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FEAR OF HEIGHTS

MARCH 31, 2021



Fear of Heights

If you look at the top of our roof, in the picture above, on each end there is a sizeable area that needed scraping and painting. I'm talking about an area on each end immediately below the roof line that can't be seen in the picture.

I hired the guy and his son, who we call on for all of our home improvement projects, to paint those two areas. I'm just not up to attempting any work in a place where I don't feel safe and in those two places that was the case - I just didn't feel safe climbing around on a metal roof, especially without any costly safety equipment.

In may seem odd to some folks, but in Patty's and my morning prayers we prayed together for both of them on the days they were up there. I was quite honestly scared for them the entire time they were working in that dangerous area.

I was in my office immediately below them when I heard a loud rumble above me. I dashed outside to see if they were okay and found them climbing down ladder that led from the roof to our upper deck. You guys okay?, I asked. Turns out they had a safety equipment failure and had a very close call for one of the two on what would have surely been a fatal fall to the ground over thirty feet below.

Other than some spilled paint and some painting equipment that took the fall, everything turned out to be okay. I'm so grateful for that outcome considering what could have been. The project was safely completed and everyone's back safe on the ground below.


FILE MANAGEMENT

MARCH 30, 2021



Weight Tracking

I've kept my online weight tracking system privately published, but have really enjoyed all I'm learning about text file management with PHP and HTML. It's been very interesting, as usual, to see just how much code is already out there and available to be adapted and adopted to meet my needs.

w3schools.com and php.net are great for purposes of research, but I particularly like stackoverflow.com and the interactive nature of Q&A on that site. I've found solutions for a great many of my needs on that particular site, and I've even managed to find plug-and-play examples for some of the code I needed. Best of all, everything I try to build brings with it a great deal of new examples and sample code that can be reapplied in future projects.

In my private weight tracking system, when I input and store the data, PHP defaults to store the data with the most current entries at the bottom of the file. That's fine with me overall, but it doesn't provide a very good user experience (UX) in some cases.

For example, I don't want a user having to scroll down through a long list of data to get to the most current entries. I would rather have them on top of the list so they are seen up front and on top. To avoid that problem, I found the following:

$file = array_reverse($file);

Applying a simple array_reverse allows me to reverse the order of a stored text file. That combined with a simple echo command re-sorts and displays a file with the most current data at the top of the list. Just what I wanted!


FROM JOHN TO ACTS

MARCH 29, 2021



From John to Acts

Patty and I started a morning bible study about 4 weeks ago. After just over a week, we decided to move to the book of John and take a chapter a day. Even with different versions of the bible, I usually read the first half aloud and Patty takes the second half and does the same.

Today is our last day in the book of John. God's timing couldn't have been better with us reading about the crucifixion of Jesus and that story serving as a lead-in to Easter this coming Sunday. Tomorrow we move to the book of Acts. It seems like a natural follow-up to the book of John.

I've been pleasantly surprised at how alive the scriptures have been with both of us reading aloud. I don't think we've done this before, and I've truly sensed the presence of the Holy Spirit in our reading.

In fact, it was quite special to read about the introduction of the Holy Spirit here in the book of John, not to mention the depth and breadth of the story of Jesus and his disciples. Today, we went through the introduction to Acts from my study bible and will pick up with chapter 1 tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to it.


BACK TO THE GYM

MARCH 28, 2021



Back to the Gym

PART 1

I took 26 days out of March to join Patty with a walking regimen instead of running. Despite the calorie burn and tired muscles, I was disappointed that I couldn't get my heart rate up to a challenging level. So as I mentioned yesterday, we're both shifting back to running and headed back to the gym.

I'm hoping to see more races of the non-virtual variety and to get back to one of those races every now and then just for the sake of having a goal or target behind my daily training. I don't expect to do any distance running, but I have been very encouraged with my 5K runs (and runtimes) here in 2021 and hope to aim in that direction with any races I might choose to attend.

The goal is health and fitness so I don't intend to do too much racing, but I want to run at least one or two to see how it goes and whether or not I want to add that to my training schedule over the long-term.

I know myself well enough to know that I can get very competitive and that may not be in my best interest for overall health, even if I'm just competiting with my own 5K runtimes from past runs. That's the thing about running. Anytime a change is made to the regimen, it puts me in new and relatively uncharted territory.

