Saturday, December 31, 2016

A pretty down New Year's eve

It is new year’s eve, an evening I don’t usually celebrate and this year’s event seems even less of a positive experience. I am in Meridian, Mississippi at an O’Charleys just about to eat. I am on my way home (I should be there on Monday and then Tuesday I go for the Renal biopsy. Dr. Pant decided that I had better head home immediately so I had to skip Big Bend, which was a great disappointment but Pant’s talk of dialysis and quick kidney failure certainly worked. I had a tough time getting to the Microtel (which I switched to since they had an exercise room) and narrowly missed a couple of accidents. I had been talking to Dave (and he was very positive about things) and I got off without knowing where to go and that was dangerous. When I got to the Microtel, I did work out on the stationary bike for 40 minutes and then watched the second half of the Washington /Alabama game, which Alabama won pretty easily. I then napped and did my exercises and watched the first half of the Clemson / Ohio State game, with Clemson dominating 17-0. I am kind of down but fortunately I only have about 630 miles to get home and though tomorrow will have more rain, I only have to drive a little over 300 miles. I am very lonely and I certainly am wondering about my choice not to be in a relationship. It would be nice to have someone to be with tonight.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

feeling pretty down

It is the day after Christmas and I am watching the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions at a Chili’s in Weatherford, TX. I got a very nice bike ride in at Weatherford College, then a nap, and then most of my workout. My plan to see Dave in Arizona fell apart because Dave had already committed to driving his wife to an eye doctor on the day we were going to get together. Too bad but it will save me a lot of driving and some money. I was hoping to head straight to Big Bend, but everything is sold out so I will have to stick with my reservation for the 30th, 31th and the 1st. I can drive tomorrow to Carlsbad Caverns and do a self guided walk on the 28 but I’ll have to see how I feel tomorrow. I feel a bit down that I won’t be seeing Dave and also annoyed that I can’t head straight to Big Bend. Anyway, I will get home in plenty of time for my renal biopsy on the 10th, and still have a week to get everything ready for classes. The trip out was okay, a lot of driving and good exercising and biking but the main goal was Big Bend. I don’t plan to camp out much if at all but I have enough money to stay in motels (I have been staying in Comfort Inns and they have been nice and the Quality I am staying in tonight is a little run down). Knowing myself as I do, I realize I will feel much better in the morning. I could also drive to San Antonio but I may wait for the trip back. The extra synthroid is definitely kicking in and I am less tired. I think I will be able to handle the three courses. I am in Monahans, TX staying at a nice comfort inn after a decent day of golf and two long bike rides (even though the high schools I rode at were in pretty poor neighborhoods. I guess I am depressed even though I have a decent plan for the next two days before I get to Big Bend. I am going to Guadalupe Mountains National Park and Carlsbad Caverns tomorrow and then I will drive some of the scenic roads on the way to Big Bend and I will visit Marfa and Alpine. I think my long driving trips are over. I thought this out earlier and figured I would stay within 800 miles of Ironto and that plan sounds better than ever. I am pretty tired (even with the higher synthroid) and I really want to get home as quick as possible after Big Bend. The weather has been very good and I have done a lot of biking and golf but I am not enjoying this trip that much.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

More bad news

One good day and things have soured. On Wednesday I went to the Kidney Doctor and it didn’t go too bad. She as concerned but not too much after she finished a thorough review of my medical information. She did take a urine sample and told me she would have the results the next day. I felt pretty good and then took Maddie and Claire out to dinner at Mellow Mushroom and then to Moana. Dinner was very good and the movie was very decent. Maddie tried to teach Claire and I how to whistle and neither of us could but we got a good laugh out of our attempts. I slept pretty well, getting up at 5:30 and doing some exercising and a wash. I took a walk to the orchard and then took a nap on my return. When I woke up I finished all my exercises, my weights and yoga and 20 minutes of stationary bike. I then headed out to meet Claire Hall for lunch and just before I got there I checked my voicemail and I had a message from the kidney doctor to call her and when I got her she told me that the urine sample had a lot of protein in it and that is bad. She told me to get my bloodwork and an ultrasound done tomorrow and that I would need a CT scan and a renal biopsy when I returned from my trip on the 9th. I got pretty upset and she mentioned that I might require chemotherapy (a milder form than cancer) and perhaps dialysis and that just freaked me. She did say it might not be too bad but she needed more info to really give me an opinion. My lunch with Claire was okay but I was not happy and after it I went to my office to take care of the TIAA beneficiaries, which I did. Then I decided to go play nine holes of golf and I shot a 48 from the forward tees, and playing was pretty distracting. Then I went back to my office to do some work and I talked with Cathy, Kelly, and Gyorgyi. I then did some errands and ended up at Our Daily Bread for a delicious duck dinner.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Good, good news

I wasn’t looking forward to heading home last night but when I finally got home I was okay, watching TV and ending up in bed at 12. Amazingly, I slept right through to 7:30 and then I started my exercises. I looked at my phone and I saw that Rob had called so I drove down to the pasture and got really good news. Rob had talked to McCoy and he didn’t think I had multiple myeloma, and what a change occurred. I called Cathy, emailed my kayak friend, texted Claire, and spoke to Gyorgyi. Then I went home and did more exercises and when it had warmed up a bit I went for a long hike, pushing up to the orchard twice, and napping hard when I returned. Then I did some practicing, washed the dishes, did my weights and yoga and finally headed out at almost 7 for a really good lobster dinner. Then I headed for Macado’s in Bburg for a dish of ice cream, my Lumosity training, my 310 outline and rules and then my blog. My kayak friend is taking me out to dinner on Friday and tomorrow I take Maddie and Claire out to dinner and a movie and my mood for that should be great. I still have to see a kidney doctor tomorrow (my functions are a little off) and Rob put me on 50mg more of synthroid and wants to work on getting my bp lower. He hopes both things will help my anemia. A very good day.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Multiple Myeloma is a possibility

A hard day and still not over. I slept until 5:30, then went back to sleep until 8. I did my knee exercises, then went for a walk up to the orchard. After a bit of lunch and a nap, I did some straightening up in the house, weights and yoga, and a 40 minute bike ride. I went down to the pasture to call Cathy, email my kayak friend, and check out some info on the Mayo Clinic site about multiple myeloma. It is treatable but not curable and there are a number of treatments. The darkest news was the median life expectancy for stage one (62 months), stage two (44 months), and stage three (29 months). If I have it I guess I won’t have to worry about nursing homes. I called McCoy’s office to get some more info and to see if I shouldn’t take my trip right now. His nurse called left a message and I hope to talk to her tomorrow. I talked to Rob for a few minutes and he can’t really say anything until he gets the results. He did mention that I might need a bone marrow test, and I could take a lot of valium and pain killers but it sounded awful. I went to see Rogue One and it was very good, but after it I was very down and though I watched Duke handle Tennessee State, my heart wasn’t into it. A very tough evening.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

No Western trip it seems

I can’t say the last two days went well, but I am not dead yet so that is a positive. When I got up on Saturday, I decided to take a walk and that was calming. But I also realized that I wanted to get away for a while (Rob had responded sure to my request to take a 10 day or so trip) so when I returned home, I packed up and got going by 2. As I drove I called Cedarbrook near Elkins and the course was very playable so I was able to get there by 3:15 and played nine holes (51). I drove on to Charlotte to my room at the Wingate where I rode the stationary bike for 40 minutes then went out to P.F. Chang’s for an excellent meal of hot and sour soup, steamed shrimp dumplings, and broccoli and eggplant in garlic sauce. I then drove to downtown and had a very nice walk and I appreciated all the people. I got back and talked to Dave and told him that I was definitely going to try to make Big Bend and then try to do Las Vegas. I was feeling pretty good and I thought Sunday would be a long drive day when I fell asleep at 12:00. However when I awoke at 1:30 my legs were swollen and my left foot really hurt. I finally dropped back to sleep but soon enough I awoke in pain again and this happened 6 or 7 times. This was the result of the change in meds (and the swelling and constipation were things that Rob warned me about) but it became clear that I wasn’t going to be able travel a long distance without having the rights meds. When I got up it wasn’t raining so I rode my bike around the Wingate, took a nap, did all my exercises, weights and yoga and left right at 12. It was not raining so I went on a walk around the fourth ward, then starting driving home. The rain began and I thought that my outdoor exercise day was done but by the time I got to Statesville, the rain had let up and Cedarbrook said the course was open and no real rain was predicted. I got there around 2 and played the back nine for the first time and it looked like I wouldn’t come close to breaking 50 but with a 6 on the second par 5, a great sand shot on the par 3 which led to a par, and a 5 on the last par 4, I ended up with a 47, very rewarding. I drove to my office, took a long nap, finished all the rubric forms, did all the grades, and had a fun time texting with Maddie. I am planning to take her and Claire to dinner and to Moana on Wednesday.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Cancer Scare

Not a good two days and tonight I was so desperate just to talk to someone that I drove to Macado’s in Blacksburg just to be able to chat with Jake the bartender about sports. Pretty desperate. I guess I’ll back to last night when Rob called me at dinner and after going over some of the blood test results, gave me his opinion, backed by my oncologist’s partner, that there it is likely that I have a type of treatable bone marrow cancer. As I type this my hands are shaking. I almost called Claire Hall up to see if I could join her and Luke for dinner but Luke has been away for a week so I doubt either of them wanted a dinner guest. I think I may call Kelly to see if I can come for a visit after the holidays. I spoke to her this morning and she was very supportive. I also spoke to Lucia this evening, wishing her a happy birthday and she was sweet on her eighth birthday. Last night after Rob’s distressing call I called Cathy and I was very upset and she was very calming. I decided to go home since I hadn’t done any of my exercises (I left at 7 am because I had a test to give at 12:30 and I wanted to get out early in case a tree had fallen and I would have had to cut it). I did almost a full set and that relaxed me some and when I finally went to bed around 12, I actually slept till almost 5 and then went back to sleep until 8. I called Gyorgyi after I spoke with Kelly and she was also very supportive. I went back to the house and did all my exercises, yoga and weights and then headed for lunch with Claire Hall. She was very kind and after we talked about my health, she updated me on the house search. My big point is that if she finds a house that both she and Luke really like, it will be worth going into a little more debt to purchase it. She wants to pay off the house in ten years but if she buys a house that she is uncomfortable with after a few years (especially if she has two children, as planned) then she will have to move another time which is costly and very frustrating. Anyway she was very calming and I went back to my office for a long nap and then some grading, then a couple of walks on the 4th floor, then a frustrating phone appointment with the Tile people (who treated me like an idiot), then a ride to Blacksburg for dinner. I did get to chat with Jake and that helped, but I have chosen to lived an isolated life and on a night like tonight being surrounded my friends wouldn’t be a bad place to be.

