6 February, 2024


Category: Aging,Annoyances,Exercise,Health,Stuff,Work — Moose @ 8:33 am

Still haven’t figured out what to do with some of the stuff I cleared out of the trunks. Do I really need my merit badge sash? No. My Eagle Scout medal? Yes. But what to do with the stuff I’m keeping? Display it? Stick it in storage for another thirty years? I may set the husband loose on display options, that’s more up his alley than mine.

I did decide to apply for my boss’ job as Deputy GC. That application went in last Friday, and the announcement closed yesterday. It’s funny, since talking with her about it she’s definitely pulled back the curtain more on the workings of the office and the agency, especially our current hiring needs & process.

In health news, I’ve had a couple appointments, a couple events, and a new diagnosis of sorts. Saw neurology at another facility for an intake for an EEG later this month. Was not best pleased about how they handled the process (they literally just snail mailed me an appointment card with a time & date and no further information about what the appointment was for. Dorks), but the doctors were fine. Took the 30-day monitor off early (by about 6 days) because it had irritated my skin too much where the contacts were. But the neuro indicated that she had not gotten any alerts from it, so it’s fairly safe to assume there was no sign of atrial fibrillation; we’ll see for sure once they get the equipment back and send her the final report. The second neurology office apparently made noises to her about an implantable three year monitor and we nixed that. No thank you.

Had two eye incidents on the 25th and the 2nd, where I got what appeared to be an after-image in my right field of vision that gradually expanded in a crescent out and to the right until it faded completely, all in about twenty minutes. Annoyed me the first time, freaked me out the second time. Saw an ophthalmologist yesterday to check that out, and he pretty quickly diagnosed it as an ocular migraine, but examined my eyes and found no other issues with the retinas, etc. And he said that while he was no neurologist, in his experience if I’m getting ocular migraines the other TIA-like symptoms (numbness, dizziness) might just be signs of migraines rather than strokes. I’m still going through the rest of the testing to rule stuff out, but I’d certainly prefer that these were migraines over strokes. I’d actually prefer to have none of it, but if I’m stuck with one I know which I’d choose.

The knee has done better the past two weeks. I pushed the orthopedist to be more aggressive at our last appointment and he gave me a cortisone shot to ramp down the inflammation. I’ve been able to walk more easily, did a mile on the treadmill on Sunday (slowly), and have been able to bike again. Which is good because the knee brace was starting to irritate the skin on my leg.

13 January, 2024

Memorabilia and Dust

Category: Stuff — Moose @ 12:27 pm

Spent the morning cleaning out two of three trunks we’ve had sitting in the back of the owner’s suite closet since we moved in. One was semi-actively used in the old place, so it had stuff like old financial records that I can now toss, but the other one was one my parents foisted off on us when they moved from Virginia to Texas and it was primarily old boy scout memorabilia. And a lot of dust.

I’m keeping a few of the things, but a lot of it is getting the, “do I really need this? no, not really” treatment and going away, whether to the trash or to donations. And with everything I’m considering keeping I’m trying to ask the question of what I’d do with it (besides store it), and is it something that will bring me pleasant memories or just more stress? And do I want my heirs to eventually have to deal with cleaning it up? The answers for a lot of the stuff is a resounding no, so a lot more is going away after asking that.

Took a break to take a shower and grab some lunch, then I’ll finish packing it up for disposal this afternoon.

30 December, 2023

Cleaning up

Category: Annoyances,Body,Books,Comics,Home,Stuff,Theatre,Work — Moose @ 3:36 pm

Spent the early afternoon culling books from my office. Mostly old triathlon books that I am not going to use again, and who could find a better life elsewhere. Rearranged some of the remaining books, and left some space for more which are sure to come. This shelf serves as my Zoom background when working from home, and always gets compliments, so I like to shake it up from time to time. Plus I really do need more space to fit some of the stuff (books and legos) I got for the holidays.

The husband is up in NYC for a day trip, seeing musical performances numbers 99 and 100 (he’s currently in number 99) for him for this year. He realized he was really close to 100 about a month ago and I urged him to go ahead and aim to hit it before year’s end just for the bragging rights of his “year of theater”. And it gave me a good space to clean without him getting bored and wanting me to drag him out of the house to go do something. 😉

This upcoming year is going to be a challenge. There’s the knee, and the ongoing medication adjustments from the TIA (BP was almost in the normal range this morning, which was nice to see). There were some shenanigans with pay for our top ranks at work, including me, because our former GC was a bit fast and loose with his legal work, so I will take a slight haircut on base pay for the year. Not paralyzing, but definitely annoying. And whatever else life tosses my way. Nothing unsurmountable (so far), just mostly annoying. Though I would like the knee to get back to normal sooner rather than later, since moving is important to me and I would like to do it like a normal person again, and not a semi-invalid.

