Intellectual Diversion
August 2008
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It's vacation time, although the last time I took a vacation, I was on the Boardwalk at Atlantic City when Elvis died!

Fri 1 Aug  8:07
I was up at 4 AM again, so I sent my reply to Philipp's email three weeks ago.  I am in the third lesson of Unit 1 of Rosetta Stone's Irish.  It is quite an experience with a language I've never taken.
The Teaching Company has many tempting courses in both catalogs this month.  The ones that seem the best are Chaos, the third great revolution of twentieth century physics, Buidling Great Sentences: Exploring the Writers' Craft, and Argumentation
Sun 3 Aug  20:30
I went for a haircut to no waiting, then to Acme for a few items Mon did not get.  Because Tim wanted us there tomorrow, I packed some more of his clothes this afternoon. 
For an unknown reason, Tim's computer is working properly.  I then dscovered videos in foreign languages on You Tube.  Apparently there is a German translation of a movie with Shane Meier.  Made in 1996, "Taken Away" become "Eisige Gefaengnis".  It is not listed under his effects.
I am still finding difficulty using medicated eardrops several times a day on the weekend.  I also had to color my hair after the cut.  I painted both doors and doorways to outside, along with the cellar steps to outside.  Alas, nothing else happened this weekend.
Tue 5 Aug  15:04
I assembled a list to call and promptly left my cellphone home.  I must pick up the Norton antivirus today, and a few sundries.  I will have to get home to confirm my appointment tomorrow fo the final cleaning of the ears.
It's just three years of our only meeting with the buyers.  It's almost five years since I left the call center.
Yesterday I mailed out the two audiodiscs I want from the Teaching Compnay.  Tonight's a good long night for  planning the rest of the month.
Thu 7 Aug  14:35
Prickly heat plagues me this week.  I was up just past 4 AM, and I spent much of the extra time on You Tube.  Ryan White was on a few videos.
My visit to the doctor produced a clear followup on my ears.  All the wax in the left ear probably fell out Sunday night, and the right ear is no longer sore.
I continue to gather materials from GRE Biology from Barron's.  Looking up "biology" on You Tube provided a link to another group who claim to reduce difficult subjects down to twentyfour hours.  I am so tempted to try it on biochemistry or molecular and cellular biology.
Sun 10 Aug  14:55
I am alone with the dog and the hamster today.  Midnight has spent most of the time sleeping in Mom's bedroom.  To my surprise, Mom agreed to go with my sister's family for a visit.  Apparently, Midnight can tolerate long periods of living alone, for I have been downstairs nearly all day.  We just had a shower, cooling the temperature to 20.
Mon 11 Aug  15:18
I had a horrendous night, falling asleep late and up early.  I left late only for further delay along Bristol Pike with construction.  Between the fatigue and the prickly heat, I am not happy.
I slept with the window open until 4 PM.  Then I threw on a spread, but I could not get back to sleep.  I found some videos off You Tube on organic chemstiry, among other subjects while I was awake.
I made an apointment for Mom at the dentist'.  I could not contact Meals on Wheels, leaving a message on the third try.  The head inury program did call back, but I'll have to contact Beehwood.
Tue 12 Aug  14:30 
I turned out the Meals on Wheels comes from the Senior Center, which I contacted on the fourth try.  I was so tired yesterday that I stayed home, going to bed at 8:30.  I had nine hours of almost continuous sleep.  Last night I left the nightlight off, for there was no need.  Midnight slept in the hall and the bedroom, going back and forth.  She did not eat and desposited on the rug in before the front door.  She is not happy alone all day.
Wed 13 Aug  15:00
My second interview with Mellon Bank -- the only one of the three for Philadelphia -- took place on this date in 1986.  I was all-too-familiarly between jobs.
I walked to work today, and it's been a long time since I last did.  Midnight will be alone for eleven hours, depending upon whether I catch the bus home.  She had not eaten the dry dogfood nor taken the  porkbones in her dish, yet she virtually ignores me when I'm home.
My next task is Oppenheimer.  I don't know where to inquire into the living trust.  Perhaps I can find the prospectus before I call them.  I should switch to my own affairs as well.
Thu 14 Aug  14:16
I am having second thoughts about Toastmasters tonight.  Of course, I've already packed the evening and the justification for driving to work today.  However, the progress has halted for the week.
Fri 15 Aug  14:47
I stayed home last night, so I see my brother tonight.  My sister called just before 9 PM and gave me the details on what to do when Mom returns  If I had gone to Toastmasters, I would not have been home.
I hesistate to mention it, but the Mets have managed to pass the Phillies into first place.  While they swept the Natinoals in Washington, the Phillies were losing three in Los Angeles.  Now it's on to Pittsburgh while the Phillies move to San Diego.
The major patches of prickly heat have cleared to dry and flaky messes.  I should make progress of ridding most of it in a hot bath tonight.  It's still itchy sometimes.
The vendors at work were throwing away expiring food today, so I'll be taking home more than I've brought. 

