Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Passing of Clyde Sisson

It is New Year’s Eve and I will be having dinner at Red Lobster and then off to the house to watch the ball drop. I had a fun day, hiking in the cold morning (31), playing golf (46), riding my new bike (with only three gears so it will be very easy to maintain), then walking with Rob at Tom’s Creek trail. Pugsy isn’t doing well and couldn’t finish the hike, the first time that has happened. Mr. Sisson passed away last night and I sent the Sissons a big Harry and David box. I saw him at the hospital on Saturday and then I visited him at home on Monday evening and chatted with many of the Sissons. I will miss Clyde, a unique man with so many talents, a man who could fix anything and who knew more history than anyone I have ever met. The viewing is Friday and the funeral is Saturday. I had dinner with Cathy last night and that was fun. She is feeling better and that was good to see. My dental nightmare continues since at my supposed final appointment on Tuesday, the new bridge didn’t fit and the dentist will have to send it back. I now have a “final” appointment on Thursday the 8th at 12:10 and then I will head down to Charlotte to begin my 6 days at Wild Dunes. My paper wasn’t accepted at CEA despite the President assuring me that since they were asking me to renew my membership, that my paper had been accepted. I am actually pretty glad since I didn’t really want to write it and I didn’t want to go to Indianapolis in March.

Monday, December 22, 2014

the new york trip

My visit to New York has gone surprisingly well, even though I had a lot of misgivings on the way up. The weather has been cold, and sometimes overcast, but I haven’t been troubled by rain. My visit to Kelly’s went well and though it was short (about three hours), I had a fun visit, and Lucia was glad to see me and play. Liz and Theo were there and it was nice to catch up with them. I left before nine, just as I promised and that made it easier for Kelly and Alfredo to put Lucia to bed (though she wanted me to stay longer). The drive up from Catonsville was pretty easy and I even got a chance to play nine holes of golf (shooting a 48) and a nap before I ended up at Ferry where I headed into the city around three and walked up to the WTC memorial, then had a mainly vegetarian dinner at Blue Smoke (with just a little pulled pork). I walked a bit after that and then went to watch the Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, which was pretty good, even better than the first one. I took the ferry over and ended up eating a little too much but overall a good day. My second day was also very good, with a bike ride at Willowbrook Park and then back to the hotel for a nap and then off to the ferry, and a walk through Times Square and then up Fifth, to Rockefeller Center and up to Central Park and a quick walk through the zoo area before heading to Nepresso to drink a fine cup of coffee and taste a delicious chocolate tarte. I also wrote both versions of my story, and I hope my friend likes them. Then it was more walking and back to the ferry and then driving to the Liberty Tavern on Forest for dinner and the Duke game (Duke beat Connecticut, but not by much). My third day has also gone well, with a bike ride at Willowbrook, a brief rest at the hotel and then off to visit my parents’ grave. I’m glad I went to visit though I can’t say it had much of an effect on my. Then on to the ferry and a walk up to the South Street Seaport and a fabulous late lunch at Suteishi on Peck Slip of grilled eggplant, crab stuffed mushrooms and a spicy tuna roll, all heavenly. I then took the subway up to 68th street and had a 40 minute walk through Central Park that was very nice, then a walk over to Bouchon Bakery for a Linzer Tart and some coffee. On Saturday I did 40 minutes on the stationary bike, did some yoga, then got ready to head to Gabes. The bus ride to the ferry was depressing since it goes through some pretty poor neighborhoods, but I made the noon boat and got to 77th street in Brooklyn by 1:20 so I had time to eat. Gabes’ new rental house is first rate and I had my own room which was very nice. It is two stories with Arlene living in a basement apartment so there is plenty of space. I went for walks, played with Julian a lot, talked with Francesca and Gabes and enjoyed myself quite a bit. The next day I did more walks and treated them to brunch, then had a nice time at their party, and played 15 games of Chutes and Ladders with Julian, who enjoyed each game. I got up early and since no one was stirring I headed off, anxious to get going particularly since there was a chance of freezing rain. I got back by 10:00 and was driving right away. The sky had breaks of blue so I stopped to play golf at Blue Mountain (there were too other golfers) and I had fun and shot a 48 even with a 9 on the second par 5. I kept driving and past Harrisburg the rain began and I was worried about even getting to Hagerstown, but I made it to Winchester so tomorrow should be much easier, although freezing rain in morning could slow me down. I rode the motel’s stationary bike and used their weight machine, then I did my yoga in the room before I went to the Texas Steakhouse for salmon and crab cake and veggies.

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.