Tag: Travel

I’m A Little Lost

I am not a planner. I have a little routine I follow on work days, otherwise I wake up and see what the day brings. That’s it. The sum total of how I manage my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about it. It’s a pretty blessed, idyllic existence. I have lots of hobbies that I cycle through depending on the mood of the moment, never excelling or mastering any of them. I get the basic home maintenance/repairs done, but usually because something broke. It never dawns on me to be proactive for that sort of thing. I like the idea of travel, but get overwhelmed at the idea of planning something so I usually don’t get beyond the random surfing of the internet for two hours stage. I’m kind of a Labrador retriever. A bit goofy, dumb, and happy to do whatever happens in the moment. While it’s worked for all these years, it leaves me with a continual, nagging, feeling of unrest. I have the time and means. I have no excuses for not accomplishing more with my life.

If you’ve been following along at home, I mentioned yesterday that Mrs Troutdog and I made the decision to begin what she calls “divesting from work”. I changed to a part time status at my job. The purpose is to start laying the groundwork for what retirement will eventually look like for us. I sat down this morning and tried to think about what I want to accomplish with this additional time. And I got paralyzed. I literally don’t know what to do. Should I make a master list of house projects? Maybe I should review all my hobbies and set some goals and plans for just a few of them, rather than sucking at a lot of things? I should probably get a meal planning and shopping routine going and tie that to a regular exercise regime. Perhaps I should set some travel agendas, both weekends and longer trips and start figuring out the cost and logistics?

I want to make a change. Not because I’m unhappy, but because time keeps marching on. And that scares me. Left to my current habits, two years will go by and nothing much will be different other than I’ll have more time for random hobbies and no travel will have occurred unless someone else plans it. I’m not satisfied with that, but struggle because I don’t know how to change – but also because I’ve never seriously tried.

I did quite a bit of reading of ‘self help’ type of blogs this morning and the consensus seems to be that you have to create a routine and you have to write down plans. The routine is both the simplest and hardest to get done. If it was that easy I’d be working out every day. But it’s clearly the foundation for everything else, so I will create a routine (this sounds suspiciously like a New Years resolution). The planning seems harder to me. I’ve tried the Bullet Journal in the past. I really enjoyed the process of setting it up… but after a few weeks I get tired of updating it and it fades away. I need a way to put down on paper (figuratively, I’m an electronic kinda guy) what I want to accomplish. Maybe I’ll just resurrect the Bullet Journal. I’m open to ideas if someone has something else that works for them. I need a way to see broad categories of things we want to do. Motorcycle trips, weekend sightseeing trips, big overseas trips. Do I want to investigate photography classes or work on my pitiful YouTube channel? Are there training goals for running or golf or skiing? I need to have a way of looking at that big list of things and then map that to a calendar. If I don’t put it on a calendar it likely isn’t going to happen.

This is a good problem to have. But it’s ridiculous that I’m so paralyzed by it. It’s also why I’m not a fabulously successful CEO. One of the problems with aging is that it suddenly dawns on you how little time you really have left. What do I want to do with that remaining time? I do know I don’t want to feel like I’ve wasted it. Interestingly, all of this started with a text message from Mrs Troutdog with a link to a travel video of Wyoming and saying she thinks she wants to travel the US by motorcycle. I’m truly blessed to have a partner in life who’s willing to think out of the box and take risks. She got the ball rolling, but I feel it’s on me to keep the momentum going. It’s an exciting time and also a bit scary. Changing how you’ve lived your life the last twenty years feels… challenging. In a good way.

I will now probably spend the rest of the day making lists and watching YouTube videos about living off the grid in Belize in a Sprinter van.

