tree near my balconyfinding a new home:  After a long drive from Anaheim to Madison, in mid-September I found the kind of apartment I wanted — one bedroom on the top floor (3rd) with a balcony — in the neighborhood I wanted.  With a tree!  It was easy to decide “yes” so I could unload my totally full car, relax in my new home, breathe a sigh of relief, and enjoy.

doing what I want:  Since arriving I've continued being busy, but with a major difference.  In Anaheim much of what I did was what I HAD to do, but now (in Madison) it's what I WANT to do, and this feels good.  I'm happy and thankful, settling into a new home I like and continuing my life on a road less traveled.    {some projects – especially writing & meeting – that I want to do}

 

an option:  If you don't want to read about sports (or dogs) or a creative competition-format, you can skip ahead to "Anaheim vs Madison and Columbus" plus "Green & Orange, White & Green" and more, including lots of photos.


the best in basketball:  I've always enjoyed sports (playing when younger, watching now) and the second night in my new home was the beginning of NBA's Final Four.  That afternoon I bought a 4k TV to watch it, using Sling Orange (for semifinals on ESPN & TNT) and a broadcast antenna (for finals on ABC).  The NBA had an excellent plan for covid and they did it well, with no positive tests in their NBA Bubble, and (on the court) an exciting pre-playoff race for 8th place in the West,* followed by a full playoff schedule and (for me) a happy ending when it was won by the Lakers.   :<)

two wonderful dogs:  Mom & Dad were (and I am) lovers of dogs and fans of the Lakers.  In 2006 they got a playful dog who looked like Toto from Kansas/Oz, and named him Kobe, like the Laker.  After the sad passing of this joyful dog two years ago, Mom & I got a new dog, fluffy-and-happy Zoe (in Greek her name means “life” and, like Kobe, she enthusiastically enjoys the simple pleasures of life) and I'm happy & thankful that she has a wonderful new home, full of love and adventures, as you can see in the story of us (me, her, them) plus cute photos & videos.

the best in baseball:  {update on Oct 19}   This year, will the LA Dodgers be the best in baseball?  After 8 years of regular-season success (winning 8 consecutive titles in NL West) and 2 years making it into the World Series (2017 & 2018) but with their season always ending in a loss, will they FINALLY win it all?  They're close in 2020, are back in the World Series (after winning a close Game 7 last night) and now — after being fairly successful for 8 straight years, coming close but always falling short — winning it all would mean a lot to them, so I'm cheering for them to win it, will be very happy for them if they do.   { Oct 27 update: yes, they did it! }

the best in soccer:  {update on December 12}   Tonight I watched Columbus Crew (where I probably will be living in September 2021) beat Seattle Sounders (my first UW city, 1970-1989) to win the championship of Major League Soccer.  So after moving, in late-2020 my old area (SoCal) and new city (Columbus) won championships in basketball & baseball, and soccer.

* better playoffs:  {update in May 2021}   Using innovative creativity, the NBA expanded their pre-playoff race into a Play-In Tournament with 8 teams, 7-8-9-10 in the East and West.  The design was brilliant, and saying “yes, we'll do it” was wise.  Now instead of beginning the playoffs slowly with no decisive games for at least a week, they begin immediately with a “Game 6” in four series, with every game being decisive for one team (because “lose and you're out” or “win and you're in”) followed by two “Game 7's” where a loss or win is decisive for both teams.  And this year the regular season's final day featured two “Game 5's” so each winning team entered their Game 6 with a 3-2 lead, while the loser began their Game 6 down 2-3, needing two wins (both on the road) to survive.  Yes, their new format was brilliant and wise, producing more end-of-season interest (and hopes for fans of more teams) and more beginning-of-playoff excitement.


