HOME

SO FAR, SO GOOD

I’m so busy moving in that I don’t have time to be homesick.  I’ve got to admit, this is easier than I expected.  The diet is also. In Chicago, every other block presents a restaurant with exceptional food.  You can’t drive by a Lou’s without thinking about eating a slice of deep-dish pizza and a salad. Then there is the Asia Noodle House with its fried Udon dishes, Kaufman’s for deli and the list goes on and on.

I’ve yet to explore the food opportunities in Charlotte and as long as I don’t, I’ll avoid the cravings, making my diet easier to follow.  I’ve fallen in love with the air fryer.  Its easy and does not heat up the house.  Last night I had panko crusted flounder fried without oil.  It was pretty good.  Fried fresh apples are phenomenal for dessert.

Slowly but surely, our house is becoming a home.  Today we are concentrating on hanging pictures. As I’ve previously said, each picture has a story and watching those stories unfold as we hang the pictures brings a smile to my face.  Each picture hung makes this place more like a home. I bought a picture today that I really like.  It makes me feel like I’m at the ocean and I always imagined that I would live by the ocean.  It’s definitely too big for our small abode but I don’t care!  At my age, I don’t have to be conventional.  Unfortunately, Renee is conventional and is not going to like it, so we’ll probably take it back.  What do you think?  If it looks a little distorted it’s because it’s wrapped in bubble wrap.

I’m a novice at putting pics in my blog, Please excuse the wobble.

Jeremy, Allyson and RJ are coming this weekend.  I’m excited and can’t wait to play with RJ.  Due to Covid-19, it’s been entirely too long since I’ve seen them.  I expect we will be heading to Atlanta soon, so I’ll get a double dose of Jeremy’s family.

I’m going to take a nap now.  Our fire alarm went off at 1 this am and beeped the rest of the night.  It’s sad but true that “quality” and “pride” are two words that no longer exist when it comes to manufacturing.  Most of the furniture that we bought arrived with factory defects and has to be replaced.  The fire alarm is only 2 months old and already, the batteries are dead. Sorry, I’m bitching.  I promised myself I’d be upbeat and, I am.

Here’s your music and joke of the day:

Quality control at a Whack-a-Mole factory

…Is either hit or miss

Unfortunately, the jokes on us!

.

DECISIONS

I’ve spent a lifetime making decisions for others.  Many times, the decision I made had life or death ramifications.  As a doc, it was my job to make those decisions and I made them if I wanted to or not.  Right of wrong, the weight of the decisions I made rested on my shoulders.

When I wasn’t playing doc, I avoided making decisions as much as possible.  I left most decisions to Renee whether it was fair or not.  She understood and took on the responsibility of running the home and business.  At times, I suspect my children wondered why I turned to their mother to make pretty much all family decisions.  I’m sure I appeared “whipped.”

The wonderful part of our marriage is that we seem to innately know what each other wants and make every attempt to fill those needs.  Sometimes we miscommunicated as do all married couple.  One of those instances involved a picture of a mother and her young daughter.

When we packed to move to NC, I realized that every piece of art in the house had a story to tell.  In my second year of residency we went to an art auction with one of my professors.  There was a beautiful piece by Vickers and I bid $350.   At that time in our lives, $350 was a small fortune.  I saw what I thought was a look of disapproval on my young wife’s face, so I stopped bidding and it sold for $450.  After the gavel came down, she asked me why I quit bidding.  She wanted that picture despite the expense but wasn’t willing to make the decision to buy it on her own.

To make a long story short, I found an identical piece at a gallery in New York and bought it.  I learned two things that day. Number one was that no matter how sure I am of what my wife is thinking, I had better verify it.  Number 2: If she is responsible for all non-medical decisions, I don’t have to worry about them.

Now that I’m retired and we have moved, we are sharing decisions more equitably.  I can tell you I don’t like it.  Making the decision to send you to surgery or not was nothing compared to where we buy the TV for the family room and whether we buy a brand name or not.  Even worse is deciding which towels we put in the guest bathroom.

