Thursday, 30 October 2014

3408 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"Hero worship"

That is what I felt last Saturday when I went to Winedale to watch 5 actors from the London Shakespeare group perform "Much Ado About Nothing". No not the play but before the play. When I got to Round Top I discovered the town was celebrating October Fest. The town was jammed with cars and I could not find a parking space so I drove out toward Warrenton and stopped at the "Junk Gypsies". I am looking for something to use to display my collection of George Jones and Son ware and also scientific paraphernalia. Of course I found exactly what I wanted but they were using the items to display their sales products. So they did not want to sell. I asked if they could keep an eye open in their trips and give me a call if they found something near what I wanted. After that I drove back to Round Top and found a convenient parking space. I was setting on the back patio of "The Stone Cellar" drinking a Shiner Bock Beer I looked up and saw one of my favorite writers.

Leon Hale was a columnist writing for the Houston Post when we moved to Houston. Later when the Post folder he went to work for the Houston Chronicle and continued writing the same kind of column. He drove around Texas and wrote about distinctive, but very seldom famous, people. He retired this year and lives in the Winedale area. I have every book he wrote and a collection of most of his newspaper columns. I tried as I was leaving to stop and tell him how much I had enjoyed his work over the years. Instead all I could manage was a nod of my head and choked out "Thanks!"

A school chum sent me a recording of Rolling with the Flow sung in Czech. I understand not a single word but do love the sound. It is funny how the Czech tried to avoid their heritage in the 50s and 60s but now seem to have fallen back in love with their history and heritage.

Click on the picture to play the recording. Bath time and time for bed.

Posted by wayne at 11:46 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Wednesday, 29 October 2014

3407 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"I am weary"

I left my apt before 9 am to go to the Houston Baptist Fitness Center with all, I thought, the required paperwork. I was hoping to get a designed program of exercise suitable for my needs. Unfortunately my assigned trainer was not scheduled to work until afternoon. So I changed into my bathing suit and hit the pools. I swam 200 yards in 8 stages and gradually increased the length of time I held my breath. I realized during the time that I really need to learn how to swim on the surface and breathe at the same time. Then I spent 10 minutes in a 89F pool before moving to the hot pool. The temp is 104F. While I was setting on the bench a couple of women in bikinis joined me. They were from Clarewood House and I know both are well into their 80s. If I had not known I would have guessed late 40 to mid 50s. Really fine with no jiggly body parts. I think I like being old. One asked me if I minded if she turned on the bubblers. "No" I said. She turned it on and we bobbled like fishing floats. I did not know bubblers could be so strong. After 20 minutes of buffeting I adjourned to the steam room. Fifteen minutes in the steam room turned all my bones to jelly. I barely made it back to my car.

When I walked in my room Rascal greeted me and guided me to the bed. I fell into bed and slipped into a wonderful 4 hour nap. Tonight I turned on the TV to watch game 7. Even though I like the Kansas City Royals I flipped channels when they tied to score. Rascal took one look at my selection "American Pickers" and buried his head in the covers. He does not like Frank!

I need to mount a mirror on my desk so that I can watch TV while working at my desk. Well now to shower and finish breathing exercises before bed time. Have a good night.


Posted by wayne at 9:43 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 28 October 2014

3406 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!


The last fortnight has been a dizzying whirl of learning, working, and so forth and so on. Each night after a hastily thrown together meal I think "Wayne you have got to set down and post so the grannies will know you yet live". And then I think "While you are at it, why don't you write up a menu for the next 5 days meals." Sometime around midnight to 2 am I wake, wipe as much of the drool as I can from the keyboard, lift Rascal off my numbed right arm, rise from my desk, turn right, take 2 steps and fall into bed, rumpled covers and all. My alarm wakes me at 4 AM for my first breathing treatment of the new day and my levothyroxine pill. Then I dish out half a can of fancy feast for Rascal and watch to see if he eats or ignores. Once he decides he has had enough of a certain cuisine he will not ever eat it again. I have discovered a rescue/rehabilitation center that will accept unopened cans of cat food. The guy told me that they get a good amount of cat food because house cats are such snobbish and picky eaters thanks to their owner's.

