Sunday, November 28, 2021


This Thanksgiving season has been interesting.  A couple of days before that holiday my power suddenly went out about ten minutes into the Colbert TV program I was watching that night.  Having had my lights suddenly go out before, as I have previously described HERE, catching me "unarmed" in the bathroom, I had added to my regular strategically placed full-size flashlights by purchasing several small flashlights to place about my home in even more locations.   I was well prepared this time.

A phone call to my electric company revealed I was the first to phone in and the woman to whom I spoke said she didn't know what had happened either.    I wasn't the only one wondering, if even the company  representative didn't know.  Another call later I learned this was a planned outage and they didn't know how long the power would be off.   I went to bed.

The next day the power didn't come on again until around 10 a.m.   Meanwhile, there had been public service news reports that Santa Ana winds, sometimes as strong as 100 mph whipping downslope through mountain passes, were expected as we approached the holiday -- that our electric company might need to cut the power in some areas for safety reasons, but I hadn't thought we would be affected.

Harve Presnell sings "They Call the Wind Mariah" (remastered).                                                           from the movie 'Paint Your Wagon" (original Broadway musical)

Generally, we've not received Santa Ana's hot dry strong winds, except I recall once years ago finding a few roof shingles in our yard the next morning, but I wasn't concerned this year.  The areas that are really at-risk experience trees falling with most concerning of all, electrical lines can come down causing dangerous fires threatening homes and lives, even destructive-of-whole-communities' wildfires as has happened in recent years.

A power company other than my own near San Diego had a tree fall on their power line resulting in a town-destroying-fire called the Camp Fire, traumatizing over 70,000 people.  They lost their California homes and businesses not to mention some lives lost with that devastation that came to their town ironically named Paradise.  Too many residents are still 3 years later awaiting expected recompense so they can more fully resume their lives as described in this action news now report.

I was told our power outage occurred so maintenance could be performed that would serve to prevent our experiencing damage.  The wind did come to other areas subsequent days with violent gusts to 80 mph subjecting a hundred thousand or more people to either deliberate power cuts or those unpredictable outages.

Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving over 60,000 residents in some areas suddenly had their power shut down as a preventative measure against possible wildfires, so their turkey, ham, pies, or other food didn't get cooked this holiday and they unexpectedly had to seek dinner elsewhere.  Some families where these winds are most prevalent did resort to using outdoor grills, others may have had personal generators to power their ovens, as well as refrigerators, even coffeemakers, so they were better able to cope.

Indeed, I have much for which to be thankful since we had no winds where I live and had power Thanksgiving!

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We humans have been quite concerned about vaccinations, the flu and Covid,  but now our pets have unexpectedly had a new threat to their health.  Seems a potentially deadly dog flu has descended on our Los Angeles area.  Some businesses catering to dogs are requiring they must be vaccinated.  

Hm-m-m!  Will some dogs organize and protest?   Violently resist ..... attack others?   I wonder if there will be owners picketing with their pooches to protest this being a possible violation of their dogs' freedom rights?
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University of Michigan has upset Ohio State University football team to win the Big Ten championship.  This classic rivalry outcome proved once again to be unpredictable and an exciting game to view.  My family has individual allegiances to each of these teams.  Consequently, I said our family has a winner no matter which team prevailed!

I"m happy for Michigan fans to have this win to celebrate given to what Covid has subjected residents.  I just hope the packed "Big House" as the Michigan stadium is called, hasn't been a virus spreader location.
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Recently I answered my phone to hear a deep rough-sounding male voice authoritatively ask, "Do you want to sell your house?"   I responded, "Absolutely not!"  He abruptly hung up.  There surely weren't any niceties or words wasted in that call, not even so much as an apologetic "Sorry, thank you." for intruding uninvited into my life and wasting my time -- just right to his point.

I hope I don't hear from him again as I read a current news story that the housing situation is such, homeowners around the country are being repeatedly bombarded by some aggressive individuals to sell their house.  They especially focus on older people with some succumbing to their repetitive persistently prevalent pressure techniques with an offer that may not even be reasonably favorable to the home owner.   

I've also received regular letters in recent years from several different individuals soliciting to buy my house, calls from a few people who have identified themselves as real estate agents, but this new breed I read about sound like they're borderline harassing or worse.  Homeowners are being besieged by these unsolicited offers as described in this NPR link.

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Well, this has turned into a mixture of the significant to rather incidental insignificant items, except to those directly affected by them or those who might be in the future, that can pepper our lives as we navigate the much more important to us activities of life.  

