Saturday, July 26, 2008

1930 Best Bush-McCain Photo EVER!

Go to It's best if you have to scroll down to see the whole picture. I scrolled down and about fell off my chair!

Yes, it has been expertly digitally altered. I found the original photo several places on the web, and it's not at all interesting.

Later edit: I sent this to The Man. He has corrected me. This IS the original photo. The tamer ones I found on the web "are fakes, 'corrected' by CBS and FOX. :)"


1929 Bad Hostess!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Later: I "Googled" the Harley man. He's all over the internet - photos, bios, comments on political stuff, motorcycles, racing, he's everywhere. I'd have put him mid-40s - turns out he's only three years younger than I.


I have his cell phone number, and had been thinking I should perhaps call, like maybe tomorrow, to thank him again for the flowers. Although I hesitate to call. I don't know. I'm a little shy/reluctant to get that personal (says she who researched the man). But now I have his email address (and his home address, his wife's name and photo, his father's name, his employment info, where he went to school and when he graduated - damn, I'm good!), and I'm more inclined to send a note.

Why do I have to do anything at all? Because I heard his car coming up the drive and met him outside on the driveway. When I saw it was him, I said that I was expecting some kind of delivery man. He said that wouldn't have been proper. He handed me one bunch of flowers, and said that he'd carry the other. I said that's ok, I can handle them both.

See, it's an almost two hour drive, just to thank me for rescuing him. The polite thing to do would have been to invite him in for something cool to drink, and a bathroom, and I think he was expecting that. I didn't. Because my house is a wreck. No other person has been in this house in three years, for very good reason. I tell people that if the SPCA saw what my cats live in, they'd take them away from me, and people think I'm kidding. I'm not.

And now I feel very guilty, super inhospitable, and he probably feels snubbed, and I hate to leave it like that.

I mean, over three hours driving, round trip, and a five minute conversation in the driveway and dismissal. Not nice. I feel like I ought to explain and apologize. (I doubt that will have him winging back up here, so I think it would be ok.)


1928 Delivery

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Harley man arrived, in a silver Corvette convertible, bearing two enormous bunches of gladiolas. He's gorgeous. Too bad he's married.

1927 Addiction

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I am addicted to reading blogs. I spend entirely too much time reading other people's thoughts, and I keep finding more, and, once introduced, I can't seem to drop any of them off the Bloglines list.

I'm going to have to do something. It's to the point now where I accomplish nothing but the absolute necessities of life offline. I tried limiting myself to two hours a day, and it's not working. I just plain enjoy it too much.

Through blogs, I "meet" people I would never meet in real life. It's extremely unlikely I would ever get to know a stripper well enough to know how she thinks and feels about all kinds of things. Or "hear" the personal reactions of a journalist traveling through war zones. Or the agonies of a depressed gay mid-western cartoonist. Everyone is fascinating when they open up and get honest. So many people can be so very perceptive.

They give me so much to think about, and I do like thinking about things.

There's the woman who told the story of a past relationship, that she knew it was not good, unsatisfying, that it wasn't going anywhere, and yet she stuck with it for entirely too long because the sex was phenomenal. She wonders if it was precisely that she didn't really care for him that made it so easy to be completely free and uninhibited.

I had to wonder if there were some aspects of that going on with me (although I do have strong positive feelings for him). But I have to wonder how much of my current fascination is fueled by phenomenal sex? If I were not getting such a huge payoff, would I still hang in there through all the frustration?

A secondary thought this kicked off - the question of when to bring sex into a relationship. Some people advocate waiting a long time, until you really get to know the person, because if it turns out it really couldn't work on a personal and emotional basis, then you don't want to sleep with him, period. Others advocate early sex, because if you are incompatible sexually, why risk getting emotionally involved?

In theory, I prefer the first, since if you have an emotional connection, then the sex can be worked out on the fly. On the other hand, I've never known bad sex to ever improve, I have enough experience to say that, and that argues for the second. Quality, by the way, seems to have little to do with skill of either party. It has everything to do with the combination of people.

