Turning Point

Last night was kind of a “trifecta” of things that were needed to finally get the majority of Americans to pay attention to what’s going on, and possibly take appropriate precautions. The speech that Donald Trump gave from the Oval Office… oy… I mean, say what you will about that performance, but that was the first thing that perked up people’s ears to the situation.

Then the news that Tom Hanks and his wife are confirmed to have COVID-19… because some people see it as more “real” if someone famous gets it, I guess. And then all of the sports stuff. Games being played in front of empty arenas, a few players being diagnosed with the virus, and then the big shebang when entire seasons started getting cancelled. I really feel like those things combined have effectively opened up a lot of eyes a little more than they were.

And while I already had a decent amount of food in the house… at least enough where I could “get by” for a couple of weeks if I had to really stretch it out – I decided that it was probably a good idea to make one last trip out to the grocery store today, mostly to top off on some non-perishable items. Just in case things get bad… just in case things go for a week, or a couple weeks, or who knows…

Shopping gives me anxiety even on the good days, so I was surprised that today’s trip wasn’t that bad. Nobody was interacting with each other, or even really getting close in proximity. What we were doing was watching everyone else. Heh… all of us, watching everyone else, cautiously looking for any signs of illness that we thought we’d be able to see. Even in the checkout lines, people kept a good amount of space between each other’s carts. Oh, and the toilet paper situation? The aisle was probably 85% empty… but there was still name brand stuff available, and I was able to grab a six-pack of Angel Soft without anyone tackling me for it or even hurriedly grabbing a pack before or after I did.

Maybe I should have already done this. Maybe it wasn’t a great idea to go into a store for this stuff… I dunno… these are unprecedented times for my generation. Hard to say how careful or concerned we should really be, but I know I’m gonna do my best to avoid the virus – and to especially make sure that I don’t hand it off to anyone else if I happen to get it.

A Taste Of What’s To Come

We got our first hint of winter today. Well, at least where I was. It may not have been the same here at home, but up on the north side of Columbus it was a couple hours of rain, sleet, and snow.Β Nothing was sticking, but it was sure making the driving unpleasant. πŸ˜• But Cassi recently cracked a toof 😣 and this particular dentist was the only one that could get her in anytime soon. Having experienced that myself, I couldn’t let her miss that appointment and just “deal with it” until whenever the next chance would have been.

My tire pressure light came on during the drive up there, so rather than waiting in the parking lot until she got done, I went to the closest gas station to air up my tires. Then to the next closest one… and the next closest one after that… 😠 I had to go to four different places before I found one with a working air machine. To be honest, it’s probably time to get some new shoes for my car anyway – since two of my tires have predictable, slow leaks, and the tread is getting worn enough where I at least think that I feel a difference when I’m driving on wet or otherwise slick roads. πŸ€¨πŸ€”

It was a couple weeks ago, right after it had rained, but I was taking a circular type exit ramp (at a normal speed) and I could feel her pushing just a little bit as I was taking the turn. It may have just been that another vehicle had put down some fluid that my car was reacting to, but at 60k miles… it’s probably better to be safe than sorry. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Especially since “snow or not” I’m still gonna have regular doctor appointments and workers comp crap that I won’t be able to avoid all through this winter, and I don’t wanna have to make each of those trips with my butt in a constant state of pucker. πŸ˜―πŸ˜…

But yeah, considering that all of this was unplanned, it wasn’t that bad of a day. They’re gonna need to do a root canal and crown on her damaged toof, but at least they were able to provide a temporary fix so she’s not miserable until then. 😟 But I’m gonna take my evening meds and try to sack out early tonight, ‘cuz I can still feel today’s drive in my shoulder – and I really don’t wanna wake up tomorrow morning feeling the same way.

