Monday, January 31, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 31/334, 2022 - Monday

There is a house in New Jersey built in the shape of an elephant, a house in Oklahoma shaped like a chicken, and a house in Massachusetts made entirely of newspapers. So...I did NOT go in to the office today, and may not go in the rest of this week. I am not particularly feeling bad, I am just trying not to have anyone infected by me. I am not sure that, even though I am testing negative, I may still be able to transmit something. So, I am not going to take the chance. Ideally, that would put me back in the office on Thursday (five days after testing negative), but beginning on Thursday, we are supposed to experience some REALLY cold weather. Below freezing for many hours, and the possibility of some icing in the area. We are being told that it will not be another round of weather like we had a year ago, but who knows. There is still time. It has been raining most of the day today, and we have had a few breaks in the rain, at which time I try to take the girls outside, and it starts raining again while we are out there. Kind of like getting the car washed. Add to all that, the girls are not really too interested in getting their feet wet, and that just puts another degree of difficulty into it. Hopefully, we will all dry out tomorrow.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 30/335, 2022 - Sunday

During one lifetime, the average person eats sixth thousand pounds of food-the weight of six elephants. I am always happy to find things of which I am above average. I think I beat this one by the time I was 10 or 12. I tested negative twice today, so that is a good thing. After I tested the first time this morning, I got in the car and went to the donut-drive-thru. My senses of smell and taste have still not returned fully, but there are some things I can smell if I stick my nose into it; scented candles are the easiest things that I can definitely smell. Still no real good sense of taste. I've tried chocolate glazed donuts, and the rest of yesterdays pizza. Next on the list is a chocolate eclair. I will report back to you later. Against my better judgement, I took the plants out of the garage and out of the house, and put them outside. It is supposed to rain overnight, so I want them to get some good water. Extra cold mornings Thursday and Friday, so I will have to bring everything back in, but I pretty much have it all down to a science. I haven't decided whether or not I will go in to Austin tomorrow, but the fact that I am thinking about it, means I will indeed go in to the office. Tomorrow is the last day of the month, and we need to get IRS reporting stuff out as well, so I will go in to see what kind of chaos I can cause. Tonight's photo is of my refrigerator. If I didn't know better, I would swear it was the refrigerator at my fraternity house, back in 1969. There is truly not much difference!

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 29/336, 2022 - Saturday

A sneeze travels out of your mouth at more than one hundred miles per hour. I have been putting that theory to the test for the past several days. I was all ready to test negative today, but it was just not meant to be. Another positive test. I will do it again tomorrow. I am thinking I am getting some of my senses back (not common sense, unfortunately), and I just went in to the kitchen and stuck my nose in a baggy with a sliced lemon in it, and nothing. Maybe tomorrow. SO...since there was nothing better to do, I thought I would try my luck at ordering pizza on-line. At 2 o'clock this afternoon, I went on-line and ordered pizza (and stuff) from Dominos. Forty-eight dollars later (pizza, salad and some cheesy bread, delivery fee and tip), I hit the button. Two hours later, no pizza. I called the store that was supposed to do the delivery, and they said they had no record of it. I placed my order with them, and the charge was $27. Who says ordering on-line is cost effective? Thirty minutes later, I had my order, and I can eat on all that for at least the next day or so. I also decided to cook something for breakfast this morning, and it turned out very nicely, if I do say so myself. I have enough of these for a couple days, too!

Friday, January 28, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 28/337, 2022 - Friday

Before the 1800s, there were no separately designed shoes for right feet and left feet. 'This' morning, 'I did a thing,' which is the same thing I do almost every Friday morning. A zoom call with my TREPAC buds. Then, later this afternoon, there was another zoom thing with all the Texas Trustees. My 'fur babies' made appearances during both meetings. In between times, I thought about taking a couple naps, but that did not happen. I put the covers back on the hose bibs outside, and brought the plants all back inside. 'The struggle is real!' Marge brought me some saltine crackers after she went shopping at HEB, and I just finished the homemade soup she brought me yesterday. 'So that happened,' and I feel much better already. It is no fun feeling even a little bit badly when you are here by yourself, because there is no one around that you can make miserable. I have a little bell, but whenever I ring it, nobody shows up. And I am tired of 'adulting.' I guess I could ask 'my person' to contact somebody elses person, maybe I could hire someone to commiserate with me, but if they got here, I would just have to explain that 'I'm not crying, you're crying!' What a bunch of babies.I've got 'all of the feels' working for me right now, and 'I'm just gonna leave this here,' and I will chat with you all more tomorrow.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 27/337, 2022 - Thursday

