Read and Write



Ham Radio

Health & Fitness







Website Technology



By Callsign

By Channel

By County

By Frequency

Repeater Map

Last Night's Weather

MARCH 31, 2022

Last night's stormy weather included plenty of tornados here in the area.

The storm is arriving from the west. We're on the approaching edge.


Tracking a rotation.


The storm is right on top of us.


Our local TV station tracks the debris field from a tornado nearby.


My Power Supply is out for repairs so listening in on EchoLink with my cell phone.


The Big Bang Theory

MARCH 30, 2022

Big Bang

I had a doctor's appointment today and sure didn't expect to have blood drawn and to come home afterward all wired up with a heart monitor. I don't know if it's Asperger's or OCD, but whatever it is, not being able to do my work-out and run is about to kill me, LOL!

Oh, and I had planned to vacuum the pool today and that one is going to have to go by the wayside as well. I'm not allowed to work up a sweat or the leads may fall off and mess up the monitoring.

I remember earlier in March thinking that this just might be the first month where I've run each and every day without missing a single day. Looks like that one got shot to you know where too! Oh, the agony, LOL! I KNOW this is silly and yet it still bugs me.

The heart monitor has seven wire leads attached to seven sensors that have been strategically placed on (read glued to) my chest. The seven wires all hang down behind my shirt and come together feeding into the hand size computer that sits in my right pants pocket.

Apparently, I'm supposed to wear this to bed tonight and sleep in it so that the monitor can collect data during that time period. That ought to be a cozy experience, LOL!

Busy Day

MARCH 29, 2022


I'm a hurtin' puppy today.

It started with the daily chores followed by a core workout and a run (that both kicked my butt) and most of all a yard day for both front and back that included cutting the grass, edging, weed wacking, and blowing off everything.

I also shocked the pool, added water, and am set up to vacuum it tomorrow if it needs it. I think the balance of my day will be filled with rest.


Yard Work

MARCH 28, 2022

Yard Tools

I don't have to look much farther than the front yard to see that it's getting to be that time of the year again.

Time to get out the yard tools!


MARCH 27, 2022

Romance 2

When we left Derby Lane in Georgia, I had no idea that so many changes would take place in our living quarters and that the Lord would provide such a rich blessing along the way, and through all of that.

We lived in Georgia at the same address for about 25 years where we raised our kids. However, while we were still there both of our kids moved out to begin their new lives. And, not long after we did the exact same thing.

As I have said before, Patty and I decided to go after life's romance and we moved to a townhome on the water in Pensacola, Florida where we thought we would retire. Clearly, God had other plans for our retirement.

Shortly after we purchased our place, and before we moved in, a big storm passed through and put two or three feet of water in the entrance to our townhome. That was the bad news, but the good news was that the entrance was small and immediately led to a set of stairs, at the top of which was a beautiful home facing out on Perdido Bay. Suffice to say, the damage produced by the flood was minimal and was easily and cost effectively repaired.

Little did we know that this would be the first of three homes for us in Florida before we left the state and landed here in southern Alabama. And, little did we know how rich His blessings would be and how much we would learn about ourselves and our search for the romance that I spoke of earlier.

They say, If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans. He must have had a good chuckle at all we did, but despite His laughter he loved us, cared for us, and provided blessing after blessing for us.

We still don't know what we want to do or be when we grow up, but we are doing our best to listen out for His voice in all that we do. And, as we listen to His voice there is still a lot of life to be lived, things to take care of, and romance to be discovered. All by His grace and guiding hands.

Wonky GPS?

MARCH 26, 2022

Wonky GPS

I've finally decided on something that seems reasonable and makes sense to me when it comes to measuring my runs. This is in lieu of a wonky GPS that provides less than accurate readings more and more often on my Garmin Vivoactive 3.

I've run enough runs here in the neighborhood to have a pretty good feel for the location of the two mile point, based on an average location provided by my GPS. Here forward, I think I'm going to just stop my watch at that location and take a reading on the time, even if other data may not be completely accurate.

It's unfortunate, but I guess that's what I'm going to have to do if I'm to be consistent in tracking my time and my progress. I run the same route each day and can't have my watch dictating different end points based on a wonky GPS.

For example, today I had to subtract 24 seconds from the two mile time reported by my watch in order to track the time based on the same end point where I intend to end my run each day from now on. In other words, my watch forced me to run an extra 24 seconds to reach what it was calling the two mile point today.

Oh, by the way, I guess that means I'm also going to have to make a mental note of my time at a fixed one mile point. That's the only way I can think of to record something accurate for each of the two miles in the run. It also means I'm going to have to do a lot more calculating to provide accurate data for all of that and for everything else.

