Monday, August 09, 2010
The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art is The State Museum of Florida, bequeathed by the Ringlings. We drove down to Sarasota to visit the museum today because my wife wanted to see the Glasier exhibit - some of 1700 pictures of circus people, animals, posters, acts, exhibits, etc. She has a hard time walking, but they have wheel chairs available in every building, and she made it from a close parking spot to the first building, where a nice man fixed her up.
Then I pushed her into the building and got us wrist bands, and wanted to push her to the next, where the exhibit was, but she insisted on leaving the chair and riding the little shuttle. Then I pushed the second chair all the way through the front (old) part of the building to the new 32,000 square foot addition, which is half filled with photographs which were made on glass sheets, before the time of film. It was a great exhibit, but after a couple of rooms she started pushing herself and I sat down and rested a while.
After we made it through the exhibit we stopped at the museum store and bought a copy of the book which has many of the photographs. They digitize the negative, turn it into a positive, then make a new negative which they use to make the prints, and the book. I suppose digital representations aren't right for mass production - that part wasn't explained. They do have very large prints on display.
Then we stopped in the restaurant for lunch (at 1:00) and were near the last to leave. We left at 9 and were home just after three, which made the dogs' entire day - they were really glad to see us.
Sunday, August 08, 2010
Yesterday morning my feet hurt a little, so I just took the dogs for a mile and a half, and saved myself for today, when I had to cut the grass. I can't remember much about it, except I was going to make some sort of bean dish, and when I looked in the pantry I had half a pound of lentils left over (one cup) and decided to do something quick. I diced an onion and five cloves of garlic and fried them in a tablespoon of olive oil, defrosted a one cup bag of really rich turkey stock I had left from our Christmas turkey (only two more bags left) threw in a can of salt free chopped tomatoes and a 6 ounce can of tomato paste, some leftover broccoli slaw (about a cup and a half), along with two cups of water, and later another one, then simmered the mess for 30 minutes. I added some crushed red pepper and a tablespoon of curry powder and a beef bullion cube for seasoning, and the whole thing turned out fine. It made two quarts, so I divided the ingredients by 8 and made a food grouping I called Lentil Stew (One Cup). I had two cups for lunch, and even the BW likes it.
I do recall that we got a half inch of rain last evening, but not much else. I know we had supper but I can't remember what it was.
Today I was going to mow the lawn, but when I got up it was raining just a little. It was 87 degrees at 6:30, and raining, so I just read the paper and despaired because it was 80 per cent chance of rain today, then 60 per cent for several days, and then next Saturday it went down to 40 per cent. We're going to the Ringling Museum tomorrow to see a photo exhibit, I'm teaching Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, and I get another Mohs surgery Thursday morning. So It looked as if the very long grass was going to be hay by the time I cut it. Fortunately, after about four tenths of an inch it cleared, and the sun actually came out for a while a little after noon, and I did get the grass cut.
Then, to finish up the day I took down a four inch limb from a chinaberry tree that hung over the fence and was four feet from the ground 20 feet inside. It made it hard to cut the grass, and I finally got to it, and several other branches. Unfortunately after it was down and I was cutting things up the chain on the saw was trapped in a cut, and I pulled up pretty hard to get it out. After that it was out of the guide, and I wound up taking the saw apart to straighten things out again.
That's it for today - I have to go get Colonel Saunders grilled chicken now - the BW has told me what we are having for supper.
Friday, August 06, 2010
A lot of people have problems with emotional eating. I never thought that was the problem - I just liked to eat. I was chubby in grade school, slimmed down and spread out in high school (captain of the football team and shot put and discus in track) gained a little in college, and then slowly gained and gained. Our kids watched an old video I had made demonstrating the hardware in the Swimmer Defense program when I was in my thirties, and asked "who is that?" My wife had to tell them that the skinny guy with lots of hair was "That's your dad!" We would lose some weight from time to time, but it always came back, with dividends.
Part of the problem was that when you're working 12 hours a day six days a week you get so tired you feel as if you're going to die. Food makes you feel better. Too much food is even better yet.
Another part is when you're not working that many hours, but you put in 9 or 10 hours at top speed, you end up totally wiped out. Stopping for two or three beers at the local tavern is like having "the elixir of life" poured down your throat. Then you go home and eat everything in sight. I usually didn't eat lunch because I was too busy.
I remember losing 100 pounds in 19 80, from 303 on 1 February to 202 just before Christmas. Then I bought a pound of peanut brittle for the holiday, something I had never eaten before. After that, the weight slowly came back again, until I was around 290 when I retired. Part of it was stress, but mostly I just liked to eat.
After I retired, we lived in a travel trailer full time. Home is where you park it. Part of the entertainment is eating out, and we averaged about two meals out every day. Full timers love to eat in "all you can eat" joints, and even Livingston Texas has a rib joint you wouldn't believe, hidden out in the woods. By 1999 I was in the 330's range, and my significant emotional event came after we spent a month in Door County, in Wisconsin. I was in the habit of taking Harry with me to get a newspaper in the morning, wherever we were. Sometimes it was a mile round trip, and other times more or less. In door county, we were all the way at the back of the campground, and the paper box was across the street in front of the campground. The truck trip odometer told me that it was a mile one way, which was fine with Harry. I didn't walk fast, but also didn't have any trouble walking to get the paper every morning.
