September Progress Report: De-Amazoning

In our first month of cutting our ties with Amazon, we have taken the following steps.

1. Spouse cancelled her Prime subscription

2. Shifted all book purchases to a trustworthy list of independent booksellers, with Powell’s as our primary go-to.

3. Cancelled all “subscribe-and-save” subscriptions and found new and economical sources or substitutes for those items.

4. Ceased purchase of all Kindle books and began buying used hard copy editions from independent bookstores.

5. Began transcribing my Amazon Prime Music playlists in preparation for terminating Prime and beginning a long term effort to acquire LPs, DVDs, and legitimate digital recordings of my favorites.

Mugology: Easing Back into the Classroom

 

You know you spend a lot of money on virtual courseware when the company you patronize sends you a free stoneware coffee mug.

Returning to higher education after an absence of over three decades demands a gradual approach. I would be no match for the kids just coming out of high school right now: homework, tests, and a 10-week learning cycle are figments of memory, not skill sets.

The Learning Company – via their Great Courses series – has helped put my brain back into learning mode. I guess my gratitude shows in my spending pattern.

Patchology: Procrastinating Goldfish Patrol

My Life Scout son Aaron was elected as leader of his patrol in the contingent that our Council assembled to represent Ventura County at the 2017 National Scout Jamboree.

Soon after, the patrol named themselves “the Procrastinating Goldfish Patrol.”

Against all odds, I managed to find them appropriate BSA-regulation patrol patches. As you can see, the patch above shows a goldfish clearly in the act of procrastinating. At the Jamboree, the patrol wore this and all of their other insignia and regalia with slightly snarky pride.

Hoping the BSA can get back into the post-COVID game with a Jamboree in 2023. I won’t be there, and Aaron won’t, either, but at least that gives us a shot at going to one together in 2027.

This is how I dress before pledging into a fraternal organization. (I wore shoes, of course.) Just glad I can fit into these. Yes, that is an edgy look. I was beginning to remember why I didn’t go greek in college.

Winter Morning Music

red and orange solar flare
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Standing under a heater vent blowing 70-degree air on me, I still get goosebumps listening to Ed Sheeran singing “I See Fire” from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Removed we may be from the foothills of Erebor, but we never seem far from the breath of the great drake.

For there are days beneath brown hills, Santannas blowing dry from the Northeast bending the palms and sending crackles of static through hair and wool, when if you listen closely, you can hear the chuckle of the Old Wyrm amidst the howling tempest, and your breath stops, waiting in dread for the ridges to explode in flame.

Perfect Timing

Look what showed up at my door right before I watched Biscuit Week from 2018 of the Great British Bake-Off.

There are no coincidences in the multiverse.

Fixed the Grill

After spending a day cleaning the range and a lump of cash having professional cleaning of the hood and can above it, and then setting off the smoke alarm ten dinners in a row, I decided that it was time to start cooking outside on the grill.

What bliss to be able to sear, brown, and burn food to my heart’s delight without fear of making the whole house smell like a barbecue joint for days afterwards.

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