Saturday, July 26, 2008

Round Robin Challenge: Embarrassing eBay Items

"How can you put on a meaningful drama when, every fifteen minutes, proceedings are interrupted by twelve dancing rabbits with toilet paper?

-Rod Serling, quoted in, Submitted For Your Approval

Can you believe it? Do they even still make these anymore? LOL. What you see there isn't just a Casio 2.5 LCD Pocket Television, it was a safety device with an antenna! LOL. I bought that little beauty, way back in the stone age of electronics, way before the invention of the iPhone, way back before most cell phones could get live television as an added multimedia accessory. I bought that little darling you see there in 1989, just after the 7.1 Loma Preada earthquake.

As with all earthquakes, the ground began to shake and shake and then... IT SHOOK! I was at Alan's house, when the fun began. I had just helped myself to my third homemade Peanut Butter Blossom cookie, after I swore I would only have one. Just as I picked it up... the gulp... shaking began. It started as a slow dizzying feeling, and I remember saying to myself with a chuckle, "Ok, ok, I will put it back." But then it got scary. Pictures started falling, and so did glasses from the cabinet. The ground was shaking so hard I could barely walk from the kitchen to the dining room. Alan had already got into a door facing, and was holding out his hand to me, when the the peek hit.

It shook the room, and as I looked out the front window, which was a few feet away, I could see Cal State Hayward shaking violently up on the hill. It was all too surreal. As we all dealt with the ensuing damage it caused around the Bay Area, I decided I needed something with me from now on, just in case the earth wasn't quite done with us. A few days later, I went down to Macy's an bought my little pocket television. I paid $108.00 for it, which was pretty good for the time. I really enjoyed by new toy, and it did make me feel a little more secure. And while it is now probably considered ancient, and silly, it still works to this day, although when things go digital next year, it will more then likely be reduced to nothing but ghostly static.

I don't know, when I think about it, it wouldn't be too embarrassing to sell it on eBay, after all it did serve me well. And it's kind of cute. And hey, it did it's job. Right? Who cares that if I want to watch channel 7 (ABC) I have to face North by Southeast? It's just it's own personal quirk, and now that I think about it, even if the new digital system makes it go all fuzzy, I think I will always look at that TV fondly for it's durability. If it goes fuzzy on February 17th, 2009, it will be because it was murdered, not because it wore out. YOU GO YOU SILLY LITTLE LCD TV! :) Hmm... I wonder if I can get a converter box for a mini TV? ;)

Kim, who authors the blog, Nekked Lizard Adventures, suggested this challenge for us, in our recent challenge suggestion round-up. Thank you Kim, it was a lot of fun, and it brought back some fond memories. Be sure to visit her blog to see her eBAY items! There is still time to play along with this challenge, just pay a visit to the official Round Robin Blog for all the details! Look, I saved a place for you!

Linking List

Posted! (07/19/08)

Steven... (sometimes) photoblog

Karen... Outpost Mavarin

Carly... Ellipsis


Kiva... Eclectic Granny

Maryt... Answers To The Questions

Vicki... Maraca

Jennier Robin... Robin's Woods

Teena... It's all about me!


"My Casio 2.5 LCD Television"

Berkeley, California

July 25th, 2008


Friday, July 25, 2008

Like I Said... Detox

"Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things that escape those who dream only at night."

-Edgar Allan Poe

As I said in my post yesterday, I took a few days off from blogging earlier this week to detox from the Internet. I had my A1c done, and we took Elvis for his usual appointment with Dr. B and we took care of some assorted chores, but with the ample time left over I simply didn't feel like chaining myself to the computer, because nothing beats a nice walk in the sun. I had a really nice walk in the sun.

Tilden Park has become my own personal peaceful haven in the warm summer months. It's beautiful all year round, especially in December when they have the Christmas Fantasy in the Woods, but in the summer it is a dream of beauty. One of my favorite spots in the park, to take a long walk with Alan, is Lake Anza. It is a 9 acre lake in the middle of the park, and it has swimming as well as fishing available. I love walking around to the far side, away from the swimming crowds, where the dragonflies like to play. I love photographing those nimble little acrobats. I have become especially fond of the red ones, but the tiny blue ones have been catching my eye lately as well.

After we walked around the lake for a while, we spent a little time in the Botanic Garden. The garden is divided into different sections that contain different native California trees plants and shrubs. One of our favorite sections is the Redwoods, which is a beautiful grove of redwood trees that provides some peaceful shade from the sometimes overbearing summer heat. If you enjoy hunting lizards, then you will enjoy the California desert area, where dozens of lizards dart in and out among the native cactus. I am not much fond of lizards, so I always wear shorts when I go there, because they are much more likely to run up a pant leg, then a bare, white, thin uncovered leg. LOL.

