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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Puzzles- Jigsaw and Otherwise

Coke puzzle completed

Hang on, this post will be long and rambling.

The Jigsaw Puzzle
Yes, I finished it yesterday afternoon at 6:10. It’s a really neat puzzle, and despite the guilt of wasting so much time, I really liked doing it. Even after so many years of avoiding them, I’m still as addicted as ever. I just couldn’t stop! If you want to read more about it, I reviewed the Coke Puzzle at Shared Reviews.

Because I am just one click away from being OCD, here is a list of all the items that appear in the picture (some are "real" size, many are toys):
Bottles of Coke sorted by kind: 348 green glass with logo molded in, 1 green glass with a black diamond logo, 1 with a red printed label, 1 with Japanese logo, 2 silver, 28 gold - total 380
Bottles of Coke sorted by location: 346 in cases, 28 sitting loose, 6 in people's hands
Cans of Coke: 1 with an odd diamond design I've never seen, 1 with sunglasses and headphones that I have a vague recollection of as being a radio, but I didn't count it as one since I'm not sure.
     Dispensers/ Coolers 5
     Gold wooden cases 6
     Red wooden cases 3
     Wire shopping cart racks to hold 2 bottles 2
     Red cardboard 8 pack 1
     Red cardboard 6 pack 1
     Paper cups 1
     Silver cardboard 6 pack 1
     Red plastic 6 pack 2
     Coke glasses 4
People: 1 cowgirl, 1 party girl, 1 boy in a straw hat, 1 bathing beauty, 1 girl of no particular description
Signs/posters: round red Coca-Cola signs 6, poster 1, calendar 1, rectangular sign 1
     refreshment 1
     ice cold 1
     Drink Coca-Cola Delicious and Refreshing 1
     Atlanta, Georgia since 1886 1
     enjoy Coca-Cola while you shop, place bottles here 2
     the pause that refreshes 1
     Coca-Cola Classic 2
     Things go better with Coke 1
     drink Coca-Cola 1
     Have a Coke 1
     Coke is It! 1
     Coke 9
     Coca-Cola (not molded in bottles) 67
Other stuff: round thermometers 1 round, tube thermometer 1, clock 1, radio 1, match box 1, bicycle 1, tray 1, hats 2, Converse sneaker 1, toy trucks 5, truck box 1, decks of cards 3, straw dispenser 1, bowl of pretzels 1, loose bottle caps 7 (plus a glass full that I can't count)

Total different elements- something like 537- I don't guarantee that I counted all the bottles and logos right! And I counted partial ones if they were distinguishable, but how much should be seen to be counted? OK, I'll stop now, but I did warn you.

Puzzle- the Anacrostic
Just for the record, Iast night I managed to work that extra L from clue R “illium,” which should be "ilium," into one of the other words by rearranging the letters, not changing the first letter so that it still spells L.L. Emerick, The Superior Peninsula. Whew! I can still use that puzzle in case I make another puzzle book. After hearing how people struggled with it, I am going to classify that anacrostic as “hard.” If anyone is interested, I do have two puzzle books for sale. One is easy to medium, and the other is medium to hard. They both have outdoor themed puzzles. You can purchase them at Books Leaving Footprints. No arm-twisting... just an opportunity.

Puzzled About Redefining Myself Again
For the past 10 years, when anyone asked me what I do, my answer was "a web site designer and maintainer." I still do some of that, but for reasons unrelated to the quality of my work, I have lost my two largest accounts, and now have only several small sites. That said, I am meeting with a woman tomorrow who is representing a group whose site I am going to pick up. But it’s very small potatoes, maybe $100 a year.

This past year I’ve been doing a lot of on-line writing, mostly ghost writing for web content that has to meet SEO requirements. It’s an awful way for someone creative to make money, but I’ve been paying the bills. Barely.

I’m homing in on completing the hiking of the North Country Trail. The plan has always been to write a sequel to North Country Cache. A few chapters are done, but I need to get serious about that. This spring I also began a children’s book called Moose in Boots. Once in a while I get a really good idea, and I think this is one of them. More about this in a bit.

