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Sunday, August 20th, 2017
3:24 am - Update for 8/20/17
I had a pretty good day last Thursday. I had an appointment with my psychiatrist that morning, and it went alright. No changes to my medication, and I'll see him again in November. Also, my weight is down to 235 pounds from a high of 257 some time ago. The nurse didn't say what my blood pressure numbers were, though.

Once I was finished at the clinic, my dad and I had a few errands to run. We went to the post office first, and I got a letter from the food stamps office regarding my eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. I'm still certified for it, and my next re-determination will be in August of 2019. Upon leaving the post office, we went to a service station to get some air in one of the truck's tires and then the bank for a roll of quarters. After that, we went grocery-shopping at the local Walmart. My dad decided that since we were going straight home from there, he'd get us each a pint of ice cream. He got Blue Bell Dutch Chocolate and I decided to try Blue Bell Moo-llennium Crunch®. It had been quite a while since I had ice cream, and this flavor was good.

Speaking of new food products I've recently tried, I'll list the others now in no particular order.

3 more Barilla Italian-Style Entrées: Marinara Penne, Sausage & Tomato Rotini, and Tomato & Basil Penne

2 MTN DEW® KICKSTART™ drinks: Mango Lime and Raspberry Citrus

3 LAY'S potato chip flavors: Lightly Salted Barbecue, Kettle Cooked Everything Bagel with Cream Cheese, and Wavy Fried Green Tomato (The 2nd & 3rd ones are “Do Us A Flavor” contest finalists.)

1 jar of On the Border Hot Salsa

And 1 item I'm not sure if I've had before or not: DON MIGUEL® Nacho Cheese & Chicken Mini Tacos

I think that about covers the most important things I wanted to mention in this post.

current mood: mellow

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Friday, August 11th, 2017
2:09 pm - Update for 8/11/17
I've been in a pretty good mood lately for some reason. I'm not really sure why that is, but I certainly won't complain about it. :)

Let's see, what important stuff has been happening in my life recently? Well, I got a Telegram account and visited the Louisiana Furs chat-room for a little while about four days ago. I guess it was nice to have some interaction with my fellow furries that was more dynamic than what I usually do on Twitter. (What I mean by "dynamic" is getting a response to a Telegram message is much faster than getting one to a tweet.)

Next topic: My dad and I went to Walmart on Wednesday, and I decided to get a new pair of shoes. I tried on a few pairs, and I ended up buying these: http://www.airspeedfootwear.com/mens-skate-shoes/heritage/. They feel much better than the Faded Glory slip-ons I have, which were a little tight when I got them with the hope that they'd loosen up over time. (That didn't quite work out.)

Also on Wednesday, I got a voice-mail from the food stamps office asking me to call them back to answer a question about my expenses. (I filled out a re-determination application regarding my eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program last month.) I tried calling them yesterday, but every time I selected the option to talk to a customer service representative, I got a busy signal. Fortunately, they called me today, so this has been taken care of. :)

I think I'll wait until my next update to list the new food items I've tried recently, so that's it for this post.

current mood: hungry

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Monday, July 31st, 2017
5:52 pm - Update for 7/31/17
I'm almost out of time to get a second update posted this month, so I'll keep it short.

I had a self-harm incident last Wednesday, but I managed to keep it to just scratching my arms and legs with a couple of sharp objects. As for the reason for it, I needed to relieve the stress I've been feeling about how bad this reality is becoming due to the actions of this nation's federal-level politicians.

I think that's enough for this update.

current mood: calm

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Saturday, July 22nd, 2017
12:42 am - Update for 7/22/17
Wow, three weeks in and I'm just now making my first post of the month. (I still intend to do a second one in a few days.)

The most important news item since my last update is probably that I had to complete a re-determination application regarding my eligibility for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, and I took care of it online last Thursday evening.

My case manager from Start Corp. has been on my, well, CASE about a few things. Things like taking my morning and evening medication dosages about 12 hours apart regardless of what times I go to bed and get up, and showering every day instead of about 4 times per week. Those are a couple of the improvements I've been working on lately, and I'm also making an effort to cut back on chips and salsa, limiting myself to one 16oz serving of salsa plus chips per day. Before this week, I've often had that amount twice per day.

