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Page Index
Miscellaneous 2004

A Valentine's Snowfall
My Family Room
Fred's Rose Garden
Jane Cawthon's Funeral
Ralph and Troyann Visit Dallas
A Weekend at Fred's House
Ruckman Haus East Garden
James Sears Visits Dallas
Summer Storm Damage
Ron and Leroy Leave Dallas



On this album page, I have put any pictures that don't involve a trip I took, some major event that Fred or I attended, a business trip or that involve my Mom. This doesn't leave much, but putting these sections elsewhere in the album will mean that they just get lost.

So, you may have an interest in some of the things in the list at left. If so, click on one of the links or just go through the page sequentially.

Many of the pictures on this page are pretty mundane; a lot of them are pictures of the company buildings, the classrooms and the attendees. But I did take quite a few pictures of the surrounding areas sometimes, and that's the main reason for having this album page. As I have done before, I've provided you quick links at the top left of this page to take you to any particular trip, but you can always just scroll through them if you wish. There are links at the end of each trip section to take you back to the top of the page, should you wish to go back to the Index for 2004 at any time.


February 14: A Valentine's Day Snowfall

On Friday the 13th, the weathermen all predicted that for Valentine's day we would have a light rain here in the city, although up north where Fred is, they might have some light snow. Fred came down last evening, because this is his weekend to go to his Mom's in DeLeon. So it was something of a surprise this morning when we awoke to a blanket of white outside- something we don't see very often here in Dallas.

We got up and Fred was gone a little before nine while I got ready to go get a haircut. Just after Fred left, I took my little camera outside behind the garage to get some pictures and movies. With the garage door up for Fred's departure (you can see his tire tracks in the upcoming movie), I made my first movie of the snowfall, looking at the scene behind my garage. I also walked back to the far fence corner behind my unit to make a movie of the scene alongside my house.

Behind My Garage

Alongside My House

Just before leaving to get my haircut, I took a few still pictures of the snow scenes, and I have put thumbnails for these pictures below. You can look at the full-size images by clicking on the thumbnails:

I did go and get my hair cut, and, on the way back, I filmed the scene on Inwood Road as I turned into the driveway to get back to my house. It was all very pretty, but I must report that by noon, all the snow was largely gone.

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March 21: New Additions to My Family Room

I just have a couple of pictures I would like to include here taken in my family room today. The last time I was in Austin, Greg prevailed on me to use some of the Pervasive money to buy some good audio-visual home theatre equipment- speakers and other electronics. When I returned, Fred and I went shopping at the Home Theatre Store and I brought home a 61-inch Samsung DLP television.

I am not sure how the permanent arrangement will work, but I had it carried up to the family room over the garage and set up there on one of my Early American Ethan Allen cabinets that I have had forever. (I suspect I am going to need more storage space, though, and that I will eventually buy an actual stand made for these large TVs, and then use the cabinets for DVD storage.) Anyway, here is a picture of the new TV setup in the family room. I also made a movie of how the room looks at the moment (in which Chip makes a cameo appearance), and you can watch that movie using the player at left.

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April 3-4: Fred's Rose Garden

This weekend I am up at Fred's house, which is my usual routine on those weekends when he has to work. And our project for this weekend is the rose garden. Begun some months ago, the rose garden is an ambitious project, and is slated to occupy a space south of Fred's house. Fred has drawn some schematics of what he wants to do, and we are beginning to put that plan into motion.

The rose garden will be defined by Windsor Stone, which Fred buys in volume from Home Depot. As you will be able to see in the pictures and movies on this page, we have dug the first shallow trenches where the Windsor Stone will rest. These trenches outline the garden at the moment, but when the garden comes closer to fruition, the walls will be two, three and four levels high. My next task will be to spade up and weed the entire area inside the first oval that you can see in the pictures and movies here.

This is going to take me quite some time as it is slow going; I would estimate that, at best, I (we) are able to spade and weed perhaps 20-25 square feet in the weekend, and I would estimate that the area covered by the oval is perhaps 400 square feet. It is going to be quite a job. (I hope you'll be able to track the progress we make on this and subsequent pages in the photo album. Perhaps when I get more pictures done I can link together the sections having only to do with the rose garden.)

