Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

February 27, 2020
by funny
2 Comments

Of Taxes and Best-Laid Plans and Lamps…

WonderAccountant is having a tax frenzy. Honestly…I don’t understand how anyone can do that crazy-making tax-prep ditz for a living!

I thought I’d set up my spreadsheets to totally simplify this year’s antics, but apparently I failed. One thing I didn’t realize is that repairs and maintenance on the house are now tax-related because we’re now a sole proprietorship, not an S-corp. It’s been many a year since I incorporated The Copyeditor’s Desk. We decided to de-incorporate, though, because she felt we would do better on the personal tax side if we did that.

This afternoon the young(ish) eldercare lawyer is supposed to call. I want to discuss the matter of the long-term care insurance, which everyone is telling me to get rid of. Naturally, when I called to cancel it, Metlife had a trained poodle on the phone coming up with every which way to keep me paying premiums.

So the next step was to plow through a four-inch-deep pile of paperwork from Metlife and its predecessor, TIAA-CREF. Metlife is truly notorious for trying to weasel out of paying benefits.

It was my understanding that if you quit paying, the issuer was supposed to pay back your premiums ($19,000, so far, since I started with TIAA in 2001). But…no. However, according to the original policy, which as far as I can tell was unchanged when Metlife bought TIAA’s LTC insurance business, they apply the balance to any nursing home bills you rack up — but they do not repay the unused premiums to you.

Well, after all these years, 19 grand would pay for 2.8 to 3.6 months of nursing home bills (private room/shared room)

Most people die within 3 months of admission to a nursing home. So what remains there would probably cover most of the bills.

If I quit paying premiums now and instead put the money in a CU savings account, at $133/month, that would add up to $1596 a year.

American baby-boomers can expect to live to be about 85, on average. So that would add $15,960 to the 19 grand already in Metlife’s coffers, for a total of $34,000 available (supposedly) to cover nursing home bills. Assuming I can get Metlife to return my money to me if I cancel their policy. At about $5,000 a month (by then, presumably), that would cover about 7 months in a home.

Some people, of course, are stuck there for a good deal longer than that.

My healthier relatives — the Christian Scientists who did not drink and did not consume coffee and walked daily and ate what we today call “whole foods” — lived to be 94. They each effectively dropped dead of heart attacks. Neither one went into a nursing home. But…let’s suppose you weren’t made of quite THAT sturdy stuff, but still you managed to stumble along to, say, about age 92 or so… Hmmm…. That would leave time, at $133/month, to accrue $27,132 for nursing home coverage. Let’s figure the price will be around 6 grand a month by then, eh?

$27,132 plus 19 grand (assuming Metlife even still existed to cough it up, assuming Metlife would cough it up) would give you $46,132 as a nursing home fund. Assuming nursing homes cost about 6 grand a month by then, that would last you about 7 1/2 months. According to my English-major arithmetic, which is nothing to place a bet on.

So…you’re takin’ your chances. My father was in a nursing home about two weeks before he croaked over. But…heaven help us! D-XMiL is a hundred and five years old and still alive, laying in a bed in a nursing home unable to see or hear. God help her. And she’s been in that state for years.

Interesting. Assuming inflation drives nursing home costs to “only” $5000 a month in 10 years (not a safe assumption) and to 6 grand in 15 years, the number of months that saving program would cover is almost same.

Jeez. Think o’that…

So after a brief telephone chat, our proposed new estate-planning/elder-care lawyer engineered a meeting in a couple of weeks. He thinks — contrary to the advice of the financial dude and the accountant but in accord with Consumer Reports’ opinion, that it’s actually a good idea to continue paying LTC premiums, if you can afford it. I can, but it frosts my cookies. PLUS: reviews of Metlife are awash in horror stories. Apparently they do every goddamn thing they can to avoid paying as agreed in their contract.

