For once, this is a general daylog, not a chronicle of anything.
I will, however, offer updates. Heh.
I've pretty much stopped losing weight, although my docs expect I will lose more. They're calling it a 'long plateau.' As of now, I'm hovering around 224 lbs, so down 141 lbs from my high point, down 121 lbs from January 1, 2016 and down 110 lbs since starting the pre-surgery diet. Life is much, much, much improved. I am off all three of my maintenance drugs (well, I'm finishing the tapering off my blood pressure meds, but on track to be off it). Although I still use CPAP, it's now for comfort - I can sleep without it, and have, several nights. My sleep isn't as good without it, but I can get 5-6 hrs and don't wake up with headaches or sore elbows or any of the other symptoms of morbid apnea. I can also sleep sitting up on an airliner without snoring, according to my seatmate on the flight back from Seattle - before, I couldn't even fall asleep without the machine.
In short: holy shit things are awesome on the health front. I've started working out again, and have realized how weak I was a few months ago when I finished the first dramatic loss stretch. The reason I'm plateaued, my docs say, is that I'm putting on muscle mass to balance the fat I'm still losing, and they're right - I am still making adjustments to my belt, despite holding steady on weight. Things that were really difficult to lift and move three months ago are much easier, albeit not as easy as they were. This is balanced by the fact that walking is now an entertainment as opposed to a torture; walking on snow and ice and stairs has gone from 'dangerous' to 'requires attention' and I've had to replace my wardrobe.
In other news, I had one significant failure. I'm a collector, some say hoarder; I get interested in things and start obsessively acquiring. I've managed to avoid the two really expensive habits my friends have that I don't - namely photographic equipment and watches. I don't know how to take pictures, and the world keeps improving the quality of the cameras in phones so much that I don't feel the need to have anything other than a decent point-and-shoot for photography, and I haven't worn a watch since 1991, so I was safe there, too.
Except...well, I became sort of obsessed with the concept of EDC. Not really obsessed, as in trying to buy all manner of knives and flashlights and God help me tops and the other stuff you see on Reddit in /r/edc. But...well, I realized I now have nearly all the things I was used to seeing in the /r/EDC posts I was labeling as 'envy-worthy.' I have a wallet, and a KeySmart (which I really recommend), and a money clip. These are all things I carried anyway, although going from the Costanza wallet to my current slim Hammer & Anvil was a revelation. Going from my chunky keychain to the KeySmart was as well. I also used to carry a Victorinox multitool in my bag, since it's a bit big for a jeans pocket - but I recently got a Kershaw Shuffle, which I quite like, and more importantly fits clipped into my change pcket in my jeans. Ditto flashlights - I've always had an LED light in my bag, but I also got a Maratac AA flashlight - which is just barely bigger than the single AA that powers it, and which clips into the same change pocket next to my knife. I have a stable of fountain pens that I carry, some quite interesting indeed. Finally, I acquired what I have named HipsterGat - a Dan Wesson CCO carry 1911, and a Mitch Rosen Stylemaster DM shoulder rig in which to carry it. I don't carry it very often at all, since I can't bring it in to New York - but when I spend time in Vermont I do.
But there was one thing missing, something present in all those noteworthy EDC posts.
So. There were two reasons I didn't wear a watch. Functionally, because I had a smartphone. But I realized that wasn't 100% true - I have a cheap Casio G-Shock which I use when flying, because it's not practical to dig the phone out in the plane. So I did, in fact, have a watch use case. The second reason was that, to be honest, all the watches my friends obsess over I wouldn't wear on a bet. They're too flashy, too complicated, and honestly just too damn big. Big, fuck-off watches, I call them. I hate them. So what to do?
Answer: Go full hipster.
I realized that to match my 1911 and various accoutrements, and be of reasonable size, there was an obvious answer in a watch. Namely, I had to go vintage.
That opened the floodgates.
I spent literally days on the internet and on eBay, looking at watches from all over the 20th century and present. First, to my surprise, I decided I wanted an automatic mechanical watch. I figure as someone who uses a fountain pen, it just seems appropriate - if I want exact time, I'm always near electronics which can give me GPS system time with a little effort. But my experience with quartz watches was that when their batteries died, it was a PITA to acquire and change them, and they didn't mean anything to me. They didn't produce the same attachment that a good old fountain pen did, or my little British car, or even the older pistols I'd handled. I seem to be an age-o-phile when it comes to my personal gear - or maybe just obsolete-o-phile. So: mechanical self-winder (automatic) it was.
Once I'd decided that, I set a budget. A pretty draconian one, given what watches cost. I had no interest in blowing a ton of money on something I might not even end up wearing - given that I hadn't worn one in over two decades, maybe the habit of bare wrists was just too ingrained.
After a couple of days of searching, I found that there was really only one manufacturer whose watches fit my budget and my preferences, and really only one product line. The Omega Seamaster. Not the dive watches, the big fuck-off James Bond ones - the old ones, smaller, simple. Just a chronometer and maybe a date, with day of week a luxury. So I started looking for one that I both liked the look of and that I could afford.
I don't like light (white) dials. That narrowed it. I didn't care about the band, because those are replaceable. I don't like lots of steel, either. And after two days, I found one.
And I bought it, after staying up all night to snipe the eBay auction, for just $10 over my budget limit.
It's a 1952 Omega Seamaster, Cal. 544 (I think), bumper mechanism (half-rotor?). It works well. I love it. (I also bought a cheap Seiko 5 automatic as an everyday/rough handling watch).
So now, next time I'm in Vermont, it's time to set up the EDC photo. Dan Wesson, shoulder rig, wallet, keysmart, Omega, Kershaw, Maratac, my Parker T1 and grandmother's Vacumatic, and my Zippo with the U.S. Embassy Afghanistan logo on it, gift from he knows who he is. I am not EDC hipster enough to carry a damn top, which many /r/EDC denizens claim to. (UPDATE: pic posted!)
What's funny is that my Burberry trench coat fits me once more (it's actually a bit big now). My mother gave it to me for college graduation, and that's why Michel wears one, of course. I wear it with black leather gloves. Just to complete the shamus outfit, when visiting Seattle recently, I bought a hat as hipster camoflage. It's not quite wide brim enough to be authentic; it's a bit pork-pie, but it's still a squared hat.