Here are a couple of movies that we took this afternoon:

Anyway, below are thumbnails for the other pictures we have taken this afternoon. Look at as many of them as you wish by clicking on the thumbnails:

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April 24: The Funeral for Jane Cawthon

If you've worked your way through my photo album to this point, you have already seen some pictures of Jane Cawthon- one of the residents Mom knew well at The Bentley (the retirement home where Mom lived before her last hospitalization and subsequent move to The Traymore.

Jane lived across the hall from Mom and got around by means of a scooter chair. She was one of the friendliest people at The Bentley, and she took a special interest in my Mom. She and her cat Pancho were a fixture there for many years, and I got to know both her and her daughter, Paula.

When Paula called to tell me of her Mom's passing, I tried as best I could to explain things to my own Mom, and we decided that we would attend the funeral. When we got there, we connected with Ken Brandenburg, another friend of my Mom's from The Bentley who now lives by himself nearby, and Dorothy Brown, one of Ken's best friends. It was a lovely service, and I think my Mom was pleased that we came to show our respect for the years of friendship that Jane showed us. It was also nice to see Ken and Dorothy again, and let them catch up with my Mom.

I took one short movie inside the church where the service was held, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

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May 14: Ralph and Troyann Dougherty Visit Dallas

My cousin Ralph Dougherty and his wife, Troyann, have come to Dallas for a patent lawyer's convention, and they have called me a few days ago to see if we could get together for a short while. I am going to Fred's this afternoon, but this morning I have come down to the Hyatt Regency, the convention hotel, to meet them.

I have not seen them in quite a while; they live in Charlotte where my Mom was. In any event, we spent some time catching up, and I took a picture of Ralph and Troyann for my photo album. I also made a short movie of them in the hotel lobby, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

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May 15-16: A Weekend at Fred's House

As I do just about every weekend he has to work, I have come up to Fred's house late Friday afternoon to spend Friday night, Saturday and most of Sunday with him. We have made a date with Ron and Jay for Saturday night. But I will be spending most of my weekend either mowing Fred's pasture or working in what will be his rose garden, eventually. That's where I was on Friday evening when Fred got home from work.

Fred had stopped at Home Depot after work to pick up some more Windsor Stone, and together we unloaded it and stacked it by the garden in progress. Fred went upstairs to change and took this picture of the rose garden in progress from his balcony, just after we'd unloaded the stone and I was getting ready to go down and do some digging.

A while back we built a sieve, and I use that to strain the roots and stuff out of the soil that I turn over. I dig some spadefuls of dirt and weeds up from up behind me and put it on the sieve and then break it apart and remove the weeds. The good soil falls through the sieve and onto the finished part of the garden. It is a technique my dad used in his own garden when I was a kid.

As you can see here, Fred has already laid the boundary stones for the garden. It is going to be a complex affair with, eventually, at least one fountain and an arbor. Whether this will get done in my lifetime (or his) is anyone's guess. If and when it gets done, though, it will be pretty amazing.

Before he set down his camera to come and work on the garden with me, Fred took a movie of me hard at work, and you can watch that movie with the player at left.

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May 19: The New East Garden at Ruckman Haus

In the middle of May, I was down in Austin doing a class at Pervasive and, is my usual habit, drove down to San Antonio one afternoon to spend the evening with Ron and Prudence. Prudence has been working on her new East Garden for quite some time now, and it is really coming together. I wanted to take some pictures and movies so that I could show Fred how it was coming along, and that's about all I did picturewise while I was here.

First, I took a couple of movies of the entire garden. The first movie begins at the lower end of the garden walk by the new waterfall that Prudence had built a couple of months ago, and comes up the garden walk to where Prudence was standing, taking in the plantings along the property line and also the new section of the garden right below the patio- a section that Fred and I worked on last time we were here. You can watch this first movie with the player at left.

The second movie begins where the first one left off, and looks out over the front fence of the garden towards French St., taking in the new sitting area that Prudence has put out in the yard in front of the house (she is planning to add a fountain at some point). It then pans over to the east patio and then ends with a closeup view of a painting on stone that Guy did for them recently. You can watch this second movie with the player at left.

