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Finally, Someone Who Enforces The Rules 

(I’m generally a rule follower – unless, of course, they are silly, or put me in danger.  I DO like order, and dislike those who endanger those close to me – whether or not it’s through self-centeredness or malice. – Guffaw)

We’re staying at an undisclosed location, while the powers-that-be are repairing the shower leak in the townhouse.   Or at least beginning the process.  (The ceiling beneath the leak has been excised, and is being dried.  We await the plumbers and subsequent reconstruction.  No contractors present today!)

All guests herein are required to sign a form that this is a non-smoking campus.

Penalties attached.

My roommate is extremely asthmatic, and is sensitive to tobacco smoke.

So, this is a positive development.

On Day One here, she smelled smoke in the hall directly outside our room. On Day Two, it happened again, more intensely.  We notified the front desk.

The second day, it did negatively affect her breathing. It was definitely stronger.

And pissed us off.  We contacted the front desk.

Subsequently, we heard a loud discussion outside our room. Upon opening the door, we observed the general manager in confrontation with the tenants directly across the hall.

They were ‘young people’ (under 40).

At length, the manager called us and advised they had been charged an additional $250.  As both a penalty, and to clean the room.

And they were evicted from the hotel! 

I understand the mechanism of addiction.  And also understand one must make amends for one’s mistakes.  This is a step in the right direction.

PS – I’m NOT against smoking.  It’s a quasi-legal activity, using a legal substance.  And, I don’t like smokers being treated as third-class citizens.

But, follow the rules to which you agreed, people!

And The ‘Adventure’ Continues…

(in our last episode…)

Let’s see…Heart pain (NOT!), a rash, leg edema, J’s health, water from the upstairs shower into the downstairs…

THAT’S IT!

(It’s been a busy month!)

Shower leakage!  We’ve not taken a shower for seven days.  Not that we don’t want to.  Water began coming through the ceiling into the downstairs, and continuing to bathe in that manner just seemed imprudent.

My washcloth and I have become VERY close.

Call the insurance company, you say?  Sure, why not?  Not having the $500 deductible at hand was a bit of an issue.  Fortunately, my very kind and generous Sister stepped up with a surprise gift allowing us to begin the process of again being able to get clean!  Thanks, EL!

Of course, the process is never easy.  The plumber says first they must check for residual moisture and damage before beginning.  And, due to the age of J’s home, asbestos. 

ANOTHER $400.

Fortunately, the company who removes the ceiling (and maybe the shower pan) tells us they can eat that cost (the insurance does not cover it!)!  Whew!

This morning comes the asbestos test.  If negative, the above company may remove the ceiling w/o further adieu, and the plumbers may begin repair this afternoon.

If not…perhaps another day or two of asbestos remediation is involved.

Sigh.

At least things are in process.

Thanks, again, Sis!

As to the other ongoing issues…

J’s health.  She has many health issues, some of which are chronic.  And is seeing many physicians monthly.  She IS recovering nicely from her rotator cuff surgery, and is currently involved in physical therapy for the same.  Our thanks to you all again for your kind wishes and help!

NO heart or chest pain.  The hospital said I was diagnosed ‘non-cardiac chest pain’ – which means they don’t know, could have been gas or muscle-related.

The rash.  I finished my second 5-day run of prednisone, and the rash returned.  Going to the pharmacy today to get a third course of graduated prednisone – so when I stop, it tapers off (per the Doctor).  If that doesn’t do it, then onto a specialist.

Sigh.

The leg edema.  I completed a 10-day course of broad spectrum antibiotics, and it seems to have improved the appearance and size of the leg remarkably!  The Doctor has me picking up a diuretic to hopefully complete the job.  Coupled with orange juice.

The proximate cause of either the rash or edema?  They’ve no idea.

I’m posting this early, as the itching kept me awake, even with the loratadine I’m taking.  Anxiously awaiting the pharmacy opening @ 0900 to obtain the additional meds.

Well, that’s it from us here in The Valley of the Sun.  Hope you all are doing better than we?

This Tastes Funny 

I’ve been drinking diet soda (of various varieties) for 37 years. (or so).  Mostly because sugared soda is SO full of sugar. In 2002 I was diagnosed as diabetic, so I had yet another reason.

(And yes, I am aware many of the chemicals, especially the artificial sweeteners, are BAD for me. Please don’t lecture me.) 

I developed a taste for Diet Coke™, which evolved into a taste for Coke Zero™. Equally bad, I’m sure, but surprisingly with less caffeine!

