gurdonark: (Default)
2017-07-26 09:13 pm

long after dark

I usually work reasonably sane if sometimes long hours. But certain things in my work require me to burn the post-midnight oil. Last night/this-post-midnight turned out to be one of those times. I got home past 3 a.m. Today proved to be a busy but less late-night-ish day.

We walked tonight in the park.  A mixed breed dog that looked a little like Beatrice came bouncing up. She hopped about like a pogo stick as she went, leash-less from place to place. She could have been Tigger from Winnie the Pooh.  Her owner and her owner's toddler daughter
walked up. I asked the dog's name. "Susie", her owner said.  We liked Susie.

Breakfast: frosted flakes and skim milk
Lunch: turkey sandwich and baked chips
Dinner: grilled hamburger on half bolillo rolls and salad

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2017-07-25 07:54 am

wearing the right color for a soothing Brexit

Today I read that the musician Alice Cooper discovered a Warhol painting he owned but forgot in a tube in a storage space, next to some equipment.  I liked the pictures I saw of Alice Cooper with Andy Warhol, with Salvador Dali, and with Colonel Sanders. I also read that the Duchess of Cambridge and her family wear colors coordinated to fit with other countries' color schemes, in an act of incisive national diplomacy.  I read about the Black Lab Cloudbook, a Chromebook alternative that runs Black Lab Linux. I like the idea of a Linux distribution named after the labrador retriever breed.  I watched the newscaster Robin Meade, and tried to guess the origin of her accent. I thought her accent originated from Maryland or Delaware.  I got it quite wrong--she was from Ohio and once won a contest to become Miss Ohio. Once I knew the answer, I wondered how I could have missed the obvious.  I use the desktop style "Platinum" on my computer. I read that the name originated from a style of computer interface for an older MacIntosh computer system.  All I know is when I hit the little square in the bottom left-hand corner of my screen, I get a menu that makes sense. Other styles gave me menus that require more navigation. I hide icons on my systems nowadays, so an efficient start button makes a positive difference.

Soon I will get a shower and put on my business suit. I will put birdseed on the tiny bench that is a memorial to our dog Scout. I will carry my little travel laptop with me to work, so that I can analyze documents during an out-of-office meeting.  Today will be a busy day.

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2017-07-24 10:23 pm

Mountains under old Ownership

Rain last night brought today's temperature down a bit. At 6:30 p.m. I left the office. We watched the American Antiques Roadshow episode set in Kansas City.  I liked the toy bank more than my wife did. I donated a smidge of money on Patreon to Starfrosch, a website in Switzerland that provides information about Creative Commons music. We walked Beatrice in the dark at 9 p.m. The fountain in the park shone bright in the night light. We watched Penelope Keith's show about English villages. I was struck by the Aberdeenshire region near the Cairngorms. On the one hand, all that wild space was great. On the other hand, its existence seemed to be a product of concentration of property in a few wealthy hands.

Breakfast: organic frosted flakes and skim milk
Lunch: turkey sandwich, baked chips, vegetable soup
Dinner: pork loin, potatoes and green beans

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2017-07-23 08:33 pm

Making Samples

I walked on the Chisholm Trail before Weight Watchers. I saw a Snowy Egret wading in the shallow water. A Green Heron looked on, as if to warn the Snowy Egret off. I had heard Garrison Keillor do an effective narrative on NPR about the Detroit riots, the issues created by the police, and the aftermath for Detroit of the riots.. He mentioned the Poetry Magazine Podcast. So I listened to two episodes. Sarah Gambito read her two poems titled "Citizenship", which effectively used imagery rather than polemic to discuss new citizens. In the discussion portion, she discussed how her family members voted differently in the elections.  Oliver de la Paz read his poem "Autism Screening...", in which he gave more descriptive answers to questions he received in real life to help him assess if his child had autism. I liked both podcasts. I should listen to more poetry podcasts.

I planned to gain a bit of weight this week, as I was near the bottom end of the 10-pound bracket set for me by my doctor. I meant to gain 2 pounds but gained 3.2 pounds. My "science"  proved inexact.  I walked around the lake at Oak Point Park in Plano after Weight Watchers. I liked that the little signs now say that kayaks and canoes are permitted on the lake.  Maybe someday I will own a kayak.

