Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Excitement....the Drama!

This, in case it's not obvious, is a bacon, jalapeño, and tomato (BJT) sandwich. I'm not supposed to each lettuce (though often I ignore that prohibition against raw roughage), so I make it a practice to eliminate the lettuce from BLTs. For anyone who knows my personal preferences in food, it will be obvious that I did not make this BJT. The bread, for one, is toasted white bread. White bread is not my thing.

I prefer dark wheat bread or rye bread or, if I'm living it up, pumpernickel or, in the right circumstances, sour dough (in which case I would also add lots of fresh basil...for some reason, basil on a BJT does not do much unless the bread is sour dough). For another thing, I would not have made French fries to accompany my BJT...especially not these fries, which appeared to have been fried in some sort of very light batter. Instead of the fries, I would have preferred salt & vinegar kettle-fried potato chips (though I rarely have them with BJTs...just to mention, in the interest of full disclosure). Finally, the jalapeños would have been visible with every bite, because I really like jalapeños. They are not so hot that they cause pain, but they add a sensory element to food that I cannot describe; I can only say that they make food worth eating, whether it's worth eating or not.

So where did this BJT come from? It came from J's, a breakfast and lunch diner not far from my office. And despite my suggestion that it did not live up to my expectations, I enjoyed it. It just wasn't as good as I would have made.

Now, why, you might ask, would I choose to post something about a sandwich that wasn't extraordinary? Isn't it obvious? It's the most exciting thing that has happened to me today, so far.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Stupid Trips

If the ice doesn't get in the way, I'm off to Austin on Wednesday, where I'll attend a professional conference that will earn me points toward keeping an arcane certification. And I may buy dinner for a nephew...he's agreed, as long as his molars have not just been yanked. This involves missing out on having someone else buy me dinner at a swanky, expensive place, and ply me with liquor. Goddamn, I'm a magnificent uncle if I say so myself!

The idea of driving 200+ miles in icy weather has no appeal, but I have commitments, by god, and I'm stupid!

OK, I won't go unless the ice has melted...or is melting...or promises to melt.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ice on My Mind

The weather reporters on television are warning that an ice storm unlike any we've seen in many years is heading our way. Just in time to interrupt some very important business I have to get done, come hell or high water. The ice should be problematic tomorrow morning, they say, growing progressively worse as the day wears on. Then, late tomorrow and Wednesday morning, a thick coating of ice will be made worse by freezing rain.

I have appointments tomorrow. I have to spend time giving my staff some updates. I have things to do and people to be. This is not allowed to happen.

I cannot possibly trust the weather people. They just can't be right. I won't allow it!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Here is the real of tonight. I change the way a chameleon changes color, though.

My Political Views
I am a left moderate social libertarian
Left: 4.13, Libertarian: 1.79

Political Spectrum Quiz

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -6.14

Political Spectrum Quiz

My Culture War Stance
Score: -8.04

Political Spectrum Quiz

Stunned Silence

The weekend whirled away. There's very little left of it yet to enjoy, which is disappointing. I was hoping the weekend would drag on and on and on. I didn't expect it, but I had hoped for it. Alas, no dragging. Instead, the clocks apparently ingested little red pills that accelerated everything. So, Sunday afternoon arrived only a few hours after Friday night ended.

We went to a small party on Friday evening, where we met, among others, a former Olympic athlete from New Zealand, Peter Snell. He was a Gold medal winner in Rome in 1960 and in Tokyo in 1964. He's now Associate Professor, Department of Internal Medicine and also Director of the Human Performance Center at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. He was one of a few New Zealand athletes featured on some New Zealand postage stamps in 2004. There is a statue of him in his hometown in New Zealand. I got only a small fraction of this information from Peter directly; most came from a search of the web. What I did get from him is that he rides his bike to work every day; this 70-year-old guy wants to stay in shape. I bow my head in deep shame and humiliation in recognition of my slothful lifestyle.

There were others at the party, but Peter's story was the most intriguing. Certainly more intriguing than mine.

Yesterday, my wife and I decided to pretend it was the weekend (we have to pretend, even when it is, or she will end up at the office). We took a drive to Fort Worth, where we wandered aimlessly around the western part of town and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant that does not warrant mention here. Then, we drove toward Granbury but turned around before we got there and continued to wander the seedier areas of the city. I'm always drawn to the seedy areas of town; I think I inherited a seedy-side gene.

