Tag Archives: family

It’s been a long year


So, as you can see, my appearance has changed since I last wrote here. I have glasses I like much better, and I’m without a mustache (for more than a few days) for the first time in over forty years.

I don’t have pictures of my new bike here, either. I bought another folding bike, and this one is an e-bike.

That is, it has a battery and an electric motor to give my riding a boost. Given how I lost endurance in the humidity last summer, I felt I needed the help, and I got my hands on enough money in August. This really helps! I took the pictures above in a park about ten miles from home, and I rode the bike both ways!

I decided to deliberately buy a low-end e-bike as a “starter” unit (they’re not nearly as cheap as a low-end “regular” bike), and that’s what I got. That’s okay so far.  For anyone who has trouble riding up hills or going longer distances, this is a game changer. I’m sure that what I have is not the best e-bike a person could own, but it might be enough for me. If you want one, I’d be glad to talk (or email or DM or whatever) to you about the topic. The biggest point I can make so far is the same as it is with other bicycles. Make sure it fits.

I continue my work on health issues. I finally changed my primary care. The new doctor (nurse practitioner with a doctorate in that) is, at the very least, much more willing to actually do things. She also communicates, in both directions, better than average and is not afraid of me as a “complex” patient.

If you ever saw my mother’s hearing aid, you’ll recognize this.

2017-10-27 hearing aid

That is the “demo” version of a hearing aid I’m working toward getting. It’s a lot like Mom’s hearing aid because it’s a bone conduction aid, which is the right kind for my hearing loss. I can tell you from having the demo for a week that it does me a lot of good, even in a big, loud crowd. Those cute little in-the-ear units you may have seen advertised on TV are not what I need; this is. Here’s the twist. That band holding the aid to my bone is outdated. Nowadays, the unit is called a BAHA, or Bone Attached Hearing Aid. It uses a titanium “abutment” that is implanted in the bone behind the ear. That’s what causes the delay in getting these, but also what makes it so much better than the old ones. I’ll have surgery the first of the year. After three months for the unit to bind to the bone, I’ll get the aid and a remote control. That would have been a fantasy for Mom.

My breathing improved immediately when the humidity dropped, as it always has. That gave me a nice break for a couple of weeks, then the Ohio weather changed, as it always does. Now that it’s colder, I’m still breathing well, but my sinuses are doing their usual winter antics. I’ll make a point of it that this is easier than the lung stuff. Anyhow, there’s more.

I have finally been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, or at least a “high A1C” (same thing). I am using medicine for this and trying to drastically change my eating habits. If you know me, you know the bad news is that I have a big job ahead with eating better. The good news is that I feel better a good bit of the time. For right now, I’m improvising. My eating is stranger than ever for right now, but the job of improving is under way.

On yet another topic, I’ve gone back to work on my family tree. My 23andme DNA test came back 100% Northern and Western European, about half of which was British Isles. I find that hard to believe. If any of my close relatives have had that test or have it in the future, I’d love to compare results.


It’s me again

I haven’t posted in close to two months. To be honest, I just don’t have that “passion” for self-expression that other writers seem to build on. On top of that, I get little to no feedback, including from the person who encouraged me to write almost daily, as she did. (She said she wanted to stay in touch, but she didn’t say anything about the posts. Her health deteriorated since then and she has passed on.)

Also, I’ve been taking classes online through an outfit called edX. They are free unless I want a certificate to prove I took a given class. I’m just taking them for fun, but they take up a good bit of my time.

Digital Camera

I think I posted about the front shifter cable breaking on the Diamondback. During the winter, I didn’t worry about it because I didn’t have enough energy to use anything but the low gears anyhow. As the temperatures have risen, so has my energy level. I finally fixed the cable last week and got back to riding that one, which is still the “good” bike as far as actually riding.

4-24-2017 Stream near Eureka Ave on Camp Chase Trl

This picture comes from the trail that runs near my place. I couldn’t find a name for the stream, but the trail crosses it a 5-minute bicycle ride from home. By the way, this is in the Hilltop neighborhood, near Eureka Avenue. We have more going on here in Columbus and in the Hilltop than the crime you see on TV.

One of my goals for a while now is to ride a bike to London, Ohio, and camp for free at a little facility along the trail. I will give myself a day to ride the 22 miles, then come back the next day. One way I’m building up to that came today. I rode to Batelle-Darby Metro Park and back.

Batelle Metro Park 2

(These are cell phone pictures on a free phone. The quality kind of stinks, but I didn’t think to bring my camera.)

