Not so Nasty News February 5th

Item #1: Little bottles

Years ago we visited the Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG), assuming that is what it is was called then. The pieces of carved and blown, and all the rest is worth a look. The web site is
CMOG

The photo here is of a worker inspecting a small glass bottle or vial. If you have just guessed this has something to do with the millions of doses of vaccine being shipped around the world, you get a gold star.
Corning’s Valor glass

Item #2: What is going on?

Assume you have been in a coma since 1995. Now you wake and look at the woman. What would you think?
Correct. Society has gone kooky.

Item #3: From great to cranky

Last week our county was highlighted on news reports. Why? Because Kittitas County was doing better than any place in the USA with respect to its vaccination roll out. This past Monday there was a glitch. There was a surge of registrations reaching 100,000. The County’s population is about 50,000. The wait-list is temporarily closed. There was not a bunch of folks from other counties. There was an error in the system. Apparently there were a few other problems, thus they will use this opportunity to conduct additional troubleshooting before re-opening.

Item #4: We are eligible

While we can’t register for an appointment we can still get a cute form saying we are eligible.
There are no checks on one’s answers, so this seems pointless. Note, it uses the word “now.” We can’t get the shot now, but we are eligible now.
As of Friday, the shut down is still in effect.
I think the person that designed the message has a financial interest in an ink supplier. I’ve snipped about a third of the blue, and Nancy and I each have of one of these messages.

Item #5: Seattle

Sometime I’d like to show good news from Seattle. However, all the news from Seattle is nasty, but I have hope.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News January 29th

Item #1: Really Old

Sister Peggy celebrated 80 this week. Photo was the summer of 1963, I think. Two of the 4 kids had red hair.
Neither of our parents did, but there is red hair on both sides of the families.
Brother’s wife, Kit, also had a birthday, but is a decade older.
Happy Birthdays to you.

Item #2: Calving season

On Thursday I noticed several Bald Eagles in the trees, about 5 miles south of home. How they know when the calves are about to arrive is a mystery to me. I haven’t seen any calves or eagles closer to home. Then again, we haven’t been out and about much.
Will try for a good photo this year. We have several but none of high quality.

Item #3: Candy floss ice

That’s the English term. Here in the USA some call it “hair ice.”
Candy floss

Or:
Hair ice

Item #4: To wait, or not to wait?

We will see about signing up in a week or so. We likely won’t see more than 5 people in the next 5 days. Under 6 feet? Tuesday when Nancy gets blood drawn.
Being in a small population rural county, the Covid Panic of 2020 has had moderate impact. Never made the news.
Now that vaccines have started to flow, the County made national news.
Fun with numbers

There it says:
ELLENSBURG – Kittitas County is making national headlines over its ability to administer all its vaccination doses.

Read down and the numbers are not so stunning. There are two places where shots are being given – the goal is 215 per day at each.
They actually did better with a bit over 250 at each site. Eat your hearts out, you with a population of a million or several million residents.

The county folks claim dealing with wildfires has given folks experience coordinating multi-agency activities. So all that you need to do is have more wildfires to make giving Covid shots efficient.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

More than you want to know – Nancy

Hi Folks,
John writing. Not much new here, as of Saturday morning.
I’m late with this, so this one is just a marker.
I need another hour, and then will post on this simple link below.

http://rocknponderosa.com/

February 27th
FIFTH OF UPDATES More than you want to know – Nancy

Tuesday was a blood draw with INR and K both within range.
Getting a plump vein to tap has been a problem. Conversations with others suggest diet and fluid intake need an increase. Looking back, I think she drastically cut Powerade (sports drink) along with total removal of Ensure protein drink (about the highest Vit K item in her diet – still not real high).

As a substitute I’ve been making what I call “blurpies”. If you put fruit, ice cream, and yogurt in a blender the first sound produced sounds like “blurp.” Well, it does to me. She uses Almond Water (COSTCO brand) to dilute coffee, so we also add that to the Blurpy.
So, we are working in this.

COVID SHOTS
Friday at 3:30 we went for the 1st dose of the Pfizer vaccine. We were met in the parking lot and handed a 2-sided survey – filled out in the car. I took those to the greeting table. We were escorted inside and passed off to person #3. We asked for a high chair for Nancy. Most chairs were of the folding metal type, and 10 inches lower. (More of the higher chairs are needed in this world.)
Because Nancy is on a blood thinner (question was on the survey) we were visited by a Nurse (#4), who explained possible bruising from a shot. Nancy showed her a few, and she was satisfied we would not be startled if such happened at the site of the poke. (Without a mirror we can’t see that spot.) The nurse summoned #5 who led us to a table (with a high chair) where #6 was waiting.
We wore short sleeve shirts and warm vests without sleeves; and a warm winter coat. Remove the coat, and there is the bare arm ready for the shot. Next we were off with person #7 to the waiting area. Chest tag had the time 1551 (24 hour clock) at which we could leave. About five minutes into the wait, person #8 arrived with a computer on a high rolling cart. For maybe the forth time we gave names, birth date, address, phone number, e-mail.
Person #9 appeared and we asked to short-circuit the longer exit route, pass through curtains, and exited where we came in, about 30 feet from the car. We thanked all the outside greeters as we passed.

Our 2nd dose was scheduled, but she could not alter the 21 day period. We want to stagger those by 3 days. Some folks can feel a bit off (symptoms vary) as the body’s immune system ramps up after the 2nd dose. It is not likely that both of us would be impacted, but that is possible, and easily prevented. We just have to call the County Health folks and reschedule. I had to call to get us in the same time slot on Friday. The computer system tossed me out when I tried to fill a second slot from my computer.

Saturday morning and into the evening we can feel where the shot was given, only if we put a hand on the arm. Otherwise, it is not noticeable.
That’s it for now.

February 20th
FORTH OF UPDATES More than you want to know – Nancy

We started off the week with a haircut, just around our rural block, from Nancy’s long ago (in EBRG) “find” – – Celia Winingham and husband Bob. He was cleaning snow from the driveway as we arrived. I passed her off to Celia at the door, and then I came back home where a couple of workers were working under the carport. Forth minutes later I went back and picked her up.

