Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Saturday, July 30, 2022
The Grim Reaper is On the Job: Farewell, Nichelle Nichols!
Well, I shouldn't have complained about a quiet last week. Within a week the Grim Reaper cut a swath through the entertainment (and sports, although I guess pro sports is technically entertainment) industry and we lost Paul Sorvino, David Warner, Tony Dow, Bernard Cribbins, Paul Coker Jr (with "Mad" magazine and Rankin-Bass), basketball great Bill Russell, Pat Carroll, and last because she was the crushing blow: the wonderful Nichelle Nichols. Every day was a one-two punch, especially Nichelle. I didn't think she was ageless, but she seemed timeless. Farewell, Bright Lady, now your trip to the stars has really begun.

In the meantime James was in such torment from his back molars he called the oral surgeon back and they got him in on Thursday for a consultation. The result of this was that he will have five teeth (!!!) out on Thursday the 4th, the day after his spinal steroid shots, so he will only have to go off Plavix once for both procedures. In the meantime, he's back to salt rinses and more Ambesol.

We also saw Dr. Friedman on Friday and he said the formerly infected toe looks great and the next time he sees podiatry should be for a trim.

I had to call the insurance company this week: a tree from our neighbor's yard blew into our yard. It broke right over the fence, gave a minor tap to the deck rail, and is now sitting there like a rolled-over 18-wheeler. Positives: it's not a big tree, but of course that means it won't meet our deductible, whatever that is, so we'll have to pay for it. But someone will have to do it, since the whole honkin' thing is covered with poison ivy. I got itchy just looking it over.

In the meantime, James is happy with the new food processor I picked up on Amazon Vine...

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» Saturday, July 23, 2022
The Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
Sort of a blah week, mostly chores and nothing much worth writing about, except that James finally got his Medicare card, so that we could fill out his Kaiser papers for Medicare Advantage. Oh, and we ended up going to two different Walmarts to find various little things. So exciting, eh?

Friday was a little more exciting because we went to "re-up" the post office box for the HOA and we also watched Encanto, which was colorful and fun, with entertaining characters. I love the aunt who always had the rain cloud following her around, and I felt bad for poor Bruno (who we really should have talked about 😔 ).

The other Friday event was a little more exciting in a way I didn't want it to be. When I took Tucker out for his nightly walk, we were accosted almost immediately by a rather...I guess I could say excited...pit bull type dog. He was not vicious or threatening, but Tucker felt intimidated and started growling at him, and this dog wasn't huge, but he was big and could have hurt either of us if "Little Caesar" there started being aggressive back. So I kept shooing him off and we did get back inside. But Tucker did need to get out and pee! So I finally loaded him into the car and went to the front of the complex, figuring maybe the dog belonged to or was visiting someone in the back. While Tucker was sniffing and peeing out front, I saw an SUV slowly coming down the street, and someone calling. When the car came abreast us, the woman driving called to me "Have you seen a blue pittie?" and I said yes, that he was down our street.

In fact the dog was just trotting up the street and was about two houses away. The lady drove her SUV up to him and I heard her say "You bad boy!" Soon he was whisked away and we got back in the car and drove the several feet home.

That's the most adventure I want in my week, thanks, unless I win the lottery.

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» Saturday, July 16, 2022
The Medical Cart and Other Tales
This was pretty much a work week: two straight days (Sunday and Monday) of regular housework and then chores that are done irregularly (plus loading the endless maw of the dishwasher). On Monday Peachtree came by to look at the thermostat. The reason the Smart Hub keeps dropping out is something about it being a low voltage line in competition with surrounding high voltage. Yeah, but we never had these problems with the old thermostat, so can't you fix it? He fiddled around and did a few things. It still drops out occasionally, but I guess it's not so frequent as before.

Tuesday was the Great Dog Wash and Great Dog Bedding Wash, which pretty much knocks me out for the rest of the day, leaving me to indulge my Law & Order: Criminal Intent habit...

James had to take a half-day on Wednesday because he can't see his cardiologist at the end of the week. Dr. Shosh said he looked okay and that it was fine for him to be off Plavix for five days before having any teeth pulled. Alas, after having a toothache for several weeks, the dentist tells him he has to go to an oral surgeon because his roots have grown sideways or some damnfool thing. In the old days you went to the dentist, and if you had a toothache they just pulled it, no muss, no fuss. Sheesh. So we found out we couldn't get an appointment with the oral surgeon until August 11, and then that was just for them to look at his teeth, so he has to go another month on salt rinses and Ambesol. We've already spent about $30 on Ambesol already and it's not helping a lot of times.