Speaking of seedy, after our time in Fort Worth, we went to view a double-wide trailer at the local Palm Harbor Homes dealership. I had once stopped in there to look at their inventory, as I was thinking of buying a manufactured home for our land in Falba. I left my name back then and I got a call a few days ago from the dealer, informing me that someone had traded in their 1998 Clayton home and asking, "would you be interested?" They said they were completely re-doing the Clayton and would sell if for $39,000. At any rate, we took a look. If my land were just a few miles up the road, I might have bought it (despite the fact that it is not the cheeriest living quarters I've ever seen). But, no, this one was not for us.

Before we left home for our little jaunt, I did all the prep-work for a crock-pot beef stew. Just before we left the house, I turned the crock-pot on to 'low' and let it cook away. By the time we returned home, the stew was almost done. And when we ate it last night, I had to congratulate myself for dinner.

That little success made me work on tonight's dinner this morning. Not planned as a crock-pot dish, tonight's dinner could be. I sliced some habanjero/green chile sausages into 1/2 inch disks, then added 2 cans of diced tomatoes, some frozen okra, some frozen corn, salt, pepper, chile powder, garlic power, a touch of file powder and put all of the ingredients in a pot that will be cooked on medium high this evening. It better be good.

Tomorrow, I am having a lunch meeting with an attorney I know who retired to San Miguel de Allende several years ago. He's actually semi-retired...does lots of consulting, public speaking, and some litigation. I called him not long ago to ask if he'd be willing to let me market one of his presentations that I think would be of significant interest to employers (it has to do with pending "card check" legislation regarding formation of unions). He was interested and said he'd like to talk next time he was in town...which is now. So, I'll bounce some ideas off of him to see whether it's worth my while to organize a public training program.

So, my fingers are worn and my mind is empty. One day, I'll have creative thoughts to share and readers will be stunned into silence.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Facebook Pileup

Under the guise of another persona, I am in the midst of discovering that there is a reason I am something of a loner who is not blessed with dozens or even hundreds of close friends.

I have decided that, if I really wanted many other people (including casual acquaintances who decided to befriend me) to know exactly what I was doing at any given moment, I would prefer telling them individually instead of publishing my every movement and every thought to the Internet.

Facebook and Twitter are unquestionably useful tools (or toys) for many purposes, but they are not appropriate add-ons to my semi-reclusive lifestyle. Once one "tweets" with Twitter and accepts exposure on Facebook, though, it's a little tough to withdraw. It's especially tough when one's clients have begun to notice the Facebook persona.

I'm now trying to figure out whether it's possible for a Facebook persona to be badly injured in an Internet accident, thus providing an out for me. I've considered posting this news flash on my Facebook site:

The lifeless virtual body of [Facebook persona] was extricated from a multi-personality pile-up on Facebook today, after an heroic effort by Facebook first-responders to get through the tangle of awkward posts and ignored friend requests. According to Facebook Fire and Rescue, "There was nothing we could do. By the time we made our way over the cluttered Newsfeed, shattered Status Updates, Pokes, Super Pokes,and People You May Know, there was virtually nothing left. Even the Tom Waits Magical Trunk was hidden under a pile of Shared Links. It was ugly." [Facebook persona] is survived by 'Innocent When You Dream,' 'The Dress She Never Wore,' and 'A Tattooed Tear.'

The problem, of course, is that such an ending would not only get rid of the posts from unwelcome clients and extremely casual acquaintances, it would eliminate the posts and Pokes from my blogger friends. So, I'm still deciding what to do. Maybe a new persona is in the offing.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January 20, 2009

History was made today. Truly.

Now, it's up to the rest of us to make damn sure the promise is kept.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Please, Let Me Be an Optimist

I don't know about you, but I'm extremely interested in watching the inauguration on television this Tuesday. Here's the schedule...all times are Eastern. My concern is whether the cheesy, antenna-less TV/DVD player in my office can pick up any stations; I've never used it to watch TV, only to view DVDs because it won't pick up any stations. I'm going to buy an antenna this afternoon. If it works, I'll allow staff to ignore work for a few hours to witness history. If it doesn't work, I'll allow staff to leave work for a few hours if they promise they'll go watch the inauguration.

