house, there were firemen looking around, and I asked if Terri were around somewhere. She is in Killeen with family, but her husband was there, and we told him who we were. He said Terri often mentioned having seen us, but they were all okay, and everyone was safe. Good to know. Later on in the day, I did go and visit with some other neighbors and distributed small gifts, and it was a beautiful day, sunny and clear, and it was above freezing. Still gonna be cold overnight, but I think that might be the last of our freezing weather for a while.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 357/8, 2022 - Friday

It was 11 degrees when I got up this morning, no walking for us. I did make it in to the office, and then I had MORE errands to run. I had an appointment to get my hair cut at noon, and then I made it home about 1 o'clock or so. I went down for a nap with the girls, and woke up about an hour later. The last thing I would have ever expected was a house on fire a couple blocks away from me. I heard the sirens, but did not think they were that close. I looked out the back window, and wondered why there were cars parked up and down the Parkway. I opened the blinds more and there was black smoke billowing out from behind some trees. Yep, a house was on fire. No word about how it started...I heard it started in a garage and the garage door was open. No idea of anyone being hurt, but allegedly there is a pretty good sized hole in the roof of the house. I will report more in this journal tomorrow. We are expecting another couple days of cold weather overnights. It did not get above freezing today, but so far, no terrible damage reported to anyone I know. No walking tomorrow, maybe on Christmas day, it is still too early to tell.

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Volume 14 -Day 256/9, 2022 - Thursday

I wonder what I did wrong? That could actually cover a lot of territory, but I am specifically meaning what I did wrong today with the garbage and recycling collectors. Every collection day, I leave bottles of water on the cans for them. The recycling guys only come every two weeks. Since it is Christmas week, I put two six-packs of beer on each can, and they did not take them. Do you think I insulted them? I thought they would appreciate the beer...I know they work really hard all year and get little appreciation, so I hope I did not offend them, that was not my intent. It was 51 degrees when I left for the office this morning, and it is 18 degrees right now. Expecting it to get down to 12 degrees overnight (maybe a bit colder), and it is not expected to be above freezing tomorrow. Very unseasonably cold temperatures for the next four days or so, and a week from today, we will be back in the 70s. I will go in to the office tomorrow, later than usual, but I am not too sure about walking in the morning. Maybe yes, maybe no. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 355/10, 2022 - Wednesday

It is going to get cold tomorrow, but it is not HOT right now. We had a good walk this morning, then I did some stuff around the house, and spent a good part of the morning running errands. Errands done, I got to the office about 12:30, and did a whole bunch of this-and-that, and then it was time for our annual Office Christmas Party. Attendees were dropping like flies, and everyone is trying to be very careful. If you don't feel well, stay home. It was a quiet, tasteful little group, and we had a lot of fun. Even though Austin is really a big city, and it looks like a big city, it still feels like a small town to me. It's not, and we prove that on a daily basis.

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 354/11, 2022 - Tuesday

I understand, and I think I understand much better than most, how tiring politics in Texas can be. But how could anyone ever tire of this building. I have been in it several times (more than several), and I have been up to the tippy-tippy-top of the building, just under the Goddess of Liberty. It is a magnificent place, full of stories, full of fun, full of tragedy, full of pros and cons. It is a place you can go and never see all the same stuff twice. I had a zoom meeting this morning at 10AM, so I was in the hod, and went over for a quick visit. I made it back to the meeting place in plenty of time for the meeting, and took this photo from Leslie's office. Not too shabby. After the meeting, I had a couple more errands to take care of, and on the way home from the office, I had a couple MORE errands to get done. Tomorrow is the annual office party, so I will be heading in to the office later than usual. If anybody wants to go the the party with me, let me know. There's always room for one more.

Monday, December 19, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 353/12, 2022 - Monday

It was supposed to rain today, but I think everyone was kind of surprised at how much rain fell. When we started our walk this morning, it started to rain. Dick and I turned around, Jay went ahead with Ginger. Pretty soon after I got back in the house, it quit raining. Of course it did. But it started again, and I headed in to the city at just a little after 8 o'clock. And then it rained like hell. I had a 10 o'clock appointment, but since I did not walk, I tried to squeeze in an errand before the 10 o'clock. Everything worked out, and I got to my 10 o'clock appointment exactly on time. At least I made it! My desk was a little bit littered with stuff since I was gone for a week, but I got it cleared off, and left the office about 2 so I could get to the Walgreen's for my second pneumonia shot. Last one was December 15, 2021 and today was the second one. Apparently, I don't have to get any more pneumonia shots, so that is okay with me. I'm hoping to walk in the morning, but I won't be able to go to the ROMEOs breakfast. I have another 10 o'clock appointment tomorrow that I had totally forgotten about. is almost a Holiday weekend, so that will be nice.

