...the Elevated Record

Blog from the Hill


January 31, 2021

Finally it is the end of January as we knew it. It seems as though it has been January all year! I didn't know a month could be so long.

This morning I learned that I can still get YouTube on my television, even though I switched to cable yesterday. I have to use the features of my BlueRay Disc player to get it, but we can still "attend" church in our living room. This morning we had a guest preacher, Rev. Naomi Tutu, daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. WOW! She is a powerful preacher, and delivered a very timely sermon about current events in America.

Before I get carried away, let me just say that I've been having trouble backing up. The external hard drive that I had been using on my Linux computer since forever (four years, now) didn't want to work anymore. It wasn't tired, but thought it might like to retire. The disk was still spinning, I knew, so I initiated an email discussion with the one member of the Western NC Linux Users Group that would not belittle me for my lack of knowledge. Gene has come to my aid many times, but amazingly enough I had not called upon his guidance for over a year. He and I met, today, and he connected the drive to his computer, ran some tests on it, the results of which were all "Old Age" with the exception of two which read "Pre-Failure". He told me that the drive was likely beyond use, at this point. Still, he gave me some pointers on how I might be able to revive it using my Windows computer. (??). Needless to say, I tried what he said, and 20 minutes later I had a working external hard drive again! I now have a backup recorded on the disk.

I went shopping so that I could get more distilled water since both Becky and I are using 1/2 cup of it every night in our CPAPs. I also needed to get more trash bags, and while I was on that aisle, I also picked up some toilet paper and tissues. Then I decided to see if they had any gluten-free meals that were not hot curry, hot tomales, hot Chili Mac and so forth. They had two, so I bought two of each. Then, because I have some Tostitos Strips, but no hummus, I bought two tubs of hummus: Roasted Red Peppers; and Siracha. I had tasted some Siracha hummus and found that it had a delicious flavor and was not flaming hot. Becky will enjoy the other. I also got some Guacamole, but to be honest, I couldn't tell if it was made with Jalapenos, in which case I will use it very cautiously and infrequently.


January 30, 2021

Spectrum was supposed to arrive at 10am. He got here at 9am. We now have Spectrum TV/Phone/Internet, with the television added to the list today. We started watching at 11am. Naturally, we'll still lose programs during rain/snow events, because they get their feed by satellite. BUT it costs half as much as satellite feed to the house. There is even a Classical Masterpieces channel (1949, the same as Becky's birthyear). Naturally, we decry the loss of our saved movies and TV Shows from the Dish DVR, and even more, we mourn the lack of a DVR in this installation. We might call and request one if it doesn't raise the bill much.

I just had a long email answering session to clear a few things up for my brothers, like names of family and friends. They're both older than me (Lloyd is 79 and John is 77), and sometimes I think my own memory is slipping, but I still have a fairly healthy long-term recall, thank God. It was great fun jogging down memory lane again. I hope I didn't step on toes along the way.

January 29, 2021

A day Off! There was nothing that we had to do today, so I sit at my computers, fire up the Windows one, play my daily challenges (failed to win the Expert one, but I've got two more days to attempt to win it), then switched to the Linux one. It had not booted. It was in the emergency mode. News flash: Apparently nobody on the MX Linux Forum had any idea what the emergency mode was. They didn't even know there was such a mode. After a few more attempts at booting up, I reloaded MX Linux (the operating system - try THAT in your Windows computers!). Yeah, it worked, and I lost no data. So that was my morning.

What the guys on the Forum did know was that I should run the SMART Long Test to test the hard drive. Well, it's a 2TB drive, so lots of surface area to be damaged, and I installed it four (4) years ago, so lotsa time to damage that surface area. Well, the first thing I did, rather than ask, "What's SMART?" and being told, "Well, not you, that's for sure!", I searched in my directory to see if any of my applications answered to that name. Nope, they did not. So, I went to the app Depository online and learned that it was already installed in my computer. The next step was to DuckDuckGo (Google without all the headaches associated with it) how to use it. It turns out that it's simple, but it has to be used from the Terminal (a.k.a. not Windows, not GUI, not even the C: prompt. So I ended up copying and pasting the commands into the Terminal, ran the short test (took 2 minutes), then ran the long test (It will have taken six hours to complete the test, so I'll know after 1:30 a.m. if it passed the test or failed. The short test gave scores like, "Pre-Failure", and, "Old Age". I suspect, though it did actually pass the short test, that it may not pass the long test. Well I can afford a 1TB solid-state drive, which will have no moving parts or surfaces to be damaged, and will actually be faster than a spinning drive ever thought of being. The only reason I had bought a 2TB drive, last time, is because it was less expensive than I had thought a 1TB drive might be.