The closer it gets, the more excited I become. I know the world won't change on Tuesday, but I think the axis on which it spins may get adjusted just a touch. If Barack disappoints me, this will have been the last election I've let myself get excited. To use a Bushism: "Fool me once, shame on, Fool me, twice, uhh,... Won't get fooled again."

I want so desperately to be an optimist. I've been a pragmatic pessimist for far too long.

Opening Old Wounds

Last night, I watched Body of War, a documentary produced by Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro.

It tells the story of Tomas Young, a guy who in the patriotic fervor following 9/11 joined the military on September 13, 2001. He anticipated going to Afghanistan, but shortly after enlisting it became apparent that was not the real target. He was sent to Iraq.

Just five days into Iraq, he was hit by a sniper's bullets and was paralyzed from the chest down. After he returned and received what was clearly inadequate care and painful and painfully inadequate rehabilitation, his brother was sent to Iraq. While Tomas' perspectives on the war evolved into an extremely critical perspective that strongly opposed the war we were waging against people who never attacked us until we invaded their country, his brother had a different attitude about the war and about his service to his country.

Body of War is a brutal, jarring, utterly honest portrayal of what life is like for a badly injured soldier who questions why he was ever sent to Iraq. His mother is at his side and supports him in his efforts to protest the Bush Administration's actions in and about Iraq. His father is a dyed-in-the-wool Republican who supports the war, the President, and the idea of the war. A good deal of the documentary focuses on his mother's emotional and intellectual reaction to the war.

The documentary does an extremely good job of showing how the anti-war activists are huge supporters of the men and women of the military who risk their lives to undertake the missions given to them by their Commander-in-Chief. The film clearly shows that the protests are NOT against the people who were sent to fight, they are opposed to the leaders who sent our soldiers off to war.

The documentary is fascinating and riveting, but it really brought to the surface my personal loathing for Bush and for all the people who voted to allow him to take this country into an illegal and immoral war that bankrupted this nation. There were 23 Senators in 2002 who voted against authorizing Bush to take us to war. The authorizing resolution passed the House 296 to 133.

By January 2007, when ABC News asked the 77 Senators who voted in favor of authorizing the war if they would do it again, knowing what they knew versus what they knew in 2002, thirty-four of them said they would not; so, it would have been a vote of 43in favor and 57 opposed. It tears me up to know that, had more people in the Senate been as thoughtful and as intelligent in their assessment of the rush to war as Senator Robert Byrd, we would not have lost thousands of our military men and women, billions upon billions in treasure, and the respect of the majority of the countries in the world.

I remember screaming at my television, urging members of the Senate and House not to authorize the resolution. I believe I sent messages to my Senators and to my House representative at the time, but I can't be sure. Whatever I did, it had no effect. In hindsight, I wish I'd asked others to join me in protesting to their elected officials.

Today, I am stunned to continue to hear people who say they support the war in Iraq. They point to the good that is being done by soliders and they point to the instances in which the tide has turned and the improved Iraqi public opinions. I don't doubt those things have occurred. But the issue isn't whether we are doing good; the issue is whether we should have been there, period.

To my way of thinking, it's as if the supporters were saying, in a similar set of circumstances: "It's OK if the President misleads us into a war, because once we're in it, we can do some good for the people we are fighting." And I get extremely upset when I hear people say those who oppose the war want us to leave without completing our mission. Just what the fuck is our mission? I thought it was to protect us from weapons of mass destruction. Mission accomplished. And war-mongers tend to say we can't leave now because to leave would be equivalent to declaring defeat "after we've made so much progress." Progress toward what?! I would be far more proud of this country to say "We made a mistake and we're going to leave and make it right" than for us to continue to cling to our ultra-nationalism and say "We're the most moral country in the world and if we went it, it was for a good reason and we won't leave until we have things our way."

I don't care how many times Bush points to how fucking hard he had it as President and how he always believed he did the right thing. Lately, he's even begun to try to admit he made some mistakes, though he's careful not to go all the way and really admit anything...he always points back to wanting in his heart to do the right thing. The man is a liar and a fraud and deserves to be imprisoned.

At the absolute BEST he was criminally incompetent and a blatant liar and he should be treated accordingly. I'm equally disgusted with every Senator and every Congressman who voted his way...perhaps even more so now after watching Body of War. Hillary Clinton and Kerry voted to support the war; I don't trust them. And while we're talking about records, something needs to be clarified just for the record. A lot of people say Barack Obama voted against the war; he spoke against it, but he was not a Senator he could not vote against it.

