Friday, December 31, 2010

Resetting the clocks

After the power outage, I have to go around resetting the clocks.  I do not like this chore, but it is made easier because my cell phone has time on it.  It is easier to get all the clocks set with the same time.  Where I work, it seems like every clock is different, and that DRIVES ME NUTS!

So, when I reset the alarm clock time, I forgot to reset the alarm itself... I never remember if the dot is for AM or PM, but that was easy enough to determine.  I just set the time, and when it rolled around yesterday evening, the alarm went off.  So, now I know and fixed it.

The microwave drove me nuts.  Somehow, I could not get the clock to reset.  I even tried unplugging it, but still could not get the clock to reset.  So, I ignored it. Until I used it.  Then, it let me reset the clock.  I do not understand.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Power Outage

Last night, I fell asleep on the sofa.  That is not unusual, and I may do that during the week or on the weekends.  Sometimes, I wake up and go to bed; sometimes I stay on the sofa until morning...Frankly, either way, I get a good night's sleep... I have been a sofa sleeper since I was a preteen.  My parents hated the idea, but it was a reality that we all lived with. With some reluctance.

I remember when I went home for my father's funeral, and there was a full house in my childhood home, my sister expressed concern about where I would sleep... I told her the sofa was fine, and when she objected, my mother said I slept on the sofa when no one else was at the house, so of course, the sofa was fine...

So, last night, I started my night on the sofa.  I did not intend to fall asleep there, but I was reading and fell asleep reading... At some point in time, I woke up.  Only to find that there was a power outage at my house.  It was really weird:  The wireless ear piece for my cell phone was blinking.  The laptop was alive due to battery power. I found a flashlight (I keep many around the house), found the phone book, called the power company, and was assured that they were aware of the outage.  And, that they were working on repairs. 

I do not know when the repairs occurred...The power company told me they would call when the repairs were made.  They did not. It was not necessary.. The repairs were made...

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It is a day off from work.  Earlier in the week, I had projects that took me out and had me up and about the house.  I ran errands this morning, but since returning home, have mostly indulged in reading.  One of my errands was to the library, where I picked up several books.  I read a lot of mysteries, and prefer to read the series ones in order.  So, I am going back and forth between libraries (I could order them to my closest library, but do not mind the trips to other places) to where the next book is. 

I have a list I keep with me, regularly updated, that includes the various series I read, and what book comes up next.  Sometimes, I have to order the books from inter-library loan, but that is okay.  While I am waiting there is plenty else to read.

I also belong to two book clubs: a mystery book club and a general club, for seniors.  The general club forces me to read books I would otherwise not read, and even the mystery book club introduces me to authors I have not read before, and might not have tried.

So, today, after running errands, I am home.  I usually have the TV on, or music going.  But sometimes, I like the silence.  Today, I am enjoying the silence.  Sort of.  There is some neighborhood noise and a lot of wind noise.  The dust is blowing, so the winds must be close to, if not gusting at, 40 mph mark as predicted, and I can hear the sounds of the wind.

I am reminded of the silence in the home in which I grew up.  After my father died, and I would go home to visit my mother, the house was silent a lot, especially in the afternoon.  My mother would knit or doze, and I would often go out for a walk or to do something.  But being in the house, the silence was good, comforting. That is the silence I have this afternoon.

My cats have stirred a little now and again this afternoon, but I think they like the silence, too.  Soon, I will turn on the TV for my regular fare of mystery shows.  But, now, I can enjoy the silence.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Creature Comforts

I have so many creature comforts... Using my neck pillow precipitated this essay, but it is only one of my creature comforts.  Not familiar with my neck pillow?  Hmm. It is a terry cloth covered horseshoe pillow, filled with rice and lavender.  It is designed to be heated in the microwave, which releases the scent of lavender, and the soothing heat for the neck and shoulders.   It is wonderful.. Long ago, I was able to bring one to work, and am so thankful it is there when I need it... Sometimes, I need it because of the tension in my neck and the pain from the tension and the crushed vertebrae in my neck.  Just as often, I use it because it helps to warm me when I have taken a chill, and need some warm comfort...

