Staying Fit in your Joyous Retirement Years

I never thought I would be putting out a post on dieting. Will wonders never cease! But I finally came to the realization that I have been rationalizing about my weight for some time now. I have said I weigh the same as I did 10 years ago, so everything is fine. In reality, I have been losing muscle mass during those ten years, especially the last few. To put it bluntly, I have been gaining belly fat while losing muscle tone. I know that is not unusual for us older guys, but it is something that troubles me.

I am determined to do something about it! The first thing to accomplish that is to take control. Due to a half-dozen severe compression fractures in my back my exercise options are limited. I do 2+ miles each day walking and power walk once a week at the local mall. I use the dumbbell that is close to my vegging couch daily. But obviously that is not enough. But that part of the equation is not what this particular post is about. Instead, it is about what I eat.

I think I am pretty much a typical guy when it comes to eating. I just don’t pay much attention to it. I eat what I like and how much I like. There are likely many of you guys out there who are doing the same. On a quick side note here I admit that I have two pretty serious prejudices in my life. One is people who are proudly ignorant and the other is obesity. So, how could I let myself get into this condition?

As with almost every other topics these days there are dozens of dieting apps on the market. It took days of reviewing different ones to choose Lose It to count my daily calories and all my Apple Watch is automatically added to the daily info! For these past four weeks I have limited myself to 1500 calories per day and have lost about 5 lbs and have a target of 9 more pounds. Some day I hope to actually see my feet again. ๐Ÿ™‚

I now think that keeping track of my diet will be a daily thing even after I have hit my target weight. Itโ€™s just too easy to get carried away with eating this and that, if there is no inner voice telling me to watch what I eat. I especially have trouble with that during the winter months. The app makes it very easy to keep track of what I eat. I donโ€™t want to be one of those people who keep losing the same 15 lbs again and again. Once is enough.

Anyone out there have any suggestions that might help in this area?

About My Religious Beliefs

I have heard comments from some who have visited RJsCorner that seem to believe that I am anti-religious. This post will hopefully dispel that belief. Learning of things spiritual is a very fundamental part of what it means to be human. The primary method to accomplish to start this journey are religious establishments. They are the holder of the history of mankind in that context. In my grade school times I spent seven years being taught by Jesuit priests about Jesus. While at that young age I couldn’t fully comprehend what I was being taught, it did teach me to later be able to question some of what I learned.

Sadly many religious establishments don’t take kindly to questions. I kinda think God is up to any questions we might have about him. But to some it is considered an affront to their beliefs. They say you must take everything we say on faith. I think a high percentage of the current political “Evangelicals” fit this mold. “Don’t question, just believe!” They absolutely insist it be that way. But some religious establishments are open to questions. I know Catholics are in that category and I think Quakers are as well. I really donโ€™t know how many others are out there?

None of us had a choice as to where we would obtain our initial understanding of things spiritual. Our parents made that decision for us. Some were taught by today’s version of “Evangelicals” that actions don’t matter, it is only what you believe that is important. Some were taught that actions mean more than words when it comes to the teachings of Jesus. I fall into that camp.

One critical question for our time how long will the “no action required” Christians carry on with their excuses of supporting Trumpโ€™s immoral actions and policies? Everything he does conflicts with Jesus’ teachings!

One simply cannot be a follower of Jesus and also support Donald J. Trump and his unconscionable policies. To me that is glaringly simple.

Based on the red letters in the scriptures, I am convinced if Christ were physically present today, he too would be unleashing his harshest criticism for those who hypocritically claim to follow his teachings, yet are marching in the opposite direction in their lives. They are giving to Caesar what belongs to God.

Closing out this post I will tell you that I am a firm believer in the teachings of Jesus but am also totally committed to the idea of religions coexisting with each other. Much of world history is about religions killing people who don’t believe as they do. You certainly have a right to believe what you want as long as it doesn’t keep me from doing likewise. That is where I stand when it comes to my spirituality.

Very Puzzling?

