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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Two Short Alcoholism Questionnaires


The Christmas movie movie that I watched last evening ─ and which tested out our new T9 Android 8.1 TV Box that finally arrived from Amazon Canada the day before that ─ was 'Tis the Season for Love.

I enjoy Christmas movies when a main character is (often unexpectedly) familiar to me, but no one in this feature was.

I enjoyed it, although it wasn't top-drawer where these sorts of movies are concerned. Nevertheless, I was smitten with considerable tearful emotion as I enjoyed two cans of strong (8% alcohol) beer. Christmas movies tend to be hellish on me emotionally.

Some people might be familiar with lead actress Sarah Lancaster ─ she was a regular on Saved By the Bell: The New Class, and also Chuck.

Well, I'm 69 years old ─ I never watched the juvenile Saved By the Bell: The New Class. However, I did watch Chuck, but I don't recall Sarah's character. All I can remember was that the Chuck character did have a girlfriend even though he was part of an FBI team and paired with an extremely tough and beautiful blonde ─ that actress happens to be playing the role of the humourless and autocratic distaff-half of the Waterford couple who 'own' the central character in The Handmaid's Tale.

If I may get sidetracked even more, my younger brother Mark and I are slowly working our way through a New Zealand series called Top of the Lake that features "the Handmaid" actress Elisabeth Moss as a troubled police detective.

Anyway ─ back to last evening ─ I even had some red wine that my wife Jack had left over on Thursday.

I dallied here at my computer for a time instead of directly getting to bed, but with my eldest stepson Tho home and then suddenly my youngest stepson Poré showing up after his afternoon / evening shift, I surrendered to better sense and retired for the night. Oddly, I do not recall when that was.

I needed sleep ─ I had been short on it all that day. And so it was not until well beyond 6:00 a.m. that I checked the time and got myself up this morning so that I could supply the day's assignment of content into the post I am slowly constructing at one of my six hosted websites.

I may actually have risen nearer to 7:00 a.m. than to 6:00 a.m.

My younger brother Mark had spent the night at the home of his girlfriend Bev, but he arrived here this morning unusually early ─ it was around 8:30 a.m.

I was still working on the website post, but close to being finished the content assignment. Yet when I did finish, I stupidly sat up until just after 11:00 a.m. dallying here at my computer in wasteful fashion, finally seizing upon a return of good sense and getting back to bed.

Mark had already retired to his bedroom to rest up before taking off for the afternoon, and he was gone when I had a good nap and rose well into the noon-hour.

It's a fairly wet day out there, incidentally.

I had felt quite poorly all morning ─ probably somewhat hungover, as well as still insufficiently-slept. But I found myself in better spirits after that nap.

By the way, I took two photos last evening while I was watching 'Tis the Season for Love. I always decorate the area around the living room window with Christmas lights come December:



I also want to link to a fairly interesting article concerning the drinking of alcohol, for it presents a couple of quick questionnaires to help determine the potential status of having a drinking problem:

DrMicozzi.com

This paragraph especially caught my attention:
Out of every 100 Americans who drink, about 12 are considered in need of treatment for an alcohol use disorder, and eight will become chemically dependent on alcohol. Of those eight Americans, one will become addicted very early, even after the first drunken episode.
Can you imagine? An estimated one out of every 100 people who first test out drinking will become hooked ─ an alcohol addict ─ after their very first experience of intoxication!  

I couldn't find the referenced article at Medscape.com called "Are You an Addict?"

However, that's because it's actually titled "Are You an Alcoholic?" Unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber to the website to access it.

Nevertheless, you can find it if you select the "Cached" option by clicking the downward-pointing arrow that is shown after the green website address after doing a Google search.

I have to cut this short ─ I want to get out and do a little shopping, and it's already approaching 4:00 p.m. If I go where planned, it's two miles away ─ and I have to walk.

Thus, I finish this post now with an old journal entry of mine written exactly 40 years ago when I was 29 years old.

I had been unemployed for a long, long time ─ even my Unemployment Insurance benefits had long run dry, and I was notified that I owed back something in the neighbourhood of $250 that were impossible for me to repay.

I had bad self-confidence and absolutely no job prospects or skills. I didn't even drive.

Since I had no income, I was being given shelter at the old house that my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Jean Cooper were renting here in Surrey.

It would greatly surprise me if any trace of that structure still existed today, but back then its address was 8205 - 144th Street (Google map).

This was the day that my mother Irene Dorosh and her husband Alex would be departing on a bus charter to Reno for about a week, so I was to keep a presence at their home in their absence.

Their home has also been demolished since those years when I knew it so well, but its address in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey was 12106 - 90th Avenue (Google map). It was my main mailing address.

It was located about four miles from where I was staying ─ if one were to hike there directly. I often extended the route, for fitness was ever on my mind.

I mention "the park route" in the journal entry ─ that simply meant that I would cut through Bear Creek Park when I got that far, and work my way over to 80th Avenue. I would then follow the avenue until I reached the BC Hydro Railway tracks just before achieving the intersection of 80th Avenue with 128th Street (Google map). By turning onto the railway tracks and following them 'up' the map, they would take me to within a block of my mother's home.
DECEMBER 16, 1978 (Sᴀᴛᴜʀᴅᴀʏ)

I awoke near 7:00 a.m., arose, and undertook the park route to mom's.

Alas, it wasn't far enough, and I had to linger in the Kennedy Park area until I felt it was safe to go to the house and find it empty.

[I tended to be uncomfortable around Alex because I felt like I was little more than a mooch, so I preferred avoiding him whenever I could. They must not have yet left when I first got to the house that early morning, and so I felt obliged to kill some time at the nearby Kennedy Park.]

Mom had left me a note.

After breakfast I became overcome with weariness and had to nap.

I sure didn't feel like walking. At 1:00 p.m. or so I headed back the way I had come.

There'd been a mail delivery, and from the look of an item in care of that address for Bill and mother, (this is an item in mom's mail delivery, of course) Jeanette had sent them a Christmas card.

[Catherine Jeanette Gunther had been Mark's beloved common-law wife / girlfriend for about three years ─ I believe Mark broke up with her around the end of September 1976. William Alan Gill was an old friend of mine ─ he and his mother Anne Gregory were well-known to Jeanette. To this day, I regret having Jeanette drift away out of my life ─ she was probably the most positively influential young woman I had ever known.]

