Randy’s Farm

I’m so disappointed. This is the only picture that I was able to salvage from the one night trip to Randy’s Farm. When I was downloading the pictures, I should have zigged when I zagged and they are all gone. I’m so disappointed.

Despite that, I arrived at 9:00 on Friday night and was asleep by 10:30. The next morning, we got up and started splitting wood. Randy had a number of hickory trees die over the course of the summer and needed to be cut down and split. Gary and his son, Cody, cooked breakfast and we ate at 9:00. After breakfast Randy, Chuck, myself and Blue went on the four wheelers around Randy’s property. After driving for an hour Blue started barking and it was evident that she was extremely tired. So we had to put her on the back of Randy’s four wheeler and she couldn’t have been happier.

We got back to Randy’s house at 10:30 and Gary and Cody were splitting another tree and we started to help until we took a break for lunch. After lunch we finished splitting the second tree and it was time for me to get home. I think I left around 2:00.

This was the first time that I had ever had Blue outside without a leash and the “parent” in me is so nervous to let her go. I experienced this with Rage and I’ve always been afraid that she’ll run away or not come back and the thought of letting her go, which makes her extremely happy, is terrifying. I imagine that parents face this question all the time and I never truly get over the fear of letting something go. It is different with children though, you like to think that you’ve taught your child to know right from wrong, good from bad, etc. With a puppy dog there’s no guarantee that she’ll do the right thing or stay close to the house, or not wander off too far. Trust is such an amazing feeling. Nevertheless, I let Blue go and she couldn’t have been better. She knew to stay near me and she also knew to come when I called her, which is something that she doesn’t always do at home. She kept up with us and she’s always good in the car. She was a really good puppy dog this weekend.

Mashed Potatoes

I am only writing the following for posterity:

Since Miranda’s been at home during the summer she has been an absolutely wonderful wife. She has literally had dinner ready when I got home from work. I don’t tell her how much I appreciate what she’s done, but I really do, I realize that I’m lucky and this fantasy world will end when she school starts back.

Nevertheless, the other day she cooked meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Miranda’s recipe for mashed potatoes: potatoes, salt, and pepper. She asked how the mashed potatoes were and I said that they were good but a little dry. She then responded that she cooked the potatoes for 30 minutes. I asked her about the milk and butter that I thought were also ingredients. She had no idea what I was talking about. It was funny and priceless all at the same time.

So I’m back in the real world, no vacation time until Christmas. I noticed that before the vacation, weeks were dragging by, but now they seem to be going by quickly. It is amazing how the mind can affect what we believe is a long time when in reality it is no longer of a period of time than anything else.

I came across a neat website, What I Should Read Next. The concept is simple, type in the name of the book and this will spit out books that you may enjoy. This is handy for me because there are certain books that I really enjoy and I can be a voracious reader at times, but if nothing piques my interest then I really could care less about reading anything. For example, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand is my all time favorite book, so perhaps I should be reading these instead of guess what I would like or not like.

By the way, this site also has a music and movie equivalent.

Have you ever thought about your life in terms of a timeline? I’ve often thought that seeing your life relative to where you are and what you’re doing now would be a pretty neat experience. Somewhat out of body if you will. Dandelife will plot your life on a timeline. This is my next internet project, behind trying to keep up with publishing a book of the first year of my little project, and of course, I’m sure there will be a link at sometime.

I’m beginning to think that the point of all of this is that we have to keep doing, don’t be complacent, don’t just sit there.

Pool Party

Although Miranda and I arrived at the party later that everyone else, here’s some pictures from the festivities from Saturday night.  As a disclaimer, I did not take any of these pictures, Ashley T. took them, so I’m not responsible for all of the pictures of the guys playing water volleyball.

Greg and I getting our grill on, on.

Stephen and Dantabulous.

How unathletic and dejected does Chris look in this picture?  It’s almost as if he was scared of Team Toney and was bracing for the inevitable, but he got the volleyball smashed in his face for just showing up, up.  Also, notice how Stephen’s team is laughing or at least smiling and Hetty’s team is not.

Ashley, Wendy and Ashley F.

Justin F. digging it.

Danimal getting his set on, on.

Left to right:  Stephen, Ryan, Justin F., King, Richie, Hetty, Dantastic.

Hetty, with authority.

Blogged with Flock

Ultimate Frisbee – Irving, Texas

Today, I traveled to Irving to see my little brother play in an ultimate frisbee tournament. He is part of a mish-mash of a team that is from Austin, and apparently (I think) he’s the only college player playing on this team today. TJ’s college team is ranked 9th in the nation and you can visit their website at Texas Ultimate. Upon Duk’s request, I tried to take as many action shots as possible and if TJ wants prints of any of these he can either order them from my Flickr page or I can email as needed.

These were the clouds as I walked up to the field. I can’t remember the last time I saw clouds here in Texas during daylight hours.

This tournament was located at the Las Colinas Polo fields.

The first game was somewhat close, I think the final score was 15-10, team Austin. As I found out, you play for 2 hours or the first team to 15. The following are pictures from that first game.


Action shot, excellent.

