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No Picture

Thursday, August 26, 2010

After the dogs had been out, I left the house at 6:00 this morning. The moon was pretty full but not bright because it was shining through a high, thin cloud. The sky had thin patchy clouds, and the only lights were from the moon and stars and people's houses, or from the occasional car on the major streets. By the time I turned the last corner to come home it was just after 7:00. The sun wasn't up, but the clouds in the northeast looked as if they were on fire, and the ones to the south were white, or at least very light gray. I wished for a camera in my pocket, and thought about taking a picture, but I realized that you can't take a picture of the sky. It's like trying to take a picture of a redwood, or a sequoia, or a Sitka spruce.

We went up Kings Canyon to Sequoia National Park, to see the big trees. You could see them from miles away but I didnít realize that Ė it looked like a bunch of trees spread over the landscape with brush underneath. When we finally got to the top, the brush turned out to be other, normal sized trees that were only 100 or 150 feet tall. When we stopped to see the tallest redwood, it was the same way. I tried to take a picture that would show the impression, but all you can get is a picture of the treesí knees, or looking up the trunk, or part of the middle with a lot of other trees getting in the way. Out on the Olympic peninsula, somewhere in a state or national park, I ran into my first Sitka spruce. Somehow, the Spruce Goose never made me think of what the tree must be like, but a 500 year old Sitka is a lot like a 1000 year old redwood. Itís HUGE. Somewhere we have a picture of me and the BW standing in front of this enormous trunk, but you still donít get the real feel of the tree.

Thereís a lot of this world that you have to experience for yourself, and no picture can really substitute.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUDI4480 8/27/2010 1:25AM

    Thanks for the verbal picture of those magnificent trees. I camped at Pfeifer Big Sur once and the redwoods created their own weather. It was misting, raining and rather mystical in the trees. When we drove out of the campground, the sky was bright, cloudless blue with sunny, dry everywhere else. Amazing!

emoticon emoticon

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MS.ELENI 8/26/2010 7:59PM

    Yes there are some things that a picture does not do justice . You sure are an eary riser. But you get a lot done.Do you go to bed early.
Early morning and late evening skies are awesome.

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DJ4HEALTH 8/26/2010 3:45PM

    Even though you did not get a picture you still have that memory. Enjoy it. emoticon

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/26/2010 3:17PM

    Nor do photographs, usually, catch the essence of most people. Just their physical components. There's a something profound in there somewhere.

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Today

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I kept my pacemaker lab appointment today, and after more than four years the battery is at a charge of at least half. The top is operating about half the time, and the bottom chamber almost never fires. When I didn't take the atenolol, the top almost never fired, but I was convinced that it's a good idea for me to take the medicine, which slows your heartbeat. I am not convinced that it needs to be speeded up to 55 beats a minute again, but I can't do anything about that.
Then I saw Dr. Sola, the cardiologist, whose nurse ran an EKG and, with the pacemaker report and my answers, decided I'm fine until next March, when it will be time for my yearly stress test again. I got the instructions on how to taper down the atenolol, and how long to fast before the test. I did get it scheduled for 8 AM, but it's about a two hour procedure and fairly uncomfortable, holding your arms in one position without moving for 15 minutes twice.

I don't know what would happen if I refused to do the test, but it's not a real killer so I trust Dr. Sola.

Also, I finished "The Snake Stone" which was a mystery set in Istanbul in 1836, and I missed a really good clue to the mystery. Since it was before all the CSI stuff, it can be like the old "whodunit" books where you can pick out the villain if you're smart. I wasn't smart enough.

The new book is a high tech thing that makes me weak when I think of trying to write something like it. You would need to do a lot of digging to have enough information to write a realistic story. I'm not that ambitious.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

S3XYDIVASMOM 8/26/2010 1:46PM

    I think I need a battery, so I can keep up with you. Just kidding.

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MS.ELENI 8/25/2010 10:40PM

    I am not a big fan of the stress test. My pacemaker/defib only lasted 5 years and it was replaced last year. They had my heart rate at 60 and I was way too tired.i am now set at 70. They do keep my BP on low side. Normal for most people is high for me. Modern medicine is a pain in the butt but it has kept me alive way past where they expected.
I have had a couple of books lately that were torture to get thru them but kept hoping they would get better.They didn't emoticon

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REXTINE1 8/25/2010 8:26PM

    I have fallen into the hands of the medical profession. This is a nuclear test that I get every year because they don't believe that I am going to live as clean as I do (most of the time). If my heart doesn't get even blood flow anywhere they will know, but I don't think I'll let them help me again. I think I would have been better off if I had just kept on doing what I had been doing. On the other hand, Dr. Sola put a three tenth inch diameter stent in the artery to my kidney, and brought my blood pressure down to normal without any medicine. It had gone up to 195/95 whenever my wife's blood pressure meds wore off. So I listen to them, but skeptically.

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MRDPOLING 8/25/2010 8:16PM

    I had one of those stress tastes about 3 years ago. I didn't care for it but it did show my ticker was in great shape.

