Back in business….YAY

RFLKRNEW1173For those who are wondering, yes….that title is accurate. Reason being is that last month, the former laptop here decided to go to the PC version of ‘Boot Hill’. This was after connecting a USB cable for a wireless extension. But, it had been acting up for a while. However, Yours Truly being the geekette she is…..had tried to coax a few extra sessions out of it. Those did happen, but one morning, it died. More like the motherboard and the reading of the drive in same did.

Hence I was on the smart phone doing with little business I could there. That particular phone was and is here for the purpose, initially as a backup and then just to do minor things to keep connected with the outside world. That did help, although thanks to a limited income, the best phone and service available did have or rather, has some slightly limiting quirks to same. I will not go into detail about those because I am happy it, a Kyocera Event is still working. Which is a darn sight better than the alternatives.

In any event, I did purchase a new PC, a Toshiba with an AMD/ATI processor and graphics chip. While around here that could be seen as siding with the enemy [seeing the main firm in town for this is Intel], I am a big fan of AMD products. A lot of this has to do with the speed of the chips in question, which arrive to be placed in the PC overclocked. This results or rather, can result in a much faster system, be for use in gaming or for other purposes. Along with that fact, the new screen is pretty darn cool too. Same size as the last….but with a cleaner overall viewpoint. And after transferring files, pics etc over to the new PC, it became apparent that this was a good move overall. The graphics will show not just the good in one’s visage, but if there are problems…..those will be on the screen, in full living color. So I need to make sure anything I do does measure up to a high standard and that is not a bad thing. Also pics of **** and others look fantastic on this system, other pics tend to show that the effort, at times leaves something to be desired.

RFLKRNEW1171After the downtime….when there was limited online time, I had hoped to maybe, just maybe see something in the way of maybe some improvement in the level of discourse. To be honest, that did not happen, it seemed that the ‘adults’ who I am ashamed to say, I am a part of due to my years [even though I STILL GET CARDED!!!] have shown more and more of their rather myopic, bubble-centered and limited way of processing information. What is even more disturbing, is that this is a part of the social conditioning that not only happened in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, but is being passed on to the next 2-3 generations. Warped ideas about how the society should work, patronizing of those who [SIC] ‘are not like us, but are close to us due to a “common struggle”‘ [another oxymoron….but that is going to be saved for another time], as well as some using ideas from an era, where mankind came as close to having a mass level of insanity…but changing adjectives and descriptors in same to justify social movements. I know, this is a bit on the frightening side, if only thanks to this, it shows that humans have not really learned a goddamned thing in the years, the 70 years since that mass psychosis. In spite of the warnings from those as diverse as Rod Serling, Paddy Chayefsky, Margaret Atwood and Kenneth Johnson….among others. Makes one wonder how in the hell we even dare to claim we are better than our four-legged companions.

RFLKRNEW1172There is a cure or cures to what was in the above paragraph, but it would mean some out there getting out of their tribal mindsets and doing what is really in the name of the greater good. Even if those ideas for fixes are not ‘pretty’ or even politically correct. It will also require that people get out of the space where they co-opt the issues of others to justify their own actions, especially when those doing the co-opting have issues that are, more or less mutable ones, vis a vis those which can be seen on the street, the classroom, the emergency room readily. The other word for this is ‘sacrifice’, no different than in baseball. And that being done so for the right reasons, as well as being careful that one is doing so for those who really do need the help, as opposed to those who have a twisted desire to cut the pie larger for themselves and thinner for others.

Before closing this out…the pics are a mid-fast set. Each year I do this: no red meat, no excess sugars, no fast food, no Gatorade, Powerade and other drinks along those lines. My docs like the fact I do this….my cats do….and I think others have noticed the improvements. While to some…and Lord knows why….this runs counter to some illogical form of conventional wisdom, if running counter means I am around longer and in the process, do not have the visage look like a joke, then I am happy,  have done my job…and then some.

