life in and around NYC is insane

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge


As always, Joyce poses interesting questions.

1. Three things on your spring bucket list? If you don't have an actual list that's fine, pretend you do.

I don't have an actual list.  But every spring I must go to at least one baseball game, and we recently purchased tickets for several games.  And every year I have to make sure I see the first robin of spring (done).  This year I also want to buy some seeds and plant a flower garden.

2. Where do you find rest? What restores your soul? When was the last time you did whatever it was you answered here?

Interesting question.  I love the beach in the off season.  When it's not crazy busy with summer activity, the beach can be a wonderful place for quiet contemplation and appreciation of nature.

3. April is National Celery Month. Who knew? Do you like celery? What's your favorite dish made with celery? On a veggie and dip platter which would you reach for first-carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumbers or cherry tomatoes?

My choice would be the cherry tomatoes, but I do like celery.  Spread a little cream cheese or peanut butter, or give me a little bit of dip, and I'll be content.

4. I read here eight things to do before 8 am to make your day less hectic-Start one load of laundry, drink water, empty the dishwasher, read your Bible, know what you're having for dinner, get dressed, brain dump (two lists-one what you're thankful for and one what's weighing on your mind), and after the brain dump make your to-list for the day

How many of these are you currently doing? Which one do you think would help the most if you added it to your early morning routine?

Well, I do make a habit of getting dressed...

5. Describe the view from your window.

My bedroom is on the second floor and faces the front yard and street.  This time of year the view of my neighbors' houses is obscured by newly-grown leaves on our trees, and soon there will be blossoms on the dogwoods.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

My Fitbit Versa has been delivered, and I can't wait to set it up and see how it works.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Another new toy

So while I wait for my new Fitbit, let me introduce you to my other new toy.

This is the box:

This is a food scale:

It comes with a USB cord for charging:

And an instruction manual.

Why is it called a “smart food scale”?

Because it connects via Bluetooth to an app.  And that app talks to other apps, most notably ...Fitbit.

So if I put some grilled chicken on a plate, and put that plate on the scale, I can see how much it weighs by looking at the scale’s app, and can track it to my food log directly from the scale’s app.

Took a few minutes to figure out how to use the app, but now I’m enjoying.

Sort of.

I thought I had 4 ounces of grilled chicken on my plate.  Actually it was 7 ounces.  Big difference in the calorie count.

Yes, this is going to be a fun tool.

Monday, April 16, 2018

another this and that

Nasty weather today.  Cold and rainy.  But it should be nicer in a couple of days.

Drew and I went to see L on Saturday.  L, you may recall, has sent the ;ast twp years in hospitals and rehab nursing facilities.  A few months ago, L was so sick that her daughter was considering hospice care.  Thankfully she rebounded.  It was good to see the diva holding court with all her visitors at rehab.

I'm still not happy about having gained back some of the weight I worked so hard to lose, but I'm getting back into the groove.  Pretty much stuck to my food plan this week, and even did a bit of exercise.  Baby steps...

The new toys are making it easier.  Though I am still waiting for my new Fitbit...should be here soon.

Guess I'll listen to some music while I wait.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Manatee encounter

My friend Alana posted about manatees in her blog. And  She reminded me of my own encounter with them, when Drew and I were in Florida 18 months ago.  Local manatee preserve near our friends’ home.

They are, indeed, magnificent creatures.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Ready Player One

Want to see a really fun movie?  Go see Spielberg’s new film, Ready Player One.   And see it in 3D for the full effect.

The year is 2045, and life in Ohio has become very dreary. People escape to the Oasis, a virtual reality video game:  put on your visor and your avatar can enjoy all the pleasures unavailable in real life.

The Oasis was created by James Halliday, a nerdy geek with stunted social skills and a passion for 1980’s pop culture.  Halliday dies without heirs, but there’s a twist.  He has created a game within the Oasis, and the winner of the game will inherit the Oasis and all that goes with it.  

To win the game, a player must collect three keys.  In order to do so, the player must follow clues that require a knowledge of 1980’s pop culture and the events of Halliday’s life.

Our hero, Wade, has created an avatar called Parcival.  When Wade becomes the first player to find the first key, he comes to the attention of the greedy corporation seeking to acquire and monetize the Oasis.  And the race is on.

I especially loved the “Easter eggs”, the dozens of pop culture references woven into the fabric of the movie.  Some are quite obvious — Parcival drives a DeLorean — while others are more subtle, like a poster on someone’s wall or a song playing in the background.

