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The next stage of the war on women: The Five Court Scumbags have done it now.  They have remanded the case discussed below to the lower court in light of Hobby Lobby.  The lower court had ruled that Eden Foods could not block all contraception.  The Catholic Five Judges (not Justices, not them) probably had that in mind all along.  Scum.


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I've been privileged to a degree.  At least, I have spent a large part of my life outside the parameters of conventional beauty, so there have not been that many men who were a nuisance.  When I was younger it did happen sometimes, but the very first time I happened upon an answer to propositions that worked so well I used it every time.  When propositioned, I would stare at the perpetrator and then burst out "Are you out of your mind?"  Not one was ever able to answer the inquiry, nor to say another word.  It worked for me.

Only one male ever got in a strike by surprise -- one Dan Murray, may he be cursed into the hell where he belongs.  I think it opened his girlfriend's eyes, which could only have done her good.

I was physically combative from a young age, which probably made me a lot less afraid than I could have been.

In college I went to do laundry with a female friend, using her hubby's car.  As we were leaving the parking lot a man ran up and grabbed her door handle.  I peeled out of there and may have grazed him -- and if so, all the better.  Yeah, I tend to be hostile toward men who run up to the car and grab the door handle.

But like all women I have walked at night with my keys between my fingers.  I have driven like a demon when pursued in a vehicle. How not?  You just do what you have to do.  Drive like mad.  Push the beggar off onto the floor.  Whatever.

Yeah, even someone who has had a small amount of trouble has incidents within a lifetime.  I do believe that it happens to all women...and when we discuss this I do not give one little fart about the menz.


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is actually the Ides of March.  Beware!

I wnt to work for a few hours because we have had so much dumped on us.  I may do a few hours on Monday as well If I get filled with energy.

Think good thoughts at Jim Murray, who is in the KU Cardiac ICU for tests after a mild heart attack.  They will be doing something to him after said tests.  Probably including a Denial of Bacon Order and a Red Meat Cease and Desist.

Home, home...

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An hour or so into the snowpocalypse it's coming down steadily. Still light and fluffy, not what I'd call a heavy fall yet. But I was delighted to get messages from friends telling me that they closed the building today, and there would be no work. Wow. I actually didn't expect them to be so sensible. It keeps some 3,000 people off streets that need attention, so it's all good.

When I got the messages I put another couple of logs in the stove and set it to run all night. When I got up this morning there were enough coals to just pile more logs on for a continuing fire.

Last night I had a bowl of chicken soup for dinner, and for some reason I was completely full halfway through it, so I just had the other half for breakfast. OK, chicken soup is a weird breakfast -- but the way my nose is feeling it can only do good.

I recently went to the Baen web site and I looked over the book bundles. I found a John Brunner bundle, and I'd only read two of the six titles. This is kind of surprising because I own over 40 Brunner books. I bought the bundle because I don't have either of the two repeats as e-books, so now I have those on the computer. I probably have 700 books on my nook -- with backups on my pc. That is another bookshelf or two I haven't had to buy and load. I still get some tree books -- just not very many.

Ah yes, tis the season.

I found myself listening to Christian radio the last couple of days while driving, because they do Christmas music amazingly well.

It reminded me of being young and doing Christmas Eve at the Black's.  All the relatives of the Green side of the family would gather, and they did traditional things as a group.  One of the things they wanted to do was sing carols, but it was ...less than musical.  None of them knew the words to carols, and no one but me could go past the first verse of anything.  All those years in church choir made me a regular carol music box.  So I decided to do what I could to fix this.

I went to the Town Crier in Lawrence, and they had books of carols for fifty cents, so I bought at least 10 and took them to the next Christmas Eve.  When singing time came I passed out the books and decreed that this year they would actually sing the darned things!

Gods, but I was a pain in the butt.

Still, Carl's mother saved the books and brought them every year.  They really did need them.

Updated the userpic.

Enough pumpkins -- in with the turkeys!

I have been shopping for a phone.  I am not quite sane -- the one I like is over 600.00.  Ack!  For a phone!  Maybe I should pick an earlier model.  The way I am about phones no doubt an earlier one would work just fine for me.  It's not like I will watch movies all day or anything.

I am also pretty sure I will pick a new company and leave Sprint.  Their damned store kept me in line over an hour just to find out that I couldn't do anything I needed to there.  So here I go -- tomorrow I will go get a new phone an a new company.

Meanwhile, I am working on getting the company that had my stolen car on their lot removed as an approved company for stolen vehicle storage.  They were a real piece of work, and I hope I can get their business taken away.  No one should have to deal with these scum.


It Sounds Strange

but the Good News is that yesterday we were told to expect to be laid off on September 20.  If it were true, that would suit me.  More likely, however, is that it's not true, and we will be given another short contract to keep us on the job.

