Comments are closed?

For some reason, comments have been disabled for my blog.  Does anyone know why this has happened?

I realize I haven’t been making many posts here, but that shouldn’t have any bearing on what gets commented on.
Let’s see what happens to this post…
EDIT:  I found the culprit!!  Buried down in my settings is a check box that says “Turn off comments after [fill in the blank] days.  It was set to “14”.  I changed it to “90”.  I’d never noticed this check box before.

Goodbye, my friend

What can one say about a friend you’ve never seen face-to-face?  Paul and I met through a group of mutual friends who enjoyed flying.  Not real metal airplanes, but in virtual flight using multi-player simulators.  For several years we would gather at our computers, connect our communications gear, and take off.  It didn’t matter where (or what) we were flying at any given moment, just the fact that we were together and having fun.

Our conversations ranged from daily happenings, through football predictions (both “ours” and “theirs”), living conditions in our respective countries, and the finer points of alcoholic drinks.  Nothing much was omitted.  From time to time, others joined us and others left.  Still, there remained a core of intrepid flyers to keep tooling along.

But, this blog post is not just about flying.  Instead, it more about the caring individuals who were in our group.  Paul was always very upbeat in his outlook; always available to take time to talk instead of fly.  I became aware of how much a family man he was when I ‘met’ his wonderful wife briefly.

In the very short time between his diagnosis and passing I also talked with his son, Danny.  Paul was very proud of him and his accomplishments; never failing to trumpet them every time we chatted.  I do hope to keep in touch through him.

We haven’t flown in a bit now, but perhaps this picture of the Missing Man formation might help to express my sadness at Paul’s passing.

Here’s to you, Paul

 

“High Flight”

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there,
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air….

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
– Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr.

Bill

 

Here’s some insanity for you…

Yesterday, while working in my back yard, my hearing aid fell out of my ear and dropped to the ground.  I (among others) spent around three hours searching for it with no luck.  Today, I called the VA for a replacement.

Here’s how our tax dollars are spent:

The VA will not give me a new set of hearing aids without a complete physical.  That, in itself, isn’t too bad because at my age you can’t get too many physicals BUT instead of picking up the phone and requesting the pertinent records be faxed over from the hospital at Wright-Patterson (I had a physical four moths ago), the VA requires that THEY do all the work – which effectively duplicates every bit of work already done.

The VA is always yammering about “how crowded they are” and “how they can’t possibly deal with all the veterans who apply” so why in hell do they ‘require’ someone who already has a complete medical history to come all the way across town and get yet another physical workup at their hospital?  I have no idea how much time, effort, and money is spent doing this, but it certainly could be eliminated with a simple phone call and a facsimile machine.

So, here’s how things stand:

1) I have to wait until the 10th of September for the physical (in the AM) and a new hearing test (in the PM — which I could use since my last one was three years ago for renewal of my disability)

2) In the interval, I will have to go back to reading lips to understand completely what everyone is saying since I only have one hearing aid.

3) Last time (when I broke one of hearing aids by stepping on it when IT fell out of my ear) it took a grand total of two weeks to replace it.  Now, apparently, the VA has had “updated procedures” they have to follow that were dictated by the head bureaucrat-in-charge-of-government-spending-of-our-tax-dollars.

Talk about government boondoggles, this one is the boondoggliest.

 

A new novel started over on Booksie.com

Just finished posting Chapter 1 of a new novel/short story/novelette or whatever you’d call it.  It’s a departure from my last one only in that I’ve added a little spice to it.  The rating system at Booksie is a bit vague, so I marked it PG or Mature; mostly for the language and such.

Still the same general theme, but this time it takes place in a mountain cabin in Colorado.  Two people, who were maintained a ‘just friends’ relationship find that they were really only deceiving themselves and let love blossom.  Yeah, I know – kinda corny.  But, what the heck, I’m kind of a corny guy.

Yesterday (the 5th) I lurched over into my seventh decade of life.  Yup, that’s right – I turned 70.  Several forums I participate in have Happy Birthday threads running.  It is heartwarming to find that I do indeed have a number of friends that, even thought we’ve never met, treat me like very a close friend.  I like that very much.

My sister, Penny, is still sending me really funny stuff, but I’ve been tied up with all sorts of things going on and just haven’t found the time to post any of it.  I’ll try to get some of funnier ones out soon.

