Spring 2015 March 31 Tuesday (Happy Birthday EleanorI)

62 degrees this morning. 45:31 minute walk.

Today (March 31) is the birthday of my sister Eleanor. Wishing her a Happy Birthday.

Driving to Toastmasters tonight, it was beautiful weather. I put the sunroof down, turned up the music and almost just kept on driving, it was so nice!

My taste in music really varies depending on a variety of factors. i really like almost all types of music, depending on the context that I am listening in. For example, tonight, I was enjoying “electronic” music (Sirius 52), which isn’t always good, sometimes horrible and sometimes great. It all depends.

I remember when Sirius first came out, I rented a car, and the representative came out and said the car “had a serious radio”, except of course he meant “Sirius”. I remember thinking the entire trip trying to figure out why he thought the radio system was so good that it was a “serious” radio!

The weather indicates the cool weather is rapidly ending and summer will soon be here.

Of course, as soon as summer is officially her (in June), the descent into Winter begins as the days start getting shorter.

I hope next winter we can get away from the cold for a little bit, even if it ias just on a weekend, or a long weekend.

When I was in Chanute, Kansas (where the cold kind of lodged in you), I used to love baking in the sauna to get the cold feeling out, if only for a few minutes.

Of course, in Memphis and here, it doesn’t get cold enough for you (or at least me) to develop that “frozen in place” feeling.

Back to when we visited Washington D.C., several years ago., the cold was COLD. It just seemed to take you over. It was late January, probably the coldest part of the year up there.It took me a while to unfreeze from that.

I wonder how we got our descriptions, I assume from the globe. (“up” to Washington DC or Detroit, “down” to Mississippi”, “back” east (even if you have never been east!), “out to California”. etc.

Anyway, in my belief I should “experience the moment”, (whether good of bad), I will enjoy Spring and Summer (and Fall) and even Winter and not wish for something else. Well, except in Winter, when I will continue to wish for Spring and Summer.

One of my goals is to go to Panama in the winter, and just get ride of the feeling of cold.

Tax deadline is really getting close I have been going over and over the figures, just to make sure I am correct. I found a major expense were I double counted my deductions. (Darn it!) I am hoping I find something were I double counted my income or find some withholding I hadn’t noticed!

I figure every dollar of deduction I find is worth .30 or so, so it is well worthwhile keeping looking at it.

The first quarter of 2015 is now complete. It hardly seems like it started and 2015 is already 25% over!

That’s it for now, Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

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Spring 2015 March 30 Monday

48 degrees this morning 45:31 minutes walking

In spite of how much I read when I was young, i am surprised at what I haven’t read sometimes.

I have a bunch of “Cliff Notes” (or similar) booklets that I picked up at the Library Book Sale over the years. and I figure if I can’t read the book, I can at least read the Cliff Notes on it and get some idea of what the book is about.

In some cases, it has caused me to read the book after I finish the Cliff Notes on it.

I just started on the Cliff Notes for John Knowles, “A Separate Peace”. I am surprised I didn’t read it or even hear of it since it was published in 1959 and I read most of the similar books (coming of age etc.) in that era.

It actually is fairly common that an author’s first book is the most successful book. That was the case here. His first book was his most successful and allowed him the financial ability to write full-time, but none of his other books were all that successful.

A large number of authors first book was their only real success or their only book. Off the top of my head I can think of a bunch of them.

It may be that expectations change also. I just finished a book “The Attackers Advantage” where the author points out that expectations change, roles change, the environment changes etc. and some people don’e adapt.

Not that that is the reason for author’s first book being their most successful or their only book, I’m sure it is so difficult to write a good fiction book, that maybe some authors only have one book in them, and that is fine, it is one more successful book that most people write!

Many of the “first” books are frequently almost autobiographical and certainly writing about what you know is frequently much better.

Another dream from Sunday morning:

Dream 3 29 15

Dreamed I was in Harrah city Hall by myself.  It almost seemed like a mobile home. (this would be the “old” City Hall now.)

One of he workers who was there had to go  on an errand. I as there by myself.

A lady came in to ask about ode enforcement.  She had a letter showing what they had to do. She was complaining that no matter what they did it wasn’t right.

I used someone else’s desk.  (It was a lady who worked with me at Harrah).  

The Letter was written by someone who had worked at Lakeland, and while looking for a desk to sit down at with a phone, I saw a desk with no phone and a bunch of wires where everything had been unplugged.

I looked at another desk and thought it was the one the Lakeland Emergency Mgr. Director had set at..

