My Clean Freezer Challenge Diet

I’m sure you all fondly remember such harmeless social media challenges as planking, eating Tide pods, dumping buckets of ice over your head, and bleach enemas. Oh, wait. That last one wasn’t a social media challenge but Trump’s suggestion to kill COVID. Disregard that one.

But I have stumbled upon what I think will be the next viral challenge. I’m determined to clean out our freezer, and what better way to do that than to eat my way through all the frozen food? I’m certainly not going to throw out perfectly good, ice-encrusted expired food. While that may be prudent, it is also wasteful.

I found 3 bags of these in the freezer.

Wow, no antibiotics, EVER! That’s great. So, I guess they didn’t slaughter chickens that were under doctor’s care trying to recover from sinus infections. Good to know. I normally don’t eat poultry or red meat, but to save a buck, I find I can set aside my morals with uncomfortable ease when there’s food about to be wasted.

There were 2 patties in each of the 3 bags in the freezer, enough for 1 meal per bag. I dove right in. I used my mountain climbing pickaxe to free the patties from their icy shrouds. After 3 days, the bags were empty and patties devoured. I was soon to be a bit empty myself. Take a look at the expiration dates on each bag.

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Covid Booster Boosts What?

Yesterday, I went to get my second Covid booster. The pharmacist offered me the Bivalent booster. I asked him what the difference was. He replied, “Covid blah blah blah, and booster yadda yadda yadda.” That’s all I needed to hear. I willingly took the Bivalent booster. I haven’t had any severe side effects to the Bivalent booster, except now I appear to be equally attracted to men and women.

I Got Vaccinated, or Did I?

I really don’t know for sure. Not for COVID, silly readers. I’m twice vaxxed and boosted against COVID. I just got vaccinated against RSV (click HERE for more info on RSV), which stands for Respiratory SomethingIcannotspell Virus. Or, did I get vaccinated? I really don’t know. I’ll explain.

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My Sick Week in Review

Who’s ready for a rambling, stream-of-consciousness post? If you’re not, you have come to the wrong blog. It was a week ago that I started feeling ill. I went to the doctor immediately on Saturday, because I wanted to be well enough to go to a wedding on Friday. COVID and flu tests were negative. The test for me being a baby was positive. I slept much of last weekend, but there was nothing out of the ordinary about that.

The rest of my week went like this.

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Vacation Planning Time

If COVID is indeed on the wane, then now is the time to plan a summer vacation. I’m doing so by eliminating parts of the country where I definitely won’t vacation. It’s pretty automatic to eliminate the whole West Coast due to annual summer wildfires, sometimes referred to as liberal barbeques by Republicans. But this year, I’m also eliminating the whole East Coast. Why?

That’s enough to keep me away from Rhode Island, but the actual details are much worse than I ever expected.

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

COVID is over, at least if you shop by us. Now that the indoor mask mandate has been rescinded in Illinois, us masked folks are in the minority now walking around inside stores. I’m conflicted. I know wearing masks is uncomfortable for people, but since we’ve been masking these past 2 years, I have been extremely healthy. Even though I am a well-conditioned (Editor’s Note: False) athlete (Editor’s Note: False) who competes (Editor’s Note: Rarely) at a highly competitive level (Editor’s Note: Very False), I have historically suffered from respiratory illnesses almost like clockwork every winter. Well, not the last two masked winters. I guess I can keep on masking, but there’s also one other issue.

There is a large store by us where I can get a little shopping done while also doing my business banking. And it is so large that I can get a nice long walk in if I walk the inside perimeter of the store a couple times which I do in the cold weather for a change of pace. With everyone masked in the store, I never worried about letting loose with a bit of gas from time to time as the need arose while walking. The ambient noise level in those stores is generally high enough that any toot less than a real cheek flapper is normally not noticeable. And with everyone masked, nobody could smell any of my rippers. It was perfect, but now that masks are gone, people’s olfactory systems are on high alert again.

So, I want the mask mandate reinstated, basically so I don’t get sick and can walk around stores healthy and farting. Am I a bad guy?

Feeling Fabulously Fat For February

I’m overweight in February and am thrilled. Why? Certainly not because I gained 5 pounds in December which was the maximum I was allowing myself for the whole winter.

