Friday, April 30, 2010

2952 Thoughts

Friday, April 30, 2010

Impartial, adj.: Unable to perceive any promise of personal advantage from espousing either side of a controversy or adopting either of two conflicting opinions.
--Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary --


Where are all those people who were yelling for more offshore drilling? They've been awfully quiet these days.


What happened to that bacteria that someone had discovered/developed fifteen years ago or so that "ate" oil? I thought it was used off the shore of Texas when there was a drilling leak sometime in the '90s, and it worked.


There's something the psychiatrists call omnipotence, where one thinks their actions and thoughts have widespread influence. I think I may suffer from it. I have to sell some stock to buy the new house, and what I was counting on to get about 20% of the money from is BP stock. It's very hard for me to accept that it's coincidence.


My urine has had a very bad odor for several months, so bad that I hate it in the morning. It's hard to describe - sort of like the vitamin-B odor with overtones of iodine, and what your hands smell like when you've been handling copper and zinc. Lately I get whiffs of the odor when I'm just sitting around. I'm beginning to worry that whatever it is, my skin smells of it too.

I don't have a UTI, so I thought maybe I'm dumping one of the many vitamins and supplements I take. While I was in Morocco I didn't take anything but the prescription thyroid supplement (L-Thyroxine), and my urine still stank, so maybe that's it? Internet research doesn't list stinky urine as a side effect.

As an experiment, I stopped the L-Thyroxine three days ago, and my piddle now smells like piddle. I guess the next step is to ask/tell the doctor. I'd been taking the lowest available dose of the thyroid, so unless you can cut the tiny dot-like pills, I can't take less.

(The pills are so small they're hard for me to handle with my fingers. I scoop one up with a fingernail.)


Sign on the deli door, carefully hand-lettered in multiple colors and mixed cases:

- No ID
- No EXEPTioNs

In June of 2009 I had crept back up to 150 pounds. Last February I started the "6 meals a day, a bit of protein at every meal, no sugar, low fat" diet. I am now at 126 pounds.

I weighed 135 when I first met The Man in March 2007, and he thought I was underweight then. He likes full-figured women, and I think that was a factor in my gradual weight gain over the next two years, but I didn't like it. I like me better now.

The weird thing is that I STILL have big thighs and a belly pad, and I'm hoping he will be satisfied with the 40" bust and 39" hips. They don't seem to ever go away. I'd like to lose the belly pad. At this point it seems to be just thick loose skin. I've got thinner loose skin everywhere. It hangs in very soft silky drapes that feel wonderful, but look awful. I won't be able to go sleeveless for a while, if ever.


After yesterday's post, one might wonder how I have time this morning to post this. Well, Jasper has actually been sleeping on my bed lately. Last night I found his lost favorite tiny felt mouse, and I put it in the middle of the kitchen floor where he'd find it. This morning, he was tossing and pouncing on the felt mouse on my bed - at 6 am.

I got up early.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

2951 Crunch

Thursday, April 29, 2010

With capitalism man exploits man. With communism it's the exact opposite.

The only difference is that it's reversed.

It is absolutely imperative that I pay bills today. I planned to start at 1 pm, but then I got notice of some critical Mensa business, and the research and subsequent emails took a few hours. So then at 4 pm I figured I'd better get to the bills - but I received an email from my NJ attorney, with the house contract attached, along with a note that if I had any comments or questions, to contact him tomorrow, otherwise I should sign and return it.

Of course I have questions! The estimated closing date is May 28 (ack! too soon!), and in another paragraph it says I have to provide to the seller a something-or-other, a minimum of 30 days before closing, or pay a penalty. Um, May 28 is 30 days from YESTERDAY, so obviously I can't sign this. There are also a few other things the builder/seller and I agreed on verbally but that aren't mentioned in the contract, and since unfinished items are not an acceptable reason to delay closing, I want to see them in the contract. Like sod, and the wider driveway, for example. Otherwise I could end up with seed and a skinny driveway, and I can't safely park the second vehicle on the narrow street. (Yeah, I could park it on the drive in front of the garage door, but that means I'd have to move it every time I wanted to use the other car. Not to mention, um, overnight company who won't want to park on the street.)

Ok, normally, I'd just write up my concerns and email them to the attorney tomorrow morning - except that tomorrow I'm leaving for a short trip with The Man, and I've got a bunch of stuff to do for that, especially since he moved the leaving time to a little earlier.

So, bye now.

2950 The Birds

Thursday, April 29, 2010

You can never say anything about another person that’s true.
-- Joe Biden’s father --

Not completely true, anyway. There's always more that you don't know.
People who gossip should keep that in mind.


Last year I wrote this very sad post about the birds who nest on the front porch lights.

