Fall 2014 December 19 Friday (Hot Water, Decorations, Music)

Fall 2014 December 19 Friday

37 degrees this morning 57:44 minute walk, three earthquakes

Woke up to no hot water this morning. I’m glad it wasn’t hotter during my walk. I am trying to gird myself to taking a very quick cold shower.

Checked the water heater tank and there is water in the spill thing at the bottom, so I assume the water heater is terminal.

One of those times I am glad we lease and don’t own the house.

Countdown to the first day of Winter (but also the march towards Spring as the days start getting longer) begins Sunday!

The house looks especially “Christmasy”, I think, even without a traditional tree.

Aliene has a variety of decorations that she gradually puts up and suddenly it is done!

There are Santa’s, reindeer, sleighs, naivety scenes, bears (including one with angel wings that plays a very fine violin).

Christmas dogs, a number of small Christmas trees and a Christmas train! She did a great job this year. I’ll probably share some pictures!

We enjoy Christmas decorations and normally leave them up to enjoy the “10 days of Christmas” into the new year.

I also enjoy the Halloween decorations.

I am wondering where all of the college football bowl games are this year? I always thought they started in early December, but maybe it is in the last two weeks of the year.

I am probably about to get some new glasses. I didn’t absolutely need another pair of lenses (my eyes have only slightly changed in the last six years), but I definitely need some new frames.

I was very pleased at the professionalism of the place I am looking to buy the glasses, although I don’t know the price yet!

I learned more about my face and head (as it relates to sys glasses) than I ever knew before!

Watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Christmas music on a PBS program.

Of course I had always heard of them and one of the big highlights in 2001 (right after 9-1-1), I heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir presentation in the Tabernacle.

Even thinking of the experience now, I feel chills. (They performed the “Hallelujah Chorus” and a number of songs appropriate to the time, rather than what I expect they had planned.)

I definitely didn’t get sleepy during that performance!

We flew there just a couple of days after the planes started flying again, so it was an experience in itself.

Speaking of music, I still remember the time I saw five generations of fiddle players. The oldest (I believe in his eighties) was simply past his best playing days, the sixties person was still good, the forties was probably at this prime, the young person in his twenties was great, but room to improve and the ten year old was obviously very nervous!

I’m not sure exactly what the ages were, but I remember the five generations and the illustrative stages of the music expertise of each generation, from the youngest who had a lot to learn, to the oldest who was past his peak. Life goes on.

Thats it for now, Friday, December 19, 2014

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Fall 2014 December 18 Thursday

38 degrees this morning 57:45 minute walk, five earthquakes

Cool, rainy weather yesterday. Rain throughout day. Temperature wasn’t too bad but a chill cold.

Spent the day “in the field”, which I enjoy, although I also enjoy being in my office.

I am glad i like both sides of the job duties!

One of the characters in the book I am listening while I walk said that “children are like revolutions, easy to create but impossible to control”. I may not have it exactly right, but that is the general concept.

The book is one of the “historical fiction” books (Fall of Giants) that is currently in the WWI era, with WWI about to end.

I remember when John Jakes first game out with his historical fiction of the United States, I would get so angry at what he did with some of his characters, I would quit reading the book for awhile! Of course I eventually went back and finished.

Thinking about possessions again and continuing to weed items.

I have found if I can refocus my thinking, it makes cutting down on “stuff” easier.

For example, the suggestion that I can literally find any song I have without dealing with bunch of old cassette tapes, helped me get rid of almost 200 cassette tapes thatI had carted around for 20 years.

Ditto with books, although I still have too many books, and, again, I can literally get a book in seconds.

Books may be a little different in that I like to hold them and look at them.

I have started on taking pictures of my hats and old t-shirts. At least I can get rid of the ones I never wear or can’t wear!

I think my cars are probably going to stick around, even while I am taking pictures of them. Some things I’ll just keep!

Exactly one week from Christmas!

As I have mentioned before this will be the first time in 14 years (since 2000) that we have spent a Christmas while at “home”.

It’s not necessarily good or bad, we are still celebrating Christmas with the same people (with a few welcome additions!), which is the important thing.

This will be an unusual Christmas also, in that this will be the first Christmas holidays that I haven’t been off for at least five days.

This year I am “off” Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and that is it. Of course, I am fine with that, it just will seem weird to be off two days, work one day and then off two days!

That’s it for now, Thursday, December 17, 2014.

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Fall 2014 December 17 Wednesday

38 Degrees this morning. 56:56 minutes walking, six earthquakes

I am about to quit monitoring the number of earthquakes. It is really depressing!

The other morning, I had one of those moments of pure karma. A pickup came speeding past me on the interstate, cutting off people etc.

About 30 seconds later, a police car with red lights flashing came speeding by and a little later I saw the police car had stopped the pickup!

I wanted to give a horse laugh to the pickup, but I maintained myself and didn’t show any reaction!

One activity I really enjoy is my short naps during the day. It really rejuvenates me.

I don’t take a long nap, basically a 1/2 hour nap in the morning before I go to work (after I walk and take my shower) and then I take the 1/2 hour nap.

