Tuesday, December 28, 2010

When you lose what you were

All of us over 50 have been there and many people under 50 have already faced this, and that's the reality we can't be and won't be who we were, healthy and fit, ready to do anything we're physically capable. The mental health changes when we discover our bodies don't work as well anymore and won't do what we did before.

Nothing new or news there, just the reality of getting older, and for many, getting sick or injured for life. This recent bout of problems (digestive system infection, or some professionals think but not the specialists) caused me to stop running and hiking. The better, or is it the worse, part of two years I won't get back. I miss running and while I can resume running, it will be with a different perspective.

I now know why I run out of breath quickly past any point of physical exertion. I can recover to some degree, but the body just can't do what it did. And although this problem is nearly 20 years old, I just slowed down or walked until I could breath again and continued running. I kinda' knew this when the walks were longer, I just ignored the reality. Now I know the reality.

So I've gone back to walking, 5-6 miles for starts to the local commercial center near where I live. It has a lot of places including several cafes to get a reward of a coffee drink before buying carryable stuff and walking back. Once I get my legs back under me I'll resume the weight training which I stopped because first I realized I reached my maximum muscle development and second the problems made me too tired to even try.

I read where we're born with the genes which controls our muscles more than previously thought. That's common sense, but having almost all slow-twitch muscles, not the fast-twitch muscles necessary to develop muscles, I read that our genes also determine the maximum muscle we can develop (meaning more strength training doesn't produce more muscle, just more exercise), I simply couldn't get stronger and won't get stronger than I was. I can get back there to some degree, just not any better.

And that's my lot in life now past 60. Not fun but I can't complain. I do and will still complain but it's really meaningless and useless except to waste energy. But now I can simply walk it off while my physician and the specialist argue about the cause of the problems and find a treatment, if one exists. It's the old adage, "It sucks getting old."

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Heart is a Heart

A heart is a heart. Or not. All of us have a different heart, physically and figuratively. Well, last Friday I had a second echo sound of my heatt, the first in July 2005, and a radionuclide rest and stress test. Since the early 90's whenever I run or hike I get short of breath very soon into the exercise and my heart rate goes from normal to over 180.

I usually have to stop for 1-2 minutes so my heart can slow down to exercise rate and I can catch my breath. And I often have to do this again during the exercise or hike if it's an exertion, usually a hill. This has been my normal pattern since my mid-40's. Well, I didn't get it tested and the doctors didn't see to get me tested. Until now.

And low and behold I have a 20% blockage of my pulmonary artery which worsens with exertion. The surrounding arteries help during the stressed periods but they reach a limit where my heart just can't pump any more blood into the lungs, which are fine, willing and waiting with lots of air. It's just the blood can't get there.

So, with that I will be (when I get the prescription filled) on an agressive dosage of statin and the health supplement CoQ10 for a few months to get my cholesterol down where the body will absorb some of the blockage and increase the blood flow. Or not and it will be what I will live with for the rest of my life, like it's already has been since it started.

Fortunately the heart itself is fine and health with a small murmur from Rheumatic Fever at age three where there is a small area of damage to one valve, but nothing significant anymore. There are no blockages of the arteries on the heart and the heart muscle is sound and strong. That's cool to know.

Five years ago they discovered my heart has an "extra" connection to the brain which quickens the heart rate faster and higher than normal. It can increase from normal to 180+ beats per second in a few seconds, like a breath or two. They saw this on the 24-hour monitor during my exercise workout. They think the heart is correcting for the lack of oxygen with more blood flow, except it simply can't with the blockage.

So, that's my future, lower my cholesterol, which will be difficult if not impossible as my cholesterol level has never been normal, always above. But I have a high (good) HDL count which keeps a lot of stuff in suspension in the blood, but that's also high and needs to come down. I need to get the body to rid itself of most of the floatsom in of the blood.

In the end, the best we can do is keep things from getting worse and work to get it better a little at a time, with lots of hard work, meaning drugs, diet, exercise, and whatever else. And then keep track of this small abnormality so it doesn't spread to my heart or other places herein my body. Like I want that to happen.

