Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Music, bbq and a birthday

I hope everyone had a good Christmas day. Mine was good. I got to see my grandchildren:

This is Angelique

This is Anthony

They came and visited for Christmas day. Anthony is 3 1/2 now and Angelique is 9 mos. Dang but their getting big quick. I made all the phone calls to family and that pretty much rounded out my Christmas day.

On Sunday I took fascat out to Buddy' Place in Austin for some music. Buddy's is one of those bars that is in plain sight but you don't notice it because it's in such a plain building. Brick painted an off white color with only a small sign advertising what is in the building. You get the feeling it's a hold over from when Austin wasn't such a big place and the bar has been there when 183/Burnet Rd was the outskirts of town. For a Sunday the regulars were out in force. I think it was because it was a memorial for Buddy Durnburger. Sorry, but I don't know who he was, perhaps the owner of Buddy's Place.

Roger Beck played with The Knights of Texas Swing. And of course fascat's boyfriend is one of the Knights, Paul Schlesinger:

That's Paul with the hat on. We really enjoyed the show. They had a buffet set out for the memorial for Buddy and they had some good BBQ. I don't think it's a regular offering so don't go expecting to be fed. They serve wine and beer only, and I'm pretty sure it's mostly domestic and a few Mexican import beers.

I must say that it was a very good holiday. I'm on call for New Year's Eve so no parties or drinking but I will stay up until midnight and celebrate it anyway.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Windmill pics today

Told you I was going out to take pictures of a windmill I saw last week. The sun wasn't out but that was okay. I just adjusted some of the settings and let it go. I did most all of the photos on manual settings today. I tried a few in Black and White and liked the results. Here's two of the photos I took:

Not Bad if I say so myself. You can see the rest of them at

Didn't do much else today other than load the photos to my smugmug account and cleaning up those galleries a little bit. I did fix a problem I was having with my desktop. It wasn't recording my programs correctly. I record 5 different shows from KOOP.ORG. Under the X in Texas; The Country, Swing and Rockabilly Jamboree; Country Roots; Graveside Service; Adventures in Sound. It turns out that my time zone was set wrong and that my sound card recording settings weren't set to the sound card for input. It's all fixed now. I'll find out Thursday when Rod does his show. I wonder if fascat will want to go to the studio again. I'd love to do a stickam broadcast of the show. I'll ask her and then post here if I do a broadcast.

Well, hope you enjoy the fruits of my labor from today.

Monday, December 21, 2009

No work and all play makes Paul a happy boy

No work for me today or tomorrow and the last three days of the week are a holiday for Christmas. No snow for us but I'm sure my brother that lives up north is snowed in. I think I'll enjoy our warm weather and get out to take some more pictures. I was on a delivery for our Brown Santa program to the central part of the county and saw an area that had some windmills in some pretty settings.

What is Brown Santa? It's the Sheriff's Office program to help make Christmas just a little better for children who would not otherwise have many (or any) gifts for Christmas morning. It's our non-profit charity associated with not only the Sheriff's Office, but with the county in general. This year my supervisor took over the Adopt a Family aspect of the program. We had a lot of people (employees an general public) donate for the Adopt a Family. I volunteered to deliver some of the gifts. It's nice to know that children are going to have a happier morning on Christmas day. So, because of the deliveries I came across a part of the county I haven't been to before and saw a couple of areas I'd like to photo.

The weather will be about 70 and sunny tomorrow. I'll get up with fascat (my wife) at 6:30 a.m. and get ready so I can get out and photo with the morning sun. It seems that all good photos are taken right around sunrise or sunset. The light is softer then, gives illumination but tends to not be so bright that it over exposes the photo. I've always been attracted to windmills and like to take photos of them. It seems that they are always found in some of the most scenic locations. I'll get out tomorrow and take the photos but am thinking about scouting it out today. I have to find the location again. I have a good GPS program on the iPhone so I should be able to find them with no problem. I'll try to remember to post photos tomorrow.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Such a lazy guy

I really am, I'm really lazy about this blog. There's no other excuse. I've done a lot of things since my last post and haven't posted a thing about them. I've gone to Corpus Christi for a week and learned about photography. I picked up a few new bits of knowledge with that class. I've been busy at work. I don't see many homicides, and have only worked the scene on 1 prior to one I just worked. I did a lot of the work on that one, it was an assist with another agency. Interesting and a lot of work. I went out to try to capture the Geminid Meteor Shower but the skies were cloudy and there was a large amount of fog. I did manage to get some pictures of a bathroom building using a technique called "painting with light". I also took some long exposure shots of some running water. I'll post photos from each shoot at the end of the blog.