Such is life!

Search Function Update

MARCH 25, 2022


I spent a good amount of time today attempting to update the search function I created here for the website. I like the way the function works, and it works quickly. However, I wanted to see how quickly so I set out to have the search php program also calculate the amount of time it took to run and display that value in the search result output.

Each time I create a blog entry, I add it to the file that is searched. Currently there is about 700k of data in that search file. Much to my surprise, the php search always runs in less than one second.

I found the microsecond function that I could have used to display the exact value in microseconds (parts of a second) of the start time subtracted from the end time. However, the server does not support the microsecond function so I got shot down on my attempt to create the update to the php program.

As a result, I let the php program simply display the < 1 second message based on the fact that the seconds value in the start time and end time is always the same. I'll test that difference from time to time and if it ever goes over one second, I'll update the process to reflect the math and display the actual calculated value in seconds in the output.

My Gym

MARCH 24, 2022

My Gym

I keep asking myself why I feel like weight training is going to stick this time and become a regular part of my routine. And the answer is always the same: It's because I'm retired and don't feel like the effort is consuming such a large percentage of my free time. In addition, and relative to time and effort, benefit provides a huge payback.

I've also got a great coach in my son; who is only a phone call or txt message away and is way up the ladder in terms of his expertise and all that he has accomplished physically. That's a big plus in staying encouraged and motivated.

I purchased a bench today and it has really added to my home gym in terms of my range of motion and for my ability to do some of my exercises more accurately and safely. I also ordered some 15 pound dumbbells since there's a big gap between the ten and twenty pounders I have currently, and I'm to a point where I need to fill that gap.

With weight training, I've also started eating much better. It's amazing how much harder I'm willing to work at my eating when I'm already putting out the effort with both weight training and running.

For the first time in my life, I truly feel I have moved beyond running and entered the world of fitness. And, I'm truly psyched about the opportunities and possibilities that are available in this new arena.

Strings and Things

MARCH 23, 2022

Pollen Strings

I'm still writing my blog posts a day ahead and tonight we've got some wild weather with which to contend. Hard to tell if it's going to break up before it arrives, but the TV weather prognosticators seem to feel it's going to hang around and bring some bad stuff to the area.

By the time anyone reads this, the excitement will be over. And, hopefully there won't be any evidence left of the high winds we're now experiencing, with the possible exception of a pool toy or two that got blown around.

I've stayed on top of pool skimming throughout the day and particularly with the pollen strings that keep blowing into the water. In addition to the manual skimming, I've cleaned out the automatic skimmer twice today and both times it's been full of those crazy looking strings.

Looks like what we'll be left with is some lows back in the 40's while highs will still reach into the low 70's. Only one more day of rain on the calendar for this month and it's slated to arrive at the end of the month. Looks like we've got some good running weather coming up!

Ham Radio Station

MARCH 22, 2022

Ham Radio Station

I had to order some fuses for my ham radio station power supply and had a good idea that they were not the real problem. They (5) came in today and a quick test blew one of the fuses and confirmed my concerns.

I shipped the power supply back to the manufacturer for repair and look forward to getting back on the air in a few weeks. It's going to take a full week for it to get from Alabama to Irvine, California and after repair and return shipping my guess is that I'm probably looking at around three weeks before I'm back on the air.

I put a tweet out on Twitter to see if I'm doing anything wrong that would tend to abuse the power supply, or to see if it's pretty normal for this kind of thing to happen as a power supply ages and gets lots of use.

No matter the problems or lessons to learn, Amateur (Ham) Radio is a great hobby!


MARCH 21, 2022


I was watching a YouTube video yesterday about the Name It, Claim It leaders and followers who profess the Christian faith. I've been in a cult before so I know how easy it is to fall blind to the truth and live by something completely different instead. These preachers of prosperity play on the ignorance of the masses.

I truly hurt for those who follow these Charlatans with their incredible wealth, all made possible by those blind followers. We don't know how blind we have become until truth finally makes its way into our war-torn lives and the scales fall off of our eyes.

In my experience, I've seen how easy it is to trust in the belief system and the confidence of someone else. It's so much easier than investing in God's truth by investing in study, prayer, and seeking the wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit and that is confirmed via God's written word. But, isn't this life worth all of that?

Let me say that while I have mentioned the prosperity preachers, I'm really talking about anyone who wants to impose their belief system (or lack thereof) upon you. It's easy to mistake a person's intensity toward changing your life for confidence in what they believe. Whether their motive is money, power, or the pride of a notch on their belt, it is anything but God-based.

The mature and spirit-filled Christian would much rather stay out of God's way and have Him change you in line with His plan for your life. The mature Christian will not push anything on you. He or she may share scripture in the hopes that the Lord will speak to you, but from a mature Christian, even that will be limited.

