The past few days have slipped by with surprising speed.

On alternate mornings, we did our workout running along the many roads and paths in the park.  The long uphill pull to the water tower is now more of a challenge than a surprise.  Jeanne continues to improve her strength and stamina and can now run for several minutes without pausing.  My routine is about the same.

During the past few months, we had been doing a lot of traveling and visiting and Jeanne wanted to pick a spot for us to vegetate for a week or so.  Lake Texhoma is the prefect spot and the past days have been remarkably the same.  Jeanne is usually absorbed in a book, magazine or completing some needlework project.  During a long quiet period like this, I usually disappear into the computer.

Computers have always been a source of curiosity for me.  In college, both as an undergraduate and graduate student, I realized computers would become a big part of my life and began taking computer classes as electives.  At the time, working with computers was new and challenging, but the early 1970s was the computer stone age.  Personal computers, spreadsheets, word processing and e-mail were years away.  Consequently, most of the early computer classes were focused on the fundamentals of software development and learning how to punch a deck of program cards.

It was a good thing I paid attention, computers played an increasing role in my career right to the end.  The skillful use of computers certainly took the drudgery out of preparing worksheets, budgets, financial statements, memos and other documents a company needs.  Eventually, one accountant could move, process or sift through enormous amounts of data in seconds — something that would take months if done by hand.  Those who worked with me knew I was a skilled user — especially for someone my age.  I very much enjoyed teaching younger coworkers new computer methods but had little respect for managers who were too lazy to master data processing tools.

But, why am I writing about all this?

Well, I use several Microsoft technologies to maintain this web site.  Before departing on this trip, Microsoft released several replacement technologies based on the new .NET framework.  One day, probably sooner than later, either Microsoft or the web host will stop supporting the old technologies and I will have to upgrade the programming for chazen.net.  I might as well get a jump on the process and learn the new programming methods now.  It is interesting stuff in an odd sort of way and working on a problem can suck up a lot of time.  It also demonstrates the benefits of capitalism — for a small fee, you can purchase a user license for a product that took hundreds of thousands of hours to develop.  Is this a great country, or what!  Anyway, what could be better than reading about ADO.NET while sitting along the banks of Lake Texhoma?

Now that we had been in the area a few days, we started noticing how beat-up the vehicles and properties are.  We also noticed many of the local folks seemed to live a hard life.  In our dealings with the locals, they seem friendly and good hearted, but there is something about this region that takes a toll.  A good example is the 81 year old firewood guy who has been in the same Kingston, Oklahoma location for 24 years.  He sells good firewood at a fair price and can talk until your ears start ringing, but the property is a mess and is a work-related injury waiting to happen.  The piles of cut wood is excellent rattlesnake habitat and I was extremely careful when walking around.  That is the kind of thing we found here.  So, while this is a great place to visit, we don’t plan to make this our home.

In our final two days here, except for reading about VB.NET and a trip to the Walmart Supercenter in Durant for supplies, we have absolutely no plans.

Contemporary note:  The time finally arrived for an upgrade to the website.  The original was written and published at a time when there were few options for blogs.  If you wanted something on the internet, you generally had to also write the coding behind it.  Chazen.net was a mish-mash of HTML, VB Script, text and image files all organized in a Microsoft Access database.  It as hard finding a web hosting service to support it and in late 2017 I decided to migrate it to WordPress, a web-based application specifically designed for blogs that should be supported for many years.