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Carol H Tucker

Passionate about knowledge management and organizational development, expert in loan servicing, virtual world denizen and community facilitator, and a DISNEY fan

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Be warned:in this very rich environment where you can immerse yourself so completely, your emotions will become engaged -- and not everyone is cognizant of that. Among the many excellent features of SL, there is no auto-return on hearts, so be wary of where your's wanders...

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Day 38

Today is the 3rd day of the 6th week, the 7th day of the 2nd month, and the 38th day of 2023.

Quote of the day
The dreams of childhood – it’s airy fables, it’s graceful, beautiful, humane, impossible adornments of the world beyond; so good to be believed in once, so good to be remembered when outgrown
~ Charles Dickens

On this day back in 1812, Charles Dickens was born.  Once, during an interview, he mentioned that it was his memories from childhood that helped him write his stories.  Stephen King has likened the creative process of crafting a narrative to being in a wakeful dream state, and has attributed a couple of his stories to dreams he had.   

And this has gotten me to thinking, could I write a story about the dreams I remember from my youngest years?  For I don’t have a lot of memories from growing up, only little snapshots of time.  Sometimes I look at the pictures from back then and try to remember what was going on when they were taken, but the images staring out from the fading pieces of paper defy me. 

My earliest memory is laying in bed, and I think it was actually a crib, or at least it had a railing around it.  The room was dark, but the door to the hallway was open.  I could smell my father’s cigarette smoke, and there was a shadow moving along the baseboard of a train chugging merrily away.  I once told my mother, and she stared at me and said I couldn’t remember that, it was in the house they sold when I was about 2 ½ and I couldn’t remember the train set my father had put up around the Christmas tree. She got quite angry with me and told me to stop telling lies.

I wonder what kind of story I could shape, what alchemy of words would craft, a narrative about that toddler, laying there watching the shadow train, a palimpsest  ….

And yes, I’ve always wanted to be a writer.
Permalink | Tuesday, February 7, 2023

day 37 - frustration [redux]

Today is the 2nd day of the 6th week, the 6th day of the 2nd month, and the 37th day of 2023

Today, I continue the tale of frustration that I started 13 days ago

When we left the tale, after five weeks of back and forth with online support, the doctor’s office, and the pharmacist, the pharmacy had supposedly placed an order for the reader and informed me it was out of stock.  In a subsequent update two days ago, I mentioned  I had ordered the reader online, and that it supposed to arrive that day.  It arrived late that evening, and I left it charging up overnight.

So, yesterday I open the box and delve into how to set it up.  The reader appeared to work much like the old one, so that didn’t take very long, and I attached a new sensor to myself and scanned it in since it takes an hour after being “activated” for a sensor to access and accumulate data.  While it was updating, I noticed that not only did I have a quick start manual for the reader but also for the iPhone app.  Great!  That took a bit longer to set up, because I had to create an account, and jump thru some hoops, but I got it done.

Then the directions explain how to use your phone to scan the sensor and tell me I have to activate it.  OK, I guess the app needs to activate.  I scan it – it doesn’t work the first couple of times but eventually I get the knack of how to position the phone.  It scans.  And I get an error message.

“This sensor has already been activated with another device.  Please attach inactivated sensor”   

Wait, what? 

I scan it again.  Same message.  Back to online support and the rep seems confused.  Well of course I cannot use a sensor with the app and a reader.  But I was told I needed a reader to activate the sensor.  No, you use the app for that.  I repeat that back, adding I was told I needed a reader to activate the sensors.  No, only if you want to use the reader to track.  No the data from the reader cannot be shared with the app. Is there anything else we can help you with today?

In other words – I didn’t need a reader.  The bean-counters at the insurance company were right.

AND those sensors are designed to adhere tightly to you for 14 days, after which if they don’t fall off, they come off very easily.  I can’t get this one off and using the app that my doc can access will have to wait.

All that time and energy and cost....
Permalink | Monday, February 6, 2023

Day 36

Today is the 1st day of the 6th week, the 5th day of the 2nd month, and the 36th day of 2023 - which is a rather redundant comment, I guess, given the title of the post!

Today I ran across this quote, and it has me reflecting

Bertrand Russell, 'Portraits from Memory', on Growing Old:

"Psychologically there are two dangers to be guarded against in old age. One of these is undue absorption in the past. It does not do to live in memories, in regrets for the good old days, or in sadness about friends who are dead. One’s thoughts must be directed to the future, and to things about which there is something to be done. This is not always easy; one’s own past is a gradually increasing weight. It is easy to think to oneself that one’s emotions used to be more vivid than they are, and one’s mind more keen. If this is true it should be forgotten, and if it is forgotten it will probably not be true. The other thing to be avoided is clinging to youth in the hope of sucking vigour from its vitality. When your children are grown up they want to live their own lives, and if you continue to be as interested in them as you were when they were young, you are likely to become a burden to them, unless they are unusually callous. I do not mean that one should be without interest in them, but one’s interest should be contemplative and, if possible, philanthropic, but not unduly emotional. Animals become indifferent to their young as soon as their young can look after themselves, but human beings, owing to the length of infancy, find this difficult."

I remember my aunt calling my grandmother every single day after she moved out - sometimes they chatted for a few minutes, sometimes they talked for hour[s].  When i came back from Alaska and settled down with my 2nd husband, i did the same thing.  When Grandmom died, I tried calling my aunt a couple of days and she rather bluntly told me she wasn't going to have that kind of relationship with me.   When Frank died, for a couple of weeks when I was living alone, my daughter called every day - until she told me that was not something she really wanted to do anymore.  Over the years, I have come to accept that level of involvement is a relic of a bygone era, and my kids have reinforced their need to have their own, private lives without sharing everything with their mother.  Not to say we aren't close, but there are lines I do not cross, things I do not say, questions I do not ask [or only make the mistake of asking once]

Not what I planned to write about today, but that's what happens when you run across something that makes you think
Permalink | Sunday, February 5, 2023

Day 35 - the Snow Moon

Today is the 7th day of the 5th week, the 4th day of the 2nd month, the 35th day of 2023, and
  • Barber Day
  • Facebook's Birthday - i wonder why Zuck isn't making a bigger deal of this?  Back in 2004, he launched TheFaceBook from his Harvard dorm room.
  • I Heart Horror Day - I don't.  
  • International Day of Human Franternity
  • Liberace Day - this flamboyant performer also played the piano, and died on this day in 1987 at the age of 68. 
  • Medjoola Date Day - no it isn't a hookup before Valentine's Day, it is a large sweet fruit
  • National Create a Vacuum Day
  • National Hemp Day
  • National Homemade Soup Day
  • National Ice Cream for Breakfast day - i had a bagel
  • National Play Outside Day - i had to walk to the office to get a package?  Does that count?
  • National Quacker Day - nope, nothing to do with ducks, but with women's clothing
  • National Stuffed Mushroom Day
  • National Thank a Mailman Day
  • Rosa Parks Day
  • Take Your Child to the Library Day
  • Torture Abolition Day
  • USO Day
  • World Cancer Day -  Cancer exacts a terrible toll.  My grandmothers both died of colon cancer.  My father was a lifetime smoker and died of lung cancer.  My daughter had breast cancer and the treatments have disabled her.  My son is underting chemo for stage 4C colon cancer.
  • World Play Your Ukulele Day
The full moon actually issn't until tomorrow at 1PM EST, but it sure looks full enough tonight!  it's also known as the Hunger Moon, and both names are self-explanatory in the throes of winter.  

Quote of the day:
"My life is but an instant, an hour that passes by." 
~ St. Therese of Lisieux

An old boyfriend from high school that i have kept in touch with now and then over the years recently told me that he has written his obituary - not a euology, just an obit.  i told him he couldn't make a statement like that and not send it to me, so he did.  It is very matter-of-fact, listing his parents, siblings, wife, high school and college, and thirty years of work with the government.  There is a nice quote from Shakespeare about death, and that's it.  He didn't have any messages for the future.  I'm not sure how to comment on it.  I'm not sure how if I would be trying to send a message to those that follow either - do I have any words of wisdom or wit to share at the end!  A lot of people must do it, tho, because there are all kinds of resources available online.  I just had never thought of it before, altho I had wondered now and then what they'll say about me

Abruptly changing the subject....

Eleven days ago, I wrote about the sagao of trying to get a Libre2 Reader for the sensors I have.  This evening, at 6:45PM, I'm happy to report I now have a reader and it is charging up.  Oh I didn't get it from the pharmacy - that prescription is still "pending".  Instead I dug about online and ended up in a place called The Diabetic Warehouse and ordering it   There were a couple other places that carried them for better prices, but they required a prescription; this place did not.  And no, I haven't cancelled the order at the pharmacy because I am genuinely curious to see if it ever even comes in - I have my doubts it was even ordered.  
Permalink | Saturday, February 4, 2023

Day 34 - TGIF!

Today is the 6th day of the 5th week, the 3rd day of the 2nd month, the 34th day of 2023, and:
  • Bubble Gum Day
  • Feed the Birds Day
  • Four Chaplains Memorial Day – commemorates the courage of the four Army chaplains who, when in 1943 the USAT Dorchester was torpedoed, offered their life jackets to four other men, choosing to go down with the ship
  • Give Kids a Smile Day – helping out kids who need dental care
  • National Missing Persons Day
  • National Women’s Physicians Day
  • The Day The Music Died – I’m not sure how well this one is going to age as boomers slowly fade away
  • Veterinary Pharmacists Day
  • Wear Red Day [I didn’t do that]
  • Working Naked Day [I didn’t do that either]
Quote of the day:
“If you must have motivation, think of your paycheck on Friday.
~ Noel Coward - English playwright, composer, director, actor, and singer

I’m just very very very grateful it’s the weekend.  And payday!

All hail Friday evenings!
Permalink | Friday, February 3, 2023

Day 33

Today is the 5th day of the 5th week, the 2nd day of the 2nd month, the 33rd day of 2023, and just in case you have been ignoring the news, it is the day that for some strange reason we think that a rodent can tell us whether or not spring will come early.  Apparently beavers, hedgehogs, and marmots have the same prognostication powers as each of them have a day today too – as well as the groundhog’s job shadow and an alligator in Texas. 
It is also:
  • Ayn Rand Day
  • Candelmas or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple
  • Crepe Day or Lan Chandeleur
  • Dump Your Significant Jerk Day
  • Imbolc – a time for “spring cleaning” of your life – reviewing goals, musing over how you did with the goals you set last year, and deciding what your goals are for this new year.
  • Lung Leavin’ Day – you can participate here
  • National Sweater Day
  • Optimist Day – there is an organization you can join you are one
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day
  • Sled Dog Day
  • “The Record of a Sneeze” Day
  • World Wetlands Day – established in 1971, altho it was not made an official holiday until 1997
  • This is the earliest day on which Shrove Monday can fall
And on that note, I wish you a very happy Friday’s Eve
Permalink | Thursday, February 2, 2023

Day 32 - if you really want to know [redux]

Today is the 4th day of the 5th week, the 1st day of the 2nd month, the 32nd day of 2023

This is all about my personal health, so if that kind of thing bores you, stop here!

