Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A change in the weather


It has been hot; basically a hundred degrees every day for weeks.  That’s our standard summer weather.


All that changed yesterday though.  Our high was only in the low nineties.  This morning it was 77 degrees outside.  I almost had to turn the heater on.  The temperature was at 91 when it started raining yesterday.  I thought it might cool even more in the rain, but it stayed at 91.  It feels like fine fall weather.


That’s our new weather pattern; rain off and on and low nineties.  Until next week.  Then the forecast is for no more rain and back to a hundred.



Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Election


Our minds are made up.  Can we just vote now and move on?




Monday, August 29, 2016

Poor Henry


We put some stuff away last night, hung up some clothes, and went to sleep.


Half an hour later, Henry asked to be let out of the closet.


The little cave-dweller had found his way into the closet while the door was open.  He waited patiently for an entire half hour, while we went to sleep, before notifying us of our mistake in inadvertently closing him in!


Poor Henry.


Sunday, August 28, 2016



Formula One Racing has finished their summer break.  They were in Belgium this week.

They race all over the world; mostly in Europe, but in the Far East, Middle East, Australia, South America, Mexico, and the U.S. as well.  They’ll race mostly every other weekend now through the end of November.  Practice broadcast on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and race day on Sunday. 


Our old 1966 Volvo got 95 horsepower out of an 1,800 cc four cylinder engine with two carburetors.  The 2016 Formula One cars get almost 1,000 horsepower out of 1,600cc V-6 power units with one turbocharger.  200+ mph.  Amazing.


We don’t have any American drivers in the field, but there should be a good spectator turnout in Austin in October, with the U.S. having a team this year.


And football is back too!  Go Broncos!


We know how we’ll be spending Sundays; television potatoes.



Saturday, August 27, 2016

Biscuit dough on the axe handle


The definition of a good woman.  She cooks the meals AND splits the wood.


While Judy is out of commission from her hand surgery, I’ve been cooking, cleaning, driving every appointment and errand, grocery shopping, and fetching Judy anything she wants, while doing my regular job during the week and installing a ceiling fan, fixing a shed door, trimming bushes, and assembling a new barbecue on the weekends.


Judy’s concludes that she’s married to a good woman.


Friday, August 26, 2016

Buff-bellied hummingbird


We have a resident hummingbird.


The buff-bellied hummingbird.


He doesn’t migrate.


He’s here year-round.


Most of the year there are just one or two hanging around the feeder in our yard.


Right now though, we have five or six of them buzzing around, making us duck when they fly right through our deck, under the canopy where we’re sitting.


Their increase in numbers might have something to do with the fact that each pair of hummingbirds just raised a couple chicks to adulthood, so we’re at their peak population for the year.


Whatever, the more hummingbirds the better, as far as we’re concerned.


Thursday, August 25, 2016

This is a long-billed curlew




This is a long-billed curlew with his face stuck all the way down in the sand.



Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Least grebes



Cute little diving birds.


That like to have speedboat races.



Like little hydroplane boats.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

There is a question that I often hear answered backwards


It’s any question that starts with “Do you mind…”


On television, a man asks “Do you mind if I come in?”  “Yes” the woman answers, come right in.


What just happened?  The person answering the question said yes, I mind, then contradicted herself and said come right in.  The answer should be “No.  I don’t mind.  Come right in.”


If you haven’t noticed this, listen for it.  It’s out there.  But it’s wrong.  Why do people do this?  Do they only do it while I’m watching?  Maybe it’s a conspiracy to make some of us think we’re crazy………..



Monday, August 22, 2016

Unsolved mysteries


We sleep cool with the air conditioning on.  We get up in the morning and its warm and humid outside.  We walk out the door for morning coffee on the deck, with sunglasses on, and our glasses fog up.  It’s like we’re a giant glass of iced tea; take it outside on a warm day and the outside of the glass gets dripping wet.


But back to the eyeglasses.  We can carry a cloth outside with us, wipe the glasses off and they just fog right back up.  For a while.  As temperatures equalize and the fog starts to lift, my right eyeglass always takes longer to clear than the left one.  For a while I dismissed this, figuring maybe my right eye was just breathing harder on the lens than the left eye and fogging it up.  But I don’t really think that’s it.  I put the glasses on the table beside me and watched them until they cleared up.  The left one cleared up first.  That’s the unsolved mystery.  When I’m wearing fogged glasses, why does the left eye always clear before the right one does?


An unsolved mystery; until now.  I’ve figured it out.  I had surgery on my left eye a few years back; cataract surgery.  They took out the old clouded lens and put in a new one; one with correction.  Without glasses I see better out of my left eye than I do out my right.  There is more correction in the right lens of my glasses than my left.  That results in a thicker lens.  More mass in a thicker lens means it holds the cold longer; it takes longer to equalize with the outside temperature, so it keep fogging longer.  Mystery solved!


Sunday, August 21, 2016



The two week celebration has finished.


I joke about USA, USA, but it’s just in jest.  Every athlete wants their gold.  Every country wants their medals.  An opportunity to meet and compete.  A celebration of diversity and comradery; sportsmanship abounds.  We celebrate all the winners and all the participants.


