Tag Archives: personal

Do not plug in this USB connector

Seems to me that's asking for it.  I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Seems to me that’s asking for it. I did manage to resist the temptation, but it was difficult.

Hi Readers. Thanks for coming by for a read.

When FEDEX delivered this package I examined it with considerable awe.  Here’s a device with no instructions, nothing to indicate what it is, nor why the VA had St. Judes send it to me.

It's evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove.  The camp stove wasn't included in the package.

It’s evidently intended to be plugged into an electric Coleman camp stove. The camp stove wasn’t included in the package.

However, I eventually got replies from my enquiries to the KCVA about why it was sent.  Seems the camp stove should be arriving sometime soon, and that on May 27 I should take it along with me to an appointment with a VA cardiologist specialist and all will be explained.

Until then I’m still doing all my cooking on Jeanne’s electric range.

Old Jules

Netflix, Mahjong, computer chess and good books

Hi readers.  Thanks for coming by.

For the past while my physical prowess has been challenged enough to force me to find alternatives to just reading and meditating, while Jeanne’s pointed out my brain might be failing me from lack of oxygen.  So, she introduced me to Mahjong online to exercise my brain cells.  Which she has no confidence will help.

http://www.freegames.ws/games/boardgames/mahjong/freemahjong.htm

But I’ve been enjoying it.  Online Mahjong makes for a middling good way to pass some time so long as you make it clear you’re not going to put up with any BS from it.  Just hitting the reset button when it tries to throw near-impossible tiles onto that right side and top will keep it towing the line.

Similarly, computerized chess will throw a lot of BS at you, but there’s no easy way of escaping it.  Conceding the games early, immediately after it takes your queen, does cut down of the time wasted, but even that finds a traction point eventually.

And all work and no play leads me to movies.  A place I haven’t been in decades.  Jeanne’s son, Andrew, subscribes to Netflix and allows me to use unlimited streaming video [cheeze I love that phrase] access to their movies.

Watched out movies I haven’t seen except as a kid or teenager, watched movies I loved as a young adult, movies filmed in times a lot different from these. And sated myself out.  Huk, starring George Mongomery during the early 1950s is an example.  Movie about a ‘native’ Filipino uprising after WWII against the US plantation owners.  If we allow the moviemakers to tell us whom to root for we’ll be cheering for the plantation owners every time a little brown brother gets himself shot.

What I’ve learned is there are one hell of a lot of independently made low-budget movies out there capable of providing a type of entertainment I don’t believe movies and television have ever before quite managed.  Maybe the funniest I’ve seen yet was an independent titled, “A Fork in the Road“.    I’d never have had the pleasure of it if I’d not been blessed by a failing vehicle.

Another hilarious one was “Unidentified“.  And a number of Russian ones, Pakistani, Chinese and Korean made movies have offered themselves up for my admiration and piddling around waiting to die or whatever it is I’m doing.

As for good reading material, I’m getting more of it than I can absorb.  Jeanne’s library jobs are fine that way.  Catching up on Terry Pratchett novels, a nice history, Quantrill at Lawrence, The Untold Story, by Paul R. Peterson, One Summer, America 1927, by Bill Bryson,  Prescriptions for Herbal Healing, by Phyllis A Balch, CNC, and Trials of the Diaspora – A History of Anti-Semitism in England, by Anthony Julius.

To name the ones I’m in the process of reading right now.

Saw Harry and Tonto with Art Carney a couple of weeks ago on Netflix.  Reminded me of how differently I viewed it when I saw it sometime in the early 1980s.  And I resonated far too much with it, Hydrox and myself, to watch it through without dropping a few tears.

Hydrox is hanging in there day by day, for those interested.  Who will outlive whom is up for grabs.

Old Jules

 

 

Bummer if that thing went off (from the drafts)

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Enjoying a day out after the hospital stay last week.

Ever noticed how many people hang around discussion boards of every description watching for things they can tell other people NEVER to do?

NEVER play with matches! NEVER ride a bicycle with no brakes! NEVER point an acetylene torch at your face when you light it! NEVER try to get inside a tree shredder while it’s running!

