Coffee heat rising


i wanna get off!

Seriously… Don’t you feel like we’ve gone through the Looking Glass and come out on the other side?

Fires and smoke consuming Canada and the East Coast. War rages on in Eastern Europe. A living former president of the United States is indicted for a felony. A former prime minister of Great Britain stalks off the job. And Apple brings us a technology that blends reality and fantasy into one weird world.

Not that the world wasn’t already weird enough….

  • Boris Johnson, yes, quits as the UK’s prime minister — a little too much indiscretion about the partying.
  • Mark Zuckerberg brings us a fancy new headset that blends reality with fantasy. And why not? Who can tell the difference, as it is?
  • The former President of the United States is indicted for a felony that he signed into law.
  • Same Pretend President is found to have boxloads of state secrets hidden in his shower.
  • Canada is burning down.
  • The smoke from Canada is asphyxiating the northeastern U.S.
  • Chat GPT is scaring the bedoodles out of the guy who developed it.
  • A logjam of cargo ships is already piling up off the West Coast: more to come.
  • There’s such a thing as “revenge travel” these days.
  • AI is charging up the road like a demented buffalo.
  • A new prescription treatment for Alzheimer’s is coming up the pike. Let’s hope it works! 😀 It’ll be just about on time for the likes of me. Unfortunately, it appears to have a high incidence of untoward side effects. Plus to get it, you have to have a biweekly IV infusion — doesn’t that sound like fun!


Ahhh, the Gnus of the Day.

I refuse to pay for TV. Profoundly, indeed, did I resent our Civic Fathers taking free, off-the-air television away from us. I could see paying for cable if there were something worth watching, or if something that runs regularly were worth paying for. But, alas…unless you’re a sports fan, there really isn’t much of anything that, IMHO, is worth plunking down a monthly fee.

Seriously: if you have the Internet (which most of us do), you can import just about all the televised drivel you can stand to contemplate, right on your computer. Ad-free. I use a big iMac to follow the news and the very few PBS shows still worth watching. Why pay extra for that stuff?


Meanwhile, closer to home:

I’ve been too sick to pay the bills, what with this li’l covid adventure. Most of them autopay. But a couple don’t, because I don’t much trust this or that vendor. Cox, alas, is one of them. Just realized I probably didn’t pay the recent Cox bill, because I’ve been too distracted to notice which bills were what.

So tomorrow I’ll have to get on the phone and pay that by charging it up on the AMEX card.



One of covid’s interesting effects is to render your brain nonfunctional. Thus: never did hit “publish” on this post. Never did pay the phone bill.

Still seem to be online, though. First thing after dawn (it’s about 3 a.m. now), the phone predicament will have to be dealt with.

Coughing coughing coughing coughing. Every BARK BARK BARK rips into the spavined back and the sore hip.

Gotta try to get back to sleep!

Still Kickin’…

After a fashion, anyhow…

Okay, WordPress is hijacking this post
….Abandoning…trying to save.

If it goes online prematurely, have no fear…I’l be back. Maybe.


Where were we?

This mini-episode is par for today’s course. Whatever I’ve touched today has gone ker-PLOOIE! And, truth to tell, that’s gettin’ a little old…

Today was a classic Day from Hell, Arizona style.

Yes. In Arizona, all you have to do to evoke a Day from Hell is to climb into your car and venture forth across the roads. WHAT a place! Crowded, unruly, batsh!t crazy. Just getting from here to there will leave you feeling a little crazed.

Wanted to go to a Walgreen’s or similar pharmacia to see if I could snare another electric steamer, the kind that boils HOT water and wafts the steam in your direction, rather than the kind that turns cold water into fog.

Good luck with that.

Along the way, I traipsed to the west side, there to visit the credit union. Argued with their rep. Could NOT make the guy grasp the concept that one of my checking accounts is co-owned with my son…for a REASON. (Dear Son uses it as a collection pail for money devoted to the mortgage on the downtown house, which we happen to co-own. This concept apparently is too arcane for the average Joe Schmoe. Oh well.)

Finally untangled the mess there (I hope), was able to get into the account (which doesn’t mean I could do so again, right this minute), and discovered I need to extract another few thou’ from Fidelity to pay this month’s AMEX bill.