Like all sincere believers, I want to walk in obedience to Jesus Christ. But, I pray that God would provide me with the boldness to trust in my study. Let me trust in my prayers. Let me trust in the wisdom and discernment that is afforded me by the Holy Spirit.

Lord, let me see what is true and what is not in the lives of others. Let me be influenced and taught by those where God's truth is apparent by seeing the same thing in one's life that I read about in the scriptures. Let me run from those who believe and teach lies. And Lord, I pray that your Holy Spirit would provide me with the wisdom and discernment to know the difference.

Lord, let me walk with boldness in your truth.

Foot Note

I was also watching a YouTube video put together and published by Johnny Harris. I've become a big fan of his political commentary, but this particular video was his story of how and why he left the Morman Church.

I have great respect for what he offered and it demonstrates a lot of intelligence and forethought. I could really relate to a lot of what he shared.

Where he and I might tend to differ is with our use of the term church. You see, as a Christian I too left today's broken church but in no way have I left the Christian faith.

Honestly, I'm glad Johnny left the Mormon faith and I hope he has an opportunity to discover the same Jesus Christ that I have discovered in the Christian faith.


MARCH 20, 2022


The title of this post makes it sound like a food topic, but it's not. I'm talking about the concerns I have with blending a core workout and a run on the same day, since running also tends to work out the core.

It's funny how easy it is to develop concerns that never materialize. I'm probably one of the world's best at doing it. My conservative nature kicks in and I can come up with all sorts of reasons to be concerned. It's honestly a bit of a curse with which to live.

The good news is that there was no reason to be concerned about blending a run with core day. Despite the wonky misbehavior of my Garmin's GPS, it was clear that a core workout did not impede upon my run.

That's good to know because I don't like it when concerns hang over my head. I realize that core days, or my core workouts, already bring with them some level of concern just because they can be pretty brutal. I don't need any extra baggage to tote when core day rolls around.

Despite any concerns that come with core workouts, those concerns tend to fade when I consider the results that are sure to come over time. Abs? Glutes? Core? It's a good day when I work those out and have results to show for it. In fact, core day inspires better eating just for dealing with an ornery fat layer that wants to hang around.


MARCH 19, 2022


Last night I had a protein shake. My wife bought it and put it together for me and it was really good. It didn't taste too sweet and I was pleasantly surprised at how fine she was able to ground the ice, such that it benefitted the overall experience without lightening the heft of the drink.

The drink was good enough that I thought I might want to do it again and again. I therefore decided to go online and see what the fitness experts had to say about protein shakes.

So here's the thing: Why is it that we can start an online research trek and be bombarded with conflicting reports? At the end of the day, we're left to try and make a wise decision with an abundance of potentially conflicting information.

I went online hoping to validate my protein shake experience and came away with more questions than answers. Honestly, I can tell this is going to net out to be one of those things where my own experience tells the tale, unless there's a compelling abundance of evidence in one direction or another, and in this case there wasn't!

I found myself reading about protein shakes laced with heavy metals and enough other frightening stuff to make me want to climb in a hole somewhere and never come out. I kept reading and found enough good information to keep me out of that hole. There was no definitive report, but in this case I'm willing to let my experience be my guide.

160 calories with 30 grams of protein, 4 grams of carbs, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of sugar. Not a bad deal for the opportunity to replenish proteins after a serious workout.

Not sure how often I'll have one. Certainly not more than one per day. I suppose I'll see what my experience tells me over time.

Muscle Failure

MARCH 18, 2022


In general, Fitness is getting the most attention from me these days, so that's what I intend to write about for a while. In particular, weight training and diet are the two biggies so that's where the attention will be paid.

Today was my fourth day of weight training and I'm absolutely amazed at how much can be learned in a short four days. I started my training on day one doing everything with five pound weights. Needless to say, that didn't even challenge me on much of anything. However, a little birdie whispered in my ear that it's probably better to start light and work up from there.

Well, I purchased a set of ten pound weights and used them today. I actually used them yesterday too but yesterday's workout was more about core so there wasn't much demand for them.

Today was a very different story. I used the ten pounders throughout and while not challenged on some of the early exercises, I was very challenged on the latter exercises, probably because of tired muscles in general toward the end of my total workout.

As I think I've mentioned, I've set my weight training program to cover a three day rotation. Today I was on day one of the program, and that and day two are very dumbbell oriented. Day three is more about abs and core and won't call for a lot of traditional dumbbell work.

After I finished my workout today, I started researching weight training where an exercise is performed to the point of failure, or inability to proceed further. The coaches have a lot to say about the when, why, where, and how of failure and I would do well to take note on all that I read.

