07 February 2021

I caused the pandemic . . .

. . . confessions of a person afflicted with OCD

On the workout bench, I finish 12 chest press reps. Then a thought drifts into my mind: "You didn't do a perfect 12 reps because the last rep was kind of iffy and doesn't count as a true rep". I have a strong need to do one more rep to make the count right . . .

But if I did one rep, I would have to do 4 reps, because maybe the rep I thought wrong was okay and should be counted. So if I did just one, I might have actually done 13. 13 is a forbidden number.

Why is 13 forbidden? I just know. I am afraid of doing 13. I like doing multiples of 4. They just are right.

I sit back on the workout bench to calm my brain. I take a few cleansing breaths to talk myself out of doing 4 more reps. "That is an obsession, let it flow away, do not do any more reps" is what I think to myself. This is me practicing CBT (cognitive behavior therapy).

I start to relax and accept my rep total. But then I think . . . "but what if I don't make it right by doing 4 more reps, what if something terrible happens?" And then "that's just silly", but then again . . .

. . . I have been really working on ignoring my obsessions. I am getting better at it. Then I think . . .

. . . during this last year, what if my ignoring my obsessions has led to something terrible . . . what if it led to the pandemic?"

Welcome to my world. Be glad - be ecstatic! - that you do not have OCD.

02 September 2019

Eht Teop

Gingerly, I open my ancient black binder. Loose pages fall out, and I set them aside. Bound pages remain, held together in sections with bobby pins. I read the first page . . .

“Eht Teop”

“Eht Teop!” I say aloud to myself. I remember this story! I wrote it when in the sixth grade, and 11 years old. Eht was my favorite character.

Eht Teop is “the poet” spelled backwards. I was into scary stories and poets and living in the forest at the time . . . and writing, as I still am now. I get a kick out out of Eht’s lists, like his posssessions: “one ax, one needle, one table, one chair, one comb, one pan, one dull knife, one fork, one spoon, one big, sharp knife, one pipe, three blankets, and one set of clothes”. (One dull knife, one sharp knife – of course.)

This week I typed this old story into Pages so I could save it on my computer. Click on Eht Teop for a pdf version of this sixth-grade story, written in 1961. The beginning of the story is the best part, later even I nearly get lost in the plot line.

If you have the time or inclination, below are some images of the original, handwritten version. And, my sixty-something thoughts on this story.
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28 July 2019

Alp Trip 2019: Eagle's Nest

Today is our last full day in the Alps. Tomorrow we leave very early for the Munich Airport and our direct flight to Denver. But that's tomorrow; today we are off to visit the Eagle's Nest in Berchtesgaden.

What's the Eagle's Nest? It's a retreat at the very top of a high, steep mountain. It was built by Martin Bormann for Hitler. The construction was rushed and no expense of money or life was spared - many workers died because the terrain was rugged and often covered with snow. On completion, Hitler used Eagle's Nest to entertain visiting dignitaries. Hitler himself went there less than twenty times, as he lived elsewhere when he was in Berchtesgaden.

Eagle's Nest

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26 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Salzberg

Today - no travel! We just stay in Salzburg.

The morning begins with a formal tour of Salzburg Old Town and the Castle above it. We cross our street to the Mirabel Gardens to begin our walk to Old Town and the start of the tour. The Mirabel Gardens are sort of famous with Americans because scenes in the Sound of Music were shot in them.


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23 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: trip to Salzberg via the Tyrolean Farms

The Inn river is still high and overflowing a bit and the farmlands adjacent to the river are sometimes flooded. For a time, we thought we the roads might be flooded, and we would have to cancel our trip to the the Museum of Tyrolean Farms, but luckily we did not.

John especially liked the Museum of Tyrolean Farms. We had a very knowledgeable local guide who explained living conditions on a farm in the 1600-1800s. I liked the kitchens, and wondered what it was like to cook a meal on the equipment they had.

Tyrolean Farms

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18 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Innsbruck

Our view from the Hotel Seelos in Seefeld is lovely. Before we board our coach to Innsbruck, I take a photo:

Hotel Seelos

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14 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Maienfeld, Leichtenstein, and Austria

Today we say good-bye to lovely Switzerland. Its mountains and lakes are astoundingly beautiful. And Switzerland is the cleanest country I have ever been in. Streets and sidewalks are swept, graffiti is washed away, buildings are well maintained. And the roads! No pot holes, no trash on the roads, advanced infrastucture, including bridges and tunnels and overhangs to prevent snow on the roads. And the people were helpful and friendly; many of the waitresses and store workers were especially efficient.

I took a lot of photos on the drive out of Switzerland. Some aren't perfect since most were taken from inside our coach, but you get the gist of the lovely green country sides and tall mountains.

travel to Maienfeld
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10 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: Lake Lugano

We slept in today - for a change we don’t leave until 10:40 am!

Our adventure today is a boat tour of Lake Lucerne and two of its towns. Odyssey has hired a private boat for our group. We set out across the lake:

Lake Lucerne

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07 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: touring Ticino

We are staying in Lugano, in Ticino, an Italian-speaking Switzerland canton. Today we coach to several different areas in this canton.

We stop first in the town of Bellinzona. The square we first come to is bounded by a fortress-like castle. Note the city buildings just behind the ancient stone wall, and note how the wall itself runs right into a large rock face.


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06 July 2019

Alps Trip 2019: trip to Lugano

Today we are up early to begin our travel to Lugano, Switzerland. It's sad to leave the pretty mountain town of Zermatt, but we are on to more adventures!

Since our bus is not allowed in pedestrian Zermatt, we catch a shuttle train to the town of Tasch. There we board our bus, which is more appropriately called our "coach". Our luggage has already been transported to the coach.

We descend the narrow, steep valley from Tasch. Then we climb back up through a pass: Simplon Pass, a high notch in the Swiss Alps. Napoleon constructed a road over this strategically important pass in 1801.

Simplon Pass
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