Showing posts from December, 2015

Apps and Making a Murderer

Today feels like a Saturday. I stopped caring about what day of the week it is sometime in the last month as I continue to find my retirement stride. The day of the month has come to mean more to me because retirement bank deposits find their way into my account once each month on the 1st. I'm being more careful about my purchases than I used to be when I was employed and surprisingly, I don't mind the added discipline. It's not the hardship I imagined it would be. I stumbled onto a new photo editing app the other day called Super Photo. ( Android or iPhone download links) The "painting" filter renders some very cool images. Here's a collection of photos I've edited with the app. There's a free version and most of the photos in the collection I linked to were edited using it. The only drawback is that you're limited by the file size rendered. I purchased the app for $4.00 and in addition to getting larger file sizes, I also have access to all

A Quiet Christmas, 2015 Style

It's Christmas, 2015 and Tammy and I are quietly enjoying the day at home with her mother and our pups. Rachel is still in the Dominican Republic with Tony and some friends. I think she'll be back in Rochester on Sunday and we'll get together with her the following weekend. From the limited contact we've had with her, it sounds like they're all enjoying themselves. This was our first Christmas without my mom and more than once I caught myself wanting to reach for the phone to call her. For years she would sometimes suggest that this would be her last Christmas or birthday or last whatever-the-occasion-may-be because she didn't expect to live much longer. She was finally right. Tammy and I have moved away from lavishing one another with Christmas gifts but we did exchange a few. I prefer it this way. She surprised me with a metal John Deere sign for our  my garage because somewhere along the way I became a proud John Deere guy when it comes to my mowers.

Has Anybody Seen December?

This is a December to remember as far as our weather goes. Our temps have been in the upper 30's to well into the 40s (2º - 9º C) most of the month which is quite a departure from normal. One of my neighbors was out doing yard work last week. Had our temps been cold enough for snow we'd be buried deep now because of all of the precipitation we've had. While the weather has been great for getting out and walking (50 miles in the past week), it's not so good for fat-biking. Our lakes haven't even iced over yet. Because it's important to limit damage to mountain bike trails when they're wet, all of the trails have been closed for the past few weeks and I'm itching to be out there riding them. I wouldn't mind seeing some snow as well because it is winter after all and I've been looking forward to this—being retired, waking up and getting out on the snowy trails. There's still a lot of winter left so it's not quite time to panic. I met up

Go Ahead. I'll Wait.

At least a few nights each week I'm back at work. In my dreams. Sometimes I'm at a sector working traffic but usually I'm visiting with friends in the hallway or saying my goodbyes on my last day of work. In my more than 33 years of being an air traffic controller, I only ever dreamt about the job a handful of times. It happened so seldom, so why now? I occasionally think about where I'd be in my countdown to my last day had I not retired when I did. A part of me still would like very much to have gone the distance to January 2nd but it's a fleeting thought. Being home for Tammy to give her relief from caring for her mother is more important. Also, getting my hearing back as a tradeoff makes any other desires of mine pale in comparison. As a point of note for years from now when I revisit this page or when my future grandchildren discover my blog long after I'm gone: Gas prices have been steadily declining for the last 6 months to somewhere well under $2.00

Will Caribou off 175th & Hwy 50 at 10:00 work?

I went to several stores over the past few days to check out the 3 game consoles I've been considering and after much thought, Wii U is the one. PlayStation 4 wasn't going to work because one of the things we enjoy most about video games is being able to compete at the same time. The only racing games for PS4 were single-player. Xbox has two-player racing games but after trying the demo at BestBuy I walked away a little disappointed with the feel of it because (get this) it was almost too serious/realistic looking . We both like the Mario Kart cartoon look and feel. Plus, Wii is cheaper. I'll be going back to the Target store in Apple Valley in the next few days to make the purchase. There was a young guy there who spent at least 20 minutes with me, helping me to understand the pluses and minuses of each console. I left the electronics department so impressed with him that I dialed the store from my car on the way home to tell the manager of my experience. I had a friend

The End Of A Tradition and A Party To Remember

Our fall weather has come to an abrupt end. It was nice while it lasted. But wait! Do my eyes deceive me? Are those 40º temps in the long-range forecast? After looking at the Weatherbug app on my phone last week and seeing that snow and blustery conditions were in our near future, I decided to take to the walking paths for one of few remaining chances at a longish walk in the still mild temps. I did a 12-mile loop (a little less than 2 of those miles were spent walking with the pups) that has become one of my preferred routes. For as much as I enjoy my time on my bikes, I look forward to my walks every bit as much. Tammy did an amazing job with Thanksgiving! Cindy came into town and Rachel was also with us. There was so much to prepare so rather than getting in the way I simply told her to tell me what she needed. I carved the turkey and helped with the cleanup—that was about all. Trying to fit all of the leftovers in our refrigerator was a puzzle but we like puzzles. I got int