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All posts for the month September, 2019

I hadn’t touched my Howard W. Peak Greenway System project in ages. In fact, I wasn’t entirely sure where I’d left off. I remembered starting out at Lady Bird Johnson Park and going north toward McAllister Park (and I think I made it all that way). I also started from the Oakwell Farms Trailhead and went some direction (probably north towards Lady Bird Johnson Park) but didn’t get very far. And that was it.

So since I wasn’t sure how much of the area I’d actually covered, I figured that my best bet was to start at the far end (since that would be a new-to-me park) and go north, seeing if I could make it all the way to Lady Bird Johnson Park.

So I drove to John James Park (named for a surveyor who helped set up a bunch of local towns including Castroville) and didn’t see a sign like this:

The Greenway sign outside of Walker Ranch Historic Landmark Park. The coloration is imperfect because I took this picture at 10:00 at night.

Or like this:

The park rules for the Greenway system. Since there wasn’t one at John James, this is from Lady Bird Johnson. As I say below, it was hot today (and I had done a lot of walking), so I wasn’t about to drag myself down Nacogdoches Road looking for the above Greenway sign during the daytime.

So I walked around the park and also down the street until I crossed the creek (which looked like this):

Do you see a sidewalk in this picture? I don’t see a sidewalk in this picture.

Finally I decided that maybe the greenway ended on the other side of the bridge that carries Rittiman Road over the creek (and also over Holbrook Road)*, but there was no crosswalk in sight and it was over 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) so I wasn’t going to go wandering around out there in the sun any longer than I had to. I also had a very strange conversation with the lady at Via Metropolitan Transit where I explained that I wanted to know how to get to the downtown lineup from the AT&T Center (I’m going to the Maluma concert on Saturday) and after leaving me on hold for nearly nine minutes she came back and told me where the downtown lineup is. Crap. I should probably do a post on taking the downtown Via lineup, shouldn’t I? Well, it’s 11:30 and I have to be up in 9 hours so I’m not going to write it tonight.

After exploring the park a bit more, I decided to drive along Grantham Road looking for greenway signs or, more importantly, parking lots. When I didn’t find anywhere to park, I decided to head up to the Oakwell Farms trailhead and walk down to John James and hopefully find the trailhead from that direction. I got there and found that they were doing sewer work and the parking lot was closed.

So I went back all the way to Lady Bird Johnson Park and decided to head all the way down to John James. When I got to Robert L.B. Tobin Park, just past 410, though, I found that not only was the parking lot closed, but the greenway itself was closed, too.

So after briefly flirting with the idea of seeing if I could get close enough to the Pokemon Go gym to take it over (the Pokemon in there had been there for over three days and I’m sure their trainers would have liked them back), I turned around and headed back to my car. I stopped off at both Hardbergers and did some shopping at the Walmart on Blanco and when all the dust settled, I had visited five parks (I count both ends of the blocked-off part of the greenway as half a park each) and done more than seven miles of walking today.

*The satellite photos on Google Maps seem to show just that happening. I still don’t know how to get *down* there, though.

So when I started my project of paying myself to study my languages, I started a spreadsheet to track my earnings. I have columns for the CDs and shares of stock I’ve bought and for the interest they’re earning and projecting when I’ll be able to buy my next CD or share of stock, as appropriate. I spend about 50% of my language earnings on stock. I’ve been buying three CDs at $100 each and then a share of stock at $250. However, I really should be buying three CDs at $100 each and then a share of stock for about $250, then two CDs at $100 each and then a share of stock. Right now I have 10 CDs and three shares of stock. So I guess that a share of stock is next.

However, my spreadsheet is now really unwieldy, with 51 columns. I didn’t notice at the time, but my version of Microsoft Office doesn’t have Access in it. Adding Access to this version would cost me $130. Should I just upgrade to another version that has it, suck it up and pay the $130, or find a freeware database to hold me until I can come up with enough to upgrade Office?

I have good financial news regarding this project, though. I’ve wanted to go to grad school for my target language but there doesn’t seem to be a way to test into the ability to go to grad school. You need a certain number of undergraduate credits. I’ve recently found out that a lot of states will let people over retirement age take college courses — for credit — for free, so long as the credits aren’t going towards a degree. So, my new plan is to save up for another 13 years and once I’m 65, I can start taking the undergraduate classes I’ll need for free. Then once I have them, I can find a graduate school.

Now I just have to start working on choosing a language for that degree. Spanish is my best language, but am I really that passionate about it? I think I’m more passionate about Italian, but Italian is the lowest-paying of the languages. Chinese pays better and I’m more passionate about Chinese, but do I want to go to St. Louis? Or Honolulu (why can’t the University of Hawaii’s Chinese graduate program be at their Hilo campus?). I would love to go to graduate school in Berkeley if I can afford it, but could I even aspire to attending there? Or should I wait and see what the future holds? Maybe I’ll fall in love with a different high-paying language that is being taught somewhere that I want to be and that I can afford.

Oh, and I’ve added another language, maybe. 50% of my ancestry is Czech and I’ve always wanted to learn Czech, so I’m going to take a stab at it on Duolingo. I’ll let you know how it works out.

Now for a Gratuitous Amazon Link. This time it’s something I’m considering buying for myself but haven’t bought yet: Pimsleur Czech Conversational Course. The only time I’ve Pimsleured (?), it was when I first started learning Chinese. I checked Pimsleur Mandarin out of the library and it went so fast that it hurt my brain. I then took a step back and went with ChinesePod (speaking of which I need to get back to downloading those so that I can listen to them in the car again). But I’m starting with Duolingo Czech and so maybe I can Pimsleur in Czech. And if I can do it, maybe I can get my dad to take a stab at it as well. . . .