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Thirsty [Jun. 25th, 2019|12:16 am]
While taking the wheelie bin out tonight I discovered that the cricket I've been hearing is somewhere along the bike path not too far south of this place. If I stand outside my front door I can hear it much more clearly than I can from the walled-in back yard. The front door is not a pleasant place from which to listen, though. It's all pavement out there, and there is a glare from the lights in the parking lot of the apartment house next door. I feel kind of bad for the cricket, being stuck in this place. It's no wonder he's all alone. The other crickets probably have more sense than to live around here.

There was good news in the utility bill that came today, though. Even though I used the air conditioner quite a bit over the last month the bill still came to less than forty dollars. That means I can afford to lower the thermostat a bit more, and turn the machine on earlier every day. Even though it is already quite a bit hotter than the previous month, and likely to get even worse, I think there's a good chance I can be more comfortable (at least indoors) without having the bill go over sixty bucks. That's affordable.

And despite this having been a pretty hot day I still managed to get my ass in gear and go on that bus ride to Raley's market, where I picked up a few good deals that will at least partly make up for not getting to Safeway this week (though there is still a slight chance that I'll be able to go there tomorrow.) I indulged myself by buying three apricots. I haven't seen them for less than $2.99 a pound for a long time, which is what they were today, and they are most often at least a dollar more. Apricots are my favorite summer fruit, but they are just to expensive anymore. When I was a kid we used to pick them off of the trees that hung out over the public streets in our neighborhood. I never expected apricots to become a luxury item.

One thing I keep forgetting to buy is a bottle of lemonade. I've been sitting here thinking how nice a glass of it would be right now. I could have bought some when I went to CVS this evening for beer and bread, but it didn't occur to me. I I do get to Safeway tomorrow I'll get some, even if it's not on sale, and If I don't get to Safeway I can always hit the stores in the Plaza once it gets close to sunset. In the meantime I'm going to fix a lass of ice water and go out into the sultry night and listen to my cricket.
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Sunday Late As Usual [Jun. 24th, 2019|12:06 am]
To my surprise I've been hearing a cricket tonight. It is some distance off, but because of the strange acoustics generated by the tall, solid wood wall around my small back yard I can't figure what direction it is in. Faint though it is, and alone, I have enjoyed hearing it. For a while I thought it might actually be the mockingbird doing a cricket chirp (I have known them to do this) but it went on too long. The mockingbird never chirps for more than a minute or two at a time after nightfall.

This evening I went to Dollar Tree and bought a half dozen of the craft sodas I tried the other day. In addition to another bottle of the black cherry flavor, I bought a root beer, a cream soda, an orange, a spicy ginger, and a bottle of another brand which is also apparently vanilla but is labeled dark cream. I wanted to make a float, but am out of vanilla ice cream since I didn't get to Safeway today, but I have chocolate ice cream so I made a chocolate float with cream soda. It wasn't bad, but I'm looking forward to having a classic root beer float once I get some vanilla ice cream.

I still plan to make a stab at going to Raley's on the bus tomorrow, even though it's going to be in the high nineties. Even if the heat lets out the frozen goods I'd like to get there are still a couple of other items I could use, especially if it turns out I don't get to Safeway at all this week. I woke up fairly early today, and might again tomorrow, so I might be able to get my act together by the time I'd have to leave to get the best bus connection. But we'll see how tonight goes.

It isn't cooling off as well tonight as it did last night, so the air conditioner might have to run longer. It's fairly balmy outdoors, and not unpleasant, but the apartment remains a bit stuffy. The insulation collects heat all day and then slowly releases it all night, and the warmer it is outdoors the more it will release into the building. The technology is not ideal, but I don't expect it will improve in what's left of my lifetime. I'd like to move to a place with bigger windows at least, but that, too, seems unlikely for now. In the meantime I guess I'll just have to get used to the extra-sweltery summers we get around here.

After midnight again. I'm just going to pretend it's still standard time and it's just after eleven. And now I'm going to go out and listen to my lone cricket again for a while.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Summer Underway [Jun. 23rd, 2019|12:50 am]
I'm eating some old macaroni salad for late dinner. I thought about cooking something, but not only is it hotter tonight, but I took the edge of my appetite this evening with a black cherry float made with the soda I found at Dollar Tree yesterday. The flavor o the stuff was quite intense, and not unpleasantly so, but the color was alarmingly vivid and turned my tongue a bright red for quite some time. Still, I'll probably buy more if they have it in stock when I get back there, and I'd definitely like to try some of their other flavors.