I went to church. I was pleased that the associate pastor Jessica Wright gave the sermon in the pastor's absence. She proved a fine speaker. She closed with a talk about learning to be less judgmental.  She said that even if one's first thought is autonomously snarky or judge-y, one should strive in one's second thought to see them as humans (her exact words probably invoked God's love more eloquently than this post has done).

After church, I stopped at KFC.  Then I went home.  During the afternoon, I worked on a music project involving a friend in the UK.  I created seven sets of samples using software and various samples I created.  The samples all turned out complex and interesting. I am not sure how useful they will be for my collaborator. But I'm sure he'll have fun.  I did take a break to throw Beatrice's tennis ball.  She fetched it, like her customary good dog self.  I used the software Noiser, Sawcutter and Tunafish.  I like Noiser, because it has an element of random algorithms about its composition process.

I noticed that we were out of mini-dog-bones and dog treats.  This situation was intolerable. So I ran to the Kroger. On the way, I walked in Green Park, a little park near my home. I saw few birds, but got some good pictures of a male House Finch.

Now we are watching Grantchester.

Breakfast: skim milk and frosted flakes
Lunch: grilled chicken, green beans and half a biscuit
Dinner: two roast beef sandwiches on bolillo rolls with provolone cheese

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2017-07-22 09:42 pm

Imperfect repairs and shady spaces

Friday after work I walked in Breckinridge Park.  The Eastern Bluebirds played among the trees. We dined at Zoe's Kitchen for dinner. We turned in fairly early.

Saturday morning I took Beatrice for a walk. The heat was not bad. But the sun was bright. Beatrice walked from shady spot to shady spot. The walk took 50 minutes. When Beatrice was younger, the walk took thirty minutes.

At mid-day Saturday I went to Home Depot and to Loew's to get some hardware to use to fix my bicycle. I like that nuts and bolts and the like are always very inexpensive, though I miss the huge hardware store pull-out drawers of my youth. The modern system has lots of choice, but perhaps a bit less choice than the old-time hardware store offered.

When I got home, I tried to do the repairs. I was close to having gotten the right thing. But I had not quite gotten it right. I need a washer or two and shorter bolt or so to fix the front tire fender.  I used a wire tie to do a temporary fix on the bicycle. During my ride, the stop-gap stick I put in last week came loose. Its predecessor stick last years. I put in a new stick. It's a curious thing, but I forgot to get a nut and bolt to do the easiest repair--replacing the stick.  I rode for 8 miles, on the Watters Branch trail, the Urban Centre Loop Trail and back home.

I wanted to see the 3:30 p.m. showing of the movie "Valerian".  When I arrived at the Allen cinema, the 3:30 p.m. showing was not posted. I assumed it was sold out, though I did not brave the line to confirm it. Instead, I drove to Suncreek Park. There I could hike the Trail in the Woods, a shady alternative to the Texas heat.  I liked being in the shade by Rowlett Creek. I took pictures of Eastern Bluebirds in the shade.

I went home and read more of the current science fiction I am reading, "Constellation Games". My wife and I headed to Little Sichuan for dinner. Now we are watching a DVD of "Foyle's War". 

friday breakfast: organic frosted flakes
friday lunch: fried chicken breast and leg, french fries and a roll
friday dinner: mediterranean chicken, lentil soup, baked chips and fruit

saturday breakfast: brown rice cereal
saturday lunch: fried chicken breast, french fries and green beans
saturday dinner: shrimp with vegetables, a little rice and hot and sour soup
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2017-07-20 11:55 pm

Interrupted Silence

I worked another solid day. At lunch I walked in Heritage Park in Sachse. In the evening, I went to the Garland Salvation Army.  The Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program holds a monthly free legal clinic.  Tonight we had a few volunteers and a large number of clients. I did not keep a count on how many clients I met. But I know I met with several.

I read about the resignation of Mississippi football coach Hugo Freeze. Apparently, a school cellphone he used had a call on it to an escort service. I take no joy in his error. But I do wonder when folks will learn about using other folks' devices to conduct such calls.  It appears that an attorney for his predecessor, Houston Nutt, found the call using a Freedom of Information request.  As I understand it, Nutt is pursuing a defamation case against the university, claiming that Mr. Nutt is being blamed for recruiting violations at the school. Sports is its own soap opera.