Sat 16 Aug  19:40
I am on the deck watching the sunset tonight.  I stayed hom all day, and the cleaning of the archives in the bedroom has consumed much of the day.  There is so much to dump from accumulations.  My sister says my mother needs constant supervision, and the five of them are in a much better situation than I am here alone.  Mom called and did not remember that we were on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City -- the last time I was there and on vacation -- when some kid was yelling that Elvis had died.  Any flood of what I was doing in 1977 comes back in a nauseating flash.    Even though I was living in a zoo (public housing), all I had to do was wait for summer to be over for me to execute my plans.  Holding on tightly to my dreams remains difficult some thirtyone years later.  Also, I still don't know what I should be doing for a living, because I've given up on so many dreams.  Reality, like Reaganomics, sucks.
I saw "The Man Called Flintstone" for the first time since Easter (Sunday, 26 March) 1967, and I cannot fahom why I wasted so much time watching cartoons.  Given the fact that so much went over my head at the time, I should not be surprised I forgot most of it after fortyone years.
Sun 17 Aug  19:22
After my encounter with "Mary Poppins" (first seen on Thursday, 25 November 1965) and today ("That Darn Cat", first seen on Sunday, 16 January 1966), I still find it a stark contrast not only over the four decades, but also my perception of both movies.
I stayed home both yesterday and today.  I began the ugly task of cleaning Mom's room.  There was so much dust that I sneezed out of the bedroom several times this weekend.  After 4 PM, I gave the rest up until next weekend.  I filled most of a bag of garbage so far, I mowed the back lawn, then took a bath.  My itchy prickly heat has not give up yet, so a hot bath helped.
Last night I was so tired I retired just past 8:30.  Then I awoke before ten and could not return to sleep until nearly midnight.  Thus I arose late at 8:30 this morning.
Meanwhile, the Mets have begun another winning streak without Billy Wagner in the bullpen.  After six straight over Washington and Pittsburgh, they are 68-56 and ahead of Philadelphia at least two by tomorrow.
Mon 18 Aug  16:45
I am awaiting the podiatrist.  I was visiting my brother in the nursing home when my mother called from my sister's.  She seems to be deteriorating faster, now in the second week.  My sister says she's losing control over basic and trivial daily chores.  It looks bleaker than ever rather than a solution.  I am feeling existential nausea.
My symposium on ITIN just postponed from Wednesday night.
Wed 20 Aug  14:00
I spent a good part of the day, trying to remember that I left Kaman Bearing on that date in 1987.  It never has ocurred to me that the day was ten years after that Saturday morning at Woodhaven Mall.
Saturday, 20 August 1977 was the day my cousin and I were walking through the mall.  Someone said to her that Elvis was dead.  Back then, ironed transfers were big on teshirts.  I replied that Groucho Marx was also dead while wearing a transfer of the three Marx brothers to go with her transfer of Elvis.  I didn't know it at the time, but my summer job of door-to-door sales was over, and the next two weeks held only the stay at our abode in public housing on Coal Street in Wilkes-Barre.  Nonetheless, I never had thought I'd be pining with nostalgia on that infamous summer.
I finally finished my old GRE biology preparation, and I've moved to the Kaplan version.  Progress is so slow.  I spent much time on Rosetta Stone Irish on my brother's computer as a review of the same material  I've already done on my computer.  I finally picked up one of my old books on Irish to explain a few words I just couldn't get.  I also finished an entire cassette with my efforts.  Now I should return to the Block courses online.
I just found "Island of Terror", a British horror film I originally saw in a drivein in August 1967.  I understand the scientific references, but it's still a one-star film   As we were leaving the drivein, I heard -- for the first time -- the Young Rascals on the radio singing "How Can I Be Sure?"
Thu 21 Aug  18:58
On this date in 1969, I reluctantly went to Shea to see the Giants paly the Mets.  Tom Seaver had a bad day, and San Francisco won 7-6 in 12 innings.  I was my initiation into baseball. 
Fri 22 Aug  15:17  Yaz is 69.
I sent an email asking what is happening at my sister's.  I couldn't tell my brother anything last night, for I've had no word since Monday. 
For the third time this week I walked to work.  It is easily over a year since I walked that many times in a week.  I was picked up nearly at the end of the journey, unlike Tuesday and Wednesday (when I walked all the way to work). 
Last night the Mets slipped by Atlanta while Washington won in Philadelphia.  At 71-57, the Mets are 2 1/2 games (2 losses) ahead of Philadelphia.
Each night Midnight and I sit on the deck, trying to enjoy the waning summer.  Because everything is so unsttled, it's a rarity I can ever relax.
Sun 24 Aug  19:45
As I watch the sunset, and the sky darkens, I have much on my mind.  In familial matters, I finally read the living will, and I must call the financial planner with questions.  My sister's family were unable to drive Mom back home today, so I have another week to fix things.  I also read the old supplement on Alzheimer's, and I've taken the handles off the switches of the stove.
My next task is how to take care of Mom when she returns.  Due to change in plans, I will visit my brother tomorrow night, and Thursday when I go to Toastmasters.
I went onto You Tube and watched "Island of Terror" (1966) which I saw in August 1967.  Besides bringing back memories of what I was doing at that time, I also remember hearing "How Can I Be Sure?" by Felix Cavaliere and the Young Rascals for the first time as we were leaving the drivein.
In one of the last scenes, there is a frightened young boy, who could have been my age, among the villagers.


