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And The Adventure Continues, Part Siete

Well, here we are, again…

The contractor returned Thursday to close the hole in the ceiling.  He said their estimate disagreed with the material provided by the insurance company (i.e. they mentioned a repaint, but NOT closing the hole in the ceiling!)  A minimum of THREE WEEKS before they return.

We’ll see.

J., my roomie, continues to have health problems, multiple doctor appointments and physical therapy.  Next is a nerve ablation on her neck, which causes her great pain.

We’ll see.

I discontinued my auto insurance and notified the State my car is no longer on the road, pending sale or donation.  No sale or donation as of yet.  She’s still collecting spider webs…

We’ll see.

J. added me to her auto insurance as an additional driver.

We’ll see.

I’ve my own doctor appointment tomorrow, with a vascular surgeon(?!) regarding my right calf, which continues to be oversized.

We’ll see.

Money continues to be an issue.  Quelle surprise.

We’ll see.

Weather?  Today 111º.  Tomorrow 116º.  Tuesday 118º  That’s The Valley of the Sun in the Summer.  Oh, wait?  It’s not Summer, yet!  😛

We’ll see.

I will update you kind folks as I know more.

Thanks, again for your support.

And The ‘Adventure’ Continues, Part Seis(?)

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.

roughly 3′ x 4′

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…

A Cultural Shift

I’ve always owned a car.  At least, since I was a licensed driver.

First, a loaner from my parents, then a used car (bought with assistance from my parents).  Then, a succession of beaters (to which Dave-the-mechanic can attest!).

Finally, after the accident, I bought my dream car – a 1989 Isuzu Trooper! This was in 1995.  Most of my previous cars were at least 10 years old when purchased.  I just never had the money/credit to buy new.

When the Izuzu ‘gave up the ghost’ seven years later, I already had begun looking for a replacement.  The engine blew, and I needed a car.  I was still working, commuting, and one really needs a car to get around the Valley.

Credit, money, income limited my choices.  I ended up with a 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue. (This was 2002!)  She was NOT my first choice, but I did qualify for her.

Who knew she would last fifteen years?

The sad part is, now she is worth maybe $500, if I’m lucky.  She still runs (the engine is still powerful), but needs major work – rack and pinion leak, crankcase leak, a/c compressor, engine mounts and window regulators, and many other things.  I’ve been advised not to drive her unless it’s absolutely necessary.

And, as I now drive J’s car (a 2006 Honda Element, the a/c works!) it seems silly to insure two cars.  We rarely need both.

SO…I’m either selling or donating the car.

It will be the first time since 1970 (broken beater car downtime excluded) that I’ve not actually HAD a car.

I’m looking at one Internet site who claims to buy cars.  As well as Father Joe’s Villages charities and the Salvation Army.

And it makes me sad and a little scared.

I can no longer walk very far w/o pain.  And, what if J’s car goes South – then what?

To get the Olds road-worthy is a minimum $1000.  Seems silly on a $500 car, when a second car is available.

So she’s on the block.

Sigh.

 

 

Memorable Movie Mistakes

I’ve not been ‘on a date’ in some time.  It’s simply a matter of logistics – I’ve no extraneous funds and my car is a beater with no air conditioning.

The fact that I don’t travel is any circles with available women has nothing to do with it!

😛

I was thinking this morning about a few of my more memorable dates in the distant past.  Some with fondness; some not-so-much.

I used to like to attend the cinema.  There were many first-run films each week, lots of theaters from which to choose, and who doesn’t like sitting in the dark with a young woman? (this was in my 20’s – before I had been married, and subsequently divorced).

Now, of course, there are fewer movies and movie houses.  And one may sit at home in one’s skivvies and watch videos until the cows come home, with beer, pizza, and (if one is so lucky) company.

AND, one may pause to go to the bathroom!

Times have changed.

ANYWAY, I remembered a couple of dates.  One was a later Hitchcock film.  I did (and DO love Alfred Hitchcock).  My date said she did as well.  Were post-date antics in the offing?

