A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Sunday Morning Post, Vol. 3, #30 - The Heatstroke Week

This past week  Southeast Pennsylvania had its sixth heat wave of the summer season.  It is August and this is when we are used to having days of excessive heat and humidity.  But,  we've had more heat waves this summer then I can ever remember having.  The temperatures (before humidity) topped out in the low 90's.   Post humidity:  the heat was near or slightly above 100.

In other words too effin' hot for man or beast.

Uncomfortable no matter how you sliced it,  and yes this heat could be sliced.  Fortunately our central air system performed faithfully.

Until Wednesday.  It was on that day our power died a few times in the morning and a few times that afternoon.  It briefly shut down everything including the work I was doing on my computer.   I didn't think much of it at the time;  oh,  there was a slew of oaths uttered in contempt of technology that would've made the salty Warrior Queen proud.   Fortunately my computer came back up after a few minutes without my having to reboot.  

As the afternoon wore on I noticed that it was getting warmer inside the house.  I futzed* with the thermostat a few times to get the air to come back on.  I would hear a reassuring, but ultimately deceptive click.  The thermostat  temperature climbed from 78, past 80 and finally settled on 85 for the better part of the last two days.   

That night I called our local cooling/heating/plumbing entrepreneur to see if someone could keep look at it.  I spoke to the answering service, which I half expected.   They took my message and advised that the dispatcher would call me the next day.  Apparently the people we have been   dealing with for years does not have an emergency night crew.  Bummer, but I coped. 

The next day it was frustration and extremely hot in the living room.  Frustration because the dispatcher called and said their technician would be out with a window of 2:30 to   4:30,  and  they would call 30 minutes before arrival.   At about 4:15 the call came, not from the assigned technician, but from  the dispatcher saying that the original technician was held up on a job,  but they were sending out another technician, This time the window was 3:30-5:30.


In the meantime I began to feel so warm that I became weak and lethargic.  Also,  I had stopped sweating.  I was sure I was having an episode of heat stroke.  Also the thermometer which my AAPC** chapter purchased to check people's heads as they come in for meetings (which have still not happened),  beeped loudly with the reading that I was running a fever.

I put ice bags on my head until I could feel that I had cooled down.  Also I started sweating again,  which normally makes me feel very uncomfortable,  but in this case I know it's a good sign.  

The second technician called at  4:50 to say he would be there in 40 minutes.   It was actually 5:50 when he did arrive, but quite personable and eager to diagnose my problem.   A quick check of the fuse box showed that the fuse had been tripped.  A flick there and back outside to look at the main unit.  It took awhile and he came in with grim news:  the compressor was shot and to replace it would cost nearly as much as a new unit.

Okay,  so all of five minutes I thought I could get away cheap.  Then he went into some detail about part availability:  this unit was so old that parts (such as compressors) are hard to find.  The technician also explained that the heater could also stand to be replaced as it was just as old as the air conditioning unit.

He gave me a few ballpark figures,  each higher than the other.  So now I'm hot and feeling that my checking account would be thinned out shortly.  This technician said someone would contact me the next day to give me more details.  The best news I got:  they could loan me a few window units to get me through until the work on the full units could be done.   Yay!

Long story short:  I decided to bypass the financing plans and pay for the whole thing while I have the money.  The new system will be installed on Monday.   I'm looking into the new units as protecting my investment and perhaps increasing the resale value of the house down the road.  The money I used is part of the life insurance policy I cashed in when Anne Marie passed away.

It's forcing me to be philosophical about her death.  There is after all a reason for every event and everything else which happens in our lives.   If only I could have had both a new system and Anne Marie.

If only fate would've been kind enough to grant me this wish....


*Look up that word in your Spo and Wagnells! 

**American Academy of Professional Coders, which is not listed in your Spo and Wagnells. 

(As always, thinking for reading.) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

FMBTMM Special (Vol. 1, #1) RIP Charlie Watts


I learned a new skill over the weekend,  courtesy of Fearsome Beard.  Posting videos in blogs. Let's see how this works tonight.