Speaking of salsa, I've tried a few new ones recently. The local Walmart has started carrying some "Sam's Choice" varieties I hadn't seen before, but I'm pretty sure at least two of those three used to be sold under the store's "World Table" brand. Other than the labels, the jars are exactly the same. Anyway, I'm trying to snack a little healthier as well, so I've tried all five Bold Flavors of Blue Diamond Almonds: Sweet Thai Chili, Wasabi & Soy Sauce Flavored, Sriracha, Habanero BBQ, and Salt 'n Vinegar. They're all good, and the Habanero BBQ was a lot milder than I expected. Another item I've tried is a Barilla Italian-Style Entrées Meat Sauce Gemelli. Beverages I've tried recently include Sprite Cherry, Snapple Takes Two to Mango Tea, and Monster Energy Gronk.

I think that's enough for this update.

current mood: okay

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Saturday, June 24th, 2017
5:35 pm - Update for 6/24/17
I think now would be a good time for my second post of this month. So, where should I begin?

Well, I'm still meeting with my case manager from Start Corporation once a week, and I've been making more of an effort lately to put her recommendations for improving my living situation into practice. For instance, I cleaned my laptop this week. I picked up an Endust® for Electronics 6 oz. LCD & Plasma Screen Cleaner & Micro Fiber Towel Combo to do it, and the computer looks and seems to run much better now. Anyway, I've been doing very well with the services Start Corp. has been providing, so well in fact that they would like to do a story in their internal newsletter on me as an example of a successful client of the program. I think it'd be nice to get some recognition for a job well done, so I'm fine with this. My case manager took a photo of me for it, and she wanted me to write a brief bio of myself, but I asked her for some guidelines on that and she hasn't gotten back to me yet. I probably should have called her within the past couple of days.

Moving on to the topic of new food products I've tried recently, the first ones I'll mention are a couple of Healthy Choice Power Bowls: Adobo Chicken & Korean-Inspired Beef. They were both pretty good, although the chicken one was not as spicy as I would have liked. Also, I think the spice level scale on the packages should have a wider range than just "1-2-3" because the difference between 1 and 2 seemed greater than a single level. I also tried a Lean Cuisine Vermont White Cheddar Mac & Cheese, a MTN DEW GREEN LABEL, a Monster Energy Ultra Violet, and a Pepsi Fire Cinnamon Flavored Cola.

One last thing for this update: I've recently started using hairspray, specifically Suave Max Hold Unscented Non-Aerosol, when I brush my hair. It does keep my hair looking nice for a bit longer. Oh, and speaking of sprays, I also started using that Old Spice Wolfthorn Refresh Body Spray that I've had for a while. It's pretty good stuff.

current mood: okay

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Friday, June 9th, 2017
3:57 pm - Update for 6/09/17
Last Wednesday was a good day for me. My dad had an appointment in Houma that morning, and he suggested that I go with him so we could go out to eat once he was finished at the hospital. Since his birthday was on Thursday, this was a good way to celebrate it. His appointment ended earlier than he expected, so we went to IHOP. He got the T-Bone Steak & Eggs and I had the Sirloin Tips & Eggs. He asked me if I needed to go anywhere else in Houma, and I told him I thought about suggesting we go to the mall so I could visit the AT&T store and see about getting a new phone, and that I decided to NOT make that suggestion because of how difficult it is for him to get around right now. (He's been walking with crutches for the past several months because of how much his back hurts.) However, he decided that we COULD go to the mall, and I was able to get a new phone. I ended up choosing the LG X venture, and I also got a Samsung Galaxy Tab E for just another dollar plus tax. :)

Moving on to the topic of new food products I've tried recently, one of them is RED’S NATURAL FOODS CHICKEN ENCHILADAS WITH A TRADITIONAL ENCHILADA SAUCE; they were better than the beef enchiladas from the same brand I mentioned in my post on May 14th. I tried a Lean Cuisine meal that doesn't seem to be on the brand's website: Chicken Cashew Stir Fry, described as "tender white meat chicken with cashews, green beans, red peppers, onions & rice in a spicy Szechuan-style sauce." I've tried a couple of new Great Value meals: BAKED ZITI (Ziti pasta and Italian sausage baked in a zesty marinara sauce) and LASAGNA WITH MEAT SAUCE (Meat sauce layered between lasagna pasta, with mozzarella, cottage and Parmesan cheeses). I've tried a couple of small bags of chips: DORITOS® Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips and Lay's Lime & Sea Salt potato chips, a "LIMITED TIME FLAVOR" that doesn't appear to be on the company's website. I've also tried a couple of new Mountain Dew beverages: DEW-S-A and WHITE LABEL. Lastly, the local Walmart recently started carrying variety packs of Hawaiian Punch drink mix, and out of the four flavors they contain, there's one I hadn't tried before: Berry Bonkers. (The other three are Fruit Juicy Red, Wild Purple Smash, and Berry Blue Typhoon.) Also, the variety packs have 40 individual packets and cost $3.92, which is a better deal than $1 for a box of 8 packets of a single flavor.

