Monday, June 30, 2008

I'm a Geek!

I know - I'm a geek. Or a nerd. Or whatever they're calling it these days. I have a MySpace page and my newest "friend," is William Shatner! He's friends with about a zillion other people, but how he's my friend!! I'm so excited. (My MySpace identity is wacvet22.)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Here's a funny thing

I have trouble waking up. I have trouble not sleeping. Although it hasn't been officially diagnosed, I know that I suffer from chronic fatigue, or something like that. I doesn't matter how much or how little sleep I get, I'm always sleepy. When the alarm goes off in the morning, I press the snooze button until any spare time I might have had is long gone. I have even gone so far as to call in sick to work because I was so incredibly tired. (Not recently, if you're reading, boss.)

But tonight I am experiencing a rare occurance. Tonight - this morning - I can't sleep.

What does one do when one can't sleep? Why, blog, of course!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pain Relieved

I have an old (cold) war injury that has been acting up lately. It started bothering me again several months ago. I've been to see the doctor and I had xrays taken. I haven't called the doctor, yet, to see what the xrays revealed. For the past several days the pain, which is usually bearable, has gotten worse. Today the pain was so bad that I broke down and bought a high-quality (i.e. expensive) wrist brace. I felt better almost immediately after putting it on. I was skeptical. I've never worn any sort of "brace" before, and I wasn't convinced that a brace could help. But it sure does! It keeps my wrist very straight, which keeps me nearly pain free.

I suppose I'll have to get used to people asking me "what happened?" I'll just tell them what I told you: It's an old cold war injury! After all, I was a soldier in the cold war, and I was a Russian linguist working at the National Security Agency (NSA) when this wrist problem began. So that makes it a cold war injury, right?!!

Isn't my brace cute?!

Just wait until I get my knee braces!!


I had a dream within a dream the other night. I don't remember the subject, but I remember waking up and thinking that I had been dreaming. Then I actually did wake up and realized I had a dream about dreaming. I wonder how often that happens. I don't think it's ever happened to me before.

I did, however, once have a dream where I was aware, on some level, that I was dreaming.

I frequently have dreams about being back in the Army and back in Germany. In these dreams it's usually present day and I realize that I either didn't retire or that I joined back up after retiring. In my dream I'm not happy about it! And I'm always missing part of my uniform, or I only have one uniform and need more, or my uniform(s) is in the wash and won't be ready on time. I don't like these dreams.

One night I had one of those dreams and, during the dream I said, "Yeah, this is the sort of dream I don't like." So I knew on some level that I was dreaming, but not on a level that let me control the dream. I think that's called lucid dreaming - where you can control your dream. What fun that must be!!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cray Juice

I've tasted Cray computer "juice." Cray supercomputers use some sort of liquid to keep them cool, and I've actually tasted that liquid. I was assured it wouldn't kill me!

In the mid 1980s I was stationed at Fort Meade, Maryland, and worked at the National Security Agency (NSA). While I was there I went through the Senior Military Cryptologic Supervisor's Course (I think that's what it was called) which included a tour of NSA. As part of the tour the class went down to the basement to see the Cray computer(s) that the Agency used. We were given a little speech about the computers, none of which I remember, except for the part where we were shown a jar of liquid, told that it was Cray computer juice (not the words our guide used), and offered a taste. Strange, huh? Two people in a class of about 30 were willing to taste it. I was one of them. (I remember the other person very well because we had sort of a thing going on! But that's a different story.)

The closest I can come to describing the taste is that it was like vegetable oil. It wasn't thick, like oil, and it wasn't as yellow, but the taste was definitely similar.

I suppose I'm one of only a handful of people who can say they've tasted Cray computer juice.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Bummer of a Birthday

I was pretty bummed out yesterday. I had plans to do some things with a friend, but her ankle hurt and she decided not to go out. So I just sort of sat up in bed and watched TV, wallowing in my own filth (I hadn't showered in three days). I was still bummed out today, but I had to go to work. I knew that showering, getting dressed, and going to work would help to lift me out of my funk, but I still didn't want to go. But I went. And now I feel better.

I need to start getting out and doing something different, even if it's just to go for a short drive and take some pictures.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Words I don't like

I saw a photo of a young soldier today. A woman was having it enlarged because the young soldier, her nephew, was killed a few days ago in Afganistan. I used the words "honor our fallen comrades" in a sentence while talking with her about the picture. After I thought about those words for awhile, I decided that I don't like those words. "Honor" is okay, and appropriate in that circumstance. But the rest. I don't like the rest of the words. Because "fallen comrade" means that someone I had something important in common with is dead. He died serving his country, no doubt because he felt that it was an important thing to do.

