Tuesday, October 21, 2014


    Since Aldi started selling REALLY good gluten-free bread, a lot of stuff has come back into my life, from French onion soup (of sorts) to egg-salad sandwiches. But the humble PB&J is no longer particularly humble. Organic peanut butter costs $7. Raspberry preserves are $3 or $4; I can't remember. The bread is $4 for a little loaf. And it winds up tasting like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
    What this tells us is that the manufacturers do a good job making fake crap. The cheap peanut butter with all the preservatives and ingredients having nothing to do with peanuts really does taste like real peanut butter. All those ingredients presumably make it possible to make it cheap and sell it for a long time. (That's what preservatives do after all.) And the same is true of the jelly and the bread.
    But I think companies underestimate us, and always have. I think people want companies to figure out how to mass-produce food without all the preservatives. If the costs came down, everybody would eat healthier food. It stands to reason that if the crappy food is cheaper, most people will save money and buy crappy food. I myself know that I should eat organic, but I just can't see paying the surcharge required to do so. I don't know, but I think the glut of preservatives are what is producing all the autistic kids today. My own autistic tendencies have at least tempered a bit since I started laying off preservatives. Try us, won't you companies? We might surprise you.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Can't Touch This

    Boy am I glad I made yesterday's posting short! Even though it was an hour-plus into MC Hammer's State Fair closing show, (and keeping in mind that he doesn't have (cough) much material), I nevertheless got to hear "You Can't Touch This" very clearly on the walk over to the fairgrounds for one last set of photos, that time with the real camera. I was a lot happier to hear this than I would have expected. Not that I ever had any kick against Hammer; I just liked "Superfreak" so well that I've always been disappointed to hear the imitation instead. But last night it made for grins. I wish I could have gone to the show; I would have liked to hear "Addams Family" and "Pray," too. Ah well, it was for a good cause.
    I should have paid and gone in anyway, because you really can't get any useful pictures from across a busy road on the wrong side of a fence. But they were OK. It was mainly just an excuse to take my daily walk, which I had missed, anyway.
    Much as I love the Fair, I am ridiculously pleased that it is gone. To be able to go to the store, and if I forget something, I can just go back-- what luxury! The football team is on the road this weekend. They play Auburn, which is unlikely to be fun, but at least there's the silver lining that I'll be able to get around for almost two weeks straight. Quite a change! I've got to move out of this neighborhood one day.
    What I was planning to write about was my weird feet. I seem to have reached a resolution in the old boots/ new insoles struggle. But I guess I'll wait on some kind of definitive results to share such exciting news. Stay on the edge of that chair!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Much relieved

    Yesterday's reassuring posting proved to be accurate. Granted, Dad is still coughing frequently, but he was so much better today than before. And he ate his supper like a hungry man. And he was friendly to staff and not the least bit irascible. But oddly, what I was most relieved about might be construed as a negative: he's eager to go back to Lowman Home. I guess I was worried that he wouldn't like it, but apparently he does. We had a very nice visit.
    Also I'm relieved that the Fair is over. As much as I love it, it's a major pain in the butt. That said, I'm signing off now to try to get one last set of photos. I guess I'm too late to hear Hammer. Darn it!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

And better yet

    Or so I hope. I got the call last night that Dad was already in the stepdown ICU (which is such a less alarming name than the double ICU, which they also call it). He was having trouble remembering Margaret's number, so they called me to get it and I was glad to help. He had the king-hell day of all days yesterday, having surgery in the morning, dialysis all afternoon, and then being moved to a new room in the evening. I haven't talked to him but my sister did and said he seemed more than a little frazzled. I would say that that's pretty reasonable.
    I'm trapped in Olympia by football and fair traffic. I know fair traffic will be minimal in the morning, so I'll check in on him then. But I probably won't be much help taking Margaret to see him before Monday. With any kind of luck, he'll be back to Lowman Home by then, or maybe Tuesday. Oddly, they haven't been in touch at all about Dad's room, his stuff or anything. They had some rooms free, so maybe there's no pressure. Well, we'll see.
    In another realm, the outside kitty worked himself free from another jinglebell breakaway collar and wasn't falling for having a new one put on him. So I waited until he was sleepy and snuck up behind him. Getting the "dirty cheater" stink-eye, too!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Situation normal-- pretty good

    You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? Short version is that Dad got his new drain in no problem, was eating breakfast and doing well when I called to check in, and also has dialysis scheduled for this afternoon. So he's going to have a pretty dang full day. Couple of odd things for the longer version: they called to ask permission to do the drain procedure, then called back to say that since it was continuation of care from the earlier one, they didn't need permission. Then when I called to check in about noon, they wanted me to talk to the dialysis nurse to give permission for that. Now he's been on dialysis for three or four years now. Talk about continuation of care! Maybe it was because he had also had the drain procedure today. Anyway, I certainly gave permission; if it lets him see the football game tomorrow (or if not Carolina's game, the other ones), I'm sure he's all for it. And dialysis certainly beats the alternative.
    The rubber is hitting the road, literally, for the State Fair, and I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to leave the neighborhood by car all weekend. Also the football team is having homecoming tomorrow. At noon. I don't know whose brilliant idea this was. I expect to have people trying to park in my living room. So I'm not going to be able to visit Dad as much as I would wish. The Fair runs through Sunday (with MC Hammer, baby!) so traffic is not likely to abate. But we will find a way! Hell, it's walking distance to the hospital for me!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Don't be alarmed, but Dad is back in the hospital

    Dad's gall bladder drain quit draining, so he's back in the hospital. The probability of course is that he will have a new one installed, but things are quite up in the air. I spent the morning with him in the ER and Margaret and I spent the afternoon with him in the ER and ICU. (I guess that deserves a "Don't be alarmed," too. ICU because he's nearly 94, I expect, rather than because he's in any dire shape.) It's sad that they don't have phones in ICU so he can't stay in as close touch as he likes. But maybe he'll get some rest.
    The nurse didn't know for sure what was going on or when. They were waiting for the surgeon to come around and no one knew when that would be either. We were able to get Dad some food. He ate very little, but at least he ate, and he drank his milk. Both better than nothing.
    His dialysis has been going better and worse. Better because he's feet are no longer swollen gigantic; worse because they've beat hell out of his arms trying to find his access. But the point is that if they need to do the procedure tomorrow and then do dialysis Saturday, it shouldn't be any problem. Well, except for the USC football game. A man has to have priorities.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


    So I was expecting to have trouble with the weather yesterday. I didn't expect to have trouble with the vice president. Joe Biden was speaking at Allen University yesterday. I didn't know about it at the time but checked news reports after the fact. They said he would be speaking in the late morning; we got on the road after 2:30. There must have been a lengthy reception afterwards. His route to the airport crossed our route to the nursing home just about every way possible. If I had known about it, I could have taken the beltway, but that's about the sum of my choices. I doubled back two or three times and eventually got around, but only because the motorcade had passed by then.
    The result was that we took longer to get to the interstate than we spent on the interstate, which is fairly unusual. And we got shoved into the teeth of the storm, which otherwise we would have avoided. (I still like Joe, though.) I saw that the rain was coming and traffic would slow to a crawl so I got off the freeway one exit early and took my flooding on mostly two-lane roads. Margaret said that we must really love him to go through all that to see him. It was fairly exhilarating, though, and never all that dangerous. The ride home was anticlimactic, as the rain subsided until midnight or so. I successfully kept both kitties indoors for both storms and what's more, they behaved. I'll send it in as evidence of a miracle when Biden is up for canonization.