It’s a Picture Post!

My laptop is not here and I can’t type well on my phone, so today enjoy my favorite photos from my wordpress image library.


I Want to Be a Billionaire Take 2


A couple of years ago when lottery fever was high, I wrote a post about what I would do with the money if I won. Today, I revisit the list below.

  1. Sign the ticket – still a good first step.
  2. Hire my accountant/wife as my financial advisor(although she is sometimes surprisingly bad at math) – I guess I would still use her, but I would also find a good lawyer as well.
  3. Claim the money quick because I would be afraid I would lose the ticket. – Same. I wouldn’t want to wait to long because who knows what could happen.
  4. Remain anonymous – I’m pretty sure this is still an option in Maryland. If so, I would still remain anonymous. I don’t need everyone to know I’m wealthy.
  5. Quit my job – I would do this, but not right away so people wouldn’t realize I won. I would work for a little while longer and then find a time when it was particularly annoying and quit in a spectacular fashion.
  6. Set up trust funds for the kids – Same, but would make it so they didn’t get it until they graduated college
  7. Pay off the debts of my family members – I guess I would still be nice to my family
  8. Buy my mom a house – Unfortunately, no longer an option.
  9. Buy a better car, but not an extravagant car – I like the car I have now, but I would probably still upgrade.
  10. Remodel my basement to make it nicer for social events/man cave – Now that the kids are away at college, I would probably lobby for a new house away from the suburbs. Maybe move in to the Obama’s neighborhood in DC.
  11. Enjoy life – As much as a grumpy old man can.
  12. Travel a lot and in first class – Same. I love to travel and the money would make it easier and more comfortable.
  13. Splurge responsibly – Maybe not so responsibly.

I don’t know why I didn’t add charities to that list. I would give money to my church and other worthy charities. I was very greedy when I wrote this list. I also mentioned at the end the possibility of hiring a driver. That is still on the table. I hate to drive.

Monday Morning Blues

It’s Monday. It’s Monday and it’s dreary and rainy. It’s Monday after my alone weekend with no obligations. It’s Monday and I’m working 1-9 instead of my normal 9-5 so I have more time to dread rejoining the real world. It also gives me more time to decide to write about some personal struggles of late.

The real world has not been great lately. It’s been a tough couple of years. Tomorrow is the two-year anniversary of my mom’s death. A month after my mom’s death I accepted a transfer to a new job and left the place I had worked for 15 years. Changing jobs that soon after was probably not a great idea. I wonder if my mental health would be better if I had done my mourning in the more comfortable confines of my old job and with my friends there. The good thing about the change was and is the shorter commute. The shorter commute gave me more time with my daughter before she left for college. Now, less than two years after the other major life changes, my youngest kid has gone to college and we are empty nesters.

So, in two years – death of a loved one, job change and our youngest kid moved away. A lot of sadness and stress coupled with more time home alone. Unfortunately, more time home aloe means more time to dwell on the stress and the sadness.  I have trouble leaving the stress of work at work. So, I end up at home alone for two hours with the stress of work added to the loneliness of having no one at home to talk to.  I should probably find reasons to leave the house and occupy my brain to distract myself from the stress, but it’s easier to sit on the couch and watch TV.

So, what do I do?  Leave the house when I get home, even if it is just to take the dog for a walk. Figure out a way to leave work at work. Decide if the stress is enough to consider another change. If so, be willing to do what it takes to make that change happen. Consider taking the step of finding a therapist to talk through my issues. Win the lottery so I never have to go to work again.


What’s Good in Tater Town 10/13/18

If you guessed that I once again did not write stuff down throughout the week to make this easier you would be correct. I don’t think that will ever happen. I hope at some point to have a week where it is easy to remember the good. Right now, I’m consistently having weeks that stem from boring and mundane to irritating and stressful. The good is not jumping out at me these days and I do not foresee that changing any time soon. So, let’s see if I can get to ten things this week.

  1. I upgraded to the new IOS and discovered that Waze now works with Apple Car Play. I can now use the good navigation app and see the map on my dashboard, It’s a little thing, but it made me happy.
  2. It was a holiday week and I had an all day training on Thursday so I had two days this week out of the branch with limited contact with other people.
  3. A friend bought a doughnut for me on the way to the training because she knew I was having a bad week.
  4. I filled in showing the teen movie at work on Friday, so for two hours I got paid to eat popcorn and watch Love, Simon.
  5. A cold front kept the hurricane from making it north enough to give us excessive rain.
  6. The cold front finally broke the spell of summer like weather and it is nice and cool outside.
  7. I was able to see where my son is working now when I volunteered at an event yesterday. I also saw him. I guess that is good. I’m not sure how he felt about it.
  8. The volunteer work involved walking in the woods for an hour and a half. It was nice to be outside and away from the boring suburbs for a while.
  9. I still had money on my Grilled Cheese & Co. gift card he gave me for Father’s Day so I had a good lunch after I was done.
  10. No work and no one else at home yesterday meant that after lunch I was able to nap on the couch while watching football.

