2011-08-17

I'm getting old

Or at least I'm getting the ailments of age. To be precise, arthritis.

I've been aware of this for a while. The lower back, definitely. But I now know of several other areas affected.

See, yesterday I took the train to Tacoma to meet with a general contractor concerning work to be done on my new-to-me house, and as it wasn't that far from the train station, I walked.

Well, thirty years ago it wouldn't have been that far. Three miles, basically. A forty-five minute walk. At twenty I was walking 16 miles to visit friends, up big hills, with no problems.

At fifty, it's a different matter. There were some hills, nothing major, and I felt them. I was noticing the exertion, big time. It took me the better part of an hour to start to recuperate, and I was still feeling it that evening. And today, well, my hips hurt. In an arthritic manner. I'm really glad the contractor was willing to give me a ride to the train station, walking back just wasn't going to happen, and arranging for a cab would have required calling 411 and getting Tacoma directory assistance and not knowing the name of the local cab company, and I really wanted to avoid that if I could. I need to add the cab companies, and the ride information line for Pierce County Transit, to my phone/address list I've been making for Tacoma.

It's now 25 hours since I finished that walk, and I'm still feeling it, aching hips, unhappy knees, sore feet; I'm not doing that again.

Pity, that. What a difference thirty years makes. Actually, what a difference ten years makes, which is when the arthritis started kicking in.

On the good news, I'm back down to 180 lbs., which is my low weight for the last twenty some years. Now to see if slightly smaller portions will drop the weight further without feeling overly hungry; the height/weight charts say I should weight more like 160 lbs, which I haven't weighed since before I went to grad school in 1987.

Anyway, that's it for now. Just like living with my disabilities, I get to live with arthritis, and balance things out; Ibuprofen would take care of the pain, but at the expense of mental functioning, so I deal with the pain during the day and take Ibuprofen prior to going to bed.

2011-08-08

Moderation in action!

A site I frequent is self-defined as 'A friendly place to read, write, and discuss Trans-gender fiction.' And that's what it is. It doesn't happen by accident, or just by everyone naturally keeping on topic, however. It takes careful moderation.

Case in point. Poster A posted a link to a BBC article and an article in The Guardian, both discussing a research report on the NHS (National Health Service). Several responses were made. Then poster B started a new thread, destructively critiquing the report and the coverage, and taking a swipe at poster A. Again, several responses were made. Indeed, I myself prepared a response (comparisons were being made to the US healthcare system by Poster B). When I went to post my response, lo and behold I couldn't. Access was denied. I looked, I was logged in, why couldn't I post?

I couldn't post because the thread was gone. Both threads were gone. Poof, vanished as if they had never existed. I sat back, aghast. Shades of 1984! Liberal Librarianship front and center! This is censorship! This is restraint of freedom of speech! This is... all sorts of things the American Library Association is against.

Actually, it's quite proper moderation. The threads were becoming contentious, and had absolutely nothing to do with the purpose of the site. And thus, to promote the friendly atmosphere and to keep the site properly focused, they were removed.

I thought of making a thread commenting on this, and how well done it was, but realized that such a post would be unacceptable, because it would have nothing to do with the purpose of the site, and would be a potential source of contention. So, practicing restraint and self-moderation, I didn't.

But I can post here, on my own blog, can't I? Yes, I can. Here's to Erin Halfelven, site owner and moderator, for a job well done.friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.A friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.A friendly place to read, write and discuss Transgender Fiction.

2011-07-15

Home purchase

Today I get possession on my new home in Tacoma. Won't be moving immediately, there is stuff I want done first, like replacing knob and tube wiring, earthquake retrofit, plumbing inspection/repair, flashing on the roof, some other stuff. But possession is today.

And such a deal, too! $411.00/month payments, including property tax and insurance. $40,000.00 30-year mortgage, finish paying it off in 2041. Fixed rate at 4.65%, no penalty for paying it off early.

It's a three bedroom, with a large living room and a breakfast nook in the kitchen which I get to rebuild; the breakfast nook originally had built-in table and bench seats, I'm going to restore it to that style.

1925 Craftsman, other than the breakfast nook it doesn't seem to have been changed much if any. Oh, and the garage, the garage isn't original, it's a huge cinderblock construction, plenty big for a shop and storage, and a carport as well. Nice sized yard front and back. Nice neighborhood. Sushi shop at the end of the block.