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So there you have it….and until next month….from the land of the colourtini, enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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And now there has been a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel…

RFLKRNEW1164For one, let’s start out that this is being posted on one of the semi-official holidays in the US. Hence….the top in this pic should give a hint as to who the kitties and I are rooting for. While I will not say exactly who…let’s say their coach has the nickname of ‘DR EVIL’ and for some reason, that appeals to me :)

Secondly…..some of the issues in this plex are on their way towards some sort of resolution. Again while not actually going out of the way to break a confidence between my caseworker and I, what can be said is that while her hands are tied by some of how the state handles such issues, she agrees with me that the mechanics of same stink and hurt those who want to do the right thing. This was at the last meeting I had with my CW and since then…..a few of those who were causing the problems have either left on their own, or have been thanks to the courts, removed. Either way, this is an improvement.

RFLKRNEW1166As for the landlord, this means a few less headaches, for the tenants like myself, the above means we have some peace in the place. Which means I can get back to writing, tutoring and the cats will not be worried out of their minds due to the noise. Which was at all hours, thanks to the fact that due to some rather sad shortcomings in social policy…parts of town have become dumping grounds for those who the city does not want in the main business or residential districts. Portland is not unique in this, just that it is the most stark example of same. One has to hope at some point that this type of insanity does end at some point….it makes us, as a country look like a laughingstock to the rest of the world. With lowered standards each and every day/month/year.

RFLKRNEW1167Enough of that for the time being, there are others who can do social commentary with a little more flair and have a wider audience than I do. Back to the pics for a second: the diet is working like crazy. REALLY working like crazy….in a way where items that about 18 months ago or so would have been difficult to wear are now items I am swimming in. So getting to that magical 180 lbs. is really within sight and that is where I am hoping to keep things. Once again, I know that to some, those of us who have an even suntan actually wanting to lose some mass to stay healthy may seem to be ‘out of character’ or a ‘revolutionary act’ …but as has been mentioned to **** and others, there are some folks here who have a little time, effort invested in making sure the OEM equipment here still works. So I am not crazy about throwing away those good works, or what has been gained in the meantime in the way of energy…as well as looking as though I can and still get carded at places like Target. Vain???Perhaps….but I do not want to be in a position where I would look like I am headed toward ‘God’s Waiting Room’, to paraphrase one of my heroes, Digger Phelps.

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So for this month that is what is going on.And for those celebrating on the 14th, here’s hoping the result is not like what happened in Chicago on that same day, way back in the 1920’s. Or to paraphrase Yes…no need to be the ‘owner of a broken heart’. Til next month….from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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We made it through a year…..hoping for better…

RFLKRNEW1146Well it’s the beginning of another year. And thankfully we made it through the last one. And while the ‘we’ here means that there is a new ‘Marty’ in the house, the term still applies. ‘We’. If only due to the fact that Rae and I made sure the new kid understood the paw prints she was going to inherit. And she has done so in fantastic fashion.

This year was also a big one….no pun intended….due to the fact that the health has stabilized. As has been mentioned in the daily dispatches to **** [as well as to others, but I make sure she gets them first] the loss here is 86 lbs. For all intents, that means I lost a person here. Ok…yeah…that may seem a little on the ghoulish side, which was not the intent.But how this happened was an issue of keeping faith with the diet. With few exceptions like holidays…..but staying true enough to that. Cutting even more of the convenience foods out of reach [as in dropping Pizza Hut off of speed dial], exercising more and of course….paying attention to the guidance by those who are in the ‘Gang of Five’…[vis a vis the CW that has been mentioned before, by those who only pay attention to those who want to be a part of the crowd, as opposed to doing the right thing…let alone understanding one does not need to ingest certain chemicals to do same.If one has been reading along , they know what my status is…and that just because I am not on a particular protocol does not mean I am an ‘unperson’. That status, the terms associated with same are and always will be 1/xxxx of what goes on here and is not the prime reason for the existence. After all there are other things….as one can gather by reading further, as well as looking up other posts from this front]  In particular, Steve the Cardio. It cannot be stressed here enough that it was him and the others who gave a damn and made sure that I did not repeat the incident of where the heart came close to shutting down and yours truly would end up being ethereal.

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Of course, as you can gather from the pics, this means I look different than I did 18 months ago. Thinner, happier and younger. Not that much younger, but gee….I still get carded at Target and other places. There is a certain amount of truth in that if one keeps themselves young at heart, as well as takes care of themselves, what they ingest and who they hang around…the benefits…internally and externally are many and legion.

