Thursday, January 31, 2013
Note to self: cut off that excess string along the side purple border, and now that I can get around, dust and straighten up my bedroom furniture. :) I'm going to take my book with me, curl up on the bed, try it out, and maybe listen to some soft music, too.
- Took out the trash and recyclables I worked on last night.
- Dressed up and actually wore makeup today.
- Got my box springs. The delivery guys were great. They brought it in, set it up, and then helped me put the dust ruffle on the foundation before putting the mattress on top. I hadn't been offered the haul-away by the clerk, and so they weren't authorised to take the old one away, but they did take it to the area of the complex where large items for the trash pickup are placed without charge. They rocked! Go Sears!
- Paid my February rent a little early.
- Purchased Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013 through our work programme which is $9.95.
- Bought two euro pillows to complete the bedding experience (the shams came with the bedding set I got from Gabriel Brothers a week or two ago. So did the dust ruffle, which hadn't been on the box springs because the springs of the old one would have torn it up, so it was cool that the guy asked if I had a dust ruffle to put on. I'd totally forgotten. I used one of the $5 gift cards I got when I went to Sears the other day to get some money off the pillows.
- Made the bed. Remember how I had to borrow pillows to prop myself up when I was out with my broken ankle? Now I have pillows aplenty.
- Picked up my contacts.
- Filled the car up with gas. The price jumped, no doubt due to the snow forecasted. I was getting to about 1/4 of a tank, which isn't good considering how very cold it's supposed to get, so I stopped at Speedway and got some.
- Fought my way through more rush-hour traffic than I usually go through. I took back ways but even so, there were about three instances where other drivers were just being crazy. I had to go from the hospital to Fayette Mall, then to Woodhill Plaza, then down Richmond Road home. Granted, I could have waited to get the pillows or even the contacts for that matter, but I had the time.
Librarians hate to be depicted as bun- and glasses-wearing shushers, hellbent on silencing any and all noisy activities within their sacred domain. Fair enough: Librarians are highly skilled, well-educated and socially aware as a rule, and should not be reduced to a cultural stereotype ranking only a notch or two above a church lady on the hipness scale.Thanks to Tasha Saecker (@tashrow) on Twitter for sharing.
Nevertheless, there’s a lot to be said for that shushing. I’ve long believed that one of the most precious resources libraries offer their patrons is simple quiet. Alas, for too long I’ve been forced to confine this sentiment to bar-stool rants because for all I knew I was being hopelessly retrograde. Libraries are constantly talking up the new — and often clamorous — services and activities they have added or plan to add in order to “better serve a diverse community” (and by extension, justify their continued funding in the eyes of public officials who like to appear forward-thinking). But take heart, seekers of serenity, for now we have data!
Investigators have communicated with the suspect through a length of PVC pipe that extends out of the bunker. They've sent down coloring books and crayons for the child, state Rep. Steve Clouse said. They've also sent prescription medicine for the boy, who suffers from Asperger's syndrome and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, he said.Tense Negotiations in Alabama Kidnapping
The boy's family is "holding on by a thread," Clouse said. They do not know Dykes, according to Clouse, who has been speaking with the family. Investigators are still communicating with the suspect and "have no reason to believe that the child has been harmed," Dale County Sheriff Wally Olson said Wednesday evening.
"Pray, pray," Olson told reporters.
A man with a history of violent behavior and a 5-year-old boy he abducted from a school bus on Tuesday remained holed up in the man’s homemade underground bunker in rural Alabama on Thursday morning.
The negotiations, described as tense and delicate, began Tuesday afternoon, when local law enforcement officials, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and SWAT teams surrounded the bunker off a dirt road in Midland City, a small town in southern Alabama peanut country, near the Florida and Georgia borders.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
I've been following a news story all day, and apparently it still hasn't been resolved. It is very scary. I hope things will work out so the little boy is saved and the gunman can never menace anyone again. I'm amazed he was free and still had guns after some of the stuff he has been doing: Suspected Alabama gunman holed up with boy in bunker after school bus shooting
A gunman holed up in a bunker with a 6-year-old hostage kept law officers at bay Wednesday in an all-night, all-day standoff that began when he killed a school bus driver and dragged the boy away, authorities said.
SWAT teams took up positions around the gunman's rural property and police negotiators tried to win the kindergartener's safe release.
The gunman, identified by neighbors as Jimmy Lee Dykes, a 65-year-old retired truck driver, was known around the neighborhood as a menacing figure who once beat a dog to death with a lead pipe, threatened to shoot children for setting foot on his property and patrolled his yard at night with a flashlight and a shotgun.
He had been scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning to answer charges he shot at his neighbors in a dispute last month over a speed bump.
The standoff along a red dirt road began on Tuesday afternoon, after a gunman boarded a stopped school bus filled with children in the small town of Midland City, population 2,300. Sheriff Wally Olson said the man shot the bus driver when he refused to hand over a 6-year-old child. The gunman then took the kindergartener away.
"As far as we know there is no relation at all. He just wanted a child for a hostage situation," said Michael Senn, a church pastor who helped comfort the traumatized children after the attack.
