living in 6th gear

It's there, you just have to remember to use it.

Some days it’s hard to be in a bad mood.

I caught this just today on my way to work down south in Kyle, TX.


Some days it’s hard to be in a bad mood. When I see something like this first thing in the morning my day really gets off to a great start. Even for a grumpy bastard like me!

I also posted this same photo to my class blog to see if I could get my students to use their best word choice and describe the sky. (Taken with my iPhone so the quality is not as nice as if I had used my good camera, but I like it.) I offered a prize to the writer of the best description. So, I’ll see what I get from the third graders.  Peace


Change is in the air

Well, the missus and I seem to be moving in the same direction simultaneously. There have been periods when that didn’t happen regularly. I am very excited that we will begin working together on a website where we will both contribute material.

This blog may be incorporated in with the new location….or, it might disappear altogether. No decision about that at this time.

Look for Late Bloomers in the near future.

Peace.Check it out

(This is a friend we met this past summer)

Gettin’ positive

The new school year is rapidly approaching. I am getting myself in the right frame of mind – positive- for having a great year. Today I reviewed information I learned at a professional development workshop last week. The presenter was Eric Jensen. Mr. Jensen is most known for his research on helping teachers help students change their brains! Crazy, right? It seems that the research shows we teachers have the ability to help students increase neural connections and over time increase IQ. The kicker is that it doesn’t matter what the child’s background is. We learned about schools with extremely low SES populations turning around and making phenomenal gains.


PS, also gettin’ positive with an exercise routine that is challenging, fun, and varied. I’ll let you know how that goes!    :  )

After several more revolutions… I’m still in the same place

I get caught up ‘in my head’* a lot. I always have. Just today (at 50 years old) I have spent several hours reading about and looking for happiness and/or meaning in my life. Again.

I have been doing this since I was a teenager.  I have spent so many hours examining my status or lack thereof, contemplating how to do and be better, writing down thoughts/poems/songs looking for undiscovered truths, searching for strengths, and questioning why I am where I am and how I could change it – that I’m a bit sad regarding the elapsed total time (Olympic reference intentional).

I have read many self-help books. After more than thirty years of reading I’m not certain  what I’ve learned from them. *Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth writes that it is a bad thing to be “in the head” at all. I presume not getting out of my head has much to do with being stuck in the same place.

So, after much reading today about happiness and where to find it, as well as how to stop looking for it and let if find you, I have decided to (once again) focus on others as a way to find happiness in myself. The parents of the children I will soon have in my class for the coming school year would be pleased I’m sure. I am also reviving my attempts to live a mindful life.

Side notes:

Dr. Martin Seligman and his collaborators at Penn State have researched and written about some intriguing ideas and distinctions regarding happiness in their Authentic Happiness Newsletter.

If you are interested the most inspiring websites I saw today were:


So after a generous helping of dissatisfaction with myself once again today I will close with something I am proud of. Here is a photo I took that makes me very happy.

Wasatch Mountains east of SLC, UT

Summer Trippin’

Had a really nice week long vacation visiting our oldest in SLC, UT. Some of the highlights included a beautiful hike in the mountains.








A nice drive through a bird sanctuary.







AND our first MLS game!







More later. I’ve got lots of pics to share.


somtimes it pay’s to due it.

THE rudest driver

I was dumbfounded. I could not believe my eyes.

Today on my way to job 2 the traffic was very heavy. It took me a full 15 minutes to get down the neighborhood streets to make the turn onto the major thoroughfare I use. That portion of the drive usually only takes about five minutes. As I sat in the turn lane a very young driver, she must’ve been about eighteen or nineteen, pulled up very quickly and inserted the front end of her car in front of mine. She passed up several cars behind me in the turn lane, came around me and pulled in front of my vehicle in the turn lane- with the back of her car sticking in the lane to my right.

I was completely shocked. I looked around to see if anyone else was as appalled as I was. Was this some sort of joke? I could not believe it. I shook my head and tried to laugh it off, but this was a real piece of dirtball driving.

I have seen a lot of crappy driving, but never by someone so young. She made the maneuver then began to apply makeup and brush her hair as if what she had done was just an everyday normal occurrence. Her parents must be a couple of prime time driving all-stars.

So, one of the lessons of this story is that yes, Austin is becoming (has become?) a place where poor driving is normal. I’m not just saying drivers with bad habits, I am talking about drivers who just simply do not care one whit about traffic rules or courtesies. I have had a drivers license for over thirty years. I have driven in and through twenty states. I have spent a lot of time in a some of the biggest cities in the country (Houston, San Antonio, Denver) and unfortunately Austin’s drivers are the worst.

The incident was so jarring that I never took a photo. What a perfect picture I could have had of this unbelievable event …that as I now reread it…doesn’t sound like much…hm.

the history of Texican

We took a nice little day trip to San Antonio just for the heck of it! Isn’t it interesting that no matter how many times you visit a location where significant history took place you can…I don’t know…feel it in your bones? Happens every time I visit San Antonio/the Alamo. I feel myself get quiet as I try to absorb the importance of the surroundings. Taking time to walk around places like this are intriguing and, at times, a bit sad when you contemplate some of the events that took place.

If you’ve never been one interesting note is that there are very beautiful gardens surrounding the Alamo under large shaded oak trees.








We had a great meal and a great time.




If you’ve never been it is worth the trip. (We got lucky and went on an overcast day yesterday. Alright!)

TAKE NOTE:  if at all possible visit during a time of year when it is not too hot. On hot days, in our experience, trying to enjoy the Riverwalk  is difficult! Especially with children. We know this from experience. We have photos to prove it!


‘Nuff said.

Saving $ & getting full

Betty does a fantastic job with planning meals around here. She also does a terrific job of using food that was cooked and not consumed in a second go round (some call these leftovers).

This morning she reheated enchiladas (that included pre-made bean patties) with eggs over easy on top. Tasty.clean plate


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