Saturday, June 30, 2007

Uphill procession

We recently borrowed from the library a book of photographs of bygone Austin. People used to walk from the on-campus dormitories over to the football stadium on game days. It's like that walking up to the Erwin Center from the west side of Waller Creek. I love those special stone pavers that border the walkway and the trouble that somebody took to cause them to be laid to form circles at some locations. Everybody always pauses to look down into the creek and see fishes and turtles and sometimes other creatures. With all the rain, though, the water was pretty turbid in most places.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Resignation of a reporter

On Juneteenth, we noticed that the Nokoa offices have moved from the Masonic Temple to a location nearby. In the most recent Nokoa, it's reported that the editor is seeking, for various reasons, to move again. I just found the blog of Ron Means (of Austin Cab). An entry about Nokoa discusses the same issue that announced the resignation of reporter-about-town Leonard Herrera, who has also written a lot for La Prensa, and showed his picture, so now we know what he looks like and know we've seen him. I still haven't found out why the Breakfast Club hasn't returned to KAZI, although the Wake-Up Call is now back.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Card in card

When seeking an appropriate birthday card for someone, we found that there are now greeting cards for all occasions that, by use of die-cut slots or even pockets, accommodate those gift cards (e.g., for electronics stores, bookstores, and other retail establishments) that are sold at checkout or sales counters everywhere these days.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A new pest

We're seeing crickets. If there are so many so early, how many will there be by fall? The numbers of grasshoppers do not diminish, although they continue to confine their activities to one part of Mack's yard.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Caught up

Now that La fea has ended, I can catch up with my three silly farandula magazines. It doesn't take long, since they're mostly pictures and without much text. We like the pages where they make fun of the outfits that people are wearing. We had let them stack up because we didn't want any spoilers from the telenovela.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Farewell to la fea

We watched the final episode and then watched the Christina show, during which Christina interviewed a number of the cast members. She didn't get to all of them, so maybe the next show will be a continuation. We still think of Angelica Vale as Wendy Nayeli and it seems funny to think that Amigas y rivales was so long ago. Jaime Camil was just as funny on Christina as he was in the novela. Nobody would have guessed this side of him from Mujer de madera. What will we watch next? K. seems to find the previews for Juan Querendon a bit tempting. Yes; there will be a continuation, on Monday, 2 July.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The rule of 80

It rules.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Another rose heard from

It must be this astonishing weather. Even though nearly denuded of leaves, a rose vaguely the color of the "salmon" of the 'Fifties has bloomed for the first time in years and years. I think it was one of those unnamed Jackson & Perkins experimental roses received as a present.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Roadside rescuer gone to great reward

Bob Evans, of Bob Evans Farms, purveyor of edible food, has left this earthly plane. Not surprisingly, it was over-the-road truckers who, by word of mouth endorsements, helped promote his early success. For travelers, breakfasts by Bob Evans, incorporating biscuits and that very decent sausage, were a reliable morning fueling choice. These places were a welcome sight at other times of the day, too, of course. Otherwise, for me, a person who hates fast-food hamburgers, only French fries and, in some parts of the country, catfish restaurants or ice-cream joints could provide sustenance that would not turn the stomach of a person like me. The Bob Evans establishments have always been open decently early in the morning, too.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Big send-off

We had known that Antonio Aguilar hadn't been well. We were surprised to see that the NYT published an extensive obituary, although it named only U.S. movies in which he appeared. We've seen a lot of his movies and can remember an extensive homage on Univision that included live performances by him accompanied in turn by a conjunto, a mariachi group, and a banda. I hadn't realized that one of my favorite songs, No mas un puno de tierra, (letra / lyrics) is identified with him. Everybody has recorded it and at any live performance by anybody someone is sure to request it.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

I love a parade

And I love the music. And I love the conviality. And I love it that parades are free. And I love the lively conversations and the laughter in the air and seeing people of all ages in attendance. And I love to see the impromptu commercial operations (cotton candy, bottled water, raspas, fans, ice cream). And I love to see people set up complete with umbrellas for shade.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sylvan surfer