In less tenebrous climes…

Isn’t that a great word? Translations of the Greek epics describe Hades — which was just an underworld populated by the shades of the deceased, not Hell as in a place of torture — as “tenebrous.” Shady. 😀

In less tenebrous climes, the new glass shade arrived to replace the one I busted a couple weeks ago. None of us — we’re talking moi and not one, not two, but three lamp store and repair folks — could find one just like the deceased. The closest I could find is not opaline — it’s just milk-white — and is shallower & flatter than the late lamented shade. However, if you’d never seen the old shade, you sure wouldn’t know any better. I think it will do the job just fine. And to my amazement, it fits in the fixture and accommodates a 3-way bulb just fine.

The Lamps Plus dude proposed to adjust the fixture to make it fit exactly, which I suppose would be nice. But the fact is, it looks fine and I fail to see why it needs any adjustment.

And also in the lights department: The middle bathroom in my house is illuminated by a pair of matching wall fixtures, one on each side of the mirror over the sink, that each use a couple of small halogen lights. Naturally, one of those crapped out this morning.

So it was off to French’s Electric Co to try to snare replacement bulbs. Good luck, I figured, since every light bulb that works has been taken out of our sticky little hands.

To my surprise, they had a few! 40 watts, said he. So I bought the whole boxful, sensing that these will not be around much longer.

Indeed, when I got home I found that 40 watts was what the fixture was rated for…but that the other bulb in the lamed fixture was a 120-watt number. Jeez. So I replaced them both, elegantly not touching the glass on the things. Perfect!

Then I noticed that another bulb was out on the other fixture. Replaced that. Noticed that the two bulbs in there were also 120 wats. Hm.

BUT…the result was gorgeous! Much brighter than the incumbents…so much so that one could in theory paint one’s face in front of that mirror, which until today has not been an option. It’s been much too dim in that bathroom to make up your face.

I hope these will last. The upshot, though, was that I used two of the four lights I’d bought, trying to stockpile three of them for future use. So now I’ll have to go back over to French’s and buy another box of them, hoping to have enough to last into my dotage.

What a stockpile I have in the storage room! Almost every drawer is jammed with incandescent lightbulbs. That’s how much I hate, loathe, and despise the eye-stinging light from those horrid LED things. Once my stash is gone, I guess, I’ll have to switch to candles.

Since I habitually turn off the lights whenever I leave a room (unless I have to go out after dark and need to make it look like maybe someone’s home), light bulbs last a LONG time at the Funny Farm. A couple of those bulbs in the bathroom had been there since I had the fixtures installed — sixteen years ago. So I expect eight or twelve extras will last until I croak over. And then some.

February 22, 2020
by funny
0 comments

Rain on the Roof…

 

Looks like the deluge predicted for the Valley is starting to let up. Hereabouts, a patter on the roof started around 4 a.m. Rained pretty briskly for most of the morning, and now, pushing noon, it’s still drizzling.

But gray. Warm and gray.

We’re supposed to sing at a wedding this afternoon. What a glum day for a wedding!

Reminds me of the day the ex- and I married. We’d had to put the wedding off and put it off and put it off, because my father was stuck at sea in a major storm off Alaska. Finally we gave up and went ahead without him.

And of course, the day we selected to go ahead with the ceremony willy-nilly: that was the day the storm blew across the desert from the West Coast. It rained just like it’s doing now, all day long and into the night.

I remember thinking that I’d been told rain on your wedding day was a bad augur, an omen of bad luck.

So it seems.

That evening on our way to a fancy restaurant where we proposed to celebrate our match, the car’s wheel hit a curb and busted the tire. Water was rushing over the curb. D-XH got out of the car, in the dark, in the rain, in the flood…in a suit, in his good shoes…to change the tire.

It was the first and the last time I ever heard him use the F-word.

I, however, use it with gay abandon. 😉

Where were we?

Yes. Rain on the roof.

We got to the restaurant, unhappily. Sat through a dinner, pretending to be gay and delighted. Got home and consummated the marriage.

Which lasted 20 years, give or take. Entertainingly enough, we managed to pick gawdawful weather for every major thing we ever did during that union. The day we moved from our apartment into the Encanto house was Arizona’s hottest day on record. Then we picked a day to move out of Encanto up to snooty North Central in the middle of the heaviest rainy spell on record. The movers’ truck broke down in the middle of a major thoroughfare along about midnight; D-XH ended up driving into the black rain in search of them and helping them jump-start the thing, while I huddled on a sofa with our exhausted six-year-old. That was grand fun.

