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About MickinMD

  • Birthday 10/01/1950

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    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Interests
    chess, cycling, science, politics, history

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    Trek Verve 3 Disc Lowstep

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  1. I may have to start having medical offices cut my toenails. I'm not doing a good job. I have my annual wellness checkup early tomorrow morning, so I started doing everything to look and smell pretty tonight so I can just get up and go there in the morning: a fasting diabetic blood test is included so I can't eat breakfast first and is the reason I scheduled it so early in the day. My toenails are a mess in general: I have a referral to see a podiatrist but have been putting it off until the COVID numbers drop. So I tried to carefully trim them before the wellness test tomorrow and caught the edge of the big toe along with the nail. So I went to the medicine cabinet and my bandaid box wasn't there! Eventually I found them, after wrapping a paper towel around the toe and wiping drops of blood off the floor. Fortunately it isn't a bad cut, but the hell with the rest of the toes on that foot - it's the better looking one anyway and the other foot's toenails are done. I still need to take a shower before I go, but may wait until tomorrow AM or may wrap one of the 100 pack of rubbery gloves I bought during the pandemic around the end of my foot if I shower tonight.
  2. CNN's reporting that human remains as well as a notebook and backpack belonging to Brian Laundrie have been found in the nature reserve he reportedly went to. It may be the end of the story, though Gabby Petito's parents have recently said they wonder how much Laundrie's parents were involved in covering up information.
  3. When I watch commercials I often try to figure out WHY the advertising agency chose the script, scene, and people and WHY the company whose product is being advertised ok'd it. Sometimes there are commercials where, if you missed the first 5 seconds, you never learn the name of the product being advertised. I've often wanted, out of curiosity, to write to companies asking them why they ok'd such commercials. Then there are the commercials with celebrities. Many are apparently aimed at simply associating the product with the celebrity, like the Kaley Cuoco commercial for Toyota where she does genie stuff that isn't real, but never mentions anything about the car itself. It's like the old "watch my hand" distraction! Or the Mila Kunis & Ashton Kutcher commercials where the only thing you learn is Mila ate the Cheetos. And you've got pro athletes, some of whom do not have drivers licenses because they can't read the written test and where 1 in 5 NFL players is bankrupt within 5 years of leaving pro football, in commercials telling people they "get the best deal," etc. from companies they clearly don't understand and if you could ask them, "What's better about their deal than their competitors deal?" they surely wouldn't have a clue. So, if someone has to use a celebrity to promote their product, should we be wary that maybe it's not such a good product because they can't make a commercial where the product looks better than competitors due to its own merits? Then you have celebrities who disgustingly make false claims. Baltimore Colts legendary quarterback John Unitas promoted, in a commercial, "my friends" from a Florida Savings and Loan that went bankrupt during the S&L Scandal that began in the late 80's. So a customer of the S&L, who lost money, sued Unitas because he said people could trust his friends. The judge threw it out saying everyone knew it was just a commercial! In other words, we all know commercials often lie, yet somehow they're exempt from conviction! You have Tom Selleck in commercials today, saying he's been around and knows what he's talking about and if a reverse mortgage had ever hurt anyone, he wouldn't promote it. This is despite that fact that, over the last decade, the federal government and states have passed numerous laws to address the cheating of people through reverse mortgages - like forcing couples to put the house in the name of the man only and then throwing the widow out after the man dies. I used to admire Tom Selleck. Now he's a rat. So is associating the product with the celebrity or making it easier for people to believe b.s .the reason why the advertising agencies and companies hiring them go to the expense of hiring a celebrity when a good commercial could pay peanuts for someone to ask, "Where's the beef?" or be a fictional insurance selling character like "Flo?" - in commercials where the merit of the product (100% beef or check for lower insurance prices from other companies) is mentioned? Canada used to have a law banning celebrities in commercials back in 1975 when I taught and studied at the University of Toronto, I don't know what happened to it - probably shot down in court - but there should be something like that in force or else a law allowing the celebrity and advertising agency to be sued if the product doesn't live up to promises and implications.