Christmas is coming up soon, I guess I'm ready for it. My boss wants all of the people in our unit to take off the two days next week. As she puts it she wants to work the week by herself. I don't know, just don't want to come back to my office being jacked up and rearranged. That's happened to me before. Went on vacation and then came back and my office and job were completely redone. I guess I'll take the time off. After all, any time away from work is time well spent.

Here's the pictures:

I don't have the paint by light photos anymore. I'll have to post some at another time. If you ever want to see some of my photos, the good, bad and ugly, then go here:   That's my online web album. I upload most all of my photos there when I go on a photo expedition. Like I said, the good ones, the bad ones and the ugly ones. I do occasionally go back and clean it up, but not everytime I upload photos.

Until next time, hope life treats you kindly.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween 2009

It's Halloween night 2009. I'm wearing a costume for the first time in who knows how long. That's right, I don't normally look this handsome. To celebrate my wife and I have come out to the Walburg Restaurant Biergarten. We'll spend some time eating, listening to the live music and drinking some good beer.

I'm having a great time. I have my sexy wife by my side. Really, she is. See for yourself

So, it's time to quit writing and time to drink, eat and enjoy the music. Happy Halloween all.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 30, 2009

Is it because I'm busy or lazy?

I always think that I can be posting more often. I even installed an app on my iPhone to help make it easier to post here. It seems that I only think of posting an entry at the wrong times. Either I'm just getting ready for bed, or I'm at work or just at the grocery store. I always think "I need to post on my blog". It doesn't happen. I think sometimes, when I'm home, I get distracted by t.v., surfing the net, whatever. I don't know how people post blogs everyday. I have a hard time coming up with material for the infrequent posts I make. Like now for example, I can think of absolutely nothing to post about that would be interesting or captivating. If I were to post an entry about what I did today it would go something like this:

Got up this morning, got dressed and headed to work. At work today I spent some time this morning processing some items recovered from a stolen vehicle. I was attempting to develop latent fingerprints using black fingerprint powder. I processed about 50 items today with very little luck. It's not like CSI on t.v., no perfect latent prints, no pretty women in blouses exposing their over ample bosoms. Nope, you dust the crap outta stuff, wind up looking like you haven't showered your forearms for a week because they are covered with black powder. But let's get back to the day. I also did some comparisons today. Comparing known fingerprints to fingerprints that were recovered from crime scenes. This is one of my least favorite parts of the job. But then again I didn't ask to be moved into crime scene, I was happiest (and loved) being in the evidence room. If I ever quit my job it will be because I am so unhappy with where I'm at now. Not going to think about it right now because it just pisses me off. So anyway, after looking at fingerprints I wrote reports for the items I processed earlier.

That, in a nutshell, is my day so far today. The highlight of the next hour and 45 minutes will be break time at 3:30. Since I don't smoke any longer I have started having a healthy snack. Once in the morning and once in the afternoon. Lately the snack has been apples. Fuji apples. In my opinion those are the best type of apple to eat. I just really like the taste of them. In addition to apples I have mixed in other fruit and some veggies too. I'm just trying to eat healthier and lose some of the lingering fat on my mid section. It's frustrating, I can contract my abdominal muscles and feel a small 'six pack' but it's not visible because of that little bit of fat that just doesn't want to go away. So I'll keep eating healthy snacks, watching that I don't stray at home and hope that eventually it will go away one day. Oh, and I do exercise, 5 times a week for 30 minutes. I alternate what type of exercise I do between core, legs, upper body and cardio. That's how I'm getting the 'six pack'. I just have to stick with it, that's all.