I take five prescription medications regularly, and a couple OTC. For diabetic neuropathy, blood pressure, cholesterol and GERD. And chronic pain.

Considering the chemistry set some folks I know take, I consider myself most fortunate.

My roommate has been taking CO Q10, and suggested that I take it as well. Allegedly good for we ‘older’ folk. Due to one of her chronic conditions, she also takes guaifenesin (Mucinex™), daily.

Due to allergies brought on by the cooler, wetter weather, I, too, have been taking it.

It helps.

I began taking these additional meds about three months ago. About two months ago, something changed.

My beloved Coke Zero™ didn’t taste right!

At first I blamed the manufacturer, then maybe I had a ‘bug’. A good friend suggested my body had had enough of the constant ingestion of chemicals! 😦

Multiple Internet searches regarding formula changes and pill interactions were for naught.

What was I to do? 

I began drinking more filtered water, coffee, juice, and even bought a ‘healthier’ fruit juice based soda, with a different chemical sweetener. And seltzer water – when I could find it (I like seltzer water).

But, I still missed my Coke Zero™. 😕

The weather changed, and dried. And my allergies abated. And my roomie stopped giving me the guaifenesin.

About a week later, someone gave me a Diet Coke™. I thought ‘what the hell’ I can nurse it.

It tasted fine!

I’m spending less money on beverages, but I now know I can have a Coke™ product, if I choose!

BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY!

It’s Here! 

Thanks to your generosity!  The electronic controller for our lift chair is here, is installed and actually WORKS!

The chair now not only lifts the operator, but can recline fully to horizontal.

This means Judy will have a place to sleep and recover following her shoulder surgery.

She will also be getting an ‘ice jacket’ which is to help with the pain.

We cannot say thank you enough! 

At The Movies

Regular readers know I love movies and TV.  What you may not know is, I rarely go ‘out’ to the movies.

Part of the reason is the technological shift in how we can view movies.  I get them directly on my satellite dish, or through services like NETFLIX™.  I even own a ‘few’ on DVD! (I know – OLD technology!)  😛

There are more than enough from which to choose.

And there’s this (from FB, in part – not me!):

Went to the H****** Metrocenter 12 …at the 01:30pm “Jupiter Ascending”…Me and 2 others of my party had to walk out!!!
Some trashy family with 3-4 kids sat right next to us and talked and talked ..and talked…and also they let their kid run up and down in front of us!

Then to top if off….the father had the nerve to pick up one of our parties drinks and hand it to his kid to drink out of ….then said sorry and handed it back “AFTER” his kid (& himself took turns slurping it down!).

I had to had have a friend get a manager…2 (Two) times….then finally got our money back and walked out!!

BAD!!!! I wont be back to the H****** Metrocenter 12…sad missed a film that I had been wanting to see for weeks!

Metrocenter used to be a family-friendly huge, upscale mall, wherein many weekends were spent window and actual shopping.  With my then wife and young daughter.  Now, with most of the brick-and-mortar department stores closed, it’s become a hang out for misguided yutes.

I remember even in pre-VHS days, attending a different theater and encountering rude people.  As the film began, three yutes (misguided teens) began talking loudly to each other and the screen.  Against my better judgment, I approached them and strongly suggested I paid good money to hear the movie, and not to hear them sh*** and j***. (Using a 40’s vernacular with which I’m certain they lacked familiarity).

They quieted down, and I spent most of the movie checking my six for some variety of retaliation.  Thankfully, none came.

While I sometimes miss the big screens and speakers (remember CINERAMA™ and Dolby­™?), it is nice knowing I can pause the film for bathroom and/or beverage, and even watch in my skivvies.

AH! Technology!

 

How To Spot A Concealed Handgun

The Art of Manliness (a blog to which I sometimes refer) not only addresses etiquette, style and proper behavior, but also delves into ‘manly’ things such as camping, hunting, shooting, unarmed combat and other esoterica.  (Of course, many of these subjects may be of interest to women, as well!) 🙂

A recent guest post was entitled as above.  I’m posting it below, in it’s entirety, not just to entertain and inform, but to show those who do carry behaviors and appearances which may bring to them unwarranted attention.

Enjoy!

How to Spot a Concealed Handgun

By A Manly Guest Contributor on Oct 21, 2016 02:10 pm

The following is an excerpt from 100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition — The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Surviving in the Wild and Being Prepared for Any Disaster. A follow-up to Clint’s first bestseller — 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation — this new survival edition offers primers on any survival situation imaginable, from wilderness scenarios, to terrorism and kidnappings, to natural disasters.

