jayfurr: (Cocoa Beach)


Carole (aka Squeaky) and I are leaving for vacation in a couple of weeks. We're heading to Hawaii, for a cruise that starts in Honolulu but spends a couple of days at Maui, Hawaii, and Kauai. The cruise is six nights and seven days, and we'll be staying on Waikiki Beach for three days both before and after.

This is only our third cruise ever -- we're not really cruisy people. But the idea of carrying our hotel with us and visiting more than one island in this, our first trip to Hawaii, kind of appeals.

The thing that my thoughts keep coming back to, though, is the oddness of visiting a location that to me, will be rather exotic (I've been to 49 states, some Caribbean islands, and the UK and France, but never to Hawaii) but to others is a place they've often visited or, in some cases, they used to live in.

To me, it's exotic. To them, it's like reading about someone's vacation to Parsippany, NJ. In other words, not that exciting, and what we'll think of as "super cool and neat" they'll think of as "they did THAT? When ___ was ten minutes away and much neater?"

I get the impression that I'm among the last of my friends to go to Hawaii, which I'm sure isn't the case, but given how many people I've seen checking in from there, I know I'm not the first.

Does it sound like I think it's not going to be as much fun to go someplace that everyone else has been?

I guess I might be conveying that impression. But in actuality, I'm not jealous that I'm only now going there when everyone else considers a Hawaii trip old hat; I'm just acutely sheepish about how pedestrian my "Once In A Lifetime" Big Hawaii Vacation is going to seem to some people.

(That's me, always attempting to look at myself from another person's point of view and automatically assuming that they'll deem me hyper-lame.)

Ah, well. If my vacation photos result in massive ho-hums from all and sundry, I can always try to go someplace more interesting next time.

Maybe Tulsa.

Whoa...

Jan. 21st, 2017 06:44 pm
jayfurr: (Default)

The moment you realize you’ve been walking by a giant uterus all week…



(At the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center)

jayfurr: (Default)


“So there I was, working construction, doing site cleanup work where a new office tower was going up, okay?


“And I came across this little bottle buried in the mud. Nothing special to look at. Little brown bottle with a cork in. Pretty well buried when I came across it. Who knows how long it’d been down there?”


I nodded at the rough, heavyset guy in jeans and a dirty Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt on the next barstool who’d decided, lacking any other obvious targets in the all-but-deserted bar, to honor me with his life’s story. Since he hadn’t yet tried to wheedle a drink out of me, I let it go. It could’ve been worse. I’ve known a lot of rambling drunks; he could’ve been drooling, or worse, drooling on me.


“So I pulled the cork out. Not like I expected anything to be in it, but someone’d taken pains to jam the cork in there pretty good, so I figured something had to be in there.”


I nodded, following him so far. “You weren’t worried that it might have been something bad? Poison? Something toxic?”


He glowered down at his beer. “Buddy, I wish I’d been so lucky.”


“No, what was inside was like outta one of those movies or fairy tales. Some sparkly, shiny smoke, and then a little guy about six inches tall dressed in pajamas and wearing a little helmet. Shiny little gold helmet. Little orangey-yellow guy. Damndest thing you ever saw.”


I turned and stared irritably at him, wondering where this was going. This was a bit outside your normal late-night drunken bar rambling gibberish, although to be honest, I guessed I owed him a point for originality, if nothing else. “An actual genie? Came right out of a little bottle you found in the mud?”


“I guess. Only this genie didn’t give me any three wishes or nothin’ like that. He said thank you, and he said that as a reward for freein’ him he’d give me all the talents and abilities of the next seven people to walk by on the street.”


Frowning at the strange direction this odd story had taken, I motioned him to go on.


“So he did. Only the first six guys to come by were all accountants from the same company down the street, all heading out to lunch after a hard morning doing revenue projections and audits and tax preparation and so on and so on.” He made little “blah blah” motions with one hand while gripping his beer with the other.


For a moment there he sounded like he was channeling one of those guys you meet at Rotary who hangs on your lapels wanting to talk investments and tax preparation. Not what you’d expect, looking at him. Nodding, I said “And the seventh?”


