It’s the same ol’ same ol’

Computer problems have raised their ugly head. I will monitor the laptop for a couple of days and see what happens. I have been intending on doing a factory restore. I just hadn’t backed up my files. I just finished that task. Now when I have a little time, then maybe I can wipe the slate clean. If that doesn’t work. Ugh! Buy yet another machine.

VA-Shinseki thoughts drafted. For now I think about knees and trees.

My thoughts on the resignation of Gen. Eric Shinseki as Department of Veterans Affairs secretary is in draft form and in the cooler. I’ve been sitting here writing for awhile and my knee has begun to bother me as it has more and more during the last couple of days. Hopefully, I will get back to my draft and publish it tomorrow.

I haven’t written a whole lot lately because I’ve gone to physical therapy several times a week around the time I usually write after work. My knee has become more painful in the last week. I was hoping surgery and some therapy would help. Something doesn’t seem right about it so my therapist said he would try to talk to my surgeon. He said it could be that I need a brace that puts less pressure on the part that is giving me trouble.

My normal routine in physical therapy has been to wire me up with a TENS-like electrical stimulus and place a heating pad on top of it. And when I say a heating pad, I mean that mother is HOT. I also have undergone some ultrasound and dry laser therapy as well as numerous leg lifts of several types and a leg lift while lying on my stomach. Usually, I have them ice down my knee for about 10 minutes before leaving. The results I have experienced have been mixed.

Now I am at a point where I wonder how long I will have to wear a brace? Is the problem I had not fixed? Will I need a knee replacement? I have already “wasted” what I consider to be four months since I first injured my knee to surgery and up to now in two weeks of physical therapy. It seems so long ago that I was hiking through the Big Thicket or the Angelina National Forest. I can’t even imagine what is in store in the future. In part, I don’t want to think about it.

If you haven’t read this blog before, then you know it is mostly for me to indulge myself in one of the main past-times I enjoy and which also has been, in the past, a living. At least I can still write. Now if only I can walk out among the pine trees again and listen to the wind whistle its song through the tree tops. That would be about all I could really ask for. That and to not end sentences with prepositions.

 

What one has to do to breathe these days

Probably an hour of my time was taken this afternoon learning how to use a humidifier on my CPAP machine. For those of you raised by wolves, a CPAP is a continuous positive airway pressure machine used for sleep apnea, which I have. If you want to know about sleep apnea, then I suggest you look for its meaning. Especially so if you snore so loud you wake yourself or others up in the night.

I received a new full face mask for my machine yesterday from the VA since mine has leaked air for awhile. Since the objective is continuous positive airway pressure then it would make sense you don’t want that air to leak. If you have sleep apnea like me, and you have insomnia like me, then a leaky mask is a worthless accessory to your nocturnal breathing. If you don’t know what nocturnal is, get a freaking dictionary. The new mask came with a couple of little manuals. A Velcro snap on a strap that runs across the crown of your head is meant for positioning the air hose over the back of your head, down your forehead and to the mask. I didn’t want that so it took me about another hour, manual included, to figure out how the mask fit on my head.

Last night I had the mask now set to easily pull it over my head and on to my face. I had to do a little adjusting because I wear a bandana around my head that I use for a sleep mask. It has become a habit,the nighttime bandana.

In a very short period of time it seemed as if I was getting more air than usual, plus my mouth and throat were drier than the Texas sand, to paraphrase the great songster Gary P. Nunn. Finally, I had to take the mask off. I just couldn’t keep getting up every hour and getting a drink of water. So, I decided upon finally using the humidifier.

Because  water is poured into the humidifier and failure to properly clean it can get one mold in their machine I had tried to avoid the accessory. The humidifier is about the size of the CPAP machine so the breathing apparatus expands in size by approximately two. It takes up more space, in other words, which I don’t have. I also fly somewhere once or twice a year so I don’t enjoy having one more object for the TSA to examine through security check.

Finally, the machine is hooked up and it seems to be working with the humidifier, so far. The test comes tonight. We shall see if the blogmeister has mastered the operation of a fairly simple CPAP machine in this day and age. How the new generations will learn all the stuff they need to operate in their lifetime, I don’t know. I suspect they’ll have an easier time than this old dog learning new technology. Let them worry about it. Hell, they are more technologically-adroit by the time they reach middle school these days, the kids probably know 10 times as much as I know. So let them have at.

 

My neglected blog reason revealed. The fault was all Jimmy Leg’s.