I usually have breakfast in the Clarewood House Restaurant but often the cost seems too much so I fix "breakfast" in my room. I can foresee that learning to be a good cook is going to take longer than I am likely to have. Setting fire to eggs in a microwave is a sure sign that the cook is not very adept!

I have been measuring and recording my blood pressure since 2011 and have recently discovered, I believe, a correlation. It seems that before my RV trip and subsequent pneumonia my blood pressure had increased more than significantly. Then after being released from Memorial Herrman Hospital to Clarewood House my blood pressure is lower than I have ever seen. In the last 4 days I believe my BP has trended even lower. I suspect there are several reasons for the lower BP but all are related to our attempt to breath and walk properly.

Yesterday was my first time to work out in the Houston Baptist University Fitness Center. I neglected to inform the staff that I needed a trainer so I did not have an assigned trainer. I did not really want one because all I really wanted was time in their heated swimming pool. I tell you the thirty minutes I spent in that pool bobbing around and sorta swimming was almost as good as I remember sex was. Thursday I will return and wait for an assigned personal trainer so we can plan a useful activity program.

Today the installer for DirectTV setup my receiver and programmed the controller. Finally I have TV again but the only thing on that I would like to see is game 6 of the World Series. I cannot wrap my mind around their schedule guide so I have not yet found the Turner Classic Movie Channel. I had dinner tonight in the restaurant. Not having to cook the meal, open face hamburger with crinkle cut French fries, made the burger almost as good as a Whataburger. I need to make my bed and settle down to watch the Series.

One of the many reasons I am glad I am the ninth floor is the view of sunsets. Tonight's was good.

Be most excellent to one another.

Posted by wayne at 8:39 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 17 October 2014

3395 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"Ssshhh" We had another of those secret Houston days. If the rest of the world learned that Houston had such fine weather they would all move here. "

I spent most of the days reclined with my feet above my heart and Rascal nestled in my right arm pit. We both enjoyed the warm sun and napped like professional bed testers. My feet have remained swollen and sensitive despite doubling up on the Lasix. After a full day of lollygagging around they are visibly less swollen and way less sensitive.

This routine of breathing treatments has gotten old. I find myself having to preach a sermon of "good health" to myself before I don the mask and turn on the atomizer. I cannot stop until my prescription runs out in December. The treatment fluids cost $3 per day and I have already paid. Medicare does not cover this kind of therapy.

I opened a can of Progresso Chicken Pot Pie soup for dinner but the longer I looked at is the less appetizing it became. I finally poured it into a zip lock bag for tomorrow and went to KFC for chicken breast and corn on the cob. I am glad I bought two because Rascal ate almost a whole breast by himself. That is good because the stuff made him thirsty and he ended up with a mighty long drink. He had not been drinking much for the last several days.

I guess I am going to have to get emphatic with building maintenance or management. Four days ago I told them I needed to have my pictures hung. I was told they would get to it tomorrow. Well it has been 4 tomorrows and the pictures are still propped against the walls where I want them hung. Same story about my new hospital bed. The one I am using belongs to ECC and needs to be returned.

And I guess the same thing applies to the TV. Direct TV has assured me I am next on their Clarewood installation list.

Off to take a shower and to bed!



Posted by wayne at 9:07 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Tuesday, 28 October 2014 5:40 PM CDT
Thursday, 16 October 2014

3394 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"Colder than a witch's ...."

Every morning this week I have regretted not having long pants. It is so cold I cannot, wearing shorts and a tee shirt, read my paper on the front porch overlooking the garden. The lady who is altering my pants will have them back to me next Wednesday. Fortunately the afternoons have been mild to hot. I much prefer hot. The cleaning woman was here today. She piddled and putzed for about 30 minutes and even washed my single plate and fork. She has a strange accent so I only understood about 10% of what she said. I did get that she or another woman will be coming every other Thursday to clean my room. She was pissed that I did not have a plastic bag in the trash can. So she dumped the contents into a white plastic bag and then dropped that into a larger black plastic bag. Such a waste of good chemicals and such an unnecessary load on a landfill.

