Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Today was not a blue ribbon day Ė more like a no ribbon day. At the Kiwanis meeting this morning I cracked and had a mushroom and Swiss omelet, made with egg-beaters, with home-fries and toast for breakfast. That was a bad start to the day, but by supper time I was up to 1500 calories. Then the BW wanted a waffle from Tiffanyís, and I had a Ruben and potato salad for supper, which added another 850 calories and put me over my limit, which I almost never do. I also never do it with beef, full fat cheese, butter, etc. So I was over on calories, fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Most days Iím not over on anything, and under quite a few things. The biggest irony is that I was completely full with half the Ruben and no potato salad, but I kept eating anyway.
That goes back to the time before and during WWII, when there were ration stamps and no seconds. Before the war there wasnít enough money to buy seconds, and during the war money wasnít the problem, so if it was on your plate you ate it. Period. Somehow I have never gotten over than despite all the advice for tons of years. Bill, the guy who thinks Iím his savior, was telling me how he has learned to eat in restaurants Ė how he orders with the direction that half of his meal should be delivered in a take-home box, and then takes it home to his sons, who are happy to help him. I just mostly stay out of restaurants. That is TOPS advice, and I have heard it a lot more times and a lot longer than Bill, but it just doesnít get past my old programming. Iím not willing to do anything any more. Staying away is the best I can do.
The BW took the dogs to the vet today, and it cost $719 dollars. When she tried to use the debit card it wouldnít work because there is a daily limit of $650 on it. I suspect thatís to protect the bank because we have a lot more money in there than that. I warned her about the limit but she forgot. It still wouldnít work because she had stopped at Walgreen's and bought a bunch of other stuff. If she had given them $200 it would have worked, I think. Iíll check with the bank tomorrow to find out. Anyhow, she gave them $100 cash and then came home and called in the Discover card number.
And I only walked two and a half miles today because my legs didnít want to work again. I suspect the lovastatin. It was a great day too Ė overcast, and only 80 degrees at 4:30 in the afternoon. My shirt was still dry when I got home. I need to see if I can find a treadmill that will fit in place of the Airdyne.
Thatís enough complaining for now. This is just not a good day for me.
Monday, August 23, 2010
I had a nice walk this morning, not pushing it, and took a few pictures of the landscapes as I wandered along. I went to the post office and checked for mail, but the Kiwanis didnít get any, and mostly just zoned out. I see people walking, running, and even riding bikes with ear buds, and I wonder what theyíre listening to. When we would go for long bike rides it took some attention to track the Dan Henries so we wouldnít get lost, but we always had maps in case we did, and I would just think about lots of random things Ė maybe sort of like meditating. I do the same thing while Iím walking Ė it doesnít take much attention to stay upright and keep going, and I think of lots of topics for a blog. The only problem is that I donít have anything to make notes on, so when I sit down here Iím not a bit better off.
It is a little like waiting for an airplane too. I have spent at least hundreds and maybe thousands of hours waiting in terminals for aircraft that are late or in need of service. I would just settle back and zone out.
But when I rode the Airdyne, I would turn on my TV, put a DVD in the player, and watch a movie for an hour while I cranked out 18 miles and 450 calories. I wore headphones and closed the door so the BW didnít complain. I think the difference is that you canít get lost or miss a turn on a stationary bike. If my left knee hadnít gotten so bad, and my heels hadnít healed up I would still probably be on the bike. I was ready to buy a new car with an automatic transmission until I started walking again. I donít know why I donít carry a radio or something to listen to while I walk Ė I guess Iím just lazy.
Sunday, August 22, 2010
When I took the dogs out this morning I felt these little drops falling on my head - it was sort of raining, but not really very hard, and not hard enough to make the patio look wet - just a few little spots on it. The paper said 70 per cent chance of rain today, and for several more days until it dropped to 60 and 50 per cent next Saturday. It was overcast and looked as if the rain was coming, but it didn't.
At 7:35 I decided that it had stopped, and this was probably as good a chance as I would get, so I started cutting the grass. For Eleni and anyone else who think that's rude to the neighbors, I use an electric lawn mower, electric edger, and electric weed eaters. I use a 50 foot AWG-12 extension cord followed by a 100 foot AWG-14 extension cord, and with two GFI outlets, one on either side of the house, I can reach anywhere I want on our lot. I do have a second 50 foot and a 15 foot AWG-12 cord, but pulling that much copper around is unnecessary - everything works fine.
The lawn mower sounds like a fan if I'm on concrete, and over grass it's really quiet. If the grass is heavy it's even quieter because the motor slows down a little - no speed control. I don't think anyone is bothered because it is quiet, I didn't see anyone out moving while I was mowing, edging, or blowing, and at this time of year everyone has all the windows and doors closed anyhow. Besides that, we live in the country (Pinellas County) but I do always try to be a good neighbor.