And there are women who muse about the attraction of "Bad Boys". Again, I wondered how much of that applies to me, right now. There have been a few truly bad boys in my youth, and most of them didn't last long because they were uncomplicated, just plain bad, easy to figure out. They were difficult to respect. The current Bad Boy is extremely complicated. The "bad" seems like a veneer, a challenge to break through. There's a lot to admire underneath. I'm old enough and experienced enough to know that I can't change him, so how long will it be before I lose patience with the bad? Will I ever? And will I be sad that I wasted so much time when I should have known better?

It's maddening and fascinating, and feeds the addiction.


I got a phone call this morning from the guy who stored his Harley in my basement a few weeks ago. He asked if I'd be home this afternoon, because "something will be delivered" and he hoped I'd be home to receive it. He hopes I enjoy it. Interesting.

Friday, July 25, 2008

1926 Thursday/Friday

Friday, July 26, 2008

I went to NJ yesterday and accompanied The Man to practice (there'a tournament next weekend). He's impressive. When we left, his scores were still up on the monitor, and we were amused to see a young man taking a picture of the scores with his phone.

This morning I visited Daughter, and found her sick in bed. The usual chest and throat. I think she's allergic to NJ.

On the way home I stopped in at Piper's office. He was feeling loggy, too, and he's got poison ivy on his face.

Later, a young man arrived to mow my lawn, and I lassoed him into helping me get that marble tabletop out of the back seat of my car and into the basement. So, that's done.

And now I'm dead tired.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

1925 How to Get Recruits

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Want to think about something scary?

Bush's War is using up soldiers. They had to dip into the reserves fairly early, and as the years pass, fewer young people are going into the reserves, because, hey, you may as well simply sign up, and who wants to do that?

The US public won't stand for a draft. That would be political suicide.

So, how do you get new bomb fodder?

Easy. Kill the economy. Make it so young people can't get jobs. Combine it with cuts in social services. Problem solved.

It isn't the government doing it, not directly, anyway. It's those shadowy folks who control international money. They scare me.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

1924 Thud 2

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I was in the laundromat this evening (yes, I have a washing machine, but it's much faster to do it all concurrently than serially). The skies opened, and it poured, thunder, lightning, ambulance sirens, the whole shebang.

A man about my age looked morosely out the window and said, "It's going to get a lot worse. That's the start of the hurricane."

I said, "Hurricane? Isn't that in Texas?"

"Yes," he said, "but it's moving right up the coast to us."


I blinked twice, wondered what coast he was talking about, where he thinks Texas is, how fast he thinks a hurricane moves, and decided not to say anything else.

1923 Thud

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TV is on. I don't know what the program is, but I glanced up as the guy in the lab says that there's "white pine sap on the murder weapon."

The female cop goes outside, finds an evergreen tree, and deduces that the murder climbed up the tree to get to the attic window. She says, "... and this is an eastern white pine."

The camera pans up through the tree, and it's obviously a fir, not a pine, let alone an eastern white pine. White pines have very long needles in clusters of five. Firs have short individual needles.

Do they really think no one in the audience knows the difference? I guess it's not so obvious to Hollwood types. But would it have been so difficult to find a white pine for the closeups?


1922 Mighty Hunter Jasper

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I just found this on my bed. The paper clip is there for size reference. It must have been a baby. What you see is all that was there. (The pink smudge just below his nose is a tiny paw.)

My share of lunch, I guess.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

1921 The Making of a Hypochondriac Nymphomaniac

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The husband of a friend has had some odd symptoms/conditions/disturbances for a while now. He's one of those guys who is proud of the fact that he has never lost a day of work to illness (even if he leaves a trail of near-death coworkers in his wake), and refuses to go to a doctor (unless he's convinced he's dying. Even then he wonders, "What's the point now? I'm dying.") He's in denial that there's anything wrong, but some of his symptoms have her very upset.

