Monday, June 08, 2009

Exit the bats!

Among many other things, Austin is known for it's Congress Avenue bridge bat colony. But just a little further north on I35, in my town, there is another bat colony. (note: click on the pictures for a larger version)

At dusk, you can see the bats emerge from the I35 overpass at McNeill.

According the the local Bat Conservation ladies, there are 1.8 million bats that make the overpass their summer home.

Even if you feel all "icky" about bats, you can't help being impressed by the sheer numbers and beauty of their evening exit.

Looking into the sky, you will see ribbons that go on forever.... it's amazing and, even better, it's free!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Amazing Week!

We are 3 for 3 this week!!! First, this:

2008 World Series Champions!

Second, my son's high school football team won on Friday night and secured their Texas high school championship playoff spot!!

(85 is my son)

Then, my other son's school defeated #1 Texas in an amazing college football game.

(5 is not my son - this is my son)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Steve Irwin's Revenge

I am a lifelong Phillies fan, and since I'm pretty old, that's a long time. When the Phillies won the World Series in 1980, I had just gotten married and moved to upstate New York. My husband was working second shift, and I sat in my apartment alone watching and crying and wishing I could be there for the victory parade.

Now, I sit in Texas and watch them battle it out again. Too far away from Philly to participate, but not too far to cheer on my favorite team again. My oldest son was home from college this weekend, and we all got to watch them beat the Rays last night in one of the more bizarre finishes I have ever seen. Love the Philly crowds - there are no better fans in any sport (contrary to what opposing teams may say). Now, just two more games to win..... they have to do it!

I was back in Philly last May and went to a game at Citizen's Bank Park. Incredible place. The last time I was in Philly, Vet Stadium and JFK Stadium were still there. Yes, it's been way too long.

Win this one for the Gipper.... err, make that "Win this one for the Croc Hunter!"

Monday, July 14, 2008

Time for a change ....... COFFEE

It is a few weeks past my 49th birthday. That means I am beginning my 50th year (as my husband likes to point out grrrrr). And I am thinking that there is stuff I need to do in my life. Doesn't everyone have things that they are always going to get around to doing? My list is pretty long, but today I am going to do something that is easy and doesn't require much effort (or money).

I am going to teach myself to like coffee! Yes, I am 49 years old and I don't drink coffee! To be honest, I've never really tried it. Oh, well I've tried a sip now and then. But probably not in the last 30 years.

I have always loved the smell of coffee. Who doesn't? It's warm and aromatic. It smells like my mother's kitchen when I would wake up in the morning as a little girl. It is the scent of diners in the wee hours of the morning after the bars close when I was a twentysomething who still went to bars.

I have been a tea drinker all my life. I love tea - all kinds of tea. Black tea, green tea, herb tea..... no milk, just a little bit of artificial sweetener (sugar left my universe about 15 years ago).
Once I moved to Texas, I learned that you had to be specific when you tell a waitress you want "tea". If you say "tea", they bring you a glass of iced tea! You must tell them "hot" tea. That is just the opposite of ordering tea in the northeast.

I have a coffeemaker. It is here for when we have guests, or for my mother. So I decided this morning to make coffee..... FOR ME.

Smells so good. I know I added too much milk, but let's start out with baby steps here. No sweetener though. Let's see how this works out.

It smells so good. It tastes...... bitter. But it's not so very terrible. Yummy it is not. But I can drink it without gagging.

Now, the coffee at the bottom of the cup is cold. I probably should have finished it before I started typing this post. But I got through almost a whole cup. Progress. We'll do this again tomorrow. It will get better, right?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Going Home

I'm originally from the Philadelphia area, but I haven't lived there since 1980. Until last July, the last trip I made to Philly was in 1994. Since July of last year, I have been there four times! Two weddings and two funerals. And I can't help but wonder,"why did I stay away so long?"