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 352/13, 2022 - Sunday

Okay, I'm home, and not a minute too soon. I checked the tv listings, and Forensic Files has not been cancelled. A new episode will be on later tonight! We were in the car by 8:30 this morning, got to Mike and Candy's house right at about noon. I went and picked up the girls, and they have been crashing out most of the day. They were exhausted! Or maybe I am just boring, it could go either way. Last Saturday I stopped all the clocks, and today I got them all started again. It was eerily quiet the day before I left for the cruise, but now it is white noise heaven! There is still one clock to get going, but I can't do that last one until 8:30. I made a trip to HEB, and I am now somewhat prepared for the upcoming snowmageddon, slated to arrive Thursday morning. They are predicting that we could have low temperatures of about 17, 19 and 25 degrees on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and the possibility that it could be below freezing for about 36 hours. Crapola! That is not good news for central Texas, where we are not prepared for prolonged cold spells. I expect we will all survive, though, and come out the other side doing pretty well. I have also made a New Year's Resolution that has nothing whatsoever to do with weight control or dieting. More to come about that as we get closer to the 31st.

Saturday, December 17, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 351/14, 2022 - Saturday

I am about 75% packed, and it will not take too much time tomorrow morning to get that chore finished. Breakfast at about 7:15 and we should be able to walk-off the ship tomorrow at about 8:30. If all goes well, we will make it home by about 1 o'clock in the afternoon, and I will pick up the dogs shortly after that. After I get home, I will need to make a grocery run, and that will be about the total of my activity for Sunday. Today was a pretty quiet day, sailing, sleeping, watching tv, eating. Typical cruise ship stuff. Someone mentioned to me that Cokes in Mexico are different than Cokes in the US. It appears that I have bought in to that, because I really do think they taste different that cokes at home. One thing that is not adequate, and is definitely different than other cruises I have been on, is the television choices. Yes, I can hardly survive without television, and I have been eight days without Forensic Files. I am Jonesing for some blood and guts. Tomorrow...

Friday, December 16, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 350/15, 2022 - Friday

Well, today was a really GOOD day, and it made up for the previous days that were just okay. There were a few setbacks to our plans for the day, but we need to remember that we are not in a place that is in a rush and a hurry all the time. Sooner-or-later is okay with me, but it took a couple days to get into that groove. the time I got into the groove, we are heading back. We were in Playa del Carmen, and we toured a condo development, had a nice lunch, survived a rain storm under a rooftop cover, and headed back to the port. We were back on the ship by 3:30 (CST), and I think we left the port about 4:30, not sure. I am posting this entry early, because I want to take a little nap, then go to dinner, and not have to worry with it later. That is code for I may have a glass or two of wine.

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 349/16, 2022 - Thursday wasn't the best day for visiting properties in Mexico while on this cruise, but we actually got inside one unit. A very nice condo, a really good price compared to costs in Austin. There were about thirty of us...maybe 40 on the tour today, and we are back on the boat heading to Cozumel, and another property tour tomorrow. Then Saturday will be a travel day, and I don't plan to do too much of anything at all. Not a very long post tonight, and I am ready to take a snooze.

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 348/17, 2022 - Wednesday

I am glad that the elevators tell you what day of the week it is, I still have to check a couple times. I think it was 2019 the last time I was in Roatan, and that was also the first time that Socar and I (against Socar's will) had a photo of our feet in the water here. She went willingly this time, lest her two kids accuse her (again) of being mean to me. No class today, instead, I went and visited a development that will soon break ground. Even though the new section is soon to break ground, we hung out at the pool, went to the beach, had a nice lunch, and generally just relaxed. A bus ride, to and from, and a teeny tiny bit of shopping from the bus to the boat. All-in-all, not a bad way to spend hump day. We are now on our way to Costa Maya (I think) and I will take another tour of properties available for sale. So...if you just happen to be in the market for an international retirement or primary residence, just let me know. I have opinions!

Tuesday, December 13, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 347/18, 2022 - Tuesday

Here are a couple questions that JoeMac will answer for me: Why is ship travel registered in Nautical Miles? Why aren't miles just miles? Question number 2: Why is a ships speed noted in knots and not miles per hour. I am so confused. And yes, I understand we should have switched to the metric system when I was in seventh grade, but we didn't. Today was a very nice, relaxed day. No class, no rushing about, nothing. I listened to a couple chapters of my book, and took long naps in between eating. I skipped breakfast in deference of a nice lunch and dinner. I did  little bit of exploring on the ship today, and I do not understand how this thing can float with all the stuff on it. A park, a carousel, stores, shops, pools, all kind of things to encourage embarrassing photographs. It turned cloudy this afternoon about 4:30, and then it rained a little bit. It is the mayoral election runoff in Austin today, so I am trying to keep up with that. 

