Saturday, December 15, 2007

1596 Overheard ...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

... at the recycle center this morning, "... and she was wearing a scrunchie!" Other woman, "A scrunchie? Eeeuuuuw!"

Um, scrunchies are the most gentle thing for your hair. They're inexpensive, easy to put on, hold tight, and don't get snaggled in your hair when you take them out. French barrettes break my hair, they slide down and need constant adjusting, and the catch often snares hair. So what's wrong with scrunchies? I think they're the best thing since sliced bread. Now, if she'd said "an orange and purple scrunchie with her red sweater", I could understand.

Values, I guess.


... passing the TV, frustrated male voice, "... I said kitchen uphill, latrines down!"

Got a chuckle out of that.

1595 Reaction

Saturday, December 15, 2007

I had posted the "Billy's Balloon" clip from entry #1591 on a Mensa humor site. This is the response from another member:

I fail to see the humor of children being beaten up and tortured. I found this video appalling and nothing to laugh about. It's quite sad, actually.


Am I wrong, or is she whacked? The funny isn't the kids getting beat up, it's the IDEA of vicious balloons!

Well, if she hated that one, this one might send her over the edge:

Update: I've got reactions to "Billy's Balloon" from six more people (people who don't know me personally), all of whom quite seriously think there's something very wrong with me.

Friday, December 14, 2007

1594 Tired

Friday, December 14, 2007

It usually takes me an hour and a half to clear my entire driveway, including the large area at the top. It took four hours today, and there's still 1/3 of the top uncleared, but I just can't wrestle with the snowthrower any more today. That's bad, because trucks (like my fuel oil delivery) need that room to turn around. I am so sore and tired I can barely move, but I'm going out tonight, so I'm hoping a hot shower will renew me.

That 11 1/2 inches of fluff I had last night had by this afternoon turned into 7 inches of solid igloo block material. It was lumpy and sticky, and kept coating the auger, turning it into a rotating solid drum, turning the machine into a plow instead of a thrower. I had to stop every 50 feet and poke and pry with a piece of tree branch to clear the auger.

Things I learned today:
. Don't take off snowmobile gloves if your hands sweated in them. The lining will come out with your hands, and you won't get them back on.
. If last winter was so mild you used the snowthrower only once or twice and therefore skipped the servicing this year, you still better check the tire pressure! A low tire makes it very hard to steer the 6-ton (I swear!) beast, forget steer, it makes it hard to keep it going straight!, and if the tire comes off the rim (thank all the fates it didn't) you'll be in big trouble, because the freakin' thing is too heavy to move except under its own power.

We're getting more snow tomorrow night and into Sunday.

To do tomorrow - put air in the tire. Spray the auger with Pam.

1593 A Weighty Disadvantage

I've discovered a disadvantage to having lost weight (in addition to having to get all my rings resized). My boots are no longer so tight around the calves, and SNOW GETS IN!


1592 Paranoia

Friday, December 14, 2007

Paranoia #1: I have two friends who have advised me to delete the links to mid-eastern blogs in my sidebar, on the grounds that they might attract unwanted (as in government) attention. To which I respond, ""Snork!" I like to hear opinions other than those I'm spoon-fed.

Paranoia #2: I have other friends who refuse to believe that some of the bloggers I read are really in the mid-east, let alone the teen and her mother I follow in Iraq. They believe they are made up stories. I figure "Who cares? They're interesting." (And I do believe the mother and daughter.)

Something else interesting is that I have a regular reader (never commenter) at Andrews AFB in Maryland. Andrews is one of those very secret places, sorta like Area 51, but real. Back when I moved this blog and went into hiding, I removed all ability to locate the blog through searches. The only way you could find me was to leave a comment at the old location, and I'd send the new URL. For several months, my only readers were people I'd invited. Andrews didn't visit during that time. A few weeks ago, I opened to searches again, and --- ta rah! Andrews is back. They visit after every post. Now how did they find me again, if not by searches for keywords? Paranoia #1 justified?

Now, take a look at the comment on entry 1590. The commenter's profile says he's in Palestine, and his blog (which is humorous, and unintentionally cute in its naivety) claims that he's a freedom fighter living in caves (note that the underground sermon is in a room with windows). But my tracker says his ISP is in Brooklyn, 70.23.202, Verizon Internet Services, Windows XP, Internet Explorer 6.0, 1024 x 768 resolution, and his local time is the same as mine. Paranoia #2 justified.


Come on, Andrews - leave a comment! Or at least get together with that guy in Brooklyn who dreams of bombs. You folks might have something to talk about.

(Oops. Now I'm paranoid. I may have just pissed off some guy who likes bombs.)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

1591 Some Sick Fun

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Billy's Balloon


1590 It's snowing

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Snow. We've got three inches in the past two hours, and we've got eight more hours predicted. Weatherman says up to seven inches, but lately I've been getting more inches than expected in everything else, so why not here, too....