Based on what I've seen, and the fact that most of what I'm doing is not dangerous and/or complex, I should be safe doing most things to the point of failure. There is one exercise that I won't push that far, but I think I'm safe otherwise. That should be in keeping with my goals to build muscle and strength and burn off fat.

For the fat work, diet will be an important part of my focus.

More on that soon.

Foot Note

Today turned out to be a yard day on top of my workout and two mile run. And, boy am I ever tired after all of that activity.

Patty put together a taco bar for supper and I had a no guilt feast. I'm really curious to see how the day's activities and those meals work together and what the end result is going to look like on the scales tomorrow. I honestly have no idea.

More Weight Training

MARCH 17, 2022

More Weight Training

Well, as I had hoped, my son provided me with good advice and information for the food category of my fitness program. I'm a routine kinda guy and my take-away was to avoid food routines and aim more toward variety. Makes sense!

It's okay to have a rotation, but probably not a good thing to get too rabid about the details. Different fruit (i.e. different sources of natural sugars) and things of that nature should probably be the order of the day.

I've also converted my exercises into a 3 day program with 4 exercises on each day. That should be plenty and I've done all I can to work out specific muscle groups on the same day. Now it's a matter of doing it!

Started the day at 7 am with a nice 2 egg omelet with chopped veggies. I've got to watch my caloric intake and try to move from weight loss mode to weight maintenance mode. Believe it or not, for me that's actually the more difficult of the two. Picking a target range, instead of a specific target, should help a lot with that one.

Foot Note

It was interesting today to focus on my abs, glutes, and core and then add a two mile run on the end of all of that. The run felt noticeably different when adding it to the back end of a workout, and particularly to the back end of a workout relatively focused on the core.

I suppose that was the case since a run also works the core and I had just finished a workout targeting the same. Still, I've been very pleased with the amount of strength I have on my runs and the speed with which I have been able to take the inclines.

Unfortunately, my Vivoactive 3's GPS did the wonky start thing today so I didn't really have the running stats I wanted and needed to make a fair comparison between a run and a post-workout run. I would imagine that I will get a better picture with additional runs and a better behaved GPS.

For the reader's benefit, I'm still writing my blog posts a day ahead. That accounts for all of the foot notes that I add during the day and after my original post for any given day.

In other words, the reader gets the benefit of reading all posts for a given day without having the revisit the site, even though those posts were written and posted and different times on the previous day.

Foot Note 2

Going for a second footnote on a very busy day. We went to check out a house that we found on Zillow and that wound up being a bit too close to I-10 to suit us, but we also investigated the Malibus subdivision and really like what we saw.

Thereafter, we enjoyed a lunch at the mediterranean Sandwich shop and ate pretty healthy with all things considered.

Weight Training

MARCH 16, 2022

Weight Training

It's interesting to look at all of the workout exercises and try to refine them in order to match my goals, make each workout manageable, and mix and match exercises in order to better blend the exercises that work the same muscle groups.

In the process of doing that, I learning a lot more about each exercise and how it fits in my overall workout plan. Part of what I want to accomplish is to maintain my focus on running without undoing that workout in my weight training workouts.

I'm eliminating all leg group exercises from my weight training because the running is taking care of that, especially since I'm no longer doing my runs on level ground. My intention is to stay with a two mile run each day and add that on the end of my weight training workouts. My son tells me that the pro's add their cardio on the end of their weight training workouts so that's good enough for me.

On a different note, I'm really enjoying the prospect of a home fitness center and am particularly happy to have it in my oversized office, where there's plenty of space. My hassock serves as a perfect bench for dumbbell/bench exercises, and I'm thinking that makes more sense than buying a flimsy low-priced bench or sinking a lot of money in something more stable that is really no better than what I'm already using, even if it wasn't made to serve as a bench. I suppose time and experience will tell me if that's okay or not.

Foot Note

Well, getting the weight lifting regimen in order has definitely pushed up the priority for getting my eating in order. Honestly, I just don't know what I don't know and the temptation to get hyper about this is probably not good either.

I don't want to get weird or rabid about this, but I don't want to get lazy or unhealthy either. There's got to be a reasonable balance that the healthy gym rats are deploying and I need to better understand what it is that they are doing.

Hopefully, my son will have some good success stories to offer.


MARCH 15, 2022

Fitness 2

Years ago I joined the gym in Douglasville, Georgia and hired a fitness trainer for 6 months to help me. While he was a nice guy, he really didn't train me. He just worked me out and answered my questions.

I suppose that was okay because I hated (and still do) working with weights. I've been a runner for years and that has met my cardio needs, but I'm still lacking in the areas of both diet and weight training.