  4. I went to sleep around 1 am feeling fine after the Monday Night Football Game. I woke up around 4:00 am with a very sore throat and soon decided I needed to get up and make some hot tea with honey. I had McNulty's loose-leaf decaf AprIcot Tea on hand. I couldn't find the honey for about 10 minutes and felt drained looking for it. I drank down 25 oz. watching the morning CNN News and felt a little better. Around 8 am, I made a nice, soft, ham and cheese omelet and hot coffee and by 11 am the sore throat was almost gone. At 1 pm, I made oatmeal with soft fruit for lunch and more hot coffee. Now it's 2 pm and the sore throat is gone, though I feel drained - probably from little sleep. I feel good enough to run to the store for a few things, including chicken thighs to bake for dinner. If the sore throat returns this evening, I'll make a hot toddy with more tea, honey and some rum. I hope it has cleared up: I have my annual wellness exam on Thursday.
  5. Here's an oatmeal recipe I varied until I got what I wanted in texture and taste. I wanted something a little chewier and nuttier than instant oatmeal and wanted a very easy recipe: pressure cooking it in an Instant Pot worked best for me because you don't have to keep and eye on it and stir it, but making it on a stove top is about just as quick. I have adjusted amounts and times each time I cooked it until I got to the recipe below, which is fine! The oatmeal is not hard but chewy enough to feel sort of "al dente." The major change from online recipes was to cut up an apple into bite size pieces and nuke it in 1/4 cup of water for 2 minutes so it keeps a little crunch, adding it to the oatmeal at the end, instead of adding it to the oatmeal to be cooked, where it gets too mushy: This is the steel cut oatmeal with bananas, strawberries, blueberries and microwave-steamed apples mixed in and makes three filling breakfasts for me beginning with 1 cup of steel cut oats: refrigerating it and nuking it over several days doesn't degrade it, though it thickens a little and needs a little milk or water. I add a little Sugar Free Pancake Syrup to it just before I eat it. Ingredients 1 c. steel cut oats (supposedly the best and healthiest: McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oats) 2 c. water divided (1 3/4 cups in Instant Pot, 1/4 cup with diced apple in microwave) 1 c. 2% milk (any milk, including cashew milk, almond milk, etc. works) 1/2 -1 tsp. ground cinnamon Dash/Sprinkle of kosher salt 1 Apple (I used Honeycrisp, one recipe recommends Macintosh): peeled, cored, and diced into bite size (1/2” to 3/4”) pieces 2 tbsp. Honey or maple syrup (or any breakfast syrup) for serving, plus more if wanted. 1/2 - 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract Recommended additions: sliced banana, sliced strawberries, blueberries, walnuts, toasted sliced almonds, for serving. Directions 1. Combine oats, water, milk, cinnamon, and salt in Instant pot. Press the manual setting and set the cooking time for 3 minutes on high (it takes about 5 minutes to reach high pressure). Let steam release naturally and flip the release valve at 15 min (pressure pin may have already dropped), 2. Peel, core, and dice apple into 1/2” to 3/4” cubes, place in microwave bowl with 1/4 cup water with loose plastic cover, steam for 2 min. 3. Remove Instant Pot lid, pour, spoon the oatmeal into a large (1/2 gallon, etc.) bowl and stir in vanilla and nuked apple with its water. 4. Serve topped with syrup, blueberries bananas, etc.
  6. I identify as a grumpy old man.
