Saturday, January 19, 2019

Big Toe Fix

Seems whenever I have a medical situation it happens after business hours, on the week and often during a holiday weekend. Thus is the case this weekend.

As I mentioned in my previous blog posting (buried in my Trump rant) was that my big toe nail was loose and crooked. This is the big toe that I damaged within an hour of landing in Philadelphia at the end of November. At that time it was very painful and I had to eventually go to a medical walk in clinic to have it evaluated. That was my first time that I used a walk in clinic. They examined my damaged toe and told me I would lose the toenail. Well, that is what is happening now folks. But it is scary.  My big toe nail (left foot) was loose and crooked, causing pain and discomfort when I put on my sock and shoe. And here I am about to embark on another walking vacation in Los Angeles in a couple of weeks (February 10th).  

I decided to look up and call a podiatrist for an appointment.  Good luck calling late Friday.  I called two podiatrists' offfices and got voice mail both times. I left a message but I know they won't get back to me until at least Tuesday of next week, Monday being yet another Federal holiday (Martin Luther King Day). Even if and when I do get in contact with their offices, it would probably be weeks until they could see me. 

I went to bed last night, tonguing frequently the filling that just fell out of my tooth yesterday during dinner (when it rains, it pours and I'm not talking about the Morton Salt Girl), wondering "what am I going to do?"  When I awoke this morning, still with that gaping, jagged hole in my upper right back molar (didn't go away last night, darn that tooth fairy!), I came to a solution. Go to a walk in clinic down here.  In Philadelphia I went to the walk in clinic, which conveniently was just around the corner from where Pat and I were staying. That was a good experience. My situation didn't warrant a visit to the emergency room but did I want to go through all that rigmarole of going to a doctor's office. Viola! I go to a walk-in clinic down here!

That I did. The wait wasn't too long. A nurse practitioner removed my gross, dead toenail. She showed me where my new toenail was growing in.  She said it would take about three months to completely grow back.  I asked her "Do you get many visits like me, old men who stub their toes?"  She said "All the time, even from young people."  This was nothing new to her.  She also told me my other big toenail would come off too eventually. I didn't injure that as much but it is injured and gross looking.  Notice that I'm to posting pictures of the offending toe nails, not that it is their fault.  All my fault.

One of my biggest concerns these days as I enter my dotage, is falling down and breaking something. I've already torn my left leg quadriceps muscle three years ago resulting in major surgery to reattach the muscle and twelve weeks of recovery. My leg still isn't right but at least I can walk on it. My other concern is stubbing my toes. I've already stubbed my baby toes several times, losing the toenail but this is the first time I've stubbed my big toe.  Part of the problem is that I'm just not as nimble as I used to be which my arthritic body limiting my motion. 

Hopefully I can get a replacement filling in my tooth before I leave for La La Land.  Last year when I was out there I had new partials, both kept falling out every time I ate.  I would like a stress free va ca this time.

Friday, January 18, 2019

Our Country is in Peril

Traitors who have enabled Trump

Good day folks! Here we are, the 28th day of the government shutdown. A totally unnecessary shutdown all because of a lie Trump made to his followers. Trump said "Mexico will pay for the wall!" Turns out he wants us, United State taxpayers, to pay for the wall. A classic Con Man con, bait and switch. And one thing I will give  Trump credit for, he is a master con man. When this nightmare is done, history will show he was the greatest con man ever in our country and the world. This is one time one of Trump's many superlatives applies. But I'm not going to make this blog post about a long and boring rant on this despicable person but only to give you my state of mind at this time of my life. I never in my whole life ever imagined that I would live in a country where our very freedoms would be threatened by an incompetent, evil narcissist who has zero empathy for anyone except himself. We are at a great time of danger in our country folks. 