If you were to dig a hole from one side of the Earth to the other, and jump into it, it would take about forty-two minutes to reach the opposite end. At that point, you would fall back into the hole and repeat the trip back-and-forth forever. So, I have not tested myself today, and my temperature has fluctuated between 97 degrees and almost (not quite) 100 degrees. It's pretty interesting how much food you can consume without even tasting any of it. I ate half of one of my Blizzards last night, and that is a first for me. I will have the other half later. Today I've eaten a bagel, some yogurt, a pimento cheese sammich, and an apple. Marge brought me down some homemade chicken soup, and I had a couple bites. I will save that for tomorrow. Dick said she is going to HEB tomorrow, and I ordered a box of saltine crackers. I have not slept as much today as I did yesterday, but I have dozed off and on. Last week, I got calls from a 'Spam Risk' that said they were contracted by my primary physician and that they wanted me to make an appointment to do a blood draw, something about checking something to see if I was prone to diabetes. I called my doctor, and he said he knew nothing about it, and that he would not go if he were me. They kept at it, and I kept the verbal abuse going, and I made an appointment for today at 9:30. I called this morning and cancelled the appointment, and Googled the number, and this is what came up. It is (allegedly) a place on Williams Drive, and I will go past one day next week and scope it out. I spent some time blocking out the numbers, but then I changed my mind. If it is a legit place, their phone needs to say something besides 'Spam Risk.'

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 26/339, 2022 - Wednesday

Chickens lay more eggs when pop music is playing. Today was a day full of ups and down. I did my walk this morning, and I was feeling like I was getting a cold or was plagued with allergies. Nope. COVID. I tested three times, it's COVID. Really, not awful, just like a cold. No sore throat, a good bit of coughing, a LOT of sneezing. The highest temperature was 100 degrees, so I guess I am lucky, it could be worse. SO...I did not go in to Austin today, and I doubt I will for the rest of the week. I slept most of the day, and the girl dogs were just fine with that. I did go outside a couple times with the girls and I did walk down to the mail box, but that is pretty much it. I think tomorrow will be a repeat. The worst part of it is, there is really nothing on tv. I may have to break down and figure out how to get Netflix on the tv. I did stop at Dairy Queen yesterday and got two Blizzards, so I think I will break one of them out after I finish this entry. We had our neighborhood Book Club meeting tonight by zoom, and everyone is doing fine. We had not seen Dick since his surgery on January 4th, so it was good for him to be able to login and say hello. My Meyer Lemon tree (does this look like a Meyer Lemon?) has had buds on it, but none of the buds have actually opened. Do I need two trees for pollination, or are they self-pollinating? 

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Volume 14 - Day25/340, 2022 - Tuesday

Two million different combinations of sandwiches can be made from a Subway menu. Another cold, rainy and grey day in central Texas. We walked this morning, and it was not too bad. The ROMEOs met for breakfast after our walk, and then I headed in to the office. I had a twelve o'clock appointment, and then I headed off to the airport. I finagled an in-person appointment with Customs and Border Protection to get my Global Entry stuff done, and now I am all officially approved. They apparently don't look too closely at all my background stuff (just kidding CBP, that's a joke), so now I have my official ID number and I should get my official card in about two weeks. I have an appointment for an in-person interview in April in Ft. Lauderdale, and I have made my airline reservations, so I will cancel the appointment and spend a couple days with Mikey and his sister Norma. That will be fun, and I am looking forward to it. After that appointment, I headed back to the office and got a few more things done, and then I headed home. Ugh. On the way home, I stopped at Dairy Queen and got two medium size Cookies and Cream Blizzards. That ought to keep me for a while! The big gossip, and I need to be perfectly clear, is that I did not make out with Elton John last weekend when I was in Houston. He did slip me a little note, but I rejected his advances. JOKE! That's another joke! Oh, for Pete's sake!

