Archive for the ‘Whatever’ Category

The city is demolishing a public housing complex near downtown. Before being torn down, they allowed two days for people to come by and tour the place, past residents as well as the public. I’d driven by quite a number of times. It’s often reminded me of places I’ve grown up in, military housing.

Being curious of what the apartments, townhouses, looked like, I went. The brick buildings stood silent. Weeds and flowers grew from the cracks in the sidewalks. The buildings were empty of the life that once surged in them. Talking to someone, I found out they’d been built in the 1940’s. The exteriors sure didn’t show their age.

Some of the doors were open for visitors to walk in. I stepped in. Directly ahead, as one entered, steep stairs led upward. To one side was the living room, an old heating unit exposed.

As I walked through the small rooms, I found myself treating the apartments reverently, thinking of those who used to live here. These were someone’s home.

It kind of gave me a bit of peace, as if being able to say goodbye again to the past homes that I will never, can’t ever, see again. Where I used to live in Fort Bragg is long gone. The townhomes in New Jersey are slated for the wrecking ball, if they haven’t been already torn down. The places in Germany have been remodeled several times over and now lived in by others than American. Even if I go to see them, it won’t be the same.

Other places, the ones I’ve lived in more recently, I don’t think twice about, but those from my childhood hold a special place. Strange



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Books at Garage Sales

I used to find oodles of books at garage sales. Stacks of them. Paperbacks. Hardbacks. That’s one reason why I go to them, to find books for my Mom who’s really picky about her books. This was an inexpensive way for me to get her something to read and they’re great as presents.

But that’s changed over the years. I’ve come across less and less of them. This past year I’ve maybe gotten five books for her. It’s sad. What was even sadder was one lady was giving them away because she said no one wants them and she uses her kindle now. Okay, it wasn’t bad for me as I got books free, but the thought that the value of books was so diminished is a pretty depressing statement for readers.

Maybe it was just a bad book selling year? I don’t know. I had luck at a garage sale event I mentioned in my last post, finding all those children books. The seller was a librarian though. I wish other people valued books more.

Or maybe they’re keeping them?

Who knows. I’ll just hope to see more books out there and not the icky, brown-edged, curled corner kind that have languished in the attic for years. I’ve seen people try to sell those for a dollar a piece. Ugh.

With this year garage sales running out, I’ll be on the look out next year.

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Garage Sales: The Big Grab

Every year there is an 85 mile garage sale near where I live. It’s called the Big Grab. The route is 85 miles long, but it’s not side-by-side garage sales. Sometimes you have to drive a bit. It being on Friday and Saturday, I went both days for about two hours. I had to be home by 9 am so I couldn’t linger. With the weather cool, I thought I’d like to stay out longer, but as it turned out, two hours was enough for me.

I’d wanted to take my Mom, but these garage sales are not conducive for walkers or wheelchairs, especially transport chairs, which is what she has. That’s like a wheelchair, but with four small wheels. I got that because she can’t propel herself and I can lift it in and out of the car easier.

As always, I had my list of what I wanted this year. A keyboard for my computer because my good one went on the fritz. Drawing supplies because apparently I can’t have enough. Books for my mother. Last year I hit a good spot and I hoped to hit it again. I didn’t. But, I did roll into one place, hidden behind trees, and out in the country, where someone was selling boxes of children’s books. I’d hit the mother lode.

I was first told I could get five books for a dollar. That was fine with me. I could afford that. Or, I could get a bag of books for three dollars. Even better. I got a bag. Or, a box of books for five dollars. The best deal.

I went through every box digging out the upper grade books, fiction, but scooping up a few nonfiction as well. Box pretty much full, I paid and left. I can’t even tell you what else they sold. My eyes were all on the books.

The was pretty much all I got this weekend. The next day the sellers were mostly vendors that did this for a living. Still, I was pleased.

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One of my dreams is to go to Comic Con. I’m not sure it’ll ever happen. For one, it’s way out west and, two, I heard it’s difficult to get tickets. I can still dream though.

I’ve been lucky to go to a few conventions. Most of them were Star Trek related and I saw James Doohan and Walter Koenig. I even got their autographs. I never told anyone I went after a friend mentioned that ‘those people’ who go to conventions were weird and ugly. Well, he didn’t say ‘ugly’ per se, but it was very much implied. I’ve always thought that was a horrible thing to say.

