News from the Hill — with all the usual Smith Manor-isms

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November 01, 2019

Happy November Fools Day!

Bright and early this morning, we got out of bed, felt the furnace warming the house with its gas-fired function for a change, rather than the geo-thermal insensible "warming" that we normally experience. I had a few sips of water before it was time for me to drive out to Carolina Internal Medicine for my annual Wellness Visit. My height and weight were measured, and we found that I was, now, only 5' 8.5" tall, as opposed to last year's height of 5' 9", as compared to two years before that when I used to be 5' 10". The rest of my vitals were checked and compared with history with the same disappointing (for me) results. Then the doctor came in and dilligently reviewed my health as recorded previously, asking me questions obout various conditions and complaints, many of which I didn't recall until he jogged my memory. In the end, he recommended that I start taking Metformin, which I am considering, but to which I didn't immediately agree. He gave me a report which considers that Metformin might "become the First Anti-Aging Drug". I've always known that I would live until I die, but an anti-aging drug might have me living beyond that which, in light of last night's Halloween, gives me the willies.

I got home from my visit with the doctor just in time for Becky to drive to the same building, to see the same doctor for the same purpose. She came home with a recommendation that she see the orthopedic surgeon to have her right knee evaluated. She had fallen on that knee a month-and-a-half ago, and it has been painful (off and on) since then. I've forgotten what else the doctor had told her, but I'm sure she will tell me again, so I won't worry that I've forgotten.

November 02, 2019

Becky and I were up at 6:30 this morning so she could get to the church to man the till at the church's Rummage Sale. There was some pretty thick fog in the area, and with the temperatures just below freezing, there was a light frost on the car's windows. We both went out to the car, and while she got in to start the engine warming up, I stayed outside to scrape frost. I was using a plastic spatula, which proved to have been somewhat deformed by scraping up food from metal trays. I further deformed it by chipping it in the cold when it scraped into other metal objects like wiper hubs and windshield washer nozzles. I did, eventually, get the frost off all the glass, and then Becky drove off into the mist as I walked back into the warm house.

I sat at the computer for two hours, listening to podcasts I had ignored during the week, working jigsaw puzzles and card games - my normal wake-up routine. Then I made a run to the grocery store to get a bag of Reese's PB Cups, some hot dog buns and Klondike Bars. The afternoon was filled with more computer madness, as I tried to find out how to make my MX-Linux set the correct resolution on the screen by itself, instead of me having to persuade it with a script. So far, no luck.

When Becky got back from church, she brought with her a bag full of groceries and two Starbucks Coffees, and told me all about the sale and her involvement with it. It sounded like a good amount of goods were sold.

I downloaded the fix forms the Insurance company sent me so I can fill them out and retain my "totaled" car. I have to fill out a form in the presence of a Notary and attach a copy of the vehicle title, then there's something to do with the DMV to have the car officially declared a salvage vehicle. Yeah, it's officially a junker, now, but it's still MY junker.

November 03, 2019

Goodbye Daylight Savings. Hello Daylight Wasting.

I set all the clocks back last night with the exception of our Satellite clock, which I thought would set itself back at the appropriate time. It did not, so this morning when I got up, I took it off Daylight Savings, and the time still didn't change, so I manually set the time back one hour. So much for Satellite technology, eh?

Becky was feeling sneezy this morning, so she stayed at home so as not to contaminate anyone else with her affliction. That meant I had to explain, over and over as people came in and found her missing. And, of course, everyone had to wish her well, and felt it was necessary to tell me to tell Becky they wished her well. Once again, then, I found myself responding to them each in like wise. Still, I guess it just goes to show that each of them care about her.

Last Wednesday, the second of the two scheduled anthems didn't get sung at Evensong, so this morning we sang that one and, while they were both scheduled to be sung, we didn't sing the first one. So there! The one we sang was sung really well, though, so nobody complained other than me, because I wanted to sing the other one again.

One of the hymns we sang this morning was I Sing a Song of the Saints of God. As many times as I've sung it in the past, I hadn't noticed that in the last line, it ends with, "...the saints of God are just folks like me, and I mean to be one, too." So, I gather that I mean to be a folk like me. I'm doing it deliberately! Wow! Who knew?