I wonder what sort of incidental matters you could probably live without that squander your time and intrude into your daily living?    Reading this blog, you say?   That's life!

Sunday, November 21, 2021


Thanksgiving will arrive during this week ahead, then we can really get into preparing for the next holiday.   What seems to be happening in recent years is that we're all in such a rush that we start pushing for the holiday that comes after the one we haven't even yet celebrated.

In fact, this year I started seeing promotions for Christmas before we even had Halloween the end of October, much less Thanksgiving the end of November.  I don't hear such early promotion of Hanukkah or any other holidays, especially those with religious emphasis, occurring during that time.

Halloween this year came and went as Christmas promotion became even stronger -- and we still hadn't had Thanksgiving yet!

Well, finally Thanksgiving will be here this week, so we can hardly wait to finally throw ourselves into really, major Christmas promotion, or -- wait a minute -- are we going to skip ahead to New Year's?

I remember my childhood and think about all the little children today.  When I was young Christmas was never promoted until the day after Thanksgiving.   Even then, I thought the time to wait was so-o-o very, very, lo-n-g-g -- I can only imagine how children today must feel -- waiting ... waiting ... waiting ... when is Santa coming?

I checked back to some of my old posts in which I wrote about Thanksgiving.  I typed "Thanksgiving" in that little search box in the upper left-hand corner of this screen on my blog and amazingly to me there were ten blog posts that came up.  I probably mentioned Thanksgiving within other posts most years, too.

Reviewing those ten posts, one, especially, elicited a mixture of feelings for me -- that Thanksgiving was the first one I remembered describing what occurred that year, about 7 months after my husband's death in 2006.  I wrote about my deliberately choosing to go alone to a restaurant as I wanted to know how I would feel.  The piece entitled "Adventure Alone on Thanksgiving" gave an account of what turned out to be a rather unusual experience.

I also wrote one year about a Thanksgiving controversy in our town over our school children's Indians and the Pilgrims tradition.  Another year, I suggested we should move the date of when we celebrate Thanksgiving -- seemed like a viable possibility at the time.

I've shared Thanksgiving memories.  I've written about how I've celebrated the day virtually with my family long before this pandemic which I likely will be doing again this year.  Generally, my Thanksgiving posts have just been a potpourri of thoughts, memories, and experiences.  I invite you to read any of them that might be of interest.

As I write this, I have just experienced an evening of viewing listening to Great Performances on one of my four antenna accessible Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) TV channels -- a night of intoxicating music and am in a very reflective mood.  

There was the centennial celebration of the landmark Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.  They performed "La Valse" by Ravel, Stravinsky's "The Firebird" (a special favorite of mine) and more led by three renowned LA Phil conductors: current Music and Artistic director Gustavo Dudamel, Zubin Mehta and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  Then, "From Space I Saw Earth" was conducted by those three.

I think of Thanksgivings past, a house filled with laughter, attracting aromas drawing one and all of a variety of ages to a dinner table over-flowing with delicious food and beverage.  That was then, this is now.

May you enjoy every moment of this Thanksgiving season -- that special day you experience this year, the memories you have from yesteryear and look forward to the ones you'll form in the coming year(s).  

We may want to take a few moments to count our blessings -- to think for what we can be thankful.  

Diana Krall sings "Counting My Blessings"


This year, as every year, I wish each of you a very happy Thanksgiving.

Perhaps you have a special Thanksgiving memory, thought, or want to share here this year's plans.  

Sunday, November 14, 2021


You never know what you're going to read when you come to my blog as my previous post evidenced.  Some bloggers write sequential posts describing their day-to-day activities, others writings cover over a week or longer; then some have themed subjects, explore other topics, memories and ideas. 

By comparison, my blog posts are probably somewhat of a hodgepodge of my meandering thoughts, some of life at any given time, some recollections and mostly whatever happens to be capturing my interest at the time.  I'm not sure there is ever a long consistent connecting thread that might serve to stimulate readers to return and read more.

One such short thread currently is my "smart phone" that was delivered when expected at the end of the previous week.  I think the iPhone seems to be rather like a smaller version of my iPad-Mini that I like so much.  The larger phone size is less desirable to me than my cell phone which fit nicely into a small pocket-like padded carrier.  There was a soft material handle I could hook my fingers through to carry about and still have the use of both hands, or put the cell phone in my pocket -- to have handy should I need to make an emergency call.  

My little cell phone was ideal instead of subscribing to one of those special services necessitating wearing a device to hang around my neck or a pin to affix on my clothes with a button to push should I happen to fall, for example.  But there are various smart phone features that I may gradually incorporate into using that exceed those offered by my now former cell phone.

