Getting Ready for the Holidays

This is the image from my webcam to show my progress so far. It’s very hard to really tell what it is at this point because of the angle of the image but it’s a Christmas stocking for one of my relatives. It’s a snowman holding a broom with a mouse in it. The snowman is wearing a top hat and a scarf and he has a squirrel on his shoulder.

There is a deer which you can clearly see then a rabbit next to him but I haven’t finished him so he’s hard to see.  Then to the bottom right of the stocking is a fox which I haven’t even started. Well, I started his feet but that’s it.

When I finish I will post the finished product so you can get a better image. Yesterday I worked on the white of the snowman stomach and I started his scarf which by the way is not an easy thing to do lol.

I have 9 more days to finish this. Do you think I can do it? I keep saying “Oh it’ll only take me a few days” well it’s been a week that I’ve been working on it but because of back problems I can only work on so much of it at a time before I have to stop. Yesterday I drank a red bull and got a lot more done but not as much as I would have liked.

I still have to finish the other stocking that I made for Jordan with the Santa on the front. Since that one didn’t come with the red felt for the back, I had to go buy some at Michael’s. I cut the piece out so all I have to do is sew it on. But I’ll wait to do that when I can sew this one up at the same time. Yes they have to be sewn by hand because if I use the sewing machine it will screw up the pattern because some of the pattern is right against the edge of where I have to sew.

You know speaking of sewing, I wish that I knew how to quilt because I think I could make some awesome Christmas stockings with that. That would be so awesome.

Anyway, I need to get back to work lol.

My Leg is Better

Just thought I would give an update about my leg. A week ago I posted about My New Leg Injury describing what happened to me on Sunday, October 17th. How I ran for the ice cream truck, ran faster then my calf muscle popped and stopped me dead in my tracks.

I was on crutches for a few days then I went to 1 crutch then no crutches. I was supposed to be out of commission for 4-6 weeks (or 6-8 weeks for my overestimation, just in case) but it turned out to be way less.

Over the last few days I’ve been walking on my foot instead of walking on my toes and limping. I think that has stretched what was tightened so that I can walk normal again. The doctor said ice for 20 minutes several times a day for the first 3-4 days then heat. Well, I did the ice and heat and it did help some but I think the best therapy is getting up and walking around. Sure it was painful as hell but no pain no gain right?

Every morning when I wake up I limp at first but once I start walking on my foot it starts to limber up and I can walk. Occasionally the pain will start up again but it won’t last too long then it’s better again. And actually I’m having pain in other places now. All the way down my leg from my knee along my shin down to my foot. I don’t know why the pain has moved from my calf to my shin but I’m sure it will go away in time.

I’m not 100% healed but I’m not too far from it. I rather enjoyed having a few days off and not having to take the dog out 20 times per day and having to make all the meals. Of course when I was able to walk on my own again I was forced to continue daily life as if nothing had happened. I could be laying in bed pretending for another 5 weeks but I’m a terrible liar lol.

Resting Eyes Today

I’ve been reading every day this month and even though I feel like I’m in a race to read as many books as I possibly can, I think I need to give my eyes the day off today.

Ok so it’s not a race but I just feel like I’m on vacation when I’m reading. Vacation from the problems of the world, of my world. It’s an escape. But for today I need to rest.

If I go blind from over reading then what point will I have made by spending $160 on a Nook?

Earlier in the week I posted a poll asking how long it takes people to read and because only 5 people took the poll (thanks a lot) I didn’t get a definitive answer.

It’s interesting though that a friend of mine who got me wanting to read told me that she reads funny. She will be reading many books simultaneously. Like she’s reading 13 books right now. She has finished 9 of those 13 books but what she does is she reads a chapter in 1 book then goes and reads 1 chapter in another book and so on and so forth. And that’s all in 1 month too.

It takes me 4 days to read 1 book and I can usually read 4 books per month because after I finish reading a book I take a few days before going to the next one. I can’t imagine how fast she must read that she can go through 13 books in 1 day by reading 1 chapter each. That would take me the whole entire day and by the end of the day I would be too blind to do anything else.

I have astigmatism, I have trouble focusing my eyes after looking at a book so close for a certain amount of time. It’s like when I play video games on my PSP, after playing for so long, when I look away from it everything is blurry. That’s usually when I know it’s time to stop. Or when I’m sitting there with my PSP so close to my face that I can’t see anything in my peripheral vision. That’s why I like to play with the PSP hooked up to the TV.

It’s too bad I can’t hook the Nook up to the TV to read it lol. Then again what would be the point of e-ink if I’m reading from the tv.

