This morning was trash pick-up with the bike club. We have a whopping 4 block section of town to police. We always get a big turn out for the event too, because the Club buys everyone who comes out a breakfast at Best Bagels. Besides the usual cans, both intact and shredded by lawn mower, bottles and fast food wrappers, today’s haul included 2 IBM Selectric typewriters, a rusty hand saw, a couple sets of car keys and a lobster tail with the meat intact.
After that it was another drive to Augusta to deliver the Bike Club Newsletter to the big 3 bikes stores. By then it was lunch and the temps were in the 90s so the afternoon was spent indoors in the AC and channel surfing.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 125
Sometime last week “Fight the Fututre” premired on FX and has been shown about 12 times already. Came in part way today and watched all the way until Mulder’s little trip to the Antarctic to save Scully. The middle part of the movie plays like a TV episode, which is fine. The last hour is like Hollywood blockbuster/action pic with big special effects, yeck. When Mulder climbs around inside this supposedly cavernous alien spacecraft it never seems big due to the crappy lighting and the hanging by his fingers thing just seemed so tossed in.
The TV show ended a few weeks back and of course coincidently there was an article in that week’s TV Guide about the show. Somewhere in the article someone mentioned that they were thinking of doing another movie — please spare us.
Thank’s Lewis for explaining yesterdays question of the day, “What’s the half circle mean under the basket?” It’s an offensive foul amnesty zone. They can’t call an offensive player for a charge in that circle, it is always going to be the defensive player’s foul no matter if he has been standing there for weeks.
This is the stuff that the doctor has me on to lower my BP. One site I found that talks of the drug says that the normal dosage is one 40mg tablet a day. I am taking two 80mg tablets and that sounds like a lot to me, but what do I know. I do know that I am feeling normal more often now. I still seem to tire easy and I have had a heck of a upset stomach for most of today. I need to go back and check to see if that is a side effect or what. It also seems like I can hear my knee and hips when I walk, weird huh?
Big ass thunderstorm rolled through Aiken tonight about dinner time. I yanked the plug on the computer, both power and phone line and it may have been a good thing I did. While eating dinner a really close lightning strike! seemed like right in the front yard, everyone jumped. The TV in the living room went silent. Uh-oh. Went over and tried to turn it back on and nothing. So I started checking the other stuff in the entertainment center. VCR — dead. Receiver — works. DVD — dead. Pulled the DVD player out and opened the cover to see if a fuse had blown. The fuse was fine, but power wouldn’t come back on. The same was true for the VCR, fuse good, but it wouldn’t come on. Didn’t try the TV, it is a 32″ and weighs about a 120 lbs and I figured I would get the same thing. Must have been like a nuclear explosion, no power surge, just a kick-butt Electro-Magnetic Pulse.
For the heck of it tried some other stuff around the house. Donna’s mom’s 3-way touch lamp as on and that is all it do, no changing levels or even turning it off. The 19″ TV in our bedroom (it was off) is dead. But the 13“TV/VCR combo her mom watches works fine. No TV so we were bored, Donna suggested we head out to Wally World and shop some prices. Guess what? The garage door opener got fried too, we had to go out the front door!
The damages are adding up. I wonder how State Farm deals with this, we have a $500 deductible.…
Felt crappy this afternoon, so we put the top up and rode home with the top up and A/C on. Had to get out of the car in the driveway to manually open the the garage door, we on a waiting list for the repair person to visit and see what it will cost to fix/replace the opener. After supper the of us piled into the MSV and made a run to Target. Bought a new phone/answering machine ’cause the insurance man said nobody fixes them so just keep the receipt. While we were there we bought a cheap 19″ TV because we couldn’t stand it without any TV to watch. What the heck, if the TV repair guy can fix the other one for cheap, we’ll just sell it and at least recoup the repair cost.
