Oppressive sky

brown to the horizon – supposed to lift tomorrow.

We tried to go for a brief walk and it was like holding your breath and trying to swim. For me, chest and head pain, which lightened but did not vanish when I got home.

Practiced and worked the Kaossilator for a while. Setting 75 continues to provide more mindless entertainment than you can imagine. Practiced Smokey, Otto, and Rowena. I have finally decided I’m going to call my most recent gifted uke Mahu (goldingit the diacritics don’t appear properly) (the word’s literally ‘in the middle’ which is the Hawaiian term for gay and gender non-conforming people). Appropriately I will call the first ukulele Kameamua which means ‘the first one’.

Still laughing to myself about singing Que Sera sera last night. I don’t know why I think it’s funny but –don’t I deserve to laugh.

aircon is back

What a difference it made yesterday. I can’t imagine how it must have been for a frail elderly person with no AC – it wasn’t even a heat dome situation, just an ‘unusually warm spell’. Staying warm til Friday, and much particulates so my eyes are gritty and I feel ‘oppressed’.

I have a few errands to run today including calling Paul and seeing if he wants to go for a walk. We did manage a walk yesterday, Jeff and I, but that was the extent of our external travails.

I haven’t been reporting on it, but I’m still doing wordle and lumosity every morning. I just made tea, the iced tea pitcher is full in the fridge (it’s that time of year again!) Buster’s been let out and the cat door is open. I’ve been practicing on my instruments pretty much every day. As soon as the dishwasher’s done I’ll run some laundry. Couple of hundred words on TB.

Stay busy and stay cool!

Shifting emphasis

I’m thinking keep the blog but make it just the release point for a podcast (with a complete and accurate transcript so visually impaired and deaf people can consume it) on a regular schedule. I have some ideas. LOL. I am, after all, an idea factory. I’m making a list of episode subjects and am considering various formats.

I don’t know why, but I’m thinking of a film made in Africa (I was 18, forgive me if I didn’t keep my class notes about which country it was filmed in and I can’t find anything in Wikipedia.) In it, the present day in a bustling city is depicted in colour; but his fantasies about becoming rich and immigrating are in black and white. I remember at the time being much struck by the emotional resonance of this; that your fantasies are so shopworn as to no longer be vibrant, and as a visual metaphor for the protagonist’s internal life I’ve rarely seen the equal.

We finished “One Day as a Lion”. mOm, picture Totally Boned if it was a het couple and set in the hottest ass end of Oklahoma (and people get shot…). I personally loved it (there were so many little beaut touches), Jeff was so so and said the script needed a punch up and the ending was too abrupt (both valid comments.) It is TOTALLY an ‘instant family Harlequin Romance with dead bodies.”

I forgive Scott Caan (son of James) his ‘career’ as a rapper (I believe I have made CLEAR my opinion of white rappers who did not come up in the business credibly integrated with Black ones) if he can produce little bloodstained film confections like this.

I have to do my Lumosity and get dressed, Jeff wants to do a schlep this morning. We don’t normally go on the weekend. Just checked to make sure they’re open at 7, since we hardly ever go on Sunday (the organic homo is usually all gone.)

As predicted air quality (the Alberta fires) is moderately bad (60 and variable) and today’s going to be the hottest day of this heat wave so don’t do a goddamned thing outside today. Just sayin.

Efforts to teach Buster to count to three are going badly. All he does is start salivating when I count to three, since that means I’m about to drop some treats on his little tuffet. Considering that other people’s pets do things like speculate as to whether a new human baby brother will cry when being stuck in the car seat I feel sad until he commands me to pet him, at which point I calm down.


Some positive movement

Absolutely gorgeous day. Stunning. And we’re going to have a mini heat dome for Mother’s Day, la la la!! Emailed the kids and said I want nothing but a phone call for Mother’s Day.

Paul, Keith and I went to a local (walking distance…) independent living manor and it had many, many amenities and conveniences to recommend it. It’s a swingeing amount of money per month but all the food, internet, cable and cleaning is included so it’s actually a pretty good deal, and there are tons of activities and many different rooms to do things in. The org that runs it is a non-profit and the building itself is almost brand new (our family watched it being built.) We will be visiting other places this month as well, or at least the menfOlks will.