On January 28, 1986, NASA Challenger mission STS-51-L ended in tragedy when the shuttle exploded 73 seconds after takeoff. On board was physicist Ronald E. McNair, who was the second African American to enter space. But first, he was a kid with big dreams in Lake City, South Carolina.This is a great video. Please watch it. A librarian figures prominently in it, although not perhaps in the best light. Thanks to Vanessa Irvin Morris for sharing this on Facebook.
PS I've also got an offer through our workplace and Microsoft to get Office 2013 Professional Plus for $9.95, much like I did with Office 10. So I'll probably go ahead and do that, too.
Right after I got that hooked up, I thought I'd blog and YKWIA called to tell me he really appreciated me coming over. I did enjoy doing the cooking, and I'm learning a lot, but it makes me very tired, because it involves a lot of standing, even though I can chop sitting down, etc. I really need to take my kitchen mat with me next time, although his dog may well try to eat it with me standing on it.
So tomorrow I'll have to work on the house. The bedroom is now a mess because I had to move things to get to the cables in the closet. Sigh. If I can just put some music on tomorrow and work for maybe three or so hours, I think I could get the dishes done, get the recylables out, put things away, and maybe vacuum. We'll see. For now, it's after midnight and I think it would be good to go ahead and head on to bed. If you're in the area, be careful in tomorrow's morning commute. It's supposed to be a lot of straight-line wind and heavy rain. Good night.
Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Today I got my package (free two-day shipping turned out to be free one-day shipping!) Go Amazon! I'm going to set it up in a few minutes. The funny thing is it's a DVR/VCR combo that allows for dubbing tapes to DVD, DVD to tapes, and recording to either from the TV (so long as it's connected to a cable box or other tuner). I'd had it sent to work because I can never get anything here at the apartment, and I told one guy in receiving but forgot to shoot an e-mail to the other. There's a DVD/VCR combo in the library, and he assumed that it was a replacement for that. So he had me sign for it, but then went back out and didn't come back in for a minute or two. We'd chatted and I'd told him what I was planning to do with it. Then he came in and asked if it was a personal item, and I said yes. Apparently he'd already sent it to maintenance to have them inspect the equipment and tag it. But he got it back immediately and had them delete it from inventory/take the sticker off. :) It was kind of amusing, although I'm sorry I forgot to warn him. Things would have gone much more smoothly. The plan is to give my little DVD (the one I won at a work event some time ago) to YKWIA and A and let them have one in the living room.
So I'm going to set it up, hopefully figure out how it works, and then I'm going to straighten up the house some, water the plants, feed the fish, and generally putter around. But first I'm going to get into something comfy. I got several compliments on my outfit today, but I discovered that I really need to invest in a black bra to go with the blouse. It has a strappy shell under a heavily embroidered black-on-black polka dotted sheer blouse, and part of my bra showed. I didn't seem to have trouble yesterday when I wore the grey one, but then I was wearing a different bra. I really should check to make sure that wasn't sticking out as well. You'd think as much as I wear black (although purple is the dominant colour in my wardrobe), I'd have a black bra. I'll have to rectify that.
We're supposed to get some really powerful weather tomorrow during the morning commute as a cold front comes through (it was about 66 degrees today). I did my best to park away from trees and anything else that might come down. It's really windy tonight already. I hope it's not too severe tomorrow. Okay, off to be productive.
The manuscripts were held in two separate locations: an ageing library and a new South African-funded research centre, the Ahmad Babu Institute, less than a mile away. Completed in 2009 and named after a 17th-century Timbuktu scholar, the centre used state-of-the-art techniques to study and conserve the crumbling scrolls.Well, maybe things aren't as bad as they appeared at first: Mali: Timbuktu Locals Saved Some of City’s Ancient Manuscripts from Islamists
Both buildings were burned down, according to the mayor, who said the information came from an informer who had just left the town. Asked whether any of the manuscripts might have survived, Cissé replied: "I don't know."
The manuscripts had survived for centuries in Timbuktu, on the remote south-west fringe of the Sahara desert. They were hidden in wooden trunks, buried in boxes under the sand and in caves. When French colonial rule ended in 1960, Timbuktu residents held preserved manuscripts in 60-80 private libraries.
The vast majority of the texts were written in Arabic. A few were in African languages, such as Songhai, Tamashek and Bambara. There was even one in Hebrew. They covered a diverse range of topics including astronomy, poetry, music, medicine and women's rights. The oldest dated from 1204.
Seydou Traoré, who has worked at the Ahmed Baba Institute since 2003, and fled shortly before the rebels arrived, said only a fraction of the manuscripts had been digitised. "They cover geography, history and religion. We had one in Turkish. We don't know what it said."
He said the manuscripts were important because they exploded the myth that "black Africa" had only an oral history. "You just need to look at the manuscripts to realise how wrong this is."
