...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill

November

  • November 30, 2021

    Happy November Last! For the last time this month, Becky and I drove to the Allergy Partners for her every-Tuesday shots. While she went into the clinic, I sat in the car in 29 degree weather and waited for her return. When she did return, we drove to Gold's Gym for her second PT session. We were, of course, 25 minutes early for that session, so she warmed up on the stationary bike, while I walked on the treatmill and watched an episode of Airplane Repo. I had no sound, but it didn't matter. I had seen a few such episodes to know what the characters were saying. I just wanted to see the airplanes, is all. _  I got to try out my new jogger's armband for my call phone. Since I use a Rep Counter app on the phone to signal me when it's time for the rep to start and, ten seconds later, when it is to ene and the next one start (Yeah, it's a very slow exercise rate with no rest between reps for three minutes straight), and it would not do for me to hold the phone in my hand while doing the exercise. I had worn shirts with pockets so I could start the app and put the phone in the pocket. I was always on guard for the phone falling out of the pocket, and though it never did, it was distracting. With the phone in the armband and the armband on my forearm where I could see it, there was no distraction. it wasn't the best solution, but it did work fairly well. I'm going to see if I can extend the strap enough to wear it on my leg like I used to do with a leg-board to hold my charts when I was flying airplanes. _  After the workout, we had lunch at TGI Friday's, then came home. It was a good morning.

  • November 29, 2021

    I arose at the usual Monday Morning time (7 AM) and took the trash can to the curb. Had I stopped to wake up first, I would have switched off the house alarm before opening the back door (had to hurry to the living room to turn it off) and not also rolled the recycling bin to the curb with the trash. By the time I realized my mistake on the cans, it was nearly time for Bible Study, so I left it there. After Bible Study, the trash had been collected, so I merely retrieved both cans and wheeled them to the side of the house again. _  We received two packages early this morning. One of them was the hemp-based shampoo and conditioner that I had ordered, and the other was two bottles of Runamok Maple (aged in Bourbon barrels). Later, when Becky took a letter to the mailbox, she found a slender envelope which turned out to be the BluRay movie we had ordered. Apparently, the UPS is now putting things in the mailbox. Then, when the mail was delivered this afternoon, yet another package arrived. I had ordered a cell phone wallet to wear my phone on my wrist while at the gym so I can use the Rep Counter app while weight training without having to wear a shirt with a pocket. None of those purchases were supposed to arrive before Wednesday. _  I had three "forest fires" to put out this afternoon. One was the matter of the OTC items from Healthy Benefits that I had ordered a week ago. They had been promised to arrive last Friday, last Tuesday, and last Thursday in three different emails. I called and spoke to three different agents before learning that the items were on backorder with no projected delivery date. In other words, I will have forgotten I had even ordered them and paid over $45 for the items I should have gotten for free. The second "fire" was the MightyText app I use to read and write text messages at my computer(s) was not receiving or sending texts to or from the phone. It had stopped working when the Android OS in my phone was upgraded. It took several emails with customer service and a change of text client from Messages to Textra Bot before I was again able to send and receive texts. The third "fire" was that I was unable to post a comment to the Weblog (Blog) of one of my friends in the Linux Users Group. He assured me that others were leaving comments with no problem, but that didn't do me any good. Again, lots of emails back and forth before we found that my email address had been flagged as SPHAMM, and shunted to the trash. Apparently, wasmith1946 is not a reliable-looking email address.

  • November 28, 2021

    Church this morning had us rehearsing with the choir at 9:45, going over the Psalm chant, two other chants, then the three hymns and our Anthem. Afterward, I rehearsed the readings of the lessons and ran through the Psalm quietly just to be sure that when I sang it on mic I would be able to carry it off adequately. In the service, I stepped back from the mic for the Psalm, not wanting to overshadow the choir and congregation, but I'm afraid my effort was too little. I sounded as though I was not in the best of voice to be singing into a microphone. The rest of the service went well, especially the Anthem. _  After church, Becky and I drove up to Suzanne's to help her do some TLC (Thanksgiving Leftover Chewing) and play four hands of Mah Jongg. I was fortunate to win the first two hands, then Suzanne won the third and Becky the fourth. We were sent home with the majority of the second GF Pumpkin Pie (most of the first still resting in our refrigerator. Brian had done a good job baking two of them for us (none of the other Thanksgiving invitees needs GF).

  • November 27, 2021

    I got my haircut and beard and mustach trimmed this morning. Somehow it only happens twice a year. Each time, of course, it costs more than the time before. _  On my way home, I filled the gas tank at Sam's Club. I didn't do any shopping, so there was no delay getting home within an hour of leaving. _  I found a card in my pocket that was good for $5 off of a meal at Applebee's, so you can guess where we had lunch. The Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp was quite good, and we brought the majority of the chicken home with us.

  • November 26, 2021

    This morning was the last day I expected to find the delivery of my OTC health items on my porch. UMC's Healthy Benefits Plus allows me to buy limited supplies each month, and this month I ordered more loose-fitting socks and some CoQ10 capsules. Initially I was told they would arrive on the 26th (today), but the day after my order was placed I received another email saying the delivery would be early, to arrive on the 23rd. It did not arrive on the 23rd, and that evening I received another email saying the delivery had been delayed and would arrive by the end of the 25th. It did not arrive on the 25th. It did not arrive again today! To be fair, my order was passed to Wal-Mart to be filled and delivered. Enough said, I guess. Aside from keeping an ear peeled for the arrival of a delivery van, my day was interrupted shortly before lunch by a trip to the grocery store. The temperature was still below the daily projected high of 36 degrees, and the wind was bitingly brisk. I was fortunate to get a parking space very near the storefront, and even more fortunate to have found everything on my list with only one exception - sugar-free antacids for Becky. I did find Oat Nog (Egg Nog made with Oatmilk), only to find that I don't care for the flavor of it. With two quarts of it in the 'fridge, I suppose I will either become accustomed to it or remember not to buy it again.

  • November 25, 2021

    Happy Thanksgiving Day! Today, being Thanksgiving Day, we were thankful that Becky no longer has to get shots on Thursday, and that the gym was closed so we could have an easy day, physically. We were thankful to have been invited to dinner with the LaCour household and to have been able to provide Becky's Maple Bourbon Baked Beans and Orange Cranberry Sauce. I'm also thankful that my weight has at least touched on the 200 lb mark. Naturally, I cannot expect my weight to have stayed at that mark after the Thanksgiving Feast we ate at Suzanne's. Apparently I still haven't learned the art of lightly loading a plate with small helpings of everything. 

  • November 24, 2021

    This being Wednesday, laundry day, and below freezing when we arose, we didn't go anywhere, not even into the garage (laundry room) until after 10 AM, when the temperature had thawed. I spent most of the day tending to the laundry and trying to watch television. Each time we started to watch a show, though, we got another phone call. Fortunately the shows were recorded, but it took a couple hours to watch a one-hour program. Three calls from the same person, and one call from someone else. I did have to drive to the store to get a small bottle of orange juice for Becky's home-made cranberry sauce, and when there, I also picked up a loaf of bread, a box of laundry detergent pods, a package of three boxes of tissues, and some frozen GF meals, then stopped at Starbucks on the way home so I could earn more points toward free coffee. Now it's reading time, so g'nite.

