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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/profile/blog/trebor/sort_by/entry_order DESC, entry_creation_time DESC/page/7
Rated: 18+ · Book · Writing · #1677545
"Putting on the Game Face"
My Blog Sig

This blog is a doorway into the mind of Percy Goodfellow. Don't be shocked at the lost boys of Namby-Pamby Land and the women they cavort with. Watch as his caricatures blunder about the space between audacious hope and the wake-up calls of tomorrow. Behold their scrawl on the CRT, like graffitti on a subway wall. Examine it through your own lens...Step up my friends, and separate the pepper from the rat poop. Welcome to my abode...the armpit of yesterday, the blinking of an eye and a plank to the edge of Eternity.

Note: This blog is my journal. I've no interest in persuading anyone to adopt my views. What I write is whatever happens to interest me when I start pounding the keys.

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November 24, 2018 at 7:04pm
November 24, 2018 at 7:04pm
#946218
Last year I ran into my new van with the lawnmower. Crunch! Was that ever a senior moment! I'm still not sure how I managed to bungle that one however the result was a bad dent and small tear in the sliding door. The door was still functional but looked awful. I thought about my insurance but with the deductible of $500 I knew that wasn't going anywhere... so I just left it the way it was and got on with my life... still it looks really crappy, a glaring blemish in an otherwise decent looking van.

Then on Tube I saw a video of this guy who had a similar gash on the rear quarter panel of his car. Apparently in his metropolitan area there are body men who operate out of a van... He hired this guy and asked if he could videotape the repair. The technician said "sure" and this is how he fixed the fender in customer's driveway.

First he took a wire brush on a drill and took off all the paint surrounding the damaged area. Then he used a spot welder to attach pins on the bare metal. With a slide hammer he pulled the dent out getting the surface into a shape as uniform as possible with the rest of the panel. Then he called a parts store with the paint code off the car and got a spray can of the right color. Before spraying he BONDOed the surface and sanded it to make it smooth. Then he sprayed it with the rattle can. Turned out pretty good and I'm sure the price was right. Anyway that is what I'm doing now. If I could have popped off the inside liner it would have made the whole project easier. Then I could have tapped out the dent with a hammer.

The point I'm making is that for virtually any type of repair there is somebody out there who has made a video for how to fix it. As a matter of fact, It's possible to get a remedial understanding for how to fix anything by simply searching some key words and ending with utube. Try. it.... you'll be amazed with what you can do by yourself.
November 17, 2018 at 8:31am
November 17, 2018 at 8:31am
#945728
Cleanup is a big part of any presentation. Sometimes I get so focused on the end product I neglect doing the cleanup afterwards. I know better. "Ship Shape" gets to the heart of it. As I neglect cleanup I start making a space in the clutter and pushing on with the next big project. As a result the mess of one activity gets compounded with the next.

So I've resolved to not begin anything new until I get my Garage/Workshop cleaned up. For the last two days I've been getting rid of things by stuffing them into my "Ruthless" garbage sack. I can see progress.


November 7, 2018 at 1:43pm
November 7, 2018 at 1:43pm
#945097
Well.... I was wrong in my prediction for the Midterm Elections. The Republicans failed to hold the house. The Democrats now control the House of Representatives.

However, the Republicans did better in the Senate than I expected.... The Governor's races were pretty much a wash in the overall numbers however, Republican wins took place in states of greater importance on the political landscape.
November 6, 2018 at 8:46am
November 6, 2018 at 8:46am
#945012
It is still 7:43 in Wisconsin, so the polls won't open for another quarter of an hour.

I predict that the Republicans will hold the House, make gains in the Senate and that the Governer's races will be a net gain for the Republicans.

Percy

October 27, 2018 at 9:53am
October 27, 2018 at 9:53am
#944280
Yesterday I lamented about getting my Yamaha trail bike titled and registered at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Anyway I decided it was time to stop sniveling and just go down and get the job done. Not only that... but I have two other old bikes in the garage with titles in various stages of completeness. On one the buyer information was not filled out and on the the other it was filled out improperly. I was worried because I wanted to work on these bikes as well as my latest acquisition, but I didn't want to get finished only to discover it was impossible to get them titled.

While on my morning walk with the dogs it occurred to me that a good strategy might be to take my wife along. When I meet people for the first time I make a bad first impression. I do this without opening my mouth... I won't tell you how many fights I got into as a kid because of bad karma. My wife, on the other hand, is a real sweetheart... people love her. They come up to her in Walmart and just naturally strike up a conversation. I can honestly say that never in my entire life has anyone approached me, out of the blue, at Walmart and tried to do that. So you might understand why I anticipated trouble at the desk of the DMV. I knew these old titles were full of glitches and incompletions and envisioned a "No, No, No" response as the clerk examined each one and flipped it back at me.

