Sunday, August 28, 2005

You heard it here first

It was in August 2 entry >>

There are going to be a bunch of disappointed people on August 27th expecting to see an amazing Mars.  Sorry, folks, it will just be a bright star.

  Today the 28th one of the servers said, "Oh, tonight Mars puts on a show.  Going to be big as the moon."

   Not only was she a day late, she believed that silly impossible story.  Yesterday my cousin told me she was going out to look for Mars.

   People will believe anything.  I think I will start a rumor about the planet Jupiter.  I will say that on Halloween it is going to pass between Earth and the moon. There will some people believe it.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Stung !!

Buying stuff online is sure wonderful and easy. For example, if there is a book I want, I type "bn" on the address line of my AOL screen, and Barnes and Noble catalog appears. I click on the name of the book I want, and in two days it appears in the mail, and the cost is charged to my credit card.

Easy? And clothes, and musical instuments, and programs for the computer. They are all as easy as driving my mouse.

But... Of course, there had to be a "but".  But... there is a down side. For me, a $210 down side. 

   Every scam artist who used to roam the streets of the city, or prey on widows in farm houses the nation over, now can stay cozy and comfortable at home and scam his "marks" on his computer. And that scam artist can find suckers like me who still think they can get something for nothing.

   The offer was "Free GIANT SCREEN TV".  All I had to do was read their great offer and consider it.  Oh, come on, how dumb do they think I am?  But, thought I, let's see what this scam really is.  I am too smart to order anything.  But it won't hurt to look.  Hah.

   I looked.  But first I took a little survey to see if I were eligible.  I filled out age, date of birth, and citizenship.  Oh, oh, you see the signs already, but not I.  I read the ad for the ADVANTAGE LANGUAGE program.  Nice, programmed Spanish language course with audio, computer CDs, and manual. And only $5.95 or something.

   I didn't care to learn Spanish, but when I tried to "X" out of the offer, I could not exit.  AND, I could not turn off computer.  The only thing I could have done was pull the plug from the wall, and I have been told that is a computer "no no". The only exit was through the order form, which to ADVANTAGE LANGUAGE meant that I wanted the course.

   The initial order came. Okay, nicely done and boxed.

   BUT... Another "but"?  You already had one "but", how many "buts" do you expect us to follow? Well, at least one more: But a month later here came lesson two, and my credit card was charged $59.95,  AND a month later here came lesson number three, and my credit card was charged $59.95.  AND a month later here came lesson number four and my credit card was charged $59.95.

   I screamed to the credit card company, "make no more payments to ADVANTAGE LANGUAGE co."  And the credit card company made a "provisonal refund" of $180 (less fifteen cents).

   BUT... (Last one.) But... the company provided the credit card company with my order, and my birthdate, and my birthplace. The credit card company considers it a legitimate order.  The provisonal refund is cancelled, and I am STUNG $179.85, plus the $5.95 or whatever it was, and I never got my big screen tv, either.

   Later, some people never learn, I ordered ERROR GUARD for my computer.  "Free download". I am a sucker for that word "free".  The free download took about twenty minutes. And I ran the program.  It found 29 critical errors.  It offered to fix them, but first I must "register" my error guard, and that would cost $29.95.  So I authorized the payment.  ERROR GUARD took my money, and sent me a l-o-n-g activation code.  BUT... the activation code didn't work. An email to ERROR GUARD was never answered.

   But Chuck, I hear you saying, just call ERROR GUARD or ADVANTAGE LANGUAGE and demand your money back.

   Sure, and whistle into the wind, too.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

My Mind to me a KIngdom Is *

I created an abstract drawing in Paint program, and then stared at it for an hour. For some reason it made me think of Kansas City, so I called it Cityscape.

I can imagine Kansas City, with Kansas to the left and Missouri to the right.  The state line runs right through town. You might live in Kansas and your next door neighbor live in Missouri.  The blue lines must be rivers.  If this were Kansas City they would be the Kansas and the Missouri.  They run right through town too.

But it is not Kansas City, it is an abstract, made with a jillion random dots. If in this "city" the orange splotches were schools and the green splotches were parks, you would applaud the planning commssion for scattering them about town near the houses and apartments, black dots. Whatever the brown, grey, and umber dotes are, they look like they belong.

All in all, I think I have too much time on my hands, and not enough real stuff to do.

