A Week of Retirement

October 17, 2023 was my last day at work.  Following the end of the normal workday, I was honored with a dinner by my local colleagues (and was presented with gift cards for $500 at Guitar Center!).  And then my retired life began.

It’s now been a week.  There are many books and tales of how people adjust to retirement.  Perhaps the most apparent to me is the ease of not having to adhere to a daily schedule.  Oh, for sure there are places and times that I must still conform to, such as helping pack food for students, church services and activities, and the recovery meetings I attend.  But each morning as I open my eyes, the first thing my eyes alight on is the clock, and my first thought is, “I don’t have to get up just yet.”  I do anyway, because I’m now awake, but there is no pressure to do so.

I must learn to concern myself less with financial issues.  One of the first tasks I undertook without needing to care about the time was to take my Mercedes in for what I thought was going to be a simple five minute fastener replacement.  Nope.  It turns out the loose fastener is due to my front bumper coming loose.  I need a new front bumper.  Sigh.  So now almost immediately I’m faced with an unexpected expense (Mercedeses aren’t cheap to maintain).  The two sides of my mind say, “Oh, boy, this is gonna hurt.” and “You’ve got the money.  Be glad it happened now and not ten years into your retirement.”  These are new thoughts, brought on by the knowledge I do not have a regular paycheck to refill my bank account.

Health coverage is another new facet to my retired life.  My employer paid 100% of my health coverage and now I have to navigate the confusing waters of Medicare and its multiple “parts.”  I have already confirmed my enrollment in Medicare Part A, but I’ve had to request a “replacement” card since I don’t recall ever receiving the original.  And I need that in order to apply for Part B.  The government says I should receive it within the month.  A month!

Still, I have a long-anticipated trip to Peru looming.  I paid for it while I still was earning a paycheck, so I’m not fretting the payment, and simply looking forward to my first adventure without having to set an out-of-office auto-reply on my email.

Finally, I’m making sure I still get my exercise.  The weather recently made it easy to just sit on the couch reading, but my upcoming trip will be physically taxing, and I’m so used to moving my body that I am resuming walking and running.  I went for a nice three mile walk yesterday, once again cognizant that I didn’t have to be anywhere (home) at any specific time.  The weather was early Autumn wonderful, so I explored some new paths in my continuing knowledge of the community in which I live.  I love that we have trails and paths.  One day perhaps, I’ll have walked, run or biked them all!

Being A Social Media Outcast

The title of this piece is slightly misleading.  An outcast is someone who has been literally cast out of a tribe, a community, or an environment.  In my case, it’s a self-inflicted condition.

When the public Internet was young (circa 1993-1995) social networking, as we now refer to it, was largely unknown.  But in the early 2000s, sites like Friendster, LinkedIn and MySpace came online, and social networking began.  MySpace was eclipsed by Facebook and social networking took off.  Soon to follow were the likes of Twitter (now X) and almost everything on the Internet became “social.”  I too, jumped into the pool.

My initial foray into social media came when my daughter left for college.  I had learned she had opened an account on Facebook, and I did so also, as a means of staying in touch.

There was a lot of fascination with the concept at first.  I added “friend” after “friend,” as names were suggested to me, and they were all people I knew in the circles in which I traveled.  Truthfully, not many of them would actually meet my criteria of “friend,” but it was entertaining to see photos of places people visited, accomplishments and awards earned, and other forms of vicarious experience.

But I learned my daughter didn’t really use Facebook.  So, after the freshness wore off, I began to grow tired of the rampant narcissism.  Because after all, Facebook is first and foremost about “me.”  The majority of users, I stipulate, are always putting on their best faces and showing how wonderful and perfect their lives are.  Don’t you wish you were me?

After a while, the tone of social media began to appear shrill and strident.  “Thread drift” became the norm (I maintain that if a topic goes on, by the third “page” it has devolved into a shouting match akin to “I’m right and you’re wrong.”  Except often not as polite.  And no longer on point.

When I began this post, I had a lot of thoughts I felt I could post.  But I tend to want to keep these periodic pieces short, so as to not bore the reader.  Thus, I will wrap this up by saying this:

I’m not a social media outcast.  I’m a social media “hermit.”  And I’m quite happy to be away from the mess.

Writers Writing For Writers

I recently joined Substack.  Then I joined Medium.  Why?  The short answer is that I was thinking of turning to writing once my retirement become final.

