Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Wife broke an ankle and an arm Friday so she had to go to one. She got out yesterday and went to a rehab place.

The hospital was not like anything I ever remembered seeing before.

All private rooms. Spacious (as big as most hotel rooms I have been in lately), and nicely furnished. Even has a couch that looks like it would make into a bed in case you have company spending the night.

Her room.

6 am til 7:30 pm room service. Just call 1-FOOD on your phone and they bring your order up in about 30 minutes.

Bar code readers for meds and patients. A computer in each room for charting patient records.

Each room has a bathroom with shower.


Valet parking.

Cafeteria with quite good and affordable food.

Cable TV.

4 patients per RN on my wife's floor plus 2 helpers (CNAs?).

Constant parade of people coming through. Nurses, helpers, PT, social workers. Student nurses.

Even has a PT room at the end of the hallway so the patients don't have to go elsewhere. The PTs come to the floor.

The rehab place is not so fancy. Semiprivate - about 4 feet and a curtain between your bed and your roommate. Typical old style hospital type accommodations.

Monday, April 25, 2011

recent stuff

4/22/11 Some pictures of some stuff at the end of my driveway. It looks like they dug a hole down to where the gas line is and then put this corrugated pipe in the hole. It looks like they did it to everyone along my road. Wonder why.

[ETA 4-25-11] I asked about this on a forum I read and post on pretty regularly. The concensus was that they are planning to install gas shutoff valves on the gas lines at the bottom of the hole and the black pipe is a sleeve to allow access to the shutoff valve or was just marking the location of the gas lines.

4/22/11 The temporary cast on my wife's ankle (photo taken in the ER).

4/24/11 A turkey my brother took a picture of in his back yard.

4/24/11 The broken leg and arm changed my wife's Easter plans a little so I brought the Easter candy to work and left it there for my fellow workers to enjoy.

4/25/11 Looks like the house that had the fire is now all fixed up.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

some recent cell phone video

kind of grainy


We stuck to the paved trails again due to my elbow still being sore.

But the beagle and I enjoyed our little walk.

Friday, April 22, 2011

recent photos

3/28/11 The new tile at work.

4/10/11 The burned up house repairs are almost done.

4/16/11 My office freshly painted, but no carpet and no desk.

4/17/11 The fancy towels at the Ramada Inn in Hammond.

4/17/11 Something spray painted on my driveway by the construction people.

4/21/11 The street I live on is being torn up and rebuilt. Here they have removed the sidewalk that existed along the north side of the street for about 2 blocks at the far end of the street and piled it in the middle of the street. The rest of the street had no sidewalk at all.

4/21/11 They cut a couple of slots across my driveway so they can put a conduit there to bury the electric lines instead of them running on poles down the middle of the street as they do now. Now and then you would see a driver slaloming back and forth among the poles going down the street. No more of that I guess.

4/21/11 My repainted and recarpeted office.

4/21/11 A bit embarrassing that our county health department cannot spell.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


We stayed on the paved trails and roads this time. Still a nice hike for the beagle and me.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

PetMate Evolution Retractable Leash

I have been through a bunch of these type of leashes with my beagles over the years. None of them have lasted real long. I still like them though, despite having to replace them far more regularly than I would like.

This is the latest one I got. The one we had failed 3-23-11 (purchased Sept 9, 2010 per my blog post of that day). It was still under warranty and this one was only about $10 more. It is a bit of an upgrade feature wise. The one way ratcheting mechanism is pretty handy.

The new one lasted a total of two uses before failing. But I liked the features enough to give it a second chance so it went back to PetSmart for a replacement of the same model the same day it failed.

We have been using it for all of our walks since 3/26, and it seems to be holding up OK. Who knows for how long.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Rock Cut State Park 4-3-11

It was not a long hike, 2.11 miles according to my GPS trip computer (the track log shows it as 3.2 miles), and it took about 2 hours and 45 minutes. The terrain along the bluffs on the south side of the creek is quite rugged, and it was very slow going, and the terrain on the north side of the creek is hilly and also pretty slow going. Good workout though. I am still sore from it. All those mountain goat muscles that rarely get used got a workout.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Hiking stick

After breaking my 3 section, screw together stick last November while hiking, I consigned Mr. Stick to his final resting place and replaced him with something sturdier. I documented Mr. Stick's demise here:

Mr. Stick has been replaced with a yet unnamed shovel handle I bought shortly thereafter at Menards (a local lumber yard). I don't recall the price, but it was maybe $10. It is heavier and larger in diameter than Mr. Stick, and a few inches shorter. It came with metal reinforcing around the end. I added a rubber cane tip from a drug store and drilled a hole in the top of it for a paracord lanyard.

