Friday, January 26, 2024

$83Million and A Hike Plus Socks

Today the jury in the E. Jean Carroll defamation case awarded her $83M.  According to the lawyers on Twitter, in order for him to appeal, he has to post a $83M bond.  He doesn't have that kind of money.  He is so pissed about this, it's just delightful.

May I vent?  Century Link has to be the worst tech company in the world.  Because we're in an RV park, we either get park supplied cable, which is terrible, or DSL.  DSL is internet via phone line.  When it works, it's fine.  We're paying for 40 Mbps, we're getting 22 Mbps.  It really becomes evident when you try to upload a bunch of photos, or scroll rapidly.  It has been as low as 5 Mbps.  They've sent techs out twice.  The first guy improved it slightly for awhile, but then it went back to crashing repeatedly, and slowing down.  So, I had them come back.  They guy yesterday said we had a short at the phone pedestal.  He was here for quite awhile, but when he left, we were getting 40 Mbps.  This morning it was back down to the mid 20s.  I am very unhappy with this, clearly something is wrong, but they're not in the business of doing organized trouble shooting and fixing.  Every time I call I have to wade through yet another  menu of them telling me they don't recognize my account number, or my zip code, it's so annoying.  Worse, their service window is 7 am to 4 pm.  If they show up and you're not here, they leave and charge you $100.  I hate these people.  Since we have internet TV, it's important to have internet service.  First world problems, yes, I know.

Update to post 1/27/2024:  This morning we're down to 13 Mbps.  Amazon died last night due to internet slowness and instability.  Century Link is closed on weekends, so have your emergencies M-F.

It's warmer than it has been, but the air is still fairly cold.  Given that I am a weather weenie we decided to hike today rather than ride.  Not to mention, it's good to have weight bearing activity - keeps the old bones from crumbling.  We picked the go out Hidden, come back Bowen trail route.  I think we are never doing that again.  It's been a few years since we did that, and the trail has really deteriorated.  Very rocky, very hard on the feet.  Here are scenic photos.

In order to get the resort approved, Marriott had to guarantee access to the trails into Tucson Mountain Park.  So, one is allowed to park on the street, which is convenient.  Look at that sky.

This is going out the Hidden trail. 

This is what passes for a trail.

Now we are heading down the Bowen trail.  I think this is one of the prettiest parts of Tucson Mountain Park.

 Finally, we are back at the Marriot, almost to the car.  My feet were screaming at this point. 

It was good to get out on a glorious day.  Tomorrow we're back on the bikes, no matter what.

In news of the good, I have new socks.  The same woman who made my first pair made these.  One can never have enough flip flop socks.

Other than this, I have nothing intelligent to say.

Ok, well there's this.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Toilet Paper, the Orange Guy and Inclement Weather

There has been a great leap forward in toilet paper manufacturing.  Actually, it is kind of a big deal.  Charmin did research on how to best perforate the paper squares so they would tear cleanly, instead of leaving the dreaded hanging section of the square.  After much testing, it was discovered that a wave pattern was most effective.  They retooled their plants to change the perforations.  It actually does work well.  See?  American ingenuity at its finest.  You can read more here.

The republican candidate for the presidency continues with his program of shock and awe on how awful his speaking has become.  In New Hampshire he was heard to say this, ".. which is incapable of solvin’ even the sollest smallest problem. The simplest of problems, we can no longer solve. We can’t do anything. We are an institute in a powerful death penalty. We will put this on."  I give up, what was he trying to say.  See more at Meidas Touch.  His family clearly does not love him, or they would get him help.

Our weather continues to be undesirable.  It's not nearly as terrible as the rest of the country, so one can't complain, much.  

There was a ride north from Christopher Columbus park.  Our first stop was to see if the ball fields rest stop was still open.  That would be a big nope.  It's unfortunate, it's a nice stop, the water was good, and the toilets are clean.  

Then it was farther north to check on the sewer pipe project that was supposed to be done by now.  Nope.  Doesn't look like that will end any time soon.  While we were standing there, a walker came up and we spoke to him, as one does.  Big mistake.  He talked, and he talked, and he talked.  Worse, he had zero sense of personal space.  He was within three feet of Jim's face.  I kept backing up, Jim kept backing up, and he advanced.  Hopefully he didn't have Covid, We're still testing, so far so good.

We saw this when we got back to Christopher Columbus.  Someone spent a lot of time putting things on this car.  That will not help resale value.

Since the weather was cold and wet yesterday, we went out to buy food.  Things were getting dire in the pantry.  The Catalinas were wearing clouds.