Look at that, it's 3:30. Going to wrap this up so I can have my apple. Have a good weekend, and take care until next time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I've been pretty busy this week with the annual conference. I thought I'd be able to give more updates, but the Doubletree only has free wi-fi in the lobby. Needless to say it's a pain if I want to use my netbook. This is a higher end hotel and here you pay (actually overpay) for things that are free at a motel 6. Wi-fi in the room? $9.95 a day. Parking? $5.00 breakfast at the hotel restaurant? $18.00. And what do you pay for those things at a motel 6? $0.00. Next time I'll stay at the cheap hotel a block away.

We have 250 people from law enforcement agencies throughout TX. I had to teach yesterday an have just done the running for stuff today. Day 2 is almost over. It's going to be time to decide on where to eat, I think we might go to Chesdars. I've never been there and am looking forward to it.

Will try to post more later, and maybe a picture or two if I can do it

with the iPhone.

p.s. I guess I figures it out.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der gemiitlichkeit
Ein Prosit, Ein Prosit, der gemiitlichkeit
Eins, zwei, Drei g'suffa!
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi,
Zicke, zacke, zicke, zacke, hoi, hoi, hoi,

Walburg Biergarten during October. Good food, good beer and great music!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, October 2, 2009

Live Music

Spending a coue hours tonight listening to Pete pick and sing at Down the Alley Bistro on the square here in Georgetown.

It's too bad that I can't post video or I'd give you a snippet of the performance. This is a nice place, they serve some really nice sandwiches. Wine, beer, soft drinks and coffee round out the drink selections.

In a world separate from this one Pete and I work together. Well, he's actually my boss. But we've worked together for 14 years and I've known him before he got his title (Lt.) and still see him as just Pete, but with the ability to point and tell me 'do that'. Thankfully he doesn't abuse that ability. By the way, he's the one on the right in the picture.

I downloaded the blogpress app for my iPhone. Maybe it will help me to post more often. That doesn't mean I'll post anything insightful, just that I'll post more often.

This picture has nothing to do with this post. It's one I took in Corpus 2 years ago from the 7th floor balcony of the hotel I was staying in. I just happened to be outside when the sun was about to rise and got my camera and snapped a few photos. This is the best of them. I have this one as my wall paper on my phone.

That's enough for now, I'm missing all the music.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

An apple (or two) a day

Just a short note. I'm still trying to lose some weight. Actually not lose weight so much as try to get rid of the belly fat that just doesn't seem to want to go away. I've lost a lot of mid-section bulk and replaced it with muscle. I know it's muscles cuz I can feel them under that "hanging in there" fat that just won't go away.

I've decided to try something. I'll try to remember to post results here to let you all know if it works. I'm going to eat two apples a day. The first in the morning. I'll have the apple and one breakfast taco instead of two breakfast tacos. The second taco will be at about 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon. I'll eat that one to tide me over to supper. It's better than eating something from the vending machine here in the office.

Now, since I'm replacing 'bad' calories with 'good' calories perhaps my body will burn the stubborn fat. Maybe the apples in combination with my exercise will finally do it. It's frustrating to have abs but not be able to see them for the layer of fat covering them.

The whole point is that I want to look good for my wife. I'll post results, no not pictures, in a month.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Packing up and running away from home!

14 hours. That's how long I have to wait before I leave on my vacation. It can't get here soon enough. Leaving at 7 tomorrow morning and plan to be in Ft. Davis between 2 and 3 o'clock. It's a long drive but I'm looking forward to it. I remember the scenery from my last time going and it's pleasant. Yes, even the part along I-10 going west from Ozona on. Maybe some people would think it's boring because it's unchanging scenery. I enjoy it. It's a time to reflect and think, and is really peaceful. Plus I'll have some good tunes to listen to and some podcasts of CarTalk available for my listening pleasure.

I have a new program on my iPhone called motionx. I'm going to be using it to post to my facebook page. It's a GPS program and it tracks your route as you drive it. I'll probably post my trip every hour or so if I can remember and if I can do it safely. Don't want to drive off the side of the road just to post something. You can friend me on facebook, just search for czardastx and send a request. I'll approve it.

