Thursday, January 31, 2008

B movies

I think the primary requirement for a good B movie is that it make no sense. The one we watched last night, “Outside Ozona” qualifies. It involves a diverse assortment of people whose paths cross one night outside Ozona Texas. The two main characters (the ones who don’t die at the end)(except for the parts played by Taj Mahal and Meatloaf who basically died all the way through but survived). The two main characters, the trucker and the Indian girl, met at a filling station. The trucker was headed for El Paso; the girl was taking her Mother to see the Gulf of Mexico in Corpus Christi. The movie ground on and a hundred eighty miles later, they met up again along the highway.

Problem; Ozona Texas is in the middle of the state. El Paso is west, and Corpus Christi is East. They were headed opposite directions. Problem; after all those miles, they approached from opposite directions. Problem. They were traveling on the Interstate but met on a two-lane highway. Problem. Every serial killer opportunity happens at a poorly lit rest stop, or empty highway. Have you ever seen a poorly lit rest stop or an empty interstate? No matter. Rewarding experience. Outside Ozona.

Tonight we’re watching “Inhumanoid”. Corbin Bernson. “A family becomes trapped in space with a cyborg intent on destroying humanity and creating a new breed.” One star.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Weather report

It is currently seventy degrees warmer here than in Carbondale, Colorado (and three feet less snow on the ground).

Birds

Here is a picture I wish I’d taken. It looks positively 3D doesn’t it?

Nice shot Kim.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Update

Much as we appreciated the comfort and reassurance of the cardio rehab lab, we declared an end to it on Friday. They monitored me while I exercised harder each day and nothing blew up. We decided I could abuse myself on my own without the commute to the hospital.

Today I ran/walked a couple miles barefoot on the beach (the beach weather is back). During that, I ran an entire mile uninterrupted. It might be the slowest mile ever run, but I promise, it was faster than a walk. I picked up the pace for the last quarter, sprinted it out at the end, and stopped while it still felt good. Checked my heart rate and it was up to 150.

It felt like it’s supposed to. I’m a happy guy.

I got a heart rate monitor watch for Christmas. Judy got a pedometer. All those walks with Annie and walks on the beach; 16,000 steps in a day.

Port aransas

January to June is our busy season at work. Normally, we hang out on the Texas coast until it’s time to go back north and go back to work. It’s always a trade-off between wanting to stay here and stay warm longer, and needing to get started on all the December year-end jobs. We want to miss most of the ice and snow in Colorado. Last year we left here in February and started back to work with clients in Santa Fe in March, before heading on to Colorado in April. Going back in March and April does not avoid icy roads.

This year is different. We’re going back to work earlier, but we’re not leaving here until later. I went back to work last week, the third week in January, but only on jobs we can do entirely remotely. We’re going to work from here at least until the end of April.

Last week’s client, an equine assisted therapy project in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Current low temperatures in Las Vegas, New Mexico: mostly teens. It’s good to work from here.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Port Aransas

Winter weather found us again. Cold (45 degrees), rainy off and on, and blustery winds until the weekend. That’s life on the beach (in January).

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Gulf Waters

Our palm trees are growing so big they’re even taller than Judy. They’re almost not bushes anymore.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Along the way

A silhouette like this; you can tell from any distance, it’s a scissor-tailed flycatcher.

Birding

Drove to Port O’Conner yesterday. Saw snow geese, redheads, goldeneyes, loons, spoonbills, black vultures, osprey, crested caracara, sandhill cranes, all the usual gulls, curlew, dunlin, and royal terns,

Charlie’s pasture along the ship channel today: spoonbills, osprey, 75 avocets, long billed curlew, caspian tern, 6 common ground doves, 25 horned larks, mockingbirds, and cardinals. A good walk.

We’re studying up for the warbler migration that starts in March. A couple years ago, we were here for one week late in the migration (early May), and were overwhelmed by the variety of migrants. This time we’ll be ready for the warblers and waterthrushes anyway. That will be a good start.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Herons and egrets

And sometimes they just have to dance.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Health update

It has been a week since the heart health breakthrough. Full speed ahead since then, no setbacks. No chest pain when I exercise.

I’ll stay in cardiac rehab for awhile. It’s like having a private club and my own very expensive personal trainer, covered by insurance. They tell me what to do, then keep an eye on me to make sure I don’t blow anything up. They let me work hard enough to get a good puff and even a light sweat going now. Exercise feels good when it’s supposed to again.

I only go to rehab every other day. Judy continues to keep me on a short leash on the off-days. No exceeding the speed limit. Me; I just do what I’m told.

Herons and egrets

Sometimes they’re gluttonous.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Herons and egrets

But great blue herons; they have many moods.

Sometimes they’re stoic.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Herons and egrets

Great egrets stand and look elegant.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Shopping

Shopping in Port Aransas.

Port Aransas

Getting settled in. Judy went in to Port Aransas and got her annual physical. Now we each have a local doctor. We both went to the dentist and got our teeth cleaned so the dentist knows us too. Most of the shop owners know Judy by name now. Sometimes I get recognized as “Judy’s husband”. To the petwalkers in the park we’re “Annie’s parents”. Last night we and our Gulf Waters neighbors went to the pizza buffet in Port Aransas. Word got around; everyone was invited. Good turnout. We ended up with a table for forty. Nothing like $4 pitcher night to bring out the crowd.

Learning the local language. We’ve got a couple days of blustery weather. Last night the weatherman predicted “scattered drizzle” and later announced it’s “fixin to rain”. Got it. Today it is windy and scattered drizzling all over our windshield.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Jetty

Update

Life is different now. When we have a doctor’s appointment we pack a bag and make arrangements with the neighbors to take care of Annie. We don’t know if we’re going to get to come right home. I have had enough discomfort exercising that we didn’t really expect to leave the cardio rehab lab today and go right home. We expected to be referred back to the cath lab for more work. We packed a bag.