In interviews with TIME on Monday, preservationists said that in a large-scale rescue operation early last year, shortly before the militants seized control of Timbuktu, thousands of manuscripts were hauled out of the Ahmed Baba Institute to a safe house elsewhere. Realizing that the documents might be prime targets for pillaging or vindictive attacks from Islamic extremists, staff left behind just a small portion of them, perhaps out of haste, but also to conceal the fact that the center had been deliberately emptied. “The documents which had been there are safe, they were not burned,” said Mahmoud Zouber, Mali’s presidential aide on Islamic affairs, a title he retains despite the overthrow of the former President, his boss, in a military coup a year ago; preserving Timbuktu’s manuscripts was a key project of his office. By phone from Bamako on Monday night, Zouber told TIME, “They were put in a very safe place. I can guarantee you. The manuscripts are in total security.”Let's pray that the latter story is true. In the comments for the the first story, there was a disturbing comment by a sympathiser for the faction that burned the buildings, writing under the name Ayuoubah, that I found chilling: 'The idea is to sever our oppressed past, to create a stronger future by ridding ourselves of the burden of history.' That is so terribly wrong, and flies in the face of everything I believe in. Let us hope they don't succeed in destroying Mali's past. At least nearly every other comment expressed the opposite view.
One nice thing is since I was waiting for him at the appointment, I went from chapter four to chapter sixteen in a book I'm reading (Witch Way to Murder, which I mentioned the other day), and so I'm about halfway through the book and enjoying it. I haven't read a paperback in awhile and I forgot the pleasures of tucking a small book in your purse and having it at hand when time permits. Granted, with my Kindle or tablet, it's likes toting lots of paperbacks, but it's just not the same, somehow.
I ordered something from Amazon today (not a book), and finally broke down and joined Prime. As a result, it looks like I'm on track to receive my item actually by tomorrow (it's coming from Indianapolis) rather than two days from the order, which is great. I decided between what I order, the free Kindle lending library, and the instant videos, it would pay for itself rather quickly. If I had wanted 2-day shipping on this alone, for example, it would have been $10 by itself.
Sears called today to verify my address for delivery of the box springs on Thursday. I went ahead and confirmed. They'll call me Wednesday night after 6 pm with a 2-hour window for Thursday. The only concern I have is that when I got the item plus delivery, I don't think they included the haul away. Recovering from my ankle injury, I'm not sure I can, even with help, get my old box springs to the Dumpster area that's designated for large items. It's not far away from my building, but far enough. I either need to call and see if I can add that to the order or see if the delivery guys are willing, if not to haul it away, to take it to that area for me, as a backup plan. They may.
I think I'm going to try to get up a bit early tomorrow and do some straightening up. The apartment is starting to look a bit frightful. I still need to take the recyclables out, and the loveseat is piled high (I tend to use it as a landing area when I'm doing a lot of coming in and out.) Of course, I'd planned to do some of that tonight, but hey, we'll just shift the timing a bit. It doesn't usually take too long to get things caught up, it's just a matter of getting up and doing it.
Tomorrow is work and then physical therapy. I missed my last session because I did not feel well but I'm determined to do better tomorrow, although it may be my only session this week because Thursday may be an issue due to the delivery.
Okay, heading back to bed and to my comfy new blanket. It feels like being wrapped in teddy bear fur. :)
Sunday, January 27, 2013
It's been a busy couple of days. Yesterday I went and hunted down a box springs. My mom gave me a new mattress a few years ago, but my box springs is almost thirty years old, with wires poking out. I scratched myself the other day on one. And I have a bedding set that comes with a dust ruffle but can't use it without it being torn by the wires. So I went to Sears and ordered a Serta box springs to go with my mattress, which is the same brand. It should be delivered sometime Thursday. I also got a pair of pillows and a comfy blanket that matches the light purple bedding exactly. I couldn't remember if the set had Euro shams as well, so I didn't get the pillows for that type (they're big and square), but it does, so I'll probably go back and get a couple of those. But I now have enough pillows for the shams and regular pillow cases.
I watched a movie with YKWIA last night that was pretty good. It was the remake of Total Recall with Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, and Jessica Biel. The only thing was it used the concept of a gravity train while seeming to ignore the solid inner core of the Earth. as well as the pressures and temperature extremes that they should have been going through. Even if you take into account people climbing up the outside of a moving, giant vehicle that has passed the core, such as in the mantle, the temps are huge and they should have just died, unless their technology could really create a stable and habitable tunnel. It really bothered both of us. But it was so much better than the original Arnold Schwarzenegger film. Kate Beckinsale especially did a great job of playing a focused, relentless person.
Because of the movie, and because I've been so busy lately, I wound up putting off doing the notes till early this morning, but had to finish them, as today was the game. We played late (I got home a little after 11 pm) and it went well, but things were going to hell in a handbasket pretty quickly for awhile. One of my characters has been blinded, two are taking care of twelve children, whereas Brenda had to stop one character from killing another of her characters using a third character. :)
I should probably go on sleep. I'm pretty tired. Hope you had a good weekend and have a great week ahead.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
I'm feeling a little better after sleeping for three hours. I paid my phone bill, renewed my subscription to Victoria magazine, renewed my MedicAlert membership, and spoke with YKWIA on the phone for awhile. Now I'm turning in for the night. We're supposed to have snow in the morning so I want to get up early to deal with that and also I need to get some whipped topping for tomorrow's lunch with the ladies at work. I just wasn't up to it tonight.