Monday, January 24, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 24/341, 2022 - Monday

On average, humans fart once per hour. Finally, something I can claim to be above average at. I spend a good deal of time trying to unsubscribe myself from various e-mail solicitors. I used to just report them as spam, and that did not seem to make a difference. Unsubscribing seems to actually make a difference. YIPPEE! The day started cold and wet. When our walk started, it was not raining, but there was a stray drop felt now and again. Then the dribbles got a bit more frequent, then it stopped. Then it started again, a bit harder, but then it quit again. We all made it home just before the rain really took hold, but all through the day, we only recorded 0.17". That makes just about 0.7" for the month, and we will take whatever we can get at this point. I have not eaten anything really healthy today, not including the cucumbers and carrots. Cookies have been high on my intake sheet, and I just remembered, I had a banana this morning, and an apple at the office. I ordered a bedazzler thing the other day, and it arrived this afternoon. I have no idea exactly what I might bedazzle, but the possibilities are endless. Stay tuned. I may start a side hustle. All things equal, today was a good day, it could be a little warmer and it could be a little dryer, but, what the hell...

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 23/342, 2022 - Sunday

There is a lot to be said for not adding too much to your chore list on any given day. I had six things on my list of tasks, and I got them all checked off, and even did a few extra things. Our walk was good this morning, we went exploring the new sections of the subdivision. They have installed curbs in several areas, and I guess that soon there will be more civilization out here. Darn it. We will all just have to make the best of it. After the walk, I needed to change batteries in the smoke detectors. I have six smoke detectors, and one of them would chirp every ninety minutes or so. It was in the front of the house, and I never could narrow it down to which one it was. So, all the batteries have been changed, and I am good for a while. I hope. I have changed batteries in smoke detectors dozens of times, and I cannot understand why some batteries slip right in, and some put up a fight. Two of the six today gave me trouble, but I came out as the victor. I put plants back outside, watered all of them, swept up fallen leaves from inside the house, and did a little more this-and-that. I even rearranged the garage the tiniest bit, but that felt good. I had been ignoring the garage in recent weeks, so a good twenty-minute re-do felt like an accomplishment. And, the piglet just wants to say hello.

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 22/343, 2022 - Saturday

Children between the ages of two and seven color, on average, for twenty-eight minutes, every day. Honestly, yesterday and today were a couple of the best days I have had in the last couple of years. I bought the tickets to Elton John in 2020, thinking the concert was going to be in 2021. Nope, I bought tickets to a concert in 2022. Fair enough, I can be a patient person on occasion. I worried and worried and worried about the tickets, because I am not totally technically savvy, and the tickets were not paper, they were only available of an app on my phone. Thankfully, many of my friends are geniuses, and everything worked out fine, and we all had a blast. Many of us met for breakfast this morning, and then we all went our separate ways. Eileen was very tolerant, and schlepped me to and from, and we had a great time reminiscing and having much fun. After I got home this afternoon, I got ready for wine night, that I was hosting. The neighborhood I lucked in to moving into is so great, and I have made great friends here. There were eight of us tonight, and the conversations are so varied, it is incredible. We solve many of the pressing international issues of the day, and laugh and laugh. The photo accompanying this journal entry is our 'wrap' photo this morning at the hotel, after a great time. There was a more serious photo of me, but Nancy had her eyes closed, and everyone expects me to be a dumb ass anyway, so what the hell...

Volume 14 - Day 21/344, 2021 - Friday

Okay, I know I'm a little bit late with this journal entry, but you will get over it. This was one of the best days I have had in the last couple years. I bought tickets to this show abot 500 days ago. FIVE HUNDRED DAYS. When I bought the tickets, I thought the show was scheduled for January, 2021. Then the harsh reality hit was January, 2022. This is 2022, right. But...everything worked out the way it was supposed to, which means some of the invitees could not attend because of...well, you know. But the peeps that shared the night with me were the peeps that were supposed to, and I could not have asked for a better day. It was 24 degrees when we walked this morning, but it quickly warmed up to above freezing before I left for Houston. Eileen picked me up, and we had not played together for over a year, and it was fun driving from Georgetown to Houston. We hooked up with more friends in Houston, and eventually made it to the Toyota Center for the second show of the Elton John farewell tour. He is a little bit older than me, and he is a little bit heavier than me, but he still has it, and it was a great show. If you get a chance, invite a bunch of your friends, and go see it. You could do worse!