In spite of the 70 per cent chance of rain, it hasn't rained enough to notice, and the day has been overcast and drab except for a few short moments sometime between 7:35 and 9:55, when I was done. Also, almost all that time was spent in the back yard, with a six foot privacy fence around the noise.
Other than that, I have been cooking and reading a book, "The Snake Stone" by Jason Goodwin. It's set in Istanbul in the1830's, at the end of the Ottoman Empire, with a lot of threads from the Byzantine Empire. It reminds me that the Turks were a lot like the US - they took in anyone and everyone and absorbed them all. It's an interesting mystery. Jason studied Byzantine history at Cambridge, wrote "Lord of the Horizons: A History of the Ottoman Empire" and other non-fiction, and has branched out into fiction. He is using his background knowledge to write something like a novel I once read about Pompeii and it's end. I'm not sure if he is officially a historian, but he reminds me of Black John Culver, at Case, teaching Western Civilization when he hit the Romans. He throws in almost too much detail for a civilian. It's a truly interesting and educational book.
Other than that, it's just been a gray day.
Saturday, August 21, 2010
I overslept this morning and didnít get out until a little after seven. The clouds standing straight up in the south got my attention, but the ones in front made me go back and put a camera in my pocket. I took the first two pictures in front of the house, and the third one a little less than two miles later. About another half mile and it started raining on me, so I put the camera and my old hearing aids in a bread wrapper and stuck them back in my pocket. It didnít rain too hard and had quit by the time I got home. The BW said it hadnít rained there, so I took the dogs for a walk, and just as we were at the farthest from home it started raining seriously. By the time we got back to the YMCA they were both stopping to have a good shake every 50 feet or so, so we were all wet when we made it home.
Itís sure different from the last three years. I think I got a little wet last year or the year before just once, but I keep dodging rain this year. I would have been OK if I had started an hour and a half earlier, so I guess it was my own fault. The St. Pete Times said 50 per cent chance of rain but we had another 100 per cent day. I dumped 0.6 inches of rain from the gauge this morning after I came home, probably from Wednesday night, and thereís another 0.7 inches again at 4:00. At least it quit, but this summer doesnít seem right to me. I guess it has been the drought that is now officially over? According to the paper we have had what looks like a little less than average rain this year. Maybe it was just always in the afternoon and I didnít pay any attention.
Friday, August 20, 2010
I took back the last book to the library today, which was the second of only two books by Jillian someone or other. She is apparently an international best seller, but the endings are never endings, just a pause with a number of loose ends left for the next novel. If thereís another out now I wonít bother reading it.
C. S. Forrester didnít do that with the Hornblower saga Ė the end of each book was the end of that story, but Hornblower wasnít dead. Thatís how he made it from a Midshipman to an Admiral, and then retired. Each book was complete in itself.
While I was there I picked up three more novels and a DVD that had four Red Skelton shows on it from somewhere between 1953 and 1962. The commercials were familiar and really took us back, and Red was really funny without being crude or offensive. It was all black and white, and the commercials didnít sound like commercials have for a long time now.
Red reminds me of the show I recorded some night this week on the international PBS channel. It was a video autobiography of Garrison Keiller, the ethnic comedian. I didnít grow up on a farm, but I did grow up in a Midwestern small town, with grandparents on both sides and aunts and uncles on both sides living on farms. Between all the visiting I and my brothers spent a lot of time on farms in the summer, especially after we were big enough to be turned loose to do chores without supervision, such as plowing corn. We were Lutheran, too, so Garrison really hits home because he does describe something like small town life. But you never see blacks or Orientals or Hispanics in his audiences. Iím pretty sure he doesnít call to them like he does to the small town crowd.
My black eye is mostly not any more, the Stratus has a new valve cover seal, I determined that Joanne lives a full eight hours from Louieís house but only a bit over four hours from Mishawaka, and The BW and Joanne had a nice visit on the phone today and decided to wing it as we go along. The BW called and talked to her friend Lillian in Indianapolis today but it wasnít too satisfactory. We will spend a day in Indianapolis so we can visit in person. Lil is in a nursing home and can read but not write, so weíll do the best we can when we get there. If we make it a Monday maybe I can stop in and see the retirees at lunch, but with two dogs and a wife it will be sort of hard. Iíll watch the dogs while BW visits Lillian, but I canít be trusted to stop for just a short time with the guys.
The good news is that the AAA book lets us pick out motels as we go along if we decide that weíre pushing it too hard. We used to cover 600 miles a day for several days in a row, even when towing a trailer, when we were trying to go somewhere in particular. The first time we went from here to Mishawaka in two days we were shot, and took three 400 mile days to get back. Since then 400 miles a day has been plenty, but it gets boring in the evenings. Taking two dogs with us, one of which is a neophyte, may make it tougher. We had Harry, a sophisticated 14 year old dog, and Gracie, a well traveled five year old dog, the last time. Now Ralphy loves going for rides, and was a good passenger from here to Ocala, but he likes to bark at strangers.
And Iím running off at the mouth again.
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