My views have changed since I've been born again. I've never liked the idea of war. Now I feel stronger about that, in spite of having served 22 years in the Army. It's very hard to accept that when Jesus said "turn the other cheek," he meant do not seek revenge no matter what. In other words, war is never, ever an option. Not even a defensive war, which is what our current leader(s) want(s) us to believe about the wars going on in Iraq and Afganistan. Because of that, and because of my 22 years of service, every death in every war affects me deeply. I didn't know this soldier, but his death affects me deeply.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Cold is Good

I found out that putting something cold on my cheek makes my swelling go down and my toothache doesn't hurt as much. But how do you keep something cold on your cheek? Tie an ice bag to your head, like in those old cartoons and movies?

I have some cold compresses that are supposed to be for migraine headaches. They stick to your forehead and cool it down. So I decided to try one on my cheek. It worked! But I couldn't leave the house because it looked like I had a maxipad on my face!! Also, it wouldn't sick real well, so I had to tape it to my face! First I thought of using a bandaid, then I remembered that I have some first aid tape. It helped, but man did I look silly!

When you're sick or in pain and something makes you feel better, sometimes you just don't care how you look!! (As evidenced by this photo.)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Did I write about the infected tooth that was hurting like hell a couple of months ago? Well it's infected and hurting again. I know I should get my teeth checked and fixed, and I actually have dental insurance, but there's going to be a deductable, and I'm pretty sure I can't afford to pay it. All my toothaches have gone away, eventually, and that makes it harder to get to a dentist. Last time this happened I even made an appointment, but then the tooth got better and I cancelled it. I look sort of funny with a swollen cheek!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

I'm a Mazda RX-8!

I'm sporty, yet practical, and I have a style of my own. I like to have fun, and I like to bring friends along for the ride, but when it comes time for everyday chores, I'm willing to do my part.
Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

One pretty weed

I just did a Texas wildflower search and discovered that the weed I was most curious about appears to be (have been) a "basket flower." Here are some photos I, um, borrowed from, um, unmentioned websites.

This one looks most like the one that was in my yard.

Pretty Weeds

So my lawn really needed mowing. I had been sick and, as a result, my little bit of grass got kinda high, and the weeds - my gosh the weeds! I actually had a couple of very interesting weeds. I found them sort of pretty. Wildflowers, I guess. And one all-green plant that had a nice shape. I planned to mow the lawn on Sunday, but I was going to keep the weeds/wildflowers and see how they turned out. There was one, especially, that I was very curious to see "bloom." It had prickly balls on the tops of the stems.

I had to work Saturday afternoon. I'd traded with someone. I usually work Saturday day. So off to work I went with a yard full of weeds and plans to mow.

I came home Saturday night and - guess what - my nice neighbor had mowed my lawn for me!! Weeds/Wildflowers and all!!

I was gracious. I understand that it was a very nice gesture for her to mow my lawn, and I appreciate that. But gosh I missed my pretty weeds. Now I may never know how that special plant looks when it blooms.

If you'd like to take a look at my pretty weeds, you can go to this web page.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I like Pistachios

I never ate pistachios before a few days ago. At work we had some "salt and pepper" pistachios on clearance so I thought I'd try them. There were a bunch of boxes left - at least 15 boxes. I thought, well, if I like them then I can buy the rest on sale. I bought a box, ate them, liked them. Today when I went to work I found out that the price had been reduced even more (82 cents a box) and that someone had beaten me to them. They left one lonely box for me. Why did they leave one box? I have no idea. But I bought that last box and I'm gunna eat 'em.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It wasn't radioactive

I think I got bit by a spider. Sunday I was doing some yard work which included sticking my head in where unwanted plants were trying to grow. I didn't feel anything like a sting or bite, as I recall, but Monday I discovered what feels like a large mosquito bite on my neck. But mosquito bites don't usually get that big. Someone at work who looked at it for me (it's hard for me to actually see it) said it might be a spider bite, so that's what I'm going with. It had to be a smallish spider or the lump and sore spot would be significantly bigger. Here's what it looks like right now:

This is on the right side of my neck, almost directly below my ear. In this picture I'm bending down in front of my built-in webcam. (I have an iMac, which I love.)

Coincidentally, that same day (Sunday) I found a large spider on the underside of the top "shelf" of my cat tree (large cat scratching post, with ledges). It was bigger than a brown recluse, imho. I was thinking that maybe it was a male wolf spider. I've seen the females here before. In fact, I had a picture of one on my website before I lost it. (There's an earlier post about that.) I don't kill spiders. I catch and release.