Kayak Kids

Jul. 4th, 2017 08:34 pm
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Monday we picked up breakfast.  My wife had a morning massage. I drove around the countryside. I saw cornfields and giant modern-style windmills.  I bought beach towels in Fond Du LaC.

I called to see if we could rent kayaks to kayak on the Horicon Marsh. Unfortunately, the kayaks were booked up. We drove to the Horicon National Wildlife Reserve section.  We had been there Friday evening after closings hours. We wanted to see the interior of the center. It had a few nice things, making for a quick visit. We decided to drive to the nearby town of Beaver Dam.  We stopped for a sandwich in the town at Cousins' subs. I like going to local chain places.  The back of the chip bag told us that the chain was founded in 1972.

We drove to Waterworks Park on Beaver Dam Lake. A nice young fellow rented us kayaks.  He was great. He made sure our life preservers were cinched right. The park had a contraption called a kayak launch which allowed him to propel us into the water on little rails.  Had we gone out on the marsh, our experience might have involved eagles and pelicans and perhaps a friendly muskrat. On Beaver Dam Lake, we kayaked along the shore past lovely lakefront homes.  We did see Mallards and Double-Crested Cormorants, Canada Geese and a Ring-Billed Gull. We headed home.  We kayaked for around 75 minutes.

On the way back to Mayville, we stopped by the Nitschke Mounds. We viewed a couple of the sixty animal effigy mounds dating back over a thousand years. The mounds were longer and shorter than I expected.

In the evening, we ate a dinner at the excellent restaurant at our hotel. Then we walked to Mayville City Park.  The city hosted its annual Rock 'n' Boom Independence Day celebration. We watched an excellent rock covers band play songs like "Locomotive Breath" (complete with spirited flautist, albeit a flautist playing on both legs) and "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" (with a fiddle player belting it out  while wearing black pumps. The rock covers band was followed by a country covers band.

Meanwhile, an American Legion baseball game was in session on a nearby ballfield. The locals were taking a bit of an independent shellacking. When the game ended, the fireworks began.

The fireworks were grand. The crowd loved it. The crowd was several thousand folks strong, in a town of 5,000.  We had a great vantage point. It all ended in a boom. Then we walked back to our hotel.

This morning we drove back to Milwaukee. We browsed in the used bookstore run by the Milwaukee Public LIbrary. We ate at a lunch place run by Miller Beer.  We ate turkey sandwiches but drank no beer. When we landed in Dallas, we returned to hotter temperatures. A little black dog named Beatrice greeted us at the door, delighted to see us.





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After a fast-food breakfast, we headed ten minutes over to the town of Horicon., population 3,500.  We made it to Horicon Boat Tours quite early, as we were reserved on the 20-hour pontoon boat into the huge Horicon Marsh. A rainstorm delayed our trip and shortened it from 2 hours to 1 hour. But the hour that a dozen or so of us had was grand indeed.
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We saw lots of birds--two Bald Eagles, Great White Pelicans, Eastern Kingbirds, myriads of swallows, and others.  We saw the interesting marsh. The guide was expert.. We arrived back at the landing just before the rains set in again. Though we originally had kayaking reservations for the afternoon, the weather caused us to cancel.  We got lunch at a local lunch place. Then we headed to the visitor center for the marsh run by the state. It was quite good, and gave us a chance to see more birds.  Then we headed up to the non-profit Marsh Haven Visitor Center at the most northern part of the marsh. We liked this down-to-earth place just across the road from the federal wildlife preserve.

We learned that new hiking trails had just opened at the reserve. We walked the Redhead Trail and the Red Fox Tra Wil. It was a grand thing to do--we saw Whitetail Deer, Ground Squirrels, Common Yellowthroat and Yellow Warblers, Eastern Kingbird, Gray Catvird, American Goldfinch, swallows of many varieties, and Northern Leopard Frog.

We headed back to our room and took it easy. We dined again at the nice restaurant attached to our hotel.  Wehave had a poor run with the Direct TV supplied to our room.Tonight we used the internet to watch the Great British Baking Show on my laptop. This worked well.