Naturally, "get gas for the snowthrower" has been on the to-do list for two weeks, but I kept forgetting to take the container when I left the house, so, no gas. I moved the car to the bottom of the driveway so I can get out.

Hibernation day.

Update: 5 pm. 8 inches. More coming.

Update: 8 pm. 11 inches. Looks like it's stopping. More expected Saturday. No thaw between now and then.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

1589 Forgotten Versed

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Lunch today with a friend, at the fancy-schmanciest local inn. He jokingly referred to it as "the office Christmas party". It was sort of sad - the waitress forgot my soup, when it finally arrived it was cold, and the meat in my entree was dry. My friend is circumstantially celibate and when he's sober he claims he's perfectly happy with the state of things, but when he's had a few drinks he confesses that he wants every woman in the village. I want to find him a lady. He deserves a lady. He'd like me to volunteer, but that just isn't going to happen. I don't care how many millions he's got tucked away. On the other hand, if I do find him a lady, I will be jealous of her. He's a good guy and will treat her well.


Another blogger had mentioned problems with Versed. It rang a tiny bell in my head, and I've spent much of the late afternoon researching Versed. It's a sedative, administered "to help you relax" during various medical procedures, either with or without general or local anesthetics.

For most people, it causes amnesia for the period from a few minutes after you get it until it wears off. However, it doesn't knock you out. You are still "conscious" and can respond to questions and commands. It also has no effect on your experience of pain. You just don't remember the pain, or, for that matter, anything else that happened.

Some people think it's wonderful. They get "something to relax" them, and then wake up in the recovery room. I doesn't bother them that they had expected to be aware during the procedure. (They probably WERE, but they just don't remember it.)

Some people have had very bad experiences with it. The amnesia lasts much longer than it should, or they get depressed or paranoid for a long time afterward.

Now, here's why my bell went off. I have been very worried about my memory lately. I was looking at a photograph in the recent issue of the local Mensa newsletter, a picture of me and another person at the gathering in Chicago six weeks ago. It is a very posed photo - not a candid shot. But I have absolutely no memory of that picture having been taken. I did her hair in the style in the photo, then I went to a talk, and she left shortly thereafter. I can't figure out when there was even opportunity for the photo.

Last month Roman gave me the coupons for the third Thursday dinner, and a week later, when it turned out I would not be able to attend the dinner, he told me to give them to John. I denied that he had given me the coupons. He insisted he had, even told me when and where. I remembered being there, but did not recall the coupons. I looked in my purse. They were there. I said to him that I was worried about my memory lately, and he said he's noticed, too, and is also worried.

Things like that keep happening.

Just today I found a note in my purse, a list of things that have no meaning to me, in someone else's handwriting. I don't know whose. I vaguely remember having given someone my notepad to write on, but I don't remember who, when, or where, let alone why, or what if anything I'm supposed to do with it. I find a lot of mysterious notes in my purse.

I keep finding "lost" objects in the house in perfectly logical places, but I have no recollection of having put them there, and I'm the only person in this house - ever.

I've been thinking about my memory lapses, an attempt to define what kinds of things I forget. One thing they all have in common is briefness. If some interaction between me and another person or an object takes less than, say, six seconds, I may not retain the memory. It just plain never happened. It's a completely blank hole in my experience.

It seems to be getting worse, or maybe I'm just noticing it more.

Now, here's today's realization: The memory problems date from the endoscopic procedure of two years ago. The one where they told me I would be conscious during the procedure, but where I remember nothing from the "here's something to relax you" to the "all done!" Whadaya wanna bet they gave me Versed.

Most of the long-term adverse reactions I've been reading about involve lost of memories from BEFORE the Versed. Chunks of their lives missing. Nobody (so far as I have read) mentions loss of the ability to form memories of events occurring afterward. Perhaps it's an aftereffect others have experienced, but no one has made the connection. Proving a connection would be very difficult.

I am annoyed that when I was told I would be given "something to relax" me, and that I would be conscious during the procedure, no one mentioned that I would not remember the procedure. That's not my definition of "conscious". I do NOT believe that I was properly informed, and do not therefore feel that I gave informed consent.

I suspect the medical community loves Versed. It makes things so easy. They can do just about anything, have your (sort of) cooperation during the procedure, but they don't have to be particularly gentle or respectful, because you won't remember anything anyway, so you're not likely to complain. Or sue. So I suspect there isn't a lot of incentive on their part to question residual effects.


What now? Will my memory lapses get better, or worse?

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

1588 Warm!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I had ordered online several bottles of a special shampoo. They arrived today. The box was stuffed with newspaper, and the bottles were wrapped in newspaper - which happened to be the real estate section of a Birmingham, Alabama, paper.

I was smoothing and flattening the pages to put into the recycle bags, and of course I read them.

OMG! Beautiful houses, half again the size of mine, for half the price! I could take a huge "loss" on this house, and STILL upgrade.

