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This tag is associated with 75 posts

No Good Deed…

You know the rest!

With both my roommate and I having infirmities and physical limitations (along with no longer being 22!) sometimes things get procrastinated about, or just ignored.

One of those things is our back ‘yard’.

Living in a small townhouse, the yard isn’t particularly large, but my roomie, with her love for the flora, has numerous plants, both potted and in the ground, which sometimes require tending.

And between recent other adventures and doctor’s appointments, the yard has not seen proper maintenance.

And a number of ‘volunteer’ plants have been added to the mix by Mother Nature.  Like lantana, which has taken over to the extent we cannot reach the hose bib or electric box!

Now, there is a time constraint, as her first shoulder surgery is scheduled for March 21.  And I suspect nurse will be added to the title chief cook and bottle washer for me.  And, with her right arm immobilized for a minimum of six weeks, her physical abilities will be severely limited.

So, Thursday last, I carved out some time in the morning to take a stab at the yard.  Because it was necessary. (It didn’t help a number of massive fronts were coming in from California starting Friday!)

My target:

wp-1487515826737.jpg

(the white structure on the right is a non-functional Jacuzzi – now a plant stand)

I popped a significant pain pill, waited for it to kick in and headed out.  Wishing in all seriousness I had a machete ala Indiana Jones.

I had a rake, a shovel, and a weed-eater.

The plan was to work until it was done – no excuses!  Then, the pain pill wore off.  At about two hours.  When not involved in manual labor, they last four or more!

So much for THAT idea.

BUT, I cleaned up 75-80% of the yard, obtained access to the bib and the utility box (getting stabbed byagave-americana the century plant at least twice!), and trimmed back the palm tree by the back gate as to only get attacked by one palm frond, in lieu of three.

With palms like these, who needs anemones? – Thelonious Monk (from the liner notes for the Dave Brubeck ‘Take Five’ album)

More obviously needs to be done.  But that’s for another day.

And Friday and Saturday I paid for my good deed…

My arthritis kicked in big time, as did muscle pain, general tiredness and malaise.

And my doc wants me to limit use of NSAIDS, having over-used them for the past twenty years or more.

SIGH.

The Mouse On The Drain

(not to be confused with The Mouse On The Moon, or other Duchy of Grand Fenwick tales!)

“Welcome to the drain, gentlemen!”  😛

My roommate and I share both household upkeep and maintenance.  To the best of our abilities.  Between disabilities, health conditions, arthritis, age, pain and shared whining, sometimes things are not as pristine as either of us would like.

(The fact we both have an over-sufficient amount of ‘stuff’ doesn’t help, either!)

Of course, this had little to do with today’s story…

Being the male in the house, many (not all) of the yuckier tasks fall to me.  And sometimes, it’s just the “luck of the draw”.

Today was one of those days.

The past couple of days while visiting the shower, I noticed what we always called when I was married (back in the 80’s) the mouse on the drain.  That is, a disc of hair jetsam on top of the drain grate, starting to inhibit shower drainage.

Back in the 80’s, it was roughly the size of a half dollar, and easily disposed of.

And, of course, not wearing my corrective lenses in the shower, it could have been something else – as in this case it was, a small round grey plastic comb.  (My roomie and I share a Jack-and-Jill bathroom.)

And she does many hair-related things in there, with a multitude of chemicals and preparations.  I have shampoo and conditioner.

Fast forward to this morning.  Having picked up the plastic comb, I thought I’d be free of the ‘mouse on the drain’.

Not so fast, there, bucko!

The real mouse on the drain – or, in this case the rat or nutria(!), had wrapped itself into the workings of the grate, and was hanging (yuch!) down into the drain proper!!  And the shower floor was beginning to fill with water!

Fortunately, my hair is in need of cutting and is maybe a third of an inch long.  So, I’m thinking I’m not the main culprit. (ignoring body hair additions here for discretion).

I was able to complete my shower and listened to the slow-but-inevitable noisy drainage, fortunately before it crested into the bathroom proper.  Then, I picked up a proper tool to remove the drain cover (a long hemostat that is left in the bath for this very purpose – what earlier functions it may have had I can only imagine!  🙂  )

And took it upon myself to remove the long, tangled, fist-sized wet hair clumps from the grate and dispose of them.

After having done that, I policed the opening of the drain pipe for any additional hair/soap remnant escapees.

And replaced the grate.

I washed my hands and exited the bath.

