Howard University Homecoming Parade

Ran away from myself this morning. I went to the Howard University Homecoming Parade. I used to go every year – if it wasn’t raining – last year I went was 2013. The parade was shorter than it used to be. And, no horses. But, it was still great fun. And, I had very good public transportation karma. Never waited more than 3 minutes. Finally, I took a lap or two around Nordstrom’s and didn’t find a single thing that I need or even wanted to buy.

Howard University Homecoming Parade

Took the newly repaired OMD with my favorite lens. I also discovered that the favorite lens works fine on the new PEN F camera. But, it looks really silly. 

Well, shit.

From Jackson Street

(Note to readers: I am not devilishly concerned about this health problem. It is the thyroid and not some rouge lymph node. I am, however, pissed off beyond all recognition that it is messing with my scheduled migration to Hawai’i.) 

Well, shit. It was all going well until it wasn’t. I got to hospital with lots of time to spare. Was the first customer in ultrasound. Got the best sonographer. Had a good day at the office. When I am coming home the nurse calls and says I should get an appointment for a biopsy. No surprise. I tried to get her to go directly to biopsy. But, in modern medicine – gotta spread the money around. The ultrasound folk have to earn a living too. 

As soon as I get home, I start trying to get an appointment for the biopsy. Not only could I not get an appointment. I couldn’t get anyone to answer the phone. I left 2 messages and 2 phone numbers and got 0 calls. The doctor calls to be sure I made an appointment. I tell her that I can not get them to answer the phone. She calls back and says that she to failed but she left a message for them to call me. 

By then end of the afternoon – I was seriously mad. Annoyed. Pissed. 

I wrote a letter to the CEO of the hospital. Want to read it? Sending it would be a bad idea. But, at least writing it gave me something to do. I need Carlton to tell me to chill. And just shut up and keep on keeping on. 

October 20, 2017
James Cole
Virginia Hospital Center
1701 N. George Mason Drive
Arlington, VA 22205

Mr. Cole:

The VHC website says: Radiology & Medical Imaging Center at Virginia Hospital Center provides the highest quality diagnostic and interventional radiology services to our patients and referring physicians in a compassionate and professional environment. To perform 170,000 diagnostic imaging services and interventional radiology a year, we integrated the most advanced medical imaging technology.

 The Interventional Radiology impressive list services include: advanced vein vare (sic) including venous sclerotherapy, diagnostic angiography, endovascular stent graft repair of thoracic, abdominal & pelvic aneurysms, endovascular stent graft repair of aneurysms, transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts, uterine artery embolization, tubal cannulization (for fertility treatment), kyphoplasty, interventional oncology (including chemoembolization, RF ablation), and thyroid biopsies.

All of those words are wasted because; Interventional Radiology Scheduling does not answer their phone. I spent all afternoon today (10/20/17) trying to schedule an appointment. My doctor’s office also tried. We were only able to leave messages requesting a return call. I left two phone numbers and received zero calls back.

People do not call Intervention Radiology for insignificant procedures. It is not like calling a salon to schedule a pedicure or Dominos to order a pizza.

Before this wasted afternoon, I was feeling good. I had taken action. Gotten the results of an ultra sound and was taking the next step. I would schedule a thyroid biopsy and get on with life.

Good intentions notwithstanding, I couldn’t schedule anything. I have no recourse until with VHC IR until 8AM Monday morning. I am left feeling helpless and annoyed.

Annoyed enough to ask my doctor to send me a copy of the order and find another hospital – and I do have choices in this area – to do the biopsy and provide any follow up treatments.

This evening I am embarrassed to call VHC “My Hospital”.


PS: The ultra sound people were super. They answered the phone, had me in for an appointment and the results were back to my doctor in less than 24 hours.




Sleepy Time on the 25B

Took 4 different busses today to get to work to the doctor and back home. Since I have a “Senior Bus Pass”, I think all this riding around cost me $2.70. 

As you can see from the 25B riders above – it has cooled off nicely here.

The Nurse Practitioner has me getting an ultrasound of my neck tomorrow at 0710. Not hugely inconvenient – if I get on that 25B bus 0635 and if the 52 bus that I transfer to is on schedule – I make it with 4 minutes to spare. Do you think maybe I should take an earlier bus? We’ll see. Google says I should get on the 0612 bus. Maybe I should listen to Momma Google.

Suspect that my Halloween departure to Kona may be in jeopardy. 

Caught some of Bush Junior’s speech today. Did you ever think that we would admire a George W speech? That it would be considered logical, intelligent, and even elegant? 

