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Thank You, Lord

Published for Tuesday - July 23, 2024

TYL

Written Monday - 07/22/24 10:30 AM

A few days ago I mentioned a new dentist. I visited his office early this morning to get a tooth repaired and Dr. Bailey did a great job.

Finding a new dentist is never fun. In fact, finding a good dentist who takes our insurance can be a daunting task.

It's so nice to have a dentist once again and even better to have such wonderful insurance. The Lord has truly blessed us in this and so many other ways.

Sign me, grateful. Smiley




Power Outage

Published for Monday - July 22, 2024

PowerOutage

Written Sunday - 07/21/24 06:35 AM

Well, rain equals wet limbs which equals downed limbs which equals power outages. It seems we're having more than our fair share of those lately and yesterday was no different.

The good news is that they never seem to take that long to get fixed. In this day and time a power outage is still inconvenient and it means phone surfing only with the promise of a dead phone battery if the outage takes a while. It also means rather troublesome options to get life back into the battery.

The other bad news is that a power outage for us (and many others like us) means no water. Our height in the neighborhood means an electricity need is present at the pump station to get water up to our home.

Alabama Power receives our kudos for jobs often done well and quickly. And their power outages map (with estimated repair time) is a real benefit. Still, it would be nice if power outages were a bit more rare.

I guess we have the weather to blame for that. Alabama's annual rainfall of 56 inches (spread pretty evenly throughout the year) means a lot of wet and heavy downed tree limbs.




Landscaping

Published for Sunday - July 21, 2024

LS1

Written Saturday - 07/20/24 04:20 PM

Well, it sure is nice to get some of our forecasted rain. And the rain gauge sure is reflecting that fact.

Yesterday and today's total comes up to about 1.25 inches. Not bad for Patty's garden and for the yard.

Our three beautiful knock out rose bushes in the front yard bit the dust and I'm afraid that the wash from some poisonous spray (intended for our weeds) flowed down to them with some of the rain we've been having.

It was heart breaking to see that and because we were short on rain when they started dying, we didn't want to pick a fight with the yard crew if they thought we should have been watering them. They do good work and really earn their money.

In fact, I did water them but the three large bushes died very quickly and not due to a shortage of water. Oh well. I had them removed and it already looks better over there. I got out and sort of fine tuned the area and it's looking good.

I grabbed the rose bush picture from the internet but ours looked just that good while they were alive and flourishing. Sad to see them go.




Dental Work

Published for Saturday - July 20, 2024

Demtal

Written Friday - 07/19/24 08:05 AM

I'm ready to have the left side of my mouth back. I'm ready to be able to chew on both sides.

It's been a good while since I've been to the dentist. Well over two years.

I've got a cracked/broken tooth and working around it has been a chore. I'm grateful that the dentist has been able to move up my appointment. I look forward to being able to have my mouth back.

I floss and gargle every single day but with my teeth and my poor DNA in that respect, I'm going to need some help. Fortunately, my medical insurance has space and covers some dental work. I'm blessed to be able to cover the rest out of pocket.

I have no idea what I need to have done but it can't be good and I suspect it's not going to be pretty. But like I said, it will be good to have my mouth back. Lord, thank you for my dentist. I pray a blessing in his life.




More From the Heart

Published for Friday - July 19, 2024

MFTH2

Written Thursday - 07/18/24 05:20 PM

Well, I must say that the RNC (Republican National Convention) has really had an impact on me this week. Whoever put it together did a fabulous job.

This is not a rah-rah post, but more from the heart because I was touched and moved by some of the speeches this week at the RNC. Both the regular Joes and Janes and even a couple of the celebrities did a wonderful job.

To be quite honest, some of the regular Joes and Janes brought more to the table than did some of the more professional speakers. The one exception to that idea in my way of thinking was Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

Her's was far from a polished presentation, but had a lot of meat in it. There was plenty to chew on between what she said and some of the words that came from some of the Joes and Janes that were invited. The Tuesday evening Joes and Janes speeches were bordering on Spirit-Filled if not at least led by the Spirit of God.

The nightly theme, with a 'Make America ? again!' was genius. And that question mark was replaced by meaningful ideas that served as amazing targets for the speakers. From Trump's grand-daughter to the 98 year old WWII veteran, and everything before and after we were truly treated to a meaningful set of speeches.