I Caught A Case Of The Apathy

  • Yesterday I was mad and frustrated. I was fed up with people on Facebook posting virtue-signaling Covid case count memes. Frustration at the lack of media coverage around alleged election fraud. I’ve had it with government lockdowns and killing of the economy and small businesses. I’m pissed that nobody in government is ever held accountable for anything. As a healthcare worker I’m exhausted with the hospital working conditions and no end in sight. I sat down and started writing a long post about all this. About two-thirds of the way through I suddenly felt a huge wave of apathy settle in. Why care about any of this? It feels like the massive engine of the deep state, big tech, and the media empire is an unstoppable force. Nothing will change. There’s too much money, too much power, too much corruption. What’s the point? Why bother writing (venting) for a grand total of about three readers? I deleted my words and walked away. I’m not as apathetic today, but I do wonder if I’d be happier if I stopped paying attention to the news? I suspect this blog would do better if I just focused on one thing… cooking or fly fishing or something.
  • A powerful solar storm is occurring Dec 9/10 that may produce northern lights visible in many northern states. We had cloud cover last night, so no luck. I’ll be looking again tonight.
  • It’s amazing how shameless the media is. They’re now shocked that the Hunter Biden investigation went largely unnoticed prior to the election. WTF. How do these “journalists” look at themselves in the mirror in the morning?
  • My hospital is drowning. Our staffing shortages are dangerous. Despite what the media reports, it’s not entirely due to covid. The city and state are frantically waving their hands in the air and desperate to do something to prevent the healthcare system from being overwhelmed. The solution? Let’s pass more regulations preventing youth sports and further limit restaurant capacity. That’s like when someone says they can’t afford new tires for their car, the government solution is to try and create smoother paved roads to reduce tire wear. How about, oh I don’t know, add resources to the health care system? We have a perfectly capable national guard who could spin up a response within days. I get that there are cost and liability issues when interacting with private entities, but I’m pretty sure we can figure that out. Rather than fix the leaks in the dam, we’re too busy educating people on the importance of wearing Gore-Tex and galoshes.
  • I saw an ad for a bracelet with a little symbol for every national park you’ve visited. Made me look up my list. I’ve been to 13. Not bad. How many have you been to?
  • Watched Hillbilly Elegy. Very good, highly recommend.
  • This is seriously freaky. Don’t watch if home alone at night.
  • Still have not made machaca. Haven’t forgotten, the timing just hasn’t worked out yet. I have a week off coming up and plenty of snow in the forecast. Skiing and cooking sounds like a fine way to spend my time.

