Thursday, December 08, 2011

December 2011

Welcome to the Month of December- I did my stretches and went for a short walk; too dang windy and cold outside to do anything else.
I worked on Paula’s website.
It rained a little here and there all day.

Friday 02- I did my stretches, dumbbells, core trainer ran a mile, and lifted weights. It was a nice sunny but cold day.
I spent a few hours working on the Copper Mountain Mesa website and sent out the newsletter.

Saturday 03- I did my stretches and ran a mile.
Renee and Craig came by for a visit.
I took a video of my frozen cement pond; it’s now officially Winter!
I went over to Blake and Linda’s for a visit and to see their new puppy; an Australian herding type puppy. I got back home just before dark.

Sunday 04- I did my stretches.
I worked on the Gross Polluter (my truck) cleaning out the back of it which was really dirty and filled with garbage, filling it with gas, and pumping up the tires with air.
I then worked on the kitchen, pulling everything off the shelves, wiping them down and throwing old junk out that’s been hanging around for a few years.
I went for an evening walk.
National Novel Writing Month had ended and I went to claim my certificate, it said that I wasn’t verified. I told them I used the Validator on the 20th of November. They told me that the Validator only officially started verifying on the 25th and anything before that date was only used to count the words. Then they said I could email them a scrambled copy of my novel and they would do the count because the Validator was now turned off. So I went scrambled my novel and emailed it to them. Now I await their verdict.

Monday 05- I did my stretches, yoga, dumbbells, core trainer ran a mile, and lifted weights.
I mostly fiddled around the house.
I did a little webwork on Paula’s website.
I went for an evening walk.
National Novel Writing Month sent me an email:
"Hi Bob! Unfortunately, when you scrambled your document... you removed
your spaces! As a result, the document only comes up to about 1500
words or so. When you scramble, you have to be careful not to include any spaces, or it will mess up. You'll need to try again, and send me a document
with the spaces preserved."

Then they sent me this email:
"Bob, I went ahead and flagged your account. Don't worry about
resending. :) Welcome to the winner's circle!"

I sent them this:
I read your first email and thought to myself, I give up!
Then I read this one and YAY!!!!!!
I think I did about everything wrong on the Nano website :(
Thank you Heather!
It’s dang cold tonight!!!

Tuesday 06- I did my stretches and ran two miles.
I went for my evening walk.
I watched an episode of “Castle” on Hulu.

Wednesday 07- I did my stretches; going to town with Kelly today.
We went to Home Depot to get roofing supplies to fix Stoney’s garage, then ate at the Sizzler, WalMart, Starter Bros, two pet stores to get food for her critters, got gas, and got home at 9:45PM.

Thursday 08- I did my stretches, yoga, dumbbells, core trainer, lifted weights, and ran a mile.
I replaced the deadlock on my front door that went bad, and did a bunch of small stuff around the house.
I went for my evening walk.
I watched “Warehouse 13” on Hulu.

Friday 09- I did my stretches. I decided that the weather was nice enough to head on over to Stoney’s house and repair the garage roof. I got there around 10AM. I brought some laundry to do while I was working and got that going. I hauled all the tools and roofing material onto the roof and started prepping it to lay down the Henry’s roofing tar. Roger Smith (pictured) came over to help and we got the job done in no time. I was pretty sore afterwards and just surfed the web.

Saturday 10- Kelly called me at 4:30AM to wake me up for the Lunar Eclipse. Dang it was really cold outside, but it was clear and I was able to get two good pictures with my lowly Kodak camera while yapping with Kelly.I went back to sleep and did my exercises and ran a mile.I worked around the house fixing this and that little thing. I even gathered a whole bunch of trash from around the yard and took it over to the trash bin at Stoney’s.
It's Universal Declaration of Human Rights Day!

Sunday 11- I did my stretches. I laid some more gravel around the corners of the front patio. John came by and we jawed for a long spell.I updated the Copper Mountain Mesa website and sent out the newsletter.It rained sometime during the night.

Monday 12- I did my stretches, yoga, dumbbells, lifted weights, and was about to go for a mile run when it started to rain.I stayed in most of the day reading and goofing off.Dang, I forgot to go to the Neighborhood Watch meeting. I’ll catch it next month.