Back in August, I wrote a blog post about my allergic reaction to Ozempic, which left me with a horrible nasty, itchy skin rash and an inflmmation of the lungs.  The rash was very stubborn - took three courses of steroids over the next months to defeat it.  I would complete one set of 10 days, and then a month later, the rash would pop back up, but [and I am knocking on wood as I write this] I think we finally have it whipped.  If not, the GP has told me she has reached the end of what she knows how to address it and I need to turn to a dermatologist.  The chest x-ray confirmed the doctor's diagnosis of inflammation of the lungs as it didn't show any other overt signs of pulmonary problems, so in addition to those three courses of oral medication, I was on a steroid inhaler for a month twice.  Unfortuately, that doesn't seem to have resolved the problem as I continue to struggle with shortness of breath and coughing, and both are getting worse.  If I bend over to tie my shoes or pull on boots, I gasp for breath.  If I walk up a flight of stairs, I am gasping for breath at the top.  Walking from the car to the office leaves me limp and breathing like I just ran a mile.  I don't wheeze anymore and I can sing, but the coughing fits are getting longer and more frequent.

Monday the doc had me come in for an echocardiagram to rule out a heart problem, and much to my relief, it does not appear to be a cardiac issue.  My heart isn't perfect - there are a couplel small murmures and my right carotid artery has some plaque buildup, but no evidence of swelling or infection.  So we are back to a pulmonary problem, and I walked up the hall and asked the medical assistant what the next step was.  Next Wednesday I have an appoiment with the nurse practitioner [not the doctor which I find a bit annoying] to find out what more can be done.  Given the recent ariticles about the increase in lung cancer amoungst non-smokers , I am glad the xray I got back in August looked clear, altho I figure the next step will be an MRI.

Meanwhile?  I cope.  Haven't been able to go out much on the weekends - after three days of dragging myself into the office, I come home and pretty much collapse.   The days I work from home are a little bit easier, but not much gets done around the place

Well at least growing up is still optional....

Permalink | Wednesday, February 1, 2023

Day 31

Today is the 3rd day of the 5th week, the 31st day of the 1st month, the 31st day of 2023 [with only 327 shopping days until Christmas] and: 
  • Appreciate Your Social Security Check Day – oh I do!  Getting these checks for the past 1 12 has enabled me to dig myself out of the hole I had fallen into and sock some money away too.
  • yaD sdrawkcaB
  • Brandy Alexander Day – not a person but a drink, in case you were wondering
  • Eat Brussels Sprouts Day – definitely an acquired taste
  • Hell is Freezing Over Day
  • Hug an Economist Day
  • Inspire Your Heart with Art Day
  • International Street Children Day
  • National Hot Chocolate Day
  • National Plan for Vacation Day – well I have put a couple of weeks on the company vacation calendar, but no plans to go anywhere, alas!
  • Scotch Tape Day

Quote of the day:
if you aren’t fired with enthusiasm, then you will be fired with enthusiasm.”
~ Vince Lombardi,  American football coach and executive in the NFL

All the motivational speakers aside, the fact of the matter is there are many who do not LOVE their work.  Many of us are working to live, not living to work, and our identities are not established or defined by our job descriptions or titles.   But we still are motivated to do well, to do the job that we were hired to do; even if we might not be in the groove of being a super-performer, there are good and even outstanding work being done every day.  And then there are those who have checked out, who do the bare minimum to get by, who’s work is sloppy or requires cleanup, the marginal employee who is just on the cusp of being put on probation.    I’m not talking about “quiet quitting” here, I’m talking about that problem employee that you keep hoping will actually pull it together so the team can move on.  For a manager?  These are the direct reports that give you the headaches.  Rewarding good performance is easy.  Holding folks not performing up to snuff is not easy, but it is clear cut:  three verbal warnings, one written warning, probation, termination.  It is the employee you are constantly giving warnings to, one after another, no one infraction being bad enough to be the last straw but the accumulation of issues becoming overwhelming, espeically in these contentious times when anyone who doesn't like being let go is quick to go to the EEO.  These are the ones that make you wish you never had gotten into management!

At what point do you just decide that dealing with someone because it's better than not having help at all is just too much?  And there's a fine line between helping someone and enabling poor performance too.  Err to much on the side of enabling and you can drag an entire team or department down!  It's difficult to go through - been there done that.  It's almost as difficult to try and support someone else who is struggling with it themselves.
Permalink | Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Day 30

Today is the 2nd day of the 5th week, the 30th day of the 1st month, the 30th day of 2023, and 
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day – unfortunately the ability to play this online has been permanently disabled as the Adobe Flash Player is no longer support.
  • National Croissant Day
  • National Escape Day
  • National Inane Answering Machine Message Day – now here is a holiday that will date you very quickly!  Remember the old answering machines?  You could buy a tape and have the likes of John Wayne or Boris Karloff answering your phone if you didn’t pick up.  I guess you could still rig it up to work like that
  • School Day of Non-violence and Peace
  • Yodel for Your Neighbors Day
So, let’s talk about yesterday’s post or non-post. 

There are a couple of limitations of this particular platform that make me fretful at times.  There is a word limit to the amount of verbiage I can hit you with in one blog post.  Granted 6500 characters is a lot of  words [spaces count tho as does embedded links], and usually I can edit myself to the point of being able to express myself.  In some ways, being under such a constraint tightens my prose and makes me pare down superfluous explanations or literary flourishes.  On the flip side, when I use this blog as a journal, such editing is not always possible without changing the entire tone of the post.  The second issue is that in order to embed a picture, that picture has to be readily available online already – I cannot upload a snapshot or share one that I posted in Facebook or Twitter. 

Eventually I will get motivated enough to move this blog lock stock and barrel elsewhere – but for now, there will just be times when I give up and walk away leaving whatever it was that I felt so strongly about dissipate unread by anyone but me.

 (( By the way, thank you for reading my babbling here ))
Permalink | Monday, January 30, 2023

Day 29

Today is the 1st day of the 5th week, the 29th day of the 1st month, the 29th day of 2023

I tried to write a followup post to my comments yesterday, but apparently I am just too long-winded for this particular blogging platform.  After three tries at trimming it - yesterday's post was brutally butchered to make it fit, I just give up

Hope you all had a great weekend and are all relaxed and eager to face the week ahead....

Good night, sleep tight, and don't let the bedbugs bite!
Permalink | Sunday, January 29, 2023

Day 28

I ran across a piece written by a former police officer for a "major metropolitan area in California" entitled 'Confessions of a Former Bastard Cop' that is haunting me and hurts my heart.

Frank was not a police officer, he was a cop. Yes he, and the others around him, believed in "it's better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6".  Yes he saw himself and his fellow officers as the thin blue line standing as a bulwark between the bad guys and decent people.  But he, and every other cop I met, were angry at and contemptuous of police officers who they consdered "bad" .Did he, or his fellows ever report thise "bad cops" officially?  Now that I don't know - I don't know if he was ever put in the situation personally where he had to make that choice.   There was indeed a strong culture of "we protect our own" in the department, so the author is correct on that score.  Frank spent 23 of his 33 years on the force in the Crime Lab - and I do know for a fact that if there was any tampering with evidence once he collected it, that was reported as soon as he discovered the break in the chain of custody.  On a personal level, I know the impact of the stress is unremitting and the surges of adrenline make you physically ill.  Knowing that you are becoming viewed with hatred, suspicion, and even loathing is an additional burden and I fear that finding good, dedicated people to do this job for the right reasons is going to be increasingly difficult. 

And when I think of cops, of the thin blue line, I think of Frank, the offficers and detectives he worked with, and the guys of  Barney Miller. as being far more typical than the killers that grab the headlines, but I am more than a little shaken by the rising death toll.

Permalink | Saturday, January 28, 2023

Day 27 - TGIF

Today is the 6th day of the 4th week, the 27th day of the 1st month, and the 27th day of 2023

I could talk about the homeless person who was found sleeping the ilobby of Kit's condo that no one knows how he got in

I could talk about my day at work - how I spent literally 5 - 6 hours gathering source information and trying to figure out how to dispaly a 3rd data point in a combo graph in EXCEL - only to find out bossman just wanted a row of numbers he could look at.

I could talk about the logistics of trying to plan a trip to Nashville

I could talk about having to come home and take dizzy and nausea meds to ward off a vertigo attack.

I could talk about book banning, and clowns in office, and mass shootings, and companies declaring obscene profits 

But I'm not

That's it. That's todays post.  Thank you for reading and if you work retail or some other job that makes Friday irrelevant, I apologize  -  I don't mean to rub it in by displaying an unseemingly amount of joy that a Friday evening brings.

Permalink | Friday, January 27, 2023

Day 26

Today is the 5th day of the 4th week, the 26th day of the 1st month, and the 26th day 2023

A long long time ago, when I was a a small community bank undergoing a lot of organzational change, I started writing about the process and the personalities.  I christened the posts "As the Bank Turns" and it actuallly became rather popular reading.  When that community shut down, it migrated to its successor, and then eventuallly to the KM Wiki where I maintained a couple pages devoted to banking.  All was lost when that Wiki imploded, and we learned all too late that the backups we thought were being made had been distroyed by a server crash..

The past couple of days have me reminiscing about those posts, and mentally thinking how I would write up the comedy of errors that is happening in our small organization.  The problem? A ibt of background info first.  

IT, which is provided by one of our credit union equity owners, sets up the mobile phones for our company, keeping them under the blanket of their security protocols.  Because these company phones can be used to access the email accounts and the company files [both of which live on  the credit unions server, there is a lot of security on the phones that would not be on a normal phone.  About five years ago - yes that long ago -  IT started using a security protocol from a third party, an app that was installed on each phone and you had to log into every time you used your phone to get access to contacts, emails, calendars, et al.  Sounds simple enough, right?

Now the Presdient/Ceo/founder of my little company [who will henceforth be referred to as "bossman"] decides he doesn't want a seperate company phone like everyone else.  Having two phones doesn't make any sense to him when the company pays for the company phone and he can just use it for everything!  So he wants to keep only one phone, nnd IT obligingly loads the security app onto his personal phone.  Now bossman loves loves LOVES Samsung phones.  He always has had a Samsung and doesn't want an iPhone no siree.   Every other company phone in the organization is an iPhone, and the security app is an iPhone app, but he is bossman and IT is being obliging.   Through the years, bossman has had phone issues.  He can't get emails.  He can't open email attachments.  He can't upload pictures of property site visits.  His phone is slow.  The security app is stupid.  Visit after visit to the main office and IT and they have replaced his phone with a shiny new model at least three times.

You can see where this is going....  

(( to be contined ...))

Oh and let me add, as FFNT [fumble fingered non tech] as I am, I am the onsite tech support for my company because I am the most comfortable with computers etc.  So, we're not a bank but a CUSO, so what should I name the tales generated by a small business?

No word on the Libre2 reader yet.


