Friday, March 7, 2014
It is Friday, March 7th, and I am enjoying my first day of my spring break. I finished reading Julianna’s thesis and found it quite good. I wrote my recommendation letter for Maddie, and sent my 310-02 class the new schedule. I did grade a couple of 321 tests and a couple of poems. I did the compost and started to clear the asparagus patch (that is work I certainly don’t like) after I did my morning hike. I washed the sheets so the bed is clean again. I had to give up on changing the washers on the kitchen faucet (it is now a cartridge and you need a special tool) and I bought a new faucet and a basin wrench and I hope to install it tomorrow. I aired my down comforter also. I did my yoga and weights and rode the stationary bike for 30 minutes then rode on the river trail for 40 minutes. I also worked on my CEA paper some and I shouldn’t have too much work left on it. The new beanies I purchased from Marmot are fine, nice and tight and they cover my ears. I finished sorting the maps during the week and tomorrow I may wander some tomorrow since it is supposed to be nice. I hope to fish, hike, play golf and perhaps watch a movie, although I will have to go up to the Grandin to watch the new Miyazaki film since it isn’t playing nearby. Overall, a very good beginning to my break. My finances are in good shape and I should be able to do a longer trip in June, hopefully up to Acadia and a visit to Merrill. A couple more weeks and I will see Gabes and Kelly and New York. I am looking forward to that. Gyorgyi seems to be doing fine with her wrist healing pretty well. I probably won’t see her until she returns from New Jersey. I saw Danielle and Claire at Nagoya and treated them to dinner.
Sunday, March 2, 2014
My lunch with Claire was fun and we had a good chat. I doubt anything I said will help her but I was as honest as I could be. My weekend went well, purchasing the new Stihl battery chainsaw, which works well if just a tad underpowered. The whole setup cost me 550 but I should get back around 150 for my old gas-powered chainsaw. I cut a bunch of things along the road and up in the orchard and it is lighter and I think less dangerous to use. I am sure it can handle 5 inch pieces but I am not sure about anything bigger. It is so much easier on my hands than the sawzall. Today I built the box for the new saw (made mainly out of scraps) but I will have to purchase a ¼ inch piece for the top since the clearances are so tight. I found out that Mark sold the lawnmower and used the money for himself and that really pissed me off. He should have asked permission and I e-mailed him that I want him to work off the interest that I have been paying. I have probably spent over 500 on interest alone. I have most of my grading done and my midterm ready for 321. The big news is more snow is predicted (now down to 1-3 inches) but I can’t stand anymore. This has been a terrible winter and I hope spring gets here pronto.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
It is Thursday, February 27 and the sixth week of classes is over. I had a decent week and a good conference with my problem student. Boy, the real world is going to wake her up some day and she is going to be shocked. I decided to quit the graduate faculty because it is really an unfair program and what they are doing right now seems a waste of time. There are really no benefits to my being in the program and I will avoid the tension of debating something that I have no chance of changing. I helped Claire Hall out with a loan for her trip to Ireland. I will have lunch with her tomorrow and catch up on how life is treating her. I went for a hike this morning even though it was only 24 degrees. I increasingly hate the cold and I will be glad for spring to really come and for me to be somewhere else in January and February after I retire.
Friday, February 21, 2014
The last three days have been rough days indeed. My tractor got a flat tire (fortunately in the front), then after I got the tires off, my truck tire was getting a flat and I just got to the Nissan dealer before it gave up (I pumped it up twice on the way in). Fortunately Mike Fox fixed it quickly and I was on my way to Farmland to see about the tractor tires. I didn’t need to replace them so that saved my 300 or so dollars and fixing the flat was 10 dollars. I decided to go back and put the tires back on but that was a disaster mainly because I didn’t have enough long, wide wood to put under the bucket so the tractor could be raised. I got really upset as the bucket kept tipping off the wood piles I created and I finally gave up and had a nice walk up to the house (from the gate where the tractor is) and then I got some clothes and walked back to the truck and tractor. I went to Lowe’s and bought 4 2x10x8s and had them cut up so tomorrow I should have plenty of wood to lift the tractor so I can put the tires back on. My road is utterly a mess but after I get the tractor going tomorrow, I should be able to put it back in shape pretty quickly. My classes went pretty well and my conference with the problem student went very well and I think she got a good bit out of it. Five weeks done.