Monday, December 12, 2016

First Final

I am in the midst of giving my first final and I still have over an hour left. I finished my lumosity training and I got things done in my office so the rest of the week shouldn’t be too bad. I go to see Rob tomorrow about my tiredness (from my anemia), my increasingly feeling cold, and the odd taste in my mouth. I hope he can figure it out because it is starting to worry me more and more. I did a good workout this morning, all my knee exercises, 35 minutes of biking, weights and yoga but no piano. I picked up my other package at UPS then stopped at Gourmet Pantry for a treat, some aged gouda and some bruschetta crackers. I got the address mixup fixed with Fed Ex so I should have my new phone tomorrow.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

weekend in Charlotte and Columbia

This will be a pretty big catch up entry. It is Sunday night and Cathy is continuing to recover although she has some pain when she is swallowing food. I just got back from a three day trip to Charlotte and Columbia and it went very well overall. The start was shaky as my phone broke on Thursday evening and I had to buy a temporary one at Cellular Sales until my replacement phone comes on Monday. That should only cost me about 35 dollars. On Friday I played golf at Birkdale on the way down, shooting a 51 and then rode my bike outside the hotel. I ate at P.F. Chang’s and that was first rate. On Saturday because Monday wasn’t looking good weather wise, I decided to head to Columbia and hike at the Congaree National Park and that hike, over three miles was lovely. I ate in town at Old Chicago Pizza and then rode my bike on the USC campus because the river trail was closed. I walked in downtown Charlotte in the evening and had dinner at a sushi place that got a 4.4 rating but turned out not to be anything special. On Sunday I drove to Mallard Creek and the construction is done so I went along the old trail and then over to the UNCC campus. I also played golf at Cedarbrook and shot a 49/49 and the real 49 was a great ending. I needed to shoot a 4 on the par three eighth and hit my drive right to the top left fringe of the green. It was a very tricky downhill curving putt and I hit it just a little too hard and it rolled and rolled almost thirty feet from the hole and that left me another tricky putt curving and uphill, and I three putted from there for a 5. Now my only chance was a par on the difficult ninth, and after a fine drive, I hit my hybrid just off the green on my second shot. I needed a sensational third shot and it was okay, about 12 feet from the hole. It was a curving putt but I sunk it for an exciting 49. Then I drove to my office to do some work, my lumosity and my blog.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

one more day of classes

Wednesday went pretty well. I was up part of the night and finally got to work at 8. I did some exercises, got rid of the compost, straightened out the truck (after the tire change yesterday), replaced the trap in the kitchen, did some piano work and washed the dishes. Maddie asked me to come earlier and that was no problem. We had a good chat and I may not have to take her next Wednesday. I went to play golf after dropping Maddie off and I shot well, a 45 from the reds. I emailed my kayak friend and I’m hoping to be able to do something with her over the break. I did find out that I will only be teaching 3 courses in the spring, which is great news. I am still very tired but it doesn’t seem to be getting much worse. Cathy is home and recovering slowly.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Cathy's operation is a success

It is Saturday night and the best news is that Cathy Gallo is recovering slowly but reasonably well from her diverticulitus surgery. I saw her yesterday hours after the operation and she was out of it. Maddie was there and we had a nice time chatting and joking for over two hours. I got home pretty late and slept reasonably well. In the morning I took a fine hike to the orchard (doing more pruning, now about half done) and then took a nap. I did some house straightening and everything looks pretty good. I watched Tiger Woods play for the first time in a year and a half and he ended up minus 8 for three rounds, not too shabby. I drove into town and was going to ride my bike but it turned out that it was better to visit Cathy at 4, which I did. I chatted with Claire for a few minutes and then she left for dinner with her dad and Maddie. Cathy and I then had a decent chat although she was in a lot of pain and hadn’t eaten anything since Tuesday and still couldn’t drink any water. It was painful to watch her and I had the same kind of surgery so I really know what she is going through. After my visit I went to Walmart to pick up supplies and then headed over the Eats to get Wheatgrass. Then it was over to Macado’s for soup and salad and my lumosity training and my blog.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

rain but a nice morning hike

Wednesday turned out to be okay. I got a morning hike to the orchard and found that my retirement accounts went up 4.8 K, which was much more (.8) than I expected. I did my exercises, my weights and yoga, and a little bit of cleaning the house. I picked up Maddie around 1 and we had a nice chat on the way to Tech. She is going to stay in touch about Cathy’s operation on Friday. I did some shopping since it was raining and I took a nap before my office hour so I would be fresh for the presentation and class. The presentation was pretty good and She’s the Man less good. It was raining heavily so I decided just to have dinner at Panera and then to go home to ride the stationary bike and watch the Indiana/North Carolina game.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

closer to the end

Tuesday went pretty well. It was raining outside so I did my exercises, practiced my piano, cleaned the dishes, did my weights and yoga and cleaned up the house a bit. I drove in and showed Water for Elephants in the first class, went back to my office for a nap and some work. I then showed the movie in the second class and did an almost 50 minute bike ride just before dark. Another nap and off to Panera for soup and salad and an apple, then my lumosity training and my blog.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

still waiting

Sunday didn’t end up with a kayak trip but I did get to see my kayak friend for a couple of hours, visiting the dog walk and then to Cold Stone for ice cream cupcakes. I couldn’t take a chance on the kayak trip because I couldn’t predict what was going to happen when. I did some bike riding at home and also took a nice hike up to the orchard (it is strenuous enough to get me breathing heavy). I did my yoga and weights, played my piano, and straightened up the house a bit. I did get to the dinner for Michael Van Crowder and he seemed professional and quite affable. I think Rosemary appreciated my coming, especially since Robert was stuck in traffic. I talked to Cathy briefly and told her that I was pretty certain I could give Maddie a ride tomorrow. I did my lumosity training and my blog at Panera.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Things are still uneasy

Friday turned out okay but it involved a lot of bathroom work just before I headed out (I had to drive back to the house twice to avoid problems). In addition I stopped in the middle of the Sisson road after my bottom gave up. I had done a hike up to the orchard earlier, and two washes, and all my exercises, plus almost all my piano work, and my weights and yoga. I was pretty restless last night questioning a number of things but after all the things I got done I felt much calmer. I cleaned out the truck also, and that helped. I left around 2:45 and when I got to the golf course I had to head for the bathroom. I played pretty well starting from the forward tees and moving back as I stayed around bogey golf. I headed to Macado’s in Radford for Margie’s Cashew Chicken salad and lumosity training and my blog

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Not a great trip to NY

I will have to summarize a bit since my visit to NY was not the best. On the drive up I stopped to watch the VT-Notre Dame game and my problems began. I ordered a trio of inedible but tasty appetizers instead of soup or salad. Big mistake. I stayed clogged the rest of the night and into my first day of visiting New York. I went to the World Trade Center Memorial and then went to see Fantastic Beasts and then had dinner at Blue Smoke (eating barbequed beef brisket was not the best idea). Finally, I headed home and took 3 ducolax just before getting to my room at the Hampton. The pills didn’t work so I took 3 more in the middle of the night and finally they worked in the morning. What a great sense of relief. I did my exercises and got ready to go to the city and I headed to Columbus Circle to rent a bike at the rental place there. As I was filling out the form, my lower body exploded and I was left backed into a wall with an incredible mess. The rental guy told me you couldn’t see anything so I strolled to a nearby bathroom in the park, where I met a homeless man buttoning his pants. Thankfully there was a free stall and I took off my lower clothes and my jacket and sweater, placing the clean stuff over the edge of the door. My long johns and underwear were ruined but I had my bike pants with me so after cleaning myself as well as I could I pulled on the bike pants, dried my regular pants as much as I could, then put my socks and shoes back on. After I put my sweater and jacket on I noticed that my good gloves had been stolen. Hopefully the homeless person had warm hands for a while. I then went back to finish the rental and did ride around the park for 20 minutes with no problems. After my ride I bought some Immodium and that calmed things down even more so I walked through Central Park for a few minutes then down to 42nd street. It led me to decide to head home early and I am now finishing my Thursday blog in Salem after two bike rides today.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thanksgiving, finally

I am finished for a week and that feels pretty good. My ear doesn’t hurt so that should not be a problem for the trip. I had two decent classes and I had two bike rides. Andrew is acting like a total asshole. I asked him to stop texting me but he can’t stop himself. He really needs help. What a bully he is and how one dimensional. I could shred him if I wanted but I have no desire to get in an endless battle like he has going on with Gyorgyi. I am watching the Louisville game and they are getting killed 31 to 0.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Responding to the Provost

It is Friday evening and I am calming down a little after talking to Gyorgyi and writing my email to the Provost. Dear Interim Provost Scartelli, I am very concerned about the email you sent out. It seems to be saying that we have to respect all opinions from our students: “As an institution not only of higher learning, but as a model of principle, ethics, and civil discourse, we have an opportunity to guide constructive dialog, express and listen to all opinions and ideas, and ultimately exemplify these core practices of truly educated individuals.” Do you mean that a student who makes fun of a physically handicapped person (like our president elect) or mocks a woman’s menstrual cycle (like our president elect) or questions the objectivity of an American judge because of his Mexican heritage (like our president elect), or calls women “pigs” (like our president elect), or maintains that if a man is a star he can grab a woman’s “pussy” and grope her (like our president elect), that this student has a right to speak out in class and be listened to. Wouldn’t that student be breaking many rules about student behavior? Wouldn’t I be breaking rules to allow such opinions to be expressed? Evil shouldn’t be debated; it should be fought against. Look what happened in Germany just before World War II. Sincerely, Dr. Justin Askins Professor of English I am still unable to look at news programs yet, and the sports channels are also discussing the election. I had a very good morning, doing half my exercises then using the snake to clear out my kitchen drain and putting everything back together (I had taken apart the trap but it wasn’t clogged). Then I took a hike down to the gate, and fixed the bed in the back of the truck, got both trays ready in my greenhouse, got rid of the old soaker hose and the two old trays, cleaned up the inside of the house, did another equalization of the batteries (7, 1270, 4, 1250, 1, 1235, very good indeed). I also cut some of the fallen trees by the tractor barn with the sawzall. Very good morning. At about 2 I left to play golf (47, 48), then went to Panda Express for an early dinner, took a nap, then went to Dick’s but the golf guy thought my grips were still good for at least another 6 months. I then headed to Tech for a 45 minute bike ride, and then off to Starbucks for tea and an egg and cheese English muffin. I forwarded my email to Gyorgyi, Kelly and my kayak friend.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

America makes a terrible choice

Wednesday has been a very hard day. Hillary Clinton lost to that awful Donald Trump and ruined my celebratory dinner with Gyorgyi (who is very upset as I am). I looked at apartments on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast and I contacted Gyorgyi and Kelly (who is also devastated). This is the worst I have ever felt after an election. I can’t take it in yet. Bad things are to come, very bad things.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

kayaking in november

Saturday was a very decent day, with golf and biking, a full morning workout and a hike in the morning. Sunday was also very productive. I got up around 6, did some playing, some exercising then took a nap before doing a wash and getting all my kayak gear in my truck and heading off to see my kayak friend. We had a wonderful trip and she was very funny. We chatted about preppers and the election and after the trip we went to subway for meatball subs. I then went to my office for a quick nap, then a bike ride by the Armstrong facility for 45 minutes. After that I drove to Panera to do my lumosity and my blog. The election has me worried but I am still hopeful Hillary will win. Kelly emailed me to wish me a belated birthday greeting and then left a phone message. I hope to talk to her during the week. Cathy got my birthday greetings call and I hope to talk to her soon.

