Saturday, December 12, 2009


We fixed a one pound pork, two packs of instant mashed potatoes, and a frozen broccoli snow peas and carrots. We added a jar of pork gravy, and a can of chicken broth, with water when slow cooking the pork. The ten or so 10 ounce tubbies should last awhile.
We just had 2 servings for lunch. It was very good. We will be freezing about four of the tubbies. My wife cut the pork up into smaller pieces, The gravy with the chicken broth gave it very good flavor.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Art in Downtown Tampa, it looks pretty neat I think.
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Some nice grasses we saw when we were out riding around town.
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Sign proclaiming Lady Liberty.
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This is me in front of the Lady Liberty tree, named that because this tree was near in proximity to the Senator tree. It is pretty darn impressive by itself. The walkway (wooden decking) is very nice.
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Sunday, October 18, 2009

1923 hurricane

The hurricane was in 1925, it reduced the hieght of the tree from 165 feet tall to it's present 118 feet tall. The late 1800s this tree was a big tree and attracted visitors even though the land was mostly swamp. The WPA built a path to the tree. In 1927, Senator Overstreet donated the land around the Senator tree to Seminole County, in Florida.
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big tree

Fran and I were riding along in Sanford and we saw signs on the road directing us to the Senator. We decided to follow the signs, and we came to the park for big tree. This is the biggest cypress tree in Florida, possibly the US, maybe the world. I think it might be some 11 feet in diameter. I think the sign said that a hurricane caused the top of the tree to break off, but it's still impressive.
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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Welcome to the future

I listen to some country music. I like lyrics that have impact and provide food for thought.


A man with a dream

Wake up Martin Luther

Welcome to the future

Glory glory hallelujah

Welcome to the future


The song also talks about a football guy who had a cross burned in his front yard because he asked out the home coming queen. It also mentioned the pac man video game, and how it used to be that you would go down to the arcade, now it is on the cell phones. World War Two, fighting with the Japanese, and getting off a video chat this morning with a company in Tokyo.

The notion of the KKK using intimidation to try to influence behaviors seems relatively uiet, though I suppose there still are adherents to several flavors of Islam who still try to follow scriptures, and try to uphold instructions on war fighting as a life after which one should pattern future behavior.

There could be other belief systems.

Is the world headed toward more peace and love, or will there probably be an armed conflict killing scores of thousands of people, or various natural disasters which could make earth difficult to prosper on. (perhaps another Ice Age, or at least very cold temperatures.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Gen Kevin Chilton on Charlie Rose
A nice interview with a general from USStratCom. Perspective on what the significance of being a person in an organization.

USStratCom is a joint force of Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Cyberspace, Global Reconnaisance Assets, Nukes.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

It's just business

I think the phrase about 'it's just business' can say a lot. Perhaps the Japanese response to an unemployment level of perhaps half that of the US, the voting in of a new ruling party, and changing relations with the US and Europe will be interesting.

Of course, maybe there will be other interesting changes to the international relations infrastructure, it is too early to really tell for certain.

No one likes to be unemployed. I am happy that I have a nice job contributing to the smooth operation of the VA Hospital's computer systems. I guess I do try to move up in the system, which has so far not moved forward, but who knows what the future will hold?

Though Japan's economy has shown signs of coming out of its worst recession since the second World War, in a country used to lifetime employment, the unemployment rate has hit a record high. Just two days before the election, the jobless rate was announced at 5.7 percent.

In the world's second largest economy, for many people, it is all about business.

On the sidewalks of Tokyo, street vendors tell ABC News "business has been getting worse and worse" and that "people used to buy two items but now they only buy one."

igoogle is pretty cool

there's a post applet for blogger (blogspot, or whatever)from inside of igoogle. Hmm, this could be an interesting addition.

I like the Ipod Touch music playing through my Bose Accoustic Wave Radio. Maybe the new Apple Tablet will be more mac than strictly a larger Ipod Touch. I like the portability of the music collections made possible by the Ipod Touch. As far as the web browsing from the Ipod Touch goes, in my opinion it is way too lacking. At least as long as there are actual laptop computers around which can provide a better experience.

Maybe if the Tablet will be supporting the leading edge networking infrastructure, it could be really cool.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

shoe thrower to be released early

The Iraqi Shoe Thrower, who proved GWB 43 had reasonable reflexes, and could get out of the way of an object hurled at him appears to have been behaving well.

An Iraqi journalist imprisoned for hurling his shoes at former President George W. Bush will be released next month after his sentence was reduced for good behavior, his lawyer said Saturday.