The male arrived early again this year, and at first I thought he was going to be alone again, but there's a tail sticking out over the edge of the nest on the left light! He's got a new mate!

I'm very happy for him.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2949 Windy

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

One plus one does not equal two. It approaches two as an upper or lower limit.
-- Silk --


It has been windy today, but I didn't realize how windy until I took a quick trip to the deli. There are branches down, some quite large, all over the road. None down in my yard, which is surprising, since most of my trees are black locust, which are quite brittle.

I thought I felt pretty good today, compared to yesterday, but as soon as I got outside, I felt that stuffy feverish feeling again. One more day of sleeping with the heating pad, I guess. I need to feel better by Friday.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

2948 Fighting a bug

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

No two equals are the same.
-- Malaclypse the Younger --


Found online: (go ahead, google her), a realtor in Memphis named BJ Worthy. Well, I guess potential clients don't forget her name.


I got rained on a lot on Sunday. Yesterday was raw windy cold, and I had dinner with Mensans in a restaurant where the waiter disappeared for an hour at a time, and it was freezing in there. We all wore our jackets to eat. I had a cold draft on my behind. Today was freezing wind - the TV weatherman actually said snow in the mountains. I was supposed to meet someone in Rhinebeck at 4, but we'd had a small spat last week, and I wasn't sure he'd come. I didn't want to email or call to ask, because then I was sure that he WOULD come, and frankly I preferred that he didn't. So I stood on a windy corner from 4 'til 4:30. My body was well covered, but my hands, neck, face, head froze. He didn't show up. Considering that he really should have told me, he'll never get another opportunity, so that's one problem solved.

... my body is rebelling. I have a headache, I'm freezing no matter how high I punch the thermostat, even though I'm wearing long knit cotton underwear under my slacks and turtleneck. Every joint in my body (especially my back, but including my fingers) has taken a turn at screaming. I feel like I have cotton in my lungs. I hurt. This has been growing since Monday morning, but I didn't take care of me. This afternoon I guess it was more important that I be the one in the right (or perhaps that he fall into my trap, leaving me the wronged one) than that I take care of me.

But, there are other people close to me going through Hell right now. It's doesn't lessen my aches, but ... a little perspective, Silk. Go blow your nose.


I am fully aware that chills don't cause colds. Germs cause colds. However, we are exposed to those beasties constantly, but we don't have colds constantly, because our immune system fights them off. You get sick when either your immune system doesn't recognize the new attacker, or when your immune system is weakened - like by stress, which includes physical stress, like getting too chilled. So there. Stress can result in illness. Physical stress is stress. Stress in the absence of germs will not result in a cold. It takes both.

Actually, three - stress, germs, and not paying attention. You can mentally rev up your immune system.

Monday, April 26, 2010

2947 The (possible) new house

Monday, April 26, 2010

Common sense is what tells you that the world is flat.
-- Malaclypse the Younger --


I don't think I've put pictures of the (possible) new house on here.

These photos were taken by Daughter a few weeks ago, when the rooms inside were just stud-outlines. Oddly, I didn't take any pictures when we visited last Friday.

Front. That thing on the left is a construction dumpster. The porch will have a railing when finished, and it is wide enough for wicker or rocking chairs.

Side. As you can see by the red house glimpsed across the street, this is one of the larger houses.

Back. The yellow house next door looks large, but although it's two stories, it's only maybe 15' across the front. Narrow, high, and deep.

Roughed-in master bedroom, large closet at the back. The bedroom and closet are the full depth of the house.
Four bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms. There are two separate furnaces (gas) and two A/Cs for upstairs and for downstairs, two zones. 2300 sq. ft.

2946 Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so ....

Monday, April 26, 2010

You will find that the state is the kind of organization which,
though it does big things badly, does small things badly too.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith --

This is significant not so much for what it says as for who said it.

I'm getting very annoyed about the mares []. I watched Blossom until 1:45 am last night, then went to bed. This morning at 9 am the note said she had a little boy foal, seven hours before. Do the math. That makes three out of three that I've missed by minutes.

Maybe I have some kind of power.


I'm also getting annoyed at the way some groups use words to twist our perceptions, like the current political commercial from Albany that says that "the Obama administration" cut grants to schools, blah blah budget problems blah blah, but "we can still get the money from Washington" by demanding greater accountability and making the schools meet certain standards.

It annoys me greatly that they imply the Obama administration arbitrarily caused the problem, but are careful not to admit that the Obama administration requires higher standards to get the money. Apparently reward for high standards are the province of anonymous "Washington", but arbitrary cuts are "Obama".

Too few people will catch the twist there. They're just left with a distaste for Obama. That pisses me off.