Then I had a flash of sheer genius...if Linda was standing next to me and I kept my mouth shut and let her do the talking, my chances of succeeding, with at least one of the three, increased exponentially. Allow me to digress and expand this line of thought. I come from a long line of worriers... My mother worried so much she was in and out of the hospital and yes they used to give electric shock treatments and all that... Now my affliction with worry is not nearly the cross my mother had to bear, however, if you subscribe to the acorn and tree hypothesis, you can understand that being a "Worrywart" comes naturally. There is another aspect to being a worrier that I have discovered. This is that the things I worry about never seem to materialize. If I worry enough the bad things never happen. Now, why do you suppose that is? My take is that through worry, God, knows what is bothering me and takes steps in his eternal kindness to prevent them from ever seeing the light of day. It's the things that I don't worry about that bite me... You know those that are totally unexpected....those completely unanticipated disasters that rear up suddenly and knock us flat on our asses. Hold that thought.

So when I got back to the house I asked Linda if she'd go with me to the DMV. She smiled that radiant smile... the one that melted my heart over fifty years ago and said, "Sure, but when we finish I get to go to Target... and I don't want you hovering and sending vibes that it's time to go home." If you'd seen me grovel in appreciation, you'd have witnessed the whole shameless scene, but take my word... So off we went.

When we arrived I was on edge. Linda stood next to me playing on her I-phone. The guy in front us, at the prescreen booth, was applying for a Driver's License. The clerk asked if he had any proof of residency.

"No," he said. in an irritated tone of voice, as if this was some kind of unreasonable request.

"How about a utility bill with an address?"

"No nothing like that with me..."

"Sorry, no proof of residency... no driver's license."

There was some hem-hawing and I could feel the frustration radiating off his body as the line of waiting customers got longer. Finally, he shrugged, shook his head and walked from the building, a look of total failure on his face. I could sympathize because I expected to soon be wearing that same look. With a deep breath, I stepped up to the desk,

"I have three old motorcycles I want to register...,"

Linda stepped up crowding the space intended for a single person.

"Are you going to register them in both your names?" He inquired, shifting his attention to my wife.

"Heavens NO!" Linda answered, "These are DIRT BIKES, Fifty years old... you won't get me on one. They're a waste of money if you ask me... then nobody ever does. NO, this is all HIS doing and I don't need my name on any of the paperwork."

(She sounded like my caregiver...)

He gave us the once over "Just though I'd ask... fill out these three forms, one for each title, where you see the blocks highlighted in yellow.

With one hand Linda took the forms and the other my arm... guiding us over to the form filling out counter.

I started to complete one and she snatched them away... " I'll do it." (Form filling is not my long suit). "You write in what you paid for each bike, sign there and date them."

When I finished she surveyed each completed form until coming to the last one. With a voice of dismay she gasped... "You paid $2600 for these three bikes?"

I winced... "It came from my mad money account."

"I didn't realize the full extent of your latest hobby." she answered, expressing her thoughts out loud.

She guided us over to a bench in front of the video call screen. When our number came up we walked together up to the window. There an even more formidable bureaucrat sat with this I hate my job look.... Maybe if I transfer some of my angst to a customer I'll feel better.

"I want to title and register these bikes."

"You want plates for all three?" she asked with a raised eyebrow.

Linda spoke up... "Yes, and if it keeps him out of the tavern, it'll be worth it."

"Tell me about it," the clerk answered with unspoken sympathy.

What followed was an efficiency born of long experience, as she processed the titles and without further ado issued the plates.

"That will be $468." My jaw dropped. (This was the unexpected part.) Linda wrote out the check without hesitation.

The clerk hit the send key and the titles printed off. "Have a nice day."

I gathered them all up and tried to appear casual as we walked out... In the parking lot I did the happy dance... Will wonders never cease...? I kissed my college sweetheart on the forehead and gave her an endearing hug.








October 26, 2018 at 8:47am
October 26, 2018 at 8:47am
#944218
I haven't gotten to the DMV yet. Maybe today. Yesterday I worked on the sliding door to my van. Last hear I hit the sliding panel with my lawnmower... duh! I thought the easiest way to fix it would be to buy a new door from a salvage yard. No luck there. Then I saw a video of a guy who has a mobile body man come out and fix a deep scratch on his rear quarter panel. I can do that ... so I borrow a pin stud welder from my friend and go to work. First the paint has to come off so I went to ACE hardware and got an abrasive wheel for my drill. I chucked it in and took off the paint. The spot welder needs a bare metal surface for the ground to work. Once the pins were stuck in place there is a slide hammer that attaches to the shaft which can be used to pull the sheet metal back into shape. This is where I am now... my van door looks like a porcupine... Today I will continue on with that project and try and get a bit more completed.

I've found that finding time to complete an "Overwhelming A" task is best approached by breaking it down into small manageable tasks. So getting the paint off and fixing the spot weld pins are two steps in a long list that needs to be sequentially done. This is especially true with electrical wiring. Each circuit has to be examined individually or I soon become immersed in information overload. So this is where I am on that one.