Today I confined my peregrinations to a brief jaunt to Trader Joe's for a pint of whipping cream. I used most of what remained of the last pint to put on some sliced peaches I had for lunch, and as I bought another pound of strawberries at Save Mart Friday I'll be needing the whipped cream. It sounds like my diet isn't very healthy right now, and that's right. I should probably look around for some protein, but I don't think there's much to choose from. I've got a bag of pea protein and could mix some of that into some grits, but it doesn't sound very appetizing. On top of old macaroni salad, nothing sounds very appetizing.

The only plan I have for tomorrow is to replenish my beer supply, which means a trip to CVS. With luck I'll get a ride to Safeway, but either way the beer run will have to wait for the less sultry evening. I'd really like to get back to the bus-accessible neighborhood Monday and go to the other store, Raley's, which has several items I'd like on this week's sale. It's usually the most expensive store, but this week they even beat Safeway on a few things. One of the items is frozen, though, and trying to get it back here on the bus would require some careful timing, and there would still be some risk. Buses are not always reliable.

Although days will now start getting shorter, hey won't be getting cooler. There are no triple digit temperatures in the forecast for the upcoming week, but most of them are expected to be in the nineties or eighties, and after that it gets worse. The Glorious Fourth is predicted to reach 99. I'm wondering how noisy it's going to get here that night. After 32 years in a place that banned fireworks and didn't even have an official display I've grown unaccustomed to all the bangs and whistles and sizzles and pops. I actually haven't seen any fireworks stands going up here yet, so maybe there won't be anything other than the official display, which I believe takes place at the fairgrounds, down on the south end of town. It's possible the night will be about as dull here as it was on the ridge.

For the last few nights I've been reading the Dashiel Hammett novels I picked up at the Goodwill store. I've finished Red Harvest and I'm halfway through The Dain Curse. It's been so long since I last read them that they have been full of surprises, as well as familiar scenes and passages. I'm going to get through a bit more of the book tonight. It isn't like watching English people murder one another, but it's enjoyable anyway.
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Dreamer [Jun. 22nd, 2019|01:40 am]
The mildish day and a not-too-bad night of sleep let me go on that bus ride today and pickup a few items at the store. And I only forgot two of the things I'd intended to buy! Then after the sun got low enough that there was enough shade I went to the Goodwill sore and to Dollar Tree. Goodwill had no books I wanted, but at Dollar Tree I noticed an unfamiliar soft drink in one of the coolers.

They are called WBC Craft Sodas, and I looked them up on the Internets and discovered that they are a Chicago company, and their stuff is quite pricey, which makes me wonder how it ended up at Dollar Tree. The particular bottle I got says that it is distributed by a company in Redding, an hour or so up the valley. Perhaps they just got overstocked because the product is so little known in this market, and ended up selling the overstock to Dollar Tree. On the Internets the stuff sells for way more than a dollar. One web site offered four-packs of their spicy ginger soda for $18.99. Other places offered 12 packs of various flavors for up to $49.99.

If the stuff I bought (black cherry flavored, as it happens) is good I'll probably run back to Dollar Tree soon and get more. The problem is I haven't been able to try it yet, as I did two stupid things. When I got it home I forgot to put it in the refrigerator, so it got too warm, and then I put it in the freezer to cool off quickly and forgot it again, and it froze up. Now I'm waiting for it to thaw enough to be drinkable so I can try it. I might go to sleep first, though, in which case it will have to wait for tomorrow. The addling of my brain, I fear, cannot be so easily remedied. I'm apt to be stupider tomorrow than I was today.

Speaking of sleep, I had a very odd dream last night. I remember only vague fragments of it, but it featured a cockroach that I was trying to get rid of. While I have not seen any cockroaches in this apartment yet, I have in fact seen one (or one at a time of more than one a few times) in my back yard. It is not as big as a Los Angeles roach, but it is way bigger than the roaches I saw only a few times over 32 years in Paradise. This silent cousin of the delightful cricket is one of the few creatures on earth I find truly repulsive. Oddly, the roach is really a handsomer bug than the homely cricket, but it is also invasive as hell, getting into places you don't want bugs to be, like your food. And they run like crazy in unpredictable ways, which weirds me out. I had a few bad experiences with roaches when I was young, and I've never forgiven the species for them.