I set at a desk with an old antique radio, an old plastic, white radio in poor repair.  It kept playing classical music and I couldn’t get it to shut off, even after I unplugged it.   

The letter the lady gave me was soaking wet.  I read something about weeds around stop signs etc., blocking traffic view.

I tried to find a phone, but couldn’t find a phone.  

For some reason there away a quote on the back of the envelope fro stop signs etc even though it was only for mowing and grass.

The music kept getting louder and louder until I couldn’t understand or hear the lady with the complaint.

I woke up.

That’s it for now, Monday, March 30, 2015.

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Spring 2015 March 29 Sunday

59 Degrees this morning 44:07 minutes walking.

59 degrees still seems cool with the wind. I wore the thing over my mouth and my regular warm stocking cap.

Trying to finalize my taxes. Very depressing, mainly because not enough was withheld so we have to pay in. I was kind of expecting a refund. And not just a little payment, but a lot (to me anyway).

Of course, as long as we actually owe it, I don’t mind paying it. Well… I mind paying it, but if I would have paid it anyway, I want to pay what we owe. Or something like that.

What is worse is having to deal with all the situations, including moving, job hunting, home office, two states, IRA withdrawal etc. on he tax form.

Usually I enjoy doing taxes, not this year.

Went to the Library again today. Again, I have to marvel at what a nice library system it is.

I checked out some fiction books by authors I haven’t read before, see how that goes. Also checked out a book by Lincoln on a matter I wasn’t familiar with.

It involves a lawsuit he was involved with prior to his becoming President and concerned a bridge across the Mississippi River, which established a precedent. If it had gone the other way, it could have prevented bridges across the Mississippi which would have make a major difference in our country!

One of the best side trips we took in Washington D.C. several years ago was to the “Lincoln Summer House”, actually a place he went to to relax and think. He actually frequently rode out there by himself.

I am sure I was imagining or rather investing my emotions, but I could feel the sense of peace he felt when he was there and not at the White House.

Unfortunately it was not actually open when we were there (I had heard a podcast of how they had just recently opened the museum and renovated the house), but I was glad I had the chance to see it and perhaps it was better.

The Washington D.C. trip actually set the standards we would use for our China trip and is one reason we enjoyed the China trip so much.

Part of it was investing in a private guide, which actually isn’t that much more expensive than a group tour, and is much more efficient and fun. Our trip to China included a group tour (as part of the conference). While it had it’s good points also, it reinforced for us that a private tour is so much better.

At least the Tennessee Women’s Basketball Team is still in the NCAA tournament. They came back after I was ready to give up on them. (Aliene said “don’t give up on them” and right then they started coming back from 17 or so points to win!)

These dreams almost aren’t worth while noting, but who knows? They are really very small parts that I remember:

Dream 3-28=15

In large house or hotel

Aleine and I were standing in line for something (I don’t know what)

Three was a bathroom that acted as a a way to “cut the line”

I went into the bathroom and came out and the line was different for some reason.

I looked around puzzled and asked where the line was.

Woke up

(Later, after early afternoon nap)

Sketchy dream, 

Intense search to find something, don’t recall what: That’s all I remember.  

That’s it for now, Sunday, March 29, 2015

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Spring 2015 March 28 Saturday

48 degrees this morning. 45:48 minutes walking

Good day “In the field” yesterday I especially enjoy helping out businesses who are just getting started and need assistance in completing the paperwork. As long as they are trying, I’ll take whatever time is necessary to help them.

It feels so good when they successfully can hit the “submit” button!

We had the “preliminary” inspection on our new house the other day. It made it seem more certain, assuming our loan goes through. We don’t know any reason it shouldn’t.

We are especially looking forward to looking out the back windows and seeing the woods (or at least a version of them) They don’t have trees around her like they did in Memphis. The trees here would be laughed at, but, green is green. A lot better than looking at the backs of other houses, even if they are very nice houses.

Listening to a biography on U.S. Grant. I am always a little surprised at how much better I remember the Civil War battles, events (or any history, not just war) when I read about the actual persons who lived at that time and experienced the events.

It may be just the way I learn (or don’t remember), but I remember it much better and, even more, understand the events in the context of the persons who lived through the events at that time, especially if it is put in perspective.

We are following the NCAA tournament. Of course, our two favorites are/were Wichita State and Oklahoma University.

I thought it was a nasty trick to start spreading rumors that the Wichita State University Coach might be offered another job right before a major game! I don’t know if that had anything to do with their poor play but I expect it did.

