Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Time & Tide

Well talk about a few rough days! We have had a few days where the weather has not been nice, actually downright hot would be more like it. The weather has been responsible for us not getting to the park this week since Monday. It has kept us awake at night for it’s too hot to sleep, even with a/c.

Today really kind of capped it all off. This morning we were up bright and early getting ready for rehab, Elizabeth had gone out to load the truck, that’s when the phone rang and all hell broke loose, so to speak.

We have a guy who lived in an upstairs apartment who is normally a creature of habit, the kind that you can set your clock by.

A week last Monday he missed doing his laundry, he missed again this week. When I came to think of it, I really hadn’t seen him around in a while now, not that he is my favorite person. I digress, this morning the phone rang and bedlam seemed to break loose outside. Very quickly the super’s truck arrived followed by quite an entourage. There were police cars everywhere along with ambulances and a fire truck, and finally an office rep.

John was on the phone to ask me if I knew this guy upstairs had died? I flipped back, of course not or else I would have phoned you!

Well the bottom line was this guy upstairs that you can set your watch by, wouldn’t be setting anything anymore, it seems that he passed away at some point in the last two weeks. Judging by the decomposition and the smell that permeated throughout the whole neighborhood, it had to be 10 or11 days since he died. The weather of course because of the circumstances made things around here downright awful, to say the least. Talk about gag!

The wife wrote this account for a forum she visits, I think it's worth reading here too. :)

A Weird day……

I went outside to start loading the truck with rehab gear…..noticed an unusual quite sickening smell in the air….went around the building and there were police cars, ambulances, fire trucks etc.

We live in a 2 story 12 plex…..apparently one of the tenants upstairs had phoned the super about a garbage smell this morning… turned out to be his neighbor...who had died.....about 10 days ago….the man lived alone, and like many, had no relatives or friends.

The apartment had been shut up and when they opened the windows….well, you can imagine…..I had to make several trips back and forth outside with stops for gagging….I am so thankful that we are on the bottom floor at the far end of the building where there is no odor. Got Eric out for rehab….said he couldn’t smell a thing….I think this has something to do with his 02.….When we returned 3 hours later the coroner had just arrived….the tired super followed us in and had 3 cups coffee (we always keep a can of Tim’s for him), gave a grisly description of the body (Eric wasn’t amused), and I gave the super some vicks for his nose (a nurse told me about this trick to mask smell) and cold spring waters to take out for the workers. They had spray cans that they used on their clothes after being in the apt… took out(or masked) the odor. One young fireman said it was the worst body he’s ever seen.

Today I learned what a decomposed body smells like…..I hope I never smell that again…..I hope none of us die alone…..


The poor wife insists that she has this ‘decomposing dead guy in her nose,’ ~ this odor, that she cannot get rid of.

I told her that the mind is a powerful thing and if she thinks real hard about steak & onions cooking, pretty soon she won’t be able to get the smell of onions out of her nose! My poor honey. She of the weird dreams and now the probing proboscis.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

In Your Dreams

Most mornings when the wife and I get up, we sit and enjoy a nice warm cup of tea/chocolate together. Invariably the wife while drinking her hot chocolate will say, ‘I had a funny dream last night.'
I have never known anybody have such wild dream experiences as Elizabeth sometimes gets, this morning was no exception.

As most of my regular readers know, I have COPD and am on oxygen 24/7.

Generally I never pay much attention to dreams as a rule for they are just that, a dream. They would appear to have no rhyme or reason to them, let alone any real time consequences. So after the initial announcement, I usually just dismiss them with a grunt or some comical remark like, “Well it had to be the lobster you ate before going to bed!” Or some such thing.

Elizabeth started to relate her dream to me, with me just being half attentive. I believe that the first thing that got my attention was she said that in the dream both she and I were on oxygen.

Apparently in this dream, we were sitting out in the grounds of a hospital or some such rehabilitation facility, the both of us with our length of hose firmly attached to the nose. (That alone is a scary thought!)

We were just keeping each other company and shooting the breeze, when this other lady came walking by. Somehow it seems by some kind of a kind of a mix up, this woman got herself all tangled up with the oxygen hose that Elizabeth had on. Obviously the more she struggled the more entangled she became.