One of the things in my life that is very puzzling to me is how I got in the mode of spending time daily with this activity. It is not as if I have nothing else to do with my time. My wife has been doing this activity for the past three decades but I never had much of an interest in it. It’s puzzling how all this got started.

Ok, I will now admit that this activity is working picture puzzles. There is just something about it that makes it soothe the savage beast in me. I know music is supposed to do that but since I have been deaf for 30+ years I had to find a substitute. ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s just that when I am sitting in front of 1,000 tiny pieces trying to find the right one to fill the particular hole the world and all the troubles in it just seems to disappear. And who doesn’t want that to happen in the world today? We need as many escape hatches as we can find to maintain our sanity, don’t we?

In the summer months there are so many other things that demand my attention, but in the winter months I work at least one 1,000 piece puzzle a week. The closet in my study is now filled with puzzles that I have worked two to three times. Eventually I guess I will have to either stop buying new ones or discard the ones I have worked several times. I haven’t decided which path to take?

Now that I am in my fourth year of this activity I am becoming a snob when it comes to my selection of puzzles. Most of the ones I work are neighborhood type mosaics. I think that has something to do with my childhood obsession with architecture. If I had followed my heart I probably would have been an architect but that is another story.

Besides specializing on neighborhood mosaics I have also chosen a particular puzzle maker to buy from. I also concentrate on one particular artist’s work. So, Buffalo Games puzzles by Charles Wysocki are my primary focus. I have a dedicated table in the keeping room that looks out on the surrounding woods and the three station bird feeder. I guess you could now call me a picture puzzle fanatic!

I’m In Love Again…

I suspect you think this is about a loving relationship? Since I am a married guy, it must be about a mistress. NO, NO, NO. This is about my second love and that is techie things. ๐Ÿ™‚

One of my mistresses in this arena is Firefox. She is a saucy lady who attracts my attention from time to time. The last time I saw her was about four years ago. At that time I rejected her for a newer, more sleek model called Google.

Ok, enough is enough. I suspect many of you figured out I am talking about Internet browsers. I spend more time with them than I do my wife it seems. I am back in love with the Firefox browser. It has leaped way beyond Google in its speed, slim size, and overall attractiveness. It is now the most pleasant, dare I say joyous, journey in the Internet world. Here are some reasons why.

  • It has a much more natural flow. In techie terms that means the user interface is much more intuitive and friendly. Being an Apple guy I demand.
  • It is much easier to find all the hidden things that one must know when you want to do something.
  • It doesn’t have all the ads strewn throughout every web page of things I have bought on Amazon, or what I have looked at on other shopping sites. Since it is developed by a non-commercial enterprise, it doesn’t need to make money for its shareholders by annoying its customers.
  • It runs faster since its code is very small compared to Google. That makes it easier on my computer resources, and especially load times on my VERY SLOW Internet speeds.

But, perhaps the primary reason for loving Firefox again has to do with a tool I use when writing every post here on RJsCorner. It sits in the background checking my spelling and grammar. Without that I would not look nearly as smart as I am. The tools I had been using for that ceased to function when WordPress updated their editor with many improvements. Updates were promised by the other tools but never delivered to date. Firefox includes a tool called LanuageTool that works better than my previous tool and has a free version. I would love Firefox for that alone.

So, here I am once again back into Firefox as my primary browser. Looking back, I’m not sure why I left her in the first place.

Burger King Tacos

This is going to be one of my consumer reports. I don’t do many of them but when I see an example of gross misrepresentation I want to call them out.

We were in our local Burger Kind a few days ago and saw an ad on their window about their new tacos. As you can see they look pretty good and a buck is not a bad value. My wife decided to try one and we were shocked at what we got. It was in a bag and when she pulled it out it looked like it was probably made the day before or even before that. Except for the stale wilted lettuce, gooey cheese (if you could find it) and dry tortilla it wasn’t bad tasting even though the tortilla had the consistency of bubble gum. ๐Ÿ™‚

I don’t know if the manager of our store was aware that is what is being sold. I kinda doubt it but this place is pretty well known for stale products. The MacDonald’s down the road has them out the door at lunch time but this place has empty tables galore. I like a whopper now and then, even if it is drowning in salt, so I will likely go back. But, Caveat Emptor when it comes to the new introductions.

