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Vote

MAY 26, 2022


Vote

05/24/22 12:54 PM

It's Tuesday May 24th as I write although this will be published on Thursday May 26th and it will be old news by then. It's still worth a mention.

Patty and I had a list of items that required us getting out. On that list was stopping by the library to cast our vote in the Republican primary. We love to watch the voter returns on voting night, even if they are just for a primary.

With all that is going on locally, not to mention all that is taking place nationally with Biden and Trump, Russia and Ukraine, Elon Musk and Twitter, China and Taiwan, and a whole host of other interesting stories, it should be an interesting season for the voters.




Kids

MAY 25, 2022


Kids 2

05/23/22 01:10 PM

I spoke to a friend recently and what he shared led me to realize just how easy it is to take significant blessings for granted. I knew I was blessed in the area he mentioned, but what he shared took my thinking to an entirely new level.

My friend was talking about some other friends we have in common and he shared that he and each of those other friends has at least one child who has turned away from God, some of whom have even turned away from their parents.

What a blessing and a true honor not to be facing that type of crisis. And from my perspective, it would indeed be a crisis.

Sure, I would still love a child who has decided to go in a different direction, but I'm so grateful that I don't face that in my life. And, I pray I never will.

I cannot say enough about how thankful I am for Allie and Jonathan! No father could ask more of two kids (now young adults) than all that they have done and become. I don't feel worthy to be a father to two such amazing people but I am indeed grateful for the privilege!

Lord, let me never be a stumbling block or offer an example that discourages my kids and aims them away from you. I pray that you continue to make yourself known to each of us in our family and that you continue to guide and direct us in the path you have set before us. Please provide us with the wisdom, foresight, and stamina to stay the course and know that we are forever grateful that you chose to call us.




Website Visits

MAY 24, 2022


Website Visits

05/23/22 07:25 AM

I've mentioned the log I built for my website. If I haven't mentioned it, I also constructed a PHP viewer that will display my log of visitors to the website.

Over time, I've expanded the functionality of my log and the logging program. I already had been logging the city and country from which the visit took place, in addition to the more technical things like the IP address.

I wound up deleting the old log a good while back and built a new one around ten days ago. I've gone back and added a field to each row of data that states the visitor's organization. For example, Amazon or Google.

Like before, most of the visits come from web crawlers that exist to build indexes for the website pages that they crawl. These indexes provide for faster access to those pages when a person goes searching for something on the web.

If a visit is made by a crawler, the logging PHP program now adds the name of the organization that owns the crawler. If a visit is made by an individual, the PHP program adds the name of the company used by the individual to access the web. For example, GoDaddy or Verizon.

Over ten days I've had 363 entries provided in my log. I've also manually added the organization name and IP address from those log entries to my logging program. So, as the log obtains more entries the logging program becomes smarter and is able to provide those organization names for future log entries. It accomplishes this feat by using the IP address as the unique key for each entry.

It's pretty cool to see the PHP log program gain artificial intelligence and to see the website log automatically capture those organization names based on the unique IP address from a previous visit!

Foot Notes

05/23/22 12:37 PM

Flash! Had to do rescue #3 today. The first two were baby rabbits but it turns out that this rescue was for a very young gray squirrel that was able to stay rested and alive by finding a place to hold on at the opening of the automatic skimmer. Fortunately for him the skimmer wasn't running because the water flow would have probably pulled him in without providing much opportunity for survival.

On an unrelated note, it seems like the weather forecast will often call for several days of rain with each day being forecast to provide a full day of rain to our area. Fortunately, or unfortunately, that rarely if ever happens.

That's been the forecast lately but the rain seems to come and go during those days with a much smaller overall level of rain-fall then was called for in the forecast. I'll be expecting multiple inches in the rain gauge only to find somewhere between half an inch to an inch on many of those days. Today may be shaping up to be one of those days where multiple inches really do arrive.

On a different note, I got a run in and a lot of weeding before the rain arrived. Hopefully the rain will hang around for the rest of the day. We sure could use the water on the grass. And, I've got to do something about those darn weeds!

Oh, and by the way! I saw something on the weather map yesterday that resembled a late-stage (disorganized?) hurricane. It just missed us to our east (over near Pensacola) and turns out (according the what my wife saw on the local weather reports) to have been a late-developing system that formed just off the coast before making landfall. Interesting!




My Soulmate

MAY 23, 2022


Soulmate

05/20/22 10:23 AM

Have you ever read a book or seen one of those movies where the leading guy or gal finds out he or she doesn't have long to live and they both start trying to make up for the time together that they are soon to lose? I'm suspect we've all read books or seen movies like that.