Have a good night.
Hopefully I'll be up later to blog. I need to pay some bills and work on the house since I have the opportunity, although I don't seriously believe the latter is going to get done. But for now, heading to bed.
I started reading a book that was given to me the other day called Witch Way to Murder. It is by Shirley Damsgaard and is about a librarian caught up in a murder mystery with some special abilities in her family. YKWIA thought it would make a good convalescing novel, although of course, as usual, his timing's a bit off, giving it to me AFTER I return to work. Of course, I didn't feel much like reading at all while I was out. I am enjoying it, though, having already made it to chapter three. I'll let you know what I think. It's part of a series.
Okay, time to take some Tylenol and go back to bed. I was woken up by some pain in my foot and ankle. It's been bitterly cold the last couple of days and I think that's making it worse, and standing tonight on a tile floor while cooking sure didn't help any. I'm going to have to take my kitchen mat over there or something the next time I cook. Have a good night, and I will try to get some blogging in. There's actually been some things I've wanted to write about of late. Hopefully I'll get that in tomorrow.
Monday, January 21, 2013
I came home after braving the wind and cold (but I'm not going to complain about our 20s when a colleague in Iowa wrote earlier that they had a balmy -2 temperature today), ate some spinach and artichoke hummus on flat bread, watered the plants, and then listened to Genesis' We Can't Dance for awhile before taking a nap.
Now I think I'm going to install some software and work on the computer for a bit. Hope you had the day off, and if not, that it went well.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
I made a frittata with potatoes, onions, and parsley and also a salad with spinach, watercress, cucumbers, onions, carrots, and tuna, with a dressing that had oil, mustard, dill, and a few other things in it. Very yummy.
We didn't have the game because Brenda had a doll meet. But it was a busy day nevertheless. I came home and put away groceries, texted with Brandon briefly, and changed into something a bit more comfortable. Tomorrow I'm going to wear the blouse YKWIA and A got me with some black velvet pants.
I seem to be rambling. I'm going to go take the Tylenol now and hope I can get to sleep. Have a good night.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
It's been a pretty good blend of productivity and rest today. We did a short trip to Kroger and decided to do the big run tomorrow. But I also nailed a fence board back into place that otherwise would have allowed dogs to run free. I discovered that although I have more power in my swing, A actually hits the nail at a higher percentage than I do, which is amazing, if you knew him. He hammers like a girl, I hammer like a guy, and together we make a pretty good team.
But I will not let that put a damper on my day. Today I went to the optometrist and got a pair of bifocal contact lenses and ordered my others. Apparently I'm a tad bit more nearsighted, but my actual contact prescription didn't change that much. I went by the optician connected with the practice, Pal Optical, and bought some more cleaner for glasses to keep in my purse, since after several years, I've finally gone through the spray I had before, mainly because I use it to clean my tablet and phone screens with a microfibre cloth. :)
After that I grabbed some breakfast and did a little shopping. I got back with some nice work pants, some blouses, socks, bedding, and a couple of purses from Gabriel Brothers, but no jeans, which was actually the point of going out. That's the only problem with that store; because they are a reseller, the prices are low for good quality things, but the selection is spotty. I'll try somewhere else for the jeans. But the other things I can have for work and the bedding is something I've needed for awhile. The purses I really didn't have to have--but I like purses like some women like shoes, so what can I say? They were very nice and very low in price.
I came home, cleared some stuff off my phone, which was labouring without memory, texted Brandon a bit, and then took a nap. Now I've eaten and it's time to gather up some of the stuff that's been piling up in my house and take it to the recycling and trash receptacles. Then I'm going over and taking a friend to the grocery and visiting. So I'm glad I took that nap. :)
Okay, I'd better get going. Hope you're having a good weekend.
Friday, January 18, 2013
Today I received both my AAA and car insurance cards. Oddly enough, I never got the temporary AAA card they were supposed to send me. I also got the papers for both the car insurance and renter's insurance that explains what's covered.
After work today I went and picked up a friend from an appointment and we went to Long John Silver's (his choice; I was all up for tofu goodness from Great Wall, but he was craving some fish, and that was fine with me) and then I took him home and stayed just a bit before coming home. My foot and knees were very uncomfortable and I really needed some Tylenol and some elevating. No major swelling, mind you, and the knees were really more painful than the ankle and foot, but they got better when I went to bed for awhile.
I'm so glad it's Friday. This seems to just have been an endless week. I have a lot on my plate this weekend as well. Tomorrow I have an eye appointment in the morning. Then I'm going to try to get all the trash and recyclables out of the house. The recyclables have been piling up for most of the time I've been out. I did have someone take some of them out at some point, but there's quite a bit to go. First I wasn't able to do it, then it rained for days and days. Tomorrow the weather's supposed to be fairly nice, so I want to go ahead and get that done. Tomorrow afternoon I'm going to take a friend to the grocery. Sunday we're not playing the game because Brenda has a doll meet (she makes clothes for ball-jointed dolls), so I'm going to do laundry and work on a friend's computer then.