It’s like being inside a video game.  Get out the 🍿 and enjoy.

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge

From this Side of the Pond

The weekly HodgePodge from Joyce:

1. April is National Jazz Appreciation Month. Are you a fan? If so what's a favorite you'd recommend to someone new to jazz listening?
I can't really say I am a fan of jazz.  but that's because I don't know much about the genre.   I do like what I have heard, but I can't really tell you much about my likes and dislikes.

2. Mandolin, ukulele, harp, accordion or banjo...which would you be most interested in learning to play? Or do you already play one of the instruments listed?

I took piano lessons (I don't play), viola lessons (I don't play) and guitar lessons (I don't play).  I suppose that, of the instruments listed, I'd most want to try the mandolin.  It sounds pretty. 

 3. Do you judge a book by it's cover? Elaborate. You may answer in either/both the literal or figurative sense of the word.

Literally, yes, I judge a book by its cover.  The publisher chose that cover to convey the idea behind the book.

Figuratively, not so much.  I have to remind myself occasionally that people are more than what they apear to be. 

 4. According to a recent study the ten most nutritious foods are-almonds, cherimoya (supposed to taste like a cross between a pineapple/banana), ocean perch, flatfish (such as flounder and halibut), chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, swiss chard, pork fat (shocking! but I don't think they mean bacon), beet greens, and red snapper. Are any of these foods a regular part of your diet? Any you've never ever tasted? Which would you be most inclined to add to your diet?

I'm focusing on healthy eating again.  I love almonds, I eat flatfish on a regular basis, and I've been known to eat red snapper occasionally.  I like Swiss chard, and I  have no objection to beet greens.  I don't cook with pork, so I wouldn't be using pork fat.  I'd love to try cherimoya.  Pumpkin seeds are OK, but I just can't see myself eating chia seeds.  If I were eating them, I would keep thinking about this:

 5. Besides a major holiday what is the most recent thing you've celebrated with your people? Tell us how.

Drew hit a milestone birthday in February and we had a very nice party.  We took everyone to a nice Italian restaurant.  Good food, good wine, good friends.

 6. Insert your own random thought here.

It's finally spring, and I can feel my attitude changing for the better.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Another this and that

Still loving the new water bottle.  I've been drinking more water and less diet soda, and that's a good thing.  the new scale is OK, too.  I'm annoyed -- my new Fitbit is on back order, won't be here for awhile.

Congratulate me, I now officially have a prescription for  physical therapy for my back, as well the PT I've been doing for my knees.  (Yeah, that was a tad bit sarcastic.  So sue me.)

At least the weather is getting warmer, so I'll be able to take walks outside.  I've heard it will be in the 70's this weekend, and I am so happy!  Maybe I'll head over to Jones Beach on Saturday, take a stroll on the boardwalk. 

Our  Long Island Ducks tickets have arrived.  The Ducks play in the Atlantic League.  There are 8 teams in the league, so we always go to 7 games -- one game against each opponent.  But this year the Ducks are hosting the league's All-Star game, so we've got tickets for 8 games this season. 

The Mets have started the season well, I hope they continue to play like this! We will be going to Citi Field at least once.  May 19 is part of Star Wars weekend, and we have tickets for that game.

I need to relax, have some fun.  I've been so stressed lately, with work issues, health issues, etc. I am so looking forward to the things we've planned.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Smart Scale review

  1. A review of the  Renpho Smart Scale

So no, you don't really need a smart scale, an ordinary bathroom scale will tell you your weight.  But ...

RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale - FDA Approved - Smart BMI Scale Digital Bathroom Wireless Weight Scale, Body Composition Analyzer with Smartphone App, 396 lbs

This scale shows Body Weight, BMI, Body Fat%, Water %, Skeletal Muscle, Fat-free Body Weight, Muscle Mass, Bone Mass, Protein, Basal Metabolism, and Body Age.

It's a light-weight scale, runs on three AAA batteries. You pair the scale with the Renpho App -- ios or Android -- and then you step on the scale, making sure your bare feet make contact with all four electrodes.  A digital display on the scale shows your weight,  all the other data is visible only in the app.

The Renpho app pairs with several fitness apps, including my favorite, Fitbit.  Data transferred to the Fitbit app is limited to weight, BMI and body fat percentage, i.e., the data that would be measured by the Fitbit Aria or Aria 2 scales.