I never had to walk quite all the way to Mark's; Garry and I rendezvoused at the four-way stop 6 blocks from the house.

[Was there no traffic light at 80th Avenue & 144th Street? I don't remember that. Anyway, Garry Porteous was Mark's best friend back then, and probably had been since their late elementary school years.]

We got here c. 2:45 p.m. Mark and Jean were preparing for a company party of his, and left for it c. 4:00 p.m.

Garry stayed till 7:30 p.m., once more disrupting my schedule.

I retired till 9:30 p.m., arising for this writing and with the aim of embarking on another walk, but instead opted to go back to bed.

I don't believe Mark and Jean will be back at all tonight.
I quite miss Garry. He and Mark just seemed to drift apart in the 1990s, and they haven't been in touch in years even though each is a short drive from the other ─ or so I believe. I don't actually know where Garry lives now.

I loved the guy ─ he was family. I would have placed him in the scale of preciousness as being somewhere between an actual brother and a very familiar cousin, for he was more than the latter to me.
 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

More Research Highlights Vitamin D Supplementation as a Defence Against Viral Respiratory Infections


Yesteve was the second consecutive evening in which I had naught to drink because my younger brother Mark had swilled so much that he passed out in his favourite chair in the living room.

It also meant that I never got to watch any of our usual shows, for I will no more sit with a drunkard snoring and making all the other sounds that an unconscious drunkard is prone to.

Yes, I speak harshly ─ but the drunkard is a persona not my brother. Rather, the drunkard is some "Mr. Hyde" who replaces my dear brother Mark, whom I very much love. Thus, it is the "Mr. Hyde" I am maligning with utter derision.

I just wish that the brother I love did not feel the need to become the other persona.

'Tis a shame this happened last evening too, for our new T9 Android 8.1 TV Box had arrived that day from Amazon Canada, and I was rather keen on giving it a run now that I had spent about five hours researching and downloading a few streaming applications into it so that we could continue to watch our favourite T.V. shows (there are probably over 100 that we follow).

One of the applications I wanted was of course Kodi ─ my Android TV Box came with a counterfeit that was similar enough that I was unable to download the genuine article because my Box believed that I already had Kodi installed.

I can't find much information on this counterfeit that was called something like "KD-Player" that I expect has nothing whatsoever to do with a media player similarly called KD Player.   

I located a couple of forum threads about the counterfeit:
Some folks seemed to have extreme difficulty removing KD-Player, and that had me a little concerned. One person even claimed to have become resigned to using it instead ─ supposedly it functioned well enough as a Kodi substitute or fork.

I guess I was fortunate. My KD-Player uninstalled without issue, and I was then able to download Kodi from (I believe) Google Play store.

When I had previously tried accessing Google Play's Kodi while I had KD-Player installed, the Kodi icon at Google Play had a (blue?) indicator beside the Kodi icon claiming that it was something already installed in my Android device.

As I said, it took me five hours of total research and other related work to finally get the Android TV Box essentially set up as I wanted it ─ I even had to find and download the MX Player I prefer over the default player in the Movie Play Red application I resort to for T.V. shows.

Movie Play Red has come to be the Terrarium application replacement. Its format or layout is essentially indistinguishable.

And I've now got the streaming applications downloaded into Kodi that I hope will keep me happy with Christmas movies ─ two  of the applications that immediately pop into mind are Maverick and Wolf Pack, but there is at least one other rich in Christmas fare.

So with my younger brother Mark out of it last evening, I left him alone with the news channel on our T.V.'s basic cable package.

I now forget if it was as late as 10:25 p.m. when I was into bed ─ maybe that was the previous night? Last night may have even been earlier.

Alas, even though I succeeded in dipping into some naps, after maybe the fifth time-check since getting to bed, I simply called it quits and rose at something like 2:18 a.m.

When I went downstairs to turn on the Christmas lights adorning the living room window, my youngest stepson Poté ─ who was still up, and who had expressed considerable interest in the new Android TV Box before he went to work yesterday for his afternoon / evening shift ─ wanted to explore what I had.

I am sure we blew over a half-hour doing so, and we only concluded the shared experience when the remote control he was wielding seemed to lose its mouse / cursor function.

I then had to research what to do about that, for the remote's 'up' arrow will not take the selector into the upper reaches of the Android TV Box screen.

For instance, if I want to access the search feature, or maybe the settings ─ or even if I want to select the 'play' feature above the links to sources in the Movie Play Red application; the selection feature will only scroll up as high (or down) as the last area of the main field of the screen. It will not jump up to the options that may be just outside of the main field.

To access those, I have to use the mouse feature of the remote.

This is such an unexpected nuisance that I do not see how I am going to be able to train my brother Mark into operating the Android TV Box as I had been hoping to do. He never understood how to use our old MXQ Android (version 4.4.2) TV Box

So maybe I lost an hour after first getting up before I was finally at work on the day's content assignment at the new post I am slowly constructing at one of my six hosted websites.

It was after 8:00 a.m. before I returned to bed again.

There had been occasional showers of rain overnight and into the very early morning.

Did I sleep? Believe it or not, I fared no better than I did overnight ─ just a few short naps until I gave it up, poorly-slept as I indeed felt. And it was sunny outside ─ so bright!

The sunshine was only a short-lived feature of the day, though. However, I do believe that the brightness adversely affected my napping.

By the time I went downstairs to finally have my day's first hot caffeinated beverage, Mark was close to finishing with the Saturday morning edition of the Vancouver Sun I subscribe to.

And soon enough, he went on up to his bedroom to rest up before taking off for the afternoon. And if all goes well, I won't see him again until tomorrow morning, for he usually spends Saturday evenings with his girlfriend Bev and then sleeps over at her residence.

I have been too ill-slept today to be capable of confronting any serious exercising.

I would like to watch a Christmas movie, and finally try out our new Android TV Box ─ I have yet to watch a thing on it! And if I can perk up enough (for I will enjoy some drinks), I might even get out to do a little shopping ─ but that is most questionable, since the store I have in mind is from 1¼ to 1½ miles away.

I do not drive, so I would have to walk.

I am going to reproduce in full an article from JacksDailyDose.com that came my way in an E-mail five days ago, but which has not been published yet at the website.

The article lauds vitamin D3 supplementation.