I try and walk two miles a day with my dogs. There is a road out in front of my farm I call "5 Car a day road," Thats what I named it twenty years ago when I retired to my great-grandfather's farm. These days there are probable fifty or more cars a day that drive past and instead of being the only house on a three mile stretch there are now eight houses. The road meanders through a bluff where the Indians used to winter and a hiker can still find arrow heads. I call the bluff stretch "Donner Pass Road." The reason for the name is that when I first moved here a heavy snow would block the road for days on end until the snow plow got around to digging us out. Since there were no school children age youngsters on the road, our priority for plowing was lower than whale poop... and everyone should know how low that gets.

Am I rambling? I suppose I am but... many prefer it to my political commentary. Anyway, today is Friday and I've a lot to do.
October 24, 2018 at 6:47am
October 24, 2018 at 6:47am
#944092
The first step in renovating an old motorcycle has nothing to do with wrenches..., it involves dealing with the State. There is no sense going to the trouble of fixing a bike that can't be operated on the public highway.

This Yamaha 100 I bought up North, had a clean title, I got a bill of sale and now I need to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to get the title transferred into my name and registered. How hard will that be? Duh... Have you ever dealt with the DMV? It will probably be a nightmare of tangled bureaucracy.

I don't even want to think about it,
October 23, 2018 at 9:24am
October 23, 2018 at 9:24am
#944030
I've always had a passion for mechanical things. It goes along with my passion for writing, languages and clinging to the opposite sex. Passion is a powerful motive force but alone it doesn't provide a "How To" schematic. To supplement a passion a person benefits from talent, experience, and self discipline. Where are you going Percy with this ramble, you might be wondering? Let me answer that by relating a most wonderful thing that happened to me recently.

The other night I was sitting watching U-tube video's when on the right of the screen, where it shows a series of related videos, I saw one about this guy who discovered an old motorcycle that had been stored in a barn for the past twenty-five years. It showed the video maker purchasing the machine, loading it in his truck and taking it back to his shop. Finding, negotiating, and transporting are subjects in their own stead and I'll pass over that. It was what happened in this video maker's shop that I found not only intriguing... but downright amazing.

I saw a good mechanic assess, disassemble, clean, repair and reassemble a motorcycle that most would consider a piece of junk... and in the end kick it over and hear it come rumbling to life. I watched this mechanic, over a series of six videos, go from start to finish. When the series ended I wondered if I could do the same thing. So I resolved to go on Craig's list and look for some cheap motorcycles in my area. Guess what....? There were plenty. I did not have to settle for something that had been sitting out in the elements, under a tarp of in some vermin infested shed for the last quarter of a century.

It didn't take me long to find a good candidate, a 100 cc Yamaha dual purpose bike from the 1970s. The owner had done some work on it and said it would start on the first kick. I told him I was interested and would drive up and take a look. Three hours later and $550 poorer I was the new owner of a dirt bike with a flat rear tire. After rolling it into my van I returned to the farm and wheeled it into my garage.

Let me pause here for a moment and say that I'd not ridden a two stroke motorcycle for a long time.... since 1968 to be exact. Sure I'd had some four strokes and even a Harley but these had been all maintained by a dealership or speciality shop. In my mind I was way ahead of the Barn Find video guy because mine actually started and ran fairly well. Still I realized there was plenty of voodoo that lurked under the wrenches and was experienced enough to know that this project was not going to be as easy as it looked on U-tube.

Prior to getting started I have to clean up my garage and make room. Then I have to make a work stand, not to mention developing a clear understanding of how all the systems work and the tools and expertise to take it apart without ruining the parts and then getting it all put back together again in the proper order and sequence.

This brings me back to passion, talent, experience and self discipline. For the present I have the passion. Self discipline hasn't always been my long suit and in the past I 'd not always completed some of the ambitious tasks I took on. So I had to ask myself, "Self" are you going to have the gumption to see this project through? Since that question had an element of futurity the answer was more an assumption than statement of fact. Then in-between was the talent and experience issue. I do not have a natural mechanical talent. The complexity of rehabilitating a dirt bike is nothing to be taken lightly. Experience is another matter and undertaking a task where one has little aptitude or background is daunting and will require some research. While I have the time, being retired, and in reasonably good health, my new project won't be easy.

So where do I start? The best place, I think, is finding a way to transfer the technical requirements into a language that I understand. By this I mean don't just start taking things apart but coming up with a process that will take the technical information from the shop manual and transfer it into my bio-processor. For example the wiring diagram for this bike looks like Spaghetti Junction and the wires under the gas tank are far from original. Not to mention understanding how the gears work and how the power gets from the battery to the spark plugs. Get the drift? Before starting I need to examine each system and make sure I understand how the theory works and apply it to the machine I'm attempting to renovate. Rather than going off half cocked and then giving up in dismay, I need to make sure I understand thoroughly what I need to do and how I need to do it. That requires a plan and a process considered in advance.

