Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Day 3233 - Halloween

The only thing scary about today was the weather. The rain has returned with a vengeance. For some reason the rain usually starts about 9 AM, so I was able to give Dash a morning walk. After that, we were both housebound for the rest of the day. The roof leak hasn't returned yet, but I'm sure it will. The rain was certainly heavy enough.

Needless to say, I curtailed my storage warehouse moving activities today. There is no point in moving wet stuff. I need a rest anyway. When I woke up this morning, my back hurt even more than it did yesterday. A friend gave me the name of another mover, so maybe I can still get someone to do this for me at a reasonable price.

There is no consistency to Dash's sleeping habits anymore. He woke me up every hour on the hour last night. Half the time he was just twirling around on the bed to reposition himself, but occasionally I had to race to the back door to let him out. Our timing was good last night. Dash made it outside to poop every time. Amazingly, I was actually able to get back to sleep after these outings. I must have been really tired.

Sales from the model train collection are slowing down. I hope there are still collectors out there who want a nice rare train for Christmas. I've liquidated less than 20% of the collection so far. I've got a long way to go. At least the first series of art auctions at Phillips went well. My next auction starts in December.

It's weird that I spent the first half of my life accumulating things and will probably spend the rest of it getting rid of stuff. Possessions don't have the same meaning that they used to. Increasingly, everything just seems like clutter. My Dad had family to take care of his clutter when he died. I won't have that option. I keep thinking that I'd better get things organized now while I've still got my wits about me.

I got a reminder for an early morning doctor's appointment next week. I was confused at first, since I never make early appointments. Then I remembered that the doctor probably needed fasting blood work. I used to do these fasting blood draws all the time, but it's been a while. I think I'm healthier now.

I may be wrong, but Dash appears healthier too. He doesn't cough nearly as much at night and he is definitely eating better. Incontinence and weak rear legs seems to be his main problems now. We both have physical exams in November. I hope there are no surprises for either of us.

The rain should be stopping before midnight. Actually, it's supposed to be a clear day tomorrow. We'll see what happens. If the weather is nice, I'll continue moving things from one storage unit to another. I'm only going to move light things though. I learned my lesson.

Roxy is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Day 3232

I think I made a mistake. I tried moving some really heavy things today and strained my back. I also scratched the paint on my car when I was loading something I shouldn't have been lifting. I'm not sure I can complete this move myself. I called a moving company that had good Yelp reviews but just got a phone message that referred me to their website. I filled out the form, but when I received their automated response, it was clear that the company didn't understand that this was just a storage warehouse that was being moved. The estimate seemed way too high. There is no furniture and no packing involved. I'll see if I can talk with someone in person tomorrow.

After making two trips to the new warehouse, I made a third trip to a charity shop with some stuff that wasn't worth saving. When I realized that my back was starting to hurt, I decided to call it a day. The old warehouse is still pretty full and nothing I'm saving is all that special. This is not going to be pleasant. At least I didn't have to pay for an entire month at the old warehouse. They let me rent for fifteen days in November. That should give me enough time to complete the move. Of course rain could easily screw thing up. It's supposed to rain all day tomorrow, so I doubt that I'll be able to do very much. I should probably rest anyway. There's no sense in making my back any worse than it already is.

Dash didn't need to go outside last night so I got more sleep than usual. He did get me up at 5 AM to go poop, but it was almost daylight anyway. Making it until 5 AM is a win for me. There are so many nights when I hardly get any sleep at all. At least Dash is eating well. He hasn't thrown up in quite a while and seems to enjoy the food we cook for him. He eats better than we do now, but at least he's eating.

I think I'm going to have to buy Dash another pair of protective boots. All three pairs that we currently have in rotation need repairs. Dash is really hard on his shoes. He doesn't lift his rear legs as he walks and ends up dragging his feet. The boots keep him from injuring himself, but they wear out quickly. Maybe I'll go buy him another pair of boots tomorrow. This would certainly be easier than lifting more heavy boxes.

It's hard to believe that it's almost November. Where has this year gone? In a few days we'll have to deal with another time chance. I think we should just forget about Daylight Saving Time. It's such a nuisance to arbitrarily switch the clocks back and forth. Dogs never understand the time chance and wonder why their feeding schedule has changed. Usually we give Dash his evening walk after he's had his dinner. Now, I'll need to walk him before dinner to avoid walking in total darkness. This should be fun. Dash hates making changes even more than I do.

I'll be glad when the election is over. I'm sick of Beto and Ted Cruz making robocalls to my house  and sending text messages every single day. Do these guys really think this helps. It's irritating. Whoever thought robocalls were a good way to influence people has got to be a moron. Probably the only thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on is that they both hate telemarketers.

Puppies are today's Dalmatians of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, October 29, 2018

Day 3231

I started moving stuff from one storage warehouse to another today. Everything seems so much heavier now. I guess muscle atrophy is real. This stuff certainly didn't seem this heavy when I was younger. I made three trips today. At this rate, it will take at least thirty more to get everything transferred. I had thought about renting a truck so I'd only have to make a few trips, but now I'm wondering if there is any point to this. The little loads I was able to fit in my car today tired me out. I don't think I'd have the energy to fill up a truck by myself.

