I mean really, get your mind out of the gutter (you’re blocking my view).
Took my granddaughters to Chuck E Cheese today. Scored some major papa points.
I mean really, get your mind out of the gutter (you’re blocking my view).
Took my granddaughters to Chuck E Cheese today. Scored some major papa points.
One of the joys of owning a ten-year-old pickup truck is I’ve come to know every bump, grind, screech, and jangle it makes as I traverse my way thru life in it. Plus the joy it gives my granddaughters when they get to ride it in. They just love being able to sit up high and look into the other cars.
This truck has served me well, it’s moved both of my boys, more than once. Helped friends move more times than I can count. Not to mention the almost constant trips to county landfill with yard trash that for whatever reason the contracted waste folks refuse to pick up. (Other than just getting 2 paid holidays a year I wish I had their job – they don’t do shit).
The truck has given me very little in the way of repair problems. Had to replace the water pump (not unusual, but not my fault), and the clutch, which was, probably, completely my fault. And an outside mirror, which was son-the-younger’s® fault. But we found the replacement parts on Amazon and could fix it ourselves.
So, since I don’t listen to the radio while driving (the DJs in the Orlando/Daytona area just plain suck), I get to listen and talk back to my truck all the time. This morning on the way in I heard a completely new sound. What the hell could it be I wondered? It’d not a “clunk”, not a “grind” more of a rusty spring “squeak”. Now I know I need new struts on the front end (those are what have replaced the old shock absorbers, at least in mid-sized trucks), but that’s not what it sounded like. These usually just go “thunk” right before maxing out your credit card.
Now I do have to mention I have a pretty good hearing impairment. After playing in bands in my school days, years of DJ work (both on-air and parties) and then 20 years of military service with lots of “booms”, my ears are fairly shot.
After about 3 miles of this unknown noise, I’m starting to worry about it. And as usual, I get impatient driving and go around the line of folks who can’t seem to do the speed limit in the left lane (morons). As I pull up next to the truck that was directly in front of me (also an older model pick up, but not as old as mine), I hear this squeak loud as hell! It was that truck all along! I have no idea what his problem was, but when we pulled up to the red light and stopped, he was still squeaking. While stopped!! Hope he doesn’t blow up or something anytime too soon.
So now I’m back to the regularly scheduled tunes that my familiar old truck plays me every day. Such a nice symphony 🙂
P.S. A shout out to my son-the-younger® who helped me through a very rough patch yesterday. I felt myself spinning into a well of depression. Since I know he also has bad periods of depression, I asked him for help. And he came through. Together we replaced the ceiling fan in his bedroom (See Home Repair as Therapy to see how it helps me), and then he cooked Wifey® and I a most wonderful Shrimp & Sausage Jambalaya for dinner. I even have leftovers for lunch!
I know he won’t read this (he doesn’t use Facebook or Twitter so he won’t get any notification). So for family and friends who read this, please pass this along, along with my most heartfelt thanks.
Love ya kid!
My friend Kiersten over at Once Upon A Spine tagged me as part of the “Unique Blogger Award”. I have no idea what makes my blog unique, as it tends to meander its way around various subjects without ever really coming to any conclusions.
But anyway, first thanks for the tag Kiersten (and you folks should go read her blog. Some excellent books reviews that my Wifey® has found helpful.)
Here are the “rules”;
Onto the questions I was asked!
First – If you were to choose a different topic/theme for your blog, what would it be?
Since this blog has no theme or topic (hence the name Random Ramblins’), this is a bit tough for me to answer. When I first thought of coming back into blogging I knew I was not going to go back to the old technology blog I had years ago. Things have changed so much, I couldn’t keep up with it. My next thought was something about faith and my struggles with mainstream Christianity and why I’ve left it. But that was boring. And lots of people can explain it better than I. Then I thought food, who doesn’t love food? I love to cook and eat, but then health issues got in the way and I’ve had to change everything there, so that went out the window. How about mental health? I do have Bipolar Disorder type 2, some anxiety and social issues, but compared to what I’m reading on other blogs, mine is rather mild, or maybe my meds are just working better I don’t know. But again, better things are being said already.
