April 11th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Outdoors, Uncategorized

With the weight I have lost my pants keep trying to fall off. Today I had to tighten my belt one more notch. There is only one more hole left to tighten my belt so I guess I need to start shopping for a new one soon. I will also need to start thinking of getting some new pants – they are starting to get baggy. That sucks since I just bought three new pairs of 501 Levi’s a few months ago and you know they are not cheap. But, it is also a sign of progress toward better health.

Sure, I miss eating some of the things I used to eat, but I know it is the best thing for my health. Now that I am getting comfy with the diet and what I can (and shouldn’t) eat I am able to modify a few things I used to cook to keep them within my nutrition goals and still be delicious. The chicken caprese panini sandwich I made the other day was such a welcome addition to my food repertoire. I am finding lots of interesting recipes to try that are still tasty and things I want to eat. I am also finding interesting spices and spice blends as well as condiments that have opened up new flavors for me. It’s a good thing I have opened up my food palette to try new things.

Yeah, monitoring my diet so closely seems like a pain in the ass, but millions of others do it for their health and I need to do the same. Honestly I find it’s not that difficult when using my app to help me do it. I look at my sodium, fat and sugar intake levels on the app before I eat anything so I constantly adjust my diet as the day goes on. I also use an app for my water intake to remind me to drink every hour until I reach my intake goal. It sounds silly but I have never been good at hydrating unless doing strenuous activity and that app helps with the diet by filling me up on water and it also gets my hydration levels up to increase my metabolism. Changing your habits, according to a study done in Europe, can take from 18 to 254 days! I had a heart attack so my motivation to change was down to just a few days; I have things to do and don’t have time for this heart attack nonsense so hell yes…my new diet habit started pretty quickly and effortlessly.

With my TV set up again I can watch movies at night and when the weather is bad. I do try to stay busy and usually do not turn it on until later in the day; I don’t want to sit in front of it all day but it is nice to be able to watch some movies and travel shows.

I have been staying busy going through the storage unit and still organizing some things in the house. With the kitchen being small I have been trying new ways to organize every day for the past week but I think I now have it set up the best way as far as usability. I found several more things in storage to donate and will be looking for more things to get rid of or sell.

The weather here is getting warmer and a little drier but I am still waking up to frost in the morning. We still have a few more months of wet weather but it’s usually just a shower. Washington is not constant rain like people think, much like Colorado is not constant snow. When I got up yesterday I looked out the window at the mountains and there was a fresh dusting of snow on the lower trees. With yesterday’s warmer temps and gusty winds it didn’t last though.

There is some really nice weather coming up this week so I think I will get in the trailer to go through some things in there and get it ready to hit the road. When I moved into my house I grabbed things out of it that I needed to use and left it looking a bit ransacked. I have no travel plans yet, but it will be ready in case of my usual last-minute adventures. It is something to do that needs to be done and I have the time to do it. Since my stuff was still in storage I had to take things out of the trailer to use in my kitchen so I can put all of that stuff back where it belongs.

I do hope to get with family this year after the surgery recovery and do some travel with them, be it a road trip with our trailers or on a train would be fun, too. Chelsea got a pop-up trailer last year so we could easily get out for some adventures together. Retirement has not been all travel like I was hoping, but things change and we adjust. Things do happen in life so you should live as large as you can when you can! As the saying goes, if you are not living on the edge you are taking up too much space.

I don’t think international travel will be happening for me anytime soon. Watching travel shows again makes me want to go back very badly but there is still the reality of the pandemic. Vaccine or not, I will not get on a plane until this is under control – I don’t care how safe they say it is. That means it’s either driving or a private room on a train but that option is spendy when going solo in a private room. I would really love to do a long-distance train trip sometime. I don’t think we will see the US-Canada border opened up in the near future so that is not even a possibility.

That’s it for this update. The day is calm and sunny so it is time to get out of the house.

Have a good day!

February 7th, 2021

Adventure, food, Just things, Uncategorized

Yep…it was a good weekend. Got some things accomplished.

Yesterday I woke up, had a shot of espresso and a cup of coffee, and said “I need to cook”. So I cooked. I got to try out my new (to me) Le Creuset stockpot and made what ended up being a huge pot of pasta…MUCH more pasta than I thought it was. I browned up some chicken Italian sausage, added some fresh garlic and lots of olive oil, stirred in some of the pasta, and I instantly had five meals’-worth of dinners from that.