We spent about 5 hours total in the park, just walking and enjoying the beauty. I did a lot of photography that day, and a lot of brain clearing. I enjoy the Internet, and you know I love Ellipsis, but to me it's a hobby, not a way of life. If the Internet died tomorrow I would miss the interaction and being able to share my photography with folks, but I wouldn't go into withdrawal over it. There is too much beauty and wonder right in my own backyard. :)

So tell me, where do you go to find beauty? Do you ever take time off from blogging to Internet detox? What is your favorite daycation? Tell me everything... I know you want to!

"Daycation Detox"
Lake Anza
Tilden Park
Berkeley, California
July 22, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

364 Days

Click the above graphic to see it in a larger version.

"Let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food."


You might have noticed that I took a few days off this week. I took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off as part of a detox I do for myself every once in a while. I enjoy blogging and browsing the net, but sometimes one just has to step away from the box on the desk, and step out into the light. Life gets stressful for us, heck it gets stressful for everyone, and in those times it is more important then ever to just take a step back from everything and enjoy whatever weather you are currently having. With the exception of a few really hot days, it has been a mild summer here in the Bay Area. It's been the kind of summer where you can wear a nice light sweater and be very comfortable. :)

The Internet gets to me sometimes. In my in-box there are four ads for ways I can increase my penis size, an email about how Sherry Shepard will now have to eat her words about a tasteless joke about Barbara Walters, and some assorted 56 emails or so that are actually newsletters. Everything from my Photography to my MayoClinic Weekly Health Update. I will more then likely delete the emails about ways to increase my penis size, because in that I am a girl it really isn't something I can use. LOL. And since I am more then happy with Alan... MORE THEN HAPPY... well... you get the picture. As for Sherry Shepard, I saw the joke, and I it wasn't a big deal. I am getting so tired of online sights, and AOL looking to find another controversy about The View, as if they are trying to recreate the Rosie year! Enough already.

I have a lot to share about what I did this week, but I think I will spread the news out over a couple days or so. I have some really good news to share about myself and Elvis. We are both handling things really well all considered. I will do a full update on him either tomorrow or Sunday, because Saturday is our next Round Robin Challenge. Are you going to play?So now, on with the news. For Now lets start with me...

As you know, I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes on July 23rd, 2007. At that time my A1C was 6.7. Kaiser considers the normal range for non-diabetics to be between 4.6 - 6.0. The A1C test measures your overall blood glucose level for the previous 3 months prior to the test. When I checked my A1C in November of 2007, after living as a diabetic for 4 months, my A1C had dropped to 5.9. Just inside the normal range. In those four months I learned a lot about nutrition and stress. I was able to determine that stress was the biggest factor in raising my blood sugar. I took simple steps to lower my stress levels, and to get the most out of my meals.

The biggest difference came from not just reducing my sugar intake, but from eating proper portions, eating out less, and eating my meals inside 30 minutes. I stopped the fast food full stop. I love junk food, but once I began measuring my blood glucose levels, I got a wake up about what that food does to your body. I also learned that eating out once in a while will not cause the world to end, in fact it's good for the soul if done in moderation. Sometimes Alan and I will grab a Big Mac and split it, just to chase off the craving if we have one. Since I love to cook, it was an easy move for me. I love the creativity that comes from cooking. I have a cookbook for diabetics, that can be enjoyed by everyone who just wants more food with less consequences. Diabetics are not restricted to a sugar-free diet, it simply has to be approached from a realistic point of view.

I hate cookbooks that call themselves "Death By Anything Edible." It's not clever, and it is very possible. In fact it's more then possible. It will happen. I have a friend in my past who ate herself to death. She died at 37, 200 pounds overweight. She didn't have to die. She didn't have a problem with her metabolism, she admitted on more then one occasion that she didn't care. She lived alone, so why cook for herself? I still miss her funny wit, her kindness and her creativity. We all saw it coming, but that didn't make it hurt less when she died. Not one little bit. I think the only positive thing that came from it was the lesson about how nutrition can turn on you. Sigh.

Anyway, after my diagnosis I used the Internet to research how to make those necessary changes and adjustments, and as of Tuesday, July 21st, my A1C is 5.5! I have worked really hard at controlling my diabetes. I didn't have to give up anything to do it, I just had to let myself learn about nutrition and exercise. I learned I can eat a little more with dinner, if I am willing to engage in 30 minutes of mild exercise after my meal. Like I said... simple! My friend passed away in 1992, and sometimes I wonder if she would have survived longer if she would have had access to a computer to help her figure things out. I know I did a lot better because of the research I did. Last night I ate a Twix bar, and 2 hours later my blood glucose level was 100, which means it didn't go up even a little bit. That's because I have lowered by A1C so drastically that my body doesn't worry about me as much as it used to. That's a good feeling.