Now I have to think about packing and double and triple checking that I have everything I need. I said at the beginning of this post that I had 14 hours. I know me and I bet I leave earlier than that. I'm thinking I'll wake up at 4 am and hit the road at 5. I'll be too excited to be able to sleep and then if wake up at 4 to wait until 7. I don't particularly like to drive when it's dark, but the advantage is that I can do a lot of the driving while it's still cool. Driving a Ford Explorer, I'll take every bit of gas saving measures I can. I punched my start and finish into google maps and it wants me to go all the way south to San Antonio and pick up I-10 there. It's more miles but a little less time, about 40 minutes. I'm going Hwy 29 to Mason then to Junction and pick up I-10 there. Longer trip time wise, but about 70 miles shorter in distance.

Well, I'm ready to go. I have 95 percent of my stuff packed and in the Explorer. I hope I can get some sleep tonight. I hope the rain isn't too heavy. It's raining in this part of central TX now, and has been for the last 2 days. Well, next post will be from Fort Davis. See ya.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Well Crap

Alright, that's just perfect. I spent the last 20 minutes typing a summary of the last 5 days and now it's gone. I was using the Blogger gadget on my iGoogle page, switched to my iTunes to load some music on my iPhone and when I came back my post was gone. I know now thata I better hit the 'Save Draft' button more often.

To summarize, I worked overtime on Wednesday but got a hit on some latent prints I developed. We went to Walburg and had good food, great German beer and heard some fantastic music on Friday night. Saturday I had breakfast with my son, he's got his eye on 3 different women. Yesterday I prepped the SUV for the drive to Fort Davis next Sunday. All systems are operational and it's good to go.

Today went by quickly. I hope the next 3 days do the same. Sunday morning can't get here soon enough.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Time to relax?

Started a mini vacation today. I'm maxed out for my vacation time at work. In order to fix this problem I took today and Friday off to give myself a long holiday weekend. I'm getting Labor day off too, that's the nice thing about working a government job. Thursday, today, is vacation time. Tomorrow is a floating holiday. I'm also getting close to being maxed out on my comp time.

I got called out last night at 6 pm and didn't finish up until 11:30. So I added 5 1/2 hours to my comp time. And I also get 6.1 hours of vacation time every two weeks so I won't burn but 1.9 hours of vacation time. So, where am I going with this? I'm going to have to take more time off. Which I am going in another 10 days.

I'm taking a vacation and going to the Big Bend area. I'll be there for 5 days and 4 nights, starting on the 13th. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm going to be staying in Fort Davis at the wildflower cottages ( I stayed there last year and really enjoyed it. I'm really looking forward to returning to stay there again.

I'm planning on going to the McDonald Observatory. I planned my time there to coincide as closely as possible to the new moon. Last time I went there was a full moon so I didn't get to see much through the telescopes. This visit should be better.

I'm going to grab breakfast at The Grub Shack when I take a day trip along the River Road (Ranch Road 170 from Terlingua to Presidio). Going to really work out my new camera that day. I am also going to try to stop by The Field Lab to see it and meet John Wells. I'm really impressed by what he's doing. Living his dream and doing it "off the grid". You can read his blog here; .

I'm going to visit the museum on the campus of Sul Ross University. I was told last time that it's a really nice museum. I will probably roll some sightseeing in Alpine into that time while I'm there. Not too sure if I'll go to Marfa for sightseeing. I think I will though because I didn't do that last time either. And I do plan to go watch for the Marfa Lights at least once, again to give my camera a work out.

That, in a nutshell, is my vacation plans.

I mentioned my new camera. I sold my Canon XSi and used the money from that to buy a Canon T1i. I like the new camera. Google it for specs, I'm not going into them here. But, you can see some of the pictures I took with it here:
I took these photos last weekend at the San Gabriel Park in Georgetown, TX. I'm really anxious to see how well my camera will work in the Big Bend environment in bright daylight and during the night. The nights there are really dark. That's one of the reasons I love going out there, they have so many stars in their sky and it's so quiet and slow. You just don't get that RUSH, RUSH, RUSH that is so typical of the Austin area of TX.

Keep an eye here and on my smugmug account for stories and photos from my vacation.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Busy, busy, busy

I've been pretty busy lately. Lots of work and getting called out late. Still, that's no excuse for not jotting some things down here.