Okay, I think I'm going to head to bed and then just see tomorrow if my connexion issues have resolved. Hope you have a great weekend.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
I couldn't to the pharmacy after work because I had physical therapy, and by the time I'd have gotten out, they'd have closed. That was a very good session lasting from about 5:15 till about 6:45 pm. I did more steps than I had last time, and generally pushed myself to do a little better than before.
After that I checked in with friends to see if they needed anything, as one had called me while I was in PT. I ran by the grocery for some things for me and a couple for them and then went over to their place and watched 'House of Anubis' and did some computer troubleshooting. They gave me a lovely belated holiday gift, a blouse in a dark bluish purple that is one of my best colours. It is a sort of tunic (too short as a dress, but long for a blouse) and normal from the front but with pleats coming down the back that completely hides one's butt, which can be very useful for me. I'm looking forward to wearing it Monday (tomorrow is jeans day at work, and it's too dressy for jeans).
Now I'm home. Brandon had texted me, but I just got the message and it's a bit late to text back. I'll talk to him tomorrow, hopefully. I think I'll massage my feet a bit and head on to bed. I'm glad tomorrow's Friday--it's been a long, but good week. Good night.
Tuesday, January 15, 2013
The heads were shipped from the United States to Rome for medical research, and they were then shipped back again to be cremated, Paleologos said. She said she didn’t know the name of the cremation service or where the heads began their journey in the United States.Question...don't the Italians have heads of their own to examine? Why couldn't they dispose of them there rather than ship them back? I feel sorry for the poor worker who discovered the contents of the shipment, who may have taken the whole thing with aplomb, or may be bibbling in a hospital somewhere. :)
Sunday, January 13, 2013
I am sorry that I haven't blogged as much lately. Real life is kind of taking over, especially now that I have the car. I've gone from almost zero mobility to super-mobility in a relatively short time, although for weeks it seemed to drag. It's amazing, really. But I need to make sure I don't overdo it. I've been coming home from work and from their house quite tired. Cooking involves standing, although I've done what I can sitting down, like chopping things. But I'm doing a little better each day. And I did get some rest last night--ten hours, almost. I awoke to the patter of rain against my windows. I'm tired of the rain already, it's been doing it for days. But at least the car is rain-worthy now. Tomorrow's supposed to be quite cold, so I guess all that wet is going to turn treacherous tonight. :(
Alright, I'm all for getting changed and going on to bed. My feet hurt a bit and I'd like to get them elevated. Maybe I'll listen to some music for awhile. Hope you all had a good weekend.
This is a link to the original, but I am also enclosing the text with links, just in case this doesn't get archived. But it should.:
Secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.
This Isn't the Petition Response You're Looking For
By Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget
The Administration shares your desire for job creation and a strong national defense, but a Death Star isn't on the horizon. Here are a few reasons:
However, look carefully (here's how) and you'll notice something already floating in the sky -- that's no Moon, it's a Space Station! Yes, we already have a giant, football field-sized International Space Station in orbit around the Earth that's helping us learn how humans can live and thrive in space for long durations.
- The construction of the Death Star has been estimated to cost more than $850,000,000,000,000,000. We're working hard to reduce the deficit, not expand it.
- The Administration does not support blowing up planets.
- Why would we spend countless taxpayer dollars on a Death Star with a fundamental flaw that can be exploited by a one-man starship?
The Space Station has six astronauts -- American, Russian, and Canadian -- living in it right now, conducting research, learning how to live and work in space over long periods of time, routinely welcoming visiting spacecraft and repairing onboard garbage mashers, etc. We've also got two robot science labs -- one wielding a laser -- roving around Mars, looking at whether life ever existed on the Red Planet.
Keep in mind, space is no longer just government-only. Private American companies, through NASA's Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Office (C3PO), are ferrying cargo -- and soon, crew -- to space for NASA, and are pursuing human missions to the Moon this decade.
Even though the United States doesn't have anything that can do the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, we've got two spacecraft leaving the Solar System and we're building a probe that will fly to the exterior layers of the Sun. We are discovering hundreds of new planets in other star systems and building a much more powerful successor to the Hubble Space Telescope that will see back to the early days of the universe.
We don't have a Death Star, but we do have floating robot assistants on the Space Station, a President who knows his way around a light saber and advanced (marshmallow) cannon, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, which is supporting research on building Luke's arm, floating droids, and quadruped walkers.
We are living in the future! Enjoy it. Or better yet, help build it by pursuing a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field. The President has held the first-ever White House science fairs and Astronomy Night on the South Lawn because he knows these domains are critical to our country's future, and to ensuring the United States continues leading the world in doing big things.
If you do pursue a career in a science, technology, engineering or math-related field, the Force will be with us! Remember, the Death Star's power to destroy a planet, or even a whole star system, is insignificant next to the power of the Force.
Paul Shawcross is Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget
As it is, I am writing on the tablet from bed, with my knees and legs propped up on a pillow, with the fan blowing on me.