I finally played Taps over my truck and turned it in to buy a 2012 Ford Escape.  It’s a beauty too.  Very nice color of blue, with cream-colored (or coloured, for my friends elsewhere) winterier.  I temporarily put the old plates from the truck on it, but the color (colour) had eroded from the lettering so badly that nothing was left.  Since I plan on taking a couple of trips, I didn’t want to get stopped in Podunk, Arkansas and be told by a cop that he couldn’t read my plates from ten feet away.   So, I went to the DMV (Department of Monetary Victims) and paid for a new set of plates.  I got a real doozy of a letter combination “FOZ” + four numbers.  This helped me create a name for my new ve-hickle: “Fozzie”.

Here’s a picture:

New SUV
Heeeeeere’s Fozzie!!!!

I think this one’s going to be a real nice car to drive.  Next week, I’ll have Ziebart add a trailer hitch and do their 10-year rustproofing gig.  I won’t have this one getting eaten up by rust like the truck.

Anyway, that’s about it.  If you want, let me know what you think of the first chapter of the book/novel/novelette/whatever.  You can find it here:

http://www.booksie.com/romance/novel/tom_oldman/snowbound/chapter/1

PS:  It’s HOT!  Went up to 104 today and last night never went below 86 degrees.  My grass is ‘crunchy’.

Surgery all done

I am typing, at the moment, one-handed.  My left arm is in a rigid cast bent at the elbow and in a sling.  What fantastic surgery!  I got a nerve block right in the shoulder – watching the ultrasound screen as they did it – and it almost immediately went to sleep.  I couldn’t feel a thing from the upper point of my shoulder down to the tips of my fingers.

I still haven’t seen the stitches because they are wrapped in bandages, but those come off Tuesday when I see the surgeon again.  The block was so thorough that I didn’t get any feeling back – anywhere on my arm – for 12 hours. I was kept in the hospital overnight to forestall any infections and then released Friday.  It felt strange to have those fingers hanging out there from the wrapping and not be able to feel my touching them with my good hand.  It felt like someone else’s hand.

I had to give up the waterbed temporarily because I couldn’t get up out of it. What was so amazing was that at no time was there any real pain.  I got painkillers, but stopped taking them because they had codine in them.  Codine and I don’t get along.  It makes my stomach upset, I get the sweats, and mt BP goes up a bit.

This whole thing is going to cost me $3.75 though – for the food I ate.

Surgery tomorrow

It may be minor, but it’s still surgery.  Men with knives will be attacking my left elbow in an effort to bring relief to my tingling fingers.  Seems that I have managed to damage the nerve that wraps around the point of my elbow and it needs to be re-routed somewhere else.  It is straightforward surgery – but I will refrain from calling it ‘no-brainer’ for obvious reasons.

I have to stay overnight in the hospital, which isn’t a real hardship because it is for my own good to make sure there isn’t any post-op infection.  The hospital in question, by the way, the the base hospital at Wright Patterson AFB.  I live very close.  In fact, if there weren’t any trees I could see it.  When the wind is right, we can hear the music at Reveille and Retreat.

When I get back on Friday evening, I won’t be of much use here at the keyboard since I have to type with one hand.  I am very fast even with this handicap, but I think I just won’t feel like it so bear with me.

 

My new website

My wife and I have just set up a joint web site.  The home page just contains two big buttons.  The one the left is to enter my web site and the one on the right is for hers.

The URL is: www.intellisigsys.net

The main purpose of my site is to list all the ways I can help computer users who dislike (or can’t really afford) paying a lot of dollars to have someone come and do things to their computer.  Some tasks that fall into this category are:

1. Remove malware and crudware from the computer.

2. Install software and optimize it.

3. Set up a new computer and make recommendations for what pre-installed software to keep or get rid of.

4. Help set up a home network.

5. Consulting about which computer to buy to fit your intended use.

6. Want your own website?  I’ll be happy to assist from initial design through coding it up and all the way to putting it out on the web.

7. Assist in upgrading your computer with new hardware or software.

8. Help maintain your computer – dustballs inside it can be deadly.

I work generally in the Dayton, Ohio area and inside 20 miles I won’t charge for gas.  Before I do a thing, we will have agreed on a price – and it won’t make a huge dent in your budget.  Anyway, the URL is active now but the home page is as far as it goes.