Gone to seed.

The once great fennel plant.

Went out to find butterflies. No luck, Hopefully, this fine fennel will reseed itself. 

Last Friday wasn’t my finest ever day. Lost glasses, expected dental problems and the hygienist  found an enlarged lymph node in my neck. Well, the dental problems were fixed. The glasses replaced. But, the most troubling thing remains – the lymph node. 

Today, I did the grownup thing. Made an appointment to see my nurse practitioner  tomorrow afternoon. I know that she will be as clueless as I am about the cause. I am prepared to postpone my trip (I guess) if testing is required to rule out something really serious. This sort of comes under the “don’t ask questions you don’t want answered”  rule.

Don’t want to go down that rabbit hole, but… 

Had a lovely dinner out on the patio this evening. We have heaters so 65 degrees is fine – especially if one is all sweatered up.  Sometimes I get very frustrated living here with 500 of my closest friends. But, it is really nice to get away from myself and my own poor company and be with friends. No need to call, text, email or facebook – just go down to dinner at 1815 and there is good company. And if you a lucky good food too. 



Another one from Jackson Street

Think it is going to be an early night tonight. I seem to be slowing down these days. Of course, I did get up at 0445 this morning. But, I am just feeling creakier and wearier. It is taking more coffee and ibuprofen to keep me functional. 

Trying to avoid anything remotely political these days. But, I notice at The Orange Lord seems to be gearing up for a donnybrook with John McCain. He doesn’t seem to realize that people with terminal cancer are absolutely fearless. And congress is in dire need of absolutely fearless these days.

Been trying to use Safari since I updated to High Sierra. It is just different from Chrome – my browser of choice for the last 8 years or so. It uses the funky Touch Bar, a not very useful part of newer MacBook Pros. It has a built in “Text” mode which I rather like. And, it does a good job of killing off zombie-like tracking ads.  

I may try to use Safari on my iPads too. Speaking of iPads. I decided that the Facebook App on my iPad Pro was sucking too much battery and doing goodness knows what “in the background” – so, I deleted it. The Pro is big enough to use the browser version. Maybe facebook is doing to our minds what it was doing to my iPad????

Note to Carlton: You are not missing anything at all here on Planet Earth. The Nats are still breaking hearts, The Skins are still suspect, golf is still boring and your tennis courts are fine. Also, I haven’t done anything crazy with your money. Oh yes, it is still “your” money. I’ll let you pay for my room in Hawai’i this winter. Other than that, I am “self supporting through my own contributions”.  

Oh one more thing Carlton, remember that Fitbit that you scoffed at. The one I bought the spring before you died? Well, yesterday, I got an email telling me that I have logged 5,500 miles since April 2014. Not too shabby for a creaky old woman. I’d say that the Fitbit was successful retail therapy and was the Olympus OMD – the rest not so much. 

And you readers might think I am crazy, writing to Carlton. Don’t tell the Asylum, they will move me off to The Terrarium aka the “memory care unit”. 


Busy Monday…

Oh the 25B bus before dawn’s early light

It was too dark to walk my usual 1.2 miles to the hospital outpost and catch the shuttle bus to the main hospital this morning. I wasn’t afraid of being attacked. I was afraid of falling on wet leaves or acorns that I couldn’t see because it was dark. Can not be too careful with these old bones. 

So, I took buses.  

Crazy busy day at work. Then I walked home and did zip for the rest of the day. 

Another one from yesterday’s butterfly fest…

This is a “whatever happened is what I planned shot”. The Pen F and I were having a hard time with focus. After much hunting, Pen F focused on the flowers. Not the butterfly. Still – an OK shot.


Common Buckeye and Skipper.
Monarch – there were two. But they never got close enough to get both in a shot.
Cabbage White on my very own rosemary plant

Late this afternoon, I took the Pen F out with the really cheap 300-600mm zoom attached. Trust me it was pretty silly looking. And, it hunted focus like crazy. But, there were butterflies. 

I was happy to be shooting something that didn’t complain. 

I spent a nice normal day. Catching up on personal chores. Napping. A little yoga. And, this evening I am dining on crab cakes and salad here in the Old Bat Cave. 

It’s a wrap!

Halloween – from 11 floor of the Asylum

It’s a wrap. More or less. I have 4 perfectly fine little movies all ready to show on our TV monitors. If something or someone wanders in front of my camera and if it is sufficiently wonderful – I can redo one of the videos – but – I am considering The Last Great Photo Shoot in the can. 

