This afternoon, we received a very official looking form (and instructions for said form) from an outfit calling themselves Compliance Services. The form and instructions are an attempt to scam $125 from unsuspecting business owners who do not a) know the law or b) do not read closely enough, since these scammers do their best to hide the fact that this is not official paperwork. Although the envelope itself says “THIS IS NOT A GOVERNMENT DOCUMENT”, the form has the look and feel of the typical government type documents that all of us who run businesses are overly familiar with, having to wade through them all the time.
These people have been at this a long time, based on a search. Some states have already been hit by these assholes. Other states have large warnings about them, and include restraining orders against them for their mailings. There are lots and lots and lots and lots of complaints/warnings about this scam. In fact, National Research Corp has a handy (and long) list about this annual minutes scam. Don’t fall for it. Definitely do not send them any money.
We went to the market today, my mom, my sister, my nephew, and I, walking amongst the vendors set up under the Fuller Warren bridge, the shade from which, combined with the stiff breeze from the river, making it much cooler than it was in the direct sun. Wandering up and down the lanes, we – or, rather, they – sampled wares from some of the vendors, pored over photos and paintings, and marveled at (and petted!) the large numbers of dogs people had brought to mingle with the crowd. The aromas from the food stalls, closest to the river, wafted over everything, a tumbling mixture of pizza and fish and sausage and various meats on a stick. Music floated in from different corners of the market, growing louder or softer depending on which direction you moved next. As we walked about, picking up some veggies and cheese here, some milk and meat there, what was I thinking?
Not the work that awaited me on my return, not the horrendous events in Connecticut yesterday, not my uncle’s sudden death, not bills or health or cleaning out the fridge or any of the million other mundane tasks that consume our lives at some point.
And it was one of the better outings I’ve ever had.
“Or arm th’ obdured breast/With stubborn patience as with triple steel.” Milton, Paradise Lost
And why do I have to remind myself of patience? Because the ENT was not available today (surgery is my guess), and my appointment was rescheduled for Tuesday. Yesterday was a crappy day anyway, as I’d spent the late night Wednesday/into the morning today at the NOC building out a couple of servers, then moving someone’s accounts around and blah blah blah. It ended for a bit at 0630 this morning with a migraine and a try at a nap (nope) then more work and another try a bit later for a nap (nope). Too tired to sleep, apparently. But hey, those rebuilds are done and I’m back to the original puzzle that led to one of the rebuilds in the first place, so it’s like traveling in time!
But, the ENT: very disappointing, and yesterday the reschedule on top of everything else really dealt me low. Today seems to be better, and hopefully by later tonight I’ll be able to get some sleep. Oil change tomorrow. Yeeha! A semblance of something approaching a real life.
Today I saw the sky at both ends of its cycle: between 5 and 6 AM, on my way back from the NOC, the moon was setting, huge and orange on the horizon, sinking quickly to escape the sun rising in the east. Tonight, on my way back from the NOC, the sun was setting, pink and purple and orange, with the full moon rising to chase it from the sky and claim ownership, if only temporarily.
That very little is needed to make a happy life.
Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
Short of hiring a bunch of people to come out and get the property releveled and sloped appropriately to make up for my jerk of a neighbor raising the base of his property at my expense by trucking in huge amounts of dirt (and instead of my jerk of a neighbor doing the right thing and sloping everything to the pond he has at the back of his property), for now, every time we get dumped on, we have to deal with the flooding. We also have to deal with the animals – both chickens and dogs – getting into and drinking the water. All of the animals are happy enough to get ass deep in the water and drink from the lakes that form wherever they happen to have access, neither of which is pretty. Well, I take that back: it’s pretty disgusting, especially if it’s an area that has been shat upon by said animals. But when I look at the big picture and realize I can’t really do anything about it at this point except try to keep them out of those places until things dry out, life is much less stressful.
Apparently I’m the last to know about Neil Armstrong dying, since I’ve been working at the ranch outside almost all day long. RIP, moon man. I was only just past a year old when he piloted the Eagle to Tranquility Base and touched down, but I’ve been fascinated by space forever, and the images beamed back from that first step (and Walter Cronkite’s reaction!) are ingrained on my brain as if I watched it live myself. A true hero, remarkable not just for what he achieved, but for how he handled himself through the years after taking that one small step. We should all be so fortunate to have that kind of character.
Yesterday, I seeded cucumbers and green beans directly in the frames, so that’s crossed off the list. Next up: more cucumber seeding in one of the rows I’ve converted from wood frames to metal. That, however, has to come after I put all my irrigation driplines back in place down that row. This is key because it helps get the correct spacing, as the dripline has laser drilled holes every six inches, spacing that is fine for cukes. The only other thing I’d have to do for those is put the trellises back in place (and BEFORE the seedlings really get going, as trying to wind them into the netting once they’re six or so inches tall is a massive pain in the ass).
The tomato seedlings in the barn are doing well for the most part. One set was older seed, so the germination is not ideal, but I wanted to use up some of the seed I have lying around instead of tossing it into the compost pile. The broccoli and cauliflower likewise looks good, and if the forecast is to be believed, we should be dropping into the upper 80s for temps instead of the mid 90s – which for here means low 90s versus 100 or so as it’s consistently warmer here than the nearest official weather station.
Current tooth situation: the stitches are bugging the crap out of me right now, rubbing against the inside of my lower lip. It also still feels like someone whapped me with a hammer on the left side of my face. That will pass, and the pain meds make it possible to eat even when food does sometimes get jammed up against that socket and the stitches. The only weird thing I have going on right now is very low blood pressure – this morning is was reading 85 over 57, and that certainly did explain the dizziness when I stood up from some business work and a rushing sound in my ears. I was letting the dogs out and things turned black for a moment and I stumbled into the wall. This, too, shall pass, I’m sure. Or it better. Exercise lowers your blood pressure. Weeding and working in the gardens qualifies as exercise. Not a good combination if the BP is already low. We’ll see how that works out.
In a couple of months, I hope we have a real pickling operation going on at the ranch. If only there was an easier way to chop all the sweet pickles that I’ll be making. I tried the mini food processor I have, as it has a chop function (the other is grind), but it made the pieces more mushy than I would like, so it has to be done by hand chopping for now. Will have to work on this and find a solution.
And lastly: did a lot of research online this morning looking for alternative treatments for trismus and radiation-induced fibrosis that go beyond the passive stretching routine, and found a couple of interesting scholarly articles. Next step: trying to find the right person to talk to about the fibrosis and potential treatments for that, given that it appears to be a clear bunch of fibrous tissue in my cheek that may be causing a great deal of the problem in working on my opening.
Life. Luckily we’re here to enjoy and/or fight with it, right?