One thing the inclement weather encouraged was a deep cleaning of the upper cabinets.  Simple Green works well for ancient deposits of unknown materials that have petrified.  Good thing.  Look in the cabinet on the left, see the wall paper?  That's what used to cover the entire park model.  The painting job that was done isn't great, but it's better than the flowered paper.

So that's it.  That's all I've got on offer.

Thursday, January 18, 2024

A PSA, The Ectoplasm, Local News and a Hike

Yesterday was Lichen Sclerosus Awareness Day.  This is an under diagnosed condition that can lead to eventual cancer and death.  Women get it way more than men do, and so, therefore, precious little time is spent on it in medical school.  Play this video, it is definitely worth a view.

New from DJT-land, we have "de-banking."  Who knew?  They're trying to debank us.  GO HERE if you want to play the video, it's very amusing.  Much of twitter thinks he has tertiary syphilis, which is when it ends up in your brain. 

Here is something from Meidas Touch.  They post a lot of stuff, have pod casts and make fun of the republicans - nicely of course.  They were talking to Charles Barkley about Nikki Haley's statement that America is not racist.  He laughed and replied, "She's 100% correct. If you forget about slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, anti-semitism, asian hate ... America's been smooth sailing."  You can read the article and see the video here.  He's talking about taking many Black people to Nikki Haley's town hall in New Hampshire, I would truly love to see that.

So, what have we been doing since I last posted on January 11?  We've been testing for Covid since we spent time in St. Mary's hospital, so far we're negative.  Tuesday I got a new crown.  Technology has moved on from the old porcelain bonded to metal crowns.  They're now solid surface, sort of like Corian.  They put a camera in your mouth, photograph everything, and then send it to the milling machine.  Forty five minutes later, the crown is ready to be installed.  Being at the dentist's will extend the time frame for covid testing.  Fortunately, I brought many kits.  There has been riding and rowing on the machine and all of the usual stuff.  

We're instituting a new shopping paradigm.  As much food as possible will be coming from Costco, and not Safeway.  We used to eat corn flakes, an 18 ounce box had hit $8.  For cereal!!!!  Forty ounces of Cheerios at Costco is $6.89.  I like Cheerios better than corn flakes; Jim doesn't, but he's adjusting.  We bought 2 pounds of shredded parmesan cheese for $11.89.  Seven ounces at Safeway is $8.  Even if we throw half of the two pounds off cheese away, we're still money ahead.  Food prices are just becoming ridiculous.  We may venture into Food City (the grocery store that caters to the Hispanic community) and see how much they're charging for roasted chilis.  I'm pretty sure we're getting ripped off at $2.89 for four ounces.  Every time we go in to Safeway, we leave really pissed off.

Today there was hiking.  It was a glorious day, it was in the 70s.  It won't last, four days of rain are in the forecast.  Here are pictures of the hike out in the Tucson Mountain Park.

Here is humor.  It's a seal photo bombing a bunch of penguins.  He looks really happy to be there.

Other that this, I have nothing else to say.

Thursday, January 11, 2024

Windy and Cold-ish

Like most of the lower 48 states, we're cold!  Yes, you're colder, but we are cold enough.  Monday we awakened to discover there was no water.  The dang pipes were frozen.  We think the freezing occurred at the faucet, because the rest of the path of the water is covered in pipe wrap and then goes underground.  We'd get heat tape, but there is no 20 amp plug on the power pole.  The RV sites had them, but these do not.  Nothing burst and after a few hours they thawed.  The key learning here is to have a gallon of water hanging about so that coffee can be made.

Today the winds are gusting - a lot.  It's supposed to rain later on.  Then there will be another hard freeze.  We will be trickling water through the night to avoid another case of frozen pipes.  Saturday the highs will return to the 60's and we can venture outside once again. 

Juan Perez came today and put up the new awnings for the south side of the park model.  First, however, he showed me the photo of his first grandchild.  He is so happy about this.  We took the foil backed bubble wrap out of the windows, so there is more light in here now.  There's still nothing to see, since we're in small spaces, but the extra light is good. 

This was taken the other day.  The setting sun made gold tones in the park.  Look down the street at the red light on the arbovitae, the dead ones.  Today they're taking out the corpses and hauling them away.  This is bad for the park model they were growing next to, they've lost their protection from the setting western sun which is HOT.

Since it has been so dang cold, we've been burning propane at a prodigious rate, and so has everyone else.  This is our poorly insulated stove, which caused us to go buy a Breville counter top oven because the heat from this thing just about drove us out of the park model.  However, it makes a great little area heater, and we think it uses less propane than the giant furnace out back.  Anyway, we had a propane delivery yesterday, and they did not arrive until about 9:15pm because they are so busy because we're all cold.

