Tuesday, January 10, 2017

TWTW January 2nd through the 8th: Rattle rattle thunder clatter boom boom boom

My Engine is Consuming Itself

 I went out for lunch on Wednesday. Half way to my favorite taco place I sat at a stop light. I huge racket seemed to be coming from a mechanic shop next door. It sounded like the really had some machine grinding away at a bunch of metal. I got stopped at the next stop light where the exact same cacophony was going on. I realized it was coming from my car and that it wasn't good. It sounded like the engine was destroying itself.  It seemed to stop when I accelerated and came back whenever the car idled. It seemed to be running fine.  Once I got back to my office I searched online for what could be causing the noise. A bunch of results that didn't seem to apply came up.

The next morning before taking the car to the mechanic I tried to see If I could figure out the problem. I started it up and opened the hood. But it wasn't making the sound. I drove around the parking lot and still it was fine. So I decided just to drive to work. When I got to the second stop light on my way to the office KLATTER BANG SLAM CRANK!!!!!  So I drove back home and opened the hood. I could barely hear the sound at the front of the car and didn't seem to be coming from the engine. I looked under the car and there was the problem. The heat shield had come loose and was banging against the exhaust. I tried to do a very subtle and precise repair by kicking at it to try and finish knocking it loose.  I have just left it down there rattling around until hopefully the temperature climbs about 15 degrees and I can actually climb underneath the car and try to either tighten or remove it.

I Feed a Deadbeat

I checked the weather before going out to my car to head to work. My phone mocked me saying -4 degrees fahrenheit. I had one layers. I pulled my parka on and zipped it tight. I wrapped a scarf around my neck and mouth. Put on my knit cap, pulled up the hood, and stuffed my gloved hands into the pockets. As I started out the door I looked over at Jobu. He lay in a tight little fuzzy ball in his nice warm bed. "You just lie there and be warm while you sleep all day. I'll head out into the freezing cold to work so I can buy you food."  He didn't even open an eyelid.

Tuesday, January 03, 2017

TWTW December 16th through January 1st 2017: New Year New You

Shamelessly stolen from the internet

I was off work all week and really didn't do much.  I cleaned. I cooked. I slept in and went to bed late.  Perfect week off.

On New Years Eve I went out with a few friends to celebrate. It was fun and I kept the libations to a minimum :)

I think Jobu really enjoyed having me around so much.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Goodbye 2016.. Hello 2017

As like always I am giving you my top viewed posts of the year. Something really weird happened with my stats this year. You notice that 4 of the top posts were music Mondays. Also the number one is a post that is literally just a picture. My most popular posts all have like 4 to 5 times the normal number of views. My only guess is that these posts got shared by someone somewhere else like facebook. I am thankful for the views. I have no idea why the singing cats made this list.

  1. TWTW: June 6th through June 12th All I Got is a gif of a Cat scared by a Bear
  2. Music Monday: Bruce Springsteen - Long Walk Home
  3. Music Monday: Skrux - Our Fragment (ft. Missio)
  4. Music Monday: Navii - J'├ęcoute du Miles Davis
  5. Music Monday: Space Cats - Magic Fly

So what actually happened in my personal life? Not really a whole lot.  The cat and I are both a year older.  Despite the time it takes the earth the circle the sun becoming a sentient creature and hunting down celebrities (someone reading this in the future will have no idea what I am mocking here) everybody I loved survived. I carved out a good hunk of my debt. I had originally planned to have all my debt paid off by the end of the year but that didn't happen. Mostly because of my lack of willpower. For most of the year I kept up a fairly regular workout routine. I was going to look at my big calendar on the wall since I mark each day I run or go to the gym, but I've already too 2016 down and replaced it with 2017. I haven't done much in the last couple of month because of (insert excuses) :) For a couple of months I didn't really have a car because of the airbag recall problems. That got a little frustrating but I survived. Maybe all the positive vibes are just leftover from the CUBS WINNING THE WORLD SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This positive outlook continues into 2017. I just feel it's going to be a good year. I may consider this fateful words someday :) The initial focus of 2017 will be with finishing to pay off my debt. This should be finished by my birthday.. YEAH.  After that my self help project is going to concentrate on my health. I am old after all. Also the second half of the year will be deciding what is the next big thing in my life and beginning to work toward that. I knew I had to get out of debt first.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Self Help Refresher for the New Year

It's that time of year again when loads of people make good intentioned resolutions for self improvement. Around this time last year I did a series of posts about my research into self improvement strategies. Here is a quick refresher.