In the midst of all this I am scheduled to take a plane flight February 10th for my annual winter excursion to sunny California. Some in Congress say the only way this government shutdown will end is if the TSA employees and air traffic controllers go on strike.  Those people say the government shutdown will end in ninety minutes once members of Congress can't make their plane trips back to their districts. I tend to agree with them, screw up this country's air transportation system and now THAT puts pressure on the cowardly Republicans in Senate.  You know who could end this?  Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader who is holding up bills, that they passed before 100-0 before Trump said he wouldn't sign it, that would open government. McConnell is failing at his primary responsibility as a separate branch of government. Instead he has been acting as if he is employed by  Trump.  McConnell says he won't put any bill before the Senate that Trump has said he wouldn't sign. Hey Mitch, your job is to put bills before the Senate to vote on. Send those bills to Trump.  If Trump vetoes them, send them back to the Senate to vote to override Trump's veto.  That's the way government is supposed to work Mitch.  Instead Mitch McConnell is a coward and a traitor hiding under his desk.  What a despicable human being Mitch McConnell is, he knows better. Trump doesn't.  I blame McConnell more. 

Well, looks like I went on a rant anyway didn't I?  Sorry folks, this has been on my mind and I just had to get my feelings off my chest.

What else is happening in my life?  More expenses.  Took my car in for an oil change this morning.  Yep, I need new tires and brake pads.  More expense. 

Another problem is my big toe that I damaged last month during my visit to Philly.  My toe nail is looking very bad.  No pain but doesn't look good. It's dead. Now it's crooked from putting on my socks and catching it on the end. I called our local physician referral number today to get a number of a podiatrist.  Of course their office is closed for the day.  I always seem to call for my medical problems late Friday or holiday weekends. I'll call Monday and make an appointment to have a podiatrist looks at my bad big toe.  

With all the bad going on around here, looking forward to my getaway on February 10th to sunny California was my one solace.  Now I'm worried that this government shutdown is going to screw that up too.  

One thing after another folks, but as Pat always says "This is only first world problems."  Could be a lot worse.  At least I'm not in pain and my retirement money is still coming in and I still have a part-time job to cover my ever increasing expenses. But still, things won't be right in this country again until that malignant liar is out of the White House and our country is led by a decent human being instead of the dangerous monster that sits in the White House now.  

I don't know how this is all going to end. I hope he is forced to resign once the evidence of his criminality is even too much for him to bear.  But I  doubt that will happen.  I think the only way Trump will leave the White House is to be dragged out in handcuffs.  

Mark this time and place, we are at the most dangerous time in our country's history right now. And who do I hold responsible?  Not his voters, they were conned.  No, I hold his enablers, the Republican members of Congress, specifically the U. S. Senate responsible.  As Edmund Burke is credited to have said:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing.”

Mitch McConnell and all those Republican members of Congress will go down in history as quislings more concerned about their own hold onto power (afraid of a Trump tweet and getting primaries) than the oath of office they took to protect America. 

They are all traitors and cowards.

I lived during the Watergate scandal.  I remember believing and supporting Nixon until "the tapes" came out.  I remember how shocked I was that Nixon was confirmed as a liar. Looking back at that time, it seems so tame compared to having a president, like Trump who not only lies but is a great danger to our country and our security.

One more quote before I end this venting blog post.  "Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me twice, shame on me."  

One day I will wake up and this nightmare will be at an end. I hope I live long enough to see that day.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Thirty Questions

Time for another fun list! I stole this blog post subject from my friend Jon of Long Wolf Concerto. 

Here we go!

1. Are you filled with joy today?

Yes, in spite of every day problems like an aged aching body and household repairs, I am joyous ("happy" would be a better description) because I have Bill and Pat, a good part-time job, a nice home and always something to look forward to (my quarterly trips with Pat)

2. Has it been a rough week?

Yes, this week has been rough. Another big bill for a home repair. This one a leak in our basement wall. Seems every time we get one problem fixed, another one pops up. Whack a mole.

3.  If given the opportunity would you like to star in a musical?

Are you kidding? I am that rare gay man who DOESN'T like Broadway musicals. Oh sure, during my youth I enjoyed those Fifties movies like "Singing in the Rain" and "White Christmas" but Broadway musicals?  No way, they bore me, just a lot of caterwauling to my ears. No offense to my gay friends (and straight) who love those musicals. 

4.  Name the person you'd take a bullet for. 

Bill, Pat. Would rather not though, you know?

