Coffee heat rising

i need a drink!

Augh!  Is there EVER a dull moment around this place?

Another Day from Hell. So many of those pepper the temporal landscape that sometimes I wonder if live in Hell. A day like this leads one to suspect that’s true.

This place — the city of Phoenix and its tacky environs — gets more and more like Southern California every day. That’s not surprising. Twenty years ago, give or take, our honored City Fathers openly announced they wanted to model the Valley after L.A.

Ugh! was what I said to that then. And Ugh! is what I say to it now.

I just hated living in Southern California, after my father moved us down there from San Francisco. Tacky? You want tacky? The place defines tacky. The crowds, the traffic, the noise, the smog, the ticky-tacky, the worship of mediocrity…yuch! What a place!

In Long Beach, we lived in a dreary second-story flat in a dreary ticky-tacky plaster apartment building: no insulation — either for heat or for sound. Every part of it a study in cheesiness.

My mother, after a year or so, found a place that was somewhat better built and contrived to get us into it. That was an improvement. But it was still Southern California. Ticky-tacky Southern California.

I didn’t have to drive there, because I was still too young to get a permit. Thank gawd!

Driving here in (un)lovely uptown Phoenix is now just about the same as it was there. Crowded, dirty, dreary, streets never built to hold the volume of traffic, ticky-tacky apartment buildings lining many of the main drags; all the rest lined by ugly strip malls. It’s an ugly, ugly city with a dreary, dull lifestyle.

The ‘Hood was built awhile before full-scale LosAngelization set in. So even though our houses are somewhat cheaply built, they’re not outright junk. Not great. But not as awful as newer construction.

Oh yeah: the Day from Hell….

My laptop hung majestically as I was working on the files for the Olive Getten project.

Olive Getten was my wild-assed grandmother. From what I can tell, she was about as far off the wall as you can get and still stay in the troposphere. She was, indeed, one off-the-wall lady. And as I traipse around digging up data about her, I keep finding more and MORE off-the-wall stuff.

Olive supposedly died of uterine cancer in the late 1920s, allegedly the result of her wild and woolly lifestyle. Her family were Christian Scientists, so she didn’t get to a doctor until it was too late to save her life…if it was ever not too late. We’re told she remarked to my mother that she thought her agonizing death was God’s punishment for all the abortions she’d had.

My mother was her first illicit pregnancy — dignified by a marriage with the father that lasted…what? ten days? WhatEVER. 😮

Apparently they were divorced by the time my mother popped into this world, thereby defining a “flash in the pan” marriage.

The maternal grandparents — Olive’s immediate family — had moved to California from upstate New York long before my mother came on the scene. How Olive got mixed up with the boyfriend in New York–allegedly my mother’s father–I dunno. But she did. The Bay Area family made my mother care for Olive on her deathbed…you can imagine what a great adolescent experience that must have been? My mother said she saw her carted out of the house, dead as a doornail, and loaded into a hearse.

But…y’know…to the contrary,…

…apparently she lived until 1979.

It appears that Olive had an extramarital relationship with a San Francisco business magnate named Jack Sansome…and it appears that at one point she married him.

These antics add up, within the mores of the time. She couldn’t very well bring her illegitmate(!) daughter into a marriage with a prominent member of the business community. So…what to do? “Disappear.” And recoalesce under some other name.

Did the East Bay relatives know about this accommodation? My guess is that at least some did. The paterfamilias was a prominent businessman. He would have known Sansome well. Did he tell the distaff side of the tribe? Dunno. But in downtown San Francisco, there are two streets that merge in front of a large bank: Sansome Street and Olive Street.


As soon as I start to write up this saga, the goddamn computer CRASHES!

So once again — for the how-manyth time over the last couple of weeks — it was traipse through the unholy traffic, trudge into Best Buy, stand in line, try to explain what the trouble is.

I hope they can at least retrieve my data. Stupidly, I didn’t back it up to iCloud…’cause I was still working on it.

Meanwhile, in the middle of all this, I am sick as a proverbial dawg. Gawdawful hacking cough, stuffy nose, 101.2 fever. I just wanna go to bed! And the real thermometer — as opposed to the touchy and wacksh!t digital one — is presently LOST. Had it this morning, but have no idea where it is now.