Yesterday, my plan was to get everything moved before November 1 so I wouldn't have to pay another month's  rent on the old warehouse. This seems unrealistic now. It takes a long time to sort through things. Some stuff goes to the new warehouse. Some stuff gets donated to charity shops. And other stuff gets thrown away. I'm going to have to get rid of some things. My new storage unit is actually smaller than my old one. I don't know why I thought they were the same size. Now that I'm starting to fill the new unit up, it is obviously not quite as deep as the old one. No wonder I got such a good deal on the price. I actually rented a smaller unit.

I couldn't get back to sleep again after taking Dash out to poop last night. I can usually get back to sleep fairly easily when he just pees and goes back to bed. When I have to clean up poop though, I'm fully awake. There's no point in going back to bed when you're wide awake. I made some coffee, unloaded the dishwasher and did a load of laundry while I watched middle of the night television. By the time Janet and Dash got up, I felt like I'd been up all day.

Dash's right rear leg has become noticeably weaker. He does OK if he keeps moving, but if he stands in one place too long the leg starts to give way and he has a tendency to fall. I had to hold him up while he ate his dinner today. We had a good walk this morning, but I couldn't get him to leave the house this evening. It's frustrating when Dash won't move after I've spent fifteen minutes getting his leg brace and boots on. He's got a mind of his own though. Tonight he was determined to wait until Janet came home. I tried to tell him that she was working late and he wouldn't get a walk at all if he kept waiting by the front door. As usual, Dash didn't listen.

I'm going to move as much as I can tomorrow. There is rain in the forecast for Wednesday, so tomorrow might be the only good day I've got before November 1. It will be almost impossible to empty the old warehouse space in a single day, so I guess I'll just rent the unit for another month. If I move a little bit every day, it should be no problem to transfer everything in a month.

I wonder if I'll ever get organized? Once I get the storage warehouse taken care of, there's the even bigger problem of cleaning out my office. How did things get this way? I started my adult life with a zen like clarity. For years I was Mr. Minimal.  Everything was always organized and perfectly in place. Now, I've turned into my Dad. I guess we all turn into our parents eventually.

Dakota is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Day 3230

Sometimes when I'm at the gym I think about the nature of memory. How many memories are actually stored away in our brains? I never think about the gym unless I'm actually there, but while I'm doing my exercises I have very distinct memories of doing these routines many times before. The sound the basketball makes when it hits the wood floor is very familiar. So is the sound the rotating chain makes on the hand bicycle. I can tell you almost to the second how long it will take to walk a mile on the treadmill and what my heart rate will be after ten minutes on the rowing machine. I'm almost to the point where I could tell you what song will play next on the sound system. All these inconsequential memories are stored away somewhere in my brain's filing system. All it takes to retrieve them is doing the same activity again.

I can't tell you what I have in the storage warehouse because many years ago I put something in a box and took it to the warehouse so I could forget about it. For the most part I never thought about the box again. The storage warehouse is filled with things I just didn't want to deal with anymore. I have no idea what is inside many of the boxes until I open them up again. When I look at the contents, the memories come rushing back. Some of the boxes should have remained closed. Like I said, memory is a curious thing.

You'd think I could sink every free throw on the basketball court because I've done this activity for so many years. Evidently thinking something and convincing your arms and legs to do what they're told are two different things. I still have good days and bad days on the basketball court, even though I have a very clear memory of what it feels like to sink a good shot.

Our beautiful Fall weather continues. It's so much easier to clean up poop or do irritating household chores on a really nice day. I wonder how people survive in really terrible climates? A month of rainy days is enough to seriously throw me off my game. Since it was a nice day today, I got a lot done. Dash go a nice early walk. The house got vacuumed. The laundry is done. And my checkbook is balanced.

I even picked out a storage unit and made an appointment to sign the rental agreement at the new storage warehouse. I can start moving in as early as tomorrow. Although several people have advised me to hire a mover, I think I'll just do things myself. Movers would just move all the crap from the old storage space to the new one. The whole point of this exercise is to get rid of things. Since I don't really know what I have, I will need to open and inspect all the boxes. This is not a pleasant task to say the least, but I think I'll feel better when it's over.

I think that Dash is just as influenced by the weather as I am. He seemed to have a good day as well today. Even though he is very weak and stumbles around a lot, he still seems happy. I think he knows that Janet and I are here to take care of him. I often wonder who's going to be around when I become incontinent and start stumbling around the house?

Abi is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Day 3229

I didn't even try to go back to sleep after cleaning up the mess Dash made in the bed last night. There's nothing like cleaning up poop in the middle of the night to wake you up in a hurry. I got dressed and went outside to look at the stars for a while. Orion was rising in the East and there was a gibbous moon overhead. It's peaceful at 3 AM, but there was still too much light pollution to see very much. I returned to the house, brewed some coffee and watched TV while doing several loads of wash. Needless to say, I was tired for the rest of the day.

The weather remains beautiful. Dash, who went back to sleep immediately after his accident in the bed, woke up rested and was ready for a walk. This time I was the one who was walking slow. We took our time and returned just in time for breakfast. I'll probably never get to sleep tonight because I followed my middle of the night coffee with even more coffee.