“He was a mortician.”


“A mortician?”


“Yeah. An undertaker. A funeral director. One of them guys.”


“So now…?”


“Yeah, so now I’m sitting here, never done anything but construction and demolition in my life, an’ I’ve got my head crammed full of every damn number-crunching concept invented since Adam ‘n’ Eve got kicked out of the garden, with no sort of professional documentation nohow. I know how to do all that stuff, but who’s gonna pay me to do it?”


I had to agree he had a point.


He glared back down at his beer. “But the worst part is I keep looking at people and imagining what they’d look like stretched out all naked on the embalming table.”



jayfurr: (Default)


“So there I was, working construction, doing site cleanup work where a new office tower was going up, okay?


“And I came across this little bottle buried in the mud. Nothing special to look at. Little brown bottle with a cork in. Pretty well buried when I came across it. Who knows how long it’d been down there?”


I nodded at the rough, heavyset guy in jeans and a dirty Dallas Cowboys sweatshirt on the next barstool who’d decided, lacking any other obvious targets in the all-but-deserted bar, to honor me with his life’s story. Since he hadn’t yet tried to wheedle a drink out of me, I let it go. It could be worse. I’ve known a lot of rambling drunks; he could’ve been drooling, or worse, drooling on me.


“So I pulled the cork out. Not like I expected anything to be in it, but someone’d taken pains to jam the cork in there pretty good, so I figured something had to be in there.”


I nodded, following him so far. “You weren’t worried that it might have been something bad? Poison? Something toxic?”


He glowered down at his beer. “Buddy, I wish I’d been so lucky.”


“No, what was inside was like outta one of those movies or fairy tales. Some sparkly, shiny smoke, and then a little guy about six inches tall dressed in pajamas and wearing a little helmet. Shiny little gold helmet. Little orangey-yellow guy. Damndest thing you ever saw.”


I turned and stared irritably at him, wondering where this was going. This was a bit outside your normal late-night drunken bar rambling gibberish, although to be honest, I felt like he deserved credit for originality, if nothing else. “An actual genie? Came right out of a little bottle you found in the mud?”


“I guess. Only this genie didn’t give me any three wishes or nothin’ like that. He said thank you, and he said that as a reward for freein’ him he’d give me all the talents and abilities of the next seven people to walk by on the street.”


Frowning at the strange direction this odd story had taken, I motioned him to go on.


“So he did. Only the first six guys to come by were all accountants from the same company down the street, all heading out to lunch after a hard morning doing revenue projections and audits and tax preparation and so on and so on.” He made little “blah blah” motions with one hand while gripping his beer with the other.


For a moment there he sounded like he was channeling one of those guys you meet at Rotary who hangs on your lapels wanting to talk investments and tax preparation. Not what you’d expect, looking at him. Nodding, I said “And the seventh?”


“He was a mortician.”


“A mortician?”


“Yeah. An undertaker. A funeral director. One of them guys.”


“So now…?”


“Yeah, so now I’m sitting here, never done anything but construction and demolition in my life, an’ I’ve got my head crammed full of every damn bit of number-crunching concept invented since Adam ‘n’ Eve got kicked out of the garden, with no sort of professional documentation nohow. I know how to do all that stuff, but who’s gonna pay me to do it?”


I had to agree he had a point.


He glared back down at his beer. “But the worst part is I keep looking at people and imagining what they’d look like stretched out all naked on the embalming table.”



 


 


 


 


jayfurr: (Default)

As someone who spends a lot of time on aircraft (122 flights in 2016), I’ve gotten a lot of experience sitting in a semi-comfortable chair and staring blankly off into space.


I take a book along on trips and of course I’ve got my Nexus tablet, which doubles as a ebook reader, if I want to read anything I’ve downloaded. Often, though, neither gets any use. I hop on the plane, stow my backpack in the overhead, take a seat, and either go straight to sleep or I adopt a ten thousand foot stare that leaves me almost entirely unaware of what’s going on around me.


Yesterday we’d been airborne for about five minutes before I went “Oh. We took off.”


