Joe's New Blog

Nothing special, this is just my third effort at writing a blog about my life and what goes on in it: Hobbies, cooking, work, maybe the occasional book or DVD review, and so forth. Nothing really noteworthy, but this is sort of a little subset of my world...

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Year 48, day 1

So today is my birthday, and also Thanksgiving.  Going to start this 48th year of my life off with a bang, I told myself.  And, you know, it hasn't been the most awful day I've had, but it wasn't nearly as productive as I would have liked.  We had Thanksgiving with Miss S's family down in Bedford.  I showered, shaved, made sure I put lotion on my legs, drank my full liter of water for the day.  I also did take Ernie out for a walk before we headed down the highway for the day.  And, as a slight bit of help around the house, I did empty the dishwasher.

But overall, the day was not what I would have liked.  I didn't pick up a musical instrument all day.  I took the molding kit for the skeleton out of the box, but didn't use it.  And now, my day is running toward its end.  Am I better off today, at the end of the day, than I was yesterday?  I don't know.  Maybe just a bit.  Not a successful first day, but not a total failure, either...

The balance on my credit card, starting this new year, is $6676.16.  Goal for the end of the year is to get that down to $4500.

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

Year 48, preliminatory post

Someone on my Twitter feed posted a note that they always start their new year resolutions on their birthday, rather than on the arbitrary date of January 1.  That makes a certain amount of sense to me, so I'm going to do that this year.  Of course, that's not for another few days, but I believe I'll start listing out the resolutions now.  In short, all of them are just to try to do better, to try to have a better life for myself and leave everyone and everything around me a little better by the time I hit the next birthday.  But the specifics are as follow:

  1. Try to take care of my health better, drink a bottle of water every day, put the lotion on my legs, brush my teeth twice a day, eat more fruits and vegetables.
  2. Make more music, just try to work on a little bit of something every day, or at least every week, and post it all to my SoundCloud account.
  3. Get my credit card balance down under $4500.
  4. And, finally, art every day.  Draw, or work with wood, or sculpt with clay, or do some cross stitch, or design a pattern. But, every single day, just get up and put some kind of tool to some kind of medium and make something.
Oh, and you know, it would be nice if I wrote on here a little more often, updated my website and kept if from becoming a complete ghost town, all that good stuff.  But, figure I'll stick with those big four for right now, and maybe that will bootstrap me out of my little depression I've been in lately, get me back to being a happy little camper every now and then.

Carpe annum!

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Monday, November 3, 2014

Kitchen Day

Today has mostly been a kitchen sort of day.  I just took out a roasting pan full of butternut squash, sweet potatoes, onions and garlic, which are going to be the basis for a soup that I'll finish making tomorrow.  If it turns out well, I might even go ahead and post the recipe.


The better half was talking about making chili this week, and we're running a bit low on beans, so I have some black beans and some red beans soaking overnight in the crock pots.  I'll get those seasoned up and cooking tomorrow, and then hopefully get the ones we don't need for chili canned straightaway.  I always seem to lose my motivation about that, though, and they just sit in the refrigerator for too long.  Yes, I'm well aware of the virtually religious disagreement between whether "real" chili should have beans or not.  Personally, I don't really care much, as long as it tastes good, and the beans make it go a whole lot further for the money we've spent on the ingredients.  Maybe if I could afford five dollars a pound for beef, I'd go with the all meat chili.

And, in the spirit of not leaving things in the fridge for too long and wasting money, I've divided up the ground beef into one pound portions, bagged and sealed them with the Foodsaver, and tossed most into the freezer.  I left a pound in the fridge for the aforementioned chili.

Tomorrow, I hope to finish off some of the remaining kitchen tasks:  Finish making my soup, finish picking the meat of the chicken bones that I baked a few days ago, stew the bones for chicken broth.  Waste not, want not...

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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Organize, you lazy bastard!

Today, I walked out into the garage and sort of took a mental inventory.  I have so much crap out there, not organized in any kind of fashion.  I feel like it's going to take me forever to get things organized out there, and it seems like every time I pick something up and move it, that's all I'm doing, is just moving it from one disorganized stack of crap to another disorganized stack of crap.  I have some shelves out there, but I don't really want to put the tools and such on shelves where I'm going to have to burrow in and find them when I need them.  But then, there's so damned much clutter around out there that I don't feel like I can even use the table saw or router or anything because I can't find a clear area.

I think tomorrow's goal is going to be to move everything over to one half of the garage, clear out the shelves, everything else.  And then start moving materials for building and art work over to the shelf, try to organize that stuff, and figure out how the tools should be organized.  Yard tools toward the front of the garage, power tools where they can be moved out if needed, hand tools eventually hung up in a cabinet that I've been planning to build for the past year.

You can't finish a project if you don't start it.  The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single footstep.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Calling out...

For years, decades in fact, I have had issues with just getting things done.  "Oh, I'll get it done tomorrow."  But it doesn't ever get done, because tomorrow I say the same thing.  "Oh, I'll just chip away at this larger task a little at a time."  But I get tired of wielding the hammer and the chisel, and the rock seems just as big after a couple of swipes, so I grow frustrated and depressed by turns.

Those people who can sit down to a task for two, three, four hours in a row, who love the task that they're doing, I'm so very jealous of those people.  Let alone the ones who have found their true calling in life, the ones who get to go to work every day and do the thing they love, who feel like they're accomplishing something.  I don't know what I want to do.  I joke that I don't know what I want to do when I grow up, but I'm 47 years old nearly, later this month.

So what does the jack of so many trades do?  Will my calling ever call to me?  Will I ever find that thing that I can do for the rest of my life, which satisfies me for more than a day at a time?  I really don't even mind my job, I could push papers around for the rest of my life if I had something else to do outside of work that would give me some kind of satisfaction.  But what?