  • November 23, 2021

    Happy Lunaversary! Allergy Partners was our first stop of the day. It was routine. _  Gold's Gym was next. Becky's PT appointment wasn't until 11:15, but we were there by 10:20 so Becky got onto the stationary bike and I got onto a treadmill. Becky was pedaling with almost no resistance, and was able to concentrate on leg alignment. I, though, started walking at my normal brisk rate of 3 MPH, and when my heartrate stubornly remained in the 80s, I added 2 degrees of elevation. My heartrate increased to 98 and it didn't feel good, so I backed the elevation off by a half degree, reducing my heartrate to 97, where it stayed for the next five minutes. It never felt comfortable during that time, so I stopped the treadmill and decided it was not the right time for cardio work. _  I transitioned to weights, next doing two sets of nine reps (at slow speed - 10 seconds out, 10 seconds in, with no rest between reps), each set, then, being of three minutes duration on three different machines (Chest Press, Rowing, and Leg Press). The rest of the exercise was at normal speed for AB Crunches (straight and obliques), Lower Back Presses, Split Row (I'll let you wonder about this one), Hay Balers, Cat-Cows, Bridging, and some stretches. _  By the time I did all that, Becky was nearing the end of her session with the PT (Jeanne, our Tai Chi teacher), so I puttered around, playing with different machines as the mood struck. _  Then, for our Lunaversary celebration, we were invited back to Suzannes for a Noshing Lunch (which her auto-corupter called a Nosing-Lunch - as if!) of Hummus, Guacamole, crackers, and Mah Jongg (Suzanne won the first three hands, then Becky won the fourth - I think that's the way it went - there might have been a fifth hand, but I didn't win it if there was one).

  • November 22, 2021

    We attended the Monday Morning Bible Study on Zoom, Mother Milly chairing the study. Since she was unsuccessful in posting the Gospel to the Chat so we could all read it, I was pleased to read it from my New Jerusalem translation. In it, the new testament scriptures are not as markedly different from the New International Version that we normally read. In this case, though, it was different enough to give a new spin to it. I noticed that during the discussion some of the others in attendance referred to the words I had read, while others refered to the NIV that they had read from their own Bibles or the Internet. _  After the Study concluded, we went to lunch at TGI Friday's where I had enough points to receive my meal for free. Naturally I had to pay for Becky's, but since we ordered the same thing, it might have actually been t'other way round. _  From there we went to Best Buy to retrieve Becky's computer from the Geek Squad. They had kept it over the weekend to run it through the wringer and see why it was malfunctioning. They found a bit of Malware, eliminated it, and couldn't find anything else messed up or broken. Becky's been puting it through her own wringer since we got home and it has not failed. "By George, I think they've fixed it!" to misquote Professor Higgins.

  • November 21, 2021

    Becky felt Sneezy this morning, so she stayed home from church to nurse a Theraflu tonic. I protested, of course, a token resistance at best, and she styed by her decision, so I was resigned to go it alone again. When I got into the car, I pressed the start button, and was having to wait for the Garmin Navigation to get unfrozen so it would work. While I was waiting, the engine started. It made a questionable "thunking" sound, started, ran rough for a few seconds, then evened out. It was 28 degrees, of course, so if anything was frozen under the hood, that might account for the noise. Anyway, I drove to church with no problems. _  By the time I got robed and into the choir chairs, our director was there, as was a guest 'cellist, Ben Smith. He had been recruited to play the prelude accompanied by the organ and to play the anthem with the choir accompanied by a harpsichord (electronic keyboard, of course). The rehearsal went well, with the 'cellist proving his worth. He was very good, had fair intonation, and the fastest trills I think I've ever heard. In the service, the prelude and anthem were flawless except for the one note I missed. Nobody noticed, so I'm not even going to mentione it her...um, too late. _  After church iI came home to find Becky ready to step out the door. We "high-tailed it" to Suzanne's to celebrate our friend Hank's birthday about a week early. While we were awaiting his and Mike's arrival, Suzanne and we played a hand of Mah Jongg. Suzanne won, of course. When the two guys arrived, Mike sat down to resume the game in Suzanne's chair while she busied herself otherwhere to prepare the dinner. Mike won the next hand. That's when we stopped for dinner. Once again, there was lots of food available which included all of my favorites (Roasted Chicken, Guacamole, Olives, Pickles, and Salad). Resuming the game after eating, I won the next two hands, then Becky won one, and then we decided to stop being anti-social and join the others in the living room.

  • November 20, 2021

    Today was a busy day to make up for yesterday. I had some shopping to do, which included a can of gluten-free Cream of Chicken soup and some gluten-free bread crumbs. After going to four stores, I finally had the items I had sought and a few besides. I also got the oil changed and a State inspection for the Saturn. I really enjoy driving that little car, mostly because of the smoothness of the transmission. I don't, though, enjoy the rough ride and hard seats, not to mention the difficulty I have getting out of the car when parked beside another car and cannot open the door wide enough. That's is probably why I don't drive it as much as I might otherwise. _  Once back home, I got onto the DOT website and renewed the Saturn's registration. Since the property taxes have increased, the cost is over $100 again, whereas before it was less than $60 last year.

  • November 19, 2021

    I had my second session with a Personal Trainer at the gym. She introduced me to some free-weight usage and more cardio and stretches, and basically wore me out. in the end, I was glad to have had the training and so glad that part is done. _  The rest of the day was unremarkable, and since I didn't have anything to do, I did it quite well.

  • November 18, 2021

    Today was a busy day. It started at 8 AM with a visit to the imaging center for a thoracic CAT Scan to evaluate the size of my aorta aneurysm. It went well, with no adverse reaction to the contrast, though if I'm honest it was a bit more intense this time than in years past. _  From there we went to Tai Chi class at the gym. We had a good session and I'm getting to understand the individual forms, but am still at sea with the sequence from one form to the next. _  From there I drove Becky home and then drove to the Toyota dealership to get the sun visors installed that I had bought yesterday. They're very nice, good strong padding in both, good action on both, and neither of them will fall off when we try to use it. _  As if that weren't enough, I took Becky's computer to the Geek Squad for a thorough going-over to ensure all the hardware is working correctly, and that all the drivers are current. She's been having trouble with the mouse cursor jumping and jittering and the mouse not picking up items or activating links correctly. Hopefully they can fix it. If not, then it's time to buy a new one. I cannot see me taking the old one and making yet another Linux computer, so it might have to go either to a junkyard or a parts pile somewhere - not here, though.

  • November 17, 2021

    Today, instead of taking Suzanne to an appointment, I had the "pleasure" of contacting the Geek Squad to see if Becky's computer was fixable and if so, to get it fixed. I sat for two hours chatting online with a technician who did everything he could, which didn't correct the problem. _  Then I took our Camry to the Toyota dealer to see about getting the windshield visors replaced. The left one fell off a few days ago, and the right one has lost its foam innards to heat and time. I had to pay for the visors today, but they are on order - overnight express, which is why they cost so much, I think so I have an appointment to have the new ones installed tomorrow afternoon.

  • November 16, 2021

    After Becky got her allergy shots this morning, we drove to Gold's Gym for Becky to meet with Jeanne for evaluation and biometrics, to see what Becky could do, needed help, and could not do - to establish a starting point for her betterment. While that was going on, I did my new routine of a 3-5 minute warmup on the treadmill, Powers-of-Ten workouts on the Chest Press, Lift Row, and Leg Press, then some floor exercises to loosed the spine (CatCow and Bridge that I used to do in Yoga classes), followed by four other free-weight exercises. The whole routine took one hour and tired me out a bit. We decided to get adventurous and got lunch at the Farm Burger restaurant half a block from the Gym. We needn't have bothered. The food was definitely edible, but even the chicken sandwiches we got, topped with Jack Cheese, Kale Slaw, and onions, while they sounded exotic, were nothing special in our opinions.  From there we drove to Fairview to visit with Dr. Reilly for our monthly chiropractic adjustment. He didn't find many pops or snaps in my back, but my hips were begging for attention, as was my neck. Becky proved to be in the same shape as me and got the same treatment - meaningful improvement.

