Category Archives: Life

The day to day aspects of life: what is happening around the house and in our family

Things I want to do when I retire…

I’m still a few years away from retiring, but the years pass fast- and I’m definitely looking forward to it.

Retirement scares some people. What will they do, they wonder, when every day isn’t filled with the job that currently occupies their time? How will they define their value in the world? Some of these folks retire, then pass away a year or two later. Or sit in their house, watching sitcoms and gradually wasting away.

I don’t think I’m really like that. I’ve had things I want to do, things I want to learn and experiment with, for decades. Not to make money or ‘prove’ myself: that’s what a job is for in my mind, I guess. Just things that interest me, that likely produce little obvious value. I’ve even tried to work time for these into my life pre-retirement, but have never been able to balance them with my job.

So what’s on my list? Glad you asked…

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Stairs- maybe next year

There were a few things we knew we wanted to improve when we bought our home in Castlegar. Irene and I identified replacing the outdoor stairs to my office (the suite over the garage) as being the most ‘urgent’ of these.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like getting these stairs replaced is in the cards for 2021. But at least I have engineering diagrams!

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Apple Watch 7: On being Quantified

Back in 2013 I began paying attention to my health metrics a bit when I started wearing a Fitbit Flex. I found I enjoyed ‘keeping track’ of basic data and I upgraded that to a Fitbit Charge HR in 2015 to add my heart rate to what I was collecting. None of this particularly encouraged me to ‘improve’ my health, but at least I was able to keep an eye on some basics. Along the way I started looking at the Apple Watch, but the Fitbit was working well enough for my purpose so I held off.

I started to notice some hiccups with my Charge HR this year: the battery wasn’t holding its charge very well, and there were some cracks appearing in the display. Nothing serious- it was still working fine. But I decided I’d take this as an opportunity to upgrade to the ‘next’ version of the Apple Watch. Apple shipped the Apple Watch 7 on October 15, and I got mine delivered on October 22. Now I’m drowning in data: my first impressions follow.

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Small Treasures

Irene has been sorting through a collection of paper items from the past several decades. Maybe this should have been completed before we moved. But it is surprisingly time consuming, and I don’t blame Irene for deferring it.

A lot of this material is freighted with emotion. Letters from friends and family who have died or who are estranged from us for various reasons. Cards and keepsakes… it is hard to let go of those, but for the most part we must. But we also allow ourselves the luxury of preserving a few such items. Like this hand-made card my friend Chris sent us…

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Adding an e-Bike to the garage

It has been snowing a lot here in Cloverdale the past week or so.  This naturally leads me to start thinking about Spring, from which follows feeling out of shape, and somehow mumbly-jibbly-brain stuff bicycling.

Bicycling is something I used to do out of necessity.  From about six years of age, I always had a bike: and from about 15 onward, including that time I failed to get a motorcycle license when I was 18 or so, I ended up using said bike to get to places I wanted to go without having to use a bus.  At times, I rode a lot: hundreds of kilometres a season, which it bears mentioning was a rather short season as I was living in Edmonton at the time.  I used to like riding a bicycle quite a lot, actually: like riding a motorcycle, it was a mentally ‘focused’ process that led to a kind of zen state when I was in decent shape so that the mechanics of riding weren’t to physically challenging.

NewImageNOT AN EBIKE- Similar model to the bicycle I bought in 2015: same brand (Achielle)

A few years back with those memories in mind I bought a ‘city’ bike with the idea that I could use it to enjoy being outside a bit and get back into shape.  What I didn’t count on was just how incredibly out of shape I was/am.  I carry a good 40-60 pounds of ‘excess’ weight: pure fat.  And that bike darn near broke my heart: I couldn’t make it up any of the hills in my neighbourhood.  And one day trying to ride along while Irene (my wife) rode her horse was a complete impossibility.  I ended up getting off the bike that day and never getting back on.  So why am I buying a bike again this year?  Read on…

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