Saturday, April 29, 2023

Meow! a short post

 


As I get older, I find that the common cat seems to be getting a larger presence in my life. Yet, I have no felines as pets.  Go figure it out.

When I met my late wife, she came into my life with two cats. Soon afterward, she brought two more cats into the apartment, making a total mess of the place.  (I have floorboards that have to be refinished because of those cats.  But I digress.) When the last of these cats died (my favorite), I never intended to have cats in my life again.

Over the years, I have developed a friendship with TCL, and have been with her for vet appointments for the cats she had before the pandemic.  Now, I'm seeing RQS, a woman who has two cats of her own. One of these cats is an attention hog, and misses his human(s) when away.  (He is making this known by "going to the bathroom" in the bathroom after RQS has prepared a clean litter box.)  The other cat is much more standoffish, and generally has not yet warmed up to me.  (However, this second cat has warmed up to RQS's cat sitter - he feeds her fresh food and is not seen as an interloper.)  Yet, I have developed an affection for these cats, and would have a hard time seeing RQS happy without her cats.

What does this mean?  I guess I'll need to keep my allergy pills handy more often than not.  Or, does it mean that in my old age that I'll become a crazy cat lady?


Friday, April 28, 2023

It feels like summer already, and that won't officially be here for two months.

 



It's April, and I've already have had to turn on my air conditioner twice. As I write this, it hit 90° today, and it will be the same tomorrow. Although this is only anecdotal evidence of global warning, I can't help but believe that global warming is real and taking place right now.

But why do I mention this?

I live in an apartment that gets very warm.  During the winter, I've often have had to open windows to make this place comfortable.  During the summer, the air conditioner is on 24x7.  And it's been this way since I bought this place.  As the nation shifts to greater use of electricity for cooking, heating, and transportation, I see major problems with the transformation to a future with reduced dependency on fossil fuels.

The first problem I see is the generation of enough electricity to meet increased demand.  We have seen the water level behind many dams used for energy generation at risk of being too low to generate clean electricity.  We have seen the decommissioning of nuclear plants that generate clean energy.  (I'm not going to get into the important negatives of this energy source here.)  We have seen communities resisting the development and use of wind power. And we have yet to see wide scale deployment of solar power grids. Where are we going to get the additional energy we need when we have barriers to the generation of clean energy?

Next, we have to deal with our electric grid.  Out west, California's electric company has to deal with obsolete transmission systems that puts the state at risk of major forest fires every year.  (Power lines, transformers, etc. are all above ground where they are at most risk of causing problems.  Yet, it is uneconomical to bury the system underground as it is done in the big city.)  Can any of the smaller grids handle the extra demand for electricity?  I'm very doubtful that we can upgrade these systems within 12 years as many in the "blue states" believe can be done.

Then, we have the problem of upgrading wiring in both commercial and residential properties.  For example, how many homes' fossil fuel heating and cooking systems can be converted to electric powered systems at a reasonable cost?  Who will pay for the transition?  And we haven't even started to talk about transportation related issues. There may be only 30 charging stations within a 15 minute drive of where I live.  But I figure that we have over 500 gas pumps (or more) within the same area.  I can not justify installing 120 individually metered charging stations in my apartment complex to allow overnight charging.  Can I justify buying an electric car if I can't charge it at home?  Not with today's technology.  I can fill up a car with gas in 5 minutes and get a 300 mile driving range.  But, with today's electric cars, I might get 150 miles with a 30 minute charge.  Our politicians are placing a big bet on having all the technologies and systems in place within 12 years to justify a mandated end to the use of fossil fuels.

Years ago, T. Boone Pickens proposed a transition strategy to move the United States from a fossil fuel economy to a green energy economy.  It was not pie in the sty dreaming.  It was a pragmatic strategy developed by an oil man to address the problems related with global warming.  We have not implemented a pragmatic plan.  Instead, we are letting our ideals get in the way of seeing reality.  

I know one thing.  Due to global warming and government policy, I expect that I will see even higher energy bills to keep this apartment livable in both summer and winter.  This may be the one thing that gets me to leave the Hudson Valley for more hospitable climes....

Thursday, April 27, 2023

Seeing a friend again - a short post.


I made one friend from the firm I last worked for, and went to lunch with her today.  She knows I am trans, and treats me like a lady - including the discussion of topics of physical matters not usually discussed with males.  So it was a pleasure to get together at the Mexican restaurant down the hill from me. As much as I would like to chat about some of the issues we discussed, I won't, save for one thing - she's been dealing with a lot of headaches lately, and she is exhausted.  (She's lucky that she's at least 10 years younger than I am!)

Rosarito is becoming a go-to place for me when I'm in Marian mode, as the restaurant is quiet during the day.  It is a nice place to get a good Mexican meal at a reasonable price, and one that I'll only go to at off hours.  My friend, I'll call her OSJ, had trouble finding the place because her car's GPS system had her make a left turn at my exit when she should have made a right turn.  Once she used her phone's GPS system, she found the place without trouble. It was like seeing a long lost friend again, and we brought each other up to date on each other's lives.  After lunch, she made sure to let me know that I can call her before our next lunch.  I will take her up on that.