Last night I cooked for a sick friend and picked up another friend and his kids, who were stranded when their car quit on them. Then I got up very early to pick up his wife from work. Then I headed over to Tire Discounters. The good news is my brakes did not have to be changed, just adjusted. I got four new tires, a free alignment, an oil change, and got the coolant, brake, and transmission fluids flushed. Then I went to Advanced Auto Parts, got windshield wipers, and they put them on for me for free. The car is driving much better now.
I went over and cooked some more under my friend's direction, since he isn't feeling up to it. It's good practice for me. Yesterday was Brussels sprouts soup and a salad with a creamy caraway dressing. Tonight was artichoke and potato soup, a mushroom and egg dish, and Belgian endives in brown sugar and spices.
After dinner we watched 'Big Bang Theory' and recorded episodes of 'House of Anubis'. Then I took my leave. I am very tired and have stood too much today. Hence the putting my legs up. Good night.
Friday, January 11, 2013
It was at the regular doctor's I hit a snag. The appointment lasted about four hours. He was running terribly behind. If I'd realised that it would be that bad, I would have taken the day off. As it was, I worked very little of the day. I'm going to try to go in early tomorrow morning to make up some of the time.
Physical therapy, which was scheduled after regular work time, went really well, but I am very sore, especially in my knees and quad muscles. I worked on a reclining step machine, with a squishy round thing that I did lunges on, step work, rolling a balance ball towards me with the backs of my feet (that was really hard, given the shape of the muscles), and bridges of the back.
Once home, I talked with Brandon awhile on the phone and then fell asleep with my feet and knees elevated. I woke up a short while ago and did my monthly libation to Hekate, rekindling my worship after several months of not being able to perform the the ritual. (I waited until true dark of the moon to coincide with my menses).
While waiting at the doctors' offices I made an appointment to get the car checked/get an oil change on Saturday morning, giving them plenty of time should they need to put on new tyres or brake pads. I suspect that will be the case. I skidded in the rain a couple of times today, and the brakes are making a high-pitched brake pad sort of squeal. I don't want to wait on this. I also made an appointment for next Saturday with the optometrist and an appointment for Tuesday for a diabetes check. I tend to have a rash of doctor's appointments in the early part of the year when my flexible spending account is flush again.
There was a little grumbling in the halls this morning about the higher taxes in our paycheques today. Mine was about $25 less than usual, despite adjusting the flexible spending account down $100 this year because of the new cap to contributions, so it was a little more than that in terms of increased taxes. That amounts to $750 annually. I can deal with that, but it amounts to a month's rent, plus electric and car insurance for a month, so it is significant. I was more concerned with my personal time off. The company that does our Family Medical Leave Act leave and short-term disability is still processing my last extension request and so I was paid out of PTO instead of my extended illness bank. Once that goes through, I'll get my PTO back, but as a result I have about five days' worth of PTO instead of 12 right now. Granted, we're finished with holidays for awhile (our next official one isn't until Memorial Day), but my doctor's appointments come out of my PTO too, and I need to keep at least three days in the bank because if I get sick, it comes out of that first before drawing on the EIB.
Okay, if I'm going to go in early, I need to go back to bed. Hopefully the Tylenol is kicking in, because otherwise the soreness is going to keep me awake. Hope you're having a good week. I'm glad tomorrow is Friday, and it's jeans day at work. Yay! [I didn't have any clean jeans on my first Friday back. I only have one pair now that's clean. My other main pair of jeans was cut off of me when I was hit by the car. :(]
Thursday, January 10, 2013
Younger Americans die earlier and live in poorer health than their counterparts in other developed countries, with far higher rates of death from guns, car accidents and drug addiction, according to a new analysis of health and longevity in the United States.
Researchers have known for some time that the United States fares poorly in comparison with other rich countries, a trend established in the 1980s. But most studies have focused on older ages, when the majority of people die.
The findings were stark. Deaths before age 50 accounted for about two-thirds of the difference in life expectancy between males in the United States and their counterparts in 16 other developed countries, and about one-third of the difference for females. The countries in the analysis included Canada, Japan, Australia, France, Germany and Spain.
Wednesday, January 09, 2013
It was a busy day. I worked, got the car title put in my name and the registration paid till April 2014, went to the library, and spent time with my friend. Now I am home after watching several episodes of 'Castle', which were pretty good. I had not seen it before. Tomorrow I have two doctors' appointments to go to and physical therapy. Now I am thinking about going on to bed. Every day I seem to get a bit stronger. I am walking without the cane now, for example. Yay! :-) But I still tire easily. Good night.
My mom came up with the title of the car this afternoon and I got some decent car insurance, following some advice from someone who deals with insurance all the time. I'll go transfer the title first thing tomorrow. Then the plan is to see about getting it inspected this weekend for a safety check and get new windshield wiper blades. I won't be surprised if I need new tyres; they're original to the car. Also, the brakes are squeaking a bit when applied and I'm not sure if that's an early sign of wear or normal. So I want to find out. I also need to get it washed and vacuumed out. I may do that tomorrow. Also this weekend I'd like to get my eyes checked so I can get contacts again. I've been wearing my glasses throughout my recovery but I really prefer contacts.
