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190505 long travel

My last week has been both invigorating and tiring to the extreme. My job had me doing long-distance travel, at least by Iowa standards, and I was in three cities I have never previously visited since last Wednesday. I was meeting with many Iowans and learning all sorts of things about my workplace, different communities, and getting to stay in a couple of pretty decent hotels.

I arrived home in time to do a little bit of Demicon, the small sci-fi/fantasy convention in Des Moines, which was celebrating its 30th year. I did a panel on Star Trek and Doctor Who, my fourth time in four years. That was certainly enjoyable, as was catching up with a couple of my friends, including Mr. Lars Pearson, with whom I was sharing a table at the aforementioned panels.

Sunday (today) has been a decent chance to rest and relax after all that excitement, but it has been a bit anxious. I took a brief bike ride, and discovered myself short of breath, and it's been plaguing me all afternoon. I wonder if I'm coming down with some kind of lung infection, after doing a little, ahem, productive coughing. I will say, as always in these moments of less than total perfect health, that, worry not, I am not dying, all is well. And it probably is. Now to convince my anxiety-prone brain of such things.

How, though, can anything really be wrong when one has a delicious homemade cinnamon roll from Little Norway, a.k.a. Denison, Iowa?

190429 everything is fine

Still around, still kicking, very sorry at how I've been so willing to avoid society for such a long time. In 2019, I've been focusing on connecting better, and I'm sort of walking myself back. If we use Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, I have been making my way back up the pyramid.

But I'm doing fine.

Another thing I've learned is that a person is only what he or she puts out into the world. There's a lot that happens in one's head, but who you are to the world is outside, as perceived by others. I'm still against social media, with the entirely hypocritical exception of Reddit. I have a convertible once again, it's red and delightful. I was hit by a drunk driver in December, but by sheer good luck and fortune, I came out personally unscathed. I appreciate life so much more.

Work is going fine.

I feel like I can come back to the larger world, too. I will admit to feeling deeply put out by the election of that Russian puppet here in the US, and the increasing rise of racism and nationalism in the world. Deeply put out. I couldn't watch the news between January 2017 until maybe about a month or two ago. But I feel like I've been copping out. The world needs positive energy, and those of us who live by reason and humanism need to make sure we do not give up, especially when the insanity is at your doorstep.

There's more to say, but it's 10 o'clock, and time for me to relax before bed. Plus I gotta have something to pontificate on next time. Stay cool, if anybody's reading this.

190127 preparing for spring

The return of snow and cold with a vengeance has made my last few days a minor challenge, but it also has fueled considerations of spring. Specifically, how to plan for what to do with the time when the flowers are fresh and the air is welcoming.

Two things I've been doing this morning have had to do with spring planning: bike renovating and trip planning. They are related, because a lot of my vacation time involves me taking my bike Kinetica up to places where I can bike--downtown areas, bike trails, parks, that sort of thing. I have found that the best way to really get to know a city is not by car or even on foot, but by bicycle.

This year will mark Kinetica's tenth anniversary as my bike of choice, and I have decided to drop a little money into renovating his appearance. Last year, I spent a bit of coin to refit his components, which was a necessity, but the upside of doing that in '18 is that I can focus on appearance in '19. As a result, I've been spending time considering what color schemes I'd like to apply, as well as what decals. It's entertaining to do for sure, but also overwhelming. However, I think I've narrowed it down. I'm planning to go with a cobalt blue and yellow color scheme, with reflective stickers to enhance the style and visibility.

At the same time, I'm planning on a couple different places I can take Kinetica so that I can bike and explore. I have two specific trips in mind at the moment. I have a plan to take Kinetica up to Ft. Dodge, then over to Sioux City. Then, later, a trip to Saint Louis, MO.

Being as I am a middle class government bureaucrat, money is always a consideration, but I think with a modest budget and some time, I can get lots of bike exploration in all three cities. Stay in cheap hotels, eat delicious food, get relaxing vibes and listen to good music. That's my travel objectives so far this year.

Now I just need to get through February and March. Iowa's tough when you own a convertible and you can't put the top down. I need to find some more engaging indoor activities to keep me busy until the sun returns. Maybe writing perhaps!

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