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Old 09-30-2014, 10:00 PM   #15241
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There she is, in front of the same place that was my first stop 10 years ago! Seeing as you aren't far away, if you are in the Austin area and have time, check out Leon's in Rockne, Tx. One of the best of the old school bar/country stores left in Texas. Just east of FM 20 on FM 535...
Nice bike! Heck of a road machine, I bet!

Next time I'm in the area, I'll heck out Leon's.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:16 AM   #15242
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That is one gorgeous photo.
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+1 And I wish I was hiking there now
Gee, thanks guys. Taken with a $50 Basic phone if you can believe. We do a long hike every Monday morning to kick off the w#rk week.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:55 AM   #15243
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Have been super busy the past few days and haven't caught up here yet, but just had to post that today is the 4th anniversary of my last day at w*rk!

Hard to believe it. But it was certainly the right decision at the right time (although looking back, I wish I had pulled the plug several months earlier). Yippee!!!

Now off to some meetings for a volunteer gig.
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:04 PM   #15244
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Bought tickets to the upcoming Ian Anderson concert. A last minute decision, the concert is this Friday! It was $10 extra per ticket for 'fees' (groaaan), but the fee money apparently went to the performing arts center instead of the much reviled TicketMaster. So, I bought tickets AND made a $20 donation to the performing arts center (not to mention a $15 donation to the state of NC in the form of sales tax).
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Old 10-01-2014, 03:54 PM   #15245
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... a "hand bicycle" (for lack of a better term)...
It's an upper-body ergometer, or UBE (pronounced "you-bee") for short. DH used one for several years for cardio after his legs got to the point he couldn't do a recumbent bike anymore (MS). Now he can't even do the UBE unfortunately.
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:11 PM   #15246
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What did I do today?

1.) added up my September spending and completed my monthly spending/financial spreadsheet analysis
2.) Set up a new, better spreadsheet for recording and graphing progress in exercise and weight loss
3.) Washed and dried my (now long) hair and put it up in a new, different way compared with how I usually wear it, to keep it out of my eyes at the gym
4.) Went to the gym with F and lifted weights, 2 sets of 10 on each of 21 weight lifting machines.
5.) Went out to a pleasant lunch with F, and ordered a salad.
6.) listened to a non-political podcast
7.) played video games
8.) Oversaw my lawn guy and his helper on and off for over two hours while they completely removed my HUGE jasmine vine on the fence (see below). The photos only show about 1/3 of it since not all the fence is shown. It looked and smelled heavenly, but I am allergic or sensitive to the pollen. Plus, it grew like crazy and just keeping it cut back was exhausting. My eventual goal is a lower maintenance yard, and I am getting there, slowly but surely.
9.) laundry and dishes
10.) the usual mod duties on the forum

Who says retirees have nothing to do? And tomorrow I get to do it all over again.
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File Type: jpg VineGone.jpg (58.2 KB, 16 views)
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Old 10-01-2014, 06:32 PM   #15247
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We just each had a 2-lb Maine lobster for dinner. The last time we did that was what, 2 weeks ago in Halifax.

Man oh man, I think I have enough lobster to last a year.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:33 PM   #15248
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We spent the afternoon at the Oakland Zoo. It is a nice little zoo. They seem to try really hard to have natural habitats and enrichment activities for all the animals. Many of the "bios " on the cages noted the animals were formerly abused performers in circuses and other private attractions, so it good to see them getting second chances at a life with better care and more TLC.

Here is a meerkat group from today's zoo visit:
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:39 PM   #15249
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Second day in a row humpback whales have been feeding in the waters off our beach. Unbelievable.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:59 PM   #15250
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Bought tickets to the upcoming Ian Anderson concert. A last minute decision, the concert is this Friday! It was $10 extra per ticket for 'fees' (groaaan), but the fee money apparently went to the performing arts center instead of the much reviled TicketMaster. So, I bought tickets AND made a $20 donation to the performing arts center (not to mention a $15 donation to the state of NC in the form of sales tax).
What?!? Ian Anderson is still alive??

Thought he would at least be retired by now! Bouree baby!
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:05 PM   #15251
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Spent all day drinking beer.