  • November 15, 2021

    Beware the Ides of November! We sat at the computers, this morning, working through our morning routines, then logged in for the Monday Morning Bible Study. It was a good study, though somewhat slowly progressing through what, to me, seemed to be a straight-forward passage of scripture, at least to me it seemed that way. I thought, at first, that Fr. Mike was grasping at straws to make a big thing out of nothing. I'm not saying that I didn't learn anything from the study, but I still don't see it as a deep fount of arcane mystery. _  I've been trying to determine what is going wrong with Becky's computer (windows 10) for about a month, now. I've cleaned it, updated the drivers, and since the problem has to do with the mouse not being as controllable as it should be, I even replaced the mouse. It is now a brand new, wireless mouse. Now it's evident that the mouse works, but the computer does not. My next step is to take it to the Geek Squad and suggest that they go through it with a fine-toothed comb to find what is failing, then fix it. If it cannot be fixed, then I'll order another computer from Tiger Direct and see if I can transfer the data and programs to it. It may require more help from the Geeks, but I'll do what's necessary to get Becky a good, usable, reliable computer again.

  • November 14, 2021

    Church was different today. The choir from Christ School for Boys sang, with one of the boys playing the prelude and postlude on the organ, another of them played a violin descant to their Anthem, and a third sang as Cantor to intone the Psalm. In addition, Rev. Milly gave the starting announcements as "Vestry-person of the Day," there was a guest minister to deliver quite a fascinating sermon, and Fr. Mike officiated the Mass. The church choir was in the congregation, singing "Lustily" on the hymns and liturgy. Wow!

  • November 13, 2021

    Friday the Thirteenth came on a Saturday this month! We were invited to lunch and Mah Jongg again today which made up for the attempted such meeting last Thursday, the one Suzanne had to cancle due to an onset of discomfort. Today, though, she really needed company more than anything else. We were happy to spend a few hours with her and enjoyed the Avocado Melts she made for us as well as the three hands of Mah Jongg we played, of which I won only the second. _  The rest of the day we spent either at the TV or computers. And speaking of computers, I have not been able to get the 2TB disk drice to respond to anything on my Linux computer. I'm beginning to think it was the drive and not the old HP Computer's BIOS that was corrupted. I suppose I could have done some troubleshooting before purchasing the replacement, but the replacement computer didn't cost much more than a replacement drive would have, so no great loss. 

  • November 12, 2021

    I had my first paid PT session with Jeanne. After the three machines I mentioned before, she led me through some strengthening exercises. She mentioned the Kyphosis in my upper back. I had never heard the term before, but found that is is a rounding of the thoracic spine. My dad had it, and while it likely isn't heriditary, I likely learned my poor posture from him, and that likely led to the roundness. Apparently it isn't much of a problem unless it gets really exagerated, when it could start causing breathing and other problems. Anyway, deformities aside, I made it through all of her exercises without any problems. I was, of course, a little damp at the end of the session, but I also felt really firmly wrapped. It felt pleasantly odd to be walking completely free of pain in my lower back. Naturally, the feeling won't last for long after just one such session. _  While I was at the gym, Becky was at the dentist again. Last night, as she was flossing her teeth, a filling popped out of the tooth she was scheduled to have filled or crowned in three weeks. Fortunately, when Becky phoned the dentists office, there had just been a cancellation, so she filled that void, and the dentist filled the one in her tooth with a temporary filling. The tooth will be addressed more permanently on December 3rd. _  Becky got home before I did, so parked under the tree so I could get her Saturn into the garage upon my return. Of course, when I did return, I was no longer feeling as solid as I did as I left the gym, and I was tired. Becky's mouth was still sagging on the left side from the anesthetic and she was a bit disoriented, so we went to Brunch. She had an omelet and I had what the cafe oddly called a Cobb Salad. It was made of fresh spinach, tomato chuncks, ham and cheddar cheese with dressing (I opted for honey-mustard). While it was a good salad, it wasn't a Cobb by any stretch of the imagination. Missing were the hard-boiled egg, bacon, cucumber, blue cheese, minced onion, and avocado. It was a small salad, which had me thinking I should go ahead and pay the $3 extra for a real Cobb salad - at a different restaurant, of course.

  • November 11, 2021

    Happy Veterans Day! After getting Becky's allergy shots this morning, we visited Gold's Gym. I spent a brief warm-up period on the treadmill followed by 3-minute sets on three weight machines. I tested out the new Interval Timer app that I downloaded to my cell phone from Play Station. I had set it to 18 Reps, 10 seconds between reps with no rest period. It gives me five seconds to get into position before sounding three beeps to begin the first rep, then single beeps to count the last three seconds, then a double beep to start the next rep (lather, rinse, repeat, you know the drill). It worked wonderfully, and just as I was ready to quit on the first machine (chest press), it sounded the three-beep ending signal. On the other two machines (rowing and leg-press) I wasn't anywhere near my endurance level when the end signal sounded, so I'll likely be increasing the weight on those machines next week. _  Then we attended our Tai Chi class. After the instrution period was over and we were in the cool-down period, there was discussion about a video of the Form that Jeanne is teaching, posted on the Silver Sneakers website. I'll try to find that video and watch it several times, because it is vastly different from the Sun and Yang styles we had been learning. After driving for two hours at about 5 MPH through South Asheville to get to a restaurant, we finally got to Applebee's where I was treated to a free (because of my Veteran status) 6oz Sirloin steak, broccoli, and garlic mashed potatoes. Becky had a Fiesta Lime Chicken with rice and corn tortilla strips. Both meals were delicious, of course, and our waitress was delightful, likely from being on the giddy side of overwork for the day.    

  • November 10, 2021

    I met with my Urologist this morning. He seemed disappointed. I have no pain resulting from last January's Rezum prostate procedure. In addition, the hesitancy I had experienced before the procedure is gone completely, and while I still have to shut off the water at the sink to rush to the commode to address the urgent need to void my bladder, I can empty it completely and I am not getting up in the night to do the same. Ok, maybe too much information. The fact remains, though, that the doctor was disappointed that he had nothing to do but to document the success of the procedure. Shortly after I got home from that appointment, Becky took off to the dentist to get a tooth repaired on the right side of her mouth. She also got another appointment to repair a tooth on the left side.  When she got back, we went to lunch at TGI Friday's. I got a whiskey-glazed hamburger - green style (served on a bed of lettuce instead of a bun) and Becky got a Chicken sandwich with bacon and avocado. They both came with fries, half of which we brought home with us to recycle into her soup. Choir practice ended the day. We reviewed three pieces that we had been introduced to last week, then read through three new pieces that will fit into our Advent and Christmas seasons. It was quite fun, but a long rehearsal.

  • November 09, 2021

    First thing this morning, Becky's allergy shots. From there we went to Gold's Gym for my free PT (Personal Trainer) session. "My Personal Trainer" is also our Tai Chi Instructor, Jeanne (a small Chinese woman with an impish grin and great sense of humor). I have the feeling she's going to be tough to work with, but will get me trained up "in the way that I should go" so that when I "get old" I will not hurt myself too badly.  

  • November 08, 2021

    Becky's computer wasn't feeling well this morning, and as a result of her trying to get it to work her frustration made her not feel well, too. She opted out of the Bible Study, as did I so that I could find out why her computer was giving her fits. It turned out that Windows-10 was downloading an update, and as we know, Windows-anything cannot do ANYTHING while downloading updates. So rather than telling the user that an update is downloading, it just refuses to work. I much prefer the Linux approach to updates. It will post an icon to its panel when the update is ready to be installed, but until then it is business as usual! I found out that apparently, Jim Beam has stopped making or distributing its Maple Bourbon. I went to two ABC stores this afternoon looking for it, and while there were many other flavors of bourbon on the shelf where the Maple variety used to be, Maple was absent! In my disgust, I bought a much more expensive bottle of Rye! Take that, Jimbo!