Well, I don't know why. It felt good to go home. I have always believed that "home" is where you and your family live. And that is definitely true. But "home" is also the place that grew you. And that place for me is Philly (and the northeast, in general). Amazingly enough, I can still find my way around with little problem. It's kind of funny that your mind has this amazing capacity to store information for so many years. Better than any hard-drive they could manufacture, that's for sure.

There is one thing about the place that I never noticed when I lived there. People have accents. Did I talk like that? Do I still have traces of that accent?

When I first moved to Texas, I expected everyone to have a Texas accent. But here in the Austin area, you really don't get to hear much of a Texas drawl. That's because I know very few people who were actually born and raised here. Due to the high tech nature of this area, most people (like us) are from somewhere else. Even the kids that my children grew up with don't have accents. Or do I just not hear them?

I cannot believe that it has been a year since I wrote on this blog. Scary how time moves so fast, isn't it?

(insert Ahnold accent here) "I'll be back"

Monday, July 16, 2007

Going Postal - A Boxful of Boobs

Sometimes people volunteer information when they are mailing stuff. Sometimes we are dumb enough to ask.

The other day, we had a customer come in to ship a plain brown cardboard box. But she wanted to insure it for $8,000. Now, we do not insure for more than $5,000 here at our contract unit (some kind of regulation or something). She was obviously from a medical office from the looks of the scrubs she was wearing. She said the box contained breast implants that needed to be insured.

We sent her to the main post office, because it was obvious that she should send these securely. Don't want a boxful of boobs to go missing......

Another regular customer is a very nice older man. Very nondescript, very nice. He regularly mails out "media mail". His packages are square and flat, sort of like calendars or photos. I assumed he was a photographer, judging by the types of packages he mailed. So I made the mistake of asking him. Just nice, polite conversation that you make with a 'regular'. "Are you a photographer?" He replied that yes, he took pictures. Then he proceeded to tell me that he was in the "bondage lifestyle and he takes pictures and write manuals... ". My co-worker B almost choked. I mean, it's just way too much info, if you know what I mean. What do you say after that? Now, don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong it. To each his own. That's cool. No problems. But it just makes it a little weird for someone to announce themselves that way. I really do not want that information, ya know? And he will be forever known in our shop as the "spanker guy". It has taken awhile, but I can actually look him in the eye without thinking about it now. He's a really nice guy. But really? Some things are just left unsaid.

Today, I had to mail someone's cremated remains. Certified mail, of course.

I imagine there is quite a lot of interesting things that pass through our office that I don't know about, nor do I want to know.

Damn, I love the Phillies!

When I was a little girl, I was crazy for the Phillies. There was no bigger treat than a trip to Veteran's Stadium with my dad to see a game. When I was 13, we spent the summer at my grandmother's house in central PA and I couldn't get good radio reception for the games. My dad somehow attached a radio to the roof antenna so I could get minimal reception. I would sit by that radio and try to listen through all the static. I would make a daily walk to the only store in town that carried the Philadelphia Inquirer to check the box scores.

I remember the year that pitcher Steve Carlton won 27 games. That was almost half the total games the team won that year! One of my most prized possessions is a scrap of paper with the autographs of Steve Carlton, Greg Luzinski, and Larry Bowa. My dad worked at the airport and saw the team when they were traveling.

Yesterday, I watched them lose their 10,000th game on ESPN. Living in Texas, it is always a rare treat to catch a Phillies game on tv. Not only do I love the Phillies, but I love the brutally honest Philly fans (of any sport). Yes, they are obnoxious sometimes, but look at the teams they support. And they do support them through the good and the bad. Well, mostly the bad. It's very rare to have a winner in Philadelphia! And seeing the fans on ESPN last night with signs celebrating 10,000 losses made me smile.

It is a great thing to Celebrate 10,000! (I'm going to get me one of those tshirts!)

My favorite morning radio show, from WMMR in Philadelphia, dumped 10,000 marbles down the art museum steps in celebration (thanks for the podcasts Preston and Steve). Thanks to the internet, I feel like Philly isn't really that far away!

I do love them Phillies!