This was the first day (of 3) for the judging at the Great American Beer Festival.
It's hard to describe, but the affair gets huger ever year, and to nobody's surprise we have a new record.

222 judges are evaluating 5,510 beers from 1,330 breweries in 90 categories. Needless to say, the logistics of this operation are staggering, and it takes over 150 very well trained and experienced volunteers just to sort and bring the beer samples to the judges.

All tasting is completely blind, so we don't know who won what until the medals are announced on Saturday.

Yes, it's a lot of fun, and we have some great discussions around the judging tables, but it's a serious task at the same time. The medals are a huge prestige and marketing asset for the breweries, so we're very scrupulous about how we do it.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:17 PM   #15252
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Spent all day drinking beer.

222 judges are evaluating 5,510 beers from 1,330 breweries in 90 categories.
That's an average of 24.8 beers per judge. I'm sure you are not just average! Cheers!
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:26 PM   #15253
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Spent all day drinking beer.
I hate it when that happens.
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Old 10-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #15254
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Bought tickets to the upcoming Ian Anderson concert. A last minute decision, the concert is this Friday! It was $10 extra per ticket for 'fees' (groaaan), but the fee money apparently went to the performing arts center instead of the much reviled TicketMaster. So, I bought tickets AND made a $20 donation to the performing arts center (not to mention a $15 donation to the state of NC in the form of sales tax).
Jethro Tull used to be one of my favorite bands and I loved seeing Ian playing his flute and dancing on the stage. I saw him a few years back and almost wished that I had not seen him. I liked thinking about him as he was in his younger days. I have a son named Ian, imagine that. I hope that you have a great time at the concert!
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:26 AM   #15255
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That's an average of 24.8 beers per judge. I'm sure you are not just average! Cheers!

It quickly gets complicated but every beer is judged by at least three judges (and as many as 20 for the medal winners).

Generally speaking, each judge samples nearly 50 beers each day. We typically consume less than ounce of each.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:39 AM   #15256
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Jethro Tull used to be one of my favorite bands and I loved seeing Ian playing his flute and dancing on the stage. I saw him a few years back and almost wished that I had not seen him. I liked thinking about him as he was in his younger days. I have a son named Ian, imagine that. I hope that you have a great time at the concert!
Last time I saw JT, Ian's voice was pretty much shot. Expect very good music, but lackluster vocals...
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:49 AM   #15257
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It quickly gets complicated but every beer is judged by at least three judges (and as many as 20 for the medal winners).

Generally speaking, each judge samples nearly 50 beers each day. We typically consume less than ounce of each.
I'm glad that SOMEBODY is willing to taste all those beers so that the winners can get their trophies. Those of us who are not at all fond of beer salute your courage and sacrifice.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:53 AM   #15258
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Thought he would at least be retired by now! Bouree baby!
He loves what he does. In a concert I went to a few years ago, he said to buy the record only for the other guys in the band...he didn't need the money!
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Last time I saw JT, Ian's voice was pretty much shot. Expect very good music, but lackluster vocals...
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...almost wished that I had not seen him. ...
I've been going to concerts and listening to Tull records since high school, including recently, and yes, the vocal quality has gone down, and is varible (good days/bad days). They play Aqualung in a lower key too. And Ian's got no hair any more! But I'm used to (and like) the current state of affairs. I've been listening to the current album and it sounds like various eras of Tull, old and new, albeit with a more limited vocal range. The premise of the album ("Homo Erraticus" = Wondering Human) is to take the position of various people in England through the ages (pre-history to the future). Sort of a UK history lesson through goofy lyrics.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:59 AM   #15259
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...judging at the Great American Beer Festival.
I might start on my BJCP soon. I've judged our club comp (460 entries judged and 196 registered participants, judges, and stewards), but actually like to steward better...listen to guys like you talk about beer without having to write anything down, hehe!
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:10 PM   #15260
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Had lunch with two folks who worked for me. I bought the lunch because for $43 it made me feel nothing but great because I no longer work! The litany of problems, how the organization is suffering, on and on, it was just a great lunch!

They're both a good bit younger than me but I wouldn't trade places for anything! Life is good...that's what my hat says anyway.
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