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  1. Bud came from The Ark, which has a No-Kill policy. They are also very cautious about who gets one of their dogs. They came and inspected the premesis twice before they would let me take him home. If I had money, I would do more for them. I keep promising him a puppy for his birthday. But there are difficulties. While puppies are cute and snuggly-wuggly, an older dog might be more in need. Thing is, if I get a second dog, it can not be as a second-class member of the family. As it is, Bud skilfully manages to occupy 66% of the bed, has taken possession of the van and generously allows me to use it from time to time, and goes with me everywhere he can. (We just got back from the hardware store, PriceSmart, the supermarket, and the pharmacy at the mall.) Can I really handle two of them in the van at once? When I go places with him, his presence is generally accepted. I can't be sure that two dogs will be as welcome as one. I don't know what to do. I am Bajan. I live in Barbados, the Easternmost Isle (in the Caribbean). Look at a map, and lean your head to the left. There is a necklace of islands from Venezuela, north to the BVI and beyond. Hanging from that necklace, is Barbados, a.k.a. 'Bim' or 'Bimshire', surrounded by the Atlantic. Not to be mistaken for Bermuda, Barbuda or the Bahamas. Or Bahrain or Botswana or Bangladesh, all of which I have had mail sent to erroneously before it being redirected to me. Mail for these islands used to be commonly addressed for example to "Barbados, W.I." (West Indies) but that practice is little used now, since most of such mail has to be recovered from Wisconsin. And I've had mail sent to "Christ Church, Barbados" reach me after a trip to New Zealand. I would like to try to re-lose some of the weight that I lost and then gained back. I see one money-grubbing saw-bones tomorrow, and hope to get my dosage of steroids reduced. I paid $30K+ for the surgery because he told me it would reduce the drug load. (And truth be told, that op. really beat me down, too.) As it is, of the twelve (thirteen?) medications that I have to take daily, no less than five list "dizziness or faintness" as a side-effect. I can hardly walk to the bathroom without falling down. Far less the 10 miles a day I was doing as recently as January! Breakfast, lunch and dinner. What do you do? The best you can. I too, wish TAR was more frequent. And I miss TARCon. I was only able to attend a few times, but I always had a ball, and thoroughly loved meeting up with some of the other fans. Mind you, I was so out of place in NYC, I only survived the experience because other TARCon attendees literally held me by the hand and guided me safely through a maze of cars driving on the wrong side of the street, underground trains, etc. My thanks and love once more to them, and to the TARCon organizers who did so much for little or no reward. ETA: I really wish this software understood that a full-stop should be followed by two spaces...
  2. Yes, all well here WRT Dorian. The storm sneaked past without even causing much rain to fall. I firmly believe that we being 105 miles further east than the next islands, makes all the difference. Storm after storm leaves us untouched and then smashes into places further west and north. Of course, we still have to take warnings seriously when they come, because you can bet the one time you don't, that will be the time the storm does us wrong! Bud is well, and as sweet as ever, (the little monster!). We dropped by the Arc Book Tent on Tuesday. They sell second-hand books on the first Tuesday of each month in the parking lot of our supermarket, and I always buy $20 worth of books, even if I don't really want them. Then, on our way out, I stop the van right next to the tent so he can put his head out the window and make a small cash donation since he's not much of a reader. The ladies come and make a fuss of him, and this time they took his picture and promised to put it on their FaecesBook page. I've been looking out for it but so far, no sign. I think the panic over my arrhythmic heartbeat which got me rushed to a cardiologist 4 weeks ago has died down a little. I've had it for 30 years, it's stress-related. And there's been a fair bit of stress in my life recently. And drinking 5-6 cokes a day for four months didn't help. I just had an insatiable thirst for the things! I was told to stop drinking them, and I switched to Pepsi immediately. That's what I told the cardiologist last week, and she was NOT amused. Anyway, heartbeat has greatly improved without the caffeine, and I've been deliberately decompressing from the stress. As of Wednesday, I was 12 weeks post-op. The chest incision is completely healed. (But it's crooked! Damned surgeon needs a framing-square in the theater!) Tummy incision is alllllllmost fully healed. Decided to do without bandages from Monday, and it is good! Still