Coffee heat rising

Hairsassination

Well, clearly I’m going to have to find some way to “pay it forward” to the church and most specifically to the choir. My gosh! Choir members have risen in mass to help me out. Yesterday morning a fellow named Kerr came over to collect me and drive me all the way to hell and gone out to Scottsdale to get my hair done.

He’s the gent whose wife fell and busted her shoulder last fall. He said she’s back to normal now. Her fiasco was significantly worse than mine because instead of just inflicting a set of cracks in the bone, she actually snapped it into two pieces. Ouch!

So it’s reassuring to know that in spite of having a worse injury, she recovered: apparently with no long-term ill effect.

At any rate, once we got to beautiful downtown Scottsdale, we found that my old and much beloved hair stylist Shane is still there! As requested he cut off the Rapunzel-esque locks into a cute, curly style… Yes, to the tune of sixty-eight dollars. And so now I will have to budget something to visit him once every two months. {grump!}

The mop needed to have about four inches of split ends trimmed off. But I rather resent having to get it all cut off. As a practical matter, though, with a crippled arm I can’t even wash it, much less comb the tangles out of wet hair or keep it combed and brushed between launderings. So… it is what it is, to coin a phrase.

Today, the pillar of the choir, D., is going to pick me up and take me down to the dentist’s office.

I made this appointment when a little revelation struck me. As I was reviewing the test results that the Mayo has posted on its portal, I realized that none of them is outside the range of”normal” except for the A1C measurement, which is a grandiose .1 above normal. The vitamin B12 level, which Dr. Fields blamed for the crazy-making peripheral neuropathy, is smack in the middle of the normal range. The last I spoke with her, she remarked that she could not understand why, given these improved numbers, the PN hasn’t started to go away.

This led me to wonder if there might not be some other cause for the present ailment. And lo! Looking around the hypochondriac’s treasure chest that is the Internet, what do I discover but that a titanium dental implant can cause peripheral neuropathy! The site that has the most detail that I could find seems to indicate that by “peripheral neuropathy” they’re talking about tingling in the gums and lips. Mine started there but has spread to the hands, arms, feet, and legs. One would think that might suggest some more systemic problem than just a local reaction to a dental implant. However… now that I think about it, before all this started I had an episode of burning mouth syndrome. That seemed to come out of nowhere… But maybe it didn’t! Maybe it was a response to all the damned dental work.

At any rate when I called the dentist and mentioned peripheral neuropathy, you could hear his ears perk up over the phone line. This is a very smart guy. And so I think it will be worth raising the question of whether the metal they stuck in my gums could be causing this thing. Elsewhere I learned that a test exists that supposedly can tell you whether you have a titanium allergy. I’m going to ask him if we can get that test done somewhere here in town.

D. picked up a bunch of things for me at a Fry’s here in town, and tomorrow she’s going to drive me to the dentist’s office. A week from tomorrow, my son is driving me back to the Mayo for another x-ray and a repeat visit with the orthopedist.

The result of all this gallivanting is that I didn’t read one word of the client’s magnum opus. In fact the stuff has been such a distraction and I’m so effing tired that I didn’t even think of it until just this minute. Tried to sleep in the afternoon to no avail. Now at 9:30 in the evening, I can barely hold my eyes open.

One thing after another

Incommunicado, I’m afraid, for quite some time. That’s because it’s been one damnfool thing after another around here.

Just now, the good news is that I managed to get the second covid-19 shot this morning. And contrary to what we read in published reports, so far the after effects are not especially dramatic. So that’s a relief. Within another couple of weeks, presumably I can feel a lot safer going out in public. A trip to the grocery store will no longer entail taking one’s life in one’s hands. At least, so it is to be hoped.

My neighbor, WonderAccountant, drove me down to the County Fairgrounds, one of the venues where the vaccine is being dispensed. We got in and out within 20 minutes, with exactly zero hassle.

I had to be driven to this appointment, we might add, because at this point I cannot drive my car.

And why, you might reasonably ask, can I not manage to drive my car to the vaccine-fest? That would be because four days ago while I was puttering around with the pool equipment, I tripped over the vacuum hose and fell face forward onto the cool-deck, escaping a tumble in the icy water and a smash across the face by a few inches. As most of us will do, I instinctively stuck my hand out in front to block the fall, with the result that I broke my shoulder.

That was grand fun. After some x-rays and two or three hours of general misery at the emergency room, staff at the Mayo opined that it probably would not need surgery. We’ll believe that after we meet with the orthopedist…next Thursday.