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CONOP: Concept of Operations; COA: Course of Action; BLUF: Bottom Line Up Front

Individuals who carry a handgun professionally are well attuned to the range of mannerisms that can indicate the presence of a concealed weapon within their vicinity. Civilians, too, can learn to familiarize themselves with these signs and signals. When combined with suspicious behavior, the suspected presence of a concealed weapon should put bystanders on high alert.

Body Language: People carrying handguns tend to subconsciously telegraph the location of the weapon via their body language. They may reflexively palpate the gun to make sure the weapon is still safely in its holster, subtly re-position the weapon prior to sitting or standing, or shift their weight away from nearby bystanders to avoid accidental contact with or theft of the weapon.

Asymmetry: Another telltale sign is asymmetry in clothing. Guns are heavy and bulky, and thus will betray signs of their presence to anyone who’s paying attention. An outside-the-waistband holster may cause a visible midline bulge, while an ankle holster may cause a bulge or tightening of the fabric at the lower leg. A gun held in a jacket pocket will weight down one side of the jacket unevenly.

Environment: Hot or inclement weather can make concealed weapons easier to spot. Rain, wind, or sweat can reveal the outline of a gun, which will generally be much easier to hide under multiple layers of cold-weather clothing.

Negligence: Weapons are also frequently exposed due to temporary negligence, flashed or inadvertently dropped as a gunman reaches for his wallet. Dropped weapons are an all-too-common scenario at public urinals, where inexperienced perpetrators may thoughtlessly unzip their pants — thereby releasing the tension that was holding up the holster.

The post How to Spot a Concealed Handgun appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

Dear Friends, Part Three

Back when I was newly married (I’m now long divorced), my then wife was interested in finding ‘couples friends’.  Basically, other couples we could hang with and share interests with.  Socialize.

Instead of the more common I had my friends – she had hers.

Thankfully, this post is NOT about that!

I am most fortunate to have a small cadre of good friends.  Some of whom happen to be couples.  I am not currently part of a couple (my landlord being an ex gf is the closest I get)  😦

But recently, two of my ‘couples friends’ have come to my aid and comfort!

After my last scheduled medical procedure, wherein I was advised at the last minute I would owe a substantial co-pay up front, and I had to reschedule for lack of funds, one of the couples came through with the necessary amount!  (Customer Service, Part Cinco)

I finally go in for that procedure this morningOut-for-the-count @ 1130.  Thank you, Dear Friends!
(Hopefully, I’ll be back in my blogging chair again tomorrow…)

Last week, yet another couples friend advised me they were going shooting at an air-conditioned indoor range.  And asked me if I would like to accompany them!

Being of limited resources, I rarely get to go shooting, anymore.  I jumped at the opportunity.

We got to go yesterday to C2!  A very nice range, staffed by young, pretty people.  And I was just required to bring my eyes & ears and whatever firearm.  (I also found some ammo, although they kindly offered to share theirs!)  Thank you, Dear Friends!

Often, I remind you to hold your family and friends close, and tell them you love them, because one never knows…

I’m taking my own advice, today, just in case something happens.

I Love You Guys!

“Don’t Go! It’s A COOKBOOK!”

to serve man

I awaken middle of the night and I’m cold.  Not just cool – cold.  This may have something to do with the fact that I’m laying on top of the top sheet, and not wearing much.  (I know – TMI)

Why am I doing this?

Well, I reside in The Valley of the Sun (the Phoenix Arizona area).  And we’re experiencing a cold streak.  It’s reportedly going to be 103° F, today.

It was 118° a week-and-a-half ago!  (Unofficially at a friend’s – 123°, on his back patio!)

And being in the Western side of the townhouse, I get the PM Sun exposure.  Usually 5 – 10 degrees warmer than the rest of the house!

SO…I sleep with a fan blowing directly on me, so the A/C may do her best work!

But, the body cools during sleep, and sometimes the combination of forced colder air and a cooler body equals…?

NO, this is not a replay of the Rod Serling Twilight Zone episode wherein the Earth’s orbit changed, and it is moving ever-closer to the Sun.  When, in fact, the TV character’s fever broke and he began getting colder, and in fact the Earth was moving AWAY from the Sun!

I was just getting cold last night.  So I moved the fan.

Which has nothing to do with the post’s title, except that’s another TZ episode.  The tag line from which popped into my head upon awakening cold.  🙂

My roommate said I watched too much TV as a child.  I’m beginning to think she was right.