Song of the day: The Who “Young man blues – live at Isle of Wight

The Delicate Art Of Zoom Cooking

  • Last night Mrs Troutdog and I participated in an on-line Zoom cooking class. It was sort of a corporate thank you gift. They sent a meal kit with all the ingredients, aprons emblazoned with the corporate logo, and a bottle of wine paired for the meal. Everyone connected on-line at the appointed hour and a celebrity chef walked us through putting our meal together. Or at least that’s how it was supposed to go. To the chef’s credit, this would be a hard forum to work in. He’s got an hour to get this done. It’s not in-person so people can’t really ask questions. Because it was real-time there was no way to go backwards if you missed a step. The chef was high energy and moved quickly. The end result was a frenetic hour of us trying to chop, stir, sauté, and mix while desperately trying to keep up. There were zesting accidents that drew blood. Literally every bowel, pan, and dish in the kitchen got pulled out at some point. We were laughing like maniacs as we just randomly threw ingredients in pans because we’d missed what he did. It ended up being pretty fun, but the kitchen looked like a war zone at the end. Good times, but I sure miss doing things in person with people.
  • Project Veritas dropped another recorded call from CNN. In it they discuss that they are not going to air the Hunter Biden emails. If you’re an honest person and have been a fan of CNN, I’d hope this at least makes you wonder what else they’re choosing not to report.
  • The great shearing event happened yesterday. To my great surprise, Mrs Troutdog said she likes my hair a little long, it just needed to not be so unruly. I feel sorry for the hairdresser trying to interpret my cutting instructions. “We’re trying to cut it today, so it will grow out correctly in a Brad Pitt look. Not Fight Club Brad Pitt, but Legends of the Fall or Once Upon a Time in Hollywood Brad Pitt. Can you do that?” She gave me a long look and said, “so do you want it above the ears or over the ears?”. Sadly, I did not come out looking like Brad Pitt.
  • While they haven’t all been Democrats, the vast majority of the “rules for thee, not for me” crowd have been. Why is that? At some point, people are going to have had enough. The randomness of the rules shutting down bars, restaurants, and boutiques, yet the Walmarts and Costcos remain open isn’t going to be tolerated forever. At some point this is going to get ugly and violent. Do these power hungry elites really want to put our police in the position of enforcing arbitrary rules on some poor schmuck who’s going to lose his business? I can’t eat at a restaurant, but I can go to Home Depot and stand in line with hoards of other people to buy tacky inflatable Santas and other Christmas crap? I hope people start pushing back soon.
  • It’s interesting how peoples perception of distance changes. We’ve got friends who just moved to our little town from LA. Previously they would have thought nothing of driving 45 minutes to go 20 miles just to do an errand. I caught him yesterday complaining that there was no easy route to get out of the neighborhood to the store (that’s two miles down the road).
  • The clock is running out for Trump. The electoral college votes on December 14. Seven business days left to make something happen. I don’t see it occurring. Do I think there was pretty significant fraud? Yep. To the level that Powell and Giuliani are claiming? Not so sure about that. Mrs Troutdog gets frustrated at me for being so pessimistic, but I think the swamp, the establishment, the deep state or whatever you want to call it, is just too entrenched. These people don’t want the status quo to change. I honestly don’t think the republican party wants to be in charge – they’d have to actually take a stand on something and that might risk their re-election chances. Much easier to run to the TV cameras and make fiery speeches, then go back and do nothing. Sorry, I’m a little cynical today.

Song of the day: X “More fun in the new world (live 1983)”

Hot Tub Chemistry

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • There has never been a point in my life where I thought what I really need right now is a hot tub. Hot tubs are so… 1980’s. When we bought a house that had one I assumed I’d simply shut it off and find a way to get rid of it. I pictured having to start robbing convenience stores just to pay for the electric bill if I kept it running. And then one fateful day I decided to get in and see what the hype was about. I can now honestly say I love my hot tub. I’m in it at least once, sometimes twice a day. I couldn’t imagine not having one. The only issue I struggle with is the chemicals. I have two strikes against me. I floundered with chemistry in school and I’m not terribly precise with measuring things. This is why I can’t do carpentry or bake things. Anyway, I ran out of bromine and mistakenly bought the wrong kind. I wanted the tiny little tablets that go in the floaty thing, but instead came home with giant hockey pucks obviously intended for swimming pools. I figured what’s the difference and threw a couple of pucks in the tub. The bromine quickly rendered the PH to zero. My test strips wouldn’t even register any more. I spent the better part of an entire day doing mad scientist calculations and adding chemicals to get the PH and alkalinity back to normal. Note to self, don’t do that again.
  • The mask discussion has become religion. And as with religion, you don’t dare question someone’s beliefs. It amuses me to no end listening to people who probably couldn’t pass a human physiology test if their life depended on it, pontificate on the merits, or lack thereof, of mask wearing. As someone who could pass a physiology test (maybe, it was a while ago) and has had actual classes on reading and interpreting research studies, here’s what we know – nobody has any actual idea if masks work or not. No, seriously. We have no actual idea at this point, despite what the talking heads on TV and YouTube say. Plenty of theories, but that’s it. Up until eight months ago, here’s what we understood: A well fitting surgical procedure mask offered protection against bacteria but not viruses because a virus was smaller than the openings in the mask material. The only thing that would protect you (or others) from a virus was a properly worn, fit-tested, N95 respirator. Magically that has all changed. The Covid virus must have gotten fat, because now any mask dangling below your nose or nasty-ass bandana pulled over your face is just as good as an N95. Now, I do think there’s an argument to be made that a mouth and nose covering of any sort in certain circumstances has the potential to lower the possible viral load you ingest, resulting in a more mild case of the ‘rona. The problem I have is that is NOT what’s being talked about. Politicians and the religious mouth-diaper fanatics are talking as if mask mandates are going to somehow stop the virus. Only two things will stop the (any) virus. Herd immunity achieved naturally or via vaccine, or a complete and total quarantine of the population for an extended period (remember 15 days to flatten the curve?) We’ve lost all perspective and reality about what benefit wearing a mask might provide.
  • I stumbled on a magazine called “Route” that’s all about stories and photographs of the old Route 66. Now that would be a neat trip – a week of exploring and photography of the old byway.
  • The verbal scuffle between Tucker Carlson and Sidney Powell will be interesting. Someone’s reputation will get tarnished over this one. Who’s it going to be? I will say, Powell needs to put up or shut up soon or she just became a whacky conspiracy theorist. If she’s right, the Trump army will leave Tucker in droves.
  • ZdoggMD reading mean comments had me laughing out loud.

