21 August 2009

Loving the Architecture

I suppose that the building's on campus aren't that fancy, but they built a lotta of 'em in the 20's and 30's in a sorta mission style and I just love them. I'll have to take some pictures of my favorite library - so far - Battle Hall. It got it's name because they had pep rallies in and around it several decades back, the detail is great, the inside is like a viking mead hall and...it's attached to the school of architecture.
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So much of the orientation this week has been about history of the school and I'm having a pretty good time. I'm kinda frustrated about only a few things now, and the list seems to be shrinking daily - if you're still on the list, then you prolly know it :-p
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This is the main building. Not sure that it's used for much other than storage now. It has been a few things including a really tall library, but an unfortunate happening in the 70's has kept the observation level mostly closed since then.
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Y'all keep having fun!!
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20 August 2009

Home is Where...?

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One of the many great things about loving to camp is that you get comfortable quickly with what you might call your semi-permanent residence. I'm home now. Called it a dorm room...because it feels like that..., but everyone else calls it their apartment...and it is. It's next to the campus, but Dobie is a private residence even though it's really a big friggin' dorm. No one in their right mind would live here unless they were going to school at UT..., though I'm sure that soon I'll meet a non-student freak still here.
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Freshman orientation is every bit as odd as I imagined it might be. Think that there's about 10,000 of us, and there's not a whole clue between our collective self.
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Did get a chance to run this morning. Yay! Ran down (literally) to Town Lake, across the bridge, over to Zilker Park, back by the state capitol complex and then "home". The whole thing was less than 10 miles (maybe 15km) and broke it into 2 obvious pieces, getting some fresh juice near the park. We've visited Austin jillions of times over the years, but I didn't remember everything being so close.
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Bought a coffee maker yesterday afternoon...so I had a good reason to wake up this morning :-D
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haha... I've already missed a session this morning and feeling pretty good about that!

17 August 2009

Doesn't Look Like Much

But this is the only hilltop in this loop of a mind clearing ride. It's hot and I've been pushing harder than usual. This is pretty much my favorite point in this loop because it's downhill for the next 30 minutes or so. How badly do I need downhill right now? Prolly not very much, but ilk always take it.
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I must be the last one to head out of town to start school. Every ONE of my friends is freaking out. Their emails and txts are flooding in and I feel like turning off the phone again, but it's a wave that won't end and they seem to be looking for sanity. Is it here? Should be, but my mind is saying ride....
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I left the hilltop and am under my favorite tree in this loop. It's hot and the air quality is worse than "normal". Hoping for some cleaner air soon, and wondering how long it will take to get my head clear again because it seems like I'm headed into a storm.
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I'm searching for something familiar that makes me feel secure if only for a few minutes. More riding...more hot wind...
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16 August 2009

It's early, yet

No pic to go with this, either. Do have tons that I took on my camera and maybe share some with y'all later today or tomorrow when I have some more computer time.
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Making my self sick with thoughts of needed life changes over the next few days. Orientation starts early this week in Austin and looking at boxes of things that I've already packed for the move.
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I'm feeling strangely selfish (really odd for me). Maybe it's still the lingering lack of sleep since Friday that's causing me to wanna heal. Maybe it's sth else, tho.
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This trip was fantastic!! If only we could figure out a way to get those mountains (which used to be part of Texas) a little closer to where I live. :-)
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Chat soon and bbyez for now,
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Ric
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14 August 2009

This One's for You <3




You might remember... that I woke up early and ventured to this point on a nearby lake to take this stunning picture for you.