Tuesday was the blood draw – INR and Potassium were within range.
Kidney function remains an issue with a high marks for “blood urea Nitrogen” (BUN) and Creatinine. No surprises.

Wednesday, with nice weather and dry roads, we visited with Dr. David Krueger, cardiologist in Yakima (50 miles). He was pleased with the lowering of swelling in feet and legs. We talked about how to ease the pressure on her heart – see the section under the red stars, below, Saturday January 30th. Lots of protein can be an issue, but her intake of meat protein is low, so I don’t see a lot of help via diet. He is also thinking the CPAP (sleep study day is March 10th) apparatus will help. Next visit with him is March 31st, after CPAP or whatever. We also need a new “pulse Oxygen meter” (oximeter). The one we had quite working. $20 for a simple one; $100+ for a recording one, but I haven’t figured out if our WiFi will work (no smart phones here).

General: cast is off unless we are out-&-about. Sling isn’t needed in the recliner, and she has use of her right hand for laptop use. That makes things easier.
An elderly local lady is reported to have had a serious reaction to the 2nd Pfizer Covid dose. I don’t think that means Nancy will have an issue, but on Monday we will ask about this. Our 1st dose shots are scheduled for next Friday.

For now: “That’s all folks!”

Saturday February 13
THIRD OF UPDATES (2nd follows, then 1st at the end)

Not a lot happened on the health front this past week. The Tuesday trip to town allowed her to walk a few hundred steps in the grocery store. Much more exercise would be good.

I had removed the wrap that enclosed her thumb and wrist late last week. Swelling on the back of her hand/thumb/fingers did not increase after that, and maybe went down a bit. Feeling and color were normal, so that is how we left it.
Thursday, after 3 weeks, we did go to Cle Elum for cast removal and a follow-up X-ray. That seems to show normal healing. We were instructed to replace the cast if out & about and, also, take the arm out of the sling a few times a day and do mild exercise of that arm. After 2, days the swelling is now gone, or almost.

I had hoped to get her outside and walk for more general exercise, but the cold air mass seeped into the area – a rare event. Thursday evening we got snow, about 4 inches and a morning temperature of 12 degrees F. The snow and the cold continue. Outside exercise is cancelled.
Neighbor Allen cleared the snow from the driveway. That was the first for this year. He commented that with much more in our forecast he was making sure the equipment {John Deere tractor} was working. As expected, snow continued. He came back just before Noon today and cleared it all again. I need to clean up around the edges.

Drawing blood on January 26th was a left arm affair, and even then had to be from the back of her hand. Both INR and Potassium were in range so we didn’t do them this week. Next week they can go back to the right arm. That’s Tuesday.

On Wednesday (2/17) there is a cardiologist visit in Yakima. Previously an interim meeting (1/20) with his assistant, Buffy Sawyer, provided a “maintenance” status. This will be a more thorough and important exam.

Nancy may add a few notes tomorrow, but that’s all I have for today – 2/13/21.
John

Saturday, February 6th
SECOND OF UPDATES (1st follows below)

ZOOM to sleep [Tuesday, 2nd]
A consultation with a person at Memorial Sleep Specialists (Yakima) had the expected result. Nancy has to go for a sleep test. This may be later in February, with cast off, but maybe not the sling.
The ZOOM experience was horrendous. Lighting on their end was poor and the audio was worse. We understood enough of the words (2/3) such that we did not have to use another method. A phone call would have been better. An in-person consultation preferred.
The doctor that we dealt with in 2014 has assumed higher level administrative duties so the contact was with Allison Morgan, about whom we know zilch. She read the letter I wrote about Nancy’s non-apnea results from back then. Nancy’s issue is, apparently, hypopnea, or shallow breathing that results in reduced Oxygen in her blood.
However, Nancy – on Dr. Kim’s strong urging – lost weight, enough so that a new test is called for. Something about properly prescribing and calibrating the equipment.
Nancy and I thought her CPAP equipment was less than stellar, and not highly advanced in the sense of being tuneable to a particular situation. Have these things gotten better? We can’t find that they have with respect to Nancy’s needs.
We’ll see.

Moving on to COMPRESSION: I wrote earlier:
“Meanwhile there was significant swelling in the legs, below the knees. Not good.”

I intended to explain our encounter with (think of a mad Badger) compression socks. One soon learns of the lies photos tell. Below is the evidence.
First, nothing so colorful seems to be available in EBRG. We bought the largest size (white) at BiMart. Doc Chelsea showed us how to put these on. She is young, with nimble fingers, and experienced. Still it was difficult. She suggested getting a “sock donner” and that we did. Cost was $45 and a second set of stockings ($10.00); also White. A friend offered a pair of black socks. From “all colors” to no color – great!
Notice the enticing look in the left photo above. Note also the legs are not swollen. Same thing on the right. No swelling. Easy-peasy.
We are now experts at sock donnering. Meaning, with significant effort on my part and great patience on Nancy’s the mad Badger has surrendered – each leg gets donned. The amount of Lasix {LAst SIX hours} is doubled, so Nancy is wearing out the carpet in the hallway.

Next: arm wrap
In this image the cast is in light blue. That is dressed with a Velcro closure elastic wrap; horse owners will recognize this. Also, I bought a dozen rolls and carry a few in my backpack. I took one out over a 10 year period. That was on a trail repair workday at Mt. Rainier. A tourist fell and our best trained crew raided my pack, then went to help. The roll was not used so I still have it. I digressed there.
Note where the hard cast and the wrap end. Well the back of Nancy’s hand, and fingers, became swollen. We’d been keeping Nurse Lacey and Chelsea informed, and on Wednesday (the 3rd) I wanted to either go to the Clinic, or release some of the pressure.
About 10:30 AM, with Lacey having heard my latest concern, and having consulted with Chelsea, we cut the wrap away from the hand and back to the yellow line.
I also realized the hard cast came out to the carpal bones (pisiform bone?) [Yeah, I looked that up.] The cast will have been on for 2 weeks on Thursday the 4th and it immobilizes both elbow and wrist.
We’ve been advised that the cast can be removed for an hour or so if Nancy is a good girl and doesn’t move the elbow much. If we do that, I think I will take about 3 inches of the end – red line above.
Not only has the exposed part of the hand puffed out a bit, but she has complained of it being cold. With slowed circulation out to her fingers, I suppose that’s not a surprise.
We’ll see if we can fix that.
Saturday afternoon we have keep the cast on.