January 28, 2021

I have decided to switch my TV source. I started out with Charter Cable, then went to DirecTV, then to Dish, and I'm ready to say they all have drawbacks. The satellite companies can't get the signal to us when it rains hard, and snow collects in the dish causing me to have to get as close to on-the-roof as I can safely be to clear it off. The programs come across with occasional pixelations, jittery spots, odd sounds, missing segments and other anomalies that make watching less than pleasant. Spectrum has offered to hook me up for $44.95/mo, half of what I pay to Dish, with HD programs on par with the satellite companies (well, they say it's on par - we'll see). They are also offering cell phones for $14 per line. Becky and I would pay about 1/4 the amount that T-Mobile charges. We'll consider it for about a month, and then see what their phone deals are, because they're on 5G, now, and our phones are 4G.

Spectrum will hook us up in two days.

January 27, 2021

I'm back up to full strength, and I tested it today in Day Seven of the Rezum Recovery. Becky and I visited with Suzanne, had a wonderful lunch and five games (I think it was 5) of Mah Jongg, of which Becky and I each won one. I came close three times, being one tile away from finishing my hand at the end of it. The other one I was hopelessly behind and had no chance to win. Somehow, I would rather lose by a large margin that to get so close to a win before losing. I'm sure a psychiatrist would have a hayday with that statement.

At any rate, I did not get tired, sore or lose focus in the games. I lasted!

January 26, 2021

I took Becky to get her shots this morning, as usual, and a very interesting thing happened. While we were waiting the required 30 minutes afterward, I was reading a novel that I had decided, in the first quarter of it, was too boring to ever become interesting. As I passed the 60% mark in the book, the timer I had set for the 30-minute wait sounded the end of my reading period. I think it was the first time we had let the timer run out completely. The last time I had checked it was six minutes after I had started it. So, after a boring beginning, the book became interesting. and I was starting to suspect a culprit. Shortly before the end of the book, just a few minutes after 11pm, the plot took a twist (one might have expected it), shifting the blame from the thieving investigator to the reclusive "other" person,  but in the next-to-last chapter, the plot-twist reversed itself to point at the thieving investigator again. Only in the epilog did it become apparent that the "other" person was also a thieving investigator, but one who had gotten away with the scam, leaving the other thieving investigator to take the fall.

Oh, yeah - Becky and I BOTH went shopping today, and I still forgot to get two things that were on the shopping list, or should have been.

January 25, 2021

Happy Burns Nicht Day!

(Yeah, I know it doesn't make much sense, but tonight is Burns Nicht - a Celebration of Robbie Burns on what is generally considered to be the best guess as to his date of birth in 1759 - but the day is all day, not just at night, so there)

We started the day when I arose at 7am. I showered, dressed, pushed the trash bin to the curb, then started doing my Daily Challenges on the computer. At 10:30, we logged into the Morning Bible Study, and once again, I couldn't get a word in edgewise, like to let everyone know that the prostate procedure was a success. I did, one time, answer a question - correctly - and was heard, but the other times I tried to speak, someone else spoke over me. One of them even said, "Oh, sorry, someone else was talking. Do you want me to continue?" and the moderator said "Yes", so she did, and I couldn't. It's frustrating. When it came time to leave, I had to send a text to the moderator to say, "Gotta Go. Bye".

After the Study was over, I drove directly to the Urologist, arriving about 15 minutes early, but then in 10 minutes after entering the treatment room, I no longer had a catheter. YEA!