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 20/345, 2022 - Thursday

So...I got up this morning and the nuclear powered weather station, situated outside the back door, showed it to be 31 degrees outside, accompanied by tornadic winds. By the time I left for our walk this morning (yes, we walked), it was 30 degrees. Currently, the thermometer is reading 33 degrees, and I expect the temperatures to drop steadily over night. AND...we are going to walk in the morning. It is expected to be colder, but the winds are expected to have diminished. We shall see... The forecast I just saw says we will have freezing temperatures on Friday and Saturday mornings, and then we will heat up a little bit. The housekeeper made a visit this morning, and the house is all clean and dust free. Lovely. I took off about 1 o'clock to visit a vacant property to drip the pipes, and then I went to the office for a few minutes, and then I went to another property to remove lock boxes. I got home and went down for a nap, and then...wait for it...I made one of my all-time favorite dinners, a dinner that I doubt I have enjoyed in more than 35 years. Directions: Put chicken pot pie in the toaster oven. Ten minutes before the timer goes off, heat two cups of water, in a medium sauce pan, and bring to a rolling boil. Remove water from heat, empty one package of instant mashed potatoes into the sauce pan, stir. Remove pot pie from toaster oven, plop the chicken pot pie INTO the pan of mashed potatoes. Mix all contents with a fork. Take sauce pan to nearest La-Z-Boy chair. Turn on the television. Hold sauce pan in one hand, hold fork in other hand. Enjoy.

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 19/346, 2022 - Wednesday

It would take more than 150 million years to drive a car to the sun. Depending on just how cold it gets tomorrow, I might start to pack a bag and head out. Are all y'all bored with weather prognostications yet? Today we made it to 77 degrees, tomorrow morning when I get up it is predicted to be 29 degrees, and the wind chill is supposed to be 19 degrees. So far, I still plan on walking, but you know, I could change my mind, it is yet to be seen. It was a nice walk this morning, and I got in to the office just a little bit before 10 o'clock. All is well in my office world, and I got home this afternoon about 3:30. I was on a quest this afternoon to find some KN95 masks or N95 masks, IF I could find any of them. I could not. I went to 2 Walgreen's and 2 CVS's. Nothing. I have subsequently paused writing this entry, logged on to Amazon, and ordered 60 masks that are targeting a delivery date of Friday. We will see about that. Anyway...everything is slowing down (IMHO) because of COVID. Everyone is unsure about exactly what ails them. Is it allergies, a common cold, the flu or COVID? I am not really smart enough to know the difference, so I am just trying my best to take ordinary care and stay as healthy as an old man can stay. The clouds were really kind of pretty this afternoon, mixed in with the setting sun.

Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 18/347, 2022 - Tuesday

The average person sheds more than eight pounds of skin each year. It was not nearly as cold this morning as it has been the last few days, and we expect it to be even more pleasant tomorrow. Then the bottom falls out. Thursday, Friday and Saturday mornings are predicted to be below freezing. I will walk, but it will be chilly, and I will be bundled up. The ROMEOs went to breakfast this morning, and I had hash and eggs. When I got home, I did some work in the office (I did not go in to Austin today), and then at 12:30 I logged on to a zoom class. A four hour zoom class. I survived, but it seemed like I ate three meals during that four hour stretch. By the end of the class, I was kind of tired, but I have not taken time to catch a nap, yet. I probably will when I get settled in to watch some television this evening. Tomorrow I will head in to the office, and get a jump start on cleaning off my desk. This morning, there were some lovely pink clouds, and I hope you enjoy them. Clouds are my friends...

Monday, January 17, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 17/348, 2022 - Monday

Did you know an armadillo can walk under water? It is MLK Day, and that made for a little bit less traffic today, but really, the decrease in stupid commuters was negligible. It was another really cold morning, but Jay, Dan and I braved the frigid temps and got our walk done. The forecast temperature for Wednesday is 80 degrees, and the forecast low temperature for Thursday morning is 29 degrees. Make up your damn mind, for pity's sake! It was a good day in the office, and I left about 2 o'clock, stopped at a property on the way home, and then ran one personal errand before I got home. I was going to have a pimento cheese sandwich for dinner, and one of my cartons of pimento cheese was all moldy. It's in the trash. I am apparently eating for one but buying for two, and I have to be more disciplined when I go to the grocery. I waste more sliced cucumbers than I am comfortable with, but I just need to be more mindful. The moon was doing its' thing again this morning, but this time I was prepared. It was REALLY bright. I just looked it up, and the moon if FULL TONIGHT. Take a minute and go outside and take a look!

