Sunday, January 13, 2019

On reading

  I have to have at least two books in hand--one that I am currently reading and the one i am planning to read next.  i actually prefer to have a stack of unread books in case of emergency. unfortunately i find most books tiresome, which limits me a bit.  i like popular fiction, but the choice has to be well written and have credible characters and action which is not too implausible.  A little bit implausible is okay.  I'm not talking Great Books here. But I don't like to read about superhuman powers, for instance, or plans to blow up the planet. 

  I have tried to read to improve my mind by catching up with the books I didn't get a chance to read;  I was a literature major anyway and stand for Great Literature and culture generally.  I utterly failed to be impressed by most Great Books..  For instance, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.  Don Quixote.  Not crazy about Faulkner, either. 

 .  I like books about American history and English history  and Ancient Rome.  Biographies of great men, but only British and American ones.  I particularly like to read biographies of musicians and musical gossip generally.  I even like to read the notes in music programs.  

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Vexing questions

Can someone please tell me the rationale for the continuing existence of Publishers Clearing House?  Nobody subscribes to magazines anymore except doctors' and dentists' offices.  Anyway, thiey no longer even pretends to be selling magazines.  Or books.  Or anything, really.

  So why does this pestiferous organization continue to exist, to broadcast television commercials, and to send out direct mail solicitations.  Why do they still award money to people?  Or are the persons who are televised swooning, shrieking and jumping up and down in their doorways really paid actors?  In short, just what the hell is going on?
  While other organizations which have outlived their mission--think Boys Town--have quietly ceased to exist, Publishers clearing House appears immortal.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Modern travel.

A very old friend has died.  This lady and her husband were close friends when we were young parents.  The male half of the team was best man at our wedding.  So we go back a long time.

  It brought back memories of the death of my husband.  He suffered from some neurological disease, and to make matters worse he had fallen and broken his femur.  We hoped against all expectation that he would get better and come home, but that goal was receding farther every day.

  After two years in the nursing home, aka Roach Motel, my daughter in California wanted me to visit her.  He seemed no worse--and no better, either--so I decided to go.

  After an 11 hour trip on United Airllines, I arrived on a  Thursday.  On Friday I was exhausted.  Sarturday morning I was starting to feel like my old self when I received a call from the nursing home that he had had a sudden heart attack and died.

  It was Easter weekend, and there were no flights that day, so I booked a ticket for the next day, which was Easter Sunday.  Then my troubles began.  You can't fly direct to Philadelphia from San Luis Obispo, so I was booked to go to San Francisco, or Los Angeles, I can't remember which.  But neither could United Airlines.  When the flight I had booked arrived, the B team who were in charge on that weekend could not print a boarding pass.  So I was not allowed to board the plane, but there was another plane due to the other city, whichever it was, so they would get me on that one.  But they couldn't, because they could not print a boarding pass.

  All this took a lot of to-ing and fro-ing, yelling and screaming, and agita of the highest order.  Not on the part of the United team, however.  They took it stoically.

  Finally, there were no more planes either coming or going, so someone came and got me and I spent another day in San Luis Obispo. On Monday, I was able to catch a flight which left SLO early in the morning and arrived in Philly at almost midnight. 

  The advantage of this epic drama were that my mind could not linger on the death of my husband, so filled was I with impotent rage at United airlines, San Luis Obispo,  and the State of California generally.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

How the hospital killed my father.

  An item on instapundit's blog brought to mind what happened to my 99 year old father.

  He was hospitallized because he had had several episodes of losing consciousness.  It was determined that the solution woud be the inertion of a pacemaker so the blood would get to his brain. 

He had the surgery and was discharged from the hospital but got sick again.  Returned to the hospital, where it was discovered that he had been implanted with an infected pacemaker.  So they removed the pacemaker and inserted a new one.  The infection was still in his bloodstream, however, and they discovered that one of the valves in his heart was damaged.

  They decided that they would not or could not replace the valve.  The infection continued and he soon died.

  I know what you're going to tthink, because t thought the same myself:  he was 99 years old, and was lucky to have lived as long as he had.  We could  sue the hospital, for loss of earnings, perhaps? The whole idea was ludicrous.  Nevertneless, he was dead and he was my father.  I thought he had more mileage on him.  Before his recent fainting spells, he had been going to the gym, taking care of himself, and cooking dinner for himself and my stepmother.  He had his wits about him  And we were all sorry to lose hum.

  Could he have lived another year, or three, or ten?  Nobody knows.

  Some slob was careless, and someone died. 

  I asked my Uncle Max, who whas a doctor, "When did doctors start curing more people than they killed?"  He said it hadn't happened yet.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Me at 10.  I find it very hard to upload pictures on this computer.  This is a test.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Lone Republlcan

I joined the Republlican Jewish Coalition because I am the only Repupblican Jew I know, although I have subspicions about the rabbi.

  I was surprised and pleased to receive an invitation to a Chanukah party.  So I went.  I wanted to see a real-live Republican Jew. 

  There were a lot of them.  Most of them were couples, between 55 and 75, and very nice. Thei all pretty much knew each other.   Most from Pennsylvania and New Jersey.   No one from Delaware.  No young people.

  Where are the young people?  If we don't atttract young people, Republican Jews are going to become extinct. Or do the young have better things to do on Saturday night?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

My late husband, in 1952, when he was 21, in the U S Army.

Miriuam the Killer

In general, I hate the animal kingdom, and all its members hate me.  Every kind of pest has invaded my space: raccoons, mice and now ants.  A deer almost wrecked my ccar a year or so ago, and squirrels keep eating the bulbs I plant. In general, everything smaller than an elephant is my enemy, and I sm theirs.

  I have ants!  Every year, in the Spring, they invade my house, and every year they are smaller.  The first year, I had normal size aints, about the size of a fly or a little bigger.  The next year, they were smaller.  Those that started the Winter--of all the nerve!--are even smaller.  I suppose that eventually they will be the size of microbes and I won't be able to see them.

  It really annoyed me that they came at this time of year; I consider it unsporting of them.  The antbaits I put out this past Spring are inoperative, and I can't find new ones  in the stores.

  So when I saw a few humdred of them creeping around my stovetop I was so enraged that I picked up the nearest spray can and pumped the contents all over them.  It happened to be Scrubbing Bubbles.  I poured it on all the surfaces of the kitchen, and lo and behold they were gone!  So I have discovered a non-poisonous antkiller. 

  Peace has been reigning for days now.  However, I used the bathroom adjoining the kitchen, and I saw one--just one--on the floor.  So I guess they will be coming back.