Monday, April 24, 2017

Oil change in the escape

I took the 2011 Ford Escape in for an oil change today. I was at work so I took it to the Berger Auto on Diebold just down from my office. I dropped it off and it was a 10-minute walk back to work. In the afternoon I walked back and got it. It was $31.64 altogether. I got the "better value." That was the medium oil change. I didn't really need the inside vacuumed.

After I dropped it off this morning I found out there is a new place down the other way on Dupont about the same distance from my office. I may try it one of these days.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Focus on health test results

I believe I stated the other day that I attended the 'Focus On Health' event on Wednesday and got a battery of blood tests done for what seemed like a minimal fee ($105). I actually received the results back electronically that very night. Parkview has this handy "MyChart" feature where you can get your testing details, reminders, and other information online. There is also a side-by-side comparison of my results from two years ago with the current numbers. This is what it looks like for me:

WELLNESS D - Past Results

Standard Range
4/15/15 4/15/15 4/19/17
A/G Ratio
0.8 - 1.6 g/dL
3.4 - 5.0 g/dL
4.6   4.8
Alkaline phos
50 - 136 U/L
79   72
Alt (SGPT)
10 - 40 U/L
Ast (SGOT)
15 - 37 U/L
17   26
Bilirubin total
0.0 - 1.0 mg/dL
0.6   0.8
9 - 21 mg/dL
8.3 - 9.9 mg/dL
9.3   9.6
98 - 107 mmol/L
0 - 200 mg/dL
240   233
Chol/HDL ratio
4.80   4.48
21 - 29 mmol/L
0.80 - 1.30 mg/dL
0.9   0.87
Estimated Avg Glucose
2.2 - 4.2 g/dL
70 - 99 mg/dL
102   92
40 - 60 mg/dL
50   52
40.0 - 54.0 %
13.5 - 17.2 g/dL
Hemoglobin A1C
4.0 - 5.7 %
63 - 130 mg/dL
143   157
27.0 - 33.0 pg
32.0 - 36.0 g/dL
82.0 - 98.0 fl
Non-HDL chol
190   181
150 - 450 th/uL
3.6 - 5.1 mmol/L
4.5   4.8
Protein total
6.3 - 8.2 g/dL
PSA diagnostic
0.0 - 4.0 ng/mL
  0.4 0.4
4.30 - 5.70 mi/uL
11.5 - 14.5 %
36.4 - 54.5 fl
134 - 146 mmol/L
139   136
0 - 150 mg/dL
233   119
0.30 - 3.80 uIU/mL
3.4 - 10.5 th/uL


I do have to say that I was pretty happy with my results. My overall cholesterol is a little high, but it's lower than it was in 2015. My triglycerides were actually significantly lower though. That's a number I've always had problems with, and I was glad to see it down that low (for me). So, as I said, I was pretty happy with these results.

I was looking back at my blog post from 2 years ago where I went over the results with my doctor. I found it interesting that my weight and blood pressure were almost identical to where it was the other day.

Anyway, so, I guess I at least 'seem' somewhat normal from my blood work. I have to admit I was a little relieved to find out I wasn't worse off than I used to be. I imagine not drinking during Lent helped, but I do also maintain a pretty healthy diet. I'm glad I've reached a point where my base diet is good, but I'm not so fanatical about it that I can't enjoy occasional indulges as well.

I suppose all this means is that I'm probably going to get hit by a bus today. So, there's that. ;)

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Parking lot, tincaps, and focus on health

Jane manning the church parking lot.

Several things have taken place the past few days....

We served our first tour of parking lot duty for the church on Monday and Tuesday night. The church building is located just south of the minor league baseball stadium. The church doesn't own the building or the parking lot, but the owners let the church operate the lot for events at Parkview Field and we get to keep a portion of the money for the youth. It generally takes 2 volunteers per event, and we are currently signed up to work 3 baseball games.

It's pretty easy work. Everything is usually set up and so we arrive 1-1 1/2 hours before the game and simply take money as people pull in to park. Then when we're done we pick up all the cones and signs and put them back in the church and that's it. We charge $4 to park, and it is the cheapest lot near the ballpark. We quit taking tickets once the game starts, or when the lot is full, whichever comes first. You get 4 free tickets for volunteering, and can do with them what you want. They are great seats right behind home plate. We used 2 tickets both nights and just went over and got something to eat. We didn't stick around too long at the game. We left the unused tickets because they can turn them in later in the year and get free lawn seats for them that anybody can use.

