2021-03-08

Good Monday to you friends. I had an action-packed, okay that might be taking it too far, a fun-filled weekend.

On Friday evening Bonnie and I got together at the ITP Estate for a lovely evening parked around a fire pit. We were a little concerned about the wind gusts, which made putting dried Christmas tree branches verboten, but by night’s end the winds had died down and some branches were set ablaze! We also used Bonnie’s Uber Eats coupon to have delicious Thai food from the nearby restaurant Spoon delivered. Yum!

On Saturday morning I took my weekend walk with Betsy and her dog Bella in what seemed to be winter weather. It was gray and chilly, with more winds cutting through my bad choice of clothing. After the walk I coordinated with Bonnie for our day-long journey for Georgia Beer Day. As an added bonus one of my German class buddies joined us. Bonnie and I started the day at the newly-opened Round Trip brewing. Disappointedly by 1pm they had already sold out of commemorative glassware. Undaunted, we had a beer there anyway as we huddled, as much as one can huddle during these days, around an outmatched space heater. From Round Trip we went to one of Atlanta’s oldest breweries, Atlanta Brewing. Old-timers will remember when it used to be located on the Connector near 14th Street. Imagine how much money that land would fetch these days… At Atlanta Brewing we scored our commemorative glassware, and had a beer. From there we went to Dr Scofflaw’s, the newest branch of Scofflaw Brewing, located in the newly-constructed mixed-use(?) development called The Works, on Chattahoochee Avenue. It was there that Shelby (my German class buddy) finally caught up to us, and it was there that the weather became amazingly beautiful when the sun chased away the clouds and warmed us abundantly. At this point it was deemed that the driver should not have any more beer, unless of course it was done within walking distance of the ITP Estate, so we three finished the evening off at Midway Pub. Ooof, that was the most beer I have consumed in one day for awhile.

To give you a sense of how drastically Atlanta’s brewery situation has changed, consider this list of breweries:

  1. Atlanta Brewing
  2. Monday Night
  3. Second Self
  4. Scofflaw
  5. Dr Scofflaw
  6. Steady Hand
  7. Bold Monk
  8. Fire Maker
  9. Round Trip

All of these breweries exist in about a three-mile area in Atlanta’s “Upper Westside”. ๐Ÿคฏ

Yesterday I put in a couple hours of digging and root pulling in Wee’s Little Farm (this seems to be the name winning out). I’ve dug what I am calling “Potato Trench #1”, mostly in an effort to move that red clay over to the Formal Garden Plot so it can be leveled and finished. Warm weather arrives this week! We will probably get at least one more hit of cold before summer, but warmth is imminent at this point. The “potato trench(es)” will be where I line up my grow bags filled with potato plants.

After my yard work Bonnie and I met up for a little tooling around on bicycle. I’m glad to report that, though a little tender this morning, my knee seems to be okay with bike riding. I can’t wait until I can say the same for hashing! Anyway, she and I rode the Southside Beltline to the Westside Beltline. At the terminus of the Westside Beltline we rode through some slightly scary neighborhoods to get to Bankhead Marta station. We scouted around a bit to see if it was possible to get from the Proctor Creek Trail to the yet-to-be-completed Westside Connector Trail. Legally, the answer is “No”. At that point she and I rode the unfinished Westside Connector, were slightly thwarted with the current detour, got back on, were slightly thwarted with what appeared to be a NBA All Star Game related traffic snafu which included some assholes riding dirt bikes and four wheelers on the Trail, rode through some of the HBCU area, before figuring out how to connect back with the Southside Beltline at Lee+White. We rode the Southside Trail to Boulevard, where the gravitational pull of Red’s Beer Garden was too great, and we stopped in for a veggie dog and a couple of beers. At Red’s we ran into a handful of hashers who were also there imbibing. As the sun set and the temperature started to drop Bonnie and I mounted our respective bikes and rode back toward out respective neighborhoods and houses.

It goes without saying, but the amount of exhaustion I caused myself this weekend helped my sleep pretty well. ๐Ÿ™‚

Tonight? Dunno. I may need to get out some of the frustrations caused by this “XYZ Corp” assignment…

Hope that you had a wonderful and healthy weekend.

Posted in My Daily Life | 6 Comments

2021-03-05

Happy Friday to you all.

After a productive start yesterday, things went a little pear-shaped. I have been given a new assignment at “XYZ Corp”; that’s all I’ll say about that. ๐Ÿ˜ถ As I mulled over my current situation I got incredibly anxious and needed an outlet for settling myself down.