But what I’d really like to do is humor. Back in the day (as in pre bipolar meds) I had a knack for telling the right joke at the right time. I could cheer someone up (even when I was struggling) with just a little humor. I had a flair for what my Soon-To-Be-Wifey® called “Gonzo Journalism” (a term stolen from the late, great Hunter S. Thompson, one of my favorite authors of all time). But since I’ve been on the meds, it seems my creativity level, my Gonzo if you will, has left me. Maybe the meds are doing too much, or not enough, I don’t know. But humor is what I’m shooting for.
Second – If you could befriend any author in real life, who would you choose? Why?
Another difficult question mainly because I feel I could do better with a really good copy editor than with an author. Come on, you’ve tried to read some of my stuff and just had to shake your head because it made no sense what so ever. Between the typos and the left out words…
But to answer the question, finally, I would choose Dr. Bart D. Erhman. From his Facebook page (easier to copy and paste – still looking for an editor you know) – Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and is a leading authority on the Bible and the life of Jesus. He is the author of more than twenty books, including the New York Times bestselling Misquoting Jesus, God’s Problem, Jesus, Interrupted and Forged. I have read many of his books and I think his reasoning for leaving the Christian faith very closely echoes my reasons. Find him here. A close runner-up would be Dr. Pete Enns. I don’t have all his details, but he is an Old Testament professor. Find him here. One more to add to list is Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. A Jew who teaches New Testament. Such an oxymoron that I love it, plus she has a great sense of humor. Alas, she has absolutely no web presence.
Third – What’s the weirdest blog post you’ve ever written?
A long time ago (thinking about 2002) I wrote a post on my original website about my somewhat dysfunctional family. Nothing out the ordinary, just questions like “How did you get mashed potatoes on the back of your head son?”. That site is long gone now, couldn’t find it on the “Wayback Machine” either. So for this blog, I’ll have to go with News You Can Use…No Not Really.
Questions for my nominees:
Now I have to nominate folks… I don’t have many followers so I’ll only add these;
Sorry I don’t have more to add, but feel free to join in even if you’re not listed.
And free feel to send along any cheap copy editors, Wifey® says she won’t do it anymore. Well not really, she just can’t do it while she’s at work, and then I’d probably forget to post anything by the time I got home and she could edit it for me.
P.S. Thanks again Kiersten!
So, is this Christmas? Maybe for the folks that insist on saying “Merry Christmas” and throw a fit if you respond with any other reply other than “Merry Christmas”. As with most Christian holidays, Christmas is just another pagan holiday that was renamed and re-purposed (i.e. stolen) in an attempt to convert more of the local “peasant” type of folks to Christianity. Easter and All Saint’s Day are two other examples.
But Christmas isn’t the only religious celebration that happens around this time of year.
And despite what my credit card statements say, “Christmas” (and yes that’s the term I use for this holiday) doesn’t start for me until I randomly hear John Lennon’s “So This Is Christmas (War Is Over)” played in a random store while, usually, standing around waiting on Wifey® to find “just the right color”, or something like that for someone in the family. My brother and I are the kind that will walk into a store and buys the first thing we see that suits us. Fini! Done! Let’s go have a beer! None of this going into every store in the mall only to go back and buy the thing you saw in the first store.
Plus now with online shopping, other than some clothes, that’s my preferred method of shopping. The holidays bring on enough anxiety as it is. The stores are usually so crowded I can’t stand it. The boys, Wifey®, and I went to the mall last night and thankfully it was damn near empty.
Christmas shopping brings on its own kind of “performance anxiety”. When are enough presents just right? Not worried about the boys (they’re adults now), but the little girls always make it difficult. They want everything they see on TV, especially if it’s electronic. I don’t want to get them too many things, not only does it promote over-consumption, I don’t want them thinking that I’ll buy them any and everything (even though I probably will – that’s what PaPa’s do). But at the same time, too few gifts under the tree leaves them open for ridicule from classmates and such. It’s a fine line. Much like my credit line.
The girls wanted an “Elf On A Shelf”. They named her Ginger (I wanted to spell it Gynger – so it sounded more like a stripper name). We know it’s a female elf because it has earrings, which of course means nothing anymore. Plenty of very “manly men” have pierced ears, but the box was labeled “female”, so that settled it. But I would still like to get away from labels. That’s Gynger, I mean Ginger sitting on the hearth watching the girls put up the Christmas tree.
