Coffee heat rising

Another Fine Day in Solitary Confinement

Ever wonder what on earth you thought you were doing? And why on earth you forgot you were doing anything, whatever TF it was?

This afternoon I stumble out into the front patio and find, perched atop the wall, my brand-new 2022 calendar. Apparently several days ago I must have carried it out there (why??? when????) and then carelessly left it sitting out in the weather.

And weather we had: two days of intermittent rain. The thing is drenched and dried, all wrinkled up, the entries I’d inked in melted.

Not to repeat my idiot self, but why?  Why did I do this and when did I do it and why did I wander off and leave the damn thing sitting out there?? A-a-a-n-d…how did I forget it for several days? It’s been two days since it stopped raining.

Come to think of it…did I take that latest load of clothes out of the washer??



Hm…imagine that!


Out this evening with Ruby the Corgi, for a half-mile stroll a-eyeballing the Christmas decorations.  The young people who have moved into the ’Hood have run AMOK with the Christmas lights, and it is a hoot!  Almost every house is cascading in lights.

Mine isn’t, alas. I’d love to decorate the house, but there is no way in Hell (or in some manger, either) that I’m gonna climb up around the eaves and the roof and the tree branches…not once but twice, first to get the stuff up and then to haul it down and put it away. But that Scroogification doesn’t stop me from enjoying the fruits of other folks’ labor.

Ruby, being a dog, loves a doggywalk. And like her larger cousins the German shepherds, she’s interested in clearing the land of other dogs. 😀

Dog-lovers just do NOT get it when you tell them to keep their pooches away from your cannibalistic canine. Godlmighty, but people are stupid.

This afternoon we were walking in the park and came upon some nut case who had a squeaky toy, with which she was trying to lure Ruby over to the park bench where she and her dog had taken up residence. I had to make a long detour around that nitwit…she saw me trying to avoid her, which of course led her to squeak squeak squeak all the more vociferously.

Ruby, like Anna the German shepherd, is inclined to bite other people’s unrestrained dogs. Anna truly desired to kill them. What Ruby has in mind, deep in the depths of her canine soul, remains unclear. And I don’t wanna find out. The thing is, people are so effing STUPID about their dogs — and about your dog — that you just can NOT convince to keep their animal under control. When you ask them to call their loose dog or keep a grip on a leash, they’ll simper and coo “ohh don’t worry, they just wanna plaaayyy!”

Right. If removing your dog’s head is play, no doubt that’s so…

l think this murderous streak is characteristic of herding dogs. Though a corgi is little and fluffy and cute and looks a whole lot like a stuffed animal, the fact is they are bred to herd livestock and kill rats and foxes. And another fact is, they regard their humans as sheep, which must be protected and guarded. In that respect, they behave very much like German shepherds.

Later this afternoon a lady walked by on the other side of the street with a little white dog on a lead and a funny little black dog following her. Turns out the li’l black dog had been wandering loose and decided to adopt the woman. When Ruby tried to catch it, I realized it belonged to the neighbors cattycorner across the the street. When Joel (dad neighbor) heard the commotion, he came over and retrieved his funny-looking pooch. Very silly.

DepositPhoto; Rainy Weather © dnaumoidSoooo many things the decrepit brain spins its gears on, though! The rain-soaked calendar is the most egregious…of today, that is. This morning I realized I’m going to have to make a whiteboard list of all the things that need to be done, every day. Because…I can NOT remember them!

Today I noticed I hadn’t paid the Cox bill and one of the other recurring nuisances. Most of the utility bills are set up to auto-pay, but Cox is…welll…not what one would want to trust to get things right. So I feel a need to SEE that worthy corporation’s bills before letting go of the cash to pay them.

This, of course, requires…well…actually LOOKING at the bills. Which I failed to do this month.

Got that straightened out. But meanwhile the credit union has fancified its sign-in procedure, adding yet another layer of difficulty to hassle with. So that was frustrating and annoying. I may be reduced to having to pay recurring bills with checks again. Which is NOT a good thing, IMHO.

