August 31, 2008 - December 31, 2008

In one of Ellen Glasgow's short stories she defines existence as a series of rhythmic waves of the commonplace whereas life is a clash of opposing passions. I believe that this is one of the best definitions that I have ever come across. I know that I'm most alive when I'm traveling and that is what keeps me going back for more. My ex-wife told some friends that when I was traveling "He acts like a child". I took this to be a compliment because that truly is how I feel; a child's feeling of adventure, excitement, curiosity and discovery. She didn't quite mean it that way and looked upon my actions as one of my lessor faults. My latest trip was My 2008 Quest that you can access by clicking here or go to the Site Map and click on it under Road Trips. This was life for me during two of the last four months!

The rest of the time has been existence - my rhythmic waves of the commonplace - walking, reading, eating and sleeping. The walking is back to a commonplace activity now that I'm off the road. I can't get myself to do any regular walks while I'm traveling. This leads to added weight and increased blood pressure both last year and this year. This year was not as bad because I was off my program for 2 months rather than 3, but I could still see some increase in blood pressure. It is now back to what I consider normal and I think my weight is about the same as before the trip. I started my walking routine on Aug 31, 2006 and since that time I have averaged 5.11 miles per day including those days that I haven't walked. Everything that I have read says that you can maintain good health by walking 10,000 steps/5 miles per day. I hope that is correct because it is tough to average 5 miles or more every day!

Throughout this past year I have been reading Pulitzer prize winning authors as I have for many years now. In addition to that I always include some other authors to give my reading more variety so I'm usually involved with 4-5 authors and 10-15 book per month. I had finished all of Jonh Jakes historical novels prior to the trip: The Kent Chronicles (8 volumes/3956 pages), North & South Trilogy( 3 volumes/2459 pages), Crown Family (2 volumes/1280 pages) and "Others" (5 books/2283 pages). I had only finished half of James Reasoner's Civil War Battle Series before I left and have completed all of them now (10 volume/aprox. 3900 page). If you like your fiction to have a historical background I strongly recommend theses two authors. One of my current Pulitzer authors is Upton Sinclair who wrote some 80 novels or other works. I'm going to be with him for a long time because my library has very few of his books and I need to request them through Interlibrary Loan which sometimes takes weeks and you can only have the book for 2 weeks so you don't want to request too many at one time. My other current authors are Ellen Glasgow, Anne Tyler and Kerry Newcomb.

I'm back in Reno once again after staying in a Sparks motel for two weeks while my application for an apartment was approved. I'm now in a "senior living" one bedroom apartment that requires minimum/maximum income/assets and you have to jump through some hoops before you can move in. It is two blocks from where I was living before my trip but offers covered and secured parking or I would not have been back in this area because of the vandalism that I experienced. I changed insurance coverage in December and I asked the agent if she had many claims recently because of the snow and she said not so many but they have had a lot of vandalism claims during the last year. This is the first "apartment" that I have had in Reno/Sparks since moving here in 1992, always before I had a "studio". I got to thinking about it and the biggest apartment that I have lived in since 1992 was in Bulgaria which was also a one bedroom. Lots of additional space but unfurnished so I had to get a bed and will get some kind of desk soon. I always have money issues after a trip even when I move out of one place and then back into a new one; I can not afford to travel and also pay for an apartment that I'm not using. The new place is all utilities included and I have not, and probably will not get a phone. The only reason that I had a telephone before was so I could use Dial-up Internet. I'm now using the computer that I bought for my trip that connects to the Internet via WIFI and since I go to the library every 3-4 days I have been using the free WIFI available there. I'll probably try and get Verizon service but need to sort out my money issues first. All will be well when I get my Bail Out Check!

That is all for now, maybe I can get another update put together sooner than a year from now but existence is really difficult to make sound interesting.