The upshot is, my right arm is pretty well crippled. It has to reside in a sling 24/7, which alone would be uncomfortable enough were it not that the injury is startlingly painful. The ER doctor gave me some tramadol, which I don’t feel I should be taking, because I’m not inclined to take addictive drugs. Fortunately, the aspirin that I’ve been scarfing down for the interminable crazy-making peripheral neuritis is keeping the bone pain more or less tolerable most of the time. That notwithstanding, the arm is basically useless, which complicates life considerably because I am inveterately right-handed.

Among other things, it makes it impossible to write with pen and paper and very difficult to type on the keyboard. In fact, just now I’m using Apple’s dictation function on the MacBook. This is highly problematic, because about two-thirds of what you dictate gets garbled, confused, and wierdified. For example the two sentences that I just typed came out looking like this before I edited the stuff using my left index finger to hunt and peck:

In fact, Justin now I’m using apples dictation function on the MacBook. This is highly problematic because about two thirds of what you dictate gets garbled confused and verified.

Very weirdified indeed.

The dispensers of the covid vaccine want you to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen after you have taken the shot. They recommend against aspirin. This presents a conundrum, because acetaminophen and ibuprofen do little or nothing for any of my standard aches and pains. It does nothing for the peripheral neuritis. Nothing, zero point zero-zero. I would say the ibuprofen that I dropped about two hours ago has helped a little with the fractured shoulder, so that’s something…acetaminophen does nothing. But meanwhile the feet, the shins, and the hands feel like a 120-volt electric current is flowing through them.

This latter phenomenon can be controlled to some degree, temporarily, by smearing lots of CBD oil all over your skin, and rubbing it in with Vick’s VapoRub. That would be nice if it didn’t stink to high heaven and render your feet so greasy you dare not walk across the tile floors, lest you launch a repeat performance of the poolside face-plant.

So the ineffable WonderAccountant, drove me down to get the second covid shot, my son having laid down an edict to the effect that I am not to drive my car. Normally I ignore such orders from on high, but this time I think he’s right that I shouldn’t be driving at all. And given the risk of fairly immediate unpleasant side effects from the second shot, I figured discretion was the better part of valor. Once again, as at the first three-ring circus, hundreds of people were in line, and once again everything went very smoothly.

Arriving back in the ’hood, we turned onto our street to see one of those nutty door-to-door evangelists handing out religious propaganda–or rather littering people’s front doors and door steps with it. And yes, when I got up to the house I found she had cluttered the front patio with her throwaways. What possesses these people?

You should have seen her costume! She was dressed just like the Wicked Witch of the West in the Wizard of Oz! A big old floppy-brimmed black hat and a skirt (also black) that fell to her ankles. We haven’t had any of those fruitcakes around here for quite a long time. I hope she’s not a harbinger of a flock of incoming.

WHY I’m never shopping at Walgreen’s again!

Memo to Corporate Management, Walgreen’s Inc.

You need to hire someone at minimum wage — given the economy, you’ll have plenty of takers — to stand at the door and enforce your “Wear Masks” rule. For heaven’s sake!!!!! I realize the clientele here in my neighborhood are not the best-educated in the world, but that is not an excuse to put your employees and customers at risk. Went in to buy a couple of small necessaries. Get up to the cash register, and there are two women in line ahead of me. Fine. First one steps to the register to do business.

Meanwhile, the character in front of me has no mask. (WHY WAS SHE ALLOWED IN THE STORE???????) We stand in line and stand in line and stand in line and eventually customer #1 gets done and leaves. I try to keep about 12 feet between myself and the Maskless Wonder, which causes folks around me to think they can cut in line ahead of me. Another customer walks past with a mask pulled down under his nose.

Finally Ms. Maskless Wonder arrives at the hapless cashier’s window. She fa*ts around and fa*ts around and finally her stuff gets rung up, and then she can’t figure out how to use her credit card. All this time, she’s breathing germs out into the air around her. With some help from the cashier that she’s breathed all over, at last she manages to pay the bill and has her bag in hand.

Now she won’t leave! She hangs around next to the cashier’s end of the counter, so that it is impossible to stay six feet away from her.

Will my mask protect me from whatever this genius was carrying? Probably only minimally: it takes two to tango in the mask dance.

Where was your manager??? Why wasn’t she or he looking out for your employee’s safety(!!!) even if you don’t give one thin da*n about your customers?

The Sprouts next door posts an employee near the entrance to be sure the customers wear masks and do so correctly. Is there some reason a gigantic corporation like Walgreen’s can’t manage to do the same?

I have several pre-existing conditions. I have been told that if I catch the covid virus it’s not a question of IF I will die, but of WHEN I will die from it. Since I’m not ready to toddle off to the other world yet, you may be sure I will never shop in that Walgreen’s again — or, very probably, in any Walgreen’s. Both items I needed today could have been purchased from Amazon; I just wanted to get them right away. Believe me, after this I surely will be buying all my sundries there, no matter how long I have to wait for them!

