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Saturday, February 24, 2018

February 24, 2018

Well, it is Saturday and the Olympic games are coming to an end.  Good thing as our antenna decided not to receive that signal tonight.  I could go stand in different places or move the little antenna around but I am good with it just being over for another four years.  It goes by so very quickly.  Prior to events being shown today the network had a special about the 1988 Olympics in Calgary.  One of the male figure skaters noted that it hit him following his last program dance.  "I had the best skate.  This is what I have worked to for so many years."  In that moment Brian Boitano felt peace.  That special that can be seen here

That Olympics was 30 years ago.  In 2008 we visited Canada and stayed in Calgary.  We saw several of the venues used during that time.  We spent a week in the hotel used by the athletes for the downhill skiing events in Kananiskis.   Hard to believe that trip was 10 years ago, too.
Calgary ski jumps.

Olympic Saddledome, hockey and figure skating facility
I would show you the area for the downhill events but last year's computer crash has those files backed up on discs.  To import them I would have to get out the disc reader.  Make Hubby move so I could get to the backup discs.  Then sort thru about 10 discs.  You will just have to be satisfied that if you have seen one ski hill/mountain, you have seen them all.  

Hope you have taken time to watch some of the Olympic events.  The athletes are amazing.  From skiers to snowboarders to figure skaters and speed skaters.  Amazing talent.  Amazing commitment.  Amazing determination.  And just plain old guts.  

You all have a terrific Sunday.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

February 21, 2018

Just another day in the life of a retiree.  With all the online grocery shopping yesterday there were groceries to be picked up today.  Hubby received a text so he made the second run before breakfast.  I call it second cause I had made the first run last night to HEB for that order.  Just after noon and 3000 steps I made the last run.  Groceries were all put away and laundry had been finished.  Due to a tissue being left by moi, there were tissue bits all over the floor.  Time to vacuum.

Surely I am the only person in the world that does this.  I noticed there were bits of stuff on the chairside tables.  That meant dusting first to be able to clean up the bits.  Tables and other furniture done I ran the cloth across the pictures in the kitchen area.  Then I remembered the top of the fridge.  OMgoodness.  You know that icky, gooy dust that is a combo of dust and grease?  Yep, everything on top of the fridge was coated.

After the usual soap and water was just yucky I decided to give the alcohol hand cleanser a try. Bingo.  I did a great job getting the goo off.  Granny's 65 year old fan is on top of the fridge.  It runs just fine and was covered with the grime.  I even pulled a few things off the top of the cabinets and gave them a cleaning, too.  Doing more would have required the 8 foot/2.4 meter ladder.  I really meant to only knock the crumbs and dust off the tables so I stopped.  That was a good hour after I had started to vacuum up the tissue mess.

Anywho, I did get the vacuuming of the living room done.  Hubby did the bed and bath while I started the mopping of the living and kitchen area.  But before I had actually turned on the vacuum a trip to the bathroom for bathroom things was required.  I noticed something moving in a weird way on the floor.  It was small.  I thought it was a winged ant.  Upon examination I discovered it was an ant working to carry a brown, flat something.  Maybe a portion of a leaf we had tracked into the house.  I had to smile.  And then the song lyrics started up in my head.  The one about the ant moving a rubber tree plant.  Now you have an ear worm, too.

Later after all the work was finished, dinner was eaten and I had settled into the easy chair I watched the news.  School walkouts and protests.  Yes, these young folks, their parents and parents from other school shootings were using their voices.  I am pleased to see the youth being engaged.  They have high hopes.  To see something change will take more than a single day's protests.  Probably will require this young generation to become the leaders before the changes happen.  My hope is they will not give up and be like a whole bunch of ants.

Have a wonderful Thursday!  I will be working a phone bank for a candidate I am supporting.


Tuesday, February 20, 2018

February 20, 2018

It is actually raining in our area.  Much needed rain as about all of Texas is abnormally dry. 