November 04, 2019

I got the paperwork ready to send off to the insurance company so that I may retain ownership of my totaled (but perfectly capable and useful) car - BARNUM.

I had told my Primary Care Physician, earlier this year, that I had a laser treatment on the distal joint of my right pinkie finger, and after that treatment the pain had gone (it was a temporary relief). At his suggestion last week, I bought a small laser pointer. I found it at CVS drugstore in the Pet Needs aisle, listed as a cat toy. He said I should use that on my swollen arthritic joint and see if it helps. It seems silly to use a "toy" laser on my finger, but then we know those laser pointers are powerful enough to damage eyes at a distance, so perhaps it will help the joint close up. I've used it, and yes, if I don't move it around fast enough, it gets hot. I haven't noticed the same pain relief, but then I'm not as skilled at applying it, yet, as the technician at Dr. Reilly's office.

November 05, 2019

Becky stayed home and "enjoyed" some Thera-Flu and rested while I went to the gym for treadmill and Tai Chi. I had a good time at the gym, and afterward I drove to Publix to get some needed supplies. Later in the afternoon, I bought some lottery tickets and then I, too, rested.

This evening, I started trying to find a book on Becky's old Kindle Touch, and in only three hours, I found it!

November 06, 2019

Laundry Day, and this after a very late night last night (see the last paragraph above), so I tried to snooze between loads. That didn't exactly work, so at 11 o'clock, we left the whites in the dryer, and we went to lunch. After lunch, we had 20 minutes to get to Becky's appointment with the Allergy Partners. She scored about 98 on a scale of one to 25. Seriously, though, she has a photo of her back. It shows row upon row upon red and column upon column of angry, itchy spots. She will start, in two weeks, taking allergy shots, one in each arm, twice a week for a while, then once a week for a year or so. Hopefully that will, I don't know, realign her allergies so instead of them causing her to sneeze and cough, maybe they will allow her to sleep peacefully and awaken more fully rested in the mornings.

In fact, I'd like the same thing for myself, but when I took the allergy test, I guess I hadn't studied enough. I flunked it. The only itchy spot I got was from the control scratch - the one EVERYONE reacts to. So I got no shots, and I wake up with lungs full of fluid. Fortunately, I can cough it out pretty easily, so it's just an inconvenience, but one I could easily live without.

Anyway, when we got done at the Partner's place, we had about 30 minutes to get to church so I could set up the handbells and get ready to practice. So we drove to the grocery store to buy some snacks (an after-practice social hour). We got Vanila Bean Hummus, Pumpin Spice Hummus and gluten-free crackers. If Suzanne gets her hands on either of those flavers, she won't let go, I'm sure. They are both her favorite flavers, and they are both delicious, at least in my world.

November 07, 2019

Today I was expecting an HVAC checkup, but at 9 AM I received a call asking if they could reschedule for another day. It will now happen on the 21st, instead.

Not needing to stay at home today, then, I drove to the DMV, then to the license and tags office, to change the title of my car to read SALVAGED, as required by the Insurance company due to it being totaled-but-retained. Then I applied online for renewed registration for both cars. The new stickers will arrive in about 10 days. Then, in the afternoon, I sent the paperwork and the copy of my old title to the insurance company, as directed, and now I have to arrange for a direct deposit of my "windfall" insurance payout, which wouldn't even pay for a used scooter.

November 08, 2019

This morning, Becky had a visit with her Orthopedic Surgeon concerning the pain in her knee. He found she had a sore tendon and an inflamed bursa. He gave her an injection in the bursa and she has another appointment for the same, if needed, in January.

After we got done with the surgeon, we went to lunch with Jim and Carol at TGI Friday's. It wasn't our usual 2-hour gab-fest, but lasted only 90 minutes. They had to pick up the grandchildren from school. Just another perk of being a grandparent who lives in the same area as the wee ones.

The rest of the afternoon was just that - rest.