Likely going to go catch up on some comics this afternoon, and maybe hit a long-delayed cross-stitch pattern that I had lost the bits for on the shelf, but which have now been found.

27 December, 2023

The Weird Week

Category: Adult,Aging,Annoyances,Body,Cooking,Family,Food,Friends,Games,Stuff — Moose @ 10:37 pm

The week between Xmas and New Years can be an odd one. Cleaning up from Xmas, figuring out where new things need to go. Finishing off leftovers. Etc.

Two weeks on the new drugs, and also dropped a decongestant that I’ve been taking for forever (20 years?) because it can raise BP. Other than the withdrawal from the decongestant (felt like a bad head cold, especially on day three), things have settled in. Of course there’s a weird paranoia that comes with having had a TIA – is any odd sensation, which would not have raised an eyebrow prior to three weeks ago, related? They’re not, of course, but that doesn’t stop one from idly questioning each and every one. I’m more likely now to move out of a position that will give me pins-and-needles now than I was previously, if only to prove it’s not my brain misfiring (as opposed to just cutting off nerves/blood supply). Whee! Bodies are such fun.

Picked up new glasses this afternoon, which was a whole other adventure in being more active than I have been. The new Echo frames are fantastic. The other regular frames I picked out back in August seem to be cursed. Second set of lenses, second set of “this isn’t right”/headache inducing oddness. I have to go back next week for a pair of readers (prescription adjusted for close work – yay aging eyes), so I’m trying out the regular ones off and on, but I swear that VSP either did nothing with the lenses, or they just can’t get the prescription right. Especially since the Echo frames are, as stated above, fantastic – no issues seeing out of the new lenses there. *shrug* Hopefully they’ll be able to test the lenses and see what’s going on there.

The in-laws came down for Xmas and we had fun playing card/board games and what not with them. And of course the usual Xmas stuff of gifts and stockings and what not. Fare was relatively simple, no big bird or beast, but the melting potatoes were a hit again.

We have another couple coming over for New Years eve, and I need to plan out dinner. They’re mostly vegetarian, which is easy enough, but I did a risotto already for them pre-Xmas so I need to plan something else this time.

27 November, 2023

Winding down November

Category: Body,Cats,Exercise,Knitting,Stuff — Moose @ 4:09 pm

I checked my work phone this morning, mainly to look at scheduling, and ended up taking care of two “emergencies” that people were hopping about this morning, then promptly dumped it on the charger to ignore it once more. They can have my time when I’m back on the clock Wednesday. I did end up having to reschedule a doctor’s appointment because the original one is on the day they chose for out office holiday party while I was out on break. No biggie, thankfully. Still need to find out when my current 90 day full-time-remote status dies (next week, I think). I think I’m capable of commuting in now, but I’ll make sure to take the crutch with me for it.

Ortho at the end of the week. Vet for the cats tomorrow. So I’ll be working Wednesday and Thursday, but off the rest of the week, added to the week off last week. Has been a nice break. Knee is progressing still, but definitely not back to normal. I’m able to bike on a stationary trainer now, so that’s becoming my default cardio. The new Garmin GPS watch I bought in August for running works well with the bike accessories, so at least that wasn’t a total waste.

Desperately behind on comics. Like dozens of issues behind at this point. Even reading 4-5 a day I’m still falling behind because of the backlog. Clearly we have a comics problem.

On the third color of my four-color brioche scarf, finally. Just in time to get more yarn for a blanket the husband asked for (which I’m glad I grabbed, because the plum base he wanted is not showing as available any more on the site).

Xmas is all up, and we’re the envy of our street (which apparently got me added to a group text that I hadn’t been on before). Added some strings going from the roof to the group floor, framing the house and windows (lines from the balcony edge straight down to the top of the garage/front door), and some blinking rainbow candy canes for the front walk. And a manual timer to turn them on at 4:30pm and off at 7:30am, roughly around dusk and dawn.

5 October, 2023

Here and There

Category: Aging,Body,Food,Health,Stuff — Moose @ 10:11 pm

Physical therapy is proceeding apace. Flexion in the knee is increasing; was 85 degrees last week, 110 yesterday. Still sore as fuck after PT, of course, but improving, which is the point of it all. Trying to concentrate at work afterward is annoying, but since we’re not shut down the panicked mood has subsided there. Heaven only knows what November will bring.

Mostly wandering around the house with just one crutch now, with occasional short stints without any support.

Made out like a bandit for my 51st birthday. I have a lot of Lego art pieces to build and hang now. And cupcakes. So many cupcakes.

21 August, 2023


Category: Adult,Stuff — Moose @ 12:57 pm

I was cleaning up some stuff in our entry hallway, putting away bits from having a smart lock installed last week, replacing a battery in a running accessory, and in doing so I had to go into the drawers in our little hall table, which I apparently need to do more often. Found the battery I needed, put the lock bits away, but also found some netting for a bike basket that I’d been looking for (should’ve been with the bike accessories, but why would I be consistent?), and then dug up one of the first, homemade masks we made out of a T-shirt at the beginning of the pandemic. It makes sense that it was in the entry hallway table, since you’d need them to outside, but what a throwback.