I think this behavior sort of creeps people out. You know how cats sometimes like to sit staring worriedly at something only they can see? I do that sometimes too, with much the same result on the people around me.



Friday night I found myself in seat 4B on a regional jet on the way home from Chicago to Burlington. I wasn’t at all sleepy and I didn’t really feel like reading, so for some reason I found myself staring fixedly upwards toward a light on the ceiling of the cabin, completely lost in thought.



The light wasn’t on — the cabin had been darkened for evening travel and most people weren’t using their individual reading lights. The light was in no way remarkable. But I stared right at it, like a cobra trying to hypnotize its prey, for so long that eventually it freaked out the flight attendant. He came back and somewhat timidly asked me if there was some problem with the cabin ceiling; he even poked the panel with the light in case it was loose or something.


I replied “No, no, I was just staring off into space.” Then went right back to looking at the ceiling.


He stood there and looked worried for a moment, then turned and went back to his jumpseat, glancing back over his shoulder at me a couple times in case I gathered myself to spring (or something).


I don’t know exactly what that scores on the “Weirdo On The Plane” index, but I bet it’s pretty good.


jayfurr: (Coffee at Nickels)
As someone who spends a lot of time on aircraft (122 flights in 2016), I've gotten a lot of experience sitting in a semi-comfortable chair and staring blankly off into space.

I take a book along on trips and of course I've got my Nexus tablet, which doubles as a ebook reader, if I want to read anything I've downloaded.  Often, though, neither gets any use.  I hop on the plane, stow my backpack in the overhead, take a seat, and either go straight to sleep or I adopt a ten thousand foot stare that leaves me almost entirely unaware of what's going on around me.

Yesterday we'd been airborne for about five minutes before I went "Oh.  We took off."

I think this behavior sort of creeps people out.   You know how cats sometimes like to sit staring worriedly at something only they can see?  I do that sometimes too, with much the same result on the people around me.



Friday night I found myself in seat 4B on a regional jet on the way home from Chicago to Burlington.  I wasn't at all sleepy and I didn't really feel like reading, so for some reason I found myself staring fixedly upwards toward a light on the ceiling of the cabin, completely lost in thought.



The light wasn't on -- the cabin had been darkened for evening travel and most people weren't using their individual reading lights.  The light was in no way remarkable.  But I stared right at it, like a cobra trying to hypnotize its prey, for so long that eventually it freaked out the flight attendant.  He came back and somewhat timidly asked me if there was some problem with the cabin ceiling; he even poked the panel with the light in case it was loose or something.

I replied "No, no, I was just staring off into space."  Then went right back to looking at the ceiling.

He stood there and looked worried for a moment, then turned and went back to his jumpseat, glancing back over his shoulder at me a couple times in case I gathered myself to spring (or something).

I don't know exactly what that scores on the "Weirdo On The Plane" index, but I bet it's pretty good.
jayfurr: (Default)


Parenthetically, I won’t miss the Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey circus.


I believe I last went to a circus in Blacksburg in 1978 or so. I have the vague idea that they set up behind Gables Shopping Center, but won’t swear to it.


In any event, despite the tradition of the circus, I’m much more interested in animal protection… myopically, since I still continue to eat at McDonald’s now and then and don’t take pains to investigate the source of the groceries and clothing I buy.


I guess there’s always Circ du Soleil when you want acrobats and trapeze artists and so on. On the other hand, I don’t see a huge tragedy in the elimination of clowns as a national menace. Silver lining in every cloud, and all that.


jayfurr: (Default)


2017 marks two landmark dates in my life: my 50th birthday on September 20, and Carole and my 20th wedding anniversary a week earlier on September 13. (I was determined to get married before I turned 30. I managed it with a week to spare.)


Carole and I are taking an early 20th anniversary trip to Hawaii next month — we’re taking a Norwegian Cruise Lines seven day cruise around the Hawaiian islands, starting in Oahu and spending two days each in Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai before returning to Oahu. We’ll also be hanging out on Waikiki Beach for a few days before and after the cruise. This’ll be my 50th state, incidentally — I’ve been to the other 49, and not in the “I changed planes in an airport there” sense.