I made three trips to the first floor to get the mail. I did not even receive any bulk junk mail. Maybe tomorrow the checks will arrive.

A lifelong girl friend of our SD and her family have semi-adopted Cameron since his grandmother died. They have been going to his football games. She sent me a great picture of Cam in his uniform at the game. He plays defensive end. I cannot find out whether he is on the freshman team or JV or whatever.

In any case he likes it for the same reason his brother and I liked football. We got to hit people hard! I find it hard to believe that just a few years ago he was a skinny short little twerp and a very good second base man. Now he is much taller than I but not so tall as his cousin in Austin. Both those boys make me feel like a midget.

I tried my best to stay with my feet elevated today. I have a lot of reading to catch up so I could kill two birds with one stone. Unfortunately I forgot to factor in Rascal's uncanny ability to put me to sleep. Every time I got comfortable with reading he would leap on the bead "fluff up" a sleeping spot in the crook of my arm and proceed to purr me to slumber land. I woke just in time for my breathing exercises.
Tonight for dinner I had a slice of 3 day old Papa John's pizza and half a large serving of McDonald's French fries nuked for a minute. I had determined to have a microwaveable Kimchi noodle dish but the name and the thought of the production method put me off the idea. Maybe tomorrow?

Time for shower and prayer time.

Posted by wayne at 9:20 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Tuesday, 14 October 2014

3392 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"Aint that just like a cat!"

I posted that poem yesterday because I could not think of a single thing that I did that would interest even a piss ant. However, last night after posting the entry Rascal acted more like a kitten than he has in the past few years. He played with a pretend mouse under the bedcovers just long enough for me to grab my camera to make a video. Then he stopped and looked at me as if to say "you will not document me being goofy!"

After breakfast and exercise I drove to Petsmart and bought cat play toys on a stick. When I got home he went ballistic and started dancing around me. Obviously the toys have been dusted with catnip. He jumped and pounced and "death kicked' the feathered thingies to a fine howdy do then promptly rolled over and acted bored. Yep I had the camera in my off hand trying to capture a short video. I put all the toys on the top most shelf in his litter box closet. Every time he goes by the open door he looks up to that shelf. I imagine he will find some way to get to the toys.

Tomorrow Betty is due to arrive at 9:30 am to start the process of altering my long pants to fit me. I think I am 42 in the waist with 28 inch inseam. Nobody makes pants with such freakish sizes. She charges $8 each for alterations. She is arriving just in time as the weather has turned cold and I need long pants.

I am missing TV so much that I stopped at a sports bar on the way home just to watch TV. Then I discovered the rum and coke drinks were almost $10 per double. I do not miss TV that much. I cannot imagine what is taking Direct TV so long to complete the hook up. They already service several other apartments on this floor.

Time for breathing therapy and night time medications. Be most excellent to one another.


Posted by wayne at 9:15 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Monday, 13 October 2014

3391 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"taken from a book of poetry my Dad won in school"



Like liquid gold the wheat field lies,
A marvel of yellow and russet and green,
That ripples and runs, that floats and flies,
With the subtle shadows, the change, the sheen,
That play in the golden hair of a girl,-
A ripple of amber-a flare
Of light sweeping after-a curl
In the hollows like swirling feet
Of fairy waltzers, the colors run
To the western sun
Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.

Broad as the fleckless, soaring sky,
Mysterious, fair as the moon-led sea,
The vast plain flames on the dazzled eye
Under the fierce sun's alchemy.
The slow hawk stoops
To his prey in the deeps;
The sunflower droops
To the lazy wave; the wind sleeps-
Then swirling in dazzling links and loops,
A riot of shadow and shine,
A glory of olive and amber and wine,
To the westering sun the colors run
Through the deeps of the ripening wheat.

O glorious land! My western land,
Outspread beneath the setting sun!
Once more amid your swells, I stand,
And cross your sod-lands dry and dun.

