Thursday, November 30, 2023

Thursday Ramble: You are not from around here, are you? 36

I have lived in five US states in my lifetime, including three major geographic moves as an adult.  With a country about twice the size of the EU - about the same size as Europe as a continent, we have a lot of regional differences. And I have experienced being told, "you'll aren't from around here are you?" a few times.  Within a few months my accent adjusts, the cultural adjustments take a while longer.  I learned a long time ago to not expect a new place to be like the old place. Some differences I will like, some I will adjust to, part of living there is accepting that things are as they are.  The people and the place are not going to adjust to my being there, I need to adjust to the place.  

Few if anyone in the America's is from here. Some of our families have been here for a long time, some of our family members arrived in the last 100 years, the blink of an eye in history and culture.  

Immigration is an immensely complex issue.  Immigration is a part of human life, past, present and future.  As long as people feel unsafe or insecure where they live, some will move. 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

My World of Wonders aka The Wednesday Ws November 29th edition 37

Who have I met this week?  Inga and Karl YouTubers from Iceland.  I started watching their channel a few months ago, and on a recent vlog they mentioned that they were going to be in the DC area over Thanksgiving.  I reached out and asked if I could buy them a beer, they said yes.  There are IT professionals, world travelers, fun adventurer's.  Give their channel a try

Why? I enjoy meeting people. Let me know when you are going to be in the Washington DC area, we will try to meet up.  I love going out to breakfast.  When I travel, if I know there is a blogger nearby, I try to meet them. 

What else have I been up to? I took 6 days off for the Thanksgiving holiday. I have cooked, baked, eaten sensibly.  I ordered new sunglasses, TV glasses and my first pair of computer glasses.  I cleaned out a couple of drawers at home.  Took a few long walks.  

What have I been watching?  A lot of YouTube, there are some amazing content producers out there.  

Will I start a YouTube channel?  I have thought about it, but video editing is painful, if you are going to do it well.  And I look fat and sound funny (and it is not the camera.) 

What surprised me this week? That people still go shopping the day after Thanksgiving.  

Where have I been?  Dyke Marsh a couple of times, the Holiday Market at Gallery Place,  the optical shop on King Street, Mt. Vernon, and back to the office for a couple of days. 

What have I sorted through? A stack of books. One needs to go to a friend, two (unread) are going into the community library, they are work and I am about done reading for work. 

What am I reading?  Diddly Squat Farm, Pigs Might Fly, Jeremy Clarkson's latest book. I know he is a pig, but his writing is funny. 

What proof is there that I am old?  I purchased my senior public transit card, half price fares on the subway trains and one-dollar bus rides.  


Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Dublin to Holyhead March 2020 38

These are a blast from the past, early March 2020, we went to Ireland for two weeks.  Early in the trip we took the Stena Line ferry from Dublin to Holyhead in Wales.  We visited John in Wales, then went onto London to have dinner with Duncan and Stephen. Then the ferry back to Ireland to continue the trip.  By the time we got to London, Covid was starting to become a worry in cities. Little did we know that little more than a week later we would be on the last Delta Airlines flight from Dublin to the states, before the USA closed the border. 

It was a great ride, as I recall less than two hours each way. I booked the Hygge Lounge with extra comfy seats and WiFi. 


Monday, November 27, 2023

Moody Monday: 39

We finally named a replacement for me, when I retire.  The hire was made last week, but won't be publicly announced until this week. Largely because I took last Tuesday and Wednesday off, and frankly Thanksgiving week the notice would go largely unnoticed.  

Erica has been with us almost two years,  she tells me that the first day she was on the job, I told her to get ready to take over because I was going to retire.  She has a deep background in the substance and practice, she will do great.  It was not an easy decision, we had two very well qualified candidates, I am glad that the decision was not mine to make, it would have been agonizing.  We did find a way to reward the candidate who was not promoted.  

This moves me deeply into transition mode, trying to share with Erica  the added duties that come with the title, and the increase in pay.  We could never pay anyone enough, she will come to that realization in a few months.  