Song of the day: Tracy Bonham “Mother Mother

Staying Focused

Cool things, random thoughts, advice, and independent thinking from someone who’s been around the sun a few times.

  • The receipt for my WordPress renewal showed up in my inbox this morning and reminded me that I haven’t bothered writing anything since April. There’s a number of reasons for it, but mostly I have the attention span of a hamster. The number of hobbies I have divided by the available hours in the day plus day-to-day life activities is a mathematical problem that would take some theoretical Einstein/Stephen Hawking level shit to solve.
  • I’ve experimented with a bullet journal in the past. I’m not one for carrying around a book, so I opted for an electronic version. Maybe it’s time to revisit it to try and keep myself somewhat focused.
  • Speaking of minimalism, I’m trying a new wallet. I liked the previous one, but it had no option for cash and I didn’t care for how it slid around in my pocket. I just got this one and so far so good.
  • Staying on the EDC theme, I stumbled on the KeySmart. I really like it… except I literally have only two keys on my keychain. Probably not worth it.
  • Very intrigued by the new Mavic Mini. That would mean committing to actually making videos, which should be easy since I built a PC specifically for video editing. The problem is that I need to get over my aversion to speaking to a camera and videoing myself. As they say, I have a face for radio.
  • I finally got around to getting my TSA Precheck. Renewed the passport. Now it’s time to watch 1,200 hours of YouTube videos on where to travel. I anticipate actually booking a trip sometime in 2021.
  • November was rough in the exercise department. I got sick, recovered, and then got my first ever case of food poisoning… resulting in a nightmare 14 hour airline travel day. Recovered, then crashed on the motorcycle and messed up my foot. Grrrr.
  • Generally I do better with goals. When I have something to plan and focus on I’m more likely to train and stay committed. I’ve been toying with a crazy (for me) running goal, but can’t decide if I want to commit to the required training time. Or if I could even do it. I’ll have to decide in January. Stay tuned.
  • Mrs Troutdog got me the PowerBeats Pro. I’ve never worn earbuds before. It’s been nice to get back into to music.
  • A podcast worth listening to: Joe Rogan with Tulsi Gabbard and Jocko Willink.

