Homer's Travels: March 2024

Sunday, March 31, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #90

 Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates!

  • A cute minion seen during
    one of my walks.
    We celebrated Easter first at the Niece's house near Sioux City and second at my Mom's house.  It was a nice time at both dinners and we now have full bellies.
  • We had a lawn service over to fix a leaking backflow valve.  Unfortunately this small repair is going to turn into a large replacement of valves and manifolds next month.  When it rains it pours being a homeowner.
  • I started watching "True Detective" this week.  The first season was interesting in a strange way.  The second season (each season is an independent storyline) is not as weird but still interesting.  There are four seasons.
  • I hiked three times this week and pushed my distance to the longest since the Wife's Camino last May,  I walked 29.4 miles (47.3 km) over the three walks.  My legs felt the extra distance but it felt good getting out and pushing it.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #89

  • On Tuesday the Wife and I met with our travel agent to go over our fall trip to England and Wales.  Originally we were going to include Scotland but after going over the transportation options our agent pointed out Scotland could be three to four weeks on its own.  Since we wanted to limit it to only three to four weeks for the whole trip we decided to postpone Scotland, possibly combining it with Ireland.

    For those who are curious, the only thing we are interested in doing in Wales is going to see a Wrexham Match.  If you are asking why take some time to watch "Welcome to Wrexham".
  • I walked three times this week which was what I was hoping to do.  I managed a respectable 20.3 miles (32.7 km).  My individual hikes are still too short and increasing the distance is my new goal.
  • I watched "Harley Quinn" this week.  It's a raunchy, irreverent, and very funny animated series centered on a Batman Villain. Not recommended for young children.  I'm enjoying it.  I have one more season to go.
  • The Wife, after returning from the Big East basketball tournament on Sunday has been submerged fully in the Madness of March.  It's been quiet upstairs ... and intermittently noisy in the She-Shed.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Astronomical Spring!

 I hope everyone is celebrating the Spring Equinox.  Nothing like the first day of Spring to lift one's mood.  To make it better it's a little earlier than normal since it's a Leap Year.

🌼Happy First Day of Spring Everyone!🌷

Sunday, March 17, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #88

I hope you all had an irrational 𝝅 day and an inebriated, but safe, Saint Patrick's Day!
  • Another ordinary week for me and an exciting one for the Wife.  The only thing I did was take my Mom to, what both my Mom and I agree was, a totally worthless and a bit weird appointment with a neurologist.  It was an appointment that could easily have been an email or phone call.
  • While Mom and I were wasting time the Wife was going to the airport to fly to New York.  She is there until later tonight.  She is there to attend the Big East basketball tournament.  Unfortunately the Wife's team, the Creighton Bluejays, got knocked out in their first game.  But there was more basketball to watch and a bit of New York sightseeing along the way.
  • I finished the Doom Patrol.  It was a well written series finale. You were both happy and sad for the characters and the ending scene and music was near perfect.  I will now move on to something else once I figure out what that thing is.
  • I only walked once this week.  No reason I didn't do more.  I have just have a massive deficit of motivation.  I only walked 6.6 miles (10.65 km).  So far I'm walking less than any of the eighteen years I've been keeping track.  Not good.

Friday, March 15, 2024

Book: Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children Of Ruin"

The second book of 2024 - I can't believe I've only read two books in two and a half months - was the second book of the Children of Time series.  The book continues a few years after the events of "Children of Time".

In Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children of Ruin" the Humans and their allies the spider-like Portiids set out to investigate a signal they were receiving from a distant star system.  The book flashes between two time periods, one when the Human terraformers first arrive into the system and the other when the Humans and the Portiids arrive.  They find two planets, one terraformed by the Humans and another hiding a terrible secret released centuries ago.

I liked the first book and I liked the second book too.  The life forms introduced in this series are interesting with varied societies and adaptations.

It took me a month and a half to read this book, not because it was long (it was) or uninteresting (it was interesting).  I read when I go to bed.  It's my unwinding time.  Unfortunately I have had the urge to stay up later lately and this means when I start reading I am already a bit tired.  The result is I only read a chapter or two (usually around one or two percent of the book) per day.  At this rate I will not get anywhere close to the twenty books I set as a goal for myself this year.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  I am looking forward to reading the third book in the series someday. 

