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whining less

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Poor, Poor Pitiful Me

Yeah, it’s a song title, above.

Sometimes, I get down on myself, because I once had a wife, a daughter, a home, a ‘career’.

And now?

No wife, no daughter, no ‘career’ (I’m disabled).  I DO have share a home, though.

And that’s my point.

Living Freedom recently had a posting entitled

Poverty vs poverty: Seven traits of the successful poor

It mentioned traits of folks down-on-their-luck who, if they are not thriving, do more than just survive.

I could have been worse off than I am.  I lost my home as my income decreased, and a good friend took me in.

But, that’s not my point.

MY POINT IS I’M GRATEFUL FOR HER HAVING DONE SO!

Certainly, I wish things could be different.  It would be nice to have a wife, to have my daughter back.  To have my house back.  To have the income I once had.

But, not being a child, I know wishing doesn’t make it so.

So (most days) I choose GRATITUDE!

Big Changes Here @ Rancho Malario

“Here’s a line of peasants leaving Rancho Malario, to make room for YOU!”  (from the Firesign Theatre, having little to do with the following post…  NO, where I live is NOT Rancho Malario!)

Well, my lovely roomie has decided to move her unfinished, unrestored, ’62 Chevrolet Corvair Wagon to it’s proper place in the resident’s storage lot immediately West of our townhouse!  (I’m certain complaints about it being an eyesore to the HOA from anonymous, whining neighbors had nothing to do with her decision.)  Her dream was to have it fully restored to cosmetic and drivable condition, but, unfortunately, financial considerations got in the way.

20140611_142437(This was a car she and her last husband acquired and drove together in the 90’s, before his untimely demise in an industrial accident.  As such, it’s a proper memory of him, and represents why she hasn’t just sold it to some collector.)

This means I’m able to move my recently-made-drivable 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue to the second spot under the resident’s covered parking, and out of the direct sunlight!  In most regions, this would be no big deal, but in the sunny Valley-Of-The-Sun (temperature today 105) this is a BIG DEAL!

Especially as while drivable, the Olds remains un-airconditioned, so every little bit helps!

In other news, my roomie is leaving today for her sister’s in California for a well-deserved vacation and to conduct some family business.  This means once again, I am the Dog (and Cat) Wrangler! – now with Puppy!

Not a problem, as they love me and I them, and this gives us a break from each other.

AND I GET TO PARK IN THE SHADE – WOO-HOO!

Guffaw, Now PLEASED!

I sometimes get frustrated with the ‘stuff of life’.  I’m disabled, on a small disability income, my 15-year old Oldsmobile is more or less parked for lack of funds for needed repairs, and with my disabilities regarding walking, standing or even sitting it is sometimes difficult or painful.  And a little less than two years ago I lost my home of 18 years.

Yes, sometimes I whine about other stuff, too.

BUT, I try to keep a stiff upper lip.  And keep chipping away at those things that I can do something about.

My stand-alone desktop computer has been waylayed for a little over a month.  For most folks having their home computer not functioning correctly is an annoyance, but in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal.

BUT, not being very ambulatory, and now even less mobile, it became readily apparent my computer is a window to the outside world.  My email, and 3-year-old blog being it’s primary functions.  I can talk back to the TV, but it rarely responds.

FORTUNATELY, my roommate J loaned me an old laptop she wasn’t using for me to keep up with the day’s events and continue to publish my blog (such as it is) daily, as I’ve done since March 6, 2011.

For this I am forever grateful.

Being less-than-competent with regard to computer/Internet stuff, I’ve not been able to diagnose the problem with my computer, determine if it was even repairable, or what the cost might be.

J left town to visit her daughter and become a tourist for the holiday weekend, and I’m left as the dog wrangler again.  This is okay, because I love the dogs (and the cat – more or less) and it gives me more time to try to move files to the laptop and play at fixing my old computer.

I DID IT!

Somehow, something inadvertently changed a couple of settings (not me!) – I changed them back (with about 100 missteps in the interim) and now the computer connects to the Internet, again!!

HUZZAH!

I’m using my original machine to write this!

This may not be watching a rose bloom, or being in love, or a new car, but DAMN I’m pleased!

pleased frog

 

When It RAINS, It POURS!

visa(aka, back to whining, for a moment)

SO, I’m in-line @ the pharmacy, and my cell goes off.  As one is discouraged from taking calls in-line at the pharmacy, I demurred.

THEN, my med purchase is declined!  She tried to run it as a credit charge, again no go.

