laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-Nine

The predicted high temperature for Sunday keeps inching up. Today's forecast has it at 75. It's the middle day of a three-day spring, all three days in the seventies. After that we've got three days in the sixties before we get back down to a more seasonable fifties and a few possible rain showers. I try to think of all the money I'm saving by not having the furnace going all day, but the thought of the dryness keeps spoiling it. If this keeps up or the rest of the winter, we are so screwed next summer.

It didn't get up into the seventies Friday, but it was uncomfortably close. The birds were delighted, and were in my back yard singing through the late afternoon. They had probably been there during the early afternoon as well, but I slept through that. I didn't wake up until three o'clock. For breakfast I finished of the last of the chocolate chip cookies, and today I will start in on the pecan shortbread, the last package I have on hand. The shopping list is growing.

Lethargy has thus far prevented me from thoroughly examining all the supermarket ads and making a list. I'm going to try to confine the shopping to one store this time, and I don't feel particularly good about even that. California's infection rate is currently about four times what it was during the September peak, and shows no signs of declining soon. While the worst of the outbreak is in the southern part of the state, it's bad enough in the north. I doubt that our mini-heatwave will do much to improve the situation.

One other weather related surprise has turned up. Monday and Tuesday are supposed to get very windy. There could be power outages, and it's been so dray so far this winter that there is still some risk of wildfire. There's nothing like getting an early start, I guess.

Thirty-Nine in the subject line has reminded me of The 39 Steps. I miss movies. Maybe someday I'll have cable again. And a flying horse.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-eight

Somewhere in the apartment there's a cake mix. I got it some time ago, and planned on getting a couple of pans to bake it in, but never got around to it. Now I can't remember where I put the mix. I do have a small baking pan I could make part of it in, and the remainder of the batter would probably fit into a round baking dish I bought when I moved here but have never used more than twice, for cornbread. The thing is I've had this craving for cake lately, and it would be nice to find that mix and bake it. But I'll probably keep forgetting to do it. Eating a whole cake would likely make me sick anyway.

Thursday amounted to much the same as Wednesday, and there's no surprise in that. All the days tend to be the same now. I did have my second sleep interrupted by a very noisy helicopter flying very low over the neighborhood, about eleven o'clock in the morning, judging from the pattern of shadows on the window blinds. I have no idea what it was doing, and I don't expect I'll ever find out. The mini-metropolis is full of mysteries, none of them very interesting.

There was a can of soup for dinner a few hours ago, and I got hungry again but couldn't find anything that appealed to me (alas for that lost, unbaked cake mix) so in desperation I finally ate a dill pickle spear. It tasted like summer seventy years ago. I wish I'd had a bologna sandwich and some potato chips to go with it. Maybe they'd have formed a time portal and I'd have actually gone back.

But most likely I'm stuck with the present moment and whatever future it generates. Somehow that future will have to replenish my food supply soon, but I haven't felt like making plans for that. I sort of like the idea of sleeping all the time, but that too appears to be impossible. Perhaps I'll try drinking more. I've still got a couple dozen cans of Tecate. There is also popcorn. A popcorn and beer diet for a couple of weeks might do wonders for my somnolence. The days are going to be too warm anyway, and rain is unlikely for at least another week. Things are not going well. I need a coma.
gericault_the raft of the medusa 2

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-seven

All day Wednesday I stayed home. So, it was like every other day these days. Around ten o'clock in the evening I started feeling very sleepy, probably because I baked a frozen lasagna for dinner and stuffed myself. I tried to stay awake, but failed after about an hour. Then I woke up at three o'clock in the morning. Strangely, I felt hungry again, so I microwaved a ramen bowl. That was abut two hours ago, and now I'm getting hungry again. What the hell is that about? Have I picked up a tapeworm?

It's supposed to be sunny today and warmish, so it might be difficult for me to get back to sleep now that the sun will soon be rising. It could get weird. It's already weird. It could get weirder. I still haven't got any donuts. Things might be less weird if I did, but I probably won't find out anytime soon because I probably won't get any anytime soon.

That four hours of sleep did nothing to clear my brain. Maybe my brain doesn't clear anymore.

I'm going to go see if chocolate fixes anything.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-six

Somehow I keep losing track of the time. Last time I remember looking at the clock it was 1:00 Am. I just looked at it again and it's 4:09. Three hours can't possibly have passed. More evidence that I could have multiple personality disorder and have probably been out galivanting around town. I hope that whoever I was was wearing a mask. Also I'm a bit irritated that whoever I was didn't get a snack, because now I'm hungry and have too little time to fix anything before bed.