I think this may be a fitting way to usurp the From My Brain To My Mouth blog.   Hey,  I inherited everything else from Warrior Queen,  including her car payments,  so why the hell not?

We lost Charlie Watts today and I'd be willing to bet that our beloved Warrior Queen was among the first to greet him on the other side.  Yes, I'll bet she's jumping his bones to his groove right now.

This was the song she chose as the first song played at our wedding reception.  So yes,  this one has a very special meaning.

Perhaps the Saturday Night Dance Party will return.  Stay tuned!

(Thank you for dancing!)

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday Morning Post, Vol. 3, #29 A Breakfast Out

 When we first relocated to what we considered our home turf Anne Marie and I would make a point of having breakfast out on Sunday mornings.  At that time there were 4 diners and a chain restaurant nearby waiting to fill us with Happy Juice and whatever cholesterol laden goodies they offered.  Times and the economy changed.  The diners closed one by one for a variety of reasons,  but the chain restaurant survives.  

I went to this restaurant on my late day this week as part of my effort to get out and break the constricting feeling that I can't do the things we used to do just because she is gone.  We've always had good food here in the past,  but this time the service was a little slower than in the past.  To be fair it was a weekday when they would not schedule a full crew to work.  This time though there was a sign on the door letting customers know that they,  like many other businesses in the pandemic,  are having staffing issues. Wait times for service may be longer than usual.  I was warned and entered anyway.

The one hostess on duty was very friendly and did everything she could to accommodate  the four or five parties in there at the time.  It took awhile for me to get a cup of coffee,  but otherwise I had time to spare and observed the others in the dining room.

There were two ladies, I would estimate at least middle-aged, at the next booth.  They were having a lively conversation and there were a few laughs shared between them.  In the past Anne Marie would have been sitting opposite me and able to hear every word of their conversation if she was not engaged in a conversation with me.  If the conversation was interesting she would whisper to me what the talk was about.  This day the seat was empty, and there were no whispers.  

A young family of four came in later and sat at another booth on the other side of the room.  The older child seemed quiet, but his younger sibling had more energy then he/she knew what to do with and kept up a barrage of chatter.  The mother spoke to the child a few times about his noise, but after all was said and done,  the child wasn't behaving that badly.  Anne Marie and I had seen worse in our lives.

I must admit I was a bit envious of the family and their ability to maintain order with their brood.  Had Anne Marie and I possessed the emotional and psychological maturity to have our own children things would be quite different now.  I might have one near adult son or daughter at this point to be helped and help me through these times. Alas,  we decided very early on in our relationship that we were not cut out to be parents for humans.  Cats, okay.  Humans no.

An older couple came in while I ate my breakfast.  The man was tall and seemed to be reasonably healthy.  His wife was smaller, thin, gaunt and accompanied by an oxygen tank.  I saw her and somehow knew that was how Anne Marie would have ended up if she had lived.  She was asthmatic as long as I knew her,  and had to swallow a dose of cough syrup whenever she would have a mild attack.   For stronger attacks she would puff on an inhaler.   

The sight of the older couple put my current situation in perspective.  Certainly,  I would've liked to have had Anne Marie around longer than I did.  Yet I doubt very much either one of us would have wanted her to suffer this decline in her quality of life.  I would do my best to put on a brave face, but she was a smart woman.  She would know that we were both miserable at her decline. This would have made her suffering all the worse, knowing that I was not happy.  I am convinced that she devoted her life to my happiness.  And I was devoted to her every wish and whim....

This is my consolation that she went so fast. I was spared somewhat a long slow decline.   She did suffer a condition in the last few years, but we always thought that she would heal,  much like society is healing through the pandemic,  and things would be normal again someday.

