Sunday, January 1, 2023

New Years, Old Folks, New Plans.

Dawn over the new Rady's Concert Shell on San Diego Bay                                  Rodger Bantigue Photography

Hello from San Diego.  It's your part-time, pithy, political blogger Tuna here.  I hope you're all having a happy New Year and wonderful Christmas season.  I know we did. It's another trip around the Sun for the Earth and usually at the new year we take stock of what we have, and what we want to do.  Our local TV stations took a spin look back at the biggest news stories of the year, and I shake my head a bit.  I'm not so much angry as I am a bit numb over all the things I believe happened or continue to happen, but feel I'm being gaslighted by our government and the media.  I won't go much into that on this New Years Day, but it does make me very concerned.  Something else I've done is take a look at the Year-in-Review notifications that have come from YouTube and my music apps, showing me what I watched or listened to the most over the past year.  I also saw a recap of the best photos that I took. It was a good year, with wonderful trips, the marriage of both my sister (finally) and her son, and fun times with both the local Mustang Club I'm involved in and the Knights of Columbus.

St. Thomas Selfies

Barb & Ken (no, not Ken and Barbie!)

Frenchman's Cove St. Thomas

KofC Charity Work

Coronado Christmas Parade

Driving the Holiday Bowl President in the Holiday Bowl Parade

One of the many I listened to this year

So it was a fun year, but I mentioned taking stock in what we have. I do that myself with a slightly heavy heart. Nothing too concerning, but my mother-in-law has been visiting us for the holidays; 16 days in total 😐. She is only 73, but unfortunately she's an old 73. Two hip surgeries haven't done well for her and she is not very mobile, and therefore quite slow, needing help to not only get around, but even get up from a chair.  I've also noticed that since her last visit about 18 months ago, she seems much more tired, and speaks so much quieter than she used to. She's been wanting to visit places she loves here in San Diego and recreate memories, as it was her last chance.  Maybe she knows something that we don't.  The trip down from Southern Oregon was difficult for her as she has to use a cane now, but really needs a walker, and was given assistance with a wheelchair at the airport on her layover.  It was a good 50 minute layover in SanFran, which is usually enough time to get from gate to gate there, but by the time she got the wheelchair they were already boarding at the next gate in a different terminal.  We had to deal with the same issue last Summer with my wife's broken foot.  So I feel for all of those who have mobility issues, especially when they travel. 

Maintaining my mobility is definitely something I need to do as I age because I have observed how elderly friends or relatives without the ability to get up and around easily, don't seem to have the quality of life that I would want.  Due to diabetes my father had lost half of a foot and the toes on the other, and was weakened after heart issues.  So he was essentially housebound for the last 15 years of his life.  So some weight loss is in order for me in 2023 (for the 10th year in a row). 

A coworker had dealt with his aging father, having to move him into the memory care floor of his assisted living community.   After dealing with his mother a few years ago, he learned that It's far easier to move a loved one into a long-term care situation when they are already living in assisted living.  It's a major, and difficult change in their life if you are forcing them out of their home into assisted living (or nursing home, or rehab center), vice having them move from one floor of a retirement home into memory care or a wing that provides more care.  A medical issue is one problem, yet the a loss of independence is another.  Best to keep those separate.  We're far from needing to make that decision, but I suppose it's something to think about.

So what else is on tap for 2023?  It's going to mark the 30th year of marriage for us, and if you've followed this blog since 2012, we usually do something special for our +5 year ones.  We're heading to Ireland in August which will include visiting my wife's cousin, a tour around the country, and if we can get tickets, seeing Navy beat play Notre Dame in Dublin.

Those trips are wonderful, but our travel bucket list won't ever get shorter if we wait for those 5 year marks.  I've reached a certain level of tenure or seniority in my current job, earning a vacation day each pay period.  So we need to start using that time off- locally, domestically, or internationally.

Another oft-listened-to (and watched!) music video this past year.  

Sarge and I both own electronic drum sets. Mine is a recent purchase.  I played from 5th grade through college, but have found that it's not like falling off a bicycle.  My rhythm is still there, but the coordination with my feet and hands is not.  I'm more the little drummer boy, than Neal Peart, but I plan to keep practicing.  A buddy from my first squadron is an amateur guitarist and plans to move back to SanDog upon retirement.  We have said we'll start a garage band, and at the pace of improvement with my drumming skills, I better get going!

I suppose I'll get going here and leave the rest of your New Years Day to you all.  Happiest of New Years to Sarge, Juvat, Beans, Lush and all the Chanters out there.  Enjoy football, maybe a mimosa or two, and the beginning of your year.  I'll try to post when I have something to say, work out a little more, stay off of screens as best I can, and try not to be too pithy and political.  But no promises there- the libs need to slow down a bit for me to do that!   


  1. A Happy New Years to you Tuna, Sarge, juvat, Beans and all the Chanters. Parents can really miss their home they lived in for so many years, mine did when they moved in with me but I was glad they had visited my home for almost twenty years, so they at least were familiar with it and there was a yard for Dad to roam/work in. Good luck with that drum set and I've found walking to help work off those calories.

    1. Thanks. I've been maxing out my daily requirement on my Fitbit for several years, but I need to add weights and less food!