I certainly don't need the encouragement ─ I try to ensure that I take 10,000 I.U.s daily over these months when we are no longer able to bask in warm sunshine.

But not everyone is as immersed into this as am I:
Miracle Vitamin BLOCK infections

It's more common than mistletoe and holly this time of year, and unlike holiday decorations this one won't vanish come January.

Nasty, icky, drippy, wheezy respiratory infections are in season and spreading like carols.

Fa-la-la-la-la, la-la-laaaahhHHH CHOO!

Colds and other infections can strike even the healthiest of us, turning a season of joy into days and even weeks of absolute misery.

But there's a way to FIGHT BACK.

New research reveals a surefire technique to arm your body, turbo-charge your immune system and chase infection-causing viruses out of your body. You can give them such a scare they won't even DREAM about coming back around ever again.

And the secret... is in the SKY above you!

Your immune system is powered in part by the essential vitamin D your body makes from exposure to sunlight.

The shorter, colder days of winter means you send less time outside... and you get less sun.

That means less D and a crippled immune system even if you THINK you're otherwise healthy.

Now, two recent - and completely unrelated - studies combine to shine a light on what happens when you take a supplement to increase your levels of this immune-boosting wonder-nutrient.

Your risk of all major winter infections will PLUNGE!

And if you DO happen to get sick anyway, you can have shorter illness with fewer symptoms.

The first new study just out finds that 5,000 IUs per day more than doubled blood levels of the sunshine vitamin.

That, in turn, raised levels of what's known as secretory immunoglobulin A (SIgA), which essentially BLOCKS viruses from becoming full-blown infections.

Of course, it's one thing to see these numbers on a lab test of a snot-filled petri dish.

It's quite another when they lead to real-world results.

But once again, the D supplements made a major difference, easing nearly every major symptom of respiratory infections including runny nose, sneezing and coughing.

Don't wait until you're sick to boost your D.

Increase your levels NOW... while you're healthy... and you may be able to avoid getting sick in the first place.

A second recent study finds that taking D supplements will slash your risk of colds, bronchitis and pneumonia by 12 percent.

That's enough to prevent one illness in every 33 people who take the supplements... but the TRUE benefit is even bigger in many people.

In people who are low in vitamin D... which is the vast majority of older folks in the United States (especially in winter)... the supplements can prevent a viral respiratory infection in 1 in 4 patients!

That's not just a benefit. That's practically a miracle - but one you can find for pennies a day in any decent vitamin shop.
I tried to locate both of those studies, but I could only locate information on the first one ─ the one where study participants had remarkable results who took just half the daily dose of vitamin D that I presently take.

I won't link to the actual study ─ just another article detailing it, but which does itself link to the study below its description:

Nutraingredients-Asia.com

However, you are in charge of your own health, so believe what you will.

It's been several days since I posted any photos from the small reunion that my wife Jack and her two sons arranged early this year in Bali with five of their Thailand family members.

I am only going to display three photos. They were taken during the noon-hour of January 29, 2018.

The young man is my wife Jack's nephew Mark, although he seems to stylize himself as MonoMark ─ either would be nicknames, I am sure.

He is the son of Lumpoon, one of my wife Jack's two sisters.

The setting offers a good view behind him of the eroding rocky outcrop forming the base of Pura Tanah Lot (Tanah Lot Temple):




I close today's post now with another old journal entry of mine written exactly 40 years ago when I was 29 years old.

I was chronically unemployed with no job prospects nor skills, and I had been without any sort of income in months.

My self-confidence was very bad.

I was being given shelter in the home of my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Jean Cooper who were renting an old house here in Surrey.

I expect that the house was demolished many years ago, but its address used to be 8205 - 144th Street (Google map).

About all I had that kept me grounded was physical fitness, even though I had little means at my disposal in its achievement. Walking was relatively inexpensive, so I did lots of that ─ when I could get myself braced up to bear the daytime public scrutiny that I preferred to shun.

On this day I had a visit to the home of my mother Irene Dorosh planned ─ I often visited when her husband Alex was away to work, for he had yet to retire.

Their home was in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey, and was my main mailing address. That little house no longer exists either, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue (Google map), and was approximately a four-mile walk from where I was living ─ if one walked directly there.

I see that I intended extending the hike.
DECEMBER 15, 1978 (Fʀɪᴅᴀʏ)

In spite of my late hour last night (retired at least 12:45 a.m.) and my fear otherwise, I didn't slumber all that heavily, and arose c. 5:30 a.m. to go to mom's via the park, 80th Ave. and the tracks.

[The route involved cutting through Bear Creek Park at its corner nearest to 88th Avenue & 140th Street (Google map) to probably work my way up to 80th Avenue & King George Highway; and from there I would have followed 80th Avenue to the BC Hydro Railway tracks near the intersection of 128th Street. Those railway tracks would pass within a block of my mother's home.]

My bodyweight was a satisfactory 184 lbs. or so, and so I guiltlessly enjoyed an ample breakfast.

Mom suggested I phone c. 8:00 p.m. this evening to learn whether Lucy and Ed and two girls would be staying there a week beginning tomorrow.

[My mother and her husband Alex were about to take a bus charter to Reno for about a week, and one of her sisters (and family) who were out this way visiting from (probably) Ontario had initially expressed interest in staying at the house for a week. That was usually my enjoyable duty. However, now Lucy & Ed were vacillating about doing so, and it might fall upon me to once again get to hang out there.]

Mom went out c. 9:40 a.m. to shop, coming home at 11:00 a.m. with Nick who had crossed paths with her and drove her home.

[Nick Phillips was a neighbour who lived almost across the street from my mother and Alex.]

I was watching T.V., however, and so did not socialize with him ere he left at noon.

It began snowing c. 10:45 a.m., quite heavily. This, and mom's comment that Alex might end his work-week early, conspired to keep me from daring a nap. Too, Lucy and Ed were expected for supper.

I thought it wise to leave a bit early.

Phyllis dropped in c. 5 minutes (to use the bathroom).

[Phyllis is my older maternal half-sister.]

I left for Mark's the route I had come, c. 1:15 p.m.

The going was treacherous with my treadless boots; too, the right one leaked badly through a two or more inch slit along the side.

Soon my clothes were quite wet, and I was cold.

And to top it all, I approached 144th St. through hordes of elementary students, which is always distasteful.