If you haven't seen Body of War, I strongly recommend it. But be forewarned, it will be deeply moving and will almost certainly open some wounds that you may want to remain beneath a protective scab.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I Fought the Law and the Law Won

My welcome home from my business trip included a traffic ticket waiting in the mail. It was for running a red light in Baytown, TX on January 1. There were photos of my car approaching the intersection (i.e., just a couple of feet before the white line on the pavement), my car going through the intersection where the light was clearly red, and a close-up of the tags on the rear of my car. According to the ticket, I was going 12 miles per hour as I ripped through the light.

While I'm not fond of Big Brother watching me, I can't help but admit I did run the light. I remember it vividly. I was annoyed by something and had roared up to the light after I roared out of the motel parking lot. The light turned to yellow as I was approaching, too fast to stop before it turned red. So, I said something to the effect that "I know I'm breaking the laws of man and nature, but I'm going to run it anyway." There were no other cars nearby, no one waiting to drive through, so no danger. Except the danger of getting caught. And I did. It is so rare that I run red lights that I distinctly remember this last time I did...and I got a ticket for it. My first ticket in about 8-10 years (the last one was for murder with a motor vehicle...just kidding!).

So, I'll be forwarding a $75 payment for running a red light.

Friday, January 16, 2009


My client board meeting got dramatic this morning when the president called me in my hotel room to report she had been quite ill all night and needed to get to a doctor or the ER. Fortunately, a local board member came to the rescue, taking the president to her doctor who quickly admitted her to the hospital. Shortly thereafter, she was in surgery for a suspected appendicitis. Sure enough, it had ruptured. Latest news is that she's going to be fine. Her husband was flying in to be with her later today.
Otherwise, the meeting went well. Better than I expected.
But I'm glad to be home. And I'm especially glad I didn't have to experience an on-water evacuation of the plane, as many did yesterday in New York. My preference for the person to pilot any plane I fly on has become Sully Sullenberger.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

But I Don't Like Sweetened Tea

I'm going to Atlanta on Wednesday; back Friday night. Probably no time to blog...but maybe.

Today's big news: one of my newest clients is no longer a client. It only took me a month and a half to decide I don't want them if they aren't going to pay me. No backlash yet. But it' coming, I'm sure. And now I need a client to replace the client that really never was.

One day, I'll learn BEFORE I take on a client that I must NEVER believe what they TELL me their balance sheet looks like. If I can't see it, they probably don't have one. Bad sign, a business without a balance sheet.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Writing a Wrong

I'm nothing if not wishy-washy. Well, maybe it's not wishy-washy, maybe it's indecisive. But that suggests I don't make quick decisions, which I do, so perhaps it's actually that I'm WRONG SO MUCH OF THE TIME!

That's it. I make decisions and the decisions have to be revisited because they're wrong. Or I forgot I made them.

Take yesterday's post about my newsletter for clients. On reflection, I realize that most of my clients and their board members probably won't have any interest in my assessments and predictions about the outcomes of complex interactions between social and economic and technological and political events. Inasmuch as my assumption about their actual interest in and appreciation for my writing played a significant part in my decision to start a client newsletter, it's time to rethink this thing.

So, I've decided, instead to write children's stories. For fodder, I'll use all of those funny and touching experiences rearing children of my own so what I write will be realistic and...wait! Oh my god, we forgot to have children! I have no fodder! Well, I could write the unauthorized autobiography of my imaginary offspring, I guess. No! If I do that, people will come around asking to see my children and, when I can't produce them, I'll be jailed and charged with something horrendous that will make my family and friends shrink away from me and express horror at what I could have done.

See, that's how it goes. I have these grandiose ideas, things that I find appealing and worthy of my dependable two days worth of focused thought, and then BAM! they're gone. Either I run out of interest or I realize the ideas were appallingly bad to begin with. Or I simply get sidetracked and by the time I get around to them six months later someone else has taken the idea public and has become filthy rich in the process.