Sadly NO.  The film was Frenzy.  A film of a serial killer rapist, made in London.  I think it was the first time Hitch actually exposed breasts on film.  Following a violent rape and strangulation.  Hardly something to arouse a normal young woman to later romance.

Sigh.

Another time, a former girlfriend returned to town and looked me up.  We went out a few times, and I had hope of rekindling the romance.  But, it was not to be…

She had mentioned she liked Burt Reynolds.  There was a new film out with him in it.  I thought “Hey!  Maybe this will get things going again?”

Hardly.  The film was Deliverance.  You remember – dueling banjos, homosexual rape?

I just couldn’t get a break!

(as an aside, the consummate actor Ned Beatty was the rape victim here.  I’ve wondered about the audition…“Hey, pages 18 and 19 are missing?  Don’t worry about it, Ned.)

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?

How To Ruin A Perfectly Good Saturday 

First, get together with a group of friends for coffee and such, and listen to the the latest versions of their respective weeks.

On the way home, experience an odd internal pain while driving – particularly while turning the steering wheel.  Not vigorously, mind you, and with power steering.

Experience this three different times in the space of fifteen-or-so minutes.

Drive home and internally debate calling the RN nurse help line, offered by your insurance carrier.

Make the call, and experience a chain of health-related advertising while on hold. Disconnect the call and redial the main number, eventually being menu-prompted to a live nurse.

Discuss the specifics of the multiple events, including the depth, type of pain, duration and other symptoms experienced.

Receive the strong suggestion I visit either an E. R. close by, or an urgent care.

Soon. 

Ask roommate J. to drive you. She has recently been released to drive, but with her shoulder on the mend, I’ve insisted she not yet so do, until now.

J. begins experiencing her own symptoms she has had repeatedly for a couple of years, involving her heart and asthma. Decide to drive yourself the 1/8 mile to the Urgent Care, based on the fact an E. R.  is more distant, and costs more money.

The Urgent Care performs an EKG, says it ‘might’ be unusual, and recommends an immediate hospital intake for further evaluation. Drive home and ask J. to do the honors, just in case.

Arrive at the E. R..  J. ‘s breathing has again become labored, probably because of stress and the smoke in the air from the nearby desert and city fires.

They admit her first, for observation.

At length, get admitted, have blood taken, and another ekg done. And answer the same questions the same way to three different doctors, the same way you did at the urgent care.   And have another ultrasound of the still puffy leg.

Eventually get moved to a room. You are hungry and tired, and J. gets released on her good behavior.

Attempt to call family and friends via cell.  Apparently, this is verboten.  Text everyone and go on FB.  (Thank you for your support!)

Finally, get a doctor’s permission to eat.  Initially, as the lunchroom is now closed, they bring you a well-traveled turkey sandwich (I LOATHE turkey!)

Negotiate and end up with BBQ chicken and a baked potato!

Awaiting later blood work, to compare with the earlier, to see if any actual heart damage occurred. Get told you might have to stay overnight.

Get released twelve hours after the initial pain happened, not having any additional pain or symptoms, with the diagnosis ‘chest pain of a non-cardiac nature’! (IOW, they don’t know!) 

Received referrals for your regular doctor and a cardiologist, just because.

Ask J. to return to collect you.

Realize you are subject to the power of suggestion, as one of your friends had been discussing her heart attack last week in this morning’s coffee, with the subsequent placement of a stent.

Consider suicide (just kidding)…

Don’t Do Anything Rash! (The Adventure Continues…)

SO…

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!  😛

C’mon work!

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!)  😛

BREAKING: YouTube Gun Channels In Danger Of Disappearing Forever

(from TFB)

 

In an unannounced move, it appears that YouTube has pulled all ads from gun related videos. You might be thinking that is is a good thing and are happy about the decision, but you would be wrong. Thanks to the removal of any revenue that creators use to cover costs and even make a living, YouTube gun channels are in danger of disappearing forever.

Even our own channel, TFB TV, is in grave danger if the new change sticks.

While some gun channels will be able to sustain themselves through services like Patreon, channels like ours that have a small Patreon support base will suffer greatly. This means content could be reduced quite a lot, creators will move on and no longer devote the time to making videos for you to enjoy, and the big YouTube gun guys that rely on it for a living will either have to find another way to create the income to pay their bills or even cover the costs associated with filming.

