Archive for the ‘journal’ Tag

07-23-2015 Journal – Love Me, Amy!   Leave a comment

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‘My New Workout Buddy’

I had a great workout yesterday. Normally I’d spend forty-five minutes on the treadmill and all the while watching some ridiculous television rerun.  I’ve been doing my workouts every other day for the last year and a half but as time goes by it becoming more of a boring task than a healthy approach to my life. On top of that I’m tired of hearing myself bitching and complaining about it endlessly. I’ve discovered over the years that I have the uncanny ability to annoy even myself and not just others.

With the upcoming cutting of my TV umbilical cord I’ve begun taking steps to prepare myself for what I’m sure will be a certain amount of withdrawal from my life-long television addiction.  It will difficult I’m sure but absolutely necessary.

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‘I’d judge that as a 9.5’

I’ve turned away from my exercising in front of the television to embracing an old love . . . music. I’ve never considered turning to music  on the treadmill because I’ve always loved music and hated mandatory exercise. Mixing the two seemed somehow wrong. I was forced to rethink my entire approach to these things because cable television is making me insane.

I’ve had an IPod full of thousands of songs for years but have used it sparingly.  I’ve always disliked wearing ear buds because the accompanying loss of hearing of my surroundings makes me wary and uncomfortable. Yesterday I jumped on the treadmill, put in my ear buds, and turned on my IPod. The silence of the world was replaced for the first twenty minutes by those politically incorrect Dixie Chicks who pissed me off years ago as they did a large segment of the country. I still love their music but detest their political naiveté.

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‘President Bush’s Fav’s’

The next twenty-five minutes were consumed by the late darling of the British Isles, Amy Winehouse.  I love her brash lyrics and low and sexy sound.  She made the remaining time fly by and I actually found myself totally entranced by her music and my memories of her. It was wonderful.

I guess I accomplished three things yesterday.  I kicked my TV habit, I had a kick-ass workout, and I began a new love affair with my IPod and Ms. Winehouse.

To quote one of Amy’s lyrics, "Where is my moral parallel?". My answer is the same as hers . . ."I have none."

FADE TO BLACK

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07-19-2015 Journal–Down With Cable TV!   Leave a comment

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It’s a gray day once again after having a few days of bright sunshine. The better-half is at work and the cat and I are doing as little as possible.  Over the last few days I’ve been spending time familiarizing myself with Netflix.  It was a little cumbersome at first but it didn’t take long to get the hang of it. I was told by a long time Netflix user the danger of “binge watching” and I thought she was kidding.  She wasn’t! I now can see just how that can happen because its happening to me already.

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As I’ve posted in the recent past, I’m preparing to finally disconnect myself from cable TV once and for all.  I’m sick of the continuously rising costs and the hundreds of channels of garbage programming I’m forced to pay for.

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I’m making the most of this Netflix free trial for the next month and the more I use it the better I’m liking it. I’ll be signing up for HULU Plus and their free trial next week to checkout the the TV shows they offer.  If I’m satisfied with HULU  I’ll be terminating my Dish cable service early in August. It’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait.

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I think I’ll be doing a little shopping tomorrow at Best Buy. I need one additional ROKU device to adapt my last TV to video streaming. The costs for these devices are minuscule compared to the amount I’ll be saving each month. I just love having extra money in my pocket instead of theirs.

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I should have no problem getting through the winter months this year with lots of books to read, a huge selection of TV programming, and more movies than I could ever watch.

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It’s time for me to return to my desktop computer, my laptop, iPad, smart phone, and TV because I can now video stream on all of them.  I’m deep into the storyline of the series, Marco Polo, with five episodes remaining. Then I can begin watching episodes of an old TV series, The Finder, one of my all-time favorites. It’s back and I’ve got it. 

Add to that a bottle of good Sangria, a bag of tortilla chips, and a quart of my salsa and I’m in heaven.  I’ll also be saving $645.00 in the first year that will pay for my annual car insurance, a year’s supply of cat food, and the occasional bottle of brandy. It can’t get much better than that.

04-13-15 Journal – So It Begins for 2015!   Leave a comment

My bout with Spring Fever continues  at a clip.  It happens like this every year and every year I tell myself I’ll keep things under control. I’m afraid this will be the year that convinces me I don’t have a prayer of keeping things under control.  I will probably continue to overwork and overspend like I do every Spring. 