I’m hoping next time I will notice the impending crest a day or so sooner.  And be able leave the mouse on the drain for someone else…

😛

The Twelve Labors Of Hercules 

Hardly. 

But trying, nevertheless.

With my knee being ‘iffy’, and The Horrible Chair, just going downstairs can be a challenge.

And, when my roommate having breathing difficulties and sometimes staying in bed, it’s up to me to be  (as my Father would label himself) the chief cook and bottle washer!

That is, take care of the livestock and fetch medicines, water, soda and food for the ‘infirmed’.

I’ve no complaint about so doing – after all, it was my roommate who saved me from possibly having to live on the street with my income decreased and I lost my home.

The ‘problem’ (and this is a joke, folks) is the livestock in question sometimes makes it difficult to do chores.  Because, they, too, want attention.

Or just to be in the way!

The first hurdle is (are?) the stairs.  I know, not livestock.  But just going down them can be painful.  And sometimes the kitten (Belle) plays the ‘can I trip him on the stairs’ game.  (Does this count as a second hurdle?)

Belle

Belle

Hurdle Two – the Cage.  (In no way resembling Star Trek-TOS episode!)  We have taken to giving the livestock the run of the downstairs.  We used to pen up the older dogs in the downstairs bath-as a makeshift kennel.  And that worked for many years.  But, as they have aged (both 16 now), their hearing and vision has diminished.  And D.J., especially, gets scared in the dark when he cannot move about freely.  This wouldn’t be a problem, except he starts barking.  One yelp every eight seconds or so.  ALL NIGHT.  Or until he finally falls asleep.  The yelping resumes when he awakens – even at 0300!  Letting them go free gives them enough ambient light to patrol the downstairs and see enough not to bark.

D.J.

D.J.

Unless, of course, a stray cat appears in the back yard.  No plan is perfect.

(Back to the cage)  We have a ‘cage’ kennel we have used for Lola (the puppy-now two, but forever nicknamed as such) which also is just the right size to block the dogs from going upstairs.  They are supposed to use the designated paper by the back door, but sometimes they like to sneak to the upper landing.  And we don’t like that.

Lola

Lola

SO, I’ve descended the stairs, and prepare to move The Cage out-of-the-way, when Gracie becomes involved.  She likes to sit on top of said cage and add an addition three or four metric tons to it’s weight.  HER nickname is BAC – for Big Ass Cat!  Plus, she can be kinda snotty if asked to move and might hiss at you!

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Gracie aka B.A.C.

Now that we’ve made it down the stairs, and moved the cage, there’s the kitten, again.  No, she’s not gone away.  If I walk past The Horrible Chair, she will jump up on the seat and demand tribute!  Which means flopping over and belly rubs!  (the cat, not me)  I must admit this is not much of a trial, and rubbing the belly of a purring kitten is quite pleasant.  😛

tribute

tribute

She can continue with an additional trial, following me incessantly and meowing tiny mews, until I either fill up the water, the food, or change the cat box.  She always lets me know.  But every time I walk by The Horrible Chair I must pay!  🙂

Okay, okay!  I know.  Animals are a blessing, and three (or four) interactions with them first thing in the morning is great! (Except for the B.A.C.!)

And four is not twelve.  Perhaps I need to rethink this.  But The Three or Four Challenges of Hercules just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  😛

Again With The Gratitude!

I’m disabled.  For a number of reasons, including lymphoma.  I don’t make much money on disability.  I’ve an old, beater car, without working A/C.  I rent a room in which to live.  I’ve no romantic relationship in my life.  I have chronic pain issues.  They will never get better.

Sometimes, as above, I whine about these things.  The holidays do not help.

But, The Universe usually doesn’t let me sit on the pity pot too long…

Some time back, I reached out to a friend-of-long-ago on Facebook.  And, he never responded.  Oh, well.  He was a college classmate, who became my boss (for a time) then a good friend.  And we lost track of each other because of Life.

I was always a little envious of him.  In college, he was in good shape, having just left The Marines.  He

Archer

Archer

was handsome.  Sparkling blue eyes, a shock of black hair, chiseled jaw and a permanent five-o’clock shadow with a blue/black beard undertone.  He kinda resembled the adult cartoon character Archer.  And his wife was gor-geous!  (Maybe that was the most envious part?)

Well, I finally heard back from him on Facebook!

We all have our ‘stuff’.  He is no different.

He’s divorced, and NOT friendly with his ex. (I am with mine.)  He, too is on disability, brought about by his military service.  He has a type of chronic leukemia.  Not necessarily lethal, but in need of regular treatment. (Which he now receives).