Tuesday 13- I did my stretches and went for a mile run with five pound weights and got back just before it started to rain.I finished reading two books: one a short How To on exercising, and the other “The Art of Thinking” by Ernest Dimnet, first published in 1928. I read this book in the 1970s. The book was very hard for me to read; he uses a whole lot of French phrases and talks about authors and poets I’ve never heard of and who are mostly French. I do have to say that I have learned from this man because, which has surprised me, I have done mostly what the book has written from my first reading many years ago. “Reading the news as if it were history” is one of his thoughts.UPS finally came just before dark and brought me my new Celestron 20x80 binoculars for astronomy. Dang these are big! I now discovered I need a mount for them! I took them outside once it was dark and focused on Jupiter and its moons, and then the Andromeda Galaxy. I went back outside after 10PM to watch the Geminid meteor shower. Saw a few nice bright ones crossing the night’s sky on their way to a fiery demise.

Things I found online that were interesting to me this week:

What is a Higgs Boson? (Oh now I understand!)

TED - Michael Mann - A Look Into Our Climate: Past To Present To Future. (is it getting hot in here?)

Pendulum Waves! (Really neat to watch!)

メタル布教活動としてMr. Crowleyのギターを弾いてみた (A Japanese girl who can really play guitar!)

Wednesday 14- the weather was cold and overcast and I don’t think it got out of the low fifties. I did my stretches, dumbbells, core trainer, lifted weights, punched the heavy bag for about ten minutes, and ran two miles. It was a great workout!I got the Harley out and rode it to the mailbox and back; it needed to be run for a while.I am starting to do my studies again.I went for a walk listening to a random astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko about: the methods used in finding new planets around stars other than our own.I updated my blogs; I have four where I post now, but I’m getting rid of MySpace at the end of the year and will not post there again. MySpace has become unblogable (Hmm, maybe I created a new word :)I watched some YouTube videos on how to punch a heavy bag. I ain’t doing none too bad from what I saw, but I do have to learn to bob and weave. Right now I just stand there and hit the bag.I played my guitar for a spell.

Thursday 15- the weather outside was again cold and overcast. I did my stretches, yoga, ran a mile with weights, and using the 30-30-30 heavy bag method punched the heck out of the bag: felt mighty invigorating.I swept the patio really good getting rid of all the dirt and leaves from the desert willow out front. I did my studies throughout the day: Latin, astronomy, entomology, and reading a book called “How to Study in College”. I went for a walk listening to an astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko about: the Hertzsprung–Russell (HR) diagram that compares stars Spectral Class: temperature and color (OBAFGKM), versus their luminosity: Absolute Magnitude. As a star is formed out of dust in a nebula, by gravitational contraction, it reaches a temperature of 15 million Kelvin (I believe) that ignites the fusion process. Most stars fall on the main sequence and star there for a spell; the Sun will be on there for another five billion years. Very massive and hot stars may only be on the main sequence for maybe a few million years burning their fuel very quickly. Compare this to a Red Dwarf that is about 40 percent the mass of our Sun, will burn their fuel for trillions of years. I got the wood stove fired up for the second time this winter. It felt good when I got back from my night run and soaked my feet in hot water!I practiced my guitar.

Friday 16- the weather is still cold and overcast, but add to this the high winds! At 11AM it was 49 degrees.I did my stretches, dumbbells, core trainer, lifted weights, and went for a mile run. Oh, and I punched the heck out of the heavy bag again :)I updated the Copper Mountain Mesa Website and sent out the Newsletter.I did my studies.I went for a short walk because I had to be around when UPS shows up (he never did), and listened to a continuation of yesterdays astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko.I did some stretches and went for a night run. I wanted to checkout my new binoculars but the sky was too overcast.I practiced my guitar.

Saturday 17- the weather was again overcast and it even rained late in the afternoon.I did my stretches and ran a mile.I called family and friends throughout the day as I worked around the house. John Massey came by and started showing me some math. He said that he will teach me; I have a mental block when it comes to math beyond addition. Well I did get a B in college algebra class.

Sunday 18- I decided to just kick back today and do whatever comes to mind. I did some reflection on recent events. I went out to the dirt road and gathered small rocks into a bucket and spread them around the cement pond.The night sky cleared enough for me to finally check out the 20x80 binoculars and I drank in the night sky!

