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Today I felt myself coming out of illness like a man rising from a fog.

In the morning, when I walked Beatrice, I was feeling quite under the weather. But by late afternoon, I felt much less ill.

I was able to get some exercise. i did each of the following:

--walked in Limestone Quarry Park, where I saw my first Ruby-Throated Kinglets of the Autumn.
--took butterfly pictures in Story Park.
--bicycled on the Watters Creek Traill

I finally finished the sci-fi novel "Constellation Games" after months of being at roughly page 500 or 700.  I liked the novel. I was glad to finish it.

I picked up a new ebook from Tor, Spencer Ellsworth's Starfire. 

Breakfast: cereal and skim milk
Lunch: bbq turkey, green beans, corn and roll
Dinner: 2 slices cheese pizza

a bit much

Oct. 20th, 2017 02:15 am
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The weather is really delightful. It's a shame to still be under the weather.  I did walk in Travis Farm Park at lunch (lots of Eastern Bluebirds) and in Bob Woodruff Park at dinner, where I saw my first Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker of the Autumn.'

We let my aunt and uncle in Tulsa know we could not visit them this weekend. Though I hope Saturday brings a bit of relief, I do not want to drive multiple hours feeling this way.

Last night my various medicines seemed to provoke coughing rather than suppress it, making me wonder but not research if something I am on works as an expectorant.

We watched "Chicago Fire".

The news is full of surreal things. A Congresswoman elected to critique the president''s fallen soldier call. I am not a fan of this president, but my view is that "gotcha" analyses of how someone does with a condolence call made by a listener-in is a bit much. The backlash against that Congresswoman, in turn, is also a bit much. Meanwhile, while over 70 percent of Puerto Rico is without power, and one quarter without good drinking water, the president is pronouncing the relief effort a 10/10. He is off the mark.

We slept late yesterday, waking at a bit past when I usually go to work.  The woman who cleans our house, Elke, did not realize we were still at home. She started cleaning. We heard her talking to Beatrice, saying "hello, Puppy". I was pleased Beatrice likes her.

After this month's wi-fi hack nationwide, I am reluctantly browsing to update our phones. Both no longer ger updates from their manufacturer, as each is years old.  Smartphone updates should last five or ten years, not two.

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At lunch I went to the Garland Weight Watchers meeting. I was down 5 pounds, which was more weight loss than I wanted. My weekend illness cut my appetite, though I felt I ate fairly well. The leader, Susie, did a good job.

After work, I went to a CareNow clinic.  The doctor could see me in about 80 minutes. I walked a bit while I waited, and they called me to say come on in.  I got my bronchitis diagnosis, and an appropriate set of medications prescribed. WalGreens got me sorted with the medicines. I liked the doc-in-a-box. I got to that clinic roughly once a year, usually in this circumstance, as it is near our home.

We watched Chicago PD. Now I am watching once more a Summer movie I like---"Edge of Tomorrow".

cereal and skim milk
2 slices buffet pizza, carrots and pickles
chicken breasts, a baked potato and salad


Oct. 17th, 2017 09:31 pm
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I got my car inspected today. I am pleased it passed. I went on-line to register the car, as this is now a two-step one-stop process. Now I wait for my magic sticker to arrive with that magic phrase "10 18".

I am pleased to be busy and productive at work.  I still feel a fair bit ill, but I am slogging through. I am eager to feel better.

The powerful surge of women all over the internet posting about their experience of sexual harassment made an impression.

I updated my operating system, which I think patched the wi-fi hack issue.

kix cereal, skim milk, 3 soft chicken tacos, hamburger patties, salad, sourdough


Oct. 16th, 2017 08:19 pm
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Friday night we took our niece to Good Union Urban BBQ. Usually we have a delightful time there. But Friday we endured a long wait only to have one sandwich too few served. After a further interminable wait, we replaced that sandwich. We also picked up a simple burger for my niece, who did not enjoy a vinegar-based BBQ. We plugged a Star Wars DVD into the DVD player and enjoyed a quiet evening.