Then we had another Old-Lady Fret-Fest over the need to make at least one grocery run between now and the Christmas shopping frenzy. I’d figured I’ll go over to AJ’s on Friday afternoon.

All day today I’ve been thinking this is Thursday afternoon.

Right. That’s even though I spend every Thursday afternoon twiddling my thumbs in the church office!!!!  Why on earth could I possibly imagine today is Thursday and so I shouldn’t have to charge out into the traffic?

Wishful thinking, no doubt…

Along about two o’clock I tumbled to this little fact of life…just as I was about to fix the decent meal of the day. Dayum!!!! Drop everything, jump in the car, trudge through the traffic to the store, fight the crowds, trudge back…arrrhhhggghhh! 

But wait, wait!

Just as I’m scouting up the car keys, it dawns on me: Hey, stupid! You can send Instacart to do that! 

See what I mean? It takes me a half-hour or forty minutes to figure THAT out?????????

So tomorrow morning I’ll send an underling out to buy what I need to last the 10 days or so until the Christmas shindig. That will relieve me of a great deal of Christmas-Rush Hassle… But the question is, why on earth would I forget all about Instacart, when I was using them about once every week or ten days for a couple or three months? Mothballs in the brain?

I suspect this abrupt influx of senility reflects a combination of advancing age, chronic low-level pain, and the endless isolation brought on by the accursed plague. Ever since the disease descended on us — what, two years ago, now? — I have had almost ZERO social interaction. With anyone. Choir shut down. So did the church, more or less. WonderAccountant and I stopped going to concerts. My son is locked in his house, telecommuting. And of course you couldn’t get me into a classroom on a bet. Or on a lightrail train. Or just about anywhere else. Almost all my human interactions have taken place in doctor’s offices, dentist’s offices, and (occasionally) grocery stores.

No wonder I’m going nuts!

Scott, our beloved and retired choir director, is guest-conducting this week. We’re supposed to meet tomorrow morning for rehearsal. But alas…I would not risk my life to sing in a church, not on a BET. Choral singing is about the most dangerous thing you can do during a contagion. And given my amazing susceptibility to respiratory infections, you may be sure that if I catch this thing, it’ll be the end of me.

They’re saying the Pfizer shots are about the most effective vaccine we’ve got…but truth to tell, that’s not very effective. Apparently the omicron strain has found its way around all three vaccines, though the Moderna version was evidently pretty useless from the git-go. I’ve had three shots from Pfizer…but still…do I really want to tempt fate so I can sing a few hymns in a church choir?

Mebbe not so much…

Driving in Phoenix…with God as My Copilot

Human, weaseling her way through stupendous traffic:  Good gawd!

Divinity: Yasss?

Human: Ooops! Uh-oh…

Divinity: What d’you want now?

Human: Well…uhm.,.well, Your Godship…why do you keep doing that?

Divinity: Which of the infinity of things that I keep doing have you got in mind?

Human: You know…the thing with the morons?

Divinity: Which morons?


Divinity: Well…possibly every driver on the road except thee is a moron.

Human: Your Godship! Not all of God’s Critters can be morons!

Divinity: I wouldn’t put any money on that, if I were you.

Human: Okay, okay. But…then why do all the morons in the freakin’ world stream out of their houses, leap into their cars and get in front of me every time I turn on the ignition?

Divinity: Hmmmm…..  Fate?

Human:  But Your Godship: you are Fate!

Divinity: One could argue that.

{sigh} Evidently God has it in for me.

Hopped in the jalopy along about noonish yesterday and headed down toward Sassy Glasses, La Maya’s favorite overpriced eyewear store — whose denizens have shown themselves to be a) exceptionally competent and b) well connected with other professionals in the eyeball profession. I need a referral to an exceptionally competent ophthalmologist to deal with the latest Joy of Old Age that I’ve developed.

