Thursday, April 3, 2014

They Call it Senior for a Reason

It is amazing how things can pile up once you reach the "certain" age, say 55 or so when you are officially a senior. I am actually 57 to set the record staright.   I had my semi annual dental check up about a month ago and knew I had a problem tooth before I arrived.  I could feel a 'hole' in a tooth with my tongue and knew it was not good.  My tongue would not lie about something like that.   After the cleaning, the dentist  took a look and showed me a a picture of  the hole and it was finally time to get my first crown.   So, I am officially a mature adult, I am getting my first crown tomorrow.  I have been lucky to not have one to this point because there is a lot of silver in my big teeth.

But last weekend, the senioritis, not like in last month of high school or college, hit in a big way.  When I returned from Miami I had a lot of drainage into my throat and then a cough developed.  I take a really strong allergy medicine every day and it dries up everything, and when I get a drippy nose it is a problem.   The cough got worse and I went to the doctor on Saturday and got checked.  It was not walking pneumonia, but it was going to be in a day or two. I have a history of walking pneumonia.   I got the meds and started to feel better and was basically cleared up by Wednesday.   But it gets better.  Sunday, was just adding insult to injury.   I was on the mend with the antibiotic and decided to do a little crack filling in the kitchen.  A piece of trim was missing from the kitchen exposing some cracks under the wall and I thought I would fill it with caulk to slow down the ants.   I was almost finished when my back decided that it would jump out of joint!!  This had never happened before without some external force and I knew it as soon as it happened.   It had got it out of joint in a little bicycle accident where I tried to jump a curb and missed.  It took about a week to recover from that deal.  This episode was out of nowhere. 

I stood up as quickly as I could and Linda asked if I was OK and I told her my back was out of socket at the hips.  Linda got me a yoga mat and I stretched the best I could and it helped, but I was bent over really bad and it hurt.   Tooth, back, and lungs--yes I am aging and this part of deal sucks. I don't need reminded this frequently!!

I heated the back and also tried some ice as well,  to help and finally I heard what sounded like a bowling ball bounce off the floor and the back was partially back in socket as I was stretching.  Almost got it back, but the pain was still hard to tolerate.  The cough medicine from the doctor helped to relax the back and sleep.    I went to my massage therapist on Monday and he helped some, but it was still not back to normal.   I was lying my side in my hotel bed on Tuesday trying to relax and I heard the second bowling ball hit the floor as I rolled over and the back was back in.  Whew!!!  I had some soreness from the muscles getting stretched, but it was healing.  People ask about the healing and I tell them it improves 50% every day.   Give it 10 days and all is forgotten.  But man can it crank you up with pain in the meantime. 

OK, OK, I admit it that I am a senior and should expect some problems, but this was a little more than I bargained for.  I did not do much in terms of exercise since my return from Miami. This week I head West and will not have time to do anything on the trip.   So this weekend or next, I need to get some aerobic stuff going again, I would love to run outdoors.  It is time for fresh air again. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Really !!!

Sometimes you have to just have to shake your head or better yet, listen to your wife basically blow material out her nose when precious gem moments occur.    We were going to have a couple over to play some cards, tell stories and eat some Gus's World Famous Chicken last weekend.   Since chicken is slow to cook, I ordered ahead-- 2 dozen wings and a pint of cole slaw. Perfect for a party of four.   Pretty simple  ?? Nope,  it was not that easy.  I turns out that the chicken place did not have any containers that held a pint of slaw-- just 16 ounces!  I repeated this over the phone and Linda overhead it from 20 feet away and something had to have been projected out her nose when she let out some sort of snort.  I couldn't laugh or it would have spoiled the moment.   I said, just give the 16 ounce container and we would be fine.  Whew, got away with that brush with weak math skills. 

