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Saturday, January 16, 2021

Playing/Not Playing Games

  I don't have much to show you today. I actually accomplished quite a bit, but it's not very picturesque. I spent the whole day until after 2 pm on marketing stuff (which included the online class I'm taking).

But then I decided I needed a change of pace. I have two computer games I play regularly. Sometimes they become demanding of my time, and then I need to say "it's a game!"

So, I didn't look at those games all day. What I did instead was played another motivational game I use from time to time in various forms (usually involving jobs I DO NOT want to do). Today, it went like this. I am working on another jigsaw puzzle, and this one is suitably hard. Really hard. So for every 10 pieces I put in, I had to put 10 things away. This is the result. dining room table with piles of paperwork

No, it's not clear, but just to remind you, this is what it looked like after my last round of cleaning in that room. I consider this a huge improvement. Pat me on the back. Maybe I can even make myself do a little bit more in the next few days. dining room table covered with stuff

That's all the news!

See Dining Room and Trailer Tetris

Friday, January 15, 2021

Best of 2020 - Best Purchases

  I predicted that new camping gear items would be the winners for 2020, because I knew I would be buying so much new stuff. Almost all my old gear was purchased 1992-1994, and was just plain tuckered out. Some of the new gear was bound to be good, eh?

Well, fortunately, two of the big ticket items make the list. Early in the year, I got a brand new backpack after 28 years. I'm pretty happy with it. Her name is Modestine, nickname "Teeny." Here's the story of how this pack was chosen, and her naming, at Meet Modestine. It's a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60L pack. Since I'm outrageously unhappy with some of my new gear, being generally pleased puts this in the win category. backpack

The other expensive piece of gear that I'm happy with is the boots I just got. These are Oboz Rainier winter hiking boots. You might remember that I've switched totally to trail runners for 3 seasons. But you really need boots to hike in the snow unless you want wet, frozen feet all the time. My right ankle bone and the boot are having a discussion, but they are slowly coming to a compromise. I've worn them for quite a few miles already, even though I just got them for Christmas. The heels don't slip, the toes don't scream, and they are keeping my feet dry and warm. See Maybe I've Grown Up for more about the boots. Oboz Rainier boots

The final best purchase is also a piece of hiking gear, although much less pricey. I wasn't sure how it was going to work out, but I've worn it all year long as either a sweatshirt or as one layer on colder days. I'm very happy with it. Well, except for the useless pockets, but I guess you can't have everything. I got this on closeout, but it was made by Dickies- not really a hiking brand, but it fits well and does the job. And I can do something about the pockets if I really want to. See New Sweatshirt Replacement for more details.
Dickies Jacket


I did buy some useful things for the trailer, but I guess they don't rise to the level of "best." Mostly, they are just functional, which is good, but sort of ho-hum.

In other news: I did another session of the on-line class I'm taking. I worked on some editing. I worked on a pet project. So much for today.

See Best Purchases of 2019

Thursday, January 14, 2021

5 Mile to 3 Mile = 7.5 Miles

  Loren and I did an out-and-back hike today on the North Country Trail starting on 5-Mile Road. We were feeling strong, so we kept going. We went to 3-Mile Road and turned around. All together, this is 7 miles on trail and an extra 0.5 mile to get to the car. All the trail miles were in wet snow. Well, I'm a little stiff, but not too bad! It was a challenge.

Here's Loren on the new (at least 4 years old now) Vince Smith bridge. Vince Smith bridge

The bridge takes the trail across the Big Sable River. This is the river that is dammed to form Hamlin Lake and runs through Ludington State Park. Big Sable River

It always seems to be picturesque in any season. Big Sable River

This is the former Michigan East and West Railway. Link below for a summer picture. The trail just crosses it and moves on. Michigan East and West Railway berm

I thought this was interesting. A pileated woodpecker has been doing its thing on this dead tree, and this year from the looks of the hanging shreds of bark. And yet, those polypore mushrooms sprang up around the holes. I don't think I've seen fugus move in around the woodpecker holes so quickly before. They usually just dry out and appear as a naked line of ovals on the tree.
pileated woodpecker holes with fungus


The proof we were there. hikers

And just a little still life in oak leaves on snow. We didn't see a pileated woodpecker, but we did see a red-headed one and a hairy. Snow fleas, lots of deer, and rabbit, and squirrel tracks. oak leaves on snow

Hike 100 Challenge for 2021 is at 18.5 miles.

North Country Trail, Lake County, MI. 5 Mile Road at Mac Road, south to 3 Mile Road and back. 7.5 miles

In other news: I may have one of the other issues with companies fixed. Two down, two to go. (It started out as a total of three, but one of them really had two parts.) You know how much time those kinds of things take. I did not do a couple other things I should have. What else is new?

But, I did do this after I blogged last night. Cathy had loaned me a jigsaw puzzle that was in a baggie with no picture. Now, you need to know that I think this is cool! No clues to help. We thought it was another Coke memoribilia puzzle because of some of the pieces, but we weren't positive. So, I dumped it on the table, and thought I'd just do a little bit. puzzle dumped on table

Ha! It was pretty easy, and it was fun. I kept thinking I was tired and should go to bed, but I could. not. stop. Voila! coke sign puzzle

I certainly seem to be on a puzzle jag.

See Michigan East and West Railway
Big Sable River in summer and the old bridge

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

(N)ice Designs

  I didn't sleep much at all last night, so my head never got in gear all day. Even a long walk didn't cure it. But I found some nice pictures in the ice while I was walking. design in ice

This is one of those exercises in finding something good. You might think this was just an old drainage ditch. I thought it was a blank canvas on which the temperature could paint. design in ice

Hey! The sun kept peeking out, so who can really be glum when there is sun in January in Michigan! It was so warm I only needed a long sleeve shirt and a sweatshirt. design in ice

In other news: I managed to muck up a third order of something, but that is straightened out now. So I was able to download that and start working with it. I went to the Post Office. I am taking another little online class, so that took a bunch of time, but my brain is really foggy. I guess the good news is that I should sleep tonight!

See Riverside Ice

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Urban Walk with Cathy

  Bell choir practice was allowed to start up again! This is great, but it meant that Cathy and I had to sandwich our walk between when she got off work and the practice. So we just did a walk around some of the less used streets and spaces in town. Ludington is not a big city, but the wildlife is what you'd expect for a town- lots of squirrels. gray squirrel

One of our block loops took us down to Lake Michigan. Pastel green today. It's always different! Lake Michigan

We went through the north end of Cartier Park and then returned through Cartier Cemetery. It's big enough to keep you off the streets for a couple of blocks. cartier cemetery

We managed 4.8 miles in the time slot, with enough time left over for me to change before practice, and get there on time. friends

In other news: I am getting my head back into continuing to work on Dead Mule Swamp Singer. This involves reading what I've written to date. Managed that this morning. Maybe tomorrow I can actually write something. Also spent time on the phone trying to get problems straightened out with two different companies. Ugh. Hike and then bells.

See All Day with Cathy
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