I found the scale very easy to set up and use, and linking it to my Fitbit account took only a few minutes.  I think it's pretty accurate, at least in comparison to my trusty old bathroom scale.

And the best part?  The Fitbit Aria 2 sells for $130, but I paid $33 for my renpho.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Hidrate Spark 2.0

So, do you need a smart water bottle?  Of course not.  There are lots of free apps to help you track your water intake, and some f them are even compatible with fitness apps like Fitbit.  A smart water bottle is admittedly an indulgence. 

 Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle.

The bottle has a sensor that measures how much water you drink.  The bottle can be set to glow when you need to drink and/or when you have reached your water intake goal.  You can set your own goal or allow the app to calculate a goal based on your weight, etc.  If you allow the app to access your location, your goal will change depending on the weather.

It took a bit of effort to set the bottle up, more so to change the battery, but now it works well.  It's fun to use, and I bought mine in purple, my favorite color.

I am drinking more water and less diet soda.

And yes, it talks to Fitbit. 

Saturday, April 7, 2018

another this and that

Our lawn has turned in to a huge mud puddle. That's what happens when the gas company digs huge trenches to fix a leaking gas pipe. We have to get a few estimates, and then the gas company will pay for repairs to the lawn. But for the moment, yuk...

Jen and her boyfriend just came back from a lovely weekend in Montreal, and right now Becca and one of her friends are in Paris and will be going to Barcelona. I must admit to a bit of jealousy. Drew and I were talking about taking a trip this year, but I don't think that's going to happen. Between his medical issues and mine...sigh. Sucks getting older. But then again, consider the alternative.

  At least my knee is starting to feel better. Those gel injections do make a difference. Walking will be easier now.

  So I guess I will be making use of that state park pass. Jones Beach is a nice place to walk, and so is Sunken Meadow.

And I really do need to walk. I am so unhappy about the weight I've gained back. I need to get back on track. Healthier weight means a healthier me.

So I ordered a new toy to help me get back on track. Or rather, three new toys. Two of them are here already, the third should be here in about a week or so.

First toy is a Renpho Smart Scale

RENPHO Bluetooth Body Fat Scale - FDA Approved - Smart BMI Scale Digital Bathroom Wireless Weight Scale, Body Composition Analyzer with Smartphone App, 396 lbs

It shows weight, BMI, body fat percentage...and it talks to Fitbit. 

The second is a Hidrate Spark 2.0 Smart Water Bottle.

Tracks water intake, and glows to remind you to drink water. talks to Fitbit. 

I think you know where this is going....

Yes, I ordered a new Fitbit.  Or rather, pre-ordered the new Fitbit.

This is the Fitbit Versa, the newest device from Fitbit, is a smart watch that tracks steps, calories, heart rate, 15 different exercises including swimming...It should ship soon, and I can't wait to  get mine. 

Friday, April 6, 2018

Full moon in the city #skywatchfriday

What's that round thing peeking out from behind a skyscraper? It's the full moon!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Last night I watched the TV broadcast from Memphis, TN,  the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who was assassinated in Memphis on April 4, 1968. They rang a bell 39 times, representing the age at which Dr. King died.

I am old enough to remember the turmoil of that year, 1968, though I was too young to realize the full impact of the events that shaped our lives.

I remember, though, the passion with which people sought to change the things they did not like about our government, our society.  The civil rights and anti war protests.  Protests by young people unwilling to accept the status quo.

Sort of like the young people leading the gun control rallies today.

Funny how we still have all the same problems, but these kids...I see hope for the future when I see them.

But for now, I look to the past, to the music of 1968.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018


Today I saw daffodils in bloom, and I saw buds on the forsythia. And then I heard we will probably get more snow this weekend. ARGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Monday, April 2, 2018

more misadventure

Don't be alarmed, I'm ok, but I spent the better part of the day in the ER. Gave myself a good scare, though. Woke up in pain, my heart was racing, and I thought I was dying. My sister had to drive me to our local hospital in the (ugh) snow. By late afternoon I felt much better. The ER sent me home with instructions to follow up this week with my doctor. Drew joked that I was jealous of his adventures, so I had to have one of my own.

Sunday, April 1, 2018


Today is the first day of April.

Usually on April Fool's Day I post the "Prologue" to The Canterbury Tales in the original Middle English.    You know,

WHAN that Aprille with his shoures soote ...