I gave a friend a ride from work through some back roads between Nicholasville Road and Tates Creek and took him by Kroger for a bus pass, then got home a little after 6. I put my foot up and listened to some music for awhile, then fell asleep. I woke up at 10:30 and realised that I needed to go by Rite Aid for some things, including wine for my monthly libation, which I am finally able to resume. (Liquor Barn had already closed at 10 pm.) I may wait until tomorrow night, however, as the house needs some sprucing up. I need to do dishes and take out the trash and recyclables. I'll try to do that tomorrow evening.
Monday, January 07, 2013
I didn't see anything I felt like writing about on the news. I requested a free credit report and looked over that. I need to take care of some debts. That's my new year's resolution, to work on my finances. Right now my credit is bad enough that anyone trying to steal my identity would be in for a rude awakening. But it is better than it has been. :-)
- Went to Bob Evans and gave a tip to a waitress. I'd gone out with friends on Christmas Eve for brunch and accidentally stiffed her on the tip. I went to the restroom and gave my friend my credit card to pay. He probably thought I'd put the tip on the table; I forgot to tell him to put it on the card. I still felt awful about that, so I called; she was there. I went over there and gave her $10 for the wait.
- Watched A clean their house and visited.
- Played the game, yay!
- Came home, listened to some music, texted a bit, and put my foot up. I was asleep by 9:30.
- Called the hospital about a billing mistake.
- Made an appointment tomorrow for physical therapy.
- Talked to my home health physical therapist and made arrangements to return the cane he let me borrow.
- Did all my regular work.
- Talked to my mom. She has the car title and we are going to transfer it to my name officially on Wednesday.
- Did some insurance shopping online when I got home.
- Do my regular work.
- Go to physical therapy.
- Put some gas in the car.
- Start working on the house a bit. I have trash and recyclables to go out, for example.
I think I'm going to listen to some music for awhile and put my foot up. I'll try to write later, maybe find some interesting news to post about. Have a great night.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
I got everything I set out to do today finished, and more. My hair is shorter and out of my eyes. My laundry is finished. The grocery run took a lot out of me (the carts at Tates Creek Kroger were all charging, so I stood through the produce section, got my things for the game, and then sat down while my friend continued shopping. Since I didn't plan to stand so long, I didn't wear the boot. Bad plan.) Plus I spent quite some time helping with a task or two, where thankfully I could sit in front of the computer and compute.
Tomorrow I am going to try to right an accidental wrong, pick up something from the store for a friend, and go play the game. I think my days of enforced leisure are definitely over, although now I just need to make sure I don't overdo it.
Saturday, January 05, 2013
On Wednesday I did push too hard in that I didn't wear the boot at work but rather stayed in my shoe. My ankle was red and so swollen it didn't really resemble an ankle any more. So Thursday and Friday I used the boot at work, then changed back to a shoe for driving, and that went much better.
Work has been great. I've been busy (the first of the year is always especially busy; now it's even more so). I went through 2,200 e-mails on Wednesday and had to learn a new way of doing my data entry, did all my educational modules for 2012 on Thursday, and today really for the first time got into the swing of things. My wonderful co-workers have been really welcoming. A few never got the memo, apparently, and seeing me in the boot with the cane, asked and were shocked when I told them I got hit by a car. Everyone, including me, is particularly glad it wasn't worse. It certainly was bad enough.
Having the car has been a godsend but has added to the busy aspect. Yesterday I stopped by Rite Aid for some Claritin and a few other things, then went by the library and paid the fines that accrued while I was off. I had planned to get my hair cut, but I was just too tired. I went home, texted and talked with friends on the phone, and was in bed by 10-something. Tonight a friend called to check on me and it turned out we were getting off work very close to one another, so I went and picked him up, went to Staples for some sticky notes, and then we grabbed something to eat at McDonald's and brought something home for my other friend. I visited very briefly, as I petered out somewhere about 8 pm. I came home, texted a bit with Brandon about my day, and then by 9 pm was in bed with my feet up.
So it's been a busy few days. I have to admit, I feel a little overwhelmed by the sheer number of people I am encountering in a day compared to being homebound in my little apartment. That feeling should pass soon, I hope. And I think Brandon is missing being of such assistance in terms of doing my errands or taking me places.
Tomorrow I plan to get my hair cut first thing, then grab A to help me get my laundry into the car, take him to the grocery, do my laundry, and then help YKWIA with some tasks that should be very time consuming but at least fairly sedentary and I can do it while my laundry is going. Sunday is hopefully the game. I keep forgetting I already have the notes finished and on my tablet. :)
Things to do in the coming week or so:
- I need to call about getting into physical therapy and go to my first appointment
- I need to go to the doctor on Thursday
- I need to shop around for car insurance (got some good advice on where to go/levels to get today)
- I need to get with my mom and put the title of the car officially into my name
- I need to get a car charger for my tablet and determine if I can use it in the car (there are very few minor issues with the car; one is that the cigarette lighter doesn't work, but the receptacle itself is supposed to charge. That's no biggie for me if true, as I do not smoke, I just need to run the chargers. The car came with a tyre inflater that runs out of the lighter; I'll get that out and test with it before trying to get a charger. I'm thinking of upgrading my little low-end Android phone next month, so I'll wait on getting a charger for it.
