Wow! 2023 is ending. Another pretty good year…especially as I feel like the pandemic is fading. I got a covid booster last month, along with my flu shot. It feels like this is going to be a regular thing, but I’ll let the doctors and scientists who study these things exclusively to recommend what I should do. In general, I trust the experts.

So, how did 2023 go? Overall, pretty well. I think I have some pretty good habits that I’ve been following. Though I will admit that around the holidays, my diet is lousy. But I think I’ll clean things up soon. I took a big trip to Europe with the last niece and nephew that I’ll take to Europe. We had a pretty nice trip. The one drawback is I came home with a very sore knee that is still bothering me six months later. But despite my not wanting to go, I am pretty happy that I went. I got to spend some quality time with my niece and nephew. And I got to visit with some good friends. I could see me going back to Europe to visit people again. But I’d like to go someplace that I haven’t been before. Maybe I’d go to Scotland or maybe Scandanavia. Anyway, I did a big trip, so that was good. I also think that I’ve been better about getting together with people. Basically, I accept most invitations and am pretty good about picking up my phone and texting or calling someone. As for failures, my back stairs tops the list. Since my knee basically hurt all summer and fall, I really didn’t do much. So there was no chance that I’d work on the stairs. I got my welder set up in my garage and welded a small coffee table together. Granted, it was supposed to be a table, but I welded the wrong pieces together. So it turned into a coffee table. The welds were fine. They are not coming apart. The one bad part is that one leg is not totally perpendicular to the top. But that’s ok. It’s not coming off. I did buy more steel to make another desk, but my design is going to change. Even making this little coffee table, I learned a lot about steel. One bit is just how heavy it actually is. My original design would work if I were using skinnier/smaller pieces of steel. The 1 1/2” square tubes are very strong and heavy. If I want to use those for a desk, I just need to put a plate on the top that I can use to screw the legs to the top. But this was a really good lesson to learn, so overall…welding is a success for the year. So I’m happy with that. And based on the metal I bought and my welding skills, I do think that I can make metal stairs for my back porch. I could be wrong, but I think it’s definitely worth me trying.

One sort of failure is my work-life balance. I feel like I’m working all the time. And then in November, the university offered a buyout, which I’m eligible for. I don’t have to let them know until February or March and I have to admit that I still haven’t decided. Part of me wants to, just to see what else I could do. Could I maybe start my own company and work for myself? I’d love to be able to do that. However, as an American, I need to buy health insurance. And it’s going to be expensive until I’m old enough to get Medicare. That’s what 10-12 years from now. And insurance, looks like it’s going to cost me around $1,000/month. So I probably need to get another job. And if I’m going to do that, maybe I should just keep the one I have. Though, I do have to start changing things about it. I have to not work so much and have more time to do more of the things I want to do. But I also like the idea of forcing myself to do something entirely different…just to make myself uncomfortable. I think it’s good to get comfortable with making myself uncomfortable.

Anyway, this is a bit of a ramble that I’m doing a few days in advance of New Year’s Eve. First I’m doing it now because I have time. And second I’m doing it because I’m installing all the programs I use on my new laptop. So I want to see if I can get jekyll working. We’ll see if this works.

Note to self I did get things working. First I had to kill the NoMachine software which was running on port 4000, which is what jekyll runs on. Second I had to prepend bundle exec on the jekyll command because it requires jekyll-sass-converter 2.2, while the current version is 3.0.

Joy:coldandheartless $ gem activate jekyll-sass-converter '2.2.0'
ERROR:  While executing gem ... (Gem::UnknownCommandError)
    Unknown command activate
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/3.2.0/rubygems/command_manager.rb:205:in `find_command'
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/3.2.0/rubygems/command_manager.rb:250:in `invoke_command'
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/3.2.0/rubygems/command_manager.rb:192:in `process_args'
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/3.2.0/rubygems/command_manager.rb:150:in `run'
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/3.2.0/rubygems/gem_runner.rb:51:in `run'
  /Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/bin/gem:10:in `<main>'
Joy:coldandheartless $ jekyll s
Resolving dependencies...
/Users/maryh/Software/rubies/3.2.2/lib/ruby/gems/3.2.0/gems/bundler-2.3.3/lib/bundler/runtime.rb:309:in `check_for_activated_spec!': You have already activated jekyll-sass-converter 3.0.0, but your Gemfile requires jekyll-sass-converter 2.2.0. Prepending `bundle exec` to your command may solve this. (Gem::LoadError)

Fix with

Joy:coldandheartless $ bundle exec jekyll s --incremental
Configuration file: /Users/maryh/Documents/jekyll/coldandheartless/_config.yml
            Source: /Users/maryh/Documents/jekyll/coldandheartless
       Destination: /Users/maryh/Documents/jekyll/coldandheartless/_site
 Incremental build: enabled
       Jekyll Feed: Generating feed for posts
                    done in 3.193 seconds.
 Auto-regeneration: enabled for '/Users/maryh/Documents/jekyll/coldandheartless'
    Server address:
  Server running... press ctrl-c to stop.