Thursday, April 09, 2020


Why is there no toilet paper!? By the time I realized I'd better buy a little more than usual, there was none to be had in the stores. Or the online stores. I don't think the manufacturers have stopped making it, or the trucks stopped delivering it. Apparently, some people -- and they know who they are -- keep grabbing all they can get their hands on and leave none for anyone else. And apparently, many of them moved their hoards to eBay and Amazon to sell at outrageous prices. I ultimately had to give in to those sources and was staggered and appalled at the price gouging. Some jerks were selling one roll for $10 and up. By biting my tongue and maintaining unusual patience in scrolling through scores of listings, I was able to get enough at quasi-reasonable prices to last a month or two. Hopefully, things will have returned to normal in the stores by the time I run out. I never used to buy those gigantic multi-roll packages. In the future, I will, just to be on the safe side. I guess in the face of disaster, peoples' instinct is to hoard. But geez, folks, take what you need and leave some for other people. You're not winning any Brownie points by moving your stash online and price gouging. Your customers -- former customers now -- won't forget what you did. Who on earth would pay $100-plus for a 4-pack?! I'd pick leaves first.

Anyhow, my pup and I are maintaining, staying in, staying careful, staying informed, and just waiting it out. Y'all take care of yourselves, guard your toilet paper, stay safe, and be well.

Monday, April 06, 2020

Currency of the Apocalypse

No, it's not the Apocalypse. Not yet, anyway. Let's hope it stays that way. I'm not even sure you can have an Apocalypse without zombies.

But ... Lysol. Or any brand of disinfecting spray or wipes. Who knew ordinary household cleaning products would ever become such a hot commodity? You cannot get disinfectant products anywhere. Not for love, not for money, not even for your firstborn. I didn't even think about buying this stuff until early March when the threat of Coronavirus suddenly became real. By that time, the store shelves were already empty of these kinds of items. I had on hand exactly half a can of Lysol spray, and that was it. I eventually found a can of disinfecting wipes at a dollar store and one at the grocery store. I figured no big deal, you can get these things online any day of the week. Wrong! Not one major retailer had anything left in stock. Neither did vendors I'd never heard of. I did finally manage to get some supplies from eBay and Amazon -- hand sanitizer, alcohol wipes, a can of off-brand disinfectant spray (which feels about half full), antibacterial hand soap, and a small bottle of disinfectant spray which is supposed to smell like orange blossoms but smells more like industrial (or outhouse) disinfectant. Before getting these items, I had to wade through a slew of listings to weed out the blatant price gougers. $75+ for a can of Lysol? I don't think so! Why do I need this stuff? I live in a building with a lot of people (who have a lot of visitors), a mail room, laundry room, and common areas, and you just don't know who has what or touched what. I'm not punching elevator buttons without a wipe in my hand while this virus is running rampant.

We know this disease will peak and then ebb at some point. That is not to say there won't be a resurgence in the future. I'm pretty sure it's highly likely. I plan to have enough supplies on hand if and when that time comes, whether I need them or not, and avoid a repeat of this craziness. If you'd told me a few months ago that I'd move heaven and hell to get some cleaning supplies, I'd have said you were crazy. You just never know, do you?

Thursday, April 02, 2020


I haven't blogged in ages. I didn't realize it had been so long. But dang, there's a global pandemic going on. It's as good a day as any to try it again. I may just be blogging to myself since I don't know who's left in blog land, but that's okay. Gives me something to do.

The photo is my darling Shelter in Place partner, watching Animal Planet. She won't watch those daily White House political rallies -- excuse me, briefings. Neither will I. I was getting ready to go out on a supply run, so I had to get her set up. We've lived in this apartment for 17 months and she still doesn't like it. She'll cry and carry on if I leave her, so I have to set her up on my bed with her blankets, snacks, the TV tuned to AP, and close her in.

We in Virginia are under a Stay at Home order until June. One does get a bit bored. You can't go shopping; only "essential" stores are open. You can't eat out; all the restaurants are closed except for takeout and delivery. Pretty much everything is closed. Gas is down to $1.83 a gallon and there's nowhere to go except the grocery store, Walmart, or a dollar store. I read, watch TV, listen to music. I walk the dog. I make myself do household chores. And I paint my toenails. A lot.

