Giant guitar


Here are Andy and Mark playing KISS miniature golf, standing in front of a giant guitar. I don’t exactly remember how we found out about KISS mini-golf, but I’m certainly glad we did. The course is indoors in a building near the strip that also features some KISS (and many other bands) memorabilia – clothes, signed album covers, and even an old Porsche. Also the awesomest wedding chapel ever. Pretty much the whole place is lit with black lights, except the gift shop. Great Art courtesy of the exclusive iPhone-cam, taken a few days ago at the KISS mini-golf center in Las Vegas, and part of my famous Las Vegas, Machinery, and Statue series.

I contend that that giant guitar counts as both machinery and a statue. As usual, Loyal Readers are free to disagree in their own blogs.

It’s 2015! We had a great New Year’s Eve celebration! We went with 18 friends to the Westgate Hotel (the former Las Vegas Hilton) for dinner at Benihana and then an “old school” New Year’s Eve party. Our organizer told us the “old school” designation referred to 50s and 60s music, which I thought would be fun.

Turns out she was wrong. In reality, it referred to “old school” hip-hop music. That worked out to be way better. I recognized a few songs from the 70s and 80s, but most were more recent than that and therefore quite unfamiliar to me. I loved it all! I had no idea I was such a fan of old school hip-hop music. The crowd was fun, the music was great, the DJ was very entertaining, our table was close to the stage and dance floor, and we generally had a wonderful time of it.

Most of us snuck away to go see the midnight fireworks show on the strip. Apparently, seven or eight of the big hotels set off identical fireworks shows from their roofs simultaneously. We could only see three of them from our window, but it was amazing! Highly recommended.

Joanne and I spent the day together today, right up until just a few minutes ago. We didn’t do all that much; after a late start, we came over to my house, made a nice breakfast together, played several Wii games (we both won a few, which worked out well!), sat and chatted, made dinner together, ate dinner together (along with Mark), and then bid a fond farewell so Joanne could get her beauty rest before work tomorrow.

Plus, she has to pack this evening or tomorrow morning for our weekend trip to Denver. The plane leaves at 6:45 tomorrow afternoon, leaving her very little time to catch it after work. I, on the other hand, am planning a somewhat more leisurely day.

I hadn’t played on my Wii for quite some time. When I bought my TiVo, I had to unplug the Wii from my TV because it could only handle a single analog input. A few days ago, I ordered a Wii HDMI converter. It arrived yesterday, so I reinstalled the Wii today. It’s fun, although we only have Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort. That’s been plenty of entertainment for me. I wish we had a Mario Brothers game, though. I don’t even know if they have one for the Wii.

I recently read an article by Leo Babauta, who writes the excellent Zen Habits website. Leo frequently writes about living a life free of goals. Rather, he emphasizes mindfulness and the establishment of habits. At first, I had a hard time seeing the difference, but I think I’m starting to get it. Living without goals and to-do lists doesn’t mean you excuse yourself from keeping commitments and completing things. Rather, it means (to me at least), you establish patterns in your life that result in accomplishing what you need and want to do, on time and under budget, without undue stress.

With that in mind, I am not making any resolutions (not that I ever really did), but I do have a few habits I hope to establish this year. Let’s look at my initial list, shall we?

Exercising regularly and early – My desire is to lift weights Monday through Friday, take a nice long walk on Saturday, and take Sundays off. I want to go to the gym at about 8:00 M-F. I appear to naturally wake up at about 7:00, so my current life without an alarm clock won’t be affected by this. Joanne drives to work at about that time, so I would like to chat with her on the phone during my drive to the gym. I have gotten a heart monitor and MVP account on MapMyFitness (thanks, Andy!) to optimize my workouts – and for the entertainment value, truth be told.

Writing daily – I love writing. I would like to improve my skills and perhaps even find a niche where I could grow an audience. I think that starts with writing every day, either here or on a different website that’s accessible to the public. I want to make essentially everything I write public. I would like to publish an article on this website every weekday and on my other websites on a regular schedule.

Reading meaningful content daily – I have always been an avid reader. I spend a large amount of time reading now, but I would like to make my reading more meaningful. To that end, I would like to seek out excellent books, both new and old, and fill my reading time with them. I also want to keep up with the news and other entertaining content, but I don’t want that to take up so much of my reading time that the good stuff gets forced out.

Eating well and in moderation – I would like to make and eat excellent food and to eat it in quantities consistent with good health and a sustained weight of about 180-190 pounds. While I love eating out on a regular basis, I would like to eat excellent food in reasonable portions in restaurants too. I would like to eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m not hungry anymore.

Beautifying and simplifying my environment – I love my home. I love the quiet, peaceful feeling here. I love much of the artwork and furnishings. I want to continually beautify my home and yard and continually simplify them as well, getting rid of things I don’t want or need. This will reduce the expense and effort required to maintain my household, make my environment feel more spacious and elegant, and give me an enhanced sense of peace and happiness.

Learning to meditate – I want to learn what it means to be mindful. To that end, I want to learn how to effectively meditate. I believe this practice will give me increased peace.

These habits can’t all be successfully established at once, so I’m going to take them one at a time. I’m starting with exercising regularly and early. I went to the gym yesterday at about 8:00 and I’m going to do that again tomorrow. After I’ve been doing that successfully for a month or so, I’ll pick another habit and work on it until I’m doing it successfully too. I feel a strong desire to establish all these habits right away, so it’s going to be difficult to not try to do too much too soon. I’ll work to stay focused on one thing at a time.

Anyway, that’s my plan for this year, or at least the first half of the year. More habits to come as these get mastered.

And I’ll leave my Loyal Readers with this shocking food violence news: incorrect hamburger order shooting!

See you tomorrow.

2 Responses to “Giant guitar”

  1. katy Says:

    Are you doing the Sea Change program?

  2. Michael Says:

    i have noticed Leo’s Sea Change program, but I haven’t thought seriously about doing it. I think I’ll at least look into it.

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