  7. Boo! I used to be scared that other teachers I had made fun of in the classroom were going to lynch me one day. I had a fellow science teacher named Barry Roman - who unfortunately passed away about a year before he was going to retire. Barry was almost a dead ringer for the actor Wayne Knight, who played Post Office worker "Newman" on Seinfeld and Sally's cop boyfriend, Don Orville, on "3rd Rock from the Sun." While Seinfeld was still in production, I told the kids - who knew Barry was from New York - total lies about him. I said Mr. Roman, before he became a teacher and took a job in better-paying Maryland, used to work for the Post Office in New York where he often met Jerry Seinfeld, who Roman used to crack up. When Seinfeld planned his TV show, he wanted a character like our Mr. Roman. But he couldn't use Roman's name without paying a royalty so he needed to come up with a NEW name. So "Roman" became "Newman." It made so much sense to them that the teenagers bought it hook, line, and sinker and the story spread like wildfire among our 2900 students. When Barry would be walking down the crowded halls between classes, kids would be calling out, "Newman!" I don't think the kids ever gave me away, though, so he never knew I was the devil who started it. Wayne Knight as "Newman:"
  8. No. I guess that since I never found a place to pee in the dream, I never peed in my sleep!
  9. If I have time, I try to get back to them, especially ones where people may have questions, like if I mentioned that I really did send friends and relatives postcards from Hell - I'd come back if they asked how I got there and say it's a small town on Grand Cayman Island in the Caribbean.
  10. Don't float your croc boat near tigers. There have been lots of videos of lions and crocs getting the best of each other, but crocs are no match for tigers, though this confrontation supposedly took an hour and a half for the tiger, holding down the croc's tail, managed to get in position to get a good bite on the back of its neck. I've also seen documentaries of crocs entering rivers and dragging big crocs out:
  11. Usually, it's not so much the heat: I complain about humidity when it's high and the temperature is above the mid-80's. I winter, it's the short days I complain about more than low temperatures: In general, Jan-Feb winter days here have highs in the 40's and lows in the 20's but there's a huge variety with some years of no major snowstorms and some with lots of storms with a couple over 20". We do sometimes get winter weeks with highs in the 10's or 20's, but we also sometimes get a week with highs in the 60's or 70's. In Feb. 2020, the typical day had highs in the mid 50's and lows in the 40's. So it gets cold enough for long enough to appreciate when we get a break!
  12. My thermostat will usually be set to "Heat" somewhere in the first half of November, to "Off" in April or early May, "Cool" by late May or early June, "Off" by mid-September. There may be brief parts of a day when I use the furnace or central air to adjust the temperature when an unusually hot or cold night/day occurs. For five days in late September-October, I've turned the furnace on for brief periods in the mornings to take the chill off, although the first two of them were just to test the new furnace. I feel comfortable with the house living-room thermostat set around 78° in the summer (when air conditioning is used) and, as I get acclimated, around 73° in the Winter. Turning on the furnace or central air depend on when I can't come close to the desired house temperatures without them by opening/closing windows, maximizing/minimizing sun through the windows and storm doors, turning on ceiling fans or throwing a light blanket over me while watching TV.
  13. After feeling frozen taking my garbage cans out at 7:30 am when the temperature was 51° and breezy (I'm not acclimated to cold yet), I just went out to bring the cans back in and the temperature felt good. Accuweather says it's 57° and "feels like 61°." It's supposed to be over 60° by noon and hit 66° around 3 pm, so I'll finally get my lawnmowing done today - either the last or next-to-last of the year. Accuweather forecasts 60's and 70's highs through the end of October. If they hold up, I can take my time getting the yard in shape for Winter.
  14. I take Centrum Silver for Men 50+. I was taking a high dose of Vitamin-D but began to get crystals in my urine in my annual diabetic-related test - the Centrum stuff has enough D I also began to take AREDS2 for my eyes, but the ophthalmologist said she wouldn't bother so I stopped. I had a complete set of heart tests over 3 days in 2011 and was found fine, but the heart specialist recommended daily baby aspirin. There are studies that say it doesn't do much and some that like it. My family doctor says it doesn't hurt, so 1 still take an 81 mg aspirin a day.
  15. MickinMD


    I fell asleep before the game ended. I always root against the Steelers, Browns, and Bengals because they're in the same division as the Ravens. Our Ravens play the Bengals next Sunday and a win would give the Ravens a two-game division lead. Records don't seem to matter when these four teams play each other: the games are usually close and vicious: there's a good reason it's called the "Black and Blue Division."
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