Only Jean was home.

Mark showed up an hour later with Daryl Porteous.

[Darrel Porteous was one of two younger brother of Mark's best friend back then, Garry Porteous.]

Shortly after 5:00 p.m. I found myself wearingly bored enough to require sacking out, but Daryl got Mark to take him off somewhere, so I got up again.

I phoned over to mom's at 8:00 p.m., but Alex answered and said she'd gone out. I said I'd try after, but didn't.

Mom finally phoned me.

It appears the place is mine to oversee.

At 10:00 p.m., Garry and Kathy came over; Kathy was pretty looped.

I remained up till c. 11:30 p.m.
Lord, I have got to stop blogging ─ it sucks away my days! It is now nearing 8:00 p.m., and I still want to have a bath and shave ─ let alone watch a Christmas movie.

How can I possibly go shopping? ─ the store closes at 11:00 p.m.

This seems so bloody unfair.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Our T9 Android 8.1 TV Box Has Arrived!


I have no time for much of a post. I never got started on it until after dark.

My wife Jack never had to work today, but she did have a dental appointment around noon or so.

After she was back home, she cooked; and then shortly after dark left, saying that she would be back on Sunday.

My big news is the arrival (finally) of the T9 Android 8.1 TV Box that I had ordered through Amazon Canada. It arrived fairly late in the morning, but I never got around to trying to set it up until maybe 1:30 p.m. at very latest.

It had none of the applications I use to fetch the shows my younger brother Mark and I watch, so I had to do lots of research.

We now have the Movie Play Red application installed. And I even had to uninstall some odd Kodi alternative that was preventing me from installing the true Kodi.

Once I had that figured out, I have since downloaded three further applications into Kodi, and I will gradually add some more.

Anyway, now our old MXQ Android TV Box (version 4.4.2) is officially retired, and maybe tomorrow I can get started training Mark how to use our new device ─ he didn't know how to operate our old Android TV Box.

This new one has so much more power ─ the old one was rather touchy, and required lots of coddling to access and play shows. I am hoping that Mark will be able to wield the new device on his own and I will no longer be his hostage 'projectionist.'

I have not yet used the new device ─ its trial run will be this evening, so I will have much more to say in tomorrow's post. I will even submit an Amazon review, in all likelihood.

I never finished fussing around with the device until after 6:00 p.m., so that was the main reason for the late start on this post.

And now I only have time to wrap this up.

Here to close today's post is another of my old journal entries ─ this one written exactly 40 years go when I was 29 years old.

I had no job and no prospects of one. I had no skills ─ I didn't even drive. I never completed high school.

My Unemployment Insurance claim had run out months back, and I was even being notified of owing back something around $250 that were of course impossible for me to repay.

My confidence was poor, and it sure never helped that I was socially isolated and withdrawn.

But at least I had been interested in healthy living and physical fitness since my mid-teens. However, I had discovered years back that alcohol did ease my social frigidness ─ consequently, I was no stranger to binging.

Since I had no income, I was being charitably sheltered in the old house that my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Jean Cooper were renting here in Surrey.  

The old dwelling could not possibly exist today, but back then its address was 8205 - 144th Street (Google map). 

On store this day was a visit to my mother Irene Dorosh's home over in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. Her husband Alex had not yet retired, so I tended to visit while he was away for the day.

Their little house no longer exists either, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue (Google map) ─ it was my main mailing address.

Normally the direct walk to their home was approximately four miles, but I see that I chose a longer alternate route. The plan was to follow 144th Street to 72nd Avenue, and from there turn right and work my way to the BC Hydro Railway tracks just on the other side of the King George Highway where they crossed 72nd Avenue at Hall road (Google map).

From there I would follow the tracks 'up' the map all the way to where they passed by the intersection of Holt Road & 90th Avenue (Google map) ─ my mother's home was just a partial block down the avenue.
DECEMBER 14, 1978 (Tʜᴜʀsᴅᴀʏ)

I awoke to the ringing of the phone at 7:00 a.m. 

I got up to answer it, but managed to check myself, and fortunately so, for it rang long.

I was soon on my walk, heading up the road and over to Newton; I followed the tracks, growing ever more hungry. Thus, I stopped in at mom's, and broke my fast.

I guess a letter came for me yesterday from Rocky; today my income tax form came in.

[Roxanne (Rocky) Halverson was a younger maternal cousin who lived in Calgary. She had something of a crush on me.]

Mom said Jock phoned her at 7:00 a.m. to see if I was there, available for trash duty with him. A good thing it was I didn't answer the phone at Mark's!

[My maternal cousin John (Jock) Halverson (he and Rocky were also cousins, not brother and sister) worked for Haul-Away, the company that had the trash collection service all over this part of the region. His immediate employer was truck driver / owner Ken Remple (?). Now I didn't mind putting in a day emptying trash buckets, but I needed far more notice than to just be called up out of the blue in the morning to start right then! Heck, I didn't even care to find out the night before ─ I needed at least a day's advance notice. Incidentally, Ken was known to probably be the stingiest of the drivers when it came to paying temporary help.]

There is some chance Lucy and Ed might not stay at mom's during her and Alex' week of Reno; she suggested I phone tomorrow night and see, for I could then replace them. 

I hope!  

[My mother and Alex were taking a bus charter to Reno, and my mother had thought that her sister Lucy & husband ─ who were apparently out this way with the notion of remaining (they came from Ontario, I believe) ─ could stay at the house until my mother and Alex returned from Reno. Normally, that house-sitting was my most welcome duty.] 

And though Alex' retirement next June or so would put an end to my voracious visits, they will likely be terminated some months sooner, for the house may be sold by then, necessitating that they move. 

I only visited c. an hour this morning, leaving at 10:00 a.m. down Scott to 96th Ave., then home.

[That would have added approximately another 1½ miles to the usual four-mile walk back to where I was calling home.]

About 12:50 p.m., Garry dropped by, staying till 2:00 p.m.

[Garry Porteous had been Mark's best friend since their latter elementary school years. Garry was off work at this time due to a badly cut hand; and Mark and Jean would not have been at the house yet, so I alone was blessed with Garry's company.]

I napped, getting up at 4:00 p.m. to answer the phone; 'twas Jean checking to see if I covered for her and put out the garbage, and to remind me about feeding Daboda.