Paul was engaged, communicative, task-oriented and equable throughout the visit and continued to contribute to the conversation for about half an hour after the tour was over (they let us sit in an absolutely gorgeous common space to talk, and of course because the weather was perfect and there were floor to ceiling windows along the corner walls looking out into a courtyard completely surrounded by mature trees, it was a nice place to chat.) He liked the apartment (we saw the show suite and a vacant mirror image, both on the top floor and looking into cedars and fir trees) and the three enormous closets and was pleased to hear that the two malls that he is most familiar with in terms of amenities and layout are also the two malls that they bus folks to twice a week. The food looks fantastic and residents are served restaurant style with servers taking orders at the table.

Dax dropped by in the late afternoon to collect an air compressor from Paul’s Echo’s trunk. Why? Because the grandsons have deflated balls. Many, many deflated balls. All the deflated balls, apparently. There will be some vigorous kicking in their future I imagine.

Today I’m taking Paul to get boxes at the Staples down the hill and hopefully finally getting that watch fixed. I also want to pick up some more veg (I like the veg place in Market Crossing and maybe the Cobbs has reopened YUP just checked, they were renovating) and maybe a treat or two if the winds are propitious. And maybe a visit to FISH to get some halibut, always a welcome basis for a meal.

Finished the run of Endeavour. Abso loved it, it’s going in rotation, and thank you Dave SO MUCH for recommending it. Desperately seeking something of equivalent volume and quality to replace it!

129 words on the fic, brain is sort of working, towels washed and put away, one load of laundry done but sitting around downstairs.

Plane crashes and setting the mixture lean

So there was a plane crash in Langley yesterday. I heard about it on the radio. Then I read on line that the airplane – a small private craft – CLIPPED A TRUCK on the highway before coming in for a crash. Ya know friends and neighbours that is most likely to mean that HE DIDN’T SET FUEL TO RICH MIXTURE so he had ZERO OOMPH when he needed it. Since this is exactly like the plane crash I was in I’m of course predicting that’s what happened. Everyone including the poor bastid in the truck got conveyed to the hospital and in true Canadian fashion, lived to complain about it all.

I picked Keith up in his own car from the Ferry Terminal at Tsawassen yesterday. It was a STINKING HOT DAY, much hotter in Burnaby than the records might indicate. I had to drive in traffic. People who drive from east Burnaby to the southern terminal know well that there are a couple of choke points. One is the bridge access southbound on 20th; queued there for 20 minutes or so, cursing most immoderately the entire fucking time. One is the ‘curve’ on highway 91A where the traffic ALWAYS slows down even though there are no on-ramps? Like- what the hell, people. There is no earthly reason for this to happen, so I unscrambled my brains and gave it some consideration and I guess it’s because trucks have to slow down because it isn’t banked properly or something and that has a standing wave effect on the rest of the traffic. And of course another is the run up to the Massey Tunnel, but that was barely a blip because they had the counterflow set in favour of the traffic direction I was on.

After all that, got there in plenty of time to greet him for the ride home, and he thank god did the rest of the driving because I was once again pretty crispy toast from driving with due care and attention in that relentless traffic and heat. I didn’t want to put the air con on because we had less than a quarter tank of gas and I wanted to make sure that I didn’t get stuck behind an accident with no gas.

All was well, Keith efficiently gave me back the stuff I’d left in his car after the trip, and discovered ANOTHER BAG OF BISCOTTI – I told you I made a lot of that – which is going over to Peggy today because she is awesome and could use a break. With coffee, and biscotti. I won’t stay, I’ll just biscotti fairy it over to her when Jeff and I go to errandry later this morning.

Right now, I must dress, brush teeth and watch Endeavour, and then we’re going out. The downstairs toilet needs a part, and I want to get the Marvin the Martian watch I got from John’s stash running again. Curiously, I found the identical watch (right down to the watchband, which is an unusual leather and colour) for sale, secondhand since it was made in 94, in Europa for 339´€ and in the US for $39, so someone’s getting hosed and it’s not me.

Embarrassing as it is to relate, it is entirely possible that I will purchase another cell phone. Spending time with a dementia sufferer and being out of touch while I’m driving him around (he often forgets his phone) has made me understand the value of access. As I was driving to the ferry I kept thinking if I’m in an accident I’ll have no way to contact Keith and it made me unduly fretful.