Give me the hottest day on record over the rainiest day on record, any time. As an augur, that is. We loved living in Encanto. I truly hated living in North Central, whose inhabitants surely beat Scottsdale’s in any competition to measure Snooty and Snobby. Lowbrow as I was, I somehow managed to fit in fine with the gentrifying Encanto set. But the got-it-made set in North Central could spot white trash in an instant. What dreadful people!

Sooo…rain on the roof: no, it doesn’t augur well. Not in my experience.

February 20, 2020
by funny
4 Comments

Gaaah! One Thing After Another

Is there an explanation for the one thing after another phenomenon? Clearly, it’s very common. So common that we have a variety of folk terms for it: never rains but it pours…damned if you do, damned if you don’t…Houston, we have a problem…out of the frying pan, into the fire…all part of life’s rich pageant…

Argh! With pageants like this, who needs Mardi Gras?

In the background, we have, as we all recall, the lamp fiasco, the driver’s license nuisance, the raccoon/coatimundi question, the foisting of the raccoon nest upon the Yard Dudes of the Century (more about which, sooner or later), income tax prep, the busted deadbolt, and similar bidness as usual. And in the further background (please, God! Make it as far in the background as possible), the endless series of visits to the Mayo’s ER.

To begin at the ending — or at the latest, because you just know this will not be the end of the infinite cosmic jest — last night as I was flying around getting ready to go to choir, I peered in the mirror to paint myself and saw…WTF?  Some kind of ZIT in my eye????????

Yes. It looks like a little blister or pustule on the white of an eye. It doesn’t hurt. But it’s bloodshot around the damn thing, and it looks potentially ominous. Whaaaa? Infection? Injury? Allergic reaction? Some new fiasco incident upon the dental implant (right below it) that refuses to heal up?

Call the Mayo’s night line. Wait and wait and wait and wait  and wait and wait x 10²²… Paint face, paint face, paint face, comb hair, comb hair, comb hair, pull on clothes, pull on clothes… Finally a nurse gets on the line.

She listens to the sad story, asks a few questions, opines that it’s nothing to get hysterical about (but of course she does so in far more professional-sounding terms), and advises me to douse it with some artificial tears and call back if it doesn’t get better.

Ohhh god. It’s time to leave for choir practice, which won’t end until after 9, when everyplace in reach will be closed.

FLY out the door and, astonishing luck being on my side, zip into the Albertson’s parking lot without a traffic jam and without undue driver nuttiness. See with pleasure that Albertson’s has posted an armed guard in the parking lot, THANK you verymuch (this is a store that I do not enter after dark, not on a bet…not under ordinary circumstances). Race in the door, find a not-very-distracted pharmacist, ask where the “artificial tears” are (whatever those are), and am swiftly directed to the product. Not only that, but she agrees to take my money, so I don’t have to stand in line interminably at a check-out register.

Fly back out, dodge the damn light-rail tracks, circle back through the ‘Hood, and fly down Main Drag East to the Cult HQ, where I arrive just in time for choir practice. Just. Barely.

Two & a half hours later, apply this gunk to the affected eyeball. It’s soothing. But does nothing to clear the bloodshot look. Condition unchanged this morning.

I have receptionist duty at the church this afternoon — which happens to be where this missal originates, right this minute — but before I get out of the house I have GOT to finish the latest Chinese mathematician’s paper, proofread the damn thing, generate visible edits from my copy, and disgorge a statement.

This takes several hours.

Now I’m running late to get ready for the front-office gig.

Send off the edited copy and bill, fly to the back of the house, and start painting my face. The eye thing looks…certainly no better, possibly worse. I’ve looked it up on the Hypochondriac’s Treasure Chest and now believe it to be something called a pingueculum. Apparently it’s not considered very serious, at least not at this stage…but sometimes it does need to be treated with surgery. Godlmighty…here we go again!

Not only that, but there are tumors that can look suspiciously like that. gaaaaaaaa! c -a-a-a-n-c -e-r!!!!

So after I’ve sent off the client’s work, while I’m getting dressed to come down here to the HQ, I get on the phone to the Mayo again, by way of asking: does this thing actually need to be seen by…you know…a DOCTOR? A person with the letters “M.D.” after their name?