My goal for my A1C test in November is 5.3... wish me luck!

"For people without diabetes, the normal A1C range is 4-6%. For people with diabetes, the lower the A1C value, the better the diabetes control and the lower the risk of developing complications such as eye, heart, and kidney disease. Your goal should be to have A1C values less than 7%. That may be a hard target to hit, but it is important to try because the lower your A1C, the lower your health risk."

-Diabetes Journal of the American Diabetes Association


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Dating Alan

"Cinema should make you forget you are at the theater."

-Roman Polanski

Alan and I were talking the other day, and it occurred to us that we haven't been on an actual date in a long time. We went to dinner and a movie on my birthday a few weeks ago, but we haven't just gone on a regular date in months. There has been a lot of stresses in our lives. Alan has his work, which he loves, but lets face it no job is stress free. Then there is Elvis and his cancer. While he is doing pretty good right now, it is a constant concern for both Alan and I. It's sad knowing we wont have our little man a year from now. We try not to dwell on it too much, but it's there, hovering, if you have ever lost a pet, you can probably relate. Then lets add in world events, George Bush, and food and gas prices... well... you get the picture.

I saw on The View the other day, that couples who spend time together end up with more solid relationships. Well duh! Alan and I have always shared each others hobbies and interests. We both love to read, we enjoy the same taste in music, we have always debated politics together. Remember, he was a republican when I met him. LOL. I have always taken credit for bringing him into the light. Tee Hee. He will tell you that he merely saw the light for himself! Either way, we share a lot, not just politics. But couples do not live by politics alone, a good movie and a bite to eat out can be very inviting as well!

Momma Mia came out last Friday, so Alan and I decided to make it into a date. He got off work in just enough time to make the last matinee showing, so we drove out to Dublin to see it. When we go on dates, we always leave town to do it. It makes it a little more special to go just one or two cities over so we aren't seeing the same old places and sights. Just a little trick we do to shake things up a bit. The movie was wonderful, despite what the New York Times said. It was a chick flick, that Alan enjoyed too. Hey, we grew up listening to ABBA, so the music in the movie was fun, and the story just was what it was. It was a good time, at a good movie. The things I hate about critics is their inability to just pull the stick out and just enjoy a movie for what it is. You know? That's why I rarely listen to critics. You should have seen the smile on Alan's face, as I sang "Dancing Queen" with everyone else. Alan has a great smile.

After the movie, Alan and I grabbed a slice of pizza, at Me-N-Ed's Pizza bar. We sat outside and just people watched. Can you believe it? We went a few cities away, and we still ran into an acquaintance! LOL. Oh well, I guess we aren't the only ones who needed a little getaway that night. :) Hi again, Wilton! It's been a long time since we grabbed a slice of pizza together. As you know, I don't like restaurants too much, but Me-N-Ed's makes really yummy pizza, I just love the plain cheese, while Alan gets the all meat combo. I could get addicted to their pizza really easy, I think I will be saving it for date night. The movie must have been fun, because I checked my blood glucose level just before I ate, and it was 96! Woo Hoo. And the pizza must have been good because my after dinner reading was 101! Go date night!

After dinner, Alan suggested we walk across the parking lot to Old Navy. I have been needing some new clothes, and so has he. I LOVE Old Navy. I like casual comfy clothes, and their stuff is just that. Comfortable. I picked out a few things for autumn. A black skirt, and a cropped sweater with silver threading. I also bought a brown cropped cardigan, and two silver threaded t-shirts. I am going back tomorrow to hopefully get a trench coat, if they still have one in my size. It was gorgeous, but I wanted to think it over a bit. I still need some camisoles and a couple more skirts and blouses, so I might pick some up this week. I also need a new pair of dress heels. I love skirts, but somehow I seem to live in my jeans and shorts in the summer. It's time to update the wardrobe for autumn and winter to be sure! I love it when Alan comes along to help me pick out clothes, he has better taste then I do! Besides, he has to see me in it. LOL.

We had a good time the other night, I think we will be doing that again soon. :)

So tell me, do you still date your spouse? Where do you like to shop? Do you enjoy picking out clothes, or do you think of it as a necessary evil? What's your favorite store? Will you be doing some wardrobe updating soon? What movie release are you most looking forward to? What's your favorite pizza topping? Let's get to know each other better... tell me everything?

"Regal Cinema Hacienda Crossing"
Dublin, California
July 18th, 2008
Early Evening