Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 16 Oct 2016 15:01:06 GMT
At the farmer's market yesterday morning, there was a lady from the local hospital offering to give away a cheap jumprope and water bottle to anybody who would jump for one minute. I did it, but boy was I out of breath afterwards. I did it using the skipping method, not hopping up and down with both feet.
I thought I was in pretty good shape, from walking and bicycle riding every day, but one minute jumping rope showed me that I was fooling myself.
The rope is now hanging on my bedroom door, where I will hopefully see it and jump every day, the hard way. I did 15 jumps this morning. In a couple of weeks, that should be a hundred, and I'll be in much better aerobic shape for it.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 15 Oct 2016 16:14:47 GMT
I've revived my political blog, End the War on Freedom, after a year and a half in mothballs. It's now at EtWoF.com. Check out my reintroduction post, and don't miss the news aggregator.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 21 Jan 2016 18:52:00 GMT
I went shopping last Sunday at the local Stop & Shop, the place I usually go for stuff I can't get at the local health food store. They had a large bin full of big-as-a-kid stuffed animals. An elephant followed me home. My brother-in-law named him Garth. He makes me smile every time I look at him. Welcome to my home, Garth.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 27 Nov 2015 01:43:13 GMT
Last Sunday morning, while out bicycling, I lost my iPhone 6. It was in a hip holster, clipped to my belt. I didn't notice it missing until leaving the store, a couple of miles from home. Find My iPhone didn't get a ping from it, so I figured it was either broken, or stolen by someone who had turned it off, but I retraced my ride, looking for it carefully. No luck. When nobody had tried to notify me within a few hours, I went to the Apple store (where my son works), paid off the remainder of my AT&T Next plan, and got a new iPhone 6S Plus. I had wanted to do this in September, when the 6S was introduced, but didn't think it was worth the money. Losing my year-old phone was a forcing function.
As part of investigating what it would cost to pay off the phone, I chatted online with an AT&T agent.
Me: I lost my iPhone...
AT&T: I hope you're having an amazing day.
Me: Well, it was more amazing before I lost my phone.
The AT&T person apologized, but I got a good chuckle.
I got a new holster for the new iPhone, but in order to make it less likely that this will happen again, I bought 50 feet of paracord with 5 side-release buckles, and followed these instructions to make a bracelet long enough to secure the holster to my belt (using 12 of those 50 feet).
Holster secured to belt
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sat, 24 Oct 2015 21:08:20 GMT
A bunch of acquisitions came together at one time today, so I took some photos. Click for higher-res version.
Capulin Coffee & mystery hardware: mail delivery
Eggs & fresh veggies: Bennington Farmers' Market
Dark chocolate covered ginger: The Village Chocolate Shoppe
Bread, peanut butter & chocolate bar: Spice 'N Nice Natural Foods
Bananas, hot sauce, and cheese: grocery store
Brussel sprouts separated from stalk
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 15 Oct 2015 13:54:30 GMT
See that beautiful little girl with the puppy at the top of the page? Well, she's all growed up. Will be nineteen in a month. When I left my wife of 24 years, I left her, too, but I do my best to see her at least every other week. This week she's spent a couple of nights in my spare bedroom. Lucky me! Here's a recent photo of her, taken by the extraordinary Jane Feldman.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 06 Sep 2015 14:39:41 GMT
The summer after eighth grade, I went to an eight-week summer jazz camp at the University of Wyoming. Stan Kenton's band was there, as was Maynard Fergunson's band. I learned to read beebop rhythms, and had a blast.
We played a trombone quartet arrangement of Jimmy Van Heusen's "Here's That Rainy Day". I found an arrangement online by "Bob Morris".