Muntadhar al-Zeidi's act of protest during Bush's last visit to Iraq as president turned the 30-year-old reporter into a folk hero across the Arab world, as his case became a rallying point for critics who resented the 2003 U.S. invasion and occupation.

sunshine state shrinking

Wow, this looks pretty interesting. To think that the population for Florida declined. It might be reasonably expected that this trend will reverse itself.
Choked by a record level of foreclosures and unemployment, along with a helping of disillusionment, the state?s population declined by 58,000 people from April 2008 to April 2009, according to the University of Florida?s Bureau of Economic and Business Research. Except for the years around World Wars I and II, it was the state?s first population loss since at least 1900.

Edward Kennedy died

I'm not sure why the media is going so ga-ga over the life of Edward Kennedy.

I guess the Senate Democrats now have 59 votes. I doubt that the democrats can be too united on big, divisive issues. But whatever. Who knows, maybe the senate democrats could pass the House Bill.

Weight loss so far

I'm not too impressed by the current weight 188.6, but considering we've been eating good stuff, and small portions, we are doing pretty well.
I've been having some mouth soreness pain. I attribute it to a recent filling that I had replaced and expanded, due to the cavity that was forming on the side of the tooth. The dentist wanted me to bring in my night guard for some "adjustment" on Monday. I put the night guard in my mouth last night, and it was uncomfortable, so I slept without it. Today, there was still some pain. I took some Tylenol ez tabs a couple of times today.
Yesterday I think I took more Tylenol than I took today.

Tonight for dinner, I had a scoop of meatballs on top of a slice and a half of Texas Toast. It was quite good. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten the chocolate milk, but the chocolate milk was pretty good. I might have had about 12 ounces.

I'm happy that my wife was pleased that she got 20W shorts, and had to return them to Bell's clothing store, and she got 18W shorts, and they fit. She says she can't remember the last time she wore 18W shorts.

I'm not really wanting to continue the rapid weight loss. I'm happy at this weight. I think if I wanted to get the lap band adjusted again, I would most likely eat smaller portions again, and I'd lose more weight. Then I'd probably need to get smaller pants again.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Grilled Cheese

Most of a grilled cheese sandwich from last night. It was very good, I had 3 slices of white american cheese, some sausage pieces, and a handful of mozzarella cheese. It was a very cheesy sandwich. We will have family over for lunch. Fran, my wife is going out of her way to fix alot of food. Part of the family who we are inviting over, we're not that fond of, but it's a matter of strategic diplomacy, I suppose. So, there should be alot of food fixed for this event, and I'm not sure how much of it we'll be able to eat. Fortunately, we can eat about anything. I wasn't sure how I'd do with the sandwich, but it was very good.
We will be having some neices and a nephew with wife and daughter who are down from Massachusettes over today. Other family will also come visit. It should be interesting.
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A nice detail at another of the buildings on USF's campus. The fencing indicates where there will be more construction soon.
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river art zoomed in

This is an up close zoomed in shot of the bottom of the river art piece.
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River Art

This is a cool piece of art work on the side of a building over at the Department of Environmental sciences on the campus of the University of South Florida. I like several things about several of the buildings and architectural designs. Anyway, this art is supposd to represent the Hillsborough River.
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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Squirell

A squirell, hanging upside down having some of our sunflower seeds.
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Some Rocks

Some rocks we got recently, they look very cool. at $0.19 a pound, this clump was about $43, which could seem like alot to pay for just rocks, but they look pretty cool in my opinion.
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Friday, July 31, 2009

Shopping for weight loss.

We got back from a shopping trip to Winn Dixie. My wife noticed that the emerald almonds I kind of like are on sale buy one get one free. The 11 ounce Almonds with cocoa powder dusting. The 11 ounce variety in the green canm are usually about $5.99 a can. With the two for one sale, they get down to $3 a can which is a significant value. Consider that the Winn and Lovett Prestige collection almonds are $3.99 for 8 ounces, or the Blue Diamond Vanilla Almonds are also the 8 ounces for $3.99. When one considers that valuation, the Emerald Almonds at $5.99 for 11 ounces seems unreasonable.

If all we got would have been nuts, then our Winn Dixie trip would have been quite reasonable, but no. We ended up getting lots of other stuff, even though our menu tends to be limited. A couple of Paula Deen Cheesy Meatloafs, and some Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts. A 10 for $10 deal (frozen veggies), 4 bags of peanuts for the squirrels (along with some other selections), and before long, we're looking at $139.49 with Winn Dixie card savings of $57.92--Woo Woo.

Initially, I was skeptical about almonds. But, over the past couple of weeks, I've come to appreciate almonds more. As a snack, they take more work to eat. Thus I tend not to eat as many of them as I otherwise might if they were easy snacking nuts such as Cashews, or even Pecans. The emerald nuts appear to be different from the Winn & Lovett Cinnamon Toasted Almonds, but even eating the W&L almonds, I can only eat so many of them before the little "hungries" (hungry signals) go away.

