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Pandemic Thoughts

August 27th, 2021 Comments off

I’ve reached a point in this pandemic where I’m perfectly fine never speaking to certain people ever again. This is big for me because I’ve always done my best not to cause conflict with people because I do not like being disliked. But then it occurred to me – why do I care what someone who I have lost respect for thinks of me anyway? I do not value their opinion, and I disagree with their world view enough that I do not plan on speaking to, or spending time with, them so why do I even care? Answer: I don’t.

Look, it’s one thing if you’re vaccine hesitant because of *reasons*, although hopefully those are legit reasons and not stupid shit like “I don’t know what’s in it” or “it’s not FDA approved” (ahem, as of Monday Pfizer is so I guess those people will need to find a new goalpost). But if you’re going to be plastering your Facebook wall with conspiracy talk and putting stuff up that says “I have an immune system”, “I stand for medical freedom”, or “unmask the children” I think that a) you’re a moron and b) a selfish one at that and I have no interest in interacting with you in any capacity moving forward.

I seriously cannot wrap my head around the mentality that the government is trying to kill us with this vaccine. If that were true, why were they one of the first groups to get vaccinated? And why would the government want to kill all the scientists and medical professionals? Do these people ever stop and think logically? Because if every single one of the vaccinated people dies within 6 months, 1 year, or 2 years like these wackadoos are saying then all we’re going to be left with are people with IQs in the double digits who refuse to listen to authority. Do you really think those are the people the government wants left standing?

Besides, if that’s the case, well, I’m ok with my fate because I don’t want to live in that world anyway. We’re well on our way to a real life Idiocracy if things don’t change. If anything, the government is hoping all these “my body, my choice” (unless it’s to stop others from getting an abortion, of course, because *hypocrisy*) people will die off.

I’d just like to know whether these people have ever done any true research and/or watched a single video of a real doctor explaining how your immune system and vaccines work. Because I just can’t believe that anyone with a shred of intelligence would still think the crazy things I’ve seen people posting out there. They must be getting all their information from Facebook memes and it’s really sad they cannot be motivated enough to at least look at reputable sources before parroting the same old rhetoric.

The anti-mask anti-vaccine people are like a toddler who throws a tantrum because you won’t let them stick a fork in a light socket. We have parents actively fighting against school administrations so their children don’t have to wear masks. Do they want their child exposed to a deadly virus? Do they not believe it exists? Oh wait, it must be that, until their kid does get sick and then they’ll be asking you to donate to their Go Fund Me for their medical (or funeral) expenses.

I’ve seen too many videos of people saying they changed their mind about not getting vaccinated, but only AFTER they’ve caught COVID. Apparently if it doesn’t happen to them directly it’s not real. So how does that work for Christians, then? Last I heard they haven’t personally met Jesus or God so…

If the consequences of not getting vaccinated and catching COVID rested solely with the infected individual, I wouldn’t care. You made a choice and there are consequences that go along with that. But this affects everyone. It’s a public health issue. It’s not political, it’s not a way for the government to control you, and it’s not a mass culling. There are children dying now thanks to the Delta variant, not to mention hospitals being overloaded to the point where they have to turn away people having heart attacks and strokes because the unvaccinated COVID patients are taking up all the resources. Innocent people who did their part are dying thanks the selfishness of these people and that makes me very very angry.

I am livid that this is the world we live in. The lack of empathy and personal responsibility is higher that I ever thought possible and it’s frustrating, disheartening, and disgusting. I’m sure there’s levels of this bullshit in other countries but I wouldn’t be surprised if the U.S. has the highest concentration of nut jobs. The same people who have been crying about their freedoms and refusing to wear masks are the reason why we’re still dealing with this today. Now they are going to see even more of their “freedom” stripped away as cities institute vaccine passports for things like bars, clubs, restaurants, concerts and other events. If only everyone had done their part we wouldn’t be in this position. But they’re all too up their own ass to even see it.

The worst part is there’s nothing I can do about any of this. I have tried to talk sense into one family member and was told “I’m stubborn so the more you try to convince me, the less chance I will do it”. Seriously!?!? So I assured them I wouldn’t bring it up again, and I haven’t. I guess they’ll either suffer the consequences of their inaction, or they’ll get lucky and feel justified in it. Either way it’s a real shitty outcome.