First things first! Let's get back to the gym and get back to the three milers. If that works out well, then I'll take a look at the race calendar, see what's available, and decide in which direction I want to go.


PART 2

Well, Patty and I had a long talk since I wrote PART 1 earlier this morning. We were struggline with our options, especially when considering the time commitment to travel to the gym. A lot came up in that discussion.

At 10:30 AM we went ahead and left for the gym. We were on the treadmills by 11:00 and with 30 minutes of running were back home just before noon.

The good news is that we both felt great about the change and have decided that the gym does the best job of meeting all of our fitness needs and desires.

Based on the treadmill data, I ran 3 miles at a 9:31 pace and burned 400 calories. Based on my Vivoactive 3 smartwatch, my AHR was 144 and MHR was 163. Regarding my five heartrate zones, it looks like I spent 75% of my time in Zone 5 and 25% in Zone 4. I'm honestly a bit surprised since, even at faster paces and longer distances, I haven't spent that much time in Zone 5 in quite a while.

There's no doubt in my mind that I can whittle my pace down to 9:00 and continue the 3 miles without much trouble. The plan is to push that even farther and faster.

We'll see...


RUNNING UPDATES

MARCH 27, 2021



Running Updates

About the time I think I've got it all figured out, I realize I don't have any of it firured out. Such is the case with my running regimen.

For the last two or three days, it's been clear to me with the biting bugs showing up that my runnning regimen was due for a seasonal change. That means doing something to get away from the biting bugs. Last year it wasn't so pretty with the pandemic thrown in the mix, but this year with the vaccines in place and things starting to loosen up, it looks like we're a go to get back to the gym.

And, it's a welcome sight to see everything fall into place like it has. Down next to the house the wind keeps the biting bugs away. However, hit the road and within the first half mile the biting bugs make their presence known. Get a bit further into the run and the buzzing and biting picks up to an unacceptable level. I wind up spending as much time focused on swatting these pesky bugs with my running towel as I do paying attention to my run. Hard to get into a groove with all of that going on!

In general, I much prefer running outside. However, the gym will be a welcome facility when it comes to the bug free environment they have to offer, not to mention the significantly cooler temps than one should expect to find on Florida's mid-summer backwoods two-lane blacktops.

I'm really looking forward to getting back to running (instead of walking) and all of the benefits that come with it - especially the higher average and max heart-rates. I guess I'll be trying to find out what level of data I'll be able to collect between my Vivoactive 3 and the data supplied by the treadmill. As long as I can get my total run time and calorie burn from the treadmill, and my heart rates from my watch, I should be good to go with keeping tabs on things.


GEEK MOVIES

MARCH 26, 2021



Geek Movies

I'm a big fan of true stories about geek stuff that have been made into movies and/or documentaries, especially when they involve other topics of interest such as political matters, financial matters, and even spiritual matters. Some of the films I've watched, enjoyed, and that fit into these categories, or are of similar ilk, include:

Anonymous
CitizenFour
Cyber War
David Koresh / Waco (multiple docs)
Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room
Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief
Inside Job
Jonestown (multiple docs)
Rogue Trader
Snowden
Spotlight
The Big Short
The Great Hack
The Imitation Game
The Man Who Knew Infinity
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg...Pentagon Papers
The Post
The Social Network
Too Big to Fail
The Fifth Estate
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks
Weather Underground
Zero Day


MOVIES & DOCUMENTARIES

MARCH 25, 2021



Movies

One of the things I truly enjoy is a good movie or documentary. Sometimes I'm looking for an entertaining feature. In other instances I'm on the hunt for a true story, the kind that often inspires and even educates. A true story in the form of a documentary is equally good if it informs and/or inspires me on a topic I find particularly interesting.

Probably the leading indicator for what I consider a great film is one that changes my life in a positive way. Or, one that brings me back to watch it again and again, often because it provides a level of depth that takes me to new places and introduces me to new things each time I watch it. Or, one that just has that magic that can bring me in and make me part of the story.

There's probably one other thing that I should mention. It's an item that most certainly distinguishes me from the typical fan of good movies. I've always been a big fan of movies about rock bands, not to mention movies with great songs or scores. SingStreet, (cast pictured above) is just one great example! Being a musician and a fan of great music from various genres definitely adds movies to my list of favorites that one might not find very often in a general list of favorites.