On the way home, I bought some Starbucks coffees for Becky and me (Yes, I'm still angry with them), and when I got home, we enjoyed a lunch of hot dogs and potato chips, after which I cleaned my teeth and drove to the dentist so we could discuss the progress we'd made on my TMJ problem and the possible adjustment of the bridge. The good news is that treating the joint and muscle with Voltarin (as needed) has done wonders for the occasional pain, like at the end of a particularly stressful day, and that I haven't noticed that the bridge is not natural teeth, except when I have to floss under it and not between it.

Today, too, the external hard drive case, that I had ordered on January 4th  from Amazon, arrived. I was able to install one of the HDDs that I have lying around, damaging only one finger in the process. Now if only I can get it to work with any of my computers. It's identified, on my Windows computer, as VLI product string, but I cannot do anything with it except to eject it. On the Linux desktop, it spins up, spins down, spins up, spins down, and so forth until I turn it off. Not good.

January 24, 2021

Another wonderfully pain-free day, after a restful night's sleep. For the first time in ages I awoke shortly before 7am - sleeping on my back! I never sleep on my back, because first of all, I snore. But I wear a CPAP, so I don't exactly snore, but where I would snore, I just now make hissing noises, like a low-pressure air leak. (It awakens me when Becky does it, so I don't know how she sleeps through it when I do it - I can't even sleep through it when I do it). As I start to get drowsy, I would normally roll to one side, usually my right side, and go to sleep. During the night, I might change to my left side, or spend a few moments on my back to cough up some phelgm en route to my left. When I awoke on my back, though, I was amazed that I had no morning backache! What???

Before church, this morning, I emptied my collector bag (see previous posts, if you've forgotten - I'm told I share too much), then ten minutes later, I got up and emptied it again - 800ml each time! Then after church emptied it again, and after Virtual Coffee Hour did it a fourth time, same amount each time! I must have been storing the fluids rather than letting them drain. How is that possible? I don't know, but I will ask the Urologist when I see him next (tomorrow at noon).

Becky and I have just been alerted (thanks Suzanne) that her Fakebook accound has been sending things that SHE didn't send. She has just changed her password. I may as well change mine, too, since it's been a while since the last time.

January 23, 2021

Happy LunaVersary!

I woke up with a tremendously sore back, having restricted my sleeping position to my back and left side (I normally spend the majority of the night on my right side) due to the catheter draining to a collector on the left side of the bed. I have two more nights (tonight and tomorrow) before it is removed. I have been very comfortable all day, having taken the urinary pain medication (OTC) as directed all day (two tablets every six hours), and since I had pain, even with the "Orange Aid" as I call it, the first two days, I'm going to skip the last dose today (wich I would have taken at 8pm, had I been going to take it at all) and see how I awaken in the morning. I suspect I will be ok without it.

Since it was our LunaVersary day and I had been having so much pain for two days, Becky took pity on me and catered to my whims, at least until supper time, when she suggested that I know how to bake a frozen pizza much better than she does. In truth, I am pretty good at spreading pepperoni on my half of the vegan pizza and some blue cheese crumbles on the whole pie. We only get vegan pizza because the others that have the cauliflower crust usually have hot, spicy sausage and/or pepperoni over the whole pie, and Becky has become more and more sensitive to hot spices, while I have become much more accepting of them, within limits.

January 22, 2021

I slept comfortably through the night and awoke a little after 7 when my bladder started aching. Bear in mind, I have a catheter, so there was no need to awaken me. Nevertheless, I woke up, got up, emptied my night collector that had very little in it (the day collector would have had sufficient room left over, but better safe than wet, I guess).

There was, surprisingly, no pain - until I emptied the bag. I think that evokes a response in the bladder and it wants to play along. It stings as though it is actually passing blood, likely objecting to trying to move after having been so crudely violated.

I took the antibiotics with lunch, as told, but I didn't see the need for pain medication. However; when six o'clock rolled around, I did take some "urinary pain medication" (I call it 'DYE', because it turns everything orange). It doesn't take all the sting away, but it does lessen the intensity of it. I may call it an early night, tonight, just so I won't have to sit up any longer than necessary.

