Anton Yelchin

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June 19th, 2016 was Father’s Day, but it was also one of the most difficult days for me particularly because one of my favorite actors passed away at his home. This is the story according to most news websites.

yelchin crash 876“According to police, Yelchin died from blunt force asphyxia when he got out of the vehicle and it rolled down his driveway and pinned him against a brick mailbox and a security fence. His 2015 Grand Cherokee featured an uncommon type of electronic gear selector that works like a self-centering toggle to cycle through the transmission’s modes (park, reverse, neutral and drive,) rather than a lever with notches or specific positions for each.”

We had family visiting us from San Diego, and it wasn’t until after they left that I saw the news on Facebook. My heart sank in my chest and I just started saying “No no no no no no this isn’t happening. No! Just NO!” I read the article and about how he passed away, but I just couldn’t wrap myself around the details, and I kind of think that I was in denial. I went directly to Netflix and watched Odd Thomas because that’s one of my favorite movies. I started crying as soon as I heard his voice, and then again when I saw his face. I tried to keep calm throughout the movie, but I couldn’t help it, I just kept crying. At the end when he realizes his girlfriend is dead, and he starts crying, I just lost it. Netflix doesn’t have my other favorite movie of his, which is Fright Night and the new Star Trek movies. I would like to watch those again just to see him.

I don’t know what he was like in person because I’ve never met him and I haven’t seen him on camera in a reality setting. I haven’t seen many interviews with him, I’ve only seen him in his movies. I would imagine him to be one of the kindest people you’ve ever met. He just gives that vibe to me. I’ve seen his body language in pictures, and he doesn’t seem like his head ever got too big from the fame, so that tells me that he is a really down to earth person. He was a very talented actor, and I was looking forward to so many more movies and hopefully TV shows, but that’s not going to come anymore. I’m sure he had acted in some movies that are still sitting in the editor’s office, so I look forward to losing my shit when I see those movies. Face it, you know if there are any movies coming in the future with him in it, you’re gonna bawl your face off at the movie theater right next to me. I can’t be bawling in the movie theater by myself!

This world has lost one of the greatest talents it will ever see. I am still mourning his passing as if I knew him personally. I don’t know what it was about him, he just touched me, and I will never forget him.

I love you Anton Yelchin. Rest in peace buddy.

Homemade Apple Butter

apple butter jars

I can remember my mother buying Apple Butter when I was a child. She would make toast for us, and we would spread the butter on the hot toast, then when the butter melted we would spread Apple Butter on top. It wasn’t an every day thing since it wasn’t always in the fridge. My mother would buy it occasionally, so it was a treat when she did buy it.

I’ve been making applesauce a lot more than I normally do, and peeling the apples is always the worst part, which is why I don’t make it all the time. If I had something that made peeling apples easier and faster, then I would make it all the time. I recently bought this gadget on Amazon called Starfrit Apple Pro-Peeler. I watched a video on YouTube that came from QVC and they made it look so easy to peel apples. I bought it based on their video and decided to make Apple Butter with the peeled apples. This is what it looks like.

Starfrit apple peeler

So you basically remove the plastic, then stick the apple on the 4 prongs to hold it in place, then turn the crank which turns the gears which turns the apple and the arm with the blade moves down to the bottom of the apple and starts peeling it from the bottom to the top. It’s really fun to peel apples. It normally takes me about 2 or 3 minutes to peel 1 apple, and this thing literally took 5 seconds to peel the apple.

I got the recipe for the Apple Butter from Betty Crocker. The recipe is for 12 granny smith apples, apple juice, brown sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg and ground cloves. You put all of the ingredients in a crock pot for 10 hours on low, then use a mixer on the apples, then continue cooking it on low for 2 more hours, then 2 hours to cool down before canning it.  Here’s what it looks like in the crock pot at the very beginning.

Apples in crock pot

I tasted it when it was finished, and I was surprised that it didn’t have the same taste that I remember of the Apple Butter from my childhood. I think it is too spicy in fact lol. Not hot spicy, but I mean like the cloves and nutmeg etc. I don’t recall tasting those ingredients.