Still, and because of the value I place on good movies and documentaries, I've added a new section to my menu to make those posts more readily available. And, because I've posted on movies in a past life of my blog, I'll be sharing some of those posts in the initial stages of the new addition to my blog.


Doctors & Dentists

MARCH 24, 2021



Doctors and Dentists

It seems to be a season of Doctors and Dentists. We were delighted with our previous doctor, but she made a move to an office in Jacksonville, Florida. We were delighted with the way she approached our medical care and were very sorry to see her go.

On the other hand, we are very optimistic about our new doctor since we already have experience with her in her previous care for Patty's mom. In fact, she is a specialist in the arena of senior citizens and in our mid-sixties that suits us us just fine.

We've been putting off any dental care but having waited and now fully vaccinated, we decided it's time. I'm pretty sure I have at least one cavity that needs attention, and both of us are in need of a cleaning. I was quite surprised at how far out the earliest available appointment dates were, but I gave them a full go-ahead to book us with any cancellations that turn up. It seems that everyone else is doing the same thing that we're doing.

As for vision care, I broke my old pair of glasses and have already had them replaced, despite a few misfires along the way. Patty also had her appointment to secure new contacts but seems to be in need of some additional support as well.

Like I said, it seems to be a season of Doctors & Dentists.


SAYING GOODBYE

MARCH 23, 2021



Saying Goodbye

Two days ago our son arrived, and today he is headed back to the place that he and Amy call home. Our wonderful time with him came to an end far too quickly. Still, we squeezed in all the food, fellowship, laughter, and love that could have possibly been enjoyed in such a short time.

And now we say goodbye until next time. As usual, Patty and I stand by his car, do our group hug, and share time before God in prayer for safe travel, and Jonathan's safe arrival back home to his lovely bride.

As spring and summer arrive, we know it won't be long before Jonathan will be back to see us, next time with our amazing daughter-in-law, and to all enjoy this incredible piece of paradise that Patty and I call home.

Thank you Lord for such a wonderful opportunity to share life and love with family!


QUALITY TIME

MARCH 22, 2021



Quality Time

We're so blessed to have kids, in-laws, and grandsons, where time together is always quality time. And with our son it's never any different. He arrived yesterday and by the time he leaves tomorrow it will be too soon. It would be too soon if he left after a week or even a month. But, it's good to share quality time with him while he is here.

It was so neat to have him join us on our daily three mile walk today. It was such a joy to share time with him and to have him experience the joys that we experience every day on a walk together in this beautiful countryside with which we are blessed.

A visit from Jonathan is sure to include a full slate of late nights. It's like we don't want to miss a moment together. Sharing around important topics like life, love, and family are sure to take us to deep places. Still we always manage to pick up right where we left off the last time we were together.

Lord, thank you for the blessing of Quality Time!


DO YOU BELIEVE?

MARCH 21, 2021



Do You Believe

A couple of days ago I wrote about faith based films, and how much I've grown to love good stories in that genre. When I find a movie that seems to have the potential to combine encouragement with inspiration, and that might actually touch me in a potentially positive and life-altering way, I'm willing to go all in!

Yesterday, I watched just such a movie. If it isn't deserving of an award, I would at the very least provide it with an honorable mention.

Now, I'm the first to admit that when I watch the trailer of a faith based film, anything that hints of a cliché makes me a bit nervous. Do I really want to invest my valuable time in watching the movie? On the other hand, is there enough in the trailer to persuade me of a story with real depth? If so, then I'm ready and willing to take the risk and will dive in on it.

Such was the case with Do You Believe? It turned out to be a faith based film that was well worth the risk and provided me with two hours of time well spent!

I hope to find many more faith based films like it!


COMPANY'S COMING

MARCH 20, 2021



Company's Coming

Every day I wake up with my soul-mate and consider it a blessing to enjoy yet one more day here in the heart of paradise. That God delivered to us this impossible dream is just one more example of His goodness, grace, and mercy in our lives.

Add to that the wonder of a visit from any of our kids and I'm filled with an overwhelming sense of awe. It's simply impossible for me to comprehend God's power and majesty in providing Patty and I this deep and lasting relationship with our family.

