Winter 2015 March 6 Friday

Winter 2015 March 6 Friday,

30 Degrees this morning 45:38minutes walking

Snow yesterday morning was gone (mostly) by early afternoon. My kind of snow! When I saw it was 15 degrees in the morning, I was resigned to having snow for a day or two. It was so nice to see it gone so fast!

The snow was pretty this morning, but it was a lot prettier with the snow gone! Still cold.

Friday is here already. It seems like the week flew by.

We are starting to look at houses again, after a break for the weather. We are really realizing we will need to cut down on some things. That isn’t necessarily bad, just something we will need to do, even if we stay in our current house.

I have decided to try to look at everything I have decide if I will ever use it or if any one would really want it, and if not, off it goes to the donation box.

At least I can deduct it off my taxes!

I am always amazed at what the “smart phones” will do, I seem to learn something new about them every day. Today it had to do with how you can send “contacts” etc. over to another phone.

I keep thinking I need to learn all the secrets of the iPhone etc. I decided I am going to learn one new thing every day, or at least read about one item.

I am amazed that my original iPad battery is still going full.I don’t use it much for internet items since it is so slow compared to the new ones, but it is great music, notes etc. I also have it bluetoothed to my car system and since I have all my books and music on it is greater that. I still like the color on it. It seem like a richer color than then the newer ones, although I really like the sharpness of the new ones.

My original iPhone, a 3, is still being used daily as my “walking” iPad and the battery is still going strong. If I figure right, that battery is six years old. Of course, my original iPod Shuffles at least 8 years old and is still going strong.

Of course, my latest iPad, which is about 1year and two months old seems to have a weak battery, at least it seems to go down fast. Of course, I also use it fairly intensively, I like a bright screen and I don’t put it on “sleep” at all, so it is highly intensive use for my battery.

Today will be a”field day” at work, I need to catch up on some field work. Of course, I want to jump on them all at once, so I have to set priorities.

Of course, sometimes, the more I research or the more I talk with someone, frequently it brings up the need for more research to try to resolve the problem. Of course that is what makes it fun!

Glad to see warmer weather come back, it will be nice to have it for the weekend. Aliene is still coughing, so we are hoping that can be resolved. I am washing my hands at every opportunity to try to avoid catching anything.

The time change day seems to mean almost as much as the seasons. While I don’t like the “Spring Forward” since I lose an hour, it does mean that Spring is almost here, which is wonderful.

I really like “gaining” an hour when we “fall back” but, it also means Winter is coming.

I guess that’s life!

That’s it for now, Friday,Marcy 6, 2015.

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Winter 2015 March 5 Thursday (Snow!)

15 degrees this morning (no walk, snow etc.)

Snow started late Wednesday afternoon and accumulated enough to create slick streets and sidewalks last night. Most schools have already canceled classes tomorrow. Temperature was supposed to be 25 degrees getting up to 45 degrees, but it looks like it will be 15 degrees getting up to 35 degrees, which won’t help the snow melt much.

I think the snow has stopped, and hopefully it will warm enough so the snow melts.

The place I work shut down early this afternoon (right now) will start work at 10 a.m.) As I mentioned before, since my office is in my house, I don’t get “snow days” or “snow hours” which is fine with me,

I got some new accounts yesterday, which is always fun. It is really challenging and I enjoy doing the research as well as meeting the people when I go out in a field trip.

It is hard to explain, it is like approaching a puzzle that I approach with a lot of anticipation. I feel this real desire, or perhaps compulsion, to resolve each account if at all possible. Usually I want to do it as fast as possible. I have tried to pace myself, but on an Office Day, I research at a high lope, and, when I get in the field, it is so intense I don’t even take a break and eat on the drive so to speak.

There is actually no pressure to work at a certain level, which may be why almost everyone I know works so intensely. While we keep and activity sheet, I am not aware of any pressure to work at a certain pace.

It is hard to explain the feeling, but it is just an intense drive to resolve the accounts and it is fun.

I had planned to go “in the field” today, but it may have to be tomorrow, or maybe later today if it warms up. I have a lot of office work I can do if it is too bad to get out, at least where I have to get out and walk a lot on what will be slick sidewalks and streets.