We had a grand day, filled with wetlands meadows and feel that things were not too hot nor too cold but very pleasabt,
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Breakfast:: egg-white McMuffin
Lunch: grillecken, kernel born, baked potato, salad
Dinner: margherita flatbread and gumbo
Dessert: 1/3rd of a pecan pie tart.
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We had a great breakfast at a neighborhood place near our hotel. Then we headed out to Theresa, Wisconsin. We stopped in a cheese factory there.  We hoped to see cheese being made ,but we instead only saw a roomful of idle machinery.  There was no browsable space, as the cheeses were in a small area.   So we headed off across the way.  After watching a pair of Green Herons near a river, we went into a chocolate artisan shop, The staff was great there. I had a caramel sea salt small chocolate. My wife had a coconut chocolate item. We liked the place. A kind soul at the shop showed us some local things to see, and corrected when I pronounced Theresa like the American 20th C. name when the real way is more like a European way sounding the 'h' and making the second "e" a bit like an "a" sound.

We drove to Long Lake, in Kettle Moraine State Park, Northern Unit.  We climbed Dundee Mountain, which sounds like a feat, but Dundee Mountain is not a mountain but a kame. We liked learning about kames and moraines and eskers and drumlins. We learned a lot about how the Wisconsin glacial advances shaped this area. We saw a beautiful White-Tailed Deer fawn in a wetlands field. Then we walked the Lake-to-Lake trail, which was lovely. We saw a Baltmore Oriole and an Eastern Phoebe, among other birds. We went to the Ice Age visitor center, where we saw a film that helped us understand some basics about glacial activity.

For a weekend near the 4th of July, the park was not crowded. We had a good time.

We took a nap and each of us grabbed a shower.  Then we ate dinner at a local little family restaurant. The staff talked about how business was light, because the Saturday evening "first church service" patrons had not arrived yet. We liked our meals.

Then we drove to the Horicon Marsh National Wildlife Reserve. The visitor center was closed.  We had a good time walking the trails and a boardwalk. We saw Tree Swallows, Red-Winged Blackbirds, a Common Yellowthroat, Eastern Kingbirds, and a turtle. We had a good time. We look forward to much more marsh tomorrow.

Breakfast: scrambled eggs, ham, "American fries" (i.e., skillet lightly-fried home fries), and sourdough toast
Lunch:  gone hiking
Dinner: french dip sandwich and a cup of vegetable soup

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We got up by 3:45 a.m.  I gave Beatrice her medicine. We got ready for the shuttle. The shuttle arrived at 4:25 A.M. We effortlessly made our morning flight.  Beatrice stayed behind,  where a kind soul is watching over her.  They fed us Chobani yogurt and 6/10ths of an ounce of fresh granola as part of our elite business class seating. A lot of people at the airport at both ends cut in line and committed other misdemeanor oversights But they were all obviously errors of sleepiness and not errors of malice.

We landed in Milwaukee at 9:30 a.m.  We got our bags and our rental car in good order. We hit the road to West Bend. Not far out of Milwaukee, in the town of Hales Corners, we saw a sign for a botanical garden. We detoured and walked in the Boerner Botanical Gardens. This garden turned out to be well-planned. It featured lots of plants which only grow in very cold places, as well as other plants. We loved watching the little chipmunks, and walking in a nearby wood.

We headed on to West Bend, a small town on a river.  We went to the Museum of Wisconsin Art.  This was a really great museum in a really cool building.  I liked best the pieces by Carl Von Marr and in particular the huge painting "The Flagellants" (or "The Procession of the Flagellants").  My first thought on seeing this late 19th Century painting was that it must be from the 1980s.  We also liked the Florence Eisemann exhibit about hip childrens' clothes in the 50s, 60s, 70s and beyond. My wife recalled Eiseman designs of her childhood.

We went to the Lac Lawrann Conservancy. We walked by a marsh, where we saw Northern Flickers, a Song Sparrow, and some great rabbits. 

We drove to Mayville, where we are staying at the lovely Audubon Inn.  We dined at its Creole restaurant, NOLA. I loved my gumbo, which was a bit spicy but in a measured Creole way, not in that "just make it burn" way that some non-Louisiana places utilize to try to be "authentic".