I like social media. I do not like, though, the way that one loses touch with folks.

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2017-07-19 11:15 pm

very merry

I worked hard but well today. After work. I walked in Glendover Park. I read the sad news that Senator John McCain contracted brain cancer. I read someone's semi-snarky tweet about his condition. I nearly responded with my disapproval, but refrained. I wish people had a little more heart sometimes.  I learned a better new thing this week--an old friend's cancer went into remission. I re-watched the first "Guardians of the Galaxy" movie on television.  I listened to the "Ask Noah" podcast. I read a journal entry from Christmas Eve 2014.  I thought yesterday how much I love Edna St. Vincent Millay's poem "Recuerdo".

breakfast: instant oatmeal
lunch: BBQ chicken breast, green beans and a roll
dinner: baked salmon, roast potatoes, and green beans

gurdonark: (Default)
2017-07-18 09:26 pm

non-fearsome but feared

I like work now. It's a bit busy. After work I walked on the Celebration Trail in Allen. When I walked in the underpass beneath Angel Parkway, a small non-poisonous snake crawled into the shade. I worried that the little snake would be harmed by a panicked hiker, runner or bicyclist. I steeled myself for the worst. People get so carried away about snakes.

When I walked back, I got passed by a dad and daughter on their bicycles (Dad had a son in a pull cart) rode. The daughter, perhaps  5 or 6, said "this will take forever, daddy!". He tried to show her on a map on his phone that they had nearly finished the ride. She looked at the map but was unimpressed.

When I got back to the pedestrian underpass the snake was in good and unobtrusive shape.  But the little girl was afraid. The Dad pointed out out it was only a rat snake. They bicycled by the snake without incident. But the little girl cried once she had ridden past. 

breakfast: brown rice crisp cereal
lunch: turkey sandwich, baked chips, vegetable soup
dinner: turkey sandwiches on sandwich slims with chips

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2017-07-17 10:24 pm

busy bee

I woke up early and began working. After a time, I got ready and drove to work, after reading some pages of a novel.  I watched American Kestrels in Timber Nature Preserve at lunch.

I walked after work in Bob Woodruff Park.  At home, I had to work some more.  Now I am watching Star Trek: Voyager.

Breakfast: toasted o's cereal and skim milk
Lunch: turkey sandwich and baked BBQ chips
Dinner: two wonderful chicken tacos
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2017-07-16 09:28 pm

walking on water at Suncreek Park

I got up early and ate a breakfast of instant oatmeal. I got a bit of work done.  Beatrice and I walked around Glendover Pond. I headed to the Chisholm Trail near Custer and Spring Creek. I walked for more than half an hour there. At Weight Watchers, I was down two pounds, which surprised me a little. My ups and downs nowadays are more about how many bananas or soft drinks I ingest in the days before weigh-in. After Weight Watchers I walked in Shawnee Park in Plano for half an hour. I liked the immature Eastern Bluebirds flitting around.

At church, the new associate minister, Jessica Wright, gave the sermon. I found her sermon excellent. She took the walk-on-water story from scripture and made some good points from that foundation.  I was struck when she said in her family, all sports that are about speed are the vogue.--NASCAR, Tour de France, and so forth. This was a fun counterpoint to my thinking lately, when see the virtues of pedaling slowly. She started her sermon with a story of going to see her grandparents each year in Bull Shoals Lake in northern Arkansas. I have never been there, but always wanted to go.

After church, I ate three soft chicken tacos at Taco Bueno.  Then I headed home. I napped a couple of hours in the mid-afternoon. In the very late afternoon, I rode my bicycle through Glendover Park to Green Park. When Green Park turned out to be quiet, I rode side streets, crossed McDermott Road, and bicycled to Suncreek Park. I was pleased to see that I could bicycle there crossing only one main road. I typically dismount my bike when a street is really busy. During the ride, I got a good look at a Mississippi Kite. I hoped it would land on a tree nearby, but it decided to fly on.   I walked my bicycle in Suncreek Park and rode home in time to watch a 7 p.m. television program.

My bicycle's front fender appears to have suffered a bit in yesterday's fall. I dislike paying bicycle shops to do repairs unless they are essential. I will try to gather the nuts, bolts and the like rig a workable solution. It's a cosmetic issue, but I like the fender's cosmetics.