She advised I should step out-of-line and call my bank.  I did.

Turns out, someone attempted fraudulent charges on my Visa debit card in both Nevada and Florida!!  (I’m in AZ)

(Ironic happening to a former credit card fraud investigator, huh?)

My options were to go to an ATM, get cash for my prescriptions, then visit the credit union and have a new card issued.  Or, just visit the CU and have a new card issued.  My choice.  In any case, neither a debit nor credit charge was going through.

Sigh.

The Credit Onion is only 1 1/2 miles away, so I went for the more permanent fix.  And returned to get my meds.

Thank God it wasn’t on a Sunday, or after hours.  Or 1990, when I would have had to wait a week to 10 days for a new card!

It was annoying the hold on the phone was longer than the wait at the CU to get a replacement card.  And, the rep on the phone was difficult to understand, and was rude.  At least it sounded like Oklahoma and not India.  It’s also an annoyance I now have to memorize a new card number and security code!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog post, sans whining!  Or with less whining…

The Words For The Day Are GRATITUDE And PATIENCE

Walter - curmudgeon emeritus

Walter – curmudgeon emeritus

I don’t wish to lose my curmudgeon membership status, but, it’s true!

This past week was replete with increased car difficulties, coupled with my ongoing computer/internet problems.  The car stuff still exists, but (for the moment) she still runs.

I FINALLY appear to have found a technological combination which works to make my new (old) borrowed laptop work less-buggy.

Will wonders never cease?

This is the first day in many I’m able to check my emails, do my blog and read others’ news and blogs without difficulty.

Knock-on-wood.

Perhaps now I can go about the ‘business’ of blogging and keeping up with the blogosphere better!

And, there remains a new puppy with which to play, AND, my roomie recently upgraded her cellular telephone, which means I now have her ‘old’ one – a Samsung Galaxy Note 3!!

CAN YOU SAY GRATITUDE AND PATIENCE?  (I knew you could!)

It’s all a matter of perspective…

…and not giving up.

Regular readers know I’ve been having difficulty recently both with my computer(s) and connecting to the Internet.  Thankfully, these issues appear to have been resolved.

Sort-of.

You see, since my original computer tanked, I have been able to borrow a friend’s.  It’s older and has issues of it’s own.  And it didn’t help that there were ‘problems’ transferring files from the old computer to the newer.

Things take time.  And much of that has been resolved.

Being disabled and fund-challenged, I sometimes get impatient.  Much of what I do on the Internet makes up for not having much of a life.

But I’m feeling much better now!  (John Astin as Buddy on TV’s Night Court)

My old bug-a-boo browser IE (8, 9, 10, 11) has been replaced by Comodo IceDragon, and now back to Firefox.  And except for missing many files still resident on the former machine, things ARE better!

Gotta have faith, right?

The Slings, Arrows and Sore Butt and Legs

…of outrageous fortune!

Well, the last two, at least, I’ve been suffering.

IMAG0073My economy desk drafting chair, from which I write/steal this daily drivel, broke a few months ago.  Because of my leg disability, I need to sit taller.  Most available standard desk chairs go as tall as 28 inches; some 30!  and lower down to 16 or 18.  Not exactly what I require.  If I sit on the floor I might not be able to get up.

SO. I’ve been perching on a low bent wood chair of my roommate’s.  Nice furniture, but not designed with a crippled, fat person in mind.  Did I say it is LOW?  And hard, even with a pillow.

I mentioned my predicament to a good friend only over the Internet.  They promptly sent me PayPal funds specifically earmarked for a new chair!  Without my asking.  I’m blessed.

IMAG0074Then came the nightmare that is Amazon Prime and UPS, in concert to make me wait, then miss the delivery.  I commented to another friend, “Technology is great!  But, then we expect it, and when it fails, we whine,”  Well, I do, anyway.

But, no longer, I’ve a new, taller chair (thanks to my benefactor) and can return the old one to my roommate. Relatively undamaged.

All’s right with the World.  At least my butt thinks so.

Eye, Eye, Ma’am!

eyeSo, the other day I went in for an eye examination.  I’m supposed to go in annually, as I’m diabetic.  For the unfamiliar, the disease affects circulation, which in turn may affect the optic nerve and/or retina, causing blindness (!)

Of course, I didn’t go in last year, as I was in the process of moving, so my mind and money were elsewhere.  And my regular physician has been bugging me to get it done.  So, I went.

I was a little frightened, as my eyes aren’t getting any younger.  And, it had been two years.

