Sunday, November 17, 2019

Half a Century

   The months this year seem to fly by faster than ever. I have found it harder to blog but thought I’d try a short summary today. Halloween has been followed by our anniversary for 50 years. This year we decided to make a fuss by having a family gathering in Barcelona but it was not to be. On October 24 and 26th I spent hours in ER with hubby as he developed a fever and terrible pain and swelling in his scrotum area on the left side. It is somewhat of a serious problem so hubby was attended to fairly quickly with a pain killer injection and placed an IV lead into his arm for further follow up. Soon came an ultra sound. It was suspected he had developed an infection in the left testicle and the ultra sound suggested that may be the cause of his misery so they began with administration  of strong antibiotics and some fluids via the IV. And when all the bags were empty and his fever was down we were sent home with meds and follow up procedures. We were told hubby would not be fit to fly for some time. So Barcelona had to be cancelled. Then on October 26th we were back in ER as hubby was dehydrated from not being able to keep oral meds down. He needed an adjustment in order to improve. Again he got IV meds and was hydrated by IV. He was also xrayed in abdominal area as they felt he was suffering from something pushing on his belly, likely an accumulation of stool matter. Once confirmed a laxative was ordered to be taken at home. We set to go after another IV dose of antibiotic and more hydration. At home hubby took half of a bottle of citromag to get things moving. I also had to feed him gravol along with strong pain med and strong cipro antibiotic. Luckily it all began to work and after two more days his level of comfort was more tolerable. The ER doctor told us this could take anywhere from a month to six months to clear as it was in the prostrate and bladder too. Seems it had been in the works for some time.
   On November first I arranged a tiny gathering of family and friends to be held at our club. They let us use the library for cocktails and a small meeting room for a sit down dinner. We blamed up both rooms with banners and other golden sparkly stuff. I brought three photo albums for people to share and my sister and daughter made up a playlist of music going back 50 years to now that they put on over Bluetooth speakers. 
   Hubby was able to attend with aid of pain killers and he gave a lovely opening at the dinner table before the meal. He was very touched by the event’s elegance and let guests know how our union had changed his entire family life and with years he thanked me for always being there for him. Of course I followed his lead by remarking how my world was enriched thanks to him and his family. It was followed by my SIL who was at our wedding and she added humour by telling hubby he had done well to survive at my side. Her joke did not come lightly for she has been widowed twice. My brother was killed in an accident 41 years ago. She remarried and sadly five years ago her partner died from lung failure. I admired her for remaining in our family life with her second husband. Families can be so special if there is love and respect.
   On November 11th my daughter brought her family to stay six days with us since we would not be together in Spain. Right now the wee grandkids are racing around downstairs as I type. It has been a bitter sweet visit as hubby continues to sleep throughout each day. Today we will have lunch with cousins and this eve they will fly back to UK. And we will continue on striving to help hubby get better again. The specialist appointment is on November 26, the same day as my eye specialist appointment. My vision continue to weaken but my heart is full of hope and love. 
   Take care my friends till I try posting around Christmas time. I hope you are well . I still am only able to comment on some blogs, not all thanks to Google. I do read your posts and share with Buddy.

Monday, July 29, 2019

Tougher Skins

   Our family has enjoyed eating all sorts of produce since before my time and the fruits in summer were plentiful. I recall sweet aromatic strawberries and raspberries both of which had a short shelf life and were consumed quickly. Lately I have noticed that in the last 5 years there are big changes in all produce so that their shelf life is longer. How? 
    Strawberries and raspberries seem to have been created to be more tough in texture both to the sense of touch and in my mouth. They no longer just melt. They need more proper chewing. And this summer the cherries coming from the USA were more hard than ever. What is happening?
    It appears that all our food is being changed in labs to create versions that are better for our huge food retailers who now transport most foods far distances and to huge stores where they need to look good and fresh in clear plastic packaging, ugh. And so they do last longer. But what health costs are going to be our issues in the future?
    Where are reports on studies that our guts are okay with changes to nature’s original foods that we adapted to over centuries? I find it scary that everything being sold to us these days has only big profit in mind. It stared with grains and has now hit all produce in some form in most nations since we now have a global food trade. 
    I live in Ontario Canada where food is grown locally but very little ever appears in the big stores. About 80 percent comes from China, some from USA and then Central and South America. We are literally at the mercy of our three huge food chains here. Sure there are a few small shops offering locally grown produce yet they also have to buy their seeds from big wholesellers and we know seeds have been claimed and altered in different ways. Have you noticed all the seedless fruits now? How do seeds get to market?
   Eating seeds can actually be healthy. Try finding grapes with seeds or watermelons. If you want to eat those seeds you now have to buy them separately.
   Along with tougher skins  on so many items the worst part of the produce on shelves now is more wax coating to improve added shelf life as well as good looks. Tomatoes and apples bother me the most. Sadly it is not the natural beeswax used but a petroleum based wax that is now used (even on some dairy cheeses).  While  all is for long shelf life  what will it do to all other forms of life not just our own? We are part of the food chain. Our bodies are full of millions of bacteria and possibly other tiny creatures we may have managed to ingest.
Will there be some changes to them? We already blame antibiotics for super bugs but is that fair? Could there be more happening? 
I wonder.
Can you list a food that you believe has remained unchanged?