The wife meanwhile was having a great big hairy over this performance and promptly started to let the world know all about this clumsy clod! (Another person funnily enough was also in Elizabeth’s dream and that was my PT from rehab! )
Meanwhile back in la, la land. The tangle woman was by now getting quite upset with her predicament. In her frustration she reached into her purse and pulling out a pair of scissors promptly performed an "Edward Scissorhands" routine, deftly snipping the wife’s oxygen hose!

So there sat the wife, holding the cut ends of the hose up in the air for all to see, crying out! Look what she did to my oxygen Waaaaaaaaaa!!

That’s my honey. ~ Thank goodness we wake up from these things is all I can say!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hmmm Techies?

Thank goodness it’s Friday! For this week has been more than hectic. Things however are finally coming together and I can try and get back to whatever normal is around here.

As you all know from previous blogs I have a new computer with Vista and that is where most of the trouble started. Having no email working was just a beginning of the problems. Today I decided that once and for all I was getting my email working. Boy! Was that almost a disaster.

I was in touch with the ‘techies’ and I use the term loosely, for after much fiddling and changing of a number of things, settings etc they then blamed the problem onto something else and put me in touch with Microsoft. They in turn shunted me down another alley to someplace I didn‘t even know existed. Even now after it‘s all over I still don‘t know where I was with that one.
In the course of three hours, they succeeded in messing up both computers, so eventually we had no emails at all on either computer.
Heck! That went over like a lead balloon with the wife I can tell you, she got a little frantic.

( At this point insert much Gnashing of Teeth!)

The bottom line is that after talking with 3 different technicians, making a few observations of my own which I had salvaged from talking with all the 'know how people,' I got things sorted out and the wife is a happy camper once more.

Pretty soon, even I am going to know what I am doing on a computer, all this first hand knowledge I’m being exposed to!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The March of Time

Memories are but pages of the book of life, to be turned occasionally, through the passage of time.

This week has been somewhat of a memory week for me and strangely enough, a very noticeable trend, as I wandered throughout the internet. I think it may have first started when I read a blog written by an online friend of mine. In his story he wrote about his running in 3 marathons and how he trained for those events. That put me in mind of when I was a lot younger and I did similar things. ~

My distance in athletics was the mile 1500 metres & the 5,000m although I did run the occasional 10,000. I remember when I started competitive running, it was in the days of Roger Bannister before he broke the 4 minute mile. The world record for the mile at that time was 4 mins 04 secs.
When I was in the army and running my first mile on the track, I couldn’t understand why the officer in charge was getting so excited, I found out later that I finished in a respectable 4 mins 21 secs. ~ Shortly afterwards, May 6 1954, Roger Bannister was the first man to break the 4 min barrier for the very first time. ~ A huge achievement in those days. ~

As we were out driving to a more distant mall recently, our journey took us through some areas that I had not seen in many years.
~ What used to be a vast expanse of green has been turned into an ever expanding concrete jungle, spreading like a disease across the face of what was once a beautiful landscape. ~ The memories start to turn just like the pages in a book.

I remembered friends I used to socialize with, dear people who had became very close to my heart and even a few that broke it. I thought of the good times and of course there had to be a few not so good. Out of that came some of my poetry writing. Gone now are the dancing days and party times, the invites to dinner and good conversation.

There were moments in my thoughts when I caught my breath, as coming back to reality, I remembered that most all of those beautiful people were no longer alive now.
~ Ah such sweet dreams of days of yore.~

Of course then that brought to mind just how many years had slipped on by, and hell I must be getting older!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Drop In

Yesterday we had another day out, this time the wife and I drove to this huge shopping mall, almost an hours drive from here, where she had hoped she would find some sports sandals that she had been hunting for. For some reason it has been difficult to locate any, maybe it‘s the season end.

The weather was comfortable other than being a little humid and sticky, talk about busy and the crazy traffic. Now I can remember why we moved out into the more rural area to live.

