Tag Archives: Personal stuff

Birthday Post

2018-05-18 no glasses

Happy birthday to me! I thought I’d post a picture without the glasses because it’s a lot more effort to get a good picture wearing them. I don’t feel like firing up the tablet and walking around or going outside to get a good picture that doesn’t show the screen reflected in the glasses, then transferring it to the laptop that I use to write. It’s my birthday, after all. I’m not working for it. After 45 years wearing glasses, they still annoy me daily.

Last year was a “round number” birthday, and next year is the youngest age I can collect Social Security (rather than SSI). This one is just another birthday, but people will want to mark it.

There’s a story on WeatherUnderground (.com)’s news feature this morning (by Linda Lam) saying that our weather here in Ohio will be near “normal” this summer. That would be different. We rarely have temperatures close to the average. This month, for example, every day so far has been ten degrees or more above average. Throughout March and April, almost every day was that much colder than average. “Normal” temperatures would be a great relief, but I’m not holding my breath.

I’d still like to have a car (hatchback, small station wagon, or minivan), but I’m not getting any momentum about looking for one. If you know where a decent-running one is for sale cheap, please advise. It doesn’t have to be pretty, but I can’t cope with rust that lets outside air or exhaust fumes into the cabin.


The Bureaucracy of Health Insurance

So I keep reading how poor people waste money. I don’t know those people, but I deal with health insurance that wastes both money and time. In my case, it’s Medicare, Medicaid, and Molina.

So this week, a good doctor discovered a mistake made by a not-so-good doctor many years ago that affects my breathing. I could complain about all the doctors between who have not paid attention to my issue, but that’s not my point here. The good doctor knows what to do about this. I need relatively minor surgery. I easily understood the problem and solution, and I agree. So why did we not schedule that? Insurance! It is necessary that I take a course of antibiotics, even though there’s no infection. Otherwise, the surgery will not be approved. That makes no sense in the real world, but some bureaucrat doesn’t trust my doctor nearly as much as I do. Or maybe someone, somewhere, just insists on making a few bucks for a pharmaceutical company whether I need the product or not. What really worries me is that this puts my approval for the surgery off until next year. Health insurance is a politcal football, and I hope I don’t get kicked around by some new rule.

2017-12-23 Medicine bottle

About the Car Thing


Car in Wendy’s driveway 3-2-2017

I took this picture through the window of a city bus today. (The yellow arc is some reflection on the glass.)¬† This car looked noticeably better than most I’ve ever owned until the right front wheel changed directions on its own. The people were just getting to Wendy’s when this happened and surely had no idea the car would break down. I’m a little sad for them and also glad I’m not one of them. Also, here’s a lesson in car ownership. If I can’t afford to deal with something like this, I’m not ready to own a motor vehicle.

Need, Plan, Benefit

“Need, plan, benefit” is a format used to write proposals. It’s also a sound way to address issues. In this case, the need was to organize an overflowing cardboard box (upper left) between my bag chair and the door into a more useful and less unsightly “staging area” for my car-free lifestyle. The first picture shows the need, although this picture is too dark. (All of these have captions, too, but they got lost somehow.)

The plan: buy a big, cheap shelf unit and sort stuff onto the shelves. Also, use the top shelf to hold a lamp I bought for that area. I bought the shelf unit from Home Depot (lower left). As you might guess, the bus driver looked at me doubtfully when I brought that big package onto the bus, but she didn’t say anything. I got home, rested overnight, and assembled it the next day. Due to a quality control failure at the factory, I had to trim waste material from the ends of all the poles, but that’s part of getting things cheap.

The benefit: organization and easier trip preparation. The lamp sits on the top shelf, along with some hats and gloves. The next shelf is bicycle tools, parts, and equipment. The third shelf holds the many and varied bags I posted about a few months ago, except the barracks bag and big rucksack that are just too big. The bottom shelf is “miscellaneous” stuff, including rain gear and the bag for the bag chair.


Ok, but living quietly


Stolen from Wendy Usually Wanders

Asthma, arthritis, attention deficit¬† . . . that’s just the A’s. I’m feeling it with the weather swings. I’m ok, but I’m not doing anything interesting enough (even to me) to make a good posting. I asked a friend who has asthma and has traveled a lot how different places affect her breathing, and she singled out the humidity in Ohio as a problem. Yep. That and the fact that the weather changes radically from day to day here. Today was 25 degrees colder at 5 p.m. than yesterday. Tomorrow, snow. The next day, who knows? Tornadoes? Waterspouts?

Enough of 2016

This year will eventually give me good stories to tell. (Of course, I’ve already told most of them here.) That’s about as good as it gets. I finally got an income after years with none, moved back to Columbus, and started to re-build my independent life after living with great friends for a couple of years. Of course, it’s a long, hard climb, and it’s not over. I appreciate my friends here and in Mount Vernon a great deal, but let’s all leave this year behind.

Interesting day!


Last Thursday was the first of the month, and I kept busy, awake or not. Here are a couple of highlights.

I went to Walmart and came home with my big backpack looking like this (above). It occurred to me as I returned that it looked very heavy. Really, I filled most of the space with toilet paper and the big bag of stuff at the top is dry cereal (very light). The whole thing probably didn’t weigh 10 pounds, bag and all. I wonder how many other ordinary things we all “mis-underestimate” as W used to say.

I thought of building a whole post around that, but I haven’t had enough energy to power that kind of writing, so I didn’t. Then a whole other thing happened.

A guy I know from a meeting called and asked if he could come by. He said he had “something” for me. I trust him, so I said to come on.

He arrived with a big box and a short story. A co-worker of his bought his wife a microwave as a gift, then found out she wanted a different one. He took the first one to work, unopened, and “gave it away,” according to my friend. Knowing I needed a microwave, he brought it to me. He stunned me by doing that. It’s great, and “thank you” doesn’t begin to cover it, but that’s all I had.


So here’s what the kitchen wall looks like now. I took the top shelf off the shelf unit and made an end table of it. Then I moved the coffee pot there and put the microwave on the stand. This works out neatly.

I had one odd incident with the microwave. The first time I used it, I got a horrendous smell like burning plastic. I still have not found it, but I must have missed a piece of the packing material when I unpacked it. The smell has not come back “fresh,” but it stuck around until this afternoon, when I left part of a box of baking soda inside the microwave for a few hours.

The microwave only has 700 watts, and I didn’t expect it to cook very well. Wrong answer! It does as well as any microwave I’ve ever used. Thanks, Tim!

(I keep trying to link this to Facebook and Twitter. Oh, well.)