Sometimes these posts write themselves!

Survivalism Is Not Necessarily Ludditism

Joel writes:

Things that aren’t necessities but may as well be

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I have a book that a reader sent me a year or two ago – and I apologize but I don’t remember who sent it – It’s about a guy who took it into his head to semi-retire into the Alaskan outback, near or above the Arctic circle. You know, just go out there and build a cabin and live.

Now, that’s more-or-less the plot of Into the Wild, and I think we know how that story turned out. But this older guy, Richard Proenneke, wasn’t some overindulged and suicidally starry-eyed kid. He was an old Alaska hand and actually knew what he was doing. He built a cabin that was a literal work of art – after he got old and retired from retiring, it became a tourist attraction for really hardy tourists. It makes the Secret Lair look like a particularly disreputable shed. And he made nearly every part of it from native wood or stone or bone – hell, he carved wooden door hinges.

Every single thing he had that he couldn’t make himself had to be flown in on a little bush plane and it could only happen a few months out of the year, so space and weight were real factors. And I was looking at the photographs reproduced in the book – Proenneke was a photographer, and my only complaint about the book is there aren’t enough photographs – and in one shot of the cabin’s interior I saw…a roll of paper towels.

And I had me a chuckle. Now, here’s a package of six paper towel rolls, which I just bought today…
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It doesn’t weigh hardly anything, of course, but it’s bulky as hell. I suppose you could open the package and distribute the rolls around the plane, but my point is that if it needs to come by bush plane, you’d have to really want that roll of paper towels. Seems like there are more important things to which you could devote that plane space.

Except maybe there aren’t. When I was first alone out here, experimenting with ways to make due with virtually no income and really studying the difference between a want and a need, I learned that the line between the two is not always clear. Some commodities, while of course you can get along without them in the sense that you won’t actually die, are themselves so useful that it almost doesn’t matter. It’s not a question of life and death, it’s a question of quality of life. Indoor plumbing: Have I ever wasted a moment wishing I hadn’t devoted all that precious Lair space to an indoor toilet? Nope, not so much as a millisecond. To the best of my knowledge, and leaving poisonous spiders out of it, nobody ever died from using an outhouse as I originally planned. But a flush toilet is just such a massive improvement that, if you’ve got the water pressure, only an idiot would decide not to go ahead and dig for a septic system. Electricity’s the same way: Not a necessity of life, but look at all the things it makes possible.

Those are big things. There’s a myriad of little ones, like paper towels. It’s good to pay attention and learn what those things are, because it’s the little things that mark the difference between living and just surviving.

PAY ATTENTION – my personal motto.

I’ve found in my years that had I paid attention (or more attention) perhaps things would have turned our better or differently.  Perhaps not.

But almost always were worse for having not done so.

Taking Care of Business

Some of you may remember I often wear a built-up shoe, due to my leg disability.  ( AKA ‘Ed’ – the really big shoe!)

And I wear ‘diabetic’ socks (because I’m diabetic) and use a ‘sock thingy‘ to put them on (because some ‘normal’ body bending is prohibited.

In recent years, because of my various limitations, I’ve discovered I prefer the use of a raised toilet seat.  When it is necessary for me to, uh, sit.

I had one at the old house, but it was made for a round toilet.  J’s home has the elongated model toilet.  So, when I moved in here, it was necessary to purchase a properly-sized version.  Which I did, at a pharmacy in East Phoenix.

Time has passed, as has much bathroom use.  And, in spite of repeated attempts to keep the new device clean and sanitary, it has become worn and not-so-much. (I know – TMI!)

It became time to purchase a new version.

Of course, this is not as easy as it sounds!

First, a visit to the many (five) local drug stores didn’t work.  Either they only stocked the round models, or none at all.

AHA!  How about Amazon or Ebay?  The purveyors of all things via shipping to one’s home?  Numerous choices, brands, models and prices abounded.  Some marked ‘may fit some elongated seats’, others round only.  And some cleverly worded to advise they fit the round models, but may fit some elongated with some modification.  Further research was required.

And the current seat wasn’t getting any cleaner!  😦

I spent many hours reading purchaser commentary.  Many of which were of no help.

And pricing, unfortunately, was also a consideration.  I am on disability, and spending over $200 to raise the whole commode with a shim was not an option!

But, my patience and research skill were finally rewarded!  We received the new, properly-sized (and clean!) seat yesterday!  Obtained at a reasonable price.

I will just have to be more diligent about keeping it clean…seat

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…