On the Twelfth Day of Christmas

I had trouble sleeping last night.  I stayed up too late watching the latest installment of Restaurant Impossible and then couldn’t get to sleep.  I think I finally dozed off after midnight, but that left me only five hours before the alarm woke me up.  I snoozed for ten minutes, even though I couldn’t afford to lose ten minutes out of my morning routine since Thursdays are also trash and recycle days in Lansing.  To top off a great start to my morning, I cut my finger on one of the cans in the recycle bin.  So now I’ll be typing awkwardly all day thanks to a bandage on my left ring finger.

The work commute got shortened by ten minutes or so this morning due to a sick child of one of the riders.  Before I hit the road and picked anyone up though, I made a stop at Baristas in Lansing to wake up with a mocha.  It would not be good form for me to doze off while driving everyone else to work.

Chef Rachelle fought my favorite appliance today (my bread machine) and won the battle to create pita dough. Her menu for this evening included gyros (lamb) with home made taziki sauce. Simply divine. Don’t tell the Wii I had two!

Soon after dinner, Terry and I went to City Hall to attend the City Council meeting (I will post a complete report in a separate post tomorrow). Agenda item number seven directly affected us (search for my previous post on the no parking zone sign installed last month on our court). We sat through a report on the Kansas Sampler Festival and the presentation of the regional airport site selection study by Coffman Associates. Interestingly, the ‘prime’ site suggested for the airport is on 600 acres just a half mile or mile south of our house, between Gilman and McIntire Roads.

When we finally got tothe parking agenda item, I was relieved to see a good bit of discussion and debate among the council members. Obviously, the voice of the citizens raised in thier wards had been heard loud and clear. The ordinace (No. 900) passed with two dissenting votes. The meeting quickly adjourned soon after and I asked the secretary to provide me with a copy of the ordinance, which would have been helpful to review before the meeting. She agreed to email me a copy.

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

Second workday of the new year.  Gearing up for all the projects slated for 2012.  Busier (which makes the time go faster) and only one meeting (that went longer than scheduled, of course).  Basically, I survived another day at the office.

Hump day (also known as Wednesday) is also double-punch day at Planet Sub.  Since one of my New Year’s resolutions is a healthier lifestyle, I reviewed the Nutritional Information on their website before calling in my order.  While my second favorite sandwich (the Planet BBQ) had fewer calories than my first favorite sandwich (the Super Hero), it had gobs and gobs of sodium. So it was a toss-up between the Tuna (without mayo) and the Roast Beef (without mayo or cheese). The tuna won because it was the lowest in sodium.  Beautiful walk to and from Planet Sub thanks to the unseasonably warm weather we’re enjoying during this first week of January.

Even though Terry’s right hand is in a splint, WolfGuard will meet tonight to practice with the new drummer.  We decided to skip a home-cooked meal by Chef Rachelle in the interest of saving time.  We ate a quick supper at Mr. Goodcents (yeah, I know, two sandwich places in the same day).  I reviewed their Nutritional Information brochure and couldn’t find a single sandwich (besides the veggie one) that had less than 1,500 mg of sodium.  Way, way too high for my diet.  The lowest calorie and lowest sodium item that appealed to my appetite ended up being penne pasta with marinara.

On the way back home, we took a side-trip to Dillons to pickup a prescription for Terry and grab a few items.  We made it back home with plenty of time to spare before the band members started arriving.

As the band started rehearsing, I left to take Rachelle to visit some friends.  On the way home, I admired the constellation Orion, the waxing moon and enjoyed the unfrigid temperature.

Now that I’m back home, I can wrap up a couple of work projects while being serenaded (several times because practice makes perfect with a new percussionist) of vintage Rush (Finding My Way Home).  I’ve still got to squeeze in some cardio before slipping upstairs to read myself to sleep again.

Tomorrow is the final day of the Twelve Days of Christmas.  If it was a Friday or a Saturday night, I might be tempted to host a Twelfth Night party.  Instead, I’ll probably be attending the local city council meeting, since one of the agenda items tomorrow night deals with the recent appearance (and disappearance) of ‘no parking’ signs in several cul-de-sacs around Lansing (see my previous blog posts for further enlightenment).  I can only hope an Epiphany of policy is forthcoming.  (Feel free to chortle if you fathom my irony and/or sarcasm).

On the Tenth Day of Christmas

I returned to work, as did everyone else in the vanpool, including the latest addition.  First commute in the van since late summer when all but one seat was occupied.  We left a few minutes earlier to accommodate the earlier work schedule of our new addition, yet everyone was on time for all their retrievals.

I ordered Rachelle’s contacts based on her new prescription.  I also contacted the mail-order pharmacy we use for our most expensive prescriptions to update the credit card information on file for the auto-refill ones.  Just a bit frustrating that I had to spend several minutes on hold, only to be told to call another number, which also placed me on hold for several minutes to accomplish what should have been available via the pharmacy website.  I suppose I should be grateful that I spoke to an American and guaranteed his continued employment.

On the drive home, I realized the sunset would be quite beautiful, but by the time I arrived home (around a quarter after five), the sun had mostly set.  I snapped a few photos with my cell phone’s camera, two of which I’ll post below:

SunsetMoon amid pink clouds

I continue to explore the Wii Fit Plus options.  I setup a customized routine to do every other day that includes a half dozen Yoga positions and seven strengthening exercises.  All the Yoga stuff is new to me, although some of the stretches I’ve done in other fitness classes in years past (just not knowing they were Yoga-based). By the time I finished my routine, I was tired and a bit shaky.

The Quadrantid meteor shower peaks January 4. The Moon sets after 3 a.m., leaving a few hours of dark-sky viewing.

I will definitely be too tuckered out to get up at three o’clock in the morning to watch for the Quarantid meteor shower.  A shame really, since this shower can produce more than sixty meteors per hour.  Of course, if I did wake up at that time, the clouds that covered the sky at sunset would (with my luck) still be obscuring the stars (and meteors).  If I stay in bed, other astronomers may have better luck viewing the shower since the skies will be clear (provided I’m not planning on observing).

I plan to doze off while reading shortly.  So I will wish you all a very good night.

On the Eighth Day of Christmas

I wished everyone I met a very Happy New Year!  2012 has arrived, whether I was ready or not.  I even forgot to photograph the first sunrise, but at least according to my dad (who arrived at my house just minutes before said sunrise), the photogenicity of the dawn was suspect (i.e. no clouds).

Dad had dropped by so early on New Year’s Day to say goodby to Derek and Royna, who planned to return to North Texas.  I was the only one awake in the house (normal even on non-holiday days).  I woke Derek up so he could say goodbye to his grandfather and soon after Dad returned north to his home in Leavenworth.

Very much later in the morning, everyone finally woke and began packing.  At ten ’til noon, they boarded their rental and left Lansing.  They had lunch with their friends and eventually headed south towards their home.  I received Royna’s final Tweet a bit after ten o’clock while I was drifting off to sleep when they finally made it safely home.

I treated Terry to Planet Sub at a ‘new’ location I was previously unaware of on Johnson Drive.  He often complains about my easy access to Planet Sub (only a block from where I work).  After enjoying our Super Heroes, we drove back to the Legends (we passed it on the way to lunch) and enriched Nebraska Furniture Mart by purchasing a Wii (with Super Mario Kart for Terry) and the Wii Fit Plus bundle (and an extra controller) for me.  We spent the rest of the afternoon setting up the Wii and fighting my Denon AV receiver (which doesn’t automatically convert Composite video to HDMI so I had to find an RCA cable in the black hole we call a basement storage room).  I spent some time trying out the balance board only to discover, once Rachelle got home, that I had the board facing backwards (so no wonder all the balance activities kept failing for me).

We finally took a break from Wii Fit and sat down to relax and watch the latest episode of Leverage on TNT.  I wondered off to bed soon after, forgetting to finish typing up this blog entry that I started at the crack of dawn on New Year’s Day.  I will publish it before the crack of dawn today, no doubt.

My New Year’s Resolutions:

  • Increase my book reading goal.  Last year I read 75 books.  This year I have challenged myself to read 80 books.
  • Increase my activity level.
  • Healthier eating habits:  While I eat a good portion of vegetables routinely, I have a hard time consuming fresh fruit.  So I am making a concerted effort to eat fruit daily.

Happy New Year!

I pray 2012 brings all of us peace and prosperity.

On the Fourth Day of Christmas

I endured endless meetings all morning, but received a last-minute reprieve from my final early afternoon meeting.  A co-worker hand-delivered a belated Christmas gift from my favorite baking supply company (King Arthur Flour) to me when she arrived this morning, for which I thanked her.  I attempted to deal with a last-minute tax deduction question, still unanswered and unresolved with the end-of-the-year clock ticking inexorably on.  I even tortured myself by waiting more than thirty minutes on hold with the IRS before having to abandon that exercise in futility because of another incoming call.  I tried to schedule my daughter for an eye doctor’s appointment since she informed me at the airport she is on her last set of contacts, yet much to my surprise (not!) the eye doctor’s office is closed every Wednesday.   I did speak to my Internet service provider about moving up to the next tier of broadband service and will discuss my findings with my spouse this evening before ordering the upgrade.  I wrapped up my goals for the final quarter Health Enhancement Challenge at work and will strive to turn them into New Year’s resolutions.

I have no plans for this evening (or the rest of the week nights) so that my kids are free to visit their local friends.  Terry and I might watch a DVD my father lent us yesterday: Cowboys & Aliens.  Or we could continue cleaning off the DVR, which may be leaving us soon if we decide to drop DirecTV and move to Dish or just stick with Netflix (or some other provider’s) streaming.

I am thankful for the gift of the Four Gospels, often associated with the fourth day of Christmas.