They may have gotten the pronoun wrong in that gif, but that’s me they are talking about. As I reported in my last weighty post, my goal for January was to simply hold the line and not gain any more weight in January. Unlikely? Yes. Who wants to exercise and watch what you eat in the dead of winter? Not me. I want to sit, eat, and watch television while my wife, kids, and neighbors shovel my snow. But it somehow happened. I gave it a week into February to make 100% sure, but I continue to hang in at 5 pounds max gained and may even be heading back down just a bit. I’m thrilled!

Against all odds, my steps actually trended up a bit in January. Take a look.

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

I have started a new “career” doing market research studies for cash. So far, I have finished a Medicare study that was not only profitable, but provided me useful information. Next week, I am scheduled for some product taste testing. Yum!

As I review and apply for opportunities, I spotted these two.

Now that’s a lot of money. After seeing those, I can’t help but feel jealous of those with lung cancer and hospitalized with COVID. Am I a bad guy?

Relatively Speaking

I took some time yesterday to meet with relatives and mourn my aunt’s passing. I can’t say she was my favorite aunt, but she certainly was a firecracker as her son described her in the eulogy he gave. When I think of her, I don’t think of her in her older years, her mind addled by Alzheimer’s and her body relegated to a wheelchair. I think of her in her small house that was always getting flooded in suburban Chicago close to O’Hare Airport with planes overhead constantly. I can see her now, plain as day, a mixed drink (probably a Manhattan) in one hand and a cigarette in the other, talking loudly and irreverently as she was prone to do after a drink or two or more. No, she wasn’t my favorite aunt, but she was my most spirited aunt. Even in her last few years in nursing care, she was still full of piss and vinegar. I heard that she regularly plotted escapes from the home, and once called 9-1-1 to report that she was being held there against her will. She raised two families – her four boys and then three grandchildren from one of her boys. She buried a husband, an infant daughter, and two of her sons. It was a full life but a hard life. However, I think she was happy that she lived it in her sometimes soggy house in the Chicago suburbs after escaping from Chicago’s harsh east side where she grew up.

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COVID Comes Home

Unfortunately, it’s MY home. My 13 year old daughter tested positive for Covid yesterday, and has some symptoms, but not severe. We hope and pray she recovers quickly and fully with no side effects. Get vaccinated and boosted.

Our daughter just got her booster shot Friday, so probably not soon enough to fully protect her. I’m not surprised she got sick. Our local school district is being decimated by Covid at the student and educator level. So far, my wife (an educator in the school district) has escaped a Covid infection, but I figured my daughter would eventually get it. All her friends seem to be getting it. Peer pressure, perhaps?

So, now what? I’ll be spending a lot of time away from my family in my home office and basement, so business as usual for me. I will be stocking up on Covid therapeutics, just in case. Ivermectin? Check! But I do have a question. Will the dewormer Ivermectin work on Covid if you don’t have worms? If not, I’ll have to stock up on worms, too.

Twitter has proven to be a treasure trove of information as to how to treat Covid beyond such commonsense cures like livestock dewormers. I had all I needed for this next one in the kitchen.

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My Holiday Accomplishments

The list of all that I accomplished over the holidays is too long to write about, so that’s a bit of luck for you readers. But I can still waste your time giving you some selected highlights. I already wrote about spending some quality time with our dogs. But wait, there’s more!

First thing I did was try not to be such a dick when I was out shopping and running errands. I was inspired by this older pic of Alice Cooper serving others that resurfaced and made the rounds on Twitter recently.

I wasn’t as ambitious as Mr. Cooper, but I tried to hold doors for others and keep a smile on my face. When cars cut me off, I made sure to wave at the drivers with all the fingers on my hand and not just the middle one. I always wonder what the world would be like if each person in the world did those little things every day for a whole year.

I also stayed healthy. I told you about my COVID test. We heard of a friend of the family who got very sick with COVID but is recovering. We also heard of some folks who are friends of friends who have passed away. They predict the omicron variant infection rate in Chicagoland will peak by the end of January. Looks like no indoor public activities for a while still. See you outside in spring!

Professionally, the news I received just before the holidays was bad, and I took some time over the holidays to process it and feel comfortable about my future.

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My Positive Christmas COVID Test

Before starting our Christmas festivities with family, we all tested for Covid as some in the family are immunocompromised. We used nasal swab home test kits.

The store was out of the rectal test versions that I prefer. Anyway, with these nasal tests, one red line means you are negative for Covid, and two red lines mean you got the Covid.

Pretty simple, right? I was grateful that my test yielded only one red line. But what did what was underneath mean? Take a look.

