Monday, January 31, 2011
I started a new pocket notebook yesterday. I started the last one on March 5, 2010, and finished it January 29, 2011, so it lasted just less than 10 months. When I first started keeping one they were provided by the Navy, had a nice Naugahide cover, and opened sideways. I only put things in there that I really needed to remember, such as the name, location, and phone number of sponsors (alias customers - someone who sent money to have a job done). Because the information was entered serially, is was a miserable filing system, but because I always had it with me, I could look up the information I needed wherever I was, and it was there when I needed it, even after three to five years when I didn't. Of course, one of those notebooks lasted me a lot of years, and I only had a few of them.
After I retired, I found that I couldn't buy those pocket notebooks - they had a Federal Stock Number, but Office Depot and Staples didn' have anything like the books I had used. I ended up buying a cheap commercial version that had a spiral wire binding, which was not very satisfactory. The binding would get bent and unwind because I would write on both sides of the paper, and the bent wire would snag and tear the pages. After a few of them I switched to the ones with the binding across the top of the pages. That works fairly well if you can find the ones with a plastic cover, and is satisfactory even if you have just a heavy cardboard cover. The reason I use them up so fast now is that I have found that when I started trying to count my calories, I need to write down exactly what I eat at about the time I eat it - either before or immediately after. If I wait until the end of the day there is sure to be something, and usually a number of things, that I forget to write down.
When I first started losing weight, I simply did the Pritikin thing - no sugar, no salt, no fat, no caffeine, and very little meat - no more than three or four ounces per day. Also rove, which is just get out and cover ground. I ate all I wanted and automatically had the pounds drop away.
After I mishap, I got off the wagon for a couple of years and gained about 20 pounds back. That is when I joined TOPS, started counting calories, and charted my progress. To count the calories, I need a way to get them down immediately, and that is my pocket notebook.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
Yesterday I helped the BW clean up some of the landscaping in the front yard. It turned out that the tractor scoot didn't really help that much, first because everything isn't level and nice, and second because you still have to bend over to reach the ground. She was pretty frantic for a while, but eventually calmed down. She is particularly adamant about the hammock she has - the stand is just always in the way. I finally agreed to drill a hole in the back of the garage wall and set a post to get the hammock up. The cement blocks aren't as strong as solid concrete, and I'm not sure how to get a correctly sized hole in the wall, but I was willing to head for Home Depot yesterday - then she told me to wait until Monday and avoid the weekend crowd.
After that I spent most of the rest of the day getting ready for the safe driving class Tuesday and Wednesday. I inventoried all my pass-outs, and went to Office Depot to get more of the ones I was short. There are 23 people signed up, so I sorted out the two types of manuals and packed only 23 of each. Lately I have been just putting everything in the big plastic tub I carry, but a combination of 46 "magazines" and the rest of the stuff is too heavy for me.
Then I made up name tags for everyone, and will call them all once before the class to try to get most of them there early enough to register.
I also spent a while reviewing my teaching guide, and decided that I will try to see the maintenance people tomorrow, and try again to get a separate table for the pass-outs and name tags. The little one they leave me isn't big enough for either set of items by itself.
Last night my stomach didn't feel well. I let Ralphy out at about 2:00, and right after I went back to bed it started bothering me. It got worse until I finally vomited. At least I knew it was coming, and had a big bowl ready when I needed it. After three times around I was able to go back to sleep, and I didn't feel too bad this morning. As near as I can figure it, there was a peach that I ate yesterday morning which had a discolored area in contact with the pit, and which tasted a little different. I can't think of anything else that might have caused the problem, so I'm going to be very picky about food, at least for the near future.
I had a good nectarine and a good apple this morning. Then I read Garfield, who was lured by donuts. The BW was called by donuts, and I cracked and bought four big ones. We each ate two. I'm still not back in control.
Friday, January 28, 2011
The "tractor scoot", a rolling, steerable gardener seat for the BW, came yesterday and I put it together this morning. So far it's just sitting in the living room, waiting for her to feel like gardening. I wanted to put it in the shed, but she likes it where it is.
To celebrate, she came along with me to pick up Jack and have lunch at Billy Jack's. She had her hamburger, and I had chili, fries, and two beers. Jack had a letter addressed to Burnham and addressed to his house, so I took it and promised to get it to Tom, our new Kiwanis president, before the meeting Wednesday night.
The BW wanted to come along, so after I figured out where he lives we took the dogs for a ride and headed for his house. Unfortunately there was some sort of problem on Florida Avenue in Tarpon Springs, so I eventually turned around on the two lane street and went back the way we had come. There were cars as far as the eye could see in front of us, and by the time I turned around they were stacked up a long way behind us. We got back down to Alternate US19 and tried to find another road north of downtown, but finally gave up. I did buy insoles for my old shoes at one place, and a yellow ink cartridge at Office Depot, but by that time the BW was craving breakfast for supper. She didn't want it at home, either.
We wound up at Perkins, and I had the same thing she had - three pancakes, two eggs, and two sausage links, along with butter and syrup. All in all it was not a particularly good food day, but things did taste good.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Because of a combination of sun damage and old age, the skin on my forearms had the strength and consistency of wet tissue paper. My left forearm is especially covered with scars where the skin has peeled back because I touched something that was hard and had a little friction. I would learn that I had goofed when I felt blood dripping off my fingertips. Other times I would touch something hard enough to feel it, but it was always too late.
A few months ago, while a dermatologist was removing the stitches from Mohs Surgery on my forehead, he gave me a prescription for generic Retin A, and told me that it was expensive and I would have to pay myself because Medicare doesn't cover it for off-label use. He asked me to use it on only my right arm first. I filled the prescription, and within a couple of months the right arm was dramatically better. The last time I saw him, before Thanksgiving, he called in his nurses to see the difference, then told me to do both arms.
When we were trimming the hedge and landscape bushes, I got against some of the sharp brush while loading the trash container. A sharp piece scratched the side of my right arm enough to make it bleed a little, and a poke on my left arm left a raised blister with blood, but the skin stayed intact on both arms, which was a dramatic difference.
Unfortunately, both arms have now developed bumpy skin - lots of little lumps pretty close together. I think I may have reached the end of the improvement and now need to cut back on the frequency of application. It's something where you use only a little bit, and only once per day. A little is good, but more is not better.
It's sad to realize that you can get too much of a good thing.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
I had the Camry serviced today, and they found that the dome light fixture was shorted. I'll take the car back tomorrow afternoon for a new fixture. When I got home I realized that I had left a library book at McBee's, so I walked down to get it, bought a couple of tomatoes at Steve's, and walked home.
We had 2.2 inches of water in the rain gauge this morning, so I dumped it. Later on the day was nice, so I took a couple more photographs.
This is a close up of the orange blossoms. I took a closer picture and then cropped it.
Now comes the first red grape vine - it has three sprouts, and they're getting bigger.
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