So far, the new stick has worked well.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Rock Cut State Park - Hike around Olson Lake 4-2-11

This was a neat hike, if a bit of work. There were lots of creeks for the beagle. Three big ones and many small ones. Swamp land. Impassable thickets to go around.

This was probably the best time of the year to try this. I think it would be a lot harder to get through once stuff started growing. There is a lot of swampy areas that would probably have a lot of mosquitoes once the mosquitoes hatch.

We had to make three tries to get around the worst of it before we found a path though the thick brush. It is hard to tell where the park ends in a lot of spots because it is not posted.

If I was to try it again, I would not bring the beagle. Being chained to a beagle who has her own ideas about what way to head, and with a tendency to go under obstructions rather than around them was an extra complication.

Now that I know there is a way to get there, I would head more or less due west from the pole in the middle of the field on the north side of the lake to the fence line along the tollway.

GPS trip computer showed 4.33 miles. 3 hours and 47 minutes. The swamp and heavy brush made for some very slow going in spots.

Once again I managed to lose at least one snippet of video I took.

Here is the GPS track. It reported 4.4 miles, very close this time to what the GPS trip computer showed. Note that Olson Lake is not even shown on the topo map and neither is the pond to the northeast. Very few of the small streams we went over are shown either. On the bright side, the topo map does seem to accurately depict the annex boundaries.

We were hiking in the Olson lake annex on the east side of the tollway as shown on the park map. Started at the trail head (big dot) labeled dog training area.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Diet soda shootout

For reasons unclear to me, I have started drinking pop again. Maybe just that time of the year. The only pop I can drink in the pop machine at work is diet Coke, and while I drink it sometimes, I am not real fond of it. At $1.25 for a 20 ounce bottle, I figured there has to be something better out there so I went to the grocery store and bought an assortment of 2 liter bottles on sale for under $1 each.

I figured as I drank them I would comment on and grade them. A being excellant, and F being awful. I also added some stuff from their respective web sites.

I grade diet Coke as a B. It's not like I dislike it. I drink it now and then, and diet Pepsi, depending on what is available, as much as anything else.

In no particular order.

Diet SunKist Orange: B+
O calories. I liked it. The orange flavour was pretty good. There was just a hint of some flavor in it that I did not like, but it did not detract too much from the drink.

Diet 7-Up: A-
0 calories. I liked it. Not quite as much as the ginger ale, but it is good.
Web site does not allow copy and paste.
Ingredients: filtered carbonated water, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium citrate, potassium benzoate, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, calcium disodium EDTA

Diet Canada Dry Ginger Ale: A
Another one you cannot cut and paste from their web site. I ought to take points off for that and the useless flash animation that wasted about 20 seconds of my time. I liked the product, despite the annoying website.
O calories.
Ingredients: carbonated water, citric acid, sodium citrate, sodium benzoate, malic acid, aspartame, caramel color, natural flavors, acesulfame potassium, calcium disodium EDTA.
Prominently states on the label that it contains "real" ginger and "all natural" flavors.

Diet A&W Root Beer: A
Good clean taste. Sweet but not too sweet. Lots of foam. Says "made with aged vanilla" on the label. Wonder what that means.
O calories.
Ingredients: Carbonated water, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), natural and artificial flavors, aspartame, malic acid.

Diet Rite Pure Zero Cola: D
Pros - no calories, no caffeine, no aspartame.
Cons - did not like the taste. Not quite bad enough to throw it out, but not all that great.
Ingredients: Carbonated water, caramel color, sucralose (Splenda® brand, a non-nutritive sweetener), gum acacia, natural flavors, citric acid, potassium benzoate (preservative), acesulfame potassium (Sunett® brand, a non-nutritive sweetener), phosphoric acid, potassium citrate.

Diet A&W Cream Soda: B-
I can't say I ever drank creme soda before. It was better than I expected.
No calories.
Ingredients: Carbonated water, sodium benzoate (preservative), aspartame, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, citric acid, flavored with vanilla extract, caffeine.

Diet Schwepps Ginger Ale: A
I am a fan of ginger ale. This is good stuff. Sweetened with aspartame but I can live with that.
O calories.
Serving Size: 8 fl oz (240mL) Total Carb: 0g
Serving Size: 1 can 12 oz Total Carb: 1g
Not sure how you get from 0 carbs in 8 ounces to 1 carb in 12 ounces, but that's what the web site says.

[ETA]Here is a previous review of some good diet root beer.
Frostop Diet Root Beer

March walking around stuff

A house we walk by on a regular basis that experienced a fire. The first two pictures were taken 3-11-11.

They have started rebuilding. This one was taken 3-26-11.

More snow hill video.