Category Archives: Barbara Ellen

Off-line for a while

Pulling the plug on the old AT&T innertubes connection today and moving to reopen shop on Spectrum (Time-Warner in disguise) by Monday at the latest.

We’re moving from the rancho to the mini-rancho, sans roly polys we hope, still under the trees but poised on the edge of Neely’s Canyon in the hill country. Today, moving some stuff over, Barbara Ellen was enthralled with the animules: a family of white-tailed deer just below us on our fenced porch. She’s the reason we didn’t find a mini-rancho on a ridgeline this time. Haven’t lived on a ridge in sixteen years.

I do miss the sunrises and sunsets, but BE prefers to watch the deer, the squirrels and the birds, and I prefer to watch her be happy.

Streamliner Memories

Sigh. Just looking at the pics (or pix, if you prefer) brings back memories of our two thousand mile Amtrak excursion earlier this year. We only got a few canyons (in Colorado and New Mexico) and no mountains at all in Texas and Kansas) but we want to do it again next year. This time we’ll cut the distance to Colorado in half by going and coming back across West Texas.

Moving on

Been skipping blogging in this hectic week with much less and much more to come. We’re downsizing, buying a condo and selling the rancho. So lots of repairs  here and there, and painting here, and so forth to get ready to move in and sell out.

And, meanwhile, there’s the culmination of the drama of getting my step-daughter an apartment in a very crowded (and getting more crowded) and very expensive (and getting more so) town, which finally seems solved. She picks up the keys tomorrow. No washer/dryer but beggars and choosers.

Pretty exhausting for a 75-year-old. I’m pacing myself. Napping afternoons. So, now, all my (3+) commenters should not worry about why I’m not keeping up hereabouts. But thanks for asking.

Thrones adieu

Have now watched the first episode of the 8th and final season of Game of Thrones. Several times, in fact. Will watch again tomorrow with Bar.

Good to see the old gang again. Wonder how it will all play out. I think they will not drag out the battle but save time for resolutions for all. Shall see.

Chores

Sent Mr. Boy his Eastertime chocolate bunny and one for his girlfriend. Got tread milling done for another day. Cleaned out the litter box. Soon off to the lawyer for changes to my will. Thence to UPS to return some clothes for Bar that don’t fit. Finally to H.E.B. for food.

Then nap time!

Who decides on painkillers?

Barbara Ellen recently got a $660 bill from her healthcare provider for the laughing gas used to moderate her pain from several dental fillings.

It could have been worse. The government could have decided in advance that she didn’t need any painkillers at all.

“You want government-run healthcare? This is what it looks like. People you’ll probably never meet in your entire life, who don’t know anything about you, will decide how much pain you get to live with.”

Naturally government-run healthcare is a Socialist Dimocrat thing. The Socialist Dims believe bureaucrats are uniquely suited to decide such matters for you. Just don’t try to get between a woman and her doctor if she wants an abortion. Killing babies right up to nine months is sacrosanct to a Socialist Dim.

Via PJMedia

FEMA on rails?

Mostly no. As Bar told her bosses the other day in complaining about a lack of coordination in her job, from her vacation experience, “people on trains cooperate with each other.”

The passengers, yes, for the most part on our heartland excursion. There were the inevitable rude few. The staff, sometimes, if they weren’t too busy. Then there’s the woman conductor who complained after a long day of working with women attendants. The men, she said, were only slowed in following her directives by the need for details of what to do. The women stopped altogether, complained about this or that and otherwise expected special attention before they’d get to it.

Our woman attendant on one run made up our bed well enough, remembering to leave the upper berth up so Bar didn’t get claustrophobia, but neglected to mention that we could turn down the volume on our Big Brother public address speaker in the ceiling. “Why didn’t you ask ?” she said. Why did I need to? We were paying for first-class service (about a dollar a mile) and not getting it. Principally because the train was short-staffed and she was overworked

I spent an uncomfortable time thinking about how we would get out of a sleeper car derailed and turned on its side. It could be as simple as following directions on the windows about how to remove them. If they weren’t broken, too far above you or lying on the ground under you. Not that derailments here in flyover country are as common as those on the Northeast corridor.

The between-cars connections frightened Bar (never having seen it before) she said later, but she didn’t show it at the time only negotiated the moving part at her feet just fine. Skip over it. Just don’t step on it. I was frightened of it as a toddler in the 1940s but am now just cautious.

The seats in the private bedroom were comfy with room to stretch out and the windows big but the bed was too short for my six-foot frame. A better experience was the dining car and the chance to make new friends. Which we did, several times, with a Railfan and his brother from Kansas City, and a retired Wisconsin health insurance salesman pushing 82 with his fiftyish Fort Worth fiance. Hurtling along in the dark in the brightly-lit diner was exciting, especially when a spot of rough rails threatened to make you stab yourself with a fork or throw your hot coffee in your face. For the most part they didn’t.

Adventure calls and Amtrak delivers. (I should write ad copy)