Yesterday the sun came out, the air was warm, and I was fired up after a few cups of ever-so-strong coffee. It was time to get out the old jeans and boots and get down and dirty in the garden.  As I do every Spring I begin my chores in my herb garden.  Pulling out those dead plants that didn’t survive the Winter, cleaning up debris, and preparing the soil for replanting.  It appears that my normal winter losses were much less this year than in the past. Having that three feet of snow cover for most of the winter offered the plants a great deal of protection.

It felt good to be outside working and after a couple of hours I had a huge amount of dead plants and debris to dispose of.  I had lunch and then decided to just keep on going.  I use cold frames in the Spring to start a lot of plants to help increase the length of the short growing season. I’ve discovered over the last few years that certain plants like jalapeños will produce almost twice as much due in a large part to those three extra weeks spent in the cold frames.

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‘This one lasted five years but is now on it’s way to the bonfire.’

One of my older cold frames was badly damaged by the heavy snow this year.  It was crushed under the weight of the snow which completely shattered the glass cover. I was forced to remove it from the garden and discard it.  Then it was off to Lowe’s to purchase some pressure treated lumber and hardware so I could begin construction of a new cold frame.

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‘The required hole was dug and I was ready for installation.’

An hour later I had the cold frame completed and installed and with just a little landscaping and digging to finish the job. I was pleased with the results and I look forward to at least a minimum of five years of use.

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“Ready for the plants.’

Another hour of cleaning the other parts of the garden and I was getting tired.  It was time to take a hot shower, pour myself a brandy, and relax on the deck.  The cat and I got seriously lazy awaiting  the arrival of my better-half from work. 

It was a great start for 2015 but a lot of work remains to be done.  I’m really looking forward to getting the garden  preparation completed and to begin planting.  If today was was any indication I know one thing for certain, I’m going to be more than a little sore in the morning.

I may need to restock my Tylenol supply very soon.

04-04-2015 Journal–The Spring Fever Virus!   Leave a comment

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Sixty plus degrees.  That’s all I have to say about yesterday.  I’m just about over this stupid virus that’s been kicking my ass for the last two weeks. Combine that with the warm weather yesterday and guess what you get.  The largest most contagious case of Spring Fever ever experienced.  I guess the longer and more oppressive the winter the more intense is that first burst of Spring Fever. Man I’ve got it bad.

I spent a good part of the day yesterday just wandering around the yard in a T-shirt with no gloves, no hat, and no parka.  As I slowly strolled between the remaining piles of snow I could see that blessed light at the end of the tunnel and no, it isn’t a train coming toward me it’s Summer.

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I couldn’t stop myself from going with the feelings and actually started cleaning up the winter debris strewn about the yard. I picked up tree branches and pine cones of which there were thousands.  I’ve never seen so many freaking pine cones in my life and they will certainly require an major investment of my time to pick them all up. That should tell you just how bad my Spring Fever really is that I’m actually looking forward to doing it.  I find that a little disturbing to say the least.

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I then decided to get my riding mower out of mothballs and ready for use this summer.  I filled it with gas, checked the oil, and reconnected the battery.  I was just standing there enjoying the warm air when I was overcome with love for that stupid tractor.  I hate to admit this but I found some rags, soap, and car wax, and went a little crazy.  That tractor got a hot bath and a good scrubbing, was dried off, and waxed to a high sheen.  How sad is my life?

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I need to pace myself a little better or I’m going to lose my mind.  I actually found myself drawn to the seed packet display at Walmart a few days ago.  They were silently calling to me to buy, buy, buy.  I maintained what little control I had left and just “Said No” and walked away. Unfortunately my better-half is worse that I am when it comes to Spring garden purchasing.  We both need some sort of twelve step program to help us through the next two months and to keep us from overspending like we do every blessed year.

I just received a giant package in the mail today and had to help the mail carrier bring the box into the house.  It’s the new part I ordered a week ago for my sweetheart, the mower.  Now she’ll be even prettier than usual as I cruise around the yard making the neighbors oh so jealous.

Eat your hearts out people, if freaking Spring Time.

10-03-2014 Journal Entry-Fryeburg Fair #3   Leave a comment

This third installment of Fair day will be my last lame attempt to take you there.  I  wish I had some sort of smell-a-vision to really help tell the whole story but since I don’t,  I’ll do the best I can with pictures.

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We’ve visited the animal barns in the last installment but there was so much more to see than just that.  I was extremely interested in the foods being offered since I’ve spent the last year on a rather strict eating regime.  This was a day for me to misbehave a little and the choices were numerous.  Here’s a brief collection of those possibilities.

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Here are two of my sins for the day . . . .

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“Deep fried veggies.’

