Various & Sundry – Jan. wk. 4

We got our first snow of the year yesterday, starting about 1:00 in the afternoon and continuing to 5:30 or so, about a quarter inch, which stuck but is mostly gone this morning.

Got in the car and went to the Clinic this morning for labs. Per the latest recommendation, I double masked, an N95 with my usual cloth mask over it. The N95, which I bought 20 years ago when doing brick work, is extremely tight, but very effective (as in hard to even breathe through). I’ll do the double mask if I’m out in public, but if just around one person who is masked, I’ll just wear the more comfortable one.

Library books are suddenly pouring in. I had many on hold when things shut downed now it’s all coming in. I had The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman here and had read about 65 pages, but it just didn’t grab me at all, so I took it back. I also had The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope by C.W. Grafton, but decided to take it back unstarted, as I may buy it later. From the library today came To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini (875 pages), his first SF novel, A Promised Land by Barack Obama (701 pages), and Dead West by Matt Goldman (318 pages). That’s a ton of reading to do in three weeks, and there are many people in line waiting, so no renewals will be allowed. Sigh. What do you do in such a situation?

Fortunately, I have nothing to do the rest of this week but read, with an occasional meal now and then.

Why do I say it that way? Because I lost a little weight while in hospital (the food was AWFUL), and I lost my appetite. I’m trying not to let it return, so am eating minimal amounts of healthy stuff and have eliminated every snack thing in the house (Barbara has her own stash but I don’t touch it), and will be good at least until the Girl Scout Cookies arrive next month. Yay me.

I’ve had enough politics, the GOP is enraging me, some especially, so I’ve decided to cut out news for a few days. I’ll be the better for it.

Vaccines? Good luck here in Portland, OR. The Governor decided the order is going to be all health care workers, then all school teachers and employees, from Principals to janitors, then students, then “front line” workers, such as grocery clerks and anyone dealing with the public for work, THEN seniors aged 80 and above, then seniors aged 75 and above and so on. Thus seniors will be last, not first as the CDC recommends. BAH! I guess we oldsters are dispensable here. We are very scared, but nothing to do.

So, enough of that, I’m off to read. Stay as well and safe as possible, please, all of you!

About Richard Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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23 Responses to Various & Sundry – Jan. wk. 4

  1. You stay safe as well.

    I’m just shy of two weeks away from my second vaccine. Almost everyone here at work has gotten sick (chills, aches) with their second shot, but all a far sight better than actually getting COVID.

    We’ve had a couple of snow days in a row here, but I’d say most we have on the ground is 1.5 inches. Looks pretty. Not melting because it is bitter cold here today, but supposed to be back up near 50 tomorrow. It has been a weird winter.

    No advice on the books. I hate reading anything over 400 pages, even when I end up loving the book in the end. Just don’t want to make that much of a time commitment. I’d rather have read 2-3 shorter books than one longer one, though the page count and time spent would be the same.

    • Thanks, Carl. I like somewhat shorter books to, more like the Goldman, but I really wanted to see what Paolini would do with SF after liking his Inheritance fantasy novels. I didn’t expect it to be so long, nor did I expect the other two to pop in at the same time!

      Hope you fare better with that 2nd shot. What are you reading these days?

  2. Steve Oerkfitz says:

    Is hospital food ever good?
    I enjoyed the Matt Goldman. I don’t read political books whether I admire the person or not.
    Tried a Paolini book once years back. Found it unbearable bad and bailed early.
    I don’t know why books seem to be getting longer and longer. I prefer books under 400 pages. I’m reading Grave’s End by William Shaw right now. 460 pages, but it reads very quickly.

    • Different tastes, I liked the Inheritance novels, though that kind of fantasy isn’t everyone’s cuppa. I don’t know why books get longer either, but it seems to have been going on for a while now.

      • Steve Oerkfitz says:

        I didn’t dislike the Paolini because of subject matter. I just thought he couldn’t write worth a damn.

        • Fair enough, Steve, it’s just enough story to pull me along (I mostly liked the dragon). I’m now about 45 pages into this one, and…no, the writing isn’t great. If the plot doesn’t get better, I may not finish it.

        • Steve, I gave it up after 73 pages. Didn’t like the character, plot, writing or setting, which means bad all around. No, the writing wasn’t good either.

