Come (rain) dance with me!

Rain at dusk.

It rained again tonight.  We got a good dousing this time.  I would like more though, so please do a rain dance for Central Texas and the rest of the country that is in dire need of it.

If you don’t have a rain dance of your own, then just dance with Matt.  It’s been 4 years since the last one, but he’s just released his latest Dancing video.  Check it out on youtube here.  I dare you not to smile.  🙂

Viva la Roja!

Campeones!

We camped out at home today to recharge, and also to watch the Euro2012 championship.  Spain vs. Italy.  Marty came over to help us cheer on Spain.  España did not disappoint, winning 4 – 0 over a strong Italian team.

They have now won 3 World / European championships in a row.  It’s building up to be an exciting 2014 world cup in Brazil.

Life in the woods.

Thoreau’s view — 165 years later.

As I was driving past Concord on the way to my hotel on Tuesday night, I saw signs for Walden Pond.  THE Walden Pond.  You know, Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond, from his 1854 book Walden.  I remember reading that book back in high school, over 30 years ago.    It made a deep impression upon me at the time, but I haven’t thought about it again since then.   Thoreau decided to live in the woods and did so for over 2 years, from 1845-1847.  He later wrote the book from his notes and observations from the time he lived simply amongst nature.

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived”  – Henry David Thoreau

I really wanted to see Walden Pond for myself.  So, after my last meeting today, I drove there before closing time and took a walk.  It was interesting to see how close the pond is to town, and actually in his book he says that even back in the 1840’s the lot where he built his 1 room cabin was only about 1 mile away from neighboring farms.

There’s a walking trail around the lake, about a 1 3/4 mile loop.   The pond is now a state park and when I arrived it was packed with people sunning on the banks and swimming in the lake.  A little bit more bustling than when Thoreau lived here.

I walked to the site of his cabin.  It’s not there anymore, but the foundation is marked, and there is a huge pile of rocks next to where it stood.  A pile that visitors have been adding to over the years – one rock at a time.   I placed my rock atop the pile before I left.

The picture above is a view from the edge of the pond closest to where his cabin stood – about 100 feet behind me.   I like that I accidentally captured the gibbous moon in the top left corner.

The picture below is one that I took looking up as I was standing in the spot that would have been right outside the front door of his cabin.

Very beautiful.

This is a quote from the park brochure:

“…my friends ask what I will do when I get there.  Will it not be employment enough to watch the progress of the seasons?”  – Henry David Thoreau

You got that right, Henry.

I’ll have to dig up a copy of Walden to re-read, for old time’s sake.

Good advice.

THINK.

“And we must study through reading, listening, discussing, observing and thinking. We must not neglect any one of those ways of study.  The trouble with most of us is that we fall down on the latter — thinking — because it’s hard work for people to think.  And, as Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler said recently, ‘all of the problems of the world could be settled easily if men were only willing to think.'”

                    — Thomas J. Watson, 1915 (audio)

IBM founder Thomas J. Watson was an inspiring figure and entrepreneur.  He introduced the “THINK” slogan in the early days of the company to motivate and inspire IBMers.  It was the first US trademark registered by IBM.  Over the century, this one-word slogan has adorned IBM buildings, publications, ads and presentations.  Back in the day, IBMers carried around small, leatherbound THINK note pads to capture great thoughts and ideas.

The original ThinkPad.

Those little notebooks later inspired the name of the IBM ThinkPad line of laptops in the 1990s.  I’ve always thought that was clever.  I think TJ Watson would, too.

Friday. Friends. Fun. And fundraising.

MS-150 Tee.

This is the weekend of the annual Houston-to-Austin MS-150 bike ride.  I don’t ride, but I am a sherpa (along with Irene) for 3 friends that are riding:  Lori, Doray and Laura.  For the last 10 years or so, they have been riding and fundraising for the MS-150.  And I ride in the truck with them from Austin to Houston.  We eat every year at Lomonte’s, an awesome Italian restaurant right off I-10.  We stay in the hotel overnight.  I take them to the start line in the morning, and then drive the truck back home.  It’s a sweet deal for me, because I’m home by 10AM saturday morning.  They pedal their way back all-day saturday and sunday.

It’s a fun girls’ weekend – for a good cause.  🙂

Nuff said. Nite nite.

Walk with me.

Not my walking shoes.

I had a long day of meetings today.  Tomorrow evening I fly back home – always the best part of a business trip.

I didn’t take my camera with me this morning, so by the time I got back to the hotel it was dark, I was tired, had little material to work with, and was searching for inspiration for a blog post.  During my daily catch-up on blogs I read a post on the wordpress blog itself from last week.  It was an announcement for the 2nd annual WorldWide WordPress 5K, on Sunday, April 29th.  The WWWP5K is a virtual 5K, originally conceived by the employees at Automattic, the company behind WordPress, to get their geographically-dispersed fellow employees to run or walk a 5K “together,” each in their own locations.  They invited the entire blogging community to join them and to blog about it.   Last year I did.   And I plan to again this year.