  • November 07, 2021

    For the morning worship service at church today we were treated (if that's the right word) to a folk-trio of a guitar, a tenor banjo, and bongo drums. They accompanied the singing of fan-favorites like I'll Fly Away, O How I Love Jesus, and one listed as There is a Happy Place, but which starts out with the words "There is a Happy Land" which allowed me to sing the wrong word almost every time. We also sang about the end of the world as we know it (When the Saints are Marching In), the words to which I don't think I had ever known until today, and don't ask me what they are now, because I might have expunged them from my memory already. They reminded me of Cat Steven's song, O Caritas (which starts out, Hunc ornatum mundi nolo perdere, which apparently spellcheck thinks I've just misspelled). Afterward, Becky and I were invited to lunch and Mah Jongg at Suzanne's. Lunch was delicious, as usual, and quite a bit too much, at least for me. Becky ate half of what she was served, declared it quite filling, and handed me the remainder of hers to finish. I, on the other hand, proved my wholly unwarranted reputation as a glutton to be totally warranted after all. I'm paying penance for that gluttony even now. Tonight, to explain why I'm writing in such a different style this time, I've just been browsing through YouTube and landed on many video clips of the British TV show, Outnumbered. Look it up. I'm sure I shan't be forgiven for giving you the reference, though.

  • November 06, 2021

    This morning we watched an episode of The Friendship Onion and learned about Harmless Harvest Coconut Milk. Dominique Moghnahan and Billy Boyd (Mari and Pipin in LOTR movies) were going on and on about how wonderful it tastes, so I found out where they sell it, locally (Whole Foods), and I bought two bottles - one plain coconut milk and the other coconut and watermelon. We shared the CocoMelon, and I found it isn't to my liking. I'm hoping the plain coconut will be better suited to my taste - or vice versa. Having upgraded my HP desktop Linux computer from Kubuntu 21.04 to Kubuntu 21.10, I decided to do the same to my Asus laptop. Like the HP, the upgrade was done easily without the loss of any data or function. This evening, then, while we were watching Ghost (Patrick Swazey and Demi Moore), I upgraded my Toshiba. Unlike the first two, it didn't do the upgrade in the Terminal but loaded an upgrade app. That was the only difference. Now all three of my Linux computers are running the latest version of Kubuntu, and I won't have to mess with them again until April of next year. The others in the Linux Users Group say I'm silly to upgrade every six months. They prefer to stay with the LTR (Long Term Release) which in this case is Kubuntu 20.04 and gets regular updates as it goes along. I don't really agree (obviously), preferring to get a fresh reload of the latest and greatest rather than keep the updated and patched version. In theory, they should be the same. But I like to mess with it, I think.

  • November 05, 2021

    I had a Wellness Visit with my Physician. He is pleased that my weight has stayed just above 200 for the last 18 months (I was 201 this morning), but of course, thinks I need to lose even more. He's right, of course. We've been going to the gym a few times a week (for the last week, anyway, and I will add slow weight training to my routine again, at his suggestion. I had done it before but gave up on it because I didn't see any sign of advantage. Now that I've been taking Metformin and maintaining a weight loss, I'll give it another try and see if I can lose a few more pounds. I'd like to lose another 10 to 15 pounds and, more importantly, lose some fat from my belly and chest. My refurbished HP computer, which I had been running Kubuntu 21.04 in, has been upgraded to Kubuntu 21.10. The upgrade was seamless and there was no data or function loss. 

  • November 04, 2021

    Becky has some "Tizzy-Wizzies-in-the-Trash-Bag" this morning because she ate most of the pie crust at Suzanne's yesterday. It was not gluten-free. For that reason, she stayed close to the bathroom this morningwhile I went to the gym, walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes (3 MPH walking, heart rate got up to 121 BPM).Then I participated in the Tai Chi class.Unlike the former Tai Chi classes we took, where we learned Sun and Yang styles, Jeanne is teaching a free-style Tai Chi. It isn't something that might be seen in a park being done by a large number of people, but Itis easy to do, interesting, and fun. It's going to take me a while to stop being totally lost and confused. There's nothing new about that because I was lost for weeks when we started Tai Chi Sun, back in 2005.

  • November 03, 2021

    Ten AM was the time for our PT with our Tai Chi instructor, Jeanne. The first thing, she gave us a questionnaire to ascertain that we weren't going to drop dead during her Personal Training session. Well, when I disclosed that I had coronary heart disease and a thoracic aneurysm, she gave both of us papers to have our physician give his assurance that we were healthy enough to survive moderate exercise, then scheduled us for a PT session next Tuesday. She gave us a tour of the facilities, which gave us some ideas to better facilitate our workouts. Following our "PT" session, we went to GreenSage for a brief brunch, during which I received a text from Suzanne to ask if I could come up and see what I could do for her tablet which she had dropped and broken. When we finished our brunch, we stopped by Starbucks to get a compensatory cuppa, then to home to get our Mah Jongg set, then to Suzanne's only to hear that her brother Gregg had extracted the piece that had broken, but inserting a replacement part proved to be impossible for my technical abilities (and limitations). We played three hands of Mah Jongg, and Suzanne won all of them. We did, though, enjoy some pumpkin pie, had some good conversation, then bid farewell to Suzanne and her brother and returned home. After two more hours, we went to choir practice where we greeted two more new members of the choir, hailed the return of two new members who had been sitting out due to colds. We're going to have to add chairs to the choir seating! Whata good problem to have. 

  • November 02, 2021

    Allergy Shots followed by Starbucks, as usual for a Tuesday, and most of the rest of the day was usual. There was some exciting news later in the day, though, that needs a bit of back story.Yesterday, Melinda and her son, Karl, took her old computer and struck out in search of a replacement. Ihad sent her acouple of ads showing All-in-One computers for under $500 at Wal-Mart. They looked at those,then went shopping. They decided on a desktop computer by HP from Staples. Better price, plus their tech-nician said he would attempt to retrieve the data from her old computer and load it onto the new one. Of course there would be a fee for that service.Today, she drove to Staples and retrieved her old computer and the new one. Once she got home, she had noway to take the computers from her van into the house, being bound to her wheelchair. She said she would ask Karl to carry them in and maybe help her hook them up. We haven't heard whether he has done that, so that may be a matter for tomorrow's entry.  

  • November 01, 2021

    Happy November Fools Day! I had a tempestuous start to the day. It was just 46 degrees when I wheeled the trash can out to the curb, and of course, I wasn't wearing a jacket. It was no problem. I didn't get chilled, but I was aware of the chill in the air, clear sky above, and the 4th quarter moon above the neighbor's house. I did walk a littlemore briskly than usual, letting the can rattle over the bumps as it would so that I wouldn't be outside any longer than necessary.  Bible study had a bit of a rough start, too. I got onto the church's website and clicked on the Monday Morning Bible Study link, and when the Zoom site opened up, there was no link to join the group. I had to start it from that link three times before there was a login box. Then, when I got logged in, we were the only people there, which made me the "owner" of the group for the session, and that should be the priest, not me. I logged out again and waited until 10:29 to log in again (it would start at 10:30). Then in the afternoon, I went to the grocery store. Becky had added frozen peas and mild sausage patties tothe shopping list, but since I was at Publix, I knew they didn't have the sausage or the peas she prefers. Had I read through the list before shopping, I might have started at Ingles, instead. As it was, I got everything else on the list (including frozen foods), then drove across the street to Ingles to get the others. Ingles didn't have the peas we usually get, either, but had some peas with mushrooms, and I got two of them. I made it back home before the frozen food had thawed, so no problem.