With the pasta I had left, I portioned it out and added some Muir Glen Garden Vegetable red sauce, plus a dash of garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil to each tray. I ended up with four of those trays but they are pretty hefty portions now that I look at them; I probably could have gotten another 2-3 dinners out of the bunch but I was also worried about having enough sauce. I was lucky I had that on hand, but I do have some canned fire-roasted tomatoes so I can make my own sauce from that. I can also use some to make salsa and have some cilantro, and a fresh onion a couple of jalape├▒os to do just that. In fact, that is why I bought a case of those tomatoes.

It was extremely windy yesterday. I mean horrible winds almost all day and then it was a little rainy at times. This morning I woke up and saw a bright sunny day and some gusty winds that have lasted all day; nowhere near as bad as yesterday though. When I saw that sun I figured the dog and I needed to be outside some. Plenty of walks but too windy to play with his flying disc that he loves so much. The week is shaping up to be poopy weather- lows in the teens and highs in the 20s/low 30s – so I am trying to get out and keep the dog happy too. That’s unusual for here; it happens a couple of times every Winter for about a week.

Seeing the forecast for this coming week, I saw that I was going to have to put it off for another week, so I finally got the problem emissions part replaced on my truck! I thought while it is windy, it is not raining or really cold, I might as well see if I can get it done today and I did. Took me about 5 minutes and $40 or so for the part. Saved another $20 from the dealer repair AND the OBD-II reader paid for itself as well. It is running better and after I cleared the light it is not coming back on and it runs better and is getting better gas mileage. Glad to have that done. I guess the fuel filter will wait another week. I will be borrowing some ramps from a friend and try to do that in his driveway. It is another five-minute fix. Well, it SHOULD be…

Now that I have that main problem fixed I feel much better about taking a long drive (it iorobabky woulda been fine), and I plan on doing that very soon. I’d probably have to do it so soon so it may be tomorrow or Tuesday given the weather that the forecast says is moving in. The fuel filter does not seem to be causing any issues and there are no codes in the computer for errors so I feel confident. I am so glad to have that finally done.

I just saw an article today about the pandemic and what to expect. I think that I may be a bit too optimistic about going to Europe (or anywhere international) even as early as Spring of 2022 according to this news story but everything is even less than uncertain for the foreseeable future. I am still watching some travel shows and keeping an eye on travel articles as it is something positive to look forward to. I reactivated my Scott’s Cheap Flights notifications (I stopped updates for a while since I felt it was pointless) and have been looking at prices in searches. I also realize there may be other options besides Europe but all of that remains to be seen given the constantly-changing pandemic regulations.

It is interesting to hear about a real push for high-speed rail in the U.S. That would be so cool and so convenient. I think once people see how easy and efficient it is to go around the country by train it would sell itself. The key, of course, is public transit infrastructure available near each rail station to get people close to where they want to go. It’s odd that in Europe public transit is something everyone does because they want to, while here there seems to be a stigma where it is the poor people who ride the bus. I have ridden public transit quite a bit in various places and it is a great way to get around. My fingers are crossed that we can finally make some progress nationwide on this.

It had a good run, but I think my 27″ iMac is ready to give up. I have been using it for videos in place of a TV but I noticed a few days ago that it was extremely hot to the touch. I used some canned air to blow it out and cool it off but it’s about used all the runway. I cannot upgrade the OS anymore so I am looking at recycling it and I will get some cash out off the deal. It’s ten years old and has moved all over the PNW with me to most of the 18-20 addresses I have lived at, and it is remarkable it stood up to that.

It’s why I buy Apple products.

That’s all for now.

April 23rd, 2018

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

What a beautiful day today! The weather was even better than yesterday and the week is supposed to get better and then the rain moves in on the weekend (of course).

Seemed like a good excuse to fire up the hibachi again since it was so nice out so I grilled up some burgers (yeah, like I need an excuse to fire up a grill!). I now have some delicious leftovers to freeze for later and another one for tomorrow night’s supper. I put one on a Udi’s Gluten-free bun with bacon mustard and a slice of onion and it was pretty good. Yesterday I grilled some turkey smoked sausages and I have to say they were not very good – just not the same as regular smoked sausages or bratwursts. I’ll freeze and dice them up into a cast iron skillet to make fried potatoes and onions later on.

Yesterday I finally bought one of those chimney charcoal starters. I have used starter fluid in charcoal grills before but I have never really been a fan of it. It’s bad for the environment, probably not good for cooking over and it is easier to use a chimney starter and so much faster. The hibachi is a skill I definitely need to work on – it cooks so fast and there is definitely a learning curve to it. Admittedly my grilling skills are a bit rusty, but I have never really used a hibachi before. I’ll keep working on it.