I do use the large print when I read. I should probably use the biggest print which is extra extra large. Maybe that would be a lot easier on my eyes but that only means more page turns which means more battery usage. I’ve been using large only because of the time it takes to turn the page, it’s not too long but it’s long enough that I don’t want to have to turn it as much.

So from now on, I will use extra extra large as if I’m in my 80′s lol. What happens when I am in my 80′s? I will need a magnifying glass to go with it or maybe the Nook of the future will be as big as the wall with a remote control for turning the page. I’d still need to use extra extra-large though lol. I can see me in my 80′s with coke bottle glasses like Professor Farnsworth from Futurama.

Or maybe by then (if I’m still alive) I will be totally blind but hopefully voice recognition will be a lot better. I can grab my future nook like gadget, push the button on top and hear a sound like I turned on the computer then hear a voice greeting me. “Hello Mr. McDonald. What would you like to read today?” then I say “I’d like to continue reading the last book” then it starts reading to me in a calming voice, not electronic like the Kindle. That would be ideal for my blind 80-year-old ass in the year 2050 lol.

I said I was going to give my eyes a break today, what the heck am I doing blogging? Sheesh!

My Nook Battery

Before I go on a rant, I would just like to say that I love my Nook. I’ve had nothing but fun with it since I got it on Friday night. Yes, I have had some irritations but the more I play with it the more I understand it and love it.

With that said, I just want to say how I am questioning their “10-day battery life” statement. I’ve only had it since Friday night which is when I first charged it. The next day the battery had started going down so I plugged it in again so I am really counting from that moment which would be Saturday afternoon when it was at full capacity which for some odd reason was only 97% when the light went off and it stopped charging.

So that would be 3 days that I have been playing with it when it went from 97% battery life down to 24%. It’s supposed to be 10 days, not 3.

Note that they said 10 days IF the wi-fi is turned off. The Kindle wi-fi has a 30 day battery with wi-fi turned off and it only uses the battery when you turn the page right? So I think that this is 10 days because every time you have to look up a word it turns the LCD screen on which uses battery so that’s why instead of 30 days it’s only 10 days.

How much time do they estimate per day that you should use the Nook to give you 10 days of battery power? 1 hour per day? 2 hours?

Maybe I’m using it more than they would have estimated that a person would use it and that’s why it’s sucking so much energy from the battery.

I think what’s happening is that every time I don’t understand a word I look it up which turns the LCD on. And before I start reading I usually go into the daily to see what they have in there. I pick up my Nook several times per day and look at stuff in the Nook store. So maybe I am over using it.

I mean it doesn’t really bother me that much that it’s only been 3 days and I’ve already used 75% of the battery because I can certainly plug it in every few days. It’s the principle that they say “10 days” without a charge that gets me because I’m seriously wondering just how long they expect a person would be using this thing.

Look, I’m a reader, I love to read… a lot. I’m gonna be using this thing for hours at a time, maybe 4-6 hours per day. It’s gonna get its use whether I’m reading a book, magazine or newspaper or just browsing the Nook store. So I guess if I over use it like that I’m gonna have to expect to charge it every few days.

I guess I’ll just have to deal with it lol.

Taste the @Twimbow

A few days ago I was searching for something that had to do with rainbows, I think I was looking for an image. I really don’t remember but in my Google search I found Twimbow. It said it was in pre-Alpha so in order for me to use Twinbow I had to sign up and wait for approval. Well, I got an email today with my approval.

When I found it on Google I read that it was a new Twitter application so I thought what the heck, I could always use a new way to go on twitter. I’m not really much of a twit er wait no that came out wrong… or did it? I don’t get into twittering as much as a lot of people do so I don’t really use it. The problem with Twitter is that I am following so many people and I look away for 5 seconds and there are 20 more tweets. I look away for 5 minutes and there are 500 new tweets. It’s overwhelming so I don’t use Twitter as much as I would like to.

Twimbow is a bit different in the respect that you can choose what tweets you want to look at. Look at this image, this is the main page. The left column has direct messages, your mentions and people mentioning you, all color coded. The middle column are everyone’s tweets that you are following and the right column are the Twimbow mentions.

What I would love to see happen next is being able to either block certain people’s tweets or only show certain people’s tweets. That way you can block out all the spam tweets from people you really don’t know who you follow that advertise a lot.

The problem is, I follow everyone who follows me whether I know them or not. So because of that my twitter page is overwhelmed with tons of new tweets. I don’t want to unfollow those people but I don’t want to read their spam tweets either lol. And some of the people I follow are speaking in Russian. I can’t even read their tweets.

