Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Day 3471

I'm back on Dallas time. Not surprisingly, I'm back on my regular schedule as well. I made my signature smoothie with a big bowl full of peaches, strawberries and blueberries, a banana, two raw eggs, 1/4 cup of Quaker Oats, a pinch of Cinnamon, and a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. I know it's not rocket science, but the Vitamix is a wonderful machine. On my morning walk I noticed that the wayward White Pelican that refuses to migrate was still sitting on its favorite log at the lake. I wanted to tell the bird that I'd seen several endangered Brown Pelicans while I was in Florida. Not that the Pelican would care, but I also saw a Bald Eagle, lots of Ibis and Egrets, and some of the largest insects I'd encountered in a while. Florida has even more critters than Texas.

I'm still a bit surprised that the trip went so smoothly. I'm used to getting lost, sick, or stressed while I'm away from home. This little journey was a welcome change of pace. Travel is so easy these days. I made all the arrangements on my phone. Airline, hotel, and rental car reservations were all made in a matter of minutes on an app with a few easy clicks. Travel agents and paperwork seem to be a thing of the past. I made the entire trip without using any cash. Cash seems to be a thing of the past as well.

Meeting so many clever people at the Space Center inspired me to make an attempt to up my game a bit. I decided to write an extended article about what it meant to be standing on the same launch pad that sent astronauts to the moon fifty years after the Apollo 11 landing. I will submit the article to several magazines for publication if I ever finish it. I started writing this afternoon after I returned from my walk. Lord knows if the article will ever get published but at least I'm making an effort. I've written a shitload of ads and TV commercials but I haven't gotten anything published in a magazine since I used to be a contributing editor for The Dalmatian Quarterly many years ago.

I'm always humbled by the people I meet at these NASA events. On previous trips I met Bobak Ferdowsi, the talented JPL systems engineer who gained a bit of fame by wearing a mohawk haircut with stars shaved in his head during the televised Mars Curiosity landing. Scott Manley, the talkative Scottish YouTube personality and Kerbal Space Program expert was on the bus with me during a memorable launch at Vandenberg Airforce Base. This time my group included an actress who has appeared on Star Trek and the guy who invented the Fidget Spinner. Somehow, I'm always the oldest guy in the room.

This morning while I was walking I saw several large trucks in the neighborhood that were clearly intended for picking up brush and debris. I was hoping that these trucks would stop on my street and pick up the huge pile of brush and logs that is currently covering my front lawn. Nope. The trucks didn't pick up anything in the neighborhood. They were just passing through. I wonder how long it's going to take to clear away all the debris from our recent wind storm. The park department is doing a good job of cleaning up the damage in the park, but nothing has happened on the streets. There are still huge stacks of brush and logs piled up along every street in our neighborhood.

I thought I managed to escape the mosquitoes while I was in Florida, but several suspicious red welts appeared on my neck and face this morning. It seems that the mosquitoes got me anyway. What's with the time delay? Mosquito bites appear immediately in Texas.

Derrick is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day