Friday, February 14, 2014
The big news is the huge snowstorm, with over twenty inches of snow. On Wednesday, when the snow started, I wisely got a room at the Hampton Inn (much nicer than the Microtel) and settled in for an amazing storm that didn’t stop until Thursday late afternoon. On Wednesday, I took several walks along the plowed roads and there were almost no vehicles out except the plows. I had done my weights and yoga and stationary bike at home so the walks were a perfect choice. Fortunately, O’ Charley’s was open for dinner though not very crowded. Thursday was worse. With all the heavy snow still coming down, there were very few vehicles and almost everything was closed. I did walk over to Lowe’s at about 4:30 but the store was closing at 5 so I was only able to walk inside for a few minutes. I did the stationary bike for 45 minutes and took another walk but the plowed roads were very icy and I walked extremely slow. I did a lot of work, grading papers, reading Gatsby, writing a blog, catching up on a lot of little things I needed to do. I had dinner in my room, consisting of microwaved wild and brown rice, pepper jack cheese, salad and a can of beans. It was fine with me. After that I did 40 minutes of the treadmill and watched the Olympics. I found out that Radford was going to be closed on Friday so that meant I was going to get a 5 day reprieve from teaching. I called Mike this morning and he didn’t think I had a chance of getting in today so I will stay in the Hampton at least till tomorrow. With the winds last night I don’t doubt that a tree or two has come down. I have to be patient because things are going to warm up a lot by Monday (45) with Tuesday on being in the high 50s and 60s.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
My semester progresses well although I do have one problem student that I hope has now withdrawn from the class (which overall is not going that well). She is the one who had personal problems early on and then wanted to take the course online and had been very aggressive in class. The rest of the students are fine and I should have that class going in the right direction soon. My house is in good shape and I have made a lot of progress with the cabin. I got rid of the old survey maps, donating them to the geology department. I threw out another big bag of garbage, finished sorting the letters and cards, gave a couple of golf clubs to the thrift shop, and cleaned all my diaries and brought them and the letters down to the guest room. I have also brought down two drums and sorted out the rest of the fishing gear up there and brought that down. I have been hiking in the morning when it is warm enough and doing my stationary bike and my weights and yoga. I have done a few walks with Rob and some walks on campus and at Tech. I have finished four weeks of class and I think all is well with my preps and grading. I have signed up for a half day of fishing on the Gallatin, three days in Yellowstone, and I am planning on a half day of fishing around Buffalo with a guide. I also hope to hike in on the Tongue and to fish Rock Creek and the Ten Sleep. My financial situation is fine, and I think I will only be taxed on less than half of my social security benefits. That should get my overall taxes to around 6K, more than the 4K I originally planned on but a lot less than the 8.5K I figured on last week before I did the ss worksheet. After this semester I should have to work 4 or 5 semesters more, not the 6 I thought last week. I did a little work on my Horizons paper and did another Lumosity Training session (I am now at the 56th overall percentile). I had a nice time with Gyorgyi on Sunday, going to dinner at Local Roots and to the Grandin to watch August: Osage County (a well acted but very grim movie).
Sunday, February 2, 2014
It is Super Bowl Sunday and the Denver Broncos are getting killed 29-0. Big surprise and it probably means that I will leave early. I have finished my second week of classes and things are going very well. Not too much prep and I have done pretty well with the first poems. The weather finally warmed up and I got to play golf on Saturday and I rode my bike yesterday and today. I went for walks in the morning the last three days. I was able to do some more cleaning up in the cabin and I got rid of a big garbage bag of junk. I am also 80% through the letters and cards. I will be giving my paper on Thursday morning at 8AM so that means I won’t be able to teach my Wednesday class. Mark B may cover for me but he has not totally committed. I will get up to New York to see Gabe and I will see Kelly on Sunday. I made my reservations in Yellowstone and got the last cabin for the three days in July (20-22). I am hoping to get a guide before and after so we’ll see.