Monday, December 31, 2012

"Gilligan's Island" Revisited

photo from my LG phone

Those of you who are old enough to remember the TV series with Bob Denver and Alan Hale will also remember the melody of the show's theme song.  Substitute these words: "No phone, TV nor Internet -- not a single luxury. Like Robinson Crusoe, it's primitive as can be."

That's how I've felt for the last six days -- marooned on an island created by over 12" of snow that fell on Christmas night following an afternoon of freezing rain. The most snow EVER in the Little Rock area on Christmas Day since weather records have been kept.  Brr! Humbug!  It was beautiful, but enough is enough!

As a result of the ice coating/snowfall, several large trees in the next block from me fell ---- across the power and cable lines that service my neighborhood.  I was without electrical power only for about 36 hours but, since I have chosen to have my communication services "bundled,"  I lost Internet, television and telephone service from Christmas night, Tuesday, until after supper time today, Monday. Stalwart crews have worked steadily, in much less than optimal conditions, on cutting and hauling away trees, then replacing and restoring yards and yards of fallen lines.  Utility repairmen are unsung heroes, IMHO.

On Wednesday morning, I left my kitties in their fur coats and fled to Gardening Daughter's home until the electricity was restored here. Gas furnaces are wonderful, but they require electricity to work properly. I don't mind being in the dark, but I do require a certain amount of warmth, of which there is not a lot in an old home surrounded by a foot of snow.

For some reason, Gardening Daughter's section of town, about a mile from me, is seldom bothered by power outages, plus she has a wood-burning stove which puts out a very cheerful warmth.  I enjoyed my stay but was happy to hear on Thursday afternoon that power was back on here, and returned home straight away.  I've entertained myself with reading and watching DVDs in lieu of TV, but confess that I've had a few NCIS rerun withdrawal symptoms. Can I say "addiction?"

It's rained steadily most of this last day of 2012, but deep patches of snow still remain in my yard and elsewhere. The temps have hovered in the upper 30 degree range all day; I'm hoping that it won't freeze tonight.  We don't need any more of this right now.  

Tomorrow is also a day... and it's New Year's Day.  A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The Best Laid Plans

I had constructed and published a clever post about the failure of the world to end yesterday but had to remove it.  Something within my computer or within Blogger decided to change some of the words I used into live links which I did not create.  Ads, of sort, which may be inoccuous but I'm taking no chances with the welfare of any readers who might click on the underlined words.

Sorry you came all this way and had to miss my scintillating (hahahaha) words.

Thanks Mr. Rhymeswithplague for the cross-reference to my blog. All referrals are appreciated.

Tomorrow is ALSO a day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Postage Pack Rat

Wishing to mail a few Christmas cards, I searched my desk for postage stamps this morning.  It appears I have no U.S. postage stamps of the currently proper denomination ($.45 per oz. or, if one is fortunate "Forever" stamps bought at a lesser rate.)  However, I did find stamps in the following denominations (all in cents): 1, 2, 5, 10, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 25, 29, 32, 33, 34, 37, 39, 41, 52, and, I can't remember why I have them... two stamps of $3.50 value each. I think that used to be the rate for a box of less than a pound. 

Before I retired, sometimes during my lunch period I would walk several blocks to the main post office in Little Rock to look at the newly issued commemorative stamps. I would occasionally purchase a full sheet of those, or perhaps just a corner. I still have many of them in various denominations.

Looking at the full sheets, some of which have really beautiful artwork, it occurred to me that, suitably matted and framed, they would make good gifts. I've put that on my list of to-do's for the coming year, and I already have some recipients in mind. (Folks who need for nothing, and have everything else.)

A heavy frost was on the punkin this morning and my rain-gauge, which I failed to empty after the last storm, was full of ice.  I should have gone out to check the bird baths, but I chose to stay in the warm house.

Tomorrow is also a day.

Friday, December 7, 2012

My Mind's Not (Quite) Gone, Yet

I sit here at the computer listening to some of my favorite jazzy music by Spyro Gyra (love'em!) on my newly gifted MP3 player, an early Christmas present from my son in law, Gardening Daughter's husband. That sweet guy braved the Black Friday madness in the middle of the night to acquire it for me.  It's an early present because he wanted me to have something I like to listen to while I walk the treadmill at Cardiac Rehab.  The tunes I've downloaded should do nicely; great tempo  -- not a lullaby among them.  I figured out that I could load the same ones more than once, so I don't have to listen to the whole album (although I like them all), only my best-est favorites. I'm gonna have a ball at Rehab; I will no longer have to listen to The Price is Right while I exercise. Yay! 

I know, I know; loading music onto an MP3 player is like falling off a log to you younger folk but, at my age, any (even) low-key techie stuff sometimes breaks me out in a sweat. I'm always afraid I will blow something up.  The first time, back in the mid 1980's, that I took the shell off my computer to add a chip of some sort, I nearly passed out! As you can tell, I survived, and I'm happy to say that the computer did, also.

I well remember the first time I heard music by Spyro Gyra. I was in a Hasting's store to buy a book (back in the days when I actually bought books). I took notice of the music on the store's speaker system and was immediately intrigued.  Upon inquiring of the clerk, I added that particular CD to my collection, and subsequently bought several others.  I see from looking at the Wikipedia article (link to Spyro Gyra in the first paragraph) that I am missing a good many of their albums.  Looking at my stash, I count only seven of the 20 CDs listed in the article. Perhaps the gaps will be filled one of these days; perhaps not.

My taste in music is eclectic.  I have almost an equal number of jazz and classical music recordings and a good number of what can be described as 'easy listening.'  I'm also fond of New Age (think Narada), and ethnic music, with strong leanings toward Latin and African recordings.  I'm attracted by the rhythm of the latter.  I have only a few recordings outside those groups. Those were usually purchased because of one or two particular songs.

Anyone out there familiar with Silk?  Dave Grusin?

I need to stop this be-bopping and go to bed.  (Perhaps Spyro Gyra will help me get my vacuuming done in the morning!) 

Tomorrow is also a day.  

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another Day

I've been back to Cardiac Rehab the last two days, after an absence of almost three weeks, and I have the aching knees to prove it!  The death of my sister's husband and a tedious, stressful period following the burglary of my home, which occured during the days I spent with my sister, interfered with my attendance.

I've been burgled before; almost 7 years ago, and there was a mess to clean up, but beyond a broken window, not a lot of damage was done to the house.  A few of the things taken at that time were found in a pawn shop about 25 miles away, and my overall losses were smaller than the deductible on my insurance policy.  This time, the thieves kicked out of their frames both my front and rear doors before taking their time to pick through my belongings.  Did anyone in the neighborhood hear/see any of this mayhem? Not so far as can be discovered by the detectives of the local police department.  I am heart-sick over the loss of my wonderful camera, lenses and accessories, but those will, I hope, be fully covered by insurance and eventually be replaced. I have no expectations of recovering any of my other property.  Most the small things (jewelry) taken were acquired 25 or more years ago and, while not of much value individually, are irreplaceable, having been acquired during travels abroad during my younger days. 

I am fortunate that they did not take my computer; perhaps it is so big and so old that they were not interested, or they might not have had the manpower to manage it along with the other things.  The monitor was turned over on the desk and they must have thought about taking it but changed their minds.   Coming face to face with how I would grieve over the loss of my photos, in particular, I've  purchased an online backup for my documents, photos and files, and those are all safely "in the cloud" somewhere.

Ah, well. Things are just...things.  Just saying.

Tomorrow is also a day.