07.23.03

I have been living in Hell.

Arizona summer 110+ Hell ... without air conditioning. Nine days of Hell.

I am too exhausted to go into the horrific details.

I do, however, see hope on the horizon.

Think cool thoughts for me, k?


07.20.03

Losing a friend is never easy.

Especially when the friend is a constant companion, loyal beyond all comprehension, forgiving ... and is never bored with your stories, your whispers, and your frustrations.

Yesterday Suzn said goodbye to her black dog, Buddy. Just over a year ago, she had to bid her sweet sharpei, Bogie, a sad farwell.

Adrith just lost her kitty, Chelsea, to cancer.

Jeff had to say goodbye to his long-time poodle pal, Tobey ... and a few months later, to his greyhound, Nick.

Kelly was heartbroken at the passing of her beautiful feline, Cisco.

I had to bid my furrygirl-lhasa-apso, Leicee, goodbye. This came one year after we said goodbye to the family poodle, Pepper ...

... and the list goes on.

These are members of the family. These are friends.

We love them strongly, fully and without restraint.

So, while words just never seem enough to offer support and compassion ...

... if someone you know has lost a beloved pet ... tell them you care. Tell them that you understand.

Tell them you are sorry for their loss.

I have. I am.


07.19.03

Damn, will I never learn to keep my mouth shut?

I have gone and done it now.

My incessant whining about the freakin' hot weather has caught up with me and the weather gods are not pleased.

My air conditioning went kapooey a few days ago. I had a technician check it and he said that the heat was so intense outdoors and the ratio between the interior heat exchange and the cold output was in the normal range ...

... and that the moon was in the second house and Jupiter was aligned with Mars ...

... and the freon was fine ... and the fan was fine.

So, in non-technical other words Mr. I-Know-Everything-About-Air-Conditioning-Arrogant-Bastard-And-It-Does-Not-Matter-That-The-AC-Has-Never-Blown-This-Hot-Before ...

... what you're trying to tell me is that I am destined to suffer in a hot home all summer?

After accepting his lame excuse for two nights resulting in one nekkid Jann, laying atop her sheets with a 18" fan blowing across her body and every ten minutes spritzing herself with cold water ...

I called the repair folks out again. I specifically told them that the Arrogant-Repair-Dude was NOT welcome in my home.

To cut to the chase, yesterday at 5:AM, a new air conditioner flew through the air (via crane) to alight upon my roof.

By 7:AM, the house was cool ... I was smilin' ... and I drifted off to sweet sleep for the first time in days.

But alas, those weather gods were up to their karmic shenanigans again, because at about 11:AM, the house started getting hot. Very hot.

You know the dance by now ... it turns out that the new equipment has a faulty something or other ...

... and it will be perhaps Tuesday of next week before the part could be installed!

So, what do I do? Check into a hotel? Go to Mom's?

I have so much rehab paraphernalia (for my back) that toting it all anywhere would be a nightmare.

An idea!

Rent a portable air conditioner for my master bedroom and vanity/bathroom areas and close off the rest of the house.

A hour or so later, here arrives an AC unit the size of a Volkswagen ... rolled into my bedroom ... and voila! AC. (BTW, venting it out the window was SUCH a hassle ... arrrggh!)

It took the damned thing about 11 hours to get the room(s) down to the icicle producing temps I prefer, but hey ... it's not too bad now.

I know one thing for sure, the next time I bitch about the heat ... I am whispering.

Those weather gods are relentless!


07.17.03

Embed.

After Operation Iraqi Freedom, "embed" became a noun whereas before it was simply a verb.

Apparently the embedding (the verb) of a news reporter on the front line, where the action is ... perhaps in the line of fire ...

.. well, it is BIG for ratings.

So big, that NBC is putting an embed (the noun) with each of the nine Democratic Presidential Candidates.

The embed (the noun) will follow the campaign trail of these candidates and will offer day-to-day updates. (I wonder if they'll have 'specially modified Bradley Fighting Vehicles for racing across the highways and byways of the U.S.A.?).

The idea is good. But, yuk ... can you imagine how dull that assignment would be? *shudder*

I can see it now:

"Yes, Brian ... we are here in the parking lot of the Booneville Holiday Inn."

"I can see you, John. It appears that the lot is eerily empty. Where is everyone?"

"Well Brian, Candidate So-N-So was hungry. He is currently in The Lil' House o' Ribs & Donuts. We think he may be meeting with constituents right now. However, Brian, we have been advised that it is just not safe to leave our post."

Uh huh. Embeds within politics? Tedious.


07.16.03

It's hot. Really hot. And we have at least three, maybe four, more months of this heat to contend with.

Oh, how I wish I was laying in a hammock amongst the cool pines watching storm clouds roll in.

Ahhh, a gentle cool rain. Cool breezes.

Clouds drifting aimlessly against a cool blue sky.

Perhaps a green, moist carpet of cool grass. A picnic of chilled fruit, iced tea, and frozen lemon bars.