*A line from a poem that I will look up after I post this.

Your search for ""My mind to me a kingsom is"" returned no results.

Second try: Sir Edward Dyer


More about Beds

I fell asleep at the computer.  So I decided it was nap time and went to bed. I luxuriated and rested. Oh, how nice that nap was.

I woke wondering why no one had disturbed me like they usually do about 2:30.  I looked at the clock, it must be about three.  It was quarter to eleven.  We haven't even had our noon meal yet.

I have GONE BACK IN TIME FOUR HOURS.  I have fuur hours of my life to live over.

Wouldn't it be great to wake up and find you were sixteen again. What if I had four years, or forty, or sixty five to live over?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Recuperate with me-- Post Script

Last February I had pneumonia, and I posted each step of my recovery in the journal.  On March 2 I posted the final step.  Here is a follow up. 

Since that time I have rented a hospital bed.  At first I needed to sleep with my head and shoulders elevated.  Later I slept flat.  Later I had my own old twin bed brought to my sitting room. Sometimes I slept in that.  Mostly I would start the night in one bed and then change to the other during the night.

That got old.  So, bravely I called the rental place and told them I didn't need the rental bed any longer.  Today they picked it up. 

So tonight it is back to my old hard twin bed, all night, like it or not, flat or not.

I may be up in the middle of the night, writing in my journal, or sleeping in my wheelchair.  Or I might just be fully recuperated.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Sticker Shock

Two sticker shocks in two days.  I wonder if my system will recover.

One: a wheel chair cushion.  A square piece of foam with a cover. Essentially, a small pillow.  Should cost, say, eight to ten dollars.  Right?

   When the price was quoted, SIXTY THREE DOLLARS, I rebelled.  "No way."  I rejected it.

   But it is not just a cushion.  You live on it. It is your home, so to speak. The substitute may not cut it.  If I cannot adjust my sitter, I will have to readjust my thinking and buy it.  Yawk!

Two: A laundry sorter.  A few bits of tubing, four tiny wheels, and a cloth bag.  I took it off the shelf and started for the cashier, musing, "Well, $14.95 is a lot to pay for this simple device. But I need it, so pay it and don't say anything."

   At the cashier, another shock.  The sorter and two other items was $51.96.  "Ha ha, the cashier made a mistake."  I pointed out her error.  She informed me that the sorter, was one penny shy of two Andrew Jackson bills: $39.99. I had looked at the wrong price tag on the shelf.

   I was born in the twentieth century when Pepsi was a nickle, a flashlight battery was ten cents, same as a cup of coffee.

   I am having rrouble adjusting.


Wednesday, August 17, 2005

State Names

How did your state get its name?

The hour I spend in bed before I get up is spent either in weird dreams or weird ponderings.  Today it was "How did our states get their names?"  I would rather sleep. My dreams are fascinating.  My ponderings, on the other hand, are mundane.

Some states were named atter monarchs, say Georgia, for King George, or Virginia, for Elizabeth, the virgin queen.  Some say that was a misnomer. One was named for a president, Washington.

Several are named after the Indian tribes who were displaced, such as Delaware, Iowa, Utah. 

I presume Montana was named for its topography, mountains.

My own state has such an obscure name that even the governor of the state can't pronounce it.  California.  What the heck is a californ?

New York was named after York, plain enough, but why was York named York anyway?  New Hampshie for Hampshire, which is Ham's village.  Was that the biblical Ham? Or some peasant who owned a few acres of England and was routed out of bed some morning by invading Romans? Poor Ham.  I wonder what he was pondering that morning? 

LATER: I could have saved myself a lot of pondering by simply looking them up.

The majority of state names are Indian in origin.

Thanks everyone for getting involved.  This has been fun.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Grand Gesture II

Today I was served two soggy pieces of wheat bread which were called "French Toast".  No grand gesture this time. I sent it back.

Two still soggy pieces of wheat bread were returned.  I didn't eat 'em.  I TOOK 'EM HOME WITH ME.

Soon a knock at my door.  The head chef, the old folks home administrator, and the president of the residents council were there and asked to see the offending breakfast.

Head chef looked at it.  "I'm going to call the service man today.  The griddle is hot on one side but Dave and I cannot get it over 250 degrees on the other."

Dave is either the worst cook in town and his boss is covering for him, or the griddle is really defective. 