Well here I am on the threshold of a new adventure, about to step into a brave new world. Wish me luck.
October 19, 2018 at 8:41am
October 19, 2018 at 8:41am
#943747
A beautiful Space Force... That is what President Trump called the new arm of the American military being ginned up in the Pentagon. This tells me there will be no disclosure coming in the near future. It will continue to be business as usual and a small cluster of very smart people will continue to interface with the ETs and set the policies on how the United States will represent the planet in our intercourse with the aliens.

It further shows a strong and coordinated military component will be a part of the negotiation process. What kind of a "deal" do you suppose is being cooked up in the caverns of power? The last great negotiation was granting concessions in the Bio market in return for some outdated off world technology. It seemed a reasonable exchange at the time. President Truman figured there was nothing he could do to stop the animal mutilations and human abductions so why not get something from a situation he was powerless to prevent? There were some growing pains in the budding new relationship but nothing that couldn't be covered up and managed.

Now we're becoming bolder. The United States has developed some "Teeth" over the past seventy-five years and there is this naive notion that our technology has evolved to the point where we have a military option to flex in our dealings with the Extraterrestrials. Is that a joke or what..? Mankind and the Off-worlders duking it out on bullseye Earth. We're no more than a petulant toddler with a twig.

The rest of the world is at a loss for how to deal with the good ole USA. There is no military power that can match our might, more so now since we have weaponized the new technologies seeded in the aero-space industry by our new found friends. In response, foreign interests and old European money are trying to weaken the United States from within. It is a desperate gambit but the only card the "Outs" have left... to try and use an internal strategy to destroy the unchecked nemesis they perceive as threatening to destroy everything.

No decent American would work the mischief we see rampant in todays politic's... Somebody external is calling the shots and nearly succeeded in gutting this country... until Trump came along. He certainly bears watching but has saved us, in the short term, from the socialist infection aimed at destroying the middle class.
September 29, 2018 at 8:55am
September 29, 2018 at 8:55am
#942165
I'm sure there are many who are following the confirmation hearing on Judge Caveneaugh. Lindsey Graham, a Republican Senator has summed the whole thing up with far more eloquence than I could ever muster. In summary the purpose of the hearing is not to get to the truth of what happened to Mrs. Ford but rather to delay and obstruct, in the hopes of pushing an appointment beyond the Midterms and then, (If they win the Senate), prevent the appointment of a conservative jurist, altogether.

The Democrats are being disingenuous, clutching their hearts and pretending they really care about women. They are taking a politically expedient argument to conceal... a deep-seated fear that a conservative judge will upset the balance of power on the Supreme Court and lead to an overturning of Rowe Vs Wade.

After they ran out of civil arguments to prevent the confirmation they resorted, as in the past, to play the Sex Card. It used to be they snapped the Race Card, but they played that one so often it lost its effectiveness. The same thing is happening with the Sex Card. Accusing a man of Sexual Misconduct is still an issue packed with enough emotion to stick and when reason and common decency fail the Democrats put out an appeal to Females across the land to step up and level this allegation at their political enemies. It is a horrific accusation. I'm sure that many Democrats cringe inwardly at recourse to such a vile and disgusting tactic, but I suppose they they feel, that on this issue, the ends justify the means. They're prepared to destroy a decent man in any way possible to cling to a lever of power.

It's my contention that whenever someone resorts to tactics based on the idea that the ends justify the means, they are mortgaging their souls. It might appear to be a legitimate last ditch recourse to protect a dearly held core value, however there are consequences. It is an EVIL concept and while it might appear to work in the short term, those who stoop to it eventfully pay a terrible price. The Democrats should have won the last election easily, but the misdeeds of Hillary Clinton came back with a vengeance in totally unexpected ways. In the shadows of the electorate's mind is a quest for human decency. Many dismiss it but it it moves like a cloud, seemingly unnoticed, an amorphous spiritual presence, which ultimately finds traction in the greater scheme of things. It is the playing out of an equilibrium in the minds of men and women. It is the unending struggle between good and evil that has been going on as long as humanity has existed. It's the stuff of religion and just because it can't be seen doesn't mean it isn't there.

As I said, Hillary should have won the last presidential election but to the dismay of everyone she lost. Trumps victory has been described as "Cosmic." The reason it came to pass was because injustice and evil must eventually give way to those nobler sentiments that are eventually allowed to have their day in the sun. It is almost a foregone conclusion that the midterms favor a political party that has fallen from power, however, the Democrats, rather than learning the lessons of the Obama Administration have doubled down on the dark side of politics and continue on a path that leads only to unintended consequences.

The certainty that they will reap a political windfall in the midterms has been mortgaged and if there is any justice in this world they will be handed a defeat for they same reasons they failed in the last election. For those who flirt with evil a harsh reckoning awaits.

