Monday, June 30, 2008

Mom went home...

late Saturday evening after a 5th test that found nothing; her blood count had stabilized, and just like "Green Tea" said in the comments below, they sent her home and are adding iron to her supplements.

Funny, Mom always was iron deficient. She still complains to me about the family doctor that delivered me (he had also delivered her) making her eat raw liver in 1955when she was carrying me...

Meanwhile, Dottie's blood is so iron rich that if she doesn't go donate every once in a while it thickens and causes her leg cramps!

All of the numbers in my physical came back perfect; the doctor said "lose a 100 pounds by next Friday and you'll be fine!". Then he cautioned me against trying to lose this mass too quickly...

I clipped Angel for the summer finally last night as she has to go to the vet today for her annual (what is it about retirement and doctors?) checkup and shots. At 12, she seemed to get through it better than I did.

Which brings me to a close, as I need to eat something and get out the door!

May the week be kind to each of you! Thank you for all the prayers and the well wishes and words of encouragement...


Thursday, June 26, 2008

A good time to be retired...(aka unplanned disappearance)

The first two days were up earlier than I should have on Sunday, spent a half hour on the treadmill first thing; Bill came and mowed then we bought barbecue as a retirement celebration. He left just before 9, I went to bed before 10 with every intention of getting up early on Monday.

I slept 16 hours!

Still, I started trying to "de-packrat" the house a bit, and ran some other errands along with hitting the treadmill twice for a half hour.

Tuesday Dottie had to prepare for a colonoscopy on Wednesday, and just as she did we got a phone call from my Mom's nursing home that they had been worried about her, done a blood count and her levels were off, so they were having her transported to the ER. Mom has been fighting MS for 40 years, can't walk at this point, and these last few months we have stopped trying to transport her for fear of hurting her or ourselves.

Dottie couldn't leave to go with me, so I spent the afternoon and evening at the hospital while they gave her a unit of blood, one of Nexium then another of blood. They had thought she had either an upper GI bleed or an ulcer, but the scan they did yesterday showed neither. This morning they did a swallow test to make sure she can stand a colonoscopy tomorrowp; if they don't find an explanation (they seem to expect to, especially given that her mother died of colon cancer) then we are told a bone marrow test is next...

So I'm sorry I dropped off the face of the earth, and will continue to remain there at least through the weekend most likely...

May it be kind to each of you!


addendum: I should have mentioned above that Dottie's test results were wonderful, and that she was told she needn't come back again for 7-10 years!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Down to 10 again...

so I came home, figured out how to run my Radio Shack heart monitor again, then spent a half hour on the treadmill with "The Pink Panther" (Boomer network). 1.5 miles with the warm up and cool down; no incline, and all my legs wanted for tonight.

Some "wag" at work figured out that the 300 of us leaving amounted to over 9,000 years experience walking out the door...rather a shocking number!

I've had a hard time not taking time to rant a bit, and I guess my shower is going to wait a few more minutes.

Last month our Peerless Leader said he didn't need to quit filling the Strategic Petroleum reserve because the supply of oil wasn't the problem.

Now he and his Dear John are both raving about how we need to drill offshore and in Alaska...

Meanwhile on "Marketplace" and other places they keep talking about the "Enron loophole" that did away with oversight on oil speculators in 2001...right after the guy who got the most campaign money from Enron snuck into office!

Should you wish to read much more literate discussions of this and things current, scroll down to the right and visit Robert Reich's blog.

May your Fridays each be wonderful and the weekend kind!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008


It seems that the counting of hours and minutes that had me smiling last week and on Monday has gone out the window. Between some breakdown time and their trying to make up some of the 12,000 vehicles they lost while we were on the street, they've thrown sanity out the window and are pushing us beyond 10 hour days. Monday we did 10.5; last night it was 11.

Last night the line started at 5:00pm and stopped at 4:30am; I got home at 5...

I put a tailight bulb in Dottie's car, made a soy protein shake, paid bills, ran through the shower and got in bed at 6:30; I tried to get up at 3 but set the clock back to 3:30...

Now it's time to eat, go out the door and do it again!

Saturday can't come soon enough!


Monday, June 16, 2008

Write faster, write faster...

Lots to do before work and I was sleeping so good I kept setting the clock back...very seldom that happens of late, whether it's my weight, or stress, or age...

Saturday Bill mowed and I went to Sears to pick up a weight bench; I came back home and we unloaded it and "dollied it" down the steps to join the treadmill. I stayed long enough for him to clean the gutters (in case he decided to fall or something, since he walked the roof to do them instead of using the ladder).