I’ve made peace with the fact that I may very well lose family members to this virus, or at least see them disabled from it, which is still terrible when your quality of life is affected. But what else can I do? I have to let go and let the chips fall where they may. And that’s the worst part of this past year and a half.

Categories: Health, Rants & Observations Tags:

All The Other Things

August 19th, 2021 Comments off

Figured I’d post a mish mash of things that have happened recently. I really only keep up this blog for my own memories at this point so if you find this boring that’s why.

Sat 8/7 – We tried Wendy’s breakfast for the first time in years because T-Mobile Tuesday had a deal where you get a free breakfast sandwich with any purchase. I got the Maple Bacon Chicken Croissant and a small order of Seasoned Potatoes. I thought the sandwich was pretty good. Reminded me of a chicken version of McDonald’s McGriddles. So good, but not great. But those potatoes were amazing! They remind me so much of the potato wedges KFC used to have. It’s too bad you can only get them during breakfast. I might have to plan ahead so I can get some in the morning, grab some KFC in the afternoon, and reheat the wedges in the air fryer.

Fresh Picked Tomatoes

Sun 8/8 – Our neighbor came by asking if we’d like to pick some tomatoes from his garden since he had too many. Joe picked four and we used most of them to make the most delicious bruschetta.

Bruschetta

Wed 8/11 – The Woodman’s finally opened by us on Tuesday, August 10th, so we headed over there the next day around 8 am to check it out. Observations: there’s no deli (weird), they only take Discover (in addition to debit and cash), the liquor store has a separate entrance but can also be accessed via the store, but you have to pay for everything there separately, their selection is off the charts. Needless to say, we spent an hour going up and down the majority of the aisles. It will definitely be a place we shop at often, particularly because they’re open 24 hours.

Subaru Outback Outback Screen

Thu 8/12 – Took my Crosstrek to the dealer to address two recalls and was given an Outback loaner. Observations: I like the dual climate control but found the radio annoying to operate, and the fact that all the controls had to be done on the screen other than adjusting the temperature. The Auto Start-Stop feature to conserve gas is hella annoying because the car would jerk when starting back up. If my car had that I’d be disabling it real quick. I did like that the doors automatically locked once the car reached 15 MPH, though, and you could open the door from the inside without having to unlock the door first. That’s the single most annoying thing about my car and I still don’t understand how me having to manually lock and unlock the doors is supposedly a safety feature. It’s stupid!

Herrick Lake

Sun 8/15 – We got up early to visit Herrick Lake & Danada Equestrian Center in Wheaton. It’s been years since visiting either one.

At Herrick we saw a Tussock Moth caterpillar, a Cedar Waxwing, and heard woodpeckers and blue jays, which I was able to identify with the Merlin Bird ID app. They recently added a feature where you can have it listen to birds in the area and give you a possible match. It’s remarkably accurate.

Most of the horses at Danada were eating in a pasture not really accessible to the public (and had their eyes covered which I thought was interesting; I read it has to do with flies). There were two in the barn that we saw, and we were visited by two curious barn cats too, and saw some barn swallows, although I wasn’t able to get a good photo of them.

Vito & Nick's Frozen Pizza

Later in the day we decided to make one of the Vito & Nick’s pizza we picked up at Woodman’s and when I tell you that we were blown away by how good it was I am not exaggerating. We’ve never had a better frozen pizza. The amount of toppings they add is insane!

Pizza Slice

Each slice is very filling even though the crust is thin. We intend to keep one on hand at all times for lazy dinner days.

Tue 8/17 – I met my friend, C, for lunch at Culver’s to catch up. We initially sat outside, at my request, because that Delta variant of COVID has got me worried and I’m not really comfortable being indoors without a mask, and that’s kinda hard to do when you’re eating. Unfortunately, a few bees found our food very interesting, so we were forced to retreat inside to get away from their relentless buzzing around us.

Rueben

We were planning on visiting my friend, K, today, and we usually get Culver’s, so I decided to have something different than a burger during this visit, and got the Rueben. It looked better than it was, although it wasn’t actually bad. It was average, I’d say. I would eat it again, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to do so.