Another comfort are the throws and afghans I have scattered throughout the house... If I sit at the computer, on the sofa, or at the dining table, a throw or afghan is available.  In addition to the blanket on my bed, I have an afghan over the comforter, for the very chilly nights (I have  the furnace set at 65 degrees for sleeping.  I have an automated thermostat, so am plenty warm for morning risings, and the evenings.  I fear I leave the cats in a colder than they would like house, but Sake does not seem to mind, and Haiku sleeps under the bed covers, so I think they are at least okay.)  If the bathroom is too cold, I have a heater to help.

I am not afraid of warmed drinks.  I no longer drink coffee all day and night, but use herb teas (no caffeine) to help warm me. I also drink warm lemonade, and sodas.  

Sometimes, my feet really are hurting, and I have to soak them in hot water.  Usually, I use an Epsom salt soak.  It is amazing how wonderful that relaxes my feet.

I have a lot of problems with back spasms.  Electric heating pads or medicated heat patches help very much...

Sometimes a warm, fuzzy bathrobe is just the right thing to keep me comfortable. Sometimes, a hot shower, not for cleaning but for warming, does the trick...

Hot soup is another creature comfort that warms me through and through.

I have a electronic unit that helps to relax my muscles, very much like an electronic massage.  It is wonderful...

Scented candles and incense help me to relax also...

Do you get the idea.  Creature comforts are where we find them... Enjoy and relax.  Happy New Year!


The Radio

I know you experience this.  You set the radio just right, get the tuning just right, the antenna just right, sit down, and it seems the tuning is off...Grrr.  I have several dial tune radios, and this is very frustrating to me.   I like the digital tuners better, simply because this is less of an issue...

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Raking Leaves

I grew up in New England, and raking leaves was done in October, generally done by Halloween or early November, as we could expect snow to bury the leaves by then.  Now, living in West Texas, I do not rake leaves until November, December, or even as late as January (around New Years Day.)

I have already raked leaves twice this year before this week, because I get tired of looking at them. But, this week, with most of the area trees bare of leaves (except the neighbor's live oak) I raked again.  Raking in West Texas is a little frustrating for me.  There are areas of the yard where mounds of leaves have collected, so it is easy to gather those leaves.  The frustrating part is on the yard where the leaves are sparse.  Sometimes, the leaves are so brittle, that raking basically just breaks the leaves into smaller pieces.  I do the best I can, but the smaller bits are hard to scrape up... I tell myself it is okay, because small bits of leaves are good mulch, good fertilizer... Even so, as I have raked the leaves, the yard does look neater...

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Sleeping Cats

Today was a day of on going relaxation with some effort to do chores... The chore of the day was raking leaves, and was easily managed.  Unfortunately, the dumpster was filled quickly, and only the front yard was tended to.. But that is okay.

Early this morning, the cats told me to wake up... It was about the time the alarm went off.  Since I did not need to rise that early, I shut off the alarm, and waited for later in the morning to rise.  Hot tea and breakfast were fine.

After breakfast, both cats slept. Most of the day, both cats slept.  At various times, Sake wanted to have the back door open, or the front door open, but mostly, she slept.  Haiku spent most of her morning in hiding, but spent most of her afternoon on the sofa... She also has spent most of the evening on the sofa. 

Sake spent parts of the afternoon on the  arm of the sofa.  Also, she wanted to be held for a while early in the evening. 

The cats have their own rhythm.  I hope they are okay with mine.  


Bone and Joint Pain

I grew up in New England, and some time in my early teens, I remember suffering from mild bone and joint pain.  I remember, in the middle of summer, being outside wrapped in a blanket to try to keep my bones warm.... It was not severe, but it was constant.  And uncomfortable.

I moved to Texas when I was in my mid 20s and was glad to be out of the cold, as I fiercely felt bone and joint pain in the cold and damp weather... I did not think again about the bone and joint pain until I had been in Texas about 15 or so years.  I noticed then that I had days, in the winter, when I was "stove up" or felt slow, painful, crippled, or stiff.

