Roscoe's Notebook


Just another Humpday in the Dog Days of Summer

This evening finds me watching the Independence Day movie on AMC via Sling TV. And I'm enjoying myself much more than I would be if I was participating the the pandemic and/or politics hysteria filling the news shows, talk shows, and social media sites I've become semi-addicted to. But that's a monkey I'm kicking off my back.

For most of my life I've been something of a news-junkie, and earlier this year I realized the panic that was being spread locally, nationally, and world-wide would reach seriously unhealthy levels. And it certainly has. So I have resolved to step away from the hooplah and fill my time with more enjoyable things.

Today I added a few more correspondence chess games to the load I'm carrying, and I spent more time on them that I've been doing lately. An hour or more a day on my chess from now on? Yeah, I can do that. And I put on some music and spent a few hours with a good book on my Kindle. Going to make that a regular thing, too.

Then a good movie in the evening and blogging during commercials: yeah, I can handle that, too.

And so the adventure continues.

Published on 05 August 2020, ~20:40 CDT, this is my post number 52/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #blog #RoscoeEllis #movie

Today's healthy exercise in the fresh air was ...

bushy fence

... provided by my backyard fence.

Part of the backyard that borders the alley behind my property is secured by a six-foot chain link fence inside of which are some really big and monstrously dense bushes. I like the extra security those bushes provide, but their branches tend to poke through and reach over the fence. If I don't trim back the protruding foliage every so often, those darned bushes would overwhelm the fence and block the alley. And we can't have that.

At an earlier work session I trimmed the corner and first two sections of fence. The result of that work can be seen in the picture at the top of this post.

Late this morning and into the early part of this afternoon I took my trusty hedge clippers and rake back into the alley and finished the job. The photo below shows the much cleaner length of chain link fence we have now.

clean fence

And I can log this as today's fresh air workout. As those of you who use the old fashioned manual hedge clippers know, they do work the arm, shoulder, and chest muscles.

The adventure continues.

Published on 01 August 2020, ~18:15 CDT, this is my post number 51/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #SevenTwoProject #photograph #yardwork #blog #RoscoeEllis

As July 2020 ends...

... and my end of month review winds down, there is more satisfaction than concern in my thoughts. And I like that.

I have adjusted rather well to the new lifestyle forced upon me by the CCP-flu and its somewhat related near worldwide lockdown / quarantine.

Financially, my income streams have remained steady and my expenses, especially as this month ends, are lighter than they have been for years. Baring the unforeseen, I expect my budget over the upcoming months to become increasingly easier to handle.

Healthwise, I have no major complaints. During this lockdown I have gained about ten pounds. But most people have gained some, and some folks have gained much more than me. Though I keep myself pretty seriously self-quarantined to avoid the Covid, I can exercise at home and get plenty of fresh air and sunshine working on my yard. Sylvia loves to cook so we eat healthy meals every day. With email, Zoom meetings, and social networking sites, I have all the social contact I want. An introvert by nature, I am very comfortable with what solitude this lockdown affords me.

As far as long term life goals are concerned, our move to the Philippines (which we would have been making next month had not the pandemic lockdowns happened) will not take place until late next year at the earliest and maybe not for two or three more years, depending on international economic and political realities that are out of my control. Of course, the longer we have to wait the more time we will have to prepare. And the move, when we do make it, will be that much easier and less stressful.

So July 2020 ends well in the Roscoe-verse. God willing, my end of August review should find my situation even better. I'm looking forward to it.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 31 July 2020, ~21:00 CDT, this is my post number 50/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #RoscoeEllis #blog

They decided I should take a test.

Home test

A week or so ago my Health Insurance Company sent me a letter to inform me that in their opinion I should take an HbA1c test. They said they were sending me a home test kit that would be arriving soon, and that I should take the test and return the blood sample to their lab as soon as possible.

My first thought on receiving this letter was WTF? There's been so much hooplah in the news and social media over the last several months about the Covid CCP Flu, I automatically thought this test was somehow related to that. Some quick Internet research showed that wasn't the case at all.

HbA1c refers to glucose and haemoglobin joined together (the haemoglobin is ’glycated’). Haemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The amount of HbA1c formed is directly related to the amount of glucose in your blood. Red blood cells live for up to 4 months, so HbA1c gives an indication of how much sugar you’ve had in your blood over the past few months. It’s different to the blood glucose test, which measures how much sugar you have in your blood at that moment.

So it's a diabetes/prediabetes test of sorts. My doctors check my A1c number regularly and they've never (yet) diagnosed me as diabetic. But I am older and pretty overweight, so it makes sense that the insurance company would want a close look taken.

Anyway, this morning I poked my finger, collected the blood sample, filled out the little form, and this afternoon I'll mail the collected material up to the lab in Dallas.

