Sunday, December 11, 2016

a Christmas newsletter of sorts

I took too long of a break from this blog.  So I won't cover all (any?) of the important stuff since summer came and went.  

Church-league softball (and summer itself) ended months ago.  I recall writing about the team's struggles early in the season.  I'm glad to report that we rallied back, winning the semi-final game against Vineyard Blue so that we could face Vineyard Red in the final.  The final was close and hard-fought, for 2 innings.  Then their #10 batter hit a rocket that was beyond me by the time I took two steps back.  I got to it quickly and relayed a throw toward 2nd, hoping to hold him to a double.  He was already on 3rd.  Then, the rest of their team decided they would hit (and run) like that too, and we quickly lost by 10.

My softball fire was not quite quenched after summer, so I joined a friend's team for the fall season.  We had some really excellent athletes, so I could take it easy in right center field.  Fall ball is an interesting mix.  Some teams hit home run after home run (I think one guy hit 4 home runs in the double header against us, including a walk off shot in the 2nd game), others were terrible.  We won about 1/2 our games, one of which on a walk off homer by me, my first over the fence shot in some time.  Our church-league shortstop, Joe, was playing for the other team, so this story can be verified.
 Clara and Janny are in school all day now.  With 2 kids in school, it's much harder to keep tabs on all of the characters there.  Janny helps me remember [redacted's] name, because s/he was the kid that threw up in the classroom just before the end of the day.

Clara and Janny would have perfect behavior scores if not for the miscreants in their classes.  The scores are posted online, so we check on them once in a while.  At most, Clara has two red scores, and they're always because 'the whole class' (Clara excepted) was doing something wrong.  This frustrates her.  She was disappointed in the fall when we took a day off from school to visit our relatives in MI because her chance for perfect attendance for the quarter was gone.  So I bought Clara and Janny prizes for skipping school.  We'll see if that's still needed in about 10 years.

Jill continues to be so happy about having her energy back after surgery earlier this year.  She has retaken up piano learning, so my background music for writing Christmas carols.  Despite her increased energy levels, she would like a housekeeper for Christmas.  I'm trying to do a few more chores, as I'm much cheaper.
 I'm starting to lose... (insert your joke in the comments) ... my fire for minimizing our energy usage.  Our thermostat is now set to a whopping 66 degrees during the day and 60 at night.  Jill is talking me into getting a gas burner insert for our neglected fire place.  Our house has always been very humid in winters (every cold morning I took a squeegee to the windows to remove condensation), so I bought a dehumidifier this year.  It has been pulling about 3/4 of a gallon of water per day from our house, which has me a bit befuddled.  I suspect that the moisture is coming up from our crawl space.  The plastic on the ground has some holes that could be repaired, but I'm thinking that rainfall runoff is the main problem.  I don't have a good plan to solve this yet.

Work continues to be good and challenging.  Recently, I joined the ranks of Wolfram certified trainers (, so feel free to book me for your next training session.  My photo and bio should be on that page soon.
Our church is having a rash of trouble marriages, and some of these are good friends of ours.  This is such a downer.  It's not clear to me if this is a new trend, or just something that I'm able to notice more.  We continue to pray and work on our own marriage.

A number of work colleagues are from cultures where arranged (or 'suggested') marriages are common.  Interestingly, every person that I have asked says that troubled marriages are extremely uncommon in their culture.  One lady said that around year 3 is when the husband and wife typically begin to fall in love.  More investigation required....