I hear the jocund calls of men
Who sweep amid the ripened grain
With swift, stern reapers; once again
The evening splendor floods the plain,
The crickets' chime
Make pauseless rhyme,
And toward the sun
The colors run
Before the wind's feet
In the wheat!

---Hamlin Garland



Posted by wayne at 9:30 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Sunday, 12 October 2014

3390 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!


The label does not list it but I am willing to bet that the Maruchan Instant Lunch Chicken Flavor cup of noodles contains something similar to Monosodium Glutamate. A couple hours after having it for dinner I felt like I was having a heart attack. That is my normal reaction to MSG. I aint gonna quit the Maruchan cup of soup just because of a little suffering. How can a cheapskate pass up a meal for $ 0.28?

Rascal and I spent most of the day staring out the window and watching bands of rain sweep through the west Houston area. It is dramatic to watch the weather from the ninth floor. This recent cold spell has all us old folks shivering in our rooms. Never mind that the building temperature never wavers from 76F. Yesterday the others were either wrapped in a blanket or had a blanket folded in their lap. Not me! I am a trainee and graduate of Carolyn Robertson's school of "enduring winter's grip all year" academy.

I finally have on hand all the things I want mounted of the walls. I will ask building maintenance to hang them tomorrow. The Farhoudi will go over my desk. The Pueblo pottery piece on the wall over the TV and next to it will be a painting that is reminiscent of Georgia O'Keefe. Two pencil drawings by my ex-barber's husband will be above the couch. My battery powered chiming pendulum clock will be mounted on the wall over the dining table. My Bendoes will display on the chest of drawers. Selected pieces of my George Jones and Sons "Ruined Abbey" collection will rotate for display to the TV stand. I am searching for a proper small display cabinet for my other unusual George Jones pieces. Some are too fragile for permanent display. I have several dozens of pounds of cardboard and plastic film to haul to the waste collection area. I was saving some of the cardboard for scratching material for Rascal but he had seemingly outgrown the need to sharpen his claws. Presently he has his head resting on my right arm and is leaned against my chest. That is his way of telling me it is time for bed.

That chest of drawers has provided me an excellent space for posting reminders to myself. I bought interlocking pieces of quarter inch thick cork at "Michaels" and mounted them on the back of the chest of drawers with double-sided tape. Now I have my own private bulletin board near my desk.

Saturday I found a new charge ($40) on my AT&T wireless bill for "visual voicemail". Whatever the hell that is! I immediately contacted them via the recommended website and ended up in a "chat" with some guy. He did some kind of magic and told me the feature was removed. I was happy! He also convinced me to drop the level of data from 10 Gb to 2Gb. Two Gigabits is about 6 times what we have actually been using. That will drop my monthly bill for 4 cell phones to $140.

Shortly my brother called while I was indisposed. I found no voicemail message from him so I called him. He said that a recording told him that I did not have my voicemail box set up yet. Horseshit!! I have had voicemail on my cell phones since I was 60. I check and sure enough no voicemail. All those recording of Carolyn gone! All the grandkids young voices gone! Fortunately I am geeky enough to have copied all the messages to my computer hard drives and online websites. The guy must have erased all voicemail. I envision several heated sessions tomorrow with ATT to set up a new voicemail box. The increasing level of technical incompetence at ATT is frightening.

Monday I need to check with the business office about the status of my TV installation and membership in the fitness club. Clarewood House pays half the fee for the fitness club. The club has heated swimming pools and exercise equipment and lots of people my age. Very few "hot chicks" that led me to injure myself years ago in a "24 hr" fitness facility. Yes old men still do silly stuff to impress females!
I also need to resume my glass of prune juice with breakfast.

I don't know about you but I am disgusted with the American News media constant warning and fear mongering about Ebola. So far maybe 10,000 have died over a many year period. According to World Health Organization:
"Influenza occurs globally with an annual attack rate estimated at 5%-10% in adults and 20%-30% in children. Illnesses can result in hospitalization and death mainly among high-risk groups (the very young, elderly or chronically ill). Worldwide, these annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths. "
See those numbers? That is annually 25 to 50 times the total Ebola death rate accumulated to date. The only purpose of the American News Media is to frighten and control the American people.