I think that's enough for this update.

current mood: good

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Wednesday, May 31st, 2017
7:20 pm - Update for 5/31/17
I'm almost out of time this month to get a second update posted here, so I'll keep it short.

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist last week, and we discussed my recent self-harm incidents. We decided to increase my Vistaril dose from ONE 25mg capsule twice a day as needed to TWO 25mg capsules twice a day as needed. I haven't needed it yet, though.

And like I said in my previous post, I felt obligated to call my mom on Mother's Day. I did, but I had to call my half-sister's phone because Mom ran out of minutes on hers. Oh well, obligation fulfilled. :)

current mood: okay

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Sunday, May 14th, 2017
6:33 am - Update for 5/14/17
I'll begin this post with a (physical) health report. I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner at the Behavioral Health Center last Thursday, and I finally learned the results of that lab work that was done back in February. My triglycerides have come down quite a bit, from over 400 to under 200. I think I heard the number 160, but I'm not sure. I still need to exercise more in order to get my good cholesterol levels up, though. My next appointment is going to be on October 31st because the nurse was originally going to give me another request for lab work that I could get done on Oct. 24th when I have my next appointment at Chabert's, but then she found the results of the tests from February. Also, my blood pressure is good and my weight is 240 pounds, which is exactly what my driver's license says I weigh. :)

Next topic: Food products that I've recently tried for the first time. First one I'll list is Garden of Eatin’™ Multigrain Sea Salt Chips, although it may not be the exact same product as the one on the website. The other one is RED’S Natural Foods SHREDDED BEEF ENCHILADAS WITH AN AUTHENTIC VERDE SAUCE, which were pretty bland, and I think I might have undercooked them. One of the instructions was "Puncture holes in film to allow ventilation," but I accidentally ripped a much bigger hole in it than I intended, and that's probably why the enchiladas were undercooked.

Speaking of food, the local Walmart recently started carrying the single serve SAVOIE'S Shrimp Etouffee dinners again. It had been quite a few months since I had one of these, and, with a little hot sauce, it was just as good as I remembered.

Lately, I've been giving serious thought to getting a new smartphone. I've had my current one for almost three years, so there are a few options to which I can upgrade once I learn how that process works. I really need to check AT&T's website for that information.

Oh yeah, I finished coloring that page I mentioned in my previous update, but I still need to scan it into my dad's PC, transfer it via USB flash drive to my PC, and upload it to my Photobucket account. (We have only one internet connection, and it's in my room.)

Lastly, I feel obligated to call my mom today since it's Mother's Day, and considering that I have her number, I really have no excuse for NOT calling her.

current mood: calm

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Sunday, April 30th, 2017
8:36 pm - Update for 4/30/17
Wow, I'm cutting my 2-updates-per-month thing CLOSE this month.

Now, where do I begin this post? Well, my case manager from Start Corp. has had me working on a page from a coloring-book-for-adults with colored pencils. It's supposed to be a good way to relax, and I think it works. She's also suggested that I get my own set of colored pencils so I can do this more often than just during her weekly visits, and my dad offered to buy me some on our last trip to the local Walmart. I thought about getting a box of 100 Crayola ones, but I decided to get a box of 50 instead. I haven't opened them yet, though.

I had an appointment at the ophthalmology department of Chabert Medical Center in Houma last week, the results of it being pretty much "my right eye looks good and my next follow-up appointment will be on October 24th." Heh, the phrase "my eye LOOKS good" has more than one meaning, doesn't it? :)

The only new food product I've tried recently is Coca-Cola Life, which is sweetened with cane sugar & Stevia and comes in green cans. It tastes about the same as regular Coke, and I'm pretty sure that's the point.

I haven't been seeing Old Spice Wolfthorn Body Wash at Walmart lately, so I'll probably have to get something else when my current one runs out.

I haven't mentioned this yet, but I changed multivitamins a while back. I'm still using Walmart's Equate brand, but I switched from "Adults Under 50" to "Men's Health." However, I don't think I've perceived any noticeable difference.

Lastly, I don't want to go into details, but it seems that the medication I'm on is no longer helping me resist my urges to self-harm. I have an appointment with my psychiatrist next month, so I'll discuss the issue then.

current mood: okay

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Saturday, April 8th, 2017
7:54 pm - Update for 4/08/17
I haven't been feeling too well this week because of a cold, but I think I'm almost over it now.