Gas it up to the range of $2.15 per gallon by the way. Still not bad, but a lot more than the $1.54 per gallonI paid just a short time ago.

Even when gas was at it’s cheapest, I didn’t regret buying a hybrid. If t is fun to drive and no matter what the cost of gas, I am still saving money. Also, as I mentioned before, I am happy to think I am avoiding using oil and maybe in a very insignificant small way, am reducing the income of some of the oil-producing countries whch support terrorists etc.

The City election I mentioned was won by a candidate who got 60% of the vote. This District has to have about (very roughly, I need to check) about 90,000 registered voters and 1700 or so voted!

The person who won is the one we supported, and I am sure he will do a good job. He probably would have won even if 100% of the registered voters voted, but that isn’t the point.

We are still looking at houses, we have one we are going to look at when we can get around in the snow.

Thus far, we haven’t really found one we would be that interested in, at least at what they are asking. We have seen some possibles.

Earthquakes are a concern. Even though they have all been minor and aren’t that prevalent in the area we want to live, you never know when they will start. Decent earthquake insurance isn’t that good (high deductibles and high small print basically making the policy worthless).

There was a story on the news, something like out of over 100 earthquake insurance claims, eight were paid due to the small print exclusions.

That’s it for now, Thursday, March 5, 2015, on a snowy day.

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Winter 2015 March 4 Wednesday

38 degrees this morning (wind 28 mph). 45:28 minutes walking.

We were the only people voting at the polls today. Three candidates for the position on the City Council. Seems there would be more interest, but there wasn’t a lot of publicity about it either.

On the other hand, I’ve seen what happens when people vote who are voting without knowledge. In my opinion, a high voting percentage isn’t necessarily good when people don’t have any idea of what they are voting for.

I can personally attest as to what happens when incompetents and toadies are elected to office. It can literally destroy a community as they bungle their way through.

Anyway, I don’t have any problem with people not voting, I do feel the government/school district and news media have an obligation to provide information about elections. The ultimate in freedom is being able to vote for whom you want, or not to vote, or to vote foolishly for that matter.

But, adequate information has to be provided.

I always thought it was strange that the least interest is normally in local elections, where your vote actually counts the most and the actions of the elected officials will actually have the most impact. (Streets, parks, drainage, utilities, zoning etc. have a significant impact on daily life.)

Looks like we will be having heavy winter weather today. A little bit of everything, rain, freezing rain, sleet and then snow! Hopefully it will be the last for the winter season.

Scheduled to look at a house today, it was sold before we could look at it. That is the second time that happened. Which is actually fine with us, we are’t ready to make a decision that fast, although if we found something that we really liked, I expect we would move fast!

I think the value of the tax deduction for buying a house isn’t necessarily the tax deduction, but the fact it means you can itemize since it normally makes it a lot easier to itemize, so you can deduct a lot more misc. deductions that you couldn’t deduct if you use the “standard” deduction.

I need to get back on our income tax. it has been so discouraging thus far I hate to even find out what it will be! I think the problem is that when your income is normally salary, you never see the amount of money going to income taxes. When enough isn’t taken to due to nominal “10%” withholding etc., it is a real shock to realize how much you actually pay for income taxes. And that doesn’t include property taxes, sales taxes, “fees” which are actually disguised taxes etc.

I actually don’t mind paying taxes, as long as they are basically used for he overall good of the citizens. Again, back to voting, if there are informed citizens who vote, funds will probably be more efficiently used. At least in theory.

I guess I would rather pay taxes I know about than all the sneaky “fees” and “taxes disguised as fees”.

Perhaps the worst “taxes” are the costs created by elected officials who waste money and pander to the lowest common denominator in people by appealing to their worst instincts and the costs of “cronyism” and the need to raise so much money for elections that “contributors” have so much say in decisions.

The local paper has been running stories about how this state has the most people in jail and what the true cost of of jailing people for minor offenses where the penalty would be better and more effective if it was community service etc. Not only do you have the cost of jail, you also have the society cost of paying for the person when then get out of jail and can’t get a decent job etc. because they have been in jail!