When it was finished cooking, I tasted it and it didn’t taste very sweet to me, so I added more brown sugar. It did help with the sweetness and the bitter aftertaste. I figured I would not judge it while it was still hot, but instead go ahead and can it and put 1 jar in the fridge and make my decision when I could try it cold. I did, and it still wasn’t sweet enough, so I added a little bit more sugar to the jar (in the middle of the 2 jars in the picture above) and it did help it a lot. I made 1 slice of toast and added the butter, then added the Apple Butter and cut the toast in half and gave one half to my partner and we both ate it together. It was actually very good. I can see me trying this on several different things like ice cream and perhaps waffles and pancakes.

I used 20 apples and doubled the amount of the rest of the ingredients. I got 11 jars out of it, and there was a tiny bit leftover, so I poured the rest in the jar in the middle in the picture above. It’s from my Magic Bullet lol. I only have 11 glass jars for canning because 1 jar broke last year. I am going to be missing 4 more jars because my partner is giving 2 jars away at church tomorrow, and I will be giving 2 jars to people who work at the grocery store lol.

I’m going to buy more jars since we will be losing 4 more jars, but I’m going to buy the bigger jars because I want to make more applesauce and put them in the bigger jars. Now that I have this apple peeler, I’m probably going to be out of control  with canning apple butter and applesauce lol.

Planet Fitness for Weight Loss

planet fitness

It’s been 5 weeks since we started going to Planet Fitness since I broke my leg in December. I haven’t seen any weight loss on the scale, but then again I am building muscle, and I do see a significant difference in my face. It’s not as fat as it was, and I can even see where the fat is disappearing. I also see that my chest, shoulder and my arms are getting bigger from building muscle.

We go 3 days a week because it’s a bit of a drive, and that costs gas which as you know isn’t free. I’d love to go more often, but my partner doesn’t. He only wants to go Monday, Wednesday and Friday, although that depends on our week. The last couple weeks we’ve gone on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. I only have 2 days worth of exercises anyway since they didn’t give me any leg exercises because I can’t really do those because of my leg issues. When the surgeon says I can do leg exercises, I will start doing them.

We do incline chest press, chest press, pectoral fly, shoulder press and tricep press on day 1. Day 2 it’s lat pull down, row, rear deltoid and bicep curls. My partner feels like those aren’t enough, and because he’s not really on the same exercise plan I am on because they didn’t give him a plan since he’s my guest, he doesn’t really have to do what I do, he can do what he wants.

After we do upper body, we walk over to the lower body section. I discovered there are exercises over there that I can do, like they have a machine for abs, it’s like crunches, and another one where you sit on it with your knees and your body twists to do the side abs. It does hurt my right leg to sit on my knees, but it doesn’t hurt for long. I do my usual 15 reps, rest, 15 more, rest, 15 more and done. I actually love that machine, and I can’t wait to see how ripped my stomach will be once the fat disappears from my stomach lol. My partner does the other leg machines. There is also a machine for the lower back and butt, which I need to do because the last time I lost weight, I noticed that my ass was as flat as a board. I need all the help I can get for my butt. I can’t do squats because of my leg, so this will have to do for now.

Last night I was looking at Instagram, and I came across a post from Planet Fitness. I don’t normally read the comments because there seem to be a lot of people who hate Planet Fitness. I never could understand the hatred, but it became clear to me why they hate them so much. They have Pizza nights and bagels mornings. This guy said that Planet Fitness doesn’t give a crap about you losing weight and they just want your money. Well, um… what does that have to do with anything? Of course they want your money, they are a business and that’s what businesses do. They lure you in with a great price like $5 down and $10 a month and they give you perks like 1 night a MONTH you get pizza and one day a MONTH they give you bagels. I’ve never actually gotten those perks, but even if I did, that’s on me, not on them. I’ve eaten pizza at home more than I’ve eaten it at the gym, which is never, so who is trying to sabotage me now? ME! I am in control of what I put in my mouth whether they are feeding it to me or not. Planet Fitness IS a gym because they have free weights, kettle bells, rope on beams, they have tons of machines that target all of your muscle groups, and they have tons of machines that allow you to do your cardio.

