Difficult Times Will Come

The recent snowstorms in Texas and other states reminded me of all the crazy events that have been taking place since 2019. Crazy weather and social events happen all the time. But over the last year and a half, they’ve been happening with more frequency and intensity. The following is a list I compiled toward the end of 2020. A lot more has happened since I compiled this and I should probably start compiling an update soon. So without further ado:

Hanging a 100lb Heavy Bag

I got a great deal on Craigslist for a 50 lb punching bag. After repacking it with another 50 lbs of sand, I needed a secure way to hang it. I bolted a 2×6 across three ceiling joists. Then, I bolted four Husky anchor points to the 2×6 and the joist above it. Each anchor point has a 300 lb working load limit and is attached with two bolts. Since my bag already had hanging straps, I reversed my chains so the four hooks connected to the anchors and the single hook connected to the spring and bag.
The rest of the 2×6 will be used to attach a pull-up bar.

Renewed Resolution

When I’m out in public I tend to be an extreme introvert. I rarely look at the people around me or look the cashier in the eye at the grocery store. It’s partly a function of the society we live in. People just don’t talk to others anymore. It’s the same in many neighborhoods. Neighbors don’t talk to each other or even know who lives right next door.

But the “everybody’s doing it” mindset shouldn’t become an excuse. I’ve been making a concerted effort lately to talk to strangers, ask how the cashier’s day is going before they get a chance to ask it during their scripted monologue, and wave to my neighbors when I see them outside. It gets noticed. Most people actually do want to talk and be talked to. They just fall prey to societal norms like everyone else. 

We’ve gotten so used to only interacting online that we’ve forgotten how to do it in real life. Or we’re just too scared. We’re afraid that others will react negatively to our minor outpouring of humanity. I like to wave at drivers in my neighborhood but I’m always afraid they won’t wave back or they’ll think I’m weird or something.  So I often just look at the ground and avoid the whole scenario. What a waste of an opportunity to be kind to someone.

These days it takes real effort and determination to engage other humans. How sad. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Avoidance just a self-perpetuating habit. We can break it by simply going against the grain and opening ourselves up to others. I’m not big on new year resolutions but I’m ready to use this new year to double my efforts to reach out to others and improve relationships. You can do the same. 

You Just Can’t Win

Today I was checking out at the grocery store and the clerk said the credit card scanner was going to ask me if I wanted to round up to the nearest dollar to help fight children’s hunger. But the card reader never asked.  It just said thank you, please remove your card.

Then the clerk saw that my receipt wasn’t rounded up and she gave me a scowl as if to say “what a jerk! You probably want children to die!” You can’t win these days.

Nothing to Say

Lately, I’ve been working on a few photography projects that have been taking up most of my extra time. This has been great but it does keep me from concentrating on this blog. Once I’m done with work and photography related things, I usually am too tired to put anything down here.

I’ll get back to it at some point but for a few more days at least, I’ll probably only be posting short form or pictures. It could be worse.

First Sprouts of Spring

Every year I try to grow at least a little bit of my food. Sometimes it’s just one or two things in pots and sometimes it’s a full blown garden. Last year I built a raised bed garden and went a little wild growing winter squash. This year, I’ve steered clear of squash and am focusing on some early cool weather vegetables like snap peas, radishes and brocolli.

The other day I saw the first sprouts of the year popping up through the soil. I’m sure a couple of months from now I’ll be grumbling about having to water and weed every day. But until then, I’ll be enjoying seeing the new life coming up and anticipating it growing into something I can use. Oh, and I’ll also be futilely trying to keep my dog from walking through the bed.

Tactile Warning Devices

This is a tactile warning device, also-known-as truncated domes. Truncated domes are a much better description since they actually are domes with their tops cut flat. They are meant to be a warning to anyone stepping on them or rolling over them that they are about to enter a street or parking lot.

However, the word tactile means a sense of touch. Unless you are down on your hands and knees, running your hands across the truncated domes, you’re actually feeling them (through your feet or bottom), not touching them. So the phrase “tactile warning device” is not entirely accurate. I just thought you ought to know.