End of 2nd update (1st post follows)

Saturday January 30th

A few years ago the computer place in Ellensburg shut down and we had to create our own domain name. We either lost, or just can’t find the early editions of the writings about Nancy’s health. For any new acquaintances, I will briefly summarize. Skip to the red stars line below if you like.
Nancy, the child, had rheumatic fever. Heart valve damage is a complication. This isn’t a big deal, until it becomes so. For Nancy that started in 2009.
She began that year with a slight persistent cough. No one thought much of that except me. However, either from a dental procedure or bad luck, she contracted “Endocarditis”, a life-threatening inflammation of the inner lining of the heart’s chambers and valves (endocardium). That was taken care of, then followed with a visit to an amazing (we agree on this) cardiologist, in Yakima, WA. Dr. Anatole S. Kim is responsible for Nancy being alive. Next in that sequence is Dr. Baljit Sharma, heart surgeon. But I just jumped ahead.

Early Friday morning, after Thanksgiving Day in 2009, Nancy developed an artery blockage that took us to EBRG Emergency and then on to Yakima and a Cardiac Catheterization unit to remove a blockage in an artery across the front of her heart. From home to removal of the blockage took about 4 hours, enough time for some heart muscle damage. Not good, but not a catastrophe either. Then a sudden calamity. An anticoagulant, unfractionated heparin (UFH), was given to prevent clotting. Most people do not have a problem with Heparin. Nancy was unlucky. By Saturday afternoon she was experiencing a reaction that makes red blood a target of immunological response, resulting in the degradation of platelets, which causes thrombocytopenia. In simple words, her red blood cells were dying. The shorthand for this is HIT, for Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia.
She was sedated and put on life support for 8 days. When I got to the intensive care unit, I was advised that she might not live. She surprised them all.
Over the next few weeks we learned about the intra-aortic balloon pump (IABP), a mechanical device that increases myocardial oxygen perfusion and indirectly increases cardiac output through afterload reduction. A computer-controlled mechanism inflates the balloon with helium and so on. Wow. Look it up. A typical yard-stick leaned against the bed. Among all this high-tech (science fiction like) stuff, a wooden stick was used to make sure the heart and pump controller were at the same height. [Clarke’s third law: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of The Future, 1961]
With a bit of time and prodding by Dr. Kim, the surgical team went to work on December 29th, cut Nancy’s chest open, fixed two arteries, replaced her native Mitral Valve with one from a pig, and used fractionated heparin with low molecular weight to finish the day.
Whew!
Eleven years later she is using her second implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD). Actually, the ICD is there, but not used. The first was used once, shortly after being implanted when she was, again, ill with Endocarditis. The “pacer” part is almost never used, but it is there too.Late last year (2020) a routine blood exam [Basic Metabolic Panel; BMP] showed a spike in Potassium (K). We cannot identify dietary or other reasons for this, so a few tweaks in medication and dropping Ensure from her diet have followed. (Ensure has K, but not all that much.) One med was dropped, a second was cut by a third, just this week. The test on Tuesday was still high for K, but not as critically high as a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile there was significant swelling in the legs, below the knees. Not good.
We visited, on the 20th, with Buffy Sawyer, the Cardiologist’s assistant and will see Dr. David Krueger in February. Our “doctor” is Chelsea Newman (physician assistant, certified) at the Cle Elum Clinic. Nancy’s favorite drawer of blood (Kim) is in EBRG, where her blood is most often tested. Chelsea’s nurses are Lacey and Summer. A great team – we like all.
A recent echocardiogram (echo) was not a whole lot different than in previous years, although the pulmonary artery pressure was higher, causing swelling of legs (edema), and Tricuspid Regurgitation – backward leakage through an intended one-way valve. Not good.
Images have “exploded” views on the lower left of each heart.
On the left image, blue arrows show flow of blood in open & closed positions. The right side image has a red arrow showing back-flow or regurgitation through a valve that does not completely close.

The hypothesis is that improvement is possible if the cause is Hypoxemia – oxygen deficiency in arterial blood. This can be caused by slow breathing and heart activity while sleeping. This is undesirable because the amount of Oxygen in the blood drops and the organs have an insufficient supply. An exam in a doctor’s office now (for us) includes using a Pulse Oximeter to discover the peripheral capillary oxygen saturation (SpO2). When the heart and lungs do not send sufficient oxygenated hemoglobin to your finger, the rest of your body suffers. A good reading is shown in the image below, along with the pulse.

Low readings, say near 88, are seriously low.
However, when the saturation drops by 3%, say from 97 to 94, that’s not good either.
Nancy used breathing apparatus (continuous positive airway pressure) (CPAP) and an Oximeter for about 4 years but lost a few pounds and seemed not to need it. Now stopped for about 4 years.
Our issue with CPAP was/is that it is designed with stopped breathing [obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)] in mind, rather than shallow breathing – and there was no way to record the SpO2 monitor readings with the rest of the (cumbersome) setup.
Nancy will likely return to the CPAP, maybe with a newer and better technology. Consultation will be by ZOOM, on Tuesday February 2nd.

NEXT (problem):
Nancy goes to Kim (phlebotomist) almost every Tuesday for a blood draw to check clotting time [international normalized ratio (INR)], and now for the Potassium level. When INR is stable she is only tested about once a month. The spike in K changed the routine.

Heading for the medical building, On January 19th, Nancy was turning to get into our Crosstrek and fell. She landed with her right arm between her body and the ground. Ouch!
This resulted in a “closed fracture” with a tiny bit of movement, about where the blue line is in the diagram.
This shows on the X-ray, but we can’t get to that via the medical portal, and Chelsea would have had to use a cell phone camera to send us the image. It was not worth the effort.