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 16/349, 2022 - Sunday

The largest snowflakes that ever fell on Earth (that anyone know about, at least), were fifteen inches in diameter. When I let the girls outside this morning, the moon was at such a level, and it was so bright, that for just a minute I thought there had been another street light installed on the Parkway behind the house. Just a few minutes later, when I went to look at it again, it had already set, and there was no evidence of it at all. I am pretty sure that I did not imagine it, though. It was really, REALLY cold this morning when we did our walk, but at least the winds had died down. Once we got started, it was okay, I was dressed in layers. The thermometer said it was 30 degrees, but it felt much colder than that. We did a walk through the new construction areas, where they are putting in roads and sewers and all that infrastructure. It is interesting to try and figure out shat is going where, and it is also kind of sad to see the one tree that was saved here, and one tree that was saved there. I'm glad that I have a couple trees at the Curious House, and now I just have to keep them healthy! After the walk, brunch was about the only other thing I did. I had plans for a couple little chores, but by the time I got home, a nice long nap won out over anything constructive. slowly as I was going on the Interstate this afternoon, you would think I could have taken a better photo of the wreck in the southbound lanes. Oh, well...

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 15/350, 2022 - Saturday

One reason telephone numbers are only seven digits (not including the area code) is because most people can only remember between five and nine digits in their short-term memory. Saturday, and what a day it has been. I can hardly wait to crawl into bed tonight. I had fourteen things on my list of chores, and I have whittled it down to three. I will get at least one of them done tomorrow, and I really don't care if I get the other two crossed off or not. I did my walk this morning with Jay and Dan, had a bit of breakfast, took the dogs to the beautiful parlor, washed three loads of clothes, went to the grocery, and a bit of this-and-that in between things. The girls were ready in record time, only two-and-a-half hours. They are usually there for five or six hours. The girls are clean, I am clean, the laundry is all clean, the house is 'kind of' clean, and I am happy with the stuff that I got done. Late afternoon, I went to Dan and Nancy's for an early dinner, and then this evening Jay and Deb hosted the Saturday Night Wine Club. The winds today have been incredible, and I actually thought one of the oak trees in the back yard was going to fall over. The winds were supposed to subside, but not so far. Fifty degrees this afternoon was the coldest I have been in a long time, and it is supposed to go down to about 31 degrees overnight. Ugh. The clouds this morning were really pretty, I hope you enjoy.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 14/351 - Friday

Owls are the only birds that can see the color blue. How in the hell does anybody know that. Did an owl tell them? I don't get it. Whatever, on our walk yesterday, Jay, Dan and I heard owls calling back and forth, and I spotted them on the peak of a house close by. I probably scared them off because I was fumbling around trying to get a picture of them with my phone. They flew off, and then we had a long conversation about if there were really two owls, or one owl and some other bird. IMHO, it was two owls, because I do not think another type of bird would be hanging out that closely to an own on the roof peak of a house. Feel free to discuss amongst yourselves. Seventy-eight degrees in central Texas today, one degree short of the record high temperature for the day. By Sunday morning, we will be just at or really close to freezing, and we expect that for two mornings. Plus high winds and extreme wildfire chances. Ugh. The girls are going to the beautiful parlor tomorrow, and I am going to get some housekeeping things done while they are out. And then brunch on Sunday. At 78 degrees today, it was a top-down kind of day!

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 13/352, 2022 - Thursday

The world's heaviest man weighed more than 1,400 pounds. Let's talk about donuts, shall we? I have heard over the many years I have lived, that, if you fall off a horse you need pick yourself up and get back in the saddle. I had, what looked to be a most delicious donut on Tuesday past. One of our clients brought in two dozen assorted donuts, and I chose one that looked yummy good, but it was not. Other people in the office said they were a bit disappointed with the donut of their choice as well, but, never wanting to paint a whole population of donuts with a tremendously broad brush, I have chosen to give donuts another try. I have not tried this one as of this writing, but I doubt it will survive the evening, and, not matter how bad it may turn out to be, I will give it as many chances as I can. I sha'nt judge a donut in a hasty fashion, and I won't. SO...Thursday. One day away from Friday, and I am looking forward to the weekend, except for the fact that there will be two more mornings with temperatures expected to be below freezing. And winds expected to be gusting to 45 miles per hour. Ugh.

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 12/353, 2022 - Wednesday

Dinosaurs lived on Earth for nearly 150 million years; seventy-five times longer that humans have lived on Earth. Let's talk about cousins for just a few minutes. I have some cousins, some of whom are first cousins, some are just cousins. I have subscribed to 23 and me as well as Ancestry for a while now, maybe ten years if they have been around that long. I have always been an early adopter. So, recently I have been paying attention to relatives they have been alerting me to, and it seems that they have identified a dozen or so second cousins (some once removed) that I think is interesting. Lots and lots of third, fourth, on-and-on cousins. Genetically, it says second cousins share a great-grand-parent. So that seems to be either three or (if you count me) four generations back. I knew my great grandparents on my fathers side, but I have no clue about my great-grandparents on my mothers side. So, I will do more research and get back with you. It was a nice day today, and I thought the photo accompanying this entry was interesting. When I moved to Austin in 1985, it was a quaint little town. Lovely. This photo shows Austin in 1995 and again in 2017. Tremendous growth, and it has changed a lot more in the last five years. Big City!

