Perhaps the summer does some good….the ‘riot act’ has held…183 lbs is real

RFLKRNEW1230This one will be a tad short. If only because the heat, being what it is seems to want to do a major number on PC’s, cable television….as well as the cats and their human. Hence this will be short….

The above said…..apparently, the diet/riot act has held solid. In fact….the numbers are lower now and the floor has been reached. 183 lbs is a reality. While the initial portions of this have been the result of major changes in the diet, exercise, encouragement from the friends I have [even if this close bunch are online…they are still that and have been mentioned in rather great, wondrous and loving detail in previous posts] ….and that is a MAJOR deal around here], my cats and of course……the ‘gang of five’.

None of this is to brag…far from it. If it is bragging to admit that there is someone who is not willing to follow the ‘conventional wisdom’ or lack of same, as to what someone who has my….well….let’s say melanin level and mindset[s] (we do not need to mention what that is, even with the previous month being what it was. That ‘mindset’ is 1/xxxxxxx of what goes on and that is that)…then fine…it is that. But in no way is that how this has been expressed from here. More like a surprise that in spite of everything that has happened this has been a major positive event. A pleasant surprise….although I do not think it would fall under the category of something written by Rod Serling or O. Henry.  Still the resultant side effects of same have been wonderful. Light and more able to amble through the strangeness that the humans in this part of the world and otherwise are willing to throw at each other.

 

Oh yes:

 

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Apparently no matter which shade is used on which day, the benefit of the above shows through. And on those days when I am out, having Renaissance on the CD player eases the mindset, no different than listening to the diverse music collection at home does. To paraphrase one of my heroes, the late Mel Allen:

 

HOW ABOUT THAT!!!!!!

 

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So there you have it. Til next month, from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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We have an addendum to the last post…which is all good *S*

RFLKRNEW1218Well there is a short update to the good post from last time.  For this, we have my bro, Todd the nephrologist to thank for same…

A couple weeks ago, there was some more bloodwork that was done. Standard….every 6 months, the oil changes are done. We have a little fun with this, in that these folks be it down the block or over at Providence downtown seem to put up with this crazy redhead. In any event, the first set of numbers that came back were great. Or in the terms I used around the cats….they were ‘killer-diller, man’ *S* That was however the appetizer.

 

RFLKRNEW1216When I saw Todd yesterday, the full extent became clear. All the numbers, save for one were great. Even the creatinine numbers were down. From a 2.2 average to a 1.9. From a mid-low level three kidney failure to a high level 2/low level 3 failure.  At this stage this is amazing. This is something that is worth shouting about, which I did around Rae and Marty….as well as with those folks I am very close to otherwise. [If you saw the last blog or read through several of them, you know who these persons are…and they give a damn as I give a damn about them]. That one number that was odd, being the Vitamin D …it can be fixed, which will give me another reason for getting carded at Target :)

Oh yes, Todd reminded me of how far things have changed. When I first saw him, I was at the 240 lb ballpark. Keep in mind, this was about 18 months after really getting read the riot act by Steve the cardio. But the 240 seems parsecs back, seeing now I am at the 183-185 ballpark. And with all that has been done, yeah I had better keep things that way. After all…this is better than living down to, what some may want to see in  those who have a background like mine…..failing to understand that doing so may cause more trips to the doc, let alone to have the pipes cleaned. And I do not mean with Drano.

Those numbers also said that there is still no way that…. even if I wanted to, would I be able to be administered that elective cocktail in order to fit in. Again, one can do this and do so sans that…..and yeah life can still be cool. It’s a matter of who they are around….a matter of there being a mutual understanding and like with those who are aunts and uncles to Rae and Marty….supporting each other because they are doing things the right way, sans peer pressure or an artificial egotistical need.  [Sorry, I have been taking some unofficial psychology courses and the borderline technical text comes through, but the points make sense]

 

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So there it is…the mini update.  And until the next dispatch from these parts……from the land of the colourtini……enjoy the words as the pictures fly through the air.

