Sunday, July 29, 2012

Desktops, Laptops, Netbooks, Tablets, Smart Phones, oh my

Computer offerings have exploded.  This blog entry is targeted for novice users as an introduction to the many computer options that are currently available.  Finding the type of computer device that will work for you can be a challenge.  In some instances you will find that you will want more than one type of computer depending on your needs.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Drugs, Urine and Old People

One of the first things that I learned from B (my social work mentor), many years ago as an intern doing home care to geriatric patients was to avoid the soft furniture.  As recommended by B, whenever you do a home visit always shoot for the hard, wooden furniture.  It was advice well taken.  Two of my most prominent memories of from the experience was the smell of incontinence and the sight of an exploding medication stash.

Mick the Wonder Dog is now around 14 and sadly he has had a few "accidents" in the house.  Fortunately, as far as I know the humanoids of the house are still continent and, in my subjective opinion, have done a reasonably good job responding to Mick's accidents.  That was the good news...

While in bygone days, the "pill stash" consisted of prescribed medications, both the current ones as well as the ones that you never threw out; today's "pill stash" often reflects the hottest, make yourself healthy, natural remedies and vitamins.  What started off simple with one or two, has somehow reproduced like rabbits on Cialis.  This photo reflects my kitchen, "don't want to forget to take that" stash:

many bottles of pills

Yes, I should be running marathons with all this stuff.  It started off simple; oh, vitamin C will help with the common cold.  At one time I added vitamin E, too, but I no longer take that one.  Every educated person today knows that you need Omega 3s, so fish oil, check - got it.  Let's not forget the CoQ-10, which is essential to counteract the side effects of the prescribed cholesterol medication (statin).  I have a bit of seasonal depression so got to have the St. John's Wort plus add a bit of D3 for good measure.  But wait, I read that D3 by itself was no different in some study against a placebo... hmmm, what to do?  Good news, a new study, Calcium plus D3 seems to be better - oh yeah, a two-fer!  I was feeling a bit draggy in the morning so I thought maybe if I add some protein.  So I added the protein, but I think I might have a bit of milk intolerance... good thing I have the Ginger Root to settle down the stomach!  I've been under a bit of stress lately; good thing I watched a few minutes of Dr. Oz a few weeks ago - that and a few minutes on and I'm good to go with some Theanine... and just in case I missed anything, I have a multivitamin - "Alive!  Men's 50+" - it sounded good, but it seems way too strong - I split it in half and take it very sparingly.

The scary part is the stuff I just discussed is just the kitchen stash.  It does not includes all the over the counter (OTC) medications and other assorted pills stashed throughout 2.5 bathrooms...

so I wonder, are 30 somethings also taking these pills OR am I officially on my way to being "old people?"

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Family of Five Vacation

I'm a bit behind on my weekly post; just returned from a mostly successful family vacation.  There have been a number of family vacations where I truly think I was ready for a vacation AFTER the vacation (but not with the family...).  This one was for 5 nights to Virginia Beach, an approximate 9 hour drive from our home.  Selecting a hotel was the first big challenge and for families of 5 this is an even greater challenge.  For the most part, restaurants and hotels accommodate 4 and less very well.  Square table typically sit up to 4 people.  Likewise hotel rooms typically offer 2 double or queen beds.  Thus, the dilemma - does number 5 sleep on the floor?  We do have an air mattress OR maybe the hotel can provide a roll-away.   If they provide a roll-away, is there an extra charge?  Some do and some don't...  How do you select who sleeps where?  If you're staying 5 nights, it does not fit into a "fair" rotation (and no, my wife and I won't be in the rotation).

Since it was for only 5 nights, we decided to splurge and stayed in an ocean front room in the Hampton Inn North.  It was probably a good decision, the hotel provided a roll-away at no extra charge and on this particular trip, all seemed to settle in without debate - yeah!

Although clearly a beach destination, most in the family are not beach enthusiasts, excepting myself and S.  S and I both enjoyed soaking in the ocean and were also treated with numerous dolphin sightings.  K and my son, J, both enjoyed the pool.  The Virginia Beach destination was determined by my middle daughter's, K's, site of her dance competition.  The dance competition consumed a couple of days.  There's a reason why there is a couple reality shows with "Dance Mom".  No need to debate nature versus nature here - crazy parents (nature) and crazy environment (such as instances of scantily clad under-aged girls gyrating to racy music) equals double crazy kids... no kidding there were times I was experiencing flashbacks to ventures in strip clubs during my Army years... Thankfully, not all are of this genre.

While on vacation, we have come to enjoy taking the road less traveled in seeking out shopping opportunities.  I visited 3 Goodwill and 2 Salvation Army thrift stores while in Virginia Beach.  It is always fun to search for bargains and see the variety from among stores and locations.  Some great things about thrift store shopping is that you likely can well afford whatever you find AND your purchase goes to a worthy cause.  Also, for those environmentalists in the audience, you are re-using and thus reducing waste.

G's travel tips:

1.  Pack a pair of ear buds - even if you don't use them to listen to music, they can be handy to mute unwelcome noise.  I used my pair during the dance competition and it was great to be able to bring the dance music down a few decibels.

2.  Always, always, pack a night light.  No, none of us are "scared of the dark".  Rather, the bathrooms in hotel rooms always have very bright lights AND big mirrors.  There is nothing worse than using the bathroom in the middle of the night, snapping on the light and instantly being jolted to fully awake mode.  A night light placed in the bathroom at night allows you a soft lighting so you can stagger into the bathroom, do what you need to do without the instant wake up jolt.

3.  Use (and contribute to) sites like Trip Advisor and Yelp.  I will be posting my reviews on Trip Advisor.