Sunday, July 21, 2013

Summer Mosaic

We stay around home this summer and have had variety of activities which forms the mosaic of our summer.

White rock lake

During 4th of July weekend,  in addition to Perot museum, we visited white rock lake again. This time we went for kayaking on the lake. When we got there, we were only able to rent last three blue kayaks. Lily decided to walk around the lake. Lily thoroughly enjoyed her walk around the west bank of the lake. The rest of us did enjoy the view from the middle of the lake but not much about the kayaking itself. The shallow sit-on-top blue kayak is nice for the eyes but hard for kayakers.

paddling on white rock lake

We were delighted to see a grand egret in the flight, and another swallowing a fish. We were impressed with the trails on the west bank and plan to tour white rock lake again on bikes sometime.

Grand egret on white rock lake

4th of July fireworks

Justin went out to see fireworks in person and took many beautiful pictures. He showed us the pictures he took on TV in slideshow.

Fireworks at Oak Point

North Texas Weather

We had a cool late spring and early summer with temperature below average. Things changed quickly, we had a stretch of days temperature was at triple digit (F). The drought situation in North Texas deteriorated. Clear sky, bright sunshine was no longer something to cheer on. Along with many people, I wished that we could have more rainy days!

The Friday a week ago, on the way home I was greeted with heavy down pour on the service road of north Texas toll way - I could not see anything a few yard ahead of car. I was actually cheered by this heavy rain despite the flash flood on the road way.  I wished that I could have this downpour near my house. Unfortunately the rain was lighter  as I was closer to home.

Luckily that rain started a cooling trend, and ushered in a few good rainy days. The sound of rain was beautiful music to my ears.

A rainy day in July
Noise suppression

Just as the temperature started to climb toward 100F, I heard abnormal noise from our AC unit outside the house one day. I hurried to the unit to see what was going on, it turned out that the noise came from AC line inlet and the cover over the inlet hole. The noise was due to a resonant vibration of the cover/AC line assembly. There are a few ways to suppress the noise, tighten the AC line to the unit is one way but not a lasting one. The tightening rope loosened quickly under the vibration, and noise came back in a matter of minute. Adding weight to the AC line is another possibility but not a good as it added stress to the AC line.

The other way is to change the AC line inlet cover's natural frequency. Adding filler between cover and wall did the trick - the foam like filler added small stiffness and provided damping at the same time.

Noise Suppression
Tennis on Saturday Mornings

What pleased me most this summer is that Nicholas plays tennis every Saturday morning with few exceptions.

He was not very motivated to play tennis, but not playing soccer any more, he realized that he need play something regularly for outdoor exercise. Persistence paid off. After nearly a year since quitting soccer, he is getting better and better, can play against me well occasionally; much more interested in playing tennis than before. I asked him if he wants to play tennis earlier and he answered "why not?"

playing against mommy at tennis center

He went to a week long summer tennis camp and he talked to me about his day at camp excitedly at bed time everyday that week.Now I don't have to persuade him to play tennis any more though he still needs reminder every week.

My expectation of him playing is that he can develop his tennis skill to a level that he enjoys playing it as a hobby. I believe that he starts to enjoy tennis.

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