Monday, December 12, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 346/19, 2022 - Monday

I haven't been doing a very good job of taking interesting photos on this cruise so far, but if you ever pondered what the butt hole of an elephant, sculpted from a bath towel looks like, ponder no more! I was hoping for a hippopotamus for Christmas, (a lion or a tiger will not do) but so far, the elephant will have to do. I took a class aboard the ship today, and it was good. I learned just enough to make it a success, so I have no complaints about that. Honestly, I have no complaints about anything much, so that is swell. There is not very much to watch on the ship television, but I am learning all about the sex lives of tarantulas and a good bit about British history. I should also mention the search for Cleopatra's tomb, and what happens when a nuclear submarine sinks. I am also well aware that one of the attractions of a cruise is the food. I generally eat one meal a day and then a bunch of junk. Here I am eating three meals a day, interrupted only by the consumption of junk. I need to be much more discriminating!

Sunday, December 11, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 345/20, 2022 - Sunday

Okay, so...there was no walk for me this morning. I took the girls over to Paulina and Val's last night, and I will pick them up in a week. It was REALLY quiet in the house last night. I stopped all the clocks yesterday afternoon. It is not good for them to wind down on their own, it is better to stop them and restart them. I got up kind of early this morning, finished packing, and left the house about 6:45. I stopped to get some Apple Fritters and Cranberry Orange muffins. Then it was off to Mike and Candy's house, and we left there about 8 o'clock or so, and headed to Galveston. Candy drove, I did very little in the back seat. We got to Galveston about 11:30, after a stop at Buccee's just outside of Galveston. We were on the ship by about noon-30, and to our rooms about 2:30. Then I was down for a nap, had dinner at 8, and now I am back in the room, ready to go to sleep. I'll take a class tomorrow, and I will be back to goofing off by 3. Good night.

Saturday, December 10, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 344/21, 2022 - Saturday

Even though today was Saturday, there was a lot of stuff crammed into it. It is really warm and humid for the 10th day of December, and again, I was glistening by the time I got home from my walk. After walking, I did a few chores around the house, and then Pam, Diane, Marge and I took off for estate sales. There were only three to hit today, and I did not buy anything, but Diane bought me a bell that I did not even see at the third sale. She apparently saw it before me, and bought it and gave it to me. There was a giant pig that I had my eyes on, but they were asking $150, and I did not think I wanted it that badly, not even if I talked them down to $100. was a purty big pig! After estate sales, I did a few more things around the house...laundry for one thing, and then I took the girls to the beautiful parlor. I am taking them every eight weeks, and that works just fine for Callie, but the piglet is much higher maintenance, so I may have to start taking them every six weeks or so. It is supposed to rain pretty heavily overnight, but so far nothing. 

Friday, December 9, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 343/22, 2022 - Friday

It's Friday! The weekend begins! The week was not particularly bad, I just suddenly relish the weekends and/or days that I do not go in to the office. Like Saturdays and Sundays. And Holidays. Or sick days. I never take a sick day. Dick and I had a good walk this morning, it was warm and kind of muggy. I was glistening by the time we finished, and then I had a zoom call at 8:30. After the zoom, I went in to the office, and left a little after 11 for an in person meeting at the Austin Board. It was a good meeting, and I was back at the office by about 1 o'clock. I got everything done that I needed to get done, and I was back home by about 3:30. Traffic was not bad going in this morning, but it was backed up on the way home. I cannot think of any stops I needed to make on the way home, and the girls were glad to see me. I think. I guess. Estate sales tomorrow morning, and then the girls are going to get beautified tomorrow afternoon. I have a few other chores I want to get done tomorrow as well, and never fear, I have a list. The photo accompanying this entry is that of a plant of some sort that was displaying some fall color foliage that I spied during the morning walk. There is not a lot of fall color in central Texas, so we take what we can get.

Thursday, December 8, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 342/23, 2022 - Thursday

As usual, real estate is relatively slow this time of year, and that is perfectly okay with me. Dick and I had a good walk this morning, and as I was heading in to Austin, I saw Jay walking with his dogs, Ginger and Willie. Deb came back from Vancouver with COVID last week, and Jay has tested positive and is not feeling great. He has been sleeping in, which I think is the best thing if you aren't feeling well. Sleep is the best drug for healing. There was a great traffic back up this morning, and I never was able to determine the cause, but it took much longer than usual to get in to Austin. Once in, I cleared off my desk, and got a few things done that I had been postponing for quite some time. I guess I am as ready as I can be for the new year, and there has not been a lot to do. The years just keep going by, and if you are watching General Hospital, you know that nothing really changes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 341/24, 2022 - Wednesday

On this date in 2013 (the day was a Saturday), I was installed at the Chairman of the Austin Board of REALTORS®. You can believe it or not, but I have proof! Today, I attended A Celebration of Leadership at the Austin Board, and I was joined by (about) a dozen past Chairs. It was a very nice event, and it was nice to be invited. Many of us old timers sat in the back of the auditorium so we could make a clean getaway, and this photo is of me (in the middle) with Socar Chatmon-Thomas and Cathy Coneway. Cathy was Chair immediately before me. I had an appointment at 10 o'clock this morning, and I should hear back about that in a day or two. Otherwise, it was a calm day in the office, and that is always a good thing. The rest of the week ought to be kind of quiet as well, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that. It was (officially) 82 degrees in Austin today, which is a record high temperature for the day. I remember in 2013 it was NOT warm, in fact, it was downright cold. But today was warm and I had the top down. I stopped at Little Cesars and brought home a deep dish pizza, which I expect will be my dinner for the next three or four nights. I just saw a commercial for Chia Pets, and I may need to go buy one of those.

Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 340/25, 2022 - Tuesday

If there was any doubt that central Texas, and specifically Austin, is the weird capital (Capitol?) of the world, this should put that notion to rest. After the last PAC meeting of the year, I was giving Nancy a ride to the airport. We (okay, I) screamed a variety of obscenities to the drivers around us that were doing stupid things, and then things calmed down a bit. As we got closer to the airport, we spotted this lady driving casually while hanging her snake out the car window. Just to be clear, I made sure she caught up to me at a traffic signal so I could document the event for all of you, my loyal followers. All 6 of you! Yep, sure enough, she was hanging a snake out her car window, and she seemed pretty proud of it. It looks like a young Burmese python, but I am not a snake expert, so you are welcome to chime in with corrections. After that, the trip to the airport was relatively uneventful. I have a 10 o'clock appointment in the morning, and then it will be office time, and the rest of the week will be pretty calm. It was 82 degrees in central Texas this afternoon, and we are expecting much of the same for the immediate future. Pretty darned nice if you ask me...

Monday, December 5, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 339/26, 2022 - Monday

Well, yes indeed, this was a Monday. In fact, it could have been two or three Monday's all wrapped up in one ugly big package. It could have been worse, I could be living somewhere that is having the utility structure destroyed by missiles, or I could be living somewhere that has the electric infrastructure used for target practice, resulting in tens of thousands of consumers in the dark. But no, I live in central Texas where my clients and colleagues are plagued with first world problems. But, tomorrow is another day, and hopefully it will not be another Monday. At least not until next week. As an old person, I tend to get into habits, and I am pretty set in my ways. I have had habits and peculiarities for decades; things like the consistent number of times I apply deodorant under my arms every day, and the number of paper towels I use in public restrooms. There are more, many more, but please just don't even ask. However, one habit I have always enjoyed and have only recently fully embraced, is going to estate sales on Saturday mornings. I almost always find something I did not know I needed, and this past Saturday I found this plastic goose on someones back patio, and decided I needed it very badly. There were several other must have items found on that same day (there were five estate sales), and it is always fun. SO...when the time comes, you need to make sure you attend the estate sale at the Curious House!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 338/27, 2022 - Sunday

So...I can no longer say that I have not eaten sushi, because that was pretty much all I had for dinner tonight. It was a pretty typical Sunday for me, starting with our morning walk. Jay and Deb are back from their fact finding trip to Vancouver, WA, so Jay joined us this morning. It seems Deb has returned from the trip feeling badly, and she tested positive for Covid this morning. UGH! After the walk, I did a few chores around the house, including trimming some suckers off one of the oak trees in the back yard. That chore has been on my list for about three weeks, so I am glad that it has been completed. Then it was on to brunch with Alisha, Reuben and Terry. Then home for a nap, but I never was able to actually fall asleep. The Piglet is very unhappy with me because I washed her face this afternoon. I headed in to Austin and stopped at the office, where there was not much for me to do while I was there. Then, I went and picked up Nancy, Melinda and Nicole, and we headed off to dinner. We were joined by Andrea, Leslie and Ben, and I made it home about a half-hour ago. This week will have its' ups-and-downs, so I am getting ready for that.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 337/28, 2022 - Saturday

Okay, listen up. Today is my birthday. There. I. Said. It. Now, be quiet! It was really a nice day, starting with a nice walk in the morning, then there were five estate sales to hit. The housekeeper came today, so everything is clean and neat. Mostly. There were lots of phone calls, messages, and happy thoughts sent my way, and that was really nice. I tried to acknowledge them, but I still have some calls to return tomorrow. The neighborhood peeps took me to dinner this evening, and then we went to the Downtown Holiday Stroll and Sing-Along. There was not a lot of strolling, there was a pretty good bit of singing, and then there was the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree. After that, we walked inside the Capitol, and a couple peeps had not been inside before. All-in-all, it was a great day, and I thank you for all the kindnesses and happy thoughts you sent and send every day. Thanks! I tell you, I don't look too bad in this photo, given my age and all...and I did not even remember to hold my stomach in!