January 21, 2021

This morning, I drove Becky to get her allergy shots, then we drove to the bank to deposit a check, drove to Asheville Urological Associates to pay the $80 that insurance would not cover for my Nitrous Oxide (ProNox, I think it was called - 50% N02 and 50% O2). Finally, we drove to the surgery center for my prostate procedure, Rezum. I had two nurses, Rebecca and Chelsea, who prepped me for the procedure by squirting a large amount of Lidocane into my urethra and placed a clamp on it. Then I had to roll to my left side and "assume the position", as it were. The clamp "disappeared", as did a great quantity of Lidocane. The surgeon came in did some injections into the prostate to numb it, Once again on my back, I had a refill of lidocane and a new clamp, since they could not find the first one. I was scooted to the foot of the table, my feet placed in stirrups (you women are familiar with that position, I'm sure), and I was given a tube to breathe from, an Oximeter a, BP Cuff and some noise-cancelling head phones that were playing some good music. The first was Saint-Saens' The Swan, and from there on I don't remember. I just know it was all good music, wonderfully played by orchestra, quartet and solo artists.

This was my first experience with Nitrus, so I was unprepared for the free-feeling of floating numbness. I was, of course, fully aware of what was going on. I felt everything as it was inserted, felt every squirt of water vapor (steam, in my book) and I heard everything that my "team of proceders" said, though I didn't understand their speech. Finally, implements were extracted, the tent was removed from my eyes, at which time I relinquished the Nitrus tube to one of the nurses. "How are you doing?" she asked. "Iiii'mm OoooKkkk," I answered, very slowly. Within five minutes, I was able to speak normally again, and I was amazed at how rapidly I recovered from the Nitrus. I will not hesitate to use that again, should the need arise. "Damn the cost - Gas Me!"

I was sent home with a catheter and collection bag, even an extra, high-capacity collector for night time, because hopefully I'm going to be filling it in my sleep. The pharmacy had three drugs for me, one OTC and the others prescription drugs. When I got home, I used the OTC Urinary Pain medication, and because I knew that wouldn't be sufficient, I also used the Prescription for the same purpose (the surgeon said I could use either or even both at the same time). Then, when Lunch came around, I took the Real pain medication, Oxycontin. I feel finde

Any typos is just the drugs talking.

January 20, 2021

Habemus Praeses - We have a President!

I have never before been choked with tears at an inauguration, but I was today. Renewed pride in and hope for my country, as well as relief from the oppressive nightmare through which we had never had to face before. I watched and dabbed at my leaking eyes as President Biden took the oath of office today, and while I realize the damage done to the country and our alies will not be healed overnight, I feel as though we have just received a vaccine and the healing has already begun.

My boss at Seabrook Island Property Owners Association used to tell me that it was time to clear my desk into the trash can and start over. I feel that same way about fakebook, now, that they might as well erase the past four years of rhetoric from their pages and start fresh. Naturally, that isn't going to happen, so I'll be sentenced to re-reading it for another four years, I'm afraid, unless I do something drastic, like read only the top five posts in my notifications at the end of the day, then ignore the rest of them.

January 19, 2021

Becky got her allergy shots, and on the way home we got some lunch take-away from TGI Fridays. It was not up to their usual standards. The cheese sauce was solid and molded to the bottom of the carry-out box, and the peppers and onions tasted under-cooked and tough. I got the impression that the meal had been prepared yesterday, then stored overnight in the refrigerator, somewhat heated in the microwave today and given to the first customer to want a to-go order. I'm not pleased. The chicken and mashed potatoes were ok, but in the midst of the rest of the meal, I didn't really enjoy them. They might have to remove the word "Sizzlin' " from the name of the dish, because there's no way that cheese would have gelled that much on the 10 minute drive home if they had, in fact, been sizzling when servede.

January 18, 2021

Monday, Monday - can't trust that day...

Well, most of the day went well. We awoke to snow on the ground, but not on the walk, drive or street (I really had to resist saying walk, drive or fly). I got the trash and recycling to the curb with no trouble, though, because the snow was almost an inch thick.

While I was doing my morning Computer Calusthentics, the trash pickup came, so I retrieved that can, then went back and finished my games - uh - workout. I got involved in something and with two minutes to spare I realized it was time to log in for the Bible Study. I rushed into the computer room and logged in. Becky, though, rushed into the kitchen for another cup of coffee, then made a grand entrance to the computer room - on camera.