Not looking forward to the weather today. Aliene developed a bad cough last night, which is not good. Hopefully she can get to the Doctor (or get some medicine called in) before the bad weather hits.

That’s it for now, Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

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Winter 2015 March 3 Tuesday (Movies, Books and Music)

39 Degrees this morning, very windy, 45:08 minutes walk

Election Day today for the City. Last month was election day for the School District. Nuff saiid about that! To say the least, turnout was and will be low.

I was just thinking tonight how some songs and movies become classics. I heard a news squibb that “The Sound of Music” actually wasn’t that well received when it first came out and now it is considered a classic.

I saw it while I was in Air Force Basic Training. It was over 100 degrees every day in San Antonio Texas in July and August. Lets just say I loved it, the color the music and everything about it. I don’t know if I would liked it as well at other times or not (I never watched it again, but I’m not a big movie person anyway).

I also saw “The Graduate” during basic training and it became a classic in it’s own way.

I remember seeing “Carnal Knowledge” (Jack Nicholson) in graduate school. For some reason it had a big impact on me, perhaps my frame of mind at the time. Also “Easy Rider” when I was in the Air Force.

One of the more strange memories is watching “Soylent Green” and “WestWorld” that was a double feature right as I was finishing up graduate school and was one of the highlights as I transitioned to the working world. A rather strange double feature (I think, maybe not). I still remember the part in Soylent Green on how beautiful the meadow was in the overall sameness of their world.

I saw one movie that I never have been able to get the name to (it was forgettable I’m sure to anyone but in my frame of mine). Two guys take off and one “memorable” line is “We’ll have this meal on American Express” as he runs up a credit bard bill he knows he will never pay. The one guy goes straight, the film flam man continues on his merry way at the end of the movie. I think I liked the idea of the individual.

I also remember seeing “West Side Story” (in college) and hearing people crying at the end. Don’t like to sound hard, but I was surprised.

I stayed up all night and read “Gone with the Wind” (in college) in one sitting and “Bright Lights Big City” in one sitting about 25 years ago. Of course, a lot of books have had an impact on me since I have read a lot more books than I have seen movies.

I also remember reading Stephen King’s “It” and about 2:00 a.m. in the morning, I got up to check the drains. (If you haven’t read it, you won’t know what I mean). I also became a little paranoid about clowns after that.

Actually, this entire soliloquy started when I heard my granddaughter say (with an apologetic look at me) that she didn’t like County Music, but she did like Lady Antebellum’s song “Need You Now” and I thought how that song seems to be liked by a wide variety of people.

I remember when it first came out, the DJ who played music at a place we danced played it with almost reverence several times, and a lot of people mentioned it and now my granddaughter voluntarily mentioned that she liked it. Probably five generations of ages have said they loved the song, so it must meet some basic human emotion.

I told her I really like the song and I also didn’t like County Music until I was about 42 years old, when it suddenly all made sense. Or maybe I just decided nothing made sense.

Actually, I can remember when the group “Lady Antebellum” was referred to as “she” when the group first came out, to my delight. It was actually written by a music critic for major newspaper. The ordinary fan (or non-fan) could be excused for the mistake.

Anyway enough of that. I’m done for now. Strange how one comment can remain in your mind and have such an impact.

Dream yesterday morning, I was in a hotel and I got in the elevator with (I believe a hotel employee). He said “this is a fast elevator” and it zipped up to my floor, the 11th floor. Don’t remember anything else.

That’s it for now, Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

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Winter 2015 March 2 Monday

27 degrees this morning. No walk etc. (ice and snow)

I don’t mind missing my walk occasionally, but three days in a row is too much! I hate to miss it, but decided the chance there is still some ice etc. was too great a chance.

Hopefully, I can resume by walk tomorrow morning. I don’t think I”m missed more than one day in a row since late August.

Aliene is still not feeling well, although she is starting to feel better. It was not “just” a 24 hour bug, or she developed other symptoms after the first episode.

March 2. Start of another month, another season soon.

Waiting out the snow an ice, spent the day in the house reading etc., except for getting the paper etc. The ice and snow are almost melted away, but it is still areas where it refroze etc.