On the way to the grocery store I stopped by the new storage warehouse and made arrangements for a move in early November. I'm going to have to rent a truck because it will take forever to move everything in the car. It still seems like a good idea to hire someone to help me with the move, but I'm not sure who to call. I have a feeling that I'll just end up moving everything myself.

After making sure that Dash ate his lunch and had gone outside to pee, I returned to the old storage warehouse to continue my efforts to thin things out before the big move. I found some things that I could donate to an animal charity and filled the car again. I continue to be amazed that my efforts are having such a small impact. The warehouse still looks pretty full.

When I dropped my items off, the organization was having a volunteer appreciation party. Technically I'm still a volunteer, even though I haven't done much lately. I hung around for a while and helped folks clean up. I wish I'd come a little earlier, since the food truck was just leaving as I arrived. The volunteers were eating some delicious looking sliders.

Today would have been a good day to wash the car or remove the water from the roof. I was too tired to do either. Hey, at least I got something done. Thirty more days like this and the warehouse will be empty. There are a bunch of old typewriters in the warehouse, so I looked online to see if people collected these things. Yep. Tom Hanks is an avid collector of old manual typewriters and apparently so are a lot of other people. There are several websites for collectors where people buy and sell these machines. Now there is one more category of things I can consign and try to get rid of.

I don't know what to do about Dash's incontinence. He can't wear diapers and he never stays in one place at night. Often his efforts to get up and move to a new position are what causes him to poop in the first place. Dot's incontinence was a piece of cake compared to Dash. Dot would stay in one place all night, so it was much easier to protect the house.

I shouldn't have any problems getting to sleep tonight. I'm exhausted. None of this makes any difference to Dash. Lord know what he has planned for me tonight.

Dash is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Friday, October 26, 2018

Day 3228

There wasn't a cloud in the sky this morning. Dash did get me up during the night, but I managed to get back to sleep. When I woke up this morning I felt surprisingly rested. Dash was eager to walk. He was slow, but I wasn't in a hurry. It was a beautiful Fall day.

After walking Dash, I decided to go back to the hotel for breakfast. I kind of wanted the pleasant mood to continue. The place is quiet and the food is excellent. It's too bad they don't have a larger breakfast menu, but it probably doesn't matter. Most of their guests are just passing through. Dining among travelers makes me feel like I'm on a trip myself. The house is such a mess that living in a hotel doesn't sound half bad. I could learn to live with restaurant meals and having someone to make your bed every day.

On my way home I picked up something for dinner. I couldn't find anything interesting at Central Market, so I went across the street to Tom Thumb and got some more of those flash frozen meals from Cadence Kitchen. These things are delicious. I tried Shrimp and Grits this time. It's only a matter of time before I try everything.

My pleasant day came to an abrupt end when I went to the storage warehouse. When you pay by the year they have always given me an extra month free. The manager informed me that they discontinued this program. Then she mentioned that they would be raising my rent next year as well. It's looks like I'll be moving to a different facility.  I can get a much better deal a few miles away, but it is so much trouble to move everything. Guess what I'll be doing in November.

I need to decide what to throw away, what to donate to charity, and what to keep. Today I continued throwing away empty boxes. This was easy. When I found a box with nothing inside, I tossed it in the car. If I'd never saved these boxes in the first place I could have rented a smaller unit. The only boxes I'm glad I saved were the boxes for the model trains. Almost all collectibles are more valuable if you have the original box. Boxes for old and obsolete electronic gear don't improve the value of anything. Nobody wants a fifteen year old computer whether it's in the box or not.

I'll probably have to go up on the roof this weekend. Now that it's cooler, the water doesn't evaporate. It will stay up there all Winter if I don't remove it. At least we're looking at some nice weather ahead. Maybe clearing away all the standing water will be worth the effort.

I hope Dash realizes that we can sleep in late tomorrow. If I have to get up during the middle of the night, the least he can do is let me sleep in late on Saturday morning.

Pearl is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Day 3227

Things are starting to improve. The roof has quit leaking, although for a while last night it gave me a scare. While it was raining hard, I noticed that a stream of water was flowing down one of the brick walls. This was new. The wet wall could either be a brand new leak, or water flowing sideways through the ceiling from the original leak. This water was a lot harder to contain, since I couldn't simply put a bucket under it. The leak was slow, so I just put some bath towels on the floor. By the time I got up in the middle of the night to take Dash out to poop, both leaks had stopped.

It was damp and overcast when we took our morning walk, but the sky kept getting lighter as the day progressed. By dinner time, I was seeing blue sky. I really hope the rainy season is over soon. The roof is only one of my problems. The humidity is very high and the dehumidifier is working overtime to keep the house dry. The back yard is muddy and it takes forever to clean Dash up every time he goes outside to pee. I've given up on keeping the car clean.