I know everyone else has already been to Hawaii, but we just never got around to it before. Hopefully no typhoons or cane toad infestations will ruin things for us.


As for my birthday — I don’t normally make any big deal out of my birthday. Most years I don’t ask for or receive any presents, but since you only turn 50 once (in most cases), I thought I’d mention that anyone who does want to get me something is welcome to pick most anything from the following website:


http://www.justdezineit.com/


Send me an email if you want my shipping address. I’d set up a profile and wish list there, but alas, they haven’t configured the site to make that possible. I know September is a long way off, but I want to give people plenty of advance notice. Great tragedies only come around so often, you know.


 


jayfurr: (Default)


Sometimes I miss splitting firewood.


When I was a kid Dad (Keith Furr) attempted to heat our house in the mountains of Virginia with a wood stove and blower system. (It didn’t work that well from my point of view; my bedroom was at the opposite corner of the house and in the winter it was not uncommon to get up and find that my bedroom thermometer read 58°.)


Our house outside Blacksburg was surrounded by woods; some oak, some pine, some poplar, other stuff too. Dad spent weekend days out in the woods with his chainsaw and we kids spent our weekend days hauling it up to the house. At a certain point in my teenage years, it was explained to me that I was perfectly capable of wielding a sledgehammer, axe, and wedges, and splitting the larger logs.


At first I didn’t much like it. I had the knack for wedging our two available wedges deep into a partially split log and then having to use the axe head as a third wedge to get the other two back out. But I eventually got the hang of it, and depending on the density and grain wood in question, I could usually account for a decent pile of split logs in the matter of an hour or two after school.


It was a small accomplishment for a kid who had nothing else to brag about: my grades were awful because I never did homework, I washed out of concert and marching band due to an abysmal lack of musical talent, and if I wasn’t at the absolute bottom of the “guys I’d like to date list” for the average girl my age, I was certainly close enough that I could ask the guy who was to pass the Clearasil.


My house in Richmond, Vermont doesn’t have a fireplace. We have an oil furnace and a ductless high efficiency heat pump (recently added). In other words, there’s no need for me to wander out back and spend an hour or two working up a sweat by a pile of logs. Sometimes, though, I miss it. I have to think it did some good to release tension and stress. And in any event, it was nice to have something I could avoid failing at.


It’s been pointed out to me that I could go get some logs, split them, and donate them to someone who needs them. The thought’s occurred to me, but I don’t own a pickup truck and thus I wouldn’t be able to get that many logs… not enough to make much of a difference. And in any event… due to my work schedule, I’m never around. I enjoy traveling for work as much as I do, but it basically costs me the opportunity to contribute via volunteering and charitable works. But, if I traveled less so I could pitch in locally, I’d lose the job satisfaction of traveling and doing my job well. I don’t know if it’s precisely a Catch-22, but it’s certainly frustrating.


jayfurr: (Default)

Worst Person In The World

I’m selling “Worst Person In The World” t-shirts as a fundraiser for next year’s Seattle Susan G Komen 3-Day walk. (I’ve got to raise $2,300 to take part in the event, a sixty-mile, three-day walk to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.) The cost of each shirt includes approximately $20 for Susan G Komen. They make great holiday gifts!


Click here to order your shirt!


I grant you that there is NO CONNECTION between the message on the shirt and the fight against breast cancer, but from the look of things lately, nihilism is IN. Buy a shirt for that special someone in your life — or heck, buy one for yourself! And know that as you proudly announce your depravity to everyone you meet, you’re also supporting the fight against breast cancer!


Please re-share this!


jayfurr: (Default)

Old motelAs you all know, I’m all about the “wallowing in depression”.


Carole’s going to visit her parents in Ohio for Thanksgiving (Oakwood, a suburb of Dayton, FWIW) and I have no plans.


I found myself pondering today, “What would be the most depressing place to spend Thanksgiving by oneself?” I don’t mean “in solitary confinement in a Supermax” or anything like that. I’m thinking more in terms of “if one was to buy a plane ticket to anywhere in the lower 48, fly there, check in to the local Motel 6 or equivalent, and spend a week feeling sorry for oneself, where would be the best place to go?”