We walked in town and watched the Rock River from several vantage points.

Tomorrow may involve cheese.

Breakfast: yogurt with granola, fruit
Lunch: None (gone hiking)
Dinner: gumbo and a half-chicken with quinoa and a truffle jus.




 
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Another day of feeling steadily better.  I ate Weetabix cereal and skim milk this morning. It is pretty stiff-upper-lip stuff. I walked in Shawnee Park in Plano after work. Cattle egrets flew overhead.  I wake early tomorrow. for fun reasons. We are packed and ready.

breakfast: weetabix and skim miik
lunch: grilled chicken, green beans and a roll
dinner: turkey sandwich and chips

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This morning I felt as if I had slept too much over the past few days. But at 1 p.m. I suddenly felt that I am getting much better. This evening I took a walk on the Chisholm Trail.

Breakfast: toasted rice cereal and skim milk
Lunch: three shredded chicken soft taco
Dinner: grilled chicken, biscuit, corn and green beans


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This week marks 17 years since a law partner and I founded our law firm.  Our goal was to practice law in a sensible, human way, and to leave behind some of the pressures and stresses of our prior legal experience.  We chose a large suburb where my partners had his roots. We hoped to serve a population that we felt was under-served by lawyers with our practice experience. We liked work and sophisticated issues. We disliked firm politics.

Our business plan worked. We never really experienced a moment of doubt.  I think with fondness of our start-up years, when we built our clientele.  We each brought some business, but we originated much more business. Now we have four lawyers rather than two--another partner and an associate. We  get to help clients across a broad spectrum. We represent folks with the smallest problems and companies with the largest problems. We like it that way.  Of my 32 years in practice, over half have been with this firm. I am so glad and grateful that my law partner started this firm with me. I remember sitting in the Texas-diner-style place in downtown Garland, looking at Microsoft Works budget spreadsheets and tracing out ideas on napkins.  The rolls were good at that diner. I thought when we started that what I did for a living in terms of cases would change a lot. It all worked out fine, though, and I got to play to my strengths. My partner, meanwhile, changed specialties a bit and it worked out great.

Today we three law partners and my fellow founding partner's son-in-law went out for lunch. His son-in-law is a lawyer in another Texas city. I like the son-in-law a lot. He seems to "get" that life is a bit more than law.T

I felt a little better today, but the slightly irritating symptom of an easy cough to the slightly irritating symptom of a sporadically runny nose. I hope tomorrow for more improvement.

I came straight home without stopping for a walk, in another mild bow to taking things easy.  We are watching "Downward Dog" after watching a PBS Chinese history special. I sent a facebook message to a beloved niece to wish her a happy birthday.

Tomorrow will be a busy day.

breakfast: instant oatmeal
lunch: trout, cole slaw, and mixed vegetables
dinner: oven-baked chicken, smashed potatotes and broccoli





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Monday I took things fairly easily. I went to work, but left fairly promptly at 5:30. p.m.  After work, I went straight home and went to bed. I do not feel awful, but if I talk very much, I cough a bit. I should be fine. I hope I am fine soon, as I have plans.

Monday is trash day in our neighborhood. The trash truck usually comes after 9:30 a.m. or so. When I came home last night, I found that our recycling  had been picked up but not our trash.  I suppose the schedule must have changed a bit. I'll switch in future to putting the trash out on Sunday evenings.

The news discussed how the first Harry Potter book is 20 years old. If the world is broken into those "pro" Harry Potter and those "anti" Harry Potter, I fall into the "pro" section.  As with "Star Wars", I suspect that the cultural experience of Harry Potter is different and perhaps more intense for those who were 7 or under when the first book came out than those who, like me, were 37 when the first book came out. I thought last night how the ending to the last novel, less beloved by many readers, appears to me to be essential to the story, as I watched the last movie's attempt to portray that part of the story. 

I watched the television program "Shadowhunters" last night, I never read the Mortal Instrument novels. Maybe someday I will read them, but not today.