Started down, went up, still up.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 126
If you read last night’s rant you know that we lost a bunch of stuff to a lightning storm. Called my insurance company today and they bounced the ball right back into my court. I have to get a repair person to come look at the damaged goods and give an estimate on repair or replacement cost. Got in line for a garage door repair person, might get squeezed in tomorrow or might be next week. I am about 20 down the list for the sprinkler repair person. TVs, VCR & DVD are another story, nobody makes house calls anymore. Have to get it to the shop or they will come get it for $20. Gonna take the second option. It will be worth the money not having to try and get that big tube somewhere.
Yesterday afternoon my BP spiked up a bit — 146/92 — which I guess psyched me in to mentally raising more or something, because I didn’t sleep too well last night. Nurse took the BP this AM at work and it was 142/94. Called the doctor’s office and they said I could get in to see the PA at 11:15. Off I went, with intentions of going home and crashing in the afternoon. When the PA took my pressure it was 150/90. She gave me some samples of the Micardis HCT, same as before, but this has a diuretic included in the multiple warhead pill, supposed to knock the pressure down more. Felt marginally better afterwards so I went back to work, which means I am running out steam as I write this, gonna sleep good tonight.
Top down for the ride to work. Another hot day in the afternoon, so it went up for the ride home, stayed down to the Bike Club meeting and even home from that. Good news was that the garage door opener is fixed and it only cost the $55 for the service call. Bad news is that all it took to fix it was that the repair guy had me shut the breaker off for 5 minutes and then turn it back on. He said that there is a prection chip on the cicuit board that can be reset sometimes when the unit takes a power surge. One of the remote controlled ceiling fans on the screened porch was discovered not working this afternoon, and for whatever reason, that same trick worked on it as well. Go figure. Also good news is the insurance agent called to say that any TV under 25″ is just a replacement thing, no need to even try and get a repair estimate. Makes sense, a new 19″ TV was $100 at Target, the TV repair shop wanted $20 just to look at it.
Started up, went down, went up, still up.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 128
Missed a couple of evenings posting, so let’s catch up. When we last saw our hero he was hoping for a good night’s sleep„,
We have a programmable thermostat to regulate the house temp and for the last couple of days the central A/C has kicked on fine, but had to be manually shut off in the morning. A minor inconvenience and it has happened a few times before and always self corrected. Tonight was the Miata Club meeting in Augusta and when we got home we realized we hadn’t flipped the thermostat back to on, it was 78 in the house (for the record we are shameless energy wasters, we like it set to 75 during the day and 70 at night.) Turned the switch to cool and WTF, nothing. I checked the thermostat and noticed it wasn’t on the right day nor was it showing the correct program number. After some furious button pushing it still didn’t work. A trip to Wally World was in order as it was after 10:00 PM and nothing else was open. $40 for a new programmable thermostat and some flea killer. Went home and in 20 minutes had the new thermostat installed, but the A/C still wouldn’t come on. It was a hot and restless night. The old thermostat was bad though, you could smell that tell-tale fried electronic order as soon as I opened the cover to take out the screws (add another receipt to the insurance company pile.…
The first heating contractor I called couldn’t promise that they could make it that today. I said please try and hung up. Imagining spending my weekend in a motel, I tried another. They said they could make it that morning, praise be. It cost $148 but man the cool is worth it. The repair guy said it was my start-up capacitor. I asked could that have been caused by lightning, he said no. Dang. I bet it could have been caused by a faulty thermostat constantly sending signals to turn the unit on, but forgot to ask that question. Last night we had bought some flea killer. It is not for a pet, as we don’t have any, but the pesky little buggers were getting into the bathrooms some how and making Donna’s life miserable (they go for her and leave me alone.) Tonight they were back with a vengeance, even after last nights spraying. When she went onto our screen porch on the back of the house there were 12 of them on her socks before she could take the 3rd step. Back to the yellow pages. The third place she called said the could come out tonight, but it would be an hour or so. We ate dinner and packed an overnight bag. You are told to stay out of the house for at least 2 hours, but there was no way we were spending the night at home (others have said 4 hours, but Donna is sensitive to chemical smells, so…) In the morning I was worried about spending the weekend in a motel, didn’t happen, but I did end up in a motel room for one night for a completely different reason.