Being retired is so stressful. I think I’ll take a nap! Do I nap in the family room or on the porch?  Renee, can you decide for me?  I’m tired.

Here’s your music for the day, as well as a joke:

What do you call two fat people talking?
A heavy discussion.

DAY ONE

Two hundred and twenty-three massive pounds.  How is that possible?  I thought 165 pounds was too much.   Gaining that much weight was a long-term project.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable project with foreseeable major consequences.    My love affair with food has to end.  It’s going to be a messy divorce.  In the end, the nation’s food supply will be safe from my voracious appetite.

I’ve decided to follow my own advice and create a “Wellthy” plan.  I’m going to work on being positive about losing weight and not focus on all the luscious foods (stop that now,Stewart, I know you are thinking about Nothing Bundt Cake) I’m going to have to give up.  I know I teach that we never have to give up anything.  I preached that we simply have to cut back on/modify how we address food.

Are you old enough to remember the commercial that proclaimed, “I bet you can’t eat one?”  I am, and I lose that bet.  My children always said that in the Segal household, it was always “go big or go home.”  They were right.  One is not big.  One whole bag is!  In my case, it’s better to just not open the bag!

So, how is this going to work?  That’s the easy part.  I post my weight weekly and either I succeed, or I embarrass myself.  In other words, I put my money where my mouth is. While eating five-dollar bills doesn’t sound appetizing now, it may in a few weeks (maybe with some chocolate icing).  Yes, it’s best to keep a sense of humor abut such a grave matter (if I don’t, I’ll cry).

By the way, I want to thank one of my friends for sending me the air fryer.  It’s a marvelous device and will help me prepare new lower cal recipes

without sacrificing taste.  I’ll take any and all the help I can get in my long journey back to health and Wellth.  Being realistic, it’s going to take a year.  As I succeed, I hope others will join me and share their successes as well.

Here’s your music for the day.  Remember to click on the underlined words.  Here’s your joke:

What does one saggy boob say to the other saggy boob? If we don’t get some support, people will think we’re nuts.

Under the heading of jokes, I’d like someone to explain to me how you defund the police. Does defunding the police mean I can go 110 mph on the interstate?  Does it mean I can help myself to whatever I want as long as my gun is bigger than yours?  Who enforces the laws of the land?  I’m too old and fat to be a vigilante. 

Do they make diet MREs (field rations/meals ready to eat)?  It’s time to buy some.  Defunding the police can only lead to further chaos.  Maybe I should just enjoy eating and not worry about my weight.  Nah!  Got to get in shape now!

OOPS, THE SCALE CAME EARLY

This is not going to be easy.  I’ve never failed at anything I’ve put my mind to and I won’t fail this time. The scale arrived yesterday.  I wasn’t expecting it until Monday.  Should I get on it now?  I committed to starting Monday and Monday it will be.  

The other thing that arrived early was support from my prior patients.  One gentleman reminded me of what I said to him years ago.  Apparently, I said a lot of brilliant things years ago and now I need my readers to remind me of those pearls of wisdom.  In this case, I strongly advised him to go to the gym.  I told him to get on a treadmill behind a pretty woman and run.  It worked.  Now, if I can get Renee to walk in front of me, I can start my exercise.

So, I’ve got resolve, a vital component of success.  I’ve got a consulting team/coaches who surely will aid in my success.  My friend Will Power is present and committed to working with me.  I’ve been training for this for years.  Hell, I wrote the book.  Why am I sweating this?

I’ve never been this heavy in the past.  I’m betting that I am 50 pounds overweight.  That’s literally massive.  What did I tell you when you had a massive amount of weight to lose?  I would have told you to lose 5 pounds at a time.  I would have recommended that every time you hit a 5-pound goal you reassess where you are and if you want to continue.  I also would have been right. 