The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari in the appeal by President Trump of his travel ban.
This was not a surprise.   The grant included a modification of the injunction issued against the ban during the proceedings, which modification was a bit broader than I had expected.  The modification still results in a fairly robust stay.  I will be interested to see how the high court balances the authority of the executive branch in perceived national security measures against the importance of treating people (and in particular citizens) fairly and in line with their rights. The extent to which unwise things and unconstitutional things fail to align is always interesting. We'll see. I thought the travel ban as a practical matter to be a poorly-drafted, poorly-handled use to a cleaver to do what a set of scalpels should do.  But the court case is not about its wisdom but its legality. I am all for checks and balances.

I read the following language in the Congressional Budget Office report on the Senates' new health care bill:

"
The Senate bill would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 22 million in 2026 relative to the number under current law, slightly fewer than the increase in the number of uninsured estimated for the House-passed legislation. By 2026, an estimated 49 million people would be uninsured, compared with 28 million who would lack insurance that year under current law."

I find it hard to understand that rather than fixing the Affordable Care Act, Congress and the president will sign a bill that will over a decade cause 20 million people to be uninsured. But that appears likely.  The Affordable Care Act needed amendment, to fix issues with its funding and implementation. But this discard effort seems to me far inferior to a detailed fix.

breakfast: toasted wheat-ful cereal and skim milk
lunch: turkey sandwich and chips
dinner: pho ga'


 


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I got up early this morning. I walked along the Chisholm Trail.  I went to Weight Watchers. I was two pounds down, though I had not intended to lose weight.

I walked in Oak Point Park. Then I went to church. The associate pastor was preaching today as this was his last Sunday before he transferred. He had spent fifteen years with this congregation before being transferred to a church in the next town over. He and his son played their guitars, another son played the drums, and his wife sang with the singers up at the front of the church. Two people I knew from the church said "hello", which made me feel a a bit less of a stranger.

After lunch, I walked a bit in Bethany Lakes Park. I listened to a Google Play Music "radio" station set to "gentle giant", which played a lot of 70s progressive rock, as I walked. Then  I headed home.

I am a bit under the weather. I have a bit of a cough. I hope it is not a light touch of bronchitis. I rested almost all afternoon. I will rest more tonight, and each evening this week.

My wife fortunately picked up that there was a problem with our flight reservations for our upcoming trip. I had made an a.m./p.m. mistake. I got on the telephone with the airline to fix that.  It cost a good bit more than I would have liked, though I take some consolation in the fact that the 'fix" upgraded us to business class. If one is to pay an arm and leg for an error, one might as well get legroom for one's troubles.

We watched an episode of "My Mother and Other Strangers" on PBS. Now we are watching "Grantchester".

Today is my late mother's birthday. If she were alive, she would be 84. I thought about her today. She meant a lot to me.

breakfast cereal: toasted rice and skim milk
lunch: fried chicken breast, a roll and green beans
dinner:  ravioli, a small glass or orange juice and salad



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I planned to get up early today and exercise. A welcome gentle rainstorm and cooling changed my plan. I worked from seven a.m. for a few hours on a work matter.  I rested until lunch.  Then I drove my shirts to the dry cleaner. I ate lunch and picked up some bananas.  I handled a business call and an email.

in the middle of the afternoon, I took Beatrice for a walk. She made the mile-long route in 35 minutes.  Her increased speed probably stemmed from the cooler weather.  A Northern Mockingbird gave us the evil eye, suggesting to me its nest was nearby.  A bit after three, I took my bicycle on the Watters Creek Trail for an hour and six minutes. A Great Egret stood in a tall tree.

In the evening, we met our friends Scott and Donna for dinner at Zorba's in Plano. I liked my food. we all had a good talk. we stopped for yogurt at Menchie's. I put graham cracker crumbs and two vanilla wafers on mine.

We saw the movie "The Women's Balcony". We liked this small film a lot. I wish more films had plots like this.

breakfast: toasted rice cereal and skim milk
lunch roast beef sandwich and baked chips
dinner: souvlaki chicken and potatotes with vegetables



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Beatrice and I took a leisurely walk at 7:20 a.m. She moves more slowly nowadays than in younger days. But she loves a walk.

At lunch I watched two American Kestrels in little Travis Farm Park.