Recently he has developed a few more symptoms, and the old ones are getting worse. I'm pretty good at internet research, and I have the time, so the friend asked me to see if I could find some horribly disfiguring, immobilizing, slowly progressing disease that can leave him unemployable, something that you have to catch early or it's too late, that she could use to scare him into the doctor's office.

I started with one symptom, got a list of everything that could cause that, threw out everything that didn't fit, and ended up with an advanced case of Lyme Disease. Then I did the same thing with another of his symptoms, threw out everything that didn't fit, and ended up with advanced Lyme Disease. Same thing with the next several symptoms. I am aware that he might have two or three or more different things going on, that's why I took each symptom separately. What eliminated possibilities was the absence of other symptoms or predispositions - like he's not an alcoholic. Doesn't drink at all, in fact.

The only three things that fit everything he's displaying is 1.) Lyme, 2.) a particular very rare inherited metabolic disease, and 3.) a certain mineral deficiency.

Untreated Lyme is serious. It affects the brain (can cause personality changes and paranoia, among other things) and nervous system (peripheral neuropathy is painful, and can become incurable). It hits the joints, resulting in arthritis, which is disfiguring and immobilizing. It hits the heart and circulation. It has nasty crippling effects almost everywhere in the body. It can kill you, but only after it destroys you.

So, I urged her to convince him to get a Lyme test (and, just in case, to add the mineral in #3 to his vitamin regimen, it won't hurt, and just might solve the problems).

She came back with the worst possible answer. He's had a Lyme test, and it was negative, and he refuses to discuss it any further. Done. Negative for Lyme. Period, end. No further tests necessary. Lyme: Negative. Get off my back.

Unfortunately, false negatives (and false positives) are common with the blood tests for Lyme, especially if it's a firmly established case, where the immune system has given up on it so to speak, or where you're harboring several strains of Lyme at once. I know a bit about his habits and hobbies, and if it is Lyme, it's entirely possible he's had it for up to fifteen years. He knows all this, too. He really ought to have the skin biopsy, or even a course of treatment to see if it fixes things (which unfortunately is, in the end, the only really sure and definitive test).

So, any suggestions? How can his wife convince him to find out what's going on?


Now, the hypochondria part.

I rarely read anything medical, because I sure as shootin' end up convinced that I've got everything. I noticed with horror this afternoon that I'm not growing any hair on the outside of both shins/side of the calf.

Failure of hair to grow on the legs is an early and subtle sign of impaired circulation in the legs.

Ack! I've got diabetes! Ack! I've got blood clots! Ack! I've got a ton of plaque all through my circulatory system on the verge of breaking loose and going to my heart or lungs and killing me! In my sleep! Ack ack!

Well, I know I don't. I know I'm probably ok on the diabetes thing, for now, anyway, because I heal faster than anyone else I know, even on my feet. And I know how to take my pulse in the foot. I've got good strong dorsal pedis and tibial pulses. But - it's significant that I had to check. Several times. And compare it to the radial pulse. And I'll probably do it fifty times before I'm satisfied.


On hair, missing and otherwise.

Since menopause I've noticed lots of hair pattern changes. Everybody knows about the appearance of hair on the chin and upper lip, but I wasn't expecting the hair on my arms to change. It used to be fine, silky, blond, and well behaved. Since the big M it's gotten much darker, coarser, curlier, and wild. It grows every which direction, and looks like it's trying to figure out how to tangle.

On the other hand, the hair on the backs of my fingers and toes has almost disappeared.

While the hair on my lower legs is the same except for the bald patches on the outside of the shins (where my pants brush when I walk, incidentally, a more reasonable diagnosis than blot clots), the hair on my thighs is following the arm hair - longer, thicker, curlier, and it does literally tangle sometimes (remind me not to let my thighs talk to my arms).

The lady patch is receding and thinning. Much more ladylike now.

