Friday, March 27, 2009


Town Hall Meeting

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The tests are done

We were finished with the testing in a little over an bour, so that was good.

Most of what we got back was good. A couple items like low HDL (the good cholesterol) and elevated triglycerides, we both got and we can do the same things to get those numbers back in line. (Such as figure out what to add or subtract from our daily diets.)

The Full Report will be snail-mailed to us in 21 days, so we can review the results with our family physician.

We're both still in one piece with no apparent signs of osteoporosis or arterial blockages, thank goodness.

When I talk the results over with the doc, I'll ask what other tests I should take that WEREN"T included on the blood panel that was done today. Might as well get anything else done that should be done, so any and all results will go into my chart at approximately the same time.

I do hate fasting blood work, though. I sure am glad that's over with. (For now, lol.)


RIP "England Dan". :(

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Sign in a store window on Snyder Avenue:

"Festive Balloons

Going Out of Business
Everything Must Go"

I realize that the word is a part of the soon-to-be-closed store's name, but does anyone else find it jarring to see the word FESTIVE on the same sign with the phrases GOING OUT OF BUSINESS and EVERYTHING MUST GO?

Sigh. Stupid economy. :(

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Lately, I feel like it's midnight no matter what time of day it actually is.

I hate grief. I hate it even worse because it's kicking in prematurely. I want to enjoy the much-vaunted Last Six Home Games, but it's impossible to enjoy anything when I feel like this.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Boy, talk about "cause and effect"!

Not long ago, Joe said, "I have to stop buying art. I have no more space to hang any new pieces."

On the heels of that announcement, not one, but TWO framers in Center City went out of business.

At which point, my question to Joe was, "Good grief, exactly how much art WERE you buying?"

Good thing he's cutting back on art purchases, since his primary and backup framers aren't available anymore.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I just arrived at the Prince and picked up the tix at the will-call window. Karla is on the way, via PATCO.

After the concert, I'm a little unclear as to whether Joe will be able to join us for dinner, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. As it is, I woke up to the 80s Music channel on TV, courtesy of Mark. (Today's concert is "That 80s Show!") :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Latest

Mark and I met 14 years ago today. :) So today is officially A Good Day.

Yesterday, Mark noticed that one of our neighbors was having a tree planted, These were the people who had a very young tree last summer, only to see its root system get damaged by the excessive heat when our whole street was resurfaced and huge flame-spewing equipment was brought in to melt and smooth the blacktop,

I had been hoping that the tree would make a recovery, but its owners apparently had reason to believe that it needed to be replaced, If I were them, I would have tried to have the Streets Department foot the bill for replacing the tree, since it was their resurfacing process that fried the poor little tree's roots.

For the record, our tree lost a bunch of streetside leaves from the heat, but it recovered fully. However, it's been in that spot for nine years, so it's had plenty of time to develop a strong root system that could withstand a limited amount of damage, The neighbors' little tree, besides being a wee thing whose trunk could be encircled by a thumb and forefinger, was only in place for a few months at most. It hadn't anywhere near enough time to sprout sufficient roots to survive a major trauma.

The good news is that the new tree won't be subjected to the same mishap that doomed its predecessor, I doubt we'll see the entire street dug up and resurfaced for some years to come,

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Poor Mark.

He was at the doctor's last night for a regular appointment. He mentioned that he's had a tooth bothering him for the past few days.

One thing let to another, which led to his taking today off to go to a dental surgeon. He has an abscessed tooth, which is killing him, but he has to wait a week for the swelling to go down before he can get a root canal.

A WEEK! I've had a couple of abscessed teeth -- fortunately, it was baby teeth both times, so they could just pull them and be done with them. But HOLY COW. That first abscess, which occurred in a tooth that had recently been filled, was unquestionably among the worst pain I have ever felt. Between the excruciating pain and the sudden spike of fever, that episode resulted in my one and only visit to Children's Hospital's emergency room. I won't go too far into the gory details, but let's say that TEN novocaine shots weren't enough to kill the pain of having the tooth pulled. Especially when the bleeping thing broke into four pieces and turned into a nightmare extraction from H3ll.

So you can imagine why 33 years later, just hearing the word "abscess" still makes me cringe. That's a potentially hideous set of symptoms.

So I feel terrible for Mark, that he's got to deal with this freakin' thing for a week. UGH. Fortunately, he's got antibiotics and ibuprofen to battle the symptoms with. I hope they're effective enough to keep the symptoms at bay and keep this week an uneventful one.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Here I sit in the kitchen, having eaten lunch. I'm finishing a mug of coffee and entering a $1 into to see where it's been.