Today is day #6 without a cigarette. It's not so bad today, day 1-5 have been rough, it's just hard to break the habit part of it. You know one in the morning, one after meals, one during break time, etc. Not so much of a craving for the nicotine now. Couldn't do it on my own, have been taking Zyban. It's helped me from not ripping anybody's head off.

I cooked omelets this morning with ham, mushrooms, jalapeno and cheese. I prepped enough ingredients to be able to freeze for later. Wound up with six extra portions of ingredients for future omelets.

Barbara didn't want omelet so she fixed herself some biscuits and gravy. I'll probably have biscuit and gravy for lunch. It looked really good, she made sausage gravy, with big pieces of sausage.

I went shopping yesterday for a new camera. Going shopping isn't actually an apt description. I already knew what I wanted. I already owned a Canon XSi. I bought that one in April. Of course soon after I bought the XSi, Canon came out with the T1i. Oh boy, i'd sure like to have that camera. Of course having just bought the XSi I know Barbara wouldn't let me spend the money for another camera. I decided to try my luck with posting the XSi on Craigslist. After getting several offers to buy it from people I'm sure were scammers, I got a legitimate reply. I managed to sell the camera and accessories for cash. Took that money and bought myself the T1i and only had to spend $350 out of pocket. I'm happy, the guy that bought my old camera is happy.

I'm really stoked because I wanted the new camera for my vacation next month. I'm spending a week in Fort Davis and am looking forward to spending time taking lots of photos. I'm going to explore south of Fort Davis this time. Last year I stayed in Fort Davis, Marfa, Alpine area. Of course I'm looking forward to spending a night watching for the Marfa Lights, going to go to the McDonald Observatory. My biggest trip will be a day trip driving to Terlingua then to Presidio and then up to Marfa. That will be an all day trip. I'm hoping to make a trip to Balmorhea also. Don't know if I'll go swimming but I'll give it a visit.

One thing I'm going to try to do is take a tour of The Field Lab ( I'd like to see it tin person and meet John Wells. I think what he's doing is pretty cool. Living like Texans lived 100+ years ago, but he does have electricity. I don't think I could do it, but I respect him for living his dream and making it work. I'll contact him via email and lay the groundwork for a tour.

It's 3 weeks until I take my vacation, it can't get here soon enough. I'll post here while I'm on vacation, just to keep you updated.

Until then take care.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

It's been awhile

I guess the description for this blog was correct. Two weeks since my last post.

Where to start? It's been a worked filled time. Have done quite a bit of call outs. Being in crime scene, working in law enforcement, there is never a shortage of work. The heat makes parts of this job difficult. Putting on the latex gloves to dust for fingerprints. You have to really be careful when you do this as your hands tend to sweat profusely. Dripping sweat on the item you are trying to print is not a good thing. Another thing about dusting for fingerprints in the sun is that you get what I call a "CSI tan". Like a farmer's tan, but in addition to the upper arm being pale, the hands are pale also.

I spent last weekend, Saturday, at the Sheriff's Brown Santa Christmas in July 5K. A major fundraiser for our Brown Santa program. I helped with set up and then spent the rest of the day photographing the event. Took over 600 photos. I enjoy doing that type of thing.

Here's a photo of Santa, Lisa Birkman (County Commisioner) and Spike the Round Rock Express mascot.

The rest of the last two weeks have been taken up with work and home and family. Before I close I want to post a couple of random pictures. I was in downtown Austin and had my camera gear with me when I spotted some balloons floating by. I thought it would be a good photo op and started shooting a few photos. I just happened to catch them as they floated pass the daytime moon. I thought it made for a good picture. The first picture, with the blue sky is the original photo. The second photo with the dark sky is a filtered photo. I like it because it shows the detail of the moon much better.