Speaking of yesterday, I cracked open that 19 Crimes Bold Red wine I wrote about in that post. That is a serious wine – it is VERY bold and full of flavor. It has a big feel on the palate and is probably the the “biggest” flavor wine I have ever had. I think I will go back and get a few more bottles of that and I am anxious to try the other types they have.

It’s looking like that as of now I’ll probably be done working October 1st. I have a few personal things I need to take care of, and traveling is definitely on the list after that. I don’t know where the adventures will be but I should have time to be able to do a long road trip and get someplace out of the country again.

I have been getting some really good deals in my email for airfares to points far and farther. I am debating one thing already – flying non-stop or doing a layover in Iceland the next time if I go to Europe. I’d like to do a non-stop and just get there but that is a really long time on a plane. We’ll see how it shakes out I guess. I have been watching Rick Steves again so it’s getting me excited to go back. I don’t know where it will be yet but I have time to figure it out. I won’t be going in the summer so the fares will be better.

That’s about all for now.

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

Adventure, Just things, Outdoors, Scotty Hilander, Travel

An exciting few weeks it has been!

First, my training in Oregon and the certification I acquired while I was there eating (­čśČ). I had more training this week and there is orientation for the newbs. I got CPR/First Aid certified today.

I played in a fundraising softball game tonight and it was really a lot of fun. Money raised went to benefitting an Alzheimer’s charity. I got rotated into the game at LF for a few innings. I scored a run, caught a few fly balls for outs, and hit two singles for a batting average of, ahem, 1000%. I was happy with that since I have not played for 30 years. It was great exercise and I just might play in some of the local pick-up games.

I did take a tumble running, though, and my neck is not happy at all. Ibuprofen and herbal patches will hopefully help with the pain and stiffness. I hope that calms it down, but my back and neck are quite angry at the moment.

Tomorrow it’s one more orientation day then I catch an overnight flight really late to a stopover completely out of the way to change planes in the wee hours, and be in KC tomorrow morning to hopefully be there before Chelsea has her second baby!┬áI had to come home early from tonight’s charity game so I could pack a bag since I need to leave tomorrow a little after work to get to SeaTac in plenty of time. One thing about a short trip, though. You can pack light!

I hear it has been blazing hot there so I am not looking forward to that at all. AT ALL, I say. I need to be there and I also need to get a quick visit with my dad and sister while I am there. I only have one day, since I need to come back home Saturday for work on Sunday. ┬áUnfortunately I don’t have enough time built up to take off at this time. I want to get a longer weekend to be there and be able to buy it in advance to save some money. I am flying last-minute so it is not cheap at all as you can well imagine. I finally thought when I was buying the ticket last night “You know, what the hell. I am already spending money so why not spend a little more to get a bigger seat to sleep in (and I can choose it), free food, free booze, legroom, AND sit in the front of the plane.┬áI am going first class.” So I did! I spoil myself when I travel and I make the best of it.

Hoping my days off next week will be normal. I am ready to get back on my schedule and into my routine. I want to make a few weekend excursions soon and I want to get those rolling. With all the stuff going on we have all had to adjust our schedules. Works pretty well for some – they are getting a 4-day weekend out of the deal!

I finally got my electric conversion done for the water heater. It works very well and I am totally impressed. The way my water heater is installed it was a pain to get the thermostat mounted on the back of it, then the double-sided tape with it would not stick so I used my trusty Lexel to hold it in place. That stuff is awesome and has come in very handy.

I cannot wait to try it out for real on a trip. I was actually surprised how well the gas on the water heater worked when I was out a few weeks ago. Of course I was trying to conserve it since running out of hot water in a shower sucks, and I even shut it off while it was still warm. The gas will recover quicker I would think, but the electric will keep it at 120 degrees constantly. I may try turning on the gas as well when I shower so it will last a bit longer. I will experiment with that – I can stand in a hot shower for a long time.

So a few more things off of the trailer list but still more to go. I have actually done quite a bit so far, but there is still a small leak up on top around the lights, but only when it is moving. I gotta get those fixed next, then the windows come out one at a time and get reinstalled with new sealer along with a new stove vent getting the same treatment.

So there’s today’s news.



Just things

No.. not here where I am fortunately. I don’t care to deal with it again for the foreseeable future myself.

It is good to see CO and the Midwest get some moisture finally. They still have a long way to go to just catch up, but at least some decent amounts are making it to the ground finally.

I hope they all get a lot more to keep the fires danger AND the bread prices low.