Anyway, my life since my previous update has been pretty uneventful. The only new food products I've tried are some salsas the local Walmart recently started carrying. A couple of El Sol Foods Homestyle, Mild and Medium, and Italian Rose Fresh Salsa in a 32 oz. container which really didn't taste any different from the Italian Rose Fresh Salsa With Cilantro in a 16 oz. container I've had before.

Yesterday, I bought a DVD of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, but I Haven't watched it yet.

Actually, there is one relatively exciting thing that's happened this week: our cable provider added the network "Comet" to our channel lineup. Its programming is mainly science fiction along with supernatural, horror, adventure and fantasy, mostly from the MGM movie and TV library. The first film I watched on it was Queen of Blood from 1966.

Speaking of old films I've seen on television recently, Queen of Outer Space from 1958 was on Turner Classic Movies this week. I remember seeing footage from it in an episode of "Whose Line Is It, Anyway?" back in the 90s, but I didn't know what movie it came from until now. :)

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Thursday, March 30th, 2017
6:14 pm - Update for 3/30/17
The first thing I need to report in this update is the result of my appointment at L.J. Chabert's Ophthalmology Department a couple of Mondays ago. I got evaluated for some laser work to remove the remaining scar tissue from the cataract surgery on my right eye I had a while back, and they were able to do the procedure that day. After that, they gave me a prescription for an eye-drop to use four times a day and a follow-up appointment one week later (which was last Monday). Basically, I was told that my eye looked good and I could discontinue using the eye-drop. My next follow-up appointment is scheduled for April 25th. The laser work has certainly improved my vision. :)

In other news, I've tried only a few new food products: Lay's Kettle Cooked GARDEN TOMATO & ASIAGO potato chips (one of their "Do Us a Flavor" varieties), a Mexican Mocha-flavored Starbucks Doubleshot Energy drink, and some Chips-Ahoy cookies filled with birthday-cake frosting. The cookies were from the most recent food-distribution at the church my dad goes to. At this point, I probably don't need to keep saying that I've liked whatever new food items I've recently tried, so just assume I've liked everything I mention here unless I specifically state otherwise. :P

I also finally got around to playing F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon, which I purchased on Steam during a digital-sale Amazon had back on 12/30/16. The game crashed on my initial attempt to start it, but I just needed to start it a second time and it ran fine at default settings. :)

I filled out a Behavioral Health Survey from insurance provider. It was the second one they sent me because I never got around to doing the first one.

I think that's about all of the important stuff I've been up to since my previous update, but I did install some more themes I like on my current web browser, Pale Moon: Aeromoon, Moonola, Nauticalia, Noia Moon (Theme), and Black Leather Class.

"Black Leather Class" is just a regular Firefox theme, but the other four are made specifically for PM.

current mood: good

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Wednesday, March 8th, 2017
8:36 pm - Update for 3/08/17
Before I get started, I should warn everyone reading this entry that it's going to be a long one.

Firstly, I've been doing well since the last time I posted anything here. I guess I just needed to get that stuff out of my system.

Today was the day that my dad finally had that appointment with a specialist in New Orleans for his lower back pain, and I accompanied him. It's good that I did because he got a bit lost on the way and needed me to get directions from MapQuest on my phone. We arrived late, but he was still able to see the doctor. Basically, my dad was told that surgery would fix his back problem, but with the shape he's in, there's a high risk of complications further down the line. So for now, he'll stick with injections that temporarily stop the pain, and he's supposed to try to lose some weight in order to lower the aforementioned risk. This means I'm going to be stuck helping him for a while longer. Eh, I can live with that.

Once we were done at the medical center, we came back to Raceland, went to the post office and then had lunch at Formosa Gardens. My fortune cookie said "Take the honorable path and you cannot go wrong." Interestingly, the list of Lucky Numbers on the back of the fortune included "34," which was in the list on the fortune I got last month AND is the age I became on my last birthday (which was ALSO last month).

In other news, I had an appointment with the Ophthalmology Department at L.J. Chabert in Houma last month. My right eye, which I've had surgery on to fix a retina detachment and then another surgery to fix the cataract caused by the first surgery, has some scar tissue remaining. I was told that it could be easily laser-ed out and doing so would probably improve my vision. I decided to go for it, and I now have an appointment later this month, which I think is going to be a preliminary visit to schedule the surgery.