"Dick's Sporting Goods" used to sell Olympic weight sets with the bar for about 1/2 what anyone else did; after going to the closest store and finding them out, I called the next and they were as well. So I ran my other errands (Radio Shack for a phone battery and stopping to buy a fan for the basement) while Bill finished, stuck baked potatoes in the oven and showered.

I got home just in time to explain how to start the big skillet for mushrooms. John, Noel and the grandkids were already here; John was changing the oil in his minivan. Dottie got home from work as the first skillet of mushrooms were tranferred and the second was started, got the grill out and started it then ran through the shower while Bill started the steaks. After they turned the first time the potatoes came out and the shrimp went into the oven.

Dinner came out "together" and well.

While they were all talking I called another "Dick's" and found out those weight sets were discontinued; with everyone else selling plates at a dollar a pound and bars for $50 and up, I could see why!

John had a check engine light on his van, so he cleared it and wanted to go for a test ride. He and Bill were discussing "World of Warcraft" strategies, so I talked Bill into going, and told John lets go back to Sears.

The bench I bought in the early afternoon I put on our card. While there I saw Weider weight sets, one Olympic set marked down $40 which made it comparable to trying to buy the cheap plates elsewhere and a bar separately. The plates are rubber clad, making it a bit easier on my ancient concrete floor most likely. I added a 2nd bar, a stand for the weights and parted with a 3rd of the "bonus" we got for bringing the Malibu in at #1 in the J.D. Power surveys.

So, after some more rearranging in the basement, I'll be able to do most of what I did in the gym at work without having to give up the drive time or the gasoline or worry about the hours!

Since Dottie worked yesterday, I spent the afternoon rewiring our cable and dropping cable to a VCR in the basement, along with trying to get the "I-Control" function of our cable to work. I had been told it was the way I had it wired to begin with, so I changed it to the way their service rep said it needed to be; no such luck, but I have one piece left to change before I give up (a Radio Shack "booster" to bypass").

Last night when Dottie came home we both ran through the shower, called in an order to "Famous Dave's" barbecue for a "Feast for Two" then came home and watched "Charlie Wilson's War". Excellent movie, and very cautionary for our present time!

Time to get dressed, get the trash to the curb, then eat some of last night's leftovers.

58 more hours to go!

Tomorrow I have to get up and go get bloodwork done for my physical; it's really going to be hard to work 'til 3:30AM and not eat after midnight! I asked them to set it up for a Monday, and didn't realize they hadn't until last week. Since I skipped last year (we were broke, but I made sure Dottie got hers done along with a mammogram and having her joint replacements checked) and they aren't pointing it out to me, I figured I'd just go along with it...

May the week be kind!


Saturday, June 14, 2008

Saturday morning, just before sunup...

Came home, Dottie awake because her arthritis woke her just before I usually show up. Bill is here, so we shuffled cars as she works tomorrow, he's mowing and then going to the Dr. because of a tick bite, so my truck needed to be the furthest thing in our one car driveway.

I showed her the retirement plaque they gave me tonight; 58 more hours and I'm out the door.

We talked a bit, then I slipped on my shoes and went downstairs. The first night I did 3/4 mile in 20 minutes with only a quick up and down on the incline to make sure it worked, and had all I wanted. I skipped the 2nd night because of other things too hideous to detail; last night I pushed it to a mile in 21 minutes with no incline. Tonight it was a tick over a mile in a tick over 20 minutes varying the speed up to 3.4 for a minute or so, and the incline up to 10 at one point, though not for long. The calorie counter really jumped though, as I knew it would.

The heart monitor seems a bit erratic, probably because if I stay where I can hold the grips my feet catch the shroud over the front roller. Instead of dropping the $100 to put the RF receiver in it and get their chest belt, I'm going to put fresh batteries in the wrist monitor and chest belt I wore to the gym at work in the "old days" and use it for a while.

So now I sit here to cool off a bit and eat something before I crash. No more Cocoa Pebbles or Golden Crisp in the middle of the night, back to cottage cheese...a slow-digesting protein instead of carbs...

Dottie works today and tomorrow; she set up Father's Day dinner for tonight after she gets off but Bill is supposed to cook with my consultation. I'm planning to slip off to Sears to look at a weightbench and run some other errands when I get up; hoping before noon, so that means I need to run through the rain locker and get to bed!

I hope each of you has a lovely weekend!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A new beginning...

A few of you might remember that several years ago I injured my back. I weighed 288 at the time (a load when you are only 5' 8") and was stepping out of the tub when something "twanged" in my lower right back. I went to work, didn't survive and came home...after several days I tried again and was worse; finally it turned out to be a fractured ligament.