Long COVID testing regime

List of Long COVID tests from Lifelabs, BC, April 2023

Someone ACTUALLY POSTED ‘It’s a fine spring day in Saskatchewan’ on one of the video social media sites; it shows a my kind of fine looking young white man trying to pour coffee, which emerges from the carafe at about a 30 degree angle in a fifty-knot gale. With snow. While he is inadequately dressed for the weather. While smiling charmingly. It would take me longer to figure out how to cross post it than describe it, so I described it.

Eye test today. I will be getting the dreaded ‘drops’.

apology accepted

Jeez I could have gotten this over days ago. C. has been kind enough to hear and accept my apology and did not consider my considerable display of ill temper enough to make her hate me…

Don’t know what I did to deserve this life.

Shipped off 1450 words to mOm this morning after an 850 word day, thank you very much.

The brilliant sunshine is so wonderful. I just popped the back door to let the late afternoon sun and air flush the house.

Paul took me to lunch after we took EIGHT BAGS of mostly clothes (I did a quick peruse to ensure it’s stuff he can lose) to Value Village. Next time per his specific request they’ll go to the Sally Ann at the bottom of the hill. I can’t talk him out of it, that’s fine, he’s entitled to his preferences.

wotta burst

22648 words, Wordle in four when it SHOULDA BEEN TWO. Two top fives in Lumosity.

Yesterday I put off getting out the door for errands too long. Jeff got embroiled in a work issue and was no longer in a position to offer me a ride. I did a cognition check, decided that if I was literally going to be driving two blocks and back again I COULD DO THIS THING so I went to Burnaby Square and I got my damned meds and I got my blood work did (as always the vampire women at Lifelabs gave THE PERFECT STICK) and EKG (COLD AND RIPITTY SKIN COMING OFF) and I peed in the container (prob’ly not enough, I was dehydrated all day yesterday) and confirmed it would all be read before next Tuesday’s doc appointment.

I got back in the car and decided that Jeff, after bringing treats home various times of late which perked me some considerable, needed to have something treat-like so I went to M&M Meats and bought two chookity pop pies, one lazzyggna, one breaded shrimpity thing, and a box of mini creamitypuffs. We had cream puffs and shrimps for supper, WE RAGRET NUFFINK, especially when we contemplate the amusement this will prompt in our elders….. On the way out of the M&M’s at The Royal Square Mall (not the Royal City Centre, which is also in New Westminster 2 km away) IT HAILED.

I thought it was graupel, but it was round, and it beaned me, and stung my little head. I thought, OW and put the food in the back seat and then ran over to Sally’s and grabbed more emory boards since Jeff is continually frowning over how snaggy my fingernails are any time I hand him something. After pricing meshuggas (I am sorry, but I didn’t mean to reenact the entire drugstore scene from ‘What’s Up Doc’ (“How much is it without the …”) while out for a shopping jaunt – they tried to charge me $43.95 for an emory board and I’m, like, haaannnh???) I paid the 6 bucks total for my self-care order (I’m just trying to meet MINIMALLY APPROVED GIRLY STANDARDS THOU MISERABLE GODS OF GENDER CONFORMITY BOOOO) I went outside, received the continued icy blessing of hail-strikes on my bean, and departed for home; the hail stopped before I even left the parking lot of the mall.

Stopped watching Station Eleven. Any time an episode ends with two small girl children appearing to voluntarily blow themselves up killing a family member at the behest of a post-apocalyptic prophet I am going to fucking check out because I am already well aware of the extent to which #notallmen will destroy things to assert control over them and would prefer not to have the point made in the story with shrapnel-laced chunks of what should have been the carriers of our future.

Jessica Wildfire’s most recent post is one of the hardest and most necessary things I’ve read lately. You don’t have to read it and I’m not linking to it because it’s very very bleak, but you can search for it under her name and ‘Behavioural Sink’ on substack. It confirms in me that Keith laboriously helping to build community in his own way IS the way out. We must all community build or die. We find what we can do for that community and we build it. It also explains why reddit is full of straight women who’ve stopped dating….


Cold and windy

Buster finds that weather a sore trial. Checked ventusky and the swells travelling down the coast from Haida Gwaii to Mexico are the same size as current Antarctic storms….

19946 words.