She got a modern-day splint, with arm in sling. Photos below are not Nancy.
They put a cotton sleeve on first. The photo does not show the first cotton sleeve.
Then a mixed fiber/plaster (wet first) “splint”, and then wrapped with an outer fabric.

The right photo shows the fiber/plastic that quickly hardens.
Left photo shows the outer wrap, that can be loosened if more swelling (not expected) occurs. Why? Because the fracture happened on Tuesday, we had the visit with cardiologist Buffy Sawyer scheduled on Wednesday, and didn’t get to Chelsea and Racine until Thursday, the 21st.
Because hers is the right arm, and the left shoulder is the one that is bad – the next 8 weeks will be a pain – literally and figuratively.
Chelsea (our “doc”) sees very few fractures, so Racine, who has worked in a special ortho (bone) clinic came to help. She was a pro, so Nancy got all fixed up like a high performance downhill skier. Neither elbow or wrist can move.

They also fitted her with a nondescript black sling, very un-photogenic, unlike in the photo here. I’d add some decorations, but who’s to see?
The restraining cast is due to come off about noon on Tuesday, February 11th. I think Chelsea said the sling should be used for at least a month after that. Maybe Nancy will have enough allowed movement to use the right hand on the keyboard.
The sleep/breathing issue will be addressed starting on the 2nd of February.

Better news:
Nancy has been using a 40 (?) year old recliner, sleeping beside a monitor that sends nightly updates to the ICD folks. It uses the plain old telephone system (POTS). The chair’s lift system died, or the buttons did. We ordered a new chair, but there is a two month wait. So, Korbie, a former student from 16 years ago gave us a very new chair (dog chewed the right side arm and left a hole), used briefly by her father-in-law. I gave her 10 pounds of home grown onions. What a deal! When Nancy’s new one arrives, I’ll move the given one into the converted (new) room.

That’s it for now.
Updates to follow, when things happen.
Such will appear at the top of the page.
Thanks for the good wishes being sent Nancy’s way.
Typing is hard for her, but you can call:

1-509-925-3304

Not so Nasty News January 22nd

Item #1: Could have been worse

A trip to Costco resulted in me buying a 5 terabyte disk drive, the Copper-fit product, and a Turbo Tax package for 2020.
The first was meant to be a CD-Rom reader. The one recently bought had found a hiding place in our stuff. The Tax software comes on a disk, thus the need ’cause Nancy’s laptop doesn’t have one built in. At home, and being told of the situation, I conducted a thorough search and found the recently acquired one.
The TurboTax package in the store is fake. It is taken to the checkout and a “runner” is called to fetch the product. Checkout was fast and a young lady pushed my cart out of the line and into the open traffic area, and said the normal pleasantries. I said similar, and headed out of the store. Oops! The runner had not returned. This I did not realize until unpacking at home. {I think this happens to others, also, because no one batted an eye at my problem.}
The center item was meant to be a double box set of compression socks. The package shape and color is the same as socks given to Nancy by friend Amy. I did, in fact, open the package at home before discovering I had “knee sleeves” and not socks. Ouch! This revelation happen after the return trip to Costco.

I headed back to Costco on Friday and went to buy gas. There I discovered I did not have my membership/charge card. The Amazon Prime card was rejected. Thus, no gas. I think that makes 4 bads.
I did have a receipt with my ID# and with that and my WA Drivers License I was able to get a refund (cash card) and a temporary shopping permit. Whew!
I didn’t buy gas, but still have a gallon or more to get back to town.
I also retrieved my credit card from the shirt I wore on Wednesday.

I had a better outcome than this person:
And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News January 1st

Panic2020 Jokes

– Some person thought that Panic2020 has turned us into dogs.
We roam the house looking for food. We get really excited about car rides and walks.
– Another person declined to tell a Covid-19 joke. He said, I don’t think you will get it.
– If you are quarantined, only inside jokes are allowed.
– Nancy taped a world map to the wall and then gave me a dart and said, “Throw this and wherever it lands—that’s where we’ll go when this pandemic ends.”
Turns out, we’re spending a week behind the couch.
– Ran out of toilet paper and started using lettuce leaves. Today was just the tip of the iceberg, tomorrow romaines to be seen.
– After years of wanting to thoroughly clean our house but lacking the time, this year we discovered that wasn’t the reason.
– The best way to avoid touching your face? A glass of wine in each hand.
– After months at home, a friend wrote: The dog is looking at me like, “See? This is why I chew the furniture!”

Item #2: Crazy things on internet

I was wondering about the height of a car tire from road surface to the rim – that, of course is variable so I visited several sites looking at various types and sizes. Since then the crazy internet has been pushing ads as though I wanted to spend a fortune on tires I don’t need.
Today I used the search term “black hole” because I was interested in a formal definition to compare with the photo at the bottom of this page. Here is a screen grab of what DuckDuckGo served up:With all the hype about Artificial Intelligence – are these folks paying for this nonsense?

Item #3: What part of closed . . .?

There are just 4 roads with mountain passes that one can use to go from Eastern Washington to Western Washington. Two of these are closed for months because of snow. Very rarely one or both of these can be kept open. This is well known, and the closures are marked, and with much more visible signs than the one here.
In 1976, Chinook Pass did not close because of lack of snow. That’s 44 years ago. In 2020 it was closed by November 12th.
Some photos:
The Hidden highway; Trail Bridge over the road; What signs?

I’m thinking he was drunk

Maybe Mercedes’ drivers are mentally challenged.

Item #4: 2021?

This isn’t an original idea from me, but I did put this combo-image together for the change from 2020 to 2021.
The question, seems to me, is whether or not the situation continues on a down hill path or might we climb out of the chaos of 2020? Either case looks like a long and winding road.