At 7 we watched "My Mother and Other Strangers".   My wife decided she wanted to have El Pollo Loco again. I drove to pick up her chicken avocado bowl and my 3-piece chicken with broccoli and pinto beans. I worried that I got her order wrong, but she was happy.

Our recording of "Grantchester" did not take. So we'll watch it on-line this week.

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2017-07-15 09:58 pm

Hero, Bunting, Rain and Hampton

I post to Dreamwidth but mirror to LiveJournal. I think of my journal as a LiveJournal.  I like that Dreamwidth's "search entries" function reverted back to the version that worked well.  I think this function was lost in whole or in part by the "improvement" of LiveJournal.  I find that people often modernize things away that people prefer to use, usually in the name of freshness or style. My style, as the former world chess champion Anatoly Karpov said, is that I have no style.  I wish Dreamwidth had better photo handling, but I will take the trade.

I like being able to easily find things that happen in the past. It reminds me to describe things so that I can find them later.

This morning I worked in the wee hours on a work project.  But I still woke up early and ate toasted rice and skim milk. I took Beatrice for a morning walk. Though the forecast was favorable, I saw clouds setting in, coming down from the north.  Soon after we arrived home it began to rain. As my wife slept in, I sat on the dry part of our back patio and watched it rain.  Beatrice poked her head out the doggie door to see what I was doing. She did not see the virtue in sitting in a patio chair and watching the rain.  But I did.

By 10:45, I put on my bicycle helmet and headed out on my bicycle. Everything was pleasant and the birds were singing. I had one problem in the wet aftermath of the rain.   I pedal slowly. But as I crossed a small wooden bridge on the bike path, I put on my brakes. My bicycle hydro-planed (at a stunning speed of six miles an hour).  I slid down on the ground. I got a couple of small bruises. I was not hurt. I did get a little muddy. I consider it a mudpack of courage.  A nice man walking the trail asked me if I was okay. I told him that  I was, and thanked him for this concern.

I did notice that the stick I had put in years ago to fill in for a missing bolt was dislodged. Providentially, another stick appeared, which fit perfectly in the bolt hole.  I hope it also lasts for years. Perhaps someday I'll get a proper nut and bolt instead.

I rode the Watters Branch Trail and both of the Urban Centre Loop Trails. I figured out how to loop back on both loop trails, and concluded perhaps their names were not misnomers after all.  My android fitness app told me that I rode 8 miles at the stunning speed of 6 miles an hour for something over 87 minutes.   I really liked some of the things I saw--a Cooper's Hawk, a male Painted Bunting, and a fox squirrel dangling from a tree, tenuously holding the huge fruit of the Bois d'Arc tree. I wanted to take a picture of the Painted Bunting, but it flew to another tree. I heard its trilling song.  I watched a rambunctious Carolina Wren instead.

My wife and I went to El Pollo Loco, where I had white meat chicken, corn  tortillas and broccoli.  Then my wife went to the Sephora store in J.C. Penney.  The women helping customers wore garlands in their hair, a bit like an episode of Star Trek (the original series) or a hypothetical Merchant/Ivory film about a remote Kentish girls' school.

In the afternoon, I worked some more, which made me happy.  Then we drove to Plano to see a movie.  First we went to a sandwich shop called East Hampton. I had a great turkey sandwich on wheat with great potato chips.  My wife had the same on a neat roll.

We went to see Brett Haley's movie "The Hero", a vehicle for and homage to character actor Sam Elliott.  We really enjoyed this film.  In addition to being a showcase role for Sam  Elliott, I thought that Laura Prepon did a great job--a real step forward for her career. Also, Krysten Ridder got a chance to effectively play someone a good bit different then  the range of characters she usually plays.  Nick Offerman was also a lot of fun in this movie. I liked that though the movie was about a different, higher tier (but relatively not-high tier) of the entertainment business than that of my few friends who were in that business, I could recognize the places and the feel of things.  Though the plot had some well-traveled themes, the understated way the players played their roles plus the sense of heart in the script made it all great fun and yet a reflective film.