I broke down briefly there in the restaurant;  the sight of the empty chair across the booth got to me a few times.  Still, my emotions were not loud enough to be heard over the two women laughing at the next booth,  the young child yammering on across the room,  or the quiet conversation between the elderly couple a few feet away.  I recovered, finished my meal and came home to work.  

I thought about this episode later and figured I will have more moments like this in the months to come.  I cannot fool myself: I know I  will have a number of low emotional points in the months to come, but I will have to overcome them.

All I have to do is learn how to climb....

(Thank you for reading.)


Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday Morning Post, Vol. 3, #28 Her Hate List

One of the wonderful tributes to our late Anne Marie was simply titled, "She Hated Abba."  A reference to vowing to never post an Abba video on her Saturday Night Dance Party, it became a running joke among her fans in the blogosphere.  Of course I was more than happy to taunt her from the relative safety of my computer at the back of our living room,  a mere 10 feet away from her seat on the living room couch where the ranted, raved and posted.  

Fortunately she never threw objects at me (although Lord only knows how she was able to hold back that temptation over the years).  For me her bark was always worse than her bite.

With this in mind I will continue my occasional tribute to the love of my life with this entry about people (and things) she hated.  My aim is to give a more balance picture of her life and for my own selfish purpose allow her to live again in the blogosphere.


Like most of her dislikes I never heard her thoroughly rationalize her hatred of veggies.   She would munch on carrots occasionally,  but a full on salad?  Never!  Many women enjoy salads with relish,  or at least a low calorie vinagrette.  Others, like Warrior Queen,  may mention that there was something about the vegetables texture which would put them off.  Whatever!  It meant more salad for me and my balanced diet.


I don't recall her ever saying anything against his acting ability or a preference for one role over the other.  I think his hawkish stand on social issues butted up against her awareness of the world around her (late 1960's, Vietnam, civil rights) at the same time.   I understood why Wayne adopted such an Establishment posture. Aside from career concerns I heard he was trying to assuage his guilt about being 4-F (he had a family to support) during World War Two when so many other young men went in his place and never came back.

Warrior Queen could never compartmentalize between a persons beliefs and their career accomplishments.  She could not stand him in one respect, therefore, in her eyes, they were damned in all respects.  I think she was also influenced by her Uncle Andy who was very much a social progressive and against our involvement in Vietnam.  He was a member of a Franciscan order and completing his studies when he succumbed to cancer at an early age.  His loss affected her more than I could know.


Okay, his voice may be a bit off putting and his hair may not be the most attractive, but otherwise her feelings for this tv celeb has me stumped.  I doubt if she ever saw an episode of "Diner, Drive-Ins and Dives" since she had not watched any television in about two decades.  Again, whatever.   His series is one of my guilty pleasures as I watch him down tons of food which must send his cardiologist (that is if he has one) into apoplexy.


This is a no brainer: Anne Marie was a liberal progressive who did not believe that evangelicals attitudes of morality had any place in today's society.   Again, no effort to compartmentalize. This is not to say that she had no morals, rather a reaction against their insistence that their brand of one-size fits all morality was how all in society (your own opposing religious or cultural believes be damned) should live.  As she said many times, in her less salty moods, "Tain't fittin."

This is one feeling of hers which I could not disagree with.  I bristle against intolerance in any way, shape or form.  This was something that wasn't discussed when we first met, as if we somehow knew how the other felt and accepted it.  Somehow it was the same feelings we both already had and grew to share and nurture over the years. This is definitely one of my most cherished memories of our years together.  


I've always liked their music, but WQ found their brand of Swedish bubble gum pop too sickly sweet for her taste.  Whatever, but she may have been on to something.  Can anyone really accept a former James Bond, Pierce Brosnan, flailing his arms back forth with a cast of thousands on a Greek isle to the tune of "Dancing Queen"?  Sometimes, my taste in music is shaken to its core....

And that's my short list...for now.  Anne Marie, like all of us, was not a perfect human being.  She had deeply passionate beliefs in most subjects.  Sill, she knew what or who she liked, and fortunately for us we got the chance to be among the privileged few that was in her good graces.