It's about habits not willpower

I recently read an online conversation. A person was claiming it was impossible to be a healthy weight forever. The claim was that it would require constant willpower all the time forever until you die. I can understand were the person gets this idea. This person has probably tried some sort of crash or fad diet. They had the best of intentions and only managed a few days, maybe even held out for a whole week but the temptations just ended up being to strong. They looked a lifetime, years and years, of every day tiring themselves out resisting temptations and gave up. The good news is this is not remotely true. If every single time you got up early to go work out it was as hard as the very first time, no one would ever work out for more than a month. My number one message to someone starting out on a self improvement quest; It will get easier.

Make Your Plan and Execute It

We will achieve long term improvement by making small incremental changes that can be maintained.  I'll use my quest to get out of debt as our example. First, we come up with our big goal.  I am going to pay off all my credit card debt. Now that we have a big picture goal we need to divide that into smaller attainable goals. I will pay off 1/3 of my debt by... I will have it half paid off at.. etc. After we have decided on some goals, we need to come up with what you need to do to achieve those goals. I need to consistently bring in more money than I spend and use the excess to pay off my debt.

At this point we have to think of the practical steps you can take to reach our goals. I will increase my income by taking a second job. I will reduce my expenditures by tracking my expenses and then cutting out excess spending. For earning more money I made a list of what time I had available for extra work and then thought about what skills and tools I had to make money. I had a car so I could do food delivery. I had time on the weekends and skills I could use. I noticed I spent a lot of money eating our so I could reduce the number of days I went out to eat for lunch and dinner.

We take this information and make a very specific action point that we will make a habit. I will bring my lunch to work every day except for one day a week. We then spend weeks working on bringing lunch to work and building the new habit of not eating out. Once we have established the new habit we move onto the next. If later down the road we find that we are spending too much money eating out, we concentrate for a couple of weeks on returning to the proper habit.

Most big improvements in our lives are just the summation of all the little decisions and choices we make.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

TWTW December 19th through the 25th: Dude Where's My Phone?

All right owned by whoever made this movie

It was a cold and icy night. The kind of night were smart people huddle at home and watch netflix. I had only one problem. I had committed a grave and unforgivable sin. I had let us run out of gushy cat food. I groveled and attempted to explain to the angry fuzzy face. I was soooo sorry but it was horrible outside. You can't send me out in this!!!!  The old furry patriarch did not relent and I was cast out onto the icy roads.

It wasn't that bad. I got to the store and purchased the all important gushy food. After feeding the manor lord I went to get my phone for something. I couldn't find it. I searched the apartment to no avail. I went out to the care were the ice had started to coat everything. I looked under the seats. I looked everywhere. Then I had an idea. I have a bluetooth dongle thing in the car that will connect if it's close to the phone. I turned it on.  No connection. The phone was not in the car. I was not sure if the range is good enough for me to confirm that the phone was not in my place. I cleaned the ice off and slowly drove to the grocery store. I drove near where I had parked thinking that maybe the phone had fallen out of my pocket. I kept the bluetooth on an listened to the tone indicating a connection. Nothing. I went inside and asked if anybody had turned in a phone. Nope. I drove home defected thinking someone had stole my phone.

I searched the apartment one more time. Then I remembered I had a bluetooth speaker that the phone automatically connected to. I grabbed the speaker and turned it on.  I waited watching the blue led blink. "Connected" came the response. So the phone was here.  I searched everywhere. I looked in the garbage. I looked in the freezer. I looked under things. I walked into the bathroom defected. It was sitting on the bathroom counter.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

I am coming to you from my mom's house. That's her tree in that picture. I hung the ornaments. That's why they are so haphazardly placed.

May this Holiday bring us all a time of peace, hope, and love.

And what you have all been waiting for... BRING ON Michael Buble