I had a good supply of non-perishable food, extra water pitcher filters (and a backup case of water), batteries, toothpaste and soap and stuff on hand before all this started. I haven't watched years of The Walking Dead and learned nothing. I did not know it would be next to impossible to buy toilet paper and Lysol spray/wipes, and I waited too long. Luckily, I've been able to scrounge up those items online, so I'm good. Today, I scored 2 bottles of hand sanitizer at Dollar General. Felt like I'd won the lottery!

COVID-19 is scary. Not panic inducing, but enough to instill a healthy sense of caution. I've seen flu epidemics before but, thankfully, never got sick. Coronavirus is, of course, different, but I'm hoping my luck holds. There's no way to predict just how bad this will get. I don't think it'll reach "Captain Trips" proportions, but we don't know.

Whoever happens to stop by here, tell me how you're riding it out, how you're doing, what you've been up to. And how bored you are. Above all, practice physical distancing, stay safe, and be well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

So Surreal

Sometimes I think I’ve seen it all, and then something happens that tops everything I’ve seen yet. That happened early this morning, when a local TV (WDBJ-7 [CBS], Roanoke) reporter and her photographer were gunned down on-air.  I had the TV on listening to the news, but I didn't immediately grasp what was happening.  Who would?!  I have since seen the video - with sound - of the shooting, and it's just horrible. The TV team, 24-year-old Alison Parker, and the photographer, 27-year-old Adam Ward, died at the scene. They weren’t in a war zone, or covering a riot. This shouldn’t have been dangerous. They were at beautiful Smith Mountain Lake to interview a Chamber of Commerce lady, Vicky Gardner, for a feature piece on tourism at the lake. Thankfully, it looks like Ms. Gardner, who was shot in the back, is going to survive.

As he went down, Adam’s camera recorded an image of the gunman, and that was instrumental in identifying the piece of crap. Turns out he was 41-year-old Vester Flanagan, who had worked at WDBJ as a reporter under the name “Bryce Williams.” Flanagan was fired for being always angry, confrontational, and disgruntled – always looking for some remark from someone that he could take the wrong way – and ultimately had to be escorted off the premises by the police. This was over a year ago, and one wonders if he’s been planning an ambush like this ever since. This ignorant, worthless fool filmed the shooting himself and posted it to Twitter, this after sending a 23-page faxed “manifesto” to ABC News last night. These are the two young people who so senselessly lost their lives:
The cowardly piece of crap Flanagan fled the scene in his 2009 Mustang, which he abandoned at the airport in Roanoke. He then drove a previously rented Chevy to Northern Virginia. He shot himself when police tried to stop him, and died later at a Fairfax hospital. I say good riddance.

Photo of when he was masquerading as "Bryce Williams"

Monster in shooting stance

News people murdered on the air. Local reporters in small-town southern Virginia. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything so shocking. My God, what next?

And ... I would appreciate it if the local sheriffs would stop referring to this low-down piece of crap as a "gentleman."  

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Cool Beans

Awesome Autumn Picture for Myspace

There was a little nip of Fall in the air this morning. It’s so refreshing to wake up to an open window and 58 degrees outside.  Cool!  I’ve just about had it with it being 80 degrees at 11:00 P.M. That’s just not right, and I hope there won’t be any more of it between now and next Summer. The cold front that came through knocked out the ungodly humidity we’ve been dealing with, so it’s shaping up to be a fabulous weekend.

I wish I could go to the beach. I love the ocean and often times find myself simply longing for the sound of the surf and the tangy smell of salt air. Unfortunately, it’s a long trip and I have no one any more to go with me. Of course, my pup has never seen the ocean, and who even knows whether she’d like it, so I guess we’ll just stay home.  For now.

I have errands to run and shopping to do, so I’d best get to it. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Free Fruitcake(s)

Time Flies Like an Arrow Fruit Flies Like a Banana.