We're so looking forward to a visit for a couple of days from our son. Amy's super busy with her new job so he's going to come down for a short visit and the three of us will all enjoy some great food and fellowship. In addition to the hot mess dip, we're sure to feast on some crab stuffed, bacon wrapped, shrimp. Yum!

Thank you Lord for the amazing blessing of family and all that it entails!


FAITH BASED FILMS

MARCH 19, 2021



Faith Based Films

I love faith based films, but for a lot more reasons than one might expect. Certainly that they are faith based leads the list, but there are so many other things that attract me to this genre.

It's been amazing to watch these films literally take off in terms of the quality involved. Not only are we seeing larger and larger budgets with better and better production values, cast, and crew, but the stories run deeper than ever before.

Often based on true stories (a personal favorite of mine) writers deliver heart-felt themes like never before and are no longer afraid to approach difficult questions and controversial topics. What was once a genre full of clichés has led to an arena filled with cast and crew members more able and equipped than ever before to reach out to both believer and non-believer alike.

Whether I'm searching for wholesome entertainment, thought-provoking story lines, or a combination of the two, there is much to be found out there these days in this up-and-coming reality-driven trend.


BUG FIXES

MARCH 18, 2021



Bug Fixes

I mentioned yesterday that I needed to correct a bug (problem) with the way my online log was performing. It works, but it's not performing in the manner in which I intend it to perform.

Turns out I am able to just click the Comment button (for the online comments) or the Submit button (for the online weight tracking log) without entering a respective comment or daily weight and the result is a blank row of data in the file.

I discovered the ability to make the comment and weight fields required to prevent this problem from occurring. It was a nice and easy fix once I searched the internet to find a coded example of the required attribute for a form field. That's all it took and things shifted to good working order.

And, now to chase down the coding approach to sort and save the file with the most current row up top and the least current row at the bottom. I don't want to have a user scroll through a large set of data to locate the most current information.

This coding exercise may prove to be a bit more difficult than I would have anticipated. That's because similar coding examples that I've seen so far have tended to demand a lot more effort than I would have imagined.


ONLINE WEIGHT LOG

MARCH 17, 2021



Online Weight Log

I set up a private online weight log using the same technology I developed for entering and reviewing comments - except I'm tracking my weight on a daily basis and publishing it privately.

I'm basically doing this to shift my weight maintenance log from my computer to my phone. I like the idea of having that data readily available no matter my location. I also like the idea of being able to enter that data remotely.

In yesterday's post, I mentioned a bug in terms of the way this new technology performs versus the way I want it to perform. I'll have the same problem with this new online weight log until I determine how to correct it.

I also want to make one other change and track the new data at the top of the log instead of tracking it at the bottom of the log as is currently the case. I've seen coded examples of this and hope to be able to plug in the new code and make the desired change. If/when I get it working, I would like to inject the same change to my comments feature to keep the most current comments at the top of the log.


MORE ON COMMENTS

MARCH 16, 2021



More on Comments

After additional thought, I decided to go ahead and add a feature that provides a limited form of comments to the website. I added the capability for general comments, which can be placed on one location only for both writing and reading about any post.

The feature is accessed from the comments menu item over to the left and immediately below the blog menu item. I doubt the feature will be used very much, but I thought it might be fun to develop and offer - just in case.

As of this writing, comments can be added and read, but there is also a bug in the way it operates versus the intended way it should operate. Hopefully, I'll get that corrected soon.


ADIRONDACK CHAIRS

MARCH 15, 2021



Happy Pi Day

Yesterday, I managed to get a first coat of white semi-gloss on two old Adirondack chairs. I have no idea how much life they have left in them, but they sure are comfortable and it's a beautiful view to the gulf from the location on the seawall where we've placed them.

After lunch today we got in our daily three mile up-tempo walk, and when we got back I applied a second (final) coat of paint to both chairs. We're giving them a full day to dry and then looking forward to putting them to good use.


HAPPY PI DAY

MARCH 14, 2021



Happy Pi Day

Geeks, unite! It's Pi day!


THE FINISH LINE

MARCH 13, 2021



The Finish Line

Today I crossed the finish line on the first phase of my painting project.

I finished up the stilts and diagonals and there were a lot of each! In fact, I've finished up everything on the ground level and second level. And, as I mentioned before, I finally painted the bottom of those 2 flights of stairs.

