What??

I went for a hearing test today and turns out I'm old.

About 10 years ago I was going in for some brain surgery kind of stuff and got tested from head to toe.  All systems.  So I've got a great baseline including hearing.  Not much has changed in 10 years other than getting the damn was out of my right ear has helped me hear now equally out of both.  And my tinnitus is not medically bad.  Just an age thing and maybe a little left over from the Navy.

Navy ships are made with steel decks.  Steel decks have non-skid paint applied that has to be removed (the ship would founder from being top heavy if paint were just added all the time.. it has to be removed down to the metal and repainted).  The way to remove the non-skid is using grinders and knuckle busters and needle guns.  All very interesting instruments the sum of which make enough noise to rival a jet aircraft (and I've heard both from the same distance).  The office staterooms are one deck down below the main deck.  Where the non-skid is.  Where the knuckle busters and grinders and needle guns are plying their trade.  So someone is doing all that on a steel drum head about four feed over your head.  All day.  For weeks at a time.

It is amazing that I did not lose more hearing.  I only hope what I have lost was the result of The Who and The Stones and Uriah Heep and NOT steel decks and non-skid.

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Cool Day

It is going to warm up today but only just shy of 70 (21) degrees today.  My guess is it is the last day of this kind of weather for a long while.  I'll get out and enjoy it here shortly for our Zoewalk.  Soon enough we'll be doing that at 7AM before the heat of the day kicks in but now I'm enjoying a cup of coffee first knowing it will be cool and lovely when I'm ready.  

That is pretty much my entire plan for the day.  Seems kind of thin.  

I do, of course, have to keep vigil for the dog shit lady.  When she comes by again I'll see where she lives so I can return anything left again on our lawn to her porch.  We've got a fairly small neighborhood if walking a dog.  Kind of limits where she could be.  I've got my best detectives on it.

And I've got my book to read.  Working through my usual two, on audio and one Kindle, at a time.  The audio one is mostly when I go to sleep and wake up and if I wake up in the middle of the night.  

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Day one

This is the first day I really don't have anything I have to do.  I'm waiting for it to warm up some to do the Zoewalk so I'm going out for that in a little bit.  But no bike today.  Letting my ass adjust. 

There are always things I could do but I think I'm just going to enjoy a day of nothing.  Work up to my potential.  

I'm still only half way through The Stand so after the walk I'll read some more of that.  It is a bit of a project but is so far still keeping me interested.  By this afternoon it will be a good day to get some coffee and sit outside and read.  Rewire my brain a bit.

I'm watching with a bit (only a bit) of envy my sister's susandennis Wyze vacuum work in her living room.  It is funny to see it do its thing.  She has the perfect house for it.  Ours is too much of a changing mess to program something to clean and I don't see that changing any time soon.  Fortunately I don't too much mind doing the vacuum thing having bought a cordless Dyson last year.  It is so easy to grab and use.  So far, worth the bucks.

So now... off to do as little as I can.

Cycling

I rode for another 7 mile loop on top of our morning Zoewalk.  My ass was still hurting from riding on Sunday but the only way to fix that is to work through it by riding more.  And various other muscles hurt.  But the same is true.  The only way is through. 

When we first moved here in 2005 I'd go on 40+ mile rides hardly thinking about it.   And on weekends I'd do the 20 mile round trip down to Einstein Bagels with a suitable stop in the middle for breakfast.  But that was 35 pounds and 15 years ago.  

I've got a ways to go but nothing more pressing than this so I'll get back to Einstein for breakfast eventually.  The nice thing about cycling is it builds up the largest muscle group in my body which burns up the most calories which makes it easier to ride so I can further build up the muscle group.

Somehow I got older so the cycle of larger muscles and more caloric burn is not what it used to be.  But I'm optimistic.  

No mask needed on a cycle!

Spring still sprung

Cameras have come so far in my lifetime.  I had a wonderful Konica when my first son was born.  It was mostly manual and I was a mediocre photographer as usual not having the patience to do what is really a very precision type of process.  But I lugged the thing all over and kept a notepad of my shots and got fairly good.  Nothing like I can do with my camera now, of course.