A slow, 5k walk around the neighborhood helped a little.
Deciding that it was okay to skip another German class helped a little.
The time spent doing nothing but preparing a dinner for myself helped a little.
The delicious bottle of scotch ale beer, a Christmas gift from Bonnie, helped more than a little.
Blowing off all of the chores I could have done by skipping German class helped a little.
Falling asleep around 8pm helped a lot.

Though by and large I am the master of my own calendar, save for the time spent making money, I have felt incredibly overwhelmed and rushed this week. I am very much looking forward to hanging out with friends and drinking beer (or coffee in the case of my walk with Betsy) this weekend.

After a brief stint of listening to a podcast while I prepared this morning’s breakfast casserole I have decided that I am going to experiment with “Quiet Friday” during which the only non-natural sounds permitted will be my 1:30pm Stand Up call and the voices in my head, at least until it’s beer and fire time later! I’m hoping to finish of the burning of the branches of at least one Christmas tree tonight.

In the quiet of the morning spent thirty minutes (slowly) reading a new-to-me book “The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays of Wendell Berry.” It was an unexpected blissful time for me.

Wee’s Little Farm is having an existential crisis. I have many germinated seeds that are refusing to grow any larger than tiny little plants. I watch all of these YouTube gardeners having miraculous success and don’t understand why I am not have similar success since I seem to be planting in the same mediums, have germinated the seeds on warming mats, and have exposed the seedlings to many hours of light either natural from a south-facing window or unnatural in the form of grow lights. It’s not like I am relying on my crop to survive, think how skinny I’d be if I were, but I would like to have success and provide myself with a handful of meals.

I am going to work “straight through” today, with plans to get out and clear up the back yard a bit prior to beer drinking and fire making. I’m also hoping to swab the basement floor using my new fancy-pants mop and mopping bucket. And to think that women have never deemed me as “marrying material”… pffft!

I hope that you have a fantastic and healthy weekend. Go out and make it the best you can!

Posted in My Daily Life | 7 Comments

2021-03-04

Seemingly all I could think about while working yesterday was “Man, it’s going to be great to get outside today. I can’t wait!” I made a list of chores, and kicked off work a little earlier than I should have (missing a message from my boss, whoops!). And then I got outside and was virtually paralyzed. All I could do was stand in one place and look, wondering how in the hell I was going to get shit done. One of the tasks sounded simple “Measure and mark the square feet garden sections inside the two unplanted raised beds.” Siiiiimple right? Well, it would be simpler if the beds I bought to do “Square Foot Gardening” (in which you mark out square feet and plant geometrically within them) were a standard width/length, thus making the measurements easy. Further, because the Frankenbed is well, a Frankenbed, it bows inward toward the middle making it even less rectangular. I know, just fucking plant seeds! But, I’m anal? OCD? Finicky?

Giving up on the measuring and marking I transitioned to tasks that I was capable of managing.

  • I pulled out a bag’s worth of English ivy; a task harder than I expected because the roots were holding tightly yesterday.
  • I sorted/stacked the empty soil/compost/manure bags, some of which will go to CHaRM next Tuesday, some of which will be used for trash bags on my journey’s to East Atlanta Village for Betsy walks.
  • I moved a stack of cut wood from nearer the house to nearer the fire pit patio.
  • I moved the drop ceiling tiles from the basement to under the carport in preparation for today’s visit by 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Exasperated and exhausted I gave up and returned inside to shower off the dirt and shame.

After showering I sat for a second before eating a bowl of salad greens topped with salad dressing and nuts. However, this didn’t satisfy my desire to eat, so I ate the second half of the $2.75 Aldi pizza as well. It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve overeaten that much.

I watched Top Chef on my iPad while texting with Betsy, and shortly thereafter fell asleep.

Today? Don’t know. I’ll have to deal with the junk people, as well as find out about what my boss wants to talk to me; I don’t have positive vibes about my future with “XYZ Corp”, but we’ll see.

Hope you are well, and make it a great day.

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments

2021-03-03

You wouldn’t expect to things to turn around in a day, and you’d be right, but yesterday was better than the day before.

If you had thirteen days in the “How Long Can Paulie Go Without Purchasing From Amazon” pool, congratulations, you have won! In my defense, I made an effort to buy the straw-that-broke-the-camel’s-back locally, even for $10 more than the one I purchased from Amazon, but Lowe’s has failed me again.

What was it already?!?!
An expensive mopping bucket.