Next, after I catch up on some much needed rest, I need to paint the top of the steps on the third (top) flight of stairs. And, then it's off to the third level where I need to put a coat on the outside of the house and on the decks around the house. I've already done all of the (white) trim, so it's going to be all about gray the rest of the way.

I've got two gallons left of the gray remaining, and I have no idea just how far that's going to take me.

I guess we'll see.


EXHAUSTION

MARCH 12, 2021



Exhaustion

Exhaustion:

1. A state of extreme physical or mental fatigue.

2. The action or state of using something up or of being used up completely.

Yeah, that sounds about right.

Including a quick run to the store I put in 10 hours of painting today and a bit of heavy lifting for one of Patty's garden projects. She has an amazing eye for what looks good out on our canal side and gulf side decks. She also has the necessary green thumb for turning a wonderful vision into a beautiful reality.

Besides being completely spent after a long day of painting, I have some new aches that I haven't been left with on any of my prior days of painting. You see, I did an unusual amount of painting with a roller attached to my 20' extension. And, with that setup, I did a great deal of looking straight up in the air and am left with a very tired and sore neck.

I'm guessing I have about half a day's worth of painting to finish this particular phase of the project and look forward to moving on to the final few phases which shouldn't demand such a high level of physical effort.

Bring it!


5 GALLONS OF PAINT

MARCH 11, 2021



5 Gallons of Paint

Well, it looks like I bragged on Ace Hardware a bit too soon. I needed some more gray paint and they were out of the base that I needed in the one gallon size. I almost went with a different base but realized I was going to need a lot more for all that I want to get done and asked them if they had the base I needed in the five gallon size.

Voila!

And with that I took my first step into what felt like the commercial world of painting. As a newbie to the world of managing those large (and heavy!) five gallon containers, I decided to pour some of the batch into a few of my empty and more manageable one gallon containers.

Cue the chicken noises!

I couldn't help it. I imagined trying to clean up a spilled mess in the storage room or on the concrete foundation below the house and opted to put the yard at risk instead. I was much more at home killing a patch of grass and a few bugs than setting myself up for a complicated clean-up task!

Did I mention those five gallon containers are heavy?! I bought the little spout that is easily installed in the top of the container and attempted to make my first pour. Wow, no airhole in the container meant that the pouring process started out very slowly. Oh, and did I mention those five gallon containers are heavy?!

After placing the five gallon bucket spout directly above the first empty gallon container and finally turning the five gallon container completely upside down, the glugging sound kicked in and the pouring process jumped into hyper speed.

Moments later the glug, glug sound came to an end and the task was finished. Other than sacrificing about a tablespoon of paint, a few blades of grass, and a potential bug or two, I thought the pour went pretty well.


MORE PAINTING

MARCH 10, 2021



More Painting

Well, it looks like I'm going to be in house painting mode for a while now. I dropped Walmart as my paint supply store and picked up Ace Hardware. I should have done that a long time ago. While more expensive, Ace stays well stocked and has a big advantage over Walmart in the technology they use for things like matching paint colors, which came in very handy when trying to get ACE to match the Old Monterey Gray from Walmart.

Today, Patty and I dropped by Ace to pick up 2 more gallons of gray paint, and some extra supplies such as brushes, rollers, and paint roller pan inserts. Patty picked up several packs of seeds to plant and it was a pleasant surprise when one of the ACE employees came out to the car to take our buggy back into the store. You just don't see service like that much anymore.

We also picked up two applications for our new doctor, dropped off books and DVD's at the library, stopped by Goodwill, and made a grocery run to Walmart to follow through with Patty's new plan to buy for two weeks at a time.

On the painting front today, I painted the detail around the stilt that contains most of the utility connections and I also knocked out two big goals with the unpainted area beneath two of the three flights of stairs and the large panel on the canal side of the house. That large panel covers an outside wall on one of the large second level storage rooms and it drank 2/3rds of a gallon due to the rough texture and its dire need to be painted. It also required the 20' roller extension poll which made the job a good bit more taxing after already taking on a long and busy day!

On the health front I did a weight check and was back in my goal range after 10 days of being one to three pounds above it. Patty and I also got in a nice 3 mile up-tempo walk in the beautiful weather before attacking the painting tasks.


