Another look at unproductivity

Tulip tree

This picture serves as my annual reminder why the Yellow Poplar is also called a Tulip Tree. In statute, the State tree of Indiana is named as the Tulip Tree, not a Yellow Poplar. In fact, the Yellow Poplar is not a poplar, but rather a member of the magnolia family.

***

The other day I wrote about the things I did instead of being productive. Today I thought I might build off of that. You will be happy to know that I finally finished my load of laundry. I put down the mystery long enough to do that. Then I went back to the mystery and read the rest of the book. I told you it was a good mystery.

Part of the time I was reading I was playing music in the background. I wouldn’t have bothered mentioning that, but for a statement I heard on TV this morning. The person speaking said that people were perfectly happy to let AI (Artificial Intelligence) do things and make decisions for them. He mentioned Anti-lock brakes (I concur) and choosing music (What?). I know he was talking about Spotify and similar services. I have tried Spotify a few times but have never liked the results. I give it a few songs that I like, and it seems unable to match my preferences. Perhaps I’m too picky. I would probably be the same with an online dating service.

***

I also cut the grass the next day. I am happy that the trend in lawn beauty is  lush stand of grass. I can recall when we were all supposed to have yards that looked like putting greens, very short and smooth. My grass is lush. My more generous neighbors might call it super lush. My less generous neighbors might call it super frickin’ lush. I’m sure that those who really don’t like me have even more colorful terms. At least I have no rusted-out autos in the yard. I could be a worse neighbor.

By the way, a half hour after I finished cutting the grass it started to rain. Timing is everything.

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Things I did instead of working around the house yesterday

Full moon through the clouds

I took this picture after our granddaughter Maely’s final 8th grade choir concert. At least I think it was then. It was an eventful concert.

***

I had an unproductive day yesterday. There are things I should have be doing, but put them off, because I’m basically lazy. For instance, rather than collect my dirty clothes and start a load of laundry, I decided to read a chapter in a mystery. It is a very good mystery.

Apologies to my vegan friends for the next two paragraphs. I hope that you don’t find them too distasteful. Perhaps you should just skip over them.

While reading I flashed upon a steak dinner that I used to order in my favorite restaurant in Auburn. I haven’t lived in Auburn in at least thirty-five years,  but I could picture the plate with the steak and baked potato. The dinner had just been served, with the potato still in its foil jacket, steam rising from the plate, and a smaller plate for my trip to the salad bar. I could feel the tenderness of the steak as I cut into it, and the delicious flavor of the meat. All this at 9:30 a.m.

I put on a Pat Metheny Group CD that I borrowed from the library. It was really relaxing. I had the windows open, the ceiling fan on, and my eyes closed. But then I experienced an olfactory hallucination, and could swear I smelled eggs frying in butter. It smelled so real that I could almost hear the sizzling in the pan. It wasn’t yet 11 a.m.

OK. You can start reading again.

The only explanation have have for these incidents is that due to a reaction to a newly prescribed med, I had lost my appetite for the best part of a week. That seems to assume that meal times are the best times of the week. (I should probably think about that.) But now my appetite is returning.

I finally started my laundry and decided that I should cut the grass. It needs it. Badly. But you know, the idea of just sitting in my easy chair and watching an old episode of The Rockford Files just seemed too appealing. Of course after I watched that episode it was time for my afternoon nap. Nobody would want me to miss that! And after my nap, well it was just getting too late to start a major project like cutting the grass. I’ll do that tomorrow. Unless it rains.

My confession: I’ve had to make some changes this post while writing it, because I started writing it yesterday but put off finishing it until today.

Little bits and pieces

Macey & Della

I took this picture at my granddaughter Maely’s baseball game Friday. My older granddaughter, Macey, found it hard to be as somber as her mother and grandmother because she was holding the adorable Della.

***

A few days ago I tore one of my thumbnails to the quick. Yes I know, “Boohoo, Boohoo.” After staunching the meager blood flow, I put a band-aid (copyright erosion?) on my thumb to protect it. Due to diabetes I have lost some sensitivity in my fingertips. With this problem and the band-aid, it took me more than double the normal amount of time to button my shirt yesterday. I believe my thumb has been protected enough. The band-aid is coming off soon, because eventually I’ll be getting dressed for another baseball game.

***

Our President’s talk about his beautiful wall at his political rallies, reminds me of Gallagher’s sales pitch for the Sledge-O-Matic. I do miss our dear President’s tag line that Mexico will pay for the wall. What happened? Unlike Gallagher’s show, the crowd doesn’t need to bring plastic sheets for protection. You may have to look that up on YouTube if you are under a certain age.

***

For those of you on WordPress, you know that you can compose either in the classic format or in block format. I prefer the classic format. I was surprised to see that the spell and grammar check function had disappeared from my tools. Has anyone else experienced that as well? I want it back.

***

I was looking through my list of notes for possible blog posts before starting this draft. One of my notes reads “Eyes as big as half dollars.” I wish I could remember what I was planning to write because, because it sounds like it would have been fun.

N-N-1 Season Changes

The latest edition of N-N-1 (where the first N stands for the number of people participating; the second N stands for the number of photos; and the 1 stands for when to take the picture) was hosted by Natalie Garvois at https://wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com/2019/05/08/n-n-1-season-changes/. I think she did a fine job. If you would like to participate in the future, contact me at houseman@comcast.net.

Wild Rivers Run South

I have been honored to offer this most recent N-N-1. Thank you to everyone who participated. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Princess Butter, whose blog is asplashofmylife.wordpress.com, has a short, but very sweet, entry for this N-N-1.

