Sunday, July 22, 2012

Hanna and JoshuaHanna (Wachdorf) and Joshua Butcher Anniversary

Hanna is the daughter of Art and Lorrae Wachdorf and sister of Dan and Dinah. She and Joshua were married in 2007, so this marks their fifth Anniversary, and they have three sons, Jeremiah and Josiah Malachi, (called Chi) and Ezekiel Clark, who was born on December 20, 2010.

Happy Anniversary, Hanna and Joshua!

Michael Ortega Birthday

Today is Michael Ortega's birthday. Michael is the youngest of the four sons of Sandra (Wachdorf) and Carnation Ortega, and Dolores' great grand nephew.

Michael's brothers are David, Eric and Alexander. The Ortegas live in Plainfield, Illinois.

Happy Birthday, Michael! 

Monday, July 23, 2012

Report on Honey and Cinnamon Diet

Honey and cinnamon

This is a report on the results of continuing my experiments on the effect of honey, cinnamon, or the combination of honey and cinnamon on:

A. Arthritis of the left knee

B. Weight Change vs. Daily Carbohydrate intake.

The conclusions from my sophisticated, one week study with a limited test group (just me) has, once again, surprised me. A few weeks ago, I reported that discontinuing the honey part of the diet for a week had a somewhat bad effect on knee pain, but a marked and immediate effect on the breakeven point on daily weight change vs. carbohydrate intake. So, I discontinued the experiment and vowed never to mess with the formula again, as it seemed to be working OK.

Week with no CinnamonBut, curiosity killed the cat, and didn't do my knee much good either. I started a week ago Sunday leaving the cinnamon out of the mix, and just taking two tablespoons of honey in my coffee in the morning and the evening. Once again, the results surprised me. My weight gain correlation got worse right away.

I think there was, perhaps, a bit of a worsening of my arthritis symptoms. They aren't bad, you understand, just a mild annoyance now and then, unless I try to climb a steep hill, or otherwise use the knee vigorously. But, if there was any change during the week, it was a change for the worse, so I went back to putting the cinnamon into the mix yesterday morning.

The surprise was that, with the honey intake uninterrupted, my weight vs carbs intake shifted back to the right, and if anything went to a lower breakeven daily intake than was normal before the honey-cinnamon routine started.

Here for comparison with the resultsTwo weeks ago for last week (on the left), is the same curve  those from two weeks ago on the right. The squares and line in red represent the seven days of last week, whereas the purple squares and heavy black line are for a six month period. You can see that the breakeven curve for the six months is pretty close to 70 grams per day of carbs, whereas I used to, for some years, run very close to 60. For last week, the number is down to 55!

The curve on the right is where it would be if I counted the 38.4 grams of honey per day I am eating, but pretending is not there at all.


So, my firm conclusion is that both the honey and cinnamon really work as a team on the weight loss business, and my guess is that they do likewise for the arthritis. The arthritis results are not so clear cut as the weight control results.

We are going to Escape the hot weather

For a long time, I have been telling people that I am not a "snow bird", who leaves Illinois for Florida to avoid the winter. Rather, I am a citizen of Florida, and I go north in the summer to avoid the Florida heat.

This has not been working this year, as it is frequently hotter in the Chicago area than it is Parkasin Cape Coral. Sometimes they have been 10 or 15 degrees cooler down there. Still, it is not enough of a difference in favor of Florida for us to go down there.

But we have, independent of the weather problem, elected to take a two week trip to San Francisco, the Napa and Sonoma Valleys, and Vancouver, BC. We have been following the temperatures out there, so we know what kind of clothing to pack. As of right now, it looks like Speedo briefswarm clothing will be in order. Northern California and the stretch of Pacific Coast up to Vancouver have been running temperatures in the high 50s and low 60s. Sweaters and Jackets weather.

Of course, the predictability of our weather pattern in the US has been decreasing rapidly toward zero, and if the trend continues, the weathermen will be saying they haven't a clue to what is coming next. We will be leaving on Sunday, which will probably be the last super hot day of summer in Chicago, and the first day of the warming trend in California. Speedos or parkas?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Big Storm doesn't end Drought

We had a big, noisy thunderstorm early this morning, which sounded like a very big deal, Sunny rainstormand it appeared that there was a hard steady rain for as long as I stayed awake to watch it. However, it turned out to be only an inch on our rain gauge. That is just enough to give hope to the brown grass and the big willow tree (which looks like it is about to die).