[Daboda was Mark's German shepherd, and was generally kept chained to a run cable in the backyard.]

I couldn't rest easy without an evening outing, but couldn't settle on the direction.

About 5:30 p.m. I hustled off down 88th to the tracks, then came back via 80th and the park. I did it in 2½ hours, but that old bridge problem in my right foot is burning my heel badly enow to compel me to hobble about. 

[Evidently I almost returned to my mother's home, taking to the railway tracks at 88th Avenue instead of 90th by her home. I followed them to where they crossed 80th Avenue right near its intersection with 128th Street (Google map), then took to 80th Avenue and followed it to the King George Highway and crossed over to enter Bear Creek Park where I would have a peaceful shortcut through it to 88th Avenue & 140th Street (Google map). From there I would continue along 88th Avenue until I reached 144th Street.] 

Wonder when Mark and Jean'll get in? I felt bad about Daboda losing out on his period of evening freedom, but I don't want to feel responsible if he met another accident.

(The concert-goers walked out on a disappointing performance, appearing home at 11:00 p.m.)
Mark and Jean had gone to see a Queen concert in Vancouver ─ apparently they felt it to be a bust.

Concerning my foot, I always suspected that it was the arch's tendon that had been stressed, but I now suspect that I may have been suffering plantar fasciitis ─ I never knew what such a thing was back then.

By the way, it seems a little breezy outside since sunset, and there is some rain.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

An Ayurvedic Practitioner Disturbs Me By Writing an Article Practically Extolling PSA Testing


Last evening at about 9:50 p.m. I had just gone outside to turn off the Christmas lights that I have set up to adorn the entire doorway, when my younger brother Mark hove into view.

He had not yet come home that evening, so it had been my intention to get to bed and leave him with the T.V. and its basic cable.

I had been watching some T.V. via our old MXQ Android TV Box (Android version 4.4.2), but Mark doesn't know how to operate it and can only watch T.V. on his own with the basic cable package that we subscribe to

So now I was caught up and would have to postpone bed until after 1:00 a.m. And as it was to happen, bedtime was not until just after 1:30 a.m. because I was involved for a bit here at my computer.

My wife Jack had still not shown up after her long workday at her friend Fanta's Thai restaurant in Langley.

Normally when she arrives home very late into the night and I have fallen asleep, I become aware of her when she is readying for bed (I wear a blindfold and earplugs).

Yet for the second consecutive night, I have no recollection of noticing her as she readied herself for bed. Once was somewhat striking; but for it to occur on two second consecutive nights suggests that I may be displaying serious indications that I am suffering from a deficit of adequate sleep.

It was likely somewhere between 4:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. when I  made a check of the time and saw that she was in her side of the bed.   

Now, normally I would have risen at that point so that I could get to work on the day's content assignment at the latest post I am developing at one of my six hosted websites. However, this time I just felt too in need of further sleep.

I could not have gotten too much more, for it was maybe 5:41 a.m. when I next took a look at the time and decided that I could not postpone rising any longer.

For one thing, I wanted to use the bathroom and dress myself in it before my eldest stepson Tho rose to ready for work ─ he is usually up by 6:00 a.m.

Well, I needn't have concerned myself ─ he never bothered himself with going to work today. I have no idea how the hell he can get away with this level of truancy.

And he's a lead hand ─ unless he's been demoted since the appointment a couple or so years ago. One would think that a company would demand regular attendance, yet I cannot recall when Tho last put in five full days of work in a workweek.

Anyway, for once my late start at the website post meant that I was not to meet the day's content assignment. I only managed half of the workload, and then had to knock off to seek some rest here on the floor in front of my computer ─ which I keep in a small room next to my bedroom.

I do not return to bed because I am loath to disturb Jack's sleep ─ this would be another workday for her with an 11:00 a.m. start time at the restaurant.

It was already a little after 8:00 a.m., and my brother Mark would probably be rising at any time thereafter. He already consumes at least three hours of my late morning and midday during each day of the workweek by having me operate the Android TV Box so he can watch something "interesting" until he feel like returning to his room to rest up before he takes off for the afternoon to end up drinking somewhere.

I have no intention of being impressed into this 'projectionist' duty as early as the mid-morning.

I ordered a new Android TV Box (Android version 8.1) from Amazon Canada that was estimated to be getting delivered no later than December 6, but it is now a full week overdue.

Once I have it set up, I will train Mark into its use so that I am no longer held to its operation during the weekdays (Mark has a morning newspaper to read on both days of the weekend).

Alas, I was not to find sleep here on the floor.

Immediately next door, the woman living there commissioned a tree removal crew to bring down two very large evergreens in her front yard that grew so closely together at their bases that they actually resemble one tree that forked.

However, one tree is a fir, the other a cedar.   

Well, the task of sectionally bringing down those two large trees began this morning ─ and there are at least three quite big trucks out there with a large complement of crewmen doing the work.

The company is apparently Royal Wood Tree Service Ltd.

They clearly know their stuff, but such a large task cannot be inexpensive for the neighbour woman who hired them.

My actual bedroom is the room closest to where the work was being performed ─ she had no hope of sleeping once it began, for she doesn't resort to earplugs. I was using them, but the noise from the chainsaws and whatever other saws were being employed was far too intrusive.

Poor Jack rose for work, and soon enough left; and I sat operating the Android TV Box until around 1:00 p.m. before Mark called it quits and went to his bedroom to rest.

The crew had worked until just into the noon-hour and then disappeared.

I failed to seek my own proper bed-rest until at least 1:40 p.m. I had just managed to sink into a sleep when my cellphone awoke me ─ but it was an unfamiliar number, so I did not answer it. I only answer calls from members of my household ─ no one else I know and care to speak to has the number to call me. 

Annoyed, I attempted to relax back into the nap I had been robbed of...when I heard those infernal saws once again. The crew was back at work!

And so ended my hope of a nap.

I rose to find that Mark had already risen and left for the afternoon.

I wish that I was able to locate a good photo of those trees, but I never felt any inclination to take any ─ we have our own property to photograph. On short notice, this is the best I can offer ─ the photo was taken almost 10 years ago, for it was December 26, 2008:


That's me in the red cap, and my younger brother Mark is wearing the hood. The lowermost part of the two trees is there at the left and beyond me ─ they towered much higher than can be perceived by the photo.

