The weather has been pretty strange here this week. Mornings have been cold, overcast and/or damp yielding to sunny afternoons. This messes up my plans to a degree because I am very much a morning person. I do my best investigating and achieving before 3 pm. After that time, I start winding down and by 5 pm I am ready to relax and be entertained. The current weather caused me to delayed the start time of my outdoor activities, so I spent a bit more time on my morning internet surfing and reflecting on a new life plan moving forward.
I have decided I need more balance in my life so I have categorize my activities into 5 areas: learning (improving), sharing, maintaining, minimizing and creating. Mornings will be my learning time and when I share worthwhile information. Mid mornings to early afternoon is when I will focus on the remaining 3 categories. I may only perform activities in one of these categories in a given day or I might spend a bit of time in each area. Hopefully, in a week’s time, I will achieve the balance I desire. Sunday mornings will be when I put the plan for the week in place. I won’t budget 100% of my time because there are always things that come up and need to be done Right Now, right Judy? The plan will be shared with Judy, so there are no misunderstanding of unfulfilled expectations. That way, I won’t hear, “Vince, when are you going to or Vince, did you remember to”. You need to understand that these words are usually first spoken only once, in passing and never mentioned again until a supposed crisis is at hand. Of course, the importance didn’t register or wasn’t remembered until I have to go outside, in the cold and rain at midnight to get it accomplished. (well not all the time but sometimes). The “new improved plan” will give Judy the opportunity to voice her input on Sunday mornings. If she doesn’t mentioned it on Sunday, than there is no obligation to get it accomplished that week. Of course, there will be exceptions for emergencies, but they should be rare occurrences.
I am sure when she reads this there will a counter plan. I can hear it now. “Vince, you didn’t say you needed clothes washed this week or Vince, you didn’t say you wanted to eat this week” We’ll just have to see how this goes. I know in retirement you are suppose to have more freedom, but I am finding that if I don’t have a bit of structure, the new fun creative things give way to the maintaining things. There seems to be an endless number of things around here that need maintaining and less time and energy to get them accomplished. This should not be taken as a call to immediately move to an easier to maintain place, it just a need for some Vince intervention (I just love that word).
Moving forward, each week, I will attempt to focus a bit on each of the 5 categories in PFTR. If you see me only mentioning one category in a complete post, it means I didn’t experience much balance that week. Let’s give this a try and see how it works out. With Judy away, it’s the perfect time to experiment and implement something new without any additional interventions. A week of successful implementation makes it set in stone, per Vince’s way of thinking. I know what you are thinking when I say this but we’ll just have to wait and see.
Learning and Sharing
My fascination with making old computer equipment continues. I ran across this software before but reintroduced myself to it last week. It’s called Neverware and it can be found here https://www.neverware.com This software will turn an old windows computer into a chromebook and it is free. The software is loaded onto and run from a usb memory stick so it won’t mess the windows installation. In fact, I am typing this post using Neverware. The only thing I have found is that the trackpad is less responsive so I an using an external mouse. I actually like using an external mouse with a notebook because it makes scrolling down the page easier using the wheel on the mouse. Now, when Judy messes up her chromebook, and I know it will happen, I can have this as a backup position. A broken Judy computer is an emergency around here and it’s best to be prepared.
Last week, I started repainting our pipe fence and the gate at the entrance to our property. Our fence is constructed from used drilling pipe, as is common for many pipe fences in Texas. Unfortunately, ours was made with some pipe that had seen better days. I remember questioning its quality when it was being constructed and I was told if they could weld it, it was good. That was about 6 years ago and it already needed scraping and repainting. It was actually overdue. Maybe this is the number of years one can expect a paint job to last but I remember saying to myself, the first time I painted it, “I sure hope I don’t have to do this again!” Mark this on your calendar, I won’t do this again. Here is a drop dead timeframe for moving. Narrows it down a bit, doesn’t it?
What makes this job a pain is all the steps that have to be undertaken. First, the weather has to cooperate: not too hot, not too cold, no rain and low humidity. All the weeds around the fence have to be cut short so they don’t interfere with the work and won’t hide any unwanted visitors such as rattlesnakes. Next, the whole fence has to be wire brushed to remove loose paint and rust. I use an angle grinder with a wire wheel to accomplish this task. Because there is no power in the area, I use a small generator to drive the grinder. Just this part of the process took me two days. In my younger years, I probably could have accomplished it one day. This is the worst part of the whole job because it is dirty, time consuming, monotonous and strenuous. Once all the scraping was done, the fence was coated with a substance called Ospho. It’s suppose to turn the rust into a protective coating. I debated whether to skip this step because it seemed a lot of the old paint was flaking between the old rust and the last Ospho coat that was applied. Despite my reservations, since I had enough Ospho on hand to do the job, I decided to use it. The next day I once again saw it had turned white in most places not black as noted in the instructions. I called the manufacturer and was told to wipe down the whole fence with mineral spirits or the paint wouldn’t stick. More work, but if it made the job last longer I was willing to do it. Only thing was, I didn’t have any mineral spirits so back to Walmart I go. I thought it was ironic that a product that is suppose to make something better can actually make it worse and no where is it easy to find this information. The previous time I undertook this job, I primed the fence before painting but this time I found a paint that had the primer already mixed with the paint. Time will tell if the paint and the Ospho wipe down work any better. Hopefully, it will won’t cause me to move sooner than expected. I can hear Judy in the background saying, “Don’t work! Please don’t work”.
I did make a dump run last week. I had a fully loaded pickup truck, so I did make some progress. Mostly, I am still trying to get my shop organized so I can setup my wood lathe and bandsaw. There is so much to do this time of year, I doubt I will get this task accomplished before the hot weather sets in. However, any progress I can make is a step in the right direction.
I was reading a new Kindle Unlimited book about journaling while I was waiting for my doctor’s appointment last week. Here’s the link if you are interested https://amzn.to/2Ug9oob
As you may recall, I am using OneNote for journaling, however, I still have this passion for good writing pens and good quality paper. I love the convenience of an electronic journal for organizing and searching information, but I also love the feel and creativity that stems from physical writing. This book references a study that showed the therapeutic value of cursive writing over typing on a keyboard. I don’t plan on switching to a handwritten journal, but I would like to find a way to further explore the value of handwriting. My cursive writing is pretty bad, so bad in fact, that I have a hard time reading it. I thought maybe I can gain some value by practicing improving my cursive writing. A quick search of the internet produce many practice writing sheets which are free to download and, of course, I did. Why stop there I thought? I have always want to do calligraphy. Over the years, I have bought books, pens, and paper, but then again, the follow through was lacking. Part of what held me back was wondering why would I do this by hand when it so easy to make fancy lettering with a computer? I didn’t think about the creative therapeutic value that this book referenced. So now I had a reason to move forward. It’s a perfect creative undertaking. The entry costs are low (especially because I probably have all the needed supplies), it doesn’t require much room, is very portable and clean-up is very easy. Searching the internet for beginning calligraphy, I came across this website https://thepostmansknock.com I found all kinds of good stuff here. Some of it was free and some had a very reasonable cost. The information I found on this website was to be the basis of my renewed interest in moving forward with a renewed creative adventure. As Judy knits, Vince will write, the TV is off and they lived happily ever after. To be continued!