Weekend Kickoff Mini-Thoughts

Let’s try this again – a rapid-fire session of thoughts on my mind right this minute:

  • I went on a short weekend getaway last weekend.
  • I left at dawn last Friday, and I returned late this past Monday morning.
  • It was a 76-hour vacation away from home.
  • I drove about 140 miles away from home, so not too far.
  • Once upon a time I’d announce my vacations away from home on social media.
  • I’m much smarter nowadays, as I now reveal vacations after-the-fact.
  • So I drove to Fort Myers Florida on Friday.
  • I ate Breakfast at Perkins along the way in Naples.
  • I like Perkins. I wish we had those here at home.
  • I enjoyed a late Lunch / early Dinner at Outback Steakhouse.
  • I can’t remember the last time I ate there (maybe over 10 years ?)
  • We don’t have one close to home, but we have Longhorn & Texas here.
  • I love to eat steak !
  • I saw longtime comedian Brian Regan LIVE in concert that night.
  • He packed-in a lot of laughs in 55 minutes.
  • I wish he had performed for 90 minutes.
  • He left us wanting more, so he did his job as a comedian.
  • He had an opening act too – a comedian that made us laugh for 15 minutes.
  • The next morning I headed over to Fort Myers Beach.
  • I visited “The Island” (as the natives refer to it) 7 times from 2011 to 2015.
  • It was love at first sight at the end of April of 2011.
  • I thought I had found my future retirement town.
  • On subsequent visits I discovered the “seedier” side of town.
  • I decided not to retire there.
  • I decided to stop visiting there.
  • So this was my 8TH visit, but 1ST visit in a little over 4 years.
  • It’s still a fun place to visit.
  • I’ll visit for a 9TH time sooner rather than later.
  • I did considerable research on churches on the island beforehand.
  • There are a lot of churches along its narrow 7-mile length.
  • A friend suggested a specific church to visit.
  • I watched the previous Sunday sermon from the Pastor.
  • I didn’t care for his style. He was too Jimmy Buffett-like.
  • He acted too silly for me.
  • His use of Scripture was mighty thin too.
  • I like a Pastor with a sense of humor, but this dude was over-the-top.
  • I ended-up watching a LIVE Facebook feed of my own Pastor back home.
  • I like his style.
  • Later on Sunday night I took a fun 3-hour boat cruise that I pre-booked.
  • It was billed as a “Dolphin & Shelling Sunset Cruise“.
  • There were 38 of us including the Captain & Skipper.
  • Both narrated portions of the cruise.
  • We saw lots of birds at play on the various islands.
  • Dolphins jumped all around us at the rear of the boat.
  • Those dolphins know how to get from Point A to Point B quicker.
  • They simply ride the waves created by the boat.
  • I didn’t get any pictures of the dolphins because there were lots of kids too.
  • They blocked my view, but it’s all good.
  • The sunset was beautiful too, but again my line-of-sight was blocked.
  • I did manage to get one reasonably good photo of the sunset.

Sunset (Cruise)

  • You’re lookin’ good Fort Myers Beach !

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Chanute AFB Illinois

I’m coming up on the 34TH Anniversary of my graduation from USAF BMT. That stands for United States Air Force Basic Military Training. I was stationed at Lackland AFB in San Antonio Texas from June 13TH 1985 (early in the morning – like right after Midnight) to July 29TH 1985 (at dawn). It was the roughest and toughest 46 days / 6½ weeks of my life at that point. (I had just turned 18.)

On July 29TH 1985 (a Monday) I boarded a plane (with others) from San Antonio Texas to Champaign County Illinois. I got food poisoning on the plane. That was when full hot meals were still served on airplanes. After landing we were transported from the airport to Chanute Air Force Base (near Rantoul Illinois). Everyone else was taken to their respective squadrons for in-processing. I was taken to the Base Hospital where I spent a couple of days and nights recuperating.

On the 3RD day I rose again – out of my hospital bed fully recovered, and I was released to my squadron. I moved-in to my dormitory room – my home for the next 3 months. School started soon for me. I would soon learn how to be an Aircraft Maintenance Systems Analyst (think “Statistician”). I was in a class of 4.

Today – 34 years later – I am an Analyst / Statistician, and I work for the United States Air Force.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Welcome To The Weekend !

It’s 3 AM on this Thursday the 23RD day of May of 2019. That’s 3 AM here in South Florida U.S.A., so 8 AM in the U.K., 9 AM in South Africa, and 7 PM in New Zealand. Welcome aboard wherever you’re reading this from.

I kickoff most new weekends of blogging on Thursday at 3 AM my time, and this weekend is no different. It’s a holiday weekend here in the States – Memorial Day Weekend. Monday is Memorial Day where we honor those military personnel who died while serving their country in a time of war. I’ll have a special tribute to our fallen heroes this Monday here on my blog. That pushes my new Top 10 personal hit music chart back a day to Tuesday. So I’ve got 5 new blog posts for you this weekend in lieu of the usual 4 – starting with this one.