But those feelings were transient, and generally, I felt fine.  And I could not complain, because I had had those same feelings when I was in New England, and for so many years, they were non-existent.  I told myself, and others, that I was blessed with so many  years of no pain, that I could not complain about the minor pains I felt.

For a long time, I did not understand the true crippling nature of arthritis,  but in the late 1970s, I met someone whose hands were so gnarled and mangled, the fingers were at strange and painful looking angles. Yet this person persevered, and did what she could.  That made me realize that I was right to get out of a climate that could complicate my bone and joint pain.

A few years ago, I realized one day that the knuckles on both of my thumbs were swollen and mishapen. They were not painful, and did not effect the functioning of my thumbs, but cosmetically, they were very ugly joints.  Some months ago, I have started to have the knuckles on the ring finger of my right hand "stick."  The knuckles just lock up, but with mild effort, are released.  In the last few days, I have noticed that the knuckles closest to my fingernails of my right hand are swollen.  They are red, but not painful.  Indeed my entire right hand is swollen in comparison to my left hand, the swelling being primarily at the knuckles...

The discomfort is mild, the swelling is mild and I suspect that all will dissipate in due time. For now...

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Dry Skin

Living in West Texas, I have dealt with dry skin for a long time.  There are a combination of factors that contribute to dry skin. It is amazing how the arid atmosphere just seems to suck the moisture out of the skin.  When I travel to other parts of Texas, or the country, I can feel the moisture returning to my skin.  It is just amazing, and if you have not experienced it, this is something that is very difficult to understand.

The factors that influence dry skin include not only the arid climate, but the cold, and the wind. Additionally, in West Texas, the water is very hard, so often a shower feels like little sand grit being pelted at the body. It is not unusual for lips to chap and crack, even after just a few hours of exposure to the elements. Skin also chaps easily, and may be red, cracked, scaly, or all three.  It is also not unusual for skin just to be very itchy... And, in the winter time, the temptation is to take long hot showers, and we know that exposure to hot water contributes to the dry skin.

Years ago, I discovered that a coating of body lotion helped to keep the skin warm and not chapped in the winter weather. This is something I have used often, including if I know I am going to be out in the cold, I will lotion my legs and arms.

A problem area for dry skin is the torso... For some reason, that seems to dry out and become itchy early in the dry skin season.  Amazingly, a body wash with additives such as aloe, shea butter or oatmeal can make all the difference in the world.  I was once again amazed when I switched from my perfumed body wash to an oatmeal and shea butter body wash a few weeks ago. The first shower felt like I was slathering  my skin with comfort, instead of taking a shower in grit.  The relief was palpable. 

Dry skin seems to be a minor discomfort, but when the skin cracks, bleeds, and causes unceasing itching and pain, it is serious.  Open skin wounds are ripe areas for infection.  Just the pain and discomfort and distraction are serious.

Years ago, a friend suggested using CurĂ©l This product is pricier than some, but its soothing properties, and lack of greasiness are absolutely well worth the cost.  Because it is so effective, less is needed, and it lasts for quite a while.

Other products work, of course, with varying effectiveness.  The important thing to remember is to take care of your dry skin and chapped lips.

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Where Would You Like to be On Christmas?

Of course, most if not all of us would like to be with our families on Christmas...But that creates a new question:  who are our families?  The people we interact with every day.  The blood relatives who are miles and miles from where we live? Our family of origin? Our extended families? 

Who knows.  I want to be home on Christmas.  My definition of home has changed over the years.  I now define home as my residence which I share with my two cats.  So, if you invite me elsewhere, I do not want to be there.

It is not that I do not care about you and yours, but I want to be at ease, comfortable, and without stress. 

I have relatives who are deployed for military reasons.  And other relatives who are out of country for professional reasons.  I hope they are able to enjoy the holidays.  But, ultimately, I hope they are all happy, healthy, safe, and feeling connected for the holidays.

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Cooking With Cast Iron

I do not know when I realized this, but is was probably in the early 1908s, that I realized that I like cooking with cast iron cookware...It is not difficult: these days, most cast iron cookware is pre-seasoned, but if it is not, slathering it with lard or shortening and baking it while seasons is not a difficult thing to do...

Cast iron cookware is good for on the stove, in the oven, and on a campfire or barbecue grill (gas or charcoal.)  It is not exactly non-stick, but with oil, it is low stick, especially with regular stirring.  You can fry, boil, stew, bake, slow cook. 

I have a wok, which I use regularly, but just as regularly, I use an iron skillet...

I am grateful for a lesson from my mother-in-law about cast iron cookware:  It is easy to clean.  If you have food stuck onto the cast iron cookware, fill it full of water, and boil. Once the water is drained, the stuck on food will lift easily... And, the best way to then dry the cook ware is to put on heat and dry the water off... I have used my cook ware this way from the early 1980s and it really works well!  Thanks  to my mother-in-law! 


Staying Connected

When I moved to Texas in 1977, I rarely made long distance phone calls, due to the expense.  They were saved for special occasions or holidays.  Night and weekend rates made them less expensive, but letters were a big part of staying connected.  And, I love to send cards.

Then cell phones and emails came into being.  Cell phones were great.  I had a plan for unlimited calling that made calls to the East and, especially, my parents possible.  I called more and more often...

Emails also made unlimited access possible.

Recently, I have commented several times that I am so glad the my stepdaughter asked me to join Facebook, because she posted family activities and pictures.  I have been able to not only keep up with her family, but many of my nieces and other family members post regularly on Facebook.

One of my nieces told me today that she was very glad that we can stay connected on Facebook.  It made me feel very special and close to her...That is very special to me.

Today is a holiday, I am very grateful at the multiple media that allow me to stay connected to my friends and family.  

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Traditions of Christmas

I am thinking about Christmas traditions, and am reminded, by Dickens" A Christmas Carol" that celebrating Christmas has changed very much over the years.  I will not even consider reviewing the ancient celebrations, but am thinking about the last couple of hundred years.  Evidently, there was a time when shops and stores did not close for Christmas. 

Now, it seems that Christmas is very commercialized.  But, that has an interesting by product:  Very many businesses do close for Christmas. So, there is a trade off....

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Go Coach

Geno Auriemma is the coach of the University of Connecticut's women's basketball team, that, tonight, broke a UCLA men's basketball record by winning 89 games in a row.  At some time before the game, he gave an interview about that, and his comments reflected his obvious respect and belief in women.  He made comments to the effect that a certain amount of the media hype had to do with the fact that women were going to break a men's record.

Some time ago, I read a book, Brief Garland,  by Harold Keith about a man who was hired to coach boys basketball, but ended up coaching girls basketball, in a high school in Oklahoma. What he learned, among other things, was that coaching girls' sports had value, because the girls have value.

I think, from the comments I heard from Coach Auriemma, he believes the same thing.  Women are advancing in society to have more and more recognition in terms of capability and equality. 

But I live in a part of the world where women are still sometimes "the little women." There are even women in this part of the world (and maybe elsewhere)  who think we should be subservient to men, who like being tended to and kept by men, and are willing to subjugate themselves to men.  For what?  I guess maybe financial security, social standing, protection? I do not understand this, so I can not guess why women behave this way.

I am so grateful for people like Coach Auriemma or Jim Keith, the coach of the team in Brief Garland who understand that women are women and have intrinsic value as human beings, their gender notwithstanding.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

What I Miss

I hate shopping, and I am generally what I call a "tunnel shopper."  If I am looking for something specific, I am not browsing around at what else is out there.  There was a time in my life when I enjoyed going to flea markets to browse, or to the mall and browse, but no more.  I even used to watch for sales and go from store to store to get the best bargains.

I do not do that anymore.  I am a "one stop shopper" which means more often than not, my one stop is a Wal-Mart Supercenter...There I can get pretty much all of the basics that I want.  I am a habitual buyer:  I tend to buy the same things over and over again, without varying my purchase habits.

Just recently, I had occasion to go to the mall, because I wanted something I could get at Barnes & Noble, which is now located at the mall. I go to Barnes & Noble fairly regularly as the mystery book club which I attend meets there.  But, I rarely go further than that.  A couple of weeks ago,though,  I had to go to the eye glass store, but that is just barely in the mall, using the entrance near the Barnes & Noble.

Well, while I was at the mall, I decided to go to the Hallmark store, because I could not find the exact card I needed, although I had looked at three other stores.  I thought the Hallmark store would have the card.  So, I walked around the mall.  I went the wrong direction, and did some extra walking through the mall.  I was amazed at the sales and products that I was not familiar with.  I did find the card I was looking for...I guess one lesson is that go to the specialist for a specialty product.   And, remember that if you do not spend time expanding your horizons, you really are in a tunnel....

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The Sunrise Was Late

This last Sunday, I woke well before my alarm went off.  I could not go back to sleep, so started reading...It was about 4:45 AM.  I read for quite some time.  The cats came around from time to time, to tell me it was time to get up.

Along about 7 AM, I got to thinking:  it was really dark out still, and I panicked, wondering if I slept through the day, and it was really night.  Which made no sense, because when I woke up, it was dark, and if I had slept through the day, 4:45 would have been light.

Isn't it interesting how your mind can play tricks on you?

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Saturday, December 18, 2010

An Extra TV Channel

I was surfing tonight looking for what is on the television...I have Suddenlink Cable (and Internet)  They have what the employees call "an awesome TV guide;" you can get programming information online and with the TV.  I usually use the menu, and have forgotten about the revolving menu that I used to use...The thing is, using that menu gives an extra channel of programming.  Tonight, it includes a movie... Duh, use this more often.

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Minimum Effort

I have spent a couple of hard weeks at work, and am looking forward to the holidays, with some extra time off.

I have chores to do around the house, but anticipating some days off, I am putting minimum effort into doing household chores...

Having said that, the girls were ready to wake up before the alarm went off at 5:30 this morning... And, I did get up... But I read for about an hour and a half, before I fed breakfast, keeping the breakfast schedule...

I did the minimum chores.  And enjoyed the day.

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Thursday, December 16, 2010

What Do You Want?

I am a dog person.  When I had a dog in my life, it was seldom that I did not know what the dog wanted.  He communicated well with me and, I hope, I communicated well with him.

Now, I have cats.  While we communicate well on routine matters, we do not communicate well for unusual or non-routine situations...

I understand:  I want to be fed (although they always have dry food out); I want out (but not on my terms of being in a pen or being on a harness); wake up; let's sit in the living room; I don't want to sit on the sofa if the other cat is there; I want out in the garage; I want in from the garage.

I do not understand what incessant crying and pacing on the kitchen counter means. I do not know what racing and chasing each other means.

Maybe I need a cat dictionary.  


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Buzzing Door

I work in a psychiatric prison hospital.  Getting into the facility involves passing through 4 locked doors and 2 locked gates.  An electric "buzz" signals that it is possible to open the portal... Sometimes, as I go through the building, I stand waiting at an unsecured door, as if it too has to be buzzed open.

It is really embarrassing in a free world facility to stand and wait for the "buzz" that would allow me access.  But it happens to me frequently...Does that tell you what a creature of habit I am?

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Monday, December 13, 2010

An Immediate Interest

I won a door prize at the work Christmas party, and did not need to be present to win.  So, today, the coordinator of the party arranged for me to get my prize at work, and I brought it home tonight.  I brought it into the house, and put it on the stove top, as that is a place that is off limits to the cats.  The gift basket was two hand painted wine glasses, and two bottles of wine, in a basket with straw. Immediately, Sake jumped on the stove top to check out the gift basket. I put her down. 
I ran some errands, and later returned home.  I put the gift basket down on the floor for Sake to check out, and she did.. But not for long..Once the basket was not off limits, it was also of no interest.

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The United States Post Office

I have a niece who is currently working in Abu Dahbi, the United Arab Emerites... I took a Christmas card to mail to her to the United State Post Office today, and the postal charge was $.98.  I thought that was a real bargain...


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Movies

I stumbled upon It's a Wonderful Life when I was freshman at college.  I tried to watch it every year I could, until the year it was on non-stop for at least 24 hours.  I did watch it, but I kind of got tired of it...

