Starting my work day early today, 6:00am, in hopes of getting out into the backyard to keep chipping away at my garden plot project. I may have a late-afternoon meeting which will throw a wrench into my plan.

Of course I could have done work yesterday but chose to hang with the hashers picking up trash for a few hours out on Cascade Road at 285, and then head over to Wild Heaven Brewing at Lee+White for a little reward. The tragedy of the day was when the wind swept my half-filled beer from the table onto the ground. 😢

After recuperating with a nap, I managed to rally myself to go to the Moonlight hash. Have I ever mentioned how tired I am of being injured (rehabbing at this point), cold weather, and COVID? These three conspired successfully to thwart my night. I was bundled up like I was going into the Arctic, didn’t do any walking, and then decided to go home instead having dinner with the hash since the ending was indoors and I am not ready for that yet.

I’m hoping that the City picks up my yard waste bags this week since they didn’t last week and at least one dog walker thought that it was cool to deposit their bag of dog shit onto one of my yard bags.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 187.4 pounds (0.2 from last week’s weigh-in); meh.

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Although in the grand scheme of things all of the issues that angered me this weekend are minor, they still managed to make my weekend less than stellar.

Today is a paid holiday for “XYZ Corp” which is nice, especially since the money will be spent soon. I may use the morning to do some community service picking up trash with the hash, or I may spend the morning in the back yard attempting to get close to finishing my garden plot project.

Tonight’s Moonlight hash with a 6:0pm start in Brownwood Park, so I will go to get in a walk tonight.

Hope you had a better weekend.

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IT’S FRIDAY!!!!! Hope you’ve all had a good week.

Last night was the first German class of this quarter. All was going well until we started getting into vocabulary and grammar expected for which I am currently enrolled, at which point the wheels came off my cart and I was lost. Again, I may need to reevaluate my German learning at the end of this quarter to see if the money I am committing to Goethe should be spent elsewhere; I have nine weeks to figure that out.

Other than German class yesterday was boring. I never left the house other than to get my mail. I also made a batch of hard-boiled eggs of which I promptly destroyed two of transferring them from the Instant Pot to the ice water bath. 🤦🏻‍♂️

It’s 6:45am and I’ve already been “at work” for fifteen minutes. Of course I was awake early, 5:15am, after a fitful night of sleep (or lack thereof) and have already reheated and eaten breakfast, and washed a sinkful of dishes. My goal is to quit work early, getting my eight hours in straight through, and then go work the yard for a few hours this afternoon. With an immense amount of luck today I will be able to plants some garlic bulbs, mark out my square plot, and then lay a cornerstone and perhaps one of my raised garden beds. Back in June of last year I should have started recording the backyard transformation as a YouTube channel. 😂

Tonight is the annual Southern Comfort Christmas Tree Burn hash. This event is usually one of my favorite outings of the year, but of course this year is different. Because of COVID there will be no food served this year (dammit, I was going to eat meat tonight as well!), and because of my meniscus rehabbing I am still not comfortable running a hash, especially at night. Depending on the news I hear later, and my engagement in the back yard, I will probably go to the end and hangout drinking a beer or two while watching the trees go ablaze.

Tomorrow is a crapshoot. The only item on my agenda currently is a walk with Betsy in the morning. More yard work? Perhaps, perhaps.

I’m going to buff by the end of this garden plot construction! 💪🏼

Sunday is a Black Sheep Day! Of course if I go I can still only bimbo and do a little walking. Someday I want to return to being a real hasher. 😢

Have a fun and healthy weekend all.

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Yesterday I spent another three hours, roughly, working my small 13’x13′ garden plot; that’s how many roots I continue to encounter. One of the roots I pulled was actually quite pretty, kind of purplish in outer color with a stark white interior that I discovered when I accidentally peeled some of its bark (?). This root was at least fifteen feet long (!) because that is about as much as I got out of the ground before using the digging bar to sever each end. Yesterday I worked until muscle exhaustion arrived, which occurred about thirty minutes before sunset. It’s pretty easy to say that I haven’t done two consecutive days of such hard labor since I worked as a truck unloader / stock boy / bicycle assembler for Toys R Us when I was nineteen years old in 1984 (!!).

You won’t be surprised to read that I fell asleep fairly early, and slept pretty solidly last night. Sure, I woke up a handful of times but that’s normal for me.

Though I am not really looking forward to the resumption of German class tonight, I am looking forward to taking today off from doing manual labor to give my body a day to rest. Depending on how things go this quarter, I may decide to take a break from German classes after this quarter’s completion.

That’s all that I think I have for today. Hope you are remaining healthy and happy.

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Doing this “old school” today by entering text via a keyboard attached to the computer known as my laptop. Why? Because my iPad is charging and I don’t want to interrupt that.

Yesterday was an okay day for me. In addition to 9-5 worky-work, and seeing Bonnie, who took away all of my CHaRM recycling, I did some yard work.

The problem with recycling is the same problem one has with laundry and dirty dishes — the minute you think “Yay, all gone” you generate a new collection. And thus, I now have plastic bags, glass, and perhaps some scrap metal that the City will not take.