13 August 2009

Hike 'til You Drop










 

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Was able to convince everyone to roll out this morning because I made breakfast! We had talked about hiking on the drive up, and were prepared with day packs, but it was seeming a little less likely that it would get done.
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The trail map afforded us all our own hikes! After leaving the cabin at about 9:30 we took in the view of hazy peaks as the morning air thinned a little with the rising sun - beautiful! We hiked the rim of the canyon together and separated when it was time for me to drop down into the "abyss". In the 4 hours of hiking by myself I only saw one other person; it was incredible!! The river down at the bottom was pure, cool & tasty!
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We met up again on the other side of a small feeder canyon and agreed that this hike was mostly what we were seeking in the trip. I'd hiked about 15 miles and they did a little over 6. They had the luxury of a full lunch and I ate nuts,fruit and river water as I continued - they only beat me to the meeting spot by about 20 minutes so it worked out perfectly.
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I'm getting better at afternoon naps! Was pretty much out from 5 to 7 and we're planning to see if there's any nightlife in the two towns soon. This is so wonderful - if only it were living reality and not just a memorable trip!
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12 August 2009

Woo-Hoo! (really, this time!)



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This lil roll in the river may not look like much, but it feels like you just dropped from the top of the Texas Giant rollercoaster at Six Flags! Whitewater kayaking is definitely going to be something I'll seek out on future trips where it's to be had.
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The water was extremely cold - so rolling over wasn't a pleasant option - just stay topside up, our guide said! Wanting to please (and not drown) I did as instructed, fortunately. The other fella in my foursome wasn't so fortunate, and it was a pretty rough afternoon for him.
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You know... for a Summer that began with such a thud, this one has been fantastic. When forced to seek new travels and happy-making events, one might just might find pleasure!
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If you're already at school studying or packing and going soon... don't be glum about this last yee-ha spree - my number comes up soon, and hoping to bag a few more great memories that'll last!
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Amazing Sky!



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Thanks again to Kat for the internet help and James for trying to spiff up my "best" pic from last night (this morning). Took about 50 pics of the meteor shower, and shoulda thought about bringing a tripod on the trip before.... The one above is NOTHING (mean it) when I try to tell you how amazing it was watching hundreds of meteors streaming across the occasionally clear night sky in the mountains.
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Already have my chair ready for tonight and took in a long nap after lunch in preparation.
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I swear there were a few that seemed to be colorful and have to say that nature's fireworks are much more impressive than any 4th of July show that I've seen! I'm now a completely convinced stargazer and look forward to consuming an education on them.
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Assistance

James and Kat -

Thank you both for last night's uber late assistance on the star/meteor photo editing and the other internet stuff, too. As you can see the post didn't work - so much for trying to be minimalist on my internetz this trip. If you email it to the address above, then the post shows up like this. Can y'all get with each other today - only- if it's easy to do.

Thanx and chat soon.

Ric

11 August 2009

This is the spot



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This is part of the view when you step out the back door of our mountain cabin.
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There's a meteor shower tonight (hope to post some pics tomorrow morning) and we figure that this small mountain piece should block the moonlight for a period to see the perseids. Hoping that the clouds clear somewhat to get the best view!
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We're having a great time, tho, my great time seems to be more reflective than the other three in my party. Oh... the WEATHER! It barely hit 75F today and gets down to 50F or a little below at night. Obviously, a far cry from the 100F+ temps in Texas and it goes a long, long way in explaining why so many of my friends and their families disappear in June and come back at the end of August.
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We're supposed to do some kayaking on Wednesday, or, at least, some river fun. The mountain biking today was a complete blast, tho, very tiring. The sights and smells of the forest are remarkable!
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Wish You Were Here > X <



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The clean, crisp, cool air of the Rockies in the morning is unbeatable, I think. Weezing a little (hahaha), actually, from the mountain biking in the thin air, but it's worth it! Should be adjusted by tomorrow anyway. Isn't this view spectacular? Oh, how I wish you were here....
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10 August 2009

Mountain Shadow



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We're about down to the last hour of driving and I'm definitely going to pass the honors to a travel mate on the way back. Made pretty good time, and everyone but me seems pretty well rested. This shot was heading up into the pass not too far from Crested Butte. Quick leg stretching and load 'em back up!
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Woo-Hoo I'm the Driver



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We left town this morning at about 5:00AM and this chosen spot was the first stop. Why? Because I'm the driver. Dad has taught me that when you drive and are trying to make time - stop only when necessary. Everyone has been mostly asleep since the hummmm of the road knocked them out one after the other about 30 minutes in. This spot is somewhere in the Texas panhandle and I've been watching the clouds - what to watch? - and thought these looked good. There's a gas station ahead according to a sign that I saw and the girls will get their own chance to freshen up. I'm pretty sure that I wasn't just asked to go because I had the newest car and liked driving... yes... I'm sure!
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09 August 2009

Productivity Day

Maybe it was nervous energy, and maybe it was just the coffee that had me going early this morning on some projects that had been requested at the beginning of the Summer. Time was running out and so I just dove in.

