June 22, 2014

Thoughts on a Saturday

Some of you may have witnessed my blog was changing its template and format about every 15 minutes Friday night. I went to bed with the template I thought I liked but changed it the first thing Saturday morning. It now looks just like that RV and Hounds blog that I stopped writing on. I am still undecided about the two column format on this blog but I believe this template will stay around. I like the colors and the feel it has while I'm reading it. Feel free to send any suggestions.

I went to bed last night with major plans this morning. So far at 10:38am local time I have not started anything except the usual. That usual is two cups of Starbuck's coffee as I read online, maybe do a blog post and read what little email I get. I am not really happy with that start because it is becoming more and more routine. Like a daily routine. No worries, my plan of weed eating the rest of the hay around my rope anchor will get done but it will cost me because the temperature will be much higher when I am doing it ... unless I push it to Sunday morning.

One of the things I notice in retirement, I usually don't know what day of the week it is and if I do, it's very rare. It's only an observation, doesn't really matter but a change when you have lived a pretty structured life for 40+ years. At times I wonder if I am bored or am I just content with my life? After all, I have never lived anywhere as long as I have in this house. That seems very strange because I use to like to move and in the past that use to be costly not only in starting over but the funds used to get there. So for me being here in this house since 1997 is hard to believe at times.

Still, I find there is plenty to do around here but it only happens when I get out of this desk chair and get outside or down the highway. I see myself falling into a rut that I don't want to happen and at times find I don't have the motivation to make the change. That concerns me a little. It's something that I thought might happen during those days off in a 3-day weekend when I had a job.

Like last night I completely forgot it was Friday. I woke up dreaming, trying to figure out why I was at work and why I needed to work 14 hours to get caught up. I was thrilled to open my eyes and see Sadie standing next to the bed giving me a look "I need to go outside". It was nice to know I was no longer working a job.

I'm usually a late starter anyway. I am much more of a night person than a morning person but the hounds have their routine and that has not changed since I retired. They still get up around 6:30 for their first of many trips (depending on weather) outside. This morning I could not believe it was June after seeing this horizon. I had to take a photo of it.

2014 June 21
Then after waking up to a very confusing dream and glad it was only a dream, the hounds go back outside for a 2nd time. I wonder if they do this because the want to go outside or that they know once they come back inside they get their "milk bone", that I buy at Costco where they are hand packed into a 15# box. I am beginning to think they like that 2nd bone of the day.

Speaking of Costco, I usually make the 90 mile trek to the north side of Indianapolis for dog food, milk bones, some groceries and that also puts me in the vicinity of Trader Joe's. I use to buy Costco's brand of Nature Domain dog food. It is made by Diamond Foods. They also manufacture Taste of the Wild along with their dog food under the Diamond Name. The Nature Domain food at Costco has the same ingredients as the much more expensive and smaller bag Taste of the Wild. Here is my typical trip to Costco.

Dog Food & Dog Bones
That's a lot of miles to drive just for that but it's nice to wander around Costco at times as long as I keep the billfold closed. After one of my infamous spreadsheet analysis on dog food costs, including gas to travel, I decided it was best to buy at my local Bloomfield Feed Store. I buy the Diamond Natural for Large Breeds. Dog Food Review ranks that food as a 4-Star and it's $33 for a 40# bag ... Your credit or debit card is not good there, it's either cash or check.

Another thing I like to do in Indianapolis is not going to the Indy500 race but I like going to Indy500 practice. No traffic problems, usually plenty of sun, good food and a lot of loud laps. No, I am a fan of the other races at Indy, just the Indy500.

During practice you can get a little closer to the cars. I like seeing the designs that will change from year to year. A drastic change was made from standard body design for many years to this design in 2013.

This is a 2002 Model

2002 Red Bull Team - Tomas Scheckner
This is a 2012 model which was the most drastic change in decades, with the body wrapped around the rear wheel. Just for towing purposes, the nose is not attached on the car below.

Body Behind Rear Wheels

Besides racing and basketball, Indianapolis has a professional baseball team, currently the AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A new stadium was built in the past 14 years by the same company that designed Coors Field in Denver. This stadium is easy to get in and out of located a few blocks north of I-70. Tickets are much much cheaper than the MLB prices and you can get better seats. It's a nice way to spend a night watching baseball, if you are a baseball fan.

Indianapolis Indians

One of my favorite towns of all time is Bloomington Indiana. It was one of the reasons I moved back to Indiana in 1994, besides the employment reasons. I attended college here in 1970, just after all the anti-war protests in the 60's. During my time on campus they had great concerts by big time 60's bands, have a highly ranked School of Music, Business School and of course all IU sports are in the BigTen Conference. I've attended IU Football and IU Basketball games since I was I a kid growing up. I was born my dad's senior year on campus and spent my first year of life on campus, maybe that is why I "bleed", IU.

Assembly Hall
Memorial Stadium
Even thought I am a graduate of Indiana University, I attended many games in Seattle watching the University of Washington Huskies while living on Whidbey Island. I still think the most beautiful surrounding area to watch a college football game has to be the UW stadium on Lake Washington.

University of Washington Stadium
In a rare IU appearance in Seattle, I was able to fly out in 2003 and watch the Huskies pound the Hoosiers in football. It was nice to see that the surrounding Husky fans understood and told us Indiana was a "basketball school" and not known for football, they understood who their opponent was that day. They were more interested in beating Oregon that fall, as many of the cheers during the IU - Washington game were about beating the Ducks of Oregon.

IU vs UDub 2003
I've talked about my change in diet since I retired in April 2014 and most of my meals look like this with no limit in amounts of veggies or fruits. This is a typical lunch or dinner.

Daily Salad
Yet in Bloomington is one the 'all-time' favorite places for IU fans and alumni that has been located here since the 1940's. They keep expanding the building by adding floors. On the wall going to the 3rd floor are autographs of the 1984 Olympic Basketball team, who trained in Bloomington that summer since Bob Knight was the Olympic Coach for that year. Just a few of the names are Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. No doubt a few drunk patrons have tried to get that piece of wall out of there and into their collection.

Just called Nick's and people from IU know nationwide what you are talking about.

Nick's English Pub
That is not what Nick's English Hut is noted for, the autographed wall. What they are noted for nationwide by any IU alumnus is what I eat about every 3-4 months just to keep my cholesterol up.  lol It is their world famous strom. I've been told by the bartenders I am one of the few that orders the 12" strom and finishes the 12" strom. I usually make it home 25 miles away just in time for an afternoon siesta after eating one of these. It is full of provolone cheese, Italian sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, and pizza sauce. It has been slightly changed by new ownership in the amount of ingredients they fill the Italian bread with, just like most restaurants in today's economy.

"The" Strom
It doesn't matter where I am in Bloomington nor what I'm doing, if it isn't the strom I buy ... I will drive out of the way to the SE corner of Bloomington to 5Guys to have one of these. The last time I visited, I decided to change up on the order and buy my normal cheese burger (standard is double) and a "Jr's Cheeseburger" which turned out to be a single cheeseburger. No fear, I ate them both and never felt full. They tasted great!!


I realize for the purist in good diets NEITHER of those are good for me ... but I like the word I see most people say ... MODERATION! I guess I'll keep eating them with possibly a longer period of time between meals.

So as you see, I don't do a lot around here but there is enough to do once I make an effort to get in the car. I think that since I have all kinds of time on my hands now, I don't feel as rushed doing different things because I am not trying to fit everything into a weekend between the work weeks. I like doing all of these things during the work day now ... less crowds, less traffic.

The thing is, these are all fun things to do, but I've been doing them for a very very long time. At times it feels like it's time to move on to other NEW things, NEW places. I want to see the stars at night where is absolutely no traffic sounds, unlike here. I want to wake up in places that have no one around for miles. I want to sit out in the early morning heating water up for a cup of coffee or tea.

So we will see what happens.

Still, as my other blog Hounds and RV's shows a 2+ year history, I have had a very strong urge to travel these past couple of years. I can't decide how to go or where to go, but the options have always changed. The hounds have played a role in those decisions or lack thereof. I believe they deserve to be considered when I am thinking of traveling and/or making major decisions.

That's about all I have for today. One good thing about retirement, if you don't get your next item on your 'to do' list finished as planned, there is always tomorrow.

BTW ... I finished what I had planned this morning. No photos but I did cut all the hay the farmer chose to leave around Sadie's rope anchor. Of course for the 3rd year in a row, I got so close with my metal blade on the weed eater that I caught her rope. It's been shortened enough from my previous two mistakes that I cannot tie it back together and have it long enough to reach the house. The length was based on two things, short enough to keep her out of the trees and long enough that it would reach the house so I can hook the rope to her collar without me going out into the yard in bad weather.  :)

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