Five pounds is not massive.  It is doable! Ready, set, go!  I’ll start meal planning and shopping today.  I’ll start chasing Renee. If I get lucky, I’ll burn some extra calories.

Here is your music (remember to click on underlined word).  Here is your joke:

A guy is standing on the bathroom scale desperately sucking in his stomach.
“That’s not going to help,” says his wife.
“Yes, it will,” replies the man. “It’s the only way I can see the numbers!”

Actually this joke is no longer funny.

READY, SET, GO

Well, it’s no secret!  If I keep eating, I’ll become diabetic, hypertensive and be able to sub in for the Good Year blimp. I’ve played with all kinds of diets. Playing with your diet leads to weight gain.  I’ve blamed it on a lack of will power.  I’ve pitied myself into eating.  I’ve said, “I might as well eat if I can’t do anything else.”  I HAVE 101 REASONS TO EAT EVERYTHING IN SIGHT.

It’s all BS.  I know better!  When I was forced to retire, I really retired.  It’s time to come out of retirement!  It’s time to use my wealth of knowledge to rescue myself from BLIMPDOM! Blimpdom is not I place I wish to spend more time in.

One thing is certain.  When changing your diet and losing weight, having a partner helps.  I’m going to enroll my readers in my “Rescue Stewart from Blimpdom” project.  I’ve ordered a scale.  A scale is a merciless device that refuses to lie.  It points out your success as well as your failures. I’m going to report my weight to my readers once a week.  If I succeed, I expect a lot of praise.  If I fail, I expect constructive criticism.

I’m going on Weight Watchers and my Wellthy Plan again.  I’m living in the land of fresh fruits and vegetables and WW and Wellthy allow me to enjoy the fruit of the earth.  It’s going to be a long-term project.  I have not been on a scale in months.  I have to admit, I almost pulled into one of the truck weighing stations on the highway to get weighed but didn’t want to get fined for traveling over legal weight. 

Oh God, I just heard it’s National America Donut Day.  How could any loyal American not eat a dozen glazed Krispy Kreme today.  Not only am I living in the land of fruits and vegetables, but I’m also living in KK’s home state.  I guess I’ll start tomorrow.  

Maybe I’ll wait until the scale arrives.

Here’s your song and joke.

I TOOK MY PANTS TO THE CLEANERS AND THEY SAID THEY DIDN’T DO TENTS.

DISCRIMINATION

According to Wikipedia:  Parkinson’s disease, or simply Parkinson’s, is a long-term degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that mainly affects the motor system. As the disease worsens, non-motor symptoms become more common. The symptoms usually emerge slowly. Early in the disease, the most obvious symptoms are shaking, rigidity, slowness of movement, and difficulty with walking.” Wikipedia

According to Segal: A SOB, fucking bastard who randomly attacks you regardless of time of day or stage of life.  Yesterday was an excellent example. I woke up feeling great, even well balanced.  I wrote an article, made breakfast, and emptied a few boxes. Then I froze!  Yes, froze. I could not get my legs to work.  The rest of the day was crappy.  Renee, Lisa and Steve worked, I sat.  I hate sitting.  I make a lousy invalid.

This am was crappy again.  It’s 8 am and I’m starting to get better.  Strangely enough, I can’t type an “A”.  I keep hitting the cap lock.  My left pinky doesn’t want to obey.  So, why am I telling you this?

It’s important that you know that what you see is not necessarily true.  People tell me I look good. Some must be blind.  Some simply want to make me feel good by lying to me.  Others actually think I look good mainly because they don’t know me.  Looks can be deceiving.  You really can’t feel what another person feels even if you have the same thing.

Yes, if you have a lot in common with another person, you can feel a lot like them, but as individuals our feelings are our own.  As a Jew, I’ve felt anti-Semitism.  At the age of 21, a Virginia Congressman actually told my parents that I did not get into a prestigious Virginia school as the Jewish quota had been met.  In Mexico, the Sephardic Jews actually discriminated against the American Jews as we represented the Ashkenazi tribe.   Being discriminated against for any reason is miserable.

