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the rest of the story...

Saturday, August 27, 2016
...but first the back story...which you have already forgot, as it occurred nearly three years ago. When you read this part, it will make your hair stand on end. And cause you to add another set of dead bolts to the doors in your home, that sadly will not keep you safe, or protect you from being burgled by those who wish to invade your sanctuary.

I came home one day to discover our front door had been kicked in. The actual (metal) door only had a dent, and was closed, so not particularly noticeable. But the wooden door frame was busted with parts of the wooden trim/molding lying on the floor in the hallway. I thought 'odd', but had to pee, so went on down the hall and did my business. Then discovered all the contents of the dresser and chest of drawers scattered on the floor.

Alarming, right? Yes!!!  I called the Man of the House, as well as 911.

Everything was mostly, eventually, ultimately put to rights, but there were (and still are) some things missing: personal items, like jewelry and handguns. One of the rings eventually turned up, due to being unique with the owner's name inscribed, which allowed it to be traced and returned. Other stuff fell in a black hole, vanished.

The lesson I attempted to share, a Cautionary Tale for others, is that deadbolts do not keep you safe. Forty seven deadbolts will not protect you when the door frame is made of wood, pre-manufactured, assembled with staples!!!  Plus you are an idiot if your doors, entryways into your home, have glass in them. We ALL know that locks on windows and doors only keep out honest people, right? So having a beautiful, expensive, custom door with fancy etched glass panels on your house is an Invitation.

the trip to the DMV...

...to get my driving permit renewed. Another opportunity to take a number and get in line. Wait your turn, with the option of standing by or sitting in molded plastic chairs that have held thousands of bodies over time, and were not designed for the backsides of actual humans.

In the envelope that came in early August with the form to take to the tax/tag office for getting a sticker for another year of using the roads/streets was a reminder to renew my permit. Got the tag sticker for 2017 last week, and knew I needed to go to the DMV to get license before late September. I actually had this on my 'to-do' list to be sure it did not slip through the cracks and I would be at risk of driving all over the world with an expired license.

The list of things you need to prove You are You was pretty extensive. Generally meaning: highly annoying and thoroughly aggravating if you went unprepared. Should you go in to accomplish the task without adequate proof in the way of providing sufficient and appropriate documentation, you would leave with steam coming out of your ears. I know, as this has happened to my very own person.

Several years ago, my license got mis-put. I won't give details. (I dis-remember, but it probably went through the washer, or got left in a jacket pocket, forgotten.) But the part I do remember: making three trips back to the house to get all the paperwork they demanded before issuing a replacement.

Our house is less than a mile from the office of the Department of Motor Vehicles, where you would go at age sixteen to take the driving test and receive a permit to take to the public thoroughfare. In theory, my replacement experience could have been far more frustrating than it actually was by having to drive miles to get there. But I still recall having to make several trips back home to get the perfectly perfect documents to present for getting the mis-put license replaced. (Which I later found.)

They would not accept a birth certificate that was not 'official', without a raised notary seal. They would not accept a 'copy' of a SS card. And some other nit-picky issue that caused me to make a third trip home to get it right. Be Forewarned: save yourself elevated blood pressure and possibly a stress headache by taking all the right paperwork the first time you go.

I went on Wednesday, with an accumulation of all the required/proper documentation on the list. Which I had put in my car, to stop at the D.M.V., when I would notice a small number of vehicles in the parking lot. Indicating a fairly short wait line, with only a few people in the building awaiting service by cranky state employees. It was thankfully a non-event, with no incidents to report after I completed the form and was issued a 'wait-in-line' number.

I understand that the laminated card I can expect to receive in the mail is good for eight years. And comes with some sort of signifier imprinted so I won't have to take my passport, SS card, and proof of residence when up for renewal in eight years. Which is great, as I probably will not have the where-with-all  to assemble the multiplicity of documents eight years hence.

I guess I should be also thankful that it IS good for eight years, as I was stunned when they said I would be paying $35 for the privilege. I think I remember my first license (printed on card stock, dogeared over a years' time, filled in with ink pen by the presiding state trooper) was two, or  possibly three bucks. But, of course, had to be replaced each year. It's good the current version is laminated, as it could possibly/theoretically survive multiple trips through the washer and dryer. Not that anything this irresponsible would happen at my house....

bumper sticker:

..."when you say you throw your trash away, where is 'away'?" It is plastered on the back of a vehicle I see on a regular basis. Along with a lot of other misc. commentary on the world, and assorted personal opinions, political statements. But a conversation recently makes me seriously ponder this particular query.

A friend told me that he will put medications he no longer takes in a jar, set aside on a high shelf, and destroy the original container the Rx was dispensed in. For some reason he feels he should burn the bottles with labeling containing personal information. But he does not burn the pills. He was wondering what he could/should do with the medications. My first thought was to tell him our local law enforcement personnel will periodically advertise a day and specific location where/when they will accept un-used prescriptions to keep people from flushing them into the public utilities.

When I was talking about this to someone else about this, we discussed options for disposal. You could burn it, but that still releases the contents, maybe in an altered form, into the world, and creates carbon, as well as giving us all an opportunity to inhale some scare-y substances, or contamination from ash. I remember when my dad died, the hospice nurse immediately poured all his medications into the toilet to 'waste' the pharmaceuticals. Which puts all sorts of risky stuff into the water, where it does not actually vanish, merely changing form to pollute the drinking water, and resources where reptiles and amphibians live.

So, here's the conundrum: out of sight, out of mind? You think you do the 'right thing' by giving the Rx to people who work in law enforcement. Keeping the controlled substance out of the hands of the miscreants, ne'r do wells, local criminal element. Good idea! But what happens to the drugs when you 'donate'? As in the opening quote from the bumper sticker. Where does it actually go?

the trip to the tag office...