HOUSE PAINTING

MARCH 09, 2021



House Painting
Wow! Did I think I had challenges painting the stilts under our house? I don't think I could even live in the house on stilts pictured above!

Well, our routine has become more and more refined toward the things that are priorities in our lives. I've said it before, but it really is interesting to see how much there still is to learn about life in this senior season.

Other that a visit to the Walmart optometrist to pick up some new contacts for Patty, and some paint for me, today is going to be all about painting the house. I made great progress yesterday with nothing more than a paint brush used on all of the shorter stilts under the house - the ones that support the second level.

Today, I pick up where I left off yesterday, but with several gallons of new paint, a roller for the lower part of the longer and higher stilts, a 20' extension to attack the higher portion of those stilts and diagonal supports, and finally, the same roller and extension on some of the higher stairway supports.

All of the stilts have been caulked. As such, the place should look like a new penny from the street when all of that gets covered with the gray paint. That's a sight I really look forward to seeing.

Not sure how long all of that will take, but when I'm done with that part of the project I'm headed up toward the main level. I'll start with painting beneath the stairs we had replaced, painting the top flight of our three flights of stairs, painting the cypress shingles, and finally painting as much of the deck as I can stand and feel led to paint, and one or two iffy looking spindles on the deck rails.

So, here goes...


BLOG COMMENTS

MARCH 08, 2021



Blog Comments

I spent some time yesterday developing a feature to record and display comments on a blog post. It was fun to build, but I do not intend to roll it out on a site-wide basis.

It was more about the fun in creating it than introducing a relatively unused feature to the blog. After all, I'm breaking all of the rules that need to be followed in order to develop a consistent and dependable readership.

NOTE: Since creating this post, I decided to roll-out comments just in case someone wanted to comment. As of this update (3/21/21) the comment feature has not been used but can now be found in the upper portion of the left menu.


MORE GOD STUFF

MARCH 07, 2021



More God Stuff

I'm honestly amazed at all that God is doing in Patty and me. Our morning Bible study has brought with it all sorts of tie-ins to real life. The comments we share and the spiritual questions we ask ourselves are always great lead-ins to real life issues and the honest day-to-day, all about life, questions we have.

And from the answers come extra stimulation to do a better job with the things which we might consider our required daily routines - everything from taking better care of ourselves to taking better care of our home and all of the things with which we have been so blessed.

We also have agreed that we want to get back to a prayer time before we go to bed at night. For me, that is mostly born out of a grateful heart and my need to express my gratefulness to the Lord, at the end of the day, for all He has done and is doing in our lives.

Each year, Patty selects a new word upon which to focus in her prayer life and in her day-to-day activities. I've tried to join her in that leading, but for several years now I haven't been able to get beyond the concept of gratefulness and the significant way in which that concept has changed, and continues to change, my life for the better.

We both agree that that we really like all that God is doing in us and the way He has brought about a more concentrated focus upon Him in our lives. I remember, when I used to still be in the work-world, that I was looking forward to the free time retirement would provide, in order to give more of myself and my time back to God. Well, now that I'm here, in this wonderful world of retirement, I'm so grateful that God has encouraged and enabled me to stay true to that desire of my heart.


ANOTHER BUSY DAY

MARCH 06, 2021



Another Busy Day

The combination of temps still in the 50's and strong gusty winds is not going to make for a good walking day. Looks like we're going to take this one off. We were also supposed to have rain mixed in with this, but the weather prognosticators are backing off of that one.

With all of the wind, I'm still not ready to pull out the paint brushes and rollers. We're supposed to have some very good days next week and I'm planning to get back to my painting project with the arrival of better weather.

For our bible study we decided to choose a book and do one chapter a day. I read the first half out loud and Patty reads aloud the second half. If there's anything that seems of significant importance from my study bible, I share that as well. Finally, we share with each other anything that the Holy Spirit has prompted within us about what we've read to each other.

We started our study yesterday in Proverbs and went through Chapter 2 today. The study seems vey alive to me, and I believe we both agree that it's been a great experience so far. I'm truly looking forward to all that is yet to come.

I'm also going through The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer and we both talked a little about that as well today. I've only made it through 4 chapters of a 33 chapter book so there's plenty left to read and consider.