Started watching the spy/dramatized historical show ‘A Spy among Friends’ with Damien Lewis, Guy Pearce and Anna Maxwell Martin, all actors we enjoy. I quite liked the script but the ‘jumping around timelines to keep it interesting’ overdid it and a couple of times we were scrambling to figure out where we were and what year it was supposed to be. That will not stop us from watching it.

I need to go for a walk today. At the absolute minimum I need to get out of the house for more than fetching delivery from the stoop.

Still snickering about Joe Biden going for a stroll in Kyiv. He was an asshole for crushing the railway strike – as events in East Palestine show – but damn he had to be brave to take that walk. Right before Putie’s all staff meeting, er, address to the nation. He must have been incandescent with rage. LOL.

Officially old, got my pension letter from service Canada.

Perhaps I should pop over to Caspell Junction.



a little list

  1. Pork chops of superlative tenderness achieved. Last two were fossilized so it made a nice change. Roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts dressed with sesame oil to go with.
  2. Three whole loads of laundry. Not put away of course but I’ll make an attempt.
  3. We’re going to get a buttload of cold weather. I’m hoping the furnace makes it.
  4. Brief call with Katie; she’s managing.
  5. Janice did not come this weekend.
  6. 15275 words
  7. Twitter is continuing to make circling the void/drain/black hole noises.

left a message for Keith

Didn’t hear back. I’m assuming all went well.

Wordle in 3 this morning. I suspect that Suzanne will laugh when she gets it. I know I did.

Weather continues warm, overcast and intermittently rainy; no break for many days.

The Russians lied their way through the ceasefire and are fumbling their way through the Donbas attack. As the weaponry between the nations equalizes thanks to NATO Putin’s desire to use nukes must be well nigh insupportable.  I’m sure his people, over whom the fallout will land, are right there with him. In the last episode of first season The Peripheral a bunch of kleptocrat Russians in London talk about the Putin diaspora and I involuntarily smiled. The show hasn’t been renewed by Amazon yet but it’s apparently just being finalized.

Jeff and I, despite our very commendable urge to stay the hell home, went to London Thugs yesterday. As we came down the escalator (I was wearing the highest standard mask that we own, Jeff had a KN95) we saw that we were walking into a store where no one including the staff were wearing masks. Needless to say we didn’t hang about. I purchased an alarm clock (a really nice one) and more importantly a proper charger and charging cable for the little non phone Nokia Jeff loaned me, since I was not consistently able to get a charge out of the old one. Once again I spent the money and got a two metre cable and a decent charger and glory be, all of my charging issues are done and the non phone charges almost instantly now.

We should probably go do a shop this am, got no more eggies.

14223 words

Lovely night of sleep after a lovely bathe and brush-up. Finally recovering from a couple of ragged nights. Jeff got me a chicken breast over caesar salad for dins last night and it was nom. A couple of amazing pieces of garlic bread came with – it’s the simple things that make life better…

Blood pressure is fine.

Mike would probably hate us but that one last piece of slowly drying prime rib (literally all the other leftovers were long since eaten) in the fridge was cut up and given to the crows (with peanuts). GONE pretty much instantly. Curvebeak must have been reproductively successful, there’s another curvebeaked crow out there, a little bit smaller, showing the raven lineage.

Lumosity up next.

Anyway, I am definitely feeling much less like whining, fussing and crying this morning so let’s see what I can do to either make my life better or someone else’s today. Thanks mOm for the kind words. I try to write amusing things and when I manage it’s lovely.

Late post

Normally I’ve posted by now but I’ve been feeling lazy. Keith called. We chatted about pretty much the only thing that’s on our minds right now. Paul is still very concerned about the car – there’s an appointment to fix his Echo on Jan 12.

Oleksiy Danilov says, via twitter this morning:

How does a pack of petty kremlin devils relate to a Christian holiday? Who will believe scum that kills children, bombards maternity hospitals, tortures prisoners? A ceasefire? Lies and hypocrisy. We will bite you in the singing silence of the Ukrainian night.

This in response to the Russian demand for a Christmas ceasefire. Yikes. The grim poetry of defiance.

Keith wants to write an essay called, “Okay Canadians do you understand the Russians now?” about how they have the power to change their circumstances but don’t because they’re busy staying alive.

This will be a cold hard winter, not that Galen Weston, extracting record profits from broke Canadians, cares.

50 foot waves off the California coast with the bomb cyclone. The visualizations on ventusky dot com are WILD.

