Paking, family, and coffee

Sep. 24th, 2017 02:54 pm
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
My FIL has been helping us pack. He's a really nice man, and I'd probably find him great to have long conversations with, except: he's very shy, and there's a huge language barrier. He was an engineer, so very organized, and when he gets going, very efficient.

I know he packed some of the kitchen stuff. Was going to make myself a coffee yesterday, but couldn't find the decorative can where I keep the coffee. I think he packed it, coffee and all. He swears he didn't pack it and that the kids probably took it. I'd ask them but WS is only semi-verbal and HF would blame WS as a matter of course. I went out and bought a cappuccino and a small bag of grind, but I'm sticking with my first thought which is FIL already packed the coffee and I'll fing it when we move.

I used to be hyper-efficient about packing. This time the packing is going slowly. Secondly, there's way more stuff. Firstly, I've been very busy, very sick, and oh yeah, all those kids underfoot. Kids! Like Hedgehogs, they're no help at all.

Death and Ceremonies.

Sep. 24th, 2017 01:49 pm
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[personal profile] captainsblog

For the Bangles, Sunday was their Fun Day. Their I don't have to run day.  Not mine. Sunday is my Park Day, my listen to the bark day, the find the poopy mark day:



(That's not a breakfast sammich in my right hand:P)

Instead, Saturday is the one day usually without an alarm or an agenda. Except yesterday. The longtime companion of a recent coworker had died, and yesterday morning was that set for his funeral at a small but beautiful Catholic church on Buffalo's west side.

I maybe met Randy once, and didn't work with Jan all that long either, but she's the kind of person you have to come out in support of.  I found the neighborhood- now more Muslim than Catholic- and a parking space on an adjacent street.  Two sights caught me before even setting eyes on the church itself: a cat crossing the street who was more the size of a puma; and a little girl from the neighborhood, dodging oncoming mourners while heading down the sidewalk on a pogo stick.  It's been years since I'd seen one of those in play, and it added a needed touch of levity to what would surely be a sad event.

Randy had overcome more than his share of sadness in life. His parents both died when he was still a teenager. After joining the Navy soon after high school, his first job took him to Rochester, and an almost 30-year career with the Big Yellow Box. Jan had been his high school sweetheart, but they each married and went their own ways.  In time, both of their spouses predeceased them, and Randy was also faced with the premature death of one of his own two sons and with having to care for the younger mentally challenged son, as well. Jan was immense help to him and his son. I chanced to meet him just past the pogo stick- he seemed sad, but supported by a lot of extended family.

The service itself was brief but beautiful. An old-school Catholic parish in a barely Catholic neighborhood presents challenges- often responded to by the Diocese shutting the doors- but this one seemed determined to do God's work for whoever is in need. The priest was African, the pianist/soloist Korean, the altar boys probably Filipino- and the signups in the back weren't for chicken barbecues or pro-life rallies but for helping the immigrants of the community.  Randy's brothers spoke briefly near the end of the memorial, and then the naval honor guard came forward.  There was no casket present, so the sailors unfurled the flag fully before re-folding it and handing it to Jan and to Randy's surviving son.  THAT's the kind of display of a flag that nobody can take issue with.

Randy donated his body to UB's anatomical study program, and in time he will be interred in Rochester's Riverside Cemetery to join his wife and son. My father-in-law also rests there. 

----

I came home to the sounds and fury of a deranged leader who had decided, the night before, to make an incredibly big deal out of the almost-forgotten protests taking place during the playing of the National Anthem at NFL games.  The Cheeto has since doubled and even tripled down on his vitriol, cursing those who protest and demanding their sacking (and not the kind by defensive ends).

You keep using those words, "Respect for the flag." I do not think they mean what you think they mean.  To me, they mean the freedom to express dissent, as long as it is peaceful.  I'm more than halfway through the first week of the Ken Burns Vietnam series, and also just finished a piece about Cheeto's fellow despot-in-crime, North Korea's Kim Jong Un.  Both of those presented tales of citizens, both North and South,  being forced to support the aims and symbols of their repressive governments, being threatened with arrest or worse if they didn't comply.  We are better than that.  Our flag flies for even those who don't completely agree with everything it has ever stood for.  And to ostracize and name-call those who exercise that right? Not right.