Well, somewhere along the way I realized how much I've been blessed with this beautiful, wonderful, and amazing woman who, for some odd reason, was willing to share a lifetime with this less than average guy. Every time I think about her, I feel like I want to do for her as if this was our last day together. And still, in close to 50 years together, I have yet to be able to out-give or out-love her. She treats me like the hero in her story. The one to which I could never measure up.

The feeling is almost like being given a second chance at a long life together, only because I've seen others who weren't afforded that opportunity, whether in a story or in real life. I get the feeling I don't want to waste a moment we have together, but would rather cherish each moment as if it was our last.

The term grateful doesn't even begin to express the way I feel about this incredible gift I have been given! Thank you Lord for this dear, sweet, soulmate. The one whose love is a gift I could never match, earn, or deserve.




Micah Wilder

MAY 22, 2022


Micah Wilder

05/20/22 09:31 AM

On a side note, I'm amazed that Patty saw rain coming today when there was none in the forecast. It came in a couple of spurts and didn't last long, but it was there.

I have no idea how the algorithm works that presents me with specific videos when I'm on YouTube. But, yesterday it introduced me to Micah Wilder in a video where he gave his testimony. It was quite unexpected in that it was nothing like anything I've watched on YouTube, except for the fact that that it had a Christian theme.

I was really touched by his testimony and sent a link to Patty and the kids and their spouses. I don't mind saying that one of the things that truly spoke to me was the fact that his conversion had such a far-reaching impact on his girlfriend and his entire family.

It's one thing to go through a change as he did, but it's entirely another when God uses that in such an amazing way to convert his girlfriend (now his wife), his brothers and sisters, and his mother and his father. That really speaks to me of something pretty amazing.

Here's a link.




Political Leaders

MAY 21, 2022


Leaders

05/19/22 03:57 PM

I've got to admit that what's going on with the Biden administration has me scratching my head. I honestly don't understand how someone can break the law, as he is apparently doing with immigration, and continue to get away with it unchallenged.

The democrats went after Trump for what appears to me at least to be much more than he was ever guilty of, and yet we can't do anything about evident abuses of the law and all that is going on with the border crisis on our southern border?

I fail to understand how so many things seem to be going unchallenged, or if we are pursuing any of it, we seem to be doing it at turtle speed. It's beyond my understanding.

From what I've seen so far, and who knows who to trust these days for anything having to do with the news, it seems to me that a great deal of damage is being done and we're still half a year from being able to go to the polls and make some much needed changes to do anything about it.

I know this is a bit mean to say, but I honestly hope those who voted for Biden got what they wanted because I haven't seen anything from him that would have ever led me to vote for him. My vote for Trump was at first a defensive measure against Hillary. Admittedly, it took a lot of soul-searching to pull the lever in Trump's favor. However, and like so many others, I was pleasantly surprised at all he accomplished despite his antics. This list of all that he managed to get done was long and positive as far as I'm concerned. It was a far easier task to pull a lever in his favor the second time around.

I suppose I'm part of a large crowd that would like to see him finish cleaning up the swamp. Enough with the polite political rhetoric from so many others. We've gotten a dose from far too many Republicans and a double dose from the Democrats. Let's get some tough talk and a whole lot more action from folks like Desantis and Trump (and even our Governor, Kay Ivey, here is Alabama!) and see if we can get this country back on a good road toward much needed change!

Alabama votes this coming Tuesday!




Lily the Cat

MAY 20, 2022


Lily the Cat 2

05/19/22 08:33 AM

The picture says it all. I've got great company while I'm typing this post. Lily likes to nap with me after what I'm sure is a night spent prowling around the house while we sleep.

Lily also likes to trill as they call it. She trills a lot. According to what I read on the internet, it's generally thought to be a female cat thing and a positive thing when they do it. However, I think Lily also trills when she is surprised. If she's asleep and I wake her by petting her, she usually trills.

She's definitely turned this guy into a cat person by her kindness and sensitivity to what we're doing. The only downside I can see is that she likes to do her rooster immitation around 6:00 AM plus or minus. I guess she's up and must think it's time for us go get up too. Fortunately, a little food in the cat bowl will silence our crowing rooster (for a little while anyway!)

Lots going on these days. Yesterday I made my way to a dermatologist appointment thinking I was going to have to have a biopsy. In fact, I called to make the appointment since I had a red spot that just wasn't going away. After I made the appointment, I had another spot show up that was one of those kind they can usually freeze off. In fact, both turned out to be freeze situations so no biopsy!

Was good to get a run in early this morning while there was still a bit of shade and a gentle breeze to go with it. Had a nice pace too and can't wait to get my measuring wheel in to confirm the actual distances. I've got all of my turn-around spots in the road mentally pictured so I should be able to be pretty consistent in choosing my route and the exact turn-around spots each day.

I've also done much better with my weight training and my eating. I'm sticking to that French diet that Patty told me about. It basically boils down to reducing my food intake when I get near the top of my desired weight range, and enjoying what I want when I'm well below that top. I was one pound from the top of the range this morning, so time to get back to reducing again!

