March 1st, 2019

Adventure, food, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Today was a day to get things done around the house. I was thinking of maybe going somewhere but decided to stay home, save some money and get some things taken care of here at the house.

It’s not that I am a slob or anything, but I am going to clean windows and dust mainly. The problem is my humidifier has put a thin white coating of dust and film on everything. I have electric heat and the air gets so dry in winter so I run a humidifier to keep my skin from drying out and it helps to stay well. With the weather starting to change I think it needed to be going back in the box for storage today.

But, with it being a nice day I decided to be out enjoying the sunshine instead. I hauled the recycling and the garbage to the transfer station first this morning and was there waiting when they opened up. I went back home and began cutting the saplings/small trees growing out of my raised bed planter and got my strawberry plant (that somehow survived the winter) in a corner of it. I will start getting that ready for some carrots, onions, garlic, jalapeños and tomatoes. If there’s someplace to put them I’ll also plant some radishes, green beans and peas to snack on raw. Add that to my plum, cherry and apple trees and the Himalayan blackberries everywhere up here and I’ll have a decent selection of stuff. It’s looking as if I may have to build another raised bed. I started sone tomato seeds in a pot already and they are just over an inch tall. I believe they are Campari tomatoes, and I have a beefsteak tomato I’ll get some seeds out of and start some of those as well.

I trimmed up some trees and bushes around the house while I was at it. It needed to be done and it is much better now. It was partially blocking the gate to get the trailer in or out so I cut it back. It needs more done with a ladder, but I can also leave the cover on the trailer to keep from scratching it up\ when moving it. Not in a hurry since I’m not taking it out too soon. Of course that IS subject to change.

I went out for a beer or two before catching “Bohemian Rhapsody” at the theatre. I have been wanting to see it and finally got the chance. Growing up in that era I remember some of that stuff but I also learned a few things I was not aware of. The ending was really good – it was the classic LiveAid performance which is one of the all-time greatest rock stage performances. Rami Malek nailed that one spot-on. One little bit of irony (that I don’t know how many noticed) was Mike Myers was a record rep in the movie and they were talking about the song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Pretty funny, since Mike Myers was Wayne in Wayne’s World, the movie that launched that particular song to it’s second run up the charts. Great scene that was.

I’ll be outside again tomorrow enjoying what is supposed to be another nice day. I’ll probably walk down to the beach at some point but I’ll finish trimming trees first so it’s done. The previous people were nice enough to leave me a trimmer and a nice mower so I’ll be able to keep things cleaned up but it is too wet as of now. If we get a few more sunny days I might be able to get the yard mowed. It may not really need it but it’s pretty thick and grows fast in these warmer, sunny days.

That’s it for now. Headed to bed.

January 2nd, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Music, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

I have been really taking advantage of my Black Friday Hulu score (99 cents a month for a year!). On top of various TV shows I have also been catching some movies and documentaries and some have been really good. Two documentaries really stood out.

One was called “Forgive – Don’t Forget”. It was about a guy whose family had a WWII samurai sword captured in battle and he decided to try to return the sword to the soldier’s family. It was an interesting story.

The other one was a Ron Howard-produced doc on The Beatles called “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years”. It is probably THE best music documentary I have ever seen, and I have seen many. It sheds a lot of light on not just Beatlemania but also the band being on the road and their growth both musically and personally, individually and as a band.

I watched with amazement how each of them – Ringo included – took turns singing during live shows. There were no flashy lights, no f-bombs, no pyrotechnics, no pretentiousness…just great music and four friends entertaining and having fun doing so.

I was a huge Beatles fan growing up and always liked the music. I posted a while back that I had listened to several of the Beatles’ later albums (Revolver, Rubber Soul, etc.) and I really liked them – they had matured very well as songwriters and George Martin’s production was incredible given the equipment he had to use. I had not really listened to them before (at least like they needed to be listened to) and only really knew the hits. I liked all of the members individually but was a bigger fan of John Lennon than the rest, especially as a person. He spoke up about things that meant something to him and did not care about the repercussions – you know, silly things that didn’t matter…like peace and love. The rest did speak up to varying degrees about but it seemed to come later.

The pressures on them were immense and unimaginable. I learned so much more about them watching this film. Lots of great interviews with people who were there really shed a lot of light on not just the times and the immense impact they had on not just music but  on society as well. A must-see for any music fan.

I’ve just been laying low recently, not doing much and saving some money while getting a few other things done. I had to take a break from my photo project – I got a bit overwhelmed at times with some of the memories and I needed to step away for a bit. I will resume the project as soon as I feel like it. With the photos in the computer all gone through, the scanning of the remaining photos I have not yet scanned is the next part.

I have not had to cook for several days with my leftover food cache in the fridge/freezer and I still have almost a week’s worth in there to eat. Last night I made chicken Italian sausage in olive oil with garlic over pasta.