Song of the day: Fight! Smash! Win! Street Sweeper Social Club

Notions Of Cool V.016

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • I listened to a pretty good podcast with Renee DiResta about the Russian trolling and social media tactics. The Russian government is clearly in it for the long game. The bulk of their influence happened because they understand we’re all members of one tribe or another – republicans, democrats, car lovers, gardeners, etc… We’re very susceptible to wanting to think like our tribe.
  • I also started watching Amazon’s “The Widow”. I’ve seen the first two. Not bad, a lot of moving parts. Keeping my interest so far.
  • Stumbled upon an intriguing service – Steady MD. Basically an on-line doctor. Communicate to your doc anytime via txt. Interesting idea. The monthly fee adds up to more than I spend in a year on health care, so probably not worth it for me.
  • The 2020 election cycle is going to be a train wreck. A horrible, nasty, divisive train wreck we won’t be able to look away from. A good time to stay away from the standard opinion news sources and do your own research. Whatever side you’re on, challenge your personal mindset. Don’t be a tribal lemming.
  • The icefall doctors have arrived at Everest. The climbing season begins. Not on my bucket list.
  • George Hincapie launched a hotel, “Hotel Domestique”. An interesting post career investment for a former cyclist.

Song of the day: Anna Lunoe “303”

Notions Of Cool V.015

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old Gen X dude finds cool or worth pondering.

  • The dermatologist took one look at my sunburned, peeling, self and deadpanned “well, I guess we don’t need to have the importance of sunscreen discussion do we?”. Other than that, got the all-clear. I feel better having been checked out.
  • I mentioned before that I spent a ridiculous amount of time watching YouTube videos on travel bag reviews. Unclear why, since I rarely travel. I had settled on the Aer Travel Pack 2. Anyway, I used a simple duffle bag for this last trip. I realized that carrying stuff on your back sucks. For the little travel I do, I’m going to find a minimalist wheelie.
  • I got my passport photo done. Like an idiot, I let it expire. Renewing it, you know, in case I need to flee the country.
  • I loved this quote from David Goggins. “People ask me how I lost so much weight… I didn’t hire a trainer… I didn’t go to Jenny Craig… basically I just stopped eating so much fucking food.” Made me laugh. It’s simple, but true. People make weight loss too complicated. Speaking of which, unless there’s a nacho blowout I’m about a week away from my weight goal. So there’s that.
  • I gave Instacart a try for grocery shopping. Loved it. I’ll certainly be using it again. I’m a busy guy you know.
  • One of the hardest things I do as an RN is care for a patient who is a truly horrible human being. Spending twelve hours making sure I give the same quality of care to that person that I’d give to a sweet grandmother sucks the life out of me.
  • Rebecca Rusch was the first woman finisher in her first attempt at the bike category of the Iditarod 350. That’s badass. I wimp out after shoveling the driveway for an hour.
  • No further Instagram stories. The Twitter experiment has yielded exactly 2 followers. Good thing I’m not in marketing.

Song of the day: “Im gone, Joyryde”

Notions Of Cool V.009

A random list of things and shower thoughts that an old guy (who still thinks he’s 20) finds cool or worth pondering.

  • As an RN, my day looks like this: Wake at 0500 (or 0400 if working out). Out the door at 0620. End my shift and leave at 2000 or 2030 (8:30pm). Walk in the door and decontaminate and change. Inhale food. Watch approximately 15 minutes of news then bed. Repeat x3 days.
  • The flu season has not yet peaked.
  • The Grand Canyon has a new Junior park ranger. She’s 103. I’ve only seen the Canyon once and it was identical to the movie Vacation. We were driving to Oklahoma in the winter. My sister and I begged to detour to see it. We litterally pulled in, got out of the car and looked for fifteen minutes and left because it was so cold.
  • Netflix is usually a wasteland of straight to DVD films, but we stumbled upon this one by accident. The Way with Martin Sheen. Excellent.
  • I’m in search of a small (pocket sized) penlight that has a low lumen level for eye exams. Every one I’ve used so far doesn’t survive being dropped or dies within a month or so.
  • I’m fasinated by how massive the diet industry is. People literally are desparate for someone to tell them what to eat. And what they seem to really want is the magic bullet – “Eat this super food for 12 days and loose 25 pounds!”
  • I’m not making fun of a sad mental health issue (well, I guess I am), but if you’re going to end it all by jumping off a building… make sure it’s tall enough. The end outcome may not be what you wanted. Pro tip, five stories isn’t high enough.

Song of the day: Kid Rock “Bawitdaba”