Give them a chance because they are a good gym. I have self control. I wouldn’t drink beer in a AA meeting, so I’m not going to eat pizza at the gym. I go there and do my exercises and leave. I’m on disability, and I am going to go to Planet Fitness since it’s the only gym I can afford. It’s too bad my health insurance doesn’t pay for it since the doctor is the one who insisted that I go.

PS Vita Not Properly Charging

psvita charger

Today I was faced with a problem that I was not mentally prepared for. My PS Vita refuses to charge.

Last night I turned my PS Vita on so I could see if the weekly sale was in the PS Store yet. Each week on Tuesday they have a sale on games. I knew I was early because it was Monday night, but it was after midnight so I thought I’d check. I noticed that the battery icon showed that it had about 50% battery. It doesn’t say 50%, but it was around there. I plugged it in and let it charge for about an hour and the light turned off. I assumed if the light turned off that it was fully charged, so I went to sleep.

This morning I turned it on to check for the weekly sales, and I noticed that the battery icon was still at that halfway point, so I plugged it in again and forgot about it for about an hour.

PS Vita Screen

After an hour, I thought this has to be at full charge by now, but as you can see, it was still at the 50% mark. I didn’t understand why it was doing that, and I was starting to panic, so I went to Google and searched for the problem. I searched “PS Vita not charging” and the first post that I came across said to just plug it in and start playing a game, so I did. I plugged it in and started playing Minecraft. I played for about 10-15 minutes. You would think that after being plugged in for 10-15 minutes it would have at least gone up to 75% or something, but it didn’t move at all.

I turned it off all the way off by pressing and holding the power button until I saw POWER OFF. I actually did that last night and before the Minecraft “fix” that didn’t exactly fix anything. You can usually solve any problem by turning it off then back on again. Usually.

I read another message board post that put me in a panic attack. It said if you have only had it for like say a couple of weeks or a month to go back to the store and return it for an exchange. Well, I’ve had mine for 5 months, so yeah I can’t exactly do that, now can I? I kept reading, and was getting more discouraged by the minute until I went to find the original box that the PS Vita came in, which yes, I had because I save things like that lol.

Inside the box I found a couple of things. I found that I have a 2 year warranty from Game Stop, thank goodness for my partner buying the warranty with my Christmas present. I also found something, it’s a little box that you plug the USB cable into and a plug. I never unpacked those because I figured if it can be charged via USB cable, why use that? So I took it out, took a picture (above) and plugged it in and guess what? It charged my PS Vita to 100%.

This is my fix for this issue, and it may or may not work for everyone else just like the plug it in and play a game fix didn’t work for me, but if you haven’t tried it, try it and see if it works. I sure am glad I figured that one out. Technology doesn’t love me as much as I love it.

Exercise at Planet Fitness

We started going to Planet Fitness a couple of weeks ago to help lose weight. I’m more interested in going to a gym than my partner is because I have more weight to lose than he does. We both have a gut, but he doesn’t have the huge fatty neck and face like I do. He also doesn’t eat as much as I do. He is always “fasting” because he thinks it will help him lose weight, which I’ve told him does the opposite. He has type 2 diabetes, and during his “fasting” he has forgotten to check his blood sugar, and he recently bought some new test strips and is quickly finding out that fasting is causing more trouble for him than he thought since his blood sugar is too low. Last night it was 34. Yikes! He won’t listen to me though.

We go to the gym and at first he didn’t want to participate. The first day that we went, I did all the exercises that the trainer gave me, and he sat at the table by the door. That first day was brutal, and trust me, I was using the least amount of weight, but I was in pain for 3 days. The next time we went he surprised me by bringing a sweat towel for himself. He’s been doing the same exercises that I have been doing, although, not as many as I do. I do 3 sets of 15 of each machine, and he might do 1 entire set, or half lol. When he’s finished, he goes to the chair and gets on his cell phone to text, read email or whatever it is that he does on his cell phone while I’m on the elliptical machine or the bicycle.

