Tags: interesting times

Mini Me

Tornado Relief

I feel bad about not posting anything on this when I posted the Japan info. I have relatives in Alabama, thankfully in the south of the state, so I have closer ties to what is happening there than I do to something on the other side of the planet. Yeah, it's been really hectic at work for the last several weeks and I've got unread email that's a week old but it doesn't take much to post some links.

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Cleo & Asp

Computer update

Still no internet at home. I've pretty much given up on MSN being helpful. I'm going to try deleting MSN.EXE and associated crap off the computer and reinstalling it but first I want to move my saved emails from my MSN account to Gmail just in case.

Even if it works after over a week of no service at home I've realized that dialup at home is a luxury item now. I can continue to download stuff to read at home using the guest Wifi access at work after I clock out for the day and I can plan to visit the library a couple of times a month. Used to be my only option if I wanted to stay in touch with my friends who were scattered all over the world was the dialup but with Wifi proliferating everywhere that's not the case now. Money is tight so I need to cut stuff anyway.

It's going to be a pain at times but I think it will be workable and maybe next year when things should be better I can add it back.
Mini Me


I've either got mild food poisoning or a stomach bug. I took some phenergan when the Imodium wasn't working so I slept most of the day. Now that I'm up I want something more substantial than chicken bullion with some instant potato flakes stirred in but I'm not stupid enough to try most of what I have on hand.

I just bought everything I need for stroganoff last night too! Darn it.

Mini Me

Slipping Back Into the Stone Ages

Still having to sit very still to let my laptop charge but it's still going. NOW it's the propane system that has failed.

I use two of the bigger RV tanks and at this time of the year when usage is highest I can get two weeks out of each one. I just switched over to the second tank last weekend but I got up Thursday and when I tried to light the stove to make breakfast nothing happened. The space heater was going so I hadn't noticed that the furnace had turned off too but I fiddled with the thermostat to make it come on and got cold air, then I switched the fridge from electric to gas and got the flashing no gas available light.

So, thinking it's odd that I've gone through a tank that fast, and wondering if it's leaky, I go out with a flashlight to switch tanks and find that the tank IS about half full, just like I expected. Well, maybe something is wrong with it.

I hooked up the little BBQ size tank I keep on hand as a back up but the little tank didn't do anything either, everything is hooked up correctly, and I'm was running late so I had to leave it.

After asking around I know I either have something wrong with the regulator or a clog in the line. If I'm lucky it's just that the screen on the regulator is clogged because anything else will require a repair man. I wasn't able to check it because I get home after dark and I got up this morning to 40F temps and a steady rain so I'm not sure when I'll go out to deal with it.

It was 50 in my living room this morning since I don't trust the cats enough to leave the space heater on overnight. I'm going to have to cook breakfast on a little sterno stove. At least I have a warm comforter and a heating pad.

This is when you really need a man around the house to send out into the freezing rain with a strong cup of coffee to deal with stuff like this.

ETA: I haz gas! *snerk*

All I did was blow in the regulator reconnect everything and voila!
Mini Me

Just in Case

The power jack for my laptop, my only computer at home, has been the victim of high spirited felines and if the power cord isn't pressed in by my knee it won't make good enough contact to work. It also gets pretty hot. I dealt with it all weekend and its getting worse faster than expected so something needs to be done.

I've been planning on getting a new one later this year -- WAY later this year -- so I decided that instead of putting it into the shop and being cut off from everyone for a week that I'd go ahead and order a new one and hope I can keep this one going for a week before it dies.

It means that I'm getting a basic laptop without a lot of bells and whistles instead of the Macbook I've been eyeing but I was surprised to find that a 2008 basic Acer laptop at $700 has three times the hard drive size, 4 times the RAM, and half again as fast a processor as my $1800 2006 (mayb 05)HP has so that's okay.

Anyway, if I can't keep the old one going it may die without notice so if I disappear over the weekend I should be back on a limited basis on Monday when I can check some sites from work.
Mini Me


As many of you know my Aunt died very early on Tuesday.

I've had a mild cold for the last two weeks, just enough to not feel like doing much of anything but not bad enough to take off work. As weak as Aunt Sallie was I didn't want her to catch it so I didn't go see her at all for a week but Jean said she was getting really bad so on Monday I got a mask from the nurses supply closet at work and decided that I could wear it if talking made me start to cough and I would just be very careful to wash my hands before I went in and not to touch things. 

When I got to the new nursing home --- but wait, let me backtrack here.

When she was ready to be discharged from the hospital a week ago Wednesday the nursing home that she had been in refused to take her back because we had complained about her care. The complaints were that the staff who changed the beds consistently left the nurse call out of her reach and failed to replace the pillows under her legs that the doctor had ordered due to the continued edema.

The PT was so inept at transferring her from the bed to a chair and back that she'd knocked the skin off both of Aunt Sallies elbows and the one transfer I observed broke just about every safety rule in the book. I've worked at a rehab hospital for eight years so even though I'm not trained to do transfers I do know how they should be done just from watching the staff and if one of our people had done things the way this girl did they would have been written up for it.

Aunt Sallie had also developed a bed sore, not too bad but something to watch, and they were not following the correct protocol for that either. When my cousin meet with the treatment team and the management the treatment team lied through their teeth and nothing changed.

So, instead of correcting the problems with their staff they took the first opportunity to get rid of us and she ended up in a more clinical looking nursing home but one that provided a much better level of care and had employees who actually smiled and residents who were actually socializing with one enough instead of staring at the walls.

When I got there Monday they had just taken Aunt Sallie to the ER because of respiratory distress so I headed over there. My cousin and her daughter were there with her and I spent a couple of hours with them and sitting with Aunt Sallie while the ER people figured out what to do. When they took her for x-rays around eight my cousin told me to go on home and they'd update me.

The next morning there was a knock on my door and it was her telling me Aunt Sallie was gone.

The visitation was Thursday and we buried her yesterday morning.

I'm dealing better with this then I would have five or six years ago. I've gotten way too much practice since then in coping with loss. I'm really going to miss her. She moved into a small mobile home on our property when I was about six and lived there until after I graduated from high school. I was in and out of her house several times a day. We would do craft projects together like making table top Christmas trees out of old Reader's Digests. She taught me to play Gin Rummy. I played the piano badly for her wedding to her second husband. We were part of the family team that took care of Granny the last few years of her life. She was a big part of my life.

I did see a couple of distant cousins at the visitation who I knew well in our teens but I haven't seen since and it's a big shock when you see someone for the first time in over twenty years and they aren't teenagers anymore. Some of them are having a worse week than we are since one of my aunt's first cousins died last week and her funeral was Tuesday. I didn't know her very well since she lived an eight hour drive away but there are people who were close to both and have had to deal with two family funerals the week before Christmas.

I'm going to put up a memorial to Aunt Sallie like I did for Mary in a bit but I wanted to get this done first. I was hoping to find a digital picture I could include but I don't have any and I don't have a scanner handy.

There are some of you reading this who are going to be getting Christmas presents and cards in January because I did not finish my shopping in time. I'm not feeling guilty about that since I know you understand, just wanted to let you know.
Reporter Kermit


I'm dreadfully behind on reading my flist and I haven't really had time to post anything because my aunt is back in the hospital. This time with a severe UTI and fluid buildup in various places. I've been trying to stop and see her for a little while most days that I don't have errands to run so I've been getting home about an hour 'til bedtime every day this week. 

I plan to get a couple of book reviews knocked out and do some catch up tomorrow.