D0 - Abnormally Dry89.74% of Texas
D1 - Moderate Drought71.22% of Texas
D2 - Severe Drought37.56% of Texas
D3 - Extreme Drought13.07% of Texas
D4 - Exceptional Drought0.00% of Texas
No Drought10.26% of Texas

For folks to get an idea of how widespread the drought is click here.   Texas Monthly had a series of overlays to different countries and nations.  Pretty sure a Native Texas wrote the part about the comparison of Alaska and Texas.  Us natives are still a tad offended by Alaska's out sizing us.  Smile, wink.  In that map our county is just to the right of center half D1 and half D2.

The drought conditions do not stop at the arbitrary state lines.  Click here for the US map.  If you want to know about your own region of the world you can click here.  You can choose an interactive map with the ability to get specific areas.  You can even slide the maps around while you are zoomed up close and personal.

All that said, I have been grocery shopping today.  Online grocery shopping with scheduled pick up times at 3 different stores.  Why would I do that when I am working to get in steps.  Simple, I can walk without being around a bunch of people.  Really.  I am good with not having to dodge carts, dig through shelves and calculate PPO.  Price per oz/grams and comparing across different stores.  And when the stores will do it for free, why not.  Pleased to say my step count is still improving, too.  So, really, why not. 

As I was walking Sunday I decided to go to the top floor of the parking garage.  There was a pickup load of boys with trash thrown on the parking garage.  Not a new sight.  But what was new was two of the guys were relieving themselves in the open.  This grandma marched right up to them, asked if it was their trash and if any of them lived in the apartments.  No was their answer.  I let them know that it was where I lived and was offended by the trash.  And BTW, this is not a public parking garage so you are trespassing.  Trash was picked up and the pickup made like Elvis and left the building.

Monday found a couple drive up on the top floor while I was walking.  They were watching my every move.  Even moved to a different area when I followed my zig zag pattern of walking.  Last year I would have just left the area.  Not this year.  I walked over and asked if they lived in the apartments.  No was the answer again so I noted it was not a public parking garage.  You are basically trespassing so you need to leave.  The snippy girl glowered, started the car and left. 

I went to the office and let the manager know what I had done.  She says they are working on getting signage to note it is private parking.  That way when cars are reported, the police can arrest or at least site the infringing cars.  Ok, till then I will continue approaching cars and asking if they are residents.  Cause I am tired of trash, condoms and drug paraphernalia on my parking garage.  Yes, I know it is dangerous.  But, hey, we send our kids to schools, we go to concerts and I intend to walk in my own space.

Have a great Thursday.

Friday, February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018

Today was Hubby's morning to join Ham Buddies to 'chew the fat'.  This is both metaphorical and literal.  A breakfast at McDonalds and visiting, chat and chew.  Amateur radio is discussed as well as the past professions.  IBM was one of the former employers for most of the group.  So the development of computer and electronics is chewed on along with egg McMuffins. 

Personally, I after over 4 years in Round Rock have no developed one single new friend.  Not one.  That started out because I was splitting time between the Dallas area and here.  Mom was still alive and Sis #4 need relief from the constant pull on her time.  Caring for an elder even if the elder is in an assisted living situation is draining on one's energy.  And one's mental energy.  Watching that strong, capable being descend into a child is so very taxing of all involved.  Especially when that elder realizes that loss of self.

But I digress.   I have relied on the internet for virtual friendships.  We even visited a blogger friend in 2015 while in Canada.  Missed an opportunity in 2016 to meet Mara while in The Netherlands.  Neither Mara nor I realized she was visiting her parents at the same time we were in Amsterdam.  The virtual friendships have been very satisfying.   I have been thinking I should reach out again but the drive is just not there.

The drive is not there for much of anything lately.  Writing haiku and photography are not happening.  Possibly it is the colder than normal weather.  The flu epidemic is keeping me more cautious than usual.  One of our grandchildren has the flu right now.  The reality of getting sick again is enough to keep me from being very close to folks right now.  Somehow it feels deeper than that. 

It feels like that there is not much fun in our life right now.  Life feels dark and foreboding.  Walking had been my release.  That went by the wayside with the IT band and torn muscle.  I topped 5000 steps one day this past week.  I was down with spasms in my back and legs the next day.  Yet this is all minor when I look around at the pain so many people are facing right now.  Can you imagine being a child in this day and time?  You are raised by you parents only to find out that time they moved made you an illegal immigrant?  Can you imagine being a child or teen sitting in a classroom and watching your friend or teacher being gunned down?  Those thoughts are so hurtful.