The storm was full of sound and fury, and signified a lot of power outages. There were trees down around Chicago again, and lots of areas, including Barrington, with no power. Our  lights flickered briefly, but stayed on. Janet's, on the other hand, went out and stayed out all day. More importantly, her air conditioning and computer both stayed out all day also. Janet had me go to the Jewel store in Barrington (the power was out at both the Jewel and Dominick's in Lake Zurich) and get her bags of ice which she used to try to save her frozen food.

But, for all the storming, we didn't get enough rain to do much good. But, the weather people are promising more storms for tonight, followed by another 100 degree day tomorrow. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

John Daniel Rockwell Birthday

John Daniel is the oldest son of Marilyn (Wachdorf) and Tim Rockwell.  He was born in 1982, which makes him roughly 30 years old now.

 His younger brother, Steve, gets top billing because he had his birthday yesterday. It must be terrible for him going through life one day behind his kid brother.

Happy birthday, John.

Heat only 96 so far

Hot WeatherWe were justified in cancelling the UOP golf today, but it was only 10 degrees above a reasonable maximum temperature, not 15 as was expected. Still, not fit weather to be walking up and down hill in the bright sunlight. Nor, for that matter, to be working on our roof cleaning gutters out.

I am feeling guilty, having a poor guy up on our roof doing my chores, but not guilty enough that I will volunteer to do it next time it needs to be done, even if the weather is considerably nicer.

Gutters cleaned

One of the local companies that has done routine maintenance work around out house Clogged gutterscalled this morning and tried to talk me into having our gutters cleaned. They didn't have to talk very hard, as both Dottie and Janet have pointed out to me that our gutters need cleaning. Their comments fell on lazy ears, but I noted them anyway.

So when the company called (named "Routine Maintenance" aptly enough) I agreed to have them clean the branches and leaves out of the gutters. I didn't expect they would propose doing it this afternoon, as it is not a fit day for man nor beast to be working outside. However, that is what the did.

I felt bad having a poor man up on our roof, on a sweltering day like today, doing work I should have been doing. But, I didn't feel so bad that I would really do it myself.

Jan has power

Janet stopped by this evening just before dinner time, as she usually does to feed George.

She filled us in on her electric power situation, which was pretty dismal sounding. The power went off yesterday morning at her Janethouse, and has been off ever since. To make matters worse, Commonwealth Edison said that it is now expecting to have power restored at here house day after tomorrow.

Her air conditioning wasn't working anyway, but she really misses having her toilets flush without question (her water is supplied by an electric well pump), and she doesn't think any of the food in her freezer was saved in spite of the ice cubes added yesterday.

Later on, she said that Commonwealth Edison had told her that they might get power back on today. We didn't hear from her again, but later found that her power was restored on Wednesday evening. (Note from Janet: power went off 6 a.m. Tuesday and was estimated to come on 2 p.m. Thursday, but was miraculously restored at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Dad has been time traveling again.)

Dinner with Bill and Kathy and John and Cindy

Shortly after Dottie and I left for France last month, Bill called to say Dottie and I should go out to dinner with him sand Kathy before long. Of course, we didn't get the message  until we got back ten days ago.

After a bit of time to catch up, I called Bill and we arranged our dinner date for this evening at Ruth's Chris steakhouse, which is one of Dottie's favorites, and also liked by Bill and Kathy. I called John, to see if he and Cindy were back from their recent visit to Montreal, and the were, so we invited them too.

Ruth's Chris in South BarringtonWe had a good dinner, and did some catching up on family news.

Andy is doing well in Colorado, where he lives not far from Aurora, and drives past the theater where the Aurora massacre took place on July 20. He is doing well, and manages to do some glass blowing there. Andy will be in Chicago for a visit next week, although Monique wasn't able to get off work, and will not be coming.

Kathy has been doing fairly well with her Crohn's disease, and has not had any major problems for the past several weeks. She still has to be very careful with what she eats, though. 