Spent last night at the Holiday Inn Express right around the corner because of the insecticide spraying to kill fleas. We normally don’t watch much TV on a Friday night, but we figured, Woohoo! HBO!” Big disappointment, “Young Guns” was the Friday night movie at 8. Channel surfed for a while, read some, showered and went to bed early, around 10. The alarm jangled us awake at 5:15 AM. We of course had never set the alarm, the chuckleheads who spent the night before had and either accidentally or on purpose set it to go off the next night. We rolled over and went back to sleep. Woke again, on our own, a 7:30. Seeing as we went to bed early enough we got up and headed down to the lobby for our “free” continental breakfast. After eating we went back to the room, packed our stuff and walked the mile to home leaving Donna’s mom to take her time and enjoy the breakfast. We got home and the clock read 8:15! When we left the motel, the clock in the room read 9:00. So, not only had they set an early alarm, but had turned the clock back an hour to make it even earlier. I am sure there are a few possible innocent explanations for the clock SNAFU, but having been a smart ass when I was younger, I doubt it.
Cool enough for a light jacket on the way to today, hot enough on the way home to be naked (not that we were mind you.) After supper tonight we went for a short drive down some local back roads, with a stop at Brusters for an ice cream. In the lower areas it was already cooling back off.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 133
Got our Target card in the mail today. When we went out last week to replace some of the lightning damaged electronics we went shopping at Target. While checking out with our TV, VCR and DVD player the cashier asked if we wanted to take 10% off our purchases, all we had to do was fill out an application for a Target Charge Card. What the heck, I’ll use it this once pay off the total when the bill comes and never use it again. Well I thought it was a charge card for use in Target stores, nope, it is a regular Visa card with pretty targets all over it. Don’t need another Visa card. That is OK, the plan is still in place, never use it again. Tomorrow the card goes to work and takes a trip through the industrial powered shredder to be reduced to confetti.
The “computer” room in the house is right off our bedroom and because it also adjoins the garage, always seems warmer than the other rooms in the house. We thought maybe we would go get a wall thermometer and put in there just to see. Started at Lowes as we had to go there for something else anyway. No dice. Could buy an electronic thermostat for $25 that would do it, but nothing else in the store. Next stop, Kmart. Up and down all the aisles in the whole store (excluding clothing) and nothing. Asked an employee, who called somebody and then asked somebody and they only had outdoor ones. Tried Dollar General, nothing. Drove to another strip shopping center where we tried an Eckerd Drug store and they only had human thermometers. Next door to Eckerds was a Staples. They probably have them, lots of people have them on their desks or in their cubicles so they can complain about their co-workers wanting the temperature 2 degrees warmer or cooler than they want it. But they closed at 8:00.
The medicine I’m taking is doing its job. Yesterday I was 120/80 and today it read 120/82. This afternoon after walking around the work parking lot, once by myself and then again with my wife for a total of 1/2 mile, nearly right afterwards it measured 118/78. Go figure, it should have been higher.
Still no clue as to why it went higher all of a sudden. All that is really left is the stress/echo test next week and then it will have to be chalked up to a mystery of life. This is apparently the rule though as only approximately 5% of high blood pressure can the cause actually be found. This is called secondary hypertension. Here is a good article I found on the web about the causes. It seems like my doctor has taken the right steps, I’ve had the blood work to test if something bad is happening, I’ve had a CT Scan so they can look for the other stuff and the cardiologist to look for circulatory issues.
HPB : Felt crappy last night, didn’t sleep well and still felt crappy in the AM. My BP was 130/84, up a notch. Missed the afternoon measurement, too bad as I felt better and the pressure probably would have been normal.
