September of 2021 was an interesting month. The leaves are starting to change up here, although there’s not much color right around my house thanks to an invasion of gypsy moths we had in the spring. They ate nearly all of the leaves off of the oaks and birches near the house, as well as decimating some of the pines as well. I’m hoping the rain we’ve had this summer will sharply curtail them from appearing next year.
I’d been struggling with writing all summer. I’m still not sure why. Most of what I posted were my old reviews from Epinions that I attempted to rewrite and update a bit. I didn’t have much stamina for sitting and crafting reviews from scratch. I did a little better in September, posting a few new reviews. I’m more motivated now to complete the Babylon 5 series of reviews since there’s been an announcement that the series will be rebooted under the creative control of the man who wrote the majority of the original series that I love. I’m cautiously optimistic.
Another source of frustration is Amazon. When my blog was a year old, I decided it was time to try to add product links to the blog to cash in a little bit more. I was only seeing pennies a month in ad revenue, so I signed up to be an Amazon associate and add product links to my posts. I didn’t see any clicks happening except a few here and there. Well, without 3 “qualifying sales” in a 6-month period, Amazon pulled my Associate account. This was right at the beginning of September, just before one of my 9/11 pieces really took off in the number of hits. There were at least 3 product-link clicks reported in the time just after Amazon closed my initial Associates account. I quickly applied for a new one and put the link on the posts that were getting a lot of hits, and have spent the rest of the month updating all of the links on my 800+ posts. I’m not confident Amazon is honestly counting my click-thrus and purchases, though, based on what I’m seeing from WordPress in terms of statistics and clicks. If nothing comes of this second round, I’ll pull all of the product links and just rely on advertising.
My son received his 3rd dose of the COVID vaccine at the beginning of the month, and the month ended with me getting my 3rd dose. I have to say, he weathered it much better than I did. It didn’t seem like the 3rd dose effected him at all, where I was knocked for a loop a little more than 12 hours after receiving mine. I woke up with body-aches akin to a bad case of the flu and felt like I’d been run over by a truck. I wasn’t very tired, but spent a lot of time in bed, just aching. About 24 hours after the onset of the body aches, it was gone, without a fever or chills or anything else.
I wanted to be sure to get the 3rd dose of the vaccine before I made a trip in October to Las Vegas. What started out as a trip with one set of friends changed over to a trip with a different set of friends. Bar-hopping has now morphed into a geocaching adventure in Nevada, Utah, and California.
Speaking of geocaching…
The top picture is from the backroads of northern Maine. For 15 years geocachers have been meeting up there the end of September at an event called “Get Useless in Eustis” or GUIE. I had my eye on the event for years and finally managed to attend a sharply curtailed version of the event. This year was more of a return to “normal” although many people still stayed away.
On friday night there was a kayaking event. I didn’t bring my kayak with me, and apparently not many other people did either. Usually, they go out with lights on the kayak, and one of the participants had an idea to make a pinata of the Geocaching mascot, Signal the Frog. It didn’t quite turn out the way he planned.
This is a new geo-art that was released the morning of the event. The weather had been predicted to rain all weekend, but Saturday ended up being a beautiful day. All the smileys mean that I found those geocaches. I usually don’t try to be the “first to find” on geocaches and up until that day had only been “first to find” on 31 geocaches in my 11+ years of geocaching. Well, one the advice of someone else at the event, I went to the middle of the series and started there. I ended up with 25 “first to finds” in the series.
I’d gone up to the area on Thursday night and was staying at the Sugarloaf Inn. Friday morning started off with drizzle, but I went out to try to find some of the many other geocaches in the area. By 12:30 I’d found 44 geocaches. It started pouring at that point, and I was pretty wet already by that point, so I threw in the towel on the day. I found some pretty awesome geocaches and saw some nice scenery. It wasn’t as nice as Saturday, but it was fun until I was soaked. I went back to Sugarloaf at that point and had a late lunch in one of the open bars at the resort while it poured outside.
Thanks to getting out in my kayak after the tourists left, and the Challenge Geocaches I found while in Florida and Texas last month, I’ve managed to almost fill in my Fizzy grid, where you find a geocache for every one of the Difficulty/Terrain combinations that is available. The only one I have left isn’t common, but there are two available on a pond about two hours south of us. With the crappy way I felt this week due to the COVID shot, my plan to fill it in by the end of the month went awry. Hopefully I’ll get it before I go to Las Vegas.
While kayaking on nearby Conway Lake to find the geocaches there, I was lucky enough to have the loons which reside on the lake come right up to me while I was coasting along.
Books I read this month:
I finished my Goodreads 2021 Reading Challenge this month, which was for 52 books this year. That was up from 40 last year. I think I’ll make next year’s 60 since it looks like I’ll make that easily this year. After my head injury, I couldn’t concentrate to read for a long time. Even now, there are nights where I just have to put the story down and go to sleep because it feels like I’m forcing myself to keep reading, rather than enjoying it.
I hope everyone out there is taking care of themselves and navigating this crazy world we live in with care.