Sleep

If nothing else, reading this post may put you to sleep before you get too far in.  You’re welcome.  I had to do something to break this writer’s block.

My quality sleep issues began in my late teens or early twenties.  Short of prescription drugs I tried a variety of methods to get a good nights sleep, from liquor, or weed (in the early years), or just staying up as late as possible until I fell asleep where I was sitting.  My success at sleeping longer than 4 hours straight eluded me much more often than not.  I needed more sleep than that.

After retirement I turned to an over the counter med called Melatonin.  Once adjusting to the correct dosage I needed, it helped quite a bit and often got me over 6 hours sleep.

I should note that for the past 2 or 3 years or so, I awake in the middle of the night, usually between 2:30 and 3:30am, and stay awake most nights between 60 and 90 minutes.  I write this off to being an old person.

I find that sleeping under a significant of number of heavy blankets in a cold room is helpful.  The comfortable weight somehow eases me into a session of less interrupted sleep.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t play well on hot summer nights.

For a number of years I’ve used digital devices to track and report my sleep behavior.  Currently I use an Apple watch.  I find out how often I woke up (some unnoticed by me) and for how long, as well as the times spent in the different sleep stages.  The watch gives me stats on the overall sleep amount and the individual stages of quality and deep sleep, as well as my heart behavior.

But the war goes on.  I was recently managing between 5 and 7 or more hours a night.  I’ve slipped back into the mode of 4 to 5 hours often just giving up and rising between 4:30 and 5:00am, beating the sunrise.  And with summer almost here, I can only hope it’s not going to be a non-stop scorcher.  I need my blankies.

Was Looking for Laughs

Way back in the 80’s, before Corporate America clamped down on inappropriate behavior in the workplace and tightened up their email systems, we worker bees amused ourselves by sending out not so SFW jokes to our own select groups of friends within the workplace.  I, like others, would email the funnier ones to my own non-work email account to share with friends outside the plant.

I went a step further and housed these often insensitive ditties in text files within a folder on my home computer.  Over 200 of them.  This folder was transferred to every new computer I’ve purchased since.

I was looking for some distraction from all the madness going on, being locked in my home for self protection from the health threat and politics, and remembered this folder.  I started cruising through these still humorous text files and started to laugh out loud.  So, either put aside your sensitivity and enjoy a few of these, or check out of this post now.  I will say I am starting out by picking the very least offensive ones I could find.

A Can of Peaches
An 80 year old woman was arrested for shop lifting. When she went before the judge he asked her, “What did you steal?”
She replied: a can of peaches.
The judge asked her why she had stolen them and she replied that she was hungry.
The judge then asked her how many peaches were in the can.
She replied 6.
The judge then said, “I will give you 6 days in jail.”
Before the judge could actually pronounce the punishment the woman’s husband spoke up and asked the judge if he could say something. He said, “What is it?”
The husband said “She also stole a can of peas.”

What did he say?
An old man goes to the doctor for his yearly physical, his wife tagging along. When the doctor enters the examination room, he tells the old man, “I need a urine sample, a stool sample and a sperm sample.”
The old man, being hard of hearing, looks at his wife and yells: “WHAT?” “What did he say? What’s he want?”.
His wife yells back, “He needs your underwear.”

Blond Joke
A blind man enters a ladies bar by mistake. He finds his way to a barstool and orders a drink. After sitting there for a while, he yells to the bartender, “Hey, you wanna hear a blonde joke?” The bar immediately falls absolutely quiet.
In a very deep, husky voice, the woman next to him says, “Before you tell that joke, sir, I think it is just fair, giving that you are blind, that you should know five things:
  1. The bartender is a blonde girl.
  2. The bouncer is a blonde girl.
  3. I’m a 6 feet tall, 220lb. blonde woman with a black belt in karate.
  4. The woman sitting next to me is blonde and a professional weightlifter.
  5. The lady to your right is a blonde and is a professional wrestler.
Now think about it seriously, Mister. Do you still wanna tell that joke?”
The blind man thinks for a second, shakes his head, and declares, “Nah, not if I’m gonna have to explain it five times.”


That’s all for today.  There will be more later.  And before I forget, kudos to Frankie C. for all of these.

Apple Watch Model 3

I was growing a bit frustrated with my FitBit activity tracking device since the company’s new owner and charter added more subscription services, which in turn brought more ads and promotions to the FitBit. This often occurred multiple times per day.

My interest in the Apple Watch was renewed and I began researching the health analytics it could provide, both native and in free or low cost watch apps. It appears to do a deeper dive into activity stats than the FitBit. These stats are accessed from or loaded into the apple Health App database.

I then saw that Apple dropped the price on the Apple Watch model 3 to $200, which is the one I was considering. The newer Apple Watch 5 is out of my budget range. So I bought the Model 3, smaller of the 2 screen sizes offered, as that size matched the screen I was using on the FitBit with no readability issues. I did not add the cellular option, having no desire to emulate Dick Tracy and talk to my wrist, or pay for another cellular connection. Besides, as long as you are within Bluetooth range of your phone, you can answer calls and converse.

I’ve had the watch now for a little over a month and am fairly impressed. The data on exercise activity is impressive. Right now I’m leaving options active that prompt you to get up off your ass if you’ve been sitting too long, or do a minute of slow deep breaths to clear your head.

I definitely need to learn more about the device and check out watch apps that fill a few holes in the stats. For example, the watch itself does not track sleep as the FitBit did, but there are inexpensive Apple watch apps that do. It took me awhile to home in on the one that worked the best, because it allowed you to fine tune more parameters related to how you sleep. This tuning took a few days, but the results are near as accurate as with the FitBit, but I’m not done tuning yet.

I will probably create a Chapter 2 version of this post later as I find other things the watch can do that I would be interested in. My only complaint so far is battery life, which may be my fault as I have yet to shut down services it’s running that I don’t use, and stop notifications I don’t want. This will be a tedious exercise.

I still have a lot to learn about all the things it can do, that would be useful to me. Even with as little I’m using it for now, I’m happy I made the jump off FitBit.