JULY 2005

07/27/05 - Random Ramblings – A lot of things have happened this month and I wanted to touch on several of them since they were fun and/or interesting (well, the Jury duty probably doesn’t seem to fit into either of those categories, but I’ll get back to that).

Earlier in the month Susan and I visited Clark Garden’s in Mineral Wells, Texas. The garden is 83 acres of ponds, fountains, gazebos, wildlife, and of course, plants and flowers. Susan and I were practically the only two people in the entire garden so we had plenty of peace and quiet while visiting. We saw a plethora of turkeys, ducks, and squirrels. We also saw one peacock roaming the garden. There were also three separate islands for the plants preferred by butterflies, hummingbirds, and bees.


On the weekend of July 16th George came up from Houston to visit for the weekend. Russell and Ann were also supposed to visit, but Russell had an unfortunate flight delay and ended up being stuck in Tennessee for the weekend. Bleck! No worries, we’re already planning the replacement get-together! Nevertheless, George was already here so we made the planned trip to Hurricane Harbor. We rode nearly all the rides (at least the ones we wanted to) and spent some time playing volleyball and treading water in the wave pool. My favorite rides were the tornado (more like the toilet bowl…it “flushes” you down a big spiral funnel) and the black hole (pitch black tube ride). After all the fun in the sun we had dinner at Simply Fondue.

Last weekend was the mega birthday in Lawton. The participants included Rick, Nina, Granny, Papa, and myself. I walked away with everything I had asked for (woohoo!!) and also got to enjoy some Geocaching, cake, and poker over the weekend (bonus!). I need to have a 30th birthday more often…I keep celebrating every weekend for it ;).

Every year Susan and I attend at least one baseball game. This year’s game was last night at LaGrave Field where the Fort Worth Cats hosted the San Angelo Colts. For this game, the kitties hammered the ponies 12 to 2. The game was a lot of fun and we enjoyed hanging out with several of my co-workers (the baseball game is a company sponsored event each year). On a side note, there was a spectacularly clear view of the Fort Worth skyline last night – very pretty to see the new Radio Shack and Pier One towers.

Last but not least, the two words that many Americans dread – Jury Duty (insert scary music here). Actually, it wasn’t bad and I rather enjoyed the experience (although it would have been nicer to actually participate in an actual jury). I arrived at about 8:30 and hung out in the jury selection courtroom for a few hours while the bailiff called away groups of 10 to 20 prospective jurors (out of several hundred people). Eventually, when my name was called, I was told to report to a “back room” instead of a court room. Turns out my job was to serve as a reserve juror. This meant I was held just in case any additional jurors were needed throughout the day. I was never called, so I ended up spending the time reading, taking a two hour lunch (where I mainly just walked around downtown and explored the new Radio Shack campus), and then reading some more before finally being dismissed at 3:00. Overall I really enjoyed a day where I didn’t have to worry about anything…no job, no chores – all I had to do was just relax.

- Nathan