I actually like doing things like this. It's neat chatting with people as they come and go, and it's easy peasy. Several people donated extra money to the youth each night. Mostly it was just telling us to keep the change for a $5 bill. Anyway, I thought it was great fun.

So, these were our first two ballgames of the year. Monday night we chatted with our usual beer vendor who has been in the same place for as long as we can remember. It's funny how we just pick up right where we left off every year.

Neither game was all that busy as school hasn't let out yet, but I'm sure it will get busier pretty soon. There weren't a lot of changes to the ball field this year - which I'm glad of. It seems every year they think they need to "improve" things, and all it usually does is ruin the view or make things worse. Anyway, it's still a great thing to have downtown, and it's about as cheap of entertainment as you can get if you play your cards right. Especially so with free parking and free tickets!

This morning I once again attended the "Focus on Health" event right by where I work. I got a complete blood work-up, psa , thyroid, and who knows what all other kinds of tests done - all for $105. I could have had it done cheaper, but I just opted for the wellness package recommended for men over the age of 50.

It was once again a very smooth process. I was in and out in about 30 minutes. I had to fill out paperwork, get my blood pressure checked, have my blood drawn, pay, and get a summary analysis. The only bad part was they had a newbie take my blood. He was the only guy and was an EMT. I could tell he was nervous, and he stuck the needle in my arm then chickened out. One of the lady nurses was right there and just shoved it in further and finished. She took 3 vials.

The only thing that was a little irritating was the summary analysis. When this young girl took my blood pressure it was 143/81. I realize the top number is a little high, but she did it right as soon as I walked in the room and it was done on a cheapo little portable thing. I wasn't at all concerned about it - especially since I keep pretty good tabs on it myself. Well, when I got to the summary analysis this lady got all riled up about it. I told her it was okay that I check it often and am under a doctors care. She started asking me all these questions about my lifestyle and whether I'm active enough and whatnot. I said, "Well, actually I literally just got done running 4 miles on a treadmill about 20 minutes ago, and I do it most days every week." She then just gave me a customer care form to fill out and left me alone.

So, in a few days (or weeks) I can find out my lipid profile, sugar, thyroid, and psa numbers, and go from there. I celebrated the 12-hour fast by getting a sausage and egg biscuit from McDonald's.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Easter Sunday 2017

Plenty of things going on right now and not enough time to blog and/or contemplate. So this is what I remember from Easter Sunday.

We had a nice Easter Sunday this year. It was our first at this church. Last year my parents were visiting so we took them to Tom's church. We were afraid ours my be a bit much for them, and Tom is a good friend and we thought my parents would feel a little more comfortable there. At any rate, this year it was just Jane and myself, along with the Feipel 5. It is home for all of us now.

The morning started with a carry-in breakfast at 9:15. We discovered no one was really in charge as soon as we arrived. There were some tables set up in the back area, and the usual donuts were there plus some fruit and things. Jane made 2 egg casserole's and Carrie 1, and that was pretty much it for casserole-type stuff. We had to dig right in in order to get any before it was all devoured. The breakfast time was typically chaotic and we just ate at the chairs where we often sit for worship (nothing was set up for people to eat at, which I didn't expect there to be).

At 10 or so they had an egg hunt for the kids. It was inside and it was a little hard to keep the kids away from the eggs before the appropriate time, but everyone survived. When it started they had each kid go and find 5 eggs then come back to the front. When everyone had 5, they could all go and get 2 more. They did that a couple times then they just let them go find as many as they wanted. I thought that was a good idea so no one got ripped. The kids all seemed to do great.

There was plenty of down-time between that and the start of the 10:30 service, so I kind of wandered around just sort of making sure things were okay. There are usually some homeless guys who hang out inside the entrance, and kids like to play on the rails right there also. I just thought it would be a good idea to hang around there for awhile. I soon discovered, though, that there was no greeter today, so pretty soon I was handing out bulletins and greeting people as they arrived too. The bulletins ran out around 10:15 or so. There were a LOT of people who showed up today - the place was packed and we had to set up extra chairs - but apparently no one was prepared for extra people. It all worked out fine.

Other than that it was just a normal service. Communion took a little longer than normal what with so many people. The worship wasn't spectacular, but it was fine, especially considering the scheduled worship leader cancelled at the last minute. So, it was really just another Sunday other than all the extra people. I really like that about our church. It's typically borderline chaos, most people are genuinely glad to be there, and no one gets excited or upset about any type of behavior or circumstances.