Covid Vaccination: State of Arizona vs. Sanity

Here’s a bit of light amusement…

Couple weeks ago, I tried to sign up to get a covid shot through the Maricopa County/State of Arizona website organized for the purpose. After THREE HOURS of point-and-clicking through one already unavailable hour-long slot at a time, all the way to the end of June, I gave up.

Then I learned that Banner Hospital was running a vaccination show. They want you to go to the Arizona State Fairgrounds. Surfaced at their site and found it very easy to navigate. Got an appointment at 9 a.m. on February 16.

Sounds copacetic, right?

Well…no. Now this evening (yeah: SUNDAY NIGHT, when there’s nobody to talk to you even if you knew where to find someone) in comes this little gem, sent from (we’re told) the Arizona Department of Health Services:

Thank you for your interest in the Arizona vaccine management program.

Email Address to Login: frazmbzlle@gmail.com Please click this link to set up a password and complete your registration: https://azvacpat.b2clogin.com/azvacpat.onmicrosoft.com/oauth2/v2.0/authorize?p=B2C_1A_PasswordReset&client_id=9c8378fa-3e13-48f9-bef3-daf117f2ef96&nonce=defaultNonce&scope=openid&response_type=code&prompt=login&redirect_uri=https://podvaccine.azdhs.gov

Thank you, Arizona Department of Health Services

Disclaimer – Mobiles / Tablets are currently not supported. Please use Computer / Laptop. For best experience use Chrome / Firefox browser.

Oooohkayyyy… Realizing this is something come to haunt from the County and not a new hoop-jump for Banner Hospitals, I dutifully go to that link and find a demand that I confirm a password, indicated as ******* (actually, it’s a series of dots, but you get the idea).

I did create a password during the late, great fiasco, but since I never got anywhere, I crashed out of their system. If I saved their nuisance password, I have no clue where. I try to find it in the emails and files I saved, but there’s no clue.

WTF? I was never able to make an appointment through their effing impossible website. So why the hell is the effing state of Arizona pestering me with this??? If in fact it IS the effing state and not Banner.

Well… Banner sent an actual appointment confirmation, showing the date, time, and place to show up. So, since that indicates a degree of organization to which the state seems unable to rise, I’m gonna assume said confirmation, which I printed out and stashed in the car, is the real deal and this…this THING from the goddamn state is just another chimera.

Arrgggghhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I realize it’s a BIG JOB, trying to inoculate everyone who is not an antivaxxer nut in a county the size of Los Angeles. But…you know… what a state government, like the federal government, is supposed to do is manage large numbers of people in large-scale operations.

For the love of God. Ruby the Corgi could do a better job of wrangling the sheeple than this! 😀 😀 😀

She’s OUT! She’s Off and Running!

So I’m chowing down on breakfast whilst browsing through The Economist — the single best general-interest periodical for people with functioning brain cells, IMHO — when I hear Ruby launch into a yap-fest: YAP YAP YAP YAP YAP…from…huh? From the front of the house????

WTF!?!

Leap to my feet, race through the open back door into the yard, jumping into an old pair of clogs on the way, and fly into the back yard, hollering RUBY! RUBY!!

No dog.

Round the corner of the house at a dead run and see Ruby bounding cheerily toward me…through the open side gate!

WTF, indeed! That thing has a double-cylinder dead bolt, and it gets locked every time the gate is pulled shut.

Love up the dog, lure her back into the house, then go outside to figure out what that’s all about.

Well, the doorknob-like handle on this gate has never been real efficient. Its little latch bolt — the tongue-like thing that fits into the strike plate and holds the door shut — wants to slip out of its assigned nesting spot, though it will stay put with some coaxing.

But the thing isn’t locked, and I know I locked it (it’s a double-cylinder deadbolt, so locks with a key from both sides). Because I never walk away from a door or a gate without locking it and checking to be sure it’s locked…for reasons that have been described floridly on this very blog.

So, yea verily WTF!?! Did somebody pick the lock open?

Unlikely. Why bother when there are so many juicier targets all around? Besides, it was raining last night. No burglar or bum in his right mind would be tromping around in that.

But o’course, the “in his right mind” part is operative. Hmm.

At any rate, thank the heavens Ruby had a nice little bark-fest while she was exploring the front yard, probably occasioned by some other dog owner walking their pal past the shack. And thank the heavens (x 1016) that she came to call.

It rained enough during the night to turn the backyard’s quarter-minus into slush, so now the kitchen floor is covered with mud.

But at least the little dog did not get hit by a car, creamed by a passing neighbor’s pit bull, or stolen.