For some reason, I keep thinking in terms of “not terribly prosperous waterfront town”. There’s something very depressing about looking out at dark water under cloudy skies on a chilly day when everyone you know is spending their time with family and friends. Has anyone been to Traverse City, Michigan? Is it depressing? Or is there someplace much worse I should try instead?

jayfurr: (Default)

It should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me that I hate myself and think that I’m basically the worst person in the world. Being chronically depressed can be like that.


But even though I hate myself and assume that everyone shares my opinion, I refuse to walk around acting like a total jerk. I may be a total jerk, but where I can, I try not to be. And one area in particular that I try pretty darn hard is in being polite to strangers.


When I was in France in 2010, I learned that it’s considered a major social faux pas if you walk up to a store clerk and just start asking for something without saying “Bonjour” and waiting for them to respond. In other words, you’re supposed to be nice to people, as a rule, and if you can’t be bothered to do that, people will think you’re a rude jerk. Carole and I consistently followed that rule, and we had a wonderful time. I suspect that people who come back from France complaining about snooty Parisians simply took for granted that they can treat people overseas the way they treat people back here at home, namely, like doormats.


I’ve tried to practice the same principle here in the USA. I don’t curse out a barista who screws up my drink. I just smile and wait to get their attention and politely explain. I let strangers merge in in front of me in traffic. I hold doors open for people who are carrying a lot of stuff. When I eat in a restaurant I compulsively clean up after myself, stacking places and silverware and making sure I haven’t left straw wrappers and napkins and bits of food everywhere. I’m nice to my waiter or waitress and don’t make their job harder than it has to be. I don’t assume that a customer service representative on the other end of a phone line is a faceless drone of some kind who exists solely for me to vent my spleen on. When they ask how I am, I cheerfully exclaim something like “I’m livin’ the dream! I’m a Green Mountain Power customer!” Nearly every time, I get told that I’m the first person with a positive/cheerful outlook they’ve talked to all day. And so on, and so on.


I don’t think my trying hard to be polite makes me an awesome guy. I still do a lot of annoying things that I wish I could stop. I talk too much. I think I’m funnier than I really am. I can be absolutely clueless at times. I have a hard time realizing when people don’t want me around. I sometimes have a really bad temper… but even if I’m mad enough to chew nails and spit out thumbtacks, I’d still stop and smile and hold a door open for a stranger and I’d still say “Please” and “Thank you” where appropriate. I’m not going to take out my bad mood on some poor hapless soul just trying to get through their day.


What bothers me is that my point of view is apparently uncommon enough that day after day, people I meet comment on it and act like it’s something unusual. Frankly, that makes me kind of sad. If a jackass like me can generally manage to be halfway nice to people, why can’t the vast majority of humanity?


I’m not asking for compliments here. Really, I’m not. I know this all sounds like a massive #humblebrag post, but that wasn’t my intent. I’m actually curious what other people think. Are people generally jerks as a rule, with some exceptions, or is the answer more that most people aren’t jerks, but the ones who are are such assholes that we tend to remember them and not the ordinary people in the middle of the bell curve?

jayfurr: (Default)

Hardly a day goes by lately where I don’t see someone on Facebook or Twitter bemoaning the number of “idiots” on their friends/contact list who say imbecilic things about, say, the Louisiana flooding or some other regional misfortune. You know the kind of posts: “I had to defriend five people today for being jerks” and so on.


Apparently, the flooding in Louisiana has brought jackasses out of the woodwork to ridicule the people dealing with the loss of their homes, belongings, pets, and so forth and saying “this is what you get for ignoring global warming” or “this is what you get for being homophobic rednecks.” It’s not funny when a member of the religious right blames homosexuality or some other “sin” for a hurricane hitting somewhere; it’s not funny when the people on the other end of the ideological spectrum do the same in reverse.