So a heart is a heart, and is my heart. Now and until it decides differently. And the best I can do is help it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alas being found

This is more about credit than life, but I've had the same credit card account since 1984. The bank has changed hands over those years, where I think I'm on the 3rd or 4th bank and card from them, but it's been a continuous line of credit. Don't tell the bank that because each time I've had to rebuild my credit rating with them. For some reasons, the new bank in takeovers erases the old credit history of the old bank's customers, or so it seems.

But over the years this time I've built the credit back up. Until this last week when they called to ask if I had made some charges to the account, all in the amount of about $100. This seemed unusual until I checked the charges themselves to discover they were to an on-line porn site. It explains why they caught it. And so they automatically suspended the account, pending my decision, which I agreed to close the account and start a new one.

So after 36 years, I'm one of those who's credit card information has been stolen. I have a list of companies, one really, who stole it, and likely some employee using it to hide his (rarely are these porn-loving people women) obession, and likely addiction, to pornography. He'll find the money wasn't paid and the credit card is useless. But now I have to watch if something else is stolen from my identity.

So, alas, I've been found and am a victim. Small and just a minor inconvenience to get a new card, but still found. Is that what's normal anymore, when you can say you're one of the many who's had their credit card stolen, kinda' "Been there, done that." At least, so far anyway, it's not worse. And what I've learned is how such a few things about yourself are hung off your identity and credit.

I won't say what company I suspect one of their employees of stealing my credit card number, yet. I have to wait to see how they handle a refund. I bought a piece of computer equipment from them, except the first one didn't work at all and the second was a knock-off (not a real company product) of the wrong model. They owe me $130 and I'm still waiting after sending the second mouse back (USPS tracking) nearly 3 weeks ago.

First they offered store credit, except there's nothing they have I want to buy and not from them anymore. Then they offered to credit my account, except it's now closed. And so they're stuck writing a check, which I'm not holding my breath for. I'm not positive this was the company an employee stole the card number, but it's the most obvious one since all the rest are companies I have used before without problems.

I hope he gets caught and fired. I notified them the number was stolen and they're on the very short list of suspect companies.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Boxtops

Few folks, even many of my generation, will remember the Boxtops. A late 60's group. I didn't know who they were let alone their music. I had heard it on the radio, I just didn't attach the songs to the group. Naive about the music then is an understatement. I knew what I liked, bought albums what I really liked, and ignored the rest.

Anyway, a friend in my technical class in the US Air Force invited me to stay at his parents home in Poulsbo, across the Puget Sound from Seattle (Bremerton-Seattle ferry). I had never been to the area and had a week off between school and my first station (McClellan AFB outside of Sacramento, California). I thought, "What the hell."

Well, my friend grew up there. We travelled around the area, especially into Seattle on Saturday night, doing the obvious, trying to score some grass (you figure it out). Well, we did, but it turned out bad stuff and while it kinda' worked, it left me with a headache for the weekend. Anyway, while coming back from Seattle on the ferry, he decided to stop by a local club with live music.

I'm not sure where we were the whole time I spent there, especially that Saturday night, but it didn't matter. The club was typical of clubs then, and many still, but less fancy. It had one door at one end to enter and exit but no one checked anyone. You simply walked in. On one end near the door was the bar, full of people.

A little way in pass the bar you went through an opening which opened to a big dance floor, again full of people, with a stage on part of one of the longest sides opposite the entrance. On the stage were the group The Box Tops. I only remember a few songs which I later looked up on their records. There were a pop 40 and more a bubble gum band.

After a set we left and went home. The rest of the week was a blur and lost to forgetfulness. All these years later the only thing I really remember is the music. But sure making listening to it fun. That and being 20 in my mind again.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Water Temperature

I spent the first 13 years of my USGS career as a field technician, the first 6 as a hydrologic technician and the next 7 as a professional hydrologist. All of those years were in what was called the basic data section or in a field office, first Eugene, Oregon, next Phoenix, Arizona and last Tacoma, Washington. The USGS requires all field people to have a thermometer to measure water temperature.

It is a requirement during every visit to any surface water (creek, stream, river, etc.) site or gage to measure the water temperature and record the date and time associated with the measurement. This goes back to the 1950's and the information is available on every field inspection summary (from 9-207) for every site or gage.

At some of the sites, the USGS operates a water temperature recorder. The technology of the water temperature instruments has obviously evolved from the 1950's thermograph, to digital sensors with paper tape recorders, to fully electronic sensors and recorders. The data is published in the Annual Data Reports for each state.