FT8

Published for Thursday - July 18, 2024

FT83

Written Wednesday - 07/17/24 07:15 AM

Well, I got on the phone with Mike up in Chicago yesterday, and he solved my problem. As such, I'm back on the ham radio bands with a new rig (an Icom 7300) and working FT4 and FT8.

I worked about 45 contacts and did so with a lot of countries. All of them I've worked before but it made no difference. I was able to do what I have not been able to do on SSB voice.

It was great to have a rotor and a directional antenna (a hexbeam) and with it I was able to hit places like India half way around the globe. I just took a quick count and had 22 different countries in my log yesterday and, like I said, a total of 45 contacts.

I've also been on YouTube watching videos to learn how to use my new Icom and to learn all of the tricks of the trade. It's been quite an experience.




J.D. Vance

Published for Wednesday - July 17, 2024

Vance

Written Tuesday - 07/16/24 06:55 AM

Well, former president Donald Trump finally ended the suspense. On day one of the Republican National Convention he finally announced his Vice Presidential running mate - J.D. Vance.

Patty and I were rooting in that direction and it was a pleasant surprise for us. It was also announced earlier in the day some of the contestants who received phone calls to let them know they were not selected.

I'm guessing that Trump did that out of kindness and courtesy to those who knew they were being strongly considered for the role. It was a classy thing to do and I'm betting that Trump did it in a classy style with very good things to say to each of them.

I was very impressed with their responses. Each handled questions from Sean Hannity in a very classy fashion. I would have expected no less from such a strong line of candidates. Each had great things to say about J.D. Vance.




Flight 90

Published for Tuesday - July 16, 2024

Flight90

Written Saturday - 07/13/24 08:35 PM

I was thinking back to the time when I used to fly quite a bit. Whenever I traveled to Dulles airport in the D.C. area, I used to contact Ephriam for a ride from the airport to my hotel. Ephriam was a very nice guy and my goto ride up in that area.

I rode with him a great deal because he was the kind of guy with whom I could always strike up a nice conversation. In this particular instance, I asked him about his most amazing story as a taxi driver. By the way, his taxi was also his personal car and was a very nice ride - especially for the price and a nice tip.

Anyway, Ephriam began telling me a story about when he first moved from somewhere on the African continent to the D.C. area. He picked up a guy who wanted to travel from his home to the Dulles airport.

Unfortunately, Ephriam was new to the area and this was before the GPS was available. He had a hard time finding the guy's home which caused the guy to entirely miss his flight.

The guy was mad at Ephriam and cussed him and swatted him on the back of his head with his newspaper, and he did it several times. Then on the radio, they both heard the news that the guys flight (90 from D.C. to FL.) had gone down in the Potomac River due to ice.

I'll never forget what Ephriam told me next. He spoke of how he told the disgruntled guy about how God worked all of it out so the guy might still be alive. I don't remember what else Ephriam told me, but what a story it was and one I will never forget. I imagine the upset customer won't either.




Assassination Attempt

Published for Monday - July 15, 2024

TrumpShooting2

Written Saturday - 07/13/24 07:45 PM

As usual, Patty and I were watching the news. This time on an iPad spread out in the middle of the table where we eat. On the table we were taking in a later than usual supper.

Needless to say, what happened next caught us by surprise. On the iPad screen unfolded an assassination attempt on our former president's life.

This kind of thing always takes us by surprise and it takes a few moments to process what we are seeing. That was certainly the situation in this case.

Patty got a call from her cousin asking us if we were watching the news and not long after we received a txt message from our daughter asking the same thing. In fact, I noticed we also received a txt message from Josh.

It's a truly sad day for our country. That we have come to a place where a presidential contest brings about this kind of violence is unthinkable. Our prayers go out to Donald J. Trump and his family.




Animals

Published for Sunday - July 14, 2024

Animals

Written Saturday - 07/13/24 06:40 AM

Well as planned, we had the grandsons over and did most everything we planned. Rumor has it that the thing they enjoyed most was a Nana idea.

They played games with us on the back porch. Together we all played the animal, vegetable, mineral game but everything was animal. Gabe and Noah (and Nana) picked some very difficult animals to guess.