My yard work yesterday was “interesting”. Sometimes I believe that I suffer from a mild case of ADHD since I start many tasks but rarely finish them before moving on to another task.

Because “growing season” will be on us before we know it, I needed to get outside to mark my planting area and start vigorously clearing the ground so that it can be leveled, as in made level for the garden beds and paths. Once leveled I can then place the raised beds and lay out the paths around them. The thought yesterday was “Mark a 13-foot square (I now have a new layout from when I was marking the rectangle which unearthed the brick path — another half-done job) and then garden fork the fuck out of it to make it easier to level soon. Yesterday my geometry failed me, on what should have been a simple task. I hammered in two pieces of rebar thirteen feet apart. Then per my calculations for the square’s hypotenuse:
13^2 + 13^2 = 338
√338 = 18.38
which works out to be approximately 18′ 5″

Simple enough, right? Not for me. Every time I laid out what I thought was the correct hypotenuse length the box was wonky.

After a few attempts I said “FUCK IT!” (internally) and proceeded to reduce my anger by garden forking the fuck out of the ground that lays within an area I know will be garden. Of course I hit some rocks, and roots, many, many roots. But the garden fork is a devious tool and works well to expose the roots and loosen the soil so that roots can be yanked. While doing this task one of the neighborhood birds came back around and watched me work while occasionally snacking on a worm or grub that I had unearthed for it. This bird, a rather brazen one, comes quite close to me to dine. Hell, for all the hard work I am doing to feed it, it might as well be my pet. 😂

The network of roots in my back yard is amazing; as I pull one sizable root I encounter others crisscrossing it to make extraction very difficult. As darkness began to fall I had to admit defeat, clean up my tools and boots, and leave the ground and roots that I could not extract for another day (today?). In all I think I got about 40% of my plot forked, but even in that area I will have to return to finish forking and begin leveling.

I discovered that this is even more exercise that ivy pulling! Though you’d never know if you only referenced my AppleWatch which only credited me with twelve minutes of “exercise” for my over-two-hours of yard work. Maybe by next week’s weigh-in I’ll be down to 185 pounds! 🤞🏼

Oooh, because I am on a laptop it’s easier to include a photo! Here is a photo I took yesterday morning:

Channeling Edward Weston with My iPhone
I bought this garlic to eat, but it has a different idea about its future. So, I will be planted this week instead.

Today? Perhaps more of the same, adding an hour of TV watching “with” Betsy; tonight we move on to “Top Chef New Orleans” since the All Stars 2 season from earlier this year has yet to make it to Hulu.

Hope you all are doing well and staying healthy.

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At 6:20am I am sitting waiting for my breakfast casserole to finish baking. The coffee is ready, but I still sit in anticipation of eating.

Mostly due to the cold, wet, and dreary weather yesterday proved to be an unproductive day. Sure, I did laundry, which was the highlight of my productivity.

Last night Bonnie came over and we froze our butts off sitting in the carport drinking some beers. Fucking COVID! To warm our bodies I made dinner, an Instant Pot’s worth of delicious mushroom risotto.

Today’s agenda includes working, loading up recycling into Bonnie’s car as she thankfully takes our collective recycling to CHaRM, and getting ready for Thursday’s German class. If time and weather permit I may attempt to knock out an hour of yard work as well. That garden plot and pile of downed trees are obviously not going to prepare themselves!

Hope you are remaining happy and healthy.

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 187.2 pounds (-1.2 from last week’s weigh-in); woot!

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Knocking out a quick blog post today since I am going to the Waschsalon (!) and then into the office (!!) at least for a couple of hours. Last week we were told that we should ensure to remove all of our personal affects by the end of the month. Though I made an initial pass back in December, today I will do a final one.

The reason I need to go to the Waschsalon is because I have a load of clothes covered with Georgia red clay from my backyard. My progress to complete uncovering the brick path, and marking out and leveling my garden space has been glacial due to encountering so many roots. Bob, I will say that the digging bar I bought on your referral has been very helpful. When I am done uncovering the brick path I will have to figure out how to fix the spots that have become uneven due to the roots that have grown through and under it.

After spending about three hours in the backyard during the freezing cold yesterday, some time was spent around the small fire I built to warm my hands and feet, I finally gave up. I assumed that after a warm shower and rest I’d be heading out to meet up with the hash. But that didn’t happen. Realizing that I would be spending the day at home, I went back outside for a couple of (thankfully warmer) hours and chopped up downed branches. Holy shit do I have a lot of cleanup work ahead of me…

It was good that I did yard work yesterday because I shirked it all day Saturday. Before the sun had even considered rising I had paid visits to Kroger, Lowe’s, and Target at Edgewood Retail District. Later in the morning I picked up Bonnie and we did the budget-conscious trifecta — Dollar Tree, Value Village, Aldi — but not on Moreland, the ones on Memorial. I found items at each, but Bonnie was the day’s big winner buying two pairs of Vasque hiking shoes. Neither of us were intimately familiar with the brand, and when I used my iPhone to look up Vasque I discovered that each pair of shoes that she was trying on retailed for around $180 (!); I don’t recall how much Bonnie paid for each pair, but I think it was in the $13 range. Granted the shoes weren’t brand new, but they were in extremely good condition.

