Friday, September 24, 2010
The weather has been great here lately - the highs still in the low 90's, but the lows in the low 70's - as low as 72 some mornings when I'm out.
Yesterday the BW and I went to lunch at Massimo's, which I had never heard of until our daughter-in-law searched it out. Massimo has won an award of excellence every year for the past five years, and was rated the best chef in five out of the last six years by Tampa Bay Magazine. It didn't mean much to me, but since Julia was paying the bill (as an anniversary present) we finally went for lunch. I was really surprised. I have eaten in a lot of fancy places, but none of them came close to the food we had. It is contemporary Mediterranean, but not like any of the other Italian places around here. It is close - probably no more than three miles away, but it's back off of US19, with in the same center as the Outback Steakhouse, but at the back of the parking lot. The entrées cost a little more than other Italian restaurants, but not much, and the food is not in the same league. We have a new place to go when we feel like splurging.
I had a salad, then was full. Then I had linguine and clams, and ate it all. Then we had espresso and dessert.
What's odd is that it's so close, and I never heard of it. There were few lunch patrons, so I assume that it's mostly a dinner place.
The BW gained five pounds this morning, and I gained one and a half. But it was worth it.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
In response to three comments on yesterday's blog, the Rice diet is like several other “diets” that have been around for a long time – in the case of the rice diet, for 70 years. They also have evolved into spas that treat famous people – the Pritikin in California and Florida, and the rice at Duke University. The diet originated at Duke for a woman who was diabetic when there was no dialysis or kidney transplant for the disease. The diet controlled her diabetes, and she lost weight which solved other problems. It evolved, and people like Buddy Hackett were treated at the Duke facility.
It is very similar to Pritikin, Dr. Ornish, and others in that it’s a low fat diet based on unprocessed foods, and the rice provides calories without a lot of protein or potassium, both of which are hard work for the kidneys if they’re marginal.
One of the originator’s offspring (still in the business) wrote a book about it a few years ago. Every diet I have ever seen does one thing – makes you eat less if you follow its rules. In some cases, there is no calorie counting. In Pritikin’s case, stay with low sugar, salt, fat, cholesterol, and caffeine. If you try to avoid all of them (he does suggest 4 ounces of lean meat or fish a day) you wind up losing weight by chance. I did that for the first 70 pounds until I started peeing blood, lost a kidney (because of cancer) and had a lot of help from our oldest daughter. I made bean soup with smoked turkey legs for flavoring, and lots of carrots, onions, and garlic. I baked my own bread with only flour yeast, and water for ingredients. I ate all I wanted, and roved (walked) and it worked just fine.
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.
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