My selection of Elephant was much too easy as they quickly and easily guessed it. Oh well. Shows you what I don't know. Smiley




Grandsons

Published for Saturday - July 13, 2024

Grandsons2

Written Thursday - 07/12/24 07:05 AM

As I publish it's Saturday. As I write it's only Thursday.

Today we go to pick up the grandsons and have them spend the night with us. We're doing lunch out at Mickey D's and going to a movie at the 16 in Gadsden.

Patty says we're doing spaghetti for supper and then tomorrow we'll carry the grandsons back home. Perhaps we'll add popcorn and another movie (this one at home) to the mix for tonight.




Icom 7300

Published for Friday - July 12, 2024

Icom7300

Written Wednesday - 07/11/24 07:20 AM

Based on my online research, it seems that the problem I have is more common than one might think. The USB port on the back panel of my Icom 7600 no longer works.

I'm seriously considering an Icom 7300 since the shipping and repair will cost about the same thing as a new 7300. At some point I will probably get a matching 2 meter and 440 rig but that will be way down the line.

I can then put my desktop 2 meter rig in the mobile where it belongs and use it to and from my grocery pickup on Mondays. That should be fun.

I really miss the digital modes and like them a lot more than SSB. Plus I really want to earn the Oceania award on QRZ.com (the only one I'm missing) and will most likely need FT4 and FT8 in order to complete it.

I noticed that LoTW is functional once again and I can pretty much pick up my logging right where I left off with my digital contacts.




MHR (Max Heart Rate)

Published for Thursday - July 11, 2024

MHR

Written Tuesday - 07/09/24 07:15 AM

Just finished a day 2 regimen workout and a 1 mile run. Today was a tough workout and especially a tough run.

I really thought my MHR was going to be above the normal but it wasn't even quite up to the normal MHR. Normal is about 139 which is a bit low and today's MHR was only 136.

However, based on the chart above, I'm right on the edge of a High Intensity Interval Training workout. That suggests I'm right where I need to be to get a good workout with my one and two mile runs.

Here's what a Google search revealed:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a cardio workout that involves short, intense bursts of exercise followed by recovery periods. HIIT workouts can be as long as 10 minutes, but typically last 15 seconds to 4 minutes per cycle, repeated several times.

My HIIT workout involves two to four half mile runs, each followed by a very brief rest period. Usually about 25 seconds.

My MHR based on the formula (220 - age) should be 151 or a revised 150 based on my upcoming age change. Hitting the big seven oh this year on September 15th.

I'm really looking forward to the big day Patty has planned for me. Sounds like a lot of fun and right down my alley.




Weight Training - Form

Published for Wednesday - July 10, 2024

DBBP

Written Monday - 07/08/24 05:30 PM

I've been doing some research online with my weight training. As a result, I've learned a few things that are making the workout a bit tougher.

It all has to do with form. I haven't been getting the exact results I was hoping for. My research pointed out the fact that my form has not been that good on some of my exercises.

In particular, my dumbbell bench press comes to mind. I was holding the dumbbells at the correct angle bug just not bringing them down to the correct place before pushing them up again.

With bad form I wasn't getting the proper workout but when I changed up my form, it pushed me from 12 reps down to 10 reps and has an impact on some of my downstream exercises - also pushing them to lower rep counts in each set.

That seems like a good sign.




Rain

Published for Tuesday - July 09, 2024

RainTube

Written Sunday - 07/07/24 06:40 AM

Based on the rain gauge, we got just over 2 inches yesterday. It was a steady and soaking rain over a long period of time. Just the way we like it.

That should take care of the need to water for a day or two. And that should easily get us to the next forecasted day of rain.

Maybe it will be another day of soaking rain. Hopefully it will arrive! We'll see...




Hurricane Beryl

Published for Monday - July 08, 2024

Beryl

Written Saturday - 07/06/24 06:40 AM

Funny that I had an aunt on my mother's side named Beryl. In fact, her son was Johnny and is my deceased cousin.

Johnny was one of a kind and a pool shark, like his father. He married and had a son named after my father - Forrest. Forrest has since moved in with his God-father (Josh) and God-mother (Liz.)