November

Happy November Last!

For the last time this month, Becky and I drove to the Allergy Partners for her every-Tuesday shots. While she went into the clinic, I sat in the car in 29 degree weather and waited for her return. When she did return, we drove to Gold's Gym for her second PT session. We were, of course, 25 minutes early for that session, so she warmed up on the stationary bike, while I walked on the treatmill and watched an episode of Airplane Repo. I had no sound, but it didn't matter. I had seen a few such episodes to know what the characters were saying. I just wanted to see the airplanes, is all. _ 

I got to try out my new jogger's armband for my call phone. Since I use a Rep Counter app on the phone to signal me when it's time for the rep to start and, ten seconds later, when it is to ene and the next one start (Yeah, it's a very slow exercise rate with no rest between reps for three minutes straight), and it would not do for me to hold the phone in my hand while doing the exercise. I had worn shirts with pockets so I could start the app and put the phone in the pocket. I was always on guard for the phone falling out of the pocket, and though it never did, it was distracting. With the phone in the armband and the armband on my forearm where I could see it, there was no distraction. it wasn't the best solution, but it did work fairly well. I'm going to see if I can extend the strap enough to wear it on my leg like I used to do with a leg-board to hold my charts when I was flying airplanes. _ 

After the workout, we had lunch at TGI Friday's, then came home. It was a good morning.

I arose at the usual Monday Morning time (7 AM) and took the trash can to the curb. Had I stopped to wake up first, I would have switched off the house alarm before opening the back door (had to hurry to the living room to turn it off) and not also rolled the recycling bin to the curb with the trash. By the time I realized my mistake on the cans, it was nearly time for Bible Study, so I left it there. After Bible Study, the trash had been collected, so I merely retrieved both cans and wheeled them to the side of the house again. _ 

We received two packages early this morning. One of them was the hemp-based shampoo and conditioner that I had ordered, and the other was two bottles of Runamok Maple (aged in Bourbon barrels). Later, when Becky took a letter to the mailbox, she found a slender envelope which turned out to be the BluRay movie we had ordered. Apparently, the UPS is now putting things in the mailbox. Then, when the mail was delivered this afternoon, yet another package arrived. I had ordered a cell phone wallet to wear my phone on my wrist while at the gym so I can use the Rep Counter app while weight training without having to wear a shirt with a pocket. None of those purchases were supposed to arrive before Wednesday. _ 

I had three "forest fires" to put out this afternoon. One was the matter of the OTC items from Healthy Benefits that I had ordered a week ago. They had been promised to arrive last Friday, last Tuesday, and last Thursday in three different emails. I called and spoke to three different agents before learning that the items were on backorder with no projected delivery date. In other words, I will have forgotten I had even ordered them and paid over $45 for the items I should have gotten for free. The second "fire" was the MightyText app I use to read and write text messages at my computer(s) was not receiving or sending texts to or from the phone. It had stopped working when the Android OS in my phone was upgraded. It took several emails with customer service and a change of text client from Messages to Textra Bot before I was again able to send and receive texts. The third "fire" was that I was unable to post a comment to the Weblog (Blog) of one of my friends in the Linux Users Group. He assured me that others were leaving comments with no problem, but that didn't do me any good. Again, lots of emails back and forth before we found that my email address had been flagged as SPHAMM, and shunted to the trash. Apparently, wasmith1946 is not a reliable-looking email address.

Church this morning had us rehearsing with the choir at 9:45, going over the Psalm chant, two other chants, then the three hymns and our Anthem. Afterward, I rehearsed the readings of the lessons and ran through the Psalm quietly just to be sure that when I sang it on mic I would be able to carry it off adequately. In the service, I stepped back from the mic for the Psalm, not wanting to overshadow the choir and congregation, but I'm afraid my effort was too little. I sounded as though I was not in the best of voice to be singing into a microphone. The rest of the service went well, especially the Anthem. _ 

After church, Becky and I drove up to Suzanne's to help her do some TLC (Thanksgiving Leftover Chewing) and play four hands of Mah Jongg. I was fortunate to win the first two hands, then Suzanne won the third and Becky the fourth. We were sent home with the majority of the second GF Pumpkin Pie (most of the first still resting in our refrigerator. Brian had done a good job baking two of them for us (none of the other Thanksgiving invitees needs GF).

I got my haircut and beard and mustach trimmed this morning. Somehow it only happens twice a year. Each time, of course, it costs more than the time before. _ 

On my way home, I filled the gas tank at Sam's Club. I didn't do any shopping, so there was no delay getting home within an hour of leaving. _ 

I found a card in my pocket that was good for $5 off of a meal at Applebee's, so you can guess where we had lunch. The Bourbon Street Chicken and Shrimp was quite good, and we brought the majority of the chicken home with us.

This morning was the last day I expected to find the delivery of my OTC health items on my porch. UMC's Healthy Benefits Plus allows me to buy limited supplies each month, and this month I ordered more loose-fitting socks and some CoQ10 capsules. Initially I was told they would arrive on the 26th (today), but the day after my order was placed I received another email saying the delivery would be early, to arrive on the 23rd. It did not arrive on the 23rd, and that evening I received another email saying the delivery had been delayed and would arrive by the end of the 25th. It did not arrive on the 25th. It did not arrive again today! To be fair, my order was passed to Wal-Mart to be filled and delivered. Enough said, I guess.

Aside from keeping an ear peeled for the arrival of a delivery van, my day was interrupted shortly before lunch by a trip to the grocery store. The temperature was still below the daily projected high of 36 degrees, and the wind was bitingly brisk. I was fortunate to get a parking space very near the storefront, and even more fortunate to have found everything on my list with only one exception - sugar-free antacids for Becky. I did find Oat Nog (Egg Nog made with Oatmilk), only to find that I don't care for the flavor of it. With two quarts of it in the 'fridge, I suppose I will either become accustomed to it or remember not to buy it again.

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Today, being Thanksgiving Day, we were thankful that Becky no longer has to get shots on Thursday, and that the gym was closed so we could have an easy day, physically. We were thankful to have been invited to dinner with the LaCour household and to have been able to provide Becky's Maple Bourbon Baked Beans and Orange Cranberry Sauce. I'm also thankful that my weight has at least touched on the 200 lb mark.

Naturally, I cannot expect my weight to have stayed at that mark after the Thanksgiving Feast we ate at Suzanne's. Apparently I still haven't learned the art of lightly loading a plate with small helpings of everything. 

This being Wednesday, laundry day, and below freezing when we arose, we didn't go anywhere, not even into the garage (laundry room) until after 10 AM, when the temperature had thawed. I spent most of the day tending to the laundry and trying to watch television. Each time we started to watch a show, though, we got another phone call. Fortunately the shows were recorded, but it took a couple hours to watch a one-hour program. Three calls from the same person, and one call from someone else.

I did have to drive to the store to get a small bottle of orange juice for Becky's home-made cranberry sauce, and when there, I also picked up a loaf of bread, a box of laundry detergent pods, a package of three boxes of tissues, and some frozen GF meals, then stopped at Starbucks on the way home so I could earn more points toward free coffee.

Now it's reading time, so g'nite.

Happy Lunaversary!