The silicates must have found his character a snack.  The extras were not in the credits, so I'll never know the actor's name, unlike the one who played Eddie in Blob 1988.  I can relate that the scuzzball with whom we were living would have thrown us to the silicates to save his skeleton!
Peter Cushing was about my present age in that movie.  Now I understand the science, but what does adenosine triphosphate have to do with protein structure, Dr. Stanley?
In politics, I had to digest the selection of Joseph Biden for vicepresident awhile before commenting.  I realized Barak Obama had selected Biden to shore up his weaknesses on the ticket: blue-collared, Catholic, and older voters, rather than geographic strength with Delaware.  I dare say it'll help in Virginia, Ohio, Missouri, North Carolina, and even West Virginia.  McCain needs all those states to win.
McCain had little with which to counter on a vicepresident.  His campaigns criticized as "Snub" of Hillary Clinton, a weak response.  Perhaps they are disappointed, for Hillary Clinton can just as well counter the criticism and did.  Since the gaff over the number of houses owned, McCain has declined.
Otherwise, I painted all the window frames, put the fence around the front garden back , and trimmed the weeds.  Nothing else worthy of mention occurred.
Mon 25 Aug  14:58
I have learned to time when the vendor throw away expiring  food.  I found fifteen items in the trash.  If I can get Mom to eat this dense food, she'd be well off!  Anyway, it appears no one else is interested, and it'll take two days to take it all home.  I have a short day tomorrow, so I'll get the last of it early.
I began making the calls.  I plan to continue tomorrow afternoon after I visit the Senior Center.  I'll visit my brother tonight, and bring him more clothes and some footwear.  I'll stop at Walmart for a few things I've neglected.
Thirty years ago, I was leaving 106 Stewart Hall (TheEast Dorms of Penn State).  I had all my possessions with me to return to worthless Wilkes-Barre.  I began sketches of the scenes from Star Wars.  My world was about to change for the next six year, one of the longest periods of my life living in one place.
Tue 26 Aug  19:50
I took off the afternoon, but I ran into a block with the Senior Citizens' Center.  Only adult daycare proved the answer  however, my stop at the library proved helpful in a historical sense.  I found the magazine Prologue had an article on Lyndon Baines Johnson for his 100th birthday.
Thu 28 Aug  14:45
Yesterday I walked to work, missed the bus, and walked back.  The dog did not miss my absence of eleven hours and twenty minutes.  She seems content to sleep on the floor almost all of the time.  In nearly three weeks, she's never come downstairs while I was there.
The Mets continue the ride.  Tuesday night the bullpen helped blow a 7-0 lead while Hillary Clinton spoke at the convention in Denver.  Last night they actually rallied to win, 6-3, in the eighth inning while Joe Biden spoke.  So ends the season in Philadelphia.  The wild card most likely will come from the central division.
Frankford Hospital finally sent the fluoroscopy results to Beechwood.  I'll give them a day to respond.  Meanwhile, I contacted the financial advisor of Oppenheimer.  Mom can easliy liquidate parts of the living will.  The dividends of that particular fund don't even amount to $100 a month!


August, the blank month of summer!

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