Friday, November 4, 2016

New chainsaw battery and Dr. Strange

Friday has turned out very well. I slept until almost 6, which was very nice, and I did a full set of exercises, my weights and most of my yoga. My calf is still pretty good but not fully recovered. I am going kayaking with my kayak friend on Sunday so that should be fun. I purchased a new battery for my chain saw and trimmer. I also got Cathy’s gifts and went to see Dr. Strange, good but not great. I rode my bike for over 40 minutes and I had taken a hike in the morning so I got some good exercise. I did the Doodle survey and I am not sure I will fit in since I teach on Tuesday and Thursday at 4, the time most favored by the others. I had my dinner at Panera and I will keep working for a bit.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

the gutters are finally clean

Wednesday went very well. David got to the gate at 9:00 and his two assistants did the servicing while we chatted. I asked him if he would do the gutter cleaning and he was fine with it and the two guys got up on the roof and cleaned out the gutters in less than 20 minutes. I was going to give them each 40 dollars but David thought 20 each was enough. I headed in to pick up Maddie after doing a pretty short workout and it was fun to chat with her. I headed in to Radford to bike along the river for 40 minutes then I had my office hour and I went to the personnel meeting before teaching at 5. It was then time to head to Tech to ride my bike and then watch the first part of the final game of the World Series, eventually won by the Cubs in 10 innings 8 to 7. Thursday was a more relaxed morning even though I was up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night. I got up at 8:10 and did a full set of exercises and my full weights and most of my yoga. My calf was okay but I didn’t want to push it too far. I had practiced some of my pieces in the middle of the night and I got the garbage ready and the recycling ready. I drove in to town and my first class and then napped and then had my office hour (with my printer being fixed) and then taught my second class before heading off to play golf (47/47) and then a bike ride along the river before heading to Nagoya for dinner.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016


My Tuesday went pretty well. I got up early and did some work (laundry and most of my piano pieces) and then got back to bed and woke up at 9. Then I did my exercises (for both legs) and then my weights and most of the other exercises. I drove in and taught my first class (which went well and I showed the students my publications). I may just do the evaluations in that class. I took a nap after class and then headed to my office. Rob’s office called and told me that my anemia was worse (that might explain how tired I am) and that they are going to check the iron level. I got birthday wishes from several people but none from Kelly, which did hurt my feelings. Lou didn’t sign my birthday card but that is stupid of him, especially considering that I drive his daughter to Tech twice a week. What a petty move. My second class was good and then I headed off to play nine holes of golf (a 45 from the gold tees), followed by a 40 minute bike ride at Tech. With that done I headed to Macado’s for lumosity, blogging and dinner.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Biking and Hiking

Saturday turned out okay but I was pretty tired all day, with naps after almost any activity. Still, I took a short walk down to my favorite pine in the morning (I got up at almost 6 and didn’t take an OTC sleeping pill and I’m sure my bp is better. I did my partial exercises (still protecting my right calf) and did a wash, then practiced all my piano pieces, did some reading for Monday, then napped again then watched the Virginia / Louisville game (which Virginia led with less than 2 minutes left but eventually lost). I then was going to go biking at Merrimac but since it was still early, I decided to drive out to Eggleston but the river was very low and nary a nibble. I drove back to Tech, parked and napped, then rode my bike for 40 minutes in the parking lots. Now I headed for Macado’s for dinner and hopefully to watch some of the big games and some of the World Series. I did my lumosity training and I am doing my blog.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Blood work and a Flu Shot

Today was certainly a day I wasn’t looking forward to. I had to fast last night and not drink any water and I was worried I would be up at 3 in the morning but I got home after the Tech game and went to sleep at midnight and slept through the night, getting up at 7:15. I did my limited exercises and my upper weights and then showered and headed off to Rob’s office for blood work and a flu shot. I get there around 10, and since I took 1 and ½ five mg valliums, I was really calm. It wasn’t bad at all. I then drove over to Red Lobster for lunch with Claire and that was also a lot of fun catching up. Then I went to get my birthday surprise for my kayak friend. It looked even better up close and now it was time to go play nine holes of golf, shooting a 45 from the forward tees. I then met up with my kayak friend and gave her the surprise and she really liked it. We then had ice cream and chatted for an hour. Finally it was nap time and I had a really good nap before I rode my bike (the first time since I hurt my calf) for 35 minutes and headed to Macado’s in Blacksburg for dinner and the World Series.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Five more weeks left

Today despite my lack of sleep went pretty well. I did check my blood pressure and it was 174/78 which really hit me. I wonder if it is the otc sleep meds. I am going to cut down on salty snacks and bean burritos and see if eating healthy gets my bp down. I did my left leg exercises and my right calf felt even better and I practiced all my piano pieces. I did my upper body weights and then drove into town to teach my two classes. Both went well. I had good meetings with my students and took care of one advisee and scheduled another. I still haven’t heard from the gutter cleaning place so I may have to look further. I headed to Gillie’s for dinner with Gyorgyi and that was fun. We had a very good discussion about the environmental situation and the essay I want to try to work on. Then I took a 30 minute walk around the VT campus and headed for Macado’s for a side salad.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

A slow recovery

Another broken night of sleep, this time waking up at 2 and staying up till 3:30. I did some reading and when I got up at 8:30 I did part of my exercises, did a laundry, did my upper weights and did the dishes. My calf felt a little better and I am pretty sure I can go with my kayaking friend on Saturday. I drove in to Radford and got a nap before my office hour at 3. No one showed up for their appointments so I did some bill paying and organizing stuff and responding to emails. I did get some info from Robert Tuckwiller, a new river painter and I hope to buy one of his prints. My class was okay but quiet as usual. I did show them some of my publications since I will be evaluating that class. After class I drove to Merrimac and took a 25 minute walk and my calf felt okay. Now I am at Appleby’s watching the World Series with Chicago leading 1-0 in the first inning.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fishing at Walker

I did go see Deepwater Horizon and it was very good, not great, a pretty intense indictment of BP. My calf was really aching and it was hard to sleep. Tuesday morning I got up around 9 and both my legs hurt pretty bad, especially my calf. I did exercises that didn’t affect my calf and I did practice some of my songs. I also did my upper weights but no yoga because it would have hurt my calf. I got to class on time and both classes went pretty well and then I drove out to the bridge on Walker Creek and caught one fish, which was fun. I ended up at O’Charley’s for dinner and to watch the World Series but I had to talk to Amber to tell her that I needed people to leave me alone when I was working. I did my lumosity and I also did my blog. My kayak friend wants to go kayaking this weekend and I may go since I can rent a kayak and get a shuttle from Tangent.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Finally fixing the bed

I was pretty exhausted when I got home but I did watch the rest of the Cubs game, which they won 5-0. In the morning my right leg had a bad cramp in the calf and my left leg hurt but after doing the first part of my exercises, both felt better (that was the result of two days of no exercises, mainly because of the height of the bed). Now I had to tackle the bed problem and after cutting off two inches, then five, I ended up taking the legs off so all I had was the two by four frame covered with plywood. I put the mat and the two mattresses back on and it worked fine. I rearranged the back seat of the truck (putting the chain saw up there) and put the golf clubs up on the bed as they used to be, then finishing up with 3 boxes in the back, which means I will have to move only one when I want to take a nap. I may put back up the netting at some point. I was exhausted when I finished, around 11:30, and I took a long nap. When I got up I practiced all my piano pieces for the first time in a week, the did the rest of my exercises along with my weights and yoga. I then headed to Merrimac to ride my bike on an even surface for 40 minutes and my legs felt okay. Time for some work so I headed to the University Mall Starbucks and did my lumosity and my blog. I may end up going to a movie later.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

back from Chincoteague

I had a tough time sleeping with a steady, hammering rain most of the night. Finally it stopped and I was able to sleep for a few hours. I got up around 7:30 0and felt good enough to have a breakfast burrito and a coffee then go for a double loop ride and a quick visit to the beach. I then decided to leave and I was able to call the motel but they couldn’t give me a refund (72 hour limit) so I lost 120 dollars. I started driving and stopped for a fried flounder sandwich, then drove some more and stopped for a nap just after the bay bridge. I had no intention of making it back tonight so I stopped at Royal New Kent and played pretty bad partly because it was crowded and windy. My phone wouldn’t recharge and that threw me off but I kept driving because I wanted to beat the UVA game traffic and I got to exit 181 before dark. My ankle was swollen so I iced it and I decided to drive on the Salem and watch some of the Cubs / Dodgers game. I got to Applebee’s and had a half rack of ribs and salad and string beans and did my lumosity and my blog. The Cubs are winning 3-0 so I am pretty happy.