What?!?!
Yep.

I now have more floor to mop with the newly stripped basement floor. Given that this is going to be the last bucket for mopping that I am ever going to buy (I’ve reached the age where I am going to start buying things for the last time…), I wanted a proper bucket for mopping. I spent $55 (!) for a bucket with wheels and a wringer pressed with a lever. Think of the type of bucket that you have seen inside stores for their use. The only downside of my purchase through Amazon is that I won’t be able to do some of the chores in the basement until I mop, and now I won’t have a bucket for doing so until sometime tomorrow.

Yesterday the rain tried to thwart my productivity and won to some degree.

After work, but before dinner, I suited up and went down into the basement and removed almost all of the drop ceiling tiles from the future “work area”. There are three tiles remaining, two that have air vents in them, and one that is pretty-well glued on; I didn’t feel like ripping that one apart. While taking down the ceiling tiles I also pulled out some speaker wire and some tv antenna wire that runs throughout the house. The ITP Estate’s previous owners must have been some real audio/video nuts because they hooked up speakers and TVs all over the house. Huh, that sounds like someone else I know, but he lives in the age of (poor) wireless communication… By the end of March this space will be complete. You should probably start a pool for when I actually get it done. ๐Ÿ™‚

Satisfied with my progress and dusty, I headed upstair for a thorough shower and then filled the tub with recently-purchased liquid laundry detergent in order to wash the clothes I was wearing.

For dinner I treated myself to half of a $2.75 Aldi frozen pizza amended with fresh jalapeรฑos… and a beer.

The rest of my evening was spent watching YouTube videos on my iPad, and then picking up my Kindle (to recharge the iPad’s battery) in order to finish off the book I was reading. The book is called “Leonard and Hungry Paul”, and is a story about two middle-aged losers. I’ll give it 3/5 stars, but wouldn’t recommend you read it.

Today’s plan was to beat the sunrise this morning and get into the yard to do a couple of hours’ work prior to starting my 9-5. The rain that passed through East Atlanta overnight persuaded me to change the plan. Instead I am “at work” now (6:00am) and will attempt to get put in some work prior to plopping down with the iPad for a virtual Top Chef night with Betsy.

Finally, I’m trying to figure out how to make an inexpensive cold frame, into which I can put plants outside before the weather is guaranteed to be warm enough not to kill them. Any ideas?

Hope you are remaining well. The Atlanta area is supposed to be miraculous later this afternoon. If you have the ability to get outside, go out and make it a great day.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase = 0

I will not be restarting the clock, even though I am going to attempt to limit the number of purchases I make from Amazon.

Posted in My Daily Life | 21 Comments

2021-03-02

Yesterday was a frustrating day for me. Still not sure what I am going to do about a lot of things in my life…

Hoping to make today better, and that yours is a happy and healthy one.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 185.0 pounds (-0.4 from last week’s weigh-in); I was hoping my hard labor would magically shed more weight, but I did over indulge indulge this week.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase = 13 (though I came very close to resetting the count yesterday)

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments

2021-03-01

Well, those were some strong winds that just passed through East Atlanta. March has certainly come in like a lion! When the rain stops this afternoon I will have to go outside check on things and collect anything that has blow away/over, as well as check the body bag in my backyard. What?!?! Read on.

This was one of the most productive weekends that I’ve had in some time, mostly because I got a couple of major projects done.

On Friday I decided that I should go down into the basement and do some cleanup and prepping for what would happen on Saturday. I also made a trip to Aldi and picked up a few $2.75 frozen pizzas… ๐Ÿ˜‹

After my walk with Betsy on Saturday I suited up and did a thing โ€” I pulled the carpet from part of my basement! What I found was a lot of dust, padding which has obviously seen some water, and a fairly good concrete basement floor. I rolled the nasty carpeting into the backyard, and knowing that rain was coming surrounded if with heavy black plastic, which looks like a long body bag. Today I am going to contact the dumpster rental company to see about getting a receptacle for getting rid of the debris. I need to ensure that the dumpster can be delivered onto my driveway without hitting my phone and power lines. Pleased with myself I knocked one other chore and set about relaxing once I had showered and washed the hell out of the clothes in which I did the work. And the for reasons unknown I went to Kroger at 6:30pm on a Saturday. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ The beer I purchased was much needed after that experience. Still with no tv in the den I watched YouTube videos and read a portion of a book before passing out on the couch from exhaustion.