I passed Friday evening with muscle cramps and coughs. Saturday I rallied to walk the park with Beatrice, and ate lunch at Elke's. I enjoyed spending time with my wife and niece, but felt the need to  turn in for the day. In the evening we had steak, oven fries, broccoli and
a special ice cream cake in the shape of a heart for my niece's impending birthday.

Saturday evening I suffered from cramps, coughs and chills.

Sunday I slept late. I spent the day resting. Monday morning I got up and went to work. I even felt able to walk at lunch and after work. Tonight we watched Supergirl and then learned about Yorkshire villages. I hope to rejoin the land of the living soon.

bike wheel

Oct. 13th, 2017 07:47 am
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Thursday at lunch I drove my mountain bicycle to Don Johle's Bike World in Garland. My bicycle needed new tires and inner tubes. I had tried to take it to Performance Bicycle in Plano, only to find a two-week service wait to get a 20-minute tire change done. But the bike shop in Garland was able to get my bicycle done in an hour. I picked it up after work. I thought how there is something very Plano in a long-wait for bicycle repairs, and something very Garland about instant service. Garland's store is less posh  but much quicker.

Last night I developed a cough and some leg cramping. I seem a bit better today. I hope I am not getting really sick.

I had another phone call with my young niece, whom my wife is picking up at the airport today. They are going to a tea room called Chocolate Angel for lunch, We three plan a fun weekend.

cereal and skim milk
fried chicken breast and leg, french fries, 1/8th biscuit
minute steak, sweet potato, salad

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I got up early to listen to an album and write release notes for it. I really liked two of the five pieces in the album. Our weather has been cooler this week.  I walked in Heritage Park at lunch and watched butterflies fly by. I could not decide if several were Red Admirals or Painted Ladies, though those species are not that similar.

Our mlikweed stand remains a puzzle. The leaves reflect lots of signs of being eaten, but I see neither the caterpillars nor the signs of chrysalis. I hope they are still around.  The Milkweed Bugs remain in evidence.

Today is a "Gray Day". The September Law School Admission Test (LSAT) results came out today. They call it "Gray Day" because the appropriate website has the buttons go gray to signal that the scores are out. I took the LSAT 37 years ago. It was so different then. I did not take a prep course nor even know about prep courses. I knew of nobody but me among my small-town acquaintances who was taking it.  The world wide web had not been invented yet, and there was no mass way to communicate with others about the test. I took practice exams in a prep book to get ready. 

I took the LSAT to give me more career options. My undergrad grades were a B average, and I had heard that I could get into law school with a decent LSAT score even if I had a B average. I do well on standardized tests. As usual with number 2 pencil standard tests,  I got a very good but not truly great score.  But I knew so little about anything--law school "rankings" were not at all a "thing" within my awareness, though obviously I knew that Harvard or Stanford was super-elite, and my local state law school was not at all elite. But I knew that my place was the State U. so getting into someplace higher ranked was not important to me anyway.

One huge advantage in 1981 was cost. In-state tuition at public universities was, even after correcting for inflation, a fraction of what it is nowadays. Reasonably-priced professional school is a casualty of the state neglect of education in pursuit of tax cuts.

Law has been a good career for me. I am grateful that I went to law school when it was affordable.

Nowadays young women and men are so tuned in and knowledgeable about things neither I nor, I suspect, lots of folks my age knew at all.

I texted my 11 year-old niece who called me back. I took my mountain bike to Perfornance Bicycle, where they showed me that the tires held air after all while recommending we replace the tires. I will take that advice.

I walked Beatrice in the dark at 8 p.m. She loved that.

quaker lower sugar oatmeal, 3 slices pepperoni buffet pizza, cucumbers, carrots, dill pickles, pork loin, sweet potato, salad


Oct. 10th, 2017 10:22 pm
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I had a lot to do today, but it turned into a less hectic day than feared. At lunch, I went to the Wylie Post Office to mail a family matters form by a deadline. The postal employee patiently weighed my return envelope. I needed to buy stamps. He handed me a set of flag stamps. I asked what else he had. I got Halloween pumpkins.