Monday 19- the weather was nice and sunny.I did my stretches, lifted dumbbells, lifted weights, core trainer, ran a mile with weights, and punched the hell out of the heavy bag.Chris came by with a bag of groceries from the USDA food distribution. He said there were over a hundred folks showing up. I spent the day doing my studies.I went for a short walk and listened to another astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko about: neutron stars.The UPS driver finally showed up at 6PM with my new camera I ordered last week. It’s a Panasonic LUMIX DMC-FZ47 Digital Camera with 24x optical zoom, cool.

Tuesday 20- the weather began the day with some cold winds, but mellowed out later in the afternoon.I did my stretches, yoga, ran a mile, and rode my bike.I played around with the new camera checking out its 24x zoom. The dang thing has so many buttons and dials it’ll take me a while to figure it all out.I did my chores around the house cleaning this and that.I went over to John Massey’s for an early dinner. He lost his fancy knife with his name inscrolled upon it that he had for many years. He showed to me a few weeks ago and said, “I’ll never lose this knife.” We ate the chicken he got from the USDA Food Distribution yesterday; it turned out mighty good.I got back just before dark so I listened to an astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko about: more on neutron stars and beginning to talk about black holes.I decided to try to finish the textbook “Astronomy Today” by the end of the year. This is the book that I’ve been reading out loud for over a year now and need to put it to rest and move on to something else. Reading a text out load is a very slow process for me, but I read a whole of chapter 22 in about three or more hours. When I finished that I read from the books on college studying, and entomology. Then I did a lesson in Latin.I went for a night run and practiced my guitar when I got back inside where it was warm.

Wednesday 21- the weather was very nice, no clouds, with temps in the upper 50s.I did my stretches, lifted dumbbells, lifted weights, core trainer, ran a mile with weights, and punched the hell out of the heavy bag.I went over to Kelly’s to put her dead car battery on my charger and then took her to her mailbox.I went for a walk listening to an astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko. It was more on black holes and neutron stars; he gets sidetracked here and there and falls behind on his lectures.I then proceeded to read aloud the whole of chapter 23 about galaxies; that took about four hours. I’d write about it here but I’m kinda burnt out. I then read the other books of my studies- did you know that bugs can’t see the color red? That’s what my entomology book says. I did my stretches and went for a night run, fired up the wood stove, and soaked my feet in hot water.
I practiced my guitar.

Thursday 22- the weather was sunny but my cement pond was frozen when I got outside to do my morning exercises.
I did my stretches and ran a mile.
The winds came up later in the afternoon and it really started to blow hard so I skipped my evening walk and night run. I spent all day reading chapters 24 and 25 of “Astronomy today” and did my studies and practiced my guitar.

Friday 23- the weather was cold and windy all day and temps never made it into the 50s.
I did my stretches, dumbbells, core trainer, lifted weights, ran a mile with weights, and punched the hell out of the heavy bag.
John Massey came by to ask if I’m ready. Ready for what, I asked. To go to town, he says. I don’t remember we made arrangements to go to town today, but hey I ain’t doing much of anything else except updating the Copper Mountain Mesa Website, so I ask him to wait a few minutes until I’m done. He wanted to go to the library and didn’t believe me when I told him they were closed on Fridays, but did believe the sign on the library’s front door. We stopped off at Home Depot and I got some building supplies while there.
We also stopped at Food For Less to get food; I’m not sure if it’s lesser than the other places I like to shop. I go back home just before nightfall and didn’t go for my walk, but did feed the doves.
I did my studies, but didn’t read aloud from the astronomy book because my jaw was sore from yesterday’s reading of the two chapters.
I did my stretches and went for a night run.

Saturday 24- what a beautiful day! It was nice and sunny.
I did my stretches and went for a mile run.
Sami called and I drove my Harley down to meet her in Joshua Tree. She came up here for a spell from San Diego for a visit with our mutual friend Sandy. We had lunch at Santana’s Restaurant and yapped about a book we are both working on. She made me a meal to take home; it was turkey, fried ribs, beans, and stuffing that I ate all of later in the night- it sure was might good!