Permalink | Thursday, January 26, 2023

Day 25

Today is the 4th day of the 4th week, the 25th day of the 1st month, the 25th day of 2023, and:

  • A Room of One's Own Day
  • Burns Supper - no this has nothing to do with whether or not you managed to get the evening meal on the table.  It's Robert Burns Day
  • Fluride Day
  • Library Shelfie Day
  • Macintosh Computer Day -  the new computer was introduced via a famous Super Bowl ad on January 22nd back in 1984, presented it on the 24th, and it went on sale the 25th.
  • National Irish Coffee Day
  • National Opposite Day
The past couple of days I have been dealing with a fuzzy screen with the tiny gridlines showing and a red tint on the right portion of the display.  At first I thought it might be my graphics card, but realizing my montor was amout 12 years old, suriving three computers, I decided it must be the monitor.  And so I ordered a new one, rather hesitantly.  Amazon delivered it to my doorstep - which was worrying because I was in the office today and I do live in a rather large apartment building, and it sat there for about four hours.  Of course, it didn't occur to anyone to put the box insice another box, so it was obviously a piece of computer equipment just sitting there and begging to be taken.  But I was lucky and it was there when I got home.  Took me abut an hour to move things out of the way, get the old monitor wires detangled and unplugged, then get the new wires/plugs in the right places.  With some trepidation, I turned the monitor, then the computer on -- and behold!  I had done it correctly and now have a new screen.  Nothing huge or fancy, altho I was genuinely tempted.  I'll probably replace it with something else when I decide to get a new rig, but for right now, a modest 23" model is just about my speed, and it fits the room I have on my desk.  

As for the rest of the day, I'm still slogging through the year end reports.  Today was "everyone in" day and the office felt very crowded with all eight of us there.

And no, the Libre2 reader still hasn't arrived.
Permalink | Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Day 24 - frustration

Today is the 3rd day of the 4th week, the 24th day of the 1st month, and the 24th day of 2023

And today I am in a complaining mood.  So if you are interested in reading a tale of frustration, read on!

It all began with a new doctor - an endroconolgist to take care of my out-of-control blood sugar.  During the course of the visit, he noted I was using the old Freestyle Libre sensor that did not allow reporting/checking by phone, and suggested that it would be simpler if I would switch to a Libre2 or Libre3.  No problem, says I, when this current sensor expires, I'll switch systems.

Week 1:  I call the doctor's office, and find out I have to go through their internal call center because this is a new prescription, not something I can order myself off the website as a refill.  Okay, I tell them that in six days my current sensor expires and ask if they would send a prescription for a new reader and sensors to the pharmacy.  No problem, I'm assured

Week 2: 
  1. I realize I haven't heard anything from the pharmacy about a pending prescription, so I call the call center again.  Again I request a new reader and sensors prescription.
  2. The next day I call, and this time I choose the option of leaving a messate, asking if the prescription[s] have been sent
Week 3:
  1. I call back, explain this is my third call trying to get this ordered and that my sensor has expired
  2. I get confirmation from the pharmacy that Libre3 sensors have been ordered
  3. I get a notice from the pharmacy that my insurance does not cover the prescription
  4. I check the formulary, then call back the call center.  My insurance will not cover Libre3, but they will cover Libre2
  5. I call the doctors and ask they change the prescription.
Week 4:
  1. I get a notice from the pharmacy that my prescription is ready to pick up.
  2. I call and verify the prescription - and it is Libre2 sensors - but no reader.   I do some research.  Yes I still need a reader to activate the sensors, after that I can use the phone app for reporting.  No, Libre2 sensors will not work with Libre readers like the one I have
  3. I call the pharmacist and explain I ws supposed to get a reader as well as the sensors.  The insurance company will not pay for a second reader.  How much is a reader if I pay for it?  $85.  I grumble, but tell the pharmacist I will pay cash for it and can I pick it up with the sensors?
  4. on Friday evening, after work, I go to pick up the reader and the sensors.  No charge for the sensors.  And no reader.  I tell them I need the reader and have agreed to pay cash since the insurance company turned it down.  They tell me it is $509.  After I pick up my jaw from the floor, I say I was told $85 and why the difference?  I am told I have to talk to the pharmacist
  5. on Saturday I call the pharmacy again and talk to the pharamcist on duty.  Their system says $509.  I have to talk to the other pharacist on Monday.
Week 5:
  1. Monday morning I call, get the pharmacist [altho not the one I originally spoke to] and explain the situation.  He checks and says the cost they were quating was actually for the 90 days of sensors, and confirms the reader will be around $85.  He runs it rhough and says it should be covered by my insurance.  Later I get a notice from the pharmacy saying there will be a delay because it is not in stock
  2. Tuesday afternoon, I get a notice from the pharmacy that my insurance company has refused the transaction.  OK, no surprise.  Then I look at the notice closely - it totals $509.  I go my account on the website - yup, they tried to order ANOTHER six sensors.  Of course the insurance turned them down, I couldn't even use them before they would expire!
  3. I call the pharmacy and get a very helpful lady, who listens patiently as I tell her the story.  Yup, they reordered sensors' she cancels that.  Then she confirms that the reader was indeed ordered, it will be $85 or so, and it has been back-ordered.  Later I get a notice saying my prescription would be delayed until the item is in stock again...
Meanwhile I am doing daily morning testing by finger prick.

(( to be continued... ))
Permalink | Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Day 23 - this generation

Today is the 2nd day of the 4th week, the 23rd day of the 1st month, the 23rd day of 2023, and: 
  • Better Business Communication Day
  • Maternal Health Awareness Day
  • Measure Your Feet Day
  • National Handwriting Day
  • National Pie Day
  • National Rhubarb Pie Day
  • Paul Pitcher Day – this appears to be a Cornwall tradition to celebrate the conversion of St. Paul.  Now why the do this by drinking ale, then destroying the empty pitcher, replacing it, and filling the new one with ale again has its roots in a rebellion against only being allowed to drink water during work hours.  The traditional toast is “Paul’s Eve and here’s a heave!”
  • Snowplow Mailbox Hockey Day
Quote of the Day:
“Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them”
~ PJ O’Rourke, American satirist and journalist

Got to talking with my daughter about differences in child-rearing on Saturday as chaos swirled about us – both of my granddaughters [7 and 9] were definitely having a day.  She and I have had this discussion many times in the past and will again in the future, I’m sure, because our ways of child rearing are very different.  It is my contention that every parent who raises their kids thoughtfully [rather than just reacting instinctively] does so differently based on the experiences they had as a kid.  I certainly raised my son and daughter very differently from the way I was raised, so forgive me if I am extrapolating from my own experience and widening the application of what I did to others.  In my defense, the theories of child rearing have changed and evolved through the years, and current parents would reject the original 1940 version of Dr. Spock’s Common Sense Book of Baby and Child Care however much they rely on today’s 10th edition.  . 

Fact of the matter?  The former point of view was that infants/toddlers/kids were unformed and therefore needed to be trained to fit in the world.  Now when I put it like that, it still sounds like common sense to me – humans are born feral and have to be taught to civilized.  But my daughter’s point is that you train animals, you develop humans, taking into consideration their feelings and emotions.  But no matter how you do it, the goal is for your kids to grow up to be happy healthy adults and there just isn’t a reliable road map on how to get there, so every parent in the world is navigating the best that they can.  And this is why every grandparent listens to their kids who have kids and thinks “my goodness, I don’t know what I would do if I had to raise my kids today!”

SRSLY, after all these thousands of years, customer service STILL hasn’t come up with a manual?  .
Permalink | Monday, January 23, 2023

day 22 - and so it begins

Today is the 1st day of the 4th week, the 22nd day of the 1st month, the 22nd day of 2023, and the official beginning of the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit.   

Traditionally, just as in astrology your sun sign is augmented by your moon sign and rising sign on the date of your birth, in Chinese astrology there are three components determining the characteristics of those born in any given year:  the animal, the element, and the yin / yang energy.   For example, I and my friends born after 02.17.195 are yang metal tigers - which tends to reinforce the same characteristics for me having Aries as a sun sign with Saggitarious rising sign and Aquarius as a moon sign [fire, fire, air].  For the Chinese, the Rabbit is already an empathetic, forgiving, compassionate, home-loving, sign who will go to great measures to avoid conflct with the filp side that they tend to be fearful and melancholy.  These traits are considered very desirable for women, and being born in this year is a great asset when dealing with traditional matchmakers.  On the other hand, males born in this year do not fare so well and there is actually a bit of a social stigma attached, to the point where LBGT groups have adopted a rabbit as their symbol.  Water signs are considered insightful, contemplative, philosophical and serene, with the filp side being they can try too hard to escape from reality and fall into addiction or depression.  Yin energy is thought to represent the dark, and the traits are described as passive, receptive, sensitive, and "feminine" [whatever that means culturally].  So, on the whole, the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit should be a year to take a deep breath and recover.

And that doesn't sound like a bad all
Permalink | Sunday, January 22, 2023

Day 21 New Year's Eve

Permalink | Sunday, January 22, 2023

Day 20 - a missed opportunity

Gaze upon the empty page and weep as another New Year's Resoltion falters....

Permalink | Saturday, January 21, 2023

day 19

Today is the 5th day of the 3rd week, the 19th day of the 1st month, the 19th day of 2023 and: 
  • Artist as Outlaw Day
  • Brew a Potion Day
  • Get to Know Your Customers Day
  • Good Memory Day
  • Gun Appreciation Day
  • National Popcorn Day
  • New Friends Day
  • Tenderness Toward Existence Day
  • Tin Can Day
  • Women’s Healthy Weight Day
  • World Day of Migrants and Refugees
  • World Quark Day…
Wait, what?   A quark?

A type of “elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter’  [as defined on Wikipedia] or “an elementary particle which makes up Hadrons, the most stable of which are protons and neutrons’  [in the Simple English version of Wikipedia]?

Or the first thing I thought of was the Deep Space Nine Star Trek character? 


Apparently it is a dairy product that has been in use since the 14th century and used to be very popular in Europe. It is made by warming soured milk until it curdles, then straining and the result is something with the consistency of cottage cheese.   It is very popular with those who are lactose-intolerant, apparently.  It’s rare in America – only three dairies in the whole country are making it – but very popular in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine because it is thought to be good for the health of babies.