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‘Funnel Cake’

I was also dragged kicking and screaming by my better-half to an endless number of exhibits of things that held no interest for me.  Just being a cooperative partner can be trying at times.  There was no end of the shopping possibilities and she wasn’t about to miss any.  Thank God we only have one grandson to buy for.  If I hear or see anything with Mickey Mouse on it any time soon I may run screaming into the night.

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“This was the only place that convinced me to spend my money.’

Now here’s a montage of photo’s of a host of other things that piqued my interest as we roamed around.

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This one last photo will further explain just how I felt after ten hours of walking, sweating, and rubbing elbows with those huge crowds of other hot, sweaty and smelly human beings.  I was totally exhausted and was just about done with Fair Day for this year.

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‘Suicide by hippo.’

But there’s always next year to do it all over again . . . . . .

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01-24-2014 – Journal Entry   Leave a comment

I’m sitting here this morning trying to decide whether leaving this warm bed is the smartest thing to do. The weather remains problematic as always and I’m not in the mood to deal with it today.  It’s been in the deep freeze here for two weeks and it isn’t expected to warm up anytime soon.  The only thing I know for sure is that I can’t spend the next two months in this bed as much as I’d like to.

I’ve been trying to be as careful as possible with all of the snow and ice we’ve been having.  Now that my broken leg is almost healed I’m deathly afraid of slipping or falling and ending up back in the hospital.  I’m walking very softly these days.

The better-half stumbled out of bed early today for another shopping safari with her daughter.  It was unplanned but she responded immediately to the telephone call, rolled out of bed and hit the ground running.  Nothing is more important than spending a little quality time with her grandson and shopping at the same time.  If she’s lucky she may be completely awake by the time they arrive to pick her up but she’s like a zombie right now.

I began a small construction project this week which has been on hold because of this cold weather. I plan on removing a large window in our living room and I need at least three hours of warmer weather to do it.  It shouldn’t take too long to remove the window, replace the missing studs and insulation  and then close up the hole.  I can finish the rest from the inside of the house in just a few hours of drywalling and painting.  I must be out of my mind doing this in February.  Why I didn’t I do it in September is beyond me.  I’ll just sit around for another week or two waiting for a few hours of temperatures above the freezing mark.  Hurry up and wait.

I have a quiet day planned for today but it never seems to work out that way. I need to spend at least forty five minutes on the dreaded treadmill before I do anything else.  It’s been a huge help in rehabilitating my leg.  It still amazes me how much a limb can deteriorate in such a short period of time.  Another week should have my injured leg back to it’s normal size.  Rebuilding lost muscle tissue is difficult and time consuming but must be done as quickly as possible.

Since the better-half has four days off I thought I’d surprise her with a night on the town.  I have a few ideas of places to visit with the Great Lost Bear  heading the list. It’s the best place in the Portland area where she can feed her ever increasing addiction to smoking hot chicken wings.  They specialize in XXX wings that are hot enough to set your hair on fire.  The second possibility is The Strike Zone located in Old Orchard Beach and their specialty is deep fried everything.  It’s a typically small sports bar where deep fried foods are the rule of the day. My weight loss program will be at serious risk if we go there but OMG the food is delicious.

It’s time to get motivated and moving.  I love Winter.

12-18-2013. Journal Entry   2 comments

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Well the holiday is rushing towards us and we’re down to the last week of preparations. The weather here in Maine is certainly doing it’s part this year. It’s the eighteenth of December and we have two and a half feet of snow on the ground.  It’ll be nice to have an old style white Christmas with the trees sagging low with snow and everything feeling clean and new.  It also makes for some beautiful photography as you can see.

My leg is healing nicely but it appears I’ll need more time to get it back into shape.  I feel a little stupid hopping around with that Walter Brennan limp but what can I do.  It’s just nice to be able to walk around the house, drive my car, and to get out and do a little Christmas shopping.

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I hate to admit just how much I miss being able to use those handy electric shopping carts to do my shopping.  People are nicer to you, they get out of the way, and even let you get ahead of them in line at the register.  I’m a bit spoiled I guess.  I’ve come up with a solution for that problem though.  I’m going to start carrying the air cast and crutches in my car.  I’ll arrive at Walmart, put on the boot, grab the crutches and make my way inside to claim my cart.  That’s what I call a real emergency kit.  My luck, I’ll get caught doing it the first time.