NO idea how, but I seem to have hugely overcharged on the AMEX card. Not clear how or why, because I can’t get my hands on an AMEX statement. Tomorrow will have to get on the phone and ask them to send me another paper statement.

They, of course, don’t wanna do that. They want you to wrestle and bang around getting online and then spend God Only Knows how may hours trying to untangle the online data.







Right now, though, I’m in no mood to hassle with that.

Traffic in Phoenix is usually awful. Today it was horrific. Every which way you went… There seemed to be no way out of the knots of enraging traffic jams. So what should have taken two twenty-minute drives devolved into a good two hours of trudging through crazy-making traffic.

I hate this place.

Every time I get in my car, that thought wafts across my mind:

I hate this place.

If my son weren’t here, I would be SOOOO gone!

Where would I go, if my son weren’t lurking around demanding that I stay put? Ohhh…I can think of several places:

The Oro Valley, a suburb on the west side of Tucson. It’s getting a bit too suburbanized for my taste these days. But still: it’s quiet, relatively low on crime, and within easy driving distance of the urban amenities offered by Tucson.

Prescott, a large small town up on the Rim. It’s very pretty. Historic. Has a cultural life. Has a reasonably adequate regional hospital. Lots of hiking. Relatively cool weather. And its very own Costco. (What more could a person want?)

Santa Barbara (California), up the hill from the downtown area. This would require a fair amount of money…but wtf? You can’t take it with you.

Santa Fe, New Mexico. I suppose. Actually, you need rather more disposable cash than I have laying around to live comfortably and exotically in Santa Fe. But hey! Where have we heard it before? Ya can’t take it with you!

Some parts of Mexico. Ajijic, for example.

But the truth is, few venues can replace the one I have. Not for an old bat, anyway. This place is close to shopping. Close to decent doctors. Within striking distance of the Mayo Clinic. Diversely populated by people of all ages and several ethnicities. Provided with halfway decent K-8 schools. As centrally located as you can get without being in a mid-town high-rise. Lots of greenery. Served by one of the best high schools in the nation. Within walking distance (in certain seasons) of excellent grocery stores. And now we have our very own damned…uhm…coveted light-rail.

All of which is neither very much here nor every much there.

What is very much here: Bed-time!


And (cough!) today….

Yes: Today is still today. The world has not collapsed into a ball of bread dough. The air conditioning (thank the heavens) is still working.

Seen from the underside:

It’s too hot to breathe, AC or no AC. My right eye continues to fuliminate and as we scribble consists of one blue-green pupil in a field of bright blood-red.

Mercifully, it doesn’t hurt.

That’s something. I guess.

The covid (or whatever it is) continues to hold forth, though I’ll say today the cough is a little milder. However, I still have a fever: 98.2, it sez here.

For normal people, that sounds OK. But it must be borne in mind that I am a spectacularly cold fish. Normal for me is about 97. 5, and even that is on the high side. So we have about one degree of fever, which ain’t that bad. But which I could surely do without.

Just tried to clean and flush the steamer, which had about stopped dead as of dawn this morning. Kinda doubt it’ll do much good. Managed to fish a few little flakes of calcium out of the thing, but not enough to interfere much with its operation. So I don’t think “clogged up” is its problem.

“Clogged up” is sure my problem, though. My head is stuffed. My chest hurts. Breathing is a chore. The cough is dramatic. And I’m real tired o’ this stuff. 😀

Having done nothing today, I’m deathly tired and would love to go to sleep. That seems not likely to happen, though.

I should get up, get dressed, trudge down to the Walgreen’s through the chilly 95-degree heat, and buy another steamer. But ohhhhhh I don’t wanna!!

First place, you just know that if I traipse down to the Walgreen’s, I’ll find they don’t carry the things anymore.

Next, you know I won’t be able to find anything like it. This thing gets hot, and of course Big Brother wouldn’t want any of us to hurt our little pea-brained selves, so probably you can’t get your sticky little hands on it it. Or on anything like it.

Hmmm… This thing looks kinda similar. Mine is not that brand, but its design is like unto it. Now waitaminit…apparently you can rev these things up by adding salt to the water.

