Saturday, July 22, 2006

Adi Can . . . . . . . . Have a new bed

At the end of a long day, the last is very welcome. Asleep in Peoria, Illinois, Adi likes her new bed now. At first she didn't like it, I think it didn't smell doggie like. We had it behind the passenger seat but she just wouldn't relax in her favorite riding place.

Maybe it was the new scenery, she moved around a lot on the back seat and then would sit like a kid, looking out the window; on her haunches with her front legs holding her upright.

When we slowed down through a town, she cried for the window to be rolled down. Then she would put her head forward outside and let her long beagle ears flow in the breeze. She loves to do that.


This was the first stop this morning. We left last night about 5:30 and this morning at 7:30, we were in St. Louis for breakfast. This is a nice MacDonalds on I-55. We were just about the first customers, I brought in their newspapers.

Mrs. Jim and I split a Deluxe Breakfast and we each had a senior coffee. The breakfast consisted of two pancakes, scrambled egg, a ground sausage patty,, and two biscuits. The biscuits got the strawberry jam treatment. With all that food, we had to skip our usual half a granola bar.



Before getting to Peoria, we stopped in Springfield, to visit the Lincoln Presidential Library. It was a nice one as far as how it was decorated. There wasn't very much real memorabilia though, most items were newly made immatations similar to those shown in historical pictures.
Besides telling the life of Lincoln, a lot of political and social undertones were presented . That was a little much for me. I think Lincoln was a wonderful man and person. However, I think the people who made the presentation, and probably did the funding, were not very objective. .


No trip to Springfield would be complete without at least seeing the Illinois capital building there. That's all we did was drive by as we had hurry on to Peoria for an important visit.

Our granddaughter, Megan, is lucky to have a summer intership at the Caterpillar headquarters here. She is a business, accounting, major at The University of Texas. Next summer she already has lined up an internship with one of the big xxx (five now?) accounting firm.

We went out to eat with Megan, Megan and Mrs. Jim shared a pizza. I had an Italian calzone. And there was salad. Then Megan showed us around Peoria.

I didn't get a fresh picture of Megan today, but I'll have another chance tomorrow morning as we all will eat breakfast together.

Adi is still sleeping in her new bed. I'm going to heat up some leftover pizza, take my last medicine, and go to bed my self.

Friday, July 21, 2006

There's nothing to worry about in Houston, y'all come

It is perfectly safe here,
well, pretty safe

I think this building has nothing to do with the metal group, Fear Factory. I don't know its history, it sits at the corner of Travis and Rsalie Streets in Houston.

Fear Factory will come to Houston this November 1.
Some words from a review: (Metal Maniacs link)

"FEAR FACTORY defy musical borders, break conventional arrangement, and influence metal bands worldwide. Now FEAR FACTORY are armed with another successful album, equipped to blast the tour doors open with a brutal metal militia in tow."

"Headling the MACHINES AT WAR North American tour, FEAR FACTORY wage war from the West, preparing to leave the powerless in their bloody wake. Rivals in the East, bring the menacing SUFFOCATION to the helm while HYPOCRISY battle to the death with Viking valor and DECAPITATED gather their mercenaries to prove the unholiness of Poland. All corners of the nation will find themselves compelled to witness the massacre of the MACHINES AT WAR and engage in the armed conflict of metal!"

More at the Metal Maniacs site, go here.

p.s. I won't be going to hear the Fear Factory. I would like to see and hear Idgy Vaughn (her bio) on August 3. We will see.

Oh yes, there was a nice write-up about Idgy in yesterday's Houston Chronicle. (link)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

How to celebrate your birthday in style - - - Karen sure did, we helped

This is the Birthday Girl, our little Karen, notwithstanding that I gave her away to a very nice husband, Billy.

I don't know if you can tell, but Karen won't be seeing 28 ever again. Maybe some bigger numbers too, but I'm not telling.

Karen had sushi, Billy had a shish-ka-bob medley of beef, shrimp, calamari, and vegies, Mrs. Jim had this cook-it-yourself (on a hot rock) Kobe beef, and I had shrimp tempura. That is Billy behind that cloud of smoke.

