Wednesday, August 04, 2021

summer ending 2021....

 I've just finished summer classes last week and now this week I'm doing a 2 week intersession before the fall semester begins aug 16th.  Summer has gone by pretty nicely this year, only a bit more travel than the none that happened last year.  I drove to Austin memorial weekend and then up to see my college friends in AR a few times. and then I went with the garden club to Manhattan Kansas in July for a regional convention. lots of fun more or less!

On the weekens I'm usually hanging out with my friends S and B and SP and KP.  SP and KP are a married couple who went to college with B.... they moved here from Ohio about 3 years ago and start hanging out with S and B and then me by default. but also I started working out at their crossfit gym 2.5 years ago, and even though KP, the wife, quit going and is doing orange theory instead, SP and I have ended up going to same time of classes and getting to know each other outside of the group and also we give each other an older work out partner during workouts. ha   So anyway, its usually the 5 of us on weekends going out for dinner and then playing cards and one their homes.  I don't host because they both have dogs that ALWAYS come with and so their houses are better for the dogs messing around while we play cards.  We usually always play Hearts when there are 5 of us , also if we are 4.  But if we have a larger group fo people and even number , we'll always play Nertz which is more of a speed game, it's sort of like Dutch Blitz basically.  For a while there was RC , a girl that they all went to college with and cousin of KP, but she moved to live with her boyfriend on a boat in the gulf? or something, and then sometimes KP's twin brother and wife will join us, and less often her older broth and wife might join us. that's about it and we usually go to the same Mexican restaurant or have take out pizza, although we've branched out to some new places in OKC lately. woot!

I have been working on my yard all summer, keeping the weeds at bay and things watered. we are lucky to not have too many days over 100 just yet. this week in the 80's WOW for OKC in August!!  I've been ordering a few more plants than usual to plant this fall because there is a national convention coming up in 3 years here in OKC and I'm likely to be on the group garden tours.  SO this fall I'll be digging up stuff and spreading things out and cleaning up and getting things more planned and landscaped and all that around the yard. I ordered some Chinese Magnolia shrub/trees to dot around the place and also a Disanthus Cercidifolium ( Redbud Hazel) that I'm trying to grow a second time. I've also put in 3 more Japanese maples here and there in the garden. 

We have a new division dean at work this fall. He was just announced last week at a Friday afternoon zoom department meeting that we got an email about 2 days prior. awkward! ha... a colleauge of mine who I esteem highly had her name in for the job , and we really really though that they would hire from within since the last guy from MO jsut didn't work.  ( I was on his hiring comitte 4 years ago , but those were way different days with most of our school leadership completely shifting since then). Well, anyway, so I had been helping her with proofreading her resume and giving her some sample questions and editing her cover letter etc etc.. and she didn't get the job as our dean. ALAS!  I have to say that the guy they hired from Kentucky has excellent qualifications and background and I can see why they hired him. I am actually excited that it's someone from outside and comes in just taking in the division and runs it steadily as he see fit.  let's go fall of 2021!

no work yet on whether students will wear masks or if we will wear masks etc. I hope not!  The college did an excellent job of getting us all vaccinated, and I've already had the virus, but I do hope anyone not vaccinated will wear a mask as needed.  I'm nto sure of our numbers in OKC actually, but hopefully they will not keep rising. booo!  we shall see how it goes....  If we do need to wear masks, I'm going to use a "face covering" which means a see through clear plastic shield. it fits on your ball cap and sort of hangs in front of your face that way.  I had one ready for last year, so I hope to use that if needed because I want the students to see my face and expressions etc...  I also hope they don't switch us to half the students one day and the other half the next.  Our class sizes (with new leadership) are capped off at 20 or 23 instead of 28 or 30 in the past.  SO with 20 students, it's possible to separate everyone and space them out in distance in the classroom.  again we'll see what decision is made in the next 2 weeks.

Until then I am teaching a 2 week course with only 5 students enrolled!!  because we had an interim dean this summer, I think my course got skipped over and wasn't checked to see if it had enough students. only 9 enrolled and I lost 4 of them already.  I signed a contract today to be paid the same amount as any intersession course, but it will be a nicer amount of work with only 5.

hope everyone is having a great summer! I'm watching a few youtube channels as I wind down in the evenings. my goal is to make it up early to swim laps, but I have yet to follow through on that.