 It’s only Wednesday but it feels like it should be Saturday, maybe even Sunday. Why does this week seem so long? Maybe because we’ve been crazy busy at work – and seemingly running in circles because so many of our clients have suddenly gone crazy. I’ve never seen such a spate of whiny, ill informed, passive-aggressive neediness. One even fired us – because we did exactly what she asked us to. The boss has had me draft snarky letters to some of them this week. He doesn’t send them, though. I think it makes us both feel better to just vent and get it off our chests.  And we managed to unload two of them on other lawyers.  We're not expecting thank-you notes.

Meanwhile, I’m thinking of taking French lessons. I’ll need to know more than yes, no, thank you, and … merde, if I have to move to Canada. Donald Trump is ahead in the political polls. Seriously?! What is wrong with people? I’d rather wear long johns and commune with moose (mooses?) than try to say “President Trump” with a straight face.

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Hot, It's Not

Hottie Picture

Apparently, either I’m giving off the vibes of a homely, lonely little old man – or I’m too sexy for my own good. Lately, I’ve been bombarded with emails – sometimes half a dozen a day – from what purport to be blazing hot women just panting to commit obscene acts with me. And I thought all those ads I used to get for "male enhancement" were bad.  What is this?!  It's definitely not hot.  It just makes you want to shower right away. I get this stuff at all of my email addresses, with the exception of my work email. All of my user names are clearly feminine, so I’ll be darned if I can figure out why these (maybe) women are begging to do stuff to me (or vice versa) that are completely anatomically impossible. I mean, I don’t read the emails – I send them straight to spam; the sales pitch is right there in the subject line. And I suppose it must be a sales pitch of some sort. Surely, there aren’t really hordes of women out there so desperate for some deviant sex that they’ll proposition strange women, so there must be some kind of money angle to it. Either that, or I’m giving off such hot, sexy vibes that I really need to rein it in. God, I hope it’s not “hairy lonely guy” vibes I’m emanating. I truly would have no explanation for that, not to mention that I'd be so mortified that I'd have to go into hiding.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Catching Up

I know, I haven’t updated my blog in ages.  I didn’t even realize until yesterday, when my friend and fellow blogger Marion, a/k/a the esteemed Princess Dragonfly, nudged me, how long it had been.  Honest to God, I don’t know where time goes.  I could have sworn I had updated since February, but apparently not.  I “meant” to, but stuff happens, you know what I mean?  Today’s a good day to update, I guess.

You all know about the loss I suffered in December.  Life is very different now.  I’m not saying it’s awful, but it’s certainly different.  I still miss my best friend every day, but … you go on.

I’ve been dealing with a spinal compression fracture since 4th of July weekend.  I spent that entire weekend lying down, in the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life.  On the following Monday, I said “uncle” (because I hate going to doctors) and went to the Urgent Care.  After a series of X-rays, they told me that the pain was a result of osteoporosis, possibly combined with some arthritis.  They gave me a prescription for an anti-inflammatory and, basically, told me that it was something I’m just going to have to live with.  Then, they called me the next day and said further study of the X-rays showed a compression fracture and wanted to refer me to an orthopaedist.  I spent a couple of days figuring out a course of treatment that would allow me to get the pain under control.  I tried Icy Hot (works), Dr. Shepard’s Pain Therapy cream (works), Myoflex (works, but not as well), Salon Pas patches (works), and Tiger Balm (really works).  The heating pad also works wonders and, in conjunction with some Ibuprofen once or twice a day and one of the wide array of lineaments I now have on hand, and always sitting with something firm behind my back, I think I have it licked.  I haven’t missed any work (other than a few vacation days), and I politely passed on the orthopaedist since the standard treatment appears to be heat, rest, and pain meds – which is what I’m doing.  I'm taking mega doses of Calcium and Vitamin D, too.

It’s been a hot, hot summer.  Forget everything you’ve ever heard about cool mountain air.  It ain’t happening in these mountains, not this year.  Thank God for AC.  My little Señorita Chihuahua, on the other hand, loves basking in the sun right in front of the patio door, no matter how hot it is.  She’s a sweetheart, I love her, and I’m sure she’s extremely bright, but I just don’t get that.

I read Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman.”  I didn’t love it.  I don’t think I’ve become a Philistine.  It simply didn’t move me.

