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!!
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!
Time will tell.
aka a cheat for a blog post?
SO, I finished the blog, and began my best task, ignoring the next Wednesday task is laundry!
(which I abhor, but must be done!)
And I get a telephone message from my kidney doctor – DROP WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND GET TO A HOSPITAL
Which I did.
Seems my blood test showed high levels of one chemical and dangerous levels of another!
What a way to start the day?
This was last Wednesday morning…
HE’S BA-ACK! (as of this Monday)
Aside from the illness issues, the saddest part was I broke my promise to you. Since March 5, 1911, I have written a blog post. Or two, three or four. DAILY.
But while in the hospital, I was unable to access my blog on my cellular telephone. NOT THAT I HAD ANY TIME…
There were tests, and blood draws and injections and largely inedible food.
And friends and family to remind me I had reasons for all this!
To get to the chase, I had HYPOKALEMIA (low blood potassium) and HYPERCALCEMIA (excessive blood calcium).
Many of the recommendations for each disease are opposing, i.e. one says drink more water, the other, less water!
AND, I get to visit many doctors, because it’s undetermined WHY this is happening.
(at least I am home!)
I’ve been sharing my roommate’s 2006 Honda Element, since two months ago my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue was officially declared dead (or at least unsafe to drive).
I have decided to donate the Olds to an appropriate charity.
BUT, there are always ‘issues’ with cars.
A couple of weeks ago, the trusty Element started balking when the key was turned.
And we REALLY need at least ONE car that functions…
So, I took it upon myself to solve the problem. Having few auto mechanic skills did not bode well for me (this is where Dave the mechanic laughs). I envisioned buying a discount battery and having difficulty with the installation – what with a fused hip, arthritis, chronic pain and all.
And low funds were also an issue (my roomie not having yet returned to work after her surgery).
At length, I did my due diligence and discovered my choices were from around $50 for a refurbished battery (with a warranty months in length) to over $200 from the dealer.
I settled for around $150. THEY do the installation of the new battery – with a FIVE YEAR replacement warranty. Done @ mechanic shop I trust.
Five years is phenomenal in the Valley of the Sun, where two or three is the usual rule! The aforementioned Sun kills auto batteries here.
Now, I can go get groceries. Albeit significantly fewer than I originally planned.
It’s always something…
Photographing and filming police officers in public is a constitutional right protected by the First Amendment. That’s what a federal appeals court unanimously affirmed this week in cases involving Philadelphia officers retaliating against citizens pointing cameras at them.
Slate reports that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling was for two cases. In one, a woman named Amanda Geraci was restrained across the neck by a police officer while trying to film the arrest of an anti-fracking protester. In the second, a Temple undergraduate named Richard Fields was handcuffed and prosecuted after trying to film officers breaking up a house party.
A District Court previously had ruled that both Geraci and Fields had engaged in “conduct” only and not “expressive conduct,” and that therefore their filming wasn’t a First Amendment “freedom of speech” issue. But in Friday’s ruling, the Federal Appeals Court disagreed.
“Every Circuit Court of Appeals to address this issue […] has held that there is a First Amendment right to record police activity in public,” the judges write in their opinion. “Today we join this growing consensus. Simply put, the First Amendment protects the act of photographing, filming, or otherwise recording police officers conducting their official duties in public.”
“The First Amendment protects actual photos, videos, and recordings, […] and for this protection to have meaning the Amendment must also protect the act of creating that material.”
“We ask much of our police,” the judges write in the closing statements. “They can be our shelter from the storm. Yet officers are public officials carrying out public functions, and the First Amendment requires them to bear bystanders recording their actions. This is vital to promote the access that fosters free discussion of governmental actions, especially when that discussion benefits not only citizens but the officers themselves.”
So there you have it: police officers don’t have the right to squash free speech by ordering you to stop shooting photos of them in public.
Image credits: Header illustration based on photo by Elvert Barnes and licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
h/t John Gwillam, Facebook
IT’S ABOUT TIME!
Don’t you always hate it when Rights you believed to be self-evident truths have to work their way up the judicial chain just to be affirmed as valid?
Of course, this hasn’t yet reached The Supreme Court(!)
In our last episode (spoken aloud in Don Adams’ Maxwell Smart voice…)
It was determined I do NOT have a blot clot in my lower right leg (twice!), although the leg remains enlarged. Not painful, but engorged. And hard(?) in spots.
I’ve an appointment later in the month with a vascular specialist. Who knows?
The rash I had has largely dissipated (after THREE 5 day courses of Prednisone – thank you very much!) as well as a slow, agonizing decrease of the itch that accompanied it. Rash gone, still itching.
But, the itch has FINALLY gone away.
Roomie continues to suffer from her chronic health problems associated with asthma, COPD, congestive heart failure and emphysema. And NO, she had never smoked tobacco!
She had, however, worked in plant greenhouses and beauty salons (with many of their toxic chemicals) for most of her adult life.
