One Year Later… (Time Approximate)

A lot has happened in the last year.

After my first blog post in January, 2018, I started going to Planet Fitness on a regular basis, bujt that only lasted for a few sessions. My brother developed an abscess under his arm and ended up being hospitalized. The hospital was 45 minutes away and I spent several days commuting back and forth which was enough to break my streak of fitness visits.

Once he came home and a few snowstorms later and the habit was broken. I couldn’t gather myself to get back in the gym.

Around the time of my 65th birthday, I gained medical insurance (in the form of Medicare Advantage) and I began seeing doctors. The primary care physician, who I will call Dr, Kate, diagnosed a number of conditions during our initial visit but was truly alarmed that I appeared to have an irregular heartbeat. It was alarming enough that she scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist that very day.

Six months later, I have seen seven doctors and had thyroid surgery once. Nothing life threatening, but almost all completely related to the excess weight that I’m carrying around. If I don’t want to be bankrupted by America’s wonderful health care system, lifestyle changes are necessary.

Last week, through Medicare Advantage, I joined a gym (insurance paid) and hired a personal trainer (personally paid). The idea behind the trainer is to keep after me and make sure I show up on a regular basis and keep me honest on form and effort.

Meanwhile, I’ve drastically re-worked what I consume for nourishment, I’m not sure whether that’s been completely successful. While I have made gains in certain areas, my body chemistry is, in my opinion, “shot to hell.”

I am more closely watching my measurements, both physical and medical. My mood is good; I want to see where I am when my birthday rolls around in six months. Hopefully, I’ll be more regular recording my activities,

Ciao for now!
Mike

[Originally published on myfitnesspal.com]

SimCity BuildIt returns to its roots

Electronic Arts and their Track Twenty (EA Helsinki) studio has released an updated version of the mobile game that refocuses the game back on city building as opposed to city destruction.  In the latest update, EA/TT has introduced three new regions where players can build new communities and use some of their stored inventory of currency and tchotchkes.

SCBI players have been begging for additional territory for some time now.  Yet, EA/TT added layer upon layer of game mechanics of which each changed the way the game played before.  When SimCity Club Wars was added to the mix, the game entered a period of destroying cities (albeit temporarily) for fun and profit.

The latest iteration somewhat returns the game to its roots: city building.  Players get to choose one of four new regions and build it out with the prospect of eventually opening up all four regions.  Basically, it potentially allows players the ability to build five areas as opposed to one.

There’s still going to be a conflict between players who wants to build cities and those who want to play war using SimCity as a backdrop.

Well, at least now you have a choice.

And so it goes.

A Controversial Condiment

On 11 April 2018, the H.J. Heinz Company, known for its 57 sauces, proposed another one in a public message on Twitter.

I’ll save you from doing the math.
511,880 respondents answered YES, which led to this.

Update: 25 September 2018

Apparently, it’s happening.
Although I haven’t seen it in stores, I have started to see adverts for it.
I made some homemade with Hellmann’s Mayonesa and Hellmann’s Ketchup.
Very tasty.
How it compares to the Kraft Heinz product remains to be seen.

 

In Search Of Raktajino

It all got started with a discussion about Deep Space Nine.

My brother and I were talking about the regular presentations of the various Star Trek series on BBC America. Yet, very seldom do you see any episodes of Deep Space Nine on that channel. However, I subscribe to Netflix and Verizon Fios recently added access to Netflix to its services; so I set up my brother on my Netflix account and showed him how to access DS9 and that should have been that.

However, it’s been a while since I’ve watched DS9 myself and it got me thinking about Raktajino. or simply put, Klingon coffee. While not as rabid a Trekkie (or is it Trekker‽) as some, I have my moments when I get engaged with a topic and won’t let it go. So it was with raktajino.

Like the deconstruction of the Klingon language, you just know some enterprising person had come up with a recipe for Klingon coffee as well. So, I called upon my trusted friend, Google Assistant, to direct me to a recipe.

Mikeylito: Hey, Google! Recipe for raktajino.
Assistant: Here are some results from the web.

There were recipes for an alcoholic beverage which I’m anxious to try and a couple of convoluted non-alcoholic ones which are spicy equivalents to a Dunkin Donuts Dunkaccino.

One correspondent, pen name Siderite, has an entire blog post, The Quest for Raktajino, where he explores the chemistry of creating a recipe. Another young lady, pen name MommaTrek, has another blog post, also titled The Quest for Raktajino, that has the two predominant recipes found on the web for this coffee/cocoa hybrid.

Oddly enough, the most bland description of raktajino comes from “The Star Trek Cookbook” (ISBN:0671000225). In it, the authors, Ethan Philips (a/k/a “Neelix”) and William J. Birnes, describe the beverage essentially as an aged java mixed with “dark French roast or Italian espresso beans that you grind yourself.” What?

After all this investigation, I have devised my own recipes for the non-alcoholic variety and they are presented elsewhere on this site but are basically similar versions of the coffee and cocoa combination. They are dubbed Raktajino Dark and Raktajino Light. They are works-in-progress. The recipes may be updated depending on how adventurous I get in the future.

And so it goes.

Beverage: None

The Meaning of Life

It is the ultimate existential question.
What is the meaning of life?

Life is a near-infinite series of choices, decisions.

You can choose either A or B and once the decision is made, you can’t really know what the outcome of the other choice would have been at the time you chose.

Life is serendipity.

As you experience it, you never really know what awaits you around that next corner and how that thing awaiting you will affect your choices and decisions in the future.

Life is destiny, happenstance.
It all depends on your outlook.

In the past, my blog was titled One Man’s Eye View and it was my perspective on various topics and events of the day. That chapter is over now.

Going forward, the blog will be known as Coffee Grounds.
It will still be a distilled look at life albeit filtered by a cup of coffee.

It took many years to come to some acceptance of my state.
I’m fascinated by the world around me and at events as they unfold. Things that were important to me in the past hold no meaning. Things that were irrelevant are now imperative.

You can read or not read; it doesn’t matter.
You can agree or disagree; that’s likewise immaterial.
The purpose here is to expound on the circumstances of life.
With any luck, the meaning will become clearer.

And so it goes.

Beverage:     Raktajino Dark

“No Excuses” Day

Planet Fitness, Bay Shore NY

I have tried to start a meal plan and exercise program so many times before, but as I approach my 65th birthday, I think it’s imperative to get in the best possible shape in order to reduce expenses and remain healthy.

So, as 2018 dawned, a piece of junk mail arrived and motivated me to join a gym. I have not had a regular gym membership since the 1980s. I’m twice the age I was then. I think back on that time and I know from that experience that if I stay focused, I can achieve the healthy and active lifestyle I desire to have.

So, I’ve bought a pair of new cross-training shoes, a couple of basketball shorts and a gym membership to a dubious outfit named Planet Fitness. Dubious because it feeds its members pizza and bagels. However, I look at that as an exercise in self-control. Nobody is forcing me to eat pizza and bagels at the gym… at least, not that I’m aware of,

So, today, Tuesday, 16 January 2018, is “No Excuses” Day.
I have 75 cents for the bus, a new backpack, a bottle of water and a new winter coat. There’s nothing keeping me from going to the gym except procrastination.

Stay tuned.

Ciao for now!
Mike

[Originally published on myfitnesspal.com]