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And now we set up some benchmarks for the upcoming year….as well as acknowledging those who have helped in getting to this point

RFLKRNEW1212If one is wondering what the title means, this has to do in part with the fact that I have passed through the two yearly visits with Steve the Cardio and Wai the rheumatologist…with flying colors. With little worry, outside of a possible issue with pinched nerves on the left side. But they were shocked by the fact that…..well there is much less of their patient in front of them…and that is a good thing.
RFLKRNEW1213Hence one of the things I need to insure and set the benchmark for same. As in when I do walk into those offices again in 365 days or so, that I do not look any different in those key indicators. For some this may seem to be a rather arduous task, here it’s just par for the course. Make sure that nothing gets out of hand food wise [see previous posts about the diet here…which has it’s own restrictions….and those have paid off], keeping as much as possible to the exercise schedule. That is something more akin to the errand runs and those include some running for the bus, walking more between shops …as long as there is a reasonable distance and lifting more, even if there is a little ‘pain’ in same. Heck, that is less expensive than a gym membership…..and more self-directed.

There is an intangible in this and that is surrounding myself with good people. As in those friends, online and off who are not just aces as people…..but and pardon the colloquialism….give a damn. To give you an example of who/what I mean…and this very short listing is in no particular order..let me name a few:

– Sky Cherry …..someone who I have known for the past 6 years of so and up til this week, we knew and spoke online or via Skype. She was in town this week on a holiday from the UK with her beau Robert and we picked up in person, where our social media chats have gone. Yeah in one day, a few hours of chatting face to face it is like we have been next door neighbors for years. That was so darn cool and I am lucky to have her as a friend, as well as a fellow pet parent *S*

– Grace H. ….a friend from twitter for YEARS who is very very much like my twin on so many things. And in a few pics, one can see why I say that. In addition…and this cannot be said enough….the support we give each other on what goes on here and where she lives in Holland…be it school, family, health, work…. makes waking up and logging on all the more worthwhile. We talk practically every day and my cats know that she is one of those many reasons why there is a smile on the face after :) Because Grace is one truly amazing person *S*

– Wendy Biji….like Grace, we have known each other for years. Also like Grace, she is from Holland and we have been as close as anyone could get in this world of bits and bytes. She is as cool as she is as wonderful to talk to, wonderful to bring ideas up with and is as honest as the day is long. She, like Grace is another person what has happened here…in the way of the good…never would have come about in the way that it has, if she was not in the picture.

– Rubi Kayobi….my online partner in crime *S* Who would have known that a Brooklyn ‘tude would reside in Bloomington, Indiana???And I am happy for that one every day. Be it in text, on facebook or even voice, we sync up very well. The fact that she and her hubby Chad are down with so much makes the friendship even cooler. And like with others, there is that support for a lot too, which is genuine. Pure….and just amazing. Oh yes, she like a few others inspires me to go out there with the camera and try to match their standard.

– Mira Rodnova…one of the people I tutor and someone who has helped to restore my faith in the good that can come through the educational system. Be it here or in Russia, where she resides. When we talk, the chats are like those with that sister or relative who is so excited to wake up, see the day as another one to make a mark on…..and then repeat the day after. She like others I know are going to make one hell of a mark in this world, heck she already has in having a science article published, as well as school and other related work.

– Jon and Janet Camp…you may already know that Jon was the bassist for Renaissance, my fave living musician….but what you may not know is that he and his wife Janet are incredible folks. Really cool…..fellow cat parents, so well versed on what is really important in this life. In addition, when I speak with either, it is like being home among people one grew up with….even if they are in the UK and you are in the US. Then again, as a music fan…I did grow up with Ren being a major MAJOR  part of the soundtrack when I was a kid….and now I pass that on to not just Rae and Marty….but to my friends [case in point: the last item posted on YT used the live version Ren did of Paul Simon’s ‘America’ and this has to do with the message implied in the opening lyric, which was a message in turn for a dear buddy of mine].

– Terence Sullivan….former drummer for Renaissance….and is one hell of a person as well. There is something about those who play the skins being some of the more philosophical, grounded and at the same time …wilder people in a band. Terry is that ….as well as being one hell of a songwriter and over the years….even with the distance bet here and the UK has become one of that group of ‘Godparents’ to my cats. Oh yes…..when the classic material is on, my cats KNOW it is them and that their Godparents are raising the roof/ rocking the joint.

