2022 – Crossing The Finish Line

As we finish crossing off the final days from our 2022 calendars, I thought about revisiting some of the topics that I wrote on during this past year.

The very first post of 2022 was about my retirement. No, not from my day-job, but from the miserable task of plumbing. What started as a failed attempt at cleaning a drain clog turned into a deepening relationship with Jake – my plumber.

Jake and his crew have been to our house several times this year, most recently early in December to solve a new clog that resulted in water from our washing machine being pumped into our bathtub, where it stayed for several hours as it slowly trickled out. That one has been fixed temporarily, but is soon going to require a solution that involves digging in the yard. My retirement has been fabulous. Expensive, but fabulous.

The end of January saw a taste test of favorite Canadian snack foods, which I (and others in my family) enjoyed quite a bit. Late in the fall my eldest son had the opportunity to travel to Ireland, and brought me back some samples of Irish treats. He did not bring any Guinness, unfortunately, but then I already had some of that.

I have been successful in not locking myself out of my car again since I wrote about the experience in February. That piece (and experience) comes to mind often as I make sure my keys are in my hand before I push the lock tab. Yes, I know I should get the remote locking feature fixed on my aging car. But it seems that Jake the plumber has gotten much of the auto repair budget for the year.

I hit one new county (Counting Counties from March 4th) but have not started smoking a pipe (March 11th). Marianne remains very much alive so there will be no pipe smoking here for the foreseeable future. However, I have gotten some vicarious satisfaction from reading a blog by reader and occasional commenter Ted Shideler, who covers pipes and pipe smoking, among his varied topics.

I have continued my adherance to the JP Diet (from April 29th), and it has resulted in some personal growth. My doctor would prefer that my personal growth take other forms, but isn’t more always better? Part of this growth has come from my continued devotion to the Baby Ruth candy bar. (June 3).

Since the first of August I have been writing about the cars I have owned through my life, and wrote about it here on July 16th. Each week I have tried (and mostly succeeded) to remember to attach a link to the most recent installment. This process is in the home stretch and will run into early February. For someone who has relationships with his cars, it has taken awhile to cover all 29 of them. I had hoped that I might get that number up to 30, but that has not yet happened and a quirk of fate has allowed me to meet that goal. Stay tuned, its story will be told.

Both Cocoa Crispies (July 29th) and CoCo Wheats (December 9th) have been intermittent parts of a healthy and balanced breakfast here at the JPC breakfast table. Resulting in more of that personal growth, to be sure. I have not, however, followed through on my desire to start wearing hats (August 26th). Maybe it is that I hate shopping for apparel of any kind. I will need to overcome that distaste if I expect to have a hat to tip. I have, however, been much more successful at the semi-regular wearing of my 40+ year old Florsheim dress shoes. (October 7th). It is good to be traditional.

I wrote about Velveeta cheese on November 11th. We finished the box. But it was after publication when we got to the end and I tried something new – I decided to try spreading the last bit of Velveeta on crackers. It may be the best use I have ever experienced for Velveeta. It was soft, spread easily, and tasted surprisingly good as a snack.

I can also report that readership has been up. After a kind of plateau over the last three years, we broke through with a roughly 15% jump to over 21,000 page views. I have a love-hate relationship with stats like this. I will admit that I love the affirmation of more views, but also realize that this number pales to the readership of some other bloggers (and probably is a figure that other bloggers want to hit). If I were really into boosting stats there are ways I could do that, but have not made that my priority. (I thought about linking the car stories to a second weekly post, but that would be cheating.) I am happy that there are folks out there who want to read what I write and I enjoy the interaction with many of you in the comments.

In a couple of days, though, none of those stats matter because we are starting at zero for one more year. It is hard for me to believe that this endeavor will soon have lasted for eight years (presuming I don’t get hit by a bus before July, that is). But for now, please accept my wishes that each of you to has a great 2023, filled with all of the good things you may hope for (and some you may not have thought of yet).

Image credit: Cover artwork from the sales brochure for the 1956 Chrysler 300B (advertised as “America’s most powerful car!”)

COAL Update: We bought this one brand new, as a special order that took months to arrive. It is still doing daily duty (albeit with a few infirmities due to old age).

37 thoughts on “2022 – Crossing The Finish Line

  1. Nearly nine years? Of all the good stuff you mentioned, that is what jumps off the page to me.

    Here’s to nine more – and nine more – and nine more after that!

    Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks muchly! Actually, you just caught me being a little optimistic – it is actually starting the movement to 8 years, not 9. I need to go back and edit that. This, you see, is why I could never made it through engineering school.

      Like

      • You just discovered what is called a Factor of Safety. If you want a bridge to hold a load of 100,000 pounds you build it to hold twice that. So 9 is safer than 8!

        Liked by 1 person

      • If you mean that factor that allows me to assume that every curve or ramp can be taken safely at 20 mph over the posted speed, then I am familiar. 🙂

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  2. Regarding the site statistics, I come here for the quality, not the quantity. “J. P. Clinkers” are few and far between!

    Best wishes for a healthy & happy 2023 to JPC, family and fellow readers!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lots of great reading this past year, JP. Your musings are must-reads every Friday morning! You seem to have hit all of my favorites in this write-up. And thanks for the shout-out, too! More pipe stuff is in the ‘pipe’-line for 2023! Har har.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks – I always look forward to your postings as well, though I am running about 10 days behind right now. I should add that on a recent trip to northern Indiana I was looking at the rooflines and window heights on old houses, seeing if they pass the TCS test for the ID of an old schoolhouse.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think everyone is running behind. It’s a struggle to stay ahead! And great! Glad to hear you’re applying the rules, haha. I’ll tell you what- I found TONS of them in southeastern Ohio on my trip down to South Carolina last week. I had to shut my eyes….

