Thursday, November 28, 2013

28 November 2013
Thanksgiving – morning

Oh yeah, don't forget to be thankful
no matter what

I awoke this morning at six unable to sleep any more, so I got around to my usual supine routine. I turned on the iPad to tune in the nearby university streaming radio, so I could listen to NPR news without being gnawed into submission by endless and unrelenting commercials. The problem with starting NPR early is that there comes a point in their broadcast where the stories begin to repeat. If I have been left alone and haven't missed a story, this can become tedious. If that happens I turn the iPad off and switch to my computer, a MacBook AIR, a mighty nice and very small computer. I had a MacBook PRO but that slid off the bed at another nursing home I was placed at, due to the air mattress (to alleviate pressure sores) cycling through its pattern of increasing and decreasing air pressure within the mattress. I returned to find the mortally wounded computer, open and still trying to function, on the floor.

The management said that they would fix it. It was yet another in a long list of promises that were never intended on being fulfilled, sad is the experience of one caught in the jaws of such a large, burgeoning actually, market for caring for the unable of us amongst the population. I eventually sent the computer for repair back in Lansing, by way of a friend of mine. The computer store, the employees whom I know, indicated that repairs would have totaled $600, that the age of the machine made decision not very worthwhile. So we decided to scrap it and recycle the parts. Now I am down to two machines, this MacBook Air and my main computer a 24” iMac that I wrote my dissertation on, which currently is living in storage at my idiot brother's house. It has been there over two years and isn't getting any newer. But no amount of begging and cajoling moves him not one bit. It only teases me that I own a machine that was so capable as that and it is effectively being kept from me. I dis so relish the big beautiful real estate that machine afforded. Now the choice of better resolution is being offered, called Retina display. Eventually I will want one of those.

I did purchase a pneumatic arm designed to be affixed to the wall to hold the iMac so it would float over the bed, a cordless mouse and cordless keyboard would allow me to work with the machine, very cool. But there was one tight nut that would not come undone so it could be mounted, my brother took the machine back to his house, I got unceremoniously moved here, the arm was summarily removed and delivered here , where it languishes on the floor in the closet. I have spoken with my brother about constructing an armature of white ABS plastic pipe that could be assembled next to the bed on which the pneumatic arm could be mounted.
But he insists that he is an engineer (never took any engineering classes though) and true to his form he always wants to over engineer something. Next thing I know he is telling me about a design he has worked out that has all sorts of legs going in different directions, and using a couple of cinder blocks to hold the legs down from the extra stress magnified by the lever arm of the computer on the end of the pneumatic arm … I said. “Fine. Who is going to haul all of that stuff up here to the third floor?” Why he would, of course. I have been here since the beginning of February and there has been nothing yet. I really don't expect anything, but it is a kind of perverted fun to reckon the continuing clock running down,wondering if anything will happen?

This morning is Thanksgiving Day, I should consider things that I am thankful for. It is hard, though. So much does not go as expected, in spite of well laid plans, simple human frailties get in the way. It often comes out sounding sarcastic, but that is how things work. One of the administrators told me once that when the cat is away the mice will play. I suppose all of the nurse overseers are off site having their own Thanksgiving. Meanwhile I am left to enjoy mine with the mice. I have had my call light on for an hour now, waiting for someone to come so I can get some water (been out now since 2 1/2 hours ago) and my toothbrush from the other room were it is recharging. At 11:30 it is time to get breakfast out of my mouth. I suppose I am thankful for a call light, even though, depending on it seems a fool's errand.

I am thankful for all the time I was able to spend aimlessly in the woods finding wonderful items to photograph and feeling so included by nature. I certainly do not feel so included by people, almost as if they were bound and determined to be exclusionary oriented. It is so difficult to even see some of the pictures I had taken over the years, mostly the best I can do is remember those times. I am thankful that at least I can do that.

When I was first divorced (actually before then too)I used to cook a lot. For me it was an exploration of living in the world, with style. I had begun as a self defense because of the Celiac disease I endured, but I soon reached a point where cooking was a celebration of life, not merely a means to an end - calorie loading. I am thankful that I could at least learn to push the possibilities as far as I could. When I left my home I was exploring sous vide cooking and the potential there. Obviously none of that equipment survived, it would not surprise me if my idiot brother ate all of the frozen beef in my freezer as well, so it wouldn't go to waste, if you know what I mean …

Looking back at my list, most of the things I am thankful for are from the past. That is because there is so little that I can do, or am allowed to do now. It is amazing how limited one becomes living like this. No incense, everyone is deathly afraid of fire. No candles either same reason. I really miss the annual season long fire in the wood stove. There is no heat quite like radiant heat. I am thankful that I had the presence of mind to record all of my CD's onto the big iMac, and that I got the wireless backup of that entire Hard Drive on my Time Capsule. I am thankful for a decent WiFi system here at the facility, through my computer and iPad I can explore the world, instead of being confined to one very small room.

I am glad to at least have some of my books.  

I suppose that to some small degree I am thankful for this place and its denizens. But as they often do a less than stellar job, I hesitate to speak too loud or too fast less I jinx the whole thing and the maddening little peccadillos become the new norm. Let's just say it could be worse. Now I await the big Thanksgiving meal that was advertised, the delivery is already forty-five minutes later than usual for the noon meal. Let's see for what I could be thankful for.

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