Right away, at Main Drag South and toney Central Avenue, I come across a fender-bender. A pretty young woman has rear-ended a young man’s vehicle at the light. She is weeping. He is stalking across the intersection headed for the condos on the east side, where he evidently lives or has pals who can help out.

Should I stop and see if she is OK? Should I call 911?

No. All young people have cell phones and they all know how to call 911. No doubt the cops and the medics are en route. Best to get the Hell outta the way.

Continue toward the eastern edge of the North Central commercial district, wherein resides the glasses place. Is it…wait, wait…is it really early afternoon on a Monday? W…T…F?????? Traffic is just freakin’ FIERCE.

Finally make my way to the parking lot at the strip shopping center where Sassy Glasses resides. After a fight, get parked near the front. Hop out, saunter over to the entrance, and…find the door LOCKED.

At the risk of repeating myself, think WTF???????

Figure it must actually be Sunday, not Monday. Dayum!

Loop back toward AJ’s, there to buy tonight’s dinner and a few not-too-perishables for the upcoming Xmas chivaree with my son.

Westward/southward bound, the roads are JUST JAMMED. It’s 2:00 in the afternoon! What. The. Hell?

Get to AJ’s. Buy a few provisions. Ask the butcher if I need to reserve a pair of those gorgeous prime rib steaks to pick up right before Christmas. He says no, that’ll be OK.

Head back up North Central.

Realize I’d better bypass Central and Northern, the site of the fender-bender. Detour across a minor main drag that bisects a neighborhood flanking Central, continue past 7th, and veer north on 15th, a feeder street that feeds, all right: the Capitol district with traffic cruising in from the west side, the north side. and  dropping off the freeway.

Get up into the hood, by-passing the wrecky-poo scene. Come to the little road into my part of the’ Hood. Signal to turn left.


How DO the Morons know when I’m on the road?

A southbound moron, who has the right-of-way in neon-lit spades, STOPS and gestures the moron before me to turn left in front of him. Illegally. In spades.

My moron accommodates him.


I stop. He gestures for me to turn left, illegally, in front of him.


No, stupid, I am not going to put myself at risk by making an illegal turn in front of oncoming traffic on a sub-main drag, you damnfool MORON. I now turn right into the neighborhood flanking the’Hood, dodging the nitwit.

This of course, takes me out of his way, but it also aims me in the exact opposite of the direction I need to go, through Lower Richistan’s winding roads infested by playing children, frolicking dogs, and watchful parents. Wend my way over four blocks of irrelevant streets. By the time I arrive back at the intersection from whence I dodged the fool, said fool is gone.

Get home. Pissed.

Divine laughter emanates from the graying skies.


Another Lovely Day in Lovely Arizona…

Now we know why “balmy” has that double meaning…

It’s a lovely morning and any time now, my head could stop hurting… Wow! WHAT a day!!!!!

And it’s only half-done. Here I am, down at the church office for the weekly sit-around-doing-nothin’-for-four-hours volunteer gig.

Shortly after dawn cracks, word comes in on the cormputer that someone has hacked into my Amazon Sellers account, my websites, my email, and possibly from there they got into my credit union accounts. I believe this attempt was headed off at the pass, but cannot prove it….and am especially alarmed because the CU won’t let me into my business account. The hacker’s strategy was surprisingly credible….so much so that Grayson (FaM’s Web guru) remarked on how well done it was.

Oh, my GAWD, what a series of run-arounds, hassles, and hair-yankers ensued!!!

Of course, you can NOT reach a human at Amazon, not for love nor money.

Getting one on the phone at the credit union: not much better. After I said my next call was going to be to the FBI, one of the CU nabobs finally connected me with their fraud department. This woman managed to get my password changed and get me into my bidness checking account. Far as I could tell, nothing had been siphoned out of it…yet.

So…godlmighty was i ever furious! As you can imagine, that made for a just DUCKY morning — several hours of it!  Once the dust settled, I decided that by dayum! I am closing that seller’s account. The thing has sold exactly zero (count’em: 0) books. It really hadn’t occurred to me that the damn thing represents a security risk to my own bank accounts, forgodsake. But of course it does: a good hacker could easily get access to your account information.

