Monday, August 29, 2005


It's 10:25 PM. The oldest son is already in bed - he gets up every morning at 5:30 AM for band practice. Did I tell you he's drum major this year? It's so cool for him, really. He's the one on the right. I'll get a picture of him in his spiffy white uniform once marching season is in full swing. He's proud to be a band nerd. And I'm proud of him, too.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah. Son #2 is at hockey practice with his dad. He won't be home until after 11. I loathe this schedule. He's got football practice every day after school until 6. On Mondays and Wednesdays, he has hockey practice from 9:45 until 10:45! This is only the second week of school. Homework every friggin night. I don't know how long he'll be able to keep it up. Lucky for me, he is a very good student as well as a dedicated athlete. But this is his freshman year in high school, and he has chosen to take a very aggressive schedule with many pre-AP course. I know he can handle it, but can his body keep up with his mind?

Now..... about the bats. I was just out on the back porch. The neighborhood is quiet. About half a block away is a streetlight. From the back porch I have the perfect view of a bat swooping in on the bugs gathering under the light. The squeeking is unmistakable. I used to hate bats, but I've learned to appreciate them. We have a huge bat colony here in Round Rock. It's not as famous as the one in Austin, but it's very impressive. What's so impressive? Well, until you've driven down I35 at their time of mass exodus and seen the wave after wave of bats flying out, you can't appreciate it. It's just so cool. It was part of the elementary school curriculum when Greg was in 3rd grade. We all went to stand under the McNeil Street overpass and watched them leave one evening. It's creepy, and yet it's amazing.

So I've learned to love bats. They are actually a tourist attraction in Austin. The Congress Avenue Bridge attracts people every night the bats are here (from spring until fall) to watch the nightly exodus. Even our ice hockey team is called the Austin Ice Bats. Pretty cool, isn't it?

So I sit in the dark (I never turn on the back porch light) and watch a solitary bat ridding my neighborhood of flying pests..... and I can appreciate this ugly flying rodent for what it is. "What it is" is a pretty cool specimen of Mother Nature adapting to urban life.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

August....... yuck!

Well, it's August in Texas. And damn hot!! And it cost me 4K for a new air conditioner last month. grrrrrrrrrr..... Oh well, at least I don't have to worry about the price of heating oil this winter.

Click for Round Rock, Texas Forecast

We had a 45 minute power outage this afternoon. That was interesting. I went out on the backporch to have a smoke, and it was sooooo quiet. And still. There was no sound at all. Usually the buzz of air conditioners is just white noise that you don't notice at all. Until it's gone. And I think I am alone in this place during the day. At least it seems that way.

I was sitting on the porch and the quiet was a bit weird. A couple of hummingbirds were chasing each other away from the feeder. They have high pitched squeaks when they fight with each other. Very cool critters though. But they don't like to share the feeder! There was one psycho hummingbird the other day who was hiding in the tree and just ambushing any others that came to feed. It was actually pretty funny. I got a second feeder across the yard, but they will still fight. I'll miss them when they are gone for the winter.

The kids are back in school. Both boys are in high school. Greg is a senior and Chris is a freshman. I should go get a job. But my eyes are still not right. Having another surgery next month. Hopefully they'll get it right this time. My depth perception is perfect now though. And my reading vision is perfect (with the reading glasses of course). But looking straight ahead and up is all double. So the doc is going to rework the muscles again. Fixed one problem and created a different one. Is it worth it? I guess it is. I have no choice now. The distance vision is worse than before. I'm sure it will be right this time... won't it? I have to be optimistic. Otherwise I would be kicking myself for doing it in the first place.

So where has everyone been?