2011-03-15

Update on Clematis & Blackberries

Just thought I'd mention, if I hadn't, that the massive campaign several years ago was completely successful. The Clematis is eradicated, and the blackberries are hardly around anymore. Go team!

Update on things

Well, it's about a year since Mom left home. She's in an Adult Foster Care facility in Olympia, with increasingly advanced Alzheimer's, and I don't call her anywhere near as much as I should. My difficulty making phone calls combined with not knowing what to talk about, and crying.

My grandparents' farm in Grand Ronde has sold, which relieves a great many monetary worries.

The current plan is to move me to someplace near Olympia, either Shelton or Centralia. My IRA combined with some of the funds from the farm and some budgeting will allow for a property up to $95,000.00, but lower is better, smaller mortgages are nice, more money for living. There are some nice properties available, but wanting a shop does limit things a bit. But I've bought too much shop stuff to not have a shop, don't want that money to have been for naught.

My sister, Beth, has done a great job dealing with things, I couldn't have done anywhere near so well, not with my broken brain. 15, 20 years ago, maybe, but not now. I just fear my own slow deterioration and that I need to get things lined up for when she'll need to take care of me, a number of years away still but I fear the day will come. Given we got Mom's power of attorney filled out and notarized at what turned out to be the last minute, and had a time getting the notary to agree Mom was fit to make such a decision, we shouldn't wait that long with me. Just glad when we did the power of attorney for mom that Beth was listed as the fall back, so when we determined I couldn't handle it we could just notarize my stepping aside in her favor, we wouldn't have been able to get a new power of attorney filed.

Anyway, once I'm moved, we look at selling this place that has been home since 1976. It's been homebase for 34 of my 50 years, and home for 25 of them. Mom knows where she lives; she lives here, in Portland, and she knows her son lives in the same building. So not seeing me bewilders her some, just like not seeing her is so strange, especially since the last several years I'd been supervising her meds and seeing her at least three times a day. I've spent a fair amount of the last year contacting organizations to get her off of their mailing lists, with good success except for Consumer Reports, which ignores all requests and doesn't respond to my emails, even though they claim to respond to all emails personally. I may be forced to call them on the phone, which is difficult for me, I freeze up and fear confrontations, don't deal well with real time at all these days. Which is where the property search activity so far has gone well, I've been able to do everything by email or the web.

I get out nearly every day, picking up trash surrounding the building, especially the covered bus shelter in front, so I get some fresh air. But other than that I stay inside except for going shopping or appointments. Which is really a change over how I used to be. Used to go for walks all the time. Used to go see people all the time. But I just don't get out. And don't want to depress people, so rather just fade into the past with good memories of me. Which is maybe not fair on my part, my friends, and they are friends, should be given the option rather than my just vanishing, but I've always been this way, it's part of my problems, not keeping in touch with people, not seeming to be capable of keeping in touch if not actively involved in doing something. It ties in with my disabilities, the inability to do things that don't grab my attention, so if nothing grabs my attention I don't do anything. Which is as bad as it sounds. My diet is fairly good at least, sleep is pretty good, spend my days at the computer, mainly the Whateley Academy Crystal Hall forums and wiki, the Whateley Academy stories catch my interest even after many rereads, don't get enough physical activity which is reflected in my blood pressure, listen to the local classical music station from waking until bed.

One thing I need to focus on now is entering the financial information from the Olympia bank account, so I can do Mom's taxes. But it has to grab my attention. I should position the files so I see them, that'd help. (pause) OK, just did that, we'll see if that helps, it should. Just like I need to remember that the gate to the side yard has fallen down and that I need to fix it. (pause) OK, post-it note put up.

I do as well as I do because so much can be done online these days, banking, bills, shopping. And my food shopping, I buy in bulk so I don't need to go out that often. A tank of gas lasts me most of a year at this point. That'll change once I move, will have further to travel to Costco and the food co-op, plus seeing my sister and mother. And who knows, if I get everything organized with enough space, I might become active again; get to where I can have people over again. I've still got the impressive library, although I seem to have given away my SCA publications, my old TIs and CAs, etc.

Guess that's all for now, thought I'd but some thoughts down, just to prove I was still here.