November 09, 2019

I had another computer failure, this morning. First of all, I ordered a replacement battery for my new-used laptop. The next time I sat down to use it, I switched it on and booted it up, but as I was in the process of looking something up, it shut down completely. The battery had died because I had failed to switch on the surge protector first. So I switched it on and tried to reboot the computer. It wouldn't boot up. Upon close examination, the power light was not illuminated, so I tchecked that I had, indeed, turned on the surge protector. I had. Then I checked that the plug was fully in the socket. It was. Then I checked the connection between the power cord and the transformer, then the one from the transformer output to the computer, and everything was as it should be.

I contacted the company from which I had bought the computer, asking them to replace the power cord, saying that I would hate to have to tell my friends that I had just paid over $100 to use a computer for a month. So far, I have not heard back from them. In the mean time, I'm using the Toshiba Netbook, the one I had bought the laptop to replace because of its unreliability.

November 10, 2019

This morning, after singing the anthem wonderfully well, I was told by our Director of Music, Jim, that our mutual friend, Mark Schweizer, had died. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer about three months ago after his wife had looked into his face and noticed that he looked different from normal. Jim and I had just been discussing Mark and his company, the St. James Music Press, after choir practice last Wednesday evening. I was, of course, surprised by the news, sad that Mark is no longer living amongst us, but at the same time, glad that he had not suffered from the cancer, except by having been told about it when it was diagnosed.

I had a stroke of genius today. I compared the specs of the transformers of both the ASUS (i.e. failed) computer and the Toshiba (i.e. unreliable) computer and found they are identical, electrically. I plugged the Toshiba power into the ASUS and guess what ... It worked! Now, if I get a power cord from the company, I'll use it, and if not, I'm sure I can find a suitable replacement in a local store or on line at a reasonable price.

November 11, 2019

Happy Veterans Day!

Nearly every restaurant in town is offering a free meal to veterans, which of course means every restaurant in town is packed to the gills with customers, primarily veterans and their families. Becky and I claimed our lunch at TGI Friday's, and while my entree was free, my coffee, Becky's meal, her coffee and our dessert were not. And naturally, I tipped on the undiscounted total on the bill. Still, we got by with paying half what we would ordinarily have paid. It was a win-win-win.

After using the Asus computer on the Toshiba power adapter last night and this morning, I saw that the battery, which hadn't been charging above 25% before the old adapter crapped out, was charged to 75%, and tonight, after shutting it down at 9 PM, it read 79% charged. Is that an indication of a battery not holding a charge? I don't think so. It is a sign of a failing power adapter that was barely able to keep the computer alive, but with no additional resources with which to charge the battery.

November 12, 2019

Well, I've done it again. after a few days with a proper AC Adapter for my new (used) laptop, the battery was charged to only 75%. I had ordered a new battery, anyway, because I was told the battery was weak. Indeed, it had charged to only 25% with the old Adapter. Well, the battery arrived today, and when we got home from our afternoon appointment, I brought the box inside, opened it, unpacked the new battery and prayed that I would be able to replace the battery in the laptop.

I flipped the computer onto its lid, removed all the screws (4 out of 5 of them came out easily, and the others required a bit of persuasion, even penetrating oil on one of them), coaxed the case open with some plastic pry-tools made for that purpose, disconnected and removed the keyboard, then eased the old battery from its nest and eased the new battery into its proper place.

The hard part came when I had to reconnect the keyboard. Fortunately, I discovered the secret before I broke something in a fit of rage, and having returned the keyboard to its proper position, also, I pressed the case shut and replaced all the screws, all nine of them, one of which was quite long, two were somewhat shorter, another one was shorter yet, and the other four were quite short. By trial and error, I got them all placed correctly and tightened them down.

The computer booted up right away, and now, after half an hour, the battery is charged to 91%, and it indicates it will take another 9 minutes to be fully charged.

WOW - I did it!!!

November 13, 2019

Friday the Thirteenth came on a Wednesday this month!

I didn't have any equipment repairs to do today, nor did either of us have any appointments to talk about, so I'll just brag about my oversight.