And he told me he had been homeless for ELEVEN YEARS!!!

He is now working with other homeless veterans to help them get back on their feet and find places to live.

And to think I was whining earlier…

GRATITUDE

A ‘Hate’ Sticky Note

Seriously?

(from Peter)

Today’s award goes to a bunch of hysterical, pants-wetting, sissified social justice warriors at Edgewood College in Wisconsin.

The post-it-note says “Suck it up, pussies!” Whoever wrote it also drew a winking, tongue-out smiley face…

. . .

Students had been invited to express their feelings about the election by writing them on post-it-notes and placing them on a designated table. The post-it-note in question appeared in the window of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion instead, according to Campus Reform.

College Vice President Tony Chambers sent a letter to campus condemning this “act of cowardly hatred” and “intimidation.” He wrote:

A group of cross-functional college staff representing campus security, student conduct, human resources, Title IX enforcement, and diversity and inclusion measures convened Tuesday morning to discuss how to address the hateful message. This group determined that the message constituted a Hate Crime…

College officials informed the Madison police, and now the cops are investigating. They are investigating a post-it-note. With a non-threatening message and a smiley face on it. After inviting students to express their feelings via post-it-note.

That’s hate for you, I guess.

There’s more at the link.

Ye Gods and little fishes . . . hysterical over-reaction, anyone?  I wonder what they’d do with a real hate note?

“the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion”

I think that says it all.  Someone’s college money is going to pay for said office.

I’m not a believer in ‘hate speech’.  There’s speech.  It may be colorful, laudatory, or vile.  But so-called Freedom of Speech supports it.  It’s protected.

Unless it’s an actual threat of criminal violence, libel, slander, or child porn – it’s protected.

Waa!  He called us a name and drew an inoffensive cartoon is protected.

GROW UP!  You’re in college now.

♫ When I’m 64 ♫

♫ “When I’m Sixty Four”♫

When I get older losing my hair
Many years from now
Will you still be sending me a valentine
Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?
If I’d been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?You’ll be older too
And if you say the word
I could stay with youI could be handy, mending a fuse
When your lights have gone
You can knit a sweater by the fireside
Sunday mornings go for a ride
Doing the garden, digging the weeds
Who could ask for more?
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?

Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight
If it’s not too dear
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee
Vera, Chuck & Dave

Send me a postcard, drop me a line
Stating point of view
Indicate precisely what you mean to say
Yours sincerely, wasting away
Give me your answer, fill in a form
Mine for evermore
Will you still need me, will you still feed me
When I’m sixty-four?
Ho!

(apologies to Paul McCartney)

Well, I turned 64 today.
There’s no one special person to whom this song applies.
I suppose I should be grateful I’ve made it this far.
But, frankly, doing it alone sucks.
(I’ll stop whining now.)
I DO have friends, family and animals to whom I can turn in time of need.
And that means everything.
Almost.
A touch, a hug, a kiss.  Holding a hand?
Doesn’t appear to be in my future.
(Okay, I will stop whining now!)
HAPPY THANKSGIVING, EVERYONE!

Partisanship, With Blinders

Regular readers know I am not openly supporting any Presidential candidate (except, of course, Joe Maddon – the Chicago Cubs manager, on my sidebar! 🙂 – bumper stickers for charity! )

So, I’ve been observing the machinations and mewlings of the candidates as a distracted observer.  With an airline barf bag at-the-ready!

An interesting side note on this (and most recent) elections, is the degree of partisanship that continues to appear.  For example:  YOUR candidate said “X” so many years ago (a crude statement), therefore they do not deserve to be President!  Completely ignoring the high crimes and misdemeanors perpetrated by their own candidate!  A crime being stronger than an inappropriate statement.

Now we have a recent debate (which, again, I refused to watch) wherein Mr. Trump made a number of provocative statements, including if he were President, Secretary Clinton would be in jail!

One would have to be wearing blinders and earplugs to not understand the meaning behind such a statement had to do with her alleged actions involving thousands of confidential government emails and perhaps non-actions involving the deaths @ Benghazi.  (The sale of uranium to Russia and the misdeeds of The Clinton Foundation notwithstanding!)

But depending on your party affiliation, you might choose to make Mr. Trump dictatorial and conclude his statement was a blanket declaration to imprison all those who differ with his policies.

And ignore the crimes of your own candidate.

Of course, as oft repeated by Bill O’Reilly*, holding up another’s bad acts do not serve to justify one’s own!