From the dining room,there came a sudden pouncing noise. Then the sound of running kitty feet. Suddenly, Stanley was standing under my kitchen chair with a bottle-brush tail.

I glanced into the dining room. Captain's head peered out of the top opening of the cloth-and-wire kitty play cube. (It has 3 solid cloth sides and 3 sides with openings for cats to go in.)

So the "Gotcha!" tally for the day so far is Captain 1, Stanley 0.

But the day is young. I'm sure the totals for both cats will go way up between now and bedtime. :)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Shoot. Mark's new laptop is just barely too large for my laptop backpack. It's about 1/2 inch too wide. I was hoping he'd be able to use that to carry the laptop to Knights of Columbus meetings, where he has just joined the board, but no such luck. He's off to pick up one that's large enough to fit the laptop and the various other paperwork he carries to meetings.

To make sure that he gets one that's the right size, I looked up the dimensions of his particular make and model. Which is good, because now that I know just what kind of machine it is, I can look online for possible accessories for it as gift ideas. :) Win/win.
My mom worked at the various incarnations of the CPO Mess, Enlisted Mess, and Officers' Club at the Naval Base for many years. Needless to say, she amassed quite the collection of funny stories over that period of time. :)

One such story was about a party that one of the sites was catering. A worker who happened to have a heavy foreign accent was the one who placed the order for the inscription on the birthday cake.

On the day of the event, one of the waitresses approached my mom and said, "We can't serve this cake".

My mom asked why, and was shown that the inscription on the cake was "HAPPY BUFFDAY". Whoooops... LOL!

Last night, we had a similar inscription incident. Joe's twin aunts, Phyllis and Josie, were celebrating their 84th birthday together. There wasn't enough room to write "Happy 84th Birthday Phyllis and Josie" on the cake, so the family decided to go with "Happy 84th Birthday Twins" instead.

Except... well, have a look at the photo I posted last night. The nice little old Sicilian lady who inscribed the cake had a slight spelling issue. "Happy 84th Birthday Twinses". :)

This is the same bakery that we got the Brutti e Buoni cookies from, and like everything else they make, the cake was outstanding. Who cares about misspellings when the cake tastes that good?

Still -- dessert AND a new humorous story, all at the same time. I'd call yesterday a productive day. :)

Friday, March 13, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mark just got the laptop he ordered. It's a 17" HP.

I just put my 7" Alpha 400 netbook next to it. It looks like Mark's laptop had a cub. :)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

JFM's brother

JFM's brother had multiple seizures today, prior to being transferred to the hospice as an inpatient. JFM described his awareness as "coming and going". I hope the Lord is merciful to him and doesn't let him suffer long. It's just too sad for him and the people who love him. :(

Keep on praying for the M family, if you please. Thanks.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

LOL. Sometimes, Captain would rather chase his toy than actually catch it. I'm convinced of that after tonight.

We have a feather-toy-on-a-string which Captain loves. A little while ago, I started hauling it around the living room. I soon had an orange-and-white blur stampeding after it.

After a few high-speed passes with the toy, I started to slow down the motion of the toy. I try to let the cats actually CATCH the toy now and then, so they can get some reward from their hunting endeavors.

I slowed down the toy. Captain ran more slowly. I slowed it some more. Captain slowed down some more.

I wound up s-l-o-w-l-y dragging the toy back and forth across the floor while Captain WALKED after it.

Apparentty, Captain subscribes to the mindset that the journey itself is more important than arriving at the destination. :)

Monday, March 09, 2009


I'm sitting in the orthopedist's waiting room. A patient came in on a gurney. Good grief. I walked here, about a mile's distance, but any lingering aches I had dissipated whan I saw that poor lady. :(

Thursday, March 05, 2009

I'm frustrated right now. I really like the Flickr interface for uploading photos online. I *really* like their editing process. I edited nearly 300 photos on their system, fixing the brightness, color cast, and cropping out wasted space. The pics looked great.

And then I tried to have them printed. I thought I would save time by sending them to the Target in South Philly. By doing that, I would be able to get the photos in one hour, and I would save shipping costs.

Or so I thought.

First of all, unlike the online printing service for Ritz Camera, which I have used for the past few years, if you submit more than 100 photos, you need to allow 24 hours for the job to be processed. OK, fine. So I will wait a day instead of an hour... that still beats the week I would need to wait if I had the photos mailed to me. So fine, I thought, I'll try it. I sent the order on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, I got a call from the photo lab. There was a problem with my print job; it "wasn't moving" and would have to be cancelled. Could I please send the job again?

"All right," I said. "*%$#&!!!"' I thought. But I sent it again, and readied myself for another 24-hour wait.