Friday, July 30, 2021

Thursday, July 29, 2021

SUmmer 2021

 I'm watching crossfit games in Madison Wisconsin this afternoon. The gym I've been using for about 3 years now has members in the team competition so it makes it pretty exciting to watch.  They are not in the lead or anything but still fun to see my coach and then one of the gym owners there going at it. Whew what a lot of work! Three of them on the team are over 30 so I'm rooting for them just to get halfway up the leaderboard. :)

Summer has been a pretty good one around here, seems to have flowed smoothly enough.  I have been teaching two online classes and going to campus for office hours twice a week to do a bit of office work and/or grading.  I've actually gotten very comfortable teaching online classes now that I've been doing so for a year.  I made all these recorded Zoom videos last fall during our first online only classes semester, and then tweaked them during the second 8 weeks term, and then tweaked a bit more in the spring such that I have all the videos up on the course online teaching for me, and I jsut wait for the emails to come in at that point and grade the students' work.   We are going to be back on campus this fall though in the classrooms, so I'm pretty excited to see real students in person again! :)  

speaking of crossfit. I had a bit of injury in May and had to sit out a few weeks. It happened while doing back squats at the gym one day. I a few sharp pains suddenly where my glutes meet the bottom of the spine.  I quite squatting and did the rest of the work out and felt fine until the next day, which I then began to have sciatic nerve pain the rest of the weekend.  It's the nerve that goes from your inside glute all the way down your leg to the heel.  I could barely sleep because no matter what position the pain persisted, which I've since read and spoke to several people, such is the way with sciatic nerve pain. I took advil every 4 hours... after 3 days of that not changing, the following Monday I saw my doctor and got a round of steroids and muscle relaxers.  which helped somewhat and I could at least sleep through the night.  The pain went away enough after a few weeks I went back to doing crossfit, but I still woke up with sharp pain in my left leg ( it was my left leg btw) and would have to stretch and then stand up most of the day while grading papers. If I sat to long or in the truck driving, I would have shift around to make it quite hurting.

Well, anyway, it eventually got all better and I'm back at it and fine. The trainers doing classes at crossfit kept me from bending too much or overdoing leg lifting and gradually I got back to normal.  The only thing that isn't normal is I lost some muscle in the outside lower part of my glute. Hard to explain but I noticed I couldn't do standing leg lifts on my left leg like I can on my right leg. and also with running I noticed I can't land on my toe and push off like I could before while running. so it's a subtle change but I'm working at it and trying to build that left leg back up as long everything is still working right in there.

Now I'm waiting for August 9th when this guy from Ardmoore will start with the floors They are beautiful original oak floors but have paint smudges al over them and 2 parts from the middle of the room where wall partitions used to be. AND a big rectangle in the middle of where the partitions were for a furnace.   The wood guy will make everything look good as new and put flooring over where the rectangle is, However, I'm going to have him make it a trap door to get down under the house for plumbers or any future issues (long story but I had plumbing done a month ago and that was his only access, thank goodness!)

I also plan to get an electrician to move up and over a socket and light switch in the kitchen, install/replace 2 ceiling fans, maybe install a new light fixture over this table I'm using in the dining area, and then also look at my disposal which I don't think is grounded as it shocks if you touch the water while it's running. anyway,  I'm ALSO going to have some options for the kitchen walls and backsplash.  by walls, I mean a small area between the cabinets and the counters in my galley style kitchen.  on one hand I plan to re use the almond square tiles as a back splash, and just paint above that. OR on the other hand I've orderd 2x4 tile samples from Heath Ceramics in CA and am considering some warm honey brown "brick" colored ones for all the walls.....we'll see....

I'm also planning on a new kitchen sink light fixture and I'm going to smooth out the textured walls in the hallway and wallpaper a wild red william morris pattern I found online.  My home is a simple bungalow with main room and kitchen in back on one side, and a bedroom in front and back with a bathroom in the middle on the other side.  So I ike the idea of the little hallway there in the middle having this fantastic red colored wallpaper representing a sort of "heart" in the center of the building there.

