Category: Life


Retirement


Trying hard to become retired but neither clients nor judges nor fate is cooperating much. Days tick off relentlessly as the Feb. 28 deadline to vacate the office looms like a grizzly awakened from hibernation who has spied his first meal of spring. Deadlines imposed by indifferent authorities creep forward relentlessly, competing for time against financial challenges and puzzles that for years were content to lie dormant but have chosen this time to turn urgent and threaten dire consequences. Not to mention other obligations ranging from those spawned by dad’s demise to the grind of simply dealing with life’s mundane daily challenges. I take little breaks when possible to read books, a recent one of which took an analytical look at the saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”. The author noted that such things could leave you disabled or otherwise in a condition other than stronger, however much someone might argue about strength of character. So, I’d just as soon skip a third heart attack, thank you very much. Wish me luck. And, if anybody wants some impressive-looking law books to decorate their walls, I have quite a lot for the taking, as well as a few desks, chairs, etc.

Ssssssssnake!

November 20, 2021

Life

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When I left the dentist’s office the other day, something that seemed out of place caught my eye as I reached for the door handle of my car. I froze in stark terror just in time to avoid stepping on it. On regaining my composure, I stepped back and ordered it to depart. Mocking my authority, the snake calmly took refuge under the car.

I got the attention of a masked employee, and asked for a stick or something to prod the beast from its new lair. He returned with my dentist in tow and a broom in hand. Numerous attempts to convince it to leave only succeeded in drawing a crowd of human onlookers. Various suggestions proved futile until the dental assistant, on hands and knees peering under the car, announced, “He’s gone!”

Inasmuch as the car was surrounded by people, the obvious question was circulated: “Did you see it come out?” The answers were unanimous: “Nope!” Nevertheless, it was definitely not on the pavement beneath the car. There was but one conclusion. “He’s gone up in the engine compartment.”

So, I popped the bonnet (hood, for Yanks). The way they cram the machinery in there these days, one could only marvel at the agility that would have been required to take refuge there. No amount of peering yielded any evidence of reptilian habitation. I wasn’t about to stick my hand in there to feel around for it; nor was anyone else so inclined. I started the engine, hoping the heat and vibration would persuade the beast to vacate. Awaiting such development while seated behind the wheel gave my mind time to ponder the chances it could find a channel into the passenger compartment. The thought of it dropping onto my lap was unnerving. I admit it. Meanwhile, the crowd anxiously peered into the engine compartment and below the car. No snake. A new question circulated. “It couldn’t have got by us, could it?” The unanimous answer was, “No way!”

I mustered courage, dropped the bonnet, and proceeded to drive back and forth in the parking lot. The crowd cheered. “Donuts! Donuts!” a couple of the younger ones entreatied. No snake or anything else dropped from beneath the car. I parked, shut off the engine, and raised the hood again.

My brain was now working out numerous scenarios as to how I would be able to park in the garage at home with certainty that the beast had not ridden home with me. The onlookers offered suggestions and consolations. Suddenly, I saw a very strange thing. A snake was slowly but surely slithering out through the wheel spokes on the right front. “Look!” I exclaimed. And we all did. We were mesmerized. Having departed, it proceeded toward the sidewalk. The spell was broken. Whereupon, I proceeded to berate myself for missing the photo of the year.

You just have to imagine it, first poking its head out through the spokes to assay the territory, then slithering inch by inch, oh so smoothly, out through the wheel and onto the pavement, then weaving in that way they do, toward the camouflage of leaves. It seemed in no hurry. One person tried to pick it up, and learned how quickly they can strike after lulling an onlooker into a false sense of calm. We believe it was a non-venomous rat snake.


Vaccine Time

February 24, 2021

Life, News

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I wouldn’t have thought a Douglas County line could be this long, but there it was, thanks to covid.

We got our first Covid Vaccine shots today. We’ll do it again in three weeks, assuming they have enough vaccine then. I saw lines like this on TV, in Kansas City and Los Angeles. I told Becky I’ve gone more than a year without catching the virus, so why do I need a vaccine now? This got me a look that left no doubt we would be getting shots together. It looked like the whole city of Lawrence was there. They didn’t even hand out treats afterward, just a card good for another shot. We got the Pfizer version. The weather dropped a good ten degrees while we were waiting. Was nearly 70 degrees yesterday; I came home from office early and washed Becky’s car. Finished yesterday by watching KU lose another game. Did mine the day before. Now it’s back to winter. Now is also time for supper. Grabbed some yummy barbecue on the way home from shots. Signing off!

UPDATE Thursday, March 11, 2021: It’s been three weeks since Shot #1 and there’s no word about Shot #2. I checked the “system” and was assured our information was duly entered and our names and eligibility are duly registered. I heard on the radio this evening that the 2-shot doses come in pairs from the manufacturer. Officials were upset about people who didn’t show up for their second shot appointment, because their vaccine, having been thawed and made ready for them, had to be trashed, which was a waste. If the report was correct, our second shots have been sitting in a freezer just waiting to be thawed and injected into our arms. I suspect this report was not accurate. Maybe it’s accurate somewhere, or sometime. The supposed “everything there is to know about Covid-19 and vaccines” website doesn’t say anything about it. So, we’ll bide our time. I just don’t want to end up having to get three shots because they didn’t administer the second shot in time; or to end up being told that although everybody said the second shot was supposed to be administered within a certain time after the first shot it doesn’t really matter how much time goes by after the first shot. But I’m hearing about more and more people who’ve had both shots already. I’m becoming less dismissive of the radicals who insist that the whole pandemic thing has been a feint to mask a nefarious agenda, whatever it is. Well, it got Biden elected, got my livelihood trashed, made the border a sieve again, and made big tech companies a lot richer while small businesses went under. Meanwhile, censorship has become not only more and more acceptable, but deemed necessary to our national well being and development of our “wokeness”.

UPDATE Friday, March 12, 2021: That’s how it’s done! Post something critical and stir things up. This afternoon I got an email that I should sign up for a big vaccination #2 event on March 19. I immediately logged on and was advised, “Sorry, this event is full.” This was a mere 10 minutes after the email was sent. Not to be deterred, I kept trying. Since I was at the office I called Becky at home to tell her she should try to get online to make her appointment. Half an hour later they let me in, and I made my appointment, but Becky called to advise she was being rejected for some sort of imponderable technical reason. I tried to fill in a form for her, but at the end was informed she was already processed and I couldn’t submit a duplicate. Becky still couldn’t get in. I started to load up and shut down to go home and assist her there, when she called again to advise she now had an appointment. Well, okay. I decided that the system must have had us connected somehow, so that by logging myself in she was locked out; but one or the other of us had got her appointment made. Turned out they’d sent us both the same ID number; although our appointment QR codes are slightly different. Our appointments are 20 minutes apart. Well, we’re still going together in one car, and they’ll just have to deal with it.

UPDATE Saturday, March 20, 2021: First of all, HAPPY SPRING! We got our second Covid Vaccine shots yesterday. We didn’t have to spend as much time in the car on this occasion. They had things moving along better, and the line didn’t stretch all the way out of the fairgrounds and down Harper to 23rd Street. We got our shots around 10:30. By 5:00 I knew I wasn’t going to weather this shot as well as the previous. Today, I feel like I was recently run over by an 18-wheeler, and Becky has a fever of 101+. I seem to have avoided the fever, at least. Watching the KU game in NCAA tournament. Close one. If the ‘Hawks can pull off a win maybe we’ll feel better.



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