Between the job searching and other related job acquisition activities, I play skyrim of course, but in a more useful sense I have taken on two main projects: turning part of my dad's backyard into a savanna/woodland garden, and playing guitar.
As for the savanna/woodland, I spent some days in September and October planning and implementing a fall seeding. I have seeded part of my mom's yard before, the result of which seen below:
This was in August of this year, hence the shorts.
For the planting this time, as my mom's friend who owns a sod cutter is an hour away, I decided to explore other options. I called over to Home Depot, who has a diesel or gas-powered sod cutter for rent, but the logistics proved to be too difficult to take on that option. So I rented a manual sod cutter from Leitner's, and in my usual bull-headed way when I start on something, I proceeded to de-sod the yard. Turned out that was pretty hard, but kind of fun once I got into it. I realized quickly that the sod I was rolling up as I went was going to probably be two thirds of the work, because surprise surprise, there was a lot of it. It ended up being a yard and a half of sod, which is a truckload for a 350 filled over the brim. I rented a U-haul truck for that part, which was a learning experience too. The whole process was pretty involved, but I "got 'er done" and now the yard looks like this.
I seeded it with a seed mix from Prairie Moon nursery called "PDQ" which stands for "Pretty Darn Quick", a cutesy way of referring to the time until the grasses and flowers become established and "look nice", I guess in a somewhat subjective way. I scattered some woodland seeds next to the garage and along the fence, because those areas are the shadiest. I will probably end up adding in more plants in the spring, but overall I'm really proud of the result so far.
As for the guitar playing, I have found some useful videos online for both classical- and acoustic-style playing. I started about a month ago with the classical guitar we have at our house, which is older than me:
It hadn't been used in many years, so after my first hour or so of playing a string snapped. I took it over to a neat guitar store in downtown St. Paul called Capitol Guitars and had the whole thing re-strung. Now it's working great and I've learned to play song whole and some parts of songs such as "Mr. Tamborine Man" and "Free Falling", as well as some classical forays, mostly a sort of Spanish Romanza style. Here's a recording of my rough rendition of "Classical Study No. 1" written by a guy online who does teaching videos called RealViewGuitar.
Wow, trying to embed an mp3 file was a trial in itself! Hopefully it plays for everyone. This will help me log my progress.
Well, that's the update for now. I will try not to let it go so long next time!