On the way back to more civilized surroundings away from the rat race, we dropped in at a smaller mall closer to home where we had some lunch in the lunch-court. They have the usual vendors there, catering to whatever tweaks your fancy. A place that is very popular is ‘Frisco Fries‘, for the folks line up to get food, I am fast getting addicted. I have had some good fries in my time, but I tell you, these just have to be the best! We rounded out the trip then with a little shopping.

At least when we arrived home we were greeted by the happy bunch seen here that we have grown to love so much. Talk about a brunch drop in! It’s just so nice to see them all together so nice and friendly. Yes, we have a very nice bird community here & life is good.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Small Escape

Yesterday we finally had a little break from all the oppressive heat and humidity. ~ There was little humidity, but temps were a respectable 29c/86f though still quite hot in the sun. I had been housebound long enough because of COPD, so off we went to the park. (clickable thumbnails)

A few wild flowers

Can't have flowers without a butterfly.

A different shot of the river

And of course Freddy Frog has to have a show.

Yours truly, for after all the trip out is for our benefit.


Thursday, August 9, 2007

A Day Lost

It is late at night here in our neck of the woods. The day has been a long and tiring one, for today we had business to take care of. The wife had to have one of those nuclear stress tests done, so that was a five hour job plus all the traveling time.

Never did get any work done on the computer changeover, all that will resume tomorrow and over the weekend. In my movement of files though I did come across a little poem I wrote a short while ago so I thought I would share that with you.

Solitary man

As restless as a tempestuous storm -
Filled to overflowing, with a torment
That was born of dreams unfilled.

Fighting against the ravages of time -
As now life’s juices slowly ebb,
Ever receding, to the desert floor.

And with the passing of the night -
The beast that was in him,
Died within his breast.

Eric Valentine Dec 17/06 ©


Tuesday, August 7, 2007


This was day one of the computer debacle, if you don’t believe me, try sorting out and juggling three of them. Talk about moving furniture, that’s a pushover compared to the mish mash of a mess I found myself in at times.

It’s true what some people told me, Vista can be a crock in some things! Try even setting up a new email addy! For example, in XP I have no trouble at all doing stuff moving said stuff and even juggling stuff, why? Well because I can see at all times where the stuff is going to go when I want it to.

Not so with vista. ~ Oh no, I have to try and find, feel and grope around in the dark for the destinations and when you don’t have the know how, that is a klutzy crock!

Today I loaded up my new gizmo remote (Beam me up Scotty!) with my fav’s and trotted over to the new ‘puter ready to download.
Yeah you guessed it, I had to dump the stuff into my documents then do a transfer over to the favs from there. I couldn’t come up with a normal way to offload into my fav’s on the new gizmo babe, I must have been doing something wrong.
That wasn’t the end of it though, for the second time I loaded the gizmo up I suddenly found I had forgotten how I unloaded it the first time!! It’s been a long tiring day. Grrrrrrrrrr

There was a gnashing of teeth I can tell you for a while, that’s when I stopped being dumb. ~ I found a different way to achieve the same result and a good end to this day at least.

It’s true to say though in all fairness to the Vista and new computer, that the more I fiddle around the better I am getting at it, there’s hope yet!


Sunday, August 5, 2007

Better Ways

Things have been hectic here all day in fact two days and this is just the beginning, for a short while at least. Yesterday we went shopping and got the greatest deal on a new computer, monitor the works! It was a two day sale and we saved 30% on everything. ~ Couldn’t pass that up.

Imagine if you will, 3 computers & two of them are loaded to the gills with files and stuff! Not to mention all the pictures etc, and believe me there are hundreds. ~ So all day long we have been doing the shuffle between the two existing computers. We have to get everything off the old Presario with Win98, which Elizabeth is using, sent it over to mine. I tell you I am overloaded with all the evacuation. The problem is, there are no USB ports on the oldie or floppy on the new ones, so everything had to be done through emails! ~ Of course I reckon networking could have been another option, oh well!

Once we have everything cleared, then we can hook the two new ones up, (for mine is only 1 yr old.) Then we have to sort the stuff out and move all my stuff over to the new one which has Vista, the other one which the wife will have, uses XP which isn’t such a bad arrangement. It will take most of the week but we will get it done eventually.

