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A lot to catch up on, in spite of wasting too much time being addicted to solitaire. The Minecraft update with cherry blossoms finally hit and I spread some in Bab-El and one in Fort Town, but have been uninspired to finish the expansion on the latter or hunt for relics in undiscovered biomes. But I really do have a video game addiction that swallows time even when it shouldn’t. Not sure how to deal with it or channel it better.

‘Tis the season for the Hellenic Festival and parades. My friend and Brother Peter joined us and had a great time. I really want to make this a group thin in the upcoming years. I found a “FREE MOM HUGS” counterpart for the Pride parade and made it all the way through (thanks to an occasional breeze) the Juneteenth Parade with my Prince Hall Brothers. It was packed, apparently the 2nd largest in the nation. I followed it with my wife and I going to the Potentate’s Ball for my friend and Brother Kermit.

A couple of weeks ago, I finally came to grips that texting is the dominant form of communication over emails. I’ve always pushed clients to email things they’ve texted me but I realize now I’m being that guy and need to stop. At least I got texting to work to and from my PC, which saves a lot of steps for simple things like images. Otherwise, business has been slow. In spite of not having a mortgage payment, I’m close to the edge at times more than I should be. My wish list will have to wait.

A few days ago, I achieved snuggle bliss with the dogs on the back deck. Hilda is starting to calm down but it’s still a challenge through the day babysitting them on and off during work hours. I’ve taken to doing dishes and such to break up the day otherwise, and I catch up on audiobooks in the process. Squish, on the other hand, is loving the bean with the air conditioning nearby. Cuddles on tap.

Merry’s Kia was hit for the third time. This time we heard someone shatter the back window, but I didn’t realize it at the time I went onto the porch to investigate. I must have scared them off, but the car alarm didn’t even sound. And the club doesn’t seem to be a deterrent. It’s enraging, but these are just stupid kids. Someone needs to hold the parents accountable. On another note, my car is now over 100,000 miles and still going strong. I hear Nissan Rogues can hit twice as much reliably, and since work travel is nominal these days, it may be years before I switch to an EV … unless there’s a TikTok challenge for my car.

Masonically I’ve overcome my doldrums and angst over drama and administrative woes by going to meaningful events such as the installation of friends, an outdoor meeting, and of course, St. John’s Day weekend in Utica. I even got conscripted to help with a few installations. However, it was a bit sad that the first person I initiated years ago was NPD’s (kicked off the roster for non-payment of dues). St. John’s Day wasn’t as busy as pre-COVID, but I made friends and got to visit their apiary. The honey, at $10/lb., tastes like Yom Kippur. The B&B (through Vrbo instead of AirBNB, which I am boycotting) was quirky but very nice, and in a questionable downtown neighborhood that nonetheless I enjoyed for what it was.

The 4th of July is upon us and I’m not feeling it at the moment, but a lot of people were invited by Mer so I will probably enjoy it. And it’s another excuse to burn wood, the pit having been moved to a slight declivity in the yard. I had Brothers over for Masonic education on the back deck the last two Wednesdays and it was really nice. The anti-mosquito devices seem to work more often than not, and it’s nice being near the bees, although they have been not as strong after the swarms last month.

All in all, this year has been a flurry of random stuff and a bit of a blur. But writing all this here has cheered me up a bit, which is apropos having just finished The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russel.