I have two webinars left to do. The preparation for those is 99% complete, and I will enjoy doing them.  On one of them I have an amazing co-presenter who will be fun to work with.  

I have the better part of two weeks of paid leave to use up before my last day, so I won't be working much the last couple of weeks.  

Through a fluke in the way the promotion was done, Erica starts five days before I leave.  A nice transition. I think I will word the announcement that Erica takes over as director on January 1st, and my last day is January 5th, and wait to see if anyone is confused by the dates.  

My last board meeting was a few days ago.  People were commenting about it being the last one, and how sad.  I have to say, I am trying really - really hard to not be sad.  It is my choice, my plan, and the future holds great things.  Yes there are a lot of last times involved, but those will be followed by a lot of first times - and those I am looking forward to with a smile.  Some of the things I have done for the last time, I have thought, I am glad I will never have to do that again, with a smile.  When one door closes, another one opens.   

Sunday, November 26, 2023

The Sunday Five: Christmas is coming soon? 40

 OMG, Christmas will be here before we know it. 

1: Have you sat on Santa's lap and whispered in his ear your Christmas wishes? 

2: Have you started decorating? 

3: Will you be traveling over the holidays? 

4: Should more employers close the week between Christmas and New Years? 

5: What is the strangest holiday gift you have given or received? 

My Answers:

1: Have you sat on Santa's lap and whispered in his ear your Christmas wishes? Not in a long time, about 200 pounds. 

2: Have you started decorating? Not yet.  

3: Will you be traveling over the holidays? Nope.

4: Should more employers close the week between Christmas and New Years? Yes, it is a very unproductive time of the year. 

5: What is the strangest holiday gift you have given or received? I bought a car once, last year we bought a garage parking space. Cousin Bill gave his second wife a box of cow manure one year, with divorce papers in the attached card. 

Please share your answers in the comments. 

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Saturday : People I Met Along The Way 41

These are from back in my home-building days. Some colorful characters. 

I was in the office late one afternoon, and a roofer stopped by to tell me something or drop off a key.  It was August, in Florida.  I used to joke that there is good news and bad news about the weather in Florida.  The good news is that a typical summer day is a low of about 80 degrees fahrenheit, and high of about 92 degrees. It rarely gets warmer than that. The bad news is it gets like that in April and doesn't cool off until November.  So the roofer had spent a long hot day in the sun.  I commented that I didn't know how we got people to do what he did, and was glad that someone did it.  His response gave pause, "where else can a convicted murder make as much money as you do?" He had served his time, and found work that made it possible for him to have a stable life, own a home, drive a reliable truck, have a family if he wished.  He was not the only former felon on the the job site, one of the best drywall finishers I ever worked with, wore his prison uniform to work in, he said it reminded him to be careful what he did so he could remain free.  His other secret was that he used beer to thin the plaster, he believed the alcohol made it dry faster.  

I was walking a jobsite one morning and asked about the big-tall-blond framing carpenter that had been on the crew and I hadn't seen for a few weeks.  He was good, he was fast, and he was very easy to look at.  The answer surprised me. "They convicted him of the arson, but not the murders." Apparently he put his clothes, television, and motorcycle in his pickup truck, drove down the gas station and filled two cans with gasoline (on video - with witnesses - paid for with his credit card) and shortly there after his house burned to the ground, with forensic evidence that the fire was set intentionally, the empty gas cans were found in the rubble, along with two bodies.  But there was no evidence connecting him to the bodies, who were deceased before the fire started.  The Jury convicted on arson, acquitted on the murder charges. He was a looker, I bet he was popular in prison.  A real shame, he was a good carpenter.    

I have always been a talker, striking up conversations with those around me, interested in hearing about people's lives. And I have met some interesting people along the way 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Funny Friday - Or is it Funny? 42

I never expected to earn a living in my bedroom, then along came COVID, and remote work - and my home workspace is in my bedroom.  So in essence I earned a living in my bedroom for a couple of years, and still do most of the week.  