Vicarious Eavesdropping

That little nap yesterday afternoon…Β πŸ˜’Β screwed up my entire night. Didn’t fall asleep until about 3am, and I was up and down almost every hour on the hour from then on out. I don’t know if I was dreaming, since I was watching a huge storm front going through Illinois and Indiana as I was getting sleepy, but it was either that or I just barely slept through what sounded like a huge downpour. πŸŒ§οΈβ›ˆοΈπŸ‘πŸŒ§οΈπŸŒ§οΈΒ As if someone was spraying a hose against the side of my house. (Probably just my imagination.)Β Meh… now I’m just tired and grumpy and have a friggin’ neck / headache again, but hey… at least it’s Saturday. πŸ™‚πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Took my morning meds and some Aleve, so I’ll be feeling better soon. Also, I’ve got a package on the way. 😯 And how can you be in a shit mood when you’ve got a package coming? 😁 Before bed each night, I usually spend a while listening to the scanner, and relaying any interesting bits to Amy, my night-time / insomnia texting wife. 😏 We use that term jokingly, of course… but everyone (if they’re married) has a real spouse, but then you often have a “work wife”, an “internet wife”, a “texting wife”, etc. Anyway, the scanner is great, but I’m far enough from town that reception is sometimes a problem. πŸ€¨πŸ“»

So I found a cheap, wide-band, glass mount antenna with the bitty SMA connector that my Uniden HomePatrol 1 uses – and it’s supposed to arrive today. Hopefully by one of their delivery people that has the GPS system where it’ll pop up a little map, showing where they are, and how many stops until they reach you. πŸ€“πŸ§­πŸšš Gonna tuck the antenna behind the curtain on the picture window, which somewhat faces towards town, so hopefully it’ll give me just enough boost that I’ll stop getting garbled transmissions.

At this point, $20 was about the limit that I was willing to throw at a possible solution, but I did also consider that my metal awnings could possibly used with a magnet mount ground plane antenna. But not only does that start to get outside of my wheelhouse when it comes to antenna knowledge, but they’re also more expensive, and I don’t have an easy way to run the connecting cable into the house. Besdies, I’m not sure I care enough about “perfect reception” to bother doing whatever I’d need to do to get it perfect. 😏 Most services in the area have gone to digital broadcasting anyway, so I imagine it’s only a matter of time before they start using encryption as well – which would make my receiver useless. πŸ˜• Gone are the days of getting a $20 “Bearcat” scanner at a yard sale that would give you access to almost everything you’d wanna listen to.

Okay, enough rambling… just wanted to bang out an entry to help me wake up and get my day started. I doubt I’m gonna be out of the house much over the next couple of days, having no appointments or obligations (and also wanting to avoid the bizarre 90 degree “fall” weather), so that gives me even more reason to anxiously await the arrival of that antenna for one of my toys. πŸ€“πŸ˜Œ It’s honestly too cheap, so I’m not expecting much, but if it gives me just enough gain re: these two specific channels it’ll have been worth it.

Makes me wish for a “Fall Hamvention” … but I probably wouldn’t go to that one either. πŸ˜…Β I miss Hara Arena.

Variety Week

I actually thought about making an entry over the weekend, but the prior few days were pretty eventful, and I knew today could be as well… so yeah, I basically actually just treated my weekend as a weekend, other than finally cleaning the kitchen and doing up all my bills.

Bri had her baby on Wednesday. 😊 I didn’t make it in there at 6am like she had to do, but I was there a few hours later and stayed several more hours… taking a break to go home, since I could tell it was gonna take a while. And in that time I was able to help Dad get his car back from the repair shop after getting the AC serviced. (Hmm… AC serviced… we’ll come back to that.) As I was ready to head back to my house after that, Bri messaged me that she finally had him (9 hours of labor… yikes…) and she wanted me to come back to the hospital.

Of course I went back in the next day as well to visit them… and as you may know, whenever I do an extensive amount of “stuff” sometimes my body’s like “Okay, that’s enough out of you” and I kind of crap out. 😏 And that’s pretty much what happened. But it didn’t end there. Later in the evening, Cassi called in a mild freak-out, because her cat was getting ready to deliver her kittens and seemed to be having trouble and was making all kinds of awful sounding noises – so she wanted me to come up, just in case we had to take her to an emergency vet.

You know, they may have actually been Friday. πŸ€” That’s how frazzled my brain was. I dunno, it was late in the evening and it was on a day where the last thing I wanted to do was to “do anything” at that point. Hence taking the weekend off for the most part. But I slept well last night, had a comforting dream… which of course I remember zero details from… but woke up feeling good enough to go out and use the hand trimmer to clear up the tiny branches growing out of the trunks of my crabapple (I think)Β trees so the mowers aren’t at risk of losing an eye around them… along with cutting out some other “trying to grow” baby trees popping up in weird places in the yard.