Around 2:30 pm, it was time for us to leave the restaurant, and I decided to drive to Poughkeepsie to see what they had in the local Lane Bryant.  They had a few nice dresses, but nothing worth what they asked for those dresses.  So, I passed on them, and drove home.  On the way back, I stopped by Walmart to buy some slip shorts, and then it was home for the night.
 

Wednesday, April 26, 2023

All I could muster the energy for today is doing the laundry

 

I didn't have the energy to get up and get dressed today.  The weather was perfect to go outdoors, and I stayed in.  It was a perfect day to wear a dress, and I didn't take the time to do so.  

- - - - - -

As I write this entry, we finally broke 80° outside, and my apartment was starting to get too warm to be in without air conditioning. So, I turned it on for only the second time this season, and gave it some exercise. Realizing that I intended to be busy all day tomorrow, it made sense for me to do a couple of loads of laundry, making it possible for me to wear some of my summer dresses this weekend.

While doing my laundry, I decided to take care of a few things, such as double checking travel arrangements for our upcoming trips, and to buy several things from Amazon.  One of those things was a 60+ y/o book called "The Revolt of Mamie Stover", a fictional work about a Honolulu prostitute who becomes a wartime profiteer. (This is a very simple description of the story.)  Given that another work by this author, "The Americanization of Emily" is wonderfully cynical, I have wanted to read this book for a while, but couldn't find a good print copy.

Once I found what I needed to buy, it was time to see what the Theater Development Fund had to offer on discount.  And I found one play worth seeing - God of Carnage.  Although I had seen this play twice in its initial Broadway run, I figured that it would be a good play to see with RQS.  So, I told her about it, and she was interested in seeing the play when she gets back from her upcoming trip.

Although I didn't do much today, I feel good about not doing much.  Time moves at multiple rates when one is retired.

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Getting out and about

 

Now that the sun is going down much later in the day, it has become much easier for me to get out and about.  It is warm enough outside for me to go out in the dresses I love to wear, as well as meet friends I haven't seen in a while. Soon, I will  be saying that I have nothing to wear when I have a closet filled with clothes. 

I'm extremely lucky that RQS accepts the fact that I often dress as a female.  She has said that after years of not being able to be her cisgender feminine self, being with me has catalyzed something in her to be feminine again.  (My words, not hers.)  And this is a very good thing for both of us.

- - - - - -

Tonight, I was able to have a zoom meeting with my two friends from Texas, and it appears that I may have been misreading one of them so far.  I won't go into any details, save that I wasn't sure of what was really happening.  Now, I have a better idea, and it looks like we'll all be having a great time in the short time we have together.

While we're talking about our Chicago trip, I have to mention airline schedules.  My friends will be leaving Chicago on an early morning trip. And that means one of them will be unable to take care of some business while in town.  (I hope that's cryptic enough, save for my friends and their privacy.) If this trip goes well, it would be nice to make this type of trip a regular yearly occurrence. 

Monday, April 24, 2023

Ear Piercing - a short post

 

I finally did it!  This T-Girl finally has pierced ears!

This afternoon, RQS and I went to the local tattoo/piercing shop to get our ears pierced.  I had let her make the appointment for the two of us, as I was a little apprehensive about taking this next step towards my feminine self.  So, we got up early today and made it out the door by noon, arriving at Big Joe's Tattoo & Piercing at 12:30 pm.

The shop was cleaner than RQS expected, and the place felt "just right" for what we were doing.  The piercer first checked to see if RQS's holes were there, and they were.  So, she sold RQS a set of studs that would keep her earlobe holes open until they have stretched enough for RQS to use her own pierced earrings. Then it was my turn.  After sterilizing my loves, she marked out spots on each lobe and then took out a piercing tool. As quickly as the tool was taken out of its wrapper, the piercing was done and I had tiny studs in my ears. 

I'll be doing aftercare for 2-3 months, and then I'll be able to wear my own earrings.  Yay!  I'll be able to wear my own pierced earrings when RQS and I meet Stephanie in Chicago.

Sunday, April 23, 2023

Seeing the movie, "Paint"

 

Paint.  It's a wonderful little comedy starring Owen Wilson.  Other than a deliberate passing similarity in appearance to the late PBS host, Bob Ross, Wilson plays a unique and sympathetic character.  And it is a film well worth seeing before it makes it to cable TV.

But first....

Last night, RQS and I went to see this movie.  I wasn't sure of what to expect, save that Wilson went out to mimic the soft spoken feel of Bob Ross's programs.  Could this film be a parody of Bob Ross?  Maybe.  I was prepared for anything from a cynical, biting comedy to a love story told with humor. If this story tells of the growth of an apparent one-dimensional character to a person of depth.  Yes, it is, in part, a love story.  But not in the way one might think.

Sadly, if I say too much about this film, I will spoil it for those who haven't seen it.  But I will say that the protagonist's van is called "Vantastic", the same tagline that one of my favorite cruise bloggers uses. I can say, there is one joke that requires that the viewer wait to the end of the film to enjoy and it involves a modern artist known the world over.

RQS went home, and I got keys made - a quick post

  One of the problems with going about as a female is that almost everything one carries around during a typical day is carried in a handbag...