5.  Did you trip over anything today?

Not today but I often trip.  Both of my big toes are black from tripping on a curb last month during my visit to Philadelphia.  I don't pick up my feet. About the time my toes get back to normal, I trip again. I live in fear these days of falling and breaking something.  Last time I fell (2015) I tore my quadricep muscle in my left leg which put me out of commission for months. Still hasn't completely healed.

6.  Is your favorite color yellow?

I like yellow. My favorite color is purple but that color is hard to get. My second favorite color is blue. I have a lot of blue but I get my most favorable comments for dress when I wear purple. When I do see an item of clothing in purple it's for "women only."  Oh well.

7.  Were you born in a hospital? Do you know the name of the person who delivered you?

Yes, I was born in a hospital.  Sunday, November 9, 1941 at 9:30 a.m.  My Mother told me that the woman in the bed next to her in the room where I was born was dying of cancer. She was moaning in pain the whole time my Mother was in the hospital.  Don't know the name of the doctor who delivered me. 

8. Have you ever had a friend or relative that's incarcerated?

Unfortunately yes, a cousin on my Mother's side of the family.  Her half sister's son (her mother was of Hungarian ancestry so maybe that accounts for it) was jailed in Graterford Prison in Philadelphia for planting terrorist bombs in people's mailboxes when he was a young man. I don't knew where he is now, I think he's still in prison. Got twenty years for his stupidity. Again, he wasn't of my total English ancestry on both sides of my family. That Hungarian branch (sorry Jon).

9.  Do you enjoy romantic movies, even if they're cliche?

Oh sure!  "The Notebook" was one of the best movies I've ever seen. All depends on who the actors are in those movies. For instance I couldn't stand to watch Jennifer Lopez or Mariah Carey in a movie because they're such divas and phonies. But Jennifer Lawrence or Lady Gaga I could.

10.  Have you ever been to Rhode Island?

I think I have. Back in 1974 my friend Bob McCamley and I drove up to Provincetown, Massachusetts for the first time. 

 We drove through Rhode Island. Does that count?

11.  Can you read music?

Sure can! I used to read music when I played a Sousaphone in my high school band. Easy.  I'm always amazed when I hear that some famous singers (Sinatra) couldn't read music.

12.  Are flowers a nice gift to give someone?

Absolutely! I've often given flowers to people I've liked. Once I even got flowers. It was three years ago when I injured my leg. A person who used to comment on my blogs sent me flowers. Straight guy too. Haven't heard from him since. Nice gesture. First time in my life I ever had anyone send me flowers. He wished me a speedy recovery. Nice.

13.  Do you wear any jewelry?

Yes, two diamond rings. One on each hand. I only wear them now when I go to work or when I'm on one of my quarterly holidays with Pat. All other times I only wear an Apple watch.

14.  Have you every laid in a field of flowers?

No, I haven't. I thought about it but I have too much respect to crush those flowers that my body would lay on.

15.  Do you like tea?

Eh, okay I guess. I've had hot tea when I'm sick. I used to love iced tea when I was a young boy.  However the only good old fashion iced tea I only enjoyed was from my friend Lar's grandmother Mrs. Brown and my Aunt Mabel. Restaurant ice tea is tasteless and I gave up drinking it a few years ago. I only drink water with my restaurant meals now.  Another reason I don't drink tea now is because my urologist told me drinking tea helps to contribute to kidney stones and I don't want to be in that movie again.

16.  What word do you have trouble saying?

"President Trump" - that's actually two words but I just cannot say "President" followed by Trump whose real name is actually "Drumpf"

17.  Favorite fairytale.


18.  Do you sleep with stuffed animals?

No.  I actually never have liked sleeping with anybody since I had to sleep with my two younger brothers in the same bed until I was fourteen years old. I sleep alone with one exception the past five years. Regular readers of my blog can figure out my "exception".

19.  Do you prefer the city or the country?

I like both. I've lived in both. This time of my life I split my time between both. In three weeks I'll be living in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Twice a year I live in Philadelphia for a week at a time. And once a year I lived in Toronto now Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I like the mix.

