Saturday, December 13, 2014

getting ready to head to Catonsville and NY

Today was a very good day if somewhat expensive. My bike really can’t really be repaired at this point so I am buying another one with fewer gears and one that should require less maintenance. With the trade in on my Trek, it should run about 400 more. I did have a nice bike ride on the Huckleberry even if I did have to play my music to drown out all the mechanical noise from the bike. I cut up and moved almost all the remaining stuff that needed to be cut. Another half hour of moving and everything should be fine. I took a nice walk in the morning and ran into a yearling calf that had gotten in so I had to chase it out and then go and refasten two strands of barbed wire. Getting up and down to the stream was the problem. Although it was only about a foot and a half down, it was slippery so I had to be very cautious. The house is in good shape and I hope to change the oil in the generator tomorrow. This was a tough semester but I am starting to relax and playing a little video golf, doing my lumosity training every day, keeping up on my blog. Not a bad life at all and with my weight below 218, I am feeling very positive. I hope me trip to Catonsville works well and then I hope the same for the NY trip. The weather looks pretty good in both places. I think my knees will be okay. I did get three more photos for the Phil Chase article and that should do it if I can get the other people in the photos identified.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

a tough semester comes to an end

I have two days left of finals and then off for 5 weeks. As I have gotten older, I need more and more time to recover from a semester. I drove up to Roanoke today, after taking a morning hike and doing my weights and yoga, and picked up my hip waders, which I hope to use soon. I also played golf up at Olde Monterey and shot a 49, with my putting pretty poor. I think it was a little warmer so I may go up again if there is a great difference in temperatures between Ironto and Roanoke. Gloria sent me a Christmas card, so I guess she is taking the strategy of not dealing with the problem. She did the same thing with Kathy Roche and with Jill but I am not going to let this go: either she discusses her behavior or I won’t call her. I don’t need another person being rude to me. I will see Claire for dinner tomorrow and I hope her trip to Atlanta went well. I saw Abbey and gave her some money so she can apply to more graduate schools (after I promised not to give out any more money right now, especially after I gave 250 to Heifer and 250 to Americares). I did a great job on the storm door, moving the side away from the hinge about a quarter of an inch out and the door now closes perfectly. The electric heater in the bedroom is working well. Twenty minutes before I jump in bed and I don’t have to hide under the covers; I can read (right now, another top 100 from Modern Library, I, Claudius). I finally got under 220 the last couple of days and if I keep avoiding carbs I think I can get down to 212 (I’m at 218 right now). I have finished the Kaatskill Life article and I have one good shot of Phil Chase and I am hoping for a couple more. One might have to do. I got the field guides for Lucia, and I think she will like them.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

last week of classes

A cool and rainy day Saturday so not much outside stuff. I did clean out the truck a bit and got rid of some paper recycling. I rode my stationary bike for 40 minutes and did my weights and yoga. I really have to get back to 215 (at 221, the idea of 210 seems far fetched) and see if it affects my knees. If weight loss can help I should try that before committing to a knee replacement. I did charge up the batteries and put out two of the sticky traps because the mice are still nesting on top of the generator, which could cause real problems. I have almost finished my work on 454 and 310 and I have to grade the first part of the 203 final and on Thursday give the second part. Next semester is not going to be anywhere as easy as this one and at points I felt somewhat overwhelmed even with this 3 course load. I am almost finished with the Catskill Legends piece and I think it is a decent little article. I ordered part of Lucia’s present and I told Kelly I really can’t move the TV (my knees are just too bad right now). I did participate with Gyorgyi in the Eric Garner protest, and we marched from the War Memorial to Squires, where we lay down for 4 and ½ minutes, then to a meeting on racism at Tech. It was pretty powerful. I haven’t heard from Gloria so I assume she doesn’t want to discuss her visit. That is of course up to her. This is a big day for the Football Playoff and Oregon is certainly in and TCU clobbered Iowa State so they should be in also. I am watching Alabama beat up on Missouri and then there are three games tonight.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

a very good break so far

My break is progressing well. I have gotten some good bike rides in, and a number of hikes with Rob. I sent Kelly an email about my upcoming visit making it clear that if things were too hectic for her, then I would head straight to new York. I also emailed Gloria and I hope she responds. I think it is unlikely. I have finished a draft of my Catskill Life article and I sent out a couple of poems. I finally fixed my sleeping mat holder in my office and now it won’t sag anymore. I haven’t been able to talk to Cathy but I hope she is okay. My finances are tight but I think I am just going to dip a little more into my 403B or else it will be very tight for the next year at least and I don’t want to live that way. I have been doing hikes in the hollow the last few days and that has been very good even though late fall is clearly here. The greenhouse is still producing.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Thanksgivng Break--At Last