After work, I walked on the Chisholm Trail near Custer Road and Spring Creek Road in Plano. I accidentally locked my keys in my Chevy. Fortunately, my wife brought the extra key, and all was well.

I loved all the ducklings foraging and the Snowy Egret wading.  A raptor flew from a nearby tree clutching prey, but I got an insufficient glimpse to ID raptor or prey.

We dined at the Mexican/Indian fusion place on Independence in Plano. I really enjoyed my meal.  We had a good waitress. The curious couple at the table next to us insisted on taking cell phone pictures posed with her. Apparently, they wanted to fix her up with their son on duty (perhaps military) in Arkansas.  She was a good sport, but I noticed she did not come back to the tables until that couple left.

Today was heat. Tonight rain may come. Tomorrow may be nice all day.

Breakfast: toasted wheat-fuls cereal and skim milk
Lunch: 3 soft chicken tacos
Dinner: 2 chicken enchiladas tomatillo and charro beans.
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A tropical storm called Cindy hit south Louisiana. Sometimes storms like that bring us welcome soft rain. Sometimes they turn north too soon. This storm appears to be the latter. When I drove east to my office in Garland, the sky turned overcast with what may have been the westernmost clouds of the storm heading west. But none of them turned into rain. Perhaps later rain will come.

At lunch I walked in One Eleven Ranch Park. I like this park because it is open spaces under large trees. I saw a large raptor slowly flying overhead. It landed. I saw the bird was an immature Red-Tailed Hawk.

After work, I walked in Bob Woodruff Park. Some kids were having an archery lesson. Six targets were lined up. The kids stood at a range of perhaps 15 feet. I cut a wide swath around this festivity. Even so, when I was nearly 70 light-years away, a polite young woman pointed out I might theoretically be in a place for a stray arrow. I thanked her for her caution.  I suppose society must bear heavy toll to ensure its national arrow defense is intact.

Now we are watching Tom Courtenay in "Billy Liar' It's my first time to see this well-known film.

I finished one major project at 8:30 Pacific on June 22 (though I was working in Garland)  and kept working hard on others.

Breakfast toasted wheatfuls and skim milk
Lunch: turkey sandwich and chips
Dinner: salmon, sweet potato and roasted asparagus
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I worked a hard day today, with good results.  I did not have to work very late, though. I was able to leave the office by 6 p.m. I did a little work at home, but it was the good kind of work.

I walked in Suncreek Park in Allen. I bought bananas at Tom Thumb. I won ten dollars on a Texas lottery scratch-off card. I read a few dozen pages of Leonard Richardson's science fiction novel "Constellation Games".

We hired some fellows to spruce up our small garden areas in our yard. Now new borders and mulch abound. It looks good.  I am pleased that the Milkweed is coming up, too. I hope we get more Monarch caterpillars later this year.

Beatrice went to the vet for a spa day. She got her toenails done and got de-shedded. Her hair stays the same length, but her de-sheld looked good.

Breakfast: toasted wheatful cereal and skim milk
Lunch; garden vegetable soup, turkey sandwich and baked chips
Dinner: smoked turkey, turnip greens, a roll and ranch beans.


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One court in which I have an upcoming appearance uses the tentative ruling system.  Tentative rulings are a way that the court lets the lawyers and litigants know the judge's tentative take on their motion.  In some counties, the court posts the tentative at x time the day before the hearing. Then the lawyers or self-represented litigants  have until y time to notify everyone that the losing lawyer or litigant wishes to challenge the tentative.  I like better the courts which issue tentative orders the morning of the hearing, or late the evening before the hearing.  This type of court lacks the scramble to give notice of intent to argue.

In a court that issues tentative rulings, hearings get a bit more streamlined than in courts without a hearing.  Usually, the lawyer or self-represented litigant on the losing end of the tentative goes first, as there is little point for the winning lawyer or litigant to argue the matter given a favorable tentative.  Judges vary as to the extent they are willing to change a tentative. Although perhaps all modify their tentative rulings sometimes, some judges seem much more of the  "never" persuasion while other judges are more of the "a reasonable amount of the time" persuasion. There probably is some commentary to be made about what difference a few minutes of discussion can make when the lawyers already filed detailed papers laying out their position, but I do not have a quick summary of my views on that.