But I write here.  Why add new sites when I can write all I want on my own site? The short answer, I think, is exposure.

Yes, I admit that the idea of pulling in a few extra dollars to supplement my retirement is one of the considerations for my choices, but I’m quickly re-thinking that decision.

The research I did suggested that Medium is better suited to writers who simply want to write.  Substack is geared toward writers who want to get paid. However, I’m not sure I fit in to either category.

For starters, the general consensus is that columns, blogs, posts, or whatever you want to call them should all be “topical.”  In other words, the feeling is that readers will want you to focus on a particular subject, otherwise they won’t be interested in reading what you have to say.  I don’t know that I completely subscribe to that belief.  I enjoy reading articles by Victor Davis Hanson, Christopher Chantrill and the like.  True, they tend to speak to modern American society, politics and culture, but part of their appeal to me is that they do vary the topics on which they write.

Lately, I’ve been receiving my daily updates from Medium and the trend seems to be users/authors expressing their disappointment and frustration with the offering.  I’m so new to the site that I haven’t had the experiences others may have had, but it doesn’t speak well when the primary topic discussed is something like, “Why I left Medium.”

Still, there’s some attraction to using a delivery platform that has a built-in readership.  It’s unrealistic to think that one will be an overnight success simply by clicking a few keys and hitting the “publish” button.

I think I’ll continue.  Here, and on Medium and Substack.  At least for now.

The Die Is Cast

According to the Free Dictionary, the term The die is cast “comes from the Latin Iacta alea est, “the dice have been thrown,” which according to Suetonius was said by Julius Caesar when he crossed the Rubicon and invaded Italy in 49 b.c.”

Today I informed my manager of my intention to retire.  I’d already spoken with H.R. about how to go about doing so, and after speaking with the both of them, sent them my official letter of resignation.  We haven’t yet determined the final date, but I made it clear I would not remain longer than six months.  I’m ready to go at any time, but I believe the appropriate and professional thing to do is to allow for my replacement to be found and brought up to speed.



Once the dice are face up, there’s no going back.  I’ve been talking about this with my family and friends for a while — and my planning goes back a good four years — and now it’s time.

I find it funny that everyone I’ve spoken to says how wonderful, and great news!  I think I may be the only one who has some trepidation about the whole thing.  I’ll stop receiving a salary.  I won’t have company-paid health care.  I’ll have to learn to live on my savings, investments and social security.  It’s a transition that for me isn’t 100% happy.  I may feel differently a few months from now, but right now I’m trying to get mentally prepared.

But there’s no taking it back now.  And I don’t think I’d want to even if I could!


Life In The Real World

It’s hard for me to believe that just over 50 years ago, I departed the campus of the University of Maryland in Munich, Germany to begin my life as an adult.  Sadly, no web sites dedicated to the Munich Campus exists, other than a mention in Wikipedia about McGraw Kaserne.

U. of Md. Munich Campus logo

U. of Md. Munich Campus logo

Yesterday (Sunday, March 26, 2023) I attended a multi-year reunion of Munich Campus attendees.  I thought I might be one of the older ones there, but I was surprised to find most of the folks gathering were students there during the 1960s!  And there were quite a few from the 1980s.  In fact, only one other 1970s-era attendee was there.

There is a sense of shared experience among those who attended the Munich Campus.  I felt right at home with the people (about 40) despite not having attended with any of them.  All of us have Oktoberfest memories, student pranks, dormitory escapades, instructor stories, and the relationships we formed and in many case, retain today.

Having attended a number of high school reunions, I scratch my head at times in wonderment that some people somehow seem to live in the past, considering their high school years the best times of their life.  High school was not that for me, but I do confess that my days in Munich were filled with awe and amazement.  I loved living abroad, learning another language, and, in all honesty, being irresponsible.  The only requirement placed upon me and others was to get passing grades.  We could smoke, drink, stay out all night, sleep in, and carouse in ways only college students are capable. For all intents and purposes, we were adults (there is no drinking age in most European countries) without adult responsibilities.  I have many fond memories of exploring, partying, jamming and sightseeing, all while maintaining a Dean’s List grade point average!

Munich was only a two year experience, sad to say.  In many ways, it almost a dream-like existence.  Having decided I wanted to continue my college studies, I had to find a college that would accept me and let me achieve my baccalaureate.  Some of the colleges I looked into would have required me to add an additional year to my studies, but I was eager to graduate, so I transferred to the University of Maryland’s home campus in College Park, Maryland.  Where the experience was turned on its head.

