Anhydrous Wit

Are you pondering what I'm pondering?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Flame on!

Here's a photo of the damaged building taken this evening, after the second fire.

I didn't think of looking at the other side of the building, until I had gotten back to my apartment.  Maybe I'll check that out tomorrow.

I checked Tulsa news sources again.  Three of the four local TV stations finally deigned to consider us news, and the newspaper wrote a second, short story.  (Click on the following if you're interested.)
   Tulsa World
   Channel 6, KOTV
   Channel 2, KJRH  (Note that they didn't mention it's the second fire this week.)
   Channel 23, KOKI

I think I'll ask the apartment manager if all apartments will be inspected for wiring and gas problems (presuming I learn what the fire department determines as the cause of the fires).  These are not new buildings, so I wonder if they can be retrofitted to meet whatever changes in building codes have been made since construction.

Oh no, not again!

My apologies for using the same title twice in my blog, but you'll soon understand why.

I figure it's a cosmic joke that I went to bed without setting my alarm, happy in the thought that I could sleep in for once.  Then I tossed and turned for over two hours.  I eventually fell asleep but woke up with two new itchy spots.  (The new anti-itch gel works great.  I wasn't itchy in any of the places where I had applied it.)  I got up to apply on those two spots and to go to the bathroom before returning to bed, where I tossed and turned some more.  At this point, I figured I could take a nap the next day.

I woke at 3:55 a.m. because I heard a loud voice outside my window.  I peered between the blinds and saw an obese woman and her two obese children walking away, down the sidewalk.  I also saw – uh-oh! – red, flashing lights reflected on the wall of the next building.  I got dressed for the walk I was going to take anyway and went to investigate.

The parking lot was full of fire trucks, and I saw flames at the same apartment in the same building that caught fire earlier this week.  "Holy s*it, it's happening again," I muttered quietly.  (Spit?  Skit?  Slit?  Snit?  Swit?  Suit?  No, it couldn't be suit, or else I would've spelled it "holey".)  A fireman (or firewoman) was on the ladder truck, directing water at the adjacent part of the roof, so the fire wouldn't spread.  The flames I saw weren't bright nor tall, so I assume they were reasonably under control.  When I returned from my walk, a fireperson (?)  with a flashlight (or, ironically, "torch" for those of you in the English-speaking part of the world) was on the apartment's balcony, so I figure the fire was out (again).

At this point, I pondered that the gas and electric services to the damaged apartment and the affected ones around it should've been turned off after the fire.  Maybe they weren't.  (Yeah, "oops" would be a good word here.)  Maybe they were, and there's a bigger problem than initially thought.  Maybe there's a firebug in the neighborhood.

I suppose that the apartment manager was awake when all this was going on, but I didn't want to assume.  I'll wait until a decent hour to send her a text message and ask if she's stressing out.  Maybe she'll give me more information (if she has any) at that time.  I'll also check the local newspaper and TV websites later.  A repeat fire should get more attention from them this time.

Oh, yeah:  How is it possible that someone talking loudly outside my apartment can wake me up, but fire engine sirens won't?

Friday, August 30, 2013

There are worse songs to get stuck in my head.

My best guess about how I came in contact this time was getting too close to a weed-infested fenceline during our after-hours mowing on Monday evening.  I certainly haven't done any inattentive weeding lately.  Besides, the rash started near my elbow, not on my fingers.  (It certainly was spread by them, though.)  I slept poorly last night, frequently waking up with itchy, irritating urges.  (Worse yet, I'll probably spread it all over myself via my sheets.)  I ran out of my cheap, next-to-useless (what do you expect from a dollar store purchase?) anti-itch creme this afternoon, so I bought something more expensive (and, hopefully, better) at the drugstore.  That goes on tonight, before bed.  I hope it works better than the cheap junk.

I keep telling myself, "It could be worse."  After all, I could've been one of the people displaced by the fire earlier this week.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

I'm not "sleep-deaf" after all.

There's a very good reason that I didn't hear the fire engines come to extinguish the blaze:  I wasn't home.