In years of practice, I've had tentatives in my favor, and tentatives against me. I've "held" tentatives, been "unable to turn tentatives", and been "able to move the tentative". There is a language of tentatives. When a tentative ruling is uncontested or uncontroversial, the lawyers "submit" on the tentative.  This means they will not argue to try to change the tentative.

I run into tentative rulings in California rather than in Texas. My recollection is that Dallas County's local rules used to permit tentatives, but I never saw that rule used. A more informal version sometimes happens in Texas. The judge, who has often "worked up the papers", sometimes (but not often) tells the lawyers what she or he is thinking.  Then it's a bit similar to tentative practice.

This week I checked a website for a Superior Court in California to see when the Court posted its tentatives. I found myself reading a few tentatives pertaining to other cases. These offer a tiny microcosm into the drama, melodrama or lack of melodrama of other folks' controversies. X person sues Y person alleging that Y took advantage of her elderly relative Z.  John Q. Public sues that the car sold by Acme Motors had undisclosed defects known to Acme Motors. The City of Perfect Utopia laid off Joe Civic Employee, and it's either a horrible violation of civil rights or a routine discharge of a sub-standard and insubordinate employee.  Tentative orders are often quite well-written--little essays on applying the law to a particular matter.  In one matter, the court determines if a particular question in case preparation (an "interrogatory") is to be answered or too intrusive. In another matter, the court considers via a "motion for summary judgment" whether even if plaintiff's affidavit of what plaintiff can prove is true, is there enough to prove a case in light of indisputable facts defendant can prove. The tentatives are interesting reading if one but knows what they mean.

I like tentative orders because they live in a world of transparent, orderly decision-making. Unlike an oral hearing, in which one is never entirely sure what some judge are thinking, tentatives lay out the court's reasoning. It's daunting, of course, if one goes into a hearing facing a deeply unfavorable tentative. But at least it's no mystery.

In life, many folks have friends or family or romantic interests who practice a rather less reasoned and orderly tentative ruling practice. That can have its advantages and disadvantages in real life, without the Rules of Civil Procedure and the possibility of effective appeal to a higher authority. Unlike in court, a personal "tentative ruling" lacks the proper analysis of the facts that makes tentative orders useful. Folks make the darnedest snap rulings. It's often as difficult to shift someone off their tentative as it is to shift the most earnest yet firm judge.

I am not so certain I want tentative decisions conveyed to me in every sphere of life. But they work pretty well in court. Shifting an adverse tentative order takes some subtle, polite and persuasive work. It is meaningful and understandable work.  I think with chagrin of an adverse tentative ruling I could not shift a little under two decades ago. It still smarts a bit. I think of another more recently that I shifted in a minor but important way, which made me happy. Mostly, I get the tentative when the court offers one, and do my job accordingly.

I've dealt with a lot of tentative orders over the years. Perhaps I'll get to deal with a goodish few more. It's an interesting process---pick up the ruling, the landscape changes, and then either struggle to overcome one, or prepare to reply to try to hold one.

I wonder if there are tentative rulings in the afterlife.








dog alarm

Jun. 20th, 2017 10:00 pm
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Beatrice woke me promptly at 6:30 a.m.  She licked the hair on the back of my head until I stirred.

When I walked at Noon in Heritage Park, I missed seeing the Loggerhead Shrike. I thought perhaps it went north for the Summer. But I saw it flying and landing before I left

I came straight home after work because some workers were doing some light garden-changing for us.  I was to pick up Beatrice as they were going to work until 7.  But they left before I got home at 6:30.  Beatrice and I celebrated their departure by splitting a fresh banana.

Tonight two Congressional races went to the Republicans by smallish margins in safe Republican districts. Change is slow.


Breakfast: instant oatmeal
Lunch: turkey sandwich and baked BBQ chips
Dinner: two lean patties in two sandwich slims, corn on the cob and salad
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A light morning rain provided a welcome break from the heat. I worked a full and productive day.