  2. Happy new year! I'd like to wish EVERYONE a better 2023!!
    Good luck with your plans Tuna! I hope you make it to that game...

    1. Thanks. I have a line into tickets through an academy booster!

  3. Happy New Year to all. I'm alive and well in Anne Arundel County MD. Sarge, out.

  4. Happy New Year Tuna! Those are some great memories for the year!

    Mobility: Something I do not think can be emphasized too much (he says, lecturing to himself first of all). Enough that I am picking up running again this year because I should (and, I need the additional endurance for hikes).

    Elderly relatives: We confronted this two years ago when we had to relocate my parents - my mother to memory care, my father first to assisted living and then to memory care. The only advice I can give is if it seems even remotely likely, start planning now. It is so much easier than doing it on a rush basis because of health related issues (which is what we had to do).

    Happy New Year to you and all the Chanters!

    1. Plan early, avoid the rush is a lesson too many of us learn the hard way I'd expect. Thanks.

  5. Happy New Year to all those on the Chant - who have provided welcome diversion from "current events" and lively commentary about a wealth of topics.
    Ref our elders; Bride started a new business in this year (finally freeing herself from DOD) the bulk of which is helping "kids" deal with "transitioning" their parents from their homes, in many cases into assisted living. We learned how to do this OJT and would have been very grateful to avail ourselves of the assistance Bride and her organization provide.
    Hate to end on this note; but no, Tuna, the left will not "slow down" in the least. The last pitiful political exercise has show us "There's no way out but through".
    Boat Guy

    1. Thanks, I will encourage my wife and sisters-in-law to begin the conversation. And I'm not expecting a slowdown at all since they seem to have perfected election fraud with those mail-in ballots and voting machines.

  6. Happy New Year. Regarding weight loss- here is what worked for me and my wife. YMMV. More than one way to skin cats or lose wight.

    We visited a dietician who provided excellent information and guidance, some of which we followed, some we ignored. We chose to ignore calorie counting as too much bother. Not really much need to worry about fats, but try to avoid saturated fats anyway. (Use olive oil instead of butter for most things.) The most valuable secrets we found were:

    1- Watch your carbs. No need to go nutso on math or anything, just look at the label on stuff when shopping, and pick stuff with fewer carbs, and don't buy really high carb stuff. Sugary stuff (especially sodas); bread and potatoes are all high carb stuff to avoid. Pasta is high too. Meats, eggs, and almost all veggies are low or no carb stuff.
    The label on the box has only two numbers you really need to look at:"serving size" and "total carbs". (you can deduct the fiber carbs if you want to do math, and use the lower number. An example- most bread serving size in 1 slice for 15-20 carbs. You can eat half a sandwich (with all the goodies from a full sandwich with half the bread.) Another option is Sara Lee "delightful 45" bread multi grain which has serving size of TWO slices for only 15 carbs so you can make a full sandwich.

    2- So, how many carbs can I have?- Aim for no more than 45 carbs per meal for a woman, or 60 carbs per meal for a man. No lightning strikes or food cop SWAT team if you miss the target, but keep trying and you can do it most of the time.

    3- Getting to 45 or 60 carbs per meal will probably mean cutting back portion sizes. For the first week you will think you will starve to death
    but you will soon get used to it and feel full with much less food. If you go out to eat split a dinner or get a doggie bag and you get out of cooking the next night. You will soon be aghast at the serving size at most restaurants, and figure out that most Americans are overweight or downright obese due to the amount of food we eat, and what that food is.

    4 Just like with elections, meals have consequences. Pick smart and you won't have as many unpleasant consequences.

    Food is calories in, exercise is calories out. Walking is good exercise for general well being and helps burn calories. Free, easy, and a very doable option as opposed to obsessive gym time, running, etc. Yup, nothing wrong with the hardcore workout stuff, if you actually can and will do that. After dinner is a good time to walk around the neighborhood. If you go to COSTCO or the mall and walk every aisle that is a pretty good workout. (Don't eat all the free food samples, dammit!).

    We feel and look a lot better with about 25 pounds each less to carry around. Wife also used the excuse that all her clothes were too big so she bought lots of new clothes. Got the A1C down for diabetes too. Again, this worked for us, and might work for you.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Thanks John, great advice. I am heavy on the breads, not enough veggies. I walk a lot already hence my thought about adding muscle to burn more calories. I was maintaining with regular racquetball play, but my partner broke his arm and hand several months ago and needs PT. I will try to follow your advice.

  7. Happy New Year to one and all.
    If I may make a suggestion; one quoted from my GP. "Yes," he told me. "You're quite good with a cane. Lose your balance and fall, just once, the wrong way (or on the wrong surface, even though you were a ski instructor once upon a time) and you may as well order a pine box. Use the G--D--- walker and stop arguing."
    Another comment: sometimes diabetes (high blood sugar) isn't due to diet (or lack of exercise) alone; sometimes it's due to something organically wrong with the pancreas: something like Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors, as well as other problems that aren't easily picked up by even an excellent annual exam.

    1. Thanks Boron, I'm not worried about diabetes as he was my adopted father and my side has no history of it. I'll softly mention the cane comment to my MIL.


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