Tuesday didn't amount to much. The showers were mostly a bust, as far as I know. I woke up around two o'clock in the afternoon and, though the ground was a bit damp, no water had accumulated in my back yard chair. The current long range forecast shows little or no chance of more rain for the next ten days. Even more distressing, the predicted high next Sunday is now 73. A day that warm in the middle of January is quite rare in these parts. In Los Angeles it would be no surprise, but in Chico we tend to disapprove of such goings on.

Last evening when I checked the mail box I discovered that the utility bill I thought had gone out last week was in it, bent and stuffed into the bottom. The incompetent carrier strikes again. I had given the letter and another one to my niece to drop in the public mailbox at North Valley Plaza, but she apparently misunderstood me and put it in my mailbox. She's supposed to come by today to pick it up and mail it elsewhere, but it's going to be several days late and I'll be getting a late fee on my next bill. I'm hoping that the carrier did pick up the other envelope, which had my rent check in it. I'll call the landlord to make sure he got it, and if he didn't I'll have to call the bank to see if someone else has tried to cash it, or has succeeded. Annoying.

Now I've looked at the clock again and it's almost 5:00. I'm pretty sure I haven't been someone else at any time during the last hour. Maybe I've just been woolgathering. Sad that I can't seem to stay focused on anything anymore. But it's definitely time to try to sleep.

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-five

Tonight's snack was hot chocolate with a shot of brandy, and a small packet of shortbread cookies. The hot chocolate was the consequence of mold in my bottle of maple syrup. Monday evening I realized that the bottle of syrup had been sitting unused on the counter for quite a few months, so I decided to taste it to see if it was still good. It did not taste right, and examining it I saw a spot of mold floating in it. I Googled to see if I was going to die and found that I probably wasn't even going to get sick, and I also found that maple syrup, unlike honey, due to the syrup's water content, needs to be refrigerated after opening.

Further Googling revealed that I wouldn't have to toss the syrup out. All I had to do was removed the bits of mold and then boil the remaining syrup for a few minutes, and it would be good as new— as long as I refrigerated it. So I poured the stuff into a small pan, leaving the main moldy bit to be rinsed down the drain when I washed the bottle, then skimmed a few smaller mold bits out of the syrup in the pan, and boiled the remainder until the moldy taste was gone. I let it cool for a few hours while I fixed dinner and then Interneted, but after pouring the salvaged syrup back into the cleaned bottle around two o'clock this morning, I found that quite a bit of syrup was clinging to the pan's sides and bottom. The stuff is pretty expensive, so I decided to make some cocoa in the pan to make use of it. A bit of malted milk powder augmented the sweetening power of the syrup. It turned out quite tasty, and I think I'll always make it that way now.

So even though Monday was another dull and wasted day, at least Tuesday has begun with a serendipitous pleasure. That makes up for the fact that the chances of rain today have been reduced all the way down to 12%, which probably means we won't get any. Wednesday's chance of showers is down to 25%, which is also pathetic. Each day without rain gets me a bit more worried about water shortages next summer. Of course there's nothing my worrying can do about it, so it's pointless, but then I can't seem to think of anything else to do with my brain right now, so it's no more pointless than not worrying. Does that make any sense? Probably not. Maybe I'll switch my worrying from the likelihood of drought to the fact that I probably don't make sense anymore. Life has been so monotonous lately, I could probably use a change.

Obviously I've been awake too long tonight and am getting dopier by the minute. I guess I'll go read for a while and then sleep.
laszlo moholy-nagy_chx

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-four

Late snack of cinnamon toast and chocolate milk. Hot cocoa might have been better, but I was impatient, and lazy. A shot of brandy might have been a nice addition, but it didn't occur to me soon enough. Something else that didn't occur to me soon enough was to plug my phone in to recharge, and now the battery is empty again and I have to wait for it to get juicy before I can post this entry. Well, that gives me more time to write on it. The problem is that my head is as empty as my battery, and I need Internet to find something to fill it with again. Internet is my brain recharger. It doesn't work very well, but it's all I've got anymore. I need to see the weather report!

Although the weather report sometimes lies. It lied about Sunday, which didn't bring any rain. True, the prediction was only of a 60% chance of rain, but 0% rain means that the forecast turned out to be 60% false. It is now saying there is a 40% chance of showers on Tuesday and at 35% chance on Wednesday. I won't hold my breath waiting.

As you can se by the latest weather information my Internet is back. The time went fast as I nodded off, which suggests that I'm getting tired, which means I ought to be getting to bed. It's really, really late again, and I ought to have wound down long since. I'm afraid it's going to be another day of waking up late. It feels like I've got a headache coming on, probably due to squinting at the screen too long. Tedious.
caillebotte_man at his window

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-three

My latest sleep derangement has me waking up after about four hours feeling like I'm in a sauna, and I have to throw the covers off, although the room is the same temperature it was when I went to sleep with the covers pulled tight around me to keep the chilly drafts at bay. If I then get back to sleep, an hour or so later I'll wake up again shivering. Perhaps I have hypochondriacal malaria.