In the afternoon, just as we were finishing lunch, the recycling truck trundled up the hill, up to the top without stopping. On the way back down, they collected from both sides of the street. That way, the cans on my side of the street had to be hauled all the way around to the other side of the truck to be emptied by the can lifter. What were they thinking? (What? Were they thinking?)

To top it off, when it came time for Compline, Becky interrupted me as I was starting to give an introduction, and when I resumed, I welcomed everyone to Friday Night Compline and had to backpedal and get back to Monday Night Compline. Hmm, I don't think I'll use that intro again. But in my defence, last week we couldn't do Monday Night Compline and ended up subbing for the Thursday Night team. Yeah, I still haven't gotten over that.

January 17, 2021

Sunday again, and another stunning sermon. "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?" was put into a close context, referring to West Asheville as a town of no consequence, but there was a mission operating where anyone who needed a meal could get one, no questions asked. Can anything good come out of West Asheville? Yes, apparently good is happening there on a daily basis.

We had a bumper crop of attendees at the Virtual Coffee Hour after church. When we logged in, we were the fourth computer to arrive, and soon afterward there were three other computers logged in. Four of the computers had just one person, and the rest had two, so ten people in attendance. We had a good conversation about the sermon, and even became aware of a problem with YouTube and getting logged into the church service at the appointed time. That problem will be referred to our tech guru, so here's hoping it will be dealt with quickly.

January 16, 2021

I saw on the news, this morning, that people 65 and older and those with co-morbidity will be able to get the Covid-19 Vaccine in NC starting in February. That will enable both Becky and me to get the shots. That relieves some of my tension.

Shortly after that, I called Ingles Pharmacy to see if we could get our second Shingles vaccine, and did we need a reservation for it. While I was waiting to speak with the Pharmacist, I heard that I could get online and register for the Covid-19 vaccine. The answer from the pharmacist was, "Come in anytime for the Shingles vaccine." Then I got online with Ingles and registered Becky and myself for the Covid-19 vaccine. Now that we are registered, when Ingles Pharmacy gets the vaccine, they will start calling those of us on the list and set up appointments for us to come in and get the vax. That relieved even more tension.

Then we drove to Suzanne's and ate a good lunch of Turkey Chili, Guacamole, and stuffed olives, followed by four rousing hands of Mah Jongg (Suzanne, 2; Me, 2; Becky, 0). Becky wants another rematch, because this one didn't end well for her.

January 15, 2021

Beware the Ides of January!

Well, they weren't so bad, this year. I got the laundry done that had been deferred from Wednesday, then I went to Sams to replenish my vitamine supply, then to the drug store to purchase the wrong kind of toothpaste (again), as well as some chewable caramel candies. All in all, I did pretty well, and will try to find the correct tooth paste whenever Becky goes into the store with me to point it out.

I played around with camera placement, today, to see if putting the camera anywhere but on the top of the monitor would be any better. It won't. The old camera on my Windows computer is below face level, and looks up my nostrils, and the new camera on my Linux computer makes it look like I am looking down all the time because it is a little too far above my eye level for reading. Maybe if I had the script on the screen instead of at desk level it would look better. I'll see what I can do about that.

January 14, 2021

I read a post on fakebook that said today is the Day of the Donkey (Hee-Haw). I have not verified it, but if every dog has its day, why not donkeys, too?

After Becky's shots, this morning, which have been boosted from the beginners' blend to the continuing concoction, we came home, ate a hurried lunch and waited for the arrival of the AC Installers. They came a little after noon, had the old parts taken out by 1pm, and finished installing the new parts shortly after 4pm. In the process, they repositioned the outdoor pad on which the condenser sits. Apparently "Code" has changed since the old one was installed and it was required to be further from the hours than before. Additionally, they cut the vines from the side of the house so that they might not grow into and through the condenser. They did a wonderful job, reprogrammed the thermostat so that it will not try to start the now-non-existant heat pump.