The Asylum was having some sort of “Reimagine Aging” fund raising dinner tonight. That sounded like ZERO fun to me. But, some of my friends had a fund raising progressive dinner party. We had beer, wine, cocktails and wonderful munchies, and moved on to a great salad bar, and finally super good cake and coffee. The apartments were very spread out – so – we even got some exercise and collected a couple of hundred bucks . All to the bottom line. 

Lots of fun. Lots of laughs. 

Spent most of the day making the videos. It didn’t seem like I was missing all that much outside. However, a tiny fly-like creature landed on my window. Making for a fine Halloweenish image. So, I got the chance to use my camera for something other than the Last Great Photo Shoot. 

Oh, Forbin seems to be happy with High Sierra. And, the old iPad mini is running iOS 11 fine as can be. 

Not my very finest day ever…

It’s beginning to look a lot like Halloween on Jackson Street!

Not my very finest day. Let me count the ways:

  1. Trip to the dentist resulted in 2 fillings and an $800 bill.
  2. Dentist – well actually the hygienist – pointed out an enlarged lymph node in my neck. I immediately leap to the conclusion that I have cancer. 
  3. Lost my glasses. Yes lost. Not misplaced. 
  4. My cell phone company double billed me this morning.
  5. The happy hour pupus were consumed by vultures before I arrived. I sulked back up to my lodgings and ate my own damn cheese and drank my own rather good wine.
  6. Went down to dinner and there was no place to sit. So, I waddled off in a snit and once again returned to my lodgings and ate my own damn food from my emergency stores. And sat in my own chair. And let Alexa read to me. Which might have been better than bitching at my friends about my crappy day.

Now – on to the gratitude side of the equation.

  1. I am glad that I still have teeth. And that I can afford to have them fixed.
  2. Lots and lots of things cause enlarged lymph nodes. The left supraclavicular lymph nodes drain the thorax and abdomen. So, I might be a tad concerned. But, what can I do? Nothing right now. Nothing at all. And, I need to remind myself that I didn’t even know about my left supraclavicular lymph nodes 12 hours ago. I don’t spend much time looking at my neck. 
  3. Glasses can be replaced. And, I have a spare pair.
  4. Cell phone company says “you will receive an email as soon as we have an update for you. We appreciate your patience while we work on this for you.”
  5. No free pupus?? Seriously woman, get a grip. That is not a problem.
  6. As for the lack of seating at dinner. That isn’t a problem I can solve. And, I don’t see it going away. Time for acceptance. 

After seeing the dentist today, I went for a little walk about the old neighborhood. Checked out “Carlton’s Tennis Courts” and went to see if Jackson street was ready for Halloween. It is getting there. 

On the technology front. Today, I upgraded Forbin to High Sierra. Most of the changes are under my radar. But, I might give Safari a try. It is supposed to be much improved. And, I put iOS 11 on my old iPad mini. 



Passover came late this year.

On the 41 Bus today. Pink hair and Bob Marley – all good.

Now that is depressing… This afternoon I found out the I am the owner of the only unit on my floor that is not getting its own personal wifi access point. I am seriously miffed. Passover.

From today’s photoshoot.

I believe that the gray gentleman is in charge of wifi here at the Asylum. He will be hearing from me.

Around the Asylum.

Have a nice day!

Wandered around the asylum this morning – looking for people/things to photograph. 

Not everything will be making it to the big screen.

The telcom closet on my floor.

The  telcom closet on my floor was left open this morning. It isn’t pretty inside. I always feel that electrons are happier when they are running around in neat, organized and labeled cables. I know that makes no scientific sense. Tidy cables are just one of my little fetishes.

Not surprised that my WiFi is:


Kona Time

Hello, World! – Jan 6, 2017

Starting to consider what toys to take to Kona. Clothes – not a problem. Cameras, lenses, computers, iPads, etc. That is a problem. Looking through old photos to see what cameras/lenses I used the most. This shot was taken with my plastic fisheye lens. Not leaving that thing behind. It weighs one whole ounce.  

She who travels lightest travels best. But, four months – I need my toys. Lots of them. I am taking Alexa with me. Sort of used to talking to her. Alexa, how are you doing? I have been thinking about dinosaurs she answers…

And while I am at it, need to get back into an island frame of mind. Need to get out of the political morass that is the east coast mindset. 

I have a folder on my desktop called “HappyThings” and these guys getting ready for a hula competition are one of my happy places. Or at least peaceful places.