Endless Summer Slacking

We get the nicest days this time of year. It’s getting on a month since we got back from our trip, and for the most part it’s been just beautiful and great to spend time outdoors, although it’s starting to get dark noticeably earlier.

I’ve gotten back into biking and skating.

I took my mountain bike out three times now, to a place near my house called Nature Study Woods. It’s mostly pretty flat but the hilly parts also tend to be the stoniest trails, which is unfortunate. First time out it felt pretty difficult. I was thinking of getting a new mountain bike since mine is from the ’90’s and doesn’t have any shock absorbers like modern bikes have. But then it got easier next time out. Still it might help with pulling up a really stony hill.

Last time out I saw a fox, which is cool, and there was a tree down across the trail, which was not so cool. It had become so overgrown with vines that the weight of the vines caused the tree to collapse. So to get by I had to hack out a tunnel thru the wreckage with my bare hands.

As for skating, I haven’t gotten off my block yet. Three times so far I put on my skates and rolled up and down my street and to the dead end around the corner for a half hour or so. My skates are old and pretty shot too, and the pavement around here is old and bumpy. I used to go all over the place and it never bothered me, hills and all. But I’m thinking of getting new skates too, and also finding a place where the pavement is nice and smooth.

I told my friend Brandon at work I was thinking of new skates. Like me he’s a half-Canadian former hockey player. He said, “those are words I haven’t heard in a long time.” It’s question whether it’s worth it, if I’m likely to keep on skating thru the fall and again next spring. As luck would have it, they paved part of my street last week, up near the dead and, so I have a nice smooth place nearby now. I’m gonna test it out next time I go out and then decide.

We also managed to do a camping trip this summer, over Labor Day weekend. Jeannie and I went up to Mongaup Pond in the Catskills, where we met Martin and his family. It was a great campout, best I’ve had in years. We used to go for many years when our kids were little and it was a whole lot of families. Now our kids are older and not into camping, but Martin’s are at the age where they really enjoy it. So we did some hiking an built some fires and cooked lots of meat over flame, stayed up late talking, even rented a couple canoes and paddled around the lake. It was actually really cold at night, and I’m glad we brought lots of warn stuff to bundle up in. All in all very relaxing, and perfect break before the new school year and all that.

Last fall Jeannie and I went for a few hikes, and this weekend we started up again. We went to a nearby place this morning called Saxon Woods. The hike was about three miles of moderately hilly trails, nothing too taxing, very pleasant. We have a whole list of places to check out but many are further afield, so it’s good to explore what’s close by too.

Now all the fall stuff is back and happening. Michelle is in school, Jeannie is working five days a week, my jazz group is rehearsing again and has some gigs coming up (more on that soon). My new rock band looks like it’s getting off the ground; everyone is in and down with the plan. Now we’re picking tunes and lining up the date for the first rehearsal. Meanwhile I’ve recorded all the sax parts for my song Sun of the Son, and it’s sounding great, including a shredding solo. Next is to fill out the keyboard parts and go back and tweak the drums, then on to mixing.

At work we seem to have finally won the epic marathon battle against bugs. It’s been my primary focus off and on the last year, as well as lot of other developers and management and the company as a whole. My team has gone from hundreds and hundreds of open bugs to just a couple dozen and still dwindling. Along the way we’ve made substantial improvements to the code quality at every level from architecture to formatting.

In other news I’ve been putting alot of time on the Global Jukebox. We’ve been making an educational section called Find Your Musical Roots, for use in New York City School classrooms. It’s been a big effort and there’s still a way to go. We have a major check-in tomorrow. It ought to be ready to go live sometime this fall.

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