Item #5: Look-a-likes

I was watching a video from a Canadian source about Gordon Lightfoot, 82 this past November.
We are a bit fuzzy on this, but I believe we went to a concert at the University of Iowa (about 1970 or ’71) where he and two other folks each did about 40 minutes of songs. This was inside where basketball was than played, and marijuana smoke filled the stands.
I only remember that he started a song, played just a few chords, and stopped. He said he was in the wrong key or tempo or something and started again.
He looks to be about age 6 in the photo. So that makes it about 1944 – the year I was born. The odd thing is that the woman, his mother, has the same hairdo {where does that word come from} and overall looks just like my sister. Enough like that I backed the video up and captured the image.
Someplace we have a picture that my dad took, and I would like to compare the two, but that would take a herculean search and hardly worth the effort. Besides, my sister agrees she and Gordon’s mother look alike.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Nothing escapes a Black Hole.
Here is a picture of one near a dinner table.

Not so Nasty News Christmas


Mt. Saint Helens is 100 miles to the southwest of us. The photo is from May 19, 1982, two years after the major eruption.
I did see a similar steam plume, on March 8, 2005 – I think, when hiking in an area to our north. We* were at about 5,900 feet on a ridge and had a good view to the south.

*Companion was Marty Kaatz, gone in 2012.

Not so Nasty News December 11th

Item #1: What’s up?

I don’t remember the first time I saw the above “click-here” thing but last week I noticed the “macy..” image and the word “Walmart” name did not match. This week there has been a change to match names. Interesting, but not as fundamental as the fact that Ellensburg does not have a Walmart. There is one about 50 road miles south, and another just 25 miles as the crow flies, but 70 miles by road.
Neither of these stores is closing. Another mystery.
Thus, it can’t happen, and I don’t need to know about something that is not happening.

Item #2: Was this Humpty?

If you search for images of Humpty Dumpty you will find many modern colorful illustrations of an egg-like character sitting on a wall. They mostly do NOT show a shattered egg-corpse at the base of the wall. Not appropriate for children’s books, I suppose.
The nursery rhyme goes like this . . .
Search as you want, there is no mention of an egg.
In fact, the rhyme was around in published form for about 50 years before a notion of an egg character was written into it by Lewis Carroll in “Through the Looking-Glass.”

Here is a link showing a black and white illustration and part of the Alice text. classic illustration

Back to meaning; see this:
A cannon. Really?

And here is the “Looking Glass” text with Alice and Humpty:
via Lewis Carroll

Item #3: Is your sink clogged?


Item #4: Closed

Washington’s governor, among others, insists on closing things down until January 4th. The governor’s restrictions affect all social gatherings, bars, restaurants, retail, gyms and religious services. They went into effect on Nov. 16.
Distancing and masking are everywhere, and meanwhile it is claimed that positive cases and hospital use continues to go up. I don’t have a graphic for our state, but here is California:
Other places report similar results.
Makes me wonder if masks work, why don’t masks work.
In other news:
Prohibition-era 21 Club in New York City to close after 90 years.
Some think that 1/3 of restaurants will be closing.
A locally eatery has posted the governor’s phone number on its outside sign where normally they put the daily special.

Item #5: Interesting times!
Most are familiar with the translation of the Chinese curse:
After one of the most controversial elections in American history, it seems we will have a new administration in just over a month.
The United Kingdom seems ready to walk away from the European Union. Known as Brixit.
Multiple millions of folks will soon be poked in the arm with never before types of vaccines. An interesting experiment.
Meteorologists claim a La Niña event is about to bring strange weather over the next few months.
Further, a spectacular sky event is about to unfold: the Great Conjunction of 2020. Jupiter & Saturn will soon appear close together in the sky; closest since the Middle Ages.
The Geminid meteor shower peaks on the night of December 13–14. The good news is that because the moon won’t be visible on the 14th, that means that even fainter meteors will be visible from dark skies.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News December 4th

From Peggy’s driveway, in NE Ohio.
Snow!

Item #1: Stuff
.
.
.
.


I have a clock like the one shown, but all-in-all this man has had more stuff.

Homeless man’s home stuff
.
.

Item #2: How to use a frozen turkey

You, too, can get creative in putting a frozen turkey to good use.
Demetrius Truss, of Milwaukee, found his car’s left rear wheel gone and the wheel hub propped on a frozen turkey. Either the thief developed a conscience – – – or – – – used whatever he had at his disposal.

Story and video here.

The accompanying cartoon has the oven temperature of 350 F. degrees. That seemed a bit hot to me, so I searched it up on the internet. I’m guessing Mother didn’t use 350.
ButterBall® and other sites suggest 325°. Okay, but I like roasting in a “slow” oven – meaning about 225° to 250°.
Here is one explanation,
Recipe

although I would make some changes because I never have “sprigs” of spices. And “Kosher Salt” is still Salt as this site explains;
https://www.thekitchn.com/kosher-salt-where-it-comes-from-why-its-called-kosher-ingredient-intelligence-219665

. . . so our cabinets only have one type of Salt – plain – and that’s what I use.

Item #3: Great idea

If our house could be seen from Naneum Road, I would do this. The first person to think of this should get a large money award.
I found this with the contributor claiming “Clark Griswold approves.” I had no idea what that meant, so off to find out.
But I think I might have to watch a movie or two to learn. Clark Griswold is the main character in a series of silly vacation movies; the third is titled National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. I know no more.
As a teen I did help set up a tree this tall. A couple of us did a few things with the sons of a local judge. Some common interests but they went to a different school. One December the Judge wanted a large tree for the house. It was a large house (stone exterior) with an open interior of about 2 ½ stories. So we found a tree of the size desired, cut, and carted it off to the house. Getting it through the door was a bit of a problem, but the damage to the woodwork was minimal, and it was a fine addition to the living room.
You can see this house by searching on Google Earth using this: “Stone House Road, Clarion, PA”
. . . that lands you half way along the short road, so move to the left where there is an intersection with Greenville Pike/Avenue. Spot the brownish roof in the corner. There have been a few changes over 60 years for the property and the immediate area.

Item #4: “Do as I say.”
The speaker emphasized residents ‘need to stay home.’
Why is this news? Because . . .