I've dropped my body weight and BMI to just about where I want them to be, but can't even attribute that to a healthy diet plan as much as an effective (and unhealthy) starvation plan.

That's one of my problems: I'm an all or nothing kind of guy and don't really do a good job of taking things in moderation. I suppose I'm living by that popular adage of wanting everything and wanting it now.

And, I hate that!

With my cardio regimen well underway, and my tendency to flounder with my diet plan, perhaps it's time to take a more serious look at the contribution of weight training to my overall fitness plan. Perhaps if I get that in order, the diet plan will follow in a more orderly fashion. Perhaps then I will be able to break some horrible and long-held eating habits.

Honestly, I'm retired and have the time to do this right.

And, I'm fresh out of excuses.

Foot Note

Between all of the research I'm doing and all of the wonderful support I'm getting from my wife and my son, this just may work out! (no pun intended)

I found a dumbbell only full body workout online today that involves 14 different exercises with a specific number of sets and reps for each. I split the list in half and did seven of them today and intend to do the other seven tomorrow.

It was fantastic! As a result, I'm going to go ahead and buy a bench and a couple of more dumbbells to broaden the range of what I have to work with. From there, I intend to jump on this with both feet and make it work.

I've managed to grab some excellent advice from my son, who is already at expert levels in what I'm trying to accomplish, so I've got great support. I'm very encouraged and it's all very exciting!!!


MARCH 14, 2022


Before I get into the topic du jour, I should mention that today would have been mom's 93rd birthday. We lost her in 1998 when she was only 69 years old. Happy (celebrating her memory) 93rd to mom!

I'm far from perfect in any area. But, that doesn't stop me from trying. Yeah, I have the unfortunate trait of being a perfectionist and have learned over my lifetime just how problematic that can be!

They say that perfectionist are also the world's worst procrastinators. That's because they know they can't do something perfectly, so they just put it off. That's one characteristic I haven't had to battle. I'm only too glad to attack something believing I can do it perfectly, only to discover somewhere in there that I can't!

What happens thereafter is almost humorous. I'll just keep attacking it until I either run out of time or money, or until I abandon the effort having finally come to grips with my perfectionist tendencies in the matter.

Combine my perfectionist tendencies with a need to control the outcome and it makes for a very unfortunate situation. It means I won't like the result that anyone comes up with, including my own. That's tough to admit, but when I justify that behavior with a more reasonable always do a good job mindset, well..., I can be sure there's a trap up ahead! After all, that's just pretending that I'm not a perfectionist.

I suspect those of us who battle perfectionist tendencies realize that those tendencies are part of our DNA and will make for a life-long battle that is never really overcome. We're doing well just to recognize the potential problems those tendencies can bring about, such that we try to become students of the matter and fight the good fight when necessary.

Cold Temps

MARCH 13, 2022

Cold Temps

Well for the past few days, today included, I've been writing a day ahead on my blog. So, I'm writing on March 12 with the intention of publishing when I get up tomorrow morning on the 13th.

I only share that because the weather issues we're currently facing, and have moving in on us, will be long gone by the time anyone has an opportunity to read this post.

Today's run was a cold one! Air temperature is in the 40's but with the wind chill it's in the low to mid 30's. That does not make for a pleasant run as most anyone could imagine. With winds around 25 mph and gusts up to twice that, I felt like I was running in place more than once.

But tonight is when the excitement moves in. We're supposed to drop down into the mid to upper 20's. That's as cold as I ever remember it getting here or in Florida. And despite the high winds that have been loading leaves in the pool, I'm going to need to run the pool pump to keep the pipes from freezing. That means I'll need to skim the pool once more this evening to ensure the automatic skimmer doesn't get clogged up after an all-night run with the pool pump.

I honestly had no idea what I was getting into when we purchased a house with a pool, but I can also honestly say that I'm enjoying the challenge and learning a lot by keeping up with things rather than hiring them out. Even with the extra attention and effort that's required, it's still about what I expected.

I had initially planned to hire out the pool support. However, after doing it for a while to ensure I understood what needed to be done and how it was to be done, I figured the added pool support expense wasn't justified. As such, I made the choice to continue with my pool support role, enjoy the savings, and have not looked back since.

Malaysia MH370

MARCH 12, 2022

Malaysia MH370

I've been an avid follower of the MH370 story since it first came out back in March of 2014, literally 8 years ago. I'm sure it haunts us all and we all want to know what happened. Well, thanks to ham radio, we may all finally find out.

Not that many years ago, the world of Ham Radio was introduced to new digital modes of communication. In some of these modes we type into our computer and it sends the data via a ham radio to another operator doing essentially the same thing.

