Saturday, April 19, 2014

Woke up working on a joke

    Not much of a joke, I'll admit, but I still thought it was kind of cool to wake up with an attempted witticism on my mind. No doubt I've made assaults on the same joke-mountain before, since I'm partial to aphorisms, but it is a cruel goddess. The aphorism in question is "Time and tide wait for no man." Since Newsweek went out of print last year (or so; probably it's been five years now, the years fly by so fast), there would be a fine joke in it if only there was a laundry soap brand that had gone away about the same time. But no!
    About the best I can do is Duz. Speaking of time flying, it went away around 1980. So not really a joke that will make sense to a lot of people. I still like it (Time and tide wait for no man, but Newsweek and Duz are probably thinking about it) but I can't see anyone else getting much of a kick out of it.
    Also also, what it laundry detergent (or dishwashing detergent) a(n) euphemism (or euphemisms) for? I eventually settled on laundry (or dish) soap, as you can see, but it seems like there ought to be something else that I just can't think of. Just soap, I guess. I seem to recall that old-time radio ads pushed Lux Flakes for laundry, dishes, face cleaning and every other use. So I guess it isn't so much a euphemism as an aid to training the consumer to buy more unnecessary things. Something else to ponder in my sleep, I guess.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hey, a killer app!

    I finally found out what smart phones are for for those of us not interested in Angry Birds. I'm more than a little embarrassed that it took this long for me to figure this out, particularly as I have over the years noted an increased need to use grocery lists. For some reason that I don't think is vanity I hardly ever use them, though, and thus wind up making a lot of unnecessary return trips to grocery stores.
    And then I thought, I bet there's an app for that! Oddly, though there are many many apps for that, most of them are overloaded with bells, whistles and geejaws. I don't really need my groceries sorted into categories; I don't really need prices. So I wound up uninstalling the grocery list apps immediately and getting a plain checklist app. It's awesome! I just had to enter everything I'm ever likely to buy (which netted out to only about 70 items, much to my surprise). Then anything I need, I check the checkbox. Then I can sort by checked items, and there's my list. It's really been great. As a plus, I feel slightly less foolish about carrying my cell with me everywhere, which I do due to worry about Dad-related emergencies. As the emergencies have gotten fewer and fewer, it seems less necessary to carry the cell, but it's still a good idea. So this is an added benefit to having it with me; I never forget my grocery list. So OK, it took forever for me to think of something that should have been glaringly obvious; I got there eventually!

Thursday, April 17, 2014


    It's ironic, I know, to gripe about somebody griping, especially to do so in a blog devoted to three years before the griping mast. So I'm not griping about her griping; I'm griping about having to listen to it when she doesn't have the sense to realize it isn't doing her any good.
    Dialysis is not any fun. It's painful and boring and uncomfortable at best. Also dialysis facilities have a lot of staffing issues, so frequently you have to wait to get your painful, your boring and your uncomfortable on. Also also, most patients have to catch rides with commercial medical transportation services. These have their own rules that are mostly insane and certainly don't have much to do with actually helping their clients.
    So what I'm saying is that the lady had legitimate gripes. Her ride was late so she was late, and then she had to wait an hour or more (she was still waiting when Dad got called) while others (including as I say Dad) went ahead of her. However, sitting and saying loudly a hundred times "This is b---s---!" probably didn't help her cause, nor did grousing that she was going to get transferred to another facility. (I'm saying to myself, "Oh please oh please oh please oh please.")
    The way I complain is politely, politely, politely, politely and then finally angrily when I get to that hour point where she was. But I'm rational and reasonable (well, I have reasons) and never, ever, ever cuss in any way at all. I think the difference between losers and non-losers (I certainly can't call myself a winner, but I seldom lose) is expectations. I stay up there and keep making my argument until somebody gives ground. She wanders away grumbling and continues grumbling and cussing and making herself unpopular in the waiting area. I guess what I'd say to her would be, "Lady, if you're a bigger whinybutt even than I am, maybe you want to rethink your communication strategy." (Yeah, I know, nobody would think it's possible.)

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

People suck, ya know?

    As I said, Dad and Margaret are at the motel again for a week or two. As it happens, they got exactly the same room. Last time, Dad found that the bathroom sink had no plug. They asked management to fix it, but nothing happened, so I went out and got a rubber plug at a hardware store for a dollar and the problem was solved.
    Surprise! Bathroom sink again has no plug. I clearly remember us leaving it behind for future guests. You would think that anybody would be able to figure out that the greatest good for the greatest number is just to leave the plug, as it's practically worthless anywhere else but very useful in that one bathroom. Then again, it's been six months or so; it would be a surprise if nobody had taken it. Not for nothing do so many motels nail down the remote controls. (This one doesn't, fortunately. Dad and Margaret would have difficulty if they did.) And it's hardly an imposition on me to have to go out and get another one. But it would have been nice if the guests in between our visits had just been thoughtful and left the stupid plug.
    Of course, I'm really going to feel stupid in a minute when I find my memory lied to me and the plug was here in this apartment all along. But I don't think that will happen.

Edit: People DON'T suck! Housekeeper turned up with a plug before I made it to the hardware store. This raises the possibility that the management or the housekeeper took it away so guests wouldn't steal it and so it would be available should anybody ask for it. Regardless, the problem is solved. I'll leave the subject line unchanged; it was ironical in the first place anyway.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Little problems

    There's a reason this is called Writing When the Cat Lets Me. When I sit at the keyboard, she nearly always comes and visits, knowing what a total pushover I am and that she will receive scritches. Yesterday, she suddenly had a black mark on her face by her right eye. Were she a child, I would guess that she'd been playing with a Sharpie, but I'm pretty sure this isn't in her skill set. I appreciate that this isn't going to be the first concern of any reader, but having such an in-your-face kitty means that I can't help but think about it. A lot.
    Whatever damn mark is, it's as permanent as if she'd been messing with a permanent marker. I can't wash it off. I received a helpful suggestion from a Facebook friend to try peroxide, but Amelia is a wary customer. I tried a peroxided paper towel but she wouldn't let me near her. I may try again with a peroxided thumb, but I have to make sure not to get it in her eye. Worrying.
    Then again, maybe it's her real color and the Wite-out finally rubbed off. Who knows?
    The other little problem is the kind of thing that comes up now and again and makes me mildly crazy (or crazier, if you prefer). Pins and needles in my left foot. I don't know if I need new boots, more B12, better shoe-tying lessons, antihistamine or what. Common sense (to the extent I have any) says to try another set of shoes. If the sensation goes away, then I go get new boots. As I say, nothing major, but it is pretty chronically annoying lately.

Monday, April 14, 2014

When you know you're really crazy

    Dad finally got to see the heart specialist today, so there's a plus. Our last two trips that way were abortive, once because the doctor canceled the appointment and Dad didn't get the message and last week because Dad got confused about what day it is. He was disappointed that the doctor didn't say anything about Dad's shortness of breath, so that's a bummer. My thought is that shortness of breath is not surprising after congestive heart failure and that he figured that Dad being a doctor would know that. But that's only my guess.
    But at least we got to an actual appointment finally, so that's a plus. On the way home, I had a good route picked out when the traffic reporter on the radio said that there was an accident ahead, so I changed routes in a hurry. We got home (well, to the motel, but that's another story) in perfectly good order, and there we see how nearly crazy or how severely childish I am.
    Because I really really wanted to drop Dad off and go see if there really was an accident at the intersection in question. For all that it would be some 30 minutes after the time we heard it by the time I got there. And for all that I know from experience that accidents on radio traffic reports are often cleared up by the time the report is broadcast. There was the time that I was passing through the major intersection around the corner from my house at the time an accident was reported there and couldn't see a thing. So I'm happy to report that I didn't actually go. I like to think that means I'm not really crazy; just sort of.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Twitterizing Facebook

    The powers that be at Facebook seem to be worried at the rise of Twitter, and maybe they should be. They keep adding new features that echo the other social networking site ("Trending" stories, for instance) and retooling this and rearranging that and generally trying to stay young and hip or at least relevant.
    As far as I can tell, that train has left the station. (Too nineteenth century? OK, that startup has gone bellyflop.) Stories that I have seen, and the evidence of the site itself, suggest that most of the people on there are my age or older. As I understand it, even Twitter is fairly last year at best.
    The point is, maybe Facebook ought to focus on holding on to the people they have already rather than dreaming that they're going to get the teens and twenty-somethings back. There's a story going around that says that the software is set up such that the best way to get your Facebook status updates seen is to Like them yourself, every time. I don't know if this is true, but the programmers at Facebook certainly would. If it is, this needs to be changed. Common sense would say to set it up such that every time you make a status update, you also Like it, invisibly. Otherwise, the best way to work Facebook is to look like a self-centered a-hole. Not that such people are never seen on Facebook, but encouraging them is another thing. They could also add checkboxes allowing one not to Like their own status updates or to make the Like visible if you so choose.
    Maybe it's a tiny thing, but it seems a much better idea than trying to Twitterize. Somebody call Zuckerberg!