And she is continuing to recover from her shoulder surgery and is getting physical therapy for the same.
Will she be returning to work? Who knows?
We could use the money – but at further risk to her health?
YES! The shower leak has been repaired! The hole in the living room ceiling? Not so much.
Apparently, the contractor and the insurance adjuster disagree regarding the amount to be paid. Or WHEN this is to be done…
I still possess the dead Oldsmobile in my parking space, now growing spiderwebs. There are ‘complications’ with selling it (not to mention I’ve been offered much less than I thought it worth!) Perhaps donation IS the best route(?)
AND, just to add to the fun – during daylight hours one may not exit the front door to the townhouse in safety. The bees who have taken up residence in the tall bush adjacent to the door have become, well, more populous and hyper-vigilant!
Fortunately, this is an HOA problem.
Unfortunately, this is an HOA problem.
When this will get resolved? Who knows?
(I’ll just walk around the back way to get the mail, thank you very much!)
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…
(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.
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.
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.
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?
I go to see my primary doctor yesterday afternoon. She confirms ‘yes’, I DO have a rash of undetermined origin, now permeating most of my body. My edema in my right calf is of significant size, and has NOT diminished when horizontal.
She prescribes a synthetic corticosteroid to deal with the rash. She is MORE concerned about the edema.
She sends me to a diagnostic center for an ultrasound of the leg. (I must drive myself, as J. is still recovering from her shoulder surgery and cannot drive.)
It’s either this, or she admits me to the hospital. She’s concerned I might have a blood clot(!)
So, it’s back from central Phoenix to Chandler (nearer to where I live) for the imaging. It’s approaching 1700, but they are waiting for me. (My doc has pull!)
I wore sandals I don’t usually wear, so she could get a better look at my legs and feet (wrestling with socks and ‘Ed’ the really big shoe can be difficult when swollen. The sandals are uncomfortable and make driving difficult.
And I cannot afford to Uber.
J. is with me for moral support and to listen to my cursing.
Finally, we find the place and I get the ultrasound. NO CLOTS! 😛 They contact my doc, who prescribes a broad spectrum antibiotic and schedules me to return Friday @ 1300 for follow-up. She does this all herself and makes certain she speaks with me about diet to accompany the antibiotic. Initially, I missed her call (loud surroundings) and she called back and left a message. Then she kept calling until she could speak with me personally.
I have a great physician!
The Good News is I picked up the meds. The Bad News is neither is recommended for evening use. So, another night of calamine lotion looms.
I think I received three hours of sleep. J. has another physical therapy appointment this afternoon. AND I TOOK MY FIRST PREDNISONE THIS MORNING! 😛
Time will tell. It’s been about two hours, and I feel slightly less itchy. (Perhaps that’s just wishful thinking?)
I will keep everyone advised. (No Clots – Hooray!) 😛
(Last Minute Louis™ is the moniker I’ve given myself for procrastinating)
So, here it is again. Tax time.
The government giveth and the government taketh away.
INCOME TAX IS THEFT! Period.
Having said that, being on disability, I don’t generally get taxed. Of course, I don’t get paid much, either.
And, as most of it comes from the government, they could decide at any moment to take it back, or stop giving it to me.
Regardless, I must file stoopid paperwork under penalty of law this time of year, showing how poor I really am.
I may make up to $1000 a month over my stipends, and not lose benefits – like someone would hire a 64-year-old cripple with many health problems, including the need to recline every couple of hours!
I DID finish the requisite forms and efiled last night about 1915 hours.
Having no real property, assets or income, I pay nothing. And am receiving nothing in return.
The State of Arizona does see fit to give the lowly $25.00 in return. Of course, it cost me $10.00 to file!
And a couple hours of combing through meaningless paperwork.
Is it any wonder I’m a Last Minute Louis™?
March, being a normally sucky month, coupled with financial tightness brought about by my roomie being off work due to having had surgery, I feel the need…
The need for GUFFAWS!
After all, this blog is entitled Guffaw in AZ !
Most of you know this is a bad time of year for me.
I’ve not happily celebrated this holiday for years. I remember prepping my daughter on Friday for school, making certain she had something green on.
Then, the weekend occurred. (1995)
But, I saw a cartoon on FB recently, that made me chuckle. Guess that means I am healing (?)
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
Today is St. Patrick’s Day, on a Friday, just as it was 22 years ago. Most Fridays (in recent memory) I wear a red shirt, as I am a member of the Red Shirt Society. (NO, not the Italian militia, Southern white supremacist group, or an expendable Star Trek guy!)
It would be awesome if everyone wore RED Shirts every Friday in honor of our military who are deployed. WE as American citizen’s need to keep our Veterans and Military close to our heart and in our prayers.
R – Remember
E – Everyone
D – Deployed
But today, in deference to my celebrating the holiday for the first time in 22 years, I am wearing the GREEN! (Orangemen, of course, are acceptable, too – this IS The United States!) 🙂
HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY, EVERYONE! – O’Guffaw