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The weekend before last, I was enjoying swimming in the pool for stupidly too long. I burned myself pretty bad on my face and chest; I hadn’t been burned this bad in like 15 years. Normally I always wear Bullfrog when I’m out for a long time, but for whatever reason this time I didn’t. The 2nd night was the worst. Ibuprophen helped considerably, but wasn’t enough. I’m a side sleeper and it was way too painful to sleep on my side, and couldn’t get to sleep laying square on my back. I eventually discovered if I concentrated on something, I could ignore the pain.

So, I spent the better part of the night thinking about manned explorations to Mars and all the problems that would need to be solved. Even though it seemed like I was talking to myself in my head for the entire time, I’d occasionally come out of it and realize 2-3 hours had passed. I never solved manned explorations, but think I’m up to speed on challenges facing the project.

By mid-week the pain went away and it was one of the happiest days of my life! The endless molting came and went, and here I am.

Much to the dismay of my non-Texas friends, I picked up a pair of black roper boots this weekend. They go with jeans much nicer than running shoes, and I get that nice authoritative click-clopping sound when I walk like my dress shoes make on concrete. Now to break-in the bastards.

The 4th was spent at Bill & Katherine’s place, enjoying brisket he smoked. Somebody had brought some sort of “southwest dip”, which was served in a hollowed-out french loaf. I didn’t catch what all was in it, I think cheese, bits of ham, sour cream, possibly some jalapeno or chilies. I’m fond of sour cream, but this was some damn good dip! The loaf of bread kept it warm for several hours until it was gone..

Saturday was spent at Nathan’s ranch out by Paige. Definately off the beaten path, the river rock aggregate road reminded me of the Winnemuca-Gerlach road of bones (just 99 miles shorter). Here again we were grilling and smoking all day. He turned me onto some hot sausage from Southside Market from Elgin, ribs and brisket from Bastrop Cattle Company; both local companies with local stock. The sausage from Southside was delicious, I will definately have to make a trip to Elgin this weekend for more. I hadn’t used Salt Lick’s rub personally, it was great on beef ribs. I’m getting hungry again just typing this.

Sunday was spent recovering.

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