Hell of a Guy
I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have. - Thomas Jefferson

Friday, March 09, 2018

Weight Control and Other Failings


My retirement began on November 20, 2011, weight gain came with it, and self-control went on vacation.

I am not exactly sure what I weighed on the last day of my long and arduous career, but I can assure you it was not 229lbs. I suppose my weight on that last day of work was somewhere in the neighborhood of 215, and at that time my weight was up from a few years before that. 

Being a fat boy came natural to me. At age 12 I weighed in at 136lbs, about 15-20 pounds heavier than I should have been. Right around the time of my high school graduation yours truly, again lacking any smidgen of self-control porked up to 210lbs and added to that over time. I wore size 46 suits, and trousers came with a 40” waistband. I was big.
I did slim down, albeit briefly, when I enlisted in the Air Force in 1963 and weighed in at a slim and trim, somewhat muscular 195 after Basic Training and held it for about a minute and a half. Damn, I looked good.

Discharge from the service found me back in Baltimore eating everything in sight from fried cheese to small dogs and children…well, not really small children or dogs. In 1972 after being on an eating binge for several years, I tipped the scale at a very pudgy 253, and it was then I decided, once more, to shed some extemporaneous fat. I got down to about 200 then, but, alas, only for a bit.

I equated dieting to a vicious battle. I won some and lost many more. I would put it on and take it off. Once I hit 242 about 1990, I once again decided it was time to shed some poundage, this time it would be for good…ha ha!. I was 46 and amid a severe mid-life crisis. Nothing like a good mid-life awakening, suddenly realizing you are totally unattractive and obese to set you on a collision course with being single. I dieted, I jogged, I starved myself, I did sit ups and pushups, and shaved off enough weight to get this body of mine down to a concentration camp weight of 186. My 6’2” frame with that weight had me looking emaciated and sickly, and, thanks be to God, it did not last long. I settled in between 195 and 200 for a couple of years.

Getting married again did not help the situation. The Nancy and I love to eat, love to eat out, too. Not good. She didn’t maintain her 130 weight, and I sure as hell didn’t hold mine.

So here we are in March 2018. At the beginning of the year we promised ourselves to do something about our current “issue,” we just could not decide what program to try. I looked at Nutrisystem and other programs like it. That one would have cost us about $1000 a month, but the idea of having fully prepared meals arrive was totally abhorrent to me. I like to cook, and I love being in the kitchen. We decided on Weight Watchers, and I am ecstatic we chose it. It works. We started this just 24 days ago, and I am exceedingly happy to report to myself that I am down nearly 15lbs. 

I am so happy with this program and my results (The Nancy is happy, as well), so happy, too, that I was able to go into my closet this morning and fit in some of my clothes from the “B” wardrobe.

Just call me Skinny.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Saturday, September 30, 2017

To It I say, Bullshit…


Recently I made a post on Facebook about having a buzz and being emboldened to post my true feelings of the current outrage by professional athletes taking a knee during the National Anthem, and also about how I support the current resident of the White House. I got some blowback.

Total bullshit. My post was in a spirit of lightheartedness, nothing demeaning or derogatory, but some did take it that way. I truly had a buzz and was messing around. My thought to them, screw ‘em.

One goofball is a guy I went to high school with, who was a snob ass then and still is now, accused me, basically being a bigot, bringing up what went on in Charlottesville this summer, white supremacy and my “white privilege.” Bullshit, and I called him on it. I know this dude never served in any branch of the military…instead, he hid behind a college deferment. I instructed him not to lecture me on the 1st Amendment. He did not respond, which surprised me by not surprising me.

Last night I was looking at FB because I had not looked at it for over a day. A friend, who I love dearly, also brought up the “white privilege” thing. Bullshit, one more time. People have too much time on their hands and seem get bent out of shape by everything. They call these individuals “Liberals.”

Here’s where I stand: I did not get to select my parents; I did not get to choose my race; I did get to work, and work hard for what I have; I do not and will not apologize to anyone for what I have and how I got here.

If there is truly such a thing as “white privilege” and that helped my along the way? Good deal, I love it, and make no apology for availing myself to it.
To those who want to chastise me for this…BULLSHIT.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A Time for Trash…


The Nancy and I are in the process of cleaning out her parents’ properties…that is, all three of them.