I took this photo this afternoon at 3:53 p.m. facing the neighbour's house toward where the trees had been:


The trees would have risen between the shrubs and the house.

Here are what remains of the severed sections of the two trunks ─ I took this shot at 3:54 p.m.:


I didn't want to venture onto the property to the base of the remainder of the stumps to see just how low to the ground the severance had been.

The photos look so gloomy because it has been raining today. I had actually taken a photo of the bare trunks when they were still standing, stripped of their branches. However, even though the Sun was completely out of sight behind the cloud cover, I guess the glare from that part of the sky resulted in a rather blurry image of the two trees, for the iPhone 5's camera was directed right where the Sun would have been. I deleted the shot.

There has still been no suggestion of any snow in this area thus far this season ─ not even a dusting as yet. This is very unusual.

To change topics now, I want to bring up the subject of men's prostate gland, and its seeming propensity to develop cancer.  

I am 69 years old, so I often enough think about my own prostate. However, I have never undergone a PSA test ─ nor a colonoscopy, for that matter. 

The following article aroused some resentment in me:

LifeSpa.com

I have read too many recent reports citing studies that have found PSA tests to be next to useless. They cause alarm where there is no justification, and have resulted in radical, unnecessary treatments for conditions that would never have caused any harm in the lifetime of the subject male.

But the surgeries and related treatments can cause no end of lifelong troubles such as incontinence and sexual dysfunction.  

And the needless scares can have profound effects.

So I do not understand how John Douillard can be backing these tests and treatments as opposed to active surveillance (or 'watchful waiting').

It also disturbs me that he unquestioningly seems to believe that high-fat diets are a threat to the prostate, and that high-fat dairy is especially bad.

Perhaps there is something to his qualification that the pasteurized garbage the Dairy Industry foists upon the consumer may be culprit, and that natural raw dairy does not pose the same hazard.

But John almost seems reluctant to advance that option.

I think he may be a vegetarian ─ or at least, darned near close to being one. Thus, he would naturally be pushing his own viewpoint / agenda when he writes.

But I may be wrong about his diet. Certainly he does not eat very much by way of animal products.

Gosh, my afternoon has just about elapsed ─ it is 5:58 p.m., and I must finish today's blog post before my brother Mark arrives home for the evening.

Thus, here to close with is another old journal entry of mine from exactly 40 years ago when I was 29 years old.

I was unemployed and had no job prospects ─ I had no job skills, and did not drive.

My self-confidence was poor ─ especially in social situations.

I seldom felt myself surging with the confidence to get out of the house and into the daylit world. 

Nevertheless, since my mid-teens, I was very interested in healthful living and physical fitness, doing what I felt was my best with the means and conditions that had always been available to me.

At that time, since I had no income whatsoever, I had been given charitable shelter by my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Jean Cooper who were renting an old house here in Surrey.

I cannot imagine that house existed for too many years after we moved out, but its address back then was 8205 - 144th Street (Google map).

Both Mark and Jean had jobs, but Mark worked far from home at what was likely a remote logging camp somewhere at Narrows Inlet (Google map). He was the first-aid / time-keeper, and normally spent 10 days at camp, and then was flown out by seaplane to a Vancouver harbour on the start of a four-day break.

It looks as if the following day was to be the start of one of his breaks.
DECEMBER 13, 1978 (Wᴇᴅɴᴇsᴅᴀʏ)

Again, I got up after hearing Jean drive off.

Tomorrow is her last day of work this week, as she and Mark are going to a degenerate Queen concert that evening, and so she'll be taking Friday off.

I remember dreaming about visiting Ireland with Mark, and while walking through some shopping complex, espying Anne Gregory.

I confronted her silently, and it took her the longest while to recognize me.

[Anne Gregory was the mother of my old friend William Alan Gill. She was of Irish or Scottish stock, but I don't know if she had ever set foot outside North America. But that was a realistic touch to dream ─ how someone would fail to recognize someone else who would otherwise be very familiar; if she had ever gone to Ireland, she would never be expecting to see me standing before her in a shopping complex one day.]

Just before 9:00 a.m., Garry knocked, disrupting my schedule for the day, cause he stayed till 1:00 p.m. 

[Garry Porteous had been Mark's best friend since their latter elementary school years.]

But he was good company this very cold day.

I did near an hour of light indoor jogging, but got no outdoor exercise, alas.

Jean got home just in time to get in on a call from Mark.

The pickings were slim, so she didn't take the initiative tonight to include me in on supper.

Bill phoned me about 7:00 p.m., and I had to talk to his mother for clarification on a recounting of this morning's dream.

About Garry: he was here today because he's been off work since a week ago Monday when he badly cut a finger at work and required some stitching.
I believe that Garry worked at a sawmill in perhaps the Fort Langley area.

My old friend Bill is 72 years old now, but I have not seen him in probably at least two decades. He moved back to Vancouver Island where he grew up, and for the past couple or so years has been in a full-time care institution. 

Essentially bedridden, I do not expect we shall ever see one another again ─ nor even speak to one another.

His lady-friend Sandra Wilson ─ whom he has known since the 1980s ─ sometimes takes public transit over to the facility in Victoria. She lives in a Vancouver apartment.

She has become somewhat friendly with Bill's cousin Darlene, so Sandy can be put up overnight instead of having to go through the ordeal of making that long, long round-trip in a single day, and benefiting from just a few hours of visit-time with Bill.

Neither she nor I can afford accommodation over there.

I tried to phone her last evening for an update on Bill, for I have not spoken with her for a few months. However, either I misdialed, or she has a new phone number. 

I phoned and left a message on what I thought was her answering service. Just a couple or so minutes later, I was called back, and believed that I was speaking with Sandy.

But the female pointedly suddenly asked, "Who are you?"

And then all went silent ─ she would either say nothing more, or else she speedily hung up.

Consequently, I do not care to call back in case I did not misdial and Sandy now has a new phone number. She does sometimes change hers because she is quite silly about involving herself with online dating 'apps' and coming into contact with all manner of weirdos and shysters she foolishly gives her phone number to.

But she won't learn and quit doing it.

I reckon I will have to leave her a Facebook message ─ I sent her a text last evening, but have not received a reply. That's another sure indication that she now has a different phone number.
 

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Elephants, Memory, and Cognitive Decline


Last evening was one of those in which my inebriated younger brother Mark got to spend drinking by himself and watching whatever he was able to find on the T.V.'s basic cable.

