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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Reposted: Get Out and Exercise!

Get Out and Exercise

...but wear a helmet!

I copied this post. It features two of my favorite You-Tube stars!
(I also doctored the photo. The original had poor contrast.)

Get out & exercise! You never know who you might meet. Can't wait to work on that hit song about bike helmets with you @alyankovic

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Cutting Costs: Scrambled Powdered Eggs

As I may have mentioned before, to save money, I buy powdered eggs online for a fraction of the cost of fresh eggs.
My first attempt at cooking scrambled powdered eggs was successful, because I followed the directions, mixing the amount of eggs I intended to use the night before; but over time, I have had to mix the egg powder and cook it immediately, which does not work. Eggs fixed that way have a strange greenish color, a strange chewy texture, and a strange flavor that is not good. Still, at 25¢, I was determined to make these eggs work, and I have. I now have a “subscription” to ship a large can of powdered eggs once a month, and I average purchasing a second can of powdered eggs about every six weeks because we go through them that quickly.

Eventually I learned the secret to making great tasting powdered eggs. It seems the only problem with mixing them immediately before use is that they foam up, and you can’t thoroughly hydrate the powder when part of the liquid is foam. The secret? Use slightly less water than the 3:1 ratio would suggest, and add a tablespoon of olive oil in place of part of the water. Then the mixture doesn’t foam when you mix it, and all of the powder mixes correctly. I also use three egg white powder units for every half-unit of whole egg powder, a little yellow food coloring (I’m trying to find a yellow food coloring that is 100% beta carotene). Finally, when the pan of eggs are almost done, I add one whole fresh egg to the pan, careful not to break the yolk until the egg white is fully cooked. The result is an authentic appearance with little pieces of egg white with a few areas that have the darker yolk, in an otherwise uniformly yellow pan of eggs. The illusion of "normal" scrambled eggs seems to make all the difference.

This morning I accidently learned something new about scrambled powdered eggs. If you accidently forget them on the stove, and they appear to be hopelessly scorched, they don’t taste scorched at all. In fact, this morning I carefully scraped the unscorched eggs off the top, and then scraped the scorched eggs off the bottom of the pan. Then I finished cooking the unscorched eggs. When finished, the unscorched eggs tasted perfect. I served a plate to Betty. She loved them, and thanked me for making such perfect scrambled eggs. Then I tried a bit of the scorched eggs, and they tasted fine. I was shocked. I tasted a little more. Still fine. Finally, I made my own breakfast out of entirely scorched powdered eggs, and they tasted great! I could not have gotten by with eating scorched fresh eggs. Those taste bad.

These tasted good. I wonder why?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Benefits of Brain Injury

Disclaimer: Don't take anything I might say in this post too literally. There is a grain of truth that inspired each comment, but keep in mind, my purpose is to find the lighter side of what would otherwise be dark and unpleasant. 

1) Reruns never seem old

2) I can polish the same silver for hours until it REALLY shines, and it feels like I just started.

3) Discovering that 'someone' already did that job I was dreading...

4) Forgiving others is much easier when you can't recall why they needed to be forgiven.

5) I like myself better now that I don't recall what I used to dislike...

6) People who have met me since my accident think I'm a likable easygoing person who never finds fault with anyone. They don't know I formerly used humility as a front to hide conceit, or how impatient I could be with people who did not live up to my expectations. I have always expected nothing more from others than I expected from myself; but in the past that attitude made me a tyrant. Now it makes me easygoing...

7) I can play chess against myself with neither side cheating, and I always feel as if I won!

8) Did I mention I like myself better now?

I'd like to create a Letterman style 'top 10' list. Any suggestions?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Another copied Facebook status

Interesting... Yesterday, my neurologist was angry that my psychiatrist had put me on melatonin and an antidepressant. He told me to stop taking the melatonin immediately, and have the psychiatrist call him as soon as possible. This morning I met with a new psychiatrist (I don't know the details, but the old one no longer works there) who seemed to agree with the neurologist. He gave me a schedule to aggressively get off the antidepressant over a six-day schedule. I feel encouraged. When I started the antidepressant, I started sleeping 18 to 20 hours a day again, and my amnesia and my difficulty with focusing got significantly worse. How ironic that I look forward with such anticipation to only being as bad off as I was a couple of months ago!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

In case you are wondering...

In case you are wondering when and whether I will get around to posting resources, you are not alone. I've been wondering the same thing! The last several weeks have been especially difficult for me. I have posted a couple of notes about some of the difficulties I've experienced recently, and I'm sure I'll be posting many more, especially about how TBI can create a catch-22 situation in which a Government agency that is supposed to provide TBI services can require paperwork that TBI prevents from being completed. Worse, in the state of Indiana, failure to meet a deadline does not just mean starting over. In the case of health insurance, it means starting over after waiting a punitive year. I'll write more about that issue later. My daughter and I and a friend met with a judge earlier this week about this very issue. To prevent future missed deadlines, I am setting up a power of attorney so my daughter can follow up on my legal responsibilities and ensure they are met when I am not keeping up with my responsibilities. Hopefully the judge will accept our solution. Otherwise, we'll be getting a lawyer and appealing the decision, which is a difficult thing to do when you have no money. In my case, I have an unknown benefactor, possibly my church, or possibly someone who attends my church, who is paying the attorney to meet with me.

To get back on topic, this is a brainstorming outline where I'm collecting ideas for the static portion of this TBI resources website:

If you are reading my notes, please provide feedback, positive or negative. Your feedback not only helps me directly to see how to improve the usefulness and readability of my website, but it also lends a degree of authority to my opinions when they are evaluated by others. I reserve the right to remove inappropriate notes, but I will not remove your note just because you criticize or disagree. I welcome conflict. If a whetstone provided no friction, would it be of use to sharpen anything?

What are YOUR ideas about what a TBI Resources website should contain?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Another complaint about memory and focus

a hot day
July 5th was one of those days when the temperature was in the range of 101° and the heat index was around 110°. I had an increased number of memory and focus issues which I attribute to the new antidepressant (Zoloft) that was prescribed, but my son suggests it was the heat.

Today, the alarm I set to remind me to pick up Audra from summer school went off, and I immediately got up to go get her, but my shoes were not in the closet where they belong, nor were they by my bed or under my desk. Finally I found them under the kitchen table.

a cool shower
As I sat down to put them on, it occurred to me that on an unusually hot day, I should bathe be
fore putting on clothes (shoes are clothes) that get worn daily without laundering them. So... having forgotten all about Audra's need for a ride, I took a long, leisurely, and refreshing almost-too-cold shower. Then, feeling good but a little tired, I thought a well-earned short nap was in order. Fortunately, it is my routine to check messages on my phone before I take a nap.
Audra waited about 45 minutes for me, on what may prove to have been the hottest day of the year! I apologized profusely when I arrived. As I drove her home, I thought about how nice it was that Audra was so understanding about my lateness, while an underlying thought taunted me:

Is this a GOOD thing?