Sunday, December 05, 2010
The BW got pushy last night and didn't want to wait until next Saturday to visit the Tampa museum, so we went over this morning. I printed out a map from Mapquest and thought I knew where to find the thing, but it didn't work out the way I expected. I made a total of two passes down Ashley Drive, and two passes up, and still hadn't seen any evidence of it. We found the Library, Children's Museum, and Performing Arts Center, which I have visited several times, but no signs of Gaspirilla St. or the Art Museum. I wound up over the river and turned around at the history museum the first time, and finally turned west off of Ashley, and still never saw any indication that an art museum existed. Then, on the way back east, just before we got to Ashley, I intended to park in a parking garage and ask my way at the Children's Museum. Just at the entrance to the garage there was a small sign that said "Parking for library, children's museum, art museum, and performing arts. There was a human sweeping the floor (a native) and he told us to use the walkway from the fourth or fifth floors. There was a walkway to the Children't museum on the third floor, but none to the Art Museum.
From the fourth floor, looking over the edge, I finally saw the art museum building. It is only two stories tall, and the front faces the side of the parking garage across a two lane one way street, which is one way east. It is directly behind the Children's Museum, which didn't show on the Mapquest map, and the back faces the river. The University of Tampa is just west of it, and it is the best hid of anything I have seen since visiting the National Security Agency. NSA is out in the woods with two huge parking lots and no signs of neighbors; the Tampa Museum of Art is in the middle of downtown and completely hidden from the casual passerby.
We had a nice visit once we were there. It was 30.3 miles from our house, about the same as the St. Petersburg Art Museum, but lots harder to find. After a couple of hours we each had a gelato to hold us on the trip home, and to rest our knees until we went back to the parking garage.
Saturday, December 04, 2010
One of my friends, Brewmaster Bill, posted a blog on the topic of calorie deficit – the fact that you will gain or lose depending exclusively on the excess or deficit in calories that you eat compared to the ones you burn. My reply was that he sounded like my buddy Bill - he got the deficit idea (had a revelation) about three or four weeks ago, and he is losing very nicely, thank you. There is one other point - what you eat and how much you exercise does affect what your body does. I am storing a bunch of CAT scans (of me) for different doctors because they only stay in the machine for seven years. You can see various white semicircles where an artery is cut normally and the plaque is calcified, and in one a nice long streak where there's a big plaque in the aorta. This sort of thing gives you an incentive to change your ways, and I don't have ham and cheese omelets with lots of butter on the toast and fried potatoes for breakfast any more. No big 18 oz T-bones for dinner - a lot of food is different now. I eat nuts and avocados but mostly skip the sausage and bacon.
Having a 7mm stent in the artery to my kidney reinforced the inclination to eat differently. These are long term effects that you don't see or feel. You don't experience the consequences for a lot of years either, but it may be too late to change your ways when you do.
If you’re relatively young all you need to worry about it the amount you eat. When you have real health problems, the eating patterns that reduce or even reverse some degenerative diseases become important. I recovered from some kidney loss and from spinal stenosis, and Bill’s doctors are astounded at his recovery (so far). The kidney doctor is the most confounded, because instead of moving into complete kidney failure, he is dramatically slowing his loss of kidney function, (it has been stable for the past few months) and showing at least one sign of improvement to an irreversible disease. Losing the weight and moving the body are important, and complete nutrition, which Spark People do advocate, is important too, for long term good health, at least in my opinion. I am not a doctor or qualified to give advice in this area.
Bill is down 55 pounds since last March and his internist couldn’t believe that he was doing it without a doctor. I’m down about 150 pounds, and the last 100 were the result of a shouting mach with a neurologist, so I suppose you could say that I did have help from a doctor – he lost his temper with me, but in the end he told me that I had graduated and didn’t need to come back unless I felt like visiting. He watched the process and was very happy with the result.
Thin people have heart attacks too.
Thursday, December 02, 2010
It was 42 degrees at 7:00 this morning, which is plenty cold for me. I couldn't see my breath, but a cold front came through, and there is a freeze warning for inland in Polk County, not too far north from here.
