Tuesday, August 30, 2011

what is that i hear, dear...


in the spring, the wife hung humming bird feeders in the back yard in hopes of attracting the little fliers. day in, day out, week in and week out she watched; she changed the "nectar" faithfully but to no avail.  as spring gave way to summer she gave up. it's hard to give up on hope.

this morning as i looked at the back door, what to my wondering eyes did appear?  a hummingbird!  attracted by one of the wife's colorful geegaws hanging in the tree, a humming bird, barely the size of my thumb flitted here and there, landing at last in the safety of the tree.  of course, by the time the wife gets off the phone the bird was gone.

perhaps this signals the hummingbird migration to the south.  perhaps, if the wife hangs the feeder again, her efforts will be rewarded this time.  i hope so, that little flier sure was cute. aio    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLlWFhMk4Js&feature=player_detailpage  she should be so lucky!

Monday, August 29, 2011

some day, the rains goinna come...

as i went to bed last night, i could hear that it was still sprinkling a bit as noted by the slow pit-a-pat on the skylights.  a check of the rain gauge this morning showed 1/4 inch of rain collected there.

the flooding caused by that bad girl, irene, is in the news today.  people by the 100's of thousands are without electricity this morning and are likely to be for days yet to come. it will be weeks or even years before some semblance of normalcy can be restored to the region reeling from irene's wrath.

today marks the sixth anniversary of another bad girl, one named katrina. she treated new orleans, la. and the surrounding region with the same disrespect, dealt the same miseries the people in irene's wake are feeling this morning. 

six years later, the big easy is regaining some of it's old rhythms.  the wife, just returned from there, reports "everything" is under construction. streets, buildings, a way of life is still under repair all these years later. and so it will be with the carolinas and the states of new england.  misery dealt so swiftly takes time to mend.

our hearts go out to the families who've lost loved ones in irene's wake. our prayers are with a region who's job ahead is to regain what katrina's victims are still working on--six years later. god be with you all. aio


Sunday, August 28, 2011

the perfect evening....

my second favorite pro football team on sunday night football (aka the New Orleans Saints), Texas raised tenderloin and corn on the cob from the grill, gulf of wal-mart shrimps sauteed in fresh garlic and butter, ore-ida sweet potato fries from the oven sprinkled with cinnamon sugar, nutmeg and a dash of ground red pepper, a big glass of Vintner's Selection Signature White from LLANO and the love of my life by my side adds up to a perfect little a by sunset evening. 

Now if the rain indicated on radar will just hold together long enough to grace 7420, all will be right with the world. (that would be the vino talking) aio

Friday, August 12, 2011

the jinx is on...

we started the day with a 40% chance of rain across the region, which in my mind virtually guarantees we won't get a drop here at 7420.  the skies were completely devoid of clouds until mid afternoon. 40%, yeah, right! 
as i was leaving work at 7, heavy blue clouds adorned the sky to the northwest. when i got home, a quick check of the radar showed a solid line of thunderstorms from one side of the panhandle to the other, headed south.  well, solid if you don't take into account the big gap in the line that would pass over the bulk of little a-town.  it brought to mind an old bob dylan/stealers wheel song "rainin' to the left of me, rainin' to the right, here i am, stuck in the middle with none."   yet again. (apologies to the artists) aio  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

what is that falling from the sky???


i would imagine every single citizen in little a-town was grinning from ear to ear this morning when, after a tremendous clap of thunder, the skies opened up and heavy rain began to pour from the recalcitrant clouds.  at least, i know my smile was so big my face began to hurt after a bit.  the rain didn't last nearly long enough, there was less than 1/4 inch in my rain gauge when i got home tonight.  but maybe, just maybe, the jinx is broken.  one can hope.  the possibility of rain is in the forecast for the next few days.  in the midst of this record breaking drought, one can't ask for more than that, i reckon.  pray for rain folks.  thanks!  aio   

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

snake bit...


i'm beginning to think i've been snake bit.  poisoned. storm after storm has come close but as yet-- no joy.

i thought it was going to happen for sure this afternoon.  radar indicated a significant storm barreling straight down I-40 from the west, taking dead aim as it seemed for little a-town and more importantly 7420. how could it miss, i was asking myself. but it did, sliding just to the north at the last minute, raining barely enough to partially wet the sidewalk, here.