I won’t delve into how life in or near College Park was 180° different.  My life as and adult started when I arrived and U. of Md. informed me that

  1. They didn’t consider me an in-state student, despite having attended two years at the school.  A remote campus apparently does not qualify as in-state.  Therefore, no dorm room!
  2. It also meant I would have to pay out-of-state tuition.

I needed to establish residency by a) finding and renting an apartment off campus, and b) getting a job.  This helped pay for the apartment as I fulfilled the qualification requirements for in-state tuition.  As a result, I became somewhat of an “outsider” because I didn’t live on campus and have a social experience with other students.  Instead, I now had the responsibilities of working a job, paying rent, buying and cooking my own food, and getting to know my neighbors, most of whom were not students!

Thus it was that I couldn’t wait to receive my degree.  After establishing residency, I re-enrolled and dedicated myself to fulfilling the requirements for graduation.  Once I had diploma in hand, I just continued to work the job I’d taken, and “officially” entered the “real world.”  The reunion yesterday was a pleasant memory bubble, but I can’t relive it, and really don’t want to.  The real world, with all its flaws, is better approached head-on, and with full knowledge it isn’t “days of wine and roses.”

Call This A Placeholder

A few days ago I was thinking of all the spam email I receive, and of posting a snarky comment to the effect, “Why are you welcoming me to something I didn’t ask for, don’t want, and didn’t initiate?” But in the end, I realized there was no real point to be made railing against the characters who mass produce this nonsense.

So it left me thinking that at this current point in my life, I’m somewhat adrift.  I’ve been single again for some thirteen years now, the job I’ve held has lost its luster, and my intention to retire this year fills me both with eagerness and anxiety.

I’ve taken a renewed interest in computer programming (and now I have a category into which to place this post), and have begun looking into Javascript and web technologies — the same technologies that inspired me to creating this web site in the first place.

A few plugs:  I have been using the wonderful, free web server software from Aprelium, called Abyss.  It’s a full-featured web server, and I have been exploring various aspects of server-side includes (SSI) and common gateway interface (CGI).  As mentioned in my previous post, I have also started unpacking and learning Apple’s Shortcuts program.  I also came across a nifty freeware widget called “Plash

Plash icon

Plash icon

that enabled me to fulfill my wish to overlay the name of the image file used on my Mac’s desktop.  Available on the App Store, its author has produced other superb software, and I was delighted to support him in his efforts!  I wound up crafting a solution using a shell script, a Shortcut, and Plash.

Something is pending.  I don’t know what it is, be it a new life experience as a retiree, or something else, but that’s the feeling I’ve been having.  I still exercise daily, play guitar, spend time (productively, or not) on the computer, and enjoy cooking and eating, but right now I feel somewhat in-the-middle.  Call it a placeholder.

Should I Write A Book?

As evidenced by this ongoing blog, I enjoy writing.  I have never approached this effort with an audience in mind, and most of my articles are mostly journaling personal opinions and experiences.  That said, my current motivation to write more frequently comes from two separate perspectives.  The first is my as-yet unannounced retirement, which I hope to make official a little over a month from now.  The second is from reading a book that is both informative but frustrating at the same time.  It’s this book that forms the subject of this post.

Here’s the back story:  I try to take a 30-40 minute walk every day.  As I’m heading out the door, I engage the “Outdoor Walk” workout on my Apple Watch.  I then open the Pacer app on my iPhone, which I use for its audible messages for time and distance.  I wondered to myself if I couldn’t automate that process, which led me to Shortcuts.

Shortcuts is an app that Apple produced and introduced on iOS (iPhone/iPad) and recently added to the Mac.  When it debuted, I took little notice of it, but I quickly realized that AppleScript and Automator (two other, older Apple technologies) were not available outside the Mac, so my attention turned to Shortcuts.

Another back story:  As a programmer most of my adult life and throughout my career, I’ve constantly looked for ways to simplify my computing experience, and have developed a number of scripts and processes using the command line, HyperCard, AppleScript and Automator.  Each has required a learning curve, and Apple has followed the trend of making programming languages and their syntax complicated and intimidating.  Which I find ironic, as the Mac was originally promoted as the computer for “the rest of us.”  Hmm.

To add insult to injury, Apple keeps breaking AppleScript with updates to macOS, and now I hear that Automator is likely going to be replaced by Shortcuts.

So, maybe it’s time for me to learn Shortcuts.

Shortcuts began life as a product called “Workflow,” which garnered an Apple Design Award in 2015, and was fully acquired by Apple in 2017.  It has since grown added features and in 2021 its availability for macOS was announced.  It now supports the entire Apple “ecosphere,” Mac, iPad, iPhone, Watch.

Even though Shortcuts attempts to be helpful and usable “out of the box,” most of the pre-built “workflows” (or “macros”) available in the product’s “gallery” do not fit my day to day needs.  Time to roll up my sleeves and create my own.

Which is where the dark side of technology is introduced.  In its inimitable way, Apple has tried to make Shortcuts usable without writing any code.  But by so doing, one must learn the “Shortcuts way” of doing things.  Sadly, there aren’t tutorials, and the built-in help is pretty much the only source for information.  That is, until I came across the book, Take Control of Shortcuts, 2nd Edition by Rosemary Orchard (the delightful irony of both Apple and Orchard being associated is not overlooked!).   I purchased it (Kindle version, the only format available) in large part because it even addresses changes and additions to the current version of macOS, “Ventura” (version 13), which I am running on my modern Macs.

Reading the reviews on Amazon, I was prepared for a less-than-ideal reading and learning experience, so I wasn’t surprised that the author, while knowledgeable about the subject, chose to attempt to address the differences between platforms every time one occurred.  And there are many!  I found this distracting and hard to follow.  There’s a lot of good information presented in the book, but I find myself losing track as Orchard follows breadcrumbs here and there.

Which brings me back to the topic of this post:  Should I Write A Book?  I have given this some (but not a lot) of thought.  If I were going to write a book about Shortcuts, how would I structure it?  Since I am exposed to a lot of technical documentation through the course of my work, my thinking is that I would probably write it according to this rough outline:

  • Introduction.  What is Shortcuts?  Where did it come from?  Who can use it, and where to find it.
  • Definition of terms.  It helps to have a clear understanding of terms like “events,” “actions,” “variables,” “triggers” and so on.
  • Core capabilities.  Items and processes that are available on all platforms.
  • Mac differences
  • iPhone/iPad differences
  • Apple Watch differences

It always helps to have examples and even do-it-yourself templates.  Screenshots and clear step-by-step instructions in abundance would go a long way to adding value to the book.

Almost in spite of Orchard’s book, I have been able to create two Shortcuts “macros.”  The first addresses the original desire to automate my workout routine.  Because it is started on my Watch and transfers control to my iPhone, it doesn’t always work.  I’m still looking into that.  The second, which I even added comments inside, I have running as a “service” on my Mac that just uses the Mac’s “Quick Look” capability to display a random photo from a folder I use for desktop pictures.  It doesn’t serve any real useful purpose, but it’s kind of fun during a quick break to pop up and display a photo I may not have seen in a while.  Here’s a screenshot of the Shortcut “code.”

Remember that “learning curve” I mentioned earlier?  Well, I had to find out what a “Quick Action” is (in essence, it’s like a service one can call from the Services menu on.a Mac) and then I had to learn that I needed to “continue” if there was no input.  And, since I’m using folders on my Mac that don’t exist on my phone or iPad, I had to terminate the shortcut if I was trying to run it on one of them, otherwise I’d get an error.

I may never write this book.  But when I finally retire, I should have the time to learn and explore the Shortcuts app on multiple platforms, and maybe put my knowledge into words.

Has Apple Abandoned AppleScript? Automator?

Those who know me know that I’m an Apple Macintosh fan.  I was already fascinated with computers when Apple ran their famous “1984” commercial

and I went, “Whoa, this I gotta see!”

Soon after, I acquired an original, first-generation Macintosh, an ImageWriter printer, and I was hooked!

Awed by the rich, well-crafted graphical user interface (GUI), the “other guys” were suddenly rocking back on their heels.  They had nothing to compare to it.  Since Microsoft Windows hadn’t yet made an appearance, the best argument against the Mac came in the form of the criticism that the Mac had no command line, and no way for the average user to create their own programs, processes and workflows.

The answer to that complaint arrived in 1987 as Apple introduced Hypercard, the first-ever hypermedia system, pre-dating the worldwide web.  Apple pulled the plug on it in 2004 because, as Tim Oren put it, “HyperCard always had a marketing problem of not being clearly about any one thing.”  In other words, Apple didn’t know what to do with it.