Driving around Phoenix, though, to return to our original premise, reminds me eerily of ticky-tacky Southern California in the late 50s & early 60s. WHAT a dreary place. Mile on mile on mile of cheesy, cheaply built apartment buildings, dreary, dull, and vastly mass-produced.

Can’t see how my son can stand living here. Think it’s because he wants to be near me and his father — that’s why he magisterially insists that I NOT move away. But if he ever moves — or if he ever can be persuaded to move to wherever I want to go — I am outta here!

Surprise! You get switched willy nilly!

In comes an email from WordPress: Your site has updated to WordPress 6.1.2!

Ohhh goodie…something else to hassle with.

For more on version 6.1.2, see the About WordPress screen:

WordPress 6.2.1 is also now available. Updating is easy and only takes a few moments:

If you experience any issues or need support, the volunteers in the support forums may be able to help.

I can hardly wait…

Welp…in the few minutes that I’ve been sitting here (very few), I don’t see any differences. It all looks the same and works the same.

That doesn’t mean that it won’t change, before we know it, make a great leap forward.

Nice timing, guys! When people are sick as dawgs and can barely think clearly enough to make their way from the bedroom to the bathroom…

Man, covid is grand fun. I haven’t been this sick since I was a very little kid.

As a young child, I was preternaturally susceptible to respiratory infections and to certain meds. If you believe my mother, I spent time in the ICU, and at one point was not expected to live through the night.

This became convenient for me, actually. Come the second grade, when I discovered how deeply I hated school and how VERY much I didn’t want to go there, I learned to take advantage of her fear by claiming to be sick. The “my tummy hurts” maneuver almost invariably got me out of the horrid place. 😀

LOL! This particular ailment, though, is no ruse.

The cough is so violent it tears up your throat as you hack away.


Along about 7 a.m., I dish up a mound of dogfood roll for Ruby, her favorite stuff. Set it down in front of her…and she refuses to eat it!

She’s a corgi, for godsake. Corgis do NOT have picky appetites.

Break open a can of the mushy stuff she likes.

Turns up her nose at that, too.

Oh GOD!  Can dogs get the dread disease?????


Yes. Holy shee-ut!

  • The virus that causes COVID-19 can spread from people to animals during close contact.
  • The risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is low.
  • Pets can get serious illness from infection with the virus that causes COVID-19, but this is extremely rare.

At the rate I’ve been going lately, “extremely rare” is another way of saying “commonplace.” She sleeps on the bed with me, so “close contact” I guess is included in that.

Ohhh gawd! Now I’ll have to get on the phone to the vet the instant the clock hits 9 a.m. And make a 30-minute drive to his office when I feel like a limp rag. And of course he won’t let me in the building, since I’m shedding viruses like sawdust.

…hmmmm…  She’s in the kitchen now…think she’s eating, but am not barging in there to disturb her. But…this reluctance to eat is NOT normal.

In other precincts…

Wanna live in Phoenix? Here’s a garden spot for you.

It’s at least 50 or 60 years old. Bordered by two of the noisiest streets in the city. Devoid of landscaping. All spiffed up on the inside, in the latest shades of prison-gray paint. A hot plate for a stove.

They want half a million bucks for it!

For the luvva gawd, that is just INSANE. And we’re told real estate prices are coming down!

Nope. Dawg was not eating.

ooohhh gawd…now as soon as the clock hits 9:00, I’ll have to start getting through to the vet.


GAAAAAAHHHHH! Life in the ‘Hood….

So…how would you like it if you got a call from the kid’s grade school while you were at the office:

“Please come pick up little Ignatius. We’ve had a murder here.”

Noooo kidding. That’s just about what parents here in the’Hood and environs heard today.

La Maya and I met for lunch today, at an old favorite Phoenix standard, a place that We Who Were Parents used to frequent when our urchins were preschool age. In the course of conversation, she remarked that Feeder Street E/W, which runs from Main Drag West through the ‘Hood to the freeway, is said to be closed, because there was a murder just outside MittelAmerica School, which sits on the Hood’s western border. The corpse was found outside the blocks of prison-gray apartments that border the school on the its south side, a few yards west of Conduit of Blight Blvd.