I love Dicken's A Christmas Carol. I am not sure which version I like, but I will watch it hopefully at least once during the Christmas season.  I frequently also read the book, often in one night, Christmas Eve, or thereabouts.

I was a late comer to the movie A Christmas Story. It is wonderful, hilarious, has so many great moments and is just fun.. Did you know that the house where the movie was filmed in Cleveland has been restored and is open as a museum?

There is White Christmas from Irving Berlin, and which this year, is having it's own 24 hour marathon.  But wait, the song I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas was actually introduced in another Irving Berlin movie, also starring Bing Crosby, called Holiday Inn

Not a movie about Christmas, but set in the season is a favorite movie of mine: Desk Set. One of the main characters, Bunny Watson is played by Katharine Hepburn, and is a reference librarian. I have always identified with her character since the first time I saw the movie.  And, my director long ago identified me with that character, also...

Last year, at Christmas time, the Hallmark TV channel had several movies about life, family, love, and careers that were set during the holiday season.. They were schmaltzy but good. just the same.

I am sure that there are other Christmas classics out there.  Would you care to share your favorites with me?

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Social Butterfly

I am not a social butterfly, but at this time of year, there seems to be a lot of activities occurring.  In addition to Lady Raider Basketball, I have been to two Christmas dinners for various groups, a photo show opening, a winter open house, and a Westwinds Brass Band Christmas concert in the past 6 days.  Actually, I think the spate of activity will quiet down now for a while.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Technical Help

I recently purchased a Crosley turntable that allows me to record music from vinyl or cassettes to CDs.  This has been fun, but then, the equipment started malfunctioning. I was able to coax it to work, until enough was enough, and I finally called the 24/7 help line.  The person I spoke to was very nice, but her suggestions were all I had tried.  She referred me to a "technical support person" who, of course, is only available during regular business hours.

I received a call during business hours yesterday, so today, I took some time off from work, and called back.  I spent more time (maybe 10 or 15 minutes) on hold than talking to the tech helper.  It turns out, based on questions asked about my purchase date and manufactured on date, that I need a software update.   So, I will be receiving a CD with instructions, and was encouraged to call if I needed help installing the new software.

So, why did the 24/7 technical help person not have this information?

In October, I wrote about the fact that my network went down...Well, it was really due to the upgrades by my internet service provider .  The modem I had, which I purchased in 2003, was out of date, and could not handle the updates by the ISP.

When I called for help, I was told I would have to wait 4 days for service.  I extended it a day on my convenience, and used public wifi to keep up with computering while my network was down.  The technician who came to my home did ABSOLUTELY nothing but look on the numbers on my modem.  I felt bad for him:  he was the bearer of bad news, and I am sure he took the brunt of a lot of angry comments, as he said he had seen this over and over.  He said he almost asked on the phone about my modem, but was required to make a home visit, so he did.

I responded to the ISP satisfaction survey and complained that the on call technician could have asked about the numbers on my modem, the in home technician did no other work, and I lost service unnecessarily because of the delay at getting the technician to my home.  I actually received a response, that acknowledged they could have the phone help people ask about numbers on modems.  Additionally, my bill was adjusted for the service time I lost.  The amount was small, but the principle was that my ISP is trying to provide good customer service.

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When Did "Bigs" Become a Noun?

The regular reader will know that I watch a fair amount of sports on TV, and listen to some on the radio.

A few years ago, not that many years ago, I started hearing sports announcers talking about "Bigs."  I heard it first in basketball, and it made sense: you have "big" or tall players, and you go "big" or tall with a lineup sometimes. 

As time has gone by, I have heard "bigs" used in other sports.  Not necessarily referring to large players, but to athletes with large reputations.

And, I have heard "bigs" used to refer to famous entertainments stars. So, the "big" refers to the size of their star power. 

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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Why Am I Sooooo Tired?

It happened sometime this afternoon, after 3:30 PM.  I do not know what happened but all of a sudden, my body just became so heavy with tired.  I came home from work, and tended to the various chores and errands I had planned and do routinely, but with multiple breaks.  I usually can get a second wind, but I can not find it tonight.   I am just feeling more and more heavily tired.