Perhaps the next change I might make will be to use a "smart watch".  I remember when reading the Sunday newspaper's comic strip page was a regular activity I began enjoying when I was elementary school age decades ago.  I wasn't a regular fan of Dick Tracy, but I do recall being impressed with the fantasy aroused when he started wearing a 2-way wrist radio on which he could send and receive messages -- pictures, too!  That could never happen in real life --- could it?

A few decades later kids got a toy 2-way wrist radio as featured in this commercial:

Another longer thread I've been mentioning occasionally had been our unusual weather.  Climate changes here occupy the interest of most of us Californians since we have been jolted into ongoing drought conditions.  For example, as Thanksgiving approaches we've unexpectedly been catapulted back into summer with our temperatures pushing 90F degrees where I live.   Others in SoCal are presently having even higher numbers -- no rain, of course.

Periodically a thread of aggravations will reach a pressure point forcing their emergence into my writings.  So it is, I wish radio and television commercials were prohibited from using the ringing of doorbells in their ads to garner a listener or viewer's attention.  

When I'm only half-way attentive sometimes, I hear the doorbell and all too often think it's my house doorbell ringing.  Inconveniently, I make my way to my front door to discover no one there, cause that bell wasn't my house ringer, just some broadcast commercial.

Just as there is no surety about the source of some doorbell rings I hear, there are no other guarantees either.  Definitely there are no guarantees in life as most of us likely have learned in many ways through our years if we didn't already know that truth.  

There have been so many unexpected situations, unlike those we experienced when he was living, that I've encountered since my husband's death 15 years ago.  I sometimes wonder if such surprises will ever end short of my death.  Most recently, an unexpected letter arrived announcing a specialty supplemental-type insurance policy that transferred to me when he died is terminating mid-month.

The highly rated one hundred-year-old-plus insurance company that issued that policy experienced a deadly siphoning of their assets over time through a complicated setup by one of their trusted administrators through other thought-to-be legitimate company associated businesses.  When the criminal enterprise was discovered, the financial deficits were so severe that even several years efforts to save and rehabilitate this once highly respected insurance company could not overcome the damage.

Just as the company could not be saved, this policy we had paid into with its benefits are being terminated.  The individual premium was very modest, much less than one hundred dollars annually, and we did have the coverage those years which we, fortunately, never had to use.

The coverage was for a variety of incidental expenses one could encounter, beyond what regular Medicare and other supplemental health insurance policies pay for cancer and a number of other serous medical conditions.  The group policy had been available through my husband's employer, continued following his retirement, then transferred to my name when he died.   Now, in my older years might be when I could be more prone to issues qualifying for the benefits.  Hopefully, I won't ever need them.

My time has been absorbed recently seeking information, including clarification on this matter, pursuing possible options on related issues revolving around this policy and determining if there is the possibility of  a replacement plan through the employer from whom he retired.  Predictably, given how life goes, accomplishing all this was not simple, in fact, rather complicated and time consuming.  There was lots of navigating recorded phone mazes, leaving messages, being transferred to a seemingly never-ending number of others who were said could better handle my inquiry, referrals to call a different number, a few emails, and the beat goes on, but I finally obtained some answers. 

I still wonder if there might have been some negotiations (formal or informal) on this matter that were part of his agreement to take early retirement that could be pertinent.  Those facts may be lost in time, so there is to be no replacement policy.

So far, a similar medical reimbursement policy purchased privately with a company to which I was referred, revealed that in California, at least, they will not sell such a policy to anyone over 65 years of age.  I notice the original now terminating plan still appears on an internet search, but I've been unable to locate such a plan with other insurance companies to establish their requirements.   In fact, I haven't been able to find another insurance company even offering such a policy other than that one with the age limitations.                        (Please don't suggest other policies to me and I hope insurance companies don't start contacting me with their very different and much more limited and expensive policies either.)

This is one more instance of how some of the care we may take to arrange matters after our death can go not as we expect.  We plan as best we can, but even the most improbable things can happen.  I'm reminded of Scottish Robert Burns poem from which "gang aft agley" is often interpreted as meaning plans going awry.

Perhaps you recall instances in life that have confirmed to you there are no guarantees, eh?

Sunday, November 07, 2021


Another exciting week in which what follows are only a few events during which I also received my Pfizer booster shot, anti-Covid ..... but this has nothing to do with my receiving the vaccination.  This is a flight of fancy!

I've succumbed!  I've been seduced!  I'd always said, "No!" before, but I finally gave in.  Actually, I was in a non-compromising position and could no longer resist.  I expect to hear from some, those words, "What took you so long?", and I may even wonder myself, but avoiding the inevitable for some time, if I could, seemed to be the better part of good judgement for me.