We find ourselves as happy about a Brazilian gold medal in soccer, a Kenyan gold in the marathon, or a US gold in swimming, gymnastics or track; all heroic efforts.  We’re happy for every athlete or team that won, appreciate every athlete and team that joined in the competition, and wish that the Olympic spirit of competition and cooperation could carry on, or carry over beyond sports, just a little more than it does.



Saturday, August 20, 2016

And Judy's favorite duck





He can really strut his stuff.


Even if the female sleeps through it.



Friday, August 19, 2016

Baby whistling ducks



This late in the year.


They’re still at it.




Thursday, August 18, 2016

A black tern





So he can look all ruffled.





Wednesday, August 17, 2016



The splint.


The cool new cast.



The thumb is healing right on schedule.  In four weeks she can start to use it again.


We’re back home in the Valley.  It’s all good.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We were doing so well


We had 394 species of birds on our year-list while we were on our trip.  When we got back to the coast we picked up three more for a total of 397.  That’s where we were in the middle of July.  That’s where we are now in the middle of August.  There are still a lot of birds here, but they’re birds we’ve already seen this year.  There are a few summertime-only birds, but we’ve already seen those too.  Fall migration will open up new possibilities though.  We’re watching local bird sightings with interest.


Drove to Corpus today.  Judy gets her splint off, stitches out, and a new cast on tomorrow.



Monday, August 15, 2016

Poor Steve?


Judy is not very comfortable yet from where they cut off her thumb then reattached it to her hand.  Her right arm is immobilized from her elbow to her fingertips.  She can’t open a bottle cap or medicine bottle by herself.  She can’t even lean back in the recliner without help to pull the lever.  And her cabana boy is unreliable.


Poor Judy!



Sunday, August 14, 2016

What happened to the news?


When Walter Cronkite closed his show with “And that’s the way it is.” we believed him.


When did the news stop being about the truth?  The sports broadcasters don’t just make up scores and tell us one team won when the other really did.  The weather forecasters might not get it right every time, but they never try to tell us it’s hot outside when we can look out the window and see it’s snowing.  What happened to the political coverage: and how did so many things get political?


Every cable news broadcast has panels so they can present all sides of the story; often surrogates who spin events to sound like their candidate is always right and every other candidate is always wrong; and if they can’t answer the question, they just answer some other question of their own choosing.  Having surrogates come on the air and lie is not presenting all sides of the story; it’s not the news; it’s just people lying.


I watched a disagreement about a point of fact; a demonstrable fact; there was video tape of what actually happened.  In this disagreement, one person is describing what happened, and the other is saying what we were looking at didn’t happen, and sticking to that talking point in the face of incontrovertible evidence.  The newscaster had to go to break and ended the exchange with “Well then, we’ll just agree to disagree.”  It wasn’t a disagreement!  One person was telling the truth and the other was lying.  Wrong does not deserve equal time with right.


The news is so predictably infused with opinion, that we can choose the slant we want just by choosing a particular channel.  I don’t want to watch the conservative news or the liberal news; I just want to watch the news.


Saturday, August 13, 2016

I want a new Olympic event


We’ll call it the Kidney Stone Shuffle; one hand low on your gut, bend over and shuffle your feet.  See how far you get.


I’m getting pretty good at this.  Better than I want to be.  Yes, despite my protests that it’s not my turn,  I’ve already gotten all the attention I need this year, it’s my turn to take care of Judy while she heals from her hand surgery, I’ve got a kidney stone.


Nothing serious.  It will pass on its own, but it leaves me incapacitated from time to time.  Sometimes Judy has to wait for dinner.


Anyway, now that I’ve had sufficient training, I’m ready for the Olympics.





Friday, August 12, 2016

The Olympics


Athletes from all over the planet.  Young and old.  Experienced and inexperienced.  From big countries and small.  Communist and Capitalist. Democracies and Dictatorships.  Athletes doing their best; congratulating each other for both wins and efforts.  The games declaring that the most significant thing in the Olympics is not to win but to take part.  An ultimate celebration of hard work, fair play, open engagement, and appreciation of the efforts of others.


Once every four years.


If only they could have hidden a lesson in there for the rest of us for the rest of the time.



Thursday, August 11, 2016



…and it’s fun to watch great performances from the best in the world, even when they’re not from the U.S.  The best athletes from the entire planet.  What a concept.  That’s a lot of great performances to applaud.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Damn you Olympics!


You’re causing us sleep deprivation!




RE: Nothing else to say today

From when we were in Colorado.


From: Steve Taylor []
Sent: Wednesday, August 10, 2016 12:43 AM
To: Bill Taylor (Bill Taylor) <>; David Taylor (David Taylor) <>; Tom Taylor (Tom Taylor) <>
Subject: Nothing else to say today



I’ll just send out pictures of a bald eagle.





And a red tailed hawk.



Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Nothing else to say today


I’ll just send out pictures of a bald eagle.





And a red tailed hawk.



Monday, August 8, 2016

The many moods


…of the yellow-eyed junco.





Sunday, August 7, 2016

Alligator Lake


It’s hot here.  A hundred degrees.  Sweat in your eyes hot.


But it’s still glorious.