I said earlier that you can choose what tweets you see, this is what I mean. In the image above you might have noticed at the bottom it said Monitor. Well, if you click that you can type in some key words or phrases and anyone who tweets those words or phrases will show up under that word.

For this example I typed in 4 words, Nook, Kindle, Ebook and Gay. So every time someone says those words I will know it. You can also move those boxes around. When I typed them all out they were all vertical on the left side, I moved them so they are horizontal to see the tweets in them.

You could also type in certain people’s names like if I only want to look at Kathy Griffins tweets or any time someone said her name then those will be the only tweets I see. I typed Xanapus and my last tweet came up but because nobody ever says my name 😦 that won’t have any new tweets.

I would like to only follow certain people’s tweets like I said Kathy Griffin but also Alyssa Milano, Bethany, BravoAndy, hello Ross and a few other celebrities. I only want to look at friend tweets and celebrity tweets.

I like Twimbow because their site looks way cooler than Twitters does. Hopefully they will have ways of blocking or only allowing certain people so I can enjoy it even more.

Shoulder Exercises – Bad

Well I thought that working my shoulder muscles on my home gym was going to help my shoulder but it’s only making it worse.  The first couple of days I was doing it my shoulder started feeling better.  I was already making plans to go bike riding after a week hoping that this would fix the problem and I’d be back to normal.

I was only doing 4 out of those 6 exercises and only doing 10 reps of each and I’m not using that much weight.  My weider home gym works by the height that you have it set to.  If you have it set real low then you aren’t use any weight at all but if you have it set at its highest point then you are using all of your weight and probably then some.  And if you use the bungees at the bottom you are adding more resistance.  I was only doing it 1/4 high.  I don’t know exactly how much weight that is because they didn’t give me a chart on how to calculate how much weight I’m lifting but I can only assume that I’m only using 1/4 of my weight which would be 60lbs.

I also stopped the cold/heat because I believe it was causing problems with my left arm.  For the last week I was using cold/heat the pain was going down my left arm and it was almost at my hand so by stopping the cold/heat the pain actually went away in my arm.  It was going away from my back too and I thought that perhaps it was due to me using the gym.  Perhaps it was a combination of both.  Maybe stopping cold/heat and starting the gym.  Maybe I should’ve stopped the cold/heat for a few days then started up again and maybe I should’ve only used the gym once per day instead of 2-3 times per day.

Whatever the reason the pain is coming back for is beyond me.  I just know I can’t suffer anymore.  I am suffering and I am tired of it.  I can’t work, I can’t lay on my left side, I can’t ride my bike, I can’t really do anything at all that involves breathing lol.

Fly Problem

I don’t know what it is about summer but all of a sudden there are fly’s all over the kitchen window above the sink.  It’s like that every year at this time.  When I go to take the dog out in the back yard I usually open the back door then we walk to the back gate and I let her out then I go back into the kitchen and close the door.  But even if I’m not opening the door they come in through the front door when we answer the door or when we are coming or going.

So about a week ago I was sitting in my room watching tv and the saying “you catch more fly’s with Honey than you do with Vinegar” came into my head.  I wasn’t thinking about the fly’s so I don’t know where that came from but it was like all of a sudden a light bulb turned on above my head.

I went into the kitchen and we had these honey packets from KFC from awhile ago that we never used, yes I’m the guy who saves ketchup packets and all the other “packets” lol.  Anyway, I put some on a napkin (yes, from Taco Bell lol) and put it on the ledge above the kitchen sink and left it.  Well, after a few days the honey had soaked into the napkin so you couldn’t even tell it had any honey on it, it just looked wet.

I threw the honey napkin away like 2 days ago and cleaned the honey off the tiles.  During the entire time I had that honey sitting there it was like all the fly’s had disappeared from existence.  They were gone.  None of them took the bait and landed on the honey and got stuck but they just disappeared.  That’s why I removed the honey but it’s been 2 days, the fly’s are back in full force.  So, I went to look for more honey packets to put on a little plate but we didn’t have any more, I’d used the last 2 but we did have some syrup.

Yes, I know what you are going to say, ants… well, they didn’t come when the honey was there so hopefully they won’t show up for the syrup lol.  But since I put the syrup out about maybe 10 minutes ago all the fly’s are gone again.  It’s almost as if they were offended by it or something lol.

