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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.

Mountains under old Ownership

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:23 pm
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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

Making Samples

Jul. 23rd, 2017 08:33 pm
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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

Imperfect repairs and shady spaces

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:42 pm
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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

Interrupted Silence

Jul. 20th, 2017 11:55 pm
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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.

very merry

Jul. 19th, 2017 11:15 pm
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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

non-fearsome but feared

Jul. 18th, 2017 09:26 pm
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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

busy bee

Jul. 17th, 2017 10:24 pm
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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

walking on water at Suncreek Park

Jul. 16th, 2017 09:28 pm
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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.

Hero, Bunting, Rain and Hampton

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:58 pm
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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

netlabel day and crowded rooms

Jul. 14th, 2017 09:30 pm
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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

bbq and no-sun

Jul. 13th, 2017 10:19 pm
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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.

no chasing, please

Jul. 12th, 2017 09:41 pm
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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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