I'm eating more than a cup of food. But I guess I've done well with the weight loss. 191.8 was my weight this morning, after getting down recently to 191.4 the day before yesterday. I'm not trying too hard to loose weight. I'm trying to limit the intake of empty calories (but not at the expense of flavor in most cases). I've not had a big amount of ice cream. I've had a couple of spoons full. I've also had a couple of servings of almonds as snacks. Mostly, I guess it's eating small meals in pre-measured containers. Portion control seem,s to be the name of the game.
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A series from my e-mail

This exchange was recent. Most of the message is my content.

To: My friends

Well, yesterday, the dental cleaning clinic at HCC discovered a place on
one of my teeth, and they recommended that I go to a real dentist. I
made an appointment for Friday. So, yet another day of sick leave.
This one probably will hurt though. It's near the gum line. The
dentist on duty at the clinic was using terms like cementum, and
whatnot. Supposedly, this is on the underside, topside of tooth three.
My tooth 4 has come out and the tooth 5 which was crooked has flipped
around and is 180 degrees from where it should be. Oh well. Tooth 3 is
an important tooth.

-----Original Message-----
From: A friend

Good luck Marti!

-----Original Message-----
To: My friends

Hey, weight was 192.4 this AM. I've not been particularly good. I've
given in to the ice cream temptations. It's good though, I only have
small portions of ice cream. The Publix ice cream is pretty good. Blue
Bell groom's cake is almost too chocolatey. I'll probably eventually
work through it though. Publix Banana Split is very good, but I can't
really get too much. My wife is having more problems with guzzling iced
tea, or whatever, and possibly needing to throw up. I've only had a few
instances where I've eaten a lot and had to get up and walk around. I
haven't thrown up. But I guess I'm trying to be very conscious of much
smaller portions.

-----Original Message-----
From: A friend

Oh my goodness Marti, I did not even realize that you had problems
drinking stuff too!

-----Original Message-----
To: My friends

I don't have problems drinking stuff. Supposedly, Fran might have some
issues if she tries to drink a lot fast. I'm not sure how much/how
fast. But she has had some issues with dry chicken as well. I know
enough to stay away from dry chicken. We do good splitting an order of
Hot Rod's country barbeque meat loaf, or a serving of cracker barrel
country fried steak. Getting an order to go is a good way of doing
this. We also do well with meat loaf from Grill Smith. The meat loaf
from that place at Disney's EPCOT resort near boardwalk was very nice.
I'm not sure how we'll do with a whole meat loaf from Boston Market, but
who knows?
I think we've been successful with weight loss following this surgery.
I think we've tried to be compliant with instructions. The bit of
planning into taking the premeasured small 10 ounce containers of food
has been of great assistance.
The ice cream amount has been much smaller than before. I've even been
partially satisfied with just taking a spoon out to the freezer to grab
a spoonful. Sometimes two spoons full.
In other news of the helpful tips found with the weight loss trials and
tribulations, the emerald dark cocoa almonds from Publix are very good.
We got that tip last Thursday at our support group meeting. The almonds
are a good nut to eat, I guess. Pecans are cheaper at walmart, but it's
too easy to eat too many of those at a single setting. The almonds, if
one takes a handful from the green container, they will help one to feel
satisfied. The slight bit of chocolate flavor is pretty good on the
almonds. The walmart cinnamon and sugar pecans were very good, but it's
really easy to eat lots of those. The almonds take some more chewing to
grind them up into smaller pieces. I'm happy with the weight loss thus
far. I don't think I need to lose more, but I probably could. I've
been fluctuating around the 190 mark, but it's okay. I'm pretty sure
that I will eventually get below the 190 mark, but I'm not really
wanting to get there. It might be a minor accomplishment that I can say
I'll have lost 100 pounds when I get to the 183 pound mark, but I'm not
eager to get there. It'll happen sooner or later, but I'm okay if it
doesn't. I think we are happy if Fran's bloodwork continues to improve.
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Monday, July 20, 2009

Free Ice Cream from MOSI

On Sunday, we did the free Ice Cream from MOSI. They were handing out scoops to paid visitors. Since we have annual passes for the MOSI Imax theatre, we took advantage. We've gotten quite a bit of value from our Annual MOSI membership. We each got a scoop of Cookies and Cream. I've been particularly weak with regard to the Ice Cream dietary no-no's. The lap band does enforce a sense of moderation. I don't want to eat alot of ice cream. The chocolate ice cream from the groom's cake, is overpowering. The Publix brand of Banana Split is very good. Yet I don't feel particularly good afterward, even though it was a small amount. We also got separately, the novelties of Mrs. Field's Cookie sandwiches, M&M's ice cream on a stick, and 100 calorie bars (5 to six packs). This weakness of mine may yet get the best of me. I'm able to loose weight, and follow most guidelines pretty well. Our freezer looks to be pretty well stocked for the time being. I don't know how long it will last. The lap band prevents some foods from going down. Ice cream is not one of the foods which has difficulty, but I think the previous pleasures associated with ice cream seem to be missing.