Yesterday was a weight training day but I just didn't have it in me. First time that has happened since I started the weights, but today's a down day so I'll just move yesterday's skipped workout up to today and all should be good.

Last but not least is the pool. I'm in uncharted territory with all that I'm learning there, but it's all good. Still want to find out about changing the sand in the filter. Guess I'll look into that today.




Going Up!

MAY 19, 2022


Going Up!

05/18/22 11:30 AM

Was out yesterday to pick up some food for supper and was out again today to pick up the groceries. I noticed the gas prices are still going up and thought I would grab a quick piece of evidence.

I believe the last time I checked (May 11) it was roughly $4.30 at the Mobil station. That's up quite a bit and apparently with no end in site if the current administration has its way!

Also got in another run just now before I hit the shower and head for the dermatologist. Today there was a breeze but the sun was like an oven. I got back and recorded the temperature in my running log as usual, and believe I have hit a new high temp on the running trail (road!) It was 86°F and felt like an oven out there!

Foot Notes

Shell May 18, 2022

05/18/22 1:31 PM

Quite unusual to see the Shell Station near I-10 a dime lower in price than the Mobil station closer into town. Today was the first time in a long time that I paid over $50 for gas and that was probably only about 5/8 of a tank. Probably saved about a dollar or so going to the Shell instead of the Mobil.




Running Pace

MAY 18, 2022


Fast versus Slow

05/17/22 10:22 AM

Despite not having an exact location defined for mile one and mile two of my runs, I decided to scout out the difference in times for a hard-pushed run and an easy-going run. I ran the former yesterday and ran the latter today.

On the pace scale pictured above, my slower run probably moved around somewhere between 2 and 6 and the faster run probably did the same somewhere between 7 and 9.

Believe it or not the easy-going run was more difficult, only because I am used to pushing myself on a run and I had to focus on laying back with my pace. I took downhill sections a bit faster but did not allow my pace to get up to a point where I had to breath hard. I basically just kept my downhill momentum in check and let it take me just so fast.

I've pushed harder on mile two in the past, but yesterday was the first time I've truly pushed harder on mile one and mile two. I'm also having to make minor adjustments to allow for traffic and parked vehicles. These do make a real difference when it comes to comparing runs, even if by only seconds. It all adds up, as they say.

Results were interesting and as follows:

Fast Day: Mile one - 8:50; Mile two - 8:00; AHR - 111; MHR - 154

Slow Day: Mile one - 9:52; Mile two - 9:22; AHR - 110; MHR - 125

It's interesting to observe the similarities in Average Heart Rate (AHR) versus the striking difference in Max Heart Rate (MHR). Not sure what to make of that unless the Vivoactive 3 Smartwatch was not performing well.

Of greatest interest to me was the difference in mile two between the two days versus the difference in mile one. It really demonstrates on faster days how much I take advantage of the downhill sections on mile two.

Foot Notes

05/17/22 11:40 AM

Just reminding myself that I still need to do something to verify the distances for mile one and mile two. Can't find a measuring wheel at any rental store and even if I did, I could probably buy one for about the same amount as a rental.

05/17/22 12:06 PM

Found a measuring wheel for $20.99 on Ebay and for a penny less ($20.98) on Amazon. Ordered it from Amazon and it is due in between the 20th and the 24th.

Looking forward to timing my runs against a verifiable distance!




More Spiritual Stuff

MAY 17, 2022


Molinism Shirt

05/16/22 5:00 PM

Despite all that I'm involved with in the technology sector behind the scenes with this blog, I want to get back to writing about my real passion in life, which is the world of the spiritual. In particular, it's the process of following Jesus daily and my search for truth that provide the ultimate focus for my attention in the spiritual arena.

Patty and I left Douglasville, Georgia close to ten years ago and headed for Florida following our (my?) dream to live on the ocean. Before we left, I was attending a small men's bible study on Monday mornings hosted by one of my friends. And, in that bible study we constantly wrestled with the tension that existed between Man's Free Will and The Sovereignty of God.

Each of us wrestled individually and as part of the group. I remember one person suggesting that perhaps the two were not mutually exclusive. For me, that almost bordered on heresy. How in the world could the two possibly coexist? It was a stretch too far for me in my thinking and in my belief system.

It had to be one or the other unless or until someone could adequately define how the two could coexist. I needed a rock-solid basis for belief in such a matter. I couldn't go there just because I wanted to, and believe me when I say that I think we all wanted to go there.

Some chose to take a position that we just can't know everything that God can do and reconciled the two on that basis. For me, that was a slippery slope. That's how cults accept the unacceptable. That's how false religions are born. It's also how Christians avoid study when it becomes necessary. Sure faith is important, but it has to be a reasonable faith. That's why I believe study is so important.