"doppler" dave has a chance of rain in the forecast every day for the next 6-7 days.  if i get nothing at 7420 out of all those chances i'll know it to be true-- i'm snake bit for sure. pray for rain, ya'll, pray for rain and i'll thank you very much. aio                                                                                                                                                     

Monday, August 8, 2011

"Texas", the musical...

the wife and i went to visit some old friends last night.  it's been a few years since we've spent time with Calvin Armstrong and Elsie McLean, Uncle Henry and Aunt Anna McLean, Tucker Yelldell and Kate Lucas and Parmalee Flynn, Dave Newverry and the talented cast and crew of the musical, "Texas". the "story" relates the trials of settling this vast and empty land.  it is a tale of sacrifice, of a vision for what could be and the hard working men and strong women who persevered to overcome the obstacles the harsh and uncompromising land presented and the roadblocks stubborn, headstrong characters placed in the way of the realization of those dreams.

locals seldom visit the play, which is staged in the magnificence of the palo duro canyon, unless visitors from out of town come 'round during the summer months.  "Texas" is always a good bet to fill a pleasant evening when comapny comes to call.  with the canyon as a backdrop, taking in the play can be a fun, awe inspring way to make their visit a-one.

we've not had anyone passing through for some years.  the kids are scattered to the winds.  with a burn ban on across the state we thought we'd check out the new "water show" put in place of the traditional fireworks display staged at the end of each performance.  i'm a sucker for fireworks but the new addition was pretty cool, featuring red, white and blue colored water jetting high into the panhandle night.  the six flags of Texas raced from left to right, held high by mounted horsemen. A rider brought Old Glory onstage, the cast and audience sang "America the Beautiful".  Not fireworks, but still a nice way to finsih off the evening.

whether it's you first time, or you've seen "Texas" before, folks let me tell you, a visit with this cast of characters is like connecting with good friends you've not seen in years. it's comfortable, easy, picking up again like it was only esterday.  there has been changes in the staging since we last saw the play; back then, they had added real flames to the "fire dance" scene.  this year they've taken that idea a step further, adding a stunt actor engulfed in real fire. Yikes!!

to start the evening, we chose to partake of the steak dinner catered by the Big Texan Steak Ranch.  It was not a great meal, although i have to give credit to the BTSR, or the production staff, for serving watermelon and grapes on the salad bar. what a sneaky, but delicious, way to get a bit of extra hydration into their guests, particularly in light of the 90+ temp at show time. Still my preference would have been  to have a pre-show dinner from yesteryear i.e. some of that great Sutphen's barbecued beef, potato salad and Sutphen's signature coleslaw, with cobbler for dessert.  Now that was some good eatin'.

speaking of connecting with old friends, we got to visit for a few minutes with Vince Hernandez, now executive director of the texas panhandle heritage foundation and we visited a bit with Shelley Cunningham after the show.  we had a ton of fun playing with them both in shows at the amarillo college summer arts festival lo so many years ago.  if only we'd had more time with them to catch up. 

in all, it was a good eveing.  the threat of rain remained at bay making way for the storm staged with "lightning" against the canyon walls and the symphony of a real thunderstorm recorded right there in the canyon.  the lightning strike splitting the tree at the end of the first act remains a highlight.

it was not the same show we've seen in the past, but like a new bride in taking something borrowed and something new, when the two are combined it makes for a grand night in the palo duro under a panhandle sky so starry you could almost reach out and scoop up a hatful.  aio

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

20% chance of showers...

each day that goes by without rain, the collective spirit of our drought stricken state sags a little lower.  last night and today the local weather gurus were touting a 20% chance of some rain this afternoon and into the evening hours..  it's been so long, i've become afraid to even hope.

still a dry land cotton farmer at heart, i keep an eye to the sky most days, watching the cumuli forming and fizzling into nothing.  at noon today there was not a cloud in the sky but as the day went on the cumuli appeared, growing larger and grayer, as they built a faint ray of maybe grew with them.  as i was finishing up the yard work just now, while shedding my sweat soaked work clothes i heard the rumbling voice of an old friend. it was thunder, back again with the graying cumuli, tantalizing, teasing as has been too often the case this summer.

the first thing i did, once i got back in the house, was check the radar. sure enough there are a few little pockets of activity developing to the west and moving this direction.  nothing to shout about yet but still, the maybe could build into rain, at least for some folks.

whether or not the cumuli will favor 7420 remains to be seen. after all the flip side of a 20% chance of rain is an 80% chance that it won't happen here.  still, i have hope, thin at best, but hope.  aio

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

one lucky bird...

                                                                                                                                         one may have the tendency to forget that the kitty curling itself around your feet, head butting you for attention and coughing up hair balls onto your freshly cleaned carpet was a wild animal back in the day. okay, "the day" was quite a long time ago but the instincts that allowed survival then are still around, deeply dormant maybe, but still there.from time to time we get a reminder that sweet little lucy is a huntress at heart.

we had a bit of drama around 7420 this morning as sweet miss lucy, and her sidekick ellwood, captured and brought into the house a half grown starling. it could have been a scene from the wild kingdom tv series-- the huntress capturing her prey, the pray managing to escape unleashing another wild melee aimed at capture again.

the starling, desperate to escape, flew to the light of the window, lucy racing low to the ground, anxious to capture the bird again. fortunately, for the bird anyway, i was able to beat lucy to the punch.  the bird, mostly unscathed except for the horrendous scare it received, lay calmly in my hands.  i could feel its heart beating like a trip hammer., it's  mouth was open, gasping for air.  i took the bird outside, held it high, loosened my grip and watched it fly away to live another day.  lucy meantime is prowling room to room in search of the elusive bird, mewling from time to time "where are you my pretty. i won't hurt you. i promise".

yeah, right! aio