I still haven't decided what to do about the storage warehouse, but I thought I'd try to get a head start on cleaning the place out before my rent comes due. I filled the car with empty boxes and miscellaneous junk and was a bit dismayed that the storage unit didn't look any different when I was finished. This is going to take a while. I don't know why I saved so many empty boxes. I guess my original plan was to repack everything in its original box when we moved to an idyllic retirement home in the mountains. It's pretty obvious now that this isn't going to happen. The last thing you want to do when you get older is start over with a brand new set of doctors. Janet and I aren't wild about living in a large city, but we both like our doctors.

I'll be glad when Daylight Savings Time ends next month. It's completely dark when I typically walk Dash in the morning and lately I've been delaying getting started for about an hour. This ends up pushing the entire day back by about an hour. I used to walk our first Dalmatian in the dark during the Winter, but times have changed. There weren't packs of coyotes living in the park back then and the city felt much safer. I feel better waiting until the sun comes up these days.

I'll probably go back to the storage warehouse tomorrow. It would be tempting to just throw away a lot of these boxes, but I can't remember what is in them anymore. It would have been helpful if I'd labeled everything years ago. I'm going to have to open up every box just in case there's something important inside. I don't look forward to any of this, but it's got to be done.

Where am I going to have breakfast tomorrow? Last week's choice was a disaster. It looks like the weather is going to be nice, so maybe I'll explore a little further from home this week. I need to find some way to end this week on a high note.

Patch is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Day 3226

Is this rain ever going to stop? I've had enough of this. Every time I think that things are finally starting to get better, another round of downpours begins. We were lucky that Janet had to get up early today, because if Dash and I left for our morning walk at the regular time we would have gotten wet. Rainy days always seem a lot longer. The house feels cold. Dash gets wet every time he goes outside to pee. And I'm always looking up at the ceiling, waiting for the leak to start again. Dash is definitely not getting an evening walk tonight.

Today's big event was a haircut. It's ironic that I've been postponing making an appointment because of all the bad weather and the one day I choose turns out to be just as rainy as the rest. My hair used to have to color to it, but now it is practically white. When I look at the clippings on the floor, they don't even look like my hair. It looks like some old man sat in the chair before me. Oh, well. At least I still have hair.

I look a little more presentable now, but it doesn't really matter. Nobody sees me anymore. I can't even remember the last business meeting I attended. On the way home, I did stop at the Apple Store, but I couldn't get all that excited about the new watch. They say the new version is bigger, but to my untrained eye, it looks exactly the same as the watch I already wear. The last thing I need is another watch. I wonder how I started collecting these things anyway. I don't even care what time it is.

Dash was pretty shaky today. Probably the cold, damp weather makes his old, stiff joints feel even worse. There's not a lot I can do on days like this. I turned the heat up a little in an attempt to keep us both warm and we took a lot of naps. I periodically turned on the TV, but quickly turned it off again. The news was just as bad as the weather today.

I still can't decide what to do about the storage warehouse. My lease runs out in a few days and if I'm going to move, I'd better start planning now. It took me years to fill the unit up, so moving everything in a few days won't be easy. I wonder how much it would cost to get someone to move everything for me? If the cost was reasonable, it would probably be worth it.

Damn. I just went out to the kitchen for a snack and I noticed that the roof has started leaking again. This totally sucks. I positioned buckets under the leak and will have to get used to the slow drip, drip, drip of falling water for the next few days. The bad thing about this type of leak is that there is no way to fix it until the rain totally stops and the roof dries out. Lord knows when I'll be able to get the roofers over here again. With all the rain we've been having lately, they're probably booked up for the next ten years.

It's early, but I'm ready to call it a day. I'm tired. Dash hates to go outside in the rain, so it's almost a certainty that he'll poop in the house tonight. As long as that's all that goes wrong, I'm OK. My expectations are pretty low these days.

Ellis is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Day 3225

I voted today. The lines were not as bad as I expected, although I did have trouble finding a parking place. As usual, I was the only one standing in line who wasn't looking at their cell phone. I continue to be amazed by how much time some people spend texting. It's rare if I send one text message a month. The lady ahead of me in line never stopped texting. I can't even imagine texting continuously for 30 to 45 minutes. My fingers would hurt. Since I wasn't using my phone, I had plenty of time to look at people's shoes. Nobody wears decent shoes anymore. Young and old alike were all wearing ugly running shoes. I don't know what this means, but the old people were definitely winning in my precinct. There were at least ten old people in line for every young person.

I wonder why early voting has become so popular? Evidently there were huge lines yesterday when early voting started. It's not like an early vote counts any more than a late vote. I actually prefer to wait until election day because our precinct still uses paper ballots on election day. It also rains a lot on election day, which is why I voted today. Our early voting locations all use electronic voting machines. I guess these things are legit, but they don't inspire confidence. How do you know if your vote is even counted? I often wonder if my voting machine is even hooked up to anything.

I'm sure the country is as divided as everyone says we are, but you'd never know it from standing in line at my polling place. Everyone was very friendly. It felt like people were neighbors first and voters second. Neighbors can be sneaky though. Probably a lot of people were actually voting to cancel out the vote of another neighbor. I know I was.

