Coffee heat rising

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!


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!


WHY do manufacturers of patent nostrums imagine that people like a sicky-sweet flavor?


Gulping down Robitussin to keep the hacking and gagging under control. But…folks…y’know…something that’s so blood-curdling sweet it makes you gag does NOT help the gagging caused by a coughing frenzy.

All across the board, oral medications are sweetened, evidently with artificial sweeteners. Some manufacturers seem to get carried away with the sweet gunk…and you end up with something that turns your stomach.

Why the Hell do they do that?

Out of the Covid Woods?

Hallelujah! It looks like I may have survived! And so far, the dog hasn’t caught the accursed covid from me, despite her habit of sleeping on the bed with me.

Who knew dogs could catch it, too?! Oh well…too late now!

Slept eight uninterrupted hours — which is unusual for me. This morning the fever is gone. Still have a cough…and probably will for several weeks, if this thing acts like colds and flu do. I’ve always been peculiarly susceptible to lung infections (which makes this virus especially scary, IMHO), and what passes in two weeks for most folks will hang onto me for a good six weeks. Not looking forward to six weeks of dry hacking, but mighty glad to be rid of the fever, the overall feel-awful, and the cognitive fuzziness.

Apparently relapses are very common, though…at least after paxlovid treatment. Apparently most relapses happen within eight weeks. Ohhh goodie…can’t wait to be on pins & needles for the next two months! As for the dog: no idea how long it might take for the bug to materialize in her.

Man! This is just one long, uninterruptible nightmare.

In other precincts, we don’t appear to be out of the woods in the Department of School Shootings. Some fine young citizen brought an AR-15 to a local high school. Didn’t shoot the place up, though. That’s something. I guess.

That’s in Maryvale, a vast low-income area on the west side, where schools tend to be piss-poor and kids tend to be gang members. But still…forgodsake my schools in California were full of gang members, and none of them toted their armaments to campus. Why is this necessary, folks?

Got to make another run on Best Buy today, to try to retrieve the laptop. They called me and said it was ready yesterday, but when I got there…nope!

Gee, thanks, fellas: I just love driving through Phoenix’s hellish traffic for nothing!

Well, if the dog is going to get a walk today, I’d better get out of here. It’s already 7 a.m. and soon will be too hot to walk on the pavements. And so, awwayyyy!

Speaking of “Stop the World”….

Lo! This morning I discover that Word has apparently automatically encrypted a file containing a pile of data I learned about my ancestors. HOLY Sheee-ut! It wants a password. What password?

You have to send them an email begging for a password before you can get into YOUR OWN FILE! Goddammit, just what we all need: something else to waste our time on!

I managed to get in with the accursed extraneous password; copied the file’s contents, and pasted to a new Wyrd file. Apparently, that did the trick: It looks like the damn thing isn’t going to ask for a password for this new file.

But how many other files on my system have been magically encrypted?

And lo and behold! Once again my land line is dead!!!!!!!!!

That means I have to hassle around and struggle around AGAIN to get someone over here to fix the goddamn phones!

Goddammit! I have the land line FOR A REASON. And that is as follows: I don’t think to carry a phone around with me every minute of my waking existence. Nor do I own clothing that inevitably has a pocket that will hold a cell phone. The accursed little flip phones won’t hold a charge longer than a few hours. This means that without a land line, I am often WITHOUT ANY WAY TO CALL FOR HELP if and when I fall and break another bone. It means that the next time that happens — especially if it happens in the house, where no one can hear me screaming for help — I will lay on the floor until I die.

The last time I fell, it was outside by the pool. Even though the bone that was broken was in my shoulder, I could not get myself up off the ground. I screamed and screamed and screamed and SCREAMED for help until finally a neighbor heard me and called 911. I could have laid there and died of thirst and shock, for all most people around here care. And certainly for all Cox cares.

It’s a dying technology, no doubt of that. Guess I’m just going to have to resign myself to toting a damn cell phone around with me every where I go, in the house or out. And the fact that women’s clothing tends not to have usable pockets? Just tough, I guess.

New Day from Hell a-Dawning

Yep: today is slated to be a fine and true Day from Hell.

A cold day in Hell…

Yesterday, I got a call from the vet’s office saying the $550 check I wrote to cover the dog’s dental work BOUNCED!

What???  There’s well over 4 grand in that account. And…between you’n’me and the lamp-post, I have never bounced a check in my entire life.

So I’m royally pi**ed about this.

Whenever it gets to be 9 a.m., I’ve gotta start driving driving…over 60 blocks through killer traffic. Make that 120 blocks, round-trip. First, to the credit union branch downtown, there to demand an explanation for why they bounced my check and to obtain a pile of money in cash. Then, out to the vet’s office on the east side: another sixty or more blocks in the opposite direction. Pay the guy in cash, offer up whatever excuse the credit union has come up with (which probably will be “no request for a payment was made”: my guess is they somehow confused the name I go by — my middle name — with my bizarre first name, which was my parents’ earliest act of child abuse. But even then: both stupid names are printed on my checks, and so there should be no cause for confusion.

Whatever…it’s effin infuriating! I’m 78 years old (??? wait what: really??? 😮 ), I’ve had bank accounts since I was 16, and never once have I bounced a check. So…just what I want to do: spend half the day charging from pillar to post and arguing with factotums.

Huh. Think of that… Seventy-eight years old. Me!

My mother died at 64. Reasonably enough: she smoked herself into the grave.

My father made it to around 80, despite a hard life and his own smoking habit. He, at least, didn’t puff away through every conscious moment…my guess is that he smoked far less than a pack a day.

Heh heh… As my mother lay dying, out in their house in Sun City, my poor father had to do the grocery shopping. One day he called me up to report on the ongoing nightmare.

In the course of conversation, he says to me — the sound of horror ricocheting through his words — that he’d noticed they seemed to be buying an awful lot of cigarettes. So, says he, “I started keeping track of how much we were buying.

“Did you realize she’s smoking six packs a day?”

No kidding, Daddy. You just now noticed?  Well, you’ve only been married 32 years, so why would you notice a thing like that?

My grandmother supposedly died of uterine cancer and was wheeled off in a corpse-mobile in her mid-40s. However…in the Department of Weird, I’ve found some credible evidence that she did not die (dramatically, in front of her teenaged daughter) but instead was still alive in 1979. It would appear that in fact she faked her death and may have married a prominent businessman in San Francisco. If that’s the case, then she was as long-lived as her mother and her sister, both of whom lived well into their 90s. This grandmother was quite the wild hare — my mother was an accidental side effect of her early sex life…after that episode, grandma learned how to use birth control and where to get abortions. 😀

At any rate, if that critter really did hang on through nine decades, it means longevity is firmly imprinted on the family genes. Her mother and her sister were both Christian Scientists who, despite never once visiting a doctor, lived into their (very active!) 90s. So…presumably I’ve got at least another 10 or 12 years. Assuming I’m not creamed while I’m traipsing around the roads this morning.

Well, that assumes I survive today’s three hours on the homicidal roads of Phoenix.