You may be asking yourself where I’m going with this.  So am I!  I’m typing as my thoughts come to mind and my mind usually takes me where it wants to go in a roundabout way.  Ah ha!  All of this has to do with the riots and social unrest.  I cannot pretend to know what it feels like to be discriminated against because of the color of your skin.  What happened to that poor soul, George Floyd, was horrifying and cannot be tolerated, but two wrongs really don’t make a right.  While protesting against discrimination makes a lot of sense, rioting and looting does not.  

 All of this brings me back to the concept of balance.  Despite the Parkinsonian random acts of terror I suffer from, I have to work hard to maintain my balance or be destroyed.  Society needs to work hard to regain its balance and eradicate racism and violence or be destroyed.  We need to come together as one, look for commonalities.

One last point.  Generalization is the haters tool. When I hear protestors spewing hateful rhetoric about “cops,” I cringe.  Those very remarks are racist.  Think about it!  Cops are being attacked/portrayed as “evil” because of a few bad individuals.  

I want to repeat what I ‘ve recently read on Facebook:

Nobody hates bad cops more than good cops.

I don’t judge people based on color, race, religion, sexuality or gender.  I base it on whether they’re an asshole or not.

Don’t be an asshole!  Work to understand the other person. It’s time to heal. There is no joke today as this is not a joking matter.

Here’s your song of the day.

HOW BALANCED ARE YOU?

The last two days have been dedicated to the concept of balance.  Just how balanced are you?  How do you find your balance?  How do you maintain it?

First, a confession.  At almost 69 years old and having practiced medicine for close to 40 years, I still can’t fully answer the last two questions above, so don’t fret if you can’t.  Despite all that is going wrong in today’s world, emotionally, I’m pretty balanced.  Currently, I find my balance in my granddaughter’s smile, humor and love.  Yesterday, in the midst of unpacking, she ate lunch and dinner with me, conspired to get a few extra M&Ms with me and showered me with hugs and kisses.

In answer to question number 3, well here I am in Indian Trail, North Carolina, halfway between my son in Georgia and my eldest in Virginia, and, of course, only 3 hours from my childhood friends.  Your hardest task of every day is maintaining your emotional balance.  

Ongoing, impending world-wide disasters currently are tugging at you and me, trying to knock us off balance.  Actually, tugging is too mild a word.  Covid is kicking our butts!  Unfortunately, most of the population is not dealing with Covid, magically wishing it away, following the lead of President Trump.  Please don’t ignore Covid-19.  Get your Covid-19 balance by establishing social distancing, wearing masks in public and WASHING YOUR HANDS! 

As for maintaining your balance, follow my lead.  Lean heavily on family and friends, hugs and kisses.  In a few hours, I’ll facetime with RJ, my grandson, and get a heavy dose of love.  He’s coming to visit in a few weeks, then we’ll go see him.  I’ll facetime with my brother as well.  Then, I’ll get back to unpacking.  My biggest decision today will be deciding where to put all of my junk!  

Oh yes, it’s time to prep for hurricanes.  It’s that time of the year and the first one may be coming shortly.  Prepping for anticipated problems is another way of maintaining your balance. Yes, I’ve been waiting for the third shoe to fall and here it is.

Oh yes, a little good music and humor will help maintain your balance as well.

Here’s your daily music and joke:

Bread is like the sun, it rises in the yeast and sets in the waist.  

Think about it! It certainly is true in my case. My waist has a lot in common with the equator; both are massive.

Soviet Premier Brezhnev, as is his habit, looks out the window of his Kremlin office at the morning sun.

“Good morning, Comrade sun” he says. The sun answers, “Good morning, Comrade Premier.”

