Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween


There is a trick-or-treating tradition at our park.  We all set up tables with treats on them and sit outside to visit.  We put small cans of cold Budweiser and little packets of M&Ms on our table.  People, some in costume, wander by to talk and sample.  Some other tables were more sophisticated than ours.  They had jello shots, rum balls, and raspberry moonshine.  There were little tiny specialty drinks in little tiny paper cups.  There are a lot of happy friendly people here.


We put a lighted pumpkin out on our table, but with little effect.  The trick-or-treating started at 5 and was over by 6.  It was still daylight.  A good time was had by all though, a nice trick-or-treating tradition.



Wednesday, October 30, 2013

I'm guaranteed to be wrong


There is a convention; a courtesy among truck drivers.  When one truck is passing another, the truck that is being passed blinks his headlights when the passing truck is clear and can move back into the right lane.  In recognition of that courtesy, the passing truck blinks his running lights as a thank you.  It’s a pleasant convention; and we find ourselves participating in it when we’re driving the freeway in our motorhome.  We are, after all, about the size of a truck, and our motorhome is equipped with buttons on the steering wheel to facilitate the conversation.


Trucks blink us over.  We blink trucks over.  Most trucks include us in the ritual, but not all.  That’s where the question comes in.  When we’re passing, I can’t always tell which trucks blink us and which don’t.  If I’m not looking in the right side mirror to change lanes at the moment the trucker blinks us, I miss the blink.  If they blink me over, I should blink them thank you.  If they don’t blink me over, I don’t need to say thank you.  But if they blinked me over and I just didn’t see, and I don’t blink them back, I’ll be rude.


Whatever I choose, I’m guaranteed to be wrong some of the time, so I choose to blink thank you to every truck I pass.  That way, when I am wrong, at least I’ve erred on the side of civility.



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

RE: Family pictures

Oops.  Brainlock.  (Or Spellchecksabotage.)


Arie Paige’s name is spelled Paige.


From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 10:08 PM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor); David Taylor (David Taylor); Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor)
Subject: Family pictures



We’re all excited about the baby Arie Page Taylor.







Judy and I will be headed to Colorado in a couple weeks for the big event!



Family pictures


We’re all excited about the baby Arie Page Taylor.







Judy and I will be headed to Colorado in a couple weeks for the big event!



Monday, October 28, 2013

The porch garden


Outdoor house plants.


They’re liking it here.


There is still a fountain in there but it’s getting harder to see.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The end of an era


The Bandera property:






Jeff and Carol are putting it up for sale and moving on.  They mean to settle in Salem, Oregon to be closer to kids and grandkids.  Bummer for us.  Sad to see them go.  We’re happy and excited for them.


Saturday, October 26, 2013

I'm surprised


I was prepared to complain that my legs hurt this morning, but I didn’t get to.  They felt fine.  That hot soak yesterday evening must have done its job.


Up at 5.  Gone by 6.  On the trail before 7. Just starting to get daylight.  Definitely an earlier start than yesterday.  Santa Ana National Wildlife Refuge.  A nice loop tour road that doesn’t allow cars anymore.  A solitary walk; all to myself except for two runners going the other way.  An exchange of waves and they were gone.  We crossed paths twice on the loop.  We greeted each other like old friends the second time.  A shadier walk than yesterday.


My marathon was done by 11am.  My previous record: 74 hours.  Today, a new personal best:  26.2 miles in 26 hours and 39 minutes, over the course of 2 days.  That works out to just under 1 mile per hour, but a lot of that time was spent sleeping.  I won’t get a medal for finishing the fastest, but maybe I should get a ribbon for most improved.  In a race where the fastest runners complete it in just over 2 hours, how many people can say they improved their personal best time by 48 hours; 2 days?!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Let the marathon begin!


(Mindful that we’re timing this with a calendar, not a clock.)


I’ve always walked in running shoes because I used to run more than I walked.  Then I started running and walking trails, so I switched to cross-trainers.  Now I almost exclusively walk, so for this effort I bought some shoes from New Balance specifically designed for walking.  I like New Balance because they sell shoes for fat feet (Size 10EEEE).


I plan this as a 3 day adventure.  It will fit logically in a weekend plus one weekday.  I picked today to begin.  I found a 10 mile hike bike trail loop

and chose that as today’s victim.  I walked from the City of Mission to the entrance to Bentsen Rio Grande State Park then back.  10 miles.  If I walk 3 more miles I will have completed a half-marathon, setting up the possibility of a 2 day effort instead of 3.  I headed back out, turned around at 2 ½ miles and returned to the car.  15 miles; a 2 mile cushion.  Legs getting tired.  Good start.


It was kind of a hot walk.  I didn’t start until sunrise (note shadows above).  It was nice and cool at the start but it was in the eighties for most of my walk and 90 by the time I finished.  Asphalt trail all the way.  My feet were smoking.  I’d better start earlier tomorrow.


Time to go home and rest up.


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Who knew..


….we were so important?  We’re so important that we got anonymous hate mail!


A person (who thinks they are anonymous) sent us a hateful letter complaining about my attempt at humor during a post about a colonoscopy.  Well.  Yeah.  That sounds like me; failing in an attempt to make a colonoscopy funny.  But I don’t remember writing a blog post about a colonoscopy.  So I did a word search on the blog.  No luck.  The word never appears in any blog post I ever wrote.  How disappointing.  Maybe it was my blog post about a ureter stent?  I certainly wrote about that.  I wrote about that while in a drug induced haze, so good chance it wasn’t very funny either and the critic is right.  (Or maybe our critic can’t tell the difference between the front end and the back end?)


