01Aug20: What’s up, Doug?


Andy’s curious. Why won’t I let him come around to the other side? 

Maybe it’s because he has “Itchy Paws” and all I need to start hyperventilating again is Andy to wipe out what little hard won progress I’ve made on the nightmare configuration issues on my new laptop and photo sharing from my smart phone.


Seems like I resolve one issue and bring up twelve more. I’m not kidding about hyperventilation! ( I hope the person who cuts my beard and hair is operating again soon or I might be tempted to do it myself. >self to myself< “Don’t do it, Doug!”) 


Post 1896: The kitty boys are back!


We’ve had a grumpy few days, thanks to a laptop giving up the ghost, but my new laptop means the kitty boys and I can return to regular posting.

What’s going to fall apart next? I suspect it’s time for the smart phone to go belly up. I mean, don’t expensive things always fail close to expensive holidays like Christmas? And it’s about the only bit of technology I use that’s left to croak!

08Jun23: Mr. Floofy Tail…

Ever since many of you commented favorably on Andy’s magnificent tail, he’s invented reasons to “floof” it out!

“No sir!!!”

Looks “floofed” to me, kitty boy!


People with normal abilities don’t always appreciate how people with disabilities think about apparently insurmountable problems. I, for example, have had to work out a solution to a mountain of trash that accumulated during snowstorms, holidays when the trash wasn’t picked up, hospitalizations, physically weak times related to my general medical issues, the difficulty of pushing the trash on the dolly over broken pavement, the recent addition to my vicissitudes of supplemental oxygen, and failure to recognize I had a solution on hand.

I estimate I had at least two and a half months of accumulated trash, and it was depressing to see it there, nothing happening because I convinced myself I wasn’t able to remove it because I was disabled!

“I should pay someone to take it out,” I thought, a plan that would have to wait till I was sure any auto-payments had cleared my bank account and I was comfortable enough what was left in my account would get me comfortably through to when the payment from my IRA got deposited in the middle of the month.

Then, one night recently when my brain was agitated about the trash problem, the solution came to me! Use your VW Golf SportWagen! That still left the problem of getting the trash to the car, then to the dumpster and the impact on my blood  oxygen level and pulse.

You’ve seen these before, a Pulse Oximeter, a health tool I purchased a long time ago. I used it to monitor my status as needed during the many steps dumping the trash.

Here’s how I did it:

Using my walker as a mobile chair, I moved the trash to the front door. Oxy-pulse check & rest till both were ok.

I gave the individual bags a toss toward the car. Oxy-pulse check & rest till both were ok.

Using the car and a cane for support, I moved the trash into the car. Oxy-pulse check & rest till both were ok. (I sat in the open back of the car till safe to move.)

I drove my car around the block to come in so my driver’s side door was opposite the dumpster. 

Using my cane, and the handy rail on top of my car, I walked back to the hatch and opened it.

Using the cane or car for support, whichever worked best at the time, I pulled a bag out of the car and maneuvered it into the dumpster till exhausted or done emptying the trash into the dumpster. If exhausted first, I sat in the open back end of the car. Oxy-pulse check & rest till both were ok.

I got in my car and did a quick oxy-pulse check, then drove a circuit around town till I felt oxygenated and rested, which I established with my Pulse Oximeter once I arrived home.


It is easy to tell disabled people (me!) that this is too much effort to do something an able-bodied person could do with much less thought and bother. I know that!

Yet there is something involved here other than trash and it is the need to assure myself that I CAN do something, that I AM blessed with sufficient intelligence to come up with one more way to stay out of the care center, hopeless, helpless, and scrunched up in a wheelchair, waiting for lunch or BINGO, whichever comes first.

I assure you, if I had a tail, it would be “floofed” out big time!



07Jun23: so pooped…

Some days…

…Andy is so tired!


We’re not supposed to park on the grass. The alternative for me is more falls and possible injuries otherwise on the broken-up pavement between my apartment and the place I have to park. I’ll park on the grass.

06Jun23: Andy must verify!

“Hello, Andy!”

Yes, my nose tells me you are Doug. Hello!

This is a new arrangement of things here. Must investigate.

Works for me!


…to take a refreshing nap by the door!


My favorite rose is this heirloom yellow climbing rose.

Every year, it puts on a glorious show just outside my bathroom window! It’s in bloom now.

Andy enjoys this rose bush, too, because it is a favorite perch of neighborhood birds. Need I say more! He perches on the windowsill and waits for the bird show.

05Jun23: Between Midnight and Dawn” wasn’t Andy’s cuppa tea….

I thought Andy would enjoy this “noir” film.

There was a really wild car chase of the out-of-control kind only 74-year-old cars could do, slipping and sliding around corners, careening out of control. Even that luxury Lincoln was pretty sloppy.

Oh, he tried to be interested… but between interesting parts there was face smooshing – kissing- and icky screeching that hurt his ears – singing – that he didn’t like.

