Category Archives: Life

Ronning’s Lake Carvings

It started in January with a local PBS show. I was trying to figure out a really good gift for a really good friend with a birthday in March. I often feel I’m a poor gift giver. It’s not a lack of generosity but that I forget to allow the time necessary for proper gift selection. I find I need that time to find something that both appeals to me and (more importantly) is a great fit for the recipient.

Part of my gift giving philosophy is that the gift should be something I’d almost rather keep than give away. I figure if it appeals to me, it should appeal to my (generally like-minded) friends. I’m not sure that logic always follows, but c’est la vie.

Anyway, I was watching PBS…

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Eleven Years

One: OTOH, holy cheeseburger with onion rings, it’s this blog’s Eleven Year Anniversary. Not to mention, just last week, the nine-year anniversary of retiring from the rat race. Perhaps it’s because Summer Solstice has passed (and now the light is dying), or maybe that my mom would have been 98 (the day after Tau Day), but I find myself more reflective and thoughtful at this mid-year turning than I do, despite the influence of Janus, at New Year’s.

Other: OTOH, I’m steeped in ennui and have never felt less like writing a blog post. The question is whether the pressure of the anniversary overcomes the desire to putter, read, or nap. I’m writing this (and presumably you’re reading it), so it looks like the day won over the mood.

So… Happy Something day. Here’s a standard disgruntled anniversary ramble…

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Farscape (plus Bova and dreams)

For Sci-Fi Saturday I have to post about Farscape, a science fiction TV series from 1999-2003 that (on the advice of a friend) I just started watching. I’m only up to episode 18 of season one, but I’m enjoying the series so much I thought I’d post about it. There are four seasons comprising 88 episodes (22 per season), so my opinion could change, but so far, I’m totally loving it.

I also want to mention the third Ben Bova book I’ve read recently. Bottom line, I really enjoyed it. Definitely the best of the three. It restored my faith in Bova.

Lastly, this morning I had, what even for me was, a particularly weird dream experience. Our subconscious minds are quite surprising and just plain bizarre sometimes!

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Depressed and Disappointed

Puppy vs Borg cube

I try hard to face forward and appreciate what joy, wonder, and beauty, life brings, but the world all too often makes that a challenge. The past few weeks have been especially hard mostly because I’m at the end of my rope with tech companies. I wish I understood why we put up with such awfulness. Factor in the spam, the robocalls, and the junk mail, and I’m ready to go live in the woods far away from any of it.

On the top of my list right now is Apple with Sprint-is-now-T-Mobile in close second place. The library app, Libby, that I’ve raved about before is in third place with WordPress bringing up the rear. Not mention all the little stuff, some corporate, some personal.

Warning: Turn back now. The road ahead is bumpy. Falling rocks.

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It’s (Not) 2s Day

Drat! A day late and a dollar short, as the saying goes. I started off this morning writing a post to commemorate the 2/22/22 date but quickly realized I’d need a time machine to pull that off. Between yesterday’s blizzard and working on an upcoming post about Plato and geometry, I lost track of the date (a peril of being retired — dates don’t matter much anymore).

Not that I had anything date-specific to post about, and plenty of other bloggers did post, so no great loss. But having started, I may as well keep going.

Even if all I have are some very tiny treats.

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So Now It’s 2022

That’s weird to me. I’m from the 1950s and can measure my life in scores of years (three-and-mumble). I was an avid science fiction reader by the 1960s, so recall an era where we wondered if the year 1984, let alone 2001, would be anything like the famous book.

As it turned out, in both cases: No. Respectively fortunate and unfortunate. The future turned out less extreme (but no less “interesting”). Both demonstrate the difficulty of prediction, a problem science fiction illustrates more often than not.

That said, the other face of Janus looks forward…

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Blog Stats 2021

I hope everyone has been having a wonderful Chillaxmas. Yesterday was the last of the Twelve Days, so now it’s time to wash the dishes, take down the lights, and toss out the tree (or disassemble it, box it, and return it to the attic or basement, whichever applies).

Now it’s time to put on our two-way Janus hats to look backwards at Old Man 2021 as well as forwards at Infant 2022.

It’s also time to indulge (if not wallow) in my lust for data and charts.

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Laptop, Take 3

Friends and regular readers (all three of you) know about my struggles with the Dell XPS 15 laptop I bought in 2019 to replace my Sony Vaio laptop. After access to work machines since the 1980s, that Sony was the first laptop I had to buy in retirement.

It had its issues, but was great compared to the Dell, which, in retrospect, was a lemon from the start. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize how broken its wireless system was until after the warranty period. Twice I found a way to improve things to usable, but recently it returned to unusable. And then wouldn’t boot at all.

So I went and bought an HP Envy laptop.

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Winter Has Arrived

I get a kick from the patterns of life. They don’t always mean anything, but they can be fun to notice. For example, nine years ago I posted Instant Winter, which, among other things celebrates the tiny (meaningless) pattern of the date that day: 12-12-12 (You can arrange the year-month-day any which way you like!) Nine years later, it’s December 12th again, but the year is backwards: 12-12-21

12-12-21 after much shoveling. It was up to 3 feet in places!

That post also celebrated, as its name says, the sudden arrival of winter (late as usual these days). And per that, it arrived late again this year, but when it finally did show up it, came in with a bang (I don’t know about lions in March, but December seems to roar).

11-25-21 and not a drop of snow in sight!

It didn’t come anywhere close to snowing for Halloween, and there wasn’t a flake in sight for Thanksgiving, but it seems certain we’ll have a ton of the stuff for Christmas! Winter and snow cause all sorts of small issues, but many years of conditioning have linked snow and Christmas for me.

12-7-21 It always starts so softly and innocently…

Time to break out the shovels!

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In other news, I’ve been reading books and watching TV shows, and I’d love to tell you about them, but I’ve already gone on long enough for one post.

Stay warm, my friends! Go forth and spread beauty and light.


My Old Top Ten

Recently I read a blog post that discussed those “ten ways to do X” lists (which raises a question of how many things even have ten reasonable ways of doing them). It reminded me of a blogger I knew when I first started here who had a blog that only posted lists of ten things. And that reminded me of David Letterman’s Top Ten lists.

Which led to remembering my own Top Ten Things in Life list from many years back (30, at least). Since this blog is, in part, my scrawl in the internet wall, I realized it’s exactly the sort of thing I should document here.

I thought I’d also toss in a bunch of other favorites to fill out the post.

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