Friday was a little bit fun: we had to pick up a scrip at Kaiser and then went to Sonny's for barbecue (nice big portions, so we have another dinner). Hit the nearby Dollar Tree and they must be very shorthanded because it looked like a bomb went off in the store: merchandise on the floor everywhere. So avoid the Dollar Tree near Sam's Club at the Big Chicken. We also went to Book Nook, and I want to applaud the employees for even staying there, because the A/C is on the fritz and it's like an oven inside. I did find another John Douglas book and one about forensics.

Anyway, July 12 was Prime Day. This year I bought nothing but a three-tier cart, rather than anything electronic. I'd never seen a cart like this, with little hanging cups and dividers for the trays and hooks. On Saturday I loaded up the cart—not with fun craft things, but with all of James' medical supplies: the gauze, the Coban, the Betadyne, the stretch bandages, etc. out of the box on the floor and up higher, with extra supplies down below. Now I can just roll it out when I need it and put it back in the closet when I don't.

Did a bunch of other rearranging on Saturday, too, and felt like I accomplished something.

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» Saturday, July 09, 2022
Fireworks Large and Small
The week opened with fireworks! Nothing major, just Independence Day: James had to work as always, but nobody called, so we did our annual watch of 1776, and I put on the first five episodes of Alistair Cooke's America (from the Native Americans to the first westward movement). Used one of the pork loins in the fridge to make barbecue pork in the Instant Pot (pressure cooker settings) and it was quite yummy with sweet corn, plus watermelon chunks for dessert.

James went to the podiatrist on Tuesday. The antibiotic was already helping with the infection; the podiatrist cut away the left side of the toenail and then put acid on it to keep it from growing back. He has to soak his foot ten minutes in Epsom salts for a week and then I am to drown it in Betadyne and wrap it up each night. Business as usual, sadly.

The usual shopping on Wednesdays and then we had our monthly treat: driving up to Canton, having lunch at Uncle Maddio's (the owner is still running it alone), going to Books-a-Million, and then stopping at BJs on the way home for groceries and gas. I got three very interesting books in the remainder area: Law & Disorder by John Douglas, an FBI profiler (what I call my "Robert Goren made me do it" book); The Hunt for History by Nathan Raab, a historical documents collector; and also a creepy looking one about incels called Men Who Hate Women.

Hair Day was in the afternoon this month because Sheri had a baby shower in the morning, so we had time to drop by the Hallmark Ornament Premiere in the morning. I completed my "12 Days of Christmas" set, and got a Hallowe'en puppy, a miniature owl, and a "compass of my heart" that I couldn't resist. James got this year's airplane and the Mandalorian's spacecraft. Then we ate lunch at Okinawa and stopped at Petco for birdseed before going on to Hair Day.

The bad news is whatever recall work they did on Butch did not make any difference to the problem: the stabilization light is still coming on (and when it does the tachometer quits working!) and the car is still making stalling sounds and occasionally "starting soft." It did not thankfully stall out completely. Kia said "they couldn't diagnose the problem" (at least they didn't charge me for it!), so I'm going to have to call Mike. Also, the new thermostat is working fine but it's still saying half the time that it can't connect to the wifi or the "Smart Hub" (which is next to the A/C and is what really runs it), so I called Peachtree to come again and look at it.

Something kind of creepy: a celebrity I follow on Twitter posted pics of fireworks in NYC from their apartment balcony. Based on landmarks I could see and where the Empire State Building was in relation to the angle and then using Street View in Google Maps, I pretty much figured out where this person lives (at least the area!). Big Brother is indeed watching!

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» Saturday, July 02, 2022
Toe-ing the Line and Other Tales
It took me a whole day, but I spent all day Monday getting all my fanfiction (that includes the new Law & Order: Criminal Intent post-series stories, Remember WENN, Doctor Simon Locke, Lassie, and my two Addie Mills stories, plus the Doctor Who story "Busman's Holiday" which was actually printed in a fanzine, but which is the only piece of fanzine fanfic I have in electronic form) loaded onto Archive of Our Own. I have to finish loading them on, too, but that takes longer because they don't allow you to do them one after the other and they also have to be reformatted.

Did a craft project this week: have gotten tired of the sun streaming into our foyer in the afternoon and heating everything up, so I bought some foam board last week, cut it into strips, and covered both side windows bracketing the front door. The sun still comes through the clerestory window at the top, but it seems to have helped.

Believe it or not I didn't get Butch back until Friday. Supposedly the employee who does the diagnostics wasn't in until Tuesday, and then he couldn't do it then. They said they couldn't "duplicate the problem," and they didn't charge me for it. We picked the car up after I went with James to Social Security for his interview before final filing of his retirement papers. We also picked up two new fry pans at Bed, Bath & Beyond (good ones this time, and not T-Fal), and had lunch at Cracker Barrel.

