Wednesday, September 22, 2010
I spent this morning, from about 6:30 to 2:30 at an AARP meeting to tell us that there will be a single, nationwide set of documents for training and teaching the Safe Driving Course. Most of the attendees (about 60) felt that everything could have been covered in an hour or less, and a single sheet of paper would contain all the necessary information.
When I got home I washed both cars, and they both look a lot better. Water still beads up on them, but I'll protectall them tomorrow ( Protectall is a spray liquid wax that is very popular in the RV world because it is incredibly slick.)
We had Sesame Chicken ( Spark Recipe) tonight, and more chicken breast is marinating for tomorrow. We also had roasted pepper, salad, one cup or brown rice, and a fruit (peach for me, orange for the BW). She made decaffeinated tea, which she served over ice, but I got to do the rest of it.
So far I have lost five pounds in six days, on the Rice diet, and a couple of pounds normal fluctuation two days before that. I was at 176 this morning, which is about 179 fully dressed, but with empty pockets. I'll fall out of my leeway if this goes on, but it's fun to see the weight shrink.
The BW is losing weight too, but a little less, I think. She isn't talking about it much, but she is pretty much going along with the diet.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We had our regular Thursday meeting at the Dockside Café this morning instead of Tiffany’s. That’s the place on Lake Tarpon with the glass wall in our meeting room. There was a buffet, and they opened up just for us. The agreement was that each person pays $8 for breakfast, with a minimum of 10 breakfasts. Some of the guys had plates piled high with eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes, and Danishes, and drank juice and coffee. I splurged with decaffeinated coffee, Danish, about one egg, and some potatoes. I’m not sure what it all totaled, but I know I could have really ruined the day there.
We had two members of the Tarpon Springs Club there, Mary and Brendan, and even then we only had 8 paid breakfasts. We’ll have to see how this all turns out – several members are out of town or at work right now when we meet.
I wrote the check, and later deposited the receipts. Then I went to my local Goodyear store and priced tires for the Dodge. The tires are six years old, and probably have another 25 or 30 thousand miles left, but I learned the hard way that old tires don’t like high speed travel. Both cars get out on US 19 and the interstates periodically, so they both need good tires. The Goodyear manager gave me prices on three tires - $338.51 for four Kelly tires rated at 40,000 miles, $451.33 for four Goodyear tires rated at 50,000 miles, both A traction and B temperature, and $588.46 for four Michelin tires rated at 80K miles. The Camry is riding on new Michelins, and it’s kind of silly to buy 80,000 mile tires for a 10 year old car with 62,000 miles on it, but I felt like going first class.
Before I did that, I had to go down to Sam’s Club and check on their prices. They didn’t have Goodyears in my size (the antique P195/70R14’s) but they did have a BF Goodrich similar to the Goodyear. The full price for them was about $330. The 80,000 mile Michelin’s were about $400, but they had a $70 rebate on four tires until Sept. 30, so I paid $328.92 for four Michelins with all the trimmings, including road hazards, which would have been an extra cost at the Goodyear store.
The discount was just luck, but the difference in price shows that it is good to shop around a little. The Costco manager was telling a guy with an 8 year old tire that he didn’t sell it to the customer as an old tire – he checks every tire in inventory once each year to make sure that they have been rotated properly. Another guy told me that they control their inventory first in-first out when I asked last year.
All in all, I had a good day, except that it took me 30 minutes to get to the head of the line and buy the tires, and then more than three hours to get them mounted. I can tell you a lot about the Sam’s Club inventory, and I did buy some espresso roast coffee beans for the BW.
Monday, September 20, 2010
I slept 9 hours last night, and didn’t wake until 7:30, so I took the dogs for a walk first. When we got back it was 8:20, and only 72 degrees, so the BW went out to Oldsmar for another cortisone shot and I went for a walk. When I was done, and just ready to get in the shower, she called because she couldn’t start the car – the key wouldn’t turn. I tried to coach her to move the steering wheel, and she said she had done that. While she was on the phone I had her move it both right and left, and then told her to push harder. Nothing worked, and she didn’t want to call AAA, so I told her to wait inside because she said it was too hot in the car, got dressed, and drove out there – a half hour away. I saw her car, opened the door, and started the car with no trouble. Then I locked it and started for the Baycare building, but she was walking toward me.
She tried to start the car again, and couldn’t, so I used her keys, started the car, and asked – she had always been pulling hard on the steering wheel, either right or left, and it wouldn’t allow the key to turn. She said she had used that technique once before and it worked, but I don’t know how to solve her problem. I did offer to trade cars back with her, but she likes the Camry.
