Further Friday Frustrations

  1. Besides COVID-19, the drought and the threat of wildfires, we’re wondering about how the crazy worms will affect us.
  2. I’m also concerned that I’m not cheugy.
  3. Well, not that concerned.
  4. I’ve been accepted by Medicare. As a military retiree of a certain era, I’m covered by Tricare. Tricare requires me to get Medicare A and B when I turn 65. That happens in July. I applied when I became eligible. A few days later, I was accepted. Meanwhile, I receive phone calls, emails, and snail mail from individuals and companies offering to help me navigate making my Medicare choices. It’s another industry. Everything becomes an industry, and as you reach certain milestones, they make you aware of it. It used to be that my junk mail was all about buying a new car, shopping for clothes, or taking vacations. Now it’s about hearing aids, funeral services, Medicare, reverse mortgages, and Viagra.
  5. Of course, there’s a few new industries afflicting all of us who own a home or car. We receive regular phone calls about our car and home warranties. In our house, we don’t answer the phone unless we recognize the number. The other industry that’s aggressively chasing us is insurance against our water pipes bursting in our yard. A WaPo article says, in essence, yeah, it’s another scam.
  6. I think one of my cats has short-term memory issues. Whenever Boo encounters our other cats, Papi and Tucker, he reacts like, “OMG, who the hell are you?”
  7. To mitigate the fire threat in our town, a ‘firewise’ program has been established. Basically, don’t use any bark mulch on the ground. Don’t grow any flammable plants within five feet of the house. Store wood products that you might have at east thirty feet from the house. Trim back all branches so they’re not touching the house or close enough for flames to leap from the tree to the roof. Get rid of wooden decks, wooden fences, conifers and blackberries. Walking around Ashland, I can see that the program has made little progress. We were affected by a fire last year. There were actually three fires on the same very windy day. All three were started by individuals. The firewise program can’t address the wind or deliberate fires.
  8. They also tell us to keep your plants watered so they don’t dry out and become fuel, but we’re in an extreme drought, so hey, there’s little water to water plants. The only option appears to be to pull out all your plants except those of a desert variety and put small stones or pebbles in your yard to help reduce moisture. Of course, I’m also exploring polymers that are supposed to help the soil retain moisture.
  9. Delivering decorative bark (or mulch) had become a growing industry. Go to any hardware store’s garden area and there’s bags and bags of variations. Blower trucks will load up and come to your house and spread it for you with a giant reverse vacuum cleaner. Now, I suspect a new industry, to vacuum it all back up, will begin taking root.
  10. I thought that killer bees and murder hornets were bad. Now we can add crazy worms to the list of things nature has devised to make the world more interesting. The MSN story says, “Pick one up, and you’ll see why, as the creepy-crawly jerks, writhes and springs out of your hand. (It may even leave its tail behind, as a grim souvenir.) And now, scientists are finding the wrigglers have spread to at least 15 states across the U.S.” They resemble regular worms and are bad for the soil.
  11. I have a crazy cat. I really don’t want crazy worms.
  12. My wife is on her weekly coffee clatch call. Pre-COVID-19, they’d meet after exercise class every M-W-F. Their pandemic compromise is to meet every Friday after exercise class. They have a good time. Lots of laughing. I hear her now talking about her sagging breasts and my drooping scrotum. I’d told her that my sack hung in the water in the hotel toilet during our visit last week. Disgusting, right? Once you feel and know it, you can take action by not sitting all the way down. This is another reason why I prefer to stand and pee, even though I’m cursed with a forked stream. Aging. There’s always something.
  13. Haven’t smelled any skunk for over thirty days, yeah, knock on wood. I’m superstitious that way. Haven’t smelled the skunk, or sighted one, but my wife reports that she heard a thump last night for the first time in weeks. Time to block the entry (again) and see what happens. I would mount my camera but it has quit working. I’ve not been able to reset it and connect it nor receive any images from it. I don’t want to buy a new one because, waste. We’re such a throw-away consuming society. It’s frustrating.
  14. Being cheugy doesn’t offend me. And, from what I understand, I am cheugy. Apparently emerging from TikTok, cheugy is the new ‘square’, a way of saying something is passé, or out of it. Tres important, right? I’m bothered by too many other things, like crazy worms and skunks under the house, to think about being trendy.
  15. Got my coffee. Time to go write like crazy at least one more time. Before the crazy worms get here. We’re already full up on crazy. Even bought a warranty. It was offered on the phone.

