Friday, December 29, 2017

Snug and warm

It's been snowing steadily since about 1 p.m. and the forecast is for as much as 3 inches of snow before it stops this evening.

I came home from running errands yesterday to find our window guys wrapping the big set of windows that are the major architectural feature of the front of our house. That was the last few windows that needed sealing and caulking, now that we have replaced all of the other windows in the house.

I think it's safe to say this is the tightest this house has been in its 114-year history.

We have two furnaces - one for upstairs and the other for downstairs - and both have programmable thermostats that I have set up to achieve maximum heating efficiency.

There is still much to do before we can relax and enjoy the house, but I feel very good about the energy efficiency. I am also in the process of replacing every lightbulb in the place with an LED bulb. The furnaces need replacing and we hope they can get us through the winter. Our favorite HVAC folks are coming in a couple of weeks to do a tuneup on the furnaces, just to be sure.

In the meantime, the Whirlpool microwave that our renters installed needs about $175 worth of repair work. I'm inclined to replace it with a new microwave.

It's always something. But we're more prepared for winter here than we ever have been.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

40 days of eyedrops

Cataract surgery requires a lot of eyedrops.

My ophthalmologist has be using four different medications at the moment, meaning that I will consume 252 drops over a 40-day period. Here are the charts.

What the hell? It's a small inconvenience for being able to see better than I have in my 72+ years on the planet.

My right eye is almost up to speed. I'm seeing about as well with it as I did with a contact lens, and I know it will get better, probably by New Year's Eve.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fucking pathetic

It's time to turn in my BMW motorcycle mileage for the year for the Indianapolis BMW Motorcycle Club records.

I went out to the shed this afternoon and noted the odometer readings of the two bikes. When I pulled up my previous mileage records, I was absolutely appalled. I rode a pathetic 144 miles this year. One hundred forty-four freaking miles!

It goes without saying that this is the most pathetic mileage figure I've racked up in the 40+ years I've been riding. Hell, I did better than that when all I had was my first bike - a 1970s Kawasaki K175!

Curiously, the odometer readings show I rode 72 miles on each bike.

I took my last ride in Arkansas on April 8 - a short jaunt over to Lake Frierson State Park - before I hauled both bikes up to a friend's barn in Brownsburg the next day. They sat there until I retrieved the K75S on Sept. 18 and rode it home. The battery on the K1200GT was kaput, so I had to have it hauled to the local BMW dealership on Sept. 22. I picked it up there and rode it home a couple of days later. With the exception of a quick 5-6-mile spin on the K75S out to Dairy Queen and back, I have done no more riding in Indiana, largely because of the difficulty involved in backing the bikes up an incline onto our gravel driveway.

It is my fervent hope that we can sell our commercial building in Jonesboro, Ark. and use some of the proceeds to build a proper garage and pave the driveway.

But when they hand out the 10,000-mile awards at the annual club banquet in February, I will come away empty-handed.

I can see clearly now...

I awoke this morning with the realization that it's the first time since the spring of 1954 that I am no longer dependent upon glasses or contact lenses.

My right eye cataract removal went flawlessly yesterday morning and my right eye vision is already on a par with the clarity of a contact lens with the expectation that it will get much better over the next day or two.

The temperature was -6 degrees this morning and we are grateful that we got all of the windows replaced before the serious cold weather arrived.

The photo is from yesterday morning after surgery when we went to Einstein Bros. Bagels for a post-op breakfast. The Oakley sunglasses were a Christmas gift from Steve, Nicky and Lisa and are very much appreciated. They help herald a new era of seeing for me.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Looking a bit more like Christmas around here

I retrieved these ceramic Christmas trees from a storage bin this afternoon and set them up in the living room.
The white one was my mother's. I think Maria brought the green one into the family.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Do you really listen to music?

I'm convinced that a lot of people - maybe most people - don't know how to listen - really listen - to music.

As long as I can remember, I have been captivated by music and its complexity. My favorite thing is to become totally immersed in my music with eyes closed, sitting in a comfortable chair and with a really good set of headphones. My current headphones of choice are Bang & Olufsen - either the H8 on-ear model or the H9 over-the-ear 'phones. They continue to reveal to me hitherto unnoticed musical and instrumental gems that are an absolute delight and make a piece of music brand new all over again.

I have a couple of really good speaker systems, but I much prefer the intimacy and isolation of headphones. Speakers seem to invite interruptions and make details more obscure.

I know people, particularly young people, who don't seem to connect with their music. They talk over it, socialize over it, use it as background noise and apparently never give it their undivided attention. This seems horribly self-absorbed to me and I can't understand it. But then a lot of what they listen to is (c)rap, so it's not really music anyway.

Wednesday, December 13, 2017


The cataract surgery on my left eye went flawlessly yesterday morning and a followup visit this morning with Dr. Michael Behforouz, the ophthalmologist who did the surgery, confirmed that everything is as it should be.
The right eye gets upgraded on Dec. 26.
I wouldn't trust my eyes to anyone but Dr. Behforouz.
I can even see my computer screen clearly with my left eye. I expected to need readers for anything that close.

Monday, December 11, 2017

Cataract surgery

I'm scheduled for cataract surgery on my left eye at 6:50 a..m. tomorrow.

The right eye goes under the laser on Dec. 22.

The work is being done by Dr. Michael Behforouz, who I consider the best in Indiana - maybe in the country. He saved my right eye from a pernicious bacterial infection about 12 years ago and I purposely put off the surgery until we got back to Indiana because I don't trust anyone else.

I was heartened last week when our new primary care physician said he interned with Dr. Behforouz and that Dr. B performed lasik surgery on him with great results.

I'm also grateful that Medicare covers the complete process, at no expense to me. (It would cost more if I had opted for one of the fancier lens jobs, but the standard focus-to-infinity lens arrangement works best for the way I live.) It nice to know that some of those thousands of dollars of lifetime payroll Medicare deductions are coming back to me.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Bright, but noisy

I replaced three 60 watt conventional light bulbs in the kitchen ceiling fan with these LED 100 watt equivalent bulbs back in late August.

The improvement in lighting was dramatic, but we soon discovered that each bulb has a little cooling fan that makes an annoying noise.

Wednesday, December 06, 2017


Our windows - all 24 of them - are in, wrapped and caulked and they look fabulous.

Sunday, December 03, 2017


It only took us about six weeks, but we finally got the IKEA wall shelf (called a Stenstorp in Danish) hung up just inside the back door yesterday.

All of the new windows except one are wrapped in exterior vinyl cladding and they make a huge improvement in the appearance of our house. The window guys are coming back tomorrow to finish up.

The novelty of looking out through clean clear windows hasn't worn off yet.

Friday, December 01, 2017

Window World at Work

The installation of windows, begun on Tuesday, continues today with the exterior trim.

We contracted with Window World to replace 24 windows and, so far, we love the results. It's not cheap, but it's an enormous improvement to the function and curb appeal of the house.