In re: the latter point, I have made some wonderful, fantastic friends via social media. To some the fact that the number[s] are low…it speaks to the fact that I want to be around those who are quality folks. The ones I want to run with, if we lived in town go to a movie or a concert with….and of course, have them meet Rae and Marty. Trust me on this….TheRoyalBadnesses are over the moon that their mom is in such good company. And that some of them are the same ones I say goodnight to, at least their pics when logging off [as in **** and those other same ones]. It’s a matter of all of them meaning that much….and some who I have met in the latter part of this year have caused the heart to look forward to the next 365…and beyond. And if we can ever get that devil of an issue with the family shop and the old man’s trust straightened out…maybe have a little funding to go visiting some of these folks. With the cats along ….after all they would kill me if I did go on that kind of a trip but did not offer to bring them with me, seeing I had already promised them a trip to Arrowhead and The Murph at some point down the line.

Oh yes…before this ends….I am still doing the tutoring…still being a net mom. I love the fact that I am. There is something to be said about being needed..passing on some life lessons and having fun in doing so. And when that happens with folks where there is a lot of love and good vibes, hell that is all the better. [A couple other things would make this even more so, those following along know what those are……and that includes seeing Renaissance if and when they come out this way on their next tour….HINT HINT HINT].

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So there you have it…and here is hoping that this coming trip around the sun is a damn sight better than the last for the world, as well as improving on what happened here. So from the land of the colourtini……enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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While not an Endless River, there is some good in the Time-Line

RFLKRNEW1136I realize some are going to see the header and thing this is going to be a progressive rock review piece. After all, what is mentioned there were titles of albums by Pink Floyd and Renaissance, respectively. And there is a connection, a somewhat strong bridge in same. Read along and you will see what I mean.

For one…an endless river here can refer to the issue of life still going on and what has been before still doing so. Yes, yours truly still tutors [with Rae and Marty listening and looking in seeing their Mom rock how to tutor *S*] and is extremely happy when I do because the person I do this for, they get a great grade. Something to put on the CV….a smile on their face. While this has been said here before, this does bear repeating. Especially in light of the turn our society is taking…where some…no matter how much good they do …are minimalized or marginalized due to, dare we say this…a melanin level due to genetics. It stinks that one has to do this in order to remind some that not all are like the rather strongly reinforced stereotypes.

RFLKRNEW1134So what you have above here is the good that has happened in the ‘Time-Line’, which while not…as my bro Jon Camp would call a ‘Cliff Richard Cue’ in it’s entirety, it is a way of saying there has been some good that has happened. I am reminded of how and why I should be thankful for same each time there is an errand/food run. Those I refer to as the ‘Abnormal Psychology Courses…101, 201, 301 and Graduate Level ‘ outings, if only due to how insane the world has become. How divisive as well as dismissive of others, barring they belong to a similar, particular tribe. While there are pockets of where this is not the case, it is more common than many of us are willing to admit, willing to say or willing to fight against. On the last part of the previous sentence, that is something which does not bode well for what the future may be, barring a major miracle. And as Mets and Steelers fans will tell you, those do not happen ever day.

 

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There you have it…..and the next time there will be a dispatch will be after the turn of the new year. As for the pics in this post, they were done to check again on the progress of the diet, as well as to make sure that I really can shock the daylights out of my primary member of the ‘gang of five’ when I see her in a few weeks :) Until the next posting…..from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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My time of year…..but not because of the ‘Season of Greed’

RFLKRNEW1117For one, if anyone is wondering where the tail end of the title comes from, that was mentioned in ‘A Christmas Story’, the movie inspired by the stories of one of my favorite writers, as well as radio hosts, Jean Shepherd. at the time, what he was talking about, tongue in cheek…was how children saw the end of the year…toys…food….toys…food…school vacation time….you get the idea. But for me, this time of year means I am busy due to school.

As I mention to **** every other letter or so, as well as what Rae and Marty witness is that this time of year…til roughly about early spring, I am busy tutoring. At all hours, after the food runs and well into the very early morning. English, Math, Science, History, yep those are all on the boards. What is such a charge is that what I do in those sessions, with folks in the US and overseas is that this is what I normally do for the kitties. Before anyone thinks that is a tad strange, this has to do with, as was previously mentioned….the cats being treated like they are human kids. So they get the discussions, the lectures, the arms being used to illustrate examples of what is going on. Be it school subjects or even what is on the news. Recent events making those chats, at times some what difficult, but needed. The hope here is that other parents do the same because, being honest about what is out there does help.