Well, until I come up with better ideas, I guess I'll stick with the client newsletter thing. At least I can feel good about writing a wrong.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Newsletter Emerges from the Cold

I've allowed this miserable cold to control me for the entire week. Last weekend, I was essentially confined to the house, save one trek out to buy lunch on Saturday. At least I got to watch a lot of mindless film, and some good stuff, as well. (Incidentally, I learned that State of Play, the BBC miniseries I watched last weekend, has been made into a full-length movies starring Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck, Helen Mirren, et al; will be released in March.)

I made it to work all week long, but my wife caught my crud about Wednesday and was sick at home Wednesday and Thursday. She is back among the living now, but both of us continue to have ugly coughs and we still feel like refried shit. I supposed another week or two of being "under the weather" and we'll be fit as fiddles.

During this stint of feeling lousy and having to work nonetheless, I began to think back to all those times I've felt like I've just not been in the right business (if you've read my blog for long at all, you know that's always just below, or just above, the surface). Those feelings are out there again, but I'm doing something different this time. I'm examining WHY I feel the way I do.

It all comes down to control. I am a control-freak. You'd think owning my own business should take care of that, but it doesn't. My clients wield the power and the control, I don't. I'm not "doing my thing," I'm "doing their thing." There may be little I can do about that as long as I confine myself to a field I know enough about to cause people to pay me for my time and expertise. BUT, I keep coming back to what I enjoy doing and what I enjoy most when I do like my work: writing. It's not just any writing, though, it's a special kind of writing. It's writing about my interpretations of the meaning of changes in the business, social, political, and economic environments in which we all function. More precisely, I've always enjoyed reading the work of futurists who attempt to describe the ways in which current, new, and emerging trends are likely to affect the world around us. While I've not written so much in that genre, I have enough confidence in my intellectual capacity and in my writing skills to believe I can join the pack.

So, I've decided to try to satisfy my need for control over that little part of my life by creating a newsletter for my clients, with which I will share my interpretations of how changes in the world around us all will affect their organizations and their businesses, now and in the future. I will distribute it to all current clients and may send it to key players who were involved with clients in the past...and I may go to people who have the potential to bring clients to me. It's a bit of a risk, in that my interpretations often reveal my personal political leanings, but I think I can live with that. The purpose of the newsletter will be to give readers reason to think about things in ways they may never have thought about them before; I want people to say, "wow, I never considered that before." Actually, I don't care what they say; I want them to think something like it!

My first issue will be distributed soon, possibly within the week. If this backfires on me, I may add a "contribute here" button to my blog and request alms for the poor. I hope you'll be kind.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Ending Vacation on a Low Note

I'm miserable. Sore throat, horrific cough, stopped up nose, watering eyes, fever...the whole deal. It really took hold yesterday, but it got far worse overnight and today. So, I've been taking pills and cough syrups and sleeping a lot. My voice is hoarse; I sound like I'm making croaking noises when I try to talk. This crap has to stop. I've got to go to work getting around it. And it won't be pretty if I feel the same way then as I do now.

The one good thing is that I've been able to do nothing today but watch DVDs on the television...6 episodes of State of Play (a BBC miniseries), a movie (Vantage Point, action-packed but not much else), and 1 episode so far of Homicide: Life on the Street. That's more tube-watching than I've done in a month of Sundays.

I'll not be doing much blogging while this cold or whatever it is hangs on.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Predictions for 2009

Everyone goes into a new year with at least a modicum of hope for better things. So do I. And while I hope for better times ahead and believe that we will see our share of improvements, I think we should go into the new year ready to confront the battles that are certain, at least in my opinion, to plague us. Here, in no particular order, are my predictions for 2009:

Financial Crisis: The symptoms of the financial crisis may ease a bit early in the year, but the underlying cause and, therefore, the most dangerous aspects of the crisis will get worse. The fact that our government is deeply in debt and getting more deeply mired in the quicksand every day makes any "solution" so much wishful thinking. I predict that at least one of the big 3 automakers will fail, moving the meter past "crisis" to "emergency" and then on to "impending disaster." If Obama is as good as we hope he is, he'll be able to shoot straight with the public and let us know that massive sacrifices by all citizens are in order. 2009 will not be a good year for the economy, despite some early signs of recovery.