They appear to be made of plastic (or "resin"), the Silver Surfer and his surfboard, lifesize or larger, now ornamenting various movie theaters around town. There must be an issue of instability, because the three different ones we've seen have all been roped off, complete with "do not touch" signs. Having passed up the Statues of Liberty that used to be for sale around town, now lamentably gone from the marketplace, we have no statuary for our glade and gardens. We both had the idea at the same time. The Surfer does appear to be weatherproof, but no doubt every one ha already been claimed. I hope that these promotional items continue in existence as the very decorative items that they are and that they aren't uncermoniously sent to the landfill. Here's a full-frontal image from Flickr. Indoors the Surfer appears silver, not golden, and is more impressive from a three-quarter angle. By plugging in "silver surfer" and "silversurfer" I found other images, but not any that convey the sleek sort-of dynamism or the scale. This promotional item, however, does inspire admiration and affection, and I bet somebody's selling one on eBay.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Goo-doodler unmasked

Business Week answers questions about the guy who alters the Google logotype to mark various occasions ("The Man Behind the Google Doodle," byline Aili McConnon, June 18 issue, page 74). Although the ideas are often clever, I usually don't care much for the style of execution. Nevertheless, I always notice the temporary logo changes and am happy to know more about all this.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Every morning, we find that somebody has been testing the figs and the tomatoes for ripeness. Once the figs are found to be ready, they'll be gone within an hour.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

At last, the contents

Innumerable shed husks of cicadas are to be seen every year, but the living contents, the cicada itself, has always eluded me. Now I've seen the living being itself, which I find to be very beautiful. I'm guessing that this was a creature that had just shed its former outer covering or external skeleton because it looked so new and its wings were so fresh and sparkly transparent. It was nestled amidst a clump of milkweed (asclepias) in a pot, and the light just happened to glint off it.

Friday, June 15, 2007

A much-loved song

"Hurry on down to my house, baby; there ain't nobody home but me; hurry on down to my house, baby; I'm as blue as I can be." We used to beg to have this sung and played for us, and we loved her recording, too. Nellie Lutcher has died.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Good humor

Ruddigore generated happiness and high spirits. And now we've checked off two of the many chores that we've been putting off. The happiness quotient will be even higher once we've enjoyed two parades in a week. And then we'll take care of yet another couple of delayed to-do items. And then there'll be the circus. Life is looking up!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Be prepared

Because we had readied everything in advance, we were able to skip the PowerPoint and get on out of there an hour and forty-five minutes ahead of almost everyone else. This was an excellent example of smart expediting on the part of everyone.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Just in time for ice-cube season

Thanks to Nick Greene (Union Jack Plumbing, 288-0749), household life is much more convenient. Where water welled up over the top of the faucet installation in the kitchen sink to the point where we just couldn't use it, we now have beautiful free-flowing non-leaking cold water (the equivalent in hot wanter would take a new hot-water line run under the house), and the new installation has a so-called "hich arc" pot filler beneath which I'll be able to fit my watering can without trouble. And upstairs there's hand-washing water again. the situation there with hot water is the same (not much), but the restoration of cold water is wonderful. The handles are three pointed, like stars, with one point longer than the other. They appear to be from the late 'Fifties or perhaps from the first half of the 'Sixties. He was relieved to see that they are by Kohler and I heard the word "Valvolet." We hadn't had time to attend to these matters and had relied a lot on using water from the bathtub faucets. So long as there's running water at all anywhere, I feel as though I'm living in luxury, but it is a great saver of time and the wood floors to have the use of the faucets in these two places once again.

Monday, June 11, 2007


The transoms are open and the fans are in the windows. Of our two best fans (quiet and they move a lot of air), one wouldn't run last summer. for some reason. After a hesitant start, though, it's doing fine so far, and that's wonderful, because we've never been able to find any others like these, in stores or on line. We haven't gone back and looked, but I think this is the latest in a number of years to be doing this stuff. We've had lots of rain and, although pavements have heated up, the ground and water from the taps remain cool.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


"For best results, squeeze tube from the bottom and flatten as you go up."

