Wednesday, June 7, 2023

5 Ways Not to Die

This week has been fairly eye opening when it comes to health/injury/death prevention stuff.  My work varies from deep conversations with our accountant to interesting conversations with coroners and everyone in between.  So far this week I've learned...

  1. Don't fall, especially if you are old.  Also this week, I learned that I fall into the "old" category as many injury prevention programs that target falls in the elderly are designed for those over 50(!).  Here is a good resource for falls prevention but it basically boils down to staying healthy and physically fit, managing chronic disease, and removing trip and fall hazards in your home.  
  2. Don't do street drugs.  Period.  When I was a teen, drugs were pretty prevalent but back then, when you bought marijuana, you got marijuana and when you bought speed, you got speed.  Apparently these days, even something as simple as marijuana is can be laced with fentanyl to "increase the high".  Unfortunately this often has the side effect of causing death.  The coroner I talked to today said many overdose deaths (which are increasing at a rapid pace) are due to combinations of drugs that people may not even know they are ingesting because "everything but the kitchen sink is being cobbled together and sold as specific drugs" even if that specific drug is only a tiny part of the combination used to make the drug in order to produce a higher high.  Yikes.
  3. Have a bug out bag prepped and ready to go at a moment's notice.  I heard numerous sirens last night so I texted my neighbor and she told me that SWAT had a street a couple blocks away locked down.  Apparently the barricade and stand-off lasted for hours and several nearby neighbors were evacuated because if anyone started shooting, these innocent people could have been toast.  At least if you have a bug out bag, your emergency evacuation will go much smoother and you will have everything you need to spend hours (even a night or more) away from home in marginal comfort.
  4. It's fire season and that means several things including dangerous air quality, wildfire evacuations (yet another reason to have a bug out bag as well as a good route out of town), and preparing your home for wildfire season.
  5. Finally, watch out for crazy people which is easier said than done.  The news lately is just awful and filled with so many (unexpected) ways to die from road rage to nasty neighbors to being an innocent bystander when someone starts shooting.

Monday, June 5, 2023

10 Things from This Week

It's been a busy last few (actually several) weeks!

  1. Our apricot tree is growing apricots like crazy.  They are all turning orange now and I am eating a handful for breakfast every morning (it's kind of a race to see who will get more--me or the birds but it is the middle of the desert so I don't begrudge the birds eating as many as they want since they have such limited food sources here).
  2. I got a call from our walking club president who said to meet the group at a local restaurant on Saturday because I am getting an award--but he won't tell me what for so I guess I will have to show up and see!
  3. The battery in our car was dead yesterday so this morning I took the car to Sam's Club (thank goodness for those tiny battery jumper boxes which come in really useful in these situations!).  I pulled out the receipt from when they changed out the battery a few years ago and saw that is was still under warranty so it took all of 15 minutes for them to install a new battery--and it was free of charge!  I was thinking we would get a small, pro-rated amount off a new battery but it was totally free so that was nice, especially in an area where the average lifespan of a car battery is only a couple of years.
  4. Work is going great.  I think.  I am truly terrible at the political machinations of a high ranking executive position.  I just do my work and hope everyone else is doing theirs but I have stirred up a hornet's nest a couple of times by pointing out things that are being done/have been done that weren't done how they should have been done.  Apparently there are reasons for this that escape me and the emails start flying.  Ayayay
  5. Hubby's sister and her husband will be here for a couple of weeks.  It's World Series of Poker month here in Vegas and they, along with hubby, will be playing in several poker tournaments.  I miss working at the WSOP but since they moved it to a Las Vegas Strip casino instead of an off-Strip casino, there is no way I wanted to drive to and from the Strip everyday.  My friend who works there said it takes her an extra hour or more just in traffic everyday getting to and from the Strip!
  6. I've been watching Whitney Webb videos on YouTube.  Yikes, that's some scary stuff!  Eeekkk
  7. Then there are the Facebook files.  Double eeekkk
  8. The weather here is getting hot!  It's been hovering around 100 degrees every day so I go out and get my walking done at 6am.
  9. Our city is gearing up for so many things in the coming days/weeks/months--our ice hockey team is in the Stanley Cup, it looks like the Oakland As will be moving here, The Strip and surrounding roads are being set up for the Formula One races which will take place in November, and our city will host the Super Bowl next February.  Wow!
  10. I hope you all are having a wonderful beginning of summer!

Friday, May 26, 2023

The Goodwill in My Area is Awesome!

I haven't been out shopping in ages so this morning we hit a couple of Goodwill stores in our area.  This is my favorite place to shop and we are lucky that in Las Vegas there are more than a dozen Goodwill stores to choose from.  The selection of stuff they carry is equally amazing (where else would you find old lady clothes, showgirl costumes, dapper suits, and collectables from all over the world in one place?).  I think it is because people from all over the country and the world, and people from the very poor to the very rich, donate stuff to this store so they end up with a very unique collection of items.  FWIW I love old lady clothes--comfy pants, comfy shirts, and comfy sweaters are my jam!

From today's shopping...they had a bunch of matching jackets (who knows where they came from but sometimes casinos change out uniforms and donate all of their old uniforms to local Goodwill stores), beautiful ball gowns (everyone's first place to shop for prom dresses should be the Goodwill, these dresses cost pennies on the dollar compared to regular retail stores), and a karmic message (crop tops are very popular for the younger crowd these days so as I was looking through the tops I wondered if I should buy a trendy crop top.  Then next top had a big 'Nope' on it.  Message received!).



Thursday, May 25, 2023

10 Cool Things

It seems like many of my recent posts have been kind of downers so here are ten wonderful things...