But today is also Easter Sunday and the second full day of Passover, so I will refrain from such merriment. 

The first signs of spring have appeared, and the season stretches out before me.

I had an unpleasant task Friday afternoon, and it led to a pleasant discovery.  Our cat Redford is quite the hunter, and Friday morning he caught a rabbit.   Not a baby bunny, a full-grown rabbit.  He left his kill on the front porch, and I had to dispose of the body in the woods behind our house.

 Don't let his sweet demeanor fool you, his face adorns a "wanted" poster in every post office in chipmunkdom.

As I walked through our yard, I realized that my crocuses are in bloom!  I didn't even think they were still alive.

About 15-20 years ago, I spent a fall afternoon planting bulbs in the back yard.  I planted tulips and daffodils as well as crocuses, planted them all near a tree in the far corner of the yard.  The tulips and daffodils could be seen from the kitchen window, but the crocuses were too small to be visible.  And I have no reason to be in the back yard this time of year.  The other flowers died a few years ago, so I was surprised to see the crocuses.  Two different shades of purple, my favorites.

I saw my first robin of spring yesterday. Sorry, no photo. I was driving up the entrance ramp to the parkway when I spotted him, hopping around in the grass alongside the road. Robins are my favorite songbird, you know, and not just because they are the harbingers of spring.

I've been working on my planner. The features I'm liking?  The vision board, the mind map, the blank pages in the back of the book.  The actual planner/agenda...well, I'm working on copying my calendar from Google into the planner, but I don't think I'll be giving up Google calendar anytime soon.  I've become too used to my technology, I think.

And now that the weather is starting to get warm again, I am going to make a concerted effort to spend more time walking outdoors.  I must stop making excuses about my back and knees, and get outside.

Speaking of knees...I got my first gel injection on Wednesday.  It hasn't made a difference ... yet.  I'm told most people don't see the effects until they have had two of the three injections.  We'll see what happens when I get the next injection this coming Wednesday.    I just have to wait and see.

Friday, March 30, 2018


For the Christian world, today is Good Friday, a mournful day, an observance of the Crucifixion, leading up to the joy of Easter on Sunday.

But for the Jewish community, tonight is a joyful occasion.  At sunset tonight we begin the observance of Passover, the festival commemorating the Exodus from Egypt. this year I will observe the first Seder at my mother's house, and Drew is hosting a Seder tomorrow night. 

And yes, at my mother's house, we will use the "museum piece".

I still marvel that something my grandfather bought back in the 1920's is considered worthy of display in not one, but two different museums. 

It's time to observe the ancient traditions, time to gather with family and friends and create new traditions. 

May your holiday -- whichever holiday or holidays  you choose to celebrate this time of year -- be filled with warmth and joy and love.

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Word came early this morning that Rusty Staub has died.

Staub was one of the heroes of the 1973 Mets, helped the team win the National League pennant, and also played for the team in the early 1980’s.

Staub was also a philanthropist, most notably a supporter of the New York Police and Fire Widows’ and Childrens Benefit Fund.

Staub had been hospitalized for many weeks.

There’s an element of poetry here, that he died on Opening Day.

Hope springs eternal

It's Opening Day at Citifield, Thor is on the mound, and all is right with the world.  Let's Go Mets!

On Opening Day, everyone believes their team is a contender for the World Series.  it's a long, long way to October, but right now, when the season is bright and shiny and new, we can all have our dreams.

The Long Island Ducks, our local independent league team, don't begin their season until the end of April, but Drew is already looking at their schedule and choosing our seats for the games we want to see. 

I am that rare Mets fan who also likes the NY Yankees.  I come by it honestly, my mom was raised in the Bronx.  

My late father was a Brooklyn boy, born in the shadow of Ebbets Field, a loyal Dodgers fan, but for his first official date with my mom, they went to Yankee Stadium to see DiMaggio play.  He must have really wanted to impress her, to venture into enemy territory like that.  (They were married on March 29, 1959, 59 years ago today.)

Despite having spent their early years  just a stone's throw from the late Shea Stadium,  my daughters are Yankees fans -- it kills their father when he sees them rooting for that team.

Yes, it's spring...

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hodgepodge Questions-Volume 346

I will refrain from mentioning here how I haven't been on my blog since last week's Hodgepodge. Consider it unmentioned. Here are the questions to this week's Wednesday Hodgepodge. Answer on your own blog then hop back here tomorrow to share answers with all your peeps.