Eeep! thought I. But then not much more of it, since…yeah, that’s life in the Big City.

An hour or so passed as we munched and socialized. Then she went on her way.

I took my ailing laptop over to Best Buy (again!!!!!) and forked it over to the techs. So often do I surface over there at the service desk that His Cuteness recognized me. Alas, though: he was born about 20 years too late.

From there I drove homeward (and homeward…homeward…homeward…) through the unholy surface-street traffic. Made it back to the house. Having no pistol in the car (GOT to fix that little lapse!!!), I inspected the doors and windows before entering the Funny Farm. No sign of any fleeing murderers.

Thank Heaven for small favors, hm?

The school — a grades 6-8 middle-school campus — was roped off with yellow crime-scene tape. So was Feeder Street E/W, which east of Conduit of Blight leads to the Post Office (so much for mailing your bills today, eh?).

Just imagine:

  • Your child’s school wrapped in police crime scene tape.
  • A dead body right across the street from the campus, next to the slum apartments that border the school on the south.
  • Cops ambling about here and ambling about there…

For the love of GOD!



Crime Central, Richistani Edition

Hoooboy! Long as we’re talkin’ about crime, check out this development, which came to light shortly after I posted yesterday’s events…

The Mayo Clinic is in one of the toniest parts of the city. That hiking area is in northeast Scottsdale!

Yeah: right where you’d move if you were trying to get away from the crime in your neighborhood

This unholy incident tells us two things:

1. Never go hiking alone, especially if you’re female; and
2. You can’t move away from the sh!t. Like that cop told me after the Great Garage Invasion episode, “It’s everywhere!”

Well, it tells us three things:

3. You can’t even go for a walk without risking rape or murder or both.

Next dog is gonna be another German shepherd.

Crime Central Comes a-Visitin’

You think I’m kidding, don’t you, when I call Sunnyslope, the venerable slum to the north of us, “Crime Central”….

Heh. Well, no. A joke it ain’t.

The place is aswarm with thugs, thieves, swindlers, murderers, and wannabe-all-of-the-aboves. When they’re not sticking up pawn shops, peddling dope. smoking up, or stealing cars, they come down into the ‘Hood and nearby tracts of upper North Central for the purposes of burgling and an occasional rape.

One of the neighbors reported, on the local Facebook page, that some dude (or dudette?) broke into their home while they and their dogs were there:

They went through the back gate, broke through garage door, went in the house quietly (did not wake any of our multiple dogs) and took purse, wallets, AirPods and collector sports items. Within a few hours they used all debit and credit cards at places like QT, Circle K, Light rail, water filling station, 7-eleven, Taco Mich. High end criminals…

Yeah. You see what I mean by Crime Central. That was a very practiced burglar.

To circumvent him, you’d need to have alarms on every door and window in the house. And I’ll tellya, that is a nuisance!

I speak from experience. For awhile I had little squealers, yes, literally on every door and window. It means you can’t open a door — ever — without remembering to turn the thing off. It means you can’t open a window, either, without turning the damn thing off. THEN you have to remember to turn them all back on when you close the window or door. So you get to live with a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week nuisance on the chance that you might be burgled!

Well, I figured one of the dogs would fly into a high yap-fest if a burglar tried to come in a window or door. But as you can see from that neighbor’s report…NOT SO! Apparently their burglar managed to get in without disturbing the dogs.

My house has heavy-duty security screen doors with deadbolts on every entrance, including the side door to the garage. But…those deadbolts are just ordinary locks: if you know how to get past one, you know how to get through those security doors.

But dayum! I guess with a cat burglar like that around, I’d better buy a new set of squealers and put them on all the sliding doors and windows. Again.

Online! It’s a miracle…

Been offline for a few days, thanks to some kind of screwy computer thing. Noooo idea what it was.  A Best Buy tech came over the afternoon and banged around and banged around —  very rushed, obviously running late and overworked. He seems to have gotten the thing working again. We’ll find out soon enough.