I used to have a few (ahem) chest hairs. They're gone.

My eyebrows have almost disappeared.

I haven't noticed much difference in my head hair, except for the drastic color change, and a receding hairline, but that started long before menopause.

Nobody really tells you whether all of that is normal. Except for the chin and upper lip, that is. It would be nice to know what to expect, what's normal.


On to the nymphomania part:

Now, something amazing, just to see if you're paying attention. In my 63rd year, I discovered that women can not only have real erections, it can quadruple in length and width and stand right out there. It says "sproing" when you flick it.

I never heard about that before, anywhere. Not to that degree. I confess I've been scanning online porn (the free no download crap) trying to see if it happens to anyone else, and haven't seen it anywhere. Of course, those women aren't past menopause.

So, some questions:
* Anyone else familiar with the phenomenon?
* Is the capability something one gains after M (when the androgens outstrip estrogen), or is it always there?
*And if it was always possible, why the ever-lovin' hell did it take 63 years and a few dozen men for me to find out?

This is not TMI. It's info every woman should have. If I can do it, you can too (and no, you can't borrow my Man).

1920 Scary Stuff

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I got an email from PayPal today, informing me that my credit card ending in xx32 is about to expire, and I should update my PayPal profile with the new expiration date. It's true, that card is about to expire. I am certain that this email was from PayPal, not a phish, because the instructions were to independently log on to PayPal, click on the profile tab, etc.

Well, it confused me. I have several credit cards, but only one of them is used online, and that one ends in xx45. PayPal shouldn't even know about xx32.

So I went to PayPal and looked at my profile. Sure enough, xx45 is the only credit card registered with PayPal. I have never used xx32 with PayPal.

It's scary to me that PayPal knows anything about xx32, let alone that it's about to expire. It blows my mind!


Then, a few minutes later, I noticed someone was visiting this blog through Google Reader. I was curious, so I went to Google Reader to see what it was about.

Google reader gave me a list of blogs and sites that they thought I might be interested in. I was shocked that it included local newspapers! And local venue calendars! Venues that would, in fact, interest me. Google knows where I live! They know what I like! Oh Good Grief!

Worse, I hadn't told them who I was. They must have got the info from the IP address.

I clicked on the "how we choose sites" link, which informed me that they chose those sites for me based on my browsing history.

Ack! Big Brother is watching!


Speaking of Big Brother, I follow Jackie's TV blog for Big Brother, Survivor, and The Amazing Race. There are a group of faithful fans who have become a community, informing each other and sympathizing with the death or illness of loved ones and pets, and so on. The daughter of one of the commenters posted recently that her mother was going in for surgery.

Now here's the weird part. The mother posts using three initials, and those initials are the same as my mother's. The daughter, whom we'd never heard from before, posted using her three initials. Which are the same as mine.

Very strange coincidence.


Saturday night at NJ's we were talking about finding people online. They know I have a blog, and asked if I wasn't worried about stalkers or something. I said that the blog doesn't have my real name or location (within 20 miles) attached, so no, it doesn't worry me. None of my email ids divulge my name. And if you happen to know my real name and "Google" it, the only hits you get are from the online newsletters, and yes, that one bothers me because, as an officer, it includes my phone number, email id, and address. But you have to know who I am first.

The more I think about that, by the way, the more it bothers me. Maybe at the next board meeting, I'll point out to the group that there's a potential exposure people (like me, for example) might object to if they realized it.

Maybe The Man is right to be so paranoid about the internet. I "Google" him every so often, and if I mention that I found him on this or that list or site, within a very short time either the site or the reference to him disappears. Stuff like fantasy football winners lists and so on. I haven't asked him how he does it, because I know he will deny any involvement and I don't want to hear a lie, but it's pretty darn amazing that he can make whole sites disappear. Even those without a "contact us" button.