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 11/354, 2022 - Tuesday

A cockroach's favorite food is the glue on the back of stamps. It was cold this morning when I went for my walk with Jay, but we made it. Right now it is 39 degrees, and the low temperature overnight is supposed to be 38. It has been 39 degrees for at least three hours or so, so maybe it won't get too much colder. The ROMEOs made it to breakfast, and that was me, Jay and Jack. I actually woke up this morning at about 4:30 and could not go back to sleep. I had lots of little nagging issues running around in my head. I made it in to the office and continued being stressed, but by about 2 o'clock, I had dealt with everything and all was good. I still wish I could go back in time to figure out what happened in my childhood that makes me dwell on stuff. It started raining about 2:30 this afternoon, and at last look, we had about 4/10" of rain. There was a very minimal chance of rain according to the prognosticators yesterday afternoon, so I was a little bit surprised with this event. The rain coupled with the cold temperatures makes me colder than I would like to be inside the house. I can remember a time that I would welcome it, but now I am wearing flannel pajama pants, a pull-over sweat shirt kind of thing, and fuzzy slippers. Ugh. The moon looked really promising last night, and I thought the clouds were intgeresting.

Monday, January 10, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 10/355, 2022 - Monday

A thirteen-year-old boy once found a tooth growing out of his left foot. I am somewhat tired of having to learn how to do business yet again. So far, I have survived the COVID, and have done it pretty well, in my humble opinion. I stress the fact that I take 'ordinary' care when I am out and about. Nothing too terrible. I wear a mask when I am in a store, and sanitize my hands frequently (when I am in a store or other public place). It looks like we will begin wearing face masks in the office (again), and that at least a few 'in-person' events now have a zoom option, and I expect some of them may go full virtual before all is said and done. I am not going to gloat too much, mainly because I don't want to jinx myself, but so far I have done pretty well. Today was a pretty easy day in the office, it was just me and Carrie there. Maybe tomorrow there will be some others. I think I will soon be finished with getting the Curious House totally to my liking. This morning, there were eight men here working on expanding the driveway and putting a patio in the front. They started on Friday, but they were only here a couple hours. Today, they put in a full day, and the concrete has been poured. They will take away the forms tomorrow, and I think they will install the gate and the wrought iron (looking) fence in a couple days. All-in-all, I am really happy with it.

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 9/356, 2022 - Sunday

In Connecticut, in order for a pickle to be officially considered a pickle, it must bounce. I'm not sure if it has to bounce on its' own, or if one is to slam it on the ground to see if it bounces. Having lived in the Curious House from just over a year, I had not yet traipsed down to the San Gabriel River. There had been walking trails down to the river, but they have been desecrated by the developers, and I really did not know how to access it. On our walk this morning, Jay and I traversed the area under construction, just a little bit muddy from the teeny bit of rain over the past two days, and got to the river. I hope that, after the road work is completed, they will restore a trail so the river is more easily accessible. Fingers crossed. This is a photo of the South San Gabriel, seen by me this morning. When I got home from the walk, I did not rush into the completion of my list of chores, and in fact, I have not given too much consideration to them. I got some stuff done late this afternoon, but it was really just a nice, calm day. The sun shone for much of the day, but as of now, we are back into a cloudy early evening.

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 8/357, 2022 - Saturday

Four thousand people are injured by teapots every year. Weather wise, today was a gloomy, awful day. Even so, I walked this morning with Jay, came home, fed the dogs, took a little bit of a nap, went to an 11 o'clock appointment, stopped at the new ginormous HEB, uncovered the plants on the back patio, moved the plants out of the garage back on to the driveway, washed and dried the bathroom bath mats, made myself a micro wave dinner, and watched a couple creepy shows on television. I think, overall, that the plants did very well over the few days of below freezing temperature. Hopefully, I won't need to cover them up again any time soon. I did get a few worthwhile things accomplished, the two naps are at the top of that list, and overall, not a bad day except for the weather. I have a couple things on my list to get accomplished tomorrow, which may or may not, I can neither confirm nor deny, include changing my clothes. I am still wearing the clothes I walked in this morning. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Tonight is wine night, and I am hosting, and I think it will be a somewhat sparse collection of neighbors. Lots of sinus and allergy issues, which, in reality, may or may not be COVID. There is just no telling anymore. I am looking forward to brunch tomorrow, hopefully there will be a little bit of sunshine. I do not think I have one entry on my calendar next week, which is really interesting. I may need to go back and double check that.