I asked Linda if I did OK by not getting into the conversions or better yet asking for the half liter or 500 milliliter container.  She agreed that I ordered correctly--but since forever,  16 oz and a pint have been the same quantity.   Sometimes you don't expect the real gems of life, this was definitely one of the them.  Linda and I, as well our guests,  got a pretty good laugh over the container situation. 

I have been a little on the sickly side the last couple of days and have cold like symptoms or an actual cold.  I am anxious to run outside, but the weather has been totally uncooperative.  I should be able to go in a couple more days.   I have not been doing any training this week.

I purchased a Nike energy band measuring devices a couple weeks ago.  It measures your movement and calculates step, calories, etc.   The band will bluetooth to your phone and computer to give you a graph of your daily energy burn.  It has been informative, but I am not sure how the info will be helpful in my training.   I have discovered, when I run the chainsaw, I have my biggest energy burn days.  Might be something to this brush cutting stuff.

Remember all fans of food:    a 16 ounce conatiner can also be a pint container as well.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Good Bye Miami

Linda and I just finished a week in South Beach for a trade show I attend every other year in Miami Beach-- Tissue World is the show.   Anybody that is involved in the manufacturing of tissue paper or paper towel is there trying to get a bigger piece of the action.   I was working some old relationships  and trying to get some new stuff going and I think overall I was effective in promoting my product lines.  This is the last time we are going to be in South Beach.  In the Spring of 2016 the show will be held in New Orleans.   

Changing to New Orleans is not something that I happy about.   I like the warm weather and beach in Miami.   I can run on the beach and enjoy some nice warm weather.   The day this picture was taken, by Linda, we were on beach the in the early morning getting in some running for me and walking for her.  I don't think running will be much of an option in New Orleans.  Hopefully it rains hard a couple of times after Mardi Gras before we arrive to give the sidewalks down town a good washing--otherwise I expect the urine odor to dominant the French Quarter.   I think the food will be good, but it will not be as international as Miami, the English language is not very common in Miami and that always makes for fun in getting around the city.    I saw several Rolls Royces, Bentleys, Porsches, Maseratis, Lamboughinis and various other exotics in Miami and I know they will not be as prevalent in the Big Easy.  It is always fun to see and hear  the rich boy toys. 

One of my early mentors in the tissue business died last week after a 19 year battle with cancer.  Sam Archer of my competitor --Nalco--  and past employer finally was taken.  He was one of the most optimistic and truly good  people you meet in a lifetime.   I started working with him when he was first diagnosed with some type of internal cancer and was given the "6 months" to live story.  He made it 19 years packed with energy, activity and life.  I will miss him, as well a lot of people who were touched by his life.  I will have some great memories of him and he did really help me get a great start in the business of making the tissue machine Yankee dryer your friend. God Bless you Sam.

As I mentioned, I did run on the beach.  I ran in the hard pack and got some good speed work.  I could not run near the water,  Miami it is not like in Jacksonville or Daytona where they have a wide hard beach to run.  In Miami it was soft and narrow and impossible to get any good footing.  So I ran in the hard pack and enjoyed the weather.  There was a LOT of runners in the morning and it was an interesting mix of speed and abilities.  You are not lonely on that beach at sun rise. 

Good bye Miami, we make get to see you sometime again in the future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

How Rude!! You Interrupted Spring

I was unloading my truck tonight after working in Northern Alabama a couple of day and I was hit, yes hit, in the eye with a snow flake!!  Ok, no big deal North of the Ohio River, but how rude to deliver such a blow to us poor folks this far South.  I am ready for the warm weather to stay, now!!   The flowers are coming on and if it rains in the next couple of days, it will be mower time as well.   I immediately went inside and stayed there so I would not be accosted by the flying flakes.   I think I pouted a little.