From this Side of the Pond
Joyce always has good questions.

1. What's a word that describes your life? A word you wish described your life?

Lately it's been stressful.  I wish it were more interesting.

2. Back in my day we___________________________________?

did interesting things that you couldn't really do now.  Remember road rallies?  You'd get really weird instructions.  For example, instead of telling you to "make a left turn onto Sparrow Lane", you'd be told "make a left when you see the bird".  Half the drivers would get lost...

3. When it comes to takeout are you more likely to opt for Italian, Mexican, or Chinese food? Does a typical week at your house include takeout?

Drew and I do takeout every Friday.  One week might be pizza, the next shrimp tempura.  I think my favorite, though, is Greek --souvlaki, moussaka, gyros, anything with tzatziki.

4. Think about the people you most respect. What is it about them that earned your respect?

I respect confidence. Poise and confidence. I feel like such a poser sometimes...

5. What's something your friends might see and say is 'so you'?

Purple clothes.  Purple is my favorite color.

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I think I've figured out what my mind map is going to include.  I gained back a significant amount of weight, and I don't feel good about it. And I haven't been able to locate my focus or motivation.  But the times, they are a'changin'.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Another this and that

So they estimate that the crowd at Farmingdale on Saturday was 1,500 strong.  The total number of marchers, across the nation and the world, must have been upwards of 1 million.  The cry of "enough is enough" continues to echo...

During the rally, my friend J told me that she's drafting me to be a member of our town's Democratic Committee.  Committee members are responsible for obtaining signatures on a candidate's nominating petitions to be filed with the board of elections; they work on the campaigns by walking with candidates, stuffing envelopes, etc.; and, most important. the committee designates who will be the party's nominees for local office.  She said that I do more for the cause than half of the committee members, that I might as well have the title, and the ability to vote at committee meetings.

What a world we live in, when the biggest story on 60 Minutes is an interview with a porn star about her affair with the President of the United States. He is such a sleaze.

Passover is coming, the first Seder is Friday night.  I have to remember to pick up my wine order.  Wine is an essential element of the Passover Seder.  Our synagogue does a fundraiser every year, a wine tasting event where you can sample kosher wines and order them for your Seder table.

Oh, wow...just heard my father's voice in my head, reading the story of Passover to us, as he did at the Seder every year when he was alive.  Funny how those things stay with you.

Passover is supposed to be a spring holiday.  Right now there is still snow on the ground, leftovers from last week's storm.  I'm hoping it will all be gone by Friday.

The Mets play their first home game of the season on Thursday.  Yet another hopeful sign.

Working on my focus and vision board in the new planner.  I'm not sure if  I feel comfortable sharing what I wrote there.

I need to start planning for the warmer weather. I already bought my pass for the state parks. I got a bargain!  Last year the decal  for your car window was $65.  If you wanted a card for your wallet, one that can be used with more than one vehicle, it cost $85.  But this year they eliminated the window decal, and because I bought it so early, I got the wallet card for the price K paid for the decal last year.

Now i just need nicer weather so I can head for the park.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

March For Our Lives

Anyone who knows me did not have to guess where I would be on March 24. With over 800 events nationwide, 9 of which were on Long Island, the only mystery is which event I attended.

Drew and I went to Farmingdale State College, an event sponsored by three members of Congress:  Tom Suozzi (D), Kathy Rice (D) and Peter King (R). Yes, a bipartisan effort.  But the real stars, of course, were the students who organized the event.

I was very impressed with the bright, articulate student leaders who made their way to the stage. One young woman read a letter from a Parkland survivor, another told of how her cousin was killed in gun violence. And a young man asked us to sign the petition to Congress asking for sensible gun legislation.

And then there was a Kevin McCarthey.

Back in December 1993, a lunatic shot up a Long Island Railroad train.  He killed 6 people and wounded many others. McCarthey’s father died in the attack, and Kevin was shot in the head.    Kevin’s mother Carolyn became an advocate for gun control, and eventually served a few terms in Congress.

Here is Kevin’s speech.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

So I succumbed...

I used to keep a datebook, listing all my appointments within its pages. And there’d be a desk calendar at work, with all my meetings and assignments.

And then Microsoft Outlook and Google Calendar came along.  My calendar lives in my phone and on my iPad, I back up my data in the Cloud, I will never lose it.and I’ll never struggle to decipher my own handwriting.