Here's a multi-track recording I made in Garage band on my Mac: billstclair.com/images/heres-that-rainy-day.mp3.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 05 Apr 2015 01:16:58 GMT
I moved into my new apartment on Wednesday morning, with the car-load of stuff I'd been living from at my brother's house. Spent most of the rest of the day buying a bed, a couple of kitchen chairs, and a dresser at a local furniture store, with a big discount thanks to dropping the name of my realtor, who recommended the store. Then spent two hours at Walmart getting everything you need to outfit an apartment.
As it turns out, I forgot the shower curtain, which I discovered at shower time on Thursday morning. Off to Walmart again to get one. This time I forgot the rings to attach curtain to rod. So I improvised and tied it up with little pieces of the clothesline I used to hold the futon mattress to the top of my car on the trip from furniture store to home (I took one chair and the mattress. The other chair, the bed frame, and the dresser will be delivered on Monday, goddess willing).
On Friday morning, I rented a U-Haul truck, picked up a guest mattress my mother had in storage, and drove to the house in New Lebanon. Spent a long time loading boxes I had packed, and my broken scooter. Dropped the scooter at Ronnie's Cycle, and unloaded at the new apartment, carrying everything up the long flight of stairs. My sister-in-law helped with the mattress and a lot of other boxes. Thanks, Lizzy.
Today I went to the dentist to get a replacement for the temporary crown that fell out on Thursday, and went back to the house to get a few things I neglected yesterday There's still another trip to make. And I need to unpack and clean everything, and throw away a bunch of it.
I'm in Vermont! And loving it here.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Fri, 27 Mar 2015 13:41:21 GMT
I've started the process for moving into a 2-bedroom apartment in Bennington, VT. My wife hasn't accepted it yet, but my daughter did her crying yesterday. It's in the center of town, but on a dead-end street partway up a hill that gets much steeper behind the building, with a bumpy one-lane road at the top. I'm on the second floor in the back of the building. It's 600 square feet with a small bedroom, a large bedroom, a large living room, a tiny laundry room with washer and dryer, a full bath, and a small kitchen, adjoining the living room. Heated with propane-fired baseboard hot water, but electric stove. Go figure. Some nonsense about insurance cost.
White paint everywhere with beige carpeting. 1900 building with brand new interior.
Comcast 25 megabit/second cable internet. I don't plan to get a landline or have a television, other than my 27" iMac monitor.
I expect to move in on April 1 and move my stuff on Easter Saturday.
There's a community choir that does three concerts per year. I hope they'll take me in the middle of their May concert preparation, but if not, I'll start after that.
I'm excited and happy.
Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Sun, 22 Mar 2015 15:38:17 GMT
After 24 years of marriage and raising two kids in a little house in the woods of the New York Berkshire Hills (I'm from Wyoming; the Berkshires are not mountains), I'm looking for another place to crash, without the wife. This has been happening for a long time, so it's more of a relief than a painful separation (for me), but there will definitely be some difficult times ahead. It costs more to live in two places than one, and finances are already tight. I'm going to pay my rent, but I intend to continue to support the wife and still-at-home daughter, with what I can afford. I hope she doesn't try to make the courts extort more than I can afford.
My non-negotiable requirement is driving distance to a Sahaj Marg meditation center. Desires are lower taxes than NY and better gun laws, neither of which is hard to find.
My first inclination was to move to Southern New Hampshire. Meditation north of Boston, 45 minutes away, no income or sales tax, Constitutional Carry likely coming soon.
Another idea was New Mexico. Slightly lower taxes than NY, no local override of state gun laws, open carry state, much milder winters, and dry climate, sorta like Wyoming, only hotter. But I've never been there, so a reconnaissance mission would be necessary.
But my mom is getting old, and I don't want to miss the time remaining to be with her. And my daughter is not yet independent; I want to be here for her. So I'm starting today looking at rentals in southern Vermont. Highest state income taxes in the country, slightly lower sales tax than NY, but the very first Constitutional Carry state, when it was called Vermont Carry, because they were the only one. Half an hour from my mom, an hour from my daughter.
Wish me luck. And wish my wife and daughter luck and good health.