So what did I do with my winter break? First and foremost, recovered from a semester wherein I taught 10 courses (three large, three medium, and an assortment of courses with 1-3 students in them). What was I thinking? Well, I figured that, because most of them contained only a student or three, it would be no big deal. WRONG. If you are a teacher, DON'T EVER DO THIS. A class is a class, regardless of how many people enroll, and often those 1-3 person classes consumed more an hour every week. Now add three sections of technical writing (16 writing projects times 70 students) and the others, and WHOA. Oh, and I do try to have a writing career and life in there, too. I'm learning better how to say, "No." That's a toughie for me.
So after recovering a bit (this included watching the box-sets of Harry Potter, among other things), I did a lot of neglected house, garage, and yard-work; tinkered with the vehicles; hung out a bunch with people; and did finally build up enough reserves to get some writing done. This included tons of outlining, scene-writing, and other work on The True-Life Space Adventures of Jack and Stella; lots of thinking and outlining on my keynote talk for the University of Central Oklahoma's Liberal Arts Symposium on science fiction and the liberal arts; and even resumed work on my memoir, Stories from a Perilous Youth. I didn't finish any writing projects, but them's the breaks when working on book-length things.
Yesterday I got my 1978 BMW R100S up and running again! Took some create effort to reassemble the frame (I had to disassemble it to remove a dead battery), do some rust and wiring repairs, and get the fuel system operational again, but it was still in the 50s yesterday afternoon when I went for a ride. ON MY MOTORCYCLE. IN JANUARY. I'm just sayin'. Awesomeness. Even got a photo when I visited some friends who had never seen the bike running before. That's satisfying. Next up: painting and installing the vintage Hannigan fairing I picked up a couple of years ago. I've decided to go with red to match the tank and seat frame rather than the color-fade orange of the front fender (and side-panel lettering, thus likely the original color). I have other (evil) plans in mind, too, that involve giving this bike a bit of Mad Max character... bwahahahaha!
A few days ago I had to carve the lock out of my back door. Long story. Let's just say that a variety of power tools, pry bars, and other implements were involved. This could have been an awful experience, but thanks to chernobylred, it actually turned out to be an adventure. One I needn't repeat, mind you, but an adventure nonetheless. I can't tell you how much fun it is to Sawzall a much-despised sliding-glass door. The having-to-replace-it-now part is less fun, but I'm thinking of going all Mad Max with this, too, using steel plates and an absurdly over-the-top lock while I consider back-door options. Video of the carnage to come (seriously).
And in honor of a winter we have yet to see 'round these parts, this: A crow sledding down a snowy rooftop:
Hope your holidays were wonderful, too. Happy New Year!