June 15th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Road Trip, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

BEFORE: () AFTER: I

As you can see by the graphic above I am getting skinnier.

Just one more pound and I will hit my current weight-loss goal! Yep, I weighed myself this morning and I am down 39 pounds…so far! I say “current weight-loss goal” because that was my very ambitious starting-out plan. I would still like to drop ten more but I am quite happy with my results so far and I figured 40 was ambitious enough.

I have expanded my diet to include some different foods and I have really changed my eating habits quite drastically. It has been an adjustment after eating a certain way for many years, but between the diet changes and logging all of my food into the app it has really been helpful, made it easier, and I feel pretty successful with my efforts so far. I feel better, my health is better, and I still can have the occasional splurge. “Occasional” is the key word.

I will say that last week I was sick and tired of the routine of the last four months. I didn’t mind staying on my diet, but I was damn tired of the routine. Between having to walk after surgery because I was required to and staying home and not being able to do anything the last month I was fed up with it. All of it. I had to get over it and walk but the rains also did not help. Being able to go other places has really made a difference and got me back into what I need to be doing.

Saturday was one of those days. I went to my favorite local Thai bistro and ordered up the Basil Noodle with Chicken, a heat level of 2. The thing I like about the Thai bistros I have eaten at is the food is lighter – no thick, sugary, syrupy sauces; just amazing flavors without the goo. It tastes so much better and feels lighter on the stomach after you eat.

I got a call yesterday from the shop about my truck. I was kinda scared as the voicemail sounded a bit ominous. I called them back and the fuel lines are in pretty bad shape with corrosion. I believe it is the lines on top of the tank so there is no additional labor charge – just the price of the parts – so I got a little break. That means a few more days for the parts to get in so I am still driving the Soccermommobile. I don’t mind driving it though. I am still mobile!

With some gorgeous weather coming up I am really hoping to get the final organization on the trailer done in the next few days as I wait for my truck. I am not really sure where to go, or even if I can manage hooking the trailer up yet. I also need to think about potential mechanical issues – I still cannot do much heavy lifting, such as a flat tire, or using tools for fixing problems, such as the same flat tire. That means I may have to make other arrangements for lodging if I want to go someplace.

With that in mind, today I finally signed up for an account with Airbnb. I really enjoyed the Airbnb properties the girls reserved that we stayed at in Europe this last time. I know I am late to this party but it is affordable and easier to find locations in pretty much any neighborhood you want to stay in – like we were at in North Amsterdam and the city center of Dublin. I am really wanting to do something different than the same ol’ hotel chains these days and this will give me many more interesting options. I even saw one that is in an old crane for unloading ships!

I would rather take the trailer for the security of having my own place to be but it is nice to mix it up a bit. Given the rising gas prices it may be cheaper to do an Airbnb but I have not done the math. I hope the truck gets a little better gas mileage after this repair, especially pulling the trailer, so I will have to do some comparison.

That is today’s update. Stay safe!

April 12th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, pictures, Scotty Hilander, Travel, Uncategorized

Costco. Where else can you find not only $1.50 hot dogs and caskets for sale in a store, but now they are selling belly buttons for just $13 each. Yikes! A 13 lb. belly button – sounds like a horror movie filmed in a buffet.

Man, what a beautiful day today. I got in 5.5 miles of walking today and helped the landlord do some mowing. It gave him the opportunity to take care of some other things while I mowed. A glass of red wine took care of my thirst afterwards..but I almost cracked open a second bottle!

Yesterday I got in five miles of walking. It was a beautiful sunny day but a little breezy. I got out early enough to avoid some of the crowds but as I left the parking lot it started to get busier. A typical weekend day in a tourist area. I did get a couple of nice pictures while I was out:

I have been waking up really early lately (a bit stressed out with the health things going on and not sleeping very well again) so I get up and get my day rolling. I try to go to bed later but I still wake up early so then I am tired and fall asleep early. I do like to get up and start the day; a leisurely cup of coffee and some breakfast, and I am out the door to do laundry, get groceries, or just get away from the house. I used to go to the bakery to get some fine baked treats but I cannot do that anymore like I used to.

I think I am going to try to bake some things the next few days. I will probably get the ingredients I need tomorrow morning then go to the storage unit to get stuff to put back into the trailer. That should not take very long to do and it will be off my list.

