April 17, 2017
Happy Easter to all Christians and to all Jews I hope you enjoy your Passover.
In the words of Lilly Von Stupp, from BLAZING SADDLES, “Everything below the waist is kaput.” I have been using that line a lot lately. My knees hurt almost constantly, my left hip hurts often and my left ankle hurts almost constantly. I think it is the left ankle, and the way I walk because of it, that is causing my left hip to hurt. My right shoulder hurts as well, almost 4 years ago I fell and broke the bone in my upper arm and I had surgery to place a rod to hold it together. My shoulder has never healed right after that surgery. So it hurts. I sound like an old man don’t I. Well, I am old, I am 67 years old and from my years of military service, a lot of it working on various aircraft while kneeling on concrete, I have a lot of problems.
Now because of my hurts, especially my knees, church can be a pain. I am an Episcopalian, that is the Church of England here in America, and we do a lot of pew aerobics: Stand, Sit, Kneel. Bad knees mean I take a bit of extra time to do that and I complain about the pain but I do not let the pain stop me. I enjoyed the Easter service. Next Sunday the Bishop is visiting. That should be enjoyable as well, he is a good bishop. When the last Bishop of Arizona was getting ready to retire, a search took place to select the new bishop. The diocese selects the bishop in the Episcopal Church, unlike the Romans where the Pope makes the selection. I took part and of the finalists, I am glad we got the one we got. Bishop Smith is a good one. I look forward to his visits.
I really need to visit my parents graves, I haven’t done that in a long time. The church where they are buried did not set up the burial yard right and the grave markers have wandered a lot. The graves are for cremated remains not full bodies so there isn’t much in the plots to hold the markers in place. The newer section is planned better but my parents are in the original section and it is hard to find them. I want to take a rag and some Brasso so I can clean the marker for them, the church is supposed to do it, I set up a fund to care for their graves in perpetuity but the money never got set up and so the graves are neglected. So, I do not like going there and having to hunt for them. If I went more often I wouldn’t have to hunt so hard but I never think about that until too late.
January 23, 2017
It is a cold day in Tucson, and I am getting tired of cold weather. The weather is hurting my joints and my arm where the break didn’t heal properly. Right now my knees ache and there isn’t a lot I can do to make it stop except wait it out. I do not like cold weather and I like it less the older I get.
Church this morning was as I expected. The Inauguration was last Friday and a large portion of the congregation is still flakey from the election last November. Far too many of the congregation are so tied up with their politics that effectively their brain is shut down.
Worked up a new character for a new campaign, the Shadowrun campaign is dead. I like the game system but it was too much for the guy running the campaign. I am tired of D&D regardless of which version it is. But the group I am with like it and I do not want to ruin it for them, I enjoy playing TTRPGs with them. I just thought about how long I have been playing TTRPGs, since the summer of 1977. The first time I was at Bitburg AB Germany was when I started playing. That is well over half my life. So, with the work on a new campaign today and church this morning, that is it for now.
December 12, 2016
I have two working computers, one much older than this one I am using now and it is that old one the I am going to complain about. It is wearing out and I cannot afford to buy a new one just now. Plus, I have Microsoft Word 2013 on that computer which I use for all my writing. This computer does not have Microsoft Word, any version, and what little writing I do on this computer is done with Open Office. But the old computer has a broken CD drive, the keyboard skips and now I think the modem is shot. I cannot get a network connection on that computer. I may have to limit my use of that computer to just writing and use this one for everything else.
I carried the American Flag at church this morning in commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day. The shoes I wear for what is essentially my VFW uniform are just not a perfect fit but with my feet I don’t think I have had a perfect fit since before I was a teenager. I was glad to get them off after I got home. Then I got with friends and played a TTRPG, which normally would have been played yesterday but to accommodate one player was moved to today. We will be playing on Sunday for three or four months then back to Saturday. I am playing in three campaigns and three different game systems. Well, two are versions of the same system but those two are enough different to count as different systems.
Also at church today was a bake sale for refugees. I am broke so I wasn’t able to buy anything. Couldn’t buy coffee either. The coffee sold at church is Fair Trade coffee and I think it is superior to the coffee sold in stores. I have been drinking coffee since I was a little child. Come to think of it, I have been drinking beer for just about as long. Hard liquor is more recent and I don’t drink it as much. But for hard liquor I have only one drink – The Glen Levitt single malt Scotch. When I decided to change from Bourbon to Scotch I tried blended and did not like it. I tried single malt and liked Glen Levitt quite a lot. I have tried other single malts, notably Glen Fiddich, but always go back to Glen Levitt. When I do buy a bottle, I drink it over the course of a month. My nose does not work right and so I smell very few things and of those few, I do not like most. Glen Levitt I can smell and I like. I will set a glass next to my computer as I work and sip it for hours while enjoying the smell and taste.
