Monday, December 28, 2015

Fun With the Government

Today was crazy making.  We had to talk to USAA about one of our CDs.  I will not bore you with the details of that conversation; if I think about it too long I start hyperventilating again.  However, I will tell you what the nice lady at the Social Security Administration told me.

I wanted to set up an online SSA account.  Nope - can't do it.  I have credit monitoring with Experian due to data breaches.  The nice lady told me that SSA "works with" Experian to validate you are who you say you are.  But if you, personally, are signed up with Experian, they block the SSA's request for information.  According to the nice lady on the phone, I have to go in to an SSA office to set up an online account as long as I have credit monitoring.

It's hard for me to believe this.   However,  that's what she said.  Please make a note of this.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Boxing Day

It's the day after Christmas.  I have a vestigial memory of hitting the sales on Boxing Day.  When we were working, we were up and out before dawn to attend the Nordstrom men's sale.  In a carefully choreographed campaign, Jim would go to suits and I would go to shirts and ties.  The prices really were good enough to justify getting up that early.  One year, when we lived in West Seattle, it was snowing; we went anyway.  After Nordstrom there was the half price or less sale on Christmas tree ornaments at Holiday Lane.  I went there.  The store was always packed, and they never had enough baskets to put stuff in.  We all came out covered in glitter from cradling ornaments to our bosoms.  Sometimes I miss shopping, but mostly I don't. Currently I can spend about 15 minutes in a department store, and then I must leave. Online shopping is what's happening for me.

Jim has been to his first physical therapy appointment.  We like the guy he's been assigned.  The facility is owned by Tucson Orthopedic, and it's sort of an assembly line. However, for a month we can stand it.  The first thing the PT did was readjust the crutches, and Jim's posture improved instantly.  The PT was impressed by how much range of motion there is in the surgical ankle.
So now there is homework.  Jim scrunches a towel on the tile floor with his toes, and then writes the alphabet in the air with his foot.  That is harder than you think it is.  I did that after each foot surgery and spraining my ankle.  Then there is stretching, using a strap under the foot.  We'll see the PT twice a week for a month, and then go back to see the surgeon.  The next visit to the surgeon should result in Jim putting on a shoe.

In news of the locale, we still have the hummingbirds.  This morning I got up at 7:30 to put the feeder out.  Before picking up the ladder, I set the feeder down on the small white table next to the door.  A hummer arrived immediately, hovered over each perch and then left.  So I suppose that was a message to hurry up.  This is our girl hummer.

A bee on the crock pot last week.  He spent a lot of time walking around the edges.

Sunsets here have been fairly puny.  Cloud depth has not been optimal.

It's cold!  The high today is in the upper 40's, but the wind is just howling.  There is a river of cold air coming in through the driver's side slides from the wind out of the west.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be calmer, that will be good.  The rain that was forecast never arrived and I am OK with that.

Other than this paltry offering, I have zippity doo dah all to report.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day

 Merry Christmas Earthlings!

We hope your holidays will be just perfect, where ever you are, where ever you're going.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Winter Solstice

We tried to do a tiny bit of Christmas shopping today.  Nothing like leaving it until the last minute.  Jim got a pair of day glo yellow trimmed work gloves.  They will be highly visible in the basement of the RV.  I had wanted to replace a paring knife I dropped on the tile floor in the kitchen.  Unfortunately, we could not find one without driving all over Tucson.  Guess I'll be getting socks!  The mall was just crazy busy.  Having a handicapped parking tag was very helpful.  

Today is our anniversary.  We have been married for three decades.  Isn't that amazing?

We're still able to share the feeder, so things are good.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A Hawk Flew in With a Meal

It was warm enough to sit out this morning.  So we did.  The hummingbirds were at the feeder, and I had intended to do yet another humming bird post.  Look at the hummingbird hiney.  Is that cute, or what.  Instead we had another visitor.

  There is now one less pigeon in the world.  We're pretty sure this is a Cooper's Hawk. 

He didn't have a lot of room to work with on the camera platform.  At one point he had to reposition the lunch.

After a while, he had feathers stuck on his beak.

We watched him for some time, and then we went in to the RV.  At that point the pigeon was on the ground and the hawk was gone. We went out for a couple of hours.  Upon our return, he was back, finishing up his meal.  Not wanting to spook him, I took this through the wind shield of the bus so it's not a great picture.

After all of that gore, I will leave you with another hummingbird butt.

This is the Recovery RV, signing off from the Wild Kingdom.

Friday, December 18, 2015

The Removal of the Cast

The Recovery RV is reporting in!  Jim got the cast off Wednesday. It was an interesting process.  A Stryker cast cutter was used to cut the fiberglass.  The blade vibrates up and down (and heats up).  There is a vacuum attached to it which cleans up most of the fiberglass.  An attached guard limits how far the blade penetrates the cast, so that the human is not opened up as well.

She cuts up one side, and then the other.

A tool is used to pry the cast apart, along the previously made cut.

And voila - the leg is freed from the cast.

The surgeon is pleased with the healing of the incision, and he said the tendon felt good.  Jim is now allowed to shower it and get the ankle wet.  He also said it could go into a hot tub if desired.  Given the experiences of one of our friends and his post surgical excursion into a hot tub, followed by a terrible staph infection, we may take a pass on the hot tub for a few more weeks.