Friday, October 21, 2016


It is Friday night and I am sitting in the McDonald’s in Chincoteague. It has been a good trip so far, very little traffic and I got into Charlottesville to watch the Tech game at Fly’s Spring Station. The food was excellent and Tech won easily over Miami so they should be back in the top 25. I slept at the KOA about 10 miles outside of town and that was okay. I didn’t sleep well but eventually I dropped off around 4 and slept to 7:30. It was time to head off toward Chicoteague so I began my drive, figuring I would drive straight through but as I approached Richmond, I decided to head to Tredegar and ride my bike on Belle Isle. It was very pretty and the water was very low (probably class 2, 2+). I drove along the canal also and that was fun. After that I drove for an hour, took a nap and then headed for the bay bridge and it was a lovely ride across. I was thinking of playing golf at Bay Creek after lunch at the Oyster Farm (decent grilled oysters but a really nice salad and a terrific clam chowder). But when I called Bay Creek they were still crowded so I drove on to Chincoteague, where I caught a quick nap and then drove around the loop road, stopping on the second time to visit the ocean, which was pretty turbulent. After that I headed to Tom’s Cove campground, checked in and then got a wonderful shower. It was time to do some work so I headed to the wifi at McDonald’s and did my lumosity and my blog.

Monday, October 17, 2016

New Computer

An okay day, though not much sleep the night before. I got up about 3:30, took an otc sleeping pill, then got back to bed around 4:30. I got up with the alarm at 8:30, did my exercises, then my weights and yoga. I headed in to get Maddie and had a nice chat with Maddie. She was surprised that Claire had not thanked me for my recommendation. I then drove to RU, took a quick nap then trained and got my new computer. That worked fairly well and then I was able to set everything up in my office with Holly’s help. There is a problem with the internet but it shouldn’t be too hard to fix. I headed off to Bburg to ride my bike for 50 minutes, then to Macado’s to have some soup and salad and do my lumosity and my blog.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Kayaking again

A very decent day, highlighted by the kayak trip with my kayak friend. It was a lovely day with the colors in the leaves really starting and not too hot. Our conversations were very comfortable and relaxing. I was tired at the end and went to take a nap in the back of my truck. After that I went bike riding at Merrimac for 50 minutes, then headed to O’Charley’s to finish grading my midterms and to get more of the reading done for tomorrow since I have to pick up Maddie early and I have to go to the new computer training session at 2, then teach at 5. I was able to do a wash this morning and my exercises, along with the weights and yoga.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

A visit to Paint Bank

Another tough night of broken sleep. I got up around 3:30 and with the help of an OTC sleeping pill finally got back to bed around 5. I arose at about 8:30 and though I had planned to do an overnight trip to the Monogahela National Forest, my day didn’t go as planned. I did some of my exercises, packed my traveling bag and headed out around 10:30. I got an email from Kate about kayaking tomorrow and I emailed her back that tomorrow would work fine. Now I knew I wasn’t going overnight so I wandered up 311 to Paint Bank, stopped at pullout just outside of New Castle and caught a chub and a small bass. Lovely spot and I should go back. I took a nap in the back of my truck in Paint Bank and then drove up 18 to Covington without finding a really good spot to fish and so I drove on to the Tap Room restaurant about 10 miles from 81 to watch the Tech game. Tech didn’t look very good and I left at the half and had dessert at Mac and Bob’s and watched the second half, which got close but then Syracuse beat them pretty badly. Then it was bike riding time, 50 full minutes at Roanoke College and some shrimp wonton stir fry at Appleby’s. I did check the crawl space (78% humidity) and I checked my records and I am going to put off any work until April (the humidity goes way down in the winter) and by then I will have started social security.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Big Unexpected Expenses

Well, it was a decent Friday with some financial concerns. I found out yesterday that the replacing of the insulation (taking the old stuff out and putting in new stuff), if I do it with Dodson, will cost 2200, a lot more than I thought. Today I found out that the automatic venting system will cost at least 2400 and that doesn’t involve a dehumidifier. I am going to have Brandon and a guy who knows the system better out on Thursday morning so I will have a better idea. I wonder if they will guarantee that the humidity will go down a certain percentage. If not it will be very expensive with no guarantee. Not sure what to do right now. I had lunch with Claire Hall and she threw me a curve when she said that luke and her are putting the house search off for a bit and are going to try to pay off their student loans. I didn’t say anything at lunch or during our walk after but I did call her later and she made it clear that my wedding gift will going in the house fund, which made me feel better. I did a good recommendation for Claire Gallo and I hope she emails me a thank you at least. Maddie took the GRE again and did about the same but at least she is done with math forever. I will see her on Monday when I drive her to Tech for class. I did my exercises this morning and my weights and yoga and after my lunch with Claire I went to play golf and shot the worst 49 I have even shot. I was awful but I kept hitting a few decent shots and I got my 49 on a pretty long final putt. Then I went to pick up a humidifier and my meds, then a good nap in the back of my truck, then off to Tech for a 50 minute bike ride all around campus. I then headed to the University Mall Starbucks to grade midterms and do my lumosity training and my blog.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016


I gave the first part of the midterm on Monday to my class at 5. I think it was slightly harder than the ones I gave today so I will grade it a little easier. Some of the students did pretty poorly in not even finishing a question and a half. Some students finished both questions during the time period so I know a question and a half was possible. I did my exercises this morning and even got a little piano in, along with the weights and yoga. I rode my bike after work for almost 50 minutes then had dinner at China Inn before going for another ride at Tech for 30 minutes. My butt hurts a bit as do my knees. I went to Macado’s to watch some baseball and get some ice cream. I also did my lumosity training and my blog.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Claire's wedding

Yesterday I got on the road around 5:30, having slept about an hour all night. I drove for about two hours then stopped for a nap, then drove on through the rain toward Asheville. Just coming into town, the rain stopped and the blue sky appeared and I was able to ride my bike for 35 minutes at the local community college. Then I headed to the Highland Lake Inn for the wedding, which was by the water and went very well even though it looked like the weather might change at any moment. I was going to drive some and get a room, but instead I stopped in Weaverville and watched the third quarter of VT trouncing NC. I called to set up a room in Johnson City but there were not rooms left in town so I just drove until it got dark and stopped for a nap at a Perkins in Johnson City. I then drove on until Wytheville where I stopped for a snack and then drove home in time to watch the end of the Miami/Florida State game which ended with Florida State blocking the point after to win by a point. I slept until almost ten and drove down to call Rob and he wanted to take a walk so I went back to the house, did some of my exercises, then headed in to walk. We had a very good chat and the day was lovely, cool and sunny. After my walk, I took a nap in the back of my truck (that is easier now) and then went biking at Merrimac before heading over to The Meadows to maul a few golf balls for an hour. I was awful and I really didn’t enjoy it that much. I am going to clean my club handles and if that doesn’t work I will have new grips put on. After golf I headed to O’Charley’s for dinner and watching the Cincinnati/Dallas game which has Dallas up 21 to 0.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Week Six is Over

Friday turned out quite well, even though it rained most of the day. I didn’t sleep well so I ended up taking an OTC sleeping pill at about 3. I finally woke up about 9 and then did my exercises, practiced, did a laundry, cleaned out the truck a bit since I won’t be going with my kayak friend on Sunday, and headed off to Toyota. There were problems with my tire warranty but after an hour of talking to my salesman Anthony and the service people, they fixed the tire for free and ordered me a new one. I was able to respond to my kayak friend, finish my last midterm, and finish all my grading. I then drove home for a nap and then finished my yoga and weights and my other exercises. I drove back into town for a visit to Lowes to check out how the screen in the storm door can be replaced and then I headed to Panera for soup and salad.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

A Good Chat with Maddie

Wednesday was a good day. I slept till 5 so I didn’t take a sleeping pill. I did my exercises, practiced piano, did my weights and yoga and got a nap in before heading off to pick up Maddie. I had a very nice chat with her and she is rewriting her paper a little and will take the GREs for the second time on Friday. I was able to pick up my meds and take a 35 minute bike ride before I headed to my office to work on my midterms and some other stuff. I showed the Gatsby movie in class and they seemed to like it. After class I went for another long bike ride and then headed to O’Charley’s for planked salmon. I got to walk with Rob yesterday and that was fun. He has a lot on his plate.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Busy day

Monday turned out pretty well. I didn’t sleep well but that’s the norm these days. I finally got up around 9:30 and did my exercises, washed the dishes, did a laundry, did my weights and yoga, and all of my practicing. I left around 12:20 and despite a slow train in cambria, I picked up Maddie only a few minutes late. She is doing well and I may take a look at her paper again (she has edited for the conference). I gave her my advice for presenting it: speak slowly, speak loudly, and observe punctuation. I stopped at the Artful Lawyer Gallery to see Lauren’s work (quite impressive) then changed my office hours and went to play nine holes of golf (45,44) and then took a nap in my truck before teaching a good class at 5. After my office hour I drove to Tech and rode my bike for 40 minutes then headed to Macado’s to watch the Giants game and eat fish tacos and salad. I called Lauren to see about buying one of her paintings or commissioning her for a piece.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Meeting Claire's Sister and Lauren Brooks

Friday was a decent day, with Raymond coming to work on the vent free heater and then I headed out to meet Claire for an early lunch at Next Door Bakery, which was a lot of fun. We took a nice walk after lunch. I drove back home and did my exercises and watched the Ryder Cup. I did my weights and yoga and some piano playing and finally headed into town around 6 and rode my bike at tech for 40 minutes, then went for dinner at India Gardens, where I ran into Claire and Luke and her sister Robby and her unfriendly friend David. I saw that Leslie Brooks was there and she came over and that made me slightly uncomfortable but then she said she wanted to go get Lauren, her daughter whom I liked very much so that ended up being fun. Lauren is at Blacksburg High School and planning on going to Hollins. Leslie showed me some of her art and it was impressive. I am going to try to see her exhibit at the Artful Lawyer gallery on Monday. I would like to give Lauren something for her graduation but dealing with Leslie might be too much. I didn’t sleep well on Friday night, so after an OTC sleeping aid I finally got to sleep around 4 and slept till almost 9. I did my exercises, my weights and yoga, my practicing, and watched a lot of the Ryder Cup. Around 3:30 I left for golf and played extremely well on the first four holes then ended up with a 6 and an 8 on number 14 but I still ended up with a 47 and a 46. After that I had dinner at Macados in Radford, watching the Michigan victory over Wisconsin and the end of the Ryder Cup matches (with the US leading 9 and ½ to 6 and ½. Then I headed for Tech to ride my bike for almost 50 minutes and talked to Dave for a long time and I think I helped him out some. Now I am watching the big showdown between Louisville and Clemson, with Clemson ahead just before the half 21-10.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

a wild and fun class

Today, Tuesday, was a good day. I did my exercises, weights and yoga, practiced all my piano pieces, and went down to help Eric with cutting the one tree that is threatening to fall. He and his partner did almost all the work and he refused to take any money. I will get him a couple of cases of Bud Light. I drove into Radford, and my first class went well, although my second class was pretty wild and a lot of fun. I then headed off to play golf and shot a 46/47 and it was lovely weather. I then drove to Greens for sushi, and lumosity and my blog. I am going to ride my bike when I finish here. I am all ready to start collecting social security, but my first check will probably be in March, which is okay.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Kayaking and the beginning of week 5

Yesterday was a good day. I did my exercises in the morning then headed off to meet my kayak friend for another trip, the fourth in the last four weeks. It was a very good trip full of humor and conversation even though the water was pretty low. I stayed in my inflatable the whole time and my friend did very well in her Ocean Kayak, hitting the waves in the rapids very well. After our trip we went and had meatball heros at Subway and chatted some more. After that I took a nap in my office and then went for a bike ride. Then I decided to apply for social security and I was able to do it successfully. I realized that the 41500 figure (half my salary) was not going to work (the figure will be closer to 52000). I thought I would lose half my benefits over 41500, so that didn’t help my sleep. Monday was decent. I didn’t sleep well, mainly because of my social security worries, but I took an OTC sleeping pill and got back to bed around 4. I woke around 8 and did my exercises, my weights and yoga, playing most of my piano pieces, got the kayaking stuff out and drying and then headed to pick up Maddie. She was doing fine, as were Claire and Cathy, so that was good news. I drove back to my office for a quick nap, since the weather was pretty iffy. I found out that I will only lose 1/3 of my benefits over 41500 so that is a big plus. Then I taught my class but they seemed so sluggish. It was hard to get them to respond to anything. The weather was still pretty bad so I decided to drive over to Tech to ride inside but I wasn’t feeling up to it so I just stopped at O’Charley’s for cedar plank salmon. I did my lumosity and my blog.

Friday, September 23, 2016

My Knee Passed with Flying Colors

Friday turned out pretty well. I am still having some stomach problems but I feel like things are tightening up and that feels good. I did my exercises and some piano in the morning then headed in to meet Claire for lunch at Red Lobster. I was fun to catch up and her wedding is in two weeks. Luke and she are looking at property, houses and perhaps a modular home. I may see her next Friday. I then went over to see Matt at Dr. Gardner’s and he said the x-rays were fine and that I looked great and that I didn’t have to return. He did suggest taking the antibiotic in December when I go to the dentist. Then I drove back home and waited for Eric and his girlfriend and when they got there I showed them my Geological Survey map and then I drove down with him to look at the trees. He said the only one that really needs to be cut is the one next to the tree he cut awhile back. I looked over the Pedlar Hills and showed him where my boundary is and I think I convinced him that he could make it into the side hollow if he wanted to. I told him to come up whenever if he wanted to walk up the side hollow. I took a nap, then got up and did my weights and yoga and the rest of my piano. Then I watched some golf and headed in for a 40 minute bike ride at Merrimac. Then it was time for shrimp fajitas at El Grande Rodeo and then tea and a bagel at Panera, where I did my lumosity and my blog.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Fourth Week Done

It is Thursday evening and I am done for the week. My fourth week is finished. I had a good day, starting with my exercises, playing some piano, weights and yoga, then driving to Radford for my 12:30 class. That went pretty well and so did my 3:30 class, then it was off for nine holes of golf (46/47) and then dinner at Olive Garden, then a nap, then a 40 minute bike ride, then off to Macado’s for football, lumosity training and my blog. I may be going kayaking with my kayak friend if she can get enough work done by Sunday. Another ten days and I will be signing up for Social Security and that will be nice. 2K a month for the rest of my life. I won’t start collecting my other retirement money until January 2019 at the earliest.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Classes going well

It is Wednesday and things are going well. I dried out my kayak this morning, took a walk down to my favorite white pine, did my exercises, played all my piano pieces, did my weights and yoga, washed the dishes and did a load of wash. I got so much done because Maddie didn’t need a ride this morning. I have given up on my fall garden. It’s getting late and I still need to get some soil without seeds in it. I then drove to RU and got some work done on my 5 o’clock class, got most of my book orders for the spring done, and got a decent nap in at 4. My class went very well and the students were pretty talkative. After class I went for a 35 minute bike ride because my knee hurt some and then I drove to Blacksburg to eat at Greens and to go see CafĂ© Society at 9:15 at the Lyric.

Monday, September 19, 2016

More Kayaking

Sunday was a very good day. I got up early and had to head off pretty quickly to go kayaking with my kayak friend. She arrived at 10 at the 114 bridge and we were off by 10:45 from Dudley’s Landing. About 2/3 of the way down we switched boats and she did very well through the rapids and even better surfing in the last set of waves. I was able to do a little surfing with her small Ocean Kayak. We went over to Cook-Out for some food and continued our chatting. Great fun. Then I went biking and ended up watching a little of the Green Bay / Minnesota game at O’Charley’s. Monday was a bit quick in the morning since I had to meet Maddie at 10:45, a lot earlier than I was used to. I did my exercises and my weights and yoga and then it was time to leave. After dropping Maddie off, I went to my office for a nap and then went biking for 40 minutes, then off to my office hours, where I did some work on the rhetoric questions for 200 and 203. I had a pretty good class but only a few speak up and I think I really need to do groups in that one. I went riding again and just beat a pretty severe storm. I got to talk to Cathy Gallo for a bit and she is fine and Claire is looking for a part time job. Cathy doesn’t think she is ready for an apartment but she does think a course in the spring might be good for Claire. I resolved my situation with Rosemary and I just wish her well in dealing with the graduate stuff. I am hoping to see Claire Hall on Friday and chatted with her some today. Her wedding is on the 8th. My money from AXA came through so I will be able to pay all my bills, hopefully until December.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

busy day but pretty productive

Wednesday was a fine day if a less than fine night. I woke at 1:30 and took an otc sleeping aid then slept until eight, did my exercises, watered the green house, dried out my kayak, did my weights and yoga, practiced almost all my pieces on piano. Then I drove to the bank to pay off my overdraft (which I didn’t even know happened), then picked up Maddie and drove her to Tech. Things are pretty much the same at home. I drove toward my office, then stopped at the River to bike for almost 40 minutes. I got to my office and did some grading, then napped, then went and taught. After that I drove to Tech to ride my bike for 30 minutes and then to Macado’s for tea and ice cream.

Monday, September 12, 2016

a couple of good days

On Sunday my kayak friend and I had a lovely trip. The weather was perfect and we saw lots of flowers and birds. I finally got her to use my kayak and she loved it. She went right up into a rapid and surfed for the first time. We went over to Cook-Out to eat and that was also a lot of fun. My thigh was not a problem and I was able to go biking for 25 minutes and then go see Sully, which was very powerful and well worth seeing. Today I did my exercises, replanted my lettuce tray since the first seeding didn’t come up, did my yoga and weights and prepped for class. I then drove into Radford and drove Maddie to Tech. It was nice to chat with her. I will see her again on Wednesday. The personnel meeting went pretty well and then my class was okay if a little slow. Even though there are only ten people in it, I may break it up into groups. After class I took a nap, then made coffee and went for a 35 minute bike ride. Then it was off to O’Charley’s and cedar plank salmon and pie.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

re-injured my thigh

Saturday has been a good day with a possibly bad ending. I got up early and got the kayak in my truck (my knee felt fine) and then I did a set of exercises, some cleaning up, fixed the bike rack and greased the kickstand. I napped, did a second set of exercises, did my weights and yoga, practiced all my piano pieces, and then headed off. I got a good response from Gabes and offered to visit at Thanksgiving but they are not going to be around so I will probably head south, perhaps to Atlanta. I stopped to chat with Dougie and Angie and it was nice to chat with them both. Then it was off to Auburn Hills to play golf and I played pretty well 48/47 from the red tees. I headed to my office for a nap and I was going to go bike riding before the Tech game but my thigh felt bad (like up in the Big Horns) so I drove over to Macados in Bburg to do my lumosity training and my blog and to watch the Tech game. I hope my thigh will be okay tomorrow for my kayak trip. If it is hurting I may rent a kayak again to make it easier.

Friday, September 9, 2016

A good Friday

Friday turned into a pretty productive day all considered. I couldn’t sleep so I had to take an OTC sleeping pill at 4 and finally got back to sleep around 5:30. I did my exercises, watered my greenhouse tray (which has seedlings coming up), weights and yoga, got the kayak ready for Sunday (although something seems to be gnawing at something up in the cabin but the kayak was still inflated so it seems okay), then headed for lunch with Claire Hall. We ate at Nagoya’s and talked a lot about her buying a house with Luke. I showed her my office then I applied successfully for my free 30 year parking permit, went over to the Tech Help Desk and backed up my computer, and emailed my problem student (I am accepting her apology for lying to me and we will see how she does). I then drove over to East Coasters and got my bike fixed. Ian took off the chain guard and tightened and oiled the chain. Then I headed off to Walker Creek then over to Eggleston, where I caught one small blue gill. Then I went bike riding at Tech and had salad and soup at Panera and did my lumosity training and my blog.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

End of my Second Week of Teaching

The last two days, Wednesday and Thursday, have been busy but they went well. On Wednesday morning, I did my yoga and weights, my exercises, and some practicing piano. Then I drove in to pick up Maddie and found out the news about Claire. Maddie was doing well and I was glad to see her. Later, I taught a good class and then went for a bike ride and dinner at O’Charley’s. Thursday was also a decent day. I slept until 6 and got up and stained the porch which took less than an hour. Nothing much to do right now but I well trim the road and plant a second planter as soon as the seeds from the first one sprout. I did my exercises, weights and yoga and I practiced most of my piano pieces. I drove in and taught a good first class, then taught a second good class before heading off to play golf 44/43 (with some holes from the white tees). I talked to Cathy and things are a little better. My kayak friend emailed me and we are going kayaking on Sunday. I am going to use my boat for the first time since the surgery. I then went for dinner at the Mexican restaurant and then rode my bike for 30 minutes at the Huckleberry trail at Merrimac. Now I am watching the Broncos/Colts game at Macado’s after having done my lumosity training and my blog.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

a wonderful kayak trip

Well, another trip with my kayak friend and this one was exceptional. The temperature was just right, around 80. The sky was a lovely blue with occasional white and puffy clouds. The trees seemed incredibly clear and beautiful. We paddled very slowly and chatted as we usually do and when we finished we went for some food at Cook Out. Earlier I did my exercises and some weights. I also replanted my lettuce tray after something got in. It must have been pretty big since it tore the screen and I found it on the outside of the greenhouse. I can’t imagine a raccoon or even a squirrel going after such small seeds but I doubt it was a mouse or a vole. I also started the generator so now that should be good for another month or so. After a nap in my office I drove to the Huckleberry off Merrimac and rode my bike for 40 minutes. Then I went to O’Charley’s for the ND/Texas game. It’s a close game so I am going to watch at least some of the second half. I did my lumosity training and read more chapters of The Awakening. I also did my blog and I will grade a few more writing samples