But only one case explains why a cook would serve sloppy bread and call it "French Toast."  You be the judge.

While the Journals were Off the Air

What six letter word ends in HTH?


          To see answer, double click on the letters showing.

AOL Journals were off the air this afternoon, so while they were off I took a nap.  And while I was napping, a silly jingle went bobbing through my head.

I was married to the widdow next door

She'd been married seven times before

And every one was Henery

Never wed a Willie or a Sam

I'm her eighth old man named Henery

I'm Henery the Eighth, I am

I'm Henery the Eighth, I am, I am.

(Used without permission, thanks Herman)


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Great Pancake Mystery

The mystery of the horrible pancakes, see entry below, has already been solved.

Lunch, which we call Dinner, was fine, and I cleaned my plate. It was roast pork, au gratin potatoes, Malibu vegetables, roll, green salad with Italian dressing. There was coconut cream pie for dessert.

A stranger, in white apron and a baseball cap, came out and asked us how dinner was.

"It was fine.  Who are you?"

"I am Dave, the new cook."

"What happened to Linda?"

"She's back there.  I am the assistant cook."

"Well, Dave, the dinner was fine, but there was a problem with the pancakes at breakfast."

"I know," said Dave. "Sorry about that.  I had trouble. It was my first time on a griddle new to me."

"You made the pancakes this morning?"

"Yes, I did." 

Apology accepted.

Grand Gesture

Actions may speak louder than words.  We will see.

At theold folks home, we have a new chef.  Make that "chef" in quotation marks. She came a couple of Sundays ago, with fanfare, a nice welcoming speech and all.  We have had some nice dinners since.

But she can't make pancakes. I sympathise for I cannot make pancakes either.  Always too large, or too small, burned or pasty.

But the pancake I was served this morning was weird.  Small, thick as a biscuit, burns spots, but not brown.  I just looked at it and said, "impossible" and rolled out of dining room.  It was a grand gesture, but got me nothing to eat.  (I had already had cereal, and I am sixty pounds overweight, so no damage was really done.)

So, will news of the grand gesture reach the cook? or the administrator?  Stay tuned.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Celebration of Now

This is curious.  You are probably reading this entry before the one below, which precedes it, and you may read after.  Confused? Just wait. How's this for confusion.  I had a dream in which I dreamed that I was awake having an adventure that I usually dream.

I had been fired from an university. Somewhat like UCLA, but probably inspired from my reading that a new University of California branch is opening in our town soon.  I packed up some books and other odds and ends that were hard to carry took them out to my scooter. I was loading them onto my scooter and along came one of the residents of this old folks home, one who I wrote about as tending the roses. 

She helped me load the books, but got me a bit confused because she wanted a ride on the scooter.  I had some difficulty starting it.  But I got it started, and started for home.  But before long I found I was on the WRONG SCOOTER.  This one had an engine, not an electric motor. I would have to turn back and get my scooter. Naturally, in a dream, you cannot just turn back, you get lost. After much difficulty I got back and found my scooter gone and an angry note from the owner of the motorized scooter in its place. 

I started on for home, but somehow lost the motorized scooter and was trying to get back to the starting place in my wheel chair.  I could not find familiar streets. I became exhausted and some kind, but excitable, people took me into their apartment. They offered me all kinds of help I could not use, but the help I needed, a telephone they were reluctant to offer.  When I grabbed it anyway, it did not work.

I decided to start on in my wheelchair and that is when THE FLOOD CAME. Streets were flooded and passage was blocked in every direction.  That's when I said, "This is just like that dream I often have of not being able to get home, except this is real."

Then the flood abated, and I woke up and realized my real adventure was a dream too.,

So why would I celebrate a crazy dream like that?  To find out, you will have to read my next entry, below, that I have already written, first.

Life is worth living.  Just hope I can remember it all.

Pleased as Punch

I am as pleased as punch that so many of you kind people read my journal, and especially tickled that you leave comments.

I have an internal commentary running in my head all the time, about what I see, what I am doing, and what I remember.  And when I share it with others, it sort of gives some meaning to my life.

We had a lecture on Alzheimer's Disease yesterday. The specialist said that if you are over eighty, as I am, the chances that you will eventually get Alzheimer's are FIFTY-FIFTY. When you get it, he says, you live your life in reverse, forgetting the most recent and remembering the more and more distant past, until you end up a neo-natal.  Ah well, that gives special meaning to these ramblings of my mind now. Grim thought: the only way you can escape is to die first from some other cause.