I hope you won't think any less of me for giving-in.  Who knows, I might even come to like it.  I didn't do this just because I kept being told, "It's safe, its okay, everybody's doing it."  I know that doesn't make it the right thing for all to do.  Still, the pressure is off now.  I've done it and there's no turning back.

I'll have to live with the consequences, whatever happens -- adapting my life, adjusting, coping with frustrations.  Facing a whole new way of life may be what I must accept.  Will I continue to oversee my life, or will dictates come from elsewhere?

This is, after all, "a smart phone" -- smarter than me?  Has artificial intelligence, aka AI, taken the device over which, in turn, will conspire to take over me?  Will my thoughts, my time, my whole being be devoured as reportedly seems to have occurred with some who are owned, er-r-r-r, I mean, that own these little devices?  You see, already I'm giving this little invention powers possibly beyond realistic entitlement.

Have I been brain-washed with tales dispersed full of conspiracies composed of unmitigated falsehoods formulated in deep dark dungeons ... spread by the unknowing, uneducated, and the un ... un .... un, whatever? 

Will truth ever emerge?

(I don't actually have this little devil phone in my possession yet, but meanwhile, my good ol' landline remains very operative which I will keep along with the "smart phone".   This may allow the fastest way in some areas for my exact location to be determined should I need to call emergency 911, or possibly if there is a power outage.)


I really had intended continuing with another topic at this point, but in recent days I've had reason to feel concern that word of this "Smart Phone" coming to my house may have unleashed a troubling event, causing me concern there could be more issues materializing.    Thursday I discovered my bedside clock radio had already turned back one hour.  But the daylight savings time change wasn't to occur until the coming Sunday, Nov. 7th at 2 a.m.   What happened?

This premature time reset on my clock prompted me to form a theory much like those promulgated by QAnon.  They may well want to adopt my speculation to spread among their citizenry as fact to those susceptible to such ideas.

I am speculating that the digital devices in my home may be communicating with one another.  Maybe my computer has spread the word a "smart phone" is coming, having deciphered an exchange of messages I had with my son ... but why, and has the word spread even further?  Perhaps to my clock radio, for one, a device that now has chosen to demonstrate a long-awaited increased sense of pending power.  What does this indicate could happen in the future?  

I'm discreetly, but closely, watching my TV, microwave, and oven.  Perhaps, even my dishwasher, clothes washer and drier received the word and pose additional risk.   The refrigerator, too?  Surely not the toaster oven.  Of course, the coffee-maker was, years ago, the forerunner of all these self-operating devices ... and then it went digital!  Now where is technology taking us?  My "smart phone" is coming!

Katzenjammer - "Land of Confusion" 

from the Album,  "A Kiss Before You Go - Live in Hamburg".                                                          Ab25.05. im Handel als CD/DVD: oder als Blu-ray erhaltlich: Sowie als Download

Alitlweird comment on youtube site reports between the four girls they play 50 different instruments; their music is acoustically produced, aside from electric sound amplification.   


As if my "smart phone" isn't enough, I've now been told on my landline phone, that I'm not human!  Not human? -- I didn't know! -- Am I a robot, an alien and only now learning this?  The digital devices with the smart phone in control are really the forces in charge?

Typically, if I have reason to answer a phone call and it's a recorded message, and there has suspiciously been an increasing number of them, I immediately disconnect without even listening.  Also, any calls with a real live but unknown person on the line, who instructs me at any point to press another key to answer questions or access a different contact, I don't do that either.  Who knows to what I might be acquiescing!

Sneaky ways some spammer, or scammer, tries to accost people include this example in a recent call I received.  I noted it was from a "Wireless Caller".  (I chose to answer this for personal reasons I won't try to explain here.)  The recorded message said, "This is an important call for ... (they accurately gave my name).  If you are (my name again) then press 5, if not press 3".  I did neither.  Following a silent pause, the message continued, "Sorry, you have revealed you are not human!"  Then the call disconnected.  

I consider all the newer inventions that I haven't acquired yet, but eventually may be the only ones available, like the "smart" TVs and appliances, cars that drive themselves, even houses equipped to do lots of things, and who knows what else.   What are the implications of these for our future?

So, here I am, in the autumn of my life, having been described as being not human, with a clock radio seemingly out of my control, and a "smart phone" possibly capable of doing who knows what coming into my home.  What lies ahead for us humans, assuming some of us are humans?   What am I to think or do?  What do you think and what are you going to do?