Josh and Liz are two very fine people. Liz is the daughter (and youngest of 4 children of my sister.) Johnny passed away a few years ago in a car accident.

Hurricane Beryl has turned more northward and looks to hit Texas. After Texas, the curve in direction has it coming over toward us and, if it even makes it, should arrive as a tropical depression and hopefully some much needed rain.

I should mention that there are a couple of 'firsts' associated with this hurricane. It's the earliest on record that a hurricane has become a category 5 hurricane. And, if I'm not mistaken, it's the first time a category 5 hurricane has made landfall this early in the season.

I suspect a lot of this has to do with the fact that water temperatures are much higher than usual at this time in the hurricane season. As many know, passing over warmer water is what adds so much strength to a hurricane.

As it passed over the Yucatan peninsula it lost some of its strength but will pass back over water before it reaches Texas. It should at least arrive to the USA as a category 1 hurricane before heading inland and becoming a tropical depression.




Blackstone Pub - Gadsden

Published for Sunday - July 07, 2024

BlackstonePub

Written Friday - 07/05/24 11:00 AM

Yesterday, we did a lunch out with Jonathan and Amy and the Snow Show family to celebrate July 4th. We made our way to the Harp and Clover ("The Clover") Irish Pub.

It was clearly closed and looked like it may be changing hands or something. So, we went a few blocks over to the Blackstone Pub where we stopped for lunch.

Seeing that The Clover had been closed explained why they wouldn't take my calls or answer my email about their availability. We assumed something like we found, but had to check it out since the food looked so good online.

Blackstone turned out to be a great place and we really enjoyed it. The food was fabulous and so was the ambience.

We wrapped up the day by picking up some small blizzards from one of the DQ's in Gadsden. It was a great way to wrap up our lunch out.

This was our first trip into the old downtown section of Gadsden, but will surely not be our last. Patty and I agreed that we need to do some date night stops down in this area. After all, there is plenty to choose from.




Biden and Kamala

Published for Saturday - July 06, 2024

BidenAndKamala

Written Thursday - 07/04/24 07:30 AM

Wow! Biden and Kamala sure sit and the center of the political landscape these days.

I suppose they've always been there. But now they reside there with some extra umph.

There's a strong move to oust them. But without Biden's support they can't make it happen and he's providing no support in that direction.

I don't think Biden and Kamala can beat Trump a second time. (In fact, I'm one of those ones who feels the 2020 election was stolen, so there's not really any 'second time' involved here in my humble opinion.)

More difficult to believe is that poles suggest Kamala is a more viable presidential candidate than Biden. How in the world did that ever happen? I suppose it's a reflection of people's thinking after the debate.




Season 4 Episode 8

Published for Friday - July 05, 2024

Episode8

Written Tuesday - 07/02/24 08:00 AM

I let all of the hoopla pass by on this one before attempting to watch it. In fact, here it is Tuesday and I have yet to watch what came out this past Sunday.

There so much going on that I wanted to let things settle just a bit before I decided to take it in. I suppose I'll add an addendum here after I watch it.

Addendum: 07/05/24 06:25 AM

I watched the final episode of Season 4 last night. It wound up with Jesus riding the donkey into Jerusalem which is exactly what happens before his crucifixion and resurrection.

It was not an episode where I was taken aback. But season 5 (of 7 seasons) should take into account some pretty important stuff. From what Dallas (the director) announced last night after the finale, they have about one month of filming left for season 5.

I'm guessing that season 5 will kick off with the death of Jesus and be followed up with hit post-resurrection visits to the 12 and the others.




July 4th

Published for Thursday - July 04, 2024

July4th

Written Tuesday - 07/02/24 07:00 AM

As I write, it's early Tuesday morning. As I publish it's July 4th, a big day around here.

All of the stores are selling their fireworks. Not my favorite time of the year because all of our neighbors (in past years) got pretty crazy with their fireworks.

I suppose I'm not one to talk considering what we did one year. It was several years ago and we were launching smaller fireworks from a 5 gallon bucket set in the middle of the cul-de-sac.

It never occurred to me that the bucket might tip over and launch something into the bushes in the front yard of a neighbor's house. But, that's exactly what happened. Good grief! What was I thinking?