But it is a cause to CELEBRATE.  Celebrate the life we are living now.  I am joyous now, for I had an awesome dream and I have a journal to tell about it in, and some friends who will read about it.  It is in the next entry which follows immediately. ABOVE

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Comparison Shopping

Went shopping without a calculator and got pretty confused.

Hearing aid batteries at the hearting aid dealer were 16 for 18 dollars. No tax, dunno why. Then compared price at Long's Drug store with 7.5% sales tax, 4 for $4.99 or 8 for $8.99.  I think I got the best buy, but I am not sure.  Furthermore using two batteiries at a time, one for each aid, and each pair lasts for three and half weeks, how long will the 16 last me?  I have no idea.

A friend handed me an empty box of 6 Pepcid tablets and asked I could get some for him, and "If it is not too much more, get a larger box."  Well, without knowing how much is "too much more" I went looking.  Six for $4.99.  And 12 for $6.99.  But I bought him 30 for $9.99.  He was happy.

What made me happy was a special on sardines.  69 cents for a tin of sardines is good price.  They cost 99 cents at the 99 cent store and that is supposed to be a big discount. But the 69 cent sardines were HALF OFF.  They knocked 35 cents off the can of sardines.  At 34 cents per can I bought three.

I had one can for lunch as I wrote this entry.  That is lunch for 34 cents.  No wonder I am happy. 

I bought 8 paper mate pens for 99 cents.  You can't flic your Bic at that. 

Monday, August 8, 2005

Monday Morning question

Krissy asks her Monday Morning Question:  What is the most unusual thing you have eaten.  Her answer, snails.

Snails, yes, ONCE, so I could say that I have.  Prepared with enough garlic butter they tasted okay, but the thought of what they were was chilling.
Squid, called calimari, it is edible, but like snails, you'd rather not know.
In the plant world, Avocados, Artichoke, Asparagus.  I'm not giving you an alpabetical list, it just happens that they all begin with A. 

In the fruit realm, mango, pomegranate, and my all time favorite taste treat, Cumquats.  I could eat them my the handful.  Sweet peel, and tart fruit on the inside. Red grapefruit and blood oranges aren't very unusual, but are somewhat rare.  Tiny Tot canned sardines from the North Sea are rare, and expensive.  You eat the whole fish, smaller than a lead pencil.  Head and all.

And Grunion.  a fish you catch by hand.  Nets and scoops not allowed.  At certain phases of the moon the high tide washes schools of grunion onto the southern California beach to spawn.  You are allowed to catch as many as you can... by hand.  You have the lenth of time between one wave and the next.  Yes, you get wet, and no, you dont get many.  Like tiny tot sardines, you fry em and eat 'em whole. They have laid their eggs by the time you grab them so you are not upsetting the balance of nature. Besides you have to be lucky enough to be on the right beach at the right time. Many young lovers have gone on a sucessful "grunion hunt" and come home happy, wet, and sandy, having never seen a fish.

Paula in comment below says she has eaten deer and wild hog.  That is pretty unusual.

Venison is pretty rare.  someone gave us a side of deer, all frozen and wrapped.  We ate none so put it out for trash man, who recovered it and took it home.  Enough for weeks. Wild hog sounds interesting, too. Have heard of folks who eat Bear, and Possum, and Coon.  I guess people in general will eat anything that doesn't eat them. And some things who do... like shark. Japanese eat dolphins and whales... in such quantities that the species are endangered.

And for some really bizarre entrees, read all the comments below. Thanks folks.

Burrito Review

Carls' Jr.and Green Burrito at six am.

I was the only customer in the restaurant. I ordered coffee and a Breakfast Burrito.

"What are we doing up so early," I asked the server.  It was a rhetorical question, meant as social greeting, not a search for information, but she answered anyway.

"Working at a job I don't like to pay off a vehicle I just bought."  It was too early to lie gracefully, so the answer was blunt and amusing.

Later I asked, "What would you rather be doing?"

Long pause, "Ahh, real estate."  No more six AM shifts, no doubt.

The Breakfast Burrito was scrambled eggs and bacon wrapped in a tortilla, with a plastic packet of salsa on the side.  It was all right. It was hot. The highly touted Channel Islands Roasting Co. coffee was so-so. It was hot.