– Elena Mi….a long term friend…twitter and FB, cat parent and also my riding partner due to the fact we talk about business, cats, health and life overall. She is from Moscow and even with the distance, we are there for each other. No matter when. I am blessed to know there is someone like her in this world, really happy…because that shoulder has seen the kitties and I through a lot and I hope I have done the same…

– Nadya Gatllen…one of my online sisters and a really longtime friend. Even though she is in Jakarta…when we talk, it is not only like we are across the street, the block or in town, but like we have been there since day one. She knows me as well as anyone listed here, shared in the good times, comforted when they have not been so good. Plus…she is, like others in ‘my gang’, on her way to making one hell statement in this world, because she is bright. Passionate and compassionate…and inspires others because of that.

– Stephanie Adam….another one of those who will make one hell of a mark on this world. In addition to talking tech or term papers, we talk about Sherlock Holmes, cats and music. And when you know someone who hails from Vienna, that means they are blessed to have not just a rich tradition in same, but some great halls to hear same. As I tell the cats….when Stephanie makes her presence known in this world, it will be rocked.

– Max Camui and Linden Valentine…What can I say about my bros???? Bright, witty, sharp…and due to the fact there are somewhat similar journeys going on, we trade notes and have honest discussions based on same. [Oh Yeah….they are NYC ex pats, living outside of Charlotte]. That said, I am proud of both of them because they are doing this in a way where …yeah ‘that item’ is there, but it’s 1/xxxxx of what is going on. And with all that going on, I am happy to say they are a part of the Godfather Contingent that Rae and Marty have *S*

– Ana S. and Maria Karmilatova…..these two….from different parts of Russia have been and always will be part of why I am still around. They have seen me through some items here which were rather difficult, by being great friends. By having great ears, wonderful hearts. Be it via exchanges in the post, or being online…I have truly been lucky to have made friends with folks who are just plain cool and who are making others feel good about what is going on with them at the same time.

– Rachael Allen…the late night postings here get their approval from my friend and fellow writer. AND SHE IS A SUCCESSFUL ONE!!!!!!  YAY!!!!! The fact she is formerly from the Baltimore area is a real plus, because we have a great common point of reference. [having spent summers there as a kid] As in that time about 30-40 years ago, when ….while not perfect…..there was something about that area. The music, the food and in some ways the people, who were not as….well as overtly insane as recent events show. And while she and her hubby are in the UK now…all that has to happen is for one of us or a friend to bring up what we loved about that town and it’s on *S*

– Anggrika Bonita …..Someone I talk to every day, one way or another and even with the time difference between here and Jakarta…we are tight. There are many things we have in common and something says her cat, like my two know there is something special in the friendship when we connect. The meeting of the minds is amazing, the inspiration which is mutual is just as same. One cannot bottle that even if they want to…..it happens and is a beautiful thing…

– Ophelia Jenkins….There is something to be said about meeting someone who reminds one of all the really cool qualities of a friend from years ago. It’s as though the mindset and the beauty in same had been hanging in the air from upstate NY from all those years back and found a new home in the UK, with Ophelia’s visage. And when we talk, yeah, man….it’s as though this has been going on for many, many years. Not only does she inspire with her pics, she inspires in other ways, thanks to the wide range of the conversation. History, modern events as well as some deep issues that show even with the differences that are present, there are also some threads that are common and in turn, bring folks closer together as buds. And like with the others mentioned above, as well as those talked about in detail before….the connection is for life, thanks to the good that is here. [Oh yeah….I forgot to mention…the senior partner here has informed me on many occasions that ‘Mom, do nothing to cause a demise in this friendship, because unlike your collection of Renaissance discs, friendships cannot be picked up at a store or ordered through Amazon. And I will scratch you to no end if you do mess this one up *S*]

Again there are others…who I have listed a while back and I would be lost without them being there. No slights were meant in not listing others [including one who if you have been reading along, then you know where the heart lies there :)]…the above was a sample, a cross section. A cross section that exists because it does….an organic one, as opposed to a collection to be collecting. Friends are people…..great friends are great people and not baseball cards.