My beloved ophthalmologist passed away a long time ago. The guy who took his place was a raving fruitcake. The guy who took that one’s place, a study in overkill. I’ve been getting my eye exams and glasses prescriptions at Costco, whose contract staff do the job with one whole of a helluva lot less hassle and expense.

So I call the Mayo while painting, combing, and clothes-throwing on. And wait and wait and wait and wait  and wait and wait x 10²²… 

Just as their nurse picks up the phone, it’s BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BARK-BING BONG!

ooohhh shee-utt! NOW what?? I’m half-dressed and it’s almost time to go out the door.

Run to the front of the house: it’s SDXB…sur-PRI-I-I-ISE!ˆ

He wants to socialize, just having come away from coffee with one of his oldest cronies. Ruby is having a yap-fest. The nurse is on the phone. I dodge down the hall trying to find enough quiet to explain the issue and ask: is this something that should be seen by a doctor?

“Not yet,” says she. If it hasn’t gotten better in about two weeks, call back and make an appointment.

…godlmighty…

Then…yes: The raccoon/coatimundi/Creature from the Black Lagoon issue…

Ah, I see I haven’t blogged about this one. How could I have let such a juicy story lapse?

So a few days ago, I stumble out into the back yard behind the dawg and find these weird pawprints. Something with very long, strong claws has been digging at the surface of quarter-minus top-dressing in the backyard. Quarter-minus, for the uninitiated, is finely crushed granite. After you lay it down and it gets wet and dries out a few times, it packs down to form a practically weed-proof surface. Unlike gravel, it’s comfortable enough for you and your dog to walk around on barefoot. Also unlike gravel, it looks a lot like the surface of the Sonoran desert. And it doesn’t make your yard look like it belongs in Sun City, home of the green-gravel lawn.

What ARE these? think I

Welp, the locals have spotted both coatimundis and raccoons in the ‘Hood. Our resident gadget enthusiast has set up cameras in his backyard and captured images of a coati cavorting around out there. Other neighbors have caught pictures of raccoons visiting their yards.

A raccoon, I could do without. They make a big mess and can be destructive. A coati, however…ohhh yeah! A pet coati is exactly what the Funny Farm needs. They eat bugs. That scratching behavior reflects an attempt to scruffle up some slugs and such.

However, the foot seems not to be shaped quite like a coati’s. Ultimately we conclude it’s probably a raccoon.

And where do raccoons like to nest? In woodpiles, that’s where. And what do we have in the backyard? Uh huh…

Shortly after I moved in here — 16 freakin’ years ago, for hevvinsake! — SDXB decided to move to Sun City.

SDXB just loved his fireplace. He was very, very fond of sitting in front of a roaring fire. This, apparently, is characteristic of Michiganders and Minnesotans. 😀  To supply his habit, he used to scavenge for firewood hither, thither, and yon. Understand, as a Master Cheapskate our SDXB would never in a million years pay for firewood. Whenever someone would chop down a tree, the remains would be stacked by the curb or in an alley for the trash pickup guys to haul off, once every four months. So he would grab this miscellaneous stuff off the side of the road, whenever he found it.

When the quarrel with Tony the Romanian Landlord erupted — Tony was living in the place right next-door to SDXB — SDXB decided to flee to Sun City.

I was not goin’, though SDXB tried to persuade me to sell the place and move out to Mausoleum West. Even though the judge wouldn’t let us leave the courtroom. Even though my terrorized lawyers begged me not to return to the house and to vacate the place right this goddamn minute. I ain’t a-scared of no Romanian mafiosi!

Reluctant to leave his priceless collection of dead wood behind, he toted it over here and stacked it neatly in my backyard.

And there it has sat, for lo! these 16 years. I tried it a couple times in this house’s fireplace and decided I really, truly HATED the stink it poured into the entire house, and that I really, truly do NOT want to spend my time cleaning out a fireplace. So…I’m pretty sure that’s where both Rattie and the Raccoon have dwelt, on various occasions.