And it's WARM there!

What's the deal? Does no one want to move to Birmingham? What's wrong with Birmingham?

Update: Ok. I have just been told it's the most backward, racist, place in the country. Mensa's national gathering was there this past summer, and was boycotted by many members because of that. I forgot that's where it was.

1587 Ice Hint

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Putting salt on the walks and driveway can be bad for the nearby grass and flower beds. Try using fertilizer instead. It will melt the ice almost as well without hurting the plants. An overdose of either salt or fertilizer isn't good for the groundwater or city drains, but if it's going to happen anyway, fertilizer is slightly less harmful.

Monday, December 10, 2007

1586 The Usual Monday

Monday, December 10, 2007

I managed to spend $60 in the grocery store today, and I don't know how! I bought instant coffee, vanilla creamer, a bag of salad leaves, two bottles of dressing, two week's worth of canned and dry cat food, and two pints of ice cream. I don't understand.

A portion of the afternoon/early evening was spent in the pub with Piper and "the guys". It's becoming more and more comfortable there. Fun conversations. Free drinks. Mild flirtations. I could develop a habit.

I recently reopened this journal to searches. The search args that got people here in the past few days are:
human tendency for rebellion
tooky rearrange
1566 thanksgiving
link brightcove services player bcpid1329217643
penis filled its silken confines
narrowboat adventure
house of mirth
best place to touch a woman
airwick hacking (there were several of these, from different countries!)
mertz's apothecary
silken touch
max gobrial
reporter silk madly

Gotta wonder sometimes what they're actually looking for. Whatever it is, except for the airwick thing, I ain't got it, and that should be obvious from the search hit blurb. Except the "1566 thanksgiving" one - that's the exact title of my post, but I can't imagine what would have someone searching for it by name. Very strange.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

1585 Slip-sliding Away

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I went to a meeting tonight, to work on the by-laws. We had freezing rain, but the main roads weren't too bad at all. I had no trouble coming home until I got to my driveway.

I stopped at the end of the driveway to get the newspaper out of the tube, then backed up slightly to turn into the drive. I got about a quarter of the way up when the car stopped moving altogether. The wheels were still turning, spinning on ice, but the car wasn't going anywhere.

I stopped for a moment to think about it. What I should have done was back down the street a little to get a running start. No problem. I can back down and try again. That's when I realized I was moving. Backward. With the brakes on hard.


I didn't slide over the bank and get rolled and deaded, and I did eventually make it up the hill. I hate winter. I hate my driveway. I don't know who laid it out with that curve next to a bank at the end. I'd love to redo it. There's no reason why it couldn't have gone straight down through the bank. A little dynamite and a jackhammer or two could solve so many problems....

1584 Kitty Update

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I mentioned a few posts back that Jasper likes to empty grocery bags, and had progressed to emptying kitchen cabinets.

His water dish is one of those water-cooler-like units, with the inverted jug that keeps a bowl filled. Two days ago he emptied the entire jug onto the laundry room floor, one paw-splash at a time. (Splash splash splash glurk glurk glurk splash splash glurk glurk ....)

Today I walked into a bathroom and discovered him tail-up in the toilet, splashing away, attempting to empty it onto the floor I suppose.

The kid needs more toys.


I didn't get much sleep last night. Somewhere in the house, something beeped every few minutes.

It wasn't loud enough to be a smoke or CO detector, but it was loud enough, and worrisome enough, to keep me awake. My right ear is dulled by old rifle range stupidities, so it's difficult for me to locate small sounds when they're intermittent. It sounded at first like it was in my bedroom.

I tried to sleep through it, but it worried and frustrated me too much.

I finally pinned the sound to the new cell phone, which was in my purse, at the other end of the house. I had left it on, and one of the new functions is that in the wee hours of the morning, it attempts to back up the directory. It was having some kind of difficulty, and was attempting to draw my attention to an error message.

Thanks, Verizon. If you're going to do something that might result in beeping complaints, maybe you should do it at a more reasonable hour? (Yeah, I checked. I don't think I can change the back up time.)


For anyone with SiteMeter, I'm coming to you from Phoenix, Arizona, today.

1583 TooRealEstate

Sunday, December 9, 2007

There's a real estate program on Sunday mornings, right after one of the news interview shows, where they take you on tours of some of the houses for sale in the Albany/Schnectady area. I am shocked by the difference in prices between here and there. I could sell my house here and buy two larger nicer houses there!

Anyway, between the house tours, they show pictures of the fronts of other more ordinary houses, with the address, realtor, and price.

One of those houses today was a standard two-story over-under duplex, the kind you see in all eastern cities. It had a large glass panel next to the front door. And standing inside that glass panel was a very large completely naked woman.

She was quite clear. I'm surprised no one else noticed before they put the photo up. Even if it's an optical illusion, you'd think someone would have said whoa.