Remembering 2017

Remembering 2017

Well it was a pretty good year at the Shade household. I took a little more time off and became more involved with my American Legion Post (Post 1776) here in Apple Valley MN. I took over responsibilities for the newsletter and web site which our company hosts for the Legion. And I spent a little more time outdoors than other years.

I got my Rokon off road motorcycle running and had a blast taking it out on the property this year. Clearing trails and cutting down brush and downed trees was a breeze using the Rokon. It is a sweet machine.

Susan was doing well until she had a run-in with the mylar roll being used on the green house at Jason’s place. But she’s back on track now.

I also learned a valuable lesson which is to ALWAYS include your wife in the decision when purchasing a new truck.

Business was good and it was steady. The good news is that people have finally discovered our online course which now accounts for over 50% of our business.

I felt the best in health than I have for several years. Last year I closed out 2016 weighing in at 320 lbs. Today, on the last day of 2017, I weighed in at 289. The loss of 30+ pounds makes a BIG difference in how you feel and how your clothes fit. Now for another 30 in 2018.

I will be 65 in January and officially “semi-retired”. I will still be hosting in-person carry permit classes (once a week in 2018), but we are moving ahead with plans to move more and more of our training online. And there will be more than firearms training as well (stay tuned)!

Looking Outward

In terms of politics, Trump has done exceptionally well given the opposition from the Democrats and even the Republican party. We have a major tax overhaul that kicks in in 2018. Can’t wait. More money in my pocket.

The individual mandate is gone. It’s abolition was part of the new tax bill. It does not mean that premiums or deductibles will become reasonable anytime soon, but it does get the IRS out of our refunds and eliminates any penalties for NOT purchasing health insurance.

And we got rid of Franken as our MN Senator. He was not bright enough, or smart enough and dog gone it – not enough women liked him. So Al “Creepin’ while your Sleepin’” Franken is history.

And this is one good reason NOT to run for office in today’s political climate. Anyone my age is sure to have baggage back from the days when we were young men sowing our wild oats. For me that all changed once I got married, but I know there are at least a couple of ladies I broke off relationships with that would likely still want to do me harm. I don’t need that drama in my life, nor do I need the political backstabbing and lies that seem to proliferate day after day from the left today.


I plan to spend more time with my hobbies of photography, guitar and of course playing with computers including those that run our business. If you have not tried out the inexpensive Raspberry Pi computer, you should. It is based on a version of Linux and is one sweet deal. The Raspberry computer board is only $35 but I’ve only bought the kit for $69.95.

The kit gives you a case, power supply, memory card with a boot loader to choose and install your operating system or systems (yes you can add more than one). All on a 32 Gigabyte micro-sd card. And it comes with an HDMI cable to connect it to your TV. It also has four USB ports on the board and other connectors for a camera add-on and a general purpose I/O port (GPIO). All in a package no bigger than a pack of cigarettes.

I am pumped on these little PCs. So impressed am I that when a server of ours went down, I replaced it with one of the Raspberry Pi computers.

My 2018 Wish List

I’m not wasting any wishes for things like “peace on Earth” as we all know that it will never happen. Man has been killing man since the days of the cave man.

No my wishes are much more practical and subdued.

  • I am hoping to lose another 30 pounds in 2018. And another 30 in 2019. This seems doable as I’ve done exactly that in 2017 (yeah I was pretty big!)
  • I am wishing for good health in 2018 for everyone but especially for my wife. She is an aneurysm survivor. I really want her to grow old with me and be at my side for a long time.
  • I am wishing for the best for my son and his business start-up.
  • I am wishing for my daughter to find her way with starting her own business in the near future.
  • I wish nothing but the best for my neighbors Robert and Beth, two of the nicest people Susan and I could ever hope to live next door to.
  • I am wishing for more time with my grandson in 2018. He is five years old and I know how fast the years will fly by.
  • I am wishing and praying that our son Jason together with his son Thomas and us face the challenges that 2018 will being to him. It could be a tough year or one of the best years of his life.
  • I am praying for all my friends and family that they all have a healthy and prosperous new year!

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