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Yardwork

We (here at our townhouses) have been hearing for some months now about ‘improvements’ to be made on the exterior (many at our expense) by the ‘maintenance’ folks, as ordered by the HOA (homeowner’s association).

FINALLY, they are getting to it.

And they gave us TWO DAYS NOTICE to make our yard ready for the incursion of workers, and loud noises, for up to SEVEN DAYS (beginning @ 0630) , including leaving our (broken) back gate unlocked (the one with a spring-loaded lock, making it virtually impossible to leave it unlocked), lest they hire a locksmith @ $75.00/hour to open it!

SIGH

So, we spent three days moving the many potted plants – including cacti (and succulents), sized in pots 3 inch to 30 inch across, along with pavers, bricks, empty pots, yard ‘decor’, tools, and all manner of things adjacent to the North fence, so they can do their work.

Ouch.

J. had jury duty on the first day, so I did my part on my own, with painful results.  It seems it’s preferential to wear my flat (normal) shoe in lieu of ED SULLIVAN (the really big shoe) when working physically on uneven dirt and gravel surfaces.

Lest I fall, which I did…

Ouch.

I careened forward, landing across some pots and pavers I had just stacked, bruising and scraping my right arm and knocking the pottery into a glass yard globe, which promptly shattered.

Fortunately, I didn’t propel forward enough to land on the glass!

THEN, I had glass to clean up!

SIGH

Hopefully, this’ll all be completed soon (maybe they will fix the gate?)  The arm is healing nicely, and additional pain meds are helping with the jarring of my skeleton and resulting muscle pains of physical labor.

It’s nice they chose frickin’ JULY and AUGUST to undertake these tasks, when DECEMBER would have been so much cooler!

MAROONS!

114° F

I just arose from a short nap.  J. got home about noon, and was tired after her early morning angiography.  So, we adjourned to our bedrooms and sacked out.

Even though I normally arise between 6 and 7, 4:30 was a bit much this morning to see her off!  I’ve not been outside since I took a quick trip to get sausage biscuits and hash browns this morning at 10 AM.

It was well over 90° then…

Here I am, catching up on email and such, when a news blip appears on my cellular telephone:

@3:08 PM, local meteorologists determined we met the record for this date, in The Valley Of The Sun.

114° F

Now, I’m not one to complain about the heat.  My parents brought me here, but, as an adult I’ve chosen to stay here.  And I’ve a car with a broken air conditioner.

Won’t hear me b*tch about the heat – no sirree!

I get to wear short-sleeves most Christmases.

But, I suspect oven mitts to handle the steering wheel and ingress/egress of the car are currently in order.

Sigh.

(not a complaint!)

J. came home without having a blockage or a stent placed.  As long as we can celebrate without going anywhere, I’m happy!

Browsers, Again (Sigh)

Well, it must be that time of year, again.

Or of the month.

I’ve having difficulty with my browser.

AGAIN!

I did find I was having ‘issues’ with Comodo Dragon, and Comodo Ice Dragon, and FireFox.

(FireFox is my favorite.)

SO, I’m back to using Opera, which is iffy, at best….

But, it is working better than the others, currently.

It’s always something.

Sigh.

I cannot afford a new machine, have a good router, like Windows 7, and have good malware and security software.  But simply cannot stay ahead of the grade school kids who like messing with ‘the system’!

(The GOOD NEWS is I can leave comments on Laginappe’s Lair again!)

ANOTHER ‘Hate Crime’ Law…

I’ve written before in these pages with regard to so-called ‘hate crimes’.  I feel essentially, that the motivation behind a grisly torture and murder are really unimportant.

Torture is torture, and murder is murder.

The reasons in the criminal’s mind are largely unimportant.  The person still suffered and is still dead.

Getting inside a criminal’s head may be a good exercise for criminologists, but is a waste of time and money for legislatures.

And is the beginning of the thought police – political correctness run rampant.

“You are not allowed to hate somebody – that’s against the law!”

Wyoming just passed a hate crime law, pointing the finger 15 years later at the killer of Matthew Shepard.  It has been widely reported that he was killed because he was gay.

Turned out, he was selling sex for drugs.

This doesn’t mean he deserved to be tortured and killed.  Prosecuted maybe.