It’s too heavy for me to move en masse, and besides, I don’t have a pickup. But after Rocky the Raccoon arrived on the scene, I figured I was just gonna have to get rid of the rodent habitat.

So my latest plan was to slip the stuff into the alley garbage bins, one piece a week, from now until the end of eternity. This had many practical disadvantages, not the least of which is that it’s illegal. Soo…I was at a bit of a loss as to how to dump it. Stacking it in the alley for the bulk trash guys was not very practical: I don’t have the physical strength to haul that many partially split logs, and I don’t wanna, and if you put the stuff out there before The Time to put out bulk pick-up you’ll get a fine, and…did I say I don’t wanna?

Yesterday, however, I finally prevailed upon the redoubtable Gerardo to remove the stack of rotting, termite-ridden firewood so generously deposited in my backyard lo! these many years ago.

The trick was to ask one of his barely English-speaking cousins to do the job before the boss showed up on the scene. So his guy Tony agreed to do it, in his sweet naïveté. By the time Gerardo arrived on the scene, it was tooo late to wiggle out. 😀

He asked for the usual 50 bucks to haul the debris to the dump (which is a long, LONG drive from here). I gave him 80.

Good riddance to that mess!!

Back to this morning: SDXB hangs around telling me about his buddy’s (very trying) recent Troubles of Old Age (and of landlordship… Mothers, don’t let your children grow up to be landlords!) while I’m pulling on clothes, wrangling the dog, rassling up the things I need to bring with me to the church.

Finally get him out the door, splash some of the drops onto the suspect eyeball, grab the keys and the credit card, and shoot out the door.

At least for a change no aspiring burglars were lurking around the house trying to suss out the easiest way to get in. That’s something. I guess.

Later — tonight, tomorrow, whenever, as long as it’s LATER — I’ve got to get on the phone to the Apple Support gurus and put them up to helping me figure out how to fix the Mail program.

Apple computers have a feature that computer geeks apparently think is passing Kewl but that normal people find aggravating, annoying, and infuriating: you can set it so that when you change windows or switch to different programs, instead of just going “clickola” over to the page you crave, it does this goddamn “slide-show” thing! Like a slide on a slide projector slimpsing over to the next picture to view. It’s time-consuming, it’s irritating, and it screws iup the menu in the bar at the top of the screen. I hate it, hate it, HATE it.

The computer, therefore, is set not to do that.

But apparently there’s some accursed keyboard command that will switch it on, within a given program. And apparently as my hot little fingers were jetting across the keyboard, I unknowingly hit that command, in typo mode. Suddenly, MacMail starts with the car sick-making slide-show mode.

Now I cannot for the life of me find out what that command is, nor can I find, on the Web or anywhere else, how to undo the damn command.

Soooo…there’s another time-sucking hassle waiting to be coped with.

See what I mean? Never a dull fukkin’ moment!

 

February 18, 2020
by funny
0 comments

Lampquest!

And so it was off into the rising sun…

With a printout of a candidate glass lampshade from the Lamps Plus manager, along about midmorning I set out for Phoenix Lamps, a venerable shop that has occupied the same hole-in-the-wall on east Indian School Road for years. Nay, decades.

This is not a place to which I would normally avail myself, because years ago — yea verily, decades ago — their staff was unforgivably rude to me. Never have I returned, and never did I intend to return. But the Hinkley’s lady and the Lamps Plus lady assured me that the joint has changed hands, and the new proprietors were capable of behaving themselves as if they cared whether customers ever came back.

Welp…they’re right. Staff there were visibly human, and they managed to be very nice to me, despite the crankiness of my quest.

Traffic, though? Not so much. I dawdled until around 11 a.m. before dragging unhappily out the door. That was a mistake. Traffic in all directions, on all routes was just effing fierce. What are all these clowns doing out on the roads in the middle of the effing morning?

Lamps Plus is parking-lot challenged. They have only a cramped space behind their strip-mall slot for customers to stash their cars. No doubt under ordinary circumstances, this would have been fine. Today, though, was not an ordinary circumstances day.

The store was busy — several parties perusing every item in the store. This would explain why the slot I hogged was the only parking spot left behind the place. But despite the demands on his time and attention, the guy I met up with was very kind and very knowledgeable.