The most important thing we did this week was to see James' primary care doctor. I noticed his right big toe was red and sore looking on Monday, and immediately dumped Betadyne on it. By Tuesday there was pus, evidence of an ingrown toenail. Well, we know what happened last time he had an ingrown toenail: four nights in the hospital, a fever and a threat of amputation, and forty days of a PICC line! Since he had to see Dr. Mobley on Wednesday for a followup on his UTI anyway, we showed him the toe. He gave James antibiotics at once, told me to keep up with the Betadyne, and to get an appointment with the podiatrist "toot sweet." (We got one for next Wednesday.)

And there is light at the end of the tunnel: I saw my first fall magazine on Saturday!

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» Saturday, June 25, 2022
Repairs and All That
Well, the truck A/C is finally fixed! It turned out there was no power going to the compressor, so while we were getting some cool air, without that power the A/C couldn't keep up in the heat.

That was done on Monday, and on Tuesday Robert came back and installed a new thermostat, and I discovered my Lennox account was never deleted at all. It was the iComfort account that was deleted. Apparently they're two different things; who knew?

On Thursday morning we brought Butch to Kia to have all the recalls done. I also asked them to look into the problem of the stalling. I think it's worth the diagnostic fee, but am hoping it's something Mike can fix, as I'd rather give him the money than Kia.

That was really all the big news at home. We did the usual shopping. The car was not ready by Saturday as Kia promised, but, again, I really didn't care.

I was still boggled by the fact that it cost James $50 to half-fill the truck tank! Prices are ridiculous. The ground turkey that was $2.89 in 2020 at Lidl is now $4.39! My favorite "dinner rolls" have gone from 59 cents to 99 cents. The only thing still cheap is the milk at the Mableton Kroger, and I know they use that as a loss leader.

This week, after being a member for six (honestly!) years, I finally started uploading my fanfiction to Archive of Our Own. I thought I joined a lot later, like 2020, but it turned out I never did anything with my membership because of James' heart attack. Kinda nervous because this is the first really public place I'm posting my Law & Order: Criminal Intent post-series stories, even though they're available on my website.

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» Saturday, June 18, 2022
Temperature's Rising, and I'm Not Just Talking Outside

It's been...a week.

Some positive things did happen. The most important is that we have found our old mechanic! James' truck needs work on the A/C; it either needs a shot of freon or the fan needs fixing. We didn't want to call True Automotive (what our old place turned into) since I'm pretty sure they overcharged me last time. We did get a coupon from an Advantage Auto Center on Cobb Parkway to have a free check of a car's A/C, so James called them up and heard a familiar name on the voice mail: it was Mike! So we have arranged to have the truck seen on Monday the 20th. I also made an appointment with the local KIA dealership to get Butch checked out; he has at least three recalls on him, including one to "update the software." So, my car needs Windows updates? I am wondering if this is what made the car lose power while I was driving it on May tenth. If not, I'm not sure if I want KIA to look at the car or just take it to Mike.

And James went to the urologist on Thursday and the NP pulled out the catheter. Hopefully the infection has gone away. I am less sanguine about the state of his prostate. I think it might be blocking his urethra again. This would mean more surgery. I hope this isn't the case.

On Saturday he had an MRI of his back. Orthopedics is trying to determine if there are some type of shots he can take as well as physiotherapy to help him walk a little better, so he (a) won't be in such pain and (b) will be able to exercise more. We were almost late because we were two-thirds of the way there and ran into a roadblock because a car had driven off Paper Mill Road. We were forced to backtrack and take another route and got stuck behind a moving van doing 25mph. How frustrating! But we did get there on time and it only took about thirty minutes, and James said the techs were very nice.

Our big problem started on Tuesday. Now, we got new HVAC in 2016, the day James had his first heart attack. We also got the maintenance plan; they do a checkup twice a year for a monthly fee. Well, less than two years ago they turn up with this new wifi programmable thermostat, as opposed to the old non-wifi programmable thermostat. I think the model number is a Lennox E30. Anyway, I did create an online account and it's nifty—like if we forget to turn on the eco-programming if we go away for a weekend, I can turn it on with the phone and not waste energy.