I'd love to show you the (near) perfectly organized garage and the dust-free attic above it, but instead I'll show you these lovely growy things that I spied while drinking gallons of ice water throughout the 102F day.

The look on dad's face when he came back from his golfing day was really reward enough; I am the favored child! So it was that very moment when I hit him with the request to venture out to Colorado for the week. Yes! I'm going.

So... for 4 or 5 days you'll get a quick post from the area near Crested Butte. Should be able to get the first one up tomorrow evening! Maybe this will make up for the so-so feeling I have in my gut for missing out on the hiking/camping with my cousin in July.

Have fun!

07 August 2009

Future's so Bright

...and friggin' hot. Back to normal here - 106F at this particular spot, tho, the official temp is a lil cooler at the airport.
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Took this pic with my eyes closed and holding the camera up and through my Persol, brown tinted shades. Quick, quick - get 'em back on my face and save the eyes from permanent damage.
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Jeez - looking like a really hot weekend. Gonna start putting a plan together to be in a pool....
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Y'all keep having fun!
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06 August 2009

By the light of the moon


It's another full moon tonight, and the day was fantastic, too!

I've always loved the idea that people separated by some distance can go out at night, look at the clear sky and share the sight of the same moon.

If it's cloudy where you are, well...then you're lucky... so here's the moon tonight. Thanks for sharing the same sight, friend!

Dang Beavers are at it Again



The rain over the last week has really gotten the beavers in the creek all stirred up. Every morning they've started chewing on something new. Here's a pic of some €\&¤@-ing tree roots that they've been working. This tree is huge, too. Gonna have to do something about them...

04 August 2009

I think... it's over

The intense re-reading of stories and notes was all focused on today. My mind says it's over...all in...done, but my heart is still going through the notes -sorta. I guess I'm a romantic, and in the end this class on chivalric literature was just perfect, as in 4.0.

The fencing class had to be so much better than whatever might have been its replacement in Austin, too, and hey, I did learn to parry like a champ.

I'm tired now. Could put a bowl of Pralines n Cream to good use, tho... :-)

Goodnight, all y'all.

03 August 2009

Start off with something sweet


The neighbor's fluffy black cat had kittens on the first day of Summer. How can anyone not LOVE kittens? This one that I chose to paint last week is my favorite. She's not usually with the other 5 when they're playing so I have to kinda go hunting for her.
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She's shy, but not unapproachable, and loves to have her ears and tummy scratched. So soft...and nibbles on your fingers - I swear she listens intently whenever you chat with her. Okay...so here's my first art post. Thanks for dropping by and here's to a brilliant Monday!!
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02 August 2009

Gotta good feelin'

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That this day is gonna work out perfectly. I'm listening to Tanita Tikaram on the ipod and walking around the yard this morning. There's still the smell of freshly cut grass from my big yard deal yesterday and I cannot think of one single thing that I have to do.
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Plan to sing a little louder this morning (choir is back from England) and say sweet prayers for everyone's continued health & happiness in the day =D
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01 August 2009

Rain delayed their Welcome Home


Some friends and I headed out to DFW airport this morning to welcome home some of the many US Troops who survived their tour of duty in Iraq.


A strong storm system delayed the flight so we found ourselves waiting and making our own fun for a while.

Whether you thought US troops should have been there or not - you couldn't help being happy for their safe arrival and into the arms of their families. The scene played out below went for 45 minutes and became more and more joyous as the happy soldiers streamed through the doors.