While I am always amazed at the poise and skills of the 18-21 year olds who play basketball, I expect they are also psychologically affected by such rumors.

We tape all the games (as we do most everything) so we won’t have to listen tot the inane comments of the announcers etc.

We would rather take a chance on hearing the scores than waste time on the absolutely vapid comments of the announcers and the continual repetitive commercials.

Did’t watch OU game last night past the half since I couldn’t stand wasting the time on the half-time (sleep is important!), so am watching it now, before I see the score.

We have not spent a night outside of our house since last August, which has to be a record for us since we were married.

When we lived in Tennessee we tried to visit family and friends etc. at least once every six weeks, so we spent time on the road and in hotels. We are glad we made the effort and continue to, but we don’t need to travel overnight also.

Looking forward to a nice weekend, although my walk this morning was still coolish. I still have to “dress warm”, and it is a lot nicer when it is warm and I just toss some walking shorts and a t-shire on.

That’s it for now, Saturday, March 28, 2015

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Spring 2015 March 27 Friday

44 degrees this morning 45:11 minutes walking

Friday! Another week gone by and almost another month!

Warmer weather is forecast for next week. I am looking forward to the warm weather!

Our Neighborhood now has “nextdoor.com” (if we get enough members).

I was thinking of the way people communicate and the changes are amazing it you think about it.

All ages and cultures communicate extensively by “texting”. (It was big in China also, although through “WeChat”.) I was a little amused the other day I read about how someone was talking about how texting was a young thing. It may be, but persons of all ages are texting.

Facebook is a national Town Hall as well as providing a means of communication.

Search engines allow us to look up anything, anytime and find it within seconds vs. a trip to the library, finding the right books etc. in past years.

Twitter has become a new source of news (although the ads have gotten so irritating and intrusive I am rethinking how and if I use i.)

It will be interesting to see what happens with Virtual Reality. It seems it could be used in a lot of ways, including as a simulation for learning.

As someone who really doesn’t care for videos (other than music videos) or computer games, I hope something more comes out of it than just that.

Several years ago, I read an article in the WSJ that an “invisible cloak” (as in Harry Potter) was technically possible (something to do with “curving light waves” or something like that. Of course, maybe it has been perfected and I just don’t see it!

I had really thought when I was a kid we would be able to “transport” ourselves by now, and not even have to worry about roads etc, just step in a box and transport yourself to where you want to go, at least in some manner.

Also, as I’ve mentioned before, I never though we would basically be driving the same type of cars as we did than. A LOT of improvements, but the same basic concept.

I had even thought cars might travel on a cushion of air, and certainly be driverless.

Over 15 years ago, I attended a conference where they said it was technically possible now to walk to a plane, get in, and fly to your destination without any action on your part. I wonder why we haven’t done it?

One of the things I really admire about President Lincoln (even before he became President) was he was a big supporter of what we call “infrastructure” now. Instead of “crony capitalism” , providing excellent and advanced infrastructure (educational and otherwise) is the best way of creating business opportunities (i.e. Silicon Valley) More about that in the future.

I guess, on the other side, I never imagined terrorism as it is now, that somehow a bunch of sub life things (they aren’t human, and to compare them to sub-animals is an insult to the animals) would actually take delight in destroying things and killing for the sake of destroying things. And in the name of religion to top it off.

I do remember reading “The Thousand and One Nights/Arabian Nights” when I was a kid and some of the talk sounds vaguely like some of the stories I read.

It has been literally decades since I have read it, so I may be remembering incorrectly. I do remember the “Open Sesame” sometimes when I open garage door or walk into a store with an “automatic door”.

Minor dream last night (very little lI can remember) I was driving a car somewhat like my current car and the car in front of merit another car. I almost stopped in time, but barely nicked the car. It had several dents already and I couldn’t tell if I had nicked it or not.

While the other two drivers were arguing, I changed clothes (for some reason) and quietly drove off. The location was that long sweeping curve eastbound into Harrah, the actual accident was right past the turn off to the bridge over the river.

That’s it for now, Friday, March 27, 2015.

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Spring 2015 March 26 Thursday

44 degrees this morning 37:49 minutes walk (light showers, short walk).

First “spring weather” yesterday., wind, rain, hail. Not bad here, but a tornado hit one area.

High wind, lightning, rain etc., typical for this time of year.

