Apr 24, 2017

Monopsony Monday

monopsony ~ case of only one buyer for products of several sellers

Well, would you look at that. It’s Monday already. There I was last night, congratulating myself on having made it through another week and weekend, watching the first episode of Jessica Jones on Netflix, and completely forgetting the fact that I hadn’t written my Monday post.

Of course I could barely keep my eyes open to watch TV, it’s no wonder I didn’t have enough brain power to write anything. :-D

A friend and I were having a discussion on the weekend about how much the price of technology has come down over the last few years. I’d mentioned to her about how thrilled I’d been about 10 years ago when I found a 2 Gigabyte USB stick to back my files up onto for a mere $80.00.

This weekend I was using a 16 Gigabyte USB stick to back my files up onto and it only cost me $8.00. The lap top I’m using right now cost half of what my first desktop computer cost me and there’s just no comparison as far as speed, performance, and storage capacity. Anyone remember floppy disks? :-)

All this affordable technology can be a little addictive. I’m only on my second lap top, but the desktop computer in my office is about my fifth one, each one progressively more advanced, easier to use (anyone else have fun with DOS?), more powerful, and cheaper.

There’s no escaping technology. Like tablets. At first glance tablets seem really cool - you can do so many things on a tablet and everybody has one. So I got myself one, and yeah, they’re pretty cool ... if you know how to use one, which I don’t.

I’m sure it’s not as complicated as it looks - I can check my email or surf online, and I try to stay away from the many, many games you can access because I really hate using the touch screen for games. But all those “aps” are a little intimidating.

I admit I don’t use it much. But I figure if nothing else it’ll come in handy when my Kindle inevitably dies on me and I need a new electronic reader. One of these days I’ll sit down with the on-line manual (why do these things all have to be online now?) and figure out what else I can do. One of these days ....

My glucometer for testing my blood sugar will connect wirelessly to the internet to allow me to download my results and keep track online. Yeah, sure. Most of the time I’d rather not know.

The hubby came home from a bowling tournament this weekend with an electronic prize which he passed on to me. It’s a Garmin Vivofit - a fitness tracker, same idea as a FitBit. It’s a device you wear to keep track of your fitness level - the number of steps you take, the calories you burn, your sleep patterns. It’s waterproof so you can wear it 24/7. I’m sure it will be really cool ... once I figure out how to use it.

I finally got my first cell phone last year, but I have yet to turn into one of those people. You know, the ones who might as well just have the phone surgically implanted. It amazes me how few of these phones are actually used to make calls. They’re used to text, shop, check Facebook, take pictures, do banking ... the list goes on and on. I have one friend who tells me her whole life is on her phone.

Seriously? What happens if you lose that phone?

I use my phone to take pictures, check my email, text my daughter, and to *gasp* make calls. I got it because as my granddaughter gets bigger and more active (and listens less and less) it’s kind of worrisome that there’s no land line at my daughter’s in case of emergency. I refuse to do banking on my phone, or even Facebook.

The phone is just a device, not my life.

Apr 17, 2017

Micrander Monday

micrander ~ dwarf male plant

Did everyone have a good Easter?

Weather wise, we couldn’t have asked for a better weekend. Friday was bright and sunny, Saturday was supposed to be raining all day but we only got a fraction of it, and Sunday the temperature rose all the way to 21C (70F). I guess spring is here after all. Awesome sauce!

The grandbaby kept us entertained on Sunday with her Easter egg hunt. They had one at the play group we go to and they were allowed to keep the (plastic) eggs they found, she came home with quite a haul. But yesterday was even more fun because there was “stuff” in the eggs - a couple of tee shirts, some wind-up chickens and bunnies, and a zoo full of plastic animals.

The eggs from the day care kept her amused for days, but the eggs I hid for her here were abandoned when we gave her the play set we’d got her:



We also gave her the dress she’s wearing and when I added up the cost of everything, I was a little surprised. When did Easter become so commercial?

When I was a kid, we always got a new outfit to wear to church, complete with hat. I’m not sure whether we hunted for eggs or not, but we usually got one of those hollow chocolate chickens as well.

When my daughter was little, I used Easter as an excuse to make her a new dress and we’d hide plastic eggs (so the dog wouldn’t get them) filled with jelly beans. We’d each get a solid chocolate bunny as well - hers would be a white one, which isn’t really chocolate because believe it or not, she didn’t like chocolate.

A lot of kids got bikes and toys and you’d almost think it was Christmas. I filled the grandbaby’s eggs with toys to cut back on her chocolate consumption, and gave her the traditional new dress, so was the play set really necessary? Probably not. But I knew how much she’d love it and Easter was the perfect excuse.