In my struggles, and as I was yet unable to reconcile the coexistence of man's free will with God's sovereignty, I begrudgingly opted to go with the sovereignty of God option because it seemed like the more important of the two.

After all, if our God isn't sovereign, then our claim is just one of many and offers no real merit upon which to stand. Even with the resurrection, if God is not sovereign then what would be the basis for my hope in Him?

In assuming the Sovereignty position, I didn't like the resulting theology into which I was forced. I couldn't accept that God authored evil, but was forced to go down that road if my Reformed Theology and the T.U.L.I.P. were to provide support for the importance I placed on The Sovereignty of God. I was beginning to wish that I could go back and enjoy the bliss of ignorance that I had once known.

I remember my last Monday with the men's group before we moved. I remember saying that I would be praying for guidance for all of us in this difficult matter. I would be praying with the hope that one day God would provide an answer.

Well, it happened. At some point in the past year, I was watching a Dr. William Lane Craig YouTube video and was introduced to Molinism. This idea, complicated though it might be, does indeed allow for man's free will and God's sovereignty to fully coexist. I called my friend who hosted the old bible study up in Douglasville (they're still going) and introduced him to the idea. It was great to catch up and to talk a bit about Molinism.

I've watched and read the critics of Molinism but so far, as I told my friend, I am compelled to believe in its legitimacy. And, I'm grateful to those who have gone before me and demonstrated what I have come to believe is the truth behind the idea. If you're intereseted and want to watch the William Lane Craig video that I mentioned, here is a link to it on YouTube.




More Blog Updates

MAY 16, 2022


New Blog Update

05/14/22 7:55 AM

I added back a web log yesterday (Friday, May 13th) and it's been interesting to see the locations where the hits are originating. I can't tell who's there, but I can tell that the hits are coming from users who are clients of the web service providers that own the pool of IP addresses from which the hits are coming.

I also intend to add back the capability to keep my IP address logged so that I can eliminate any logging activity that comes from that IP address. That will allow me to make changes to the blog without those updates presenting log entries.

I'm also anticipating adding back the capability to see website stats for the hits on the menu and various pages on the website. It will be interesting to see what's being reviewed and how often, and also whether or not the hits are coming from users via web providers or web crawlers owned by folks like Google.

More on that to come as I get things developed.

Foot Notes

05/14/22 03:50 PM

Well, in paragraph #2 above, I went ahead and wrote some code with a hard-coded IP address in it. That should suffice in the short-term, since my IP almost never changes, but I'll need to update that code to remove the hard-coded IP address and ensure the tested IP address is the current IP address - just in case the IP address does change.

From paragraph #3 above, I went ahead and finished up the hit counters for all of the pages I built. I won't be tracking visits to other sites, but will be tracking all visits to anything I have built, which turned out to be 15 pages in total.

I want to dabble with some more changes to the tracking of visits and the logging, but am not quite sure what I want to add. More to come on that...

While I'm able and usually do write at least a day ahead of anything I publish, I've also added the capability to review unpublished material as it will appear when it is published and have been enjoying that feature for a while now. It's pretty cool the way it works!

I've also manually added the owners of the webcrawlers and web service providers to the log entires and plan to add some code to do that automatically. That should be an interesting project! (Addendum) In fact, I've been doing some of that today (05/15/22) and it turns out to be a very interesting and challenging project!

05/15/22 7:00 PM

Finally getting some much needed rain as can be seen below.

WX051522-2

Looks like we received a solid inch of rain from that storm.

WX051522-2




Good Beer

MAY 15, 2022


Chocolate Cake Stout

05/13/22 7:30 AM

Lately, I've enjoyed a very good assortment of beers. I tend to stick to what I like, but every now and then I reach out beyond my tried and true to discover something new and often very good. Such is the case with those listed and pictured below.

I really like the flavor of a dark beer and often enjoy the deep rich flavors that come with them. I'm not an IPA kind of guy just for the sake of an IPA but if it goes down strong and smooth I'm sure it will be on my list of favorites.

Guiness got me started on beers that featured flavor over carbination and I haven't looked back since. Porters are high on my list for great taste but so are the deep and rich flavors of the craft beers that are local to the places I might wind up visiting and where I might order a local with the meal.

Pictured directly below are some of my favorites from recent outings and visits to the local grocery stores.

Judge Roy Bean

Fair Hope Amber

Oyster City Hooter Brown

Bed of Nails

My amaizng son-in-law is an incredible connoisseur of beer and an equally good beer maker. He made me a case of what I guess was a Guiness knock-off and boy was it ever good. He named it after me, Hutcheson, and I hated to see that last bottle go empty!

