Joe Abbott's Weblog

Letters home to mom

Keeping a ball rolling–Day 2

Posted by joeabbott on December 7, 2013

Well, yesterday was just grand: not only did I complete most of the items I set out to accomplish, I found time to start one of my favorite holiday events: watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Let’s start at the top, shall we?

imageMy list included cleaning my office, which mostly amounted to storing away bills that had been paid, tidying all my “projects for later” into a pile, and tossing out stuff that seemed important at one point but had lost its ability to hold my interest\imagination now. Come to think of it, a lot of cleaning up falls into that category.

I also had “clean up the garage” which I accomplished, under my terms. Which is to say, I stowed away all the Christmas decoration boxes, cleared away my “project table”, and swept and tossed out trash. It’s amazing how much room I have now! But, I still have that pile of stuff that represents projects I plan on getting to “later”. Happily for me, later will be a short-term later (in the next couple weeks) and not some nameless, nonexistent time in the future. I’m happy with this arrangement.

The timers and lighting are nearly all done: our chickens now have their auto-door timer set to something that represents sun-up and sun-down (more for keeping warmth in their coop than sheltering them from predators), lights are set on our holiday decorations to stay on for 5 hours after sun-down, and my wife’s tender “fire tree” (I think it’s a fire tree) has dusk-to-dawn warmth in the form of incandescent holiday lights swaddling its tender shoots.

In Seattle here, we get a lot of plant life that thrives year-round, but some of the less hardy varieties (e.g., the fire tree) requires a little help when it’s just taking root. We are experiencing 20-degree evenings (and days) here in Seattle in a rare, odd cold snap. Starting next week, it appears the temps will start to climb a bit, varying between mid-30s and mid-40s, and the rain will return … back to normal!


imageI didn’t complete the “lighted chicken” and believe that will be on today’s to-do. I did start it by making a trial run of what I plan to do and getting the wife’s buy-in; always a critical step on the path to success! But, she nearly always approves and just keeps me from doing anything patently stupid … so, not a common concern but always welcome to get her input!

And I started compiling a list of projects for later this month. They include things like converting paper copies of work to digital format …

As an example:

I recently found this bat house project: I have a fascination for creating a bat house that actually attracts bats; I made a bat house for my father-in-law a while back and he always seems eager to tell me I must have done it wrong as he’s not housing any bats yet. Anyhow, I could save a link to this project and let someone else save it off for me, but I like having resources at hand so I don’t have to worry about the dreaded 404 (“file not found” on the Internet).

So, for this project, I created a SketchUp model, saved a few images to the project, and saved the whole thing off to a RAID drive I have with a folder called “projects”. All those things I’ll get to “some day”.

The image to the right shows how I save things digitally: make a quick model, paste pictures from the original instructions (square tiles low and to the left on the picture) to give me pointers on the instructions), and then I just save and move on!

… cataloging our CDs (we had been completed at one time but something got messed up and our “Christmas collection” includes decidedly non-holiday tunes), fix the “constellation deer” (the lights on our of our deer went out and require fiddling … as is, it looks less like a lighted deer than it does a constellation), make a quick box for mailing out holiday gifts, consider starting an Advent calendar project (yes, it’s too late for this year but I don’t think about “advent calendars” in July), and make a “lock” for my clamp rack.

All of these will be detailed in some degree later … or at least those I accomplish.

This got longer than I’d hoped it would. I was just looking for a quick check-in and to say “hi”. Today I’ll start the day with a vigorous workout at our local ‘Y’, have some sort of breakfast, enjoy a holiday massage, and have the rest of the day to do with as I please … which means tackling that lighted chicken! Oh, and our holiday greeting cards have come in, so I’ll be addressing and sending those out, too! It’s starting to look like a busy day!

As I have the energy and you have the interest in checking back, I’ll see you later with more minutia from my life!


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