Dash woke me up several times last night. Once I had to catch him before he fell off the bed and the other times I had to take him outside. I thought we were safe when I saw him squat in the yard, but then I turned around and realized he'd left a trail of poop all the way from the bedroom to the back door. It's so hard to get back to sleep after you've spent fifteen minutes cleaning up poop.

I got caught up with some correspondence today. I'm not nearly as good about answering letters as I used to be. After I get finished writing the blog, there just isn't that much to say. I guess there's nothing wrong with repeating myself. The few people I still write never read the blog anyway.

I made an appointment to get a haircut tomorrow. I'm long overdue. Under normal circumstances I might stop by the Apple Store on the way home and get the new Series 4 Apple watch. I'm feeling poor though. The stock market is doing terrible and my storage warehouse rent is due next week. The watch will have to wait.

Freckles is today's Dalmatian of the Day

Watch of the Day

Monday, October 22, 2018

Day 3224

Well, it couldn't last forever. We're cleaning up poop on the floor again. Dash does the best he can. So do we. I could tell a little incontinence wasn't going to stop Dash. He was still hungry for breakfast and eager for a walk. There were no blue skies this morning, but at least we stayed dry. Dash was very slow today, but he was determined. Considering that it was a Monday, I think we both got off to a good start.

Even on a good day, Dash worries me. I've noticed that the tremors he often experiences have increased. It looks like he is shivering, but he is not cold. The shivering is something else. Often the tremors continue even after he has gone to sleep. Today, Dash was shivering quite a bit. I tried covering him with a blanket, but it didn't seem to help. I think the tremors have something to do with his vestibular disease, but we may never know for sure. It also may have something to do with his heart problems. We've asked several vets about the periodic shivering, but nobody seems to have a definitive answer. Luckily, the tremors eventually go away. Dash seemed fine this afternoon.

After breakfast I went looking for a new storage warehouse. It looks like it might be worth the effort to move. I was somewhat surprised to discover that I could save almost 40% by simply moving to an identical storage unit in a different facility. All storage facilities raise your rent every year. Some even raise the rent every six months. After a while you end up paying a lot more than you did when you started. The storage companies don't care. They know that most of their customers only stay for several months. I'm the odd duck here. Almost nobody keeps the same storage unit for fifteen years. I think it's time to start over.

Moving will be problematic. How do I move a wind sail board when I don't have a roof rack on my car anymore? How do I move the speaker enclosures for my old band's PA system when they've become too heavy for me to lift? How do I disassemble the extensive shelving system I built in place inside my existing unit? I wouldn't have any of these problems if I wasn't such a pack rat. I should have never saved most of this stuff.

There were more bills to pay and a prescription to pick up. That's all I seem to do these days:pay bills and pick up pills. I still haven't dealt with the water on the roof or tried to clean the house. In both cases it seems to be better to just wait until all this rain stops. I just heard that we are expecting another wave of heavy rain next week. Evidently there is a hurricane headed toward Mexico and when the storm breaks up and heads inland it will pass over Dallas. I think this has been the wettest Fall on record. The rain ultimately proved to be too much for the little circus in the park. They took down their tent today and were packing their truck to leave. I hope they have better luck wherever they wind up next.

I need to get a haircut this week. I actually need to do a lot of things, but a haircut seems like something I can cope with. I've got a week to decide what to do about the storage warehouse. That decision is going to be a lot more difficult than deciding when to get a haircut.

Dot is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Day 3223

Surprisingly, nothing went wrong today. Dash slept through the night for the second day in a row. There were no accidents and when I took Dash outside when I woke up, he pooped and peed like any normal dog. We took a nice walk while Janet was fixing breakfast and enjoyed a brisk Fall morning.

I think this was the last day for the State Fair of Texas. It appeared to be the last day for the little circus in the park as well. There was a performance today, but there was also a large truck getting ready to pack everything up and travel to their next destination. The little circus has been here almost a month and during that time they've only had three clear days. Hopefully they'll have better luck in California.

I don't know why I keep stopping at REI on the way to the gym. There is nothing that interests me anymore. It's disappointing. For years this has been the place where I've found sturdy shoes and durable pants for walking Dash. The place is full of clever solar powered gizmos, binoculars, satellite phones, freeze dried gourmet food, and other gear that satisfy my prepper fantasies. I just walk away without buying anything now. The store is still full of cool things. I guess I just have everything I need.

I still can't figure out how my gym can stay in business when there are so few customers. For over a month the place has been virtually empty on Sunday. Maybe it is crowded at other times of the week. I'd never know. I wasn't shooting very well on the basketball court today. This is a mystery as well. Some days I do really well and other days I suck. You'd think there'd be more consistency. I'm really a very consistent person.

I was going to vacuum this afternoon, but I got sidetracked repairing Dash's protective boots. He drags his feet so much when he walks that the boots get destroyed pretty quickly. It would be impossible to walk without these things. They do a good job of protecting his feet. They just don't last long enough. I've used almost three tubes of Shoe Goo trying to keep these boots operational. We've got four pairs that we rotate, but I probably need a few more. Too bad these little shoes are so expensive. I've spent less on my own shoes.