Ultimately these encounters with her, including mine which lasted 28 years, were all too brief.  

This time, I can't bring myself to shrug this idea off with a casual "Whatever." 

(Thank you for reading.) 

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Sunday Morning Post, Vol. 3, #27 - Useless Billionaire Tweets*



 I don't recall anyone publicly thanking Twitter for banning the Orange One from its pages for life.  Had this not happened, I dare say we would still be exposed to such nonsense as the following

Some Guy Called Donald@

"The world is not big enough for the likes of me and Jeff Bezos.  He should leave and soon for the good of the world.

Bezos to Some Guy@

"Hey Donald!  No worries!  I've got so much money that I am in my own rocket ship circling the Earth as I type this!"

Some Guy@

"Hey Bezos.  You may have the wealth for your own rocket ship,  but you'll never be as influential as me.  I will be back in power any day now...."

Bezos to Some Guy@

"You, more influential?  Ha!  I own Wa Po pal!  That paper brought down two Presidents!  You wanna talk about power!"


Some Guy@

"You just wait!  My followers will lift me up and carry me on their shoulders to the White House, um, maybe next year. We will storm the Capital again!!!"

Bezos to Some Guy 

"Really, Donald?   You and your half-witted followers couldn't storm their way out of a hurricane!!!!"

Some Guy@

"Just wait, Bezos!  I will be back, um, very soon,  and kick you out of our great country.  Which, um,  I will make  Great Again."

Bezos to Some Guy

"Hey Donald!   I'm flying through the stratosphere and I can see your taxes from here!"


And so forth and so forth.

Twitter, we can't thank you enough!


*"Useless" is referencing the tweets,  although it could also apply to the concept of billionaires. 

(Thank  you for reading.)

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Sunday Morning or Whatever Post, Vol. 3, #26 - A New Month


It is the start of a new month of my new life*and I am still getting used to doing more things on my own.  Such as laundry.  I am finding that I can get by doing a load once every other week.  This is a combination of not having the necessity to get fully dressed for work**, and not having a second person living here soiling their half of the laundry. 

Truth be told Warrior Queen did not wear much at home when she was alive.  She probably would have felt at home in a nudist situation armed with nothing more than a pair of needles and social media.

Maybe we should keep that last factoid to ourselves.  Shhh!  Just between you, me and whoever else in the blogosphere who happens to read this...oh, wait.  Doh!

On a related note and mostly for the same reasons I am generating less trash and recycling.  Our trash removal service picks up one or the other,  or both, each Thursday (or Friday when they don’t get to my street on time).   We would only put out full bins, so there have been a few weeks which have gone by when nothing is put at the curb.   This week the recycling bin is getting filled up and this may be the week it goes out.

Another chore I am getting used to doing monthly: paying the bills.   We always split the expenses, and now I am finding out how just how much it costs to keep the house running.  Short answer:  a lot.   Easily more than my paycheck brings in, and Warrior Queen was able to meet her half with Social Security.  Now I have to pay my share and hers.  It has been a mind-numbing wake up call for me to deal with all at once.

Other than these items which readily came to the top of my head,  I can't think of any other "major" changes to my day-to-day living habits.    I am sure I will find others as the weeks go on.  Throughout all of this is the growing appreciation for "the other."    The other life and the other person in that life that made living at the very least tolerable to live.

At this point my hands are thrust in front of me,  feeling my way through the darkness of my emotions.  I'm sure I'll find another light someday, but for now I am acquiring, at the ripe young age of 61, a new set of skills which for all I know, is preparing me for a more independent style of living. 

So far I have learned this: independence is not all that it is cracked up to be.

*Personal note to Spo: Rabbit,rabbit.

**Personal note to any defrocked priests/cardinals working at the Vatican today:  I am writing this entry in my underwear and slippers. Let your imaginations go wild!

(Thank you for reading and for being here.)