Tag Archives: journal

2017-08-01: Monthly review

On July 3rd we bought a new car. We bought our previous car, a 2016 Mazda CX-5, in August 2015 from FitzMall Mazda in Annapolis. In June we received a mailing that described incentives and low interest rates, suggesting they could put in a 2017 CX-5 for the same payment. Skeptical, I called Anthony Johnson, the salesman we had dealt with before, to see if that was actually realistic. He was encouraging (surprise!), so we went in to talk, and ended up buying the car. The 2016 model ws version 1.0 of the CX-5, and the newer model has better suspension, better sound insulation, and a few new features. Among the features we like are: two-driver seat position memory, auto-hold brake, heads-up display shows digital speed, and recognizes certain traffic signs (speed limits and stop signs).

We’ve completed most of the planning for our August research trip, prior to the eclipse expedition. I’ve also been in touch with Ken Armstrong; he won’t be able to meet up with us on this trip, but we’ll try some other time.

My Social Security benefit has started, so we’re now reaching all of our regular retirement income. The remainder will consist of Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from IRA/401k accounts. These will vary each year, based on an IRS table and the year-end balance in the accounts.

We’ve also met with the realtor and his recommended interior designer, and have a fairly good idea of the changes they think we should make for selling the house.

We’ve also had advice on where to look for a place when we move: Edmonds. We’ll see.


2017-07-01: Monthly review

Chris and Ren came to visit in June, and we did a lot to get ready for a yard sale and to meet a real estate agent.

The yard sale netted over $200, and resulted in donation of a lot of metal for recycling, and usable items for Good Will, the Senior Center, and friends.

The agent advised us on people to do various tasks around the house, and things we should do. He recommended we prepare the house with minor tasks, then move out and allow major work to go forward without disrupting us. He also said the last few years sales have been best in Dec-Feb, rather than in the spring.

So, at last we have a strategy! We have “commitments” through October, but might be able to move to Seattle before Christmas. C has said we are welcome to stay up to six months with them.

On NS, added chapters 69-76 (Gunnar’s death).

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2017-06-01: Monthly review

NS is up to chapter 69.

No progress on WN.

Activated SS benefits; first payment expected July 26 (payments are scheduled for fourth Wednesday of each month).

Planned CO/WY part of August trip. Will locate Harry Gant’s house location (307 S Sherwood St, Fort Collins) and the street where John E Gant lived (number came up 1, but probably incorrect). In Greeley, hope to find some info about the Tenney ranch and brand, and maybe the Gant brand in 1905 Colorado Brand Book. Still need to refine questions for Fort Collins Museum of Discovery and Cheyenne Frontier Days Old West Museum.

Saw Orioles/Yankees game with Barbara/John and Phyllis/Jim, in suite 62.

Had a quiet birthday, mostly to be celebrated when Chris/Ren arrive mid-June.

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2017-05-01: Monthly review

I didn’t write a review of March, due to a major distraction in early April: I was summoned to Mom’s deathbed on 4/4. She died 4/9, and we held a ceremony to commemorate her, Gary and Terry on 4/23. See the post: 2017-04-04: Mom’s death.

Aside from those significant events, March and April included the following.

Ended my trial run with mint.intuit.com and deleted my account. There were numerous problems with mint.com connecting to certain financial institutions, requiring me to repeatedly enter login credentials. Also (maybe not caused by mint) a credit card was fraudulently used (fortunately caught by Chase).

NS is up to chapter 61.

Little progress on WN.

While in Seattle, we attended the PBR at the Tacoma Dome. We visited the exhibition of China’s Terra-cotta Army; the exhibit was very good, and I have recommended it to others when it moves to Philadelphia.

Retirement: applied for SS benefits, payments should start in July.

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2002-01-02: GTD – Monthly reviews

2017-03-01: Monthly review

NS: began making map to show relative locations of ranches and certain landmarks that figure in the story, e.g., waterways.

ISTRA: contacted Western Livestock Journal to inquire about archives. They’re at Colorado State University library in Fort Collins. Unfortunately, 1931 is missing. Still might find something interesting. Archivist Linda Meyer sent link to CO newspapers: https://www.coloradohistoricnewspapers.org/ which looks interesting.

