Home
Commentary
Livecam
News
Reviews
Tech Corner



 

2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013

Jul 20

Summer SunHo hum. Another lazy summer day. Not much new and exciting has been going on, but I feel obligated to give some sort of update on here.

Summer so far has been good. Mostly spent just puttering around in the yard, weeding, watering, mowing, lounging. One of our outdoor lights has burnt out, and after looking it up was annoyed to find that you can't simply replace the bulb you need to replace the entire light at $250 a pop. So we called the company that did our yard hoping that there's at least a year warranty on them. This is the same company I was in contact with earlier this year to get the yard finished and who I was waiting on a final quote from and then they just seemingly dropped off the face of the planet. So we're somewhat curious if they're actually going to follow through with replacing the light.

I've also been doing a bunch of walking - although today the laziness factor is rather high - awhile ago my bestie Jay challenged me to a walk off which originally was going to be in May, but as we were gone for half that month I suggested July instead. We're both using the MapMyWalk app which tracks your route, calories, time, distance and sends you weekly and monthly summaries. At the of the month we'll compare and see who 'won'. I'm a bit frustrated though, unlike last year which I lost quite a bit of weight from all my walking I haven't lost anything this year. That coupled with the fact I'm having issues - namely I'll get home from a moderate walk and feel like crap, get dizzy, and almost pass out. I think my meds need to adjusted. Specifically the one I'm taking that lowers my blood pressure. My blood pressure has always been good so I originally questioned it when I was prescribed it but was assured that it was needed. Well now I'm calling bullshit because I can't keep on like this. Being dizzy at work, struggling to stay awake etc.

I got a message from my heart doctor with the results of my last test. If the test was good then he'd only see me once a year and I'd just continue taking my meds and life would be peachy. But in the message he stated he's going away on holidays so he's sending a letter to my regular doctor to discuss the 'plan' going forward. Whatever the hell that means. In my mind it means I'm obviously dying and only have a few days to live. Chris thinks it's likely all sunshine and rainbows. Either way I'll find out in a couple weeks when I have my appointment.

Holiday wise we're done for the year. Chris was wanting to go with our friends to Mexico in October, which I know would be fun, but my time has already been allocated for the year. I had to remind her that technically we've already been on three trips this year. Even though it oddly seems like forever ago. Money also being a factor. I'll admit I'm having more than a bit of buyers remorse from buying all that artwork on our last trip. That said, once they're here and gracing our walls I know it'll make us very happy.

That's it for now, off to do some more puttering!


Jun 23

Rainy DayHanging in the garage watching World Cup Football (Soccer) while it's pouring rain outside.

I had all kinds of plans to be productive today, but with the weather that all went out the window. So I might as well update the news instead. World Cup you say? Yes, somehow I started paying attention several years ago while I was in Vancouver on a course and it was being broadcast everywhere and I slowly but surely got into it. Then last go around I was taken by the plucky performance of little known Iceland and I've been cheering for them ever since. Sadly though it looks like their chance of advancing this year is hanging by a thread.

Besides confusing my friends with my sports viewing habits this month has been nothing but a blur of work and various doctor appointments for both myself and Chris. I usually don't talk about work, but recently I've been super stressed out. We've been having issues with one of our email servers and no one can seem to figure out what the problem is. Meanwhile users are getting annoyed and my manager is less than thrilled. It's gotten so bad that at times I've really been questioning how much longer I want to keep doing this. Especially when there's been a number of co-workers who have retired or will be retiring soon. While I'm happy for them, I won't deny there's a large degree of jealousy as well. Honestly if we hadn't moved and bought this ridiculously expensive house things would very likely be different right now. But then there's times where I really appreciate what we have - whether it being able to enjoy my garage as essentially an outdoor living space, watching movies in the home theatre, or hanging out in the back yard.

Speaking of that, for Father's Day, or what we like to call 'Auntie & Uncle's Day', Hailey swung by for a visit and we hung out in the back and played ladder ball and caught up. After she left I just stayed outside and did some weeding and general puttering. When that was done I just plunked down on the lawn chair and watched the world pass by until the sun began to set. It was one of those rare perfect days.

As for our usual health woes Chris had a holter monitor test whereby they hook you up to a machine that records your heart for 24 hours. This was in response to when she started feeling crappy while we were on vacation. She got the results a few days ago and she is in rhythm which is a huge relief to me, although she did have one episode of tachycardia (where your heart races) but our doctor said sometimes that happens even to healthy people. What was more concerning was that her heartbeat 'wave' was abnormal. So they're going to send her for more tests. As our doctor said while we were discussing the results 'what are we going to do with you two'…

A couple nights ago they had the 2nd annual food truck festival in our neighbourhood so we went and checked that out. We were smart this time and took chairs so we could sit while the other person went and waited in line to grab something. They had even more food trucks this time which was cool. I was enjoying things until my donair decided to literally explode all over me. It was like I had showered in donair sauce. But at least Chris found it amusing. Next year I think we'll have things perfected. In addition to chairs, we'll likely take some wine, and maybe a game to play and position ourselves a bit better as we were close to one of the roads where all the ice cream trucks decided to park. I love the 'ice cream!' jingle as much as the next person, but it got a bit old after hearing for the thousandth time. Normally after such an event we'd be tempted to cross the street and go to Pour, our local pub, for a few drinks - but we found out they were unceremoniously shut down yesterday for not paying their lease. And going online it looks like the owner laid off all the staff without a final paycheque. So that sucks. While it wasn't our favourite place it was ok, and nice and close.  This coming on the news of Tudor Rose, another of our pubs we'd frequent although admittedly less since we moved, also shutting down. I hope we're not going down the road that England is whereby pubs are disappearing because no one can afford to go out anymore.

Maybe I should quit my stressful job and take over the local watering hole. I mean how hard can it be right???


May 21

Celebrity SolsticeWell we're back from our various trips and vacations.

First up was a trip to Vegas for work to attend Dell World. The most exotic place I'd been to previously on work's dime was to Vancouver so for me this was quite something. The first day or so I was basically a deer in the headlights trying to figure out where everything was and how it all worked. Over 20,000 geeks descending upon the Venetian for a week of seminars, labs, and a music concert by none other than Sting. It was a fun week even if the weather was uncharacteristically wet for a couple days. Oh, and I did manage to actually learn some things related to my job which is always nice.

Sadly after getting back Chris started to get sick. I don't know what it is, but half the time we go to Vegas one of us gets ill. And no it wasn't from any hard partying. Other than the night of the concert we were both somewhat restrained in our festivities. She went to the doctor when she got back and they said it was her asthma acting up and put her on some antibiotics. Then just before we left for our Alaska cruise she went for a follow up and they said she was getting better. Half way through the cruise she started getting sick again. So went went to the medical clinic on the ship and they said she had bronchitis and gave her more antibiotics plus a few rounds of breathing through a inhaler mask. Fast forward to today and we spent a big chunk of the day at the hospital because she was having heart issues. After poking and prodding her and taking a chest x-ray they basically said she was fine. The heart issues were temporary and may have been caused by the asthma medication she was taking. Her chest X-ray came back clean. So who the hell knows. Of course I'm sick now as well, but unlike her I think it's just a cold. Sigh.

Despite the health issues we had a great time on our 'free' cruise - we saw some amazing scenery and it was enjoyable getting away from the world and just not giving a crap about what was going on in the news. Trump? Don't care. Terrorist attack? Don't care. Royal wedding? Don't care. Waiter I'll have another cervasca please. As I usually do on our cruises I wrote up a little journal of our experiences, and while I never got around to finishing it (missing our last couple days) here it is for your reading pleasure:

Currently Sunday? morning, docked in Ketchikan.

Wasn’t sure if I’d blog about this trip or not because it doesn’t really feel like a normal vacation - as we were comped the trip this time. Because we’ve bought so much art on our cruises in the past that Park West, the company that runs all the art auctions offered us this free trip to Alaska. We’ve been offered them in the past but turned them down as they were Caribbean cruises - which we love - however getting there was a pain as we could never get flights on points and I refused to pay for the flights for a ‘free’ trip. But as this one was out of Vancouver we went for it.

We’re on the Celebrity Solstice and if we haven’t been on her before we’ve been on her sister ships the Equinox and Reflection - so ship wise nothing new. But we like this class and Celebrity is our favourite cruise line.

Unfortunately Chris got sick when we got back from Vegas and although she seemed to be getting better before we left yesterday I had to take her to the medical facility to get an asthma treatment where she has to breathe through a mask for a half hour. She’s there again right now for another treatment. Hopefully things improve.

Despite that’s it’s been a good trip so far. This is probably the first time we’ve been on a cruise where we haven’t booked any excursions and we’re just gonna take it easy and relax. Partly because we’ve been here before and honestly I don’t think anything will top our experiences from last time and partly because I just really want to take it easy this cruise. The past few months have been pretty trying and we both really need this time to rejuvenate things...

Of course the reason the offer these trips is they’re counting on you buying even more art. They certainly are treating us like VIP’s and wining and dining us. We get to go to private art auctions and get to bid on works not shown to the general public. They even flew in the son of one of the featured artists who died a few years ago to talk about his work. I even got a fist bump from him as he liked my Commodore 64 shirt - yes, we’re totally classing the place up. We haven’t bid on anything yet, but yesterday over $200,000 was spent at the first auction. Not quiet in the same league as the regular ship auctions (update: in the end over $600,000 was sold).

Today after Chris gets back we’re just going to wander ashore for lunch. I’ll probably have some crab and maybe a few pints and then tonight we have another event where they’ll ply us (me) with free booze in the hope I lose reason and whip up that bid card.

Last sea day. Sadly the cruise is almost over. This ‘free’ cruise has naturally been quite expensive as of course we ended up buying more art. The first featured artist was this charming Korean man named Sam Park. While his style which is impressionistic isn’t really our thing we did end up getting a work of his which was a scene from Venice. Not only because we’ve been there but because we figured it’d be a good companion piece to another painting we have which is of a similar style. Today we got suckered into buying not one, not two, but three pieces from the artist Jim Warren. He’s more along the lines of what we typically like but unlike most artists he’s perfectly comfortable working in any number of styles. Now we just need to figure out where we’re going to put it all.

As for the cruise itself, we went ashore for a little bit in Ketchikan. I wandered around the town in the morning, remembering it from the last time we were there. It was a bittersweet experience as this was the last vacation we did with my parents while my Dad was still alive. We had such a great time that day with them. For Juneau it was crappy and raining so we just stayed on the ship. At our last Alaska port of Skagway we wandered around the town a bit and bought some touristy stuff and hung out at a couple of different Saloons. At their most famous one the waitresses were dressed up from the late 1800’s in corsets and bustiers with their ample cleavage spilling out. I’m sure I had a big grin on my face the whole time.

Wildlife wise we saw a bunch of bald eagles at the various ports and some whales breaching some distance from the ship . But the best was yesterday when a pod of porpoises came alongside the ship and were swimming directly below our balcony.

We’ve been pretty busy with all the art stuff, but last night the casino was nice to us for a change and Chris and I were on a slot machine across from each other. We both got multiple free spins and it was fun watching each other’s winnings grow in what was basically a race to see who’d win the most. In the end we won roughly $350. Not exactly huge, but considering how badly we done at the last few casinos both on ships and in Vegas we were pretty happy.

Tomorrow we’re in Victoria and I’m hoping to go to the restaurant we were at last time and gorge myself on crab and lobster and do some pub hopping. The ship leaves at midnight, so there’s the possibility we’ll have some runners to keep an eye for.

While we were in Victoria as I knew I was starting to get sick we toyed with the idea of simply getting off there and flying home that night and skipping Seattle. We went so far as to ask the ship people about us taking off and they grumbled because we didn't arrange it beforehand but said because it was a health issue that it'd probably be ok, but by the time they got back to us to give us the ok it was to late to have made the last flight out. So we sucked it up and got off in Seattle as planned. In the end I'm glad we did as I started to feel a bit better and we had a nice day there.

We finally were tourists and did touristy things like going to the Space Needle and the Museum of Pop Art. The needle was frankly a waste of money as once we got up there we realized it's currently under renovations and half the observatory deck was closed as was the restaurant and bar. But as we both joked we can at least now check it off our list. The museum was a better experience and they had some pretty neat displays in there. We also got to ride the tram and it's possible we were even on the local KIRO nightly news as they were filming right next to us and interviewing the conductor as it was some special anniversary since they built the thing. Later that night we had a yummy dinner at PF Chang's to celebrate our 11th Anniversary. And thus ended our latest get away.

As is happening more and more, we didn't take a tonne of pictures, but here are some highlights:


Apr 1

AnniversaryUnlike the lame Facebook posts of today, there's no joke to be found here.

As per the graphic, this little personal website of mine has been up and running for 15 years (as of a few weeks ago) now. Heck, I've been blogging before blogging was even a word! As has been mentioned previously I had hoped to have the site redesigned for the event, but the combination of lethargy, general busyness, and a hard drive crash have all conspired to prevent this from happening.

I had a reminder last week that I should really get on it when I went to post an update and it failed to connect. After much head scratching and a phone call to my provider I was kindly informed that they no longer support Frontpage extensions (gee thanks for the heads up). So I had to revert back to updating via FTP which is a pain. So yes, I really need to get with a newer platform.

Last month I made the decision to have a 'dry March' and not consume any alcoholic beverages. Mostly to prove that I could do it but also as I had a scheduled MRI and wanted to try and be as healthy as possible for it in the hope that when I meet with my cardiologist it'll be all unicorns and rainbows for me. I mostly succeeded although I did have a few on St. Paddy's Day. Being a long weekend I celebrated this weekend much to Chris' annoyance who is tired of waking up to me rocking out in the garage at 4am. But I'm going to give it another go this month, because really April is such a waste of a month to begin with. We'll see how it goes.

Chris' Dad & Lori were here this weekend for a visit which was nice. Kim, Hailey, and Michael were also here for our traditional Easter Rib Dinner. Ok, so it's not actually a tradition, but maybe it should be. Chris has been in love with her Instant Pot ever since she got it, while I still prefer the slow cooker. So we decided to have a Rib-off to see which was better. I had to swallow my pride as I think hers came out on top - but only because I messed up the heat setting on mine. Normally I would have done eight hours on low. But we only had six hours to cook and instead of putting it on high, I kept it on low - as a result my ribs while tasty were a bit chewy. So really it wasn't a fair fight.

With regards to getting our back yard finished - phase 2 of our project - there's been some interesting developments. Basically the people who did all the landscaping have apparently dropped off the face of the Earth. So we brought in a couple different companies and met with them earlier in the week. We explained our 'vision' to them and they're going to come back to us with some design ideas and a quote. We decided we're not going to have a deck built after all and will instead just extend our patio stone into the designated space where the pergola will be built. This should save us a bunch of money as a result. Over the next week or so we'll pick a company to work with and get the ball rolling and hopefully be able to enjoy our completed back yard in time for summer.


Mar 3

Celebrity ReflectionBack from our trip, as always I've kept a journal of our adventures. Enjoy!

Currently sailing up the mighty Mississippi River. For some reason I find it bizarre that a Cruise ship, especially one as large as the Reflection can do that. It’s considered a Sea day today, but we dock in New Orleans around 6:30pm. First day the weather was good, hot but not crazy, some clouds, humid. But today is overcast and rainy and a little chilly.

Getting to Fort Lauderdale was a bit of an adventure, we were an hour late taking off as we had to de-ice. Then on our approach into Toronto the pilot aborted the landing at the last second and gunned the engines, banking hard as we climbed to come around for a second attempt - apparently another plane hadn’t cleared the runway. We managed to make our flight with no time to spare. Then I ended up sitting next to another passenger that was a barrel of snot and could hardly breathe. I was in hell for the 3.5 hour flight as all I could focus on was that sure as shit I was gonna get sick.

Not that I helped matters as after we got on the ship we all proceeded to tie one on. Things were going good, it was fun and relaxing, enjoying the start of our vacation with a nice manageable buzz going - until we hit the Martini Bar. Then as usually happens it was downhill from there. Both Kim & I ended up getting sick which I haven’t done in years. Needless to say our next day was pretty slow.

The ship is nice, it’s a bit bigger (extra deck?) than the Equinox/Solstice, but basically the same. For the first time ever we have a regular balcony cabin and not a suite. Not having a butler is weird. But we still got a Concierge class so that combined with our Elite status still gives us a bunch of perks. The demographics is all old people - we’d be considered young on this trip - which we found odd considering we’re going to Mardi Gras.

Currently in the middle of the ocean enroute to Grand Cayman. The big easy was a lot of fun, but surprisingly gross, grimy, and industrial. After we were cleared to disembark we beelined it to Frenchmen Street which we had heard from several people was the place to be - basically where the locals went to have fun. We tried to get in to The Spotted Cat which our neighbors had recommended but there were no tables to sit at. The next place we tried you could only get a table if you were eating - my patience was quickly running out when we finally found a club that had space at the bar so we bellied up there. They had a blues band playing and while not amazing, they were enjoyable to listen to. The bathroom situation was interesting though as the toilets had overflowed and they closed them on the main floor forcing us to go upstairs. There I was less than thrilled to find a bathroom attendant inside. I’m a shy enough pee-er to begin with, never mind having to go a foot away from someone watching you and then be expected to tip him after.

We stayed for several songs and then wandered to another club. We quickly learned that the time to go into a club is between band sets as once someone started playing the place would quickly fill up. This place was pretty scuzzy and reminded me of the shitty university clubs I used to go to back in the day, but the band was really good and soon the place was jumping. They were a cover band but played a wide variety of songs and had lots of energy. It was a really fun night.

On the second day we wandered ashore in the early afternoon and ended walking the length of Bourbon Street. Even at 2pm the place was crazy full of people. You really had to watch where you stepped as it was easy to slip on all the beads on the ground. From there we grabbed the public transit trolley to go see their famous cemetery but we arrived just as it was closing. Somewhat deflated we found ourselves back at the start of Bourbon Street. Chris and I decided to stay and party while Kim went back to the ship. We spent several hours there bar hopping and taking in the um, lovely scenery and Chris acquired many beads. With the right group of friends it would be a blast to party there. We didn’t stay too late though as we had to be up early for the big parade.

The next morning came and we were all so tired that even we had bought tickets we said screw the parade and just rested instead. But by lunchtime we got our oomph back and when it looked like the parade stands weren’t that far away we wandered up there. As the parade was basically a non-stop, all day event we still managed to experience a decent amount of it. Although after awhile it started to all kinda be the same. All the floats were the same with just a different character on front and they all threw out the same assortment of beads and other trinkets. I’m glad we got to see it, but personally I think the Stampede parade is better.

We then hit Harrah’s casino on the way back and wasted some money. Or at least I did, everyone else seemed to be wining left and right. When we got back onboard we got our drink on and had a yummy dinner at the specialty restaurant up on the lawn area of the ship and said goodbye to the Big Easy.

Second last day in the Caribbean. Just got up to the sun rising and still enroute to Cozumel and breakfast has been ordered. We had so much fun yesterday with the stingrays. On our first cruise oh so long ago we went there and had a great time snorkeling and watching them below us. This time however we stopped on the sandbar where the water was only a few deep and you could stand. I had a blast swimming with them and touching them as they went by. I’d hold out my hand and they’d think I had food and swim up to me and lunge at my hand bumping it with their ‘nose’. We spent a good chunk of time there before moving on to one of the coral reefs. The water there was really rough and my snorkel kept closing on every 2nd breath, so I quickly went to get back in the boat and while waiting for some douche who was standing on the stairs to get a new mask got pushed up against the boat by a wave and scraped the crap out of my leg. So I was a bit of a grumpy bump, but on our last stop it was a bit calmer and I made out ok. Saw some more stingrays and fish and corals.

On the trip back to shore one of the guys cut open a conch shell he had snagged from the ocean shore and we saw how they get the ‘meat’ out and they sliced it up and gave everyone samples. They said Chris could have the beautiful shell, but I didn’t think the border dudes would have allowed us to bring it back. Unfortunately it was a short day as we had to be back on board by 3pm. So we only had time to have a quick rum punch at one of the dockside tourist trap bars before catching the last tender back to the boat.

Homeward bound sadly. Relaxing on our deck listening to the crashing waves while Chris is packing our stuff and getting organized for tomorrow’s departure off the ship. Yesterday’s stop in Mexico was fun. We actually managed to venture beyond the tourist trap village this time. Cozumel was the last stop on our very first cruise and it was fitting that the Carnival Valor which was our first ship was docked alongside us. We had booked an afternoon visit to the Mexico Discovery Center where we learned a bunch about the country and it’s history. We also got to grind up cocoa beans and make our own chocolate. And we finished with a Tequila tasting tour. I’m glad we didn’t just do the usual stay hangout at a bar all afternoon. That said, it was our final stop so we did hit up Senior Frogs before getting back on board. Chris & I were in a party mood but Kim wasn’t feeling it so we soldiered on without her.

Chris is looking forward to getting back but as was the case on our last big vacation I don’t want to go home. I’d be perfectly content delaying reality for a little while longer.

We didn't take a lot of pictures this trip as I didn't take my camera. There weren't any from Grand Cayman and some from Bourbon Street we um, obviously couldn't show. But here's some of what we did take:

It was a fun vacation, we can't wait for our next cruise in a few months to Alaska!


Jan 29

Words can’t express how sad I feel right now….but I feel I need to at least try…

After 16 wonderful years we finally had to say goodbye to our cat Mindy. She hadn’t been doing well for a few months now and only a couple days ago Chris had asked my opinion of when it was 'time'. I replied that as soon as she couldn’t get around we would take her in to be put down. This morning she texted me to call her and when I talked to her she said the time was now. So I came home, we called the vet and went in. Before we left we both hugged each other and had a good cry. Mindy was next to us on a blanket on the couch curled up and sleeping. On the ride to the vet we dispensed with the usual cat carrier and Chris just held her in her arms and she was alert and taking in the wonder of travelling in a car and getting to see the scenery passing by. All I could think of was that she was taking in this new experience as we were taking her to her death. When we got there I didn’t even have the balls to go in and be with her in the end. I just couldn’t do it and I feel forever ashamed that Chris had to do it alone.

When we got home and walked through the door it really hit me that she was gone. It seemed so surreal and wrong. Something that was a fundamental part of lives for as long as we’d known each other was missing. The house suddenly didn’t feel like a home and instead just felt empty. We still don’t know what was wrong with her. We had test after test done on her and everything kept coming back ok. But she kept losing weight despite everything we did. She was moving less and less and in the end falling down. She couldn’t go on like that.

Some might be tempted while recognizing it’s always sad losing a pet to say just that - that’s it’s just a pet. And after losing my Dad I’ll admit that my outlook on a number of things forever changed - but the hurt I felt today I haven’t felt since I lost him. Not having children, perhaps we feel this loss more than some would.

Despite the sadness, a couple things bring a smile through the tears. On the last couple nights she was with us she slept with Chris through the night which is something she’d never done before. And in the past few months she was a permanent fixture on Chris, cuddling with her throughout her final days. As for me, two nights ago we were watching TV and I had a craving for Creme Soda which I haven’t had in years and we just happened to have a bottle. When I sat down with it Mindy perked up sniffing the air and came over to me and was all over me wanting to know what I was drinking. It was hilarious.

Mindy

Our Sun Kitty

I went through years worth of pictures and there were so many of her to choose from, I really liked one where she was standing on her tail which is what she always did due to her short front stubby legs. But I think this one is what I’ll immortalize her with - because if there was a sliver of sunlight anywhere in the house, she would find it and soak it in.

Goodbye Mimmer.


Jan 20

Welcome to 2018!

As mentioned in my last post New Years was fairly subdued. We went over to Chuck & Tracy's and spent most of the evening with them. Funny story, anyone who knows me knows I'm a cat person and am pretty ambivalent about dogs. And on the dog scale small dogs are much further down on my appreciation level. But I met their new dog which is a Chihuahua and fell in love with him. Apparently he's not crazy about men but by the end of the night we were best friends with him hanging comfortably on my lap. We left in time to get home before midnight which was probably a good thing as I hear someone was up to 8 in the morning spilling wine everywhere...

When we got home we dutifully headed to the neighbors and did the countdown and the smoochy smooch. Another year was done.

So by now I'm supposed to have bought a new gym membership and pledged to be healthier right?? Well I haven't made any resolutions, but I was going to try and have a 'dry' January and not drink at all. You know what they say about best intentions...we went out one night while the World Junior Hockey championship was on and I decided to have 'just one beer'...needless to say it was a late night and I felt like crap the next day. Ok, so maybe I'll try a dry February. Nope, going on a cruise. Perhaps March? Ya, let's go for March.

I had planned on updating this website and bring it into the modern era - well somewhat modern anyway. Early last year I had begun tinkering with Microsoft Expressions which was their web design software that went end of life but which they made free after. I was somewhat well underway with getting familiar with it and migrating this site when my hard drive crashed and I lost everything. I've only recently looked at it again and it's disheartening having to start from scratch again. Pretty sure I won't meet the 10 year March anniversary of getting it done, but I do hope to get it complete sometime this year.

I also recently jumped on the cryptocurrency bandwagon. I was literally sick to my stomach when I realized that had I got in when I first heard about it I would have been able to retire. But back then I didn't really understand it so I ignored it. So in the spirit of FOMO (fear of missing out) I signed up on an Exchange and started trading. Of course as with most things, by the time the mainstream media notices and Joe Sixpack hears about it the window of opportunity is largely gone. But we'll see. Although Bitcoin is what everyone is talking about I'm more interested in Ethereum which I think will end up dominating. It's been fun watching the wild price fluctuations. Unlike some people, I haven't mortgaged my house to fund my holdings so I'm not about to jump off a bridge when it's tanking. At last count I've made a whopping 2% on my investment.

Not much else is new although in a nod to our getting old Chris & I have recently discovered the joy (frustration) of jigsaw puzzles. Our kitchen table is now a work area to some monstrously hard puzzle from famed maker Cobble Hill. We're almost done but now all the remaining pieces don't have any identifiable markings so it's simply trial and error to get them to fit. So ya, in addition to reading books before bed we're now full fledged puzzlers. Next up we'll be playing bridge with the 'girls' on the weekend. Sigh.