20.  Are you a big fan of makeup?

No. Au naturale here.

21.  Favorite drink?

Fancy, expensive, flavored martinis.  Yum! 

22.  What's the longest time you stayed awake?

About twenty-six hours,  it was when I worked at the National Security Agency during the Cuban Missile Crises.  Another time I stayed up all night after going to a gay bar. I had to go to work the next day without any sleep. Also when I was very young. I could never do something like that today. I need a daily one to two hour nap every afternoon.

23.  Do you like spring?

Yes! The first pop up of spring flowers bring smiles to my face and warms my heart. I prefer living where there is a change of seasons.

24.  Lipstick or gloss?

Not applicable here.

25.  Are aliens real?

I think so. I think it makes logical sense that the earth was populated by aliens thousands of years ago.  That is the explanation why there are different races.  Makes sense to me. I also think there is life on other planets. Maybe many thousands of years away from us but I find it very illogical to think we are the only forms of life in the universe.

26.  Does your zodiac sign fit your personality?

I don't think so. But then maybe I'm in denial because I don't like the bad aspects which I won't repeat here. 

27.  Favorite sea animal?


28.  Are you a nice person?

You bet! First time I saw myself in a video I thought "That's someone I would like to know." I was rather surprised at my reaction to seeing myself on video. But that's honestly what I thought. After living the early part of my life being brainwashed by my father that I was a loser, seeing myself as a normal, likable person came as a pleasant surprise.

29.  Night or day?

Both but I probably prefer the light of day. Sunshine makes me happy.

30.  What would make you happy right now?

Easy answer. Trump out of office and in prison. 

Me and my little Horace 1982

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Slogging Through Home Emergencies and now SNOW!

Snow this morning!

Tis snowing now, first snow of the year. So appropriate after the week we've had here at Casa Tipton-Kelly. 

Before I left for my quarterly visit to Philadelphia last month, I was musing about the fact that things have been going smooth here our comfy domicile. Then fate stepped in as she often does. The night before I left I discovered a leak in the basement wall where the sewer pipe exits our basement. Fortunately the sewer pipe wasn't leaking but the seal around it was broken and ground water was leaking in from outside. I don't know how long that's been going on, probably months or even a year, but over time water has leaked into our expensively wall to wall carpeted media room which I was using as a storage room. Wow, that was a long sentence. My homeowner's insurance doesn't cover that damage because it was "ground water."  Bill took up the carpet, fixed the leak.  One good thing is that we removed everything from the storage/media room which I'm now going through and making tough decisions what to keep and what goes out.  This week a professionals (Dry Zone) are stopping by to evaluate our leak fix.

Then my next problem was I lost my Internet connection. Turns out the Comcast cable was bad. Comcast replaced the cable (underground) but I had to have a computer expert in to straighten out my whole house WIFI connection. That cost me $285.  At least we have WIFI, hopefully for a while.

Now I'm thinking finally I can relax a while and coast.  Then this week I get my quarterly water bill.  Wow! My water bill last quarter was almost twice as much as this time last year.  I did some research and found out the cause was my toilet, it leaks!  Something I probably knew already but choose to ignore. The plunger didn't go down all the way thus causing water to slightly run ALL THE TIME. Doesn't seem like much but over time it doubled my water bill. I told my personal handyman, Bill.  Bill tried to fix it . . . . . for FIVE HOURS yesterday. Finally I suggested "Let's just get a new plunger at Ace Hardware."  That we did, Bill took another hour to install it and now it's working and not leaking water.

This morning I woke up to snow. First snow of the year. Nice. Actually it's not nice. After my fall on the snow and ice three years ago which resulted in me tearing my left leg quadricep muscle. I DON'T want to fall again. My leg still isn't right. I'm afraid one more fall will do me in (broken hip).

In less than a month I'll be lallygagging (with Pat) under California palm trees. Would be nice if I could get to that date without anymore stress (and expense) here at home. 

By the way, it's still snowing.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Pat Rides My Bike

During these cold days of January I am choosing to post a short video I took during Pat's visit here (Delaware) last spring.