Yesterday I was out before the sun in my freshly laundered yard clothes to do a bunch of urban farm work. I had a list of chores to knock out. I cleared out a lot of the clay soil (and roots) in the Frankenbed moving that dirt over to the FGP where it be used to level that area. I then filled the Frankenbed with a mixture of soils and manure in preparation to planting beans and peas into it; I’ve not figured out a trellis scheme yet… I also sowed a couple of trays of seeds to start indoor, planted some short carrots and radishes into some repurposed water jugs, planted the blackberry bush that was delivered last week into the front driveway “garden” area. And finally I then cleaned up my tools and self. Most impressively, this was all done before noon!

I joined Bonnie for a trip up to Lawrenceville for the Black Sheep hash. Unfortunately I’m still too broken to run trail, but I had a decent time wandering around with Davey Crochet while Bonnie went out and ran what sounded like a great trail. Some day. Some. Day.

Not sure if I will go to the hash tonight. I can make that decision later.

Hope you had a rewarding and healthy weekend.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase = 12

February Summary

02/01 – ?, M, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/02 – 187.6, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/03 – ?, V, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚
02/04 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/05 – ?, V, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚
02/06 – ?, M, walking, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿค•
02/07 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿค•
02/08 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿค•
02/09 – 186.6, V, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿค•
02/10 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿค•
02/11 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/12 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/13 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/14 – ?, V, walking ๐Ÿ˜
02/15 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/16 – 185.6, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/17 – ?, V, yard work ๐Ÿ˜
02/18 – ?, V, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข
02/19 – ?, V, yard work ๐Ÿ˜
02/20 – ?, V, walking ๐Ÿ˜
02/21 – ?, V, cycling/hashing ๐Ÿ˜
02/22 – ?, V, walking ๐Ÿ™‚
02/23 – 185.4, yard work ๐Ÿค•๐Ÿ˜ข
02/24 – ?, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚
02/25 – ?, yard work ๐Ÿ™‚
02/26 – ?, nothing ๐Ÿ˜ข๐Ÿค•
02/27 – ?, walking, manual labor ๐Ÿ˜€
02/28 – ?, yard work ๐Ÿ˜…

Posted in My Daily Life | 21 Comments

2021-02-26

Yesterday was another good day to get Vitamin D, as well as pull roots. I spent some time during the afternoon outside doing both. I even started pulling some of the English ivy in the area that runs next to the ITP Estate’s driveway since that may be the future home of the berry plants that I planted into IKEA bags this week.

I signed up for GCN+ yesterday to watch cycling. I may have wasted $25 because I did so before I realized that GCN’s iOS app is an iPhone-only app. What the fuck?!?! This is 2021, not 2011! Hopefully when I have a new TV I can AirPlay large, HD-quality video to its screen. Until then I hope that I can watch video on my computer since I am not about to watch bicycle racing on my iPhone.

Sometimes “Siri” should be called “Shitty”. Last night I asked Siri a question that I thought could be answered easily โ€” “Siri, what year was the iPad released?” Siri’s response โ€” “A visit to Apple.com should be able to help you with that.” No fucking kidding! If I wanted to use a web browser I could have easily Googled for the information! fwiw- the answer is 2010.

It was ten years ago tomorrow that my life changed drastically. On February 27, 2011, a wonderfully warm and sunny Sunday, I chose to go for a bicycle ride to Stone Mountain instead of going to Black Sheep. Little did I know when starting that journey that I wouldn’t make it to Stone Mountain, wouldn’t return on bike, it would be the last time I would ride the Red Rocket, and that I’d have my first ambulance ride, all because I assumed that the car which turned out in front of me on Church Street would not have done so. I t-boned that motherfucker and was launched across the car’s hood and landed on my right hip, still attached to my bike, on the other side. I suppose that I was fortunate, another foot on either side I may have been injured worse or even killed, and ten years on my hip does not bother me (much). Here’s the blog post I wrote the following day. (funny, as reread it I saw a glaring typo, not a rarity for me… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜‚)

This Sunday is not supposed to be sunny but you can bet your ass that I’ll be going to Black Sheep, even if I still can’t run trail.

The rest of my weekend will be filled with work, both the stuff I do for a salary and that I do not.