One more quick note, Going to head to Threadgill's North tomorrow for the Bluegrass Brunch(11 a.m. - 1 p.m.). Going to see my good friends Rod Moag and Shirley Smith perform. They're going to be backed up by Fred on stand up bass and Wayne on the banjo. Rod also DJs my favorite show on KOOP. The Country, Swing and Rockabilly Jamboree. If you ever want to give a listen, his show is on Thursdays 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. at, and excellent public radio station. I'll take my camera tomorrow, so I should have some pics to post.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fifth of July

Had a really good weekend for live music. My wife and I really enjoy listening to classic country music, you know, the old stuff. Hank Williams Sr., Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, you get the idea. We started off Friday night listening to a trio on the square in Georgetown. The group is made up of a group of guys from work called Hughey and The Guys.

The evening started out with a good breeze, but when the band started to play the breeze died out. They had a good crowd, I counted about 100 people. The band really had it tough, they played 2 hours straight with no breeze and were soaked when they finally finished. But they were real pros, never stopped playing and only stopped long enough to get a drink of water.

Saturday night our anniversary. Barbara and I celebrated our 10th year as husband and wife by going to the Walburg Restaurant and visiting with friends at their biergarten. We had a wonderful time. The band, The Walburg Boys, played a wonderful mix of German music and classic country music. Just what we love. This is a great place to go if you love German food, but Barbara and I like to eat from the grill in the biergarten. They have some of the best onion rings and hot wings. Paul Schlesinger (he's on the left in the photo) remembered that it was our anniversary and played a song just for us, "A Little Bit of Heaven". He says his based his performance on a version of the song done by Ronnie Dove. You can hear it on YouTube if you're so inclined.

Because of the drought they didn't
have fireworks this year,
but that didn't stop some people from shooting off some
fireworks in the back parking lot. I took advantage of the situation to try my luck at taking photographs of them. I haven't had the opportunity to do that since buying the camera. I got a couple of good shots, this one is my favorite.

All in all it was a good anniversary. I am truly fortunate to have Barbara in my life. I'm closing with one final photo, this one of the happy couple.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rain, oh deer.

Today was a pretty good day. I got to do some running and get out of the office. Made a trip to Taylor. That was a nice trip. Missed seeing a small Cessna airplane land on toll road 130 by about 15 minutes. Apparently the plane had some engine problems. Wish I'd had my camera with me as I could have talked my way past the road block and gotten some pictures. As it was, all I had was my iPhone camera and you can't really make an impression of being a serious CSI with just a cell phone camera. The plane was eventually repaired and flown to Georgetown, it's original destination. Have to hand it to the pilot, a 24 yr old woman landed it with a dead stick. Luck or skill, she's one lucky lady.

I did run through some rain after leaving Taylor. Got into it on Hwy 79 just before getting to Hutto. It was about 1 1/2 mile of rain, some of it really large drops. By the time I got to 130 it had stopped.

I got to Cedar Park with no delays and no problems. After leaving Cedar Park I rain into some more rain at 1431 and Parmer Ln. This was a really heavy downpour. We did get 1/2 inch at the house. That's always welcome.

Almost made it to 5 o'clock with no call outs, but wouldn't you know it, 4:40 and we get a call out. By 'we' I mean me. With the rain today of course I get sent to a call that's down a dirt road. At least the 1st half mile was dirt, after that it turned to some kind of dirty slush covering that was threating to stop my forward momentum. And that was the good part of the road. I didn't realize that we had small lakes and waterfilled craters in our county, but we do. There were times when I thought if I stopped I'd never get going again. And if it happened in the larger craters I'd never be found. Burial at sea, in a Chevy truck. Not the way I imagined my life ending. Thankfully the water only came up to about 4 inches below the door, but it sure got hairy in a few places.

So, I finally got out to the call out, and it's
out in the middle of nowhere. But the trip there was great for a cardio workout. I took my pictures, helped round up some evidence items and helped gather information for the investigators. Like most cases I'll talk about, if they're active I won't say much about them. Maybe one of these days I'll post about some closed cases. That might make for some interesting reading. The highlight of the call out was snapping some photos of a deer that wondered into the crime scene.

I finally finished up my day and got home at 8:45. All in all it was a 13 1/2 day. I'm beat and am so ready to get to bed. I did a tick check and didn't find any. And amazingly, after wandering around grassy areas I didn't get chiggers either. It was a busy day, but I feel good about getting so much accomplished.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Two-fer post

Too busy to post yesterday. I had to make two trips out of the office. One was a trip to a lab and the other trip was for a call out. Also had a lot of phone calls and emails that I had to get caught up on. It was a very busy day at work Wednesday.