That wasn’t an intended part of the day though, so I’m just taking that as a bonus, because today was when the AC repair guys came to check out the furnace and AC. 😐 Long story short, I went ahead and opted to have a new one installed. 😣 The current unit is about 20 years old, any replacement parts (the compressor, specifically) would have to be a used part, the refrigerant used isn’t available anymore… just lots of things that made replacement the smarter (yet more expensive) decision. Whether I live here until I die, or if I sell the house in a year and move into an apartment or whatever… it’s just the better, yet painful choice. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

He gave me the estimate, but is gonna officially type it all up and send me an itemized version later this afternoon for me to sign. So I’m a little twitchy right now, but really, I’m not even paying for it. πŸ™‚ When Mom passed, her and Dad made sure that she left me some money, so technically Mom is going to be buying a new central AC system for me. That makes it a heck of a lot easier to think about. Okay… I need to give my head a break for a bit, but should be checking emails later this evening.

Ahh, There It Is

All week the news has been telling us about this horrible snowstorm that we were supposed to have starting today. (Technically yesterday, but you know what I mean.) But as today progressed, it brought nothing more than rain… at least until almost midnight. But once it got here, boy did it get here.

After much debate with myself earlier in the evening, I decided to go in town to pick up Brianna and Ariel so we could go meet up with some of their and Christina’s friends – to celebrate what would have been Christina’s 44th birthday today. I warned them that I planned to bail when the weather turned – but even though I headed pretty much directly home with them… once they were dropped off and I was on the way to my house, it was a legitimate white-out situation on most of the road that leads to my house.

It was fun hanging out with everyone, but I sure wish I left about 15 minutes earlier than I did… because that drive home made my butt pucker. Luckily I’m familiar with the road, but for those that aren’t – there’s probably no way they’d have made it, since the road was completely snow covered, not touched by a plow or salt truck, nor even touched by another car before me… at least as far as I could tell.

So even though I was creeping along, the stress and limited visibility made my eyes hurt, my shoulder hurt, my neck hurt, and then topped it off with a splitting headache just as I made it to my driveway. But, as usual, as long as there weren’t any other cars spinning or driving into my path, I didn’t really have any problem driving. It wasn’t even slippery… just drifts of snow, effectively erasing the roads and making it a “choose your own adventure” drive home.

Compressed

Made the mistake of sleeping in my bed last night. Originally I thought that the cushion of the mattress would help, but after waking up worse this morning – I’m pretty sure it’s because my butt sinks down into the mattress (like it’s supposed to) but that means there’s also constant pressure on the area where that nerve is acting up. 😣 Sitting on the hard floor, which you’d think would be bad, is the one way that I can get the pain to stop… so I’ve gotta think about how I wanna try to sleep tonight. πŸ€”πŸ˜”

Haven’t decided what I’m going to do with my day today, but I’m 99% sure that not only will I not be going anywhere, but I’ll also probably spend most of my time on my ass, on the floor, in the living room. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I’m gonna give this until Thursday morning to show some improvement, and if it hasn’t by then I’ll probably go ahead and go to the ER. Gawd I hate the ER… πŸ˜’

Toof

After my appointment yesterday I went up to Columbus to hang out with Cassi for a bit. πŸ™‚ It was Red White & Boom night, but Cassi just finished her first week of work at the new Tim’s location, so I wanted to go up and hear all about it in person rather than random texts back and forth like we’ve been doing all week. πŸ©β˜•πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’Ό I just took a path that steered clear of downtown and then headed back home before dark, so I missed any of the traffic problems that go along with the event.

But while I was up there, I noticed that at some point during the day I had broken a tooth. 😧 Not broken broken, but cracked – with a bit of the surface having chipped off near the top. πŸ˜₯ Good times, eh? I mean, I guess I’m lucky that it didn’t break completely, and that it doesn’t hurt… but ugh… going to the dentist was not in my immediate plans. πŸ˜’ It’s early AM right now, so I know it’s likely I’ll be sleeping in late (once I actually fall asleep, hopefully…) but when I wake up I’ll have to call a few local dentists to see which (if any) can get me in to fix it, or at least put something over it until they can. 😣

I should be able to baby it tonight, tomorrow, and maybe the next day… I just have to be careful not to forget about it and accidentally eat something crunchy. Because I have a feeling that the crunching sound would come from myΒ toof. 😲😭 It should be fine though… I’ve already found a couple places online that claim to offer same or next day service on an emergency basis. Wish me luck.