I think I'll go look for a new storage warehouse tomorrow. If I can find a better price, this might be the incentive I need to actually start throwing things away. There's nothing like being forced to move something to make you realize that you don't really need it. Where do I throw stuff away though. The storage warehouse won't let me use their dumpster anymore. Actually nobody will let you use their dumpster these days. Most businesses keep them locked up behind chain link fences now. The city ought to have a lot of big communal dumpsters strategically located throughout the city but I think they spent all their money building bike paths.

I hope that Dash has turned over a new leaf and continues sleeping normally for a while. When Dash sleeps normally, I sleep normally. It was such a weird sensation to wake up rested this morning. I need more days like this.

Lance is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Day 3222

I had lots of errands today. Everywhere I went, I was faced with rising prices. I bought some Salicylic Acid at the drug store and and the price had increased by $2 a bottle. I bought some halogen bulbs at the hardware store and the price had increased by $3 a bulb. The grocery store is always full of price increases. I've been buying those blue paper shop towels for years and the price has almost doubled. Laundry detergent has gone way up . Strawberries are still cheap though. Go figure.

I stopped by the storage warehouse to see when my annual rent was due. Naturally, next year's rent is more than this year's. I've been a loyal customer for decades and yet my rent keeps increasing every single year. It would be a lot of work, but I'm really tempted to move everything to a new storage warehouse so I can take advantage of the new customer discounts. Every time I hear that inflation isn't a problem, I shake my head in disbelief. Maybe big screen TV's are cheaper than they used to be, but the cost of almost everything else has gone up.

For the first time in weeks, I saw blue sky. Amazingly, it was a beautiful Fall day. The performers at the little circus in the park seemed almost giddy with excitement. They were selling tickets, stringing lights, and getting ready for a show this evening. The park was full of people riding bicycles, sitting in hammocks, and throwing frisbees. I had to keep an eye out for loose dogs. There are always loose dogs on a nice day. I saw two dogs get in a fight off in the distance. Luckily they were nowhere near Dash and I.

There were no accidents today. Not yet anyway. Miraculously, Dash slept through the night and walked outside the next morning and pooped in the yard. He took his meds without incident, ate all his breakfast, and was enthusiastic about his walks. For most of the day, he seemed like a normal dog.

I should have vacuumed this afternoon, but I watched cooking shows on PBS instead. It's hard to get motivated. The combination of roof leaks, poop on the floor, and worn out appliances has taken it's toll. I look around and keep thinking "what's the point."

Another watch winder broke today. Back when I was really interested in watches, I bought winders for the watches I regularly wore. One by one, the motors in these winders have started failing. Nobody seems to be able to repair these things either. You'd think a simple electric motor would run forever. Nope. About twelve years seems to be the limit.

We had fried chicken tonight. Sometimes I forget how good simple southern food can be. Hey, blue skies, fried chicken, and no poop on the floor. That's a good day in my book.

Emily is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Friday, October 19, 2018

Day 3221

I'm glad the daily rain doesn't usually start until around 9 AM. Even though the rain has been relentless this week, I've almost always been able to give Dash a morning walk. The evening walks are problematic, but at least he gets a chance to get outside. We didn't get an early start this morning, so we did get a little wet, but I'm not complaining. The daily downpour didn't begin until an hour after we returned home.

I'm getting used to the rain. I don't let it interfere with my activities anymore. Since there was no thunder today and Dash was sleeping calmly, I went out to breakfast anyway. Lately, I've been searching for the perfect Eggs Benedict without much success. Is this dish really that hard to make? A good Eggs Benedict is just an English Muffin topped with ham, a perfectly poached egg, and hollandaise sauce. All too often people seem to want to add Sriracha to the hollandaise and pile different meat and vegetables on top. It's not a sandwich guys. Today I tried a Lobster Benedict. Shredded lobster meat, asparagus, and some sort of spicy tomato bisque over a bagel was certainly creative. It just didn't taste very good. My holy grail breakfast is perfectly prepared French Toast, Eggs Benedict, or Migas. These simple dishes are surprisingly difficult to find.

Dash was still sleeping when I returned from breakfast. I wasn't surprised that he was tired. Once again he kept me up half the night cleaning up poop. At least this time the mess stayed on a protective mat on top of the bed so cleanup was much easier. I'm glad we have the special sanitize setting on our washing machine. It's been getting a lot of use lately. Since he didn't poop again on his morning walk like he usually does, I spent the rest of the day waiting for the other shoe to drop. I was still puzzled late this afternoon by the absence of poop until I accidentally stepped in the stuff on the living room floor.

I got a letter from NASA today inviting me to apply for a chance to watch a Cygnus resupply mission to the International Space Station from Wallops Island, Virginia. Why are these launch sites so difficult to fly to from Dallas? I had to make several connecting flights to get to Vandenberg Air Force Base. It's looks like I'd need to do the same to travel to Wallops Island. I don't think I'll apply. The trip looks expensive. Wallops Island launches often get postponed by weather. Dash is getting pretty hard for one person to manage too. Cleaning up the poop at night is often a two person job.

It would be nice to have something fun to do. I never realized how much of my life was devoted to work until I was fully retired. Dash certainly keeps me busy, but taking care of a sick dog can be very stressful. I need something relaxing. Going out to breakfast on Friday morning used to be relaxing, but when you can't even find a decent Eggs Benedict this become irritating as well.