 

Anaheim vs Madison?   Am I comparing them?  Yes and No.  Yes, I'm describing why I like my new home (the apartment, neighborhood, city) but...  No, I'm not saying “Madison is better than Anaheim,” instead I'm just saying “Madison is better for me.”  I really do like many things about Anaheim, Orange County, and (more generally) Southern California.  I understand why many people enjoy living there, why they think it's the best place for them.  It just isn't the best place for me, it isn't where I want to be.

moving to Columbus:  In late August, probably I'll move to Columbus.  Why?  Basically I think it will be “better for me, now.”  I'm looking forward to a new adventure, as with Seattle in 1970 and Madison in 1989. Columbus is sort of like Madison (with the state's capital & major university, and a reasonable cost of living) but larger.  It's a little warmer, by 10° in Dec-Jan-Feb (when I like it warmer) but only 4° in June-July-Aug.  When I've been free to decide, for most of 1970 to 2013, I've lived in university cities (mostly UW-FarWest in WA and UW-MidWest in WI, but also UO and OSU in Oregon for multi-month visits) because I like the atmosphere, especially the gathering of people who enjoy discussing ideas.  I'm a football fan, and Ohio State is always a national contender, with enthusiastic fans.  I've read web-pages about the city, and heard/watched videos.  Because of its university, capital, size, and central location in Ohio, Columbus will provide many opportunities for networking with other educators.  It has a major airport, is within easy driving distance of many cities on the east coast.  And there are other reasons, including a big church I really like, with everything adding up to a conclusion that it's where I want to be, and (I think) where God wants me to be.

 

Anaheim to Madison:  My page with stories includes an explanation of why (for the long-term health of my car) I should have chosen the Southern Route instead of driving thru Utah & Colorado.  And now that I've arrived, here are some observations about the natural beauty of Madison, its seasons & weather, and my new neighborhood.

 

Aerial View of Madison IsthmusGreen & Orange, White & Green:  Madison is a beautiful city, with lakes and other natural blessings.  Inside & outside the city, most areas are “green” with grass and trees.  At this time of year, there also is yellow & orange & red with trees changing to autumn colors.  This is pretty, but also a bit sad because it's a reminder that soon the orange leaves will fall and the city will be “white” with snow, which I really enjoy for awhile, but eventually I'll be looking forward to March-April-May when it gradually becomes green again, and warm.  Among the many things I like about Orange County is its mild climate (typically not too cold, not too hot) but during the past 8 years I've missed the cycle of seasons, especially the joy of springtime when it offers welcome relief from the long cold winter.   {taking time to watch snow [and “see the wind”] in March 2012}

Weather in Anaheim and Madison:  Today (Oct 12) it's 67° with rain, similar to SoCal in the winter, but with occasional thunder – common in the midwest, but rare on the west coast in SoCal or Seattle.  Next week will be cooler, with an average high of 48° that feels cold now (after a summer in Anaheim and mild early autumn in Madison) but will feel warm (after a winter in Madison) when the temperature rises to 48° in February, fueling our annual anticipations of spring & summer.   /   The TV weather forecasts are very different in SoCal and Madison.  They're typically boring for Southern California — with “more of the same” from April thru October, except for minor morning variety due to May Gray & June Gloom — but with a variety of geographic areas (LA/OC, beaches, inland empire, low desert, high desert, mountains) with each having its own forecast-box on TV.  By contrast, in Madison there is only one geographic area, but there is a wider variety of weather in the summer (with sunny blue skies, plus rains & some thunderstorms) and winter (with lots of snow & occasional ice) and our radar map gets to show its full range of colors, including not just the green-yellow-orange-red (for rain) we see in Anaheim, but also blue-pink-purple (for snow & ice).

 