But I don't want to think about bugs right now, and I hope I don't dream about them anymore, or if I dream of bugs I hope they are chirping crickets or colorful butterflies or cute ladybugs. Those are insects I enjoy living with.
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Not Horrendously Hot [Jun. 21st, 2019|12:46 am]
Last night I thought I'd probably go to sleep fairly soon, having gotten up early and being exhausted from the heat, but somehow I ended up lying awake until the morning light was in the sky. Then I fell asleep with the fan still on, and when I woke up near eleven o'clock in the morning the fan had sucked so much heat into the apartment that it was already 77 degrees in here. It was not an auspicious beginning to the day. Still, since it was a bit less sultry than yesterday I managed to survive without too much help from the air conditioner.

In the evening I made my way to Grocery Outlet for donuts and found they were out of them again. Last time they were out I bought a package of donut holes as a substitute, but they were not pleasant, so this time I bought a different brand and type of donuts. They are not bad, and not much more expensive than the kind I usually buy, but they are not chocolate, and they come in package of a dozen rather than half a dozen. I guess that actually makes them cheaper than the ones I usually buy, since I'm getting twice as many, but I can't eat so many donuts fast enough to keep the last few from going stale, so I don't see it as a bargain.

My one and only yard chair (a used one that was a gift from relatives) is starting to fall apart, so I need to get another. I've been looking at the ads from K-mart, and find their selection of reasonably priced yard furniture quite limited, but more surprising is the vast selection of what I can only see as high-end pieces that don't seem at all to be what K-mart should be selling. I mean who goes to K-mart to buy a $250 yard chair, or many even more costly items like couches and tables? It's no wonder the company is in dire straits if they are trying to sell things most of their regular customers can't afford. So I'm thinking I might get another one of the cheap folding chairs like the one that is breaking down. I haven't priced them yet, but they have them at CVS and I doubt they'd go for more than thirty or forty bucks. Maybe CVS will send me another 40% off coupon, and I can get one even cheaper.

I'm really hoping to get to the bus-accessible store tomorrow (today) since there are a couple of things I need that are better there than elsewhere. It's going to be even less hot tomorrow than it was today, and if I'm lucky I might even get home before it hits 90 degrees. But I've been so energy-free that time of day lately that I'm not sure I'll be able to do it. Being a non-motorist in an auto-centric place really bites, especially when the weather in that place bites even harder.

It has cooled off very nicely here this evening, for the time of year, and I'm going to go out and sit in my broken chair for a while and listen to the absence of crickets. Odds are good that the mockingbird will wake up and sing for a while, as it often does in the middle of the night. That doesn't really make up for the lack of crickets, but it's something anyway. In the meantime the fan and the open windows are cooling the apartment, so perhaps I'll be able to sleep better tonight than I did last night. I certainly hope so.
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Funny [Jun. 20th, 2019|04:12 am]
This did strike me funny
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Unfocused [Jun. 20th, 2019|01:03 am]
So there's laundry going right now, and one load should be coming out of the dryer and another going in shortly. I'm getting it out of the way tonight since it looks like somebody is going to be moving into the front apartment tomorrow. It's been vacant for a couple of weeks, and it's been very quiet here since the guy who moved out was the noisiest tenant. So far it doesn't look like the people moving in have a giant, tricked out truck that will take up half the parking lot and make noise like a diesel locomotive. I'm not going to miss that guy at all.

Okay, the laundry part I is fetched and part II is in the dryer. It took longer than I'd expected, and I probably won't be done with the task until half past one this morning. By then it might be cooler outdoors than it is indoors and I'll be able to turn the fan on and open some windows. It was not as hot as yesterday, but even though I waited until near sunset to make my jaunt to K-mart it was still pretty unpleasant. There's a lot of pavement around here soaking up the heat all day.

I just got distracted again, looking at something elsewhere on the Internet. It's hard to stay focused these days. Where was I going with this? Oh, can't remember. I've let it get too warm in here and keep doping off. I'm going to lower the thermostat and drink something really cold. Maybe my brain will wake up enough that I can at least read for a while. But I feel like I'm going to go to sleep earlier tonight. Thursday is the last day of spring. The solstice is Friday. This is getting really random. I might need chocolate. Maybe my cold drink should be a malted. Maybe I should put some Kahlua in it.
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Keeps On Slippin' [Jun. 19th, 2019|12:50 am]
Hunkered down in the air conditioned apartment all day until sunset, when I ventured out in the still sultry air to fetch some food (or food-like substances) from Taco Bell, so I wouldn't even have to use the microwave. But I survived the hottest-yet day of the year, and there are still no more triple-digit days in the long range forecast, so I could go on surviving for a while yet. Tonight is supposed to cool off more than the last few nights, and then we have a whole string of nights with lows in the mid-to-low sixties coming up, which will be nice even though the days are mostly going to be in the nineties. The anticipation of a cool night helps make a hot day bearable.