  3. Jerry House says:

    Glad you seem to be feeling better, Rick. Also glad you are double masked, have a lot of reading ahead of you, are not snowed in, are losing some weight, yet remain delightfully curmudgeonly.

    I’m finishing up QUEEN CLEOPATRA, a Tros novel by Talbot Munday. It’s interesting but very dense. I’ve got about 50 pages left. Next up will be a Thorne Smith fntasy, THE STRAY LAMB. The librarie have not been faring well here during the pandemic so I am left to my own towering Mount TBR for the foreseeable future.

    Stay safe and healthy, my friend.

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I had a followup visit to the urologist today and don’t have to go back for a year. The office was busy – there are several doctors there – but spread out and fine. We’re getting a Polar Vortex visit this weekend, and when it leaves Monday we might get more snow. I say “more” because we did have snow the other day – 0.1 inches is the January total so far.

    Glad you’re home and improving. Wasn’t there a short story thing you did last January? Too bad it wasn’t this year, as I have been reading almost nothing else so far this year (except some non fiction). Believe it or not, I am closing in on 100 short stories this month.

    A vaccine doesn’t look likely here any time soon, but I’m hoping by March if we’re lucky…or April. George and Diane got theirs, as did Patti, but nothing doing here.

    • I’ve been home since the 11th, I guess, but the first few days are a blur. Now I’m up and about, reading, walking as much as can but still a little wobbly. Labs this morning show my sodium is in normal now, so I’m off salt pills, though my BP remains a little low (96/68 this a.m.). So I’m off BP meds I took for years.

      I got down and back up the stairs a while ago, it was hard. My legs are weak. Hope you get your vacs soon!

  5. tracybham says:

    I am glad you are taking care of yourself even though you are not enjoying it.

    I prefer books 250 pages long. I have read several longer books (450-550 pages) so far in 2021, so I must be getting over my resistance to long books. But I still like to stay with shorter books.

    I am gradually cutting down on reading news, online or in the paper, because I can’t avoid the politics, but it is bothering me much less than before.

    I don’t see that my husband and I will be able to get a vaccine any time soon (we are 70 and 72), so I am just keeping an eye on the situation but not worrying about it.

  6. Evan Lewis says:

    I can help with the library problem. A little. Skip The Promised Land by Obama and read Promised Land by Robert B. Parker instead. It’s way shorter.

  7. 1412064gk says:

    I love Evan’s advice! Like Tracy, I prefer shorter books. And, like Jeff Meyerson, I’ve been reading a ton of short stories lately. But, Winter has finally arrived in Western NY. We’ve had a few inches of snow and now we’re getting an Arctic Blast. Our temps will remain below freezing for the next week. So, this is the Perfect Time to read some Big Fat Books (500+ pages). You’ll see some of the reviews on my blog starting next week. In the meantime, take time to recover. You’ve been through a lot!

    • Jeff Meyerson says:

      True. The dreaded Polar Vortex (ominous music) is coming! This weekend will be frigid here, so I can only imagine how it is in North Tonawanda. And we could be getting more than a tenth of an inch of snow next week.

      Times like these really make you miss Florida, but I want to live so it will be next year.

    • Am so doing, George, am so doing. I need to walk more, but it’s wet and cold here too, though not your level of cold, only about 30.

  8. Frank Denton says:

    Hi, George,
    I’m sorry to hear that you are having health issues. Keep on top of them.

    What’s the matter with the Postal Service? We’ve sent you a Christmas card twice now and it has been returned. Unless you have moved since last year the address is correct. Keeps coming back as undeliverable. Anyway, it’s a little late for holiday greetings, but we wish you and Barbara the best.

    • Frank, it’s Rick Robinson here, not George. We have not moved, still at SW 55th Place. Thanks for the holiday greetings, and I hope both of you are doing well. What are you reading these days?

  9. Patti Abbott says:

    Hope you got my card. I think the entire country should be on the same schedule. It is cruel to make you wait so long when states like Michigan are vaccinating 65 and over. Although they keep running out. Hope I can get my second shot in two weeks as I am scheduled. Be safe and well.

    • Yes, we got yours, Patti. I agree about schedule, but our Governor decided getting kids back in school was more important than vaccinating seniors (all those parents are voters, of course, but then so are we seniors). By the time we get ours, there will be many worse variants, who knows what will even be effective. I think I may spend the rest of my life staying home and wearing masks for necessary outings. Unless, of course, the Trumpist rebels shoot us all.

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