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Saturday, December 19, 2015

Its been a good year...?

The year in review:

On Christmas Evening 2014 we returned home from my in laws to find our freezer broken and our cherished stock of cranberry sauce (being saved for next Thanksgiving) about to spoil. This required an emergency midnight run back to Keuka lake with our foodstuffs.  Then I had to fix the freezer over the holiday.

We made the decision to go with a high deductible health plan so we could use some specific health care providers.  

Dishwasher broke, 2 weeks later the microwave broke.  I had to replace them both. (This might have happened last year..its all kind of running together)

The kitchen faucet started raining water into the basement. Delta faucet replaced the parts with defective ones from China. After hours on the phone and 5 different overnight deliveries I had a working kitchen faucet again.

About half a dozen shut off valves all started leaking and had to be replaced.

I literally replaced every valve and hose under the kitchen sink before it was dry again.

The garage roof sprung a leak and had to be replaced ($1600).

I jumped into Keuka Lake with my eye glasses on and they promptly ended up in the deep where they could not be found. Replacements cost $550. Had to wear my prescription sunglasses at work for two weeks. I was stylish.

There is a water theme here.

The riding mower blew a head gasket and turned into a bug fogging machine.

5 days before departing on our dream trip to Alaska I ruptured my Achilles tendon and had to have it surgically repaired. Alaska vacation cancelled. The decision to get the high deductible health plan now hurts worse than the Achilles injury.

and on Thanksgiving day we found out the frozen cranberry sauce had spoiled.

Now why do you say has it been a good year...

My mom graciously bought us a new riding mower, We can now mow the grass in half the time and it looks twice as good. The reduction in carbon emissions earned me citation from the G6.

My new eyeglasses are fantastic. I was struggling with my old ones in seeing the golf ball at address. I got specific  HD golf lenses and it took strokes off my golf score.

The week we were supposed to be in Alaska had terrible weather and we would not have been able to do any of the activities we planned. We did got a full refund and are going next year.

I have a much quieter and cleaner dishwasher, better microwave (Although the convection oven combined feature is making the RQ yell OWTH at General Electric.)

Brad made fresh better cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving and we enjoyed it immensly.

Turning negatives into positives is what it is all about...You have two choices
1) Complain about your misfortune and be miserable.
2) Do something about it and figure out how to turn it around.  In every negtive is an opportunity to be miserable or to be innovative.

...but the best part of the year is we are all healthy and happy, we acquired a new family member (Dude Ranch) and we count our blessings every day.

Here's hoping 2016 brings a healed Achilles, a thrilling Alaska adventure and no more new family least until I say so.! 

Back to the future

I have been a little sheltered the past 5 years. I have not done much traveling and am activities are generally limited to driving to work, working and returning home. I don't listen or watch the news regularly nor do I incessantly stare at my phone.  I was absolutely shocked when I took a trip to Switzerland via Toronto and I must have looked like I had just arrived from 1982. A few of the surprises.

Toronto has a toll road which monitors your usage by taking a picture of your license plate and sending you a bill. I still have not received the bill but I was in a rental car, so we will see if it gets back to me.

When I arrived at the Toronto Airport parking garage I saw a line of Teslas plugged into chargers while their owners traveled. They also provide valet service at the departure drop off and wash your car and store it in a nice glass enclosed area.

At the gate lounge area the usual uncomfortable airport seats were replaced by couches and arm chairs each with its own iPad for you to use. You could order food on the iPad and they would bring it to you. 10 minutes before my departure the iPad in front of me told me so and asked if I would ilke coffee or Tea before I got on the plane. Presumably it didnt know that would make me want to pee and that is not an urge I want to have when sitting in the center row in economy.

Apparently airlines have stopped serving anything resembling edible food during flights and economy seating has been reduced to less leg room than my knees need to not impale into the seat back in front of me.

Upon arriving in Zurich I was chauffeured to my meeting by a self driving car. I looked at the driver in horror as he had his hands off the wheel and foot off the gas and brake while we were traveling 100 kph in rush hour traffic.

The hotel elevator required I wave my room key in front of a little panel to activate it. Then the room door, lacking any kind of slot for the key required a similar wave in front of the knob. Then upon entering the room the room key had to be inserted in a slot to activate the light and climate control.  It was a miracle I made it into the room at all.

Everything is automated from ordering lunch at a restaurant to getting your boarding pass and submitting customs documents. Old people are standing at the kiosks yelling for help. "Miss, Miss where am I supposed to stick this form?"

Which begs the question. Why is technology putting hurdles in front of me that I am instinctively supposed to know how to over come?