Upon inspecting the wounded Restoration Hardware lamp, he agreed that the proposed replacement glass thing suggested by the Lamps Plus manager was probably the best bet. That notwithstanding, he hauled out a gigantic Sears-Catalogue of the lamp industry and searched. And came up with the same choice. But, he allowed, this thing was not a-gonna fit in the RH lamp: it probably would be too short and too loose. However, his crew could fix that: they could build up the base for the thing and adjust it so the proposed shade would sit there with an adequate degree of stability.

So, he suggested, I should order this thing online, bring it and the crippled lamp in to the shop, and they would make it all work.

Holy mackerel. If the gods aren’t snickering, they surely are smiling.

From there, it was off to the Trader Joe in Town and Country (20th Street & Camelback)…after a lengthy wait until the disabled lady who kindly blocked the entrance and exit to the Lamps Plus parking lot with her van reached a point where she felt inclined to move the thing. Staff were not inclined to demand that she get off the dime, so this took awhile. Didn’t bother me — I had nothing else to do — but some customers were a shade miffed. That notwithstanding, staff steadfastly demurred to the lady in the walker.

{chortle!}

Town & Country hosts the snootiest and the snobbiest of the Biltmore nouveau-riche set, and by the time I got there — the lunch hour — the twits were out in force. Parking-lot challenged? Lemme tellya… Fortunately, I prefer to walk a ways (exercise, ya know) and I am…well…assertive. No. Of course I’m not aggressive. Who, me? 😉 I manage to shove the mini-SUV into a spot and hike in to the annoying Trader Joe’s.

Really. Was there some reason I didn’t go to Sprouts, where low-brow types like myself belong? Oh, yeah: the insufficient parking lot. Ohhh well…

The place was simply mobbed. Riots of shoppers, fighting kicking and biting to get at the desired products. Some poor lady was there who had a toddler that…well, the child had simply effing had enough of this bullshit and, trapped in a shopping cart’s kiddie seat, was SHRIEKING HER FRAZZLED LITTLE HEAD OFF.

Poor baby.

Poor mom.

Poor Trader Joe’s shoppers.

I grab the stuff I need, one item I don’t need, and learn that no, of COURSE no self-respecting TJ’s carries anything so déclassé as chocolate chips. Pay. Out the door. Back across the hectic parking lot. Into the car.

And there have to do to-the-death battle with the young, the rich, and the overprivileged just to get out of the fucking parking space.

No joke. Between the parking space and the lot’s exit, three different privileged goddamn wretches deliberately cut me off.

God, but I hate rich people.

Having been a rich person for a significant slab of my life, I can say that. F*ck you all, Rich Wretches!….

Westward on Camelback toward the poor folks’ district. Stop off at Total Wine to pick up a bottle of Everclear, which is damn-near pure ethanol.

Don’t drink this stuff, please. It’s grain alcohol and very much of it will make you plenty sick, if it doesn’t kill you. What it kills even more effectively, though, is microbes. Back a few months ago, I learned (purely by serendipity) that it’s about the most efficient killer of MRSA bugs that you, I, or our doctors can get ahold of. I want some more of it, to use as an antiseptic.

The plonk acquired with surprisingly little hassle, it’s back on the road, headed for AJ’s. My GOD the traffic! Bumper to angry bumper to frustrated bumper to lunatic bumper.

Because I stay off the roads during the rush hours and the lunch hour, I haven’t seen mobs of cars like that in years. And hope not to see them again, unless some taxicab or Uber driver is doing battle with them.

Finally crawl into the AJ’s parking lot. Park a good hike away from the door. This, too, is a purveyor of goods favored by the Rich and the Rude, so navigating their parking lot when it’s full is…well…an adventure. Grab a few goodies and lunch, fly out the door…and find myself once again jousting with The Entitled. One sh!thead cuts me off at the exit, so I veer around him to the other exit and get onto the road before the SOB can. Mwa ha ha!

Driving in Phoenix: a competitive sport.

On Central, too — northward into an upscale residential district — the road was just packed. Managed to veer over to 7th Avenue, which for reasons incomprehensible was much neglected, and shoot up north to the ‘Hood, relatively unmolested.