I said in the last paragraph that the first time we went, I was in pain for 3 days. The next few trips I was doing fine, but the last 2 trips I’ve been in a bit of pain because I’ve added more weight to all of the machines. I start with a low weight because I don’t want to overdo it, then if it’s too light I will add more weight. If I do an entire set and it starts to become too much for me, then I will lower the weight so I can finish the next 2 sets.

When I saw the trainer, I only requested upper body because of my broken leg. I mean, it’s not broken anymore, it’s completely healed, but the doctor told me not to put any pressure on it at the gym, to only focus on upper body. So I only have 2 days worth of exercises. My partner only wants to go on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, so one week on Monday I will do day 1, Wednesday day 2, Friday day 1, then the next Monday I will do day 2, then Wednesday day 1 then Friday day 2. If the doctor said I could do legs, then I will tell the trainer that we’re only going 3 days a week, so give me all leg exercises for Fridays. I would love to go 4 days a week, but I’m really pushing my luck with 3 lol.

I haven’t been using the Total Body Enhancement machine because of my partner wanting to participate, but I used it on my last visit and then again today. One of the concerns that I had was will this hurt my leg? I have a metal bar with metal screws screwed into my shin. I’m sure the screws aren’t going to vibrate so much that they unscrew… wait, that won’t happen, will it? I’m sure nothing like that will happen. I didn’t have any pain in my leg at all, so I’m not too concerned, although I should probably ask my doctor just in case. I will see the doctor in 2 weeks. I walked the dog and as soon as I opened the door the pain came. It’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so the pain told me it will probably rain.

Of course after only 2 weeks I haven’t really seen any loss on the scale because I’m building muscle. I haven’t built enough muscle to notice a difference, but I do see that my face is starting to thin out a tiny bit. If I am consistent, the fat will melt away and I will be happy. That’s all that matters. I know that what matters the most is my health and not my happiness, but screw that, I just want to be happy, and I will be most happy when I can breathe while bending over to tie my shoes, and when I can actually see my junk without having to look in the mirror.

Planet Fitness Trainer

planet fitnessI signed up at Planet Fitness last year in September because they sent me a postcard in the mail with their sign up special. I wanted to exercise at a gym because I knew that I would lose more weight if I had a place to go to exercise.

I broke my leg in December, froze my membership in February, then unfroze it last Friday. When I unfroze my membership, it occurred to me that when I signed up, I never made an attempt to see one of their trainers to get help or advice on what machines I should use to help me lose weight, so while we were unfreezing my membership, I decided to sign the paper for an appointment.

My appointment was on Monday, and I told her about my leg problem and she didn’t give me any exercises for lower body, just upper body. Normally they would give me a 4 day plan, so like day 1 I do these 4 specific machines for upper body and day 2 4 more. Since I can’t do legs, she only gave me 2 days worth of exercises.

When she gave me my exercises, she moved on to the next client and I got started. I hopped on the Elliptical machine for 20 minutes, but my right leg was giving up on me after 6 minutes. I tried so hard to keep going, but at 8 minutes I had to start the cool down. I was on the Elliptical for a grand total of 10 minutes and 28 seconds lol. She told me to either do the Elliptical or the bike, and I chose wrong. After that I went to the muscle machines and I could only do 2 of them. I was in a massive amount of pain, and I really couldn’t find the other 2 machines. I went to the counter and asked her to show me where they were so I would remember the next time I came in.

I was in so much pain from doing 3 sets on 2 machines, I literally couldn’t lift the carton of Silk Almond milk from the fridge door to pour in my Raisin Bran the next morning. I was going to take 1 day off, then go back on Wednesday, but I needed an extra day to rest, and I was still in agony up until I went to bed. I woke up on Thursday morning and was feeling great. I told my partner I wanted to go back whether I was still in pain or not, and I was quite surprised to see him holding a sweat towel for himself on the way out the door. He never wants to exercise with me. He did 2 machines, then disappeared to the seat at the front of the gym and waited for me to finish. He’s actually in pain from the little amount of sets that he did. I told him not to do too much because he literally has no muscles, so he just did 1 set of the 2 machines.