Friday, September 2, 2016

lunch with Claire

This Friday turned out pretty well. I got up around 5 and couldn’t go back to sleep and it was too wet to cut the grass so I took an otc sleeping pill and finally got back to sleep, waking up around 9:30. I did a mixed set of exercises, then got ready to go have lunch with Claire. It was fun to catch up with all her plans and after lunch at the Next Door Bakery, we took a nice walk on the Tech campus. I then rode my bike on campus for almost 40 minutes then headed home to take a nap and do a second set of exercises and my weights and yoga. I headed into Bburg around 7:45 and rode my bike over in one of the Perry street lots for 30 minutes. Then it was over to O’Charley’s for cherry pie and milk. I emailed Rosemary about taking an unpaid leave next fall and she is going to find out the rules and we will discuss it next week. I can retire in June if I want to but taking the fall off and working another semester or two would be better. If I take the fall off I will have a nine month break, then teach the spring semester, then have the summer off, then teach one last semester in the fall.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

first week of classes is over

Not a bad Thursday. I got up pretty early and did a mix of old exercises and the new ones I got yesterday. I iced my knee and then got ready to head up to the Social Security agency in Roanoke. Registering for Medicare was pretty easy but I got some interesting news, I could retire in the spring and start collecting Social Security in January with no loss of benefits. That is somewhat tempting but if I do it I will lose 1200 clear a year. In twenty years that would be 24K, a lot of money but I wouldn’t have to teach next fall. I am definitely thinking about it but I am not sure right now. After SS I drove up to my first class and that went pretty well and then a quick nap then office hours and my second class was also pretty good and there were fewer students than the first class. I then drove to the meadows and played 9 holes (43) from the gold. I have been playing very well as of late. Then it was time for dinner at Greens, and biking at Tech for almost 40 minutes. A long but pretty good day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

done with therapy for now

I woke up early and did my first set of exercises, then cleaned up a bit then went back to sleep. When I got back up I did my weights and yoga, a load of wash and then I headed into town. I stopped and rode my bike for thirty minutes on the huckleberry near Merrimac, then I went and got all my supplies at Walmart, then had a nice lunch at Applebees before heading off to Total Motion. Dan worked me pretty hard but I had a lot more flexibility when I was done. He said I don’t have to come back until after I see Gardner. I had mixed feelings about that since I work harder with him than at home but it is a good sign that I don’t need another appointment right now. I drove into Radford and taught my 5 O’clock class (which went very well) and then took a nap and had dinner at Pizza Inn before heading to Tech for the second thirty minute ride. With that done I drove to Starbucks for coffee and an oatmeal raisin cookie.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

second day of classes

My second day of teaching went pretty well although I have one big class that I hope won’t be hard to control. I have one student already from that class who might cause my some difficulty. I shall see. In the morning I did two sets of exercises, played half my piano tunes, and did my weights and yoga. Earlier I had taken a walk down to the big white pine but I never got there because half way down I ran into a fairly large black bear. I was of course startled and I said loudly, Hey, Hey and the bear ran off. It was very exciting. After teaching my second class, I went to play golf and shot a 44/41 (with a 7) so it was a very good day. I went to Bull and Bones for a half rack of ribs which were very good and then I took a quick nap and rode my bike for 30 minutes. The it was time for ice cream and coffee at Macados.

Monday, August 29, 2016

First day of class

Today, Monday, was my first day of classes and the one class I taught went well once it got going. I don’t think the students had really looked at the outline and the rules but I went through them carefully and I felt more comfortable as class progressed. It is a pretty small class (around 14) and that means a circle so that should keep students in line. Disruptive students can really mess up a class. My real work will start next week when the readings and journals start. I delivered my present to my kayaking friend and we are playing to go on Sunday. I am really looking forward to it. I saw Maddie and she was doing well. She said Cathy was sick again so I called her and left a message. I talked to Rob about sending Raechel a supportive email but he didn’t think it was going to do any good so I asked him just to wish her well for me. I did one and a half sets of exercises in the morning and my weights and yoga and after teaching I went for a 40 minute bike ride along the river. Very nice.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I didn’t sleep well on Saturday night, so I ended up taking an otc sleeping pill and finally got back to sleep around 4. I got up at 8:30 and then went to breakfast and did my weights. I headed off to walk around the Fourth Ward, which was very nice, and then I went biking off of Mallard Creek Road. The front of my bike was making a lot of noise and when I got back to the truck I was able to find the problem, the front wheel had loosened up and after tightening the nut, all was well. After that I took a nap, then drove to Cedarbrook golf course near Elkin and had a lot of fun, shooting 46/44, the best I have ever done there. I got a message from Rob as I was finishing up and we agreed to have a walk at 6:15 and we did. I emailed my kayak friend and she is fine and we may go kayaking next weekend. I also heard from Claire and we are planning to get together on Friday and I am supposed to take Maddie and Claire to dinner and Kubo on Saturday. I did my lumosity training and my blog after a salad at Panera.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

a return to Charlotte

I slept pretty well, considering I got in about 12:30 from Kubo. I took a walk just past dawn down to my pine tree for the first time in a couple of weeks. Then I did my first set of exercises, went back to sleep for an hour, then decided to head down to Charlotte for the night. I stopped at the Foster’s Falls to ride my bike for a half hour, then drove through a lot of unpredicted rain to get to Charlotte around 5. I took a nap, rode the stationary bike for twenty minutes, did my weights and then headed out to downtown Charlotte and had a wonderful meal at Capitol Grill. The filet was very good, the brussel sprouts were amazing as were the crab and lobster cakes. I walked around a little then headed to the Wingate where I walked some more and did my lumosity and my blog.

Friday, August 26, 2016

the last days before a return to teaching

I had a very good Friday, starting with trimming all the weeds around the house, staining the railing, and installing the light in the back of the camper. Then it was time for my first set of exercises, then piano, weights and yoga, a nap, then a second set of exercises and 25 minutes of biking. I headed out to play golf around 3 and I played very well (42/46) even though my knee felt loose a couple of times. However, after I began walking very carefully on the course, there was no problem. After that I headed out to Big Stony and then drove out to the Potts Valley, stopping to ride my bike for 30 minutes. I do think my knee has recovered and that is really good news. I got the gift card for Dan and I ate at Panera, where I did my lumosity training and my blog.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

A Pretty Rough Day

Today was not a great day. I hurt my knee pretty bad a couple of days ago moving boxes then playing golf and today it still was pretty sensitive even though I did one set of exercises in the morning. I did my piano playing but didn’t do the bike or weights or yoga. I drove in and picked up Maddie and had a good chat with her. I know she appreciates the rides and I enjoy talking with her. I did very little walking then drove home to rest and clean up a few more things including changing the hours on my office hours. Then I checked my blood pressure and it was way up (the lowest figure was in the 170s). I took my morning meds because I wasn’t sure I had this morning and then I drove into town to check my blood pressure and it was better (the low was 160 and 84). The pharmacist didn’t think it was too much of a concern but it did scare me. After that I drove to Panera for dinner and my lumosity training and sending my outlines and rules out. I iced my knee and I am going to go shopping when I leave. I think I cheered up my kayak friend with a very funny email.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Visiting with the Voroses

I got a lot done in the last two days, Saturday and Sunday, and I am ready for a big Monday, including the move in at 10 and driving Maddie to Tech at 1. The washing machine was delivered and I have already done one wash with it and no smell to my clothing so the problem is solved. I got a three year warranty with it so that should be enough. I finished paining the radiators in the bath room and they look very fine. I have my truck almost completely loaded with stuff for tomorrow and I did a little more dusting and cleaning around the house. I checked the solar batteries (they were fine and #6 was at 1245, which is fine. I also put the hose on for the air conditioner and that will help the porch. Once I get all my stuff moved into my new office then I will try to finish cleaning up the extra bedroom. The most fun of the last three days was the visit of Laura and her parents. I have a lot of fun with her and she appreciates my humor and has a lot of fun making fun of me, which doesn’t bother me in the least. I am hoping to see her and her parents at Thanksgiving. I was able to ride my bike after visiting Gyorgyi and I then went to dinner and had a very good dinner of shrimp and scallops. Now I am having dessert and coffee at O’Charley’s which I did my lumosity training and my blog. My foot condition has cleared up and my butt irritation is almost completely gone but I am going to limit my riding for a few more days. Life is pretty good right now.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

A very solid Thursday

Thursday turned out to be a very good day. I did one set of exercises, played my piano, weights and yoga, 20 minutes of stationary biking and then showered and headed for my therapy session with Dan. That went well and I signed a copy of my Neversink book for Dan. I was going to give him a copy once I finally moved into my new office and I still will when the move occurs. I then went to play golf and played very well from the gold tees (43/45). Then it was time for a walk with Rob and we had a very good time catching up and I walked the full trail again. I then drove to Lowes and ordered my new washer and got the stuff for painting the radiators in the bathroom. Then it was time for O’Charley’s and lumosity and my blog. No word on the move into the new building so I guess it will be Monday at the earliest.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Finally a Tech Memorial poem

c I decided to go see Pete’s Dragon and it was a decent film, certainly not a great flick. After that, still having some energy, I picked up a cigar and some coffee and headed for the Tech Memorial to see if I could get a poem going and I did. It was a good one, I think, and I mailed it to my kayak friend : "Better safe than sorry," You wrote. Simply and sincerely And absolutely right. It is 12:30 AM and I am parked Right next to the Tech memorial, A place I like to sit by With a rare cigar And a cup of coffee, Listening to Adele's "Hello" And other songs, and I think Of the 32. I wonder If they thought about safety That morning. There were no rapids To paddle through, just mad Lead coming right at them In a few short hours. No, One was thinking of a few Buds After class, or a single kiss From someone just met, Or if the class was getting What was being taught. No Safety was there. They all exist Only in the fading thoughts of others, in their soft tears, and in the certainty of carved names in Hokie stone. It was very comforting to finish this poem, versions of which I have worked on a number of times. I got home at almost 2 and then watched some TV before dropping off. I woke early, went for a hike down to the big pine, went back and dropped off to sleep, waking around 11. I did my exercises, played piano, weights and yoga, then did a second set of exercises before showering and heading off for golf. I shot very well from the red tees (44/46) and talked to Rob a bit (his trip to Chicago with Noah was a big success) and then talked to Gloria and she is doing fine. I may get together with Claire on Friday but that depends on Gyorgyi. After a Sonic snack, I took a quick nap and then headed for Panera to have coffee and dessert and do my Lumosity and my blog. I am going to walk now and then maybe walk again later. My butt injury feels better and I may try biking tomorrow.