And here I thought the Ferengi were celebrating a birthday!
Permalink | Thursday, January 19, 2023

day 18 - oh bother

Today is the 4th day of the 3rd week, the 18th day of the 1st month, the 18th day of 2023, and there are only 339 shopping days until Christmas

Quote of the day:
Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart”
~ Winnie the Pooh

Today is Winnie the Pooh day, set on this day because it is the birthday of the author AA Milne 141 years ago.  The original books were published back in 1921, and entered the public domain this year, altho the Disney version is still firmly under copyright.   Disney has been at odds with the Stephen Slesinger Company, a Florida literary agency that bought the original merchandising rights to the Bear of Little Brain back in 1929, and who want a huge royalty settlement from the House of the Mouse.  After years in court, it was finally decided that because in 1983, Disney had bought out the beneficiaries of the Pooh Properties for a onetime $350,000,000 settlement, they didn’t have to pay royalties, but that their copyright did not keep Winnie the Pooh from becoming available.  And because it is in the public domain, we can look forward to such moves as  Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey, which Disney is planning on countering with giving Winnie a makeover and creating a new, younger gang inhabiting the Five Acre Woods.  The new revamped group will start in a new movie with plans to follow with an animated series

One can only hope that Disney does a good job with this redo, especially given the quality of the original’s animation and soundtrack.  Tampering with beloved icons and childhood memories is risky business at best.
Permalink | Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Day 17

Today is the 3rd day of the 3rd week, the 17th day of the 1st month, and the 17th day of 2023
Quote of the day:
“The first time you do something only happens once.”
~ Chris Burden, American artist who worked in performance sculpture and installation art

Today is one of those Tuesdays masquerading as a Monday.  It is an occupational hazard of having holiday weekends, then short work weeks, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying

As the GOP sets its sights on reducing Social Security, one of the things they are proposing is raising the “official” retirement age.  For my age group, it was 66, although if you went past that age, you could then work full time and receive full benefits.  It should be noted the amount of income you could receive did not max out until age 70 – after that, the benefit of waiting to apply for Social Security is nil.  According to at least one GOP member of Congress, people are complaining that they don’t want to have to retire because they want to work, and that justifies the increase in the age. Considering there are no rules that say you have to retire at 66 [or any age] other than company policies, and you have the option of working beyond that age while receiving benefits, I find that statement rather implausible and rather condescending.  There might be workers who want to keep working ad infinitum, but I suspect there are a lot more workers like me who work because they have to because they don’t have a pension plan.
Now the claim is that raising the retirement age will have the impact of reducing future Social Security benefits for everyone – those who apply before the retirement age and those who wait.  The best explanation I can find, and I don’t quite understand it well enough to explain it myself, can be found at  Personally?  I think removing the salary cap for Social Security payments and limiting benefits to individuals who make over $400K outside of Social Security benefits would be far more effective

Of course, some people mistake retirement for an endless vacation.  I understand the difference, and I still look forward to a time when I will not have to work every day….
Permalink | Tuesday, January 17, 2023

Day 16

Today is the 2nd day of the 3rd week, the 16th day of the 1st month, the 16th day of 2023, and:
  • Appreciate a Dragon Day - created by an author to celebrate the publication of her book about dragons in literature
  • Blue Monday (( but they are all blue, unless like today, they are holidays and I have the day off!  But then that means tomorrow will be a Monday-masquerading-as-a-Tuesday ))
  • Book Publishers Day
  • Civil Service Day
  • Elementary School Teachers Day
  • International Hot and Spicy Food Day
  • Martin Luther King Jr Day
  • National Crowd Feed Day
  • National Day of Service
  • National Fig Newton Day
  • National Good Teen Day
  • National Nothing Day
  • National Pothole Day [UK]
  • National Quinoa Day
  • National Without a Scalpel Day -  a reminder to consider minimally invasive options before resorting to surgery
  • Prohibition Remembrance Day - on this day, 100 years ago, the US terminated the social experiment known as Prohibition.  Passed as the 18th Amendment to the Constitution in 1920, it was repealed by the 21st Amendment 
  • Psychiatric Technician's Day
  • Relgious Freedom Day - a newly proclaimed holiday  The date commemorates the Jefferson's Statute for Religious Freedom, which was adopted by the Virginia General Assembly on this date in 1786.  That statute was the basis for the establishment clause in the 1st Amendment in the Bill of Rights that guarantees freedom of religion for all in the US
  • Rid the World of Fad Diets and Gimmicks Day
  • Robert E Lee Day - only celebrated in Mississippi and Alabama, and yes, ironically, it is on the 3rd Monday with MLK day
  • Zeta Phi Beta Day
Quote of the day:
"Attention is the start of love. There can be no love without attention. In cultivating attention, we’re cultivating a possibility for intention and a possibility for connection."
~  Anne C. Klein, “Ritual as an Opening to Love

I live a 2nd life.  

I always have done so, ever since 3rd grade when I learned hot to completely immerse myself in books.  My body would stay in reality, but my mind and spirit were elsewhere, and sometimes I returned very reluctantly.  But "real life" has a way of insisting that you engage, at least sometimes, for if you don't work you don't eat, and there are vital relationships demanding even more of your time and attention.  I tried gaming and found games like MYST to be mind-boggling immersive.  And then, at the end of 2005, I created beladona Memorial and started wandering around in a new virutal world.  I gradually learned my way around, formed bonds with fellow denizens, and joined communities.  What I learned is that your heart, your feelings, do not differentiate between your 2nd and your RL - you can feel jvery deeply for someone you have only known online, altho of course you don't have a the same shared history you have with your RL friends, family, and community. 

There was a bit of a bruhaha online a few years back asking if married people who engaged in relationships in world, especially if there was pixel sex involved, were unfaithful to their RL spouses.  Actually, that issue even came up in a divorce case or two!  Some folks scoffed at the idea, but I thought there was a grain of truth to it.  I have always felt strongly that a person can genuinely love more that one person at a time, even be in love with more than one person, so the fact that a married person loved another didn't seem either that unusual or reprehensible as love is an infinite resource - it's more like a faucet flowing freely than a pie that you cut a piece of and give away, so no one is short-changed.  But relationships take more than just feelings, they take time and attetion, and both of those are finite resources.  There are only so many hours in the day.and so much attention you have to give, and so emotional bandwidth is definitely a finite resource.  If you are allocating your time and attention to your relationships in world, then you have taken that away from those you love and love you in RL.  And that may indeed damage those RL relationships with those who rely on you, and cause ruptures - or even worse 

Yes, I have a rich and full 2nd life, true, but RL come first - always.
Permalink | Monday, January 16, 2023

Day 15 - halfway thru the month

Today is the 1st day of the 3rd week, the 15th day of the 1st month the 15th day of 2023

Sunday nights are usually work nights, devoted to getting ready for the next day, but today is a three day weekend in honor of Martin Luther King.  Folks started calling for a national holiday in his honor almost right after he was killed, but it didn't get done until 1983, for one reason or another.  I remember well the bruhaha over making it a federal holiday, and never could decide whether or not it was because he would be the first black man so honored or whether folks just didn't want to give up George Washington's birthday, or if it was just a case of not wanting to create another paid holiday for workers.  I wonder if it would be voted in nowadays?  

There are many issues facing the country at the moment, and not a lot of consensus across the board on how to move forward.   There is a huge debt ceiling issue.  The immigration issue has been kicked down the road too many times.  We have a serial liar sitting in the House of Representatives who may be an illegal alien and a foreign asset.  And what is the GOP worried about?  
  • they want to be able to smoke in the House.  Yup, years after second hand smoke was proven harmful to others, years after regulations were passed about smoking in public buildings, and even in private ones if you rent, the GOP elinimated a bipartisan, 15 year old ban on smoking in their offices , and the alt-right has hailed this as "the smell of freedom"
  • gas stoves   Seriously, a simple staetement saying the Consumer Protection Agency was following up on studies that had shown gas ovens were linked to childhood asthma and other breathing issues has literally blown up. 
  • M&Ms
Yes you read that last item correctly.  Candy has become an issue - again.  And this after the outcry when it was annouced the green M&M gave up her go-go boots for sneakers.  Then they added a new color to the mix so that there are three femails [purple, brown, and green] in the line up, and she is wearing boots rather than heels.  The problem this time?  Mars announced a limited time all-female pack, available now, with the candy's trio of female character M&Ms in the pack and a special packaging  The label will be upside down to "celebrate women everywhere who are flipping the status quo" 

The comments have been full of hate and invective.  Investigations are threatened.  Blustering has ensued - I think my favorite comment is from Nick Adams, self-proclaimed alpha male, who called for a boycott "Not one M&M will pass my lips until Mars issues a formal apology and releases an all-male package of M&Ms to demonstrate their commitment to gender equality."

You can't make this stuff up.
Permalink | Sunday, January 15, 2023

Day 14

Today is the 7th day of the 2nd week, the 14th day of the 1st month, the 14th day of 2023.  

It is also National Dress Up Your Pet Day.  There are lots of cute pictures on line taken by owners of their dogs, cats, and yes, even pigs 

Now I have had three cats - Kula,who was my daughter's and then ended up with me, Panda who was my constant companion during the pandemic, and Triscuit, who has been with me for nine months now.  Now granted, all three were senior cats when I got them, so they were pretty set in their ways, and each of them are rescue cats with rather tragic back stories.   Because of these circustances, alll of them after growing up in a stable home, ended up in shelter waiting to be adopted.  I am comvinced that rescue animals live with PTSD for the rest of their lives.  Why?  because they will be quietly sleeping, then suddenly start crying in their sleep, get up, look around as though bewildered, then run over to me meowing pathetically looking for comformt.  Kula was a fighter.  Panda was terrified of boxes.  Triscuit has trust issues that we are working through. 

On the whole, my furry companions have all been good company and have added a great deal to my life.  But I can tell you one thing right now, declawed or not, I would be taking my life in my hands if I were to try even putting  so much as a collar on one of them, much less hats, clothing, leashes, etc!

This will be one holiday that I won't be celebrating ever.  But we will, of vourse, acknowledge Caturday

And that makes this week a wrap.  I've managed to write every single day for the past two weeks.  I've made it past the point where most New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside, so lets see if I can keep it up!
Permalink | Saturday, January 14, 2023

day 13 - Friday the 13th

Today is the 6th day of the 2nd week, the 13th day of the 1st month, the 13th day of 2023 - and it is Rubber Duckie's birthday!

Rubber Duckies have actually been around since the 1800's, when they were actually made of rubber and sold as chew toys.  Peter Cannine applied for a patent of the sculpure of the familiar toy back in 1947, which he received two years later, and apparently it was a good seller, altho unless I had one at a very young age, I didn't have one.    Then, on February 25th, 1970, in episode 78 of the first season, Sesame Street introduced THE Rubber Duckie as Ernie's favorite toy in a catchy little tune that prompty became a Billboard hit.  The song reached #10 on the Top Hits list, when Sesame Street released their first album on September 26th of that same year, and earned Ernie a place in the list of "one hit wonders". So why January 13th as Rubber Duckie's birthday?  Supposedly on that day in 1969 was when Jim Henson bought it, so Rubber Duckie is 54 years old today.  I couldn't find when it was made a National holiday, but in 2013, the rubber duck was inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame

It is a song that both of my kids learned and sang with me every night during bathtime.  It is a song that my granddaughters learned and sang with me when I would give them a bath. . Wll of us can still sing it, and have on occassion for no reason at all, complete with the "squeek squeek" sound effects in the appropriate place.  

Those are memories that I treasure, and never fail to make me smile.  

Happy Birthday, Rubber Duckie!
Permalink | Friday, January 13, 2023

Day 12

Today is the 5th day of the 2nd week, the 13th day of the 1st month, the 13th day of 2023, and: 
  • Curried Chicken Day
  • Feast of Fabulous Wild Men Day
  • Health Weight, Health Look Day
  • International Kiss a Ginger Day
  • National Hot Tea Day
  • National Marzipan Day
  • National Pharmacist Day
  • Stick to Your New Year’s Resolution Day
  • Work Harder Day
On this day in: 

 475 – Byzantine Emperor Zeno is forced to flee his capital at Constantinople, and his general, Basiliscus gains control of the empire.[1]

1554 – Bayinnaung, who would go on to assemble the largest empire in the history of Southeast Asia, is crowned King of Burma.