I think there must be something about typing a command about never that feels validating, self-affirming. Telling people what they’ll either have better sense than to do anyway, or who will pay no attention and will do it anyway.

And the fact is, it could as easily be said in ways people might listen to because it wasn’t so offensive and presumptuously downtalking. How about, “Sure would be a big bummer for a person to get his hair caught in that fanbelt.” Something along those lines.

About the only response I can think of appropriate to the NEVER command is “NEVER say NEVER!”

Old Jules
====================================================
Hi folks, Jeanne here.  That was from the unpublished drafts files…although it’s still possible that it was published and I just didn’t find it. So if it sounds familiar, let me know and I’ll be more careful pulling things out this way. There are 945 published posts on this blog, so I suppose you could just hit “random” and find something entertaining.

Fact is, Old Jules has an unstable phone line right now and can’t keep a connection long enough for the internet. It’s difficult to talk to him for more than a few minutes, although the breaks in the connection get fairly predictable. There’s a lot of repeating and frustration involved with a five minute conversation. But he did approve my putting up this old draft and an update.

Yes, but how is he, you ask.  Well…he’s not in the hospital. He sounds real good.  He’s got almost zero energy.  Drinking Caisse’s tea. Blood oxygen level normal. Blood pressure fluctuating. Reading a lot, generally staying warm and fed. Trying not to get dehydrated or winded. Although he’s isolated, Gale and his neighbor check on him from time to time and some others of us call him frequently and freak out (me)  if for some reason he doesn’t answer the phone (usually it’s on the charger).
I suspect it was pneumonia that caused things to deteriorate to the point where he went to the hospital. While treating him for that, they found other stuff to alert him about, and he’s tackling those in order of importance as he sees it.
A couple of us are standing by to take care of the cats if he decides to, or needs to, go back in for the rest of the recommended testing. Gale is out of town on a fairly frequent basis, so we are trying to make sure some satisfactory solution is found for them. I would just drive down there and get them, but 800 miles doesn’t allow for him to get them back easily when things settle down, so that’s not the first choice.
So basically, he’s resting a lot and trying to get his energy back, and I’m preoccupied with keeping tabs on him and passing on updates as needed.
When I can keep my head on straight, I’ll see if I can’t pull some posts out of the drafts from time to time, but I think my own blog is on hiatus for now.
Thanks, C.P., for sending the photo from last week.
And thanks again, everyone,  for all your kind thoughts.
Jeanne

New Year Day 2014

Hi again readers:   Turned out I ain’t as tough as I believed myself to be.  I’m in the hospital in Kerrville, TX, sneaked spang in a couple of days ago through the Emergency Room.  They know a lot about what’s been going on inside me now, and all of it is interesting and exciting, though it doesn’t necessarily bode well for my continuing to post on the So Far From Heaven blog a lot longer, everything else being equal.

But I’ve refused most of the things they’d propose to do insofar as keeping me this distance from heaven, plan to get discharged hopefully today, go back out to Gale’s and digest my newfound perspectives.  Make some exciting decisions about what a guy in my position ought to be doing with himself, thinking about, spending his time and energy on.

Probably should have been doing that all along, but it wasn’t rubbing right up against it consciously and autopilot isn’t the best place to observe important, exciting events.

Happy New Year to those of you who believe this is a new year and are willing to be happy during it.

Old Jules

A merry little dumpster diving year-end adventure

Hi readers:

When I left Andrews on Christmas Eve morning a cold fog wrapped the RV and a tasteful bow atop kept it all together for the felines and me until I reached Big Spring.  That’s where the brakes on the RV failed.  Roughly 100 yards before the entryway into the parking lot for a chain store for auto parts.

Great, helpful folks there while I was diagnosing the cause of the problem, feeding brake fluid to the pre-Christmas Universe.  Determining the next best guess to be a failed master cylinder.  And me with almost no tools along.

Ordered the master cylinder inside the store, arranged with them to park in their lot until it arrived the day following Xmas.  They showed me an electrical outlet where I could plug in to keep the heater and lights modern.