To wander down to a creek ... sit on the bank and dangle my feet in the cool, clear water.

Mmmm ... a girl can dream, can't she?

Key word in this fantasy: cool.

Anything cool.


07.10.03

Well, it did not get as hot in Phoenix today as was predicted. The weatherdude said it stayed cooler due to the "dew point" ... yadda yadda yadda.

But ... and this is a huge but ...

I was totally humbled by my own weather-whining when I did some checking on temperatures (via weather.com) over at the western border of Arizona along the Colorado River.

Note the text circled in red:


Lake Havasu
Bullhead City

07.09.03

It is early evening as I write this.

Early evening and hot. Very hot ... 114.

There are severe weather warnings: A heat advisory is in effect ... be aware, severe heat persists.

Duh.

This morning, I headed out before 7:AM for a blood test. It was already sweltering. (The temperature, not my blood)

I then had two quick errands ... and at one point, I parked in the sun.

Left unshaded for not more than 15 minutes (before 9:am) in the furnace that is Arizona, my car proved dangerous as I burned my hand on the metal seat belt gadget. Yep, blistered my fingers.

You have heard it before: "It's a dry heat".

Yep. Dry alright. Like an oven. When the incessant summer winds begin, it is like living in the flow of a mammoth blow dryer.

This heat would be tolerable if it only cooled down at night.

It does not.

I live in an oasis of cement, concrete, asphalt, iron and glass. Stone, sand and rock. These elements hold the heat.

Our low temperature for tonight should be around 90.

The ground becomes so saturated with heat with no chance to cool down and the result? Tap water here is warm. Not refreshing or cool. Just warm.

I cannot imagine being the individuals who build roadways, frame houses, lay brick, spread tar and hammer roofing, fight fires, landscape, and any other profession that offers no reprieve from the heat.

And tomorrow? More of the same.

Except hotter.


07.08.03

If you have been reading this journal for awhile, you may consider this entry with a "oh geez, not again" attitude.

Tough sh*t.

No ... not, "Tough sh*t, I don't care".

More like, "Tough sh*t ... I really care."

Why? Because I believe that if you have any sense at all ... you will read this entry. You will follow the links and read.

Why? Because I have been there, done that ... and had my life threatened.

So now ... I watch. I wait.

Here in the northern hemisphere it is summer:

Folks are heading on vacation to the beach, to the mountains ... to the theme parks. Folks are heading poolside for long hours basking in the sun. Folks are making trips to the sun tan beds to get a start of their summer tan.

Ahhh, you know now where I am heading, don't you?

This is where Jann gets on her skin cancer soapbox and starts preaching. Right?

Damn straight.

And this is where those of you who are immortal and impervious to such maladies as skin cancer will click that mouse and move right along.

You don't need to read it again, because:

After all ... it is only a tan ... and you look so much better with a tan ... and no one in your family has skin cancer ... and ... sun tanning salon beds are safe ... and and and.

So you've heard all the warnings and well, they are for everyone else, but not you ... right?

Okay. Then move along.

But here's a challenge: if you have an open mind and the courage ... read this.

Take heed of the content.

And remember that you will not always be young. And you will not always be wrinkle free. And you will not always have firm, tight skin.

And and and.

Perhaps some day, many years from now when the mirror is still your friend ... you'll remember the soapbox preacher ...

... the one who wrote, "Tough sh*t ... I really care".

Why? Because I do.


07.07.03

Ahh, interesting.

Adrith, Cal, Jeff and John have all sent me links to sites explaining "beck and call".

Thank you all so very much for your courtesy! (John, that e-card was charming ... very "professorish")

I actually Googled both "beck and call" and "beckon call" and found both.

But the overwhelming majority of results went to the former.

It's odd, I can use a phrase all of my life and yet, BAM! For no reason, I find myself wondering its origin, etc.

I have often had to check the spelling of words that I have written/typed for 40+ years ... but that day, that instance ... the word(s) just didn't look right.

Do you do that?



Meanwhile, let me share a recent life lesson:

If you can do it yourself, just do it. No one ... yes, no one ... is at your beck and call.


07.05.03

Hmmm ... sometimes a girl has to just say 'hmmm'.



And on a different subject, I have a question. I am serious here too:

Is it "beckon call" or "beck and call"?

Just wondering.


07.04.03

"I believe in the United States of America as a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a Republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign States; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of freedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and fortunes.

I therefore believe it is my duty to my Country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."     

- - - The American's Creed written by William Tyler Page
      and officially adopted by Congress April 13, 1918


07.01.03

The Big A

Yeah baby.

I want my BabyBacks, BabyBacks, BabyBacks.

The Replacements = ||||| ||||| ||

Who knew?

Makes for some interesting perspective when you look at the big $$$ sitting on the DL, eh?



UPDATE: Damn. DBacks lost to the Rockies this evening. Damn.



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