What can we do about it? Nothing really. Sadly Google makes their decisions and sticks to it. What you can do is support your favorite content creators through whatever donation site they are a member of.

You can find the TFB TV Patreon page here: http://www.patreon.com/tfbtv

Please consider visiting our Patreon page and pitching in a buck or two a month so that James, myself, and the rest of the TFB TV crew can keep the videos coming like you have become accustomed to regardless of what Youtube decides.

You Tube was founded by three guys who had started PayPal (an anti-gun entity).  Personally, I’ve no funds lying around to contribute to Patreon or anyone else.  A while back You Tube was purchased bu GOOGLE, also infamous for it’s anti-gun politics.

See a trend here?

They have their own political agenda, and enforce the same.  Hell, it’s their company!  Many folks have voted with their virtual feet away from Pay Pal.  I presume they will do the same away from You Tube. 

As for Guffaw in AZ, I’ve a Pay Pal link, because I need funding.  And I’ve a You Tube link, because I like movies and videos.  I also post pictures of many ‘famous’ female celebrities, some of whom are openly anti-civil rights folks.  But, they are there, because they are pretty.  (that infamous traitorous bitch is not among my collection of photos, and never will be!  I have some standards.)

😛

“I’ve Fallen, And I Can’t Get Up!”™

… and I’m not even an old Jewish woman! 

(My blogpost title is marked as a trademark, as the phrase is now legally linked with Life Alert™, the ad where I stole the phrase.)

(Yeah, yeah, political correctness – watch the original ad!)

One of my jobs is to retrieve the mail. We share one of those communal mailboxes about 100 steps from our front door. (I miss having a house with a mail chute built – in! But I digress.)

So last night I go out to retrieve the mail. Undoubtedly ads, solicitations, bills and perhaps collection notices, all for our enjoyment.

I noticed there was a significant breeze, cool, but not cold.

And no one else was outside to enjoy it. 

On my return trip, I did exactly that. I tripped. I suspect ‘Ed Sullivan’ (the really big shoe)* caught on one of those dividers they place in concrete sidewalks.

And down I went, pitching forward, my eyeglasses flying forward.

The ‘good news’ is I reverted to old karate training (from a Bruce Tegner book?) Instead of putting my arms out straight (ensuring a break or sprain), I placed them as if going down in a push-up – to absorb some of the shock. (Having a fused right hip, I am unable to bend all my joints and roll.)

I hit the sidewalk, felt some pain in my palms, and left ribs.

(Ok, so I didn’t do it perfectly. It’s only been 50 years or so.)

I rolled on my left side and began inventory. Hands, wrists, arms, no apparent sprains or breaks. Pain in my ribs, just below my left chest. It hurt a little when I breathe.   Palms hurt, but not any abrasions.  Glasses unscratched and unbent!

Now for the fun part. For a few years now, getting up off a flat surface has been challenging. To say the least. If I have foot stools, or something low and stable I can pull myself up on, incrementally, I’m golden.

If things are just flat, not so much.  (not being able to bend like normal folks, and having less body strength in my arms and left leg)

And, while I did yell aloud upon impact (a kiai?), no one came outside to investigate. It was 1940 hours, and dark.

What to do, what to do? 

I considered, for about two seconds, crawling across the sidewalk, to a narrow grassy area to the colored gravel adjacent to the townhouse stucco wall. There, using the wall (I reasoned) I could get a purchase and pull myself up!

Crawling, especially across gravel with sore ribs didn’t have much appeal to me, which is why I only thought about it for a couple seconds.

I know! I’Il call J., my roommate! She had said she was going to join me downstairs shortly.

Of course, sometimes she goes back to her nap, and turns off her phone! (911?)

I called, and she answered. She is recovering from shoulder surgery – there is no way she can pull me up…

I explained to her what had happened, and asked her to bring the aluminum patio chair out to me, that it might work for me to get myself up.