During my nap I normally listen to music, the past several months I have been listening to a wonderful violin album “Vanessa-Mai playing the Original Four Seasons and the Devils Trill Sonata”

It is a wonderful album.

By the way it is Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, which is one of my favorite ring=tones, depending on the season.

After that, i take two or three naps ranging anywhere from a few minutes to 15 minutes. Somehow it just restarts my day..

For some reasons, during my naps, my dreams are very intense. I always set an alarm, but I normally wake up before the alarm.

Anyway, it makes for a break in my day, i have always liked short naps, ever since I was in college.

While I am driving, a short nap is absolutely necessary. When I get sleepy, a short (usually less than five minute nap) will keep me from feeling sleepy and it provides a break.

I have resigned myself to getting the newspaper “late”. Since I don’t have to “commute” to work, I skim the “late” paper, but it isn’t really as signifiant or enjoyable as it used to be. Of course, the local newspaper isn’t as good as the Memphis Commerical Appeal and I miss the “paper” New York Times.

One week from Christmas today. I feel like it really isn’t Christmas yet for some reason. (I certainly don’t need a White Christmas).

On the other hand, I don’t know what makes it “feel” like Christmas, other than the obvious.

Spent an “office day” yesterday, kind of moping up different things, catching up on items i had put off or were a lower priority.

I have actually completed a lot of the field work and have to do some office items. There is a lot of followup, trying to verify things etc. waiting to see if people will keep their promises etc.

Seeing gas for as low as $1.86 per gallon is rather strange. However, I know that there will be some sort of crisis to increase gas prices and it won’t keep up.

That’s it for now, Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Fall 2014 December 16 Tuesday

33 degrees this morning. 56:01 minutes walking, nine earthquakes

I realized I wasn’t getting a variety of Christmas music listening to one station, so I decided to mix it up a little bit. I am checking different stations since the one I was listening to seemed to be repeating a lot.

I haven’t even had a chance to sing along with “O Holy Night”. I can assure you it is an epic performance! Just ask, Aliene, Angela, Kali or Katherine! They have all heard me sign along with O Holy Night.

My favorite rendition of O Holy Night, is John Barry who does just an outstanding version of it. It is especially good in the video.

I like something about his signing voice, I have a number of his songs.

It is amazing to think that not too long ago, the only way of passing on songs and performances was to pass them on the the next generation.

Now, I can listen to a performance that is 100 years old and hear the exact same performance as the persons who first heard it ! That a is truly amazing.

Not only that but literally any performance can be recorded and shown world wide in seconds or even shown live world wide!

I would really (I think) like to hear some of the famous performances, especially some of the great speeches, although perhaps the reason they are so great is that on one can really hear the exact speech and it may be speeches get better fast they remember them!

it would be fun to hear eh exact reaction of the crowd to the Gettysburg Address etc.

Perhaps watch the actual battles, if news reporters were “embedded with both sides of the war, as we watched the actual Pickets Charge, etc..

I wonder if the brutality and reality of war would have made a difference in the great wars of the past? Certainly some of the Civil War battles may have had a different result if they were shown live world wide!

60 degrees last weekend, now 33 degrees. It doesn’t seem to make a huge difference when I walk.

I recently read that many people are wearing shorts all of the time, regardless of the temperature, since they figure they are only going from the car to the store or whatever, so they aren’t in the cold that much.

That only works if you aren’t out in the cold too long!

There is a major difference in cold. Aliene and I were in Washington DC several years ago and it was in the midi-twenties (maybe high teens) and it was COLD!!! A lot colder than Memphis at the same temperature if that makes any sense.

A day in the office today, catching up on paperwork from yesterday and getting ready for tomorrow!

That’s it for today, Tuesday, December 16, 2014.

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Fall 2014 December 15 Monday

19 degrees this morning, 42:42 minutes walk, eight earthquakes

Quite a day yesterday, tornados and hail on December 14! Such is the weather around here. It isn’t unusual to have warm weather in December, but I think tornados are a little unusual, but then who knows?

When there are numerous earthquakes around here, I guess anything can happen.

Cold this morning, in spite of relatively warm temperature of 49 degrees. There was a cold wind.

The book “The Goldfinch” took quite a turn yesterday that surprised Aliene and I. Neither of us saw it coming! Again, we won’t spoil it for anyone, but prepare to be surprised!

I am getting backed up with “audio books”. Since we don’t drive long distances anymore, it is difficult to get time to listen to them. We basically listen anytime we drive someplace.

I have tried listening to them while just in the house, but it is hard to maintain my concentration. I keep wanting to do something else and it is hard to listen and do something else. Except maybe take notes on what I am hearing.

I enjoy listening on my morning walk, but I don’t listen to them while I am driving by myself. I possibly would if I was on a long drive by myself.

More candy being made today. Means more bowls and spoons to lick!

Advanced my knowledge of Evernote some more today. Still have a lot to learn on it.

Plan on having a “field day” today for work, assuming the weather is ok.

I have a lot I can do in the office also, but I’d like to get some field work completed.