horribly ugly. Nowhere near as bad as it was a few weeks ago, but still too ugly to let anyone but the surgeon see the photographs. (I WhatsApp him a photo every couple of weeks, so I don't have to sit in his waiting room for three hours, stress out, and get more PVCs.) Chest and tummy still quite sore and tender, and when I had the echo a couple weeks ago I think the ultrasound bruised the already tender chest and I lay in bed and cried salty tears for four days, nearly five. All well again now, though. And in the midst of all that, it turns out that what I was originally told was kidney cancer is actually normal kidney tissue and not a cancer, tumor, cyst, or anything bad. The specialist still thought it would be a good idea if I continued to give him $2K every three months, ongoing. So I told him to Go Forth And Multiply. After that small bit of good news, I have to report that I've put back on 70 of the 91 pounds I lost last year, and since I can't really go walking for exercise and I'm still taking a stiff dose of steroids each day, there isn't that much I can do about it. Boy, for what was supposed to be a quick reply, I sure did waffle on! Rule for Life: If someone gives your kid a DRUM toy or a TRUMPET toy for Christmas/birthday, that someone doesn't like you! Don't know what to suggest other than to remind you that Ulysses used soft beeswax... :)
  3. There has been hardly any rain, and very little wind. So somehow, it looks like we dodged again! One piece of good news is that just about four hours ago, I got some water in the taps! Just a trickle, but I was able to take the rose off the shower and fill all my water cans. 94L in total. And unless that trickle dries up again, I'll be able to take a shower of sorts, before bed. This happens all the time. We get dire predictions of impending doom, which it would be foolish to completely ignore, because that would almost certainly guarantee it all come to fruition! So you take steps and then you wait, and eventually the satellite photos show the storm with us right in the middle. You look outside, and... nothing!
  4. Weird. I live on a noisy, busy corner, but all is quiet save for the birds, and I haven't seen a pedestrian or a vehicle for quite a while. Sky is overcast, a gentle, cool breeze is blowing, but no sign of stormy weather yet. Bud has his head out the window, but can't find anything/body to growl at. Next advisory due at 5:00. Taps still off. Just spilled a pot of stew on the floor (Bud was pleased) along with a precious half liter of water. Coconut tree across the way starting to look quite windswept, and breeze coming through the window is strengthening slightly. No sign of rain - expected to start between 7:00 and 8:00. Peak winds 8:00 to 11:00. Tree has calmed down again. Bud has gone out for a stroll. When the rain begins, I'll have to lock him in. Otherwise he will want to go back and forth between going out to stand under the deluge, an running into the bedroom to dry off by rolling on the bed.
  5. According to the latest advisory (#6A) the center of TS Dorian is now 95 miles distant, with storm-force winds extending to 45 miles. Forward movement is 14 MPH, so we should start to feel something in about 3½ hours or a little less. It is pretty much on target for a change. Sustained winds are 50-60 MPH with gusts possibly up to hurricane force. All of this comes on my third day without running water. (Yes I paid the bill, it's the entire neighborhood that's out.) I'm down to using Budweiser's water flask from the car, the normal purpose of which is to ensure his bowl can always be filled, no matter where we go. I've about 1½ liters remaining. Hopefully, I'll be able to catch some off the roof when the rain starts.
  6. Just back from the supermarket, where I found some amazing plantains: But the real news is that yesterday was Budweiser's birthday. He was six/forty-two. Here he is in all his glorious laziness, engaging in his favourite strenuous activity: Personally, my chest incision is all healed up, but the surgeon says he'll cut it open again in three months when he does my bypass. (Apparently, he can be a dick!) The belly-button incision opened up again but that surgeon says it is healing fine, and will just take longer than originally expected because it's healing in a different way. It's filling in from the bottom instead of closing together. Anyway, it looks horrible, and you won't be getting to see the photos, because yeeech! Meanwhile, my doctor has me WhatsApp-ing her a "heartbeat" every day to make sure I'm still alive. I usually send her some stupid photo featuring Buddy and myself. Some of them are kind of cute; the one of my feet with a toe-tag didn't go down that well.
  7. Wow. I thought the tweet (at least, as shown in that article) was fairly innocuous. I don't know what the law has to say about "racial bullying" but surely "sexual harassment" is a criminal matter?