In early November, as health officials warned of an impending COVID-19 spike, Austin Mayor Steve Adler hosted an outdoor wedding and reception with 20 guests for his daughter at a trendy hotel near downtown.
The next morning, Mr Mayor and seven other wedding attendees boarded a private jet bound for Cabo San Lucas, where they vacationed for a week at a family timeshare. There, in Mexico, he recorded his message.

Not as I do.

Many such stories of those some call “limousine liberals.”

Item #5: The best?
Nancy will appreciate this photo.
Children are placing pennies in front of the passenger train Nancy Hanks prior to its last trip between Savannah and Atlanta, April 30/May 1, 1971. The Nancy Hanks

As the Sun went behind the Cascade Mountains this afternoon I came inside, grabbed a snack, and wondered what to use as Item #5.
I switched on SiriusXM and a country song, being sung by David Allan Coe, titled ” You never even called me by my name” came on. When the song appeared to be ending, Coe spoke (as a song part, it is called recitation):

Well, a friend of mine named Steve Goodman wrote that song
And he told me it was the perfect country & western song
I wrote him back a letter and I told him it was not the perfect country and western song
Because he hadn’t said anything at all about mama, or trains, or trucks, or prison, or gettin’ drunk
Well he sat down and wrote another verse to the song and he sent it to me
And after reading it I realized that my friend had written the perfect country & western song
And I felt obliged to include it on this album
The last verse goes like this here:

[Verse 4]
Well, I was drunk the day my mom got out of prison
And I went to pick her up in the rain
But before I could get to the station in my pickup truck
She got run over by a damned old train
_ _ _ _
The song seems to be about a spat between a man and a woman,
but it is meant to reflect on Coe’s troubled relationship with the music industry.
Steve Goodman is the person that wrote and performed the train song “The City of New Orleans,” about the dying railroads and his own life, dying from leukemia. Steve Goodman.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Not so Nasty News Nov, 28th

Item #1: Sorry!

A day late.
I was listening to a radio program.
Nancy has had SiriusXM in the Forester for several years. Mostly useless now, because all her trips to music things and the senior center have vanished.
Recently, she talked to the company service and learned how to connect to the music in-house on our computers. That’s how I was listening.
One of the best song writers of the last 50 years is
Kristoffer Kristofferson, and I was listening to a set of his songs – mostly being sung by others – hosted by Willie Nelson. When being sung by Kris, the words are clear, but some of the others are not so. Thus, I was getting the lyrics on screen to read along while listening to other singers, such as Bob Dylan, Roger Miller, Willie, and a dozen others.
I forgot I was supposed to post something.

Item #2: A little owl

Owl gets a free, but unwanted, ride to the Big Apple. Could have beeb crushed. See – –Saw-whet owl

Left – the live tree;
Middle: preparing;
Right: all tied up
While at the University of Idaho our offices were in a 4 story building, an old converted dormitory. Stairs to the upper floors had windows at each landing (turn). Outside they had planted Arborvitae, likely when the building was new. Having grown for years, these crowded the buildings and the windows.
One time a Saw-whet owl took a perch close to the trunk of one of the trees, just outside the window. On the Cornell Lab site . . . Third photo – Adult . . . the image is much like the view we had.

The name: Read about that under the heading “Branding the bird” at this site: la chouette

Item #3: Enough already!

This baking craze has gone too far.
If Panic2020 has you in the kitchen and wondering what to do next –
step away.
Go outside and dig a hole or whatever.

Item #4: Coffee?

I’ve seen several of these slogans about booze holding 2020 together.
This person seems to be drinking a cup of coffee.
I assume the idea didn’t work for her.

And that, for this week, is the not so nasty news.
John

Kittitas Valley Activities

Monday, Nov 16
This is a day late, because I missed seeing it yesterday! Lovely photo by Lise McGowan of the NE-facing hills south of EBRG.

My normal up at 4:00 a.m. for Woody (not raining) for morning vittles, let out Czar, and then back to bed, when it started raining, and rained much of the day.
Slept in long till after 9:00 a.m. because of lateness getting out the blog. We’ve been hearing the rain all night and morning, and continued with only the necessary outside chores John does in the morning, attention to computer emails, and I am still drying the clothes I washed last night. John fixed toast and went to visit Sue-cat, now housed inside. His computer and radio are also out in the new room.

We sneaked in a lunch and I unloaded the rest of the dishwasher John began on yesterday. I now need to soak the next batch of dirty dishes & utensils.
About 1:30 p.m., a sad news phone call from longtime friends that their dad had died this past week. We tried to call his wife at home, but we got a voicemail message. So, we left our landline# with condolences. She returned call, but John was outside with contractors, so the two of us talked. He was very ill, but this still was sudden.

John was with the workers hanging a gutter on the edge of the roof, and when it is not raining they’ll come back to add caulking.
I’m spending time planning stops for tomorrow on our day to run errands in town. I sent my thank-you email messages for photos posted in our last week’s blog.This animal hide was designed for the Rodeo Hall of Fame by Pennie Hammer. It paid tribute to Ida Nason (image just left of center on lower edge) and the Yakama Nation. I know Pennie from our days playing music on the 3rd Saturday of the month at Briarwood Commons Retirement Village. She is quite the artist and a great singer as well.
She posted this on Facebook today to call people’s attention to the Daily Record article on the family in Saturday’s paper (you’ve already seen it in our last week’s blog).

Supper: leftover Spaghetti with meat sauce, red seedless grapes, and ripple chips with salsa.

Tuesday, Nov 17

Then up, took pill @ 8:40, no food or drink until ½ hr. later. Charge FitBit. Think about restarting maybe clean up some off the extra stuff on the download file. Set up backup external drive for noon backup and started the computer’s day. Going to get a cup of coffee and a chocolate Ensure with strawberry yogurt.
Set up my external back-up for its noon backup. Need to get dressed to leave.