At the end of the water (also government fiscal) year (October 1 to September 30) the data is reviewed and published. The water temperature data was produced and reviewed under some rules which the USGS felt at the time were reasonable. It's safe to say now, it wasn't right, just reasonable to avoid conflicts in the data. Some of those rules still exist, which are based on some assumptions which aren't entirely accurate or correct.

Really? Yes, the USGS thought they were common sense and they weren't interested in getting embarrassed with the data. So during the production and review process there were checks for these rules and the data was "adjusted" to accommodate the rule. The adjustment wasn't great and really insignificant, but still an adjustment. And they were?

First, flowing water freezes at 0 degrees C (water temperature was always published to degrees Centigrade for international standards). This isn't exactly true and flowing water can be colder than 0.0 degrees, even as much as -1.0, but that's extreme. It's common to measure and record temperatures up to -0.3 degrees when there was sufficient flow to keep the water from freezing.

I know this to be true because I measured it one day at one of the gages on my field trip. Winberry Creek near Lowell, Oregon (12-150800). It was a cold January day, where everything was frozen. I got to the station about 8 am and after checking everything I went down to the bank to read the outside gage and take the water temperature. I measured -0.2 degrees.

The air temperature, something we also measured, was far colder (can't remember exactly, but very cold, in the ten's). Since I had my wading boots on, preparation for making a discharge measurement, I waded into the stream and up and down the stream taking more measurements to check.

And sure enough, while there was ice in the stream near the banks, the entire stream was at -0.2 degrees. The recorder also recorded this value. We later changed the value to 0.0 degrees to fit the rules for publication. So, when you see 0.0 degrees in the USGS data, it could be from -0.2 (or colder) to 0.05 degrees. Trust me. As they say, been there done that.

The other two rules I think have been either revoked or ignored in recent years because it doesn't make sense or match reality. It never did, the USGS only decided they didn't want to publish data that seened odd. And how so odd? The rules were simple.

The first is that the lowest (coldest) recorded temperature of any day couldn't be higher than the highest (warmest) temperature of any adjacent day. The second is the corollary, the highest temperature of any day couldn't be lower than the lowest of any adjacent day.

This rule breaks down under two situations.

First is when the weather changes dramatically across midnight from either a cold spell to a warm spell (storm or cold fronts) or the reverse. This happens in the data because you're recording data at 11 pm, the last measurement, for one day and midnight for the next, the first measurement for the next day. The water temperature for the last value of the day (11 pm) could be lower than or higher than the opposite extreme of the adjacent days.

The second is at gages below reservoirs where adjustments are made in the outflow from differents parts of the reservoir. Normally there is adequate vertical mixing in small to moderate reservoirs where the water temperature isn't so extreme, but for larger reservoirs there can be significant differences in the vertical profile from the different inlets to the dam and in the subsequent outlfow.

This means changes in those outflows can significantly change the water temperature of the river. This is seen in the data for large reservoirs where the water temperature will jump several degrees in a short time, usually hours. This, if timed right such as overnight, will cause the temperature anamoly in the data between adjacent days.

The USGS overcame this rule by making every day 25 hourly values and including both midnights in the dataset for the day. This avoids this conflict, but it will happen occasionally that the same value (midnight) could be recorded as the extreme for both days, which is another conflict, but one they'll live with the rarity of it.

Anyway, this is just my experience and thoughts on water temperature.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Blood Sweat and Tears

The 1960's group, not life or the related substances of life. It's was a popular group in 1969 when I enlisted. I remember in basic training when when got two Saturday passes. The first one was a town pass, which I learned to regret. A group of us decided to catch the bus downtown (from Lakeland AFB to San Antonio). We ended up on the river walk which was relatively new then.

We walked the distance of it before crossing and walking. Some in the group wanted to go to a porno movie, common then before it took off as a commercial development. Two of us declined saying sitting in a theater was the last place we wanted to be on our afternoon off. So we kept walking until we met the bus back.

The second time is the one that sticks in the mind the most. We had the Saturday afternoon off and I found there was a dance going on at the on-base hall, which was a converted bomber hanger, meaning it was huge, on par of a large convention hall commonly found in downtown centers.