And in keeping with the season of rebirth (or in this case birth), April the giraffe had her calf! It was a bouncing baby boy measuring 5’9” (several inches taller than me!) and weighing 129 pounds.



Almost looks like a stuffed toy, doesn't he? 1.2 million people watched the birth via the web cam, me included although I didn’t set out to do so. I just happened to check on April at the right time. Toys R Us sponsored the web cam and had their logo on the bottom left of the screen. After the birth the logo changed from Toys R Us to Babies Are Us.

I’m not sure how long the web cam is going to stay going, but I have to wonder, what are all those people going to watch when it’s done?

Apr 10, 2017

Medullary Monday

medullary ~ consisting of or resembling marrow or pit

That stupid giraffe has still not had her calf. I guess when you’re pregnant for between thirteen and fifteen months, a due date is a little hard to pin down but still....

My sinus cold has morphed into ... something, I’m just not sure what. I’ve got most of my hearing back, and although I have no trouble breathing my sinuses are still pretty full. Right now the worst part is my throat. It’s not really sore, per se, more like it aches from the swollen glands. And it comes and goes and when it’s really bad it makes the teeth in my lower jaw hurt.

It was a sad week for us last week - we had to say goodbye to our sweet little Julius.



There he is with his mommy Panda, whom we lost several years ago to kidney disease. Just look at that face. He was a sweet boy and will be sorely missed. But I'm sure his mommy is waiting for him on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge, ready to give him a good chase and then a virgorous washing.

Have you heard about the Rainbow Bridge? Here's the original prose poem:

Just this side of Heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing: they each miss someone very special, someone who was left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body begins to quiver. Suddenly, he breaks from the group, flying over the green grass, faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into those trusting eyes, so long gone from your life, but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross the Rainbow Bridge together...

*Author Unknown*


RIP Julius

Apr 8, 2017

Attention all Poetry Lovers

If you're on my Facebook or already read My Writing Journal then you know that my best bud Jamie challenged each other to write a poem a day for the month of April to celebrate National Poetry Month.

I chose to follow an A to Z theme of poetry forms while she is following prompts supplied by a workshop she participated in. While I can't exactly say I had fun writing all those poems, it did get me writing every day, which is a really good thing.

To keep each other honest, we emailed each other our poems on a daily basis and today we've posted our whole week's worth of poems on our respective blogs.

You can find Jamie's poems HERE and mine are HERE.

Enjoy!

Apr 3, 2017

Mainour Monday

mainour ~ stolen goods discovered on thief

I am not going to talk about the snow we got last week.

Nope. Not one word. Not a single, solitary word.

Never mind the fact that the heavy white blanket melted away the following day. It’s not worth mentioning at all.

:-D

Anybody else watching April the Giraffe on Facebook or YouTube?

April, for those of you who don’t know, is a very pregnant giraffe in an animal park in the U.S. Due to the inclement weather, she’s mostly been penned up in her stall in a barn, her significant other, Oliver, in the next stall. There’s a video camera mounted on the wall next to her feeding station that provides live coverage of the impending blessed event.

Unlike the thousands of other viewers of the web cam, I don’t really care to see the actual birth. I just want to see the baby giraffe. According to the web site, this will be April’s fourth calf and Oliver’s first.

I started watching in mid-March, excited by the promise that delivery was coming any second now. It’s still going to be any second now. I’m starting to wonder just how long a giraffe can be in labour.

So while I wait, I get a kick out of the running commentary by other viewers. Some are encouraging, some are convinced it’s all just a hoax, and a surprising number seem to have put their lives on hold so they don’t miss anything.

Seriously? Have you people nothing better to do?

Of course who am I to talk? I used to spend a lot of time watching the Volcano-cam that was trained on Mount Saint Helens, and the Afric-cam that focused on a watering hole on a game preserve in Africa where you had to have a lot of patience to actually see anything interesting.

If you’re into that kind of thing, you can find a cam for just about anything - puppies, kittens, eagles, leprechauns, ghosts.... Just be careful, they can be addictive. :-)


Mar 27, 2017

Mungo Monday

mungo ~ waste produced in a woollen-mill

Did anyone catch my little faux pas last week?

I wrote a post for my other blog later on Monday and accidentally posted it here. It was up for almost an entire day before I realized what I’d done.

Well, the first true sign of spring arrived. Just as I was taking up supper, I spied a flurry of motion out the kitchen window and watched as Daphne and Donald landed in our pool. Of course the cover is still on it, but there was just enough unfrozen water for them to land in.