After we had been at the restaurant 45 minutes I asked my friend if we could go back to my place since I wasn’t comfortable being there any longer (it was getting busier) so we hung out at the house until she left around 3:15. Right before she left we were standing by the patio door hoping to see a hummingbird but none came by. I told her they’ll probably come right after she leaves, and that’s exactly what happened. Not only that, but I pointed out that they don’t seem to like the new red Pentas we recently got, and of course now they do! Are they trying to make me look bad?

Famer's Market VeggiesCinnamon Roll

Wed 8/18 – We decided to check out Warrenville’s farmer’s market and spent nearly $40 between blackberries ($4), veggies ($5.50), sweet cheese pierogi ($12/dozen), a gigantic cinnamon roll ($4.25), and two rolls ($12 total) from a food truck called Roll With It.

Rolls

The Oreo roll is on the left and a caprese roll is on the right. We really liked the Oreo one and the other one was ok, but not good enough we’d get again.

I made some icing for the cinnamon roll by mixing powdered sugar, milk, and a little almond extract. It came out delicious, particularly because Joe heated the roll in the air fryer before we added the icing.

We used the poblano and yellow peppers to make southwestern stuffed peppers for dinner. They came out amazing, particularly the poblanos.

Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

We are looking forward to making them again soon.

Today we were supposed to head to K’s house for a puppy play date but Wookie isn’t feeling well so we’re taking it easy and keeping an eye on her. I fed her some canned pumpkin mixed in wither her wet food, which she loved, so hopefully that will help her belly. She’s currently lying on the floor right next to my chair.

General Stuff

My left shoulder is still slowly getting better. I can almost raise my arm all the way up, reach behind my back again, and sleep on it with minimal pain. Crazy how long it’s been since these issues started – a year now, I believe.

We haven’t been using our master tub/shower in the last month because the drain hole is messed up and Joe is having a tough time removing it to replace it. We are planning on using this opportunity to redo the master bathroom. It’s sorely needed – the tub is old, the grout in the wall tile is falling apart and I fear water has gotten behind it and might be harboring mold, and the grout in the floor tile is coming apart even though Joe redid that a few years ago. Might as well do a full gut and install all new stuff. We’ve been dragging our feet on it though because picking out materials is stressful! I can’t decide if I want to do a shower surround or do tile again. Tile would definitely look better, but the wall surround would be easier to keep clean.

Vaccinated

May 21st, 2021 Comments off

As of yesterday we are both considered fully vaccinated! Guess we can go back to licking doorknobs now. ;)

We both got the two shot Pfizer vaccines – Joe got his first shot 8 days ahead of mine and I got my last one on May 6th so we are officially as vaccinated as you can get. We feel lucky that our side effects were mild. We both had sore arms at the injection point, and Joe had a little muscle/joint pain after the first shot, but for the most part that was it. We both had some Body Armor waters (like Gatorade) after our shots and I made a point to work out and keep my arm moving too which I think helped. I was worried it might make my tinnitus worse since I stumbled upon a site where many people claimed theirs worsened shortly after their shot, or tinnitus started when they never had it to begin with, but luckily I haven’t noticed a difference.

I’ve read that many people aren’t going back for their second shots which I think is a mistake. I believe it’s because they had concerning side effects after the first shot. Everything I’ve gathered indicates that people who’ve had COVID in the past have worse side effects after the first shot and those who haven’t have worse ones after the second. It checks out with E, at least, because he had COVID last year and felt really crappy after his first shot.

The CDC recently announced new rules around wearing masks, particularly for those who have been vaccinated, but seeing as how no one is requiring proof of vaccination, this is just open season for the anti-mask anti-vax morons to do whatever they please. Many stores, including Costco, Target, and Menards have already changed their policies giving people the option of whether to wear a mask. Luckily so far everyone in our area is still wearing them, and I personally think the CDC is making a big mistake. Unless of course they WANT the liars to catch COVID and possibly die.

I don’t know why they had to make these changes now. We haven’t even reached a 50% vaccination rate in this country yet. Are we ever going to achieve heard immunity? Not at this rate with so many people acting completely stupid about this virus. I never realized how many idiots were in this country until this past year. I honestly thought people were smarter, and less selfish, than they’ve proven themselves to be. It’s really disheartening.