I’m staying in during this long holiday weekend – not going anywhere – staying out of traffic. It’ll be a sunny, dry, and hot weekend here in South Florida, so I just want to relax and enjoy my air conditioning. I’ll do my usual Bible study on Saturday, and I’ll hopefully finish writing my next sermon that I’ll preach titled “Pray & Believe”. I also want to get started on my next sermon after that. We’ll see where God takes me this weekend. Sometimes I think I know exactly what I wish to write, and then God leads me in an entirely different direction. That’s the Holy Spirit at work. I just want to go where He guides me.

I just ate a pear a few minutes ago, and it was absolutely delicious. I then Googled the health benefits of eating pears, and I found this article. I really need to buy and eat more pears. I need all of those health benefits. The results of my recent ultrasound are in. My liver, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts, and right kidney were all checked-out. There were 3 “impressions” or anomalies, but nothing to be overly concerned about. My liver is normal size, and it measures 13 centimeters in length. The “impression” there was a “minimal diffuse fatty liver”. If I improve my diet, exercise more, and lose a little weight then the fat can go away. More pears !

I’ve been eating smaller lunches at my desk at work, and then after that I’ve been using the 2ND-half of my lunch hour by walking it off – basically walking around the exterior grounds of my building. My Fitbit likes that. I’ve been walking about 0.6 to 0.7 miles in a nice casual walk after eating. Nothing too strenuous. In fact once I break a sweat I walk back inside. Today my walk after eating was 15 minutes – 3 minutes “peak”, 8 minutes “cardio”, and 4 minutes “fat burn”. My average heart rate was 130 BPM, and it peaked at 145 BPM. More exercise !

I think that most of you will agree with me that blogging peaked about 15 years ago during the mid-2000s (post-AOL and pre-Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram). I started this blog in 2007 towards the end of my first year of salvation to begin a dialog online about the God I know. There’s a lot of hatred on social media today. It’s one of the main reasons why I returned to the WordPress community 16 months ago to get back into full-time blogging again. Many of you reading this blog host your own blogs. I know that because I visit them on a regular basis. Some of your blogs surely glorify our God. This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see. Never be discouraged that you’re not getting enough visits, or likes, or comments. Keep blogging and writing about your life. Keep expanding God’s Kingdom – one blog post at a time.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Home Sweet Homestead

I’m back from vacation !  My 6-day / 590-mile / 14-county Florida road-trip has come to a close. My trek started in deep South Miami-Dade County (where my home is), and it continued northward through Broward, Palm Beach, Hendry, Glades, Highlands, and Polk Counties, westward into Hillsborough County (Tampa), southward through Manatee, Sarasota, Charlotte, Lee, and Collier Counties, and then back into Miami-Dade County. I also came within a few feet of touching (mainland) Monroe County for a second.

It was a fun trip. I saw a couple of current movies, I did a little bit of shopping (didn’t buy anything), I ate a lot of good food, I walked over 60,000 steps (to burn-off that good food), I did a lot of sightseeing, I visited some historical museums and animal-based tourist attractions, I went to two Christian music concerts, and I spent a lot of time at the beach.

I saw and I did things that I had never seen or done before in my life. This was a classic vacation. I get to spend the near future reminiscing about the times I enjoyed via the 140+ photos and 1 video I captured during all of the fun.

The 1 video I captured is a spectacular 3½-minute video of this past Tuesday night’s sunset on Venice Beach Florida. The video captures the 3 minutes leading up to the sun dropping below the horizon at sea as well as the 30 seconds right after that moment. I intended to post that video in its entirety here on my blog, but I realized that I can’t upload videos on here with my current WordPress plan. The video is also about 1:10 too long for Twitter, so I’ll have to figure out how to trim it down to 2:20 for Twitter.

In the meantime here’s Monday night’s sunset at 8:05 PM EDT on Venice Beach.

Sunset

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets – the name of the LORD is to be praised. (Psalm 113:3 NIV)

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Annual Wellness Check

WELCOME to an all-new weekend here on my blog. I post new blog entries on Thursday mornings, Friday nights, Sunday afternoons, and Monday nights (U.S. East Coast time). My Thursday morning blog is a free-for-all. I usually have no idea what I’ll be blogging about until I let my fingers hit the keyboard of my traditional desktop computer system. Let’s see how this goes.

Last week I had labwork done at my doctor’s office as part of an annual wellness check. I guess that’s the fancy new millennial term for “annual physical”. The labwork included blood and urine (not holding anything back here), and it checked for lots of various conditions. Today I got the results. Here’s a synopsis:

Cologuard should be arriving soon at my front doorstep in a nice white box. You may have seen their commercials on TV. Basically it’s my very first colon check – done at home. (I’m 52, and I’m somewhat overdue.) I won’t explain Cologuard here in this blog post, for some of you may be eating right now. The TV commercial does a pretty good job at that. There’s also an excellent YouTube video of the process – and it’s rather graphic.

My LDL (bad) cholesterol was a bit high – 110. That’s the highest it’s been since 2012. My triglycerides were also high – 128. That’s the highest ever recorded. My total cholesterol was 188 – the highest since 2012. My doctor told me to double my current intake of Atorvastatin (10 mg.) from every other day to every day. Fantastic. No more guessing as to whether or not any given day is an “Atorvastatin Day”. I’ll also be doubling my intake of Vitamin D (1,000 IU) from every other day to every day.