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So there you have it, another dispatch from this outpost in the PNW. And in another 30 days or so, there should be another…wireless permitting…til next month….from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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RIP John Tout…..the first keyboardist for Renaissance….The progressive rock standard bearer.

On the morning of May 4th, I got a notice that John Tout, the man who was on piano and other keyboards for Renaissance, during their ‘Classic Five’ era passed on. His journey around the sun ended on May 1st, but that was just his physical body. It’s the work, the influence and the joy he brought to all of us that is going to live on.

While he was not front and center in the band as Annie Haslam, Jon Camp or the late Michael Dunford were….John along with Terence Sullivan …who was on drums…were the time keepers of the band. Well that is a little simplistic, John’s mastery of the keyboards…..from their first album ‘Prologue’ to ‘Azure d’ Or’ which comprised the ‘Classic Five’ collection was unmistakeable. As impressive as Stravinsky or Prokofiev…..as laid back cool as Dave Brubeck….as effortless as Oscar Peterson…while making his name in progressive circles as important as Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Tony Banks, Michael Pinder, Richard Wright or even Richard Tandy. That is one hell of a group to be a part of.

If one wants to understand how broad this range is, give a listen to any of the following songs by Renaissance and you will get the overall gist:

– ‘Prologue’

– ‘Kiev’

-‘ Can You Understand’

– ‘Ashes Are Burning’

– ‘Running Hard’

– ‘Mother Russia’

– ‘Trip To The Fair’

– ‘Can You Hear Me’

– The Captive Heart

– ‘Day Of The Dreamer’

– ‘As Song For All Seasons’

– ‘Jekyll and Hyde’

– ‘The Flood At Lyons’
He excelled and extracted  deep emotions feelings  in the compositions through his playing, be it on a grand piano to electric keyboards from Moog, Yamaha, ARP, Mellotron and others. In the process, he taught us all HOW it is done. Which is what the next generation[s] of keyboardists for Renaissance were to follow.

Peter Gosling, Mick Taylor, Rave Tesar, Mickey Simmonds, Tom Brislin, Jason Hart and others have had some pretty big shoes to fill and 88’s to knock out. But if John Tout was not there in the beginning……then the lessons would not have been given, the standard would not have been set. But we were blessed, in concert, on disc and on the radio to hear, to enjoy…to be taken on one hell of an aural trip thanks to John Tout.

RIP Bro…..

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Not so much a May-Day per se…

RFLKRNEW1197While there is a bad pun implied, most folks out there know that when there is a May-Day call made, it means there is an emergency. A malfunction on an airplane or a boat and a need for expedited, immediate assistance. That is not the case here, well at least in the health vein. Perhaps in the housing arena, but that issue and the strategy behind same will not be played out here, seeing that would be petty, trifling…as well as uncalled for and even something out of the ‘prior restraint’ ballpark.

Those items mentioned in the above litany, the health ones we can talk about. Yes, the 100lb drop has been accomplished and when all adjustments, etc were made..it’s official. That drop from the high of 283 lbs, the same number that caused my bro Steve the Cardio to read me the riot act a few years back…..has been achieved. While it was a matter of changes to the diet, removing items that needed to be …exercising more, avoiding the traps of the fast food joints that seem to crop up in some neighborhoods, more than they would others. As well as being around those who are genuinely supportive about what is going on. ‘Genuinely’ being that they care beyond the ‘hi, how are you…how are the cats’ level of conversation etc [Be they **** or others *S*]. And this goes for the members of ‘The Gang Of Five’ and their staffs as well.

RFLKRNEW1199That level of honesty and intellectual intimacy is wonderful. As well as rare. If only due to the fact that this world….and in particular, many in my generation practice this…have turned being dishonest in relationships into an art form [which at times, seems to be rewarded by those who also delineate things based on race, religion, class, aspired to status, as has been mentioned in previous posts]. A rather sick art form….and in it’s own way, contributes to the lower and lower levels of discourse that does exist. It is any wonder then why the younger generation [not the folks I hang out with …as in the aunts and uncles to Rae and Marty]…but quite a few in the younger age groups take their cues on how to interact, relate and deal with family relationships etc from us and then fail. Miserably, as well as inflict some rather ugly emotional pain on others, if only because we tend to want to do same and then wear the entrails of those like medals from a battle. Strange, isn’t it??