And I’m extremely pleased to note that no one on my friends lists’ has said anything of the kind. Apparently my decision to cull my friends list down to zero and start over last year has paid off — I’ve only got people on my friends list that I know in real life and am at least somewhat interested in hearing from, and I don’t have any of the “guy I met at the gym who turns out to be a rabid David Duke supporter” types.


So I just wanted to thank you all for sparing me from a daily dose of crazy bigotry. I consider myself lucky that apparently I don’t know anyone whose day is brightened by adding a little hate to the world.

jayfurr: (Default)

Furr garage


Which is more of a “sign of the times” that we live in, here in mid-2016?


The Tesla Power Wall in my garage? Or the big heap of empty Amazon Prime shipping boxes?


 


jayfurr: (Sepia)

angrygoose

I spend every day of my life wanting to apologize to everyone I know on social media and quite a few of the people that I know in person.

I believe that most people who know me either:


  • think nothing at all about me, or,

  • think I’m an annoying, attention-hungry loser

I’m not worried about apologizing to people to whom I’m a complete non-entity; that’s actually the preferred state, I guess, given what I assume the alternative is. But everyone else — all the people I’ve annoyed, all the people I’m going to annoy, and all the people that I’m currently annoying — to you, I am very sorry.

I’ve spent my whole life doing impulsive, stupid things and then realizing how offended people were and then asking myself “why the hell did I do that?” And I suspect that there are countless more things that I’ve done that I didn’t pick up on. That when I leave the room people look at each other and just shake their heads. That people cheer up when they arrive and I’m not around. And so on.A)Please don’t give in to the urge to post a follow-up saying “but that’s not true at all.” I promise you — I did not write this with the goal in mind of having people respond telling me that I’m not so bad after all, or because I was fishing for sympathy.

I sometimes think that the only way I can avoid cheesing people off through my spastic, dumb-ass sense of humor is to say nothing at all to anyone, to stay off social media, and to never go out in public except to go to work. (Somehow, I’m able to adopt a work persona that gets the job done and doesn’t feel a need to go off on weird tangents. Usually, anyway.)

I’m not overly fond of the blanket excuse offered up by over-psychoanalyzed Late 20th Century Man: “My parents did this to me.” I imagine that everyone’s parents did various not-so-constructive things along the way, and I believe that blaming one’s misfortunes on one’s parents is just a lame albi. My father did spend my entire childhood telling me that I was a jerk, that no one would ever like me, that I was an idiot, that I was a quitter who would never accomplish anything, and so on. That probably contributed somewhat to my belief that I had no friends, that the world was pretty much divided into:


  • people who don’t know me at all

  • people who can’t stand me

  • people who barely tolerate me

I was careful growing up to never ever ever refer to someone as my friend, for fear that they would look at me with a repulsed look on their face and say “We know each other. We’re acquaintances. But we’re not friends.” To this day, I feel weird about the term “friend”. Other people have friends. I have people I haven’t completely cheesed off yet.

But I don’t think this way of thinking this is all my father’s fault. I’m a gray-haired 48-year-old man. It’s past time that I take responsibility for my own thoughts and actions. It’s fairly pathetic to say “stuff that happened over 30 years ago continues to shape my thoughts today and every day.”

I think that the truth is that I really do careen through life doing a lot of dumb-assed stuff, and always have, and unless I take up the life of a hermit, probably always will. I’m very glad that I’ve got my work persona to fall back onto, but I can’t be that way 24/7. Somewhere along the way I developed a strong work ethic… but when I take the necktie off at the end of the day, the other Jay comes out.

And so I spend a lot of time face-palming at my own actions and wishing like crazy I had an “undo” button. And since I don’t… I wind up apologizing a lot, or wanting to apologize, or wishing I could go back and apologize. Unfortunately, it’s virtually impossible to make amends to everyone you’ve ever hurt, even if they were disposed to give you a chance. In my case, there are just too many people.


Sorry


And thus, this post. To you, dear reader, I’m really, really sorry for anything and everything I’ve done to annoy you, irk you, cause you to sigh despairingly, waste your time, bore you, or otherwise act like a millstone around your neck. If you want to contact me for a more specific apology, please let me know.