Sunday, March 10, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #87

  • On Monday we met with our tile guy who took measurements and gave us an estimate.  It will be up to us to buy the tile.  This guy did the stone on our fireplace while I was hiking the Appalachian trail.  He did a great job then (even though I had reservations about doing this job but the Wife won that one) and I expect he will go another great job in our bathroom.
  • I hiked twice this week.  I was hoping for three times but the will petered out by the end of the week.  In total I hiked 16 miles (25.9 km).  I think the brief snow we had overnight Friday just made me want to hunker down even though it was all gone by the end of the day.
  • While I hunkered I decided to start watching stuff on HBO/MAX.  The Wife had been binging shows for a week or so already and I figured I needed to watch my stuff before the month ended.  I started with "The Last of Us".  I liked this post-apocalyptic series but I didn't like it as much as I expected.  I think this is because I watcher thirteen seasons of The Walking Dead (and several seasons of one of its spinoffs).  As I watched "The Last of Us" I couldn't help to notice the parallels between the two shows.  This made "The Last of Us" feel less original and more like a copy.

    Next I started on seasons three and four of "Doom Patrol".  I look forward to these.

    Now a minor rant.  I was going to watch "Titans", a live action version of the Teen Titans comics.  It is an HBO/MAX exclusive.  When I looked it up it said it had four seasons.  When I dug deeper I realized that only season one was available on HBO/MAX.  WTF?!?!  Either you show all four seasons of the show that you own and created or you do not show any of it.  I do not understand what HBO/MAX is thinking.  This continued with "Westworld".  I wanted to watch season four but the entire show was gone.  Another show, only available to HBO/MAX, taken away from us.  (Both of these series can be purchased on DVD or Digital but they really should be included in the relatively expense HBO/MAX subscription.)
  • If you live in the United States (or other daylight saving time followers) I hope you've turned you clocks ahead an hour.  Can't wait when this crappy practice ends ... hopefully in my lifetime.
  • This coming week is an exciting one for the Wife.  She is flying to New York with some of her ex-students' family to attend the Big East Men's basketball tournament.  She is soooo excited.  I am so happy for her.  She will have a fun time.  Having Saint Patrick's day happen when she's there is the cherry on the sundae.

Tuesday, March 05, 2024

Rome 2023 - Magnet Addition

This post is a bit late since our Rome trip was last September but I am a bit behind in scanning our travel magnets.  Hopefully I will catch up over the next few weeks.

Our trip was a week long but we still managed to return with nineteen magnets.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Seen on many public infrastructure.

A nice stained glass like magnet.

Everyone needs a Pope magnet.

We have run out of space to display our magnets.  We are currently brainstorming ideas for expanding our display capacity.  If you have any ideas, please leave a comment.

You can check out the magnets I've posted either by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab at the top of the blog or by clicking on my 2006-2023 Travel Magnets Google Photos album link.

Sunday, March 03, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #86

  • I had a dentist appointment on Monday.  The pain I was experiencing turned out to be an infection caused by a bone fragment in my gum.  The antibiotics prescribed worked and I am pain free.
  • We met with a bathroom remodeler three times this week.  The first was to find out what we wanted.  The second was a visit by their plumber to verify that there was nothing behind the wall that we wanted to take out so we could expand the shower.  The third was to pick out materials, colors, patterns, and other things to finalize the redesign.  We were also left with a firm price for the remodel.  It looks like next year our travels will have to be short and local as the price was the cost of a typical trip for us.  The bathroom will be really nice once the work is complete sometime in late April/early May.
  • I took my car in for routine service on Thursday.  I came out of there paying five times what I usually pay.  And the extra cost was just routine maintenance.
  • We received our IRS tax refund this week.  Not sure this means it's all done or if I will still be receiving an email in the future.
  • The weather was really wacky this week.  On Monday it was 80℉ (27℃) - an all time high for a February in Nebraska.  By Wednesday morning it was 9℉ (-13℃).  This weekend it's back around 70℉ (21℃).  The variability is kind of normal for Nebraska this time of year but not by these magnitudes.
  • With my appointments, and a couple of my Mom's, I ended up not walking this week.  Next week looks much more promising in the walking department.