Lately, I've been feeling a need to try something different in my life so I got a new web browser: http://www.palemoon.org/ I like it, and I REALLY like being able to use a remake of what had been my favorite theme for Firefox: https://addons.palemoon.org/themes/modoki-moon/ There were several themes on Firefox I liked before development of them ceased, so I'm happy that there are versions available for Pale Moon (even though Modoki Moon is the only one I currently have installed).

I also bought a new DVD (Doctor Strange) and a new CD (Six Feet Under: Torment).

That's pretty much all of the important stuff I had for this update. Before I go, I need to list all the new food items I've tried recently because I have GOT to throw away all the labels and/or empty containers I've saved for this purpose. In no particular order:

Starbucks White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino

Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Southwestern Queso

Fresh Cravings Salsa Restaurant Style Hot Crave

Lay's "Do Us A Flavor" Beer 'n Brats

Simply Tostitos Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Mist Twist Cranberry Lemon Lime Flavor

Jack Link's Whiskey Glaze Premium Pork Strips

Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray's Gourmet Sauces Hickory & Brown Sugar Beef Jerkey

Bridgford Sweet Baby Ray's Gourmet Sauces Sweet Teriyaki Beef Jerkey

Mist Twist Lemon Lime Flavor

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Citrus Cherry Flavor

Great Value Chicken Parmesan and Penne ("Breaded white meat chicken and marinara sauce with fresh-made penne pasta")

evol Vegetable Enchiladas

Marketside TURKEY & BABY SWISS CRANBERRY SANDWICH ("oven roasted turkey * tavern ham * baby Swiss cheese * cranberry orange spread * romaine lettuce * wheatberry bread")

Fresh Cravings Salsa Peach Mango Mild Crave

Mountain Dew Game Fuel Mango Heat Flavor

Marketside TURKEY & CHEDDAR SUB ("oven roasted turkey * sharp cheddar cheese * romaine lettuce * sweet grain sub")

Tostitos Splash Of Lime Salsa

Marketside TURKEY CHEDDAR SLIDERS ("oven roasted turkey * sharp cheddar cheese * arugula * pretzel slider buns")

Marketside SUPREME SUPER SUB ("LOADED WITH SMOKED HAM, TURKEY, ROAST BEEF, AND COLBY JACK CHEESE, OUR SUPER SUB WON'T LEAVE YOU HUNGRY. BIG ENOUGH FOR ANY APPETITE! Large French Loaf")

Mountain Dew Kickstart Energizing Midnight Grape

Mountain Dew Kickstart Hydrating Boost Energizing Watermellon

1893 FROM THE MAKERS OF PEPSICOLA ("Boldly blended cola made with: Kola nut extract * Real ginger * Sparkling water * Real sugar")

Monster Energy Unleaded

Stefano Foods Philly Cheese Steak Calzone (www.stefanofoods.com)

Hatch Valley Green Chile Salsa with Tomatillos, Garlic & Lime (http://505chile.com/)

On The Border Medium Cantina Lime & Cilantro Salsa

Clint's Texas Salsa (Mild, Medium and Hot are the only varieties the local Walmart carries.)

Great Value Cantina Salsa Medium

Great Value Peach Pineapple Chipotle Salsa

Zapp's Voodoo Heat Potato Chips

http://www.worldkitchensjerky.com/ (Hot & Spicy, Original, Peppered and Teriyaki)

Jack Link's Tender Cuts Prime Rib Seasoning

http://perkyjerky.com/turkey/more-than-just-original-turkey/

https://www.oberto.com/bbq-chicken-strips-1

https://www.oberto.com/bbq-chicken-strips

current mood: okay

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Sunday, February 26th, 2017
7:41 am - I knew it couldn't last.
So much for my ability to resist the urges to self-harm. I just had my first incident since last September, but fortunately, just like that time, I was able to keep it constrained to hair-pulling. It was a combination of things that finally overwhelmed my willpower. While I was doing my laundry, I decided to clean the toilet bowl since I hadn't done that in quite a while. I thought I could apply the cleaner to the bowl, let it disinfect for 10 minutes before scrubbing, and use that time to retrieve my laundry from the dryer. When I got to the laundry room, I found the dryer door open and my clothes still wet, so I came back into the apartment for another pair of quarters and then went back to the laundry room to use a different dryer. Upon re-entering the apartment, I discovered that my dad had woken up and was using the object that I had not finished cleaning. After that, my self-harm urges quickly built up to a point where I was unable to fully suppress them. I think the dryer problem and my thwarted attempt to clean the commode just combined to produce a feeling of frustration that was more powerful than what I could deal with responsibly.