Monday, August 15, 2016

another day at home

I didn’t sleep that well and ended up taking an otc sleeping pill at about 5 and then when I woke up, it was almost 11, which is quite amazing. I will have to see Rob about how sleepy I am, especially now that the rouse is much cooler, around 74. At 5 I decided to put some stuff I wasn’t going to use (the seat for the bath tub, which I didn’t need, but may need if I have to have my other knee done, and some boxes and my walker). When I woke up at 11 I did one set of exercises, practiced my piano, did my weights and yoga, did another set of exercises, used the bleach in the washing machine but it didn’t do much good, and changed my bed linen. After showering, I drove into town, calling Toyota and the service guy telling me to drop by so they can reset the warning stuff. When I got in I put the shirts in the laundry and went to eat at China Inn. The shirts smelled fine so it seems to be either the machine or the water. More investigation will be needed. After I put the clothes in the dryer, I went for a 25 minute walk (I have a rash or an abrasion on my butt so I put some cortisone 10 on it and it is feeling better). No bike riding today or probably tomorrow. I will go for another walk and I may go see Pete’s dragon. My outlines and rules are all finished and Rosemary’s last email mentioned that it would be after Thursday when we might get in to our new offices. Still no desire to travel yet. I guess staying home isn’t too bad.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

another good day in the hollow

Another good day staying at home in my air conditioned house until the late afternoon. I treated the washing machine again and I will get some bleach to try to make it even better. I did two full sets of exercises, played all my piano songs, did my weights and yoga, and napped a couple of times. I also did some more cleaning and the house really looks good for a change. I had a wonderful time at dinner with Cathy yesterday and we talked for almost 4 hours. After leaving Cathy, I rode my bike for a half hour at Radford and that was fun. I talked to Gyorgyi today and she is too busy to have dinner right now but her brother Andrew is coming down with Sylvia and Laura. I am looking forward to seeing all of them especially Laura. I rode my bike at Tech this afternoon for over 40 minutes and I intend to ride one more time later. I am not sure if I should drive to Charlotte for a couple of days but I certainly don’t have a great need to do so. I am also surprised that I haven’t wanted to go fishing since I got back. I would have thought about golf today but I am going to rest my back another day.

Friday, August 12, 2016

back in gear

I woke up pretty early on Friday and went out to trim around the house so I will be ready to cut the grass when I need to. I then did my exercises, my piano playing, my weights and yoga, a little straightening up and then I did a quick treatment of the washing machine, brushing away some of the residue buildup on the outside and treating it with a cup of vinegar. I will do it better tonight with more time and more vinegar. I drove in for lunch with Claire at Red Lobster and had a very nice chat with her and then a decent walk. After that it was time for Dan and it was a decent time. I was down to 3 degrees so I was very happy about that. After Dan I took a quick nap, then played nine holes at the meadows, shooting a 48 from the reds, even though I started with 2 6s and had 2 7s later on (I put two balls in the water on the seventh hole, one where I often get a par). It was still fun even though it was very hot. I took another quick nap and then headed to Mill Mountain to finish my rules and outlines and do my lumosity training. Then it was time for a 40 minute bike ride at tech and off to Macado’s for dinner. Good to be home and getting back into my exercises and my piano. I am still considering a quick trip somewhere but I still am not sure where. The beach isn’t really my place and the mountains nearby are not too compelling.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back Home and Settling in

I got up Thursday morning at about 5 and decided to get to work clearing out the truck and starting to put things away. I got everything inside and filled up the low tires then did my exercises, did my yoga and weights, practiced most of my songs (for the first time in over two weeks), and did a laundry. There was a nap in there at some point and after watching some Olympic golf, I headed into town to get my bike fixed. Ian and company worked on it quite a bit and after a few final adjustments it was riding fine. I went for a half hour ride on the Huckleberry at Merrimac, then headed to Walmart to pick up some supplies, then it was off to Greens for a nice sushi dinner and my lumosity training, finishing the rules for the 2 sections of 200, then time for my blog. I am going to go for a bike ride on the tech campus and then home to put away some more stuff and watch the Olympics.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

final western trip entry

This will be the final entry from the trip and things ended pretty well. I drove almost 500 miles yesterday, staying in a Comfort Inn just outside of Dayton. I had a delivered pizza for dinner and got to the motel just before an amazing storm started. I did my exercises well and treated my feet but stopped the ear antibiotic (I think it is back in shape). I had a hard time sleeping (I guess I was worried about returning home) so I took an OTC sleeping aid and slept till after 9. That meant I had to hurry and I did my exercises and my yoga quickly and was off in the pouring rain by a little past 10:30. It was hard driving for the first hour and a half but then it cleared and I rode my bike on a closed road, then on Paint Creek near Mahon, then on the Huckleberry at Merrimac. I headed to O’Charley’s for dinner (cedar plank salmon for a healthy meal) and did my lumosity training for the first time in a week or so and I am finishing my trip blog. I will pick up some supplies and head home shortly. Sam from Dodson treated the house so I should have no insect problems and there shouldn’t be any trees down since Sam was up there today. Overall it was a decent trip but as I got further from home I felt more and more vulnerable and more worn down. I should have just gone to Colorado and that would have been a much easier trip. Sleeping in my truck didn’t work out too well. Some nights were too hot and it was hard to get in and out with my recovering knee. I also couldn’t do my exercises correctly and showering in my bathing suit and tevas (to protect my feet from more athlete’s foot) got old quickly. I got rooms each night on the way back and that was very comfortable if a lot more expensive. I think the next time I want to get to the Canadian Rockies and Vancouver, I will take the train. Going to Mackinac Island was fine and going around Lake Superior was also reasonable. I just have to cut back on the very long trips.

Monday, August 8, 2016

a big change in plans

I got up early and headed for the badlands. It was almost midday when I got there but the scenery was impressive as always. I rode my bike for thirty minutes on a gravel road and that was fun. After that I drove to the Spearfish canyon and decided to get a fishing license just in case. The canyon was lovely and I got several hits on my spinning gear. I knew that the Sturgis rally was going on so I decided to drive to Sundance and stay at the only choice privileges property, a Rodeway Inn, not my favorite. I checked in and then went to the Longhorn Steakhouse and had an okay dinner of steak tips and shrimp. I had problems in the morning with the motel losing my check-in info and Rebecca, the front desk woman, was very rude. I had to check that I wasn’t double billed and before I found out Rebecca had run my number again. Fortunately I was only charged once and I was glad to leave that dump. I drove toward the Bighorns and decided to get a room up at Burgess Junction and I reserved one at the Arrowhead Lodge. I drove up to Ranchester and headed toward Burgess Junction, stopping try to fish a branch of the Tongue but when I got there it was much too small. I was a little nervous but as I approached Burgess I came across a tempting stretch of Prune creek. I stopped and was able to fish several tempting pools by walking along the creek. My knee felt fine and I had a lot of fun. I checked in and then went fishing again on a more secluded spot of Prune and I switched to my 4 wt and that was even more fun fishing several nice pools. It was still light when I got back to Arrowhead so I rode my bike for 30 minutes then ate the salad I purchased earlier. I got up to my room and settled in but my thigh started bothering me so I only did the ankle weights. It is always hard for me to sleep up in the Bighorns and with an aching leg it was impossible. I ended up taking 2 OTC sleeping pills and finally slept for a few hours. During that awful night I decided that it would be best to start back home. I would be very uncomfortable camping for the first two nights in Yellowstone (I wasn’t even sure I could get in the back of the truck) and I just felt very worn down. It was the right decision and at 7 in the morning after just the ankle weights I drove back toward Sheridan, taking several short naps along the way. I was thinking of going back to the Spearfish canyon but with all the motorcycles around I passed and drove on to the Badlands where I dropped into the park at exit 131 for a wonderful final view and some pictures, one of which I sent to my kayaking friend. I kept driving and finally decided to stop in Chamberlain, where I reserved a room at the Best Western. It was Sunday and there were no restaurants open past nine so I stopped at Al’s Oasis for a buffalo burger and salad. The motel was full of bikers but my room was fine and I was able to do more exercises though my thigh still hurt even though I had only done a few short walks all day. In the morning my thigh felt better and I did even more of my exercises and then started driving around 7. I stopped for naps and for a number of walks and I was even tempted to try out my bike but I decided to wait for tomorrow. I drove almost 600 miles and that means I should be home Wednesday with two 410 mile days. I am staying at the Comfort Inn in Coralville, just outside of Iowa City. For dinner I went to a Chinese buffet which was very good and inexpensive.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The first three days of my trip

I was up very early again, close to 4 and I got almost everything ready for the trip (and did a partial set of exercises) before I dropped back to sleep for a few minutes at about 5:30. I did not want to get up but I had to be at RU at 8 so I forced myself up with a cup of coffee and was able to leave by 7:10. No one showed up at my final (as I expected) and at 8:50 I was on my way to Mackinac Island, 715 miles away. I got a 30 minute ride in a Paint Creek near Mahan, then another 30 minute ride at a totally empty park. I took a walk in a Walmart for 20 minutes and then a final 20 minute ride at a motel complex in Sandusky, where I will be staying at the KOA there. I needed three quick naps to keep going and certainly getting up so early contributed to that. My blister is about the same but it doesn’t hurt so I am just going to let it run its course unless it gets worse. I got a response back from Dan Woods (he is no longer the editor) and he is pretty sure the new editor will use my pieces. I made it up to Mackinaw City in two days of pretty heavy driving, some napping, a bad night camping at a loud KOA in Sandusky, the a very good night at a Quality inn in Mackinaw City. I rode my bike a number of times, played golf and shot a 49 (playing with all my clubs), did my knee exercises morning and evening and overall got up here which was the point. My toe problem hasn’t gotten any better and I tried to go to a dermatologist but I don’t think I’ll find one till Winnepeg. Rob thinks I might have to get it biopsied if it doesn’t clear up. Monday turned out to be a very fine day. I did my exercises, had a nice breakfast at the Quality Inn, showered and got the 10 AM boat to Mackinac Island. It was a nice ride over and once I got there I rode the first five miles before taking a short break. So many wonderful bikes. I rode the last three miles and had a quick sub before getting on the 1 PM boat back to Mackinaw City. Then it was driving up to the Canadian border (no wait) and heading off to Wawa (where I am camping, with the night cool). I stopped for a 30 minute bike ride at Pancake Bay provincial park and then fished for 20 minutes at Mom Lake, with a few light hits but no fish. After registering at the campground, I drove into Wawa for dinner at the Wawa motel’s restaurant and had a very decent pickerel dinner (with just a few bones in the fish). There I sent a funny message to my kayak friend (who was having a tough day) and stopped for a cheese Danish and a small coffee at the Tim Horton’s. I am also going to start writing my FAR attachment for Rosemary.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Summer II is Done