... qualifies as a necessary evil. You don't want to pay the penalty of getting caught, being given a traffic citation for not having a current sticker on your tag. Entailing: go to court, wait your turn, stand before the judge, pay the fine, then go stand in line to get your sticker. 

Therefore the the law-abiding citizens chooses to stand in like to get the tag or just a sticker for the right to drive on public thoroughfares for another year. For many years, the law here required drivers to buy a new tag before the end of  the month of your birth. Meaning most everyone born in any given month would wait until the last possible moment to go pay the fee. Creating  long lines of procrastinators trailing out the door in the last week of any month. But the requirement now is that it must be purchased before your actual birth date, spreading the demand out over the days and weeks to ease demand and pile up at the end of the month..

The notice that I needed to renew before my birthday came in the mail early in August, along with the form that provided the info. to take to the tag office 2017 sticker for my car license plate. I went a last week to get the tag sticker, knowing it would only cost me twenty bucks. You will think: wow! And wonder: why was the price for another year of driving on the public right-of-way so relatively inexpensive???.

The answer is the legislature changed the rules so the buyer is required to pay the full amount up front upon purchase, then just the minimal amount each year to cover costs of labor/printing/services of tag office. Which means I paid thousands up front with the registration of the newly purchased car, when I went to register the purchase/title.  And now pay twenty dollars a year to get a current sticker, good for another 365 days of running around like my shirt-tail is on fire.

quitting every day...

Friday, August 26, 2016
...over and over again, until I get it right. I have been trying for nearly two weeks to quit eating so much sugar. And have to start over again each morning, when the wagon keeps breaking down and I fall off again day after day after day after day, etc....

I don't know why I am having such a  difficult time with this - I did it on Jan. 2 and found it almost do-able. For at least three weeks, when I decided that twenty days or so had proved my point and that was enough of that. So I quit The Quitting, having completely gotten over being self-righteous and totally done with the idea of brimming with good intentions.

But this time, I just could not get it going. Every day, at some point before I was even halfway through the day, I found myself backsliding. With delicious cold chocolate milk a work, or foraging for something sweet in the closet at home where there might be a stash of peanut M & M's squirreled away. I have currently given up for the week, but will start afresh next Monday, trying to wean myself off junk food and refined sugar.

The rules of the game allow all the fresh fruit one can consume, since I spend a good portion of each day at work slicing strawberries or cutting melons into chunks, or shucking fresh pineapples. And of course, customers will ask about the tastiness of the goods, so it is necessary to continually do Quality Control.  And occasional grape, juicy ripe strawberry or bite of nearly-too-ripe pineapple is completely permissible

But anything with added sugar in all it's many sneaky forms is not allowed. Malto-dextrin, sucrose, brown sugar, corn syrup all on the 'don't-do-it' list. So no cold cereal, and no drinks that have either sugar or artificial sweeteners. I got tired of oatmeal with blueberries and pecans after about three days. It's really hard to find something acceptable when you have just gotten out of bed and can't think, but have to be at work in thirty minutes.

I would like to think I will be better prepared on Monday, and will be able to at least get through one day, if not the entire week. And honestly, even if I can just cut back and consume less, that is an improvement over ferreting out junk every day. I am sure it would work much better  if I were not the one trying to hide the Snickers from myself.

not really braggin'...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016
...but pretty pleased with myself. I admit to occasional bouts of laziness, and think the heat of summer is a factor in my inactivity. Plus standing on my feets on the hard concrete floor for six or eight or more hours a day tends to be exhausting, making me totally disinterested in exerting my person when the work day is over. Not even remotely inclined for anything that might be related to healthy.

But I do enjoy swimming. So I have taken myself to the city pool for the past three days after work. And put in at least half an hour doing laps. I was quite pleasantly surprised to discover that swimming and being virtually weightless allows me to get in the deliberate exercise without my bum knee hurting. The bad knee is mostly a just a nuisance, always hurting, forcing me to 'favor' it, changing my gait, which I am sure will create other problems over time. Not so painful there is a problem with getting around, but I am always aware of it, know I cannot 'hurry' for any reason, with only one speed in my personal travel.

But swimming is good. It does not hurt at all while I am in the pool. I guess swimming could be considered therapy? In addition to being good for muscles, heart, mental health.  I used to walk every day and enjoy the exercise, knowing I was doing something to maintain good health, but have not been able to do it in a couple of years without constant low-grade pain in my knee. I am delighted to discover swimming does not make it miserable, and stay in the water indefinitely (till I completely wrinkle up like a raisin) getting plenty of exercise without the continual joint pain.

just because you don't read about it...

Monday, August 22, 2016
...does not mean that the millipedes are not still wandering around on the tile floor every morning when I get up. There is  not a single morning when I walk into the kitchen I don't get the broom and sweep up at least a half dozen wiggling their way across the floor. I even got out the bug spray and gave a good healthy squirt along the baseboard in the pantry where I thought might be the point of entry. It didn't even slow them down.

The only reason there are not more that land in the dustpan on the way to the trash is that I have to go to work, and do not have time to hang around waiting for them to show their nasty little wiggle-self, scooching across the floor. I see them all along the baseboards in other rooms, dead, crispy, curled up, waiting for the broom. So do some make it past the tile floor into other parts of the house, as I am still convinced they are coming somehow from a crack in the pantry.

I see them heading out of the pantry in every direction, as if they had a master plan. If they had bigger brains I would think they were organized by battalions to scatter and infiltrate to the farthest corners of every room in the house. If I could just figure out where they are getting in, I would definitely be plugging it. A plague and a pestilence. Arrggghhh.....