The weather was nice today. Warm for winter but not too much. The night last night was chilly and tonight it is going to be chilly again. Chilly nights I can handle but real hard cold, forget it.
November 13, 2016
I am fuming. I have been fuming since mid-morning. Last Friday was Veterans’ Day here in America and part of the Sunday service today was to celebrate that. Typically on Sundays that have some patriotic significance I carry the American Flag during the Procession (the entry into the service) and the Recession (the departure from the service) but I got blindsided this morning and I was told I shouldn’t do this because of people having their feelings hurt and not wanting to be reminded that the American philosophy is the Rule of Law. Then during the service there was a prayer for animals and veterans. Yeah, we veterans are animals it seems. I served in South East Asia in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974. I was put guarding the perimeter of Udorn RTAFB even though I was an electronics repairman. The bases in Thailand were attacked, some more than once, and until enough Security Police could be trained and assigned, many of us were halfway trained (a three month course done in one week) and put on guard duty. And yes, I did get shot at. In addition, when I returned from my first tour and my last tour, (1970-1971 & 1973-1974) I was abused by civilians at the airport as I was waiting to go home. Used and abused, shot at and spit on, and this is the thanks I get. “Thank you for your service” was never much of a repayment but it was often sincere. The insults I got today was also sincere.
I am fuming. Maybe it was because I was at church or maybe it was just the timing but a lot of old wounds got ripped open today. When the 432 TRW ordered me to become a Security Police Augmentee, and I had to take the one week version of a three-month course, part of the training was to qualify on the M-16. I had qualified in Basic Training in 1967 but I had to requalify in 1970. So March 26, 1970 I and several other Airmen were on the firing line ready to fire off a portion of our qualifying rounds. There were several Security Policemen qualifying on the .38 caliber revolver off to the side. They were not firing at the targets but just firing in the air wildly. After they stopped, the instructors had some words with them, I discovered where three slugs landed within an inch (about .4 cm) from the little toe of my left foot. I still have nightmares, not as often as before but once or twice a year 46 years later. I do not believe I have PTSD, or if I do it is a mild case, but I don’t need that mental wound being torn open.
My family was living in Ohio when I joined the USAF. The church my family attended while I was in Basic Training and Technical School had a priest who declared that anyone serving in the military should never have been born in a sermon. After that service he came up to my parents and said that he had heard that I was in the service and would my parents like a Service Cross blessed for me. My parents were so angry at his hypocrisy that they stormed out and never went back. And my parents were deeply religious, as am I. So you can see where a lot of bad memories got stirred up this morning and why I am fuming. How long it will take for me to settle down, I do not know. Writing this helped a bit but I am still fuming.
November 6, 2016
I hate housework as I said yesterday. However today I worked for two hours doing just that. A friend came over and helped but I am always uncomfortable with help like this unless I pay for the work. If someone is going to work for someone else they should get paid for the work they do. Yes, I understand that people will help friends, and I have helped friends in the past, it is just that the way I was raised, work gets paid.
My apartment is old, how old I do not know but there is no dishwasher installed and the number of electrical outlets is less than desirable. For example the kitchen has two sets of two outlets plus the one for the refrigerator. So, for those four jacks I have available I have to plug in the microwave, the coffee maker, the slow cooker, the toaster, a battery charger, an electric grill, and whatever other things such as electric knives or blenders that are just temporarily in use. Not only do I not have enough outlets, but counter space is at a premium. If I could afford to move up to a more modern apartment, I’d buy a house where outlets and counter space would not be a problem. But I’m not rich so I have to make do with an old apartment that is out of date. I failed to plan for this when I was much younger.
There was a ministry fair at church today and I helped out. I am an usher and a lector so I tried to convince people that being an usher was something that they should try. I did get a couple of people to sign up and a few more expressed interest, but that will probably never bear fruit as the saying goes. People tend to forget, and I am one of them, that they were once interested in something if they don’t follow up quickly. However, it is nice to talk to people.
Tuesday is the end of a contentious campaign season. I get emails, and snail mail, from the Democrats, the Republicans, the Libertarians and occasionally the Greens. Every day for the last few months my email inbox has been overflowing with campaign emails. Requests for money, attacks on an opponent and rarely a position paper on an issue. I will miss all that, like I’d miss a toothache. I cannot be the only voter who wants to see where a candidate stands on the various issues can I?
Next Friday is Veterans’ Day here in America. I will go downtown and watch the parade and next Sunday I will carry the American flag at church. The previous Rector did not like for the flag to be part of the service but the present Rector does. So, on Sundays that have some significance I carry the flag and, given my knee and ankle problems, try not to fall down. Every time I have been carrying the flag I keep repeating to myself “Don’t embarrass 320 million people.” It works, I haven’t dropped it yet.