At least Saturday I was able to get back to sleep, as the morning was overcast and it kept the bedroom from getting too bright to sleep in. The sun came out for a while in the afternoon, though, which made for a pleasant hour or two. Lots of birds, including the mockingbird, came to visit my backyard. The chill returned quickly with nightfall, and today is going to remain cool. There might even be a bit of rain.

The hour I get to sleep is creeping dawnward again. There's no good reason for me to be wakeful so late, life here being as dull as ever. One would think I'd want to sleep day in and day out, but somehow that doesn't happen. Only my brain seems to sleep, while the rest of me just keeps going, yet getting nothing done. How annoying.

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Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-two

We're back to having cold nights, and chillier days. Saturday brought some sunshine, but quite a few clouds as well. The oddest thing in the forecast right now is a projected high of 70 on January 14. Except for a couple of warmish days around it, the rest of the month is looking like a fairly typical northern California winter, with the additional exception of the low probability of more rain. That is worrying. No rain means no snow, and no snow means a likely water shortage next summer. The stress of the last year is still with us, and the last thing we need is for 2021 to turn all dryly dickish on us.

The Internet sucked me right back in Friday, despite my vague plan to cut back on screen time. All those unread books I've got are going to reproach me, I'm sure. They won't be angry, of course, just very disappointed. I hate when books give me that look. It's like they are reading my mind, and giving me a bad review.

For some reason the freeway is being noisier than usual tonight. But then it is Friday night, I guess, and there are probably a lot of people going out of town. Not just this town, but the bigger ones farther south. It might be survivalists heading for their bunkers in the mountains or out in the deserts of eastern Oregon. I'm sure it isn't small town and rural folk heading of to a big weekend in San Francisco. Even if the place wasn't largely shut down, it's just too expensive there anymore.

I still haven't gotten around to making a list of things I need from the store, despite having spent so much time on the Internets today. And here I am still on the Internets as the night slips away. I ought to try to get some sleep. The blankets are very inviting, and they, at least, don't judge me.
gericault_raft of the medusa 1

Reset Sixteen, Day Thirty-one

Needless to say that the cell phone battery failure prevented me from arranging to have some groceries dropped off earlier this week, but my niece came by today to see if I needed help with the cellphone problem not knowing that a nephew had already gone to pick up a battery, but she volunteered to make a run to the store for me. By that time I was already exhausted from the drama and could only remember three of the things I needed, so I now have fresh milk and bread and another six pack of my favorite beer, but I completely forgot orange juice and donuts. Ah, well. I think she'll be able to make another trip in a few days, which will give me time to check the store ads and make a new, longer list.

The last few hours I've spent catching up on the Internets and the world, and some of it made me sorry I got the Internets back. The first day without it had me very antsy, but the second day I settled in to reading a book, and it was quite pleasant. It made me realize that I probably spend too much time at this computer. There is something restful about turning the pages of a book.

Thursday was overcast all day, but not extremely cold. The forecast says there is a 99% chance of rain overnight, but so far we've had none. Odds are I'll be asleep when it comes, as it's been a long two days and I'm getting very tired. I don't think I'll even eat a second dinner (I had two sandwiches around five o'clock, after getting the fresh loaf of bread.) But tomorrow today is another day. I might make hot cereal for breakfast, since I still don't have donuts. For now, a chunk of chocolate will do.

Reset Sixteen, Days Twenty-nine and Thirty

Stupid phone battery booted me of the Internet for two days. I knew I should have kept a spare one on hand, but neve got around to buying one. The phone was displaying the time when I picked it up Tuesday morning, but five minutes later when I tried to set up my wireless hotspot, there was nothing but a blank screen. I tried plugging the phone in with the USB cable, and still nothing. Without a phone, and not having any idea where I might find a pay phone, if any still exist around here, I had to wait until evening when I borrowed a phone from a neighbor as she returned from work.

I called my brother to see if someone could pick up a battery for me, since I had no idea where to get one, or means of getting there, but they were all busy until today. This evening a nephew brought battery over and installed it in the phone, so now I know what day it is. Seriously, I lost track. It was two days, but it seemed longer.

No television and no radio and no daily newspaper means the Internet is the only means I have of keeping up with the world. Now I'm catching up. It appears that a lot can happen in two days. Well, the old battery lasted for two years, so I guess the new battery should last for another two years. But I'm not so sure civilization will.