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My Journal

"Cheap paper is less perishable than gray matter and lead pencil markings endure longer than memory." ~ Jack London

I began keeping an online journal in 2000, during my third tour of Turkey and the deployment from there to Kosovo.  I saved those posts, somewhere, but fear I may have lost them.  Now I post regularly, writing to myself, for no other reason than for the fun of reading them later.

My life is, by design, so uninteresting nowadays that I doubt that there is much here anyone would find worth reading, but the typing keeps my mind active and my hands working. 

If you decide to read, take it for face value and don't try to read between the lines.  Just because you read my writing doesn't mean you know me.

That has been a problem before.

What amazes  me about these entries is how fast time passes when you are in your 60s.


Wednesday, 15 January, 2020: A Watermark

I have been trying to design a simple, fast watermark for my photos.  SS, always my best critic, told me over Thanksgiving that my notes at the bottom of my web photos were a distractor.  He didn't say "amateurish," but that is how I came to look at them.

It has taken about two days of experimenting and learning, AND getting SS's opinion to get something I like and with which he agrees.  I've always been a "less is more" kind of guy, but I kept wanting to add to it.  Lose this and lose that were his normal comments.  SS always had good reasons. 

Here's an example of my finished product.

Once I had it figured out, it was pretty easy to do in Photoshop.  It's standard Vivaldi font in italics, in three different sizes, typed into a transparent workspace, and saved as a brush.  Now, all I have to do to add it to a photograph is size it, chose color and opacity, and then paint it where I want it.

The hardest part of the process is finding the photographs on my computer and I have a great organizational system.


Tuesday, 14 January, 2020: Birthday #67

E and A called this morning to wish me a happy birthday.  Their gift, a Bose Micro Speaker, came in the mail tonight.  It was very well received and I promptly named it "Tater," one of the many random choices Bose gives you.

Kady took me to lunch at Sultan Kabab.  It was yummy.  She's the best!


Monday, 13 January, 2020: LSU

Good on you, LSU, National Champs and well deserved.

The stars are realigned.  The trophy is out of the ACC and back in the SEC where it belongs.  My biased view of the football universe is once again secure.

 It was a trouncing.  Clemson is a good team but they were soundly whipped by LSU, saying what everyone has been saying about both team more clearly than the sports analysts could ever say it.  Clemson was untested and LSU is, maybe, the best team in college football of all time.

I would point out that LSU only beat Auburn at home by seven points, except for AU's pitiful loss to Minnesota.  So, AU is number 14 at the end of play.  Good.  Maybe they will take Bowl games more seriously in the future.  Chances of that?  Zero Percent.

I washed Kady's Car and detailed it today.  It wore me out.  Bess is next.


Sunday, 12 January, 2020: Stormy Weather

Pickens County Alabama was hit with a tornado last night.  Again, tornadoes are one big reason we live in Virginia and not in Alabama.

I went for a walk yesterday and the weather hit before I got back to the house.  I was drenched, but it felt good to go out walking.

I've begun an Intermittent Fasting program, eating breakfast and lunch, but nothing after 1 pm.  That's a 16 or 17 hour fast, depending on what time I eat breakfast.   I've cut out sugar and almost all bread, though I'm bot being a Nazi about it all.  I feel better and sleep better.  I've lost a little weight.  If I add walking to my regimen, I think it'll be easier to lose, but I'm still nursing the pulled muscle in my back.

 Tomorrow I'm walking no matter what.

In great news, I finally convinced Kady that the tree out front need to go.  Actually, after talking myself blue in the face, she finally agreed when we got back home from Asheville and my car cover was completely covered in rotten Mulberries.  She called the Home Owner's Association person and they took a look and have agreed to cut it down.

It's not down yet, but it should come down soon.

My 67th Birthday approaches.  Yikes!  My dad died at 67.  That is a one serious reason for retrospection.  I'm going to be really careful this year.  Pawpaw Lee lived to be 70.  That's an intermediate goal.  I think I can make 80.

Kady and went to Jay and KS's house to store all of our Christmas things.  There's no room in this house, so they let us store things there.  They certainly have the room.  Big House.  We watched a little football while KS finished up dinner.  She made Turkish, a nice spinach and feta borek, chicken kebabs, a yogurt sauce, a Turk salad, and , for dessert, baklava.  She did a fantastic job.