Hutcheson




Blog Post #400

MAY 14, 2022


Blog Post #400

05/13/22 7:30 AM

Well, It's Friday the 13th as I type although this will be published on Saturday the 14th. At this season of life, one of the things that has remained consistent is my blogging. Like I've said before, this blog is more a scrapbook of life than anything written with the expectation of a readership. And, today I'm writing post #400.

I took a few months off during our move from Florida to Alabama but otherwise I've really enjoyed writing, recording life, and all of the technology that goes with it. I don't know what it is about recording life, but it's fun using the technology and that's probably one of the reasons I stay with it. It's also fun updating the technology although it's been several weeks since I've done any of that according to my blogging dates.

In fact, my last update included a feature addition to the search tool that counts the number of blog posts and presents that data whenever a search is performed. That's been a handy addition to that tool and it's fun to see the data as well.

Speaking of updates, I think I may recreate my blog log so I can see how many hits I'm getting and where they are all coming from. Last time I had a logging app I was mostly seeing the evidence of web crawlers and that's probably why I shut it down and deleted it. That may happen again, but it's okay. It will still be interesting to see what's going on behind the scenes.




Cookies

MAY 13, 2022


Bag o' Cookies 2

05/12/22 8:21 AM

Our kind-hearted daughter sent over a wonderful gift package from Germany where they are stationed, and in it she included these yummy cookies that have a thin layer of caramel sandwiched between two thin wafers.

She told Patty that she puts them on top of her coffee cup and the steam heat from the coffee warms up the cookie and especially the caramel. I could not believe how good one was, so I tried it with another. And guess what? Number two was just as good as number one LOL!

Bag o' Cookies 2




Gas Prices

MAY 12, 2022


Gas Prices

05/11/22 3:49 PM

I thought it might be interesting to track gas prices as they continue to climb. Let's divide out what has happened over the last 6 years. In the first 5 of those years, gas prices have gone up and down in a range between $2 and $3.

Over the past year, gas prices have shot up from $3 to $4 and the local Shell station is reporting about $4.30 per gallon. When we moved here in August of 2021, gas was priced at about $3.25, so that's just over a one dollar climb in the past nine months.

Actually, prices crossed the three dollar threshold in May of 2021 and crossed the four dollar threshold the first week of March of 2022. Despite the local numbers, the average price is currently reported at $4.43 as of May 9, 2022.

* Data pulled from the U.S. Energy Information Administration website except where provided locally.

Foot Notes

Gas Prices

05/12/22 08:14 AM

The shell station is a tad closer to I-10 so the price is usually a bit higher than at the Mobil station where I purchase my gas. When I shot these pictures on May 11, 2022, the prices happened to be the same.




A Slower Run

MAY 11, 2022


Slower Run

05/10/22 11:27 AM

Well, as I mentioned in my footnotes yesterday, I did an evening run so I wasn't quite recovered and ready for my run this morning. As Patty and I started our respective outings, I mentioned that I intended to take it easy today. She chuckled for I had said that before and not followed through. But, this time I did.

I set myself a maximum of 10 minutes per mile and on mile one, I had to hustle the last 20 seconds to avoid exceeding that 10 minute mark. With more down-hill, I didn't have the same problem on mile 2. As it turns out, my pace on mile one was exactly 9:59.00 and mile two was 9:29.40 with an overall pace of 9:44 for both.

With an easier run, I was very curious to see what my AHR (Average Heart Rate) and MHR (Max Heart Rate) might be and as it turned out AHR was 115 and my MHR was 120. That's compared to respective rates of 130 and 140 with a more challenging pace on a more normal run.

Foot Notes

05/10/22 12:57 PM

Well, with the yard and pool all caught up and with a run in and no workout on the calendar, it looks like I'm in for a nice and relaxing afternoon. I had a nice chat with Allie early this morning and we can't wait for the entire Snow family to travel over and spend a week with us sometime in June.

I've got cateract surgery scheduled on the 2nd and if that conflicts with their trip, I may have to push my surgery out just a bit. I want to be sure I'm able to swim with the grandsons so surgery recovery and care will be a determining factor.




A Picture is Worth...

MAY 10, 2022


Kayak 1

05/09/22 12:50 PM

Sometimes I get so focused on my blog writing that I forget about all of the pictures here on my website that I have taken over many years. I realized there is often an amazing story, from one of life's adventures, that goes with each picture.

I have wondered if I too often take the quick and simple route, but looking back at so many pictures, it's clear that I've often taken neither the quick nor the simple route. Just taking an adventure that justifies one or more pictures says something about one's willingness to sort of test the waters in the world of the Get Out and Take a Chance adventures.

It's funny how we can turn an outing into an adventure. I've done it so many times I can't count them all and it's always been a interesting learning experience, often with more than one curve ball thrown in along the way.

Have I ever engaged in an adventure that I would have avoided had I known ahead of time of the challenges, or even dangers, that would come about? You bet I have! Did I become more conservative about future adventures as a result? Yes again! But, did I write off adventures? No way, José!

