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

2021-02-22

It was an interesting weekend…

On Friday I did a ton of yard work, until I could do no more. I cut down the three small trees standing in the middle of the yard and because the soil was perfect for root pulling, even managed to get the stumps out of the ground. This work was all necessary in order to place the Frankenbed, which is preliminarily in place now. The placement of the bed took quite a while as I continued to hit and remove tree roots. It also took longer than necessary as I spent entirely too long trying, and eventually failing, to get the ground on which it sits level. I’m not good at this.

When I was done all I wanted to do after showering was sit and vegetate in front of my television. And then for the second time in a week my 55″ Vizio TV failed, this time it appears that it has gone kaputt for good! ๐Ÿ˜ญ A little Googling has identified that my specific Vizio television has a bad habit of having the solder points on one of its circuit boards break. At the moment I am going to live the television-less life (not really, I have a small one in the living room and the projector in the basement, in addition to an iPad) and make a decision what to purchase next. I am wracking my brain, in Atlanta are there any other places to purchase a TV these days other than Best Buy? Target perhaps? Walmart perhaps?

After my walk with Betsy and Bella Saturday morning, prior to which I picked up another bag of trash, Bonnie and I drove to Smyrna for the My Bloody Valentine Hash. Because Bonnie and I were ailing we opted to do a walkabout instead of trail. We did stumble (not literally) on trail and managed about a 1.25-mile walk. Apparently the hounds mistakenly shortcutted trail and didn’t hash much further than we walked. The real downside of the trail was the hare’s decision to not purchase discounted candy for the pack. WTF? After the hash Bonnie and I returned to the ITP Estate where we whipped up a quick dinner — tofu and broccoli with rice — and then spent a lovely few hours sitting around a blazing fire.

Yesterday I tested the knee for the first time by going to Wheelhopper. Because the start was in Decatur / Avondale Estates I assumed the trail wouldn’t be too challenging. For a 100% fit person that would have been correct, but for me I struggled. The knee has pain, perhaps not the meniscus(?), trail was suspiciously marked so Bonnie and I may have been two of three who did the entire trail. Actually, Bonnie did more of the actual trail than I did because I inadvertently shortcutted some of trail. We were out for over three hours; my Strava recorded a little more than eighteen miles. The knee is no worse this morning than when I started trail yesterday, which isn’t a ringing endorsement for my recovery of course.

Today I have my semi-annual dental checkup. I hope that all goes well on that front. As of 7:00am I am undecided about my participation in tonight’s Moonlight Hash.

Hope you all had a healthy and happy weekend.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase: 5

Posted in My Daily Life | 20 Comments

2021-02-19

February 19th? No, it has no significance for me other than to realize that we are already more than halfway through the second month of 2021. We are also eight days from the tenth anniversary of my Big Bicycle Wreck; more on this next Friday however.

Last night I made an Executive Decision to skip German class. I wasn’t prepared, so I attempted to use that time block in a more productive way. Yesterday I purchased a book about Apple’s new(ish) software technology called Combine (I won’t bore you by attempting to explain it. ๐Ÿค“). This is the latest effort of mine to learn this technology and I decided to keep plowing through the book instead of flailing at German. By and large I was able to read/work for a lot of class time before predictably falling asleep early.. I’ll be continuing with my professional education today.

I did allow myself a break during which I constructed the last of my metal raised garden beds. This is the Frankenbed since it is roughly 3’x9′ and constructed from components from two 3’x6′ kits; the other bed constructed from these two kits is a 3’x3′ square that is the centerpiece of my “formal” garden plot (hereto forth to be called the FGP, not to be confused with FP who is of course “Fagpipes” aka “Steve” ๐Ÿ˜‚). The “Plan” for the 3’x9′ bed is to hold climbing plants beans/cucumbers/etc along the back (where there better be a trellis, and positioned such that their shade cast will not hinder other plants), and probably house things that were initially planned for the FGP beds that are not ready.