After church we headed to our house and hosted the Feipel 5 for lunch. Jane had made lasagna, and we thought it was cooking on low heat while we were at church. Unfortunately our oven must have an automatic shut-off or something, because when we got home the oven was off and the lasagna was only a bit warm. So we didn't eat until later than planned. Drew Carrie hid some eggs for the kids and we let them play outside until time to eat. It was a beautiful 70-degree day. Eventually they left to go to Drew's family's and Jane and I took a nap.


I may have forgotten a thing or two, but that's how it went down... the best as I can remember it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Holy week david gilmour liturgy

This year I changed up the 'Holy week David Gilmour liturgy' that I've posted to Facebook the last 5 or so years. Instead of just doing Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, I started with postings on Monday and went through the week. If I continue it next year I will likely start on Palm Sunday with 'Time,' but it didn't occur to me until it was too late this year.

I based the song selections this year mostly on the gospel readings from the Revised Common Lectionary (Year A). Someday I would like to put together a more complete Holy Week devotional with explanations, prayers, and such. But, it doesn't really seem to garner that much interest, so it's probably not worth the time and effort. Anyway, this is what I posted for each day on Facebook this year:

Song: "Rattle that lock" (
Scripture: John 2:13-17 (not the normal reading)
Posting: "I'm beginning my annual David Gilmour Holy Week liturgy on Monday this year. I can picture Jesus overturning the temple tables to this."

Song: "Let's Get Metaphysical" (
Scripture: John 12:20-36
Posting: "Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)

Song: "Faces of Stone" (
Scripture: John 13:21-32
Posting: "Merciful Lord, you revealed your glory by humbly serving the one who would betray you. Shower us with your mercy, Lord, and grow us up to be merciful. Amen." (Common Prayer: A Liturgy for Ordinary Radicals)

Song: "Wish You Were Here" (unplugged) (
Scripture: John 13:1-17; 31b-35
Posting: "Maundy Thursday (or Holy Thursday) is one of my favorite Christian holidays. Perhaps because nothing expresses the mystery and intrigue of our faith more than what transpired on this night.

It is set on the Thursday before Easter in remembrance of the night preceding Jesus' crucifixion (Good Friday). Jesus had gathered with his disciples to celebrate the Passover, and he puts a whole new twist on the event... turning it into the Last Supper. It was to be his last night alone with his closest friends; a night he tried to show them the full extent of what he was about. They ate together, and he washed their feet. Everyone's feet. Including Judas' (who was in the midst of betraying him).

A common thought is that the English word Maundy is derived from the Latin mandatum, and connects with John chapter 13; specifically verses 34-35 where Jesus says, "A new command (mandate) I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples..."

I have always thought this the perfect song to accompany my reminisce of the events and emotion of this night. So many times I wish he were here; and he may feel likewise..."

Song: "Comfortably Numb" (
Scripture: John 18:1-19:42
Posting: PARADOX seems to be the appropriate word:
"...when Jesus knew that all was now finished, he said (in order to fulfill the scripture), "I am thirsty."
19:29 A jar full of sour wine was standing there. So they put a sponge full of the wine on a branch of hyssop and held it to his mouth.
19:30 When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished." Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
19:31 Since it was the day of Preparation, the Jews did not want the bodies left on the cross during the sabbath, especially because that sabbath was a day of great solemnity. So they asked Pilate to have the legs of the crucified men broken and the bodies removed.
19:32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who had been crucified with him.
19:33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs.
19:34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once blood and water came out.
19:35 (He who saw this has testified so that you also may believe. His testimony is true, and he knows that he tells the truth.)
19:36 These things occurred so that the scripture might be fulfilled, "None of his bones shall be broken."" (John 19:28-36)

Saturday - silent (no song or posting)
Scripture: Matthew 27:57-66 or John 19:38-42

Songs: "Coming Back to Life" (before sunrise) ( & "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" (after sunrise) (
Scripture: John 20-1:18 or Matthew 28:1-10
Postings: First - "Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance." John 20:1
Happy Easter, folks!! (with CBTL). With "Shine on..." I posted this:
"So ends another year's DG Holy Week liturgy with one of my favorite songs, and a little blurb from Wendell Berry to remind us we can forever 'practice resurrection.'" followed by "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front."

So, that's it for this year. But the resurrection never ends...