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).