I have recently become active in the Accentuate Writers group, to get some support and accountability for my writing.

In fact, when the person sitting next to me at the Inside the Magic Kingdom" dinner in December asked what I do, for the first time ever, I said, "I am a writer."

Puzzled About the New Year
I’m not one for making New Year’s Resolutions any more. I’ve made so many lists over the years which were never completed that they just depress me. Now, I understand that the fact that I made the list and did most or even some of the things probably meant that I did more than I might have otherwise accomplished. For example, I have recently been reading a blog by Nicole of Knit, Nicole, Knit. She has created an amazing list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It even has a reward and punishment system built in for motivation. It’s not on her knitting blog, but I’ve linked to the list. I am tempted to sit down and make a list of my own, but only tempted, because at this point in my life, I think that the depression of failure overwhelms the sense of accomplishment.

I did make a list of the things that I wanted to accomplish today. I didn’t come close to finishing it. Too many days are like this, even when I work pretty much non-stop, suggesting that I need to focus my priorities– a lifetime shortcoming. This is not to say that I don’t set goals.

Puzzled About My Plans for January
Now that I’ve said I’m not making resolutions or lists, I’ll tell you what I have made. I have made a plan for January, but it’s already getting knocked head over heels.

The plan is to spend the month working on Moose in Boots. The text is written. The storyboard is done. The revised storyboard is about half done. One sample illustration is done. I have a plan for some educational notes. I have positive reactions from several people, including an educator, who have seen it. So... I want to finish it.

But here it is, January 6, and I haven’t even taken it out of its box. I cleared the table so that I can work on it. Then I started that Coke Puzzle. I guess I’m over kicking myself for doing that, but it certainly delayed the beginning of the plan.

Next glitch... Om has a small hernia that popped up about two weeks ago. He is having it repaired on Monday. It shouldn’t be that big of a deal- it will be on an outpatient basis. But he can’t drive or lift anything for a week. That means, you guessed it, I get to do the paper route. Now here’s where I will let just a bit of negativity creep into this blog. I just HATE doing that job. Of course I feel bad for Om, but I nearly cried, knowing that I would have to cover for him. Working through that particular time slot just seems to destroy my ability to do anything for the rest of the 24 hours. Well, if you recall, this blog is an outgrowth of my exercise to promote positive thoughts through a very difficult time. One week of a hateful job isn’t even close to the depression of that earlier time, but I will have the opportunity to meet the challenge of finding something good and positive during this time when I’m not very happy about many events in the real world. But I’m not sure how much energy I’ll have to put into the book project.

Conclusions With No Puzzles?
Interestingly enough, I’m watching a PBS program about happiness. In large measure, the program concludes, we can choose to be happy and to foster the social relationships and actions that bring us satisfaction. Making the choices is what "My Quality Day" is all about. When I chose to make it public, rather than locked in 3-ring binders in my office, I began building the relationships I have developed with many of you. I need to make some further decisions about the direction of the coming year to ensure that I end 2010 happier than how I feel about 2009 (not so great, overall). But these are things I can do.

There will be a separate post tomorrow about how I will blog about the writing progress. Also tomorrow, I think I will show you some pictures from last summer that may not be amazing photography, but the topic is pretty amazing to me. And it takes us back outside! Definitely needed after this long soliloquy.

If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out!

Happy New Year! (Hey, I’m only 6 days late, which isn’t bad for me)

See All Day with Cathy for a newer Coke puzzle


wenn said...

you are indeed a very excellent writer!

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Love to read about what you have been up to.

One of my favourite quotes is by Nicolas de Chamfort 1741-1794 "The most wasted day is that in which we have not laughed"

And your writing always brings a smile to my face :)

Secondary Roads said...

We (Sylvia, boys and I) used to do a lot of jig-saw puzzles. Haven't done one in quite a while.

I really enjoy your writing. The topics are interesting and the style is engaging. I'm glad you didn't lock it a way in that three-ring binder.

