Putting down roots

2004/09/03 at 15:52

We’ve lived in Pflugerville for over seven years now, but until recently, it’s just been the place where our house is located. We led significant parts of our lives in other parts of the Austin area: work, church, kids’ school, etc.
Eighteen months ago, we bought a different home within Pflugerville, and things started to change. First off, we (and especially the kids) have made quite a few friends in the neighborhood. I attribute a lot of that to the lack of privacy fences and the greenbelt behind our house where the neighborhood kids play.
We decided a few months ago to try to take root in Pflugerville: first step, we joined Pflugerville First United Methodist Church. We’ve also taken the kids out of private school. Hannah just started fourth grade at the public school two blocks from home, and Samuel is attending the preschool at our church. Turns out, Samuel’s preschool teacher lives a couple of blocks from us, and we run into her every day at the elementary school.
All in all, our plan to take root here is going pretty well. It sure feels good not to have to drive the kids all over creation to school. Unfortunately, Katie and I both still work far away and do a lot of commuting, but that’s a much bigger challenge, given our professions.
I think I’m particularly sensitive to the sense of rootlessness in modern American urban and suburban lifestyles, since I grew up in the country. In any case, it feels very good to become more a part of our community.

Biker Dog

2004/09/03 at 15:42

I snapped this photo on my drive home today (while driving at 65 MPH!). Notice that the dog is wearing his Doggles™
biker_dog.jpg

Cheap Bastards

2004/09/02 at 09:58

I love this quote from a New York Post article about how poorly the delegates to the Republican National Convention in NYC are tipping:

Abraham Bolzman [concierge at the New York Hilton] was also perplexed by the prudence of his guests. “It’s just no tips at all,” he said.
“It’s strange. It’s not that they’re not friendly. They’re always saying ‘God bless you.’ I guess I’m used to something more tangible.” (emphasis added)

Autumn morning

2004/09/01 at 08:25

I took this shot off the deck this morning. The first fall cool front came through, and it was pleasantly less warm this morning (I wouldn’t yet characterize the temps as ‘cool’). The kids, dogs and I enjoyed the change in weather by playing in the backyard and on the greenbelt before school, and I didn’t get very sweaty on our walk to Hannah’s school.
UPDATE: I uploaded a desktop-sized copy of the sunrise image. You’re welcome to download and use it.
autumn_sunrise.jpg

Stuck in my head

2004/08/31 at 16:38

I pretty much always have a song playing in my head. Normally, the songs rotate pretty frequently, except for two cases: if I’ve listened to the same music repeatedly (which I tend to do with new CDs) or, I just remembered, when I’m singing in a choir.
Occasionally, I overdose on a new CD and get really tired of the song(s) in my head. If I stop listening to that music, the song will eventually change to something else.
But now that I’ve started singing in a church choir again, I remember that there’s a different dynamic to the songs that get stuck in my head. Rehearsing and performing a choral piece seems to lodge music more firmly in my head than just listening to it (which makes sense). I’ve had last Sunday’s anthem replaying all week–and I didn’t really like it in the first place! Maybe it’ll be replaced after Wednesday night’s rehearsal. I hope so, because I’m REALLY tired of it.

Leonard Lives!

2004/08/31 at 08:26

Yesterday I was pretty sure that Leonard had become a late-night snack. Today, I’m happy to report that he was sacked out as usual on his leaf last night.

Political malaise

2004/08/31 at 08:25

For a couple of months now, I’ve felt depressed when I read news relating the presidential campaign. I have had this vague feeling of hopelessness. Apparently, my acquaintance Rafe Colburn has been feeling the same way. But he was able to pin down the reasons in his essay The futility of political involvement. He expresses my feelings, too.

Leonard is dead

2004/08/30 at 10:15

I’ve mentioned the lizard that sleeps outside the bathroom window. Well, we’d named it Leonard. On Saturday night I looked out the window, and there was Leonard stretched out on a leaf, as usual. But stretched out near him in the shrub was an 18-inch garden snake.
The next morning, Katie suggested that perhaps the snake wasn’t just sleeping; rather, he was seeking a late night snack.
Well, Leonard hasn’t shown up again yet. He’s usually visible on the shrub only about one of every three nights, so I haven’t lost hope yet, but we’ll see this week. Keep Leonard lizard in your prayers.

Creepy

2004/08/25 at 11:18

This Yahoo! news photo just gives me the creeps:
fingernails.jpg
UPDATE: Katie tells me those nails are probably fake–which doesn’t reduce the yuck factor by much for me.

Organs for sale

2004/08/21 at 23:14

OK, so Google AdSense context-sensitive ads are not always perfect:
organs.gif
I sure hope those refer to two different types of organs.