I have a few more stocking stuffers to buy this week and my holiday prep will be complete.  Thank God for Amazon who made my Christmas so much easier to deal with this year. Shop, click, and bing, bang, boom . . .  it arrives at your house in two days.  Next year I may attempt to make it a total Amazon holiday.  I’ll first sign up for Amazon Prime which for $79.00 gives me free shipping on all purchases for a year.  Order anything and everything I need for the holidays, have it nicely wrapped, and shipped with a card to relatives and friends anywhere on the planet.  It’s called a "one click" holiday season.

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My better-half has been like a crazy person for the last few weeks but she appears to have accomplished all of her tasks and is calming down a little.  The house is just about ready for guests and family and enough beer has been purchased to keep her in that sentimental mindset which help’s her enjoy the holidays.  She’s worked very hard this year to get everything done and ready without my help and it’s looking terrific.

She and her daughter spent a good part of the day yesterday doing something they both love.  Manicures and pedicures all around.  I gave my better-half a gift certificate for two of each a few weeks ago for her birthday.  I knew it would come in handy during "crazy week".  They were pampered and lotioned until they had no choice but to be happy and smiling.  There’s nothing like a good looking guy rubbing and scrubbing your feet and waiting on you hand-and-foot.  One of these days I might be forced to give it a try myself but with a good looking woman.

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SIX MORE SHOPPING DAYS LEFT

11-30-2013 Journal Entry – Help, I’m Being Held Prisoner!   Leave a comment

Did anyone every tell you the story about getting a message in a fortune cookie that said “Help me, I’m being held prisoner in a Chinese fortune cookie factory.” I’ve had a few people try that on me over the years and never thought it was all that funny.  It’s still not funny especially now when I’m the guy who’s the prisoner.

It’s now been five weeks since I broke my damn leg and I’ve got to tell you the novelty of walking on crutches with a big clunky cast is long over.  The only thing worse than breaking your leg is that you’re then being forced to walk with crutches.  Crutches are the devil’s way of paying us back for all the bad things we’ve done in our life.

Being totally immobilized is the worst.  I found I wasn’t able to do much of anything when on those effing crutches. I had to request my better-half to do everything because I had no ability to carry things from place to place.  I tried with a cup of coffee but on my first attempt I spilled a large portion of really hot coffee directly onto my cat who insists on running between my legs every time I stand up.  I’ll bet he won’t do that again.

So after a period of time I had to come up with some way of doing things on my own without any help.  It wasn’t as easy as it sounds.  I brought my wheeled computer chair from my man-cave to the upstairs and  then using my crutches like oars was able to go into the kitchen, prepare a snack, and then paddle my way back to the living room.  It was a moderately successful idea until I pushed too hard with one crutch, lost my balance, and flipped over.  The food tasted kind of funny after I scrapped it off the floor and part of the wall and there was no way I could save the coffee.  It amazes me just how large an area a medium sized cup of coffee can cover when tossed across the kitchen.  It took me a long time to get it all cleaned up crawling around on my hands and knees and cursing a blue steak.  It was time for a better idea.

I found an old jacket with a few large pockets and was finally able to pack the pockets full of goodies including my hot cup of coffee in a sealable travel mug. I was saved.  Do you know you can carry bacon, eggs and toast folded up in between two paper plates and tucked into a partially zipped up jacket.  I may be forced to come up with a few new recipes and packaging ideas for foods to be used by crutch handicapped people.  That ideas a little out there even for me so I’ll save it for another day.

I  now have the time to sit and design my other new idea, a Handy Dandy Crutch Caddy.  Two really well designed saddlebags that can be attached to the lower part of the crutches.  I could make one of the pockets insulated so the food remains hot during transport.  Maybe I’ll throw in a wi-fi antenna for the on-the-go one-legged computer nerds out there. It’s a good project for me since I have a few more weeks of this nonsense to deal with and if I don’t stay mentally busy I will lose my effing mind.

Help, I’m being held prisoner.

11-22-2013 Journal Entry   2 comments

I found out the hard way that having a broken leg as we come into the holiday season is a mixed blessing.  I’m three and a half weeks into this injury with at least three more weeks before I can start walking on it again on a limited basis. I’m quickly finding out that the boredom and being housebound is worse than the actual injury itself.

I found myself becoming a little hard to live with since I’ve apparently developed a rather bad temper.  I just can’t seem to adjust to this slower lifestyle and my better-half is paying the price for it.  With lots of Christmas season activities on the horizon she’ll be overloaded with decorating, baking, and house cleaning.  I plan on helping where I can but truthfully I won’t be much help.