We actually began this process about three years ago, one year after her mother passed away, much to the chagrin of her father. At one property we ordered a 30 cubic yard dumpster to be placed in the driveway. We filled it, with the help of her brothers and sister, to overflowing. We then ordered another to be delivered at her parents’ home just up the street. As we began to toss stuff there, it became more than evident our actions deeply affected her dad. We stopped just short of filling the second dumpster to half capacity, but could have filled it and another…that is for darn sure.

In mid-July her dad died after a 54-day hospital stay. Now we are deep into getting the old home place, the rental house and her folks’ getaway camp ready to sell. This means some really exhaustive cleaning and tossing. I am certain Kate and Joe never threw away anything…and I mean anything.

For an indicative example, I know I have myself placed thousands of grocery store plastic bags in the trash. Looking through the house we find bottles and bottles of cleaning chemicals like Windex just partially used. It’s almost like to them it was easier to buy a new bottle of some cleaner they needed rather than to look for the one they already had. I know I have seen at least half a dozen bottles of partially used Windex. The home has four levels, and there is stuff on every level that needs to be tossed.

The family is planning on getting together the last week of October to do some major cleaning and tossing. A Tossing Party of sorts. While there are some things in the house of sentimental value, a few things family members would like to keep, I bet at least 98% of what is left at all three places can be tossed or given away. Surely there is a lot of stuff someone would love to have and can make use of it, but most has outlived its usefulness and needs to be classified as trash and dealt with accordingly.

All of the above makes me realize it is time to assess my own “stuff” and decide what is trash and what is not. Using the same eye I am with the in-laws’ stuff, I bet I can mark a lot of it as trash and deal with it accordingly…too.

I have often told people, jokingly - so don’t send the cops, the fire will take care of everything.

And that is all I have to say about that…

Sunday, September 10, 2017



Back in May I had what was supposed to be my annual physical, actually about eighteen months since the previous one. A week earlier I had stopped by the doctor’s office for blood to be drawn. During the exam Dr. Quarantillo discussed the blood test results, one being an increase in my cholesterol which had jumped from 168 to 221, the other number that had jumped significantly was my PSA reading that nearly doubled to 6.15. The doctor was most concerned for the PSA increase and highly recommended I see a urologist. I did.

The urologist did what urologist do, and that included another prostate exam. My doctor had done the rectal exam and found no abnormality. The urologist also said all seemed to be normal, that being no odd shape or lumps, but he also recommended I consider having a prostate MRI done.
The very next day, June 8th, I visited my PCP because of an issue with my neck that I should have mentioned during my physical. He had me visit the local hospital to have some ex-rays done, but also had ordered another blood test, causing me to wonder why? I soon found out.

A day later I received a call from the doctor’s office letting me know that based on my symptoms the doctor has ordered a test for Lyme disease and the test results came back with a positive reading. I apparently had been bitten by a tick and infected with the disease. Okay! What’s next? Well, next was a 28-day aggressive antibiotic program. I needed to know more about Lyme disease and did some online research. I found one of the side effects of Lyme disease can be an increase in PSA. 

I was to return to the urologist to discuss further investigation of the PSA increase. I let them know I had Lyme and what I had found about Lyme and PSA. The doctor agreed and scheduled me to come back for another blood test after the antibiotic program. The re-test showed a decrease in PSA but still high, and so we went forward the prostate MRI and I had it on August 8th. Last Wednesday I saw the urologist to discuss the MRI findings.

Generally, I do not worry excessively about things I cannot control or have no control over. This certainly fit that criteria. But then, yesterday morning reality set in. What was I going to hear – was it good news, not so good news, or would it be overwhelmingly bad news?

I got to the doctor’s office about 15 minutes early. The waiting room was nearly empty, a good sign. Just one other guy and me. I was there about a minute when the other guy was taken in the back. Just a few minutes later I, too, was taken into a small room to await the doctor. I was only there for about 10 excruciating minutes with all kinds of thoughts going through my mind before he came in the room.

After a few seconds of small talk he produced a paper, the results of the MRI, and then he smiled and laid it on me. No cancer, no signs of cancer, no lumps, no abnormality other than an enlarged prostate.

Enlarged prostate, a treatable condition.

I feel great. Relief. Live is good.

And that is all I have to say about that… 

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