Well, the E30 is a finicky beast. The original they installed messed up less than a year into our owning it. It just quit working. This was when it was cold—maybe six months ago? They put in a new one. This one's been a little flaky—for instance, I have it in power save mode, which means the screen is supposed to stay off unless I wave my hand in front of it, but it turns off and on indiscriminately—but it's always held to the various programmed schedules fine. Until today. I walked past it and it came on...and what the hell? Instead of being on "summer" schedule, with temp set at 74, it was on "heat only" and already 77 in the house. Went to turn it back to summer schedule. Guess what. Touch screen has completely quit working.

Well, that's okay—we've got the app on both my phone and through my web browser, so I go into the phone app and reset it back to summer schedule. That worked fine. Me being me, I went into the app in the browser and tried to figure out what might have switched the scheduling off. Then I made the fatal mistake of going into "my account." I didn't see anything in "my account" that would make any difference, so I clicked the button that I though "closed" the "my account" box.

This is where I was really, really stupid. It wasn't a "close" button, it was the delete account button. Not designated in a bright color, or otherwise made so you could see it, but the same color as the border around the "my account" popup box. To add insult to injury, I didn't even get a nice friendly reminder that I was being stupid—you know, the "Are you sure you want to delete this account?" message that usually pops up. And...just like that! Gone!

I ran to the laptop and was still logged on there. Then I thought—I've got Firefox set up to sync between computers! What if they sync and I get logged off? So I closed Firefox so they didn't sync. But, you guessed it—when I reopened Firefox I couldn't get back in.

So basically now the only way I've got to control the stupid thermostat is that the app still works on my phone for no discernible reason (and—for some amazing reason—the app still works on my old phone, too) even though I deleted the account, and God knows how long that will last, and what the hell can I do if the phone fails and this stupid thing switches itself off again? So there I was, not able to use my phone for fear of closing that window, the HVAC people couldn't send someone until Thursday morning, and Lennox (the inventor of the app and manufacturer of this stupid E30 thermostat) couldn't do a thing for me because to set up a new account I have to be able to use the thermostat to get a pin number. Basically I screwed up everything with one click of the mouse.

To add insult to injury, our HVAC guy never showed up on Thursday. This was understandable—we're having a virulent heat wave, with temps up in the mid-90s, and I know there are people out there who have non-working units and they need to go first. We had him scheduled ten to twelve, but he was so far behind he could not have arrived until 1:30, when we had to leave for Kaiser. So we rescheduled for 6 to 8 at night, but no one ever showed up. I didn't even mind that, except that no one called. I called them back, as well as texted them, plus talked to someone on Facebook Messenger, and they said our case was still in the system and someone would call us Friday.

Friday I had to call them; I finally got them scheduled to come on Sunday.

I'm exhausted from riding herd on the thermostat and worrying about James, and basically spent a lot of Saturday in tears. So, good weekend? No.

[Sun, June 19:
A/C tech was here this morning and was downright surprised. Apparently he's never had one of these thermostats quit responding to touch. He did a whole bunch of tests including rebooting the thermostat, and, yeah, it's still non-responsive. He said since the unit's still working, he didn't want to just slap a regular thermostat on it, because it's not capable of coping with our two-stage system. He's just going to order a new one and come back when it comes in (why don't they keep these things in stock, I wonder?)—unless the system goes off. So we have a thermostat with a "unique problem." yay...

Plus, after holding to the schedule rigidly since it flaked out on Tuesday, the thermostat has flaked out twice today. I looked up at one point after I finished folding towels and the wall thermostat was saying it was set at 76℉. We keep it set at 74 so the temp in the main part of the house stays at 78. I had to reset it on the phone. A little later out of nowhere it reset itself to the "away" temp, which is 78℉. I had to cancel the "away," which I still don't know how it managed to set itself.

And before you ask, not even James knows the password to the thermostat. I set up the system, and I'm the only one who knows the password, and it's not a common word. Nor does anyone have our wifi password, which was totally randomly set by Earthlink. And there have been no power fluctuations today.]

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» Saturday, June 11, 2022
List Your Frustration Here: Weather, Banks, or Walmart
"Summer is icumen..." Eh.

Yeah, the big news here is that it's going to be 90s, presumably from now on, starting out with 90s and high humidity (thanks a lot, Florida), which makes the heat index on Monday the 13th a nice jolly 100 plus.

At least things got done this week: the bushes got trimmed and the dog was drowned...uh, bathed. (He only believes he's drowned.) And he's so happy afterward, but he doesn't want to admit it.

James did have a frustrating work day on Wednesday. Somewhere after eleven o'clock he couldn't receive any phone calls, although he could make them. So, between trying to resolve the problem all afternoon, he could only follow up on cases. It turned out to be a server problem and it was okay when he checked again on Friday.

