DAY NINETY-NINE: Sick Again

I definitely have another cold. Feelin’ pretty crummy at the moment.

Morning weight: 201.6 pounds.

Today is Friday. Today is Halloween.

This is the first Halloween in many years that I have not carved a pumpkin.

I activated my NaNoWriMo account again this year. I have never successfully completed NaNoWriMo. Perhaps this year will be different.

DAY NINETY-FOUR: Weekend is Over

Another weekend gone. Another dreary week ahead.

This weekend I spent, or wasted, a lot of time on the computer. Most of it was just vegetating. Some of it was purposeful. The computer hard drive was getting full – I was getting low memory messages when I uploaded photos to iPhoto. I checked, and there was only about 700mb space remaining. So I put in a lot of time deleting duplicate items and video clips and clutter. I moved my iPhoto library to the backup external hard drive, usually something I do annually, but I haven’t done so in a couple of years. Ultimately I opened up 85 gigs on the 320 gig drive. iPhoto is definitely more responsive now.

Today, Sunday, I trimmed shrubbery in the front yard. It’s kind of something to help get the house looking better, but it’s also just regular maintenance. Of course, it’s maintenance that I don’t do very often, so it was kind of a big job.

So yeah, trimming hedges and dinking around on the computer. Some productivity, eh?

Oh, I also uploaded some photos from an Alaska trip four years ago to Flickr. It was one of those things I just never got around to. In fact, seeing that folder on my computer desktop helped me realize that it was about four years ago, in 2010, that my enthusiasm for almost everything began to wane dramatically. I don’t know why. I can’t think of a pivotal or dramatic or significant cause or specific event. It’s just… I stopped being enthusiastic. An outward symptom was that my interest in photography and in sharing photos on Flickr began to fade. For what it’s worth, the number and quality of Pinky:st toy photos I create and upload seems to be a fairly reliable gauge of my overall sense of well-being. This weekend I edited and uploaded over a hundred photos of Trippy the Traveling Plastic Lizard from the 2010 Alaska trip. Travels with Trippy are as exciting and fun as travels with Pinky:st figures. I don’t know why I could never summon the enthusiasm to post the pictures. Partly I remember feeling that the trip was not particularly inspiring. In fact, Alaska is so similar to where I grew up in Oregon that I didn’t feel it was all that interesting. Finally, though I edited, captioned, and posted those photos that have been sitting on my computer for four years, reminding me of my lack of enthusiasm.

I’m hoping that my “forced enthusiasm” will generate genuine enthusiasm.

Oh, I also stumbled across the Big Red Hair web site created by a couple who write and draw comic books and who do other artsy-fun stuff, including compiling and creating vintage “dime novel” style books and building models of vehicles described in circa 1890s pulp adventure stories. In other words, these people make a living doing what I play around with for fun. Did I take some wrong turns in my life, or what?

DAY NINETY-THREE: Goodbye to my PT Cruiser

I gave away my car today.

PT Cruiser

PT Cruiser

Today I bid a very sad farewell to my 2002 “Dream Cruiser” Edition Chrysler PT Cruiser.

I loved this car. Even though the PT Cruiser is not particularly fuel efficient, powerful, or maneuverable, I appreciated it for the comfort (heated leather bucket seats!), the hauling capacity (a lot of space with the rear seat folded down or removed), and most of all for the semi-retro styling.

While the car still looks good on the outside, the engine is making noises… noises that it probably should not be making. Once in a while I get a whiff of burning oil. I suspect the ever-worsening coolant leak is evidence of a failing water pump. A timing belt replacement is several tens of thousands of miles overdue. One of the cylinder heads has a makeshift repair holding it together. The front suspension is in need of work, and the interior sill of one of the doors has begun rusting through.

The cost to repair everything that I’m currently aware of that needs work would be in the vicinity of three-thousand dollars. That would not address the rust. In my experience, once a car starts needing work that costs “thousands” of dollars, as soon as one thing is repaired something else starts to fail.

And, quite frankly, I don’t have three-thousand dollars to put into the car right now. Make that $3300.00 – the annual license and safety inspection renewals are due by the end of October.

It breaks my heart to part with this car. I will miss it a lot – miss driving it, miss seeing it sitting in the driveway… but I won’t miss washing those stupid 5-spoke chrome wheels. I could never keep them clean.

Rather than hassling with trying to sell the car, I donated it to The National Kidney Foundation . I have been seeing advertisements on television recently – they say they will accept any car, running or not, and they will pick up the car. Well, they picked it up. A tow truck just left my driveway a few minutes ago… and so did my little Inca Gold PT Cruiser.

For the time being, I will be driving a beat-up, boring silver Toyota Corolla on loan from a family member – or more accurately, abandoned by a family member who moved and didn’t want to bother taking the car. The Toyota looks like it’s been in a demolition derby, but at least it runs… for now, anyway.

Oh well, I guess this gives me a legitimate excuse to start daydreaming about new cars!

25 October 2014

DAY NINETY: A Little Bit

Wednesday. Today was a non-student day at work, so I put in for a “personal day” rather than driving all the way downtown for some boring, pointless union workshop thing. The teachers’ union here is practically worthless. But that would be a discussion better left undiscussed, as the negative opinions I hold on the matter would be productive to nobody.

Anyway, having a day off in the middle of the week was fantastic because it allowed me to sleep in! After I woke up around 8am I actually managed to get a few things done!

The biggest accomplishment was getting to the Department of Motor Vehicles office to get a replacement title for my car. That process went more smoothly and quickly, not to mention inexpensively (only $10 replacement title fee), than I had anticipated.

Then I went to WalMart to get a new pair of denim jeans. It’s been years since I last purchased jeans, and the two pairs I have that still fit me are worn out. To my surprise the WalMart house brand, Faded Glory, denim jeans are still the same price they were when I last purchased a pair several years ago, about $11. Yes, I still had to buy “fat boy” pants, but I did not buy a larger size than what I am currently wearing. I still have jeans in smaller waist sizes, and my intent is to be wearing those again soon. For now, though, I needed some I can wear for general purpose… purposes, like working around the house and yard.

On the way home from the DMV and WalMart I stopped in Haleiwa Town at Billy’s Barber Shop and had my hair cut.

At home, I filled out the online form to donate my car to the National Kidney Foundation. Donating the car while it’s still running will be far easier than trying to sell it. The online form was easy to fill out now that I had the title in hand, and a representative from the NKF telephoned within an hour of my submitting the form with further instructions. I mailed off the title to NKF headquarters. They’ll be by within a few days after they receive the title to pick up the car.

Then I went outside and spent more hours than anticipated trimming bushes around the yard. I did not finish everything I thought I would; in fact, I only finished one of the two bushes I planned to work on. The other I didn’t even start. I wore my old jeans one last time, and when I was finished I tossed them in the rubbish bin.

So: car title, arrange for car donation, hair cut, new jeans, trim bushes – oh, and hauled another box of books to the library, and figured out why the other car, the Suzuki Sidekick, wouldn’t start (corroded battery terminal, just a few minutes to remedy). A more productive day than usual. Not a lot of these projects were directly related to “changing my life,” but most of them were at least tangents toward the goal.