Friday Laments

More first world blues…I’m just cryin’ in my coffee.

  1. One problem with the local C-19 vaccination plan: teachers are a high priority. Great! Many agree with this. But, boo, the shots are being administered during school hours. It’s not a dash and do, either.
  2. Our biggest issue in Oregon is as it is elsewhere, just not enough C-19 vaccine to do the job. People are generally accepting and patient, because that’s how it goes for now.
  3. I went for years without a doctor. Then I had trouble in Peckerville and ended up with a urologist. The trials exposed my hypertension, so I ended up with a GP. Each prescribed medications for conditions – BHP and BP – that I’ll probably take for the rest of my life. Less than three years later, both of these medical professionals are gone. They’d moved into the area, it didn’t work out, and they moved away. I liked both and they did a good job, but I’ll need to find someone new when my prescriptions expire this year.
  4. The healthcare insurance front grows more expensive for me. As a veteran and military retiree after twenty years, I had good healthcare insurance via Tri-Care. There were no premiums. That went on for years. Now, starting this year, I must pay $25 per month premiums. Not bad. But, since I’m turning 65, I’m required to get Medicare Parts A and B in order to keep my Tri-Care. A is free; B is about $150 per month. Guess this is all due to that wonderful ‘support the troops’ rhetoric that I often hear. As it so often happened, big promises were made with great patriotic fanfare and furor. Then, when the bill came, everything changed.
  5. I’ve ordered meals online from restaurants three times in the last three months. Each was to give us breaks from what’s in our larder and breaks from cooking. It’s a treat. But each time, they’ve offered a coupon, and then, each time, there’s no place to enter the coupon code when the order is processed. Small matter, but irritating: like a lot of modern life, it seems like a false promise.
  6. What I’m watching: “Baptiste” on PBS via Prime — terrific series; “His Dark Materials” on HBOMax, very strong, good production values and acting, faithful to the trilogy; “Doom Patrol” on HBOMax but it’s falling in our appreciation as the characters become sillier and seem to take forever to come to grip with matters; “All Creatures Great and Small”, a remake of the first series of that name, based on the books, and it’s almost as entertaining and charming as the first go-around. We’re not watching “The Undoing” which just seemed too insipid in too many ways after three episodes; we prefer more dynamic and intelligent characters. Just recommended to us is Portait of A Lady on Fire and Mary Shelley, so they’ve been added to the list. Still working through the last of “Vera” and “The Wire” during late night down time.
  7. Hulu manages to continue to irk me. Their system often seems to think we’ve watched an episode that we haven’t and wants to jump us ahead. It’s happened enough times that I don’t just click and go, but make mental notes: what’s the season, episode number, and title that I’m watching now? What was the last one watched? What’s the summary? Did we see this? No. I saw others experienced this. The fix is the digital equivalent of a hard reboot or a hammer to an appliance: sign out and sign back in. That works most of the time, it’s claimed. Guess I’ll try it. Haven’t done so yet because logging in with a remote is a pain, you know? I’m such a whiner.
  8. Meanwhile, Prime Video, the service previously known as Amazon Prime Video, has the opposite issue, insisting that I haven’t watched an episode when I’ve already watched it.
  9. Got my coffee. Time once again to write like crazy. Meeting Text for the first time today. She’s the late Zipper’s daughter. Looking forward to what she has to say.

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