This is our day for important errands. Reviewing those here. We’re using this symbol to indicate stops: ∞∫∞ Started with several boxes of donated groceries for a family. ∞∫∞ On to AAC to pick up my pieces for Game Day for Clue. ∞∫∞ From there I drove to the pickup window at the Super 1 Pharmacy for my Amoxicillin refill for Wednesday’s teeth cleaning. ∞∫∞ Next stop Bi-Mart our last day to buy Meow Mix cat food at the “raincheck” price of $8.99 and to get some boxes of Fisherman’s Friends (they only had 2). ∞∫∞ Penultimate stop behind high school to pick up a gifted large soft pillow I hope I can use on my recliner. ∞∫∞ Last stop at Amy/Haley’s house to deliver a favorite treat to the little one of the house, some little packets of raisins.

Brandee Coates, is the Care and Service Coordinator at Kittitas Valley Healthcare Hospital. I called and talked to Jill at the front entrance desk at the hospital and told her about calling the usual number I call (local) to my doctor’s office in Cle Elum, being disconnected. She checked into it, and found it was because they changed telephone system providers, and anything going to Cle Elum had to use the exchange 674- That’s long distance for us, and the hospital had no right (in my opinion) to allow that to happen. We have no cell reception at our home, only the landline, and it is not right that we must pay to dial a long distance call. (Our minute charge is exorbitant for long distance minutes.) We prefer to use our cell phone, but without reception we cannot. I was on the phone for another 13 minutes with Brandee explaining our problem, and she was going to look into it and get back to me. She has used the same number to contact people in Cle Elum as well, and was unaware of the stoppage of the number. I have not yet heard back from her, so will talk with her tomorrow.
My INR report did not make it in, in time to be analyzed and so it will appear on the portal tomorrow, I expect.

Mid-afternoon snack, a piece of fruitcake each of us.

Supper: Chicken added to Progresso Wild rice and chicken soup, served with cornbread by John, buttered and with syrup.

Wednesday, Nov 18

Our dog wanted out at 3:00 am. so I got up to let her (even though she could go on her own out the doggie door). Woody, had come in to the front porch feeding station wanting an early breakfast. So I took her some and let Czar out with her for company. Czar will go around outside and come in the doggie door. I went back to bed.

Slept until almost 9:00 a.m. and had a call from Coumadin clinic that my INR=4 yesterday (and that is way high for unknown reasons). I have not changed anything in my diet. I have to take Amoxicillin today at noon to prepare for a dental teeth cleaning appointment at 1:00 p.m. Amoxicillin raises my INR so this is a problem. So does alcohol, but I haven’t had any.
Lunch: bacon and eggs between 11:30 and noon and then at noon, I took my pre-med, Amoxicillin.

I left at 12:30 for Sullivan Dental, with Tracy doing the work. Asked if Tiffany (med-tech) had her baby and found out she had a little girl a month ago. They live 2 miles up Naneum from us.
Back from the Dentist and from Bi-Mart on the way home. John has installed a gate and fencing covering the entrance to the portico. When Woody-cat next shows up we can close the gate and open the house door. She will have to move to the new room, to be with her mama, Sue.

Our Friday 13th luck has continued to this week. Today, our new wall heater in the converted room stopped heating abruptly. Our electrician is out of town, but will be back to fix it Friday morning at 9:00 p.m. {Getting Woody inside won’t happen until after Todd has come and gone.} Yes, we checked all the breaker switches to no avail. I called and left a voicemail on his cell phone. John has set up two small space heaters in the room, so there is not a problem keeping the room warm (about 65°). He’s okay with that temperature for the short times he’s using the computer.
Just finally finished loading the dishwasher completely full and running at 5:30 p.m. ****Gerald reporting in fine today from Thorp. All’s well.

Late afternoon snack- Ensure chocolate shake with strawberry yogurt.
Supper: Fried chicken pieces, breast meat; scalloped potatoes from a box, with added purple onions; red seedless grapes. Tonight I took old barn cat Sue, a fairly large plate of leftovers of chicken breast meat fried that we had tonight and she ate every single piece.

The total number of robocaller connections: Nov 18=1. Many of the earlier calls must have been related to the election.

Thursday, Nov 19

2:00 a.m. Woody arrived for an even earlier breakfast; dog awoke me first wanting out. I went back to bed. Slept until 8:30 a.m.
Realized I had left my cell phone overnight in my car. I didn’t realize that very cold temperatures would completely run down the battery. It was turned off when left.Chiwaukum Schist photo by study grouper Lindsay Malone

Her comments about this photo: Chiwaukum Schist – metallic silver on Nick’s map. The Chiwaukum Schist is metamorphic rock that began ~120 MA in the Pacific Ocean as deep ocean sediments consisting of mud and sands. The muds and sands became an accretionary wedge, the first of three metamophisms that lead to “hints of schist development.” The metamorphic events include: M1 = 130-110 MA; M2 = 95-90 MA; M3 91-86 MA – andolucites, biotites and garnets (Baker 2020). And here, I just think it’s sparkly rock that I could look at it all day… except when I’m running out of daylight and need to make camp on flatter, warmer, softer ground!

Hot coffee and chocolate Ensure shake with peach yogurt to have at NOON, during GAME DAY at the AAC with Katelyn our leader, via Zoom. I didn’t win but I was at a disadvantage because two people were having to share the clues given and so they had more clues to the info to pinpont the room in the house, the murderer person, and the weapon used to pick from than I did with only one of me. If we do this again, I’m going to suggest I get to see the answers to all 3 players and not just me. It’s rather hard to pay this game without being there in person, unlike Bingo, Yahtzee, and others.

Friday, Nov 20

My friend Evie from Kittitas, WA was out on an early morning walk. I’ve heard of frost on the pumpkin, but never this:Top line: two of several photos by EvieMae Schuetz–Bottom line: my enlarged zoomed in parts of frost crystals on them.

2:00 a.m. early awake from dog wanting out. Of all things, Woody was on the front porch wanting attention and food. Temp was 26°. I went back to bed, and slept until 6:30 a.m., missing my 5:00 a.m. med, so took it and went back to sleep until 8:00.