But the ones who I run with [along with the cats] they are and continue to be aces. Yes, in spite of the rather visceral way that humans tend to act, that family of mine [created not genetically ascribed to] has helped to keep me grounded. Happy, thought provoked, engaged and needed. Which in it’s own way, accounts for why I do not look anywhere near the biological odometer number…..let alone STILL GET CARDED. Pretty darn cool, huh??*S*

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So that is it for now. I will leave the other social and political interjections for another time…or for other minds who have a higher tolerance for the bile and excrement, that those who really have little interest in the society acting in a human willingly inflict on the rest of the planet. As usual…til next time…from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the pics as the words fly through the air.

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Sidd Finch Lives again….

RFLKRNEW1170No I am not channeling my inner George Plimpton, however, seeing this is the day this is being posted, it is rather apt. For those who do not remember, look up on the Sports Illustrated site for what this is in reference to *S*

In any event, we celebrate here …..in addition to this being Marty’s first Easter, it is also time to honor the fact that the fast held.Yep…..and of all things, we do have a floor for the weight. It is not 180, rather it is 190lbs. Now granted, it is 10 lbs off of where I wanted to be, which was 180. Hence I could scare the daylights out of Steve the Cardio in May. Only kidding there, I love the guy like he is my brother and we do kid each other during those visits. No different than with my other docs. However, the 190 is one hell of an accomplishment, considering where things were before. As Rachel my oldest cat could tell you, as the ‘gang of five’ could tell as well……I was so far out of shape and close to other crap 3+ years ago, that Steve did read me that infamous ‘Riot Act’. Now…well you see the results here.

RFLKRNEW1180As for everything else going on..Marty is fully a member of the family and while I do get a tad upset that she decides to wake me up ad the oddest of hours, as long as she and Rachel are happy and healthy, that is what matters. In addition to same, the fact they do not get near any of the water in this place or any part of the plex helps a great deal. The city has really not gone out of it’s way to make overall improvements to other aspects of life in this section of town, outaide of some isolated pockets, so the issue with the water is nothing new. Hence, as long as they are going to be…pardon this…jerks about the issue, the kitties will be on filtered water. As well as being careful about their other food. No different than how I am about my own diet.

Before closing this out two other thoughts:

– One has to wonder if what has happened in the midwest was some type of karmic response to how some, in the name of fairness put themselves above the law or, have usurped the issues facing other groups, which have been part of their dialog and struggle for years. What that midwest state did in their recent passing of a draconian bill was and is another definition of insanity, but some of those who are saying they are the  ‘downtrodden’ [again not my friends or those I am close to due to other reasons, I mean those adults who are setting this example and those who are gullible enough to swallow same] have made it easy for such legislation to be passed by acting in ways that are myopic, selfish and egocentric. There are several other states that have similar bills pending and if they pass, it will show to the rest of the world, we are becoming more and more balkanized. As well as showing that Margaret Atwood was right about where we were headed. And if this seems a little out of place, keep in mind that Bill Maher said basically the same thing, in a piece about how the left has a similar, mirror version of those not playing with a full deck as the right has. Hence,  great minds do think alike.

RFLKRNEW1186– A couple of the pics here were from a bit of an experiment, due to the fact that…..yes, we can do this as well [As well as being inspired to do so by some of ‘my kids’…who are aces]. There is a rather vicious and ugly narrative out there, be it internal to minorities, as well as those who are ‘anglo’ [not all….so let’s get that straight now] that we should not do this. It’s wrong, emulating the ‘master race’ and other assorted horse manure. To that I say BS, we can…and there is basic, simple biological science that can back me up on this, 6 ways from Sunday. As well as the fact that, limiting one to what is [SIC] ‘part of one’s genetic or social makeup’ due to some lowered form of expectations is another form of insanity. Lord knows I do not buy into that, my friends do not do so either…..one has to wonder why the hell others do.