AppleScript made its debut in 1993, when Apple was still shipping System 7, the operating system that was replaced by Steve Jobs when he returned to Apple from NeXT.  Compared to the DOS command line scripting language, AppleScript was not only fluid, very English-like in its syntax and language structure, but also leveraged components of the Mac operating system down to its core.  Scripts could be written to automate tasks, could integrate with other scripting languages (the porting of NextStep to the Mac and integrating it with the classic Mac OS added the ability to write Unix shell scripts).

I remember writing an AppleScript process that would

  1. Mute the sound output of the Mac
  2. Launch an Internet stream recorder every weeknight and point it to a radio broadcast
  3. Turn off the recording two hours later
  4. Save the recording to a folder with a date-time specification
  5. Restore the audio level

I could then listen to my replay of the live presentation at a more reasonable hour (for me).  Another feature of AppleScript that I enjoyed was the “folder actions” ability:  Write a script that watches a given folder and when an item is added, changed or removed, the script would take an action (in database parlance this is known as a “trigger”).  Cool stuff!

Eight years later, Apple added to its set of built-in tools Automator.  Building on top of previous capabilities, Automator is designed to create workflows using a point-and-click and drag-and-drop interface.  It can call AppleScript scripts and shell scripts, too.

Since my employment entails working with a lot of the “other guys” (Windows and Linux), I do a lot of shell scripting and DOS batch/command files.  Microsoft met the Apple challenge in 2006 with Windows PowerShell (now made open-source and cross-platform in 2016), but I’ve never taken the time to learn it (every programming language has a learning curve, and I’m pretty curved out).

Which brings me to the topic of this post.  I’m running the latest (as of this writing) macOS, Ventura (13.2).  Apple has made significant changes to its OS under the hood, and in so doing has broken a lot of AppleScripts.  A quick Internet search for “Ventura AppleScript” will reveal page after page of people reporting their AppleScripts no longer work under Ventura.

I have sitting next to me a book I purchased in 1995 by Tom Trinko titled, Applied Mac Scripting, which focuses on AppleScript, Userland Frontier (now primarily a web scripting language) and some other small automation tools.  It’s a huge book of over 800 pages, and originally came with a CD that has long ago disappeared.  I mention this because no one seems to have written anything new about AppleScript in years.  The most recent book I could find on Amazon is dated 2010!  Even Apple’s own Developer site has outdated information on AppleScript, and the “About AppleScript” forum is locked.  That’s not a good sign.

Here’s what brought me to this lengthy screed:  I like to decorate my Mac’s “desktop” with photos I’ve taken (or downloaded).  I also like to have the image rotated randomly at specific intervals. I save all my photos in a folder (not my Pictures folder).  Over the years, I have tried a number of programs that purport to do this, and all fail to meet 100% of my requirements.  The one I’ve used for years is a little freeware program, Change Desktop by Brian Bergstrand (hat tip!), now unavailable.  So, I thought I’d write one myself.  After all, I have all the tools necessary, don’t I?

As a proof of concept, I quickly whipped up a shell script.  It simply reads through the folder, building an array of file names, chooses one at random then displays the filename.  This is the script:

unset p
let x=1
for f in *;
if [ -f "$f" ] ; then
let x=x+1
echo "$f" is not a file
RANDNUM=$(( 1 + $RANDOM % $x ))
echo "There are $x files"
echo "The randomly chosen file is $FN"

Okay, it works.  But the shell doesn’t provide a way (that I know of) to set the desktop image.  I found several AppleScripts that should do the same thing.  But they don’t.  They either throw an error (AppleScript’s errors are as unfriendly as any programming language’s I’ve seen) or they don’t take the right image from the folder specified.  Huh?

Automator seems now to be Apple’s preferred method of creating your own workflows (which is the name Apple gives the processes you create).  At least they’ve updated the documentation for it.  I’ve created Automator workflows, but they don’t seem as “intuitive” as AppleScript.  Well, as AppleScript used to be.  As is the case with most software, “feature creep” enters the picture and what was once a simply, handy tool (like HyperCard) gets burdened down with external functions, libraries, frameworks and no longer is accessible to the common man.



Not Knowing What You Don’t Know

I am constantly struck by the “expert” opinions of those who haven’t the first idea what they’re talking about.  Most recently, I came across a thread on a forum in which I participate that was in the “off-topic” section and began by an incoherent post citing three different passages from Scripture.

