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Jacaranda Tree

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I think a blog is an online log, or a record of what happened today. I have seen quite a few that are essays on some topic, and others that are discussions of random topics. Every day I sit down with nothing to say, and run off at the mouth until something comes out. Sometimes I get a few comments and sometimes not. The sad truth is that not much happens here, and the BW doesn't want me talking about her or her activities. I considered just starting at the beginning and putting a biography chunk in each day to get three points, but I suspect that might not be a good idea, because I found out that some people from my facebook page actually read the blog.

Nothing much happened today, except I have blood blisters on both of my bunions, and I don't know why. My feet are a little sore, and after reading up on blisters I just put band-aids on them and ignored them. It has been a long time since I had blisters, and I didn't walk exceptionally far or fast today. The morning was clear, and I was home before the sun came up.

I took two feet of newspapers and a book to the library - the papers for recycling and the book to make the library happy they got it back. I also mailed two letters for the BW and picked up a flier from the Tampa Art Museum for the Kiwanis - they want us to schedule a docent guided tour and pay $10 a head.

I weighed half a pound more this morning than I did yesterday morning.

I need to start weighing people in less than two hours, so I'll try to think of something to say tomorrow. Have a great day if you read this.



This is a picture of one of my favorite Jacaranda trees. which grow fairly thickly all over Pinellas county. This spring had an exceptionally fine show for some reason, and there were dozens that really caught their eye. This one is on my route down to the post office, which I walk fairly often, and I approach it from the east in the morning. I never have a camera with me, so one day I went back later in the day and took a few shots. It wasn't the clearest day, and the tree was some past its prime, but it's still a good example of the south's answer to the red bud. The blossoms are shed before the leaves form, and they cover the sidewalk and street in a showy carpet. The flowers turn into nuts (if that's what they really are) that are a couple of inches in diameter and less than an inch thick. I don't know what happens to them, but I've never heard of anyone eating them.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROWINGFOOL 7/30/2010 9:47PM

    "I found out that some people from my facebook page actually read the blog. "

Ha ha! Now you know why I use an alias here!! LOL
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ALEXTHEHUNN 7/29/2010 9:18PM

    I love the jacaranda trees and miss seeing them. Here, we do have the redbud, and although they are lovely, they are so tiny compared to the jacaranda.

Thanks for reminding me how splendid those trees are.

Best,
Alex

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TUBLADY 7/29/2010 5:05PM

    I think your blogs are fine. I like to blog about what's on my mind at the time, usually there is something that relates to food, and how I am coping. But it doesn't have to. Just what is going on with you is fine to blog about.
The blisters, take care, don't want them to get worse.
If the TOPS, that was mentioned is Take Off Pounds Sensibility, its a good group to be in. I lost with them before. Got a bracelet and charm when I reached my goal.
The tree is beautiful. I used to live in Miami Beach, there were some down there too. But I'm allergic to the blossoms.
Have a good day. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BRADIA 7/29/2010 4:33PM

    I live at Guadalajara in México, and all springs we have hundreds of Jacaranda trees blooming. As you say, buds make beautiful violet carpets. It is one of my favorites trees because of its color. Reminds me of violet ray (which means forgiveness and change according to meta physics). On my way home I go by an old aqueduct (is that how it is written) and during spring time, it is a breath taking scenery.
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Comment edited on: 7/29/2010 4:33:44 PM

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MS.ELENI 7/29/2010 4:29PM

    I think your blogs are just fine.I enjoy hearing how your day goes. Rambling is good. Ofcourse I am the queen of rambling. Bill is a very private person and I do talk a lot about him.But usually as it pertains to me.I try to be careful what I say most times
Sorry about the blisters.Sounds painful.Maybe your shoes were a little looser than normal for some reason.
Good luck at TOPS.
It got real dark here today but no rain came.
I love the picture of the tree.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/29/2010 3:55PM

    Beautiful tree.

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BREWMASTERBILL 7/29/2010 3:35PM

    Nice pic! I don't think blogs are necessarily a recap of anything of chronological significance. Just my opinion. I think it's whatever is on your mind at the time.