Sunday 25- Christmas!
I just stayed home and yakked at folks on the phone.
I read aloud chapter 26 and part of 27 of the textbook “Astronomy Today” and have only a chapter and a half left to read before the year is up!!!

Monday 26- the weather is staying pleasant!
I did my stretches, dumbbells, core trainer, lifted weights, ran a mile with weights, and did the 30-30-30 routine on the heavy bag.
Kula wanted me to find out for sure about when I’d be going to drive John to the doctor in Rancho Mirage down by Palm Springs, so I drove over to John’s to ask and spent a spell there yakking with him about his woodstove.
I went for a walk listening to an astronomy lecture by Alex Filippenko about: Relativity.

Tuesday 27- another nice day.
I didn’t feel very well today and spent most of the day inside except when I drove over to Kelly’s to put her dead car battery on my charger and drive her to her mailbox.
I finished reading aloud the last chapter in the textbook “Astronomy Today” and feel relieved it is finally done.

Wednesday 28- I did my stretches and John picked me up for the trip to his doctor; I will be driving him back home after the procedure.
We arrived at the office at 12:30PM and I gave Kula a call when I was about 15min before. Kula and Tom were still in route from Redondo Beach where they left earlier in the morning and had just passed Palm Springs. I waited only about half an hour at our rendezvous at a nearby shopping center where I had walked as to make it easier for them to find me. I was so happy to see them when they arrived! We would only have a short visit before I’d have to take John back home. They would remain a few days and enjoy a mini vacation in the lower desert. They checked into a nearby hotel room, I think it was a Hilton, where we had lunch, chili and cornbread, which Kula had prepared; she’s a really good cook! We sat around yapping about this, that and other things until it was time for me to pick up John and take him on home. It surprises me that I have such wonderful friends as these that would take the time out of their lives to come see me for such brief visit.

Thursday 29- warmer today in the 70s.
I still wasn’t feeling very well, kinda achy, so all I did was my stretches.
Jimmy and Clarice made the trip from Norwalk to spend a few days at the Stonebreaker Ranch. They had arrived the day before and were literally having a blast shooting their rifles at targets. I got there early to help them shoot holes in cans and other stuff we found lying around. They also had clay disks that we toss into the air and blow out of the sky with our shotguns; what fun!
I had to leave around 2PM to take Kelly and her sick cat to the vets. The poor kitty has some kind of flu or cold. The Vet gave her a bunch of meds cat and I drove them back home. I hope the kitten will be okay.
I made it back the Stonebreaker’s just in time for dinner, imagine that!

Friday 30- wonderful day!
I did my stretches and made my way back over the Stonebreaker’s and we shot at targets most of the day; we’re all pretty good shooters by now!
We had dinner and I stayed around for a movie called “RED” (2010) starring Bruce Willis; dang good film!

Saturday 31- the weather is still very nice for this time of the year around these parts; 76 degrees!
I did my stretches and went shooting again until 2PM when Jimmy and Clarice had to wrap it up, load up all the toys, and head on back home.
I finished the astronomy book “365 Starry Nights” and posted to my Journal.
I will go for a run just before midnight to run out the old and run in the New Year!

Being as this is the last day of the year and I have a few hours to reflect on it before it goes, I will try to put it to words here as brief as I can.
I am blessed having friends and family who care about me. Like I said earlier, it surprises me. This year had its ups and its downs: I have lost two souls very dear to me; one a very dear friend, the other I met again after 55 years of separation and never really got to know. I have stopped writing my newspaper column, but have written two books that I didn’t know I could. I’ve had my 60th birthday party attended mostly by strangers bringing gifts and a few dear friends being close. I had all my teeth pulled but still can smile. I continue to exercise and be in good health; life is good!
I asked someone once what they were doing for Christmas; their reply to me was, “It’s just another day.” Later, I asked this person the same about New Year’s Eve and they said the same to me, “It’s just another day.”
I guess it’s just another day if you let it. Every day is just another day, and the day after that, and the day after that until you have no days left. I feel these “special days” are days we set aside for reflection, for being with and in communication with the ones we love, to bring us full circle so the days are not just another day. I for one intend to make each and every day a special day until I run out of days. I now believe that is the reason why I write this journal and I never really thought of it in this way before until writing this tonight.