I’ve grown since then and don’t care anymore what people say. I’m kind of proud I went to those conventions when they weren’t exactly in vogue. Now it’s cool to be nerdy. And what’s so bad about liking all the possibilities that comics and science fiction and fantasy offers?

The fun things at conventions are the panels, listening to others talking about your interests, seeing people you admire and not just actors, but special effects artists and that. And the vendors. Just walking in a large room filled with comics, books, and the accessories that come with all this. Not that I could ever afford much, but it was fun looking. Who knew, maybe I’d find exactly what I was looking for.

I haven’t been to a convention in awhile, but I told myself I would go I get the funds. Lately, there’ve been several in Columbia. They have TV ads of people in all sorts of costumes and that looks like fun.

And maybe one day, I’ll actually get to Comic Con.


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Star Trek and Good Sci Fi

I am trying to entertain my Mom and part of that is searching for good science fiction shows to binge watch on. Although for us, binge watching is seeing one show a day. I’ve tried other genres, but Mom prefers science fiction, but not all science fiction. We started on a favorite, Gerry Anderson’s UFO. There was only one season of it, which is sad. After watching the whole series, I found it’s really stood up over time; the last episodes in particular are good. It was made 1969 or 1970 so some of it is dated, but not a whole lot. It’s about a secret organization SHADO that is fighting an alien invasion.

From that we moved on to SeaQuest, from the 1990’s. Mom liked this a lot too. This is three seasons long, but we could only get the first one, which is the best one. It’s set in the future when mankind has settled in the oceans as well as the continents. A submarine, the Seaquest, is on a mission of exploration, but also has to settle incidents.

I tried a few others, like Sliders, but those weren’t appreciated so I ended up with Star Trek: Enterprise. I have to say I don’t know why I hadn’t gotten this one earlier, because I, and Mom, like it. There are days when she says: that’s it? It’s too short. Sometimes we’ll watch another episode, but I don’t want to go through them that quick because I have no idea what to get next. We’re on season 2 now. With the start of the new tv series, I’ll be able to stretch out season 3. Maybe next it’ll be Star Trek (the original series) and Star Trek The Next Generation. Mom didn’t like the others.

She wants to see Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. I may have to get it for her for Christmas.

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My ankle is finally getting better, thank you. I got worried for awhile because it kept feeling numb and I couldn’t go without wearing the brace. Finally, I told my doctor who got me an appointment with an orthopedic doctor. It’s a rather pain to have to go that route, see your regular doctor in order to go to a specialist. But, c’est la vie.

I go to the specialist. They look at my foot. I’m thinking like nerve damage, surgery, and all sorts of bad. Nope, it’s doing fine and it’ll take awhile to heal all the way. Ditch the brace and do the exercises. So I do. Before, when I forewent the brace, my foot went all tingly and numb. The day after the doctor visit, it was fine. No problems. Even the exercises didn’t bother my foot. It could have done that earlier. It’s like it needed to hear it from a professional to feel better. And there went a hundred plus bucks fluttering in the wind to pay for something I really didn’t need.

Still, on the bright side, I now know nothing is really wrong with it. I will do my exercises and be happy it wasn’t worse. And this should be it for my ankle.

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Cinnamon Mint

I’m seriously considering getting Linux Cinnamon Mint for an operating system when it’s time to get a new (used) laptop/netbook. I just wish there was an easier way to find out more about it.

I’m hoping my netbook will last still awhile. It has Windows 7 on it, which I like. I don’t want Windows 10. Call me old school, a luddite, or whatever, but I tend to do a lot of work not connected to the Internet. If I’m writing, I don’t need the Internet and if I have a question, I consult one of my books or see if the library has something, or I can wait a bit before using the Internet to find my answer. More often than not, the answer is not there or not complete. Everything is not on the Internet.

But, let’s go back to Linux. For one, there are so many versions I can find one I like and I don’t have to contend with Windows 10. It’s not as susceptible as Windows to viruses and that. That’s good because I probably have one or two on my netbook even thought my virus checker says there isn’t. It can handle the software I like – LibreOffice, GIMP, etc.

The downside, it might not handle some of the older software I have. I have to research that part still. But Windows doesn’t like them either. Even with Windows 8, I can’t use some of my software. My scanner doesn’t work 100% and I can’t use the software that came with my MP3 player (over ten years old and still going!).

I have to find someone who uses it and talk to them, someone in person. Someone who can be a mentor as I go through the process. Or maybe I’ll just leap in. I’ve gotten as far as picking out the distro I want, but I have gotten as far as leaping into the water yet. Will keep people updated.

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