This is the beginning of game 2. The first possession, TJ threw a really long pass for a score.

I believe that this is another score by TJ.

I was too late for this picture, this was a really long pass that TJ caught (one of at least two long passes) for a score.

This is TJ expressing his disgust with me and my camera. I guess this means that I need a new camera. I’ll just tell Miranda that we won’t be getting bedroom furniture anytime soon and I’m sure she’ll be fine with that.

Obligatory picture of myself.

Good times, the team that TJ was on was the #1 seeded team and they dominated the second game. I left with the score 10-2 team Austin. I did leave my first two audio posts to assist in describing the action as I was there feeling the action.

Blogged with Flock

Texas Trans Corridor

Last night my mother and I went to a public hearing on the I-35 Texas Trans Corridor, which the state of Texas is apparently required to have in order to complete it’s phase 1 environmental study according to the terms of the Federal Highway Administration and the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. For those of you who don’t know, the Texas Trans Corridor is intended to be a new highway which will span approximately 1,200 feet and contain commercial trucking lanes, passenger vehicle lanes, freight train lanes, passenger train lanes, and a utility corridor. Here is the official map for the Texas Trans Corridor. The preferred route is to pass right through my parents’ farm. As with all things in life, there are those who are vehemently opposed and those who are in favor of, of. Personally, I would hate to see what my parents worked so hard for be taken away. It simply wouldn’t be fair, but the practical side of me knows the political machine is near impossible to stop. The legislation was passed in 2002 and as I stated above, we are already in the phase 1 environmental study.

The best thing I’ve about this subject with what seems to be some pretty tough questions was this Texas Cattleman article.

Before I get too far, here’s the opposition’s website, Corridor Watch. Also, here’s a Google search for Texas Trans Corridor so that you can see what’s out there.

The hearing on Wednesday night was interesting. It started with the folks who are opposed outside of the auditorium wanting all those who oppose to sign up. They let us know that Carole Keaton Strayhorn, who is running for Texas governor, is opposed the the Texas Trans Corridor. Once inside my mother and I signed in and we mingled a bit. I tried to read most of the information presented to us.

Here’s my mom getting some information. This guy told her that because their property was in flood plains and due to the fact that the state is not as willing to acquire property with pre-existing powerlines (i.e. no one wants to mess with the electric company and their easements) that these were things in their favor to keep the property.

Once the hearing started, this guy essentially showed a video and then read a power point presentation.

Please note the incredibly happy individuals, propaganda at it’s best.

After the presentation, individuals were allowed to provide 3 minutes of testimony without anyone responding to their questions. Essentially, those individuals who spoke received no response other than the applause of the crowd.

For those of you who are worried that this might affect you, or could potentially affect you then the best thing to do is get involved with any grass-roots organization. The next best thing is to discuss with a condemnation attorney what is the best method of increasing the value of your property. The pessimist in me says that it’s just a matter of time, so it would be best to increase the value of your property, whether it be artificially or otherwise.

The Last Picture

This is the last picture from our vacation. We drove home late Friday night and this was taken outside the Sonic in Childress, Texas. As I have been trying to document my trip I found out that Yahoo has a pretty neat website called Trip Planner which can be used to document a person’s trip. It works with Flickr and it allows you to post a bunch of pictures and commentary without taking up room on your blog.

It’s been 3 weeks since we got back and it’s been 3 weeks since I took my last picture. I cannot remember the last time I had gone such a span of time without taking a picture. Of course for most this would probably not be a very big deal, but it is for me. So I promise, new content sometime soon.

Finally, I didn’t find this until after I wished TJ a happy birthday, but apparently with Audioblogger I can sing happy birthday to the next birthday recipient and have it posted to my blog. Anyone who has a Blogger blog can do this and yes, Miranda hates this idea.

Happy Birthday TJ – #22

Happy Birthday TJ! This is embarrassing, but Mom came by the house today and she reminded me that tomorrow is TJ’s birthday and to be quite honest, I had completely forgotten. TJ is almost done with school and I know that he’s super-excited to be entering into the work world next year. As I am sure you are well aware, enjoy it while you can, it’s downhill from here (downhill in the sense that you’ll have a mortgage, a car payment, constant bills, etc.).

Things I Learned While In Colorado:
1. When Miranda sings she has one note. Literally, she sings in one note. At first it’s really cute and funny, but after 3 hours of the same note it can get to a fellow.
2. I thought that being in the same car with my wife for 12 hours would ruin our relationship, but it didn’t, it was really nice and I think we had a good time despite being in a confined space.
3. We both strangely missed our dogs. In fact, it got to be the last day and we both mentioned how it would be nice to get home to the puppy dogs. Sad, but true.
4. Going and seeing and doing is much better than sitting and reading and tanning.
5. I had a 12 day beard and it was wonderful. I don’t think that my boss would really object, but I also think that he wouldn’t condone. Perhaps for another time.
5. Miranda and I really do love each other.

On another note, since my wife and I have caught the hiking bug I stumbled across Trail Link. Trail Link is a search engine of all trails in the US. A nifty and handy website if you want to go camping and need to know where some trails are to hike.