At home again, I called Beatrice in from the back yard. She lies on her Mississippi bed beside me now. I ate a Skinny Cow fudge bar and all its right with the world

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2017-07-14 09:30 pm

netlabel day and crowded rooms

Today is Netlabel Day, a day when Creative Commons netlabels  issue a series of nearly-simultaneous releases to create a virtual candystore of experimental and electronic music.   I downloaded "Into the Rift vol. 2" from the Cerebral Rift netlabel. I know roughly half a dozen of the 16 artists. I enjoyed listening to the first several tracks this morning.  I threw Beatrice's tennis ball for her prior to heading to work.

I got a lot done at work today, but will do a lot more in the coming days.
For lunch, I tried the local Panera. It was very crowded. I found its busy-ness puzzling, as usually Paneras are a little more sedate. I was impressed with how relatively quickly I got my food, given the crowds.  After lunch, I walked around the Firewheel Shopping Center.

After work, we went to Firewater Grill. We had a great waiter. We enjoyed our meal. One television set featured the local baseball team playing the baseball team from my wife's home region of Kansas City. Another television played scenes from Wimbledon.  We barely paid attention to either, but it was fun to glance.

I also watched the video of this week's argument in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in which the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) filed a suit on behalf of a macaque that took a selfie against the photographer who published the photo.  The suit got dismissed at the trial court level at the initial pleading stage. The argument before the appellate court sought to undo that result. I thought the suit a publicity stunt when I heard about it, and feel more strongly that way now. I feel badly for the self-published photographer who got dragged into a lawsuit in this way. I appreciated that the appellate judges, though skeptical of this thin claim, handled the appellant's counsel with courtesy and thoughtfulness. I do hope macaques are protected from the hazards they face, though this was not in my view a meaningful or appropriate way to advance that goal.

We walked in the park in the early evening. I loved the little male American Kestrel, who stood atop a street light until a Northern Mockingbird chased him away.

Now we are watching a movie in which people figure skate.

breakfast: organic corn flakes and skim milk
lunch: Mediterranean veggie sandwich and chicken noodle soup with a baguette
dinner: 6 oz sirloin steak, roast potatoes and mixed vegetables

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2017-07-13 10:19 pm

bbq and no-sun

I found the new Dickey's BBQ near my work. I enjoyed my meal. We watched the Venus Williams/Johanna Konta Wimbledon semi-final tennis match on television.  I listened to the Ask Noah podcast and walked the Chisholm Trail after lunch.

I read about the coming solar eclipse. We get 75 percent coverage here. I thought about Grand Island, Nebraska. I read about a new service that rents kayaks in McKinney.  The location, where Sister Grove Creek meets Lake Lavon, sounds like a delightful place to kayak. 

Tomorrow I have much to do.

breakfast: toasted rice and skim milk
luncH: BBQ chicken, rolls, green beans
dinner: grilled chicken and black-eyed peas.

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2017-07-12 09:41 pm

no chasing, please

I changed the style on my LiveJournal so that I could see if I could learn more when someone "likes" a post.

I read the webcomic series "Then this happened" by musician Tom Ray of Lorenzo's Oil. I know Tom a bit because I have been the guest a few times on his "Music Manumit Podcast". I also listen to his band's music sometimes. He is into Creative Commons releases, as I am. "Then this happened" deals with he and his wife dealing with her cancer diagnosis. I found all 60plus comics thus far poignant and real:
"Then this Happened".

I bought a small hacksaw at Lowe's tonight. I used it to cut off a stray branch on our Crape Myrtle tree. It sliced off okay. I I like handtools and dislike power tools.

Breakfast: toasted rice cereal and skim milk
Lunch: fried chicken breast and leg, green beans and 1/4 biscuit
Dinner: spaghetti with arrubiata sauce

I walked in Dave Sanford Park in Sachse at lunch, and in Hoblitzelle Park in Plano after work. A child kept mildly hassling the ducks. I was glad to see her mom step in.

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2017-07-11 10:02 pm

passings and pizza

The news that the president's son met with a Russian operative for the purpose of seeking "opposition research" about Hillary Clinton fills the news.  These are odd times.

I walked in Heritage Park at lunch. I walked in Allen Station Park in Allen after work.

I read an obituary from a few years ago about someone I knew a very little but not well in high school. I had not realized that she had passed away. I liked her obituary, which pointed out that she was active in a Narcotics Anonymous group and that she left behind pet named Scooter in addition to her other loved ones. I wish she had lived a longer life. I recall walking past her house once. A large Summer hat was hanging for decoration on her front door, like something from a garden cottage magazine. The world needs more hats on doors.

