Thursday, December 24, 2009

I Stole a Dollar

I stole a dollar. It wasn't so much outright theft, as much as it was theft by omission.

I was standing in the checkout line at New Flower Market and the check out lady was scanning all my crap. She had a box of crackers that wouldn't scan. She leaned over and asked the cashier next to her how much the "never-scanning crackers" were again (apparently it was an ongoing problem.)

The other cashier said "99 cents. I think."

She shrugged her shoulders and punched in 99 cents. I was pretty sure the crackers were $1.99, yet for some reason I said nothing, and I don't know why. I'm not a dishonest person - except for that thing with the cheerleader, but hey, she said she was 18. In fact, I had already ran back down one of the aisles to retrieve the code for some organic rolled oats ($1.29 a pound, thank you very much) and would have had the perfect chance to substitute the code for the regular oats if I were so inclined, which I'm not. So it really bugged me why I chose to say nothing. I had plenty of time to have said "Hey, you know what? I think those crackers were actually x." Nope, nothing doing. I just didn't do anything.

Of course when I got home the crackers were all broken from repeated attempts at running them across the scanner, but then again, they always are - and I knew that'd be the case when I put them in the basket. That doesn't make it right.

So last night as I passed a Salvation-Army-Bell-Ringer-Guy I stuffed a dollar in his kettle. Hopefully all is well with the universe once again.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Color of a Brisk and Leaping Day

No I haven't seen the movie, I just thought it'd make a great blog title..

It felt great to be off for four days over the Thanksgiving weekend. My parents, sister, and her family all came into town. My parents stayed with me and my sister, et al., camped out at my brother's house where we all gathered for the traditional Thanksgiving rituals (eating, napping, eating, tv, napping, etc.)

I got up Thursday morning and hung out with my parents long enough to drink a cup of coffee and then headed out the door for a ride. I felt guilty about leaving them alone at my house, but, hey, we've all got our priorities, right? Nah, they didn't mind and it made them happy that they weren't imposing on me (by keeping from riding) so that's how I justified it. Besides everyone knows by now where cycling fits into my scheme of things. (Recently I met some friends out of town and I told them I'd be there Friday night. They wanted me to stay thru Sunday, but I told them I couldn't - that I had other obligations. One of them said "I know what you're going to do.. you're going to ride Friday after work, then come here, and then leave Saturday morning so you can ride that afternoon when you get back home." Umm, I guess that means I got busted?)

Anyway... I cut my ride short on Thursday, only doing about 20 miles, but it was still great to get out and ride on such a beautiful day. In fact, the whole weekend was nice. I managed to log in 110 miles over the four days. So, on Thursday as I rode around the Veloway, I didn't notice the Christmas tree (pictured above) until lap #4. Had it been there the whole time? Hmm.. I suspect it was the handy work of the Hill County Inline Club, but I'm not sure. The roller blade club is always doing some kind of "fun thing" at the Veloway - candy at halloween, baskets and egg hunts at Easter. Since Thanksgiving at least three more trees have been decorated around the three mile loop of the Veloway. Although its been skipped from time to time, it's good to see the tradition continue.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Will My Mango Tree Survive the Winter?

Woke up yesterday morning at 5:30.. walked out onto the front porch (in my underwear) and took a deep breath. It was a cool, crisp morning. I had every intention of riding before work. I clicked on the TV long enough to catch the weather and the current temperature was 37 degrees. I went back to bed. Today was more of the same, except it snowed. Big, giant, corn-flake sized, fluffy white things fell from the sky. Very few actually hit the ground. None stayed around.

Tonight I met Nancy after work for Mexican food, tequila, and about two hours worth of "catching up". By the time I got home, (approx 30 minutes ago) it was near freezing. Currently it's 60 degrees inside my house and I just built a big, roaring fire. However, I don't know if my mango tree is going to survive the night, let alone the winter. I put a garbage bag over it just now, but considering how little it's manage to thrive (and how little I've watered it, or even looked at it) over the summer I somehow don't think it's gonna make it.

I've had avacado plants (ne, trees) that have made it a couple of years but usually manage to succumb to a late spring freeze.. and that's the most "unkindest cut of all". If it's gonna die, then you expect it to happen in January or February - not in late March.. at least not in Texas.

The biggest problem is that I'm what you'd call a "tough love" gardener. I pretty much throw the plants out into the yard and if they make it, they make it. If not, then it was never meant to be. Had my mango plant/tree shown a little more initiative over the summer then maybe I'd feel a little more compelled to actually do more than throw a garbage bag over it. Oh well, you reap what you sow.. I'll keep y'all posted on how it goes. It's time to throw another log on the fire so I gotta go..

BTW, it's STILL 60 degrees inside the house.. if I had to rely solely on the fireplace for heat, I'd totally be screwed.