After dinner they gave me a birthday gift, a 50th Anniversary retro version of Risk.  We played a game and I put myself out pretty early in the game.  I was pretty reckless.  I usually don't lose at Risk.  That used to be a given.  I had fun teaching KS.

We didn't finish the game, KS had a business trip the next day and it was way past time for Em to go to bed, so we took photos of the board and cards so they could continue another day.  It looks like Jay will win, he controls most of the board, but, you never know.  If Kady and KS can hold on  and get lucky with their cards, they could take the back.


Friday, 10 January, 2020: Snow!

Tuesday morning, we had a little snow, about an inch.  By afternoon, it was melting.  It was my kind of snow.  I didn't even bother to get out the snow shovel, happy and content to let our homeowners association take care of it.

I was actually excited about it now that I have nothing to do with snow.  I thought I'd go out and take some photos. 

Nope.  I stayed in my pajamas all day.  That's smart, probably.  I have pulled my back and I'm trying to let it heal.  I'll take photos next snowfall.

KS and I went to see 1917 today.  First, we had lunch with Kady and Jay at El Rodeo (Jaripeo), then drove down to Stonefield Cinema.  1917 was intense.  Great music, camera work, acting...but it was another movie following Homer's Odyssey, a tale of a man trying to get from one place to another, overcoming pitfalls along the way, Cyclops (the Sniper), Calypso (The Girl and Baby), Sirens (the Singing Soldier), Perils at Sea (The River).  The plot was military nonsense.  Why didn't they just send a car or plane?

Whatever, I loved it and recommend it.  It was good to see Tomin and Rob again.

It was also good to spend time with my daughter-in-law.  Living close is my first real chance to get to know her.  She is very cool.



Friday, 3 January, 2020: Back Home

Kim and I drove home yesterday.  Leaving Ashville was uneventful and we were home by mid-afternoon.  It is rainy here and we've spent the last two days in our PJs, dressing only for lunch at Charlottesville Matchbox Pizza with Jay and KS.


Sunday, 5 January, 2020: Home Paleontology

One of my Christmas gifts from Kady was a set of Lego Ideas dinosaur bones.  I saw it on TV and she noted my interest.  I was surprised.

What really surprised me was how much fun I've had putting them together.  They aren't that difficult, any ten year old kid could do them, but you have to take it step by step, follow the instructions, and Pay Attention!  My three dinosaurs, a T-Rex, a Triceratops, and a Pteranodon, were a great mind exercise.  I never want to read the instructions, I like doing things in my own logical process, and my mind wanders from one thing to the next.  I need more.

I've told Kady that when I start losing it she should buy me Lego!

I know that, now that I have them together, I should take them apart, bag them, and give them to Jk.  I think I'll set them up in my office and enjoy them for a while.

Last night, Kady and I went to the kid's house for playoff games, a steak dinner, and some Azul.  Fun Game.  I won.

KS and I are going to see 1917 Friday afternoon.


Wednesday, 1 January, 2020: New Year's Day in Asheville

Happy New Year!

I heard A get up with Cooper, so I slept in, knowing poor Mel was sleeping on the couch.  I got up about nine and took him out again. E was supposed to make brunch, but that didn't happen, nor did lunch.   Starting to scrounge, I found some of Chef Michael's leftover mashed potatoes and ate about half.

Then the Auburn game happened.  Things were going so well.  A good drive, 3 points.  We intercepted, seven points.  Then things went to shit.  I think the team didn't care.  Some of them may have, but it was like, "we beat Bama; we don't have anything to prove."  You could see some of the seniors over on the sidelines trying to motivate their teammates, but the rest of the team seemed ...uh...dull to me.   I can't blame a lot of them, I guess.  What's the point after the regular season?  I began to understand when Hastings didn't really try for a bad pass.  I can't blame him; I wouldn't want to get hurt again for a game that meant nothing.

Meanwhile, Minnesota came to play. They had everything to prove.

This was a typical Auburn bowl game performance under Gus.

Gus is not my guy.

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