Friday, December 2, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 336/29, 2022 - Friday

It is a long story, about a mortgage, escrowed dollars, county taxes, etc. I was directed by Wells Fargo to FAX them a copy of the county tax bill (they did not receive it from the county), and there was a chance that they would pay it in December. Otherwise, I will not have paid taxes to show on my income tax, but there will be TWO property tax payments in 2023. Not gonna like that. The big challenge here was to FAX it to them. I do not have a FAX machine. This is 2022. I went to a Wells Fargo bank in Georgetown where they agreed to FAX the documents on my behalf, but they could not provide me with a verification sheet that the FAX was received. SO...I went to the UPS store, where they FAXed it for $1.90 AND they gave me the verification that the FAX request was received. I am not sure that this could be considered progress, and I am even more unsure that Wells Fargo will actually get the taxes paid this year. I will follow up with them in a couple weeks. Do y'all have any opinions on this? One more thing...why would the bank leave the vault open? That doesn't make sense to me, but there it was. I didn't get too close, just in case there was some sort of trap being laid for me. I wish I had a vault in the Curious House, and think that would be the ultimate cats pajamas. 

Thursday, December 1, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 335/30, 2022 - Thursday

It was not nearly as cold this morning for our walk, and I attribute that to the lack of wind. It was a nice walk, and I headed in to the office a little bit earlier than usual, since it was going to be a busy day. It's the first of the month, and that means it will be busy. Michael and Lynda invited me to lunch today at a place none of us had yet tried; Jewboy Burgers on Airport Boulevard. I understand they started as a food truck, and now they have at least two brick-and-mortar locations. It was a busy place, and the food was great! The photo accompanying this post is Father Thom (or Tom?), and when he walked in to the place, I told Michael and Lynda that he was a living oxymoron. I couldn't stand it until I got up and asked him for a selfie...he looked kind of puzzled, and I said it is not every day you see a priest at Jewboy Burgers. He and his lunch companion cracked up, and he said, if it weren't for the Jews, he wouldn't have a job. I wonder if this post is going to end me up in Facebook jail? I hope not, I'm just commenting on what I see as I make another day in central Texas.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 334/31, 2022 - Wednesday

It was a solo walk this morning; Jay is in Washington state and Dick had an early morning appointment. I left the house early and got home early, and I took a path that we don't always take. In the last few months, the subdivision has worked on some of the trails in the neighborhood, and Jay and I walked this trail once after they had finished. I walked it again this morning, and I really like the diversion and the different point of view it provides. I had thought this detour was a little bit shorter than our usual route, but it seems it is a little bit longer. Either way, it was interesting, and I will encourage Dick to take that route tomorrow morning. Since I walked early, I left the house early and went in to the office. I have been working on an update to some information we include with our lease listings. It had not been updated for four or five years, so it was time. I condensed it and made some necessary corrections, so I got that finished this morning. I had an appointment in the office, and then left for home at about 2 o'clock. I stopped at Little Cesar's and brought home a pizza. It is only the second or third time I have been to Little Cesar's, so I don't really know the protocol, but it seems that if I want a deep dish ready-to-go pizza, I need to be there between 4 and 8 PM. Tonight is book club night, and it will be fun to meet at Dick and Marge's house for some good conversation. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 333/32, 2022 - Tuesday

It was another top down kind of day today in central Texas. The last I paid attention, it was 82 degrees. The high temperature for tomorrow is expected to be about 25 degrees cooler than today, and windy. WINDY. Blown away windy. There were only three of the ROMEOs at breakfast this morning, me, Richard and Jack. Jay was on his way to Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR...I'm not exactly sure where the airport is. He and Deb were plagued with delays, missed connecting flights, and interminable first world inconveniences. Stuff we cannot control are the most frustrating. We ordered Chinese food for lunch today at the office. I should have ordered Sesame Chicken but I ordered Sweet and Sour Chicken instead. I won't make that mistake again. On the way home, I had a 2 o'clock appointment, and that was pretty good. Fun folks. The neighborhood is starting to look pretty festive. This photo is Mo and Jo's house on the corner, I think you can see it from the space shuttle. 

Monday, November 28, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 332/33, 2022 - Monday

What a beautiful day it was today in central Texas. It was a bit chilly this morning, but the afternoon high was about 78 degrees. It was so nice, I left the top down on the little white car, turned the heat on, and drove in to Austin. I will do the same thing tomorrow, it is supposed to be another beautiful day, but then a cold front comes in on Wednesday, but it warms back up for the weekend. There were not any fires to be put out in the office after the long weekend, and that is always a good thing. Pretty much an ordinary day, which is another thing I like. I left the office about 2, stopped at the pharmacy and headed home. There was a wreck on the way in this morning, in the toll lane, which is kind of interesting. It had traffic backed up for a way, and I could hear the flashing lights and see the sirens (or vice versa). When I was in high school, there was a line in a play I was in...the line was 'this cabin is made out of driftwood and fish hooks,' and the guy whose line it was always said 'fishwood and drift hooks.' Isn't it interesting the things we remember. I wonder if that is a sign of something to come? I am happy that the Christmas Cactus in the bathroom is getting ready to bloom, right on schedule!