The best part of today was a long nap with Dash. Early this afternoon, I realized I was very tired. I lay down next to Dash on the bed around 2 PM and didn't wake up again until after 4. I'm not really expecting a good night's sleep tonight, but it would be a nice bonus if I got one.

Diva is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Day 3220

I cleaned up poop in the middle of the night again. Luckily, Dash made it off the bed, but he couldn't make it to the back door. Several people have suggested that I try diapers. Unfortunately, diapers seldom work on a dog with severe mobility problems. Dash can barely stand up as it is. We've tried doggie diapers and while wearing them, he can't seem to move his rear legs at all. Puppy training pads don't work either. Dash has always moved around at night. If you place a pad under him when you go to bed, he will be somewhere else when you wake up. Puppy pads worked great for Dot. I've still got several cartons of them at the storage warehouse. I've just got to realize that Dash is a different dog. It's not his fault. Old age catches up with all of us eventually.

It was damp and overcast today, but there was very little rain. I'll take what I can get. When I was walking Dash this morning, I noticed that the little circus in the park was getting ready for a show. You've got to admire these guys. They couldn't have picked a worse time to come to Dallas, but they refuse to give up. I almost feel like going to a show to help them out, but I've never liked circuses all that much. Hopefully, the weather will stay dry this evening. They've worked really hard to rebuild.

I found out on Facebook that another friend is in the hospital. This happens way too often. My generation is falling apart. I guess younger people still find out about weddings and engagements on social media. Older people find out about their friend's knee replacements, back problems, and cancer. The page for my high school class has kind of turned into an online obituary. All this decline and decay makes me nervous, but I still feel healthy. I hope I've got a few good years left.

I have no idea how long Dash has left. He's hung in there a lot longer than I expected. I think the pain pills are helping. He still stumbles and falls, but he seems more confident now. For a dog who can barely move, he sure loves his walks. Dash is facing old age with a lot of dignity. He accepts his many frailties and does the best he can. He and Dot have been an inspiration. When I wake up with a stiff neck or a sore back I keep thinking "if these dogs can do it, so can I."

Neither of us set the world on fire today. My to-do list has shrunk to breakfast, dinner, and walking Dash. I did a little house cleaning this afternoon, but I also took a long nap with Dash. Hey, I deserved a nap. I felt like I was up half the night cleaning up after Dash.

I think it's supposed to rain again tomorrow. I wonder how long this can go on? I think we have doubled our annual rainfall in less than two months. We'll see how it goes. I've taken the trash out to the curb and am ready for bed. If it's nasty tomorrow morning, I'll just stay home and make pancakes. I can always go out for breakfast when things dry off.

Little Petey is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Day 3219

I don't know how to keep Dash from pooping on the bed. He's slept on the bed for his entire life and he's not about to stop now just because he's become incontinent. We've tried all sorts of comfortable dog beds on the floor, but Dash isn't interested in them. He's still mobile enough to move around at night, so if we manage to get him positioned on a protective pad, he's usually somewhere else by the time we wake up.

Last night when Dash woke me up trying to reposition himself, I smelled something. Although most of his body was still on his protective blanket, his butt was on the comforter. This was messy poop too. Everybody got up. We cleaned Dash off. I took the large comforter outside and hosed it off and then threw it in the washer on the super hot germ killing cycle. We re-made the bed and tried unsuccessfully to get back to sleep. No wonder I'm sleep deprived. This happens almost every night.

It was raining again when we woke up, so I had to keep checking the weather radar and wait for an opportune time to take our morning walk. Dash doesn't really understand waiting. He pooped in the house again while I was finishing my breakfast. I had to wait until almost 1 PM for the rain to subside, but Dash was still eager to walk when we finally got an opportunity.

Since I was stuck in the house for most of the day, I spent a considerable amount of time watching the Phillips auction in New York. My two lots didn't set any records, but they met their estimates. I'm happy. I must be totally out of touch with today's art world. Artists who I am familiar with often didn't do as well as I expected, but several names I'd never even heard of set off a frenzy of bidding. Who were these guys and why did people want their stuff? I thought I was knowledgeable, but apparently not.

My soggy bills have finally become dry enough to pay and take to the post office. Unfortunately the glue on the flaps of the return envelopes had become wet and sealed the envelopes shut before I could put anything in them. I had to cut the envelopes apart and then tape them back together. What a waste of time. Online payments are finally starting to make sense.

A pair of my favorite dog walking pants tore today. I've repaired these old pants several times before, but I don't think it's worth the effort anymore. They are pretty threadbare. It's finally time to throw these things in the trash and break out a new pair. It's weird. I've got plenty of clothes that I've never even worn. Unless I'm going to a meeting or doing something special with Janet, I just wear the same things over and over again.

I wonder if this rain is ever going to stop? We're starting to get on the news now with lots of stories about flooding in Central Texas. I guess Dash and I were lucky to get a walk at all today. Our little excursion turned out to be the only dry spell of the day. I got caught in a downpour when I went to pick up more Plavix for Dash at the pharmacy and it's still raining now.