Thursday we didn't do much besides the grocery shopping, but we did go to the Smyrna post office to see if the HOA bank had mailed the checks for the HOA account. They told us they wouldn't mail to a post office box, so we had expected them delivered to our address on June 6. Well, they never arrived. And they weren't at the post office, so James had to call the bank again. It turned out the original order got cancelled "because they couldn't find your address," so the order was only put in two weeks ago when James called the first time and the person we talked to ("Amanda") assured him they would be delivered on the 6th. We found out when he called that "Amanda" had left the company! So on Wednesday I had to pay the lawn guy out of my account because the stupid bank can't get this shit right. Anyway, the lady at the bank he talked to this time said they would put a rush on the checks, so maybe someday I will get paid back.

Friday we had lunch at O'Charley's with Alice and Ken and John along with a nice long chat (John is currently fixing his own deck, which makes my back hurt to hear about), then waited in line for what seemed like hours for gasoline at Sam's Club in Hiram (there were lines of seven or eight cars at all ten pumps) due to it being at the "low price" of $4.24 a gallon. Finally we went to Walmart because James needed new mats for the truck. We also got sugar-free candy, more slippers for him, a new floodlight for outside, and a few other things.

Saturday we had nowhere to go and didn't want to spend any money, so we went nowhere. I did send a note to a friend, but mainly just did junk around the house, like putting the new mats in James' trunk and trying to make some order of all the wires on his dashboard (he have the GPS that plugs in, as well as the radar detector, plus the charge cord for when we use the phone for navigation, so it's rather a tangle up front). I finally taped everything down with duct tape and replaced the reflector on the wheelchair lift that got knocked off when I loaded the chair about a dozen times ago. Because MMR car repair went out of business a couple of years back and I thought the new place, True Automotive, overcharged me when Butch needed fixing in February 2020, we don't know where to take the truck to get the A/C repaired (we think all it needs is a freon or whatever-they-use-now charge, but it might be the fan). Plus I need to get Butch to the Kia dealer for the five, count 'em, five recalls on the stupid car and I really can't trust to driving the dumb car after it lost power on me in the middle of the road over a month ago, but I really don't care about the stupid car, either, and wish I could just avoid the whole thing.

Instead of thinking will spend time watching more episodes of Law & Order: Criminal Intent...

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» Saturday, June 04, 2022
And Yet More Books...
Well, summer has officially arrived. Yeah, I know, it's not the solstice yet. Actually, meteorological summer started June 1, and on Thursday, June 2, it was 93℉. That, folks, is summer.

We braved it anyway after doing a morning of grocery shopping; we ate a sandwich each and then went to Barnes & Noble. I gave in and renewed my discount card; I mean, someone has to keep them in business. I ended up buying five books (including a birthday gift for James), four of them at "buy one, get the second for half price," including the one about forensics in Agatha Christie novels, plus both of the Jurassic World magazines that have just come out. The "Hollywood Spotlight" version has a killer pic of Sam Neill. Yum.

Something else was put in motion on Thursday, but...let it simmer for now. Hoping things will be happier's done.

The rest of the week was quiet as we really didn't have anywhere else to go. On Friday we just decided to get takeout from Dragon168. This gave me a chance to duck into Publix and pick up the ramen noodles we forgot, and they also had unsalted vegetable broth; neither of the Publix we shop at carry it any longer. I spent Friday afternoon blogging, finished my latest L&O: CI story, and, in the best news, The Orville is back! The first episode dealt with the aftermath of Isaac's treachery, and introduced a new character, Charly Burke, the Orville's navigator. She's very good, and the score of the episode was spectacular.

James went off to his club meeting on Saturday afternoon, and I was going to watch Emerald City, but my lower GI decided to rebel. Instead I washed the winter jackets and did the weekly vacuuming and watched Law & Order: Criminal Intent on Peacock instead.

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» Saturday, May 28, 2022
Give Me a Ring, and I'm Not Talking Jewelry
The news from Texas. Oh, God, the news from Texas. This gunman didn't even have a screed. And the police remained outside the school for an hour because they didn't have orders to go in, while a whole fourth grade classroom was under fire. Almost all the kids died. One played dead. Two teachers died. The gunman got in through an unlocked door. The lunatics are coming out of the woodwork.

"Things fall apart, the center cannot hold,
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world..."

So emotionally it's been kind of a week. Feeling bad on Monday. Thursday the usual grocery crap, plus we had to go to Costco to get some medication for James. Finally got decent Skinny Pop; threw the buttered junk away. What a waste of six dollars.

In positive news, James finally had his appointment with the pain clinic. Although the problem for him is his hips, the doctor did some examination of him and says it's really his back; the pain just feels like it's in his hips. He'll have an MRI of his spine in June and then she believes some injections and maybe hydrotherapy will help the pain.