A couple weeks ago I picked up my 2014 Silverado truck that is my work vehicle that is sponsored by Buckman- a great perk when they pay for all the bills associated with the vehicle.   I had a 2004 Volvo S 80 that I gifted this week to an organization that auctions autos and uses the proceeds to promote sight and blindness issues. Somebody is going to get a great car.  The gifting is a  really easy to get rid of them quick.   Sign the title and bye bye.   So, Linda and I neither one own a car now !!   She wants a Thunderbird, so do I, but we need a garage first and that is a year or two down the road.  So we drive the fleet stuff, we do get to pick the colors!!

  I do not know any other families that are in this sort of an arrangement, it is a great way not to spend money on transportation.   Also,  part of the fleet vehicle deal is using commercial license plates.   I guess I will have to retire the TISSUE for a few years until we get something else that needs a plate.


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fat Tuesday

It is Fat Tuesday for the human kind, but for the local fowl, they are just trying to make it to another day.  The Spring weather lasted two days and recently we have had some really nasty ice, snow and cold.  If I was not sure, the border of Wisconsin has moved South about 800 miles.   Linda loves to feed the birds and likes to watch Mr and Mrs Cardinal.  Mr Cardinal  seems to be one of the most dominating bird at the feeder--they are territorial and aggressive.   We have been putting out feed to the birds when the weather gets cold and the birds have been trying their best to keep the feeder cleaned out.  I hope the weather gets back to normal soon. 

I have been running a little faster and longer on the treadmill and feel ready to get outside and do some running. I am getting up to the 7:30 minute mile pace for 800 meters without maxing out my heart rate.  I have done two per workout recently and sweat like it is July.   I know I am mixing English and Metric distances, but I am stuck in the past where we ran miles and quarter miles and now it is all meters.  My thinking is tainted by the old English pace and speed measurements.    My weight has peaked and the next milestone is to get below 200 pounds again.  For Lent, even though I am not a Catholic, I will be giving up any soda and chips (corn and potato).   I typically eat little of these foods, but during Lent,  I can speed up the cleaner eating and get my weight back down to running weight.  If I can get to and hold 195, I feel that is as light  as I can maintain without losing much muscle mass and still be fast. I ran at 194 last summer during the Nationals and felt pretty good.

I am looking forward to ST. Patrick's Day, but not for the green beer.  Linda and I are going to Miami Beach, Florida for the week for a trade show.   I love running on the beach and they have a  great hard packed beach near the hotel.  Shorts and shoes and let it rip.    During the week, running in the morning as the sun is rising in the sky is very invigorating and a great way to prep for the day of meetings.  The colors are incredible- blue, green, red and yellow in a collage of clouds and water as the sun fights through the clouds and tries to gets its beams on my skin.  Typically in the morning, the winds are light and the water has a rhythmic action that just makes the world a better place when you are near. 
  The trade show is Tissue World where we get to talk about all things tissue.  Tissue is the only real growth segment of the global paper manufacturing industry  and everybody that is anybody will be there to display their wares and tell their stories.  It is a fun week and it is warm!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Rambling Man

I have been traveling this week to some really cold places and it is not that pleasant.  I had enough guts or craziness ( you may need to choose) to schedule a 3 city trip in the winter.  Traveling in the winter is a crap shoot at best, a storm somewhere in the US can wreck the best laid plans for connections, but it is so damn cold this year that the weather cannot really mess up the flying.   I was in Milwaukee and Green Bay, Wisconsin and those folks have not seen a mud puddle for months, wow !, it is frozen up tight.  I don't miss one second of that stuff.  My rental car had heated seats, so one body part could be kept warm.    I visited a couple of the kids in Milwaukee and they were nearly frozen in place but managing to survive.  I hope they don't lose their will against the cold. 

I have been continuing to run on the treadmill and have been upping my speed a little and I am feeling pretty good.  I could have run outside last weekend, but I was really busy planting a bunch of pine trees I purchased from the state of Tennessee nursery.  My knees are still sore on Wednesday after all the bending and kneeling to get them planted.   I ran tonite and I felt great, just had to be careful around the soreness.
 The biggest part of my outdoor tree work is completed.  I removed a bunch of trees in the front yard that were killing a great view of the West.  I have some more stumps to deal with, but I can spend more time on other garden projects and some running as the weather is quickly warming.
The flower picture was taken by Linda last weekend, and this week the daffodils will start to bloom.  And bloom they will, I planted about 500 bulbs during the knee recovery for Linda.  We are going to let every know it is Spring and 500 yellow daffodils should be a great way to scream it out.