Saturday, June 09, 2007


Now we know Ponder Lee's true name; it's Haxley or Hacksly or something of the sort. This lively and funny striped cat (tabby stripes on top and spots beneath; gray with tawny features; black stockings and black tail tip) does, in fact, live in the general vicinity that we had presumed. It was a surprise to learn that she's over three years old. We're still going to keep some sustenance available for those times when the principal people in her life are traveling. Food can't be left out around here with the expectation that its intended consumer will be the one who makes it disappear. We first met Ponder Lee when she was up on the roof, tapping on the windows with her paws and making vocal requests to come indoors.

Friday, June 08, 2007


All the food in Cheeni Kum (transliterated in many forms) had a most appetizing appearance. Apparently, some of the scenes were filmed showing Indian culinary students at work. I loved seeing the various types of bread being formed. Bachchan was front and center in a very self-indulgent role; Tabu was as beautiful and expressive as she was in Fanaa, and the actress who played the old mother (Zohra Sehgal) was a delight in every way and may have stolen the show. This was not a good movie but I'm not sorry that I saw it.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Looking up

We were talking to someone, one of the few who've seen The Wendell Baker Story, and he, too, thought that the plane was a highlight of the movie. We agreed about the character actors, including Billy Joe Shaver, about the surprising excellence of Kris Kristofferson, about the slow parts, and about Owen Wilson's great potential as a villain, comic and otherwise. This guy said that he thinks the plane is the same model used in the Sky King show. Where we disagreed was that he thought Sky King was great and we remember it for the drek that it was, to which quality the child actors contributed mightily. If the movie gave a credit as to the source of the Cessna, we missed it.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Lingering on are verbascum, bachelor buttons (cornflowers), California poppies, true and iceland poppies, delphinium, Drummond phlox, black-eyed Susans, firewheels, and squash blossoms. The morning glories not consumed are beginning to bloom. Lantanas continue to attract clouds of butterflies and we seem to see more question marks than ever before. Turk's caps are covered with flowers. Pride of Barbadoes is beginning to bloom. All of the bulb leaves have now died back and been picked up, giving us some new places to mow. (We had an errand at Sears and the notion of buying a non-power mower to stockpile was tempting; there was one there with my favorite T-handle and I never want one of those sturdier X-handles because a mower with those just won't go where the T-handled ones will. My mower was sharpened so well last time, though, and the temptation was just a passing one. I recently read that there's a resurgence in the sales of non-power mowers, all now made, no matter what the brand label, at the one remaining United States factory, and two-thirds of them purchased these days by women.)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The third word

La tercera palabra was very obviously from a play. Marga Lopez and Pedro Infante shone in the lead roles, of course, but the two old aunts were most entertaining. How funny it was to find Walt Whitman being recited in Spanish!

Monday, June 04, 2007


"Turn to the sun." Our first wild sunflowers were open today. I've been seeing them other places for a couple of weeks or more.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Start to finish

We listened to every minute of Twine Time last night. It was Motown all the way, but it might as well have been called the Smokey Robinson show. There were a few Holland-Dozier-Holland items (some Supremes and 'Tops, mostly) but practically everything else was written, produced, or recorded (or all three) by Wm. R. I hope he's got his royalties tied up well.

Saturday, June 02, 2007


We enjoyed the most wonderful just-picked organic sweet corn today, courtesy of Franklin at the South Austin Farmers' Market. The eggplant looks just as beautiful, but we deferred that in order to consume our first green bush beans from the yarden. We also came home with some yellow potatoes instead of the usual russet ones, which have been delicious. We don't remember what they are, but it appears that the pear-shaped tomatoes growing in one of the pots may be yellow when ripe. Our yarden corn is beginning to fill out some ears, but the silk's a long way from brown.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Why does a checkout clerk ask for identification in addition to the proffered credit card when, at the nearby self-check stations, the card alone would work? Just wondering. Just another stupid policy or procedure. No wonder people hate to shop.