Life is just too damn serious right now.  I need some fun.  Somebody tickle me, please.  Or tell me a good joke.  Till then, here's one for you that Google home just told me.  What is a balloons least favorite kind of music?  Pop.  Yes, I can ask Google to tell me a joke.  What do you call a Labrador that becomes a magician?  A Labra-cadabra-dor.

Peace and love,

Thursday, February 15, 2018

February 14, 2018

Today is not a day about love.  Today is another day where lives have been needlessly ended.  Let us all face it there are too many guns.  Too much ammunition.  Too readily available.  I know I will get all this feedback that guns are not the problem.  No, but the culture where guns are idolized and sold for no real reason for ownership other than there is an amendment for an organized militia is just not right. 

I hear how the forefathers were doing this for our protection.  Really?  When repeat firing instruments were available only to the wealthy?  No way the founding fathers dreamed of a time that pretty much anyone can own a gun store.  One on every block.  And sell innumerable guns and ammo to whoever does not fail a minimal background test.  And that the guns could shoot so rapidly.  Do you really think the founding fathers intent was to have the public so heavily armed that church and schools were and are war zones?  Really?

The gun culture is as much about $$$$ and power as anything.  It puts $$$ in the pockets of the makers and sellers.  And the NRA puts $$$$ in the pockets of politicians.  Follow the $$$ and you will find the problem. 

And Yes, there will always be bad people and killing.  I am not stupid.  13 shootings since the first of the year.  There have been two different instances in our area where plots by teens have been stopped since the first of the year.  One in my grandson and granddaughter's school.  Damn right I am worried.  And you should be, too.  It is past time for the adults to begin showing the children how to behave.  Do not worship the gun nor believe in The Gun to save you.  Those are what God is about. 

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

February 13, 2018

Most excitement for the day is nothing.  I am just doing nothing.  I upped the speed on my walking the last couple of days.  It has been chillier than I wanted to walk in with all the flu going on here.  So it was on the treadmill.  I know that 3 miles an hour is not fast for my 44 year old son but my 71 year old body does not like that speed.  So when I did my IT stretches today, back spasms.  Ok, one more limit to not press at this time. 

Yesterday was haircut day again.  The sticker price for haircuts is always a shock for me.  For about 15 years I cut my own hair.  It was not always great but it surely was cheap!  Now with the bob hair cut a six week maintenance cut is required.  Is it worth $$ to maintain 'a look'?  Since I do not see myself except in the mirror which I avoid the look is for everyone else.  So all you people looking at me better appreciate "the look".

As for everything else there is not much else going on except weather.  It has been dreary.  But no real measurable rain.  We need real rain.  At least with the misty, cloudy conditions the ground is not drying out further.  Local lakes are averaging only 84% full.  A large portion of Texas is either already in drought to borderline drought conditions.  Burn bans are in effect.  But things are looking up for some rain in the the next few days. 

Puzzle planet has been holding part of my attention.  At first the scenery and different vegetable arrangements held my attention.  Then it was European homes.  Next came holiday puzzles.  Lately houses, interiors, dogs and cats have my attention.  The dogs and cats have made me realize how much I miss having a cat to sit on my lap.  Or sleep on my side.  The reality is since I fell so many times, I do not need a cat to dodge while walking in our small space. Guess I'll just say bye for now and go put together a kitty puzzle.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

February 6, 2018

Monday evening we had two activities and we made it to both of them on time and with $$$ in hand.  I know!!!  The first was G-man's last basketball game of the season.  He fowled out which carried on a family tradition.  I played basketball, sort of, back in the day.  I fowled out most of the time.  The second activity was watching my youngest nephew in an improv competition.  I have never done improv.  It turned out that the improv did not start till 9:30, an hour and a half later than we expected.  So we took the extra time to go do a bit of shopping at Walmart. 