My head cold is almost over, it kind of resolved into a nagging cough and occasional congestion, but it is something I can live with.

At least for a few more days.

I am thinking of reviewing my notes/posts since I begin this. I actually started it 3/15/05 and started on a daily basis since 6/13/13 in roughly the same format.

Probably won’t, but it is always a thought. I think I have posted something every day except while I was in China, when I actually kept one and sent out to interested persons (I hope) while I was in China. I posted them when I got back.

Somehow the weekend just zipped by, I can’t believe it is already Monday morning.

Scheduled to be “Toastmaster” tonight at Toastmasters. Not my favorite when I have a cold, but if my voice holds up, I always enjoy it.

That’s it for now, Monday, December 15, 2014.

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Fall 2014 December 14 Sunday

60 degrees this morning. 47:27 minutes walking. 2 earthquakes

Got a new pair of walking shoes yesterday, hopefully it will resolve the issue of the toe pain I feel when I walk.

They felt good walking this morning, hopefully they will help.

The shop we bought them from was a little independent shop. The sales person even put the shoes on, tied them and took them off. He bought out 4 pairs of shoes and I tried each one on.

Talk about service! Actually the price of the shoe wasn’t that bad, considering the service provided.

We’ll see what happens after I walk in them for a few mornings.

Weather isn’t that bad but it is damp, which makes it seem colder. I think it probably will be a couple of days of rain coming in, so I may have wait on trying out the shoes.

The wind was up this morning and and made it seem colder than 60 degrees.

I still have a slight cough, so I am still taking a shorter walk.

I buckled down and learned some Evernote usage yesterday. My knowledge is probably about 500% more than I knew yesterday morning, and I still don’t know that much. I decided to at least learn enough so I can use it more.

I learned some of the organizational basics so I can at least keep the basics organized. Things like my appointments, phone calls, mileage etc

Aliene made a lot of fudge this afternoon. I helped some and got to lick the bowl and mixer. (She did most of the work.)

“”Lick” is not the appropriate word. I actually used a spoon. Super fudge!

Still feels a little strange not to do any work on weekends. I still feel like I should be doing something for work.

Not that I mind NOT having to do anything for work, it is nice to have time for my activities, It is just hard to get used to.

We are listening to the book “The Goldfinch” while we are in the car. It is quite a book to say the least! It takes a while, we are slightly over 50% complete and we have probably been listening at least a month to it.

It is a story of his attachment to a picture, although most of the action is otherwise. I assume he has PTSD from the explosion that killed his mother (I don’t want to spoil the story for someone who hasn’t read or listened to it yet.)

I can emphasize with him on how hard it is to get rid of something, in his case even though it doesn’t belong to him legally. It certainly belongs to him emotionally

Supposed to rain later today, I think it is supposed to be heavy snow or rain next weekend, I believe the storm that is in California now.

It seems like in this area the bad (winter) weather seems to start around Christmas.

That’s it for now, Sunday, December 14, 2014.

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Fall 2014 December 13 Saturday (12-13-14 Last Time This Century!)

52 degrees this morning. 43:27 minute walk. four earthquakes.

12-13-14, the last time this century the date can be consecutive! I remember the Kansas centennial in 1961 was the last time in a long time that the date would read the same up and down. In fact, since it will be 20xx for a long time, I don’t see how it could be the same up and down.

Just for the heck of it, I checked and it will be another 4000 years before there is a date that reads the same up and down. (the year 6009).

Anyway, I kind of wish it was a work day so I could write 12-13-14 more often!

The start of Winter is one week away (actually the 21st?). Anyway, it will also mean the long march towards Spring (March 21) will start! It seems like Fall has lasted forever.

As the say, the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

Actually, that saying says a lot. To save money for retirement, you have to start saving money, etc.

As I have mentioned before, in order to ride my bicycle up the steepest hill or into the strongest wind, I first have to ride up steep hills and into winds!

I take several naps during the day, and sometimes I have really intense dreams during my naps, especially my less than 15 minute naps. I teak a 30 minute nap after my exercise and several 15 minute naps during the day. It really refreshes me.

A full day in my office. I am learning the procedures since something is always different. It is a time consuming process, but fun.

One thing I always enjoy about Christmas is the “Christmas letters”. It is enjoyable to read about the previous year and especially realize how fast change happens. People you remember as babies are graduating from college, etc. The flow of life.

I hope to have time to tackle “Evernote” this weekend, or at least over the next month. I just feel like I am missing a lot by not using it. I probably use about 5% of it’s capacity and I should be using at least 50%.

Actually I could really use it in my job, since I handle so many different accounts, people and addresses as well as facts. Since I am using my iPhone 5 as my work phone, it is still supported in all aspects.

Excellent walking weather this morning. Maybe it was a figment in my imagination, but I could swear I met a woman in evening dress walking down the sidewalk this morning. I walk on the street and wasn’t really paying any attention and just, at the last minute, saw her walking on the sidewalk.

I didn’t want to stare, so I didn’t look closely.

Maybe I feel asleep for a second while walking!

Such is the life of the every morning walker.

That’s it for now, Saturday, 12-13-14.

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