Looks like my friend, Paul in Tokyo, did some updating on this Word Press program or whatever it’s called. As far as I know there are no obvious outside changes but there are a number on my side. For instance, there are more than a dozen platforms from which I can embed videos.

I apologize, to myself mostly, for being neglectful of my blog as of late. Part of the excuse is that I now and, have been for some time, on a 32-hour per week work schedule. That isn’t just Monday-Thursday and three days off. My schedule can be seven hours Monday through Wednesday, six hours on Thursday and five hours on Friday. Crazy man. Like way out there, as some former president in the 20th century would say. Yes, I’m talking about George Herbert Walker Rodney Andrew Jackson Gamaliel Harding Bush Sr. Wow, that Warren G. Harding was a character.

I mean, I like Obama although he has certainly disappointed at times. But the real Obama haters out there are almost as bad as all the Gee Dubya Bush haters. And I wasn’t one of the latter, as I have said in the past, I talked to him before he was even running for governor and had no one accompanying him, and I found him to be pleasant enough. I guess where I really got crossways with him was Iraq. I’m beginning to  think Afghanistan as well but I haven’t made up my mind yet. I also shouldn’t have to remind folks but the subject deserves a caveat that I didn’t like the war or wars. But I was for the military men and women.

You may say hating war but liking the warriors isn’t possible. I say it is. Hey, the conservative Christians say it is possible to hate the sin but love the sinner, when speaking of homosexuality. That is a whole bucket of fishing worms where I shall not stick my hand. That may also be a thin analogy. At least I’m writing something.

Oh, and the other reason for my neglect of the blog has been my damned knee. There was a little more to it than a simple meniscus tear. No, it also involved the dreaded Jimmy leg. Nonetheless, I have probably another month of physical therapy and several more weeks of light duty at work. This doesn’t count the number of days I lost since my knee first began to act up in January. By the end of it, when I hopefully am back in acceptable condition, I will have spent 4-to-5 months tied up in one way or the other because of this knee. How ’bout those Jimmy Legs?

Thanks Paul, for updating my system. My fellow J-school friend moves in stealth these days, free from Facebook. I envy him.

 

 

Number 2,495 and still going …

Welcome to post no. 2495. Five more and that will be … five more. Will I still be sitting here waiting on surgery or will I be in post-op world for 2,500? We shall see what we shall see. Best I can do.

Daylight Saving Time. Here we are back at Central DST. The days stay light during the summer until almost 8 p.m. I used to like it, a lot. I have not had the opportunity to enjoy it much in more recent years. One thing I have noticed about DST today more so than in past time. Time seems to speed right on by.

That’s about all I have to say about things today. Time has sure sped by. I look up and it’s time for the evening news. Now isn’t that a quaint little thought?

 

 

Open your mouth and say “Verizon.” Let your good day turn to crap on a stick.

“Your time is valuable,” says the sickeningly uplifting recording on the phone. I suppose if they were truthful and said, “Your time means nothing to us, go screw yourself,” I would be even more aggravated than I already am.

Verizon Wireless finally sent me a broadband device that works well and from which I have had no problems since it was delivered. I would cross my fingers but my right-hand second and third finger will not cross anymore. I don’t know why. My left fingers work fine. I just happened to notice the other day that my right-hand fingers will no longer cross. Not that I am superstitious, but I do cross my fingers when someone says something that requires some manner of hope. Perhaps the gesture is an act of affirmation. Still, the fact that my right-hand crossing fingers no long cross sort of bums me out. I can understand undergoing signs of aging at age 58. I’ve got plenty of them. Anyone need one? One sign of the aging process coming up!

I sent the wireless device that was replaced about three weeks ago. Verizon has never received it. Let the games begin.

Perhaps Verizon doesn’t realize it yet, or maybe they have, but what they have invented is a “mood depressor.” Hey, anything can make you happy–sex, drugs, rock-and-roll, religion, funny cat videos. People have been raking money in hand-over-foot for years to sell the items that one another seem to believe will make them happy. Of course, money is at the center of the entire kaboodle. What the hell is a kaboodle anyway? A strange land filled with nothing but kaboodles and kits, of course. What kind of kits I have no idea. First aid kits? St. Kitts? Who knows or cares?

But think of it, eventually the buzz you get from a revival or a shot of cocaine or a shot of whiskey or a shot of Rosa Lee will come tumbling down. Watch out, Junior! The Walls of Jericho are falling. Another day is about to be shot to hell. So why wait for your good mood to fall flat as a beer open Wednesday last and was never covered since.

Why not deploy yourself a good ol’ mood depressor? You have to come down from that mountain, Tillie, the sun’s about to set.