Where could we find this nice variety? It was at the Azuma Sushi & Robata Grill restaurant (link) over on Kirby in Houston.

We stopped off at Brennan's Restaurant for an open house with wine and hors d'oeuvres; also there was a kitchen tour and demonstration by the chef.

I forgot to ask if the original restaurant in New Orleans had reopened yet after being devastated by Hurricane Katrina (link).

My, doesn't this Brennan's executive chef look young. He is, but has been employed by the restaurant for ten years now. He started making salad right after graduation at the Houston Art Institute.

For a further rundown on this 31-year-old made good Texan, click here.

Chef Randy Evans, made two appetizers for us: grilled bacon wrapped asparagus and a two-bite-size open face Reuben sandwich shown above. Both were delicious and went well with red wine.

Brennan's is in the shadows of Houston, just west of this downtown shot location. You could call it near west downtown Houston.

Houston traffic hasn't scared you has it? The streets are almost deserted.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

My day yesterday . . .

Happy Birthday
to Daughter, Karen!
Oh to be 29 again

I started out at sunrise. We have to cross over the bridge on FM 1097 to get to the freeway, Interstate 45.

My little Mustang GT was humming along all the way. With the top up and A/C on even this early in the morning. It just loves to hum along and stretch once in a while. I won't say how fast it did in a little exercise, but old Fords don't ever go that fast. Maybe hotrods do.

This was my destination, a treadmill, to have a stress EKG. It would take place at St. Lukes Tower in Houston, across from St. Lukes Heart Institute. My cardiologist, Dr. Krazcer, had repaired my AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) with a large stent graft five years ago (link).

This checkup he wanted to check on my circulation as I have two other stents in heart arteries. There is a tricky blockage that would have been difficult to stent. I don't think much has changed from last time, but we don't want to take chances with this old guy.

That wasn't a picture in front of the treadmill, it was a picture window. This view is the South end of the Houston Medical Center, just across the street. We were on the top, 27th, floor.

From left to right: Texas Children's Hospital's three buildings; the VA Hospital flying the colors brilliantly; a few buildings of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center; a public low income housing apartment complex; Texas University Hospital, a teaching hospital where you can learn to be a doctor; Reliant Stadium, home of the Houston Texan football team; various parking garages, medical offices, and hotels; the bubble is associated with the old Astrodome complex, I think the Texans train in there with A/C; and to the far right is a nice Bank of America high rise building.

Wouldn't you know it, on a very hot Houston summer day it rained. Just when it was time that I could leave. Had I been going over to the hospital, I could have walked through this enclosed walkway over the street. It stretched from our building over to St. Lukes Hospital.

The rains didn't stop the train. I say train, we only have one line with several trains. It took over forty years to get this one. Nobody could decide which kind of mass transit Houston should have.

When it was finally decided to do light rail, Tom DeLay had Congress put a stop to it. We finally overrode him, but in the process lost most of the available federal funding and fifteen years time while the bickering was going on.

The train goes from the sports center, Reliant Stadium all the way to downtown and ends at the University of Houston Downtown Campus.

While it rained I went back up to the 12th floor of the St. Lukes Tower and had coffee. The rain had about stopped when I took this nice shot of the new tower for St. Lukes Heart Institute; my hangout five times since 2001.

The rain had stopped so I continued on to my final destination. My friend Tom's mother is in rehab down the street, across from Methodist Hospital and I would be visiting with her.

Mrs. L. is a lovely woman who has had quite a bit of medical problems lately. Her age might be 92. This time it was surgery to repair a blocked bile. It wasn't arthoscopic surgery, they had to go in with a big incision to explore.

I have several fan clubs, my blogging fans and my Sunday school class members when I am teaching, to name two of them. Mrs. L. thinks she is Number One of the Sunday school group. She well may be.
We are looking north down Main Street of Houston Texas. She has this lovely view from her room. The tall building is a nice dorm at Rice University. Those buildings to the left are tops of other buildings at Rice.