No dice! It was to high for me to get enough leverage. I suggested she knock on neighbor’s doors, until she found some help. Failing that, it was 911 for sure!

I think it was on her third try. Neighbors we didn’t know (and how sad is that?), a nice young man who was active in martial arts and sports medicine (a Twilight Zone moment, to be sure!) came, assessed me before touching me, then lifted me to my feet as if it were no big deal(!)  He walked J. and I to our door, not letting go until he was certain I was ambulatory.  He asked where all the blood was from – I didn’t know there had been any!  He said I should get ‘checked out’ (as if I were in my eighties and broke my hip).  I thanked him profusely.

Turns out I led with my chin**.  A couple of abrasions that wouldn’t stop bleeding until I shaved off the kung-fu beard! (A disappointment for J.)  I may have to grow it back. We’ll see.

Blood? What blood?

The never-ending bleed

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I have had broken ribs a couple of times. These are only bruised. I take pain meds for ongoing conditions, anyway. No biggie.  Unless I cough, sneeze, reach for something, bend – you get the idea!

Getting old ain’t for sissies, no siree!

 

*Ed Sullivan was a variety showman on TV from the late 40’s ’til the early 70’s.  He used to say, “We have a really big show – pronouncing it as shoe.  Youngsters, ask your parents!  I wear a built up shoe on my right leg – hence the clever nickname.

**Faces are VERY vascular (they can bleed a lot).

This Is NONE Of Your Falcon Business!!

I was reminded of the book The Falcon and the Snowman, wherein a spy was caught (according to the official FBI story) by someone determining the suspect liked falconry (hence his clever nickname), so agents lay-in-wait for him in Coos Bay, Oregon (a big falconry place), and captured him!

Truth was (as is so often the case), is one of his friends gave him up!

(from TFB)

Brownells Expands into Tactical Falconry

First they started selling ammunition, then they opened a retail gun store, then they started selling guns online and now the logical conclusion: tactical falconry. They are also manufacturing the first ever Falcon Night Hunter Owl Conversion Kit …

Brownells, known for its incredible selection of firearms and firearm accessories, proudly announced today it has become the internet’s largest tactical falconry dealer. Brownells’ new Birds of Prey product line features hundreds of items dedicated to enabling private citizens, law enforcement officers and military personnel to engage in the ancient art of falconry for the purposes of self-defense, hunting and homeland protection.

The new line features well-trained tactical birds ranging in size from the sub-sub-compact Black-Legged Falconet up to the full-size Steller’s Sea Eagle – an offensive raptor designed for maritime operations.

For customers in arctic conditions, the Birds of Prey line offers Gyrfalcons in traditional Snowy Tundra camo as well as a special Ghostly White Limited Edition, exclusive to Brownells.

Also available are a full line of tactical bird accessories, gear and supplies.

Some of the notable, cutting edge tactical falconry products include:

  • Miniature Tactical Falcon Pants
  • Falcon Action Camera Mounts
  • PreyVision™ Falcon Spotting Scopes
  • Falcon Handler First Aid & Suture Kits
  • Tactical Falcon Treats
  • Widening Gyre® Tactical Falcon Signal Whistles
  • TalonHone® File & Pedicure Kit
  • Falcon Night Hunter Owl Conversion Kit

“Housing the falcons has been the biggest challenge for us,” said Chad Martin, Brownells COO. “Well trained as they may be, we’ve noticed they tend to get nervous around lift trucks.”

Some of the newest tactical falconry products in the line come from the innovative company Critical OperRaptor Dynamics. Miniature Adhesive Falcon OperRaptor Beards are available in several colors and sizes and are guaranteed to resist bloodstains and not jettison during flight.

Also from Critical OperRaptor Dynamicsis a large assortment of Picatinny-Compatible Falcon Perch Rails to let the tactical falconry practitioner park his bird on his favorite AR-15 handguard, scope rail or ballistic helmet interface

Yes, this an April Fools joke. No falcons were harmed in this ridiculous hijinks. Actually, we’ve never even seen a real falcon.

FALC!  Wouldn’t that have been cool?!

"Round up the usual suspects."

In Loving Memory…