Why not? The thing is already not working. The worst that can happen is adding salt will totally bust it. Either way, I’ll have to trudge out in search of another one, or  order this one from Amazon (which will take another two days to get here).


4:20 p.m.

How can it possibly be this early? Feels like it should be about 8:00 or 8:30 p.m.

But it’s not. It’s actually late(ish) afternoon. Ugh!

The salt-in-the-water experiment: YES!!!


No kidding. To my astonishment, adding a tablespoon of ordinary table salt to the gallon or so of water in the steamer’s tank revved it right up! Within 10 or 15 minutes, it was pumping out steam.

Who’dve thunk it?

Actually, it’s revved the thing up so much that a tankful of water is unlikely to last all night. Highly unlikely. But for the nonce, it’s pumping steam into the victim’s face, and I can sorta almost breathe.

At any rate, the contraption is working for the nonce. Probably I’ll have to get up in the middle of the night and fool with it. But that will mean I’ll have managed to steal half a night’s sleep. Which would be some kinda miracle.


Please, Li’l AC Unit: DON’T die now!

Argh! Sitting here on the bed, feeling damn miserable and contemplating what to write, if anything, for today’s post, and the air conditioner, which has been pounding away all this hot, hot afternoon, goes...plunk! into SILENCE.

Ohhhhhh damn. It’s 6:30 and there’s no way I’ll get a repairman over here before the middle of the day tomorrow. If that soon.

As I continue to sit here, now feeling d-o-o-o-med, it turns right back on.

Whew! Hold that pose, dear Gadget!

Let’s hope it lasts until tomorrow morning. If it craps out tonight, I’ll have to take the dog and go to a motel. Can’t take this hacking, barking fulminating disease down to my son’s house…so we’ll have to cough (heh!!) up a chunk of dough to get into a cool-ish room. Goody….

COUGH is the operative term here. Cough and cough and cough and cough and cough and…. My gawd!

Well, truth to tell, the hacking has died down a little since yesterday, even since this morning. Either that or it’s me that’s dying down…

The covid infection does, maybe, seem to be fading back a little. Temp is down to 98.8 just now. That’s fairly high for me. Being a cold fish, my normal temp is about 97.6. Or lower. So anything over 98 is a fever for me. But I figure if it’s under 99, it’s a fairly low fever.

Fished the old steamer out of the back of a closet, filled it with water, set it on a TV table next to the bed, aimed it at my face, and plugged it in. Don’t know if it makes much difference, but figure it can’t do any harm. The air in Arizona is normally dry, and at this time of year, as spring goes out and summer contemplates its attack, we’re parched.

The WonderAccountants are having a family shindig over there across the street — the whole tribe has descended on them. She brought me a hamburger, which was mighty nice!

Life “in Today’s Modren Society”

LOL! This morning, I’m reminded of one of my students’ favorite turns of phrase: “In today’s modern society,” to be followed by a low-key rant on some clichéd topic. Invariably, the kid would spell it “modren.” 😀

Funny li’l critters, students are.

Guess I’m with them today, though. Have you noticed how many things that we old bats have taken for granted for years are now difficult, even impossible to procure?

Today’s rant is inspired by the need to replace a plush bathroom rug. The incumbent has arrived in extreme old age, much the worse for wear thanks to Ruby trying to plump it up with her claws. Whenever I can again breathe without coughing my lungs out, I need to go over to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and pick up another one…


wait wait… 

There is no more Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

Uh oh.

Well, surely I can get it at a Penney’s.


At Sears?


Maybe the Broadway?

I’m gonna pay Broadway prices for a freaking nylon bathroom mat?????

Wait wait: the two Broadways near my part of town are closed down anyway.

No. Like everyone else, I’m gonna order it from Amazon.

And here it is! In 87 gerjillion colors. And five sizes. Mine is 25 x 39 inches. No doubt that equates to Amazon’s 24 x 40 model. Okayyy….it’ll fit. Is it cheap at $28?

I dunno. There’s nothing to compare it with. I’d have expected to pay about 15 to 18 bucks…but then, yah: it’s been awhile since I bought one.

Speaking of comparing, is it comparable to the one I have? It looks the same in Amazon’s image. But I dunno: I can’t actually see it, touch it, feel it.