Clearly, he was watching what we were doing because he came dashing out to make sure everything was okay in the bushes. I can't believe I was responsible for all of the goings on. Like I said, what in the world was I thinking?

The problem was that I wasn't thinking. It's amazing how easy it was to get caught up in something with which I didn't trust others to be careful and protect our property. Can't believe I did that! It's a painful memory.

How can I ever sit in judgement when others do the same thing to us? Boy, that one hurts.




Hillbilly Elegy

Published for Wednesday - July 03, 2024

HillbillyElegy

Written Monday - 07/01/24 06:20 PM

I just finished listening to another book on Audible. This book was entitled Hillbilly Elegy and was authored by J.D. Vance, one of the people on Donald J. Trump's short list of Vice-Presidential candidates.

My wife had read the book and had great things to say about it. In fact, she had also attempted to watch the movie (directed by Ron Howard) but backed off when she encountered the R rating and the bad language.

Even in the book it was pretty thick, but I endured it to see what this was all about. About half way through the book, my initial reaction was not a good one. But my wife quickly added that there was such a focus on 'people' instead of things I might have more enjoyed and found more interesting.

She was right. But I didn't want that to be the case. I felt I had a learning opportunity in front of me and wanted to continue listening. And so I did.

J.D. Vance's story was a tough one and not a joy to read. He was gracious and humble, constantly blaming himself, but all-in-all it was still a difficult book to consume.

My sweet wife was very kind and comforting in her assessment of my comments regarding the story. I just finished the entire book and to some extent it did make a more positive turn toward the end. I guess the story just wasn't what I expected.

But here's the thing. As I went through this book, I could see in my mind's eye my parents. I could imagine how they must have looked at each other in disbelief at my behavior. Who is this guy and why does he act and think the way he does?

I admit it. I don't read people very well and my lack of empathy toward others tends to result. Even to those closest to me, my wife, my kids, and my grandsons, not to mention my deceased parents and all of my distant family members - all of these people must wonder who this guy is and why he behaves the way he does.

I can remember stories of my childhood with things I said and did that would curl the hair of a neuro-typical person. (A person who feels empathy and is often able to read the room, or at least some of the people in it.)

I took an online test for Asperger's and a higher score meant a greater potential for Asperger's. The twenty to thirty range meant there was a high likelihood (though no guarantee) that one has Asperger's. 30 was the maximum score and I scored a 25.

As I have often said, believing that I fit somewhere on the scale provides a lot of answers to a lot of the questions I've had about my life's experiences and brings to mind some of the things I would like to change.




Birds

Published for Tuesday - July 02, 2024

Swift

NightHawk

Written Sunday - 06/30/24 06:00 PM

Patty and I have sat on our back porch around mid-afternoon and watched groups of fast flying small birds. They seem to be feeding on bugs. Based on what I've read online about them the bugs must be too small to see from where we sit.

Pictured up at the top is a Swift. We tend to see plenty of them and can identify them by their split tail. Pictured immediately below the swift is a Night Hawk. We see a lot of them too based on what we've read about their feeding habits.

Sometimes we can only see a few flying around. Other times it looks like we're seeing 15 or 20 of them darting back and forth without hitting one another. I don't see how they avoid mid-air collisions but they seem to be able to turn on a dime in order to avoid one another.




The Deep Rig

Published for Monday - July 01, 2024

TheDeepRig

Written Saturday - 06/29/24 06:30 AM

I'm reading another book on Audible. This one is entitled The Deep Rig and is written by Patrick M. Byrne.

When combined with Christina Bobb's book, Stealing Your Vote, and even by itself, it provides a pretty strong case for a rigged election.

I had a wonderful chat with Jonathan last night. When we get together I lose all sense of time. We went about 80 minutes on that call.

And, as usual, it was a deep dive. We primarily focused upon the debate. It's clear to me that we live on the exact same page. Except Jonathan has the same grace that my wife has when it comes to caring for others.

His heart to please is just like my wife's. I have learned a lot from both of them in that arena. However, I could never measure up to the way that they work to serve others. That's an area where I still have a lot of room for improvement.

Thank you Lord, for providing me with two such wonderful examples. I pray that I can learn how to follow their lead.

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