Oh speaking of fly’s lol have you heard on the news about Obama killing a fly during an interview and then PETA came out against him saying he murdered an innocent fly on TV lol.  OMG hilarious.  They said he should’ve used this thing called Katcha Bug which is a stick with a little pyramid looking dome that you catch the fly in then set it free outside lol.  Ok whatever you say PETA.  I believe that dogs, cats, birds, elephants, lions, tigers and bears oh my all have souls but I mean come on, who freakin cares about a house fly whose life cycle is only 15-25 days anyway.  Who cares, KILL EM!

Preoccupied

I haven’t been blogging the last few days but I’m still here.  It’s unusual for me not to blog since I typically blog 1-5 times daily lol.  But I’ve been preoccupied with other things.

We just had new tenants move in on May 1st and so I helped them carry boxes in the house from the U-Haul truck and I’ve been watching TV.  Catching up on Stargate SG-1 on Sci Fi as usual.

I have noticed some weight loss thanks to my new way of thinking about eating and stuff.  Before I was just riding hoping that would be enough to lose the weight considering I lost nearly 20lbs last year with exercise alone.  It doesn’t seem to be enough now so I’ve been measuring my food and drinking slim fast for lunch too.

I’m afraid of talking about my progress because it seems to never fail, I talk about how much I’ve lost then the weight loss stops completely then I plateau for a couple of months before I give up.

About maybe 5 years ago I was eating nothing but salads and snacking on sliced cucumbers and baby carrots and I remember I was 212lbs and then one day after about 2 or 3 months of this diet I decided to weigh myself and I was 172lbs.  Well from that day forward the weight stayed the same, it just stopped then I got frustrated because I plateaued then gave up and the weight came back almost as fast as it left. That’s because I started bragging about how I lost the weight.

All I’m going to say is that I’m working on it.  I’ve decided that by not talking about it I’m not bragging about it and if/when people come up to me and tell me OMG you’ve lost so much weight I’m just going to say thanks and move on from there.

As long as I’m eating right and not over eating and exercising I think I’m going to do good and lose the weight I need/want to lose then I can get back on with my life.  But not talking about it lol.

YouTube Movies and TV Shows

I’m a bit behind in the news.  I know that YouTube has movies and TV Shows or they just added that recently.  Yesterday I watched “The Blue Lagoon”.  I never saw it.  It came out in 1980 and I was 10 at the time so I wasn’t able to see it for obvious reasons.  It’s rated R.  Not only that but I’d have to be an adult to really get it.  So I watched it and really understood it.  Such a sad and happy ending.

Anyway, they don’t have a whole lot of movies and TV shows yet because they just started but I’m sure they will have every movie and TV show ever made available for all to see.

I usually watch TV shows on Hulu because they have them like the very next day usually after airing on TV.  Sometimes I have to wait a few days after the show airs on TV but it’s not too long.  And you can subscribe to TV shows on Hulu so they email you to let you know a show is on their website so you don’t miss it.

This will certainly put Netflix out of business if people are able to just watch their movies right from YouTube.  Netflix is going to have to think fast and lower their prices and offer unlimited viewing through their website to compete.

The movies and tv shows you watch on YouTube do have commercials.  I was thinking that perhaps watching YouTube movies is like stealing from the actors and the production companies but the commercials probably make up for that.  The Blue Lagoon had like 10 commercials, it was all the same commercial just played every 10 minutes or so.  So that probably pays for it all so YouTube can continue showing them for free.

It’s the same thing as watching regular TV, you still have to watch commercials, but only 1 commercial, not 2 minutes worth of commercials.  More like 1 30 second commercial.  I think that I can handle being interrupted every 10 or so minutes by a 30 second commercial and be able to watch it for free than have to wait for the movies to come in the mail via Netflix and have it scratched and unplayable or have it come to me broken or never even receive it at all.  Which has happened to me by the way.  But that’s another blog post for another time.

All in all I give YouTube a big thumbs up for making it available for free.

The Heat Is Gone

I know the song is “The Heat Is On” but for us in Bakersfield, it’s gone.  This is for the time being.  The last few days has been really hot, like 95°F-100°F temperatures.

I went bike riding this morning and it was nice and cool but not too cold.  I thought for sure it was going to be a scorcher today but it wasn’t.  Although there were times that I had to pull over into the shade because the sun was beating me down.

I looked at the forecast until Monday and it’s going to be in the late 70’s to mid 80’s all week.  Then the 6-10 day forecast it shows next week is going to be in the mid 80’s too.  Even on May 1st which is usually the day the 100°F temperatures start coming.

Although, you can never rely 100% on the weather forecast because it’s not always accurate.  So perhaps by May 1st it will be so hot I’m gonna be bike riding at 5am.