Another early morning had me getting things ready at 5 after I finished my first set of exercises. I washed some clothes, gathered some stuff for the trip tomorrow, put a few things in the truck and then headed down at 9 to call Rob’s office about the large blister on my big toe and between the next toe. Fifty yards down the road and a big tree had fallen. I tried to call Mike but only left a message, then got my chainsaw out and cut it almost completely through before the battery gave out. I went back and put the battery on the charger and then Mike appeared but without a chainsaw. He called Eric, the chief logger, who said he would come up soon and help. We waited a while and then Mike left and I went back to work on getting the truck ready until I heard a chainsaw and Eric was down there cutting the whole tree up and rolling the pieces down into the ravine. I helped a little but in ten minutes he was done and I was so glad. I offered him some money and he refused so I asked what he drank and I am going to get him a couple cases of Bud Light. I drove down to the pasture and Rob’s office said I could come in at 11:45 so I rushed back to the house, showered, got my stuff together and then headed to Rob’s where he said he wasn’t sure what it was but he told me to soak it in salt water and see if that dried it up. I took a quick nap and then played nine holes of golf with all my clubs (my leg was a little shaky from the chainsawing) and played very well, a 43 with the last two holes from the blue tees. I then drove to my office and got some stuff packed, took a quick nap, then packed everything up. I put in my grades earlier so I am all done with the semester and when I return it will be to my new office. I still have to write a teaching plan for Rosemary but that is about it.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

final day of classes

Another day that went pretty well but I was very tired in the afternoon. I got up pretty early, did one set of exercises, then cut the grass. After that I went back to sleep and woke up about 9:15, did another set of exercises, some weights, a laundry and then drove in to Red Lobster to see Claire. That was a lot of fun and it sounds like she and luke are going to end up buying a house after all. I drove in to RU and met with one student and she accepted an A- so she wouldn’t have to rewrite her paper again and my other student’s paper was fine so he got an A. I took a nap then did more work on clearing out my office and then at 4 I went over to the event for Mark Shanley’s retirement and he was very friendly. I went back to my office and rested again and then drove out to Walker and got a few hits and landed one fish. Then it was time to drive to VT for my bike ride of 45 minutes. Following that, off to Macado’s for a little bit to eat. I think getting up so early (a little after 4) really threw me off.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

One more day of teaching

Today was a very good day. I did one set of exercises, did my weights, played most of my piano pieces, ate a tomato from my greenhouse, got the gas container from the shed and pruned a little along the road. I drove to class and found the student papers in better shape and was able to give one student his final grade. I met for a long time with each of the other students and this evening I was able to finish the second student’s grade after she sent me her rewrite. I went to play golf before my therapy appointment but I only got 5 holes in before a thunderstorm came in. I had a late lunch at the Pizza Inn then had a nap before my therapy. It was a pretty easy one and my knee held up pretty well. I got out just after 6 and I was able to finish my 18 short holes though I was pretty bad the last two holes and failed to break 72. After that I took another nap and was pretty tired when I woke up but an iced tea perked me up and I went for a nice 40 minute ride over to the ROTC training area. That done I was ready for a little food so I headed to Macado’s to look at the student paper and do my lumosity training.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Starting to get ready for my trip

A decent day as I got my truck in pretty good shape for the trip, did two sets of exercises, played half my piano pieces, did my weights and got some stuff for the trip ready in the house. I drove in to teach and the student papers were mixed. One was pretty bad, the other needed more detail, and the two other were decent. The students don’t seem to have been taught structure or how a paragraph works. Pretty stunning to me. I had a meeting with one student after class and I went through a topic sentence outline and that helped. I will meet with the other student tomorrow at 12. After my office hours I headed to Tom’s creek to meet Rob and go on a full walk, the first time since my surgery. After that I drove out along 42 then drifted over to the lovely John’s creek valley, then a quick nap, then a bike ride at VT for 45 minutes then sushi at Greens. Kim Gainer got the interim Associate Dean’s position and I am very happy for her. I moved my Yellowstone reservation to the 18th through the 21st and I should be able to at least spend one day in the park. I am ready to go right this second.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

excellent kayaking

Sunday was a tiring day but it ended quite well. I wasn’t sure I could rent a kayak today so I didn’t sleep that well and at 7 I drove down and called Shawn and he told me I could definitely get one at 11 do I emailed my kayak friend and she okayed the time. I went back to sleep for a while, after playing some piano and doing one set of exercises. I got to Tangent about twenty minutes early and then my friend and Mark Shanley showed up and we got out boats and headed to Dudley’s landing. It was a fun trip and Mark spent a good bit of time collecting golf balls from the River Course (he got 28 keepers) and my friend and I had a lot of laughs and a good chat. The river was very low (2.1) but it didn’t cause any real problems. Then I drove to my office for a nap and then off to Craig creek for a drive then to Roanoke College for a 45 minute bike ride just before dark. I drove to Applebees for dinner and my lumosity training and my blog.

Friday, July 22, 2016

lunch with Claire

I didn’t sleep too well and it took a long time to get back to sleep (I didn’t use the otc sleep aid) but at least I got one set of exercises in and when I finally got up it was after nine so I drank a cup of coffee and finally got going a little, doing another set of exercises and my weights and heading off just in time to meet Claire for lunch at Red Lobster. We had a good conversation about her upcoming marriage and it was nice to see her. After that I took a quick nap in my truck, then headed over to the Toyota dealer to have my oil changed and the tires rotated. I got a lot of work done there (including finished my outlines for the fall) and doing my lumosity training. Toyota finished just in time for me to make the 4:50 Star Trek movie (good but not great and pretty slow starting). After that I headed over to the Huckleberry trail for a 45 minute bike ride. Then it was time for dinner at Panera, where I also got a gift card for Total Motion.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

one more week of class left

Another good day, with two sets of exercises, a hike, weights and piano and then teaching a good class. I went and played 18 holes (two balls on the back nine) and shot pretty well. I went back to my office and got a few things out that I don’t need and then rode my bike for 40 minutes (with no Tylenol) and no knee pain. My kayak friend emailed me and we may still go on Sunday, a lot depending on the weather.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

No lasting damage from my bike crash

My knee was very good today and I only took 2 tylenol all day. I took a hike in the morning, did my weights, practiced piano, did a set of exercises, then showered and headed in to teach. Class was fine and I have only a couple of real teaching classes left, then paper classes. After class, I took a quick nap and headed to therapy. My knee got down to 3 degrees and it didn’t hurt too much when I was done. After therapy I drove out to Walker Creek and caught 3 red-eye bass and then rode my bike for 35 minutes at New River Community College. Now I am at O’Charley’s, having finished my chicken salad, and finishing up my blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

"Stupid is as Stupid does"

I ended up meeting Maddie and Claire and it was nice to see them both. After dropping them off I drove out to the Walker Creek bridge and got two fish, a bluegill and a bass. I had a nice drive back and then stopped at the Armstrong parking lot to ride my bike. I was doing fine until I was going up a slight incline when I couldn’t do it and I fell over. I was really scared that I had hurt my knee but after a few seconds of lying on the ground, I was able to get up and nothing seemed too bad. My knee hurt but not much more than at other times when I have overdone it. I went for dessert at O’Charley’s and then drove home. I iced my knee and took two Tylenol and thought it was a bit messed up but I thought there was no permanent damage. In the morning my knee hurt, but I decided to go cut the grass and my knee didn’t hurt too much. Later, I did two single sets of exercises and iced my knee both times and thought I was okay but I didn’t do any exercise bike or much walking. I did all my piano and my weights while watching the Open, and when I got ready to shower, I found the area just above my ankle was swollen. That freaked me a bit but I put the compression sock back on and then after I took a 20 minute walk on the Huckleberry, the swelling had gone down some. I went to my office to do my lumosity training and my blog and get the stuff ready for when I go to Social Security on September 1st. I am pretty sure I didn’t damage the knee surgery but I will keep taking it easy for at least another day. I had some good email exchanges with my kayak friend.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Three weeks of class finished

Thursday was the end of my third week of classes and class went well and I treated the class to pizza. Two more weeks left and I am on my way to Canada. In the morning I did my exercises, some medium weights, piano, and did a few things around the house. After teaching I headed out to play 18 holes of 80 yard golf, then went for a good walk with Rob on the Tom’s creek trail, then rode my bike for a half hour at VT. I shouldn’t have ridden my bike so when I was done my knee was pretty stressed. I didn’t do any exercises when I got home, just iced my leg and watched some more of the Open. In the morning my knee was a bit swollen and very stiff so I walked a little, did some tasks around the house (putting the bottle holder on my bike, getting the recycling together, getting a bag of garbage ready, watering the greenhouse (the only thing left are the tomato plants and I’m not sure they will ripen before I leave. I cut up the cardboard boxes and fixed my fishing gear so I am ready for my next time out. I also saw that I can get my golf bag under the bed so that is where it will probably stay, thus giving me more room. I did some weights and practiced piano and then headed in for my therapy session. Dan’s sister Theresa was there and she was fun to joke with. I didn’t do much damage to my knee so Dan thought it would be okay to ride my bike a little bit later on. I drove to my office , walked over to the library to get The Rise of David Levinsky and American Beauty so I will have some reading for my summer trip and the movie for class on Tuesday. In about an hour, I will meet Maddie for dinner. Had a nice chat with Dave and I think it was good for him.