Despite it's age it's in very good physical shape. There are a couple of small dings on the driver's side, and my mom has a kit that can take those out. So you can imagine my dismay this morning when I came out and the garbage truck that takes the recyclables was trying to turn our corner and was inches from my car easing around, trying not to hit it. I thought I was going to have to move the car, but they managed to get around. I wasn't badly parked or anything, I think they just did too wide of a turn when they swung around the corner. But all I could think of was oh, no, please don't crush the car on the first week. Because of the age, I didn't think I would put collision/comprehensive on the car despite its condition, but the advice was to do so, especially as it shouldn't cost that much. My goal is to be as well-insured as a little old lady.
It's amazing how things have progressed. I couldn't put any weight at all on my foot until mid-December. Even then I was still in a wheelchair until I returned it on the 27th. Up to last week I was still using the walker, which I returned this week. It's amazing. For so many weeks I was trying to be patient, but once I got up on my feet, things went pretty quickly. It is so good to be back to work and to be able to visit with my friends. And it's nice to be mobile in terms of the car as well. There is so much more freedom when you realise that you can go somewhere in the middle of the night if you want to, or change you mind about your itinerary without adding another hour to your trip. I love it.
Okay, I've taken some Tylenol for my knees and am considering returning to bed. Hope you had a great week and have an even better weekend.
Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Well, my first day back to work was perhaps a bit ambitious, but it went pretty well, especially since I slept maybe four hours, tops. I neglected to mention earlier that I was able to get a car from my mom, and drove up from Stanford on my own last night, the first time I've driven in over three years. (I neglected to mention it because I have some friends who don't drive I wanted to surprise.) That worked pretty well, and so that added to the excitement of going back to work. I went to bed at ten, slept at eleven, woke at 1:30, and after that it was rather fitful at best. By 4:45 I was up. By 5:30 I was going out the door. I went to Kroger and then McDonalds's, exercising my newfound freedom. Kroger was hard to walk through; it's so big. I got to work at 6:45. Then I ate breakfast and hung out until time to clock in at 8:30.
Work was great. Many people welcomed me back. I did pretty decent with the walking. I stayed in my regular shoe with an ACE wrap. I got a lot done, including going through 2200 e-mails. After work I went to the pharmacy but ran into basketball traffic and almost didn't make it in time. Then I called my friends, said I was running errands and asked if they needed anything. I stopped at Kroger, got a couple of things, and then headed over there. They were shocked about my getting the car, I think. A even smiled to the person he assumed was sitting behind the wheel. :-) I visited for about three hours, fixed a loose cable on the TV, and came on home. I've taken the wrapping off and my foot is fairly swollen. I think tomorrow I will try the boot while I am at work.
I've eaten and I think it's time to turn in. Hope I can sleep this time. Have a great night.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
I discovered that as is usually the case, whenever I go out of town my power flickers off and my aquarium pump and microwave need to be reset. I'm not sure why it happened, but I took care of that so the poor fish would have some circulation before sitting down to eat or unpacking. Now it is happily cascading in a proper waterfall.
The walking with a cane thing is working pretty well, although sometimes I forget to put the can down first before my bad foot.
My computer is acting weird. My printer keeps saying it is warming up and acting like it's going to print or scan, and Windows 8 is making some sort of happy chirping sound right before it happens. Who knows.
Alright, I think I'll go unpack. I've already chucked off my clothes, which smell of cigarettes, and traded them for a nightshirt (I do wish my mother didn't smoke; it's not good for her, of course, either). And then I'll get together the stuff for work tomorrow. I'm giving my co-worker back the walker she loaned me. And I'll pack the boot and Tylenol just in case. I did have only one major issue on the trip to Stanford--we went into a Rite Aid and my back suddenly started hurting horribly; I could not sit down fast enough, just from standing and walking around for about 20 minutes. This, despite being in my regular shoe and not the boot. I hope that doesn't happen tomorrow. But once I sat down for a few minutes, all apparently was forgiven, so if it does, I'll just try that and see how it goes. Thank goodness I no longer work in the gas station where so much of the work was standing. I'd still not be back. Yay for sedentary jobs. :)
I probably didn't get to sleep until after one, even though I went to bed shortly after midnight. I woke up at five and now it's 6:20 and I think sleep has fled for the night, but I don't want to wake the house by getting up.
It's been a good visit so far. My mom found a cane her stepson had used years ago that it's the right weight for me, so I didn't have to get one from the pharmacy, which is good, for theirs were all quads or non-adjustable and in the neighbourhood of $40.
I've discovered that T-Mobile service does not extend to Stanford. I am roaming on AT&T, so when friends texted and called wishing a happy new year, I had to keep it short. Fortunately there's wifi for the tablet. Sorry, folks.
Okay, I am going to try the sleep thing again. Wish me luck! :-)