Sunday, November 27, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 321/34, 2022 - Sunday

When the four-day Holiday weekend began, I had 14 items on my list of chores that I wanted to get checked off. As of the posting of this journal entry, I still have two items left, and I will carry those two items over to my next list, and I will keep doing that until I get them checked off, too. The day started off with our morning walk, and it was a lovely morning. For the first time in several days, there was a beautiful sunrise, which made for a great shadow photo-op. I had a couple appointments this afternoon, and on the way home, I stopped at McDonald's for a Filet-O-Fish Meal and an extra Filet-O-Fish. Now, I am watching a documentary Super Size Me, about a guy that ate at McDonald's three times a day for a month, and all the stuff that happened to him, health wise. I don't think this is going to end well, but there you have it. I also watched the latest 60 Minutes a while ago, and I am convinced that the only reason I have survived is because I am friendly. Friendly and fat, it is kind of an oxymoron for life in Texas. I have a pretty light schedule this week coming, and that is not a bad thing.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 330/35, 2022 - Saturday

Not a bad day at all today. A nice walk in the morning, and then a little bit of nothing for a while. Deb and I went to one estate sale, and I spent a few dollars on a couple (3) things that I absolutely needed. Then home. Then I was off to the battery store, to get some batteries for the two alarm pads. They did not have them. So, I ordered them from Amazon. I don't know why I go anywhere anymore for shopping. I have not yet ordered groceries on line, and I will know that I have been defeated when that happens. I guess it is inevitable, but I will resist it as long as I can. I invited the neighbors over for wine this evening, and it was a lot of fun. We have not gathered for wine in a while, and it was nice to visit. One thing I like, we begin at 7 and we end at 9. Not 9:01. 9! I am not sure what all tomorrow will bring, I do have appointments beginning at 1 o'clock tomorrow afternoon. We are expecting the temperatures to be near 80 degrees next week, then another cold snap. Texas!

Friday, November 25, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 329/36, 2022 - Black Friday

I did not buy anything today, I think that makes two days in a row. It is not all my fault, though. I did go into Georgetown for a couple things: I had a load of things to take to Goodwill, and then I wanted to stop at Diva on the square, just to see what they had. I saw something there last year that I should have bought, and when I went back about a week later, it was sold. I spoke with someone, and they will not be stocking it this year. Boo. Sorry, wrong Holiday. It has been another day of dribbling rain, and it is supposed to rain heavily overnight. We should end November with a respectable amount of rain, but we are still about ten inches behind where we should be this year. The neighborhood is starting to look pretty festive, and it is good to see the colored lights amidst the rain and fog. There is one estate sale to attend tomorrow, and I will be matter what!

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 328/37, 2022 - Thanksgiving Day

And so this is how it all started. Egg Loaf. The girls and I had a nice egg loaf for breakfast, and I included half of an apple fritter, just to note the special occasion. But I am getting ahead of myself. Jay and Dick and I met for our walk this morning, and I thought I noticed a couple lightning flashes, but could not be sure. By the time Jay and Ginger got out, it was raining a bit more heavily, there was lightning and thunder. So, the walk was cancelled. That is when I did the egg loaf. After egg loaf, I went down for a nap. Off-and-on naps throughout the day, with bursts of energy interspersed just to keep things interesting. I am actually reading a book, and it is on my list to get done over the long weekend. I am about a third of the way through it, and it is pretty interesting. The Paris Apartment. So far the longest chapter has been about five pages, which in itself is pretty interesting. I also gathered up more things to take to Goodwill tomorrow, and now I have about a thousand coat hangers to deal with. I had brisket and pork ribs for dinner this afternoon, and I went to Jay and Deb's tonight to watch a movie. All-in-all a good Thanksgiving, being by myself for the most part, and really enjoying the day. It was good. I have a couple things I want to do tomorrow, and it will be another good day!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 327/38, 2022 - Wednesday

There was no lack of topics (and photos) for me to choose from for this journal entry: Sunrise, assholes, wrecks, assholes, Deb. I chose to go with Deb, my neighbor down the street, who came and harvested the first Meyer lemon from my back patio plant. There are still about 11 more that a almost ready to be picked and passed out to friends and colleagues. I hope it makes a great lemon zest for her Thanksgiving dinner tomorrow. It smelled really good. Or maybe that was me, I'm not sure, but I am pretty sure it was the lemon. The sunrise was really brilliant this morning while we were walking. Dick did not walk, he was having a bit of a reaction to his latest Covid vaccination. Assholes. Where shall I begin. The traffic this morning was expectedly light, but what traffic there was the result of a bunch of maniacal drivers. I repeat: Leave Earlier. Then there was the guy at Upper Crust that parked his truck sideways in three spaces in front of the store. We were patiently in line, supposing that they parked that truck just to keep things from looking so congested. We were wrong. The guy came out with a cup of coffee and a bear claw, and said his truck was too big to park otherwise. I goaded to woman in front of me in line to become a Karen, and she let loose on him. It does not take much to turn otherwise pacifist pie seekers into an angry mob. I am very proud of myself, she became crazy by proxy. I am pretty sure I am ready for tomorrow, even though we are expecting rain for the next two days. We will take whatever we can get!