After work I do what I always do on Wednesday evening. Supper with Dad.

This is Dad taking a smoke break after supper. This is something I've done with Dad since he moved into the retirement community a year and a half ago. I enjoy spending time with him. They have some of the best cheeseburgers there. I also have breakfast on Saturdays with him and our good friend Marilyn. Marilyn lives in the same retirement center as Dad. After getting home from Dad's I was too tired to post, so I'm making up for it today.

I had a busy day today. I did some fingerprint comparisons. That's always hard on my eyes. Staring a fingerprints through a magnifying glass really strains my eyes. But it's always rewarding to get that match. I'm not at the point of being able to start from scratch. Right now I'm doing confirmations of matches made by my more experienced co-workers.

I also processed items for latent fingerprints. I think I did pretty well. Got quite a few usable prints developed. Now, crossing my fingers that they will match a viable suspect. That's always the bonus of doing fingerprint development. The drawback is that you can sometimes get black powder all over. But, as I like to tease my wife, getting the powder in my hair does help to hide the gray. With the heat the way it's been lately (100+) I appreciate being able to develop prints in the office. Being outside and wearing the latex gloves we wear when processing causes sweat to just pour out of your hands. I bet I lose 2 or 3 pounds every time I process in the heat. I've been lucky so far but I know the day is coming when I'll have to get out in it again.

Alright, that should get me caught up, get you caught up too. Time to watch my favorite re-run, Two and a Half Men.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Meet me at...

Sorry about no post yesterday. I worked 8 - 4 yesterday and then headed straight to Austin for a meeting for my association, T.A.P.E.I.T. Before we started our meeting, at the Doubletree hotel, we went to eat dinner at Pappasitos. Nothing like Mexican food to start off a late meeting. And the best part is that the association paid for it. We, the board and officers, got a lot done between 7 and 11. We decided to start part of the meeting Monday evening because we had such a big agenda and all of the out of town folks were at the hotel.

Tuesday, today. We took up were we left off last night. Started at 8:30. That wasn't so bad. I was able to keep my regular schedule for mornings, evening leaving the house at the same time I leave when I have to be at work at 8. We banged out a lot of the details for our conference we're having in October. I've got a list of items I need to accomplish, some sooner than later. I feel much better about this conference coming together than I did about last years conference. Everyone seems more relaxed and willing to take on tasks that need to be done. I'll be teaching two different segments this year. A 1/2 segment on packaging for our certification class and then 4 two hour breakout segments during our day of breakouts. If our room is big enough we might be able to cut out one of the 2 hour segments. I'm really looking forward to it. We finished the day up at about 3.

Got home and did 1/2 of exercise. I haven't exercised in a week. It's hard to do it when you have company and they make fun of you. So rather than put up with comments I skipped the exercising. That will be the last time I do that. I'm hurting. 76 crunches....oh my aching abs.

Now I think I'll chill the rest of the night, take some time to recuperate.

Sorry, no pics today. There was a lovely maiden sunning at the hotel pool but there was no way I was going to ask or try to take her picture.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday, fathers day.

I got calls from my son, daughter and daughter in law. The daughter in law call was a pleasant surprise.

I really didn't do much today. Barbara went in to work and when she came back she had one of my most favorite meals. Fried chicken. Even though I spent 3 years working at a Golden Chick (formally Golden Friend Chicken), I still love fried chicken. A leg, a breast and a couple of Jalapenos and I'm good to go.

I said yesterday I'd post about Walburg. We got there at our regular time, 6:00 p.m. in order to get or regular spot. Dinner was good, I had hot wings and onion rings. Barbara had a cheeseburger and fries. The beer was cold. I stuck with my favorite, Paulaner Hefe Weizen. Jeni and Terran were working the beer window. Two of the best beer slingers I know. I'm going to have to get brave and ask them to pose for a pic one of these days so I can post it.