I had intended to post about some other stuff in this update, but I think I'll hold off on that for at least a few days.

current mood: blah

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Monday, February 13th, 2017
4:50 am - Update for 2/13/17
I thought about posting something here over this past weekend, but I didn't get around to it until now. I plan to make this entry a bit shorter than my last one.

So, my birthday was on the 4th, and I got a phone call from my half-sister, a text message from my mom and a tweet from a friend (dragonheadthing). I didn't hear from my full sister at all, though, so I wonder if I should even bother trying to call her on her birthday later this month? Eh, I might as well give it a shot. :)

Last Friday, I had an appointment with the nurse practitioner at the Behavioral Health Center, and my blood pressure was "almost perfect," but I don't remember what the exact numbers were. However, I do remember that my weight was 245 lbs. Anyway, Chabert Medical Center hasn't yet sent over the results of the blood test I mentioned in my previous update, so I had to sign a couple of papers, and once the BHC gets the results, they'll call me. Of course, I'll be back there to see my psychiatrist on the 16th, so I guess I'll learn the results this week whether they call me or not. :)

After last Friday's appointment, my dad took me to lunch at the nearby Chinese buffet restaurant, and my fortune cookie said "You will stumble into the path that will lead your life to happiness." Also, I found something for my dad to get me as a late birthday gift the last time we went to Walmart: Wrangler - Men's Rip-Stop Cargo Pants, size 38x30 in green. They fit okay when I tried them on in the store, and I included them in the last load of laundry I did, so I'm going to really wear them for the first time today.

I should probably take my medication, brush my teeth and go to bed now.

current mood: calm

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Saturday, February 4th, 2017
3:42 am - Turning 34 today
This has been a rather productive week for me. On Monday, I had my weekly visit with my case manager from Start Corp. The most important part of the meeting was that she had me walk up and down the street for about 25 minutes, and that was the most walking I've done in a single session all year. It's just one of the ways in which she's been encouraging me to improve my lifestyle, and I admit that I do need to get more exercise. Another improvement she strongly suggested was to replace the plastic 20 oz soda bottles I fill with tap water and keep in the fridge. I did, and I'm pretty sure the taste of the Hawaiian Punch drink mix packets I pour in them actually got better. Speaking of drink mix packets, I still have a bunch of Great Value Energy ones that I need to finish soon because their "Best By" dates are later this month. I had stopped using them for several months, not sure how many, and just occasionally consumed canned energy drinks, but now I've decided to cut back further on the cans. Even though I really like Monster Energy's Juice Monster Pipeline Punch with its wonderfully low 80 mg of Sodium per can, there's 0 mg of Sodium in each G.V. Energy packet. Remember, I've been making an effort to reduce my Sodium-intake due to the fact that I'm currently taking medication for "borderline high" blood pressure (as well as high triglycerides).

On Wednesday, I was able to get the lab work that the nurse practitioner at the mental health center wanted done. My dad had an appointment at L.J. Chabert in Houma that morning, so I went with him, got some blood drawn and then returned to the waiting area where I read the couple of magazines I had brought with me until he was finished. Since I had to fast for the lab work, my dad gave me $3 on Tuesday night for the vending machines. I decided on a bag of MISS VICKIE'S SMOKEHOUSE BBQ FLAVORED KETTLE COOKED POTATO CHIPS, which was good, and a Diet Dr. Pepper. While waiting to be called in for his appointment, my dad tried one of the chips and then gave me another dollar to get him his own bag. Once we were through at the hospital, we came back to Raceland and made stops at the bank and the post office before coming home.

Early yesterday morning, I washed my bed-sheets, pillowcases and comforter. I brought the now-clean stuff in from the laundry room and then took a shower before putting everything back on the bed. Later that morning, my dad and I went to Walmart, and I found a couple of frozen dinners that I wanted to try. I also saw some new Marketside sandwiches in the deli, so I tried the BEEF & BLEU SUB, which is roast beef, caramelized onions, bleu cheese and arugula on a pretzel hoagie. It was good, which I'm happy about considering that it was 12 oz and cost $4.12. :P Anyway, my dad got a twin-pack of Hamburger Helper Cheeseburger Macaroni because we received two packs of ground beef from his church's most recent food distribution. I, not he, will be the one cooking it this time for a couple of reasons: Firstly, he can't do much in the kitchen right now due to his back problems, and secondly, cooking for myself is another improvement my case manager from Start Corp. has been encouraging me to make in my life. I suppose that over the past several years I HAVE been relying too heavily on pre-packaged meals that I can just prepare in the microwave.