As with Obamacare Democrats have invested all their political capital on something the American people did not want forced upon them, at least not in the form it was crammed down their throats. It was never a policy of universal health care that people found so egregious but rather the means the Democrats pursued it. The ENDS do not justify the MEANS. This might seem to be the case at the time but in the final reckoning, the MEANS are as important and those who deceive themselves will in the end always reap the unfairness and anguish they have sown.
September 24, 2018 at 9:43am
September 24, 2018 at 9:43am
#941960
Somewhere along the line I got too much sun... particularly on my forehead and up on my temples and hair line. My dermatologist prescribed a cream that is supposed to burn off the bad stuff and my face looks blotchy and red. I don't care... I'm no longer competing for female attention.

I've been reading a book called "Lucid Dreaming." I've read similar stuff like Psycho "Cybernetics" where you relax, put yourself into a light trance and vividly try to imagine yourself doing something you can't seem to get right consciously. Golfers and other sports professionals use it all the time. Lucid dreaming requires the same psycho sort of preparation and the object is to become lucid in a dream but not wake up. You keep sleeping but awaken to he realization you're dreaming. Since I am plagued by nightmares this is useful because realizing you are dreaming takes the terror out of the experience. Anyway I noticed something new in the process that I have never heard anyone talk about before.

The past few nights I have been trying to repeat phrases in French in my effort to prepare for an upcoming trip to Europe. Guess what? As I slept I dreamed in French and the phrases I struggled with to understand and repeat keep repeating themselves. Is that cool or what?
September 22, 2018 at 4:47pm
September 22, 2018 at 4:47pm
#941856
You body is designed to make itself attractive. The reason for the attractiveness is procreation. An attractive body is a lure for the opposite sex.

Despite your body's good intentions it is easy to short circuit these motives and do things that promote a slovenly appearance. Overeating is at the top of the list, however, there are other life style choices that are almost as bad. Ingesting foods in quantities beyond the daily energy needs is one thing but eating foods and drink that are not healthy is another matter altogether. Then there are life style choices such as drugs, breathing toxic fumes, and flirting with unnecessary dangers. There are many ways to destroy our body that have nothing to do with bad eating habits.

Another is unnecessary exercise. Many think that if they exercise vigorously and push their bodies to the limits in various types of competitive alethic activities that they do no harm. After all. they reason, the human body was made to be pushed hard through strenuous exertion. Nobody will argue that and it certainly burns plenty of calories. In response I must point out that our ancestors did not live long lives and many of their activities did not promote longevity. So what are the pros and cons of exercise? On the one hand too much can hasten the joints to wear out, and overexertion can lead to a life changing event. On the other hand, vocation related exercise is something humans are designed to cope with and as long as the physical demands remain consistent and the body has time to adjust. At some point however, age begins to catch up and if the tempo of daily work continues unabated, damage is inevitable.

This brings us back to the body making itself attractive. I submit that if men and women better controlled their eating habits all the cosmetic and medicinal remedies would be shamed by comparison. A beautifully maintained body is worth a thousand cabinets of creams, diet aids and energy enhancing drugs.
September 21, 2018 at 8:39am
September 21, 2018 at 8:39am
#941772
My right hearing aid went on the fritz. It had to be sent back to the factory for repair. Struggling along with one is better than nothing but a real pain in the butt. Try going around with a patch over one eye and you understand the analogy.

Actually it is a pretty good analogy also for how this country is operating. It seems that there's no hole too dark for the Democrats to crawl down in their efforts to block Kavenaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court. His alleged inappropriate sexual behavior took place in High School. HIGH SCHOOL! can you believe that? There is no proof. What happened to the presumption of innocence? How many people would want their behavior in High School to be the spotlight of public attention? The only card the Democrats have that has worked is the "Sex Card." It is pretty pathetic when a political party has to resort to such tactics when their policies are so bankrupt and ineffective. Imagine running on a Socialist platform. Does anyone in this country want the United States to adopt a governing model used in Cuba, Venezula and the Soviet Union? I think this is going to backfire as the American People get to see once and for all what a really pathetic bunch the Democrats have become.

The really sad part is the lengths they are willing to go to. This is more than just dirt.... it is a pattern of behavior that has gone beyond truth and uses lies as an acceptable substitute. Allegations of sexual misconduct tend to stick in politics when nothing else does. Somebody is pulling the strings on our politicians. Sure they are corrupt but Dianne Finestine is better than the sleaze-bag she has stooped to becoming.
September 20, 2018 at 8:05am
September 20, 2018 at 8:05am
#941726
During my thwarted attempt to get to Europe last month I bought a refresher guide to speaking French. It is called the Complete Language Pack... French..., Learn in just 15 minutes a day...Language Course: Visual Phrase Book: Grammar Guide: and 3 Audio CDs.

I like all the components in the package, however, I don't use then in the exact manner that is intended. First I don't use the visual phrase book along with the CDs with the 12 Week Learning Guide. Instead I listen to the first two CDs and see if I understand some semblance of what they are saying. I don't care that I don't understand it all, I like listening to the musicality and trying to repeat the rapid fire French phases that come at me like spray from a fire hose.

Next, I read the written text and look at the vocabulary and pictures. They are excellent tools and I try to follow along, speaking the words I'm reading.

