A recap, plans, and Happy New Year

The year started out with my wife’s mother, Betsy, having just moved to Missouri.  It turned out to be an opportunity to get to know her better, and I wound up enjoying her company a lot.  Sadly, in May she had a heart attack, and she never really came back fully.  She died in August.

Betsy’s death was one of a variety of factors that have made me start thinking about retirement.  I’m eligible to retire in 2010, and although I probably won’t quit that soon, I’m definitely thinking about it before I’m 60.  Sophie graduated from college this year; only Hannah is left, and she should be done in May 2009.  We won’t have so much in financial obligations then, so financially retirement will be feasible.  More important, I realized that there are lots of things I’d like to do outside of my work.

Since turning 50, I’ve been making a much more focused effort on maintaining my health.  As anyone who’s looked at this blog knows, I’ve been bicycling a lot this year — 5000 miles, including 444 miles across Iowa in RAGBRAI.  I’d like to do a good bit more cycling while I’m still able to.

This year, I plan to do some work on the house; our bathroom needs renovation badly, and I want to move the laundry room up from the basement.  I’m likely to do RAGBRAI again. I’ll do some century rides — I hope to do the Natchez Trace Century again, and no doubt the Tour de Cape, and a few in between.

As for work, I have some things to pull together in my research, although funding is drying up for the things we’ve been doing.  Mainly I want to concentrate on the things that I find interesting and worthwhile, and try to get away from the things that are boring and worthless.  Seems obvious, but I’ve never really thought about it clearly before.  I’m a full professor; I don’t have to do crap that I hate.*

As for my family life, I want to go visit Sophie in Minnesota, and maybe see Cabell and Hannah in Massachusetts.  I’m not going to work all summer this year unless there’s a really compelling reason for it.

That’s it.  My resolutions.  Happy New Year to all of you, and I hope your 2007 will be filled with things that are worth doing.


‘His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?”

Jesus said, “Don’t lie, and don’t do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”‘ — Gospel of Thomas, v.6

5 Responses to “A recap, plans, and Happy New Year”

  1. Sarah says:

    That sounds like a good set of wants and plans to take into the year.

    I’m working on a small supported ride across Nevada (higway 50) for the summer — want to join us if it happens? The riders so far are me, my sweetie Bruce, and my friend Doug. Support, in the form of a Honda full of water containers, will be in the capable and lovely hands of Doug’s wife, Jean. Depending on how tall you are, you can even take a turn on the recumbent.

  2. Allen says:

    Sounds interesting. I’d like to hear more about it. Just how incredibly hot will it be in the summer in Nevada? And I’m 5’6″, so “tall” isn’t an appropriate description, actually.

  3. Sarah says:

    If you’re 5’6″ you’re the perfect height to trade off with the recumbent. It adjusts for lots of leg lengths, but I’m 5’4″ and Bruce is 5’5″ so one us might be able to ride your bike while you ride the Bike-E.

    Nevada in summer is Pretty Freakin’ Hot, but we’re thinking along the lines of riding early in the morning and later in the evening (if we go with the RV rental sag vehicle instead of Jean’s sedan), or just early riding and then staying in motels before the real afternoon scorch sets in.

    To quantify Pretty Freakin’ Hot, Reno’s average high in June is mid- to high-80s, and in July and August is low 90s. The average highs in Ely (almost to the eastern border) are in the 80s all summer. (Ely is about 2000 feet higher than Reno.) Mind you, during a heat wave the temperature hits 104 or 105 in Reno, and has gone as high as 100 in Ely.

    It’s a dry heat, though, and that really does make a lot of difference. Plus, Jean will be carrying the water. Lots of water. With ice.

  4. Allen says:

    Well, that’s not unbearably hot. I did live in Tucson for 10 years, so I know about 100+ temps. I also know about dry heat, which is indeed somewhat more bearable. Once you get above body temp and all the sweat has evaporated, though, it’s just hot. Riding early is a good plan, though.

  5. Sarah says:

    Having Jean with a car full of water should make a huge difference, too. Otherwise we’d be carrying all our water, and on highway 50 there are some 80-100 mile stretches between places to refill. That’s a lot of water weight…

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