I can take advantage of waking up with the chickens to bake things early in the morning while it is cooler. Muy house faces south so it warms up fast. I can also take advantage of the nice weather for hiking/walking. I will go find a beach the next few days and enjoy a walk in the sand near the saltwater. I do like walking in the forest for the shade though. Having this great weather really does lift the spirits and it motivates me to get some things done. Plus, it gives me something to do and there are things I need to take care of.

This morning I bought a good 5-day cooler – mainly it is for hauling refrigerated/frozen groceries home from afar during warmer weather, but also will be handy for traveling with or without the trailer. With the refrigerator in the trailer being propane you cannot have it lit going down the highway. For one thing, it won’t stay lit. The other thing is fire hazard, such as when stopping for fuel. “They” frown on open flames at a gas station for some reason. Anything I really need to keep cold can go in the cooler instead of the trailer for long drives on hot days. The fridge tends to heat up quick and frozen stuff thaws fast so the cooler will help. I needed a cooler anyway since the fridge is also kind of small.

I should get my new generator out of the box while I am still able to lift it and check it out but I may just wait until after I recover. I don’t know if I really want, or need, to go through the trouble to mess with it just to have it sit for several months while I get better. I can get by using the trailer without it so maybe that is the best plan for now. I can get by with battery and propane like I have been for a little bit longer.

That’s it for tonight. Thank you for stopping by to read my blog.

December 15th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Travel, Uncategorized

A few nights ago I was watching a movie and I saw some lights through the door glass. I wasn’t expecting anything until Monday and Tuesday but my items were in town. Could it…no, it can’t be…YEAH!!! It was my electric bike! It showed up TWO days early!

I got the box in the house and pulled the bike out. It was folded up and wrapped in all sorts of padding and packing materials to keep the scratches at bay. It took several minutes to get all of the padding off before I could unfurl it. It is pretty easy to figure it out, but it does have a very well-written manual in case you want/need to use it.

The way it is designed it definitely feels different than a regular bike. The frame is low so you feel like you are sitting pretty high up. It is different to ride than a regular bike so it will take a little bit of getting used to riding it. I took it out for a spin yesterday morning and it moves along pretty good. I haven’t even changed the setting in the controller to a Class 3 yet. Even with very little pedal assist it moves along pretty good. It will be fun to ride and get exercise plus riding it to town will save fuel. I looked at helmets yesterday and won’t ride far without one. I want to get a few more lights and reflectors on it; visibility is a good thing. It came with some actually decent saddlebags, headlight, taillight and cargo rack behind the seat so it is pretty well set up. The seat has a suspension post and the upgraded saddle is bigger and more comfortable.

I did more research on my truck’s check engine light and I have one more thing to try out before the appointment on Friday. The lid of the airbox is cracked and I am thinking that might be affecting the airflow and it is causing a computer error. I stopped at the parts store to buy one. I ran what I think the problem is by the counter guy and he thought it could be the issue. I will get the new one tomorrow and get it installed. If that still doesn’t fix it the dealer gets a turn.

A friend gave me a pizza for the holidays. Not just ANY pizza, mind you. A Lou Malnati’s pepperoni pie, imported straight from Chicago. That was a damn good pizza. Along with it was a catalog from Tastes of Chicago. Italian beef, Vienna Beef hot dogs, desserts, baked stuff…hardcore food porn.

I really need a travel fix so I started watching “A Cook’s Tour” again. It was Anthony Bourdain’s first travel series. I remember seeing a few episodes years go and thought it was interesting. He was visiting Vietnam in the first ones I remember, and it was probably the first time I had an interest in going to that part of the world and it was because of him. Growing up in the shadow of the Vietnam War it was never really someplace I had an interest in going to visit. He had the gift of making it all interesting and within reach to every person.

I’ll probably be hitting the travel shows hard again pretty soon. It was about this time in 2017 and 2019 that I was getting things together to go to Europe. I wish I were doing that for real in 2020 but we know how the year has gone for the most part. It’s nice that I now know the best way I need to pack after being there twice. It’s not to say that I won’t make some minor changes, but at least now I have the gear I need, have a good idea about how to travel, and know what to take and leave as far as clothes and toiletries. I think I will be looking at my travel items closer and may thin out a few things (I need to thin out a few things anyhoo). I have some things I really could do without and maybe some other things I really don’t need to keep.

I have definitely been getting much more exercise in even with the short days (glad to see that changing next week!). The dog and I are logging about 3-5 miles a day. Nothing wrong with that! When I first got in the area it was pretty rainy so we did not get out much. Being in the trailer at the time I did not want everything smelling like a wet dog and mud all over inside. We got out as much as we could; he cannot hold it forever! We have had some really nice days lately but we have a few days of some showers coming up. I am looking forward to some more.