P.S. I am not able to comment on some of my dear friend’s posts thanks to Google constantly making. Some work while others do not. I have tried to make changes in comment settings but with only minor successes. 

Friday, June 21, 2019


  We were away in UK to visit  family from June5 to 18. Buddy loves the journey each time.

While there my nephew brought me a gorgeous bouquet of mixed flowers and I just had to snap pictures to keep their beauty fresh in my memory. i wanted to post several photos but my post would not accommodate this. no idea why.

Happy summer to you all/

Sunday, June 2, 2019

Green Issues

  April was a wet cool month. May was no better as the leaves on trees were just appearing by May 30th. For our area on the globe it is the latest spring in a very long time. This is affecting farmers and will affect recreational sites as rivers and lakes are not getting the sun they need for warmth for water sports. Golf courses are soggy as are other outdoor grassy playing areas.
   Global warming does not just mean increased heat. It means a huge shift in wind currents and ocean currents. All this is filling clouds with violent winds and rain storm clouds that send huge amounts of water in such a very fast pace that flooding is wide spread and more frequent.
  And shifts in our daily temperatures has begun. Europe has already had very warm temperatures to date much like last year. It is predicted that there will be unusually hot spells and this may cause some fierce wind storms a new phenomonem for that geographical area.
   Just watching the news and seeing all the destruction already makes me realize that the loss of all the ice masses globally thus far has impacted lakes and rivers that are now higher from the added sea water that many empty into. There seems no solution to make the earth cool again. 
    Another very environmentally destructive compound is plastic and while we are urged to stop using so much our large food and goods packaging industry has slowly increased their use. We now get fruit in plastic bags or clear boxes. This is for their profit because it makes shipping and displaying easier. It likely reduces manpower needed too. It also aids in their self checkout stations for more ease and a better experience. It is all about reducing jobs to maximize their profits.
   Electric cars are being pushed on consumers with more haste. My experience with a short ownership of a Tesla made me realize that too is not a green solution. Creating power to charge more cars has an impact on the electrical grid. Over time as more cars need to plug in how will the increase be produced? Then there are all those batteries that each car has to have. Are they green?
   While a greener way of life is encouraged the huge industries that need a big bottom line will just herd us to continue to make purchases that will not make a greener planet. The stock market health is far too important for that to become a global reality. There are trade wars happening constantly. Apple and Huawei are a current example. How green are their products?
   Green issues  suggesting that we need to be more responsible on our planet appear to require a total shift in how we create an economy that is not centred around stocks and competitive marketing requiring a great bottom line profit.
   How can that be brought about?