The letter was mean spirited, with quotes such as (and I’m being accurate here):


“…your interesting repulsive so called blog….”


“…which not one person…..thought it at all interesting, rather repulsive, gross.”


“…Who gives a shit rip…”


“Who gives a rip.”


“…today, tomorrow, next week, next year never never never never.”


“Do hope you will never ever print a letter in reference to your colonoscopy or the fluctuating weight.”


Well, I am a man of principle, and I feel bad that the writer put more effort into the critique than I put into the actual blog; particularly since I haven’t even written about a colonoscopy.  So let me try to balance things out with a funny story about a colonoscopy:

I called my friend Andy, a gastroenterologist, to make an appointment for a colonoscopy.  A few days later, in his office, Andy showed me a color diagram of the colon, a lengthy organ that appears to go all over the place, at one point passing briefly through Minneapolis . Then Andy explained the colonoscopy procedure to me in a thorough, reassuring and patient manner. 

I nodded thoughtfully, but I didn't really hear anything he said, because my brain was shrieking, 'HE'S GOING TO STICK A TUBE 17,000 FEET UP YOUR BEHIND!'  I left Andy's office with some written instructions, and a prescription for a product called 'MoviPrep,' which comes in a box large enough to hold a microwave oven. I will discuss MoviPrep in detail later; for now suffice it to say that we must never allow it to fall into the hands of America's enemies. 

I spent the next several days productively sitting around being nervous.  Then, on the day before my colonoscopy, I began my preparation. In accordance with my instructions, I didn't eat any solid food that day; all I had was chicken broth, which is basically water, only with less flavor. 

In the evening, I took the MoviPrep. You mix two packets of powder together in a one-liter plastic jug, then you fill it with lukewarm water. (For those unfamiliar with the metric system, a liter is about 32 gallons). Then you have to drink the whole jug. This takes about an hour, because MoviPrep tastes - and here I am being kind - like a mixture of goat spit and urinal cleanser, with just a hint of lemon.. 

The instructions for MoviPrep, clearly written by somebody with a great sense of humor, state that after you drink it, 'a loose, watery bowel movement may result.'  This is kind of like saying that after you jump off your roof, you may experience contact with the ground. 

MoviPrep is a nuclear laxative. I don't want to be too graphic, here, but, have you ever seen a space-shuttle launch? This is pretty much the MoviPrep experience, with you as the shuttle. There are times when you wish the commode had a seat belt. You spend several hours pretty much confined to the bathroom, spurting violently. You eliminate everything. And then, when you figure you must be totally empty, you have to drink another liter of MoviPrep, at which point, as far as I can tell, your bowels travel into the future and start eliminating food that you have not even eaten yet. 


The story goes on, but you get the idea….and I didn’t actually write it myself, so it might actually be funny too.


Hopefully I have evened out our relative efforts and all will be alright in the blog critic’s world now.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The many moods..


…of the Green Heron.









Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Then and now


Termini and Taylor

173rd Airborne Brigade (Separate)

Okinawa, Japan




Rock and Steve

East Otto, NY



I don’t think we spend enough time together.



Monday, October 21, 2013

The Kingfisher Trifecta!








Today.  Practically in our own backyard.


One place.  All three within 10 minutes of each other!


Way cool.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

Barefoot on the beach



The seaweed is not a deterrent to a walk.  We can walk around it or right through it.  It is not soft like the sand; it’s rough, a little scratchy, but crushable and feels good on the soles.  It’s an organic feel and adds to the sensory delight.



But we’ve moved on.  Now we’re back at Sandpipers; continuing the layover before we head north to finish our summer trip in Colorado.  (We expect to finish our summer trip in the snow!)



Friday, October 18, 2013

Along the way


Judy fishes.


Annie fishes.


…and I did catch a big fish once…


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Gulf Waters


We get nice sunsets in Port Aransas too.


With palm trees.



Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Choke Canyon State Park


Wonderful place; with Javelina.



Wild Turkeys.


A Great Egret happy to help out at the fish cleaning station.


An evening walk accompanied by windblown owl conversations.


Here is a video of him calling.


Here is a closer look.  Without a tripod it’s a little bouncy.



A nice sunset.



A chorus of pauraques.  Pauraques usually have a straightforward call that sounds like this sound bite.



(You should be able to open it by double-clicking it.)


Tonight, instead, we got the most charming call they do, when they have to wooka, wooka, wooka themselves up to the actual call.



But, glory of Choke Canyon aside, we’ve moved on.  Now we’re at Gulf Waters.


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mystery bird


In Bandera, I heard this bird, which sounds to me like a Townsend’s Solitaire.  I walked that direction to find it, but couldn’t.  It eventually flushed but I didn’t get a look at it.


Problem is, there aren’t supposed to be any Townsend’s Solitaires in Bandera County, Texas in October.  They're pretty much not here at all.  I made an audio tape and converted it to a video so I could save and share it.  (That's why there isn't any video in this video, just audio.)


The doink, doink, doink call seems unmistakable though.




We’ve left Bandera.  Now we’re in Choke Canyon State Park, halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Great Egrets




Their faces turn green briefly during breeding season.



Sometimes they’re even in trees…