That’s about all I have for now.

December 11th, 2020

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

I got the tailgate lock fixed today, got the mouse repellent put in the trailer and the truck, and I got the water system in the trailer winterized. I gotta try some other things on the check engine light problem, but I do have an oil change and service appointment set up already. It needs an oil change no matter, but if I can fix the other myself that’ll save a few hundred dollars. If I cannot figure it out by then, they can do it. It is getting worse gas mileage and running a bit rough so it needs fixed.

After I made some stir-fry for lunch, I took the dog for a walk and we went to some ponds to see the birds that were hanging out. He was very interested in them – he was more curious than wanting to get to them. We got in about two miles just on that walk, but I have logged a total of five today. I am trying to get a lot more active to be healthier. I have walked all over Seattle several times, and all the places in Europe we walked several miles. I kinda put it aside for a bit but I am getting after it now.

Tonight it is Lebowski night. Yep, “The Big Lebowski”, one of my favorite movies. The Coen brothers, just like Wes Anderson, do some great movies and I like most all of them. I have “O Brother, Where Art Thou?” also; this just may turn into a Coen brothers night!

One scene in the movie in particular is kind of personal to me. Sit back as I tell you my tale. And yes…this story is true (I told you I have a lot of stories; some are pretty wild, but some will never be spoken of). You might not want to drink or eat anything while reading it…

I used to mow grass in a huge cemetery. This one elderly lady had died, and her husband came to the gravesite every day. He would sit there in his car several hours, sometimes several times a day, and stare at the mound of dirt where she was buried. A very touching scene. I believe it was mid-June when this happened.

One day in July he didn’t show up. He died, probably of a broken heart. They had been together for a long, long, LONG time and it was really sad but it was nice to see that kind of love. His ashes were scattered on her grave. They were together forever. Until…

It was a really humid and hot Kansas day (over 100° F). I had no shirt on (back when I would not get a ticket for that) and I was sweating bullets. It was a brutal day. Mowing in a cemetery you are always closely watching the edging along the gravestones and markers so you don’t tear them up but minimize the trimming. So, there I was mowing along and “POOF!”.

When it happened I thought I had hit some loose dirt – it was a good-sized cloud, and it happened to us often every day. Boy, was I surprised. I came to a stop, sitting there motionless for a moment after I saw it wasn’t soil stuck on me – like a person on a hidden camera show. I was covered in human ashes and looking like a powderded donut, laughing incredulously/nervously at what had just happened to me…all while spitting out and wiping stuff from my mouth and eyes. I had run over the ashes with the mower and the wind blew them back all over my sweaty body and face. Of course the upper part of me got it the worst. When I finally realized what had happened and discovered the morbid truth I got over to the water faucet pretty damn fast. That Lebowski scene when they go to commit Donny’s ashes to the sea reminds me of when it happened to me for real.

Not sure what tomorrow brings yet. I will probably try to look at the truck problem again but probably not much else. It is the weekend and it’s going to be crowded. I don’t want to take part in that. Rather, I won’t take part in that.

Have a great Saturday everyone!

A Stroll About Town

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

Tonight I got out for a walk. It was a warm day today, and I’m on that mission to be more healthy. The weather is about to change to cooler and wetter so I took advantage of the nice weather.

I threw on the kilt, went downstairs, and headed out the door. It is a calm, peaceful night and perfect for a walk. There was a City Council meeting going on. One place I went past had a flyer posted for Open Mic night coming up soon. The homeless guy with the leather three-cornered hat was out and about. The bar a few doors down is having a typical Thursday night. It is such a nice night I went for another lap down some other streets.

Pretty typical night here where I live.

Walking around enjoying my surroundings I approach a crosswalk and a van turns in front of me to go into the residential part of town. At least two females were in the van and one is sticking her head out the window yelling something at me and smiling. With the noise of cars.

I wish I had heard what they said. Was it some smart-assed comment? Was it something flattering? I will probably never know. They shoulda stopped!

It brings up a thought. I see two girls walking every morning. One is a hair farmer – a , curly, thick, wild head of hair. Her hair is this weird shade of blue. The girl walking with her has pink hair.

I wonder if people stop and yell at them? What about the fad where guys were running around with the crack of their asses hanging out because they could not read the instructions on how to operate a belt.

My feelings were not hurt. I have worn the kilt in many places and I get smiles and I get weird looks. I don’t really care. I am me and that is who I am.

I just want to know what the girl in the van said!