You are currently browsing the daily archive for November 3, 2021.

What’s top of my mind: Getting my COVID19 booster. I am scheduled for such this Thursday at 6PM. I didn’t have any problems with the first batch, so I surmise I won’t have any issues with the booster. I want this done before traveling to California. I don’t know how ‘quick it kicks in’, but it will feel good to have it done.

Where I’ve been: The Hyundai service center. The warning lights on the Elantra came on to tell both tires in the stern are under-flated (is that a word?) – and just before a road trip! The car is overdue for service anyway, so last night off it went to the Hyundai center for a check up. No doubt they will find other matters wrong with it, ominous and expensive, that need doing. They always do. Stirges.

Where I’m going: Palm Springs! Someone reminded me we leave Saturday afternoon. I’ve had no time to ‘prepare’ meaning time for getting psyched for a trip. I will have some challenges on this trip. I am in earnest it will be challenging to relax and enjoy myself. It’s been two years since I’ve had a holiday; it has been all work and what time away is care-taking. There is also the COVID19 conditions to contend with.

Have you had any major trips this year? Did you enjoy it?

What I’m watching: The weather. I want to see how warm it will be in California next week, so I pack accordingly. It’s been about two years since my last holiday, so I have some Spo-shirts to debut, but it maybe too chilly for such apparel, worse luck. I’ve learned from experience to always bring a sweatshirt and some heavy trousers for the breakfasts by the pool. Until the sun rises it can be downright cold in the mornings. I also travel with a companion who is constantly cold. Seeing him wrapped up like a burrito makes me chilly too.

What I’m reading: ‘Constant Craving; how digital media turned us all into dopamine addicts.’ This is news to me. I agree we spend too much time staring at screens, but I disagree we are all turning into dopamine addicts. Every time we do something pleasurable like hugging or kissing our loved ones (pets included) or having a cup of tea there is a bit of a dopamine release. This happens all day long. We are not all kissing or tea addicts. Dopamine does a lot in the brain besides reinforce something worth repeating. To put this into perspective, history shows every time something new comes about there are jeremiads proclaiming we are all going to turn into mindless zombies for it. This happened when the automobile arrived, the radio became ubiquitous, and (oh the horror!) television entered our homes. There were similar ‘headlines’ when printed books became common and available. While there are genuine addictions, including the media, they are the exception, not the rule. Dopamine also works with motivation. Limit yourself to how often you use things and you’ll be fine. Chances are you won’t become an addict.

What I’m listening to: Sky Tour Astronomy Podcast. Every first of the month this podcast tells the ‘night news’ what celestial events will occur. It reports on the phases of the moon and the position of the planets. It points out interesting facts about the constellations presently showing in the November sky. When Harper and I go for our morning and evening walks we look for these.

What I’m eating: Leftovers. We leave Saturday so I’m trying to use up everything in the fridge. We dine this week on ‘stone soup’ and ‘who hash’ and ‘Tuna Hemingway.* It is no fun coming home from a holiday to a fridge full of wilted what-nots. Similarly, Someone doesn’t want to come home to dirty dishes and I dislike laundry as I am coming home with plenty as it is.

Do you have any pre-vacation house rituals?

Who needs a good slap: Uncle Albertsons. On 30 October I visited Uncle A to get some last minute items for Halloween. Throughout the store were gaps on the shelves; it was fascinating to see what was/was not in stock. They were out of creamed cheese, cheap pasta, and quality toilet paper (funny how people insist on $$ tissue but buy the cheapest spaghetti). What was NOT missing was Christmas candy. A day ago there was the meager leftover (rubbish type) Halloween treats. That day the shelves were chock-full with candy canes. Christmas in November is bad enough without it bleeding into October.

I give Albertsons two slaps (on a 1-5 scale).

Are there Christmas items up already around your neck of the woods?

What I’m planning: Dinners. Over the years of traveling with chums I’ve become the ‘Miss Julie’ to arrange our suppers. Picture it: 4-5 Midwesterners sitting around a table, being asked where they want to go to dinner. Each says “I don’t care/I don’t know” and defers to the others. This goes for a few rounds until everyone looks at me to decide what to do. Reading my journals I came up with a list of past places from which to make our supper plans. Restaurants are ephemeral, and this goes double for those in Palm Springs. 2020/COVID19 probably closed some of them. We’ll soon find out. I got a couple of new places per recommendations of others.

Do you know of any good eats in Palm Springs?

What’s making me smile: Celestial Seasonings. My office has bipolar-like temperature conditions: ardent hot (May-Oct) and gelid (Nov-Apr). Yesterday I got out the kettle to start another six months of hot drinks to keep me warm. I avoid caffeine after 2PM so I drink tisanes. Celestial Seasons makes all sort of pleasant ‘teas’; they make me smile just to prepare a cup. It is impossible to raise to your lips a warm steaming mug and not smile a little, prior to the first sip.

My favorite is wild berry; what’s yours?

*’Tuna Hemingway’ is a hodgepodge recipe consisting of making a box of M&C with a tin of tuna mixed into it. Then you add whatever chopped bits are at hand. Tuna H. is never made the same way twice. A generous shake of freshly-ground pepper and some habanero salt perhaps covers any off flavors from added ingredients a bit past their prime.

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