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May 31: James Sears Visits Dallas

In late May, I received a very surprising telephone call. It was from a fellow named James Sears, and even when he told me his name, I couldn't place it right away. As it turns out, I met James somewhere around 1982 when he was in Chicago, and I met him one evening at one of my favorite hangouts. I won't go into all the details (even if I could remember them), but we spent some time together over two weekends in Chicago, a place James came to once in a while when he needed to get away from his closeted life in Iowa. He was divorced, for the obvious reason, but still found little to do in his small Iowa town. I only saw him a couple of times, but we did correspond for a while after. Somewhere around my house I have some pictures that he sent me from Iowa, and if I find them I will scan them and come back and revise this page to add them.

How James tracked me down I was not sure, but he did. He was going to be in Dallas for an antique car show, and wanted to know if we could get together and catch up. We made plans to meet at his hotel for breakfast on Monday morning, and we did just that. In 22 years, James Sears had changed quite a bit, but I could still see the much younger guy that I knew from Chicago underneath his gray (almost white) hair and beard. We talked for a long time; both of us had changed a lot and experienced a lot since we'd met back then. I found out, for example, that James certainly had the time and resources to track me down. He had, apparently, won a major prize in the Iowa lottery about four years earlier, and it was enough to enable him to stop working very much and indulge his interest in antique automobiles. His two kids were all grown, of course; they were ten or so when I met him for the first time.

It was quite a surprise and a very pleasant visit. Before I left the hotel downtown, I also took a short movie of James and one of his friends in the antique car association that was sponsoring the meeting at the Adams Mark- more to record what James looked and sounded like than for any other reason. You can watch that movie with the player at left.

(James returned to Dallas a few weeks later for a car show up in Richardson, and both Fred and I got to meet him again then. I know we took some pictures, but I cannot figure out what happened to them.)

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June 1-2: Violent Storms Damage our Neighborhood

Yesterday evening, June 1, was probably the most exciting of the year- so far, at least. Beginning in the afternoon, yesterday, violent thunderstorms began rumbling across North Texas. But while they often stay north of the city along the Red River, this time they came right through Dallas and Fort Worth. Downtown Fort Worth had a lot of damage before it hit us about six in the evening. At about six-thirty, the power in the neighborhood went out and it is still out in many areas this morning. It came back on around seven this morning at my house, and that's when I turned on the TV to discover how severe the storm had been. The TV mentioned that the Love Field area had been right in the thick of it, so I got my little camera and went out into the neighborhood to see what I could see.

I walked a block behind me, on Robin Road. It parallels Inwood one block west. There, I found quite enough damage to make me realize that the toll for this particular storm was going to be very high. When I first came around the corner, I saw a a Channel 8 News truck and a crew wandering around. And in the front yard of one of the very first houses I came to, I found a huge tree that had toppled over and, as you can see, the wind had pulled the roots up as well.

I took a sequence of two movies of this particular tree, and you can watch them with the players below:

I took quite a few pictures all around the neighborhood. Below are thumbnails for a selection of these; you can click on the thumbnails to view the full-size images:

I also thought I should go check on my Mom, so when I was done walking around the neighborhood, I headed over to the Traymore.

When I got there, I found that Mom was fine, and that their power had only been out for a very short while. They have a generator in the back of the building that I had not known about, and they had fired that up as soon as their power went out, and then the city had made sure that they were among the first to regain power after the storm.

There was no damage to the building itself, but there were an awful lot of downed tree limbs, some of them quite large. While I was there, I took a couple of movies of the minor damage, and you can watch them with the players below:

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June 11: Ron and Leroy Leave for Florida

Today, Ron Drew and Leroy leave Dallas. They are moving back to Florida- to Fort Lauderdale, as it turns out. Ron has been living in a high-rise just off the Katy Trail for about a year, now, ever since he and Leroy split up from the house in Irving and Ron, not wanting to be in a house by himself, moved into this building. A few months ago, Ron and Leroy reconciled, and Leroy moved back in. But now, the apartment is too small and the both of them, always having liked Florida, decided to move back there.

My sister is visiting this weekend, but I left Judy resting at my house and drove over to Ron and Leroy's apartment to say good-bye to them, as today is the day they leave town. Fred and I did some stuff with them last weekend so he could say good-bye to them also, as they will be gone by the time he gets down here this evening. So I stopped by as the movers were putting their belongings in a couple of trucks.

As you can see in this movie at left, their apartment is pretty much empty as the movers have been hauling stuff downstairs all morning. I stuck around with them for a while, but eventually had to get back to Judy. So down by the loading dock, just before I left, I got a good-bye picture. I won't see them again until I am next in Fort Lauderdale.

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