The previous Sunday (July 11th) we took advantage of the free slurpees from 7-11 due to the birthday. We only visited one 7-11, and only got one 7.11 ounce free slurpee each. We could have gotten more, but perhaps it is due to the smaller stomach pouch, we didn't.

I am happy that we've had the procedure to help Fran with her diabetes.

We've stopped the consumption of Soda. We weren't consumers of alcohol previously, but especially not now. We tend to be frugal.

The pre-measured 10 ounce containers from Wal-Mart have been exteremely beneficial in making the meals doable.

Happy Days

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Happy Days

Happy days... Despite being appreciably heavier in these pictures, the picture in the upper center is of my wife and myself when we were just married, on our way to our honeymoon. Granted, we were living in an apartment near the rail road tracks, but life was good at that time. I had to wear glasses to correct for the 20/300 or worse vision that I had in those days. Fran, my wife is a happy lady for the most part. I guess we all play with the cards that we are dealt. Having someone to share life's ups and downs is very nice.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

forget love, I'd rather fall in chocolate

I thought this was a rather interesting chocolate bar/T-shirt phrase from a store window in Highlands, NC.
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Saturday, July 18, 2009

little extravagencies

I like the little extravagencies. I like my Bunn Home Coffee Maker. Sure, it's more expensive than many basic coffee makers, but it keeps the water that is in the reservoir at a hot 200 degrees, ready for that nice coffee brew. It doesn't do a timed start of the brewing process, nor does it do a grinding of the beans.

Last night, we placed a to go order from Hot Rod's Country Barbeque restaurant for one order of the grilled meatloaf with a side of green beans and a side of corn pudding. Since our lap band surgery, we are mostly able to share a portion at a restaurant, if we take it home. The meat loaf was very good. We've also split the order for country fried steak from cracker barrel. I didn't lose weight from yesterday's weight, but the gain was minimal. I haven't really dug into the ice cream, though that's yet another small extravagency I am fond of. We picked up a relatively new flavor from Blue Bell at Publix called Groom's Cake. It is chocolate ice cream with chocolate cake and a strawberry swirl, and maybe some chocolate covered strawberries.

A good pot of coffee is very good. But I'm frugal. When I buy not so good coffee, I continue through the coffee.
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Tallulah Gorge

Also from our trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Tallulah Gorge is in Northern Georgia.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Lap Band Support group meeting

We went to the lap band support group meeting. My wife and I have been pretty regular attendees to the support group meetings, but we note that many of the other people tend not to show up regularly. I realize that life happens and many people have different needs at different times.
I guess we're both pretty successful with the weight loss, but mostly it involves planning what you will be eating. I take small 10 ounce containers of food to work with me, and heat them up in the microwave. The 10 ounce containers we picked up at Walmart are wonderful for portion control.

fireworks up on the mountains

This was a nice pic of a fireworks show up in the mountais of North Carolina. Now, there were some trees which blocked some of the views, but it was still pretty nice. We had gone up to visit my parents at their place in the little town of Highlands, North Carolina for the long weekend of the Fourth. A friend of my parents was also down along with some nieces from Ireland. The town of Highlands is quaint. It is quite small, but the people are friendly. I guess most of the people tend to be older people who have collected significant amounts of money. I don't think we quite fit into that mold, but I do guess we are pretty good about managing to pay off credit cards and save a little bit for retirement and whatnot else.

While we were up there (after the friend from Virginia had left with nieces) we went down the mountain into the valley town of Franklin. I do tend to appreciate the views from parts of Franklin of the mountains. We stopped at a place called "The Chef and His Wife" for lunch. I had a bowl of soup which was extremely good and flavorful. I had a sandwich, also. But I only had about three-quarters of the soup, and three-quarters of the sandwich. My dad might have had the other quarter of each. I had to get up because of my smaller pouch just getting too much food.
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Whiteside with dog

I posed for a picture with my parents' dog here. The dog also climbed Whiteside mountain. It was a nice day. This photo was taken on or about the 6th of July.
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Some people have problems with heights. I guess I can appreciate that.
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