1616 – The city of Belém, Brazil is founded on the Amazon River delta, by Portuguese captain Francisco Caldeira Castelo Branco.

1866 – The Royal Aeronautical Society is formed in London.

1903 - Harry Houdini performs at Rembrandt theater, Amsterdam

1908 - A long-distance radio message is sent from the Eiffel Tower for the first time.

1911 – The University of the Philippines College of Law is formally established; three future Philippine presidents are among the first enrollees.

1915 – The United States House of Representatives rejects a proposal to require states to give women the right to vote.

1932 – Hattie Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate.

1939 - Timely Comics (later Marvel) founded by American publisher Martin Goodman in New York

1959 - American record company Motown is founded by Berry Gordy Jr. as Tamla Records

1966 - "Batman", starring Adam West as Batman, Burt Ward as Robin, and Cesar Romero as The Joker, debuts on ABC

1967 – Dr. James Bedford becomes the first person to be cryonically preserved with intent of future resuscitation. ((it is still frozen))

1971 - "All in the Family" premieres on CBS featuring 1st toilet flush on TV

1983 - Brooks Robinson and Juan Marichal elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame

1986 – Space Shuttle program: Congressman (and future NASA Administrator) Bill Nelson lifts off from Kennedy Space Center aboard Columbia on mission STS-61-C as a payload specialist.

1997 – Space Shuttle program: Atlantis launches from the Kennedy Space Center on mission STS-81 to the Russian space station Mir, carrying astronaut Jerry M. Linenger for a four-month stay on board the station, replacing astronaut John E. Blaha

1998 – Nineteen European nations agree to forbid human cloning.

2001 – Downtown Disney opens to the public as part of the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California.

2005 – Deep Impact launches from Cape Canaveral on a Delta II rocket. It completed its mission, but flew on; communication was lost in August 2013

2007 - Comet McNaught reaches perihelion becoming the brightest comet in more than 40 years.

2023 - NASA Voyager1 is 22 hrs 05 mins 07 secs of light-travel time from Earth

Quote of the day:
Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
~ James Baldwin, American writer and civil rights activist


It’s one of those days….
Permalink | Thursday, January 12, 2023

Day 11 - take note

Today is the 4th day of the 2nd week, the 11th day of the 1st month, the 11th day of 2023, and there are 347 shopping days until Christmas.
And it is also “World Sketchnote Day”, and no, that isn’t an “official” day.  As Mauro Toselli commented, “Hey, if Hallmark can create holidays, why can’t we?”  I had to go and look that one up and learned that instead of just writing down notes, it is a mix of handwriting, drawings, special lettering, things like arrows, boxes and lines.  The day began back in 2016, according their website Sketchbook Army, chosen because 111 looked like three pencils lined up.  There are books, of course, as well as a handbook, and a social media presence and a podcast

To me?  It looks an awful lot like mindmapping, which was a management fad back in the 1990’s, and just about as useful as far as I can see, but your mileage my vary   Watching them drawn makes a nice presentation, especially on YouTube,  As for me, I’ll stick to my tried-and-true scribbles because they make sense to me
Permalink | Wednesday, January 11, 2023

Day 10

Today is the 3rd day of the 2nd week, the 10th day of the 1st month, the 10th day of 2023, and: 
  • Houseplant Appreciation Day
  • League of Nations Day – the League came into effect in 1920, after being approved by 42 countries the year before, as a direct result of the intentions of many that WWI would indeed be “the war to end all wars
  • National Bittersweet Chocolate Day [AKA dark chocolate in case you were wondering]
  • National Booch Day [AKA Kombucha]
  • National Cut Your Energy Costs Day
  • National Oysters Rockefeller Day
  • National Poetry at Work Day
  • National Shop for Travel Day
  • Peculiar People Day – this is the day to celebrate those in our lives who are eccentric, unique, nonconforming to what is “normal”.   While the origin of the day is apparently unknown, The Peculiar People, a Christian movement that was an offshoot of from the Methodists,  was founded in 1838 by John Banyard in Rochford, Essex.
  • Save the Eagles Day
Quote of the Day:

War brings out the patriotic bullies. In World War I, they went around kicking dachshunds on the grounds that dachshunds were 'German dogs.' They did not, however, go around kicking German shepherds.”
~ Molly Ivins, American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist. 

When was the last time the entire world was at peace?  Was there ever a period when homo sapiens was not banding together in communities and trying to beat each other up?  When was the last time my country was at peace?  Apparently in the entire history of the US, there were only about 15 years of peace – and that was intermittent.  Can you remember a time when our troops were not fighting somewhere?

We sing of “peace on earth and goodwill to men” but we don’t live it.  Peace is something that might happen someday, not today. 

Permalink | Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Day 9 - - OMYIM

Today is the 2nd day of the 2nd week, the 9th day of the 1st month, the 9th day of 2023 and: 
  • Balloon Ascension Day
  • International Choreographers Day
  • National Apricot Day
  • National Clean Off Your Desk Day – since I have to dismantle my workstation every night when working from home, this is something I can easily celebrate
  • National Gluten-Free Day
  • National Law Enforcement Day
  • National Static Electricity Day – no idea why it is celebrated today but it is
  • National Word Nerd Day – would’ve made more sense if they called it Logophile’s Day
  • Play God Day – the purpose of this day is to do something really nice for someone as tho you had godlike powers and were conferring a blessing
The quote of the day;   (( seems very pertinent given the political scene ))
If we desire respect for the law, we must first make the law respectable.”
~ Louis D Brandeis, American lawyer and former associate justice on the Supreme Court for 23 years

For those of you who know me, you know that I am not a fan of Mondays, and that I consider Monday mornings the absolute worst time of the week when I have to go to work.  Granted, sometimes Tuesday after a holiday masquerades as a Monday, but somehow they are a mite easier to deal with.  And while I have always known Mondays were universally disliked, I didn’t realize there were actual scientific reasons for that to be!  . 


You can be as upbeat as you like about the start of a new week!  I’ll hear you, and I do appreciate your cheerful efforts, but don’t be surprised if I just sigh heavily and turn away….
Permalink | Monday, January 9, 2023

Day 8 - food for thought

Today is the 1st day of the 2nd week, the 8th day of the 1st month, the 8th day of 2023, and:
  • Argyle Day
  • Baptism of the Lord
  • Bubble Bath Day
  • Earth's Rotation Day
  • Midwife's Day
  • National English Toffee Day
  • National JoyGerm Day - yes this is actually a holiday, started in 1981 and declared a holiday in 1985.  They even have a website and a newsletter! 
  • National Man Watcher's Day
  • National Sunday Supper Day
  • National Winter Skin Relief Day
  • No Pants Subway Ride Day
  • Show and Tell Day at Work
  • War on Poverty Day
  • World Typing Day
One of the quotes that I liked and remembered said during Babylon 5, Season 2:  The Coming of Shadows was from Delenn talking to Sheridan during a very tense time when survival was questionable...

"Then I will tell you a great secret, Captain. Perhaps the greatest of all time. The molecules of your body are the same molecules that make up this station, and the nebula outside, that burn inside the stars themselves. We are starstuff. We are the universe made manifest, trying to figure itself out. And as we have both learned, sometimes the universe requires a change of perspective."

I always thought that was a very moving line and imaginative line written by J Michael Straczynski, and I was fascinated to learn it was abslutely factual

Every single part of our body, of our world, is a product of the stars!


Permalink | Sunday, January 8, 2023

Day 7 - closing loopholes

Today is the 7th day of the 1st week, the 7th day of the 1st month, and the 7th day of 2023

It took a ridiculously long amount of time to get through to the Fraud and Verification Dept at 1.8.Flowers and after talking to them, I finally know what happened and how Badriyah  [which in Arabic apparently means "resembling the full moon" was able to access my PayPal account without logging in to either GMail or PayPal, thus bypassing all my security cautions.  Because I had ordered from them in the past as a guest and did not set up an account, they were able to create a profile with the merchant, using all their own information [which was probably fictional] but with my email address.  The address used comes up as a single-family bungalow in Sacramento CA and matches the phone number given.  It is owned by Badriyah El-Almin, who is 46 years old, but the name on the fraud account was Badriyah Badriyah, so she may not have been the perpetrator.  The message on the order was:  "I miss you.  Larry" so he may be the guilty party

So how did it go through?  PayPal had the merchant listed as an "active subscription" because I had ordered from them years ago without setting up an account iwth the merchant.  They didn't have to log into the merchant, and idn't require any authentication to complete the transaction using my email addy.  The rep took one look and agreed it was obviously fraud, cancelled the two orders totally the $231.14, and told me I should see the refund in PayPal in 3 - 5 business days.  Meanwhile, my credit union sent PayPal a chargeback.  I'm whole now, but I'm betting the merchant ends up taking the loss even though it was PayPal's fault the transaction went through.

That settled, I have been on a witch hunt for hours to see how to ensure that doesn't happen again!  After some determined sleuthing, I found that you can see all the "active subscriptions" in your PayPal account by going to your account, logging in to Paypal and then going to settings / Payments / Manage automatice payments / active.  Apparently?  PayPal never forgets transactions, and you need to be leery of that message telling you "this is a trusted site" because that is the loophole Badriyah slipped through I found "active subscriptions" where the last transaction was years ago -- the oldest being 2012!  All in all, altho I left a couple actual subscription payments intact, I deleted 39 merchants, including 1.800.Flowers.  I also set up two-factor authentication for any new order coming out of PayPal and I will definitely remember to review that "active payments" list regularly

I am rather appalled that armed with nothing but my email addy and no other personal information, Badriyah managed to complete this fraudulent transaction. 

But at least I was made aware of and closed a loophole that could've caused a LOT more damage. 

And, I hope the chocolates give her a tummy ache and the flowers activate her allergies.   So there!
Permalink | Saturday, January 7, 2023

Day 6 TGIF!

Today is the 6th day of the 1st week, the 6th day of the 1st month, and the 6th day of 2023 and:
  • Apple Tree Day
  • Bald Eagle Appreciation Day
  • Bean Day
  • Cuddle Up Day
  • Epiphany
  • I Am A Mentor Day
  • National Shortbread Day
  • National Smith Day
  • National Take a Poet to Lunch Day
  • National Take Down the Christmas Tree Day
  • National Technology Day
  • Orthodox Christmas Day
  • Women's Christmas - a day of celebration in Ireland as men shoulder all the everyday chores so the women can take off a day
  • World Day for Orphans
Full moon at 6:09 PM EST – called the “Wolf Moon” by Native Americans of New England and the Great Lakes region because the wolves are howling in hunger this time of year
Two years ago today, we sat and watched in horror on live TV while an attempted putsch took place   After two years, altho many of the participants who were involved with the violence have been identified, charged, and convicted, neither Trump nor the sitting members of Congress who supported the insurrectionists have suffered any consequences, leaving the rest of us fearing it was just a dress rehearsal….
Today was the first paycheck of 2023.  The increase was 3%; the cost of living increase is 8.7%.  It’s hard to be suitably grateful when your “merit increase” doesn’t cover the cost of living…

I had forgotten that Metformin causes both diarrhea and flatulence….