Allergy Partners was our first stop of the day. It was routine. _ 

Gold's Gym was next. Becky's PT appointment wasn't until 11:15, but we were there by 10:20 so Becky got onto the stationary bike and I got onto a treadmill. Becky was pedaling with almost no resistance, and was able to concentrate on leg alignment. I, though, started walking at my normal brisk rate of 3 MPH, and when my heartrate stubornly remained in the 80s, I added 2 degrees of elevation. My heartrate increased to 98 and it didn't feel good, so I backed the elevation off by a half degree, reducing my heartrate to 97, where it stayed for the next five minutes. It never felt comfortable during that time, so I stopped the treadmill and decided it was not the right time for cardio work. _ 

I transitioned to weights, next doing two sets of nine reps (at slow speed - 10 seconds out, 10 seconds in, with no rest between reps), each set, then, being of three minutes duration on three different machines (Chest Press, Rowing, and Leg Press). The rest of the exercise was at normal speed for AB Crunches (straight and obliques), Lower Back Presses, Split Row (I'll let you wonder about this one), Hay Balers, Cat-Cows, Bridging, and some stretches. _ 

By the time I did all that, Becky was nearing the end of her session with the PT (Jeanne, our Tai Chi teacher), so I puttered around, playing with different machines as the mood struck. _ 

Then, for our Lunaversary celebration, we were invited back to Suzannes for a Noshing Lunch (which her auto-corupter called a Nosing-Lunch - as if!) of Hummus, Guacamole, crackers, and Mah Jongg (Suzanne won the first three hands, then Becky won the fourth - I think that's the way it went - there might have been a fifth hand, but I didn't win it if there was one).

We attended the Monday Morning Bible Study on Zoom, Mother Milly chairing the study. Since she was unsuccessful in posting the Gospel to the Chat so we could all read it, I was pleased to read it from my New Jerusalem translation. In it, the new testament scriptures are not as markedly different from the New International Version that we normally read. In this case, though, it was different enough to give a new spin to it. I noticed that during the discussion some of the others in attendance referred to the words I had read, while others refered to the NIV that they had read from their own Bibles or the Internet. _ 

After the Study concluded, we went to lunch at TGI Friday's where I had enough points to receive my meal for free. Naturally I had to pay for Becky's, but since we ordered the same thing, it might have actually been t'other way round. _ 

From there we went to Best Buy to retrieve Becky's computer from the Geek Squad. They had kept it over the weekend to run it through the wringer and see why it was malfunctioning. They found a bit of Malware, eliminated it, and couldn't find anything else messed up or broken. Becky's been puting it through her own wringer since we got home and it has not failed. "By George, I think they've fixed it!" to misquote Professor Higgins.

Becky felt Sneezy this morning, so she stayed home from church to nurse a Theraflu tonic. I protested, of course, a token resistance at best, and she styed by her decision, so I was resigned to go it alone again. When I got into the car, I pressed the start button, and was having to wait for the Garmin Navigation to get unfrozen so it would work. While I was waiting, the engine started. It made a questionable "thunking" sound, started, ran rough for a few seconds, then evened out. It was 28 degrees, of course, so if anything was frozen under the hood, that might account for the noise. Anyway, I drove to church with no problems. _ 

By the time I got robed and into the choir chairs, our director was there, as was a guest 'cellist, Ben Smith. He had been recruited to play the prelude accompanied by the organ and to play the anthem with the choir accompanied by a harpsichord (electronic keyboard, of course). The rehearsal went well, with the 'cellist proving his worth. He was very good, had fair intonation, and the fastest trills I think I've ever heard. In the service, the prelude and anthem were flawless except for the one note I missed. Nobody noticed, so I'm not even going to mentione it her...um, too late. _ 

After church iI came home to find Becky ready to step out the door. We "high-tailed it" to Suzanne's to celebrate our friend Hank's birthday about a week early. While we were awaiting his and Mike's arrival, Suzanne and we played a hand of Mah Jongg. Suzanne won, of course. When the two guys arrived, Mike sat down to resume the game in Suzanne's chair while she busied herself otherwhere to prepare the dinner. Mike won the next hand. That's when we stopped for dinner. Once again, there was lots of food available which included all of my favorites (Roasted Chicken, Guacamole, Olives, Pickles, and Salad). Resuming the game after eating, I won the next two hands, then Becky won one, and then we decided to stop being anti-social and join the others in the living room.

Today was a busy day to make up for yesterday. I had some shopping to do, which included a can of gluten-free Cream of Chicken soup and some gluten-free bread crumbs. After going to four stores, I finally had the items I had sought and a few besides. I also got the oil changed and a State inspection for the Saturn. I really enjoy driving that little car, mostly because of the smoothness of the transmission. I don't, though, enjoy the rough ride and hard seats, not to mention the difficulty I have getting out of the car when parked beside another car and cannot open the door wide enough. That's is probably why I don't drive it as much as I might otherwise. _ 

Once back home, I got onto the DOT website and renewed the Saturn's registration. Since the property taxes have increased, the cost is over $100 again, whereas before it was less than $60 last year.

I had my second session with a Personal Trainer at the gym. She introduced me to some free-weight usage and more cardio and stretches, and basically wore me out. in the end, I was glad to have had the training and so glad that part is done. _ 

The rest of the day was unremarkable, and since I didn't have anything to do, I did it quite well.

Today was a busy day. It started at 8 AM with a visit to the imaging center for a thoracic CAT Scan to evaluate the size of my aorta aneurysm. It went well, with no adverse reaction to the contrast, though if I'm honest it was a bit more intense this time than in years past. _ 

From there we went to Tai Chi class at the gym. We had a good session and I'm getting to understand the individual forms, but am still at sea with the sequence from one form to the next. _ 

From there I drove Becky home and then drove to the Toyota dealership to get the sun visors installed that I had bought yesterday. They're very nice, good strong padding in both, good action on both, and neither of them will fall off when we try to use it. _ 

As if that weren't enough, I took Becky's computer to the Geek Squad for a thorough going-over to ensure all the hardware is working correctly, and that all the drivers are current. She's been having trouble with the mouse cursor jumping and jittering and the mouse not picking up items or activating links correctly. Hopefully they can fix it. If not, then it's time to buy a new one. I cannot see me taking the old one and making yet another Linux computer, so it might have to go either to a junkyard or a parts pile somewhere - not here, though.

Today, instead of taking Suzanne to an appointment, I had the "pleasure" of contacting the Geek Squad to see if Becky's computer was fixable and if so, to get it fixed. I sat for two hours chatting online with a technician who did everything he could, which didn't correct the problem. _ 

Then I took our Camry to the Toyota dealer to see about getting the windshield visors replaced. The left one fell off a few days ago, and the right one has lost its foam innards to heat and time. I had to pay for the visors today, but they are on order - overnight express, which is why they cost so much, I think so I have an appointment to have the new ones installed tomorrow afternoon.

After Becky got her allergy shots this morning, we drove to Gold's Gym for Becky to meet with Jeanne for evaluation and biometrics, to see what Becky could do, needed help, and could not do - to establish a starting point for her betterment. While that was going on, I did my new routine of a 3-5 minute warmup on the treadmill, Powers-of-Ten workouts on the Chest Press, Lift Row, and Leg Press, then some floor exercises to loosed the spine (CatCow and Bridge that I used to do in Yoga classes), followed by four other free-weight exercises. The whole routine took one hour and tired me out a bit.

We decided to get adventurous and got lunch at the Farm Burger restaurant half a block from the Gym. We needn't have bothered. The food was definitely edible, but even the chicken sandwiches we got, topped with Jack Cheese, Kale Slaw, and onions, while they sounded exotic, were nothing special in our opinions. 

From there we drove to Fairview to visit with Dr. Reilly for our monthly chiropractic adjustment. He didn't find many pops or snaps in my back, but my hips were begging for attention, as was my neck. Becky proved to be in the same shape as me and got the same treatment - meaningful improvement.