About noon Brezhnev looks up through the skylight and says, “Good day, Comrade sun.” The sun dutifully answers,”Good day, Comrade Premier.”

In the afternoon Brezhnev peers out his window at the setting sun and says, “Good afternoon, Comrade sun.” “Fuck you, Brezhnev” says the sun. “I’m in the West now.”

BALANCE

It’s getting more and more difficult to write an uplifting article on a daily basis. Yesterday I reflected on balance, specifically, the balance between being an adult and keeping some part of your inner child alive.

After another night of riots and protest I’m particularly concerned about our future and waiting for the third plaque to hit.  Yes, I said plaque.  As if it was enough that we are suffering through a viral pandemic, now we have a violence pandemic sweeting through our country, tearing us apart.  Unfortunately, both of our modern-day plaques will be long lasting and leave deep scars.

So, how do we restore balance to our lives?  As a family physician, the newborn and pediatric side of the practice balanced out the losses seen while taking care of our elders.  Celebrate birth and mourn loss was a common factor in my life.

Yesterday was one of those days.  My granddaughter came over to play and play we did. Looking at the world through her eyes lifts my spirit.  She proudly proclaimed, “Zadie, I’m a sister!”  What an accomplishment!  What a joy!  Meanwhile, between cries, my grandson shot me a few smiles and some comic relief as he kept puking on my daughter.  I was transported back in time seeing my young wife in my daughter’s face and recalling being puked and pooped on as the kids’ grew into the adults they are today.

Then, the phone rang.  I recognized the voice immediately.  While I hadn’t seen him in over a year, he and his wife were core patients having placed their health in my hands close to 30 years ago.  He wanted me to know that his kind and gentle wife had died from Alzheimer’s.  I’m still crying.  She was a blessing to every soul she met, always smiling, always uplifting.  If you’ve seen me using walking sticks (ski poles) it was her that taught me about them.  

Once again, I was reminded of the need for balance and I cursed out loud.  Why does joy and happiness have to be balanced by overwhelming losses from viruses, protest and aging?  I’m not smart enough to answer that question.

Today, the movers come delivering my furniture and, more importantly, my underwear.  Packing and preparing for this move left me in a fog.  I packed the car with what I would immediately need.  Shirts and shorts but no underwear or socks.  Coffee maker, coffee pods, sweet-n-low and Cremora but no coffee mug, oatmeal but no bowl, shaving cream but no razor, etc.  The joy of moving into new digs naturally was balanced by the frustration of new devices that don’t work; the washing machine being one of those devices (the installer screwed up).  

Balance!  Know that with the good comes bad.  Celebrate the good and try not to dwell on the bad!

Here’s your music and a joke.

Morris, an 82 year-old man, went to the doctor to get a physical.

A few days later, the doctor saw Morris walking down the street with a gorgeous young woman on his arm.

A couple of days later, the doctor spoke to Morris and said: “You’re really doing great, aren’t you?”

Morris replied: “Just doing what you said, Doc. Get a hot mamma and be cheerful.”

The doctor said: “I didn’t say that. I said, You’ve got a heart murmur – be careful.”

NEW DAY

We’re here.  After spending two glorious nights in the Virginia mountains with my childhood friend, we arrived yesterday at noon.  Restaurants here are open for business and half the people I’ve seen are ignoring the risk of catching Covid.  Luckily for me, the waitress who was wearing a mask waited on us.  Had the non-masked waitress approached the table, I would have sent her away.

The problem with pissing off restaurant staff is they really might spit in your food.  In college, I worked at Barnaby’s and witnessed such vile behavior.  While spitting in someone’s food was not tolerated, other less obnoxious behavior was.  We were kids having fun at work.  The reaction to a little too much hot sauce on the buffalo wings was hysterical, that is if you were not on the receiving side.

As the saying goes, “Boys will be boys.”  That thought brings me around to the subject of today.  There are myriad of expressions that say the same thing.  “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It also makes Jack a grown up.