Yes, dial *611 and punch 3. Talk to a real person. Yes, speak to a real person at Verizon Wireless and your day will be all shot to hell. You know you want that feeling. Where you going, Hon? Why I’m going to the State of Pissed Off.

 

 

Where is my flying car? Why, it’s in the garage behind the boxes of Slinkys.

They’re here! They’re really here! Well, maybe not exactly …

I speak of flying cars. Flying cars, or rather, the thought of flying automobiles have be around us for a long time. During the 50s and 60s, movies and TV shows like the cartoon “The Jetsons” placed the idea in many a young brain that come the turn of the 21st century we would be driving in and out of terrestrial and interstellar traffic. The assembly-line flying car has yet to materialize, even though they have really been around for quite awhile. And while some folks who have their heads way in the clouds and feel the airborne car will be here sooner than later, a technology is already here that could be the predecessor of the modern flying car — a cross between a helicopter and a drone — could be clogging the skies carrying Amazon deliveries by 2015. That is if Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has his way.

Entrepreneur and now owner of The Washington Post Bezos sure got his PR machine on full-throttle and heading way out to the clouds, especially since announcing on “60 Minutes” last night that his drone technology to deliver Amazon products is here. It just needs a bit of tweaking.

One needs only to take their heads out of the clouds for a few minutes to realize what all is involved for a drone to actually show up at one’s doorstep with a load of books, CDs and maybe even a pizza and a six-pack of beer.

It seems like everyone and their dog wants a drone now while everyone else and their cat believes drones are a terrible idea. But what about the flying car? And flying cars everywhere? Well, it seems as if that is being worked on as we speak, and probably by more than one dreamer. It just seems as if the drone will pave the way for flying cars in everyone’s garage. And probably a chicken in every pot just for posterity. I don’t know why to expect either to tell the truth.

But those in the crossed centuries have wondered why the year 2000 came and went without flying cars everywhere. Flying cars have actually existed for awhile now, at least 60 years or more.

I was always amused by the Bob Cummings TV series of the early 60s. The comedy starred the debonair Cummings, who both in the small box and in life was a former World War II pilot. He happened to have driven/flown an honest to Abe flying car, one which known as an Aerocar. This being the late 50s and early 60s, one might have easily guessed, and correctly so, that the airborne car was peculiar looking. Of course, given Cummings’ background his enthusiasm of flight must have been predestined.

Now I have not had time to verify this, at least to my satisfaction, but I will go ahead and repeat the biographical information gleaned from the Wikipedia page for Robert Cummings. The Wiki piece notes that Cummings was taught to fly as a teen by his Godfather, Orville Wright. Yes, that, Orville Wright. Supposedly Cummings also became the first person who the government certified as a flight instructor.

Whether the Bezos octo-drone actually takes flight and delivers stuff remains tot be seen. There does seem as if an awful lot of “tweaking” would be required for such a roll out. Of course, that might just be the spark needed for flying cars. But one has to think about this: These flying cars have been wrapped around inside a time warp and still the objects have not advanced. One has to wonder why that is so.

Think about it, then dust off the old Aerocar and fly over to pick me up. I’ll be the one wearing the parachute.

 

 

Apple, 2nd to ruin my day, 1st in a pretty phone screen

A neat little ol’ tech blog out of Austin had a very helpful article dated Monday. It was a very informative piece on Apple’s iOS 7 upgrade. And it is one that I wished like hell I had read prior to about 11 a.m. today.

It seems as if I was the last person on planet Earth who discovered Apple blew up the operating system I was using on my iPhone 4. I think it’s 4. It could be “99 And A Half” for all I know. I saw on my iPhone that I needed to do an update on my OS, so I was walking back to my office, ticked off about an encounter I had on the phone earlier with a “client.” I still am, ticked off, that is. Short story, the update took forever. I had to get back to my office where I had plenty of phones to use while mine was being “updated.”

The home screen looked different, way different. I had to sign in with my Apple ID and develop a code to get me inside my telephone. Now when it rings I have to, I don’t know what you call it, rub my screen like a genie and make the “phone” appear. Christ on codeine syrup!

Later this afternoon, I got to playing around with the “voice memo” app. It recorded okay, and I erased the messages I had made. But I get a goofy screen now with a buttons and some lines for writing. You push the button and nothing happens. You rub the bottom of the screen and your “control panel” appears. Oh great. Plus, it leaves a red banner across the iPhone screen to remind me I am recording, even though I am not.