Why I’ve Always Loved Columbus Day

It has nothing to do with Columbus, though it is fun to celebrate by going out, getting lost, invading someone’s house and declaring it my own I do enjoy that, but that’s not why I’ve loved Columbus Day.

My love of the day came late in life. I didn’t care anything about it until I got a job where Columbus Day is a day off. Even then, it didn’t become one of my favorite days off. It was in October and the weather was cooler, but it couldn’t compete with some of the other days off.

Once I had a kid in early elementary school it became a holiday I spent volunteering at the school. With both of us having full-time jobs, we weren’t able to do much more than chaperone a field trip here and there, so we used Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day as a time to go and volunteer in the classroom. That’s not when t became my favorite holiday. Honestly, there were plenty of times I was annoyed at spending my day off at school.

This is my admission that Columbus Day and Veterans Day became my two of my favorite holidays when the kids got older and they no longer wanted us in the classroom. It is one of the few days off we had where the kids still went to school. I didn’t have to spend my day off entertaining kids I didn’t have to spend my day off watching bad children’s television. I could spend m day off relaxing(assuming my wife didn’t give me jobs to do). We never did anything really fun. I wish we had spent some of the time going out and doing a “date day” but it was nice to have a few hours off.

Now, here I am on my first empty nest Columbus Day. We are both still off. The kids aren’t here. It seems like a normal Columbus Day, but it isn’t. The kids won’t be coming home from school this afternoon. It’s not any different from my standard Friday or Saturday off. We still won’t do anything fun outside of the house. I might do yard work. I might clean a bathroom. I will watch the Braves game this afternoon.

Apparently, the moral of the story is that I am, and always have been, boring.

What’s Good in Tater Town 10/7/18

Once again, I didn’t think to write things down during the week. One again, it will be tough to do this without notes. I’m in a stretch where I’m not exactly excited to leave the house in the morning. It’s hard to find the good when you feel like it’s a mistake to leave the house in the morning. So, let’s see if I can find ten god things again…

  1. Both of our kids were home for dinner last night. We’ve seen them both a few times since school started, but it’s rare these days for both to be here at the same time.
  2. The new Andrew Smith book Rabbit & Robot and Iron Flower by Laurie Forest both arrived at the library this week.
  3. The Walking Dead comes back tonight. I know it’s the cool thing now to hate the show, but I still like it and I’m interested to see how they write out the main guy.
  4. We’re in a good sports period. Postseason baseball has started, the NFL is ongoing, the NHL has started, college football is going strong, NBA preseason is here and college basketball is right around the corner. It’s even better because my teams are doing well.
  5. Tomorrow is a holiday for me. I have to work today for 4 hour, but I get tomorrow off. Maybe I will actually leave the house and do something fun.(doubtful)
  6. We’ve had a nice stretch of days with no rain. We did have one storm Thursday night, but other than that it has been dry. We’ve also had some nice cool days and more are coming next weekend.
  7. I’m thankful for coffee. A few minutes relaxing with a good cup of coffee can help make a bad day better.
  8. I am completely unaware of whatever drama there is with the public school parents of Anne Arundel county. I’ve unliked the school system Facebook page, I no longer follow them on Twitter and I no longer belong to any associated groups. One of the bonuses of being an empty nester.
  9. Meetings at the offices next door to my old branch meant seeing friends more than usual. I just wish they would schedule my meetings on farmer’s market day.
  10. Future me will be thankful that today me has decided to stop insisting on 10 things on this list every week.

I am going to try to remember to write things down this week. It will make this a lot easier.

What’s Good In Tater Town 9/30/18

I’m going to have to start writing things down during the week so I can remember them for these posts. I’m sure many good things happened over the week, but looking back it all seems either boring or stressful at first glance. The following will be me doing my best to remember 10 good things while typing.

  1. It stopped raining! It hasn’t rained since early Friday morning and there is no significant rain in the forecast for several days.
  2. It is also nice and cool out this weekend. I sat on my deck reading for a couple of hours yesterday. I need more days like that.
  3. I went out with friends last night. I used to see them every day at work and now it is at most monthly. It was good to spend time with them and also good to not be sitting at home on the couch.
  4. Speaking of sitting on the couch – the fall TV season started. If you read the blog, you know I’m a big TV guy. I’ve enjoyed watching the new shows and having new episodes of my favorite returning shows.
  5. The Kentucky football team is now 5-0 and is fun to watch.
  6. The baseball playoffs start this week and I have a reason to care about them as long as Atlanta is there. I miss caring about post-season baseball.
  7. People actually came to the first session of my new book club at work so I wasn’t sitting alone in a room.
  8. After a week or so struggling to want to read, I’ve finally got a book that makes me want to keep reading.
  9. More people keep regularly reading my blog. It’s good to know I’m not just talking to myself.
  10. Both kids are doing well. My son has turned in his grad school application and will graduate in December. My daughter has found a good group of friends at school and is enjoying the college experience.

That was harder than it should have been.

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