I think that's all the important stuff I've had going on this past week. Not a bad lead-in to my 34th birthday, if I do say so myself. :) Speaking of today being my birthday, my dad hasn't gotten me anything yet since he didn't remember what today was until well after we got home from the store yesterday. I'm actually okay with this because I still need to figure out what I want and make sure it's something he can afford.

current mood: good

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Sunday, January 29th, 2017
3:10 am - Second Update for 2017
I should probably get one more update posted here before January is over. I think I might try to do two updates each month this year, but that may or may not happen. We'll see.

Anyway, there's not a whole lot of stuff happening in my life right now that I consider important enough to post about. In fact, I can only think of ONE thing worth mentioning: my birthday is in six days. Yeah, I'll be 34 on February 4th, which is this Saturday. I still need to figure out what I want, though. I could certainly use a motorcycle to replace my previous one, which wore out to the point that fixing it would have cost more than it was worth, but I seriously doubt that anybody would just GIVE me one even for my birthday.

current mood: hungry

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Friday, January 13th, 2017
6:29 pm - First Update of 2017
I know we're almost two weeks in, but I'll say it anyway: Happy New Year.

Where do I begin with this post? Well, I picked up a few digital items during Amazon's sale on 12/30/16. I got the mid-season finale of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. because when it originally aired on TV last month, I fell asleep and missed almost all of it. I got Red Dwarf: Back to Earth since it's the 9th season/series, and I've already seen the first 8 on PBS. (I may or may not have seen all the episodes of seasons 1 through 8; it's been several years.) Lastly, I got a couple of games on Steam that I was pretty sure my laptop can handle: Return to Castle Wolfenstein and F.E.A.R.: First Encounter Assault Recon. RtCW on default settings certainly runs fine on my laptop, and I expect that F.E.A.R. will also, but even though it's installed, I haven't gotten around to starting it yet.

Getting new games provided me with a reason to finally get a new trackball, and eBay had the one I wanted at the lowest price: https://twitter.com/BikerWolfSDA/status/815701345713946624

To follow up on something I mentioned in my previous post, my dad now has an appointment scheduled with that specialist in New Orleans; it's in March.

Speaking of appointments, I had one this morning at the Start Corp. offices in Houma so they could update my case file. My dad gave me a ride since I can't drive his truck due to it having a manual transmission. (Yeah, I know I still need to learn how to drive it.) After my appointment, we went to the repair shop were I used to get my motorcycle worked on; I just wanted to check in with them since I hadn't been there in a long time. I chatted with the shop's owner for a little while and picked up some free magazines: the September 2016 issue of Thunder Roads Louisiana (http://www.thunderroadslouisiana.org) and the September & October 2016 issues of Louisiana Biker (http://www.louisianabiker.com). I got Thunder Roads for the jokes page, and I got the other publication because I don't remember seeing it in the shop before today.

Upon leaving the shop, my dad and I came back to Raceland and made stops at the bank, the post office and Walmart on the way home. At each business, my dad stayed in the truck wile I went inside.

Oh yeah, one last thing I wanted to mention: I finally started using some of those Old Spice Wolfthorn products, namely the antiperspirant/deodorant and the body wash, but not yet the body spray. Good stuff.

I think that's all the stuff I wanted to report in this post. By the way, Happy Friday The 13th. >:)

current mood: good

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2016
7:10 pm - My final update of 2016? Probably.
Where do I begin this update? Well, I got a letter from the Social Security Administration regarding my SSI; next year, my monthly payments are going up a bit (from $733.00 to $735.00). There should also be a similar adjustment coming to my food stamps account.

Christmas was mostly uneventful, although I did get a text message from my mom. For Xmas lunch, my dad got a ham and a big can of sweet potatoes, and we also had a can of cranberry sauce. As for gifts, I got my dad a refurbished printer I found online: https://twitter.com/BikerWolfSDA/status/808425361990189056 He let me pick out a few things at Walmart for him to get me: https://twitter.com/BikerWolfSDA/status/809173923237679104 and https://twitter.com/BikerWolfSDA/status/812034001322000386 That's a box of three Old Spice Wolfthorn products (antiperspirant & deodorant, body wash and body spray), a DVD triple feature (Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat Annihilation and Mortal Kombat: Legacy) and a watch set (one watch with five bands).