east end of Rennebohm ParkMy Neighborhood – Hilldale in Madison:  During my first 24 years in Madison (1989 to 2013) I lived near U of Wisconsin, at distances of only 0.7 mile to the south [for 2 years] near Vilas Park & Zoo, then 1.4 miles east [8 years] a few houses from Lake Mendota with sunset-watching in Summer 1996,  0.7 mile west [4 years] in an area with many beautiful houses & yards, and 0.1 mile south of Union South [10 years] at Orchard & Spring.  This time I'm a little further away, 2.5 miles west.  Why?  It's partly because I no longer teach in the UW Chemistry Dept (so there is no benefit in being able to frequently get there quickly by riding a bike) but also for other reasons.  I like my new neighborhood (map) because of...  its ALTITUDE {it has an “open-air feeling” on a wide plateau-hill (above the surrounding areas of Hilldale) with five apartment complexes similar to mine (Normandy, Sovereign, Carolina, Monticello, Chapel Hill) having large grassy frontyards & courtyards};   and its LOCATION – as you can see on this map, it's close to...   PARKS {especially nearby Rennebohm Park [photos are in a park-page and below] but also other parks [to west & east] and [to north] Blackhawk Country Club [golf course,...] and Lake Mendota};   STORES {Hilldale Shopping Center [.5 mile away downhill, with many small stores, including Apple Store, UW Bookstore, AMC Theaters (formerly Sundance Cinemas), CycleBar, Great Dane Pub, plus Target, Ace Hardware, ...],  USPS [.4 mile],  UW Credit Union & Walgreens & Pick 'n Save (large grocery store) & McDonald's [.8 mile],  Starbucks and Whole Foods [1.1 mile] with Amazon Locker;   and farther away, UW Hospital [2.0 miles] & UW Campus [2.5-3.5 miles],  downtown {State Capital, Monona Terrace,... [4 miles]},  Olbrich Botanical Gardens [7 miles],  MSN Airport & East Towne Mall [9 miles],  and [3 miles from here in opposite direction] West Towne Mall.  There will be plenty of fascinating places to explore by driving & walking, riding bus (from nearby stops on Sheboygan Ave, for 7 routes going eastward [to UW & downtown & beyond] and westward, plus a “church bus” from UW to Blackhawk Church) and especially by riding bicycle — an excellent machine (are wheels the best human invention?) for exploration trips over medium-short distances ranging from a few blocks to a few miles.

 


Projects in Madison:  One of the many things I WANT to do is writing, by continuing to develop & revise web-pages about a wide variety of topics that include education & thinking skills & much more.  Also...  visiting people in Madison before I (probably) move to Columbus in late August;   looking thru six decades of papers with “ideas I wrote earlier” (boring for most people, but interesting for a writer);   continuing to work part-time on a project that was my full-time job for 8 months of 2020 (mainly due to the immense amount of things in my parents' house), trying to have less things (especially papers) by deciding what to keep or give away or throw away.  

Here are the main pages I've been working on recently:  an expanded introductory section in the home-page for my website about Education for Problem Solving;  pages about Education for Thinking Skills – Creativity (major developing of whole page), Critical Thinking (with major new sections about Monday-plus-Tuesday teaching & biased reasoning), creative-and-critical Problem Solving (mostly revising) – plus minor work on other web-pages.


 

 
 I.O.U. – soon, probably late June, I'll post photos of my home's living room with a comfy padded chair (it rocks, has leg extension), recumbent exercise bike (next to balcony door & fresh air, for convenient daily workout), 8-foot table (for TV,...), and a large open area for dancing – ballroom & swing and free.
 
Most of these photos are from my balcony:
Sep 15 - my tree and courtyards (near, far)
 
Sep 15 - trees with leaves, balcony with ivy
tree near my balcony   sewing machine
later - near and far courtyards, clearly visible
 
Oct 20 - my tree lost green, far trees lost leaves
  sewing machine
in mid-May, a view from my pillow
 
and a robin's nest
tree near my balcony   tree near my balcony
beginning of first snowfall
 
big snowflakes – prettier in person, close,
with motion, falling & swirling in wind!
 
tree branches outlined with snow
 
snow-tree & courtyards, early evening
 
tree covered with snow
 
balcony covered with snow
 
icicles - view from courtyard
 
icicles - view from balcony
 
top of tree with new snow
 
top of tree with new leaves
 
dogwood thru bedroom window
 
dogwood from balcony
 
After the first small leaves appeared on my tree, within a
couple of weeks they rapidly increased and the tree began looking
 more fully-green, like it did the first time I saw it on September 14.
winter - two snow-trees, roof-icicles
 
spring - dogwood near other balconies
 
some families have young children who play
in the courtyard, giving it a nice “atmosphere”
 
Swimming Pool
 
South Courtyard, viewed from
the stairway to Our Courtyard
 
Meeting Area above Pool
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You can see nearby Rennebohm Park above (its far-east end) and below:
community garden plus
tennis courts & Carolina Apts,
 
from far-west end of park,
tennis courts, shelter area,...
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"Avenue O" is my room, 0.1 mile from 
the courts, garden, shelter, playground,
 
shelter area and playground,
large open areas (also for playing),
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