I belong to a group that is considered "critical" -- because if they lay us off chances are high that the government will be sacrificing  money that they could be billing to people who are filing late with large income gains.  Of course the budget wrangle and the debt ceiling wrangle are going to make employment chancy in any case -- and even if they lay us off they will likely demand to have us back in 3 weeks since the late-filing deadline is October 15.  That creates a mini-spike of late returns, and we are part of the group that deals with those, too.

Oh sure, they keep grumbling about laying off all the seasonals until January, but I can't see it happening.  And if I'm wrong?  Oh please don't throw me in that briar patch!

Sep. 8th, 2013

I've had something more or less like a light case of flu combined with a cold in the time I have been home from WorldCon.

In some ways, a writer friend defined what the conventions was like -- but did it a dozen years early.  The main accessory is a cane -- or a scooter for those who have lost even more mobility.  I had been doing without a cane for months, but the size of the convention center soon sent me down to my car to get out the emergency cane I keep in there.  My hips could only take so many miles of cement floor before they screamed.  My pedometer said I walked over five miles on Thursday, so the poor things had reason.  I usually don't do much more than 2 or 3 in a normal day.

The graying means that a lot of playfulness is gone.  Costumes were not very evident.  Most people were in pants and Ts casual.  I guess all the costumes go to DragonCon.  The writers cleaned up very nicely for the Hugos.  Mur Lafferty's dress was outstanding.  I'm envious.

But I headed home before that ever happened.  I left on Saturday because by Friday night I had pretty much done what I wanted to do.  Maybe that statement is the sorriest thing -- that I could run out of things I wanted from a WorldCon before the big events occurred.  I still plan to go to London.  I am pretty sure the city will have things I want to see even if the convention turns into something I'm done with early.  And if worldCon is in KC in 2016 (which looks probable at this point) I will be there.  That would be a full circle, however, and probably my last WorldCon -- as Kansas City in 1976 was my first.

Well that was a shock.

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I ate 4 or 5 bites of lunch -- maybe 1/4 cup or less, when the stomach sent an urgent message that it was full and past full -- stop stop stop!!  So I stopped.  I spent the next 30 minutes or so losing bits of it, as my tiny stomach rebelled.  It is still overfull now, and it has been more than 2 hours since I ate.  I hope it is not a signal that something drastic has gone wrong.  Drinking some nice hot coffee.  That should be OK.

Unfortunately, I suspect I have acquired  a hernia.  The gall bladder that used to be in that area is gone, and hernia is about the only thing that works with the feeling. I will go to the doctor in a bit over a week, and we will see what comes of it.  Got to avoid any gym activity that stresses the abdominal area meanwhile -- that hurts like blazes.  But I will continue all the things that I have been working on.  I may never LIKE the gym, but I am resigned to going there and the people are friendly, both members and staff.  I continue to lose, but more slowly.  About 63 down.  Hey, as long as it is down things are ok.

And now for the fact that it is August -- specifically the third weekend.  Third weekend of almost every month is KaCSFFS.  I joined in August of 1982.  I still remember John J, John Taylor, Pat Taylor, and I walking to the meeting, which was at Torre's Pizza in Westport.  There were maybe 25 of us in KaCSFFS at the time.  I still remember what it was like, walking with the others.  I even remember what we were wearing.  Ah, an excess of memory.  The best that can be said for me is that I appreciated my good times while I was living them.


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I love these pictures.  This 14 year old is already a mature fantasy artist:

As predicted

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the hardest part of the post-surgery regime is the exercise.  I went through the ones I am assigned today.  I stopped biking a quarter mile after my left knee started hurting.  I can push it a bit, but limping when I am done isn't the best thing.  Now several hours later there are pains over my right ribs.  This isn't the first time for rib pain by any means.  I should probably go take some Tylenol.  I suppose I should be glad the shoulder joints are holding up today -- they don't always cooperate.

I am not a fan of all this exercise, but the threat of not having strength as I go down in size is enough to make me go.  Also it's possible I can avoid saggy wings if I do what I have to, so ... .

I got a couple of iPods, some ear buds and head phones.  Music does make biking easier.  On things I have to count, music sometimes makes me lose count, but I just set the number back and continue from some lower number, just to make sure it all gets done.  Up the weights.  Think about adding new things as it gets easier.

Exercise.  Still not my favorite.

Bastille Day

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Allons enfants de la Patrie
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie
L'étendard sanglant est levé
Entendez-vous dans nos campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras.
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes!