John and Cindy had a good time in Montreal, but found it surprisingly hot. It is supposed to be much cooler there than it is in the Chicago area, but it wasn't. They had air conditioning in the hotel where the stayed, but none of the restaurants or other public places were artificially cooled.

We  were pleased that Ruth's Chris was well air conditioned, and the food was very good, as usual. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Super Segmental Tunnels

Have I mentioned Segmental Tunnels recently? I thought not. Well, they are one of my favorite things, although they Super Segmental Tunneldon't exist. I think we ought to be working on developing the techniques for building segmental tunnels, which connect any two points (Cities) on the earth's surface with a straight line, which does not follow the curvature of the earth, but goes straight through the ground.

Because the tunnels would get closer to the center of the earth as you get closer to the midpoint of the tunnel, the first half of your trip between the two cities though the tunnel would be downhill, so a train with very little friction would speed up during the first half of the journey, and slow down during the second half. If there were no wind resistance in the tunnel (air pumped out), it would get going quite fast, and the arithmetic comes out suggesting that you could make the trip in 40 minutes or so. No matter how far the cities were apart.

Well, I have worked out a way of making the trains go even faster. I called it a Super Segmental tunnel. I have devoted a whole page to describing how it would work, and I haven't finished working out the math yet, but I will get there soon. The page is at Super Segmental Tunnels (SST, for short).

Friday, July 27, 2012

Golf Canceled over Wounded Finger

The other day (don't remember when, exactly) I was trying to cut a loaf of several day old French bread which was very much like concrete in consistency, the knife slipped and cut my index finger on my left hand across the knuckle. It wasn't a very big cut, and looked like it was healing up nicely without needing to getWounded finger stitched or anything.

Janet will be proud of me for using the passive voice with regard to the knife doing the job, rather than me.

Anyway, things were progressing nicely, healing-wise, until we got to the golf course this morning. It turns out that my finger was in pretty good shape, but the band-aid over it did not bend very well. Wrapping my finger around the shaft of the golf club caused the band-aid to stretch in such a way as to pry the wound open a little. So, it started bleeding a bit on the first hole. By the third, it was fairly obvious that my wound was opening up some, and that I was golfing even more poorly than I usually do.

Dottie, on the other hand, seemed to have found the secret of success, and was doing much better than she has done recently. She managed to beat me by five strokes on the first two holes. And we quit before she beat me badly on the third.

I know, I have read about the athletes who have finished the football game with a broken ankle, and all of that. It has no bearing on the present case.

Dottie gets a haircut

Dottie with her hair cutThis is a much bigger deal for ladies than it is for men.

I had my hair cut earlier in the week, and if it was done well, no one would be able to tell that my hair had been cut. It is similar to mowing the lawn, where it should be done often enough that it doesn't make a big difference from before to after, but it just stays relatively neat.

With the ladies, this is a much more important operation, equivalent to planting a new garden and furnishing it with all new flowers. it is supposed to look new and different and pretty.

And it does look pretty, Dottie.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Trip Preparation

One of the problems of traveling a lot is that one gets causal about the preparations for the next trip. This cuts down on stress in the days leading up to the trip, except for the last day. It is hard to imagine how I ever imagined I would be able to get everything done in the last minute. United 737

One of the things I need to do and didn't get to earlier was making a note not to plan to leave on Sunday ever again. This is because I do the newsletter on Saturday, which is when I planned to get everything else I had put off doing, done.

There is more than will fit into the one day, so my apologies for giving short shrift to the newsletter.

Dottie's bees are back

Dottie had a very active bunch of bees building their hive in her attic sometime before we left Florida. She was able to get a bee keeper who lives nearby to come and collect the bees. As I recall, he thought there were nearly a half million of them, or some other outlandish number, but he was happy to take them and add them to his productive bee farm.

Bee hivewDottie's son in law, Brad has been checking her house during the summer, and reported this morning that the bees have come back. Whether they are the same bees as she had before --- now disenchanted with their new home, and the farmer who obviously steals their honey from them --- or a new bunch of bees that have relocated from elsewhere is hard to tell, as the bees look pretty much alike to a non-bee oriented person.

However, Dottie needs to get in touch with her bee farmer neighbor again, and can't remember his name. If anyone happens to know the name of a bee farmer who lives in Cape Coral, please contact Dottie.