 

Which is one of the other reasons why this type of teaching is such a joy. One can be honest RFLKRNEW1103about the subject, the event, the history of same and not be at the mercy or the behest of the unions or boards etc. Not that there is anything wrong with what those folks do, let’s get that one straight. HOWEVER….there are more cases these days, when the overall atmosphere is less in some places ….about education and more about some twisted forms of political correctness or even corporate agendas. This type of attitude may serve a purpose at the upper end of education, such as the college/university which is perfectly fine. But when we are dealing with minds that are still in the process of dealing with little bits of life, step by step…from this desk…this is the genesis of a recipe for a disaster. And having been through some of those in the 70’s, I have no intention of visiting that on others, who deserve better. They get better from here each time there is a session….and that is sure as heck is not going to change.

Before closing this one out, this will be the first Thanksgiving for Marty II with Rae and I. So far since she came into our lives, she has taken to the fall [and sometimes midweek versions] of the ritual. Which means, while Rae is a Kansas City Chiefs fan, Marty is taking to the San Diego Chargers. This has and is a major blessing to see….and I have a feeling when she sees that we are going to put the diet aside for one day, she will flip even more. Rae has not missed a beat in this either and when either of the kitty’s teams win, there is organic canip that abounds. If they lose, same thing, if only due to the fact that this is a safe way to console, sans putting on some Pink Floyd :) [And as usual, I did extend an invite to that one person to make it over this way to share in foot, football and the company that does exist here. Maybe one day the RSVP will be there. After all, Rae has her list of humans she wants to keep her mom company and this one party is at the top of the list].

 

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We have reached the denoument of this post. There should be another couple in December after the ‘oilchanges’ that are due then. Hence….until those dispatches….from the land of the Colourtini..enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air.

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Another ‘wires being fried’ session….and other thoughts….

RFLKRNEW1110Before it is said, no I am not an electrician. This has to do with that funny little annual exam I have to have with an ophalmologist. which is something I only look forward to, if only because there is the chance of getting the prescription for contact lenses. Now if anyone is wondering why not glasses, it has to do with one particular little issue: ‘vanity’. That little human trait that tries to stem off the march of time…and I will admit to that. But as has been mentioned to **** and others, as long as this keeps me getting ‘carded’ along with other things….I will own up to that little character flaw. And it seems the doc, as well as his staff got this point. Although…it did take a bit of teeth pulling [odd little non-sequiter there, seeing this was being done with an eye doctor]. The good news is that, I did get the info needed to go to the place I normally get my contacts so I can order new sets. Which of course, are to make sure folks understand that the ‘strike zone’ is above the ’38th parallel’.

Aside from the eyes being checked, there has been nothing else going on medically. There was a change in the diet, to the point of where…unless it cannot be avoided…fried foods are now off the list for good. If one thinks that ‘Randi, you are ______ and we thought all of ____ liked that’, let’s dispell a couple myths here. For one not all of us are into it, especially if those foods do not metabolize rather well in the system. And then there is another more sobering reason. This has to do with the fact that some fats which are used in the process of cooking said foods can be contributing factors to a buildup of plaques and other blockages in the circulatory system. In particular, the brain….which can lead to, via proxy to illnesses such as Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, Alzheimer’s. Yeah, I know…some rather scary items for the body and mind to deal with. And even though there are some medications that can help after these are contracted….it still makes sense to not eat anything that can contribute more to the possibility of the problems happening. So as much as there is that temptation at times to do so, if they can be avoided…they will be. Plus it means that the baking of chicken or fish is done more and more. On the latter portion of that, the cats are a little upset…because they want some of what mom is cooking, but once there are spices on same…they cannot do so, for obvious reasons.