Today I hope to get outside to do more work on the back yard. I am going to try to clear the three small straggling trees (two privet and a magnolia), pull up the English Ivy in a portion of the yard (this will be an ongoing task, I’m sure), and level the area on which the 3’x9′ bed will rest. Who knows, I may even make progress on the construction of the FGP, but it’s doubtful. What I will do in the FGP today is fill the two set beds with compost to see how far a bag of compost stretches, and thus be able to calculate how much more compost I’m going to need for this season. Yeah, more money spent on gardening supplies… These vegetables, if they ever emerge, will be the most expensive meals I have ever eaten. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ I have been making my own compost, but it’s been very slow to break down. ๐Ÿ˜” I wonder what the free compost offered by Dekalb County is like…

As alluded to yesterday I will most likely be going to hashes on each day this weekend. Tomorrow I will be a mere spectator for the annual-but-not-quite-what-it-used-to-be My Bloody Valentine’s Hash, but I am hopeful that I can ride Wheelhopper on Sunday. If I can ride, this will be my first actual hash experience since late August.

Tomorrow will also see me bundling up for a walk with Betsy and Bella early in the morning. Of course I’ll also bring along my litter picker-upper for the walk to East Atlanta Village. Also, I am hoping to be home from the hash early enough tomorrow to build a fire and sit around it for a few hours; those dead Christmas trees are not going to burn themselves you know! And if they do, oooh that won’t be good for anyone.

Hope you are happy and healthy, and have a wonderful weekend planned.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase: 2

Posted in My Daily Life | 6 Comments

2021-02-18

Oops, I just realized that I forgot to write today’s post; I’ve been that busy already — breakfast, dish washing, crossword, some work, laundry started and soon to be rinsed and taken to the dryer — all since 5:00am.

Yesterday I used the rare February opportunity of seeing sunshine and fairly comfortable temperatures to get outside for awhile. I must admit, due to the amount of build up work I need to do in order to finish the garden plot project that task, I have lost a lot of steam toward finishing it. I will finish it, if for no other reason than to stem the tide of the many half-done projects that exist in my life. I just don’t think that the garden plot completion will happen imminently. I have two beds in place, both of which will get their final soil addition before the weekend has ended, and will finish the other two “in time”.

I did lose myself in pulling English ivy again, however. Somehow I think I spent about three hours doing so, filling at least four leaf bags’ worth of the invasive plant. I allowed myself to perform this task because it needs to be done, and I may use that area of the yard as an area in which I place grow bags containing plants such as potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes.

Speaking of plants, due to my inexperience I think my initial sowing may be a failure. I have to set up a better growing station solution (which is not going to be in the basement as quickly as I wish it were) and try again. Live and learn…

Would you be surprised to read that I was asleep before 9pm again last night? I didn’t think so. Once again no German studying was done. Poop! Because I am so unprepared I may wind up skipping class tonight. Initially I thought I’d have to skip next week’s class too, but that was when I thought that I’d be in Florida for my mother’s birthday. As of now with no vaccine (for both she and I) and Florida’s idea of what COVID is and is not (Barb, what have you been seeing in your travels?), I’m not sure I’m willing to visit at this time.

Time to go finish the laundry, so that’s not a half-done project at this time.

Hope that you are remaining healthy and happy.

Days Without an Amazon Purchase: 1

Posted in My Daily Life | 6 Comments

2021-02-17

This won’t take much of your time…

Last night I got a little motivated and did some work in the basement. As I mentioned, I didn’t want to stir up too much dust since I couldn’t open the door to let some dust out nor some fresher air in, so I puttered around doing other chores. Most of these chores were in preparation for the carpet removal. Oh, I hadn’t mentioned that I was going to be removing some of the ancient shag carpeting in the basement? (see also: a need for a dumpster since the City will not take building materials) The plan is to make a portion of the basement a garden station, and another portion a bike “repair” area, neither task lends itself well to being performed on shag carpeting. For the short-term I will leave the floor bare, yes it will be cold and hard, but I always wear shoes in the basement anyhow.