My Bucket List – I Hope I Live Long Enough…

I know some of you don’t like the idea of a bucket list, but I am kinda fascinated by them. Some of the things on my bucket list are more symbolic than others. But, I thought I would add my bucket list to this blog via the My Life & Times category here at RJsCorner. Here is the first installment:

I hope I live long enough to see Andy Jackson taken off the $20 bill.

If you do a search for “Andy Jackson” at RJsCorner you will pretty quickly find that he is no hero of mine. Up to the last two years he was in serious contention for the #1 worst president, but of course that quickly changed on January 20, 2017. Now he and Andrew Johnson vie for the number two spot. Two “Andrew”s, humm… interesting…

When Obama was president he put plans in place to take Jackson’s picture off the bill, but when the current Oval Office Occupant (#CO3) came in that plan was quickly squashed. Since then #CO3 has made it his life’s purpose to erase everything President Obama accomplished. Getting back on topic, it seems that #CO3 thinks of himself as the 21century version of Jackson, and he could be right about that. They are both braggarts, narcissists, racists, dividers, and many other like terms.

I don’t know how long it will take to get Jackson off the twenty dollar bill, but I suspect the next president will make it happen pretty quickly. The question is, will I live long enough to actually have one in my hand? ๐Ÿ™‚

Where Ignorance Triumphs…

 I don't want to live in a world where ignorance triumphs.
If that is so then the bad guys must have won.
If we can't face down ignorance we are lost.
Maybe we deserve whatever comes.

The opposite of ignorance is knowledge.
Knowledge comes from diligent review of the facts.
That is hard work but if we want to prosper we must do it.
We must always seek out knowledge and wisdom.

It's easy to be ignorant, very little effort required.
Just latch onto some narcissistic fascist and forget everything else.
Don't worry about the lies, if you even realize that is what you hear.
Just believe what you are told, don't ask questions.

What is the purpose of life if you have no principles?
When truth is of no importance what is left?
When we call everyone else the enemy how can we survive?
I don't want to live in a world where ignorance triumphs.

My depression deepens as every day passes now.
Can I maintain my sanity until ignorance is brought to bay?
How do we even go about making ignorant people understand?
How can we make them realize the consequences of their ignorance?

That is the question for our times...

Perpetual Half-Mast

It seems lately that almost every time a see a flag pole the flag is flying at half-mast. The last one here locally was for a police office who was gunned down during a traffic stop. Sadly, as a nation we pull our flag to half-mast almost weekly now.

This weekend saw two domestic terrorist massacres on the same day. Dozens were killed in public spaces just trying to live their daily lives! All one of these homegrown terrorists wanted to do was to kill those people who had invaded his country!

His country? How did we come to decide that white nationalists owned my country of 73 years? Why does he get to decide? Like most of the weekly mass shooting he likely bought his weapon of mass destruction locally from a Texas town. They likely sold him all the bullets he needed to carry out his task. And then there is the guy who decided to kill anyone who was just having a good time on a Saturday night. Surely all of us realize that this could happen in our communities!

Why are we so passive when it comes to fixing this problem. Our country, along with Iraq and Afghanistan are now known as the terrorist capitals of the world. The rest of the developed countries knew what it takes to stop the vast majority of these tragedies, why don’t we have the guts to face up to the NRA and do the same?

Is this who we are now as a nation, as a people? Are we now defined by the crazies who claim this country solely for them and others like them. All the rest need to be eliminated. It will be interesting to see if the El Paso terrorist mentions the “instigator in chief” as one of his reasons for killing those “invading” his country.

We spend millions of dollars each day to prevent one of our soldiers in the Middle East from being killed but it seems that we are unable to lift a finger to prevent the dozens of innocent deaths every week within our shores. What will it take???????

I really don’t want to spend my final years in the insanity that has now invaded our nation. Yeah, I know I should just go back where I came from. The trouble with that is that my clan came here more than a hundred years ago and I have no idea where I should be going back to…