Well, it’s New Years Day

Now we spend two weeks or so kicking ourselves for writing the wrong year on things.

My goals for the year are to keep losing weight, get three books out the door, and survive the spring semester with my sanity intact. The rest is gravy.

Yes, it’s a low bar. I fear this is going to be one of those years when I spend way too much time dealing with other people’s follies, foolishness, and even malice. Semper Gumbi and all that.

I hope for you that it is a peaceful, healthy, calm, trip around the sun without too many unwanted adventures or surprises.

And for my construction/Classics/odd stuff buffs: Why Roman concrete is still with us – good luck and seawater.


22 thoughts on “Well, it’s New Years Day

  1. Just a thought on the Roman concrete article (thanks!) – why not build the structure with Portland cement (reinforced concrete), and then clad it with Roman concrete?

    • It would be interesting to find out if any of the ash deposits in North America have a close enough chemical composition to the Italian stuff for that to be possible. (For a great, readable book about the geology of Italy and how it affected Rome and others, Alvarez _The Mountains of St. Francis_ is great.)

  2. I believe those weeks of misdating are called Checkuary. Or Chequeuary, if you’re so inclined.

    Too bad we couldn’t take the 2021 model out for a test drive. I wonder if the folks who draw the bebt new year are hiding it behind a mask.

  3. My goals for the year:

    1. find a job.
    2. lose weight.
    3. add to my birding life list.

    Chance of achieving any of them …. ask me in a year.

    • Oooh, birding life list! I don’t have one myself, but the interesting adventures birders get up to to cross off feathered finds is awesome!

      • Sadly, the “travel to get new species” part is not an option right now – see above, “find a job.” I mostly bird around my current home and within driving range – about two hundred miles, give or take. My life list has just over three hundred species right now, maybe 325. I know people who have two or three times that many.

    • Hrmm… I suppose it time to try a new (to me) beer.
      Difficulty: No IPAs (those are alright, in Summer, now and then. Is Winter, porter & stout time!)

      • IPAs?
        Ugh. Flat, overpriced, and overhopped are not what I look for in a beer. At any point of year.
        (I get why breweries make it. Long shelf life, fast to ferment, basic ingredients, and cheap to make is pretty ideal from their perspective. Plus it has hipster cachet. But so many of them are hardly making anything else!)

        Stout and porter are nice, but a wee heavy scottish ale is my personal favorite for this time of year.

        (I missed being grandfathered out of Libby Dole’s project by two years. I was growing barley for Coors at the time, knew some folks growing hops through FFA, and yeast was easy enough to aquire… I geeked out about the hobby for a few years. But my gear disappeared while I was indentured to Uncle Sam, and then I no longer drank nearly enough to justify replacing it…)

      • DadRed got a case of IPAs once. Supposed to be four different kinds. He could only taste one flavor – hops. He gave half the case away to someone who really liked IPAs and went back to lagers and porter.

        • I agree. Lagers and porters and stout are good, while IPAs are basically designed to be drunk if you can’t get any other beer. Or I guess, if you’re a nursing mother who needs superlactation, but I think a normal beer has plenty of hops for that. (Or heck, you could just buy some hops powder from a beer supply store if you don’t want the alcohol.)

          I got a lovely box set of Yorkshire beers out of the Christmas stuff. The problem is that I didn’t realize that the bottles were HUGE! We are talking 550 ml, which is one pint plus 2.7 ounces. I mean, I was drinking this one bottle for hours because I sip pretty slowly. (The box was made by Samuel Smith’s, and the set had a beer glass, the oatmeal stout I had last night, and a bottle each of Nut Brown Ale and Taddy Porter.)

          But I gather that IPAs go well with very strong, spicy food, so maybe that’s the attraction. Or people just like hops. Lemony, lemony hops.

  4. I have set my goal at three books – the WWII novel, with his nearly done, another Luna City volume and the Civil War novel which is half-done.
    But the big thing for home reno, will be redoing the front bedroom; new flooring, floor to ceiling bookshelves along one wall, and enclosing the area in front of it to make a little private patio area. This will be to accommodate my daughter and the baby that she is expected in June. She intends to have her own house by the time the kidlet is five, so that room will eventually become my office…

  5. I’m having an RV shelter built (yay, I only have to do the site prep and deal with the permitting) and will add Yet Another Solar system to charge the trailer’s battery. Tiny one, this time. It will use a panel salvaged from the old tent trailer. (Old panel, back when cells were made from monocrystalline wafers.)

    $SPOUSE wants a chicken coop and run, but I’m thinking of doing a bunch of long-due projects completed instead; like new gutters and a walkway that isn’t a ski slope when ice & snow covers the pavers. Shoveling snow isn’t supposed to be dramatic, much less traumatic. (I’m fond of that knee, but it’s been abused severely.) We’ll see how the chicken situation develops…

    • My neighbors down the street apparently have decorative chickens, which they let out to forage and then let back into their house. One of the chickens is a rooster.

      It’s a duplex. I don’t see how this works, unless they have very quiet chickens.

      • They also don’t have a fence, mind you. But apparently they have trained the chickens to come when called, so… I guess they’re okay as long as their landlord is okay? Not that I’m going to say anything, and I doubt that it’s against our extremely mellow town zoning. It’s just weird to turn a corner and see weird-colored, weird-feathered chickens going about their business in somebody’s wooded yard.

        We had a neighbor near my parents’ house who raised chickens before chickens were cool, but those chickens had a coop and a run, with an extremely high fence.

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