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Sunday, January 14, 2018

Living dissatisfied

This has been a rough and tumble year for this country. My life has settled into a comfortable routine that includes disseminating my political opinions at most opportunities. It’s nice to have a “grown up” conversation with a friend, or someone I recognize as a “dissenter”.

It’s satisfying to throw a politically disturbing thought into a group, friends, acquaintances or strangers. It’s over the top to foment heresy among the opposition. But then, my opportunities to drive my car up a twisting township road in an ice storm are limited. It’s about maintaining “the edge”, as well as potentially replacing weeds with crops in new minds.

The latest statement from the projection artist Robin Bell, and his mobile projector, is the Sunday headline. Shithole, emblazoned across the front of Trump’s DC hotel for profit. The dichotomy emphasizes Bell’s subsequent projection, “We are all responsible to stand up and end white supremacy.” A strongest average citizen sentiment this past week  is, Shitholians will be at the polls in November.

Descriptors of the worst presidents of all time include corrupt, inept, oblivious, irresponsible, criminal, ignorant. That last, GW, is not two decades old, and I thought the worst of my lifetime. That just was the wake up call. Ignorance is our crime, as is civil irresponsibility, complacency, silence.

Living dissatisfied is not a big job, not consuming. Mine resembles carrying a handout in a breast pocket and using it if opportunity arises. Except, I carry issues and opinions. My arena is the place I see the most people, the gym. Trump is a big help; he makes it easy for me to keep up a conversation.

My former trainer, now a certified cardiopulmonary rehab specialist at a different Cleveland Clinic facility, is a former Republican. I did have the advantage of her undivided attention for an hour a week for the last two years. Had I tried the same tactic with my late brother, for instance, he would have left the room. Pick your battles. After the November general election my trainer flashed her I Voted sticker, grinned, and said “You would be proud of me.” ‘Nuff said.

Another ground is right here in my trailer park. I have neighbors. I see people at the mailboxes, in the office. I am more than happy to give an explanation of health care changes if the opportunity presents. That’s coals to Newcastle here, however. The object is instilling the importance of voting, especially by mail. It all starts with registration.

Jen Hoffman has a lengthy gratitude list this week. It will keep me busy. I may even borrow Laura’s sparkle pens. Resist.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Another snow storm

It snowed and snowed and snowed all night. Company came and went, for we have plans to keep.

Some almost slept on the sofa, warm, and drying out. Some did sleep, stayed all night.

I woke to a text from Kay: Any suggestions on thawing the frozen door to the mail box? I replied with Emma’s hot rice in a sock.  Think, we could live in Hawaii and not need that tip.

I sent out the advance this morning, my Rangers, with snow shovels and brushes, to get us on the road. Laura was glad of the help, and Meredith just liked shoveling snow. We went out to lay in supplies for the rest of the long weekend.

Tomorrow there will be Victoria, too.  We are going to see Lady Day, then find a new restaurant for dinner. Then more teen age screams and laughter from the other end.

Wandering the grocery while  the girls shopped. This display is amazing. I cannot imagine my mother buying a pickled egg she could make at home. But the peaches! As a three year old, I would be made to repack every jar. Peaches spiral up the jar, round side facing. Everyone knows that! On the other hand, when did you last see a glass quart jar of canned peaches?

Checking out.

Leave a car for fifteen minutes, to go in and shop!

A stand of pampas grass we pass. Snowy feathers.

Out throwing snowballs.

Friday, January 12, 2018

No such thing as a free lunch

I hear Roku in the living room. Miss Big Savings over Cable TV worked hard for her streaming, avoiding that great resource, information from those who know. Every time I questioned her on a price, a reason, alternatives, she consulted her phone and asked google. She is terrified service providers will learn she doesn’t know something. I know children must get over this reluctance to get on with life; however, I won’t overlook lack of facts.

In the course of installing Roku, I cancelled TV service and limited streaming to no more than ten dollars a month, the price differential of TV versus Roku. That meant downgrading Roku to $7.99 basic, not the $10.99 service selected. I could go on, but I had Laura in information overload, and quit when I had to explain “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.”

Our second ice storm of the week is in progress. School was cancelled again today, the fourth time since the new year commenced. I have no problem with that; whether on city sidewalks or township berms, little kids need to walk home from their school bus stop, and it takes too much experience and chutzpah for them to navigate ice.

Earlier this week I had the much anticipated follow up appointment with the new neurologist. Together with his new MRI of my brain plus the record of all images from George Washington, which I signed a release for him to obtain, I expected him to second my opinion that I never had a seizure, probably never would, and could discontinue Keppra. I read the new MRI report, that basically said nothing evident except capillaries are getting old.

I left early. I could take the interstate, overshoot my target and backtrack a few miles, or take the valley road, always a pleasure. I’ve explained my valley roads, down the hill, over the river, up the hill. Except, these roads all are balanced on ridges, for want of real hill sides and interstate quality bridges when they were built, back in the day they were named for the farm on the property.

It was raining, temps were dropping. I expected slippery conditions and was prepared. At the bottom of Steels Corner Road, two cars were in collision heaps on each side of the T. On Akron Peninsula Road, four more cars were in separate collision heaps at Bath Road. Crossing the river at Bath, cars were off on the berm. I couldn’t tell why.

I started up Yellow Creek Road. Big trouble abounded, no turning back. This road’s ridge is in terrible trouble, little room remains for road as the ridge tumbles straight down to the creek. Cars off to every side, but courteously had their noses far enough into the ditches to have their backsides off the road.

Up, up the hill, until we closed in on the Yellow Creek/Revere intersection. The road uphill was closed; workers were throwing salt by hand on the intersection, and we were detoured up Revere road. The operative word is “up”; Revere is still uphill until the Market Street intersection. The little train kept chugging up. Everyone left ample room for the potential disaster. The car ahead of me nosedived into the ditch. We kept moving. A car well ahead lost traction and stopped.

The car behind took the left hand lane to pass it. The downhill traffic wisely stopped and the little train kept on climbing through the ice. I eased around, never changing pressure on the accelerator. The tires were turning, looking for purchase, but not sliding. They grew hotter and hotter; I didn’t flinch. The Land Rover ahead had cleared the top, the big truck behind was closer and closer, but not stupid. My little car kept on until….tires caught, slipped, caught, slipped, caught, caught, caught.

The new neurologist had not received the George Washington images. “I even called them myself. You cannot quit Keppra until I see them.” I got another signed release from him and took the freeway home.

I called GW to learn the protocol for obtaining the images. The options were to deliver the release in person or to mail it. In thirty days I will receive the images. I wonder if doctors have a secret handshake.

My back door, the morning I saw the new neurologist.