Why don’t I think coming into the office increases face-to-face interactions?  Two loan officers walk in 1 ½ hours after I get here.  They say good morning, close their doors, and get on the phone….

Of course the caveat is that we want a 32 hour work week with the same pay as we are getting for 40 hours.  I don't particularly want to work 10 hours a day for four days....

However, it is Friday. 
And the weekend beckons.
Permalink | Friday, January 6, 2023

Day 5 - the specialist

Today is the 5th day of the 1st week, the 5th day of the 1st month, and the 5th day of 2023 [with 353 shopping days until Christmas]

My GP gave up on trying to help me manage my blood sugar after the Ozempic fiasco and asked me to go an endroconologist.  Today, after filling out a mountain of paperwork, I finally went to the specialist.  Nice enough man, seems like a well-run practice, fairly assessible as it is in Columbia [right up 29 for me], and can do tele-visits for followups.  Long story short:  he wants me injecting insulin before every meal plus in the morning and evening.  I don't know whether or not I am up for five shots a day!  And we are going back to the Metformin that I used to take until we can get that blood sugar back down again.  Oh and the usual caution to avoid the carbs, get more exercise, and try to lose some weight.  Why are these simple things so hard to do?  At least he didn't ask me all the questions about stress that my GP does....

My brain just has too many tabs open right now and my head aches.  I'm going to go lay down and watch something stupid on TV until I fall asleep.  At least tomorrow is Friday and payday!
Permalink | Thursday, January 5, 2023

Day 4 full-blown panic attack

Today is the 4th day of the 1st week, the 4th day of the 1st month, the 4th day of 2023 - and I spent most of the afternoon in a panic

Around 3:15 PM EST or so, suddenly my personal email box started filling up with notifications, requests for confirmations, and orders.  When I say "filling up" both the regular email and Gmail's robust spam filter were overflowing - and I started deleting the emails and getting as many as I deleted.  In the next 20 minutes, I deleted around 500 emails with just a cursory glance, but the confimation notice from PayPal brought me up short.  1-800-Flowers, I was informed, had requested auhorization from PayPal in the amount of $231.14 for a same day delivery to someone named Badriyyah Badriyyah living in Sacramento CA.  I immediately called my credit union and told them to block that transaction in that amount, then opened a case with PayPal.  I had to give them the transaction number because it wasn't showing on my account at all, but they opened the case.  

Meanwhile?  I came home and finally paid attention to that warning notice CHROME gives once in a while when you are using an old password that has shown up on the Dark Web, and spent 2 1/2 hours changing passwords.

THEN, I get two more emails from 1-800-Flowers telling me that the flowers had been delivered.  I had been trying to email their customer service and was in a loop where they kept telling me I wasn't giving them enough information -- I couldn't tell them what the order number was or the zip code of the person who did the ordering because it wasn't me!  The delivery confirmation gave me an order number so I called them.  First rep disconnected me.  Second rep did the same.  Third rep found the order, but wouldn't give me any information because it wasn't my account!  But finally he told me that tit was only a pending transaction with PayPal and that I would not be charged.  I couldn't get any more out of him.  

So Badriyyah is enjoying two very large bouquets and an entire box of chocolates this evening

I checked PayPal - no payment has hit my account.  I checked my checking account - no payment in that account either.

I hope Badriyyah enjoys her flowers and sweets...

I'm exhausted
Permalink | Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Day 3 - well how about that

Today is the 3rd day of the 1st week, the 3rd day of the 1st month, and the 3rd day of 2023, and it is the first regular work day.
I had opened a ticket during the polar vortex when the building’s heat faltered.  Today maintenance finally showed up – a new gentleman named Calvin who went back and looked at the bedroom HVAC unit, which hasn’t worked in a couple of years now.  I gave him the history.  It worked fine, then one very hot day about three years ago, it quit.  The A/C was still blowing but it was cool, not cold.  The maintenance men did everything – bled the unit, played with settings, even gave me a portable A/C unit.  Then their supervisor declared it was good enough and took the portable unit away, and ignored subsequent complaints.  Last March, they decided the unit needed to be replaced because the heat wasn’t really working.  The guys who installed it agreed with me that the issue was in the pipes, not the unit, but did their thing and left.  All last summer, maintenance would come and try to bleed it, but it never worked very well.
This guy came in, found that the valve was improperly set, checked the connection and started to explain the risers to me.  I confirmed I understood this unit was on a different riser and related the history of what had been tried, and when I made the statement that I kept telling everyone there was a clogged pipe, he nodded and said that was what he was saying too!
Now fixing it is a bit of an issue because they have to shut down the entire system to flush out the pipes for the entire riser.  Fortunately, I like my bedroom to be on the cool side, so there isn’t a real issue with the heating, so we can wait.  When they shut down the entire system to make the shift from heat to A/C in the late spring, he asked me to remind him so that they will definitely clean out the pipes and finally resolve the issue.
Keep your fingers crossed! 
Permalink | Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Day 2

Today is the 2nd day of the 1st week, the 2nd day of the 1st month, the 2nd day of  2023, and it is National Sience Fiction Day.  Why this day of the year?  It commerates the birth of famed science fiction writer Isaac Asimov - American author and Boston University professor of biochemistry, he was born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov on this day in 1920

Now mind you, even though I had read and enjoyed A Wrinkle in Time at a farily young age, and stumbled across a couple of stories as I devoured every book I could, science fiction as a genre was not on my radar screen unti 8th grade.  

                  [ side note:  ever notice how many of us still tick off the passing years of our childhood by what grade we were in school?]

Anyway, I was about 13 years old, very bookish, and the family had pretty much given up on giving me books for Christmas because although I was always delighted to get them, when asked, I would confirm that yes, I had read that particular book.  My relatives never did quite grasp that one of the advantages of being able to read quickly was that I had no hesitation in re-reading a book that I really liked.  But that year, my mother bought me a paperback copy of 20,000 Under the Sea by Jules Verne

I picked it up the next day - and read it straight through.  Then went to the forward, read that, and read the story straight through again.  I must've read that book almost a dozen times before my mother noticed that I was still reading it.  She asked rather patronizingly if it was too hard for me since I was obviously having such a hard time finishing it, and for some reason I never understood, was infuriated when I told her I was re-reading it again.  She took it away from me.  it didn't do any good, and to her expressed horror, I had discovered a new world - and realized there was an entire section of our little community library that I had not explored called "science fiction"..  I not only read the rest of Verne's works, but I found Bradbury and HG Wells and Robert Heinlein and Assimov and Blish.  I threw aside the historical fictions, the classical tomes, refused to read the murder mysteries my mother dearly loved, ignored the cowboy fictions my father liked, and headed off for the final frontier with nary a glance behind me....
Permalink | Monday, January 2, 2023

Day 1 - FWWIW

Today is the 1st day of the 1st week, the 1st day of the 1st month, the 1st day of 2023 [with 357 shopping days until Christmas]

For years I have been saying I want to be a writer.  And what do writers do?  That's right, they write.

And so this year I'm trying an experiment.  Every single day I will do a blog post.

Some of them may be pretty short.

Some of them may be pretty inane

But I am going to start at this blank screen and say SOMETHING.

And maybe after doint it for 365 days, I'll be pleased with it.

We'll see....
Permalink | Sunday, January 1, 2023

taking a deep breath

Today is the 4th day of the 52nd week, the 28th day of the 12th month, the 362nd day of 2022, and 
  • Call a Friend Day
  • Endangered Species Act Day
  • Holy Innocents’ Day
  • National Card Playing Day
  • National Chocolate Candy Day
  • National Download Day
  • National Short Film Day
  • Pledge of Allegiance Day
Quote of the day:
"An optimist stays up to see the New Year in. A pessimist waits to make sure the old one leaves."
~ William E Vaughan, AKA Burton Hills, American columnist and author

2022 wasn’t a good year for my family, to put it mildly.  COVID has exacted a toll, leaving one of us suffering from long COVID, and my granddaughters struggling to readjust to school and socializing.  Cancer has exacted a terrible toll, leaving both of my children on disability and one’s very future survival in doubt.  My health has not been good, and my mobility seems to be compromised.  All this, with the accompanying horrendous medical bills, has taken its financial toll even while darkening our spirits.

2022 wasn’t a good year for the country or the world either, and that has added to the stress levels of all the adults, which like it or not, communicates to our kids as well.

And yet…. 

I awoke the day after Christmas feeling strangely at peace.  I find myself appreciating all the little things – how much I love my apartment’s morning view of the sunrise, how good the warmth of the heat feels, the taste of the foods, being able to work from home this week.  The anxiety and the agitation of nerves seem muted and I have actually been able to get some sleep.


I’m thankful for the surcease from care and hoping it lasts at least long enough to see the old year out and welcome the new.  .
Permalink | Wednesday, December 28, 2022

have a holly, jolly Christmas

Today is the 4th day of the 49th week, the 7th day of the 12th month, the 341st day of 2022, and: 
  • International Civil Aviation Day
  • Letter Writing Day
  • National Cotton Candy Day
  • National Fire Safety Council Day
  • National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day
  • Special Kids Day
Quote of the day: 
Life is something to do when you can’t get to sleep.”
~ Fran Lebowitz, American author, public speaker, and occasional actor

Today I am physically in the office, and listening to the stories told around me.  The new credit analyst man had an accident while driving in, slipped on a slick spot and ended up in a ditch – he’s fine but the car is not.  The new lender has an elderly father who is holding on to his life by a thread.  Bossman has two aged parents, and no sibling support as he tries to navigate through care and financial issues.  The Loan Admin’s mother has chronic back pain and her son is taking her for a second opinion because it has gone on since the spring.  And I have two children on complete disability, one coping with pain and issues from surviving cancer, the other undergoing treatment for stage 4C colon cancer.  All of this is being acerbated by a very ambitious loan closing schedule, and the press of the holidays. 

There is a well of resentment swelling up that I keep dampening down – if we were rich and/or famous, healthcare would be easier.  Doctors wouldn’t just shrug their shoulders and fling out their hands, they would address the problem because we wouldn’t be hamstrung by insurance approvals.  No wonder the life expectancy for everyone but the 1% is declining!  Meanwhile, I am playing Christmas music and working, not only on the tasks at hand, but trying not to drown in a morass of sadness or dwell on the gloomy stuff.  

Try to be a little more considerate of others, try not to be too sensitive or react strongly to something that hits you the wrong way, for you don’t know what they going through.
Permalink | Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Happy Holiday!