Unless, of course, you’re a Canada goose. The blanket apology, and offer of a more specific apology, does not apply to them. Canada geese are mean. To heck with ’em.

goosehead

Footnotes   [ + ]

A. Please don’t give in to the urge to post a follow-up saying “but that’s not true at all.” I promise you — I did not write this with the goal in mind of having people respond telling me that I’m not so bad after all, or because I was fishing for sympathy.
jayfurr: (Default)

mysterious


If you came across a door in your house that you’d never seen before, a door that opened onto an absurdly large space that couldn’t possibly exist in your house or apartment as it currently exists — a space that resembled a very large empty warehouse with three or four locked doors (doors to which you have no key) but no windows — would you use the space beyond, since it’d amount to basically virtually unlimited free storage, or would you leave it alone and never go in there for fear that one day the force that joined the door to your dwelling would …unjoin it and take anything inside away to parts mysterious and unknown, or would you seal it shut for fear of what might come through from the other side?


[contact-form]
jayfurr: (Default)

high blood pressure


My blood pressure is really high despite taking daily doses of hydrochlorothiazide and losartan. 155 over 97, and so on. I’ve been on said meds for years, and nonetheless, nothing seems to work. My mom was the same way — she had absurdly high blood pressure and I think they had her on everything under the sun at one point in time or another.


I’ve tried to cut back on caffeine again — not that I’ve gotten up where I was about five years ago, but I worry that I’ve still been doing too much, especially by taking Excedrin for my ever-present headaches. I was also taking Sudafed every day because I wake up every day really congested and stuffy — another fun product of heredity and biochemistry — and my P.A. told me to immediately stop that.


Stopping the Sudafed didn’t have any effect on my blood pressure, though. After a week I’m still just as high as ever.


I should eat less and exercise more. I understand that exercise by itself doesn’t have much to do with blood pressure, but weight does. I’ve been very depressed, yada yada, and have blamed that for my lack of exercise and for my weight gain. But it’s probably time to get off that horse and get busy whether I have the mental energy or not.


I just got off the phone with my P.A.’s medical practice — I made an appointment for Friday and gave them my medicine dosages and my readings. We’ll see what they say.


Until then, though, it’s probably time for a good aura cleansing or something. Anyone know any practitioners of white magic? I’ve checked Yelp locally and none of the local wizards have decent ratings — all 1.5 stars and so on. Or perhaps I need to start taking colloidal silver. Or maybe just buy some leeches and offload a pint of excess blood every morning.


Hmm.


 


jayfurr: (Default)

I’ve been having fun with my Ricoh Theta S 360 degree camera since I got it. It lets me take still or video panoramas using a pair of fisheye lenses, then upload them to places like Youtube, Facebook, or Google Street View.


I happened to have my camera and small tripod with me today when I walked from a Vermont Lake Monsters (short-season A minor league baseball) game to Noyes Automotive, where we’d had Carole’s car extensively detailed. As I walked down Ledge Road heading west toward Pine Street, I noticed that some nice homeowner had put out a large bowl of water with a sign reading “WATER STATION” at dog’s-eye level.


I took a photo of it with my phone, but then reconsidered — a still photo just showing the bowl in isolation didn’t really do the situation justice. Out came the Ricoh and tripod. This was the result (click and drag the image with your mouse). Now just imagine that you’re a thirsty pooch out for a walk with your owner. Awesome, right?



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Waring Blender

Just killed my red Waring bar blender trying to make Carole a smoothie with skim milk, frozen berries, and frozen yogurt chunks (which she’d prepared in advance in a silicone cube tray). Apparently there are some things that are too much for a Waring blender — deep frozen 1 inch cubes of frozen vanilla yogurt, for one, and Warren Zevon for another.


Note the Oxford comma there.


Anyway, the thing gave me 11 years’ service, so I’m not too broken hearted.


I went to look up and order another and to my horror, the blender arms race has gotten a bit out of control; they make Waring blenders that go up to almost a thousand dollars. I assume those are for making the Bruce Banner smoothies out of pitchblende, carnotite, basalt, and, of course, skim milk.


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