Saturday, February 28, 2015

English: still sucks

    After all these years of reading Dick Francis and even more years of reading John Le Carre and for that matter a year of living in England, I finally got around to looking up "peaked cap." From context, I knew generally what one would have to be, since they tend to be atop policemen and military officers and, you know, I've seen those. But what I wasn't getting, as who would, was what the "peak" referred to: it's the bill, or visor. I was trying to visualize an actual peak on the darned things and ever failing. I still just don't get it. I think hood makes more sense than bonnet, trunk more than boot and doors more than wings, but at least I can make sense of the British English versions. Peaked cap defeats me; I'm sorry, Britain.
    Closer to home, for the second time I've been asked for a cancelled check to prove that I really have a bank account. It occurs to me that possibly they mean a voided check, which would be a lot simpler, but means something totally different, at least in my non-peaked-cap-understanding lexicon. Not too many years ago, banks sent back all your cancelled checks (the ones you wrote and the bank had paid out on), but not anymore. I'm not sure why they need a cancelled (or voided) check really; it's possible that this is left over from when providing one would be really easy. Still, these are financial institutions. They ought to know better than me that nobody sends out cancelled checks these days. Shouldn't they? Or am I talking out of my butt again? (I know which way I'm betting!)

Friday, February 27, 2015

REALLY safe place

    Dad had held on to my social security card for many, many years, but some years ago when he was not dying but nor was he not so well, he gave it to me to be on the safe side, and I put it in a safe place. A very very safe place. A really incredibly safe place. I suppose you've guessed by now that I have no idea where it is.
    To receive Dad's death benefits from the State Retirement System (not a huge amount, but equivalent to some months' rent), I have to send them a copy of my social security card. It seems silly, but there you are. I called them and they said no, it has to be the social security card. (It also ought to be capitalized, but there you go.)
    So I set off to the Social Security office (See?) in the Strom Thurmond Federal Building downtown. Speaking of really safe places, the security was tight. I don't remember ever having to take my belt off before. They also wanted my passport. (Metal in the paper?)
    When I got upstairs, I was gobsmacked by the number of people waiting. But the staff was very efficient and they made their way through our numbers quickly. I may have gotten vaulted over some of them due to only needing a replacement card. I had paid for more than an hour and a half on a street parking meeter and got out of there in a little under an hour. And I'll have my new card within two weeks. So not bad at all.
    My can-do spirit has returned a bit (apparently) as has the sun (periodically). The two may be related to some degree, I don't know.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Record still broke

    I'm still mildly ill, the weather's still mildly terrible but not as bad as the rest of the country, and I'm still procrastinating to beat the band when I get around to it. I truly believe that I'm going to get going soon, probably tomorrow. I think I'm blaming continued doldrums on continuing "Angela's Ashes" weather (and lungs). "An' my tharteenth brudder died from the tb before he reached two. An' my FOURteenth brudder..."
    I also need to see to my own health (apart from the stupid cat scratch disease) and that of the rotten stinky cats. Amelia is actually older than me now on the comparative aging chart. I am thrilled however to say that her grumpy dowager empress tendencies have been in abeyance in favor of reborn kitten behavior. So maybe this can be put off for a while. She's years overdue for a trip to the vet, as I myself am, too.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Bread and milk

    I don't know if it's just in the South or if it's everywhere that whenever there is the least threat of snow, the entire human race descends on every supermarket known to buy bread and milk. Since I don't eat bread or milk, I'm usually immune, but sometimes I run out of other things in the time of panic. To be honest, I completely forgot to check whether Publix still had either bread or milk today, so maybe it was just crowded for some other reason. But parking was impossible at what I thought was a safe non-lunch hour. I did eventually get my non-milk non-bread items, but felt a little silly and thought about wandering about to find a half-dozen other items to make the trip worthwhile. Eventually just said "heck with it," though.
    Not to go all Captain Vague two days in a row, but there are some things that other people need to do before I can proceed with my grownup trustee-type activities which they aren't doing. So I guess I'm not the only person around who isn't feeling supremely motivated just now. Hot damn: license to procrastinate!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Conflagration of procrastination

    This will be another visit from Captain Vague, so I'm not sure how informative it will be, if at all. I did however figure out what the source of all this damnable procrastination is. Not surprisingly, there's something I really don't want to do, or rather a commitment that I really don't want to make. Unfortunately, that's about the most informative I can be, except in negatives (no, I'm not worried about getting married). Well, and I guess it's fair to say that I resent having had the commitment made on my behalf rather than volunteering myself. (No, it isn't an arranged marriage either.)
    I like to think that realizing the whys and wherefores will help me with getting my posterior in gear. Things that have to be done still have to be done, whether we want to or not. Or as the main mover would have said, If 'twere well 'twere done, 'twere well 'twere done quickly. Also, my cough has almost evaporated and the winter weather has been a good deal less threatening than expected. It's still supposed to snow tomorrow, but mostly north of here. I'll try to do a better job of pretending to be a grown-up henceforward.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Oh THOSE earthworks!

    A couple of weeks ago at my favorite walking place, variously called Timmerman Trail, Cayce Riverwalk/ Timmerman Trail or the 12,000 Year Historical Park trail, sprang up a(n) historical marker. This tells the story of the Congaree Creek earthworks, thrown up as a last ditch (no, really!) defense at the end of the Civil War. And I thought, what earthworks?
    Now since this trail (I'm not sure a cement path is really a trail, but that's what they call it) opened, I had noticed that there was a big ridge of dirt between the path and the creek and wondered why it was there, why they didn't knock it down since it blocks the view of the creek and why they didn't just run the path on top of it. OHHHHHHHHHH! Your pal John may not be the brightest fellow in this area code when it comes right down to it. Although it only took me a couple of weeks to figure it out!
    Weather is continuing in its "can't complain; everybody else's weather's worse!" mode. Rainy yesterday and most of today, and about to get cold again, but not cold compared to cold places. It's supposed to snow tomorrow, but I think I've heard that one before. Speaking possibly only for myself, I'd be just as happy if the forecast is all wrong. I dig snow, but I like pictures of it even better. I amuse myself by thinking of the fact that I'll probably need the ceiling fans a week from now and the air conditioning in two weeks. Kookoo, ain't it?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Not nostalgic

    The other night, I got takeout from a Jamaican place I had tried once. On the previous visit, I had asked if the jerk chicken was gluten free and was assured that it was, that everything was except for breaded items and the macaroni and cheese. And I had no problem-- then.
    Friday night, I didn't bother to ask about gluten, since the same fellow (the owner) was serving me. I probably should have, though. I had a hurty digestive system for the next twelve hours or so. And it reminded me of how I used to feel all the time. It did not, however, make me particularly nostalgic for the good old days.
    Stinks, though, because I really wanted to take my celiac friends there. There are many Jamaican places in Columbia and you would think that there would be one where one could confidently order jerk chicken. We just haven't found it yet.