In still other digital modes, FT4 and FT8 for example, we do the same thing as previously mentioned except we don't type messages - we simply make contacts and log them in our log books.

In yet one other digital mode, known as WSPR and which operates more like a beacon, we are simply able to see how far our transmissions reach out and to be made aware of the location of the listeners who hear our transmissions.

A UK ham radio operator, Richard Godfrey, who is also a retired aerospace engineer with incredible credentials, has introduced breakthrough tracking technology using existing ham radio digital technology, and believes he has the exact location where MH370 went down. The story is well documented on this YouTube site.


MARCH 11, 2022


Too often I write things or talk with my wife or one of the kids about things that result in deep discussions but bring about little or no change. Even the two books I'm going through can point out the need for change, unfortunately without my following through.

If deep thoughts and discussions don't result in needed change, then what good are they? To me, deep equates to both new and good. If I'm presented with new and good ideas whether from God via the Holy Spirit, or from my wife or kids, why wouldn't I act upon them and allow them to bring about change in my life?

My wife and I had just such a deep discussion today. It was the kind of discussion that brings about ideas that are new and good to me and that clearly demonstrate a need for change in my life.

So, here's the catch. Introducing changes to my life in this senior season of life is like adding tint to a can of orange paint in an effort to produce a different color or shade. It's one thing to make changes to a can of white paint, but quite another to try and change an existing color, like orange.

At this point in life, doing something often first requires the undoing of something. Can I make yellow paint from blue, or should I get rid of the blue and start fresh with white in an effort to produce the yellow that I need? Or, more to the point, can I really become something without first addressing what I've already become?

The good news is that when we were forgiven, God took away all of our old paint and provided us with a large and fresh batch of white. But, aren't some things just wired into our DNA? What do we do about those?

That's why I believe being a Christian is synonymous with being on a journey. We're all sinners. It's in our DNA. Even though we're forgiven and saved by grace we remain sinners and will always be in constant need of God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness. It's a good thing that we are saved by God's grace and that He forgives us daily and that His mercies never come to an end and finally that they are new every morning.

Lord, help me to change what I can, learn how to live with what I can't, and please provide wisdom, that I might know the difference.

Cheat Meals Part 3

MARCH 10, 2022

Cheat Meals Part 3

In this month's posts on March 3, I wrote on the topic of Cheat Meals. Also in this month's posts on March 5, I followed up with a second post on the topic. And so, I'm calling this post Cheat Meals Part 3.

I've been doing a lot or reading on this topic and it seems clear to me that the majority of articles come out in favor of cheat meals. There are a few exceptions in the list, but most seem to speak favorably on the topic.

I paid close attention to those exceptions, and what they had to offer was filled with wisdom. It wasn't about the immediate damage that a cheat meal might offer, but about the tendency for a cheat meal to lead to additional cheating for those who really struggle with over-eating.

That would be me!

When I was reading about cheat meals I noticed that some people take cheat days and still others take multiple cheat meals (or days) per week. Hmmm, I never thought of those ideas but they sure sound good to me.

Getting the obsessive picture here? I'm calling it cheating the cheat?

No wonder chips, cheese dip, and salsa is such an appealing cheat meal. It's one of those meals that easily converts from a cheat meal into cheat meals or a cheat day, and even cheat days. By the time I'm done, it will take a full week of starvation just to undo the damage.

By the way, starvation is never a good answer to any question but my tendencies toward excess and perfection demand it of me. For me, I guess that's why dieting seems to be on par with not getting to eat. There has to be a more positive way to frame this effort.

My research has taught me a lot about the importance of maintaining certain elements of healthy eating in the midst of a cheat meal. In other words, I can't afford to just lose control and eat any quantity of anything and everything I want. What I'm seeing is that the cheat meal has to fit into the plan, and not run counter to it or outside of it.


MARCH 09, 2022


Big in the news these days is the war between Russia and Ukraine, and the threat of engagement between China and Tiawan. And, big in my news bucket is a U.S. president who clearly has some form and degree of dementia.

In addition, I'm still concerned about the Snowden thing and the Wikileaks issues, and I'm even concerned about all that is taking place with Trump, whether you like him or not. Many in powerful places clearly have a vendetta against him and it troubles me when I see all that is being brought against him with similar issues lacking attention on the other side of aisle.

One thing that has been very interesting to me is the number of people who have taken on the news outlets with stories of their own on YouTube channels of their own. I've subscribed to Johnny Harris and he represents a long list of people who are making a career out of doing their homework and bringing new light to current issues.

This is a cultural trend that I didn't anticipate and wouldn't have expected, but it's right there in front of us and the value being offered is impressive. I'll tolerate YouTube ads for the kind of quality I'm receiving from these up-and-coming news agents.

