November 17, 2018

A few items to mark the end of a busy and jam-packed week with a nod to a cool, late-60s Brian Wilson “state of life” Beach Boys tune:

Well first of all, a Windows 10 upgrade from the geniuses at my company’s IT department made my work laptop all but unusable, and it took the better part of two nights on Monday and Tuesday to get my new laptop properly configured and functional. I seemed to be able to get just about everything back except whatever that software is that Microsoft supplies where you get a different picture from around the world every day (something from Microsoft I actually liked). Instead, all I have is the same boring picture of (I think) Cabo San Lucas. If anyone knows what setting or download I need to get let me know. 🙂

We also had a break occur in one of our most ancient landscaping irrigation lines when some kind of a root from somewhere pricked it and turned station #1 into an underground river. It was too deep for me to fix, so a call to the good folks at Hawkeye Landscaping was in order. The bad news is that it was kind of expensive ($170); the good news is that Daniel and I were talking about that long-standing, forever put off, project to install some handsome landscape lighting in the front, and, since for them this is the slow season, he offered to take the cost of the irrigation line fix off the front lighting install, so I think I’m going to work that in before year’s end.

…I’m very sensitive about water issues when they occur around here – I wish everyone was. I’m vested in my company’s employee stock purchase plan and had high hopes of using what I hoped to be a year-end windfall to replace the lawns in the back and on the east side of the house with synthetic lawn. Unfortunately, our Q3 earnings weren’t very good, Wall Street noticed, and our stock price lost 30% of its value in, like, three days. It’ll probably come back, so the replacement of those lawns will just have to wait their turn.

…that whole synth grass industry, BTW, has gone far beyond the crappy indoor/outdoor stuff you find at the bog-box stores – some of the product is very sophisticated and real-looking, and the good stuff has a twenty-year life cycle (meaning I’ll be long gone from here by the time to replace happens). To do both lawns is ~ 5K total, but I figure with the reduced water costs I’ll get a return on my investment in 6-7 years.

…besides, it doesn’t take a genius to see that, outside of some genius coming up with a solution to do large-scale de-salinization in a cost-effective way sometime soon – and very soon (not likely), the explosive growth occurring in the Great American Southwest as this country’s population ages is rapidly making the idea of grass lawns a quaint, archaic, and, inevitably, wasteful vestige of yesteryear. The golf industry, parks and subdivisions, and swimming pools are always going to need their share of water, but for individual homeowners wanting to help in whatever way they can one can easily see which way the wind is blowing.

We did end up getting all our doctor’s appointments in, though.

On Monday the hand specialist took a look at my right hand (I have Depuytren’s Contracture in my right hand, a genetic deformity that is gradually yanking my ring finger downward). The doc said I was an excellent candidate for a treatment he assures me would be very helpful, but we need to first see how much insurance will pay before I get the procedure scheduled.

On Wednesday, I had my physical, and yes, my blood pressure was back to being high (159/90). The doc doesn’t understand why this would happen after never having HBP issues, like, ever, but he prescribed me a low dosage of Lisinopril to try for six weeks to see if it helps. While I understand the need to get my BP down and make my doctor happy, given the fact I’m one of the lucky ones who have never been on anything my entire life, I’m just not willing to give in to old age and hopping on a regular prescribed medicine habit – at least not yet. I’ve got the celery seed my brother Dave suggested and I’ve just started back up at the gym, so here’s what I think I’ll do: since the doc really wants me to get my BP down and see me in the next six weeks I’ll go the medication route first. Then, if that appears to work, I’ll replace taking that with the celery seed for the same period of time and compare results. If that works out, I’ll be ahead of the game.

On Thursday, I had my eye appointment and my doc was very happy to report that my prescription hasn’t changed in two years and there’s no signs of early macular degeneration or cataracts. The drive home in the dusk with my eyes still dilated was kind of interesting (and a little unnerving), but it all worked out OK.

On Friday, I got all my food shopping down for Thanksgiving so I don’t have to go anywhere near a supermarket this weekend. The crazies will be out there, and it’s a guarantee that by Sunday night the local Fry’s will look like a bomb had been set off inside, with gaping holes where the frozen turkeys, stuffing, gravy, aluminum pans, pudding, cream cheese, and cans of green beans typically are. Two houses in our subdivision already have their Christmas lights up – more than a bit early for my taste – but there’s no denying that, with a roaring economy and an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas for the retailers to make hay, everyone is already geared up for that annual orgy of self-indulgence called “the holidays”.

So that was my week. It’s going to be another Chamber of Commerce day out here in the Valley of the Sun with plenty of sun, temperatures in the mid-70s, and light winds, so I’m off to get bunny supplies, hit a bucket of balls, and work on my short game and putting. I’m planning my second round of The Great White Shank’s golf year next weekend so there’s not a moment to lose.

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 10:50 | Comments (0)
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