We figure since we only have the girls on the weekends, Ginger must be an apprentice elf. Since she only has 2 – 3 days to watch the girls, she gets bored sitting around the house. But that will be the subject of another post, later in the season…. Keep watching this space!
So even though I still haven’t heard “So This Is Christmas” yet (I have at least two more shopping days planned – so get your requests in early), there is still a chance to hear it. And even though my dear ol’ brother doesn’t like the song, he says the “war is over” should have been left out, but I disagree. He was never in the military (declared medically unfit for service during the Vietnam era). As a vet, I heartily agree with the sentiment.
So here is the original video of the song. As since I’m just posting the link, I don’t get to hear it. So if I haven’t randomly heard it by the 20th or so, I’ll come back here and listen to it. Then, maybe Christmas will begin for me.
Please enjoy the video!
EDIT: My brother texted me (why he didn’t leave a comment is anybody’s guess), and corrected me. He does like the song, it’s just the “Merry Christmas” part doesn’t mix with the “war is over” part. He agrees with me that we wish all wars would end.
The reference map for you;
Day four is Thanksgiving day. So it’s a laid-back, no rush day for us. We made a simple breakfast in the cabin since we didn’t want to make anyone work for us, even if they were open anyway. Then settled in to watch some of the usual parades. We watched some of the Asheville parade, which reminded us of our local parades, and some of the big Macy’s parade.
We did have one trip planned for today. Wifey® found a small waterfall we had missed on our trip south on US276 on day 1. We had to stop at Moore Cove since Moore is Wifey’s® maiden name. It’s not a very big waterfall, so the trek up to the top was easy.
On the way down, we took a couple of side paths to see how the stream, or river, whatever the falls flow into traverse the area. Took Wifey’s® picture at a big rock on the way down.
The river that flows from the falls must join with another water source, as it is, to me at least, at “river” size now. It’s not very deep, which most of these fast flowing bodies of water aren’t, and it moves quite fast. This picture is under the bridge at the bottom of the falls area. We were quite intrigued with the lawn jockey. Who put it there and why, and where are the missing body parts?
As that was all we had planned for the day, we went home to have, as Arlo Gutherie said; “A Thanksgiving dinner that couldn’t be beat.” (See Arlo’s “Alice’s Restaurant”). We started off with some shrimp sautéed in white wine and garlic, with a little chipotle thrown in as well. We had purchased the shrimp at a local grocery store several days before. The sign said “Fresh Carolina Shrimp”. We wondered where the shrimp were harvested, were they wild caught in the ocean and trucked in or farm raised? Unfortunately, the girl at the counter had no clue. But it didn’t matter we bought them anyway.
Unlike last years Thanksgiving (a cruise with only a few pieces of overcooked sliced turkey on the buffet), this year we made our own feast. We had a small turkey breast that we roasted, sweet potatoes, asparagus with mushrooms, garlic, onions, and bacon, and cheddar garlic biscuits. We also had our leftover chocolate bourbon pecan pie and banana pudding from Haywoods Smokehouse we didn’t eat from the night before for dessert. But as usual, we forgot about dessert when we were done. (More on this with day 5).
There was nothing left to do on this day. So after we cleaned up the kitchen, we just hung out at the cabin.
So that’s all for day four. A little bit of rest for us, because tomorrow we’re climbing Chimney Rock!
Stay tuned for day 5! And please leave a comment. Let me know if you’re enjoying the series, or if want more information about any of the places we went.
So, for the last two months, give or take a few days, Wifey® and I have been eating the cleanest we have ever eaten in our lives. We are limiting the carbs, making sure the protein and fats balance as much as possible and eating lots, and I do mean lots of veggies. We have found we absolutely love “Zoodles” (hipster term for Zucchini spiral cut noodles). They are great with just about any protein we use (especially with sauteed shrimp with sun-dried tomatoes). As of tonight I have not had any beer for 19 days (my usual intake was a six-pack a night with a twelve-pack or more on Saturday and Sunday – each). I would estimate Wifey® has had maybe 3 glasses Pinot Grigio during this same time.