Mother Goose said...

Wow! You have certainly done a lot of reflecting this year. I believe your jigsaw puzzle is what allowed you to do that..It is a good thing. I enjoyed your musings and am interested to see what you have come up with.

Julia said...

Yeah on the kids book!(ps. I have found some lower cost publishers) And too bad about the paper route stuff. And more so about hernia... I had a paper route when I was a kid and loathed it toward the end of my stint as paper deliverer... Good luck.

Saying you're a writer is a good thing. Truthful and accurate. :)

Ann said...

I have to admit that I'm also guilty of making lists and then not completing them. I had to stop doing that because I get too discouraged with myself. However, not writing lists means that I don't get anything accomplished at all.

Lin said...

I am proud to say that I did not make any resolutions. I'm learning to constantly work on myself and not just focus on a couple of things that I may or may not complete. Other than losing a few pounds, I'm pretty much carefree this year!

Dewi Saraswati said...

is my first time to visit here, wow ur site is good, and greats articles too. can we make a friends with dropper ec, maybe someday i'll find something to make me rich about knowledge. thanks

is u have a time, can you comment to in my post or articles in my blog?, i hope u can visit me too my friends.

Glynis Peters said...

Oh I feel for you doing the paper round, and I hope OM does ok with his op.
Love the puzzle,(and the list).

Rick (Ratty) said...

Trying to improve, especially happiness is always a good thing. I don't think anybody is as happy as they want to be. I think the key is to constantly try to change and improve. I hope your plans help you with all you want to do.

RNSANE said...

My dear Joan, I, of course, read your entire post. You are the most thorough person I know. I cannot believe you managed to document everything about the Coca Cola puzzle. I wouldn't have been able to finish it, much less count all the people in it, etc. You should have been a forensic scientist!!

I think the children's book is such a wonderful project. Children, today, have so little knowledge of the outdoors and nature and they definitely need that. Your writing style is is appealing and interesting - I have to admit, since my back surgery about 25 years ago, I have become very sedentary and stopped enjoying the outdoors like I used to do. That was a big mistake because, of course, as I've gotten older, I'm in more pain, with arthritis and spinal stenosis. I know I need to try to get out and walk or, at the very least, get on this damn treadmill beside my bed..so that I might walk better in this lovely area of northern CA.
You're kind of an inspiration for me, you know!

Sharkbytes said...

Wow.. I knew I was tired but, didn't realize I hadn't responded to any of these comments.

Wenn- Thanks. And thanks for being a faithful reader.

Duxbury- Oh, I like knowing that I made you smile. Thanks for the quote. I needed that myself!

Hi Chuck- You are one of my best computer buds, now.

Mother Goose- Well, the puzzle certainly gave me a theme for the musings. Glad you don't mind. Sometimes I slip over into brooding.

Julia- Ah, another former paper router... I WILL get to the book project, and I WILL read yours.

Ann- We seem to be in the same place on the list making. Sometimes it used to be helpful, but not at this stage of my life.

Lin- Glad to hear it! I think your goals will show themselves in the kitchen and come home with college papers to deal with and all that. You won't need a list to remember!

Hi Dewi- I will visit your blog.

Glynis- Thanks... his surgery should be minor, so I hope that it works out that way!

Ratty- I love the way you made a decision to go outside seeking some new experiences, and how it has made your life richer. I hope that I can make good decisions like that.

Carmen- Wow... you are a trooper (for reading it all). I'm sorry to hear that you have back troubles. Can't you even take short walks? I just find the outdoor air to be so wonderful and refreshing, it's like a drug. Treadmills are only depressing. (to me) And, yes, I've always loved forensics... just one of my many favorite topics.

RNSANE said...

Yes, Joan, I can walk pretty long distances actually but I do need a walker, mainly because, without warning, my left leg will buckle and I could fall. With the walker, I can grab myself and sit down. In Europe, in October, I walked a couple of miles at a time...not running a race, of course, but leisurely.

Life Moto said...

i am sure that twist your mind after the job.