The big news here this week was that we got new phones. If you remember, I dropped mine and cracked the screen some months back. Leo LaPorte mentioned several times that most phone batteries only last two years, and we got the old phones July during the pandemic. So on Friday we had lunch at Chow King with Ken and Alice, then walked back to Best Buy and bought phones. We were looking at the new Moto G Stylus phones, but last year's model (from November 2021) was on sale for $200 each, so we got those instead. Spent all day Saturday setting up my phone. You can back them up all you want, but there are just things you have to reload (all my podcast programs!) and then have to go hunting up passwords that the phone didn't save, and reload ringtones, notification sounds, alarm sounds, etc. It's like juggling kittens with their claws out. I do like the stylus. I did get my old podcast app to work (since I was never satisfied last time with any of the newer ones) via the .apk file for the app I managed to extract. Sadly, my favorite "Jewels" type game, the Christmas one, no longer displays properly. I tried loading it manually, but no dice. A few of the other apps no longer on the Google Play market, like Blendoku and Note Everything, also did load for me, but I really don't need the latter now that I have Google Docs to put our emergency medical info on.

Ribs were BOGO at Publix for Memorial Day, and I was going to cook them on Monday, but James decided to do them himself on Saturday. This time cooked them in the lower oven for three hours, and they were utterly delectable. Had them with corn on the cob. I got St. Louis style ribs, and we both got full and had enough ribs left over to have them for Memorial Day, too, after all.

Just finished a fifth post-series Law & Order: Criminal Intent story. Been reading fanfic online and wondering if I should do something a for the next one, since ideas just keep popping up.

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» Saturday, May 21, 2022
Medical Millstones
Still sick at my end, but at least I'm finally sleeping through the night. I still have a terrible cough with lots of phlegm, but that only manifests in the daytime. I still feel wrung out and like I can't breathe well, even though my blood oxygen is a good steady 97 percent.

It's James that's in dutch again. We saw his new urologist (Dr. Starr retired last month) on Thursday. James was asked to empty his bladder completely, and then they took an ultrasound, which revealed he still had about 500 milliliters still inside. Dr. Jefferson thinks that James keeps getting the UTI because infected urine is remaining in the bladder, and that possibly his prostate is infected and swollen, blocking the urethra, too. So until he finishes up the month of ciproflaxin (and being in pain because he can't take any Plaquinel or tamulosin until he gets off it), he's also on a stupid foley catheter. This means he's going to have to go through a month of discomfort, plus we're going to have to screw with that stupid StatLoc (the sticky thing that keeps the catheter from dangling) business again. Heck, the StatLoc the nurse practitioner put on him after the catheter was inserted fell off by dinnertime! Good thing we have a bunch of extras; I just hope they last until June 16, when he has to go back and do the test again.

(We actually went through three StatLocs by Saturday night, so I had to start  using the old ones. Unfortunately the "old ones" are nearly four years old, and the little skin prep pads you use on the skin to make the StatLock stick better are all dried out. I ended up having to order more skin prep pads from Amazon...I hope they are good! They have decent reviews.)

You won't believe this, but all the Christmas gifts we'd received from friends were still sitting on a box and in bags on the hearth. Saturday I finally put them all away, except for the still wrapped gifts for Clay and Maggi. Goodness knows when we'll see them again since James' mother and sister are now both gone. We didn't used to mind the ride down to Warner Robins, now the eternal traffic jam in Henry County at the I-75/I-675 split make the drive a nightmare. It shouldn't take you nearly three hours to drive a 100-minute journey!

Watched the season finales of all the different Law & Order series on Thursday. Olivia Benson's cameo on the "mothership" seemed kind of useless; why wasn't she on Organized Crime instead to see Elliot Stabler get his medal? (Seriously, is the white computer-genius chick on Organized Crime supposed to be their version of Abby from NCIS?) Thursday was also the very last United States of Al, which left Vanessa broken up with Freddie and angry at Riley, and Riley and Al headed to Las Vegas with Al's creepy girlfriend Cindy in tow. Thanks, heaps, CBS, for cancelling that and keeping Ghosts, which I find unbelievably stupid.

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» Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Simple Woman's Daybook
FOR TODAY, MAY 18, 2022

Outside my window...
...sunny and hot, which means I'm staying inside under the fans with the A/C. I do not do sun.

I am thinking...
...or rather wondering what makes everyone so angry today that they are willing to go out and shoot, stab, bomb, etc. the people they dislike. There were bigots everywhere when I was a kid. They emoted their hate for certain groups in horrible language. They didn't deliberately drive to neighborhoods with that certain group and shoot members of the group. Or cheer on people who did these things.

