Homer's Travels: June 2024

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #102

This week has been an exhaustive one though, to be honest, I'm not sure why.  Here was the week that was:

  • The dominant theme this week was my Mom's spinal surgery and the beginning of her recovery.  The surgery went without a hitch.  Mom was a tad worried about how her age would impact the procedure and, it turns out, it didn't affect anything.

    Mom stayed in the hospital three nights to let everything stabilize.  On Thursday she was moved to a live-in rehabilitation center.  The length of her stay will be determined by progress with her physical therapy.  Starting tomorrow she will have physical and occupational therapy daily to help her regain her independence.

    It's still early but Mom says the pain in her lower back seems to be almost gone (Huzzah!) but her sciatic pain in her leg remains  (too soon to determine if it has improved or is the same).  She still has issues with moving her legs smoothly while walking.  This is most likely more of a Parkinson's issue than a back issue.  Her physical therapy will work on that.
  • Our sprinkler system has been fixed ... for a hefty price naturally.
  • Friday I had a minor panic when I discovered all my Google docs/sheets created after 2019 had disappeared.  I was pleasantly surprised to find it easy to contact a Google support person who recovered all my files.  I promptly changed my passwords.  I have to say I am not pleasant to be around when I'm in a panic. 😈
  • I haven't walked for ages it seems.  I hope to restart once again this coming week despite the 100℉ plus (38℃ plus) heat indexes early this week.
  • I haven't really had a chance to nap this week which is probably why I have been feeling grumpy, overwhelmed, and exhausted most of this week.  I'll have to talk about how much I've been napping this year (excluding this last week).  Suffice it to say I have been napping a lot this year.  Makes me feel old.

Thursday, June 20, 2024

Happy Solstice!

I hope everyone has a long, safe, summer solstice today.  By all measures, Summer has begun.  Get out and Enjoy it!


Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Tampa 2024 - Magnets Edition

I am finally catching up with the magnet posts - just four to eight months late.  The last batch was acquired during our Tampa trip last January.  Here are a few of my favorites from the trip:
A rooster from Ybor City.

This picture really doesn't capture the 3-D effect of this sunset magnet.

Salvador Dali.
Unfortunately the skydiving place did not have magnets (nor any pins or keychains I could have made into magnets). A lost opportunity for the skydiving school.

You can see the Magnets I've posted by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab above or going to my 2006-2024 Travel Magnets Google Photos album.

Sunday, June 16, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #101

"May you live in interesting times" ...

 or, in our case, June.

  • In the last Weekly Ephemera post I mentioned we canceled our Camino trip and we would try to move Mom's spinal surgery.  At the time of that post I really doubted we could reschedule the surgery.  We called Monday and to my utter surprise Mom's surgery was rescheduled for ... tomorrow.  On Friday we had a long day full of pre-op examinations and tests.  The next few weeks - starting on Monday at 5:00am - will be interesting to say the least.
  • We continued to deep clean the house in preparation for the Wife's cousin and aunt's visit this week ... until the cousin called to cancel due to unexpected health issues.  The cleaning wasn't a waste but it's probably safe to say we won't be deep cleaning the house again for another decade or so.
  • On Wednesday morning, the day we would have flown to Spain for the Wife's Camino, I noticed the automatic sprinklers did not come on.  Turns out the controller died.  If we'd gone to Spain the grass and gardens would not have been watered during the 80℉ to 90℉ (26℃ to 32℃) temps we are experiencing and we would have returned in three weeksto a dead lawn.  The sprinkler people are coming on Monday.
  • Wednesday evening we had some crazy weather with wind, rain, and hail (pea to quarter sized).  The clouds and lightning was incredible.
    Storm clouds with a peak of blue.

    Sun lit storm clouds.

    A little bit of lightning.
  • I did not walk this week and, frankly, I'm not sure when I will restart my walking.  Depends on my Mom's schedule really.  My body is starting to miss it.
  • As for my entertainment for the week, it was basically the same as last week - "Alone" and "Doctor Who".

Thursday, June 13, 2024

Southeast Asia 2023 - Cambodia Magnet Edition

Finally, after only seven months, here are the last magnets from our southeast Asia trip last fall.  We only had a handful of magnets from Cambodia.

A carved face from Angkor Wat.

A basic photo magnet of monks at a temple. (This is a terrible scan.)

A keychain from our Cambodian balloon ride
which will be converted into a magnet.
I will add photos from our trip to Tampa soon.  You can see the Magnets I've posted by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab above or going to my 2006-2024 Travel Magnets Google Photos album.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Southeast Asia 2023 - Vietnam Magnet Edition

 We collected more magnets in Vietnam.  Here are a few favorites:

Vietnamese man and woman.

An island temple in Hanoi on bamboo.

A boat on HaLong Bay made of coiled paper.

An AO Show performer in Saigon on wood.
You can see the Magnets I've posted by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab above or going to my 2006-2024 Travel Magnets Google Photos album.