Monday, July 21, 2008

1919 Texting Parties?

Monday, July 21, 2008

I've seen this! Not at an organized party, but in bars among groups who seem to be together, and at tables in restaurants. (Well, not the second paragraph, although that might be more interesting, but certainly the first and third.)

The Man rarely checks his Blackberry when he's with me, usually maybe once at the end of an evening, and one of these days I'll have to tell him how much I appreciate that.

1918 How We Fit Best

Monday, July 21, 2008

I've heard it said that in the longest lasting and happiest relationships, he thinks she's better looking than he is, and she thinks he's the smarter one. (It doesn't matter who is actually better looking or smarter, just what they think.)

That theory fits, I think.

Men are visual, and they want to be proud of their woman. A good looking woman, especially one better looking than he thinks he deserves, charges their batteries.

Women are more practical. They want to respect their man, and to feel he's fit to lead. They want to trust his decisions (even if he doesn't make them).

Yeah, I think it may be true.

As a cross-check, if you were to ask a man who's the better looking, and he answers that he is, and you ask the woman who's the smarter, and she answers that she is, do you have much confidence in that relationship?

I hear a train coming.

I rest my case.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

1917 I Don't Understand Hotels

Sunday, July 20, 2008

When you check into a hotel, they have your name, address, and phone number. The Man is a double elite guest with a particular chain. So not only do they know who he is before he arrives, they know how many of what type of pillows and towels he prefers, that he will require a refrigerator, and what beverage and snack to place in the room.

So, what I don't understand is how come, when something is accidentally left at checkout, how come it goes directly to the lost and found box? Worse, if it isn't claimed within hours, by the time the cleaning crew finishes that day, they are allowed to take it if they want it. Abandoned property and all that.

They KNOW who was in the room. They know how to contact us. So why don't they call and ask?

I am famous for leaving things. I don't dare leave my robe on the bathroom door hook, or I'll never see it again.

I left a robe several months ago, and realized it on the road home. I called The Man, he called the hotel, they said it was in the L&F, and I turned around and headed back. There was quite a search before it turned up.

A few weeks ago I left a robe in Corning on my trip to the father-in-law's memorial service and Jay's falls. It's gone. Forever. They had my address.

We stayed in a hotel in NJ near where The Man wanted to bowl on Thursday night. On Friday morning, I didn't put makeup on. Last night, getting ready for NJ's party, the first time I wanted to do my makeup since Thursday, I discovered I'd left my makeup case at the hotel. My favorite base. My favorite eyebrow pencil and eyeliner. (With my coloring, it's hard to find the right shade.) The only brown (NOT black or brown-black!) mascara I've been able to find. The perfect spot coverup. My favorite tweezers. My brand-new beige lipstick.

I'm devastated.

It's The Man's fault! The makeup case was next to the coffee maker, in an out-of-the-way corner of the living room, where the most convenient mirror with the best light was, and ... he didn't want coffee that morning. Stupid male. All his fault.

Why don't the hotels call and ask? Especially a double platinum guest? Who always leaves a generous tip on the dresser for the housekeepers?

Do they really think we simply abandon things of value?

1916 Moonlight

Sunday, July 20, 2008

I went to NJ's Moonlight Madness last night. It was a very small group, only about ten of us, because it was originally scheduled for the August full moon, but she changed the date abruptly about a week ago, so it wasn't in the July newsletter, and few people were aware.

For the past twenty-plus years, NJ has hosted two events every year: Green Eggs and Ham near St. Patrick's Day, which also happens to be around Dr. Seuss's birthday, and Moonlight Madness, on the full moon in July or August. I've attended almost all of them, except for the years during and immediately after Jay's illness.

I was the first to arrive yesterday. NJ didn't look good. I noticed a box hanging on her hip and asked what it was. It was a chemotherapy pump. She has colon cancer. She had moved the date of MM because her surgery is scheduled for August. They're doing chemo and radiation first, then surgery.

She was very tired. I'm amazed that she didn't cancel MM altogether.