I am ready for he snow an ice to leave!

Should have some new Accounts today, at work, or if not today, tomorrow. I always look forward to the new accounts for the challenges involved and they aways are present a new aspect. Makes it interesting.

Election for our Council Member is this Tuesday. I hope it is good weather. One of the candidates came by (we missed him), but I e-mailed him of my thoughts about sidewalks, bike /pedestrian, and “planning for the residents” .

He e-mailed back he agreed with me and would work for that if elected. Based on his history, I think he was sincere. At least now I feel like I can contact him about projects.

He also advised he would support a better recycling program. I really don’t understand thy that hasn’t been a priority for a long time instead of he obsolete system they use now.

At times I feel like just throwing it all in the bin since I doubt if they really recycle 50% of it, but I can’t bring myself to do that.

I don’t think our neighborhood (or even our District) is all that politically involved. The retail an developers appear to be the major forces around here like in a lot of cities.

Not that they they don’t care about the residents, I”m sure they do, but somehow the priorities of the developers an retail etc. take priority when decisions are made.

In the end, if they take care of the residents, the developers and retail make out well also, but it is hard for anyone to accept that as a daily decision consideration.

They do have a reasonably good “city app” and I have taken pictures of erosion problems (leading to dirt on the street where I walk) and they came out reasonably fast and resolved it and e-mailed me for any comments I had. Not bad.

Maybe I should take pictures of he areas without sidewalks, the failure to provide for adequate turn lanes resulting in severe traffic hazards etc.

I, probably more than anyone, realize how much time ti take s to correct traffic problems etc. However, what I don’t like is they aren’t taking the opportunity with new businesses to resolve the problems. Doesn’t bode well for the future.

I really wish there was a neighborhood group or group that got involved in local affairs. There probably is, I’m just not aware of them.

That’s it for now, Monday, March 2, 2015.

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Winter 2015 March 1 Sunday

27 Degrees this morning. No walk, snow on ground.

March 1, at least it means Spring is in the air, although it seems like Winter is having a final (I hope) fling this week.

We spent the day indoors. Aliene still isn’t feeling real good, although I think she’s feeling a lot better, and it didn’t make any sense to go any place when the streets are icy.

I did go out to get the paper this morning (only the local paper came, the WSJ didn’t come, so I read it on the internet).

I guess I still have a lot of Memphis in me, I just avoid driving on the streets or getting outside. I actually did buy a snow shovel and bought some deicer, mainly because our driveway is steep in case we had an emergency and had to go someplace. Otherwise, I think the sun makes a fine snowplow. I never did own a snow shovel in Memphis.

Finished the book on China, it as interesting. I now have a new view of China, not the people but the government. Starting a novel (Baldacci, The Escape) and a book on U.S. Grant (“The Man Who Saved the Union”) Both are interesting, in their own way. The problem with library books is I feel I need to get them read, so reading the books I own get delayed.

I am monitoring myself, hoping I don’t get what Aliene had. Can’t do much about it if I do get it, but I have been washing my hands every time I walk past a sink and a bar of soap, trying to prevent it!

Monday, March 2, will mark exactly six months on the job. I am amazed at what i have learned, and probably will b amazed at what I don’t know in another six months or a year. It has certainly been a very enjoyable experience and a trip into a realm I had no idea existed or at least how it operated.

I am thinking of taking all of my written records and have them scanned and stored. That would save a lot of space, plus eliminate the need for storage. I think you always have the vague fear of that it will disappear into a never-never land of a digital black hole, but there is always the possibility they could be destroyed or lost etc. And they probably aren’t that important anyway, since I haven’t looked at them.

I am trying to reduce the number of e-mails I have been getting. I have been requesting my name be taken off where I feel it is legit, canceled notifications etc.

Of course, I don’t know if I can do much about the creepy e-mails I get from amazon.Com or the “notices” from Linkedin that I automatically delete.

As an example, I looked for “dash cams” on the internet and, of course, amazon.com has them so that was one of the search findings. However, I have seen so much junk and gouging priced items from amazon.com, I don’t buy anything but books from them, and I don’t buy many books anymore since we have an excellent library system here.