It didn’t go like we planned. While attached to a heart monitor, I got to walk, ride a stationary bike, crank the arm-bike, and walk fast on the treadmill. My calculated maximum heart rate is 158. I got to get into the 140s before they slowed me down. It felt great!

Maybe it just takes a few weeks to get past the initial discomfort of them messing around inside my heart. In repairing the blood flow to most of my heart, flow to a small section was lost. The doctor told us then that, over time, I would probably develop collateral arteries to that section. Maybe the collateral vessels just kicked in. Or maybe I just needed adult supervision.

Whatever; we’re delighted with the result. We’ll continue to exercise every day (in moderation). We’ll continue with the supervised cardio rehab several days a week. Major progress.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Monday

Life is different now. When we have a doctor’s appointment we pack a bag and make arrangements with the neighbors to take care of Annie. Sometimes we don’t get to come right home. Tomorrow is one of those appointments. We’re going in for a checkup, but our collective gut is telling us something is not right. It may be a half hour checkup or it may be the trigger for more work.

We’ll keep you posted.

Port Aransas

Can you find the freighter in this picture?

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Port Aransas

Made a birding loop around Corpus Christi Bay this morning. Went to Blucher Park in search of the clay colored robin and cassin’s vireo. Continued the loop over the ship channel and out onto Indian Point Park for shorebirds. Time for lunch in Aransas Pass and a ferry ride home to Gulf Waters. We got the clay colored robin and a long billed thrasher. We don’t think we got the cassin’s vireo. We got some blue headed vireos. Couldn’t tell if any of them were actually cassin’s vireos. A fifty-five bird day and we were home for football.

This “club stent” sucks. I want to change clubs. It has been over a month since I got my heart jewelry and I’m still an exercise weenie. Can’t get above 90rpm. We’ve got an appointment at the Cardio rehab lab on Monday. We’ll try some supervised exercise and see what they say.

Bumper sticker: I started out with nothing and I still have most of it left.

Winter Texan RV Park slogan: Where none of the women can get pregnant and all of the men look like they are.

The good weather continues. Seventy-five today. Life on the beach.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Morning ritual

Our morning ritual; Judy and I sit in the front chairs, look out the windshield at the pond and have a visit. We can have trouble getting the right people in the right places, though. I think there is a rule about the master sitting in the chair and the dog maybe lying underneath it. Can’t seem to get agreement from all involved that this is the way it should be. Or maybe we all agree how it should be, and we just don’t agree on who the master is.

Weather report

And then again, some of us never tire of the snow. Christmas break for
Casey:

...

I went skiing with my son and his girlfriend at Purgatory.
I skied with my son for a full day of fresh powder at Wolf Creek.
Went cat skiing at 12,000 feet with my daughter, her boyfriend and a few
other friends.
A friend and I went backcountry skiing above Silverton in the most
incredible scenery you have ever seen.
Took the dogs down by the river in 2 foot of fresh snow and played for
several hours.
Laurie and I enjoyed our fire place on several cold snowy nights with
homemade stew.

...

Monday, January 7, 2008

Life on the road

Sometimes Judy gets up at night. Last night she got up at 3:30 to go to the bathroom. That happens. Sometimes, Annie decides she has to go too, so Judy stands at the door and lets her out on the leash. Last night, that’s what happened; Annie went out too, on the leash as far as she could go, with Judy standing at the door. It took Annie quite awhile to settle down and go. She kept walking around. When she finally got done, got back inside and shook off, Judy understood why it took so long. The lawn sprinklers were on. Judy couldn’t hear them because of the noise of the ocean. She couldn’t see them in the dark. Annie was soaked, but no problem; she has her own towel. Problem is; there is a ritual that goes along with getting dried. Annie runs around the room growling and fighting the towel.

Judy was back to bed by 4:00. Annie was dry and worn out. Judy was cold and wet.

Nothing to report

I thought this was a pretty good response to last night's trip report; a
different perspective from our friends in Basalt.


...

Nothing to report. A quiet Sunday. Watched it snow. Thought of driving to
City Market, but the car was buried under a foot of snow; Shoveled snow .
Needed a rest. Watched it snow. Shoveled snow off the deck . Needed a
rest. Watched it snow. Shoveled the snow berm from plower. Needed a rest.
Watched it snow. Shoveled the deck, again. Watched football. Needed a nap.
Watched it snow. ...........Life in the Rockies.

...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A quiet Sunday

Nothing to report. A quiet Sunday. Drove down island, through Corpus Christi, and out to Hazel Bazemore Park. It’s thirty-five miles to the park, but if we go there we get completely different habitat from the beach; freshwater ponds, open grassy fields, a little brush and forest, and even a hill. Had a good walk. Saw lots of birds, including mottled duck, American avocet, inca doves, vermilion flycatcher, great kiskadee, couch’s kingbird, and blue gray gnatcatcher.

It was cool here for a few days, but now we’re back to the seventies with lows in the sixties. Comfortable weather. A little windy sometimes, but we appreciate that here the wind doesn’t bring any dust. The air never has anything in it except humidity. The breeze from the east the last few days has plenty of that. No dry winter skin here.

Shrimp creole for lunch at Snoopy’s on the way home. Pelicans, egrets and herons. Peregrine falcon. Warm weather. Football. Life on the beach.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Woodpeckers

The good looking golden fronted woodpecker’s most embarrassing moment.

Outtake from the photo shoot.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Ships

This is what the bow wake looks like just before and just after the dolphins riding it leap into the air.

Woodpeckers

The good looking golden fronted woodpecker.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Ships

This is what ships coming in the channel look like when you’re standing at the jetty.