The fire was reported at 4:30 p.m., at which time I was in an entirely different part of town (and, yes, I have witnesses, not that there's any reason to suspect me of arson).  It occurred on Tuesday, the last day of my work marathon, so when I was returning to my car yesterday afternoon, to get the second load of my groceries, and noticed the burned section of building, the damage was just less than 24 hours old.  (And here I thought it had happened weeks ago, and I just didn't notice because I was always leaving and arriving home in the dark).

Here's what the city's newspaper had to say about the fire.  I'm a bit miffed that there's more said about the pets than the human residents of the building.  Okay, so "no injuries were reported", but how about some mention of how many people were displaced, or how long it took to extinguish the fire, or how many apartments were damaged by fire, smoke, or water (you know, the facts)?

The cynic in me is surprised that the paper didn't run a picture of the pets.  Surely they must be more photogenic than a burned corner of building.

I'm more "healthy, reasonably invested, and wise".

Since moving to Tulsa, I have received a letter from the blood donation organization, after each of my donations.  The letter contains my blood pressure and total cholesterol results at the time of my donation.  It's like a mini physical.

You'll be pleased to know that my blood pressure was 113 over 69 ("normal" listed as 120 over 80, or less), and my total cholesterol was 154 ("normal" listed as less than or equal to 200).  Both results are interpreted (their word) as "desirable".

Well, of course, I am. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Finally, I got off work after just eight hours today!  (I stopped by the grocery store on my way home.)

I found out from the apartment manager that the phone company is responsible for the missing sidewalk.  However, she is unable to determine which department within said mega-corporation will take responsibility for the digging up, which hasn't been touched in I-don't-know-how-long.  (And that's an apt description, since my leaky brain won't let me remember which night -- or even which week -- I got home from work and discovered that the sidewalk was missing.)  Needless to say, she's not too pleased.

It also didn't help her mood that she has to help find temporary lodging for eight residents.  Also at some point during my marathon of work, an apartment caught fire at the farthest end of the farthest building from my apartment -- so I was in no danger.  It's a good thing I wasn't in danger, too, since I didn't hear the fire trucks at all.  (Combine my usual sleep deafness with the urge to spend as much of my diminished time in bed with as much sleep as I can, and it's no surprise I didn't hear them.)  The manager said they provide two nights at a hotel, and she was on the phone, trying to find other apartments owned by the same company, which had vacancies for the displaced residents to use temporarily.  (I hope the tenants have renter's insurance, as I do, because my policy covers "loss of use".)

I'll stop by the office again tomorrow, and see if she's less busy and able to fill in more of the blanks.

(The post title refers to this movie.)

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Oh, wait. I said that already.

I was going to title this post, "This is your brain on lack of sleep," but I see that I already have.  Last weekend, in fact.  That should tell you how things are still going for me.

I have worked nearly three weeks straight, for 15 hour weekdays and 10 or 12 hour weekends (including Sundays).  One day this week, the crew leads voted to come in an hour early the next morning.  Naturally, the people who voted in favor were not the people who have been working late every night.  I was out of the room, so I could not object.  I felt like Opus being nominated for Vice-President.  (I didn't even get any Cheetos out of it!)

I noticed that this consistent period of insufficient sleep caused me to have symptoms of minor memory loss and word substitution, like early stages of dementia.  (I call it having a "leaky brain".)  Most often, I couldn't remember which day we did which tasks, and I frequently mixed up the names of school sites, but twice I can't even remember seeing people whom coworkers insist were working on the same crew as myself.  It was almost like college, when my friends discovered that I'd say things even more humorous than usual if they kept me up past my usual bedtime.  (Keep me up late and feed me alcohol, and I, apparently, am a scream.)  Another example is that I can't imagine how a coworker and I ended up mentioning this song last night.

I told my boss that I wanted Sunday off, so that I could do laundry.  (The kicker would've been how to get to the bank while working on Saturday, to get quarters so that I could do laundry the next day.)  However, circumstances favored all of us, and we were able to take both today and tomorrow off.  I was able to water my patio pots this morning, and it's so pleasurable to see them (my upstairs neighbor might have been watering them during the week, as none of them looks to be dying) and my apartment in daylight again.  I also took an hour to exchange books at the library, drop off outgoing bill payments at the post office, get my quarters from the bank, and get some groceries (from the store which houses the bank branch) that I can't get from my usual market.  Running errands has never felt so good!  (I'm saving the laundry for tomorrow.)