I put myself on her sh** list a few days ago.  She knew how much I was itching to get out of the house so she took my car keys to work with her to keep me from doing something crazy.  Being the persistent pain-in-the-ass that I am I found my extra set of keys hidden in a secret location.  I hobbled to the garage, jumped in the car and drove a few miles to get a fresh cup of coffee and a sandwich.  It wasn’t easy fitting my big ass, crutches, and the huge air cast into the front seat but I did it anyway.  I made the trip without incident and returned home feeling pretty proud of myself.  That lasted until my better-half got home from work then the you-know-what hit the fan.  I’m now officially grounded.  That hasn’t happened to me for a very long time and I don’t like it any better now than I did then.  I pushed my luck with my little trip but now I’m paying the price for my stupidity.

I returned to the orthopedist for my three week exam and received nothing but good news.  The bone is knitting itself nicely and no surgery will be required.  I’m now permitted to slowly increase the amount of weight on it over the next three weeks.  At that point I’ll be scheduled for some limited physical therapy and hopefully I’ll be back on my feet and ready to party by New Years.

I wouldn’t wish this kind of injury on my worst enemy.  It’s frustrating and humbling to find yourself helpless.  Last night as I was watching TV I heard my better-half upstairs doing something.  A few minutes later she started down the steps when I heard a loud crash.  She screamed my name and I hopped my way over to the stairs.  She had fallen much like I had and fortunately only bruised her thigh, leg, and hand.  She broke no bones but she’ll be sore as hell for a few days.  We should be made the official poster children for CLUMSY.  I may be forced to install a damn elevator so the two of us don’t cripple ourselves permanently.

Happy Effing Holidays!  2013, a year to remember and then immediately forget.

11-06-2013 Journal Entry   Leave a comment

Today is my ninth day living in this one-legged hell my life has become. I’ve learned a few valuable things in these nine days and I thought I’d share them with you.

  • First, don’t break your damn leg. I know it’s a bit simplistic but sometimes you just need to be told the obvious.
  • Second, hope and pray your relationship is solid because it will be tested. I’ve become somewhat irritable and difficult or at least that’s what my better-half has been screaming at me.
  • Third, prepare yourself for the realization that all it takes is a small bone in your leg to break to turn you into a giant dependent ball of human flesh.

I was raised to be as independent as possible and have spent my entire life just that way.  I hate relying on anyone for anything.  I’ve had a few times in my life where I was laid up for a day or two but nothing like this. Six to eight weeks of sitting on my ass and stumbling around the house being unable to do a damn thing. It’s incredibly frustrating to say the least. My better-half remains supportive but realizes I’m quickly going out of my mind with cabin fever. 

I’ve improved my walking abilities with these crutches but it’ll never be enough to make this situation bearable. Since I’m unable to carry coffee and walk on crutches at the same time it took a day or two for me to solve that problem.  A sealable carry-mug that fits nicely into my pocket was the solution. I can now walk/hop/drag a leg to the kitchen, retrieve some coffee, and return to my chair.  It sounds stupid I know but it’s a major accomplishment for me.

Thank God for my X-Box and IPad.  Those two devices are the only things keeping me from going bat-shit crazy.  I’ve always spent a lot of time on the X-Box but now it’s totally out of control.  I’m afraid I may be developing a serious case of X-Box thumbs. The IPad has allowed me to connect with hundreds of other addicted Scrabble fanatics to play Word HD with Friends.  A great little App that allows me to continuously play multiple games with people from around the country.  The time really flies by very quickly when I’m focused in those games.

I received some good news on my follow-up visit to the orthopedist today. The leg is healing properly and no surgery will be required.  I’m to spend the next two weeks doing things much the same as I’ve been doing. That news raised my morale a bit and hopefully in two more weeks I’ll be permitted to put some weight on the leg which will really jump start this recovery.

One other quick note.  My better-half suggested a trip to Walmart today to pickup a few items and somehow strong-armed me into riding on one of their infamous electric carts.  I put up a good fight but there was no talking to her.  For years I’ve bitched and complained about certain people on those carts blocking aisles and being a general nuisance to other shoppers.  Well, today I joined the elite ranks of the Walmart Disabled Shoppers Group.  I was hoping for a Walmart hat or T-shirt but sadly I was out of luck.  They wanted to give me a pair of pink sweat pants that had “JUICY” on the ass but I declined.  Pink just isn’t my color.  It clashes way too much with my purple sweatshirt and my orange Budweiser baseball cap.  That’s my official Walmart shopping outfit.

We’re headed back home now where I’ll enjoy another afternoon of Scrabble, Tiger Woods 2011, and really bad TV.  I must have done something really terrible in a past life to deserve this karmic ass-kicking.