Friday, January 7, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 7/358, 2022 - Friday

It is warmer today than it was yesterday, and at the same time, it is colder. It all has to do with the humidity. Last I heard, it was 39 degrees with 82% humidity. The humidity level is expected to reach 100% before midnight, and when I was just out with the girls, it was misty-raining. If it really starts to rain, it is gonna get ugly, because the girls do not like getting their feet wet. I had my first zoom meeting of the year this morning. Not the first zoom meeting I have participated in, but the first zoom meeting I actually did via zoom this year. Think about it. The photo accompanying this journal entry shows Leslie praying to all things she finds holy that I will just shut and log-off. Maybe. Who knows, but she was doing some serious hoping that something, anything, would get better. And it did. I got in to the office this morning about 11 o'clock this morning, and by that time, I had done a full days work already. Going in to the office was really just the icing on the cake. I left for home about 3:30, and got home just before 5 o'clock. I went down to Dan and Nancy's for a few minutes, and came home with two frozen chicken breasts stuffed with red meat and broccoli sauce. I think there is another name for those, something French,  I cooked one for dinner tonight, and it was dee-lish, and the other one is in the freezer. I keep thinking I want soup for dinner (it's cold, remember?), but so far, nope. Maybe tomorrow night.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 6/359, 2022 - Thursday

The average person will walk far enough in a lifetime to go around the world four and a half times. It was a nice day today, but it will be below freezing tomorrow morning, then there will be a warm-up later in the day. I have my usual 8:30 zoom call in the morning, and then maybe in to the office. I haven't really decided yet. It was kind of busy in the office today, I made a new listing active, and have already received a couple calls on it. It's a nice place, so all should be good. I had some lease applications over the Holiday, and all four of them were completed. One has been accepted by the Landlord, one not. Two waiting to be presented. All-in-all, that is pretty good. Your luck has just run out. Last year, I took a vow NOT to post photos of car wrecks, and I kept that promise through the year. Brace yourselves. There was a wreck outside our office this afternoon and there are just too many wrecks in central Texas for me to ignore them. This one was a wreck between a motorcycle and a pick up truck. No serious injuries, but the pick up truck definitely was the winner, even though it was the pick up truck driver's fault (IMHO). Intersections are the most likely place for motorcycle accidents, with the other vehicle violating the motorcycle's right-of-way, and often violating other traffic controls (i.e., changing lanes, running traffic lights or stop signs. In this case, the truck driver was making a left turn, and failed to yield. This journal is becoming boring. Of course, that means that at some point it was NOT boring, you be the judge.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 5/360, 2022 - Wednesday

A pair of human feet contains two hundred and fifty thousand sweat glands. There are about one trillion bacteria on each foot. I bought more tickets for the PowerBall drawing tonight. If I will, don't bother calling, I will have all my incoming calls sent directly to voice mail. However, if I get lucky, you might get lucky, too. I don't need all that money, I just need enough. It was good to have time to walk again this morning. I got that done, and then headed in to the office, via the pharmacy. Even though I have not lived in Austin for about 15 years now, there are still some things I still do in Austin. It would be a lot more convenient to have my prescriptions filled at CVS or Walgreen's, but we used this small, locally owned pharmacy for over thirty years, so there is no real reason to change. When we lived at the farm, it was probably closer for us to do our shopping (Target, etc.) in Temple or Belton, but we just headed in to Austin for stuff like that. Old habits, I guess. No freezing temperatures overnight, but one more overnight on Thursday. That should be the last one for the foreseeable future. I will put the plants back out on Friday afternoon, and give everything some water. Here is another crescent moon pic, it seems to be hanging around so I thought I would share.

