An eclectic blog on which appears daily one-thousand word essays on somethingorother.
Friday, January 20, 2017
ONE DAMN THING AFTER ANOTHER
I’m back. I did not watch the inauguration because I spent the morning on the phone with Tier 3 Apple Support people trying to remove spyware that was not detected by my Malware program. It was messing with my contacts, even trying to invade bank accounts, blocking people even when they were white listed, and other mischief. I have to say that all the Apple people were patient, cheerful, and a pleasure to work with. They were also all female.
This is a long-standing problem and since I depend on my email to make contacts for writing, it’s a problem that can cost me money and make enemies because people think I’m ignoring them. We may have gotten the problem licked. It was installed through 3rivers.net who claimed they knew nothing about it. Techies there are hired through some agency elsewhere. I suspect they were bluffed by a rogue. Maybe they should be bonded, but bank tellers are and that’s who stole my credit card number.
The next prob on the list is fleas. We’ve still got them. The systemic flea med that you put between the shoulder blades of the cat made Bunny allergic and now she’s looking pretty moth-eaten plus spending a lot of time chasing itches. There are 8 cats that come into the house and four of them can’t be caught except with a trap. A second kind of flea med “Flea Bully” turns out to be laundry soda. It says, “Lather the cat thoroughly and rinse well.” Right. The third kind is for carpets: “Sprinkle on, leave four hours, vacuum thoroughly.” Seems to work. The other basic recourse is laundry of bedding and clothing — not the cats. I don’t have a washing machine and the nearest laundromat is thirty miles away.
The one I visited this time was so degenerated that only four tubs worked — I usually use five. One failed to drain and, alas, it was the one with the heaviest flannel sheets — which I could hardly lift when saturated, much less wring with arthritic hands. Luckily the profoundly cold weather has broken so the temp was in the low Fifties because a Chinook wind is blowing. I slung the sopping stuff onto the clothesline where it at least dried out enough to be draped on the furniture for the last stage, merely damp. Fleas would have drowned.
The next problem (aside from the temps of twenty below zero F) was that the main town water supply, which goes past my house, broke in the usual place, the corner between my block and the Lutheran church. This happened in the night and drained the contents of our spiffy new watertower for the second time, this time into the streets. In order to find and mend the break, it is necessary to dig, but the ground must be thawed first, which means blasting it overnight with propane. In this case, the break was not where they expected it, but upstream and sending water through the ground next to the pipe. More thawing, more digging, more days. Water was rerouted around my block, so only my block had to make dry camp. The mayor opened city hall so people could get water jugs filled there, but I knew nothing about that. As soon as Corky had water, he filled my two big jugs. I bought a couple of packs of drinking water, which is always in the stores because some people think Valier water tastes funny. This is good training for a major disaster, like maybe a huge earthquake triggered by frakking.
As soon as I realized there was no water, I whipped over to the Mom and Pop store to buy water. But I should not have driven through the standing water in the street. My pickup went crazy. Then it seemed okay but went nuts again when I tried to go out to the trash roll-off. Peter, a kind Hutterite young man, pulled me out of the drifts and into town. After drying overnight the pickup worked. The diagnosis is a wet distributor. The answer is to take the cap of it off, spray everything with WD40, which drives out water, or even use a cloth to dry things. Yesterday the pickup was running and I took a load of trash out to the roll-off.
In the meantime I was using up stuff from the back of the fridge and dumped a half-cup of old poppyseeds into a bowl of biscuit mix. Seemed like a success until a poppyseed got stuck under a gum and raised a huge abscess that lasted through all the rest of this stuff but has finally subsided, I think because the seed finally festered out.
Running parallel was war with pharmacies. The Shelby one in the ShopKO store has a new pharmacist but still has their old policies (controlled by corporation rules and insurance regulations) that one cannot renew a prescription until four days before the old one runs out and the pharmacy cannot keep on hand enough meds to be sure of renewing a prescription completely. Over and over, they would give me a half-dozen pills to keep me from dying but promised to send the rest by mail.
I got indignant and moved to the Cut Bank Albertson’s pharmacy. They turned out to be really OSCO and no different except that they never remembered to send the remainder of the pills. Anyway, there was a three-day weekend and the weather kept me from driving.
So twice in this month I’ve gone for nearly a week without my prescription. I hadn’t thought about the implications of corporate pharmacies. There are three county seats about thirty miles from me. Great Falls, which is a very small city, is the closest major shopping hub on this side of the 49th parallel. Lethbridge, Alberta, is a little bigger but in Canada. My passport has expired and I can’t afford renewal. To get that done I would need to go to Conrad on certain days.
This time I switched my pharmacy account to Conrad. It is a locally owned business and when one gets prescriptions filled there, a special niche is established in which they keep your meds in amounts that will cover you for the next period out. They don’t run short, and they WILL mail meds. They are in “my” county (Pondera Co. — Pend d’Oreille, earring in French). Since I went to get my meds, that’s the reason I used that wretched laundry.
So yesterday, just as I settled into my re-boot after lunch nap, I got a phone call that seemed to be from some Montana state oversight person checking up on pharmacies. She wanted to know if my pills were working, if I were taking them regularly, chatchatchat, until I began to smell a rat and asked bluntly who she was working for: Osco/Albertsons in Cut Bank. What she really wanted to know was why I left Osco and her intent was to persuade me back. I gave her an earful and told her I would NEVER use that pharmacy again because I do NOT want deceptive nanny-ladies calling up to quiz me in a way only my doctor should. I was yelling.
The Apple Support people were in Las Vegas. All this stuff — indeed, life itself — is pretty much a gamble. Three cats are sneezing and snoozing, now that the weather is warm enough to release god-knows-what. I thought Finnegan had died in the night, but he finally roused for breakfast. Tuxie is throwing up. Momo, formerly Mimi, can’t be touched but accepted bits of my frozen waffle. I never had human children. Good decision. But there’s really no escape.