One of the chores performed was taking down more of the suspended ceiling in the area destined to be a work area. Chores like this always provide an interesting window in to past owners’ lives. “So that overhead light was only attached to the suspended ceiling, and even though it was turned on and off using a wall switch that occurred because someone had connected it to an outlet using a lamp cord? Okaaaaaay…”

After showering from my chores, the rest of the evening was spent on the couch either watching videos or sleeping. German studying lost out again…

As the temperature is supposed to eclipse 45ยฐF this afternoon, and more rain and freezing temperatures predicted starting tonight, I would love to spend this afternoon outside working some of the backyard. There are so many chores to complete, some of which are gimp-friendly. I really need to get the garden plot area finished ASAP so that when the last of the frosts hits us the area is ready for action. Most of my seeds sown last week have yet to germinate, though a couple have sprouted out of their little seed pods like rockets and have already become too leggy. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

That’s all I have. Hope you are remaining warm, healthy, and happy.

Posted in My Daily Life | 19 Comments

2021-02-16

Yesterday I apparently waited until the worst possible time of day to go out and run a couple of errands. The main reason for going out in a minor monsoon was to purchase a birthday card for my mother, whose birthday is next week. It’s not like I’d forgotten about buying her a card, she’d never hear of that, it’s that in January I didn’t see any cards I liked and you know, time passes… Given how long it took my brother’s Christmas card to be delivered I hope that I’ve not waited too long!

It seems as if the minor monsoon through which I waded was the head of a cold front, which has brought significantly colder weather to the Southeast. It will be colder today in Atlanta than it will be in my brother’s city of New York! If not for the fact that I need to romp up to the post office today to mail the card purchased yesterday, and now I recall using the last of my postage stamps around Christmas so I suppose I’ll be buying more of them as well, I’d not leave the comfort of home. Fortunately I possess proper clothing (I’ll recite what I believe to be a false German saying “Gibt es kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung.” — “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing” ๐Ÿ˜€) so I will bundle up this afternoon to make the journey. I will also attempt to fight the urge to pick up litter along the way. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I keep looking at purchasing a new MacBook Air (I know I whine about spending money, but this really is a justifiable expense given my profession). I really wish that I was able to pick up a purchase at an Apple Store, like in the Before Times, rather than trust delivery of it to the ITP Estate.

Other than a trip to the post office, today will be spent working, and, if I can get my shit together, studying German tonight. I wanted to do some work in the basement tonight, but this work will create quite the literal dust up so I’d like to wait until I can turn off the central HVAC, open the back door, and suck out some of the dust I’ll be stirring up instead of distributing it around the house.

Hope you are remaining well, staying happy, and have the proper clothing for whatever occasion you find yourself in today. Barb, I guess that means a bathing suit for you and Allan today. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Tuesday Tale of the Tape: 185.6 pounds (-1.0 from last week’s weigh-in); unexpected, especially since I’ve not properly exercised this past week for obvious reasons.

Posted in My Daily Life | 27 Comments

2021-02-15

Starting off the week with the same knee problems that have plagued me for at least seven days. This sucks. Much like this weather sucks. Much like Lowe’s sucks.

This morning I visited the Lowe’s nearest the ITP Estate to be two-fold disappointed. First, no one could point me to the cement mixing tub (to be used to mix soil) that the Lowe’s app said were in stock, 47 in stock to be exact. The second failure was not unexpected; I could not locate the bird bath that was clearance priced, amongst all of the other bird baths in stock. Oh well, sorry birds.

The weekend was fun but limited in scope due to the weather and my aches and pains. Friday night was spent at home because it was too nasty to go outside.

Bonnie and I spent the afternoon together drinking at Three Taverns in Avondale Estates. Because my feet were cold we attempted to go drink elsewhere, but the weather combined with COVID made that impossible.

Yesterday I did an early morning walk with Betsy. I started the day by picking up another bag of litter along my walk from home to East Atlanta Village. Later in the afternoon Bonnie and I drove up to Alpharetta for the Black Sheep hash; she ran the trail, I stayed at the start/end and took photos.
They Donโ€™t Make Them Like This Anymore
It was fun, but I dearly miss running trails.

Tonight? Dunno. The weather looks shitty again, I still can’t run, and who knows what the post-hash eating arrangements will be.

Hope that you had a good weekend and all is going well in your world.

Posted in My Daily Life | 12 Comments