I didn’t remember to take breaks on the way down, and I only took one bottle of water. When I finally reached a place in the park (south part of it) that had water, the water was rusty and it didn’t clear up when I kept pumping for a while. Coming up the hill when I headed back, I realized that I had a wind to my right front. I made my way home with three breaks.

The good news is that I did it. The bad news is that once I sat down here I did nothing for three hours. I need much more stamina to do this distance (18 miles) without quite a bit of misery afterward.

I also need to improve my system so that I have much more water onboard. I might need to buy still another bike when I can. I’ve owned a couple of recumbent bikes in the past. Those are bikes that have a very different riding position, sort of laid back as in the next picture, which I found on the Internet. (This one is a Rans V, which I’ll never be able to afford.)


Recumbents do far better riding into the wind, and the wind blows almost all the time in this flat country. I won’t have the money (mostly $500 and up) for one of those any time soon, but eventually I’ll probably get another recumbent.

Other than that, Loretta and I finally got our dissolution of marriage. We got a bill for it, too. It will be 50% each, and that will be payments. We’re still friends.

A Good Day of Sitting

First, the pretty picture:


Across West Broad Street from the eastbound Southampton Park and Ride bus stop, my closest stop, 10-23-2016

Some of my family and friends in rural places seem to think Columbus is what they’ve seen on TV crime shows. This is more what I see. The street where I live has more trees than this.

Once again, four days have gone by while I thought I was posting every other day. That’s the way my life is going right now.

I spent too much time today sitting, but for good reasons. I did laundry this morning, which involved spending time with some of the grand-kids and with my (step) daughter Vicki. Cool.

Then I headed home on the bike, with the laundry in tow on my hand truck. For some reason, the towing went very well today. Maybe that was because I tied the handle of the hand truck on top of the bike’s luggage rack, rather than behind. That’s the only thing I’m coming up with, but it’s not a very satisfying explanation. The wind, etc., doesn’t account for it.

After that, I sat quietly from 1 to 5 p.m. (1300 to 1700). The reason for doing that is that I had my re-apply-by-phone call today for my food benefits. They scheduled that for 4:15 or 4:20 p.m. if I remember correctly, but I have too much experience coping with “the system” to count on a specific time. The call came around 4:30. The interview itself went well, and I don’t need to submit any paper. At least, the person never mentioned any and what they might want is current because I moved here so recently. She said the benefits will come in as usual.

I’ve had some computer adventures last night and today. I decided to try out a couple of other browsers (I use Firefox), and that didn’t work out so well. The other browsers load faster, and I might use one of them for the news, but I’ll probably stick with Firefox mostly because it has my bookmarks and a better new tab page. Neither of the other browsers (Google Chrome or MS Edge) was able to import my bookmarks from Firefox, although they both offer that. They found some old ones someplace, but not the current ones.

I even took a stab at hemming a pair of pants with this fusing tape stuff. We’ll see how that works out, but it’s a start.

All in all, it’s been a long but productive day.

Kitchen Evolution

My kitchen has finally begun to evolve into a more useful form. I moved here with very little furniture, and my budget didn’t budge. However, all things change in time, even my housekeeping arrangements. Here’s how the kitchen has been set up, other than the sink and counter-top:


Kitchen as it began. The black blob at lower right is the trash bag. I re-created this, but forgot the bag of grocery bags, which was where the broom is.

Yesterday, I temporarily gave up the hunt for a microwave in favor of getting a shelf unit for the kitchen. Walmart had a really cheap ($15) small one. I realized I didn’t have a good place to put a microwave if I got one, and the cabinets and counter-top were crowded. So that gave me this:


It’s a little awkward because the top of the coffee pot was above my head, making it a nuisance to fill. Also, this leaves no place for a microwave whenever I finally get one.

So today, I did my laundry at Loretta’s place again. (Overdid the walking, too.) Just as I was leaving, she gave me a stand that started life as an aquarium stand. It’s the perfect place for the coffee pot. I added it to the load on my 2-wheel hand truck and walked it home. This arrangement is what I’d like to keep using:


Sorry about the odd angle.

Once I get a piece of plywood for the bottom shelf, that will be even better. All the same, in two days my kitchen has improved 100%. The trash moved to the wall to the right of this picture, and I have a few details to work out, but all in all I’m very happy.

