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Today is Saturday April 24, 2021

Happy Saturday. I am up early for the weekend, up as if it was any other day and I was getting ready to go to work. In reviewing my personal e-mails today, I discovered the need to renewal my subscription to WordPress in order to maintain my domain and this blog. Then just like that, “ding”! My phone had a message from my credit card company indicating that the auto payment to renew my WordPress subscription and domain had been denied. Like magic. Modern technology, for all the good and the bad, is connected. Me and the world.

All this means is that it has been two years since I set up my plan and site. When I enrolled in April 2019 I had no idea where this experiment was going to take me. To explore this new found medium, I set up my domain as a business account. I guess that I was thinking that perhaps I would set up some type of business around TheMcKeeSpot domain. Something to keep me busy over the next 50 years. Maybe I would sell stuff and perhaps recover my investment.

To renew, or not to renew, that is the question…

I remember when my kids were younger. They talked about setting up their own YouTube channels and become overnight “gazillionaires”. Daughter would emphasize horses; son would be a video game superstar. I of course had more modest ideas for all. They are tech savvy. For me, it just goes over my head.

Oh to be young again and to dream…

Ruby and I had uneventful birthdays. My daughter tells me that Ruby is 15. Alas, I wish I was 15 but I will have to settle for 60. That makes me 4 in Ruby years…For her special day, Ruby enjoyed dehydrated kiwi fruit. Willow doesn’t like kiwi but was fine with dehydrated banana chips to help in the celebration. I had sea scallops from a local restaurant. I took off from work to allow for a four-day weekend of sorts. Nothing planned in terms of festivities for my self and the kids outside of dinner together the night of my birthday. They had homework.

I really didn’t do anything special for surviving another decade, or is it starting a new decade? Spent money. Reviewed all of the birthday wishes from friends old and new on Facebook. Went to Santa Fe and shopped at some stores. I was able to score on ammo for my guns. They are usually out but if they have it, you are limited in what you can purchase. Spent an hour perusing a bookstore. Bought a biography on Ulysses S. Grant. Should be a good read as I add it to the pile of four other books that I have in the queue. And to those of you who frequently visit TheMcKeeSpot, yes, I am still working on Atlas Shrugged. See my post from May 28, 2019 entitled “Reading is Fundamental” for the appropriate background. But at least I have gotten passed the pages where in my two previous attempts to read this book I gave up.

So, two years later, I have no business plan. I have not set up the site to sell anything. I have renewed the domain for another two years. Aside from the time that I spend writing, which hasn’t been much over the past two years, and a few hundred dollars to maintain the internet domain and infrastructure. Now I just need to write more often, to expand upon the subjects that I write about and see where it takes us.

Until next time, stay safe, feel free to read and comment.

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The mundane happenings of life

Yesterday I managed to leave work early and stop to pick up my new glasses. I have been without glasses for close to two weeks now. The trouble with my glasses started several months ago when Jewel somehow got my pair off the table one morning before I left for work and completely destroyed them. Plastic lenses and plastic frames were chewed into pieces. So I had to put my back up pair into service and the arranged to get a new fitting. My back up pair was my prescription from about 6 years ago. It had been several years since I was last at the eye doctor, and so it was long overdue.

Well that lasted about a week when Jewel somehow got this pair of glasses and managed to chew the frame. Scotch tape to the rescue. Yes I was really the geeky nerd and endured this for several months. Between travel and other distractions, it took me months to finally get an appointment to get an eye examination and new glasses. Unfortunately, I also made the appointment for son, who was also have vision trouble at school. Yet here it was in the middle of summer before he finally admitted to having problems.

Driving was ok because I had my prescription sunglasses to wear. Didn’t work too well at night but that was manageable. By then the scotch tape was too much. Lost the screws that held the frame together and had to resort to crazy glue. That too wasn’t enough. Supper nerd needed to see the eye doctor.

Yesterday I managed to get my new glasses. Skipped the bifocals this time. I really just need them for distance because I have become accustomed to read or work on the computer without wearing them.

I guess Jewel likes them too. Now I put them in a place where she cannot reach them.

We found ourselves inside on a Friday night. Watched some tv, which was more enjoyable with the new glasses. Didn’t really do much of anything. I didn’t even cook myself a delicious meal. Maybe Saturday. It was quiet. I could have sat down and read my book but even that didn’t excite me. Clearly this weekend was going to be very different compared to last weekend. For me, I was back to normal.

Today I find myself without the kids. It is just me and the dog. This Saturday morning started out well. I got up early and managed to get to the stable around 7 am. Stopped at Morning Glory Bakery for large coffee and two glazed doughnuts. Would have probably gotten a burrito but they were busy and they didn’t have my favorite: sausage green with cheese. Cold have gone elsewhere for a burrito but the doughnuts will be enough to keep me moving. Not to feed the horse. Rather, my task was to cut the grass and weeds around the stable.