There is more rain in the forecast. If cabin fever was a problem today, it's going to be an even bigger problem tomorrow. Where is that new season of The Expanse I've been waiting for?

Lucky is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Day 3218

I was determined to give Dash a walk this morning. I kept watching the weather radar and eventually I saw what looked like a temporary break in the weather. I got Dash suited up in his protective gear as quickly as I could and off we went. We got lucky this time. Even though it rained most of the day, we managed to find 45 minutes when it was relatively dry.

Members of the little circus were trying to reposition their tent when we passed them this morning. They seemed determined as well. Despite the rain, it looked like they were trying to get ready for a show tonight. Lots of luck with that. It think it's time to build an ark. The bad weather going to continue for the rest of the week.

Just before I went to bed last night, our Internet and TV service was restored. Oddly at about exactly the same time the TV started working again, the security light in the back yard went out. The light has been working well for several months now, so I'd almost forgotten that it used to be a big problem. Hopefully the photo cell in the security light and our U-verse service will not be a problem tonight. I need the light so I can see where Dash poops at night and I need the TV so I can watch Perry Mason as I go to sleep.

The leak in the living roof stopped dripping around noon. The fact that this is a small leak will probably make it even harder to find. I keep trying to look at the bright side. I guess a small leak is better than a large leak. It's had to find a bright side to incontinence. Even though Dash got a nice walk today, it didn't prevent him from pooping in the house. Once this morning, he walked toward the open back door, sniffed the air for a while, and then turned around and immediately pooped in the kitchen.

I meant to pay bills today, but yesterday's soggy letters still weren't dry yet. You'd think soggy mail would give me the final push I need to start paying bills online, but for some reason I still prefer going to the post office. Since I couldn't pay bills, I wrote my Luddite sister and told her that I'd become a Luddite too.

I hope my auction goes well tomorrow. There's another auction in December and a final one next Spring. I had hoped that auctioning most of the art would make it easier for me to get rid of other things, but decluttering still seems like a monumental job. We'll see how much progress I've made this time next year.

It was nice to see the market rebound today. I'm glad I didn't panic and sell everything last week. I'm probably just going to have to learn to live with uncertainty. The world isn't going to return to normal any time soon. Sadly, the only thing that seems normal anymore are those old TV shows from the 50's and 60's I watch while I'm going to sleep. It's weird that those old Twilight Zone shows that used to scare me as a kid, seem naively simple now. Rod Serling's little morality plays almost seem like Sunday School stories. Call me crazy, but I still prefer the Twilight Zone to Black Mirror. The Eisenhower years are looking better and better.

Camp is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day

Monday, October 15, 2018

Day 3217

This was one of those day when you couldn't help but wonder what was going to go wrong next. The relentless rain has caused the roof to start leaking again. Dash was restless because he wasn't able to take his walks. We had lots of pooping in the house today. During breakfast, the Internet, phones, and TV all went out. Later in the day I discovered that lightning had struck a major AT&T facility and started a fire. Most of Dallas and Fort Worth is still without service. If that wasn't enough, the temperature was in the low forties all day. This was the coldest and wettest October 15th on record.

There isn't much you can do when it's raining cats and dogs and your Internet and TV are out. I was finally able to connect the TV to an antenna so I could receive a few over-the-air stations and I can still connect to the Internet over 4G using my phone. U-verse and WiFi are gone though. Who knows when service will be restored.

I felt sorry for Dash today. Every time he went outside to pee, he got soaked. I kept a towel by the door so I could dry him off when he came back inside. I'm glad he still pees outside. When we were dealing with Dot's incontinence, it seemed like the pee often made a bigger mess than the poop. I could tell that Dash really missed his walks today. Even though he has to wear a knee brace for a partial cruciate tear and rubber boots to keep his paws from bleeding, the walks are still special. This is probably his one opportunity during the day to sniff things and feel like a normal dog again.

Every time I hook the TV up to an external antenna, I wonder who watches these over-the-air stations. It's definitely a weird selection. We can receive ABC and CBS, but NBC is too far away, since the transmitter is located in Fort Worth. The signal from PBS is too weak to receive and I don't know where the rest of the channels originate from. There seem to be a lot of Asian channels, including one Vietnamese channel. QVC has an over the air channel and so do several televangelists. No wonder people still pay for cable. Watching over the air television is like visiting the Twilight Zone.

I'd like to think that things will improve tomorrow, but I'm not counting on it. According to the weather forecast there won't be a break in the rain for at least 48 hours. They say it might stop raining for a little while on Wednesday, but then it will resume again for the rest of the week. I just hope we don't lose power. I was bored today, but at least it was nice and warm inside. I don't even want to think about spending the week without power. It's very cold outside.

When the mail came today, it was so soggy that I couldn't even open the letters. I set everything on baking trays so it could dry. Five hours later, most of the mail was still soggy. I haven't even been able to call AT&T about our U-verse service because their customer service lines are down as well. Hopefully, something will improve tomorrow. Dash keeps looking at me like he expects me to stop the rain. I keep trying to explain to him that I don't have any superpowers.

Lucky is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day