With all the home stores around here shut down — except for Target, which may or may not have these little rugs — I really have little choice but to order the thing online. The Broadway, which used to carry this sort of thing, has long been shut down here, merged with Macy’s…imagine what that outfit will charge! Forgodsake: 48 to 72 bucks! FOR THE SAME PRODUCT!

How do these places even begin to compete with Amazon?

Welp…if I’m going to have to buy a new rug, I’m sure as hell not gonna pay two or three times as much as Amazon is charging. I’ll take my chances with the quality and order one up online.

And that is life in Today’s Modren Society.

Humanity…HOW have we survived?

Seriously, how HAS a creature so many of whose representatives seem dumb as posts managed to survive at all? Gawd, but humans are stupid!

Out the door this morning, in an early hour of a hot, sticky morning: doggy-walk time.

Ruby dearly loves to walk around the park. The human dearly hates it.

No doubt Ruby loves it first, because our yard has no grass, so that grass stuff is THE bidness. And second, because the damn place is overrun with dogs, many of them as ill-trained as she is. Whatever her sentiment, a visit to the beloved park means an hour-long Dawg Drag for the human: she hauls me around the park at the end of her lead, jerking here and jerking there.

She arrived here at the Funny Farm just as I was getting both boobs lobbed off at the Mayo. Upshot was, I had neither the strength nor the inclination to leash-train an obstreperous puppy. Upshot of that is: the morning dawg-drag.

This would be OK if other people would keep their dogs more or less under control.

Today, for a change, we didn’t encounter any dogs off the lead over there. The “dogs must be on leash” sign at the entrance is for other people, y’know… But on-leash dawg or off-leash dawg, Ruby wants to lunge at them, yanking me with her.

And today, just barely beginning to recover from the Cough from Hell, I am distinctly NOT in the mood to be jerked around.

I should call a vet and try to get a recommendation for a professional dog trainer. My dearly beloved, now long-retired vet did that for me when I had Anna the German shepherd. The guy he referred me to was a miracle-worker. Seriously: he had that dog under control in two sessions.

Heh! Here’s a new movie series, V, which really does bring up the question of how humanity will survive — the inevitable alien invasion, o’ course. Unreality oozes out of the production room, though, and comes to visit us right here. If it just weren’t so…true to life… 😮 Substitute a virus for the aliens, and you’ve got it.

Speaking of survival — or not: This morning I felt like maybe the agèd body was begin to schuck off the Killer Virus. Now, late in the afternoon, it seems to be thundering back. Dunno about you, though, but in my case whenever I come down with a bug like this, it’s always worst in the late afternoon. It’s 4:30 as we scribble. Can’t sleep — not least because of some moron coming door-to-door trying to hustle up lawn maintenance business. If I hadn’t been busy hammering at Death’s Door, I would have taken him up on that, since Gerardo and the boys have disappeared into the forest.

While hammering, though, I spent half the day driving from pillar to post through Phoenix’s Hellish L.A,-style traffic.

Up to Young Dr. Kildare’s office. They insist I owe them $160, even though I’ve repeatedly tried to pay them. Why my payments don’t go through escapes me. And them, too…apparently.

So I staggered through a covid fog up to his place and insisted on paying the bill in person. This time they took my AMEX card, even though over the phone his staff insists they don’t accept credit-card payments.

Why? Is there some REASON to inflict a mindless hassle like this on your clients? What, really, is the point?

Then it was over to the credit union, to check in person if there was some reason earlier payments didn’t go through. Staff were as mystified as I was.

So now I’ll have to ride herd on that nonsense for a couple of weeks, But…in my covid haze, I’ll be damned if I can get through the online hoop-jumps to access my account. So that means I’ll have to drive back up there again in another ten days or two weeks. Better put that on the calendar, or I’ll forget it.

Hmmm…in other sylvan realms…

Think solar power will be our over-developed planet’s savior? Think again!  We’ve been merrily trashing the Mohave Desert, sucking up its water and blighting its surface.

{sigh}  Y’know, folks…there’s only one solution to the Kill Mother Nature problem: that’s to QUIT MAKING BABIES.