Europa just broke every January record for how hot it was. They were recording summer-in-vancouver temperatures across thousands of kilometres.


while I still have power – no water

The pipes in our rental have frozen. I’ll waken Jeff in an hour to tell him if he’s not up by then. We are supposed to go shopping this morning before the icestorm starts.

Oh did I mention that?

this is what I posted on facebook:


Everyone in the lower mainland please read this. The atmospheric river last year was a simply terrifying event; now imagine an atmospheric river of half that volume BUT IT’S ALL FREEZING RAIN!!! This forecaster says we may get 36 hours of freezing rain totalling as much as 80 cm. Mark Madryga at Global is NOT arguing with him.
This will be one of the most messed up Christmases in the history of solh temexw. I beg of you all to stay home once the event commences, if you can.
Consequences: complete shutdown of all transit – air, ferry, ground. No ambulances. Fire/rescue hampered into immobility which means house fires may not be put out fast or well. Unless you have crampons and walking poles the outdoors will be extremely unsafe.
Be prepared to literally chop ice while freezing rain sticks to you, if you’re responsible for clearing sidewalks. I plan on using the edger to bust it up.
If you are required to drive over the period in question do not go anywhere without chains. If you don’t have chains now’s the time to buy them. TODAY.
***Cover your car*** if you park outdoors. ***charge your devices***, & charge anything that can charge devices.
Ice melter may not work all that well. You may need to apply sand or grit for traction instead.
LARGE ZONES OF THE LOWER MAINLAND WILL HAVE POWER OUTAGES (remember the Quebec ice storm in ’98? I was selling portable power equipment at the time so I sure do!) AND THE POWER OUTAGES WILL GO ON LONG ENOUGH TO KILL FRAIL ELDERLY AND DISABLED PEOPLE. So check on your neighbours if you feel safe to do so.
Outages (as in Quebec) may go on long enough that there will be no power at hospitals. They may go on long enough that the pumps for the dykes run out of fuel and fail in Richmond; flooding along the river in some places is likely, especially if drains get frozen over or clogged.
AFTER the storm there may be pockets of the lower mainland that don’t get power back for literally weeks. Hotels and motels will be jammed.
If you have a gas generator BUY FUEL NOW AND START IT UP TO MAKE SURE IT IS WORKING. Get a chain and a lock. One of the most memorable takeaways from the Quebec ice storm was that if you had a functioning generator, poltroons would steal it from your porch. If you have a woodstove or a safe fireplace that draws properly get some wood in. Get food you don’t have to cook into the house – even a flat of replacement meal shakes will be better than nothing.
I am so glad I’ll be able to stay home for this. Not everyone is as fortunate. If you have money to spare for the unhoused who will suffer tortures from this weather event, please do so.

weather chaos

Jeff and I are most assiduously staying the hell home in our coldass little rental, because the following is going on out there:

  1. folks sitting on the snowy tarmac of YVR. The de-icing crews apparently had all been working doubles and a lot of them went home; many crews are sick. The current record is 8 hours for smaller airlines that don’t have the deep pockets to advance their slot-time agendas
  2. we were EXPECTING this, all of this, and yet the snow response municipality by municipality, much like the police ‘services’ ahem, are patchy and also impacted by callouts from sick staff. New West cleared all of its roads by the time they said they would. Burnaby kinda kept up; Vancouver proper was a fucking disaster.
  3. in the old days, it was 8 to 10 inches of snow. These days it’s 25 cm. You would think a major Canadian metropolis would get out an’ plow er something, but it’s not good.
  4. TransLinkBC on twitter minutes ago (5:30) “Good morning, folks! Due to inclement weather, the transit system may be experiencing delays.” Like if that isn’t the single stupidest thing, stay home f’chrissakes, I’ve seen video of snowploughs pushing busses down Joffre. I mean unless you want to be standing in this freaking wind for an hour or two, stay home.
  5. Man skiing down Como Lake Road last night, just like how people got around during the Century storm in ’96 in Saanich/lower mainland and the Great Blizzard of ’71 in London and most of the northeast.
  6. More snow today and then bonechilling cold right into Christmas, so this natural phenomenon will remain here for most of a week.

Pity Katie; she has to both remove snow from her car and drive in this shit. At least once she’s out of the alley she’s on cleared roads.

My health and brain are much improved but FUCK it is cold in the house. I may bake today just for the heat.