Meanwhile, the Human crashed, too: fell into the sack around 7 p.m., a ridiculously early hour. But I was sooooo tired I just couldn’t stay awake another minute after we got back from the evening doggy-walk.

Come 8:30, the Human is awakened by a familiar melody: urp urp urp urp urp a-a-a-a-a-a-c-k!

The chorus: Ohhh godDAMMIT!!!!!!!!!

Dog barfs all over the bed.

Fortunately, the Human has smartened up a little bit over the years: to keep the dog hair off the bedding, we lay a splendidly washable knock-off serape over the quilt. Exactly like this one, as a matter of fact. We have several of them, in various gaudy patterns…and the one Ruby defiled a few minutes ago is now running through the washer. Mwa ha ha!

The hour is still ridiculously early as we scribble: 8:47 p.m.

My belly feels like there’s a rock in it, speaking of bilious bellies.

Kulawahed, though. It looks like the MacBook is back online. At least it seems to be downloading the email. We’ll find out when we go to upload this post.

Come dawn, I’ve got to pay American Express…at least I think so. A $5500 bill came wafting in (!!!). Was going to have WonderAccountant help figure out what caused that, but at this point I just can NOT deal with any more conundrums. My plan is to pay it and then just not charge ANYTHING for the next couple of months.


We’ll see how THAT goes, eh?

So much paper has piled up on the tables, though, it’ll be a God’s Miracle if I can find the damn bill. But I’ll deal with that tomorrow.

Meanwhile, cruising the national and local gnus…

CAN you believe Americans voted this ogre into the effing White House? One who thinks he has a right to insult and cuss out everyone around him?

Welp. We’ve failed to educate our people, and this is what we get for our non-efforts: grown men and women who don’t know any better. My apologies if you’re one of those who was suckered into voting for the guy…but the truth is, THAT thing is not now and never was Presidential material.

Then we have the lovely local gnus: I was up in this area just a few days ago, very likely as this woman was being murdered. The cops claim to have caught the perp…but how that could be possible escapes one.

Hiking around the local mountain parks — a popular activity among the fit set — is riskier than it looks. Not only because you can slip and fall, requiring the cops to come extricate you with a helicopter, but because of this sort of thing. A surprising number of creeps are crawling around out there. I was hiking on a trail near North Mountain, when I noticed some guy following me by a couple hundred yards. When I tried to dodge him, he followed. Managed to hop down into a little arroyo where the trail curved around a little hill. Slipped off my bright blue back back, tossed it in a ditch, and hunkered down on top of it, hiding under a creosote bush.

Sure enough, along he came. I could see him stop and peer all over the area, searching for me. After about ten minutes of eyeballing the landscape, he turned around and headed back in the direction he came.

Thank God!

I don’t go out there alone anymore. And no, little Cassie is not enough dog to negate the “alone” definition: in the Dog Department, you’ve got to have something the size of a German shepherd. Best not something that looks like a lovable golden retriever, either.

Ugh! The 21st Century…what a time we live in! What a place we live in!

Speaking of the which, it looks like the city is going to try to spiff up the defunct Metrocenter Mall, once the largest shopping center in the land. It’s abandoned now.

Heh heh…good luck with that, folks…

With its acre on acre on acre of (now empty) parking lots, it will be a major stopping place for the new lightrail system: one end of the line, at least for awhile.

This, we can only hope, will carry the bums on out of our neighborhood, dropping them in someone else’s lap.

Just now the end of the line for the damn lightrail is right here at the top of the ‘Hood, about four blocks north of the Funny Farm. The bums ride for free — no tickets are required to get into a car, so all you have to do is step into a car and then, if you see a cop getting on at a stop (there are no conductors — clever, eh?), hop off before he can ask to see a ticket. Then just hop back on the next train that comes along.

So the ‘Hood is overrun with drug-addicted derelicts, just deee-lightful. Another good reason to carry a pistol when you go out. 😉

Seriously: that’s why I wouldn’t even think of walking to the nearby grocery stores or Walgreen’s. You’d be nuts to do that.

Anyway, if the accursed lightrail carries the bums, the pickpockets, and the rapists all the way up to Metrocenter, our neighborhood may get a little safer. Maybe.