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Good fun this year. Lots of fun things to read, and thanks for the honorable mention in the international snacks department. I may have spoken too soon when declining a return package, now we can’t get Bugles, Little Debbie cakes and Skippy peanut butter!

    https://www.cbc.ca/radio/costofliving/bugles-discontinued-canada-snack-substitute-1.6684853#:~:text=Bugles%20not%20only%20U.S.%20snack%20to%20leave%20Canada&text=Bagel%20Bites%2C%20a%20Kraft%20Heinz,manufactured%20by%20McKee%20Foods%20Corp.

    By the way, we LOVED Ireland this year. The Guinness really is better in Dublin, you should go if you get a chance.

    Happy New Year all, and best wishes for 2023

    Liked by 1 person

    • On the Irish theme, my eldest came into town after visiting an Irish meat market in Chicago. He came with fresh bangers and white pudding and cooked a full Irish breakfast for the whole family, which also included bacon, Canadian bacon, hash browns, eggs, beans and toast. It was fully compliant with the JP diet, in case you were wondering.

      No Bugles? Maybe you need a care package there after all.

      Like

  5. Happy New Year JP! Your stats are admirable. Your Honda still looks good – my 2006 Honda civic is still in good shape other than a small dent on the driver’s door, but I hate the thought of shopping for a replacement. I would be happy to just replace it with the same thing, but I heard Honda was going to stop selling gas vehicle by 2030 and I tend to keep my cars for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well JP, I had a hankering for several food items after reading your blog posts throughout this year. I reminisced over the Canadian treats, having lived there until age 10 and stocking up on Coffee Crisps, Aero Bars and other treats while visiting my grandmother until she passed away in 1986. Your posts left me wanting some Velveeta as it had been years since I had tasted it. I’ve still not found the Baby Ruth bars – my Meijer does not carry them, but maybe that’s a good thing too for my waistline. I enjoyed Cocoa Crispies for the first time in years and drinking the chocolate milk left in the bowl made me realize how boring I had become having oatmeal 365 days a year – whew, I felt enlightened (maybe it was that sugar high?) I’ve learned some things about cars in your posts and wow, a #30 car … well, we will stay tuned for that in your COAL blog. I will celebrate my 10-year “blogiversary” in February 2023 and the first five years, I had a handful of e-mail subscribers and only two commented, until a WordPress blogger discovered me in November 2017, some four and one-half years into my blogging journey. Oddly enough, looking at my number of followers would make my posts seem quite popular, when in fact, I actually only interact with ten to fifteen fellow bloggers on a regular basis. Hmm.

    Liked by 2 people

      • Joni – I had not had it in years and I got the 2% Velveeta, so I can’t say I noticed a difference from the original, but it has been years since I had Velveeta. My mom used to use it for homemade mac & cheese as she baked it with a cracker crumb or bread crumb crust on it. And grilled cheeses too. I remember when I still had a microwave, I used to buy the small Velveeta sauce cups to have with tortilla chips. I eat so boring now.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Goodness, it sounds like I may be a bad influence on you, encouraging your dietary habits towards the dark side. 🙂

      I see the same thing – a good number of page views and visitors, but very few who actually leave comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ha ha … well we have to stray to the dark side sometimes. Speaking of dark, I’ve been eating a square or two of dark chocolate for years as heart disease runs in the family on my mother’s side. A few weeks ago, the news reported cadmium and minerals in dark chocolate can make you very ill. Never heard that before – luckily my brand was not affected. I’m sure a Baby Ruth is better than 92% cacao any day.

        It is deceiving as to stats sometimes.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I imagine your neighbors wanted to feel your forehead when they saw a more compact car parked in your driveway after all those years. I am glad you relented and Marianne didn’t need to use a stick shift. I’ve never driven a stick shift – the ’73 Super Beetle only needed to be put into second gear when on the expressway. It’s a shame salt wreaks havoc with our cars in our respective states. I had never heard of a Honda Fit and no one I know around here drives a Honda. That’s a long life for that car – my Regal was 21 when I got rid of it, but it was always considered a pleasure car for insurance purposes as I took the bus for years to Downtown Detroit so the care stayed in the garage except on weekends so it had low mileage. I didn’t remember gas prices were as high as $4.00/gallon in 2006. How quickly we forget.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I would imagine that Hondas and other foreign brands have traditionally had a small market share in the Detroit area. Even in my hometown in northeastern Indiana, penetration of non-US brands were relatively low.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, the Motor City does not want the foreign brands competing with the local product. My father had his VW Fastback keyed a few times and my boss, a labor attorney for management, went to the union hall for negotiations with the Teamsters one time and parked his Toyota SUV in the parking lot. He came out hours later to find star nails around the tires. (He said it was the Toyota they resented, not him. ) They did all the negotiations in the same venue, so going forward he parked a few blocks away and walked or took his wife’s car that day. It’s too bad if the foreign cars are more reliable (although my VW Super Beetle was a lemon from day one, but that was because of the automatic stick/no clutch or so I was told by the foreign car mechanic).

        Liked by 1 person

      • Very true, there were some places in the old industrial midwest that were far less friendly to non-US-built cars than was the case in most of the country.

        Liked by 1 person

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