Humidity, Sinus Fixing

It’s 3:45 p.m. (15:45 for those in other places) as I begin writing, and the weather numbers below are the best I could do with copying that section of  Accuweather’s page  for Columbus, Ohio. Our “RealFeel”® temperature is the same as that in Tucson, Arizona. Some of my friends may recall telling me how hot Arizona is in the summer. Well, maybe.
More important to me is the humidity. Not relative humidity, which is too complicated to follow very well, but absolute humidity. That is the total amount of moisture in the air. It’s measured by “dew point.” Our local CBS affiliate has a chart of how we feel with various dew points, but it only goes up to 70 F, “oppressive.” We have had dew points well above oppressive all day. I got out earlier long enough to do laundry (thanks, Loretta!), came back, and stayed in. I will consider later whether the humidity will allow me to ride a bus to my meeting.
88° RealFeel® 99°

Mostly cloudy

  • 12 mph
  • Humidity: 67%
  • Pressure: 30.02 in
  • UV Index: 3
  • Cloud Cover: 75%
  • Ceiling: 17800 ft
  • Dew Point: 76° F
  • Visibility: 10 mi

Other than that, how’s it going? I’ve skipped blogging two nights in a row because of exhaustion. Part of that was due to sinus trouble.

The time has come to rely on something other than trying to follow doctors’ orders in my medical issues. My sinuses were beyond the reach of saline spray bottles and my budget is truly extreme. When I came across a reminder of the ancient practice of sinus washing (a.k.a. Neti pots), that got my attention. I had the ingredients on hand and only needed a container to pour them.

According to the recipe here (American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology), I mixed the salt and baking soda, stored that until I was ready, then mixed with distilled water. I won’t even tell you what I used to spray it the first time for fear someone else will try that foolish method. I was desperate. Even doing it wrong, I got results right away. (It was gross but effective.) I immediately went to work trying to figure out a more acceptable container.

The next day (yesterday), I used my bus pass to wander around a little bit and wound up at Dollar Tree. While I looked for something else, a “Yeti Pot” caught my eye. Yep, a cheap version of the expensive item made for the purpose. I had to scrape to come up with the $1, but it had to happen. I’m very pleased. My sinuses work much better, I spent almost nothing, and I won’t have to fight the insurance about it.


“Next right thing” day

In my life, much depends on attitude. Yesterday we got more rain and humidity. The humidity is what really bothers me. All the same, I get to choose my attitude. I chose to remain calm, not go into my foul-weather foul-attitude mode, which is basically whining in my head. Even though nobody else hears that nowadays, I get tired of hearing it. Instead, I decided to go about doing the “next right thing” (the next ONE right thing immediately in front of me, no getting ahead of myself) for the day in front of me.

Do the right thing. It will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain

My original plan was to do laundry early in the day at my ex-wife’s place. Obviously, we get along well, and she has a washer and dryer. I realized by 8 a.m. that the rain had cancelled my plan. When I called her, she suggested that I go there in the afternoon instead. The rain was expected to take a break then, so I agreed. She has a reason for not running the dryer when the heat is bad, but the air temperature wasn’t high enough to be an issue.

So now I had some quiet time in front of me. I did some email and other Internet stuff, then did what I do, headed to a meeting. The humidity was stifling as I waited for my bus. I worried a little about it being too much for me to transport my laundry later, but it was not time to make that decision, so I didn’t.

I enjoyed my meeting, came back here, and re-checked the weather. The humidity was too much to walk there (1.4 miles, about 2.25 km), but I could get away with bicycling. I loaded my bag of laundry onto my hand truck, hooked my hand truck to my bike and away I went.

That worked out. I got to see all the grandkids (on Loretta’s side of the family) all at once. Loud but cool. By the time I came home, the humidity had subsided, I was caught up with laundry and family, and I’d had a pretty good day. I rested the rest of the day, but didn’t blog here because my sleep called me, as it had a couple of other times yesterday. It’s a disabling condition, but I’m still grateful it’s not painful.

So now we shall see what today brings.


I have learned that truck drivers’ medical requirements exclude those who take medication for low blood pressure (hypertension), and that includes me.

Given my various diagnoses and disorders, I have applied for disability payments via SSI. I currently await the decision on my appeal of the (predictable) denial of my benefits.

I no longer live in the corn field. The dysfunction there blew me out full-force about a month ago, and I am living in Mount Vernon for the moment. My old car gave up the ghost last week, and I miss having transit as another choice. They have a kind of transit here, but it’s not very useful. It only runs until 4 p.m., the routes are limited, and the customer must call ahead for each ride rather than simply catch the bus at a stop. However, I will admit that I do not miss the traffic noise or the sirens.