We also bought this USB gadget it’s a remote/portable memory thing made by Verbatim, that plugs into the USB port and it will hold 1GB of files etc, so I can load up at mine and unload at the new one. Hopefully it wont take too many trips. Hell it sounds more like moving house! There has to be better ways.

Gee! Isn’t it exciting!! ~ Have a good weekend.


Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Peek-a-boo Cat

I was once told by somebody who said they knew about cats , ‘that cats don’t sleep on their back‘. Well Hmm…… I know better than that..

I used to have this cat up to a few years ago. Eventually though, through age and someone’s will he passed away. It’s funny really when you think about it, just what effect that event can have on you for some little while.
It’s not like when you wear out an old pair of shoes, just chuck them out and then get a new pair. No! For even the memory of those good old comfortable shoes stays with you for a while at least.

So you can imagine just how I felt when that fateful day came when Boo Boo (that was his name) had to go to that one final sleep. I know that anyone who has ever had a pet, be it cat, dog or a bird, always say their pet was the best pet in the whole world and that it was almost human. ~ This cat was pretty human believe me when I say that.

Right from the very first time we had him I felt like he adopted me. He was my shadow, my confidante and my buddy, for we spent copious amounts of time talking to each other. He would stand guard over me if I had a nap on the chesterfield, also when I went to bed at night and slept. He was indeed my shadow. It was always the waking up that seemed the most fun and the time when he seemed to talk to me. Gradually I figured that we had somehow managed to get a routine in place over a short period of time, and that was the time when we interacted so well.
You see the first thing in a morning when I opened my eyes, he was there! I went to the bathroom and he was there! Woe betide me if I shut the door and left him outside in the hall. Once inside I would do my thing at the sink, and he would perch himself on the toilet seat and watch me. Then if I took too long he would start to yammer at me growling & mewing, which meant it was time to head to the kitchen and get him down his cat treat, for which he would sit pretty on the stepstool / come chair thing that we had there. If I teased him too long he would paw me, by raising his paw and tapping me on my hand mewing at the same time and you would swear a smile on his face.

There were times when he could be a contrary cat. When I was living at the house I used to spend time outside in the yard or garden. My shadow, Boo Boo would be up at the window or at the screen door whining to get out and join me. Well this went on for so long that I finally went to the store and got a harness, along with one of those retractable leashes for cats.
The very next day was a warm summer day so I was sat on the patio having a cool drink, when he started his antics. Inside I went and put all the new tackle on him and off we were to the races. Or so I thought!
It would have been easier to take a pet Duck for a walk!

Well! I never heard such a .hullalabaloo in my life. I had taken him onto the back lawn to see how he would respond to the grass, well! He sure let me know in no mean terms I can tell you, growling from the back of his throat, whining, and mewing loud enough to stop a train! He got so loud in fact, I had to take him back indoors again before the neighbors started to think I was killing him. Boy what a fusspot. ~ I went back to the patio and my cool one. ~ Once again he started his whining!


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Woe is me!

I suppose it’s not so unusual for anyone to get sick., go down with a cold or flu. For me though I find it such an inconvenience. That’s the difference between a normal person shrugging a bug off and someone like myself that has COPD.

With COPD one becomes a lot worse than a normal person. Having COPD compromises your immune system. You become far more susceptible and very vulnerable to every germ/bug around you so you have to exercise care when around other people. Ironically, I feel I caught this bug of mine at the hospital last week, whilst going there for rehab.
~ There’s a twist for you!~

I have really missed going to the park this week, not only for the sheer beauty of the park and nature’s gifts of wildlife. But in addition, the park also gives me the exercise that is an integral part of my everyday life now, just because of the COPD.
Even being sick and at home has interfered with my writing. ~ Thus far now, my blog has also suffered, for it’s kind of difficult to concentrate and write when you have a hazy head sitting on the shoulders like some overgrown pumpkin. ~ Just a head filled with mush.

So instead of getting out and about doing the simple enjoyable things, I am housebound most of the time. However, these things do happen and that’s what has been going on with me recently.