Coffee heat rising

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.


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.

Covid at 3:00 a.m.

{gronk!}  I hate insomnia.

It’s quite possible that I hate covid-19, too. 😮

Actually, though… I’ve had episodes of the flu that are worse than this. The cough, which can be fairly wracking, tends to concern one. But a dose of Robitussin quickly gets that under control.

A hit of aspirin seems to beat back the lingering fever. It’s now pretty well gone, the thermometer hovering around 98 degrees. Aspirin also seems to help the peripheral neuropathy…but I question whether that’s a covid symptom. I’ve had PN for months. The best dope for PN is CBD cream.

A steamer set by the bed, turned on to full blast, and aimed toward your head helps a lot with the congestion, as does an occasional squirt of Afrin (be careful with that stuff, though).

So. Even though we’re far from out of the woods here, it looks possible that this isn’t going to be as horrible or as life-threatening as feared.

Covid and Our Pets: How scared, really, should we be?

Got a referral to a pool guy who cleans tiles — mine now being encrusted with lime. When he learned that I’ve tested positive for the Dread Disease, he announced that he wouldn’t come anywhere near the place.

This, frankly, seems reasonable, especially if you have a pre-existing condition of one sort or another.

But his moment of terror led me to wonder…how scared, really, should we be of catching Covid from our livestock?

And…can I give Covid to Ruby? Can she give it to me…or to other humans?

Well, the obvious answer is that this is a damned uncomfortable ailment, even in its milder form, which apparently is what I’m enjoying just now. So, yes: it does behoove us to avoid discomfort — of any kind, particularly of the variety that lays you out in bed.


The truth is…it would appear that unless you’re elderly or you have a pre-existing condition, the bug is unlikely to kill you. And it also would appear that yes, contagion between humans and dogs and between dogs and humans is not only possible but fairly common.

Here’s our source:

Anna Csiszar, et al. “Companion animals likely do not spread COVID-19 but may get infected themselves.” 2020 Oct; 42(5): 1229–1236. Published online 2020 Aug 7. doi: 10.1007/s11357-020-00248-3

These authors find that domestic pets, even in First-World countries, are vectors of the disease. However, they regard the risk as rather low: “”Actually, there is no evidence for a single case of pet to human transmission to date.” (Bear in mind the article’s publication date, though.)

More currently, the CDC tells us that

  • 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.

Hmm… Okay. Even though we’re advised not to let our critters sleep on the bed with us (hah! Good luck with that!!), the chance of a dog or cat catching the bug from us exists but is low; serious Covid illness in your pets is unlikely.



Odders and Enders

The adorable Pool Dude surfaced (heh!) with the sun this morning. Ruby SOOOO adores that man! Instantaneously she knew he was out back, and so it was OUT THE DOOR, the better to love him up.

He’s a…distinctive-looking fella. Has a frizzy, light-brown beard that he wears halfway down his chest. This, IMHO — and certainly in Ruby’s opinion — does not make him any less adorable. He’s just one of the sweetest guys you’d ever hope to meet, and nothing about his sartorial taste changes that.

Almost 9 a.m., and I’m coughing my guts out. Just ran out of Robitussin, so I now I have to trudge down to the store and buy another bottle of it. Or two…

The ‘Hood is adorned with shopping centers north and south along Conduit of Blight. With the exception of the Sprouts, most of these contain stores I avoid, because of the crowds of derelicts and panhandlers. I REALLY do not like to be hustled!

But…the AJ’s is way to Hell & Gone down on Camelback Road, and getting there entails a trek through rush-hour traffic. The Safeway, adorning the neighborhood where DXH and I lived (to the east and the south of the ‘Hood), requires two left turns across homicidal thoroughfares. Half the time they don’t have what you want. Granted, there’s a Walgreen’s across the seven-lane street (another left turn!) ….but really. Covid-smacked as I am, I would prefer to drive to ONE store, even if one with considerable, daunting drawbacks, than to Store 1 (nope: no cough medicine), Store 2 (nope), Store 3…and on and on. The Albertson’s at Blight and Main Drag South will have the gunk, and if they don’t, the Walgreen’s right across the street will.

Despite the nasty hack (which was expected), I’m actually feeling noticeably better (which was not expected). That’s not to say I feel good….but, surprisingly enough, I’m not utterly out of it. At least not yet.  And I think I’ve had this thing long enough to be feeling really, really sh!tty, if that’s what’s gonna happen.

A-a-a-n-d…that’s probably one reason (if not THE reason) this damn thing is spreading far and wide. People tend to power on through “just a little cold” — and nevvermind that whoever you infect with your “little cold” could end up flat on their back or even in the hospital. And of course, every time they tromp around in public when they’re sick, they disperse their germs far and wide.

No kidding. I picked up a really fine bug from some nitwit who showed up at choir practice, stood behind me, and coughed on the back of my neck through the entire three hours. People are so stupid…I know the public schools teach the basic facts of infection and contagion, because I remember reading those facts in our biology text. I guess if it’s a fact that doesn’t fit their convenience, though, they just put it out of their mind.