For awhile it looked like I was going to have to cancel this afternoon’s Boredom Shift at the church office, go to one of the CU’s offices, and sit there refusing to leave until someone in charge got off their duff to help untangle the mess. But apparently the simple statement, “…and my next call will be to the FBI” is the banker’s equivalent of “Open Sesame!”

I think that in addition to closing the Amazon seller’s account, I should also close my bidness account at the credit union. There’s a decent amount of money in there, but the truth is, about 97% of it was earned quite some time ago. I haven’t had a decently paying client in many a moon. And the other truth to tell, that’s probably because I can barely contemplate the thought of reading another line of gawdawful Chinglish academicese. Really: I’d make better money cleaning house, and the work would be a whole lot less brain-banging.

Seriously: I need to find something else to fill the empty hours. Before the Plague, I’d thought about volunteering at the wildlife rescue. Now, of course, one would like not to expose oneself to the Disease (to say nothing of rabies, ticks, and fleas). Drawing and painting is a possibility… Heh! The other day, I came across a drawing I’d made of my son while he was in San Francisco and thought…jeez! That thang ain’t half-bad! Maybe I can revive that talent.

Otherwise, while the weather is almost coolish, sorta: maybe a whole lot of hiking? Or else just walking on the flat through the city. Last time SDXB got the bright idea that we should go up the back trail into the Px Mountain Preserve, everybody else and his little brother, sister, mother, father, aunt, uncle, and dog had the same idea. It was just MOBBED up there. Dunno about you, but I do not go hiking in the desert so as to rub elbows with every hoi and polloi in the city. Blee-agh!

The canal is too dangerous — too many bums and pree-verts. But one could just start walking south out of the’Hood or easterly into the fancier realms of North Central. It’s really a lovely area…why not use the whole district as a giant hiking park? If I drove us down here to the Cult HQ, we could leave the car in the parking lot, go down the Central Avenue walking trail south to one of the fancier neighborhoods, and roam back and forth amongst the Mansions of the Richerati. That would be reasonably safe, and if you like over-reaching architecture,  pleasant enough.

OMG! Gary — office manager — toddled in, dropped his lunch dishes in the dishwasher, and then turned on the damn machine. The kitchen/junk room is right adjacent to the reception cubbyhole, and that damn washer is spectacularly un-soundproofed. It whines, a nice steady wooooooooooooooooo. And it thumps: ker-thum-THUMP-thum-thump in perfect harmony with the throbbing of one’s headache. Ohhh gawd, I wanna blow the thing up!

Two more hours to go.

One thing about sitting here twiddling your thumbs all afternoon. You learn some exotic things and meet some exotic folks.

Guy comes sashaying past the windows up to the front door. He’s tall, dark. slender, ever-so-slightly surly-looking, longish hair tightly wrapped to the back/top of his head with an elastic band, and not someone you’d wanna meet at the end of a dark alley.

“‘I’m with Sun Devil Hoods,” says he. “Here to clean the kitchen stove hoods.”

“You prob’ly want the school kitchen.” He looks blank. “Straight across the parking lot.”

The hood guy… LOL! Has ever a man been in a more appropriate job? 😀

One hour and 15 minutes left to go.

UPS Dude: Hallelujah, he knows to put the boxes on the table in the next room. I don’t even have to carry them in there.

One hour and 5 minutes left to go.

A little stack of the past four issues of the Smithsonian, sitting here. My…its former glory has faded. At least, so I think. Was it always 8 1/2 x 11? Was the content always ever so slightly condescending, dumbed down for the ill-educated products of American public schooling? Did it always look like a wan knock-off of National Geographic? Funny…i don’t remember it that way.

Yipes! Phone rings…lifts me out of my chair, here in the silence.

“All Saints Episcopal Church this is Vicky how may i help you?”

“Hello my name is Audrey and i’m with mumble disability yadda blah blah”… A tape recording.