I am thankful...
...that it's only one month till the solstice. Then the days will start getting shorter again. Here at the solstice the sun doesn't set until 9:45 p.m. How absurd. By 9:45 you're getting ready for work the next day, not lolling around outside. There's never anyone out where we live anyway; they're in taking refuge from the 80 degree temps even after dark. We pass by houses with beautifully furnished porches all summer and no one ever uses them.

In the kitchen...
...not much. We had potlucks for lunch; James had leftover pork stir fry and I had vegetarian vegetable soup, and we watched an episode of CSI.

I am wearing... and green flowered ribbed tank top and grey shorts and white ankle socks.

I am creating...
...mostly this week I have been working on a post-series Law & Order: Criminal Intent piece.

I am going...
...well, since it's Wednesday I'm going to finish the laundry, and prep for complaining tomorrow because it's Thursday and I hate Thursdays since it's grocery shopping day as well as trash night.

I am wondering...
...when this damn cold is going to disappear. I can sleep through the night, but my sinus still hurts, there's still pressure on my right ear, and I'm still producing mucus.

I am reading...
...Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, which I'm really enjoying. Much better than the sequel, Spying on the South; much more subtle.

I am hoping...
...the weather decides to cool off eventually! 90 degree temps anytime sucks, but 90s in May is ultimate suckage.

I am looking forward to...
...James' retirement, but that's not until October. Nothing really to look forward to until the Hallmark Ornament Premiere in July, when I'll finally complete the "12 Days of Christmas" ornament collection.

I am learning...
...lots of gross stuff about bugs and dead bodies on CSI. LOL.

Around the house...
...James is at his desk working, although there's no call right now. Tucker is, as always, under the dining room table on one of the chairs, asleep in his "den." Snowy is singing because I'm playing "The Tech Guy."

I am pondering...
...all those violent people. I don't get it. Why dislike people because their skin is differently colored, or if their features are different, or if they worship God differently? Strange.

A favorite quote for today...
..."If you're afraid that reading a book might change someone's thinking, then you're not afraid of books, you're afraid of thinking."

One of my favorite things...
...I think we'll be finishing up one tonight: we're on the final two episodes of Longmire. It's been a good series. I still like the books better, though.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Tomorrow: tedious grocery shopping and putting out the trash. Friday: James sees new urologist. Saturday: don't care, so long as it's not in the sun...oh, I think we are taking the truck to the Firestone place to get the A/C fixed. I need to arrange to get Butch fixed because the engine stopping in the middle of a road isn't the way I want to drive. The problem is I don't give a damn about that car. I wish I didn't have to worry about the stupid thing, but I have no money to buy a new one.

A peek into my day...
Well, we watched CSI, so here are Sidle and Grissom (Jorja Fox and William Petersen).

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» Saturday, May 14, 2022
The Whole World is Crazy
The bad news: I still have a cold. Now I have lots and lots of phlegm in my throat, with lots and lots of moist coughing. Yeah, it's as annoying as it sounds, and I'm congested as hell. But no fever and no other COVID symptoms.

Thursday was the last day I could go do something with a CD I had that, years ago, was giving me two percent interest. Now it was only getting .02 percent, and renewal interest rates weren't any better. So we went to the bank, had to wait a half hour for anyone to talk to us (I had to run back out to the truck for water since I ended up having a coughing fit), and cashed out the silly thing, which I gave to James to pay down on his truck.

Plus we finally went to the HOA post office box and the checks we ordered for the account still haven't come. We will be on the last check soon; it's bad enough we got stuck with the HOA account, but to have this happen is freaking annoying.

And on Saturday night some moron in a full-size pickup truck ran into the "Trellis Oaks" trellis at the end of our street. He cracked the sign that said "Trellis Oaks," ripped up one of the spotlights, and actually tilted the stone-and-wood trellis back a degree or two. Actually, the people in the house at the end of the street must be still saying their prayers right now because if that Trellis Oaks sign hadn't been there, the pickup would have gone through their downstairs bedroom/sitting room!

All this and the nightmare news about the cretin with the 100+ page manifesto who drove for hours to a grocery store in a mostly Black neighborhood and shot up the place, the asshole who shot up a church in California, and the moron who shot up a flea market in Texas. People have no self-control any longer. Someone upsets them, they don't get what they want, the solution is grabbing a gun and killing people.