Today is the 3rd day of the 49th week, the 6th day of the 12th month, the 340th day of 2022, and if you have to worry about the number of shopping days left before Christmas, you’re on your own. 
December is the end of the calendar year, at least for those using the Gregorian calendar.  During this month there are many religious observances:
  • Christmas
  • Festivus [completely made up parody of a holiday]
  • Hanukkah
  • Kwanza
  • Pancha Ganapati [in honor of Ganesha]
  • Rohatsu or Bodhi Day
  • Sol Invictus – even the Satanists celebrate “being unconquered by superstition”
  • Yule
  • Winter Solstice
  • Zarathosht Diso or the death of the Prophet Zarathustra
On the whole, it is supposed to be a joyous time, a time to celebrate having made it through another year [and get ready to start another orbit around the sun.  Decorations are put up, stores are busy, families gather, dinners and treats are baked, folks go to worship, and gifs are exchanged.  With all that bustle, there are certain expectations that kick in.  Folks are supposed to feel kinder, more tolerant of everyone, and some sort of benevolent glow is supposed to permeate our lives.  And if you are out-of-step or out-of-tune with this general miasma of gingerbread and jollification, there are books and articles and online resources devoted to getting you in the proper holiday spirit
Lifetime movies notwithstanding, not everyone gets in the spirit.  Obviously, The weight of all that anticipation and expectations can drag a person down.  Some people get impatient with it, some get sad they aren’t “with it”, some just ignore it.  But it looms in the background, lurking….
Don’t beat yourself up if you are lacking in that holiday glow.  Don’t let this time of year be an additional burden of angst.     

Permalink | Tuesday, December 6, 2022

happy birthday, Mickey - I think

Today is the 18th day of the 11th month, the 6th day of the 46th week, the 322nd of 2022, and it is the 94th birthday of Micky Mouse.
I haven’t always been a Disney fan. 
Growing up, Disney consisted of some toys, altho I don’t remember having any, movies that seemed to come out every two years, and the Mickey Mouse Club on TV.  I was taken to all the animated movies, altho I don’t actually remember going.  
[Side note:  back then you didn’t go at any particular time.  We usually went to the local theater in Aero Acres, and simply walked in whenever we wanted to as the show was playing.  Most of the time you were around the middle, and you would watch to the end, then see the short, and watch the beginning, getting up and leaving when the movie reached the point at which you walked in.   If you wanted to, you could camp out in the theater for a couple of hours on a hot day since there was A/C, watching the movie over again.]
I do remember having the Disney movie 33 1/3  albums of the soundtracks for all the classic films with a book that outlined the story.    Then Disney started doing live-action films.  I remember seeing The Happiest Millionaire,  The Absent Minded Professor, The Parent Trap, and I actually enjoyed Mary Poppins - I’m sure there were others that I was dragged to.  By then I was in my teens and calling something “mickey mouse” was an insult that implied being cheesy – but I still went to see Bambi when it was re-released and cried like a baby..    When my kids were little, I took them to see the animated movies as they were re-released, but Mickey was not part of our lives.  Then came the Eisner era, and I fell in love with the magi after my first trip to WDW in 1986.  I can still remember the moment when it washed over me – the clouds rolled back and revealed the Dreamfinder and Figment singing during the Journey of Imagination dark ride.  The Lion King, The little Mermaid, Toy Story, Cars, Aladdin - the hits just kept rolling out.  We went back to the park again and again, and I even took a Disney cruise.  My bedroom is decorated ala Mickey, I have an entire wardrobe of Disney clothing [including several pairs of shoes], and we couldn’t wait to introduce my granddaughters to the pixie dust.  They too have outfits, and lots of toys…
Then COVID hit.  The parks closed.  Disney+ started up and that gave us all our fix, but the movies rolling out were live-action remakes of the animated films.  When the parks re-opened, the bad news started.  The Imagineers were summarily dismissed.  Benefits were cut for those staying on-site.  Prices skyrocketed.  And more and more there were complaints about quality.  Even the depiction  characters were downgraded

Right now, I am not feeling the pixie dust.  I am worried that Disney’s C-suite is more focused on maintaining Wall ST’s approbation, and their own out-sized salaries, than preserving the brand.  And for the first time in decades, I do not have actual plans to return to WDW
Permalink | Friday, November 18, 2022

world peace

Today is the 5th day of the 46th week, the 17th day of the 11th month, the 321st day of 2022 [with only 37 shopping days before Christmas], and there are 19 different national holidays and four international ones.  Three holidays seem to be related, if you go by their names: 
  • Use Less Stuff Day [always on the third Thursday of the month] which is less about simplifying your life and more about saving the environment by being mindful of your disposables
  • World Peace Day – apparently started by Don Morris of Miami Florida around 1997 to encourage folks to write to their country’s leaders and as for peace and harmony.  No relation to the International Day of Peace declared by the UN and celebrated every September 21st
  • World Philosophy Day [always on the third Thursday of the month] is all about “The Human of the Future” this year.  The thought process behind this holiday is that philosophy is the conduit towards tolerance of differences, and therefore the ability to live with our neighbors.
I thought the three coexistent celebrations were all pathways to peace.  It’s nice to take a breath, step back, and before getting onto the holiday merry-go-round, take stock   Not everyone finds minimalistic surroundings peaceful, but if you have a lot of stuff, maybe take a thought about how these things that surround you add to the cozy, home-like comfort you want/need.  Let your gaze wander over the items, and treasure the memories they generate.  Appreciate how they all mesh together, creating the backdrop of your life.  Is that thought process profound enough to be considered philosophizing?  I don’t know and I don’t particularly care – it’s reflection. 
This is not a problem, world peace is a problem.”
I’ve dismissed many a troubling occurrence with that rather flip comment.  I cannot dismiss the political turmoil in my own country or in the world so cavalierly  But I can try and build peace in my own life, in my own family, in my own workplace, in my own community.  I can try not to let the upset overwhelm me.  I can sing in the shower instead of stewing.  I can tip the baristas at my local Starbucks even though I had to wait almost 20 minutes with many other customers for my order.  I can take a moment to find a tension-reliever to share in the middle of a taut situation at work.  And I can cling to hope even when hoping seems to be a futile effort

There isn’t a lot I can do about the world, but there is a lot I can do about me.  As the saying by Johan Wolfgang Von Goethe goes:  “Let everyone sweep in front of his own door and the whole world will be clean.” 
Permalink | Thursday, November 17, 2022

bad dreams

I had nightmare Friday night that is haunting me
Context:  In Second Life, you can buy pets.  Some of them can be picked up and put back into your inventory, then taken out without any harm done.  Some will break [read die] if you pick them up once they are rezzed out.  In this dream?  I had my two granddaughters, their grandfather and my ex-husband [who they have never met], and his mother all interreacting with each other and me. 
The girls had wanted to give their grandfather a present for his birthday [which is coming up next month], so I took them shopping.  They decided to buy two little kittens, who were in a plastic container, apparently in stasis.  We got the kitties home, and then I opened the plastic and let them out to make sure they were okay.  They were adorable, of course, and the girls played with them for over an hour.  Then I picked them up one at a time, and put the two lively little pets back in their containers, where they immediately curled up and went to sleep.  I closed the containers on them, and helped the girls wrap them up.  Time passed.  It was the day of his birthday and time to find the presents.  At first I didn’t remember where I hid them, but then realized I had put the wrapped packages at the bottom of the wardrobe.  As I pulled them out, the rather badly wrapped presents started unraveling.  I asked the youngest granddaughter to bring me some tape, but got frustrated with her when she brought a bandage instead, so she was sulking that I wasn’t using what she brought.  My ex-mother-in-law came in with tape and gave it to me and the girls started excitedly chattering about how their grandfather would love his present….  But when I picked up the one package to tape it again, I realized it was wet underneath with what smelled like cat urine.  I checked the other one – the same.  And with a wave of horror, I looked at those two packages and knew those cute little helpless kittens had died alone and in the darkness when I put them back in their containers….  I looked up – the woman understood what was happening and sneered at me as I turned to the two girls, unable to think of what to say….

I woke up at that point, and all I could think about was those two innocent lives I had thoughtlessly taken out of carelessness, failure to read the instructions I guess.  .The image of the bottom of that soaked wrapped package and the wave of horror haunt me, and I mourn over the trauma those little kittens must’ve endured.  And now I ask myself, what does it mean?  Am I suffering pangs of guilt and/or regret for my past actions?  Is this my spirit crying out to me to make amends to the universe while I still can?  I’ve been cataloging my sins for two days now and it’s pretty depressing. I had always thought of myself as a good person….
Permalink | Monday, November 7, 2022

Back to Middle Earth

I have watched the entire season, including this week's finale,  of Amazon's "The Rings of Power".   

The show takes a lot of liberties with the time compression, throwing together events and characters that are out of sync with the Silmarillion, and that can be somewhat jarring.  Many complain the pacing is too slow, while perversely, it is the slow dwelling on details that the fans of the books hunger for and enjoy the most.   The sets and scenery are absolutely stunning and getting to know the dwarves and the halflings better is probably the best and most enjoyable parts.  And the story of how Mordor was created?  Awesome!

There are only two things I strongly object to:

~ the mithril creation story is just plain wrong.  It is a complete fabrication and violates the entire history of the Silmarils as well as the entire saga of Luthien and Beren The One-Handed.. 

~ the characterization of Gil-Galad and the role of high king in determining who should go back to the West and when,    

No Idea what all the bruhaha is about as far as the ethnicity of the actors playing the parts - the actors all did a good job.  I found the ancestors of the Hobbits endearing and I like what they did with the dwarves [altho I still would've liked dwarf women to have had beards].  The races of men as shown by the Southlanders and Numenoreans, as well as their interactions with others was good.  Meeting Adar, one of the original orcs created by Melkor was engrossing, and I thought that was handled very well, alltho I'm not sure those who haven't read the books realized just how vital that character detail was.  The reason for the implacable hatred of the Elves for the Orcs, and the hatred of the Orcs for the ones who twisted their lives and the Elves who who were all they were not is a powerful theme.

The series did a good job in keeping you guessing who was Sauron, altho in a nod to those who have read The Silmarillion, the final episode let you know who it was early on.