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A Picture is Worth More Than A Thousand Words

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When I left this morning it was pretty bright because of the nearly full moon, and the sky was starting to get light on the eastern horizon. The sky was clear over us, but as I walked along I noticed a huge cloud in the east, and later noticed that there was a solid bank of clouds to the north. Yesterday it thundered and the sky was black for quite a while, but it didn't rain, and it was dry again today, which was OK with me. It wasn't very hot, only 80 outside, but it felt like stepping into a cold shower when I came back for the dogs. I looked at the thermostat, and it was 79 inside, but dry. When I got home with the dogs I hung my shirt in the garage to dry and brought yesterday's in. The weather isn't really bad here if you wear light, loose clothing, stay in the shade, and don't work hard. If you wear shorts and short sleeved shirts and stay near the water and away from pavement, it's very pleasant. You do need to feel sorry for roofers in the summer though. I think they can stay up there and not use the bathroom all day while drinking water because they sweat it out faster than they can drink it in. The BW always tells people how horrible it is here in the summer, but it depends on what you do.

Strangely enough, I dropped six pounds overnight, which put me at yesterday's weight, and another two after walking, which I regained after breakfast and three cups of decaf, so I guess I wasn't hurt by the meals out yesterday. Of course, I don't know what happened to my arteries, which is what I'm really worried about. Today I finished at 1598 calories, so maybe I'll gain tomorrow. It's just random on a day to day basis.

I have a friend, Bill, who showed up when I wanted to get rid of my Airdyne - I think I mentioned him before, but who can remember. Anyhow, he started at almost exactly the same weight as my peak, and is fighting off many problems, including kidney failure, so he is walking a tighter rope than I did because my kidney was just out of specification - his kidneys are just a whisker away from dialysis. The good news is that they have stopped getting worse and he has defied many of the kidney doctor's predictions so far. He is doing so well, in fact, that he was put on the list for a donor kidney where before they didn't think he would last long enough to get one.

The reason we're talking about Bill is that he wanted to do everything I had done, and he joined my TOPS group. No other would do. He is doing very well, but he gets really despondent when he doesn't show a loss for the week. When I ask about it, it turns out that he was showing a loss for the week, but on the weight-in day he went out with friends to an all-you-can-eat restaurant and went wild. It was ribs one time, and pizza another. I and several others have told him that it's not a straight line. He is desperate to get it all off immediately, and getting a little at a time isn't enough to make him happy.

I finally dug out the charts I had posted on the refrigerator that showed my drop from 282 down to 200, with daily measurements. I copied them and mailed them to him. I was disappointed when I saw him last Tuesday because he hadn't received them, and promised to scan them into the computer and mail him the .jpg files, which he could open, if they didn't show up on Friday. He called Friday, and thanked me. He also thanked me profusely because when he looked at the daily changes they were often more than he (or I) was showing for the week. Everyone saying it didn't convince him, but maybe seeing it did. I'll find out in a few weeks.

In the meantime, he is down 26 pounds in four months, even though he gained 1 1/2 pounds last week, and at least two of his doctors say he is now in the best shape they have ever seen him. He is getting better, and none of the doctors suggested losing weight and exercise or a change in his awful diet. He has a really hard time exercising because his knees are too unstable to walk.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MS.ELENI 7/28/2010 10:49PM

    It sounds like your friend is on his way to getting better and better. Good for you for helping your buddy emoticon

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An Argument Against Casual Eating

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I am at 1898 calories for the day, with a Spark estimate of 1900 for me if I'm sedentary. That doesn't sound too bad, but I'm past 6000 mg of sodium, way over on fat calories (of the wrong kind) and way under on carbohydrates. The protein and cholesterol are OK, but everything else is low. It's so messed up because I had a half order of biscuit and sausage gravy for breakfast and a chili 3 ways at Steak and Shake for lunch. I blew it for breakfast because I decided to just have what Jack was having, and at lunch because that was what I always used to have. We had lunch out because the BW had her teeth cleaned and a fluoride treatment, which meant she couldn't eat anything hot or hard, she was told. To satisfy that they suggested she have a milkshake for lunch, and so we went to lunch. I didn't find out how many calories (which were only 411) or how much sodium the chili 3 ways had until I was at home, looking it up in the desk reference. That's a good example of the danger of not knowing what you are going to eat and writing it down before the damage is done.