Sunday, September 19, 2010
A couple of weeks ago the BW decided that a magazine (newspaper?) was worth buying. It was on a stand at the checkout counter at the grocery, and the front had a big headline – “Diet Better than Surgery?”, or something like that. It fermented for a while, but a couple of days ago I noticed that it had been lying open on the counter for three or four days. I asked her if she was going to try it and said I would if she would, and she said she would. We had five pounds of brown texmati rice on hand, so it wasn’t a big problem. I did buy more fruit, but we had plenty of everything else. The diet is based on the rice diet developed at Duke University, so I bought a couple of copies of the book that inspired the article, one for the BW and one for Bill, who has really serious kidney problems. I couldn’t find the original diet described anywhere, but there are a lot of people that will sell you something if you search for “Rice Diet”.
We have now done it for two days and I am surprised at the amount of sodium on my food entries. I don’t know if you can read the article, or if I’ll get in trouble for posting it, but here are scanned copies of the thing.
After three days I am surprised at the drop in sodium on the nutrition page, and I had lost three pounds this morning after two days, and the BW claimed that she was less bloated and felt better. The next trick is to keep with it for a while. I'll let you know how it turns out.
Saturday, September 18, 2010
The BW asked how I hurt my knee a little while ago, and this is the story. I left the house a little before six this morning, and the stars were out. Orion is straight overhead now, and all the brighter stars show up just fine, but there’s so much light pollution that you can’t see the dimmer stars, and the Milky Way is only a memory. Anyhow, there is enough light to see by, even under the trees, although that’s pretty dark. The horizon is completely dark to the west, because of the gulf, but there is some light in the other directions, brightest in the south. I made it up to 16th street, but the only light on 16th is at the corner of Pennsylvania and 16th, so the two blocks to Nebraska are very dark. Trees hang over you, there are no house lights, but you can still make out where the sidewalk is. When I got to Nebraska, the house on the south-west corner has three bright lights, and it’s hard to see because they shine in your eyes.
As I started to cross Nebraska, I stepped in a depression in the gutter, turned my left ankle over, and fell down, landing on my left hand and my knees. I brushed the dirt off, and still had more than four miles to go, so I kept going and didn’t realize that my right knee and left thumb were skinned. When I got home I brushed against the storm door latch and lifted a flap of skin by my right elbow, so I get a star for being the graceful one today.
Last night we drove 30 miles through the city for the opening night of a modern opera the BW wanted to see. I like the music of a lot of operas, but the only one that I really enjoyed was a movie called Carmen Jones. I didn’t make a fuss, because it makes her happy. This thing is called “A Little Night Music” and the music and lyrics are by Stephen Sondheim, and the book was by Hugh Wheeler. It “was suggested” by an Ingmar Bergman film. There was a lot of talking as well as the singing, so I think it is light opera – I’m not sure.
We got there, got a parking place, go in, and got our seats. Then I could understand maybe 20 percent of what they said, probably one percent of what they sang. Fortunately, I read the four page synopsis before the thing started, so I could recognize the part where this guy said his wife hadn’t had relations with him for eleven months, and the other guy’s wife agreed to accommodate him as a favor to an old friend. That was the high point for me, because I was sure what was going on, even though they were singing.
It was so hard to follow that I just dropped out and thought of other things after about 15 minutes. I remembered learning to play the piano and pipe organ, and then learning to play my father’s violin after he died, and how I gave it up to please the BW just when I was ready to join a string quartet. My best piece was Turkey in the Straw – I loved to sound like Grand Old Orpey.
The first time I looked at my watch the show had been on for a half hour, then an hour, then an hour and a half. Then the BW crooked her finger at me, grabbed her cane, and we sneaked out the back and down the stairs. Then I asked the ticked man, on the way out, if the opera had an intermission – he said yes, in about 8 minutes. The good news was, it was easy to get out of the parking lot, and there was very little traffic on the way home. The show started at 7:30, and we left at 9:00. I didn’t ask how long it would run because I was so happy to be on my home, and we were here just before 10. I consider it a triumph, although there are a series of events in Tarpon Springs, three of which are operas. Fortunately, at least I recognize the names of them.
I asked her at supper tonight if she could understand the words (which were in English) and she said she couldn’t understand anything, so I was a mutual reaction. We both clapped on demand, however.
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