Different Drummer

MARCH 08, 2022

Different Drummer 2

Many years ago, I remember my father telling me that he was so glad he did not have to raise kids in the generation in which Patty and I were raising ours. I chalked up his comments to a generation that loved their culture and was not ready to move on to another one. Now I know exactly what he meant.

I remember dad laughing one day when he heard my Alice Cooper music playing and in a highly unusual fashion he was quick to tell me, that's not music! I reacted and remember telling myself that I would never make such judgements of the music that arose from the generation that belonged to my kids.

But, guess what? Rap came along and I felt myself thinking the exact same thing my dad had said to me. That can't be music!

I never could have anticipated so called music that I wouldn't think was music, but there it was! And there I was being my dad all over again.

With the culture of the millennials there are so many other things I never could have never anticipated. A lot of what I'm talking about can be found on the internet and while I have not adopted the producer culture found there, I certainly have adopted the consumer side of that culture.

I've become a big fan of streaming. Especially YouTube videos. And, I've always been a fan of blogging, even if I did choose to stay away from the more traditional attempts at monetizing what I'm doing. My blog has evolved to become my scrapbook (and perhaps journal) and is likely of little value to anyone other than me. And, I'm quite okay with that.

As a senior citizen enjoying retirement, I'm glad to take hold of the parts of this culture that I like, and leave the rest behind.

I suppose I've always marched to a different drummer.


MARCH 07, 2022


With retired life, I love keeping up with the weather. It's always interesting and promises new experiences, no matter the forecast.

Over the years I've watched the weather mostly to plan my daily runs. But, in retirement watching the weather has become sort of a hobby.

I must say, if we received all the rain that is constantly forecast for our area we would probably need to build an ark. It's interesting to see how quickly the forecast changes and even more interesting to watch the threatening weather dissipate just before it reaches our area. That seems to happen quite often around here.

Of course, we've had our fair share of rain but nothing to compete with the torrential downpours that have been forecast for our area. Like I said, it's very interesting to watch those threatening bands of weather literally dry up and go away just before reaching us.

Such is looking like the case for today. And, we've got a rainy forecast for the week too, so it will be interesting to see how that unfolds.

Organic Living

MARCH 06, 2022


I started thinking about my relationship with Jesus Christ this morning and somehow the word organic came to mind. So, I went searching online for definitions.

Here's what I found on a couple of different sites including Webster's:

relating to or derived from living matter
of, relating to, or derived from living organisms
having systematic coordination of parts : ORGANIZED

The definitions confirmed my thinking. I want an organic relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to remember that He is the person to whom I pray, and not a thing to which I pray. I want to walk and talk with Him daily and not just think of Him as the thing I seek out and talk to when I need something and when it's convenient.

I want to always remember that He is alive and has a plan for my life. I want to remember that He can and will guide my steps if I let Him. I want to do what He wants me to do and not what I imagine He wants me to do. I want to live daily in His perfect will.

I don't want to live in an inorganic world of monuments built by men, but in the organic world with those whom Christ places in my path. Lord, let me always be aware of those you have placed around me and how you would have me walk among them and interact with them.

More on Cheat Meals

MARCH 05, 2022


I have a tendency to find something I like and stay with it. Whether it's a store, a friend, or a restaurant, or even a specific meal within a restaurant, I tend to be quite consistent and loyal once I find something I like.

My better half, on the other hand, is always ready to discover new things. She's willing to have a bad experience just to find out if something new is good. I admire her spunk on that one, because that's not really me. If I like it, I'm staying with it.

For our cheat meal yesterday, we went to a new place that she wanted to try. I have to admit I wasn't too excited about trying a fast food place that I had never heard of and that I didn't even know existed. But without my adventurous soul mate I would have never discovered a new place that I really, really, like.

My newer tendency toward avoiding carbs, calories, and generally unhealthy food flew out the window as I ordered that patty melt with onion rings. And was it ever good! It's funny because I was slated to drop below my goal weight by this morning, but all of my yummy food quickly threw a wrench in that plan.

I suppose that's why they call it a cheat meal. If it's not something you really enjoy then it's probably not a legitimate cheat meal. Right? And, isn't that the whole point? In other words, you know you're going to pay for it (in more ways than one!) but immediately thereafter, you're back on the wagon. I guess that's what a cheat meal is really all about.

Well anyway, that's my story and I'm sticking with it!

Dead Battery

MARCH 04, 2022

Dead Battery

I made a mental note of an auto repair shop very close by in case I might ever need their services. Well, that time came day before yesterday when I awoke to a dead battery and an appointment 45 minutes later.