RFLKRNEW1111There has been one other nice effect of this change to the diet. Over the past couple months, there has been more of a change to the weight. Granted, the pics may seem to not show it, but that has happened. A good thing here in more ways than one. Plus I have been following the examples set by the folks who I am close to. While it may seem rather quaint to say that one is taking their lead from others…it’s part of the positive reciprocal atmosphere that comes about, even online from those who do care and know that if they do not care about what one eats or how one takes care of the body, no one else will. If that sounds like a little bit of being a parent at a distance, keep in mind the following: as has been said before, yes….I am a cat parent…but, I am a ‘parent’…by proxy to quite a few other folks and I would not trade the feeling of seeing them doing something positive, doing well for anything. It’s as gratifying as seeing the cats taking an interest in things I am into *S*

Before closing here, the new Marty is settling in real well, which is great [she even is insisting like Rae does that I get out the daily email to the human that Rae says she wants her mom with *S*..another tale for another day ] . She is now taking part in the Sunday fall ritual here, which is to have the telly on most of the day watching the NFL. Even though the girls and I so share this time together, recent events have made talking about the league a rather tough go, for many reasons. While I will not go into all of those here, what I will say is that the good that does exist is sometimes overshadowed by the sickening displays of rotten behavior, as well as in some way…the confirmation of some rather ugly stereotypes. By extension…this leads into some other difficult chats with the cats, as in if they were human. But will save a discussion about those for another posting.

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So there we go for now….and until next month…from the land of the colourtini…enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air…

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And it’s now another full year done…

RFLKRNEW1083As one can gather from the title, yep another year has passed. Granted, I am not crazy about the number of years, let alone what is associated with it. Granted, there is or are rather the funny little benefits of discounts at various stores. Even though to be honest, I do not look what some of us, when we were kids associated with same. And thank goodness for that……

That has the rather odd, if not twisted benefit of, in some cases still getting carded for some items. It’s a bit of an emotional lift, to be honest. As well as a starting point for a couple rather interesting jokes at point of purchase…when the mood hits. As well as also offering a sobering situation, in that following the advice of the ‘gang of five’ has led to this, as opposed to not doing same, until it’s a little too late in the ballgame. So far, thanks to those folks, as well as those who I am close to online and of course, Rae and Marty….there is plenty of time left.

Well let’s refine that statement a tad. It’s a matter of how one spends that time that is the real measure of if there is ‘time enough at last’. Here, this making sure that be it tutoring the kids I do online [along with sending out the daily/nightly dispatch to a particular party who I am hoping to meet before the time heads to a sunset], being a net-mom to same…spending quality time with Rae and Marty [making sure the junior partner knows the paws she is filling and the legacy in same] and enjoying what I do like [the list of which is long], while keeping the items which distract or detract at a minimum. That is not being selfish, far from it. ‘Selfish’ would be assuming that one is the center of the universe and all are around to cater to that person’s every whim and whimsy. And as I have learned over the past few years, it’s better to be generous…sometimes sans a reason…than to mentally or emotionally collect people and things to prove one’s worth. If that sounds like I am being parental, mixed with a bit of Mark Twain…that is the blessing of being a voracious reader. Back when it was cool to do so, because it was. As opposed to doing so, due to media pressure otherwise to read and therefore, be ‘valuable’.

That is about it. Right now, the double nickle arrives with good health, a roof over the head, RFLKRNEW1087my two cats who I share so much with…what goes on is no different than what would be the case if they were human, good friends who [and those were a part of the massive listing in the last post] are sharp and we each give a damn about each other, as well as being needed for various items. There is great satisfaction in all of that….just that would be a +1 if one situation were to be resolved and then added, either at a distance or via other means. That is not being selfish, just the need to want to share things with another being. And as those who have read this blog know, there is a lot to share from here. All of which goes beyond ‘that issue’…which as many do know is 1/xxxxx of what is going on here.  It’s something I have not only stressed with others…as in folks, to be colloquial here….are ‘down with it’ and see, yes…there more than meets the eye….but also with that one particular party.  She knows, or I hope by now, she does that life here is not centered on the ‘bragging rights’ or ‘emotional pain rights’ [that last term is patent and trademark pending *S*] , but on items with are on a higher plane. If it was not, then heck, even Rae and Marty would run away from me, no matter how good the designer catnip and ‘mun-chies’ are. One has to hope that a human one is sweet on would not bolt as well.

 

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One last note: of all things, the long term ‘riot act’ has resulted in the better visages that have shown up here, as well as the last few posts.  It may be outside of the realm of conventional wisdom….but there is way too much that is riding on making sure all of the good is followed. Lest there be…..well, let’s not go there.

So til next time…from the land of the colourtini….enjoy the words as the pics fly through the air….

 

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