I guess at the end of the day I wind up with an amazing experience, or a story that is amazing and memorable for entirely different reasons, or perhaps both LOL!

The Kayak Trip that I wrote and shared pictures about, under the pictures header over in the left-hand column of the blog, comes to mind as just such an example.

Foot Notes

05/09/22 06:45 PM

Unusual day today! Did the front and back yards and the pool and like before was a very tired puppy! However, some rest and one of Patty's great suppers rejuvenated me and shortly after 6 PM on was on my way out the door to get in a run. And, when I finish these foot notes, I intend to jump on workout rotation #2 and finish off the triceps on top of what they've already been doing today.

I'm really excited about how good the yard looks. The 15 bails of pine straw combined with the yard and pool work really shines like a new penny. We also had our new neighbors move in today and I had an opportunity to meet the wife. They seem like super nice people and I know some moves who are also probably very tired, judging by the fact that their moving truck got there early this morning and is still there about 12 hours later.

I did the pool around 6:30 AM and was cranking the mower to cut both yards at 7:05 AM. I hope the neighbors don't shoot me. That's why I prefer to do the yards on the week days - since the seniors always get up early and the rest of the neighborhood is headed to work LOL! Besides, it's nice and cool that time of morning.




Checking In

MAY 09, 2022


Checking In

05/08/22 10:57 AM

Well, it's Sunday - Mother's Day, as I write. Got my workout in early and just finished up a run while Patty got in her walk. She had an opportunity to talk to some of the neighbors and it's always interesting to hear what she has learned when we both get back together.

I enjoyed watching some golf yesterday and look forward to seeing the final round today. Really enjoyed seeing someone I know (Jason Day) start round three atop the leaderboard, although he had a sad 8 over day and that was the end of that!

In addition to our ceiling fans, Patty is really good at placing small fans around the house to alleviate the need for a lot of AC during the day. I've been running a bit of AC up in my office area and asked Patty is she had any fans stored away that I could use at my desk to minimize my use of AC. She did have a tee-niny one and it is working wonders for my ability to do without any AC. I have a ceiling fan above my recliner, but this other one is doing a very nice job when I'm at my desk.

Watched my last library movie The Giver last night and really enjoyed it. I saw it a long time ago and had not remembered it being so good. It reminded me a lot of Divergent for all of the similarities between the two stories.

I'm going to shock the pool tonight and leave the pump running and plan to have a big day tomorrow (Monday) of yard and pool work.

Looking forward to my call with Jonathan tonight. Will be very interesting to hear how all is going at the home they bought and where they moved in last weekend.

Finally, I have decided to do away with my Core Day workout in favor of a down day. I don't want to put my lower back at risk since it's been talking to me.

So, I'll still be running two miles each day and deriving my core and ab work from that. I'll also be doing workouts #1 and #2 on back to back days with a third (down) day before the rotation repeats.

Wow! Was just finalizing my changes to this and preparing to publish and received Microsoft's new version of the Blue Screen of Death. Haven't seen one of those in a very long time!




Happy Mother's Day

MAY 08, 2022

Click card to enlarge.


Mother's Day

05/07/22 07:40 AM




QSL Cards

MAY 07, 2022


QSL Cards 1

05/06/22 04:21 PM

Just got back from a very warm run and my wonderful soulmate dropped off an envelope full of QSL cards sent to me from the USA QSL bureau and that she picked up from our mail box. I should probably provide some back story for those who don't know about QSL cards.

QSL cards serve as a way for ham radio operators all over the world to confirm contacts with other ham radio operators. When two ham operators make a contact, and if they both confirm on their respective qrz.com sites that they do indeed swap QSL cards, then both may fill out a QSL card (postcard) with the contact information and mail it to the other operator via the address located on the qrz.com website for that station.

The QSL bureau is a non-profit organization that helps ham radio operators world-wide save money by receiving international postcards destined for the USA and sending them in bulk to the USA bureau, which in turn has many volunteers who sort and distribute them to their respective contacts.

The guys who serve the USA bureau (QSL Managers) are all volunteers who do the labor to sort and send free of charge. Envelopes and postage are paid for by the contacts who will receive the QSL cards. Those contacts might typically have an account with the QSL Manager and keeps funds in that account so that the QSL Manager can pay for envelopes and postage when enough cards have been received to justify sending them out. I usually get about 7 cards at a time.

I have two notebooks, one for cards received directly from other ham radio operators in the USA and one for international cards received via the bureau. Pictured above and below is the last batch I received from the bureau.