And in the center of it was a huge wooden dance floor. There was hundreds of airmen standing around the floor listening to the music and watching the lucky ones who got a dance with the few hundred young women bussed in for the dance. I don't recall where they came from, all were older high school, young college or just young (18-24) women.

It was kinda the old USO type event. The music was from the sound system by the DJ there to spin the records. All I really remember was walking in the main entrance door which replaced the hanger door to another set of doors to the dance hall from the foyer, probably to help keep control the temperature.

Well, walking into the large dance hall, the first song I heard was Blood, Sweat & Tears song, "You make me so happy." The opening organ and the singer. I don't know why but that song has been with me the whole time, because not long after the song started and I walked to the edge of the dance floor when a young women asked me to dance.

I accepted. So we danced. At the end we parted, I said thanks and she went on to another man to dance. But I still remember and wonder why she picked me out of hundreds just standing there waiting to be asked. Me. A shy, partly stuttering, can't dance young man.

When I finished basic training, and then technical training, and was assigned to McClelland AFB north of Sacramento, CA, I bought a simple stereo system. And their album was one of the first in my collection. For one song, and then liked the whole album, but mostly just one song, a memory and a long-forgotten woman who danced with me when I most needed it.

I don't remember her, obviously, but I remember the song. I stayed until they played it again, never got to dance again, and left. And yes, the song and her made me so happy. If only for an afternoon. It has lasted a lifetime.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting older sucks

Sometimes. Ok, most days once you're 60, sucks and the prospects aren't much better. It's the old idea between 40 and 50 you're ok, but after 50, the downhill slope starts and after 60 steepens. It doesn't really matter how fit and healthy you are, everyone goes downhill and all the small things you were up to then come to live with you fulltime.

You can exercise all you want, it won't change things except for the rare person who's genes afforded them a better body to stay fit and healthy longer. But even for them, it comes at a price, excercising harder and longer to slow the rate of the decline. They can't get better, only keep themselves from getting worse faster.

And I'm among the crowd now. Gone are the mornings of running easily 3+ miles, hiking 8-12 miles in a day with a 30-40 lb pack, even with significant elevation gain, and feeling my body at its best. It hasn't been in years and won't be there again. And that's what sucks the most.

And all the small problems that plague us in your youth become significant ones and even important ones. The persistent cold hands then is now constant from fall into spring, even year around taking stuff from the refrigerator and stiffening up within 10 minutes outside in 40 or below temperatures. All the gloves in the world won't help.

And now it's in my toes. My toes are always cold, often turn white then red when warmed. The toes are always slightly to moderately swollen. And all the socks and shoes in my closet won't keep them warm. And with my hands, this condition won't fade with time, and only get worse each year. The reality of my genes.

The problems with food and my digestive system, then considered reasons for a joke, are constant. Food can be and often is my enemy, watching what I eat every day and planning 3-5 days out just in case things don't work or go wrong. And there is nothing medical science can do to diagnose, let alone resolve it.

It's simply a food-sensitive system. I actually feel better when I don't eat. I only feel tired and hungry, instead of eating and feeling full, tired and sleepy. I tell people it's simple, I can write the list of approved foods on a 3x5 postit note. The list is longer occasionally but then the system and body goes south and shuts down for days on end. No matter what I eat, if anything.

And yes I know, in many ways I'm lucky to have only these few aliments at 60. I'm generally fitter and healthier than most people at 60. I can still run some distance and walk farther. I can go my outdoor photography with 40-50 lbs of camera gear, if only for a few miles. All when on the good days.

My Dysthymia comes and goes from mild to moderate (no drugs), and occasionally goes south for a few days. I know the symptoms and I've learned to float through them by puttering ("sweep the floor") on better days and watching TV (couch potato) on worse days. And I know it fades back to normal (chronic low to ok) eventually. I have just be patient.

And no, there's no cure, no "Get over it" thing, no drug, etc. that helps. I've learned at times to find the value in it, like even now, seeing what I'm thinking and feeling. To explore where I'm at mentally and emotionally, and find outlets, which not surprisingly helps get through it.

This is something you don't get over, only through. I don't want to chase the drug regimen, the forever, lifelong path of finding a drug, waiting while it works, hoping it does (all are only 50% effective), then monitoriing if it's fading to increase the dosage or find a new or additional drug. And repeat this cycle every 2-3 years. No thanks.

Knowing who I am is better than not knowing if it's me or the drug. This way I know the truth and reality of me. Nothing else, just me. I can deal with that. And writing is one of my drugs. Even while writing this in the darkening evenng hours I am slowly feeling better, like the depression is draining out my fingers.

And my humor comes back. That's my mental and emotional thermometer. My quirky, obscure, obtuse humor. I little Gary Larson, a little Robin Williams and a little Will Rogers. Weird huh? But friends love it when I'm funny. At least the smile and even laugh. It's tells me I'm normal again, for me.

And I don't see being 60 as bad. I don't hate my body as much (have always hated it). I can see, understand and accept the reality of my life. Appreciate the life and work to date. Look forward to tomorrow and the future. And feel ok, comfortably ok. For now and for, hopefully, awhile longer, until everything comes back.

But until then I'll smile and watch life and the world go by with some measure of satisfaction and enjoyment. And slowly the photographic eye and motivation comes back to pick up the camera bag and venture again to look, see and capture. In the end, what else is there?

Saturday, January 9, 2010


In the past, I've always hated my cooking, with only a few exceptions, and mostly baked chicken. I was always good at fixing the obvious simple meals, a sandwich, oatmeal, eggs, etc. I learned it from the time I was about six. My parents taught us the basics of getting through life and as kids it meant knowing and doing the basics. We kept our rooms clean and orderly, made the bed, made our breakfast and lunch for school, and so on.

But I never really learned to cook, and the military didn't help living in barracks with a mess hall and local fast food places. And when I was married Linda was the cook. And she was a great one. Horrible at cleaning, but that was my job. The kitchen always looked like a hurricane came through after she was finished. She never left anything untouched, usually with grease, butter, flour, etc. and never left a pot or pan unused. But she could cook.

When we separated and later divorced, she gave me the basic cookware set and gave me one rule, which is simple to remember. She said, "You can cook anything at 350 (degrees) for one hour." Well, it's true 90+% of the time and the rest you simply adjust the time shorter or longer. And I've lived with that rule ever since. The only difference was about 10 years ago.

One day the handle on the last frypan broke. I had nothing to cook eggs. So I noticed a large department chain had Calphahon cookware on sale. I went there and liked it, so I bought the large basic cookset and a few specific types of pots, pans,bakeware, utensils, etc. And over the next few years added a few more when the need arose. It's cool stuff.

I mean really cool stuff. You don't know how bad cookware can be until you've used cookware of this quality and calibar. It's a lifetime investment you'll never regret. Ever. It pays for itself with the way it controls and dispense the heat for the cooking. You have to be really bad, totally forgetful, or stupid to ruin or burn food with this stuff.

Then I proceeded to learn to cook more meals. At least until my digestive system really went south and it collected dust until this year when the system began sorta' working again and I could try new foods and try cooking again. It happened in June, when 3 monthes earlier they found an infection in my jawbone which had destroyed all of the inside the jaw around and below a tooth and spreading to the neighboring teeth.

I still have another 1-2 years before the jaw is fully healed and completely normal again (no drugs), but, while the system is going through some dynamic changes and reactions, it's slowly getting better. Ok, different. Better is relative because it's still not normal, but at least my list of approved foods is longer and including more foods I've long had problems with.

Since then I dragged out the cookware, replaced all the foods in the cupboards (long expired) and set a plan to try one new food or meal a week, from all the meats to all the grains and fresh and cooked vegetables. And all with the Calphalon cookware. It restored my faith in them as the best cookware for ordinary cooks like me. You don't have to worry about the cooking, only the food.

And I've slowly began to like my cooking, even some baking. In the past I've been what I call, "the 5-minute cook", meaning if I can't fix it in 5 minutes or prepare it and stuff it in the oven in 5 minutes, I don't cook it. I've extended it to 10-15 minutes for dishes you have to watch, stir and add components during the cooking process.

What does it mean? Well, last year I routinely told people the list of foods I can eat you can write on a postit note with room for notes. On one side too. Well, it's now longer for routine foods and even longer for occasional foods. To test foods or meals I use the baseball rule. I give the food or meal two tries.

If it creates mild adverse reactions with those times, I mark it on the list to avoid, but maybe try again later. If it still creates a bad reaction, it's out for a longtime, only to revisit well into the future. If it doesn't change, It's on the list of something to try again for a third time in the near future. In short, I give food three strikes before it's off the list of even possible foods or meals.

The problem is that some foods are creating mixed reactions as the body fights and recovers from the infection. But I don't know if it's the food or the body, because even former ok foods are creating mild adverse reactions. I just have to keep waiting for the body to recover and the digestive system to find itself where I can know better about foods and meals.

But until then I love my Calphahon cookware. It makes me a better cook and makes the food better to enjoy.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Finding Linda

Folks, I need to find Linda Brown. She used to be Linda Knowles. We married in 1971 and divorced in 1984. After that we remained in contact until these recent years. I didn't send out Christmas cards in 2008 and the last contact I've had with her was in 2007 when she was living in Brownsville, Oregon and working at a hospital in Eugene, Oregon. She has sold her property and is probably in retirement somewhere.

She was, and still is, a wonderful person and woman. I owe a lot to her over the years we were married. We had fun, and as usual went through all the trials and tribulations of marriage until we separated in 1983. I was an amicable separation and marriage because we realized we had changed so much, and while we loved each other, we would marry each other. So we let each other go and have a life, and hopefully find a new and maybe better love.

She remarried, hence the new last name, and then divorced a few years later. She had plans to move to Italy or Spain when she retired, but some injuries and illnesses a few years ago changed the plans, or so I thought. So she may have moved to accommodate any medical treatments or move closer to work if she hasn't retired, and in the process forgot to let other folks know.

Anyway, she's in my will and estate plan, and so I need find her if only to update her contact and address, but really to see how she's doing. So, if you know her, please let her know to contact me. She's knows my e-mail, also found here. I'd appreciate it. And if you do, I'll give you a box of ten photo cards of your choice of eight different sets.

Thanks for any help people you can provide. Unfortunately, this was the last photo of her, dated in the early 1970's. She's the same except older, like we all are since then, with shorter hair.

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

We all make them and we all break them. But it's not really about the latter, but more about the former and that we're aware of what we should do rather than what we would like to do or even will do. That's what New Year's resolutions are for, looking ahead and promising we'll do and be better. And like the old adage, "Yeah, right."

Well, I'm no different, so here's what I plan to do this coming year, or at least work toward those goals or make some progress for finishing some projects and work. To me, it's all about increments and the old saying with these, which is sometimes something is better than nothing. So here goes something and in no particular order of priority or importance.

First, finish my life project I started in 2006. This one actually isn't really late or I'm behind, since the average time from start to finish is 3-5 years. So I'm doing ok, and progress now is more about the money and finding it in the budget to finish or be almost finished.

Second clean the storage area. This one is the annual add to the list and hope something is done, but I know nothing has been done in 3 years now. It's overdue and needing a week of work, it's not something I look forward to. It's a lot of driving back and forth and finding places to recycle or trash the junk. And it's a lot more time finding buyers for some of the treasures.

Third, finish the Mt. Rainier NP photo guide, which by all accounts can be done. The followup is to produce the draft book version of the guide, as on-line PDF's and publication copy to find a publisher, either a company or self-publishing.

Fourth, get back in shape. With the health issues the last two years and the life project, my fitness has gone south. It's not bad, but it's not what it was, and being 60 now exercising only makes it harder and tougher. The point is simply try and try consistently.

Fifth, get the damn business license. It takes a day trip to the capitol (city) office of licensing. Then learn the accounting or tax work or find a CPA.

Sixth, ride the mountain bike and walk more. See the fourth item. Town is only 2.5-3+ miles away. What's not to understand to save wear and tear on the van and save gas too.

Seventh, save more money and get rid of the last debt. The latter is more important for the immediate future.

Eighth, replace the computer with a new Mac G5 Pro so I can continue with the work, business and projects. It's a G5 PPC which isn't supported very much by Apple and won't be by Adobe and other software companies as the proportion of them drops.

Nineth, get the van fixed, waxed and kept cleaned. It has a few minor bugs which I've lived with or ignored. Time to get them out of the way. The van runs great and is reliable and durable. Only the small things are for appearances.

Tenth and lastly, simplify my life. I have too much stuff and too many things to do.

And so, that's it. I'll look back at the list occasionally during the year and see how it's going. They're all doable and some even accomplishable. That said, I'll keep you posted.