The Harvey Weinstein story got more sordid today, as famous and less famous people told their stories of harassment. As one twitter user pointed out, Harvey Weinsteins exists in all walks of life. It's unfortunate that a powerful mogul acted unchecked for years.

I got a LinkedIn invite from my wife's cousin's daughter. We traded short "hi!" messages. She's a good egg.

I like cool weather like today.

breakfast: kix and skim milk, lunch: chicken, green beans, biscuit
dinner: ravioli with English peas and tiny bits of carrot.

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I got a lot done today. I hope to get a lot done tomorrow.

I walked in Travis Farm Park at lunch.  This is a little park in Murphy. I hoped to see hummingbirds, but instead I saw butterflies and Eastern Bluebirds.

After work, I walked in Crowley Park.

The news is full of difficult things. The police inquiry into the deranged terrorist who shot 500 people in Las Vegas continues to produce conflicting and odd surmises of the fellow.  The president reneged on an immigration deal designed to help folks brought here as children. There "should be" room for compromises on these immigration issues, but nobody seems able to find it. The horrid behavior of accused serial harasser Harvey Weinstein reads like a bad parody of a casting couch scenario.  Social media erupted in critical tweets after Meryl Streep withheld comment until the scandal was unearthed. I thought social media  a bit harsh on that part. Meanwhile, the Vice President staged a walkout from a football game over the kneeling at the national anthem issue that was even less authentic than anything described in the golden age movie days of Photoplay Magazine. 

Tonight we watched on PBS as Penelope Keith visited villages in Scotland.

breakfast: kix and skim milk; lunch: roast beef sandwich and wheat bread and baked chips; dinner: BBQ turkey, green beans, roll, corn

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Sunday I was up a little at Weight Watchers. This week's seminarian at the Way church service was a very good speaker. For the second week in a row, the speaker's little intro bio introduced the speaker as having a special interest. The previous Sunday, the speaker's special interest was in bridging the gap between origins originating in east Asia and Christianity.  This week's speaker was interested in mission work in impoverished areas. It's good that folks want to help out with both these fields. But it begins to make me wonder if the useful but unhip task of being a pastor at a church comes off as too prosaic for would-be saints. 

We ate lunch at the House Cafe. In the afternoon, I walked in Bethany Lakes Park to Story Park and back again. I got photographs of Monarch butterflies and Gulf Fritillary Butterflies.  In the evening, I watched television, foregoing a chance to be more productive.

I have not seen the handful of Monarch caterpillars on our milkweek plants this past few days. I know that such caterpillars are not as likely to become bird food,because their milkweed diet makes them taste toxic to birds. But though I see evidence of lovingly-chewed leaves, I do not see either caterpillars or chrysalis. We'll see what I see next.

Breakfast: Kix cereal and skim milk.  Lunch: oven-fried catfish, vegetable soup, fruit, baked potato.  Dinner: Mexican chicken bake, salad.

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Last night I stayed up too late. At 4 in the morning I began watching episodes of the original Star Trek series. I woke a bit late, I decided to head into my office. I worked on work matters and administrative matters until around 1 p.m.  Then I drove to a KFC for lunch.  When I arrived home, I decided to take a bicycle ride on the Watters Branch Trail. I enjoyed an 80-minute ride, covering just 6 miles. I got off my bicycle in DaySpring Nature Preserve, a small open-area with trees and CCC-looking replica picnic structures.  I was looking in my binoculars to get a better look at a Blue Jay when I saw a large Red-Tailed Hawk in a tree. I got some nice pictures of this hawk.