 

RFLKRNEW1184So with that…there is the latest dispatch…and til next time….from the land of the colourtini…enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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Back in business….YAY

RFLKRNEW1173For those who are wondering, yes….that title is accurate. Reason being is that last month, the former laptop here decided to go to the PC version of ‘Boot Hill’. This was after connecting a USB cable for a wireless extension. But, it had been acting up for a while. However, Yours Truly being the geekette she is…..had tried to coax a few extra sessions out of it. Those did happen, but one morning, it died. More like the motherboard and the reading of the drive in same did.

Hence I was on the smart phone doing with little business I could there. That particular phone was and is here for the purpose, initially as a backup and then just to do minor things to keep connected with the outside world. That did help, although thanks to a limited income, the best phone and service available did have or rather, has some slightly limiting quirks to same. I will not go into detail about those because I am happy it, a Kyocera Event is still working. Which is a darn sight better than the alternatives.

In any event, I did purchase a new PC, a Toshiba with an AMD/ATI processor and graphics chip. While around here that could be seen as siding with the enemy [seeing the main firm in town for this is Intel], I am a big fan of AMD products. A lot of this has to do with the speed of the chips in question, which arrive to be placed in the PC overclocked. This results or rather, can result in a much faster system, be for use in gaming or for other purposes. Along with that fact, the new screen is pretty darn cool too. Same size as the last….but with a cleaner overall viewpoint. And after transferring files, pics etc over to the new PC, it became apparent that this was a good move overall. The graphics will show not just the good in one’s visage, but if there are problems…..those will be on the screen, in full living color. So I need to make sure anything I do does measure up to a high standard and that is not a bad thing. Also pics of **** and others look fantastic on this system, other pics tend to show that the effort, at times leaves something to be desired.

RFLKRNEW1171After the downtime….when there was limited online time, I had hoped to maybe, just maybe see something in the way of maybe some improvement in the level of discourse. To be honest, that did not happen, it seemed that the ‘adults’ who I am ashamed to say, I am a part of due to my years [even though I STILL GET CARDED!!!] have shown more and more of their rather myopic, bubble-centered and limited way of processing information. What is even more disturbing, is that this is a part of the social conditioning that not only happened in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but is being passed on to the next 2-3 generations. Warped ideas about how the society should work, patronizing of those who [SIC] ‘are not like us, but are close to us due to a “common struggle”‘ [another oxymoron….but that is going to be saved for another time], as well as some using ideas from an era, where mankind came as close to having a mass level of insanity…but changing adjectives and descriptors in same to justify social movements. I know, this is a bit on the frightening side, if only thanks to this, it shows that humans have not really learned a goddamned thing in the years, the 70 years since that mass psychosis. In spite of the warnings from those as diverse as Rod Serling, Paddy Chayefsky, Margaret Atwood and Kenneth Johnson….among others. Makes one wonder how in the hell we even dare to claim we are better than our four-legged companions.

RFLKRNEW1172There is a cure or cures to what was in the above paragraph, but it would mean some out there getting out of their tribal mindsets and doing what is really in the name of the greater good. Even if those ideas for fixes are not ‘pretty’ or even politically correct. It will also require that people get out of the space where they co-opt the issues of others to justify their own actions, especially when those doing the co-opting have issues that are, more or less mutable ones, vis a vis those which can be seen on the street, the classroom, the emergency room readily. The other word for this is ‘sacrifice’, no different than in baseball. And that being done so for the right reasons, as well as being careful that one is doing so for those who really do need the help, as opposed to those who have a twisted desire to cut the pie larger for themselves and thinner for others.

Before closing this out…the pics are a mid-fast set. Each year I do this: no red meat, no excess sugars, no fast food, no Gatorade, Powerade and other drinks along those lines. My docs like the fact I do this….my cats do….and I think others have noticed the improvements. While to some…and Lord knows why….this runs counter to some illogical form of conventional wisdom, if running counter means I am around longer and in the process, do not have the visage look like a joke, then I am happy,  have done my job…and then some.

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So there you have it….and until next month….from the land of the colourtini, enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

Posted in Cats, Crushes, Diets, Goals, Plans, Hopes, Health, Life, Love, PC Work and Related Issues, Photos, Race, Transgender, Work | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment