228.2 lbs

… weight down when there was the possibility of up… that’s a good start to the day…

… BP has been running a little high… not sure why… weight is down overall from a year ago… need adjustment in meds?…

… yesterday filled with tech frustrations in addition to not feeling very well… hangover… headache all day… went to bed early and slept reasonably well… seven hours in bed, about six hours good sleep?…

… strained muscle in left hand… evidently my fall the other day did hurt a little something… really lucky it was not worse…

… depressed that the dems don’t seem like they will be able to get voting rights legislation passed… feels like it spells doom for democracy in the country… i struggle to believe the times we are living in… it also doesn’t feel like the Biden administration is being very smart… lots of missteps, unforced errors… also bad luck… it isn’t that we didn’t see Omicron coming… the scientists probably did… but probably didn’t see such a contagious version… the scientists are saying that most everyone will get it… one should still try to avoid it but the odds are against success in that department… how is it we don’t have adequate testing?… it’s a miserable time…

… my deep reading project is managing to uplift my spirits… having something meaningful to concentrate on helps…

…it’s late in the day… relatively speaking… i usually make my first note somewhere around 4:30 AM… its going for 3:30 PM… i started reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance… an important chapter it turned out… lots of significant content… in any case, it was time to go for my walk before i knew it…

… the day has been a little odd in structure and feeling… i told H that severe cold is coming and a snowstorm to boot… H got immediately concerned about the generator and whether it would work and so forth… we haven’t cranked it up in years so i am afraid it won’t work… the electrical system in the house has been altered so i am not even sure it will hook up to the house the way it should… i am embarrassed that we haven’t done the little maintenance needed to keep it as an option… the whole conversation sent me into a tail spin… it left me feeling so inadequate and pissed at them… uggh…

… then deal with bills that need to be paid… i adopted a policy of every piece of mail is dealt with and disposed of/filed before i can move on… traditionally i have let mail pile up on my desk, dealing with only the must pay bills and letting the rest languish… not today… successfully cleared the mail away…

… then it was prep for Salon which took longer than it should of… had to track down the emails… had to acquire the shared dropbox folder, etc., etc., etc… a full crowd sharing tonight… pent up demand i am thinking… we skipped salon last month…

… just finished editing photographs… there weren’t too many… it’s been very cold and i haven’t wanted to be out too long…

… i am tired and a little depressed…

228.4 lbs

… i expected the weight gain as i fell off the no seconds rule last night… still, if i get back on the no S track today, i expect the weight will come back off quickly… loosing weight, maintaining weight, a true Sisyphean enterprise…

First notes…

227.6 lbs

… feeling more rested today… not much alcohol… went to bed earlier… slept ok… awake at 2:30 AM… stayed in bed until 3:45 AM… maybe i slept a little more…

…clean out the coffee pot… get coffee water started… grind coffee beans… feed the cat… take my meds… release the hounds from the bedroom… take them outside… f***!, its cold outside… check my weather widget… in the teens… the fingertips of my right hand starting to tingle by the time we come back in… the air is so crisp and i am so warm from being inside… the contrast is wonderful… i am alive!…

… i started my quest for the principles one can lead their life by and for something that may be a legitimate alternative to the present extractive and destructive economic system… i am coming to the conclusion already that one can live their life within the system without participating so much in it… the two texts i have chosen to begin with reading are Buddhist Economics, E. F. Schumacher, and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert Pirsig… BE requires some reading up on the basic principles of Buddhism which also benefits the reading of Zen and the Art… from the former i learn that if one follows the eightfold paths, one will not be engaging in the worst aspects of the dominant system… from the latter i expect to learn that pursuing quality in product and experience will lead to a happier existence, which is also a subtext of Buddhism… to the extent that we all must consume to stay alive, one can make choices that are ‘quality’ choices… we have arrived at a system where mean and shabby are the rule, not the exception… i am looking forward to developing a philosophy of how to live… or, rather, confirming a philosophy of how to live and then pursuing it…

… Heather Cox Richardson writing about the Ahmaud Arbery case… the three men convicted of the murder of Ahmaud Arbery were sentenced yesterday… two of them to life in prison without parole, one of them to life with the possibility of parole… she points out that justice came perilously close to not happening… she uses the case as a springboard to discussing voting rights and states rights… she notes that the SCOTUS is poised to strike down federal vaccine mandates and that the court gutted voting rights legislation… leading to the result that states have increasingly enacted restrictive voting laws and, in some cases, have installed partisans to be in charge of elections or have passed laws that provide for the overturning of election results by partisan officials… interestingly, the cry against gerrymandering has quieted, largely because it appears to be a wash overall, with neither Republicans or Democrats gaining or loosing much ground in numbers of representatives in Congress… the discussion on states rights is an interesting one… the current originalist leaning SCOTUS is bending towards the supremacy of states rights, not an unreasonable stance… the question starts to be, to what degree can you allow individual states pursue governance and policies that are favorable to one group over another… isn’t the role of the Federal Government to protect the freedom and rights of everyone across the country, and don’t they need to be able to trump states rights in some instances to do so?…

First notes…

228.8 lbs

… the weight loss trend comes to a halt… most likely water weight gain which is cyclical…

… Chas got me up extra early this AM… i think he had to go to the bathroom… i feel certain a nap will be necessary today… i can’t keep running on six hours of sleep every night… i feel a bit numbed, drained, not my usual ready to read and pay attention self… i did just rough out a number of Haiku…

… Heather Cox Richardson writing about January 6… it disturbs me that main stream media is openly discussing the possibility that Democracy won’t survive… 45 has grown stronger, not weaker… a sizable portion of the population is fine with autocracy… is maneuvering to impose minority will on the majority, a patriarchal, mostly white minority… the civil war all over again… the thought occurs to me… if the multiarchy ascends and runs the show, won’t the exploitation of minorities and people in general be challenged?… is this a sign that market capitalism can’t survive without slavery of one kind or another?… why, as E. F. Schumacher speculated, shouldn’t an economy be constructed around the principle of making every life better, allowing every individual to grow to their full and natural potential… why should people be forced into work that does not fulfill them or make them better human beings?…

… i have had the idea to do a piece on texts that give me the hint of a different way to do things… i want to post it… just, these writings point to a different way of looking at things, a different way of living… i am not clear yet on what they add up to, but they certainly point to something… i will share it and keep updating it… my great conundrum is this… how can a new way of looking at and doing things come about when the dominant world order is so… dominating… i imagine one needs to construct a hybrid that is able to operate on its own core principles but which plugs into the bigger system as required for it not to become an isolated utopia destined to collapse under the weight of its ideals… a pragmatic way of being based on some core principles… an alternative way of living that seeks to mitigate market capitalist exploitation… Braiding Sweetgrass, Buddhist Economics, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance are three texts that come to mind as offering an alternative path… my plan is to re-read these texts and see how my ideas might solidify…

…ever have one of those mornings, days, weeks, where, despite your best intentions and efforts, something is cropping up to steal your attention away from what you had planned to do with your time?… i don’t know what it is about the last few days, but i cannot seem to settle into the routines i have set for myself… Tuesday became about the installation of a new storm door… Wednesday became about the cleansing of my desk chair castors which had become immobilized by all the pet and human hair that had been sucked up into their spinning interstitial spaces… and today, Thursday, this early morning… derailed by a pretty long article about the wildfires in California that was worth reading, but not what i had intended to read and a dog whining at the bedroom door… a dog that when let outside began to graze on the grass which means his tummy is upset… ok cosmos, i am sure you will let me know when i can get back to my normal routines… meanwhile, i am doing my best to go with the flow…

First notes…

227.2 lbs

… second day of No S diet observance… weight down again…

… i spent most of yesterday installing the new storm door… it went pretty well… i have to make some adjustments to the frame that will be a bit of a pain, but it is installed and we are happy with it… the door was not as custom as i would have thought we paid for… it came with extension pieces and was more than an inch short of the full height required… it was, at least, just short of the full width of the rough opening as it should have been… the door cost us $850… its a good door… well insulated, weatherstripped, and features a screen that automatically drops down when the top window pain is lowered… for the good weather… i practiced what i learned from 4K Weeks… embrace what one is being asked to focus on in the present moment… let the other priorities stand in abeyance while this one thing claims center stage… return to the rest when it is done…

… we watched more Station 11 last night… i fell asleep… i find the current rage for telling stories in non-linear fashion a bit tedious… i get the artfulness of it… i suppose it develops a kind of suspense that might keep some hanging on waiting to figure out what it is all about… it seems more device than art to me in this case… at this moment i compare it to Georges Perec’s life which in a way, is this concept on steroids, but it works better in Perec… perhaps it works better in the book the series is based on…

… Heather Cox Richardson this morning, as expected, is all about the J6 Select Committee asking Sean Hannity to appear before it and answer some questions… Hannity will likely decline to do so on first amendment (freedom of the press) grounds… the committee’s questions were narrowly aimed at communications between Hannity and 45’s administration and it is clear that he is acting as adviser, not journalist, and, in any case, Hannity has said in public, on air, that he does not consider himself a journalist… there is a good chance the committee could compel his testimony should they wish to… whether they will or not is probably dependent on how effectively they can steer clear of the violation of first amendment rights accusations that will certainly be leveled by Trumpist conservatives… one needs also to have a clear eyed view of whether 45 will become president and how the tools of government might be used to exact revenge…

… every day, Liz Cheney is more a hero to me, as is the entire Select Committee, as every member is enduring death threats and threats to their careers in general… Cheney is currently not expected to survive the next election cycle…

… i have allowed myself to think that Democracy will not win this current struggle… one of the key ways it could stay in the game, national voting rights legislation, seems unlikely given the intransigence of Manchin and Sinema on the filibuster rule… personally, i don’t think Mitch McConnel would hesitate for a second to throw it overboard if it stood between him and something he wanted to accomplish…

… the other thing that could save democracy is the work of the J6 Committee… they appear to have a pretty clear picture of what happened… there appears to be criminal culpability on the part of 45 and senior members of his administration… but… the attempt to overturn democracy is ongoing and the partisanship is so fevered and delusional that over 70% of Republicans believe the last election was stollen from them, even though there is no audit of the election, official or otherwise, that has turned up any wrong doing, any fraud… Facts said Kelly Anne Conway, don’t matter. What people believe matters… the truest words ever uttered by a political operative… whatever you can get the people to believe is what matters… and, a majority of the people is not needed, only radicalization of enough of the minority to a fevered pitch… Trumpian conservatives are winning the belief and fever pitch game at the moment…

First notes

228.8 lbs

… the new year in NOAP officially begins… i sit here, wondering what to write, knowing that i should just start writing and something will surface…

… the salient features of yesterday…

… my traditional new year’s day walk by the river interrupted by the escape of Fiona… situation resolved by the time i get home…

… after making a french omeltte for breakfast, i go out to the back yard and repair the hole in the fence through which Fiona escaped and reinforced the bottom of the fence in places not previously reinforced… i recommend to H that she still escort the dogs out to the back yard… Fiona is fiendishly clever about escape… it’s a horrible feeling when a dog you love escapes and goes for a walkabout… it’s happened a number of times with her… a number of times she has been contained by neighbors who call, or bring her back… speaking of dogs… Chas is whining to be let out of the bedroom…

… when i go out with the dogs i discover it is still raining… it’s been gray and dreary since we returned from our southern sojourn… it will get cold tonight… even colder Monday night… down into the teens…

… dogs let out, treated, returned to bedroom with H… the next few hours are mine… i put on my headphones, cue up Bach Cello Suites, Paul Tortelier the performer… i should have them memorized by now and on a certain level they are, on another level, they are not…

… yesterday i was thinking about books i have recently read, about Etel Adnan’s lovely book, Shifting the Silence, that i can’t remember a single detail of… nothing… is it that they weren’t significant enough to me to emblazon some message on my brain?… or, is my mind getting old and not retaining the way it used to… possibly a combination of the two…

… and so the year has begun… i have trepedation about this new year… i believe the political situation will continue to get worse… the climate will continue to get worse… the world situation will continue to get worse… possibly the only challenge that may not get worse is the pandemic… how much worse could it get?… at any rate, the new and really contagious variant does not seem to be as virulent… that can be a sign that it is burning itself out… one can hope… H was wondering if we should restart instacart for most groceries… i am not fully there yet… i think i will try going to markets at times when there are few people there… early in the AM… that’s my super power… being able to get going earlier than most…

… we did some shopping and food making for a young family, half of which is down with covid, despite being vaccinated, boosted and cautious, masking up when appropriate, avoiding crowds as best they can… they are frustrated, something about parents at daycare being antivaxers… we offered to continue to help, bring food, run errands…

… i notice there is snow forecasted for Friday, 3-6 inches… that is far enough out that it could easily change before then…

… what do i want to get done today?… photo walk… writing… make breakfast… farmer’s market… family zoom call… clean stovetop… vacuum… read… more writing… what should i pay attention to?…

Fiona goes for a walk about…

… having a nice walk by the river when H calls and in a panicked voice tells me to come home, Fiona had escaped the back yard… i can report that heart and lungs are good to go… quite the uphill hike from the river done double time… as i was getting close enough to join the search she called to tell me she had found and coraled her… what a relief!…

… this brief message about how quickly life can be rerouted brought to me by the cosmos…

Happy New Year!… may your year be filled with attention paid to all the right things, whatever those may be!

First notes…

… we got home safe and sound with, i guess, 1 near miss when a car suddenly decided to change lanes and almost pulled in front of us with no time for us to stop… swerved around, crash avoided… having done that myself days earlier, i realized that shit happens, humans make mistakes, no car or person was hurt, just move on… well, not quite, i did utter a bunch of explatives…

… i keep thinking about the possibility that i am related (distantly?) to James Earl Ray… i am tempted to tell people but i keep thinking that my reason for doing so is to attach myself to the notoriety of it… make myself interesting through it… the man shot and killed Martin Luther King… why would i want to attach myself to the notoriety of that?… yet, i know the universe has shifted for my consciousness with this small piece of information… what do i do with it?… what is the message it is delivering?…

… i keep thinking about Ancestory.com commercials that tempt you to explore your family tree with the idea that you will discover some interesting, possibly even famous, ancestor that shared an interest you have, even a profession… they never posit a finding of being related to a notorious murderer, which of course, is going to happen to some people… of course, that i am related to such a person in whatever way says little about me… i am not prejudice beyond the ways in which most white people routinely and largely unconsciously are… i am not violent, don’t own a gun, have no desire to own a gun… well, that is not quite true, the volatility of the current political situation has me wondering every now and again about whether i should have one for self defense should anarchy unfold…

… i read the Wikipedia article about JER and discover that through the Ray side of the family (my grandmother on my father’s side), i am of Irish, Scottish and Welsh descent… i also discover that there was controversy over whether Ray committed the crime and that the family of MLK ultimately came to believe that Ray was not the assassin and that there was a plot involving government and the mafia that had set him up to take the fall… in 1998 AG Janet Reno opened a Justice Department investigation of the conspiracy claims and released a report in 2000 saying there was no conspiracy… Ray is buried in Ireland…

… whatever the truth is, and the evidence seems to favor him as lone assassin, JER was a “bad apple,” as they say… he was in and out of prison for a number of crimes committed prior to assassinating MLK… i have decided that i need to ask M about this connection and explore the history of it further… my cousin also sent us a link to Ancestory.com that has the Kriegh side of the family tree…

First notes…

… 11 hours on the road yesterday… another interminable amount of time unloading car, procuring food and beer… i don’t know when i have been more tired…

… we are outside of Savannah… food was found at Cracker Barrel… a curious place… we stopped in one or two on our trip to Illinois to get Fiona… they consist of gift shop and restaurant and seem designed to lead to lots of waiting in the gift shop to get access to food… the gift shop is filled with stuff, practical and whimsical related to “country culture” of the place they are located in… here in Georgia Harry Potter and the sitcom Friends seem to be on the list, along with cast iron pans chicken paraphernalia and moonpies…

… as i waited for my food i noted big bellied white men and their generally more trim women as the bulk of patronage, some Blacks and Spanish and Aisians too… no signs of racial animosity… this being Georgia i somehow expected tensions to be massive and visible… everybody seemed to mingle comfortably… and that is the thing… the impressions we get of places through national news is enormously skewed to the tensions of the country as manifested by shenanigans of a few… the bulk of the population just wants to get on with their lives and that is what they do…

… the more i think about politics and the difficulty of conversations the more i think one should not speak about candidates or parties, one should talk around issues only… what do you think about immigration, abortion rights, the best way to secure prosperity for the majority of the population, gun rights, voting rights, not what does your party think, what do you think?…

… i found a municipal parking garage on the edge of the historic district in Savannah so we know where we can park now… we point our car to the garage and move out from there… now we need to figure out bathrooms…

First Notes

227.2 lbs

… the traditional overeating happened yesterday without much weight gain… we made a lovely dinner of crab meat strudel, roast rack of lamb and roasted root veggies… we played a yule log on the TV all day, went for a nice walk with dogs, had nice chats with M… i feel sad to be turning around and leaving so soon… H and i agree, we would structure our trip differently if we did it again…

… Christmas isn’t as noticeable in Naples… not as much decoration… not cold and gray… hard to think Christmas when it is beach weather… still, the world did stop for 24 hours…

… learned a little sadness about D… we had a nasty exchange years ago… it was entirely their fault… M tells me that over the years it morphed into my abuse of them in their mind… they were so angry with me… to the point of hatred it sounds… they’er dead now but still casting a shadow on my life… not sorry i wasn’t present when they died… there are some positive reverberations of D’s being… i have a coat, a sweatshirt of theirs… when i put them on i find myself feeling them as the warm embrace i never could have got from them when they were alive…

… M put out a couple of small Christmas Tree scenes D bought… the kind of thing i considered getting for H and me to travel with… these gave me the sense of D being present in a good way… i connected with them…

… when M told me about the morphing of D’s perception of “the incident” i wanted to tell them my theory of the case, that D was jealous of me because of my close relationship with them… Oedepal, i know… i was a rival for the affections of the person they cared most about in the world… my goose was cooked a long time ago all the way back to when i was in my 20s…

… M liked the portable twinkle lights we brought so we left them…

First Notes

227 lbs

… Christmas eve with M, H and Dogs… we are told about an extremely poisonous toad that inhabits bushes in Florida… now we will keep dogs away from bushes and i will have night and daymares about the dogs getting hold of one until we clear the lands of poisonous toads… dogs behaved pretty well yesterday… M seemed to like them well enough…

… we watched Love Actually together last night… today it is breakfast, presents such as they are… the prep and consumption of Christmas dinner… rack of lamb, roasted root vegetables…

… starting to think about logistics for the return trip… not as well prepared on the food front… not sure how to get prepared… need to get some wine for sure…

… research into Savannah Historic District… looks like a fun day will be had…

… still looks like weather will be good…

… it’s been a little sad being here… i get the feeling M is not sure what to live for… i have my own struggles with that… what do we live for?… especially as we get older and less relevant to the people we live amongst…

First Notes

225.7 lbs

… i knew my weight would be down but almost 3 lbs is amazing!… next two days will add some of that back but nice work me!…

… the drive from Savannah to Naples was, in its own way, easier than either of two days before, but, the rule of add two hours to what the map app says held… i am convinced that this trip should have three overnights, not just 2… we will do that on way back, stopping two nights in Savannah… it won’t make a difference in time spent on the road driving each day, but at least we will see something… will be a busy couple of days and then we will head back… this trip will have to be configured differently if we do it again…

… H and dogs sleeping…

… i was so exhausted last night… couldn’t put two thoughts together towards end of dinner…

First notes…

… we started our journey to Florida yesterday and the first leg of the trip was a bear… we got a late start which put us at DC near rush hour… DC rush Hour traffic is legendary… the traffic was weird too… car with flashing lights moving too slow on I95… in the fast lane!… a brush fire by the side of the road… accidents we never saw because we were rerouted through suburbs and farm land to avoid… the vehicular arteries around DC as metaphor for the arteries of government… what should have been 7 hours of driving turned into 9 with only 2 brief stops!… we will get an earlier start today… hoping the worst is behind us…

… we seem to have landed in the land of national chain retailers… big box stores everywhere…

First Notes

228.2 lbs

… departure day… will leave a little later than hoped, but, there is no ferry to catch, so we should be good…

… FB friend of Holly’s told her to beware I95 corridor gas stations… seems to be a spreading vector for COVID… i do an internest search, don’t find any new articles but find one from 2020 citing research of spread along the corridor so it makes sense that it would be a vector for Omicron… i have packed latex gloves and disinfectant wipes which i have not been using lately but will start using on the trip…

… did watch The Ice Harvest last night… slept through most of it… H says it was good… i guess we will add it to the roster…

… did a lot yesterday… not quite enough, but a lot… there is no absolute departure time today, so we should be fine… at least all our Christmas gifts got sent off and delivered…

… check utility bill, had been thinking automatic pay didn’t work… i was right… set up payment… one more thing off my mind…

First notes…

… week 52, last week of the year/Fall… but then i wonder, am i out of sync, is this actually week 51?… it could be… yup, it is… argh!!! ok then, week 51 it is… still the last week of fall, last few days… we are setting out on our trip on the winter solstice… hmmm… we need some sort of celebratory something to mark it… as i contemplate this, i find myself hoping that something magical will be the result of setting out on the solstice…

… in two days we set out for Florida… much to do between now and then… i did manage to get Christmas packages off to R and J, still don’t have a gift for M to speak of… some little things… what sort of anything does M need/Want?…

… H in a bad mood yesterday… temporarily lost their watch band, which i later found, then their mood started to pick up… i also think they have the pre-traveling bad mood… it seems to be a thing with them…

… today we drive up to Hudson to see S and B, pick up the fruitcakes…

… i have been thinking about a number of things that i/we have that really work… my current shoulder bag, which i have had for a long time but which i recently started using again and discovered, wow, it really is just about the perfect bag… then there is the new electric kettle we just bought that has a coffee temperature setting and we both swear it has made a big difference in the taste of our coffee in the morning… we specualte on the absence of lime scale and the lower temperature when poured over the grounds make a difference… and finally, my upright mouse which seems to have solved my shoulder pain problems entirely and is a dream to use… so comfortable… it’s so nice when things work well…

… we watched a new Netflix movie, A Boy Named Christmas, that was very good… then i read another 10 or so pages of A Christmas Story out loud to H… we are going to make it a nightly ritual while we are traveling… hoping to finish up Christmas Eve… or maybe Christmas morning would be appropriate…

… been thinking a good deal about how this journaling/photography/reading/writing effort proceeds in the new year… part of me has always concluded that one just needs to do it as they feel compelled to do it… that there is no ultimate goal to it… but then another part of me wants something more solid to come of it… wants it to be more useful to others that might encounter it… i had signs of that, one of the Micro.blog community commented that i had shared something useful… i don’t need the aprobations of others, but i don’t mind getting it once in a while…

First notes…

… watched My Dad’s Christmas Date and i was bewitched by Olivia Mai Barrett… there was something about her that was utterly engaging… the movie itself was very watchable but we couldn’t escape the feeling that something missed a beat… a dad/daughter team navigating the territory of having lost a wife/mother in a car accident… it is two years on, Christmas, and both are still trying to cope… it had all the plot elements of a feel good tearjerker but in the end failed to deliver… neither of us could figure out exactly why… the acting was pretty good, the characters sympathetic, and in the case of Ms. Barett’s character, pretty engaging, at least to me… i looked up OMB, not to be confused with Office of Management and Budget, and found that she has not been in very many productions… i will be on the lookout for her in future, i feel like she had something…

… my main accomplishment yesterday was chicken stock… i made a bunch… H had lunch with friends so i was tied down to house, dogs and stock pot watching…

… lots to do before we leave… today i think the main thing is to get presents wrapped and sent to R and J…

First notes…

… the great cookie bake is done… L came and joined H in baking an extravaganza of cookies and stollen… we have so many cookies… time to start giving them away!…

… watched The Shop Around the Corner, or rather H watched it while i slept through the middle… i had to give a report on it to B which i did, but it was H’s appraisal…

… i am drinking too much… i don’t feel bad, but falling asleep during movies and less than optimal sleep at night are the result of that… also, not getting the kitchen cleaned up…

… Fiona escaped again yesterday… turned my back for a minute and she was on the other side of the fence rolling in something smelly… when i went after her calling she went in the opposite direction… i finally caught up with her on the street behind our house… had to call H to bring me a leash so i could lead her back… i have no idea how she did it and we are worried she is able to leap the fence… she is very agile…

… i finished a difficult part of the stair construction, fitting a board to notch around the cmu wall that steps down beside the stair stringer so i can close the gap between stair and wall which lets the weather in… made a template from 1/4” thick plywood… it worked beautifully… now it needs a railing and in the spring, staining, and we will be done… it’s much more solid than the old stair ever was…

… i will be making soup stocks today… chicken and maybe beef stock… i also have to wrap presents and prepare for shipping…

… just did a search for the best multivitamin for men… found one brand twice as either first or second pick… it includes probiotics so i can forgo my separate probiotic and may actually save money…

… five days to beginning of trip to Florida…

First notes…

228.4 lbs

… we are now exactly one week away from our departure to Florida… dark sky is now predicting wall to wall sunshine for next Tuesday, a change from the 1” of snow that was predicted yesterday… hopefully that will stay the forecast…

… ran into headwinds from M yesterday on the planning of Christmas Eve dinner, or so it seemed to me… they had determined that dogs would not be allowed on the terrace of the restaurant and canceled reservations and said firmly they weren’t interested in the seven fishes dinner… it all began to feel that i was headed for a situation where M was going to be unhappy whatever we did… this all prompted us to investigate dog daycare and we found some… it’s a shame dinner reservations got canceled because there would have been a place to park the dogs… called M to talk directly with them about the situation… they said nothing was wrong with the way things were turning out… i was not entirely convinced but let it go…

… i am feeling generally happy the odd tension of H over baking and finding accommodations for the dog not withstanding…

… our friend B is in for knee surgery this morning…

… we watched Die Hard last night, which is many people’s favorite Christmas Movie… it’s not my first choice given the mayhem of it all, but it will be kept in the rotation because it is pretty good for what it is…

… still puzzling over a gift for M… she doesn’t really need anything…

… want to get H a little something too…

… bought a copy of Charles Dickens’ Christmas Story to read to H while we are traveling… also bought a set of battery powered LED lights to provide Christmas Cheer in our hotel rooms as we go… my happy anticipation of the trip grows… still lots to do…

… headphones and Bach Cello Suites…

First thoughts…

228.2 lbs

… awake at 1:30 AM, back to sleep, up at 3:40 AM… two beers last night, the extent of my drinking… seems to have lead to better sleep and feeling better this morning… my weight has returned to a downward trend… as i write that, i have a debate in my head about bringing the scale on our trip… stepping on the scale every morning helps keep me from overeating in general… on some level i must have internalized what overeating is by now… time to fly solo?… then again, maybe not…

… yesterday a bit broken and frustrating… H’s holiday baking effort threatening to melt down… i try to help them with decorating the cookies but their instructions were poor while making it clear they did not invite freelancing… i gave up trying to help… they accused me of not listening… no dear, i love you but you suck at giving direction… i gave the dogs a bath as they had been rolling in smelly shit…

… today i need to be more focused on what i want to get done…

… M being a little irritating about the food menu for Christmas Eve and Christmas… was hoping they would get all the shopping done before i got down there, but it’s clear they won’t…

… we are cash poor at the moment… struggling to put the finishing touches on Christmas as a result…

… the forecast is calling for snow the day we are to leave… oh joy… this was always going to be the danger of traveling this time of year… it doesn’t look like it will be too bad and we will stick to major highways which are generally good at keeping the roads safe to drive on… it should get better the further south we go… plus, we have an all wheel drive car now…

Beginning the day…

229.0 lbs

… continuing to wake up between 2 and 3 AM, then fitful sleep until 4 AM, then up and get the day started…

… H’s doctor appointment went well, professional confirmation that they have nothing to worry about…

… watched 12 Dates of Christmas last night… pretty much the same concept as Groundhog Day, except it’s Christmas and the woman is the not very nice person who needs to learn a thing or two…

… HCR this morning is all about a Supreme Court decision handed down yesterday on Texas S. B. 8… it denied, for the most part, federal power to bring lawsuits against state-court judges and clerks… HCR makes the case that this will set federal efforts to protect civil rights back… she warns that the implications are ominous… an article in the National Review makes the case that it was a proper decision… an article in Reason Magazine, while being more neutral in it’s reporting, is in line with the National Review article… articles in Mother Jones are supportive of the dessent of Justice Sotomayor… in general, the ruling is viewed as a narrow win for right-to-an-abortion advocates, but too narrow to provide any good prospect of relief… we apparently still await a private individual to come forward and lodge a lawsuit under the S. B. 8 to get to a case that could determine the law’s constitutionality or lack thereof…

… it is ten days till we set out for Florida and Christmas with M…

… i am feeling like i have finally assembled a set of news sources that give me a balanced view of major news stories…