Thursday, March 22, 2018

Wind Ensemble Concert at University of Mary Harden Baylor (UMHB)

Earlier this evening, my three college students — my wife and my two children — decided to attend a concert at the new Sue & Frank Mayborn Performing Arts Center at the University of Mary Harden Baylor. This is a brand new building at the corner of North 8th Street and Main Street in Belton, Texas.

The concert was a celebration of the return of the Percussion Ensemble and the Wind Ensemble from their European tour.

Inside the Performing Arts Center, there are a number of performance spaces, including a rehearsal hall and recording studio. The concert was held in the largest – the Baugh Performance Hall. This is a 500+ seat hall and the largest of the performance spaces.

My college students picked this concert in partial fulfillment of the requirements for their Music Appreciation class at Central Texas College. For them, the next thing is to write up the experience according to their instructor's requirements and hand these in for a grade.

We got great seats and the price was right – free. Here is the program:

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

Lyndon Baines Johnson Ranch

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Wild Days at SeaWorld

Clay talked about visiting the Painted Dog Conservation park in Zimbabwe, Africa.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Good Old American Quality - Bah, Humbug!

Early last year, we bought and installed a brand new electric hot water heater in our rental unit. Recently, our current tenant complained that it was leaking. We investigated and found that water was squirting out of the cover for the lower heating element.

The hot water heater was manufactured by Richmond on January 17, 2017. One would think that this failure would be covered by the manufacturer's warranter. I send them an email, but I never heard back from them.

Today, a plumber came to fix the problem. He removed the lower element cover and found water leaking out past the seals around where the element enters the tank. In the photograph below, you can see where the water leaking out stained the side of the water heater.

Here is a somewhat closer view:

When the plumber removed the element, he found that most of the element was missing. It had fallen to the bottom of the tank. It is still there.

He installed a new element and I paid the bill. I will have to take this matter up with the manufacturer for at least a partial reimbursement.

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Saturday, March 03, 2018

Wild Days at Sea World: Jack Hanna is Here!!

Our season at Sea World starts for 2018! "Jungle" Jack Hanna is here for his annual visit. This year, he is doing two shows, lunch and dinner. We missed his first show and did not have tickets to join him for lunch. We planned to see the 15:00 show and then join him for dinner at the Shark Encounter exhibit at 18:30.

We went over to the flamingo pond and found that they are still reworking it. It was scheduled to have opened last week, but it looks like it will not be ready for a few more weeks, yet. We met one of Sea World's "animal ambassadors" and handler in front of the dry pond. This was a peregrine falcon: a permanent resident of the park who cannot be fully rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

Jack's show was in the Nautilus Amphitheater. Out in front, a number of animal welfare organizations were advertising for members and volunteers. There were also buckets of sidewalk chalk for people to play with. Someone drew this beautiful cheetah on the tarmac.

And a better view:

Jack was introduced with a number of old videos of him, his travels and some of his many encounters with animals, both wild and captive.

During the show, Jack brought out a number of animals, including this joey:

Here is Sea World's two-towed sloth:

This cat, whose name I have forgotten, is rarely seen in the wild:

Here is the cheetah I mentioned earlier:

"That-t-t-s All, Folks"

Later that day was the dinner. In the Shark Encounter exhibit, photography is difficult because of the lighting. After dinner, we all lined up to speak with him for a minute and collect an autographed photograph. Jack shocked the heck out of me — remembering my wife's first name!!

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