I just had to have the Wolfthorn stuff since I'm a, y'know, wolf, and I don't want to be the only one in the fandom who doesn't use it. As for the Mortal Kombat DVD, I chose it because I haven't seen any episodes of the Legacy series. However, I DID see both of the films when they were in theaters, and I've still got the first one on VHS. My dad actually picked out that watch, and although he offered to get me a different one if I wanted, I didn't see any that I really preferred to it.

In other news, I got a haircut yesterday: https://twitter.com/BikerWolfSDA/status/813869318727434240

There's some other stuff I want to mention. My dad got the results of his MRI: herniated disk, among other things. He's been referred to a specialist in New Orleans (that's the nearest one who'll take Medicaid), but it takes 2-6 months to get an appointment.

Hmm, I think that's all the important stuff I had for this update. There's a very good chance that I won't make another update before 2017, so I should probably say something now about New Year's Resolutions. I believe my Resolution for this past year was to update this Journal more often, at least in comparison to 2015. I haven't actually checked, but I think I managed to do that. My Resolution for 2017? Um, maybe learn how to drive an automobile with a manual transmission, specifically my dad's truck? It can't be TOO different from operating a motorcycle with a manual, right? Hmm.

current mood: okay

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Friday, December 9th, 2016
8:44 pm - Update for 12/09/16
I'll start this update with some good news: my dad was finally able to get an MRI on his back. He still needed me to accompany him to the hospital this morning, get a wheelchair and push him around, but he WAS able to make it into the building using just his crutches.

In other news, I changed antivirus software this week. As I reported back in July, I had been using Avira Free Antivirus on the refurbished laptop I got once I upgraded to Windows 10 based on Lifehacker calling it "The Best Antivirus App for Windows." Well, I've now gone back to using Norton by Symantec because I received an email offer to get Norton Security Deluxe for $19.99, which was 75% off regular price. I didn't simply pounce on the offer immediately, mind you; I did some research first to compare the programs. I read PCMag.com's reviews and THEN decided to return to Norton. The offer was good for only two days, and I took advantage of it with a little over two hours left.

Oh, and that EVOL FIRE GRILLED STEAK frozen dinner I mentioned in last week's update? It was good.

One more thing: The last pack of Gillette Mach3 Turbo blade cartridges I bought came with a manufacturer's coupon for $5 off a Fusion ProShield razor, so I decided to get this one: http://gillette.com/en-us/products/razors-trimmers-and-blades/fusion-proshield-razors/fusion-proshield-chill-razor I started using it the last time I shaved, and I think I did notice an improvement, albeit a small one, over the Mach3 Turbos. By the way, the razor in the above link comes with one blade cartridge, but the razor I bought came with two.

current mood: good

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Friday, December 2nd, 2016
7:15 pm - Update for 12/02/16
I'll begin this update with what I had for lunch this afternoon: an EVOL TRUFFLE PARMESAN MAC & CHEESE TV dinner. It was pretty good for something without meat, and I can't remember eating anything containing truffles before this. I also got a FIRE GRILLED STEAK dinner, which I'll most likely try before my next update.

I also tried a Marketside sandwich from Walmart's deli that I hadn't had before: a CHICKEN BACON RANCH SUPER SUB. It's described as "LOADED WITH SLICED ROTISSERIE CHICKEN, BACON, ROMAINE, AND RANCH DRESSING." It comes on a "Large French Loaf" and is only available as a footlong. Normally, I would only buy a six-inch sandwich, but this one and another footlong were on sale and therefore cheaper than the full price smaller ones so I decided to try it. (The regular price for a footlong is $5.98, sale price is $2.99, and a six-inch costs $3.98 normally and $1.99 on sale.) It was pretty good, and I got two meals out of it since I bought two small bags of chips and two 50oz. beverages (a Sweet Tea and a Lemonade), and I cut the sandwich in half.

In other news, my case manager from Start Corp. had me make a chart for stuff I'm supposed to do every day of the week and place it somewhere in my room so that I'll be forced to look at it.

Chart photo IMAG0023_zps6i1xkk9m.jpg

The stuff I'm supposed to do daily includes washing my face, brushing my teeth twice instead of just once, applying deodorant, making my bed, brushing my hair, putting on clean clothes, wiping down the kitchen and washing & putting away the dishes. Well, I've been accomplishing MOST of these actions everyday since Wednesday; I haven't made any progress on doing the dishes yet. Also, I'm supposed to increase the number of showers I take in a week from 3 to 4, and I need to wash my bed sheets more often, like at least once a month, so I got the sheets washed on Wednesday and got the comforter washed earlier today.

I think that's all for this update.

current mood: mellow

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