On the way home, I walked in Crowley Park in Richardson.  The heat was nearly up to full strength by then. I liked the rabbits.

This evening, we watched a PBS hour-long show about Beatrix Potter. I read a few pages of my science fiction book.

The news is full of sad news, like the collegian who died of injuries inflicted in North Korea or the pedestrians run into by a terrorist while standing near the mosque they attended.

The commercial on TV now has Jim Parsons talking about "outdated equipment". I am not on board with this commercial.

Breaklast: corn flakes and skim milk
Lunch: large bowl of chicken soup and tortillas on the side
Dinner: rotini, baked chicken and salad.




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I breezed through Andrew Kaufman's novel "Small Claims" in four days.  I liked the book--a comic literary novel that kept me reading in large swaths at a time.  I got this book from a small Canadian non-profit press called Invisible Publishing. I like the e-reader program on my laptop, and I like having DRM-free e-books that let me read them with ease.

I began the next novel on my list, Constellation Games by Leonard Richardson, While I breezed through the first 25 e-pages, my e-reader reports that the work is 705 pages long. So this may take a bit more than a 4-day weekend. I never am sure how e-pages compare with paper pages. Some of it is a matter of font and setting.  There are probably all sorts of conventions about this, but they are unknown to me.

I spent some time looking at bicycle paths on maps for our upcoming vacation. I was thinking that one .pdf of a map was of unsuitably low resolution.  Then I noticed that the .pdf document's title had low-res embedded directly into it.

I walked in Shawnee Park before Weight Watchers. I walked in a particularly wooded creekside section in Oak Point Park between Weight Watchers and church. I meant to get out this afternoon.  But I fell asleep on the sofa.

Early this morning I wrote a note to the minister to applaud the decision to continue The Way fellowship hall. I also asked if we could keep the musical component.  I went into too much detail about my opinions, though I did edit the e-mail down and make clear that I understood the 
competing concerns. But I have learned recently that it is sometimes good for an audience to write concise feedback to someone who might get a dozen such emails.  On the other hand, I sent a concise email to a podcast host I like disagreeing on a guest on his podcast's positions, and that podcast host graciously sent me back a suggestion I send a longer explanation.  So things differ in each context and in each situation.

I went to Sprouts for bananas, pineapple and romaine lettuce. The fish counter closed just before my arrival, thwarting a salmon goal.

We watched a Christmas episode of "Grantchester" on PBS.

Breakfast: Kix cereal and skim milk
Lunch: grilled chicken, green beans, kernel corn and 1/2 biscuit
Dinner: an interesting lamb sandwich and fresh pineapple.
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I stayed up a bit late, watching a video of Sparks' March 2017 Glasgow concert on Youtube.com.  Beatrice and I got up early, though, as is our ritual. My wife slept in a bit, but also got up fairly early.

I took Beatrice for a morning walk before the heat came up. As she ages, what used to be a half-an-hour 1 mile walk takes us forty-five minutes. Today we took a solid fifty minutes. The weather was pleasant and she was in fine fettle. But she liked to ensure that no sniff went unsniffed.

At 9 a.m. I took my bicycle on the Watters Branch Trail. I rode all the way to Allen Station Park and back. In the three hours I rode, I covered 18 miles, averaging a bit over only six miles an hour. I like that my bicycle affords me leisurely ways to cover ground while still being able to stop and look about.

I saw 21 species of birds. Here is my list:

Canada Goose 8
Great Blue Heron 2
Great Egret 1
Mississippi Kite 1
Red-tailed Hawk 1
Killdeer 1
Mourning Dove 2
Red-bellied Woodpecker 2
Eastern Phoebe 3
Western Kingbird 1
Scissor-tailed Flycatcher 3
Blue Jay 2
American Crow 3
Barn Swallow 8
Carolina Chickadee 1
Tufted Titmouse 2
Northern Mockingbird 14
European Starling 4
Northern Cardinal 5
Great-tailed Grackle 4
House Sparrow 1

I liked seeing the Mississippi Kite, which I always find to be a cool-looking customer in flight.