There was a path that ran into the woods close to our trailer, and came out near the front of the campground. One day I decided to give Harry a treat and take the nature trail, which he always liked, so we went into the path at our trailer's end. It went on and on and on, until we finally came out up front. We didn't take the path back.
It turned out that door county gets sixty or seventy feet of snow every winter, and that was a snowmobile path, not a walking path. My knee hurt that night, but I kept walking on it for another day or so. It eventually got so bad that I couldn't sleep at night, and all my searches on the internet came up with only two things (other than surgery) that might help - glucosamine and chondroitin sulphates (50 per cent success for the knee, no help for the back) and lose weight. It is amazing how many doctors had told me to lose weight over the years, and how many medical web sites had that tip, but it finally sank in.
With that emotional event, I very reluctantly started the "Live Longer Now" book (Nathan Pritikin) approach - no sugar, no salt, no fat, no cholesterol, no caffeine, and rove (walk or jog). I no longer had the book from the 1970's, but I remembered the approach. When something hurts enough to keep you from sleeping, you eventually get desperate, so I started with both things I could do, take the pills, and eat right.
And it did work, for a while, until I started passing blood. I was down 70 pounds. When that happened, I got off the track, but that's another story. The significant emotional event got me started. Staying on track is a different problem, and that's for another time.
Thursday, August 05, 2010
After I walked the dogs today I spent about 40 minutes total replacing three pickets in Rob's fence. While I was there I notice two more loose boards which had never had a screw added and fastened them back on. One of them was completely loose at all three cross pieces, just standing there with all the nails rusted away. The fence that belongs with this house is twice as thick with overlapping pickets, thicker supports, and bigger nails - probably galvanized because it is older than his fence and still completely intact. I thought about spraying it with waterproofing several times, but never did it and now I think it's a shame that I didn't at least do Rob's.
It has rained here - eight tenths of an inch Sunday, four tenths of an inch Monday, four tenths Tuesday, two tenths Wednesday, and 8 tenths of an inch again today. It rained really hard while we were having a TOPS meeting, but was over by the time Bill and I left.
Today's paper says we had 1.28 inches of rain so far this month, which would only be good until some time yesterday, but still less than the amount we actually have received here at our house. The official measurement is taken at the Tampa International Airport, which is 20 miles from here, and the typical rain pattern is a coverage of a lot of separate thunderstorms which may or may not hit any particular area. In general the total over a long time is fairly accurate, but I recall times when the power was out for days and they had serious flooding in St. Petersburg and we just had a little rain. Other times we seemed to have a lot of rain every day, and the paper said there had been hardly any. It took me five years in one spot, but I finally bought a rain gauge just out of curiosity.
The good news is the drought is gone, finally.
Wednesday, August 04, 2010
In 2004, the year we bought this house, four hurricanes hit Florida. Charlie and Ivan were both headed straight for Tampa Bay with 155 MPH winds, but Charlie turned right and Ivan turned left. One of the others hit the east coast, came all the way across the state, and still had 70 MPH winds when it got here. I don't think that's still a hurricane, but it was like a serious thunderstorm, and it blew down our neighbor's fence, which separated our yards. One of the attractions that the BW likes was a six foot privacy fence completely surrounding the back yard, and without Rob's fence, it wasn't private anymore.
Rob said he had just replaced the fence on the other side, but didn't have any money for this side, so I told him that I had money but not a way to bring the material home. After a little nagging, he borrowed a trailer and we went to Home Depot and bought enough fence panels to replace the fence. It turned out that he bought the thinner stock that matched the other side of his yard, and we reused the fence posts because they had just been pulled out of the ground and were still sound. He insisted on leaving the attaching spikes sticking up about three fourths of an inch and mounting the panels level, even though the ground slanted about three inches for each panel. That meant that Harry and Gracie could easily dig out, so I put railroad ties and landscape timbers along the bottom of his fence.
Then we got reclaimed water, which is essentially just pond water here, and I had an irrigation system put in. Six years later Rob's fence is in bad shape - the pickets keep coming loose at the top, the bottom, and in the middle. In the beginning I just nailed them back up, but they would come loose again. Eventually I started using primed 1 3/8 inch wallboard screws, which hold just fine. One screw instead of two nails really holds things in place.
The trouble is, some of the fence is weted every time the irrigation system does it's thing. The fence is coming apart where the irrigation water doesn't hit, but it's more worn where it does. Where the screws have been used in the middle and the top, or the middle and the bottom, the pickets have bowed out a couple of inches, and the privacy fence isn't private any more. Not only that, it looks funny, and one of his fence posts have rotted off, which I can't fix because it's on his side of the fence.
I can replace the bowed pickets, however, and today I went to home depot and bought six pickets. When I got home, the battery in my 18 volt drill was sort of weak. The last time I put screws in the fence I ran an extension cord out and used a hammer drill and a deck tool, which is a big drill geared down 6 to 1. The hammer drill for a pilot hole, and the deck tool to drive the screws. It turned out I didn't really need a pilot hole, which is also the case with the battery drill when the battery is fully charged.
Because I'm clean right now, and because I'm going to a Kiwanis meeting in a couple of hours, I decided to charge both batteries for the cordless drill and just take on the fence after my walk tomorrow. I already had a little sweat from storing and moving stuff in the garage, and I didn't feel like stretching the extension cords and digging out another drill. Tomorrow both the original battery and the spare will be killers.
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