I switched on my laptop to place an order online, and when I went to switch it off 15 minutes later, I realized I had not turned on the surge protector. The computer did not shut down as it would have with the old battery and pre-failure AC Adapter. When I switched the surge protector on, the battery showed 15 minutes of charging would top it off again. It did.

At handbell and choir practice, we were given some new music to learn. We had one person missing for this session, but with four of our ringers taking extra bells, we made it through in fairly good style. I get the suspicion that our bell choir is lots better than I had thought.

As for the choir, we read through the new music like we were born to it. I was almost sorry to have come to the end of the practice, but given that my voice was already tired, I agreed to make an end of it for the night.

November 14, 2019

This afternoon, I had my third visit with the Retina Center's eye surgeon. It was a much briefer visit, this time, but no less painful. He had to examine the entire retina for signs of deterioration, and while he didn't find any difficulty, his lamp, shining right light directly at the back of the retina was not only blinding, but painful. Then he told me what his findings were, what I had to do to prevent deterioration and other bits of advice. All the while he was talking, I was nodding and listening, but I was almost completely blind. When we left the building, I was wearing their black film behind my glasses and Becky's over-glass sun blockers, and though i was feeling "adequately darkened," she had to drive. The sky was overcast, but still too bright for me to look outside the car, at first.

Shortly after we got home, I had an email from BestBuy that said my order was in and ready to be picked up. I felt well sighted enough to drive to their store and retrieve the order - the AC Adapter for my Asus laptop computer. When I returned home, I opened the box, got the adapter out of it and found that it is the wrong connector for my computer. Either I ordered the wrong item, or they shipped the wrong one, but in either case, I cannot possibly use it, so I will take it back to the store tomorrow on the way to my afternoon appointment.

November 15, 2019

Beware the Ides of November!

I had an appointment for a CT scan at 2:30 this afternoon, and having received a robo-call earlier this week telling me to be there at 12:30 so I could drink the contrast dye, I left at 11:30, which I thought would give me 45 minutes to return the non-fitting AC Adapter. I hadn't counted on a 10-minutes wait at one intersection due to construction in that intersection, nor had I counted on the 10-minute delay for traffic at another intersection. Traffic flow was unusually slow in the 30 MPH section of my travel, and slower yet on the 45 MPH section. I arrived at the store with only 20 minutes to make the return, and there were three people ahead of me at the customer service line. I left the store and got to the CT imaging center in time for my pre-appointment appointment. "But your appointment is for 2:30," the intake clerk told me, "but it's a slow day, so they'll get you in early. I was in and out in 30 minutes, and the results will be sent to my Primary Care Physician, of course.

I returned the Adapter to the store, next. There was no problem there, and I received a $19 refund. I was shown a "universal" adapter that I could purchase at the discounted price of $58. I declined the offer, of course, having seen an adapter I could buy from Amazon for $10.

I had one more stop to make on the way home, but I didn't rightly remember the address. I knew the intersection where the building was to be just to the south of, but when I got to that intersection, I had not seen any sign for the building I was seeking, so I turned the corner and decided to pull into a parking lot and look up their address. As I entered the lot, I saw the sign that I was seeking. I felt so good to have driven diectly to the right building as though I had meant to do that all along! Gosh, I'm a good navigator.

November 16, 2019

It doesn't seem fair to me. My brother ordered a BluRay copy of the BBC television series, Good Omens. I opened the package and peeled the plastic wrap from the disc case, placed disc one into the BluRay player, and everything went well until I got to the episode selection page. I selected Play All and pressed Enter. NOTHING HAPPENED. I tried several times to get something to happen, but had it not been for the title screen, the copyright notice and the episode selection page, I would have thought the disc was empty. After those several tries with no success, I called Amazon to see what I had to do to exchange it for a working copy of the series. The agent (who I had difficulty understanding because of her Eastern accent (possibly Indian) led me through troubleshooting steps - starting with unplugging my BluRay player and my WiFi. (Why WiFi? I had no clue, and she would not answer my question). Upon reconnecting and syncronizing, she led me to the Video Prime link. I explained to her that I didn't have a Video Prime account, but that didn't seem to matter to her. Finally I got through to her that I had, in my hands, a physical BluRay disc that would not play, and I wanted it to play. The next thing I know, she's telling me that she has just loaded the series into my Video Prime account (which I don't have), and to play it, I need to log into Video Prime and select that file. Again I said I don't have a VP account, and she said I don't need one, that I should just log into it with my Amazon UN/PW and input the code. I logged in and a code appeared on the screen, which I input, and then I found that there were over 100 episodes to watch! (I don't think that's true, but I did see the number 103 pop up, somewhere). I still have a bogus BlyRay disc that apparently cannot be played.

