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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day 3216

The roof has quit leaking. The little circus in the park is trying to move their tent to higher ground. It's time to regroup and start over. I guess that's what weekends are for.

There was still some rain today, but the showers were light and didn't do any damage. Dash did a little bit of damage by pooping in the bed again, but it was our fault for sleeping in. These accidents tend to happen on weekends more often. I should have gotten up at 5 AM and taken him outside like I do on weekdays. I was asleep though. Without an alarm in the morning, I am always asleep.

I cleaned up the mess, put Dash's blankets in the laundry, and took him on a walk. Almost immediately, a small loose dog in a neighbor's yard scared him and we returned to the house. I got Janet to help me convince him that everything was OK, and off we went again. We took a different route and encountered no dogs this time.

After breakfast, I went to the gym, stopping to check out an REI sale on the way. I like high quality outdoor gear, but I need nothing. After wandering around the store for ten minutes, I bought two pair of socks. I don't even need socks.

The gym seems to have done a better job of solving their roof leak problem than I have. Even though there was a tremendous amount of rain yesterday, there was no sign of a leak when I arrived this morning. I wonder if I'll ever manage to go to the gym more than once a week? Even though other people seem to have no problem going daily, I just can't seem to find the time. Maybe I'm doing just fine. Very few people spend more time outdoors walking their dog. Even though Dash is very slow now, it's still good exercise for both of us.

I finally received a letter from NASA saying that they had postponed their event in Houston. That's good. Maybe when the event is rescheduled, I'll still make the cut. Of all the ways I can waste my time during retirement, becoming a space groupie and traveling to launches and events still seems like a good idea to me. I'm still hoping to get selected for once of these events.

I might like to visit old railroads too. I watched a show about scenic railroads on PBS this afternoon and it reminded me that I still like trains. I've traveled across the country several times on a train and the trips still bring back pleasant memories. I can't recall a single pleasant memory associated with flying.

There is still lots of rain in the forecast for next week. Enough already. I can't even remove the buckets from the living room floor until this rainy spell is over. There's another big auction in New York next week. I hope my art will do well. Maybe watching the auction online will help alleviate the cabin fever I get on rainy days. One way or another, we'll get through the week. I just want to see blue sky again.

Abby is today's Dalmatian of the Day
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Saturday, October 13, 2018

Day 3215

What a mess. The rain was relentless today. Just as I predicted, the roof started to leak again. Lately, it's been leaking whenever there's been an extremely heavy downpour. The fact that standing water alone doesn't cause the roof to leak ought to tell me something. I still can't find the leak, unfortunately.

Although I've got buckets on the living roof floor again and can still hear a steady drip, drip, drip as water hits the buckets, my problems are small compared to the little circus in the park. I really feel sorry for these guys. When Dash and I took our evening walk, I noticed that their tent was totally underwater. The water was three to five feet deep. I saw circus performers and crew standing waist deep inside the tent, trying to salvage chairs and props. Some chairs were actually floating away in the lake.

I wonder why nobody bothered to tell these guys that they were pitching their tent in a flood plain and that this was the rainy season in Dallas. Sadly, there is another city park less than five miles away on top of a hill. If they had located there instead, they never would have had a problem. One of the performers told me that they had four shows scheduled today. There were two matinees and two evening shows. The show obviously didn't go on.

Amazingly, in spite of the downpour, Dash still got two walks. The rain didn't start until almost 9 AM and by 6 PM, it was all over. In between, there was lots of thunder, a very scared dog, and a pretty soggy trip to the grocery store. It's sad that Dash has such limited mobility now. During thunderstorms, he still wants to crawl under my desk. This is his safe place. Unfortunately, he gets stuck in small spaces and can't get up. When he starts to struggle, his fear only increases. I had to block the office off today with a gate for his own safety.

When I went grocery shopping this morning the rain was coming down so hard that I could barely see the road. Several cars appeared to have stalled out and were sitting on the side of the road with their blinkers flashing. Nevertheless, this was still just rain. It's hard to even imagine what people in Panama City Beach are going through now. I've seen the pictures and it looks like this little costal town was totally destroyed by the hurricane.

The weather forecast says the rain is likely to continue through the end of next week. I'm not looking forward to that. Janet told me that there was a roof leak over at the storage warehouse. I'll have to take a look tomorrow and make sure that my unit is still dry. The pump on our roof still works, but it doesn't do much good. Right now, it is only removing water from the carport. I'm not even going to attempt to clear the standing water away until the rain stops. It's dangerous and ultimately the effort is pointless.

If it has to rain tomorrow, I hope there is no thunder. Dash has enough problems as it is. He definitely doesn't need to deal with storm phobia. We'll see how tomorrow goes. Maybe I'll still go to the gym. Maybe I'll just stay under the covers.

Dalmatian of the Day
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Friday, October 12, 2018

Day 3214

Jeez. I'm getting so tired of politics. I feel like yelling "You guys are doing it all wrong" to both political parties. I'm sure nobody will listen but I'm convinced that Democrats would do a lot better if they abandoned their confrontational, in-your-face tactics and the Republicans would do better if they completely rethought their stance on immigration.

The other day I heard a Democratic friend say that they thought it was important to get out the vote, but they were afraid they might actually be encouraging someone to vote Republican. Bingo. Every time an angry mob screams obscenities from a Senate Gallery or chases a Senator out of a restaurant, you risk encouraging a non voter to get off the couch and vote against you. I don't think the politics of rage actually works. A lot of people have enough problems in their lives already. The last thing they want is a political circus. These undecided people may not march or put up yard signs, but when you make them feel like it is unsafe to go out to dinner or even enjoy a movie they will vote against you. If you block traffic with a protest on their way to work, they will definitely vote against you.

If the Democrats need to become less confrontational, the Republicans need to quit antagonizing Hispanics. What is wrong with you guys? Hispanics are practically begging to become Republicans. These guys are entrepreneurial. They work hard and tend to form businesses at a much higher rate than the general population. They still believe in the nuclear family and their kids tend to grow up with both a Mom and a Dad. They're even more religious than the general population. Isn't this the demographic you've been looking for? Republicans should be working to reform immigration laws and make it easier for Hispanics to become citizens. Quit being stupid. Welcome these guys into the fold and you could stay in power forever.

I can't quite put my finger on what has made our political system so crazy, but I think social media has a lot to do with it. Remember the Arab Spring? Everyone thought that sharing things in real time on Facebook and Twitter was going to bring democracy to the middle east. It brought total chaos instead. Libya, Egypt, and Syria crumbled. Maybe we're next. I think we need to bring back the smoke filled room where politicians can create practical, workable compromises without the scrutiny of social media pressure and a 24-hour news cycle. Winston Churchill, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson and many others would never have survived in a world dominated by silly memes and Instagram pictures.

I'm discouraged by politics, but I was encouraged that the market rallied today. Maybe this week's free fall was just a normal market correction or perhaps the selloff was an investor temper tantrum about interest rates. All I know is that I'm too old to weather another major crash.

I'm probably too old to deal with my perpetual roof problems as well. I'm almost certain the roof will leak again tonight. We had a horrendous, heavy rainfall this afternoon. That's usually all it takes. I've called the roofers several times but I'm sure that there are leaks all over town. I wouldn't be surprised if the roofers were planning to move to Florida for six months. I hear that there's lots of roof work in the Panhandle.

Dash seemed like a normal dog today. I don't know how the little guy does it. He's like the Energizer Bunny of Dalmatians.

Kuuipo is today's Dalmatian of the Day
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