The weather has sucked but we have been getting some breaks and it’s good to see the sun. I have been getting out walking around my neighborhood and getting some exercise when it has been nice. When the weather has been bad I have been walking in place in the house to keep the exercise going. Sounds silly perhaps, but at least I’m getting some exercise in. I went birding a few days ago with a friend and that was fun to do. It was a nice change of pace. We went out for food and beers afterwards. I had Dungeness crab cakes and a red currant hard cider that was delicious.

My off-season is winding to a close. I’m not really ready to go back to work yet but it will be good to recharge my savings account so I can get my travel funds built back up! I’m trying to get a few things done before I go back but I am also trying to savor these last few weeks while I can. I am still pondering just one more trip in this remaining time off and I am considering a short jaunt in the Hilander. I can go pretty cheaply in it.

In anticipation of the possibility of going someplace I went out to do a few things in the trailer a few days ago (plus, it was something to do). First was some organizing; storing and securing some stuff to get it ready to go. I had gotten into it to get some things out, and when I put some other things back in it I was being lazy and just put them inside the door. I got the Battery Tender hooked up to keep the battery charged and operating. I fired up the furnace to make sure it was functioning well…plus it was cold out there working in it. It is ready to go for a dry-camp trip (no water in the system since it is still cold and can possibly freeze). All that’s left to put in there is a propane refill and food.

That’s about it for now.

October 5th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

It has been a busy week this last week between moving all last weekend and work. I have been getting things put away from moving this week and need to go clean out my storage unit in the next few weeks. I get stuff put away in the house, only to have bring more things from storage to find a place for.

It is odd that I can now start getting rid of cardboard boxes that I have had things stored in. Most of it was in plastic storage tubs but some was in boxes and some was in milk crates I had. With moving so much the last 6 ½ years I never really had room or time to settle in very much and unpack. I’m looking at not making a major move any more so I’m able to live a little more of a “normal” existence and get things unpacked and gone through.

I have already started going through some things from storage and have things I will get rid of – haven’t used the stuff in a long time so no real need to keep it. It will free up some more space too. Luckily I have a small basement to put things in so the plastic tubs will be refilled and put there with things I want to keep as they are emptied. My old motorcycle clothes and good helmet (not in the wreck) will be donated (except for my well-worn old-school leather jacket – no way that’s being gotten rid of).

A neighbor came over the other day and said that some other neighbors knew I was moving and they had some furniture if I needed/wanted some. I’ll be going to look at that stuff Sunday and probably bring some things home. I just might have a new (to me) couch, recliner, table and chairs and not sure what else. It was really very nice of them to offer the stuff to me since I have never even met these people until yesterday. These are the kind of neighbors I have where I live.

It’s odd (at least for me) to be acquiring things again after getting rid of so many things since before I moved from Colorado. It’s new again to me to be becoming stationary and “established” someplace. I guess it will have to happen at some point anyhoo so this is as good of a time and place as any.

Tonight I watched a movie called “Crossing Borders“. I really enjoyed this documentary and the interactions between the students in the movie – four Moroccan and four American – were very interesting. They spent a week traveling in Morocco and learned a lot about not only themselves and each other but also about the preconceived perceptions of each other and their cultures. The magic of travel.

Been a long and tiring day today so I am off to bed. Sleep well, World.

April 8th, 2018

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Uncategorized

Where did the weekend go and where did all this energy come from? I was way busy this weekend, and much busier than I wanted to or anticipated I would be. I had the realization this afternoon.

The day started off rather early…6:10 AM to be exact. Woke right up and couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up and fired up the coffeepot. I decided to make something outrageous for the morning meal- a breakfast taco with a turkey bacon outer “taco” shell, two eggs scrambled, and some smoked cheese I brought back from Amsterdam mixed in. Topped it with two small strips of Kraft American. It was quite an interesting experiment and was more awesome than you can imagine. I have real bacon in the freezer and I’ll try that soon too. That should up the awesomeness a few levels. After that I made breakfast sandwiches for the week.

I finished organizing and stocking the trailer with things and closed it up. I still need to get the shower floor fixed at some point and get the fender well replaced. I have an idea about fixing it but not sure what the best fix would be. I want thicker metal in there. The blowout the trailer had in Utah a year ago tore the hell out of it and I’d like to avoid that happening again. Other wise, though, after I flush the water system it’s ready for the road!

I then went and got some 3″ potted flowers, potting soil, a tomato plant, and a hanging strawberry basket. I just got some small, bright flowers to contrast my brightly-colored pots and I bought a big new ceramic pot for the tomato plant to stretch out in. I might go back and buy some more flowers and another tomato plant. I might even get another strawberry basket. I hope to get a few fresh things to eat in my back yard this year.

THEN I made the salsa chicken. While it was cooking in the Instant Pot I put last night’s enchilada batch together and baked those. They really turned out good. While those baked I got the salsa chicken out of the pot and had a taste of course. It was pretty good, but I must say that of the two I like the enchiladas better.

While this was cooking I had the realization I needed to relax at some point this weekend, and it was getting late in said weekend…so SIT DOWN!

So I did. I popped in a DVD I got from the library yesterday and it was about drive-in movie theaters. It was a pretty cool doc. Took me back, thinking about going to the drive-in when I was a kid in the family Chevy II station wagon – back seat folded down and a place to sleep back there. I remember going to the State, Lake Park Twin, Lakeside, Fairyland, Boulevard – all in the Kansas City area, and the Fort and Skylark in Leavenworth, KS.

Then in the 70’s it was, shall we say, a little different. I remember being at the old Fort Drive-In in Leavenworth and getting shit-faced (and puking) for the first time ever and it was on Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill and Wild Mountain Grape wine. The main movie was Jaws and I laughed my ass off at it. Until I puked my toenails up. Wasn’t quite so funny any longer.

I remember another time at the Skylark we built a structure out of beer cans and bottles. Used to love the burgers there and it was a cool place to hang out with friends. Maybe next time I am around one I will go see a movie (if I can stay awake!).

Anyhoo, I did very little resting this weekend but I got a lotta stuff done. There will be time to rest later but that’ll soon be in the trailer someplace away from home!

Lately I have been revisiting our Europe trip and thinking about going again this off-season. I’m not sure when my season will be over yet this year but right now it’s looking like it could be 1 October. I have considered other places but another trip to Europe would be just fine and it’s a little more practical experience visiting a foreign land. I know it’s early but just doing a little preliminary pondering.

March 10th, 2018

Adventure, Just things, Uncategorized

Didn’t sleep very well last night. You know that trouble you have getting a good night’s sleep when you are in a hotel or a new place. On top of that I heard a damn dog barking – even without my hearing aids in. One of the joys of being in a populated area. I did hear frogs croaking while I was driving here last night though. That was a trip in the Wayback Machine. I have not heard that noise much the last several years.

I got up early and had a package of mini-donuts and coffee for breakfast. I am really trying hard to avoid sweets and it’s going good so far. I have to say that those donuts I used to be able to eat but they are just too damn sweet now. I guess laying off is cutting into that sugar addiction that is so prevalent in this country. I am trying to get my sweets from fruits and I can tell a difference. It just doesn’t appeal to me like it used to. Many of the sweets I used to gorge on suddenly are not as good as I remember.

I did give in today to temptation, but not for the cookies. I came out of the store this afternoon and there was this cute little girl standing there all alone with her Girl Scout Cookies. She looked so sad so I went to the truck and put my groceries away. I went back in to her little table and asked her “how much?”. She looked up at me with these sad little doe-eyes and said “Five” rather quietly. I asked her how her day was and all she said was “slow”. I was only going to get one box since I am cutting that kind of stuff out of my diet. I decided to get two and I wish I would have bought what she had on the table. She cheered up a little and counted out my change after I got two boxes.

I got some groceries to make a few things to eat here at my new home and save some money while I am here this weekend. I got a Boboli-style flatbread crust. It cooked a little faster than I thought it would so it was a little bit over cooked. But for lunch I tried a package of a Kroger chicken verde on some white corn tortillas and it was actually very good. I usually don’t buy much, if any, of the convenience foods but I don’t have all my kitchen stuff here yet. I gotta have a recipe for that chicken verde. Luckily I have leftovers.

I finally got the truck unloaded this afternoon. I had issues getting into the storage unit. Actually it was getting into the gate to get into the storage unit that was the issue. I finally got it done and I think it will actually hold everything I have that needs to go in there. I got one storage bin emptied and another has motorcycle clothes I need to get rid of since I am no longer able to ride. This one is a third of the size of the one I have by the apartment. I had to have a large storage unit for the canoe to fit so this will save me serious money.

Tomorrow it’s off to Costco to order some new glasses. They should be ready to wear right after I move completely over so the timing is good. Hopefully I can get them back before I go out of state. After Costco it’s back to the apartment for one last week at this position then two weeks off. I want to hurry and get the move over with so it is off the list and I have few days to get it all put away and relax.

This weekend has been kind of like a vacation of sorts. Got my work done fast that needed done and the rest of the day was for me. I moved the living room area around to fit the futon (a bit bigger than it needs to be). I got some blankets washed that had been stored. I wanted to get the “stored” smell and dust off of them after sneezing this morning. The futon is fairly comfy to sleep on, and I really enjoyed it as I celebrated the 20th Anniversary of “The Big Lebowski” by watching it from the comfort of a couch – something I haven’t had of my own in a while. It was so nice to lay out on a couch for a change and watch a movie (even though it was on the iPad).

It’s been a productive weekend and it was good to get it done fast.