Thursday, October 29, 2009


Here in Ann Arbor, we are at 42 degrees latitude. In Northern Michigan as I circled Torch Lake (by bike), I kept crossing a line announcing the 45th parallel reminding me that I was as close to the North Pole as the equator. This same parallel runs through Milano, Italia or at least slightly below it. On this trip, Firenze was our southernmost point at 43.5 degrees.Gagliano Aterno, where I stayed 5 weeks, was almost exactly the same latitude as Ann Arbor, Michigan. If I looked up to the North  Star there, the angle between it and the horizon would be exactly the same as at home, which by some divine coiincidence is 42 degrees. (No North Star can be seen on the equator). This little fact made navigation easy at least when one was on this side of the equator. Longitude calculations needed a good clock. And there, I had a much better chance of seeing it as there were rarely clouds and no competing light sources. Molte stelle!! One thinks of Spain and Italy as the South but much of it lies north of Michigan. What does this mean? Well at this time of year, even less hours of daylight than here. Daylight is quickly disappearing here to no good effect on me.

But latitude has more meanings; freedom from restraint in all senses; room to move, etc. All needed by this one. Of course, most of my restraints are self-imposed.

I went to the Y yesterday after a long absence. I did just fine on the ellipitical trainer but doing some of the weight machines was tough. So double timing the many staircases carrying heavy luggage was not a substitute for the machines and I am quite sore now. I did run almost 35 miles in the week since I returned. I will be thin, I will be thin.. I am waiting for the fog to clear before hitting the road again.

I received something in the mail from the UM billing department. I froze as I thought all that billing was behind me for my 'excessive' port checks. But I got a refund as I overpaid for a visit 9 months ago. Things are looking bleak on the insurance horizon: my provider and the other big provider in
Ann Arbor will no longer be considered preferred providers. Only the Henry Ford system; nearest hospital  30 miles away; will be considered 'in service'. None of our physicians are on their tiny list either; most on the list aren't even MDs but ODs.Thanks P***er for thinking about your retirees.

I have a follow-up mammogram this Tuesday. It better be clear, I can't afford CANCER.

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