Basically my posts are little more than first drafts of what’s going on in my life. They are quickly jotted down and just as quickly scanned for spelling errors which often elude me until I spot them on later readings. People have often said they like my writing style. I think these stories are decent enough because I once worked at a small daily newspaper. Most newspaper stories are essentially first drafts written under deadline pressures and hastily edited. (Quick sidebar: One day while working on that paper, the (then) Cape Cod Standard-Times, as the presses started rolling and the very first copies were distributed around the newsroom a glaring misspelling on a headline was apparent. Both the editor of the paper and I spotted the error at the same instant and made a mad dash for the door to the pressroom. I happened to get to it first and burst through to scream, “STOP THE PRESSES!!!” Doesn’t everyone working on a newspaper dream of such a moment?)
This piece has been percolating for the past couple of days as I tried to figure out the sequence in which to present it…
A few days ago someone I was talking with used the phrase, “It’s a small world.” We’ve all had moments in our lives that makes the phrase relatable. I have a couple of YouTube vids describing a couple of my more memorable “Small World” moments. I went back and watched them again. This one struck me the most…(Note: The name of the girl is NOT accurate, and THAT’S A FACT, JACK!)
I made this video in 2013, over 30 years after the incident. I’m looking at it now nearly 10 years further on. But I first met “Mary Ann” perhaps 48 years ago!
Naturally I wondered whatever happened to her in those intervening 40 plus years? But trying to find women is extremely difficult. They marry and their name changes. If you filter back through this blog to the story, “The $16.25 Divorce and a Tale of Seduction” you’ll see I was once involved with a woman who totally captivated me. Changed me in many ways. But she moved to California, became a “Moonie,” and got married in one of those Unification Church’s mass weddings. Of course I wondered what happened to her. I searched for YEARS. NOT with the idea we might rekindle an old flame but simply to find out what had gone on in her life. Believe it or not I finally FOUND HER. Her last name, of course, was different. But if I walked past her on the street I would instantly recognized her even though she’s now in her 70s. But after going through her Facebook feeds it hit me that if we met for the first time, NOW, I wouldn’t like her very much.
Just for giggles I entered “Mary Ann’s” name in the search feature of Facebook. Several possibilities came up. But one of the first mentioned Chicago. The picture was of a young girl probably in grammar school. I sent that person an IM and shortly received an answer back. It WAS her. She’d never married thus her name was the same as when I’d first met her. We’ve been writing back and forth a lot. She’s an interesting person. When you’re getting your hair done you have conversations with the snipper. They’re momentary slices of life with an occasional glimpse into the other person. The last few days we’ve explored each other’s personalities in greater depth. We have many similar interests and it has been a real find making this (Re)Connection. Who knows, one of these days we might see each other in the flesh again.
When I decided to take my epic road adventure last summer I changed my pharmacy from CVS to Wally World. I used CVS when I was anchored off of Anna Maria Island. It was on the free trolley route directly across the street from my dcoctor and next to the Publix supermarket. One stop does it all. There are lots of CVS pharmacies around, but Wally is EVERYWHERE.
The Wally World pharmacy near where I’m moored in The Swamp off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida has been an excellent place to get my prescriptions taken care of. I have gotten nothing but excellent service from the people there and checking pricing on line they beat CVS and Walgreens on almost everything. Sometimes it’s only pennies. Other times there are significant savings.
One thing they’re excellent about is text messaging me when it’s time to get a refill. BUT the one I received today was a bit vague. It said that my prescription for “BRE” was about to be filled. Problem is I have TWO COPD prescriptions that have the letters “BRE”…Breo Ellipta and Breztri. While I used the Breo for several years the Breztri seems to do slightly better in treating my symptoms. But talk about EXPENSIVE. The list price is $783!!! With my insurance, though, I only have to shell out $43. It’s all a rip!
I called the pharmacy and they’re going to fill the Breztri.