It could be spring, summer, or winter, for all I care. Right now, it is all about love for us. image1Here’s hoping for an everlasting season of happiness and cuddles. Occasional showers are permitted. 🙂

Barb Abelhauser has the wonderful blog theviewfromadrawbridge.com/ . She tells us about the change of season and of the change in her working conditions.

Seattle Opening DayAs a bridgetender in Seattle, the first Saturday in May is a pivotal one. This is the official opening day of boating season in the emerald city. Granted, you can boat all year ‘round, but today is a day of celebration. There are races and a boat parade…

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A strange dream and an announcement

Mason

This is a picture I took of my grandson, Mason, at a track meet a couple of weeks ago. He was waiting to be called to compete in the shot put event. He had finished his competition in the hammer throw event, where he had thrown for a new personal best and made it into the finals competition.

***

Chalk up another strange dream for me. I had this one a few mornings ago. I should have written notes when I first woke up, because I’m sure that I’ve forgotten some details. But I’ll do my best to remember.

In my dream I was once again working for the State Employment Service, though I seemed to be in Texas rather than Indiana. I had just transferred into an office where I had never been before. The office was strange in that the building had no rear wall, and behind that was the employee parking lot. A row of staff desks separated the main work area from the parking lot. Nobody seemed to think this was strange.

This was my first day as the new office manager. My first duty that day was to mollify an upset job seeker who believed we weren’t doing enough for him. I eventually calmed the person down and he left. I turned to look out at the parking lot and saw three men dressed in jeans, blue work shirts, cowboy boots and Stetsons. They had just pushed my car out of the parking lot and into a ditch. Nobody seemed to care except me. And then I woke up.

I have no clue what brought the dream on. I know for sure that it wasn’t because I miss working. I haven’t missed being at work one day since I retired. I doubt that I ever shall.

***

And now for the announcement. I received this email the other day. If it interests you, feel free to contact Natalie.

Hello,

My name is Natalie Garvois. Miss Anju and Mr. Norm asked me to host the next N-N-1. With some fear in my heart, I accepted. But because of the person I am, I want to make this one slightly different.
We have done themes before, and I like them, so this time let us do the theme “Season Changes.” The theme is voluntary, so you are not required to stick with it. Secondly, rather than be forced to take your picture on a specific date and time, or even just a specific date, you have a three day window to take the picture.
Now for the details:
Take your picture sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and midnight on Saturday, May 4th. Send your picture, a bit of writing (no more than 200 words of prose or poetry) to me at ngarvois@gmail.com no later than midnight on Monday, May 6th. Oh! All times are local to where you are. I’ll put all of the submissions together and post them in my blog, wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com, and send you a link so that you can reblog the post if you want to. You do not need a blog in order to participate. If you know somebody who would like to participate, please forward this email to them. You can even post this as an announcement in your blog if you want to.
Thanks for your time.

My 2019 Reading non-Challenge Update #1

I am not doing a reading challenge this year. Instead I’m reading for pleasure, in an attempt to reduce the number of books that I have bought over the last few years, but never got around to reading. I’m also going back and rereading books by some of my favorite authors. As you can see by the chart above, it is going well so far.

2019 Reading non-Challenge Update #1

As you can see, I’ve read three of Bernard Cornwell’s Saxon Tales books, three of Len Deighton’s spy novels featuring Bernard Samson, the final two books in Michael J. Sullivan’s fantasy trilogy, and  a variety of other fiction and non-fiction books. I have plenty more on my TBR bookcase to choose from.

So far this year we have had cold weather that is conducive to relaxing with a good book. However, spring is finally coming to my corner of the world. That means that I’ll be spending more time outside in the sun. Grass will need to be cut on a regular basis; the pool will need to be opened and maintained; and short road trips will need to be made. I won’t be reading books at the same pace as I have in the past three and a half months, but I will be reading.

I hope you can find the time to read a few good books this year. If you have any suggestions for books to add to my TBR case, feel free to let me know.

Mornings & other things

April 2017

I took this picture a couple of years ago. I believe that I took it one day while I was out driving north of Lafayette. But since my memory isn’t what it used to be, it might have been south of Lafayette.

***

I’ve mentioned a number of times before how I abandoned Facebook a long time ago. I got tired of the endless political debates, and the thinly veiled bigotry that was appearing for my “reading pleasure” by people who should know better, and whom I thought I knew. It got to be too much. In the past six or seven months I’ve started to feel the same way about Twitter. The Tweets have become too mean-spirited on both sides of stories. I haven’t given up on Twitter entirely, but I only check in on it once or twice a week at most. I feel like there should be more happiness in the world. I noticed how much this disheartening aspect of modern life was getting to me this morning when I realized how much I was yearning for a road trip to get away from the daily negativity. Vacation can’t come soon enough this year.

Speaking of this morning, I woke up this morning with a wisp of the dream I had evidently been having. It was a bit of a song titled My Toodleoops and I. Toodleoops seemed to be a nickname for a non-existent former girlfriend. Though, upon reflection, perhaps it was Toodle Loops, a fictional brand of boxed cereal. I’ll never know because I can’t remember anything about the dream.

And while I’m writing about waking up in the morning, what is normally your first thought upon awakening? My first thought is almost always the question “What time is it?” The second thing is usually the question “Do I need to put my pants on before I go downstairs to start the coffee.” The answer to that one depends on whether or not we have house guests. Two days ago, however, my day started in my mind with Linda Ronstadt singing I Can’t Let Go. Catchy but distracting.

That morning start was not nearly as strange as one I experienced two and a half weeks ago when I woke up thinking about the opening of the U.S. Declaration of Independence, “When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another …” and I wondered what might have I been dreaming. But before I could truly form that thought, I started remembering the novel A Hall of Mirrors which was the basis of the movie W.U.S.A. which starred Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. I must have had one heck of a dream!

Early morning thoughts. Wow.