My glucose (blood sugar level) came in high at exactly 100. It should be between 65 and 99. A 100 indicates “prediabetes” which I’ve had for at least the past decade. My hemoglobin A1C has ranged from 5.5 to 6.1 for the past decade (at least). This time it was right in the middle of that range at 5.8. I need to lose weight. My weight in the mid-180s is about 20 pounds too much for my height. I should weigh about 165. I really need to eat less, eat smaller meals, and eat more nutritious foods in my smaller meals. I personally think that 165 pounds is too light. I’d be ecstatic to drop to 175 pounds instead. My diet really needs to change.

Oh yeah ! – There’s one final anomaly. My liver enzymes are elevated. My “ALT” (Alanine Aminotransferase) is above the recommended level for the 3RD time in less than a year. My doctor told me to go to the local diagnostics center to get an ultrasound done of my liver. (I don’t think I’ve ever had an ultrasound done of anything.)

So there you go. That’s what I’m dealing with here towards the end of April of 2019 – just a little over a month shy of my 52ND birthday. I need to eat better (more fruits and vegetables) – and exercise more. Oh yeah ! – Black coffee is apparently good for me in many different ways, so I should continue on with that.

This week of April marks 11 years since I quit smoking cigarettes. (I started at a very early age.) I quit drinking alcohol almost exactly 11½ years ago. Both habits came to an end forever during my 2ND year of salvation. Jesus saves.

What’s for Lunch tomorrow ?

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Waffle House

IMG_3582

We’re getting our very own Waffle House here in my neighborhood – about a mile from my home. This is a photo that I took of it under construction on December 30TH 2018 from across the street at Applebee’s. I glanced over there, and I saw it for the very first time. I had no idea that it was over there until that precise moment.

5½ weeks later it may or may not be open now. I should drive-by to find out for myself.

Waffle House is actually brand new to Miami-Dade County. The very first one opened just last Summer some 50 miles up the road at the north end of the county. There’s also one 30 miles down the road in Key Largo. I’ve only been to Waffle House once in my life – and it was the Key Largo location maybe 6 to 8 years ago.

I’m looking forward to this location close to home. I’ll have to study their menu online to see how I want my hash browns, but it’ll probably be covered and perhaps even diced.

The Lunch and Dinner menu looks good too !  I could become a regular.

All rights reserved (c) 2019 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries

Welcome To November

Greetings Brothers and Sisters of my extended church family all across the globe. November is here. It’s my favorite month of the year – by far – and it’s not even close. I love November due to a variety of reasons.

Daylight Saving Time ends. I don’t like Daylight Saving Time. I wish it were abolished forever. I like Standard Time. I like the sun up early in the morning. I like the sun down early in the evening. I like the real time zone. I wish we stayed on Standard Time permanently. Florida actually passed a law earlier this year to stay on Daylight Saving Time permanently. They can’t do that unless Congress votes to allow it. Congress is ignoring it for now. I hope they continue to ignore it indefinitely. I already set one of my clocks back an hour. The battery actually died in it today, so when I replaced the battery I set it back to Standard Time. It looks good now. I’m looking forward to this Sunday morning when that clock’s time is correct.

I usually feel my coldest weather of the year every November – not because I live in South Florida – but because I visit my family up in Ohio – north of Cincinnati. I like cooler weather – not colder weather. Here in South Florida we start feeling the 60s in the morning instead of the 70s – and the 70s in the afternoon instead of the 80s. Sometimes we even feel the 50s at night.

Up in Ohio I’ll feel the teens, 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s, and I’ll probably see snow as well. I’m not a fan of Cincinnati weather in the winter. Every November I visit my family up there, and we celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas combined in one fun-filled week. We call it #ThanksChristmasGiving, and it’s been a family tradition for us for about 12 years now. This year I’m actually going up for two weeks. It’ll be the longest #ThanksChristmasGiving in modern recorded history. It may also be the last one in the Cincinnati area. My family may be moving back to the Dallas Texas area next summer.

On Thanksgiving Day we start with a hearty homemade Breakfast (cooked by my little brother – age 43), and then we open all of the presents underneath the Christmas tree. My two nieces – ages 8 and 5 – love that part of the morning – even though it usually only lasts for about 15 minutes. They then play with their new toys for the rest of the day. Dinner begins cooking shortly after Noon while the NFL is on the tube. A traditional Thanksgiving dinner is served right around 3 PM, and then we barely move after that – while continuing to watch football.

So there’s my November for you. I’ll be blogging less in November because I’ll be with my family having all of that fun. My Thursday, Friday, and Sunday blogs will take a break for a couple of weeks, but I’ll continue to post my all-new Top 10 hit music chart every Monday through November.

Tomorrow I’ll post my normal Friday blog, as I’ll go RETRO back to the first weekend of November of 2008.

Have a nice evening my friends, and welcome to the weekend and this wonderful new month of November !

All rights reserved (c) 2018 Christopher M. Day, CountUp Ministries.

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