Something told me to call the Target this afternoon, 27 hours after submitting the print job, rather than just showing up at the photo lab. Good thing. They had no record of the order.

I know I sent the job to the correct Target. I double-checked my info with the photo lab employee on the phone. I sat there looking at my email confirmation from Flickr while I talked to him.

I don't have time to troubleshoot this. I downloaded each of my edited versions of the photos onto a memory card (one by one, as there is no batch download capability -- did I mention there are nearly 300 images?) and I am uploading them to Ritz. At least I know the print job will, in fact, be done in one hour.

It's annoying, though, to have to take a bus trip to Center City, about an hour's commute time round trip, instead of being able to drive to a much-closer Target about 10 minutes away. Maybe I can run some other errands while I'm up there. I can think of a few things I would like to pick up while I'm in town.
Ya know...

I called CVS *ten days ago* about getting refills on prescriptions, knowing that they'd have to submit two of them for a doctor's call to extend the prescriptions.

I called today. CVS still hasn't got them. The girl at the pharmacy said, "We faxed the doctor and called the next day. What else do you want us to do?"

Uh, gee, I don't know, HOW ABOUT FAXING AND CALLING THEM AGAIN, since I'm calling to ask about the refill status and the two meds in question aren't refilled? How's that for a logical answer?

Geeze. Look at my freaking prescription history, lady. Look at how long I've had these freaking prescriptions. You think that I'm suddenly going to miraculously not need either of them anymore, just because the freaking doctor never called you back? Do you think I'm just going to give up? "Oh, I don't care if acid reflux demolishes my esophagus. The doctor never called back with a refill so I'll just do without from now on. It doesn't matter what my BP is. The doctor never returned the call to the pharmacy, so it's OK if I skip the med from here on out."

:headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:

So I called the doctor MYSELF. With luck, there'll be some freaking meds available to me in the near future so I can actually, you know, TAKE them tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Hat Trick's New Locker

Hat Trick's new Flyers Locker, courtesy of Mark. :)

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Target just called. There's a problem with my order and I have to re-send the pictures. :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

I'll try one more time to send the order from Flickr to Target. If it fails this time, I'm ordering them by mail or using Ritz Camera.
Mark and I have been dueling with green laser pointers for the past few days. As a result, the house has been a Green-Dot-Fest. For example, Mark was working on taxes in the dining room, and I aimed the laser pointer at the chandelier. The whole dining room glittered with a constellation of green dots. :)

This morning, after Mark exited the front door on his way to work, I headed to the front window and shone the green dot on his car. He got in the car and was greeted by the green dot was on the dashboard. I even managed to get the dot on his car keys, which reflected brightly enough that I could see them from the house. Mark responded by aiming his green pointer back at me. Stanley, who was in the window watching all this, wound up with a green dot in his fur.

Hey, didn't we have a President (Bush I) who talked about the "thousand points of light"? Well, Mark and I can account for two of those. All we need now is to find the other 998. :D

BTW, the cats are highly entertained by both the green and the red laser pointers that we have in the house. In particular, Captain favors the red dot, though he'll follow the green one around, too. Stanley likes the dots, too, but he'll give place to his brother if Captain is stalking the same point of light that Stanley is after.

So anyway, if you're anywhere near either one of us, you could end up with a green dot on you at any moment. Consider yourself forewarned. :D

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

I have edited a ton of photos and sent them to be printed at Target, via Flickr.

I just hope that the dimensions of my digital photos, and the cropping I did on said images, look good when I have them printed in 4x6 format. Otherwise, I am going to have to redo a bunch of images and boy, will I be steamed. But let's not borrow trouble.

The only drawback here is that unlike Ritz Camera, whose "1 hour printing" actually MEANS one hour when you submit pics online, in my case since I submitted >100 photographs they need 24 hours' processing time. Beans. But if the pics come out looking good, then it will be worth the wait.

Interestingly, unlike Ritz Camera's online photo submission, Flickr/Target does not have you pay in advance. You pay when you pick the photos up. Ritz has you pay online at the time you submit the order, and then you just show up in the store with the receipt and pick them up. (Which allowed me to send Mark to get prints picked up in Center City a couple years ago; I had already paid, but couldn't get to the actual site to pick them up. He was able to walk there on his lunch hour, receipt in hand, and get the prints for me.)

By tomorrow, or Thursday morning at the latest, I'll be able to post on here whether the photos came out to my liking. Let us hope.
JFM just called. The nurse that visits his brother at home has said that he's starting to "quiet down", as in his vital signs are starting to decrease. His brother is probably going into his final few weeks. JFM is going to try to get his brother re-admitted into hospice care.

So do please send thoughts and prayers to the M family. :(