Posted by wayne at 11:09 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Saturday, 11 October 2014

3389 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"An honest answer
is like a kiss on the lips."

The last two pieces from IKEA have been assembled and true to form one does not fit in the space I mentally allocated to it. The 6 drawer chest would have fit in the closet but the drawers could not be opened. My solution was to extend it perpendicular to the wall where the dining table is and so close to the door to the bathroom that the door just closes. Honestly, I like the arrangement better as the chest now acts as a screen between the living area and my "office". Reminds me of a cubbyhole office I once had.

The back of the chest has a great area for pasting notes and reminders to myself. Plus I can use the top to display some of my small bric-a-brac.

The long table on the other hand is a wonderful allocation of the space under the window. The only down size is that the table stands taller than the window sill. Rascal does not see that as a disadvantage because now he can sit in the window and watch the world go by. I will not be able to put a chair or stool between the table and bed but no matter. I will just use the bed for arse support and when tired or nappy just fall back and snooze. I have already transferred the Clarewood phone and the two books I am reading to the "crafty" table.

Thanks to my son-in-law's inspiration these two took less than2 hour to put together.

I mentioned last time about the bold pattern of the new couch slip cover.

I think it looks great with the two small pillows. Just visible is an Afghan my mother made eons ago. It is wonderful how the afghan complements the colors of the pillow and slip cover.

This afternoon Clarewood house had a party to celebrate the 99th birthday of a resident. Much was made of his being part of the "greatest generation". I like the praise and support those guys got and get but the kids in military service today in hell holes like Iraq, Afghanistan, Korea and others, IMHO, are also of the "greatest generation". The battle wounds of today devastate families much more than deaths did in WWII. I don't mean to belittle any but 50 years suffering PSTA from IEDs seems much worse than death at an early age.
During the slide show, now everybody does them and with dazzling effects, I began to think of Dad and wondering how he would have changed as he aged. He would have been 96 this year. Then I began to cry because I miss him terribly. Dad has not visited me since August. I wonder what is wrong.

Posted by wayne at 9:04 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Friday, 10 October 2014

3388 Days since retiring July 1, 2005!

"I wonder"

Clarewood House is next to what used to be one of the premier shopping malls of Houston. But scalliwags, scoundrels and corrupt politicians tarnished Sharptown's image and it fell into disrepute. Now it has become an Asian/Latino shopping mall. There are several strange looking eateries in the mall and a huge grocery store. I think soon I will venture across the street and sample the atmosphere of the mall. I have been told that every living language is spoken in the mall. Give me courage.

I was up early to get junior granddaughter from Hobby airport. Her college has a break so she flew toward home. It was convenient for her to land in Houston so her mother could pick her up here and yet allow us time to visit. LL seemed pleased with the appointments in my apartment. Of course she had recommendations on how she would arrange the furniture. We shall see! We had breakfast at the "Egg and I" on Westheimer. LL had eggs Benedict. I had never seen them. Poached egg sandwich with a sauce. Looked good but my Sunrise Chili Rellenos was past excellent. LL and KK put the slip cover on my couch and it now makes a rather bold statement in the room. After breakfast we walked around in the garden. By the time they left for Austin my legs had turned to rubber and it was time for breathing treatments. Afterward Rascal and I had a sweet nap. The nap was interrupted by a call from the front desk. I had two packages.

One was a set of headphones with 24 feet of cab le so I can listen to the TV without disturbing the neighbors and the other contained a modern electronic bathroom scale. I weigh 200 pounds. That is down from 228 sometime in July 2014.

My diet plan is to lose one pound. To that end I will continue my food log and weigh myself each Friday. Good night all.


Posted by wayne at 9:41 PM CDT | Post Comment | Permalink
Updated: Friday, 10 October 2014 9:43 PM CDT

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