In the early evening we met our friends Scott and Donna and our friend (and my wife's former co-worker) Cathy at the Alamo Draft House in Richardson. We went to the movie "Battle of the Sexes".  I like the actress Emma Stone, but I had low expectations for this film. But we all enjoyed it very much.Though parts of the movie were fictionalized, it's amusing to think how much of the oddest details of the film are drawn from real life. I like that an event with the credibility of championship wrestling ended up changing the course of history. I also like that the movie showed all those designs and colors that were part of living in 1972-1973. I like also the way the movie showed that circumstances and choices involve pain sometimes, and that's a difficult thing.

After the movie, we ate at the little Italian place near the cinema. My food was lovely but very plentiful.  We talked about Puerto Rico, the Equifax hack, Bogolusa, Louisiana, a pumpkin patch and Cathy's upcoming choir performance.

In other news, the site did a new launch. I signed in to the new site, only to find my previous purchases missing. The site found them, though, which made me glad.

Also, I like butterflies.

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I ate lots of tortilla chips today, as a counter-balance to the pescado ajillo.

An on-line friend got a cool artist residence in the desert. I am a bit less artistically geographic. I plan to bicycle on a suburban sidewalk trail.

A police vehicle pulled out behind me with sirens wailing--the ambulance wailed not for me.

breakfast: kix cereal and skim milk
lunch: 2 slices alfredo flatbread, 1 slice pepperoni pizza, broccoli, carrots, cucumbers
dinner: pescado y camarones al ajillo, salad
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Warm, late-May-like weather dominates the days.  At Travis Farm Park, the columbine in bloom continues to attract migrating Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds.

Tonight I liked the television line-up---"The Good Place", "The Orville" and "Chicago Fire".  Charlize Thereon was a fun guest star on "The Orville".

The news covered the realization by lawmakers that  a ban on automatic weapons is circumvented if any sociopath with money can buy a device to make a semi-automatic gun behave nearly like an automatic. It's too bad it took 500 casualties at a concert to give rise to this realization. I hope they fix that issue with the law now.

breakfast: organic frosted flakes and skim milk
lunch: 3 soft chicken tacos
dinner: salmon, sweet potato, salad


Oct. 3rd, 2017 09:50 pm
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A gentle rain fell in the afternoon and evening. I listened to a voice on the radio describe over 500 shots being shot in less than ten minutes. In the evening, the television played "NCIS", "This is Us" and ""NCIS: New Orleans". I ate several bananas.

organic frosted flakes, skim milk, turkey sandwich, baked chips, cube steak, a sweet potato, salad, fortune cookies, a low-fat ice cream sandwich, popcorn cakes, grapes
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I fell asleep earlier than my wife last night. I know this because I woke at 3.30 a.m. to find the television in our bedroom turned to cable news. I tend to watch cable news more sparingly than does my wife. My late night channel might be an old movie.

At 3.30 a.m., the news covered a terrorist mass shooting in Las Vegas.  In that early time, only 2 deaths and two dozen wounded were confirmed. The news personnel seemed to assume it was Islamic terrorism. By morning, the death count rose dramatically, and the shooter turned out to be a man not currently thought to have Islamic ties. The investigation underway will tell us more.

I like social media, but all my social media outlets have handled this situation in the main in a disappointing way. I find that non-evidentiary generalizations (including my own) are a bipartisan phenomenon.  I will draw my own set of conclusions, but right now I think of hundreds of family members who lost loved ones due to a man shooting indiscriminately.  The sound of an automatic weapon on the various footage chills me. I hope that the police and FBI figure out more about this horrible terrorist tragedy.

I have been wearing a suit to work lately. Perhaps tomorrow I will wear business casual and carry a suit with me. It is supposed to rain tomorrow.


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After rising early for breakfast, I fell back asleep. I needed the rest.  I got up again at 8:30 a.m.

I lost a pound at Weight Watchers. The garden show expert on the radio discussed possible issues with a caller's tree.