After he had come home 'stinking drunk' and then passed out in his favourite living room chair right after I had tuned in an episode of one of the shows we follow via our old MXQ Android TV Box (Android version 4.4.2), I had cancelled out of the episode, turned off the Android TV Box, and switched the T.V. over to our basic cable's news channel to leave as Mark's company. 

I came upstairs here to my computer; and by 9:33 p.m. I was into my bed. By then Mark had regained consciousness and was well into whatever fare he was able to decide upon from the basic cable's offerings.

He doesn't know how to operate the Android TV Box.

My wife Jack was to have worked the day at her friend Fanta's Thai restaurant in Langley, so I was expecting her home at some point.

My recollection of my time in bed is vague.

The first that I can even remember of knowing that Jack had come home was around 4:30 a.m. when I checked the time and decided to get up so that I could soon enough commence work upon the post I am developing at one of my six hosted websites. I actually had to look over to her side of the bed to see if she was there...and she was.

Did I sleep through her homecoming? Or had I been aware when she was readying for bed, but that memory had faded out of existence?

I know not. All I know is that this was most unusual for me.

Something else unusual was that my eldest stepson Tho rose no later than 5:30 a.m. to commence readying for his workday. Normally he rises around 6:00 a.m. ─ if he bothers getting up at all, for he skips a lot of workdays.

It took me longer than anticipated to meet the day's content assignment for the website post, and I became sorely anxious as a result. It was going to mean that I would not be getting much of a nap before my wife Jack had to be up by 10:00 a.m. to start readying herself for her 11:00 a.m. start at the restaurant in Langley.

Of course, after that I serve as Mark's entertainment provider, operating the android TV Box for him until at least 1:00 p.m.

It was after 8:30 a.m. before I had met the website post's content assignment. I bedded down here on the floor in front of my computer to try and relax and derive at least a little further sleep if it was possible.

I had set my cellphone's alarm for 9:59 a.m. to ensure that I rose to waken Jack if she needed me to, but I did not require it. For whatever perverse reason, I napped badly; and it was just after 9:50 a.m. when I decided to get up from the floor.

At 10:00 a.m. I checked in on Jack. She was still in bed, but awake ─ if very sleepy.

So she was to embark upon her drive to Langley in plenty of time for her workday start.

And I was to lose three hours of my midday ─ sometimes it is more ─ fetching up content via the Android TV Box for Mark to watch until he became weary enough to return to his bedroom to rest before taking off for the afternoon to end up drinking somewhere again.

Those three or more hours are hours that I could be spending doing something of more value ─ even getting a proper nap would be of value, for it would free up my afternoon.

As it was, I had become hungry enough by the time Mark sought his bedroom that I needed to fix up my day's first meal from leftovers of my wife Jack's cooking; and once that meal was eaten, then I finally sought that proper nap in my bed.

By the way, my eldest stepson Tho was back home before I had gone back to bed, so he had a short workday. His younger brother Poté had been up for quite some while by then ─ of late, Poté has been working an afternoon / evening shift.

It was well past 3:00 p.m. when I forced myself from my bed following my needed nap ─ I still felt so very sleepy that I had kept prolonging that rising.

I was to find myself home alone.

And so my day thus far at 4:29 p.m. The weather has been overcast, and there has even been some rain.

I regularly critique in this blog my younger brother Mark's daily drinking. He is 66 years old, and I think that the sole reason he probably does not display signs of dementia when he is sober is because he has been taking enormous amounts of nutritional supplements each day and has done so for many, many years.

He definitely displays dementia when he is very drunk, for his behaviour when his drinking  has been extra excessive is far more than the product of mere drunkenness.

After all, I have known my drunken brother all of his adult life. What he devolves into in recent years is not just drunkenness. There is a simple-mindedness or imbecility that starts to manifest. And it is nothing for him to speak of the same topic as often as three evenings in a single week as if each time is the first that he has mentioned it.

This can become infuriating when he idiotically asks me something that he has asked many times previously, for clearly he has no recollection of having done so and is unable to retain the information I have responded with.

I have no patience for this sort of interruption during my evening television entertainment when the questioner has brought upon himself this failure of memory. It is a self-induced problem that would remediate if the drinking was curtailed ─ but he won't do that.

It is why our mother had to die alone in far-off Keremeos. She had wanted to live with us, but he would not allow it ─ when she would visit and stay for a few days, she would dare to criticize him for drinking every evening. He would typically go straight to the bar after he finished work and before he had even come home, and he would often not show up here until mid-evening or even later.

That was his normal routine.

He had done this for many, many years. He had no intention of stopping ─ nor having to listen to a concerned parent lecture him.

I bring this up by way of prefacing an article I just recently read concerning loss of cognition:

DrMicozzi.com

Dr. Marc S. Micozzi speculates that a primary reason elephants may not be subject to memory loss ─ despite potentially having a lifespan approaching that of humans ─ is because of their sociability. They prefer to live their lives as a community.

So social isolation is a huge danger that can result in cognitive decline.

I agree that social isolation probably is responsible for a great deal of the mental decline in humans.

However, where elephants are concerned, I further suggest that the major reason they do not enter into mental decline is because their diets remain perfectly natural ─ they do not have diets comprised of every conceivable non-food that it is possible for us to somehow incorporate into our own human diet.

Look at the bewildering array of ingredients listed on any packaged processed food item. So much of it is not 'food' at all and is only in the product for the convenience of the manufacturers ─ not because it is harmless or even nutritious.

Elephants don't eat fast food all of their lives. They aren't stuffing themselves with endless confections and pastries and everything similar that is wrong.

They're not loading themselves up with all kinds of prescription medications that they stupidly believe they have to take because commercials and 'medical professionals' tell them to.

And on and on and on.

But I am going to drop the subject at that.

However, I will link to that article's one reference at Fortune.com, in case you are interested in it: What Elephants Can Teach Us About Alzheimer’s Disease.

Google Photos notified me today that it created a two-image collage to commemorate this day exactly two years ago ─ the images are from a Google Photos album of mine:


We have yet hereabouts to see any snow whatsoever so far this season ─ this is actually quite unusual for us. Anecdotally, the afternoon weather report I heard today was a rain warning ─ not snow.