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 326/39, 2022 - Tuesday

...and, speaking of estate sales...these little treasures were happened upon at the last estate sale we hit last Saturday. FREE! There was a note in the box, FREE! So, of course, I loaded them up, much to the chagrin of Diane, Deb and Marge. They do not seem to understand my new fascination with old baby dolls. Well, I am not sure I do either, but I just started looking for old dolls. Admittedly, I will have to clean these up a bit before I bring them in the house, but they are lovely in their own right. Even the one-eyed one. I think I will nick name her Dead Eye. If anyone has a Chucky doll in the attic that they no longer want, I will be happy to pay the freight. It just makes the Curious House even more curiouser! One zoom yesterday, one zoom today, and a listing appointment this afternoon with Maggie. It was a good appointment, the house needs some work, and we don't really expect the house to go on the market until sometime next year. Pool, view and yard. The Seller called it the trifecta. It will be fun, and it is always fun getting to work with Maggie. I am finishing off a bottle of wine I opened about a month ago. Over the long weekend, I will do some work out in the garage, which includes bringing two boxes of wine in...just to make more room in the garage. Tomorrow is the last day of office stuff for this week, I think we should all consider working three-day-weeks, especially for six or eight months after we set the clocks forward of back. Just sayin'.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 325/40, 2022 - Monday

We could well be twins, just born 70 or so years apart. It seems we are both pretty whiny, and we don't necessarily go quietly into that good night. Plus we both fart a lot! Maggie came by the office this afternoon, and brought along baby Margo who will be six weeks old in a couple days. Or maybe five weeks old in a couple days, I apparently was not paying that much attention. Anyway, both Maggie and Margo are doing well, and it was really good to see them both. I do not have a lot of experience holding babies, but I am obviously a champ at making babies cry. That was almost effortless. It had dribbled rain all day long today, and I thought there was a zero percent chance of rain tomorrow, but that has been revised to a 10% chance. I have a property photo shoot scheduled, so we will just wait and see if it happens. Either way, everything will work out the way it is supposed to, and everything will be just fine! And...if you see Margo, tell her I said hi!

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 324/41, 2022 - Sunday

Well, the day started with a pretty chilly walk with Dick, Jay and Ginger (the dog). As usual, on out morning walks, we solve most of the world's problems, and today was no different. After the walk, I did a few chores around the house, and then I was off to be the trash man at the Austin Empty Bowl Project. I got there at about 9 o'clock, and I was surprised that there was not a line around the block waiting to get in. But, things progressed from there and there was a steady stream of people getting in line to buy bowls and have soup and bread, and to listen to the entertainment. I left about 11:30, since there was not a lot of trash to be collected. I stopped and got a few errands done on the way home, so I call the day a success. I even got a nap in, and right now, I am waiting for the football game to be over. so I can watch 60 Minutes and get depressed. The real highlight of the day was seeing my friend Kelly at the Project, and having the chance to do our annual selfie. I love her, and we are plotting and planning a surprise for next year. We shall see...

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 323/42, 2022 - Saturday

Okee-Dokee. Another year down for the Austin Empty Bowl Project Preview Party. Tomorrow, I will head back in to Austin and assume my role as the Trash Man at the Empty Bowl Project annual event. I enjoy being the trash man, it has very little responsibility, I just walk around, availing myself as the collector of trash. I have happily volunteered for this role for more years than I can remember, and it always a lot of fun. Now, back to the ordinary. It was a good walk this morning, but it was cold and kind of dribbly. A quick shower, then done. Another quick shower, then done. That is pretty much the way the day went, cold, wet and grey. We hit four estate sales today, and we all scored something, so that is the mark of a successful day of sales. Then, it was time for a nap, and then off to the Preview Party.Now, I am ready for bed, and so I bid you a a good night! Oh, the photo is at the Central Texas Food Bank, left to right: Michele, Andrea, me, Leslie, Eileen and Becky. Just part of the group. The sign behind us says 'Nourishing.'

Friday, November 18, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 322/43, 2022 - Friday

If it's Friday, I had my usual (usually unusual) 8:30 zoom call this morning. I always like it when I get to raise my voice. It went on longer than usual (unusually long), and I did not leave for town until after 10 o'clock. I got in to the office and did some power real estate, and then it was off to the Sine Die Smokers 2022 Cookin' for a Cause. This year is the 20th year they have done the event, and it benefits No Hunger, Inc., and the Central Texas Food Bank. Mace (see photo, when did he get so tall, and his mom Holly in the middle) started No Hunger, Inc. several years ago, and he is now a High School Freshman. I was late to this game, and have been attending a couple years, and this year Carrie and I became sponsors. There are so many great causes! Back to the office after a really good lunch, and then went to preview a property, and then I got my hair cut. Hairs. Then home, and I am in for the night. Tomorrow will be kind of busy, and so will Sunday Tomorrow will be estate sales (4) and tomorrow night is the Preview Party for the Austin Empty Bowl Project. On Sunday, I will be the trash man for empty bowl, and later that evening I will have a meeting with a prospective client. Life is good.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 321/44, 2022 - Thursday