On the way out I passed the server again, and asked, "What vehicle did you buy?"  She pointed to a maroon Ford wagon.and told me the story.  She had a station wagon to tow her tent trailer.  At an intersection she had a collision and totalled the front end.  The front end had been replaced but then every time she went through a puddle, the steering LOCKED UP.  So she replaced it with the Ford wagon. It appeared to be a ninety-something, and she said, "I will be paying for it for ages."

Next time I go for breakfast there I will find out where she goes camping with her tent trailer.  Beach? Yosemite? Sequoia? But it may be a while because I prefer bagels at the Bagel Store to burritos at the Green Burrito.

Sunday, August 7, 2005

Movie review, Salad review

The March of the Penguins was a delight.  Emperor Penguins live in Antarctica, breed on the continental ice shelf, SEVENTY MILES from the ocean.  How do they get to the breeding ground?

They walk.

And they slide, stumble, and coast on the ice.  They find mates, they lay their eggs and then nurture them in fifty degrees below zero cold.  They go without food for months. Then they march off and leave the babies to fend for themselves.  Then the babies march to the sea, to live their lives until it is time for them to march to the breeding grounds.

It was a fascinating, informative film.  On the way out, considering the ordeal the penguins go through, a man commented, "Can't we build them some kind of shuttle so they don't have to walk all that way?"

I'm for that.

After the film my date and I went to IHOP for lunch and each had a Fajita Salad.  Man, was that good, with grilled steak, onions, chicken, olives, other veggies, and greens galore in wonderful dressing.  It came with garlic toast, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.

After three months without food with the penguins we were ready for that fantastic salad. Wish we could have saved a bite for them.



Friday, August 5, 2005

Slod Day at the Old Folks Home

What do we do on a slow day at the old folks home?

Go down to the corner and read the time/temperature sign, and then count the cars crossing the corner of M and Olive.

Ho Hum.

The temperature today was 100. 

In two minutes, 200 cars crossed the interesection.

What is new where you live?

Wednesday, August 3, 2005

More about the seven dwarfs -- Cliques

More thoughts about the Seven Dwarfs lifestyle.  See second entry below for my assessment of their personalities.

Cliques.  Although the seven get along very well together, each assuming his special place in the septal society, there are two "cliques".  These are the two sub-groups.

Doc, Happy, Sneezy.  They are the promoters.  It is they who find the new gem veins for the dwarfs to mine.  It is they who decide that Snow White can stay and who plan the full sized bed for her to occupy.

Grumpy, Bashful.  Grumpy being second in command in the dwarf realm, is cooperative, but not an originator.  Nobody worked harder on Snow Whites bed, but with severe misgivings about what would happen with a teen age princess living with seven confirmed hundreds of years old bachelors.  Bashful is too shy to stand up to Grumpy, so he falls under his influence and can be considered in his clique.

Sleepy is not aware that there are cliques.  He follows along groggily.  He can be swayed to either clique depending on who woos him the most.  He is not aware of the power he wields, and it is a good thing.  It might wake him up.

Dopey is everyone's pet.  He doesn't belong to either clique, but is included in everything.

Doc, Happy, Sneezy might be compared to Democrats.  Liberal, ready to try anything, even if it may turn out to be wrong. Grumpy and Bashful are the Republicans.  Conservative, cautious, quiet and firm.

Sleepy and Dopey are the electorate, holding the balance of power, they swing their weight one way and then the other, but don't waste much time considering their influence.

Like the United States, the dwarf society gets along fine with two parties.  They agree to disagree, intermix and solve problems as they come up with simple discussion, and they usually come to a consensus.

We could learn a lot from the Seven Dwarfs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Misleading Statement

Four or five people have written to tell me that on August 27th Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye.  I have written each to say that is impossible.

Later I looked at the statement they made.  It is printed on two lines in different styles of type, to make a misleading, exciting statement, that is flat out not true.

Look at the way they wrote it>>

At a modest  75-power magnification

Mars will look as large as the full moon to the naked eye

See the difference.  If you look at Mars through a telescope it will look as big as the Moon does to the naked eye.

There are going to be a bunch of disappointed people on August 27th expecting to see an amazing Mars.  Sorry, folks, it will just be a bright star.