So I managed to last another week with Pearson on the 4th Grade English Essay. I think I have a bit of a grip now. Still, I managed to drop my validity agreement to below 75 %….meaning I’m not going to get any bonuses unless I pick them up again. And that is tough as they seem to be giving me fewer validities to bring up my average. Oh well! Guess I’ll stay with the hourly plan….Cheryl, on the other hand is having a tougher time of it. She has dropped below the “danger” zone and has received her threatening message on Pearson’s “concern” about her failure to meet quality control standards. She was doing GREAT…but 30 messages to the “team” about their performances has thrown off her internal scoring meter. It’s not hopeless yet…she can still qualify and get back on track, but scoring takes it’s toll on the brain and self confidence.
The last several days, we have seen a number of rather rare birds here in Iowa. Well…Rare by our standards… Vultures and pheasants, Eagles and grackles are fairly common. However, last Tuesday we saw a Great Egret! At first I thought it was a strange blue heron….because it was WITH two other blue heron….However, the overwhelming white was unmistakable. I have seen egrets before…in Florida. But not in Iowa. I still geek out when ever we see Bald Eagles here.
In addition to the Egret, Several flocks of White Pelicans flew over our usual bike route the next day. I guess Iowa is a migratory flyway. I have already blogged about the pelicans in Davenport…next to the Mississippi….But here in Iowa City? They were a site to see as the sunlight caught their feathers whenever they would circle. They almost looked like they were glowing at certain points in their flying. It was unfortunate I could not get any pictures of my own…besides I was driving! But these pics I found are about the closes I could get to any I would have been able to take.
And finally, Cheryl’s 10K tomorrow. We drove to Iowa City later than usual so we could pick up the packet and check out the coarse. It looks “challenging” And by that I mean very hilly. In addition, She has hardly run this week due to an injury she received on the “Demon Long Run” last Sunday. Add that to the inner turmoil she has been facing with the scoring project and tomorrow may be a total wild card! She may pull off the best time ever as she channels all those negative thoughts and energies into speed. Or, It could blow up like an indie stock car with a overly rich fuel mixture. The coarse is a very long line….not a circle….meaning I’m going to have to be creative where I decide to take pictures.
A brief side note…..after 5 years here in Iowa. We discovered that Iowa City has a “lake” with an “beach” ! I use those terms loosely. I guess by Iowa standards, these are the things summer dreams are made of. But by our standards coming from Michigan, these are Prairie Pot Holes. Anyway, Cheryl starts the race by the dam and runs to downtown. I will have to jump in the car after the start and race to some point near the end within the City. We shall see how I handle it. Oh! By the way, ACT helps sponsor this thing…..YEAH! ACT, Fit For Life!
So to handle all this stimuli, We have decided to try out another beer. TITAN IPA. A nice hoppy flavor with a dash of citrus mixed with peach or apricot. I’m not sure which one exactly. I do know that the citric acid note is toned down a bit with that first taste. It was good, and only mildly alcoholic with an alcohol level of 7 %. It’s a level where you have one after a hard day and simply relax but do not “feel” the effects directly. ( assuming you have only one bottle) I would have preferred a harder hitting 10-12 % to help me forget this weeks worries and fears….but alas, I am still one with my thoughts.
And lastly, The road kill cats. They have left me a lone for the most part during scoring. Sometimes, when they find a better place to chill, they leave me alone and virtually hibernate…but it never lasts. Still, it is good to have them around during the day as a much needed distraction….when scoring becomes unbearable.