I think the last time I wore suspenders was in 1960 when I rented a tux for the senior prom. Since then it’s always been belts. But they’ve been a problem in the last few years.
Last week my most recent belt died. It was a nice, leather belt with dozens of holes along the center line so the size of my waist line wasn’t a problem. I could make it as tight as needed. After my bout in the hospital five years ago when I nearly expired because of complete renal shut down I lost a ton of weight. About 20 pounds. I’ve only regained about eight or nine of them in the past five years. As a result the waist bands of my pants don’t match the waist line of my svelte body. Yes, I STILL have a couple pair of jeans from back then. They were 34s. I’m now around a 32 on a fat day. The reason I still have those pants is because I absolutely detest clothes shopping and avoid it until I have nothing left to wear. So, when I cinch the belt all that extra material gets wadded under the belt. I wear my tees and guayaberas outside the trousers to hide that.
When I was at Wally World to get a new belt I saw a package of suspenders. Same price as the less expensive belts which is what I was going to buy and I thought, why not these, too, as well as the belt? I got the belt, but when back at the boat I attached the braces and…I like them. A LOT!
But they were just plain black and I wanted something a little nicer. I looked on line and ended up ordering something a little “showier” …
But I wish I’d seen these, first…
Since I rarely go out in the world these days even three pair of suspenders are probably two too many.
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A lot of times there are things I’d like to say to people but they’re so inappropriate that I don’t.
Like there’s a cute older woman who works at the local Walmart neighborhood market where I do most of my grocery shopping. To me she falls into the category of “Once a hottie, still a hottie…” Helen Mirren and Jamie Lee Curtis fall in that category as clarification of what I mean. Anyway, sometimes when I see this lady at the store I’d like to say, “Listen, if I should collapse in some aisle here, I’d like you to be the one to give me mouth-to-mouth until the paramedics get here.” But I keep my mouth shut.
Down in Panama where I lived for eight years breast feeding openly is simply normal. Nobody thinks a thing about it unlike here in the Puritanical Great White North. The women of the Ngäbe-Buglé, the largest of the indigenous tribes, and who flourish in Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui provinces, wear a traditional dress called an “enagua” (pronounced nah wa).
Breastfeeding is so common that these dresses often have slits in the bodice which the women use to expose the breast for the child to suckle. Non-indigenous women in western clothes would simply unbutton their blouses to give the baby access to the breasts.
The buses in Panama are generally nice, air-conditioned, 30-seat Toyota Coasters instead of discarded U.S. school buses, though there are still a few of those around.
There was a narrow aisle down the center of the bus and seats on either side. These seats, of necessity, weren’t very wide and could barely hold two normally-sized people. No such thing as “social distancing” when you were riding on these buses. In the years that I rode them there were many times when a pretty, young mommy would board with her infant and sit in the empty spot beside me. Probably a half-dozen times when the infant got restless the girl would unbutton herself, whip out a boob and stick it in the kid’s mouth to calm it down. Well, naturally, we’re sitting there literally rubbing shoulders and it’s totally impossible NOT to see what’s going on. That’s when I sometimes thought of saying, “Listen, if you’re not using the OTHER ONE right now…” But I kept my mouth shut.
At my last visit to the pulmonologist I wasn’t able to complete the 6-minute walking test to check how my blood/oxygen level held up. I made it about half way through and I was gasping for breath. Of course, having to wear a mask wasn’t helping the situation at all. On top of that my nearly 80 year old hips were starting to hurt. So I stopped. My 02 level had dropped from 96% to 91%.
So, what should one’s blood oxygen level be? Official Answer. Between 88% and 92% is considered safe for someone with moderate to severe COPD. Oxygen levels below 88% become dangerous. If oxygen levels dip to 84% or below, go to the hospital. These readings are for a person at rest.