Anyway, here are those two original photos apparently taken on December 12, 2016 ─ the first photo is a shot of the backyard, and the second the front looking out to our cul-de-sac:



Yes, it's certainly beautiful to look at, but not to put up with day after day.

...I have just finished struggling with my 43½-pound dumbbell for several minutes, as I try to regain some of my former facility with the weight.

I can do the four sets of repetitions (10 - 9 - 8 -7) of one-arm knee curls that I used to regularly perform, but I very much have to heave up the weight as opposed to just curling it up.

I don't know if I can ever get back to the same number of sets and repetitions with overhead one-arm presses. Oh sure, I have a bad left shoulder, so maybe that will prevent the increase in both sets and repetitions, but right now all I can handle are two sets of five presses ─ and those are very much heaved skyward.

By that point I am incredibly winded, so I don't even bother with the four sets of one-arm bent-over rows. However, those are far easier than the other two movements, so missing them presently does not concern me.

I want to bring this post to a close so that I can phone Sandra Wilson, the lady-friend of my old friend William Alan Gill.

Bill is essentially bedridden in a Victoria full-care facility, and I have not seen the dear soul in maybe at least two decades. But Sandy occasionally will make the long haul from her Vancouver apartment, for she has somewhat befriended Darlene, a cousin of Bill's. This allows Sandy to sometimes remain overnight on the Island instead of catching a ferry back to the mainland on the same day.   

Neither Sandy nor I can afford to take overnight accommodation. And I sure do not intend to put myself through the all-day ordeal required to get over to Victoria by public transport and back again in a single day after a mere visit with Bill of a few hours at best.

Somehow Bill has survived to attain the age of 72, so I would love to get an update on him from Sandy. I haven't spoken to her in a few months.

So here to close today's post is another old journal entry of mine that was written exactly 40 years ago when I was 29 years old.

I was extremely unemployed and had absolutely no prospects nor job skills. I didn't even drive.

I was socially marginal. The only friends I had anymore were drinking friends ─ except for maybe Bill. He and I could be happy just watching T.V. shows together.

But since I had no income, I could not afford to socialize with any 'drinking friends.' And thus I kept to myself.

As for Bill, he was resident with his mother Anne Gregory in, I think, Maillardville, whereas I was staying in the old house that my younger brother Mark and his girlfriend Jean Cooper were renting here in Surrey.

I am sure that old house was demolished years ago, but back then its address was 8205 - 144th Street (Google map).

Despite never having a friend with whom I could exercise with or go on runs with, I had managed to become fitter than was average, and looked quite muscular.

But I still had low self-confidence, mostly due to my lack of means. After all, I was really only a charity case, staying at the home of Mark and Jean through their hospitality.

Both of them had jobs, but Mark's was probably at a remote logging camp somewhere at Narrows Inlet (Google map) where he served as its first-aid / time-keeper, usually for 10-day stretches. He would then be flown by seaplane to a Vancouver harbour to begin a four-day break. 

He was away at camp on this day.

My major plan of the day was the hike over to visit my mother Irene Dorosh in the Kennedy Heights area of Surrey. The little house that she and her husband Alex had back then is also no more, but its address was 12106 - 90th Avenue (Google map).

Alex still worked for a living, so I would try to visit while he was away for the workday.

On this day, I got an especially early start on what was normally the four-mile hike to their home ─ the early start would require me to put in some additional distance in order to eat up time until he had left for work.

I always felt like he thought I was a mooching loser, even though he never gave me cause to feel so. It was all a matter of my own poor self-image.
DECEMBER 12, 1978 (Tᴜᴇsᴅᴀʏ)

Concerned I should be doing more walking as a curb to possible weight gain, when I awoke shortly after 4:00 a.m., I decided to get up and put in some extra distance on my way to mom's. 

I guess it was shortly after 4:30 a.m. when I left.

The sky was clear, and it was cold. My hands never were warm.

I followed the King George to Whalley, passed through Kwantlen Park, then struck off on 128th for mom's, correctly identifying Alex' car in time to duck into the gloomy edge of Kennedy Park till he passed.

I was right about my weight; I scaled in from 186 - 8. It must come off.

Aunt Lucy and family will be staying at the house next week while mom and Alex vacate to Reno with Nell and Colleen.

[My mother's sister Lucy and her family were thinking about moving out to this area from (probably) Ontario. Nell Halverson was the youngest sister of my mother's family, and Nell and her household had been living in Surrey for several years by this time. Colleen was one of Nell's daughters. Since I have no memory of Lucy ever living out this way, it must not have come about.]

My breakfast was larger than I intended; too, my nap wasn't vastly fulfilling.

I awoke this morning, incidentally, with a dream in which I was witnessing a trio of probably drunkards walking down a sidewalk. They were two men and a woman.

They reached an intersection, but were following the sidewalk to their right, rather than crossing the street.

At the same time, a cop car was coming from their left, giving them the eye, but slowly turning up the way they had come. 

However, the old man of the trio (native Indians, I believe, looking typically unsavoury) spat as an indication of the extent of his respect for the police.

The solitary cop swung around after them, while the younger man tried to hustle the others off.

The cop caught up, of course, and jumped out of his car. 

Details here aren't clear.

As a precaution, he must have summoned aid. Gun drawn, he approached, but the young guy pulled a gun, and very excitedly discharged a shot into the air to display it was loaded and he might be serious.

Not wishing to press the incident, the cop abandoned his weapon reluctantly and was taken. 

They might have him hadn't reinforcements arrived. 

I recall no more.

Nick visited mom just as I began a bath; I stayed out of his ken when done till he'd gone.

[Nick Phillips was a neighbour of my mother and Alex, and who lived nearly across the street. He sometimes went on those Reno bus charters with them.]

My walk home was a repeat of Friday's.

[That is, I took to the BC Hydro Railway tracks just up the street from my mother's home, turned left onto them, and followed them practically all the way to the King George Highway in Newton, working my way from there to 144th Street and home.]

The dalmation up the street here ─ next door in fact ─ barked a bit at me. It wasn't much of a display, but I took a rock from my pocket for past misdeeds of his and, while he was blithely standing and scratching himself, now unaware of me, I flung and struck him with the rock.

He yelped and took off.

I, too, hustled off a ways into the gloom lest his owners had heard him and so suspected me.

I got the dishes done before Jean got home.
Okay, now to make that phone call to Sandy....