Now for too much information.  Jim's leg has been in the cast, and not washed for three weeks.  One of the things washing does is removal of dead skin cells.  There's a three week accumulation to deal with. I will have to vacuum the carpet to pick up the flakes of skin.  This should be gone soon with vigorous scrubbing, and mass quantities of lotion.
Jim is now in a moon boot.  In some ways it's worse than the cast.  We have two boots, because he is now putting his foot on the ground.  There is one for in and one for out.  Changing the boot is a pain.  Getting dressed is sort of a pain.  Pants will not pass over it, so changing to go out requires that the inside boot come off and then back on; once at the door the inside boot comes off and then the outside boot goes on.  He's not weight bearing at this point, the left foot moves with the crutches and is on the ground, but his weight is on his hands.
At two weeks out, he'll progress to one crutch in the right hand and partial weight bearing.
At four weeks out, he drops the crutches, but still wears the boot for all walking.  The boot is really uncomfortable.  There is no arch support, it's a flat platform.  When I had the boot(s) it was really miserable.
It's progress, but according to the surgeon 14 weeks is the magic date when real physical therapy can begin.  Apparently it takes that long for good scar formation to occur.  He can do light stretching and mobility work, but that's it.  Fourteen weeks is February 19, not that anyone is watching the calendar.

It's still cold here.  I've been bringing the hummingbird feeder in at night so it doesn't freeze.  At 7:30 (which is early for me) I take it out, climb the ladder and put it back.  There's nothing worse than a frozen hummingbird feeder.

We would not want him to be disappointed, would we.  So that's it.  Not much else is happening, we're sort of in wait state.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

It's Cold Outside!

It was cold today.  Hah!  We're such wimps when it's less than ideal here.  In between rain showers, we drove up A mountain to look at the weather.  There's water in the Santa Cruz river.  Look at the brown line at the bottom of the picture.  That's the river with water in it.


More rain.

I took this driving back down A mountain.  There is sun on the mountains out in the distance.

Overall, it was a dark and dreary day with wind and rain.  Since there can be no blog post without the hummingbirds, here they are in all of their puffed up glory.  They were cold, as well.  They puff to conserve body heat.

I don't know why the border on this picture is so wide.  Picasa is messing with me.  I did the border three times, and it refuses to look like the other two.  Computers!  Software!  It's all the work of the devil.  That would include cell phones as well.

This guy spent the day scanning the skies, driving off the competition, and eating.

I have to tell you, when the weather is bad, and someone is on crutches, it makes for a long day.  If either of us is ever seriously damaged, we'll probably have to buy a house.  Just getting out for a trip to Bed Bath and Beyond was an effort.  It'll be back in the 70's in 5 days or so.  I'm looking forward to sitting on the patio in the morning again.

A Windows 10 Test

This is a test.  I put Windows 10 on my Acer netbook to see how much I didn't like it.  It's ok.  Then I started reading about other bloggers being unable to load photos to Blogspot.  So, I'm doing an end to end usability test of moving a photo off the camera card, into Picasa and then up to here.   I did notice that Picasa is somewhat different on Windows 10.  OK, enough test!  This keyboard is driving me crazy.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Verizon and the Birds

My original idea for this post was to tell you about our problem with Verizon.  Then I thought that would be too boring, because it has been ongoing for four months.  Thus, we'll be having more hummingbird pictures!  Yaaaayyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!  It's overcast today, so the light wasn't bright enough to use a really fast shutter speed, so they're not as crisp as I had hoped.

There was a lot of checking over the shoulder (do birds have shoulders?) this morning.  This guy is looking a little ragged.  Note the fuzz on the beak and the fluffy legs.

This is a female, checking over her shoulder.

The interloper also looks like a female.

I was a split second too late to get the whole battle here.

Later the male came back and was badgered by a female.

He looks over his shoulder and shrugs.

Back to eating.

Surprisingly, the female landed on another perch and the two of them shared the feeder.  We have not seen that behavior before.

Back to Verizon.  The contact list on Jim's phone has been repeatedly damaged by Verizon applying updates.  The contact list back up file on the cloud was corrupted back in September.  Yesterday we discovered that their fix for that was to delete the backup.  Thanks, Verizon.  Anyway, yesterday we started losing the call log.  So, I called Tier two technical support.  This is what I learned from that encounter.  When the tech has you download the repair/update software from your phone, to your pc, you must understand what the word repair means.  You'd think repair would mean "fix the broken software."  Nope, it means do a factory reset and delete all the photos and text messages.  I have no idea if this will fix the problem, but I'm fairly cheesed off that there was no mention of deleting all of those files before doing the "repair."  So, keep this in mind if Verizon ever wants to repair your phone.

That's it, that's all I've got.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Weather and Birds

What's shaking in your part of the world?  Tucson has been a good place to be, climatologically speaking.  The end of the good run of weather is nigh, but not here yet.
I've been able to get some work out of Jim.  Here we see him grilling chicken thighs.  Since it's too dangerous to be roaming around on crutches in the dark, we're making food late afternoon for later.  I just do not have the knack with the grill that he does.

I swiped this from the KOMO website. The GPNW is just getting inundated with rain.  Everywhere is flooding.  This is an RV park in Puyallup, WA that has been flooded out. The water rescue people had to come and remove the residents.  The rescue was complicated by live power pedestals in the park.  This is just tragic.  It's a poor area, many of these people just lost everything.  The ones who can make it out will have a tough time finding anywhere to be in the area.  The Carnation Valley is under water, so I'm certain their RV park is flooding, too.  Small towns have water running down Main Street. It's just amazing how much rain the whole region has received.

Jim and I are having another news blackout.  I just can't take anymore statements being made by certain of our political candidates.  In order to combat the negativity in the ether, I shall unleash the force of more hummingbird pictures.

They are so pretty when they're pink.

Check out the trail he's leaving while in flight.

From his perch in the palm tree, he looks right.

He scans the skies for the competition.

He launches and chases off a would be feeder interloper.

We are so incredibly boring!  It's hard to think of anything to write about.  Jim gets his cast off in a week; that will provide us with more blog fodder.  Until then, I got nothing!