Early this morning, I was contacted by the man who reads Compline on Thursday evenings. He asked if I would be able to substitute for him this evening, and I said I would. With 30 minutes to spare, I started testing fakebook live, and two out of three tests with my main computer and new camera failed the same way as last Monday, which is that when I clicked Go Live, the camera was switched off. The other test passed, but upon going live, the camera turned off, then back on. I then turned on my backup computer (Windows-10) and tested with the older camera, and both tests passed, again turning the camera off and back on. As a result, we used the Windows computer and old camera and were successful in reading the Order of Compline.

January 13, 2021

Friday the 13th came on Wednesday this month!

The technician came to do maintenance on our HVAC today, and said that the AC coils were corroded and leaking coolant. We had received that same news last Summer when the tech was here, so I decided to be proactive and replace them before they fail next Summer. I asked him if he could send us an estimate. He did better than that, and sent us an Estimator!

About half an hour later, the Estimator and an Estimator Trainee arrived, went under the house, asked us why we had a hybrid system of AC and a heat pump, then measured the HVAC plant, took about 20 photos, then took a few minutes to write up an estimate. He said to replace the old hybrid/AC would cost $5,600+, but if we wanted to switch to AC only, it would cost only $4,700+. He also said that it would save money to operate it, and be more comfortable in non-freezing Winter weather, also. We opted for straight AC and said BYE to the heat pump.

When Becky mentioned her allergies, he suggested a new air filtration using to eliminate dust, dust mites and other allergens. We added that to the contract, and will pay it off on time, with the first 18 months being interest-free, and we have the option to pay it off at any time with no penalties. Who could refuse? The installer will come tomorrow at noon.

January 12, 2021

After my blow-up with "Fakebook" for preventing me from broadcasting Compline last night, I had an email discussion with our Church Secretary concerning the missing Tuesday evening Officiant. Apparently she didn't get my email after the second time she (Ms. Tuesday N. Absentia) missed. However, during the discussion, I tried again to post a video on the church's Business Facebook page, and after the third attempt, I was successful. This time, though my camera was not switched off, but I got a message saying "Cannot Start Live Video" and instructing me to try again. I reported my success to the Secretary, who relayed it to Ms. Absentia, and I was left with the impression that the missing Officiant would try again.

Well, she didn't try again, at least not tonight. I suspect she and her husband don't know much about computers. It makes me wonder why they volunteered for the position. Perhaps she ambition to be a part of ministry clouded her understanding that it would be done by computer.

January 11, 2021

Facebook is now Censoring Church Accounts!

Normally, on Monday nights, I would be commenting about Bible Study in the morning, and maybe mentioning Compline in the Evening.

There was NO COMPLINE tonight, even though I tried several times to broadcast it. As soom as I clicked Go Live on the church's facebook site - a Business Facebook account - initiating the start of the broadcast, my webcam was switched off. I tried three times, and each time it was switched off, and not by me, either.

I logged into my personal facebook page and was able to broadcast a brief video describing the failure to broadcast on the Church's page, and Grace Church's former Deacon watched it and commented, so I was emboldened by the success, as well as being assured that my computer system was not at fault. Being thus bolstered with success, still on my personal page, I broadcast a video RANT AGAINST FACEBOOK for censoring the church's broadcast. Then I sent a trouble report to facebook describing the problem and, again, accusing them of censorship. 

One of several things may result from my rant and trouble report: 1) nothing at all; 2) facebook will respond to the church and give empty promises that they had nothing to do with it; 3) facebook will delete the church's business page; or, 4) facebook will insist that I not be licensed to broadcast on their business page anymore. Of course, if option 4 is used, then I will have no further use for facebook. Over the past 7 months, the only reason I've kept a facebook account was so that I could broadcast Compline on Mondays for my church.

January 10, 2021

10am, I tuned in to YouTube expecting to find the link to today's church service from Grace Episcopal. It wasn't there - yet. Well, it was 30 minutes before the service was due to start, so I found a fun video to watch that was only 22 minutes long. When that video was over, the link to the service was posted, so I clicked it. I was treated to a slide show of photos of the church, bios of the four candidates for the four empty slots on the Vestry, and other still shots. The service started some 13 minutes later. It was, as usual, a good sermon.