We also decided to revamp our diet and menu yet again. There's a lot going on in that arena and I'll spare the details here, but suffice to say I'm very encouraged with the steps we are taking and the changes that should result, both in our health and our weight maintenance.

Last but not least, we're taking steps to start with a new doctor since our former doctor has moved to a practice closer to her family. Claire was a great doctor and we will truly miss her, but our new doctor was looking after Patty's mom and so we are quite familiar with her and feel very good about the change.

Oh yeah, one other thing. Since we're fully vaccinated now for Covid-19, Patty is aleady on the schedule for an eye appointment and I'm going to schedule a hearing test. I'm not looking forward to the prospects of dealing with my apparent hearing loss, but playing and teaching in loud school bands, playing in rock bands, and listening to loud music, have all taken a toll on my hearing. I guess it's time.


95 PERCENT

MARCH 05, 2021



95 Percent

Well, it's official. As of 11:15 AM today it will have been the full two weeks since we received our second Covid-19 vaccination. According to what we've read, we're supposed to now be at the full 95 percent defense against the Corona virus.

I'm not exactly sure how much this is really going to change life. After all, the Corona Virus has already changed our lives in such a way that I'm not sure my generation will ever be able to make the switch from this new normal to the old way of doing things.

I'm going to make a bold move and climb out on a limb to say that interfering with small businesses (or any businesses) for the sake of attempting to protect people from the Corona virus was, and continues to be, a big mistake. We've got to provide folks an opportunity to manage their own risks when it comes to choosing between the risk of losing one's ability to provide for their family versus the risk of becoming infected with the Corona Virus.

This is true on both sides of the equation. Not only must we defend the rights of the business owners, but we must defend the rights of the consumer who wants to engage that business. Let the government say all they want to make their view of the risks understood, but do not provide them the power to prefer one business over the other when they're going down their lists to determine who is essential and who isn't. It's like a business owner friend of mine who shared with me that he feels essential.

The government can appeal to the people it represents for help, but we can't have government employees, who will continue to receive a guaranteed paycheck, making decisions to take away people's only means of support in the name of protecting them from the pandemic. Even if it means further overcrowding of our hospitals, we've got to protect ourselves from an over-zealous government.

It really troubles me when I see a news report where a government employee enjoys his or her new-found power to enforce a lock down on whomever and whatever they wish to lock down and with absolutely no concern whatsoever for the consequences upon the person or entity being locked down.

How can we ever believe that allowing the government to remove one's only means of support is okay and the right thing to do?


BUSY DAY TODAY

MARCH 04, 2021



Busy Day Today

Busy day today! Got my daily chores out of the way early this morning and had a very nice call with Allie. So good to catch up with her and all that is going on with Josh and the grandsons over in Germany. They're doing such a great job over there!

I also cut and weed-wacked the yard and cleared all of the leaves and other stuff that was deposited by the rains and the high winds. It's always so nice to see a freshly manicured yard when the storms clear out and the weather turns nice.

Got in lunch and a 3 mile walk with Patty. I must say that lady keeps quite a pace and I had to hustle to keep up with her. It was a perfect day for a walk with the bright sun and the nice breeze feeding in off of the gulf.

The rest of the day, into the afternoon, was filled with more house painting. I finished up the deck trim and also the trim on the French doors facing the gulf. Finally finished off that gallon of white semi-gloss primer and paint and had to open a second gallon. Guess my next project will be getting a coat of gray paint on the stilts under the house, part of the staircase in front, and whatever else needs it.

I Finally had time to sit down, catch my breath, and write a blog post here around 4:00 PM. I also made a big decision and decided to abandon my fitness and weight tracking logs. The fitness log made more sense when I had goals for running races, but I'm stepping away from that in favor of my up-tempo 3 mile walks with my soul mate.

Also, the weight tracking log made more sense when I was in weight loss mode, but now that I've converted to weight maintenance and determined a range in which I would like to say, the log is no longer worth the time and effort, especially since this is going to be a life-long thing.

Patty and I have decided to do a Bible study together and I'm really looking forward to it. I'm also looking forward to reading The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

In fact, I've got a list of classics that I want to read by all of the big names in the Christian community including but not limited to Packer, Yancey, Piper, Chesterton, and of course C.S. Lewis. One or two I've already read and want to read again, but most I have not and, I'm sorry to say, I probably should have by now.

