Sunday, November 18, 2012

Thinning the Herd

Photo From Here
What is it about collecting old junk? Some guys collect Bugs. Some guys collect insects. I collect everything and then it collects dust. Even though I'm trying to turn over a new leaf, I keep finding all kinds of crap hiding underneath it. The next step on the road to recovery has to be thinning the herd. I need to get rid of things or as a start, get all the project bits organized. In my case simplify = stress reduction. Once your possessions become a burden, you've definitely crossed the line.

Actually, I'm rather proud of what I've gotten done since retiring from the high school. In addition to the big jobs like the barn and the porch, the last couple of days I finished up the hand railing for the back steps, replaced the 4x4 post at the gym that someone knocked down, made a couple of pieces for the fog light mount for the pickup, fixed the bathtub drain, and washed a few windows outside while the weather was nice. Most of this is low hanging fruit but a step in the direction I need to be heading. I've got a whole list of things that I hope to accomplish over the next few days while I've got a little vacation time - working on my Bug being one of those. Between the Lab Tech job and teaching a couple of classes, I'm going in four days per week which means having a three day weekend every week. What a difference that makes. Unless I quit the Lab Tech gig, I'll be working close to 40 hours per week next semester but I'll still have the three day weekend. Not exactly retirement but the money will keep me supplied in project parts and supplies and get me back to Italy. I guess working isn't too much to ask if you want to do more than sit in the recliner watching daytime TV every day. Having had some recent experience with that routine, no way in hell I wish to do that again short of a frontal lobotomy. And as any Tom Waits fan knows, "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy".

Speaking of the recliner though, it broke the other night. I looked underneath it and found a broken bushing. The chair's been around for years. The Missus bought a new one for me when I was convalescing but I liked the old one better so she had it reupholstered. Since we've got new money in it, I need to fix it to get more than a four month return on that investment. Even though I'm not enamored with daytime TV, I do like watching football on Sunday afternoon. And to make the experience complete, nothing better than a short nap in the recliner. That job got pushed to the head of the list.

And now, for something completely different, congratulations to my former colleague and running buddy, Kevin, for winning the 2012 ACTE/eTED Nevin Frantz Leader of Tomorrow Scholarship. Kevin's working on his PhD and is exactly the kind of person education needs right now. He's a smart, down to earth guy who works hard and is very good at balancing the new technology with the old values. We spent a lot of time together when we were out pounding the backroads and had a lot of great conversation during that time. He's not much of a runner but one helluva human being. I'm extremely proud of him for winning this scholarship and very fortunate to be able to call him a friend. I look for him to be in a leadership position someday and to make a big difference in education wherever his path takes him.

Keep on rockin', people. Especially you shop teachers. We need you now more than ever.


Traveling Pirate said...

I'm with you on that three day weekend. I try like hell to make my schedule such that I can work from home each Friday. It makes a huge difference. I can get my work done without spending time commuting, take a nap in the middle of the day, and do laundry and the dishes while I work. It's great when I can manage it.

Shop Teacher Bob said...

In addition to having the extra time to get things done, it takes the pressure off so you can actually enjoy yourself when you sit down. In my case, besides the three day weekend, I'm no longer responsible for maintaining the shop, hauling the scrap to the yard, picking up material, etc. and all the faculty and committee meetings. That's like adding another day of free time as well. Sure is nice.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, "Bob", for the kind comments! I really enjoyed our visit Saturday. I hope we can all get together over Thanksgiving break!

Shop Teacher Bob said...

You're welcome - you know me. I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it. See you at the Turkey Trot.