I am taking it pretty easy over the Thanksgiving break. I had a good visit to Charlotte, playing golf twice at Regent Park, driving to the Congaree (which I was harassed by Ranger Meekins) for a bike ride and a hike, eating at P. F. Changs and at the Capitol Grille. I have gotten back into writing the Phil Chase piece, and I am almost done with all my course grading. I should be done tomorrow. This morning I cut down a number of trees (up to about 5 inches) with my new Stihl battery chain saw, and it worked very well, slow but with plenty of battery to get all the trees down and then some of the cleanup. I then fixed the boxes in the truck, switching out the broken one and putting cardboard on the bottom of two more so things won’t drop through. I also ate a salad from the green house and watered it so I should have lettuce for a few more days if not weeks. I am bringing my electric heater home from my office to see if that will work to help warm up the bedroom. Now when it is cold, it is pretty cold until the temperature gets up to 76 in the living room. This might save some fuel and make it comfortable enough to read for a few minutes. I walked with Rob tonight (as I did yesterday) and we had a very good chat. Things with Becky are going well and her new place should be fine after all the work is done. Claire and Luke are doing well, spending Thanksgiving at her parents, and I am happy for her. Today I also had a golf lesson on sand traps and bought a lob wedge from Michael, which is much easier to use than my sand wedge. My finances are quickly depleting but I should make it to March without having to take any money out of my 403B. I wrote Kelly an e-mail after our conversation where she told me that my last visit was too long and I made it clear that I had no idea that it was. She left a sweet phone message inviting me up for Lucia’s birthday. That should work well since it will be on my way up to New York and it will save me driving back up to see her. I talked to Marv and I should be seeing them in January when I go to Wild Dunes. My knees are not very good but I am doing a lot of things. I just hope they hold out till July, when I plan to have the first knee done.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

one more week before thanksgiving

I think my headaches were caused by my dental work, since they have cleared up as my teeth continue to heal. I have one week to finish before Thanksgiving and then one week of teaching before exam week. This semester has gone pretty fast and it has been rather easy, but spring should be much tougher. I did my open house today and that went quite well, with six students visiting. The two ambassadors, Lauren and Jenna, were very sweet and I joked with Jeanie a little and she took a picture of me pretending to be asleep. I will be having dinner with Claire on Tuesday and I’ll catch up on how things are going with Luke. I saw Rob and things are okay with him but they have to potential to heat up, as they usually do. I will be looking at a 165K condo on Monday. It’s on Chowning street and is one story with five rooms. I doubt I will be buying right now but I do want to see what is around. Haven’t heard from Gloria so I assume she doesn’t want to discuss her behavior during her visit, which is fine with me. If she is comfortable with her behavior, then I have no desire to deal with her. My friend Dave is doing very well, having been in a coma for eight days and almost dying. He is in rehab and I spoke to him for a long time and he sounded pretty good, although very slightly slurring his words. I played golf today even though it was in the low forties and I had fun. Now I am watching the Alabama/Mississippi State game, which is 5-0 Alabama right now. I hope it is close.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Three weeks left in the semester

Another week of teaching finished and I think it went pretty well. I did evaluations in 203 and 310 and those should be around 3.8 with the 454 course still waiting. The one student in 454 who has problems with his writing is probably going to blast me in the evaluations even though his writing problems should have been addressed years ago. I worked a little on the Phil Chase piece and I should be able to get it finished on time. I talked to a realtor down in Isle of Palms and I should be about to get a place down there for two months for around 3 grand with a possibility of it being in Wild Dunes. Claire is doing well and I should see her next week for dinner. I should be having dinner with the Gallos tomorrow to celebrate both our birthdays. My headaches remain but I think they are getting a little better since I started taking more blood pressure medication (which Cathy said might cause the headaches).