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Ffffaaaaaaacccckkk . . .ck
2009-01-21, 9:35 p.m.

Day 1613

Well hi there! Been a while, eh? 5 days by my reckoning. Much to catch up on.

For the record, let me say that bowling last week? 2/3 of it sucked, 1/3 was actually tolerable. Scary part is I think I might have figured out what I’ve been doing wrong these last few weeks. No – besides walking in the door of the bowling alley. It’s been a combination of things. One is easy to correct, one not so much. First, the easy one. Shoulders must be square at the foul line. That will correct a host of sins. The hard one will be to slow the hell down. That’s going to be sooooo hard. I like to go at my natural pace, and when it comes to throwing things, my pace is pretty fast. Just need to relax and try to slow things down. This is all mostly because of the oil pattern – I can’t even find any dry areas all the way out at the gutters. No dry area – no hooking for me. No hooking leads to bad entry angles and poor pin reaction. And one very, very tight area in which one may expect to get strikes. Anyhow – we’ll crank it up again tomorrow night and see how it goes. I am ever hopeful (to a fault).

In other news – lessee - The Bob? Doing better, but “good” has to be redefined. The Club Med for the Septuagenarian Set? Can’t take him back. Right now, he requires too much assistance. For those who have dealt with elders with dementia issues, The Bob is at the stage where he’s using waste baskets as urinals pretty regularly. He’s also needed assistance in the shower, and had an ‘accident’ in there that involved a little more than peeing in a wastebasket, if you get my drift. To further complicate things, he had some sort of UTI which was throwing his behavior all out of whack, then when at the hospital he seemed to be having a bout of pneumonia. Nasty wicked cough, having trouble swallowing, pretty uh slept for 3 days straight while the IV antibiotics were working. Now that he’s kinda sorta up & about, the hospital has him in restraints because they’re afraid he’ll 1.) fall out of his chair and/or 2.) wander off on his own, fall & hurt himself. The Bob is not taking to the restraints well. If someone is willing (and able) to stay with him and explain WHY he’s being strapped in, every 15 minutes, he’d be okay. He’ll accept an explanation and be ok, until he forgets why. I don’t think the hospital is doping him too badly (I didn’t see haldol or trazadone on any medication lest recently), but he just doesn’t seem to be coming around. Could be they whacked him with haldol last week (it’s persists for something like 30 days) and that has him knocked down. Maybe. My BIL & I are operating on the theory that he’s starting to just give up. Appetite is way down, interest in anything to do with the outside world is gone. He’s withdrawing inside himself and it’s starting to look like a mental shutdown.

Got a phone call from The Bob’s former employer last night. Turned out to be a blessing in disguise. I have finally been able to talk to an HR rep about The Bob’s situation and she helped me with all sorts of things, not the least of which was clearing up some address snafu’s (on a global scale). He also had a check for a mandatory withdrawl from his 401k returned to the sender. The address they had was two moves old and I hadn’t been able to track it back to make the appropriate address changes. Now I have electronic access and can do that stuff. Still have a couple accounts to straighten out, but it’s nothing faxing the PoA and a few phone calls can’t fix. Also a word of warning – if your elders have long term care insurance (LTC), be aware that there may be a 60 day waiting period before it kicks in. We’re looking at putting The Bob in a nursing facility, and his LTC would kick in $70 a day for almost 5 years, but there’s that nasty little 60 day waiting period. That’s over $4k he’ll have to spend to keep himself covered while he’s waiting for the LTC to kick in. Not like $70 a day is even CLOSE to what it will cost, but any help would be good.

On to happier things. Our neighbor is home from the hospital. She was 2 days shy of needing to go on dialysis. Due to dehydration and some side effects of her chemo (mostly dehydration) her kidneys were shutting down. She finally relented and went to the hospital in time (two Saturday’s ago) to get them kick started and filtering again.

The family room is done except for the gas fireplace and hanging paintings & stuff. I stayed home yesterday (Tuesday) with the expectation that the contractors would be getting the fireplace install done. By noon, it was apparent that it wasn’t going in and I would have one more little task to accomplish. (Man, the fuking “see” key on this omputers keyboard onstantly skips. Vurrah irritating. If I’m missing a “see” it ain’t my fault!!)

Anyhow – the fireplace. At one point, we had both the contractor and his assistant out to give us a once over and tell us what we needed to do to be ready. This mostly involved adjusting the size of the fireplace opening. I went through some bricklaying gymnastics to close down the opening size and make sure the fascia was well supported, all according to their suggestions and dimensions. But yesterday, a little before noon, all I heard was “Uhhh, Mr. “Insert my surname here (honestly, my surname is a feminine given name. Can you imagine?!?!?), this isn’t going to fit. You’re an inch and a half short on the width”. To which I replied – “I’m an inch over the minimum you gave me. How can I be 1.5 inches too narrow?”

Needless to say, there were some red faces hanging out in my family room yesterday. Mine (from anger), the contractor (from frustration), his assistant (from embarrassment) and the business owner from whom we bought the damn thing (concern for the bottom line). I could have tossed the assistant under the bus, but resisted the temptation. He’s the one that gave me the dimensions. Little shit. I think he knew he was the source – hence his look of embarrassment.

At any rate, it can be fixed. Leaves me with a little work to do. Tile cutting, re-configuring some supports, a bit of drilling and screwing in concrete & brick. I have everything I need except for time. Going to try getting it in tonight, but I have a district meeting for Al Anon and Lost is on tonight. Can’t miss that. It’s one of my guilty pleasures. Even Cindy likes the show, although I thin she watches because of Matthew Fox & Josh Holloway, while I’m there strictly for Evangeline Lilly. That girl would look enticing in a burlap sack. Oh – there’s the story too – which I’ve managed to follow fairly well. Kinda like reading the articles in a Pl@yboy magazine. Shut up, I did so read an article or two. Over a 4 year period.

That’s kind of it for a wrap up. Bob – worse, neighbor = home, bowling = a struggle, contractors = frustration. Weather = chilly & snowy. We’ve been getting some snowfall lately that I think has nothing to do with clouds or lake effect. It’ more that the air is so cold moisture can’t stay in solution, so it condenses, freezes and falls out of the air. I know some of you are like “Well, d’uh, that’s how snow IS!!” Except that if you were to actually live here you’d know that -2F is too effin cold to snow. We can have a cloudless sky on a windless day, but flakes will fall. Kinda surreal. Also, it’s been so cold for the last 2 weeks or so that I can’t get my driveway clear. We get an inch, drive on it. Get another inch, drive on it. Get 6 inches, I go clear the driveway, except for the packed down icy crap we’ve driven on. That stuff is like a seed that just keeps growing more packed hardpan & ice. When it gets warm (we’re being threatened with temps all the way up to freezing Thursday & Friday) it’s going to turn the driveway into a sheet of ice. We’ll all have to park down at the road because we won’t be able to limb the teeny little incline up to the garage. Till March.

Oh Lordy – I hope the fish are doing ok in the pond. It’s all quiet and white out there. Hmmm.

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