RT : Staples let me down. I was sure they would have indoor thermometers, looked around and even asked somebody, but they don’t carry them. I guess it is time to hit the web.…
I may have to stop writing about this “problem.” Seems as with the medication my BP is going to be right around the “Gold” standard for BP’s 120/80. Was at the doctor’s office this AM to get the script for the drug whose samples they gave me that seems to be working well (after a couple of week adjustment period.) The nurse took my BP and it was 118/74. Later that day I had the company nurse at work take it and she got 122/84. When I asked the P.A. why do I have HBP all of a sudden. She looked back in my chart and started reading off numbers:
Looks like the upper number has been high already for the last 4 years. Hmmmm. As to what caused the spike? Who knows, doesn’t seem to be anything major.….
Put the top down this morning to run some errands. First was breafast downtown at the New Moon Cafe. We arrived about 15 minutes before they opened so we went for a little cruise around a older subdivision in town. Cool driving. Narrow, windy, hilly and smooth. When we finished breakfast our next destination was the Post Office. We were about 10 minutes early for their opening as well. Off on another little drive. Did I mention it was a beautiful morning for a drive? After the PO we stopped at the auto parts store in town to buy some oil, after that it was back home. I spent the next hour communing with the Miata, while listening to Car Talk. Changed the oil and filter and rotated the tires. Afterwards it was time to wash the Miata, because this afternoon was a MMM…Time with the Master’s Miata Club.
Busy car day, so maybe that will make up for tomorrow where as usual on Sunday’s the Miata might not even leave the Garage.
Started up, went down, went up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 139
After Photopoint started charging a few years back I went looking for another site to host my online photos for free. A brief stop was made at Club Photo. They turned to pay as you go about 6 months later. The hunt resumed. This time I ended up at Ofoto (a Kodak company) I figured the had the bucks to keep it free. It is still free but I noticed they have taken the first step down that slippery slope. Used to be you could share your pictures with anyone. Now, for people to view your pictures, they have to become Ofoto members. It is still free for me to keep pictures there and still free for others to view them. I hasn’t happen yet but I think it is only a matter of time before we see something about Ofoto in The End of Free. I’ve no one to blame but myself, all these sites make money by selling reprints of the digital images and I’ve never done it.
For those of you keeping track today was my big stress/echo test. In a quest to figure out why my BP went way high (for me) and is now pretty much in line from medication. Well as expected I passed with flying colors, at least preliminarily. The Cardiologist is in the room when you are actually taking the test and he looked at the various EKG readouts and watched my sonogram and said, “Looks OK so far.” Worst part of it was them sandpapering my skin to remove any dead stuff, quickly followed by an alcohol wipe to remove any oils!
I seem like a perfectly healthy person, but once every 3 or 4 days my body freaks or something and I get that hazy feeling and warm and I bet my pressure and pulse rate go up. It happened this afternoon while waiting for the doctor, I was hooked up too the electrodes and I could see my heart rate hit like 90 for a few seconds. Next up is a 24 hour urine sample test to check for something the doctor called “exotic” abnormalities, AKA hormonal imbalances. Don’t know what that entails just yet, I have to go pick my kit at the lab tomorrow.…
Monumental day for the us in Brian’s world. Went to the movies, in a real theater. It only happens around every 3 years, the last movie we saw in a theater was Phantom Menace. And the time before that was for the re-release of the original 3 Star Wars movies. The next time we go will probably be in three years to see Natalie Portman give birth to twins. But I will go only because of the same reason I watched the X-files after season 7: loyalty, habit and the hope for a return to the magic that once was. Entertaining movie, and maybe it is just me, but the special effects have gotten so good, they can do so much, that it seems like they feel they have to do too much. Kinda like Microsoft operating systems, computers have gotten faster so the OSes have gotten bigger and I sit here blogging at the same rate I would have if I was sitting in front of a 8086 running DOS with a 8Kbus speed.….George it’s the story stupid.