Beware the Ides of November!

We sat at the computers, this morning, working through our morning routines, then logged in for the Monday Morning Bible Study. It was a good study, though somewhat slowly progressing through what, to me, seemed to be a straight-forward passage of scripture, at least to me it seemed that way. I thought, at first, that Fr. Mike was grasping at straws to make a big thing out of nothing. I'm not saying that I didn't learn anything from the study, but I still don't see it as a deep fount of arcane mystery. _ 

I've been trying to determine what is going wrong with Becky's computer (windows 10) for about a month, now. I've cleaned it, updated the drivers, and since the problem has to do with the mouse not being as controllable as it should be, I even replaced the mouse. It is now a brand new, wireless mouse. Now it's evident that the mouse works, but the computer does not. My next step is to take it to the Geek Squad and suggest that they go through it with a fine-toothed comb to find what is failing, then fix it. If it cannot be fixed, then I'll order another computer from Tiger Direct and see if I can transfer the data and programs to it. It may require more help from the Geeks, but I'll do what's necessary to get Becky a good, usable, reliable computer again.

Church was different today. The choir from Christ School for Boys sang, with one of the boys playing the prelude and postlude on the organ, another of them played a violin descant to their Anthem, and a third sang as Cantor to intone the Psalm. In addition, Rev. Milly gave the starting announcements as "Vestry-person of the Day," there was a guest minister to deliver quite a fascinating sermon, and Fr. Mike officiated the Mass. The church choir was in the congregation, singing "Lustily" on the hymns and liturgy. Wow!

Friday the Thirteenth came on a Saturday this month!

We were invited to lunch and Mah Jongg again today which made up for the attempted such meeting last Thursday, the one Suzanne had to cancle due to an onset of discomfort. Today, though, she really needed company more than anything else. We were happy to spend a few hours with her and enjoyed the Avocado Melts she made for us as well as the three hands of Mah Jongg we played, of which I won only the second. _ 

The rest of the day we spent either at the TV or computers. And speaking of computers, I have not been able to get the 2TB disk drice to respond to anything on my Linux computer. I'm beginning to think it was the drive and not the old HP Computer's BIOS that was corrupted. I suppose I could have done some troubleshooting before purchasing the replacement, but the replacement computer didn't cost much more than a replacement drive would have, so no great loss. 

I had my first paid PT session with Jeanne. After the three machines I mentioned before, she led me through some strengthening exercises. She mentioned the Kyphosis in my upper back. I had never heard the term before, but found that is is a rounding of the thoracic spine. My dad had it, and while it likely isn't heriditary, I likely learned my poor posture from him, and that likely led to the roundness. Apparently it isn't much of a problem unless it gets really exagerated, when it could start causing breathing and other problems. Anyway, deformities aside, I made it through all of her exercises without any problems. I was, of course, a little damp at the end of the session, but I also felt really firmly wrapped. It felt pleasantly odd to be walking completely free of pain in my lower back. Naturally, the feeling won't last for long after just one such session. _ 

While I was at the gym, Becky was at the dentist again. Last night, as she was flossing her teeth, a filling popped out of the tooth she was scheduled to have filled or crowned in three weeks. Fortunately, when Becky phoned the dentists office, there had just been a cancellation, so she filled that void, and the dentist filled the one in her tooth with a temporary filling. The tooth will be addressed more permanently on December 3rd. _ 

Becky got home before I did, so parked under the tree so I could get her Saturn into the garage upon my return. Of course, when I did return, I was no longer feeling as solid as I did as I left the gym, and I was tired. Becky's mouth was still sagging on the left side from the anesthetic and she was a bit disoriented, so we went to Brunch. She had an omelet and I had what the cafe oddly called a Cobb Salad. It was made of fresh spinach, tomato chuncks, ham and cheddar cheese with dressing (I opted for honey-mustard). While it was a good salad, it wasn't a Cobb by any stretch of the imagination. Missing were the hard-boiled egg, bacon, cucumber, blue cheese, minced onion, and avocado. It was a small salad, which had me thinking I should go ahead and pay the $3 extra for a real Cobb salad - at a different restaurant, of course.

Happy Veterans Day!

After getting Becky's allergy shots this morning, we visited Gold's Gym. I spent a brief warm-up period on the treadmill followed by 3-minute sets on three weight machines. I tested out the new Interval Timer app that I downloaded to my cell phone from Play Station. I had set it to 18 Reps, 10 seconds between reps with no rest period. It gives me five seconds to get into position before sounding three beeps to begin the first rep, then single beeps to count the last three seconds, then a double beep to start the next rep (lather, rinse, repeat, you know the drill). It worked wonderfully, and just as I was ready to quit on the first machine (chest press), it sounded the three-beep ending signal. On the other two machines (rowing and leg-press) I wasn't anywhere near my endurance level when the end signal sounded, so I'll likely be increasing the weight on those machines next week. _ 

Then we attended our Tai Chi class. After the instrution period was over and we were in the cool-down period, there was discussion about a video of the Form that Jeanne is teaching, posted on the Silver Sneakers website. I'll try to find that video and watch it several times, because it is vastly different from the Sun and Yang styles we had been learning.

After driving for two hours at about 5 MPH through South Asheville to get to a restaurant, we finally got to Applebee's where I was treated to a free (because of my Veteran status) 6oz Sirloin steak, broccoli, and garlic mashed potatoes. Becky had a Fiesta Lime Chicken with rice and corn tortilla strips. Both meals were delicious, of course, and our waitress was delightful, likely from being on the giddy side of overwork for the day.

 

 

I met with my Urologist this morning. He seemed disappointed. I have no pain resulting from last January's Rezum prostate procedure. In addition, the hesitancy I had experienced before the procedure is gone completely, and while I still have to shut off the water at the sink to rush to the commode to address the urgent need to void my bladder, I can empty it completely and I am not getting up in the night to do the same. Ok, maybe too much information. The fact remains, though, that the doctor was disappointed that he had nothing to do but to document the success of the procedure.

Shortly after I got home from that appointment, Becky took off to the dentist to get a tooth repaired on the right side of her mouth. She also got another appointment to repair a tooth on the left side.  When she got back, we went to lunch at TGI Friday's. I got a whiskey-glazed hamburger - green style (served on a bed of lettuce instead of a bun) and Becky got a Chicken sandwich with bacon and avocado. They both came with fries, half of which we brought home with us to recycle into her soup.

Choir practice ended the day. We reviewed three pieces that we had been introduced to last week, then read through three new pieces that will fit into our Advent and Christmas seasons. It was quite fun, but a long rehearsal.

First thing this morning, Becky's allergy shots. From there we went to Gold's Gym for my free PT (Personal Trainer) session. "My Personal Trainer" is also our Tai Chi Instructor, Jeanne (a small Chinese woman with an impish grin and great sense of humor). I have the feeling she's going to be tough to work with, but will get me trained up "in the way that I should go" so that when I "get old" I will not hurt myself too badly.

 

Becky's computer wasn't feeling well this morning, and as a result of her trying to get it to work her frustration made her not feel well, too. She opted out of the Bible Study, as did I so that I could find out why her computer was giving her fits. It turned out that Windows-10 was downloading an update, and as we know, Windows-anything cannot do ANYTHING while downloading updates. So rather than telling the user that an update is downloading, it just refuses to work. I much prefer the Linux approach to updates. It will post an icon to its panel when the update is ready to be installed, but until then it is business as usual!

I found out that apparently, Jim Beam has stopped making or distributing its Maple Bourbon. I went to two ABC stores this afternoon looking for it, and while there were many other flavors of bourbon on the shelf where the Maple variety used to be, Maple was absent! In my disgust, I bought a much more expensive bottle of Rye! Take that, Jimbo!