Our electrician is due at 9:00 a.m. to fix our wall heater in the new room. We’ll have to coordinate the cat holding. That’s taken care of but we still have to coordinate the timing of his arrival, finally at 10:20, and he fixed it fast. Don’t know why it happens but he has seen it in the past with other units. He took the front cover off, turned off the unit, and flipped the fan with his fingers. Then he turned the temperature dial, and it came on. Not sure why this happened. Nothing we did. He claimed it was his electric personality.

This upset Sue, however, to be enclosed in a dog crate while this went on. She’s recovering by hiding in the corner. I’ll go out and commiserate with her in a bit and see if we can get her back in the mode to be inside that room. We’ll wait until she calms down before putting her daughter Woody in there too.
While moving stuff around, John found a set of Defiant 4 keys. We finally figured out they are the door keys to the new room. Now to find a good storage place for them.

Fixed my chocolate Ensure milkshake with strawberry yogurt, and am enjoying it. John is going to work outside for an hour.
Nick began ~ 1:45 for 2:00 p.m. with his 2 hr.4 min lecture:

#94 Exotic Q:Swakane Gneiss & Chelan Migmatite

Don’t know if I will have a candy bar during Nick’s lecture; I had one after because I’m too occupied capturing comments and watching the lecture to do anything else.

From the yard, John came to the front of the house and found Woody on the feeding station. He closed the gate even though it needed a latch. He held it and called me. With encouragement from the two of us, and only one small detour, Woody went inside. She has been living in the old motor home for several years, so a similar environment shouldn’t be too upsetting. She did complain the first few hours.

Sunset taken 4:30 p.m. by Mike McCloskey from NW Ellensburg

Supper: Cornbread made with creamed corn by John, onion rings, chicken, homemade applesauce, French fries.
At 11:00 tonight, take one large and one small acetaminophen because of timing. The 5:00 p.m. take is put off 1.5 hrs.

Saturday, Nov 21

Stayed resting, but not asleep until 8:30. Unfortunately, slept past my 5:00 time for taking Acetaminophen, so took it at 6:50. Was up with the dog at 2:00 a.m.

John has taken care of the cats in the new room, their litter box changed, and went outside to move rocks into a drainage ditch. I fixed an Ensure milkshake for me with strawberry yogurt, to have with a morning hot cup of coffee.

At 10:30, I sent a new scientific paper to the study group, which was sent to me by Jerome from BC, along with a drop-box link he’d previously sent and I had distributed. They all are good background materials for the topic tomorrow morning.

I loaded a bunch of dirty dishes to soak in the sink. John came in earlier than I expected to fix brunch.
Brunch: Bacon, one egg over, with a piece of buttered cornbread halved heated & with syrup, and coffee for me. John’s was slightly different.

Loaded the dishwasher full and ran late afternoon, will be putting in all my medications for a week in a carrier for dispensing daily.

Supper: Chicken stir fry, cornbread, frozen (almost thawed) peaches.

Sunday, Nov 22

I was up at 7:40 to fix a hot cup of coffee to warm up and also to tide me over, a milkshake or chocolate Ensure with French vanilla yogurt.

John reported that the cats made it through the night all right in their new home. Litter box being used as intended, but they tend not to sleep in the “boxes” John made for beds. He’s happy he didn’t spend $25 for “self-heating” fluffy ones. It may be they like the stone tile, rather than the cloth bedding in the boxes. Who knows?

Nick’s lecture at 9:00 a.m. went long at 1hr 56 mins.
I started collecting pre-show comments about 8:00 a.m. but the Internet was not allowing me entrance. John was having trouble with internet connections too. He logged off and I still had a very sketchy connection, buffering and not accepting my copy/paste requests to my document. We do not know the problem at all. Maybe solar activity! So, my capture is incomplete, but it got better for most of the lecture, so I continued.

We had about 850 worldwide viewers for most of the time. We were shown a great video of the Indian Culture exposed in the Archaeological record of the use of Chert rock (flint stone) in the hills of the North Cascades for making sharp projectile points. I currently do not have a link to that video, of which we viewed 5 minutes (in the video below). You can watch below and if I can get the link, I’ll put it in next week’s blog.

Meanwhile, this afternoon, one of our group found a marvelous story of the North Cascades National Park geology. See that link below Nick’s lecture. This is informative to the general public, but chocked full of geological terminology and photos in the field, with maps. It’s worth a look-see.

First is Nick’s Lecture this morning:

#95 – Exotic T: Hozomeen & Methow

Here is the North Cascades National Park Geology Mapping story: This is the only way to visit the park now, because you’ll see below in John’s Friday’s Not So Nasty News Column the North Cascades Highway is closed for this year because of avalanche danger. Check this out. It’s a well done presentation:

Mapping the North Cascades: An NPS Story Map

Check in from Gerald about 20 mins after the lecture ended. All’s well with him.
Brunch: I had bacon and cornbread, PowerAde and hot coffee; John orange juice, sausage, and cornbread.

John’s been outside on cleanup and other projects – switching projects is less strain on muscle groups. I have been working on the blog creation in house. John just came in before 4:00 p.m. and is having a late afternoon snack.

Rascal cat had just jumped in my lap, so I’ll have to move him. He’ll not be happy. I gave him a little more time there.
I just finished my snack, so I can go back to finalizing my blog draft to pass along to John. My snack was ripple potato chips with salsa.

Since yesterday, I have been in touch with Geography teachers from the region about keeping Geography in the curriculum at Shoreline Community College. The school administration wants to eliminate them. Meanwhile, many of us who are members of the Association of Washington Geographers, have been talking. One of the interesting maps was displayed that Brett Lucas constructed about COVID-19 Cases for 6 days in November in the USA by county. This depiction shows the change in cases/ 100,000 people. I thought I would share it here.

John says: Cases are misleading for three reasons: The nation has ramped-up from about 200,000 tests daily to 1,700,000 now. So, more testing shows more cases. Second, by design the test is very sensitive so there are many false positives, maybe 1% to 4%. At that 1% level, there are 17,000 false positives every day. Third, most people testing positive (‘cases’) have no or minor symptoms.
Still it is an interesting map.

Hope your week was fine.

Nancy and John
Still on the Naneum Fan