All for naught.  The exam was quick and efficient.  My eyes were very nearsighted in my youth, and as I get older and have presbyopia (the thing where older folks get more farsighted) my vision is actually improving!

The one caveat is I’m developing what my eye doc called ‘baby cataracts’.  No, these are not tiny Japanese luxury cars.  She said that I might need corrective surgery in about 10 years.

So, I’ve a new prescription for improved eyeglasses (which I cannot afford).  And my internal eye exam showed no problems from the diabetes!  The eye doc even took my regular doc’s info and faxed her the exam results.  When I go in later this month, there will be one less hassle from my doctor.  Huzzah!

Small win.

“But It’s A DRY Heat!”

I’ve lived most of my life here in the desert.  I was born back East, but, my parents moved us out here when I was a pre-schooler.  I’ve visited my birth State a few times – it’s pleasant in the Summer, but horrible in the Winter. And the cultural/political attitudes, well…

Let’s face it, I’m a Desert Rat, and I like it, just fine.

When I was growing up here, we’d play outside all day, getting water from the garden hose, as needed.  And we sometimes got sunburned.  I remember walking home (a mile and a half) from the bowling alley with my friends, the day Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon.  I don’t remember the temperature, but it was mid-Summer.  100+ degrees, easily.  And, we didn’t care.

It’s gotten statistically warmer here as the years have progressed.  Not because of global warming, but because of the heat island effect – as the metro area grows, more concrete and asphalt.  And we feel the results.  My 60-year-old body isn’t as resilient as the high-schoolers who leisurely walked home in the Summer of ’69 to watch history being made.  I generally hobble from A/C unit to A/C unit.  It’s a way of life, here.

And, with the exception of government-produced town lakes (aka mosquito hatcheries), the humidity remains low.  7% yesterday.  I’d much prefer here to say Chattanooga in July – 95 degrees and 95% humidity.  There’s little oxygen in the air (it’s mostly water) and there’s a permanent wet stripe from your armpits to your squishy shoes.  I know, I’ve been there.

We reached 122 degrees here a few years ago.  It was 116 yesterday, 118 scheduled today.  This is the price we pay for shirt-sleeve Thanksgivings and Christmases.

But, it’s a DRY Heat!

dry

h/t Brigid

♫ You’ve Got To Have Friends…♫

I’ve been known to be self-centered.  It’s one of my character defects.  Not to make excuses, but, I’ve had many bad things happen in my life.  I need to remember many other people have things much worse.

I own a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue.  Not my first choice, but the 1989 Isuzu Trooper gave up the ghost @ 170,000 miles.  In 2002.  And I didn’t have many choices, due to my financial condition.

All things considered, she’s been a good car.  Very reliable, except batteries (an Arizona heat constant) and failing engine sensors – something I’m told starts happening around 125,000 miles.  She has 137K.  And her A/C stopped working three or four years ago.  Not a big deal in much of the U.S., but in Arizona, a big deal.  115 degree Summers, and all.

I’ve been blessed with a cadre of terrific friends, who have given their time, money, effort and moral support over the years.  Two of these friends are Ms. T. and Mr. K.

I met them when I worked @ TMCCC.  T was a co-worker when we were doing credit card fraud investigations.  K later joined the department.  Both were going to school to further their educations and employment opportunities.  T now teaches at the college level, and K is an engineer at a major aircraft firm.

K became aware of my Intrigue’s air conditioning problems when he and T helped me move last Summer.  And said he would check into it.  I know he’s busy, so I didn’t push him.  After all, it’s been years.

Last week, T called and asked if I were available.  K was making his auto-mechanic rounds among friends and wanted to stop by to assess my car.  I said please.

In short, after some analysis and addition of new coolant (including some with stop-leak) my Olds’ air conditioning is now working!  And, as she’s not quite fully charged, he asked me to check back with him in a month and advise if she’s losing coolant, so more could be done.

I’m speechless.  So I’m writing.  :-)

I could go on and on about having a 14 year old car.  Or losing my home last year.  Or being on disability and barely making it.  Or having numerous medical ‘issues’.

But, that’s the wrong attitude.  K is one of those men who just gives.  And is uncomfortable when he is thanked for his doing so.

♫You’ve got to have friends.♫  

Thank you, regardless, K.  And T.  For all you do and have done.  You’ve got to have friends!

"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas - how he got in my pajamas I dunno!" - Groucho Marx as Captain Spaulding in Animal Crackers

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