The owners of the Bills made this statement in response to the oppobrium from Alabama:   

Several of us met tonight -- players, coaches, staff, and ownership. Our goal was to provide open dialogue and communication. We listened to one another. We believe it's the best way to work through any issue we are facing -- on and off the field.

President Trump’s remarks were divisive and disrespectful to the entire NFL community, but we tried to use them as an opportunity to further unify our team and our organization.

Our players have the freedom to express themselves in a respectful and thoughtful manner and we all agreed that our sole message is to provide and to promote an environment that is focused on love and equality.

The comments in response to that are running about 90 percent "love it or leave it," but those are not indicative of the world at large. Or of the team- which locked arms for today's anthem, some kneeling, some not. Saying, "we disagree on some things, but we are together where it matters."  I will not say a word about how that will translate to the game's outcome until it's over, but for now it's a very good sign- and I think even Randy would have been proud of them.

Sad. Moving

Sep. 22nd, 2017 10:59 am
warriorsavant: (Renovations)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
The contractor told us he was finished. The house is being cleaned as I type this. We went to look at it yesterday. Moving soon. Should feel exciting and happy, but feeling very sad.

Many reasons for this: we've been renovating so long it feels like my normal life to be doing that; moving itself is a hassle (although have done so many times before, have more stuff now); this is the only home the kids have ever known and don't know how they will adapt; I've been living here for 12? 14? years now and am used to it and comfortable; I'm a city boy through-and-through, and the condo feels more urban versus the house being more suburban (they're only 8 minutes drive apart, but half-hour walk and in very different neighbourhoods, things more convenient near condo); the house is much bigger and I rather like everything close at hand, rather than possibly 2 floors away; this is likely my last move ever so has a certain grim finality to it.

Transitions....

Sep. 21st, 2017 03:36 pm
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[personal profile] captainsblog
More or less chronological from the past day:

Our longtime neighbor's house is finally up for sale. The sign went up late yesterday, and a listing showed up this morning.  By this afternoon, the listing realtor's site for it had been taken down. Did it sell that fast, or is something else going on?  This third-party site still has the info and some photos of in and out:



Yup, it's the answer to life, the universe and everything!



All traces of Betty's gardens are gone.



A retro-fan friend of mine picked right up on the built-in radio, likely of the same vintage as the '57 Buick of a built-in oven we still have in our kitchen next door.

Anyway, all this can be yours (including the curtains). Unless it can't because it sold in under a day- which does happen around here these days.

----

Also last night, before I saw any of those pictures, I saw this one:



A friend and fellow aminal lover posted this tale from the City of Buffalo Animal Shelter:

 

Lilly is a 12-18 month old chocolate lab mix who came to the shelter when her owners moved out of their house and left her behind. A concerned neighbor brought her to our care.

REALLY?!? Who does that? She looked well cared for, and the rest of the listing said she was doing well meeting people and other dogs.  I knew the time was all wrong- with Eleanor's three month layup, she's going to have enough trouble letting one dog out the back door during the day- but cmon. That FACCCCCE.  So I detoured after court this morning and checked. Sadly (or happily, really), Lilly already got adopted out. There were plenty of other choices, most of them pitties, but no. This would have been for Tasha- our first doggie rescue, a Chocolate lab mix who we gave the best 12 years of her 13 years of life through a few years ago. I'll continue to say no, but I'll never say never.

----

In other transitions, a longtime friend lost her longtime cat companion the other day. But not many Rainbow Bridge residents have a whole series of mystery novels starring them for us to remember them by:



Closer to home, the longtime companion of a former coworker passed away this week after a very long series of end days. His funeral is Saturday morning, and I think I need to go to that.

----

I think I also need to go out of town tomorrow for my only trip this week.  Nothing about THAT ever changes.