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My Weight Loss Waterloo

I took a couple weeks after November ended to determine if I had lost a weight loss battle or the entire war. The month of November was certainly my weight loss Waterloo, and I don’t mean the city of Waterloo in Iowa, home of the Sistene Chapel reproduced in spray paint on the walls and ceiling of a warehouse turned into a restaurant that is now closed. Thanks, Covid.

No, I’m talking about Napoleon’s Waterloo where he lost his final battle while also gaining 5 pounds thanks to a cheesecake binge. I lost a major weight loss battle in November. Fat cells are now occupying my liver, and they are threatening to invade my pancreas unless their demands for sugared sodas and cake are met. However, I may not have lost the war. Signs in December are positive about returning to or close to my goal weight I met over the summer.

I can break November into 2 distinct halves. The first half of November was characterized by 4 things:

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Preventing Covid is Oozy

I should warn you, this is going to be a long post. Wait, wait, don’t click away. It’ll be long, but with lots of pictures including one of our new puppy dog. Whew, I think I saved a few of you from ditching me and this post.

I rarely do a post like this one. It’ll be chock full ‘o pics from the television, or if you’re in the UK, the telly. I usually reason that if you wanted to see the program, you would have watched it yourself, and you don’t need to see me regurgitate a program that you chose not to watch. Gee, I may not be doing a good job of selling this post. Did I mention our new puppy’s pic is coming?

The show I watched was The Rachel Maddow Show. Some folks call her the liberal version of Tucker Carlson or Sean Hannity. I call her a smarty-pants who uses actual verifiable facts rather than conjecture, fear-mongering, and lies, also known as the staples of those named Fox News hosts.

Anyway, she was trying to help people again last night. Specifically, she warned against these practices …

Those are very bad ideas. I don’t have much experience with iodine, but I have extensive experience with hydrogen peroxide. As a self-licensed dermatist, I use a hydrogen peroxide solution to chemically burn seborrheic keratosis spots off myself. This is the result of one such session on my forehead.

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Thanksgiving Weekend Blues

Here in the USA, we just finished a 4 day holiday weekend. Some people still call it Thanksgiving, but as a Democrat, George Soros pays me to refer to the holiday as Pre-Slaughter of Indigineous People Day.

Anyway, I’ve had better holiday weekends. Since I received my Covid booster 10 days ago, I’ve been sick with respiratory symptoms. Do you think maybe that when I asked for my Covid shot, they actually injected me with the Covid virus? Did I need to be more specific that I wanted the Covid vaccine, not the virus? So, I was a bit logy on Thanksgiving when our kids came over. They couldn’t tell the difference.

I was disappointed in my oldest daughter on Thanksgiving. No, it wasn’t because her pasta was a bit too peppery, although it was. It was because she didn’t notice Yorick. You remember Yorick, right, my new real human skull? My wife, who has a keen eye for design decor, suggested I move Yorick to the other side of our fireplace mantle to provide more balance and symmetry. It works!

My daughter didn’t notice, and when I pointed out Yorick, she was appalled. And yet, she’s the same daughter who visited the catacombs in Paris to see the ossuaries packed with bones and skulls. When I visited Vienna, I headed underground to see the same thing. I figured she was a chip off the old block. Turns out that my daughter thinks that human remains should be kept underground and not passed around the family room. Looks like I raised an elitist!

I did feel a bit better yesterday, so my wife and I went out to dinner to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I was leaning toward a private, heated, plastic bubble at this restaurant.

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Band on the Run?

I know the world is sick of Covid, and everything is opening back up, despite breakthrough cases of Covid continuing to take the lives of double-vaccinated people who thought they were safe. I’m slowly trying to safely head back out into this weird, new, masked Covidy world. I recently went to an outdoor football game, and I went to a basketball game in a big indoor arena. I felt safer outdoors at the football game, but the seats at the basketball game were positioned in such a way that I felt okay about being there. But indoor restaurants? No, thank you. I’ll take the food to go.

I enjoyed safely meeting with friends over the summer at restaurants with outdoor patios. But last night, it was below freezing out, and I was scheduled to have dinner with friends. What do we do? We decided to head to a place with an outdoor patio that they wrap in plastic and keep cozy with overhead and tableside heaters. Even better, live music was scheduled for last night.

They looked fun and upbeat with an indie-artist vibe to them, sort of a cleaner-cut version of the Strumbellas from Canada. Take a look and you decide.

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