And NOW…yea verily… I don’t even get through this short blog post when a helicopter — a big one, sounds like the military copters that emerge periodically from the Reserve base down on McDowell Road — comes ROARING over the top of the house, at tree-top level. Holy shit! Who are THEY after?

No one, evidently. He continues on, westward ever westward, so probably it’s a military exercise in how to chase down snipers in civilian residential areas. Ducky.

We’ve gotta get outta this place…

Accommodations…

Time heals all things, you know. Especially that human flaw known as memory. 😀 As the days, the weeks, the months, the years pass, that which once was clear as crystal becomes, shall we say, somewhat clouded. And those things that you do on autopilot?

Yes. Little acts like putting the keys in their accustomed place, setting your glasses on the usual counter, stashing your credit card where it belongs, feeding the dog at her favored hour…well…they just go away. If you set the keys someplace other than where they belong, they’re gone. Possibly lost to all posterity. If you put your glasses on the kitchen counter instead of next to the bathroom sink when you went to wash your face, they’re disappeared. It may be days before you find them. And feed the dog? You fed the dog? Really?? Why is she gazing winsomely at you like that, then?

This morning I went to take Ruby for a doggy-walk. I normally keep the car & housekeys, which share a key-ring, stuck in the deadbolt in the office door. That way they do not sink beneath a pile of paper or get lost under a blanket or get left on a bathroom counter or set down carelessly on top of the washer or…whatEVER. But not so, today!

No keys in the office door.

Oh, shit!!!!!

No keys on the bathroom counter. No keys on the kitchen counter. No keys on the table next to the front door. No keys IN the front door. No keys in the garage door. No keys in the basket that holds the dog-walking gear. No keys on the desk. No keys on the nightstand. No keys in the pockets of the jeans I wore yesterday. No keys in the back door. No… Fukkin’ KEYS.

After banging from from pillar to post and back again, I was beginning to get hysterical.

But the dog craved a doggy-walk, so after much digging around in the junk and old keys drawer, I found a key ring with a key to the front door and a key to the extra-hardened deadbolt on the exterior front prison door. As we’re flying around getting ready to go out the door, I happen to slap my right hip and find…

oh…yeah…

The keys. In my jeans pocket.

Note that I’d already checked those pockets twice and didn’t feel the wad of metal in there.

The in-storage keys already in hand, the regular keys went into their accustomed place in the office deadbolt. And off we went.

Whilst tromping around behind the dog, it occurred to me that instead of using the ring that holds the key to the security door’s deadbolt, the key to the front door’s deadbolt, the key to the side gate, the key to the car, the key to the office deadbolt, and the key to my son’s house, for a doggy walk I really should carry ONLY the keys to the front door. What do I need with ALL the keys to the kingdom when I’m traipsing round the neighborhood?

Why not LEAVE that collection in its accustomed place and use only the back-up keys for the front door, but instead of keeping them in the key drawer…hook them to the dog leash before putting the leash away.

Then the keys would be in the same place as an object that I have to have in order to leave the house with the dog.

Duh!

I think of this as an accommodation to advancing senility. And it occurs to me that you could make all sorts of accommodations like that. For example: put things away in places that are associated with the thing.

Obviously the deadbolt on the office door is associated with the keys. But since loss of the car key is one whole helluva lot bigger deal than loss of the key to the front door…put a Door Keys Lite chain with the gear that has to be used to walk the dog. Hence: far more likelihood of finding them on the run. And if they’re lost? No big deal: there’s still a wad of keys hanging from the office door.

The iPhone is on a perch on the office desk because… the home base to the annoying fake land-line phone is on that desk. Clearly that’s where phones go, right? The flashlight is in a drawer next to the back door because…if you needed to go out in the back yard after dark when the power is out, you’d need a flashlight…obviously.

One could dream up any number of logical (or semi-logical) connections like that to help you remember where you’re put stuff or what you’re supposed to do.

Another option is to create a spreadsheet recording what you’ve done or what you’re supposed to do…and when…and where.

The accursed pill conundrum — another joy of Old Age — presents an example. At 12:30 this afternoon, I took an aspirin. There is no way in Hell I will remember exactly what time (or even vaguely what time) I dropped that dose of acetylsalicylic acid. Not a chance…unless I’ve written it down. In a spreadsheet. And lo! Lookee here! At about the same time I also took a Claritin, hoping the dizzy spell that caught up with me as the dog and I were trotting around was an allergy, and not a covid-19 symptom. Forgot about that…because I’ve about forgotten about the vertigo, which went away shortly after I slurped down the antihistamine.

A container with separate slots for each day and specific hours is grand for pills…but requires you to remember to look at the container. Not, we might add, a foregone conclusion.

But determining to make an entry in a spreadsheet for each dose does help keep track of what you’ve taken, when.

Well. Assuming you remember to enter the…entry.