When the service was over, the Congregational Meeting was to start. Actually, it was announced that the Meeting would start at 11:45, but since the service ended at 11:48, obviously THAT didn't happen, at least not on the announced time. I fired up Zoom on my computer and watched the notice that said, "Please wait for the meeting to open." It hadn't opened by noon, and I figured if they had planned to open the meeting at 11:45, 15 minutes after the projected end of the service, but the service started later than the usual 10:25 (prelude usually starts five minutes before the service), I added the eight minutes between then and the actual start, then tacked on the 18 minutes of the late ending of the service, and figured the meeting wouldn't start before 26 minutes after its projected start time...

I lost interest in attending the Congregational Meeting and started trying to play my daily puzzles - which also wouldn't play, just like they didn't yesterday, and I figured that Bill Gates was pissed because people are bad-mouthing his HERO (#45) and disabled those games for spite!

January 09, 2021

When I arose this morning, the temperature was 32 degrees. We might have gotten up to 37 degrees today, but not for long. At 4:40pm, when I left the house to go to the store, it was 34 degrees, and when I left the store 10 minutes later, it was 32 degrees. It will, they say, drop to 27 before the sun rises again to try to warm us again.

I tried to "attend" Compline this evening using my Windows computer, and we could barely hear it, though the volume control was all the way up to 100%. I've got to find my other set of external speakers, because these speakers in the back of the monitor are inadequate for any use.

January 08, 2021

Something has been very odd, today. I felt as though I had not slept last night, though I knew that I had. I tried to awaken about 10am to put the clothes from the washer into the dryer, but it felt as though I had been drugged with narcotics. I went back to sleep after shifting the laundry, and when Becky tried to awaken me for lunch, she had to call my name four times before I recognized it and responded by jerking awake violently. I was, as I heard in a movie once, "...dug in like a tick!"

Well, yes it snowed last night, but not the 4-8 inches they had predicted for Asheville. We got more like 2 inches. And, yes it was above freezing and did not accumulate during the day, but instead it melted what had accumulated, remaining wet and cold, the temperature remaining below 40 degrees.

January 07, 2021

This morning, I went to the urologist to finally get the procedure I've been needing for the past year. As often happens, the Nurse/Receptionist found no appointment lested for me. After some investigation she found that while I wasn't scheduled for the procedure, today, I was scheduled for a urine culture, which was to be done at their other office, a block away. She took the specimin and sent it over to the other office to save me a trip. Now I have to wait another two weeks to get the procedure done! If things keep deteriorating the way they have since November, I will be in the ER in a week, unable to void a full bladder!

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

January 06, 2021

Terrorists Attack the Capital Building!

The only other thing I can say today is, "Let the punishment fit the crime!"

January 05, 2021

This morning I drove Becky to get her allergy shots (both of them, this time), then we returned home. When I read my emails that had come in overnight, I found one from Amazon. The delivery they had promised last Sunday, then changed it to Monday, then to Tuesday, they had changed it again, this time to Thursday. After all that, half of the order arrived today (Tuesday). It was the ultrasound cleaner I had ordered.

Naturally, I did not want to wait to try it, so I loaded a sink with two stained coffee cups, a stained Tupperware measuring cup and a stained dishrag, filled it with soapy water, plugged in the power unit to the untrasound cleaner, lowered the transducer into the water and switched it on. Ten minutes later I turned it off, drained the sink and rinsed the contents. The coffee cups are no longer stained, neither is the Tupperware, and the dishrag is cleaner than it has been for 20 years (still darker than its original white and blue). Now I want to try it on the "permanent" stain on my cotton knitted sweater and, at another time, the varnished ovenware.

Once again, the Tuesday Compline officiant was ex-officio. I wonder if she died, or what. Perhaps I'll have to ask her husband.

January 04, 2021

Up at 7am again, because this is trash/recycle pickup day, and I had to get the cans to the street before 8. 

Then it was game time on the computer, and so far this year, I have a perfect record on the Daily Challenge card games. To be fair, I did miss the Expert game the first day, but I tried it again on the 2nd, and I won it. Four days of five different card games each is 20 wins. In december, there were only three card games out of 155 that I didn't win, which is not my best result (I had several perfect months, before), but far from my worst month.