But then ...

I heard on the radio, if you write something by hand, you’re more likely to remember it.

And so many people are raving about their planners.  More than date books, these planners have space for goals and projects and lists.

Maybe it could help me focus, stay organized. That’s always been an issue for me.

But who wants to spend $50 - $60 on a fancy planner?

So when I saw “The Simple Elephant” planner on Amazon...

$20 for a datebook/agenda/planner seems a lot more reasonable, doesn’t it?

Here’s what I got:

When I opened the box, I found

The stickers are cool.

And the planner itself

That blue ribbon is elastic,  want to hold the book closed when not in use.

The first pages are dedicated to your focus.

Next is your mind map and vision board.  

Then you have a monthly calendar, undated so you can start using it at any time.

And a more detailed calendar/agenda

Finally, blank pages

There’s a folder on the inside cover, and a place to stash a pen.

It’s small and light, very portable.

My Saturday afternoon project...

Friday, March 23, 2018

#skywatchfriday -- British Airways

Our view from the Belt Parkway, near JFK.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Whine .....

I have an announcement.

I am so sick of snow.

That is all.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Wednesday Hodgepodge


This week's questions from Joyce.

1. On this first official day of spring tell us something (besides the weather) you're looking forward to in this season of the year.

Spring means outdoor walks, blooming flowers and songbirds.  A change of wardrobe.  It means baseball season has begun.  The spring holidays.  And no snow.

2. When it comes to spring cleaning would you rather wash windows or wash baseboards? Clean out closets or clean out the garage? Dust ceiling fans or dust bookcases? Wipe down the patio furniture outside or wipe down the light fixtures inside? Any of these tasks recently completed?

Sorry, I am not inot housework, and refuse to discuss it unless you want to hear moaning and groaning.

3. Your favorite thing to make/eat that calls for cream cheese? Sour cream? Whipped cream?

Cream cheese?  Straight up on a bagel, or as a base for a good cheesecake.  Sour cream?  that goes on a baked potato.  Whipped cream?  Almost any way you can serve it.  I even like Redii whip straight out of the can.

4. I read here a list of commonly mispronounced words. What is a word that gives you trouble when it comes to pronunciation?

There are a lot of words I don't know how ot pronounce. In the old days that meant having to lug out the dictionary.  Now I just Google it.

5. What's a song you love with the word 'rain' in the title or lyrics?

6.  Insert your own random thought here.

Hunkering down for yet another nor'easter is no fun. 

Monday, March 19, 2018

Well, he did promise me adventures...

So yes, Drew and I had a little adventure last week, and not the kind I’d want to repeat.

The weather forecast called for a nor’easter on Tuesday, with significant snowfall.  So on Monday my boss made the decision to close the office during the storm, so that we’d all work from home.  I took my laptop to Drew’s house Monday evening, my plan being to work from his house.

But the plan changed when I got to Drew’s house.  He was clearly very sick, feverish, not doing well.  I told him I was taking him to the urgent care —there’s one around the corner from his house — and he didn’t even argue with me.

The doctor at the urgent care told me that Drew was much worse than we thought, that he needed to go to the ER for IV antibiotics.  She sent us there in an ambulance.

The ER doctor told me that she planned to treat the infection with a couple of rounds of IV antibiotics and fluids, and send him home with oral medication.

And then he spiked a fever of 105.

Trust me, you never want to see someone with a fever that high. It was scary, and I had to keep myself from freaking out so that I could keep Drew from freaking out.

Four days in the big, scary county hospital... He got excellent medical care, but ...

Well, he’s home now, feeling weak, but well on the road to recovery.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

The view from the 11th floor

So Drew gave us all a real scare, and wound up spending four days as a guest of Nassau University Medical Center.  Don’t worry, he’s fine.  But it was a miserable four days.

NUMC is a huge county hospital, it’s a tall tower that dominates the local suburban landscape.

And the views from the 11th floor ...

Suburban sprawl.

And look closely at the next photo.  Those two structures on the distant horizon, the round one is the Jones Beach Theater, the tall one is the water tower at Jones Beach.

And then there’s this view:

Yes, that’s the Manhattan skyline in the distance.  The group of buildings on your right are in midtown, the group on your left are lower Manhattan.