Hydrox, Tabby and I watched a store employee carrying boxes past us to the dumpster straining to get them over the side.  One plastic box appeared to be a great possibility for a litter box, so I went over to retrieve it.  I was astonished to observe the dumpster was home to several boxes with taped label, “Manager Disposal”, the contents scattered among the lowbrow cartons and candy wrappers.

The contents:  open end wrenches all sizes, box end wrenches, socket sets, miscellaneous other tools, a couple of which I’d surely need for the master cylinder replacement.  So early Christmas morning I climbed down the chimney of the dumpster and began digging out every tool I could bring myself to save from the landfill.

Finished in time to have myself a nice Christmas dinner of something-or-other, cuddle a cat, watch a vintage movie.

Next morning the master cylinder arrived, I installed it with the dumpster-tools, ran the RV around the parking lot a bit to test the brakes, and headed off to points south.

Easily the weirdest Christmas I’ve ever been blessed with.

Old Jules

Hunkered down for the duration

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hunkered into a 1947 US military goose-down sleeping bag, checking the blood oxygen occasionally probably is about as good a way as any to reach Nirvana.

Hi readers:

The coincidence coordinators decided last week that it’s still early times for figuring out what the Veterans Administration Medical Drama Department has in store.  Spang shut down their offices mid-week, filled up their voice mail boxes to overflowing before I developed the good sense to bow to the inevitable.

The cats appear to be indifferent to the challenges.  Whatever the hell it was caused me to decide I needed to sign up to see a VA medical person will have to get in line behind an ice-melt.  Evidently it had nothing at all to do with blood oxygen, anyway.

The cats are laughing their asses off at me about the whole thing.

Old Jules

It’s an ill wind that blows no good

sriracha hot chili sauce

Hi readers. 

I’ve always loved Sriracha Chili Sauce, hate knowing they’ve come on hard times.  I’d guess the people in that California town would live to be 110 each if they’d gut it out, breathing that stuff three months out of the year.

City: Odor from Sriracha chili plant a nuisance

As many as 40 trucks a day pull up to unload red hot chili peppers by the millions. Each plump, vine-ripened jalapeno pepper from central California then goes inside on a conveyor belt where it is washed, mixed with garlic and a few other ingredients and roasted. The pungent smell of peppers and garlic fumes is sent through a carbon-based filtration system that dissipates them before they leave the building, but not nearly enough say residents.

“Whenever the wind blows that chili and garlic and whatever else is in it, it’s very, very, very strong,” Sanchez said. “It makes you cough.”

I’d love to be downwind of it when it’s in operation if it weren’t for the fact it’s in California, and if I went to California next thing I knew I’d be having to get along with Californians.  For me it’s a bit late in the day to take on that job of work.

Anyway, you’re probably wondering what the good is I referred to in the title to the post.  Here it is:

His recipe for Sriracha is so simple that the Vietnamese immigrant has never bothered to conceal it: chili pepper, garlic, salt, sugar and vinegar.

“You could make it yourself at home,” he told a visitor during a tour of the plant on Tuesday. But, he added with a twinkle in his eye, not nearly as well as he can.

The secret, he said, is in getting the freshest peppers possible and processing them immediately.

The result is a sauce so fiercely hot it makes Tabasco and Picante seem mild, though to those with fireproof palates and iron stomachs it is strangely addicting. Thirty-three years after Tran turned out his first bucketful, Sriracha’s little plastic squeeze bottles with their distinctive green caps are ubiquitous in restaurants and home pantries around the world.

Now if those Californios shut him down at least a person has the basics to cook the stuff himself.  Fill the RV up with the odor as many months of the year as he wants to. 

The government hasn’t learned the potential joys of this yet, so they haven’t made it illegal.  I can close all the windows on the RV,  zonk up on it, me and the cats.  Lie back against the cushions and try to learn to play the harmonica.  Or listen to any of about a million songs my bud Rich provided for me to play on an hmmm MP3?  A tiny thing that plays songs – holds a few hundred at a time.  One of the few inventions since lawsuit to really add to the joy of life for the average human being.

Old Jules