At the Way service at church, the new format began. A seminary student gave the sermon. He was a second-year student named Lee. He had really interesting stories of his days in the Navy and his efforts to find his way as a social worker and musician. His speaking style was based a bit too much on reading and he spoke a bit quickly.  But he is a promising speaker.  Watching him reaffirmed for me the importance of speaking up and speaking slowly when speaking in public.

For lunch, we went to the House Cafe. We had never been there before. It was very nice. I had pork chops.

In the early afternoon, I put on my portable radio headphones. I listened to the football game as I walked the Watters Branch trail. I had wanted to rely less on televised sports and more on the radio. This kept me from hanging around the house watching the television all afternoon. On my walk, I saw  Red-tailed Hawk and a Downy Woodpecker.

I went in the late afternoon to Classic Cuts in Plano for a haircut. My hair stylist was a really nice woman. She told me she hoped to take her 2-year-old son to the State Fair. I seem to be a on a track in which I get a haircut every sixty days, but I should get on a schedule for every six weeks. She used the number 4 shears.

I drove to Story Park, where the little memorial flower garden had lots of butterflies on lots of flowers. I got good pictures of Pipevine Swallowtails and Gulf Fritillaries.

In the evening, we watched NCIS: Los angeles

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A light rain fell today. I saw few birds though birds usually flock to the park during the rain. The temperature felt like Fall. I worked until 7 p.m. The news is full of potential tax cuts resulting in deficit increases and expenditures of government funds by public officials on extravagant personal travel.  We discussed Los Angeles v. Big Bear.

Breakfast: organic frosted flakes and skim milk\
Lunch: turkey sandwich and baked chips
Dinner: skirt steak, refried beans, 3 shrimp, salad, tortilla chips

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Last night after work I walked in Allen Station Park in the near-dark. This park has a sidewalk path that passes a creek-adjacent woodland on the left side and an artificial water body used for a park where people get towed by mechanical ropes as they ski the water on the other side. On evenings like this, my hope is to see an owl or evening bit of wildlife. This time I saw a huge Red-Tailed Hawk. She sat on a light fixture on
the right of me, high above the ground.

I know that hawks have extremely keen eyesight---some of the guides place it at eight times sharper than human eyesight. I find that they also are able to "read" a few basic things about humans. If one approaches a Red-Tailed Hawk, the hawk knows the difference between a human looking away from the hawk and a human looking at the hawk. So I approached slowly, looking away as much as I could, but then turning to get views and pictures.  I got some nice photos. Then the hawk was gone.

On our milkweed plants some beautiful orange insects now roost. I looked up their name. This turned out to be "milkweed bugs". I like simple, accurate names. The first stages of Monarch Butterfly migration has begun. We will see if this year caterpillars appear on our vigorous stand of milkweed. Last week the caterpillars came so late that I am not sure they turned into butterflies before the inclement November weather. But I am hopeful this year, as every year.

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This week the bribery case filed against assistant university sports coaches arising from alleged bribery scheme hit the news. I read one of the federal court complaints. If true, these matters are serious problems.

I ate too fast at El Pollo Loco.  Aside from that, I do not feel entirely myself lately. But I do not feel entirely like someone else either.

The rain fell in Garland in the late afternoon.

breakfast: skim milk and multi-grain cheerios
lunch: vegetable soup. turkey sandwich, baked chips
dinner: grilled chicken breasts and wing, corn tortilla, pinto beans
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At lunch I walked in small Travis Farm Park. I liked the Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds flitting among columbine flower blooms. I believe they are part of Fall migration. I had a late afternoon dental appointment. I went to high school with my dentist.

I hoped to walk in the park this evening, but a work matter kept me at work late.  I got home in town for half of the TV show "This is Us" and all of "NCIS: New Orleans". 

I think I'd rather watch the show "The Orville" for free than "Star Trek: Discovery" with a further monthly access fee.

breakfast: multi-grain cheerios and skim milk
lunch: ham sandwich and baked chips
dinner: salmon and couscous

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