  1. I'm working my way through this list of fabulous websites.
  2. Although I am sadly lacking in artistic skill, these pictures are amazing!
  3. Bored Panda is just a wonderful site full of interesting information.
  4. My boss today: "You are doing an amazing job, can you keep working for us for a while?"  Me: "Of course!"  Boss: "Fantastic!"  Me: "Fantastic!"
  5. The unemployment office is moving at a glacial pace (three and a half years and counting!) on my pandemic unemployment claim, but I got a letter recently and it looks like my appeal for money that they said they overpaid me was successful so that is a good thing.
  6. This guy always has interesting projects.  Breaking free from the industrial food system is something that I wish I could do!
  7. Three things that I avoid in order to be happier: the news, YouTube (so many negative click-baity titles to get views), social media (instead of having algorithms serve me up what they want me to see/read, I would rather search by topics that interest me).
  8. We have a tree full of apricots that are just beginning to turn from light green to orange.  I love fresh apricots!
  9. My friend from India who just moved left me boxes of contents from her kitchen since they will be out of the country for a couple of months so I have been experimenting with currys and chutneys and products I've never seen before.  So far, so interesting!
  10. Memorial Day weekend coming up so I hope you and yours have an enjoyable holiday weekend!

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Too. Much. Change.

I like change that is slow and incremental, not the kind of change that comes at you like a Mac truck.  But so far, this year has been full of dramatic--and often not so great--changes of all kinds, including...

  • Hubby's sister passed away unexpectedly :(
  • My best friend passed away really really unexpectedly :( :(
  • In fact, I know of more than a dozen people who have passed away unexpectedly so far this years which, even though I am getting older, has never happened before in my life, having this many deaths in such a short period of time.
  • I went from several years of quiet retirement to a full-time, running-like-my-hair-is-on-fire job in a matter of hours.  I'm still loving the job though.
  • My 92 year old friend who was super sharp and alert at the beginning of the year, went into a sudden cognitive decline that was remarkable in its speed and just very sad for all who know her.  Fortunately her daughter realized what was happening (probably because of the sheer number of calls about her mother from myself and several other friends who were concerned about her) so she came into town, sold the house, packed up all of her mother's stuff, and moved her across the country in record time.
  • My wonderful neighbors who have the best kids and are the best Indian food cooks ever, suddenly packed up and moved in less than a week.  The husband does contract work all over the world and while they aren't moving far, just relocating to LA, I am really going to miss chatting with the family, baking treats for their kids, and eating the wife's amazing food!
  • Trying to get hubby care from the VA and military medical system is way more difficult since they made "system improvements" in order to offer "better care".  Complete BS of course since calling into the pharmacy took three hours last week, pushing his case through the system to get him new hearing aids took several calls to the patient advocate and months of waiting for appointments, and getting a referral doctor to even answer their phones almost never happens.  So much for "improvements".
  • And don't even get me started on the seismic shift in people's attitudes, driving ability, and ability to handle stress over the past couple years...

Monday, May 8, 2023

My Very Inexpensive Home Office Set Up

Since I am working from home, I figured I should set up a home office of some sort.  For the most part, the only items I need for work are a laptop and a cell phone but it's great to have a quiet spot set up when it comes to online meetings or making phone calls.  So I commandeered one of the guest rooms...

After much perusing of home office set ups on YouTube (in which people spend a small fortune creating amazing work spaces), I figured I needed a workable space but I didn't want to spend much on it as I don't know how long I will be working--it could be a couple months or it could be several years!

So I used what I had and went cheap on stuff I had to buy and it came out like this...

The components include:

  • A 6' folding table which we had.  We paid about $30 for it years ago and I was surprised to see that they now sell for $70+!
  • A table cloth we had stored in the garage.
  • A $12 folding chair from Ross.  I rarely sit for long, maybe an hour at a time.  If I was sitting for hours on end I would definitely get a good office chair.  As it is, I work at home, in the casino, in the bowling center, in the rodeo arena...basically everywhere I can get a wifi signal.
  • A 14" Lenovo laptop I use when I am not at home or use as a second screen when needed.  I've had this laptop for a few years.
  • A 16" Lenovo laptop which I bought a couple months ago because I wanted a new, faster laptop with more storage. 
  • Some old headphones I had.  These are JBL 660NC headphones which I got for about $60 on sale and I like them much better than my expensive Sony headphones.
  • A $5 ring light from Ross.  Apparently you need light pointing at you, rather than coming from behind you, to look good on video  I'm learning the online meeting thing as I go...
  • A basket from Dollar Tree to lift my laptop up during meetings (I also learned you want to look straight or up to the video camera and not down on the video camera or the video will be pointing up your nose!).
  • A steno book from the Dollar Tree because I take a lot of notes.
  • A weekly blank calendar.  I use it more often than my online calendar because, again, I take a lot of notes.
  • My expensive cell phone which I've had for several months.  I rarely use it for work but if I need access to videos, fast internet browsing, or opening complicated documents, I use this phone.
  • A work phone.  The boss said 'buy any phone and phone service you want'.  So I bought a cheap Pixel 6a phone and got a $15 Mint Mobile monthly plan and I was in business.  Since I do most work by email on my computer, and am in a location that gets a good Mint signal, it didn't make sense to spend extravagantly on a phone or phone service.  This cheap phone also works great for making calls.
  • Other things I use: iDrive for cloud file storage, Zoom for meetings although it looks like most agencies are now using Microsoft Teams.

So far everything is going great!

Thursday, May 4, 2023

It's Been a Busy Few Weeks!

These are the flowers the sweet little neighbor girl brought me a couple of days ago for no reason at all.  It was a nice surprise!

I have not been doing anything but working for the past few weeks, so nothing new or exciting happening here. Hopefully when I come up for air I will have something more interesting to report!