Millers? Yeah! Two! So Andy thrashed away at his favorite insects for a time or two.

“This isn’t interesting, Doug.”

But there’s lots of that gratuitous violence and lots of people shot up, Andrew!

“Ho hum!”

Andy conked out well before the end of the movie. It just wasn’t his cuppa tea!


Between Midnight and Dawn” wasn’t my favorite noir movie. It had oddly constructed bad guys (“We know you are trying to hide the fact they really are supposed to be Italian Mafioso, but the film censors made you turn them into generic Anglo-looking and -sounding people. Also, we didn’t really think a cop slapping a gangster’s moll around was nice even back then….”).

The car chase was classic, with cars of the era barely staying on the road in corners. The pursuing cop car actually did close to a 240-degree slip-and-slide at one point! Loved it!

One of the good guys gets shot and dies before he can marry the office clerk, played by an actress more commonly associated with television comedies later in the fifties. That made her hard to place in the grim story plot. 

The dead officer’s buddy, at the end, is seen walking off just short of smooching the dead officer’s formerly intended bride; both are smiling, as if the mayhem of a shoot-out and hostage-taking a moment before was a picnic – again a censor’s touch because there seemed to be more of a bromance between the two police officers, something that wouldn’t cut it in a time when famous male leads were hiding in closets and marrying women “just in case”.

I won’t watch this stinker again. Says Andrew, “Pssss!

04Jun23: some faces of Andy…

Andy’s “Hunting Face”. Miller hunting’s still on the agenda.

His “Greenies Hunchover” look.

You have hunch over to get at those Greenies when you have a Persian face!!


03June23: another portrait….

I don’t know why it took me so long to “discover” the portrait effect on my smartphone camera, but it did. Andy is, of course, a natural for portraits.


Two days ago, the UPS delivery guy brought a surprise package to my door. I opened the package and found a very special single malt Scotch whiskey. The full bottle! There was an invoice that verified it was friend Chris who’d ordered and had it sent to me.

“Surely this is a mistake,” I thought since this wasn’t some generic Scotch, but a very rare and special one. I sent Chris an e-mail about the Scotch and noted I’d re-send it to him as soon as he told me his address, which had been on my old laptop, lost, then, when the laptop got wiped out in a ceiling flood at the repair shop.

Chris called me the next day to reassure was no mistake and that he intended the Scotch to be a gift to me. We’ve reviewed single malt Scotches in past, me using small samples Chris sent. This new one is part of a series from this distiller, one we anticipate will be a treat since we both enjoy the works of Islay distillers best.

“This bottle will last you for years,” Chris noted, as it will since I don’t drink alcoholic drinks, especially strong ones, when I am alone with my cat. LOL! I do have one friend who enjoys a great Scotch, though, and I’ll have to share some with him one of these days.

I used to get together with Casey when our mutual friend Ralph returned from Paris for his summer visit with his parents. Sadly, Ralph and his parents all are dead, so no more summer visits! Or get togethers with Casey since we both get into our routines, rarely have paths cross these days. The Scotch may be the catalyst for a get together!

Sad, isn’t it, that in a town the size of Alliance – just short of 9000 people – two friends can go over a year, maybe two, between get togethers! A simple phone call to his office and we could have lunch together at a restaurant across the street from his office. 


02Jun23: begging for something…

Andy lets me know he wants something by putting his front paws of the glide rocker arm – or my arm if handy . His performance gets enhanced, then, with really sad kitten sounds – mew! mew!

I can’t always figure out what he wants, but he’s so cute/annoying when he does this I had to shoot this as a portrait. 

01Jun23: Hint! Hint!

Andy marched in…


…gave me a message. Hint! Hint!

(A bit inscrutable, though. No idea what he wants.)


June already! Half the year gone or half to go when this month’s over. On the other hand, July 1st is the big day here because it’s Andy’s 12th birthday – and Canada’s 156th! Not to rush tthe year but that’s what’s on my mind this morning.


31May23: Memorial Day used to rotate on the calendar….

Dad’s second from the left, top row. This is the only full Thomas family photo, taken in 1934 when Dad graduated high school.

The 31st of May was my Dad’s birthday. It also used to be Memorial Day till Congress passed a bill making it just one of those three day holidays that now just welcomes in the summer months and is a commercial holiday to sell crap.

Dad was a builder who was so quality-focused there was only a .25 inch/6,35 mm variation from one side of the basement wall to the other. Detail was important to him and he could drive you crazy worrying about something so small no one but he could see it, like how straight drainpipes were hanging from the gutters. That nature was helpful to him in his job as a chief of police.

Dad never missed an election, even voted by absentee ballot his last year of life, 2008, dying, in fact, after elections were done Election Day, in his sleep. Born in 1916, Dad would have been 107 today. Like Mom, he is sorely missed.

Traditional Memorial Day on May 31st, too, is missed. It’s become a sad joke on the memories of those who died for their country. 

Memorial Day – Wikipedia