Finally, home!

Yea verily, back at the Funny Farm. Lampshade thing ordered. Chow scarfed down. A third of a bottle of white wine swilled. And now…enough, already! The dog and I are falling into the sack for a nap.

February 17, 2020
by funny
6 Comments

…And I’m complaining…WHY?

Ever have one of those moments when you find yourself wonderingWhy am I whining about _[fill in the blank_“?

Coming nigh to the close of another full day of batting from pillar to post — doggy walk, grocery run, Home Depot run, Lowe’s run, Best Buy run, electric supply store run, bird feed project, mess pick-up, correspondence catch-up, real estate surveillance check, feast cooking, raccoon tracking, and on and on and endlessly on — I find myself wondering…why the hell do I worry about the chronic insomnia that rousts me around 2 or 3 every morning, when in fact during the day I DON’T FEEL TIRED?

In fact, I feel quite peppy all day: no sense of insomniac fatigue or crankiness.

Maybe — could it be? — just maybe going to bed around 9 or 10 p.m., waking up at 2 or 3 (= 5 hours’ sleep), loafing in the dark until 4 or 5 a.m., then falling back to sleep and waking up around 6 or 7 a.m. (= 5 + 2 hours sleep, for a total of 7 hours) is perfectly reasonable? The upshot is around seven hours’ of sleep, despite a two- or three-hour hiatus. Seven hours is thought to be normal and healthy for the agèd human. What is the difference whether you sleep 7 hours straight from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., or 7 hours off and on between around 9 p.m. and around 7 a.m.?

Seems to me if you feel fine the next day, all day, there really is no difference.

How many other things do we whine about when…really…they make no difference?

  • The homicidal traffic and our fellow moronic drivers? If we get from point A to point B without killing each other, does it really make any difference?
  • Our crazy relatives whose political opinion pigheadedly differs from our enlightened wisdom: this makes a difference how?
  • The gas price at the QT was 22 cents higher than at the Costco, where we had to drive an extra 7 miles (14 miles round-trip) to avail ourselves of the bargain: this changed our lives how?
  • The city raises its monthly trash collection bill by $2.46: our lives are destroyed by this to what extent?

Huh. Think o’ that.

What’s your favorite whinge?

February 14, 2020
by funny
0 comments

Lamp Tragedy: Rays of Light

Sorry: couldn’t resist that one. But yes: there are some twinkles of hope now, in the wake of the Great Lamp Tragedy. After spending half of yesterday traipsing to lamp stores, I ended up shooting down to the spectacularly pricey Hinkley’s after finishing Front Desk duty at the church.

There I met a saleslady who looked like she was hired fresh out of modeling school. And she suggested — why didn’t I think of it? — taking note of the lamp’s stock number (embossed on the bottom of the base) and asking Restoration Hardware if they can come up with a replacement.

Freaking brilliant!

Haven’t had time to do that yet: I’m back down at the church now, and the instant I get off duty here I have to race back to the house, let the dog out for 10 minutes, then race down to the Old Folkerie to pick up my dear friends to go to their favorite fancy restaurant to celebrate their anniversary.

Sooo much better than wrestling with the busted lamp conundrum.

This morning was full of busy tasks, so didn’t get to besieging RH today. This evening if I’m up to it I’ll look up that number and send an email.

BUT… That is not the only lead.

Whiling away the afternoon here at the church (the school is closed for a long weekend and the phone has rung all of once), I started cruising the Web. Eventually thought…hmmm…is it remotely possible that Amazon has these things?

Over to the evil empire; enter “torchière glass lamp shade,” and up come dozens of them. Few are what I would want. But hey: here’s the whole damn lamp for eighty bucks! It’s not identical, but it’s mighty close. Dollars to donuts that shade on the thing will fit the fancier one. And if it doesn’t? Either send it back or, if it’s not too hideous, use the whole lamp and stash the other one while searching for a shade that will work.

Meanwhile, a commenter at Amazon remarked that they had found a replacement torchière shade at Lowe’s. Of all places! Well, I don’t see just the shades, but they have a pile of (inexpensive) torchière floor lamps. Home Depot has even more of them!

Who’d’ve thunk it?