I talked with a Verizon techno-gal who was about as helpful as Edward Scissorhand in a bouncy house full of 4-year-olds.

So, I decided to look on my own and found this great techie page from Austin. Home of the Armadillo — waaaay back when. And damned if I didn’t find out too late. Like right now and for supper.

Football is here. A mostly glorious event.

Last night the pro football season began for me. And how glorious it — mostly — was.

My team, a.k.a. the Houston Texans, came back from a deficit of 24 points to beat the San Diego Chargers. Randy Bullock booted a 41-yard field goal for a literal last-second three points.The kicker was drafted by Houston in 2012 but was injured that August with a groin injury. A Klein High School product who played ball and graduated with a petroleum engineering degree from Texas A & M, was given the game ball for what was his first regular season game. Oh, and yes, I was just thinking “ouch.”

It happened that the opening Monday Night Football game of 2013 was a double-header: the Washington Native-American Skins  vs. the Philadelphia Eagles with Houston-San Diego. Since I worked until 8 o’clock, the first game was going when I got home. I wasn’t particularly excited to see that particular game. I mean RGIII is a pretty exciting young quarterback to watch, provided he doesn’t end up on injured reserve after the first game. Less exciting were the two announcers for the game: Jon Gruden and Mike Tirico. And if humanly possible, many Houston fans thought the announcing pair for the second game — Chris Berman and Trent Dilfer — were even less exciting than the first two.

  “Chris Berman’s voice makes me wanna shoot myself in the foot,” Twittered “Lil Poop” to the Houston Chronicle.

Berman could be funny back in the 80s, when more people were stoned. Not so much these days. Trent Dilfer, the former Tampa Bay, Ravens, Seattle Seahawks, Cleveland and 49ers quarterback, is a pretty good NFL analyst, on the radio. Not so much a TV analyst.

I guess the Texans-Chargers game was an exciting contest. But I’d like my team to win like they were supposed to. I would like to see the Houston Texans go to the Super Bowl and, hopefully, win before I become too decrepit to do a limited Happy Dance. No matter how thrilling the game, if you have sleep problems like me, exciting at 12:45 a.m. doesn’t quite cut it.

Nonetheless, Houston seems to have a team better than last season’s. That’s a positive note. And to round out the start of football season, my high school has been at the top on the Associated Press prep polls from the start. My old school is No. 1 in 2A in Texas. Look it up.

An interesting note, a high school friend who still lives in the old hometown became involved in a kerfuffle with a regional sports site. It has been since straightened out last I heard. But Bobby has gotten a considerable number of folks, such as me, who agreed when my friend asked if I would be interested in receiving updates from him by text messaging. I said: Why the hell not? I have free unlimited text that I use. So, during the last two games which were won by old alma mater, I received short and to the point texts. Dick EFD, 2 yd run TD, PAT good. N 16, L 10. No commentary, no funny names. Just , who won, Baby!!! The home team has won three state championships. I saw them win one in person. I ‘d like to see them win another. And see the Texans win the Super Duper Bowl. Even if it’s on TV.

Tote that laptop, load that Dell, take a little drink and you’ll land in … oh what the hell!

The last few days have been spent in what is now a too-common exercise. That is loading and reloading programs on my computer. Dell sent a repair person on Friday to fix my laptop. That visit included installing a new hard drive and doing whatever they do to repair a problem touch pad.

This type of stuff has been happening increasingly. I don’t know how long it has been, but it seems not a very long time ago that I had to restore my operating system to factory settings. Look, I admit that doing these type of things aren’t an equivalent to neurosurgery. But that makes them no less a pain in the ass. I now have the basic programs I need, but I still require a thousand tasks every time I finish another.

I thought owning a computer would be easier than this. I suppose part of my reason for feeling this way is that I once only used a computer, or PCs, or Macs, at work. Mostly I used Apple products, Mac variations. I don’t know if Apple has less problems than other computers. The first computer I owned was a used Mac and I never had any issues. However, I also never lugged my old Macintosh three or four times a year on flights to here or there. Nor did I take my computer to work with me every day.

My work computer is a tablet/notebook, Lenovo. It seems to be pretty sturdy and it should be because it is made for lugging around and for use in the field on a daily basis. You can’t break it or so it seems. I know if I could stand it up aside a pole and fire away with a Remington 870, that we’d see about that. However, that’s only a dream.

Still, you buy what you can afford if you can’t afford it and that is me to a t, or is it tee? Or if you were a tree, what would you be? Who the hell knows. I am working an evening shift, so I better get dressed.