Next time I go down there to the Medical Center I will try to get pictures of the center and north parts to complete our tour.

I'm in no hurry to go. I think the Mustang is.

Suspect takes off in truck loaded with wine News from KTRK, around Houston and southeast Texas

There's going to be one big party in Houston tonight! It could start early, be there.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Three Topics:

I. The Weather: Hot like the rest of the States

II. Yesterday"s Pie Pics: Well, I'll tell you about them

III. How does Phil Keoghan control his sweat problems?

I. A lot of people are talking about the weather (nobody does anything about it). Our Texas weather is a little different; though not in those temps you see below. They look pretty much like yours.

Mother Nature has a different plan for East Texas. The difference is that this will go on and on. On until sometime in September when we will have a Fall day or two interspersed. Gradually it will all be Fall with a couple of winter days mixed in once and a while.

We just stay hot all summer and there won't be any rain coming in from the north and west, not until September. There will be rain though.

In the summers our only rain is tropical rain. Last year parts of Texas did pretty good. It doesn't take a hurricane or even a tropical storm to get us some tropical rain.

Topical rain comes in when a tropical low (pressure) comes in from the Gulf. It turns counterclockwise and the east side brings moisture up from the warm Gulf. Sometimes so much rain falls that the area floods.

That little green blob out in the Gulf was a tropical rain. We had thunder, but no rain. It came close.

Most of those lows don't get north, but a few drift north and east. Then everyone has to watch out for our Gulf moisture falling, a lot sometimes, up and over there.

Dave Letterman said tonight on the Late Show that it was so hot that George W. Bush, while chomping on his baguette at the G8 Conference, told Al Roker to stop doing that (s**t bleeped out).

Today: Isolated T-storms High: 100°Low: 75°
Tuesday: Isolated T-storms High: 97°Low: 73°
Wednesday: PM T-storms High: 95°Low: 72°
Thursday: Isolated T-storms High: 91°Low: 72°
Friday: Isolated T-storms High: 92°Low: 72°



II. The Pie Stuff (link)

It really wasn't a pie that Mrs. Jim made, it was a French Clafouti aux Cerises, or Cherry Custard Cake. The recipe was in one of her William Sanoma cookbooks.

She made the pie for her bridge group buds, the one of four including Mrs. Jim. They play once a week, everyone brings a sack lunch and the host makes dessert, drinks, and hors d'oeuvres.

What you saw was the left-over part that the ladies and I didn't eat for lunch. We had Blue Bell Vanilla ice cream every time we ate it.

The other pie was indeed a cow pie. It was huge and they were laying all around where we had our first Fourth of July party. I haven't blogged about that yet.

The host for it has some old Fords (a whole metal building garage overflows with them). He had invited his friends and our club for a Saturday night old fashioned Willie Nelson barbecue.

His cows were in several pastures, kept away from his yard area by cow barriers in the roads and lanes. This one was in the back, down by the bunk house.
He recently became single, but that didn't stop all his friends from coming. My guess would be around 300 or more guests. And he supplied all the meat, potato salad, slaw, and other barbecue fixings. Mrs. Jim brought some salad, others brought dessert.

That pie probably was dropped by one of his Texas Holsteins. (link1)(link2)

. [picture courtesy of CBS, click here]

III. Phil Keoghan is the host of my favorite TV program, The Amazing Race. He ends up in all kinds of places.

When you see him, what you see is what he is. He doesn't get much makeup at all, just a little powder on his face--that cuts down on the camera glare, we used it when we did instructional TV.

According to our Houston Chronicle TV news today (link), under the subtitle, Amazing travel solutions:

"he (Phil) said. "And I came up with a new way of dealing with the sweat problems I have. I found out that if you use sanitary pads under your armpits, they (do the job)."

Try it you [might] will like it.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Two kinds of pie. Guess their flavors.

Pie Number One (1) -- Hint, Mrs. Jim made this delicious pie.
Pie Number Two (2) -- No hints, this one is way too easy.

Job 42:12--The LORD blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first.
(New International Version--link) New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

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