Over the years, I’ve found that the adults who still have some kid left in them are the most fun to be around.  When Jack and I worked together, each of us inspired the other’s inner kid to come out and play.  Keeping our inner kid alive and healthy is, for the most part, good.  It’s also very hard to, especially in today’s world.

Like everything else in life, striking a balance between being an adult and being a kid, is critical.  As a doc, my most enjoyable patients were adult kids.  They were also the most dangerous.  They tended not to follow instructions.  For the most part, they acted as if they were Supermen. They also tended to be overweight and out of shape.  They tended to have high blood pressure and diabetes.  They did not do any preventive procedures like colonoscopy or prostate exams because, in their minds, they were impervious to disease and illness.

Finding the proper balance in caring for them was difficult as well.  I never wanted to kill the kid in them, just stifle it on occasion.  Unfortunately, sometimes I turned “Jack” into a dull boy.

That brings us around to talking about me. As the elder Doc Segal, I was definitely all adult and somewhat dull.  The kid in me was dead.  Then I got lucky.  I got sick and was forced to retire.  Pat and Jerry, both longtime patients of mine, stepped up and began rehabilitating the child in me.  They brought out my sense of humor and, unfortunately, my love of food.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not blaming them for my obesity; I’m blessing them for being there when I needed them.  Not being able to play with them is one of my biggest losses from my move to NC.  It’s been fun, guys!  Thanks, again.

Now, it’s time to grow up.  Thirty extra pounds is killing me.  Trying not to kill my inner kid while losing weight and exercising is going to be a real task.  So, it’s off to meet the neighbors in hopes of finding a sensible playmate.  I’ll keep you appraised of my successes and failures.

Here’s your song for the day. Here’s a joke for the women:

Why don’t little girls fart?  Answer-Because they don’t have assholes until they get married!

Doctor: “What seems to be the problem today?” Patient: “Doc, I’ve got the farts. I mean I fart all the time,” The Doctor nods, “Hmm.” Patient: “My farts do not stink and you can’t hear them. It’s just that I fart all the time. Look, we’ve been talking here for about 10 minutes and I’ve farted five times.” “Hmm,” says the Doctor, as he picks up his pad and writes out a prescription. The patient is thrilled “Thank you Doc. This prescription, will it really clear up my farts?” “No,” sighs the Doctor, “The prescription is to clear your sinuses, it stinks like a fermented diaper in here. Next week I want you back here for a hearing test.”

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/barjokes/fartjokes.html

MOVING DAY

The movers will be here at 8 am and Renee and I will hit the road on Friday.  I had lunch today with friends and we discussed how cavalier people have become when dealing with COVID.  Now that the US is opening for business, people are ignoring the rules governing safe social distances and mask and flooding the beaches and other venues.  It’s no wonder.  We are like prisoners who are finally paroled and able to join society.

In the past, I’ve written about the fact that I love being wrong.  In this case, if I’m wrong, I’ll be ecstatic.  Unfortunately, I don’t think I’m wrong.  I think COVID is waiting for another chance to pounce on us and some of us are going to provide that chance.  A second closing of our country would be disaster on multiple levels!  The psychological damage that it would do is beyond comprehension.

Please be cautious!  If the beach or pool is mobbed, walk away.  If the restaurant is busy, get takeout and go home.   I can’t say it enough, wash your hands!  While I find it hard to believe that cloth mask do anything, wear your mask.  Do whatever you can NOT TO BE IN THE SECOND WAVE.

I’m glad stores are opening.  I believe that we can safely establish a new norm by respecting everyone’s safe zone.  I also believe that those that don’t give nature the respect she deserves may well remove themselves from the gene pool.

Here’s your music for the day.  Click on the underlined words. Here’s your joke (not really a joke): I need to practice social distancing from … the refrigerator. Alex Bode wrote: “We won the war against Coronavirus the same way we won the war against Vietnam.  It got too expensive, so we pretended that it was over.