QSL Cards 2

These cards came from ham radio operators living in locations including Wilzheim and Eichenbuhl, Germany; San Sebastian de La Gomera, Spain; La Roquebrussanne, France; Toronto, Canada; Cabo da Praria Terceira Azores, Portugal, (That's a civil parish on the east coast of the municipality of Praia da Vitória on the island of Terceira in the Portuguese Azores;) and a Special Event station (callsign CJ3A) celebrating the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.




Rabbit Rescue #2

MAY 06, 2022


Rabbit Rescue #2

05/05/22 02:58 PM

Just finished up another run in the burning heat and thought I would once again cool down with some blogging before I jumped into another workout. Lots to report!

Started the day with another baby rabbit rescue. This was rescue number two and this time I found him just floating in the pool while I was tending to my first cup of coffee. I dashed outside and he started swimming again, only to pause and rest in a floating position.

This time, I followed the lead of someone online. When I rescued him/her (I'll assume it's a him) with a skimmer net on a long pole, I set both down on the deck while I grabbed a kitchen towel. The rabbit was probably cold and in shock and so didn't move while I went into the house to grab the towel.

Rabbit Rescue #3

I came out and carefully wrapped the baby rabbit in the towel and just held and rubbed him to try and dry him off and get him warm. The little bundle didn't move a muscle except for the regular twitching of his nose. The nose and the open eyes were my cue that he was still with me.

Rabbit Rescue #4

I brought him in to see Patty and together we later left him wrapped up in the hand towel and put him by the opening where he enters to get under the back deck. When we came back to check on him, he had made his way into his home. Such a meek and mild animal. What a treat to hold him.

Next I had a Doctor's appointment to get an echo performed. On the way home, I hit a traffic jam due to some construction but finally arrived and picked up Patty to celebrate an early Mother's Day with a mom's shopping spree and an eat-out lunch.

The phone kept me busy while mom did the shopping and then we enjoyed lunch together at the Cracker Barrel or, as we like to call it, the Crackle Barrel.

We wrapped up the shopping spree at Patty's favorite - Goodwill. I even picked up a couple of .99 cent DVD movies. While in that area of the store I had a strange and interesting encounter with a young man whom I would say was probably 16 or so.

He was opening and closing DVD cases and looking inside of each while talking to himself. I quickly realized that something was not normal and tried to leave him alone and continue about my business. But, he came over, put an arm around me, and said something that I did not understand. I smiled at him and he continued with his DVD cases.

Suddenly his mom (I assume it was his mom anyway) arrived and asked me if he had touched me. Before I could respond, she apologized. I tried to reassure her that I completely understood and that there was no problem. The young man stepped in front of me and grabbed a DVD case and opened it. She apologized again and again I reassured her that there was no problem.

It dawned on me that this was a mom with a burden and she had hoped to get him out of the house and into a more normal environment where he could visit and go on an adventure. She sort of encouraged and cheered him on as he continued to check out the DVD's and their cases. She bragged on his ability to reorganize things and I quickly and easily understood what was going on. Way to go, mom - I thought to myself!

Moments later I handed off my loot to Patty and not long after she met me at the car and we made our way home. Of course, in typical Patty style she picked up a surprise for me alongside everything else she found.

I'm so blessed!

Foot Notes

05/05/22 03:55 PM

Ran my two miles again today and strong headwinds were coming out of the south and the west, and anything in between. I still pushed hard and was quite surprised to see that I matched yesterday's data, almost down to the second.

Getting ready for workout #1 in the rotation. I'm still taking a break from the workout #3 in the rotation (core) since it tends to aggrivate my lower back. Guess I'll have to figure that one out! And, as my father always said,

Getting old is not for sissies.




More On Running

MAY 05, 2022


Headwinds

05/03/22 11:33 AM

Went for my usual two mile run today and decided to go at an easy pace on this one. Well, that is until I hit the second mile and decided to pick up the pace.

Mile one was a 9:50 pace and mile two was an 8:58. There's something to be said for more down-hill on mile two and for my ability to push harder with the end in sight.

Temperature was 80 degrees (F) which added to my thoughts for taking it at an easier pace. There was also an incredibly strong headwind coming from the northeast which did wonders for keeping me cool, but didn't help much in the pace department.

Foot Notes

05/04/22 10:08 PM

Did another two miler today and pushed a bit harder on both miles. Still a lot of headwind, this time coming from the south, which made for some tough running.

I pulled off a 9:13 and an 8:30 which netted out to an 8:51 pace. Just after mile one I merged with another runner for a couple of minutes and we talked about the hills and the heat. He said he was from Savannah and used to flat land running. I knew just what he meant! Looking back, I wish I had the presence of mind to ask his name, since he obviously lives around here.

He was doing a six miler and I'm not sure how far along he was in his run, but the heat was brutal and I was glad I was only doing two.