My partner won’t allow me to ride my new tricycle to the gym anymore because he’s afraid I’ll have another accident and break another bone. I understand his apprehension because I’ve broken 2 bones in the last 2 years on my old bike. So I get it. I mean, I’m 45, I have a mind of my own and if I decided that I wanted to ride my new tricycle to the gym, that’s exactly what I will do, but I have the same apprehension which is why I haven’t done that yet. I’m freaked out about breaking another bone. I mean, I’ve lived my entire life without ever breaking a bone. I’m a clumsy person by nature, and I’ve been very lucky to have never broken a bone until I was in my 40’s, and I’ve had many tumbles off the bike. At this point I think I’m getting too old to walk away from a bike accident. I’m not saying I’m old, but I worry I might break a hip next. Seriously though lol.

Anyway, I’m happy he’s driving me to the gym because he’s actually taking advantage of my guest privileges, and hopefully he benefits from this as much as I do. And I hope these exercises she gave me will work. Next month we are going to start eating Weight Watchers again, so hopefully that will help. The trainer told me that this will only work if we are also eating healthy. I lost 70lbs in 6 months in 2013 from eating Weight Watchers alone, so imagine how much weight I might lose if I ate Weight Watchers and exercised at the same time. I can only imagine, and I’m really trying to picture myself skinny again. Boy oh boy am I really trying.

Wish me luck! Wait, no, it might jinx it lol.

Fix for my Magic Bullet

magic bullet

I have wanted a Magic Bullet ever since I saw the first infomercial for it on TV. I told my partner every time we walked by it at Sears or Target, and he always told me that it was too expensive. Last year we were at Sears and they were really inexpensive, so he finally bought it for me.

When I started going to the gym, I started buying this workout powder that is supposed to help you recover and it is supposed to help the muscles somehow. We had some strawberries in the fridge that we weren’t eating, so I put them in the freezer. I should have cut them into pieces first, but I didn’t.  Shoulda, coulda, woulda…

This is why I should have cut the strawberries up first. I threw whole frozen strawberries and frozen slices of banana into my shake, and it was too much for the Magic Bullet to handle and the blade stopped, but the rubber from the bottom of the cross blade started stripping and it stripped the plastic off the base gear. I honestly didn’t think that I did any harm to it at the time.

Yesterday I decided that I wanted to make a blended iced coffee, so I poured my cold coffee into the cup and added some small pieces of ice, then I screwed the cross blade on it and put it in the Magic Bullet, and it was making some strange noises, and it didn’t crush the ice like it normally would. I looked at the base gear and the bottom of the cross blade and I could see why it wasn’t working properly.

My first thought was great, now I need a new one. But then I wondered if it could be fixed, so I went on Amazon, my go to website for everything, and they just so happened to have the replacement parts. I bought both pieces, and then thought to myself, how the heck am I going to replace the gear? I went on YouTube and got the answer.

magic bullet bottom flathead screw

The bottom of the Magic Bullet has a opening, and you should see a flat head screw in that opening. What you gotta do is grab the gear with a pair of locking pliers, then put a flat head screwdriver in the bottom and hold it tight, then turn the locking pliers to the right as if you are tightening it. Trust me, it will loosen. When you have it off, then you can put the new one in place. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The parts are so much cheaper than having to buy a new Magic Bullet, and it doesn’t take much effort fixing it, and you will bonk your hand on your forehead when you think about how you were about to throw the Magic Bullet away over something so trivial.

I know I should take better care of my things, and I try to, but sometimes I just don’t think before I act. No one is perfect, and I know I’m certainly far from perfect. I’m the most clumsy person I know. Here’s an example. Last year like a month before I broke my leg, I was in the emergency room because I was cutting the stem off of one of those frozen strawberries so I could blend it in the Magic Bullet, and the knife was so sharp that it went right through the strawberry, and went right into my finger at an angle. It didn’t go directly into the bone, it went in the same direction as the bone. I ended up with 3 stitches. I think that was the last time I used my Magic Bullet.

Magic Bullet stitches

So, I would suggest take better care of your (my) things, and be careful with sharp knives lol. Ouch! Oh, and I hope I helped save you money by showing you how to fix your Magic Bullet.