I heard radio stories about auctions of a letter by Jane Austen and, separately, a letter by Mao Zedong. I found it ironic that Mao Zedong's epistolary chats about Chinese poetry would have an auction prediction of over half a million dollars.  Jane Austen's critique of a female novelist was estimated to hit $ 25,000.  The collector market is a curious thing.

I liked that the pizza buffet brought back carrots and dill pickles

Breakfast: instant oatmeal\
Lunch: buffet pepperoni and Hawaiian pizza, broccoli, carrots, dill pickles
Dinner: whole wheat spaghetti, salad, arriagata sauce

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2017-07-11 08:08 am

on track Monday

I got a lot done at work on Monday. The resting I did on Sunday refreshed me. After work, I walked in Crowley Park.   I listened to the Linux Action News podcast and to Paula Poundstone's new NPR podcast..  We watched Penelope Keith visit small villages in Devon and Cornwall on PBS.  I thought about Saturday evening's finale to "Ashes to Ashes", which I had not see before. We found it a satisfying conclusion.

breakfast Monday: erewhon cereal and skim milk
lunch Monday: turkey sandwich and baked chips
dinner Monday: grilled chicken, fresh black-eyed peas, and salad

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2017-07-10 08:01 am

catching up

Yesterday I followed my morning routines--a walk in Chisholm Trail, a Weight Watchers meeting, another walk,and then church .  In the afternoon, I rested.  I've never quite gotten rid of the bit of Summer bug I started a few weeks ago. I hoped to rest it away.

Though I meant to get in a late afternoon walk or bicycle ride, a pop-up storm put a stop to that intention. I put a digital recorder on my back patio table, and caught a few minutes of the sound of the falling rain on the patio. I watched the second of the Divergent movies. I slept a good bit.

I read the current e-book I am working upon, a light sci-fi called "Constellation Games" by Leonard Richardson.  Now I am well along with this novel. I also watched an episode of "Grantchester".  Julie Benz starred in a holiday movie on the Hallmark Channel where July is a harbinger of Christmas. I read about bicycle paths in nearby cities.My wife went out to dinner with a former co-worker. I was pleased to hear that the co-worker, who had been a contractor, now works for a bank as an employee with good benefits.

This morning I woke up at 3, convinced myself it was 6, and ate a very early breakfast. Beatrice joined me. Then we went back to sleep. Beatrice went out to bark at the Monday morning lawnmower in a neighbor's yard.  A morning dove is calling from my chimney.

breakfast Sunday: toasted wheat-fuls and skim milk
lunch Sunday: two fried fish fillets and green beans with a roll
dinner Sunday: two turkey sandwiches on sandwich slims and baked chips
breakfast Monday: erewhon cereal and skim milk

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2017-07-08 07:52 pm

Mexican Art

Friday I worked a solid day. On the way home, I walked in Shawnee Park. We had a quiet Friday evening. We ate Market Street, where I had roast chicken, turnip greens and green beans.

This morning I ate a breakfast of Erewhon cereal and skim milk.  Perhaps Erewhon is named for the lack of sugar anywhere. I walked Beatrice at 6:45 a.m. During our walk, I saw my first Yellow-Crowned Night Heron of the year. This brings my Collin County species count for the year up to 102 species.  At 8:20, I rode my bicycle on the Watters Creek Trail for 55 minutes.

My wife and I headed out at 9:45.  We drove my car to Parker Road Station. Then we drove to North Park Mall to meet our friend Cathy. We all consolidated into one car and headed into downtown Dallas. We had tickets for an art exhibition at the Dallas Museum of Art. I was looking forward to the exhibit of Mexican art from 1900 to 1950.  

We arrived at the museum several minutes before its opening. A long line had formed. This was a really popular exhibit, nearing its conclusion. People were nice--the line snaked around in the shade, as lines should do in July in north Texas.

When it opened, we were able to by-pass the ticket line, because we had bought in advance. We wandered a bit, but finally found the exhibit. The exhibit was really wonderful. It featured lots of fascinating pieces. Some were familiar, like "Los Dos Fridas" and the Calla seller. Some were unknown to me. I liked Manilla's "Indian Woman from Oaxaca" and Olga Costa's "Fruit Seller". I found Manuel Rodriguez Lozano's "Autoretrato" painting in which he faces the viewer wearing a tie and a coat very well done.  It was great to see the Rivera, Orozco, Kahlo and Siqueros paintings.  This was the best Mexican art exhibit I have seen since a visit to Guadalajara some twenty or so years ago.