After going once through the books, I go back to the tapes to see how much more I Understand. Where I think most people go wrong in these courses is that they never get adjusted to the rapid tempo in which the language is spoken. For the uninitiated, the language is spoken at a fast pace and a student simply has to get used to that. French speakers never developed a regional variation with a slow moving drawl. So from the beginning one has to speak fast while articulating clearly and at breakneck speed. There is no comparative English model for talking as fast as the French do and it behooves a student to get used to the rapid fire manner in which the language is spoken. Otherwise you won't be able to listen comprehensively, much less get your tongue wrapped around a sentence.

Last night I tackled the Easy Grammar book which approached the language using a more traditional learning approach. My strategy is to hop back and forth from the books to the CDs. The redundancy between the written and verbal mediums is quite helpful and reinforcing. I like the tools in the package and despite deciding to follow my own lamp, see the logic of the approach taken in the package.

Since I know a smidgen of French from the days I lived there as a child, and having studied it in College (I got a C), then I've a head start on someone beginning the language for the first time.

Last night I dreamed in French and perhaps that is another dimension of the learning process.
September 19, 2018 at 9:29pm
September 19, 2018 at 9:29pm
#941704
There's several more points I want to make regarding hunger management.

When you feel a modicum of hunger that is a good thing. That "twinge" is the cry of fat cells about to be converted into useful energy. As long as you feel a slight craving for food your body has stopped making fat cells and is in the process of cashing them in. So don't think for a minute that when you feel this slight compulsion that you need to satisfy it. Quite the contrary... this is the state you feel when moving in the direction you want... towards achieving the physical appearance you once enjoyed before ruining your body.

This is not to say you need to suffer... no hunger doesn't really work like that unless you're adrift in a life boat or locked up in a concentration camp. No, the craving is much more subtle than that... it is a seductive whisper that is so elusive you hardly notice it, until you find yourself pigging out on cookies, candy or other forms of snacks that have one thing in common... they make you fat. When you find yourself holding that bag of potato chips or eating a piece of fudge a red flag should go off in your mind. As awareness of what you are doing resonates, scold yourself and put your mind into a state of activity doing something you love besides eating. Take the dog for a walk, knit a scarf or play your favorite video game. If the compulsion gets too overwhelming eat a sack of Planters Peanuts.

I know that some will lament that the diet I'm suggesting will make your body go into "Starvation Mode..." whatever that is. Put your mind at ease. It is highly unlikely that you will ever enter such a state in the world we live in today.

While my guide to weight reduction involves eating less food, it also has an upside. The upside is that you should only eat delicious food. Grapes and apples are delicious to me. If they aren't to you find something similar that is. When you eat lunch eat half as much as usual of the things you like. At dinner have a steak, or shrimp or a meat course you find delectable along with some of your favorite vegetables. Eat less of what you like and if you savor and chew it thoroughly, eating slowly as opposed to wolfing it down like a dog, then your stomach will let you know when its had enough. At that point stop eating get up and scrape what's left off your plate and into the garbage can. Forget about the poor children in China. If your conscience is that troubled then put the leftovers into a plastic container and make a meal of it tomorrow.
September 18, 2018 at 9:42am
September 18, 2018 at 9:42am
#941619
I'm not a PHD with degrees in nutrition. What I am is someone who's figured out how to lose weight. Yesterday I weighed 178.8 and this morning I weighted 176.8. My weight is coming down in a slow and methodical manner, which is exactly how I want to lose it.

Some might ask what I eat... ? and I'll be glad to relate that, however, it's not so much what I eat but rather how and when I eat it. First off let me say that I'm conscious of every bite I take and don't eat impulsively, just because I feel a slight twinge of hunger. It's my view that twinges of hunger (or worse) were a normal part of the daily lives of our forbearers. When you feel a twinge do something active to focus on something else. If you can't deal with the "Twinges" that explains why you cringe standing in front of the mirror.

When I get up I have some grapes and half an apple. Snacking on fruit in the morning beats the heck out of grits, cornbread, waffles, syrup toast and bacon. I realize that after becoming used to such a heavy fare for breakfast, then small portions of fruit are not going cut it at first. So to begin with eat a small bunch of grapes and maybe the whole apple. Scale back as your body adjusts to your new eating habit. Don't believe the time worn adage...., "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day?" In response I can only say that if someone has a vocation that involves serious manual labor then maybe a case can be made for a heavy traditional breakfast. However, as we grow older and become less actively engaged in physical toil, the need for a calorie packed morning meal is less important. So my advice is try a fruit breakfast and don't wolf it down. Now, I can guarantee that around 10:30 AM you'll be experiencing more than just a twinge of hunger. At such times I eat a package of Planter's Peanuts. They are harder to find in packages then they once were, but Sam's Club carries them and if you eat this snack slowly... in a few minutes the pangs will subside. This will carry you through to lunch time.