Thinking of setting yearly goals for myself, with quarterly measurements and making necessary adjustment. Thinking about areas where I can approve Of course, weight control is one, at least stay where I am and not gain anymore. It has been close to four years at my current weight.

Other goals including learning some of the software programs that I know I am not using to even close to it’s potential. That includes Evernote, word (publishing), Excel etc., iPhoto, scanning etc.

Oddly enough, for the first time I have no goals pertaining to finance, except perhaps minimizing our taxes and generally watching spending.

Another goal may be to work towards a “minimalist life style and continue to shed items I don’t use or need, including clothes, books, furniture, knick knacks and just items I don’t need. If I set quarterly schedules on where I want to be, at least I would be working towards it. At the same time, do want to get the necessary things that can make life easier and more enjoyable.

Exercise is another area. I am ok with what I exercise now, except I want to add time for swimming and bicycling on a much more regular basis.

Another area is to keep stretching myself in my reading, perhaps doing more as far as spending a little time every day reading something I normally wouldn’t read.

Of course, with all of that Time Management will be a major goal!

I figure if I get to the “talking” (or writing) stage, at least I am looking at it. Nothing says I have to try everything at once either.

Anther dream (again, the nap after my walk):

Driving to work (not sure where) Appeared to be like Denver years ago when I worked there two summers while I was going to college.

Saw two car accidents on the way.

After the second accident I was walking past for some reason rather than driving.
A person (I’m not sure if someone from the accident or not) asked me fro  help. He was crying.

I walked past him and into a store with a large parking law that was fenced in with very tall chain link security fence. I said, wait and let me see what is going on before I help.

Aliene came down for some reason and sat with me.  She got upset with me about something, I don’t recall what, something to do with helping (or not helping) the person who had asked for help 

We were sitting in a small booth. We weren’t eating a meal, more like coffee and a snack.

I got up to go and walked outside, onto the paved parking lot with the high security fence.

There was someone on the street near the fence as I walked out to to my car which was parked on the street.

I woke up.

(Thoughts and considerations):  This dream was in a heavy intense urban environment, although it seems like the drive past  the two accidents was on a street, kind of like an Poplar Avenue and Union Avenue in Memphis. )

That’s it for now, Thursday, March 26, 2015

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Spring 2015 March 25 Wednesday

63 degrees this morning, 44:36 minutes walking

Recently read that Michael Cotton passed on at 62 years of age.

While both of us actually lived in Harrah when we met, we actually met at a Toastmasters meeting. 

Michael was a “Cowboy Poet” and I have three signed books of his work.

I saw him perform his “Cowboy Poetry” at the Cowboy Hall of Fame and it was an experience I will always remember as a unique enjoyable experience.

He is a talented person who I as fortunate enough to personally know and appreciate.

We wish him well.

Soon another month will have ended and 2015 will actually be 25% complete. I can see some advantage to setting quarterly goals/reviews on long term plans as a marker of progress. While I always saw the value of that for business reasons, I haven’t applied it on a personal basis.

Quarterly reviews could really identify progress etc. I will look at seeing goals in weight, exercise and learning. For example, Evernote, photos etc. I think I respond to setting goals and looking at progress.

Dream yesterday morning. It was very strong and i actually woke up and wrote it down and then resumed my nap. Almost as if my subconscious was telling me to look at it.

Dream 3 24 15

Dream I was mowing the area at the Hampton Inn at NW Expressway and Penn Square was across the way (which it actually isn’t, but remember this was a dream).

I was by myself and had an old push power mower.

When I switched locations to mow, I would walk the mower across the road and wave at the motorists who stopped on the road to let me by. (Which would NEVER happen if you know this area.)

The structure across the street from the Hampton was more like another hotel (the Crown Plaza) than Penn Square, but it changed throughout the dream.

While mowing, I hit some heavy grass and somehow ended up with green on my legs and clothes.  It actually looked like green paint.

The mower started running badly and I thought it was out of gas and I hadn’t asked anyone about how to get gas.

The mower quit.

Suddenly I was holding my bicycle and it was broken.  The handbars had come off.  I was thinking I was glad I hadn’t been riding it when the handlebars came off

I tried to gather all the parts so I could get it fixed.

I suddenly woke up (no alarm) and got up to note the dream.  My temptation was to keep in the dream but I felt this strong urge to write it down.

I notice all of the dreams (I remember) seem to have some regular threads, including hotels, bicycles (bicycles that lose their handlebars, oddly enough), sometimes some type of yard, other times inside.

That’s it for now, Wednesday, March 25, 2015.

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