My wife and I went to Elke's Market for a good lunch together. We also stopped by Home Depot, where I got more shelled birdseed. I looked up in this weblog that the last package of wild birdseed lasted nearly two months. At a bit over ten dollars for a package, the cost for the seed seems more than reasonable in return for the joy I get from seeing Northern Cardinals, House Sparrows, Mourning and White-winged Doves and rarer visitors at the feeder.

I got some practical things done today--a bit of laundry and a fair bit of sorting some business matter paperwork.  I was pleased to get those things done. I had taken a bit of video during my ride, so I used that video, some older video and a song I wrote in 2011 to create a music video:


My wife was not hungry for dinner as she had a huge lunch. I went myself for a quick dinner. Now we are watching an episode of Foyle's War, a series we like very well.

breakfast: erewhon cereal and skim milk
lunch: turkey sandwich and a fruit plate
dinner: two fried chicken breasts, corn on the cob and green beans with a roll.




gurdonark: (Default)
The past few days I enjoyed following the progress of my law partner's teen grandson. He got a last-minute invitation to play in a prestigious junior golf tournament on very short notice. Despite being the lowest-ranked player in the field (literally, the alternate), he found himself tied for first in a field of over 100 golfers after 10 holes in the first round.  Sadly, his result deteriorated a bit from there, though he played pretty well on a very tough course.

The miracle of the internet means that the entire tournament's scores were posted hole-by-hole in near-real-time. Yesterday the noble grandson, a good fellow, found himself a stroke or two below the middle. This mattered a lot in the third round, because only the top half, give or take a few, survive the dreaded cut.

For the longest it looked as if he was at the top of the half that survived the cut. My partner and I worked out various permutations, and soon decided that he had ensured his spot in the fourth round. But something changed, and the scoreboard finished with him missing the cut by one stroke. I missed being able to follow his progress during today's fourth round.

My two law partners and I went to lunch together. One of my partners and I started our small law firm just shy of 17 years ago. We have had a good run, doing interesting work for fair pay with a bit more life/work balance than the firms from which we came. Just about 17 years ago, I set out with two dogs to drive from Los Angeles to north Texas.  Our dogs when were Scout and Teddy. we had a grand drive together. I have only driven the California to Texas route two or three times or so. But I like it each time I drive it.  I would like to drive it again, for leisure. But we are unlikely to do that, as my wife does not enjoy long car rides.

I bought the e-book "Small Claims" by Andrew Kaufman from the small press Invisible Publishing. I'm about 60 percent through it, and enjoying it very much. It's set in Toronto, a city I've always wanted to visit. I have only been to its airport.

I walked tonight in Bob Woodruff Park, where I saw a White-Breasted Nuthatch among other birds. A group of middle-school age kids danced in the huge picnic pavilion. A recorded voice sang "Jailhouse Rock" in a non-English language.

Tomorrow I must beat the heat.  I must also buy birdseed. I think I can do both.  I do not mind if the heat wins.

Breakfast: 2 packets of intant oatmeal
Lunch: turkey sandwich and baked chips
Dinner Pechuga Laredo and salad and tortilla chips
gurdonark: (Default)
I woke up early this morning. I made it to work in good order, after watching House Sparrows and a Northern Cardinal feeding on shelled seeds on Scout's bench.

At lunch I walked in Bradfield Park, where Blue Jays, Mockingbirds and Great-Tailed Grackles frolicked.  After work, I went to the Salvation Army for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program pro bono legal clinic. I liked the folks with whom I met.

The small press from which I had ordered an ebook that proved difficult to download gracious remedied the situation through putting the ebook on a transfer site. I read more of the ebook I am reading now.

Breakfast: toasted wheatfuls and skim milk
Lunch: grilled chicken breast and wing, roll and green beans
Dinner: broccoli, carrots, 2 slices pepperoni pizza, 1 slice cheese pizza

Today's news covered the poor young American man sentenced to hard labor in North Korea for a minor theft of a propaganda sign crime while visiting, who was returned to his parent only when ill-treatment put him in a brain-damaged coma.   I am watching the EPA chief testify to Congress, after submitting a budget request that amounts to a massive cut in this agency's budget.  His views fail to align with mine.

I like WASA crackers.
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