Fuel Prices: I predict that fuel prices will again make a sharp turn north, possibly hitting $4-$5-$6 per gallon or more by the third quarter. While I WISH the government would impose an emergency tax hike on gasoline right now, taking prices back to at least $4 per gallon, I doubt that will happen. My reason for wanting to see that is to see the tax revenue available for some desperately important investments, like mandatory public transportation infrastructure all over the country, alternative fuel, and worklife adjustments that would require businesses to allow employees to work from home when practical. What I want and what I get are different, though. I believe today's artificially low gas prices are where they are, in part, because OPEC and domestic exploration and refining companies became terrified that high prices could permanently alter demand. So, they changed public behavior by slashing prices. They know now, though, that the public will respond and so they will jack up prices again, but they will be more careful and will watch consumer behavior more carefully. Watch; by the third quarter, we'll be paying far more per gallon than we are today. Unfortunately, that increase will not be going into government coffers to fund needed research into alternative transportation.

Political Parties: The Democratic Party will demonstrate that, when given the opportunity, it will give the Republicans all the tools they need to club Democrats to death over things like sex scandals, skimming of funds, etc., etc., etc. Like the Republicans, Democrats will squander large majorities in Congress and even control of the White House by behaving the way politicians do: like drunken thieves in an unlocked liquor store. Neither party will behave in ways that will make any of us proud. Instead, they will give us yet more reasons to want to throw the lot of them out; unfortunately, the public apparently does not have the stomach for revolutionary change. By the end of 2009, Democrats will have lost significant clout; Republicans will have gained clout, but will not have figured out that powerplays are not the stuff of public appreciation. In a nutshell, nothing of any positive consequence will get done, and the country will suffer because of it. I predict that Democratic power will wane quickly and Republican power will rebound just as quickly in 2009.

Good Things: Despite all the gloom and doom in the paragraphs above, I believe we will see a huge outpouring of support if and when there is a major catastrophe of any kind, whether domestic or international, during the year. The people most likely to give, and give big, will be people who can least afford it, though. Many people who can most afford to give will give, as usual, but their gifts will too often be the obligatory "charity" rather than the hearfelt desire to help others. As these two cultures of social responsibility clash in their approach to giving, I predict there will be a growing movement to engage all people of even modest means to become part of a "giving society." The challenge will be to adjust both conservatives' and liberals' perspectives about who qualifies as "deserving" of help. The "giving society" will emerge from a consensus about the quid pro quo required of recipients of aid. I think the attitudes of conservatives and liberals toward charity are closer, fundamentally, than it might appear on the surface. I hope so.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Six Days on the Road

The vacation is over. I'm back in my home office, wishing I'd made strong coffee when I got up this morning.

Yesterday, we went into Houston to visit with a sister, a brother, and a niece and her husband. We all met at my sister's place and had to stay there for lunch because of some medication she is taking. That was fine, though, because it gave me an opportunity to go with my niece and her husband to seek out lunch on New Year's Day. After discovering that a Mexican restaurant my niece suggested was not open, after all, we went to Connie's, a Mexican seafood place nearby. I bought lunch, which consisted of fried shrimp with tartar sauce, a salad, and miscellaneous other stuff.

While we waited, I noticed a guy sitting at the bar filling an ice-cold mug with a Corona beer...but the mug already had about an inch of red liquid in it, so the result when the beer was poured was a translucent red brew. I asked my companions what it was...they had an idea, but where not sure exactly what was it in. My niece's husband, a Paraguayan who speaks Spanish as well as Guarani, asked the Hispanic guy what it was. Micheleda, he said, and offered to let me taste it. I took him up on his offer and found it really excellent. In what I have come to believe is a common Hispanic response to expressions of appreciation for something someone else has, the guy offered to give me the rest of his drink! I thanked him, but decided to buy one for me and for my niece's husband, instead. My niece found this wonderful drink foul and appalling, giving me cause to wonder whether, in fact, we are related. At any rate, I have become a fan of Micheladas. And Connie's sells its "secret" mixture for Micheladas in bottles....I did not buy one, but should have.

Back at my sister's place, we got online with my brother's son and his son's wife. I got a picture of the whole group, including the online couple, that I hope to post here sometime soon. But, I took it with my brother's camera, so I'm not sure when I'll get a copy.

We left about 2:00 pm to head back to Dallas and made it back into town not long after dark. We stopped at Luby's cafeteria for dinner, where we could have black-eyed peas and other good things for not much money. And then, finally, we were back home, able to kick back and relax. And curse the fact that our so-called vacation lasted only six days.