7 August, 2023

Grab it while you can

Category: Annoyances,Driving,Friends,Knitting,Stuff — Moose @ 6:42 am

We had the Mini’s windshield replaced back in June, after a particularly large pothole on Route 50 jarred the car badly enough to cause a large crack to develop. And then I kept forgetting to re-coat the new window with Rain-X. I prefer having that on the windows because I find it easier to see out of them, and you can run the wipers less; at highway speeds the water wicks off on its own, and I find wipers distracting. Personal preference, your mileage may vary. Last night we went out to dinner and it was pouring, reminding me again that I hadn’t done the windows. So this morning while coffee was brewing I ran downstairs and finally cleaned and Rain-X’d the suckers. Now watch me not need to go out during any rain any time soon. Which is fine, because I’m prepared now.

Yesterday we found out a friend of ours has been on meth for several years now, when he called about some not-so-smart decisions he’d made the past week and finally confessed that he’d been using. Ugh. I have a lot of sympathy, and a lot of wanting to smack him upside the head. Nasty stuff. Does explain some of the mood swings and workaholism. What a mess.

Knitting on the latest scarf is proceeding apace. I’m on color number two of four. I made the first block a few inches too long, but whatevs. I thought about just extending the others, but that would make the whole thing an extra foot long versus an extra three inches, so no thanks. And I successfully managed not to buy more yarn at the yarn store yesterday for the local men’s knitting group. I did buy another project bag, but no more yarn.

30 July, 2023

Ah, technology

Category: Health,Home,Stuff — Moose @ 9:41 am

We had a couple power blips during storms the last two nights. Yesterday morning woke up and the stairway lights were not on, though it was well past the time when they should’ve automatically turned on. By way of background, we’re in a townhouse, or as the husband puts it, a giant staircase with rooms attached. A giant staircase with no windows, I would add, save at the very top, so it’s very dark without lights on. I was an early adopter of Philips Hue lighting, and Amazon Echo devices, so we have automated lights all over the house. It’s nice for things like the front porch and driveway (lights on at sunset, off at sunrise), and a couple floors of the central staircase (on at 6am-ish, brighter at sunrise, dimmer at sunset, off at 10:30; mainly so we don’t trip over a cat in the dark), and definitely for turning on/off and adjusting brightness via the voice controls. We particularly use the dimming feature on most lights as we rarely need them at 100%, unless we have company or workers in the house. Not difficult to set up, but also aging somewhat as we’ve had the basics of it since we lived in DC, and brought that with us to MD when we moved in 2020.

So yesterday morning nothing is on. Check the app, it’s showing none of the lights are connecting. Google that, lots of reddit threads, try several things like turning lights off and on, cycling the hub, etc. Eventually I just unplugged the hub and left it off for a few hours while I did other things. Plug it back in, leave it alone for a bit, go back into the app and see that the lights are slowly reconnecting, so let it be (after turning the staircase on; again, don’t want to trip on a cat, but also don’t want the lights at 100% as that’s way too bright). Eventually everything connects back and I can control it all, but one of the things reddit had me try zapped all my preset routines so I had to remember how all of those were set up and reestablish them. I was grateful it all came back; the idea of having to replace the hub was obnoxious.

Otherwise I’m slowly recovering from the covid bout. Still a little extra snot going on, and a little fatigued, but getting better. Feels like the end of a nasty head cold at this point. Grateful that I never lost my sense of smell. We’re off to get covid-delayed haircuts this morning, and hopefully catch at least the Barbie movie, and maybe Oppenheimer as well, depending on my energy levels.

3 July, 2023

The Little Things

Category: Adult,Coffee,Home,Stuff — Moose @ 10:17 am

I think half the fun of home ownership is the little things that have to be taken care of. For example, one of the GFCI receptacles in the kitchen died sometime yesterday. There are two in there, and one died about two years ago. They’re original to the house (2010), so it’s unsurprising that they’re wearing out now, but it’s always a surprise. Had to look up the electrician we used last time, and they’re now scheduled to come out middle of next week to replace it (as I told them, inconvenience, not emergency, so I was fine with whatever they had). In the meantime the toaster oven has been moved from one plug to another, and I’ll move the electric can opener if we need to open anything. The kitchen Echo has been relocated temporarily to the island, and I’m debating whether to move the coffee maker or just stick to french press for the next week or so. The funny thing is that I’d bought some beans on a lark yesterday before knowing the GFCI was dead, so I had fresh ones for this morning. Maybe the keurig sensed them and killed the GFCI out of spite. That or Amazon decided I wasn’t spending enough and hoped I’d use them to book an electrician.