My recommendation?  Worth watching as long as you can separate bookverse from movieverse from TVverse and don't get your panties in a twist because they aren't in perfect sync  There are irreconcilable differences between the three, and only the books are actually canon
Permalink | Saturday, October 15, 2022

if you really want to know

So it has been 98 days since I updated this blog.- 26.89% of a year. 
There have been birthdays – my son-in-law, my son, both of my granddaughters, and I turned 72. 
I have had my car for over a year now.
Triscuit has been with me for five months now, but I still miss Panda, who has been gone almost six months. 
My daughter is still dealing with the ravaged battlefield of her successful fight against cancer and is all but an invalid after five years.  Her daughters were too young when she was diagnosed with stage 3C breast cancer and will never remember the vital, vibrant woman she was.  Her husband is suffering from long COVID from the bout he had in the early spring.  The girls have had a couple bouts, but were able to start school yesterday.  I still do not approve of starting school before Labor Day, not that anyone is asking me.
My son completed his chemo and radiation treatments for colon cancer.  It was a difficult time for him and yet he managed to work almost his regular schedule at the Nashville health clinic.  Yesterday, a cat scan showed spots on his lung, whether from the spread from his lymph nodes or another kind of cancer, we will have to see.  The entire family is reeling from this news.  They are going to do a biopsy and we are praying it isn’t cancer even tho the doctor thinks it is.  The VA caused this problem – Tom asked and asked for a colonoscopy because we have a family history of colon cancer and the VA doctors kept turning him down until last year.  If he had his screening earlier, they would’ve caught it before it metastasized.
I wanted to move.  I planned to move when my lease was up in September.  But rents are thru the roof right now and they offered to freeze mine for a year.  So despite the many issues, here I am.
I am recuperating from a severe allergic reaction to the Ozempic I started taking the end of March.  We finally figured out what was causing the ugly, itchy, festering rash on my arms, chest, and back at the beginning of August.  Took some pretty high doses of Prednisone for five days, as well as two weeks of oatmeal bath soaks,  to get on the way to healing the rash, but there are still a couple of lingering spots.  I was also diagnosed with inflammation of the lungs as a result of that allergic reaction, and am on a steroid inhaler to try and help with breathing as well as the fatigue.  I get so short-winded when I try to do anything, and I cough a lot – especially if I talk too much or try to sing.   I had to go to for a chest x-ray last Friday and we are waiting for the results of that
Sums it all up nicely
Permalink | Tuesday, August 30, 2022


Today is the 2nd day of the 21st week, the 23rd day of the 5th month, the 143rd day of 2022 [with only 215 shopping days left until Christmas], and: 
  • Declaration of the Bab Day
  • Drinking with Chickens Day – yes that is apparently a thing
  • International Day to End Obstetric Fistula
  • National Best Friend-in-Law Day
  • Lucky Penny Day
  • National Taffy Day
  • Victoria Day
  • World Crohn’s and Colitis Day
  • World Turtle Day

1568 - The Netherlands declares independence from Spain

1576 - Tycho Brahe gives Hveen Island to build Uraniborg Observatory

1785 - Benjamin Franklin announces his invention of bifocals

1788 - South Carolina becomes 8th state to ratify US constitution

1845 - New York City Police Department (NYPD) is formed, replacing an old night watch system

1863 - Organization of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan

1867 - Jesse James gang robs bank in Richmond, Missouri (2 die, $4,000 taken)

1873 - The first running of the second jewel of the Triple Crown Survivor wins Pimlico Race Course, Baltimore, Maryland.  It is still run the weekend before Memorial Day each year

1873 - Postal cards sold in San Francisco for 1st time

1894 - William Love hosts groundbreaking ceremonies for Love Canal

1900 - Associated Press News Service forms in NY

1903 - 1st automobile trip across US leaves San Francisco for New York (arrives July 26)

1922 - Walt Disney incorporates his 1st film company Laugh-O-Gram Films

1934 - American outlaws Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow - Bonnie and Clyde - are killed by police in an ambush near Sailes, Louisiana

1939 - Submarine USS Squalus sinks in the Gulf of Maine, drowning 26, 33 remaining crew rescued from a depth of 243 ft (74 m) by divers using newly developed heliox air systems (divers later awarded the Medal of Honor)

1958 - Explorer 1 ceases transmission.

1962 - Scott Carpenter orbits Earth 3 times in US Aurora 7

1969 - The Who release rock opera "Tommy"

1970 - USSR performs nuclear test (underground)

1974 - Great Britain performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site

1982 - Pope John Paul II declares "Peerke" Donders a saint

1984 - "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", 2nd in the film series, directed by Stephen Spielberg, produced by George Lucas, and starring Harrison Ford, opens in the US

1988 - Maryland stops sale of cheap pistols on Jan 1, 1990

1990  -Cost of rescuing savings & loan failures is put at up to $130 billion in the US

1991 - US Supreme Court bars subsidized clinics from discussing abortion

1994 - "Star Trek: The Next Generation" finale airs this week in syndication

2016 - Chinese archaeologists announce findings of earliest use of barley in China to make beer, Shaanxi province 3400-2900 BC

2021 - Belarus accused of “state-sponsored hijacking" after diverting commercial Ryanair flight to Minsk to arrest dissident journalist Roman Protasevich

2022 - NASA Voyager1 is 21 hrs 34 mins 00 secs of light-travel time from Earth

I hadn’t intended to stop writing, but here it is, almost two months from my last post.  Can’t say as I have been unusually busy or stressed, just haven’t felt like writing when you come right down to it.  Guess I lack the knack for turning absolutely mundane things into something to be read avidly?

So let’s see – three things to catch up with:

I’m apartment shopping as my lease is up at the end of the summer, and have become very discouraged.  Prices hereabouts are insane, and while I get that I need to shed stuff and downsize into a smaller place, it seriously irks me to be charged the same for a one bedroom 800 sq ft apartment as I am paying for a two bedroom, two bath 1150 sq ft place now.  Of course I could get a place cheaper if I gave up on an in-unit washer/dryer or covered parking, but I don’t want to.  To top it off?  I would more than double my commute to work! 

Speaking of work?  I’ve been with PBS LLC [the CUSO not the broadcaster] for 13 years now – the longest stretch with one employer in my entire work career. 


And Triscuit has been settling in.  She has decided that I’m okay, even if she does still bolt if I walk towards her or reach for her.  She’s fast too – no idea how I’m going to catch her when it’s time to take her to the vet! 

More updates about stuff later….
Permalink | Monday, May 23, 2022


Today is the 3rd day of the 13th week, the 19th day of the 3rd month, the 88th day of 2022, and:
  • Knights of Columbus Founder’s Day
  • National Lemon Chiffon Cake Day
  • National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day
  • National Vietnam War Veterans Day
  • Niagara Falls Runs Dry Day - in 1848 the ice blockages have caused the rivers to run dry and so was no water flow over the great cataract for about 30 or 40 hours
  • Smoke and Mirrors Day
  • Texas Love the Children Day
  • World Piano Day (( created in 2015 because there are 88 keys on the piano ))
 Quote of the day:
"There is no substitute for the comfort supplied by the utterly taken-for-granted relationship."
~ Iris Murdoch,  A Severed Head

One of the cats on Petfinder had a heartbreaking story:

Meet Baby
Baby is a 14 year-old beautiful Tortie Point Siamese mix who sadly had to be surrendered by her elderly owner after her husband died and her living conditions changed. Her owner loved Baby dearly and just wants her to go to a safe and loving home. Baby is very sweet, and was previously declawed

As the girls and I went through the available cats, carefully considering each one, all three of us were taken by the sad picture and story of Baby as she looks so utterly depressed and confused:  We talked about Grandmom adopting Baby, and I explained to the girls that cats like Baby usually only lived to be 15 or 16.  The 8 year old thoughtfully replied that she didn’t think Baby was a good fit because it was really sad when you had to say goodbye to a pet, and we moved on.  But Baby’s sad, hurt eyes keep haunting me. 

Her owner had to know that a 14 year old senior cat wouldn’t be adopted quickly and maybe not at all; she had to know Baby’s last years are going to be traumatic and full of adjustments.  Wouldn’t it have been kinder and more responsible to hold Baby in her arms and let her go knowing that she was loved, sparing her all this?

What an awful choice that woman had to make – there are no right answers I fear
Permalink | Tuesday, March 29, 2022

good-by Panda [redux]

Today is the 2nd day of the 12th week, the 21st day of the 3rd month, the 1st full day of Spring, the 80th day of 2022, and: 
  • Act Happy Day
  • Gallo Wine Day
  • Independence Day – Namibia from South Africa 1990
  • International Color Day
  • International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
  • International Day of Forests
  • Memory Day
  • National California Strawberry Day
  • National Common Courtesy Day
  • National Countdown Day
  • National Crunch Taco Day
  • National Day of Action on Syringe Exchange
  • National Flower Day
  • National Fragrance Day
  • National French Bread Day
  • National Healthy Fats Day
  • National Single Parents Day
  • National Teenager Day
  • National WELLderly Day
  • Naw-Ruz or Newroz – the Kurdish celebration of Spring and a New Year
  • Sytherin Pride Day
  • Twitter Day
  • World Down Syndrome Day
  • World Poetry Day
  • World Puppetry Day
Quote of the day:
"There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn’t even know it. You didn’t know that each time you passed the threshold you were saying good-bye."
~ Colson Whitehead, The Colossus of New York

It has been two weeks now since I left Panda’s limp little body at the vet’s, and I am still crying over her demise, still asking myself if we could’ve held on a little longer, if she could’ve gotten better.  Two weeks of reminding myself the vet didn’t know for certain it was the gall bladder, and even more importantly, didn’t know if the treatment would work if it was.  Two weeks of reminding myself how that last weekend she couldn’t even sleep and how relaxed she was once the pain was gone, from the shot they gave her before the final sleep was induced.  Two weeks of burning sage.

At first I started looking around for another cat, determined to assuage the hole in my heart, and then I realized I couldn’t possibly replace her.  Then I began to wonder about myself – I had to let Kula go after eight years, and altho I grieved, it wasn’t like this – was this deep grief symptom of some sort of deterioration or other issue?  My friend unknowingly answered that unspoken concern when she summed it up best, pointing out that during the pandemic, when I wasn’t leaving home at all, it was Panda who kept me company, kept me from being totally alone.  She wasn’t just a pet, she was my constant companion.

I will get another rescue cat, but will never replace Panda…
Permalink | Monday, March 21, 2022

good-by Panda

Today is the 2nd day of the 11th week, the 14th day of the 3rd month,  and the 73rd day of 2022 [with 285 shopping days until Christmas].  It is also:it is one week since Panda was put to sleep.
She’s been ill since July and went from 12+ lbs to 5 lbs 4 oz.  The vet thought it was because of the hyper thyroid tumor, something we had been treating for a couple of years.  We tried taking her off the y/d diet, and that seemed to help, so I got Panda the RadioCat treatment despite the high price tag.  It seemed to work – she had her treatment on Tuesday, came home Thursday, and was definitely feeling well on Sunday
 And then….
Monday she was listless.  Tuesday she stopped pooping.  Wednesday she stopped being able to do her business in the litter box.  Friday I took her back to the vet and they threw the “kitty cocktail” at her – antibiotics, appetite stimulant, steroids for inflammation, pain medication.  When it wore off Saturday evening, she was in misery.  She only got a couple of short naps the entire weekend.  She couldn’t go in the litter box, standing in it and spraying over the side.  And yet, Monday morning she ate and showed interest in her sunbeam, and watching the world outside.
We went back to the vet first thing Monday morning.  The vet thought perhaps it was her gall bladder.  Perhaps, if we did an ultrasound, we could put her on medication to thin the sludge and make her pass it.  Of course, it would cause cramping and would need pain management….
And I said no. 
The vet asked if that was my final decision
And as I looked at Panda, I repeated something I had read online and said I would rather leave her go a few weeks early than put her through another hour of pain. 
And one week ago today, as I held her in my arms, a small light went out of the world
Panda was a rescue cat, and lost her home when she was 9 when her owner couldn’t keep her any longer and they put her outside to fend for herself.  She was four-paw declawed,  so luckily a neighbor took her in and called Animal control.  She was a sweet and trusting little soul who never once, in the six years I lived with her, bit anyone even when she was terrified.  And she had the softest fur of any cat I’ve ever met – the vet said it was more like a pelt than hair.
My home is a colder, emptier place without her.
Permalink | Monday, March 14, 2022

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