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Depressing Rant

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.


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ALEXTHEHUNN 8/25/2010 6:22PM

    Sorry you had a bad day. It's frustrating to over eat when you know better, and KNOW that you know better but do it anyway. I allow myself to do it far to easily. The good news it, you get to start fresh each day.

Cheers,
Alex

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MRDPOLING 8/25/2010 3:58PM

    yeah, eating out is a toughy for me too. I like the idea of asking 1/2 be delivered in a to go box. I'll try that.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/25/2010 12:45PM

    If you can, it is nice to have nutritional information before you go to the restaurant. Information, in this case, is the power to make the right choices. However, that restricts your choices to national chains, in most cases. I'm with your friend, Bill. It seriously bothers me to pay for a meal and then throw half of it away. Taking it home spreads out my eating out thrill over several meals.

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BREWMASTERBILL 8/25/2010 6:52AM

    Good policy on restaurants. Although I have a number of safe places to go to that I've figured out safe choices based on their calorie info on the web site. However, if you're watching your sodium, forget it, they all stink.

Going over once in awhile isn't a big deal. I wouldn't sweat it. So long as it isn't a habit, but you clearly know how to manage this long term.

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MS.ELENI 8/24/2010 10:17PM

    I have to limit going to restaurants too.We ate out way too much last weekend.
It is so easy to go over. You going over is the exception so I am sure you will do fine tomorrow.

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ROWINGFOOL 8/24/2010 9:47PM

    The occasional splurge could be a good thing for your metabolism. I think I mentioned "calorie cycling" before? You try to keep your body from going into starvation mode by having high and low calorie days over the course of a week, making sure your average comes in low enough to have a calorie deficit. It's used by some weight lifters to get "cut" for body building competitions.

Early programming is the hardest to change. Don't beat yourself up for being human; no one's perfect. You'll have days like this --- we all do. The important thing is to pick yourself up and get back on track.

Hey, at least you get to eat food. :) It'll be a while before I rejoin the ranks.


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Walking Entertainment

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MRDPOLING 8/24/2010 6:11AM

    I think of the zoning out as a sort of meditation. allowing the mind to just go limp, so to speak. I think it is very healthy at times.

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MS.ELENI 8/23/2010 11:23PM

    I thinking zoning out is a way to relax our brains. Glad to hear you are carrying a camera with you.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/23/2010 8:57PM

    I have an mp3 player that I take with me on most walks. There are times, though, when I like to get lost in my thoughts. Boring? Not really. For the most part, I enjoy them.

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BREWMASTERBILL 8/23/2010 7:48PM

    I used to just 'zone out' while I walked, but I started walking too far that a zone out turned into boredom. I like talk radio quite a bit. I'm over the political crap since it's just the same thing over and over, but I do enjoy self help type shows and comedy. I bought the cheapest little mp3 player I could find about 1.5 years ago for $30. Now I can just download the "podcasts" of my radio shows, load 'em up and away I go.

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Gray Day

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.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TUBLADY 8/22/2010 11:08PM

    When you were describing the lawn work, I could almost see you out taking care of business. That's very thoughtful to have a electric mower, etc. plus better for the environment. Good for you.
The book sounds interesting. I like historical books, a good mix of truth and fiction all the better.
Well sounds like you had a productive day.
All I did was general household chores, walk and yoga and rest.
I feel great , ready for the week to start all over again.

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S3XYDIVASMOM 8/22/2010 8:44PM

    We bought an electric mower because it is lighter than the powered kind. Its quietness is a real bonus. I can actually talk to my husband with it running. We love it and wonder why that choice isn't more viable for most people.

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ALEXTHEHUNN 8/22/2010 7:50PM

    That book sounds fascinating. I am deeply interested in Byzantine history and to a lesser extent Ottoman history. Historical fiction, when it's well done, is a pleasant way to absorb it.

It's an old book so you may be quite familiar with it, but a fine example of using history in fiction is Josephine Tey's, The Daughter of Time. It's about England's Richard III and how history may have wrongly judged him as a monster & murderer. Anyway, it's nicely done and you may like it.

I always liked the quiet electric mowers but was petrified of using one because I am physically graceless and too easily imagined myself running over the cord and electrocuting myself or others.

Best,
Alex

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BREWMASTERBILL 8/22/2010 6:30PM

    Is it unusually rainy there this summer or is summer always rainy? I've only been to Florida in the spring and winter and it's usually sunny. I figured with a name like the sunshine state, you wouldn't see so much rain.

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MS.ELENI 8/22/2010 6:21PM

    I was only teasing you about the neighbors. I know you are a very thoughtful person.
Our lawn guy was busy with a very loud mower Sat around 8:30. Doesn't bother me
I made some homemade bruchetti tonight.Turned out ok.I put it on top of a small baked potato.
We are still getting rain every day.

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MRDPOLING 8/22/2010 6:20PM

    Gray, drizzly days are my favorate for writing. Don't know why, they just are. Haven't seen much rain this summer up here so I haven't done very much righting at all.

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