Yes?  So what?  At least, that was my initial reaction.  I am one of the last people who should be holding forth on things Biblical.  And that’s my point:  I know that I don’t know nine-tenths of the Bible.  I’ve heard that “Scripture interprets Scripture,” so I know that those who study Scripture deeply are always finding new references, correlations and (possibly) deeper understanding.

As is so often in the era of the Internet, people who have no understanding, much less knowledge of a topic, find it necessary to take center stage and expose their ignorance for the rest of the world to see.  Rather than be embarrassed by their ignorance, they seem to relish it.  Because these days, opinions are more important than facts.

The sub-head of this journal is “Everyone is entitled to my opinion.”  Because everything I post here is opinion.  Oh, there might be a smattering of fact here and there (“This guitar is made of wood”) but I make no claims to expertise.  In fact, the subject I am most expert on is “being myself.”  And I’m not always that good at that!

I’m not sure when this trend began.  The easy answer for me is “When social media began.”  Of course, that’s just an opinion — however, the staggering preponderance of know-it-alls on the message boards has become a turn-off for me.  Add to this the equally staggering number of argumentative, “I’m right and you’re wrong” types rang the death knell for me.  I quite Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and the rest.

There are still the forums and boards I read, mostly because the topics interest me (guns, guitars, cars, etc.).  But I discount those who approach topics claiming (without portfolio, at least) expertise.  I simply smile, nod my head, and move on.

My COVID Journey

Two and a half years after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have now contracted the disease.  I’ve believed for nearly the entire time as more became known about the disease, that it would become endemic rather than pandemic, and that sooner or later, everyone would catch it.  I guess my time is now.

Far be it for me to pretend I’m a scientist knowledgeable about these things, but evidence I’ve read indicates that the “common cold” is a form of coronavirus, and that the SARS-CoV 2 strain was known to scientists some eight years before the recent pandemic (see link, above).

Perhaps I’m just lucky, of maybe the two vaccines and one booster have reduced the impact, but the fact remains that I, and everyone else, am not immune.  In a change of process then, I am going to use this post as a daily journal to track the progress of my journey with COVID-19.

Monday, September 26, 2022 was the morning I woke up to a slight cough and a bit of a scratchy throat.  As the beginning of a week I was to conduct training, I felt good enough to continue (I do this remotely from home) and vowed to keep my finger close to the mute button should I feel a cough coming on.

Tuesday, the sniffles began to be felt.  I opened a box of tissues to keep on my desk.  They, and the mute button kept me from being too disruptive to my students.  After the day was done, I ordered a jar of Vicks VapoRub.  I’ve used this product in the past, but since its main efficacy is gained through the camphor vapors it emits, have eschewed its use when in public.  I’m now working (and isolating) at home, so I have no care about wafting airs.  While waiting for the order to be filled, I decided to give myself an in-home Rapid Antigen Test, which then gave me a positive result.  I went to the drive-through at the pharmacy to pick up my potion so as to eliminate the possibility of person-to-person contact. Body aches began to develop and became more frequent.

Now it’s Wednesday morning.  I woke up early, likely due to the body aches, but with still a cough and sniffles, but not feeling any worse than I did the day before.  So, since I don’t want to make multiple posts on this topic, this will be my journal, and I’ll update it every day to track the progress of what for currently feels just like another “common cold.”

Thursday has come and gone, and several times I thought my condition had actually improved!  All of my symptoms seem to have abated a bit.  I spent the day conducting training, but found I did not have to hit the ‘mute’ button as often, and the Vicks helped keep my cough under control.

I slept well and woke up Friday thinking that I felt quite a bit better.  Still congested, with a cough and some aches, but perhaps the overnight rest brought with it some clearing of the affects.  Nothing so far has convinced me that I have anything other than a seasonal transition cold.  Still, I’m being cautious and staying out of public.

There were several times during the day when I thought to myself that I was actually feeling much better!  It’s now evening, the training week is over, and the rain from Hurricane Ian is moving in.  Two days ago I would have welcomed the opportunity to stay in all weekend, but now I’ve gotten more energy and less sniffling and coughing, and I’m afraid I’ll grow restless.  Since I’m wanting to do the right thing, self-quarantine is putting me away from contact.  I did find a potential temporary solution:  I went through the drive-in window at Popeye’s this evening.  That’s about as non-contact as it gets!