Sunday, June 09, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #100

This probably shouldn't be an ephemera post as it's pretty significant but I'm afraid if I dedicate a whole post to it, it would become a rambling 'poor me' screed.  Anyway, here is the week that was:

  • My mom's back and sciatic leg pain is progressively getting worse and it is getting harder for her to get around.  She is scheduled for surgery on the 8th of July but tomorrow we are going to contact the neurosurgeon to see if it can be moved up.  The surgery may help ... or it may not.  The only way to know is to have it done.
  • Due to Mom's worsening condition, I decided that I would not be going on the Wife's Camino.  After consideration she too decided to cancel the Camino for this year.  We are both, to say it mildly, a bit bummed but neither of us would have enjoyed it if we were continuously worrying about how Mom was.  I also think me being close by gives Mom a sense of comfort.  The Camino has been around over one thousand two hundred years.  It will still be around next year.  We just need to hold our aging bodies at bay a little longer.
  • Before we postponed the Wife's Camino we deep cleaned the house.  The Wife's Aunt and Cousins were/are going to use our house while we were away but now we will be hosting them.  They will be going to the College World Series and visiting old friends in Omaha next week.  I have never seen the Wife clean so deeply.  Three plus hours for just one room.  I did my part but my piddly attempts at deep cleaning paled in comparison.
  • One of the things I did was clean the windows.  A day or so afterwards a robin flew into the window so hard it left a splat of ... something disgusting ... before dropping dead to the patio. When I removed the carcass it left a bloodstain on the concrete.  I will have to rewash that window.
  • Between cleanings I watch some more "Doctor Who" which, after a very sloppy start, has gotten better.

    In the evening the Wife and I have started watching "Alone".  There are ten seasons (the eleventh season starts this week).  I'm pretty sure I would tap out before I even got on the boat.

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

Southeast Asia 2023 - Thailand Magnet Edition

I am soooo behind in my magnet scanning and posting.  This is likely driven by the fact that we have run out of wall space to display them all.

We purchased twenty-five magnets in Thailand.  Here are a few of my favorites:

One of the seven Hilltribe magnets we bought.
A cloth elephant magnet from the elephant sanctuary we visited.
What is Thailand without some Thai Boxing?
I will try to get the Vietnam and Cambodia magnets up soon. You can see the Magnets I've posted by clicking on the Travel Magnets tab above or going to my 2006-2024 Travel Magnets Google Photos album.

Monday, June 03, 2024

Book: Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children Of Memory"

Continuing my slow 2024 reading, my fourth ebook of the year was book three of the Children of Time series.

Adrian Tchaikovsky's "Children of Memory" continues where "Children of Time" and "Children of Ruin" left off.  The humans, joined by the Portiids, the Octopuses, and the Corvids, continue exploring the worlds terraformed by the ancient humans - in this case the planet Imir.

This book takes a very different approach than the other books.  The story jumps around and is a bit confusing with contradictions.  As you reach the end of the book things begin making sense and you begin to appreciate the author's story telling.

The only thing I didn't like was how the book ended without explaining a major plot point, the author choosing to leave it shrouded in mystery.  Apparently the author has promised that there will not be any more sequels so we may never know the true nature of what happened on the planet Imir.  I hope the author changes his mind and writes a fourth book to the series to explain the ending.  Or, on second thought, maybe he shouldn't and just let the reader's imagination run wild.

I gave this book four stars out of five on Goodreads.  Tchaikovsky is a talented storyteller and I may have to dip my toe into his collection of fifty-ish books.

Sunday, June 02, 2024

Weekly Ephemera #99

  • Yesterday was a busy day for the Wife and I.  Her ex-student, who was ordained a Deacon in Rome last year, was ordained into the priesthood and Saint Cecilia Cathedral in Omaha.  We dressed up and attended the very long ordination ceremony in the morning.  In the evening we attended a reception for the newly ordained Father Matthew at Lauritzen Gardens.  The evening was fun, full of laughter, reminiscing from the Father's family, and a multitude of toasting. 
  • We paid off the last of our bathroom remodel.  We are now poorer than we were but we have a bathroom we really like. 🤣
  • I had my semi-annual blood tests on Wednesday. I had to fast for them which meant I couldn't eat anything during a time when I normally wouldn't eat anything anyway.  You would think this would be easy but just knowing I was fasting made me more hungry.

    The results were better than six months ago but not as good as twelve months ago.  I attribute this to not walking as much this spring.  I'm still pre-diabetic but my cholesterol numbers are in a good range.  The one really good number is my PSA which went from 10.3 pre-prostate surgery to 1.4 (normal range is between 0 and 4).
  • Cleared out the last of the overgrown shrubbery under our deck.  We now have room for more shade tolerant flowers.
  • I finished "Star Wars: Bad Batch".  It was a fitting end for the show though it could have gone on for a few more seasons.

    I also finished "Star Trek: Discovery".  While the season finished filming before they announced the ending of the series, they did take the time to go back and tie up a few loose ends so that the series had an appropriate ending.  I was happy how they ended it and a bit sad to see it go.

    I started watching the latest "Doctor Who".  Doctor Who has always been a bit hit and miss with its storytelling but the first two episodes of this season are very underwhelming.  I hope it gets better.

    Lastly we watched the semi-finals for the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  Kind of disappointed that ESPN dropped it.  I'm guessing they lost a lot of their audience this year because of that.  We missed the finals of the Bee due to some guy getting thirty-four felony convictions in New York. 😜
  • I only walked once this week for 7.2 miles (11.6 km).  Since our Camino is only ten days away I will probably not walk this week.  Not exactly wise but it's how it's going to be.