Vampire Resistant

Well, I tried. I really did. I went to my appointment earlier this week and got my mini-physical. Turns out that I’m in excellent health, thank you. Although I’m not sure how good of a physical it really was as they would not let me drop my pants or take off my shirt in the office. I then answered a bunch of questions about my health history before I was ultimately rejected and went home in disgrace. Just to clarify, in disgrace is normally how I return home from everywhere.

That’s right, they didn’t want my donation of blood plasma without a doctor’s note from my dermatologist verifying that she has my skin cancer under control. No problem, right? Uh, actually …

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Another Edition of … Am I a Bad Guy?

Tonight I start what I hope will be a series of blood plasma donations. Blood plasma is critically needed to create medicines to treat rare, genetic, and chronic diseases. I first heard about it through my brother-in-law who donates. Of course, he’s also donated one of his kidneys. Show-off. Anyway, here’s an overview if you are interested.

I am fine with all that, but one thing troubles me. I want to specify that my blood plasma only be used to treat Democrats and Independents. Definitely NOT to be used to help Republicans. Am I a bad guy?

I’m Completely Lost on My Weight Loss Journey

I didn’t do a post about my weight loss/gain in March, but I planned to. I was so proud. The 1 single solitary pound I gained in February I was able to lose in March. Big deal, right? Well, for me, it was. I was all set to explain (with pictures!) how I was certain that taking a specific type of walk outside was responsible for losing that 1 single pound in March.

But then April happened. April showers bring May flowers, right? But snow showers? We had several snows at the beginning of April that kept me inside. And when it wasn’t snowing, it seemed to be raining. The clouds parted for a few days, including Easter, but Easter brought with it lots of chocolate. After Easter, it rained some more, sometimes in monsoon-like fashion. Most of my exercise was indoors in April. The pounds piled on unabated. How could I blog proudly about a 1 pound loss in March when I was porking out in April. I was ready to shrug, give up, and just accept what appeared was going to be a 5 pound weight GAIN in April when I got sick. Then the strangest thing happened.

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My March to Weight Loss

I need to focus on March for weight loss, because February was a disaster. I gained a pound. On second thought, considering world events, the added pound in February probably doesn’t really qualify as a disaster.

It wasn’t for lack of effort that I gained weight. My steps/cycles remained consistent.

Negating those consistent steps was my love for chocolate and Valentine’s Day intersecting. It would help if my wife bought me chocolate from the dollar store rather than from the fancy-schmancy chocolatier in town. Maybe she loves me so much that she wants there to be more of me to love. Well, in February, she got her wish.

But Valentine’s Day was just one day. That can’t be the whole reason for my weight gain. I think I know what the real reason is though.

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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?

I’m Not L’oven This Weather

It’s been cold here. A blogger I follow recently referred to such bitter cold as Brass Monkey Weather. We’ve had our fill of brass monkey weather recently in the Chicago area. Just yesterday, we endured temps of -14F/-25C. During weather this cold, I like to use our oven as much as I can. After I am done with the oven, I open it a bit and let hot air (not from me) flood the kitchen. I love that feeling of warmth enveloping me. But I can’t anymore since my dog set himself on fire. He’s ruined it for me, because now we have these on the oven.

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Where’s My Free Scorpion?

I shop at a local Aldi store a couple times a month. Never have I received one of these with my fresh produce, but I want to, because, well, someone else got one free.

Of course, this happened in Australia. Where else? They have so many dangerous, deadly creatures there that I think they probably expect to find a scorpion in their vegetables. Here’s the comment from the woman who found the scorpion.

‘I’m happy dealing with caterpillars and bugs in fresh produce but was shocked to see a scorpion crawling around. He was very much alive and very cranky.’

Here’s Aldi’s response:

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Waitlisted for Weight Loss

Every winter for me it is the same. I gain weight. I planned to allow myself 5 pounds of weight gain this winter. However, I never expected I would hit my 5 pound “goal” by the end of December, but there I was, staring at the scale in disbelief at the beginning of 2022. Just a tip for those of you trying to lose weight, sucking in your gut while standing on the scale and staring in disbelief does not reduce your weight.

I delayed writing this until I was sure that the weight gain was a just temporary upward blip. Instead, as I write this, I am certain that my 5 pound weight loss visitor is here for an extended stay. But the good news is that I’m holding steady there and we are over half the way through calendric winter. And instead of thinking that I have gained back 25% of the weight I lost, it helps for me to think that I have gained back 1/16th of the weight I lost 4 times. Seems less to me.

One problem could be my steps took a literal step back in December. Take a look.

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Don’t Look Up & Definitely Don’t Exercise

I watched that new movie Don’t Look Up. I didn’t think it was the greatest film ever made, but liked parts of it. Well, so much for the movie review portion of this blog post. One part I found totally unbelievable was when they showed people exercising while watching the news of a giant comet coming to destroy the planet.

If I knew a planet-killing comet was on the way, I would immediately cease all forms of exercise and healthy eating. I would eat myself into a chocolate coma (good name for a band) and await the inevitable destruction. Of course, that would be after I took care of my family by telling them to take shelter in the basement and to keep their grubby mitts off my chocolate.

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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He Had a Great Fall

Can you tell me why it is always men, not women, who we hear about ending up in the hospital with things stuck up their backsides? The men always seem to “fall” perfectly onto the item that then gets lodged up their bum. I’m using a British term for derriere since the man in this story is from the UK. Here’s the latest story that UK readers may have already heard about.

Rectum??? It probably almost killed him. Full story link here. If you don’t want to click the link, here are some dimensions to ponder. The mortar shell removed from his tushie was 170mm/6.69″ long and a robust 57mm/2.24″ in diameter. It was designed to penetrate a tank’s armor. This is a good spot to add any lowbrow joke of your own. I have already exceeded my limit. Anyway, you know the old saying, “The mortar the merrier.”

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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Sorry to Make You Weight

My exercise, health, and weight loss posts are generally my most viewed posts, so why would I wait until the middle of November to report on how I did in October? I guess it’s basically because I don’t care that much about what happened. There, I said it, and it feels good. I made my goal weight over the summer. When I sit in those special chairs at the pharmacy that take my pulse, measure my blood pressure, weigh me, and check my Body Mass Index, I no longer get the flashing warning to stand up before I break the chair. I’m now in maintenance mode.

Maintenance mode is not very exciting, and I don’t have much to report. I may have been able to lose more weight in early October as the weather was quite good to start the month. I probably could have left my pool up and swam until mid-October, but I didn’t. I walked and biked as usual, but my steps do show a slight seasonal reduction.

And that is because good mental health is key to good physical health. In the middle of October, the weather took a nasty turn for the worse, as did my mental health. I deal with SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder, so I had to adjust my supplements and start doing this a lot.

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