Updated Miscellanea

The saga continues. Did I not mention our bedroom was invaded by bird mites? Yes. Just outside, apparently, pigeons have nested. This brings the mites, and when the babies leave the nest, the mites, now hungry, go looking for food.  They are out for blood. I have some, and they like the sweet smell of Type-2 diabetes. I endure two weeks, maybe three, of uncounted bites and itching.  They are all over. After spraying a judicious amount of toxic chemicals around the edge of the patio and along the base of the walls inside, the bird mites seem finally to have vanished.  For now. My bites are healing and have quit itching. Screen fades to black with only the words: “The End.”  And then: “Or is it??”

We are used to seeing feathers and sometimes small bird parts lying on the patio due to predation (we have peregrine falcons in the next block over) but this morning there was an entire, seemingly intact dead pigeon. As you might have guessed, I absolutely refused to go remove it, not wanting to take the chance of going through another two weeks of bites and itching. I might have sprayed it with Raid and called maintenance after the holiday, but Jo went out armed with a couple kinds of food wrap and plastic garbage bags and took care of it. She is my hero.  

Also out there on the patio is some assorted plant life. The “sunpatiens” get full sun only part of the day. I water them a lot, and they are thriving. The geraniums are struggling. I water them less now, and the yellow leaves are returning to the correct green color. No flowers. Not sure if they are happy with the partial sunshine. There is one hasta that is very happy. The ivy plants in the hangers on the wall are all fake plastic, just hanging there, waving faintly in the breeze, eerily unchanging. 

Enjoy the holiday. I’m hoping the one revolution will hold us for a while longer, but who’s to say? 

Darren Bailey Wants to be a Governor

Darren Bailey, Illinois gubernatorial candidate, wins the Blogorahmah award for fastest GOP dismissal of the shooting in Highland Park. Just a few hours after the shooting, and only 20 miles away, he tells a crowd, let’s move on and celebrate the holiday. 

He made the obligatory vague references to “thoughts and prayers” and mentioned a couple things about mental health and crime prevention, carefully skirting around any reference, even vague ones, to guns.  The usual.

I don’t like to post political stuff, and only a few of you read my page anyway, but, c’mon. 

Sad to say, and very inconvenient, we have more than one problem in this country. If you’re a Republican and reading this, then, sorry I don’t mean to offend, but maybe you could look into this Bailey guy and decide if this is who you want to represent your party. If you’re a Democrat, and live in Illinois, maybe find out who’s running against Bailey and help them out. This is our government–it IS “us,”–so let’s think harder about who we hire to run the government. 

Oh.  Wait. Bailey’s campaign later issued a clarification. Well then. We stuff his words back in his head. Never mind. Nothing to see here. 

And Over the Weekend

It was pretty uneventful around here last night–at least in terms of fireworks. I could just barely hear the display over at the river park which I guess as the crow flies is not too far from us. But there was nothing else, and I was able to fall asleep with my usual alacrity. 

Sunday was a different story. We were taking in a walk in the morning and when we got down close to the Power and Light District, this kind of youngish, unkempt looking guy materialized behind us and started yelling at me. We walked on. He then trotted up the sidewalk toward us to catch up, looked right at me, and started yelling about how veterans are treated, I think. Or something.  I couldn’t tell exactly, as he was pretty pissed off and not quite rational–not sure what drugs or medication he was on.  I “stood my ground” and said nothing while I tried to figure out how dangerous he was, or how crazy. I finally said, “you’re interrupting our walk.”  

He stared at me for a couple more seconds and then walked on and, in the manner of an over-aggressive tom-cat you just shooed off your yard, every few steps he would turn and yell at me some more before continuing his retreat. We stood there about a minute more to let him get on down the street.

Later that same day we were eating lunch at Pickleman’s at 12th and Walnut, sitting inside, close to the big window front. Someone driving very slowly along 12th Street caught my eye. 12th Street is one-way, going east, and the car was correctly headed east, but it slowed even more and right in front of Pickleman’s the driver (a woman) executed a slow and laborious three-point turn and then headed off west, the wrong way. She disappeared down the street never to be seen again. Not by us, anyway. 

How do you decide in those critical moments what to do? I should have run out to the street and told the driver she was crazy, and the angry veteran that he was going the wrong way. 

Old Age

I’ve been thinking a lot about old age, lately, and have decided it is having a deleterious effect on me, because the longer I think about it, the older I get. I don’t know about neural plasticity and all that, but I perceive a trend here. Just kidding. I’ll throw in here that if you’re not old yourself, you will be, someday, if you’re lucky.  And I say that advisedly if not slightly sarcastically. 

To get to the whole point of this post, however, we must veer away from this irrelevant introductory paragraph. I’m talking about editing text. In addition to authors and journalists, bloggers and anyone who emails all do at least some editing on what they write. I do. And it bothers me when I find really stupid mistakes, and it bothers me as I wonder if there are some that I don’t find. I’m getting old, I lament. Damn it. I don’t think I used to make this many errors, let slip this many grammatical errors and wrong words. Wrong words especially with the advent of auto-correct. 

Then I realized that I actually see a ton of all of these when I read news articles on the Internet. I must assume that all the professional editors behind these articles are not nearly as old as I am, since I am well past the typical retirement age. This makes me feel better. It’s NOT just me. Then, as I breathe a sigh of relief, it dawns on me that we are all getting stupider because of the Internet, regardless of our ages, and I begin to worry again. 

It’s always something. It never ends; and if I can say that, I must not be that old after all.