Aux armes citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons


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 Google Fiber is installed, and it seems a bit faster than the old DSL -- and this is just the basic service, not the gigabyte downloads promised by the high speed option.  Moreover, you get your own personal tech to call if you have trouble.  He speaks English, and he came and did the installation.

Meanwhile, Buster is mending.  He was sick last week and I took him to the vet.  The news was not great -- he had a blockage in his urethra.  Fortunately, it spontaneously unblocked before the vet had to knock him out and use a catheter.  He now has prescription cat food which costs more than my food.  I also got him a kitty water fountain to see if I could lure him into drinking.  The only places he would drink before were in the kitchen sink and in the toilet.  The fountain is working great, and now he doesn't have to jump on the counter for a drink.  He goes over and visits it every now and then, which is a real improvement.

6 week post-surgery visit today.  I seem to be doing better.  A bit less tired.  Next week has a FIVE DAY weekend with the holiday, the sequester day, and my regular day off.  Good times.

Getting Ready

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[choke! choke!] to go to the gym.  Today I will try to do some exercise, and I will look over the resistance training circuit.  I can't do abdominal strengthening yet -- two more weeks of healing come first.  I am still limited to 14 pounds lifting and dragging, though I suspect I have exceeded that a couple of times.

Those bikes are demonic -- they cut out if you go too slow, and I am as slow as you can imagine.  Oh well, the pedals move even slow, and any exercise is better than no exercise, yes?  I hope that they will have classes at times I can take them. Right now I still can't sit on the floor and then get up.  40 pounds to get to there -- hey!  it used to be 90 pounds.  Maybe by July.  The weight is falling off, and I am on 2T of food per meal until 7/1 or so.  After that I get 3T!!  Yeah, with 4 protein shakes a day to get 80 grams, it is definitely a high protein diet.

Fertilizer Plant Explosion

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That reminded me of doing a temp stint at the Co-Op in Lawrence, which also makes fertilizer out of ammonia.  The first thing that happens when you report in is the emergency drill tape.  They have you listen to a tape of various emergency tones, and describe what to do for each.  Then they hand you your hard hat and your gas mask, and tell you to be sure to keep both on at all times, though the gas mask can hang around your neck.  If anything happens to the ammonia containment tank, they have guys standing by in wet suits whose job it is to try to keep the tank from breaching.  Ammonia can make you bleed out the eyeballs, so getting away is of high importance.

Those poor suckers in Texas.

At the moment

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I have completed a week in the new way.  I am reasonably content with my baby food.  Some of it even has flavor.  I am not desperate to eat large amounts, and so far I have not overeaten enough to get sick.

I even went so far as to get Gerber oatmeal so that there would not be anything rough on my stomach at first.  Of course I add applesauce and cinnamon, but hey!  No reason your tastebuds have to suffer.

I need to look into smashing the chewable vitamins to powder.  They are just too big to be tolerable.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or maybe I can find enough Gummy vitamins so that I can eat a bunch of them instead.  It will be at least a week before I get near Costco.  I still have plenty of supplies -- I only need milk replaced any time soon.  I haven't eaten any pudding or yogurt,  It has been baby food, tomato soup, and cottage cheese for the most part.

The cat got at the empty baby food jar.  It was not scraped and he had his paw in it and was pulling out leftovers and licking the paw.  Cats.

Yes, OFF!

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In a couple of hours I will be turning the computer off for two days or more.  I leave for the hospital at 11 AM.

All the items are checked off the packing list.  Whew..

Mar. 7th, 2013

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I   am so glad that I wll be going in for surgery soon.

I always seem to be tired on Thursday, so of course Thursday night is when I have to bag up the trash and haul it out.  This neighborhood is flooded with dogs off the leash, so all of it has to go in cans, not just nice bags you can drag.  Four bags out and in cans, one can to the street with one to go.  I'm recovering here!

The fun part of living here is the rest of the wildlife.  I can see the tracks where deer have crossed the yard, and where rabbits hopped through the snow.  As I waited for the realtor, the tracks in the snow made me pretty sure I was going to live out here.

Scurry scurry...

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I have been doing The Hamster Wheel in my head working out details for my upcoming adventure. I got my doctor to prescribe my main meds as liquids so I can continue with them during the all-liquid phases of my upcoming surgery and recovery. I could probably go without them for a month, but why tempt fate? They are a lifetime thing, and that means using them no matter what. I will probably skip them for the 2 days I am in the hospital, but that is all, and I can do that. Later today I will probably re-read the information they gave us right at the start, because it covers everything.

