Coffee heat rising

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…



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.



Holeee shee-UT! What a day.

I’ve been around and around and around Robin Hood’s barn today, metaphorically and literally. The headaches and the hassles have gone on and on and ON, so many I can’t even remember them all.

Phoenix is Southern California Redux. I hated living in Southern California. Hated the crowds. Hated the traffic. Hated the smog. Hated the ubiquitous ticky-tacky.

And Late Ticky-Tacky is the dominant style here. Everyplace you look here is tacky. The tacky apartment buildings, the tired cheaply built ranch houses, the brain-banging maze of surface streets, the unholy freeways: tacky, tackier, and tackiest. This characteristic strikes you most strongly when you’re weary from trudging through bumper-to-bumper traffic over bland, faceless streets that carry you past bland, faceless neighborhoods and bland, faceless strip malls.

The high point of the day was weaving my way over and through this lovely landscape, down to the Best Buy. There I was told what I already knew: my laptop (admittedly, my aged laptop) is about done for. It’s just plain worn out.

So now I get to buy a new laptop. That’ll be another two or three thousand bucks. AND naturally — yes, naturally — my software won’t run on it. The Geek Squad is going to try to keep the present incumbent running a while longer. But you can be sure “a while” represents a limited stretch of time.

How can I count the ways I don’t wanna spend hours and hours and days and days running into weeks learning new programs that don’t do what I need them to do? Ugh!

Oh well.

Speaking of things one would think have Gone Away, at Amazon what should I find but some real, old-fashioned Mentholatum! Who’d’ve thunk it was still being made, anywhere?

This, I hope, will work on the peripheral neuropathy as it affects the lips.

Then at the Walmart I found something with lidocaine in it. One would hesitate to put that anywhere near one’s mouth…but I sincerely hope it will help with the mad tingling in the hands, the feet, and the legs.

A-n-n-d in the ether that is the Internet, once again I came across evidence that my grandmother did NOT die when my mother was led to believe she did. Apparently the cancer and the suffering and the drug taking and my 18-year-old mother being made to tend her was all a show. In fact she married a prominent San Francisco businessman, had a street named after her, and hung out in Hemet.

I knew those people were weird. But this stuff takes the cake.


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.