Executive Notes: #1

     This assignment of a watershed.  When things changed.  When there was a before and after.  Clear and distinct.  There are many.  Degrees, even.  Some minor, some major, the culmination of what we are and where we are now.  And so much more, our impact on others.  Our involvement in their wastersheds.  The majors and the minors, much of it unknown.  Random circumstances or intentional associations, controlled by some external superior power with intentions all their own?  These wastersheds are real.  Some leaky, some broken.  Most important to consider and know, but some important to forget.  The past is only a part of your life, it is less important than the future.
     Settlement is taken for granted.  Only when it is stripped is it realized.  Misinterpreted as security early on, only now is it understood as a natural longing.  It is not a crisis, it is a calm.  Once known, it becomes treasured.  Settled into middle school in Sherman, Texas in the early eighties, my elementary years had been spent with rugged boyish endeavors, mostly of the outdoor kind.  Girls were now a priority and eighth grade had brought first, second, and third loves.  So I thought.  The coming years were clear in my mind.  Take my pick, have a girl fall in love with me, then get a boat, a family, and make a life.  It was all settled.  Family, friends, the good life.  This was my pre-teen mind.
     One day my dad, Texas Instruments Ace--The Boss, came home and informed his family we were moving to Lubbock, Texas.  Evidently, the engineering wizards of TI had developed the greatest personal computer known to mankind.  The TI 99-4A.  Affordable, portable, and incedible.  This was before Dell, as Apple was in their infancy, as Microsoft was plotting their takeover.  TI, known for smarts and manufacturing sleekness, was gonna run the whole operation out of Lubbock.  The Silicon Caprock.  As we planned our move, I kept a brave face.  The truth, looking back, was confusion, depression, and an unsettled mind.  We all, both older brothers and mother, chose to welcome the adventure and new experiences.  Off we moved during the Spring Break of my 8th grade year.
     Lubbock was fine.  Inside the loop, like a suburban oasis in the West Texas desert lands.  First in an apartment, then a house on 10th street, near Slide.  Unsettled, especially when I walked into MacKenzie Jr. High.  Assigned some student guide, my first buddy.  He seemed put out and unfocused on the task at hand.  His mind seemed on summer already.  I ditched him on day 2 in favor of a solitary existence.  At least for a couple of weeks.  I was happy to see my family in the evening, the most settled time for us all.  Everything outside the house was different, all of us were weary.  We grew closer as a family, even my oldest brother moved in, attending Texas Tech University for a time.  Although oddly, very little evidence exists of his academic record at the school.  It was short lived, as was our time in Lubbock.  Only nine months total.
     Looking back, Texas Instruments had a pathetic marketing department.  My father has since told me he knew the gig was up when he asked where all these computers being made in Lubbock were going.  He found out a million units were being stored in a huge wharehouse in Abilene, Tx.  They wern't moving, but we were.  First to Midland, Tx. for 5 months, then to McKinney, Tx.  By then, I was fully aware of being unsettled.  It didn't bother me much.  I was better at it by then.  Observe and listen while unsettled, remain patient and wait for life to unfold, for others to approach, for opportunities.   Starting McKinney High in the 10th grade was a breeze.  Eased into several groups, made lifelong friends, met the girl of my dreams, went to college, married the girl of my dreams, began a career,  built a house, began a family, and settled down.  Or settled in, rather.
    It's routines now, settle in and adjust appropriately.  Test the waters.  Be mindful of the difference between settling for and settling in.  Habits are critical and should change with time.  Settle on your priorities.  I don't get restless too often, only when things are unsettled.  Faith helps, the ultimate calm and perspective.  Like a glassy pond.  Word and Spirit do their thing.  Think about the peacemakers and their fate, lift up levity to its rightful place, settle the petty scores.  Settle the big scores too.  It is worth the effort, to be content, to be satisfied, to eat our daily bread.

***presentation 1***

Tennis Is Superior To Golf.

1.  Athletic activity.
2.  Costs less.
3.  Takes less time.
4.  More Competitive.
5.  Promotes far less drinking and smoking.

Far from perfect, tennis shares some other characteristics of golf, including: wear and tear on the body, likely outbursts of vulgarities, and obsessive tendencies.  Both sports are steeped in history and have somewhat similar development timelines.  Both have exciting professional tours to humble the masses, although women's professional tennis has far exceeded the success of the professional women golfers.  The Serena effect.  Both demand etiquett and trustworthiness.  Both offer stylish attire choices, even influencing broader culture.  Golf has the slight edge in nature proximity, deal making, and corporate events.  However, on the whole, the time and costs alone are enough to make tennis a superior recreational pursuit to golf.


Texican Chili

to make a good chili, you gotta start with the meat selection. shoulder roast is best, for sure, but more importantly the way you get it ground up is critical. ask the butcher for the chili meat cut and get about 3 pounds. it will be lean so that will make quite a bit. enough for six to eight.  mainly with chili, it's about the spices you don't use. many will dazzle you with concoctions of ridiculous proportions. spices of unknown orgin. strangely, always leaving out the pepper. here's the deal, all you need is a bunch of chili power and cumin, perhaps combining whole seeds and cumin powder, in a 2/1 ratio. you then have the basis of chili. salt and pepper at the very end. i've eaten horrible chili before. chili with kahlua, chili with chocolate, white chili. i've left many full bowls of chili on the table due to taste issues. the creativity comes next. tomato sauce and diced tomatoes are a given, but here's where you should take note. rotel. yes, the mexican and queso staple. it will add the proper spice to finish off the pot of texican chili. a chopped whole onion should be cooked along with the meat intitially, fresh garlic added in the latter stages. cook it long, cook it low. honestly, it should be cooled and refridgerated overnight to really taste it's true potential and experience its perfectly tender texture. serve with corn chips, raw onions, sharp chedder, and sliced avacodos. light english beer goes good. ice water too.  beans should be eaten at a seperate meal.