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Tesla Saga Resolved

  The Tesla roadside tow truck arrived and determined indeed the car was powerless and would need a complete full charge but not at a super charger. He failed to inform us of the details except to say that it was likely that it would fail proper charging there and then it would need further towing. We did not completely understand but accepted his explanation. We agreed to have our Tesla towed to our home where the garage outlet would serve as the power source. After he loaded the car onto a towing device becauseTeslas cannot be towed like convential fuel injected cars due to the huge battery packs under the body of the car for there is now way for a hook up.  News to us.
   Several hours passed that afternoon but eventually the car was unloaded in front of our home garage close enough to the power source of 110 volts known as a Level 1 power source by Tesla. Level 2 is 220 volt and it goes up to Level 4 at this time.. Level 1 is the slowest way to charge a battery. Before leaving our premises with a $360 payment for his service, the service person helped us to plug the power cord into the car and then the wall. Seeing a green blink at the charge site on the Tesla he was satisfied his job was done so he drove off.
   Less than 10 minutes later the flashing green light was off and no charge was happening. We had to call back to Tesla service. They told us to call CAA to get a boost on the 12 volt battery for anything else to charge. Who knew? Seems the car has one 12 Volt unit under the front hood inside the trunk, the front trunk as there is no engine like in gas cars.
   Convinced that we had a solution we called CAA and as we were not members we had to join up for a $240 membership fee first. Then we equested a 12 volt battery boost on a Tesla. CAA sent a person who had no clue where to find that battery. Using You Tube we showed him. He said he cannot do it and left. We called CAA to complain. They sent another person and again that person was unwilling. We asked why and got the answer that the battery is under a protective cover and would need to be removed which the service person had no experience to do. So our saga goes on. We had to call Tesla service again and after much complaint and asking why person one failed to stay to boost that  battery in the first place they agreed to send  a service truck to boost the 12 volt battery and stay on site for at least enough charge time so that we could then use our wall outlet.
   When he came I watched him unscrew the cover that hid that battery and a few other useful items like the windshield washer fluid tank. Rather impractical I thought.I supposed they did it for a cool appearance of the frunk storage space. Soon the battery was clearly visible and he set up the charge cables and ran his unit for a good half hour. Then the Tesla was hooked up to the wall and we all waited to see if the flashing green charge light would hold . It did. Again we were faced with a service charge but the Tesla dispatcher gave a discount because her first guy had not properly completed his job. At the end of the day we lost half of a Saturday and over $700 for new car road side assistance as Tesla does not include any for their brand new very expensive cars. Most other car companies offer great assistance as part of their warranty. My KIA came with a 5 year  plan depending on mileage done over that time.
   Well the Tesla took over three days to reach the recommended 80% charge. The lesson learned was always keep enough charge to get to a super charger where it can be replenished in around 2 hours.
Once it was charged I used the password and key card to sync my iPhone using the Tesla app. This allowed me to see what is going on with the charge and software updates and other function like unlocking the car and using it as the invisible key to start the car.
   I got into the car and adjusted the mirrors and steering column and seat and just chose reverse to back out of the garage and put it into drive. The screen showed my speed. I could set the car to many function including self park and even have it come out of the garage driverless to meet me in the drive. With autopilot on the software then takes over and drives me to the destination I have requested at the speed I have set. I have not tried those options. Our winter snow was too bad as was our very cold temperature, neither good for the battery usage. On a good spring day the car ought to manage 380 km per charge. I however will not have a chance to test that.
   Last Wednesday while Buddy and I were on a week away to a warm place to escape winter hubby decided to trade in his brand new Tesla for a 2019 Benz, a car he is more familiar with. The Tesla was too techy for him. His lease on the Benz he drives now was almost up anyway so now the new Benz will be owned. He is excited about his trade  but truthfully I know for a fact that even today’s  Mercedes are equipped with fancy tech that he is not able to use to his benefit. It too comes with a tablet and software updates. It is to be delivered next week or the following.
   I will miss the Tesla a bit because I took time to learn about its bells and whistles and was fascinated about how all the future cars will become very autonomous globally. In fact Porche is working on a car to rival Tesla at this very moment.

P.S. These cars will work on voice commands.Some Tesla’s already have the software to do so.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