After reading the comics, dropping off the Dodge for new motor mounts, and walking 2.5 miles this morning, I worked on Kiwanis stuff from 9 to 3:30, first on paperwork, then on driving around and buying supplies for the "Breakfast With Santa" at Lake St. George Elementary on Saturday. Then I spent 45 minutes on Spark People before changing clothes and heading for TOPS. I had no breakfast or lunch today, and weighed in at exactly the same weight as I did two weeks ago. Thanksgiving wasn't a killer for me.
I didn't suffer from having only one meal today (turkey soup, crackers, yogurt, and some nuts) because I was busy all day. It was like being back at work without the stop at the local tavern afterward and the huge supper. Now it's 9:00 and Ralphie is in the sweater the BW put on him while I was gone. The temperature is down to 71 degrees inside, and I just switched it from "cool" to "heat". We also had a comforter on the bed last night, which I pulled back over myself about 4:30 this morning, and I may try to go to sleep with it covering me tonight. Usually one thin blanket is enough or too much, but I need a sweatshirt or the comforter in the winter.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Both museums were closed on Monday, so we went down to St. Petersburg today and saw the exhibit of 100 American Impressionists. I made a (nearly) U turn and parked right in front of the entrance at a meter. For $1.50 we had two hours inside, and I planned to run out and put more coins in if that wasn’t enough, but we were out in not much more than an hour. The BW made it up the ramp with her cane, and I pushed her around in one of their wheelchairs.
Then we stopped at Frank’s Bob Evans (close to where he used to live and where we had Easter Breakfast with him one year). Frank was my next younger brother, and lived in Clearwater, close to St. Pete.
It turns out that both museums are about 30 miles from our house, and both have similar exhibits. We’ll hit the Tampa Art Museum a week from this coming Saturday.
On the way home we had to stop again to look for another full sized air mattress for the Futon and Bed Bath and beyond actually had them in stock. Everyone has queen size, but no one seemed to have full sized. Then the BW remembered she had a coupon for 20 per cent off at home, so we went home for the coupon and to let the dogs off. The air mattress she had was more than 8 years old and had developed a slow leak (low after a couple of days), so now we have a new one that’s 14 inches tall with a pillow top, and a new set of sheets to go with it. The $200 dollar matters only cost $160, and I have another form to get a $20 rebate because it cost more than $150. In the end, the mattress will cost $140 and the tax will be $11.20, so I paid $151.20 instead of $214. And I won’t hear about the leaking mattress any more. I’m glad she remembered the coupon.
We put 100 miles on the Camry today running around.
To finish the day off, I closed the books on our fiscal year and started our FY11 budget/Profit & Loss program. I screwed up copying a big block from FY10 to the FY11 December sheet (they are 12 sheet Excel programs) and spent an extra 40 minutes screwing around until I finally managed to straighten everything out, so we’re good for a month. Then next month we have a big budget meeting and figure out what gets less next year to pay for the things that get more (Medicare part B, Mailhandlers, etc.) We’ll see how it turns out this year.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I got up late, read the paper and had some coffee, then took the dogs for a walk. It was 52 degrees when we went out at 8 and only 56 when we came back at 9. The cold front is here again, and my thermometer doesn’t read the same as the weatherman’s promises. Sometimes it higher, and some times it’s lower.
I spent most of the day doing Kiwanis paperwork and calling guys. Some of the retirees want to get together at the Pier again, so I sent out an e-mail to see how many guys we can round up in December and what the date will be, before the big event in February.
The BW wants to visit both the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg and the Tampa Museum of Art, and I spent some time trying to figure out which of the locations in Tampa has the display she wants. I can handle St. Pete – it’s close enough to the Pier that I can drop her off, then park in one of the Pier parking lots and walk back. In Tampa it might be a little tougher because she doesn’t walk so well, but maybe there’s a way. In the limit we can just drive over there and see what we find. Sometimes you get a good surprise.
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