Saturday, January 22, 2011

Colder, Warmer

Mary and I have been setting the Loveland house thermostats to the low or mid-60s range. Keeping a cooler temperature facilitates sleep, not to mention reduce hearing costs. However, after one particularly chilly time down in the den, I decided to raise the temperature down there to the higher 60s. Hannah noticed it when she came early last week with Pele. I appreciate being able to sit down there and read or join Mary before the fire, which is not a particularly effective way to keep warm. The upstairs bedroom is about 64 degrees, but the den is closer to 68 degrees. I can see how this 1.0+ centigrade difference would matter world wide. It sure makes a difference for the comfort and enjoyment of the den.

A side note, while searching for information about land use leases, I discovered "Beef" magazine and noticed an article by an editor describing a theory counter to anti-climate change by human activity.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The civic life

Mary joined me at a public discussion hosted by the governor. She noticed an article in the Sunday about a tour that ran through Del Norte designed to get public input to build local economic develop plans that would coalesce into regional plans and finally up to a state wide jobs creation and world trade policy. The usual suspects were there. The superintendent of schools and the district's bond administrator were there as well. A few students and a sprinkling of "regular citizens" introduced themselves. There were the suits and local politicians, a lot of business people and executives and some local officials interested in economic development. A few farmers spoke up about water issues and there was the usual griping about regulations and taxes. Only the governor mentioned anything about the internet, no one brought up web based industry or complained about the schools doing their job to prepare students for college or careers. There are some interesting tech, engineering and design (TED) firms opening shop in northern colorado that make science and math more important to learn, but I hope people don't forgets the arts and humanities. When someone complains that something is "bad for the economy", ask "who is the economy for?".

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Happy Our

I took Mary out to the Rockbottom happy hour this evening. After four days of 1/2 to full day meetings, I needed a break. RB features $5 "starters"and reduced drinks. We have two or three appetizers and 2 or 3 drinks between us then leave, occasionally to Barnes and Noble for Americanos and cheesecake for an outing that costs between 30 and 40 bucks. Today I walked Mary over to Best Buy to look over flat panel TVs, but we left without a purchase, I was loathe to part with $700 for a 42" TV to put in the den. Actually, I will continue the search for a digital replacement as I am exploring the option of over the air plus netflix movies perhaps with an AppleTV box to view netflix on demand and other web offerings. We subscribe to comcast for internet with sufficient download (and good upload) speeds that would allow decent streaming viewing. I have to add that I could chuck the whole viewing thing and get back to sounds. Yesterday I spent about an hour dabbling on the sax. I can't imagine pushing air through the horn for very long and considered switching to the flute which places no pressure on my inner, upper lip where the sax mouthpiece hits. I remember seeing school buddies bite the mouthpiece to play, but the vibes drive me nuts and probably would literally do so with the sound energy transmitted through the teeth to the brain.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Happy Little Habit

Bedtime and wake up time are hard to establish these days. They are reminders that we are not yet cyborgs capable of endless, relentless mental labor. I have the clock radio in the room set for 5:50 a.m. which awakens me to a market place spot. Usually I lie there and listen. (With my poor hearing, any rustling or shifting drowns out the low volume I have set the radio.) I tried setting the alarm earlier, to 5:25, to give me more time for stretches and exercises for my back and shoulder, but I opted for a little more sleep even though the consequence is not arriving to work by 7:30. What I am trying to add now is a little post time to this blog to see if the anticipation of the writing helps me awake more rested and alert. Brewing the coffee is about the only cognitive task I can handle this morning as I didn't sleep until about 11:30 last night. 10:30 is better for a restful 5:50 wakeup and exercise. Maybe I will compose a blog about more than nothing!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Post form the iPad

When I first got my iPad I conducted a few "blog from the scene" posts of district functions. The glass, or software, keyboard is not easy to use. I soon learned that the iPad is a great READ machine, but a crappy WRITE unit. If you haven't seen the Galeria Quintanilla,or MobileMe gallery, especially on the crisp iPad display, you'd know what I mean. Any, I willmclose with a gripe about having to shovel snow, if I could build the context then drop the improbables, I would have a funny post. But I'm too tired to be clever. Shoveling snow off a double car driveway plus a backyard patio sucks. Good night.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


I slept OK, but didn't wake rested. Now before 11:00 a.m. Mary and I are thinking we'd better get out and enjoy the day before the storm approaches Sunday evening and Monday morning. This morning I inspected the pot holding my Christmas Cactus (so called) to discover tiny, white fuzzy eggs on the tray under the pot and a few more under the pot. The small cache near the drain hole still held a thread of silk. I moved the eggs to a small jar and placed them on the shelf where I might watch them. My only naturalistic endeavor this morning was to remove the bulk of the dead, hairy cactus (truly) we had let freeze out on the porch... I found two nibs of green and transplanted them in a smaller pot using the same soil in the original. No water yet. The christmas cactus went back down to the kitchen sliding glass door way stand and I moved my Euphorbia splendens (?) up to my study where the CC was. On a living things note, I am glad that there is snow over the garden. I have spinach and garlic overwintering there which will benefit from the cover and the moisture.

Friday, January 7, 2011

First week back

It was easier getting back to work this week, but once there and back home I discovered my energy and enthusiasm was down. A few days back, perhaps Tuesday, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. There is a gap in the writing I began on the ranch, mentioned in the previous post, that corresponds with this down time. Keeping up the journal helps me keep up with my time, something like listening for the breathing of a loved one. I am not pleased to report only a halting start on the exercise and only brief puffs of play on the WX5. However, I will take some time to get out in the sun this weekend before the snow and cold returns.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

No resolutions but new routines

Forget about resolutions, but call up practices you wanted to continue to make it through the SAD season. I had abandoned writing in a paperbound journal, but during the holidays and regularly until a day or two ago I started journaling again. Not sure how it would go, I took an old journal and flipped it upside down to write on the back of the pages. Another practice irregularly practiced is time on the elliptical exerciser. The unit back on the ranch is much smoother and quieter, and I will exchange it with the more cumbersome and noisier unit up here this year. I noticed how easily I became breathed with moderate exertion, so rather than stamina, my focus until spring will be on aerobics - 20-25 minute sprints to raise and maintain my heartbeat between 125 and 130 b.p.m. Finally there's the little matter of music, or more specifically, sounds. I parked my wind controller ("WX5") at work. My thinking is to get GarageBand out more often to learn  podcast controls AND to play with the sounds. That also forces me to play the sax at home, actually a richer sound machine. Somewhere in this season will I get to making a mobile or two?