Clothes, growth, and poignancy

Sep. 20th, 2017 01:00 pm
warriorsavant: (Warriordaddy)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
We just gave away some baby stuff to friends who are planning a family. ("Planning" is a fraught word, but no matter, the female half was Nom's bff from work.) We'd given away stuff to a neighbor some months back when they had their baby, but this was the first time giving away baby clothes. Nom was all misty-eyed, and I was all "yeah, whatever, let's just get it out of the condo now so one less thing to move"... until I saw Hedgefund's favorite little pink jacket. She only wore it for over half her short life. She still has her favorite little red and white dress, except now it's her favorite little red and white shirt. Mist.
captainsblog: (Default)
[personal profile] captainsblog
The last three workdays last week were bookended by trips to Rochester for both work and teeth.  The only scheduled work of Wednesday was signing up a couple's wills; only one of them showed up, though, so that wound up making for a very early start on Friday to get Mr. Client's done, as well.

The Wednesday dental appointment was the more routine one- just a semiannual cleaning. The new hygienist is very young, very good, but very chatty. Better to be that during a cleaning than during what came two days later.

Emily's office is just down the road from Dr. Ron's, so I stopped over there to drop off a copy of Nothing- a quirky Canadian film our friend Ann recommended to us.  Since I was running a little behind schedule, I just found her car in the parking lot and slipped the DVD under her windshield. I even texted her that I would probably do that....

which she apparently forgot.  By the time she got home, a good 20 mile drive, she hadn't realized I'd done it, but amazingly, it was still there under the wiper.  Good thing it hadn't rained that day;)



----

Two days later, I was back there, to take care of problems with two teefs.  One, I'd known about for ages; the other came up on an x-ray last time I was in. Either could have turned into a major crown job, but we got them both filled and smoothed out with much less time and expense.  Before that, I also finished Will Number Two for Wednesday's couple, and got back here at a decent hour for, among other things, watching a goofy Scandinavian film that Netflix sent us; both of us were getting deja vu throughout, which made sense, because not only had we seen it before, we own it.  Then last night, we watched Repo Man, which we knew we owned, in honor of the passing of Harry Dean Stanton.

----

Small world time at the dog park today.  I'd fallen behind on a lot of paperwork with the time spent driving and sitting in dentists' chairs, so I tried cranking out a bunch of stuff from home on Saturday morning. It wasn't going well- the printer jammed, the work was dreary, and I was in Such A Mood when I left to finish up at the office, I decided to work in a workout first. It shouldn't have been overtiring (I check their unofficial schedule on reddit before booking anything), but for whatever reason it really wore me out. But the instructor is a really nice guy- my second class with him at the studio on the other side of town that is actually closer to my office than my "regular" one is.

Turns out I'd already met him before.  Not long into our first trip round the Parp!, we saw a couple of beagles who've been there before- Peter and Piper.  Their male human looked at me kinda funny, and we finally concluded that he's the trainer I'd done the class with the day before.

----

Recording Vietnam as I finish this.  I don't know if I'll get into it, but everything I've read about it, and about Burnsian documentaries in general, has been very positive.

Ste Anne's

Sep. 15th, 2017 11:15 am
warriorsavant: (Chimerae)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
I've posted that it's changed from a pure veterans hospital to a mixed civilian/veteran long term care unit. That's sad for me. Perhaps sadder still are the vets themselves aging so much. Even 2-3 years ago when I started, I could have conversations with some of them. Not long conversations, and I don't really have a lot of time for chit-chat with patients anyhow, but some sort of conversations. Now more and more of them just aren't there mentally anymore. The nurse who works with me, said that 10? 20? years ago, it was fun. They still had open wards instead of all private rooms, and the evenings frequently like social gatherings: movies, popcorn, singing, and likely smuggled beer. (In fact, when the Feds ran it as a pure veterans hospital, they did get a nightly alcohol ration of 1 drink if they wished.) I remember when I was an Intern at Portsmouth Navy Hospital, there were also open wards, and there was a certain camaraderie with the patients. For everyone, interns, nurses, corpsmen, and patients, it was just another duty station. (However, no camaraderie with the more senior residents and staff - very vicious place in that sense.) From what the nurse was telling me, it was rather the same atmosphere years ago at Ste Anne's. No longer. It's a much sadder place now and in some way, we all come there unless we die young.