My Tesla Experience

    Can you believe this? On October the 1st Hubby got an email to come and take possession of his Model 3 Tesla on October 5th and to bring a bank draft for the full amount.Ugh!, I was aware he had placed an order on one some four years ago. With his decline in memory I had suggest he cancel his purchase and he assured me he would. Now it was clear he had not. In fact I came to know he upgraded to the all wheel drive two engines and battery version along with the auto pilot drive mode about a year ago. This became clear when he got the details of his order. I was somewhat dismayed but he had earned the wages so I had really no right to deny him of his purchase.
   As he scrambled to get his finances in line for the payment, I began my journey to learn how a Tesla Model 3 would function. I quickly figured out this car would need several hours of how to do things using the touch screen. On the day of delivery someone would need to drive this new acquisition out of the dealers to a place it could be parked untill hubby was keen to begin to use it. He currently drives a high end Mercedes leased till the end of June. He managed to lease the Benz while I was in UK for the birth of our first grand baby in June 2016. It looked so much like the leased 2014 I failed to notice that he picked me up from the airport in a newer car.
   Now back to the Tesla experience. I began to think of it as a tech challenge as well as a memory one.. I spent several hours on You Tube to learn all I could so hubby could pick up the new car. But it became very clear that hubby would not be able to manage to drive this computer on wheels for  all things Tesla happen from a touch screen on the dash and hubby has trouble using his iPhone apps and rarely touches his iPad. He uses tax software and is able to read some news feeds on his office desktop but lets others manage his lack of computer savvy.
   Realising the complexity of driving and controlling a Tesla, I phoned his office to give instructions to our employee (who was under thirty and tech capable) that I needed his assistance. I sent him the links on how to drive the Model 3. I knew hubby would need a ride to the dealer so his employee would likely be asked. I was right. They drove to the dealers in the Benz. Once the ownership of the Tesla was his and he had a brief orientation hubby was asked to take the Tesla off the lot. Well he did not feel comfortable with his brief orientation so he decided he would drive his Benz back to his office and the employee got the job of driving the Tesla there just as I had figured. Having watched a few videos earlier our employee got the new car safely to the underground office parking spot.  And there it stayed almost untouched. Two friends got to see it and take it for a short spin.
   Hubby was under the impression the Tesla would be fine just sitting in his office garage. I wish I had done much further reading especially about battery discharge on that model. I had watched many videos on how to use various functions and even had hubby watch a few on our big screen TV. However, I bad I failed to learn a car being in storage for more than 6 weeks was a serious mistake. In fact the car cannot remain unattached to a power source for very long periods of time much like any tablet. That I believe will become an issue for those who put cars into storage where there are no power sources in close range.
   By the time I had finally convinced hubby to take the car out for a drive to give it a charge at a nearby Tesla super charger the car had other ideas. It told us it had no power left. None. So now we had a challenge. How does one charge a Tesla that is away from any power source? Call Tesla service and they come to tow the car out of the underground garage with a special low clearance tow truck to tow the car to a power source. That costs a fair bit of money and there is more to this story to be told soon.

P.S. I finished my uni course with an A grade. Yeah!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Brain Challenge

As of January I am enrolled in an online University of Toronto Alumni six weeks course to challenge my ability to study new ideas and then do required assignments , online discussions and quizzes.The course is , “Managing Your Health ; The Role of Physical Therapy and Exercise”.
There are video lectures from the university as well as others linked to YouTube and information put out by the various branches the course has decided to have us pursue.
The first week focused on what is a good guide for healthy people in regards to exercise along with what are good food choices to maintain general good health. It was easy to read articles and make a note of what they suggested as important goals to keep. These would be in quizzes that I was able to pass easily. However the first assignment was to create a four week plan that I would follow using a template of an excel nature to include several categories and how I would execute them in that time frame
 It took some hours of work to import the template into the IOS Numbers software on my laptop and I got there. Yeah.
Then I meticulously filled in all the columns and rows with what the course suggested would be a good exercise plan. It even asked for a comment and completed column. I did that and it looked very cool. I had to be creative and use letters to represent words like A for aerobic and S for Stregthening and it seemed all good until I tried to cut and paste my completed work back into the feed online. It just would not work. 
I took a screen shot and tried to figure out if that might work. It did not. I was almost ready to quit the course because I felt stumped. But I tried one last approach. I asked my UK daughter,a computer geek, to log onto my laptop and see if she could assist. It sort of worked. My own headers of columns had to be reverted to the original sample template but she was able to get “my ducks in a row” within the template using my work and then get it into my work space inside the course feed though it failed to show the vertical and horizontal lines found on spread sheets. I was grateful and as I moved on to do the peer reviews I discovered no one was able to use the template. The course provider was at fault. I ended up peer evaluating a whole bunch of garbled attempts of other people’s plans that made my own appear rather good and I had the ambition to stay in the course. I am now working on week four as we were allowed to work at our own speed. Week six ends March 4.
Here is how my work should have appeared but it did not.

I am finding it interesting as I move along in the course that the Heart and stroke Foundation, the Diabetes Foundation, the Osteoparosis Foundation and the Cancer Society have all had their spin put into the course and of course our provincial and federal health guidelines. Interesting. Of course there is the emphasis the therapists are there to help along the path of managing one's health and they point out what their role may be. After all the course title implies they are important.
Is that the new way for students to get "unbiased" higher education?
What do you suppose?