That only took two hours!

November 17, 2019

This morning was a double blessing. The anthem went wonderfully well, and Dr. Don Lewis was in attendance. Don is a retired Head & Neck surgeon who is just a year younger than me, with whom I have become friends. He used to sing Tenor in the choir, but earlier this year had to drop out because he was having difficulties breathing. We visited his home about a month ago, and by his own admission, he was a mere shell of his former self. Today, though, when I approached him after the Benediction, He stood tall and strong, gave me a handshake that showed he was back to nearly full strength, and though he was still wearing his supplemental oxygen, his voice was full and happy. I would not be surprised to see him back in the choir before the New Year - at least, that is my hope.

Suzanne, on the other hand is suffering under a migraine-from-hell. We haven't been able to visit for the past two weeks, and just before the end of our church service, she texted me to say she was cancelling Sunday (our Sunday visit, that is) again. She has made another pot of split pea soup, and nobody in her house seems interested in eating any of it, so, not wanting it to go to ruin, she asked that we come up tomorrow and get some take-away soup.

November 18, 2019

After I finished my bowl of cereal and took my morning supplements, we drove up to see Suzanne and to retrieve our soup-take-away as offered. While there, we had a cup of coffee and some gluten-free chocolate-flax-dark cherry muffins, which were delicious. Apparently they are a regular item at Publix, so guess who will be getting some, from time to time.

With the muffins gone, we moved our conversation to the living room, and while I was trying to finish a topic I had raised in the conversation, her neighbor's house nearly caught fire. They have had a rather large pile (maybe 5 feet high and 10 feet in diameter) of trash at the corner of their house, and, reportedly, someone flicked a lit cigarette into the pile. Thick, black smoke was billowing up into the air, and people were running around, yelling excited commands and exclamations, fighting the fire with their garden hose. Eventually the fire department arrived and quickly doused the flames. We stayed, of course, until the fire fighters moved their trucks out of the common driveway, and as we drove away, I saw the side of their house in my rear-view mirror. The vinyl siding was melted and blistered. They are fortunate the house didn't catch fire and burn (it's a double-wide mobile home).

November 19, 2019

I received an email from Jim, the Director of Music at our church, with a request that I use the PDF file he had enclosed therein to make a "camera ready" copy of the music for inclusion in the bulletin for Sunday worship. I did it, got it printed out, then wrote a response to his email to let him know I'd done it, and, well, that's it, really.

While all that was going on, I had done a load of laundry - whites only - and as I was getting ready to fold my copious number of T-Shirts, my phone alerted me that it was one hour to Tai Chi. I had forgotten about this being Tuesday. I hastily changed out of my sweat pants (to go to the gym, of course) and into my new Levi's. We got to the gym in time for me to walk 30 minutes on the treadmill, go to the bathroom, then go to Tai Chi. For the first time since, well, forever, I was the last of the class to arrive. I felt very conspicuous. Tai Chi went well, other than that.

After lunch, we returned home. Well, there was more to it than that. Becky had received a shipment of CPAP supplies, so I took a while to unbox them and tend to - whatever it was to be done with those supplies.

If my writing seems a bit differently odd, tonight, it's because we've just spent two hours watching Good Omens (episodes 4 and 5), saving the last (episode 6) episode for another day. Of course, this is just Season 1 of the BBC program. I may have seen episode numbers in the hundreds, but it turned out the numbers above 100 are The Making of, Deleted Scenes, Behind the scenes, and so forth, all nice to know but absolutely useless things.