Bible Study, this morning, we discussed the Baptism of Jesus. The question was asked, since Jesus is fully God, why did he need a baptism for forgiveness. The answer, which I was pleased to deliver, is that he is fully Man, as well. Our Rector said that there is probably a reason we didn't know much about the first 30 years of his life, so he may have needed forgiveness as much as any of us does. Then we got into the subject of Confession. Unlike our Roman root, we Episcopalians don't emphasize confession so much. There is, though, a rite of Reconciliation of the Repentant in our Book of Common Prayer, and that is something that Milly has found to be very valuable. (Naturally, I tuned out much of that discussion).

Becky and I read Compline, tonight, but did not sing any part of it, as we had during Advent and on the Fourth Day of Christmas. Today is the Eleventh Day of Christmas, but I felt we had better not get them used to us singine every week. That way, when we do sing again, it will be as welcome as a shower on a dry garden.

January 03, 2021

Becky was still under the weather this morning, so we took her temperature, though she didn't feel warm at all. It was 97.8F, so no fever at all. She started with some Thera-Flu, and sneezed and coughed up until the church service started at 10:30am, but then quieted, participated in the service more than she expected, even sang most of the hymns. Afterward, though, she stayed on the couch while I "attended" the Virtual Coffee Hour. There were four there besides me, and naturally they wanted to know why I had logged in as Bill (& Becky by proxy). I had to explain that she was down with some sinus malady, so naturally they all wished he a speedy return to health.

During the VCH, the conversation turned to the Vaccinations and the priorities for receiving them. One of the women said, since she's 78, she'll be getting it during the second stage. I expressed my dismay that, though they had begun by saying the second stage would take in anyone over 70, but then they changed it to those over 75, cutting me out by a year. However, with Heart Disease, perhaps they'll include me in the 2nd group anyway, unless they change that, too.

Becky and I started watching a movie at noon while we ate lunch. Halfway through lunch (about 10 minutes later) we got a phone call. It wasn't a short call, so when that was over, Becky had three bathroom necessities (related to her system's discharging all the evil - as well as solid waste - as fast as possible, so after the 3rd one, I remarked that at that rate, we wouldn't get to the end of the movie. I had told Suzanne that we wouldn't come up to visit due to Becky being under the weather, but that I would be there after 3pm. At 2:30pm, I put the movie on hold and drove to Suzanne's, delivered the pages she had asked me to print for her (her printer is down for the count) and to pick up some bread she had baked for us. On the way home, I stopped at Publix to get some more tissues, among other things, then returned home by 4:30pm to continue the movie. At 5pm, we were still watching the same movie when another long phone call came in. I think we finally finished the movie about 6:30pm. Not bad for a 97 minute movie!

January 02, 2021

Becky woke up with rampant sinus involvement, today, and has been sneezing and blowing through tissues at a rate we haven't seen since the Quilling convention in Tampa FL a few years back. It's a real hardship not being able to purchase more than two boxes of tissues at a time, but so far I haven't had to make an emergency trip to a second store for another two boxes.

Because of her sinus explosion, though, we delayed our trip to Suzanne's to enjoy some Pistachio Bread and Mah Jongg with her. Perhaps tomorrow will be a better day and we can drive up to visit.

January 01, 2021

Happy New Year!

Goodbye to the Year of Covid! Although the virus is still with us and is mutating to become more spreadable, vaccinations are being given, and I feel good about that. We take a flu shot every year, and while the flu, in all of its mutations, is still with us, I have no illusion that Covid will be any different. We will likely take an annual dose and carry on.

Now, though, before you ask, I have again resolved to be irresolute. I figure, since almost nobody keeps New Years resolutions for very long, why make them in the first place? However, the last 20 years, I have held fast to my resolution not to make any resolutions! (Hooray for me, eh?).

In other news, There hasn't been a Compline broadcast from our church for the last three evenings. Lucky for us we have the Book of Common Prayer so we can read it ourselves. I wonder if it will resume, or be cancelled for lack of interest.