Saturday afternoon found me at Betsy’s house, backyard really, where a Christmas tree fire was built and Chinese food was consumed. Because we are all so much older now, the gathering was over early and I was home by 8pm (!). 😂 I probably was able to stay awake until almost 9pm (!) 😂😂.

Hoe you were able to stay warm, happy, and healthy this weekend.

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Happy Friday!

Because of my 7:30am doctor appointment this morning was not one on which I wanted to fall asleep early on the futon and be awake around 3:30am. But, that’s my current pattern. Shortly I will attempt to get a nap in so that I can get up again with enough time to take a fast shower and be at West Paces/ I-75 by 7:15am.

Yesterday’s tree work went almost as well as could be hoped, even though it was rather nerve racking at times. The taking down of the dead pine tree created quite the thump that had at least of of my neighbors looking to see what the hell was going on. I still have hours of cleanup ahead of me, time which I should be spending clearing the land on which I will put garden beds, but that’s what happens when you cut costs. There will be many backyard fires between now and summer; I know that a lot of the wood won’t be ready to burn until next year, but many of the smaller limbs and branches can burn sooner. I watched with interest yesterday as the squirrels tried to figure out what had happened to their highway system and sought alternative routes from one side of my backyard to the other.

This afternoon I have my first one-on-one meeting with my new manager; the last one left the company in December. This may or may not set the direction of my future with “XYZ Corp”.

No firm plans exist yet for the weekend, though I do have a few proverbially irons in the fire.

Hope you have a happy and healthy weekend.

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I believe in the past I’ve adopted a theme for my new year. I wasn’t going to do so this year, but then yesterday a theme kept popping into my mind, so I decided I should go with it. My theme for 2021? “Embracing Change”.

It’s easy to say that “change” happened in 2020 and that we all were forced to embrace it in some way or another, but I feel that I have a lot more ahead of me this year.

Already I’ve had to deal with the recovery from my knee surgery. I am looking forward to talking to the doctor tomorrow to get her assessment as well as any advice for returning my knee to its pre-damaged state.

Today a change will occur that will alter the appearance of the ITP Estate’s property. I am having the tree limbs overhanging the power line trimmed, and the large dead pine tree as well as the smaller trees around it cut down. Even though these trees in the backyard are on the northern side of the ITP Estate the yard should get more sun, which should make my efforts to grow vegetables this year a little easier.

I expect 2021 will throw some more curveballs as well. Employment? Perhaps. Family? Perhaps. Political? It appears so. Declining health? Hopefully not. Normalcy, peace, happiness, improving health? Those would be hanging curveballs hit for a home run and would be fantastic. There are also some decisions that I will be making this year that I will discuss when the times arrive.

Well, as I type… I just read that it is confirmed that “XYZ Corp” will not be renewing its lease on the office space in Midtown. I hope this means that I can work from home, at least for as long as I remain an employee of “XYZ Corp”.

Yesterday I attempted a trainer ride. After thirty uninspired and bothersome minutes I quit.

Last night I continued emptying the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer by making a large batch of macaroni and cheese, into which I stirred a bag of peas. The food was delicious. Not as delicious was the bottle of cheap red wine that I opened to drink with it. The wine was okay, but I could definitely taste the cheapness within it.

Two things I don’t expect to change are the frequency or content of this blog — for better or worse. 🙂

Hope you are doing well and are having a good start to your year. And if you are not, I hope that things change for the better soon.

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Well this is annoying, amongst many things annoying me currently, is the fact that the calendar app on my Mac for which I pay an annual subscription seems to be getting worse in software quality; I nearly gave this post the date of January 4th, because that was the day being shown in the app’s icon this morning until I restarted the app. Fortunately, I knew this date was incorrect.

Saturday, January 9th, can’t get here quickly enough for me. By then I should have all of the tree work successfully finished, and will have discussed my knee issues with the orthopedist and have been told that all is as it should be. I’m trying to project the best outcomes here…

I should go out in the yard this afternoon to continue working the yard before the rain arrives. After all, I do have a digging bar now. 🙂 However, the current condition of my knee is making me think that I should rest. Doing physical therapy and not having any pain after the surgery, may have given me a little too much bravado to do things, which may have set me back, hopefully not permanently.

Additionally, I need to start getting head’s down in coding so that I have plenty of current coding projects in case I need to interview for a new job this year; I feel that my skills have been getting rusty for awhile now.

I want to go to Aldi today, but will probably put going there off for yet another day as I attempt to use produce/products that are already in my possession. Through consumption and donation I am slowly making headway toward cleaning out my pantry, refrigerator, and freezer; this doesn’t annoy me.

In addition to watching Top Chef tonight “with” Betsy, I am also going to make a list of expenses to see if I can eliminate some of them, as well as making a growing plan using the new garden layout that I have conjured.

Hope that you are not annoyed and are remaining healthy.

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