For the morning worship service at church today we were treated (if that's the right word) to a folk-trio of a guitar, a tenor banjo, and bongo drums. They accompanied the singing of fan-favorites like I'll Fly Away, O How I Love Jesus, and one listed as There is a Happy Place, but which starts out with the words "There is a Happy Land" which allowed me to sing the wrong word almost every time. We also sang about the end of the world as we know it (When the Saints are Marching In), the words to which I don't think I had ever known until today, and don't ask me what they are now, because I might have expunged them from my memory already. They reminded me of Cat Steven's song, O Caritas (which starts out, Hunc ornatum mundi nolo perdere, which apparently spellcheck thinks I've just misspelled).

Afterward, Becky and I were invited to lunch and Mah Jongg at Suzanne's. Lunch was delicious, as usual, and quite a bit too much, at least for me. Becky ate half of what she was served, declared it quite filling, and handed me the remainder of hers to finish. I, on the other hand, proved my wholly unwarranted reputation as a glutton to be totally warranted after all. I'm paying penance for that gluttony even now.

Tonight, to explain why I'm writing in such a different style this time, I've just been browsing through YouTube and landed on many video clips of the British TV show, Outnumbered. Look it up. I'm sure I shan't be forgiven for giving you the reference, though.

I had a Wellness Visit with my Physician. He is pleased that my weight has stayed just above 200 for the last 18 months (I was 201 this morning), but of course, thinks I need to lose even more. He's right, of course. We've been going to the gym a few times a week (for the last week, anyway, and I will add slow weight training to my routine again, at his suggestion. I had done it before but gave up on it because I didn't see any sign of advantage. Now that I've been taking Metformin and maintaining a weight loss, I'll give it another try and see if I can lose a few more pounds. I'd like to lose another 10 to 15 pounds and, more importantly, lose some fat from my belly and chest.

My refurbished HP computer, which I had been running Kubuntu 21.04 in, has been upgraded to Kubuntu 21.10. The upgrade was seamless and there was no data or function loss. 

This morning we watched an episode of The Friendship Onion and learned about Harmless Harvest Coconut Milk. Dominique Moghnahan and Billy Boyd (Mari and Pipin in LOTR movies) were going on and on about how wonderful it tastes, so I found out where they sell it, locally (Whole Foods), and I bought two bottles - one plain coconut milk and the other coconut and watermelon. We shared the CocoMelon, and I found it isn't to my liking. I'm hoping the plain coconut will be better suited to my taste - or vice versa.

Having upgraded my HP desktop Linux computer from Kubuntu 21.04 to Kubuntu 21.10, I decided to do the same to my Asus laptop. Like the HP, the upgrade was done easily without the loss of any data or function. This evening, then, while we were watching Ghost (Patrick Swazey and Demi Moore), I upgraded my Toshiba. Unlike the first two, it didn't do the upgrade in the Terminal but loaded an upgrade app. That was the only difference. Now all three of my Linux computers are running the latest version of Kubuntu, and I won't have to mess with them again until April of next year. The others in the Linux Users Group say I'm silly to upgrade every six months. They prefer to stay with the LTR (Long Term Release) which in this case is Kubuntu 20.04 and gets regular updates as it goes along. I don't really agree (obviously), preferring to get a fresh reload of the latest and greatest rather than keep the updated and patched version. In theory, they should be the same. But I like to mess with it, I think.

Becky has some "Tizzy-Wizzies-in-the-Trash-Bag" this morning because she ate most of the pie crust at 
Suzanne's yesterday. It was not gluten-free. For that reason, she stayed close to the bathroom this morning
while I went to the gym, walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes (3 MPH walking, heart rate got up to 121 BPM).
Then I participated in the Tai Chi class.

Unlike the former Tai Chi classes we took, where we learned Sun and Yang styles, Jeanne is teaching a free-
style Tai Chi. It isn't something that might be seen in a park being done by a large number of people, but It
is easy to do, interesting, and fun. It's going to take me a while to stop being totally lost and confused.
There's nothing new about that because I was lost for weeks when we started Tai Chi Sun, back in 2005.
Ten AM was the time for our PT with our Tai Chi instructor, Jeanne. The first thing, she gave us a questionnaire to 
ascertain that we weren't going to drop dead during her Personal Training session. Well, when I disclosed that I had
coronary heart disease and a thoracic aneurysm, she gave both of us papers to have our physician give his assurance
that we were healthy enough to survive moderate exercise, then scheduled us for a PT session next Tuesday. She gave
us a tour of the facilities, which gave us some ideas to better facilitate our workouts.
Following our "PT" session, we went to GreenSage for a brief brunch, during which I received a text from Suzanne to 
ask if I could come up and see what I could do for her tablet which she had dropped and broken. When we finished our
brunch, we stopped by Starbucks to get a compensatory cuppa, then to home to get our Mah Jongg set, then to Suzanne's
only to hear that her brother Gregg had extracted the piece that had broken, but inserting a replacement part proved
to be impossible for my technical abilities (and limitations). We played three hands of Mah Jongg, and Suzanne won
all of them. We did, though, enjoy some pumpkin pie, had some good conversation, then bid farewell to Suzanne and her
brother and returned home.
After two more hours, we went to choir practice where we greeted two more new members of the choir, hailed the return 
of two new members who had been sitting out due to colds. We're going to have to add chairs to the choir seating! What
a good problem to have. 
Allergy Shots followed by Starbucks, as usual for a Tuesday, and most of the rest of the day was usual. 
There was some exciting news later in the day, though, that needs a bit of back story.

Yesterday, Melinda and her son, Karl, took her old computer and struck out in search of a replacement. I
had sent her acouple of ads showing All-in-One computers for under $500 at Wal-Mart. They looked at those,
then went shopping. They decided on a desktop computer by HP from Staples. Better price, plus their tech-
nician said he would attempt to retrieve the data from her old computer and load it onto the new one. Of
course there would be a fee for that service.

Today, she drove to Staples and retrieved her old computer and the new one. Once she got home, she had no
way to take the computers from her van into the house, being bound to her wheelchair. She said she would
ask Karl to carry them in and maybe help her hook them up. We haven't heard whether he has done that, so
that may be a matter for tomorrow's entry.

 

Happy November Fools Day!
I had a tempestuous start to the day. It was just 46 degrees when I wheeled the trash can out to the curb, 
and of course, I wasn't wearing a jacket. It was no problem. I didn't get chilled, but I was aware of the 
chill in the air, clear sky above, and the 4th quarter moon above the neighbor's house. I did walk a little
more briskly than usual, letting the can rattle over the bumps as it would so that I wouldn't be outside
any longer than necessary. 
Bible study had a bit of a rough start, too. I got onto the church's website and clicked on the Monday 
Morning Bible Study link, and when the Zoom site opened up, there was no link to join the group. I had to
start it from that link three times before there was a login box. Then, when I got logged in, we were the
only people there, which made me the "owner" of the group for the session, and that should be the priest,
not me. I logged out again and waited until 10:29 to log in again (it would start at 10:30).
Then in the afternoon, I went to the grocery store. Becky had added frozen peas and mild sausage patties to
the shopping list, but since I was at Publix, I knew they didn't have the sausage or the peas she prefers.
Had I read through the list before shopping, I might have started at Ingles, instead. As it was, I got
everything else on the list (including frozen foods), then drove across the street to Ingles to get the
others. Ingles didn't have the peas we usually get, either, but had some peas with mushrooms, and I got two
of them. I made it back home before the frozen food had thawed, so no problem.