Many years ago a woman I was working with was lamenting her financial need, and I remarked (this was in the 1980's and sexual harassment was not as well understood) "well you could always work the south Trail at night."  She had the best response ever, "with what men expected when I was giving it away, I would hate to think they would expect if they were paying for it." Well said - very well said. 

Facebook and YouTube shorts have a fair number of cute young things that seem to be making a really great living in various states of undress and beyond.  Some have a sideline of teaching other cute young things how to make significant money online selling access to their video feeds. I don't think OnlyFans is an option for me, I think I would have to pay people to watch (never underestimate how twisted some people are.) 

Ah, if I had known when I was young a cute, what I know now.  



Thursday, November 23, 2023

The Thursday Ramble: Being Thankful 43

Today is Thanksgiving Day, in the United States, our annual holiday to pause and be grateful for all that we have.  An excellent time to pause and reflect on the year, to take stock. 

Today I am Thankful for:

  1. Another great year with my sweet bear,
  2. A year of adventures, 
  3. Checking a couple of items off the bucket list,
  4. Family, 
  5. Friends, 
  6. The blogging community, those who comment, those who post, and those who read and remain under the radar, thank you.
  7. Returning to travel,
  8. Great work colleagues who made the year great and easy, 
  9. The opportunities that my work has offered,
  10. Reasonably good health, 
  11. My community, we are getting to know more neighbors and realizing what a neat place we live,
  12. Financial security, 
  13. The local farmers market, there are reasons that market has been in continuous operation for 270 years in a country that is less than 250 years old,
  14. Living in a country where I can comment on how dysfunctional congress is, without fear,
  15. For the education I have, 
  16. For the record number of books I have read this year, and all of the authors who labored away to write them,
  17. For the opportunity to write, to share my thoughts and ideas
  18. For sunny summer days, 
  19. For living in a place that has reliable safe drinking water, and modern sanitation, 
  20. For long walks, with a camera at hand, 
  21. For our fluffy and feathered friends. 

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

My World of Wonders, aka the Wednesday Ws November 22 edition 44

Where have I been? The office, the gym, the farmers market, a little grocery shopping to get ready for Thanksgiving, an arts and crafts fair, Warby Parker to order new glasses.  

What am I up to?  I have six days off for the holiday weekend, I added an extra couple of days. 

What am I reading?  I finished a historical biography of Patrick Henry, and started a gay-novel.  Book 60 for the year. 

What have I been watching?  My friends on YouTube - at least they feel like friends, Goldrush - we enjoy watching that for some reason.  

Who am I  meeting? Karl and Inga Time Warp Iceland are in the City for a few days, and I am meeting them for a drink on Friday.  

What is happening at the office? I cancelled Tuesday, there was no reason for me to be in the office. Appointment of my successor.  Preparation for my last two webinars is complete.  I have an ethics article I want to write between now and the end of the year. 

How is the weather? Unstable, frosty one morning, and warm the next day.  Rain and sunshine.  Probably 20 percent of the leaves are still on the trees, a late fall.  

Who deserves a slap this week? No one, peace and love. 

Who deserves an atta-boy this week? Human Resources has me the paperwork that I need way ahead of time, to sort out continued health insurance after my work coverage ends.  

When does the final wind down start? December 22nd, mostly paid time off between then and January 5th. 

What am I thankful for?  A good life, good friends, good family, 

What made me laugh this week? SpaceX had a rocket explode or as they described it experienced "a rapid unscheduled disassembly." Yes and I am gravity challenged. 

What made me smile?  I took Tuesday off, mid-afternoon I was nodding a bit, and let me self drift off for a nap. When I awoke, I realized that in another 44 days, I can do that whenever I want. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Travel Tuesday: Chicago 45

I love Chicago, it is a tall city, that is filled with life.  The CTA Blue line rattles from O'Hare into the heart of the city. If the winters were milder, I would love to live there.  I was so glad to go back, I had not been there since BC (before Covid.) There were new buildings, old buildings that have been given new lives.  And the weather was mild, even warm, making for great long walks.