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 4/361, 2022 - Tuesday

Crocodiles cannot stick their tongues out. I finished my second full day of meetings this afternoon, and I am glad to be home. I think it was a beautiful day today, just at freezing (but not quite) this morning, and 67 degrees or so this afternoon, lots of sunshine. Tomorrow, I get to sleep a little later than I have the last two days, and I will once again get my morning walk in with Jay. Dick will not be joining us for a while, but I like my morning walks. I had an obnoxious amount of food on my plate at lunch today, and there is just some food on a buffet line that does not do well when using tongs. Spoons would have been better, there would have been better portion control. I know this is a first world problem, too, but the apple pie dessert (it looked really delicious) was FROZEN. Not cold, FROZEN. FROZEN like an ice cube! They made up for it a little bit with the afternoon break, chips and guacamole. I had cucumbers, carrots, broccoli and something green for dinner tonight, along with a generous helping of ranch dressing. I have left over pizza in the refrigerator (from last year) that I need to eat before too much longer. Nobody won the PowerBall last night, so I expect I will throw some more money at it later in the week. I think it is supposed to be another nice day tomorrow, but there will be another couple more days below freezing later in the week. If you have no already, I hope by the time you read this you took a couple minutes to check out the crescent moon.

Monday, January 3, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 3/362, 2022 - Monday

A bumblebee beats its wings about 160 times a second. It was an early and cold morning for me. No walk for me today (or tomorrow), because I was scheduled to be in meetings all day (and tomorrow). I left the Curious House at about 7:30, got to the office about 9:15, got my desk cleared off, and headed to my meetings at the Airport Hilton. The building the Hilton occupies was originally the base command building when, what is now the Austin Bergstrom International Airport was the Bergstrom Air Force Base. I have very infrequently been in the building, and I think the last (and possibly the only previous) time was about ten years ago. I will be back there again tomorrow morning for another set of meetings, and it will kind of be a repeat of today. During the meetings, since I was not making any presentations, I managed to get quite a bit of work done as well. All the calls that needed to be returned have been returned, all the stuff that needed to be done got done, so that is perfect. The photo that accompanies this entry is a piece of art outside the meeting room I was in. I like it a lot, but I could not quite manage to get it in my briefcase without having unwelcome attention be drawn to me. Maybe tomorrow.

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 2/363, 2022 - Sunday

"Happy Birthday to You" is the most often sung song in America. It was 21 degrees outside this morning when we started our walk. I did an abbreviated walk, since, even though I am crazy, I am not stupid. It is hard to comprehend that it was about 85 degrees here yesterday, and the high temperature today was about 46 degrees. Right now, I just let the girls outside, and it is 36 degrees according to my super-duper electronic weather station. It is supposed to be colder overnight than it was this morning. I expect we will survive this first world inconvenience; it will warm up beginning tomorrow afternoon, BUT there is another expected cold front coming through at the end of the week. After my walk this morning, I did my usual Sunday morning chores, then I headed off to brunch...there were four of us. When I got home from brunch, I went down for a nap, and after that, I begrudgingly sat at my desk for a couple hours, and get things ready for my initial tax filing for 2021. I ALWAYS get an extension, but I am trying to break that habit, now if I can just convince my CPA of that. It is likely I can get the initial numbers to him by the middle of the month, and I have already paid my fourth quarter estimated tax. Trying to turn over a new leaf. The girls have been enjoying the cuddle sessions, and I even got the laundry done this evening. I am facing the new year clean!

Saturday, January 1, 2022

Volume 14 - Day 1/364, 2022 - Saturday

Squirrels can climb trees faster than they can run on the ground. Well, we made it to a new year. 2022. I will try my best to remain optimistic, but there is no real justification for that optimism. Maybe if I looked at things a little bit differently; I'm still here, that is a good thing. I have made a lot of friends in the last twelve months, that is a good thing. Did I mention that I am still here? Overall, I remain the luckiest person I know, no matter what anyone else says. The ROMEOs are going to push their walking back to begin at 7:30 instead of 7 o'clock in the mornings. I think we used to walk at 7:30, but I am not sure. I did a lot of January first things today; shredding papers, organizing, starting fresh pages for this-and-that. The usual stuff. I did not really make any resolutions, I think it is just easier that way. The cold front is coming through as I write this. It was, probably, in the low 80s this afternoon, and I went to our usual wine night at Dick and Marge's house at 7, and the temperature has dropped almost 40 degrees since then. I spent some time this afternoon bringing plants into the garage and covering them on the patio, and strategizing about how to keep them from freezing overnight and overnight tomorrow night as well. Two days of temperatures below 32 degrees, and then we will be a little bit back to normal for a while. We should all start complaining about the cold weather in the next couple hours. The picture accompanying this journal entry is proof that I had black eyed peas today, so if the whole thing goes to hell, find someone else to blame.