Retirement: decided to move up start of SS benefit.

Finances: started trial of mint.intuit.com to see if budget, etc functions are worthwhile.

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2017-01-01: Monthly review

I made 2,016 miles in 2016! About 145 hours on the bike, moving and stationary.

We went to Shoreline for Christmas with Chris, Grant and Ren (and Grandot, Dina, Lew, Linda, Blythe, Garth, Joni, Laura and Laura’s son AJ). Ren played a lot of Monument Valley on my iPhone.

I downloaded the latest version of OpenCyc (4.0) and found it runs with no changes on MacOS with Java 1.7. I plan to start the tutorials, but many of the documentation links on cyc.com are broken. Some documentation is available through an old MIT course site.

At the Browns, someone mentioned “The Orphan Train”, a book based on a mid-1800’s custom of sending trains full of orphans from easter cities to the mid-west, where they were sold to farmers as laborers. This reminded me that Harry Gant’s grandfather was said to have been adopted in Iowa in that time frame. It might be interesting to see if there is any evidence he was in that “migration”.

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2016-12-01: Monthly review

November was dominated by Disney World. We had a great trip with Ren, Chris and Grant, and with Carl and Renee. It was fun seeing Carl repeat experiences he had had with Chris at the same age. Ren was very good, with only one melt-down after a couple of long days.

I resumed work on Barbara’s snow globe project. It’s nearly finished.

While working on organizing my files as part of the migration to my new computer, I re-read the summary document of Mom, Gary, Dina and my emailed reminiscence in 2002. I mentioned it to Susan, and she suggested putting it into a book. She found a suitable picture for the cover, and within two days it was formatted and ready for review. After a couple rounds of review/update using CreateSpace’s digital proof facility, I ordered four hardcopy proofs, three for gifts (Mom, Dina, and Chris). They arrived quickly and are ready for giving. I won’t publish it.

I purchased PowerPhotos, and intend to use it to manage our pictures in the Photos app on the Mac.

I’ve been using my old Sirrus on the training stand, and am on track to get over 2,000 bike miles this year. Chris suggested making my goal 2,016 miles for 2016.

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2016-11-01: Monthly review

Computer: I bought a Mid-2015 MacBook Pro 15″ (16GB RAM, 500GB SSD, AMD Radeon R9 M370X graphics). I’ve arranged with Carl to store backups at his house.

Work: I retired on 10/28! The team at Estimation Program Office and some other colleagues gave me a nice send-off (Chevy’s) and made a VERY generous donation to Qhubeka / World Bicycle Relief.

I’ve applied for Medicare part B, and have to select a health insurance package by 12/14. After that, work-life will be over (hopefully). I intend to keep in touch with Dave and Rick, and have promised to help EPO with the Excel tools I developed. But barring an unpleasant financial surprise, I should now be able to focus on Susan’s and my personal projects.


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2016-06-01: Monthly review

NS: no progress

WN: improved fish model; verified mirror-modifier; verified human pose modifiers; verified compatible scale fish/human.

TYHE: new tweezers still too large to fit holes while holding clips, will have to use glue.

2016-05-01: Monthly review

NS: worked on a couple of chapters.

WN: back-tracked on fish model, but made some progress.

TYHE: discovered holes in small RDs too small to insert clips with existing tweezers. Ordered set that ought to work.


2016-04-01: Monthly review

  • TYHE: Made a 1-part model with 12 rhombic faces and 80 clips; placed Shapeways order with no-rush and free-shipping options, for $30.19. Previous two orders (2-face, 10-face, and fewer clips) cost $52.58 (73% more!). Made model of 25 one-piece rd/clips for making multi-module structures, cost $23.11 (free shipping when combined with previous order).
  • WN: Adjusted a fish model, and added a simple armature for posing.


2016-02-01: Monthly review

Following the advice of http://zenhabits.net/review/, I will tag this and related posts as ‘journal’. The purpose will be to track accomplishments (getting things done).

In January 2016, I finally got the development of MDI to a point I could suspend it for the time being. I resumed work on Neal’s Story (with chapter 34), and re-started (from scratch) the WN (renamed from MF) project. I also started using the Asana task management service (asana.com); I am still evaluating its feature set and usability for my purposes.