Cadillac Recall

MAY 04, 2022


Cadillac Recall 2

05/02/22 03:44 PM

I've been receiving recall notices on our Cadillac CTS for several years now. It's a 2003 and the recall is specific to the ignition. I've got to admit that with my lack of knowledge of (or interest in) cars, other than the fact that they get us from point A to point B, I haven't paid much attention to the recalls.

But then for some reason recently, I decided to check into things a bit more deeply. That the ignition rotates randomly didn't seem like much of a much to me, but what I found was much more concerning.

The mechanic on the YouTube video mentioned that the issue could cause a car going down the interstate to switch off. Now even that didn't seem like cause for major concern until the mechanic alluded to the idea that losing power steering at sixty miles per hour on the interstate could be a problem. I agreed. He even went as far as to say that if he had this problem, he would lock the car in the garage at home until he could get it fixed.

Of course when I went to the dealership, they wanted to inspect my car and point out all of the other work it needed. I knew that was going to happen and I knew it needed a lot of work.

But, as I told my very helpful Cadillac support person, I'm not sinking much into the car and intend to drive it until the wheels fall off. When that happens, it will be time for another one.

It all fairness, The Mobile, Alabama Cadillac Dealership was excellent. The waiting room was super comfortable with a large screen TV featuring yesterday's golf match and also offered snacks, cokes, and coffee. They even provided free wifi, and I could go online with my phone to check the status of the progress on my car.

My service technician came in a few times to update me and they even offered a free car cleaning service upon departure. More interesting was the wall of fame featuring past employees and their contributions to the company. I thought it was quite a nice touch.




Leading By Example

MAY 03, 2022


Leading By Example

05/01/22 11:08 AM

Just finished a good run and thought I would start this post before I get to my workout. Today is Core day so I'm in no rush to start LOL! And now, to the focus of today's post.

As I get older, I continue to see the wisdom in all that my parents said and did. They tried to lead by example, but I'm not sure I was smart enough to take my cue from their leadings. I had to find my own path.

The thing that's interesting to me is how much I have become like my parents as I have grown older. Back when I was in the 5th or 6th grade I remember mom telling me that she wished she had a tape recorder so she could play back for me some of the things I was saying. Every time I recall that story, I thank God that she didn't have that tape recorder. I'm sure I said some very foolish things.

Dad was a man of few words, but as I have aged, I've begun to understand why. There's great wisdom in guarding our words, and giving careful thought to each utterance. Gosh, I can go back in my mind's eye and see so many instances where dad did or said something that I thought was coming from an uninformed perspective. Boy, was I wrong! Such wisdom and I missed it! Had to learn it the hard way. And, my oh my those were some hard ways!

Wish I could travel back in time and thank mom and dad for their patience in dealing with things in me that weren't known back then. Things like Asperger's and the Autism spectrum. Although I've never been formally diagnosed, an Autism diagnosis sure does answer a lot of my questions.

There were lots of things that I wasn't programed to be able to pick up on, but as those things have come into focus for me, I'm so sorry that mom and dad aren't around to enjoy more of the fruit of their labors.

Thank you Lord for opening my eyes.




Running

MAY 02, 2022


Running 2

05/01/22 7:00 AM

This year has kicked off to be an exciting one in the Health and Fitness category and with Running in particular. There's so much to cover.

We moved to a new neighborhood at the end of last year and it's been quite an adjustment to run on slopes for a guy who is used to training runs, races, and even treadmill runs on flat surfaces. That's made quite a difference in the training runs.

To start with, I've done away with distance training and races and even the 5k distance since three miles a day is more than I want to run. I'm doing two milers each and every day and it has worked out perfectly in terms of my recovery and my commitment to the training runs. The hills (slopes?) are different but I'm getting used to them. In fact, I'm very pleasantly surprised at my ability to pick up my pace on an up-hill slope, especially one that is long enough to provide a serious workout.

I really like the two mile course I have set out and it's one that avoids all of the serious hills in the 'hood. About the time I get to a serious down-hill or up-hill slope, it's usually time to turn around and head in a different direction. The last 7/10ths of a mile retraces the first 7/10ths of a mile and that includes a couple of sloping cul-de-sacs. Fortunately for me, the last mile has more down slopes than the first mile and that provides for a better pace and time.

I'm usually running somewhere close to a nine minute miles (plus or minus) and I still need to confirm the distances if I'm going to continue to avoid my wonky GPS readings. Either way, I'm delighted with the results I'm getting.




Weight Bench Hack

MAY 01, 2022


Weider Bench Hack

04/30/22 1:15 PM

I purchased a Weider Weight Bench from Walmart several months ago and was pleased with everything except the seat. The back rest was fine but because the seat (the piece I sit on) is adjustable (two positions) it is a bit loose and rocks when I sit on it.

Fortunately, I don't need the second position, so I removed the piece that supports the second position and tightened everything down without it and now the seat is solid and doesn't rock when I'm sitting on it.

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