Started down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 143
There were 5 cars at the Welcome Center for the Miata Club’s trip to Hampton, SC for the Watermelon Festival. Of that number, only 2 made the trip. The weather forecast didn’t look good, rain was predicted and it was already raining in Charleston and heading north. Tony decided to push on and go anyway as we had made a commitment to meet the folks from the Low Country Miata Club for the parade and festivities. Because of the weather in Charleston I figured nobody from there would come, boy was I wrong, they had 6 cars make the trip. Good thing Tony did go. They got wet waiting on the parade, but had a good time anyway. Donna and I did a little shopping and spent a quiet day at home.
Started down, went up, went down, back up again, still up.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 146
It’s Sunday, so the Miata sat unloved in the garage all day. About 8 PM my wife said, “Let’s take a drive.” To which I replied, “But please, Brer Fox, don’t fling me in that briar patch.” Off we went for a 45 mile loop along some two lane roads. About 2 miles in it started to sprinkle which then turned to light rain. But we drove on, as long as we didn’t have to stop, we wouldn’t get wet. About 5 miles later it quit. Nice way to wrap up the weekend.
Started up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 147
My prediction of about a month ago came true today, pretty much right on schedule. Sox lost to LA and the Yanks beat San Diego to move a 1/2 game ahead in the American League East. I can now breath a sight of relief and stop reading the box scores. But I’ll still check the standings every few weeks just to see how far down they have fallen and if Baltimore passes them to get into second place.
The top went up while at work and stayed up on the way home because it was raining. We made a trip to Lowes to pick up some stuff in the evening and we put the top down for a slight drive for that trip. Sitting comfortably in front of the computer when a friend called, he needed help putting some furniture back in the house after today’s carpet install. As I backed out of the garage I realized it was raining, so I put the top up while we moved an armoire, a sleeper/sofa and 2 recliners. By that time it had quit raining so I dropped the top once more for the 1 mile drive home.
Started down, went up, went down, went up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 151
Today was a nothing day, but I still feel the need to write something here, so this is it. Please deal with it kindly, ’cause I can’t.
Top up during work. When we left work, the skies were really ugly so I suggested leaving it up. My wife then called me a wimp, so I was left with little choice but to put it down. For a second it looked like I was right, but the sprinkles only lasted about 50 yards. She was right and we both enjoyed the drive home more for it.
Made a stop at Mail Boxes, Etc. to make copies of the Aiken Bicycle Club newsletter for mailing out. There is a slightly older woman who works there with a green/tan 2001 Miata. I’ve given her a Master’s Miata Club newsletter a couple of times but she seems reluctant to come out. But today for the first time she noticed the Alley Gator teeth on the front of my car. She thought they were cool and asked me where I got them. I gave her the web address for Auto Expressions, the place I got them and told her if she needed help installing them just call me, I’d be glad to help. We’ll see what happens.
Started down, went up, went down, still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 153
5 or so years ago when color copiers started to make their way into the copy & printing places it cost a dollar to make one 8–1/2 x 11 color copy. I have never wanted the services of a color copier until now. I print out the Master’s Miata Club newsletter at work. Always used the laser printer in my area for it, until a year ago. They company bought a color laser printer. I started doing the newsletter on it after hours. I didn’t think the folks at the company minded me running 25 or newsletters off a month, after all the Miata Club is a non-profit organization, so it is kinda like a community service. Well fast forward to now. Business is bad, sales are down, production is down, etc. I’m starting to feel a little like they might not take kindly to me “stealing” there paper, toner, time anymore. For the heck of it I called my friends at the Mail Boxes Etc. and asked how much for a color copy. 99?. Big price drop!?! I guess no one else has made enough copies to bring the price down any, huh? I now print 50 newsletters with just the front page in color. I would need 100 copies, fortunately there is price break at 100, times 78? equals $78. Some how I don’t think the club will want to spend that much on printing every month. August I go back to black & white.