So today the dentist got us for $326.70 and a boost to my blood pressure. The worst part is I know I'll be two or three pounds heavier tomorrow. It's no wonder we don't eat out much any more.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ROWINGFOOL 7/27/2010 9:10PM

    The sodium will sort itself out if you're just patient and keep doing what you know you need to do. That dropping 13 lbs in 8 days? It was all water weight, with a good bit as edema. Drinking more water than usual will help, too.

Per the dental bills, check out this article:
http://money.blogs.time
.com/2010/07/27/want-to-keep-mo
re-of-your-money-heres-what-not
-to-do/
The last tip was news to me! I'm going to try it with some big bills I have from hospital tests.

Eating out twice in one day is a sure way to overload on sodium.
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Flush it out!
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MS.ELENI 7/27/2010 8:37PM

    Eating out messes us all up in some way. It is hard to eat anywhere that the sodium isn't high. But you will get the weight off in a few days.You don't weigh in til Thursday so you should be ok.
Dentist and most docs seem to rip everyone off. Dentist have gotten outragous. I am so glad I no longer need one. I love my dentures.
I have never heard of chilli 3 ways. Sounds interesting.

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TUBLADY 7/27/2010 7:48PM

    Lesson learned. Next time, if there is one, maybe plan ahead. Go where you might have foods that fit into you eating plan.
Most restaurants should have a guide that tells you what the calorie count is and all the others hidden dangers, like fat and sodium. Here in Salem, its law, have to post the nutrition of each item.
One day won't throw you off , just watch the rest of the week. You will retain the salt for a few days. That will show up maybe in a gain, , but will be the body retaining water. .
Good luck
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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/27/2010 7:45PM

    I don't eat out very often either. If I have 24 hours notice, I like to look up the restaurant's menu online and decide ahead of time. If you are two to three pounds heavier tomorrow it will be because of the sodium, and that should correct itself within a day or two. You are still following the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time you are in compliance. And that should take care of the other twenty percent.

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The Cartoon History of the Universe

Monday, July 26, 2010

Two years ago, last Thanksgiving, we were visiting our youngest daughter in Mishawaka. While there I discovered a neat book - The Cartoon History of the Universe. I don't remember whether it was Volumes I, II, or III, but I started reading it. It was sort of beat up (four grandkids there) but still entertaining. I think they got it at a garage sale for 25 cents, or did something else like that.

I was so intrigued that I searched on Amazon.com and found all three volumes available, and bought the set. It took me a while, but I eventually got around to reading all three volumes - twice. They are very dense books, and the temptation is to read them like a novel, so that you are left with some strong impressions, but few names and less than perfect recollection of how the events in different parts of the world related in time.

The beauty of it is that the three volumes cover everything in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the near east, not in very great detail, but in enough to tell the story, up to the time of Columbus. And the bibliography for each volume is extensive.

After I had been through them a couple of times, I wondered if Larry Gonick had extended the history, and when I searched I found that he had - starting with Columbus. It takes two smaller books called The Cartoon History of the Modern World, and the series brings you up to Desert Storm. The newer books are just as depressing as the original three. There are lessons that should be absorbed in every one of the books.

Just before Christmas in 2009 our son and his wife visited, and he wanted to borrow the Cartoon History of the Universe. I told him that I wanted to read it once more, and that was the time when I wondered if there were more volumes now. After I read each one I mailed it to him, and told him to keep it or pass it on when he was done. The BW is always complaining about too many books, especially in my room, but in the living room too.

Then all was well until my dermatologist started talking to me. Most doctors I see are focused on the job, but he talks while he works. He was opinionated, and we argued over the Jews, so I told him about the Cartoon History. He knew Case, and had also had a "Western Civilization" course, but that was about the extent of his exposure. He wondered if he could get it at the library, and I guessed that it might be a request, but I had never seen it there.

After thinking about it, I bought another three volumes, and took the first volume in a week later when I went to get my stitches out. The Jews originate with Abraham leaving Babylon in the first volume, and there is plenty of fighting to crush his argument that the Jews were always a peaceful people. In fact, the killing and wars spread fairly constantly throughout all five volumes, and my argument that you do need to be able to defend yourself should be clear to him. Teddy Roosevelt had the right idea. I do recall one 300 year peaceful spell in China, but other than that, it's pretty much conflict all the way through.