What was in the mind of his killer?  Was he thinking about Jesus, or his last Big Mac?

I   DON’T   CARE

‘Uncomfortable truth’ in Matthew Shepard’s death

Certainly LGBT persons need to be treated with repect.

And most folks don’t deserve to be tortured and killed.  Even if they are small-time criminals.

Rose In The Garden

Life doesn’t always go as we plan or desire.  We certainly cannot control others in their personal plans or desires.

Especially, in matters of the heart.

Sometimes, we must let them go…

When love is good, it’s very, very good.

And when it goes away, it sucks.

Bureaucratizilla And Ineptitude

I am continuing to fight a battle with my private health insurer (who provides me with 20% of my disability income) to keep them informed regarding my health status, medical records, whether or not I am employed or employable (I’m not).

Most recently, having turned 62, they have been after me to spell out my daily activities, pain levels, mobility and have my primary physician fill out forms in this regard.

Being a Last Minute Louie™, some of this has taken time, and I’ve been reticent to comply – disliking both the bureaucracy and intrusion.

It came down to the wire, and I sent in the proper letter, and my doc faxed in the required forms.

On February 21!

While they acknowledged receiving my letter, they said they never received anything from the doc – and made less-than-veiled threats.

SO, I took it upon myself to fax in the document.

I should have gone to Kinkos!

It took me two and a half hours to figure out Windows Fax and Scan was useless, and download another ‘free’ program, learn how to operate that, and get the material faxed.

I also sent a paper copy via snail mail – I’m no fool!

AND, of course, they may still decide to stop this part of my disability!

(Query – why, in this age of email attachments do so many places require things FAXED?)

antique fax machine

antique fax machine

PITA, I’m tellin’ ya!

Pain, Pain Go Away!

and don’t bother to come back another day!  :-(

To be honest, pain is only part of the equation.  Most of the problem is annoyance!

Yes, I have chronic diabetic neuropathy in my feet, legs and hands.  Sometimes it’s barely noticeable; other times more so.  And arthritis.  I can usually tell how a given day will go, when I awaken pain free, and reflexively open and close my fists.

If doing so is relatively pain-free, then moving to exit the bed is predicted to be so, also!

This morning, I had pain upon awakening.  While still horizontal.  Before opening and closing my hands.

And my knees were throbbing.

My doc recently took me off an oral diabetes med, which is a good thing! (YEA!)  But, she also restricted my intake of ibuprofen, not as good!  I still take the bp and cholesterol meds.

Can’t have everything!

I just took three OTC IB pills – I used to take SIX, two or three times a day.  This makes 9 pills in 6 weeks!  Along with my prescription pain meds.

And, I get to go in to an outpatient clinic next month, get put unconscious and have them run a camera down my throat!  To see if my esophagus has healed from earlier reflux damage.

Or if any cancer is present.  (I’ve had both skin cancer and lymphoma – this could be the hat trick!)

And I’m on Medicare, so a 20% copay is required.

Which, on my disability, I do not have.

The future appears to hold pain, more doctor visits, and more bills.

Annoyances.

Sigh

I try to focus on others in my circle coping with much worse situations.  Bob H., for example, who just lost the lower part of his left leg/foot, and will soon be fitted for a prosthesis.

Bob is doing well, particularly in his ATTITUDE!

THIS is why my crap is just an annoyance, and not a problem!  :-)

Life Is Loss, Part Two – A Lesson Learned

I posted a few days ago regarding losses – specifically the loss of my daughter, and a good friend’s loss of most of his lower left leg and foot.

Hardly an upbeat read.

However, Life is not just loss.  Life also gives us lessons!

Since I heard from my good friend Bob regarding his diabetic amputation surgery, I’ve tried to contact him.  We exchanged texts initially a couple of times, and he advise me he would call.

Nothing.

I feared the worst.

So, I took it upon myself to call him.  Not to incessantly badger him (thinking he was busy enough) but once a week, just to check-in on him and his condition.  And attitude.

And I ended up leaving messages.  And this concerned me.

Bob returned yesterday’s message last night.  I needn’t have been concerned.

Bob – (my former PI and gun store boss) was in great spirits!  YES, he did lose his left foot and about 12″ of lower leg.  And yes, he has a long, painful recovery and rehab ahead.