We've been a one car family for a while now and for most of the time it makes complete sense. Obviously, there are some risks involved, but we don't get out enough to keep two vehicles busy. And, when you add insurance and maintenance, a second vehicle just doesn't seem to make sense.

Still, when I need that second vehicle, I need it or need a plan to work around not having it. And, I need a plan that doesn't put me in a place where I'm depending upon a neighbor to get me going.

I hated calling on a neighbor early in the morning to jump me off! But, I had one of those appointments that you just can't afford to miss. So, went against everything in me and contacted my neighbor and he kindly got me going. Patty very kindly made a loaf of fresh bread as a thank you for the help. She's always thoughtful that way!

So, I swung by the auto repair shop I mentioned on the way home from my appointment and Gary said the battery and alternator both looked to be in good enough shape that he hated to see me spend money on a new battery when we weren't sure what killed the old one. I should have taken my cue from history and purchased a new one right then and there. I certainly had the money to do it, but for some reason decided to wait. Bad decision!

I got a business card from Gary and he promised that they would jump me off in the future and also replace the battery if needed. Hmmm, no more troubling the neighbor. That seemed reasonable so I ignored God's nudging and let it go. Another bad choice!

I got up yesterday and the car cranked first try. I thought it seemed sluggish but wasn't really sure. I should have done something right then and there while I had the time, but made another bad choice and decided not to.

Yesterday around 4:00 PM I need to run another errand and, you guessed it. The battery was completely dead. Within the next hour, Gary had jumped me off and also put in a new battery for me and I was on my way to that errand.

Note to self: Pay attention to history, wisdom, and God's gentle nudging.

Cheat Meals

MARCH 03, 2022

Cheat Meals

Patty and I have a set 'date' for Fridays. It includes books and movies from the local library, and with it we have a cheat meal included. These meals started as eat out meals and evolved to takeout meals and have since evolved, in the past week or two, to healthy takeout meals.

Last week our cheat meal was a Greek salad (takeout) from the Mediterranean Sandwich Shop. Oh my, that was so good. And it was quite healthy as well.

Unfortunately, a lot of sugar was included with our buying to support that cheat meal. We always wind up at Rouses Market, which is our favorite, but from which we simply cannot seem to escape without spending somewhere in the neighborhood of $100. Ouch!

We've both agreed that sugar is no longer to be part of our diet, and I must say that the red grapes have been a perfect substitute on my side of things. However, I'm also having to learn how to stop after just a few or I might as well be eating a couple of cream horns when you add up the grams of sugar, not to mention the countless calories that are added.

It's been quite interesting learning how to balance healthy eating with quality of life. Not feeling deprived has felt important, but not feeling fat has felt even more important. Staying active and eating healthy (which includes both quality and quantity) seem to provide a center piece for our plan. I'm looking forward to discovering creative ways to focus on healthy eating without that dreaded element of feeling deprived sneaking in on us.

Yard Work

MARCH 02, 2022

Yard Work

Pulled out the edger yesterday and decided it was time to get a head start on the yard. There are patches of weeds that are growing up, but I haven't yet decided to pull out the mower. I just can't motivate myself to head in that direction here at the beginning of March and with the possibility of more freezing temperatures yet to come, especially considering the dormant state of the yard as a whole.

I'll probably pull out the weed wacker and hit those weed patches. That should give the grass a chance to catch up and do something that compels me to pull out the lawn mower. I'm going to hold out for green grass before the mower enters the equation.

It's also been a real learning experience to spend my first winter with a swimming pool. I didn't winterize and close it down, and don't plan to in the future. The pool is not really set up for that kind of thing, so I'll probably continue to work with it in the minimal fashion with which I approached it this year. It was a very cold winter to be doing anything with a swimming pool, but I'm assuming I won't have this type of cold weather to contend with on a regular basis in the years to come.

I'm hopeful anyway.


MARCH 01, 2022


There's a lot of talk these days about being stoic and being a Stoic. According to, Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded by Zeno of Citium in Athens in the early 3rd century BC.

Google defines a stoic as a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining. However, Webster goes a bit further and defines it as a wise man who is free from passion, unmoved by joy or grief, and submissive to natural law. Based on all I'm reading, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with either of these definitions.

What I'm reading from numerous sources is that there is a great deal of confusion around stoicism and especially the difference between Stoicism and stoicism. What I'm seeing is that there's not only a how that is involved (how we should live out being stoic) but also perhaps a why.

For me, part of the why involves my Christianity, but that's a blog post for another day. And, setting that idea aside for a moment, here is a great online article that, from my perspective, provides strong and extensive coverage of the topic, not to mention what I would also refer to as a more healthy approach to the topic.


Copyright © 2024 Hutch DeLoach