Welp! It’s after 9 a.m. Better go out and spread a few germs of my own…



Coviding to Pretoria…

Yes…the covid bug keeps marching along here. Actually, the little fella seems to be slowly marching toward the door.

Maybe we shouldn’t even say “slowly,” come to think of it.  Truth to tell, I’m pretty amazed at how fast this thing seems to be clearing up. Not that I’m ready to rise from my deathbed yet…

Today the thermometer (such as it is) is registering in the normal range. Just took a reading: 98 degrees.

Since I’m quite the cold fish (you’re surprised?), that’s smack in the middle of normal for me: 97.6± to 98.2± . And strangely, I also seem to be feeling better.

“Seem” because that proposition strikes me as mighty bizarre. I was splendidly sick just the other day — felt like a heavy case of the flu coming on. But instead of “coming on,” it seems to have just struck a glancing blow.

Still have a resonant cough…but it’s better than it was yesterday, and has never reached the inglorious heights of the kind of cough I normally get with the flu.

Hmmm…  If this is not atypical, it would explain the rapid spread of the disease. People think they’re getting over it, so naturally get up and go about their business: off to the office, the gas station, the grocery store, the school room…. We’re probably moving  back into the current of daily life too soon. If you feel better but the virus is quietly lurking, no doubt you would spread it around by getting  back to daily business before the infection is fully cleared up.

It’s difficult if not impossible to NOT spread your germs or pick up other folks’ germs, if you live in American society. Virtually anything you need to acquire for your daily living needs — food, meds, pet gear, gasoline, propane, you-name-it — is to be had from retail stores. And a fair number of those things can’t be selected by an Instacart runner.

That’s especially true if you eat real food — fresh vegetables, meats, and fruits. Instacart runners are like most people. And most people tend to eat mostly processed foods. They don’t have the faintest idea how to select fresh produce. So they bring you limp, brown, under-ripe, over-ripe junk. You need to be there in the store to pick out those kinds of goodies. Same is true, to a lesser extent, of meat. Want a steak? They grab the first cling-wrapped cut they spot in the butcher cabinet.

Sooo…that means that if you favor whole foods, Instacart (alas!) is not for you.

No grocery shopping today…but nevertheless I found myself running unhappily from pillar to post. I lost my mercury thermometer — the one that registers an accurate reading, every time you use it. Searches in every place I might possibly have put it “away” failed. And those digital thermometers…what a joke!

I have two of them (because I’ve found they tend to be inaccurate). They’ve been all over the map every time I’ve used them. One will say 98; the other will say 98.7. One will say 97.7; the other will say 98 or even 99. So…I think they’re pretty much useless. They might tell you — or not — if your fever was through the roof. But the range is so wide they’re not very useful or credible.

So I ventured forth to buy a new mercury thermometer. A-n-n-n-d…guess what? NO ONE sells them. I went to SIX stores, from pharmacies to supermarkets, and could not find a one of them! Look up “mercury thermometer” at Amazon, and you get “mercury-free” thermometers. Gee, thanks, Amazon, for reading my mind! /eyeroll/

Evidently, then, this another amenity Big Brother has taken out of our sticky little hands.

At any rate, if indeed the present cold/cough is covid (how do I doubt it? let me count the ways!), IF that is so, then evidently the course of three anti-covid vaccinations was genius.


What a world we live in! Covid is the least of it. Today’s news is festooned with reports of shooting incidents. Locally: at a so-called “alternative” high school for less-than-perfectly-accomplished high-school kids. Dayum!

Well. If I were a kid, I would be less than pleased if my parents or the authorities shunted me off to an “alternative” school for problem children.  I personally hated school, starting in the 2nd grade. The idiot teacher who took over our class that year remains a searing memory, and after that…what? One outstandingly excellent teacher. The next: a mean witch who taught us little to nothing. Next: really quite a nice lady and a good teacher, but by that time the little monsters in the class had crawled out of their shells, noticed me, and begun to make it their business to make me miserable. They were good at it, too!  Fourth-grade teacher: not qualified to teach earthworms — truly, one of the stupidest human beings I have ever met. Fifth- and sixth-grade: HOLY mackerel what a witch!

If that’s comparable to what you find in stateside public schools, no one with a measurable IQ should be required to attend. 😀

Fortunately, it’s not. My mother finally figured out what was going on, along about the time I hit the sixth grade. At that point she demanded to take me home. Dunno if she threatened to divorce my father over it or whether the threat was implicit…but whatEVER. He did let us go back to the States, where my mother managed to get me into an excellent public school in San Francisco.

You know…we had gang-bangers in those schools — at least, we did in high school. We had kids in grade school who were as crazy and as alienated as I was (not many, but still…I never took my father’s Ruger to school and shot up the place) (maybe only because I never thought of it…). I wonder what conditions have changed so radically as to lead young Americans to plan and execute mass shootings?

Something HAS changed, apparently something fundamental.

If it’s not mass media — TV and music and movies in particular, and social media — then what is it?