I ordered the last of the nutrition items -- chewable calcium/D3 in 500 mg increments -- and it should get here tomorrow. Yeah, a lifetime of mail order vitamins ahead -- because the requirements are complicated and you can't count on buying stuff locally. I especially went for the vitamins that are 1) one a day and 2) completely free of ingredients from China. No use potentially poisoning myself. I mean, I read this article that talked about the maximum melamine permitted in milk -- I was aghast! The correct answer is ZERO, dammit! And so the boycotting of Chinese ingredients is only sensible. This country is self-sufficient in food production. Importing anything edible from China is insane and potentially deadly.

My son will drive me, and he will feed the cat.  Buster recognizes him as a food source and will come for him. 

I will have to lay in a few more supplies -- cream soups, applesauce, and other squishy things -- but all that can wait a month.  I will likely do it while I am on the all-liquid diet and overbuy.  After all, eating stuff in 6 teaspoon increments is a pretty slow process.  Yeah, 6 teaspoons of food, 3 times a day.  As they say in the USMC, "Every day's a holiday and every meal's a feast!"


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Blue Cross approved my surgery in only 13 days.

Yes, I was fanatical about meeting all the requirements -- it took three months from day 1 until 1/30 when the request was faxed to them to get through everything. It's scheduled for 4/2, which will put me at home for part of April. I am planning to get 2 weeks of paid leave and 2 of unpaid to encourage me to get through the wimpy part. I don't get to lift anything for 4 to 6 weeks, but the guy across the aisle will do that if it needs doing.

So 6 weeks from now I'll be going in the hospital for 2 days. And eating a whole lot less.

Didn't I Need More Books?

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I just placed a complete set of the Book of Knowledge into my tallest bookshelf. Of course since 20 volumes weigh over 50 pounds, they are on the bottom shelf with a few extra parked above until I rearrange a bit more. Yes, the paper is high quality which is why they weigh so much. The added yearbooks are for 1952 and 1953. The Index needs to be rebound.

I read bits of these so often when I was a kid, and their articles on mythology carried me through an entire research paper on the topic. They also had wonderful fairy tales -- it's where I read "The Magic Tinderbox" and the one about the swan princes. Surprisingly enough, this set is prized by home schoolers and particularly by missionaries -- probably because the vintage and breadth set them into a bracket that is both safe and admirably literate.

On the surgical prep front, I have one more nutrition and exercise class left, and then St Luke's will submit my things to the insurance company for pre-approval. I have done everything else required. If Blue Cross is efficient, I will be looking at being on the surgery schedule in late February or in March. Yes, I still think I need to do this although it will make huge changes in some things.

And yes, I have applied for another job and the process is still grinding on, though I got an e-mail telling me I am qualified. Now all I have to do is be at the top of the heap, right?

So it Goes

An early bedtime, I hope. I have been exchanging several e-mails a day with my sister since my brother died. She has the job of getting stuff done in NJ. I can do research from here to find who she should contact for some things, but that's about it. It is going to take a year to settle things, because he didn't leave an easy job behind.

Meanwhile, I completed step 1 of about a dozen toward getting surgery done. Step 2 is a doctor's appointment in about a week. I even called and got it moved up into a spot that someone vacated, and I will continue to push things forward as I can. Insurance companies want you to jump through lots of hoops on the way -- a nuisance if you ask me, and if I had a huge amount of money to spare, I'd just pay and avoid the hoops. Unfortunately, it is a lot more than I can just pull out of the bank, so I will be cussing the hoops all the way while doing what I have to.

So Sorry

My brother died tonight at a VA hospital in New York. He was 63. Congestive heart failure and cancer. If the valve transplant had worked he might have survived a couple more years, but his heart failed to restart.

OK, so things happened very much as I expected. I'm sorry. He was a nice person and I'll be sorry not to see him again. I was pretty sure when I saw him in PA a couple of years ago that I wouldn't see him alive again -- it is an unfortunate kind of foreknowledge to have.

The Wall

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I hit the wall full force.

I've decided to have modest bariatric surgery because I can no longer maintain a diet on my own with no assistance. So a lap band, which is laproscopic, involves no cutting that can't be dealt with in a week of recovery, and is pretty effective.

I was sort of OK until I quit smoking. The weight I put on after that has been persistent, and I have had an almost impossible time budging it.

I'm tired. I'm uncomfortable. I'm going to do it.

Hugo Awards Re-Broadcast

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Boosting the signal: "Chicago, Illinois, USA - Chicon 7, the 70th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon), is pleased to announce that the 2012 Hugo Awards Ceremony will be re-broadcast in its entirety and ad-free via Ustream on Sunday, September 9, starting at 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT) at

The original live broadcast of the ceremony was interrupted on Sunday, September 2 when an automated infringement system detected content in the stream that it deemed copyright infringement. Although the material was cleared for Chicon 7 use, the feed could not be restored before the ceremony concluded, meaning that fans around the world were unable to enjoy the remainder of the show. "