I have a bike. I brought the bike from a neighbor who said he can no longer ride his bike because he has prostate problems. I haven't ridden a bike since the 70's.  I yearned to ride a bike again.

After paying $100 for my neighbor's bike I put another $100 or so to clean up the bike. Then I rode it. 

The seat was too high. I tried to lower it but couldn't. So I adjusted myself to riding a high seat bike. No wonder my neighbor had prostate problems. I don't have such problems since my prostate cancer treatment. I still have my prostate but it's been radiated to death. It doesn't work now. It's just there. Sorry to get icky here but just stating a fact.

My second ride I promptly fell off my bike and injured my leg. I bruised the bone. First time I ever did that. Took months to heal.  

I still ride my bike occasionally but only through my development here where Bill and I live. 

Pat rides his bike in his hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada a LOT more than I do.  He rides all over.  I am restricted to where I can ride my bike. I tried riding it out on Oyster Rocks Road but since falling, I'm shaky about riding my bike with vehicles whizzing by me, especially those pick up trucks from hunters and fishermen racing to the end of Oyster Rocks Road to the Broadkill River.

During Pat's annual visit last spring to Casa Tipton-Kelly, I asked him if he wanted to take a ride on my bike. This is the video. Seats too high for him too.

Monday, January 07, 2019

Got Junk?

The Got Junk guys arrive!
You have junk? I do and I got rid of some of it today. What a relief!

The guys stopped by right on time today. They assessed the situation and gave me a quote. One eighth of a truck for my disassembled office desk and wall to wall rug pieces.  Cost $129.00.  While that was painful (I wish I could have gotten rid of the stuff for nothing) I thought it reasonable because they would take it out of our basement and make it disappear. I would have preferred to give those items a new life but they will probably end up in landfill, which make me feel bad.

While they were here I asked them if they could get rid of an old metal baker's rack that was stuck to the side of our garden shed. Our neighbor gave us that item shortly after we moved here in 2007.

I no longer wanted it. I hid the rack between a tree and our garden shed. It had been there so long a tree had grown up through the rack. It was a bitch cutting it out. The guys removed it though and now we're free of it. What a relief.

The Got Junk guys trying to remove the baker's rack from the side of our garden shed
Of course after they left we realized we forgot an item, an old screen door that Bill had brought down with him from Pennsylvania. He thought he would use the screen door during the summer for the basement door to circulate air through the house. We have never done that because we have central air conditioning. Oh well, next trip and you know there will be one.

We feel cleansed now. The removal cost us $179 but it was worth it. 

Bye bye junk 

Sunday, January 06, 2019

Downsizing Progress

Begone junk!

This morning in about a half an hour a woman from the neighborhood is stopping by to take our wall to wall Berber carpet.  Bill had to take up that expensive carpet in our media/storage room after part of it was damaged due to a water leak. Only around the one edge of the rug is damaged. The rest of the rug, 98% is perfectly fine.  Unused, not walked on because all my storage boxes was sitting on it for the past thirteen years since we moved to Delaware.

Last week I tried to arrange a pickup of this rug, and an oversized office desk and two large speakers picked up by ReStore, the local Habitat for Humanity thrift store. They didn't want it. 

I tried the All Saints Thrift store. They will pick up the speakers but didn't want the desk (they already have three on their floor) or carpet. None of these thrift stores want carpet, no matter what condition it is in. 

I was reduced to calling 1-800 Got Junk but I am reluctant to pay to have my stuff removed from the premises.  One last ditch attempt I posted my items to the NextDoor app.  I've gotten rid of things before that way.  After a few tentative nibbles I finally got a bite.  That is this lady who is stopping by in about twenty minutes.  

I did call Got Junk and they're coming by tomorrow to pick up the rest of the stuff.  I'm going to include an old screen door that Bill was hanging on to "just in case".  We'll never use that screen door.  I'm also going to make disappear an old metal baker's rack a neighbor gave us (that's how he disposed of his junk) shortly after we arrived on the scene here in beautiful southern Delaware. That bakers rack is doing noting but rusting out by the garden shed.  I'll be glad to get rid of it.  

Making progress folks!