  8. I see your 007 and raise you a Little Mermaid.
  9. A show about accounting in space?
  10. First day back. Got about half of what I wanted to do, done. Feel exhausted. Will go take a nap, but first have to take the car for a test for insurance. Bud loved the morning in the car! Baby Nina! (I have yet to meet this child in person. Will rectify at first opportunity.) Last of the bandages came off today. This means I can take a proper SHOWER!!! I'd post a picture of my nasty scars, but that would be creepy. Here is Buddy, comfort-testing my pillows a few days ago: Got behind the wheel just in time. Groceries tomorrow, but had to make an emergency stop to purchase two 6-paks of Cokes.
  11. It's just gone midnight. Which means it's Monday. Wednesday, will be 6 weeks post-op. I was told that I couldn't drive for six weeks from the operation, but I argued and got two days off. So, as of... NOW, I can drive again. It's been a tough six weeks. Most of the first week, I was actually in hospital, and the next week I was at home, in a very tender condition, being well looked after by my niece. In that time, little Nina was born. Then, my niece's husband had a heart attack. He's fine now, but it was touch and go for a while. Naturally, his condition took priority. I had to manage on my own, as my niece concentrated on looking after him, as you would expect. This presented some problems, But I managed OK. The biggest issue was lack of transportation. Some weeks I had to make doctor's visits four times. When groceries ran short, I had to get supplies, somehow. Problematic, and not helped by the fact that my FOUR closest buddies were ALL out of the island at the same time, and couldn't be called on for help. But it all worked out in the end. The biggest sufferer is Budweiser. He usually goes with me in the van when ever I go anywhere. And at least once a week he gets a trip into the country where he is free to wander and roam as far as he likes. I have been able to leave home, walking, in taxis, etc. Buddy has been going stir-crazy for nearly six weeks. Tomorrow, he gets to go for a long drive! I have tons of stuff to do that he can help me with, and I'll also make sure we take the scenic route as we go. Wednesday, we will go into the country, where he can have an afternoon of freedom! I have a lovely scar on my chest. People will think I had bypass surgery or something! There is one tiny little area (right at the bottom where the drain was) that can't make up it's mind whether it wants to close up or not. Otherwise it's raw and ugly and still very sore, but essentially all healed up. I pulled off the last bandage today, and I hope my doctor will tell me I don't need to replace it. I have another lovely scar down through my navel. That one was un-bandaged weeks ago, by one of the surgeons. He said to look out for seepage. It started "seeping" the very next day, and was ruining one set of bedclothes and one shirt every day. So, I put a bandage back on it. I'm seeing him tomorrow (Bud will come along for the ride, of course), and he (the surgeon, not Bud) will probably bitch about the bandages. Too bad. Hopefully, they can come off once and for all, now. So, everything is quite sore and will probably continue to be so for months to come. (Funnily, the worst aches and pains are in my back, shoulders and neck. This because apparently the surgeon had to "butterfly me like a chicken" while I was on the table.) But anyway, the six-week post-op period is over (or, technically, will be on Wednesday) so life can return to normal. Only, I probably won't start swinging a weed-whacker or lifting heavy weights for a while yet. And best of all I am now driving again! Or will be from tomorrow morning, anyhow. Which is a good thing, because I am down to my last Coco-cola! You want a cute picture of baby Nina? Or a cute picture of Buddy checking the comfort level of my pillows?
  12. Castor grows wild locally. It's an annoying weed. People don't mess with the seeds due to their poisonous reputation. When I was a boy, my mom told me a tale of a school friend of hers who chewed/ate the seeds and died as a result.
  13. I can't remember the last time it worked for any TV/Movie couple. But they do insist on pulling it out and blowing the dust off it for. Every. Single. Show. How about the opposite? They're crazy about each other but every time they try to get together, there is draaama! A bomb goes off next door. The phone rings with vital news. One of them falls asleep of exhaustion. A cluieless friend comes over and won't leave. Something.
  14. The box contained several examples of the Iron Cross, a military medal first seen in the early 1800's, over a hundred years before the Nazi party was formed. Some of them (about half, it looks like) bore the Hakenkreuz (Swastika), added by the Nazi party in 1939. I'm assuming he destroyed them as a personal acknowledgement / celebration of the fact that he had dealt with the original owners. (Killed? Arrested?) That he saved them up and destroyed them all at once, implies that his work is now complete. Yet I didn't get the impression that he was done hunting them.
  15. Once he'd been outed to Gwen, I think his demise was only a matter of time.
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