I never post about politics.  I’ve seen too many sites devolve into real nastiness when politics are involved.  In light of the political circus taking shape now, though, I just may have to break my own rule.

Poor Cecil the Lion.  Why would anyone torture a magnificent animal like that, drag out his death for 2 days, and then mutilate his body in such a horrifying way?  Where I come from, you hunt for food; you don’t kill just for some kind of warped thrill.  What happened to him just makes me sick.  And sad.    RIP, Cecil.

There's a Blue Moon tonight.  I love full moons, and it's not true that they make me crazy.  Not too much, anyway.

Saturday, February 14, 2015


Animated Happy Valentines Day Greetings

Monday, February 09, 2015

Big Scary Monster

To you and me, this is a household appliance, a benign machine most of us drag out every blue moon to suck up the dog hair and other detritus accumulated on the floor since the last blue moon.

To my dog, however, it’s huge and vile and scary … evil incarnate.  The very sight of it, the instant I pull it out of the closet, sends her into a panic and she runs for the hills.  Or, more accurately, her bed and its pile of baby blankets.

When I turn it on, all hell breaks loose.  She goes absolutely berserk, alternately running around in circles and charging at it, barking the whole time.  It’s kind of hard to vacuum with this tiny warrior princess trying to kill it and me about to wet my pants laughing.  This is why I vacuum only every blue moon.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Frozen - for real

Boy, am I glad I’m not in the Northeast tonight. Looks like this blizzard is shaping up to be one for the record books. I suspect the affected areas – and it looks like a huge area – are going to have it pretty rough for the next couple of days. Snow, near hurricane force winds, storm surge, possible thunder and lightning – not a pleasant situation. The storm missed my part of Virginia, thankfully; we’ve just had a little rain today. The wind has kicked up, and the weatherman says 60% chance of snow tonight, but it won’t be anything like up north. If we get snow, it probably won’t be anything to write home about. It's cold, going down to the 20s tonight, but not that bad. All in all, it’s been a pretty mild winter here so far.

Frozen Winter Season Picture

So – drones on the White House lawn. There’s a scary proposition, and don’t you just know there are terrorists out there salivating and drooling over the possibilities. These are scary times, boys and girls.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

And Now It's 2015

I know, I know – I’ve been absent from my blog for a long time.  Seems like I was always busy with this, that, or the other.  I meant to return during the Christmas shopping season, but then something terrible happened.

My S.O. of nearly seven years died suddenly from a massive heart attack three weeks before Christmas.  I spent the holidays in a state of shock and grief.  It still doesn’t seem real, that he’s really gone.  But he is, and I’m doing the only thing I can do – putting one foot in front of the other.

In retrospect, it seems like the last five years were chock-full of tragedy and/or bad luck – the deaths of my mother (and subsequent family drama), father, and dog; the accident in which I broke my hip; a year of unemployment.  And he was there with and for me through all of it.  I loved him, and I never had one moment’s doubt that he loved and cherished me, and I miss him so much.

The world – and my heart –  seems like a mighty empty and lonely place right now.

He loved my red hair; he always said it was what first drew him to me.  So you know what I did?  The day after Christmas, I bleached it blonde.  Good idea?  Not so good?  Who knows.  Took me four or five processes, sometimes only a day or two apart, to get the red tones out.  Then it looked too blonde to me, so I used yet another product.  For now, I think I’ll be grateful it didn’t fall out and leave it alone.

I’ll get over feeling shell-shocked eventually.  Probably.  I have no idea what the future holds – certainly, none of the remaining things we planned to do together.  Typically, I embrace change and challenge.  This one, I didn’t see coming and it’s kind of gobsmacked me.  But I’ll land on my feet.  I always do.

I’m thankful that I have a job to go to that keeps me busy and my sweet little pup at home.  And I’m glad I still have my blog where I can say whatever is on my mind.

Other than this, I don’t know what to say, so I think I’ve said enough for now.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Lucky Day (crossing fingers)

Extra spooky day, or extra lucky? It's not even noon yet, so we shall see. Personally, I'm opting for a double dose of luck. I'm really tired of the same old, same old. This may be the perfect day to turn it around.

It's TGIF, too, which can't hurt. Have a happy one!