Yesterday, Jim had an elective out patient procedure that required anesthesia and intubation.  I was pretty weirded out about the prospect of him being around unmasked people, breathing on him during a surge.  From twitter I learned that if you want your mask replaced as quickly as possible after extubation, talk to the anesthesiologist. They will make it happen in recovery.  When Jim woke up, he had his mask back on, and his wife was happy about that.  Saturday we will start testing for Covid to see if the worst has happened.  The procedure went well, Jim is fine.

In news of the US postal service, this is what we received today.  They sent the front and back cover, but the inside of the magazine is missing.  This is so annoying.  I guess their equipment mangled the issue, and rules and regulations said they had for forward the remains.

So, that is all I have to say about anything.

Saturday, January 6, 2024

A Hike and a Rant or Three

Greetings Humans.  We have not shuffled off this mortal coil, I've just been disinclined to write anything.  There has been riding and some hiking.  The weather has taken a turn toward colder temperatures.  We must gird our loins, dress appropriately and get back out there on the bikes.  Today we wussed out and hiked.  It truly was a glorious day.

This is a straw bale wall.  It's made out of stacked bales of straw and then coated in plaster.  They'll last for a long time IF the straw is protected from water intrusion.  When we were living in the house here, the owner had a section repaired because it had gotten wet and rotted. The advantage to them is they look so much better than stuccoed cement block walls, and you can make curves and other attractive shapes.  Behold, a straw bale wall.

The always lovely Tucson Mountain Park.

Part of my lack of writing anything is that I am so dang angry.  I'm pissed that the orange ectoplasm is successfully stalling any and all attempts to prosecute and jail him for something, anything.  He has never been held accountable for anything, and he's still not.  Yesterday he attacked E. Jean Carrol on his social media site 40 some odd times.  She's on round two of defamation lawsuits, maybe it's time to fire up another one.

The Supreme Court has allowed Idaho to continue to enforce its draconian abortion law that was appealed and stayed.  Essentially this means that if a woman walks in to an ER bleeding out from a ruptured ectopic pregnancy, or septic from a dead fetus the body can't clear, it's ok to tell her they won't help and perhaps go somewhere else to die.  Don't want to scare the other patients, don't you know.  I can not tell you how angry this is making me.  The Biden administration had argued that EMTLA requires emergency treatment for septic/bleeding women, but the Supreme Court has decided that death is a valid option.  I just can't stand it.  It really is a good time to be old and infertile.

It appears that Covid is back with a vengeance.  It also appears that the CDC and our current administration are asleep at the switch and are offering no, none, not any public health guidance.  Two data modellers were on the Today Show, trying to get the word out.  Now is the time to be masking.  The projections are startling.  Estimates are that 1 in 3 people in the US will catch Covid during the surge which started just after Christmas.  The surge is predicted to go through February.  The US population is 331 million as of 2021.  Not all cases will be terrible, but 1 out of 10 people are likely to develop Long Covid.  The odds of developing LC are not related to the severity of the initial infection, even an asymptomatic case can appear months later as LC.  The acute stage of the infection is not always the worst thing that can happen to a person.  Here is the Today Show link.

Eric Topol, a doctor and scientist, has an op-ed up in the LA Times, which is an interesting read.  The salient points are that the most recent X.B.B booster does have cross over with JN.1, which is the current primary circulating variant, and that NOW is the time to be masking assiduously to avoid the high Covid levels, as well as RSV and flu. 

In news of the good, Jim got his stitches out yesterday from the Mohs procedure, the dermo guy complimented Jim on his excellent wound care, and now we're done with this.

Monday, January 1, 2024

January 1, 2024

Happy First Day of the Year.  Our NYE was sedate, to say the least.   We're watching Vera on Britbox on Amazon Prime.  We had started the series, Commander, but after two episodes and 10 minutes into the third episode we moved away from it.  It was just creepy and stupid with a high ick factor.  However, anything would have been better than this.

From Meidastouch we read the following. 

Donald Trump's hosted his annual New Year's Eve Party at Mar-a-Lago last night and it was quite a scene. The festivities opened up with Trump walking out on stage to his rally theme song, Lee Greenwood's 'Proud to be an American.' But this time it was performed by a Guy Fieri lookalike fronting a Lawrence Welk band while Trump struck his best Mussolini pose while a graphic light show was raging behind them.

The headline singer was Vanilla Ice, accompanied by a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.  The article can be found here.  It's worth a read, if only for the photos.

The fireworks were astonishing last night.  At midnight it sounded like being in a war zone.  Mercifully they ran out of ammo about 1:00 am.  During the years we stayed here in the RV, it was never this bad.  Oddly enough, we had not seen any fireworks stands; perhaps because they're illegal in Tucson.  

Carry on.  This year will be something.