We were both scheduled for our physical exams today. Mine was at 9:20 AM, and I needed to leave by 8:20 to be sure I was there on time, so I got up at 7:30, showered, and dressed. I took my vitamin and allergy meds but did not make coffee or have breakfast, Linda’s appointment was at 1 PM so she slept in. We both had our blood drawn a week ago and the lab results had already been reviewed by our doctor and made available to us via the Henry Ford Health System MyChart patient information system.
We are both basically in good health with only minor issues, such as arthritis in the base of my thumbs or worn out knee joints in Linda’s case. Both of our blood analysis results were OK across the board but that does not mean we were completely happy with them. My blood pressure was a little higher than I would like but the doctor thought it was fine. Linda’s total cholesterol is higher than she would like so we are still learning what dietary choices and physical activity have to do with controlling that. We respect our doctor’s judgement but we are also re-calibrating our own understanding of what is desirable for us versus what is “normal” for adults our age living in the USA.
The problem with “normality” is that it is a statistical concept. In a population that is overwhelmingly unhealthy we do not necessarily want to be normal. As an example, American medicine considers the normal range for total cholesterol to be 120 to 200 and yet research, as reported by Dr. Michael Greger at NutritionFacts.org, shows that real health is associated with a number less than 150. Most Americans have total cholesterol way above that except for one group; active vegans. As another example it is generally accepted that as people age blood pressures in the 130’s over 80’s are “normal” and yet in rural China and Africa, where people eat mostly whole-food plant-based diets, “normal” is 110 over 70 for their entire lives. Heart disease and other “western” aliments are also virtually unknown. We are still works in progress.
I do like my morning coffee even though it is usually half regular and half decaffeinated so I left my physical exam and headed for the Tim Horton’s at Beck and Grand River Avenue. While I was in line I got a call from Chuck wanting to know if the new windshield cut down any of the wind noise. He was headed to his shop just down the street so I suggested he stop and chat over a cup of coffee. I told him what intersection I was at but mistakenly told him I was at Dunkin Donuts so he stopped there first. We have air/water leaks around the other windshields, side windows, and the entrance door so I could not tell any difference from replacing just one windshield. I trust, however, that the new one will not leak air or water and it is currently not cracked or dinged, so I am happy with it.
Linda texted me that she was leaving early for her appointment and was going to stroll around the mall. When I got home and tried to lock the driver side door on my Honda Element the key stuck in the lock and would not turn or come out. This lock has been failing for a while but the failure mode has been an inability to insert the key. Fortunately I had a second key in the house and was able to unlock the passenger door and rear lift gate. Not only was I unable to remove the key, the latch was disconnected from both the outside and inside handles and I could not get the door open. I called Brighton Honda to make sure they could give a ride back to the house and then removed the ham radio control head and microphone, the GPS, the cellular booster, and the 2m/70cm antenna before driving to the dealership.
Rob checked me in and tried jiggling the key harder than I had. The key still did not come out but he managed to get the latch to re-engage with the handles so we could get the door open. He wrote up the work order and I only had to wait a short time for the shuttle to return and drive me home. Rob called later in the afternoon with the estimate. They had to order a new latch which should be in on Friday, and then send the latch and one of my keys to a locksmith to have the lock matched to the key. By the time they got the mechanism back from the locksmith and installed in the door he figured it would be the middle of next week. That was not ideal for me but it was what it was. The car was not very usable in its current condition so I did not really have a choice. I was all too well aware that this was another case where I put off fixing something longer than I should have. I was lucky, in a sense, that it failed when and where it did as I was not stranded somewhere calling Linda to bring the spare key.
When I got back to the house I attached the battery charger to the battery in the lawn tractor. Philip Jarrell is supposed to start working on our French drain and pull-through driveway extension tomorrow and the lawn tractor is parked where he will be working. I added gasoline to the tank but even after bringing the battery to full charge and using the jump start feature on the charger I was unable to get it started. After repeated attempts I gave up. When Linda got home we disengaged the transmission and pushed to another part of the yard where it would be out of Phil’s way.
I have mentioned before that this lawn tractor was left here by the previous owners. The mower deck was pretty messed up and we removed it this past spring. We have a lawn service, Kish Lawn Care, mow the grass so we really do not have a reason to buy a new lawn tractor/mower. Still, I thought it would be useful for hauling materials and debris around the property and I put new drive tires on it in 2013 and bought an 18 cubic foot dump trailer this year to pull around behind it. Whatever the problem is I’m sure it can be fixed, and probably by me, if/when I have time; which I do not at the moment.
I spent much of the rest of the day in my office except for dinner. I reviewed the final draft of an article I wrote which is running in the October 2015 issue of Bus Conversion Magazine. I then logged in to the B&H Photo website and finally ordered the Sony alpha99 (a99v) DSLT body and a few accessories. The body comes with the vertical grip battery pack for no extra charge, a $378 value, so that was a nice surprise. The body comes with one battery but the grip, which holds two additional batteries, does not come with any, so I ordered five additional batteries giving me six total for two complete sets. I also ordered two 64 GB memory cards and a small case for carrying an extra battery on my belt. B&H is closed until October 7 for SUCCOS. My order is scheduled to ship on the 8th and arrive on the 9th, no added shipping charge.
I spent the rest of my time editing drafts of blog posts and selecting/processing a few photos to go with some of them. I hope to have the posts for the first two weeks of August uploaded in the next couple of days. When I finally came upstairs we watched a show on PBS about the life long work of biologist E. O. Wilson. It was fascinating.