Sunday, August 28, 2011

August 2011 Nearly Over Already

It has not been a particularly interesting year so far from a personal perspective. It seems that time flies by as I attend to the mundane necessities of life. Each week there are things that beg to be done, leaving not as much time as I would like to do things that don't need to be done.
I have been too lazy to put the boat in the water even one time so far this year. Not sure if I'll get out fishing at all before winter comes again. I have managed keep up with most of the yard work and the housework, but I haven't made any significant progress on all of the projects I would like to do in the yard and in the house. Outside there is brush that needs chipping and land that needs to be cleared of brush and trees, plus the yard could use some serious landscaping to include sod and retaining walls. Then I also had plans to add a large deck behind the garage which is unlikely to get done this year. In the house I really need to replace flooring in just about every room, and I have ten new 6 panel oak doors that need to be prepped with stain and varnish and installed to replace the original cheap hollow core mahogany doors that don't look as nice as they did when we installed them 34 years ago.
I have not made nearly as much progress learning new songs on my guitar this year as I did last year. Probably because I just haven't been as diligent with my daily practice. I'm thinking I'm in a bit of a rut and should probably start taking some lessons again for a while.
Sales of the Guitar Player's Friend transposition tool have been going great this year. 2011 has already produced more sales than 2010 and there is a slim possibility that it could actually double the volume since most of the sales in 2010 were in the second half of the year. I'm still getting about 10% return business with some customers buying from 3 to 10 at a time. The Guitar Player's Friend Website still needs quite a bit of work to have a more professional appearance. I really hate to promote it too much in its current state, even though it is functional and people have used it to buy the transposition tools.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ham Lake Porcupine

Finally the temperature went above freezing for the first time in weeks. The sun even came out this afternoon and a little bit of the blacktop showing through the snow on the road actually had a spots of liquid water on it. It was so nice that I took a walk down the road just to get out of the house for a while.

This time of year there are a lot of tracks in the snow from a variety of animals. Normally we expect to see a lot of squirrel tracks, a few rabbit tracks, some deer tracks, and of course some dog and cat tracks from the pets in the neighborhood. Today I saw some tracks in the snow that were totally unfamiliar to me. I first saw them on the road and then followed them into a neighbors driveway where the critter that created them must have been heading for the swamp behind the neighbors house. I decided to backtrack to see where the critter had come from, and it appeared that he had come up another neighbor's driveway from the woods. It looked like the critter must have had very short legs because there were marks in the snow connecting the footprints as it wandered down the edge of the road in the half inch of undisturbed snow.

Since I had no way to figure out what the critter was, based on my own knowledge and experience, I looked it up on my computer and in just a few minutes discovered that it was a porcupine that had left the strange tracks in the road. I thought it looked like a pretty small animal made the tracks so I wondered if there would be young porcupines this time of the year. It turns out that the young are born in early winter so it is entirely possible that the tracks were made by a 3 or 4 month old porcupine. I have seen porcupines in the wild occasionally, but never in our neighborhood. So I learned something new today.