HF & Daycare/socializing

Sep. 14th, 2017 08:24 pm
warriorsavant: (Warriordaddy)
[personal profile] warriorsavant
She's adapting quicker than we thought/feared. She has a friend she plays with - as much as 3-1/2 year olds really play together. I little boy. She has a friend who's a boy. She has a boy friend? A boyfriend??!!! Arggggghhhhhh. (Okay, I'm over it now.)

Too Many SPOONs? Or Not Enough?

Sep. 12th, 2017 08:31 pm
captainsblog: (Default)
[personal profile] captainsblog
It's not that I've been short on things to write about in recent days; it's more keeping up with All The Things that doesn't leave all that much time for sitting down here.  We've been ramping up my getting acclimated to doing all of the cooking (and eventually the grocery shopping) round here prior to Eleanor's surgery in, now, less than a month. Tonight was the first time I ran an old familiar recipe pretty much from the ingredients on. 

We, and/or I, also continue watching All The Things. Our local PBS affiliate delayed the season finale of Endeavour by a week so they could run more interruptable pledge-drive programming, so we instead watched the first of the Inspector Morse episodes from 1987. "The Dead of Jericho" gave us our first looks at John Thaw as Morse, at Kevin Whately as Lewis, and at the actors whose characters of Max and Strange would be played 30 years later (and 20 years earlier) in Endeavour. Colin Dexter makes his first cameo, and his novel was adapted by Anthony Minghella, later to pen The English Patient among many others. Guest stars included Gemma (later to play Mother of Bridget) Jones, but sadly "Dead of Jericho" also featured one of the last appearances by Second Doctor Patrick Troughton. He would pass away two months after the episode aired, at a Doctor Who convention in Columbus, Georgia.

Then last night, we streamed "Harvest," the finale of this year's model.  For some reason, the stream never got hung up during the 90 minutes, but the video had a herky-jerky character to it throughout, which only added to the episode's spookiness. As with the prior ones in this prequel, there were plenty of Easter-eggy homages throughout, including John Thaw's widow joining his daughter in the cast, and a character name-checking Thaw's first-ever motion picture role, coincidentally occurring in the year in which this episode's events began to unfold. The season ended with some emotional cliffhangery moments, and a Deus ex Regina explanation for how Morse became a Sergeant, but it left all the key people still alive (other than those you know can't be killed off) and we're looking forward to another series of it next year.

----

On my own time, mainly while getting to cardio (which I couldn't last week while they renovated the gym I go to for that), I've been streaming another crime series, one with its tongue way further embedded in its super-cheek:

https://media.vanityfair.com/photos/57b5d81c51d697ed23e725f1/master/pass/t-the-tick-superhero-parody-01.jpg

This premiered last year, part of Amazon's Vote For Me pilot effort, and His Blue Bugginess made the cut.  It is the latest televised incarnation of a cult comic, this one with the active involvement of the character's creator Ben Edlund, and its cast of mostly comedic performers send up the genre without the limits that even Deadpool and the Guardians face when confined to a Comic Universe with seeeeerious characters (and rights battles among major movie studios, none of whom can really be made fun of).  The Tick brings back the reckless abandon of Batman '66, none of the villains lets their evil get in the way of a good laugh, and there's a certain sweetness in some of the family connections that the characters bring to the story (such as sidekick Arthur and his sister) or that are slowly growing in the script between Blue Antennae and Gray Butterfly.

Only problem I have? I've seen the whole pilot and am more than halfway into the first six-episode drop provided by Prime, and I've yet to hear the Tick utter his trademark line even once:

http://rs294.pbsrc.com/albums/mm98/Zach_Desnaux/Tick.jpg~c200

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