July? What’s that??

Holy crap, July just flew by! What the heck was that?! I’ll sum things up: I called Karen, my sister who lives in Florida, just to catch up. Loretta asked Sandy to have me call her. She was very shocked, but said it made her day. And it was, in fact, her birthday that day! Of all the days to call, I unknowingly chose her birthday. That was interesting. After our conversation, I started writing a long letter to her, catching her up on me, my family and old memories. That took awhile to write, but I got it done and even included dozens of old photos, culled from several of my dad’s old photo collections, which I had scanned and posted online. Unfortunately, Karen doesn’t have Internet or a computer, so I had to go “old school” and copy & paste into my Evernote letter. It worked out well, but barely fit into a business envelope! I added an extra stamp just to be sure it wouldn’t return. We’ll see if she likes it. Using Google Street View, I was even able to view the little house she lives in with her friend.

Kevin and I spent a day at the Milwaukee Art Museum in July. That was very fun, and we had a good time. It’s great how they change the exhibits around frequently so there’s always something new to see. Chester and I went to Oshkosh for an Ingress Resistance BBQ as well. Since it was a two hour drive, we made a day of it, leaving Kenosha in the morning and spending the afternoon and evening hacking all the uniques we could find and topping it off with some great food and great people! Ah, smurfs…

I’ve been walking my ass off. Literally. I’ve been taking 2 walks a day, most days, walking a minimum of 1 mile each time, in an effort to lose weight. I guess, since I refuse to totally give up snacking and the food I love, it’s a very slow process, but I’m seeing progress. I really don’t think I could have done it this long without the help of Ingress and Runtastic. Ingress has given me a reason to walk, as often as possible, in an effort to support our lil blue worldwide “smurf” team in an effort to save the world from the evil toads (the green team). I walk to as many portals as I can these days, keeping Runtastic running at the same time, which tracks my walks and provides tons of data and statistics as well as medals, very much like Ingress does. The combination of both apps on my phone has motivated me quite a bit.

Socks is now addicted to walking as well. When I walk in the evenings or on weekends, he’s with me. He needs to lose weight as well, according to the vet, so we’re both working on it. At home now, each evening around the same time, he automatically starts getting excited. On days I’m not going for an evening walk, I have to calm him down and try to get him to understand it’s not going to happen this time. He eventually just gives up, but it’s frustrating to watch him work himself into a frenzy when nothing is going to happen. Seems like such a let-down. He never seems to be angry about not going though, maybe just a little disappointed.

Work has been pretty shaky. We’ve gone to 4-day work weeks twice already this year, each time lasting several weeks. I made up the extra day by using vacation time, but now I’m left without days for an actual vacation. Kinda depressing. On the other hand, I’m looking forward to the big, double, Amazon warehouse they’re building in Kenosha! They’ll be starting to take applications very soon I hear, so who knows.

Milwaukee Art Museum

Milwaukee Art MuseumWe had a very busy weekend! Saturday, Kevin and I went to the “Blues BBQ” event that some of our fellow Ingress Resistance members organized. It was an all-day event that started with a nice potluck BBQ lunch in a park. We had some great food, chatted, and prepared for the afternoon’s events, which included an organized attack and takeover of a large college portal farm, then a planned split-up to various other farms to send a message to the Enlightened. I’m going to leave out most of the details of this mission, because I wouldn’t want to reveal any intel that the Resistance might want to keep under wraps. Kevin and I carpooled with another Resistance member to the college, we performed our portion of the attack and takeover, then quickly brought the college up as a blue L8 farm, then farmed and burned out as many portals as we could before the Enlightened started showing up to flip it back to their side. Kevin and I then got dropped off at the park we had the BBQ at, and grabbed our own car to head to our assigned farm. Kevin and I then had a blast plowing through several large clusters of smog-green-covered areas, flipped them, and made them all a perty blue color. Kevin gained a lot of AP, and he’s very close to L8 now, with just 1 bar left to go. We just need to find and flip one or two more green farms and that should do it. Either that, or if the 25-30 new portals I submitted recently come online soon, that might do it as well.

Sunday we spent the day at the Milwaukee Art Museum. After visiting there a couple times on Milwaukee portal runs, Kevin–being a big art “aficionado”–kept asking if we could go sometime for real–without the portals. So we planned it and went. We ended up getting a family membership because there’s just so much to see there, we’ll definitely be going several more times over the next year. There was a really neat “Art in Animation” exhibit there with a lot of interactive activities for the kids, and Kevin could certainly spend a lot of time just at that one exhibit alone. Sandy came too, and also had a good time. We even had lunch in their cafe and enjoyed the beautiful lake-front view.  I started a Milwaukee Art Museum photo set, so click there to see some of the photos.  I’ve been very slowly and carefully adding the photos to it that I can.  I took a lot of them, but many photos (those from private art collections) I can’t post because of the rules.  The outdoor photos are fine though, so that’s mostly what’s there, and I have many more to add, so if you’re looking at the photos on 7/18/13, there will most likely be several more added by the end of the week.

This week my knees are killing me as I try to recover from the weekend of walking. I hate that I can’t do my daily mile now, because of the extended amount of weekend walking I did. Getting old I guess. Even Socks–now at 77 dog-years old–doesn’t tug as much on our walks.