I ended up on the only sick leave I've ever used, for almost 4 months while I went through therapy. During that process I ended up down in the 240's; when I went back to work we were only working 8's and the gym at work was available 24 hours, so I stuck with it and got all the way down to 188 and a 34" waist. I was lifting weights two hours a day 4 or 5 days a week, and spending an hour on the treadmill afterwards each day. I slowly edged back up to 200, but my waist dropped to 33" and for the first time in my life I had something that resembled a physique. I was off the Celebrex that had replaced my Bextra, and I was off blood pressure medicine as well.

Our hours crept to 9, the time in the gym was shortened; then other things intervened and it became non-existent. My intention had been to return "when I found time". Then our work hours crept to 10...

If you've ever heard of "Newton's 3rd Law" (for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction), you know where this is going...

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I had gone to the Dr. to get back on my blood pressure medicine (a good thing, as the headaches have stopped!). The scale broke 300that day, a shock to me as I figured I might be close but didn't expect it to be over. Just barely broke, but still...301!

Dottie found the "missing link" for the treadmill last night; the safety key that had been put away when the box was opened. Filed away for safekeeping, I had never seen it; I was sure it was left out of the box...

So when I got home at 4 this morning, I went downstairs, donned a new pair of Asics and did 20 minutes. Not nearly the speed or incline I was at 20 months ago, but a beginning! (All I wanted of one as well!)

So, knowing I did it once, here I go again...

May the week be kind to each of you!


Monday, June 09, 2008

10 more work days...

and it can't go by fast enough! Going back on the 10 hour days then trying to get up on the weekends is wreaking mental and physical havoc with me...

Caleb (the younger grandson) spent Friday and Saturday nights. I tried to get up early on Saturday but didn't make it 'til noon. We had errands to run which included buying his first model; he picked an F-14 "Tomcat". Bill came and mowed while we were out, so Caleb got to play outside when we returned and again yesterday before the next round of rain began. I played catch with my bifocals on for the first time, as I was doing other things around the house and finally making the wiring drop for the treadmill.

After I finished and plugged in the surge suppressor, etc., we discovered that the safety key is missing, so in a minute I'll be on the phone...

Having screwed up my hours for the last two days, today I kept resetting the clock until 3, so I'm a bit short of time before I go to work now!

I hope you each had a wonderful weekend, that all of you are "high and dry" given the current situation so many places, and that the week is kind to each of you!


Friday, June 06, 2008

What should have been...

I lack the words...

Thank you, Bobby, for trying!


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A link about the fuel tank farm fire...

This link is from one of the noon news broadcasts and has both video footage and stills from last night and this morning of the millions of gallons of unleaded burning.

I haven't heard of anyone hurt or injured; damage to our wallets notwithstanding.

Heck of a way to have you all find out exactly where I work!

May the rest of you have a quiet week!


The fuel tank fire...

just in case any of you noticed it on the news, is adjacent to our plant but caused no damage or even evacuation. It wasn't really any louder than the thunder we had been hearing for an hour or so before hand.

The corner of the "tank farm" is about 75 feet from where I was walking picket duty last month...


Monday, June 02, 2008


after months instead of the weeks I'd of thought, the treadmill is together. I have a wiring drop to make to it (easy) and then I'll start walking myself back down to a proper size...

I started to title this "Treadmill to Oblivion", which was what Fred Allen called his memoir, written 50 some years ago; I decided as long as I've had it on my Powell's list and not had it show up, I shouldn't get someone's hopes up if they Googled it.

We had a mini-Thanksgiving in July Saturday afternoon, with Bill and the grandkids here. Then Bill and I went out, him to mow and me to run the trimmer. It didn't get done last week (didn't really need it until after the rain started last Saturday and kept up for days) and took both of us about twice as long as it should have.

He spent the night and Sunday we put together the treadmill (in spite of the step they left out in the instructions) then I made a trip to Lowe's before they closed. Bill went home, Dottie and I did our Wal-Mart run, and by then it was 9 something.

She had "Flightplan" but didn't feel like watching something that might end on a sad note before she went to bed. When she finally did I finally caught up with "Tess of the Storm Country", my Pickford silent that had been sitting for weeks now.

I made the mistake when it first arrived, having fallen madly in love with "Stella Maris" of checking a few minutes of it to see if I might be able to get Dottie to watch it. I was disappointed in the print, which has a lot of acid deterioration early on.

Now I sit here disappointed in myself for not watching it sooner, as the "bad spots" go away a couple of "reels" in and the movie pulls you in until you wouldn't care if they did or not. At the beginning they have a quote from Mary saying this was her favorite of all her films (248 of them she did!) and I can understand that!

Off to check my list to see what's next!

May the week be kind!