Happy Super Groundhog Day.

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What a day, what a day. Usually hotpantsgalore & I would be gearing up for a Super Bowl party this morning. But HPG had to work today in order to get a day off later this week for our trip to Denver. So when my co-worker D* invited us to his SB Party, we accepted. When he challenged us to compete in the Super Chili Bowl cook-off, we accepted that as well. So this morning, our house smells spicy & savory - a Crock Pot full of beef, tomatoes, onions, & peppers (as well as a whole load of semi-secret ingredients, like masa, beer, & cocoa powder) has been simmering overnight. The beef is falling-apart tender, but the spice alarm is a bit high. We'll have to tone that down a bit, probably with more masa, more cocoa powder, maybe a bit of molasses. Serve it with cheese & sour cream.

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning, meaning he's predicting six more weeks of winter. He should've been here in Houston, because we have rain & light fog & no sun whatsoever. Good luck casting a shadow in that. In any case, six more weeks of winter doesn't sound too good after the hard winter most of the country has had, so here's hoping the little rodent is wrong again.

I... missed church this morning. Or rather, I'm getting ready to miss church. We're doing a service today based on Shakespeare, & while I admire the creativity, I'm not really excited by the idea. And it's raining. And I'm messing with the chili. And Shadeaux is being cuddly.

Wake me up for the Puppy Bowl.

You see how these things go. Not the greatest start to my term as deacon. I'll do better next week. Oh wait, no I won't, I'll be in Denver. NEXT week.

Ten years ago, the Super Bowl fell in February for the first time. I remember being somewhat annoyed by that - how much more can we stretch out the NFL season?? I was also a tad embittered about the game - the Eagles had made it to the NFC Championship Game only to be embarrassed by the Carolina Panthers, losing 14-3. But I still had made plans to watch.

However, those plans were derailed two days before the game when my gall bladder decided to call it quits. I missed the American-expat Super Bowl party, but I did get to spend 2 1/2 days zonked out on morphine. It's hard to believe that was ten years ago.

People are beautiful.

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I'm posting this link so I will always be able to find it:

http://dalefavier.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/what-people-really-look-like.html

Taxonomy FAIL.

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My friend M* & I were talking on our way into the Menil Collection. Here's the exchange:

A: Look at that squirrel! It doesn't have a tail!
M: It's got really big ears, too!
...
...
...
A: It's not a squirrel.
M: It's definitely a rabbit.
A: Botany fai- I mean, biology fail.
M: I'd call it a complete fail.

Tags:

What vacation means to me.

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At Bush Intercontinental. With hotpantsgalore. Bags checked through to Paris. And what made me happy?? Looking at my Tasks app on my phone & seeing nothing due until August 26th!

We will be hitting Bordeaux, London, Northamptonshire, Aberystwyth, York, & Edinburgh on this trip. Can't wait.

Polar bear mama cub
Tonight our friend & former neighbor B* is coming over for dinner. B* is a zookeeper at the Houston Zoo, & she has offered to stay at our apartment while we're gone to watch Shadeaux. I've written up a document with Shadeaux's HomeAgain pet ID chip information, contact stuff for the veterinarian, feeding schedule, etc. so B* will have everything she needs.

This document is titled "Shadeaux facts".

"Alzheimer's" by Jane Hirshfield.

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When a fine, old carpet
is eaten by mice,
the colors and patterns
of what's left behind
do not change.
As bedrock, tilted,
stays bedrock,
its purple and red striations unbroken.
Unstrippable birthright grandeur.
How are you," I asked,
not knowing what to expect.
"Contrary to Keatsian joy," he replied.

Tags:

Go fourth.

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Cookout on the BBQ, despite stupefying Texas heat? Check.

Friends & neighbors over, eating & drinking while dogs play? Check.

Peach cobbler? Check. With homemade ice cream, too.

Walking down to park for free performance by the symphony? Check.

Fireworks set to the 1812 Overture? BOOM CHECKA WOW!!!

Excellent. You may now proceed with the rest of your summer.

Worst. Map. Ever.

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Sometimes humor arises from unexpected places.

Last month I traveled to Alice, Texas to do a Phase I ESA on a recently constructed shop. The shop was so recently constructed, in fact, that it didn't appear on any of the aerial photographs I had. Also, its address didn't map correctly when entered into a GPS. I was able to find the place based on driving directions from the client, but once I was there, there were no obvious landmarks to help me figure out where "there" was. So I asked the client to mark the site location on an aerial, or alternatively, to provide me with a map showing the property.

Here's what I got:

worst aerial ever

When I replied that this aerial was not very helpful, I got:

worst map ever

But, despite the lack of useful information, my ESA still needed to include a map (it's required, by law). As I was contemplating this situation, Corey IM'd me. Corey is one of our CAD/GIS drafters here in the office - he's a huge Cowboys fan & we trash-talk NFL-style all year round. Here's the IM conversation we had about making that map:

Best. IM convo. Ever!

Oops. Broke the Cowboys fan.

LJ, meet Sally Ford.

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Check out my new wheels:


I'm going to name her Sally, after astronaut Sally Ride.