Aside from that I needed to do some clean up around the stables because next weekend will be our first hay delivery for the year. For cutting the weeds, the old manual push mower just wasn’t working out. Tried sharpening the blade multiple times. Managed to cover the same path multiple times trying to cut the grass and weeds. While it was exercise, and I would cover a few thousand steps, it was never without difficulty. I needed power.

I bought a new mower to accomplish the task. I may have destroyed a new mower while mowing. At one point, I was mowing and must have hit metal. It immediately stopped. Looked underneath the mower to see wire wrapped around the blade and half of the blade bent. Removed the wire and resumed mowing. But it was now struggling to cut the weeds. After much starting and stopping, I somehow managed to stop and again, catch wire in the blade. This time I was mowing the back of the lot. After I managed to remove the wrapped metal wire, I figured that it was time to call it a day. Packed up and went home.

Of course, I had Jewel with me the entire time. I had her tied up at the front of the stable while I was cutting grass in the back. She had water, but it was hot and the day was warming up. By 10 am, we called it quits.

The morning sky started to show some nice white puffy clouds over the mountains as we drove home. By the time I got the car unloaded, it was lunch time and I was certainly hot and tired from mowing. Clean up may just have to wait another day!

Goofed around the house in the afternoon and ran some errands. By mid afternoon, it rained and cooled things off outside.

Much of what I do happens to be mundane anymore. Normal everyday things become more and more mundane. Is it because I am getting older? Is it because I am so set in my ways that I avoid going out, trying new things. Lots to do this weekend but can’t say that it really excited me. I really am becoming more and more of an old fuddy-duddy. I need to change that. That is one of the reasons why I started this blog. Try to read more and share more, learn and seek new ideas, stimulating conversation, meet new people who write some really great things. I don’t see myself as a writer, but I have been enjoying putting things down here for all to see. In the past I have written lots of scientific papers for publishing, two dissertations, and many papers in college for various classes. Writing has long been a struggle for me, yet I see how very important it is to communicate clearly, to express ourselves. Sometime the words just come out; other times I have nothing. I try to impress this upon my kids.

Often what I write starts out completely different than the final product. I need to work on spell checking and proofing the final words before I publish. Hopefully that will improve my style, my word choice, allow me to better articulate what I write and what I post.

I need more spontaneity.

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My story, or is it?

As I think about subjects to write about, I have been thinking about a pathway to guide me through the summer months. I started this blog based on a conversation at work with a coworker, during one of our morning “coffee cabels”. They often deal with work issues, but this one morning, the discussion focused on retirement, what to do after retirement, whether to retire and return part time, or under contract to another company. The work stuff focuses on what is working, what is not working, our management, solving this or that technical problem. Sometimes the conversation triggers thoughts about almost anything. I try to make a mental note about those things; ideas for a future blog post.

The pathway was my thought about the fact that my topics ramble on in terms of subject. While some themes have emerged, I think it will take some time to improve my skills, improve my subjects, and how the fit together. As an example, lots of my posts speak about my kids. I love them, but I don’t think they read my blog. I’ll keep trying.

Now in my third week, I have been exposed to many fellow bloggers in the past few weeks. I find their stories and subjects equally interesting. Some deal with writing, animals, art, a variety of topics. Some readings that I have exposed myself to suggest writing about one or more of my hobbies. I have some future plans in this area and will lay those out over the next few months. I have lots of interests, but they all clearly are not hobbies. Book reviews, movie reviews are all fair game, but I fail to see how writing about those subjects will separate this blog from others. A book review about my reading might appear. I bet you all are interested in how far I have gotten in Atlas Shrugged (7 pages). Fishing, hunting, hiking and camping are also fair game. I won’t write about sports or skiing, although an occasional shout out to my teams is permitted. Similarly, food and alcohol are things that I enjoy, but I am neither a cook, critic or a connoisseur. Lots of blogs on history and politics but I don’t want to alienate half of the audience who would disagree with my political views. But then again, I would not be true to myself if I didn’t write about these things.

Some of these topics go to the heart of why I started this blog. It’s obvious that writing and communication are important in my job, with my friends and coworkers. It’s all around us. It’s also under assault (in my opinion). Just spend some time on Facebook. Read the comments to any article. Whether you agree or disagree, there is someone who has an opinion, or will tell you why your opinion is wrong, bad, stupid, or just embark on a characterization of you in detail in comparison to a part of the human anatomy. It doesn’t matter if your male or female. That is what is wrong with Facebook. But it gets worse as they try to have “community standards” that they impose. The imposition stifles free speech and communication of diverse subjects. We cannot have a debate, which is what is destroying our country, or democracy. That is a strength of social media, and for that Twitter might be better ( I am not on Twitter, but really, the limited character size constrains us). It is why we cannot compromise, we cannot move forward together. It’s sad that this has been the turn of our country since the 70’s by my recollections. But here we are. This blog isn’t going to fix those issues, but I will at least be able to express. Myself. And I hope that you will respond in kind and join me in these conversations. I’ll keep trying. I won’t be right all of the time, or most of the time, but I need to express myself.