Same picture taken three ways:

Normal mode
Normal mode
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Too busy for work

Yesterday I did my Zoewalk and then rode a 7 mile loop (starter level riding) and then cut the grass and did a load of wash.  This morning so far I've done the Zoewalk and had my car inspected and oil changed and filed for my registration and am now getting ready for a Zoom moving the adoption forward for my three kids.  

I'd forgotten how exhausting retirement was.

Really, though, the last thing I have to do today is this hour long meeting during which I'm basically a wall sconce, shedding a little bit of light but mostly for decoration.

After that I've got zero plans other than to get beyond halfway through The Stand.  I'm on my second library book of it.  The first ran out when I was about a third of the way in but fortunately another was available so I borrowed it and it loaded immediately on the Kindle and I didn't lose a beat.  I'm determined to finish it but am slowed a bit by lack of practice of actually reading rather than audio.  

Off for my meeting now.  I think these may continue to be virtual forever.  It is just an inconvenience to met IRL for something like this.  Nothing gained, really.  Fortunately I can always plead the age card.  I'm so frail.

Loser

Unfortunately Austin FC lost its first game.  They played about a third of the game in a manner that might have accrued a goal or maybe two, one third that was good defense, and a third that resulted in a two goal loss.  I've not watched near as much soccer as NFL football so my feeling for the nuances of the game are more from the memory of having played than as sports analyst but I suspect that most games are like this one.  Not capitalizing on the third where a team can manage some dominance results in a loss.

There will be more.  The nice thing about soccer is that it is a 90 minute game (plus 15 or so minutes of announcer yammering during the half) and not the three or four hour commitment of football and baseball.  One of the reasons I learned to bake is that I had to hang in the house for the time it took New England to finish a game, about the same time it took to bake bread.

Upcoming is a week during which I'll learn to wind down again.  Unclench my stomach muscles as no one expects anything from me, no performance standards to meet, just a week of being again.  Fortunately the weather will be nice so some of that will be on my bike.  The movement will fix anything negative that comes up.

Austin FC

Today is the opening game of Austin's new soccer franchise, Austin FC or as Dana calls them 'Groot' (their logo looks like a tree).

I used to play soccer (center forward) and was fairly good at it but started so late I never took it further than high school.  But it is an ADHD sport.  For two 45 minute periods you do nothing but run up and down the field.  So I loved the game and have followed mostly the woman's soccer teams.  But now we've got our own local team.  A bit of excitement.  

Other than that the day is quiet and cool.  It was cold this morning.  I'd been about ready to wash and put up my hoodie but am glad I didn't.  Today's Zoewalk was really a chilly one.  I was wishing I had a wind breaker on top of the hoodie.  Mornings for the foreseeable future are going to be like that.  Nice and cool.  The afternoons are going to approach 90 but it just means I'll be inside after noon.  

I've got a fairly clear schedule this first post employment week with a hearing test at the end.  Turns out what was bothering me (other than old age tinnitus) was wax.  I'd been using some stuff in the shower to get the wax buildup out of my ear and turned out I was only moving it around and making things worse.  The ENDT really cleaned out one ear and made all the difference.  But I'd committed to a hearing test so I'll get it and find out I'm missing the top end of sound which is due to age and rock music.  Nothing unusual.  But I do now have and will keep cleaned out ears.

This fulfils my obligation to Texas

I'm not from these parts so rattlesnake is not my state reptile and bluebonnets are not my favorite wild flower.  But for mrdreamjeans and those of you who might like it, here is your bluebonnet picture.

I think that after yesterday's rains we may see some more of these
I think that after yesterday's rains we may see some more of these

There is a tradition in Texas that parents take their baby out into a field and put them in a patch of bluebonnets and take a picture.  There is also a tradition that rattlesnakes who come out in large numbers this time of year like high protective ground cover to lie in the morning sun and get warm.  Darwin is always lurking around the corner.