The one good thing about the week was a trip to Canton for lunch at Uncle Maddio's—the owner is still running the place by himself—and a side-journey to Books-a-Million, where I found several nifty books on the remainder shelves, including Ghost: My Thirty Years as an FBI Undercover Agent, which works out well since I've been writing about an FBI agent. On the way home we stopped at BJ's for orange and pineapple cups and various other things. They didn't have any plain Skinny Pop, so I got the buttered kind, and, boy, did I regret that. It tastes like "cheesy-flavored" popcorn and is revoltingly salty.

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» Saturday, May 07, 2022
Repeat After Me: Cough...Cough...Cough
Well, it's been a week.

Sunday I went through all the chores except for cleaning the hall bath, roasted some chicken drumsticks for dinner, paid some bills, and then as always before bedtime, walked the dog.

By the time I got back from the walk, I was coughing, one of those hacking coughs caused by a raw spot on the throat, one I hadn't had when I went out for the walk. In those ten minutes, it had just shown up. And I kept coughing, except when I was drinking, which made it hard to sleep. So let's say I didn't get much sleep and spent Monday miserable and much of Tuesday miserable as well. James was also suffering the aftereffects of the two weeks of antibiotic (cephelaxin); he seems to be sensitive to this one, since he was feeling as if he could not breathe well the last couple of days, but that eased up the moment he was off the antibiotic.

Now, James had a cardiologist's appointment on Wednesday, and there was no way either of us were going to show up if we had COVID. So we took the at-home test on Tuesday, and both of us came up clear, which was a relief. Really, I can still smell and taste fine (the mucus most of all—it's revolting), and I've had dozens of colds that started just like this: cough first, and then my sinuses going into overtime and producing wildly, and then cough from the endless post-nasal drip-drip-drip. I sound like a frog and I'm exhausted.

So James did get checked out by Dr. Shash, who assuaged our fears by saying his EKG was fine, and he listened to his lungs, and said they sounded fine as well (we were worried because since his fall, the CT scan noted small plural effusions on his lungs). We told him we would definitely keep the appointment with the urologist on the 20th to see if his prostate was enlarging so much that it was blocking his flow again.

And then, guess what.

Yes, his damn UTI is back, even after two weeks of antibiotic! He sent another note to the urologist. So Thursday, along with going to Lidl, Publix, and Kroger, we had to go back to Kaiser yet again for a fourth lab test. But, I got through the shopping okay, although I was cross and tired, and thought the cough medicine I got at Kaiser was doing me good, especially when we stayed in Friday because we were supposed to have a storm (it never came) and I felt pretty good, if still slightly stuffy, with no bouts of coughing so hard my eyes watered and I couldn't catch my breath!

We spiced up the evening by watching the second season finale of Picard (all threads neatly wrapped up), the "Ready Room" short that went with both Picard and the new series, and, finally, Strange New Worlds, the new Star Trek series featuring Captain Kirk's Enterprise predecessor, Captain Christopher Pike, with Spock as his science officer, and Number One as his First Officer. Uhura is seen as a fresh-from-the-Academy role here, and we also meet Dr. M'Benga and Nurse Chapel. It is very good. They are going for individual stories here, not serialized adventures like Discovery and Picard have been. It also sounds as if the "big bad" in the series are going to be the Gorn (the "lizard man" Captain Kirk fought in "Arena").

Alas, Friday night was a cough-fest again and I woke up Saturday feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton. James went off to his club meeting Saturday afternoon and I settled in front of the television for a minor Vincent D'Onofrio film fest: the Homicide: Life on the Street episode "The Subway" which won a bunch of awards and was so innovative that PBS made a documentary about it (the documentary is also on the DVD set, but I didn't get to it), and also another episode called "All is Bright" that guest-starred Kathryn Erbe as a young woman who caught AIDS from having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive guy (who, of course, didn't tell her). (This also featured a sweet performance from Carol Kane as one of John Munch's [Richard Beltzer] ex-wives.) The final thing I played that afternoon was an interview of Vincent from a 2017 Chicago Comic Con. I did this great screencap of him talking with his hands—it reminded me of all the family gatherings when I was a kid, everyone gesturing!

 (Later on, I told James to watch a couple of episodes of The Expanse, which I really don't care about—did notice Burn Gorman from Torchwood is in it—and I watched a very early television appearance of VDO's on the original The Equalizer series with Edward Woodward; he plays Davy, a mentally challenged young man who nevertheless is overjoyed to finally be on his own and working in a department store, until one night he stumbles upon a murder and is accused of the crime, so he goes to Robert McCall for help. It's called "Suspicion of Innocence" and is on NBC's website.)

Alas, Saturday night seemed to end well: I fell asleep with no coughing fit!

Only to wake up at two in the morning with one instead. Bleah.

This is getting very, very old...

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