This is the last of my computering tonight.  I am going to get on the recliner sofa and lay back...


Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day

This is Pearl Harbor Day... Interestingly, on the Weather Channel tonight, they are airing a piece about the impact of weather on the atomic bombing of Japan in 1945.  It started with the impact of the weather on the development and testing of the bomb in New Mexico, and then the actual bombing of Japan.

On the Hyatt and Williams Show which I listen to on my way home form work, they talked about Pearl Harbor Day, and the awareness of young people about its significance.  The general comment was that do young people really understand the significance of this day?  And, in 60 years, will young people really understand the significance of 9/11/2001? 


Sunday, December 05, 2010

Winter Dry Skin

I always suffer from winter dry skin.  It is a combination of factors: the wind and cold seem to dry out skin out.  But we do not seem to be as thirsty, so we may drink fewer amounts of fluid.  The negative ions seem to dry us out.

Remember to drink plenty of fluids without caffeine or alcohol. Water is optimal, and do not forget, you can drink warmed water.  Juices are good. Cranberry juice is very good.

Use lotion or cream, whatever appeals to you...Although it is said that talcum powder dries the skin, it also seems to calm the itch... But use medicated powder or cornstarch, too.  Oatmeal soaps and bath preparations are very soothing to the dry skin.  Although a steaming hot shower sounds wonderful, the really hot water dries the skin.  Tone it down.

For the lips, use lip balm.  If your lips become chapped, a medicated lip balm is probably in order vs. a Vaseline only based product.

Keep your skin covered when in the cold.  Use a hat to decrease heat loss from your head. Stay warm.  Stay dry...

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Rice and Lavender

Have I told you about my neck pillow?  I purchased a neck pillow that is filled with lavender and rice, and is microwavable.   When it is heated, the lavender scent is very warming and soothing, and of course the heat on my neck is very therapeutic.   I actually have two pillows, as I keep one at work, as well as the one I have at home...

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Saturday, December 04, 2010

Happy 75th Anniversary

Today, I went with friends to the Muleshoe National Wildlife Refuge, which was holding a 75th anniversary celebration.  We were given a gift bag, heard historical presentations, took a van tour of the facility, and stayed to watch the Sandhill Crane fly in for the night.  Part of the history of the refuge is that it was the first one established in Texas.  Also, the work establishing the facility was part of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) of the Franklin Roosevelt era.

I have been out to the refuge several times before, at various times of the year.  I am impressed at the work they do.  I love looking out over the plains, seeing the sunset, watching the Sandhill Crane fly in.  I love the wide open spaces of West Texas.

It was a long day, but a very relaxing day for me... I am grateful to my friends for inviting me to be with them.

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Friday, December 03, 2010

A Pleasant Surprise

I love bootie slippers.  You know the kind:  plastic soul and fuzzy ankle high boot tops... I have worn through so many pairs of these, I can not count...And, I did it again. So, tonight, I bought another pair. And, when I put them on, I got a pleasant surprise. This pair of slippers had a foam style cushion for the soles.  It was a little disconcerting a first, but what a comfortable surprise...

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Passion or Indifference

There was a time in my life in which I was very passionate about things:  At one time in my life I was a die hard, passionate, follow it closely NASCAR fan.  I have been a Lady Raider basketball fan with similar zeal. I have been a passionate birdwatcher...And,  have probably been passionate about other things...

But I am at a phase in my life when passion does not prevail.  I can take or leave just about anything.  I watch NASCAR when it is convenient.  I attend Lady Raider basketball games with interest but no passion. I cheer. But I have no conviction for the team.

I still like my cats, I still like to read, I still like to learn, I still like to knit.  But at this time in my life, I have nothing about which I am passionate.  No social cause. No moral cause. No activity...

So, I think I am indifferent to the way of the world...I wonder about this mediocre caring state.  Is it okay?  Am I at risk of losing all caring?  Is it a survival technique to deal with life issues I am denying?  Am I so jaded about the world, that passion has no place? 

I do not know.  I am not sure I really care.  This is more of a rhetorical essay than a caring essay.

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