I was supposed to do two things yesterday - go to Home Depot and pick out the flooring and paint colors for the NJ house, and lead a hike at 2 pm. I thought I'd go to Home Depot first.

At 9 am, it was raining hard and looked like it was going to continue, so I got on the laptop and brought up the broadband connection (Verizon Wireless) to notify people that the hike was canceled. Verizon said it had to update the connection maps, and I clicked "ok". It said it did it successfully --- but thereafter I had no bars. No connection. No nothin'.

Of course, the first thing I did was make sure I had paid the bill. Then I restarted a few times. Then I called Verizon technical service. I was on the phone with "Neal" in Arkansas for 90 minutes. We tried a few things, then reinstalled the software from the original CD, twice. While waiting for loadings and so on we had a nice conversation about the baby he and his wife are expecting in August, about living in mountains rather than flat, about animals, wild and domestic, and finally we realized that the software I have is probably just too downlevel to work anymore. I used to get automatic software updates, but for some reason it never updated to the current level. Too bad I can't get to the internet. I could download the current level.

So then I took the laptop to the Verizon store in Kingston, where a fabulous little lady all alone in the store multitasked beautifully with several customers and me, and she installed the current level of broadband software on my laptop.

By then it was 1:35 pm. Too late to notify people that the hike was off, so I rushed to the trailhead, arriving at 1:58, where I waited in the rain for 20 minutes in case anyone showed up. Nobody did.

Then I went back across the river to Home Depot, where I got thoroughly overwhelmed by paint colors. I know in my head exactly what I want, but those colors don't exist on paint cards/chips.

I brought home a pile of brochures and cards.

By then it was after 5 pm, and I collapsed.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2945 Meetup Rant

Sunday, April 25, 2010

It is my firm belief that it is a mistake to hold firm beliefs.
-- Malaclypse the Younger --


It's been about 4 months, and I've about had it with the Meetup groups. Man, some of these people are infants! There are many stories, but the latest has me ready to give it up completely.

Some woman, let's call her "Nell", sent me an email that she had noticed that a particular guy had joined the 50+ singles' group. She is friends with his ex-wife, and the ex-wife says he abused her and she had to get a restraining order against him. So Nell wants me to kick him out of the group, or at least spread the word through the group that he is dangerous and everyone should avoid him.

Duh? As far as I'm concerned, that's third-hand gossip, I don't know the particulars of the case, I certainly don't know the truth, and spreading accusations could be legally actionable. Our members are all adults, and they can make their own judgments. She can do what she wants, but I will not punish someone for something I know nothing about. Besides, if her sees her, Nell, on the membership list, maybe he won't show up anyway. I sent her a note to that effect.

She responded that she was disappointed that I would WANT a violent man in the group! (Huh?) She said that having been in an abusive relationship herself, she knows how hard it is. She said he doesn't know her because she didn't meet the ex-wife until after the divorce. She advised me to ask Meetup for advice.

So I did, and as expected, Meetup says that they don't get involved in the internal workings of a group, will get involved only if the website is used inappropriately. I wrote back to her with that info. I told her that I was offended that she accused me of wanting violent men in the group. I told her that restraining orders are not proof of anything, they're simply a tactic, that I had worked with a family law office in Hyde Park, and the attorneys joke that half of the people in Poughkeepsie had restraining orders against the other half, that I have personally had experience with abuse, but I've also had experience with gossip - where people said to my face that they know I did such-and-such because they were there and they SAW me, when *I* know for a fact that I had not done it, and in fact wasn't even there. I reiterated that our members are adults, and that she can say anything she wants to anyone she wants, but having no direct knowlege, I would not kick the guy out on the basis of third-hand stories.

She deleted her membership.

The woman has a doctorate in physics.

What you wanna bet she is now telling everyone that I want men in the group so badly I am willing to sacrifice the women to them.

I want to back away from all this crap. I didn't merely volunteer for this, I PAID for the privilege. How stupid do I have to be continue to pay to be insulted? (An organizer of a meetup group pays a hefty fee to start a group; members pay nothing.)

This is only the latest of many.


Organizers of Meetup groups pay to start them, and it isn't cheap. It's something like $75 for six months. Several interest groups have been started by people who have something to sell, and they see Meetup as advertising, but mostly it's just social, like knitting groups, bicycling, book clubs, hiking, movies, dining, and so on. Some of the organizers do ask for a $1 "meetup fee", either at every function, or when it's time to pay the Meetup renewal fee.

Would you believe that there are people who object to paying that? And call the organizers all kinds of names for it? They seem to expect people to think up interesting outings for them, make the arrangements, make reservations, charter the bus, assemble a group for their amusement, and all they have to do is show up?

It's no damn wonder organizers burn out.