I was a bit intrigued by the crowd reaction.  One woman behind me in line assured the  docent she was only there for 12 minutes or so--to see the Frida Kahlo's quickly and see nothing else in this robust exhibition.  Several visitors focused on taking selfies next to the Kahlos. Folks kept tripping off the security alarm indicating they were standing too close to "Los Dos Fridas".  I really admire and love Frida Kahlo's work, but she seemed to trigger a fangirl reaction that none of the other amazing art invoked in the crowds.  The museum even held a Frida-look-alike event that drew 1,000 Fridas.

Though the exhibition was crowded, it was still a good time.  Kahlo-surdity aside, folks were quite polite and friendly.  Though I  knew a bit about this era of Mexican art, I learned a lot as well. I was not up to speed on the Mexican take on futurism, the Stridentist movement. We all enjoyed this exhibit a lot.

We went to Dallas' downtown park Klyde Warren Park. It was built on a highway bridge. It's got food trucks.  I ate a tasty sandwich with chicken, jalapenos, and Texas toast. My wife and Cathy had lobster rolls. Cathy and my wife dropped me off at the St. Paul station. They went on to the Farmers' Market. I rode to Parker Road Station. I walked in Green Park until a storm blew in.  I went home and read my book. Then I fell asleep. Meanwhile, the severe storm damaged our crape myrtle trees a bit.

We went to Thai Noodle Wave for dinner. I ate a Thai noodle soup and summer rolls.  It was a bit hot but a good meal. 

After dinner, we walked around Glendover Pond and pondered the trees.

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2017-07-06 10:18 pm

rain alleviates heat

The afternoon featured an unexpected rain. I read about John Williams, the author of "Stoner". I read and liked that novel a few years ago. I knocked a few pages off as to Constellation Games, a sci-fi I am reading.

breakfast: instant oatmeal
lunch: three slices of buffet pizza with broccoli
dinner: sockeye salmon, salad and whole wheat rotini
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2017-07-05 08:43 pm

back home and thinking about away

I enjoyed being back at work today. I felt rested and relaxed.  Beatrice woke me periodically starting at 4 a.m. or so.   She felt the need to lick the back of my head, to  help me wake.

I thought about some of the things we saw in small town Wisconsin. Almost every town featured a Friday night fish fry. Car shows seemed to pop up here and there. Huge, modern-style bare-blade windmills were common. Horicon is the home of the John Deere lawn tractor factory, so it was not a huge surprise to see the little green lawn tractors in abundance. I found my mild southern accent and the rural Wisconsin accent do not always permit perfect ease of communication, though the issue was slight. I thought the folks we met were all great.

Most of the bird life I knew from seeing it here in Texas. Some birds, like the sparrows and American Goldfinch, winter where I live but Summer up there. I saw some Wisconsin birds we rarely see in Texas, like Gray Catbird, Tree Swallow and Sandhill Crane. Some of our birds do not live up there, like Scissortail Flycatcher and Northern Mockingbird.  I enjoyed seeing all the variety of animals at the marsh. I always like seeing Bald Eagles, who are more rare in my part of Texas. The abundance of Wild Parsnip, a toxic-to-touch invasive plant, served to keep people on the trails. The whole terrain was post-glacial.

During our trip, I had with me my "travel" laptop. I like that its screen is a bit less than 12". When I travel, I read different ebooks. This trip, I finished Mrs. Oliphaunt's "Last of the Mortimers".  I began Edward Bulwer-Lytton's "Paul Clifford". "Paul Clifford" is the fabled "It was a dark and lonely night" opening passage, to which a contest is now devoted. I knocked out the first 50 of its 1,000 epages, and look forward to the rest.

I read an appraisal of the Modi administration in India in an issue of The Economist. I went to Weight Watchers tonight. I gained two-tenths of a pound on vacation, which was a good result. I walked the Chisholm Trail on the way home.

Breakfast: toasted wheatfuls and skim milk
Lunch: turkey sandwich, vegetable soup and baked chips
Dinner: cube steak, sweet potato, salad