November 20, 2019

I had a few errands to run today. First I went to the bank and deposited the insurance check from my final accident, the one that "totaled" my car (but I have retained ownership, the insurance just will never repair it again). Then I went to the store for what amounts to a "Potato Run." I bought Sweet Potatoes, Yukon Gold Potatoes and Ruffles Potato Chips, and for a little variety, some Lactaid Egg Nog.

Bell & Choir Practice, tonight was wonderful. We went over the Christmas music for the bell choir, then went over three anthems for Sunday coming, and two for the following Sunday (Advent 1, already). While the rehearsal seemed a little disjointed (started late, and the members wouldn't settle down and get to work, in my opinion), we did sound good on all the music we practiced.

November 21, 2019

I got up at 7 AM, expecting a visit from the HVAC technicians for my semi-annual furnace inspection. They were to arrive between 8 AM and 5 PM. Not only were they to inspect the HVAC, but also the water heater. They didn't come in the morning, so after lunch, I went out to get some dessert from the freezer. The first indication of trouble was the water on the floor that was seeping through my leather slippers. The water was cascading from the top of the water heater, down its sides and onto the floor. I tried to shut off the water into the tank, but couldn't. I got a garden hose and started draining the tank, then turned off the gas to the burner. There was nothing else I could think to do.

What a coincidence. That's like going to the doctor for a physical exam and while you're in the waiting room, starting to hemorrage from your nose. The furnace tech arrived at 3 PM, saw the water heater problem and called for a water heater tech from the same company to rush out to combat that problem while he started on the furnace.

After I got him started on the furnace, I put on my work gloves, picked up my pruning shears and went to work on the growth of possibly poisonous weed in the corner by the back gate.

When the water heater guys got here, I suspended "gardening" and showed them the busted tank. Well, I couldn't see that it was broken, but the way the water was flowing out of the top of it, it pretty much had to have ruptured. The plumbing techs agreed that it had ruptured, went to the hardware store to buy a new valve for the water line so that it could be shut off completely and we could have some water, if only cold. While the one tech, after they got back, replaced the valce, the other vacuumed and wiped up the water from the floor. They will install the new water heater tomorrow morning.

The furnace passed inspection, and the water heater will be replaced in the morning. All in all, it cost us $1,850. Now I'm very tired, and barely able to remain awake to write this, so I'll have to re-read it tomorrow to correct all my mistakes.

November 22, 2019

As advertised, the two men showed up to install our new water heater. They did a masterful job of it, taking fully two hours to install it, then another 30 minutes to light the pilot - and explain to me how to light it again should the need arise - and go over all the fine points of its operation, like how to regulate the temperature of the water. Now we have hot water and a dry garage. I'm very relieved.

While the installation was going on, one of the two (the trainee) showed me the water pressure regulator that they will install, the old one of about 18 years ago no longer doing a sufficient job, the hose bib that will replace the falling-apart one outside the garage and faucets for the two bathrooms, one of which is dripping into the sink, and the other one pissing on the floor. We've opted for high quality, this time, rather than the low prices I usually try to find. We'll have those items installed in a week or so.

November 23, 2019

Happy Luna-Versary!

I have made a good breakthrough, today. Not only is it Becky's and my luna-versary, but I've got something almost as good to celebrate. Lemme 'splain:

Since I switched to Linux operating systems, I had retained a Windows-based OpSys so that I could still use Mozart to create sheet music. I had inquired about such an app for Linux, and was told the best one was MuseScore 2. I tried it, but couldn't get it to work for me.

Today, though, I read (some of) the manual and learned a few things about using MuseScore 2. I have, thus, created a page of music. It isn't as intuitive as Mozart (which is why I had to read the manual), but it produced a very usable product. Now I might not have to ever use Windpws - except maybe to play a few of the games that I cannot find yet on Linux.

November 24, 2019

This morning, the choir sang more than our usual single anthem. There were two hymns where we stole the show from the congregation, singing in faux canon, for one stanza. It was pretty much fun. Becky's body decided to celebrate by feeling good enough for her to process and recess with the choir, as well as walk down to the altar rail to receive communion. Quite the occasion.