Tomorrow (well, today, Wednesday) afternoon or evening I'd like to get to K-mart (assuming it hasn't closed down) and spend the five dollars of bonus cash I got back when I returned the mistaken shoes. The store finally got in a stock of two-for-one belts, and they are only $9.99 for a pair. I have a new belt (much more expensive) so I don't really need them yet, but it will be nice to have them on hand since belts don't last very long anymore, and also because they (or the whole store) might not be there anymore when I do need them. I can get the pair of belts and one more tank top (so comfortable!,) which will put the total above the fifteen bucks it takes to trigger the five dollar bonus discount.

Even though I wasn't active through most of it, the heat of the day has left me exhausted. I sat in the back yard for a while, listening to the night, missing the chirps of crickets. There don't seem to be any in Chico, though I've seen many other insects. Now that it's after midnight the freeway has quieted down, and only intermittent cars and trucks can be heard. There is also a softer background hum, which at first I took to be an approaching train, but its horn never blew, so the noise must be from a multitude of air conditioners cooling all the little houses and apartments round about. Strange how so mundane a sound can fill me with an inexplicable melancholy.
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Helter Swelter [Jun. 17th, 2019|11:41 pm]
It's probably the heat that is giving me very strange thoughts between sleeping and waking. I always have strange thoughts in that period, but now they are very strange, but I still can't remember them. They are rather like dreams that continue after you wake up, then gradually evaporate and leave no trace but the awareness that they happened.

The heat remained intense today even as dusk neared, and is still unpleasant even now. It's supposed to go down to 71 degrees tonight, but I won't be surprised if it doesn't get that low. Tomorrow is still predicted to get up to 105. I suspect I'll have to leave the air conditioning on until sometime late Wednesday night. By then it should get cool enough that I can open the windows and turn on the fan.

Right now I've got the AC set to 78 degrees, and I can still feel a blast of heat when I go outside. I'll be glad when this hot spell is over. No triple digit days are in the long range forecast after tomorrow, but highs will stay in the nineties well into next week.

It looks like I'll be reading far into the night. Eventually exhaustion might let me get to sleep, but then I'll probably wake up fairly soon and frequently to us the bathroom, I'm drinking so much water. But maybe I'll get lucky and swat most of it out.

An to think that July and August are still ahead.
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Sunday Yet Again Late Again [Jun. 17th, 2019|12:21 am]
So I got a ride to Safeway today, and though the best bargains were last Wednesday and Thursday I still bought a few useful things. Later I went to K-mart, but not to buy something. I had to return the bargain shoes I bought the other day. Although they were my size, they were much too tight. On examining them more carefully than I had in the store I discovered that though the right number size they were the wrong sex. They were women's shoes, which apparently have different sizing for the same numbers. Weird.

The store had displayed them on a rack facing the men's department, and the writing on the box and the inside ticket saying they were women's shoes was so small I was unable to read it without getting really close. Of course everybody's athletic shoes look pretty much alike these days, so there were no obvious clues. Still, it was dumb thing for me to have done. I will be more careful in the future. The odd thing is if the men's size 11 and women's size 11 had actually been the same size I'd b waring those shoes right now, and would never have known that I was transgressing an Old Testament rule by wearing a woman's garment. So I guess the sizing discrepancy saved me from being stoned to death in the public square had aliens transported me back in time to ancient Jerusalem. Whatever.

There is slightly good news about the weather, though. We are now predicted to have not three but only two days of 100-degree + temperatures, and the peak on Tuesday will be only 105, not 107. Whoopie!? It still seems unlikely that I'll be able to brave the heat and go to the other store tomorrow or the next day. Friday looks almost good, though, as it is now predicted to only get up to 88. Too bad the stuff I most want to buy will no longer be on sale then.

In the meantime I've got three more packages of quick cooking Asian soups so I can avoid putting extra heat into the kitchen. They were a bit pricier than my usual Top Ramen, but then my diet has been getting a bit boring lately, between the heat and the missing of so many grocery sales in recent weeks. It's worth spending a little bit more money to liven it up a bit. Thank goodness CVS has my favorite beer on sale for the rest of the year, and I can easily walk over there. My brain may fry but at least my throat can stay cool.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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