And thus begins another Monday. This Monday begins my forth week in the Office.

Saturday was spent driving to the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. Traffic was what one would expect in Chicago but add in a thunderstorm with heavy rain on the incoming and outgoing drives. Thankfully, while at the Arboretum, the rain stopped. The outdoor Human + Nature exhibit have 5 massive sculptures by Daniel Popper. On the drive home there was a stop in Merrillville for dinner. We drove through Morocco and Kentland on the way home.

Sunday was lunch at Raising Canes close to the Purdue campus. The only sour note to the weekend was a walk through the fabled Von’s Books. A sign on the door said that a face mask must be “properly worn coving nose and mouth” to enter the store. Since I am fully vaccinated I thought the signs were not meant for me. However, a few minutes into the visit a sassy tall college student standing behind a Plexiglas barrier instructed me to wear a mask. I replied and said I was fully vaccinated. He said he didn’t care. Store policy required potential customers to properly wear face masks while in the store even if said customer was vaccinated. I didn’t have a face mask so he gave me one to wear and said that I’ll be charged $0.25 at checkout for the mask. I wore the mask. Of course I was put out as I guess being vaccinated as the government says I need to be for the good of the nation doesn’t mean anything to the management at Von’s Books.

I didn’t buy anything but went to the checkout to pay for the mask. On the counter was a hand written sign saying store policy is a $5 minimum if purchasing by a credit or debit card. I told the bearded short man behind the counter, a different man than the one who instructed me to properly wear a face mask, that I not buying anything but need to pay for the properly worn face mask and since I didn’t have any cash I need to pay for the mask with my credit card but the store requires a $5 minimum purchase if paying with a credit card, which I intended to use my Visa card to pay for the face mask they require me to where.

He waved me off. Probably tired of vaccinated people complaining about the store policy. I found it humorous. Maybe since the store is one block from the Purdue campus store management is still fearful of Covid, they could be fearful because Purdue imports many, many students from China. I got the gist Store management just want to dictate what customers need to wear as they can since Von’s Books is an “independent business”. There was no sign saying “No shoes, no shirts, no service”. So, I suppose I could have walked in without shoes or a shirt but with a face mask and store management would be ok with it.

Below are the signs I ignored on the entrance to Von’s. I feel for their employees and the deaths that have occurred but there is no evidence face masks stop the spread of Covid and the emerging variants. Maybe they should just close until the Covid scare is finally over, but we know that won’t happen as they probably make too much money on the local student population.

Signs on the entrance to Von’s Books. iPhone 7 photo taken by Dave O on June 27, 2021.

Premium Chicken Breast

Recently, I decided to change my eating plan. There are two element to this plan:

  • Keep minimal food at home
  • Go out to eat more often than not

The second item isn’t like it seems, where I ‘go out to eat’ at casual places like the Cheesecake Factory, Applebees or Bubbas every night or every meal. That would become too expensive quickly. However, if I go to McDonalds or Jaggers once a day then I would be fine, I believe.

The first item is really the critical element. If I don’t keep food in the house then it is not available to eat. If I want to eat then I need to go out. I’m more lazy than normal people so I just won’t go out. Hopefully, then, I won’t over eat.

A great example is this present moment. I am hungry. Before this new plan came into play, I would step to the freezer, microwave two $1 Banquet pot pies and then consume. I kept a stock of pot pies as they are easy to prepare and eat.

At this moment, I don’t have a stock of pot pies, so I don’t eat. I can’t leave the house to go get something from the drive thru because I’m ‘on-duty-working-from-home”. So, I don’t eat.

Yesterday, I was hungry but didn’t want to go through the drive thru so I hunted for food in the deep recesses of the pantry. I found a can of Krogers Premium Chicken Breast. I must have bought this can many, many months ago. I ate it. Actually, there were two cans of Krogers Premium Chicken Breast and I ate both cans.

Maybe I will keep a stock of Krogers Premium Chicken Breast in the pantry for times like this. It seems to be a good Atkins approved food item with 3 grams of carbs per 10 oz can. If I was counting calories, a 10 oz can is 210 calories.

When I say “keep minimal food at home” I mean that I don’t want to keep a stock of chips, crackers, cookies, cheese (although it is a good Atkins approved food item), peanuts, cakes, frozen meals, pot pies and other stuff that I usually buy from Krogers and mindlessly eat in time of slight hunger and slight boredom. There has to be some food in the pantry. If anything, to survive the zombie apocalypse.

So far, after a week of this new eating plan, things are going ok. I seem to have lost some weight and I’m not over eating. So far, so good.

630 calories and 9 grams of carbs in these 3 10 oz cans of Kroger Premium Chicken Breast. iPhone 7 photos taken by Dave O on May 3, 2021.
630 calories and 9 grams of carbs in these 3 10 oz cans of Kroger Premium Chicken Breast. iPhone 7 photos taken by Dave O on May 3, 2021.

Concrete Aliens

I would like to introduce Concrete Statuary to my yard. If you click through to this Wiki page, you can discover all sorts of ornamentation to add to your yard. Statuary is only a sub set of the greater good of Lawn Ornamentation.

So, we drove east of Greensburg, Indiana to Snyder’s Concrete Statues to get a glimpse of what is available.

Concrete statuary is the low bred level I play on. Not that I wish to keep up with my neighborhoods who, as I can perceive, have not much in terns of lawn ornamentation, but I don’t need to play on the higher bred Bronze, Granite or Marble statuary field. If I could I would live in a different neighborhood and probably have a different mind set.

Concrete Alien relaxing in the Spring Indiana weather. iPone 7 photo taken by Dave O on March 13, 2021.
Concrete Alien relaxing in the Spring Indiana weather. iPone 7 photo taken by Dave O on March 13, 2021.

Lincoln’s Nose

One of my first day trips post Nikki occurred on September 9, 2014 with a drive from Indianapolis to Springfield, Illinois. It was an overcast and cold Friday when I toured the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and the Oak Ridge Cemetery where the Lincoln Tomb is. Of course, there was a stop at a craft brewery for local beer.

While outside the Lincoln Tomb, There were grade school kids surrounding this huge bronze bust of Lincoln. The kids were jumping and holding each other up to touch the nose of Lincoln. The Nose glowed a golden bronze as the kids did whatever they could to touch it.

I thought it was odd but gave it no further thought. Later, the attendant inside the Tomb asked if I had ‘rubbed’ Lincoln’s nose. I commented that I saw the school kids do that but didn’t understand why. He said it would bring you good luck. I walked outside the Tomb and to the bust of Lincoln. I rubbed the Nose.

After I rubbed the Nose, where no special feeling of good luck descended over me, I toured the cemetery and found the first Lincoln grave site. I paid respects to veterans at the Illinois Veterans Memorial and Korean War Memorial. Afterwards, I walked though the Lincoln Presidential Library which is more of a children’s museum than a place for somber reflection on a great man. Finally, I toured the Lincoln Home and thought it seemed small and unassuming for such a great man.

Grade school girls rub the Nose of Lincoln. Nikon D600 photo taken at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois on September 12, 2014 by Dave O.
Grade school girls rub the Nose of Lincoln. Nikon D600 photo taken at the Lincoln Tomb in Oak Ridge Cemetery, Springfield, Illinois on September 12, 2014 by Dave O.