Hang up.

I hate that phone.

59 minutes left to go.

Is this headache and nagging dizzy spell a clue to ambient smog?

Wunderground won’t let me see the weather report without turning off my ad-blocker. FAT chance, Wunderground!

Over to Accuweather: “Air Quality: Excellent.”

Say what?  Sooo…the headache is an incipient covid symptom, right?  Eeeeek!

Are there really people who LISTEN to a tape-recorded telephone sales pitch? Why? Why on earth would a person do that? How stupid would such a person have to be? And why would you want to sell something to someone whose IQ is presumably so limited that it is illegal to enter into a contract with them?

Hungry. Yea verily, one might even say “spectacularly hungry.”

Go by AJs on the way home and pick up some prepared chow for dinner?

Naaahhhh….can’t stand the prospect. Got salmon. Got steak. Got asparagus. Got roasted taters. Got a barbecue. Go straight home.

44 minutes left to go.

Accountant slips out early. She worries that the (UNholy!!!) traffic from the school may not have thinned out yet.

38 minutes left to go.

Gary, having finished off a late lunch, sneaks in and snabs a piece of candy. He’s only slightly heartbreakingly cute…what a doll! Unfortunately, rather too young (by about 35 years).

31 minutes left to go.

Phone jangles.

“All saints episcopal church this is vicky how may i help you?”


Third hang-up of the day.

Fourth, if you count the robocall that I hung up on.

Gary inspects the conference table, seeking more candy. Putters around. Chats. leaves.

27 minutes to go.

Fr Dan out the door. Headed to meet his physical trainer. Right age. But also gay.

What IS it with all the gay staff in this place? 😀  Not to say <3 …

17 minutes left to go.

It’s clabbering up. Please, Gawd, don’t let it rain before I can get home and toss some chow on the grill.

hmmmmmmm…. Yeah, it’s definitely gonna rain. But maybe not very soon.

15 minutes to go.

One ringy dingy two ringy dingies… A woman. Wants Nanette. Nanette has flown the coop. She wants to confirm they arranged for altar flowers for some upcoming rite of passage.

Am I right that Nanette has left? I think so. I’m not getting up to ask, though. Ugh.

Yes I am.

No, I’m wrong: she has not left. She and Gary are trying to get her computer to do some damnfool thing: they’re totally absorbed. I leave the message for her: she’ll probably be just as glad not to have been interrupted.

7 minutes to go.

It’s getting darker out there, damn fast. I yam soooooo hungry! Ruby Doobie must need to go out. If it rains, she’ll miss her doggy-walk and then will be a pissed pooch.

Hmmmm…..  If one were to wrap this up and send it off, then get up and turn off the lights and lock the front door, it would be exactly time for me to leave.

4 minutes to go.

Outta here!!!


Blogger Beware!

If you run a blog, here’s a little caper that you might want to be aware of…

Yesterday, in came an  email that looked convincingly like it came from BigScoots, saying that my hosting bill there was overdue and I’d better pay right this minute or they were going to take all my sites down.

Well, that bill is autopaid, and the autopay was set up so long ago I don’t even remember how or when. I think Grayson, the Web Guru from Heaven, set it up, since he effectively runs interference with all vendors for the blogsite. When he saw the email, he also thought it was fake — but an amazingly convincing fake. He said it looked exactly like real correspondence from BigScoots — but he was able to ascertain that the account was paid up to date.

Before long, in came another strange message, this one purportedly from Amazon, saying I must change the password to my Amazon Seller’s account. I alerted Amazon to this, but of course…good luck trying to get through to a human at that outfit.

Today I’ll call or, better, physically go in person up to the credit union to let them know that someone may be trying to hack into my bank accounts.

At any rate, it looks possible that someone has targeted me through one of my blogsites, trying to extract scammable data. Obviously, if I went through their links to make the allegedly required updates, they could  be able to snab my bank account or credit card data. So…just to let you know: if you get any messages along these lines, watch out!