It appears that we are in for a period of grey days and biting cold. Cold for us in central Texas is a lot different than cold in places where it really gets cold. Don't judge. is supposed to be cold AND raining on Saturday. Ugh. I fully expect we will survive this latest first world inconvenience, although it will be worth at least a few days of whining. Bring it on! It was chilly when the walk started this morning, and then I think it became even colder by the time we were finished. I went to a TREPAC luncheon this afternoon, and I swear it was colder after lunch than before lunch. The thermometer in my car said it was about 60 degrees on the way home, but I did not really feel it. The luncheon was very nice, and once again, it was really nice to see friends and colleagues that have been out of pocket since COVID. The photo accompanying this journal entry includes Owen (South Carolina), me, Cathy (Austin), and Ben (Beaumont). It was fun, food was good, and I was served the biggest carrot I have ever seen. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 321/44, 2022 - Wednesday

Thank good ness for the Glucosamine-Chondroitin! If Costco had not changed the location of that over the counter miracle, I would have been long gone before I was. No food sampling for me, I have a mission. But, because I was delayed in my search, I, on the way to the check-out, was hailed by a good friend that I have not seen in five or six years. Paul called out to me, and I was so very glad to see him. We chatted for just a few minutes, but it was really good to see him. He offered his condolences about Jody, and told me he was sure Nancy would want him to say hello for her. It was very nice, and it was so very good to see him. Otherwise, it was a good day, a good walk, a good couple of appointments, a good series of phone calls to prospective clients, a good day looking at new listings and then the visit to Costco. The only down part of the day was attending the annual HOA meeting of the subdivision. There are still some homes to be built out, and there are currently close to 350 homes sold. There were less than 30 people that attended the meeting, but it could have been worse. It could have gone in to overtime, but it didn't! A perfect ending.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 319/46, 2022 - Tuesday

Well, I think the lemons are just about done. There is still just a bare hint of green on them, so if you are a lemon authority, please let me know your thoughts. I had no idea how long lemons took to ripen, but it seems like these have been eight or nine months, at least. There are about a dozen of them on this Meyer lemon plant, so there will be plenty to share. I just checked with Mrs. Google, and she said they can stay on the tree as long as I want and they will remain fresh, but I need to remove them before a big freeze. We have had a couple chilly mornings, but the bush is relatively well protected from the worst part of the heat and cold. I got back in to the office today after being out of town for six days. Everything was pretty well under control, and I even took an on-line class this afternoon. I did get most everything cleared off my desk, and I can start fresh tomorrow. 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 318/47, 2022 - Monday

I am having a difficult time realizing that today is Monday, because I was not supposed to come home until tomorrow, so, I think it is Tuesday. I changed my flight the other day to return early, and I am glad to get home. We have had a few days right at the freezing mark, I think most of the plants made it, but I am not too sure about the plumeria. It might be touch and go until spring. Dammit. I went and picked up the girls, and I think they are happy to be home, it is kind of hard to tell. They had a good time with Paulina, Val and Oliver, so that is good. I attended my final NAR BOD meeting this morning, I roll off as a NAR Director at the end of this year, but at the beginning of the year, I will take a seat as a Texas Director. It is good to be home, and I will be calling it an early night. The photo accompanying this entry was taken this morning of me with my two wicked step sisters, Deborah and Nancy. They are wicked and evil, but I love them both. And they tolerate me!

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 317/48, 2022 - Sunday

Okay, this is my penultimate day of this NAR NXT Conference. It started with a Texas REALTOR® Pre-Caucus breakfast at 8 o'clock this morning, and that was full of information needed to be reviewed before our Board of Directors meeting tomorrow morning. After that meeting, we went back over to the trade show for a while, and then there was a session with Venus Williams (which I did not attend), and then our Region 10 (Texas and Louisiana) Caucus. The caucus ended on time at 6, and then we were off to dinner at a Greek restaurant called The Taverna. Lots (and I mean LOTS) of good food, and hanging out with my PAC peeps and Marty and Debbie. THe perfect ending to the next to the last day here in Orlando.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 316/49, 2022 - Saturday

Okay, another long and great day of governance and meeting up with colleagues from across the country at the NAR NXTConference in Orlando. The opening session was at 8:30 this morning on one end of Orlando, and my 10:30 Public Policy Coordinating Committee meeting was at the other end of Orlando. Kidding. The meetings were just at polar opposites of the Orange County Convention Center and the Hyatt. After those meetings (and lunch), I went down for a nap. Then it was up to get ready for the night's events: SeaWorld and a concert with John Mellencamp. John Mellencamp was the winner, hands down. The concert was not just a simple, outdoor concert. They shut the Icon Center (Icon Park? Icon Something) down for us, and it was food, drink, fun and concert. We all had a really great time. Shuttle bus back to the hotel, and then a little while in the hotel bar where we watched the last pitiful minutes of the UT/TCU game. BUT...overall it was a really good day!