Father’s Day

Me & my dad at dinner today.

Me & my dad at dinner today.

We had a very busy Father’s Day. We went to Outback at 11.10am for lunch with Eliz’s father, mother, her sister Margaret, and our niece Meghan. Yes, I said 11.10am. More like brunch, I guess. I have to say that is by far the earliest I have ever eaten a Bloomin’ Onion. It is also the only time I’ve seen Outback less then 90% full.

After an enjoyable meal, we came home to make peanut brittle. That is our gift of choice to both our dads. They both like it and it isn’t too difficult to make. Eliz does the majority of the work, measuring, watching the temp, etc. I pretty much am the designated stirrer. I stir it frequently from 225 degrees up to 280. At 280, the peanuts go in and it’s got to be stirred constantly until it hits 305. Once the peanuts go in, it is a nice workout. At 305, it comes off the heat and vanilla and baking soda are added. I stir it vigorously for a minute or two and then Eliz dumps it on the table (onto parchment paper and towels) and spreads it out. The whole process takes about an hour and a half.

My biggest contribution comes when I sample the product. It takes about 40 minutes to cool enough to break into smaller pieces. I usually start sampling about 10 minutes after it’s been spread onto the table and every five to 10 minutes there after… Today, we were heading to my parents between 3.30pm and 4.00pm, so we had to “make sure” it wasn’t too warm to break up and stack it in a corning ware for the journey. We don’t want it to stick together… I also sample it along the way, just to make sure everything is good. Today, Jane helped sample.

When we arrived at my parents, they invited us to dinner. It is unusual for them to want to go out to eat. Well, it’s unusual for my dad. They like to go to Ruby’s Diner since it is across the street and fairly quick (as long as it’s not busy.) I wasn’t too hungry today after the big lunch at Outback and all the sampling I had to do. Eliz and the kids weren’t too hungry either, but my dad was okay with going out, so we went.

I had the Asian Chicken Salad. It had grilled chicken breast, lettuce, bell pepper, and wonton strips. The dressing was awful, the wonton strips seemed like stale tortillas, and ended up wearing honey mustard sauce and Oreo Fantasy milk shake that I tasted from Jane’s dinner. Even that couldn’t stop me from enjoying the meal.

I am 46 and my dad is 93. Eliz’s father will be 84 in October. We are both so fortunate that we can enjoy time with our fathers. It doesn’t matter what the food tastes like or how the service is.

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Socks

After I posted the Glaucoma Study entry, Eliz said that I should have talked a bit more about the socks task.  At the school where Eliz used to teach and our kids went, they would call this the Socks work.  It was work for me.  Here’s how it worked…  There were seven socks pinned to a board on a wall at eye level.  There was a table that was 30 x 60 up against the same wall that you could spread the 10 socks out on.  You then had to place the sock on the table under the correct match that was on the wall.

The first time I did this task, I was given the ground rules: I couldn’t touch the socks on the wall, I could get as close as I wanted, and, there was no time limit.  Most people had to this (and all the other tasks in the study) three times.  First time with both eyes, the second time with one eye covered, and the third time with the other eye covered.  I only had to do it (and all other tasks) twice since I have only the slightest vision in my right eye.  Believe me, 2x is enough.

I verified the ground rules with Maryanne before we started.  The last time I did this task the observer seemed to have a problem with the way I did this task.  She then started the clock and I began the task with my right eye covered.  It was covered from the last task and both Maryanne and I forgot to remove it.  I spread the socks out on the table, looking for the one I knew had no match.  It was easy to spot since it had cream or gray colored stripe near the top of the sock.  Now I just had to find the correct seven of the remaining nine and match them up.  So I hopped up on the table and zeroed in on a lighter gray sock on the board.  I found two socks that were similar in color and held them up close to the one on the board.  I could feel a pattern on one of the socks and knew that wasn’t the correct one.  I placed the other on the table beneath its mate.  This went on for about 18 minutes.  I missed two or three.

Now it was time for me to do it with both eyes.  It seemed silly for me to do it with both eyes, but at one of the other tasks I had done better with both eyes than with just my left, so I was up for seeing if it made a difference with this task.  I asked Maryanne to mix the socks up so that it would be a fair comparison.  She did and then started the timer.  I found the striped sock again and discarded it.  I hopped back onto the table and began matching.  This time it only took me about 11 minutes and I got ’em all!  I think that was the first time in the study that I matched them all correctly.  I was happy until I realized it took me about a minute and a half to match a pair of socks.

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