Went out to dinner this evening after running the Miata Club newsletter through the postage meter at Rader. Damon’s is right across the street and we love ribs, so over we went. It was early, the place was pretty empty so when we and asked for a booth in the No Smoking section, we figured that would be no problem. When the hostess turned right instead of the usual left we questioned her. She said, “This is no smoking.” We said, “But it is right near the bar/smoking section. Could we sit over there instead?” She said, “That section is closed, besides there isn’t any one here yet, so…” That is when we stopped listening, turned around and left. There is a Tony Roma’s a couple of miles away. We have been in too many, there is no one here situations before. Invariably just as we are eating our salads, everyone in the booth on the other side of the little wall will light up. No thanks, there are just too many places to eat out to have to gamble on having our meal spoiled by the stench of cigarettes.
Up at work, down for a lunch time excursion. Back up for the afternoon in the sun and back down for the ride home. Going on a 5 day mini vacation to Chattanooga right after work tomorrow, so I won’t be posting here for a couple days. Don’t worry I’m going to take a little notebook along to keep track the transitions. So check back Wednesday, I’m going to fill a whole post with just up, down, up, downs. Now that is something to look forward to.
Started down, went up, went down, back up, back back down and it is still down.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 161
Used the cockpit cover at work and now for the first time, using it overnight outside. Drove to Anderson on a beautiful night and got to listen to the 5th inning of the Braves — Red Sox game on the radio, before the signal faded. Arrived at the hotel in time to see the last 2 innings and the Red Sox lose.
Only 7 transitions since last Thursday, I thought it would have been more.…started down, went up, went down, went up, went down, went up, went down, went up and it is still up.
Top Transitions sine 02/02/02: 168 — posted by Brian the Red at 22:07
The people who write directions for books, obviously don’t have someone other than themselves drive it and try it out before publication. We were trying to follow the directions in a book from Reader’s Digest entitled 100 Best Road Trips In America through northern Georgia. We missed a few turns. No real problem as we are on vacation with no real deadlines, but frustrating nonetheless. Found a couple of the highlights, drove by a couple and skipped the rest when it got too hot to keep the top down any longer. On arrival in Chattanooga we circled the downtown area a couple of times looking for the Holiday Inn Choo-Choo Hotel. Finally we double parked in front of the Visitor’s Center and asked. Oops, no wonder we couldn’t find it, either they moved the hotel and train 8 blocks north or our memory of the location was faulty.
We spent last night in a brand new Holiday Inn Express in Anderson, SC. They put us in room 315. It wasn’t until we were leaving the next morning that I noticed that the room next door was 311. In this place all the odd numbered rooms were on one side of the hall and all the even numbers were on the other. That means we were really in room 313. Would they have gotten complaints about staying in that number room?
Tonight and for the next 3 nights were are staying at the Holiday Inn Choo-Choo Hotel in downtown Chattanooga. Our room number is 1015. In this building all the rooms are on one side of the hall and are numbered consecutively. The room to our left is 1014 and to the left of that is 1013. Go figure.
Decided to take a drive this morning following a loop devised by the Chattanooga Bicycle Club for a Century. It is billed as a 3-State, 3-Mountain Challenge so it should make for a nice little Miata drive. Once again we had an exciting time of it following someone else’s directions. A combination of my misinterpreting the instructions, Donna misreading the cue sheet, flaky odometer readings and vague road signs made for a “fun” trip. In spite of several u-turns and a couple of backtracks it really was a good trip, filled with windy roads that were little traveled and in spots quite scenic. Glad we are not still riding bikes as much as we used too though, as we might have been tempted to ride it and that definitely would have been a CHALLENGE.
Who does she work for? Braves — Red Sox have been playing a weekend series and I’ve been lucky enough to catch some of the games on TV. TBS has televised Friday and Sunday while Fox did the Saturday game. I vastly prefer the TBS versions even thought they are more Braves-centric over Foz’s usually overdone graphics and announcers. On TBS they used to just read off the scores of other ongoing games, but now for some reason feel the need to break away periodically to a blonde, tan, pearly white toothed Erin Andrews for updates. Each time we break away there is a flashy EA Sports (a game console game maker) logo video animation, Erin introduces of clip of some ball player smacking a home run, she tells us the score, we get the EA Sports thing again and we are back to the Braves game. Does Erin work for TBS or EA Sports? Hard to tell.