But he was not only doing physically well – he was doing well emotionally and spiritually, too!

Now, Bob would be the first to tell you he is not a religious guy.  And not the most spiritual.  But he almost lost his life to sepsis, and took his survival to mean he is supposed to remain here a while longer.

And not wallow in his losses.

He is fortunate to have the great support of his wife and two daughters.  And his brother.  And he reminded of previous losses and near-death experiences he has suffered.

AND HE SEES THIS AS YET ANOTHER CHANCE TO REDEEM HIMSELF!

Or, in the words of his parents (both deceased), “Put on your big boy panties and get on with it!”

And his is and has.

And, he reminded me (indirectly) that I have similar lessons.  I, too, have had losses, and near-death experiences.  And I have wallowed.  Or more specifically whined.

I might lose some benefits.  So what?  Big boy panties are available for the wearing.

Bob has set an example for me to try and emulate.

Starting now.

Just When I Thought It Was Safe, Part Cinco

(If you abhor whining, read no further)

vulturesIt’s my fault, actually.  I had the audacity to turn 62.  And, with that milestone came the vultures.

First, my former employer TMCCC contacted me regarding applying for early retirement.  I’m currently medically retired due to my contracting lymphoma in 2008.  I left active employment in 2009, after six months of chemo.

Obviously, the sooner they can nudge me out, the less pension they will have to pay.  And current calculations are not very promising, regardless of my retiring now or @ 65.

So, it wasn’t a complete surprise when my private medical insurance carrier (thank GOD I paid the premiums when I was working!) contacted me to update their information.

This means contacting my physician with regard to my current condition and ability to work. 

In spite of the fact I was awarded SSDI and private disability due to having cancer, I have many other conditions which make returning to the workforce problematic.  Even though I AM currently in remission! (knock-on-wood!)

Working while diabetic is no biggee,  working with the neuropathy (chronic nerve pain) that comes with it – not so much.  And the arthritis.  There was a time I could stand and sit for long hours.  No longer.  Now, sitting more than an hour or two is painful.  Forget standing and walking much.

Oh, I can (and do) take various prescription pain medications.  Which make me dopey and put me to sleep.  And still only lessen the pain.  They do not take it away.

And my fear is the private insurance company will say, well, you have been in remission over 5 years…SAYONARA!

And the private addition to my SSDI payment isn’t much, but it is 21% of my disability pay.   And the total is still poverty level.

I rent a room in a friend’s home, and drive a clunky 2000 Oldsmobile.  I lost my home of 18 years, 2 1/2 years ago.  I’m not milking the system here.

And now I get to jump through more hoops in hope of keeping that 21%.

Sigh.

Wishin’ And Hopin’

Being on minimal disability, I cannot afford to ‘do much’.

This is not a bleg for money (although your kind generosity IS appreciated), but rather an observation.  An expression of lust.

Regular readers know I’ve a beater car, that sometime runs w/o dashboard warning lights on.  Or not.  With no A/C.  In AZ.  I rent a room from a good friend, because I lost my home of 18 years due to my reduction in income on disability.

Yes, I’m fortunate and grateful!  Seriously.

And, the Internet and television are my portals to the outside world.  Women (did I say I’m single divorced?), guns, cars.  All for my viewing pleasure.

Only.

And I’m generally okay with this arrangement.

But today, something caught my attention.  No, not a vehicle.  Not a woman (surprised?)

But THIS:

texas-borde-special-colt-lightweight-commander-45ACP-Baranti-Tol-Dawson-holster-sheriff-jim-wilson-LO-600x450I’ve always wanted a Texas Border rig, such as this.  With an appropriate BBQ gun – I’m certain Sheriff Jim Wilson doesn’t want to part with his (above), though.

Of course, this is wrong-sided.

I’ve no place to wear it, anyway (would probably sell it to get the A/C in my car repaired!)

Sigh.

"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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It’s about who is at the tiller of this Republic’s Ship of State. - Guffaw

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FEAR

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - Bene Gesserit, from Frank Herbert's Dune

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I'm currently on disability, unable to work, and receive marginal benefits. I've been advised by SSDI I may receive some additional income. Based on their statements, I'm adding a bleg to this blog. Effective 03/06/2012. Thank you for your kindness.

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