Categories: Family, Health Tags:

RIP Uncle Jimmy

May 14th, 2021 Comments off

My Uncle Jimmy, or Uncle Jimmy Claus as we called him growing up, passed away on May 6th from COVID.

I don’t really have many details, but from what my father told me (which is what he was told by his siblings), my uncle didn’t answer the phone so my Aunt Carol & Uncle Larry went to check on him and had to break into the house only to find him unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital and passed away a few days later. I don’t believe he had been vaccinated. I’m not sure of his reasoning, or his stance on any of what has been going on this year. I was told he didn’t go out much, and was retired, so they are unsure where he caught it, although there was some speculation it could have been at a baseball card store. Imagine that being the reason you end up dying? So sad.

So now the only two siblings on my dad’s side (he has eight) that I kept in touch with are gone. It’s always the good ones. :(

My Uncle Jimmy was the one who bought us the original Nintendo and our very first computer (a Tandy). When we’d visit my grandparents, we’d spend much of our time in his bedroom playing Atari games. He was the fun uncle, and a kid at heart. After my grandparents passed away he remained in their home by himself, so I guess it will be sold now.

I’m really glad I took the time a few years ago to write him a letter expressing how grateful I was for how generous he was to us, and for staying in touch over the years. While we weren’t extremely close, he will be missed.

Categories: Family, Health Tags:

T-Rex Arm & Boobies

February 3rd, 2021 Comments off

Monday (2/1) I saw a shoulder surgeon about my range of motion issues with my left arm. I’ve been going to physical therapy but haven’t seen much improvement, although pain wise it has been better. He diagnosed me with a frozen shoulder, which is what everyone suspected all along, but it was good to get confirmation. They took x-rays to rule out arthritis, and he doctor explained that if it was a tear he’d be able to physically manipulate my arm, but he couldn’t because it’s stuck. He said if we focused on stretching that eventually it would unfreeze and I’d get my full range of motion back. It’s a long process, though, that can last upwards of a year. This began in August of last year so who knows when it will be back to normal. The doctor’s assistant, Dan, gave me a cortisone shot in the shoulder to help reduce pain so my PT can stretch me out more without me being in agony. I really like her. Or I guess I should say them since I’ve been going back and forth between two very lovely women, one of which does dry needling on the area too. They have been my main source of in-person socializing. We’re always joking and whatnot. Yesterday they even sent me home with a slice of cookie-cake from a birthday celebration one of their assistants had. It was covered in frosting and very good too!

The shot was painful, but after the trigger point injections I got in 2019 I can tolerate the pain. The only thing I didn’t like was how the doctor lowered his mask twice to speak. Dude, I can hear you fine, damn! The assistant didn’t do that, though, and spent more time with me, so overall it was fine.

Today (2/3) I had to go back to the hospital for a follow-up mammogram and ultrasound because my right breast looked different on the screening mammogram I had last month. My obgyn told me not to worry since this is quite common, so I actually didn’t think about it much. And he was right – it was nothing to worry about. In fact, after doing the second mammogram they decided an ultrasound wasn’t even necessary, so now someone is gonna owe me some money since I paid my out of pocket portion at the hospital this morning in full ($389). I called their billing department when I got home but they don’t have anything in the system yet, so I’ll need to call back on Monday. I’m sure we’ll figure it out but let that be a lesson to me – only pay the deposit next time instead of the full amount due. I guess I wasn’t expecting them to see everything they needed on the new mammogram. Perhaps I wouldn’t have had to come back in had the original woman been more thorough then. Hard to say, though. This new lady took more angles and took her time. She explained too that the doctor who looked at the scans compared them all the way back to 2012 and didn’t see any differences to warrant an ultrasound.

The one thing that stood out to me this week is how in neither scenario was I asked if I could be pregnant, nor did they shield any other part of my body from radiation. Is this suddenly not a standard practice, or is someone dropping the ball? Usually when I’ve gotten x-rays they would at least ask, and have me wear a shielded apron. They had me do it for my mammogram last month, so that is weird. I guess now that I’m 45 it’s like fuck her uterus?

Ok, I actually took a second while typing up this entry to see what the deal might be, and apparently there’s good reason they don’t shield you during scans anymore. This article eases my mind.

Categories: Health Tags: