Irons in the Fire
I’ve got a lot of irons in the fire these days – well, at least a lot for an old retired guy.
I just began this blog a few days ago, and I’ve already skipped a day of writing in it. I’ve always had this problem. I have started writing diaries and journals in the past, but never kept them going. I believe my son has been writing a personal (handwritten) journal since he was in high school, or maybe college, which was a number of years ago. I’ve never read any of it – it’s not intended to be public – but I recall him mentioning a few times that writing in his journal has been good therapy when the world was getting a bit much on his mind. I have good intentions about keeping this blog updated, but I have no illusion that I will do so every day.
I have received some writing inspiration this week, which should help encourage me. Yehuda made a comment (first one received) on my other blog and was very complimentary about my blogs on his blog. Since I am an admirer of his writing, those comments were very welcome.
Now that I’ve begun blogging, I naturally want to improve the look of my blogs, so I bought a book yesterday – HTML 4 for Dummies – an appropriate title for me. Actually, I’m using it to refresh and extend my knowledge of HTML (XHTML), as I completed an online class in HTML in the last year or two, through About.com (a great web resource on virtually any topic you can think of). So, I still remember the basics of HTML, but need to learn a lot more before I fiddle too much with my blog code.
I have been remiss lately in answering several emails, so I caught up on them today, in addition to writing a letter and a card to a couple of relatives (to send via regular mail).
Sue and I spent several hours yesterday working on our turtle collection. In 1966, we began collecting turtle figurines and other objects with turtle motifs, paintings, carvings, cast figures, etc. We had done a decent job of keeping a card file index of our collection over the years, including cataloging each item with a code to identify its general source. Sue used our digital camera in the past month to photograph all the collection (one item at a time, mostly), while I typed up the index cards in a Word document to inventory the collection. Yesterday, we compared the photos with the typed list and found a few discrepancies, which we resolved. We now have 385 items from 41 countries, 28 U.S. states, and 16 Native American tribes. It has been a fun hobby, and we finally have it well-inventoried and cataloged. Sue is creating an excellent scrapbook-notebook with the photos and the listing.
I am always reading a book or two (or more). I just finished Shelby Foote’s trilogy on the American Civil War – it took some time to read, but was very well worth it. Excellent! I also just finished Sue Grafton’s K is for Killer mystery and am working my way through Jack McDevitt’s science fiction book Polaris, in addition to the HTML book.
I have a large collection of movies I have recorded over the years from TV, which I have begun copying from VHS to DVD. I managed to get three of those done in the last week, but have many to go. It is time-consuming, because I frequently watch the movies again, as I copy them. My collection consists of something over 800 movies, some of which are purchased productions, but the great majority are self-recorded for my own enjoyment. However, I recently decided that I probably will never watch many of them again, so I took time last week to go through my catalog and eliminate most of them from my list to copy. My plan now is to eliminate almost all the VHS tapes and their storage cabinets and to reduce my collection to the ones I will definitely enjoy watching repeatedly, which will reside on DVDs.
The major hobby that I haven’t worked on recently, but am eager to get back to, is family history. I am at a point of beginning more serious genealogy research, having analyzed, identified, cataloged, and placed in notebooks or photo boxes all the old family documents and photos that I have been able to collect from both sides of my family. This, of course, is a major undertaking and a life-time activity.
My other reading project that has taken a back seat lately is that of reading a variety of materials about the 19th century, especially American history and literature. The Civil War books, of course, fall into this project, but I haven’t added anything to my large collection of historical facts regarding that century for quite a while. I will get back to it, but not sure when.
Yes, those are a few of the irons I have in the fire right now – certainly enough to keep me off the streets and out of trouble. Oh, yes, I need to work in a nap today, I think……