The various religions are fairly well covered too.

Now I'm going to read the set again as soon as I get the first volume back, the pass on the last two volumes to Louie. I gave the doctor a month to give the book back, and then I'll buy one more copy if he doesn't.

I don't know why I told this story, other than I'm tired of talking about the weather, walking, and dogs.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JIMDAB 7/27/2010 4:36PM

    Sounds very interesting. Thanks for the post, Ill be checking it out.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 7/27/2010 1:17PM

    It's an interesting work. It makes a lot of information accessible. Certainly one does not have to look far to discover that human history is characterized by violent conflict. Fortunately, it is not the only side of the coin.

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BREWMASTERBILL 7/27/2010 7:08AM

    Sounds right up my alley, I may give these a look next time I'm in the book store.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 7/26/2010 10:10PM

    Actually, thanks for the review. I may be looking into this. Once in a while, I'll impress someone with my knowledge of Bible stories. Well, it isn't because I've spent so much time reading it. It's because when I was a little girl in Sunday School, we "read" the Bible in cartoon form, with a weekly installment in our Sunday School paper. I think it's a great way to deliver information.

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MS.ELENI 7/26/2010 9:50PM

    It sounds exactly like something you would read more than once. I have a few books I have read twice but thats about my limit. Your books sound too deep for my small brain.
Bill doesn't understand why I have so many books around. He is not a reader.

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BRADIA 7/26/2010 9:44PM

    How interesting. I have taken notice. I have never been very good at world history and perhaps in cartoon I would like to read it.
Thanks.

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Plenty of Rain

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I cut the grass this morning. It had rained 0.9 inches last evening, and the grass needed to be cut, so I did it. According to my pedometer I walked two and a half miles, and according to Spark People I burned 600 calories. I don't know if I can believe that.

Then I make the broth with a five pound chicken and a bunch of vegetables and spices. While it was simmering I worked on the Safe driving course - took apart two Florida Supplements, marked out the pages I wouldn't use, and inserted them into the manual that I use to stay on track. Because they're printed on both sides and sequential pages didn't always go in the same place in the manual, I had to cut up two books. Fortunately I had about 10 supplements too many.

When I volunteered to teach this thing I thought it wouldn't be too hard, but what I didn't realize at the time was that always before I used material that I had prepared, about subjects that I knew, and presented it in the way that I chose. I even taught a several month class on Spread Spectrum Techniques to about 40 engineers in my Division when I was a Division Manager, and it didn't bother me. I planned on a three or four week set of one hour pitches, but it turned into several months.

This course (it's really a seminar) is different, because even though I thought that 12 years on the road made me pretty knowledgeable about driving safety and vehicle maintenance, someone else put the class together, and they expect you to cover the material their way, to start exactly on time and end exactly on time, and do a lot of paperwork exactly the way they want it. That was a pretty big adjustment for me.

The bigger adjustment is that, for one reason or another, they keep changing what they want done, and how to do it. After I figured out how to get the latest plan done, I started at about 10:00 and finished at 5:30. I was just about ready to decide to resign, but I'll try a class next month and see how it goes. I've been doing this for four or five years, and I never stayed in one job more than about four years when I was getting paid, so maybe it's just habit and boredom that irritate me.

I dumped nine tenths of an inch out of the rain gauge this morning. The sun was shining and it looked like a great day, but later the clouds showed up, and at about six thirty it started raining in earnest. By 7:00 we had another inch in the rain gauge and it had stopped, but later it started again. I'm glad the drought is over, but we don't need a tropical storm this year - we're getting plenty of regular rain.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 7/26/2010 8:13AM

    It's a challenge to teach from lesson plans that someone else has assembled. Especially to compress it or stretch it to fit a specified time frame.

Good luck,

Alex

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MS.ELENI 7/25/2010 11:30PM

    We are getting a lot of regular rain. It was a heavy down pour here this evening.Didn't last too long but sure seemed to be a lot.
Because of you I watched another movie on Mystery theater. They are a little corny but there wasn't anything else on to watch.
I am sure you will get those classes straighten out.But if they continue to stress you out you do need to resign.

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