I   titled this one  'Rambling Man' and I am  gonna ramble on.  

Many times you measure time with when you get a new vehicle.  So it is new red Chevy truck time of my life.  Actually my third new red truck-- one Dodge, one Ford and now the red Chevy.    I just picked up my fleet vehicle for work and now have a new red Chevy pick up to drive courtesy of Buckman.  A great perk and Linda and I will both not own a car!!  Strange but true.  We need to look into how we do insurance now, if I drive someone else stuff and screw up-- well I need to find out.   I have a 10 year old Volvo that is solid as a rock with lousy paint and I think I will donate it to our church or some other organization that deals with using cars to finance their works.   I hope it can help make someone life a little better. It has treated me great and is still fun to drive. I love those turbo thingies.

My brother and I visiting on the phone last week and we at one time worked at the same paper mill and actually at the same time for a year or so.  He was in shipping and I was snot nosed Process Engineer.   We were talking about various people that worked there and got stumped on an operator in the pulp mill that I last saw in 1989.   Neither of us could remember his name, we could only remember he drove a Ford pick up and had a wife that out weighed him be 200 pounds--he was pretty small.  Why do you remember the kind of pickup truck????  That is useless information.  Really,  why?  I remembered the last name today after several days of searching that cloud in my head.  I remembered his first name after 3 days--Dwight-- and the his last name as I was trying to take a nap today but just could not let it happen.   Dwight Miner was the operator's name..... I better write this one down--it burned up a lot of brain power.   It is amazing what is stuck in our brains after 25 years.... I go a room and forget why I was there and have to go back to where I started and remember why I went to the room but forgot why I was there... Everybody has done it, but if I can remember this worthless crap I should remember that I wanted a blue shirt or trash bag or pencil or charger or....  

I could ramble more, but you could already be bored.  I signed up for the Tennessee State Finals, which is held in June this year.  Hopefully I can get qualified for the Nationals in Minneapolis in 2015.  I will keep my hand in and see what happens.

Stay warm, sometimes that may be the only thing that keeps us going.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Basketball fans ??

The big story last week was about a Missouri basketball player who shoved a fan after the player went into the crowd after a play.  And of course the player is then benched/suspended for several games because he went after a fan physically.  Can't blame the player, if you are getting taunted at by an adult, should be fair game in my mind. 

Since everything is about me, I have story from my high school days that also illustrates how fans try to get under your skin.  I played varsity basketball in Ohio in the early 70's and was on a really good team.   We were warming up at an away game and this place did not have a pep band and the noise level was relatively low.  Usually big ball games have a lot of noise and chaos surrounding them.  This team we were supposed to beat handily and we did eventually.     We were doing our lay up drill, which is done one at time and then you return to the end of the line.  During this drill you are really aware of what is going on around you.   A fan yelled out to me--"I would rather be dead than red on the head" and since I was the only red head on the floor, I guess he was yelling at me.  They next turn when I was near where he yelled, I yelled back  " hey buddy, we can arrange that"  and that was end of that crap from that guy.  A couple of the players got a little chuckle and we proceeded to win. 

Moral of the story-- a really great comeback beats a shove any day.  

I did get some workouts in recently.  I have started doing heavy leg work with the weights and it showed immediately.  I ran last night on a treadmill and I felt great and had great stamina.   I am also at the point I need to start speeding up the treadmill to get my heart rate to 98%.   These are both good things.  I think my weight has maxed out at 203 and I can start to work it down below as it gets closer to outdoor season.  I am ready for Spring!!  I am tired of being cold.