I'm up to 185 pounds and still wearing a 32" waist so that's progress at the gym I suppose.  In other news, the yard is doing well this summer. lots of flowers and green plants and not too too hot yet here in OKC where we usually have had many weeks over 100 degrees by now, not just yet but probably soon. :P.

Sunday, January 31, 2021

buns and ovens....

ex pat pov........


 I watch this guy's videos about Ukraine all the time (because I'm dying to visit Kyev someday!), but this video was different.

looking at the man in the mirror...

Friday, January 29, 2021

jan week by week...

what a smooth week it was! I'm still going to crossfit 5 days a week so pretty much everything else in my life is scheduled around that.  M-W i go into the office since my school is across the street from the former coworker who I help on those mornings.  I have to pull her husband in his sling hovering over his wheelchair while she lowers it from the front. That way I can pull back and get him right up against the seat... he's got a lot of back issues and plus the stroke has altered his speech and then I forget something in his legs. anyway. those are my M-W mornings. I can concentrate better in the office and the internet is faster, I will say. ha. I'm the ONLY ONE in the building though except a cleaning crew will come by at some point.  This week my goal was to get my cover letter written. I've pretty much done that.

I'm working on an online application for a job opening at a college in town.  I only have a graduate degree and they have that listed as a qualification, but then it says doctorate preferred. I'm sort of  hoping with my experience and meeting every single other qualification that hopefully they'll still consider although it may not be easy these days for an old white man getting a new job. we'll see. I'm sort of hoping with all the budget cuts maybe they'll be okay with only a graduate degree, what with my energetic upbeat motivated nature.. ha ;).  so last week I worked on updating my resume. got that all done! and then this week the cover letter. I have the part about all my experience with course design which they list as a qualification. next I have to write all about my fabulous teaching and then get that sucker done. Next then is all these personal questions asked about my teaching philosophy and career choice and importance of higher education etc etc. but those boxes have a 400 character limit, so only about 80 words. :P I can do it.

I made it to the bank this week to deposit 2 insurance checks and then have a big check written to mail to the roofing company that replaced my roof last fall.  I'm going to let them know  I wasn't fully satisfied with one part in back where the siding meets the new roof. they tore off a strip to get the flashing higher or something like that, I dont' know, some new regulation, but it looks sort of crappy the way they left it. also one of the gutters has standing water at the dummy end. So those are my only caveats if they ask if I'd recommend them. I figure with milking out $18,000 from my insurance, I can ask them to do a better job. we'll see.

anyway, otherwise I've been grading coursework stuff from the 3 eight week classes I'm teaching online.  Other than today I had a committee meeting that i had to lead on zoom. a student was a appealing a grade and so the 8 of us listened to the student, then the professor, and then they left and we all discussed it and , nope, she still doesn't get an A, oh well. I had to write the recommendation back to academic affairs afterwards. So we can add Grades Appeal Committee lead to my resume ,right?  oh yeah.  This weekend is falling into shape rather nicely.  Other than I was sitting here at the computer before dinner reading comments on Blue October videos and crying as I read them and listened.  what a heart. what a life.

Oh! also all week I've been watching Grand Designs on youtube.  Does anyone else enjoy this show. i have a cowboy friend in Tulsa that I just can't get turned on to this show. but It's so good. basically rich people design and build their own homes and the show documents it and the time it takes, and most of them even finish the build. There is a UK version that I love, but also there is an Australian and New Zealand version. so I've found some accounts that post them up, and someone in UK is posting the new episodes season 21 week by week. woot!!  haven't moved forward on my own house plans yet, the kitchen counters I want to replace that is. but I'll get to it. a friend from high school designs and coordinates remodels for big houses in OKC all the time and she said she'd come over and consult with me.  what I love about that is she already knows guys big and small companies that will do the work for me. so that's going to happen.

looking forward to the weekend, working on school stuff, getting my application going, and then a funeral tomorrow in McLoud Oklahoma. husband of a woman in my gardening club. I love her and want to support her just by going to the funeral.  it's what we should all do. just go.
tomorrow night is eating out and then playing cards with the usual gang. and lots of rain I think. cheers.

it's something....

I love dance as metaphor!

been drowning?