For lunch the rule is to eat half of what you do normally, but again take your time. Give your stomach the opportunity to dial down the hunger gauge. This will get you to dinner. Here is where the serious eating takes place... but again resolve to take your time and eat smaller portions. Since dinner will be your main meal this should carry you through until bedtime. Try and avoid evening snacks like the plague. This approach to eating works for me and while the scale ritual might not show a daily weight loss, I can guarantee that in the course of your week you'll not be disappointed.

This brings us to the dreaded morning weigh in. These are my thoughts. When you step on the scale there are three possible outcomes. You gained weight, you lost weight or you stayed the same. Since most scales weigh in tenths of a pound you'll rarely show the same weight from the day before. In interpreting this daily feedback it's best to take the results with a grain of salt. This is to say that you shouldn't get either too elated or depressed by what you see. A scale reading is more for information than action. Sure, if you show a steady gain for a week, that would indicate you might be on the wrong track. However, if you stay with your resolve, and think about everything you eat... then more often than not, the morning look will be a favorable one.

The point to all this is that it's not the food that's so important, as eating only at those times you feel a real need, and then eat slowly. Give your gut time to signal "Enough" before pursuing a single minded effort to clean your plate. This might have pleased your parents but this practice is a bad idea.
September 17, 2018 at 8:37am
September 17, 2018 at 8:37am
#941571
If you ever had a nicotine addiction you will understand the subtle nature of the craving. It does not scream out inside you but rather is seductive and unrelenting. The more cigarettes you smoke in a day the more empowered the craving becomes.

Hunger is no different. The more you eat in excess of your daily energy needs the more fat cells are created and these add to the sum total of your body's energy requirement and your daily compulsion to eat. Soon you are eating as much to feed and maintain your fat cells as you are feeding and maintaining the cells which perform the physical and cognitive functions your body requires. It began like a teeter-totter when one day you ate more than your body was able to use.

What you have to realize with hunger is that there is not an instantaneous relationship between eating and satisfying the hunger craving. It is not like a buzzer that goes off when the right amount of food has been swallowed. Would that this were the case. What happens is that when we are hungry the "Eyes become Bigger than our Stomachs." For example suppose at lunch time we feel particularly hungry and instead of one Burger at McDonalds and a small fry we double the order. If we eat fast the food can be choked down before our body provides feedback we've eaten enough. Had we had ordered less and eaten slowly, the hunger would have subsided and been satisfied with half as much. So these are the first two rules of losing weight... Eat less and eat slowly.

The next rule is to eat only when hungry and not on some schedule you learned at the dining table of your parents. A human does not have to eat three times a day. Twice a day works fine for starters and once we get used to that than one meal a day will suffice. Eating does not have to become a habitual activity but rather one designed to provide a daily ration of food designed make your body stay attractive and operate the way it is supposed to.
September 15, 2018 at 9:44am
September 15, 2018 at 9:44am
#941463
For thousands of years nobody understood the biology of procreation. Sure everybody knew if two people of opposite gender had intercourse then pregnancy became possible and the more it happened the more likely conception became. What people did not fully realize was the relationship between the menstrual cycle and having sex and on some days during the cycle the possibilities increased dramatically and that there was one particular date where an episode produced the greatest likelihood of them all.

I submit to you that the same can be said for "Hunger." We don't really understand what hunger is. It is a compulsion that is built into the human organism that provides an incentive for the human being to obtain fuel to operate their bioorganism. Duh! you say... everybody knows that. In response I must offer that everybody doesn't. Like sex and the compulsion to satisfy other bodily functions, hunger is tied to the acquisition of materials that can be ingested and readily converted to energy.

So how much energy does a human need to subsist comfortable? Rather than give the usual answer defined in calories, allow me attempt to respond using the analogy of a gas gauge. When the bio storage tank reaches a point where the cells in our body face a point of concern over the availability of fuel we feel hunger. We are driven to solve that concern by ingesting food.

There are many reasons we eat food. Here are a few that spring readily to mind.

1. Because we are in the habit of eating at certain times and that is when we eat. We might not be hungry when we do but we eat because we have always done it at that time.

2. Because we have food storage cells called "Fat" and these require energy to be created and maintained.

3. Because we have other cells that serve our cognitive and energy needs that must be created and maintained.

4. Because eating is a source of pleasure.

5. Because eating is often a social activity.

6. Because food needs change with age and physical activity.

Once a person understants what is really at the root of why we eat... then it becomes self-evident what needs to be done to curb our obesity.

What jumps out is that reason 2 and 3 lie at the root of the addiction and reasons 1, 3 and 4 are areas where eating less will be the easiest to cut back on. Note, however, that despite when we eat our eating habits are interrelated and if you cut back in one another will rear its head.

Eating at certain times: I feed my dogs once a day. My wife feeds the dogs when they become bored and go begging to her for food. My dogs get fat because they eat too much. My cats live outdoors and are fed once a day. They are always hungry and live to a rip old age. If they get really hungry they can go off in search of a bird or mouse to eat. Our ancestors died at an earlier age and led lives which were much more active. It would have been a rare thing to see a fat cave man or woman during the ice age and it was only when agriculture came along and there was a surplus of food. As I mentioned in yesterday's blog it is not necessary to eat three times a day and once a day without "Pigging out" is a goal worth striving for.