We needed necessities like cleaning supplies, yogurt, bath tissue, etc.  We gathered it all up and went to the 'check yourself out' line.  That is when I noticed the scanners were NCR.  That sent me into a series of memories about working with Ray Alexander, an engineer with NCR.  We worked together on the layout parameters on the large mother board that was used for the first generation inventory computer for Walmart.  That was in the early 1990's.  guess it worked as Walmart is still using NCR equipment.  Though certainly not that board that is 25 year old technology.

Today we watched the test launch of the Falcon Heavy rocket.  A heavy payload rocket system designed and implemented by private money.  Really amazing to see this new advance in space technology.  Watching the rockets that helped launch the payload land so perfectly was a m a z i n g.
Memories again came flooding back.  Sitting in the sophomore section of the MHS auditorium watching the launch of Friendship 7.  John Glenn was at the controls.  It was February 20, 1962, 56 years ago. 

I guess this means I am just an old person.  Daily activities spur memories of my youth or working days.  Yep, I am old.  But I am still making a few new memories, too.  Like watching the G-man play basketball and Nephew pretend to be a sea turtle.

Have a good Wednesday and make a new memory.


Sunday, February 4, 2018

February 4, 2018

Sitting here putting together another puzzle while the crowd roars of the super bowl drift from the TV.  I look up occasionally just to see what has happened.  Being from Texas where American football is more important than about anything I learned just to watch he last 2 minutes of games.  Of course 2 minutes in a football game can take 10 minutes to play if timeouts etc. are played with great finesse.  But I regress.

The puzzle I chose to keep me occupied for an hour or so is of the keyboard and sound board of a piano.  G-man, our grandson, has worked on a couple of puzzles with me.  He mentioned recently he really liked the guitar puzzle we had worked on together.  So I snapped a photo on the phone and sent him a photo saying I think he might like this one, too.

As I was sorting/arranging the puzzle pieces it occurred to me how important understanding perspective is helpful.  That technique makes putting cobble stone street puzzles much easier.  Sort by size on the image and the puzzle goes together more quickly.  If G-man were here I would explain that to him.  Perspective is so useful in so much of life.

The thought then crossed my mind.  Distance makes things smaller.  Like problems or experiences throughout our lives.  If it works for all that stuff then it can apply otherwise, too.  Like I am not overweight, you are just standing too close to me.

Have a great week,

Thursday, February 1, 2018

February 1, 2018

As I typed the title I almost typed 19 something for the year.  At times my mind seems to still not believe it is the new century.  Over a sixth of the way through the new century.  Guess that is just how time is, slow on the bad days, fast on the over all time frame.  The new month brought to mind a memory of the day I realized I would still be alive when the century changed.  I sat in that old school desk in about the second grade and did the math.  I would turn 54 in December just before the new century, a really old woman in the mind of a second grader.

The months and days leading up to January 1, 2000, were filled with concerns of how computers would react to the dates.  Seems there could have been some serious issues as the computers might lose their collective minds with the new century.  Y2K  caused angst among my computer aided design group and IT folks world wide.  Brought about some sales of software and even backup generators.  All for naught as the computers did not even pause for a nanosecond.

Today I realized January passed with my hardly noticing.  I accomplished little toward any of the scan and writing projects.  Some grandchildren activities and a few easy projects are about all I have done besides binge watch Netflix.  And the jigsaw puzzle site, Jigsaw Planet, has taken the bulk of my time.  Walking has been increasing slowly, literally three thousand steps forward and few steps the next day.  Still progress.

Hester home.
This past weekend our son, DIlove, Hubby, Bonus granddaughter, her friend and DJ the puppy dog spent the weekend at the lake.  Son & DIL are in the market for a place on a lake.  It was surely nice to be out and about for a couple of days.  The drive through the hill country was pleasant as always.  Saturday brunch in the house that had been the filming site of the cult film, The Texas Chainsaw Murders.  The house had originally been located in the area of our apartment.

the weekend lodging

The evening light gave a nice glow in the lake and vegetation.

The ancient pecan tree held a nice sheen on its weathered branches.

The coots populating the cove water were a joy to watch.  Swimming and bobbing for fish in the early morning was quite a change from the brick and asphalt that surround our apartment.

Coots in the distance.
Even though I had pretty much been in full hibernation mode in January, we managed to finish in a
not so hibernating way.  May we all find February to be a month of new beginnings and joy.