What I won't find out this weekend, though, is why I came home one night (don't know which night; all days are running together for me now) and couldn't take my usual path from the parking lot to my apartment because the sidewalk between the buildings had been torn up.  So, I walked the slightly longer way around the other end of the building (and started parking my car closer to that end).  This morning, since I was around when the sun rose, I saw orange, construction fence around the missing sidewalk, and what looks like black, polyethylene pipe (like irrigation piping, but it has connections I don't recognize as irrigation parts) under where the sidewalk had been (and who would run irrigation line under the length of a sidewalk anyway?), and yellow and orange utility-locate paint on the remaining sidewalks and grass and dirt in the vicinity.  The apartment office is open only on weekdays, though, so I'll have to wait to ask what's going on.  (Maybe Wednesday I'll get off work at the old, regular time, although my boss's boss sent another e-mail of tasks last thing yesterday -- but I vowed not to ponder it until I get to work Monday morning.)

On the way back to the shop after mowing last night, I talked myself into a late dinner at Hideaway Pizza (expensive but with leftovers, so each meal I can stretch it into makes it more affordable per plate).  I know I have little spendable money to waste on such an extravagance, but after working three weeks straight, from dark to dark, I deserve a treat, dammit!  Now, other than the errands this morning and visiting the laundry room tomorrow, I'm locking myself inside my apartment and saying, "Screw you!" to the world this weekend.  (Well, to the rest of the world other than you guys, obviously.)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

This is your brain on lack of sleep.

I'm sure that comic and cartoon characters could be (or have been) used to educate children about the dangers of illegal drugs.  A perennially popular character that could be used is Scooby-Doo -- or, in the case of drug education, "Scooby Don't".

It's Frightening in Reverse: "A Slut Gay Behind".

It's even more frightening that I had that thought while returning from the grocery store last night, when I heard this song on the radio.  Honest, I was just trying a word game, but excess work and insufficient sleep makes it impossible for me to think normally.  (WARNING:  Twang ahead.)

Sunday, August 11, 2013

In my day, it would've been Mr. Wizard.

The following bulletin board/display case is inside the entry hall of a Tulsa junior high school.

Or a Synchronized Lawnmowers Routine

While mowing at an elementary school the other day, I stopped to take a picture of a fungus growing at the base of a tree.  (I then made a note to put that tree on our removals list, as any tree with a fungus like that is doomed, even if it's 95% green and leafy, as this one was.)

The squirrel on the lowest branch didn't know what to do.  "This human is large and (presumably) threatening, but that thing he was sitting on isn't roaring any more, so does that make him less or more threatening?  The branch I'm on is above his head, so I don't have to scamper further up the tree, but what if he comes after me?  He's not coming closer, but he's not going away, either, and I really need to get down the tree and use the little squirrel's room."  The poor thing was quivering with indecision and apprehension.

I felt sorry for worrying the squirrel.  As I resumed mowing, I pondered that "Worrying the Squirrel" sounds like a new dance craze.  For all I know, it could be a euphemism for masturbation.  (I've never understood "spanking the monkey" either.)  Um, it isn't, is it?

First, Second, and Th... First

I first heard this song played during an ice skating routine on TV.  Then, I saw it made into a music video (of sorts) on Tiny Toon Adventures.  (Here it is, in fact.)

Much like the songs I mentioned earlier, which I assumed were Muppets originals and only later learned were remakes by the Muppets, "Istanbul, not Constantinople" was actually recorded long before I heard the They Might Be Giants version.  Have an earful of the original.

Eight Days a Week

I haven't been online lately because we've been working late (16 hour days for me) and on Saturdays to catch up mowing again.  A few weeks ago, there was a storm that knocked down many branches or trees, which my crew had to pick up instead of their normal mowing, and subsequent rains have made the grass grow quickly, so there are numerous schools around town with grass two feet (or more) in height.  It's not any better knowing that the school year starts in less than two weeks.