Friday, March 16, 2018

#skywatchfriday -- the Verrazano

I hope this version of the bridge is OK. At least I don't have any unwelcome reflections this time.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Wednesday HodgePodge

grab button for From this Side of the Pond

Mid-March Hodgepodge from Joyce.

1. Best place you've been lately?

A Japanese restaurant with an all-you-can-eat menu, mostly sushi but also a lot ofkitchen dishes like gyoza, ribs, teriyaki...incredible.

 2. What's something you should say yes to today? Or this week? Or even this year?

I never took  a vacation in 2017, and I missed  it.  This year I must plan some sort of summer recreation, even a staycation would be OK.

 3. Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day in any way, shape, or form? If so tell us how. In Western cultures the color green is typically associated with jealousy, nature, good luck, and growth. What's the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word 'green'?

I'm not Irish, but it is said that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day.  This year we plan to go to a local Irish restaurant for dinner and entertainment -- a folk singer and some bagpipes players.

As for green...I spent a good deal of my career handling environmental lawsuits, claning up Superfund sites, etc.  So "go geeen", i.e., be kind to the environment, is wha tpops into my head.

 4. What's a product or service you love so much you'd happily be their spokesperson? Tell us what makes you such a fan.

Eos hand lotion.  Great product.  You can buy it in the drugstore or Walmart or Target or even Kohl's. It's small enough to carry in your pocket or purse.  And it really does the job, my hands feel so good after I use the product.  And they smell nice, too, there ar enymerous fragrances to choose from.

 5. March 14th is Pi Day. How are your math skills? What's the last thing you did that required math of any kind? And most importantly do you like pie? What's your favorite kind? With ice cream, whipped cream, or please hold the cream?

Ah, yes, math.  English and Social Studies and foreign language came easy to me.  Algebra, geometry and trigonometry did not.  I had to work hard ot get decent grades.  Pre-calculus did me in.  It was a great relief when I got to college and found I didn't have a math requirement.

As for pie...right now I could go for some apple pie, right out of the oven, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

 6.  Insert your own random thought here.

I am so sick of winter.  Why can't it be spring?

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Hitchcock’s “The Birds”

So it was Sunday morning, and Drew and I were eating breakfast, and the TV was on.  And we were flipping through the channels, trying to find something to watch.

And there it was:  Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”.  An iconic movie, a cultural touchstone.

And though we are both Hitchcock fans, neither of us had seen the whole movie from start to finish.

We’d both seen bits and pieces, of course.  And parodies (Mel Brooks comes to mind).

Of course we had to watch.  And of course we enjoyed every minute of it.

The best horror movies are about the ordinary turning inexplicably horrifying. And that’s exactly what Hitchcock did in this movie.

My favorite scene was when the gas station blew up, and the seagulls showed up oh so casually to witness the aftermath.

You know how much I love birds ...but this movie truly scared me.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

the saga continues.

So you may remember what I wrote on Valentine's Day in response to Joyce's HodgePodge questions, and what I wrote the following day about the electric and gas company visit to our house.

Let me refresh your recollection.  On the 14th I wrote:

Heart failure?  That's an easy one.  I had some errands to run after work yesterday, so I didn't get home until about 9 PM.  As I drove up my street I could see a huge truck parked in front of my house.  A little investigation revealed that the truck belongs to our gas company.  There were two large holes in my lawn. The truck was still there at 4:30 in the morning. When I left for work at 8:30, the gas company truck was gone, but there were two trucks from the electric company on the street.  A third truck arrived while I was pulling out of my driveway.  I drove down to the end of the street, where I saw two gas company trucks headed towards my house.  Yikes! 

I don't know what's going on, but I hope they fix it soon.

here's what the lawn looked like this morning:

On the 15th I wrote:

The gas company truck was still in front of my house when I got home.  There is now a third trench in the lawn, and the mailbox is now lying on the grass. I do hope they plan to put everything back where they found it once repairs are completed.  I mean, I’m glad our house didn’t blow up or anything, but oh my what a mess they  made!

Well, the utility companies did whatever repairs were needed to the pipes, and filled in the trenches.  They put the mailbox back wheree it belonged.  They left two orange safety cones on the lawn where the main trench had been, and our driveway was a bit muddy from all that digging.  Not to mention the damage I am sure they did to the grass.   But the essentially restored the property.

Or so I thought.

We have had a couple of bad storms in recent days, real nor'easters with high winds. 

And this is what my mailbox looks like now:


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