Afterwards, we had brunch at Rise 'n' Shine Cafe, where I threw caution to the wind and ordered an avocado melt on gluten-free bread. Since GF bread is a bit smaller than the usual glutenous variety, and since they used the same amount of ingredients, the sandwich grew taller in order to get "everyone in the pool," so to speak. It's a good thing I have a big mouth, otherwise I would have had to disassemble the thing to eat it. It was, by the way, delicious.

November 25, 2019

Becky went to the dentist, this morning, and they preped her for a crown on one of her molars. Just before Christmas, she will have that crown installed, and be preped for her partial that will replace her missing tooth. That bridge will be delivered in January. It's been over a year since we first started talking about how to replace the missing tooth, and she has been chewing less food than usual. I have felt incredibly sorry for her, but for some reason, she doesn't want me to chew her food for her, unless I'm willing to swallow it for her, too.

Then she went to the allergy clinic and her her first injections of anti-allergy serum. One shot in each arm! She will be getting injections twice a week for 4 months, and then once a week far beyond the foreseeable future (maybe as long as 5 years, she was told). Perhaps the post nasal drip will stop sooner than that, which would be wonderful.

November 26, 2019

After a busy at-home day, Becky and I decided to run to the grocery store to pay our electric bill and buy some groceries. While she did that, I would return my vestments to the church, since I had brought them home to launder them. Becky was driving so she could drop me off at the church, then proceed another block to the store. We had waited at the traffic light to cross Merrimon Ave and drive onto Ottari Ln, and as we waited, we noticed a car on Ottari Ln that was inching forward and signaling for a left turn across our path. When the light turned green, Becky hesitated before entering the intersection, and when the oncoming driver indicated she was waiting for us, she entered the intersection. It was a delay of about 3 seconds. As she approached the middle of the intersection, there was the blur of a white Jeep SUV in front of us, that car having run the red light and entered the intersection from the South. We collided with the left-rear of that car. The Jeep then rolled over, veering to the left as it did. When it was upside down, it rolled across the hood of a third car, a 2015 Ford Expedition with one occupant. The Ford was stopped for the red light, waiting to proceed to the South. All three cars, in my opinion, are damaged beyond economical repair.

Becky was transported to the hospital, later being diagnosed with a fracture of the 4th metatarsal in her left foot. After I had given my statement to the investigating police officer, he asked me to stay in the immediate vicinity while he interviewed the others and made his initial report. BARNUM, our PT Cruiser, was parked across the streets from where I was standing, leaking coolant and engine oil onto the parking lot of the pizza restaurant. In about 2.5 hours, I was given a copy of the police report, given instructions how to proceed with the insurance companies and sent on my way. I had already made arrangements with the church's interim priest for a ride home to get HILDOR, our Saturn, so I could drive to the hospital to get Becky.

I got to the hospital at 6:30 PM, and Becky had yet to be evaluated. Not long afterward, they x-ray'd her foot and found the fracture, then splinted her foot/ankle with a plaster splint-cast, gave her an Ibuprofen and three regular strength Tylenol tablets, then released her into my care. That was at 8:30. It took about 10 minutes to get her into the car, since the splint impeded the bending of her knee. She had to scoot the passenger's seat back to the limit, then recline the seat back fully, then scoot herself back as far as possible onto the reclined seat back before she could get her injured foot into the car. They had given her a pair of crutches, but she doesn't have enough balance or the knack to actually use crutches, so the route from the car into the house was quite slow and frustrating for her. We finally got inside the house, and decided that she could likely use a walker more easily.

Our friend, Jim, had offered the use of a walker if we needed it, so I called him and said that we would accept his offer. I drove to his house, stayed barely long enough to simulate politeness (all the while not wanting to be gone from home very long), loaded the walker into the trunk, then drove back home. Becky found it nearly impossible to rise from her seat on the couch, so she transitioned to the one wood-framed chair, where she spent the night, sitting pretty much upright. She didn't sleep much, of course.