Ever since, I have had these creepy e-mails and ads popping up on my computer about dash cams. I wouldn’t buy one over the internet anyway, since I want it where I can get it serviced. However, I could buy one from, say, Best Buy, at BestButy.com and they would install and service it.

Anytime I look at anything on amazon.com, I get these creepy ads and e-mails for months. I did buy some cell phone cases etc. and they were literally junk. Cheap but so junky I never used them. And I mentioned before how hey were $40 higher on a set of head phones (same model, brand etc.) than everyone else, so they try to play a lot of tricks also.

Dream yesterday morning, I was on some kind of a beach area (although I never saw the water), although the ground was kind of rough. There were a couple of large buildings (hotels?) I went out to the car an there were a bunch of magazines on the front seat, and I went back to the room for some reason. When I came back Angela and Kali were in the car, waiting for me. Don’t have any idea what it means!

Hopefully I will get better at recording the dream. I really do forget as soon as I wake up, so I try to record it immediately.

That’s it for now, Sunday, March 1, 2015.

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Winter 2015 February 28 Saturday (Winter Weekends, Telescopes and News Stories)

19 Degrees this morning.

Thin covering of snow and ice so no walk.

End of February, means 2015 is 17% gone if I am figuring it right.

Probably will be snow and ice over the weekend. We aren’t planning n going any place! Also, Aliene still isn’t feeling good, although I think she is feeling better.

I am glad there aren’t many days left in this Winter (roughly, about 21). It hasn’t been that bad of a winter, but it has been a long winter. the cold weather has seemed especially cold and nasty this year.

Probably just not used to this kind of cold.

Of course, our winter hasn’t been near as bad as other places. We have it really easy compared to other areas, although they are used to the winter weather. I expect being “used to it” gets tiresome.

Part of my “in the field” was near where we live last week. I really haven’t driven around around here that much and I was surprised at the number of houses being built in this area.

We are still looking at options as far as buying a house (or staying here is also an option). So far, we haven’t found a house that we would want to commit to purchase.

I am trying to view all of the “stuff” I have with new eyes, primarily thinking of what I have been carting around for years and never looked at, and I have to wonder, who would be interested in it? I may as well donate it (or throw it away as appropriate) now as have to cart it around any more or worry about storing it!

Probably a primary example is a telescope I have been carting around for at least 30 years, no make that 40 years. I am looking at the box right now, and I am not even sure if i have ever taken out of the box. Actually I’m sure I have, but I have never used it. I probably got it when there was a comet or something and I really thought I would sometime be interested in looking at the stars.

In theory, I like the idea, but i know I will never do it unless I just do it to be doing it. However looking at the box, it is a Bushnell “sport view” with 9 -30 power zoom, so maybe it isn’t even for looking at the stars. It even has it’s own tripod and I did’t know that

I think the “toothbrush test” would say to get rid of it! I don’t use it and it really has no value to me.

Other examples are old newspapers etc.

Actually, there is a news clipping that I’m glad my Dad saved. It is a story (probably when he was in the last 20’s) about how fast he walked and how he walked so fast his coat was always flowing. It was written by the local newspaper and my Dad saved it. I’m glad he did, that is something that is unique and says a lot about him.

I have some newspapers that have some stories, but aren’t really deep insights into anything.

I always thought (when I first started working for cities) that I would keep a scrapbook of stories. I’m actually glad i didn’t, it would just be a pain to deal with and I know now I would never look at it.

Perhaps if the internet had existed when I started, I would have started a digital file someplace, but in the end, who would have time to look at it? And who would really care?

I don’t mean anything negative about it, it i just a fact of life. Things are unique to us individually, and sometimes perhaps they are meant to stay that way.

Such are my thoughts on a snowy weekend.

One dream I remember, (again after my nap after my walk on Friday morning), I was in a hotel, with many rooms. I was trying to find a cup of coffee. Many of the rooms were locked, some with elaborate locks, others were wide open. All I could find were the little packets of coffee that looked like the tea packets you get in hotels. It was dark and I didn’t recognize anyone else. There appeared to be no point to the dream, which may be the point.

That’s it for now, Saturday, February 28, 2015.

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