Using a keto tracker on my phone, I am usually about 10G of carbs over (but still well within the limit of 50G of carbs per day, my protein is usually within 10G either way, but the fat intake is always quite low. The app recommended a 2000 calorie per day range for me to reach my goal weight of 175 (currently at 206ish). Most days I am 800 – 1000 calories under this. Wifey® didn’t install a tracker so I don’t know where her numbers stand. Of course, I wouldn’t post them here anyway as that’s her business. If she wants to share them with the world, no problem. But I wouldn’t do it without her permission.
Our usual week look like this: Four days a week (Sunday, Monday, Wednesday & Thursday) we do 30 minutes of cardio, I use an elliptical while she uses a treadmill. Wifey® is only 4’9″ so the stride on most ellipticals are too long for her, hence the treadmill. She will keep the speed and incline pretty high and we burn roughly the same amount of calories in our cardio sessions. We then will do 30 – 45 minutes of weights. Nothing too heavy as we’re not trying to add mass, just tone up. Oh and in case you’re wondering we take Tuesdays off it’s because we’re old and need a break, and on Friday and Saturdays we have our granddaughters and the gym does not have daycare.
Now here’s the question; why are we not losing any weight? I would think (again just for myself) that cutting out the calories and carbs from 3 cases of beer a week alone would make a difference. Add in the better eating choices and exercise and the pounds should be falling away like crazy. But so far? I’ve lost half a pound. That’s it. I seriously doubt it’s “muscle mass” as my doctor tries to tell me (encouraging, but doubtful). especially since my beer belly hasn’t gone down any (think of me as Homer Simpson, but with better hair, which drive my high school buddies insanely jealous since they’ve all lost their hair).
I was reading in a Keto group on Facebook and one lady claims to eat only 5G carbs a day and is losing 10 pounds a week. I find that very difficult to believe. I usually manage to eat half an avocado (not my most favorite food) for breakfast. According to MyFitnessPal that’s 2G of net carbs right there. Lunch is usually leftovers from the night before, which typically consists of a meat, some veggies and maybe a fruit bowl (typically 3 melon salad). I didn’t look those up, but I sure I’m way over 5G of carbs already.
As far as losing 10 pounds a week, that sounds dangerous. Even if she’s morbidly obese that is too fast of a drop. In my 20 years as an Army para-medic, I was taught that 5 pounds a week was a good goal to lose. Anything over and serious metabolic problems could occur. But that was 22 years ago, so the research may have changed.
So for any and all fitness type folks out there, please pass along any tips or tricks and advice as to what I’m doing wrong. Otherwise, next weekend I’m having a beer or three.
You can leave comments below, there’s a link down there somewhere…
One of the best aspects of living in Florida (as opposed to Floriduh where the idiots roam), is the abundance of fresh seafood. We get Gulf Shrimp daily, Atlantic reef fish like Snapper and Grouper almost on every street corner. Daytona doesn’t have quite the fresh variety that we had growing up in Miami, but the pickings are still good.
We also have a plethora of Avocados. I have to admit that as a child I detested Avocados. I referred to guacamole as “baby poop”. Funny story; the first time I had dinner with my now wife’s family her mom asked if wanted any “pear”. Being a fan of the Bartlett Pear, I said sure. She handed me a rather large slice of Avocado. That’s not a pear I said. Sue it is, she replied, it’s an alligator pear! I had never heard of an alligator pear and handed it back since I knew it was just an Avocado by a different name. When I told her I didn’t care for Avocados she came back with her usual reply; Have you ever tried them? Mom’s rule was that you had to try something before you said you didn’t like it. I assured I had tried it before, so she left me alone.
Which brings me to a wonderful recipe my Twitter friend Shane Organ (@iamshaneorgan) posted just the other day. A very interesting Paleo Shrimp & Avocado salad. I have come to tolerate Avocados recently mainly for the health benefits.
Here is the original recipe:
Shrimp Salad with Avocado and Cilantro
• 3 tbs fresh Lime Juice
• 2 tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh cilantro chopped ( I like a bit more cilantro)
• 1/8 tsp fresh cracked Pepper
• pinch salt to taste
• 1 lb cooked chilled shrimp deveined/ tail removed
• 2 ripe avocados
• 2 cups baby spinach
• 2 cups chopped lettuce of your choice
1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix.