Eating too much and creating Fat: I'm sure that having some fat ensured that our forefathers and mothers survived some particularly harsh winters. I'm told that women have an extra layer of fat that has probably come in handy at times in the distant past. However if you pay attention in Walmart you will note that while there are plenty ty of fatsos in both sexes, fat women tend to outnumber fat men. So while fat might have an upside in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse it has a definite down side in day to day life. For every one of those unsightly fat cells cries out "Feed Me! Feed Me!" along with the other cells that provide for our daily needs. This is why I say that food is nutritions only to a certain point, beyond which it becomes poison. Thus in adding those excess pounds you are not only producing excess hunger but you are also overloading the excretory function to levels your body was never designed to handle. Its sort of like the septic tank backing up.

Legitimate life requirements: Nobody is going to question the importance of food in creating energy for accomplishing the day to day needs in our lives, however, if we don't exercise self discipline then as we grow older and continue the same habits our quality of life begins to deteriorate faster than it otherwise would.

Eating, along with sex, expelling waste, drinking, and breathing are among the simple pleasures in life. The Greeks gave great stress to moderation and the exercise of self discipline to aid the body in maintaining a healthy equilibrium. They were much better at dispensing this advice than following it.

Eating as a social activity: Eating as a means of socializing or as part of many eating rituals. We can often abstain from these activities or moderate them and this is fertil ground for eating less.

So if you really want to lose weight ponder these five areas and see where you can get the most bang for the buck.





September 14, 2018 at 7:43am
September 14, 2018 at 7:43am
#941396
When I was growing up the prevailing wisdom was that breakfast was the most important meal of the day. If you're a lumberjack I won't argue that breakfast is a pretty important meal.

However, as I grew older I discovered that I had a pretty good store of energy early in the day, left over from the digestive process of the night before. So, I pretty much skip breakfast, with the exception of some grapes or a couple sections of an orange. My guide for eating lunch is to put it off until around 12 O'clock, depending on how hungry I am. If I'm really hungry, then I eat a moderate lunch... slowly, until my hunger dissapates. Then I push on until 5 O'clock for my main meal of the day. I drag this meal out and avoid "Pigging Out." This is early enough so it will be digested by the time I go to sleep and don't have any acid reflux issues.

When I follow this regime I see the weight melt off. If I eat bacon and eggs for breakfast, A Mac-Double meal for lunch and spaghetti at Olive Garden for dinner then the opposite is the result. So there you have my philosophy on eating.... nutrition is important but too much chow is poison...as you get older your metabolism changes. It's a good idea for an old geezer to change with it.
September 13, 2018 at 8:44pm
September 13, 2018 at 8:44pm
#941365
Today my wife and I went to Marshfield WI, where I purchased last year, my used Ram Transit City Van. The reason I bought it was to carry my RC airplanes to the flying field. When I decided to embark on my thwarted mission to catch a Space A flight to Europe, I threw my stuff inside and set out on the grand adventure. Some might call what happened a fiasco but despite all the things that went wrong, I had a good time and learned plenty.

The reason Linda and I went to Marshfield today was two fold. First I had to get the van serviced. When the transmission pewked in Dover Delaware I was forced to use my trip time and resources to get it fixed. This meant staying in motels at an average rate of $150 a night for two weeks. The good news was that the transmission was still under warrenty and if I'd had to pay parts and labor the bill could have been in the 6K range. They say every dark cloud has a silver lining and despite the frustration, the calamity had this as a redeeming aspect.

The second reason was to go see my coin dealer friend in Tomahawk and sell some gold coins that I have been hoarding for a rainy day. My kids have more money than I do and I asked myself what I was saving them for? I had run up some credit card debt on the aborted journey and figured, what the heck, I can't take it with me.

In the periods between going to the Doctor for my annual physical and getting the van serviced I have been working on the benches for the van. They are not completed but do sit where they are supposed to go and even though they will need further attending to, having them in place shows me what I need to do in the next phase of the build.

On the roof of the van are bolt holes for a rack on top. I have used these holes to secure a retangular frame that will encapsulate the solar panels. At Harbor Freight I bought a simple system that should provide the electricity I'll be needing when the van engine is not operating.... you know to run the fans and interior lights when I'm overnighting inside. When we got home from Marshfield there was a Fantastic Air fan sitting on the porch, left by the FEDEX man. This weekend I will cut a hold in the roof and install it. It has three speeds, a thermostat, and a mode switch to draw air in or blow it out. How cool is that?

Tomorrow Linda and I are back on he road to take my two seater to Madison and get it a quarterly service.

On the way home today I stopped at Home Depot and got a sheet of plywood to make the seats for my benches. So now that step is done... Will keep everyone posted on how my Stealth van conversion is getting on.

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