My next scheduled face-to-face appointment with the Primary Care Doctor is in a few weeks. This will probably give us something to talk about.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 28 July 2020, ~11:56 CDT, this is my post number 49/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #health #SeniorLiving #RoscoeEllis #blog

This Sunday in July...

... as I review the week behind me, I'm satisfied with the amount of work I accomplished. Some days were longer and busier than I'd have liked, but I made it through them all without making any blunders and, to the best of my knowledge, without breaking anything and without irritating anyone important.

Chess-wise, I lost one game and won another. My current game load is 12 active correspondence games more or less equally spread among four different server based chess clubs. That seems to be a pretty good number for me given my current age, health and station in life. When I was younger I could comfortably carry two or three dozen games at a time while working full-time and involving myself in other activities. Damn! There's no way I could do that now.

The only disappointment this week has been the difficulty in keeping up with my reading. The compound cataracts and glaucoma in both eyes made it hard to do much reading at all. I'm tempted to go the audio book route. I've tried that before but for one reason or another never kept it up. Maybe this is a good time to give it a go again. Maybe.

The week ahead looks to be another busy one but I'm making a serious effort to move things along at a slower pace now. We'll see how that approach works.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 26 July 2020, ~21:45 CDT, this is my post number 48/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #chess #SeniorLiving

Bringing the task lists back under control

As the rest of the world (at least those parts of it with which I'm involved) continues to adapt to the new conditions forced on us by the 2020 lockdowns/shutdowns, and resumes operation under often new forms, my daily and weekly task lists have grown to sizes not seen since before my retirement. Too many organizations and people are pulling me back into work that I have long since stepped away from. They're trying to, anyway. And their efforts have really ballooned during the past month. But enough is enough, and too much is too much.

In order to return to the more sensible pace of a happy retired life, I'm saying NO! to many of those new/old calls. And I'm bringing my task lists back to levels I can more comfortably handle.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 23 July 2020, ~20:00 CDT, this is my post number 46/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #RetiredLife

Very good advice, this.


And I intend to follow it.

The National Weather Service warns me through a widget on my phone that the air quality is “Low” here in San Antonio, and I am advised to stay inside under air conditioning from 11:00 this morning until Noon tomorrow.

Luckily for me, I finished my yardwork (trimming bushes and soaking up healthy vitamin D) this morning and the only planned foray out my front door before Noon tomorrow will be to check the mailbox in a few hours.

So don't yell at me for spending so much time stretched out in my recliner. I'm only following orders, avoiding the dust blown over from Africa, and trying to stay healthy.

The adventure continues.

Published on 27 June 2020, this is my post number 38/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #health #weather

Moving through my Monday chores


They say that holding to a regular schedule is important if one wants to have a successful retirement, and if one wants to maintain good mental health during the pandemic lockdown. Fortunately for me, scheduling and prioritizing my chores and activities has been a time management habit of mine for decades.

Mondays now always include at least two particular chores: 1.) doing my laundry, (two loads are moving through the machines now and there will be a third); and 2.) filling my morning and evening pill boxes with the medicines, vitamins, and food supplements I take daily. Pill boxes and bottles pertaining to that 2nd chore are pictured above.

And so it goes.

Published on 15 June 2020, this is my post number 32/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #timemanagement #chores #blogging

Happy Flag Day, USA


Ours is posted. Is yours?

Published on 14 June 2020, this is my post number 31/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #SeniorLiving #FlagDay

For a normal person, this would have been easy.

But for me it was a long, stressful, very major deal. Let me explain.

I bought a new phone recently, a pixel 3, and it arrived yesterday. This isn't the very latest phone in the pixel universe, but I found it available at a good price and it's gotten pretty good reviews. And I've almost always had Android phones. My current primary phone is a Galaxy 10 and this new little pixel phone is intended to serve as my back up. So I hoped all would go well.

Now I've been a computer hobbyist since the 1980s, and a full-time Linux user since the late 1990s, Heck, I've assembled computers from the motherboard on up and had great fun doing that. So being hands-on with technology doesn't bother me. As long as it's computers, and as long as it's Linux.

But I have NEVER been a telephone person. I absolutely HATE having voice conversations over the phone and am quite comfortable turning off the ringer at all times unless the wife is out of the house or I am. Face to face conversations in real life I'm perfectly fine with. And emails or text messages, I'm good that way too. But talking over the phone? If it's not an important business or legal call of some kind, forget about it. Ask anybody, they'll tell you. Roscoe is NOT a telephone person.

Somehow that attitude of mine carries over to the point of making it difficult for me to work with phones. Anyway, somehow I botched things up when I tried to set up this pixel phone and actually had to reach out to the phone company's customer service department for help this morning. Thankfully we were able to text/chat and get everything working okay. Finally. But it took HOURS! Man!

But all systems are working well now. And I'm moving steadily along the pixel learning curve.

And the adventure continues.

Published on 12 June 2020, this is my post number 30/100/365 of the blogging challenge.

#100DaysToOffload #phones #SeniorLiving