That’s actually a picture from a couple of years ago, but it’s the same pool and same ducks. I just couldn’t stop what I was doing to get a current photo. Picture the same scene only with a little less ice in the pool. ;-)

But it gives me hope that we’ve seen the last of the snow for this year.

In the ongoing saga of my ear ... I managed to get an appointment with the nurse at my doctor’s office, who had the doctor look at me, who set me up with an ear/nose/throat specialist. He held a tuning fork up to my head and said that currently I’m hearing through the bone on the left side of my head, not the ear, which is apparently a good thing.

At least it was good enough that he’s not going to put a tube in my ear. There is a hole in the ear drum, but it’s already started to heal. He’s pretty sure the fluid in my ear will dry up without help and my hearing will come back on its own, but if it doesn’t I’m to call his office directly to make another appointment.

Meanwhile, I’ve finished my second round of antibiotics and I still can’t hear but at least the railroad spike pain is gone. :-)

Julius, our poor sick kitty, seems to be doing a little better. Although he doesn’t appreciate being force-fed (no more than I like having to do it to the poor guy), I think he feels better having eaten. Because he’d been starving himself, we decided to start him with the steroid that’s supposed to ease the internal inflammation, and build his strength up a bit before starting him on the cancer drugs (which can have harsher side effects). He’s been tolerating the steroid well and today I start him on his cancer fighting drug.

Wish me luck!

Mar 20, 2017

Moulinet Monday

moulinet ~ machine for bending a crossbow

Happy first day of Spring!

I woke up to a weirdly orange sky this morning, like the light was being filtered through tangerine koolaide. It was enough to make me do a double take. By 7:30 or so the light was returning to normal but still, you have to wonder what caused it.

You notice I didn’t say when the sun started coming up. That’s because it’s almost 9 a.m. as I start this and I’m still waiting for the sun. It’s kind of grey and gloomy out there, especially since it’s the first day of spring and all.

You also might have noticed that I kind of skipped last week’s post. Mostly it was because I’m feeling pretty stressed out lately. So prepare for a somewhat whiny explanation. ;-)

I’ve had enough colds and flus this year that I’m seriously considering getting the flu shot in the fall - and I don’t believe in the flu shot. I blame the day care I’ve been taking the grandbaby to on a regular basis. Or more specifically, I blame the parents of the runny nosed, sniffling little plague rug rats we encounter there. See, the day care/play group is part of the local YMCA. And if you’re a member, you can drop your child (under the age of 6) off for free while you go work out. And apparently these parents don’t give a rat’s ass who their precious little germ factories infect as long as they get their workout in.

My latest is a really, really bad sinus cold that was on top of a speck of something I got in my eye that became infected. So off to the walk-in clinic I went where the doctor gave me drops for my eye and told me my sore throat was due to swollen glands, and did not give the rest of the cold a second thought. Had he checked my ears, it might have prevented what happened later that night.

To make a long story short, my sinuses worsened, my left ear started really aching, and finally the sinus pressure blew a hole in my eardrum. Looking on the bright side, at least it helped alleviate some of the pain. Back to the walk-in clinic the next day and the Doogie Howser-esque doctor looked in my ear, recoiled, and said he’d never seen such a mess. Charming.

Yesterday I finished the antibiotics he prescribed and he said if my hearing hadn’t returned in a couple of days to see my family doctor. Trust me kid, if it was that easy I’d have gone to her in the first place. However, my hearing isn’t back so I’ve been dutifully hitting the redial on the phone since 9 a.m. only to get through and find out that my doctor had to cancel her appointments for the day and all the emergency appointments were gone. Better luck next time.

Added to this stress is the fact that one of our cats has taken ill. He’s the sweetest natured of the bunch, and after blood tests and an ultrasound (which required two separate trips to the vet for the poor guy) it was determined he has cancer. He has between 20 and 30 nodules on his liver and spleen which have caused inflammation which in turn caused him to lose his appetite.

The big thing right now is to try and get him to eat. I’ve bought a variety of foods for him, some he shows interest in and some he doesn’t. And of course the other cats are a little miffed at the preferential treatment he’s getting. It’s a stressful situation all around.

And the thing is, I don’t deal well with stress. Pressure, yes. I actually work well under pressure, like the pressure of a deadline (just don’t bug me while I’m working). But stress will shut me down every time. I don’t deal with stress - stress deals with me.

But in any case. It’s the first day of spring, even if it doesn’t look like it out there. So sunnier, happier days are sure to be ahead.

Right?