“THEY did it!, so I get to!”

*I used to enjoy watching Mr. O’Reilly, until he began parsing the Second Amendment and stating ‘assault weapons’ (whatever THEY are) should be banned.  Then, I stopped watching him.  I view him as a populist, saying what ‘the people’ want to hear (not unlike Mr. Trump.  Huey Long?).  Except, O’Reilly has slightly better filter than Mr. Trump!)

 

The Party’s Over

party's

Sigh.

I became a libertarian (small L) back in 1976.  While I registered and voted many times for the party’s candidates, I never actually joined the national party.

Initially, it was because of lack of funds.

Now, it’s for other reasons.

(from Wirecutter, a fellow-traveler)

On Friday, Brian Doherty of the Libertarian flagship publication Reason scolded me, and by extension anyone else who has been turned off by some of the Johnson-Weld ticket’s public statements, that we were placing more importance on “the attitude stuff related to culture war issues about discrimination and guns” than on the really crucial issues of “spending or budgets or the growth of government.”

Then on Monday, Gary Johnson came out in favor of—drumroll, please—a carbon tax to fight global warming.
MORE

*****

The Libertarian party lost my vote the moment Johnson picked Bill Weld as his running mate. Weld has a proven record of suppressing the People’s Rights when he was governor of Massachusetts. Disarming Americans or placing any type of restrictions on any of our God given Rights is not what I thought the Libertarians were about.

Between Bill Weld, who has waffled almost more than Donald Trump, and a belief in the global warming scam (coupled with a TAX!), I believe the national libertarian party to be a shadow of it’s former self.

The Libertarians of the 1970’s wouldn’t even consider voting for such tripe!

Now comes the big question – do I vote Libertarian Statist, or for one of the other two major party Fascists?

Perhaps it’s time to consider that Cub’s manager again?  Couldn’t do much worse…

Sigh.

PS – Is it the nature of political parties (as it seems to be with governments) to begin all pie-eyed and wondrous in their principles, only to become perverted by corruption and reality?  I had such hope for the Libertarians…

Having Technical Problems. 

test patternI hope to update today’s quote, funny and beauty later.

Sigh

(Things appear to have been resolved.  We now take you back to the original blog, which is already in progress…)

Customer Service, Part Cinco

(Here we are, revisiting a common theme in this blog.  It’s as if they are not listening!)

I was fully prepared (okay, 85% prepared) to post last night for today, as this morning I was to be occupied during my blogging time-frame.  Another medical procedure.  Sigh.

Another endoscopy.  A camera-down-the-throat (and biopsy) to see the ‘progress’ of my esophageal erosion due to chronic acid reflux.  Which might lead to cancer and/or surgery.

Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be doing it!

This was set-up by my primary physician, as she saw I was suffering from this condition, and wanted to see the progression of the disease.

SO…I was referred to a specialist who saw me six weeks ago, and scheduled this procedure.  One day, outpatient, a few hours.  Roomie J will be driving, as I will be rendered unconscious by propofol (the Michael Jackson drug) for the procedure.

Last time I had this done, the clinic-de-jour called me (and sent me a letter) a month in advance to ask me questions about medical power-of-attorney, organ donation, that kind of icky stuff.  And advised me there would be an intake charge.  Up front.

I was grateful for the heads-up, as being on disability I don’t have lot’s of spare cash lying around for unexpected expenses.  I still wasn’t thrilled at the charge, of course.

But this time, the different facility (I changed doctors as the previous guy seemed to want to get as much Medicare money out of me as possible) had not called or sent a letter.  I assumed (NEVER do that – D. Brown) that if there were a charge, they would bill me.

WRONG!

They called me yesterday afternoon at 1630 hours (I was to be at the hospital at 0700 this morning) and advised me there would be a charge of over one hundred dollars!  They would not bill me, and if I didn’t have the funds, I would have to reschedule!

Of course, I don’t have the money.  And the caller had NO IDEA why I was upset, that this was in the very least an inconvenience and poor customer service!

THEN, she hung-up on me!

But not before telling me to reschedule I had to call my specialist’s office – THEY couldn’t do that!  At 1630 in the afternoon.

(I did rant, but used no foul language.)

Fortunately, my doctor’s office was still open.

SO…it’s been rescheduled for August 16.

Grrr.

PS – While I was writing this, the hospital called to see where I was.  I advised them of yesterday’s conversation and the rescheduling.  Must I do everything?

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…