The Walburg Boys played. Paul (fiddle and electric mandolin, vocals), Ronnie (accordian and vocals / yodel), Scott (bass guitar), Casey (lead accoustic guitar) and Ronnie jr. (drums). They were in fine form and even played a couple of songs I haven't heard before. Can't tell you the name because the songs were in German.

We only stayed until 10:30. We were both tired and ready to get home to sleep.

All in all, last night and today were perfect. I really enjoyed spending the time with Barbara.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday busy

Saturday morning, time for breakfast at the Monument Cafe with my father, our friend Marilyn, my son John Paul and my brother Ed.

The food is good (I get eggs, ham, hash browns and bread), and the coffee (from Cianfrani's Coffee Shop) is excellent. But mostly it's the company I enjoy the most.

I'll get to see Jack Starky, a retired pharmacist. He always seems to be genuinely happy to see me, and I know I really enjoy seeing him and catching up on his doings for the past week. And on rare occasions Cindy and her son, Chapman, will come in for breakfast. I get a kick out of seeing those 2. Cindy tells me that Chapman (he's 4 now) gets so excited about coming and getting his pancakes and seeing Mr. Starky and Mr. Paul. In the almost 3 years that I've seen them come in I've only heard Chapman speak one time. And I think that's because he didn't know I was listening.

Breakfast was alright, but they forgot our toast and the waitress was scarce. For the most part this doesn't happen but occasionally it does.

Got brother Ed to the airport, he will be on his way to Ossinning via Houston and Newark. It was good to see him. Now it's my turn to go to NY and visit him.

Saturday night, and it's time for the biergarten at the Walburg restaurant ( It's time to leave so I'll have to post about it later.

Have a good and safe Saturday everyone.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sansa surgery

O.K. so I received 8 Sandisk Sansa mp3 players about a month ago in a 'bag of crap' from during a woot off. 4 2GB, 3 4GB and 1 8GB models. Out of the 8, 3 of them didn't work. And the one I wanted to use, the 8GB model had a crack in the screen. Everything else on it worked, but with no screen it was completely useless.

I decided, what the heck, let's take it apart. 4 screws undone and I was in. Not much there, just a way to replace the battery. But there were 4 smaller screws that looked like they would allow me to get into the guts of it. After poking around I found the 2 microchips that held the brains of the player. Luckily they together on a circuit board and it just snapped into the main circuit board.

After removing the memory I then dissected a broken 2GB model and swapped the memory chips. Put it all together and turned it on. No luck, the display say the keys were locked and I couldn't get it to turn on. After making sure the lock button was in the unlocked position I determined that there was a problem with the switch for the lock feature.

Stripped the memory out of that 2GB player and then got a different one. Took it apart, put the 8GB chips in it, put it back together and turned it on. Well, I'm happy to say, I now have a functioning 8GB mp3 player. As a bonus I now also have 2 extra batteries for when this battery runs out. I'm going to load some of my favorite music on it (Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzel, just a lot off old country and swing music). I'll be able to carry this in my pocket so it will be nice to have.

This will also allow me to not have to use my iPhone to play my music so that should make the battery life on the iPhone last longer. Playing music on the iPhone really drains the battery. And as a bonus the Sansa has F.M. radio and stores photos too.

All in all, a nice bit of surgery on some cheap mp3 players.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


Took the day off from work today (and tomorrow). I'm going to go to the Round Rock Express game. I'm looking forward to it. My brother is visiting from N.Y. and I know he's mentioned that he's gone to ball games before. I hope he enjoys our minor league team. I tried to get fascat (my wife) to go but she's not going to have any of it. She went once this year and says she's had her requisite game for the season.

I plan on taking my camera (Canon EOS XSi) and try it out at the ball park. I'm going to try it with and without my polarizing filter. Just wondering how it will take pics in the bright sun with that filter. I stayed up last night and took photos using the bulb setting, got some good shots of the backyard, but I want to go to where it's even darker. I also need to learn the best way to take pictures of stars. I really want to use this camera the next time we have a good meteor shower.

Well, time to go to the game, I'll try to remember to post some of my pics later.

The best picture I got all night was of this giant moth on the netting behind homeplate. The Express lost to New Orleans 11 - 4. It's all good, I enjoyed the game and getting out.