Thanks WordPress for a fun idea, and for providing me with the inspiration for a photo for today.  I didn’t bring my running shoes on this trip, so these will have to do.

Mark your calendars, and walk with me!

…Out like a lamb.

Mopac sunset.

Wow, the last day of the month already!  March is a beautiful month, here in Austin.  Everything pops to life.  I’m always sad to see it go.

We had a very busy day today, on monte’s first day of retirement 🙂

We hit the backyard early…mowing and raking and de-thatching and weeding.   Tomorrow we will hopefully get fertilizer down to help nurse the lawn along.

At the end of the day, we headed to a friend’s house for dinner.  As we were driving down Mopac, a huge, shiny sunset was teasing me with glimpses of it between buildings as we passed.   I took about 10 shots, and finally got a good one!  Or, at least one without any buildings or cars in it.   Not bad for going 65 miles an hour, through the car window.

Good-bye March!  See you next year.

Big day for us… but could it be even bigger?!

Luck, be a lady tonight!

As of today, Monte is retired!  Big day for us.

Today is also the drawing for the Mega Millions lottery drawing, and the jackpot is up to over $640M!  We usually do not buy lotto tickets, but hey, who can resist?  We can all use a little help.  (or a lot!)

I’ve blurred out the winning numbers above, so that we can continue to live in anonymity as mega-millionaires, after the drawing 🙂  Heh, heh.

Good luck to you and your tix, too!

After the rain.

Field of blue.

May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.

— Irish blessing

A morsel of wisdom from my inbox.

A quote from a signature at the bottom of an email from my inbox.

While working my way through one of the hundreds of new emails in my inbox today, I noticed this at the bottom of a long note.

It made me pause.

Then it made me smile.

 

Back to reality.

Fantastic journey.

I have been off-line for 10 glorious days – sailing through the British Virgin Islands.  We just got home, and I have hundreds of photos to dig through.  In the mean time, I’m posting a map showing each leg of our trip.

We headed to Tortola a week and a half ago:  12 sailors, 3 sailboats, 10 nights, 9 days and a ton of good times….  Our boat was a 51′ sloop called No Horizon.   We shared it with Marty & Sue, and Tommy & Bobbie.   Lori, Dave & Jake were on Sea Mist, and Wally, Kurt & Rod were on Pinta.   The map above shows the route we took on No HorizonPinta and Sea Mist joined us for many of the legs, but everyone took their own route through the islands.

While I slept well on the boat every night, it’s going to be nice to sleep on my bed tonight and shower for as long as I want to!   If I make it through my first day back at work tomorrow, I will pick several photos to post.  More later…

…I go to come back!

What friends are for.

Thanks Sue!

I’ve been very busy at work, working round the clock for the last 5 days or so on determining root cause of a critical outage at a client location that happened last week.  I haven’t been able to come out to play, and was missing in action at the lake again this weekend.

Yesterday afternoon the doorbell rang and the nice man at the door was delivering warm cookies with cold milk!   While I certainly didn’t need the calories, the thoughfulness certainly lifted my spirits.  Thanks to Sue for providing the lift.  🙂

Hope to wrap this up soon.

P.S.  a shout out to Tiff’s Treat’s … yummy!

Snocones, inspiration and a video

Sno-beach!

I had a doctor’s appointment this afternoon which took me downtown.  Since I was in the neighborhood, I just had to stop by the Sno-Beach snocone stand.  If you’ve never had one,  you must.  It will change your life.  If you don’t live in Austin, fly or drive down here as soon as you can and get one.  They make the absolutely, hands-down, indubitably BEST snocones on the planet.  If any of you are skeptical, I’d even put money on it.    And I NEVER make a bet unless I’m sure I’m right (even when i’m wrong)  😀

Even though there were about 30 people in front of me when I got there, and when I left I was in the middle of rush hour traffic on Mopac, it was worth it.

I’d like to work on ways to transform my blog into something more interesting for other people to follow.   Up til now I’ve mostly been doing this for my own enjoyment.  The Daily Post is hosting a Post-a-Day-2011 and Post-a-Week-2011 challenge, an online community really, for bloggers to share their posts and inspire eachother.  It started at the beginning of the year, but I’m joining mid-way (or in work-speak, at the end of 2Q 🙂 ).  I recently completed my own 365-project (a year of posting one photo taken of a moment from each day) but I have been and will continue to post here.  So, in search of inspiration, today I signed up for the once a week version, check it out:

Oh, wait, one more thing!  Here is a link to a video that my friend Teri took of us on Cupholder last weekend as we were all headed up to Cypress Creek Cove for the raftup.   (we’re the little boat in the distance that Teri and Jim are catching up with quickly).  It was WINDY… and we had 2 reefs in, so only a tiny bit of sail up, but we were MOVIN’!  It’s good to be back…