Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Top Ten List

It's that time of year, right? I'm too lazy, so here's someone else's list.

Top 10 Reasons not to move to Bozeman.

Those are essentially all legitimate complaints about Bozeman, although living in Duluth I laugh at the notion that it's too cold in Bozeman in the winter. Bozeman's real weather problem is that it's way too damn hot in the summer.

But you don't really care about that list. Here's the fun link from the article--for some simple, not remotely safe for work laughs, I highly recommend watching some videos at Katie Goodman's website.  Sing along to I Didn't F*ck It Up.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Good Riddance, 2013

This was the 3rd snowiest and 7th coldest December in Duluth's records. We just finished a two day heat wave (above freezing yesterday) so I made it over to Superior to check out the pizza and the previously pictured t-shirt at Thirsty Pagan. The Mediterranean pizza was great, the shirt sold out, but they're supposedly getting more in the next month or two and I have my request in. Tonight we drop below zero and it's predicted that we won't get back above it until next year.

I spend some time each day working on a project of getting the highlights of almost twenty five years of my journals onto my computer. Realistically, there's a good chance I'll die before I actually finish this project, but if not it will be great to be able to do a search for any topic and find everything I've had to say about it. 

Since I got here, I've been working on the Yellowstone journals, thinking it might help me decide whether to return. I keep two journals, one for the human world, and one about nature. I only have about six months left to do of the human journals for the Yellowstone years, and today I started on the nature journal, which is generally a hell of a lot more fun to read. From my very first day in the park:

5/29/10 It was snowing, 30s when I left Bozeman, snowing now in Canyon twelve hours later. Saw elk lounging on the grass at Mammoth, a couple small groups of bison along the way, and a mama grizzly with four cubs in meadow just after Bunsen Peak. Went through lots of burned areas—the big old one and a more recent smaller one. Creeks and pools were steaming. Walked in a big snow.

Not a bad first day, especially seeing the Quad Mom. 

I'm also doing lots of reading, and one book I'm reading right now is Shadow Mountain: A Memoir of Wolves, a Woman, and the Wild. I expect to write a lot more about this book, but it may not be until I get a copy of my own to make notes in. This book is really getting to me, as many things are these days since I don't need to keep my defenses up constantly to cope with being around people all day. I feel like I'm on a much needed sabbatical.

I raise my Black Butte Porter to 2014.

Friday, December 13, 2013

All the News That's Fit to Bore

My sight unseen apartment was a dump when I got here but after some cleaning by me, repairs, a new stove, and new windows coming, I’m pretty happy with the place now.

Those windows will come in handy because the ones here now have ice coatings on the inside due to the weather we’ve had. After a couple feet of snow which earned the #6 spot on all-time Duluth storms, we’ve had a looonnnng cold spell, supposedly the 8th coldest early winter in local history. The lowest numbers I’ve noticed have been -17 air temperature and a wind chill of -39. At times the Lake has been hidden under its own cloud of steam, hundreds of feet high.

I had been working on emptying out my storage unit and expected to finish that last week until the weather changed my plans. We’re supposed to soar up to a normal 20 for a couple days next week and I’ll finish it up one of those days.

I never tried the federal health insurance site but using the Minnesota one, I got to a bug that it wouldn’t let me past so I sent them an email. They never replied but when I tried it a couple weeks later, it had been fixed and after finishing the online application, I’m now waiting for something in the mail.

Before I left Yellowstone, some people were asking me if I’d be back. Depending on the person and my mood, I’d say that I doubted it, didn’t know if I’d ever be back, would need a couple months away before I’d be able to make a decision, but it always felt like I was leaving for the last time. I feel like I’m pretty much on that couple months schedule because I do now have an idea, a hope (not a plan yet) of how I’d like all this to turn out. Is it possible to have both a home and more freedom at the same time?

When I got back here, I was thinking of joining the Y for the winter. I found out that was a lot more expensive than I expected and, considering that I had used the free gym in Mammoth very rarely in the past two years because my knees can’t handle most of the equipment, I didn’t sign up. I was doing quite a bit of walking before the weather turned the world icy and I started spending all my time reading, watching Netflix, and working on getting the highlights of twenty years of journals on the computer so I can dump one more box of stuff. I’m never going to be the runner I was in Boston, but I’ve started thinking about diet and tai chi and whatever exercise I can still do again. I’m way too old to be eating like a teenager. We’ll see how long this positive stuff lasts this time. ;-)