1. Drain any excess water off shrimp if using thawed shrimp.
2. Pour cilantro dressing over shrimp. Stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour (2 or 3 is better).
3. Wash and dry lettuce (use a Salad Spinner or just let it sit in a strainer). Divide among plates.
4. Cut avocado into bite-size wedges (about 1/2 inch cubes work well too). Sprinkle over lettuce.
5. Add marinated shrimp to the top.
6. Top with marinated shrimp and leftover dressing. Enjoy!
As usual, we changed it up a bit. Instead of using bland, rubbery, pre-cooked shrimp (Shane is in Canada after all. I would imagine it’s hard to get fresh shrimp.) I took about a pound of freshly cleaned and peeled shrimp with about 1/2 TBSP (I don’t measure anything, it’s all eyeballed) of Badia Chile & Lime seasoning, 1 TBSP of Lemon Pepper and 2 tsp of Seasoned Salt. Seasoned up the shrimp and let sit for about 5 minutes, then sautéed them over medium heat in about 1 TBSP of Ghee. Then mixed the dressing/marinade as above with the shrimp and threw it all in the fridge to cool down. Then off to the gym we went.
When we came home we assembled the salad as described and chowed down. Even had enough left over so that Wifey® and I have lunch for today. And let me tell you, it’s an awesome dish! Thanks Shane.
(Shane can found on Twitter as noted above and his website: http://www.shaneorgannutrition.com/)
Sitting here at my desk, my meager lunch finished and music blaring in my headphones.
As I’ve posted before, my wife and I have been trying the Paleo and/or Keto eating plans. Seems that my body does not care for either one. The highest my blood pressure has been since starting these is 94/62. Basically I should be in a coma. My blood sugar has dropped extremely low, and the A-Fib has returned. So obviously, I am stopping the plan. We did learn somethings we will carry forward such as limiting our carbs to a greater extent. As I also have a cholesterol problem, and keto is known to elevate cholesterol, my doctor also advised me to stop.
Not the best day at work I have to admit. When I was promoted to this position it was for two main projects. Both of which have been pretty much stopped cold. Our city commission has cut about $780K from the city budget for next year, with a chance that it could go deeper still. This means that while my main project is funded for this year, as of October 1st, it may not be. So phase two (not to mention phase three) may not go. And with the issues we are having with phase one, it may get canceled even sooner. If the council cuts the budget ever deeper, there is a possibility that lay offs could occur. So I am rather concerned about my job future.
And of course with all this going on, the Bi-Polar depression is in high swing. The usual visual and auditory hallucinations are going full blast. Like Jackson Browne says in “For A Dancer”;
“It’s like a song playing right in my ear that I can’t sing, I can’t help listening.”
Things move in and out of the peripheral of my vision, thumps and whines in my ear all the time. Hence the headphones. At least then I know what I’m listening to and I can shut out the world for a short time.
Hopefully tonight’s gym time will work it all out. Or I’ll die. Either is acceptable.
So I went “shopping” on Amazon the other day and found four free keto cookbooks. Thought I’d share them. I have not tested any recipes out of these yet, but plan on it this weekend during our “cookup”. Please note that these books may no longer be free, I didn’t check the date to see if was a daily special.
Not all recipes in these books may fall under a “strict” keto eating plan, as some are too high in carbs. But that doesn’t mean they don’t make a good transition to a more strict keto regimen. I am not limiting myself to just 20g of carbs a day yet. Right now I’m closer to 50g per day, working myself (and my wife) down from a much higher daily intake. We’re trying to avoid the “Keto Flu”.
Check them out if you’d like. After all if you get one idea or recipe from a free book, it’s money well spent!
I have tried three times now to make some zucchini chips. I have failed all three times. I need some salty, crunchy snack to take the place of potato chips. We looked at the local “Health Food Stores” but all the bagged chips were mostly potato starch, so we passed them by.
I have tried 1/8″ slice, 1/16″ slice. Cooking them at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, 200 degrees for almost two and a half hours. I’ve tried salting them first to draw out the water and blotting them dry before adding seasoning. Using a silicon tray, parchment paper, or just cooking spray on the pan.
I’m rather disappointed as they are either just about burned or still very raw. And this is one the same sheet tray! Not like one method produces one result, I get the same results on each and every tray.
Now I’m pondering frying them in coconut oil as a last resort.
Someone got a clue? I would appreciate any help!