I've got a ham radio net meeting tonight followed by a Zoom meeting featuring a promising presentation on the technicals behind 5G. Should be interesting!

Like I said, busy day today!


Weather

MARCH 03, 2021



Weather
October 10, 2018: Hurricane Michael comes ashore not too far from us.

One of the things I've always enjoyed over the years is keeping up with the weather. And one of the things that has made that particularly interesting is how it connects with my amateur (ham) radio hobby.

When the weather gets really bad, it's quite common to jump on the VHF (2 meter) radio and check in with the locals to see what's going on. The weather nets, as they are called, are often active during such occurrences and those nets make for an interesting means of tracking the weather, or WX as it's often abbreviated in the ham radio hobby.

Years ago, when we still lived in Atlanta, one of the things that was always interesting was a weather net going on during the afternoon commute. As one can imagine, that tends to be the time of day when those bad storms really crank up. It was one thing to have thunderstorms to contend with during the drive home, but quite another when a tornado or two was thrown in the mix.

I remember working at the Atlanta Financial Center downtown and getting off of the elevator on the ground floor with my 2 meter walkie-talkie in hand and hearing the first reports of a tornado headed our way. The security guards must have also been keeping up with things because they were guiding us away from the outside windows to the building and encouraging folks not to leave the safety of the building until the current threat had passed.

I remember another time where I was already driving home and received a report of a tornado headed straight for the location where I was driving. When those types of reports occur and I suddenly find myself in harm's way, the fun tends to cease and concerns kick in and replace that which was fun and interesting.

I must confess that with major storms on our local radar like Hurricane Michael, my former thoughts of any exciting reports have been replaced with thoughts of the damage and life-changing events (and sometimes life-ending events) that real people are experiencing. It's sobering to say the least.

After what we've seen and experienced firsthand since we moved here to Florida, I just don't look at those serious and attention-grabbing weather reports the same way anymore.


MY NEW MOJO

MARCH 02, 2021



My New Mojo

I went for a run on Sunday after a full day of painting on Saturday and just didn't have anything left in me to push through those three miles. To top it off, I went for another run yesterday (Monday) morning after a second full day of painting on Sunday and felt like I was out of fuel before I started.

I ran the first 1.3 miles in what was probably a record slow pace for me and then slipped over to join my wife on her walk and we walked together for her last 2.3 miles. All in all, it was 3.63 miles for me according to my Garmin, but the great walking pace my wife kept for us took all that I had left in me.

I think it was a note from above that it's finally time to convert from running to walking. But, for far more reasons than one or two bad days. It's just time and without a doubt the right thing to do!

I'm really looking forward to keeping up with the exercise through walking with my wife. So, for me, it's a win/win. Continuing the calorie burn and the elevated heart rate will be a good thing, not to mention the quality time with my soul mate.

We also sat down today and made some more adjustments to our diet which will be a very good thing for me. I'm looking forward to those changes and the positive results that I'm sure will follow.

I think I've found My New Mojo!


SO MUCH TO DO

MARCH 01, 2021



So Much To Do

I haven't been on Facebook in forever so that's not the problem. And, the truth is that I don't actually have that much to do and there's plenty of time to get it done.

So, what's my problem?!!!

Well, I do tend to get intense from time to time. It's built into my ENTJ DNA and it's quite difficult to turn it off. Give me a project and I'm off to the races, running at hyper speed until it's done. Fortunately, I've got the Florida weather to keep my intensity in check and the new week is a good example.

I've got a lot of painting on my to-do list and the last two days have been perfect examples of how to achieve painter's burn-out. It's not the painting that bothers me, it's the physical exertion involved and the 'all day long' part that makes it difficult. Kick in the 'hot Florida sun' part and things can get very interesting in a real hurry.

Combine all of that with the other daily goals and it feels like a big to-do list despite being retired with all the time in the world to get everything done. But, as I mentioned, the Florida weather does a great job of managing any related stress by telling me when it's time to slow down. And, apparently the weather is making an important statement early this week.

You see, it's one thing to get a run in between rain clouds, but it's quite another to get some painting done when the threat of rain promises to make a mess of a lot of hard work. So, I'll be taking a few days off from my painting projects and enjoying a more normal schedule until the 'hot Florida sun' part decides to kick in again and reestablish the intensity level on those painting projects.

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