I’m bumbling along through life at 21% of lung capacity according to a recent full-function test. Curious about how my lungs are functioning with assimilating the oxygen I bought one of those meters the nurse puts on your finger when you check in at the doctor’s office.
I then made up a spreadsheet to keep track of things.
As you can see my levels drop into the 80% range when I do anything in the least bit strenuous. My heart rate jumps and I gasp for breath. But the oxygen levels rise back into the upper 90s generally in less than 30 seconds and my heart rate drops as well. But the gasping often takes several minutes to get back to what passes for “normal” these days. This isn’t a whole lot of fun. One of these days I’m sure I’m going to have to consider the whole oxygen concentrator equipment issue. Not looking forward to that at all.
In other health-related thoughts.
The other day I learned that a person I’ve known since they were about 10 years old when I was in college in the late 60s has brain cancer. The prognosis is he’s got 6 to 9 months left. That’s sad. What I find mystifying, though, is that he’s going to start radiation treatments. Why in the world would someone do that? Why would someone subject themselves to the pain and sickness and endless hours of vomiting when they’re going to cash it in in less than a year? I don’t understand. Nobody’s getting out of this thing alive. Are they so frightened of the inevitable that they’ll do anything for another day or two? Not me. That’s why I wear a medic alert tag around my neck saying “Do Not Resuscitate.” When it’s time to go it’s time to go. There’s no bargaining to be done. It’s over!
The phrase “Timing is everything” sums up the essence of good comedy. It’s that way, too, in life in general. Take today, for instance (April 7, 2022).
The weather sooth sayers sooth there’s an 80% chance of rain for the day. It was dark and gloomy when I got out of bed at quarter past seven this morning and it hadn’t brightened up a whole lot over the next couple of hours. I keep the 11-pound propane tank out in the cockpit with the hose leading inside to the stove. For safety reasons I always shut the feed off at the tank after finishing with the stove until the next time I need to use it. I noticed that the gauge on the tank had dipped down into the yellow, “Low” zone.
That means there’s roughly 1/4 of the tank capacity left. Since I cook on the stove every day I thought it would be a good idea to get the tank topped off. There were also a couple of other things I could get done while I was out of The Swamp here off the Saint Johns River in Central Florida…Refill the empty 5 gallon water bottle and do some grocery shopping to hold me over into early next week.
Did all those thing I needed to do and JUST AFTER getting everything from the SUV to the boat cockpit raindrops started dimpling the surface of the canal. Right now as I’m writing thunder is rolling all around.
Why? Because they’re just too effin’ STUPID, that’s why!
Example: Comparing former Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson to Ketanji Brown Jackson, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) says: “The last Judge Jackson left the Supreme Court to go to Nuremberg and prosecute the case against the Nazis. This Judge Jackson might have gone there to defend them.”
This idiot obviously doesn’t know how things work. She was a “Public Defender” and they don’t get to choose who they defend. And he obviously knows nothing about American history. You know who defended the British Soldier who participated in the Boston Massacre? It was John Adams who would end up being the country’s second president. Why did he defend them? Because he believed EVERYONE deserves to be represented in a court of law…
Someone recently accused me of having TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome). As if reminding people of what a totally despicable, worthless, dangerous, traitorous, piece of human garbage the giant orange pus ball is, is a bad thing.
The person who said that thinks “Derangement” only means you hate something. In some cases that may be true, but derangement is: – “a state of mental disturbance and disorientation. mental unsoundness, unbalance. insanity – relatively permanent disorder of the mind.”
My reply is that the REAL person suffering from TDS is the one who still has his “Trump 2020” sign on his front lawn. Alternatively it’s the person who has a “Trump 2024” sign on their lawn. It’s also someone who believes that a person who NEVER won the popular vote in any election they ran in or who, in their 4 years in office because of a quirk in our electoral process, NEVER hit a 50% approval rating in any poll conducted, INCLUDING Fox Noise, suddenly won the 2020 election in a “landslide.” THAT’S who has TDS!