November 27, 2019

After getting Becky situated, I drove to the church to retrieve a blue vestment (for Advent) so I could bring it home and wash it. Then I drove to the towing company's lot and emptied our stuff out of the busted Cruiser. Then I went to the store to get the groceries that we didn't have a chance to get them yesterday. When I got home, I fixed some lunch (yeah, me cooking - picture it!) of some left-over salmon for Becky, left-over BBQ Ribs for me, then some Avocado and Mayo mashed up together. The addition of the Avo-Mayo made it easier for Becky to chew up the salmon, and also eased my swallowing (which is becoming difficult for no apparent reason). Afterward, we decided that she should try to get onto and up from the twin bed in our guest room. She could do both with ease, so after a somewhat shorter evening, she slept there, while I slept on our queen bed. It was a much more restful night for us both.

November 28, 2019

Happy Thanksgiving!

Brian, Suzanne's brother, had ordered food for Thanksgiving, to which feast we had been invited. Since Becky had no chance of negotiating the ramp to their door, Brian and their friend, Elizabeth, delivered a box of food for us to enjoy. There was turkey dark meat, mashed Yukon Gold potatoes, green beans and carrots, cranberry sauce, Ambrosia, gluten-free Mac & Cheese, pumpkin pie, flour-less chocolate torte and pumpkin cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory (we removed the Graham cracker crust, of course). We had two meals from that food, so far, and I think we have two or three meals yet to enjoy. Brian is a firm believer in lots of left-overs, and we don't object to them, either.

November 29, 2019

Today, we very nearly finished the Thanksgiving dinner that Brian and Elizabeth brought to us yesterday. There are two pieces of cheesecake and one piece of flour-less chocolate torte left, maybe one serving of Ambrosia (I had thought I wouldn't like it, but I find that I do), three more servings of gluten-free mac 'n' cheese, and lots of whole-berry cranberry sauce. The turkey is gone, the mashed potatoes likewise, the beans and carrots didn't stand a chance, the pumpkin pie and whipped cream the same.

Today, also, I found that my Toshiba Netbook, though it still works well enough for me to use it, the sound does not work at all, now. I don't know if it ever had speakers in it, but I had always been able to use earphones and isten to music. Now the earphones are mute, though I have not muted the sound at all.

My ASUS laptop, on the other hand, has failed completely, or so I thought. I had forgotten to switch on the power strip, a few days ago, and after a few hours the computer shut down. So I turned on the power strip and left the computer off to let the battery charge. The next time I tried to use it, it would not boot up, nor was there any indication that the power was applied to it. I just plugged the Toshiba's AC Adapter into the ASUS, and guess what? That cheap AC Adapter I had bought for the ASUS to replace its old cheap AC Adapter was the thing that failed. I wonder if I should bother to purchase another AC Adapter for the ASUS, or buy another for the Toshiba, or just move it from one computer to the other as needed. One thing's certain, I'm not going to buy another CHEAP AC Adapter.

November 30, 2019

Happy November Last!

Another month gone and done with, and reacting to the last two weeks of it, I'm right glad to be done with it. Maybe December will be better for us, with no fender-benders and no total wrecks. Maybe we'll find out that Becky's foot will heal correctly and rapidly. Maybe we'll get a good enough settlement to be able to get a car large enough for Becky to get in and out of easily. May it be so.

Tonight we are hearing a lot of thunder. It's distant, but once it starts, it seems to roll on and on, bouncing from mountain to mountain. The weather-guesser told us to expect it, so it should have been no surprise. It was, of course, a surprise, because we've learned not to trust weather reports due to the inaccuracies of those predicting them. I don't know what they learn in "Meterology" school (as they say it), but now-a-days we get forecasts, when they tell us what the weather has been and is now, then we have futurecasts, when they tell us what the weather will be tonight and tomorrow. After all that, we have the Seven-Day prediction (foretelling) that used to be called a prognostication (supposed knowledge of the future). Apparently they are changing the words so that there is no real definition of what they are doing, other than guessing.


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