Just in case this site goes dark…

Don’t panic…

The past two or three days, I’ve been getting dunning emails from someone claiming to represent BigScoots. But my understanding was all the bills related to this site are set up to auto-pay…so of course I figured these represented a scam. Now they say they’re taking all my sites off-line (oohhh EEK! Be scared, be very scared!).

So far that hasn’t happened. But it may. I’m trying to get in touch w/ our Web Guru par excellence, but by now it’s well into the evening where he is. Plus of course we’re coming into another holiday.

If Funny goes away, it presumably will be the result of a misunderstanding. And if that’s the case, it will be back. I hope.

Watch this space!

Can’t Live With’em, Can’t Live Without’em…

New-glassesLOL! I am totally spoiled to having a cleaning lady descend on this place twice a month. But sometimes…

Sometimes the term is “ruined,” I s’ppose. 😀

Having a beloved cleaning-lady around is the same as having a beloved anyone-else around: They dork up your carefully ordered life!

This is because cleaning ladies, like other specimens of humanity, have their own idea of how and where things should go and will brook no interference from the likes of you.

Luz is given to removing all the clutter…uhhhh, collectibles…from the mantel, setting them down on the hearth or the nearby desk, dusting the mantel, and then putting the junk back where she thinks it looks nice.

This is not where I think it looks nice.

So this morning I set my butt down at the dining room table for breakfast, gaze across the family room, and see…all my tschotchkes arrayed across the mantel, higgledy-pigglety! Arrrhhhhhggghh!

Finish breakfast, traipse across the family room, and attempt to rearrange the junk the way I want it.

No big deal, one would think. EXCEPT…I can’t remember how I had them. I know that the way they’re now rearranged is NOT that way, but exactly how and why not…i dunno.

Godlmighty. Fiddle around and fiddle around and fiddle around trying to get those things back the way I imagine I like them.

So now we have a new array. Fine. Good. Go away…

Down the hallway in the office, what do we discover but…but…but…


Somehow, for reasons unimaginable, she’s gotten into my Vision System: the collection of accursed spectacles I need to navigate the world.

Back there, on my desk, I have three pairs of glasses:

  • Distance only
  • Close-up only (for reading)
  • Progressives (distance melting into close-up)

Keeping these things straight is a real nuisance. To facilitate that, I’ve got thee glasses cases, one labeled “distance,” one labeled “close-up,” and one labeled “progressives.” But…

Yes: but… Since I tend to be pretty slap-happy, I often don’t bother to put x or y pair of glasses away. So they end up strewn across the desk in my usual slap-happy way.

Well. Luz is the exact opposite of slap-happy. She can’t stand it. So she puts the glasses into the cases…having NO clue what those little labels on the cases mean. This means that now the glasses are all mixed up. And since I don’t wear the individual close/distance/bifocal/progressive pairs often (I use an old pair of progressives for navigating the house and have a pair of driving glasses in the car), I can barely remember which one is which, myself.

It must have taken a good half-hour this morning to untangle THAT mess. And now we’re talkin’ “no small order.”

With the distance glasses, I can see the side of North Mountain (two or three miles off) in exquisite detail.

With the reading glasses, anything beyond the end of my arm is a blur.

With the progressives, I can sorta see the desert on the side of North Mountain, and I can also see to read print on a piece of paper…or the speedometer in the car.

So I have to take three pairs of glasses outside, along with a piece of paper containing 12-point type, and stand there experimenting with them.

Sounds simple, no?  Peer through a pair of spectacles: if you can see the shrubbery on the side of the mountain, those must be the distance glasses or the progressives. Look at your hand: if you can see your fingerprints, then they have to be the progressives; if you can’t, they have to be the distance glasses.


How well this strategy works depends on the lighting conditions. And today the sky is overcast. I might be able to see my fingerprints through the progressives, sure…but the creosotebush on the mountain, not so much.

This leads to a certain degree of ambiguity. Not to say “rage.”

ohhhhh well….