Hope you have a healthy weekend and can make the most of it considering our weather.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase = 9

Posted in My Daily Life | 26 Comments

2021-02-25

Yesterday turned out to be another good day for root pulling. It was less of a good day for the leaf bag that split in half due to one of the roots I crammed into it however. My afternoon started with my desire to get outside, mostly to unload the soil I purchased at Lowe’s yesterday morning. Once unloaded I decided to stay outdoors. I risked a planting of some red onion sets (essentially baby onions), and then turned my attention to root pulling — two bags were filled. I’ve identified some red clay that will be moved to the FGP, which is good since the final two beds really need to be readied for spring (hey, I finally learned when to (not) capitalize seasons!) because the indoor seedlings are starting to pop. FWIW- the ITP Estate’s average last frost date is March 31st, so hopefully come April I’ll have healthy plants to replant and raised garden beds ready to accept them. Also, I need to figure out a trellis plan!

I think that I am going to try an experiment with Lowe’s. Tomorrow I am going to attempt to order bags of the manure that their inventory system says that they have in stock, but I couldn’t find. I know that Lowe’s has an overflow area beyond their garden center, so perhaps they are sitting out there waiting to be brought into the main garden center? I guess that I’ll find out.

With no working television in the den, the small one in the living room doesn’t have a recent AppleTV, one that can run a Hulu app attached to it, and I’m too lazy to move the one from the den to the living room, I watched Top Chef last night on my iPad. My setup was a little less than ideal, so I plopped onto my bed which worked much better. And, I slept in my bed again last night!

It’s already a busy day, and will be followed by another German class for which I will be unprepared. Poop!

Oh yeah, I may also have to deal with an insurance problem regarding my knee surgery. Apparently my health care insurance is not paying the doctor, and of course the patient has to resolve this. Our healthcare system is broken.

I could really use a month of no work to knock out a shitload of chores that are waiting for my attention.

Hope you make it a great day.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase = 8

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments

2021-02-24

Knocking out a quick one this morning as I have a full day planned. Today is my mother’s 91st birthday, and I am not in Florida to celebrate with her this year. Instead I will have to call her, hopefully before she goes to play bingo.

Apparently my futon is Sleep Central. After a hard few hours of being outside planting and such, followed by a rinse of the mountain bike and then one of my body, I sat down for a quick dinner and logged onto a non-work Zoom conference about climate change in Georgia. I kid you not, I fell asleep during the last half of the conference.๐Ÿ˜ฎ It’s a good thing my audio and video were turned off… ๐Ÿ˜‚ That nap led to me cashing my chips in early again. This farmer lifestyle…

I found out yesterday that my fancy-pants 3โ€™x6โ€™ raised beds, when constructed, measure 35โ€x71โ€ which makes the internal 12โ€x12โ€ squares that I planned to use as a planting guide impossible. ๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I will be making a quick Lowe’s run in a few minutes to purchase more soil/compost/manure. Boy howdy do the raised beds take a lot of soil, and I am going to need more to fill grow bags when the time comes to transplant peppers and tomatoes, as well as plant my seed potatoes.

Thought time constrained I will hope to get outside in the sunshine for an hour or so this afternoon to do some yard cleanup.

Hope you have a healthy and happy Hump Day.

Posted in My Daily Life | 14 Comments

2021-02-23

Thankfully my dental checkup went well yesterday, otherwise I’d have worry about my teeth in addition to my knee and elbow.

I had a nice walkabout with Bonnie last evening doing the majority of the Moonlight Hash. We skipped the part that climbed the wall and went into Oakland Cemetery, and thankfully I saw my car keys lying on the ground after they had fallen out of my pocket while shimmying under a fence in Cabbagetown. The start/end was 97 Estoria which looks promising as an outdoor drinking establishment when the weather warms slightly.

With no TV in front of which to fall asleep I went to a strange place last night โ€”- my bed! Much like when on the futon and couch I passed out quickly, not even making it the end of the seventeen-minute long YouTube video I launched on my iPad.

As I reach the end of February still suffering knee pain I conclude my surgery, or perhaps my recovery, to be a failure. This sucks. Not that it will be a cure, but I will take today off from all exercise. I will probably do the same tomorrow, and whatever rain arrives at week’s end will help me not exercise further. This depresses me greatly, especially since today and tomorrow are supposed to be spectacular weather days in Atlanta. I suppose the closest thing to exercise I’ll do in the next two days is wash the mud off my mountain bike.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 185.4 pounds (-0.2 from last week’s weigh-in); I’d be a lot happier about this if I weren’t still in pain of course. I have been getting complements from hashers about my weight loss, which is very nice. Iโ€™m not used to such behavior… ๐Ÿ˜‚

Days Without an Amazon Purchase: 6

Posted in My Daily Life | 21 Comments